RITE OF MEMPHIS
DEGREES OF THE RITE OF MEMPHIS
The Ancient and Primitive Rite of Memphis.
1° APPRENTICE MASON
2° COMPANION MASON
3° MASTER MASON
Teaches truth and consequently the existence of one God, and the relations existing between man and his Heavenly Father.
5° PERFECT MASTER:
Teaches us the love of God for the human race, and the magnitude of divine attributes.
6° INTIMATE SECRETARY:
Develops and fully proves the sublime and consoling doctrine of the immortality of the soul.
7° PROVOST AND JUDGE:
Teaches justice as the neces-sary consequence of the relations between God and man.
8° INTENDANT OF THE BUILDING:
Teaches the necessity of order, without which, society cannot exist.
9° MASTER ELECT OF NINE:
Teaches us that no one has the right to take the law into his own hands. That the interests of society require that the adminisiration of justice should be entrusted to a certain number of pure and upright men, for the benefit of all, and that true Masonry discountenances all acts of violence.
10°MASTER ELECT OF FIFTEEN:
Teaches that it does not consist with the good of society, that all should pretend to command, and that the administration of order, or the executive power, like that of justice, or the judicial power, must by confided to a few of the wisest and most experienced of the citizens.
11° SUBLIME MASTER ELECTED:
Teaches us that the laws which are to govern a community must be elaborated, or the legislative power exercised, by the most able and honest citizens, and that to such men only it belongs, to represent the people in the legislative assemblies, there to maintain the rights and freedom of the people.
12° GRAND MASTER ARCHITECT:
Teaches that by labor alone we can obtain happiness, for our fellow beings and our-selves, and that to whatever degree of civilization man-kind may attain, a true Mason will never cease to labor, that he may thereby make more complete the condition of his brethren.
13° MASTER OF THE NINTH ARCH:
Teaches the utility of study, as the only means of drawing nearer to our Heavenly Father, and practicing true religion, the object of which is to attain a knowledge of the perfections and unbounded munificence of God, and thereby to be-come more and more perfect, by imitating his kindness in our relations with our brethren.
14° GRAND ELECT MASON:
You receive the reward of your labors. You were admitted to the sacred vault where you saw the end of all mystic forms, which the ignorance of mankind has made necessary. You then saw the future destiny of Freemasonry, that is of man, who enters upon the inheritance given him by his Heavenly Father. God is no longer to be feared, but to be loved with all the heart, mind and strength.
15° KNIGHT OF THE EAST OR SWORD:
Teaches hope and faith in the new Era which dawns upon mankind, when men will be emancipated from dead forms and ceremonies, and when the whole power of man’s intellect will be exerted to obtain a perfect knowledge of truth, and of the laws that flow from it.
16° PRINCE OF JERUSALEM:
Teaches that every religion, of mere forms and ceremonies and external practices, must eventually crumble to pieces, for it is a dead body without 4 soul, and that the Masonry of the Ancient Rite, founded on the simple and pure doctrine of love, toleration and reason, must be eternal, because it is true and a reality, and being positively that which the Master from Nazareth taught, and every true child of our Heavenly Father may well adopt and profess it.
17° KNIGHT OF THE EAST AND WEST:
Teaches that every good and intelligent Mason must look upon himself as a pioneer, preparing the way for greater and better men to come after him, and that he must be content to work and do his duty, whether the results of his labor are manifest and visible during his life, or not; to sow no matter who reaps. Soldier of truth, he must always march straight onward, following the route which she indicates, to every loyal man. Death alone must make him pause. Age gives no discharge from her service, and every true Mason may be certain, that if he manfully toils and fights in her cause, he will, whether the effect of his labors be seen by his mental eyes or not, leave to others who come after him, a noble heritage, ever to increase, as Mason follows Mason, in uninterrupted succession until men shall succeed each other in this world no longer.
18° KNIGHT ROSE CROIX: SCOTTISH RITE
Illustrates, by example, the truth of this doctrine of accumulation of intellectual wealth by inheritance, for in it are exhibited all the sublime truths, the axioms of ethics and philosophy, discovered and uttered by all former intellects, whose names, shining in the past, are so many resplendent proofs of the perfectibility of mankind, gathered and combined, in the sublime teachings of the Master from Nazareth, who was the possibility of the race made real. He passed away in doing good, and we are rich with the splendid inheritance he left us. His death teaches us civil and religious toleration, and that, short as is cur mental vision, and limited as our knowledge of the great mysteries of God and nature must ever be, we must never persecute, or ever become a stranger, to our brethren, because the opinions which they enunciate, conflict with those that we entertain, or are accustomed to hear. For in this degree the new law of love is taught, and the chief pillar among the three, with which are here replaced the ancient pillars of the temple, is charity, which not only relieves the wants, but is tolerant of the errors and mistaken opinions of other men. The degree is open to men of all creeds, who believe in the fundamental doctrines of the Ancient and Accepted Rite of Masonry. Every man who endeavors to teach at all, has a mission to perform. God tolerates him and allows him to teach, and we may well do the same. For after all, the will of God governs, and the doctrine that is true will prevail, while what is false will not. What is persecuted grows, but if error be com-batted, with no other weapons than those of Masonry, the total regeneration of humanity will come in God’s good time.
19° GRAND PONTIFF:
Teaches us that, as true apostles of the doctrine of civil and religious toleration, we must, as it were, bridge the abyss that divides us from our brethren, who adhere to the old law and ceremonial observances of the past, and win them over to us by kindness and reason. When man is no longer a slave, we must appeal to his heart and intellect, if we would bring about the reign of peace, harmony and science. There are no other meant by which an intelligent man can be convinced, however he may be compelled.
20° MASTER AD VITAM:
Teaches us the necessity of caution, in addition to energy and daring, that those who tread upon and live by the propagation of false creeds, may not defeat our plans for the emancipation of human intellect.
21° PATRIARCH NOACHITE:
Teaches you to strive arnestly to learn the means necessary to vindicate the power of truth, in bringing together all God’s children, whatever their religious and political opinions. That means to raise man to the consciousness of what he is, and will soon become; what he ought to be.
22° PRINCE OF LIBAN:
Teaches you that even after succeeding in that object, you would still need to be ever watchful and always on the alert, to bar the way of entrance against sectarianism.
23° CHIEF OF THE TABERNACLE:
Teaches that after firmly establishing the institution of the Rite, we should profoundly study the doctrine of the master from Nazareth, and expound to our brethren of the old law its practical and sublime lessons. The old law has not effected the happiness of mankind, nor have the old philosophies.
24° PRINCE OF THE TABERNACLE:
Teaches how arduous is the task of a true Mason, who endeavors to oppose sectarianism, for the sectarian will always obstinately maintain his own, narrow and exclusive creed, as the absolute and only truth, and such creeds will long continue to hold a large portion of mankind in bondage.
25° KNIGHT OF THE BRASEN SERPENT:
Teaches us to maintain the doctrine of liberty, equality and fraternity, as the only means of gathering around us the intelligent and good men of every lineage, creed and opinion, to repel and defeat the encroachments of idle theorists and kingly and priestly usurpers.
26° PRINCE OF MERCY:
Teaches us how a sincere and lasting alliance may be effected between the three intellectual classes of men: The disciples of the natural law and of philosophy; those of the law of Moses, and the other ancient faiths, and those who follow the doctrine of the Rite, or the law taught by the Grand Master from Nazareth. However crude, defective and erroneous men’s opinions may be, they will always listen to the voice of mercy, benevolence and affection.
27° COMMANDER OF THE TEMPLE:
Teaches that the noblest reward, of him who has proved himself the apostle and champion of universal peace and tolerance; who has aided fraternity to overcome and annihilate all formulas that stood in his way, will be to enjoy the fruits of his toil, among those who were once divided, but by his exertions have been brought to remember that they are brethren. Knowing this, the Mason’s thirst for knowledge increases, and he learns that only by profound study, can he solve the great problem of the ultimate destiny in store for humanity.
28° KNIGHT OF THE SUN:
Solves that problem and shows the ultimate result of the doctrine of our Master; of that doctrine which is the way, the truth and the life. It is, that mankind are at last to become one single peaceful family, whose father and head is the eternal God, infinite in love.
29° KNIGHT OF THE SAINT ANDREW:
Teaches you how much can be effected in a righteous cause by perseverance. When the, Ancient Rite of Masonry shall have accomplished its mission, men will rest in the true Edeno in a realm where peace and fraternity will reign.
30° KNIGHT KADOSH:
Teaches us to organize that army of tried and veteran Masons, that is to defend the rights of mankind against unlimited regal despotism, sacerdotal usurpation and intolerance, and the monopolies of rank, caste and privilege, and cause these usurpers to tremble, like the Babylonian king, when (according to the legend) an awful hand wrote the word of judgment on the wall of his banquet chamber.
31° GRAND INSPECTOR INQUISITOR COMMANDER: SCOTTISH RITE
This Degree is concerned with Masonic justice, and it urges the aspirant to study moral philosophy and philosophy of law, to pay particular attention to the moral theories and the normative thought of such great lawgivers as Moses (the main author of the Pentateuch), Zoroaster (the founder of the religion of ancient Persia), Confucius (the great Chinese philosopher and author of his seminal Analects), Hermes Trismegistus, Socrates, Mohammed (the Prophet of Islam), and Alfred the Great (King of Wessex from 871 to 899 AD), and to remain committed to the following teachings of Jesus Christ: “if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you don’t forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14–15). “Don’t judge, so that you won’t be judged. For with whatever judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with whatever measure you measure, it will be measured to you” (Matthew 7:1–2). 32 “Don’t judge according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment” (John 7:24). “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” (Matthew 5:7). The Jewel of the 31st Degree of the Scottish Rite is a white Teutonic Cross.
32° SUBLIME PRINCE OF THE ROYAL SECRET: SCOTTISH RITE
This Degree urges the aspirant to review the previous thirty-one Degrees and to study metaphysics and philosophy of religion in order thus to be able to fully appreciate and understand the “royal secret” of Freemasonry, which consists in a peculiar, symbolic Masonic Crusade whose purpose is to take possession of a mystical ‘Jerusalem’ that consists in the achievement of the following Masonic ends: to heal all inner dissensions and produce peace and harmony in the external world; to make charitable judgment universal; to spiritually elevate the masses of mankind in order to become aware of their true interests; to substitute the fraternal spirit for tyranny and usurped privilege; and to establish a social order in the image of the divine order. The Jewel of the 32nd Degree of the Scottish Rite is a golden Teutonic Cross with a red rose at its center.
33° SOVEREIGN GRAND INSPECTOR GENERAL: SCOTTISH RITE
This Degree teaches the aspirant that his goal, as an Inspector General of the Order, is not to cause fruitless battles and bloodshed in order to recapture the land that was sacralized by the life and the death of our Most Puissant Lord, Jesus Crist, but to recapture our God-given rights, to substitute truth for error, and to substitute freedom and justice for despotism and anomy; for, then and only then, will we have recaptured the “the only true Holy Land,” which is “the patrimony of love, intelligence, and charity, which our Father has given us.” The Emblem and Jewel of the 33rd Degree of the Scottish Rite is a golden/purple crowned double-headed eagle with stretched wings and holding a sword in its claws, bearing also the inscriptions “Deus Meumque Jus” (God and My Right) and “Ordo Ab Chao” (Order out of Chaos).
grees of the Rite of Memphis.
34° KNIGHT OF SCANDINAVIA:
This Degree is devoted to the ancient mythology of Scandinavia, emphasizing man’s union with God. In particular, this Degree is focused on god Odin, whose name means seer and prophet. In Norse mythology, Odin (in Old Saxon, Woden) was associated with healing, death, royalty, the gallows, knowledge, battle, sorcery, poetry, frenzy, and the runic alphabet, and he was the husband of the goddess Frigg. Odin is frequently referred to as a founding figure among various Germanic peoples and in most of Scandinavia. In Anglo-Saxon England, Odin held a prominent position as a euhemerized ancestral figure among royalty.
35° KNIGHT OF THE TEMPLE:
This Degree is concerned with the acquisition of knowledge about the Temple of the Universe.
36° SUBLIME NEGOCIANT:
This Degree is concerned with Geometry and Astronomy, it refers to the consequences resulting from the astronomical observations of the Priests of Babylon, Chaldea, and Sidon, and it quotes a chapter in the Qur’an being the protests of Abraham against star and idol worship.
37° KNIGHT OF SHOTA (SAGE OF TRUTH):
This Degree is focused on the concept of initiation, and it studies ancient initiatory traditions.
38° SUBLIME ELECT OF TRUTH (THE RED EAGLE):
This Degree compares the mysteries of different ancient civilizations which, in effect, represented the contest between Light and Darkness.
39° GRAND ELECT OF THE AEONS:
In the context of Eastern mystical traditions, ‘Aeon’ signifies a central point of development and refers to the mystery of divine economy, which is the main subject-matter of this Degree.
40° SAGE SAVAISTE (PERFECT SAGE):
This Degree considers the fundamental laws of nature and instinct, and it touches upon the existence of a God, who draws us to Himself by eternal chains, whose links are the love of goodness. According to the teachings of this Degree, God is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end of all beings and things.
41° KNIGHT OF THE ARCH OF SEVEN COLORS:
This degree is intended to teach that the Sun is a Well of beneficence, and the Regenerator of Natures beauties, it quickens these into life. All nations have bowed down and kissed their hands to this grand symbol of universal life, which signals the fatherly aid that God bestows on all creation.
It has not always been thus. Stellar or Star worship was succeeded by that of the Sun and Moon, and the Pole Star was in the earlier worship, and still is in many countries, as China, the eye of heaven, the Mystery Sun, and the Symbol of the highest deity. The Gammadion four gammas or G , was a grand symbol of the earlier cult:, and is yet venerated amongest operative Free Masons. In this form (male swastika) it would seem to be Stellar thus (female swastika) Sunrise. It is the diagrams of the Great Bear, of seven Stars, in its revolution, round the Pole Star N.E.S.W.
The President closes his allocution, the cause of that grand beneficent existence is a Mystery to us, of which we can appreciate the material effects. Thus faith is not in contradiction to our reason. We believe in those sublime, divine, and supernatural principles which are above our intelligence, because the second causes of these impressions strike our Senses, and demonstrate the existence of a superior force.
42° PRINCE OF LIGHT:
This Degree teaches purity of heart, unselfishness, and justice.
43° SUBLIME HERMETIC SAGE (HERMETIC PHILOSOPHER):
In this Degree, the aspirant is encouraged to overrun the twelve Symbolic Houses of the Sun, and this degree teaches that birth and death are represented by the two emblematical columns, Boaz and Jachin, and enclose our earthly destiny. According to this Degree, life is the workshop in which is found the hidden treasure-house, where the wise learn to accomplish their destiny with strength, courage, and dignity.
44° PRINCE OF THE ZODIAC:
This Degree is concerned with the study of the natural book of Stellar Universe, and with the correspondences between the twelve labors of the Greek divine hero Hercules and the constellations: the first labor is the capture of the man-eating Mares of Diomedes, and it corresponds to the Sign of Aries; the second labor is the capture of the Cretan Bull, and it corresponds to the Sign of Taurus; the third labor is the gathering the Golden Apples of the Hesperides, and it corresponds to the Sign of Gemini; the fourth labor is the capture of the Golden Hind of Artemis, and it corresponds to the Sign of Cancer; the fifth labor is the slain of the Nemean Lion, and it corresponds to the Sign of Leo; the sixth labor is the seizing of the Girdle of Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, and it corresponds to the Sign of Virgo; the seventh labor is the capture of the Erymanthian Boar, and it corresponds to the Sign of Libra; the eighth labor is the destruction of the Lernaean Hydra, and it corresponds to the Sign of Scorpio; the ninth labor is the slaying of the Stymphalian Birds, and it corresponds to the Sign of Sagittarius; the tenth labor is the capture and submission of Cerberus, Guardian of Hades, and it corresponds to the Sign of Capricorn; the eleventh labor is the cleansing of Augean Stables, and it corresponds to the Sign of Aquarius; the twelfth labor is the capture of the Red Cattle of Geryon, and it corresponds to the Sign of Pisces.
45° SUBLIME SAGE OF THE MYSTERIES:
This Degree is concerned with the transition from darkness to light and with the mystical meaning of the number three.
46° SUBLIME PASTOR OF THE HUTS:
This Degree is concerned with the Great Work of alchemy, and it is focused on the encounter with the Green Lion. In alchemical texts, the Green Lion is usually a name for vitriol (the sulphuric acid created by distilling the green crystals of iron sulphate in a flask) or the nitric acid formed from heating saltpeter or niter and iron sulphate. When nitric acid is mixed with the acid that is derived from common salt, hydrochloric acid, produces aqua regia, a greenish tinged liquid that could dissolve even gold.
47° KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN STARS:
This Degree is related to the symbolism of the seven Stars of Ursa Major’s annual revolution round the Mystery Sun and of the Pleiades. In Hindu mythology, the brightest stars of Ursa Major represent the Seven Sages and the constellation is known as Saptarshi; these seven sages are Bhrigu, Atri, Angirasa, Vasishta, Pulastya, Pulalaha, and Kratu. In ancient Greek mythology, the Pleiades represent seven divine sisters, whose name was imagined to derive from that of their mother Pleione, effectively meaning ‘daughters of Pleione’; Pleione was an Oceanid nymph.
48° SUBLIME GUARDIAN OF THE SACRED MOUNT:
This Degree is concerned with allegories and symbolisms of the highest mysteries, it teaches constancy and fidelity, and its emblems are the altar of sacrifice and the initiate’s combat.
49° SUBLIME SAGE OF THE PYRAMIDS:
This Degree urges the aspirant to descend into the depths of his soul and follow the ancient path of initiation, which was the following: the Neophyte was being conducted to a marvelous building, and he arrived at its marble Portico by way of twenty-one steps of red.
50° SUBLIME PHILOSOPHER OF SAMOTHRACE:
This Degree is devoted to the study of the mysteries of the “Great Gods” (in Greek, Theoi Megaloi) of Samothrace (a mountainous island in the northern Aegean). Our evidence for the Samothracian gods and their mysteries imply that there was at least one main female deity, along the lines of a ‘Great Mother’ (who is depicted on some Samothracian coins), two other male deities that were depicted in statues with the phallus erect, and a fourth attendant figure (Kasmilos). In the first century BC, the ancient Greek historian Diodorus of Sicily wrote about the Mysteries of Samothrace that, even though “the details of the initiatory rite are guarded among the matters not to be divulged and are communicated to the initiates alone,” there are rumors about “how these gods appear to mankind and bring unexpected aid to those initiates of theirs who call upon them in the midst of perils,” and it is also claimed that “men who have taken part in the mysteries become more pious and more just and better in every respect than they were before”.
51° SUBLIME TITAN OF THE CAUCASUS:
This Degree is devoted to the study of the ancient Greek myth of Prometheus, who, according to ancient Greek mythology, gave fire to mankind.
52° SAGE OF THE LABYRINTH:
This Degree is devoted to the study of Hermeticism. The Hermetica are Egyptian-Greek wisdom texts from the second and the third centuries AD that are mostly presented as dialogues in which a teacher, generally identified as Hermes Trismegistus (‘thrice-greatest Hermes’), enlightens a disciple. These texts form the basis of Hermeticism.
53° KNIGHT OR SAGE OF THE PHOENIX:
This Degree is devoted to the study of the myth of the Phoenix, which, according to ancient Greek mythology, was a longlived bird that obtained new life by arising from the ashes of its previous form; the Phoenix “could symbolize renewal in general as well as . . . life in the heavenly Paradise, Christ, Mary, virginity, the exceptional man, and certain aspects of Christian life.”
54° SUBLIME SCALDE:
The Scandinavian term ‘Skald’ means poet, and this Degree is devoted to the study of the manners in which the different great mythological traditions of the world have addressed the quest for truth.
55° SUBLIME ORPHIC DOCTOR:
This Degree is devoted to the study of the Orphic Mysteries, associated with literature ascribed to the Greek mythical poet Orpheus, who descended into Hades and returned. According to ancient Greek mythology, Orpheus founded the Orphic Mysteries. The rites of those mysteries were based on the myth of Dionysus Zagreus, the son of Zeus and Persephone. When Zeus proposed to make Zagreus the ruler of the universe, the Titans disagreed, and they dismembered the boy and devoured him. Athena, the goddess of wisdom, saved Zagreus’s heart and gave it to Zeus, who swallowed the heart, from which was born the second Dionysus Zagreus. Moreover, Zeus destroyed the Titans with lightning. From the ashes of the Titans sprang the human race, who were part divine (Dionysus) and part evil (Titan). This double aspect of human nature, the Dionysian and the Titanic, plays a key role in Orphism.
56° PONTIFF OR SAGE OF CADMIA:
This Degree is concerned with the alchemical Great Work, and it urges the aspirant to study the seven musical tones, the seven colors, and the seven vowels. In alchemy, cadmia is an oxide of zinc that collects on the sides of furnaces where copper or brass is smelted and zinc sublimed.
57° SUBLIME MAGUS:
The word Magus (plural Magi) means a wise man (according to ancient Zoroastrian and Hellenistic traditions and according to the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament), and this Degree is concerned with the derivation of all things from one Almighty Spirit and with the study of the relationship between spirit and matter. 58º Sage Brahmin or Prince Brahmin: this Degree is devoted to the study of the spirituality of Brahmanism. Brahmanism was a monotheistic faith in Brahma as 40 Creator, as the Logos/Word of Greek philosophy. The Brahmanic Triad came later, and, in the context of the Brahmanic Triad, we find the acceptance of three Forms of the Deity, that is, three members of the supreme godhead (known as the Trimutri system): Brahma as Creator, Vishnu as Preserver, and Siva as Destroyer. Moreover, in Hinduism, it is generally accepted that each member of the supreme godhead has a sakti, that is, a passive or female counterpart or goddess, who are also venerated by the Hindus. According to a notable article of the Hindu faith, Vishnu the Preserver makes occasional descents upon earth to teach mankind and destroy evil forces, and, for this purpose, he takes various animal and human forms; these descents are called Avatars, of which ten principal ones are taught: the most recent was as Krishna, and the last shall be as Khaki riding on a white horse.
58° SAGE OR PRINCE BRAHMINE:
Instruction in natural and spiritual science. How worlds are in process of formation; how suns disappear whilst others are newly born, and how globes are in a state of incandescence for ages. The Night and Day of Brahm, or his Inbreathing and his Outbreathing, or Awakening. How organic life begins at the lowest step of the ladder and progresses, in untold ages, through the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdom, and is crowned by the birth of humanity. The Lunar race, and the Solar races. I have translated the following from the Conference on Indian doctrine. It represents, that of Reason, and Reply of Divine Wisdom.
59° SUBLIME SAGE OR GRAND PONTIFF OF OGYGIA:
This Degree is devoted to the study of Homer’s poetic mythology. Odysseus, on leaving Troy, arrives at the island of the beautiful witch-goddess Circe, who, through a magical herb, transformed Odysseus’s crew into swine, that is, Circe’s magic brought out their male chauvinism from within, and they were brutalized by sensuality. Hermes, the Greek equivalent of the Egyptian god Thoth, protects Odysseus and gives him a sacred plant, called moly, whose root is black, and whose flower is white and milky. Circe’s magical arts fail by the spiritual virtue of the plant that Hermes gave to Odysseus, she proposes a union to Odysseus, she swears by dread oaths that tie the powers below, and then she restores her swine to human form. After one year in this state, Odysseus and his crew leave Circe’s island, they cross the sea to the Cimmerian Cavern, which leads to Tartarus. The necessary sacrifices are made, and then, after visiting the Tartarus, the hero begins his voyage and reaches the island of Ogygia, where he begins a happy life with the nymph Calypso, and he remains seven years with her until Hermes commands his return to his own land.
60° SUBLIME GUARDIAN OF THE THREE FIRES:
This Degree is concerned with the three principles that constitute the human being: the body, the soul, and the divine spirit that resides in man’s mind.
61° SUBLIME UNKNOWN PHILOSOPHER:
This Degree is devoted to the occult medicine of the alchemists.
62° SUBLIME SAGE OF ELEUSIS:
This Degree is devoted to the study of the Mysteries of Eleusis, held every year for the cult of Demeter and Persephone based at Eleusis in ancient Greece.
63° SUBLIME KAWI:
The Sanskrit term ‘Kawi’ means poet and is equivalent to the terms ‘Skald’ (Scandinavian) and ‘Bard’ (Celtic). This Degree teaches love, union, and labor.
64° SAGE OF MYTHRAS:
This Degree is devoted to the study of the Mysteries of Mithras, and it teaches the aspirant that there are mysteries within mysteries, in the sense that there is an exoteric initiation and an esoteric one. Mithras is the Zoroastrian angelic Power of Covenant and Oath as well as a divine Judge, an all-seeing Protector of Truth, 41 and the Guardian of Cattle, of the Harvest, and of the Waters. According to the central premise of Zoroastrianism, which is exposed in the sacred volume called Avesta written in the Zend language, Ahura Mazda or Ohrmazd (Ahura literally means light, and Mazda literally means wisdom), being the highest spirit of worship, and Angra Mainyu or Ahriman, being the destructive spirit, contend with each other upon the earth for the souls of men; man may in this life fall under the evil sway of Ahriman, but Ohrmazd shall be supreme at the end. Ohrmazd had produced, by his Word, a being called Life, or the Bull (the same word in Zend stands for both). However, Ahriman contrived to harm this being, and Ohrmazd, through the agency of an Amshaspand (spiritual creature) called Saphandomad (Wisdom), formed the first human pair, Meschia and Meschiane. Ahriman managed to corrupt this human couple by a bribe of fruits and milk. As a result an ongoing war broke out between Ohrmazd and Ahriman. The predominant principle of Zoroastrianism is purity symbolized by a sacred flame.
65° GUARDIAN OF SANCTUARY - GRAND INSTALLATOR:
This Degree teaches Faith, Hope, and Charity. The symbol of 65th Degree of the Rite of Memphis is symbol is a winged egg.
66° GRAND ARCHITECT OF THE MYSTERIOUS CITY - GRAND CONSECRATOR:
This Degree is devoted to the concept of spirit or sacred breath. The symbol of 66th Degree of the Rite of Memphis is a winged egg on which is a circle with three stars.
67° GUARDIAN OF THE INCOMMUNICABLE NAME - GRAND EULOGIST:
This Degree is devoted to the concept of the divine Son. The symbol of 67th Degree of the Rite of Memphis is a winged egg on which is a rayed triangle with the letter G (standing for Gnosis and Geometry) in the center.
The major emblem of the United Traditionalist Grand Sanctuaries of the Ancient and Primitive Rite Memphis-Misraim is as follows: the Cosmic Egg with stretched wings, the letter Yod in the center of the Cosmic Egg (since Yod refers to the primal vibration of the universe, and it is the first letter of the Holy Tetragrammaton nine stars (seven plus two) surrounding the Cosmic Egg (nine is called the Triple Ternary and refers to the perfection of the spheres; seven is the perfect number, also termed the most venerable, since it refers to the creation of the World; two refers to the active and the passive qualities of Nature), and the eye of Horus in a radiant equilateral triangle (Sacred Delta) superimposed on the Cosmic Egg. The Tetragrammaton (Yehovah) consists of the following four Hebrew letters, which correspond to the following Alchemical Elements.
68° PATRIARCH OF TRUTH:
This Degree is concerned with God, intelligence, and the traditions of the ancient Egyptian city Heliopolis. The symbol of 68th Degree of the Rite of Memphis is a square on a winged egg from which proceed four rays in the middle of the sides; in the center of the square is a delta, and in the center of this is a star.
69° KNIGHT OR SAGE OF THE GOLDEN BRANCH OF ELEUSIS:
This Degree explains why the branch is the symbol of initiation. According to Pythagoras’s teachings, the path of Virtue and Vice resembles the letter Y; hence, the branch, like the letter Y, symbolizes the double path: the first is narrow and stony, and it leads to Elysium, whereas the second, is broad ad easy, and it leads to Tartarus.
70° PRINCE OF LIGHT OR PATRIARCH OF THE PLANISPHERES:
This Degree urges the aspirant to contemplate the divine Orient.
71° PATRIARCH OF THE SACRED VEDAS:
This Degree urges the aspirant to contemplate Arjuna’s battles at Kurukshetra, mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita. As the battle draws to a close, Arjuna is overcome with self-doubt about the righteousness of the war against his own friends and family. But, after his philosophical dialogue with Krishna, the eighth avatar of the god Vishnu, and with Krishna’s help, Arjuna managed to defeat his enemies.
72° SUBLIME MASTER OF WISDOM:
This Degree is concerned with the study of the institutions of the mysteries, in general.
73° PATRIARCH OR DOCTOR OF THE SACRED FIRE:
This Degree is centered on the occult fire, which is symbolized by the secret ever-burning fire of the temple of Heliopolis, the serpent issuing from the head of ancient Egyptian King Initiates, the horns of Isis and of Moses, etc.
74° SUBLIME MASTER OF THE STOKA:
In the Sanskrit literature, the Stoka is the oldest, simplest, and most popular measure; it consists of a distich of two sixteen-syllable lines divided at the eighth syllable. Thus, in the context of the Memphis-Misraim Rite, a Sublime Master of the Stoka is one who has mastered the occult powers of numbers and rhythm.
75° KNIGHT COMMANDER OF THE LYBYAN CHAIN:
This Degree is an honorific title, since it is the supreme degree of the Consistory. The title of this degree refers to the chains of gold that were granted by Egyptian and other Oriental kings as a mark of royal favor. The Libyan Sea is the portion of the Mediterranean Sea between the southern coastline of Crete and the coastline of northern Africa.
76° INTERPRETER OF HIEROGLYPHICS OR PATRIARCH OF ISIS:
This Degree is focused on study of hieroglyphics, and it teaches science, wisdom, and virtue.
77° SUBLIME KNIGHT OR SAGE THEOSOPHER:
This Degree is concerned with comparative mythology. In this context, the Kabbalistic Tree of Life can be used as a system of comparative religion/mythology in the context of which one draws correspondences between divine figures and the Sefirot of the Kabbalistic Tree of Life.
78° GRAND PONTIFF OF THE THEBAIS:
This Degree is concerned with the mythological and scientific traditions of Thebes. Thebes was the most ancient part of Egypt, and Osiris was born in Thebes. According to Diodorus of Sicily, the Thebans were the most ancient of people, and, according to Lucian, the Egyptians were the first who erected temples. Moreover, according to Lucian, the Ethiopians and the Thebans invented the Science of the Stars and named the planets.
79° KNIGHT OR SAGE OF THE FORMIDABLE SADA:
In Sanskrit, Sada means ever, always, or constantly, and, thus, this Degree emphasizes that constancy which the members of the Memphis-Misraim Rite must observe in delving into the mysteries of nature and science.
80° SUBLIME ELECT OF THE SANCTUARY OF HELIOPOLIS OR MAZIAS:
The ancient Egyptian cult center Iunu, named “On” in the Hebrew Bible, was renamed Heliopolis by the Greeks, because the sun-god Ra (in Greek, Helios) presided there. Iunu is mentioned in the Pyramid Text as the “House of Ra,” and Ra means creator. According to ancient Egyptian mythology, Ra, before manifesting in Heliopolis, rested under the name Atum in the ocean. However, one day, Ra rose out from the abyss enclosed within a lotus, and he shined in the Egyptian sky. From Ra came Shu and Tefnut, from whom came Geb and Nut, from whom came Osiris and Isis.
81° INTENDENT REGULATOR OR PATRIARCH OF MEMPHIS:
This Degree is focused on Horus, and it is concerned with the concepts of the divine Son, the divine mediator, fatherhood, meekness, and justice. Our knowledge of the Memphite ‘school’ is based on an inscription on the right-hand side of the Shabaka Stone, the so-called Memphis Theology. The Shabaka Stone is a heavy, near black block or slab of “Green breccia” from Wadi Hammamat named after Pharaoh Shabaka, who ruled in the XXVth Dynasty, in the eighth century BC.
82° GRAND ELECT OF THE TEMPLE OF MIDGARD:
In Norse cosmology, Midgard (in Old Saxon, Middilgard) is the name for the world inhabited by and known to humans, that is, it is synonymous with the Greek term ecumene. Obviously, this Degree is concerned with philosophy of religion and comparative religion.
83° SUBLIME ELECT OF THE VALLEY OF ODDY:
This Degree is concerned with the symbolical significance of the Ennead of Heliopolis. According to the Memphite theological system, Ptah is the speaking Atum-Ra: he is all-encompassing, and, by speaking the Great Word, he created the Ennead of Heliopolis. In other word’s Atum’s Great Word, or Logos, is the first cause of the created universe. According to the Shabaka Stone and the Pyramid Texts, the principle of mind whose essence is the heart and the principle of creative speech whose essence is the tongue are, respectively, the ‘semen’ and the 46 ‘hands’ of Atum. In particular, according to the Shabaka Stone (lines 53 and 54), Horus is a power or an epiphany of Ptah’s mind (heart), and Thoth is a power or an epiphany of Ptah’s tongue (speech): There comes into being in the heart. There comes into being by the tongue. (It is) as the image of Atum. Ptah is the very great, who gives life to all the gods and their vital essence (ka). It all in this heart and by this tongue. Horus came into being in him; Thoth came into being in him as Ptah.
84° PATRIARCH OR DOCTOR OF THE IZEDS:
According to Zoroastrianism, Ohrmazd created spirits ranged in a certain hierarchical order; the Amshaspands occupy the first rank, the Izeds the second, and the Fervers the third. Moreover, according to Zoroastrianism, there are twenty-eight Izeds, of whom Mithras is the chief.
85° SUBLIME SAGE OR KNIGHT OF KNEPH:
In ancient Egyptian religious art, Kneph is a motif consisting of a winged egg, which symbolizes universal spirit acting on primordial matter, and, generally, it represents the productive world.
86° SUBLIME PHILOSOPHER OF THE VALLEY OF KAB:
This Degree refers to the Sublime Rose of the Valley of Kab. In particular, the priests of Memphis used to consecrate a Rose bush to Isis, who was called the Queen of Roses. Kab is the name of the sacred site of Memphis where the symbolic rose was found.
87° SUBLIME PRINCE OF MASONRY:
This Degree reviews all previous ones.
88° GRAND ELECT OF THE SACRED CURTAIN:
St. Clement of Alexandria (the great secondcentury AD Greek theologian and head of the catechetical school of Alexandria) said that, in the temples of Egypt, an immense curtain separated the Congregation from the Sanctuary. That curtain was drawn over five pillars, which symbolize the five senses, and was made of four colors symbolizing both the four elements and the four Cardinal Points. In the context of the Memphis-Misraim Rite, the Sacred Curtain is an emblem of the completion of Initiation, and it represents the esoteric teaching of Masonry as distinct from the exoteric one.
89° PATRIARCH OF THE MYSTIC CITY:
This Degree urges the candidate to contemplate Truth, Hope, Life, and Death.
90° SUBLIME MASTER OF THE GREAT WORK:
This Degree is the Great Alchemical Work of all Masonry.
This concludes the complete Rite of Memphis.
91° GRAND DEFENDER:
The active members of this Degree constitute a body of Nine Dignitaries entitled the Grand Tribunal of Defenders of the Order, and their Chief Magistrate is called the Grand Shofet (in Hebrew, Shofet means judge). This Degree is concerned with the administration of justice within the Order.
92° GRAND CATECHIST:
The active members of this Degree constitute a body of Seven Dignitary Officers entitled the Grand Liturgical College of Sublime Catechists of the Order. Their duty is to inspect the labors of the subordinate bodies.
93° REGULATOR GENERAL:
The active members of this Degree constitute a body of Nine Dignitaries entitled the Grand Consistory of Inspector Regulators General of the Order, subordinate to the G.C.G. of 94°.
94° PRINCE OF MEMPHIS OR GRAND ADMINISTRATOR:
The active members of this Degree constitute a body of Seven Dignitary Officers entitled the Grand Council General (G.C.G.) of Administrators of the Order, Princes of Memphis.
95° GRAND CONSERVATOR:
The active members of this Degree constitute a body of Seven Dignitary Officers entitled the Sovereign Sanctuary of Patriarchs and Matriarchs Grand Conservators of the Order.
96° GRAND AND PUISSANT SOVEREIGN OF THE ORDER.
97° DEPUTY INTERNATIONAL GRAND MASTER.
98° INTERNATIONAL GRAND MASTER.
99° GRAND HIEROPHANT.
This concludes the complete Rite of Memphis.
Note. The above Degrees highlighted in red are the Degrees that our Order has determined may only be communicated by full Ceremonial initiation and not by sword or by simple Decree or by conferring by name only during the Ceremony of another Degree, as they are Key to the understanding of the Rite. The other Degrees may either be practiced in full Ceremony, or communicated by any of the above legitimate methods, at the discretion of the Grand Master of each jurisdiction and the Worshipful Masters of each Lodge on a local level.*
More ABOUT the Rite of Memphis.