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  • The Rose symbolizes the labyrinth, the path and pilgrimage of a particular lifetime. The journey into the center can be thorny, but the destination is sweet for those pure at heart, like honey to the bee.


  • This thread is long past. But thoughts come and go, and as I was waking from sleep today, this one came to me.

    Flies seek nectar, just as bees do. But flies have no real home. In a sense, no purpose. It is the bee who has found her Guides and Fellows by unifying herself with the Hive.

    Flies create no honey, but buzz from flower to flower drinking up Nectar. Their intelligence is not the same as the Bees. They have no "Hive Mind" to guide them. They seem to be doing the same thing as Bees, but in actuality are far from it.

    Flies have no Hive Mind to keep them safe either. The Bee knows where to go because she has been guided by others who have found success. She is more precise in her flight and destination, and so she can achieve much more in one run than a Fly ever could. And even if a Fly lives its entire life in the midst of an endless sea of roses, it will never accomplish what the Bee can by storing up Honey and perpetuating its treasure from generation to generation.

    Flies, being alone, will often get caught in the webs of the spiders who build their cross by means of artificial support, rather than the Natural. Also, at the top of the Spider's cross, there is no Rose. Tell me, how often have you seen a Bee caught in a spider's web?

    I believe in an Unseen Hive of which I am a part. I just need to know where to return with my Nectar.

  • Interesting discussion. I have just a couple of comments of my own. 

    1) The cross, though thorny and sharp is alive and generating new life (leaves).

    2) Although the rose, indeed, is giving its nectar to the bees to make honey; the honey is then used to give life to the bees. The bees eventually again give life to the rose, grapes, and others completing the circle of life.

    3) The rose appears to be in full bloom which differs some from our traditional Rose Croix rose.

    4) The arbor in the background has plants growing on it and is more than likely a grape arbor and not a gate or fence. The arbor numerology is interesting also with its six members and 9 rectangles.

    Some of the symbolism here echoes that seen in the Tarot and similar ancient symbolism. One thing that really caught my eye was the wingless insect coming out of one of the layers of the rose. I was reminded of the Moon card which has a creature coming out of the water (half in, half out). This creature is said to represent the lower (subconscious) nature of man trying to express itself. This is in concurrence with Godwin's explanation that it represents the lunar side of things. It was interesting to me that this insect is coming out of the outer (highest?) level reminding us that even when our souls have found full bloom (enlightenment) our inner nature still needs to be mastered.

    I can't quite agree with Godwin on the whole solar  circle surmounting the cross of matter concept, though. They seem to have to work together. Without the life of the cross, the rose cannot bloom. Therefore, in a sense, the cross gives honey to the bees but only after it has fully unfolded into the rose.

    I'm also not sure about the spiders who don't seem to be connected to the rose. Could these represent alternative paths that offer similar structure (they also have seven layers, etc) but do not result in the desired nectar?

    All in all, I think Rodolphe has said it best. It is our passion to develop ourselves and unfold our souls until we bloom. However, if we do not share this nectar with others (the bees) then the circle is broken and the animation cannot continue.

  • The following description of the original engraving upon which the DAT ROSA MEL APIBUS painting is based is given in Joscelyn Godwin’s definitive work on Robert Fludd.

    The Rose and the Cross: "The Rose gives the bees honey" (DAT ROSA MEL APIBUS). tThis explicitly Rosicrucian symbol was first used at the head of Joachim Frizius’s Summum Bonum, then adopted for (Robert) Fludd’s Clavis. A rose with seven petals each alludes, in all probability, to secret doctrines of septenary emanation such as were later to be publicized in the theosophical works of H.P. Blavatsky. The Rose surmounts the thorny cross, the whole resembling the sign of Venus in which the solar circle triumphs over the cross of matter. We may interpret the motto as saying that "spiritual knowledge gives solace to souls," of whom bees are a venerable symbol. The spider’s webs (also with sevenfold divisions) strung on a grape arbor in the background, and the wingless insect on the rose (a spider?) may represent negative, lunar forces, as oppossed to the positive, solar one of the bees, both of which are reconciled by the philosophic rose.
    -Joscelyn Godwin, in Robert Fludd - Hermetic Philosopher of Two Worlds. Shambala, Boulder, 1979: 10


  • I do apologize to those who like me have studied Latin in our younger years. (May I add in my own defense: In 1957, after four years of Latin, I had chosen to study Spanish instead. That was 55 years ago) But it still has a soft spot in my heart.  If my grand father who was a member way back had not offered the advice that:    "Things are not always as they appear" I would have joined the Catholic priesthood. I would later find out on my own how true this is.  That: "Good intentions do not facts change".  That one good priest would not convert the Vatican, i.e. : St Francis of Assissi had rather leave the Rosicrucian Order, rather than submit the teaching to his Pope.

       For, what is the good in being religious if we do not practice the virtues it preaches, it doesn't matter who does not as long as you do.  Once upon a time I thought it was a loss of time, but in retrospect, I am thankful for from there I had learnt at least theoretically, the good in kindness, charity, Love, etc. In fact I do know "it is worthwhile to be virtuous, it is thus the practice of wisdom".

       Unfortunately, Mysticism was not commonly available and, those who knew about it spoke so sparingly about it that it got veiled in mystery.   Who's to decide which area might be receptive?  We owe it to ourselves to get as much preparation on how to better shed the light. 

       Above all, share it at home.  Many (Go into transition) die and leave their close ones in total darkness, they were like a beam of light to their own path way.  Let's be more open, we cannot force our opinions upon others, but many would have walked our way if only we consented in sharing.  We cannot decide who can or not, "plant a seed", let it grow where it may.  Remember, really, the only thing we are discouraged from doing is discussing monograph issues for we would not be able to give reference.  

  • Not only do I like it, it is a Rosicrucian Principle.  The Rose being the Soul, members strive as bees deriving their energy from the Soul personality.  It is thus conceivable that the "Rose feeds the bee". 

       "Dat is to give (Third person of the singular, Rosa-Rosae is Rose the flower Nominative-subject, (to us the symbol of the Soul in man), apibus is the dative case, to the bees. "The rose gives honey to the bees". How true

       Soror Stephanie, the best way to show you like something is to add on a positive comment, Yours was beautiful; thank you!!!

    Stephanie O'Connell said:

    I wish this forum had a like button!
  • ATTENTION ATTENTION ALL participants of this Dat Rosa Bee symbol discussion. You have to listen to podcasts about this topic. The Mystical Bee and The Eleusinian Mysteries and the Bee These are podcasts from our own podcast library. You can find them by going to rosicrucian.org and on the bottom right of the page you will see Rosicrucian Podcasts, click on that and you can find them listed as 3/1/2008 "The Mystical Bee" and 2/1/2010 "The Eleusinian Mysteries and the Bee", they are both presented by Julie Sanchez Parodi Research Assistant at the Rosicrucian Research Library. I have links above but not sure if they will work and if its OK for me to post them in the first place.

    Note the concern for the survival of this amazing insect, basically our survival, towards the end of The Mystical Bee. I plan to present the Hindu aspect of this mystery shortly. That which is called SOMA in Hinduism nectar of the Gods.

  • The reference to 'honey' and the 'Mistress of the Labyrinth' as found in this Wikipedia data seems in keeping with the meaning of the Dat Rosa symbol too:

    "Greek mythology did not recall, however, that in Crete there was a Lady or mistress who presided over the Labyrinth, although the goddess of mysteries of Arcadian cults was called Despoine (miss). A tablet inscribed in Linear B found at Knossos records a gift "to all the gods honey; to the mistress of the labyrinth honey." All the gods together receive as much honey as the Mistress of the Labyrinth alone. The Mycenean Greek word is potnia. "She must have been a Great Goddess," Kerényi observes. It is possible that the Cretan labyrinth and the Lady were connected with a cult which was transmitted later to the Eleusinian mysteries."

  • This from a Commentary on the Dat Rosa by John Eberly - which was in itself extracted from a work about Robert Fludd by Joscelyn Godwin:

    "The spider’s webs (also with sevenfold divisions) strung on a grape arbor in the background, and the wingless insect on the rose (a spider?) may represent negative, lunar forces, as oppossed to the positive, solar one of the bees, both of which are reconciled by the philosophic rose."

    (and just because I posted this does not necessarily mean that I fully agree with all of it - I was wondering where the moon was in all this so agree with Godwin on that - however - Godwin say grape arbor - with no explanation for it - somehow I think fence or gate - which would indicate communication between one world and another or entry into a new life - but he's the expert - just my thoughts influenced by class handout)


    This from the same Commentary - most likely Eberly's thoughts:

    "The Spider represents the miserly Devil, who sets traps and bleeds the victim of human frailty, symbolized by the cobweb."


  • I agree Sr. Stephanie - all the comments on the Dat Rosa symbol (both here and below) makes for interesting and informative reading.  This particular symbol was not covered in the Secret Rosicrucian Symbols class I participated in a while back - regardless, it still offers much more than just the Rose, Bees, and the eventual Honey.   The mountains in the background, besides being the symbol for constancy; eternity; firmness; stillness; aspiration; renunciation of worldly desires; the most profound of their meaning is Cosmic Consciousness. (that from a class handout)

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