The American Scottish Rite is a collection of degrees that build upon the legends of the Blue Lodge. The Rite offers a total of 30 degrees beyond 3° Master Mason. The names of the degrees vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, as sometimes do the dramatic contents. However, what is constant is the idea of progressive ethical awareness and self-knowledge through self-reflection and dramatic allegories.
The Scottish Rite degrees give insight to the expansion of Masonic legends. The Lodge of Perfection, 4° through 14°, is concerned with events following the murder of Hiram Abiff: burying him; capturing and punishing his murderers; finding a new master builder; and discovering treasurers buried under King Solomon’s temple. The 15° and 16° explain the return of Zerubbabel from Babylon to rebuild the temple at Jerusalem. The 17° and 18° center around re-instituting the word under the Law of Love as taught by Jesus and other religious reformers. The 19° through 30° culminate with the Degree of Knight Kadosh, a spiritual knighthood similar to the Knight Templar, and develop the Scottish Rite’s myth of Masonic succession from crusading knights. In the 32°, Master of the Royal Secret, the candidate is taught equilibrium in the Southern Jurisdiction and fidelity in the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction.
Roland Kari 33°, KSA Emeritus
Lodge of Perfection
Lodges of Perfection conferring the 4th to the 14th degrees inclusive. The degrees continue the story of the building of King Solomon’s Temple, and amplify and conclude the legend of the Master Mason degree. They are designed to impress more forcefully the teachings of the first three degrees of Craft Masonry. The 4th, 5th, 7th, 13th, and 14th degrees are obligatory: the others, if not given in full, are “communicated” by obligation and explained.
Chuck Fustish 32°, KSA
Chapter of Rose Croix
Chapters of Rose Croix conferring the 15th to 18th degrees inclusive. The 15th and 16th degrees relate to the rebuilding of the Second Temple of Zerubbabel. The 17th degree is an approach to, and the 18th degree a recognition of the Christian ethics in universal terms, thus assisting in the building, in our hearts, of the Third Temple, not made with hands. The 18th degree is supplemented by the beautiful Maundy Thursday and Easter ceremonies. The 15th and 18th degrees are obligatory.
Billy Thompson 32°, PVM KSA
Commander of Kadosh
Council of Kadosh
Council of Kadosh conferring the 19th to the 30th degrees inclusive. These degrees, often elaborate and highly dramatic, cover a variety of approaches to Masonic teaching. Some have the Crusades as background.
Jim Pringle 32°, KSA
Master of the Consistory
The 31st degree is the judicial branch of the Scottish Rite; the 32nd degree is the military degree. The 31st and 32 degrees culminate the teachings of the Scottish Rite, and must be conferred in full ritual form.