Portal:Aleister Crowley/Selected articles/Selected article 2

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The rosy cross (also called "rose cross" and "rose croix") is a symbol largely associated with the semi-mythical Christian Rosencreutz (1378-1484 EV), alchemist and founder of the Rosicrucian Order. It has several meanings, depending on the source. Some modern Rosicrucians claim that the rosy cross pre-dates Christianity, where "the cross represents the human body and the rose represents the individual's unfolding consciousness." [1]. It has also been suggested that the rose represents silence while the cross signifies "salvation, to which the Society of the Rose-Cross devoted itself by teaching mankind the love of God and the beauty of brotherhood, with all that they implied." [2]

However, in general, it is a symbol of the human process of reproduction elevated to the spiritual: "The fundamental symbols of the Rosicrucians were the rose and the cross; the rose female and the cross male, both universal phallic [...] As generation is the key to material existence, it is natural that the Rosicrucians should adopt as its characteristic symbols those exemplifying the reproductive processes. As regeneration is the key to spiritual existence, they therefore founded their symbolism upon the rose and the cross, which typify the redemption of man through the union of his lower temporal nature with his higher eternal nature." (Hall, 1928, p.141)

It is further a symbol of the Philosopher's Stone, the ultimate product of the alchemist. (more...)