The Eastern Stars are a fraternal organization that is associated with the Freemasons. The organization reports that it is one of the largest in the world to which both men and women may belong.
The mission of the Eastern Stars is to work together for good. It is a religious organization, though it purports to accept members of all faiths and asserts that it is not a religion. It was founded in the 19th century by Robert Morris, who was the poet laureate of the Masons. Morris began designing the organization by determining its values and symbols in the middle of the 19th century. The first order was not established until the 1850s. His desire was to form a fraternal organization to which women could belong alongside men. Prospective members must be at least 18 years old if male or 16 years old if female, be free of criminal convictions, believe in God, and be willing to commit to the values of the order as well as to support other members. There are also specific Mason and Mason affiliation requirements for joining the group. The Eastern Stars do not actively recruit members, but those who are interested in joining may freely approach any member of the group to inquire about joining.