Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Rosy Cross & The Treasure House of Images


"It is an unfortunate fact that the bulk of humanity is too limited in its mental vision to weigh with patience and intelligence those isolated phenomena, seen and felt only by a psychologically sensitive few, which lie outside its common experience.  Men of broader intellect know that there is no sharp distinction betwixt the real and the unreal; that all things appear as they do only by virtue of the delicate individual physical and mental media through which we are made conscious of them; but the prosaic materialism of the majority condemns as madness the flashes of super-sight which penetrate the common veil of obvious empiricism." - H.P. Lovecraft, The Tomb.
" 'scuse me while I kiss the sky."
                                                                                   - Jimi Hendrix
Last month I went to my sister's wedding in upstate New York.  Her name is Rosemary.  I made a short speech that included my view of a magical symbol called the Rosy Cross.  Having just finished voyaging with an online group through Robert Anton Wilson's Masks of the Iluminati in which he makes liberal use of an experimental, theurgical, poetic text called The Treasure House of Images by J.F.C. Fuller, I realized that the two appeared cognate with each other.  Here is the speech with the more personal material edited out:

"Recently, after one of these terrible tragedies we hear of far too often these days, I was reflecting that we have all kinds of ways to train and develop the body – gyms we can go to, yoga centers, exercise classes and programs etc.  We have athletics and professional sports to bring the body to its highest possible development should we choose.
There are also all kinds of ways to develop the mind and intellect – Universities to study in, wonderful libraries and online resources that contain a whole wealth of human knowledge.
However, the one significant area of human functioning that lacks similar educational resources and training is the heart.  Artists, painters, sculptors, actors, musicians, poets, and writers sometimes informally develop the feeling center through their work but that can be limited. 
So, I would suggest that the institution of marriage, the formal recognition and initiation of two bodies, hearts and minds joining together as one can be like a University education and training program for the development of love.
The ancient Greeks postulated three types of love, Agape which is spiritual or divine love, Eros, erotic and romantic love, and Philos, that is, brotherly or sisterly love.  That’s why Philadelphia is called the city of brotherly love.  These three kinds of love all find expression and growth in marriage.
Like a self-designed University program, marriage works best with an artful and creative mix of both work and play.   The word university seems suitable also because the two hearts joined together in marriage create their own living Universe of experience and discovery.  University also suggests universal, meaning that the love developed and generated by awakened couples connects with and influences the world at large in a positive and demonstrable way. 
One living symbol of this ecstatic work is called, coincidentally enough, the Rosy Cross.  It looks like a cruciform cross, but instead of a dead or dying human on it, we see a rose placed in the center.  The rose symbolizes the blooming, blossoming, flowering of two hearts opening up, while the cross symbolizes the extension and expansion of this love in all directions.
Finally, I would like to say that I found it a significant good omen that this wedding took place on the shores of a mighty river, the Hudson river.  It reminds me of the first line from one of the best works of literature ever written, Finnegans Wake by James Joyce.  It reads:

riverrun past Eve and Adam's, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodious vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs.

Here, the river symbolizes the cyclic journey of life and connects it with the creation of a new human race through the archetypal marriage of Adam and Eve.

So we are here both to celebrate the joining of two individuals, Rosie and Dan, in the sacrament of marriage and to also celebrate the hope and light this marriage gives to the world at large and to a new way of being."
* * * * * *
All interpretations given represent my experimental research notes.  These works in progress don't reach dogmatic conclusions but rather intend to suggest practical transformative techniques unique to each individual to be discovered through creative application. 
The Rosy Cross seems to live as a common motif in much of Aleister Crowley's magick.  He says as much in the Book Of Thoth, his final masterpiece, though I can't produce the exact quote right now.
In 1904 Crowley claimed that he received non-human communication declaring the birth of a new Aeon, a new era to be presided over by the Egyptian deity Horus.  Crowley spent much of the rest of his life explaining what he thought this meant.  I think it's something best discovered by anyone for themselves.  No explanation rings the bell of truth quite so much and finding something out for yourself though suggestions and hints can prove useful.
At the moment, I'm viewing the Aeon of Horus as something like the introduction or updating of a new computer Operating System; you have different rules, different algorithms affecting system functionality; you can do new things, design better programs etc.
Led Zeppelin's The Song Remains the Same seems an excellent presentation of the Horus operating system.
One way to get a feel for how Crowley saw Horus is to read the Invocation of Horus according to the Divine Vision of W., the Seer.  It's found on p. 413 in the first edition of Liber Aba, Magick.  W. stands for Ourda, the Arabic word for Rose who was Crowley's wife at the time.  It was through her that Crowley was led to this work.  It's a four part text with a preliminary Confession or Introduction, and describes many of the qualities, activities, and abilities of Horus. 
Line 6 of part 1, the closing line of that section reads:
O Thou who bearest the Rose and Cross of Life and Light!
Thee, Thee, I invoke!
Here we see that Horus has a close relationship with the Rosy Cross.
The 4th part repeats part 1 except that O Thou gets changed to I, and Thee, Thee, I invoke! becomes Abrahadabra!  Therefore the final line of this invocation before the denouement reads:

I who bearest the Rose and Cross of Life and Light! Abrahadabra!

To perhaps oversimplify, Abrahadabra is a magical formula (ie technique) representing the union of the microcosm with the macrocosm.

Chapter 29 in Crowley's The Book of Lies is titled The Southern Cross and appears strongly related to the Rosy Cross.  In the commentary to chapter 35, Venus Of Milo, a series of 10 chapters presents a course of study. Chapter 29 is the final one in this series. I found this loop of coursework obscure and challenging but ultimately rewarding.

* * * * * *
I said before that The Treasure House of Images seems cognate with the Rosy Cross in practice. This seems most evident to me in the final chapter known as The Hundred and Sixty-Nine Cries of Adoration and the Unity thereof.  It was from this chapter that Robert Anton Wilson quoted from in his occult detective novel Masks of the Illuminati.  Some examples are:

O Thou Dragon-prince of the air, that art drunk on the blood of the sunsets!
 I adore Thee, Evoe! I adore Thee IAO!
O Thou fragrance of sweet flowers, that art wafted over blue fields of air!
 I adore Thee, Evoe! I adore Thee IAO!
O Thou white hand of Creation, that holdest up the dying head of Death!
 I adore Thee Evoe! I adore Thee IAO!

O Thou purple tongue of Twilight, that dost lap up the lucent milk of Day!
  I adore Thee Evoe!I adore Thee IAO!

O Thou thunderbolt of Science, that flashest from the dark clouds of Magic!
  I adore Thee Evoe! I adore Thee IAO!

O Thou red rose of the Morning, that glowest in the bosom of the Night!
  I adore Thee Evoe!  I adore Thee IAO!

O Thou flaming globe of Glory, that art caught up in the arms of the sun!
   I adore Thee Evoe!  I adore Thee IAO
 
The chapter comprises 169 stanzas like these that all end with the phrase: I adore Thee, Evoe! I adore Thee IAO.
Evoe , to my mind, relates to a character from Genesis. See the above quote from Finnegans Wake.

IAO refers to an ancient gnostic name for God.  I see it more like God as a creative energetic process rather than an external entity of some kind.

Qabalah can help explain:


I = the hand, the bodily instrument which creates and moves things. I also = eye, the instrument which brings things into reality through the act of observation.

A = The Fool ( tarot).  The Fool appears, ultimately, as a hermaphrodite.   Writing of this character in an appendix to The Book of Thoth Crowley compares him with Harpocrates, the Greek God of Silence:

"But His nature is by no means that negative and passive silence which the word commonly connotes; for He is the All-Wandering Spirit, the Pure and Perfect Knight-Errant, who answers all Enigimas, and opens the closed Portal of the King's Daughter.  But Silence in the vulgar sense is not the answer to the Riddle of the Sphinx; it is that which is created by that answer.  For Silence is the Equilibrium of Perfection; so that Harpocrates is the omniform, the universal Key to every mystery soever.  The Sphinx is the "Puzzel or Pucelle", the Feminine Idea to which there is only one complement, always different in form, and always identical in essence."

Speaking directly about The Fool, Crowley writes: "Not without deep wisdom is He called Twin of Horus: and this is the Aeon of Horus."

To a student I summed up The Fool as 'the combination of the innocence and deepest, truest nature of male and female.'

O = Pan, the goat god who uses magick in the material world. Pan also means all and everything.

 The Treasure House of Images was written by Crowley's student and collaborator J.F.C. Fuller.  Crowley writes of Fuller in his Confessions:

"But he reached his high-water mark with The Treasure House of Images. Formally, this is the most remarkable prose that has ever been written.  ... It is the most astonishing achievement in symbolism."

* * * * * *
Music can serve as a potent aid to the Rosy Cross.  Experimentation, trial and error, will determine what music works best for any given individual at any given time.  Pieces that have done well for me at different times include Day of Radiance by Brian Eno, Evening Star by Fripp &  Eno, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony particularly the Ode to Joy finale, Let It Be by the Beatles, Love You Live by the Stones, Led Zeppelin IV etc. etc. etc.  African drumming is also very potent in this regard.

The Rosy Cross practice can combine with remote viewing.  The expansion of morphology through creative visualization, sensing and feeling.

I proposed a scientific rationale for this in an earlier post HERE in the section Morphogenetic Fields and Morphic Resonance.  The whole post seems worth reading to view other technical approaches.

Nothing I've suggested requires faith or belief.  Everything can get verified by oneself through creative experimentation.  The three nails on the cross are Attention, Presence, and Will.

From The Lord of the Rings:

"'But now', and the eyes became very bright and 'present', seeming to grow smaller and almost sharp, 'what is going on?  What are you doing in it all?  I can see and hear ( and smell and feel) a great deal from this, from this a-lalla-lalla-rumba-kamanda-lind-or-burume.  Excuse me: that is a part of my name for it; I do not know what the word is in outside languages; you know, the thing we are on, where I stand and look out fine mornings, and think about the Sun, and the grass beyond the wood, and the horses, and the clouds, and the unfolding of the world. What is going on?  What is Gandalf up to? And these -- burarum,' he made a deep rumbling noise like a discord on a great organ -- ' these Orcs, and young Saruman down at Isengard?  I like news,  But not too quick now.'

 - Treebeard questioning Merry and Pippin.
"Bussoftlhee, mememormee! Till thousandsthee. Lps. The keys to. Given! A way a lone a last a loved a long the" - conclusion of Finnegans Wake by James Joyce.


I'll close with some light entertainment from the Dead: 

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