Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Ancient mysteries await at the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in San Jose

The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in San Jose, California houses a wealth of ancient treasures—the largest such collection in western North America.

Not only does the museum house artifacts from the pre-dynastic to the early Islamic era, but it also has exhibits on the non-Egyptian Assyrian, Babylonian, and Sumerian periods. The four large galleries—Afterlife, Daily Life, Rulers, and Religions—ensure visitors to stay for hours.

I’ve been there three times now and never get tired of it. It might be time to get an annual subscription!

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The Afterlife Gallery contains authentic coffins and mummies from ancient Egypt. (courtesy of Karen Gough)
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Mummy of an upper-class male from the New Empire period, 1549–1064 BC (courtesy of Karen Gough)

There is also a reconstructed underground tomb and even an exhibit on alchemy. The Alchemy Exhibit is a precursor to the Alchemy Museum being developed on the grounds of the park. Not only will it be the first alchemy museum to exist in the United States, but it will also be the largest in the world.

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Partial view of the Museum of Alchemy of the Future in Rosicrucian Park. (courtesy of Karen Gough)

The Alchemy exhibit can be considered an unusual addition to the Egyptian Museum. It makes sense, though, when you realize that the museum is part of the Rosicrucian Park in San Jose, and that the park houses the headquarters of the Rosicrucian Order in the United States.

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A recreation of an alchemist’s workshop from medieval Europe. (courtesy of Karen Gough)

Some believe that Rosicrucianism is a cult; Others call it religion. But the Rosicrucians maintain that it is a philosophy with educational and humanitarian goals. They do not require followers to change their religious beliefs.

Rosicrucian philosophy incorporates mystical and spiritual teachings from Ancient Egypt in 1500 BC, including teachings of Western European and Arabic philosophy, medicine, mathematics and alchemy. Today, the Rosicrucians regard alchemy not as a chemical transformation but as a philosophy of spiritual transformation.

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Part of the Ripley Scroll, created in 1450 by the English alchemist Sir George Ripley. (courtesy of Karen Gough)

The idea of ​​an Egyptian museum in San Jose began with H. Spencer Lewis in 1927. Lewis was the founder of the Rosicrucian Order, AMORC (Ancient and Mystical Order Rosa Crucis) in the United States.

Over the decades, the Order’s collection grew from a small statue of Sekhmet to thousands of artifacts, leading to the grand opening of the new Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in 1966. Today (pre-Covid), more than 100,000 guests visit the museum every year.

Annual visitors include the general public, scholars and researchers, and 26,000 sixth graders. Classes of some schools also come from outside the state.

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The first in the collection: a 13.9 cm high (about 5.5 inches high) bronze statue of Sekhmet—the lion-headed goddess of war, the sun, plague, and healing. (courtesy of Karen Gough)

The popularity of the museum is not surprising. Most of the exhibitions include authentic ancient artifacts. Guests can read detailed signage and educational pamphlets, ask questions to the knowledgeable staff, or listen to an audio tour. The website is full of educational material and information.

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Painting of gods on the interior of a 3,000-year-old coffin. (courtesy of Karen Gough)
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A model of a battle boat from the Middle Kingdom period 3,000 to 4,000 years ago. (courtesy of Karen Gough)
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A rare statue of Egyptian Queen Cleopatra VII. (courtesy of Karen Gough)

Visitors can also enjoy an enlightening underground tour of a reconstructed tomb. Built in the 1960s, this tomb is a composite of different time periods. It was created from photographs brought back by the Rosicrucian research expedition that visited Egypt.

My tour was led by an enthusiastic university intern. She assured one of the children on the tour that she had nothing to fear, and of course, the child came out with a smile and questioned about Egyptian beliefs in the afterlife.

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The entrance to the reconstructed underground tomb. (courtesy of Karen Gough)
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Yug Times Photos
The entrance to the tomb is not as scary as it looks. (courtesy of Karen Gough)
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A painting in the tomb shows a young nobleman traveling to the afterlife. (courtesy of Karen Gough)

The museum also offers monthly workshops; This month there will be one on making papyrus paper. And there are weekly games of an ancient Egyptian board game called Senate.

Young people, grades K-12, can join the museum’s Junior Archaeologist program to learn about archeology and Egyptology within the museum. Graduation ceremony takes place in the grave!

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A table display of papyrus and paper making. (courtesy of Karen Gough)
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Yug Times Photos
Sennett’s game depicts a player’s journey through life’s challenges. (courtesy of Karen Gough)

After visiting the museum, it’s nice to walk around and explore the grounds of the park. The Peace Garden is modeled on the gardens of the ancient Egyptian city of Akhenaten. It includes food and medicinal plants, a pond, a pergola and a small temple.

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Temple and Pond of Peace Garden. (courtesy of Karen Gough)

The maze is based on one built 800 years ago in Chartres, France. It is lined by native plants and is accessible by wheelchair.

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The twists and turns of the maze represent the journey to the end of life and beyond. (courtesy of Karen Gough)

There is also a research library for Rosicrucian members.

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Papyrus plants line the walkway for the Rosicrucian Research Library. (courtesy of Karen Gough)

I highly recommend visiting this fascinating museum and relaxing park. The museum is located at 1660 Park Avenue, San Jose, CA 95126. There is free parking in the lot behind the museum at Nagley Avenue and Chapman Street. Hours are shorter these days: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday For more information, visit their Website.

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Yug Times Photos
The Eye of Horus amulet, was thought to provide the wearer with powerful protection from the sun god Horus. (courtesy of Karen Gough)
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Yug Times Photos
Reproduction of an original statue from Cairo of Amenhotep IV (1380–1336 BC), the controversial pharaoh known as Akhenaten. (courtesy of Karen Gough)
Karen Gough

Karen Gough is a writer and travel enthusiast. She shares her family’s travel stories at thefootloosescribbler.com

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

Ancient mysteries await at the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in San Jose
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