Masonic Degrees above 33 are a set of additional degrees, beyond the traditional 33rd Degree, available to members of the Scottish Rite branch of Freemasonry. These higher degrees offer a deeper understanding of Masonic principles and teachings and can be obtained by invitation or by applying for membership. They provide an opportunity for further participation in Masonic activities and provide members with a greater sense of purpose and responsibility. They are also considered to be more prestigious than the lower-level degrees.
Masonry is divided into three distinct divisions: the Symbolic Lodge, the Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, and the Cryptic Rite. Each division has several degrees of advancement, with the 33rd degree being the highest. Beyond this, there are additional degrees known as the Masonic Degrees above 33. These are honorary and voluntary degrees that are conferred upon members who have made significant contributions to Freemasonry in their particular jurisdiction. These degrees are administered by Supreme Councils, which are independent organizations that oversee activities related to Masonry in their respective countries or regions. The Masonic Degrees above 33 consist of four primary divisions: Scottish Rite, York Rite, Memphis-Misraim Rite and Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. Each division is divided into specific grades or ranks, with 33° being the highest rank attainable within each individual division. While these degrees are considered honorary in nature and do not add any extra privileges or authority to those who receive them, they do serve to recognize individuals for their accomplishments in Masonry.
The Scottish Rite and What it Entails
The Scottish Rite is an appendant body of Freemasonry. The Scottish Rite is one of the two branches of Freemasonry in which a Master Mason may proceed after he has completed the three degrees of Symbolic or Blue Lodge Masonry. Membership to Scottish Rite is open to all Master Masons in good standing who are at least 18 years old.
The Scottish Rite consists of a total of thirty-three degrees, divided into four sections:
- Lodge of Perfection (4°–14°)
- Council of Princes of Jerusalem (15°–16°)
- Chapter Rose Croix (17°–18°)
- Consistory (19°–32°)
Each degree teaches lessons that build upon the moral and ethical teachings found in the first three degrees of Freemasonry. The Scottish Rite also provides additional opportunities for Masonic education and fellowship activities. The highest degree within the Scottish Rite is known as the Thirty-Third Degree, which is conferred only upon select members who have demonstrated exceptional service to their lodge or their community.
The rituals and ceremonies used by members of the Scottish Rite are similar to those used in Blue Lodge Masonry but with more elaborate symbolism and drama. Through these rituals, members are taught lessons about morality, ethics, patriotism, religious tolerance, and other important values.
The Scottish Rite also offers several programs designed to provide support for charitable causes such as providing scholarships for deserving students and helping those in need through various charities. By participating in these programs, members are able to help make a positive difference in their community while also enjoying fellowship among like-minded individuals.
History of Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite Degrees
The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite (AASR) is a subset of Freemasonry, and is the largest and most widely practiced Masonic rite in the world. The Scottish Rite consists of thirty-three degrees, divided into three sections: the Lodge of Perfection (4°–14°), Chapter of Rose Croix (15°–18°), Council of Kadosh (19°–30°). The AASR was founded in Charleston, South Carolina in 1801 by Pierre-Etienne Morin, a French Freemason. It has since spread throughout the United States and around the world.
The first degree of AASR is known as the Entered Apprentice degree. In this degree, Masons are taught about the history and purpose of Freemasonry and its obligations to God, country, family, and its members. They also learn about the importance of being moral and upright citizens.
The second degree is known as the Fellow Craft degree. During this degree, Masons are taught important moral lessons such as temperance, fortitude, prudence, justice, faithfulness to one’s word, charity towards all men, fidelity to one’s trust, obedience to rightful authority and respect for all religions.
The third degree is known as the Master Mason degree. In this degree Masons learn about loyalty to their fellow man through the teachings of Hiram Abiff – a legendary master builder who was killed for his refusal to reveal masonic secrets – as well as other masonic symbols such as a compass and square which represent truth and justice respectively.
The fourth through fourteenth degrees are part of what is called “the Lodge of Perfection” or “incommunicable degrees” – these degrees are not conferred upon new members but are instead reserved for those who have already achieved a certain level within Masonry. These degrees include lessons on morality such as truth-telling; loyalty; charity; faithfulness; brotherly love; courage; temperance; humility; charity towards all men; integrity; justice; selflessness; reverence for God and His creation; obedience to lawful authority; respect for all religions and cultures; duty to our countrymen; patriotism & love for our country.
The fifteenth through eighteenth degrees form part of what is called “the Chapter of Rose Croix” or “communicable degrees” – these degrees can be conferred upon new members who have completed their apprenticeship within Masonry. The lessons taught in these degrees focus on personal development such as self-improvement through knowledge & wisdom acquisition – they emphasize that knowledge should be used wisely rather than simply accumulating it without purpose or direction – they also teach about spiritual guidance & guidance from divine sources.
The nineteenth through thirtieth degrees form part of what is called “the Council of Kadosh” or “honorific degrees” – these are honorary titles bestowed upon dedicated masons who have made significant contributions to Freemasonry or humanity at large – this may include significant charitable works & initiatives that promote goodwill amongst mankind.
Overall, AASR plays an important role in preserving & promoting masonic values throughout different generations & cultures around the world since its inception over two centuries ago in Charleston South Carolina USA. It has become an increasingly popular fraternity amongst individuals seeking moral guidance & spiritual enrichment in their lives whilst striving to become better citizens within their communities & countries at large.
The York Rite
The York Rite is a collection of rites and ceremonies used in the various degrees of Freemasonry. It is believed that it was established in York, England, before the 18th century and has since been adopted in many Masonic lodges around the world. The various degrees of the Rite are divided into three branches:
- The Symbolic Lodge (or Blue Lodge)
- The Chapter of Royal Arch Masons
- The Council of Royal and Select Masters.
In each branch, there are specific rituals and ceremonies that members must go through in order to become full-fledged Masons. In the Symbolic Lodge, there are three degrees: Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason. These are meant to teach members about morality and ethical responsibility to others. In the Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, there are four additional degrees designed to further develop members’ knowledge and understanding of Freemasonry. Therefore, in the Council of Royal and Select Masters, there are seven additional degrees that focus on developing greater understanding of Masonic teachings and philosophy.
In addition to these degrees, there are also several other orders associated with the York Rite. These orders include the Knights Templar, Knights of Malta, Red Cross of Constantine, Allied Masonic Degrees, Order of High Priesthood, Order of the Secret Monitor, Order of the Bath, Order of St Lawrence The Martyr and many others. Each order has its own set of rules and regulations that must be followed by its members.
For those who wish to become a part of this ancient tradition and gain an understanding into some its deeper mysteries should consider joining a local York Rite Lodge or Chapter near them. By doing so they will not only have access to all the different branches but will also be able to connect with like-minded people from all over the world who share their same passion for Freemasonry.
The Royal Arch Degree
The Royal Arch Degree is a part of the York Rite of Freemasonry. It is the first of three degrees within the York Rite, and is one of the highest degrees available in Freemasonry. The degree is considered to be a continuation of Craft Masonry, and its ceremonies are based on the story of a group of Masons in search of an ancient treasure. This degree is open to all Master Masons who have been duly initiated as such in a regular or recognized Lodge.
The Royal Arch Degree consists of three parts: The Installation, The Lectures, and The Degrees. In the Installation part, the initiate is seated at an altar and asked to make certain pledges and affirmations regarding his commitment to Freemasonry. During this ceremony, he will also receive certain tokens that symbolize his new status as a member of this degree.
In the Lectures part, the initiate learns about various aspects of Masonic history and philosophy. He will be taught how to recognize different symbols associated with Freemasonry as well as their meanings. He will also learn about various Masonic teachings such as brotherly love, relief, truth, temperance, fortitude, prudence and justice.
In the Degrees part, the initiate will be taught different signs and symbols related to this degree. He will also learn how to recognize other members who are also members of this degree and how to communicate with them using these signs and symbols. This part also includes practical instruction on how to conduct Masonic meetings and rituals related to this degree.
The Royal Arch Degree provides an important opportunity for Master Masons who want to further their studies in Freemasonry and gain deeper insight into its teachings. By taking part in this degree, they can gain more knowledge about its history and principles while deepening their understanding of what it means to be a Mason.
What are Cryptic Degrees?
Cryptic degrees are a form of Freemasonry that uses symbols, metaphors, and allegories to teach lessons about morality. These degrees are intended to help members develop an understanding of the principles of Freemasonry and its values, as well as provide insight into their own lives. The degrees are divided into three categories: Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and Master Mason. Each degree contains rituals and teachings that build upon the last, leading up to the highest level of Master Mason.
The symbolism used in Cryptic degrees is often complex and layered with hidden meanings. Symbols such as the compass, square, sun, moon, and stars all represent different aspects of Freemasonry and are used to illustrate moral lessons. Each symbol has its own interpretation and can be used to shed light on a particular situation or thought process.
Rites & Ceremonies
Cryptic degrees also involve rites and ceremonies which serve as a way for members to learn about different aspects of Freemasonry. These ceremonies often involve rituals which use symbolic objects or actions to illustrate a lesson or point of view. Additionally, they also involve lectures which provide further instruction on the principles behind each degree.
The benefits of joining a Cryptic degree go far beyond simply learning about Freemasonry’s values and principles. By taking part in these degrees, members gain insight into their own lives by exploring their beliefs and values through symbolism and rituals. Additionally, they can gain a greater appreciation for the importance of morality in everyday life by understanding how moral decisions can affect the future. Therefore, members have the opportunity to build relationships with other like-minded individuals who share similar beliefs and values as them.
Overview of the Knights Templar
The Knights Templar is an ancient order of Christian knights that was founded in the 12th century. The order was formed to protect Christian pilgrims traveling to the Holy Land. The Templars were renowned for their bravery and loyalty and were one of the most powerful military orders in history. They held land, money, and political influence throughout Europe, and their members included some of the most elite warriors of the time. Today, the Templars are still remembered for their courage and dedication to their faith.
The Knights Templar was founded in 1119 by two French knights, Hugues de Payens and Godfrey de Saint-Omer, who had just returned from a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. They proposed the idea to King Baldwin II of Jerusalem, who welcomed them into his court and gave them land on which they could build a headquarters. This location became known as ‘Temple Mount’ or ‘Templum Domini’—the House of God—and it became the home of the order for many years.
Over time, the Templars gained more members, wealth, and political power. They also developed a strict code of conduct that all members had to abide by. This code emphasized loyalty and obedience to God and their leader, as well as discipline in battle. In addition to protecting pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem, they also fought alongside other crusaders in battles against Muslim forces.
Knights Templar Degree
The Knights Templar degree is one of several degrees offered by Freemasonry organizations around the world. It is based on the historical ideals that guided the original Knights Templar – bravery, loyalty, duty – and is intended to teach these values to modern Masons. Those who become members must commit themselves to upholding these values throughout their lives.
The degree requires candidates to undergo an initiation ceremony where they swear an oath before a group of senior Masons known as a Priory. During this ceremony they are presented with a white mantle symbolizing purity and chastity before being knighted with a sword. Afterward they are expected to live according to certain principles such as being true to one’s word and showing respect for authority figures.
Once initiated into the Knights Templar degree, candidates gain access to exclusive events such as banquets honoring past Templars or trips abroad visiting ancient sites associated with them. It is also possible for members at higher levels within Freemasonry organizations such as Grand Masters or Grand Commanderships, which can give them greater influence within certain Masonic circles.
In reflection there are many benefits associated with joining the Knights Templar degree within Freemasonry organizations around world today but it should not be taken lightly due its commitment level required by its members given its origin from an ancient order of Christian knights in 12th century Europe .
Order of Chivalry and Knighthood in Freemasonry
Freemasonry is an honored and distinguished institution that is linked to the ancient mysteries of antiquity. It has a long history of adopting Orders of Chivalry and Knighthood from all over the world, including the Knights Templar, Order of Malta, and many others. This article will explore the history and purpose of these Orders, as well as their role in Freemasonry.
The concept of knighthood has been around since the Middle Ages, when it was part of a social class system based on nobility and service to a King or Queen. Over time, the concept evolved to include those who were not necessarily nobility, but still had a strong sense of honor and duty. Knights were expected to be loyal to their lord, protect their country, and fight for justice.
Today, there are many different Orders of Chivalry and Knighthood that are part of Freemasonry. These include the Order of Malta (OM), Knights Templar (KT), Royal Order of Scotland (ROS), Red Cross of Constantine (RCC), Allied Masonic Degrees (AMD), Order of Holy Wisdom (OHW), Order of St John (OSJ) and more. Each Order has its own unique purpose and traditions that are important to Freemasons.
The purpose behind these Orders is two-fold: firstly, they serve as an outward symbol of one’s commitment to excellence in service to others; secondly, they provide an opportunity for members to deepen their spiritual understanding through study and contemplation. Freemasons are encouraged to take part in various activities such as charitable works, education programs or spiritual retreats in order to further their understanding.
In addition to providing a deeper spiritual understanding through study and contemplation, Orders also serve as a way for members to express their dedication through ritualistic practices. Many Orders have specific ceremonies associated with them such as initiation rituals or investitures which mark important milestones for members on their journey towards enlightenment.
By taking part in an Order’s ceremonies or activities, members can demonstrate their commitment not only to each other but also to the wider community at large- something which is highly valued by Freemasons worldwide. Through these Orders they can gain greater insight into themselves while contributing positively towards society at large- something which is highly valued by both individuals within Freemasonry as well as by society at large.
Wrapping Up About Masonic Degrees Above 33
Masonic degrees above 33 are an essential part of the ancient tradition of Freemasonry. They represent a higher level of understanding and knowledge that a Mason can aspire to. The process of achieving these degrees is arduous and requires significant dedication and effort from the Mason. Through the teachings and rituals associated with these degrees, a Mason can deepen their understanding of Freemasonry and its history as well as gain practical skills that can help them in their daily life.
The various degrees also give Masons access to unique experiences like meeting with other Masons from around the world, visiting Masonic Lodges, or participating in special ceremonies and events. These experiences can be life-changing for many Masons and provide them with unique opportunities to connect with other members of their community while continuing to learn about Freemasonry.
In reflection, Masonic Degrees Above 33 are an important part of Freemasonry that provide Masons with a deeper level of understanding as well as valuable social connections. While it may take time and effort to achieve these degrees, it is worth it as it allows Masons to advance both spiritually and practically in their journey within Freemasonry.