I. N. R. I.: Mystery of the Rose of Red and Cross of Gold
by Fra. Achad (Charles Stansfield Jones)
Wherein. under the form of an admonition to an Adeptus Minor of the R.R. et A.C., is disclosed the true Symbolism of the Rosy Cross for the enlightenment of those who are worthy of the same.
MARK WELL, O my Son, and give heed unto this my counsel and advice, O thou who hast for the first time this day beheld the Mysteries of the Redde Rose whereon sparkleth the Dew, and of the Golden Cross from which cometh the Light of the World. Is not this Symbol to be found upon the breast of all true Brethren of the Rosie Cross? Hold fast to this Jewel and treasure it as thy Life itself, for many and great are its virtues, and of these will I now discourse unto you in part.
Know then, O my Son, that there be many Crosses and that the Symbolism of these varieth according to the Art of the Wise which giveth them due Proportion; so, too, are to be found Roses whose Petals signifie a Five-fold, and a Twenty-two-fold, and a Forty-nine-fold Order. These, again, may seem to be united or divided, in whole or in part; yet each Symbol concealeth its aspect of the One Secret most perfectly, according to the Understanding of the true Seeker after L.V.X.
It would seem in these latter days that the true Light hath been much darkened and obscured, so that even the most ignorant imposters, having heard our motto "Omnia ab Uno," which signifieth how All cometh from the One, have thought that all Roses and all Crosses be alike and of equal virtue; yet herein they err gravely, which error hath become apparent in the strange confusion which at this time prevaileth, so that their words have become as a Babel, even as it was of old time to the great hurt of the human race.
And even though our Father, Christian Rosencreutz, and our Antient Brethren his heirs and successors, did much to restore the Order of the Universe and the Power of the Word therein, yet such is the Darkness in which men live, and such the confusion that is now upon us, that it were indeed time that the true Brothers should again extend the Light of the Cross, if-so-be a spark of the true Fire yet burns brightly within them.
Unto you, O my Son, in whom that Fire burns, I would be as a bellows to fan the Flame into a great burning which shall illume the Darkness wherein thou walkest; so that from a flickering rushlight thou mayest become as a Lamp of Pure Oil, and that thy Lamp may shine forth as an Ever-burning Star of Hope to thy fellow men.
For this reason will I discourse unto you, not of the Cross of Suffering to which thou wert bound and upon which thou tookest thine obligation on behalf of the Universe that Obligation, every Clause of which contained a Secret reference to the Holy Sephiroth, the Emanations of the One from Whom cometh All but rather of that great and complete Symbol of the Rose and Cross concealed within thy breast, upon the back of which is engraved "Magister Iesus Christus--Deus est Homo--Benedictus Dominus Deus Noster qui dedit nobis Signum" and thy Mystic Name as Fra:. R.R. et A.C.
But it is of the face of the Cross that I would chiefly discourse unto thee, for, wearing it upon thy breast, thou art become as the Sun who seeth not His own Face, yet giveth the Light of His Countenance to the Just and to the Unjust with equal Love and Blessing. What is it, then, that I see upon thy breast, O my Son?
In the Centre of All is a Single Point of Light whose Starry Brilliance blinds these eyes, for it is even as Hadit, Thy Secret Self at the Centre of thy Being. It is Unique, Thy One Secret which thou sharest with the One, not the Many. It is Thy True Name, the Word which brought Thee into Being, whose Echo thou art, and will be to the End. This I know, for such a Word and such a Light dwelleth in Me, and I in Him. It is also that Word which is writ in the White Cubic Stone, but for each it is different, and no man may know It but he who possesses It.
Around, and Illumined by that Central Light, is a Rose of Five Petals. It is the Star of Unconquered Will, the Will of the One Light and Word of thy Being as it comes into Manifestation in Matter. It is the Sign of Man, the Microcosm, who mirrors through his Five Senses, the Great Rose of Creation. This Rose lives indeed, and the Green barbs, which have opened to display it, are still bright with colour as they extend in Four Directions, each harmonizing and bringing to a point Two of the Elements from which thou wast made.
This Rose sparkles upon a Cross of Gold, and though crucified thereon, to it Glory and Suffering are identical. This Cross is of Six Squares, an Unfolded Cube; it is that same White Stone wherein the True Name was Concealed, yet opened as a Cross in order that it may be known as a Living Stone, displaying the Secret of Life Itself. With its Arms it showeth forth the L.V.X. which is the Light of the Cross; its sacrifice discloseth the Rose of Love, and this supreme act of revealment declareth its own essential Liberty. Thus we find Light, Life, Love and Liberty in the very Heart of Man, while concealed behind all are the words: Deus est Homo.
This, O my Son, I behold On the Centre of thy Jewel, but even as thou art but a tiny image concealed within the Heart of a Greater Rose, wherein it flashes forth as a gleam of Red Gold.
Thou rememberest, O my Son, when thou wast within the Sacred Vault, which is to be found within the Mountain of A:.--that Vault of Seven Sides of which showeth forth the Colour of one of the Great Planetary Intelligences? Never wilt thou forget that LIGHT which is the Great Mystery of the Ceiling of the Vault, even though, Ages hence, the Darkness of the Floor may be obliterated from thy memory when the Light has completed Its Work.
Dost thou remember how, touching with the Wand the Rose and Cross upon the breast of the form in the Pastos, thou wert prompted to say "Out of the darkness let the light arise"? And how a Voice from the still figure within, replied: "Buried with that LIGHT in a mystical Death, rising again in a mystical resurrection, Cleansed and Purified through him our MASTER, O Brother of the Cross of the Rose! Like him, O Adepts of all ages, have ye toiled; like him have ye suffered Tribulation. Poverty, Torture, and Death have ye passed through. They have been but the purifica tion of the Gold."
"In the Alembic of thine Heart, Through the Athanor of Affliction, Seek thou the true stone of the Wise."
Hast thou not found such a Stone concealed in the Heart of the Rose of Creation? Is not that Stone Thyself? Never again wilt thou be "Shut up" for the Rose of Thy Being has opened, and Thy prison has been exchanged for a Cross. But in this transition "That which is below has become like unto that which is above" and that which is within seeth Itself in that which is without. Thus there is Beauty and Harmony in this Degree of Adeptship.
But though thou mayest know the Word of this Grade and the Formulae thereof, thou hast yet to Overcome many difficulties e'er thou art Master of the Temple of the Universe. Around thee I see the First Three Petals of the Greater Rose, forming an upright Triangle upon which are the Sacred Letters Aleph (A), Men (M) and Shin (Sh), each shining upon a petal of a different Colour--Yellow, Blue, and Red. As thou hast already been taught, these are the Three Mother Letters of the Sacred Hebrew Alphabet, the Letters of the Three Elements, of which the Fourth, or Earth, is the ad- mixture. Thou must master the Elements, O my Son! These are to be found in the Cross of thine own being, and thou already learned to "Establish thyself firmly in the equilibrium of forces, in the centre of the Cross of the Elements, that Cross from whose Centre the Creative Word issued in the birth of the dawning Universe." Thou has learned to be "Prompt and active as the Sylphs, but to avoid frivolity and caprice; to be energetic and strong like the Salamanders, but to avoid irritibility and ferocity; to be flexible and attentive to images like the Undines, but to avoid idleness and changeability; to be laborious and patient like the Gnomes, but to avoid grossness and avarice." Thou must not forget these early lessons in thy search after greater ones.
Seven other Petals encircle these Three, each again shines forth in its true Colour, forming the Rainbow of Promise; but of Promise fulfilled, since the Circle is Complete. Upon each Petal appears another Sacred Letter, the Letters of the Seven Planets, those great Elementary Rulers whose Influence is ever-present and whose Aid and Co-operation of the Great Celestial Intelligences. Who, through thine own Holy Guardian Angel, are ever ready and willing to lend thee of their Wisdom and Power. These are the Rulers of the Sephiroth below Chokmah and above Malkuth, according to the Plan of the Minutum Mundum which thou saw'st upon the small altar within the Vault of Initiation.
Yet again, surrounding these Seven, are twelve outermost Petals, engraved with the Simple Letters of the Twelve Signs of the Zodiac, the Sphere of the Fixed Stars. Each has its appropriate Colour, and all may be recomposed into the White Light of the Centre. In the Outer these Colours mix and form the Grey of the Sphere of Chokmah, which is ever the balance of Black and White; but Within, the Great Star Universe is focused upon that Central Point, which is Everywhere, since the circumference of the Infinite Rose of Nowhere. This Centre is the Kether of the Whole Scheme, for "Deus est Homo."
Thus, O my Son, have I drawn for thee the Great Rose of Two-and-twenty Petals, the Two-and-twenty Letters of the Holy Alphabet from which may be formed all Words, sacred and profane. These are united and bound together in such a manner that the Sigils of the Angels may be drawn therefrom, but of this I may not speak more plainly, for it is thy task to discover and use them. And the Influence of the Rose is that MEZLA which is the Influence from the Crown, and this descendeth like Dew upon the Rose, even as it Uniteth the Sephiroth of the Tree of Life. This Tree is itself formed as an Ankh, which is but a form of the Rose and Cross, used by our Brethren of Antient Egypt as a Sign of their Way or Going; as such it is the Key of the ROTA, or Taro of Thoth.
When, O my Son, by means of thy Central Will, thou shalt have expanded thy Rose of Five Petals so that it comprehends this Greater Rose whereof the Petals are Two-and-twenty, thou mayest come to a further understanding of the Cross which hath Four Arms, the sum of which from One to Four, being Ten, as are the Holy Sephiroth.
The Great Cross, of which the cross of thy being is a reflection and minute counterpart, is again formed of Six Squares, for it, too, represents the Unfolded Cube. The Cube is matter, the Cube unfolded displays the several Elements with their Spiritual Centre. So, likewise, doth IHVH appear as God of the Elements until SHIN, the Holy Spirit, descendeth into the midst and bursteth Him asunder as IHShVH, which is the Name of the God-Man, the Redeemer.
So likewise is Man, the Pentagram of the Elements Crowned with Spirit, shown with Unconquered Will on each Arm of the Cross. Thus is he Master of the Four Worlds, through co-operation with the Macrocosmic or Divine World which is found Symbolized by the Hexagram below the Great Rose on the lower Arm of the Cross, and which appears surrounded with the Sign of the Sun in the midst.
The extremity of each Arm of the Cross is Triple, and each triplicity is assigned to the Three Alchemical Principles in their proper combinations. Thus again we find the suggestion of Twelve Circles, corresponding to the Zodiac or Star Universe, while the Thirteenth is concealed as a Point in their midst, and is the UNITY thereof. Thirteen is One plus Three which is Four; Four is the Number of Manifestation in Matter; in in Matter the Three Principles (or Gunas) are ever operative, singly as forces united as Spirit.
Thou has, O my Son, the knowledge of the Invoking and Banishing Rituals of the Pentagram, whereby thou mayest control the Elements and the Astral Plane; therefore thou understandest how these Pentagrams should be traced with thy Wand and Will, and how this formula is symbolically shown in the arrangement of the Symbols of the Elements which are shown round the Pentagrams upon the Arms of the Mighty Cross. Thou knowest, too, how the Planetary Rulers, and even the Zodiacal Signs, are to be Invoked or Banished by means of the Holy Hexagram, the true arrangement of which is also shown in this Symbol. But what of the Barbed Rose Leaves which in the Microcosmic Rose were single, and here are shown as Triple in each quarter? What of the Letters and Symbols thereon?
Here indeed is given the Formula whereby the L.V.X. may be drawn from the Cross, and the Key-Word found, and the Word be subtly extracted therefrom. Without this knowledge how cans't thou give the true Signs of thy Grade? Let us therefore analyse the Keyword, as did our Antient Brethren:
I. N. R. I.
Yod. Nun. Resh. Yod.
Virgo, Isis, Mighty Mother.
Scorpio, Aphopis, Destroyer.
Sol, Osiris, Slain and Risen.
Isis, Aphopis, Osiris..
I. A. O.
Make now the Signs whereby the L.V.X. which is the Light of the Cross, shines forth, and thou hast the meaning of the Rose Leaves of thy Mystic Jewel; leaves that are Ever-Green as Life Itself.
And now, O my Son, go thou and partake of the Mystic Eucharist, even as thou hast been taught by Those who Know. Fortify thyself, for thou hast yet a perilous journey before thee. Thou hast been led unto the Light; bethink thee that there is yet another Rose and Cross, the Rose of Nine-and-forty Petals which is Seven by Seven upon the Cross of Five Squares. The Mysteries of these thou wilt someday know, but not now; for these partake of the nature of that Great Darkness of N.O.X., the Darkness which is as the Light which is Higher than Eyesight; the Pure Darkness of Understanding, or of the Womb of the Lady Babalon, and the City of the Pyramids which is the abode of NEMO.
May thy Mind be open unto the Higher,
Thy Heart a Centre of Light,
And thy Body the Temple of the Rosy Cross.
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