What is the Scottish Rite?
The Scottish Rite is a Masonic organization that continues a Master Mason’s education of the first three degrees. Other examples of Masonic affiliated organizations are: The Shrine (Shriners); York Rite; Grotto; Eastern Star, DeMolay International, Job’s Daughter’s, International Order of Rainbow for Girls and the Tall Cedars of Lebanon. The Scottish Rite consists of the 4°–32° and an honorary 33°, which is awarded for exceptional service.

Why is it called the House of the Temple?
The name “House of the Temple” is traditionally associated to the word Heredom, a significant word in high degree freemasonry, a derivation of which, suggests the Greek words hieros-domos, meaning “Holy House”, thus referring to the Temple of Solomon, which is central to Masonic ritual and symbolism.

Is Freemasonry a religion?
No. While it is a requirement that each member believe in a Supreme Being, it is not important how one expresses that very personal belief. Further, there is no dogmatic system in Freemasonry. However, confusion about the secular nature of Freemasonry has been a common misconception for many years. Most likely, this misconception is due to the Holy Book that sits on the altar in the middle of a Masonic lodge. This Holy Book does not have to be Christian, like the Bible, rather it can be any Holy Book that is important to the members of the lodge. In the U.S. where the population is mostly Christian, the Holy Book most often used in Lodges is the King James Version of the Bible.

Is Freemasonry or the Scottish Rite a secret society?
Absolutely not, the Scottish Rite and other forms of Freemasonry operate very much in the open with many events open to the public. There are “modes of recognition” (passwords and handshakes) that represent a Mason’s ability to keep a promise.

How can I join? Do I have to be invited?
Freemasonry is a fraternity (for men) whose membership must be sought by the candidate. So, in other words, to be a Mason, ask a Mason how to become a member.

Do I have to be Scottish to join the Scottish Rite?
No. The Scottish Rite degrees actually originated in France and were based on legends that came from Scotland, so “Scottish” is in name only.

How many people belong to the Scottish Rite?
There are about 1.7 million Masons in the United States and about 550,000 of those are Scottish Rite Masons.

What do all the symbols mean?
There are simply too many symbols used in Masonry to explain them all, but probably the most common symbol people see is the square and compasses. The square reminds Masons to “square” their actions by the “square of virtue,” and the compasses remind them to “circumscribe” their passions. In other words, Masons are reminded to keep their actions virtuous and their passions in control. Additionally, in the U.S. there is usually a “G” in the middle of the square and compass symbol. This letter stands for “geometry” and “God” and reminds Masons that geometry was central to the stone mason’s life as God should be to his.

What is the official name of the Supreme Council?
The name of the Supreme Council reveals history, tradition, and accomplishment. The official, full name of this Supreme Council is: “The Supreme Council (Mother Council of the World) of the Inspectors General Knights Commander of the House of the Temple of Solomon of the Thirty-third degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry of the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States of America.”

What do the 14° rings mean?
The Scottish Rite Fourteenth degree ring is a flat, plain band of gold, and embossed thereon is a plate in the form of an equilateral triangle and within the triangle is the Hebrew letter yud, the initial letters of Jehovah in Hebrew (yud he vau he). Inside the ring is inscribed the Fourteenth Degree Motto: Virtus Junxit, Mors Non Separabit (Virtue has united and death shall not separate). The rings circle expresses the unbreakable fraternal bond between Masons of all generations. Upon the death of the owner, the ring should go into the hands of his widow, eldest son, the friend who was loved above all others, or another Scottish Rite Mason.

What is the purpose of the hats?
If the apron is a badge of a Mason in Blue Lodge, the cap can be said to be the public badge of a Scottish Rite Mason. It is considered a part of the uniform and the different colors indicate the degree of the wearer. (black – 32nd, red – KCCH, white – 33˚)
Caps - Their significance
The black Cap, adorned with the Scottish Rite double-headed eagle, is the cap of a Master of the Royal Secret of the 32nd Degree.
The red cap, emblazoned with a red and gold cross of a Knight Commander, designates that the wearer is a 32nd Degree Mason who has been invested with the "rank and decoration" of Knight Commander of the Court of Honor, usually abbreviated K.C.C.H., for his service and devotion to the Scottish Rite.
The white cap indicates that the wearer has received the 33rd Degree, Inspector General. It bears the red and gold Patriarchal Cross of the Degree. The white cap also indicates that, although he is a 33rd Degree Scottish Rite Mason, he is not a member of the Supreme Council and is, therefore, designated an "Inspector General Honorary." Some make the mistake of referring to this as an "Honorary 33rd." The Degree is that of the 33rd Degree. The name of the Degree is "Inspector General," and the title is that of "Inspector General Honorary."
The purple cap is that of a Sovereign Grand Inspector General, or S.G.I.G. The wearer of this cap is the head of the Rite in his Orient and is an Active Member of the Supreme Council.
The blue cap, decorated in front with a gold number 50 surrounded by a wreath is the cap of a Fifty-Year Scottish Rite Mason, a rare and very honorable achievement. Any 14º member (or higher), who has been in good standing for a total of fifty years prior to the current year is entitled to recognition as such. The Valley will present a 50-year pin and cap at a dinner meeting or other occasion convenient to the member.
The Supreme Council has set forth rules for the correct wearing of the cap. When wearing the cap it shall be considered to be part of the apparel of the wearer and shall not be removed. At presentation of the flag, the cap shall remain in place, and the members shall stand at attention with the right hand over the heart.

All of these caps are prayer caps and we wear them to show our respect and devotion to God, and to identify ourselves as Scottish Rite Masons. During prayer, the cap shall remain in place. They may be worn at our meetings and reunions in the temple or at approved Scottish Rite functions elsewhere.
  Source: The Supreme Council, 33°, A. & A.S.R. of Freemasonry, S.J., U.S.A.