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The Jewel in the Rosy Croix


The pelican feeding its young from a self-inflicted wound in its own breast is accepted as an appropriate symbol of both sacrifice and resurrection. To the Christian mystic the pelican signifies Christ, who saved humanity (the baby birds) through the sacrifice of His own blood. The pelican may also be considered as representative of the sun, whose rays (blood) are the life of the seven philosophical planets depicted as the pelican’s brood. In the Mysteries the pelican represents the resurrection of the candidate from the dead. The mother bird signifies those divine institutions which possess the secret doctrine which is the spiritual life of man. It was an ancient belief that three days after the father pelican had killed his own young, the mother resurrected them by wounding herself and permitting her blood to pour over their bodies. In Masonic symbolism the blood of the pelican stands for the Secret Work by which man is “raised” from the slavery of ignorance to the condition of freedom conferred by wisdom. As the Rose Croix degree is based upon Rosicrucian and Hermetic symbolism, it follows that the pelican represents one of the vessels in which the experiments of alchemy are performed and its blood that mysterious tincture by which the base metals (the seven baby birds) are transmuted into spiritual gold. Both the rose and the pelican signify the highest expression of human and divine affection. The love of the mother bird for her young typified the emotion of the Creator for those creatures which He fashioned during the Seven Sacred Days. The word “Rose” is a simple anagram, for from the rearrangement of its letters is derived the word “Eros” — the name of the Greek god of love. The phoenix is often substituted for the pelican, as can readily be discerned from an examination of its bill.  | 11″ x 17″