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Secret Master

The Fourth Degree in the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite and the first of what are called the Ineffable Degrees. It refers to those circumstances which occurred at the Temple when Solomon repaired to the building for the purpose of supplying the loss of its illustrious builder by the appointment of seven experts, among whom were to be divided the labors which heretofore had been entrusted to one gigantic mind. The lecture elaborately explains the mystic meaning of the sacred things which were contained in the Sanctum Sanctorum, or Holy of Holies. The Lodge is hung with black curtains strewed with tears, symbolic of grief. There should be eighty-one lights, distributed by nine times nine; but this number is often dispensed with, and three times three substituted. Later instructions reduce them to eight.

There are but two presiding officers--a Master, styled Puissant, and representing Wing Solomon, and an Inspector representing Adoniram, the son of Abda, who had the inspection of the workmen on Mount Lebanon, and who is said to have been the first Secret Master Solomon is seated in the east, clothed in mourning robes lined with ermine, holding a scepter in his hand, and decorated with a blue sash from the right shoulder to the left hip, from which is suspended a triangle of gold. Before him is placed a triangular altar, on which is deposited a wreath of laurel and olive leaves.

Adoniram, called Venerable Inspector, is seated in the west, but without any implement of office, in commemoration of the fact that the works were suspended at the time of the institution of this Degree. He is decorated with a triangular white collar, bordered with black, from which is suspended an ivory key, with the letter Z engraved thereon, which constitute the collar, and jewel of the Degree. These decorations are worn by all the Brethren. The apron white edged with black and with black strings; the flap blue, with an open eye thereon embroidered in gold. The modern instruction prescribes that two branches of olive and laurel crossing each other shall be on the middle of the apron.

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