A coordinate body of Freemasonry a Master Mason may join for further exposure to the principles of Freemasonry, the Scottish Rite builds upon the ethical teachings and philosophy offered in the Blue Lodge through dramatic presentation of the individual degrees.
Each degree is a story from the holy bible, period costumes worn by actors depicting the time set in location as displayed by the scenery make up the story of the degree.
Degrees are progressively numbered to show exposure to additional Masonic education and knowledge of its principles.
The thirty–third and final degree is honorary — bestowed upon a member for exceptional service to Freemasonry, the Scottish Rite, and their Community.
To join the Supreme Council, one must attain the 32° of the Scottish Rite, and then be conferred the honorary 33°.
In the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States, the Supreme Council consists of no more than 33 members and is presided over by a Grand Commander.
Members of the Supreme Council are called "Sovereign Grand Inspectors General" (S.G.I.G.), each is the head of the Rite in his respective Orient (or state).
Other heads of the various Orients who are not members of the Supreme Council are called "Deputies of the Supreme Council."
References accessed February 14, 2013
1. Wikipedia Scottish Rite Southern Jurisdiction, USA
2. Scottish Rite Scottish Rite Freemasonry
3. Scottish Rite California History of the Scottish Rite