History of the Scottish Rite

Discussion in 'The Scottish Rite' started by Blake Bowden, Dec 27, 2009.

  1. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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  2. Payne

    Payne Registered User

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    Thanks Bro. Blake
     
  3. Roy_

    Roy_ Registered User

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    I'm going to hijack this thread because I was about to make a new one with this exact title. I don't want to refer to a book, but rather ask a question that I don't think the book referred to above answers (I checked quickly).

    I was looking into the history of the AASR / Scottish Rite, because I'm curious where the different degrees come from (and hence, how there is structure in them). I don't need to know the contents of the degrees (or even want to, I'm only 8ยบ myself), but I am curious about the history of them all.

    What I've got so far (very broad strokes).
    In the 1730'ies there was a degree called "Scots Master". The Masonic scholar Jan Snoek thinks it indeed came from Scotland. Snoek sees three old Masonic traditions, the Antients, the Moderns and Heredom. The latter came from Scotland to France, just as the Modern system did.
    Somewhere in the following 20 years a system of 14 degrees developed in France called "Loge de Perfection". After 1751 11 degrees were added and the 25 degree system became the "Rite de Perfection". In 1762 a Supreme Council was founded.

    In 1761 Etienne Morin took the Rite of Perfection to the USA where Andrew Francken translated them to English. Here it eventually became a 33 degree system called "Scottish Rite".

    Now there's something interesting. In France the 25 degree system was compressed to seven and in another obedience the Rosycross degree developed. Oddly enough this new degree had found its way to the USA (New York) and was added to the previous rite that had been imported from France and the whole system of 33 degrees came back to France as a new system alongside the seven-degrees system.

    When you look at the Morin / Francken system, you can see that the original 14 degrees are in the same order in the AASR and are called... the degrees of perfection. Some of the other 11 have been put on other places and two have merge into a single degree. In the end, the degrees 18, 23 to 27, 29, 31 and 33 have been added. Of the 18th I have found the source.

    Did the Heredom (good name) lodge of New York also add the other? Any clue as to their origins?

    I'll probably not be online much in the weekend, so I'll probably only see possible replies in the new week, but that gives you time to think.

    Thanks in advance. And as perhaps a follow-up question to people who know the rite, what do you think of the coherence of the system and what about its esoteric content? I know not many degrees are actually worked in the USA, that's basically the same here, but I will try to get the 'most out of it' nonetheless.
     
  4. Roy_

    Roy_ Registered User

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    Nobody? Too bad. One thing I've been trying to investigate is the claim of one Dutch author (Indonesian Dutch actually) is that Robert Fludd founded a Rosicrucian society in London with Francis Bacon and named after the "House Solomon" from Bacon's New Atlantis book. Elias Ashmole would have been chairman. The author is strangely specific saying that House Solomon was founded in 1646 (Bacon's book is from 1626) and would have shared a building with a Masonic lodge. There would be a possible explanation of Roscrucian/Masonic contacts.
    Now the author bases himself on another Dutch author who wrote specifically about the Rosicrucian influences on early Freemasonry, but I can't find this specific link. So I've been looking for other authors who say something about Fludds House Solomon, but I haven't found any so far, so my guess is that the Dutch author got a bit carried away.
    That said, the question of interaction between late Rosicrucians and early Freemasons is an interesting path to pursue. I'll have to look further into that French Rosicrucian degree that found its way to a New York Heredom lodge and via that route to the Scottish Rite. If that makes any sense (and it seems it does), what about the other new degrees in the Scottish Rite? Where did the inspiration for them come from?
     

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