Sunday, May 23, 2010

Symbolism of the Rosicrucian Cross

The centre of the cross is the rose, which is the archetypal equivalent of the lotus. Lotus is the symbol of the divine energy centres in the human in Vedic philosophy.
Carl Jung identified the Lotus as a fundamental archetypal symbol equating it with the womb and the nurturing feminine. Such symbols usually resonate with us on a near-instinctual level, often penetrating beyond mere cognitive thought into the minds deeper realms. This is the reason that Devi Sarawathi, goddess of wisdom, is seen seated on the lotus flower.
One thing that is agreed upon by scholars of religious iconography is that the Lotus and the Rose carry the same symbolic meaning. The 22 Hebrew alphabets from which creation came into being as per Lurianic Kabbalah are the petals from which a singularity emerges. The centre of the cross is the singularity from which all dimensions are manifest.
The symbols at the extremities of the cross are in pole opposition and symbolize annihilation of all manifestation which happens in perfect symmetry. Particles and matter are result of symmetry breaking in standard model Physics.

Around the pentagrams, which are placed one upon each elemental coloured arm, are drawn the symbols of the spirit and the four elements. Upon each of the floriated (the arms) of the cross are arranged the three alchemical principles of sulphur, salt, and mercury. The white rays issuing from behind the rose at the inner angles between the arms of the cross are the rays of the divine light issuing and coruscating from the reflected light of Kether in its centre; and the letters and symbols on them refer to the analysis of the Key Word - I.N.R.I,(Iesus Nazarenus, Rex Iudaeorum) which means 'Jesus the Nazarene King of the Jews' though instructed by Pontius Pilate to be written, carries a deeper meaning of the Essene nature of Christ and he being given the position of Rex of Divine wisdom.

All manifestation exists by virtue of a process ... a continuity of eternal existence that knows neither beginning nor end. This process must be one of transcendence and transformation that never permits gross stagnation or decay. It must ever be refining and improving upon itself and periodically shedding its outer skin of appearance and the density of its material expression. Hence to elevate our consciousness there is a necessity of a catalyst to induce necessary change and transformation. The Rosicrucian cross is an iconic catalyst in this process of transcendence.

Esoteric Christianity found expression through deeply meaningful writings. Edited in 1619 and written by
Johann Valentin Andreae, a Rosicrucian document “Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz” elaborates the four paths that could be used for attaining spiritual transcendence.
The author writes “By us the Bridegroom offers you a choice between four ways, all of which, if you do not sink down in the way, can bring you to his royal court. The first is short but dangerous, and one which will lead you into rocky places, through which it will scarcely be possible to pass. The second is longer, and takes you circuitously; it is plain and easy, if by the help of the Magnet you turn neither to left nor right. The third is that truly royal way which through various pleasures and pageants of our King affords you a joyful journey; but this so far has scarcely been allotted to one in a thousand. By the fourth no man shall reach the place, because it is a consuming way, practicable only for incorruptible bodies. Choose now which one you will of the three, and persevere constantly therein, for know whichever you will enter, that is the one destined for you by immutable Fate, nor can you go back in it save at great peril to life.”.

Though these four paths were meant as to how the Bible wisdom was meant to be approached, it maps with uncanny accuracy to the Vedantic four paths or Margas.
The first which alludes to the ‘rocky places’ is the karma marga were one’s life is of constant toil.
The second path is ‘longer, and takes you circuitously’ is the Bakhti marga were one attains transcendence through worship and devotion. Third path is allotted to very few and that is the Jñana marga or the path of wisdom in which one attains the higher realms of consciousness through deep mystical insight. Finally the fourth which ‘no man shall reach’ is the Raja marga and is purely meant for those divinely incarnated incorruptible souls. This is the path of Jesus, Buddha, Krishna and the Prophet.

The four arms of the Rosicrucian cross represent the four ways. What a powerful symbolism!

Love to you all


  1. That was gr8 and enlightening Sir!I once went into the site of Rosicrucians and did read quite a bit , but this parallel between the paths of the Rosicrucian and the Vedas is indeed a revelation!

  2. Dear Tib,
    Good job on the symbolism of the Rosy Cross and comparing the 4 elemental arms with the 4 paths in the Chemical Wedding and the 4 Vedic paths.
    After the 4 paths were described to him, it seems as if the path chose him because he shared some of his bread with a white dove who was chased by a black raven. "The two birds flew South and I hurried thoughtlessly after the evil raven, unintentionally running nearly a field's length along one of the paths...Immediately I realized how thoughtlessly I had acted: I had already taken one of the paths, and now I dared not go back on it for fear of terrible reprisals." Thanks, Reb.

  3. I am doing research for my college paper, thanks for your brilliant points, now I am acting on a sudden impulse.

    - Kris