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The Rosicrucians

 

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The Rosicrucians

from Secret Societies

edited by Norman Mackenzie

In August 1623 a number of extraordinary notices appeared in the streets of Paris. They proclaimed: "We, deputies of the principal College of the Brethren of the Rosy Cross, are staying visibly and invisibly in this town by Grace of the Most High, to whom the heart of the Just turns. We show and teach without books or masks how to speak the language of ever country where we wish to be, to bring our fellow men out of the error of death." According to one contemporary account, the first response to this announcement came from a lawyer who was heavily in debt, and wanted to learn how to make himself invisible to his creditors. He succeeded in finding the mysterious Rosicrucians, who agreed to teach him their secrets. But they wined and dined him so well beforehand, that when they initiated him by immersing him in the river, he drowned. This story, though obviously satirical in intention, indicates something of the controversy and the obscurity that surround the early history of the Rosicrucians; their nickname, the "Invisibles," refers much to their elusiveness as to their claims to supernatural power. The word Rosicrucian itself gives us a further idea of the difficulty that attends any factual study. It is generally supposed to be derived from the Latin rosa (rose) and crux (cross); and certainly the rose and the cross have always been the symbols of the Rosicrucian societies. The same symbols occur on the seal used by Martin Luther, and in the family arms of the Lutheran deacon Johann Andrea, who (as we shall see) may or mat have been the originator of Rosicrucianism. The Christian significance of the cross, and of the rose stained with Christ's blood, might appear to answer all questions. But the cross may not be a Christian cross at all. Both rose and cross are found, with numerous meanings, in the symbolism of the Jewish Cabala. For the alchemists the cross denoted the four elements; for Hindus it is the symbol of creation; for some medieval writers it was a code for "light." The rose is identified with the sun, the central element in Zoroastrain worship. It is the Egyptian symbol of rebirth. It is connected with Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of love and creation. The Rosalia was Dionysian festival, and the mysteries of Eleusis were associated with Dionysus. In the 13th-century Roman Roman de la Rose, the rose may be a symbol for illumination, reminding us of the troubadours' connection with the Albigensians, a disguised survival of pre-Christian religion. In fact, the rose is also a symbol of secrecy; in this sense, Cupid used it to cover illicit amours, and the expression sub rosa derives from the rose hung in late medieval times above the council table to show that all present were sworn to secrecy. The largest and most active of modern Rosicrucian societies tell us that the rose at the center of the cross represents "the physical body of man, with arms outstretched to the sun in the East, which depicts the Greater Light."

 

 

Rosicrucian Order, AMORC offical site

Rosicrucianism

The Rosicrucian Archive

Catholic Encyclopedia: Rosicrucians

Rosicrucianism, Christian Rosenkreutz

Open Directory Project Rosicrucianism links

The Rosicrucian Order, AMORC; Ancient Mystical Order Rosae Crucis

Rosicrucianism from Watchman.org

Rosicrucianism and Christianity

Rosicrucianism and Christianity

Rosicrucian top website links

Freemasonry - Rosicrucianism

Rosicrucian Fellowship, AMORC Societas Rosicruciana


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