The IHS trigram (on the left column)
The trigram of Christ IHS and the two roses: the first rose has 5 petals departing from a central circle, and 8 petals forming the outer corolla. This is followed by the trigram of Christ IHS (also translated as Iesus Hominum Salvator). The second rose has a single circle of 5 petals. Finally, even the capital itself differs from the others present in that it has an octagonal base instead of a circular one.
The 8 represents the passage from creation to increate, or from the finiteness of space-time to infinity. Space-time is represented by the seven planetary spheres that the last sacred planet, Saturn, delimits their domain. The heavens act as a stage for the physical, soul and spiritual world, forming a ladder (Jacob’s Ladder), where souls ascend and descend in the period between two different earthly incarnations. The 8 must therefore be read as overcoming of seven (8 = 7 + 1), symbol of the boundless or the lemniscate of the infinite. Where the seven heavens end, the eighth heaven begins, the Starry, where the twelve zodiacal signs found expression: and it is precisely from the zodiac, during the first of the seven planetary metamorphoses that the physical body of man is created, then still dependent on spiritual hierarchies, the Adam Kadmon. The lemniscate, the symbol of infinity, is in fact also the analemma, or the position of the external Sun with respect to the Earth during the year and the spiritual Sun is still the center of the ecliptic of the zodiac (or the internal Sun, the future Sun contained within the bowels of the Earth).
This creation of the human archetype starting from the forces of the zodiac is medical astrology(iatromathematics), or the correspondence between the human body and the zodiac: this is therefore the origin of the five-pointed corolla. The 5 is in fact the number of the man who, with his four limbs plus the head, can be inscribed in a pentagram. If the pentagram is pointing downwards, as in the case of the left rose, it means that the human being is falling towards matter. While if the pentagram is facing upwards, the human being is on a spiritual ascent, as in the case of the right rose. This is due to the fact that the fifth point of the star is the quintessence sought by alchemists or the Spiritual Self: when the Ego/or self?, permeated by Christ, penetrates and transforms the astral body, it extracts from this first spiritual principle, also called manas. In short, the rose on the right symbolizes the human being who rises through the inner divine forces of Christ, of the inferior self, which steps aside in favor of the Higher Self.
In the center is placed the trigram of Christ, in which the three letters IHS are written so that the cross is the pivot of the whole figure. The cross signifies the Mystery of Golgotha, the sacrifice made by Jesus Christ in the middle of the fourth era of culture, the Greek-Roman one. The upper part of the “I” has a curl that, as Elena Bono suggests, indicates the hand of Egyptian light, the cross being a transformation of the ankh. Moreover, the lower part of the “I” has a curl ending in two leaves, while the “H” ends in two leaves and a central bud. The duplicity of the first leaf on the “I” indicates the principle of good and evil (the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil), that is, the sphere of morality that pertains to the Ego, the individualized human being on Earth, whose vowel is precisely the “I”. While the two leaves and the bud on the H, which is also the cross, represent the life of the Trinity (The Tree of Life). The leaves, in general, refer to the Vegetal World or the Etheric World, the world of life in which the manifestation of Christ takes place after the Resurrection, in its second coming. The bud indicates the fifth constituent of the human being that has yet to be developed and on which the spiritual work of the Roses+Crosses went to act: the formation of the Spiritual Self starting from the interpenetration of the astral body by the Ego.
Note that in Piazza Mazzini, also in Chiavari, at the intersection with Via San Giovanni and Via Martiri della Liberazione there is another capital with a double IHS trigram: the side facing the square has a trigram with the “H” transformed into a cross on which it is crowned; while the side under the arcades has a trigram with plant motifs similar to that of the Rosicrucian Lodge. This is an important allusion to the dual nature of Jesus’ savior: royal (the crown, which derives from the Gospel of Matthew, descending from Solomon and with the adoration of the Magi) and priestly (the plant motif, which derives from the Gospel of Luke, descending from Nathan and with the adoration of the shepherds). The column not only recalls the Lodge, not far away, according to my investigation it must have been one of the columns of the Lodge itself when it was still intact.
Front of the column of Piazza Mazzini (Chiavari)
Back of the column of Piazza Mazzini (Chiavari)
If we therefore reread the relief as a whole, we will have the creation and subsequent fall of man in matter (i.e. the polar, Hyperborean, Lemuric and Atlantic epochs) to that of the sacrifice of Christ (the fifth post-Atlantic epoch) and the subsequent ascent of the human being towards the original spiritual world with his own forces (the sixth and seventh post-Atlantic epoch and therefore the fifth metamorphosis of the Earth, the Future Jupiter). Thus, the two roses are like Alpha and Omega of evolution, in which the first half of the relief is the descending half of the parable of creation, while after the cross is the ascending half.
The bust of the philosopher “the Father or Master” (on the central column)
The bust of the philosopher “the Mother or disciple” (on the left column)
Let us now come to the reciprocal position of the figures in the columns: the central column presents a figure, whose face shape can be traced back to a man, while the left one to a woman. The left column instead presents the trigram of Christ. Here, then, is a Gnostic Trinity: in fact, we have the Father in the center, the Mother on the left and the Son on the right of the observer (according to Elena Bono, the central figure could instead be the Rosicrucian Master while the one on the left, the disciple or famulo). The three columns are therefore the three columns of the Tree of Life of the Kabbalah: the central column of the Father is the Pillar of Meekness, departs from the sephirah Kether (Crown) and is associated to the element Air; the left column of the Mother is the Pillar of Severity, departs from the sephirah Binah (Knowledge) and is associated to the element Water; the right column of the Son is the Pillar of Mercy, departs from Chockmah (Wisdom) and is associated to the element Fire. The right pillar, of the Son, is octagonal itself in that it represents the mediator between the uncreated world and the created world. Note that the right half of the Mother’s body and face is covered by the (black) column of the adjacent building, this incompleteness would mean that the Mother, as mater-matter, is the door through which the spiritual world enters the material world, from the unmanifest to the manifest.
The three columns are also a repetition at a higher level of the three chakras depicted on the two philosophers’ busts: the flaming crown is Kether; the rose in the center of the third eye is Binah; the arched tunic is Chokmah. The mullioned window, also separated by a column, placed above the three columns of the portico represents the split from the binary to the ternary in the Mysterium Magnum of alchemy: the binary split between the male and female principle, followed by the ternary split of Sulphur associated with the Spirit of the Father, Mercur associated with the Soul of the Mother and finally Sal associated with the body of the Son. Observing the back of the facade of the Lodge, a small balcony is finally visible that allowed the visitors of the Lodge to sit and observe from above the scene below: this brings back to unity the binary split indicated by the mullioned window, the Deus absconditus, unique and not yet manifested in the cosmic day (manvatara), before the creation in its inactivity of the cosmic night (pralaya), also known as Chaos. Reading the facade vertically we therefore have the alchemical motto: ordo ab chao, the order of creation that proceeds from the non manifest chaos.
In the next article I will tell some background of the occult history of the Rosicrucian Lodge and Chiavari.