I have been asked by several people to say something about my newest novel, "The Rose Above The Sword", Volume IV of The Glastonbury Chronicles. The title itself refers to many things, from the Order of the Sword and the Rose to the symbolism carried by the Order.
The rose has long been the symbol of secrecy. The phrase sub rosa which means that something should be kept secret literally translates as "under the rose" and in early days was indicated by a rose being brought into a secret meeting to warn the participants that anything said there was strictly confidential. It has been used this way through the centuries in various art forms and by such groups as the Rosicrucians, both modern and ancient.
The very fact that the rose id placed at the crosspiece of the sword is symbolic in more than one way. It signifies that the sword is to be kept secret (and hence the actions of the sword) and also is placed there as a symbol of the heart in relationship to the body of the sword.. Not only is the Order secret, but the knowledge of its true nature and the focus of its protection are also, in the long run, secret.
On a third level, the rose is the symbol of the feminine, placed over the masculine symbol of the sword. The rose was an ancient symbol of the Dark Goddess and therefore is a token of the hidden aspect of the feminine, in this case the fact that there was any female involvement in the Order.
When the outward signs of something that has been suppressed, in this case, both religion and the Monarchy (the rose and the sword once again) symbols are transmitted in even more abstract manner and both history and mythology are recorded in monuments, in the language of flowers and plants, and in the pictures on Tarot cards. Those who know what they are looking for will find them, right under the watchful but unseeing eyes of the oppressor.
The book is now out, and the first review is in: