The degrees from the Nineteenth to the Thirtieth, represent the Council of Knights Kadosh, are Philosophical and Chivalric.
They teach LIBERTY, FRATERNITY, and EQUALITY applied to our everyday life. The world will judge us by our acts and Masonry will be judged by the character of its members. Be modest and humble, speaking only of the good in mankind and forgetting the evil. Respect labor itself and have sympathy for the laboring classes. Practice Charity and scorn the base and selfish. Truth and Honor are more to be cultivated than the gathering of wealth and power. Combat arbitrary and unscrupulous power and all influence which would keep people in ignorance. In ancient times our brethren met to redress wrong and defend the helpless. Masonry today has that same great mission.
|19th degree – 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.
|20th degree – 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.
|21st degree – 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, and 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.”
|22nd degree – 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).
|23rd degree – 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.
|24th degree – 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.
|25th degree – 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.
|26th degree – 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.
|27th degree – 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 a gold triangle emblazoned with the letters I.R.N.I.
|28th degree – 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 has a golden sun on the obverse and a hemisphere showing the northern half of the ecliptic (Taurus to Libra) and zodiac.
|29th degree – 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 has two parts: on top is a gold hexagram, made of concave-outward triangles, with a compass open to 25 degrees inside it. On the bottom is suspended a gold St. Andrew’s cross (“X”), with a knight’s helmet, winged serpent ouroboros, key, and a point-down triangle. In the center of the cross is a Hebrew YOD, and on its points, clockwise from bottom, the Hebrew letters N M I N.
|30th degree – Knight of Kadosh, or Knight of the White and 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 the letters J.’.B.’.M.’. on the obverse, and a skull transpierced by a poniard on the reverse.