…the true history of the Templars is that they never went out of existence. The main body went underground and according to esoteric records, many joined other Orders such as the Teutonic Knights and the Rosicrucians…they also became a successful banking fraternity. Later, in tandem with the Rosicrucian Order, they founded the Masonic Order to make the teachings accessible to the ‘common man’.
Because it used the symbol of the Rosy Cross in its symbolism the Order of the Garter has been linked with the Rosicrucians. The Order was founded in 1348 by King Edward III of England and dedicated to the Virgin Mary, the Christianized version of the pagan Great Mother Goddess...many famous men who were either Rosicrucians or Masons have over the centuries been knighted as members of the Order of the Garter...One of the alleged Grand Masters of the Order, Dr. John Dee (1527-1608) became the confidant of Elizabeth I and was involved in many of the political intrigues of the sixteenth century
The Emperor Charlemagne of the Holy Roman Empire, who was an early patron of the masons who built the Gothic cathedrals, is said to have founded a Rosicrucian lodge at Toulouse in the ninth century CE. In 898 CE a second lodge was established in France and in the year 1000 a group of heretical Roman Catholic monks founded the first Rosicrucian college which flourished in secret from the eleventh to the sixteenth centuries
The Emperor Charlemagne for the Holy Roman Empire, who was an early patron of the masons who built the Gothic cathedrals, is said to have founded a Rosicrucian lodge at Toulousein the ninth century CE. In 898 CE a second lodge was established in France and in the year 1000 a group of heretical Roman Catholic monks founded the first Rosicrucian college which flourished in secret from the eleventh to the sixteenth centuries.
According to material available, the supreme council of the Fraternity of R.C. was composed of a certain number of individuals who had died what is known as the "philosophic death." When the time came for an initiate to enter upon his labors for the Order, he conveniently "died" under somewhat mysterious circumstances. In reality he changed his name and place of residence, and a box of rocks or a body secured for the purpose was buried in his stead. It is believed that this happened in the case of Sir Francis Bacon who, like all servants of the Mysteries, renounced all personal credit and permitted others to be considered as the authors of the documents which he wrote or inspired.
The fundamental symbols of the Rosicrucians were the rose and the cross; the rose female and the cross male, both universal phallic emblems. [...] Because of the phallic significance of their symbols, both the Rosicrucians and the Templars have been falsely accused of practicing obscene rites in their secret ceremonials. While it is quite true that the alchemical retort symbolizes the womb, it also has a far more significant meaning concealed under the allegory of the second birth. As generation is the key to material existence, it is natural that the Fraternity of R.C. should adopt as its characteristic symbols those exemplifying the reproductive processes. As regeneration is the key to spiritual existence, they therefore founded their symbolism upon the rose and the cross, which typify the redemption of man through the union of his lower temporal nature with his higher eternal nature. The rosy cross is also a hieroglyphic figure representing the formula of the Universal Medicine.
Thomas Vaughan (Eugenius Philalethes), another champion of the Order, corroborates the statement of John Heydon concerning the ability of the Rosicrucian initiates to make themselves invisible at will: "The Fraternity of R.C. can move in this white mist. 'Whosoever would communicate with us must be able to see in this light, or us he will never see unless by our own will.'"
The apparent incongruities of the Rosicrucian controversy have also been accounted for by a purely transcendental explanation. There is evidence that early writers were acquainted with such a supposition--which, however, was popularized only after it had been espoused by Theosophy. This theory asserts that the Rosicrucians actually possessed all the supernatural powers with which they were credited; that they were in reality citizens of two worlds: that, while they had physical bodies for expression on the material plane, they were also capable, through the instructions they received from the Brotherhood, of functioning in a mysterious ethereal body not subject to the limitations of time or distance. By means of this "astral form" they were able to function in the invisible realm of Nature, and in this realm, beyond reach of the profane, their temple was located.
Although the existence of these mediæval Rosicrucians is difficult to prove, sufficient evidence is at hand to make it extremely probable that there existed in Germany, and afterwards in France, Italy, England, and other European countries, a secret society of illuminated savants who made contributions of great import to the sum of human knowledge, while maintaining absolute secrecy concerning their personalities and their organization.
There is a popular supposition to the effect that the Rosicrucians were at least partial instigators of the French Revolution.
In an anonymous unpublished manuscript of the eighteenth century bearing the earmarks of Rosicrucian Qabbalism appears this statement: "Yet will I now give the over-wise world a paradox to be solved, namely, that some illuminated men have undertaken to found Schools of Wisdom in Europe and these for some peculiar reason have called themselves Fratres Rosa: Crucis. But soon afterwards came false schools into existence and corrupted the good intentions of these wise men. Therefore, the Order no longer exists as most people would understand existence, and as this Fraternity of the Seculo Fili call themselves Brothers of the Rosie Cross, so also will they in the Seculo Spiritus Sancti call themselves Brothers of the Lily Cross and the Knights of the White Lion. Then will the Schools of Wisdom begin again to blossom, but why the first one chose their name and why the others shall also choose theirs, only those can solve who have understanding grounded in Nature."
Efforts to join the Order were apparently futile, for the Rosicrucians always chose their disciples. Having agreed on one who they believed would do honor to their illustrious fraternity, they communicated with him in one of many mysterious ways. He might receive a letter, either anonymous or with a peculiar seal, usually bearing the letters "C.R.C. "or "R.C. "upon it. He would be instructed to go to a certain place at an appointed time. What was disclosed to him he never revealed, although in many cases his later writings showed that a new influence had come into his life, deepening his understanding and broadening his intellect. A few have written allegorically concerning what they beheld when in the august presence of the "Brethren of the Rose Cross."
The Rosicrucians of Germany are quite ignorant of their origin; but, by tradition, they suppose themselves descendants of the ancient Egyptians, Chaldeans, Magi, and Gymnosophists.
They [C.R.C. and his three brethren] then decided to separate and visit the other countries of the earth, not only that their wisdom might be given to others who deserved it but also that they might check and correct any mistakes existing in their own system. Before separating, the Brethren prepared six rules, or by-laws, and each bound himself to obey them. The first rule was that they should take to themselves no other dignity or credit than that they were willing to heal the sick without charge. The second was that from that time on forever they should wear no special robe or garment, but should dress according to the custom of the country wherein they dwelt. The third stated that every year upon a certain day they should meet in the "House of the Holy Spirit," or, if unable to do so, should be represented by an epistle. The fourth decreed that each member should search for a worthy person to succeed him at his own demise. The fifth stated that the letters "R.C." should be their seal, mark, and character from that time onward. The sixth specified that the Fraternity should remain unknown to the world for a period of one hundred years.
In order to assist in bringing about the reformation, a mysterious person called "The Highly Illuminated Father C.R.C.," a German by birth, descended of a noble family, but himself a poor man, instituted the "Secret Society of the Rose Cross."
In the years following the publication of the Fama, the Rosicrucians would come out of the shadows to the sound of canons and muskets. They would fight a bloody and hopeless battle against the Jesuits for the spirit of Europe.
In conventional histories, sceptical of the Rosicrucian Manifestoes and suspecting them to be just a fantasy, their publication marked the beginning of the Rosicrucian phenomenon. In this secret history the manifestoes marked the end of true Rosicrucians - or at least the beginning of the end.
It is always the aim of initiatic brotherhoods like the Rosicrucians to help spread newly evolving forms of consciousness, appropriate for the changing times.
The extraordinary supernatural gifts attributed to the Rosicrucians made them one of the great romantic legends of European history. They had the gift of great longevity - Rosencrantz died in 1485 at the age of 107. Because they knew 'the secrets of nature' and could command disembodied beings, they could exert their will magically, which they did mostly for the sake of performing healing miracles. They could read minds, understand all languages, even project living images of themselves over great distances and communicate over great distances. They could also make themselves invisible.
The great Cabalist Robert Fludd was, according to esoteric tradition, one of the scholars employed by James I to work on the Authorized Version of the Bible. Often thought to have been a Rosicrucian himself, he was at the least a well-informed and sympathetic fellow traveller. Fludd came to the defence of the Brotherhood in print, repudiating accusations of black magic. He argued that the supernatural gifts of the Rosicrucians were the gifts of the Holy Spirit laid out by St Paul in the Epistle to the Corinthians - prophecy, performing miracles, possession of languages, visions, healings, expelling demons. That the local parish priest could no longer do these things helps to account for Europe's growing fascination with the shadowy Rosicrucians.
By all accounts the priests of antiquity had been able to summon gods to appear in the inner sanctum of the temple, but, following the Church's abolition of the distinction between soul and spirit in 869, the understanding of how to reach the spirit world had gradually been lost. By the eleventh century priests were no longer capable of summoning even visions of the spirit worlds during Mass. Now in the fifteenth century the spirit worlds began to flood back via the portal of the Rosicrucians.
The life of Christian Rosenkreuz is usually thought of an an allegory - or a fantasy. [...]
When he returned to Europe, he was determined to pass on what he had learned. He landed first in Spain, where he was laughed at. After several humiliations he returned to Germany to live in seclusion. Five years later he gathered around him three old friends from his day in the convent.
This was the beginning of the Fraternity of the Rosy Cross.
[...] before death each brother would choose a successor whom he would initiate. They agreed that their fraternity would remain hidden for a hundred years.
They were joined by four more brothers, before all eight set out to the far corners of the earth in order to reform and transform it.