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Women have been practicing freemasonry for centuries.  Meet four women who are leading and building feminine and mixed lodges today.

Teresita Aréchiga

Grand Master

Women's Grand Lodge of California

Los Angeles

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Teresita learned of Masonry as a schoolgirl in Mexico, but became intrigued by the order later, when she was invited to a conference by a founder of women’s Freemasonry in Huntington Park, California. Drawn in by their free-thinking ways, she decided to join. Her lodge, a “well-balanced mix of a research lodge and an observant lodge, which is deeply rooted in tradition” is vibrant, with a strong emphasis on philanthropy. She treasures her membership, not only for the deep connections she makes with other like-minded people, but also because “it has connected me to a deeper, spiritual practice with the divine that helped me develop my strength of character.”

How did you learn about Masonry?

When I was in grade school in Mexico, I heard about Masons. I didn’t know what they were, but as an adult I was invited to a conference by a founder of women’s Freemasonry in Huntington Park, California.  I learned about the order, the philosophy, and the work they were doing. And I was intrigued. What attracted me most is that they call themselves free thinkers, it was not dogmatic, and it had structure. At that time in my life, I was ready to make a decision, and I decided to join.

How would you describe the culture of your lodge?

Our lodge is vibrant, and our culture is a well-balanced mix of a research lodge — because we research topics and present them in lodge — and an observant lodge, which is deeply rooted in tradition. We have a strong emphasis on philanthropy as well. Our fellowship is very important, as we like to celebrate winter and summer solstices in a traditional form, and we often go to cultural outings, museums, observatories, and art shows.

What do you value most about your membership?

The opportunity to learn the teachings of Masonry. Applying them in my life has been most important because it has connected me to a deeper, spiritual practice with the divine, and helped me develop my strength of character. And also, the deep connection that comes with being with other like-minded people, which evolves into having a bond and fellowship with the Sisters that is central to being a Mason.

What Masonic iconography resonates with you most?

The All Seeing Eye, because to me it represents God and consciousness itself, which guides us to think right, speak right, and act right always, even when others do not see us. And that teaches us to be congruent with what we learn in Masonry and apply it to life. Our responsibility as Masons is to teach by example, and that applies to all aspects of our life. That’s why Masonry and its teachings become a lifestyle.

PHOTO CREDIT: Amanda Friedman

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