Rosa Crux - spes unica!
However, if truth were told, there is more of the ineffable about the Rosicrucian tradition than can be told in terms of rules and regulations, of committee meetings and banquets, or allegorical tales of travellers to foreign lands. Jollivet Castelot perhaps came closest to revealing the essence of the Rose Cross towards the end of his Le Destin or Fils d’Hermes. Needless to say it can only be expressed in highly poetic language – much of it beyond the common day intellect – in images that are on the threshold of form. Make what you can of this sample, with your higher imagination.
O Rosa + Crux, spes unica!
O Rose + Cross, unique hope, our only true hope, supreme joy, triumph of the Spirit come to the fact of the joyful Knowledge!
O Rose + Cross, mysterious Church of the limitless depths, Cathedral of Nature, Tower of Gold, immaculate Tabernacle, stainless Mirror, Diamond Cup, Crown of the Magi, Diadem of the Adepti.
Our admirable Mother, most beautiful among the beautiful, pure Virgin, emerald Arch, Vase of Election, Refuge of Wisdom, limpid Source of eternal Life and immortal Love, Sun of glory and Moon of serenity!
O Rose + Cross, Star of Stars, Flower of flowers, fresher than the dew, sweeter than honey, more fragrant that the aroma of a thousand perfumes, more subtle than the breath of a young girl!
Pivot of the worlds, Axis of the Heavens, Tail of Comets, Breast of the Universe, visible and invisible, Mother, Daughter and Sister of the gods, Bride of the Lord, Queen of Olympus.
Transparent Pearl on the Amethyst Ring, divine Milk from the breast of Juno, Genitrice of Aphrodite!
O marvellous Rose and enchantress, adorable Figure of Unity, ineffable blazing of the Sephiroth, impeccable form dressed in the essence of all Things.
Reality of Appearances, Origin of Movement, Point of union of Macrocosm and Microcosm, Alpha and Omega that dream in silence of the XXI sages.
O Rose + Cross, august crossroad of the seven mystic Cities of the flamboyant Palace of God, azured Vault of the Luminaries, Sanctuary of births and deaths, Thou who welcomes the Adept, Thou who makes participate in the harmony of the spheres, pours the inebriating beverage of immortality, of the Elysian nectars.
He has placed his confidence within your august hands and put on his forehead your own petals, to recover the purple of your satin cloak.
O Rose + Cross, what delicate kisses to savour between the coral points of your round breasts, by the audacious lover who has conquered you..................................!
But do not confuse this with sex magic – a tawdry substitute. The figure whom he has in mind is represented by Trump XXI of the Tarot – the Universe, with whom (rather than which) he has entered into a new relationship.
The system of initiation he uses is mapped out in the sequence of Tarot Trumps according to the system of Eliphas Levi, beginning with the Magician as candidate for initiation and working through three sevenfold stages to Trump XXI – the Universe.
In this system 0, the Fool, falls between XX and XXI the Last Judgment. And it is indeed a Last Judgment which may well be failed, identifying the initiate with the Fool, a witless victim rather than the Innocent of the Golden Dawn system. Castelot identifies Tarot Trump 0 in his own life with the experience of returning home at the end of the 1st World War to find the town burnt, smashed and desecrated.
“Douai, the town largely burnt by the Germans, had been systematically pillaged and devastated. All objects of value had been confiscated by the officers, the rest, booty for the troops, broken or stolen...”
Castelot’s book has largely been dated by time so it is unlikely to be translated or even reprinted in its native language but we mention it as a key to what is taken for granted in a great deal of French occult thought; at least as regards the order and naming (sometimes renaming) of the Tarot Trumps as an initiation process. Something to meditate on, anyway.
PART ONE – INITIATION
I – The Recipient or Candidate [Magician]
II – Sanctuary [High Priestess]
III – Incubation [Empress]
IV – Cubic Stone [Emperor]
V – Quintessence [High Priest]
VI – The Test [Lovers]
VII – Victory [Chariot]
PART TWO – SONS OF HERMES – ENTRY
VIII – Balance [Justice]
IX – The Hermit [Hermit]
X – Wheel of Fortune [Wheel of Fortune]
XI – Strength – [Strength]
XII – The Hanged Man – [Hanged Man]
XIII – Transmutation of Forces – [Death]
XIV – Harmony of Mixtures – [Temperance]
PART THREE – ADEPTHOOD
XV – The Devil – [Devil]
XVI – Collapse – [Lightning-struck Tower]
XVII – The Stars – [Star]
XVIII – The Moon – [Moon]
XIX – The Sun – [Sun]
XX – The Judgement – [Judgement]
0 – The Ring – [The Fool]
XXI – The Work of the Sun – [The World or Universe]