Cryptic Council

The Cryptic Council degrees of the York Rite provide many interesting facets of both the Blue Lodge and Royal Arch degrees. The name Cryptic implies the word Crypt and in the Secret Vault of King Solomon’s Temple more than being “Cryptic” as in “having hidden meaning; mystifying”, though just like all Masonic degrees there is much hidden meaning within these degrees.

The three degrees that comprise the Cryptic Council are:

We learn in the Royal Master degree, that there was an agreement among our three Most Excellent Grand Masters, that the word would not be communicated to the Craft until the Temple was completed, and then only in the presence of all three.


We learn in the Master Mason degree, how the Word was lost, and in the Royal Arch degree, how it was recovered.

In the Symbolic degrees, we have an account of the loss of the Word, and we search but do not find. In the Chapter, we search and find, but do not understand the significance of what we have found.

It is left to the Cryptic degrees for enlightenment and explanation, to learn how the Word was preserved, and what it means.

In the Royal Master degree, we learn that whatever may be the uncertainties of life, the reward is sure to the faithful Craftsman.

In the Select degree, we learn that the Word is to be preserved in the Secret Vault of the Soul.

While in the Super Excellent Master degree, we find that catastrophe overtakes the unfaithful, whether he be a prince or pauper, and that without fidelity, success is impossible.

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