The term Rosicrucian refers to a legendary secret order dating back to the fifteenth century, generally associated with the symbol of the rose and the cross.
Various modern esoteric organizations, usually called Fraternities , or orders associated with the use of Masonry rituals, claim the legacy of the legendary Rose Cross Order.
Founded, according to some legends, by Christian Rosenkreuz, a Christian gentleman of the fifteenth century born in 1378 in Germany.
From 1393 he visited Damascus, Palestine and the Holy Land, Egypt and Morocco, where he studied with masters of dark and occult arts.
Upon his return to Germany in 1407, he founded the Rosicrucian Order, which at the time apparently was only a small group of no more than eight people.
When Christian Rosenkreuz died in 1484, the order died out and the place of his grave remained unknown until 1604, when it was rediscovered and allowed the order to “be reborn”.
The existence of Christian Rosenkreuz divides the Rosicrucians; some accept it, others see it as a pseudonym used by real historical figures (such as Francesco Bacon).
Historically, the Order began with the publication of the Fama Fraternitas Rosae Crucis, in 1614. Two other important documents of the foundation of the Order of the Rosicrucians were: ” Confessio Fraternitatis ” (1615) and ” The chemical wedding of Cristiano Rosa Croce ” . (1616).
The publication of these texts caused a great ferment throughout Europe and there were countless reprints.
The diffusion of brochures, related to the various texts, led not only to numerous reprints but also to discussions, with other favorable or contrary brochures, whose authors often knew nothing of the true purposes of the original authors and in some cases, it is probable that they were enjoy yourself at the expense of their readers.
There are also sources that attribute the creation of the term Rosa-Croce to the theologian Johann Valentin Andreae (1586 – 1654). According to some historians, the Rosicrucian order was created under Protestant inspiration as a counterpoint to the Society of Jesus.
“Pink Cross Knight” is the name of one of the degrees of Freemasonry of the “Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite” (the 18th degree is precisely that of Sovereign Pink Prince + Cross or Knight of the Eagle and the Pelican).
Traditionally, the Rosicrucians claim to be heirs to ancient traditions affecting alchemy, Gnosticism, the occult, the secret of ancient Egypt, Jewish Kabbalah and Neoplatonism.
The historian and theorist of the Masonic ritual, Jean Marie Ragon, who gave us an interesting contribution regarding French masonry in the mid-nineteenth century, believes that the eighteenth degree of Masonry, Rosicrucian Very Sovereign Prince, was codified by the Jesuits to manipulate Freemasonry from within. This theory has never been demonstrated with documents, but has also been supported by later scholars of the Masonic tradition, such as Helena Blavatsky and criticized by analysts such as the French René Guénon.
In general, the Rosicrucians want to spread fraternity among all human beings. For the Rosicrucians, humans can develop their potential to become better, wiser and happier. This goal, according to the Rosicrucians, can be achieved through a personal change of thoughts, habits and feelings. According to them, this is only possible if the veil of ignorance that covers men’s eyes is removed.
The reward of those who achieve this goal, which is spiritual in nature, is a profound peace with themselves; a state that radiates from individuals and reaches all people, producing a general positive impact.
Between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, various groups refer to the Rosicrucians. Almost everyone claims to be heirs to the historical tradition of the Rosicrucians. In 1982 the multiple Rosicrucian organizations said they had six million members.
Famous people were variously approached to the order or considered its members such as: Leonardo da Vinci, Paracelsus, Nostradamus, Michele Serveto, Giordano Bruno, Francis Bacon, Shakespeare, Galileo Galilei, Descartes, Isaac Newton, Bach, Goethe, Beethoven, Victor Hugo, Mozart whose work The Magic Flute is sometimes interpreted as a barely veiled allusion to the initiatory rites of the order …
The symbol that identifies the Order is generally composed of one or more roses placed to decorate a cross. In some cases a cross surrounded by a garland of roses is used, a double triangle or a star may appear next to the symbol. In other cases it is simply a cross with a rose in the center. Sometimes the rose or the cross is decorated with kabbalistic and alchemical symbols. Usually the symbol varies according to the fraternity.
The movement of the Rosicrucians is often called esoteric Christianity .
The Rosicrucian Order of the third millennium declares to perpetuate the wisdom of those predecessors who, over the centuries have experimented and refined the techniques to develop the physical, mental and spiritual attitudes inherent in man.
Their aim would therefore be to understand the interrelationships between living beings, the Cosmos, the laws that govern it and God himself, regardless of the name with which you want to associate it. For this reason, the current Order of Rosicrucians presumes to perpetuate the tradition according to which life represents a choice: to remain anchored to limited material and knowledge or to follow a path that, through the Light and a broader and deeper understanding of the things, it leads to God and a state of perfection. One of their main mottoes is, in fact: ” Nothing is closer to us than ourselves, yet nothing is more unknown to us than our true essence “.
The Compagnia dei Rosacroce (FR) was created by Max Heindel himself in 1909/11 and today has study centers in different countries.
“Rosicrucian” is mentioned historically for the first time in the seventeenth century in Germany, although the juxtaposition of the rose to the cross is already present in the Rosarium philosophorum (thirteenth century).
In the 6 years following the publication of the first presentation poster of the Brotherhood, in 1614 in Kassel, there are more than 400 publications throughout Europe with homogeneous contents having as themes Hermetism, Alchemy and Kabbalah, taking up knowledge elaborated by different Renaissance thinkers.
In any case, from the seventeenth century until today, various esoteric associations have claimed their derivation, in whole or in part, from the order of the Rosa-Croce of the seventeenth century, or refer to the “Rosicrucian tradition” or to the “inheritance. by Cristiano Rosa-Croce “. Their members are called “Rosicrucians”. The term “Rosa-Croce”, in their language, indicates a state of moral and spiritual perfection.
As archetype of the secret society of immemorial and omnipotent origins, the Rosicrucians appear in esoteric literature, often as successors of the Knights of the Grail and of the Knights Templar …
In the eighteenth century, several secret societies, more or less closely related to Freemasonry, began to claim a descent from the mythical order. The influence on the birth of masonry is not fully ascertained, although some ceremonies were occasionally adopted. “Rose-Cross Knight” or “Eagle and Pelican Knight” is however the name of the 18th degree of the “ancient and accepted Scottish Rite” and “Sovereign Pink Prince + Cross, Knight of the Eagle” that of the IV Order, 7th degree of the “French Rite”.
Sār Merodack ( Sâr in ancient Hebrew and Assyrian means “guide, high priest” and Merodack would derive from the name of a Babylonian king), so Joséphin Péladan (28 March 1858- † 27 June 1918) was called by the French author, critic and occultist who he had a vision for reforming society through art. He founded the Salon de la Rose + Croix for painters, writers and musicians who share his artistic ideals, especially the symbolists .
In 1892 Joséphin organized the first Salon de la Rose + Croix to represent the doctrines of the Rosicrucian order. Short-lived, the Salon was held from 1892 to 1897 in various gallery spaces around Paris and summoned symbolist artists from all over the world. Péladan preferred an enigmatic and mystical tension of symbolism, a literary and artistic movement that was widespread in the 1890s. Symbolism rejected the secular vision, scientific theories and realist aesthetics that had established themselves in the nineteenth century in favor of the spiritual one , imaginary and stylized. R + C artists embraced these principles and aimed to prevail over the basic materiality of the physical world in the search for the ideal.
Considered the founder of the religious-aesthetic order of the Rose-Croix (based and inspired precisely by the Rosicrucian order), whose motto is ” ad rosemi per crucem, ad crucem per rosam “, that is, that art must regain the sense of ideal and the church the sense of beauty or western civilization would die …
In 1888 he founded, together with Gérard Encausse (at the time known under the pseudonym of Papus ), the Cabalistic Order of the Rose-Cross , the first French fin de siècle secret society . His thought, more inclined to liberal and Catholic theories than Papus’, prompted him, in 1890, to abandon the Order and found his own sect known as the Rose-Cross Catholic of the Temple and the Grail , with the objective of ” revealing to Christian theology the esoteric magnificences of which it is swollen, without his knowledge “.
In this poster to the left of Carlos Schwabe for the first R + C room, two female figures climb a ladder towards a celestial dimension. The lily and the steaming heart they hold symbolize purity and faith respectively. The third woman, below, is left behind, chained to the base of materiality, in the slime.
It is possible to analyze the main Rosicrucian fraternities currently in existence.
In 1909 Harvey Spencer Lewis (1883-1939), who had been studying esotericism for years, particularly interested in Rosicrucian philosophy, went to France to meet the leaders of the Order. After having undergone numerous exams and tests, he was started in Toulouse and officially commissioned to prepare the rebirth of the Order in America which took the name of the Ancient and Mystical Order of the Rose Cross ( Antiquus Arcanus Ordo Rosæ Rubeæ et Aureæ Crucis ) or AMORC .
Before then, the Order of the Rose Cross had always survived through small groups at risk of extinction under the difficulties of the contingencies of every age. Thanks to Spencer Lewis, for the first time a world-wide Order was created, dedicated exclusively to the teaching of the Rose Cross.
Today the AMORC has offices and bodies all over the world and promotes various works of diffusion of that part of the Rosicrucian wisdom that can be transmitted through books or conferences, reserving for the initiates the most interior aspects of its Traditional initiatory path. Among the objectives, there is that of spreading the arts, the sciences and a humanism under the influence of the highest spirituality, in order to guide humanity towards complete self-realization.
In 1989, Michele Moramarco, a scholar of society in his Italic branch (who refers to neo-Platonic Renaissance sources), published for the first time in his book “New Masonic Encyclopedia” fragments of the manuscript The Book of the Lily and the Rose , a summary ideas about the cosmos and man transmitted by that school. In 1992, he – having left the Grand Orient of Italy stating that that Masonic association was in a state of “secular drift” – founded a Real Order of the Ancient Free Accepted Masons under the aegis of the Ordo Albae Rosae et Aureae Crucis.