The Master Philosopher bust (Central Pillar)
Let’s now see in detail the esoteric meaning of the symbolic representations. Not only the representations, but also the relative positions of the representations have meaning so that each of the details present assumes a meaning in the esoteric message. The following esoteric statements, when not otherwise specified, are the result of a personal spiritual investigation according to the scientific-spiritual methods given by Rudolf Steiner and conducted on the object of meditation in question, the Rosicrucian Lodge itself:
Philosophers’ busts (central and left column): the philosopher presents a flaming crown of hair that dominates the wide uncovered forehead. In the centre of the forehead a six-petal rose can be seen. The facial features appear delicate and linear, but have been almost completely defaced. A series of rays depart from the throat and descend along the line of the shoulders to form a tunic.
The central column shows a complete face, with more delineated features that we could associate with the Master Philosopher, to whom pairs the Famulo described by Bono, that is, the Apprentice, of whom we can see half of the face, rougher, on the left column. These are our Unknown Philosophers, who nevertheless represent archetypal stages of the understanding of Alchemy, the beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega of the Great Work, as is Christ, whose trigram IHS is placed on the right column.
The flaming crown, the rose and the tunic are placed in the positions of the first three chakras starting from the top of the human body. The first chakra is that of the Crown, which corresponds to the planet Saturn (Sahasrara in the Indian tradition). The rose is placed at the second chakra, also called the “third eye” and corresponds to Jupiter (Ajna). The tunic that departs from the throat corresponds to the third chakra, which corresponds to Mars (Visuddha). About the seven chakras, see here also my synthesis.
From Rudolf Steiner’s spiritual investigation we know that the Rosicrucian way worked especially on the human will according to thought: that of the Rosicrucian is in fact a way suitable for the current era, aimed at the practical side of world life and therefore at the reform of society in the Rosicrucian Utopia. In the upper part of the body the will is expressed in the Martian component of the human being, that is on the Larynx Chakra which presides over the expression in phonation and vocalization, the power of language and creation through the word.
The other two chakras depicted, preside over the structure of thought (the first, of Saturn) and the clairvoyant vision (the second, of Jupiter). A further reference to the Eastern tradition is in the rose itself, whose symbolic meaning is identical to that of the sacred lotus, a passage that took place in Egypt, through the lotus-rose sacred to Isis-Sophia, guardian of the mysterious knowledge and the Eastern initiatory mystery and therefore of alchemy (like the Divine Sophia). The rays of the Crown are in fact the thousand petals of the lotus of the first chakra, the spiritual world where the Trinity reigns. The six rose petals on the forehead represent the seven sacred planets (including the center of the flower), and the spiritual hierarchies associated with the Planets, between Thrones and Angels.
The tunic, on the other hand, consists of an arch, from whose apex 16 rays depart, exactly the number of lotus petals attributed to this chakra. Steiner indicates how 8 of these petals were given as a gift to man by the hierarchies, through their sacrifice, during of past evolution (Ancient Saturn, Sun and Moon). The other 8 petals must be conquered by man with his strength following the doctrine of love given by Buddha in the eightfold path and by Christ in the Beatitudes. This is the link between the Western way of knowledge of the Roses+Crosses and the Eastern way of Buddhism, which is also reflected in the spiritual history of their respective founders, Christian Rosenkreuz and Buddha.
Steiner describes how in the 15th century on Mars the spiritual decadence was reached, so that the planet was no longer able to send spiritual impulses to man’s will. This resulted on Earth in a deeper fall into maya, also in the world of language and the loss of the spiritual sense of names associated with things. The man of the 15th century, at the transition between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, was no longer able to say whether language was inspired by the spirit of things or whether it was just a convention: so in the 15th century there was the culmination of the debate between nominalism and realism. For this decadence of the spirits of Mars, an event was needed that could act as a turning point in history, as the Mystery of Golgotha had been on Earth. The revival of Martian evolution would also mean sending a new volitional impulse to Earth.
In 1604, Christian Rosenkreuz, at the time disembodied, as a member of the Masters of Wisdom and Harmony of Feelings, decided that the Siddhartha Buddha would carry out this mission of sacrifice for the planet Mars. Indeed, Buddha, when in the 6th century B.C. he received his enlightenment under the Bodhi tree, incorporated the Eloah of Mercury, as well as the Eloah of the Sun, Christ, became incarnated in the baptism of the Jordan in Jesus of Nazareth. After enlightenment Buddha would no longer have subsequent physical incarnations on Earth, but would move as a spirit to the planet Mars in the 17th century. This happened at the level of the Astral World and the lowest vehicle that Buddha wore was the astral body, thus placing him within the body of an Archangel or Spirit of the People. The red planet was at that time a gigantic battleground of the spirits that inhabited it, and the Buddha had to descend to the battlefield, remaining involved in the struggle as a peace leader leading the Martian people. Being at the level of the Astral World we must imagine a war of contrasting passions. For the sublime spirit of Buddha, who had peace in his spiritual essence, participating in a war was a real crucifixion. The war ceased. From that sacrifice of Mercury’s Buddha-Eloah, the Martian evolution could reverse its descent and ascend again, at the same time causing new volitional forces to spring forth. These forces poured out on Earth through the souls who, after the sacrifice of Buddha onwards, passed into the sky of Mars during the descent into the new incarnation. They were translated for the first time as forces that allowed human beings to cultivate meditation and at the same time their normal daily activity.
See here my synthesis on the Rosicrucian Masters and here on the western esoteric path.
The bust of the Apprentice Philosopher’s (on the left column)
The letters (central column): reading from top to bottom, assuming they are Latin letters, they appear to be C – B A – B E – S F – S B C. This sequence suggests a list of initials, rather than a coherent inscription. They could be the initials of a sentence, a motto that would make the residence recognizable to the members of the Loggia di via Rivarola. According to my investigation, however, it should be the sequence of the initials of the initiatory names of the members of the Lodge, not unlike the sequence that appears in the Fama Fraternitatis. The repetition of the same letters indicates an initiatory succession: in the initiatory chains, in fact, the same name is assumed by the more advanced disciple who replaces the master. The name becomes title, as in the case of Dionysius the Aeropagite, Buddha or Zarathustra. The title is then abbreviated to a single initial, as in the case of the founder Christian Rosenkreutz, indicated as C.R.C.
Inscriptions on the central column.
As I have already mentioned, there was also an engraved slate slab, placed above the mullioned window. It is present in some photographs of the magazine “La Casana” of 1981 written by Rai3 journalist Pier Antonio Zannoni, but today it is no longer there. After the 1980s, when the road was closed to cars, the Lodge was restored, as proved by the photos in the article in which the exposed bricks are still visible: however, the engraved slate slab in question is now preserved in the museum of Villa Rocca, also in Chiavari, between the two stairways leading to the upper floors.
The slate slab above the mullioned window of the Lodge.
In the photos of the article, two monstrous beings are visible, a dragon (on the left) and a snake with a human head (on the right) separated by the trigram of Christ IHS engraved in a twelve-rayed sun. The dragon represents Ahriman, the great spirit of the obstacle that inspires materialism by denying the spirit. The serpent with the human head is instead Lucifer, the other obstacle that inspires a spiritualism completely disconnected from matter. Both, however, contemplate the central Sun, in which is inscribed the name of Christ, surrounded by the twelve rays of the zodiac: here is proposed the struggle between Eastern spiritualism inspired by Lucifer and Western materialism inspired by Ahriman, who are in turn the good thief and the bad thief crucified on the sides of the Christ-Sun.
In the next article I will explain the esoteric meaning of the trigram of Christ IHS.