“Freemasonry from the 1st to the 33rd Degree” is the fifth book about the mysteries of this enigmatic society by Winchester resident Kamel Oussayef. He considers it a celebration of 20 years volunteering at Lexington’s Museum of Our National Heritage — renamed the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum. It is an annotated translation of French manuscripts preserved in the Museum’s vault. Oussayef’s objective is to make them available in English.
Why French? Some higher Degree Freemasons originated during the Stuart dynasty which reigned in England and Scotland from 1603 to 1714. That period saw much upheaval, ending in a civil war. Concerned by the consequences of Cromwell’s revolution, and the execution of King Charles I, partisans of the Stuart Dynasty went into exile in France seeking the protection of King Louis XIV.
The higher Masonic Degrees (or Scottish Rite Degrees) eventually traveled to America in 1762. In 1875 they became the Degrees of Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. Established in Charleston, SC, the Masonic Institution is now well-established all over the Free World.
Oussaye’s book is the narration of a journey in transformation that some of these Degrees of Freemasonry took before landing in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1875.