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.
KNIGHT OF THE BRAZEN SERPENT
The Twenty-Five Grade of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite and the Seventh
Degree of the Historical and Philosophical Series
The Degree of Knight of the Brazen Serpent relates to the time when the camp
of the Israelites was pitched at Punon, on the eastern side of the mountains
of Hor, Seir, or Edom, In Arabia Petraea, on the confines of Idumaea, after
the death of Aaron, when the new moon occurred at the vernal equinox, in
the fortieth year of the wandering of the children of Israel in the desert.
The duties of a Knight of the Brazen Serpent are: To purify the soul of its
alloy of earthliness, that through the gate of Capricorn and the seven spheres
It may at length ascend to its eternal home beyond the stars; and also to
perpetuate the great truths enveloped in the symbols and allegories of the
ancient mysteries of Faith.
THE LODGE - ITS DECORATION, ETC
The Lodge, in this degree, is styled the Council. The camp, standards, and
tabernacle with its court, are as in the two preceding degrees. In the East
is a transparency on which is painted a cross, with a serpent coiled round
it and over the arms.
On the right of the presiding officer is a short column, on which is a winged
globe encircled by a serpent. On the left of the Senior Warden and right
of the Junior Warden are similar columns, on each of which is a serpent or
basilisk, his body coiled in folds, and his head and neck erect above the
folds. The globe and all the serpents are gilded.
The presiding officer represents Moses, and, is styled " Most Puissant Leader."
The Senior Warden, sitting in the West, on the left, represents Joshua, the
son of Nun; and the Junior Warden, in the West, on the right, represents
Caleb, the son of Yephanah. The former is styled "Most Valiant Captain of
the Host;" and the latter, "Illustrious Chief Prince of the Tribes." The
Orator sits on the right of the Most Puissant Leader, represents Eleazar,
the son of Aaron, and is styled "Most Excellent High-Priest." He wears the
full dress of the High-Priest, as prescribed in the two preceding degrees.
The Secretary represents Ithamar, the son of Aaron, sits on the right of
the presiding officer, at the side of the hall, a little to the front, and
is styled "Excellent Scribe." He wears the Priest's dress, as prescribed
in the two preceding degrees.
The Treasurer represents Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, sits on the left of
the presiding officer, at the side of the hall, a little to the front, and
is styled "Excellent Recorder.", He also wears the Priest's dress, as before
The Expert sits on the south side, and the Assistant Expert on the north
side of the Tabernacle; the Grand Master of Ceremonies in front of the Senior
Warden, and the Grand Captain of the Guard near the door of entrance. These
brethren are all styled "Respectable;" and the other members are addressed
as "Brother and Knight A," or "B."
The order is a crimson ribbon, on which are depicted the words, one under
the other, Osiris, Ormuzd, Osarsiph, Moses; and under them a bull, with a
disk, surmounted by a crescent between his horns. This is worn from left
to right; and across it, from right to left, is worn a broad, white, watered
ribbon, on which are the words Isis, Ceres, over a dog's head and a crescent.
On the right breast, on the left breast, and at the crossing of these orders,
is a star of gold. Under that on the right breast is the letter A [for
Aldebaran]; under that on the left breast the letter A [for Antares]; and
under that at the crossing of the orders, the letter F [for Fomalhaut]. On
the crimson cordon is the word [Gevurah-Valour]; and on the white, [Aun -
Virtus], meaning active energy or generative power, and passive energy or
capacity to produce.
The jewel is a tau cross, of gold, surmounted by a circle - the Crux Ansata
- round which a serpent is entwined. On the upright part of the cross is
engraved the word [HoLaTal, he has suflered or been wounded], and
on the arms the word [NeChuShTaN, the Brazen Serpent].
The apron is white, lined and edged with black; the white side spotted with
golden stars, and the black side with silver ones. Those on the white side
represent, by their position and distances, the Pleiades, the Hyades, Orion,
and Capella. Those on the black side represent the stars of Perseus, Scorpio,
and Bootes. In the middle of the white side is a triangle in a glory, in
the centre of which is the word HoLaTal. On the flap is a serpent
in a circle, with his tail in his mouth, and in the centre of the circle
so formed a scarabaeus or beetle. Over this is a star of gold, with the letter
R [Regulus] over it; on the right side of the apron another, with the letter
A [Aldebaran] over it; on the left side another, with the letter A [Antares]
over it; and at the bottom of the apron another, with the letter F [Fornalhaut]
Battery - ***** - *** - *
So much of the truth as it is given to mortals to know, is within the reach
of those alone whose intellects are unclouded by passion or excess. To attain
it, to comprehend the delicate distinctions of the thought in which the truth
is embodied, the intellect, like a keen instrument of the finest steel, must
be able to dissect the thought, and distinguish one from the other its invisible
nerves. The edge of the instrument is blunted by the indulgence of the sensual
appetites, or of the intemperate passions of the soul.
Therefore it is that the sages have always required of those who sought to
scale the heights of philosophy a preparatory discipline, of long-continued
temperance and self-restraint; and fasting is enjoined, as well as prayer.
If thy intellect is dull and coarse by nature, or clouded and confused by
indulgence, the symbolisms of the Kabala will have no meaning to thee; and
we shall address thee in a foreign tongue.
Thus it is that true Masonry has always been, and always must be, confined
to a few; since to the mass its truths are foolishness and valueless.
Most Puissant Leader, the soul of the people was discouraged, because of
the way, journeying from Mount Hor, by the way of the Red Sea, to compass
the land of Edom; and they spake against Adonai and against thee, saying:
" Why hath AI-Shadai and his servant Moses brought us up out of Egypt, to
die in the wilderness? There is no bread nor any water, and our souls loathe
this light manna. We go to and fro these forty years; and as Aaron died in
the desert, so also shall we all die here. Let us put trust in Adonai no
longer; but let us call on the great gods Amun and Astarte, Osiris and Isis,
to deliver us from this misery." And as they cried aloud on them, lo! Adonai
sent fiery serpents among them, by whom much people hath died. And those
that remain have repented and, said unto me: "Put chains upon thy neck in
token of our penitence, and go unto Moses our leader, and beseech him to
pray unto Adonai that he take away the serpents from us;"' and I have done
as they desired.
My brother, life is a war, in which one must prove his soldiership, in order
to rise in rank. Force is not given. It has to be seized.
He only is worthy of initiation in the profounder mysteries who has overcome
the fear of death, and is ready to hazard his life when the welfare of his
country or the interests of humanity require it; and to die even an ignoble
death, if thereby the people may be benefited.
I have prayed for the people, and Adonai hath said unto me: "Make thee an
image of a venomous springing serpent, and set it upon a pole; and it shall
come to pass that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall
The plague of serpents is stayed; and as they have fled to their caves, so
the celestial serpent flees, with the scorpion, before the glittering stars
of Orion. The great festival of the vernal equinox approaches, and it is
time to prepare ourselves by purification for the Passover. Light will soon
prevail once, more over darkness; and the pulses. of life again beat in the
bosom of the earth, long chilled by the wintry frosts.
Let the brazen cross and the serpent be borne before the congregation, and
be forever a symbol of Faith, by the dying out whereof in the hearts of nations,
they fall into decay; and lest the knowledge of its true symbolic meaning
should in time be lost, and the people hereafter imagine it to be something
divine, and worship it, we will perpetuate the remembrance of this day's
events, and the true meaning of this and our other symbols, and of the fables
of Osiris and Ormuzd, and Typhon and Ahriman, as the last degree of those
sacred mysteries which Joseph, the son of Jacob, like myself, learned from
the Egyptians, and which I have taught to you such as our forefathers practised
on the plains of Chaldaea.
The Father sends fiery serpents to sting and slay his children. Yet he commands
us to forgive those who trespass against us. And this law is not the mandate
of his will, but the expression of his nature. Who will explain this great
Below, upon the earth, the serpent is the minister of death. Its image, lifted
on high, heals and restores life.
The first sages who sought for the cause of causes saw good and evil in the
world; they observed the shadow and the light; they compared winter with
spring, old age with youth, life with death, and said: "The first cause is
beneficent and cruel. It gives life hnd destroys."
Are there, then, two contrary principles - a good and an evil?" cried the
disciples of Manes.
No! the two principles of the universal equilibrium are not contrary to
each other, though in apparent opposition; for it is a single wisdom that
opposes them one to the other.
The good is on the right, the evil on the left; but the supreme good is above
both, and makes the evil subserve the triumph of the good, and the good serve
for the reparation of the evil.
Wherefore this first cause has always revealed itself by the cross; - the
cross, that one composed of two, each of the two divided, so that they constitute
four; - the cross, that key of the mysteries of India and Egypt, the tau
of the patriarchs, the divine symbol of Osiris, the stauros of the Gnostics,
the keystone of the Temple, the symbol of occult Masonry; - the cross,
that central point of junction of the right angles of four infinite triangles;
the four - in - one X of the divine tetragram.