Originally posted by Nygdan
What are you talking about? There are three steps, then a step for the 4th degree in the scottish rite, and on the same level a step for the Mark
Master of the York Rite.
You are absolutely correct, and (of course) Necros is absolutely in error.
Aside from Necros' misstatement, which is in all probability an intentional one anyway, the terms "York Rite" and "Scottish Rite" are sometimes
The York Rite is, in effect, "original" Freemasonry, and is the most common form of Freemasonry. It is called "York Rite" because the Regius
Manuscript refers to it being founded in York, England in the early middle ages.
Originally, the York Rite consisted of only two degrees (Entered Apprentice and Fellow Craft). Eventually, the degree of Master Mason was added to the
system in the early 1700's.
After this, several "side degrees" developed, along with the Royal Arch Degree, although the Royal Arch was originally conferred in a very primitive
version as part of the Master Mason degree. The United Grand Lodge of England has officially stated that "pure, antient Masonry consists of only
three Degrees, viz., Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason, which includes the Supreme Order of the Holy Royal Arch".
Around the same time, Lodges of Mark Master Masons began popping up in England, and a Grand Mark Lodge now has jurisdiction over them. The Order of
Knights Templar was, at this time, conferred in Blue Lodges.
This has caused a great deal of confusion over terminology here in the states. Pike and Mackey (rightly, in my opinion), considered "York Rite" to
consist only of the three Blue Lodge degrees, while they called the degrees conferred by the Chapter, Council, and Commandery "American Rite". The
American is grafted onto the York Rite in the United States in systematic sequences, while these degrees belong to disassociate bodies in the UK.
However, common usage in the US is that the Chapters, Councils, and Commanderies are "York Rite" proper, and they will probably continue to be
called that forevermore.
The Scottish Rite, on the other hand, is a system of 33 degrees that was founded in the US in 1801. Although it has its own version of the first three
degrees, they are not worked. Instead, those who are Master Masons in the York Rite will join the Scottish Rite beginning at its own 4°. It is in
this sense that the Scottish Rite is appendant to the York Rite (and not the other way around, as Necros falsely claims).
Master Masons in good standing may continue in the York Rite by applying for admission into a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, or they may apply for
admission into the Scottish Rite beginning at the 4°, or they may do both, or they may do neither.