The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz , first published in the seventeenth century, has perplexed, amazed, and entertained generations of readers ever since. Often described as an alchemical romance, the book has also been recognized as a precursor to science fiction, as a satire, and as a storehouse of esoteric knowledge. In his agapeic commentary Michael Martin discloses a text that has been misunderstood from the beginning, a narrative that offers instead of hoped-for secrets something far more useful: physic for the soul. Its ambivalent and yet symbolically profound quest for the deepest sense of Christian truth, which can serve to heal violent Christian and human divisions, is entirely relevant for us today.
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The following is a pictorial key to the spiritual journey. Look carefully, feel, and see if it resonates with you. The images are drawings from Johfra Bosschart, a Dutch modern artist Johfra is a rather unknown painter. Nevertheless his works are magnificent. The drawings on this page appeared as illustrations in The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz, published by Lectorium Rosicrucianum, a Rosicrucian order founded by Jan van Rijckenborgh in Belgium now an international order.
The images give a quick overview of the spiritual journey. This anonymous text appeared in in Strasbourg, Germany as the third pamphlet of an order called Fraternity of the Rose Cross. Nothing is known about the author or about the order itself. Thus the text stands by itself. All subsequent Rosicrucian orders that have appeared, have claimed to be linked with this Fraternity of the Rose Cross.
They all have developed their own philosophies, sometimes contradictory to each other. If you are looking to connect with one, explore the Lectorium Rosicrucianum. I am not associated with them, but I like their Gnostic approach. They do not claim a link to the Fraternity of the Rose Cross, nor do they have a spiritual master dictating them doctrines. They teach a path of transfiguration to lead humans back to their divine origin. Here is the student at the beginning of the alchemical Great Work the retorts on the floor.
The skull points to the death of the old that he has to let go, and to the transformation that is going to take place. The phoenix on the table represents the result of the transformation. The candle light under the table is the divine light hidden in oneself. It is always burning, whether one is aware of it or not. The student was reading books. That is usually how it starts. He yearns for knowledge. An angel visits with a message, an invitation.
This is the spiritual call. This can happen in different ways: a vision, an life changing accident, etc. One feels called to follow the spiritual path. The wings of the angel are made from peacock feathers, again an alchemical symbol, that stands for Cauda Pavonis, the Peacock's Tail, when the Light in the student starts to appear. After becoming spiritually aware, the student feels himself trapped in the material world, where so many people, although unaware, want to be rescued from the perils of life.
But it is also a struggle within oneself, to deal with all the emotional and mental inner conflicts, and the desire to get liberated from all that.
The spiritual world does reach down the cord to help those who truly want to work on themselves. CRC is given a travel penny.
It is like a seal that shows the intentions of the spiritual seeker, but also grants you safe passage in the spiritual realms. Thus he travels now in the Divine Light of the Sun.
CRC has to choose which of the four paths to follow, but the signs also say that the path one has to follow is destined. When one incarnates he has chosen a particular path to follow. Although other spiritual paths practices also lead to the ultimate goal, one needs to feel which path is his to follow.
When he chases a pigeon and a rave both alchemical symbols he finds himself unintentionally one of the paths. CRC has to pass through three gates and temples.
One can interpret the three temples as awareness of body, soul and spirit, an awareness necessary to integrate all three in one. In the first temple he receives a seal that says: Hope and Love. In the second one he receives a seal that says: Give and you shall be given. In the third temple he receives a seal that says: the purifying salt. On the spiritual path one must be humble. There is no place for the manifestation of egoistic desires. The image is that of Saturn cutting the life cord of those whose life is ruled by the ego.
CRC is in an assembly room with others who are spiritually called, but who haven't let go of their egoistic tendencies. They look down on CRC in his simple clothing. Thus the humble spiritual seeker will find himself in situations where people, who proclaim themselves to be spiritually advanced the New Age field is full of those "authorities" , will look down and scorn the true pilgrim. Note that the divine lady has seven cobras around her, a clear reference to Kundalini and the seven chakras.
She also has a sun jewel at the heart level. She warns the company that those who forced their way in here in order to gain profit for themselves, will be severely punished in the judgment that will follow. Of course, CRC passes. After having ascended a spiral staircase CRC arrives at the Bridal Room: there are three thrones with three royal couples: young, middle aged and old.
A lot of symbolism here. First the three stages of life. The spiral staircase can refer to the spinal column and the ascent of the kundalini. Note the Ouroboros serpent on the floor.
The crown at the ceiling refers to the Crown of the Great Work. The Griffon is the symbol for primal energies, the lion of royal energies. The lion wins. Note that the lion has wings, meaning that the animal nature has been refined and spiritualized. Many symbols in this drawing. In the text the statue of Nebucadnezar is only shown. Johfra here depicts him as falling apart. Jofhra points to the crumbling of the old self, the death of the ego. The skull is transformation, the tree is the process of transformation.
The two serpents around the tree points to the kundalini rising up in the spine ida and pingala joined. In the arches; the hermaphrodite: the opposites, male and female, yin and yang, ida and pingala, have been joined. The spiritual seeker is not polarized in male or female anymore; he is truly androgyn.
The seven ships carry away the decapitated bodies of the three royal couples. Again symbols of the transformation that took place. The seven ships can also been seen as the seven chakras that went through the transformation process.
A mermaid offers a pearl as a gift for the Wedding. The pearl is the symbol for the Divine Self. The spiritual seeker is coming in contact with his Divine Self, that precious, round brilliant jewel in each of us. Olympus is the mountain where the Greek gods resided. CRC is on the top of the tower, that is, he is at the level of the crown chakra. Here he witnesses seven Flames descend on the top of the tower, after which the winds makes the sea wild and clouds cover the moon.
In Cabala it is said that at the Crown the top Sephira of the Tree of Life , the divine is witnessed as a Maelstrom, what can be a terrific sight. The Rescuing Cord: After becoming spiritually aware, the student feels himself trapped in the material world, where so many people, although unaware, want to be rescued from the perils of life. The Beginning of the Journey: CRC has to choose which of the four paths to follow, but the signs also say that the path one has to follow is destined. The Three Temples: The Divine path is never easy the thorn bushes.
The Announcement of the Verdict: Note that the divine lady has seven cobras around her, a clear reference to Kundalini and the seven chakras.
The Three Royal Couples: After having ascended a spiral staircase CRC arrives at the Bridal Room: there are three thrones with three royal couples: young, middle aged and old. The Seven Ships at the Lake: In the arches; the hermaphrodite: the opposites, male and female, yin and yang, ida and pingala, have been joined.
The Offering of the Pearl: A mermaid offers a pearl as a gift for the Wedding.
The Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz
The following is a pictorial key to the spiritual journey. Look carefully, feel, and see if it resonates with you. The images are drawings from Johfra Bosschart, a Dutch modern artist Johfra is a rather unknown painter. Nevertheless his works are magnificent. The drawings on this page appeared as illustrations in The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz, published by Lectorium Rosicrucianum, a Rosicrucian order founded by Jan van Rijckenborgh in Belgium now an international order. The images give a quick overview of the spiritual journey.
The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz
Its anonymous authorship is attributed to Johann Valentin Andreae. The Chymical Wedding is often described as the third of the original manifestos of the mysterious "Fraternity of the Rose Cross" Rosicrucians , although it is markedly different from the Fama Fraternitatis and Confessio Fraternitatis in style and in subject matter. It is an allegoric romance story divided into Seven Days, or Seven Journeys, like Genesis , and recounts how Christian Rosenkreuz was invited to go to a wonderful castle full of miracles, in order to assist the Chymical Wedding of the king and the queen, that is, the husband and the bride. This manifesto has been a source of inspiration for poets, alchemists the word "chymical" is an old form of "chemical" and refers to alchemy—for which the 'Sacred Marriage' was the goal  and dreamers, through the force of its initiation ritual with processions of tests, purifications, death, resurrection, and ascension and also by its symbolism found since the beginning with the invitation to Rosenkreutz to assist this Royal Wedding.
It was written down by Valentin Andreae, then a seventeen-year-old student in Tubingen University, later to become a Lutheran pastor. Of him Rudolf Steiner says: "His hand wrote it, his body was present; but through him a spiritual power not then on earth wished to communicate this to men, in a way which at that time was possible. Later, such Imaginations dried out into abstract, purely conceptual thinking. Today the time is ripe to enliven the intellectual consciousness into a renewed pictorial one. It is therefore in accordance with the spiritual demands at this point of time that "The Chymical Wedding" again begins to attract notice and that its beautiful sequences of imaginative piectures again begin to speak to our hearts and understanding.