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How to Join the Order of Eastern Star

Two Parts:Qualifying for MembershipJoining the OES

The Order of the Eastern Star (sometimes shortened to OES) is a Freemason organization with stated goals of charity, fraternity, education, and science. With over 500,000 members globally, the OES is the largest fraternal organization to which both men and women can belong.[1] In general, membership in the OES is restricted to men who are already Masons and their female relatives, although women with membership in certain other Masonic organizations can also qualify.

Part 1
Qualifying for Membership

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    Be 18 years or older. The Order of the Eastern Star is an order that's closely associated with the Freemasons. Thus, many of the membership requirements for the OES are identical to those for joining a Masonic chapter. For instance, as with Freemasonry, OES members must be adults — that is, 18 years or older — to join.
    • Note that some Masonic chapters can have minimum ages of entry of up to 25 — these local rules don't affect the minimum age of entry to the OES, which is always 18.
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    Believe in a supreme being. While Masonic organizations are not religions or cults in themselves, they do have spiritual components. For this reason, the OES, like other Masonic organizations, requires its members to believe in a supreme being. This belief does not necessarily have to be well-defined; however, people who explicitly have no religious or spiritual beliefs are not permitted.[2]
    • Note that, like all Masonic organizations, the OES is open to peoples of all faiths.[3] All that's necessary is belief in a supreme being — the form and name(s) of that being are left up to the individual member.
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    If male, be a Master Mason. Men who join the OES must already be fully-recognized Master Masons (not Apprentice or Fellow Masons). The process of becoming a Mason requires learning and demonstrating Masonic values, memorizing Masonic catechisms, and much more. For a detailed guide on joining the Freemasons, see our guide on the subject. Note that, to become a Mason, you must:[4]
    • Be a man
    • Be over 18-25 years old, depending on your chapter, (21 is a common minimum age)
    • Have a good reputation
    • Believe in a supreme being (see above)
    • Be able to support yourself and your family (if you have one)
    • Live a moral, ethical life
    • Have a profound desire to better yourself, your community, and the world
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    If female, be a Mason's relative. Generally, women are not allowed to be Freemasons. However, they are still allowed to join the OES if they have a qualifying relationship to a man who is an affiliated Master Mason. These relationships include most, if not all, family bonds (either by blood or by marriage). A woman with any of the following relationships to a Master Mason may join the OES:[5]
    • Wives, daughters (including legally adopted daughters), mothers, widows, sisters, half sisters, granddaughters, stepmothers, stepdaughters, stepsisters, daughters-in-law, grandmothers, great granddaughters, nieces, great nieces, mothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, and first and second cousins.
    • Note also that female applicants to the OES are held to the same moral and ethical standards as male ones.
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    Alternatively, be an active member of IORG or JDI. Women who don't have one of the relationships to a Freemason listed above but are active members of the International Order of the Rainbow of Girls (IORG) or Job’s Daughters International (JDI) may still join the OES. Both of these organizations are Freemason-affiliated youth organizations that allow girls as young as 10 (for JDI) and 11 (for IORG) to join.
    • Note also that membership in the Organization of Triangles or the Constellation of Junior Stars, two organizations unique to New York State, can also qualify women to join.

Part 2
Joining the OES

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    Talk to a current member. If you meet the qualifications described above, you may apply to join the OES. The easiest way to do this may be to talk to a friend or relative who is already a member. This person will most likely be familiar with your local chapter's entry requirements and can give you the advice necessary to make an informed decision about applying for membership.
    • Additionally, this person can serve as an important character reference. Because members of Masonic organizations (including OES) are required to have good reputations, the word of someone who's already a member can go quite far towards improving your chances of entry.
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    Contact a local chapter. You don't necessarily have to know an OES member to apply. To start the process yourself, simply contact a chapter near you. The precise entry instructions and requirements for each chapter may vary, so contacting the nearest chapter directly is a good way to ensure that you have exactly the information you need to join.
    • If you're unsure which OES chapter is nearest to you, consult the official listing of Grand Chapters on the Order of the Eastern Star website.[6] This contains links to all of the large regional OES chapters around the world, which includes several chapters outside of the US and Canada.
    • Each of the regional chapter pages in the official OES Grand Chapter listing should contain information on subordinate local chapters near you. If you can't find this, try getting started by contacting your regional Grand Chapter directly.
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    Petition for membership. Like the Freemasons themselves, the Order of the Eastern Star requires applicants to complete and submit an official petition to be considered for membership. Usually, the petition is a short official form (obtained directly from the chapter) that demonstrates your eligibility and desire to become a member. Each chapter's precise petition procedure may vary, but, in general, an applicant should expect to provide at least all of the following:[7]
    • Basic personal information (name, contact info, etc.)
    • An acknowledgement of belief in a supreme being
    • An acknowledgement that you live in the jurisdiction of the chapter
    • Information about your Masonic status (or your relationship to a Mason)
    • Sometimes, official documentation of your Masonic status (or that of your relation)
    • A small application fee (usually returned if you are rejected)
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    Receive a majority of the chapter's vote. Petitions are received and carefully read by the OES chapter as they are submitted. If you are deemed eligible, the members of the chapter will vote on your petition. This vote determines whether you will be admitted to your chapter or not. If you are determined to be someone who is of good reputation and high moral, ethical, and mental quality, you will likely be admitted.[8]
    • Note that, while individual chapters may vary, most allow you to apply more than once if you are initially rejected.
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    Begin attending your chapter's meetings. Once you've been admitted to the Order of the Eastern Star, you will be notified (and your application fee will be retained by the chapter). Meetings of Masonic organizations are kept closed to outsiders, so it's not possible to say exactly what you'll talk about or do at your first meeting (other than that it will be perfectly safe, dignified, and completely in line with high Masonic morals). However, it's worth noting the following official information about membership in the OES:[9]
    • Members may commit as much of their time as they wish
    • Your financial wealth does not determine your membership
    • There is no mandatory work for OES members
    • Members are not required to compromise their faith or their patriotism as part of their membership


  • The organization has "line" officers. The Worthy Matron and Patron head the group for a set term of office.
  • Members enjoy social activities such as breakfasts, parties and attending social functions at other chapters.
  • Meetings are held behind closed doors much like Freemasonry meetings.
  • The Order of Eastern Star is not a religion. It is a fraternal organization made up of both male and female members.
  • Interested potential members can attend "open" meetings or installations to learn more about the organization.
  • Members participate in philanthropic activities such as toy drives, cancer dressing stations and the like.
  • Founded by Dr. Rob Morris who is the Poet Laureate of Masonry. The group has been existence since 1850.
  • The Order of DeMolay is a related fraternity for young men.
  • Retirement homes for senior members are available.

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