The Masonic Pageant
The 29 Masonic Degrees of the Scottish Rite
How the Degrees are Presented
I have presented the description of each degree in this book in three sections: The Stage Drama, Historical Background and The Degree in the Southern Jurisdiction. They are explained as follows:
The Stage Drama
This is the scripted drama presented on stage for the assembled candidates to view. Each degree is presented in the form of a staged play performed by a cast of Scottish Rite members. The candidates (collectively called a “class”) watch the play but do not participate in it, unless one candidate is chosen as an “exemplar” to represent the entire class in the degree ceremony.
I then describe the lessons or morals that the degree is intended to inculcate in the candidate. This does not represent my opinions but comes directly from publicly available documents approved by the Supreme Council, 33˚, of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction.
This is an examination of the scriptural stories and real-world historical events behind the degree’s drama. I try to show how the degree fits into Masonic lore and include any anecdotal information about the degree that might be of interest. I have inserted historical information, sometimes several pages of it, whenever I thought it might be helpful. All my historical documentation is secular in nature and does not support any particular system of religious belief. Occasionally I comment on the way in which witnessing the degree has affected me and other brethren I have interviewed.
Throughout much of its history, the land inhabited by the Hebrews was divided into a northern kingdom (Israel) and a southern kingdom (Judah). In this book I follow the example of Isaac Asimov and refer to the entire area mostly under its modern name of Israel. Where the existence of the two kingdoms is essential to a discussion, I refer to either Judah or Israel separately.
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Often a degree in the Southern Jurisdiction is completely different from its northern counterpart. In some instances the two degrees may be similar, but they are rarely, if ever, identical. I have not seen any of the Southern degrees performed and have obtained most of my information on them from Dr. Rex R. Hutchens’ excellent book, A Bridge to Light: the Revised Standard Pike Ritual. I have also researched the Southern Jurisdiction’s degrees in Albert Pike’s classic and monumental work, Morals and Dogma, a collection of lectures in 19th-century prose that Pike wrote to accompany his original versions of the degrees.
- Frank on Introduction
- Nanci J Davids on Introduction
- Obdulia O Erno on Introduction
- Keith B Lucore on 29th Degree
- Del Z Didion on Introduction
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