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The Order of Eastern Star, like all other Orders, has hidden meanings that lie behind the ritualistic work. My ideas in this paper are only to stimulate your thinking into channels of thought which you may not have previously explored. Like all such interpretations, it is not to be taken as the one and only interpretation, but just as my personnel feelings on the Order of Eastern Star.
There is much that has been written about the symbols, terms, and stories of the Order of Eastern Star. All that has been written shows the differences between the symbols, terms, and stories of the Order of Eastern Star.
At a time when I see a lot of Sisters fighting over titles, stabbing each other in the back, and talking down other Sisters so they can get a step up on them, I wonder if I read something they missed, or if I had assumed something that was not there. Because, to me Faith in God; Hope for Tomorrow; and Charity Toward Mankind is what makes you an Eastern Star.
FAITH IN GOD:
The 4th Landmark is, each candidate shall declare a belief in the existence of a Supreme Being, who will, sooner or later, punish the willful violation of a solemn pledge.
A declaration of belief in the existence of a Supreme Being can only be made on Faith is God, because, you can not see Him or touch Him, but if you truly believe in Him, you can feel Him in your heart, and no man can prove what is truly in another person’s heart.
In the Queen of the South Degree there is a section that reads:
Do you ask to whom the secrets of the Lord shall be revealed? The law is opened to our eyes, the secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him, and He will show them His covenant. His secret is with the righteous. But what is this secret wisdom that the wisest have longed to know equally with the fool? Hear ye, oh my friends, and be profited thereby. Fear God and keep His Commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil. The Fear of The Lord, That is wisdom, and to depart from evil is understanding.
The secrets of the Lord is not with them that look for Him with their eyes, but those that open up their hearts to believe in Him and have Faith in Him.
In the Amaranth Degree there is a lesson on Faith which reads:
In the daily affairs of life you should have a constant Faith. A Faith in God. Who rules in all things; a Faith in your ability, which insures success. Our Faith is all our own, held direct from God. Through all the changes of an uncertain world our Faith in an ever ruling Providence must never be shaken. It must be strong and permanent. A confidence in the assistance and protection of an Almighty Being naturally produces patience, hope, cheerfulness, and all other happy dispositions of the mind that alleviate those calamities which we are not otherwise able to remove.
In times of adversity, amid the scenes of poverty and affliction in the gloomy hour of death, the possession of this virtue brings comfort and hopeful resignation. A breach of Faith is a crime that brings a stain on a nation, for Faith ought to be kept even with an enemy.
Here in the Amaranth Degree it is pointed out that Faith in God is essential to being a member of the Order of Eastern Star.
HOPE FOR TOMORROW:
In the Eastern Star Degree I could not find Hope For Tomorrow because, I was looking in the wrong place, the ritual. The Hope For Tomorrow, if there is any, is in the members of the Chapter. For the Tomorrows are determined by the members of today, that bring in and train the members of Tomorrow. For any Chapter that does not bring in new members will sooner or later run out of Tomorrows. If the members of today do not train the members of Tomorrow to be Eastern Stars, then sooner or later you will have a Chapter of members that do not know what it means to be Eastern Stars.
In the Queen of the South Degree, the whole degree is based on Hope For Tomorrow, and the hope was for enlightment into knowledge of Masonic principles, that we all know King Solomon finally gave to the Queen of the South.
In the Amaranth Degree, the Hope is for more enlightment into the knowledge of Masonic principles, which are contained in the Degree. Being TRUTH, FAITH, WISDOM, and CHARITY, which are explained in detail in the Amaranth Degree.
CHARITY TOWARD MANKIND:
In the Eastern Star Degree Charity Toward Mankind is found in the Covenant of Adoption which reads:
You will carefully preserve in sacred and inviolable secrecy, and under no circumstances improperly divulge any of the ceremonies, signs or passes belonging to the Order of the Eastern Star.
You will cheerfully obey the constitution and all the rules and regulations of the Supreme Grand Chapter and the By-Laws of the Chapter of which you may be a member. You will, so far as in your power, liberally dispense to your Sisters advice in their troubles, sympathy in their sorrows, and aid in their misfortunes. You will cautiously avoid speaking evil of your Sisters, or performing any acts of injustice or unkindness toward them.
Do you to all these pledges covenant your honor as a woman?
Either the honor as a woman, of a lot of Eastern Stars is to be questioned, or a lot of Eastern Stars, either missed or forgot the part about what they would do for their Sisters. Not only should this Charity be extended towards your Sisters in the Eastern Star, but it also applies to your Sisters in Christ.
In the Queen of the South Degree, it is proven by the Queen of the South that Mankind does not mean just for men, but for men and women. So King Solomon established at that time that Mankind ment men and women. Since he granted the Queen of the South her petition and he shared knowledge with her that had only been shared with men before then. And Charity is giving of something to someone else of your own free will and accord that which you do not have to give.
In the Amaranth Degree Charity stands as the pearl of great price among the virtues-”for the greatest of these is Charity”. It beautifies all our actions and enlarges the desires of the heart to do good. That Charity is enduring which flows from an innate sense of duty. That Charity is truest and noblest which treads in secret the paths of poverty, unseen and unproclaimed; but, like the great laws of nature, does the work of God in silence, looking only to a better world for its reward. It is the attribute of divine love, and the most universal religion of mankind. There is no law that circumscribes the compensation that may result from a single good deed. The smallest actual good performed, is better than the most magnificent promise.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so a person must be worth at least a million words. So as my last reference I will use a young Lady that Walks, Talks, and Lives; Faith in God, Hope for Tomorrow, and Charity Toward Mankind, and is the best example of an Eastern Star that I know. My Wife, Carolyn J. Hams.
Thank you for giving me your time.
BYRON E. HAMS
NEW HOPE CHAPTER #56