What is the Rosicrucian Brotherhood?
Answer: According to the teachings of the Rosicrucians, the linking of the rose with the cross is the symbol for the resurrection and salvation. The adepts of the Order of the Golden Dawn wore a rose-cross on their chest which consisted of 22 differently colored petals. It symbolized the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet and the 22 paths in the tree of life, which linked the ten sephirots with one another. These petals could be used to create a geometrical shape which could represent every mental and psychological force. The name was first transcribed into Hebrew letters, then a shape was drawn which could be used to link all the letters of the name if they were written onto the rose.
According to legend, Christian Rosenkreuz (1378-1484) was the founder of the secret brotherhood that bears his name. Today, it is thought to be certain that this person was the invention of J.V. Andreae (1586-1654). The idea that there might be an invisible brotherhood, which can be traced back to the rose and cross, remains alive even in the current century (the Order of the Golden Dawn). In the 18th century, the Rosicrucians based their name on this legend. However, it can now be safely said that prior to the 17th century, the Rosicrucians did not exist.
The idea of the Rosicrucian originated from the yearning of committed Protestants for a second comprehensive reformation.
In his later years Andreae distanced himself from his early writings, which he merely interpreted as a satire on the alchemistic-theosophical sentimental enthusiasm for magi, astrologers and sectarians of his times.
But since the idea of a secret brotherhood had entered the world, reputable scholars of his time began their search for this brotherhood, which remained elusive.
Some scholars have interpreted these efforts as having been the driving force behind the scientific revolution of the 17th century. It was possible for alternative ways of thinking to develop in such secret brotherhoods, which would bring an end to the medieval way of looking at the world, and search for new ways of explaining the world.
The members were free spirits, who wanted to discover the secrets of nature. In the course of this they discovered new characteristics and forces in nature, which could not be fitted into the dominant world view and were therefore labeled with the term occult. The mystical and magical elements of this alternative way of thinking were slowly lost when more and more experiments were used to study the secrets of nature and to understand them better.