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The mythology surrounding Christian Rosenkreutz, the legendary namesake of the Rosicrucian Brotherhood, may provide us with clues as to the location of the Emerald Tablet of Hermes, upon which their Hermetic wisdom is based, as well as the famed relic of the Holy Grail which this magazine is largely about.
It may also shed some light on the mythological importance of the so-called “Hollow Earth” theory, and tell us the location of the body of a dead god or king. In question: the location of Rosenkreutz’s tomb.
He is said to have died at the age of 106, in the year 1484, and was buried in a secret vault, deep in a cave inside of a mountain, which was “lit by an inner (or artificial) sun.” The location of this tomb was kept secret, until 120 years later, when it was discovered by a group of Rosicrucian brethren.
Here they found a cache of sacred mystery writings, which became the core wisdom of their order. And yet, their wisdom is said to be based on the Emerald Tablet of Hermes, begging the question of whether or not it was in fact the Emerald Tablet that they found.
They also found the body of their master, “pure and unconsumed”, his flesh having not decomposed one bit, but appearing to be made of candle wax. With the discovery of the tomb and the sacred mystery writings, the Rosicrucian brotherhood, having been ostensibly dead since the demise of their leader 120 years previously, was born anew, and the brethren who made the discovery took off to spread the news to all the corners of the Earth.
As Christopher McIntosh points out in his book The Rosicrucians, many elements of this story are very familiar.
Indeed this idea of a “sleeping god” or “lost king” who will one day awaken/return is an extremely prevalent archetype.
It has been applied to the Greek Kronos, the Roman Saturn, and Satan/Lucifer of the biblical legends, as well as Jesus Christ of the same, an entire host of Sumerian gods, and the “Fisher King” of the Grail Story, to name but a few.
But are there any other clues to indicate that this Rosenkreutz story may be a part of a much older tradition? A telling example can be found in the Adeptus Minor ritual of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. In this ritual the aspirant is made to pretend that he is in fact the discoverer of Rosenkreutz’s tomb.
The Chief Adept plays the role of the dead Rosenkreutz, and at the height of the ceremony, is resurrected again.
It is the Golden Dawn’s version of the Masonic Hiram Abiff ritual, and that is important, for just as Hiram Abiff has been associated by the Masons with Osiris, and the Egyptian rituals that also involved feigned death and resurrection, so is Rosenkreutz in this ritual likened to Osiris as well.
A quote from the ritual reads:
Other details of the tomb that are given in the ritual yield parallels even more shocking.
The tomb, says the ritual, has seven sides, upon which are written “emblems”, etched on colored squares that appear to the naked eye to be “flashing.” Behind each of these flashing squares is found a drawer, each one containing a part of the sacred mystery writings which are the “Corpus Rosicianicum” of the Brotherhood.
In the midst of the tomb, directly over the body is a circular altar, upon which are inscribed the four figures of the Kerubim – The Lion, the Eagle, the Man, and the Ox – as well as the following queer phrases:
Above the altar, shining down on the undecayed corpse of their founder, is the “artificial sun”, except that in this ritual, it is not described as a sun at all, but as a rose!
To quote from the ritual:
As many Dagobert’s Revenge readers are probably aware, this “inner sun” concept closely parallels a similar myth in regards to the so-called “Hollow Earth” theory.
According to these legends, some of which are modern, others surprisingly old, the sphere of the Earth is hollow, the Earth’s crust being only 300 feet thick, beyond which a new world can be found, called “Agartha”, which can be entered at the North and South Pole, populated, according to some, by giants who live unto the ages of the Biblical patriarchs.
In fact, according to some, this is the actual location of the Garden of Eden, or the Abode of the Gods, located literally in the center of things, in the womb of the Earth. It also rests atop a magical white mountain that appears over and over again in various mythologies, for this is the “world mountain” that provides the axis of the Earth.
This inner world is lit, according to legend, by an “artificial sun”, or “the Smoky God”, as it has been called, a ball of electro-magnetism that is said to provide warmth and light for the inhabitants of the inner Earth. While this sounds like science fiction, it actually has many parallels in the biblical and apocryphal stories of the fallen angels who, after the war in Heaven, were imprisoned in Hell, the Pit, located in the bowels of the Earth.
There they are ruled over by Satan, who is called, according to tradition, “the Lord of the Earth.” (1)
There are also many parallels in the world of Hermeticism and alchemy.
Alchemy concerns itself with the search for the elusive “Elixir of Life”, a sort of cure-all substance that is capable if bringing health, wealth, immortality, and spiritual emancipation to him who possesses it.
Literally, it involves the transformation of base metals into gold, while figuratively, it involves the transformation of the dross of the unrefined Soul into the “Lapsit Exillis” – the Stone from Heaven.
This stone represents perfection idealized, the amalgamation of opposites into a unified whole. And yet it is also called “the Hidden Stone” because it lies in the midst of all things, and men do not see it, giving rise to the Masonic parable of the “stone that was rejected” in the building of Solomon’s Temple, which in the end becomes the cornerstone for the House of God.
This stone has also been equated with the Sun, shining in perfect brilliance, ruling the Heavens like a king over his realm.
The alchemical process, both the physical and the figurative, involves a stage called Dissolution, when the elements (or the base emotions and Ego of the aspirant) are dissolved, to be replaced later by purity of spirit, or “gold.”
This stage is symbolized by… a black sun!
And this black sun stage is equated with none other than Saturn, or Kronos, the sleeping god buried in a subterranean tomb who is called “the Hidden One”! And this is precisely why Elixir of Life is called “the Hidden Stone” – because it is hidden in the midst of this dross or base matter, the Black Sun, which, once dissolved, reveals the shining brilliance within.
This dross matter is called the Prima Materia, the “original matter” from which all other forms were made. At the same time, the concept of the Black Sun arose, some say, because ancient civilizations believed that the Sun died at night as it set in the West, and descended into the Underworld, where it turned black. The next day it would resurrect again in the East.
They imagined the Sun actually traveling underneath the Earth via a secret subterranean passageway, and had hieroglyphs depicting this.
Significantly, there is an alchemical motto called “V.I.T.R.I.O.L”, an acronym for Latin words which translate to “Visit the Interior Parts of the Earth; by Rectification Thou Shalt Find the Hidden Stone.”
Is this Hidden Stone, then, the same as the Black Sun that lights the inner Earth, and the “hidden sun” which lights the tomb of Christian Rosenkreutz?
Clearly, from the phrasing of the ritual, the Golden Dawn considers the hidden sun to be synonymous with the mystic rose which is the symbol of their order. This rose has always been equated, not only with the female vagina, but with the Holy Grail, which is also called the “Hidden Stone” and the “stone that fell from Heaven”, and is also believed to contain the Elixir of Life.
So it would appear that these five symbols – the Black Sun, the Mystic Rose, the Holy Grail, the Stone from Heaven, and the Elixir of Life – all represent essentially the same thing, or at least portions of the same thing, stages in the same process.
The fact that the rose is surmounted upon an equilateral cross could be seen as symbolic of its place “in the center of things” – which is, figuratively, to be found in the deepest recesses of one’s soul, wherein resides the equilibrium of opposing forces; and literally, in the center of the Earth’s axis. But is there any further evidence that ties this in more directly with the inner earth, the Holy Grail and a buried or “hidden” god?
Yes there is. Lots more.
Some of this evidence is to be found in the same Adeptus Minor ritual of the Golden Dawn, and the correlations are, in fact, pretty direct. In the beginning of the ritual it is states:
As I have mentioned, the dead but dreaming god buried in a secret tomb who will one day arise is a recurring theme in many mythologies.
There is even a similar story related in The Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz, when the title character stumbles upon the tomb of the Lady Venus, her body lying undecayed in a death-like slumber, an well-known attribute of Venus which has given rise to the tale of “Sleeping Beauty.”
More striking parallels, however, are to be found with Hermes, the god-man who is said to have brought the alchemical wisdom of the Gods to mankind. He has thus been equated with the Egyptian Thoth, as well as with Enoch, the patriarch in the Bible who was allowed to go to Heaven and take the Elixir of Life, which caused him to live forever.
Enoch also was allowed to write down the secrets of the gods upon a tablet, which was brought down to Earth and given to Noah to enlighten mankind.
Hermes had a similar tablet, said to be the color of emerald, and to contain all the secrets of alchemy, known to the gods. Because he revealed this hidden knowledge to man, Hermes therefore has a Luciferian, Titanic and Promethean aspect to him. Hermes is said to never die, but to fall into periods of prolonged sleep, from which he is awakened at regular intervals by the periodic rediscovery of his tomb.
The descriptions of these discoveries, said to have been given by both Paracelsus and Alexander the Great, among others, parallel directly that of Christian Rosenkreutz’s tomb, even down to the “mystery writings” contained therein, i.e. the Emerald Tablet of Hermes, upon which the Rosicrucian writings are undoubtedly based.
The form which the Emerald Tablet takes has been described in a variety of ways, each with a symbolic meaning which holds a clue as to the overall meaning. A 1609 portrait of the Emerald Tablet by Henry Kunrath portrays it in the form a mountain inscribed with words, fire issuing from its summit.
We are reminded of the mountain upon which (or within which) Moses acquired the Tablets of Testimony. In occult lore these tablets are traditionally equated with the Emerald Tablet as well, for there is a secret legend which states that Moses acquired the Tablet from the priests of Egypt prior to the Exodus.
One is also reminded of the reference to the “Mountain of Abi-genos” in which Rosenkreutz is buried, and which is inscribed with magical writing.
As McIntosh writes in The Rosicrucians,
He also quotes the author Thomas Vaughn, who wrote about,
This mountain is clearly a representation of the aforementioned “world mountain”, which is common to all cultures, and is often described as white, or sitting in the middle of a white island.
Thus the word “albi”, meaning “white”, is used in the Golden Dawn ritual to designate the mountain. This parallels, for instance, the Greek Mt. Olympus, or the abode of the gods which, according to Plato, was the largest mountain on Earth, capped with snow, and with four rivers issuing from its top, residing in midst of the isle of Atlantis.
This same mountain is said by some to now sit in the center of the Earth, and the four rivers are the Euphrates, the Pison, the Gihon, and the Hiddekel, the same ones which flowed in the Garden of Eden. This symbolic mountain is undoubtedly the same one, in the center of the Earth, which the Golden Dawn’s Mountain of Abi-genos represents.