The grave vault of Venus
The next day, Christian Rosycross descends into the deep cellar vaults of the castle, that is, into his deepest self, down to his original life principle. There he finds the grave vault of Venus. Above the door stands the strange saying: “Buried here lies Venus, the beautiful woman who has stripped many a great man of happiness, honor, blessings, and welfare.” Venus is the divine love that brings forth and maintains everything but also breaks down and dissolves everything, to guide everything to a new beginning. Venus becomes the cause of endless suffering and bitterness if she is not recognized and sought in the innermost being. We often seek perfection and fulfillment – true love – in the loved ones. But the outward love can be at best a mirror image of the divine love. By and large, it causes great suffering because of the mistake we seekers make in idealizing people and seeking the perfect in them. True love comes into play only when we turn to the healing of our microcosm. CRC, who finds the tomb of Venus in the deep vaults, has blossomed inwardly to this insight. He knows that the essence of love is the awakening of the divine man within. Only now can he begin the actual alchemical work on his own being, through which Venus, hidden and buried within him, comes alive as a never-ending source of life and love.
What has CRC experienced so far? In principle, he has left his old life with its bonds and forces behind; he has made himself suitable to live from new, non-dualistic forces. After he was allowed to perceive the sources of his consciousness inwardly, he agreed to liquidate them all, so that a liberated spiritual soul consciousness can arise from them. In this the karmic experience will be suspended, and the principles of divine spirit and immortal soul will be leading. He wants to serve them, and so he is able to end the old. When he then encounters Venus in his deepest innermost being, he has seen through all the deceptions of love (as well as of being good and caring) and is ready to follow divine love above all else. Head and heart are already completely devoted to the alchemical process.
The tower of Olympus
After this preparation, CRC, together with the other candidates, crosses a sea to reach the island on which the Tower of Olympus stands. It is the site of the actual work of transfiguration. The sea symbolizes the circle of eternity into which the candidate is allowed to enter after his complete self-surrender. The Tower of Olympus – as the site of a divine creation – has seven floors which correspond to the seven aspects of our being: material body, etheric body, astral body, mental body and the three-fold divine self which is still latent in us (Manas – higher, abstract Mind; Buddhi – Spirit Soul and Atman – Spirit Man).
From the bottom up, CRC and the other candidates endeavor to purify and transform their own essence under the guidance of the Ancient One (the divine principle present in man). It all begins in the material body, which has been previously prepared for the process by servitude, silence and perseverance in not-being. In the story, all kinds of herbs and other substances are purified by the candidates. Then they can ascend to the floor above, which is the etheric body.
This process of gradual ascension of consciousness, the conscious action from the dense matter to the subtle and to the self, is only possible when the preparatory work has been completed on each floor. In the case of the material body, it is the altruistic servitude that has become a real state of being.
The Alchemical Wedding tells us that, at the level of the etheric body, the candidates are praying. Prayer in this context is the clear and conscious connection with the original, the eternal field of creation. The vivifying ethers of this field flow into the room as indicated by the image of a fountain that begins to flow. The old “dead” consciousness principles are brought into the room – they are dissolved, and their form finally evanesces. The old life has been ended.
Then the candidates are allowed to ascend to the next level, the astral body. The dissolved forces of the consciousness are brought in a golden sphere and hung in the middle of the room. Its exterior walls are designed in a way that windows and mirrors alternate.
The sunlight that shines through a window is reflected and multiplied by all of the mirrors. An intense beam of light from all directions is thus focused on the center of the sphere, causing it to glow. After a dissolution process took place in the etheric body, the substances are now congealed into a new creation. The candidates have opened themselves without reservation to the divine love, which is now permitted to fill their whole being as an overwhelming light. Now that self-centeredness has been overcome, the astral body is re-created. When the golden sphere has cooled down, it is cut in half by the candidates using a diamond. Inside this golden sphere, they find a flawless white egg. The new man has been born, and he now has to prove and manifest himself on the higher levels. The egg is brought outside, and the candidates continue to rise.
The soul bird
On the next floor, the mental body, a bird, the reborn soul, slips out of the egg to the great joy of all. You might think the process has come to an end. The soul can now consciously guide life, in possession of the entire experience of the microcosm. Just like the “lower” elements of the being, the thinking of man is now thus firmly established in the divine field of creation. It is nourished by it. This means that the mental body has also been transformed, it is transfigured.
After that, on the following three floors of the tower, begins the unfolding of the three higher aspects of the human being: Manas, Buddhi and Atman. The Soul bird sacrifices itself and transforms, and at the end there comes the revivification of a young royal couple. Strange pictures describe this inner process. The fact that the couple stands at the end of the path has a clear meaning: the candidate has freed himself from the grip of matter, from the identification with the material body. Male-female, androgynous in himself, s/he becomes a self-creative being again. Christian Rosycross, who was invited as a guest to the wedding, has proved himself to be a significant contributor. He has recognized his ego and silenced it; he has persevered in non-being and proved his servitude. He has discovered and overcome himself step by step. The person who started the path, however, is not the one who arrives at its end. On the path of transfiguration, the guest and witness will be taken up into a great new unity.
To read more:
- Jan van Rickenborgh: The Alchemical Wedding of Christian Rosycross, Volumes I and II, Rozekruis Pers, Haarlem 2017
- Stufen der Wandlung – Die Chymische Hochzeit des Christian Rosenkreutz (Stages of Change – The Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosycross), Brochure on a Symposium of the Stiftung Rosenkreuz, Birnbach Ww.