Let's Get the Misinformation Out of the Way....

1Is Eastern Star a religion, a cult, or a secret society? Do I have to be a Christian to join?
The answer to all of those is "NO". Our members come from all walks of life and practice many different religions. Though our heroines' stories are from the Bible, we use these lessons to illustrate a virtue which can be admired by all. People of ALL faiths may belong - just like in Freemasonry. The only requirement is a belief in a Supreme Being.

We are not a secret organization, we are an organization with secrets. If we wished to hide from society, you wouldn't be reading this web page right now.

We are not a cult - we do not preach or teach any kind of doctrine or ask members to change their beliefs.
2I've seen an Eastern Star emblem with an upside down star? Isn't that satanic? Why does it say FATAL around the outside?
The inverted pentagram was adopted by the Church of Satan in modern times as their logo with the addition of Baphomet's head in the center. This is how THEY have chosen to use this symbol.

In truth, Pentagrams have been around since 3500 BC and have been used by the ancient Greeks, Hebrews, Christians, the LDS Church, Wiccans, Baháʼí , and even Asian medicine to symbolize different things - both "upright" and "inverted". Our emblem with the inverted pentagram has its own special meaning to our members and is NOT symbolic of anything satanic or evil. We have no goat heads or other dark symbols on our emblem.

FATAL is an acronym for a phrase which is revealed during a member's initiation.
3Do Masons control and govern the Eastern Star?
NO! On every level of Eastern Star (local, state, and global), the chief officer is a woman. The beauty of our Order is that both men and women can belong and work together. Our Brothers unite with us in our endeavors and support us, but the organization is governed by Sisters in the highest positions.

Becoming a Member

1How do I know if I am eligible to be a member of the Eastern Star?
Check our Membership Eligibility page for the complete list!
2Does the Mason from whom I get my Masonic relationship have to be a member as well?
No - your Masonic relative is not required to be a member of the OES nor must they join. With that being said, they are absolutely welcome to petition and join - there is always a place for our Masonic Brothers in the Eastern Star! We have a fair amount of couples and entire families in our membership ranks. Even if you choose to join on your own, you will immediately inherit many friends that will welcome you and support you every step of the way.
3I think my grandfather / dad / great-grandfather etc. was a Mason but I don't have any other information. Can you help me?
YES! As long as you have his name and the state where he may have belonged, we can assist with the research to confirm your eligibility.
4What happens after I submit my petition for membership?
Your petition is read at a stated business meeting of the chapter you wish to join. It then sits for 30 days, during which time your Masonic affiliation is verified and 3 members (1 male and 2 females) will arrange to visit you and answer your questions. The visiting committee submits their report and the members of the chapter will vote on your petition. Once elected to membership, the Secretary will reach out to arrange a date for your Initiation.
5I have to go through an Initiation?? That sounds scary!
Our initiation is not scary or at all. You will take an Obligation and then are led around the room to hear the stories of our heroines from our officers. You will also be taught our secret work which are words and gestures we use to recognize each other. It may seem like an overwhelming amount of information, but you do NOT have to memorize or repeat them during the ceremony. You will see/hear them again and again (and again) in the years ahead. There is no quiz at the end!

During the ceremony, you will take the arm of a member who will guide you around the room. (Wear comfortable shoes!).
6How much does it cost to be a member?
You will pay one Initiation fee when you submit your petition and annual dues to your chapter after that. There are no other financial obligations.
7Do I need to buy a long white dress/tuxedo for my initiation or to be a member?
NO! You may wear business casual clothing to your initiation and to meetings unless you take an office. Long white skirts/dresses for ladies and tuxedos for men are only required for Officers.

After Your Initiation and Beyond

1What kind of time commitment will be expected from me?
There is no minimum time commitment required of our members. You can adjust your participation level according to your life. Each chapter has a business meeting either 1 or 2 times per month. Chapters do not meet in July or August. Fundraisers usually occur on weekends. Participate as much or as little as your schedule allows. As long as you pay your annual dues, your membership remains active.

There are many opportunities if you are able to devote more time - you can visit other chapters, attend Statewide fundraisers and luncheons, and attend our annual "Grand Session" which is the final week of April. There are also bus trips, cruises, as well as trips around the country and even internationally.
2I have children under 18 - are there any organizations for them?
YES! Boys may join DeMolay when they are ages 12-21. Girls can join either Rainbow for Girls (ages 11-20) or Job's Daughters (ages 10-20). All 3 groups will take on pledges around the age of 8 or 9. Check the Contact Us page for links to these organizations.
3I have heard I need to memorize long speeches - I am not good at memorizing / I am uncomfortable speaking in front of groups..
Memorized recitation is only required for those who choose to take an elected or appointed office. There is nothing you need to memorize to attend a meeting and sit on the sidelines as a member or visitor.

The length of the memorized work for officers varies greatly among the offices themselves. Some only have a few lines, while other offices require more speaking. Once you are a member, you will have access to our "Ritual" book where you can read the parts and judge for yourself. When the time comes that you wish to take an office, your speaking part is there in black-and-white for you to study as much as you need. Everything is written down in our Ritual except for: the Obligation, our signs and passes, and the secret handshake. Those items are passed down through memory.

If you are reciting your work during a meeting and "go blank", there is a designated Prompter in the room who can help you along. It happens to all of us at one time or another!
4What offices are there? Which are men and which are women?

There are 18 offices in a local chapter. Some are elected by the members and some are appointed by the incoming Worthy Matron. The term for an office is 1 year.

Women can be elected to: Worthy Matron, Associate Matron, Conductress, Associate Conductress

Men can be elected to: Worthy Patron or Associate Patron.

Secretary and Treasurer are elected offices which either a man or woman can fill.

Women can be appointed to: Adah, Ruth, Esther, Martha, or Electa.

Both genders may be appointed to: Chaplain, Marshal, Organist, Warder, or Sentinel.

Other Miscellaneous Questions

1I've decided to take an office - how long will I stay in that office?
Our terms are one year long and begin/end each March. If you are in an appointed office, you may ask the incoming Worthy Matron if you can continue in that office or take a different one for her year. Some people are happy to stay in the same office for years; others like to try something new or go through the Line.

If you are an elected officer, your continuation depends on your election each year.

If you are going through the Line, you are generally expected to continue forward movement through the Chairs-- although there have certainly been exceptions.
2What does it mean to "go through Line"?
The "Line" is a woman's journey to the office of Worthy Matron of her chapter. It starts when she is elected Associate Conductress. The next year she moves up to Conductress, then Associate Matron, - at which time the Mason who will stand by her side is elected as Associate Patron. At the beginning of the 4th year, the Associate Matron and Associate Patron advance together to the offices of Worthy Matron and Worthy Patron of the chapter.

Members are not required to go through the line, but its a fantastic experience! You can also be appointed or elected to be a State officer at that point.
3What kinds of events can my non-Masonic friends and family attend?
The only events that are "members only" are business meetings and rehearsals. Non-members are welcome to help with fundraisers and attend fun events. If your chapter elects to have an "Open" Installation of Officers, your friends and family may attend that as well.