Page 77. " signifying the divine post-diluvian Remission and Reconciliation of the Terrible "

Order of the Garter
GNU Free Documentation LicenseOrder of the Garter - Credit: Bernard Gagnon
'Honi soit qui mal y pense' is the motto of the English chivalric Order of the Garter.  It can be translated from the French as 'let him who thinks ill there be shamed', or reinterpreted as 'evil be to him who evil thinks'.  In this paragraph, Mr Rosencreutz explains that his meeting with Fevvers on May eve is not to be of a sexual nature.  The date, and the relative position of the stars and moon, signify Christian forgiveness of human sin following Noah's Flood, when sinners were removed from the Earth and humanity entered a temporary remission from its former misdeeds.  

'Yoni' is the Sanskrit word for female genitalia.  By replacing the word for 'shame' in the above quote with the word 'yoni', Rosencreutz condemns those who think evil not to shame, but to involvement with female sexuality which to him is terrible.  This replacement is not his (or Carter's) own, but appears in Jennings' The Rosicrucians with 'yoni' as the central discus, rosy cross or feminine flower - which in this text was not the root of evil which it appears to Rosencreutz. 


Page 77. " Flora; Azrael; Venus Pandemos! "

Angel of Death (1881)
Public DomainAngel of Death (1881) - Credit: Evelyn de Morgan
In Roman mythology Flora was a minor goddess of flowers and spring.  She was one of several fertility goddesses and her festival, the Floralia, was celebrated in late April or early May.  

Azrael (and its variant spellings) is the Archangel of Death in non-biblical tradition including Islam.  Literally meaning 'Whom God Helps', Azrael is usually portrayed as subservient to God.  In Jewish mysticism, however, he is the embodiment of evil; in some cultures he is said to record and erase the names of all human beings in a great book as they are born and die.

Venus Pandemos is Venus of the people; as opposed to a transcendent, celestial Venus.  The two were separated by 4th century Attic philosophers.  Venus Pandemos came to represent physical love, whilst Venus Ourania represented love of both body and soul.  

Page 79. " the sage, Artephius, invented a cabalistic magnet which secretly sucked out the bodies of young women their mysterious spirit of efflorescence "

Artephius (also known as Al Tafiz or Ibn ar Tafiz) is known as an alchemist in Cordoba, Andalucia, Spain, in the Middle Ages.  He is sometimes thought to be the same individual as Apollonius of Tyana.  Artephius created a pamphlet called The Secret Book of Artephius with a closing section dedicated to Allah, which reads 'Which when you see, render praises and thanksgiving to the most great and gracious God (Allah), who gives wisdom and riches to whomsoever He pleases, and takes them away according to the wickedness of a person. To Him, I say, the most wise and almighty God (Allah), be glory for ages and ages. AMEN.'

Artephius' dedication reflects Rosencreutz' earlier quote, that evil comes to those who think of evil.  His works claim that he held the secret of creating the Philosopher's Stone, and of prolonging human life.  He stated his own age as 1,025 and told of his adventures in hell, where he met the devil during his search for the Philosopher's Stone.

In his Secret Book Artephius explores in detail the approach to purifying metals, and of using the resulting distillation to purify the human body.  He offers instructions for drawing out the 'hidden spirit' of gold to condense it into an 'altogether spiritual substance, a white vapour, a white spirit, and a wonderful soul'.  The 'aqua vite' used to achieve this purification is the dew - Rosicrucian 'ros' - which springs from the earth during May, and he compares the relationship between the human body and this 'white water' to the desire and friendship between male and female.  He talks of the 'feminine dominion' of darkness and humidity which are lifted out of the body during the cleansing, but seems determined to rid the body of these elements rather than to distil them into a spirit of rejuvenation, as Rosencreutz suggests.

Abishag the Shulamite (or Shunammite) appears in the Book of Kings in the Old Testament (1 Kings 1:1-4).  She was a beautiful young woman chosen to lie beside the aging King David at night in order to keep him warm.  She may have become one of his wives, but the text states that 'the king knew her not' in a sexual relationship but that her role was one of ser vant and helper.  After Solomon assumed David's throne Adonijah, his brother, asked to be allowed to marry Abishag but Solomon saw this as an attempt at the crown and had Adonijah put to death (1 Kings 2:13-25).  Biblical chronology suggests that David's death came within a few years of lying with Abishag.

Statue of the Nine Worthies in Nuremberg
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeStatue of the Nine Worthies in Nuremberg - Credit: Anne97432

The Nine Worthies are a set of heroes established in the Middle Ages as personifying the ideals of chivalry.  They can be loosely grouped into three triads: Pagans, Old Testament Jews and chivalric Christian heroes.

The most obvious Signor Guardi of Venice is Francesco Guardi (1712-1793), one of the last painters of the Venetian School who followed in the footsteps of Titian in the 16th century.  Were there to have been a painting of him by Titian it would indeed make him around 300 years old; he would also have had to survive past 1793 in order to meet Mr Rosencreutz in Venice in person.

Page 81. " Arioriph, Venus, Achamatoth, Sophia "
Shrine to the Gnostic Sophia
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeShrine to the Gnostic Sophia - Credit: Metagignosko

Gnosticism sees the material world as sinful and corrupt, and believers, like Rosicrucians, strive to return to a spiritual plane.  Sophia's desire to be closer to God and to retain her own life caused her to fall from grace and brought about the creation of the material world and of its associated corruption.  However, she succeeds in investing a small spark of spirituality into the its creation and later, through the help of Christ, is brought back into the light of God.  As an angelic being, Sophia is usually depicted with wings and sometimes bearing a sword.In Gnostic tradition, Sophia is a divine being, an emanation or Aeon formed directly from the light of God.  She is the female counterpart or syzygy (and in some traditions, wife) of Christ and of the Holy Spirit.

In some Rosicrucian imagery, Sophia is represented by the Roman goddess Venus whose Greek equivalent is Achamoth (or Achamatoth).  One such image is described as 'The Manifestation of Arioriph', and is said to be the source of Rosicrucian representations of truth.  Arioriph appears to have been a figure in ancient Egypt who features on funerary imagery.

Page 95. " Then Martha would turn back into Mary and protest to the Martha within her "

Christ in the House of Martha and Mary (1618)
Creative Commons AttributionChrist in the House of Martha and Mary (1618) - Credit: Diego Velazquez
In the New Testament, Mary and Martha are the sisters of Lazarus.  When Jesus visits them Mary leaves aside her work to listen to his words, whilst Martha continues to prepare for the arrival of the disciples.  When Martha complains to Jesus about Mary leaving her to do the work, he replies, ""Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."

According to Biblical tradition, Lazarus was later raised from the dead by Jesus whilst Mary is Mary Magdalene.  In the Gnostic Pistis Sophia, describing Sophia's return to the light of God, Martha receives instruction on the repentance she must make in order to reach salvation.

Page 97. " a battered old Underwood portable "

Underwood Portable (1919)
Creative Commons AttributionUnderwood Portable (1919) - Credit: Seychelles88
The Underwood Typewriter Company was the dominant producer of typewriters for the office market by the turn of the century, having begun operations in 1874.  However, other companies threatened to take the lead in the home market, and in 1919 the company produced its first portable typewriter with three rows of keys.  The company was taken over by Olivetti in 1960 having produced well over five million machines, and has now largely disappeared.

To be the owner of a battered Underwood portable in 1899, twenty years before its launch, Walser is clearly well ahead of his time.  Indeed, the very first prototype of a portable typewriter was not revealed until 1904.  However, Underwood portables were popular with early writers and William Faulkner's model still sits on his desk in his former home.

Page 99. " Mr Walser, make the acquaintance of Sybil, my pardner in the Ludic Game "

The name Sybil is of Greek origin, and means prophetess, or seer.  A famous seer named Sybil lived in Erythrae in Ancient Greece, and another in Cumae, a Greek colony near Naples.  Sybil the pig followers in the line of her namesakes, but also in a long descent of

Paul, the 'psychic' octopus
Public DomainPaul, the 'psychic' octopus

supposedly clairvoyant animals.  The belief that animals have an additional sense or consciousness is common in popular culture, illustrated by the homeward drive of the three abandoned pets in The Incredible Journey or Black Beauty's refusal to cross a flooded bridge.  In ancient Babylonian, Greek and Roman tradition, the entrails of dead animals were examined for symbolic irregularities in a process known as extispicy.  The strange behaviour of birds has been said to herald an earthquake, and cows lying down to mean approaching rain.  Scientific studies have proven that dogs can quite genuinely detect the approach of an epileptic seizure in their owners.  However, more bizarre predictions have been attributed to animals, such as Oscar the cat who curled up on the laps of at least 50 residents of an American nursing home, shortly before each of them died.  Perhaps most famous of all, at least in recent years, was Paul the German octopus, who correctly predicted the results of each of Germany's games in the 2010 football World Cup by choosing food from boxes marked with each country's flag.

Colonel Kearney's phrase, the 'Ludic Game', relates to the game of life, of chance, which he plays in presenting his circus to the whims of the world.  Ludic derives from the Latin ludus, to play.  

In JK Rowling's Harry Potter series, the teacher of divination - or fortune telling - is named Sybil Trelawney, whilst Ludo Bagman is a sports hero and compulsive gambler.