The Masonic lessons in the Degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite can be conveniently considered as being arranged into groups. The first group of which are the Craft Degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason. So the degrees up to the 18th can be conveniently considered as arranged into 4 groups as follows:
The Craft Degrees of your State in Australia
The Lodge of Perfection
This covers the degrees from the 4th to the 14th. The 4° to the 8° and the 11° and 12° are concerned with the steps taken by Solomon in the reorganisation of the work required to complete the building of the Temple following the death of HA.
The 9° and 10° are concerned with the pursuit, capture and punishment of the three Ruffians. By the 12° the Temple has been completed and dedicated.
The 13° and 14° (13° Royal Arch of Enoch and 14° Grand Elect Perfect and Sublime Master). These two degrees are concerned with the legend of the secret vault and its contents.
Council of Princes of Jerusalem
15° Knight of the Sword and 16° Prince of Jerusalem are based on the liberation of the Jews from their Babylonian captivity; the restoration of the city and walls of Jerusalem; and the beginning of the construction of the second Temple under Zerubbabal.
The Lodge of Knights of the East and West
17° Knight of the East and West. This is a philosophical degree, which may be regarded as setting the stage for the principles of represented and taught in following 18° degree.
18° the Knight of the Pelican and Eagle or Prince of the Rose Croix of Heredom.
The teachings of this degree expresses the figurative passage of man through the darkest vale, sustained by the three virtues. The reception of the candidate into the abode of light is accomplished with the recovery of the Word. This degree is considered by many Masons worldwide as the completion of the third degree.
All of these intermediate degrees 4th to 17th are worked in a “Chapter of Improvement” which is authorised by the Supreme Council for Australia for that purpose. All members of the Scottish Rite (under the Supreme Council for Australia) are automatically members and are encouraged to attend these meetings.
The next 11 degrees, from the nineteenth to the twenty-ninth form another set of Intermediate degrees bridging the gap between the 18° and the 30°. They are conferred in a Sovereign Council before the candidate is admitted to the 30th Degree Grand Elect Knight Kadosh.
30° Grand Elect Knight Kadosh or Knight of the Black and White Eagle – this degree (originally the 24th degree in the Rite of Perfection) emphasises that the energy that might normally be directed towards vengeance is more fruitfully directed against cruelty, fanaticism, superstition and greed.
31° Grand Inspector Inquisitor Commander – this degree confers judicial powers to adjudicate on Masonic infringements in any of the degrees of the Rite.
32° Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret – this degree is really an extension of the 30° in that it was until 1786 the final (25th) degree in freemasonry and gave the candidate the true secrets. Today it induces the candidate to wage war against vice, ignorance and error.
33° Sovereign Grand Inspector General – the highest Degree in Freemasonry -in each District throughout Australia one member is elected to this position every 5 yrs by the Supreme Council.
Under the rules that govern all Supreme Councils throughout the world, nine members of the 33° in each Sovereign State are elected as members of the ruling Supreme Council for the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry in that Country.