Like the Rosicrucians, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn used the rosy cross as a representative symbol. They also had a ‘The Ritual of the Rose Cross,’ designed for spiritual protection and as preparation for meditation.
Based on the Rosicrucian symbolism of the Red Rose and the Cross of Gold, author Israel Regardie notes in his 1994 book, The Golden Dawn, that the Golden Dawn rosy cross contains attributes for the Elements, Planets, the Zodiac, Hebrew alphabet, alchemical principles, the hexagram and pentagram, the sepheroth of the Tree of Life, and the formula of INRI (an anagram from Latin that represents the phrase “Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews”).
In other words, the ambition of the Order of the Golden Dawn was no less than to synthesize ancient, Pagan knowledge with the mystical works of Jewish and Christian esoteric studies into a system of initiatory degrees and rites of high magic.
Regardie writes, “The Rose-Cross was a badge synthesizing a vast concourse of ideas, representing in a single emblem the Great Work itself—the harmonious reconciliation in one symbol of diverse and apparently contradictory concepts, the reconciliation of divinity and manhood. It was a highly important symbol to be worn over the heart during every important operation. It is a glyph, in one sense, of the higher Genius to whose knowledge and conversation the student is eternally aspiring. In the Rituals, it is described as the Key of Sigils and Rituals.”
Of course one of the great legacies of the Order of the Golden Dawn is the gift of the Tarot, made widely available for the first time to the general public. And of course, as mentioned last week, their rituals and formulas for magic laid the groundwork for most Pagan and Craft rites and fundamental concepts to this day.
But while the roses in our gardens will continue blooming until frost, we can see by the slant of the late afternoon sun that Summer is swiftly passing, and we are approaching the midpoint between Solstice and Equinox. The time of flowering gives way to the time of grain and fruit, gathered with magic and intention this week.
We continue our journey with the Graces this week, celebrating the abundance of the first harvest.