Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Structure of the 33 Degrees

Symbolic Degrees

1 Entered Apprentice

2 Fellow Craft

3 Master Mason

Conferred in a Symbolic or "Blue" Lodge under the jurisdiction of a recognized Grand Lodge of Masons

Ineffable Degrees

4 Secret Master

5 Perfect Master

6 Intimate Secretary

7 Provost and Judge

8 Intendant of the Building

9 Master Elect of Nine

10 Elect of Fifteen

11 Sublime Master Elected

12 Grand Master Architect

13 Master of the Ninth Arch

14 Grand Elect Mason

Conferred in a "Lodge of Perfection"

Historical Degrees

15 Knight of the East, or Sword

16 Prince of Jerusalem

Conferred in a "Council of Princes of Jerusalem"


Philosophical Degrees

17 Knight of the East and West

18 Knight of the Rose Croix of H.R.D.M.

Conferred in a "Chapter of Rose Croix" Degrees

Traditional and Chivalric Degrees

19 Grand Pontiff

20 Master ad Vitam

21 Patriarch Noachite

22 Prince of Libanus

23 Chief of the Tabernacle

24 Prince of The Tabernacle

25 Knight of the Brazen Serpent

26 Prince of Mercy

27 Commander of the Temple

28 Knight of the Sun

29 Knight of St. Andrew

30 Grand Elect Knight Kadosh

31 Grand Inspector Inquisitor Commander

32 Sublime Prince of The Royal Secret

Conferred in a "Consistory" of the Royal Secret

Official Degree

33 Sovereign Grand Inspector General - This Degree is conferred by the Supreme Council upon Freemasons of the 32° in recognition of distinguished Masonic or Public service. It cannot be applied for, but is conferred by invitation only.

Entered Apprentice. This degree begins a mans journey into freemasonry and represents youth
Fellowcraft. This degree symbolizes man in adulthood and represents work
Master Mason. This degree represents man in old age and relates to wisdom
Secret Master. In this degree, the dignity of fidelity and integrity is demonstrated.
Perfect Maser. This degree teaches that unworthy ambitions are corruptive and destructive to the man who forgets his duty to family, country and God
Intimate Secretary. This degree shows that a man who is trustworthy can survive false accusations
Provost and Judge. This degree teaches that Truth prevails, and Justice triumphs, tempered with mercy and forgiveness
Intendant of the Building. This degree symbolizes that the personal goal of title and position can cause strife
9° Master Elect of Nine. This degree teaches that Truth often emerges from the clash of opinions, and to look at life and duty and God through the minds of others who do not share the same religious faith
10° Master Elect of Fifteen. This degree uses the symbolism of Solomon's life and that his pride prevented him from asking for forgiveness
11° Sublime Master Elected. This degree emphasizes virtue of good citizenship and that a man should ever be loyal, brave and courageous in the conviction that right will eventually prevail
12° Grand Master Architect. This degree teaches that the quality of Mercy through a spirit of compassion and a tenderness of heart will enable one to overlook injuries, or to treat the offender better than they deserve
13° Master of the Ninth Arch. This degree portrays the history and legend of Enoch and prepares the candidate for the 14 degree
14° Grand Elect Mason. This degree describes the constant endeavor of perfection of character
15° Knight of the East or Sword. This degree shows the important lesson by the example of Zerubbabel, of loyalty to conviction, fidelity to duty, and devotion to Truth
16° Prince of Jerusalem. This degree is a drama of the rewards found in the lessons of the 15 degree
17° Knight of the East and West. This degree teaches that one should learn from, and avoid repeating, the errors of the past
18° Knight of the Rose Croix of H.R.D.M.. In this degree, the principles of tolerance are affirmed and grants to each man the right to answer, in his own way, his convictions
19° Grand Pontiff. This degree proclaims the spiritual unity of all who believe in God and cherish the hope of immortality, no matter what religious leader they follow or what creed they profess. It is concerned primarily with the perennial conflict between light and darkness, good and evil, God and Satan.
20° Master ad Vitam. This degree is a drama of the American spirit confronting the challenge of disloyalty and treason. Masonic principles and leadership are subjected to a crucial test. The degree demonstrates the Masonic condemnation of all who conspire against the security of the nation and the happiness of our people.
21° Patriarch Noachite. This degree teaches that Freemasonry is not a shield for evil doing and that justice is one of the chief supports of our fraternity.
22° Prince of Libanus. In this degree, the dignity of labor is demonstrated. It is no curse, but a privilege, for man to be allowed to earn his sustenance by work. Idleness, not labor, is disgraceful.
23° Chief of the Tabernacle. This degree teaches that those with faith in God and love for their fellow man will make great sacrifices to help others.
24° Prince of the Tabernacle. This degree teaches that a mutual belief in a Supreme Power should bind all men together in a world-wide brotherhood.
25° Knight of the Brazen Serpent. This degree teaches that there are desert stretches in every individual life in the history of every nation, with a resultant breakdown of discipline and loss of faith. This degree is a clarion call to faith-in ourselves, in each other, and in God.
26° Prince of Mercy. This degree teaches the quality of mercy; that it is a spirit of compassion and a tenderness of heart which dispose us to overlook injuries and to treat an offender better than he deserves.
27° Commander of the Temple. This degree teaches that Scottish Rite Freemasonry believes in the concept of a free church in a free state, each supreme in its own sphere, neither seeking to dominate the other, but cooperating for the common good.
28° Knight of the Sun. This degree using the symbolism of the tools and implements of architecture teaches that by building high moral character among its adherents, Freemasonry may advance man's determined quest for the achievement of unity and good will throughout the world.
29° Knight of St. Andrew. This degree emphasizes the Masonic teachings of equality and toleration. We are reminded that no one man, no one Church, no one religion, has a monopoly of truth; that while we must be true and faithful to our own convictions, we must respect the opinions of others.
30° Grand Elect Knight Kadosh. This degree sets forth the tests and ceremonies that symbolize the experiences we must undergo in the building of excellence in character.
31° Grand Inspector Inquisitor Commander. This degree teaches that we should give every man the benefit of innocence and purity of intentions. He who would judge others must first judge himself.
32° Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret. This degree describes the victory of the spiritual over the human in man and the conquest of appetites and passions by moral sense and reason. The exemplar represents every Freemason eager to serve humanity but caught between self-interest and the call of duty. Duty often requires sacrifice, sometimes the supreme sacrifice.


  1. There is a mention of 33rd degree in Dan Brown's "The lost Symble". But we knew upto 3rd degree only. Thanks for enlightenment

  2. Greetings Brothers,
    But we most all remember that this is only one side of Masonry. You also have the York Rite of Masonry. This is a very enlightening blog, thanks for the info.

  3. Dear Brother,
    Good Post.
    Please bring out one on York Rite.