The Rose in the western alchemical tradition is equated with the right sympathetic nerve path that coils about the spinal column. In the Song of Songs it is hinted under the 'Rose of Sharon.' In eastern traditions it is considered equivalent to Pingala, and Surya (the solar current). It is the active, male, positive agent of pure Akasha, which flows through Sushumna, the center of the spinal shaft. In alchemy the force under the Rose is Alchemical Gold, the Red Work or the Red Wine. It is also under the guise of Sulphur. Modern psychology would label it simply, super-consciousness. Regarding all these inferences above, more imagery may be gleaned by considering the definitions under IDA, PINGALA, RAYI, SURYA and LILY.
Another investigation of the Rose could be deliberated as the symbol of regenerated and perfected human personality, especially if it is mounted upon the Cross. It is most commonly seen as a six-petal Rose on a cross of six squares (an unfolded cube). In nature a wild Rose has five petals. Six petals are developed through Art. We are all five-petal roses, metaphorically speaking. When we take up the Great Work to regenerate our consciousness, we are maturing our wild nature. If we succeed, through the help of the Almighty, we become a 'six-petal.' Having become so, we are then aware that we did not accomplish this alone. We come to understand that no one anywhere, at any time, does anything of oneself. We are utterly dependent upon the Higher Self. For this reason is a six-petal Rose hung upon a cross of six squares.
Tiphareth, the sixth sphere on the Tree, is the seat of the One-Ego working through collective humanity. He is the Christ Consciousness, the Son, Who is one with the Father in Chokmah. Thus, the Rose so hung is considered a symbol of the completion of the Great Work, like the image of the Hanged Man in Tarot. A Rosicrucian, therefore, is anyone from any culture in the world, who recognizes this total dependence upon the Central Self, and lives his or her life accordingly. A formal education in western (or eastern) mystery traditions is not necessary. The Brilliant, Inner Flash may strike anyone, anywhere.
The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn expanded upon this basic image with its twenty-two pedaled Rose upon a foliated cross. The details of this icon are complex, and knowledge concerning it does require extensive studies in that discipline. If our culture is not familiar with the alchemical glyphs and symbols of that order, however, we are no less Rosicrucians if our simple Love brings us to the Central Self. We are still the perfected Rose by any other name.