The Liberty Cap and Circumcision

July 24, 2010
By Tracy R Twyman

From The Rosicrucians: Their Rites and Mysteries, by Hargrave Jennings:

As a Phrygian Cap, or Symbolizing Cap, it is always sanguine in its colour. It then stands as the ‘Cap of Liberty’, a revolutionary form; also, in another way, it is even a civic or incorporated badge. It is always masculine in its meaning. It marks the ‘needle’ of the obelisk, the crown or tip of the phallus, whether ‘human’ or representative. It has its origin in the rite of circumcision-unaccountable as are both the symbol and the rite.

The real meaning of the bonnet rouge, or ‘cap of liberty’, has been involved from time immemorial in deep obscurity, notwithstanding that it has always been regarded as a most important hieroglyph or figure. It signifies the supernatural simultaneous ‘sacrifice’ and ‘triumph’. It has descended from the time of Abraham, and it is supposed to emblem the strange mythic rite of the ‘circumcisio preputii’. The loose Phrygian bonnet, bonnet conique, or ‘cap of liberty’ may be accepted as figuring, or standing for, that detached integument or husk, separated from a certain point or knob, which has various names in different languages, and which supplies the central idea of this ‘sacrificial rite-the spoil or refuse of which (absurd and unpleasant as it may seem) is borne aloft at once as a ‘trophy’ and as the ‘cap of liberty’. It is now a magic sign, and becomes a talisman of supposedly inexpressible power-from what particular dark reason it would be difficult to say. The whole is a sign of ‘initiation’, and of baptism of a peculiar kind. The Phrygian cap, ever after this first inauguration, has stood as the sign of the ‘Enlightened’.

More on the Liberty Cap here.

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