The degrees encompassed by the Council of Kadosh are the 19th through the 30th. Although Albert Pike identifies them as chivalric or philosophical, they are all intensely mystical with respect to the lessons conveyed and symbols employed. The word "Kadosh" itself is Hebrew and is usually translated as "holy." A more precise meaning is "separated." The mission of Masonry is not to create "holy" men, but to set apart from the rest of humanity those exemplary men who practice her noble virtues in the pursuit of truth.

The degrees within the Council are designed to explore further the moral, political and religious lessons taught in the Lodge of Perfection and the Chapter of Rose Croix. The Council Degrees explain why morality and the practice of virtue are indispensible to the Mason. The political lessons within the Council explain why intolerance, superstition and bigotry are the special enemies of human freedom.

Remember that these lessons are provided for instruction, not as doctrine. The manner in which you worship the Creator is a private concern, and Freemasonry will not interfere with it. Our symbols are to be interpreted within the confine of your own beliefs, without intrusion.

Degree Description

19th Degree

"Grand Pontiff"

Duties: Be Content to Labor for the Future. Serve the Cause of Truth with Patience and Industry. Destroy Error, Falsehood and Intolerance with Truth, Honesty, Honor and Charity.

There are three lessons in this degree. First, that good will triumph over evil. Secondly, that the human intellect cannot measure the designs of God. Thirdly, that if lived properly, this life is a bridge to eternal life. We learn from the past and how it affects the present and that it will influence the life we live in the future. We, as mortals, strive to endure, produce and improve the world as it surrounds us.

20th Degree

"Master of the Symbolic Lodge"

Duties: Dispense Light and Knowledge. Practice the Masonic Virtues both in and out of the Lodge

This degree highlights two major lessons. First, that truth, justice and toleration are indispensable qualities for a Master of the Lodge. Secondly, that example is the best teaching method known. The degree also demonstrates liberty, fraternity and equality. These truths teach morals, religious and philosophical understandings. This degree helps one to comprehend Deity, forces of nature, good and evil.

21st Degree

"Noachite or Prussian Knight"

Duties: Be Humble and Modest, Trusting in God. Be Steadfast and Courageous in the Face of Adversity

There are three major lesssons in this degree. First, that the downfall of evil is certain. Secondly, that a free and independent judiciary is necessary to human progress. Thirdly, that journalism should be fair, just and responsible. We are further taught that arrogance, defamation and cowardice are unworthy attributes of a Mason and that humility, modesty and courtesy are the true virtues of men and Masons.

22nd Degree

"Knight of the Royal Axe or Prince of Libanus"

Duties: Respect Labor for its own Sake, and do Work

The main lesson of this degree is that work is the mission of man. This degree emphasizes work ethics: By doing good work we improve character and become better citizens.


23rd Degree

"Chief of the Tabernacle"

Duties: Be Devoted to the Service of God. Constantly Endeavor to Promote the Welfare of Man. Act with Proper Subordination to your Superiors

There are two main lessons found in this degree. First, that simple faith is wiser than vain philosophy. Secondly, that a society's concept of the Deity and the universe are consistent with its development. We learn in this degree that the man who forgets his duty to God, family, country and himself will be in danger of moral and spiritual destruction by thoughts and unworthy ambition.


24th Degree

"Prince of the Tabernacle"

Duties: Labor Incessantly for the Glory of God, the Honor of your Country and the Happiness of your Brethren

 There are three lessons found in this degree. First, that there is power of faith in the Deity and his promises. Secondly, that the soul is immortal. Thirdly, that there is one, true God, who is pure, absolute intellect and existence. A Mason must show evidence of compassion, piety and justice in this degree. After initiation he may "manifest faithfully the social virtues in order to receive the rewards", to serve humanity through our brotherhood.

25th Degree

"Knight of the Brazen Serpent"

Duties: Fulfill your Destiny and Re-create Yourself by Reformation, Repentance and Enlarging your Knowledge

There are three main lessons found in this degree. First, that man is composed of the flesh, the soul and the intellect. Secondly, that man is a reflection of the Divine. Thirdly, that you are warned to not weary God with petitions. This degree attempts to explain the conceptualities of celestial purity and the eternal soul of man. The apprentice is driven to look within his faith, life and God and to get a clear look at his inner self.

26th Degree

"Prince of Mercy, or Scottish Trinitarian"

Duties: Practice Mercy (Forgiveness). Be Tolerant. Be Devoted to the Teaching and Diffusion of the True Principles of Masonry

There are two main lessons of this degree. First, that the trinity of Deity belongs to no single religion. Secondly, that the truths of Masonry are contained within the religions of the world. We explore for "the rewards of the trinity of Gods attributes wisdom or intelligence, force or strength, harmony or beauty".

27th Degree

"Knight of the Sun, or Prince Adept"

Duties: Be a Lover of Wisdom. Be Faithful to the Promises you made within Masonry

There are five lessons that are taught in this degree. First, that nature reveals a power and wisdom and continually points to God. Secondly, that the visiblee is the manifestation of the invisible. Thirdly, that in the universe, two opposite forces provide balance. Fourthly, that there is no death, only change. Fifthly, that the moral code of Masonry is more extensive than that of philosophy. We are taught in this degree that our love for God manifests itself in our love for truth, justice and nobility of soul.


28th Degree

"Knight Commander of the Temple"

Duties: Be Devoted to Truth, Honor, Loyalty, Justice, and Humanity

There are two lessons found in theis degree. First, that Masonry is practical and requires its members to be actively involved in life. Secondly, that virtue and duty have been the ssame in all times. This degree teaches the apprentice to scorn selfishness, and to uphold the knightly virtues of charity, truth and honor. We should always strive to assist the poor, helpless and infirm.


29th Degree

"Knight of St. Andrew"

Duties: Reverence and Obey the Deity. Serve the Truth. Protect VIrtue and Innocence. Defend the People against Tyranny

The primary lesson of this degree is that ideas and institutions wax and wane in the great cycle of time which is but change. The virtues taught in this degree are "Love of God, loyalty to superiors, faithful adherence to promise and active resistance to unfair judgment." 

30th Degree

"Knight Kadosh"

Duties: Labor Unceasingly for the Good of Mankind

There are two lessons taught in this degree. First, that you should arm yourself with faith in God, love toward your fellow men and knowledge. Secondly, that great examples are the noblest legacies from the past; they enrich a nation more than wealth or power. We are taught in this degree to be true to ourselves, to stand for what is right and to be just in our lives today with a belief in God, country and oneself.

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