The Degrees of the Rite
The Degrees of the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite within Australia are listed below. Although the Rite has its own particularly ornate and solemn rituals for the first three Degrees, these Degrees as conferred within warranted Craft Lodges are accepted as being completed by Master Masons who Petition for Perfection to any regular Supreme Council across the world. The 4° to 18° are conferred in a Sovereign Chapter, the 19° to 30° in a Sovereign Council, the 31° and 32° in a Consistory (or Council if a Consistory is unavailable), and the 33° is conferred only by a Supreme Council.
Only one member per District, once in every five years, is honoured to be selected and invited to join the 33°.
|Conferred in an EAF Lodge|
|1°||Entered Apprentice Freemason|
|Conferred in a FCF Lodge|
|2°||Fellow Craft Freemason|
|Conferred in a MM Lodge|
|Conferred in a Lodge of Perfection|
|7°||Provost and Judge|
|8°||Superintendant of the Building|
|9°||Elect of Nine|
|10°||Elect of Fifteen|
|12°||Grand Master Architect|
|13°||Royal Arch of Enoch|
|14°||Grand Elect Perfect and Sublime Master|
|Conferred in a Council of Princes of Jerusalem|
|15°||Knight of the Sword|
|16°||Prince of Jerusalem|
|Conferred in a Lodge of Knights of the East and West|
|17°||Knight of the East and West|
|Conferred in a Sovereign Chapter of Princes Rose Croix of Heredom|
|18°||Knight of the Pelican and Eagle, Sovereign Prince Rose Croix of Heredom|
|Conferred in an Assembly of Philosophers|
|20°||Venerable Grand Master|
|22°||Prince of Libanus|
|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 Saint Andrew|
|Conferred in a Sovereign Council of Grand Elect Knights Kadosh|
|30°||Grand Elect Knight Kadosh|
|Conferred in a Sovereign Tribunal|
|31°||Grand Inspector Inquisitor Commander|
|Conferred in a Grand Consistory|
|32°||Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret|
Supreme Council 33°
|33°||Sovereign Grand Inspector General|
Although minor variations in naming convention for the Degrees can be found in some international jurisdictions the philosophical teaching and lessons in each remain consistent.
Most Supreme Councils throughout the world place minimum time requirements at certain progressive points. The Supreme Council for Australia has decreed the following:
- a minimum of three years active engagement at the 18° to be eligible to progress to the 30°;
- a minimum of three years active engagement at the 30° to be eligible to progress to the 31°;
- a minimum of three years active engagement at the 31° to be eligible to progress to the 32°; and
- progression to the 33° is by Supreme Council invitation only.
In addition, through a Concordat agreed between Supreme Council for Australia and the United Grand Lodge of NSW & ACT, which encourages and promotes a reasonable period of education and instruction in the Craft Degrees and uninterrupted engagement with their Craft Lodge, a Brother within the NSW & ACT jurisdiction must be a Master Mason for a minimum of two years before he can be Perfected in a Sovereign Chapter.
Supreme Councils throughout the world are each sovereign authorities over their jurisdiction; there is no higher authority nor is there a global authority. Supreme Councils operate collaboratively for the good of the Rite.
Under the Supreme Council for England & Wales, and the Supreme Council for Scotland, progression to the 31° and 32° is awarded strictly for merit therefore membership at those higher degrees is low when compared to Australia. Members of the Rite visiting England & Wales, or Scotland, will be warmly welcomed as visitors with full recognition of their higher degree; however, if that visitor chose to join or affiliate with those jurisdictions he would be required to join at the 18°.
Conversely, under the Southern Jurisdiction of the USA, Master Masons may attend a full weekend of instruction where each of the 32 Degrees are enacted in spectacularly orchestrated stage plays. Master Masons thereafter graduate, at the end of that weekend, at the 32°. Therefore, membership at the 32° under the Supreme Council of the Southern Jurisdiction is significantly higher than in Australia and other Jurisdictions across the world.
The Supreme Council for Australia permits progression to the 32°, assuming proactive engagement, so that all members can benefit from the philosophical teachings of the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite.