Is CoMasonry The Antidote? – Part 3

By Carlos Antonio Martinez, Jr., J.D., PH.D., M.A., 33º
Read  – Is CoMasonry the Antidote part 1
Read  – Is CoMasonry the Antidote part 2

The pre-revolutionary condition and philosophy of illustration of the era, propitiated the strengthening of the Principle of Equality between a man and a woman, and so it came to pass that both genders became lawfully eligible for membership in the Craft.

To admit a Woman in Lodge, is more than “opening the doors of our Temples to the Lovelier Gender”. It is to interrogate our Inner Tribunal of Consciences over the Eligibility of Women for Induction, in other words, to reflect on their potentials and their undeniable intellectual and spiritual qualifications as human beings; Yet these reflections cannot be carried out in Lodge so directly and openly – it is preferable to induce them by making reference to the “High Priestesses” and “Female Initiates of Ancient Mysteries”, through whom it is tacitly presupposed therefore that Women are “thinking beings”.

In spite of the efforts of many Free-Masons to place women in conditions of Equality, the Official Masonry at the dawn of the XIX century, at best, accepts the Adoption but not the Initiation; this meaning that women may become “adoptive daughters” of Anderson, perhaps even “his sisters”, but never his equals.

Now, in the arts and written press of France, serious, noticeable, and rather loud public  discussions over women joining Free-Masonry began to take place, and to become the habitual topic of debate in almost every social gathering of the period.

In general, we can state that the arrival of English-Styled Masonry in France caused problems, and provoked an uproar in the aristocratic-bourgeois sociability of Paris and other parliamentary capitals dominated in part by women. Since 1730, the year in which the first Feminine Masonic Lodge appeared, there were published a number of literary works that fervently manifested the discontent of Ladies who saw themselves marginalized by “Regular Masonry”. In fact, however, not a single one of those pamphlets and/or books was written by a woman; thus leading us to assert with much certainty, that “The Enchanting Gender” was not considered odd or foreign to the mobilization and activism of many Male Free-Masons who favored the admission of women to the Royal Art.

At the same time, we must be honest, and for the sake of historical accuracy mention that there were Male Masons whom, over-looking the fundamental principles of the Order, invited to their banquets, dance halls and post-official gatherings, numerous loose females, dancers and courtesans, with whom they committed excesses that brought forth a terrible loss of prestige to our Institution in the eyes of the government, the roman catholic clergy, and the society at large; However, since the legalization of Masonic Lodges of Adoption by the Grand Orient of France, there were countless Male Free-Masons who defended the Legitimate Right of Women to participate in Masonic labors; and these actions, of course, provoked an immediate reaction in their detractors. As every day went by, more and more, the arguments over Women in Free-Masonry became a personal dispute between members of the Craft in general – whether they be sympathizers or adversaries of Co-Masonry. Eventually, the debate, or, better stated, the war of ideas between the defenders of the “enchantment of women”, and those concerned-accusers who denounced the “dangers of their weaknesses”, created the propitious soil for the germination of what in due time came to be known as: The Global Feminist Movement.


Masonic Organization in Mexico and Latin America:

Given the fact that during the last 150 years Co-Masonry has gained greater notoriety, relevance and power in the Masonic World at the south side of El Rio Grande in the American Continent, and most of Europe (with the exception of the so-called “United Kingdom”) has long embraced the spirit of True Universal Free-Masonry, I will focus this section of my article in that part of the Western Hemisphere where the most retrograde and deplorable conservative-religious societies still exist, Mexico, Colombia, and Latin America as a whole.

Despite having been duly constituted as Independent Secular Republics, and, as such, having earned their Freedom and Sovereignty among the nations of the world – through the leadership and struggles of Free-Masons precisely, Mexico and most Central and South American countries, have proven to be quite an on-going challenge for the Craft and, most particularly, for the aspirations of women.

For a very long time, in Mexico, Colombia, and other Ultra-Catholic/Patriarchal Latin American countries, the membership of women in Free-Masonry has been considered one of the greatest taboos that, more than anything else, divide rather than unify.

The equivocated interpretation and enforcement of the Landmarks, which, per the so-called “Regular Masonry,” bars women’s admission and equal participation in the Craft, not only ignores the role of Guilds of Women Spinners, Seamstresses, Weaveresses, Women Glass-Stainers/Cutters/Blowers, Sculptresses, Women Engravers, etc. in the Arts of Architecture and Construction, but, it also captures one of the fundamental prejudices of the Puritan English Society of the beginning of the XVIII century, to whom a woman was considered a “thing”, in the juridical meaning of the word, and, as such, she was legally deprived of any and all rights, except, of course, of those dispensated to her by her Master, or better stated, her “Proprietor.”

French Free-Masonry, sponsored in considerable measure by Opulent Ladies of the period, since its very official foundation in 1740, marks a pivotal moment in the consolidation of a more egalitarian society, by taking on the challenge of recognizing the rights of their compatriots of like gender, and with that the possibility of being initiated in a Masonic Lodge. To our contemporary dismay, unfortunately, the prejudices of “Victorian Morals” remain in force at the dawn of the Third Millennium, and they still are the principal cause of Discord and Disharmony among the different visions and bodies of Symbolical Masonry around the world.

Amidst this puritanical phase in Global Free-Masonry, a significant event took place in the less-suitable country, Mexico. Surprisingly and amazingly enough, by the standards of that period and society, the Mexican Masonic Organization, following the tradition of Vanguard Thinking which, since its official birth around the middle of the XIX century has been hoisted by “The Mexican National Rite,” has sponsored the formation of Bi-Gender Lodges, considering women in total equality of conditions, rights and capacities as those of their Male Brothers. There is also much respect to the autonomy, habits, and bylaws fomented among all different Lodges and Grand Orients or Jurisdictions, by recognizing and accepting with like enthusiasm the existence of Masonic Lodges which, are exclusively masculine or feminine.

Thus, in all the Lodges and Bodies amalgamated in the Mexican Masonic Organization, and particularly in the Grand Orients of Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina, Chile and Bolivia, the participation of women or men in The Order, is accepted – without being obligatory to Lodges that are purely masculine, or, exclusively feminine, respectively.

Moreover, in 1991, the Mexican Masonic Organization welcomed the official birth and constitution of the First Masonic Grand Lodge of Women of Mexico, also known as: “Grand Lodge of Insurgent Women”. Unlike a number of “Co-Masonic” and/or “Para-Masonic” Grand Jurisdictions of Latin America where women are recognized as “Lesser Sisters”, this unique Masonic Body has total recognition. and is endowed with absolute power and autonomy over its laws, decisions, and labors. In 1995, Argentina and Peru followed in their Mexican Brethren’s footsteps, by rejoicing in the emergence and formation of their respective Feminine Masonic Grand Lodges. Presently, with the exception of The Central American Isthmus, there are Co-Masonic and Feminine Grand Bodies in every country of Latin America.


“Gender is in everything; everything has a Masculine and Feminine Principle; Gender is manifested in all planes”, so teaches the ultimate of the Hermetic Laws. With this postulate, the “Thrice Wise Master” guides us through the different levels of Natural Evolution, observing in it how duality is fused into one, in order to create a new being.

This Principle, which relates to Procreation, also shows us the existence of centrifugal and centripetal impulses, which are the forces that support gravitation, be it at the level of minuscule particles, or, of immense Universes.

Of all the Cosmic Purposes, to engender Life is the most sacred and transcendental act. At the microscopic level, the force of attraction makes the negative corpuscles or electrons revolve around the positive-ones or protons. After their obligated courtship, they unite, and thus the creation of a new atom occurs. In the animal and human species the “dance of life” repeats itself with male spermatozoa being attracted by female ovules. When one of the male reproductive cells attains penetration, the miracle of conception takes place.

The same system of procreation reigns at the macro-cosmic levels. In the British Encyclopedia we find that

“… in remote times, the bombardment of comets to the earth could have had an important role in the formation of the atmosphere and the seas. Additionally, these comets could have supplied the organic molecules necessary for the development of life”.

The method of fertilization is then the same – be it electrons, sperm, or comets that fecundate protons, ovules or planets. In like manner, we must apply the Principle of Gender to “traveling” from the “known” to the “unknown” – supporting ourselves in the Principle of Correspondence: “As it is above so is below, and, as it is below so is above”. Only through such application of this Principle shall Free-Masons comprehend and harness its primordial significance and power.

So states Hermes Trismegistus:

The very creation of the Universe also obeys the Principle of Gender.

He adds further: “Gender is manifested in all planes.” This, my Brothers, means that all possibilities of creation – mental and spiritual – are governed by the same Universal Law or Principle. Until the luminous emergence of the “Thrice Greatest Master”, a little over five thousand years ago, this was an occult body of knowledge available only to the Great Sages and High Priests/Priestesses of Ancient Egypt. In it there also secrets of “High Magick”, for only the faithful implementation of this law can bring within our reach the key, with which to command the Sacred FIAT LUX by the power of the Wise.

Brethren, Co-Masonry is already part of our lives – whether we accept it or not; it is in our very Human Faculties; it is part of our natural mechanism, and, accordingly, part of our very Masonic Essence as “Individuals who were first made Masons in OUR HEARTS”. Even at more subtle levels, to procreate is the result of the union of opposites.

A Thought, which is activity and mobility, represents Masculine Polarity, while Emotions and Sentiments, as clear expressions of Receptivity and Repose, and incarnate the Feminine Principle.

In order to physically produce what we desire, we must unite these forces:


Thus, all our individual and/or collective endeavors shall first be conceived in subtle planes. Then, if the Law/Principle of Correspondence allows, the Universe will support it/them and accommodate the circumstances of manifestation (Gestation Process), Once the necessary time has elapsed, we shall invariably see the materialization of that which we created.

Our membership is still declining, regardless of our Enthusiasm, Official Optimism, and the momentary “Increase” of alleged “quality brethren”. It is Time to open our Third Eyes and begin seeing!


All it takes is Humility, Wisdom, and a Sense of Justice and Equality. Are we “Worthy Masons” not characterized by such Virtues?! Are we “Concerned Masons” not worried about the Future of our Institution?! Are we “Enlightened F-r-e-e-Masons” not the Children of Alchemy’s Hermaphrodite Being?! If you responded positively to these questions, there is no need for further disputes and/or discussions – there is only much Amelioration to bring into our Fraternity.

In short, Is Co-Masonry the Antidote?

I have no doubt!

Reprinted by permission of Carlos Antonio Martinez, Jr.

Posted in Featured, Sojourners and tagged , , , .

A devoted student of the Western Mystery Traditions, Greg is a firm believer in the Masonic connections to the Hermetic traditions of antiquity, its evolution through the ages and into its present configuration as the antecedent to all contemporary esoteric and occult traditions. He is a self-called searcher for that which was lost, a Hermetic Hermit and a believer in “that which is above is so too below.” Read more about Greg Stewart.


  1. Bro.Martinez,
    Another wonderful example of architecture. Your pieces do the Craft and this site a high honor. In fact they are the very best works this site has yet to produce.

    Please, keep them up and continue to fight the good fight.

    Never surrender!!!


  2. I have read this series of articles, and the appending comments, with great interest. I will state at the outset that I disagree that there is actually any problem that needs correcting, certainly here in England under the UGLE. I will also for the moment ignore the rather other the top and unbrotherly language which has been directed towards the UK and the UGLE and concentrate on addressing the substantive argument.

    Eve was the first Mason because she received the knowledge from the snake – I question this interpretation, especially when we compare it with the teachings of the third degree. While it is suggested that Eve imparts wisdom to Adam from the tree, this is profane knowledge. By receiving it humankind loses the true knowledge of the creator and the spiritual and is barred from Eden. If we now look to the third degree, the true secrets are lost because of the death of the builder. On this interpretation Eve is not a MM, she is one of the ruffians.

    References to an apprentice following the orders of his Master and Mistress – This is taken out of context. The operative system of apprentices meant the boy was taken into the household of the mason to whom he was apprenticed. It is therefore only natural that he would be expected to obey the commands of the mistress.

    I am unfortunately pressed for time in replying but I shall return. Please frame your replies in the manner they were meant, respectful and inquisitive, not combative or inflammatory.

    Yours sincerely and fraternally
    Matthew Davison

  3. Mr. Davison,

    I will neither refrain nor “frame” my articles and/or comments, as there is no obscenity or lack of decorum in them. Just like you are an obvious proud vassal and citizen of the “UK” and boastfully self-subjugated to the official history of the “UGLE”, so am I a an Advocate of Unequivocal History (Masonic and otherwise), a FREE-THINKER and a F-R-E-E-MASON entitled to share my research and opinions with my Global Brethren. Without wishing to add anything further (as my article is rather limpid, well defined and final), all that I care to state is: You, Mr. Davison, and many who share your “view” have a right to believe, and, with like prerogative, the more inquisitive and/or aware Brethren have a right TO KNOW.

    Cordially and respectfully,

    Carlos Antonio Martinez, Jr., 32º, P:.V:.M:.K:.

  4. It is very telling that such an avowed FREETHINKER and F-R-E-E-MASON (whatever that is exactly supposed to mean?) demonstrates neither of those qualities in his reply to a genuine desire to debate the esoteric and philosophical side of our noble and antient craft. If the lack of such debate and learning is the foundation of what you believe to be a problem with UGLE masonry then why would you not seek to engage someone who comes from that system and is looking to discover this part of Freemasonry.

    It is also telling that while you claim your article contains neither obscenity or lack of decorum you then proceed to launch an outright attack on my character, suggesting I am somehow subjugated by the UGLE, and also suggesting that I am somehow deficient in my knowledge or ability to comprehend Freemasonry.

    I find it midly amusing that you are an advocate of ‘unequivical history’, because I think that you will find that there is no such thing. Yes there are primary sources which provide facts like dates and numbers, however this is as far as one can be unequivical in any historical topic. Speeches, pamphlets, treatsie, and other such sources are affected by prejudice, bias, social forces of the time, and ways of thinking that are no longer seen as worthy of respect. This is why so much literature is produced the same event in history, all accounts are only one person’s interpretation.

    Back to the substantive debate, where are your answers to the above points? If your essay was as you describe it “well defined and final” why would it have generated so much debate generally. If you try and suggest that it is because people have not understood your message then that is firstly the fault of your writing, and secondly you do a great disservice to your readers.

    I was looking forward to an engaging and stimulating debate on the origins of the split of the sexes in Freemasonry,whether it should continue, and putting that against the backdrop of the ritual and teachings. Unfortunately your attitude in your previous post has left me thinking that this may not be the place to seek masonic light when your opinions seem to be coming from a place clearly devoid of the tolerance and understanding that you so rail against when discussing segregation and discrimination.

    It unfortunately seems that you have convinced yourself so much of your own correctness that you have closed your mind both from further knowledge and light.

    Yours sincerely and fraternally

    Matthew Davison

  5. Brothers,
    Attacking someone’s way of thinking is one thing, it promotes healthy argument and diversity, but attacking the precieved origions of the thinking or attacking someone directly isn’t Masonic conduct and, further, will not allow your opponent to open their perceptions to your point of view, it will make them dig in…

    1) Freemasonry is broken, and beginning to have issues [this has been over come in the past, though both good and ill means {ill imho includes removing standards of learning}]
    2) The division of Gender has held for the primary initial reason that men when operative Masons didn’t believe a woman’s body could take the riggers of the work, [yes the believed women inferior in MANY aspects of life and ability], BUT there are regular Lodges who have made exception to gender and have had a woman as a Master Mason.
    3) Knowledge not shared, is lost. Restricting knowledge based on gender, race, Faith …. is a crime holding its own punishment… the loss of that which we covet.

    Brother Carlos Antonio Martinez, Jr., 32º, P:.V:.M:.K [I would like to know the P:.V:.M.:K meaning some day], I have loved the means in which you respond, and your articles have sparked much debate and discussion [the object and goal of any good speech or article]. Please understand some of the means in which you have used for phrasing in those articles have been done to bring a point, and have done so beautifully, as noted by the responses you have received. But I would like to point out an obvious fact, some of the statements you have made were negative on the ‘Regular’ Lodges and their members, meaning some can and have read them as an attack not just on them but on their Lodges. It is difficult under those circumstances to be willing to respond in a way that seems any less of an attack to support the side holding the opposite argument. I am a member of two ‘regular’ Lodges. One of whom could have any of its members sit with you and discuss this topic until both sides were exhausted [regardless of result or outcome], the other would begin attacking [if they did more then walk away and shun you forever {no loss, I am sure, on your part] and inform you in full ‘righteousness’ why race and gender should not only be separate but resoundingly so … I know of two they voted down applications from based on race alone, yet let felons into Lodge! So, I know how both sides of the argument can tend to go. Having said that. I believe it defeats the purpose of any argument to simply ignore the other side of an argument, ignoring a bully can make him go away … or embolden him through a lack of resistance to his actions.

    As can be noted by my previous posts, I believe in separate but equal. Meaning I am not opposed to PHL existence, but am saddened by the resistance to allowing free mingling between PHL and Blue Lodge. I am not against Co/Mixed Freemasons … but know that there maybe times when a woman or a man might wish to retreat to a place of only the same gender and I do not wish to eradicate that ability. But since I know the structures in co/Mixed Freemasonry do not hold the same information I do not lament the lack of mixing between the two groups of Lodges.

    I do not believe CoFreemasonry to be the ‘fix’ for Blue Lodge, I believe time is, we haven’t survived this long with the ability to work out our faults. Nor do I believe Co-Freemasonry should disappear, and I do believe Co-Freemasonry has its own faults, but I appreciate the articles.

    Thank you.

    My penny’s worth.

  6. I would like to know the P:.V:.M.:K

    I’m going to guess it’s Past Venerable Master of Kadosh.

    In the AASR (at least in the Southern Jurisdiction in the USA), the Rite has four main bodies:

    Lodge of Perfection (4-14), presided over by the Venerable Master
    Chapter Rose Croix (5-18), presided over by the Wise Master
    Council of Kadosh (19-30), presided over by the Commander
    Consistory (31-32), presided over by the Venerable Master of Kadosh

    I find the juxtaposition of the last two titles/bodies to be an odd one, but there’s probably a logical reason for it in history.

  7. I would like to say that Freemaosnry isn’t broken. In fact it is absolutley perfect.

    Now the organizations that attempt to control it and manipulate it are by and large broken.

    There is a huge difference.


  8. Sorry for the typo. Freemasonry.

    I have been having a bit of a tooth pain issue.


  9. Raum, Typos are my specialty. If it weren’t for firefox, you wouldn’t be able to read my posts [although some may cheer at that].
    And I applaud your comments.

  10. Very excellently well written.

    Only two points:

    1) There never was a Sabina Von Steinbach. I explain why folks ever thought there were in my book “Haunted Chambers: the Lives of Early Women Freemasons”. The best we can say for her is she is the name and story of a woman medieval stone cutter who never existed but who stands in place of the many, many others who did exist but whose names are now lost to us.

    2) I almost never comment on issues within Malecraft Masonry as that’s not where I work. I do think a far simpler solution would be to recognize Co-Masonic bodies that already exist. Once recognized, they can be invited to establish a Co-Masonic lodge in an already existing lodge building, which would allow both Lodges to work side by side and to even share membership. This would allow those gender-based Masons who prefer their Masonry gender based to keep working. They would be driven away other wise and that would be unMasonic.

  11. Karen,
    The problem that I see it when it comes to recognition is that it can go from a positive to a threat to independent sovereignty. I don’t see how that can be avoided although if you do please share your ideas.

  12. There would be no threat to sovereignty any more than does mutual recognition between the GLs of NY and CA threaten the sovereignty of those two GLs. Even the GLs of VT and CONN exist side by side and manage not to swallow each other up. There are Prince Hall GLs that exist within the territory of various GLs and still maintain their own sovereignty. So, clearly, there is precedent. And if there is a will, it can be done.

    That said . . . again, this is not a level I work at. I am but a common Brother within my Order. I’m not even one little bit authorized to speak for my Obedience. I have an opinion but it’s clearly not an especailly weighted one.

  13. There is a threat to sovereignty. We have seen it in effect. For an example when the GL of MN decided to recognize the GL of France. They where mobbed up upon like a mugging on a Russian subway.

    We have seen the GOUSA suspend charters and kick out a Grand Master for initiating women. The GOdF told the GOUSA that they had to do this or else risk their condition of “amnity.”

    I’m sorry but that is unacceptable to any self worthy Order.

    EJT isn’t the issue I am so worried about. I am the “you can’t be our friends if your their friends” nonsense.



  14. Hmmmmm. I think your definition of “sovereign” is other than what is standard.

    The GL of MN didn’t lose Her sovereignty. She simply caved in the face of pressure. She certainly had the option of doing the right thing and standing her ground. She had every sovereign right to do so.

    And she had the sovereign right not to.

    She still had that choice and, so, She remained/s Sovereign within her own domain.

    I think most everyone else here understood me well enough, so that’ll be all there is from me on the matter 🙂

  15. Ummm Karen that ending was a little harsh. Now, when you have potential members who are affiliated under several GL’s it shure would effect your sovereignty. I also notice that you did not at all remark on my other example. After all I did give two.

  16. Braud –

    Bro. Karen has declared that she prefers not to speak on those areas in which she has little or no knowledge, thereby demonstrating more wisdom than many of the rest of us. It wasn’t harsh at all, she just indicted her unwillingness to belabor a deceased equine.

    All Grand Lodges are sovereign – it’s kind of inherent in the definition. Through a long, slow process, they come to agreements that suit most of their membership. As the membership changes over time, so do the policies of the GLs.

    Each GL has the power to recognize any other GL. That they do so – or don’t – is because of their desire to be in a larger organization. The GL MN chose to listen to their membership who wanted the ability to visit lodges in other US states. There is often a lot of political give and take, simply because all organizations are created by humans. And it’s perfectly okay for them to have their own opinions and agendas, just as you have yours.

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