By the analysis of one example this article shall show, how the deeper meaning of some of the ancient mysteries and their symbols were revealed by the doctrine of christianity and in this very example the roman-catholic church.
In the egyptian myth of Isis and Osiris, where Osiris is slain by his brother Set and then cut into pieces to be spread over all of Egypt, the number of pieces into which Osiris was split is given with 14. The number 14 has many meanings of which some shall be revealed here.
In the 1=10 initiation of the historic Golden Dawn the 7 double letters of the Hebrew alphabet are explained a bit deeper. One of the more prominent esoteric things said about them is, that their double nature refers to duality of rough and soft sounds. Thus given, that these 7 letters can be pronounced in two ways each, they give 14 sounds. The most prominent appearance of the number 14 in christian mysticism is in the 14 stations of the cross in which the suffering of Jesus Christ are depicted. The references between Osiris and Jesus Christ are too many to be explained here and are also generally accepted. One of the more hidden rosicrucian principles and also deep mystical concepts is best phrased thus: "When thou hast died with Christ, thou shallst reign with Him." The process given in the 14 stations of the cross provides the mystic with a key to unlock this mystery and enables him or her to suffer and die with Christ and thus to resurrect and reign with him.
Some of the early mystics have taken this literally and have become, what christianity today calls martyrs. This does not mean, that every one who professes to call him- or herself a true rosicrucian has to die a painful death, but it does mean, that one has to be able to compassionately suffer with Christ.
From a numerological point the number 7 is implied in the 14, which of course among other things represents the 7 ancient planets. These planets also represent, in their symbol of the hexagram the macrocosm. However, if we sum up 14, that is 1+ 4, then we receive 5 the number the pentagram, which of course represents the microcosm. The unity of macrocosm and microcosm has been explained with the circle and the square and shall not be repeated here. However the number 5 refers to the mystical and hidden name of God which is, if transliterated into Latin, Jesus. And thus a fitting symbol for that name is indeed the pentagram. Since ancient times, the Tetragrammaton of was referred to the four elements of fire, water, air and earth. In the pentagrammaton, the letter (Shin) is added to the four letters of the name of God. And thus bringing into the four elements the fifth element, or quintessence, which is of course spirit. Added together, the numbers 5 and 7 equal 12, the number of tribes of Israel, of the signs of the zodiac but mostly to the 12 single letters of the Hebrew alphabet.
Also in the 1=10 initiation the 12 single letters are presented and it is said, that in christian symbolism they refer to the 12 apostles. Now if we add Paul to the 12 and count Jesus as well, we receive 14. Of course this means to let Judas stay within the ranks of the apostles. But if we do so, we receive 12 apostles, which we can attribute to the 12 signs of the zodiac and the 12 single letters, then we have Judas as representing Darkness and Jesus representing divine Light and here we may quote an ancient mystery: "The heaven is above, the earth is beneath and between do vibrate the colours of life."
There might raise the question, what it is, that the 14 Stations and their mysteries do to us, when we meditate, contemplate with them? Well, as mentioned above, the mystic is given a key to unlock their mystery, when he or she enables him/herself to suffer with Christ through them. They actually do not only provide they key, they are the key. The mystery about them is, that a mystic, who would incorporate them very strongly in his work, will eventually truly live and die with Christ. Making them part of our workings will consequently enable us to literally suffer with Christ.
History has shown men and women, who did, San Francesco di Assisi, and San Padre Pio being only two of them. They have been declared saints by the roman-catholic church because they were able to perform miracles, so was Padre Pio seen hovering, when he was doing prayer and meditation, and they both received, the most powerful symbol a christian mystic can receive as a gift from God, that they have truly suffered with Christ: The stigmata.
They received the wounds of Christ, that is the wounds of the nails in the hands, the feet, those of the crown of thorns on their heads, those of the scourging on their backs and the sting by the lance in their side. These wounds are 5 in their number and once more indicate the symbol of the perfected man, the microcosm symbolically shown in the image of the pentagram.
And as mentioned above, it is the symbol of the four elements under the guidance of the spirit. Now we have to ask ourselves, who we are invoking, when we meditate on the 14 stations of the cross, when we suffer with Christ. Many who have done this kind of work have believed, that it is Christ, with which they unite during the process. Well, that is the end, but if done with devotion, we suffer with someone else first, before we become Christ-like ourselves we unite with the one person, that has suffered with him in the very beginning, when he was actually suffering himself. When we look at the crucifix or depictions of the 14 Stations and feel that deep inner pain, that suffering, that: "What have we done?" then we actually go through the same pain, that Mary did, when she saw her son, of whom she knew, he was the Messiah, suffer and die on the cross.
This is why she, the blessed mother is in truth the very first stigmatic, because she was the first who suffered with him. So suffering with Christ means in a first step to suffer with the holy mother. And the first who knew, was the apostle John, who comforted her under the cross and who was addressed by Jesus thus: "behold thy mother, mother, behold thy son." This example of the apostle John, who could not see the blessed mother suffer for her son and thus comforted her and wept with her on the sufferings of Christ, was the first being introduced into the deeper mysteries by Christ himself.
This episode is exemplified in the 4th station of the cross which in Latin translates into: "Iesus crucis baiulans occurrit matri suæ dolorissimæ." Christian mystics believe that firstly the book of revelation was indeed written by the apostle John and that secondly he portrayed the inner mysteries which he beheld after he was thus "initiated" by Jesus as shown above. This among others is the true meaning of the apostles Pauls words in Romans 12, when he says: "…this is your true and reasonable service…" And it is indicated in the Latin mass of the roman-catholic church, when the priest says: "Per ipsum et cum ipso et in ipso est tibi patris omnipotentis, in unitas spiriti sancti, omnia honor et gloria, sæcula sæculorum. Amen". And this is why the ancient rosicrucians had as their credo:
"EX DEO NASCIMUR,