Temple of Paraclete
ETAR+C: A Rosicrucian Congregation
My fratres & sorores of the Ecclesia Theurgica Apostolica Rosae+Crucis, I greet you all by the sign of the golden rosy cross.
Today I invite you to contemplate the meaning of this salutation. Dear reader, what is Rosicrucianism, or rather, what is rosicrucianism’s place within ETARC? Many attempts have been made by scholars and initiates the last four hundred years to define and describe the true Rosicrucian order, its teachings and attitudes towards the great work, but have any of them been able to catch the true Rosicrucian spirit? This is a question which is dangerous to answer, because by doing so you will easily insult most of those who claim to follow a Rosicrucian path. Therefore will neither I try to answer it, but rather direct the attention of the reader to some aspects of the early Rosicrucian movement that is essential to the work of ETAR+C.
As you all know from reading the Fama and Confessio was the Rosicrucian order according to the legend founded by the mysterious Christan Rosenkreutz (1378-1484) in the early 15th century. It is today little reason to believe that Christian Rosenkreutz ever lived, but this does not weaken the importance of this mythical hero in his role as an esoteric ideal. Whether it was Valentin Andrea, Tobias Hess, or any other similar person from the Tübingen circle that wrote the manifestos, even though this is of academic interest to some, is it of little importance to us. The reason being that this discussion sheds little light on the essence of rosicrucianism. There is even one scholar who claimed that our own dear Doc. John Dee was the founder, or at least main character behind, the Rosicrucian movement. Of all the theories so far laid down, the last is most likely the least possible of them all, but let us leave these speculations to scholars, and let us focus on the esoteric aspects of the mythical Rosicrucian order.
Whether there ever did exist an organized order that worked under the banner of the rose cross in the early 17th century or not, is still not proven by historical evidence. In all historical research into the history of the occult do oaths and secrecy make any absolute answers to questions impossible. Therefore do we have to look at the outer context of the Rosicrucian movement to seek our answers. To avoid taking sides in the discourse around the question if there really was an order that did go under the name Rosicrucian in the early 17th century or not, do I from now on talk about the Rosicrucian impulse in that given period. By this do I mean both the manifestos and that literature that were written after the manifestos which both bears the sign of the rose cross and are in content obviously inspired by the same thoughts that are put forth in the former. Our main sources to the early laws of the Rosicrucian impulse are the Fama Fraternitatis (1614), the Confessio Fraternitatis (1615), and the Themis Aurea also known as Laws of the Fraternity of the rosie crosse by Michael Maier (1617). Our main source to Rosicrucian imagery apart from the texts previously mentioned is the famous Chymische Hochzeit (1616) known to the English audience as The Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz. There were also several other texts published in this time period which are in the same tradition, but I leave it to the ardent student to seek these out and study them further.