Different Levels Of Freemasonry

Freemasonry is an ancient and honorable fraternal organization with a rich history and tradition, and is composed of individuals from varying backgrounds and beliefs. Freemasonry has several levels of membership, each with its own requirements and rituals. The three main degrees of Freemasonry are Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason. The journey through the degrees of Freemasonry is called a “degree work”. Each degree has its own unique symbolism and ritual that must be learned in order to progress to the next level. The higher degrees of Freemasonry are often referred to as “additional degrees” or “side degrees”. These additional degrees include the Scottish Rite, York Rite, Royal Arch Masonry, Mark Masonry, Knight Templar Masonry, and more. Each additional degree has its own symbolism and rituals that are separate from the three main degrees of Freemasonry. Freemasonry offers brotherhood and fellowship between members through shared values such as brotherly love, relief, truth, charity, faithfulness to promises made to one another, respect for the law of the land in which they live, personal integrity in their lives outside of their Masonic lodge meetings or activities.

The Three Degrees of Freemasonry are the foundational degrees of the entire Masonic system. These three degrees are Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and Master Mason. The Entered Apprentice degree is the first step in a Freemason’s journey and is focused on introducing him to the basic principles and teachings of the craft. The Fellowcraft degree builds upon these teachings, while providing greater insight into Masonic history and symbolism. The Master Mason degree is the highest level of attainment for any Freemason, as it focuses on teaching him how to apply the principles of Freemasonry in his everyday life.

The Entered Apprentice Degree

The Entered Apprentice Degree is the first of three degrees that make up the Masonic Fraternity. This degree teaches a man moral and ethical lessons to build character. It is also an introduction to the symbolism of Freemasonry. In some ways, this degree can be seen as a rite of passage as it marks the beginning of a journey into Freemasonry.

Here are some of the key elements of the Entered Apprentice Degree:

  • Symbolic teachings
  • A moral code
  • Rite of passage
  • A solemn oath
  • Initiation into Freemasonry

The Entered Apprentice Degree is a symbolic initiation ritual that teaches men moral and ethical principles through symbols and allegory. The ritual includes a solemn oath in which the initiate swears to uphold his moral obligations and duties as a Mason. During this degree, men learn about the history, symbols, and rituals associated with Freemasonry. They also learn about the importance of brotherly love, charity, loyalty, respect for one another, and other virtues that are essential for good character.

In addition to learning about these virtues, men also learn about the symbolism within Freemasonry. This includes symbolic representations in architecture, implements used in Masonic rituals, and even some costumes worn by Masons during special ceremonies or events. Through understanding these symbols, Masons can gain insight into deeper spiritual truths and philosophical concepts.

The Entered Apprentice Degree marks an important milestone in one’s journey into Freemasonry. It is a rite of passage that marks the entrance into an exclusive fraternity with its own set of values and traditions. After completing this degree, members will be able to move onto other degrees such as Fellow Craft or Master Mason Degrees where they can continue their Masonic education.

What is the Fellowcraft Degree?

The Fellowcraft Degree is the second of three degrees in a Freemasonry Lodge. This degree enables a man to become a full-fledged Mason, and it symbolizes the transition from apprentice to journeyman. It is also known as the “Journeyman’s Degree” because it focuses on furthering the knowledge and skills of the mason, as well as learning how to use those skills in service to others. The Fellowcraft degree is focused on morality, virtue, and charity.

Symbols of the Degree

The Fellowcraft degree has several symbols associated with it which are used to illustrate important lessons. These symbols include a 24-inch gauge, compasses, plumb rule, level, hourglass, scythe, and spade. The 24-inch gauge symbolizes how one should measure out their time so that all tasks are completed with efficiency and care. The compasses represent moral restraint and circumspection while the plumb rule symbolizes righteousness and uprightness of character. The level teaches us that we should strive for equality among all people no matter their social station or circumstances while the hourglass symbolizes life’s fleeting nature and encourages us to make good use of our limited time here on earth. The scythe reminds us that death will eventually come for all men no matter their station in life while the spade teaches us that we should be prepared for our eventual demise by having done good works for others in our lifetime.

Rituals of the Degree

The rituals associated with this degree involve lectures which teach about moral lessons related to hard work, charity, justice, brotherly love and faithfulness among other topics. There are also symbolic demonstrations such as being blindfolded during part of the ritual which serves to illustrate how man can be blind to truth when he fails to search within himself and seek knowledge from others who are wiser than him. There is also an obligation taken by those receiving this degree which serves as a commitment to uphold these moral teachings in their daily lives and serve humanity selflessly without thought to personal gain or recognition.

In reflection, there are many symbolic elements associated with this degree which serve to illustrate important moral lessons about hard work, charity, justice, brotherly love and faithfulness among other topics.

The History of the Master Mason Degree

The Master Mason degree is the third and final degree given to a freemason in the Ancient York Rite. The degree is known as the “Sublime Degree of a Master Mason” and is the culmination of the mason’s journey in Freemasonry. It is believed to be one of the oldest Masonic degrees, with its origins dating back to 1717.

In the York Rite, a mason is required to go through three degrees before becoming a Master Mason. These are known as Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and then finally Master Mason. After successfully completing these three degrees, a mason can then take part in other Masonic organizations such as Scottish Rite or Shriners International.

The history of the Master Mason Degree is shrouded in mystery and speculation, but it is widely accepted that it has been around since at least 1717, when it was first mentioned by James Anderson in his Constitutions of Free-Masonry. In this book, Anderson outlined the ritual for initiation into Freemasonry which included what would become known as the Master Mason Degree.

It is believed that there were other versions of this degree prior to Anderson’s book, but unfortunately no records exist of them so their exact content remains unknown. The rituals described by Anderson have remained largely unchanged until today.

The content of the degree focuses on morality and ethics and includes teachings on how a person should conduct themselves in life and how they should treat their fellow man. This emphasis on moral behavior has been a part of Freemasonry since its inception and has been passed down from generation to generation for centuries.

Today, there are numerous variations on these rituals depending on which Masonic lodge you visit but all versions focus on teaching their members how to be good citizens who uphold moral values in their everyday lives. The degree also serves as an important reminder for all Masons that they should always strive towards improvement and self-betterment throughout their lives.

At its core, the purpose of the Master Mason Degree is to remind us that we should live our lives with honor and integrity while looking out for our fellow man. It also serves as an important reminder that we should always strive for personal growth no matter where we are in life or where we may go next.

The importance placed upon this degree within Freemasonry cannot be understated; becoming a master mason marks an individual’s journey into becoming a true freemason who understands his duties not only to himself but to his brethren and society at large too.

In summary, it can be said that the Master Mason Degree has been an important part of Freemasonry since its earliest beginnings over 300 years ago and continues to be an important part of many Masonic lodges today.

Overview of the Scottish Rite Degrees

The Scottish Rite Degrees are a set of advanced degrees offered by the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. The degrees are separated into four “bodies”, each consisting of several degrees. The first body is the Lodge of Perfection, which consists of the 4th through 14th degrees. The second body is the Council of Princes of Jerusalem, which consists of the 15th and 16th degrees. The third body is the Chapter Rose Croix, which consists of the 17th through 30th degrees. Therefore, there is the Consistory, which includes the 31st and 32nd-degree rituals. Each degree teaches different lessons to its participants and can be taken in any order depending on availability.

Lodge Of Perfection

The Lodge Of Perfection comprises 13 degrees from 4° to 14°. These are known as “inherent” or “inherentive” degrees because they focus on developing a deeper understanding of oneself and one’s relationship with others and with God. The ritualistic work for these degrees is performed in a closed lodge setting and requires a certain level of proficiency in Masonic ritual before being admitted into this body.

Council Of Princes Of Jerusalem

The Council Of Princes Of Jerusalem consist of two higher-level philosophical degrees — 15° and 16° — that focus on ethical principles such as honor, justice, truth, faithfulness, courage, industry, temperance and charity. The rituals associated with these two degrees are more elaborate than those associated with the Lodge Of Perfection’s lower-level rituals and require a high degree of proficiency in Masonic ritual before admission can be granted to this body.

Chapter Rose Croix

The Chapter Rose Croix consists of 14 additional higher-level philosophical degrees — 17° through 30° — that explore topics such as philosophy, religion, history and morality from an esoteric perspective. These rituals are highly symbolic in nature and often require several weeks or months to complete depending on the individual’s level of mastery over Masonic ritual work before admission can be granted to this body.


The Consistory includes two additional highest-level philosophical or chivalric rites — 31° and 32° — that focus on developing leadership skills necessary for being an effective leader within Freemasonry as well as in other areas where leadership is required in life such as business or government service. Admission into this body requires an even higher level of proficiency over Masonic ritual work compared to other bodies before being admitted into it.

History of the York Rite Degrees

The York Rite is a Masonic Rite that consists of various degrees and orders. It is one of the most widely accepted Masonic rites, and its origins can be traced back to the 18th century. The York Rite includes three separate divisions: the Royal Arch, Cryptic Masonry, and Knights Templar. Each of these divisions has its own set of degrees and orders that are conferred in order to progress through the York Rite.

The Royal Arch consists of four degrees: Mark Master Mason, Past Master, Most Excellent Master, and Royal Arch Mason. These four degrees are concerned with the rebuilding of King Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem. The symbolism and teachings included in these degrees are based on this theme.

Cryptic Masonry consists of three degrees: Royal Master, Select Master, and Super Excellent Master. These three degrees focus on the legends of a secret vault beneath King Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem. The symbolism and teachings associated with these degrees center around this theme.

The Knights Templar is the final division within the York Rite. It is comprised of two orders: Order of the Red Cross and Order of Malta. These two orders focus on teaching Christian virtues and ethical behavior to Freemasons. The symbolism associated with these two orders revolves around Christian themes such as faith, hope, charity, fortitude, justice, etc.

In addition to these various divisions and orders within the York Rite, there are also a variety of other organizations associated with it such as appendant bodies such as Grand Lodges or Grotto groups. These organizations provide additional opportunities for fellowship among Freemasons who have reached a certain level within their respective rites.

The rituals associated with each degree within the York Rite are designed to teach moral lessons to its members about virtue and ethical behavior while also providing an opportunity for fellowship among those who have achieved a certain degree or order within their respective rite.

The history of the York Rite dates back centuries ago when it was first developed by Freemasons in England as an extension to the traditional Craft Masonry lodges that were already established at that time. Since then it has grown in popularity throughout Europe before eventually making its way to America where it is now one of the most popular Masonic rites among American Freemasons today.

History of Shriners

The Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (Shriners) is a fraternal organization that was formed in 1870 in New York City. The Shriners are an offshoot of Freemasonry, and they use many of the same symbols and rituals as their parent organization. The Shriners have a long tradition of charitable work, and they are known for their distinctive red fez hats. The membership is open to any man who is a Master Mason, and they must be sponsored by two current members. Once they are accepted, members can go through several degrees of initiation to become full members.

Requirements to be a Member

In order to become a Shriner, a man must first be a member of the Masonic Lodge. This means that he must have gone through all three degrees of Freemasonry – Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craftsman, and Master Mason – before he can apply for membership in the Shriners. After that, he must be sponsored by two current members in good standing before being accepted into the fraternity.

Shrine Degrees

Once accepted into the fraternity, new members go through several degrees or levels of initiation. These degrees include: Ceremonial Master, Past Master, Most Excellent Master, Royal Arch Captain, Royal Arch Masonry Associate Patroness, Knight Templar Priestly Order Of St. John Of Jerusalem and finally Ancient Arabic Order Of The Nobles Of The Mystic Shrine (Shriners). Each degree has its own ceremonies and rituals which involve oaths and pledges made to uphold certain values and principles associated with the fraternity. Once all these steps have been completed, the member officially becomes a full member of the fraternity and can wear the red fez hat which is associated with it.

The purpose of these degrees is not only to initiate new members into the fraternity but also to teach them about its values and history while instilling in them an appreciation for brotherhood and service to others. It also serves as an opportunity for current members to deepen their understanding of Masonic principles while strengthening their bonds with one another. Therefore, it gives new members an opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to helping others as well as contributing positively within their own communities.

The Ancient Arabic Order Of The Nobles Of The Mystic Shrine (Shriners) is an organization built on strong traditions that encourage brotherhood among its members while instilling in them values such as service to others and respect for each other’s differences. By going through different levels or degrees of initiation it helps them understand more deeply what it means to belong to such an organization while giving them an opportunity to contribute positively within their own communities.


Grotto Degrees

The Mystic Order of Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm (the Grotto) is a highly exclusive organization that offers its members degrees in various fields. Grotto degrees are awarded to those who have completed a rigorous program of study and have demonstrated mastery of the subject. The Grotto Degree program includes:

• Initiation: All prospective members must undergo an extensive Initiation process before they can be admitted into the Order. This includes taking a series of tests, participating in rituals, and receiving instruction from experienced members.

• Degrees: After successful completion of the Initiation process, candidates are eligible to receive various degrees, depending on their field of study. Degrees range from the basic Associate degree, through to more advanced Master and Doctoral level qualifications.

• Recognition: All Grotto degrees are recognized by external organizations and employers, making them valuable credentials for those seeking employment or advancement in their chosen profession.

• Prestige: As well as providing valuable qualifications for employment purposes, Grotto degrees also signify status within the Order itself. Those with higher level qualifications are seen as respected members and leaders within the organization.

The Mystic Order of Veiled Prophets is a unique organization that provides its members with access to exclusive knowledge and expertise in many different fields. Through its rigorous degree program, it ensures that only those who have demonstrated true mastery are able to receive its prestigious qualifications.

Final Words On Different Levels Of Freemasonry

The degrees of Freemasonry have been around for hundreds of years, and yet the mystery and allure of their rituals and teachings still captivate many people. From the Entered Apprentice to the 33rd degree, each level has its own unique set of beliefs, symbols, and values that are shared within the Masonic Order. At each degree, members learn more about the history, philosophy, and culture of Freemasonry.

The journey through these degrees is one that is filled with symbolism, ritual, and a deeper understanding of one’s self. It is a personal journey that can lead to greater spiritual enlightenment and a better understanding of the universe as a whole. There is no one right way to go about achieving these goals but rather it is up to each individual Mason to discover their own path.

In summation, Freemasonry offers numerous levels for its members to explore. Each step along this path offers something new and unique for each person to experience. The journey itself can be an enlightening one as it helps individuals gain a greater understanding of themselves, their beliefs, and the world around them. Ultimately it’s up to each individual Mason to decide what level they choose to pursue in order to become part of this ancient order.

Freemasonry is an organization with many different layers which offer insight into how we view life’s greatest questions. As we explore the different degrees, we discover more about ourselves in terms of our beliefs and values while also learning about a shared culture and history among Masons all over the world. Through exploring Freemasonry’s different levels we gain an understanding not only of ourselves but also of our connection with others in our communities and beyond.

Esoteric Freemasons