Johann Valentin Andreae
The Origins of the Rosicrucians
Where do the Rosicrucians come from, and who is Christian Rosycross? The Rosicrucian teachings of universal wisdom date back to ancient sources. At the beginning of the 17th Century the term “Rosycross” was published in Europe in the classical Rosicrucian writings.
The name “Rosycross” is handed down from the Middle Ages. This name was published for the first time in the writings of the South German theologian Johann Valentin Andreae in the early 17th Century. These classical Rosicrucian writings are: “Fama Fraternitatis RC” (published in 1614), “Confessio Fraternitatis RC” (1615) and “Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosycross” (1616).
A Universal Spiritual Reformation of the World
They tell about a mysterious Brotherhood, whose goal is a universal spiritual reformation of the world. Their father-brother, Christian Rosycross (CRC), has built a “House Sancti Spiritus” and works as an alchemist, with his brothers, to create gold and the immortal bodies of a new “royal couple”.
In the Europe of the late Renaissance, these publications gained considerable attention. In the following centuries, several Rosicrucian movements developed and continue to the present, which have understood and practised the traditions differently. European intellectual history has also seen many figures who were influenced by the ideas of the Rosicrucians.
Who is Christian Rosycross?
Christian Rosycross, his fraternity and the “House Sancti Spiritus” do not belong to the realm of fable and are not to be understood historically. The “gold” that CRC is working on is not a precious metal, but the spiritual gold of the perfect human being. The name Christian Rosycross is not a legal name, but a spiritual name that contains a secret meaning.
Christian Rosycross is the prototype of a man who lives the path of Christian initiation beginning with the first vocation as a pupil and culminating with the resurrection of the spirit-soul. The “Alchemical Wedding” is really the spiritual wedding of his own, new-born soul with the spirit of Christ, thus forming an immortal man with an immortal body.
In Christian Rosycross, who was taught by twelve adepts, is the knowledge of the old religions – including the ancient wisdom from Egypt and Asia Minor – fused into a new synthesis, an esoteric Christianity. Rudolf Steiner wrote about this in his lecture “The Rosicrucian Christianity”.
The origins of the Rosicrucians are thus to be found in the ancient wisdom teachings, the “Universal Wisdom” that was always and will always be revealed to the people who seek it. This wisdom is timeless and eternal, but it is always passed on to the people in the language of their own time and place.