Eastern Star Membership

 

Who may join: Only men who are Masons are eligible and only women with specific Masonic affiliation may be members. These affiliations include:

    • Affiliated Master Masons in good standing

    • the wives

    • daughters

    • legally adopted daughters

    • mothers

    • widows

    • sisters

    • half sisters

    • granddaughters

    • stepmothers

    • stepdaughters

    • stepsisters

    • daughters-in-law

    • grandmothers

    • great granddaughters

    • nieces

    • great nieces

    • mothers-in-law

    • sisters-in-law

    • aunts

And first and second female cousins of affiliated Master Masons in good standing, or if deceased in good standing at the time of their death; as well as members - either active for three (3) years or majority - in the International Order of the Rainbow of Girls or in Job's Daughters International, each of whom having attained at least the age of eighteen (18) years, are eligible to membership in the Order of the Eastern Star.

 

How to join: To inquire about membership, talk to a current member, or contact our Chapter Secretary. Petitions are carefully read, eligibility investigated and election to membership must be by a vote of the Chapter. The Order strives to select persons of mental, moral, and spiritual quality who will work together in harmony to perform its objectives.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. Is the Order of the Eastern Star a secret society?
A. No. Secret societies are underground and hard to find. We are easily found within the community, but we enjoy a distinctive means of identifying each other. Only members are allowed in a closed meeting.

 

Q. Can I afford membership in the Order of the Eastern Star
A. Yes. Financial position is not considered in the Order. Members come from all economic stations of life.

 

Q. Is my religious faith allowed in the Order of the Eastern Star?
A. Yes. Members of all religions may belong to the Order of the Eastern Star. We only require a belief in a Supreme Being.

 

Q. Is the Order of the Eastern Star time consuming?
A. After your initiation into our Order, you may attend as your time permits.

 

Q. Is there any memory work?
A. There is no mandatory memory work except the means of making yourself known if you wish to visit a Chapter or if you become an officer.

 

Q. Is the Order patriotic and democratic?
A. Yes. Members are taught an allegiance to preserve the good of their country.

 

History of the
Order of the Eastern Star

The history of the Order of the Eastern Star is divided into three Eras:

1. The First Era extended from 1850 to 1866, under the leadership of Dr. Rob Morris, Poet Laureate of Masonry.
2. The Second Era extended from 1866 to 1876, under the leadership of Robert Macoy of New York.
3. The Third Era extends from 1876, when the General Grand Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star, was established to the present time.

 

Of these eras, the first is perhaps the most important as it prepared the way for the other two.

The real origin of the Order of the Eastern Star, like Masonry, will always be shrouded in mystery. Many researchers believe it had a French origin as early as 1703. By some, this is claimed to be the first inception of "Female Masonry" or "Androgynous Degrees" -- (degrees for both men and women).

 

There appeared at this time, to be a demand for "Side Degrees" or Degrees conferred on ladies, and quite a list sprang up -- "Heroines of Jericho", "Danger in the Dark", "Tall Cedars of Lebanon", etc. These were extensively used but soon fell into decay for lack of lasting worth.

 

As to the real origin of the Eastern Star degrees in its Initiatory form, there is not the least shadow of doubt that the honor belongs to Dr. Rob Morris and its real origin comes under the First Era.

Dr. Morris had traveled many years. He had written many books on Masonry which are valued references in many Masonic Libraries.

 

Never quite satisfied that all the good in Masonry should be confined to men, Dr. Morris felt that Masonry should be for the whole family. But by the laws of that Ancient Order, women are not eligible for its degrees. Knowing he could not change the Ancient Landmarks of Masonry, Dr. Morris sought some method by which women could share with the Masonic Brother the same inspiration that "prompts man to noble deeds."

 

Although he harbored these feelings for years, it wasn't until 1850, while confined to his home after an accident, that Dr. Morris fully developed the Eastern Star Degrees in their present initiatory form.

 

During this time, he carefully thought out the symbolism and significance of the floor plan and the corps of officers. He conferred the degrees upon his wife and daughters, and some neighbors, presumably having an idea to clothe the ladies with certain words or signs whereby they might make themselves known to Master Masons.

These signs and so-called mysteries of the Order were communicated freely to all Master Masons and their relatives. Dr. Morris and other prominent Master Masons gave many lectures and conferred the degrees on many ladies throughout the