Many brethren confuse the term
"Allied Masonic Degrees" with the Appendant Orders of freemasonry. It
so happens, the A.M.D. is only one of the groups of degrees, ceremonials and
Orders available to the searching Master Mason.
paper will therefore, firstly sketch, rather briefly, what has come to be known
as the "Appendant Orders" presently working in the Sovereign State of
Victoria, will define the A.M.D. and attempt to place it in proper perspective,
when looking at the whole labyrinthine structure of the Craft.
second part of the paper will attempt a more detailed study of what comprises
before attempting an overall explanation of the growth of our speculative tree,
it is essential that the ground should be prepared, the development of the root
structure clearly understood, the strength of the trunk appreciated, and the
strong branches observed. Over the centuries the suckers, and spindly twigs and
fruitless branches have been fortunately pruned away. Now we are in a position
to profit from the fruits of the labours of our predecessors.
of addressing a group of dedicated Masonic scholars, there should be no need to
outline the background to the development of Masonic philosophy, ideas, and
ritual, or waste time stating what to you would be obvious. However as a copy of
this may be perused by a brother just starting to explore the tangled forest of
Masonic research, perhaps you will pardon some pedantry on my part, while we
re-traverse ground that has been covered many times before.
system developed into three degrees, the pattern of which is or should he clear
to all. Few realize however, that the whole concept of F.M. is encapsulated in
the first degree, when clearly understood and put into practice. Perhaps there
is no need for any other degrees. Why then are there so many other degrees and
orders appendant to F.M.? What is their value? It is not the aim of this study
to justify their existance. Suffice it to say they do exist, and have withstood
the tests of time. Those who have tasted their fruits have derived intellectual
and spiritual sustenance from them. The odd fact remains, even with diligent
research, understanding cannot be achieved without, not only depth. and breadth
of study, but also persistent meditation. Remember the secrets of Nature are not
to be revealed to all who search Her shrine, but only to those who are strong in
faith and humble in spirit.
all the branches of our amazing Masonic tree draw their sustenance directly from
the story of King Solomon's Temple. There are, as you well know, other sources
of inspiration. A rather complex intertwining of philosophical ideas so
intricate and entangled, that it almost obscures the pattern of Truth. We all
know that the story of the Temple is merely an allegory of our search and
discovery of the lost Word, but this knowledge in itself is of no consequence
until we can feel it within ourselves Elucidation comes with the interpolation
of the legends related in all the Solomonic degrees into the story.
Unfortunately the manner in which we work the degrees tends to confuse rather
than elucidate those who will not study. However, taking cognisance of our Craft
teaching, and making a serious study into the hidden mysteries of the nature of
our science with a close analysis of the chronological order of the Solomonic
degrees, the system leads logically to its triumphant conclusion. A worthwhile
subject for a much deeper study in itself.
intrepid brother having climbed our speculative tree trunk, to the high degree
of M.M. in a fruitless search for that which was lost, is expected to be
satisfied with substituted secrets. From here everything else in our figurative
tree is appendant, completely dependant upon the structure of the craft for
sustenance. We should now pause, and reflect on the course we are pursuing. Are
we really looking for the genuine secrets of M.M.? If we find the genuine
secrets, what then? Is there something in these three allegorical degrees that
we have missed? These tantalising questions will be left unanswered. Each must
pursue his own course of study, and arrive at his own conclusions. We are all
conversant with the ritual of the three degrees, but not all have studied the
developments of these rituals. Perhaps further research in that direction may be
now you will have pictured in your mind a mental diagram of a tree depicting the
structure of F.M. universal, with its roots deep in the depths of time, and the
tantalising ancient mysteries. Its massive trunk depicting the strength of the
three degrees of the craft from which all branches spring, and the functional
extant degrees expressed as the fruit, ripe for the picking, available to all
\the laboriously climb the trunk. Recognising limitations in our analogy, the
level at which the various degrees may be placed in our mental diagram must not
be construed as their relative value.
is no doubt whatever the most important degree is the E.A. and perhaps the
highest is the M.M. even though it is part of the figurative trunk with only
substitute secrets. Remember even a P.M. is merely a M.M. shackled with his
substituted secrets, and burdened with greater responsibilities.
will be fully aware that in the late 17th and early 18th centuries throughout
Europe. there were many lodges working all kinds of ceremonies each lodge could
adopt new ceremonies or change old ceremonies as they thought fit. The formation
of the 1st G.L. in 1717 was an attempt to bring some order into the chaos. After
the 1st G.L. was formed, and dubbed "the Moderns. other Grand Lodges came
into existence working all types of ceremonies, including one in 1751 dubbed
"Ancients". By 1813 the United Grand Lodge of England was formed, and
Craft Masonry firmly established much as we now know it. During this period,
other grand bodies were formed to control ceremonies much loved of many brethren
but not part of the three degree system as crystallised. In passing it is worth
noting, that up until early this century there were many thousands of Masonic,
and pseudo-Masonic degrees that had been invented. Most of these mercifully have
languished into oblivion. Only some have survived. each one making a useful
contribution and adding colour to the Masonic fabric.
rituals were developed by very learned and wise brethren, while some
unfortunately were written by individuals with their own aggrandisement in view.
Fortunately the winds of time have blown away the chaff and only nourishing
grain remains. Even in our early days on the Victorian gold fields some of these
rather puerile ceremonies enjoyed a short lived existence. Bro. Peter Thornton
refers to them in his History of Freemasonry in Victoria.
the structure of the Masonic fabric woven by our predecessors in the form of
various degrees and orders now available for our benefit. Perhaps some of you
will be looking at this allegorical fabric and noting, not without some element
of truth, that it looks something like a Scotch tartan. For the purpose of this
exercise, our rather complex interweaving of Masonic degrees and Orders as the
warp and weft of our fabric can be reduced to two clearly defined
the Universal grouping.
the Christian Dispensation.
Universal group requires a belief in a Supreme Being, irrespective of what name
or characteristic is given; incorporating all religions. creeds, and sects, a
firm belief in the Brotherhood of man and Fatherhood of God the all powerful
Creator, Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnipresent.
Christian group utilises the foundation firmly laid by the Universal group. and
builds structures epitomising various aspects of Christian teaching.
is no unanimity of opinion about logical steps from one Order or degree to
another. Except for some clearly defined links each order is separate and
distinct, and most are independently autonomous with separate administration.
following lists the bodies presently working in Victoria, abbreviated titles are
used, the correct names will be found in the Masonic Guide.
Master Masons M M M
Ark Mariner R.A.M.
Arch Chapter R.A.C.
and Select R.S.M.
and Accepted Scottish Rite A. &
Order of Scotland R.O.S
of Constantine R.C. of C.
Templar Priests K.T.P.
Order of Eri R.O.E.
the above listing "The Operatives", with a system of seven degrees,
has been omitted. This body known as "The Worshipful Society of Free
Masons, Rough Masons, Wallers, Slaters, Paviors, Plasterers, and
Bricklayers", will be functioning in Victoria after April 1989, as the
Chirnside Mansion Assemblage. It will be added to the universal group. Even now
there is a long waiting list of brethren to join. (As of 1996, there were 14
Assemblages of this Order in Australia & New Zealand).
the Christian group. each one requires the candidate to be of the Christian
belief. The Ancient and Accepted Rite has a system of 33 degrees. most of which
are merely conferred. We have two constitutions working in harmony. Australian
and Scottish. In October 1985 Chapters in Victoria holding allegiance to the
English branch of the Rite, joined the newly formed Australian Rite, whilst the
Scottish Sovereign Chapters & Councils working the 18 degree & 30 degree
respectively opted to remain Scottish. The 18th degree is very strongly
Christian in doctrine. Curiously the ceremony of the 18th degree in each
jurisdiction, though identical in principal is markedly different in detail.
They are almost like two separate orders - which is fair enough comment, for
after all the English, followed by the Australians, dropped the word
"Scottish" from the traditional title of the Rite. The three degrees
of Craft Masonry are taken as equivalent to the first three degrees of the Rite,
consequently only Master Masons are admitted.
Royal Order of Scotland functions as a Provincial Grand Lodge meeting in the
Center, working two degrees, and owing allegiance to Scotland. This body was
formed to "correct the errors and irregularities that had crept into St.
John's Masonry." This introduces an interesting point for study. When
Freemasonry was formulated, about the 15th century, it was essentially
Christian, and frequently referred to as St. John's Masonry. In the process of
becoming universal some of the Christian overtones, considered important by some
brethren were in danger of being lost. The Royal Order preserves these ideas.
The teaching is conveyed in the ancient form of catechetic lectures in blank
verse and rhyming couplers. The standard of performance of the ritual is
impeccable. In one sense, the R.O.S. should be placed first on this list but by
local rule onlyMaster Masons, who are also members of the A. & A.R. are
eligible. Only really active Freemasons are placed on the waiting list. Victoria
sponsored the R.O.S. in W.A., Canberra, Tasmania, and S.A.
regard to Conclaves of the Knights of Constantine. under the Grand Imperial
Conclave of Victoria, a better understanding can be gained by examining the full
title of the Order, which is "The Masonic and Military Order of the Red
Cross of Constantine and the Orders of the Holy Sepulchre and SI, John the
Evangelist." The first Order, that of the Red Cross of Constantine belongs
to the "East and West" class of Initiatory Rites, It consists of three
degrees: - Knight, Priest, and Sovereign Prince, which are grades in the scale
of Initiation, incorporating one of the finest ceremonies in the whole Masonic
fabric. The appendant Orders attached to this branch are separate and distinct.
Candidates for the R.C. of C. must be members or a Craft Lodge and a Companion
of a R.AC.
present Knights Templar have no connection whatever with the Medieval Military
Orders. The Great Priory of Victoria controls the Preceptories and Priories of
the "United Religious, Military and Masonic Orders of the Temple and of St.
John of Jerusalem Palestine, Rhodes and Malta". The candidate, who must be
a Master Mason and Royal Arch Mason, receives the accolade i n a strongly
military Christian atmosphere within the Preceptory and the Knight of St. Paul
and Knight of Malta in a Priory.
of the oldest essentially Christian ceremonials of the appendant Orders and
oddly enough, one of the most recent to be organised under the control of a
Grand body, is the Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests, at one time referred
to as the Order of Holy Wisdom. Under its umbrella are grouped thirty odd
miscellaneous degrees, otherwise unattached that are now conferred upon the
Knight Priest. Victoria can be justly proud of its effort in establishing this
order in South Australia and Western Australia where the order has taken root
and flourished. The three Tabernacles in Victoria are under the Grand College of
England and Wales. This is the only Order now working in the state that requires
candidates to be a P M. and a subscribing member of a Craft Lodge a Royal Arch
Chapter, and a Preceptory of Knights Templar.
Rosicruciana in Anglia is not really an Order, Rite or Degree but a well
established society of Christian Masonic Master Masons. Demiurgus College, the
first in the State is well into its second hundred years of continuous working.
With a system of nine grades divided into three orders, it covers the whole
gambit of philosophic and religious study. This Society has also spread from
Victoria to other States.
last of the group is the Royal Order of Eri. a very rare Order with a system of
three degrees, and a complicated ritual based on Ancient Irish folk lore.
Membership is strictly by invitation only, drawn from Fratres of the S.R.I.A.
with at least the sixth grade. The foregoing through longer than anticipated is
unfortunately only sketchy. Much more could he said that would be of interest
but there still remains the Universal groups.
order in this group. except the A.M.D. is under local Grand bodies. Craft, Mark,
Ark Mariner, and Royal Arch have all been ventilated in this Lodge in the past
and no doubt will be a continued source of study.
something should be said about the Order of the Secret Monitor, for at one stage
it was part of the Allied Masonic Degrees. This is one of the rare Orders where
the installation into the chair is a degree in its own right, forming a well
defined system of three degrees. The Grand Council for Southern Australia has
jurisdiction over Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, and Tasmania.
Master Masons who join this delightful Order undergo a very simple ceremony,
strongly underlying the basic principle of brotherhood engendered in the Craft.
Royal and Select Masters, frequently referred to as the Cryptic Degrees, is a
collection of four degrees worked in Councils under the control of the Grand
Council of Victoria. Drawing its members from experienced Master Masons who are
also Mark Master Masons and Royal Arch Companions. Some years ago candidates had
to be installed Principles in the R.A.C., but this local rule was dropped. Also
until fairly recently the R.A.C. worked the first of this group of degrees. The
Most Excellent Master, The persistence of this degree in the Holy Royal Arch
Chapter for so many years in this state is a classic example of Masonic error,
inertia, and dogmatic resistance to correction It would have been far more
intelligent for this degree to be handed to the Mark administration, where it
would fit quite comfortably as an extra ceremonial. However it was, is, and
always will be a pre-requisite for the Royal Master, Select Master and Super
Excellent Masters degrees of the R.S.M.
is now time to examine a little more closely the A.M.D., the last of the
Universal Group. In England all the degrees and Orders previously mentioned in
the Universal Group. and most of the Christian bodies. were comfortably
ensconced under Grand administrations. A number of completely separate and
independent degrees, mainly- in the Universal group worked by various lodges,
were left languishing They were. no doubt well loved by many brethren, but not
fitting comfortably into the systems already established. A Grand Council of the
Allied Masonic Degrees was established in 1879. to take control of the
miscellaneous bits and pieces which initially included such well defined
workings. as the O.S.11.. and the Christian Order the K.T.P., both later to have
separate Grand bodies. Indeed. the Grand College of Holy Royal. Arch
K.T.P.. was not
created until 1923: and it was only in 1931 that the A.M.D. ceased working their
Secret Monitor degree.
degrees now worked in Councils of the A.M.D. are as follows:
Lawrence the Martyr
Tilers of Solomon
Cross of Babylon
LAWRENCE OF MARTYR
brethren may think there is an obvious error here as the A.M.D. has been listed
within the Universal group. yet one of the degrees worked is that of St.
Lawrence the Martyr, who was burnt to death by order of the Prefect in Rome on
the 10th day of August in the year 258 AD. He was a well known Christian Priest
whose life times, and Martyrdom, indelibly documented in the history and
traditions of the Church, resulted in his canonisation. There is no mistake. The
ritual, and the lesson taught, is universal in its appeal, and is an expansion
of the principles of Craft Masonry. The ceremony is woven around the
circumstances of his martyrdom, stressing his fortitude and humility. The
degree, apparently based on one of the Medieval Mystery plays, is known to have
been used by the operatives sometime prior to 1750, in Lancashire and elsewhere
in the British Isles as a means of identification when Masons travelled in
search of work. It is the degree in which all administrative work is done, and
the ceremony of installation performed. There is no interconnection between
these degrees, ritually, historically or otherwise. Therefore there is no order
of sequence of precedence.
curious degree is one of the so-called "Side Degrees". At one time it
was conferred by one Brother taking another "aside" after a Lodge
meeting, administering an obligation, reciting a traditional history. and
communicating the secrets. The ceremony now worked is a fully fledged degree
Researchers have not been successful in tracing the origin of the ceremony There
is evidence that it existed prior to 1830. and it became very popular in the
latter part of that century As in all branches of our speculative science. the
traditional history claims all antiquity, in story and detail, more in the realm
of fiction than fact. The assembly is known as the Council, presided over by the
Illustrious Potentate, and the members referred to as Sir Knights. The episode,
upon which the ceremony is based, allegedly takes place in the court yard of the
palace of the Emperor Constantine the Great in Constantinople during the fourth
century A.D. Once again the useful lessons of humility and universal equality
are demonstrated. It is rather a delightfully simple but unforgettable ceremony,
with a universal appeal to all who have the true principals of Brotherhood at
heart. Other than basic philosophy, there is no connection with any other Order
TILERS OF SOLOMON
curious degree has much in common with the Cryptic degrees, and is clearly part
of the Solomonic tradition. In the U.S.A. it has been worked constantly since
1761. It is also known as "Masons Elect of Twenty Seven". Traditional
history related an alleged episode during the building of King Solomon's Temple,
and as such, has a closer affinity to Craft Masonry than any of the other
degrees in this grouping. Although there is no direct reference to Royal Arch
matters, in one sense, it strengthens the justification for the existence of the
R.A. ceremony, serving as another link between Craft and Chapter. Three
principal Officers, W.M., S.W. and J.W., all sit in the East wearing the same
robes as in the R.A.C. They represent S, K. of I., H.K. of T. and H.A.B. While
H.A.B. is demonstrating his design for the "Altar of the Lord", the
ceremony commences. It stresses the danger of carelessness, and hasty judgement,
and emphasises the importance of careful tiling - a lesson of which we should
all take heed.
CROSS OF BABYLON
of a rather involved and profoundly mystical ceremonial, the degree is of
considerable antiquity; and is closely connected with the Royal Arch Chapter
tradition. Some constitutions, e.g. N.S.W. and W.A. work it in the R.A.C. as
"Knights of the Sword", or "Knights of the East and West".
This procedure evolved through Scottish practice. Though similar to our
practice, the Scottish style ceremony is arranged in an entirely different
sequence with considerable variation in detail. There is so much difference the
degrees are not interchangeable and separate obligations are required. Some
Masonic Scholars claim the R.A. evolved from the Red Cross of Babylon when it
formed part of the Order of the Temple. Irrespective of the merits or otherwise
of the argument, there is no doubt the basic principles of the ritual existed
and was worked consistently long before the R.A.C., as we know it, came into
being. It appears the ceremony, which is divided into three parts, or points,
came to us from three of the degrees of the "Rite of Perfection",
formed in Europe about the year 1754. The candidate represents Zerubbabel who in
the first part is appointed an emissary, assigned to journey from Jerusalem to
Babylon. Stressing the importance of fidelity, integrity, and truth, action
takes place in the R.A. Council at Jerusalem, and in the Throne Room of the
Persian Court at Babylon. A short transitional link between the other two parts,
called "Passing the Bridge" is of ancient origin. Similar symbolic
traces of spiritual truth are found in all cultures. Unfortunately, as generally
happens with masonic ceremonies, mystical lessons are frequently lost on the
average Mason. However, to those willing to concentrate, absorb, and meditate,
the spiritual rewards become treasured jewels. The "Red Cross" fits in
with the chronological sequence of the Solomonic thesis. Reconstruction of the
Temple began in the year 535 B.C., but was frustrated by the Samaritans who were
descendants of those who fled when the Temple was oppressed. The Samaritans
wanted to assist in rebuilding but were refused, and were successful in having
all reconstruction stopped. (Ref.
Ezra IV.) Zerubbabel
journeyed to Persia in the year 521 B.C. seeking help, and found that his friend
Darius had succeeded to the throne. Help was forthcoming and work resumed in the
year 520 B.C. Our Holy Royal Arch now commences its story. t the time there were
a considerable number of Jews remaining in Babylon and the news of the
rebuilding induced others to migrate back to their home country. Among these
were the three Sojourners of the R.A.C.
preparing a definitive statement on any subject for the instruction of the
uninitiated it is always difficult to determine where to start,. and what may be
divulged, without destroying the impact upon those who may seek participation at
a later date. The problem has no satisfactory solution on this occasion. We have
been discussing degrees. Here we have an Order in the true sense of the term.
The "Holy Order of Grand High Priest" has come to us through the
centuries, perhaps not entirely pure and unsullied as we now receive it. The
basic essentials of the ritual have an aura of ancient vintage. Where and when
it was first worked has never been established. The main elements were used in
some of the multitude of "High Grade" developed in the 1750 era on the
continent of Europe. Consisting of two parts, the Order, as now worked seems to
be an amalgamation of degrees worked separately until about 1780. Many consider
this to be the ultimate climax of the Masonic progression. Perhaps, in one
sense, this may be so, even though the episodes depicted predate the building of
King Solomon's Temple by some 900 years. The ceremony makes an abrupt transition
jumping nearly 400 years from the days of Melchizedek to the consecration of
Aaron as the first Jewish High Priest. Universal in principle and teaching it
has a strong appeal to companions with religious inclinations. The Order has
always been closely associated with R. A. Freemasonry. Under the original
constitutions of the Grand Council, the candidate had to be an Installed
Principle of a Royal Arch Chapter. This pre-requisite existed until 1923 when
changes were made permitting the admission of Companions. Members of the Order
are still referred to as "Excellent Companions". It is variously known
as the "Order of Melchizedek" and similar titles. That mysterious
biblical figure features prominently in the ceremony. The candidate represents
the Patriarch Abram returning from the slaughter of the Kings. Many Companions
after participating ill the ceremony hasten to the V.S.L. to re-read Genesis
Chapter 14, Psalm 133 and others, with a deeper understanding. His dedication to
the service of the Most High becomes profound. A man would have to be extreme in
his insensitivity not to be deeply, moved
mental picture of a multi-branched tree though complex is a good analogy to
describe the interdependence of each branch on the basic structure, the Craft.
The life of even the outermost twig is dependant on the strength of the Craft,
Like many deciduous trees from time to time it looses most of the leaves, but
the tree remains alive, the sap runs back ready to surge once again and leaf
when the season is right.
A.M.D. is one example of resurgence. The first Council of Victoria was
consecrated in 1918. From the beginning the Order was kept exclusive, quite
deliberately. Only recently it was realised that artificial restrictions are not
in the hue teaching of the Craft. Every Freemason should be encouraged and given
every facility to expand his knowledge, and understanding of our wonderful
Fraternity. It was 24 years before the second Council was established in
Victoria, and since the Councils in Victoria were constituted as a division of
the Grand Council on the 12th Dec. 1983, the order has blossomed in South
Australia and Western Australia and with 4 active Councils in Victoria, and
several in the pipeline.
the R. & S degrees the A.M.D. adds to our understanding of the R.A.C.; and
strengthens our appreciation of the fraternity as a whole. The fruits of all
these appendant orders and Allied Degrees cater for a wide variety of tastes. It
is worth remembering that the deeper one becomes involved. The more dedicated
our service, the greater the pleasure obtained.