Degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite
4. Secret Master
5. Perfect Master
6. Intimate Secretary
7. Provost and Judge
8. Intendant of Buildings
9. Master Elect of Nine
10. Master Elect of Fifteen
11. Sublime Master Elected
12. Grand Master Architect
13. Royal Arch of Enoch
14. Grand Elect, Perfect and Sublime Master Mason
15. Knight of the East or Sword
16. Prince of Jerusalem
17. Knights of the East and West
18. Knight of the Rose-Croix de Heredom
19. Grand Pontiff
20. Grand Master of all Symbolic Lodges
21. Noachite or Prussian Knight
22. Knight of the Royal Axe
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, or Patriarch of the Crusades
30. Knight Kadosh
31. Grand Inspector Commander
32. Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret.
GRAND MASTER OF ALL SYMBOLIC LODGES
MASTER AD VITAM
The Twentieth Grade of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish rite and the Second
Degree of the Historical and Philosophical Series
The duties, powers and privileges of a Master in opening and closing a Lodge
and conducting the work are herein defined. The right of supervision over
subordinates, the personal representation of specific virtues, the definition
of titles, etc., are also herein designated ; and the true position and
relationship of the officers, to each other are given. Further, that the
right to govern in a Lodge is not only that acquired by a formal selection
through the suffrages of the brethren, and a subsequent installation, but
by the power of Masonic intelligence attained, through patient labour and
the study of Masonic law, and of the true understanding and ability to teach
the tenets, doctrines, and symbolic legends of the Order. Exemplification
is given in brief, but much important instruction of the true manner of
conferring degrees in the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite is impressed
upon the candidate ; and he is charged, as a Master of all Symbolic Lodges,
to preserve Masonry in its primitive purity.
THE APARTMENT, AND ITS DECORATIONS
But one apartment is needed, and the assembly is styled a Lodge; the hangings
are blue and gold. In the East is a throne, ascended by nine steps, and is
surmounted by a canopy. Over the East, lighting the Lodge, is a glory surrounding
a triangle, in the centre of which are the words "Fiat lux." In the centre
of the room is the triangular altar, on which rest a Bible, Square, Compass,
Sword, and Mallet. The altar has three columns about it, forming a triangle,
on which are these words: on that in the East, "TRUTH;" on that in the West,
"JUSTICE;" on that in the South, "TOLERATION."
The rough and smooth ashlars and working-tools of a Symbolic Lodge are disposed
about the apartment. The Lodge is lighted by nine lights of yellow wax, in
a candlestick with nine branches, placed between the altar and the South;
the lights are arranged in three triangles, one within the other.
Venerable Grand Master is stationed in the East.
Senior Warden West.
Junior Warden South.
Treasurer is stationed as in a Symbolic Lodge.
Hospitaller is stationed to the left of Senior Warden.
A Lodge cannot be opened with less than nine members. The brethren are sometimes
termed Grand Masters.
Apron - Yellow, bordered and lined with blue; in the centre of the area are
three equilateral triangles, one within the other, with the initial letters
of the nine great lights in the corners, arranged as follows: At the apex
of the outer triangle, the letter C; at the righthand corner above, G;, at
the left-hand. corner, V; at the apex of the middle triangle, H; and at the
right and left hand corners, P and H; at the apex of the inner triangle,
the letter T, and at the right and left hand corners, T and J. In the centre
of the inner triangle is the Tetragrammaton, and across it, from below upward,
the words "Fiat lux."
Cordon-A broad sash of yellow and blue, passing from the left shoulder to
the right hip.
Jewel - Of gold; upon it the triangles, letters, and words, as upon the area
of the Apron.
Battery - ** - *
The Apron, my brother, with which I now invest you is triangular in shape,
as indeed are all the aprons used in this Order. It is unnecessary to state
to you that its form relates to the fourth great light, which reminds us
of the Deity and his attributes; the yellow relates to the superiority of
the grade, while the blue border and lining is the emblem of Truth, which
encompasses it; the triple triangle on the area exhibits the threefold power
of God, and their angles the nine great lights, with the initial letter of
each 'm the respective corners; the Tetragrammaton, crossed by the words,
" Fiat lux,," in the centre of the triangle, needs no explanation.
The Cordon is yellow and blue, for reasons already set forth in describing
The Jewel, also, is described by the representation on the area of the apron.
I now present you with this Gavel, as a symbol of a Grand Master of all Symbolic
Lodges of our Order: remembering you are a Master Ad Vitam, or for life -
that is, during your mortal existence and your correct Masonic deportment
in life - you are entitled to assume the gavel in all Symbolic Lodges of
the Ancient and Accepted Rite, providing there are none present superior
to you in rank; but never fail to keep in mind the three requisites of a
Master - Toleration, Justice, and Truth. As the presiding officer of a Lodge,
it will be your particular duty to dispense light and knowledge to the brethren.
That duty is not performed - nor is that which the old charges require, that,
at opening and closing, the Master shall give, or cause to be given a lecture,
or part of a lecture, for the instruction of the brethren - by asking and
receiving the answers to three or four merely formal and trivial questions.
On the contrary, that duty is far higher and more important; and it behooves
the Master to be prepared to perform it. Nor should any one accept the office
of Master, until, by acquaintance and familiarity with the history, morals,
and philosophy of Masonry, he is fitted to enlighten and instruct his brethren.
That you may ever remember that duty, you will now, under the direction of
the Senior Warden, proceed symbolically to perform it, by restoring to us
the splendor of our nine great lights in Masonry.
The true Mason, my brother, is a practical philosopher, who, under religious
emblems, in all ages adopted by wisdom, builds, upon plans traced by nature
and reason, the moral edifice of knowledge. Masonry and Philosophy, without
being one and the game thing, have the same object, and propose to themselves
the same end - the worship of the Great Architect of the Universe.
As Grand Master of all Symbolic Lodges, it is your especial duty to aid in
restoring Masonry to its primitive purity.
You have become an instructor. Masonry long wandered in error. Instead of
improving, it degenerated from its primitive simplicity. Less than two hundred
years ago its organization was simple and altogether moral; its emblems,
allegories, and ceremonies easy to be understood.
Innovators and inventors overturned that primitive simplicity. Ignorance
engaged in the work of making degrees, and trifles, and gewgaws, and pretended
mysteries, absurd or hideous, usurped the place of Masonic truth .Oaths,
out of all proportion with their object, shocked the candidate, and then
became ridiculous, and were wholly disregarded. Acolytes were exposed to
tests, and compelled to perform acts, which, if real, would have been abominable,
but being mere chimeras, were preposterous, and excited contempt. Eight hundred
degrees of one kind and another were invented. Infidelity, Hermeticism, Jesuitry,
were taught under the mask of Masonry.
The rituals of the regular Orders, copied and imitated by ignorant men, became
nonsensical and trivial. Candidates were made to degrade themselves, and
to submit to insults not tolerable to a man of spirit and honour. It has
even been seriously questioned whether, notwithstanding the beautiful order
and systematic arrangement of the degrees in the Ancient and Accepted rite
- free as they are from all incongruities, and perfect as the lessons are
in the teachings of the various virtues - the number might not advantageously
have been reduced, and thus Masonry have been simplified.
In the heterogeneous mass of over eight hundred degrees called Masonry, was
found Judaism and chivalry, superstition and philosophy, philanthropy and
insane hatred, a pure morality and unjust and illegal revenge, strongly mated,
and standing hand in hand within the temples of peace and concord; and the
whole system was one grotesque commingling of incongruous things and fine
conceptions overlaid and disfigured by absurdities engendered by ignorance,
fanaticism, and senseless mysticism.
And empty and sterile pomp, with lofty titles arbitrarily assumed, and to
which the inventors had not condescended to attach any explanation that should
acquit them of the folly of assuming temporal rank, power, and titles of
nobility, made the world laugh and the initiate feel ashamed.
Some titles we retain ; but they have with us meanings entirely consistent
with the spirit of equality which is the foundation and peremptory law of
its being - of all Masonry. The Knight, with us, is he who devotes his hand,
his heart, his brain to the science of Masonry, and professes himself the
sworn soldier of Truth. The Prince is he who aims to be chief (princeps) -
first or leader - among his equals, in virtue and good deeds. The Sovereign
is he who, one of an order whose members are all sovereigns, is supreme only
because the law and constitutions are so which he administers, and by which
he, like every brother, is governed. The titles, Puissant, Potent, Wise,
and Venerable, indicate that power of virtue, intelligence, and wisdom, which
those ought to strive to attain who are placed in high office by the suffrages
of their brethren; and all our other titles and designations have an esoteric
meaning, consistent with modesty and equality, and which those, who receive
them should fully understand.
As Master of a Lodge, it is your duty to instruct your brethren that the
degrees are all so many constant lessons, teaching the lofty qualifications
which are required of those who claim them, and not merely idle gewgaws,
worn in ridiculous imitation of the times when the nobles and priests were
masters, and the people slaves; and that in all true Masonry, the Knight,
the Pontiff, the Prince, and the Sovereign are but the first among their
equals; and the Cordon, the Clothing, and the Jewel, but symbols and emblems
of the virtues required of all good Masons.
As Master of a Lodge, you will be exceedingly careful that no candidate,
in any degree, be required to submit to any degradation whatever, as has
been too much the custom in some of the degrees; and take it as a certain
and inflexible rule, to which there is no exception, that Masonry requires
of no man anything to which a knight and gentleman cannot honourably, and
without feeling outraged or humiliated, submit.
The degrees of the Ancient and Accepted rite form a connected system of moral,
religious, and philosophical instruction: sectarian of no creed, it has been
deemed not improper to use the old allegories based on occurrences detailed
in the Hebrew and Christian books, and drawn from the ancient mysteries of
Egypt, Persia, Greece, India, the Druids, and the Essenes, as vehicles to
communicate the great Masonic truths - as it has used the legends of the
Crusades and the ceremonies of the order of knighthood.
The Ancient and Accepted rite of Masonry has now become, what Masonry at
first was meant to be - a teacher of great truths, inspired by an upright
and enlightened reason, a firm and constant wisdom, and an affectionate and
We teach the truth of none of the legends we recite. They are to us but parables
and allegories, involving and enveloping Masonic instruction, and vehicles
of useful and interesting information. They teach us wisdom, and the folly
of endeavoring to explain to ourselves that which we are not capable of
understanding: we reproduce the speculations of the Philosophers, the Kabbalists,
the Mystagogues, and the Gnostics. Every one being at liberty to apply our
symbols and emblems as he thinks most consistent with truth and reason, and
with his own faith, we give them such an interpretation only may be accepted
by all. Our degrees may be conferred in France or Turkey; at Pekin, Ispahan,
Rome, or Geneva; upon the subject of an absolute government or the citizen
of a free State; upon sectarian or theist. To honour the Deity, to regard
all men as our brethren and equally beloved by the Supreme Creator of the
universe, and to make himself useful to society and himself by his labour,
are its teachings to its initiate in all the degrees.
Oh that Temple of God, from the House of the Past, shineth down o'er the
centuried years; and my heart, through the veil of the mysteries vast, the
voice of King Solomon hears, asking me, with the sign of a Master, why my
soul no Temple rears. With the Three Great Lights ever shining above, And
the tools of my craft at hand. Why I build no fabric of prayerful love, with
the arch of a lifetime spanned; and the wings of embracing cherubs, overbrooding
its altars grand.
Oh the House of the Lord that our lives might raise how it gleams from our
fair youth-time: How its manifold arches and architraves blaze through the
wilderness dust of our Prime. Yet our years, when they moulder to ashes,
behold build wrecks sublime. For the House that we build in a lifetime's
length. From the midst of our worldly din, hath no Jachin and Boaz, established
in strength and no Holy of Holies within; and we bear up no Ark of the Covenant
from out of our Desert of Zin.
Oh the Cedars of Lebanon grow at our door, and the quarry is sunk at our
gate; and the ships out of Ophir, with golden ore for our summoning mandate
wait; and the Word of a Master Mason may the House of our Soul create . While
the Day hath light let the light be used for no man shall the night control
. Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or broken the golden bowl, may we build
King Solomon's Temple in the true Masonic Soul.