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Structure of the Degrees within Freemasonry

Freemasonry provides opportunities for sincere, honest, forthright men who want to contribute to the improvement of Themselves and of their communities. Through our Masonic fraternalism, we reaffirm our dedication and unity to become involved citizens who have a strong desire to preserve the values that have continued and will continue, to make America great.

In the Northern Jurisdiction, U.S.A., Scottish Rite degree work is carried on within the; Lodge of Perfection, 4 - 14;Council of Princes of Jerusalem, 15 - 16; Chapter of Rose Croix, 17 - 18, Consistory, 19 - 32 and 33 Sovereign Grand Inspector General

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Symbolic Degrees

1 Entered Apprentice
2 Fellow Craft
3 Master Mason

Conferred in a Symbolic or "Blue" Lodge under the jurisdiction of a recognized Grand Lodge of Masons

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Ineffable Degrees

4 Secret Master
5 Perfect Master
6 Intimate Secretary
7 Provost and Judge
8 Intendant of the Building
9 Master Elect of Nine
10 Elect of Fifteen
11 Sublime Master Elected
12 Grand Master Architect
13 Master of the Ninth Arch
14 Grand Elect Mason

Conferred in a "Lodge of Perfection"

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Historical Degrees

15 Knight of the East, or Sword
16 Prince of Jerusalem

Conferred in a "Council of Princes of Jerusalem"

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Philosophical Degrees

17 Knight of the East and West
18 Knight of the Rose Croix of H.R.D.M.

Conferred in a "Chapter of Rose Croix" Degrees

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Traditional and Chivalric Degrees

19 Grand Pontiff
20 Master ad Vitam
21 Patriarch Noachite
22 Prince of Libanus
23 Chief of the Tabernacle
24 Prince of The Tabernacle
25 Knight of the Brazen Serpent
26 Prince of Mercy
27 Commander of the Temple
28 Knight of the Sun
29 Knight of St. Andrew
30 Grand Elect Knight Kadosh
31 Grand Inspector Inquisitor Commander
32 Sublime Prince of The Royal Secret

Conferred in a "Consistory" of the Royal Secret

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Official Degree

33 Sovereign Grand Inspector General - This Degree is conferred by the Supreme Council upon Freemasons of the 32 in recognition of distinguished Masonic or Public service. It cannot be applied for, but is conferred by invitation only.

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1 Entered Apprentice. This degree begins a mans journey into freemasonry and represents youth

2 Fellowcraft. This degree symbolizes man in adulthood and represents work

3 Master Mason. This degree represents man in old age and relates to wisdom

4 Secret Master. In this degree, the dignity of fidelity and integrity is demonstrated.

5 Perfect Maser. This degree teaches that unworthy ambitions are corruptive and destructive to the man who forgets his duty to family, country and God

6 Intimate Secretary. This degree shows that a man who is trustworthy can survive false accusations

7 Provost and Judge. This degree teaches that Truth prevails, and Justice triumphs, tempered with mercy and forgiveness

8 Intendant of the Building. This degree symbolizes that the personal goal of title and position can cause strife

9 Master Elect of Nine. This degree teaches that Truth often emerges from the clash of opinions, and to look at life and duty and God through the minds of others who do not share the same religious faith

10 Master Elect of Fifteen. This degree uses the symbolism of Solomon's life and that his pride prevented him from asking for forgiveness

11 Sublime Master Elected. This degree emphasizes virtue of good citizenship and that a man should ever be loyal, brave and courageous in the conviction that right will eventually prevail

12 Grand Master Architect. This degree teaches that the quality of Mercy through a spirit of compassion and a tenderness of heart will enable one to overlook injuries, or to treat the offender better than they deserve

13 Master of the Ninth Arch. This degree portrays the history and legend of Enoch and prepares the candidate for the 14 degree

14 Grand Elect Mason. This degree describes the constant endeavor of perfection of character

15 Knight of the East or Sword. This degree shows the important lesson by the example of Zerubbabel, of loyalty to conviction, fidelity to duty, and devotion to Truth

16 Prince of Jerusalem. This degree is a drama of the rewards found in the lessons of the 15 degree

17 Knight of the East and West. This degree teaches that one should learn from, and avoid repeating, the errors of the past

18 Knight of the Rose Croix of H.R.D.M.. In this degree, the principles of tolerance are affirmed and grants to each man the right to answer, in his own way, his convictions

19 Grand Pontiff. This degree proclaims the spiritual unity of all who believe in God and cherish the hope of immortality, no matter what religious leader they follow or what creed they profess. It is concerned primarily with the perennial conflict between light and darkness, good and evil, God and Satan.

20 Master ad Vitam. This degree is a drama of the American spirit confronting the challenge of disloyalty and treason. Masonic principles and leadership are subjected to a crucial test. The degree demonstrates the Masonic condemnation of all who conspire against the security of the nation and the happiness of our people.

21 Patriarch Noachite. This degree teaches that Freemasonry is not a shield for evil doing and that justice is one of the chief supports of our fraternity.

22 Prince of Libanus. In this degree, the dignity of labor is demonstrated. It is no curse, but a privilege, for man to be allowed to earn his sustenance by work. Idleness, not labor, is disgraceful.

23 Chief of the Tabernacle. This degree teaches that those with faith in God and love for their fellow man will make great sacrifices to help others.

24 Prince of the Tabernacle. This degree teaches that a mutual belief in a Supreme Power should bind all men together in a world-wide brotherhood.

25 Knight of the Brazen Serpent. This degree teaches that there are desert stretches in every individual life in the history of every nation, with a resultant breakdown of discipline and loss of faith. This degree is a clarion call to faith-in ourselves, in each other, and in God.

26 Prince of Mercy. This degree teaches the quality of mercy; that it is a spirit of compassion and a tenderness of heart which dispose us to overlook injuries and to treat an offender better than he deserves.

27 Commander of the Temple. This degree teaches that Scottish Rite Freemasonry believes in the concept of a free church in a free state, each supreme in its own sphere, neither seeking to dominate the other, but cooperating for the common good.

28 Knight of the Sun. This degree using the symbolism of the tools and implements of architecture teaches that by building high moral character among its adherents, Freemasonry may advance man's determined quest for the achievement of unity and good will throughout the world.

29 Knight of St. Andrew. This degree emphasizes the Masonic teachings of equality and toleration. We are reminded that no one man, no one Church, no one religion, has a monopoly of truth; that while we must be true and faithful to our own convictions, we must respect the opinions of others.

30 Grand Elect Knight Kadosh. This degree sets forth the tests and ceremonies that symbolize the experiences we must undergo in the building of excellence in character.

31 Grand Inspector Inquisitor Commander. This degree teaches that we should give every man the benefit of innocence and purity of intentions. He who would judge others must first judge himself.

32 Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret. This degree describes the victory of the spiritual over the human in man and the conquest of appetites and passions by moral sense and reason. The exemplar represents every Freemason eager to serve humanity but caught between self-interest and the call of duty. Duty often requires sacrifice, sometimes the supreme sacrifice.


Used with permission of  the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, Valley of Toledo


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