Pythian Sisters Logo


The origin of the Pythian auxiliaries for women is rather complicated. In 1888 the Supreme Lodge of the Knights of Pythias approved the creation of a female auxiliary with a ritual written by Joseph Addition Hill. However, there were other women who favored a ritual written by Mrs. Alva A Young.  Two organizations were organized: the Pythian Sisterhood, using Young's ritual in Concord, New Hampshire on February 22, 1888 and the Pythian Sisters of the World, that same year, in Warsaw Indiana using Hill's ritual. In addition to the differences in ritual, the Concord group did not accept (male) members of the Knights of Pythias as members, whereas the Warsaw group did. In 1894 the Supreme Lodge ruled that its members could not belong to another organization with "Pythian" in its title, so the Warsaw group changed its name to the Rathbone Sisters of the World, in order to keep its male members. In 1906 the Supreme Lodge repealed that prohibition and the two auxiliaries merged into a new order simply known as the Pythian Sisters.


Local  units are known as "Temples", state units are called "Grand Temples"  and the national structure is called the "Supreme Temple", which meets  biennially with the Supreme Lodge of the Knights of Pythias. 


Membership requirements are only that the candidate be over  sixteen, speak English and believe in a Supreme Being.