Fama Fraternitatis - 1614

Wiewohl wir nun wohl wissen, daß es umb ein ziemliches noch nicht an dem, da wieder unserm Verlangen oder auch anderer Hoffnung mit allgemeiner Reformation divini et humani, solle genug geschehen, ist es doch nicht unbillich, daß, ehe die Sonne auffgehet, sie zuvor ein HELL oder dunkel liecht in den Himmel bringt und unter dessen etliche wenige, die sich werden angeben, zusammen tretten, unsere Fraternitet mit der Zahl und Ansehen des gewünschten und von Fr.R.C. fürgeschriebenen Philosophischen Canons, einen glücklichen Anfang machen oder ja in unserer Schätz (die uns nimmermehr aufgehen können) mit uns in Demut und Liebe genießen die Mühsamkeit dieser Welt überzuckern und in den Wunderwerken Gottes nicht also blind umbgehen.

Vi vet dock att det enligt vår åstundan och andras förväntningar efter någon tid kommer en allmän reformation av både gudomliga och mänskliga ting. Ty innan solen går upp, upplyses himlen av
MORGONRODNADENS ljus. I väntan på denna reformation församlas några få som med sitt antal skall utöka vårt brödraskap, höja dess anseende och stärka dess förhoppningar och ge de av Fr.R.C. föreskrivna Filosofiska Canons en lycklig begynnelse. I all ödmjukhet och kärlek skall dessa nytillkomna tillsammans med oss dela våra skatter, som aldrig skall förgås, och så lindra denna världens möda och inte längre vandra ovetande om kunskapen om Guds underbara verk.

Howbeit we know after a time there will now be a general reformation, both of divine and humane things, according to our desire, and the expectation of others: for it is fitting, that before the rising of the Sun, there should appear and break forth AURORA, or some clearness, or divine light in the sky; and so in the mean time some few, which shall give their names, may joyn together, thereby to increase the number and respect of our Fraternity, and make a happy and wished for beginning of our Philosophical Canons, prescribed to us by our brother R.C. and be partakers with us of our treasures (which never can fail or be wasted) in all humility, and love to be eased of this worlds labor, and not walk so blindly in the knowledge of the wonderful works of God.


Det brittiska ordenssällskapet Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn och den tyska Frimurarlogen L'Aurore Naissante, vilket grundades i London 1888 respektive Frankfurt-am-Main 1807, delade på samma hebreiska namn Chevrah Zerach Bequr Aur, förevisat i gyllene gult vid bloggens huvud, vilket ordagrannt kan översättas till “Stigande Gryningsljusets Sällskap”. Denna tyska Rosenkorsiska Frimurarloge i Frankfurt, vilket måste anses vara det ursprungliga modertemplet till GOLDEN DAWN, kallade sig på tyska även Loge sur Aufgehenden Morgenröthe, vilket kan översättas till “Gryende Morgonrodnadens Loge”. Detta skiljer sig åt från den engelska seden att översätta orden Bequr Aur till “Golden Dawn” eller “Gyllene Gryningen”. Med anledning av Rosenkorstraditionens tyska ursprung är en mer korrekt översättning av Bequr Aur, genom franskans L'Aurore Naissante och tyskans Aufgehenden Morgenröthe, inget annat än GRYENDE MORGONRODNADEN. Denna hänvisning till ett stigande gryningsljus, morgonrodnad eller aurora är en klar hänvisning till den allmäna reformationen omnämnt i det ovan citerade stycket från Fama Fraternitatis. Denna blogg har dock valt att behålla den försvenskade anglo-saxiska termen GYLLENE GRYNINGEN för att denna, invand som den är, lättare associeras med den Rosenkorsiska tradition som här ämnas att framställas.

Licht, Leben, Liebe

söndag 19 april 2009

The Rosicrucian significance of the Five Petaled Rose

One of these details that was revealed through the publication of the videos from the 100 Year Centennial Jubileum Celebration of the Rosicruian Order of Alpha et Omega was the five petaled rose born upon the Banner of the East, which has raised some questions of why this modification has come about and where we are to find its roots. And because of Aleister Crowley's rendition of the Unicursal Hexagram some people have even been so bold as to identify this to reflect a Thelemic philosophy of some sorts.

The Reformed Banner of the East

The task of this little essay is to reveal the true significance of this important and essential symbolism. The five petaled rose upon the Banner actually has a Rosicrucian significance, not Thelemic nor any other. Now let me explain why. The rose of five petals is actually a wild flower because wild roses has five petals. Furthermore, all roses have their petals grouped in multiples of five. Thus the geometrical pattern for the rose, because of the number 5, is the Pentagram or Pentangle. Hence, it is a symbol of the Four Elements and Spirit, or Quintessence.

The Pentagram of Elements

I would argue that the rose actually is the premiere symbol of Spirit as it is the fifth principle crucified upon the Cross of the Four Elements (se below). As corresponding to the Pentagram, it is also the symbol of the Microcosm, or man. Hence its five petals correspond to the five senses, as do the Elements.

©Tomas Stacewicz

Note that the rose upon the reformed Banner of the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega points with one petal upward, as with the Pentagram. This signifies that Spirit surmounts the Four Elements and dominates their natures; Spirit over matter. Also note that the Thelemic rose of the Unicursal Hexagram is reversed (se below), as with the averse Pentagram where Spirit is subdued under the materialism of the Elements; matter over Spirit. This constitutes a fundamental difference which proves that the Reformed Banner has nothing whatsoever to do with the Thelemic symbol in question.

Unicursal Hexagram of Thelema

The rose is also sacred to Venus and Isis and in this instance it is interesting to note that the Pentagram traditionally has been associated with Venus, the bright star of morn, but also the evening star. Interestingly enough during certain times of the year the celestial motions of Venus sketch a pentagram in the sky, as plotting the recurrence of Venus' westward elongation from the Sun, over six consecutive synodic periods, will create the points of a Pentagram.

As it is associated with Venus the rose amongst other things signifies love, and also sexuality. According to Paul Foster Case, the famous Golden Dawn Adept, this links the symbol of the rose to desire and the secret force of which Venus and the metal copper are symbols. As a crucified rose it signifies that the desire nature of man, according to Case, has been unified with the One Law that is the basis of all manifestation. This basically means that desire or lover will of man has been subjected to the True Will of the Highest. The five petaled rose is therefore the symbol of completion and perfection, which is further emphasised by its association with the golden ratio through the Pentagram.

The Golden Ratio and the Pentagram

The significance of Isis also has a deeper Hermetic meaning which is not permissible for me to reveal here. But the red petaled rose is also the symbol of Osiris (which is resurrected by Isis) and signifies blood, as is confirmed in the Mystical Repast of the Neophyte Grade where Osiris says that “the scent of the Dying Rose is as the repressed Sigh of my suffering”. In Christian symbolism the five petaled rose represents the five wounds of Christ, which thus directly links it with Tipharet and the mystery of the crucifixion of the Adeptus Minor 5°=6° Grade.

Isis and Mary

Some say that the five petaled rose also represents the idea of virgin birth or immaculate conception, which again is a reference to Isis and the conception of the child Horus (which was conceived without the fallos of Osiris), since a dog rose doesn’t need cross pollination to create the fruit of the tree. There's lots of similarities to be found between the myths of the Virgin Mary and Isis Mighty Mother. The five petaled rose was also the symbol of the great reformer Martin Luther, who some argues was either a inspiration to the Rosicrucian fraternity or was himself a member of that movement. I have written about this connection elsewhere on this blog.

The Seal of Martin Luther

The rose has been in use by the Christian Church for millennia, in connection with the Cross symbolism. The term rosary, which means “garland of roses”, is well established in this context and both refer to a necklace with beads and to devotional prayer or mediation. But the five petaled rose especially refers to the reformed Church or protestant Christianity, as advocated by the Rosicrucian manifestos. This connection between Lutheranism and the Rosicrucian movement is emphasized by the special symbol of the Rosicrucian fraternity (see below), which can be seen on the membership roll of the Ordo Rosæ Rubeæ et Aureæ Crucis or R.R. et A.C.

©Tomas Stacewicz

All this Christian Esoteric connections with the symbol of the rose upon the Rosy Cross is a further proof that it has nothing to do with Thelema, which advocates the downfall of Christianity by the medium of “the Great Beast”, or the prophet Aleister Crowley himself. Furthermore the rose signifies secrecy as can be read from the saying “sub rosa dictum”. It also corresponds with the Lotus flower, which is sacred to Harporcrates, the Egyptian god of silence. So basically, in this context, the rose represents the Arcanum or the secret mysteries.

So as can be seen, this simple symbol of the five petaled rose resumes a quite complex array of symbolism. Not to say that it since the 17th Century has been associated, together with the cross, with Rosicrucianism and not with Thelema (which was created during the last Century). This is why it was added to the Banner of the East in 1999 during the Reformatio Fraternitatis, which also shows that unlike in most orders, the Alpha et Omega is Rosicrucian and operative Hermetic in all three orders since that general reformation.

One has to remember that modern initiates of the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega practice Rosicrucian magic from the very beginning. This does not mean, however, that it do not preserve a strict separation of our First and Second Orders, or G∴D∴ and R.R. et A.C. respectively. On the contrary, the veil between the first and second Orders is even more pronounced since the general reformation of 1999 as the current material of study and practice of the Inner Order is hermetically sealed from the pale of the outside world, contrary to the profaned material of R.R. et A.C. from the yet older general reformation of 1888.


3 kommentarer:

Suecae Sounds sa...

Thanks yet again for a good article. Since I have mostly read Thelemic interpretations (first and foremost Crowley & Stansfield Jones) I really value this addition which is more harmonious with my own mindset.

Peregrin sa...

Care Fr S.R.,

thank you once again for another very interesting essay. There were elements there new to me and it was very well put together.

As you may know (being a member of a small Australian Order) I have no connection to the larger European or American Orders and have not read much about the 1999 Reformation. I am therefore intrigued that the Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega has a Rosicrucian Outer Order.

Am I correct in assuming this change was instituted to bring the whole Order more in line with some of the traditional European Orders that did not have an Hermetic Outer Order and Rosicrucian Inner Order? (an innovation of the GD and its immediate precursors).

Obviously you are not in a position to reveal any secrets. But I am curious if at Neophyte in the ROAO one is (re)confirmed as a member of the Body of Christ, which many people see as a hallmark of the Rosicrucian mystical tradition.

Please accept these questions in the spirit they are made - genuine curiosity. Thank you.

Sincerus Renatus sa...

Carete Fratres,

Thank you both for your kind words. I'm happy to have provided you with some new information.

Thanks also Peregrin for asking these question and I am happy to answer them to the limits of my ability.

Actually, there has always been a Rosicrucian element in the G.D. in the Outer. When we partake of the body of Osiris, in the mystical repast, we also partake in the communion and body of Christ. In the G.D., as MacGregor Mathers and Westcott envisioned it, the symbolism of Osiris and Christ has from the start been synonymous or interchanged.

This is an old Rosicrucian tradition to associate Christ with Osiris and vice versa. Remember the Rosicrucian myth of Ormus, who, it is said, was a Serapian priest in Alexandria and was converted to Christianity, and consequently veiled the old Hermetic mysteries with Christian symbolism instead.

The name "Order of the Golden Dawn" translates to "Aurea Aurora" in Latin and "Goldene Morgonröte" in German. Actually the name Golden Dawn is sort of "free translation" of the words "Nascent Dawn", as the original Hebrew name of the order “Chevrah Zerach Aur Bequr” translates as "the Society of the Nascent Dawn", which directly relates to a Freemasonic Lodge in Frankfurt-am-Main, founded in 1807, with the same Hebrew name, which in French was translated to "L'Aurore Naissante" and in German to "Zur Aufghene Morgonröthe".

Notice the words "Aurore" and "Morgonröthe" which directly links the name with the Fama Fraternitatis and the line: "for it is fitting, that before the rising of the Sun, there should appear and break forth Aurora, or some clearness, or divine light in
the sky".

So, in my opinion, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn has always been Rosicrucian from the very beginning, but in a more veiled manner. That's why MacGregor Mathers was able to change the name for his branch to the "Rosicrucian Order of the A.O."

What we have done with the 1999 year general reformation (which follows a specific Rosicrucian cycle of reformations)is that we have made this more specific. But mainly this new element consists of our initiates practicing Rosicrucian Magic (using techniques that before was reserved for Adepts of the R.R. et A.C.) and Alchemy already in the Outer Order.

It is operative and theoretical, as before it was mainly theoretical. The Rosicrucian Magic and Alchemy is then continued in the Inner Order of the A.O., but in a more detailed and specific manner.

Regarding continental western esotericism, we acknowledge the continental roots of the Golden Dawn, which mainly sees the before mentioned Lodge L'Aurore Naissante as a original "Mother Temple", which transmitted German Rosicrucian and Qabalistic currents of the Gold und Rosenkreutz Order and Asiatic Brethren to the Golden Dawn.

However, in the highest mysteries (i.e. beyond the lesser Grades of the R.R. et A.C.) our vision of the Golden Dawn has many points in common with contemporary continental Rosicrucian bodies. I sense a feeling that the modern Golden Dawn community (as contrasted to the sentiments of Mathers and Westcott) oftentimes regards the Golden Dawn as a separate tradition as compared to continental Hermeticism and Rosicrucianism. What we have done is to place G.D. on the continental map of the greater Rosicrucian and Hermetic current, which always has been well rooted in European soil.

One of the reasons of Mathers moving to Paris and founding the Ahathoor Temple was to create and maintain this link with the continental currents. He was involved in most French societies and some of the initiates of other continental societies was also members of the Ahathoor, the most prominent example being Papus.

So this has never been a foreign thought in the old Rosicrucian Order of the A.O.

However, let me state right away, that the Rosicrucian Order of the A.O. acknowledges all Golden Dawn Orders and Temples as parts of the body of Christ/Osiris, regardless of them adhering to the reformation of 1999 or not. I'm convinced that your little Order in Australia does a wonderful job in transferring our venerable and old tradition to its initiates, as do all independent Temples all over the world.

Fraternally in L.V.X.,