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.