The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite confers 29 degrees. These degrees are conferred by each of four bodies. In the NMJ, the names of the bodies and the degrees they confer are slightly different.
Because the Portland Valley is the largest and oldest Valley in Oregon, the reunion degrees (4, 14, 18, 30 & 32) are conferred twice per-year in the spring and fall. These degrees are so-called because they are conferred at a membership event (usually held over a weekend) called a reunion. The other 24 degrees are conferred one per month in a two-year cycle.
Following is a description of the four bodies of the Southern Jurisdiction. Every degree has a symbol as well. These can viewed by clicking on each of the four images.
The Lodge of Perfection (4°-14°) symbol is gold colored and depicts a compasses, open to sixty degrees, resting upon a graduated segment which bears the Roman numerals III, V, VII, IX. Suspended from the hinge is a radiant five pointed star, and on the summit of the compasses is a crown. The compasses remind us that science, united to honor and virtue, made the architects of the temple the companions of kings; and that the men of intellect and learning, the great kings of thought in all ages, should be, as Plato taught, the rulers of the world.
The Chapter Rose Croix (15°-18°) symbol is gold colored and depicts a compasses opened to sixty degrees, resting upon a graduated segment. Between the compasses and the arc appears a pelican, in silver, piercing its breast to feed its young, which are in a nest under it and seven in number. Behind the pelican springs a branch of green acacia and above it is a crimson Passion Cross. At the intersection of its arms is a crimson rose in bloom. On the summit of the compasses is an antique crown. On the segment of the arc is the True Word, in the cipher of the degree. The pelican tearing its breast to nourish its young is a symbol of every philanthropist and reformer who has offered up his life for the benefit of humanity, and so teaches us an exhaustless munificence toward all mankind, and especially toward the needy and defenseless. The reverse side of the emblem depicts a silver eagle with its wings spread and head depressed beneath a crimson Passion Cross. The password for the degree appears in cipher on that side.
The Council Of Knights Kadosh (19°-30°) symbol is a double-headed eagle of silver with wings spread, resting upon a Teutonic cross of red, bordered in gold. The eagle is sometimes depicted with one half black, and the other half white, reflecting an older title of the degree, Knight of the White and Black Eagle. The Degree was once the ne plus ultra of Masonry, and the eagle was depicted atop a ladder which symbolized the increasing duties one accepts in knighthood, which are symbolized by the cross.
The Consistory of Masters of the Royal Secret (31°-32°) symbol is a Teutonic cross of gold with arms frosted; in the center are the Roman numerals XXXII, surrounded by a green wreath, without other devices or ornamentation. It symbolizes the crowned summit of chivalric virtues. Suspended from a white ribbon, this symbol also serves as the membership jewel of a 32° Master of the Royal Secret.
It's Just That Symbol, Arturo de Hoyos, 33°, The Scottish Rite Journal, November/December 2014.
The Knights of St. Andrew is a unit of dedicated Scottish Rite Masons. The Valley of Portland has an active chapter of the Knights of St. Andrew.
The Knights of St. Andrew is a group of Consistory members who have organized themselves as a service organization within their Valley. They are under the immediate supervision of the Secretary of their Consistory and provide services where they are needed:
The Knights of St. Andrew also assist in the organizational and membership work, participate civic activities, promote fund-raising events, etc.
The 29th degree of the Council of Kadosh is also called Knight of St. Andrew. The KSA has adopted the symbol of the 29th degree as one of the symbols for it's chapters.
Although not based on the 29th Degree, the Knights of St. Andrew are devoted to Service, Loyalty and Truth by emulation of the characteristics of the older organizations – the Knights Templar and the Order of St. Andrew du Chardon (du Chardon means "of the thistle"; St. Andrew — Andrew the Apostle — is the patron saint of Scotland);
The by-laws state that the Knights of St. Andrew are a “Black Cap” group. Any member who subsequently receives the KCCH — Knights Commander of the Court of Honor — can not hold an office or vote although they can still work and assist in functions of the chapter.
Today, there are 117 Valleys with KSA Chapters and 8 pending in the Southern Jurisdiction and 17 in the Northern Jurisdiction. These Chapters represent 45 States. A KSA Chapter has also been chartered in Puerto Rico.