Milk and Wine

The wind possessed a frigid chill despite it being a sunny day. Crammed in an automobile, we set out in the late afternoon along a rural road. We drove for miles in silence through the verdant terrain. In a secluded glade deep in the forest, we celebrated the sacred consummation of Christ and Sophia within the bridal chamber of the natural world. Sophia is the deification of nature — the source of all life — who nourishes gods and humans alike with the milk from her breasts. She is the many-breasted Ephesian Artemis of the Greco-Roman world.

Sophia

We used an uprooted tree encrusted with moss as an altar. Upon it we placed a sprig of hawthorn and a chalice of wine. Hawthorn is associated with marriage and sexual union. In this case, it is associated with the sacred marriage of Christ and Sophia. It is also associated with the crown of thorns that Christ wore during the crucifixion. In the Cabalistic tradition of the Rose and Thorn, the cross is superimposed over the Tree of Life. Thus, the head of Christ, adorned with the crown of thorns, rests upon Kether. Kether is associated with Uranus, the emasculated god, who is in turn associated with the Wounded King of Arthurian legend.

The layers of symbolism get deep…

The chalice of wine was shared among us as a magical sacrament. It sparks within each of the brethren a desire to undertake the Grail Quest. In the Cabalistic tradition of the Rose and Thorn, Geburah is associated with the spear that pierced the side of Christ, and Chesed is associated with the chalice that caught the blood from the wound. In the Elder Futhark, the spear corresponds to Thurisaz (Thorn) while the chalice corresponds to Pertho (Cup). These polarities — Christ and Sophia — Spear and Chalice — contain layers and layers of mysteries.

– Dana

Chalice

Merry Christmas

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

December is a busy month for us at the Rosae Solis.

December 8th was our feast day for Sophia. Catholics will notice that our celebration takes place on the same day as the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Members pray for the inner spirit of Christ to be nourished. And other petitions are made as well.

December 21st is our winter solstice celebration. It is a time for quiet introspection and soul-searching. There is also certain work that is done in regard to the sphere of sensation. The winter solstice is of particular importance to us this year due to the great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn. As most of you know, this planetary conjunction has great significance to the Rosicrucians.

And of course, December 25th is Christmas. We wish all of you a Merry Christmas from the bottoms of our hearts.

Merry Christmas,

Dana Wright

Small Groups

Some of the best groups are small and quiet. Big groups seem to be on the decline. Lodges are shutting their doors en masse. But there are small groups that are thriving and doing great work. Let us take a quick look at a few of the obscure currents that are helping to carry the torch.

Catherine Kunzog: My grandmother was born in 1924, in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. Her grandfather, Adam Kunzog, was a Christian mystic who immigrated from Germany. His esoteric teachings have been the spiritual foundation of our family for four generations. She advocated a personal, mystical relationship with God, as well as a pious Christian lifestyle. She got me started on the esoteric path at an early age and was one of my greatest initiators. I listed this family tradition, because I will be passing it down to my two daughters.

EAST (Ephrata Aurora Society of Theosophers): This group is a modern descendant of the Ephrata Cloister located in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania during the eighteenth century. This group practices alchemical mysticism, as well as baptismal mysteries based upon the teachings of Jacob Boehme and his lineage of theosophers.

Gallets Circle: This small group met in an old farmhouse in Chautauqua County, New York, to conduct Cabalistic pathworkings. Members would share and record their experiences at the end of each meeting. There was no designated leader, so this group imploded when one of its members attempted to become an authoritarian leader. Fortunately, their ritual format was carried over to a new group, the EOL (Eyes of Light), that continues to this day.

Ordo Rosae Solis (Order of the Rose and the Sun): This small group practices a form of spiritual alchemy based upon the alchemical marriage of the solar force and alchemical mercury. There is a lovely ritual that is performed during the summer solstice. It is an exclusive group with a small membership. Prospective members are invited based upon genuineness and friendship. There is a spiritual alchemy that takes place between brothers and sisters who are friends.

Catherine Kunzog

Avatars of Light: Christ and Lucifer

One of our mysteries relates to the double-rose.

In botany, a double-rose occurs when a rose bud grows within another rose bud due to a genetic abnormality.

But what does the double-rose represent? Well, it represents the dual nature of the divine light.

But let us backtrack a bit.

In Hermeticism, God was all that existed within the primal chaos before creation. For reasons hitherto unknown, God emanated the light into the darkness that surrounded it. John 1:5 states: “the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.”

As the Hermetic Corpus states: “there was darkness in the deep and water without form and there was a subtle breath — intelligent — which permeated the things in chaos with divine power. Then, when all was yet undistinguished and unwrought, there was shed forth holy light and the elements came into being.”[1]

This explosion of light is known in scientific parlance as the Big Bang. It was the Logos — the Word. John 1:1 states: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

The Opening by Watchtower ritual describes the Word as the “image of a voice.” The Logos was created in the image and likeness of God as a declaration of the divine will.

scan0040The light burst through the darkness like lightning. The Watchtower ritual states that it was “abounding, revolving, whirling forth, crying aloud.” The Logos is depicted as a “lightning flash” that zigzags down the Tree of Life from Kether to Malkuth.

As the light lost inertia, it began to condense into physical matter. The energy released from the Big Bang formed the matter that would become stars and planets. This was the formation of the physical plane.

Like lightning striking the earth, the Word crackled as it struck physicality. This was the fall of Lucifer recounted in various stories, such as John Milton’s Paradise Lost. In Luke 10:18, Christ states: “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.”

According to mythology, Lucifer was a proud, rebellious angel, who fell from heaven. In some accounts, he was once a member of the seraphim, the “burning ones,” the highest order of angels. Like Tiamat, a dragon who embodied primordial chaos, the seraphim were described as dragon-like creatures with six wings.

Lucifer is also associated with the planet Venus when it appears as the “morning star.” Small and dim in comparison with the sunrise, this inferior source of celestial light is considered a “false light.”

In Cabala, Tiphereth is the sixth Sphere of the Tree of Life. It corresponds to the sun, and as such, it occupies the center of the Tree of Life, much in the same way that the sun is at the center of the solar system.

But Tiphereth not only relates to the sun, but also to the heart center. It is the rose at the center of the cross.

The light of Tiphereth shines down upon the “loud resounding sea” of Yesod, the astral plane. Like a sunrise over the ocean, one source of light is real and tangible (the sun) and one is false and illusory (the reflection of the sun on the water).

Christ is considered to be the real and tangible source of light. He is known as the “Light of the World.” He was humble and meek — compassionate and benevolent.

Lucifer the “Bearer of Light” is the illusion of light mirrored in the astral world. He was arrogant and prideful — tyrannous and malevolent. Many occultists exude an overabundance of pride and egotism; fortunately, such personality traits can be transmuted.

In Lucifer’s Court, Otto Rahn describes how the Holy Grail was a stone (meteorite) that fell from the crown of Lucifer during the War in Heaven.[2] This makes sense considering that Kether, the highest Sphere on the Tree of Life, is analogous with a crown.

In alchemical terms, Christ is associated with gold, the Royal Metal, whereas Lucifer is associated with fool’s gold (iron sulfide) that can be used to produce the green lion (sulfuric acid). Just as sulfuric acid can be used to refine gold, Lucifer serves only to make the light of Christ brighter when he consumes and ravages the physical plane.

Like Janus, the two-headed god, Christ and Lucifer embody the two polarities — positive and negative — of the light. As two sides of a coin, these two opposing forces are intrinsically linked.

While we have Christ as the “Light of the World,” we also have Lucifer as the “Bearer of Light.” Thus, we have two avatars of light. One is “true” and one is “false.” But we live in a world in which truth is dependent upon perspective. So, which is which? Could both of them be equally valid? Could both of them be equally invalid? Could the two, Christ and Lucifer, be seen as two sides of a cosmic coin?

Joséphin Péladan, the founder of the Salon de la Rose + Croix, believed that Lucifer could be redeemed through our compassion and sympathy,[3] for his fall was due to his misguided love for humans.[4] In this capacity, Lucifer was more akin to Prometheus than the demonic monster depicted in the works of Dante Alighieri. Evil is a base material that can be transmuted into something good. Lucifer is an unfinished expression of the cosmos that can be made to move toward good.

Fortunately, for Lucifer, the great villain (or antihero) of the world, his tale follows the cyclical nature of the sun. As the sun sets in the evening, Lucifer falls from heaven and bathes the world in darkness. But as the sun rises the next morning, Christ is risen, illuminating the world. The villain is redeemed and becomes the hero — at least until he falls again. The cycle continues ad infinitum — ad nauseam.

Footnotes:

[1] Hermes, Scott, W., & Ferguson, A. S. (2001). Hermetica. Montana (USA): Kessinger Publishing Company.

[2] Rahn, O. (2008). Lucifer’s Court: A Heretic’s Journey In Search Of The Light Bringers. Inner Traditions.

[3] Peladan, J. (1893). Istar. Paris: Dentu.

[4] Péladan, J. (1894). Comment on Devient Artiste: Esthetique. Paris: Chamuel.

The Alchemy of the Rosae Solis

105957313_10217909874520660_4852442871671675801_nHere at the Rosae Solis, we use alchemical procedures every summer solstice to charge our bodies with the solar force.

We humans do not fully understand this force that animates us.

This mysterious force not only gives us life, but also ignites within us the fire of consciousness.

It is the eternal flame that burns within the temple of our physical bodies. For those who are chaste, this fire is the untapped sex force that is presided over by the temple virgins.

We absorb this solar force from the light of the physical sun, as well as the etheric sun. This solar force then coalesces in the area of the solar plexus where it appears as a red light visible to astral sight.

The solar force then stimulates the four bodily humors: blood, phlegm, black bile, and yellow bile. These humors then influence our thoughts and emotions.

humors

But our physical bodies, animated with the solar force, are little more than crude machines. In this lowly state, we wander through the Dark Night of the Soul, beset with the vicissitudes of life. We know that as long as we are imperfect, all of our deeds will be imperfect.

Thus, we pledge ourselves to the Magnum Opus (Great Work). We seek the Golden Dawn that awaits us at the end of the Dark Night.

Some of our predecessors sought longevity and life eternal via the synthesis of red colloidal gold in alchemical laboratories. But on their quest to create the Philosopher’s Stone, some of our predecessors peered at their reflections in the Cosmic Mirror. They then realized that the Stone was not a mere magical rock — rather it was something located in the subterranean depths of the human condition.

Thus, we begin to use Vitriol, milestones upon our spiritual path, to dissolve impurities from our being. This purification process demands that we strive for greatness. We examine ourselves — body and soul — for any flaw that can be rectified.

The Vitriol catalyzes the solar force stored in the solar plexus, crystalizing it into a metaphorical rock or crystal. Our soul hardens as our physical body is spiritualized. Once all of our impurities have been dissolved, we are left with a purified “stone,” the Philosopher’s Stone. This “stone” transforms us from humans into gods.

Michael_Maier_Atalanta_Fugiens_Emblem_21

The Philosopher’s Stone is the rose that blossoms at the center of the rose cross. It is the rough ashlar of the Freemasons that is worked and shaped until it is perfected. It is the superdense singularity that bursts forward to create universes.

According to Genesis 1:26: “God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” But it is our responsible to use spiritual alchemy to make ourselves into the images and likenesses of deities.

 

The Rose and Thorn

I would like to look at a small group known as the Rose and Thorn. I have permission to share this information.

I encountered this group while traversing the metaphysical scene in the American northeast. This group has its meetings in a secluded forest. I had the privilege of visiting this forest on numerous occasions. It has an enchanted, magical quality to it.

The members were calm and studious. They had in their possession old texts, magical tools, and other bits of antiquity.

The Rose and Thorn venerates Christ (Mars) as the herald of the divine light. Sophia (Venus) is also venerated. As a married, conjoined duality of soul and spirit — they provide the model that we must emulate.

Christian Rosenkreuz is presented as a sort of friendly hermit who lives in the forest. He guides those who are lost, as well as heals those who are wounded. He is syncretized with the Green Man.

The Rose and Thorn does a lot of work within the realm of herbal alchemy. Members are taught how to use medicinal plants to create spagyrics. Wortcunning, the knowledge of the magical properties of plants, is a big part of their curriculum.

But the real meat and potatoes is their spiritual alchemy that involves a marriage between the initiate and a fae spirit known as a changeling for the purpose of reconstituting the lunar body.

They practice the natural magic of Agrippa, as well as communicate with the elemental spirits of Paracelsus.

The Rose and Thorn does interesting Cabalistic work within the realm of the crucifixion mysteries that I have never seen before. I am not at liberty to say more on this secret work.

Due to the work carried out by Sam Robinson, I have started to look at Rosicrucian groups for elements of Pansophy.

Members of the Rose and Thorn believe that the light gleaned from mysticism can be applied to real world problems.

First and foremost, the members believe that education reforms should be made to push philosophy, as well as ecology, as mandatory coursework in schools. Students would not only be instilled with an appetite for metaphysics, but also with respect for the natural world.

A few members support the concept of garden cities. These are communities that incorporate gardens, parks, and other ecological features. English urban planner, Ebenezer Howard, originally proposed this concept in the late nineteenth century. His idealized garden city was concentric, with six radial boulevards extending from a central urban sprawl, each lined with gardens, parks, farms, woodlands, et cetera. The natural world would be brought back into the cities.

Diagram_No.7_(Howard,_Ebenezer,_To-morrow.)
Diagram No.7 (To-Morrow: A Peaceful Path to Real Reform)

A few members support the ideas of Italian architect, Paolo Soleri, who proposed that an ideal city could be contained within a single immense vertical building, thereby reducing wasteful consumption and preserving the natural surroundings. By placing apartments, shopping centers, indoor farms, et cetera, all inside one giant building, the horrors of the urban sprawl could be drastically inhibited.

More realistically, members suggested the construction of massive parks for recreation, urban forests for the restoration of native flora and fauna, as well as communal gardens for the growing of food.

That is it for now.

The Age of Horus

Peregrine-falcon

Are we entering the Age of Horus?

No, I am not talking about that Aleister Crowley rubbish. At least, that is not my goal. I am no Thelemite.

But this might be a paradigm shift for humanity. It might be an opportunity from the universe to change our ways. It is ironic that a virus is teaching us such a hard lesson. We are being forced to peer at our own virulent reflection in a cosmic mirror.

One thing that we can learn from the Rosicrucians is that a better world depends upon a consensus of the heart. It is about collective improvement as a species. It is about rising up to become like the angels. Then and only then can there be heaven on earth. It is the utopian dream.

But doomsday scenarios do not work to change the status quo. Scaring people does not work. Look at Y2K or the 2012 phenomenon. We still do not have our act together. What then makes us think that the COVID-19 pandemic can be different? Well, unlike Y2K or 2012, COVID-19 is real — it has teeth — sharp teeth.

Back in February, I had a dream that I was at a flea market. On one of the tables was a wooden statue of Horus that I was keen on purchasing. As I picked it up, an older woman approached me and said, “Set is a jealous god.” I looked to my side and saw a statue of Set on an adjacent table. Rather than holding a traditional scepter, he held a shepherd’s crook. What better way for a wolf to lead the sheep? I thought this was an interesting dream and jotted it down in my dream journal.

Two days later, I injured one of my eyes in a freak accident that landed me in the hospital. I had lacerated the lacrimal caruncle (the little pink nodule in the inner corner of the eye). My vision was extremely fuzzy for several days. I had to use medicated eye drops for a while. I thought that the dream and the injury might have some connection. It was an interesting coincidence that I could not shake.

A few weeks later, a friend of mine, who is a well-known psychic in New York, stated that one of his clients had picked up on the pandemic years ago. But more importantly, this mysterious client had suggested that it all had something to do with the battle between Horus and Set — that the post-COVID-19 world would be a reflection of this myth. Horus might sit upon the throne of the world while Set is banished to the desert. I found this to be an interesting synchronicity.

As a side note, the Greeks associated Horus with Apollo. And it was Apollo, according to the Rosicrucians, who commanded the reformation of the world.

It is also curious that the winter solstice of 2020 will mark a conjunction of the planets Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius. It is an auspicious astrological event. It dredges up that whole Age of Aquarius thing that you hear so much about. I am not going to speculate beyond this. That is dangerous territory. I am certainly no interpreter of divine revelations.

Horus was conceived when Isis had intercourse with the reassembled corpse of Osiris. A life born from death. Likewise, perhaps a New World can be reconstituted from the pieces of the Old World. But is that not what we are already doing? Society is constantly renewing itself upon the corpse of the past.

Like the reassembled corpse of Osiris, the spheres of the Tree of Life can be seen as a segmented cosmos that can be reassembled to create a New World. Like the sperm of Osiris or the acorn that falls from the mighty oak, the New World will be conceived from the seed of the Old World. That seed contains the genome of the Old World; however, the New World will have its own soul and spirit.

The world has come a long way since the Dark Ages. But we are very far from political and social perfection. We are very far from religious perfection. There is definitely not much collaboration between social classes. And there certainly is no ideal spiritual society as Andreae and Bacon envisioned.

During this pandemic, we have learned about the fragile nature of social constructs. Economies have been blown asunder like houses of straw. We are being forced to learn that “the love of money is the root of all evil.”

In a few short months, we have learned how vulnerable we are as individuals. While isolating ourselves, we have learned about the importance of community — to “love thy neighbor as thyself.”

It would seem that human hubris has been brought to its knees, for the time being.

So, what am I hopeful about? Well, I am hopeful about the spiritual work that my friend, Nkanwi Fokwa Ambe, is doing with his Spirituology movement in Africa. But that is the subject for a future article. I am also hopeful about the wonderful work that Sam Robinson is doing over at the Rosicrucian Tradition website.

Cure the Sick

Happy Easter!

I have been toying around with this article for awhile now. In the face of the pandemic, it seems appropriate to publish it.

One of the primary credos of the original Rosicrucians proclaimed: “none of them [Rosicrucians] should profess any other thing than to cure the sick.” As inheritors of the Rosicrucian tradition, we must take this tenet seriously if we wish to walk in the footsteps of our predecessors.

Healing is one of the cornerstones of the Rosicrucian tradition. Many early Rosicrucians, such as Adam Haslmayr, were Paracelsian doctors. And with alchemy as one of its main components, the Elixir of Life is part of the Rosicrucian mythos. The promise of healing and perfect health has always been there.

Many Rosicrucians, myself included, work in healthcare in order to fulfill this sacred obligation. Many of us are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. I give kudos to all of my peers. Many of us practice traditions of metaphysical healing, such as laying on of hands and the popular system of reiki. Unfortunately, using these healing modalities is dangerous in the face of a contagious virus, as well as inapplicable in lieu of social distancing. Fortunately, an absentee healing list is a great way to go at this time. Despite all the criticism that it receives, AMORC maintains an absentee healing list known as the Council of Solace.

So, what should Rosicrucians do during the COVID-19 pandemic? First, it should go without saying that you should follow all of the recommendations of the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). And that means obeying social distancing. Keep yourself and others safe. Second, practice humanism and compassion. Be concerned for the welfare of your fellow human beings. Perhaps, it is not necessary to raid the stores for toilet paper, so other people can buy some too. Third, maintain a prayer list for those who are sick. Pray and meditate for their recoveries. Pray and meditate for the world to come out of this situation.

cross

 

 

The Tomb of Christian Rosenkreuz

Opening of the Tomb

According to the Fama Fraternitatis, the Rosicrucians rediscovered the lost tomb of their founder, Christian Rosenkreuz, while renovating one of their buildings. One of the Rosicrucians accidentally discovered a secret door hidden behind a stone wall. The door bore the words: post 120 annos patebo (once 120 years have passed). Behind the door was an elaborate tomb that represented Rosicrucian cosmology.

The tomb was a heptagonal (seven-sided) vault that represented the seven classical planets. It also represented the seven liberal arts and sciences. Each of these seven walls was divided into a grid of ten squares that represented the Tree of Life. The number ten also represented the Pythagorean ideal of perfection and completeness.

Each wall was 8 feet tall and 5 feet wide — an area of 40 feet — a number that is associated with spiritual renewal. There were a total of 70 squares (7×10); conversely, the RR+AC Vault uses a matrix of 40 squares, with squares that represent the elements, planets, and signs of the zodiac. Each wall also contained a cache of occult supplies that could be used to reconstitute the fraternity in case of its dissolution.

In the center of the tomb was a circular altar engraved with the words: hoc universi compendium unius mihi sepulchrum feci. This phrase can be translated to mean: “I have made my tomb to be the one compendium of the universe.” The circular altar was also engraved with four figures that represented the four elements. It also represented the four angels that surround the Throne of God. It also represented the four chambers of the human heart that house the dormant spirit of Christ. It was also analogous with the Round Table of Arthurian legend.

The ceiling that illuminated the vault with light represented the Limitless Light of the Cabalists. The floor, inscribed with the names of inferior spirits, represented the darkness of the underworld that Christ visited while he was dead. It is between these polarities of life and death that Christian Rosenkreuz remained in suspended animation.

The “Sleeping King” is a prominent archetype in many legends. In Christianity, John the Evangelist shall sleep in his grave until the coming of the Antichrist. In Arthurian legend, King Arthur was taken to Avalon to sleep until he was needed again.

The tomb of Christian Rosenkreuz was analogous with the tomb of Christ. While an earthquake opened the tomb of Christ, a construction project opened the tomb of Christian Rosenkreuz. It was a womb that was impregnated with an embryo that gestated for a certain amount of time — 120 years in this case. It was the sealed flask of the alchemist that is opened once the fermentation process is complete.

The tomb represented the spiritualization aspect of fermentation. Like the spiritualized body of Christ, the spiritualized body of Christian Rosenkreuz was imperishable — impervious to the entropic forces of decomposition. Like the slain bull in the subterranean temples of Mithras, the body of Christian Rosenkreuz represented the spiritualization of the lower physical nature into a higher spiritual ideal. The transfigured body of Christian Rosenkreuz represented the infamous philosopher’s stone that is said to be located in the interior of the earth.

The sarcophagus of Christian Rosenkreuz represented the lower physical nature of man. It was the physical body formed from the dust of the ground. It was analogous with the sarcophagus that carried Osiris down the Nile after he was imprisoned inside. It was also analogous with the Ark that carried Noah over the waters of the deluge. On the contrary, the preserved cadaver of Christian Rosenkreuz inside the sarcophagus represented the eternal soul that sleeps in the grave. It is the soul that awaits either reincarnation or judgment.

E

I was born and raised within a Gnostic sect. But when I was seventeen, I met a Rosicrucian named E, who worked as a philosophy instructor at my high school. I have no idea what he saw in me, but he took me under his wing. He exposed me to Neoplatonism and Christian Hermeticism. But his main shtick was Plato. He claimed that Plato was the foundation of western esotericism.

During his mentorship, I took on the role of a prisoner in Plato’s cave. E made me face the shadows of superficial truth that I had once embraced. He then showed me higher truths. Something within me awoke from a deep slumber. I could no longer see the world as I once had. It was a paradigm shift that I was hard pressed to resist. It continues to drive me forward two decades later. 

I attended his wedding that was held at a lavish Lutheran church. “E” then moved to the other side of the country. At this point all communication ceased. I felt a large degree of abandonment. Some students fail a test or trial that severs the link with their teacher. I have always pondered what misstep I might have taken. Nonetheless, this is how my journey down the path of Rosicrucianism began.