Christian Rosenkreuz

Christian Rosenkreuz

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Christian Rosenkreuz is the legendary, perhaps allegorical, founder of the Rosicrucian
Rosicrucian
Rosicrucianism is a philosophical secret society, said to have been founded in late medieval Germany by Christian Rosenkreuz. It holds a doctrine or theology "built on esoteric truths of the ancient past", which, "concealed from the average man, provide insight into nature, the physical universe...

 Order (Order of the Rose Cross), presented in the three Manifestos published in the early 17th century. The first anonymous public document on the Rosicrucian Order is the Fama Fraternitatis Rosae Crucis
Fama Fraternitatis
The Fama Fraternitatis Rosae Crucis , or simply the Fama Fraternitatis, is an anonymous Rosicrucian manifesto published in 1614 in Kassel . It was translated into English in 1652 by Thomas Vaughan and published as an appendix of the 77th...

 which appeared in 1614 in Kassel
Kassel
Kassel is a town located on the Fulda River in northern Hesse, Germany. It is the administrative seat of the Kassel Regierungsbezirk and the Kreis of the same name and has approximately 195,000 inhabitants.- History :...

 (Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

), introducing the pilgrim founder "Frater C.R.C", followed in 1615 by the Confessio Fraternitatis
Confessio Fraternitatis
The Confessio Fraternitatis , or simply The Confessio, printed in Kassel in 1615, is the second anonymous manifestos, of a trio of Rosicrucian pamphlets, declaring the existence of a secret brotherhood of alchemists and sages who were interpreted, by the society of those times, to be preparing to...

(issued with Fama (...)). In 1616 appears the Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz
Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz
The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz was edited in 1616 in Strasbourg , and its anonymous authorship is attributed to Johann Valentin Andreae...

in Strasbourg
Strasbourg
Strasbourg is the capital and principal city of the Alsace region in eastern France and is the official seat of the European Parliament. Located close to the border with Germany, it is the capital of the Bas-Rhin département. The city and the region of Alsace are historically German-speaking,...

 (annexed by France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 in 1681) which discloses for the first time the founder's name as Christian Rosenkreutz.

Legend



According to legend
Legend
A legend is a narrative of human actions that are perceived both by teller and listeners to take place within human history and to possess certain qualities that give the tale verisimilitude...

, Christian Rosenkreuz was a doctor who discovered and learned esoteric wisdom on a pilgrimage to the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

 among Turkish
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

, and Persian sages, possibly Sufi
Sufism
Sufism or ' is defined by its adherents as the inner, mystical dimension of Islam. A practitioner of this tradition is generally known as a '...

 or Zoroastrian
Zoroastrianism
Zoroastrianism is a religion and philosophy based on the teachings of prophet Zoroaster and was formerly among the world's largest religions. It was probably founded some time before the 6th century BCE in Greater Iran.In Zoroastrianism, the Creator Ahura Mazda is all good, and no evil...

 masters, supposedly in the early 15th century (see section below on Symbolism) ; returned and founded the "Fraternity of the Rose Cross" with himself (Frater C.R.C.) as Head of the Order. Under his direction a Temple, called Sanctus Spiritus, or "The House of the Holy Spirit", was built.

It is described that his body was discovered by a Brother of the Order, in a perfect state of preservation, 120 years after his death
Death
Death is the permanent termination of the biological functions that sustain a living organism. Phenomena which commonly bring about death include old age, predation, malnutrition, disease, and accidents or trauma resulting in terminal injury....

 (which occurred in absolute secrecy) - as Rosenkreuz had predicted - in a chamber erected by himself as a storehouse of knowledge. It is described that on the Sarcophagus
Sarcophagus
A sarcophagus is a funeral receptacle for a corpse, most commonly carved or cut from stone. The word "sarcophagus" comes from the Greek σαρξ sarx meaning "flesh", and φαγειν phagein meaning "to eat", hence sarkophagus means "flesh-eating"; from the phrase lithos sarkophagos...

 in the centre of the Crypt of Christian Rosenkreutz were written, among other inscriptions the words, "Jesus mihi omnia, nequaquam vacuum, libertas evangelii, dei intacta gloria, legis jugum," (being in translation, "Jesus is everything to me, by no means a vacuum/a vacuum by no means exists, the freedom of the good news/gospel, the inviolate glory of god, the yoke of the law") testifying to the builder's Christian character. Rosenkreuz's crypt, according to the description presented in the legend, seems to be located in the interior parts of the Earth
Earth
Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets...

, recalling the alchemical motto VITRIOL: "Visita Interiora Terrae Rectificando Invenies Occultum Lapidem ("Visit the Interior Parts of the Earth; by Rectification Thou Shalt Find the Hidden Stone.").

Biographies


According to Maurice Magre (1877–1941) in his book Magicians, Seers, and Mystics, Christian Rosenkreutz was the last descendant of the Germelshausen
Germelshausen
Germelshausen is a story by Friedrich Gerstäcker concerning a cursed village that sank into the earth long ago and is permitted to appear for only one day every century. The protagonist is a young artist who happens to traverse the locale at the time for the town's appearance. He encounters,...

, a German family which flourished in the 13th century. Their Castle stood in the Thuringian Forest
Thuringian Forest
The Thuringian Forest running northwest to southeast, forms a continuous stretch of ancient rounded mountains posing ample difficulties in transit routing save through a few navigable passes in the southern reaches of the German state of Thuringia. It is about long and wide...

 on the Border of Hesse
Hesse
Hesse or Hessia is both a cultural region of Germany and the name of an individual German state.* The cultural region of Hesse includes both the State of Hesse and the area known as Rhenish Hesse in the neighbouring Rhineland-Palatinate state...

 and they had embraced Albigensian (i.e., Cathar
Cathar
Catharism was a name given to a Christian religious sect with dualistic and gnostic elements that appeared in the Languedoc region of France and other parts of Europe in the 11th century and flourished in the 12th and 13th centuries...

) doctrines, combining Gnostic and Christian beliefs. The whole family was put to death by Konrad von Marburg
Konrad von Marburg
Konrad von Marburg was a medieval German inquisitor. He was commissioned by the Pope to combat the Albigensians, whom the Roman Catholic Church considered heretics...

 except for the youngest son, who was only five years old. He was carried away secretly by a monk who was an Albigensian adept from Languedoc
Languedoc
Languedoc is a former province of France, now continued in the modern-day régions of Languedoc-Roussillon and Midi-Pyrénées in the south of France, and whose capital city was Toulouse, now in Midi-Pyrénées. It had an area of approximately 42,700 km² .-Geographical Extent:The traditional...

. The child was placed in a monastery which had already come under the influence of the Albigenses, where he was educated and made the acquaintance of the four other brothers who were later to be associated with him in the founding of the Rosicrucian Brotherhood. His account derives from oral tradition.

Some occultists including Rudolf Steiner
Rudolf Steiner
Rudolf Joseph Lorenz Steiner was an Austrian philosopher, social reformer, architect, and esotericist. He gained initial recognition as a literary critic and cultural philosopher...

, Max Heindel
Max Heindel
Max Heindel - born Carl Louis von Grasshoff in Aarhus, Denmark on July 23, 1865 - was a Christian occultist, astrologer, and mystic. He died on January 6, 1919 at Oceanside, California, United States.- Early infancy :...

  and (much later) Guy Ballard
Guy Ballard
Guy Warren Ballard was an American mining engineer who became, with his wife, Edna Anne Wheeler Ballard, the founder of the "I AM" Activity....

, have stated that Rosenkreuz later reappeared as the Count of St Germain
Count of St Germain
The Count of St. Germain has been variously described as a courtier, adventurer, charlatan, inventor, alchemist, pianist, violinist and an amateur composer. He achieved great prominence in European high society of the mid-1700s, and since then various scholars have linked him to mysticism,...

, a courtier
Courtier
A courtier is a person who is often in attendance at the court of a king or other royal personage. Historically the court was the centre of government as well as the residence of the monarch, and social and political life were often completely mixed together...

, adventurer, and alchemist
Alchemy
Alchemy is an influential philosophical tradition whose early practitioners’ claims to profound powers were known from antiquity. The defining objectives of alchemy are varied; these include the creation of the fabled philosopher's stone possessing powers including the capability of turning base...

 who reportedly died on February 27, 1784. Steiner once identified Rembrandt's painting "'A Man in Armour'" as a portrait of Christian Rosenkreuz, apparently in a 17th century manifestation. Others believe Rosenkreuz to be a pseudonym for a more famous historical figure, usually Francis Bacon
Francis Bacon
Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Albans, KC was an English philosopher, statesman, scientist, lawyer, jurist, author and pioneer of the scientific method. He served both as Attorney General and Lord Chancellor of England...

.

Symbolism of the numbers in the Manifestos


The legend presented in the Manifestos has been interpreted symbolically (as were all hermetic
Hermeticism
Hermeticism or the Western Hermetic Tradition is a set of philosophical and religious beliefs based primarily upon the pseudepigraphical writings attributed to Hermes Trismegistus...

 and alchemical
Alchemy
Alchemy is an influential philosophical tradition whose early practitioners’ claims to profound powers were known from antiquity. The defining objectives of alchemy are varied; these include the creation of the fabled philosopher's stone possessing powers including the capability of turning base...

 texts of those times). They do not directly state Christian Rosenkreuz's years of birth and death, but in two sentences in the second Manifesto
Confessio Fraternitatis
The Confessio Fraternitatis , or simply The Confessio, printed in Kassel in 1615, is the second anonymous manifestos, of a trio of Rosicrucian pamphlets, declaring the existence of a secret brotherhood of alchemists and sages who were interpreted, by the society of those times, to be preparing to...

 the year 1378 is presented as being the birth year of "our Christian Father", and it is stated that he lived for 106 years, which would mean he died in 1484. The foundation of the Order can be supposed in similar terms to have occurred in the year 1407. However, these numbers (and deduced years) are not taken literally by many students of occultism, who consider them to be allegorical and symbolic statements for the understanding of the Initiated
Initiation
Initiation is a rite of passage ceremony marking entrance or acceptance into a group or society. It could also be a formal admission to adulthood in a community or one of its formal components...

. The justification for this relies on the Manifestos themselves: on the one hand, the Rosicrucians clearly adopted through the Manifestos the Pythagorean
Pythagoreanism
Pythagoreanism was the system of esoteric and metaphysical beliefs held by Pythagoras and his followers, the Pythagoreans, who were considerably influenced by mathematics. Pythagoreanism originated in the 5th century BCE and greatly influenced Platonism...

 tradition of envisioning objects and ideas in terms of their numeric aspects, and, on the other hand, they directly state, "We speak unto you by parables, but would willingly bring you to the right, simple, easy and ingenuous exposition, understanding, declaration, and knowledge of all secrets."

The metaphorical nature of these legends lends a nebulous quality to the origins of Rosicrucianism. The opening of Rosenkreuz's tomb is thought to be a way of referring to the cycles in nature
Nature
Nature, in the broadest sense, is equivalent to the natural world, physical world, or material world. "Nature" refers to the phenomena of the physical world, and also to life in general...

 and to cosmic
COSMIC
Constellation Observing System for Meteorology, Ionosphere, and Climate is a program designed to provide advances in meteorology, ionospheric research, climatology, and space weather by using GPS satellites in conjunction with low Earth orbiting satellites...

 events; and as well, to the opening of new possibilities for mankind consequent on the advances of the 16th and early 17th centuries. Similarly, Rosenkreuz's pilgrimage seems to refer to the transmutation steps of the Great Work.

Similar legends may be found in Wolfram von Eschenbach
Wolfram von Eschenbach
Wolfram von Eschenbach was a German knight and poet, regarded as one of the greatest epic poets of his time. As a Minnesinger, he also wrote lyric poetry.-Life:...

's description of the Holy Grail
Holy Grail
The Holy Grail is a sacred object figuring in literature and certain Christian traditions, most often identified with the dish, plate, or cup used by Jesus at the Last Supper and said to possess miraculous powers...

  as the "Lapis Exillis", guarded by the Knights Templar
Knights Templar
The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon , commonly known as the Knights Templar, the Order of the Temple or simply as Templars, were among the most famous of the Western Christian military orders...

, or in the Philosophers' stone of the alchemists, the "Lapis Elixir".

See also

  • Fama Fraternitatis
    Fama Fraternitatis
    The Fama Fraternitatis Rosae Crucis , or simply the Fama Fraternitatis, is an anonymous Rosicrucian manifesto published in 1614 in Kassel . It was translated into English in 1652 by Thomas Vaughan and published as an appendix of the 77th...

  • Confessio Fraternitatis
    Confessio Fraternitatis
    The Confessio Fraternitatis , or simply The Confessio, printed in Kassel in 1615, is the second anonymous manifestos, of a trio of Rosicrucian pamphlets, declaring the existence of a secret brotherhood of alchemists and sages who were interpreted, by the society of those times, to be preparing to...

  • Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz
    Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz
    The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz was edited in 1616 in Strasbourg , and its anonymous authorship is attributed to Johann Valentin Andreae...

  • Esoteric Christianity
    Esoteric Christianity
    Esoteric Christianity is a term which refers to an ensemble of spiritual currents which regard Christianity as a mystery religion, and profess the existence and possession of certain esoteric doctrines or practices, hidden from the public but accessible only to a narrow circle of "enlightened",...

  • Lectorium Rosicrucianum
    Lectorium Rosicrucianum
    The Lectorium Rosicrucianum is a worldwide school of Esoteric Christianity founded in 1935 by Dutch mystics Jan van Rijckenborgh, his brother Zwier Willem Leene and Catharose de Petri...

     - Jan van Rijckenborgh
    Jan van Rijckenborgh
    Jan van Rijckenborgh was a Dutch born mystic and founder of the Lectorium Rosicrucianum, a worldwide esoteric Rosicrucian movement....

  • Rosicrucianism
  • Rosicrucian Fellowship
    Rosicrucian Fellowship
    The Rosicrucian Fellowship – "An International Association of Christian Mystics" – was founded in 1909 by Max Heindel as herald of the Aquarian Age and with the aim of publicly promulgating "the true Philosophy" of the Rosicrucians....

     - Max Heindel
    Max Heindel
    Max Heindel - born Carl Louis von Grasshoff in Aarhus, Denmark on July 23, 1865 - was a Christian occultist, astrologer, and mystic. He died on January 6, 1919 at Oceanside, California, United States.- Early infancy :...

  • Rosicrucian Manifestos
    Rosicrucian Manifestos
    The Rosicrucian Manifestos were two documents of unknown authorship written in the early 17th century in Europe. They purported to announce the existence of a hitherto unknown esoteric order, the Brotherhood of the Rose Cross, to the world...

  • Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia
    Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia
    Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia is a Masonic esoteric Christian order formed by Robert Wentworth Little in 1865, although some sources acknowledge the date to be 1866-67. Members are confirmed from the ranks of subscribing Master Masons of a Grand Lodge in amity with United Grand Lodge of...

  • Sir Francis Bacon
  • Rose Cross

External links


The Temple

Manifestos

Studies