GIORDANO BRUNO AND THE FRATERNITY OF THE ROSE CROSS
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By Morten St. George
Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa (theme of the preceding page on Rose Cross Theory) was reported to have been captured in 1584 by the English fleet of Sir Walter Raleigh. Indeed, in his own writings, Raleigh acknowledges that Gamboa was once his prisoner.
Raleigh goes on to describe Gamboa as a fine gentleman and relays a tall tale that Gamboa told him about how to name a newly-discovered island. This sure sounds very much like over-dinner conversation. Raleigh does not say where he had dinner with Gamboa. In fact, there appears to be no historical record about where Gamboa was held prisoner, and it seems doubtful that they had dinner in a British jail.
Raleigh, for his part, was known to be a very close friend of Michel de Castelnau, the French ambassador in London. This raises the possibility of dinner parties at the French embassy.
At that time, 1584, living inside the French embassy in London, there was an Italian philosopher by the name of Giordano Bruno.
Earlier, we witnessed a strong connection between Gamboa and the Nostradamus prophecies. Did the prophecies also influence the philosophy of Bruno?
The link to Nostradamus
Hey, Bruno, how could you possibly believe that people lived in a city on the Sun? There's no such city in medieval magic. Curiously, a solar city does in fact appear in the prophecies (Nostradamus: "L'oiseau royal sur la cité solaire").
In London, Bruno's philosophy turned into a vicious critique of conventional thinking, spearheaded by his esoteric classic Cabala del cavallo pegaseo. Even the title stumps scholars: Pegasus, the flying horse of Greek mythology, would seem to have absolutely nothing to do with the Cabala. But we just saw that Nostradamus has an "oiseau royal", royal bird, flying over the city of the Sun.
In Greek mythology, Pegasus is associated with the creation of thunder and lightning, and two lines below the "cité solaire" Nostradamus writes "tonnerre esclaire", thunder illuminated. Moreover, the mythological rider of Pegasus was the hero Bellerophon (Nostradamus: "Fera par Praytus Bellerophon mourir"). Thus there can be no surprise that Bruno attributes the Cabala to a horse.
Bruno predicts a vast empire for Queen Elizabeth I of England (Nostradamus: "Le grand empire sera par Angleterre").
Bruno frequently compares Elizabeth I to the goddess Diana (Nostradamus: "Prendra Diane pour son jour & repos").
Bruno anticipates great military victories for Henry of Bourbon, King of France (Nostradamus: "Au poinct du jour au second chant du Coq . . . L'an mil six cens & sept").
Bruno is confident that the Huguenot armies of Henry of Bourbon will attack Rome (Nostradamus: "Terroir Romain qu'interpretoit augure, Par gent Gauloise sera par trop vexée").
Bruno believes that the military victories of Henry of Bourbon will pressure the Papacy into submission: (Nostradamus: "Clergé Romain l'an mil six cens & neuf, Au chef de l'an feras election").
Bruno writes that the Ebro and Tagus rivers of Spain pursue a furious course (Nostradamus: <i lang="fr">"Par Nebro ouvrir de Brisanne passage, Bien esloignez el tago fara muestra"). In the same paragraph, Bruno also refers to a restless Danube: (Nostradamus: "Subjuguera les confins du Danube").
Bruno tells a story about nine blind men who became illuminated: (Nostradamus: "D'humain troupeau neuf seront mis à part, De jugement & conseil separés … Kappa, Thita, Lambda").
Bruno philosophizes about six gods, composed of a higher three and a lower three; he mentions light as their unifying spirit, calling it "fulgor," and he notes that the most ancient of these gods was a female: (Nostradamus: "Bruslez par foudres de vingt trois les six, La dame antique cherra de place haute"). The French "foudres" derives from, and translates, the Latin "fulgura".
Bruno is convinced that ancient Egypt had the true religion (Nostradamus: "Lon passera à Memphis son entree"). Memphis was the Egyptian capital. And then he claims that the Christians stole the design of the cross from the Egyptians (Nostradamus: "Pontife ... Chasser la Croix par fer raffe ni riffe"). Perhaps the design does come from the crossguard sword ("fer") of Egypt, but note the use of Italian for "by hook or by crook."
NOTE: Much of what is said about Bruno on this page can be found in Frances Yate's book on Bruno and the hermetic tradition.
Bruno's knowledge of Nostradamus firmly establishes him as one of the founding members of the Fraternity of the Rose Cross. For unknown reasons, Bruno withdrew from the Nostradamus project (code name Librum M) in late 1585 and then spent several years traveling across central Europe. Perhaps his mission was to procure books for the Rosicrucians in London and lay the foundations of Rosicrucianism on the continent, but his activities came to an abrupt end in 1592 when he was captured by the Inquisition. There's more about Bruno on the Fama Fraternitatis page.
The Inquisition's capture of Bruno in 1592 is suspected of being a factor leading to the Shakespeare authorship conspiracy. See In Search of the Real Shakespeare for more information.
Giovanni Florio, an English linguist about whom we will have much to say later, worked for the French ambassador in London at that time (1584). He made strenuous efforts to remain quietly in the background and may have made only one public presentation in his entire life; Wikipedia: "Frances Yates relates the story of a lively dinner party at Whitehall Palace at which Florio translated to the assembled company, which included Sir Philip Sidney and Oxford professors, Bruno's theories about the possibility of life on other planets."
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, a recent remake of Carl Sagan's Cosmos, amply covers Giordano Bruno's life and his belief in the existence of other worlds. The show's host praises Bruno for his courage to retain his beliefs even when faced with a death sentence but then inexplicably belittles him: "his view of the universe was a lucky guess because he had no evidence to support it." This reminds me of a comment by the skeptic James Randi regarding Nostradamus: "occasionally he got lucky." In truth, there is a lot of evidence that Bruno and his Rosicrucian colleagues were in possession of the time travel travel memoirs of the Andean sky god, which, reportedly, were redacted on a glowing-in-the-dark material not of this Earth. Hence, there was no lucky guess, and the Inquisition is not likely to have killed Bruno merely for making guesses.
"Frances Yates reports that Inquisition records on Bruno's trial were lost. Many sources indicate that Bruno's belief in extraterrestrial life was one reason, or the main reason, for his execution. But I know what the Rosicrucians knew, and I do not believe that for one second. Bruno was not killed because of his belief in extraterrestrial life. He was killed because of his belief in ancient astronauts. Indeed, this is why he metaphorically attributed authorship of the shining book to a flying horse: assuming that there was air between Earth and the planets, the only way you could reach Earth was to fly through that air." --Morten St. George
Fraternity of the Rose Cross
There can be no doubt about when and where the Rosicrucian Brotherhood was formed: Inside the French embassy, London, England, between late 1584 and late 1585. This is the only time and place that unite three of the four founders of the Brotherhood: Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa (captured by Sir Walter Raleigh, intimate friend of the French ambassasor), Giordano Bruno (an associate of the French ambassador and live-in resident of the French embassy) and Giovanni Florio (personal assistant to the French ambassador), because Gamboa arrived in London in late 1584 and Bruno left in late 1585. Surely, Isaac Luria was also present, but it is believed that he died in the Holy Land a dozen years earlier so, unlike the others, there is no historical record of his whereabouts. We have only the cabalistic structure of the Nostradamus publication and the Rosicrucian manifestos to affirm Luria's presence in London.