|Most/Ill. Shantel Vallery
|Copyright © 2011 Hiram United Sovereign Grand Lodge All Rights Reserved.
|ABOUT THE ORDER OF THE EASTERN STAR
|early as the 1840s, it took until 1876 for the General Grand Chapter, Order of the Eastern Star, to be formed; and there
are at least two separate organizations that both say that they are dedicated to the unification of all Eastern Stars, but
which lead a separate existence from the General Grand Chapter and were founded in 1947 and 1962 respectively.
The General Grand Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star was founded in 1876. It currently extends worldwide, in
association (where appropriate) with the Supreme Grand Chapter of Scotland. It is open to Master Masons in good
standing, and females over the age of 18 years. There were 2,087,063 members in 1994.
Robert Morris, Master Mason, schoolteacher and poet, first attempted in the 1840s to establish Adoptive Masonry in the
United States, using a ritual of his own devising. At first reviled by fellow Masons for betraying Masonic secrets, he
nevertheless persisted and throughout the 1850s conferred various degrees on female relatives of Master Masons,
with varying levels of cooperation from other Master Masons. His Families of the Eastern Star dated from 1857.
Real acceptance was slow in coming, and it was not until Morris’s rituals were revised by the Masonic publisher Robert
Macoy in 1866 that any greater success came. Macoy added the degrees of Queen of the South, Past Matron’s Degree
and the Amaranth Degree. Even then, it was 10 years before the Central Grand Chapter was organized.
The order as now constituted works five degrees, based on the story of five women in the Bible — an example of the
way in which organizations adhering to God have become progressively more Christian in the United States, especially
where women are involved. The slogan of the order is, “We have seen His star in the East, and are come to worship
Him.” The order even awards scholarships to those involved in religious training.
|The ritual also illustrates powerful patriarchal values, and, of course, the degrees must be conferred by a (male) Master
The initial choice of characters certainly seems strange to an outsider, as Adah was a human sacrifice, and Jepthah the
Gileadite appears from the description in Judges 11 to have been an outstandingly unattractive and inflexible fellow. In
return for being allowed to win a battle against the “children of Ammon,” he promised God a slaughter offering of the
first thing that came to greet him when he returned home (verses 30—31). He was apparently expecting his daughter’s
pet lamb, but the daughter beat the lamb to the portals. He was, therefore, convinced he ought to kill her.
She wished to go to the mountains to bewail her virginity (verses 37—38), which he permitted; and when she came
back two months later, not having had the sense to stay away, he sacrificed her. A further degree, Queen of the South,
|Very/Ill. Mattie T. Cohen
|"My People Shall Perish for the Lack of Knowledge"
|A:.A:.S:.R:.F:.M:. of the World, Inc.
|Petition for Membership
|QUEEN OF THE SOUTH
|DAUGHTERS OF SPHINX
|Lady Knight's Templar
|HEROINES OF JERICHO