Lodge of Perfection

The degrees of the Lodge of Perfection are better known as the "Ineffable Degrees" of Scottish Rite Masonry because their principal purpose is the  investigation and contemplation of the ineffable (unspeakable) name of Deity.  We provide a brief statement of the moral teachings found within each degree.
 

4° - Secret Master  Duty, reflection and study are the gateway to opportunity. As such, one honors those relationships to God, family, country and Masonry. The apron of the 4th Degree is white and black, with a letter "Z" and all-seeing eye. The jewel of this degree is an ivory key with the letter "Z" on the wards.  The duties are secrecy, obedience and fidelity.

5° - Perfect Master  The degree teaches Masonic honor; that honesty and trustworthiness is the cornerstone of the foundation of such. This virtue should be in all of our undertakings with mankind. The apron of the 5th Degree is white and green, with a cubic stone and a Hebrew YOD. The jewel is represented by a compass open on a segment of a circle, to an angle of sixty degrees. The duties are honesty, sincerity, good faith and industry.

6° - Intimate Secretary  In this degree one should expand their knowledge of duty, charity and toleration. We are instructed to reshape ourselves and our thinking into charity, self-control and success, i.e. to be a peacemaker. The apron of the 6th Degree is white and red, with Hebrew letters YOD HEH in the center and a small triangle containing the Hebrew letters (clockwise from top) BETH, NUN and SHIN. The gold triangle with the same three letters inscribed is the jewel that represents this degree. The duties are zeal, faithfulness, benevolence and to act the peacemaker.

7° - Provost & Judge  We learn that impartial justice protects person, property, happiness and reputation. We are instructed to judge with patience and impartially. The apron of the 7th Degree is white edged with red, with a key and five rosettes. The jewel is a golden key. The duty is justice.

8° - Intendant of the Building  We should strive for perfection by using the great principles of God's inherent love, charity, morality and kindness. The apron of the 8th Degree is white with red and green, with a balance, a nine-pointed star, and a triangle with the Hebrew letters BETH for Ben-Khurim; YOU for Jakinah; and ALEPH for Achar. The jewel of this Degree is a gold triangle with the same three letters. The duties are benevolence and charity.

9° - Elu of the Nine (Elected Knight of the Nine)  Truth, candor and generosity. The foundation of Scottish Rite Masonry is most reflected in this degree. We should use these truths to shape our lives and conduct. The apron of the 9th Degree is white, lined with black and sprinkled with blood, with an arm holding a dagger and a severed head held by the hair. The jewel of this degree is a dagger, hilt of gold and blade of silver. The duties are enlightenment of soul and mind, vigilance, tolerance and being on guard for fanaticism and persecution.

10° - Elu of the Fifteen (Illustrious Elect of the Fifteen)  This degree teaches us to be tolerant and respect the opinions of others. Freedoms of political and spiritual ideologies should be shared by all. The apron of the 10th Degree is white, with a black flap with three arch-shaped gates, over each a head on a spike. The jewel of this degree is a dagger as in the 9th Degree. The duties are enlightenment of soul and mind, vigilance, tolerance and being on guard for fanaticism and persecution.

11° - Elu of the Twelve (Sublime Knight Elect of the Twelve)  This degree teaches sympathy. We should be compassionate to our brother Masons and to all mankind as well. The apron of the 11th Degree is white, lined with black, with a flaming heart in the center. The jewel is a dagger suspended from a black cordon inscribed with the words "Vincere aut Mori" the pledge "that you will rather die than betray the cause of the people, or be overcome through your own fear or fault". The duties are to be earnest, true, reliable and a champion of the people.

12° - Master Architect  This degree teaches faith in morality, virtue and God. "Life is what each man makes of it; the optimist turns a trial into a blessing". The apron of the 12th Degree consists of a white outer shell lined with blue and gold, symbolizing the Craft Degrees, with a protractor, plain scale, sector and compasses. The jewel is a heptagonal medal of gold. The duty is to seek wisdom through knowledge.

13° - Royal Arch of Solomon (Knight of the Ninth Arch)  Liberty in our mind and hearts and motivated by duty and honor are the lessons of this degree. The apron of the 13th Degree is purple, bordered with white and with the "Enochian delta" (hexagram with inscribed Tetragrammation) in the center. The jewel comprises a circular medal of gold. The duties are to seek knowledge and to be motivated by duty and honour.


VIRTUS JUNXIT MORS NON SEPARABIT
"
whom virtue unites death shall not separate"

14° - Perfect Elu (Grand Elect, Perfect and Sublime Mason)  This degree teaches us to reflect and scrutinize ourselves. We should strive to be true to ourselves and our God. The apron being of white silk, bordered in gold with the Ineffable Delta in the Center, is truly emblematical of the degree. The jewel of the 14th Degree is split; one being a quadrant (compass open to ninety degrees) topped by a crown and with a nine-pointed star on the obverse; the other being a five-pointed blazing star with the Tetragrammaton on the reverse. The compass is opened on a segment of a circle inscribed with the numbers 3, 5, 7, 9. The duties are to assist, encourage and defend the brethren; to protect the oppressed and relieve want and distress; to enlighten the people and serve the common good.


       Chapter of Rose Croix

The Chapter of Rose Croix attempts to provide the candidate with a deeper understanding of religion, philosophy, ethics and history though a variety of complex "historical degrees".  The intellectual challenges presented in these degrees are numerous, and at times overwhelming and can take years to master.  A thorough reading of the chapters related to them in Morals and Dogma and in  Legenda and Readings is essential to achieve even a basic comprehension of their true meaning.  (click images to enlarge)
 

15° - Knight of the East, of the Sword or of the Eagle  Fidelity to obligations and perseverance of purpose under difficulties and discouragement are the lessons of this degree. The striking crimson velvet apron of this degree is edged with green, having a bleeding head above two crossed swords and a triangle (top point to the left) with three interlaced triangles inside it. The jewel is three golden concentric triangles encompassing two crossed swords. The duty is to rebuild the Masonic Temple of liberty, equality and fraternity in the souls of men.

16° - Prince of Jerusalem  We learn of heroism of patience, the nobility of self-sacrifice and compassionate judgment; along with charity, fidelity and brotherhood. The crimson apron is edged in gold and aurora-color, with a square, shield, Delta with three YODs, balance and a hand of justice. The jewel is a mother-of-pearl lozenge with a hand holding a balance in equipoise; under it a sword with five stars surrounding the point. On the left is a Hebrew D, on the right is a Hebrew Z. The duties are to aid those who labor to build the Symbolic Temple; to judge equitably and fairly; to keep faith in the justice and beneficence of God and to press forward with hope for the persecuted and oppressed.

17° - Knight of the East & West  The wisdom of this degree is that loyalty to God is man's primary allegiance and that temporal governments not founded upon God and His righteousness will inevitably fall. The apron is of yellow satin with crimson and gold, with a sword and Tetractys of the Tetragrammaton on it. The jewel is a heptagon of half silver and half gold, with crossed swords on a balance on the obverse and a lamb on the Book of Seven Seals on the reverse. The jewel is hung from a double order - one black (left-to-right) and one white (right-to-left), representing good versus evil. A gold coronet is also presented. The duties are to work, reflect and pray; to hope, trust and believe; to teach the truths that are hidden in allegory and concealed by the symbols of Freemasonry.

18° - Knight Rose Croix  This degree emphasizes that life and its strength come from God. The rose signifies the dawn and the cross is a sacred symbol of antiquity in many cultures. One is also taught to be tolerant of other's errors and faults. The apron is of white leather or satin, bordered in red, with a skull and cross-bones, a red passion cross and three red rosettes. The grand jewel is a gold compass open a quarter circle. A rose-cross is between the legs of the compass and under it is a pelican, tearing its breast to feed its seven young on the obverse and an eagle with wings extended on the reverse.  On the circle are the letters I.N.R.I.  The duties are to practice virtue; to labor to eliminate vice; to purify humanity; to be tolerant of the faith and creed of others.


               Council of Kadosh

The word "Kadosh" is a Hebrew word meaning Holy.  Although Pike identifies the degrees of the Council of Kadosh as chivalric and philosophical, they are all intensely mystical with respect to the lessons conveyed and symbols employed.  (click images to enlarge)

"Faith in moral principles, in virtue and in God is as necessary for the guidance of a man as instinct is for the guidance of an animal." - Albert Pike
 

19° - Grand Pontiff  We learn from the past and how it affects the present and the influence we live in the future in this degree. We as mortals strive to endure, produce and improve the world as it surrounds us. There is no apron, but the jewel is a gold "parallelogram" (rectangle) with a Greek Alpha on one side and an Omega on the other. The duties are to be content to labor for the future; to serve the cause of truth with patience and industry; and to destroy error, falsehood and intolerance with truth, honesty, honour and charity.

20° - Master of the Symbolic Lodge  This degree demonstrates liberty, fraternity and equality. These truths teach morals, religious and philosophical understandings. This degree helps one to comprehend Deity, the forces of nature and good and evil. The apron is yellow, bordered in blue, with three concentric point-down triangles with the Tetragrammaton (horizontal) and "Fiat Lux" (vertical) at the center forming a cross. Its triangular shape relates to the "fourth great light, which reminds us of the Deity and his attributes". The jewel is made of gold with the same three concentric triangles. The duties are to dispense light and knowledge and to practice Masonic virtues.

21° - Noachite or Prussian Knight  The lessons to be learned from this degree are that arrogance, defamation and cowardice are unworthy attributes of a Mason; and that humility, modesty and courtesy are the true virtues of men and Masons. The apron is yellow and contains an arm holding a sword, a winged figure holding a key in the left hand and the right forefinger on the lips (the Egyptian figure of silence). The jewel can be described as a point-up triangle, with an arrow, point downward, an arm holding a sword and the motto "Fiat Justitia, Ruat Coelum".  The duties are humility, modesty, trust in God and to be steadfast and courageous in the face of adversity.

22° - Knight Royal Axe, Prince of Libanus  This degree emphasizes work ethics. By doing good work we improve character and become better citizens. The apron of this degree is white, bordered in purple, and contains a three-headed serpent and a table with instruments and plans on it. The jewel is an axe and handle of gold. On the top of the handle are the initials of Noah and Solomon. In the middle of the handle are the initials of Libanus and Tsidun. On the blade are the initials of Adoniram, Cyrus, Darius, Zerubbabel, Nehemiah and Ezra on one side and Shem, Kham, Yapheth, Moses, Ahaliab and Betselal on the other. The duties are to respect labor for its own sake and to do work.

23° - Chief of the Tabernacle  We learn in this degree that the man who forgets his duty to God, family, country and himself will be in danger of moral and spiritual destruction by thoughts and unworthy ambition. The apron worn is white bordered with red, blue and purple ribbons. These colors, from the curtains of the Tabernacle, represent earth, fire, air and sea respectively, as well as the Lord's beneficence, glory, wisdom and power. On the apron is the golden seven-branched candlestick, representing the seven planets and virtues; the sun, faith, and aspiration toward the infinite; the moon, hope; Venus, charity; Mars, fortitude, "victory over rage and anger"; Mercury, prudence; Saturn, temperance; Jupiter, conqueror of the Titans and justice. The jewel worn is a small silver censer, or ornamented cup, held by a handle in the shape of an open hand. The duties are to be devoted to the service of God; to constantly endeavor to promote the welfare of man; to act with proper subordination to your superiors.

24° - Prince of the Tabernacle  A Mason must show evidence of compassion, piety and justice in this degree. After initiation he may "manifest faithfully the social virtues in order to receive the rewards", to serve humanity through our brotherhood. The apron is of white lambskin with scarlet green and blue.  On it is a violet myrtle tree and a gold representation of an Arabian tent. The jewel worn is the Hebrew letter ALEPH, suspended from a violet ribbon. The duties are to labor incessantly for the glory of God, the honor of your country and the happiness of your brethren.

25° - Knight of the Brazen Serpent  This degree attempts to explain the conceptualities of celestial purity and the eternal soul of man. The apprentice is driven to look within his faith, life and God to get a clear look at his inner self. The apron is white, lined in black with gold stars on the white side (Pleiades, Hyades, Orion, Capella) and with silver stars on the black side (Perseus, Scorpio, Bootes). Also on it is a serpent (ouroboros) surrounding a scarab, a triangle in a glory with the Tetragrammaton in its center and the four initials of the stars Regulus, Aldebaran, Antares and Fomalhaut. The jewel is a gold tau cross (crux ansata) with a serpent entwined around it and the Hebrew words HLThI (he has suffered or been wounded) and NChShThN (the Brazen Serpent) on it. The duty is to fulfill your destiny and to re-create yourself by reformation, repentance and enlarging your knowledge.

26° - Prince of Mercy or Scottish Trinitarian  In this degree we explore for "the rewards of the trinity of Gods attributes - wisdom or intelligence, force or strength, harmony or beauty". The apron is scarlet, bordered in white, with a green triangle (point-down) in the center. In the triangle are the initials of force, wisdom and harmony, and a flaming heart of gold with the initials I.H.S. (Jesus Hominum Salvator or Imperium, Harmonia, Sapientia). The jewel is gold and is the same triangle, suspended by a purple ribbon. The duties are to practice forgiveness and mercy; tolerance; to be devoted to the teaching of the principles of Masonry.

27° - Knight Commander of the Temple  This degree teaches the apprentice to scorn selfishness and to uphold the knightly virtues of charity, truth and honor. We should always strive to assist the poor, helpless and infirm. The apron is of scarlet lambskin, lined in black, with a Teutonic Cross (cross potent sable, charged with a smaller cross double potent or surcharged with the escutcheon of the Empire, the two-headed black eagle) and a black key surrounded by a laurel wreath. The jewel is the Teutonic Cross shown on the apron. The duties are to be a lover of wisdom and to be faithful to your promises made within Masonry.

28° - Knight of the Sun or Prince Adept  We learn in this degree that our love for God manifests itself in our love for truth, justice and nobility of soul. The apron worn is white lambskin with a vermilion pentagram. The jewel is a gold five-pointed star. The duties are to be devoted to truth, honour, loyalty, justice and humanity.

29° - Scottish Knight of Saint Andrew  The virtues taught in this degree are love of God, loyalty to superiors, faithful adherence to promise and active resistance to unfair judgment. There is no apron. The jewel is a gold St. Andrew's cross ("X"), surmounted with a knight's helmet with a thistle of gold between the arms at the bottom. In the center of the cross is a Hebrew YOD and on its points, clockwise from bottom, the Hebrew letters N M I N.  The duties are to reverence and obey God; to serve the truth; to protect virtue and innocence; to defend the people against tyranny.

30° - Knight of Kadosh or Knight of the White & Black Eagle  The lesson of this degree is to be true to ourselves, to stand for what is right and to be just in our lives today with a belief in God, country and oneself. There is no apron, but the jewel is a gold Teutonic cross, enameled in red, with a silver double-headed eagle with wings spread pointing downward resting upon it. The duty is to labor unceasingly for the good of mankind.

                     Consistory

The Consistory Degrees are very different from each other in form and content.  The 31° reveals the dynamic relationship that has existed for centuries between human law as a means of achieving justice, and divine justice as an ideal.  The 32° reviews the degrees of the Lodge of Perfection, the Chapter of Rose Croix and the Council of Kadosh.  In it we learn the very ancient roots of Masonic Truth - in the East(click images to enlarge)

"Where Freemasonry flourishes, there will be found the highest type of citizenship and the best standard of living." - Albert Pike
 

31° - Inspector Inquisitor  In this degree the apprentice learns prayerful self-examination. The mistakes today should not be committed tomorrow. Simply, the daily look at ones self to learn to live with the future. No apron is worn in the Supreme Tribunal, but the traditional apron displayed is of pure white lambskin with a Teutonic Cross of black and silver embroidered upon the flap. The jewel is a silver Teutonic cross. The jewel is suspended from a white collar, with a gold triangle with a "31" inside it. The duty is to judge yourself in the same light as you judge others, considering both actions and motives.
 

SPES MEA IN DEO EST
"my hope is in god"

32° - Master of the Royal Secret  The lessons taught in this degree are that genuine brotherhood requires mutual regard, opinion, esteem and charity. We always look for the good in all and make allowances for other's shortcomings. We trust the Supreme Architect to lead us to friendship, morality and brotherly love. The apron of this degree is white, lined in black, with a double-headed eagle and a plan of the Camp of the Princes. The jewel worn is a golden Teutonic Cross. In the center are the letters XXXII, surrounded by a green wreath. The cap of a Master of the Royal Secret is black silk with a black band trimmed in gold. In the center front is a double-headed eagle emblem with a rayed equilateral triangle above in gold. The triangle is red, has 32° in its center and is trimmed with gold. The duties are: a Soldier of the Light seeks truth and knowledge; a Soldier of Freedom demands for the people free vote and voice and attains freedom of voice, vote and opinion for himself; a Soldier of the True Religion combats spiritual tyranny with reason and truth; a Soldier of the People encourages men to be self-reliant and independent; a Soldier of Scottish Rite Masonry is zealous and ardent in the performance of his duties to God, his country, his family, his brethren and himself.

 

  SUPREME COUNCIL OF THE UNITED STATES
Established in 1864 by Baron A. Hugo Debulow
SCOTTISH RITE
 The MASONIC FRATERNITY are indebted to the labor, learning, ability and diligence of Sir Michael Andrew Ramsey, who was commonly Chavalier Ramsey. Sir Michael Andrew Ramsey was the author and founder of the ANCIENT ACCEPTED SCOTTISH RITE.

Sir Ramsey was born at Ayr, in Scotland, June 9, 1668. His father was a baker, but being a possessor of considerable property and money, he was in position to give his son, Michael Andrew Ramsey, a high and excellent education. He Graduated from the University at Edinburgh, Scotland, with distinguished honors. He then went to England and required a great literary reputation, and the Oxford University conferred upon him the Degree of Doctor of Laws. He then went to Paris, France, and delivered a great address before the Grand Lodge of France in the year 1740.

In the year of 1758, at Paris, France, a council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite was organized.

The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, commonly known as simply the Scottish Rite, is one of several Rites of the worldwide fraternity known as Freemasonry. A Rite is a series of progressive degrees that are conferred by various Masonic organizations or bodies, each of which operates under the control of its own central authority.

In the Scottish Rite, the central authority is called a Supreme Council. The thirty-three degrees of the Scottish Rite are conferred by several controlling bodies.

The first of these is the Craft Lodge which confers the Entered Apprentice, Fellow craft, and Master Mason degrees. Craft lodges operate under the authority of Grand Lodges, not the Scottish Rite. Although most lodges throughout the English-speaking world do not confer the Scottish Rite versions of the first three degrees, there are a handful of lodges in New Orleans and in several other major cities that have traditionally conferred the Scottish Rite version of these degrees.

The Scottish Rite is one of the appendent bodies of Freemasonry that a Master Mason may join for further exposure to the principles of Freemasonry.

In England and some other countries, while the Scottish Rite is not accorded official recognition by the Grand Lodge, there is no prohibition against a Freemason electing to join it.

In the United States, however, the Scottish Rite is officially recognized by Grand Lodges as an extension of the degrees of Freemasonry. The Scottish Rite builds upon the ethical teachings and philosophy offered in the craft lodge, or Blue Lodge, through dramatic presentation of the individual degrees.

Scottish Rite Symbols

The accepted symbol of our Rite is the Double-Headed Eagle.  This symbol dates to the splitting of the Roman Empire and the establishment of the Eastern (Byzantine) and Western (Roman) halves.

The double-headed eagle was probably first accepted as a symbol of Freemasonry in 1758. In that year the body calling itself the Council of Emperors of the East and West, was established in Paris. The double-headed eagle was in all probability adopted by this body, which claimed a double jurisdiction. The eagle, one head inclined to the East and the other to the West, to guard any and all who might approach from either direction.

EAGLE OF LAGASH


(Ancient Hittite Eagle)

The double headed eagle
are often emblematic of the reconciliation of matter and spirit. Other elements in the Masonic eagle reinforce the alchemical symbolism- a sword representing heavenly fire, and the crown of spiritual attainment. The Masonic eagle is often referred to as the "Eagle of Lagash," after one of the oldest uses of the emblem, in the ancient Sumerian city of Lagash. The two faced eagle was popularized in Europe by the Emperor Charlemagne, and the symbol was adopted formally into Freemasonry in the mid-eighteenth century, by the Council of Emperors of the East and West. At that time, the device was commonly used to depict the uniting of two bodies into one; this was probably a factor in the decision to use the eagle symbol.

  The Lodge of Perfection The Lodge of Perfection confers the 4° through the 14°. These are commonly referred to as the Ineffable Degrees. In the 11 lessons the candidate will observe many references, scenes and characters which recall and amplify the three Symbolic degrees. The letter Yod is the 10th letter of the Aleph-Bet, having the numeric value of 10. The pictograph for Yod looks like an arm or hand, whereas the classical Hebrew script is constructed of a single tag upward, a kotz downward, and a middle portion.




  
Yod is the most frequently occurring letter in the Scriptures as well as the smallest of the letters. The Mystery of Yod Suspended in mid-air, Yod is the smallest of the Hebrew letters, the “atom” of the consonants, and the form from which all of the other letters begin and end: The first dot with which the scribes first start writing a letter, or the last dot that gives a letter its final form -- is a yod. (Likutei Maharan) In the Jewish mystical tradition, Yod represents a mere dot, a divine point of energy.

Since Yod is used to form all the other letters, and since God uses the letters as the building blocks of creation, Yod indicates God’s omnipresence. In fact, the word (yod) itself depicts something of the geometry of creation. It begins with the Yod itself, as a dot, and then moves downward, from the divine toward the created order to form Vav (the “hook” of creation). Finally it moves outward in the horizontal realm as Dalet (the “doorway” of creation). This can better be seen with the following illustration: Since Jesus upholds the world by the Word of His power (Hebrews 1:3), and Yod is part of every Hebrew letter (and therefore every word),

Yod is considered the starting point of the presence of God in all things - the “spark” of the Spirit in everything. Yod and Humility The letter Yod, being the smallest of the letters, is also a picture of humility. For example, when Jacob was renamed from ya’akov to yisrael, all that remained of his former name was the letter Yod and Spirituality Yod means “arm” or “hand,” and its form suggests a hand that is reaching toward heaven. In addition, the letter somewhat resembles a man in prayer: Here the tag suggests a crown that is given to one who is humbled before the LORD in prayer, and the bent shape suggests submission.

Interestingly, the gematria of Yod is 20, the same value for the Hebrew root for vision (chazah). The Meaning of Yod as Ten The word (yod) means “arm” or “hand” and the numeric value is ten. Now ten is a number marking shelemut, or completion and order, as evidenced by the following: The base 10 number system is universal.

Just as Yod is part of all of the previous letters of the alphabet (as a component), so Yod is part of all of the numbers. It is said by the sages the Yod does not mean 10 because we have ten toes and fingers but we have ten toes and fingers because Yod means 10. There were ten things created on the first day and ten things created at the end of the sixth day of creation. There were ten generations from Adam to Noah, suggesting that the godlessness of those generations was made complete. There were ten generations from Noah to Abraham, suggesting that the godliness of those generations was made complete. According to midrash, there were ten trials given to Abraham to demonstrate his merit as the father of the nations.

There were ten plagues issued during the Exodus of Egypt. God gave us Ten Commandments. The “tenth part” shall be holy for the LORD (Leviticus 27:32). There are ten days of Awe - from Tishri 1 to Tishri 10, culminating in Yom Kippur, which occurs on the 10th day of Tishri. Ten men are required for a minyan, or complete quorum needed for Jewish corporate prayer. (Jewish mysticism) There are ten forces of the “Tree of Life,” called Sefirot, that depict the metaphysical working of God in the universe.

Yod and the Olam Habah The Talmud states that God used the letter Hey to create the present world (olam hazeh) and Yod to create the world to come (olam habah). The sages derive this idea from the Name (yah) found in Isaiah 26:4: How did they come up with this? Well, they consider b’yah in the text as meaning “with Yod-Hey” instead of referring to the Name Yah. Some Textual Oddities An undersized Yod appears in Deuteronomy 32:18; "You neglected the Rock who begat you.” The LORD is made “small” when we turn away from Him through neglect. On the other hand, “Let the power of my LORD be great.” Here Moses’ intercession for the people of Israel is made, and the sages say that the oversized Yod is meant to recall the ten trials of Abraham and the merit he obtained on account of his faith. Finally, a Yod is missing in Exodus 32:19: Moses cast the tables from his hands.”

Here the spelling in the text (ketiv) is miyado, meaning“from his hand” (singular), but the text is read (Qere) as miyadav, meaning “from his hands” (plural). Why is this singular spelling used yet the text read as plural? According to midrash, when Moses brought the Tablets of the Law down from Mount Sinai, he was able to carry them in one hand (as the text says in Exodus 32:15) since they were made supernaturally light as the “Living Torah” of the LORD.

However, once the Tablets came into proximity with the Golden Calf, the “script flew off and ascended to heaven” to testify of the idol worship (Targum Yonasan) and tablets turned into normal, profane stone which Moses could no longer bear. Yod and the Divine Name Yod is the first letter of the Divine Name (YHVH) and the name of the Savior of the world, (yeshua), thus indicating its preeminence. It is also the first letter for the four names given to the Jewish people: - Ya’akov (or Jacob) - Yisrael (Israel) - Yehudim (Jews) - Yeshurun (Jeshurun) As the first letter (ot, or sign) of God’s Name, Yod shows that He is Spirit, He is One, and that from Him derive all other things by the power of His Word.

If the Mason, after joining the Craft, takes to heart that injunction laid upon him at the close of the Charge of the Entered Apprentice, he will naturally, inquire how he can comply with the terms.

The Master Mason gradually realizes that he must do more than attend the meetings of his Lodge, if he is to appreciate truly the value of Freemasonry, and understand the principles underlying Craft teaching. He must acquire an explanation and study the principles of Masonry.

As the Mason proceeds with his studies he will perceive that all has not been explained. We are told correctly that Freemasonry is progressive science, taught by degrees only.

The Scottish Rite of Freemasonry dramatically presents its degrees beyond the Third Degree so that the Mason may increase his knowledge and understanding of Masonry. It constitutes and advanced course-- a a college course --in Freemasonry.

It is indeed a liberal education. It is a lesson in Geography. Almost every country in Europe is visited in the dramatic presentation of Masonic history and tradition. Biblical lands appear frequently in the fast moving panorama of scenes and incidents.

It is a course in History. Biblical antiquity with its quaint but familiar scenes and universality known heroes, is faithfully portrayed. There is a startling page from the oldest book in the world., The Book of the Dead, which plants us in the midst of the oldest and yet most modern civilization in the world. Medieval chivalry makes it stately and courteous bow, adding mysterious atmosphere to the picture.

Its is a birds-eye view of philosophy. The greatest thought of the greatest thinkers of all times, the profoundest principles and the loftiest ideals are expressed in words, symbols and impressive drama.The Supreme Council of the United States of the Sovereign Grand Inspectors Generals of 33rd and last Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Western Jurisdiction was established under the dominion of the Regulations and Constitutions dictated in Bordeaux, France, by the Princes of the Royal Secret in 1762, and by the Great Constitutions of the 33rd Degree promulgated in Berlin in 1786, which were reviewed by the Universal Convention of the Supreme Councils gathered in Lausanne from the 5th to the 22nd of September of 1875.

The Masonic Principles of our Supreme Council are the following:

Freemasonry, proclaims from its origin, the existence of a Creator Principle or Supreme Being with the
name of GREAT ARCHITECT OF THE UNIVERSE.

Its banner is: LIBERTY, EQUALITY and FRATERNITY.

It adheres to the principle of Tolerance, and maintains FAITH, HOPE and CHARITY as cardinal virtues.

It sustains absolute freedom of conscience as a superior ideal, putting into practice the spirit of chivalry,which fights for a superior ideal that exceeds the initial interest of material gain.

Freemasonry proclaims as its mission free investigation of  truth and is a declared enemy of ignorance, intolerance and fanaticism.

Freemasonry as a philosophical school of practical life, fights against ignorance in all its forms, summarizes its program according to the following fundamental principles:
 
a) Obedience to the laws of the Country.
b) Living according to the norms of Honour.
c) The practice of Justice, Philanthropy and Beneficence.
d) The furthering of instruction  in all the fields of human knowledge.
e) The proclamation of love for one’s fellow man and the firm resolution to work without rest for the Happiness of Humanity.
f) The pursuit of progressive, evolutionary and peaceful emancipation, conducting oneself in civil life according to one’s judgment and conscience.                               

Freemasonry being universal is integrated by free and upstanding men, united by the bond of spiritual brotherhood, who seek their own IMPROVEMENT and the material, moral and spiritual  progress of the world.

Freemasonry considers WORK to be an imperious Law of humanity which it demands of its members, and consequently prohibits Idleness.

It considers it a duty to extend brotherly bonds to all Humanity without distinction of race, colour, class, fortune or social situation, maintaining that there cannot be Brotherhood or Fraternity between
the Peoples of the World, if violence, intolerance, despotism, injustice and lack of freedom are present.

Freemasonry has symbols, allegories and legends, revealed in its degrees by means of ceremonies and rituals. It has signs, words and emblems, revealed in the masonic works which allow Masons to recognize each other by their degree.

By maintaining the freedom of conscience and free will, every Mason has the right to freely express his opinions on masonic topics as well as those of any other nature, as long as they do not not injure human dignity nor freedom.

Its followers gather under the level of equality, existing no other distinctions than those originating from virtue, knowledge and Degree hierarchy.

Its philosophy tends to adjust its principles and acts to the immutable laws of Nature; making people understand that each group must take into account the legitimate aspirations of other groups, and what is even more, the aspirations of all humanity.

Within the Universalist Philosophy of  Scottish Rite Freemasonry it is conceived that the Spirit is inmortal and transcendental.

The Universe and the Human being evolve, and their progress tends more and more towards perfection. Therefore every Mason must tend to excel in every way, to obtain a new world, where solidarity, brotherly love and the spirit of collaboration will be the legitimate expression of Truth.

Freemasonry sustains that every  man is responsible for himself and before himself for his moral and humanistic formation; this belief allows him to coexist with true brotherhood, free of detrimental selfishness, contributing towards the improvement of all peoples and thus, humanity itself. Consequently he is responsible before his conscience and the Great Architect for the Universe.

Freemasonry has Truth as an emblem. In its search it urges its followers to take all human knowledge and “ integrate it”; that is to say it deals with science, philosophy and religion, without imposing limits or partiality in any way. As its method of teaching is INTEGRAL, it looks for the logical balance for all its physical, moral, sensible, intellectual and spiritual knowledge.

Masonry has its own philosophical method of education, it is peculiar and different, differing completely from those taught by the profane systems. It has been brought through the centuries, in a unique and structured form, both resembling and functioning as nature. It is therefore a body, an immutable and unmodifiable organism. It varies with the times and epochs solely in its interpretation or application.

The base of the Scottish Rite is the Master Mason degree granted by the symbolic Lodges through the legend of the Third Degree. Its lessons deepen and extend the ideological content that it has assumed, showing its desire to devote itself to this ideological content, to its own moral and intellectual perfection.

The Scottish Rite is governed by the SUPREME COUNCIL of the United States of the Sovereign Grand Inspectors General for the 33rd and Last DEGREE, Western Jurisdiction, this being its only regulating and legislating power in its jurisdiction and domain. This Supreme Council is constituted and integrated by recognized and freely accepted Sovereign Grand Inspectors General of the 33rd Degree.

The Scottish Rite  appears as the only wise force, equipped with effective and efficient elements, that capable of confronting  the fight for the happiness of man, and thus, of humanity. In this sense the work developed in the lodges must be done in groups, in such a way that in our contacts with the profane world we are the bearers of a message of concord and of peace, providing an example of moral conduct to our fellow man which, insignificant as it may be, when repeated by all members of the Order, adds up to cause a palpable impact.

The Scottish Rite  recognizes the existence of MASONIC ETHICS, as a product of the intimate conviction of moral principles whose fulfillment is not conditioned nor motivated by its consequences. The Scottish Rite accurately recognizes the characteristic signs, typical of it’s sublime ethics, and obliges its followers to teach them to the world in order to fill the emptiness left by the disappearance of the profane moral. The election of these aspects requires knowledge, demands valuation and imputes responsibility.

In addition, because of its principles, Scottish Rite Freemasonry tends to establish itself as a leader in those communities in which it has ascendancy, and it must struggle to achieve success within the margins set down by its principles.                       

Scottish Rite Freemasonry must set itself up as an effective force to help the preservation of peace, of good will and of brotherhood between the peoples of the world.

Freemasonry by its nature and mission is universal and it does not favor any particular culture or any political, economic or social system.  Therefore it is possible for a close bond to exist between the different communities of men and nations, provided they respect us, have confidence in us and guarantee true freedom to our order to carry out its masonic activities and its mission.

Scottish Rite Freemasonry maintains and will maintain its independence of free thought. It will have unrestricted relations with all similar institutions, without this limiting its relations proper to the State and the laws of the State thus allowed.

Scottish Rite Freemasonry respects all that it does, and works towards a possible internal evolution of man, in order to reach a universal brotherhood.

The Scottish Rite is a simple, wise and hierarchic Rite, with its transcendental philosophy based on the codifying of the Great Constitutions of 1762 and 1786 and the Great Agreement of Lausanne and with the agreements  reached in the Conferences of Supreme Councils of the world, and the agreements of the subsequent conferences of Supreme Councils. It respects and maintains  the Ancient Land Marks and accepts their immanent value without any objection.

The Scottish Rite is made up of the 4th to 33rd degrees leaving it clearly established that there can only be one single Supreme Council in the country, with all the faculties and attributions outlined in its constituent norm. This includes  the legislative, legal and administrative bodies. Its composition is as follows: 


Lodge of Perfection            

  4º   Secret Master.
  5º   Perfect Master.
  6º   Intimate Secretary or English Master.
  7º   Provost and Judge or Irish Teacher.
  8º   Intendant of the Buildings.
  9º   Elect of the Nine or Perfect Elect Mason.
10º   Elect of the Fifteen.
11º   Elect of the Twelve.
12º   Master Architect.
13º   Royal Arch of Solomon
14º   Grand Elect, Perfect and Sublime Mason
 
Chapter of the Rose Croix

15º   Knight of the East or the Sword.
16º   Prince of Jerusalem.
17º   Knight of the East and the West.
18º   Knight Rose Croix. 


 Chapter of  the Kadosh

  

19º   Grand Pontiff or Sublime Scot.
20º   Master Ad-Vítam.
21º   Noachite or Prussian Knight.
22º   Prince of the Libanus or Knight of the Royal Axe.
23º   Chief of the Tabernacle.
24º   Prince of the Tabernacle.
25º   Knight of the Brazen Serpent.
26º   Prince of Mercy or Scottish Trinitarian.
27º   Knight Commander of the Temple.
28º   Knight of the Sun or Prince Adept.
29º   Scottish Knight of Saint Andrew.
30º   Knight Kadosch or Knight of the White and Black Eagle.

                    
Consistory
    

31º   Grand Inspector Inquisitor Commander.
32º   Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret. 

      

Court of Honor   

33º   Sovereign Grand Inspector General.

Supreme Council

33º   Sovereign Grand Commander                            

33º   Council of the Great Nine - Sovereign Inspectors Generals

              Ordo ab Chao

"Anno Luci" The Scottish Rite date which means "In the year of light".


One of our many Scottish Rite missions are to save endangered species.
The Egyptian Mau Rescue Organization - www.emaurescue.org
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