The Mysterious World of a Freemason’s wife

Phillip Faulks has written a book about life as a Freemason’s wife,  the EDP24 website (Norfolk News) has written a article about it. A Summary of which is published below.

Freemasons have been shrouded in secrecy for centuries. The international network of many thousands of men, linked by strange handshakes and solemn vows, has intrigued, and sometimes incensed, outsiders. And until now, even their own wives were often outsiders.

But when Philippa Faulks’ husband decided to become a mason, she wanted to know more and spoke with a number of other wives who had no idea what it was all about, or didn’t want to know! but Philippa very definitely did want to know.

She was already fascinated by the history of magic and when her husband, began finding out more about freemasonry she became more and more interested. Every time her husband returned from a meeting she would quiz him about what he had seen and done, intrigued by the rituals, the costumes, the philosophy – and the myths and misconceptions.

Now she has written a book about freemasonry – aimed at other wives.

“It’s for wives, partners, friends, family, potential freemasons…It’s a very basic outline of what freemasonry involves,” said 40-year-old Pip, who has previously written books on meditation and magic.

Philippa Faulks at the Masonic Temple in Norwich with her husband Martin. Photo: James Bass.

Philippa Faulks at the Masonic Temple in Norwich with her husband Martin

Philippa with her book. Photo: James Bass.
Philippa with her book.

I think it was the history that drew me in first,Over the last century there was a heck of a lot of persecution of freemasons, which reached a peak with Hitler. The majority of people don’t know that Hitler hated freemasons as much as he hated Jews and gypsies.

Then, as her husband progressed through the various stages of initiation she gleaned as much as she could of modern day masonry.

I must admit, it was like ‘go on, go on…’ whenever he was talking about it!”

And she liked what she was learning.

It’s about teaching men to be better men, It’s not some kind of sinister gathering where they conspire to rule the world. The truth is that they sometimes find it hard enough to run a meeting!

For Phillipa’s husband Martin Freemasonry is very definitely a force for good.

It’s like boy scouts, but on steroids! I first read about free-masonry as a teenager. The idea of this secret society that had been instrumental in promoting, learning and science and freeing slaves…For me these secret, virtuous protectors of the universe were so cool, and they’ve even got a super-hero uniform!”

It is the ritual, history, training and brotherhood of freemasonry that fascinates him. He believes the formal initiation ceremonies are, like many martial arts, another path towards self-improvement.

For me they are so beautiful and inspiring

When asked has the mass of interest in Dan Brown generated more curiosity about freemasonry? Phillipa replied

Very much so, I think it has opened up a new wave of interest that has generated both positive and negative feelings towards the craft. It has made it seem more mystical to some, which again has had a double edged effect. One great thing about writing The Handbook for the Freemason’s Wife, was being able to dispel the majority of ridiculous and often downright damaging myths that have surrounded Freemasonry for so long.

As she researched freemasonry, and watched her husband being drawn into its ancient embrace, she fell for its combination of mystery and brotherhood.

I love freemasonry! I believe it is a powerful force for good in a society that has really lost its way, I often wished I could do it too.

She has considered joining one of the break-away European lodges which welcome women members and has written another book about the self-styled masonic magician who helped found them but she does not resent being excluded from the UK masonry. “It doesn’t really bother me as the whole system of freemasonry per se is geared up towards making men better men”

  • Philippa Faulks wrote A Handbook for the Freemason’s Wife with fellow freemason’s wife Cheryl Skidmore. It includes explanations of the words and symbols used by masons plus information on the ceremonies, aims, roles, history and charitable work of freemasons. It is available locally from Waterstones and from publisher Lewis Masonic at www.lewismasonic.com
  • Original article by written by Rowan Mantell, the photo’s are by James Bass
  • This entry was posted in Discussion by Alexander. Bookmark the permalink.

    About Alexander

    I am a Master Mason from Lodge St John Mid Calder, under the Grand Lodge of Scotland who serves as an Administrator with Masonic Network.org. I am also a Royal Arch Mason, Royal Ark Mariner, Knight Mason, Royal and Select Master, Member of the Order of the Eastern Star and Corkie.

    12 thoughts on “The Mysterious World of a Freemason’s wife

    1. I am a Masonic Wife, my husband vanishes two to three times a week and is very tight lipped about what he has been doing. I will get a copy of this book and find out what he does. Thanks

    2. I am at a loss as to the openness of the discussion and the accompanying photographs of teh lodge. What of the penalties of the obligation each Brother is swore to uphold?

    3. Brother Thomas

      The photographs accompanying this article was published in the newspaper Norfolk News and on their web site they are therefore on public view.

      The pictures themselves do not (in my opinion) reveal any private masonic information and therefore I have not broken my obligation as a Freemason.

    4. No actual landmarks are revealed here Thomas. The room itself is not a secret, nor is the Craft a “black box”. Apart from a very few and specific items the rest is only as private we wish them to be individually.

    5. the son of a mason is called a “LEWIS”
      the brother of a mason is called a ” MARTIN”
      what is the WIFE of a mason referred to as ?

      ive found some masonic graves in a local church yard . theres one of a Mrs Elenor Higgins ..the “m” in mrs has a very curious device carved into it , very similar to the square and compass .

    6. contd …..I firmly believe this device designates the “wife ” of a mason .
      the best thing of all is that its dated 1622 .
      the oldest reference to freemasonry in Ireland is 1598 . Im aware that UGLE deny that freemasonry existed before 1725 . (but that was to ensure its own survival after the defeat of the jacobites )

    7. I’m more on the side of resenting the presence of Freemasonry in my marriage. It has come to the point that my husband neglects to tell me when he will take trips that take several days. If I criticize, I am attacked that I “don’t understand it” or “haven’t tried to learn about it”, which is not true. I have gone to events where the wives are welcomed, and even attended events for auxiliary studies such as Rose Circle …I know enough that I do not share the interest, and bc of this, feel further estranged from my husband over the years. I have my role to play in our relationship, but his zealous pursuit of masonry has not helped, and often felt like the presence of a third person in our relationship. I would not stop anyone from pursuing it bc I know many ppl who will speak to the great things Masonry has brought out, but I cannot agree that it strengthens families or marriages…not mine, at least. I envy that Phillipa already had a curiosity about magic or esoterics…bc masonry sounds like it enhanced her relationship with her husband. I do not do not practice religion, nor do I believe in organized spirituality or magic. I can understand ppl being drawn to this, but on the same note, there are people repelled from it also. I am not sure where we will end up, but I don’t want it in my life anymore for the strife, uneasiness and defensiveness it has brought out in my marriage.

      I want to read this book, perhaps it will give me tools in dealing with my situation than I have been given. I JUST DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO ANYMORE.

    8. Hello,
      My husband was just initiated into the Masons and I’m having a VERY HARD time with this. Had I done some research about the Masons, I would NEVER have said I was “okay” with this. The most sacred vow other than with G-d, is between a husband and wife. If Masonry preaches that family comes first, then why is this driving a HUGE wedge in our marriage? We are in our early 40’s, two small children and my husband was just initiated last week. The fact that Masonry will now be a part of his life and I cannot be part or privy to that part of his life drives a huge wedge in our marriage. I would not want to join an organization where I have to keep something from my husband. Like I stated before, Masonry supposedly preaches family first – this cannot happen when there are secrets from the one you supposedly have the MOST sacred vow with – one that supersedes one with the Masons.
      Because of the Masons, I will always have a part of me that will feel betrayed.

    9. @sc … I do not know what part of masonry your husband is involved in, or his lodge… could it be separate from the Free and Accepted Masons where he is a member of the Shriners? My husband is the Secretary of his lodge and spends quite a bit of time away from home taking care of lodge business. I welcome it. Although I am at home with our two children, I married him knowing his obligations and do not question it. Every free moment outside of work and the lodge he spends with us and he’s not only a wonderful husband, but an amazing father.
      Ladies, your husbands becoming a Mason should not drive a wedge in your marriage. If you feel that it is, maybe its possible that there is something else that needs to be worked on. As far as my own family life is concerned, we are happy to support his lodge dealings and work. Maybe you can speak to some of the other wives at the lodge?
      Good luck to you all… I hope that you all find peace with this in your marriages. Wish I could help.

    10. I am a wife of a new Mason. My husband comes from a history of Masons, and a lot of other VERY GOOD REAL MEN I’ve known have been Masons. I’ve never known anyone who allowed all the good that Masons do to drive a wedge between husband and wife. Even in these early stages of his Masonry, I can already see the improvements in my husband’s attitude and although he already had very high moral standards, he’s already only getting better.

      Being that I’m a professional in my own chosen field, and I have my own professional meetings to attend, I do not get jealous or try to keep him from attending meetings as he chooses. I wonder if (in no way am I trying to be offensive) the wives of Masons who seem to feel less important, perhaps were previously co-dependent on their husbands, so anything taking time away from them is hurting their feelings, when that’s really not the intent.

      In reading some of the comments here, I see that one lady seems to have some real issues in the marriage, and perhaps it wasn’t caused by the Masons at all. But on the other hand, just like in anything, while the object of being a Mason is to be a better man, as with every other organization, there are good and not-so-good people involved. Not everyone will be perfect. I must say if my husband was leaving unnanounced for days at a time, my trust would be shaken, not necessarily in the Mason involvement, but I would have to examine the strenght of our relationship on a deeper level.

      The trust I have in my husband keeps me from being too “curious” about what he’s doing, and perhaps that is also because I’ve known so many other Masons growing up that were good men doing good things for our communities. I know the value of my husbands extremely high morals, and I know that if he believes what he’s doing is for GOOD, then I can trust 100% that it really is.

      I don’t feel the need to buy the book advertised here, but I hope that if it helps other less-trusting wives to feel more secure with what their husbands are doing, by all means, it will probably be a good thing.

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