The 21° and the titles contained within the 21° present a curious
historical account. Although the 21°
is rarely mentioned today, a strong Masonic belief that sited Noah as
one of Freemasonry’s major
contributors who was involved in the sustaining of the knowledge of
antediluvian arts and
during the Flood and its distribution to the generations which followed.
In fact, in the 1700s and early
1800s, Some studies went as far as to say Noah was the chief celebrated
character and was given
preference over than Hiram. Freemasons
were sometimes called
Noachites or Noachidae, sons of Noah.
In the 21° Degree, the story is
entwined with that of the Vehmgericht, a medieval court headquartered
in Westphalia, and the term "Prussian Knight" was born. It is a unique
combination, but this combo
produces one of the best theatrical
of the Scottish Rite. This degree is
made up of high drama. It begins in a meeting in the
forest by the light
of the full moon.
The characters are men of honour and influence who forced to confront
they were influenced by but did not realize these forces existed within
themselves, to observe the ease
in which one in honour may fall into dishonour, and to learn the power
of faith. The 21° is a powerful
presentation designed to teach honourable men to be cautious.
The apron of the 21° is yellow,
lined with white. The Arm of Justice, an arm holding a sword which is
prepared to strike is affixed on the flap, and a winged human figure
with his forefinger of his right hand
on his lips, as he holds a key in his left hand is on the body of the
apron. He represents the Egyptian
figure of Silence. His wings represent his intelligence. They
represented "the higher, active male principle"
The 21° has two jewels that can be
used in the Degree. On one is a triangular plate of gold having arrow
pointing downward. Or, the jewel may be a disc of silver (representing
the full moon), showing an Arm of
Justice circled by the words Fiat Justitia, Ruat Coelum—"Let
there be Justice, though the heavens fall." The
cordon of the Degree is a broad black ribbon, worn from right to left.
There are several important
lessons in this Degree.
1. The first is the great importance of a free and legitimate judiciary
pointing out that access to the courts
is more important than access to the ballot box.
2. We must be very, very careful
when judging others because in most cases we are making a judgment on
the basis of inadequate data. We should especially be hesitant to judge
someone negatively. Almost all of
us have had the experience of deciding that we didn't like someone we
just met. because we will form these
first impressions, we must be willing to set those aside when more data
comes to us.
3. We must never become conceited
or convinced that we are better because of our own knowledge or ability.
We must not become "wise in our own conceit." Becoming conceited only
subtly leads us into self-perpetuating
4. Only faith can sustain us. Not
only faith in God, but after our faith in God, another faith in other
goals to apply justice, or victory in doing what is right.
Lastly, the Degree teaches that we
should be humble and modest without arrogance. We are ready, able and
In our age and
times, we should have no fear we will be hauled before a secret court in
moonlight, as happens
willing to tell God how He should fix the world He created. We
assassinate the characters of others, because
we feel less important to ourselves and that more makes us feel more
important. We not only pass on the slander
we hear about someone else, we add lace and fancy trim to it and make it
a better story. We do this for three
reasons, one, we see them as better than us because we are at an
insecure time, and this gives us a sense of
moral superiority—a feeling to which we have no right; and two, they
have something we want and we are trying
to discredit them and make them look less deserving of it so we can take
it away from them.
in this Degree. Nor should we be forced to defend our honour and
character, or should we cause anyone else to
defend their honour and character. Let us be very sure that others use
our hearts for the trials of others..