I was recently asked to join a local Allied Masonic Degrees council and was excited to do so. I had never before been invited to an invitational body, so I see this as quite an honor. The AMD is a group I am still trying to get my head around a little. The basis of the organization, it seems, is something very much like a research lodge. Members are encouraged to write research papers on various Masonic topics and present them in the meetings. I am involved in a research lodge here in northern Virginia, and this sort of thing was what excited me early on in my Masonic career, so I look forward to getting more involved in the AMD as well.
The part that is confusing is that the AMD is also the owner or caretaker of several side degrees that used to be conferred under craft warrants in regular lodges, mainly in England, as I understand. However, even though I have not had any of those other degrees conferred on me, I am still a full member of the Council. It appears that the AMD perpetuates these degrees so that they do not simply disappear due to an aging membership and lack of new conferrals. I think this is wonderful, keeping these traditions alive so people like me can almost fall backward into them and hopefully gain some insight from them.
I am still learning but look forward to a long ride with the AMD. I guess I better start cracking the books open so I can present a paper when called upon.