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The Council of Kadosh is the third level of the Scottish Rite System of degrees. The 19th, 20th, and 30th degrees are all part of this sequence. It’s worth noting that in Canada, these degrees are classified as Consistory, while in the United States, only the 31st and 32nd Degrees are recognized.
Degrees 19 through 29 make up the AREOPAGUS Degrees, which are named after an ancient Athens court of the same name. The 30th Degree is also known as “Kadosh,” which means “holy” or “consecrated.” Let’s take a look at this section in greater detail.
19th: Grand Pontiff
The distinction between good and bad, as well as the tension that exists between them, is the subject of this degree. The sworn Knight of Justice, Truth, and Tolerance is advised to be vigilant and diligent in his efforts.
When a man discovers the secret of life after death, he realizes that there is no such thing as time. As a result, natural disasters are just temporary and will pass. We have passed from the Alpha to the Omega, having learned all the letters of the alphabet and understanding that Alpha comes after Omega, that life is renewed.
20th: Master of the Symbolic Lodge [Master ad Vitam]
This degree teaches that a Mason who recognizes that he lacks leadership skills and has not properly trained himself to be a leader should not aspire to be one. Nonetheless, every Mason should strive to educate himself, keeping in mind that he may be asked to lead at some point.
Since he is a member of his faith, he is expected to spread light and wisdom, as well as to follow the virtues both within and outside the lodge.
The previous degrees’ themes of tolerance, justice, and truth are revisited in the twentieth, where the candidate is taught that the right to rule a lodge is earned not only by selection but also through intelligence acquired through patient labour.
21st: Noachite [Prussian Knight]
The main takeaway from this degree is to not be arrogant or dismissive of others. Nobody should put their confidence in his riches, nobility, celestial or earthly names.
God protects all who are genuine and trustworthy, so we should be humble and modest and genuinely seek His mercy. A Mason can never lose hope or faith in the fact that truth and correctness will still triumph.
This degree tells the tale of crusading knights who tried to protect the innocent and keep everyone innocent until they were found guilty.
22nd: Knight of the Royal Axe [Prince of Libanus]
Man’s mission is to work. We should value our job for its own sake and complete our tasks. Manual and mental labor complement each other; therefore, neither should attempt to manipulate or oppress the other. A Mason must be a person who is unconcerned about the existence and type of work that his brother is doing.
The tale of those who cut cedar from Lebanon’s forests to create Noah’s Ark is told in this degree. Libanus is another word for Lebanon. The underlying message is that labor is noble, and we should work to improve the working conditions of those who do it.
23rd Chief of the Tabernacle
We are reminded in this degree that our understanding is owed to our faith in a revealed God. As a result, it is our responsibility to share this experience with the rest of the world.
A Mason who believes in God has a responsibility to gain knowledge and disseminate it to others so that they can become enlightened as well.
A Mason who generously shares his knowledge knows that he will earn God’s blessing by breaking superstitions and giving happiness and wealth to others, not by sacrificing living beings.
The nominee is taught to work tirelessly for God’s glory. The ritual retells the Tabernacle’s history and ancient rituals.
24th: Prince of the Tabernacle
This degree builds on the previous one by looking at the essence of science. We must be wary of accepting tainted and false echoes of true intelligence. We must determine what is true for ourselves, because often people do not know they are mistaken when they believe they have discovered the truth.
We must constantly fight against superstitions, incorrect wisdom, false prophets, tyrants, and despots as Masons. Our mission is to liberate information from the monopolies of classes, castes, representatives, and priests, and to make it available to everyone.
The importance of symbolism and how it has been used since the beginning of time – a common language of ancient theology – is the focus of this degree.
25th: Knight of the Brazen Serpent
The virtue of hospitality is taught in this degree. When it comes to providing hospitality to visitors, one must not discriminate based on ethnicity, nationality, or religion.
Masonry’s aim is to help those who are suffering from spiritual breakdowns, psychological crises, and diseases brought on by superstitions and ignorance.
It is our obligation to save our fellow man from these things, to break the chains that signify moral slavery, to set men free, and to be faithful and kind in every way. By re-creating ourselves and expanding our experience, we fulfill our destiny.
The story of the Children of Israel’s 40th year in the desert, when they pitched their tents at Punon after Aaron’s death, is told in this degree. The newly minted “Knight of the Brazen Serpent” is instructed to cleanse his soul of earthly alloy and re-establish his trust in God.
26th: Prince of Mercy
Make an effort to forgive and be patient! Masons are expected to uphold all religious values that do not desecrate sacred space. Masonry is not a religion, and its practitioners are not affiliated with any religious order or denomination.
It accepts the truth of all beliefs and supports them all. The truths of Masonry can be found in all of the world’s religions. Our mission is to love all people and to uphold the GAOTU’s and our own agreement. We should have faith that we can achieve His boundless affection and compassion, as well as the mercy mentioned in the degree’s title–that is, God’s love.
Domitian, Emperor of Rome, forced the first Christians to meet in catacombs during his persecution. This degree’s rite reflects the mysteries of the early Christians and teaches that Freemasonry is not bound by time or period.
27th: Knight Commander of the Temple
This degree teaches the values of knighthood and asks its followers to put these virtues into practice in their daily lives. Virtue necessitates obligation, and both are constant in history.
The Temple’s Knight Commander discovers that he is the time manager, and that he will determine when he will perform his duty without waiting for instructions or permission. He is his own guy, and his mission is to eliminate anxiety at the appropriate time.
A degree honoring the Teutonic knights of Jerusalem’s House of St. Mary. This Saladin-era order battled the warrior and his men throughout the day and cared for the sick at night. The five virtues exercised by that order are taught to the applicant for this degree: Humility, Temperance, Chastity, Honor, and Generosity.
28th: Knight of the Sun
Be a seeker of information. Seven truths are highlighted by this degree: The world is governed by an indefinable and nonsensical concept. Human life is just a speck in the vastness of time. A combination of similarities and contrasts results in universal equilibrium.
The soul in its purest form is the absolute. The visible and the unseen are one and the same. For universal equilibrium, evil, catastrophe, and misery are needed.
Nature can only be understood by analogies. The majority of men are unaware of their mistakes. Masons are expected to engage in a grueling battle against error. Masonry’s moral code is more comprehensive than philosophy.
The content for this degree comes from the Kabbalah and is the last of the Scottish Rite’s philosophical degrees. It examines science, rationality, and faith through the lens of natural consistency.
29th: Knight of Saint Andrew
This degree teaches the Mason that religion and science are not mutually exclusive; religion can be best understood by science, and science can be better understood through religion. Denying science is almost as fanatical as denying faith.
We only have so much time in this life; therefore, we must see God while we still have it. God, on the other hand, transcends all time; he is an energy that exists outside of time.
The energy is created by no other source of energy. That vitality has no bounds. As a result, Freemasonry is a never-ending attempt to exalt the spiritual in man over the individual in order to better understand God’s existence in our day.
This degree, as a culmination of the philosophy of universal religion, instills equality and tolerance, with the knight reflecting the concept of fact.
30th: Knight Kadosh
The last of the philosophical degrees is this one. The school in which Masonry is engaged is to spread the sciences, apply the virtues, and learn the sublime doctrines that allow humanity to live as one great family. It is not within the realm of Masonry to punish oppressors and tyrants who enact barriers to brotherly love and affection. They have always been punished in history.
By promoting love and tolerance, we hope to defeat the passions and fanaticism that lead to oppression. The Knight Kadosh is well aware of his responsibilities. He is reasonable, just, and considerate of all viewpoints. He fights for religious liberty. He condemns those who would attack these rights, but he does not believe in material vengeance. He is a wonderful example lover.
This degree, along with the two consistory degrees, was originally part of the A.A.S.R.’s Templar degrees. The candidate is taught to submit himself literally as a protector of the Most High God’s Temple, and that although he may be armed with steel on the outside, he is armed with Faith and Love on the inside. God’s confidence. The love he has for his fellow man.
For more information about The Council of Kadosh, and the other degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, visit their website.