The Rosicrucian Lodge seen from Via Rivarola (Chiavari)
Great mysteries hide under the distracted gaze of everyday life. This is how in Chiavari (in the province of Genoa), in one of its characteristic caruggi (narrow streets of the city), the portico is abruptly interrupted to give space to a unique facade of an ancient palace. Discreet in its preciousness, it goes completely unnoticed by those who do not look thirsty for knowledge. But if you look at its representations, you can read in them a fascinating story that is well connected to the name by which this particular place is called: the “Loggia dei Rosacroce”, the Rosicrucian Lodge.
The Rosicrucian Lodge seen from Piazza della Torre (Chiavari)
The Lodge is located in Via Rivarola, one of the streets of the ancient Citadel, dating back to the 12th century, when Chiavari formed an alliance with the Republic of Genoa. The Lodge, however, is later and dates back to the 15th century. Of the original building only the front and the right facade remain, while the rest has been destroyed. The right façade is instead leaning against the “Casa dei Garibaldi” (which has an interesting portal, whose initiatory meanings I will talk about later), while the open space left free of the building is now empty but not long ago it housed the fish market.
The back of the facade seen from Piazza della Torre (Chiavari)
The peculiarity of what remains of the loggia lies in the friezes of the columns. The capitals of the portico are in fact decorated with various symbols, such as roses, the name of Christ and flaming faces, elements that, taken as a whole, stand out from the eyes of those who have knowledge of alchemy and, more specifically, of the Rosa+Croce tradition. These details suggest that the Lodge was a real “philosophical house” (Domus Philosophica), that is a place where alchemy was cultivated in its Christian form, typical of the Rosicrucians.
More in detail, the Rosicrucian decorative elements are:
The philosophers’ busts, carved in the capitals of the two columns, left and center. They wear a flaming crown, a rose engraved on the source and a cascade of rays that starts from the base of the neck. There is also a face barely mentioned in the last column of the right facade. All the faces have been staked and made so poorly recognisable;
Letters inscribed on the central column, difficult to interpret, perhaps Hebrew letters or Latin initials;
The trigram of Christ IHS, surrounded by two roses. The left rose has two turns of petals, the inner one of 5, the outer one of 8. The right rose has instead only one turn of petals, in number of 5;
There was also a slab of engraved slate, placed above the mullioned window. It represented two monstrous beings, a dragon and a snake with human head separated by the trigram of Christ IHS engraved in a twelve-rayed Sun. It is currently kept in Palazzo Rocca in Chiavari, in via Costaguta.
I will explain in the next articles the esoteric meaning of the symbolic representations.
I must premise that my study of the Rosicrucian Lodge began with an electrocution on March 2, 2014. I conducted my research through meditation, according to the method of supersensible knowledge given by Rudolf Steiner in the book The Initiation. Subsequently, by doing a bibliographic research at the library of the Economic Society of Chiavari, I learned that the first to talk about it was the poetess Elena Bono from Chiavari, in 1980 with an article on the proceedings of the conference of the Autonomous Tourist Board. The following year the Rosicrucian Lodge appeared in a widely illustrated article in the magazine “La Casana” written by Rai3 journalist Pier Antonio Zannoni. Elena passed the Threshold only 4 days before my “rediscovery” of the Rosicrucian Lodge: this represents a synchronic spiritual fact of the utmost importance to understand all the meaning of my knowledge effort. In her writing I found, in short, all that I have developed through my scientific-spiritual research: it was therefore both a confirmation a grounding of the conclusions to which I arrived meditating.
Whatever the solution to the problem I am honoured to open, this enigmatic “piece” would undoubtedly be worthy of inclusion in Fulcanelli’s classic treatise on philosophical houses. – Elena Bono
What I write is therefore this spirit, is the direct continuation of that thread of Ariadne’s in the labyrinth of possible solutions to the problem she opened. I can therefore say that the “thing”, the consciousness of the Lodge of the Rosa+Croce, was given to me by Elena Bono’s artistic investigation. The “how”, from Rudolf Steiner’s method of scientific-spiritual investigation and with it the esoteric meaning of the Lodge itself. Although the Lodge is no longer fully present on the physical plane, it is completely intact on the etheric and astral plane. I dedicate this study to the writer who first crossed the small threshold of the Lodge and who is now beyond the Great Threshold of the Spiritual World.