(Greek σταυρός) Literally "tree, pole, stake" that in Roman times became the "cross" of execution. A cross in the shape of an X, related to the Hebrew letter.
"And he that taketh not his σταυρός stauros [cross], and followeth after me, is not worthy of me." - Matthew 10
"The vertical line being the male principle, and the horizontal the female, out of the union of the two at the intersection point is formed the CROSS; the oldest symbol in the Egyptian history of gods. It is the key of Heaven in the rosy fingers of Neith, the celestial virgin, who opens the gate at dawn for the exit of her first-begotten, the radiant sun. It is the Stauros of the Gnostics, and the philosophical cross of the high-grade Masons. We find this symbol ornamenting the tee of the umbrella-shaped oldest pagodas in Thibet, China, and India, as we find it in the hand of Isis, in the shape of the "handled cross." In one of the Chaitya caves, at Ajunta, it surmounts the three umbrellas in stone, and forms the centre of the vault." - H.P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled
"They [the Gnostics] show, further, that that Horos of theirs, whom they call by a variety of names, has two faculties,—the one of supporting, and the other of separating; and in so far as he supports and sustains, he is Stauros, while in so far as he divides and separates, he is Horos. They then represent the Saviour as having indicated this twofold faculty: first, the sustaining power, when He said, “Whosoever doth not bear his cross (Stauros), and follow after me, cannot be my disciple;” and again, “Taking up the cross, follow me;” but the separating power when He said, “I came not to send peace, but a sword.” They also maintain that John indicated the same thing when he said, “The fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge the floor, and will gather the wheat into His garner; but the chaff He will burn with fire unquenchable.” By this declaration He set forth the faculty of Horos. For that fan they explain to be the cross (Stauros), which consumes, no doubt, all material objects, as fire does chaff, but it purifies all them that are saved, as a fan does wheat. Moreover, they affirm that the Apostle Paul himself made mention of this cross in the following words: “The doctrine of the cross is to them that perish foolishness, but to us who are saved it is the power of God.” And again: “God forbid that I should glory in anything save in the cross of, by whom the world is crucified to me, and I unto the world.” - Irenæus
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