Cinquefoil (Rose of Venus)

The cinquefoil (from the french, five-part) is a five petaled rose found mainly in Christian design and architecture of the Middle Ages. The five-petaled rose is often found affixed to the tops of Gothic arches, the vesica pisces-shaped doorways and windows thought to represent the womb of Mary.

Some historians have speculated that the rose in Gothic architecture is a secret symbol of the feminine principle, one of a multitude of hermetic symbols found in these churches. The symbol itself dates back to Roman times, where it was called the “Rose of Venus.”

The rose, with its characteristic five petaled shape mimicked the pentagrammic path traced by the planet Venus in the night sky. This, combined with the flower’s natural beauty, made it an obvious symbol of the Goddess of love.

Esotericist Aleister Crowley combined the rose emblem with the unicursal hexagram to symbolize the divine union, and the magical number eleven.

Tracing between the petals reveals a perfect pentagram.

Related Symbols:

Star of Ishtar

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Religious Symbol Dictionary |
November 29, 2009 at 3:06 am

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