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MASONIC DEGREES STRUCTURE
(Craft Lodge or Symbolic Lodge)
This is starting point for all men who wish to become Masons. The Blue Lodge confers the following degrees:
1. Entered Apprentice
3. Master Mason
There are three branches of Freemasonry in which a Master Mason (Third Degree) may proceed after he has completed the three degrees of Symbolic or Blue Lodge Masonry. There are Masonic organizations where their degrees are in addition to and in no way "higher" than Blue Lodge degrees. Their work amplifies and elaborates on the lessons of the Craft.
The 3rd Degree, that of the Master Mason, is the highest degree the can be given in all of Freemasonry.
These bodies acknowledge also that interruption of a member's Symbolic Lodge standing automatically interrupts his membership in these bodies whether his rank or honors he may have.
ANCIENT AND ACCEPTED SCOTTISH RITES
After the Blue Lodge, a Master Mason may receive further teachings through the Scottish Rite. The Scottish Rite can confer an additional 30 degrees to the Master Mason. They are divided as follows in the Northern Jurisdiction of the United States. The Southern Jurisdiction is organized differently and has a few different names for some of these degrees.
An honorary 33rd° is conferred annually to certain 32nd° masons who have exemplified, in their daily lives, the true meaning of the Brotherhood of Man under the Fatherhood of God. The recipient must be at least 33 years of age and may not apply for the degree.
Although the Scottish Rite degrees are numbered, it is not to imply that masons who have achieved these degrees are of "higher" rank. The highest degree in Freemasonry is the sublime degree of Master Mason or 3° which is given in the Blue Lodge.
The York Rite is another organization that can give provide additional Masonic teachings and confer additional degrees. The York Rite is Christian in nature and is organized as follows:
ANCIENT ARABIC ORDER OF NOBLES OF THE MISTIC SHRINE
As of July 2000, any Master Mason can now petition to join The Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, or A.A.O.N.M.S.
The Shrine grew out of Freemasonry over a century ago and is meant to provide additional fellowship to its members through its various clubs and other functions.
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Last modified: March 22, 2014