News From The Ninth Arch

Arizona, the 48th State, the Wild West

William R. Greenen Sr
Ambassador to Arizona for the General Grand Council of Cryptic Masons International
Grand High Priest of the Grand Chapter of Arizona

William R. Greenen Sr
Ambassador to Arizona

Cryptic Masonry in Arizona is alive and well. We are a small state when it comes to people and Cryptic Masons, but we have a big heart and lots of land to cover. Our Councils are spread across the state with over 300 miles in between. Although small in number (<600), we are active at the state and local levels with many Companions traveling long distances to participate in state functions. We mainly use festivals for our degree work, although we have a few Councils who do their own work and do it well. We have a festival in the Spring in both the Central (Phoenix) and the southern (Tucson) areas. In the fall we take advantage of the Colorado River Fall Festival in Laughlin Nevada where Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, and New Mexico participate and perform some of the best work seen in all the US and includes Chapter and Commandry as well.


The Grand Council of Arizona just elected Most Illustrious Companion Darius “Mac” McClintock to be our Illustrious Grand Master. Arizona, although small, performs the Super Excellent Master (SEM) degree once every year and alternates location between Phoenix and Tucson. We do this in full costume with a large cast. We also have been performing the Ish Sodi degree on the same day as the SEM degree to encourage active participation in our rituals in all the York Rite Bodies. In the last two years, we have invited New Mexico to participate so they may start performing their own SEM and Ish Sodi degrees. Arizona and New Mexico have a unique bond stemming from 1882 when White Mountain Lodge #5 of the Territory of New Mexico, located in Globe Arizona, became White Mountain Lodge #3 of the Territory of Arizona starting the Grand Lodge of Arizona. I am proud to say that is my Mother Lodge. Since that time, Arizona and New Mexico have remained close. The General Grand Council has requested, and the Grand Council of Arizona has approved the dissemination of the Ish Sodi Degree used in Arizona along with the requirements which must be followed to obtain the degree. It is not a degree we present without earning it through service. The Grand Heads of the Chapter, Council, and Commandry are united in promoting Freemasonry in all our York Rite Bodies which includes the Blue Lodge. Only together can Freemasonry thrive and grow.

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