The Lodge of Perfection

" Whom Virtue Unites Death Shall Not Separate"

Degrees of the Scottish Rite

The Degrees of the Scottish Rite are one-act plays often staged with costume, scenery, special effects, and the full rigging of any production. Their purpose is to examine different philosophies, ancient religions, and systems of ethics. Through all of these, people have tried to answer certain universal questions. The Degrees of the Rite do not tell a person what he should think about these questions. Instead, they tell him about what great thinkers and civilizations of the past have thought, and they try to create a situation in which the candidate or Brother can gain insight. Agreeing with Socrates that the unexamined life is not worth living, the Rite helps with this self-examination by providing reference points.   

Lodge of Perfection, 4°-14°

(presiding officer - Venerable Master)

Chapter of Rose Croix, 15°-18°

(presiding officer - Wise Master)

Council of Kadosh, 19°- 30°

(presiding officer - Commander)

Consistory, 31°- 32°

(presiding officer - Master of Kadosh)

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4°- Secret Master  Duty, reflection and study are the gateway to
opportunity, as such one honors those relationships to God, family,
country and Masonry. The apron of the 4th degree is white and black,
with a letter "Z" and all-seeing eye. The jewel of this degree is an ivory
key with the letter "Z" on the wards.  The teachings: secrecy, obedience
and fidelity.
5°- Perfect Master  The degree teaches Masonic honor; that honesty
and trustworthiness is the cornerstone of the foundation of such. This
virtue should be in all of our undertakings with mankind. The apron of
the 5th degree is white and green, with a cubic stone and a Hebrew
YOD. The jewel is represented by a compass open on a segment of a
circle, to an angle of sixty degrees. The teachings: honesty, sincerity,
nd good faith.
7°- Provost & Judge  We learn that impartial justice protects person,
property, happiness and reputation. We are instructed to judge with
patience and impartially. The apron of the 7th degree is white, edged
with red, with a key and five rosettes. The jewel is a golden key
8°- Intendant of the Building  We should strive for perfection by
using the great principles of "God's inherent love, charity, morality and
kindness". The apron of the 8th degree is white, with red and green,
with a balance, a nine-pointed star, and a triangle with the Hebrew
letters BETH (for Ben-Khurim), YOU (for Jakinah), and ALEPH
(for Achar). The jewel of this Degree is a gold triangle with the same
three letters.
9°- Elu of the Nine (Elected Knight of the Nine)  Truth, candor and
generosity; the foundation of Scottish Rite Masonry is most reflected
in this degree. We should use these truths to shape our lives and
conduct. The apron of the 9th degree is white, lined with black, and
sprinkled with blood, with an arm holding a dagger and a severed
head held by the hair. The jewel of this degree is a dagger, hilt of gold
and blade of silver.
10°- Elu of the Fifteen (Illustrious Elect of the Fifteen)  This degree
teaches us to be tolerant and respect the opinions of others. Freedoms
of political and spiritual ideologies should be shared by all. The apron
of the 10th degree is white, with a black flap, and with three
arch-shaped gates - over each a head on a spike. The jewel of this
degree is a dagger as in the 9th degree.
11°- Elu of the Twelve (Sublime Knight Elect of the Twelve)  This
degree teaches sympathy. We should be compassionate to our
brother Masons and to all mankind as well. The apron of the 11th
degree is white, lined with black, with a flaming heart in the center.
The jewel being a dagger suspended from a black cordon inscribed
with the words "Vincere aut Mori" the pledge "that you will rather die
than betray the cause of the people, or be overcome through your
own fear or fault."
13°- Royal Arch of Solomon (Knight of the Ninth Arch)  Liberty;
in our mind and our hearts, motivated by duty and honor are the
lessons of this degree. The apron worn is purple, bordered with white,
and with the "Enochian delta" (hexagram with inscribed
Tetragrammation) in the center. The jewel comprises a circular
medal of gold.
14°- Perfect Elu (Grand Elect, Perfect and Sublime Mason)  This
degree teaches us to reflect and scrutinize oneself. We should strive
to be true to ourselves and our God. The apron being of white silk,
bordered in gold, with the Ineffable Delta in the Center is truly
emblematical of the degree. The jewel of the 14th Degree is split;
one being a quadrant (compass open to ninety degrees) topped by
a crown and with a nine-pointed star on the obverse, the other being
a five-pointed blazing star (with the Tetragrammaton) on the reverse.
The compass is opened on a segment of a circle, inscribed with the
numbers 3, 5, 7, 9.
12°- Master Architect  This degree teaches faith in morality and virtue
and in God. "Life is what each man makes of it; the optimist turns a
trial into a blessing. The apron of the 12th degree consists of a white
outer shell, lined with blue and gold (symbolizing the Craft degrees),
with a protractor, plain scale, sector, and compasses. The jewel is
a heptagonal medal of gold.
Chapter of Rose Croix
The degrees of the Chapter of Rose Croix are very
complex. They attempt to invest the candidate with a
deeper understanding of Religion, Philosophy, Ethics, and
History. The intellectual challenges presented in these
degrees, is at times overwhelming, and can take years to
master. A thorough reading of the chapters related to
them in Morals and Dogma and in the Legenda and
Readings is essential to achieve even a basic
comprehension of their true meaning 
15°- Knight of the East, of the Sword or of the Eagle  Fidelity to
obligations and perseverance of purpose under difficulties and
discouragement are the lessons of this degree. The striking crimson
velvet apron of this degree is edged with green, having a bleeding head
above two crossed swords, and a triangle (top point to the left) with
three interlaced triangles inside it. The jewel is three golden
concentric triangles encompassing two crossed swords.
16°- Prince of Jerusalem  We learn "heroism of patience, the nobility
of self-sacrifice" and compassionate judgment, along with charity,
fidelity and brotherhood. This crimson apron is edged in gold and
aurora-color, and with a square, shield, Delta (with three YODs),
balance and a hand of justice. The jewel worn is a mother-of-pearl
lozenge with a hand holding a balance in equipoise; under it a sword
with five stars surrounding the point. On the left is a Hebrew D, on the
right is a Hebrew Z.
17°- Knight of the East & West  The wisdom of this degree is that
loyalty to God is man's primary allegiance and the temporal
governments not founded upon God and His righteousness will
inevitably fall. The apron worn is of yellow satin, with crimson and
gold, and with a sword and Tetractys (of the Tetragrammaton) on it.
The jewel is a heptagon of half silver and half gold, with crossed
swords on a balance on the obverse and a lamb on the Book of Seven
Seals on the reverse. The jewel is hung from a double order - one black
(left-to-right) and one white (right-to-left), representing good versus evil.
A gold coronet is also presented.
18°- Knight Rose Croix  This degree emphasizes that life and its
strength come from God. The rose signifies the dawn and the cross
is a sacred symbol of antiquity in many cultures. One is also taught
to be tolerant of others errors and their faults. The apron worn is of
white leather or satin, bordered in red, with a skull and cross-bones,
a red passion cross, and three red rosettes. The grand jewel is a gold
compass open a quarter circle. A rose-cross is between the legs of
the compass and under it is a pelican, tearing its breast to feed its
seven young on the obverse and an eagle with wings extended on
the reverse.  On the circle are the letters I.N.R.I.
Council of Kadosh
The degrees of the Council of Kadosh are chivalric
and philosophical, but also contain mystical material.
The word "Kadosh" is a Hebrew word meaning "Holy".
The complexity of these degrees cannot be overstated
and is exemplified by the number of pages attributed
to them in Morals and Dogma. The twenty-eighth
degree alone is over a quarter of the 1000+ page tome.
19°- Grand Pontiff  We learn from the past and how it affects the
present and the influence we live in the future in this degree. We as
mortals strive to endure, produce and improve the world as it
surrounds us. There is no apron, but the jewel is a gold "parallelogram"
(rectangle) with a Greek Alpha on one side and an Omega on the other.
20°- Master of the Symbolic Lodge  This demonstrates liberty,
fraternity and equality. These truths teach morals, religious and
philosophical understandings. This degree helps one to comprehend
Deity, forces of nature, good and evil. The apron worn is yellow,
bordered in blue, with three concentric point-down triangles, with the
Tetragrammaton (horizontal) and "Fiat Lux" (vertical) at the center,
forming a cross. Its triangular shape relates to the "fourth great light,
which reminds us of the Deity and his attributes". The jewel that is worn
is made of gold with the same three concentric triangles.
21°- Noachite or Prussian Knight  The lessons to be learned from this
degree are that arrogance, defamation and cowardice are unworthy
attributes of a Mason and that humility, modesty and courtesy are the
true virtues of men and Masons. The apron worn is yellow and contains
an arm holding a sword, a winged figure holding a key in the left hand
and the right forefinger on the lips (the "Egyptian figure of Silence"). The
jewel can be described as a point-up triangle, with an arrow, point
downward, an arm holding a sword, and the motto "Fiat Justitia, Ruat
22°- Knight Royal Axe, Prince of Libanus  This degree emphasizes
work ethics: By doing good work we improve character and become
better citizens. The apron worn in this degree is white, bordered in
purple, and contains a three-headed serpent and a table with
instruments and plans on it. The jewel is an axe and handle of gold. On
the top of the handle are the initials of Noah and Solomon. In the
middle of the handle are the initials of Libanus and Tsidun. On the blade
are the initials of Adoniram, Cyrus, Darius, Zerubbabel, Nehemiah,
Ezra (on one side) and Shem, Kham, Yapheth, Moses, Ahaliab,
Betselal (on the other).
23°- Chief of the Tabernacle  We learn in this degree that the man
who forgets his duty to God, family, country and himself will be in
danger of moral and spiritual destruction by thoughts and unworthy
ambition. The apron worn is white, bordered with red, blue and purple
ribbons. These colors, from the curtains of the Tabernacle, represent
earth, fire, air and sea, respectively, as well as the Lord's beneficence,
glory, wisdom and power. On the apron is the golden seven-branched
candlestick, representing the seven planets and virtues: Sun, faith
"aspiration toward the infinite"; Moon, hope; Venus, charity; Mars,
fortitude "victory over rage and anger"; Mercury, prudence; Saturn,
temperance; Jupiter, conqueror of the Titans, justice. The jewel worn is
a small silver censer, or ornamented cup, held by a handle in the shape
of an open hand.
24°- Prince of the Tabernacle  A Mason must show evidence of
compassion, piety and justice in this degree. After initiation he may
"manifest faithfully the social virtues in order to receive the rewards", to
serve humanity through our brotherhood. The apron worn is of white
lambskin, with scarlet, green and blue.  On it is a violet myrtle tree, and
a gold representation of an Arabian tent. The jewel worn is the Hebrew
letter ALEPH, suspended from a violet ribbon.
25°- Knight of the Brazen Serpent  This degree attempts to explain
the conceptualities of celestial purity and the eternal soul of man. The
apprentice is driven to look within his faith, life and God and to get a
clear look at his inner self. The apron worn is white, lined in black, and
with gold stars on the white side (Pleiades, Hyades, Orion, Capella)
and with silver stars on the black side (Perseus, Scorpio, Bootes). Also
on it is a serpent, ouroboros, surrounding a scarab, a triangle in a glory
with the Tetragrammaton in its center, and the four initials of the stars
Regulus, Aldebaran, Antares, and Fomalhaut. The jewel is a gold tau
cross (crux ansata) with a serpent entwined around it, and the Hebrew
words HLThI ("he has suffered or been wounded") and Nchshthn
("the Brazen Serpent") on it.
26°- Prince of Mercy or Scottish Trinitarian  In this degree we explore
for "the rewards of the trinity of Gods attributes - wisdom or intelligence,
force or strength, harmony or beauty". The apron is scarlet, bordered in
white, with a green triangle (point-down) in the center. In the triangle are
the initials of force, wisdom, and harmony, and a flaming heart of gold
with the initials I.H.S. (Jesus Hominum Salvator or Imperium, Harmonia,
Sapientia). The jewel is gold and is the same triangle, suspended by
a purple ribbon.
27°- Knight Commander of the Temple  This degree teaches the
apprentice to scorn selfishness, and to uphold the knightly virtues of
charity, truth and honor. We should always strive to assist the poor,
helpless and infirm. The apron is of scarlet lambskin, lined in black,
with a Teutonic Cross (cross potent sable, charged with a smaller
cross double potent or, surcharged with the escutcheon of the Empire -
the two-headed black eagle) and a black key surrounded by a laurel
wreath. The jewel is the Teutonic Cross shown on the apron.
28°- Knight of the Sun or Prince Adept  We learn in this degree that
our love for God manifests itself in our love for truth, justice and nobility
of soul. The apron worn is white lambskin, with a vermilion pentagram. 
The jewel is a gold five-pointed star.
29°- Scottish Knight of Saint Andrew  The virtues taught in this
degree are "Love of God, loyalty to superiors, faithful adherence to
promise and active resistance to unfair judgment." There is no apron. 
The jewel is a gold St. Andrew's cross ("X"), surmounted with a
knight's helmet with a thistle of gold between the arms at the bottom.
In the center of the cross is a Hebrew YOD, and on its points,
clockwise from bottom, the Hebrew letters N M I N.
30°- Knight of Kadosh or Knight of the White & Black Eagle  
The lesson of this degree is to be true to ourselves, to stand for what
is right and to be just in our lives today with a belief in God, country
and oneself. There is no apron, but the jewel is a gold Teutonic cross,
enameled in red, with a silver double-headed eagle, with wings spread
pointing downward, resting upon it.
The Consistory Degrees are very different from each
other in form and content.  The 31° reveals the dynamic
relationship that has existed for centuries between
human law as a means of achieving justice, and divine
justice as an ideal.  The 32° reviews the degrees of the
Lodge of Perfection, the Chapter of Rose Croix and the
Council of Kadosh.  In it we learn the very ancient roots
of Masonic Truth - in the East. 
"Where Freemasonry flourishes, there will be found
the highest type of citizenship and the best
standard of living."
- Albert Pike
31°- Inspector Inquisitor  In this degree the apprentice learns prayerful
self-examination. The mistakes today should not be committed
tomorrow. Simply, the daily look at ones self to learn to live with the
future. No apron is worn in the Supreme Tribunal, but the traditional
apron displayed is of pure white lambskin with a Teutonic Cross of
black and silver embroidered upon the flap. The jewel is a silver Teutonic
cross. The jewel is suspended from a white collar, with a gold
triangle with a "31" inside it.  
32°- Master of the Royal Secret  The lessons taught in this degree
are that genuine brotherhood requires mutual regard, opinion, esteem
and charity. We always look for the good in all, make allowances for
others' shortcomings. We trust the Supreme Architect to lead us to
friendship, morality and brotherly love. The apron worn in this degree
is white, lined in black, with a double-headed eagle and a plan of the
Camp of the Princes. The jewel worn is a golden Teutonic Cross. In
the center are the letters XXXII, surrounded by a green wreath. The
cap of a Master of the Royal Secret is black silk with a black band
trimmed in gold. In the center front is a double-headed eagle emblem
with a rayed equilateral triangle above in gold. The triangle is red, has
32° in its center, and is trimmed with gold.

Court of Honour


The Scottish Rite confers a number of honors upon members who have contributed extraordinary service to the Rite, to Masonry in general, and to the world at large.  


Knight Commander of the Court of Honour  The Rank of Knight Commander of the Court of Honor is not a Degree, but an Investiture, bestowed upon members deserving recognition for faithful services to the Rite or to mankind. At the biennial session of the Supreme Council, certain Masters of the Royal Secret are chosen to be invested with the Rank and Decoration of Knight Commander of the Court of Honour. The respective Sovereign Grand Inspectors General or Deputies nominate members for this honor, and they must also be unanimously approved by The Supreme Council. This Investiture is a prerequisite to receiving the Thirty-third Degree. The Rank of K.∙.C.∙.C.∙.H.∙. may not be requested, and if requested must be refused. The cap of the Knight Commander Court of Honour is red with a darker red band trimmed in gold. In the center front is a representation of the Knight Commander Jewel, a Passion Cross with fancy arms, featuring in the center a trefoil embroidered in green encircled by "Kt.∙. Comm.∙. Court of Honour" embroidered in gold.

33°- Inspector General Honorary
  The Thirty-third Degree is conferred by the Supreme Council upon members of the Rite in recognition of outstanding work in the Rite or in public life. At its biennial session the Supreme Council elects members of the Rite to receive the Degree. Members unanimously so elected become honorary members of the Supreme Council. The Thirty-third Degree may not be requested, and if requested must be refused. The Degree is granted solely out of recognition for outstanding services. These 33° Masons are Inspectors General honorary and honorary members of the Supreme Council. The active members of the Supreme Council are chosen from among them. The cap for an Inspector General Honorary is white with a white band edged in gold, featuring the symbol for this honorary Degree, a red slanting Patriarchal Cross.

Grand Cross of the Court of Honour  This is the highest individual honor that The Supreme Council bestows. It is voted very rarely to Thirty-third Degree Masons only for the most exceptional and extraordinary services. The Grand Cross cap is white with a blue band. On the front is a replica of the Grand Cross jewel, which is composed of a Teutonic Cross, with an embroidered crimson rose with green leaves at its center.


To order color posters picturing all of the regalia paintings, 4° thru 33°, including KCCH & Grand Cross, contact: The Supreme Council 33° S.J., 1733 16th Street NW, Washington, D.C.  20009; Phone: 202-232-3579; or visit the online store at: