Commander-in-Chief: …………………………, MSA

1st Lieutenant Commander:

2nd Lieutenant Commander: …………………………,, MSA


Most Wise Master: …………………………,, MSA

Senior Warden: …………………………,, MSA

Junior Warden: …………………………,


Sovereign Prince: …………………………,

High Priest: …………………………,, HGA

Senior Warden: …………………………,


Thrice Potent Master: …………………………,

Deputy Master: …………………………,, MSA

Senior Warden: …………………………,, MSA


…………………………,, MSA


…………………………,, MSA


…………………………,, 33°


The Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite in each country is governed by a Supreme Council. There is no international governing body — each Supreme Council in each country is sovereign unto itself. In the U.S. there are two Supreme Councils. The Northern Masonic Jurisdiction (NMJ) is headquartered in Lexington, Massachusetts, and the Southern Jurisdiction (SJ) in Washington, DC. The Northern Masonic Jurisdiction refers to state organizations as Councils of Deliberation and the local bodies are organized into Valleys.

Each Valley has up to four Scottish Rite bodies, and each body confers a set of degrees. In the Northern Masonic Jurusdiction, the bodies are the:

  • Lodge of Perfection (4°–14°)
  • Council of Princes of Jerusalem (15°–16°)
  • Chapter of Rose Croix (17°–18°)
  • Consistory (19°–32°)

The Supreme Council confers the 33° of Sovereign Grand Inspector General.

Scottish Rite Freemasonry today can be found throughout the world. Supreme Councils have been established on nearly every continent and now include the following nations:

Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, England & Wales, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Iran-In-Exile, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Scotland, Serbia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Togo, Turkey, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

Northern Masonic Jurisdiction Website.


There are records of lodges conferring the degree of “Scots Master” or “Scotch Master” as early as 1733. A lodge at Temple Bar in London is the earliest such one on record. Other lodges include a lodge at Bath in 1735 and the French lodge, St. George de l’Observance No. 49 at Covent Garden in 1736. The references to these few occasions indicate that these were special meetings held for the purpose of performing unusual ceremonies, probably by visiting Freemasons. The Copiale cipher, dating from the 1730s, says, “The rank of a Scottish Master is an entirely new invention…”

A French trader, by the name of Etienne Morin, had been involved in high degree Masonry in Bordeaux since 1744 and, in 1747, founded an “Ecossais” lodge (Scots Masters Lodge) in the city of Le Cap Français on the north coast of the French colony of Saint-Domingue (now Haiti).  Over the next decade high degree Freemasonry continued to spread to the Western hemisphere as the high degree lodge at Bordeaux warranted or recognized seven Ecossais lodges there. In Paris in 1761, a patent was issued to Etienne Morin, dated 27 August, creating him “Grand Inspector for all parts of the New World”. This Patent was signed by officials of the Grand Lodge at Paris and appears to have originally granted him power over the craft lodges only and not over the high or “Ecossais” degree lodges. Later copies of this Patent appear to have been embellished, probably by Morin, to improve his position over the high degree lodges in the West Indies.

Early writers long believed that a “Rite of Perfection” consisting of 25 degrees, the highest being the “Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret” and being the predecessor of the Scottish Rite, had been formed in Paris by a high degree council calling itself “The Council of Emperors of the East and West.” The title “Rite of Perfection” first appeared in the Preface to the “Grand Constitutions of 1786,” the authority for which is now known to be faulty. It is now generally accepted that this Rite of Twenty-Five degrees was compiled by Etienne Morin and is more properly called “The Rite of the Royal Secret” or “Morin’s Rite.”  However it was known as “The Order of Prince of the Royal Secret” by the founders of the Scottish Rite who mentioned it in their “Circular throughout the two Hemispheres” or “Manifesto” issued on December 4, 1802.

Morin returned to the West Indies in 1762 or 1763, to Saint-Domingue, where armed with his new Patent he assumed powers to constitute lodges of all degrees, spreading the high degrees throughout the West Indies and North America. Morin stayed in Saint-Domingue until 1766 when he moved to Jamaica. At Kingston, Jamaica in 1770 Morin created a “Grand Chapter” of his new Rite (the Grand Council of Jamaica).  Morin died in 1771 and was buried in Kingston.

The one man who was most important in assisting Morin in spreading the degrees in the New World was a naturalized French subject of Dutch origin named Henry Andrew Francken. Morin appointed him Deputy Grand Inspector General as one of his first acts after returning to the West Indies. Francken worked closely with Morin and, in 1771, produced a manuscript book giving the rituals for the 15th through the 25th degrees. Francken produced at least two more similar manuscripts, one in 1783 and another about 1786. The second and third of these manuscripts included all the degrees from the 4th through the 25th.

A Loge de Parfaits d’ Écosse was formed on 12 April 1764 at New Orleans becoming the first high degree lodge on the North American continent. Its life, however, was short as the Treaty of Paris (1763) ceded New Orleans to Spain and the Spanish crown had been historically hostile to Freemasonry. Documented Masonic activity ceased for a time and did not return to New Orleans until the 1790s.

Francken traveled to New York in 1767 where he granted a Patent, dated 26 December 1767, for the formation of a Lodge of Perfection at Albany which was called “Ineffable Lodge of Perfection”. This marked the first time the Degrees of Perfection (the 4th through the 14th) were conferred in one of the thirteen British colonies. This Patent, and the early minutes of the Lodge, are still extant and are in the archives of Supreme Council, Northern Jurisdiction.

In 1813 the Supreme Council for the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction was established in New York after a careful inspection of five bodies up to and including the Thirty-Third.  None of these bodies had been sponsored by the Supreme Council at Charleston.

The organization was effected by Emanuel De La Motta, Illustrious Treasurer General, under the direction of John Mitchell, Sovereign Grand Commander, and Frederick Dalcho, Lieutenant Grand Commander of the Supreme Council at Charleston.  The task of sifting through five bodies was a difficult one.  Nevertheless on August 5, 1813, in the city of New York this second Supreme Council in the U.S.A. was established.  On August 5th, 1813 Daniel D. Tompkins was chosen as the first Sovereign Grand Commander of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction. Tompkins had enjoyed a successful political career. In 1804 he was simultaneously elected to Congress and appointed to the New York Supreme Court. He chose the latter, serving until his election as Governor in 1807. He was offered the post of Secretary of State in the Madison administration and was elected U.S. Vice President in 1816 with fellow Mason James Monroe.

From 1832-1843 the Supreme Council was being held together chiefly through the efforts of John Joseph Gourgas, Grand Secretary from 1813 to 1832 and Sovereign Grand Commander from 1832 until 1851.  Eventually the Scottish Rite once more began to function, but now in the Northern Jurisdiction under divided leadership, Cerneau, Atwood, Hayes, Raymond and others attempted to establish Supreme Scottish Rite Bodies.  In 1860 three were active; each called itself a Supreme Council, and claimed absolute authority.

Fortunately, wise council and Masonic principles prevailed over personal ambitions.  After much preliminary communication, the two Supreme Councils then remaining, the legitimate one headed by Killian H. VanRensselaer, and the recently consolidated Hayes-Raymond Council, met in Boston May 17, 1867, and dissolved their respective Supreme Councils and formed our present supreme Council in the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction.

Henry L. Palmer was elected Sovereign Grand Commander in 1879, beginning the longest tenure (30 years) in the history of the Rite. 
In 1921 Leon Abbott was elected Sovereign Grand Commander and moves the Supreme Council offices from New York to Boston. Upon his death, his Will provides for the Abbott Scholarships.
Melvin Maynard Johnson was elected Sovereign Grand Commander in 1933 and serves as the first full-time Sovereign Grand Commander. Johnson leads the Rite through the Great Depression, World War II, a membership drop to 208,000, and its rebound to 422,000. He establishes a foundation to fund schizophrenia research and writes many papers on early Freemasonry.
In 1968, Sovereign Grand Commander George A. Newbury moves the Supreme Council headquarters from Boston to Lexington, MA, just a mile from where the American Revolution began.
The Northern Light began publishing in 1970. 
On April 20, 1975, the day after the American Revolution Bicentennial began on Lexington Green, with President Ford presiding, the National Heritage Museum opens on the grounds of Supreme Council headquarters. It is called the gift of the Scottish Rite Masons to the nation.

In 1995, Sovereign Grand Commander Robert O. Ralston began a new charity as the first 32° Masonic Learning Center for Children with Dyslexia opens.
The Supreme Council opened its new headquarters building in 2000 on the grounds in Lexington, MA.
Walter E. Webber succeeded Robert O. Ralston in 2003 as Sovereign Grand Commander.
In 2005 the number of children’s learning centers exceeded 50. John Wm. McNaughton succeeded Walter E. Webber in 2006 as Sovereign Grand Commander.


Meritorious Service Award (M.S.A.) 
There is an award known as the “Meritorious Service Award” which may be conferred upon members of the Rite in this Jurisdiction who have attained the Thirty-second degree and who, by reason of meritorious service of a Masonic character, are deemed worthy of such recognition. This distinction is granted by statewide Scottish Rite organizations known as Councils of Deliberation. 

Recipients of the Meritorious Service Award in the Valley of New York City:

Member Name


The Thirty Third Degree
The 33° is conferred upon those members of the 32° who have been outstanding in their contributions to Freemasonry, the Scottish Rite, or who have shown in their communities the leadership which marks them as men who exemplify in their daily lives the true meaning of the Brotherhood of man under the Fatherhood of God. It cannot be sought by application, but must be such a man as described above who has been selected by the Deputy of his state. He must be not less than 33 years of age, and may be elected at an Annual Meeting of the Supreme Council a Sovereign Grand Inspector General of the Thirty-third and Last Degree, Honorary Member of the Supreme Council. Such election shall be by unanimous vote of the Active Members present taken by secret ballot. The degree is conferred at the Annual Meeting of the Supreme Council next succeeding the election of a candidate.

Recipients of the 33rd Degree in the Valley of New York City:

Member Name



There are a large number of books available about the Scottish Rite to begin or enhance your understanding of the traditions, symbols, philosophy, history, and ritual work.  This is not an exhaustive list, however, it provides some of the more popular publications available.  Additionally there are also several educational courses worth exploring that are listed here.

Recommended Educational Courses:

Scottish Rite Master Craftsman Program (Multiple Levels) available through the House of the Temple’s website for the Southern Masonic Jurisdiction.

The College of the Consistory available through the Valley of Guthrie, Oklahoma’s website.

Hauts Grades Academy (HGA) available through the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction – Access information and registration via www.ScottishRiteNMJ.org under Resouces.

Recommended Reading:

A Bridge to Light-Rex Hutchens

A Glossary to Morals and Dogma-Rex Hutchens

A Guidebook to the House of the Temple – The History, Architectures, & Symbolism-Jeri E. Walker

A Register of Supreme Councils Active and Extinct

Albert Pike’s Lecture on Masonic Symbolism : and a Second Lecture on Symbolism : the Omkara and other Ineffable Words-Albert Pike

Albert Pike’s The Omkara and Other Ineffable Words-Albert Pike

Book of Wisdom-Kamel Oussayef

Curiosities of the Craft: Treasures from the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts Collection-Aimee Newell

Forms and Traditions of the Scottish Rite-Fred Kleinknecht

Foulhouzeism and Cerneauism Scourged-Albert Pike

Francken Manuscript-Henry Andrew Francken

Freemasonry’s Royal Secret-The Franken Manuscript-Arturo de Hoyos

Heredom-Scottish Rite Masonic Research Publication

Historical Sketch of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite: Together with an Account of the Origin of the Double Headed Eagle and Descriptions of Jewels of the Thirty-Third Degree-Albany, NY

History of the Supreme Council of the 33rd Degree of Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry-Samuel Harrison Baynard

History of the Supreme Council, 33°, A.A.S.R., N.M.J., U.S.A.-George Newbury

Ineffable Masonry Volumes 1-3-Giles Fonda Yates

John James Joseph Gourgas, 1777-1865 Conservator of Scottish Rite Freemasonry-Hugo Tatsch

Les plus secrets mystères des hauts grades de la maçonnerie dévoilés, ou, Le vrai Rose-Croix-Arturo de Hoyos

Liturgy of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry for the Southern Jurisdiction-Albert Pike

Lodge of the Double-Headed Eagle-William Fox

Magnum Opus or the Great Work-Albert Pike

Manual of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite: arranged to correspond with the ritual of the Supreme Council of the 33rd degree NMJ-William M. Cunningham

Masonic Formulas and Rituals-Albert Pike

Millennial Cyclopedia of Scottish Rite Craft Masonry-Norman D. Peterson

Modern Historical Characters in Freemasonry-John H. Van Gorden

Monitor of the Ancient and Accepted Rite-Enoch T. Carson

Morals and Dogma for the 21st Century-Kevin Main

Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry Prepared for the Supreme Council of the Thirty-third Degree, for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States, and Published By Its Authority-Albert Pike

Music for the Consistory as authorized by the Supreme Council, A.A.S.R.-Daniel Protheroe

Music for the Council and Chapter Degrees as authorized by the Supreme Council, A.A.S.R. : NMJ, USA-Daniel Protheroe

Music for the Lodge of Perfection degrees as authorized by the Supreme Council, A.A.S.R. : NMJ. USA-Daniel Protheroe

Non-Christian Candidates in the AASR of Freemasonry with Some Discussion of the 18th Degree-Melvin Maynard Johnson

On the Wings of the Double Eagle-Jan Beaderstadt

Ordo ab chao : the Original and Complete Rituals of the First Supreme Council, 33rd degree-Anonymous

Pillars of Wisdom : The Writings of Albert Pike-Rex Hutchens

Proceedings of the Council of Deliberation of the State of New York

Rose Croix: The History of the Ancient and Accepted Rite for England and Wales-Alexander Jackson

Scotch Rite Masonry Illustrated: The Complete Ritual of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite-Jonathan Blanchard

Scottish Rite Ritual & Monitor-Arturo de Hoyos

Scottish Rite Ritual for the Opening, Closing, Conferrment of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd degrees, Affiliation, Funeral Service and Installation of Officers-Albert Pike

Scottish Rite Ritual Monitor and Guide-Arturo de Hoyos

Sublime Freemasonry-Anonymous

The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite in Thirty-Three Degrees-Robert B. Folger 

The Badge of a Freemason: Masonic Aprons from the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library

The Book of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry-Charles T. McClenachan

The Book of the Words : Sephir h’debarim-Albert Pike

The Degree Rituals of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction-C. DeForrest Trexler

The Rise of the Ecossais Degrees-James Fairbairn Smith

The Scottish Rite and the Cerneau Wrong-William Homan

The Scottish Rite for Scotland-Robert Lindsay

The Scottish Rite Version of the Three Degrees of Craft Masonry-Norman D. Peterson

The Secret Directory : Book I, Ineffable Degrees of the Ancient and Accepted RiteSupreme Council NMJ

The Statues and Regulations, Institutes, Laws, and Grand Constitutions of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite-Scottish Rite

The Story of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry-Harold Van Buren Voorhis

Theatre of the Fraternity : Staging the Ritual Space of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, 1896-1929-Lance Brockman

Thoughts Inspired by the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite Degrees-Alexander Russell

Two Crowns for America-Katherine Kurtz

Valley of the Craftsman-William L. Fox

Vested in Glory-Jim Tresner