Scottish Rite Information
Crowns and Their Significance
The Supreme Council has set forth a rule for the correct wearing of the crown. When wearing the crown it shall be considered to be a part of the apparel of the wearer and shall not be removed.
At the presentation of the flag, the crown shall remain in place, and the members shall stand at attention with the right hand over the heart.
During prayer the crown shall is placed in the left hand and placed over the heart.
The wearing of crown is considered proper at United Supreme Council Sessions, regularly scheduled meetings, Maundy Thursday services, Easter celebrations, and other official Scottish Rite functions.
The Sovereign Grand Commander is the highest ranking officer of the Supreme Council and the chief executive and judicial officer of the Rite within this Supreme Council’s Jurisdiction. He is the representative of The Supreme Council when that Body is not in session and is invested with general powers of supervision and administration everywhere within its Jurisdiction. The crown for the Sovereign Grand Commander is violet in color and features a gold band. On the front is the symbol of his office, a Cross of Salem with crosslets.
The purple crown is that of an elected officer of our United Supreme Council in the Southern Jurisdiction, PHA. The crown is purple in color and features a gold band. On the front is the symbol of a Cross of Patriarchal with crosslets.
Rings and Badges of the Scottish Rite
Possibly the most recognized (and certainly misunderstood) Masonic honor is the Thirty-Third Degree of the Scottish Rite. The ring is a triple band of gold, either plain or with a triangular plate of gold enclosing the numerals 33°.
Central to the ritual of the 14°, Perfect Elu, is the presentation of a ring, worn by Scottish Rite Masons from the 14° through the 32°. It is a plain gold band with an equilateral triangular plate enclosing the Hebrew letter yud, the initial letter of Yahweh - the Tetragrammaton - the ineffable name of God. Engraved on the inside is the Latin motto, "Virtus Junxit Mors Non Separabit" (Whom virtue unites, death will not separate). "The circular shape of the ring symbolizes unending commitment and loyalty, just as it does in a marriage. The triangular plate and the letter signify that the commitment is to the Deity."
A Thirty-Second Degree Mason, Master of the Royal Secret, is identified with the jewel of the Degree. The Teutonic Cross was probably adopted because the Grand Constitutions of 1786 were believed to be authored by the Prussian King, Frederick the Great, and the Teutonic Knights were the preeminent German order of knighthood. The laurel wreath is the ancient symbol of victory and triumph, and it is used throughout Scottish Rite Regalia. Here it can signify the triumph of attaining the Royal Secret.
Jewel of an “Active Member” of the United Supreme Council
The jewel, suspended from a purple ribbon, has very distinctive details. "The basis of the jewel is a Teutonic Cross. On that is a nine-pointed star, composed of three gold triangles, interlaced. The design also forms nine small triangles, and in each of these is one of the letters "S.A.P.I.E.N.T.I.A.", the Latin word for wisdom. A sword extends from the lower part of the left side of the jewel to the upper part of the right side. Crossing that is a "Hand of Justice".
This forms a scepter, terminating in a carving of a hand. On top of the cross, triangles, crossed sword, and Hand of Justice is a circular plate, and on the plate is a shield with a crowned double-headed eagle. To the right of the eagle is a balance and to the left is a Square and Compasses. Around the design is the Latin words Ordo ab Chao, Order out of Chaos, enclosed by two serpents, each biting its tail."
The Teutonic Cross continues to remind us of the German origins of the Grand Constitutions of 1786.
The double-headed eagle looking to the East and West may be from the coat of arms of Germany or from a French ancestor organization of the Scottish Rite, the Emperors of the East and West. Its crown signifies that the Thirty-third Degree is the administrative Degree of the Rite, and this symbolism of proper administration is continued with the sword of strength, the hand of justice, and the scales in balance.
The three three-sided figures remind us of 33°, the number of this Degree, while Sapientia indicates the symbolic achievement required for this recognition.