What Is 32° Freemasonry?

It is a branch of Freemasonry designed to supplement and amplify the philosophical teachings of the first three degrees conferred in the Symbolic Lodge. The Scottish Rite allows a Master Mason to journey deeper into the ethical teachings and philosophy of blue lodge Masonry through dramatic presentation. The Scottish Rite is sometimes called the "University of Freemasonry" because it uses extensive allegory and drama in its degrees to explore the philosophy, history, ethics, and fundamental truths that guide Freemasons' lives.

Is 32° Freemasonry Different than the Scottish Rite?

No. The Scottish Rite confers degrees from 4°-32°. We are reinvigorating the use of the term 32° Freemasonry to instill pride and a sense of accomplishment in the men who have committed to going deeper into the highest principles, teachings, and ideals of the Masonic craft.

Where Does the Scottish Rite Come From?

According to Arturo de Hoyos in his book The Scottish Rite Ritual Monitor and Guide, the Scottish Rite came to the United States by way of France. There is evidence of Scotch Masons’ lodges dating back to 1733 in England, and there were also predecessors such as the Adonhiramite Rite (ca. 1781), which included many degrees that ultimately became part of the Scottish Rite. Yet it was not until 1763 and the creation of the Order of the Royal Secret by Stephen Morin of France that the ritual we practice today began to coalesce into a form recognizable to a modern Scottish Rite Mason. “Scottish” is in name only.

How Do I Become a 32° Freemason?

To become a 32° Freemason, you must first be a Master Mason. To find out more about joining the Brotherhood of Freemasonry, please click here for more information.

If you are already a Master Mason and want to proceed to the 32°, you can complete a membership application to join a Scottish Rite Valley near you and begin your journey towards becoming a 32° Scottish Rite Mason.

Why Become a 32° Freemason?

Although in the craft of Freemasonry there is no degree considered higher than that of a Master Mason, the degrees of 32° Freemasonry enrich and expand the teachings of the Symbolic Lodge. As a 32° Freemason you will, indeed, find an untold wealth of knowledge. You will learn more about Masonry. You will more deeply explore questions raised in the blue lodge degrees.

By joining 32° Freemasonry, you have an opportunity to journey more deeply into Freemasonry, widen your circle of friends, and serve your Brothers in unique ways.

What Are the Benefits of Being a 32° Freemason?

Further light in Masonry through the exemplification of the 4°-32°

Membership in a fraternity that puts the Masonic obligation of caring for each other at the center of all we do

Expanded network of Masons in each of the 101 Valleys in the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction

Brother-to-Brother calling to stay in contact with members

Premium website content for members only

Additional online educational resources for members only so you can delve even deeper into the degrees

Regular programming with Scottish Rite leaders and Brothers to keep us connected

How Many Degrees Are There in 32° Freemasonry?

There are 29 regular degrees, which follow the three degrees conferred in blue lodges. The 33˚ is honorary and is conferred only by the Supreme Council, the governing body of Scottish Rite Masonry.

What Are the Degrees Like?

The degrees of the Scottish Rite are plays, often staged with costumes, scenery, special effects, and the full rigging of a dramatic production. Their purpose is to present Masonic philosophy so that men might understand the reason and purpose of life, and thereby gain the knowledge and inspiration to better themselves and society.

How Are the Degrees Organized?

The degrees of 32° Freemasonry are organized within four bodies:

The Lodge of Perfection (4°-14°)

The Lodge of Perfection has the responsibility to confer the 4°-14°. These degrees investigate and contemplate spirituality, and also amplify the Hiramic Legend and lessons from the biblical era.

4th Degree – Builder

A Master Mason seeks divine guidance. Philosophy: Brothers grow together in Scottish Rite. Core Values: Reverence for God, Integrity, & Service

5th Degree – Perfect Master

Two sons of Aaron, corrupted by greed and ambition, allow the sacred flame to extinguish. Philosophy: Trustworthiness is more valuable than life and is the basis for Masonic honor. Core Values: Reverence for God, Justice & Integrity.

6th Degree - Master of the Brazen Serpent

When the children of Israel encounter a rough and dangerous journey through the desert, they rebel against Moses and God. Philosophy: The answer to the spiritual problems of mankind is faith in ourselves and in God. Core Values: Reverence for God.

7th Degree - Provost and Judge

A dispute among the workmen where honesty and justice prevail. Philosophy: We should render justice to all mankind. Core Values: Justice & Integrity.

8th Degree - Intendent of the Building

Based on the Old Testament story of King David and his assignment to his son, the future King Solomon. Philosophy: The degree reminds us that each honor we receive requires attention to a particular duty. Core Values: Service, Integrity, & Reverence for God.

9th Degree - Master of the Temple

The Temple of King Solomon is dedicated by priests of many religions. Philosophy: We should not be too zealous in executing justice. Core Values: Reverence for God & Service.

10th Degree - Master Elect

King Solomon learns of his sentence from which there is no appeal. Philosophy: The violator of his obligations to God will not go unpunished. Core Values: Reverence for God & Justice.

11th Degree - Sublime Master Elected

King Solomon's tax collector violates the public trust. Philosophy: When confronted by corrupt, tyrannical, or illegal behavior on the part of a person in authority, the nation should remain loyal and courageous. Core Values: Integrity.

12th Degree - Master of Mercy

Joesph forgives his brothers for selling him into slavery. Philosophy: We are taught forgiveness, compassion, and brotherly love. Core Values: Justice & Integrity.

13th Degree - Master of the Ninth Arch

The degree dramatizes the dangers encountered as men search for the lost word. Philosophy: We are reminded that difficulties and dangers should not deter us from pursuing moral perfection. Core Values: Reverence for God.

14th Degree - Grand Elect Mason

The essence of Symbolic Masonry is compiled in lessons of the Lodge of Perfection. Philosophy: Members are encouraged to worship God at the altar of their choice. Core Values: Reverence for God.

Council of Princes of Jerusalem (15°-16°)

A Council of Princes of Jerusalem has the responsibility to confer the 15°-16° which are referred to as “historical degrees.” These degrees explore the conflicts and politics in the rebuilding of the Temple of Solomon.

15th Degree - Knight of the East

This degree teaches us to emulate Zerubbabel who, even when tempted, would not violate his obligations. Philosophy: Loyalty to conviction, fidelity to duty, and devotion to truth are the essences of integrity. Core Values: Integrity.

16th Degree - Prince of Jerusalem

The court of King Darius contemplates what motivates man. Philosophy: We learn that devotion to truth surpasses secular motivations. Core Values: Reverence for God.

Chapter of Rose Croix (17°-18°)

A Chapter of Rose Croix has the responsibility to confer the 17° - 18° which are referred to as the “philosophical degrees.” Both degrees use the Book of Life to advance the concept of avoiding the mistakes of the past.

17th Degree - Knight of the East and West

The degree dramatizes a picture of human failure, and social and moral behavior. The book of life is sealed. Philosophy: We must seek truth in our way of life and should learn from, and avoid, repeating the errors of the past. Core Values: Reverence for God & Service.

18th Degree - Knight of the Rose Croix of H. R. D. M.

The teachings of Jesus of Nazareth are used to exemplify the universal principles of life. Philosophy: The Book of Life is opened. The new law is a law of love, which all men everywhere may understand and practice. Core Values: Integrity.

Consistory (19°-32°)

A Consistory has the responsibility to confer the 19° - 32°. These degrees demonstrate the challenges of social and moral conflicts.

19th Degree - Brothers of the Trail

Along the Oregon Trail in 1840, one pioneer lives up to his sacred obligation to care for his brother. Philosophy: A Mason's word is good as gold anyplace in the world where a man's word still counts for something. Core Values: Reverence for God & Integrity.

20th Degree - Master Ad Vitam

Benedict Arnold seeks pardon for his treason. Philosophy: Treason is a crime over which Masonry casts no mantle of charity. Core Values: Devotion to Country & Integrity.

21st Degree - Patriarch Noachite

Knights and Nobles come together to punish crime, reward virtue, protect the innocent, and provide aid to the needy. Philosophy: Freemasonry is not a shield for evildoing. Core Values: Justice.

22nd Degree - Prince of Libanus

A brother is introduced to wood cutters who test his willingness to put aside his rank and status. Philosophy: Honest work is honorable and noble in the sight of God and man. Core Values: Service.

23rd Degree - Knight of Valor

Based on a true incident during World War II and the heroic actions of Four Chaplains. Philosophy: This degree teaches us that faith in God will find expression in love for our fellow man, even to the ultimate personal sacrifice. Core Values: Reverence for God, Toleration, Devotion to Country & Service.

24th Degree - Brother of the Forest

A Native American petitions for membership in a colonial symbolic lodge. Philosophy: The importance of toleration, and Freemasonry is a universal brotherhood. Core Values: Toleration.

25th Degree - Master of Achievement

Industriousness is shown through the life of Brother Benjamin Franklin. Philosophy: The wages of a Mason are earned and paid in their dealing with one another. Core Values: Devotion to Country & Service.

26th Degree - Friend and Brother Eternal

Two officers, while on opposite sides of the Civil War, maintain their Masonic principles. Philosophy: Masonic unity and harmony transcend conflict. Core Values: Devotion to Country & Integrity.

27th Degree - Knight of Jerusalem

An historic clash between Pope Honorius III and Emperor Frederick II. Philosophy: When tensions arise between church and state, one must be governed by his own conscious. Core Value: Toleration.

28th Degree – Knight of the Sun

Masonry's transformation from an operative guild to speculative moral fraternity. Philosophy: The working tools of the builders' art are used to express unique qualities of moral instruction. Core Values: Integrity.

29th Degree - Knight of St. Andrew

An incident in the long wars between Islam and Christianity in Europe is resolved by Masonic teachings and toleration. Philosophy: No one religion has a monopoly on truth. Core Value: Toleration.

30th Degree – Grand Inspector

A fourteenth century trial in the English civil court during the reign of Edward II is conducted. Philosophy: To be attentive, impartial, and equitable in judging others. Core Values: Justice.

31st Degree - My Brother’s Keeper

While attending St. Andrew's Lodge at the Green Dragon Tavern, Brothers Warren and Dawes come to the aid of an injured brother. Philosophy: The degree reinforcees our call to service in the fraternity. Core Values: Integrity & Service.

32nd Degree – Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret

The degree dramatically teaches us to choose between personal advancement and service to humanity. Philosophy: The degree represents the victory of the spiritual over the human in man. Core Values: Devotion to Country & Service.

How Does 32° Freemasonry Expand on the Degrees I Received in My Blue Lodge?

It presents in degrees from the fourth to the 32nd an interpretation of the lessons of the first three degrees by the use of drama and lectures appealing to both the ear and eye to explore the great truths that Freemasonry professes.

Are 32° Freemasonry Degrees Considered Higher than the 3° of Master Mason?

No. There is no Masonic distinction of higher prestige than that of a Master Mason. The noblest and most significant emblem is the apron of the Master Mason. 32° Freemasonry will take you deeper into the study of Masonic values, philosophy, and teachings.

What Is Required for Membership in 32° Freemasonry?

You must be a member in good standing in a Masonic lodge, and belief in a Supreme Being is essential. The usual Masonic conditions of residence and sponsorship apply.

Will I Be Required to Do Any Memorizing?

No. To earn the degrees of 32° Freemasonry, you witness the ceremonies and drama and listen to the illustrative lectures. In order for you to more fully understand and appreciate what you have seen and heard, most 32° Masons attend future presentations of the degrees.

Are There Any Religious Disqualifications?

32° Freemasonry does not intrude on the religious beliefs of its members, but it does require that all members profess a belief in a Supreme Being. It does not attempt to teach creed of any kind, nor does 32° Freemasonry pretend to be a religion or a substitute for religion. The Scottish Rite practices universality.

What Does It Cost to Join?

Minimum initiation fees have been established by the Supreme Council, but each Valley, Council, Chapter, and Consistory fixes its own fees. Each body also requires annual dues as fixed by its bylaws. Some bodies have a provision in their bylaws permitting a member to prepay his dues for the life of his membership in that body.

Membership costs will be outlined for you by your local Valley.

Will I Be Able to Become Involved in 32° Freemasonry?

If you would like to become involved in 32° Freemasonry and make your wishes known, you can expect to be invited to participate. There is a place for you in many of the degree presentations depending on your interests, talents, and experience. For instance, you may serve as a guard or a member of the choir, or be part of the wardrobe committee, the stage crew, or the makeup team. You can be an actor in a minor or major role, as your talents permit. There is also the possibility of being on the reception committee or being an officer of the body. You can contact us for specific inquiries.

When Am I Able to Wear the Scottish Rite Ring?

After receiving the 14th degree.

After Joining 32° Freemasonry, Can I, or Must I, Demit from My Masonic Lodge?

No. Termination of membership in a Masonic lodge for any reason automatically terminates your membership in the Scottish Rite.

What Is a Reunion?

Most Valleys to hold what we call a “Reunion” of the members once or twice a year. At the Reunion, the degrees of the Lodge of Perfection, Princes of Jerusalem, Chapter of Rose Croix, or Consistory are conferred on a class of candidates over a period of a few days. The Reunion also provides the opportunity for social fellowship. This format is also more convenient for members and candidates living some distance from the meeting place.

Is It Improper to Ask Another Master Mason to Join 32° Freemasonry?

No! Please have no hesitation in inviting a Brother to join. By helping a Brother journey deeper into the teachings of Masonry, you are providing him with the opportunity to not only experience additional fellowship, but to find the true and best version of himself.

What is the dress code?

It ranges from casual to formal depending on the event.

How can I rejoin the organization ?

Please reach out to William Holland for more information on rejoining the organization.