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Masonic Organizations

Scottish Rite
The Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry is, above all else, an educational institution. Supporting 'free inquiry', the 'Rite seeks not to teach men the truth in a dogmatic or religious sense, but instead, it asks the questions, and helps the learner to find their own answers. --In the end, each of us must find the truth for himself. The degrees of the Scottish Rite teach specific lessons that expand on the lessons of the first three degrees of Masonry. Using parallel examples from earlier cultures that are portrayed in full theatrical performances, the Scottish Rite degrees raise questions and challenge us to think.

Here at Lake Harriet Lodge, many of us participate in the Minneapolis "Valley" of the Scottish Rite, first earning the additional Fourth through Thirty-Second degrees, and then in many cases helping to deliver them theatrically two or three times per year. As an example, a committee of about two dozen Lake Harriet Lodge members have adopted the twice-annual presentation of the Scottish Rite's Tenth Degree, in Minneapolis. With a message about religious tolerance, the degree expands on this Masonic concept with a short play, culmnating in one of the most beautiful and inspiring speeches in all of Masonry. These degrees are thought provoking and inspiring to all. Joining the Scottish Rite takes approximately four months, with degree meetings held about every week. Our local Scottish Rite temple is located near Franklin Ave. and Hennepin, in Minneapolis, meeting on Thursday evenings. The St. Paul Valley meets on Wednesday evenings.

Interested? You'll need to be a Mason first.

Besides the two four-month degree sessions in the Spring and Fall, candidates may also join via the annual Reunion, held on a Saturday in the early summer as a one-day class to become a 32nd Degree member. However, we suggest that seeing all the degrees in the four month 'long form' is the best way to join. Prospective members may petition to join once they become Masons.

There are a few side organizations within the Scottish Rite, such as the Knights of St. Andrew (workers and volunteers of the 32 Degree), as well as honorary degrees such as the KCCH and 33rd Degree, given for service to the Craft and the world.

Scottish Rite of Minnesota. The general web site for the Scottish Rite in Minnesota with links to the Minneapolis Valley and St. Paul Valley. Check here for all local information and the calendar of degrees. Masons can join via the form on this page.

The Supreme Council 33° of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction. The governing body over the Orient of Minnesota. It oversees the Rite in the southern half of the U.S. and in the Northwestern states west of Wisconsin.

York Rite
The first three degrees of Masonry, those earned in Masonic Lodges, are actually York Rite degrees. About two hundred years ago, to avoid confusion and infighting, the Scottish Rite in the US agreed to accept those first three York Rite Degrees in place of their own, hence, men start the Scottish Rite in their Fourth Degree.

Another major system of higher degrees is controlled by the York Rite as a separate organization from Masonic or Craft Lodges. According to Masonic legend, every man raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason received “substitute secrets”, as the “true secrets” were lost. It may prove a surprise to the average man, believing his work is completed, to be told that the secrets pertaining to the ceremony will not be given to him! This is unfortunate, but the veil is lifted in the degree of the Royal Arch, and in that degree only. Hence, in the unfolding drama of the York Rite, no man actually becomes a Master Mason until he is exalted to that holy order.

The York Rite Masonry is divided into three separate bodies called the Royal Arch Chapter, the Cryptic Council, and the Knights Templar, which latter are organized in Commanderies. These local bodies are overseen by Grand bodies just as Craft lodges are overseen by grand lodges in each jurisdiction. Masons may join a Royal Arch chapter, stopping at the Seventh Degree as a Royal Arch Mason and not continue further into the other bodies. This is different than the way the Scottish Rite is organized (see above).

Here at Lake Harriet Lodge, many of us participate in the St. John's Chapter #9 of the York Rite, first taking its additional Fourth through Seventh Degrees, and in many cases helping to deliver them theatrically each year. Not to confuse you, but, (heh) these degrees aren't the same as the Scottish Rite degrees, even though they use a similar number. "Our" local York Rite Chapter meets here at our building, while the Council and Commandery meet elsewhere in Minneapolis. Like the Scottish Rite, there are several honorary degrees granted to York Rite Masons on account of service to the Craft and mankind. Interested? You need to be a Mason first.

Ancient York Rite Masonry, Saint Paul, Minnesota - . Web portal to Chapter, Council, and Commandery in St. Paul, including Royal Arch Chapter No. 1, Cryptic Council No. 1, and Damascus Commandery of Knights Templar, No. 1.

Allied Masonic Degrees
Before we move on to some of the more social or fun organizations within the Masonic Family, if you really want to focus on our philosophy, learning and history, understand that it is in local lodge education programs and in the 'Rites' where you will find the vast treasure trove of our lessons. However, there is always something else to find, if you want to dig... The Allied Masonic Degrees are available to you after you are a Mason and after you join a York Rite Council. In the US, it can take fifteen years, two per year, to take these additional degrees.

Consisting of approximately thirty additional orders (separate degrees) that once were controlled as separate organizations but have now combined within a cooperative structure, many of the AMD degrees come to us from the dim past, some even well over 300 years old. In the Allied Masonic Degrees you will find groups with names like the Royal Ark Mariner and Ye Antient Order of Corks. There are five AMD Chapters in Minnesota, three of which meet in the Twin Cities area. Some AMD degrees can only be learned by traveling to the annual AMD week celebration in Washington, D.C. Many of these ceremonies are exceedingly beautiful and brimming with philosophy, wisdom and esoterica, yet all of them continue the work of teaching good men to be better.

By reading this list of organizations within the Masonic family, you are showing a laudable hunger for knowledge, and we hope, wisdom. Understand this: With all our degrees, in all the many corners and byways of Masonry, the point is the journey, not the destination. Let the degrees you earn sink in. Learn. Grow. Reflect. This page is a good list, but there are probably many more organizations we forgot to list, or which aren't really local, or which are so quiet or super-secret that we can't even talk about them... Heh. We can tell you one thing though, that if you just try to read about them online or in books, you'll never figure it all out. Masonry, like life, is by definition, experiential... It must be experienced.

Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine - "Shriners"
A brotherhood of men...dedicated to fun and fellowship...but with a serious purpose. Shriners are distinguished by an enjoyment of life and a commitment to philanthropy. They enjoy parades, trips, dances, dinners, sporting events and other social occasions. They support what has been called the "World's Greatest Philanthropy," Shriners Hospitals for Children, a network of 22 pediatric specialty hospitals, operated and maintained by the Shriners. All children, up to 18 years old, may be eligible for treatment at Shriners Hospitals if they, in the opinion of the hospital's chief of staff, could benefit from the specialized care available at Shriners Hospitals. Eligibility is not based on financial need or relationship to a Shriner.

Here at Lake Harriet Lodge, many of us participate in the Shrine, often joining Zuhrah Shrine Temple. Located at 24th and Park, in Minneapolis, Zuhrah has well over 1,000 members that participate as clowns, motorcyclists, pipers, drummers, singers, guards, BBQ specialists, chefs, ballroom dancers, pilots, hunters, fishermen, antique car hobbyists or any of dozens of other interests. Want to know more? Watch them in a local parade, or attend a Shrine open house with us. To join them, you need to be a Mason first. Our three local Minnesota temples are:

Zuhrah Shrine Temple - Minneapolis. Many Lake Harriet Men enjoy membership in Zuhrah Shrine Temple, located nearby in South Minneapolis. From the beginning, the Shrine had been involved with charities, especially a Christmas basket and cheer program for needy families. In 1922, the first Shriners Hospital for Children opened. The Twin Cities Unit opened in 1924. Today there are 22 hospitals, 19 orthopedic units and 3 burn institutes. The services of these hospitals are free to children up to the age of 18 years, regardless of race, religion, or relationship to a Shriner, provided there is a medical need that can be helped. Shriners Hospitals for Children have become the world’s greatest philanthropy!!!

Osman Shrine Temple - St. Paul. In July of 1908, Osman was host to the 34th Imperial Session, the same year it held its first Shrine Circus. In 1913, it traveled to the Miralores Locks of the Panama Canal and held a Ceremonial in the bottom of the dry lock before it was flooded and opened for shipping. This was the inspiration which resulted in the founding of Abou Saad Shrine of Panama. The plaque laid during the 1913 ceremonial is still the only plaque installed in the entire canal, except those dedicated to those who died in the building of the canal.

Aad Shrine Temple - Duluth. Our mission is to be the Premier Fraternal Organization for men of good character committed to providing attractive, quality programs and services for its members, their families and friends in a spirited fun, fellowship and social camaraderie. Fostering self improvement through leadership, education, and the perpetuation of moral values and community and serving mankind through the resources of its great philanthropy, the Shriners Hospitals for Children. 

The Grotto, or more properly, the Mystic Order of Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm, is an organization for Masons designed as fun alternative to the seriousness of some lodge or rite meetings. Adopting an ancient Persian motif, a beautiful ceremony initiates each new Prophet, while normal business meetings are kept short so that men and their ladies may enjoy their time together for a meal, socializing and meaningful charitable projects.

Some of us at Lake Harriet participate in our local Grotto, Selim Grotto, which meets in Anoka.

Order of the Eastern Star
Eastern Star is a social order for women and men, comprised of persons with spiritual values, but it is not a religion. Its appeal rests in the true beauty of the refreshing and character-building lessons that are so sincerely portrayed in its ritualistic work. A deep fraternal bond exists between its members. It is the wholesome relationship of sisterly and brotherly love brought about through high principles exemplified in our lives which makes us near and dear to each other.

Here at Lake Harriet Lodge, many of us participate in Lake Harriet Chapter #202 of the OES. Meeting conveniently in our building, this organization provides enjoyable social events for its members. Interested? Men need to be a Mason first, women must have a Masonic affiliation somehow, by blood or marriage.

Masonic Motorcycle Club Int'l
The purpose of the Masonic Motorcycle Club International is to bring together Master Masons whose common interest is motorcycle riding, promoting good fellowship, and encouraging membership in the Fraternity. Our local contact is Gordy Aune Jr., also a member of Lake Harriet Lodge.  Contact him at H-763-585-1766 or C-612-719-1610.  Gordy is Secretary/ Treasurer of MMCI's Minnesota chapter #24. Mailing address: 2432 Pearson Parkway, Brooklyn Park, MN. 55444.  www.masonicmotorcycleclub.org

National Sojourners Patriots and servicemen will be pleased to stand with other Masons when the Heroes of ’76 appear in their Revolutionary War uniforms as proud color guards, presenting the Flag of the United States. These men, Masons all, are regular participants in cornerstone layings, processions, public events and parades. Membership in National Sojourners requires Masonic membership, and honorable service as a current or past Officer, Warrant Officer, or Senior Non-Commissioned Officer in the uniformed services of the United States, or in time of war in the armed forces of an Allied nation. Honorary Membership requires U.S. citizenship, Masonic membership, and distinguished service to our Nation, Craft, and Community. National Sojourners Web Site

Other parts of the Masonic Family
There are many other appendent and affiliated groups within the Masonic family. Some are quite large, while others are small, limited in scope or membership, or special interest. We have several good organizations for youth, including DeMolay for boys, and Job's Daughters and Rainbow for girls. Our youth groups teach leadership and self-reliance in a positive, values-based environment.

Minnesota Job's Daughters An organization for girls from 10 to 18 who are relatives of Freemasons.  Using beautiful ceremonies in the Masonic style but based on biblical stories and legends intended to give strong female role models and moral lessons, 'Jobies' learn poise, leadership, and the joy of volunteering, and they make lifelong friends while having a great time!  Job's Daughter's International is the governing body over the Minnesota Grand Bethel.

Minnesota DeMolay is an organization for boys and young men. Its knightly and gentlemanly themes hearken back to the Knights Templar and their last grandmaster Jacques DeMolay. As the DeMolay International website puts it: "DeMolay is an organization dedicated to preparing young men to lead successful, happy, and productive lives. Basing its approach on timeless principles and practical, hands-on experience, DeMolay opens doors for young men aged 12 to 21 by developing the civic awareness, personal responsibility and leadership skills so vitally needed in society today. DeMolay combines this serious mission with a fun approach that builds important bonds of friendship among members in more than 1,000 chapters worldwide."

Daughters of the Nile Formed in 1913, The Daughters of the Nile is an international, non-profit organization, comprised of women who are wives, widows, mothers, sisters or daughters of men who are Shriners. The purpose of the order is to assist the Shriners with their charitable work; to promote social, friendly fellowship within the order; and to advance and elevate the standard of Womanhood. The Order has grown to 148 Temples within United States and Canada, with approximately 75,000 members.

The Order of the Amaranth is a fraternal organization composed of Master Masons and their properly qualified female relatives. In its teachings, the members are emphatically reminded of their duties to God, to their country and to their fellow beings. They are urged to portray, by precept and example, their belief in the "Golden Rule" and by conforming to the virtues inherent in Truth, Faith, Wisdom and Charity they can prove to others the goodness promulgated by the Order. The extent of its charitable work and overall benevolence is limited only by the opportunities that exist and the ability to secure adequate funding. Its philanthropic project is the Amaranth Diabetes Foundation.




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