Twenty-First Degree

Degree of Patriarch Noachite
by Carl a Davenport


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 sciences
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 
ceremonies 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 personal prejudices
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"
to alchemists.

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 ideals or
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
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 our age and times, we should have no fear we will be hauled before a secret court in moonlight, as happens
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..