The Great Cross of Hendaye
In the courtyard of St. Vincent’s Church, located in the town square of Hendaye in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques in southwestern France, you will find a stone cross resting atop a large and intricately ornamented pedestal. This cross is said to have been constructed sometime in the mid 1600s, location unknown but likely in modern day Germany, and moved to its current home in Hendaye in the early to mid-1800s.
The creation and transportation of the Cross at Hendaye is rumoured to have been financed by the ancient Christian society known as “The Rosicrucians.” The Cross sits today hardly garnering second glances by all the passersby, but there are some who believe that this cross—The Great Cross at Hendaye—contains both secrets and warnings.
The Cross of Hendaye
At first glance, the monument divides itself into three basic components: (1) the upper cross (which is a traditional Greek Cross), (2) the column or pillar, and (3) the pedestal base. However, upon closer inspection each one of these areas is further subdivided into its own components.
The upper cross has three symbolic components, the pillar is its own symbol and the base has four symbols, for a total of eight symbolic images; each of these components will be discussed more fully below.
It is critical to keep in mind that The Cross at Hendaye is a paradigm for synergy. That is to say, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts on their own. In other words, we can think of the entire monument as a schematic of the philosopher's stone.
The Upper Cross
The upper cross's three symbolic components are: (1) the traditional description of INRI on the top of the cross, (2) two double “X” markings, and (3) an oddly broken Latin inscription that reads:
These symbols offer us three inter-related meaning systems, which, when taken together, give us the key to understanding the entire process symbolized and embodied by the monument.
The pillar offers us a unifying image that cuts across all scales of interpretation. The pillar is thus a “link,” bonding each element of the Cross together and explaining to the viewer that each portion of the Cross is to be considered not alone, but in conjunction with the remaining portions of the Cross. The pillar is the bond that reminds us “this Cross is a single entity, its meaning is not to be interpreted based solely upon the consideration of one of its elements to the exclusion of the others.”
The pedestal base with its unique oval quartered by a cross with the four "A"s engraved thereon.
Detail of the Base
Figure shows detail of all four sides of the base pedestal .
The four symbols engraved upon the base must be taken as a unit, one in which the order and meaning ofthe symbolic components are constant. The images on the base are, starting with the eastern most side andgoing counter-clockwise:
1) an eight-rayed star-burst,
2) an oddly shaped half moon with an eye spot,
3) an angry sun face with bulging spiral eyes, dumb-bell shaped mouth and prominent chin. The face ofthis Sun is framed by 16 large spikes and 16 smaller spikes inside a containing outer circle. The Sunitself is surrounded by four stars, placed in the corners of the rectangle and tilted so that theirdiagonal axis continues through the center point of the Sun face, effectively drawing a Galactic Crossthrough the Sun. As discussed below, this is critical. And,
4) an oval that fills the entire space of the rectangle which is quartered by a cross. This oval hasfour capital letter “A”s in it, with one A on each side of the arms of the cross. The A's are unusual inthat they have a sharply angled cross bar nestled in the top angle of each A, rather than the usualhorizontal cross bar.
Fulcanelli and His Role in Deciphering the Cross at Hendaye
The real identity of Fulcanelli remains shrouded in mystery. Fulcanelli (believed to have lived from1839--1953) is almost certainly a pseudonym assumed in the late 19th century by a French alchemist andesoteric author. He is also called the Master Alchemist. The appeal of Fulcanelli as a culturalphenomenon is partly due to the mystery that surrounds most aspects of his life and works; one of themore popular anecdotes about his life retells how his most devoted pupil, Eugène Canseliet, performed asuccessful transmutation of 100 grams of lead into gold in a laboratory of the gas works of Sarcelles atthe Georgi company. This transmutaton was said to have taken place in the presence of Jean-JulienChampagne and Gaston Sauvage. Fulcanelli then came to prominence in a French book called The Mystery ofthe Cathedrals, by Eugène Canseliet and Jean-Julien Champagne, published in 1926. It is in this bookthat the devoted disciples of Fulcanelli explain the Master Alchemist’s views on the Cross at Hendaye.
Fulcanelli’s Deciphering of the Upper Cross
As you will recall, the upper cross's three symbolic components are: (1) the traditional description of INRI on the top of the cross, (2) two double “X” markings, and (3) an oddly broken Latin inscription that reads:
The meaing of each of these will be dealt with in turn.
First, the “INRI” inscription. The reader will well know that “INRI” is an acronym of the Latin phrase IESVS·NAZARENVS·REX·IVDÆORVM, which translates to English as: “Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews.” However, we must remember that Fulcanelli was examining this Cross through the eyes of an alchemist. With this in mind we are placed firmly within the Rosicrucian Alchemical tradition; remember, the Rosicrucians are thought to have had a hand in the creation and establishment of the Cross at Hendaye. As Fulcanelli tells us, within the Rosicrucian Alchemical Tradition, the “INRI” inscription is more likely interpreted as one of the key maxims of alchemy: Igne Natura Renovatur Integra or “By fire nature is renewed whole.” Not only is this phrase important to alchemists, but do not forget dear reader that the Christian world in large part believes that “the end of the world” will be heralded in with the triumphant return of Jesus Christ and the wicked will burn in fire, and then the Earth will be renewed and made whole. (See, e.g., Revelations 17). Could it be that the inscription INRI that hung above the crucified Christ’s head was a tacit acknowledgement that He would return to destroy the world as we know it with fire, and make all things new? Many believe so.
Second, the Double “X”s. To the untrained eye, these markings are simply Xs. However, we must remember that all the parts of the Cross must be examined together. So, these two Xs on the upper Cross—firmly implanted on the symbol of Christ—are full of meaning. Number one, these two Xs symbolize that Christ is, as He is described in Revelation Chpts. 1, 21, 22, “Alpha and Omega,” or, in other words, “the beginning and the end.” Secondly, these two Xs are an effective reminder of the shape of an hourglass—the chief means of time keeping during the era when the Cross was created. What do these hourglasses mean? Fulcanelli believed them to mean several things: one, the time on “the world clock” was running short, even in the 1600’s. Two, the first X symbolizes the beginning of time, or the beginning of the world, and the second X symbolizes the end of time, or the end of the world. The beginning and the end for an alchemist are with fire; thus, Fulcanelli believed that the end would come by fire. Third, when examined in the context of the base symbology (discussed below), these two Xs symbolized the Galactic Cross, Galactic Alignment, and the time when they would occur; in other words, December 21, 2012.
Third, oddly broken Latin inscription that reads:
Here, it is easy to recognize the familiar phrase: O Crux Ave Spes Unica, which is translated as “Hail O Cross, the Only Hope.” Indeed this inscription is so common as to apparently render the Latin inscription common and of little interest. However, Fulcanelli noticed that this inscription is unique and important because of the misplaced S.
Fulcanelli called attention to the incorrect grammar in the second line. This seemingly “incorrect” grammar gives us the new meaning of the phrase as “measure of the 12th part.” Fulcanelli believed that there was no “mistake” in the grammar, but that the creator of the Cross wanted us to read “measure of the 12th part.” Why? Fulcanelli believed that this phrase is a clear reference to the cosmic cycles and alignments spelled out on the pedestal, the “measurement of the 12th part.”
Fulcanelli opines that the letter S, “which takes on the curving shape of a snake [(note that spes, hope, reversed is seps, or snake)] corresponds to the Greek khi (X) and takes over its esoteric meaning.” Just in case we missed this reference to the key or Cross in the sky made by the X of the snakes or dragons, Fulcanelli informs us “that it is the heliocoidal track of the sun, having arrived at the zenith of its curve across space, at the time of the cyclic catastrophe.”
Fulcanelli’s Deciphering of the Pillar
As discussed above, Fulcanelli believed that the pillar was a link between the base and upper cross. It is a message that the pillar and the upper cross are to be read as a whole.
Fulcanelli’s Deciphering of the Base
On each of the four sides of the pedestal base a different symbol is displayed. One is the image of the sun; another of the moon; the third shows a great star; and the last a geometric figure, is a simple circle, divided into four sectors by two diameters cutting each other at right angles. Fulcanelli taught that these images constitute a complete hieroglyph of the universe, composed of the conventional signs for heaven and earth, the spiritual and the temporal, the macrocosm and the microcosm, in which major emblems of the redemption (cross) and the world (circle) are found in association.
The Sun, Moon and Stars are globally symbolic for the universe as a whole. In the context of the Cross, the “universe” at issue is the world, the Earth, and its destiny. The real key to deciphering the message that the pedestal base conveys about the “universe” is found by examining the fourth side—the oval quartered by a cross, in which four “A”s are prominently displayed.
It is important to note that in medieval times (the time of the construction of the Cross), there were known to be four phases of the great cyclic period, whose continuous rotation was expressed in antiquity by means of a circle divided by two perpendicular diameters. The four phases were generally represented by the four evangelists or by their symbolic letter, which was the Greek alpha, or, more often still, by the four evangelical beasts surrounding Christ. This traditional formula is often seen on the tympana of Roman porches. Jesus is shown there seated, his left hand resting on a book, his right raised in the gesture of benediction, separated from the four beasts which attend him by an ellipse, called the mystic almond. These groups, which are generally isolated from other scenes by a garland of clouds and always have their figures placed in the same order, are seen in many chapels and cathedrals throughout Europe, including the Church of the Templars at Luz (Hautes Pyrénées).
It is notable that these four quadrants each bear an “A,” which shows that they stand for the four ages of the world. As previously indicated, this is symbolic of nothing more or less than the diagram used to indicate the solar cycle. And why is this important? Because it is this solar cycle upon which the Galactic Cross and precession rest.
In summary, the Cross at Hendaye is a physical representation of the belief by ancient Christians, Rosicrucians, and alchemists that the world’s end is rapidly approaching, and will occur in the midst of fire. As discussed further on these pages, many believe - including Nostradamus, the Bible Code and NASA - that a great comet will pass by, or into, the earth in the year 2012. Many believe that the Cross at Hendaye is just one more reminder that 2012 is the end.