I'm sure most researchers in this genre are aware of the speculations of Isaac Ben Jacob. He is interested in the artefact that Cherisey makes many references to - the Gold Cross of Solomon. This 'gold cross' is firmly linked to the church of St Germaine des Pres and Childebert. In the musing's of Isaac many diagrams have been put forward suggesting that this Crista is an 'ornament' (an imcomparable ornament at that according to Abbe Sugar) and is a representation of this mysterious artefact (see below).
This artefact has been linked to the Emperor Constantine and his Labarum, usually with the statement that the Labarum was really this artefact added to, or manipulated by Constantine to create his military standard. Once linked to the Labarum researchers have then analysed what the Labarum was and the nature of the vision of the Cross at Milvian Bridge, the Chi Rho.
The Chi Rhi is a chrisme, or 'the' chrisme .... (☧) a Christian symbol consisting of two Greek letters Χ ( chi ) and Ρ ( rho ), the first affixed to the second. These are the first two letters of the word Χριστός (Christ). It also sometimes reads like the monogram of Christ, and is often found with the letters α (Alpha) and ω (omega). These letters, which surround the Greek alphabet, symbolise all: the beginning and the end. The chrisme perhaps has another form involving Greek letters I ( iota ) and Χ (chi) as initials of Ιησους Χριστός (Jesus Christ).
The chrisme has also taken on the appearance of a six- pointed star1 in art often identified with the star that guided the Magi. Moreover, the Greek word thus formed when the alpha and omega is added to the chrisme - ἄρχω2 means "head, go , head start" and refers to the dual characterization of Jesus Christ, the founder and first leader of the early Christian Church. It is still found in the East, specifically in the eastern part of the ancient Roman Empire.
Cherisey spends an inordinate amount of time discussing these issues regarding the X & P, ἄρχω, the phrase 'In this sign conquer' and the Jewish Star of David (i.e. a six pointed star) - suggesting that Cherisey is trying to link all these concepts in some obscure way, possibly to the crista artefact3.
The Merovingians are said to have obtained this relic/artefact and Isaac and others have speculated that this artefact is represented in some fashion on their coins (see images below).
In the immediate above photo (on the right) it has been suggested that this represents the 'artefact' deconstructed, and one can see a P and an S. This P and S can be found in chrisme inconography thus, and is perhaps again an obscure reference to the artefact for those 'in the know':
In fact, a logo in the church at Rennes-le-Chateau is said to be
Sauniere's play on this PS by using his own initials BS to draw attention to this artefact once again!
To take this research further one has to look at the rest of the writing by Cherisey. In particular i am thinking of his alleged poem 'Le Serpent Rouge'. In this article here (especially in the Introduction) i discuss Cherisey's allusions and then take this one step further here.
So is the artefact something along these lines?
What is fascinating is that Isaac Ben Jacob drew in other elements .... which promote a link with the Book of Tobit and fish.
There is another name by which Christ was known in the early years - and this was ichtus. The Ichtus is ancient Greek, (ἰχθύς / ikhthus ("fish")) for a Christian symbol used in the first century to the fourth century, and then in the twentieth century, as a graphic symbol representing a fish which consists of two arcs, and an acronym (or an acrostic). These letters form the beginning of each term in the phrase "Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour".
Two books prefigure Christ and his Passion as the Fish: the Book of Tobit and the Book of the prophet Jonas (in the Old Testament) with the "Sign of Jonah." It is also alluded to as the abundant fish as a sign of abundant life in the work of the prophet Ezekiel .
These assertions are directly referred to by Cherisey in conjunction with the Gold Cross of Solomon, the Oriflamme and the Labarum. He has pilched it from the work of Paul Le Cour.
This is the epitaph at Autun for Pectorios (late IIth - early third century) discovered in late nineteenth century and often studied, which refers to Christ as the name ichtus acrostic twice engraved on the stone:
«Race of the divine heavenly Ichthys, who came among mortals to hear his immortal words! Friend, your soul buried in the sacred waters, the waters that give eternal wisdom with all its treasures! Take the Ichthys in your hands, eat and drink, satiate yourself
with this sweet food the Savior's has its saints. Ô Ichtus, Ichthys, O master Saviour, hear my desires! My mother looks at you in
joy, I pray with her, O light of mortals!"
Optatus of Milevis explains the meaning of this acrostic in Book III Against Parmenianum. It connects the acrostic Ichtys to the Book of
Tobit, with the fish foreshadowing Christ as in the Book of Jonah.
"Hic piscina is that in Baptism are per invocationem fontalibus undis vocitetur. Deceased piscis nomen secundum appellationem Graecam, in continet uno nomine, quod est ΙΧΘΥΣ Latinus JESUS CHRISTUS, DEI FILIUS, Salvator. hanc your piscinam, quae in omni Catholica per totum ORBEM terrarum, ad vitam humani generis, salutaribus undis exuberat; transduxistis ad voluntatem
vestram and solvistis singulare baptisma, ex quo Baptism are hominibus matured facti sunt ad tutelam "
- Optat of Milevis De Schismate Donatistarum Adversus Parmenianum
When checking out the ichtys symbolism i was brought right back to where we started - labarum, serpents, le serpent rouge etc when the following blazon was presented as illustrating the quote by Optatus. The image is shown below and is the blazon for a town in France named St Raphael:
I can certainly see why a town called Saint Raphael would have a blazon representing Tobias and the Angel. But why does Raphael carry a long cross entwined with a serpent? There are those who claim to have seen the Crista, and that it is indeed a long tall aretefact!
This image of a tall cross with a serpent entwinded at the top is similar to a painting found in the church of Notre Dame du Cros.... except the serpent is 'live'. Is this the painters oblique reference to a tall cross with a serpentine form at its head? i.e. the Crista?
Im sure there are perfectly plausible and acceptable explanations for these 'anomolies' - but i still cant help wondering whether, in France at least, these anomolies can have another meaning. And if they do - is it tantamount to the knowledge Cherisey was trying to impart?
1] See; http://www.rhedesium.com/the-tombstone-of-marie-hautpoul-de-blanchefort---key-of-a-secret.html
2] See; http://www.rhedesium.com/the-tombstone-of-marie-hautpoul-de-blanchefort---key-of-a-secret.html
3] See http://www.rhedesium.com/the-tombstone-of-marie-hautpoul-de-blanchefort---key-of-a-secret.html
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My name is Sandy Hamblett, inspired and passionate researcher of the mysteries at Rennes-les-Bains.