More about the Degrees and Orders in Freemasonry
The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Degrees in Freemasonry – known as “Entered Apprentice”, “Fellowcraft Freemason” and “Master Mason” – represent the first vital steps of progress in the Masonic journey of learning, self-discovery and development.
In parallel to this, a Mason is encouraged to progress and graduate through a series of posts or offices in his Craft Lodge, rising from Steward to Master of the Lodge in a period of seldom less than 7 years, often more.
Having become a Master Mason (the 3rd Degree) and whilst still a junior member of his Craft Lodge, he has new options open to him should he so wish.
The Masonic journey continues with the option of a number of other Degrees and Orders which are broadly categorised into two main groups;
Freemasonry Universal (non-denominational, but embracing Masons of all Faiths, for example, Christianity – Hinduism – Islam – Buddhism – Sikhism – Judaism). These seven “Universal” orders and degrees are indicated.
The six Christian Degrees and Orders are indicated
So, after Craft Lodge – which is “Universal” – there is a choice of six main Degrees and Orders (a-f), of which two (a) and (b) can lead to seven others. Just as there is no compulsion to follow any of them, similarly there is no restriction on how many an individual might wish to join:
a) Royal Arch Chapter, leading to
Red Cross of Constantine
Knights Templar, leading to
Knights Templar Priest
b) Mark Master Masons, leading to
Royal Ark Mariner
Or, when a member of both Royal Arch and Mark Masons, leading to
Royal & Select Masters
Allied Masonic Degrees
c) Rose Croix
d) Royal Order of Scotland
e) Order of the Secret Monitor
f) Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia