posted on Jun, 6 2009 @ 10:21 AM
I was in Eastern Star, for about 4 years. I found it incredibly boring and stopped attending.
It used to only be open to ladies who were related to Master Masons (Blue Lodge) in the form of wife, mother, sister, daughter, widow.
Since that time, they noticed membership dwindling and now it seems they will grasp at any members. Everything from nieces to step-daughters.
When I joined, I was eligible as a granddaughter of a Mason. He was also a Shriner.
Part of the old rules of OES, was that at least one Master Mason must be present at every meeting. But the men did not "rule." They only had to
show up. For fancy meetings of regional/state officers there were often two men. Usually but not always the men who got sucked into the two male
offices were husbands of those holding the positions within the chapter.
So say a woman was elected as the current term "president" or Worthy Matron for the year, and her hubby was a Mason in good standing (member dues up
to date), she could ask him to be her Worthy Patron.
Anyway, from my experience on the "inside" I can tell you there was nothing sinister at all. Like I said it was incredibly boring. I was 21 years
old at the time and surrounded by women and men 50+ years old.
Initiation is nothing more than a sermon basically, explaining the virtues that women should have in each of their stations in life as daughter,
sister, mother, wife and widow - as shown in many tales of women from the bible.
There are no degrees as such. One initiation is all there is - period. Nothing weird goes on. Actually it's long and very boring, with the
initiate having very weary feet by the time the evening is over because she's standing for over an hour. In Eastern Star there are no baring of
chests or disrobing of any sort. It's all very respectful of ladies. Usually we all wore formal evening wear as officers but regular members would
usually wear their Sunday best type dresses. I hated having to purchase new formal dresses every year at my expense.
General meetings would usually consist of either fund raising within the organization itself to pay for paper, postage, cleaning services etc. or for
poor families to provide food and items for needy children.
We would have lots of dinner parties, however. Usually in the form of pot luck suppers or homemade ice cream parties in a public park. And none of
them allowed alcohol in any form. Now, other chapters may be completely different but the location where I was a member frowned on alcohol as a
[edit on 6/6/2009 by Ceara]