The Golden Star
The Symbol of the Cross
“The cross within the circle is also called the mundane cross, and it is the sign of the origin of human and animal life. When the circle is taken away and only the cross is left, it means that the fall of man in matter is accomplished. The cross within the circle symbolizes pure Pantheism, and has the same meaning as the Tau within the circle, or the Jaina cross or Swastika. The Tau is the oldest form of the letter T and it was the glyph of the Third Root-Race until the day of its symbolic Fall; when the separation of the sexes by natural evolution took place and the figure became a divided circle, or sexless life; modified or separated. Later on in the Fifth Race it changed again into the Egyptian emblem of Life, the Ankh,
and still later into the sign of Venus.
“In the Western Kabala the sign of the cross within the circle is called the ‘Union of the Rose and Cross’; the symbol of the Kosmos before its manifestation; the great mystery of Occult Generation.
“The symbol of the Rose upon the Christian Cross represents the Soul of man (in reality the Mind) within the human body, according to the usual interpretation of this symbol. It really refers to the Mind, as I said, being crucified upon, or within the human frame, in order to grow and flourish there and become worthy of its ultimate union with the Divine Soul through accumulated experience and Wisdom gathered on the Path of Evolution.
“ ‘May the Rose bloom upon your Cross,’ is an old Salutation; a kindly wish; and a brotherly Blessing.
“The ansated Egyptian Cross is the symbol of the female-male, Isis-Osiris, the germinal principle in all forms, based on the primal manifestation applicable in all directions and senses. In the kabalistic teachings the ‘Tree of Life’ is the ansated cross in its sexual aspect. The word Otz, meaning ‘tree,’ composed of two letters in Hebrew, the value of which are 7 and 9, represents the holy feminine number 7, and the number 9 of male energy.
“With the Egyptians the number 7 was also the symbol for life eternal, and the Greek letter Z is but a double 7 and the initial letter of Zaô, ‘I live,’ and of Zeus, the ‘Father of all living.’
“Further meanings of the ansated cross are ‘an oath,’ ‘a covenant,’ and the circle on top of the Tau is the same as the hieroglyphic Ru
set upright. This hieroglyphic sign means ‘door,’ ‘gate,’ ‘mouth,’ ‘place of outlet,’ and here it denotes the birthplace in the northern quarter of the heavens, from which the Sun is reborn. Therefore, the Ru of the ansated cross is the feminine symbol for birthplace in the North. It was in that quarter of the heavens that the ‘Mother of the Revolutions,’ the Goddess of the Seven Stars, gave birth to time in the earliest cycle of the year.
“The earliest shape of the ansated cross, or Ankh-cross, is the Ankh-tie, a loop containing both the circle and the cross in one sign. It represented the circle made in the northern heaven by the Great Bear, which constituted the earliest year of time. The Ru of the Ankh-cross was continued in the Cypriote R (semi-circle above a horizontal line)
and the Coptic Ro (capital ‘P’). The Ro again was carried into the Greek Cross (capital ‘P’ with a crossed bar).
“The Ankh-tie is also found under the name of Pâsha, a chord which the four-armed Indian God Shiva holds in the hand of his right back arm, and the Ru sign is found as the third eye of a Mahâyogî, in the posture of an Indian ascetic.
“The Tau is the Alpha and the Omega of the Secret Divine Wisdom, and it is symbolized by the initial and final letters of Thoth (or Hermes), who was the inventor of the Egyptian alphabet. The Tau was also the final letter in the alphabets of the Jews and the Samaritans, who called this letter the ‘end,’ or ‘perfection,’ ‘culmination’ and ‘security.’
“When a cube is unfolded its six faces will form a cross, and we find four squares for the upright part and three squares for the crossbar, making seven in all. Four is the symbol of the Universe in its potential state, or Chaotic Matter; and it requires spirit to permeate it actively. In other words, the Triangle has to quit its one-dimensional quality and spread across that matter, thus forming a manifested basis on the three-dimensional space, so that the Universe shall manifest intelligently. This, the unfolding of the Cube achieves, and hence the ansated cross as the symbol of man, generation and life. In Egypt the word Ankh signified ‘Soul,’ ‘Life,’ and ‘Blood’; or the ensouled, living man; the septenary.
“To return once again to the cross in the form of the Swastika, I would say that few symbols are more fraught with real Occult meaning than that glyph. It is symbolized by the figure 6 and like that figure it points to the zenith and the nadir, to North, South, East and West. The Unit is found everywhere and is reflected in all and every unit. It is the emblem of the continual evolution of the ‘Wheels,’ and of the Four Elements, the Sacred Four, in their mystical as well as their cosmical meaning, and its four arms are intimately related to the Pythagorean and Hermetic Scales. On it the trained and initiated one can trace the evolution of the Kosmos with mathematical precision, and the relation of the Seen to the Unseen, as well as the first procreation of man and species. It is the most philosophically scientific of all symbols and the most comprehensible. It is the summary in a few lines of the whole work of creation and evolution, from Cosmotheogony down to Anthropogony, from the unknown God to the electron, whose genesis is as unknown to Science as is that of the All-Deity Itself. That the ancient Sages knew this is proved by the fact that the Swastika is found heading the religious symbols of every old nation.