Valley of Washington, D.C.

The Scottish Rite

The Scottish Rite Creed of Freemasonry

Human Progress is our cause, Liberty of thought our supreme wish, freedom of conscience our mission, and the guarantee of equal rights to all people everywhere our ultimate goal.

History & Legacy

What is Scottish Rite?

The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry is commonly known as the Scottish Rite. Its origins most likely began in the early 1730s in England with the Scotch Masons or Scots Master Masons, which were later introduced to French Masonry. In 1801, the First Supreme Council was established in Charleston, SC. The Scottish Rite is one of several groups that are part of the worldwide fraternity known as Freemasonry. The Scottish Rite is the largest and most widely practiced Masonic Rite in the world.

It is our mission to improve our members and help them shine their light into their communities by teaching and emulating the principles of Brotherly Love, Tolerance, Charity and Truth while actively embracing high social, moral, and spiritual values including fellowship, compassion and dedication to God, family and country.

Knowledge & Wisdom

What are the Scottish Rite degrees?

While there is no Masonic degree more important than that of Master Mason, there is a long tradition—almost as old as Freemasonry—of “high degrees” that expand upon the teachings and lessons of the first three degrees. The Scottish Rite degrees teach a series of moral lessons culminating in the 32°, Master of the Royal Secret. The Scottish Rite continues a Master Mason’s education in many ways:

•  4°-32° Degree work
•  Speakers at meetings
•  Leadership conferences
•  Scottish Rite Journal
•  Publishing Masonic books
•  Scottish Rite Research Society

What are the Supreme Council, Orients and Valleys?

The governing body of the Scottish Rite is the Supreme Council. It is composed of active and deputy members of the 35 states and several overseas jurisdictions that make up the Southern Jurisdiction. Each state or jurisdiction that belongs to the Southern Jurisdiction is called an Orient. The local Scottish Rite body is called a Valley. Each Valley has up to four Scottish Rite bodies, and each body confers a set of degrees.

In the Southern Jurisdiction these are:

•  Lodge of Perfection (4°–14°)
•  Chapter of Rose Croix (15°–18°)
•  Council of Kadosh (19°–30°)
•  Consistory (31°–32°)

The Supreme Council confers the 33rd Degree of Sovereign Grand Inspector General.

What is the meaning of the Scottish Rite Cap?

“In the Scottish Rite, the caps [indicate] the consecration of one’s physical and spiritual (material and intellectual) attributes to the betterment of humanity. On the one hand, the caps are an inheritance from our chivalric tradition, as similar ones were associated with European Orders of Knighthood, where they evolved from the Arming Bonnet, worn under the helmet. On the other hand, they are also worn as a type of prayer cap, a tradition which also survives in some religions. Thus, the caps are a constant reminder that the physical must be subject to the spiritual and that, like knights, we must valiantly endeavor to maintain honor and virtue by applying the Moral Sense and Reason.” —From Arturo de Hoyos, Scottish Rite Ritual Monitor and Guide, 3rd Ed., Corrected (Washington, DC: The Supreme Council, 33°, SJ, 2010), 135.

Below are the official caps of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, SJ, USA, as listed in Article XIII, Sections 15–22, of the Statutes (bylaws) of the Supreme Council, 33°, SJ, USA:


Once a man becomes a master Mason, he seeks more masonic light in the higher degrees. Scottish Rite offers 28 degrees to further his masonic education. The Scottish Rite Valleys draw Masons from a large area, giving opportunities for the Brothers to share their journeys. During the process, he will have the opportunity to participate in many fulfilling roles.

How do I join the Scottish Rite?

To join the AMSRB-NATO Club, Scottish Rite of Washington, you must:

  • Be a Master Mason in good standing in a regular lodge
  • Be an active or retired Servive Member of the American armed forces with the NATO military alliance
  • Be a US Passport holder, either Military or Civilian within Europe or a Master Mason in good standing who is a member of a regular lodge under the jurisdiction of a Grand Lodge within the United States
  • Complete a petition and include the appropriate fee
  • Attend a “Reunion” in Italy where the Scottish Rite Degrees are conferred

Contact us for more information about joining the Brotherhood.

Learn more about becoming a Mason on the American Canadian Grand Lodge website, more about the Valley of Washington, Orient of the District Of Columbia on the DC Scottish Rite website, and more about our national Scottish Rite efforts on our Supreme Council website.