This may hurt some readers’ eyes, so avert them or get over it, because here it is: My wife is a freemason.
The history of women freemasons in Denmark: Le Droit Humain has been active in Denmark since 1917 and currently has three lodges. The first women-only lodge, Freja, was established in 1989, and its sister lodge, Lilium, followed in 2005. Freja and Lilium are chartered by The Women’s Grand Lodge of Belgium (which also has a couple of lodges in the states). The two women’s lodges have experienced an impressive growth these years, and the formation of a third lodge (thus establishing the foundation for an independent grand lodge) is likely. They work the (new French) Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite craft ritual, but have to travel to Belgium for the higher degrees (yet).
Freja/Lilium recognises The Danish Order of Freemasons (the grand lodge of Denmark), but sadly the opposite is not the case, so I am not allowed to visit. But I have sat with the ladies outside of open lodge, and I do know one thing: They are as dedicated to their labour as any man I know — in some ways more: theirs is a very spiritual and esoteric freemasonry. They also have a strong focus on education that blows most mainstream lodges out of the water. Many of the ladies have husbonds in the Order (like me), and the male organisation’s attitude towards their lodges is cordial, even supportive, although there is no official collaboration (as we have seen from the March 1999 statement from United Grand Lodge of England).
My wife is a freelance journalist, and she followed my research in preparation to deciding whether to join or not. When I told her about the existence of the women’s lodge, she felt there could be a story there somewhere. She contacted the ladies of the lodge and went to a meeting (preperatory to consecrating Lilium, this was 2004). She was quite impressed with some of the ladies, and started considering if this could also be a path for her. Naturally, we took contact to Le Droit Humain, thinking that if we both wanted to join, maybe we should do so together. At the end of the day, we decided to stay same-sex (but seperate). She joined Freja early in 2006, a few months after me, and very pregnant with our son — probably the youngest Lewis in the world … Today she is a Fellowcraft, and will start learning the office of Master of Ceremonies, once the new season begins.
We both look forward to her becoming a Master Mason, so that we can start having discussions about the real substance of the degrees as a whole.
Pictures: The graphics were made by me especially for the lodge. Second is a picture of the temple hall where Freja meets. Before she joined, my wife wrote and sold the above mentioned article, but it wasn’t published until last year. The last picture (© Heidi Maxmiling) is from that article, showing the sisters of lodge Freja (it was taken while we were in the states, so my wife is missing in action) — I really like their black robes.