In 2014 I was initiated into a mixed gender lodge. Before that I had already had a ‘study trip’ of dozens of years in religion, mythology, esotericism, etc. Freemasonry was but one of many subjects. Many of the subjects that have come (and sometimes gone) can be found on a website that I have had since 2001.
After my initiation I started to look for information about mixed gender Freemasonry. Its history, rituals, etc. I noticed that there is not too much information and what is available, is scattered. I decided to set up two new websites to present my findings and thus form a source of information for people who are looking to join, but also for people who have been members for years. One was a website in Dutch about mixed gender and women-only Freemasonry in the Netherlands and Dutch-speaking Belgium, the other one has the ambitious aim to present information from all over the globe.
Both websites have a limited reach, even though I am of the opinion that they are the best sources of information of their kind.
I want to present the information as objective as possible. It doesn’t matter what my Grand Lodge is. I don’t want to give the impression that I speak on their behalf. I don’t use the websites to try to influence any organisation’s policies, but I don’t shun criticizing developments when I see that fit. I also don’t take heed of (the lack of) relations between (Grand) Lodges. Even when my own doesn’t recognize some other, it may still be worth mentioning.
Life runs its course. My studies have led me to a worldview in which Freemasonry is no logical part, especially not mixed gender Freemasonry. People who speak Dutch can find some of that “Traditionalism” on the Esoteric Freemasonry website. The reason that this website is in Dutch is that I frequently run into people, websites, blogs, podcasts, etc. from American or British people about the esoteric sides of Freemasonry (so no need for yet another), but seldom Dutch speaking people. It’s a matter of picking audiences.
“Traditionalism” may be rigid, coarse, sometimes quite radical, pessimistic, but in my opinion, perfectly logical. It throws a whole ‘new’ light on the discussions about “regularity”. Followed all the way through, Traditionalism is most likely going to discourage you joining a Masonic lodge (especially an “irregular one). But there are interesting exceptions.
I took the leap, if only it were to prove myself wrong!
In another path of mine, Freemasonry is a logical step. I believe that part of the Masonic symbolism finds its source in the prechristian religion of Northwestern Europe. This “heathen” approach to Freemasonry is quite unknown globally, so that website is in English for a larger reach.
So you see, I try to draw some attention to lesser known approaches to Freemasonry.
I don’t mind if you think I’m right or wrong (or worse). You’re entitled to your own opinions and I don’t even know if I’m right myself. I do hope that people will think before they form their opinions (or the lack of one!) One thing I can’t stand are ‘instant opinions’.
When I started the two co-Masonic websites I did that on WordPress.com. This had pros and cons, but after a while the cons began to start to outweigh. So I created my own websites based on one domain. Because I had to have a Dutch and English websites from the start, the domain should be Masonically recognizable for Dutch and English people. That’s not that easy!
In the end I came up with these three numbers. Dutch Masons will have to think about the opening of the lodge, American Masons see references to the Bible and British Masons to the winding staircase!