Degrees in a Blue Lodge

The three degrees of Craft or Blue Lodge Freemasonry are those of:
Entered Apprentice — the degree of an Initiate, which makes one a Freemason;
Fellow Craft — an intermediate degree, involved with learning;
Master Mason — the "third degree", a necessity for participation in most aspects of Masonry.
The degrees represent stages of personal development. A common symbolic structure and universal archetypes provide a means for each Freemason to come to his own answers to life's important philosophical questions. Some guideline is given through the evolution along the degrees which is the metier of the Junior Warden and Senior Warden. The English freemasonry only recognizes the three first degrees. Many Masonic bodies allover the world consider to have supplements to the Master Mason degree. This is the case of the Scottish Rite, which confers
degrees (the High Degrees) from 4° up to 33°. It is essential to be a Master Mason to ascend to these degrees. They are administered on a parallel system to Craft or Blue Lodge Freemasonry by a Supreme Council of Sovereign Grand Inspectors of the 33d Degree of the AASR. The site of the Portuguese Supreme Council, here.
Differently than in England in continental Europe, Freemasons working through the degrees are asked to prepare papers on related philosophical topics, and present these papers in open Lodge where they are evaluated. The are called "pranchas" or planches (in French), being mostly corrected translated as works of architecture. In English constitutions the passage through the degrees respects mostly a requirement of time in the previous one.

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