Christian Rosencreutz (a Gnostic Saint of EGC) is the legendary alchemist and founder of the Rosicrucians. His name first appears in The Chemical Marriage, by Johann Valentin Andrea (also a Gnostic Saint of EGC).
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According to Franz Hartmann (1890), Christian Rosencreutz was a German nobleman who had been educated in a convent, and had become initiated into the "mysteries of the secret science" while in Damascus. While in Fex (in Africa), he learned the techniques of magick and the nature of the macrocosm and microcosm. After returning to Europe, he formed a small convent called Sanctus Spiritus in Spain—which became the seed of the Rosicrucian order. Hartmann then goes on to say that,
- 120 years after his death, the entrance to his tomb was discovered. A staircase led into a subterranean vault, at the door of which was written, Post annos CXX. patebo. There was a light burning in the vault, which however, became extinct as soon as it was approached. The vault had seven sides and seven angles, each side being five feet wide and eight feet high. The upper part represented the firmament, the floor the earth, and they were laid out in triangles, while each side was divided into ten squares. In the middle was an altar, bearing a brass plate, upon which were engraved the letters, A. C. R. C; and the words, Hoc Universi Compendium vivus mihi Sepulchrum feci. In the midst were four figures surrounded by the words, Nequaquam Vacuum. Legis Jugum. Libertas Evangelii. Du Gloria Intacta. Below the altar was found the body of Rosencreuz, intact, and without any signs of putrefaction. In his hand was a book of parchment, with golden letters marked on the cover with a T (Testamentum?), and at the end was written, Ex Deo naximur. In Jesu morimur. Per Spiritum Sanctum reviviscimus.
Rosencreutz and The Golden Dawn
The character of Rosencreutz plays a substantial role in the Golden Dawn ritual, Ceremony of the Grade of Adeptus Minor.
Summation of The Chemical Marriage
In Die Chymische Hochzeit, Rosencreutz is not the groom (as the title might suggest) but a guest at the wedding. He is an old and pious man who undergoes an elaborate, highly symbolic adventure.
- Day 1—Invitation to a royal wedding by an angel, followed by a symbolic dream where he is delivered from a dank dungeon by grasping a rope descended by God.
- Day 2—The approach and entrance to the King’s Palace. C.R.C. has to pass through three gates in exchange for water, salt, and his coat. He is admitted to the dining hall. He meets the beautiful Virgo Lucifera.
- Day 3—Virgo Lucifera has C.R.C. and other guests weigh themselves on scales to measure their virtue. Although he had originally denied being worthy to even be weighed, he proves to be the most virtuous among all the guests. One of his rewards was a glimpse of the Royal Sepulcher, where he learned "more than is extant in all books."
- Day 4—C.R.C. and the other guests climbed to the throne room, led by Virgo Lucifera, and were presented to the King and Queen. The guests enjoy watching a happy play in seven acts. The guests then signed a pledge of fealty to the King and drank from the Draught of Silence. Six of the royal personages, including the King and Queen, were each beheaded by an executioner (who was himself beheaded).
- Day 5—Virgo Lucifera had the guests board boats to sail to the Tower of Olympus in order that they might get the medicine that would restore life to the royal persons. They were put to work in the Tower Laboratory preparing the medicine all day.
- Day 6—Through a complex procedure using their medicine, the bodies of the royal persons are dissoved into liquid and placed into a golden globe. Through more processes, the liquid of royal persons is transformed into a beautiful white egg, which hatches into an ugly bird. Over time, the bird becomes more beautiful. It is finally decapitated and burned to ashes. C.R.C. and three of the guests are chosen to help perform the final process. They work the ashes into homunculi (small human forms)—one male and one female. These are grown to full size and injected with the light of the sun, which brings the young King and Queen back to life.
- Day 7—In the morning Virgo Lucifera announced that each of the wedding guests had become a "Knight of the Golden Stone,” and they return to the palace. The newly created Knights of the Golden Stone are obliged to subscribe to five articles drawn up by His Royal Highness:
- That they would ascribe their Order only to God and His handmaid, Nature.
- That they should abominate all uncleanness and vice.
- That they should always be ready to assist the worthy and needy.
- That they should not use their knowledge and power for the attainment of worldly dignity.
- That they should not desire to live longer than God had decreed.
In Abiegnus the Sacred Mountain of the Rosicrucians the Postulant finds but a coffin in the central shrine; yet that coffin contains Christian Rosencreutz who is dead and is alive for evermore and hath the keys of Hell and of Death. —Crowley, "The Soldier and the Hunchback"
The Mystic Name of Christian Rosencreutz signifies the Rose and Cross of Christ; the Fadeless Rose of Creation, the Immortal Cross of Light. —Golden Dawn ritual, Ceremony of the Grade of Adeptus Minor
Links of interest
The Chemical Marriage (http://www.sacred-texts.com/eso/sta/sta40.htm) at sacred-texts.com.
- Hall, M. (1928). "The Chemical Marriage (http://www.sacred-texts.com/eso/sta/sta40.htm)". The Secret Teachings of All Ages. On sacred-texts.com. Retreived on Sept. 23, 2004.
- Hartmann, Franz. (1890, reprint 1945). In the Pronaos of the Temple of Wisdom (http://www.hermetics.org/Pronaos.html). Chicago : Aries Press.
- Sabazius. (1995). Christian Rosencreutz (http://www.hermetic.com/sabazius/rosencreutz.htm). Retreived on Sept. 23, 2004.
- Regardie, Israel. (1989). The Golden Dawn. St. Paul, Minn., U.S.A. : Llewellyn Publications.