The Council of Kadosh
The third portion of the Scottish Rite System of degrees is called The Council of Kadosh. This series of degrees includes the 19th° through to the 30th° Degrees.
19° Grand Pontiff
We learn from the past and how it affects the present and the influence we live in the future in this degree. We as mortals strive to endure, produce and improve the world as it surrounds us. There is no apron, but the jewel is a gold “parallelogram” (rectangle) with a Greek Alpha on one side and an Omega on the other.
20° Master of the Symbolic Lodge
This demonstrates liberty, fraternity and equality. These truths teach morals, religious and philosophical understandings. This degree helps one to comprehend Deity, forces of nature, good and evil. The apron worn is yellow, bordered in blue, with three concentric point-down triangles, with the Tetragrammaton (horizontal) and “Fiat Lux” (vertical) at the center, forming a cross. Its triangular shape relates to the “fourth great light, which reminds us of the Deity and his attributes”. The jewel that is worn is made of gold with the same three concentric triangles.
21° Noachite or Prussian Knight
The lessons to be learned from this degree are that arrogance, defamation and cowardice are unworthy attributes of a Mason and that humility, modesty and courtesy are the true virtues of men and Masons. The apron worn is yellow and contains an arm holding a sword, a winged figure holding a key in the left hand and the right forefinger on the lips (the “Egyptian figure of Silence”). The jewel can be described as a point-up triangle, with an arrow, point downward, an arm holding a sword, and the motto “Fiat Justitia, Ruat Coelum.”
22° Knight Royal Axe, Prince of Libanus
This degree emphasizes work ethics: By doing good work we improve character and become better citizens. The apron worn in this degree is white, bordered in purple, and contains a three-headed serpent and a table with instruments and plans on it. The jewel is an axe and handle of gold. On the top of the handle are the initials of Noah and Solomon. In the middle of the handle are the initials of Libanus and Tsidun. On the blade are the initials of Adoniram, Cyrus, Darius, Zerubbabel, Nehemiah, Ezra (on one side) and Shem, Kham, Yapheth, Moses, Ahaliab, Betselal (on the other).
23° Chief of the Tabernacle
We learn in this degree that the man who forgets his duty to God, family, country and himself will be in danger of moral and spiritual destruction by thoughts and unworthy ambition. The apron worn is white, bordered with red, blue and purple ribbons. These colors, from the curtains of the Tabernacle, represent earth, fire, air and sea, respectively, as well as the Lord’s beneficence, glory, wisdom and power. On the apron is the golden seven-branched candlestick, representing the seven planets and virtues: Sun, faith “aspiration toward the infinite”; Moon, hope; Venus, charity; Mars, fortitude “victory over rage and anger”; Mercury, prudence; Saturn, temperance; Jupiter, conqueror of the Titans, justice. The jewel worn is a small silver censer, or ornamented cup, held by a handle in the shape of an open hand.
24° Prince of the Tabernacle
A Mason must show evidence of compassion, piety and justice in this degree. After initiation he may “manifest faithfully the social virtues in order to receive the rewards”, to serve humanity through our brotherhood. The apron worn is of white lambskin, with scarlet, green and blue. On it is a violet myrtle tree, and a gold representation of an Arabian tent. The jewel worn is the Hebrew letter ALEPH, suspended from a violet ribbon.
25° Knight of the Brazen Serpent
This degree attempts to explain the conceptualities of celestial purity and the eternal soul of man. The apprentice is driven to look within his faith, life and God and to get a clear look at his inner self. The apron worn is white, lined in black, and with gold stars on the white side (Pleiades, Hyades, Orion, Capella) and with silver stars on the black side (Perseus, Scorpio, Bootes). Also on it is a serpent, ouroboros, surrounding a scarab, a triangle in a glory with the Tetragrammaton in its center, and the four initials of the stars Regulus, Aldebaran, Antares, and Fomalhaut. The jewel is a gold tau cross (crux ansata) with a serpent entwined around it, and the Hebrew words HLThI (“he has suffered or been wounded”) and NChShThN (“the Brazen Serpent”) on it.
26° Prince of Mercy or Scottish Trinitarian
In this degree we explore for “the rewards of the trinity of Gods attributes – wisdom or intelligence, force or strength, harmony or beauty”. The apron is scarlet, bordered in white, with a green triangle (point-down) in the center. In the triangle are the initials of force, wisdom, and harmony, and a flaming heart of gold with the initials I.H.S. (Jesus Hominum Salvator or Imperium, Harmonia, Sapientia). The jewel is gold and is the same triangle, suspended by a purple ribbon.
27° Knight Commander of the Temple
This degree teaches the apprentice to scorn selfishness, and to uphold the knightly virtues of charity, truth and honor. We should always strive to assist the poor, helpless and infirm. The apron is of scarlet lambskin, lined in black, with a Teutonic Cross (cross potent sable, charged with a smaller cross double potent or, surcharged with the escutcheon of the Empire – the two-headed black eagle) and a black key surrounded by a laurel wreath. The jewel is the Teutonic Cross shown on the apron.
28° Knight of the Sun or Prince Adept
We learn in this degree that our love for God manifests itself in our love for truth, justice and nobility of soul. The apron worn is white lambskin, with a vermilion pentagram. The jewel is a gold five-pointed star.
29° Scottish Knight of Saint Andrew
The virtues taught in this degree are “Love of God, loyalty to superiors, faithful adherence to promise and active resistance to unfair judgment.” There is no apron. The jewel is a gold St. Andrew’s cross (“X”), surmounted with a knight’s helmet with a thistle of gold between the arms at the bottom. In the center of the cross is a Hebrew YOD, and on its points, clockwise from bottom, the Hebrew letters N M I N.
30° Knight of Kadosh or Knight of the White & Black Eagle
The lesson of this degree is to be true to ourselves, to stand for what is right and to be just in our lives today with a belief in God, country and oneself. There is no apron, but the jewel is a gold Teutonic cross, enameled in red, with a silver double-headed eagle, with wings spread pointing downward, resting upon it.