I'm not presenting this in terms of any conspiracy, per se, but I'd like to hear some thoughts from people about this order and what the
implications around it might be. I did a search and it's generally been mentioned in passing as one of the Masonic auxiliary organizations that
includes women. Please correct me if I'm wrong on any points here.
The modern order was established in 1873 (source
), taking its name from
a 17th century Swedish chivalric order founded by Queen Christina which consisted of both ladies and knights. It also apparently derives some of its
ritual from the original.
I began looking at this after some idle browsing on the World Digital Library
, which is a wonderful online resource
for the archaic and semi-obscure. I was looking at an early 18th century Swedish work, Sweden Ancient
, the intent of which was to make the rest of Europe take Sweden seriously as a continental power. On page 10 of this work, assembled
by one Erik Dahlberg, a list of chivalric orders and their emblems appears, last among them the original Ordo Amarantinus a Christina
Christina founded this order in 1653.
The Swedish queen was an accomplished intellectual with a keen interest in hermeticism and was evidently captivated by the Rosicrucian manifestos that
were circulating Europe at the time; she would eventually abdicate the throne to pursue her patronage of alchemical and esoteric studies. She had an
impressive library, and was noted for having rebuked Descartes as derivative of St. Augustine. A well-sourced account of her dabblings in these fields
can be found here
It's reported there that she chose the evergreen leaves of the amaranth plant in part to signify the pursuit of everlasting life, a theme in alchemy
and Rosicrucianism. She was a great fan of the Pythagoreans and Ancient Greeks, and took the name from the Greeks' writings of the amaranth plant
that grew in Colchis. This, if I recall correctly, was also the place of origin for the Golden Fleece, the name of another order with early modern
roots, but that may be a connection best made in another discussion. I have no skill in Latin, but working with online translators, her motto seems to
say something about being mindful of deceit. Perhaps someone else can give a more precise translation. Here's an image of the insignia:
That was cut from the .pdf referenced above, which is well worth a look at in its entirety, interestingly juxtaposed against a table with translations
of Norse runes.
What initially caught my attention, even before I realized it was the work of Queen Christina (whom I greatly admired beforehand) was the A and V
occupying the same space in the center. I'm not usually one to say these sort of things, but it certainly resembles the square and compass motif of
Freemasonry. This naturally strikes me as odd, given that, as I understand, Freemasonry officially postdates this image by 64 years. I would be
inclined to chalk it up to coincidence, but I have a couple of hurdles: 1) the overlap between Christina's interests and what some degrees in Masonry
employ as symbols, lessons or templates, such as the Rosy Cross; and 2) I can's figure out what the V is doing in there at all.*
It's of note, I think, that the modern order has adopted the wreath in their insignia:
What do we think? Is there a possible connection beyond the superficial here? Do the symbols used by Christina and freemasonry share a common origin?
Is the Queen herself mentioned at all in masonry? Have I been sucked down the rabbit hole a little too far this afternoon?
[edit on 4/23/09 by articulus]