The York Rite or American Rite is one of several Rites of Freemasonry. A Rite is a series of progressive degrees that are conferred by various Masonic organizations or bodies, each of which operates under the control of its own central authority. The York Rite specifically is a collection of separate Masonic Bodies and associated Degrees that would otherwise operate independently. The three primary bodies in the York Rite are the Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, Council of Royal & Select Masters or Council of Cryptic Masons, and the Commandery of Knights Templar, each of which are governed independently but are all considered to be a part of the York Rite. There are also other organizations that are considered to be directly associated with the York Rite, or require York Rite membership to join such as the York Rite Sovereign College but in general the York Rite is considered to be made up of the aforementioned three. The Rite’s name is derived from the city of York, where, according to a Masonic legend, the first meetings of Masons in England took place, although only the lectures of the York Rite Sovereign College make reference to that legend.
The York Rite is one of the appendant bodies of Freemasonry that a Master Mason may join to further his knowledge of Freemasonry. But the York Rite is not found as a single system world wide, and outside of the York Rite there are often significant differences in ritual, as well as organization. However in most cases provided that the Grand Body in question regards the parent “Craft” jurisdiction as regular, each distinct Order has recognized fraternal inter-relations with the respective Grand Body within the York system.Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/York_Rite
The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry (the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction in the United States often omits the and, while the English Constitution in the United Kingdom omits the Scottish), commonly known as simply the Scottish Rite, is one of several Rites of Freemasonry. A Rite is a progressive series of degrees conferred by various Masonic organizations or bodies, each of which operates under the control of its own central authority. In the Scottish Rite the central authority is called a Supreme Council.
The Scottish Rite is one of the appendant bodies of Freemasonry that a Master Mason may join for further exposure to the principles of Freemasonry. In England, the United States and some other countries, while the Scottish Rite is not accorded official recognition by the Grand Lodge, there is no prohibition against a Freemason electing to join it. The Scottish Rite builds upon the ethical teachings and philosophy offered in the craft lodge, or Blue Lodge, through dramatic presentation of the individual degrees.
The thirty-three degrees of the Scottish Rite are conferred by several controlling bodies. The first of these is the Craft Lodge which confers the Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and Master Mason degrees. Craft lodges operate under the authority of Grand Lodges, not the Scottish Rite. Although most lodges throughout the English-speaking world do not confer the Scottish Rite versions of the first three degrees, there are a handful of lodges in New Orleans and in several other major cities that have traditionally conferred the Scottish Rite version of these degrees.Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_Rite
Shriners (Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine)
The Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, also commonly known as Shriners and abbreviated A.A.O.N.M.S., established in 1870, is an appendant body to Freemasonry. In 2010, the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, as well as Shriners North America, changed its name to Shriners International, now covering nearly 200 temples (chapters) across North America, South America, Europe and Southeast Asia. The organization is best known for the Shriners Hospitals for Children it administers, and the red fezzes that members wear. The organization is headquartered in Tampa, Florida. Shriners International describes itself as a fraternity based on fun, fellowship and the Masonic principles of brotherly love, relief and truth. There are approximately 340,000 members from 195 temples (chapters) in the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Mexico, the Republic of Panama, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Europe and Australia. On July 6, 2011, Shriners International commissioned Emirat Shriners of Heidelberg, Germany, as its 194th temple, and took the first steps toward forming a new temple in Mindanao, Philippines. Eventually on July 3, 2012, Agila Shriners of Mindanao, Philippines was chartered as the 195th temple.Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Arabic_Order_of_the_Nobles_of_the_Mystic_Shrine
Order of the Eastern Star
The Order of the Eastern Star is a Freemasonry-related fraternal organization open to both men and women. It was established in 1850 by Boston, Massachusetts lawyer and educator Rob Morris, a former Freemason official. The order is based on teachings from the Bible, but is open to people of all religious beliefs. It has approximately 10,000 chapters in twenty countries and approximately 500,000 members under its General Grand Chapter.
Members of the Order are aged 18 and older; men must be Master Masons and women must have specific relationships with Masons. Originally, a woman would have to be the daughter, widow, wife, sister, or mother of a master Mason, but the Order now allows other relatives as well as allowing Job’s Daughters, Rainbow Girls, Members of the Organization of Triangle (NY only) and members of the Constellation of Junior Stars (NY only) to become members when of age.Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Order_of_the_Eastern_Star