Blavatsky about the symbolism of the Christian Cross

One of my Dutch readers wondered after reading my piece about symbols, about the meaning of the Christian Cross according to H.P. Blavatsky. I thought I’d look it up. The closest I could find on the topic was Blavatsky on Crucifixion. She says there that:

The cross itself, to which the whole man was attached, is a well-known phallic emblem, representing the strongest form of human-earth sensuality; and that is a very symbol on which to crucify the man to death.

The horizontal stands for the female, the vertical for the male. It’s phallic and limited at least in part because the circle is missing. The circle puts the whole thing in the context of the Universe, the All, the Divine etc. This is why many theosophists prefer the Egyptian cross. Without the circle the cross can only stand as a symbol for something in the world, not for the sumtotal.

Madame Blavatsky compares Jesus on the cross to Prometheus, who also was made to hang and suffer. He hung from a rock, not a cross, but the spiritual significance isn’t much different.

He is another victim, for he is crucified on the Cross of Love, on the rock of human passions, a sacrifice to his devotion to the cause of the spiritual element in Humanity.


after the Cross comes the transfiguration

That is: through suffering and spiritual death, new life is possible in spirit. That’s as far as I can go for the individual interpretation, however there’s also a more universal meaning hinted at here. The spiritual is trapped in the physical, through which it learns and suffers. Were it but free! However, we’re meant to be stuck here.

Comment Zen

This is my interpretation of Blavatsky. Don’t mistake it for my opinion on the subject. I don’t know much about the Divine after all. Other interpretations are welcome.

7 thoughts on “Blavatsky about the symbolism of the Christian Cross”

  1. I am surprised she said ‘after the cross comes the transfiguration,’ because as for the crucifixion, beforehand happened the transfiguration… OTOH, Yeshua referred to a cross in at least one statement, which may have been before the transfiguration. Of course, maybe HPB was talking more about symbolism than history….

    1. My theology isn’t so good as to understand what you’re saying here. Christ died and lived after the cross – if that’s not transfiguration, what is? What transfiguration are you referring too?

  2. The transfiguration occurred on a mountain in front of about four Apostles. A light appeared on Yeshua and then I think the spirits of Moses and Elisha appeared. The Apostles got on the ground in fear and later after Yeshua told them not to fear, one of them said let us build three structures here–one for Moses, Yeshua, and Elisha. The ‘transfiguration’ was the light appearing on Yeshua, which transformed the way he looked–that is what is normally called the transfiguration. There is even a day named after it.

  3. Madam B. may have some thought provoking ideas about features of the Christian faith such as the cross. They are, however, coming from an Occult perspective, not a Christian perspective. Speaking as a Christian Pastor for 25 years I would clearly submit that our faith has never equated the cross with a phallus. The male organ is given for the sacred love between a man and wife and not as an execution instrument.

    1. True. However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t an unconscious connection.

      The thing is, Blavatsky wrote at the end of the 19th century when Western scientists were still very busy interpreting religious symbols (outside Christianity) as phalluses. Blavatsky was merely returning the favor.

      1. You know her better than I do. I don’t thinking she was returning any love to the Church. I get symbolism in many different ways. But I can’t equate God showing love to the world with God showing brutal sex to his Son.

  4. To my humble opinion the cross stands for accepting the world and to carry out the purpose man has set out for himself.
    Horizontal go east and west to reconciliate left and right (ying and yang, duality) then go north to let spirit judge the findings, then go south to do what needs to be done.
    Tranfiguration is quite another thing, it means the merging of the spirit with the body. Letting sprit be in control of the vehicle, the physical body. For the how consult HPB’ comments on Patanjali’s suytra’s. Another account are the books of Annalee Skarin. But this is what i have heard . . .

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