22, thinking about joining; a few questions

Discussion in 'Becoming a Freemason' started by CHF, Nov 7, 2017.

  1. CHF

    CHF Registered User

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    I've been interested in Freemasonry for a while now after meeting a 32° mason at my summer job when I was 18. We talked for a while after I saw his ring and Elk Lodge pin. He seemed like a nice guy and shared his experiences as a mason and it's benefits. He wanted me to become his apprentice? I'm not sure what that meant but I've been intrigued ever since.

    My questions:

    I'm a student with a big work load and no current income. Are dues pricey or are they manageable for a younger guy?

    Am I too young? I don't have a grandpa or dad in a lodge so I feel like i'de be out of place in a group of older men. Or would I? I guess it depends on the lodge.

    I was in a Greek fraternity at my previous college before I switched schools to attend a trade school. Are there any similarities between freemasonry and Greek fraternities?

    Finally, How long does it usually take for one to reach 3rd degree master Mason. I've heard anywhere from a few weeks to a few years? Again, probably depending on the lodge. Also, how do you know when you are ready for a new degree? Is it based off of what you've learned or other factors.

    Thanks for helping,
    CHF


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  2. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    Lots of questions there, but questions are good.

    Can I start with one ? Where are you located ?
     
  3. CHF

    CHF Registered User

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    Im in South California


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  4. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    (let's wait to see if someone from SoCal responds... I'm in Australia and things are slightly different around pace of progression and costs.)

    As to being "too young" - it depends on you more than the lodge I think, but finding a lodge with a few young guys is a good idea. Our youngest member became a Freemason at 18 years..

    I will say this - becoming a Freemason was one of the best decisions I've made.
     
  5. CHF

    CHF Registered User

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    Do you reckon the younger I join the better? What makes it one of the best decisions? Thanks for the reply!


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  6. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    Plenty of university students take their degrees.

    The amount of work per degree is similar to a lower division undergraduate course. Degrees are earned. For some full time students this is too much, for others not a problem.

    Expect the fees to be roughly $100 per degree then the dues to be roughly $100 per year. Any higher than double that and you should look very closely at the lodge and check the jurisdiction to make sure it's a valid one.
     
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  7. CHF

    CHF Registered User

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    Can you speak further on the process? Do I attend lectures then get tested on the material? That's what I'm not sure about. Great information. Thank you.


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  8. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    The exact work depends on the jurisdiction. In the US it tends to be memorizing a dialogue about the degree you went through.
     
  9. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    If there is one thing I often hear from Freemasons - it is they should have joined earlier.. but I think Freemasonry tends to arrive at just the right time, regardless of age. I think Freemasonry does require a certain amount of maturity, but perhaps more accurately the capacity for self reflection and also an interest in improving your inner man.

    Best decision because it has developed me, my ideas about the world and sense of the divine, but also given an outstanding social group of diverse age and experience - and I have a lot of good times in Lodges and in the company of Freemasons and their families outside it. And, being 22, it also kept me out drinking in bars until 2 am a few weeks ago - but I feel like I'm getting a bit old for that sort of thing, but then remember two guys in their 70's who used to hit the bars with the younger guys :)
     
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  10. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    Hence the question on location - we don't pay for degrees and our dues are generally $200-400 per year. The most expensive lodge here is almost $1K per year - and it is very valid.

    But we all do similar things in the lodge room - compared to Uni - as long as your not in one of those places that teach mouth to ear (and that what it literally is, I say, you learn because we don't write things down) I would say the learning is not onerous.. but its not just not what you know, its also how you apply it in your daily life. Short version of that is, be a good bloke, and try to be a better one.
     
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  11. CHF

    CHF Registered User

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    I'm not very good at memorization. Who would I address in this dialogue?


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  12. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    Masonry makes good men better. One of the ways we do this by by smashing preconceived notions that people believe but that are incorrect. Memorization is a skill that all can acquire. We teach how to do that. So yes, you are in fact good at memorization. Just add a skill you aren't aware of to unleash a talent you aren't aware of. As I wrote, the amount of effort involved is about what you put into a 100 or 200 level general education course at college, per degree.
     
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  13. hanzosbm

    hanzosbm Premium Member

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    I am in San Diego, so perhaps I can answer some of the more specific questions regarding this area. My answers to your questions are bolded and underlined (I'm lazy and didn't want to keep going back and forth with quotes)
     
  14. hanzosbm

    hanzosbm Premium Member

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    Got the information. Our lodge, for all 3 degrees, the cost is $500.
     
  15. CHF

    CHF Registered User

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    Thank you for your thoughtful responses. What degree are you and how long did it take you to achieve that degree? Have you found that your life has been drastically changed in a good way? What are the benefits of being a 32° mason vs. a 3rd° mason?


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  16. hanzosbm

    hanzosbm Premium Member

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    I am a 3rd degree Mason and have been for a little over 8 years. It took me exactly 6 months from being initiated to becoming a Master Mason. In my case, yes, my life has absolutely been changed in a good way, but keep in mind, that is based on my own efforts building on and with the tools that Freemasonry provided to me. Nobody can do that work for self improvement for you.
    As for being a 32nd degree Mason, that has to do with an organization called the Scottish Rite, of which I am not a member, so I couldn't say for sure. The Scottish Rite, and other organizations as well, have additional degrees which build on and expand the lessons of the first 3 degrees. However, many people not familiar with how our organization works look at the numbering system and draw the conclusion that higher equals better. That is not the case. I have struggled to come up with a good analogy for this, but perhaps consider a popular TV show that has various spin offs. Those spin offs exist in the same story universe, and they might fill in some gaps in the original story line, but they are not really a linear continuation. So, getting back to the question, what are the benefits of 32nd vs 3rd degree? Well, you'd be better off asking a Scottish Rite Mason.
     
  17. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    All good info above. Lodges vary on fees, one up here in the Bay Area charges $1,000 for the degrees.
    Good luck, but don’t rush.
     
  18. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    I am a Master Mason and hold the rank of Past Master (meaning I've led a lodge). It took me about a year to become a MM, and about 6 to become a PM.





    Freemasonry is more like water on a stone rather than a jackhammer on pavement - often the change is slow and hard to see.

    I will leave this to others, suffice to say, 32 as hanzo said is a rank in the AASR - which is an organisation I've not felt the need to join. Many people seem to think such a degree gives precedence in all lodges, it does not, only within the organisation in which the degree was awarded, hence a 32 or 33 degree Freemason visiting my Craft Lodge has only the status awarded him in the Craft.. AASR works differently in Australia and is not as big or as popular here as in the States.
     
  19. MarkR

    MarkR Premium Member

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    As has already been stated, the 32° is conferred in the Scottish Rite, not in the Craft Lodge. Being a 32° (or even 33°) give you no benefit in the Craft Lodge. However, the Scottish Rite tends to be regional rather than local, so the benefit for me of joining the Scottish Rite has been getting to be good friends with brothers from all over southern Minnesota, in addition to the brothers I'm friends with in my local lodge.
     
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  20. Andy Fracica

    Andy Fracica Site Benefactor Premium Member

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    You are never too young if you feel you are ready. Take the work seriously and strive to understand its deeper meanings and honor your word and you will enjoy the brotherhood. Yes there are similarities to a Greek fraternity without the hazing.

    I'm in Indiana and things are a little different here. This is just for contrast if nothing else.

    My son and I petitioned our Lodge in April of this year. I'm 59 my son is 28. I've been wanting to do this for a long time, I had a guy at church ask me about becoming a Mason 30 years ago. I turned him down, I was too busy and nobody ever asked me again. for the last 10 years I've been thinking about joining but I really didn't know any Masons. Then my son mentioned that he was thinking of petitioning the local lodge and that a couple of his friends were members of this lodge. I told him if he was joining I wanted to join as well.

    We submitted our petitions in April, had our background checks and interviews and were recommend by the investigation committee and voted and approved to receive the benefits of Freemasonry. In May we received our EA degree, we received our FC degree, in September - (would have done is sooner but the lodge was dark for the summer months, and were raised to the sublime degree of Master Masons in October.

    In our jurisdiction, we paid $130 for our petition and first year dues. We don't pay extra for degrees. Indiana offers a 1-day class where you go from non mason to master mason in about 7 hours. An exemplar is used for the ritual work and the rest of the class sits in the audience and participates with their mentors. Not the best way to do it because your miss much of the richness of the degree work, but it is available here. We were raised as Master Mason at the one-day class (we had already completed our first 2 degrees) because our lodge isn't big enough handle the master mason degree on its own and our WM wanted to get it done before our November meeting.

    You are doing the right thing. Ask lots of questions.

    As far as 32nd Scottish Rite, vs. 3rd degree blue lodge degree two different things. Your Blue Lodge is your home family, the Scottish Rite Valley you belong to is like your extended family. With every degree that you earn, you learn more and in many cases it continues the story that you learn in the first three degrees and expands on it. We joined our local Scottish Rite Valley here in Fort Wayne and attended a Convocation this past weekend where we received 7 additional degrees including the 4th and 32nd degrees (there are a total of 29 additional degrees in the Scottish Rite)

    In the spring we plan to join the York Rite and go through those degrees.

    Well that's my nickel's worth.
     
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