The Rose Cross on the back of the Thoth Tarot
cards is often overlooked. Why Aleister Crowley put it there, and what it represents is a
mystery. Hi I’m Paul Hughes-Barlow, and these are
my videos on Tarot! The form and meaning of the Rose Cross has
changed down the centuries. In Ancient Egypt the Rose Cross appears as
the Crux Asanta or Ankh The Cross and the Rose is sacred to Christianity
The Rose Cross or Rosy Cross is of course sacred to the Rosicrucians, and to Freemasonry.
The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn developed a complex magical and spiritual system around
the Rosy Cross. Aleister Crowley inherited all this and more,
for the Rosy Cross is also part of the O.T.O. and A. A. systems.
Silence surrounds the Rose Cross in The Book of Thoth.
Despite its importance, the image of the Rose Cross on the back of the cards only appears
in the Appendix. The Rose Cross is not about divinatory meanings,
or predictions, so why is it on the Tarot cards?
Clues to the symbolism are found in the colours of the Rose Cross.
The primary colours give the main structure of the Cross.
Red for Fire Blue for Water
Yellow for Air Black for Earth
White for Spirit Where the horizontal and vertical lines of
the Rose Cross intersect we have a multicoloured rose composed of 3 rings with the smaller
Rose Cross at the centre. The central ring has 3 petals
The middle ring has 7 petals The outer ring has 12 petals
We have 22 petals, the number of letters in the Hebrew alphabet and of course the Major
Arcana. The Sepher Yetsirah classifies the Hebrew
letters into three groups: 3 Mother letters
7 Double letters 12 Single letters
The Mother letters relate to Air, Fire and Water
The Double letters are the 7 planets, Finally we have the 12 signs of the Zodiac
The arrangement of the colours is significant. For the Mother Letters
We see that the Yellow aligns with the upper part of the Cross
while the Red and Blue are counterchanged with the colours on the horizontal arm.
The colours of the outer arms are harmonised in a manner similar to the colour wheels used
by artists. Where do these colours come from?
The Golden Dawn developed a system of colour magic applicable to all the Tarot cards.
There are four levels or Scales: The King Scale
The Queen Scale The Prince Scale
And the Princess Scale The colours on the Rose petals relate to the
King Scale The Colour Scales are found in the Book of
Thoth Finally, we look at the green petals between
the arms of the Cross. Green is the colour of Nature, and Venus
That completes the overview of the colours of the Rose Cross.
We have covered all 78 cards – the Major Arcana, the Court cards, and the Minor Arcana.
In Summary, The Rose Cross unifies religions, spiritual, magical systems
The Rose Cross unifies all the tarot cards in one symbol through the colours
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