Becoming a Scottish-Rite Mason?

The answers to the following 20 questions help the reader understand what it means to be a Scottish-Rite Mason.

1. History- What is Iowa Scottish-Rite Masonry?
Iowa has five Scottish-Rite Valley's,
        Cedar Rapids,
        Des Moines
        Sioux City.
Each of these Valley's confer the Scottish-Rite Degrees. The degrees are lessons taught in segments. These are the Lodge of Perfection, Chapter of Rose Croix, Council of Kadosh, and the Consistory. Each exemplifies and communicates degrees to new members.

The four bodies teach lesson through their Degrees.

            The Lodge of Perfection confers the 4th through 14th Degrees.

            The Chapter Rose Croix confers the 15th through 18th Degrees.

            The Council of Kadosh confers the 19th through 29th Degrees.

            The Consistory confers the 30th through 32nd Degrees.

2. Structure- How does the Scottish-Rite extend Masonic understanding?

            It teaches what it means to be a Mason, and what Masons do as they live their lives. It is often referred to as the University of Freemasonry.

3. Involvement- What do Scottish-Rite Masons do?

            They improve the quality of their lives and then impact the quality of the lives of others.

4. Leadership- Who is the Sovereign Grand Inspector General?

            Iowa has five Scottish-Rite Valleys headed by the Sovereign Grand Inspector General of Iowa. He appoints his Personal Representatives to oversee the operations of each valley. The Sovereign Grand Inspector General leads the Iowa Scottish-Rite.

5. Operations- Who is the Valley Registrar?

            This individual is employed to oversee each valley's operations. He manages the office, and performs such duties as required by the leadership in each valley.

6. Eligibility- Why must a Scottish-Rite Mason be in good standing in his lodge?

            The Scottish-Rite is an extension of Blue Lodge Masonry. It provides continued light to its members through its exemplified or communicated degrees. The Scottish Rite is called the University of Freemasonry because it causes members to better understand the lessons of Freemasonry. Each Mason begins his Masonic journey by taking the first three degrees in his lodge. He extends his Masonic learning through the Scottish-Rite Degrees.

7. Heritage- Who was Albert Pike?

            He served as Sovereign Grand Commander of the Scottish-Rite and was responsible for developing further the extended learning that comes through its degrees. He was a man of his era, who provided further knowledge that through experience became wisdom. His insights provided a greater understanding of the degrees.

8. Initiation- What is a Scottish-Rite Reunion?

            It is a time when Scottish-Rite members come together to create new Scottish-Rite Mason. New and existing members receive extended light through the conferral of degrees. Most importantly, it is a time to re-affirm one's quest to acquire greater understanding of life's complexities.

9. Officers- Who is the Master of Kadosh?

            He is the top elected official of the Cedar Rapids Valley. He presides over the Council of Kadosh, the Coordinate Council, and oversees the operations of the Valley. He is elected for a two year term.

10. Involvement- Who are the Knights of St. Andrew?

            This group serves the valley by assisting in the performance of its operations. Membership in the Knights is an opportunity for new members to begin working in the Valley. The Knight's provide leadership to a number of important functions and serve as a major contributor to the long range success of valley operations.

11. Recognition- What are the Scottish-Rite Hats and what do they represent?

            Every Scottish-Rite member is entitled to wear a Black Hat. It signifies that this individual is a 32nd degree Mason who is mastering the Royal Secret.

        A Red Hat indicates the Brother is a member of the Knights Commanders Court of Honor. It is conferred on a Brother for his dedication to Scottish-Rite principles, and service to the valley.

        A White Hat means the Brother has received the 33rd. Degree. This is awarded to one wearing a Red Hat for his commitment and service to the Valley, and impact on the Orient of Iowa.

        A Light Blue Hat is worn by fifty year members.

        A Purple Hat is only worn by the Sovereign Grand Inspector General of Iowa and the Supreme Commander of the Southern Jurisdiction of the Scottish-Rite in the United States. A Scottish Rite Mason's hat exists as a badge of distinction and recognition that is worn with pride.

12. Learning- What is a Degree?

            A degree teaches a lesson to be learned by each Scottish-Rite member. It can be exemplified in a dramatic presentation or communicated in the classroom. Brothers comprehend and apply the knowledge gained from a degree according to their background and experience. True Mastery of the information in all Masonic Degrees is a life-long quest that impacts one's character. That is why it is beneficial to participate in or observe a degree

13. Benefit- What does one gain by being a Scottish-Rite Mason?

            Greater understanding of Masonry's purpose and lessons is the first benefit. Masons have existed in many forms in our past. Each form had a primary purpose. That was to understand and serve the Grand Architect of the Universe. Each man struggles to understand who he is and why he is living this life. The Scottish-Rite provides a vehicle to accelerate one's journey toward the advancement of that understanding. As a personal quest, each Mason is on a journey down a road that does not end when this life is over.

14. Investment- What do I get for my time and money?

            Learning always involves an investment of time, effort and personal resources. Man, by nature does not value things easily attained. In Masonry the reward justifies the expenditure. Masonry's greatest secret is that a Brother cannot accurately describe to another how he has changed by becoming a Mason. Yet, the experience can change him through the acquisition of a greater spiritual awareness of his life's purpose. As a Mason, you pay for the right to grow and become a better man. You pay for the privilege of being among brothers who are fellow seekers of light of life's path. And, you pay to create learning opportunities for others. It is a good investment, but only you can decide if it is worth it.

15. Motivation- What can I do to get involved in the Scottish-Rite?

            Each man arrives in this life with an array of earned talents and skills. He has been granted an opportunity by the Grand Architect of the Universe to use his talents in this life to grow and become a better person. Many opportunities for involvement and growth in the Scottish-Rite are available. The Biblical injunction, "Ask, and it shall be given you. Seek, and ye shall find. Knock, and it shall be opened unto you," remains the fundamental guide for any Brother seeking involvement. Everyone who asks, receives. He who seeks, finds. And, to one who knocks, a world of new understanding is opened unto him.

16. Activities- What things are there to do as a member of the Scottish-Rite?

            Many opportunities are available to our members. A wide array of social, educational, recreational, and ritual opportunities exist. The excitement that comes from purposeful involvement begins with these questions: What Can I Do? How can I help? And, what is needed?

17. Choice- How can I find time to be involved?

            Each Mason must operate within the length of his cable tow. A cable tow represents those things that demand a Mason's attention in his daily life. Masonry was never designed to interfere with those obligations. Yet, within those constraints it is always possible to make a contribution. A man is truly a Scottish-Rite Mason when he understands a fundamental of Masonry. A Mason, who gives his word, finds a way to keep it.

18. Self-Image- Are Scottish-Rite Mason's Special?

            Not everyone is qualified, destined, or worthy to be a Mason. Men are selected through an investigative process by Masonic Brothers. They are recommended by other Masons. They are challenged to comprehend the lessons of the degrees. And, they have persevered in a quest to discover an identity and a purpose. Observation readily indicates that not all men do this. Therefore, a Scottish-Rite Mason is special in the eyes of the fraternity and always in the eyes of God.

19. Challenge- What is a Scottish-Rite Mason's greatest obstacle?

            It is a realization that personal growth often comes through the confrontation of the negative reactions of others. Many will demean you because they don't know or understand the principles of Masonry. Let them own their ignorance. The greatest challenge is to keep one's focus on being the best person and Mason one can be, by acquiring greater understanding through Masonic involvement.

20. Infinity- What is infinite understanding?

            Each Mason is motivated by a personal belief in an infinite power. That power is defined as the God who lives within each of us. Through an understanding of God, we evolve to greater degrees of understanding through our experiences. Masons share a common God within. Brotherhood occurs when God works through a Brother who extends an attentive ear, an instructive tongue, and a faithful breast to others. Living well with others is a Mason's ultimate goal. A Mason's life ends when he lays down the working tools and confronts his God in the next dimension. A Scottish-Rite Mason's goal is to be able to stand before his God at the end of this life and say, I did the best I could with what I had. Now, let me experience the joy of learning more. So Mote It Be!

Created by William C. Jacobson, Ph.D. 33°

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