Yes, there were originally 2 degrees. The first was split into two, and "This second half would become known as the Second Degree (making the Vigil the Third Degree). It also defined when a member sealed his membership into the fraternity by becoming a true brother in the fraternity." This would involve an exchange of blood and indeed, the 2nd Degree did become known as the "Blood-Rite".
When I became a Brotherhood member, this exchange was symbolic, but at one time they actually pricked the candidates' fingers or cut their hands. The practice was forbidden in 1956 after a 40-year run