The Cross-Fire

The symbol of the cross is known to have ancient origins and various meanings throughout time.  It is one of the most widely known images.  But, what does the cross mean to you?  What does it mean to others?  Why does a simple depiction of two lines, one vertical and one horizontal, seem to attract continued reverence?  In wondering these questions, I was especially intrigued by an image in a book I recently read.

From a recommendation, made here in the comment section by Nate Beck, I read The Cutting Edge Lodged in the Groves by Dennis Palmu (Palmu Publications, 2006).   In the book, Palmu relates St. Andrew’s cross (X) to an image found in the The Heroicall Devices of M. Claudius Paradin (1591).  This portrayal of a cross, listed in Paradin’s devices, is provided on the left.  What caught my interest was the inclusion of fire at the intersection of the two branches.

In a previous article, The Remarkable Purpose of the Lightening Flash, it is mentioned how the lightening flash, causing fires, was seen as an act of the Divine.  The fire (although destructive) purified that which it touched or passed through.  This is turn issued new life.  I couldn’t help but think of the rose often depicted at the center of the cross.

The cross is often recognized as the uniting of opposites.  The vertical and the horizontal bars are joined together to form the sacred shape.  This may symbolize the uniting of man with the Divine, the man with the woman, or the microcosm with the macrocosm.  Like the image shows, two opposites brought together can produce fire.  And ultimately, life.

The Rosicrucian Order uses the symbol of a cross with a white rose placed at the intersection.  According to some the cross represents man (united with God?), and the rose as the unfolding consciousness.

However intrigued I was about the cross and fire, I must say I was also fascinated by the description accompanying this particular cross.  It includes, “Man are in the opinion also, that the bones of a Lion do the same.”(Both do burn)  Cross Bones?  Could then the image of Skull placed on cross bones symbolize this fiery union initializing new life?  Is this one of the reasons why the symbol is believed to be important to Freemasonry and the Knight’s Templar?

Obviously, I need to do more research.  Where these few questions lead, I find exciting.  Any who want to join me on this journey, please feel free to contact me.  To return to the initial question, though, what does the cross symbolize?  I believe it can mean many things, but for me, it is life.


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16 Responses

  1. Mark says:

    That the rose symbolizes “the unfolding of consciousness” is a very important point. Also interesting is the fact thaf you mention the “White Rose in the Center of the Cross.” I can remember reading somewhere that long ago in the teachings of Hinduism, it was mentioned that man will not discover that Metaphysical Secret that he has been searching for for a long time. But when man discovers that secret, it will resemble a “Newly Blossuming Lotus” (White Rose/Flower).

    If I were to assign the cross to be some color, my guess would be Red. Both the Cross and the Red Rose can be thought of as symbols for “The Blood of Christ.” Both the White Rose and the Lotus (also white) symbolize Purity. Likewise, The Zohar mentions the Lilly, which is both Red and White. Then there is the Pink
    Lotus which represents a mixture of both the colors White and Red. Also in The Zohar, the color associated with Wisdom (Chochmah) is Red and the Color associated with Mercy (Chesed) is White.

    So we have all of these themes of Red and White in Religion. Leads me to wonder if our American Flag was in some way inspired by these same Religious Themes … Red and White Stripes. Then in the Blue part of the flag, there are the White Stars. Yoganananda mentions the Third Eye as being associated with the Magi Star which he mentioned represented some white star on a blue backround (same as the flag).

    The very first words in the Bible … “Raysheet Bara Elohim Et.” (In the Beginning, God Created). It’s always been my belief that when The Zohar mentions “Barasheet,” that Sheet is a reference to the Pages of a book, and Bara might be some reference to the name of the book (The book of Creation that the Prophets were referring to). There is a book referred to as “The Barata” which is a book of Seals (Hand Gestures).

    One of the Seals in that book is called ALApadma, and ALLAH is God in the Koran. There is a poem written by Rumi referred to as “Love Dogs.” That poem is about a man who talks to Allah. Yogananda once mentioned that he loved that poem by Rumi, and the poem was about a man who was talking to GOD. Yoganananda never mentioned that the man was talking to Allah. Rather he wanted for others to understand in the future that he believed Allah was really God.

    The Seal called Allapadma (in the Barata) is made with an “Open Hand” with all of the fingers stretched out. When the fingers are stretched out, pressure is put on the palms of the Hands, and the Lines in the Palms of the Hand turn RED due to the pressure. Likewise, the rest of the Palm of the Hand turns WHITE due to the pressure (White and Red). There are Several DESCRIPTIONS for that Seal in The Bharata. One of the desriptions is a LOTUS. Another Description for for that same seal (Alapadma) is a BOSUM.

    In The Bible, the Lord tells Moses to place to hand in his BOSUM. Next, it is mentioned “And it was Leprous (White) as SNOW. So if this is some reference to Alapadma, then perhaps the understansing is that the palms of the hand need to be covered with some type of Garment (a glove) as in the Bible verse “I cover the Heavens with sackcloth …” Curiously enough, The Zohar likens the Palms of the Hands to the Firmament of Heaven, with the lines in the fingers and hands as representing a map of the constellations.

    There is another Seal in the Bharata (I forgot the name). But in that Seal, the fingers of the Hand are closed (folded over the palm) and the thumb is pointing upwards. That Seal goes by the DESCRIPTION of a BOW (because pressure is put on the fingers that are folded into the palms of the Hands). That Same Seal also goes by the description of a PILLAR (Stregnth) and also LIPS. It’s my belief that this represents the Seal for ADONAI … “Adonai Open my LIPS so that my Mouth (Hand?) can rehearse your prayer.

    In his book (Autobiography of a Yogi), Yogananda mentioned the fact that when his mother was pregrant with him, she was told by a great Sage (Laharisi Mahasaya) who was her Guru (Teacher) that her Son would be the person responsible for leading other people to God. So if this is really true, then WHERE does Yogananda put the HINT for WHAT to do?

    It’s in an excercise that he refers to as “BEGGINER’S MEDITATION.” To do this, a person simply makes a FIST, and then EXHALES AIR out of the MOUTH. This is similar to the Seal for the BOW, except the thumb is not placed in the center of the palm. He also doesn’t mention the fact that the fingers must then be extended (stretched out) and that air is inhaled through the Nose (the flowering/scent part of the Secret). Niether does he mention the glove.

    Anyway, I am just mentioning these facts in case others want to try the Secret. It’s my belief that there is an even more advanced understanding of that Secret that represents the “flowering of a Lotus (or Rose) in some way.

    • jkile says:

      Thanks for your information, Mark. You offer such a different perspective than my own that your comments always leave me with much to explore.

    • Maria Rigel says:

      I’m sure there are Masonic connotations in the American flag. After all, many of the founding fathers were masons. The red and the white represent fire and water. There are thirteen stripes on the flag (seven red and six white), like the 12 signs of the Zodiac plus the pole star.

      • Maria Rigel says:

        Besides, the stars on the flag are pentagrams, representing the beginning of the journey. They are white, the colour of water, because the journey starts with water. They are in a blue field, which represents air, the colour of the mysteries.

        • Maria Rigel says:

          The third eye also represents the beginning of the journey, by the way. Not too sure about the connection with the star of the Magi. That may have different associations for different authors.

    • Maria Rigel says:

      The red rose is a rose that contains the blood of Christ. The Templar cross is red for a different reason: it’s the Sun.

  2. Mark says:

    I think I mispelled Bharata in the first post. Here is the link to the “Single Handed Gestures. The one I couldn’t think of the name for is called “Shikhara.”

  3. Mark says:

    Oh yeah! I almost forgot to mention that if you look all of the DESCRIPTIONS for these Seals found in The Bharata that you will see that many of these names are mentioned in The Bible. For example, there are seals that go by the description of a Lilly, a Bow, a Cloud (bow in the clouds), a Tower, a Rod, a Crown, a Pillar, an Arrow, a knife (Sword), a spear, a king’s signet ring, etc. In fact, once that you see all of the descriptions for what these seals can represent, you will begin to understand why I came to all of these conclusions.

    It’s my belief that the “advanced understanding” of the secret that I have already mentioned has to do with what the prophets refered to as the Dragon (Fire Breathing Dragon). In fact, I am more convinced than ever that the Serpent as a Universal Symbol for every Religion is really a reference to a Dragon. For example, in Hinduism/Tantra, you have Kundalini (The Serpent Power). In the Bible, you have both the Serpent and the Drgon mentioned. And in the “I Ching,” the Dragon is mentioned.

    In fact, I understand many secrets about the Dragon that were I to mention those secrets, they would have the effect of astonishing everybody. But I can’t, and I prefer not to explain why. For me, the wearing of a pair of GLOVES (Cotten gloves) when you practice these seals is MANDATORY. Don’t ever press your fingernails into the Lines on the palms of your hands without wearing a pair of Gloves. The Zohar mentions the fact that the Nails are Unclean, and represent the Other Side (Klipot/Demon side). Even worse, there is a Danger that I understand that others don’t that could actually get the person killed in the event that they begin to play around with all of these Seals and discover part of what I understand to be their “True Purpose.” But if the person wears a pair of gloves, that won’t happen.

  4. Maria Rigel says:

    The Rosacrucian rose is initially white because it symbolizes water. Then the rose becomes red with blood, when passing the trial of fire.

  5. astree says:

    Thanks, Jenny. I will go back and re-read the article and comments. For those interested in esoteric / hidden references, Jenny has quite a few here:

    The first one that came to mind is

    25th December 2005

    “So did those feet in ancient times walk where they buried their burning gold! So did they lay their mantle down for a King to raise it as his standard!”

    And, from the Maranatha puzzle

    “So high is the prize Solomon rose the Beast of Tobit”

    Happy Easter to All,

    • astree says:

      31st October 2008

      ‘X does not just mark the spot, crosses can lead the way also’

      31st January 2009

      ‘Where the widow’s son rose under the cross is the secret hidden’

      28th February 2009

      ‘The Masters point to the answers and their eye behold the truth’

  6. Velhalla says:

    It’s the Aryan Sun wheel, a Sun wheel in motion is a Swastika which there are two going in opposite directions, positive and negative, center Sun cross is neutral, the four chambers represent the heart with +and- creating the spark to beat our hearts giving us consciousness. The Sun wheel also represents seasons and movement of the Sun. On the nomadic Zodiac the 3 o clock position is East, Spring and is represented by an animal, a rabbit. Happy Easter.

  7. Velhalla says:

    In ancient Aryan culture the warriors were of the highest class, they were incarnations of the Sun. Scientifically we all feed upon the light of the Sun. In the Dead Sea Scrolls there is the book of Enoch which is the first book, it describes how 200 sons of god descended into a Semite village and took the daughters of men, essentially a nomadic raid into a sedentary settlement. A very interesting read. If you look at ancient rock carvings from Southern Russia to Scandinavia every warrior is a Sun wheel, son of god, here to sacrifice himself for the tribe.

  8. Velhalla says:

    Most Sons of God are depicted with a hatchet or hammer, it’s a lightning bolt, Indra Perun and Thor all gods of war and lightning, every warrior being an incarnation of the god of war. All Indo-European religions stem from these sons of god.

  9. Velhalla says:

    The Mongols adopted Aryan Sun worship and nomadism when the Aryan Huns were defeated by the Chinese in 400 ad, Huns rode West and Mongols filled the vacuum. The Mongols still practice the ancient nomadic religion and is the best way to study what our ancient Indo-Eurropean/Slavs/Iranian/Indian ancestors would have believed.

  10. AdinaJRink says:

    Good post! We have been linking to the great article on our website.

    Maintain the truly amazing writing.

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