Masonic Ladder Degrees


Masonic Ladder Degrees are a series of symbolic degrees, or steps, that Freemasons climb to become Masters of the Craft. Each degree builds on the preceding one and is related to a particular level of knowledge and understanding. The degrees are divided into three categories: Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and Master Mason. By progressing through each degree, the Freemason gains an increased understanding of the principles and teachings of the Masonic Order. Through these degrees, Freemasons learn the importance of working together in harmony towards a common goal and the importance of charity, morality, and brotherly love. By gaining knowledge through these degrees, Freemasons can better serve their community and help others in need.

Masonic Ladder Degrees are the various levels of achievement that a Freemason can obtain in their journey through the Masonic Order. The degrees typically start at the Entered Apprentice Degree, which is followed by the Fellow Craft Degree and then the Master Mason Degree. After these three foundational degrees, a Freemason can choose to pursue additional Masonic degrees, such as the Mark Master, Past Master, Most Excellent Master, and Royal Arch Mason degrees. Beyond these seven degrees are further advanced levels of Masonic learning, such as those found in Cryptic Masonry, Chivalric Orders, and Shrine Masonry. Each degree carries with it its own set of lessons and symbols that help to reinforce the core values of Freemasonry: Brotherly Love, Relief (charity), and Truth.

Introduction to Blue Lodge Degrees

Blue Lodge degrees are the first three degrees of Freemasonry, which are Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft and Master Mason. They are the most important and recognized degrees in Freemasonry and are usually the only degrees conferred in a regular Masonic lodge. The purpose of the Blue Lodge degrees is to teach moral lessons through symbolic rituals. Here is a brief overview of each degree:

Entered Apprentice Degree

The Entered Apprentice degree is the first degree of Freemasonry. It teaches the candidate about self-improvement and morality. The ritual involves entering an anteroom in a symbolic search for knowledge, learning about Masonic symbols, and being obligated to live a life based on Masonic principles.

Fellowcraft Degree

The Fellowcraft degree is the second degree of Freemasonry. It teaches candidates about fellowship with others, morality, and self-improvement. The ritual involves learning more Masonic symbols, being obligated to live a life based on Masonic principles, and being tested on their knowledge of Masonry.

Master Mason Degree

The Master Mason degree is the third and final degree of Freemasonry. It teaches candidates about self-improvement, morality, truthfulness, and charity. The ritual involves learning more Masonic symbols, being obligated to live a life based on Masonic principles, and being tested on their knowledge of Masonry. After passing this test they are given full membership into the fraternity as a Master Mason.

Each Blue Lodge Degree provides important lessons for its members that can be applied to everyday life. Through these lessons members learn how to be better individuals as well as better citizens in society as a whole.

What is the York Rite?

The York Rite is a system of Masonic degrees that are an offshoot of the traditional Blue Lodges of Freemasonry. It is one of the two main branches, along with the Scottish Rite, of Freemasonry. The York Rite includes three main bodies: the Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, which confers four degrees; the Council of Royal & Select Masters, which confers three degrees; and finally, the Commandery of Knights Templar, which confers four additional chivalric orders. Together these seven degrees make up what is known as the York Rite Degrees.

The Chapter Degrees

The Chapter Degrees are conferred by a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons and consist of four separate degrees: Mark Master Mason, Past Master, Most Excellent Master and Royal Arch Mason. The Mark Master Mason degree teaches moral lessons through a series of allegorical scenes set in a quarry where stone masons work on building King Solomon’s Temple. The Past Master degree focuses on character building and leadership skills. The Most Excellent Master degree emphasizes the importance of brotherly love and trust between Masons. Therefore, in the Royal Arch Mason degree, candidates receive instruction in advanced Masonic teachings related to ancient wisdom and symbolism.

The Council Degrees

The Council Degrees are conferred by a Council of Royal & Select Masters and consist of three separate degrees: Royal Master, Select Master and Super Excellent Master. The Royal Master degree focuses on loyalty to one’s fellow man and teaches important lessons about humility and service to others. The Select Master degree teaches more advanced spiritual truths through allegorical scenes from King Solomon’s Temple. Therefore, in the Super Excellent Master degree candidates learn more about how to live their lives according to Masonic principles.

The Commandery Orders

The Commandery Orders are conferred by a Commandery or Knights Templar an consist of four separate chivalric orders:

What is Scottish Rite?

Scottish Rite is a branch of Freemasonry, a fraternal organization that has been around for centuries. It’s a brotherhood of like-minded individuals who strive to better themselves and their communities. The Scottish Rite is divided into two parts: the Lodge of Perfection and the Consistory. The Lodge of Perfection consists of four to fourteen degrees, while the Consistory consists of fifteen to thirty-two degrees.


The Scottish Rite originated in France in the late 18th century and was brought to America by French immigrant Jean Baptiste de Poncet in 1801. It was established in the United States by Albert Pike in 1859. Since then, it has grown into an international organization with lodges all over the world.


The Scottish Rite is comprised of two main bodies: The Lodge of Perfection and the Supreme Council. The Lodge of Perfection consists of four to fourteen degrees, while the Supreme Council consists of fifteen to thirty-two degrees. Each degree has its own ritual and lecture that members must learn before they can progress to the next degree.


The purpose of the Scottish Rite is to promote fellowship among its members, as well as self-improvement through education and charitable works. Members strive to improve themselves spiritually, mentally, and physically through study, practice, and service projects. Through their work in the community, they hope to make a positive difference in people’s lives. They also aim to foster understanding between members from different backgrounds and cultures by holding meetings and events that bring them together.


Membership in the Scottish Rite provides a number of benefits for its members including social interaction with like-minded individuals; access to exclusive lectures on various topics; opportunities for personal growth; networking opportunities; and access to exclusive publications such as books, magazines, videos, etc., on various topics related to Freemasonry or other related subjects. Additionally, members are eligible for various scholarships based on their performance within their lodge or other Masonic bodies they may belong to such as Shrine or York Rite etc..

What is Royal Arch Masonry?

Royal Arch Masonry is the oldest and most important of all the Masonic degrees. It is sometimes referred to as the “Fourth Degree” and is considered the completion of the Master Mason’s degree. It is a degree of great antiquity and deep symbolism, and its teachings are based on the Bible, particularly on the stories of King Solomon’s Temple. The Royal Arch is a symbolical representation of the rebuilding of Solomon’s Temple after its destruction by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BC.


The origins of Royal Arch Masonry are uncertain, but it can be traced back to medieval Europe. By 1745, there were several Masonic Lodges in England that practiced Royal Arch Masonry, but it was not officially recognized until 1767 when it was adopted by Grand Lodge as part of mainstream Freemasonry. From England, Royal Arch Masonry spread to America and other countries around the world.


Royal Arch Masons use a variety of symbols to represent their beliefs, ideals, and teachings. These symbols include:
* The Triple Tau – This symbol is composed of three crossed taus which represent wisdom, strength, and beauty.
* The Ark & Key – This symbolizes the rebuilding of Solomon’s Temple after its destruction by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BC.
* The Blazing Star – This symbol represents divine wisdom which guides Masons on their journey towards spiritual enlightenment.
* The Book Of Constitutions – This book contains all the rules that guide Royal Arch Masons.


Royal Arch Masonry offers many benefits to its members such as fellowship with like-minded individuals; knowledge gained from ancient teachings; opportunities for personal growth; and service to others through charitable efforts. Additionally, members have access to exclusive events and activities only available to those with Royal Arch status such as lectures by renowned speakers or trips to historic locations related to Freemasonry. Lastly, membership in this fraternity provides a sense of pride and accomplishment knowing that one has achieved something special that few others have done before them.

Introduction to Cryptic Masonry

Cryptic Masonry is an advanced form of Freemasonry, which involves the use of special symbols, signs, and rituals. The members of the organization are all called Cryptic Masons. They are all bound by a common set of beliefs and traditions. Cryptic Masonry is believed to have originated in Scotland in the early 1700s, and today it is practiced in many countries around the world.

Symbols Used in Cryptic Masonry

Cryptic Masonry utilizes a variety of symbols to communicate its beliefs and traditions. The most common symbol used is a triangle with three sides, which represents the three pillars of Freemasonry: brotherly love, relief, and truth. Other symbols used include a pentagram, a square and compass, and a double-headed eagle. Each symbol has its own special meaning that is understood by members of the organization.

Rituals Used in Cryptic Masonry

Cryptic Masonry has a variety of rituals that are used for initiation, education, and fellowship among members. Initiation rituals involve taking an oath in which members pledge their loyalty to one another as well as to their organization’s principles. Education rituals involve lectures on various aspects of Masonic teachings. Fellowship rituals involve gatherings where members share stories, experiences, and beliefs with one another.

Benefits of Joining Cryptic Masonry

By joining Cryptic Masonry, members gain access to resources such as financial aid for those who are in need as well as leadership training for those who wish to pursue higher positions within the organization. Furthermore, members benefit from participating in social activities such as banquets and dinner parties where they can network with other Masons from around the world. Lastly, membership provides lifelong friendships with fellow Masons who share similar values and beliefs.


Cryptic Masonry is an ancient form of Freemasonry that has been practiced around the world for centuries. It utilizes various symbols and rituals for initiation, education, fellowship among its members while also providing access to resources such as financial aid or leadership training for those who wish to pursue higher positions within the organization.

What are Chivalric Orders?

Chivalric orders are organizations or societies of knights that were formed in the Middle Ages. These orders were founded with the purpose of providing knights with protection and a code of conduct to live by. The members of these orders had to adhere to a strict code of honor and loyalty, and they were expected to uphold the ideals of chivalry. Such ideals include courage, honor, justice, and loyalty. The members would also take part in tournaments and jousting matches.

Types Of Chivalric Orders

There are a few different types of chivalric orders that have existed throughout history. The most famous ones are the Knights Hospitaller, Knights Templar, Order of St John, and the Teutonic Knights. Each order had its own unique set of rules, beliefs, and traditions. For example, the Knights Hospitaller focused on providing medical care to those in need while the Teutonic Knights focused on defending Christianity in Europe against paganism.

History Of Chivalric Orders

The history of chivalric orders dates back as far as the 11th century when knights began banding together for protection and honor. Over time these organizations grew in size and influence until they became powerful forces during the Crusades. During this period, many states adopted these orders as their own official military forces. As time went on, some orders became more spiritual in nature as they adopted religious beliefs such as Christianity or Islam.

Modern Chivalric Orders

Today there are still several active chivalric orders that exist around the world. These orders often focus on charitable works or promoting certain values such as honor and justice. Some modern-day examples include The Order of Malta, The Most Venerable Order of St John, and The Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre. While many modern-day chivalric orders may no longer involve jousting tournaments or dueling matches like their predecessors did centuries ago, they still strive to uphold the values that made them so successful in years past.

History of the Allied Masonic Degrees

This order of degrees was founded in England in the late 18th century. It is a system of degrees which, although widely varied in their individual subjects, are all based on the basic principles and teachings of Freemasonry. The purpose of these degrees is to confer additional light upon the mysteries of Freemasonry and to further extend the scope and purpose of those already initiated into the Craft.

The Allied Masonic Degrees are open to all Master Masons who have received at least one degree in a Chapter or Council of Royal Arch Masons, and they must be affiliated with a recognized Lodge or Grand Lodge. The Allied Degrees are divided into three distinct classes: Craft-related, Chivalric-related, and Christian-related. Each class consists of several individual degrees that are conferred sequentially.

The Craft-related degrees include such topics as Architectural Masonry, Mark Masonry, Royal Ark Mariner Masonry, and Masonry Defined. These degrees seek to explore various aspects of Freemasonry, such as its history, symbols, and philosophy. The Chivalric-related degrees include topics such as Knights Templarism, Red Cross Masonry, Knight Masons, and Knight Crusaders. These degrees focus on the principles and ideals of chivalry.

The Christian-related degrees include topics such as St Lawrence the Martyr Masonry and Christian Knighthood Order (CK). These degrees focus on Christian teachings and beliefs within the context of Freemasonry. The purpose of these Christian-related degrees is to promote Christian principles within a Masonic context.

In addition to conferring these separate individual grades within each class, there are also several composite orders which combine related grades from different classes into one unified order. For example, one composite order is called “the Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priest” which combines several Craft-related grades with several Chivalric-related grades.

The Allied Masonic Degrees provide an opportunity for Master Masons to further explore their own understanding of Freemasonry while simultaneously learning about other aspects that may not be explored in other Masonic organizations. By joining these orders Masons gain access to unique knowledge that can help them better understand themselves and their craft.

In Reflection on Masonic Ladder Degrees

The Masonic Ladder Degrees is a system of understanding the various aspects of Freemasonry. It is considered to be one of the most important tools for any Freemason to utilize in order to gain a better understanding of the organization and its teachings. The ladder degrees provide an organized way for members to learn more about the core beliefs and principles that drive the organization. Through this system, members can gain knowledge about the history, purpose, and symbols that make up Freemasonry.

The ladder degrees are also used as a way for new members to be initiated into the organization. This initiation process helps them understand what it means to be part of this ancient and powerful fraternity. By taking part in rituals such as those related to the ladder degrees, new members can gain a deeper understanding of Freemasonry and its role in their lives.

Freemasons who use this system often find themselves more connected with their own lodge and with other lodges around them. Through these degrees, they are able to learn more about the history of the organization and its importance in society today. This knowledge can then help them become better leaders within their respective lodges while also providing them with a greater appreciation for Freemasonry as a whole.

The ladder degrees are just one part of Freemasonry, but they are an important one nonetheless. Through its teachings, members can gain insight into how this ancient organization works and what it means to be part of it. They will also be able to appreciate more fully just how important it is for them to uphold its principles and beliefs as they continue on their own Masonic journey.

In conclusion, Masonic Ladder Degrees provide an organized way for members of Freemasonry to understand more about their organization’s core values, history, purpose, symbols, and rituals associated with initiation into the fraternity. The ladder degrees offer an invaluable tool for any Mason looking to deepen their knowledge and appreciation for Freemasonry as well as strengthen their connection with other lodges around them.


Esoteric Freemasons