Sanctum Ritual number 3 for Plane 6
Salutes in omnibus punctis trianguli!
Beloved Members of the Esoteric Hierarchy:
This Ritual should be performed on the occasion of your regular Sanctum period, if possible. If not, choose a time convenient to you. Please read carefully the instructions for preparation in advance of the day of the Ritual ceremony.
A - A Rosy Cross, either the Hermetic Rosy Cross or the conventional one with just the single rose design in its center.
B - Two Sanctum candles.
C - A fresh red rose.
D - An incense burner. (This is not essential.)
The two candles should be placed on your Sanctum altar or upon a small table before which you can be seated. The candles should be placed a little to each side of the cross and behind it. The incense burner should be located between the candles. The rose should be in front of the cross and candles. (See Illustration.)
The room in which the Ritual ceremony is to be performed should have just sufficient illumination to read by. The candles and the incense should be lighted beforehand.
You may find the candle light adequate.
If you have music on a cassette, tape, or record, which you feel is appropriate for a Sanctum period, it should be played at the time of conducting this Ritual. However, this is not obligatory.
The fresh red rose, full blown, if possible, should be laid in front of the cross, as shown in the illustration.
We shall assume that the Temple Master is in the Sanctum with you and is instructing you. We shall thus use the term Master when you are being guided or an explanation is being given.
We shall refer to you as Mystes. This is an ancient title for those participating in the rites of the mystery schools of yore.
MASTER: The Cross is one of the most ancient of all symbols.
There are no less than 385 different crosses. Many are just of heraldic design, or as decorative art without any other significance. There are also the religious crosses of which there are a great variety and which represent some theological doctrine or concept. There are, further, those crosses having an esoteric symbolism, such as the Rosy Cross and the more complex Hermetic Cross.
Primitive man used a simple equilateral cross as a design, and it is found on the walls of the caves which he occupied. It is a cross such as this:
How did man come to use it at such an early time in his development? What did it mean to him? In the ancient esoteric schools, there is a traditional explanation of how this primitive cross was adopted. It is said that, as primitive man paid his adoration to the rising Sun, the phenomenon of which was a mystery to him and thought to be a divinity, he stretched his arms upward and outward. As the rays of the Sun fell upon him as it rose, his body with outstretched arms caused a shadow on the ground behind him in the form of a cross. This shadow came to suggest a duality of his own being, most probably related, in his imagination, to his dream-self.
There is yet another explanation for the influence that the form of a cross had upon ancient man. It is the concept of unity. The corning together of two elements so as to form the equilateral cross represented the creation, by their combination, of a new object or condition. Simply, the two elements were no longer separate things. They became a single new one--the result of unity. In other words, any two separate things or conditions, if united, and thus in their unity having a different appearance, became something other than they were when they were separate. There arose the idea that duality had a great significance, that is, that the ultimate unity or resulting oneness was of a greater value.
In later centuries, with the evolution of mystical concepts, the cross acquired other and more profound meanings. It became the symbol of man's gradual insight into himself and into Nature. He consequently elaborated on the design of the cross, inscribing other symbols on it or affixing an object upon it, as a rose in the center of its crossed arms.
There is yet another mystical symbolism associated with the cross. It has an important lesson to impart to us. Each point of the cross, its vertical staff and its crossed arms depict the cardinal points of the compass. The top of the vertical staff is North while the bottom is South. The left end of the crossarm is East and the opposite is West. This, however, does not just apply to our Earth, but likewise, symbolically, refers to the Cosmos. There are no directional points in the Cosmos, but the points of the cross and its symbolism depict the ubiquitous nature of the Cosmos; simply, that it is the same throughout, an absolute oneness. No matter how remote in space a celestial body--a single star, planet, or galaxy--may be, it is of the Cosmos.
The formal cross, such as the Rosicrucian one, has three leaves or loops at each end. These are known as botonnée. The cross, when hanging free of a stand or holder at its base, has these loops at each of the four ends. The base, of course, is not a part of the traditional cross. These three loops at each end of the cross represent the three points of the triangle. As you will recall from your early monographs, the triangle represents the unity of two polarities resulting in the third point of 'manifestation' and 'perfection.'
Now, for the next four or five minutes, gaze at the cross before you and think of man's first conception of it. Then think of this last cosmological explanation, that is, that it symbolizes the Greater Universe--the Cosmos.
In this cosmological notion of the cross, the rose in the center of the crossed arm denotes the Cosmic Essence, the creative nucleus with its conscious energy. This energy continually flows outward, resulting in Absolute Being. Just as the flow from the Cosmic Essence, symbolized by the rose, is ceaseless, so too is the Cosmos boundless and never inert. Now, think of the rose as a heart pulsating and giving life to the physical body of which it is a part.
Now we ask that you dwell upon these ideas for a few moments. Close your eyes and visualize a pulsating energy reaching out, an energy that is isotropic, that is, having the same property and quality everywhere it reaches.
The rose in this mystical cross which we have been describing is said to have seven petals only. Each petal contains a mystical principle, a valuable precept which, if learned and practiced by man, is said to bring him, as a conscious being, into harmony with the rose, in other words, the great Cosmic Essence. However, at this time we shall learn what these seven petals are to convey to us as moral, ethical, and spiritual values. You will now remove one petal from the rose and hold same in your right hand.
1 -This petal symbolizes the great principle of VERITY, that is, Truth. There is no absolute truth. Truth is relative to the development of man's consciousness. As he expands his intelligence and insight, what he then experiences as reality becomes a growing new truth. Man, however, does not experience the whole of the Absolute. What is Absolute Reality, no man knows, as the human consciousness is incapable of grasping it in its entirety.
It is, however, obligatory for man to seek truth, to find that which enlightens him and which has substance to him. Since all men have the same sense faculties, there are certain sensations that appear to them as universal, as being real in their content. They provide man with a relative truth which must be followed by men for their common good or until they advance to another common good. When man searches for truth, the reality it reflects serves him more and expands his personal world.
Put the first petal down, remove another and put it in your left hand.
2 - The second petal symbolizes that great emotion of COMPASSION. This emotion is a practical example of the enlargement of Self. To have compassion is to enfold others in the same feeling of well-being which we have for our own self. It is self-embracing in that we have the same awareness for others that we have for our own selves. It is an emotion that transcends the passions and appetites which merely serve our physical be1ng. He who lacks compassion imprisons his own soul qualities.
Put the second petal down, select a third one and hold it in your right hand.
3- This third petal symbolizes TOLERANCE. Collectively, we are all of humanity, yet we are all individual selves. Our perception may at times be like that of others, but our interpretation, the evaluation of the experience, may differ. Consequently, we must be tolerant of a difference of opinion. Only that which is factual, relative truth, can be accepted as a guide for all. We may not accept the beliefs of others, but we must accept their right to have them.
Now lay down the third petal and remove from the rose another petal, placing it in your left hand.
4 - This petal symbolizes ASPIRATION. Regardless of how active one may be physically, he is intellectually and psychically inert without aspiration. It is the creative faculty of man that visualizes an ideal, a goal to be reached beyond one's present status. Aspiration is the conscious evolution and development of a present condition or thing. Aspiration is not had by destruction unless it is a necessary element toward an evolved construction.
Life is a monotonous existence without the motivation of aspiration.
Select another petal and hold it in your right hand.
5 - LOYALTY is symbolized by this fifth petal of the rose. Loyalty is a combination of both trust and moral support. To be loyal to other persons or to an organization or cause indicates a personal trust in the character or precepts of the person or cause. We cannot be loyal to that of which we are suspicious or skeptical. Consequently, trust comes from a knowledge about that in which trust is to be placed. Misplaced trust is often the result of impetuous decision. Moral support, in relation to loyalty, is an outer manifestation of our trust.
Kindly lay down the fifth petal and select a sixth one, placing it in your left hand.
6 - The petal now in your hand symbolizes FORTITUDE. Fortitude, or courage, is a combination of a moral sense of righteousness and willpower. We are courageous in our acts when we believe that they are for a righteous cause. No one is courageous for a deed which he believes has no merit. Courage also depends on the strength of will, that is, the determination to act on behalf of that which is conceived to be right.
Now put down the petal and select another, placing it in your right hand.
7 - This petal shall represent to you HUMILITY. The person of strong character is one who knows his talents, attributes, and powers--and yet is aware of his limitations. He knows he can call forth these attributes to serve both himself and others whenever the need arises. Therefore, he does not prate or boast about himself. He is modest in his relation to others. His self-discipline and quiet display of his innate powers are an example of humility. This attitude brings far more respect than a bombastic display. Real personal power is best shown only when there is a need for it.
Now, Mystes, look at the following illustration of a human form with arms extended in the form of a cross. At the center of the figure is a rose, symbolical of our psychic self and its attributes. From it radiate seven rays depicting the special virtues of the seven petals of the rose.
You will note that no names have been written at the end of each of the rays. You will kindly sit in meditation for a few minutes and think of which of the virtues is your strongest. Then in your mind proceed throughout the whole seven, as to which is your personal second, personal third, etc. You need not, of course, follow the same order as given in this Ritual.
In this way, the seven petals of the rose are like rungs on a ladder by which one may mentally ascend to a personal self-appraisal.
This Ritual should be performed several times until the results are satisfactory to you.
Your reports on this Sanctum Ritual will be appreciated.
Sincerely and fraternally,
YOUR CLASS MASTER