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There are certain Masonic Degrees, which, not being placed in the regular routine of the acknowledged Degrees, are not recognized as a part of Ancient Freemasonry, but receive the name of Honorary or Side Degrees. They constitute no part of the regular ritual, and are not taken under the specific control of either Grand Lodges, Grand Chapters, or any other of the legal, Administrative Bodies b of the Institution. Although a few of them are very old, the greater number are of a comparatively modern origin, and are generally supposed to have been indebted for their invention to the ingenuity of either Grand Lecturers, or other distinguished Freemasons.
Their history and ceremonies are often interesting, and so far as we have been made acquainted with them, their tendency, when they are properly conferred, is always moral. They are not given in Lodges or Chapters, but at private meetings of the Brethren or companions possessing them, informally and temporarily called for the sole purpose of conferring them. These temporary assemblies owe no allegiance to any supreme controlling Body, except so far as they are composed of Master or Royal Arch Masons, and when the business of conferring the Degrees is accomplished, they are dissolved at once, not to meet again, except under similar circumstances and for a similar purpose.
Some of them are conferred on Master Masons, some on Royal Arch Masons, and some only on Knights Templar. There is another class which females connected by certain ties of relationship with the Fraternity, are permitted to receive; and this fact, in some measure, assimilates these Degrees to the Freemasonry of Adoption, or Female Freemasonry, which is practiced in France and some other European countries, although there are important points of difference between them . These female Side Degrees have received the name of Androgyrwous Degrees, from two Greek words signifying man and woman, and are thus called to indicate the participation in them by both sexes.
The principal Side Degrees that have been practiced in the United States of America are as follows:
1. Secret Monitor 2. Knight of the Three Kings 3. Knight of Constantinople 4. Mason's Wife and Daughter 5. Ark and Dove 6. Mediterranean Pass 7. Knight and Heroine of Jericho 8. Good Samaritan 9. Knight of the Mediterranean Pass
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