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The Pasadena Lodge of Perfection
Venerable Master: Ronald J. Stein, 32° KCCH

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The Degrees of the Lodge of Perfection*

4th Degree - Secret Master

The apron, like the cordon, is white, edged with black, and has black ties. These two colors symbolize the grief suffered by the Mason's upon hearing of the Master Hiram's death and the loss of the word. As well, they are illustrative of the dualist nature of the universe, containing light and darkness, good and evil, truth and error. The flap is of sky blue with an open eye embroidered upon it in gold, denoting the sun as the great archetype of light, the Ineffable Deity. In its center is a 'Z' embroidered in gold and around it are the two crossed wreaths of laurel and olive.
The jewel is a small ivory key with a black 'Z' upon the wards. It is worn suspended from a broad white ribbon edged in black. The jewel of the Master is a small equilateral triangle of gold emblazoned with the Greek letters: Iota, Alpha and Omega at the apexes. Pike tells us, "The Name of Deity, in many nations, consisted of three letters: among the Greeks, [Iota, Alpha, Omega]; ..." (p. 632). On its reverse are the Samaritan characters Yod, He, and Vau; these three letters, with He duplicated are used to form the Ineffable Name of Deity, called the Tetragammaton, usually pronounced as 'Yahweh'. Pike, though he uses the Hebrew forms, also explains their significance as representing three of the ten Sephiroth, or emanations from Deity, of the Kabalah: Gedulah, Geburah, and Tephareth; that is, Mercy, Justice and Beauty (p. 798).

The significance of the letter 'Z' is esoteric and thus is not proper to be discussed here. It is the initial of the password of this degree. In the Hebrew numerology of the Kabalah its equivalent letter had the value of 7, a number familiar to all Masons.

DUTIES
Practice silence, obedience, fidelity
LESSONS
The teachings of Masonry are not to be taken lightly.
Learning far outlasts physical monuments.
Duties are not to be performed expecting reward - but expecting personal satisfaction.
FOR REFLECTION
May one command who does not know how to obey?
IMPORTANT SYMBOLS
The color black with silver tears, Adonirum, key of ivory, blazing star, wreath of laurel and olive leaves.

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5th Degree - Perfect Master

The apron is of white lambskin. The lining, border and flap are light green. Two crossed columns with three concentric circles and a golden cube superimposed form the center design of the apron. The outside circle is crimson, the center one blue and the inner one orange. There are two letters upon the top face of the cube; the one on the left black and the other white. The cube represents the finite universe and the three circles symbolize the wisdom, power and beneficence of God; the great trinity of His attributes. The letters are Phoenician and are the first two letters of the ancient name of God.
The jewel is the compasses, opened to sixty degrees, the points on a graduated arc. Masonic compasses are opened to sixty degrees because this is the number of degrees in each of the three angles of an equilateral triangle, always a symbol of Deity. It is suspended from a broad grass-green watered ribbon worn from the right shoulder to the left hip. This jewel, absent the square, indicates that the candidate is moving away from the earthly and toward the heavenly: "[The Square] ... is an emblem of what concerns the earth and the body; [the Compasses] of what concerns the heavens and the soul" (p. 11). The color of the ribbon symbolizes the attainment of this transition by renewal of virtue.

DUTIES
Be industrious and honest.
LESSONS
Life is uncertain; death may call at any time.
The noblest portion of humanity is virtue for virtues sake.
FOR REFLECTION
Can you measure your age, not by years but by good deeds?
Does a life well lived prepare one for death?
IMPORTANT SYMBOLS
Branches of acacia, coffin, the Master Hiram.

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6th Degree - Intimate Secretary

The apron is of white lambskin bordered in bright crimson; on the flap is an embroidered equilateral triangle. The designs on the flap are Phoenician letters; in the center are the two letters which are on the apron of the 5th Degree. Three additional letters at the upper corners and one at the center near the bottom are represented in English by 'B', 'N' and 'Sh'. These are the initials of words meaning a covenant, agreement or Divine Law; a vow; and, completion, performance, an offering in accomplishment of a vow, perfect, salvation. The Phoenician characters serve to remind us that the Master Hiram, though of a Jewish mother, was himself considered a Phoenician. He served a Phoenician king and presumably worshiped the Phoenician expression of the Deity.
The jewel is a triple-delta superimposed upon an equilateral triangle of gold. Each delta has a center design composed of one of the astrological signs for the Sun, Moon and Mercury. As explained in the degree summary, the form of the jewel is utterly derived from Pike's favorite source of Masonic Symbolism, the Pythagorean Tetractys.

The cordon is a broad watered crimson ribbon, worn from right to left, or a collar of similar material, with the jewel suspended from it.

DUTIES
Be zealous, faithful, disinterested and benevolent.
Act the peacemaker.
LESSONS
Zeal and fidelity to duty are always rewarded.
FOR REFLECTION
Why act the peacemaker?
IMPORTANT SYMBOLS
Triple-delta, King Solomon, King Hiram, the color crimson.

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7th Degree - Provost and Judge

The apron is of white lambskin edged in red. In the center is a red-edged pocket with a red and white rosette just below the opening. This pocket holds the plans for the Temple. On the flap is embroidered a hand of justice holding a scale.
The jewel is a gold key which unlocks the ebony box seen in the ceremony. The ebony box represents the human heart where the candidate is to lock up the secrets of the order and as Mackey says, "... in the human heart are deposited the secret designs and motives of our conduct by which we propose to erect the spiritual temple of our lives" (Vol. 1, p. 307). This key is especially emblematic of that justice and uprightness that alone can unlock for us the mysteries contained in the higher degrees and enable us to advance toward perfection.

The cordon is a broad, watered crimson ribbon, worn from right to left and from which is suspended the jewel.

DUTIES
Let justice be the guide of your actions.
LESSONS
All actions have consequences.
Be just in judging others' motives.
FOR REFLECTION
Are the duties of a judge a burden or an honor?
IMPORTANT SYMBOLS
Equal balance, ebony box, triangle, the color red.

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8th Degree - Intendant of the Building

The apron is white, lined with red and bordered with green; in the center is an embroidered nine-pointed star and over that a balance. On the flap is a triangle, with Phoenician letters at each angle. The three colors white, red and green, the chief symbolic colors of Scottish Rite Masonry, teach is to imitate the purity of morals and zeal for the service of Masonry which have made our deceased Master immortal in the recollection of men.
The jewel is a delta of gold. On one side is engraved or enameled a Phoenician word meaning 'nobles' or 'freeborn'; on the reverse the letters are Samaritan and stand for Achad, or 'our only God, chief and source of all'. Pike derives this interpretation from its root which means 'first'. The triangular shape is the most fundamental symbol of the Deity.

The cordon is a broad watered crimson ribbon, worn from right to left; the jewel is suspended from it by a green ribbon.

DUTIES
Be benevolent and charitable.
LESSONS
Benevolence and charity demand we correct our own faults and those of others.
That which a man knows dies with him; therefore, transmit your knowledge.
Labor is honorable if done with sobriety, temperance, punctuality and industry.
FOR REFLECTION
Is this life more than a portal to another?
IMPORTANT SYMBOLS
Triple triangle, nine pointed star, the colors crimson, green and white.

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9th Degree - Elu of the Nine

The apron, an emblem of Masonry and Truth, is of white lambskin, lined and bordered in black. The candle, surrounded by darkness, represents the feeble light of ignorance, error and intolerance with which the world is shrouded, and through which Masonry moves like a star, dispensing light and knowledge and toleration, symbolized by the star on the flap.
The jewel is a dagger, its hilt of gold and its blade of silver. These two metals in combination symbolize the brilliance of the combined light of the sun and the moon. We also see this meaning in the ancient Han characters of China where the character for 'sun' is merged with the character for 'moon' to form the character for 'brilliant'. This dagger is not an emblem of false bravery but of the weapons of legitimate warfare, which an Elu of Nine may lawfully use, and expecially of the two-edged sword of truth with which every Mason should be armed. A reference to the dagger is also found in the lecture for the Knight of the Brazen Serpent Degree, "Even the dagger of the Elu of the Nine is that used by the Mysteries of Mithras [a Persian deity]; which, with its blade black and hilt white, was an emblem of the two principles of Light and Darkness" (p. 506). We shall see this symbol repeated in the poniard of the 30th Degree.

The cordon is a broad, black watered ribbon, worn from the right shoulder to the left hip; from the end of the cordon hangs the jewel. At the lower end are nine red rosettes, four on each side and one at the bottom. The rosettes symbolize the original nine Elus or 'Elected' who were chosen by King Solomon to seek out the assassins of Hiram. They also represent the nine virtues taught in this degree; disinterestedness, courtesy, devotion, firmness, frankness, generosity, self-denial, heroism and patriotism. The color of the cordon reminds us ever to lament the prevalence of ignorance, oppression and error. We should strive to overcome them by means of the above excellent qualities of an Elu of Nine.

DUTIES
To enlighten our souls and minds.
To instruct and enlighten the people.
To be vigilant to the interests and honor of our country.
LESSONS
Ignorance is the principal enemy of human freedom.
A free press is indispensable to true liberty.
Remorse and guilt are God's punishment and more severe than that of man.
FOR REFLECTION
Do principles shape and control your conduct or are you guided by sentiment?
IMPORTANT SYMBOLS
The assassin Abairam, the cave with a pale light and fountain, the stranger Pharos, the Master Hiram as Human Freedom.

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10th Degree - Elu of the Fifteen

The apron is white, lined, edged and fringed with black; the flap also is black. In the center are painted or embroidered three gates, and over each gate is a rosette representing the three assassins of Hiram as well as those vices against which Masonry is particularly opposed: ignorance, tyranny, and fanaticism.
The cordon is a broad watered black ribbon, worn from right to left; on the front of which are embroidered three rosettes bearing the same symbolism as those on the apron.

Thje jewel is a dagger, its hilt gold and its blade silver; it hangs from the end of the cordon.

DUTIES
Be tolerant and liberal.
War against fanaticism and persecution with education and enlightenment.
LESSONS
Ambition creates tyranny and despotism.
Fanaticism creates intolerance and persecution.
FOR REFLECTION
Are you tolerant even of intolerance?
IMPORTANT SYMBOLS
Fifteen candles of yellow wax, swords with points touching in a circle, the assassins.

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11th Degree - Elu of the Twelve

The apron is white, lined, edged and fringed with black and the flap is black. In the middle is an embroidered flaming heart.
The cordon is a broad black watered ribbon, worn from right to left. Over the flaming heart on the cordon are painted or embroidered the words Vincere aut Mori; literally, 'Victory or Death'.

The flaming heart upon the apron and cordon are symbols of that zeal and devotedness that ought to animate all Masons and of those noble and heroic souls that have in all ages suffered and sacrificed themselves for their fellows or their country. The motto is a solemn pledge that one would rather die than betray the cause of the people or be overcome through his own fault.

The jewel is a sword of gold, suspended from the cordon, and represents truth. The Elu of the Twelve have been given the title of Prince Ameth or Prince of Truth, for "Truth is sharper than any two-edged sword" (Hebrews 4:12).

DUTIES
Be earnest true and reliable.
Be the champion of the people.
LESSONS
Life is a school.
Masonry is work.
FOR REFLECTION
Is Masonry's work ever completed?
IMPORTANT SYMBOLS
Flaming heart, the twelve Elus, swords with points touching in a circle.

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12th Degree - Master Architect

The apron is white, lined and bordered with blue, and fringed with gold. On the flap is embroidered a protractor; and in the middle of the body a plain scale, a sector and the compasses, arranged to form a triangle. The colors are to remind us of the degrees of the Symbolic Lodge, the foundation of Masonry.
The cordon is a broad, blue watered ribbon, worn from the left shoulder to the right hip.

The jewel is a heptagonal medal of gold. On one side, in each angle is a five pointed star, enclosed by a semicircle. In the center, on the same side, is an equilateral triangle, formed by arcs of circles. On the reverse side are five columns, representing the different orders of architecture, arranged from left to right, with the initial of the proper order below each, in old English letters - [T]uscan, [D]oric, [I]onic, [C]orinthian, [C]omposite. Above these columns are a sector and a slide-rule; below them, the three kinds of compasses, the plain scale and the parallel ruler. Between the second and third and the third and fourth columns are Phoenician letters equivalent to the English or Roman letters 'R' and 'B'. These letters have two meanings, one exoteric and the other esoteric. The exoteric meaning all may know; it is simply the initials ofRab Benaim, the Semitic name for the degree. You should pay particular attention to the symbolic meanings of the jewel and its designs in the ritual.

DUTY
Seek wisdom through knowledge.
LESSONS
Wisdom is a gift from God and should be preferred over riches.
Wisdom and knowledge bring honor, discretion and understanding.
Wisdom teaches the knowledge of God.
Wisdom enables immortality.
FOR REFLECTION
Are you in control of your life?
IMPORTANT SYMBOLS
Architects Tools.

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13th Degree - Royal Arch of Solomon

The apron is of crimson velvet. Upon it is embroidered a triangle emitting rays, and in the middle a letter, an archaic form of the Semitic Yod. The color donotes the zeal and devotedness of a Royal Arch Mason. The triangle is the emblem of Deity, or Infinite Wisdom, Infinite Power and Infinite Harmony; the letter represents the Tetragammaton, the Name of God made known to Moses.
The cordon is a broad, watered purple ribbon worn from the right shoulder to the left hip from which is suspended a triangle of gold bars.

The jewel is a circular medal of gold, around which, on one side are the following letters, words and number: R,S,R,S,T,P,S,R,I,A,J, et S, ANNO ENOCHI 2995. On the same side is an engraving of the ground with a rectangular hole in it into which two men are lowering a third with a rope. On the reverse side is a triangle emitting rays and in the middle of it the same letter as is on the apron. This medal is to be worn upon the chest, suspended by a narrow, white watered ribbon. The letters stand for: Regnante Solomone, Rege Sapientissimo, Thesaurum Pretiosissimum Sub Ruinis Invenerunt Adonirum, Joabert, et Satolkin ... Anno Enochi 2995; or 'In the reign of Solomon, wisest of kings, Adonirum, Joabert and Satolkin found under the ruins the most precious treasure'. Let the emblem on the reverse side of the jewel always remind us that the good Mason reveres and adores the Grand Architect of the Universe, and endeavors, by pursuing the path of honor and duty, to perform the part assigned him in the world well and faithfully.

DUTIES
Seek knowledge.
Be motivated by duty and honor.
LESSONS
Moral character is a habit, not formed in a moment.
The great law of retribution acts in our memory as remorse and at the final judgement.
FOR REFLECTION
Are idle hours and idle words subject to the great law of retribution?
IMPORTANT SYMBOLS
Enoch, Adonirum, Yehu-Aber, Satolkin, the descent into the vault, the arch, cube of agate, triangle of gold, name of Deity.

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14th Degree - Perfect Elu

The apron is of white lambskin, lined with crimson and edged with blue. Around it, on the inside of the blue edging is a delicate embroidery in crimson representing a wreath of flowers. In the middle of the apron is painted or embroidered the jewel, and on the flap is a representation of a flat square stone to which is attached a ring, representing the entrance to the secret vault of the preceding degree. Of its three colors, white, like the snowy purity of the ermine, represents justice; blue, the color of the perfectly symmetrical and changeless arch of the sky, represents right; and crimson, the color of fire which tries and purifies all things, represents truth.
The cordon is a collar of crimson velvet, worn over the neck and coming to a point on the breast. On the left side is embroidered, in green, a branch of acacia, symbolizing immortality. On the right is embroidered, in silver, a five-pointed star, with a Phoenician word meaning 'perfection' in the center. The five-pointed star, as a type of all stars, is representative of Masonic light. The five points also stand for the five points of fellowship and remind us of the other interpretations of this number given in the lecture of the 2nd Degree of the Symbolic Lodge.

The jewel is a pair of compasses, opened upon a quarter of a circle, and surmounted by a pointed crown. Within the compasses is a medal, representing on one side the sun, and on the other a five-pointed star, in the center of which is a delta, and on that the name of Deity in Phoenician characters. This jewel is gold and worn suspended from the collar. On the segment of the circle are enameled, at proper distances from each other, the numerals III ... V ... VII ... IX. The compasses remind us that science, united to honor and virtue, made the architect of the Temple the companion of kings; and that the men of intellect and learning, the great kings of thought, are in this age the rulers of the world. The sun as the source of light to our system was once worshiped as a god. The star as a type of the myriad suns that light other countless systems of worlds is an emblem of that Masonic Light in search of which every Mason travels - the correct knowledge of the Deity and of His laws that control the universe.

The brethren of this degree also wear white gloves, symbolic of purity.

DUTIES
Assist, encourage and defend the brethren.
Protect the oppressed and relieve want and distress.
Enlighten the people.
Serve the common good and be fruitful of all good works.
LESSONS
Perfect Elus are both bound and free; bound by their obligation and free from prejudice, intolerance and envy.
Masons meet on the level because in their lives authority and liberty are in equilibrium.
FOR REFLECTION
If perfection is not attainable, for what does the Mason strive?
IMPORTANT SYMBOLS
Baptism, horizontal passageway to the vault, the cube, Seal of Solomon, columns, triangular pedestal, Great Candelabrum with 7 lights.

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* Taken from A Bridge to Light by Dr. Rex R. Hutchens, 33°, G.C.
available at scottishritestore.org

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