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Royal Endeavors – Rosslyn Chapel

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Ladies and Gentlemen,

Esteemed Audience,

“If thoust can comprehend these things, thoust know enough.”

– William St Clair

We have gathered in the virtual space on this glorious All Saints’ Eve to cherish and honor the last outstanding episode of the Royal Endeavors – Scotland series, which is introducing the breathtaking Rosslyn Chapel, an oustanding architectural masterpiece which maintains its sacred allure despite being over-publicized as a tourist attraction, transcending all the expectations of those who come to visit it.

Having the chance to visit Rosslyn Chapel precisely on Saint Peter and Paul Feast, my name anniversary day, after visiting Edinburgh and experiencing the magical encounter with Hazel the Owl, is what I consider to be an exquisite gift from the Universe, one of the best I have ever received. It wasn’t only the name anniversary of my Father and I, but also of Peter St Clair-Erskine, the 7th Earl of Rosslyn, as the Rosslyn Chapel remains privately owned.

You can’t even imagine my enthusiasm to reach this fabulous 600 years old enigma, “a diminutive place of worship” invested with undisputed power, which incited the spirits for centuries and gave birth to a brilliantly conceived web of intrigue that spans three millennia to embroil the Catholic Church, Crusader Knights, Freemasonry, poets, painters and musicians, politicians and kings.

Rosslyn Chapel is an earthly paradise, although I honestly do not remeber it at all from The Da Vinci Code, in spite of watching the movie several times. 
I was actually surprised by its discreet dimensions, stunning decorations, the abundance of sacred symbols and a striking scent of white lilies placed in an outstanding bouquet at the right of the altar. Never have I felt more mesmerized by their perfume than the moment I had entered Rosslyn Chapel. 

When my grandfather passed away, one night close to his departure to Heaven I had a dream I was arranging enormous white lilies in a flower-shop. When the time came, I decided to commemorate his passing with lilies at the chapel, because they inspire purity and nobility and he was a highly esteemed gentleman and professional, as well as an enlightened Spirit who had successfully accomplished his life mission and purpose.

After various researches about its symbolical meaning, I now know the lily is a intimately connected to both the Annunciation of Our Lady and Our Lord’s Resurrection. 
It is such a powerful symbol related to the Divine Order, I even bought fresh white lilies today in order to inspire me to decipher the sacred symbolism behind the intricate carvings adorning the mysterious Rosslyn Chapel. 

Nestling in a beautiful glen just seven miles from the centre of Edinburgh, Rosslyn Chapel is one of the world’s most extraordinary places. 
Ever since it was built in the mid fifteenth century, it has cast a mesmerising spell over all who have visited it, exuding an aura of profound mystery.
Six hundred years later it continues to intrigue, inspiring stories of The Knights Templar, the Holy Grail and a myriad of esoteric beliefs, most notably Dan Brown’s bestselling The Da Vinci Code, which made the chapel known to millions through the world. 
In spite of my undenied fascination for mystery and magic, I would rather not sift through mounds of unfounded conjecture and fantasy to make sense of it all, but share my own spiritual perception, which is no less amazing than other facets of both truth and fiction currently existing online.

Let’s not forget the famous inscription on the architrave joining the Prince’s Pillar (comonly known as the Apprentice Pillar), which says Forte est vinum fortior est rex fortiores sunt mulieres super omnia vincit veritas: “Wine is strong, a king is stronger, women are stronger still, but truth conquers all.”

But first, let’s commence with a hint of history – the chapel was founded by William Sinclair, 1st Earl of Caithness of the Scoto-Norman Sinclair family. 
Rosslyn Chapel is the third Sinclair place of worship at Roslin, the first being in Roslin Castle and the second (whose crumbling buttresses can still be seen today) in what is now Roslin Cemetery.
Sinclair founded the college to celebrate the Divine Office throughout the day and night, and also to celebrate Masses for all the faithful departed, including the deceased members of the Sinclair family.
It is no wonder I have chosen the All Saints’ Eve to complete my spiritual study on the symbolism behind one of the most fascinating chapels in the world.

The original plans for Rosslyn have never been found or recorded, so it is open to speculation whether or not the chapel was intended to be built in its current layout. Its architecture is considered to be among the finest in Scotland. 
Although the original building was to be cruciform, it was never completed. Only the choir was constructed, with the retro-chapel, otherwise called the Lady chapel, built on the much earlier crypt (Lower Chapel) believed to form part of an earlier castle. The decorative carving was executed over a forty-year period. After the founder’s death, construction of the planned nave and transepts was abandoned.

Famous for its Masonic architecture and symbolism, and its possible connections to Freemasonry, the chapel has even been suggested as the resting place of the Holy Grail. Its roof is supported by thirteen columns, the most famous of which is the Prince’s Pillar, one of the most striking and exquisitely crafted stone pillars ever imagined, alternatively known as the Apprentice Pillar. 
Legend has it that it was carved by a young apprentice whilst the master mason was away researching the design of the pillar. On his return the mason, who did not expect to find it finished so beautifully, killed the apprentice in a fit of jealousy.  
The design of the pillar came to the ‘Apprentice’ in a dream according to legend and its design cannot be discounted as resembling the Helix of DNA. Many people have remarked upon the similarity to the extent that perhaps the Apprentice or the creators of Rosslyn were aware of this helix shape being embedded within nature’s principals.

To my opinion, the Prince’s Pillar resembles not only the DNA helix, but also a staircase to Heaven. It is highly probable the apprentice had in fact a prophetic dream in which the pillar divinely revealed itself in all of its astonishing details symbolizing the Ascension of the Spirit – of his work to the level of a impeccable piece of art, which eclipses the skills and accomplishments of the mason, or of his life serving its divine purpose of delivering such an outstanding masterpiece. Beyond the the profane act of murder motivated by envy – one of the seven deadly sins depicted in the chapel – lays the legend of an apprentice which will never be forgotten as the immaculate proof of his talent transcending the worldly dimensions is artfully carved in stone in this mysterious chapel, named in his remembrance. Nevertheless, my purpose is not to debate the moral aspects of the events revolving around Rosslyn Chapel, but rather to shed light upon their spiritual symbolism.

When it comes to symbolism, everyone who visits Rosslyn Chapel is bewildered by the complexity of the detailed patterns.
It’s no surprise it intrigued a 75-year-old musician and his son, an ex-code breaker, who had spent 27 years trying to crack the code behind its unique geometry.
Their breakthrough followed the observation of angels playing instruments and 213 geometric cube carvings accompanying them in the arches, and to their amazement, they found the geometric patterns on the cubes correlated to a Chladni Pitch – the patterns sand and liquid makes on a flat surface when certain tones are played.
By looking at these for the notes and an angel that points to a musical staff for the key, they managed to understand the architecture as a giant musical score.
And this is just one of the world wide acknowledged discoveries related to the symbolism of the detailed patterns and elaborate stone carvings. 

Along the arch above one of the windows in the south aisle is a beautiful carving of what appears to be maize or Indian corn.
While the presence of the corn enraptures many mystery hunters, mainly because the chapel predates Christopher Columbus’ journey to America with 50 years and the link between Scotland and America’s indigenous plant life is as thin as the veil between the worlds on Halo-Win, legend tells that Sir Henry St Clair, grandfather of the Chapel’s founder, may have travelled there long before Columbus – could these carvings of Indian corn be proof that Scottish knights reached North America first?

Most famously, the Rosslyn Chapel is decorated with around 100 green men located inside and outside, which are commonly used as a decorative architectural ornament, frequently found in carvings on both secular and ecclesiastical buildings.
Superficially the Green Man would appear to be pagan, and yet he frequently appears, carved in wood or stone, in churches, chapels, abbeys and cathedrals. It commonly symbolizes growth and rebirth, the eternal seasonal cycle of the coming of spring and the life of Man. 
Could it also mean the perpetual rebirth of Spirit (green) through its cycles of earthly life (man), whose ultimate purpose is becoming closer to God (spiritual growth) through the seven virtues, just as the Prince’s Pillar spiral (cyclic) ascension metaphorically leaded the apprentice to the Realms of Divine? 

I’m glad I have mentioned the seven virtues and seven deadly sins because, if you look closely at the elaborate stone carvings, you will see that greed is depicted amongst the virtues and charity is shown in the sins. A question naturally arises: Did the mason make a mistake, or were the two deliberately switched as a reminder of the potential for good within evil, and evil within good?

Obviously, none of these explanations are appealing to me. My thoughts wander towards the Order of the Temple when answering this question.
Of course, there are various historical aspects which presumably link the Templars with Rosslyn Chapel, although, as far as I know, none is linked to greed being a virtue, nor to charity being a sin, although I must say, if my mere assumption proves to be correct, the mason had a brilliant approach to justifying or even rewriting history (the switch between Virtue and Sin) through the symbolic act of creation (stone carving).
Taking into consideration my recent posts which state the fact that the past can be in fact rewritten in the present moment by the power of the word, wouldn’t it make the process even more effective if a symbol was carved in stone? 
Weren’t the 10 commandments written on two tablets made of stone, also called Tablets of (the) Testimony? 

According to Rosslyn Chapel official website, it has been claimed that the Templars excavated the ruins of the original Temple of Solomon. 
There is no evidence that this happened, or that anything significant was found there if they did. But some believe that they must have found something important, because in 1139 Pope Innocent II issued a Papal Bull which granted great powers to the Templars. They were exempted from local laws, could pass freely across country borders, were not required to pay any taxes, and were subject to no authority except the Pope himself. A more likely explanation is that the Templars needed to raise large sums of money to create a protective network across many national boundaries, and the Pope wanted to make sure that the Knights had the resources to achieve this.

In spite of swearing a vow of poverty as individuals, which this did not exclude them as an Order from controlling wealth or receiving donations, over time the Templars became incredibly wealthy, owning large tracts of land, and making huge sums of money from banking (issuing credit notes for the Pilgrims who deposited wealth in their Perceptories, worried they might be robbed on their way to the Holy Land) and other trading.
Do you see what I mean with Greed being a virtue? 
They protected trade routes across Europe, and their exemption from taxes helped their riches to grow.
This led to jealously and suspicion that they were becoming too powerful for their own good.
Their power and wealth made Kings jealous and afraid for their own security.
Considering charity is the voluntary giving of money or support), in order to secure a tremendous fortune and power, doesn’t it sound like a deadly sin for those who would do anything to preserve their status, wealth and influence or must maintain the secrecy by oath? 

Nevertheless, this makes me ask myself why there is a hanged man carved in stone at Rosslyn Chapel. Could it be a fallen angel, an accurate depiction of the Tarot card, or is it a pun to the reversed meaning brilliantly hidden behind the outstanding symbols? 
The decorations present within the interiors of Rosslyn Chapel are inspired by virtually every spiritual influence in existence before and during the period in which the chapel was built: Greek, Babylonian, Egyptian, Hebrew, pagan Norse and Pict. The barrel-vaulted roof is dotted with images of stars, lilies and roses. There are carvings of the constellations of  the Zodiac, dragons, the orb of the sun and the engrailed cross of the St Clairs.
How pleasant it is simply to absorb the whole in all its delicate, cluttered beauty without finding any necessity to question its purpose.
Too bad such a meditative state of observation is highly unlikely for a Gemini like me.  

However, I cannot elaborate another paragraph without mentioning the striking image of the Lovers cut into stone shunning the Devil. 
The symbol of the Lovers and the very badly eroded decoration of a crypt angel which appears to have two heads reminded me of the bicephalous ‘Ain Ghazal statue which I have noticed in The Jordan Museum, “One of the Oldest Human Statues Ever Made by Human Civilization”. 

Although the Rosslyn Chapel staff was very kind to reply to my e-mail and provide a detailed picture of the angel, I will respectfully not share it.
Taking pictures inside the Rosslyn Chapel is definitely not allowed, therefore I consider it to be a tremendous favor they did for me to provide a photo out of their private collection available on request for research purpose and not personal use. 

I consider the statue, the Lovers and the crypt angel to be very close to an evidence I have traced throughout history of the fascinating Twin Flame connection or, better said, the Divine Complements, a myth or perhaps a spiritual reality delightfully presented in Aristophanes’ speech in Plato’s Symposium. 

“… the primeval man was round, his back and sides forming a circle; and he had four hands and four feet, one head with two faces, looking opposite ways, set on a round neck and precisely alike; also four ears, two privy members, and the remainder to correspond… Terrible was their might and strength, and the thoughts of their hearts were great, and they made an attack upon the gods…”

Or perhaps the Holy Union of two halves of the same soul would be so powerful it could defy all evil? 
Wouldn’t Love bring us closer to Wholeness or Spiritual Completion in the same manner the Ascension gets us closer to God and Heaven? Would the Earth become Eden if there was a perfect equilibrium between Charity and Greed? Of course, these are rhetorical questions because I already sense the answer to be positive. 

Not stone or brass
These perish with the flight of time and quickly pass
But love endures in every clime
Eternal as the poet’s rhyme.
Not brass or stone
These will corrode and some day die
But love alone laughs at decay
And soars on high to fragrant immortality.

As you can imagine and probably discover through your own perspective and perception if my extended blog post inspires you to pursue the path of sacred symbolism, visiting the majestic Rosslyn Chapel on my name anniversary was a thrilling experience enriched with powerful symbolism and even greater personal meaning. 
I am hopeful my path would lead to it again, perhaps for a very special event of my life, which deserves to be honored through a private ceremony on the premises of one of the most exquisite masterpieces of Art and Creativity.
And this, ladies and gentlemen, is stylish wrap up to the Grand Finale of the Royal Endeavors adventures in Scotland. I am confident you have enjoyed it!

Your Majesty,
The One and Only,
QueenP 💜

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