Your next regular step in Masonic knowledge through the AASR.
From the very first day that we are initiated into Masonry we are admonished to make every endeavour to expand our knowledge of Freemasonry, indeed we are told "to make a daily advancement in Masonic knowledge".
There is a very good way that you can do this, and the following is a brief introduction as to how to achieve this goal through the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry (all 33 degrees) or as it is commonly known -'Rose Croix Masonry'
Many Masons are left with a sense of an unfinished story when we complete our 3rd Degree and look for some sort of completion. Some join other Orders including Mark & HRA and still find that the story is somehow not complete.
Usually this is caused by 2 statements in the "H A" story as it is portrayed to us in the Craft. These are:
The statement that ---- "the Master Masons WORD was lost"; How can this be?, many ask, as King Solomon and King Hiram knew it?.
And that we told we are receiving substituted secrets 'until time or place restored the original'.
These statements leave us with a strong conviction that there MUST be more to Freemasonry. Why substituted Secrets?, What are the genuine secrets?, Where are they?, & Why haven't they been found by now?.
This is the reason that a good many dedicated Masons look for, and find answers to these questions "Beyond the Craft" third degree.
But what is there beyond the 3rd Degree? - Well- There are in fact more than 15 other Masonic Orders and Rites of Ancient and Accepted Freemasonry operating in Australia. So there is a great deal to choose from - but which Rite or Order to choose is the question?
Only Grand Lodges and the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite (A&ASR) in Australia can truly claim to have the three Craft Degrees, BUT of these, only the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite continues the story after the death of "H A" (Grand Lodges having stopped doing so in the 1800s). The other Orders do contribute valuable insights to Masonic education in their own way, and with their own place in history.
The second largest Order, (or Rite) of Freemasonry, (after the Craft) in the World is the A&ASR, and indisputably it is (by taking the degree of the Rose Croix of Heredom) the first step in continuing the story after the death of Hiram Abif, toward the ultimate 33rd, and last Degree in Freemasonry.
The Rose Croix degree takes you from the 4th to the 18th Degree. The full degrees of which cover in detail the events following the death of "H" to the building of the 2nd Temple by Zerubabel, and also some preparation for the degree of Perfection in Masonry. This is done in a Sovereign Chapter of Princes Rose Croix of Heredom. These Chapters come under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Council of the 33rd Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite for Australia, which traces its origin to the early to mid 1700's.
Rose Croix Chapters meet 3 to 6 times per year (4 is most common) so the time commitment is not too great. The ceremonies and charges are much shorter than those of the Craft and the ritual does not overwhelm the 'message', all in all making them easier to learn, to deliver and to assimilate for the Candidate. A further difference is that in the Rose Croix the ceremony is much more participative, again making learning and assimilation easier. After three years as a Rose Croix Mason you can apply to be elevated to the 30th Degree and take the degree of 'Knight Kadosh'(a Templar type Degree) in a Sovereign Council, and from there to the
31st and 32nd Degrees and possibly, over time to the highest and last degree in Freemasonry, the 33rd Degree.
The great benefit of this system, or Rite, is that you can progress toward the ultimate, at a pace that suits your availability or desire with fees for only two bodies the Chapter and the Council.