The Web of Hiram

University of Bradford
Home Lectures of the Craft Lectures of the Holy Royal Arch Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite The Royal Order of Scotland York Rite Side Degrees English Knights Templar Order of Women Freemasons Walter Leslie Wilmshurst

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.

33. Inspector-General




There is but one God, uncreated, eternal, infinite, and Inaccessible: that the soul of man is immortal, and his existent life but a point in the centre of eternity: that harmony is in equilibrium, and equilibrium subsists by the analogy of contraries: that analogy is the key of all the secrets of nature, and the sole reason of being of all revelations: and, finally, that the Absolute is Reason, which exists through itself: that evil, and wrong, and misery are the necessary discords that unite with the concords of the universe to make one great harmony forever. Such is the argument of this the last philosophical degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite; its doctrine is derived from the Kabala, and is the same as that of the Hermetic philosophers who wrote on Alchemy.

Nature is revelation, and the light of truth shines everywhere in the world, Magism was made for kings and priests alone. He who dreads to lose his own ideas, and fears new truths, and is not disposed to doubt everything, rather than admit anything at random, should not seek to learn the teaching of this degree, for they will be useless and dangerous to him; he will misunderstand them and be troubled by them, and yet be more troubled should he chance to comprehend them.

He who prefers anything to reason, truth, and justice, whose will is uncertain and wavering, who is alarmed by logic and the naked truth, should not rashly engage in the pursuit of the high sciences; but once on the road, he must reach the goal or perish; to doubt is to become insane, to halt is to fall, to back is to precipitate one's self into an abyss.

Sancta Sancis! The holy things for the holy! SANCTO: SANCO: SEMONI - DEO FIDIO SACRUM'

In the Veda there are only three deities Dyaus in heaven, Indra in the sky, and Agni on the earth. Dyaus, Indra, Agni, however, are but manifestations in the Sun, the bright Sky, and the Fire derived from the solar light. In the Vedic hymns, we find perpetual allusion to the sun with his life-bestowing rays. The Persians, the Assyrians, the Chaldeans, all worship the sun. Sun worship was introduced into the mysteries not as a material idolatry, but as the means of expressing an idea of restoration to life from death, drawn from the daily reappearance in the cast of the solar orb after its nightly disappearance in the west.

The Sun is the symbol of sovereignty, the hieroglyphic of royalty; it doth signify absolute authority. Sol is the fire of heaven which lights the generative fires of earth, the genial parent who renews in its season all nature, and gives fertility to both animal and vegetable creation, and which, therefore, came to be worshipped as the giver of procreative power. As men are, so will their ideas of God be; each one, according to his cultivation and idiosyncrasies, projects on his mental canvas the highest ideal of the Illimitable of which he is capable. Had man worshipped nought less noble and elevating than the Sun he would have done well; for he could adore nothing greater save the Supreme Creator of the Sun.


Bodies of this degree are styled Councils. Each Council consists of not less than ten members. The hangings of the Council-Chamber should represent the open country-mountains, plains, forests, and fields. The chamber is lighted by a single light. This is a great globe, suspended in the South, and represents the sun. The only additional light is from the transparencies.

In the East is suspended a transparency, displaying the sign of the Macrocosm or of the Seal of Solomon, the interlaced triangles, one white and the other black

Above the transparency in the East are, in gilded letters, the words Lux e Tenebris.

In the West is suspended a transparency, displaying the sign of the Microcosm or the Pentagram, traced on white with lines of vermilion, and with a single point upward, thus:

In the South is a painting of the Temple of Solomon. At the entrance to it, to which an ascent by seven steps is represented, is painted a man, holding in his arms a white lamb, between the columns Jachin and Boaz.

In each corner of the chamber is suspended, about six feet above the floor, an equilateral triangle; its three sides coloured respectively white, black, and red, and each side measuring about eighteen inches, thus:

'In the North is a transparency, on which the following figure appears:

On the right of the presiding officer, in the East, on a gilt pedestal, is a caduceus, gilded; the upper part of it a cross, surmounted by a globe-two serpents twining around the caduceus, their heads rising above the cross.

On the right of the officer in the West, on a white pedestal, is a white clove, its wings folded; and on his left, on a black pedestal, a black raven, its wings extended, as if just alighting.

On the cast, west, and south of the altar, in the centre of the chamber, are three candlesticks, the candles not burning; and over each candlestick the letter S.

The ceiling of the chamber should represent the heavens, with the crescent moon in the West; the principal planets, and the stare in the constellations Taurus and Orion, and those near the pole-star.

The altar is square, with a gilded horn or flame at each corner. On it is a plate of white marble, upon which is inlaid in gold the pentagram. Upon this lies the book of constitutions open, and near it a censer.


The presiding officer is styled "Father Adam." He sits in the East, clothed in a saffron-colored robe, and with head covered. In his right hand he holds a sceptre, its handle gilded, and on the top a globe of gold. His jewel is a sun of gold, suspended by a chain of gold,. worn round the neck. The reverse side of the jewel is a hemisphere of gold, showing the northern half of the ecliptic and zodiac, with the signs from Taurus; to Libra inclusive.

When the degree is conferred, no jewel or apron is worn.

There is but one Warden. He sits in the West, and is called "Brother Truth." He wears a rose-coloured robe, and bears a white rod, at the end of which is an eye of gold. His jewel is like that of the Master.

The order of the degree is also worn by each of these officers. It is a broad, white, watered ribbon, worn as a collar. On the right side is an eye of gold.

The apron is of pure white lambskin, with no edging or ornament except the pentagram, which is traced on the middle of it with vermilion.

There are seven other officers, who are styled, collectively, "The Seven Malakoth", Kings, Envoys, Angels), and, separately, the first, second, third," etc, Malak, or, "Brothers Gabriel, Uriel, Michael, Raphael, Zarakhiel, Hamaliel, and Tsaphiel." The first is called "Malak Malakoth." These officers wear robes of a bright flame-color, with the cordon of the degree, and for a jewel a seven-pointed star of gold. They wear also the apron. The jewel may be suspended from the collar.

These officers are stationed thus:

Gabriel sits in the northeast, having on his right his banner, square in shape, of crimson silk, having upon it the figure of an eagle, and the sign of the planet Jupiter.

Michael, in the southeast, having on his right his banner of black silk, of like shape, bearing the figure of a lion, and the sign of the planet Saturn.

Uriel, in the southwest, his banner of flame-colored silk, of like shape, on his right, bearing the figure of a bull, and the sign of the planet Mars.

Raphael, in the northwest, his banner of green silk, of like shape, on his right, bearing the figure of a man, and the sign of the planet Mercury.

Zarakhiel, in front of Father Adam, his banner of purple silk, of like shape, on his right, bearing the sign of the Sun.

Tsaphiel, in front of Brother Truth, his banner of white silk of like shape, on his right, bearing the sign of the Moon.

And Hamaliel, in the South, his banner of blue silk, of like shape, on his right, bearing the sign of the planet Venus.

Gabriel wears also bracelets of pure tin; Michael, of lead; Uriel, of steel; Raphael, of hollow glass, partly filled with quicksilver; Zarakhiel of gold; Tsaphiel of silver; and Hamaliel of polished copper. The banners of Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, and Hamaliel are fringed with silver; those of the others with gold. The other members of the Council are termed Aralim (plural of Aral, Lion of God; hero). They wear the collar and apron, but no robe. Their jewel is a five-pointed star, suspended by a flame-coloured ribbon on the left breast.

Of these brethren, one acts as Herald, one as Expert, one as Tiler.


The following is the beautiful and expressive prayer used in the opening of this sublimely philosophical degree.


0 uncreated reason, spirit of light and wisdom, whose breath gives and withdraws the form of everything! The universe is thy utterance and revelation. Thou, before whom the life of beings is a shadow that changes, and a vapour that passes away! Thou breathest forth, and the endless spaces are peopled; thou drawest breath, and all that went forth from thee return to thee again. Unending movement, in eternal permanence! we adore and worship thee with awe and reverence. We praise and bless thee in the changing empire of created light, of shadows, of reflections, and of images; and we incessantly aspire toward thy immovable and imperishable splendour. Let the ray of thy intelligence and the warmth of thy love reach unto us! Then what is movable will be fixed, the shadow become a body, the dream a thought. Incline us, 0 Spirit of Spirits to obey thy will ! Help us, 0 Eternal Soul of Souls to perform our duties! 0 imperishable breath of life, 0 mouth that givest and takest away the existence of all beings, in the flow and reflow of thy eternal word, which is the divine ocean of movement and of truth; make our efforts to do good effectual, and let the light of thy divine truth shine in the souls of all mankind! Amen!


But little of the immense amount of instruction contained in the degree of Knight of the Sun can be given in a manual of the rite; the degree is voluminous, and the monitorial parts are extensive, and it is deemed more appropriate that they should be laid before the student and neophyte directly from the ritual in the hands of the Commander-in-chief of the Consistory. The following points are however inscribed.

1. Science is preserved by silence, and perpetuated by initiation. The law of silence is absolute and inviolable, only with respect to the initiated multitude. Science makes use of symbols; but for its transmission, language also is indispensable wherefore the sages must sometimes speak. But when they speak, they do so, not to disclose or to explain, but to lead others to seek for and find the truths of Science and the meaning of the symbols.

2. The Hermetic Masters said, " Make gold potable, and you will have the universal medicine." By this they meant to say, appropriate truth to your use, let it be the spring from which you shall drink all your days, and you will have in yourselves the immortality of the sages. We are the authors of our own destinies; and God does not save us without our co-operation. Death is not, for the sage. It is a phantom which the ignorance and weakness of the multitude make horrible Change is the evidence of movement, and movement reveals life alone. Even the body would not be decomposed if it were dead. All the atoms that compose it retain life, and move to free themselves. The spirit is not the first to be disengaged that it may live no longer. Can thought and love die, when the basest matter does not? If change should be called death, we die and are born again every day; for every day our forms change. Let us fear, then, to go out from and rend our garments, but let us not dread to lay them aside when the hour for rest comes!

3. The divine light, that outshining of the supreme reason or word of the Deity, "which lighteth every man that cometh into the world," has not been altogether wanting to the devout of any creed. The permanent revelation, one and universal, is written in visible nature, is explained by reason, and completed by the wise analogies of faith. Faith has in all ages been the lever whereby to move the world.

4. There is no invisible world. There are only different degrees of perfection in the organs

The body is the gross representation, and, as it were, the temporary envelope of the soul.

The soul can perceive, by itself, and without the intervention of the bodily organs, by means of its sensibility and lucidity, the things, whether spiritual or corporeal, that exist in the universe.

There is no void in nature; all is peopled.

There is no real death in nature; all is living.

5. What we call death is change. The supreme reason, being unchangeable, is therefore imperishable. Thoughts, once uttered, are immortal. Is the source or spring from which they flow less immortal than they? How could the thoughts exist, if the soul from which they emanated were to cease to be? Could the universe, the uttered thoughts of God, continue still to exist if he no longer were?

6. Nature is the primary, consistent, and certain revelation or unveiling of God. It is his utterance, word, and speech. Whether he speaks to us through a man, must depend, even at first, on human testimony, and afterward on hearsay or tradition. But in and by his work we know the Deity, even as we know the mind of another man, and his thoughts, by his acts and words. We can no more be face to face with the soul of another man than we can with God.

7. Analogy is the last word of science, and the first of faith. Harmony is in equilibrium; and equilibrium subsists by the analogy of contraries. The absolute unity is the supreme and last reason of things. This reason can neither be one person or three persons: it is one reason, and the reason, surpassing and transcendent. Religions seem to be written in heaven and in all nature. That ought to be so; for the work of God is the book of God, and in what lie writes we ought to see the expression of his thought, and consequently of his being; since we conceive of him only as the supreme thought.

In the West, over the Warden, you behold the holy and mysterious pentagram, the sign of the microcosm, or universe, called "The blazing star," the sign of intellectual omnipotence and autocracy, which has been partially explained to you heretofore. It represents what is called in the Kabala microprosopos, being in some sort a human figure, with the four limbs, and a point representing the head. It is the universe contained within the Deity. It is a sign ancient as history and more than history; and the complete understanding of it is the key of the two worlds. It is the absolute philosophy and natural science.

All the mysteries of Magism,.all the symbols of the gnosis, all the figures of the occult philosophy, all the kabalistic keys of prophecy, are summed lip in the sign of the pentagram, the greatest and most potent of all signs.

The white dove and black raven in the West represent the two principles of Zoroaster and Manes, good and evil, light and darkness; and the fourth and fifth sephiroth of the Kabala, the mercy or benignity, and the justice or severity of the Deity.

The candidate in the ancient initiations surrendered without reservation his life and liberty to the Masters of the Temples of Thebes or of Memphis; he advanced resolutely amid innumerable terrors,- that might well lead him to suppose that it was intended to take life. He passed through fire, swam torrents of dark and foaming water, was suspended by frail ropes over bottomless gulfs. Was this not blind obedience, in the fullest sense of the word ? To surrender one's liberty for the moment, in order to attain a glorious emancipation, is not this the most perfect exercise of liberty itself? This is what those have had to do, what those have always done, who have aspired to the Holy Empire of magical omnipotence. The disciples of Pythagoras imposed on themselves a complete speechlessness for many years; and even the followers of Epicurus only learned the sovereignty of pleasure, by a self-imposed sobriety and calculated temperance. Life is a warfare, in which one must prove himself a man, to ascend in rank Force is not given: it must be seized.

If the sacred Scriptures are inspired, God himself has told us that he makes good and creates evil. It is owing to human vanity that no man has ever dared to reason with common sense on this subject Man pursues, tortures, and kills the most innocent animals, birds, and fishes, to gratify his appetite, or for mere pleasure. He crushes thousands of insects without a thought of wrong; nay, he destroys, as does every other animal, myriads of animalalae and infusoria daily, unconsciously, and without being able to avoid it. Throughout the whole scale of animal creation, one creature lives by devouring another, and every step taken, or movement made, or breath drawn by each, crushes out life. Pain and sickness, calamity and death, are the lot of all created beings.

The world teems everywhere with life, and is peopled with innumerable myriads of beings sensitive to pain. It was not created for man alone; and it is not only precisely what the divine and perfect wisdom intended, but it is all that a material world, peopled by beings with material bodies, could by possibility be. The millennium on this earth is the real Utopia, fabulous and impossible, of visionary dreamers. Man is what the Deity meant he should be-imperfect, feeble, fallible, liable to err, and sensitive to pain, but capable of improvement and progression, and of a heroism that can smile at agony, be content with destitution, preserve an equal mind under the lash of injustice, and without unmanly fear await the approach of death and count the pulses of his life. The man who can do this has attained the equilibrium of faith and reason, and may claim to be called Magus, Prince, Adept, and Knight of the Sun.

Home Lectures of the Craft Lectures of the Holy Royal Arch Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite The Royal Order of Scotland York Rite Side Degrees English Knights Templar Order of Women Freemasons Walter Leslie Wilmshurst

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