Yellow Rose of Friendship, the, ARTICLE ON from Warriors' Journeys

  • Yellow Rose of Friendship, the, ARTICLE ON

In the Toltec Teachings series of books by Théun, the Yellow Rose of Friendship is often mentioned.

What does this concept embody?

The Yellow Rose is an ancient symbol amongst Toltecs. It is encapsulated in the following Toltec salutation:

"Warriors of Atl, I salute you! By the love which is the essence of your own true inner fiery being! By the impeccability which constitutes your invincible power! By the humility which is the mark of your free spirit! May the peace and the harmony of the Yellow Rose of Friendship abide with you now and for ever more!"

Although this doesn't tell us very much, it is difficult to describe something that is a symbol for what can only be experienced. The best we can do is to talk around this, and in the process, to try to get a feeling for what the Yellow Rose stands for.

The Yellow Rose appears as a visual impact to Toltec Seers when they try to "see" the source of life within manifestation.

The first thing, then, to note, is the colour. Why yellow? Yellow for Toltecs symbolises vitality. Look at how yellow appears in your life; look at the daffodils and daisies in the springtime; feel what happens when you walk into a yellow room. Above all, look at that most powerful and pervasive symbol of vitality -- the sun. Look at the impact the sun has upon our lives, starting with how you feel on a beautiful sunny day, compared with how you feel on a dark day, and then consider the effect of the sun on plants, animals and the whole of nature.

"Vitality" means the ability to sustain life. And if we pause to consider the implications, we see immediately how far-reaching these are. The first of these implications relates to time, for sustaining anything requires an effort that is continuous, unceasing, relentless. Like the sun, it must always be there. Even though it may rain from time to time, the sun is there always. The next relates to action, for sustaining anything requires action. Yet, neither does the concept of action mean that you have to go out there and save the world. Action implies having a purpose, and then materialising that purpose. Sometimes you may not have very much to show for your efforts, for a while, or at all. But if you know what you are working towards, and if you stick to it, then you will be taking action.

Another consideration concerns the quality of the action that you need to take. To sustain life means that all of your actions need to be the sort of actions that will nourish and encourage life. In short, your actions must be tailored in such way that they are life-supportive, rather than being life-destructive.

Then, you might ask, what is life? This may seem obvious, but unless we have some clarity as to what life is, all of our actions may become misplaced, and we could end up hindering, rather than advancing, the process of life.

So, what is life? Most people tend to think that life is what happens - to them or to others. Therefore, if someone is hospitalised, or married, or divorced, or mugged, or promoted, or fired, they say; "That's life." Similarly, people go to watch movies, see shows, attend spectator sports, and they think that those actions mean that they are living life. But the truth is that life is not what happens to you. Everything that happens to us, everything that we experience on the physical plane, is but an expression of the form side of life. All our repetitive activities - our doings - simply confirm to us that we are alive: a life. Even our true creations, (as opposed to our reproductions), are simply an expression of what we feel we are as spirit beings.

Life itself is a mystery - it is part of the unknowable. Life is the nagal, the Spirit. We really do not know what life is, for, being an expression of the Spirit, it lies within the realm of the unknowable, which is No-Thing. The only thing we know for a fact is that we are alive. Thus Toltecs say that life is a feeling. We can only get a feeling for who and what we are. It is not possible to define No-Thing.

What are the implications of this? Firstly, it is not the notching up of experiences that means that we have enjoyed a rich and meaningful life, but the quality of our interactions in the midst of those experiences. What do our actions amount to? What are our motives, our intentions, and what have they actually resulted in? Do we leave a trail of beauty, or a trail of destruction? Or do we just keep repeating our performances time after time?

Take, for example, a group of people who are great golf fans. They may spend their leisure time going to watch tournaments, and may even travel widely. But if all they are ever doing, with minor variations, is watching the game, having a few drinks, having dinner, catching up with other pals, then they are simply doing the same thing, over and over again. When they look back at their lives, they will see how everything blurs together, with one or two events standing out, like perhaps the time when Jack Nicklaus said hello to them, or when they won a special dinner. But, generally, all of these will be things that simply happened to them.

This leads us to the second, and most fundamental, implication -- namely that we are not passive victims of life, but beings of immense power and energy, with the ability to take control of our life's circumstances -- with the ability to sustain life. The key to this, lies in vitality. And in this respect, we keep remembering that life is a feeling, and not an intellectual exercise.

What does this mean? All true action -- as opposed to re-action -- arises out of a feeling. A feeling is like a seed that grows and bursts forth into the medium of our actions. Life is forever renewing itself -- always in constant motion, surging and falling back upon itself, and its expression is vitality, and the meaning of vitality is life itself -- they are one and the same thing. To be vital means to be alive, and to shut ourselves off from vitality is to die.

Looking at the rose itself, we discover that this symbolises a "Path with a Heart," for roses have forever been synonymous with the heart. Here, though, the focus is directed towards the Path -- meaning "purpose," for every one of us has a purpose, and it is vital for us to uncover and pursue that purpose. In doing so, we come to learn that our purpose is indeed for us a Path with a Heart. But if we try to focus on the heart, without finding or defining our purpose, then we risk getting lost. We all have a Path that we need to follow -- this is our fate, and this Path can only be uncovered by walking it.

Even though we all have our own Path to walk, as we journey, we gradually learn that all paths are interconnected, interactive and interdependent, and so we come to see that the manner in which we undertake our journey affects the whole, as well as the other individual parts. This is another fundamental truth of the rose, that there is only one life. For even though the rose is made up of many petals, they all combine to form one rose: their purpose and life being all one.

But a rose is more than just petals -- a rose is attached to a stem, and on the stem are thorns that cannot be ignored. So life is not just a bed of roses -- it is not all sunshine and happiness. The thorns represent our challenges, which need to be faced and handled impeccably. We cannot run away from our challenges, for if we try, we end up getting hooked and torn by the thorns.

Finally, there is the scent of the rose. Smell denotes personal power. We need personal power to handle our challenges, and when we handle them impeccably they bring us more personal power. Moreover, we need to have personal power in order to be able to show friendship and loyalty, for without personal power how can we really give anything of ourselves of meaning and value?

Now we have come full circle, and we are back to the concepts of friendship and loyalty. But this does not mean that there is nothing more to be gleaned from these concepts, or from the Rose. As we each continue to explore, the possibilities for opening up new vistas and areas of knowledge just grow and grow.