To propose or not to propose?
We have all gone through this stage: desire coexisting with worries before making the decision to write!
To you who are living this special moment, we offer you a reflection to allow you to make your decision, whatever it may be!
For many reasons, the idea of joining a Masonic lodge pops into your head! You have made inquiries, you have surely talked with Freemasons, perhaps you have a sponsor, you just have to make your request!
Without wanting to go through the whole process again, the last question you might ask yourself could be "All this, for what?"!
It is to this question that we offer you some answers:
- First, there are the false leads or dead-ends that are sometimes presented as boulevards by what we could call "commercials" of obedience:
- living a spirituality,
- participate in a process of progress,
- to build a network of influence,
- and so on
- and then there are more authentic answers:
- discovering the other,
- have an intellectual framework,
- experience symbolic thinking,
- living in the universal.
And finally, there's a more emotional response:
"This desire is essential because it will be the basis of the "return on investment" that you are entitled to expect: desire to understand, desire to learn, desire to know!
If this desire is not at its peak, it's better to wait! There is no rush and you have the right to take your time!
How to become a Freemason or Mason in Africa?
First of all, we must remember that the desire to belong to a Masonic Lodge must be a "call from the heart"! A Masonic Lodge is not a club for business people or a network of politicians looking for a favour from a powerful person. One does not come to a lodge to get a job. Being a Mason does not give you any rights, only duties!
There are, of course, people who have managed to be accepted in a Masonic lodge and who have done so out of interest! In the majority of cases this does not go well and often they do not find their accounts and are forced to resign.
The process of joining a Masonic Lodge is started when a written application has been submitted. This application can be made in two ways:
- either the candidate knows a Freemason (or a Freemason) and wishes to join his or her Lodge: in this case, the letter of application for membership can be entrusted directly to the Masonic acquaintance.
- or the candidate does not have the possibility to have a Masonic knowledge, in which case the application should be sent by post.
Before you apply, you should read:
Several books might be advisable; for French-speaking people, I would advise:
- books on general philosophy:
Plato's Apology of Socrates,
The discourse of Descartes' method,
Candide or Voltaire's Optimism,
Dostoyevsky's Crime and Chaos.
- books by African authors:
-Allah is not obliged to Ahmadou Kourouma
Black skin, white masks by Franz Fanon
Amkoullel the Fulani child of Amadou Hampâté Ba
Fury and cries of women -Angela Rawiri.
- books on freemasonry:
Roger Dachez and Alain Bauer, La Franc-maçonnerie, PUF, coll. "Que sais-je?" (no. 3993), June 2013
Michaël Segall, Dictionnaire maçonnique, terminologie des rituels maçonniques, Paris, Éd. Dervy, coll. "Pierre vivante" ("Living Stone").
Jack Chaboud, Marie-Stéphane Chaboud, André Combes, Roger Dachez, Antoine Faivre, Serge Lafitte, Jean Mercier, Pierre Mollier, Luc Nefontaine and François Thual, 20 Keys to Understanding Freemasonry, Paris, Albin Michel, ed.
Before you apply, you should also:
- have a profession, a home and in a situation of family stability. It is not advisable to apply for Masonic lodging if you are still a student or in an unstable situation with problems.
- to be able to devote a certain budget without endangering the daily expenditure; this sum varies according to countries and obediences, but it is not negligible.
- be in good health and have a healthy life without addictions: it is better not to consume alcoholic beverages or very moderately, not to smoke or very little, not to use drugs.
- talk to his relatives (wife, husband, parents) to get their agreement. Wanting to hide this process from your family could create problems later on.
- prepare a number of documents that will be requested such as for example :
- identity papers (identity card or passport)
- school diplomas,
- certificate of employment,
- extract from the criminal record.
Before making your request, you must choose the obedience to which you wish to belong:
The Masonic obedience is generally an association of Masonic lodges; most of the time, a lodge is therefore affiliated to an obedience and each obedience to a particular mode of operation; therefore it is better to choose the obedience according to certain criteria that you hold dear to your heart which will avoid being disappointed later.
Several criteria may be important to you, such as :
- Certain obediences require a belief in a God,
- Some obediences only accept men,
- the amount of expenses you will be asked to pay,
- meeting obligations.
In Africa, Masonic lodges can be attached either to African or foreign obediences. In Francophone countries, foreign obediences are mostly French.
It is therefore necessary for the candidate to find out which obediences are represented in his country. This is usually easy with google searches.
Once the choice of obedience is made, one must collect his address, which does not generally pose problems. Naturally, if the choice has been made of a foreign obedience, it will be necessary to address one's request to the address of the obedience abroad.
The application for membership itself:
- a letter explaining:
- the applicant's present situation with the place of residence, profession, marital status,
- the reasons for applying for membership,
- your desire to join a lodge of the obedience as close as possible to your home.
- additional documents :
- the means to reach you: postal address, e-mail, telephone,
- a criminal record check,
- curriculum vitae,
- certificate of employment,
- passport photographs.
- a stamped envelope with your mailing address for the reply.
Once the request has been formulated, it is sufficient to put it in an envelope and send it to the chosen obedience if possible by registered letter with a request for acknowledgement of receipt.
Once this is done, you will have to be patient to wait for an answer; the response time varies according to the obedience but a delay of 3 to 6 months is possible.
Most of the time, the response addressed to the applicant is not a true answer with acceptance or refusal.
The obedience which receives this kind of request will generally transmit it to one of the lodges of the obedience close to the applicant's home. And there another period will open up during which contacts will be made, investigations carried out; and it is only at the end of this process that the true answer will be given.