The Rosicrucians, or Order of the Rose Cross, began either in ancient Egypt or about
1313 or 1490 or 1616, depending on which source you believe. The founders were Egyptian
sages, friends of Martin Luther (whose coat of arms had a rose and cross on it),
Giordano Bruno, or persons unknown. Whatever the truth of these murky matters, the
Rosicrucians definitely influenced Freemasonry, which still has a rank of Knight
of the Rose Cross among its higher degrees. The eye-
The first public notice of the Rosicrucians occurred ca. 1614-
Another source informs us that the Rosicrucian Order was formed by Christian Rosenkreus in 1313 to prepare for a new phase of the Christian religion: "The great spiritual entities in charge of evolution change the religions of the world in harmony with the passage of the marching orbs in the heavens." Specifically, the Rose Cross intends to teach us a form of "sixth sense" by which we may transcend both faith and reason and know directly the meaning of rose, cross, and other mystic symbols and what evolutionary message they carry.
The late Philip K. Dick has conjectured that the Rosicrucian order began as an anti-
Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition, by Frances Yates, University of Chicago Press, 1964.
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