Heraldic Rose
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Heraldic Rose

The esoteric doctrines for which the Eastern lotus stands have been perpetuated in modern Europe under the form of the rose. The rose and the lotus are yonic emblems, signifying primarily the maternal creative mystery. Both represent spiritual unfoldment and attainment.

The heraldic rose of the Middle Ages generally has either five or ten petals thereby showing its relationship to the spiritual mystery of man through the Pythagorean pentad and decad.

From the earliest times, the rose was associated with love; in Greek mythology, the red rose was supposed to have sprung from the blood of Adonis, the lover of Venus, and was symbolic of love which transcended death. In the Middle Ages, the red rose stood for the blood shed by Jesus on the Cross and therefore represented God's love for mankind, and in the Renaissance period, a mystical Christian fraternity called the 'Rosicrucians' (i.e. the rosy cross) used the rose as their symbol. The rose as the 'queen of flowers' was also associated with the Virgin Mary - hence only virgins were supposed to wear rose garlands. Despite this medieval troubadours used the rose in their songs as a symbol of a very earthly kind of love.

The rose is often found in heraldry, and is the flower which symbolizes England (just as the thistle represents Scotland). A red and white rose was the symbol of the English Tudor dynasty of kings. One heraldic treatise stated that the rose's special status is explained 'by its special association with comfort, generosity and discretion' and continued that 'Red roses have an inevitable association with the redness of the blood that all must shed for freedom, for the Fatherland, for the Church.'

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