The Scottish Rite Creed

"The cause of human progress is our cause, the enfranchisement of human thought our supreme wish, the freedom of human conscience our mission, and the guarantee of equal rights to all peoples everywhere, the end of our contention."


The two "Rites" of Freemasonry are generally recognized; the "York Rite", which many think should more properly be called the American Rite (Royal Arch Chapters, Councils of Royal and Select Masters, Commanderies) and the "Scottish Rite" of thirty three degrees. Both Rites have their roots in symbolic Masonry, and no man in the United States, Canada, England, Ireland or Scotland may be initiated into either York or Scottish Rite who is not already a member of a Constituent Lodge of Masons.

While the Scottish Rite has thirty-three degrees, numbered from 1 to 33, the Supreme Councils of the English speaking countries do not assume any authority over the first three degrees where there exists a Grand Lodge which adheres to the Landmarks of freemasonry and continues regular, legitimate and duly constituted and which refrains from interfering with the administration of the Fourth to Thirty-third Degrees inclusive by the Supreme Council. The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite goes so deeply into the past for much of its symbolism and philosophy that its origins are lost in the mists of antiquity from which emerges history.

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Frequently Asked Question about Masonry and Scottish Rite Masonry.

What is the Scottish Rite?

The Scottish Rite is a Masonic organization that continues a Master Masonâ€education of the first three degrees. The Scottish Rite consists of the 4th through 32nd Degree and an honorary 33rd, which is awarded for exceptional service.

Other examples of Masonic affiliated organizations are: The Shrine (Shriners); York Rite; Grotto; Eastern Star, DeMolay International, Jobs Daughters, International Order of Rainbow for Girls and the Tall Cedars of Lebanon.

Why isthe Scottish Rite Building it called call a "House of the Temple?

The name House of the Temple is traditionally associated to the word Heredom, a significant word in high degree freemasonry, a derivation of which, suggests the Greek words hieros-domos, meaning Holy House, thus referring to the Temple of Solomon, which is central to Masonic ritual and symbolism.

Is Freemasonry a religion?

No! While it is a requirement that each member believe in a Supreme Being, it is not important how one expresses that very personal belief. Further, there is no dogmatic system in Freemasonry. However, confusion about the secular nature of Freemasonry has been a common misconception for many years.

Most likely, this misconception is due to the Holy Book that sits on the altar in the middle of a Masonic lodge. This Holy Book does not have to be Christian, like the Bible, rather it can be any Holy Book that is important to the members of the lodge. In the U.S. where the population is mostly Christian, the Holy Book most often used in Lodges is the King James Version of the Bible.

Is Freemasonry or the Scottish Rite a secret society?

Absolutely not, the Scottish Rite and other forms of Freemasonry operate very much in the open with many events open to the public. There are modes of recognition (passwords and handshakes) that represent a Masons ability to keep a promise.

How can I join? Do I have to be invited?

Freemasonry is a fraternity (for men) whose membership must be sought by the candidate. So, in other words, to be a Mason, one must ask a Mason how to become a member.

Do I have to be Scottish to join the Scottish Rite?

No. The Scottish Rite degrees actually originated in France and were based on legends that came from Scotland, so Scottish is in name only.

How many people belong to the Scottish Rite?

There are about 1.7 million Masons in the United States and about 550,000 of those are Scottish Rite Masons.

What do all the symbols mean?

There are simply too many symbols used in Masonry to explain them all, but probably the most common symbol people see is the square and compasses. The square reminds Masons to square their actions by the square of virtue, and the compasses remind them to circumscribe their passions. In other words, Masons are reminded to keep their actions virtuous and their passions in control. Additionally, in the U.S. there is usually a in the middle of the square and compass symbol. This letter stands for geometry and God and reminds Masons that geometry was central to the stone mason life as God should be to his.

What is the official name of the Supreme Council?

The name of the Supreme Council reveals history, tradition, and accomplishment. The official, full name of this Supreme Council is: The Supreme Council (Mother Council of the World) of the Inspectors General Knights Commander of the House of the Temple of Solomon of the Thirty-third degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry of the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States of America.

What is the name of Scottish Rite Masonry in New Mexico?

In Scottish Rite Masonry each jurisdiction (state) is referred to as an "Orient" thus our term for the State of New Mexico - "Orient of New Mexico"

In New Mexico there are two Scottish Rite Temples, one in Santa Fe and one in Las Cruces, and these are referred to as the Vallleys. So we have the Valley of Santa Fe and the Valley of Las Cruces.

What are the caps for?

If the apron .is the "badge of a Mason" in the Blue Lodge, the cap can be said to be the public badge of a Scottish Rite Mason. In our Order, the cap is both a prayer cap in the Jewish tradition and a symbol of the Scottish Rite Mason as a soldier in the "Empire of Intellect, Reason, Philosophy, and Wise Morality" (32°). Similarly, a cap was worn by English knights, including the Templars, and was later given a military significance by British regimental soldiers in the 19th century. The Supreme Council adopted the present caps in 1927.

The Cap of a 32° Scottish Rite MasonThe Cap of Fifty Year Member of the Scottish Rite

Red Cap.50The Cap of a 32° who has been honored as a Knight Commander of the Court of Honor. KCCH

White Hat. 50The Cap of a 33° Inspector General Honorary Scottish Rite Mason who has been Honored for his work in the Scottish Rite, for outstanding Community Service, or for Outstanding Service to his Country. This is known as 33° Inspector General Honorary

SGIG.Cap.50The Cap of the SGIG, This would be a 33° Scottish Rite Mason who has been elected to the Governing Council of the Supreme Council and acting as the Leader of the Orient in which he governs. SGIG being the initials for the title of Sovereign Grand Inspector General.

What does the Fourteenth Degree Ring mean?

The Scottish Rite Fourteenth degree ring is a flat, plain band of gold, and embossed thereon is a plate in the form of an equilateral triangle and within the triangle is the Hebrew letter yud, the initial letters of Jehovah in Hebrew (yud he vau he). Inside the ring is inscribed the Fourteenth Degree Motto: Virtus Junxit, Mors Non Separabit (Virtue has united and death shall not separate). The rings circle expresses the unbreakable fraternal bond between Masons of all generations. Upon the death of the owner, the ring should go into the hands of his widow, eldest son, the friend who was loved above all others, or another Scottish Rite Mason.

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The University of Freemasonry - Scottish Rite Bodies

The "University of Freemasonry" is divided into four bodies, each representing a theme of instructions for the Candidate to study, learn, and inculcate into his every day living.  These four bodies are the:
 Lodge of Perfection

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.

 Chapter Rose Croix

Chapter 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.

 Council of Kadosh

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.

"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

 Consistory

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!

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

 

Court of Honour

  The Scottish Rite confers a number of honors upon members who have contributed extraordinary service to the Rite, to Masonry in general, and to the world at large.

 

 

The 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!

 


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.

 The 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.

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