What is the Scottish Rite? (draft)

Honor. Integrity. Truth. Character.

32° Scottish Rite Freemasonry is a fraternity of Brothers committed to going deeper into the highest principles, teachings, and ideals of the Masonic craft. It is open to all Master Masons looking to continue the journey of self-discovery and finding a deeper sense of purpose.

As Freemasons, we believe in something greater than ourselves, and strive to be good men who want to be better.

Become the best version of you. Answer the call.

32° Freemasonry.


We will strive to be a fraternity that fulfills our Masonic obligation to care for our members.

32° Freemasonry seeks to strengthen the community and believes that each man should act in civil life according to his individual judgment and the dictates of his conscience.

Philosophy and Values

32° Scottish Rite Masonry expands upon the fundamental principles of Freemasonry, exploring Masonic teachings more deeply. Building upon the ethical and philosophical teachings of the blue lodge, Scottish Rite reveals a wealth of knowledge about Masonry not found in the other degrees. It seeks to enrich the philosophy of the Symbolic Lodge in order to help good men become even better.

A member of the Scottish Rite seeks to:

  • Aid mankind’s search for identity and destiny in God’s universe
  • Produce wiser men in a wiser world, happier men in a happier world, and therefore better men in a better world
  • Promote the dignity of every person and the humanity in all activities

Our core values are:

Reverence for God
Devotion to Country

History and Structure of the Rite

The Scottish Rite is an appendant body of the Masonic Fraternity.  It consists of two major Jurisdictions in the United States, and other major Jurisdictions in countries around the world.  These Jurisdictions are governed by Supreme Councils of the 33rd Degree of Freemasonry.  The first such Supreme Council was founded in 1801 in Charleston, South Carolina, for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States of America; it is known as the “Mother Council of the World.”

The Supreme Council, 33°, of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, was chartered in 1813 by the Supreme Council of the Southern Jurisdiction.  Since that time, the Supreme Council, 33°, of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, or NMJ, has governed the Rite in the 15 states north of the Mason-Dixon Line and east of the Mississippi River.

Supreme Council Jurisdictions are further subdivided into Valleys, which administer the Rite in your local area.  Each state in the NMJ has one or more Valleys.  The Valley of Indianapolis was chartered in 1863 by the Supreme Council of the NMJ, and is the oldest and largest Scottish Rite Valley in Indiana.  Other Indiana Valleys are located in Fort Wayne, Terre Haute, South Bend, Evansville, and New Albany.

The Degrees

Valleys of the Scottish Rite confer the 4th through the 32nd degrees upon a Master Mason desirous of continuing his Masonic education. These 29 degrees conferred by the Scottish Rite build on the moral and philosophical lessons taught in the three Masonic degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason, which are conferred in local lodges of Freemasons.  Our degrees are conferred primarily in the context of a Convocation and Reunion, held twice yearly.  While we do not confer all of the degrees at one sitting, individual degrees are also conferred at our Stated Meetings at least 8 times each year, making it possible for any new Scottish Rite member to experience all 29 degrees within the first 3-5 years of joining.

The 33rd Degree – Sovereign Grand Inspector General

You may have heard that there is a 33rd Degree in the Scottish Rite.  Achieving the 33° is an honor that can be bestowed upon a 32° Scottish Rite Freemason. It cannot be petitioned or campaigned for, but is granted solely by action of the Supreme Council, following recommendation by the Supreme Council’s Deputy for your state.

A 33° Mason is a Master Mason who has exhibited knowledge, passion and sacrifice to his craft. The Supreme Council awards the 33° as a way of honoring outstanding and selfless work performed in the Rite or in public life. At its annual session the Supreme Council elects 32° members of the Rite to receive the degree. Members unanimously so elected become 33° Sovereign Grand Inspectors General, and Honorary Members of the Supreme Council.

Social and Philanthropic Activities

The Valley of Indianapolis hosts numerous events for members and their guests.  Besides the Stated Meetings of the Valley, our calendar is rich with concerts, plays, dinners, and even children’s parties at Halloween and Christmas.  The Valley also hosts several Guilds, which are organizations of members who have shared interests and hold their own events.  The Knights of St. Andrew is a service group which assists in many Valley activities, and also helps train our 32nd Degree Freemasons in the philosophy and structure of the Indianapolis Scottish Rite bodies.

The Valley also has an extensive charitable outreach through its Scottish Rite of Indianapolis Foundation, including a learning center for dyslexic children, funding medical research at Indiana University’s Indianapolis Medical Center, and assisting other community activities.

Our Home

The Scottish Rite Cathedral of Indianapolis is a magnificent example of neo-Gothic architecture, constructed between 1927-1929.  It remains the largest building in the United States devoted to Freemasonry. The Cathedral was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.

It is our honor and pride as 32° Freemasons to meet in this beautiful Cathedral, erected to the glory of the Grand Architect of the Universe.

For more information regarding the building, please visit our Cathedral pages.

Learn More

If you are a Master Mason and would like to learn more about becoming a 32° Freemason, this video will describe the many benefits of membership as told by our members.

If you would like to learn more about becoming a Freemason, this video will introduce you to the Fraternity.

NOT JUST A MAN. A MASON.This video was created to capture the essence of what it means to be a 32° Scottish Rite Mason. It stands as a reminder of the pride and confidence that comes from living in Brotherhood, and dedicating oneself to a life centered on family, integrity, service, and justice. In other words, in our craft we don’t just make men better. We make them Masons.