Sunday, 8 October 2017

Rosslyn Chapel Book Review

Circle Network Book Review: Rosslyn Revealed - A Library in Stone by Alan Butler and John Ritchie Hardback £19.95 Published by O Books

Rosslyn Chapel is the most extraordinary building but so much is known about it already that I wondered what Alan Butler and John Ritche would be able to add. Butler is a Templar expert and an astrologer and he joined forces with a local expert on Rosslyn, John Ritchie to explore the chapel. 

After ten years of investigation they have made some fascinating discoveries. A small five-sided ‘light box’ inset into the Eastern window was designed to let the rays from the planets Venus and Mercury shine into the church. This has mystical significance. It also provides an indication that the building was an astronomical observatory, such as the stone circles that abound throughout the area. As the researchers pored over ancient archives, they discovered that the traveller and polymath, Sir Gilbert Haye, was in Scotland at the foundation of Rosslyn. The landowner, Earl William Sinclair, was also there and they built the church to honour the faith of the Ebionites, followers of John the Baptist. In the fifteenth century when the church was dedicated, Catholicism was undergoing a renaissance and was both lenient and liberal. There was however, the threat of another Inquisition of the type that persecuted the Templars to extinction. Rosslyn was built with covert symbolism to reflect the legend of St Matthew whose feast day falls at the autumn equinox. The legend is that he planted his staff in the ground of Myrna and a Garden of Eden blossomed throughout the countryside. Oaths and ceremonies were undertaken here, and the secret brotherhood of Freemasonry was founded here to protect the Ebionite faith and to demonstrate the magnificent arts and crafts of the stonemason. 

Also by Alan Butler
The Goddess, the Grail and the Lodge :
and co-authored: Rosslyn Revisited :

Reviewer: Wendy Stokes

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