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.
PRINCE OF THE TABERNACLE
The Twenty-Fourth Grade of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite and the
Sixth Degree of the Historical and Philosophical Series
The degree of Prince of the Tabernacle illustrates the
ceremonies of the Priests in the ancient Temples, and explains the esoteric
meaning of their many avocations in equipping the Temple and sustaining their
various sacerdotal duties. This degree is most intimately connected with,
and should be considered a continuation of, that of the Chief of the Tabernacle.
The especial duties of a Prince of the Tabernacle are to labour incessantly
for the glory of God, the honour of his country, and the happiness of his
brethren; to offer up thanks and prayers to the Deity in lieu of sacrifices
of flesh and blood.
THE COURT-ITS DECORATIONS, ETC
The Hall consists of two apartments. The first, which is the smaller, adjoins
the second, and is called the Vestibule, where the brethren clothe themselves.
It is furnished at all points like a Master Mason's Lodge, except that instead
of a printed Bible, a roll of parchment, representing the Book of the Law,
lies on the altar, upon the Book of Constitutions; and that the letter
Yod is suspended in the East, instead of the G.
The second apartment is furnished in every respect like the Principal apartment
in the 23d degree, with these additions:
In the East is suspended the Pentagram, or Blazing Star,
in the following shape, of vermilion, illuminated as a transparency:
There are two sets of hangings around the room, one red and the other black.
On the table of shew-bread, in the Tabernacle, is a silver vessel containing
OFFICERS AND CLOTHING
The Assemblage is styled "The Court." The presiding officer represents
Moses, and is styled "Most Puissant Leader." He sits
in the East. Near him, on his right, is the second officer, who represents
Eleazar, the High-Priest, the son of Aaron. He is styled "Most Excellent
High-Priest," and wears the full-dress of his office, as described in the
23d degree. On the left of the Leader sits the third officer, clothed as
the Priests in that degree, and representing Ithamar, the son of Aaron. He
is styled "Excellent Priest."
The Orator represents the Puissant Prince Eliasaph, the son of Lael, of the
house of Gershon, and sits in the West.
The Secretary represents the Puissant Prince Eliazaphan, the son of Uzziel,
of the house of Kohath, and sits to the south of the Tabernacle.
The Treasurer represents the Puissant Prince Zuriel, the son of Abibael,
of the house of Merari, and sits to the north of the Tabernacle.
The Expert represents Aholiab, and sits to the right of the Leader, in front.
The Assistant Expert represents Bezeleel, and sits to the right of the Orator,
The Grand Master of Ceremonies represents Caleb, the son of Jephunneh, and
sits facing the Leader in front of the Tabernacle.
The Grand Captain of the Guards represents Joshua, the son of Nun, and sits
on the right side of the Tabernacle, facing the East.
All the officers, except the Leader and Wardens, and all the other members,
are styled "Levites" and these officers and members all wear a turban of
white muslin; broad, watered scarlet ribbon, worn from right to left; a girdle
of red leather, fringed below with gold, and edged with gold-lace, from which
girdle a small silver censer is suspended. (See 23d degree.)
On the front of the ribbon are embroidered, in gold, a winged globe, and
under it a scarabaeus, under which in a brilliant butterfly; all symbols
The apron, which is not worn by the first three officers, is of white lambskin,
lined with scarlet, bordered with light green, and the flap with light blue.
In the middle of the apron is printed a representation of an Arabian tent,
in gold; and on the flap a representation of a myrtle-tree, of violet color.
The jewel is the letter N, suspended from a short collar of narrow, watered,
The Most Puissant Leader wears a tunic of blue silk, its collar decorated
with rays of gold representing a glory, and the body of it sprinkled with
stars of gold.
On his head he wears the white turban, with a purple band round the forehead,
embroidered with stars of gold; and also surmounted by a small triangle of
gold, the apex downward.
My brother, the initiate is he who possesses the lamp,
the cloak, and the staff.
The lamp is reason enlightened by science; the cloak is liberty, or the full
and entire possession of one's self, which isolates the sage from the currents
of instinct; and the staff is the assistance of the occult and eternal forces
The lamp lights the past, the present, and the future, which are the three
sides of the triangle. It burns with a threefold flame; the cloak is in three
folds; and the staff is divided into three parts.
This number, nine, is that of the reflexes of the Deity, and expresses the
divine idea in all its abstract power. Hence it is sacred in Masonry. For
that it was that Hermes made it the number of initiation; because the initiate
reigns over superstition, and by superstition, and can walk alone in the
darkness, supported as he is upon his staff, wrapped in his cloak, and lighted
by his lamp.
Reason has been given unto all men; but all do not know how to use it. That
is a science that must be learned. Liberty is offered to all; but all have
not the power to be free. That is a right which we must conquer. Force is
within the reach of all men; but all men do not know how to lean upon it.
That is a power of which one must possess himself.
These are to us, in this degree, the three great lights on the east, west,
and south of the altar.
To attain the Holy Empire, that is to say, the science and power of the Magi,
four things are indispensable: an intellect enlightened by study; an audacity
which nothing checks a will that nothing can conquer; and a discretion that
nothing can corrupt or intoxicate. To Know, to Dare, to Will, to be Silent
- these are the four words of the Magus, written in the four symbolic forms
of the sphinx.
All the phenomena of nature depend on one single immutable law, represented
by that symbolic form, the cube; and this furnished the Hebrews with all
the mysteries of the divine tetragram.
Take care that thou dost not mistake the shadow for the reality. In everything,
the vulgar habitually do so. They turn from the light, and wonder at the
obscurity which they themselves project.
Listen and learn. Interpret our symbols for yourself. In every rough ashlar
of marble is hidden the perfect cube. One is the symbol, the other its meaning.
The sun and moon in our lodges are the truth, and the reflection of the truth
in doctrine. Allegory, the mother of all dogmas, is the substitution of the
impression for the seal, of the shadow for the reality. It is the falsehood
of the truth, and the truth of the falsehood.
A dogma is not invented; a truth is veiled and a shadow produced, to suit
weak eyes. The initiator is not an impostor, but a revealer - that is, in
the original meaning of the word, one who veils anew. He is the creator of
a new shadow.
The work of God is the book of God. For the letters to appear, there must
needs be two colours on the page. Search and discover. You are about to be
taught by symbols. Forget not the universal law of equilibrium. The ancients,
in their evocations, always erected two altars, and sacrificed two victims,
one black and one white; and the Priest, holding in one hand the sword, and
in the other the rod, had to have one foot naked and the other shod.
Prepare, now, for admission to the inner mysteries.
M.:. P.: My brethren, the power of darkness
has prevailed over the Prince of light. The earth mourns, and is wrinkled
with frost. The leaves drop from the trees; snow shrouds the mountains, and
cold winds sweep over the shuddering skies. All nature laments; and we share
the common sorrow. Excellent Senior Warden, let prayers be offered up in
the tabernacle for the return of light and the reascension of the Sun, and
of that moral and spiritual light of which he is the type.
S.: W.: Most Puissant, all the nations of the earth do fast and pray. Our
ancient taskmasters on the banks of the Nile mourn for Osiris. The Chaldeans
lament for Bel, and the Phoenicians for Thammuz. The Phrygian women clash
their cymbals and weep for Atys; on the Syrian hills and over the Etruscan
plains the virgins lament for Dionusos; while far in India the Brahmans pray
for the return of Cama; and in Persia the Magi predict the resurrection of
Mithras. The dead will rise again, as the wheat grows from the grain ; and
all the world will then rejoice.
M.: P.: We, like our ancient masters, mourn Osiris - the type to us of the
sun, of light, of life. The scorpion and the serpent rule the winter waves,
on which the frail ark tosses that contains his body. Weep, my brethren,
for Osiris! Weep for light lost, and life departed, and the good and beautiful
oppressed by evil ! Man hath fallen from his first estate, and is lost, as
the sun hath sunken into the icy arms of winter. Wee for Osiris, type of
the good, the true, the beautiful! How shall his body be recovered from the
embraces of the hungry sea; and earth again be gladdened by his presence?
Brethren, behold a new Priest of the Tabernacle, to be instructed and prepared
to fulfil all his duties as a Prince of well-doers in this frail Tabernacle
of life, that he may be raised on the great day of account, a shining monument
of God's glory, in the tabernacle of eternity.