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Masonic degree descriptions

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posted on Jun, 15 2006 @ 12:36 AM
This post is a conglomeration of excerpts from a book authored by Charles T. McClenachan 33°, and a website that contains a vast amount of pictures representing each degree. I would list it [the website] as a source, but I cannot seem to locate it at this time, as I have saved the pictoral content on a previous visit. To be sure, this catalouge of descriptions begins with the 4°, and ends with the 15°.

If this is a repost, I apologize in advance. Without further adieu, I'll begin.

Immediately after the death of Hiram the Builder, King Solomon selected seven of the most worthy and expert Master Masons to guard the Sanctum Sanctorum, and its "sacred furniture." Although only one guard was on duty at a time, their number was always seven -- alluding to the seven cardinal virtues, the seven stages of life, the sabbath (7th day), etc.

This degree, in which Lodges of Sorrow are usually held, recalls the requiem for the departed worthy brother, Hiram Abiff. King Solomon commanded Adoniram to supervise the building of Hiram's tomb or obelisk (in the west-southwest of the Temple), made of white marble, to denote his purity, and black marble, to denote his untimely death.

This degree is not chronologically related to those preceding or following, but relates to an incident which illustrates the mercy and wisdom of King Solomon. The candidate is Joabert, Lieutenant of Solomon's guards, whose execution is demanded by King Hiram of Tyre (Deputy Grand Master), because of a misunderstanding. The King of Tyre had visited the Temple unannounced and full of anger concerning a treaty, and Joabert zealously defended his Master from this supposed threat.
The Lodge is hung in black, strewed with silver tears. Twenty-seven lights (divided equally between East, West, and South) are distributed.
Battery: [8-1-8-1-8-1]. The apron is white and red, with Hebrew letters YOD HEH in the center, and a small triangle containing the Hebrew letters (clockwise from top) BETH, NUN, and SHIN. The jewel is a gold triangle with the same three letters inscribed. A "sword of defence" is presented to the candidate, with which he can defend his integrity and honor as a Mason.

Upon the death of Grand Master Hiram, King Solomon appointed seven Judges to mete justice among the workmen of the Temple. Tito, Prince of Herodim, was their Chief Provost and Judge, and their tribunal was held in the Middle Chamber of the Temple. This degree implores the Mason to "render justice to all, to hear patiently, remember accurately, and weigh carefully the facts and the arguments offered."
The Lodge is draped in red, and in the East is a blue, star-studded canopy.
The ebony record-box of the Judges sits under the canopy, and a triangle with the Hebrew letters YOD HEH hangs with a balance in the center of the chamber. The seven Judges should be in white robes.
Battery: [4-1]. The three great requisites of a Judge: Justice, Equity, and Impartiality, are symbolized by the triangle and balance. Divine justice is stressed, and the "earth, air, and ocean are the eternal witnesses of the acts that we have done." The Almighty reads from the "vast library" of the air, and metes out the right and just consequences of our actions. The apron is white, edged with red, with a key and five rosettes. The jewel is a golden key.

(Continued in following post due to character limit)

[edit on 15-6-2006 by Distracto]

posted on Jun, 15 2006 @ 12:39 AM


After the period of mourning following Hiram's death, the building of
the Temple had to continue. In this degree, King Solomon appoints and
installs five Superintendants to oversee the continuation of the work.
Upon the recommendation of the High Priest, Sadoc, and the Governor of
the House, Ahishar, the five were chosen to be: (1) Adoniram, President
of the Board of Architects [Master], (2) Joabert the Phoenician, Chief
Artificer in Brass [S. Warden], (3) Stolkin, Chief Carpenter [J. Warden],
(4) Selec the Giblemite, Chief Stonemason [Master of Ceremonies], and
(5) Gareb, Chief Worker in Silver and Gold, and Engraver [Captain of
the Guard].

The Lodge is hung in red and blue as in the previous degree, with twenty-
seven lights -- in three groups of nine forming a triple triangle. Over
the Master is a five-pointed star, with three Hebrew YODs inside.

Battery: [5]. The number five (in addition to a five-fold circumambula-
tion), represents the five points of fellowship which are primary tenets
of Freemasonry. The charity of love -- the love of life and of God --
is emphasized as "participation of the divine nature." The apron is
white, with red and green, with a balance, a five-pointed star as above,
and a triangle with the Hebrew letters BETH (for Ben-khurim), YOD (for
Jakinah), and ALEPH (for Achar). The jewel is a gold triangle with the
same three letters.


The three degrees called "Elect" or "Elu" are 09, 10, and 11, and they
are concerned with the apprehension of the assassins of Hiram Abiff.
Informed by a herdsman that the traitors were hiding in a cave near the
coast of Joppa, King Solomon appointed nine Masters to go and find them.
One of the elected Masters, Solomon's favorite, went ahead of the rest
and discovered one of the assassins asleep. Inflamed at the sight, he
stabbed him in the head and heart, and severed the assassin's head, who
only had time to say "Necum" ("vengeance is taken") before he died.
Although Solomon ordered the execution of his favorite for taking justice
into his own hands, the other eight interceded, and he was pardoned.

The Lodge is hung in black, strewed with flames (representing a cavern)
suspended from eight columns. Eight lights in an octagonal pattern
surround the triangular altar in the center, and one other light is half-
way between the altar and the East. The lodge is styled a Chapter, and
the Master of Ceremonies represents Pharos, the herdsman.

Battery: [8-1]. Master Elects of Nine are taught to be careful in their
zeal, lest they exercise vengeance "for the violation of divine and
human laws." This degree also teaches the "overthrow of ignorance by
freedom." The apron is white, lined in black, and sprinkled with blood,
with an arm holding a dagger, and a severed head held by the hair. The
jewel is a dagger, hilt of gold and blade of silver.

(Continued in foillowing post)

posted on Jun, 15 2006 @ 12:42 AM


About six months after the incidents in the previous degree, on the 15th
day of Tammuz, it was learned that the remaining two assassins had fled
to Gath, and had begun to work in the quarry of Ben-Dekar. King Solomon,
upon hearing this, selected fifteen Masters (the original nine included)
to apprehend them. After five days searching, they found and seized the
traitors, who were brought back to Jerusalem, imprisoned in the tower of
Achizar, and executed the following morning.

The Lodge is hung in black, sprinkled with red and white tears. Fifteen
yellow candles are present: five in the East and five before each Warden,
with four forming a square and one in the center.

Battery: [5-5-5]. The Illustrious Elu of the Fifteen are devoted to the
cause of the oppressed, and to toleration against intolerance. The fif-
teen lights are lit in the Opening of this degree, after a prayer to which
the Elu devote themselves "To the cause of Free Thought, Free Speech,
Free Conscience!" The apron is white, with a black flap, and with three
arch-shaped gates -- over each a head on a spike. The jewel is a dagger
as in the previous degree.


This degree, also called "Sublime Elu of the Twelve," illustrates the
reward conferred by King Solomon upon twelve of the fifteen Masters who
brought Hiram's assassins to justice. These twelve, chosen by random
ballot, are constituted the Governors over the twelve tribes of Israel,
and are given the symbolic name "Emeth," meaning "a true man -- just,
fair, sincere, faithful, fearing God."

The Lodge, also called a Chapter, is decorated as in the previous degree,
except that there are twelve lights -- making four equilateral triangles
of three lights, in the East, West, North, and South.

Battery: [12]. This degree symbolizes the transformation from mourning
for the dead into a new zeal for life, as the ideals of the name "Emeth"
signify. The apron is white, lined with black, with a flaming heart in
the center. The jewel is a dagger suspended from a black cordon inscribed
with the words "Vincere aut Mori," the pledge "that you will rather die
than betray the cause of the people, or be overcome through your own fear
or fault."

(Continued in following post)

posted on Jun, 15 2006 @ 12:44 AM


In this degree, Adoniram, son of Abda, is appointed by King Solomon to
be the chief Architect of the Temple, and sole successor and representative
of the deceased master Hiram Abiff (Khuram Abai). This position was
created to "assure uniformity in work, vigor in its prosecution, and to
reward those more eminent in science and skill." The virtues of Wisdom
are also exalted: "By means of her we shall have immortality."

The Lodge, which represents Hiram's Chamber of Designs, is hung in white,
strewed with crimson flames. In the North is the North Star and the seven
stars of the Great Bear. In the East, Jupiter rises as the morning star
over a triangle containing the Hebrew word ADNI, and over five columns of
the five architectural orders: Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, and
Composite. The Lodge is styled a Chapter.

Battery: [5-2]. In the Opening, the six instruments of a Grand Master
Architect are described, and their "lessons" are:

* The 'different compasses' teach us "that life and time constitute but
a point in the centre of eternity; while the circle of God's attributes
is infinity."
* The 'parallel ruler' teaches us "that we should be consistent, firm,
unwavering, and of that equanimity of mind and temper which befits a
* The 'protractor' teaches us "that we should be upright and secure, frank
in all our dealings, moderate in our professions, and exact and punctual
in performance."
* The 'plain scale' teaches us "that we live not only for ourselves, but
for others, so as in just and proper measure to serve ourselves, our
families, our friends, our neighbors, and our country."
* The 'sector' teaches us "that we should multiply our good deeds, divide
that which we can spare of our substance among those who need it more
than we, and extract the good that is to benefit and bless us from the
reverses and calamities of life."
* The 'slide-rule' teaches us "that we should strive to grasp and solve
the great problem presented by the Universe and involved in our exist-
ence; to know and understand the lofty truths of Philosophy, and to
communicate freely of our knowledge unto others."

The apron is white, lined with blue and gold (symbolizing the Craft
degrees), with a protractor, plain scale, sector, and compasses. The
jewel is a gold triangle, with a Hebrew ALEPH on the obverse and the five
types of columns on the reverse.


"This degree, in fact, forms the climax of Ineffable Masonry; it is the
keystone of the arch, and discovers that which is revealed in the succeed-
ing degree of Perfection." The history begins with Enoch, sixth in de-
scent from Adam, who was given the True Name of God in a vision. With the
help of his son Methuselah, he excavated and built nine "apartments" in
Canaan, "one above the other, and each roofed with an arch." Over the
upper one he built a Temple, in which he hid a cube of agate, with a tri-
angular plate of gold with the Ineffable Name engraved on it and sunk into
one face of the cube.

Enoch also knew of the upcoming Deluge, and he covered his Temple with
stone, closing it with a great ring of iron. He also placed two columns
on a high hill: a granite one engraved with a description of the subterr-
anean vaults, and a brass one engraved with the "rudiments of the arts
and sciences." The brass column was found by Noah, but the granite column
was washed away by the Flood, thus concealing the Name until God told it
to Moses (who again engraved it in gold and placed it in the Ark of the

posted on Jun, 15 2006 @ 12:46 AM

Originally posted by Distracto
This post is a conglomeration of excerpts from a book authored by Charles T. McClenachan 33°, and a website that contains a vast amount of pictures representing each degree. I would list it [the website] as a source, but I cannot seem to locate it at this time,

This is the website:

Other than the gratuitous copy & paste, what is the point?

Wouldn't a link, and your thoughts be far more interesting than reproducing pre-existing web content?

posted on Jun, 15 2006 @ 12:47 AM


The ninth arch, or Sacred Vault, was used by Solomon, King Hiram, and
Hiram Abiff, in which they held private conferences. After the death
of Hiram Abiff, the two kings resolved not to visit the Vault, nor
communicate the ineffable Name, until they found a successor. But
Adoniram, Joabert, and Stolkin had discovered Enoch's cube of agate, so
these three Masters were initiated into this sublime degree in the
Sacred Vault, and taught the true pronunciation of the Word. Soon after
the Temple was completed (in the year Anno Mundi 3000), the Babylonian
captivity began, and the Temple was destroyed, but the secret Vault
was not found. During the Crusades, however, a select few of the Princes
of Jerusalem were initiated by some "good and virtuous Masons," allowing
the secrets to be handed down until the present day.

The Lodge, cubical in shape, is hung in crimson. Three lights, in a
triangle, are in the North; five lights, in a pentagon, are in the South;
seven lights, in a heptagon, are in the West; and nine lights, in three
triangles, are in the East. The Pillar of Beauty is in the Northeast,
with the Table of Shewbread and Seven-Branched Candlestick. A "Pillar
of Enoch" (rough-hewn marble pieces put together, with Enochian char-
acters on it) is in the Southeast, with the Altar of Incense and Tablets
of the Law. To the West of the main chamber is the Sacred Vault, ap-
proached by a long passage of nine arches.


After the seventy years of the Babylonian captivity, King Cyrus of
Persia (after a prophetic dream) allowed the release of the 42,360
captives, and their return to Jerusalem. He also permitted the Second
Temple to be built, under the direction of Zerubbabel, the Governor
of Judea. Upon their journey back, however, the release of the captives
was contested at the bridge over the Euphrates. Just barely making it
to Jerusalem, Zerubbabel ordered that the Masons laying the Temple found-
ations should work "with the sword in one hand and a trowel in the other,"
for safety. This degree, and that succeeding it, are thus Chivalric,
with the initiate serving both as a Craftsman and a Warrior, constantly
on the alert in both capacities.

There are three "apartments." The first represents a Grand Lodge of
Perfection, but it is demolished and desecrated, representing the sorry
state found upon the return to Jerusalem. The officers here are the
standard Lodge of Perfection officers, all in black robes. The second
apartment represents King Cyrus' palace, and is hung in green and decor-
ated in the "Oriental" style. The officers represent Cyrus and his
knights, and wear water-green sashes, or "orders." In the third apart-
ment, a "bridge is represented extended over a river, and a rude altar
at the end" has been erected. The letters "L D P" are displayed, in
the cipher called "Passing the River."

Battery: [5-2]. The virtues of Chivalry are stressed, and the initiate,
now a "Knight Mason," is given a water-green sash with a green rosette
at the bottom (in memory of the liberator Cyrus). The apron is of
crimson velvet, edged with green, with a bleeding head above two crossed
swords, and a triangle (top point to the left) with three interlaced
triangles inside it. The jewel is three concentric gold triangles, with
two crossed swords inside them.

[edit on 15-6-2006 by Distracto]

posted on Jun, 15 2006 @ 12:52 AM
I don't see where that website has pictoral descriptions for each degree, but since my post seems to offend you, then I'll stop.

I also sited that this work was not my own, so a cut and paste is quite obvious...

[edit on 15-6-2006 by Distracto]

posted on Jun, 15 2006 @ 01:13 AM
Please read this:

Posting work written by others. **ALL MEMBERS READ**

I appreciate that you put a lot of effort into these posts, but it may be necessary to remove the thread because it doesn't comply with ATS policy.


posted on Jun, 15 2006 @ 12:27 PM
Althought if it was originaly written by Charles T. McClenachan, it's probably public domain. Yet credit should still be given were due.

It be interesting if a mason with a knowledge of the Scottish Rite could comment if the paragraphs are correct or not. (they don't appear to reveal any secrets.)

[edit on 15/6/06 by ConspiracyNut23]

posted on Jun, 15 2006 @ 01:00 PM

Originally posted by ConspiracyNut23
Althought if it was originaly written by Charles T. McClenachan, it's probably public domain. Yet credit should still be given were due.

As already linked by Majic there are certain guidelines ATS has for pre-existing material, and how to credit that material. More importantly though, is that ATS wants member content... What do you think? Not regurgitation via copy and paste.

Mod Note (This Appears On Every New Thread/Post Reply Page): MEMBERS: Do not simply post news articles in the forums without comment. If you feel inclined to make the board aware of current events, please post the first paragraph, a link to the entire story, AND your opinion, twist or take on the news item.

It really doesn't make much sense to reproduce what can be found with Google in hundredths of a second...

It be interesting if a mason with a knowledge of the Scottish Rite could comment if the paragraphs are correct or not. (they don't appear to reveal any secrets.)

If you are interested in the Degrees of Scottish Rite Freemasonry, the the book "A Bridge To Light" by Dr. Rex Hutchens which has been given to every Candidate for the Degrees in the Southern Jurisdiction since 1988, and is available at

"Morals & Dogma" by Albert Pike is fun to have as well.

posted on Jun, 15 2006 @ 07:43 PM

Originally posted by Mirthful Me
"Morals & Dogma" by Albert Pike is fun to have as well.

And, like the information cited at the start of this thread, also available on line:

If the original author had something he wanted to discuss, please, by all means, continue. But please do not just replicate information from other websites. The pictures are interesting, they could, of course, be included.

posted on Jun, 16 2006 @ 08:20 AM

Originally posted by ConspiracyNut23

It be interesting if a mason with a knowledge of the Scottish Rite could comment if the paragraphs are correct or not. (they don't appear to reveal any secrets.)

I would agree with Mirthful that Hutchens' book is far more valuable to the modern student. McLenachan's is a good historical reference, but does not reflect the Pike ritual, which Hutchens' does.

Another good one (although far inferior to Hutchens') is "Clausen's Commentaries On Morals and Dogma", by Past Grand Commander Henry C. Clausen, 33°. It's sort of mistitled in that the book is just descriptions of the degree ceremonies, and is in no way a commentary on Pike's book.

[edit on 16-6-2006 by Masonic Light]

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