Now the true and fundamental relation of the finding out of the high illuminated man of God, Fra: C.R.C. is this; After that A. in Gallia Narbonensi was deceased, then suceeded in his place, our loving Brother N.N. this man after he had repaired unto us to take the solemn oath of fidelity and secrecy, he informed us bona fide, That A. had comforted him in telling him, that this Fraternity should ere long not remain so hidden, but should be to all the whole German Nation helpful, needful, and commendable; of the which he was not in any wise in his estate ashamed of. The year following after he had performed his School right, and was minded now to travel, being for that purpose sufficiently provided with Fortunatus purse, he thought (he being a good Architect) to alter something of his building, and to make it more fit: in such renewing he lighted upon the memorial Table which was cast of brasse, and containeth all the names of the brethren, with some few other things; this he would transfer in another more fitting vault: for where or when Fra: R.C. died, or in what country he was buried, was by our predecessors concealed and unknown unto us. In this Table stuck a great naile somewhat strong, so that when he was with force drawn out, he took with him an indifferent big stone out of the thin wall, or plaistering of the hidden door, and so unlooked for uncovered the door; wherefore we did with joy and longing throw down the rest of the wall, and cleared the door, upon which that was written in great letters, Post 120 annos patebo, with the year of the Lord under it:Upon the door leading into the Vault is placed a tablet which is supposed to be composed of the Elemental Enochian Tablets arranged as in the four winds, i.e. as they occur in the Elemental Temple, with the Kerubic Emblems at the corners and according to the placement of the sub-quadrants of the Elemental Enochian Tablets and the Pentagram, painted in their respective Elemental colors. Each Kerubic emblem consists of a white wheel and a cross, which divides the disc into four equal quarters containing a Kerubic emblem each. A wonderfully exhibited example of such an Kerubic symbol can bee seen here, taken from a YouTube video published by the courtesy of the Esoteric Order of the Golden Dawn.
However beautiful that EOGD sample of a “Kerubic Wheel” is, it’s obvious that it was painted to be used as a generic symbol, not as a specific sub-elemental glyph as it is supposed to be when it is applied to the Door of the Vault. Each Kerubic Wheel is here supposed to be painted in its Elemental color as a ground, charged with the Elemental colors of the Sub-Elements. This can clearly be seen in this below image of the Door of the Vault, as drawn by William Wynn Westcott, one of the founders of the Golden Dawn.
Each individual Elemental Enochian Tablet, which is depicted between the Kerubic Wheels, has a peculiar color scheme applied to it uniquely developed for this Door leading to the Tomb of Fra. C.R.C. First of all it is void of letters. Secondly the crosses (the Sephirotic Crosses and the Great Cross) are not painted white as we are used to according the Tablets depicted in The Book of the Concourse of Forces, the Golden Dawn foundation text on Enochian Magic. Instead they are painted in the complementary flashing colors, as can bee seen in these Tablets on the illustration above by Westcott. As also can bee seen, all of these Elemental and Kerubic emblems are surrounding the Enochian Tablet of Union, which is situated in the center of the Door, and the following sentence:
This Latin sentence is translated to “After 120 years I shall open, with the year of our Lord under 1484”. I won’t go into any detail about the greater mysteries of this sentence, but will just in passing mention that within the roman numerals of CXX is hidden the formula of L.V.X. The narrative of the Fama continues:
therefore we gave God thanks and let it rest that same night, because first we would overlook our Rotam; but we refer our selves again to the confession, for what we here publish is done for the help of those that are worthy, but to the unworthy (God willing) it will be small profit: For like as our door was after so many years wonderfully discovered, also there shall be opened a door to Europe (when the wall is removed) which already doth begin to appear, and with great desire is expected of many.The Tomb of Fra. C.R.C. consists of seven equally designed walls which thus makes a Heptangle. The Fama specifies each Wall to be 8 by 5 feet, i.e. 244 x 152 centimeters. Although I believe the ratio of 8 : 5 being a generic or symbolical measurement, and thus referring to “philosophical feet”, my experience tells me its actual size to be ideal from a practical point of view. Though a Vault may be either built smaller or larger, it must always preserve the ratio of 8 : 5. This becomes clear when we examine the Vault Walls in detail, which as we see in the image below is divided into 40 squares, i.e. 8 x 5. Each square is corresponding to a “Force” which is identified by its peculiar glyph.
In the morning following we opened the door, and there appeared to our sight a Vault of seven sides and corners, every side five foot broad, and the height of eight foot;
At first this clutter of symbols appears confusing and difficult to grasp. But it is not. On the contrary, each attribution is very precise and systematic. Soon you will be able to spot traditional Planetary symbols (7 of them), Zodiacal Signs (12), Alchemical Principles (3), and Elements (3). Now these three Elements represents what in the Golden Dawn tradition is referred to as “Primary Elements”, i.e. that of Fire, Water and Air, also referred to in Sepher Yezirah, or “Book of Formation”, the foundation text of the Holy Qabalah. Together they create the forth principle of Earth, which is not depicted in this series of Alchemical Elemental symbols, but is implied through this esoteric principle. There is actually one other set of five Elemental glyphs, the so called “Kerubic” symbols, which surmounts the wall with the top row who also contains the Fifth Element of Spirit or Quintessence. The Eagle actually represents the Kerubic aspect of Water, which may be confusing for the beginner but is fully grasped and recognized as valid by the Adept.
Furthermore, each wall also consists of squares with Hebrew letters, 10 in toto. These represents the 10 Sephiroth and actually forms the glyph of the Tree of Life, each letter being the beginning of the Hebrew name for each Sephirah. Thus each wall contains all relevant Hierarchies that are used in Golden Dawn Theurgy and Alchemy. Now I won’t go into detail of how and why each glyph is arranged as it is, but suffice to say is that each Planetary symbol is in proxy to the Sephirah which naturally falls under the dominion of the Planet in question. That’s why, as an example, you will notice that the glyph of the Sun or Sol is surmounting the Herbrew letter Tau, as Tipharet corresponds with Sol, etc.
Now the overall key to the nature of each Wall is them being part of a Heptenary, which obviously in turn corresponds them to the Seven Classical Planets, i.e. Venus, Luna, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sol, and Mercury, as can be seen on the illustration above. The Door is situated on the Venusian Wall, which entertains many great mysteries. One obvious one is that Venus, which corresponds to Netzach (the Seventh Sephirah of the Tree of Life), has the Heptagon as a polygon attributed to it. Basically, the Vault of the Adepti depicts the Womb of the Mighty Mother Isis (Venus). This corresponds it to the power of The Empress and the 3rd Key of the Tarot, being assigned to the Hebrew letter Daleth which translates to “Door”.
Actually, much of the symbology in the Golden Dawn is maternal in nature. The Temple Hall of the Outer Order also depicts the Womb, but more so the Tomb of Christian Rosenkreutz, which may be a reference to the Immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary, who corresponds to Isis, and the Christ in the image of our Father C.R.C., who in the Fama is called “man of God”, which of course may refer to a pious man but also to a “man-god”. I will leave it at that and let the rest be food for your imagination, but must in passing mention that the Tomb of Fra. C.R.C., according to the Adeptus Minor Grade, is supposed to be “symbolically situated in the Centre of the Earth, in the Mountain of the Caverns, the Mystic Mountain of Abiegnus”, or the Holy Mountain of Initiation or Mons Philosophorum, which again is a clear reference to the Womb – of the Mighty Mother Earth.
Now, as we have agreed upon the Planetary nature of each Wall it becomes quite clear that each square of each Wall actually is a subservient force to the general Planetary power of the Wall. So, as an example, the Kerubic emblem of Water on the Lunary Wall will make it the Kerubic Water of Luna. The Planetary symbol of Mercury will make it Mercury of Luna. The Zociacal Sign of Aries upon the Lunary wall will make it Aries of Luna, etc. This fundamental principle of the attribution of Walls and individual squares make up for an extremely intricate color scheme. According to set rules of color correspondences each force represented on each Wall traditionally corresponds to a specific color. The above-mentioned sub-forces, to continue with the examples, corresponds thus: Water with blue, Mercury with yellow and Aries with red. But this is only as far as their generic attributions. As each wall in itself corresponds to a general force, i.e. that of its Planet, the Wall itself also has a color attribution – that of the Planet in question. To continue with the above example, the Lunar Wall corresponds with the color blue. As the forces of Luna mixes with all its subservient forces, so will also the colors, and thus the above mentioned squares of the Lunar Wall actually will make a hue mixed between the following colors:
Kerubic Water: blue with blue = a blue color.Each emblem on every square is supposed to be of the complementary or flashing color, i.e. that of the direct opposite on the color wheel, which makes the emblems on the aforementioned squares look like:
Mercury: yellow with blue = a greenish hue.
Aries: red with blue = a violet hue.
Kerubic Water: the eagle of an orange color.I have simplified matters somewhat, as when it comes to coloring these squares of the seven Walls the technique of blending pigments is crucial and necessitates great artistic skill; it’s not at all a matter of blending with a 50-50 ratio. There is no way to fully predict how a Wall will actually manifest, as the intuitive and creative genius of the artist is paramount; the rules as given in order documents are just to be used as guide lines. That’s why two Vaults will never be in 100% agreement. That's also the reason for there being two more traditional methods of applying colors to the Walls, using simplified methods which doesn't mix colors but instead retains the original and pure flashing colors of the so called “King” or masculine color scale. Let me here briefly quote a important sentence written in the original Adeptus Minor Ceremony:
Mercury: the symbol mercury in a reddish hue.
Aries = the symbol of the ram in a yellowish hue.
The colours of the varying squares may be either represented by the colour of the Planet and the colour of the force therein mixed together, or by these colours being placed in juxtaposition, or in any other convenient manner… (my emphasis.)With “juxtaposition” in this context is meant placing two colours side by side, instead of blending to create a compound color mix. This is the only way to retain the original and clear flashing colors of the King Scale. This makes a much more vibrant Vault; each Wall projects more vividly, almost jumps upon you. I know this from personal experienced of both methods, which, together with a third but much less used, are traditonal according to the relatively unknown but very important work by William Wynn Westcott called The Book of the Tomb. In my opinion, the only practical and aestethical way to implement this “juxtaposition-method”, while retaining the square pattern, is to have a border between the indivdual squares painted in the form of a latticework.
Let us now look at some examples of different Vaults and illustrations, both historical and modern. I will start off with the Lunar Wall taken from a copy of The Book of the Tomb belonging to William Butler Yeats, an early Adept being a member of the original Mother Temple of Isis-Urania No. 3, where you will see how the rest of the squares blend together with the Lunar current.
Oddly enough, comparing this drawing with the instructions as contained in The Book of the Tomb, there are obvious contraditions with a few squares and I am convinced that Yeats is the one that's in error. Next picture is taken from the Vault of the Adepti belonging to Esoteric Order of the Golden Dawn, extracted from the above mentioned video. In this picture you will also see glimpses of the ceiling and floor. What we see on this picture is the Martial Wall in full, and glimpses of the Walls of Jupiter, Sol and Venus (in the foreground).
Now, as can bee seen, this is a really beautiful Vault that the EOGD has been kind enough to present to the Golden Dawn community. From what I can see (considering the low resolution photograph) the individual squares are in most cases correctly painted, although there are some examples of deviances when compared to instructions of The Book of the Tomb. However, there have also been some major creative inventions involved in the design of this EOGD Vault, which largly consists of the white latticework. I cannot find any references to a white lattice work in any of the original A.O. documents that I possess, the prime sources being the Adeptus Minor Ceremony (which in the A.O. version contains extensive commentaries with appended diagrams) and the above mentioned and venerable The Book of the Tomb, the latter which has never been published save from some bits (without any illustrations) in Israel Regardie’s The Complete Golden Dawn System of Magic and the above illustrated drawing by W.B. Yeats. The Book of the Tomb is the foremost source book about the Vault of the Adepti which goes into detail of how each square is supposed to be correctly painted.
Now, I can understand from where this new symbology comes from, as it must be a reference to the Fifth Element of Spirit, which is colored white. As the four lowest Sephiroth each corresponds to the Four Elements, Tiphareth, which surmounts them, also corresponds to Spirit or Quintessence. The symbol of Sol, corresponding to Tiphareth, is sometimes used as a substitute for the Eight Spoked Wheel of Spirit. As Tiphareth also is related to the Adeptus Minor Grade the Vault oftentimes also is considered to be of the nature of Tiphareth, an attribution to which I partly agree. But correctly speaking, the Vault of the Adepti in actuality belongs to all of the three Sephiroth of the Ethical Triangle upon the Tree of Life (i.e. that of Tiphareth, Geburah and Chesed), each corresponding to one of the three Grades of the Adepti. The Tomb of Christian Rosenkreutz is thus the property of the whole Second Order or Ordo Rosæ Rubeæ et Aureæ Crucis.
Besides, the use of the Elemental color white is contrary to the overly Planetary nature of the Vault. Looking at the EOGD Vault I also notice that an important detail is missing, the frame surrounding each Sephirotic square (i.e. the ones containing the Hebrew letters). These frames are easily spotted on the above shown photograph of the W.B. Yeats drawing. Also compare the picture of the EOGD Vault with this one taken from the French Vault of the Adepti belonging to the Ahatôôr Temple No. 7 of the Rosicrucian Order of the Alpha et Omega (HOGD/A+O).
The correct blending of colors are easily seen on this picture, depicting the parts of the Jovial and Saturnine Walls, as well as the frames surrounding the Sephirothic squares. Here we also are able to spot a latticework, but charged with the Planetary color of the Wall, i.e. emphasizing the Planetary nature of the chamber. Both these pictures of these modern and beautiful American and a French Vaults proves that no two Tombs can ever be same. There are also other creative solutions to be found on the EOGD Vault which I will return to below under the proper heading. But before we will continue with the narrative I will take the opportunity to show a couple of pictures of another historical Vault, the one maintained by the Whare Ra Temple of the Stella Matutina. These great pictures really helps to build up the imagination of how impressive an impact such a construction may have upon the psyche of the initiate. The first picture is in black and white and is, like the picture of the EOGD Vault, taken through the Venus Door.
Notice how the floor lacks any symbols. Also notice that there is no names or rose painted on the white ceiling besides the heptagram and triangle, which is more evident in this stunning color picture below originally published in Listener and TV Times (New Zealand) October 21st 1991 p.56. It looks like the Vault is half finished in these pictures, but that can hardly be the case as color photography wasn't a practical option until the 1930's, and Second Order meetings and initiations surely was held long before this in New Zeeland. But as have been suggested, these pictures might have been taken by the new owners after the estate of the Whare Ra building had been sold in the late 1970's, them removing portions of the symbolism of the Vault. The quality of the below color photograph confirms this assertion.
Looking at this picture of the New Zeeland Vault there are some strange details which should be noted. Firstly, the coloring of the Supernal Sephiroth (the framed top squares with the Hebrew letters Kaph, Cheth and Beth) is quite odd if you compare it to the scheme used in the aforementioned W.B. Yeats' drawing of The Book of the Tomb, or rather the coloring of Kether and Binah. Secondly, the Whare Ra for some strange reason reversed the colour to its complementary on some Walls (i.e. not consistently) where they obviously shouldn't according to source documents; look for example at the Jupiter square on the Jupiter Wall which should be in Violet but here is yellow, or on the Sun square on the Sun Wall which should be in orange but instead is in complemantary blue, while the Mars square on the Mars Wall is red as it supposed to be. Very odd indeed. Thirdly, if you look closely you will also notice that the whitish frame around the Malkuth square (at the lowest middle section with the four colors) is missing. This last detail is surely a creative developoment made by the Stella Matutina, which deviates from all previous instructions, as in the aforementioned order documents, and which is also clearly proven by comparing these pictures with Yeats' drawing above. Notice also that the Hebrew letter Mem (for Malkuth) is in clear white, instead of the compound mix between the complementary colour of the Planet of the Wall and white.
Even if the oddity surrounding the Malkuth square is a interesting detail to note, which is easily missed (and is more readily spotted if you click on the picture), I cannot surmise the reason for doing this as it differs from the other Sephiroth. All this evidence of discrepancy, and the fact that non of these pictures in this essay display designs following instructions 100% “by the book”, at least proves that there was and still is headroom from local developments and creative solutions as to the actual design of the Vault. For me it is quite clear that the Whare Ra developed its own take on the Golden Dawn symbolism, which deviated from the original G.D. and the contemporary Rosicrucian Order of Alpha et Omega who, which is proved by the surviving A.O. copies of The Book of the Tomb, retained the traditional color scheme. Also notice in the picture of the Whare Ra Vault that the Mars Wall on the left has a second door built into it, which was a clear Stella Matutina invention made by Dr. Robert Felkin and used in his version of the Adeptus Major 6°=5° Ceremony. And now we will continue with the narrative from the anonymous author of the Fama Fraternitatis:
Although the Sun never shined in this Vault, nevertheless it was enlightened with another sun, which had learned this from the Sun, and was situated in the upper part in the Center of the sieling; in the midst, in stead of a Tomb-stone, was a round Altar covered over with a plate of brass, and thereon this engraven:These figures, within circles, are the Kerubic emblems corresponding with the Four Elements, with the Hebrew letter Shin in the middle signifying the reconciliating power of Spirit.
A.C. R.C. Hoc universi compendium unius mihi sepulchrum feci.
Round about the first Circle or Brim stood,
Jesus mihi omnia.
In the middle were four figures, inclosed in circles, whose circumscription was,
1. Nequaquam vacuum.
2. Legis Jugum.
3. Libertas Evangelij.
4. Dei gloria intacta.
These Kerubic or Elemental symbols are arranged according to the Hexagram formula (the major symbol to be used in magical workings inside the Vault), or the Elemental attribution of the Zodiac, which make Fire in the East, Water in the North, Air in the West, and Earth in the South. Upon this circular altar, and above each Kerubic circle, is to be placed the following symbols:
Fire and East: Rosy Cross.The Chief Adept uses these symbols when he consecrates the Vault at each Corpus Christi and prior to its use. Therefore they partake in the Elemental Weapons of the Zelator Adeptus Minor. The narrative continues:
Water and North: Cup of Water.
Air and West: Dagger.
Earth and North: Chain.
Spirit and Center: Censer.
This is all clear and bright, as also the seventh side and the two Heptagoni: so we kneeled altogether down, and gave thanks to the sole wise, sole mighty, and sole eternal God, who hath taught us more then all mens wit could have found out, praised be his holy name. This Vault we parted in three parts, the upper part or sieling, the wall or side, the ground or floor.In the Tomb of Fra. C.R.C. the ceiling is to be painted white with black symbols, as is shown on this illustration below. It consists of a Heptagram and a Triangle, which together forms the 10 Sephiroth of the Tree of Life. In the middle is depicted the Rose of 22 petals, referring to the 22 letter of the Hebrew Alphabet and thus to the 22 paths connecting the 10 Sephiroth. It is therefore a fitting symbol of the Tree of Life.
Of the upper part you shall understand no more of it at this time, but that it was divided according to the seven sides in the triangle, which was in the bright center; but what therein is contained, you shall God willing (that are desirous of our society) behold the same with your own eys;
Referring the reader back to the picture of the EOGD Vault he or she will notice that the Rose is painted in colors which, although it goes against tradition, is a wonderful addition to the overall beauty of the symbolism. There is a reason for the whiteness of the ceiling though; the rose is a symbol of that light or L.V.X. as described in the Fama, the artificial sun which illuminates the Tomb. This Rose, taken from the Rose Cross symbol or lamen of the Adept, is actually a reference to Tiphareth which, as you will remember, is corresponding to Sol.
We will again return to the narrative:
but every side or wall is parted into ten squares, every one with their several figures and sentences, as they are truly shewed, and set forth Concentratum here in our book.This reference to ten squares is truly a blind as is shown by the before mentioned reference to 8 by 5 feet. To uphold symmetry and balance in the wall, it must be divided into 40 as in the Golden Dawn version of the Vault. The “ten squares” are of course a reference to the Sephirothic squares which are 10 in number, as depicted in the aforementioned Luna Wall. This, I believe, gives us a good reason to retain the frames on all 10 Sephirotic squares.
The bottom again is parted in the triangle, but because therein is described the power and rule of the inferior Governors, we leave to manifest the same, for fear of the abuse by the evil and ungodly world. But those that are provided and stored with the heavenly Antidote, they do without fear or hurt, tread on, and bruise the head of the old and evil serpent, which this our age is well fitted for:This is a clear reference to the black floor containing a white Heptagram and a reversed white Triangle. Together with the black Triangle upon the ceiling, this creates the Hexagram which traditionally may be depicted with a white and black triangle, as depicted below.
Note that this illustration by Eliphas Levi clearly depicts God in His two aspects, the bright & benevolent and the dark & sinister. This is what is emphasized in the Vault, but is also pictured on the Scepters held by the officiating Adepts of the Adeptus Minor Grade, the white and black ends. It is a reference to spirit above and matter below. Upon the floor is depicted the names of the inferior spirits, i.e. the Qlippoth upon the Tree of Life or Averse Forces. These are pictured by the Red Dragon with Seven Heads, mentioned in the Fama as “the old and evil serpent” which must be tread upon by the Adepts. The Rose Cross symbol in the center of the Triangle is a Key to the work of subduing the Abyss of Serpents, which is the work of the Messiah (as symbolized by the Rose Cross).
All this symbology rehearses the philosophy of the sublimation of the Serpent Power, the work of transforming the Red Dragon into the Serpent of Wisdom or Kundalini. It is a reference to the Hieros Gamos, or Unio Mystica, and the birth of the Universal Hermaphrodite. I have written extensively about this subject elsewhere on this blog so I won’t go into any detail beyond this, besides bringing your attention to the essays in question, or The Mystery of Crucifixion, The Sabbateian Qabalah, and my Swedish essays on the Qlippoth, or The Left and Right hand Paths and the Divine Feminine, Hieros Gamos, Jung & Freud, The Divine Ambivalence, and The Left and Right hand Paths.
What I here must bring to your attention to is that the Seven Walls are the Key to the work of restoration and the Alchemical Wedding of the Mighty Mother, trapped as the Dragon, and the Heavenly Father, as they are the intermediary between what is above and what is below. This is a clear reference to Theurgy and Alchemy as the modus operandi towards integration. Let us now continue with the narrative:
every side or wall had a door for a chest, wherein there lay diverse things, especially all our books, which otherwise we had, besides the Vocabular of Theoph: Par. Ho. and these which daily unfalsifieth we do participate. Herein also we found his Itinerarium, and vitam, whence this relation for the most part is taken. In another chest were looking-glasses of divers virtues, as also in other places were little bells, burning lamps, & chiefly wonderful artificial Songs; generally all done to that end, that if it should happen after many hundred years, the Order or Fraternity should come to nothing, they might by this onely Vault be restored again.This section of the text clearly shows that the Tomb of Fra. C.R.C. is at the very heart of the Rosicrucian traditon, i.e. that it contains and sustains it. By its very existence the Rosicrucian Order, of whatever form or appearence, has its raison d'être.
Now as yet we had not seen the dead body of our careful and wise father, we therfore removed the Altar aside, there we lifted up a strong plate of brass, and found a fair and worthy body, whole and unconsumed, as the same is here lively counterfeited, with all the Ornaments and Attires;The Circular Altar being removed will show forth the Pastos, wherein lies a form of Christian Rosenkreutz. Upon the Lid of the Pastos you will observe the beautiful drawings showing two aspects of the Christ, the lower in the form of the Crucified King and the upper in the form of Alpha et Omega. They depict the work of restoration, i.e. the freeing of the bounds of the Terrestrial Red Dragon of the Major Adept, and the ascended state of the fulfilled or Exempt Adept.
So, the Pastos in a way resumes the symbology of the Tomb itself. It may be regarded as the Holy of Holies inside the Vault. At its head and foot are Rose Crosses, that one at the head similar to the one on the floor of the Vault.
Here is also a snapshot from a YouTube video made by Aaron Leitch, which depicts a virtual Vault of the Adepts. Note that the coloring designs of the Walls follows yet a deviation which is part of the older established Golden Dawn tradition, besides giving a wonderful opportunity to show the Vault and the Pastos, surmounted by the Circular Altar.
Notice the latticework necessary for separating the squares. As can also be seen from the video snapshot the Pastos itself is placed upon the Rose Cross symbol on the floor, which again is a reference to the work of the Messiah – the anointed – as represented by our Father C.R.C., who:
in his hand he held a parchment book, called T. the which next to the Bible, is our greatest treasure, which ought to be delivered to the censure of the world. At the end of this book standeth this following Elogium.This is a reference to Book “T” which in the Golden Dawn tradition is the pictorial “holy” book of Tokens, or Tarot. The paragraph in Latin translates into:
Granum pectori Jesu insitum.
C. Ros. C. ex nobili atque splendida Germaniae R.C. familia oriundus, vir sui seculi divinis revelationibus subtilissimis imaginationibus, indefessis laboribus ad coelestia, atque humana mysteria; arcanave admissus postquam suam (quam Arabico, & Africano itineribus Collegerat) plusquam regiam, atque imperatoriam Gazam suo seculo nondum convenientem, posteritati eruendam custo divisset et jam suarum Artium, ut et nominis, fides acconjunctissimos herides instituisset, mundum minutum omnibus motibus magno illi respondentem fabricasset hocque tandem preteritarum, praesentium, et futurarum, rerum compendio extracto, centenario major non morbo (quem ipse nunquam corpore expertus erat, nunquam alios infestare sinebat) ullo pellente sed spiritu Dei evocante, illuminatam animam (inter Fratrum amplexus et ultima oscula) fidelissimo creatori Deo reddidisset, Pater dilectissimus, Fra: suavissimus, praeceptor fidelissimus amicus integerimus, a suis ad 120 annos hic absconditus est.
“C. Ros. C. was a man, who descended from a noble and respectable German R.C. family. He had through divine revelations and astute conclusions, together with his own tireless effort, gained access to the heavenly and earthly mysteries or secrets. During his travels in Arabia and Africa he repeatedly gathered more than the wealth contained in any royal or imperial treasury, for which all, nevertheless, his time was not yet ripe, but that it should be kept secret until later times. He divided all this together with his own art (or knowledge) to be able to educate the faithful and firmly bounded heirs (or successors). He also made a model of the earth, which in all parts is equivalent to the factual, and also eventually was able to write a outline of a story of past, present and future events. He became over one hundred years old. Although he was not of a very strong constitution, he did not suffer of disease but invoked God and, surrounded by his brothers, returned his enlightened soul to his faithful Creator. He was before all our revered Father, our highly captivating Brother, the most faithful teacher, the unimpeachable friend and has now been hidden from us in his secret resting place during the 120 years which has followed his demise.”
Underneath they had subscribed themselves,The Minutum Mundum is a reference to the “model of the earth” mentioned in the latin text printed at the end of Liber T, which is there called the “Mundum Minutum”, and is of course the Tree of Life with all its 32 Paths correctly colored in the King and Queen Scales according to the Ritual “W” or Hodos Chamelionis, while our “Rota” or “Rotam” is a clear reference again to the Tarot, as it is a anagram of the letters “Taro”.
1. Fra: I.A. Fr.C.H. electione Fraternitatis caput.
2. Fr: G.V. M.P.C.
3. Fra: R.C. Iunior haeres S. spiritus.
4. Fra: B.M. P.A. Pictor et Architectus.
5. Fr: G.G. M.P.I. Cabalista.
1. Fra: P.A. Successor, Fr: I.O. Mathematicus.
2. Fra: A. Successor, Fra. P.D.
3. Fra: R. Successor patris C.R.C. cum Christo triumphant.
At the end was written,
Ex Deo Nascimur, in Jesu morimur, per spiritum sanctum reviviscimus.
At that time was already dead Brother I.O. and Fra: D. but their burial place where is it to be found? we doubt not but our Fra: Senior hath the same, and some especial thing layd in Earth, and perhaps likewise hidden: we also hope that this our Example will stir up others more diligently to enquire after their names (whom we have therefore published) and to search for the place of their burial; for the most part of them, by reason of their practice and physick, are yet known, and praised among very old folks; so might perhaps our Gaza be enlarged, or at least be better cleared.
Concerning Minutum Mundum, we found it kept in another little Altar, truly more finer than can be imagined by any understanding man; but we will leave him undescribed, untill we shal truly be answered upon this our true hearted Famam; and so we have covered it again with the plates, and set the altar thereon, shut the door, and made it sure, with all our seals; besides by instruction and command of our Rota, there are come to sight some books, among which is contained M. (which were made in stead of household care by the praise-worthy M.P.) Finally we departed the one from the other, and left the natural heirs in possession of our Jewels. And so we do expect the answer and judgment of the learned, or unlearned.
The Minutum Mundum, or the Tree of Life, is again a obvious reference to the operation of the restoration – the necessary roadmap on the journey towards the completion of the Great Work, perfect happiness, Summum Bonum. This being the state of the dawning consciousness of the Adepts, I will end my quotation from the Fama with this highly significative paragraph:
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.These words and especially the reference to the nascent aurora clearly relates to the name and symbol of our venerable Order, the Golden Dawn. This is significant as it clearly puts the Golden Dawn within the context of the Rosicrucian tradition.
This ends my exposition of the Vault of the Adepti, or the Tomb of Christian Rosenkreutz, from the viewpoint of the traditional story as retold in the Fama Fraternitatis. And as in that original Rosicrucian Manifesto I will end it with the traditional salutation to all brothers and sisters of the Golden Dawn, sub umbra alarum tuarum Jehova.