“Long before the cross or its sign were adopted as symbols of Christianity, the sign of the cross was used as a sign of recognition among adepts and neophytes, the latter being called Chrests (from Chrestos, man of tribulation and sorrow).
Says Eliphas Levi:
“The sign of the cross adopted by the Christians does not belong exclusively to them. It is Kabbalistic, and represents the opposition and quaternary equilibrium of the elements.
We see by the Occult verse of the Paternoster that there were originally two ways of making it, or, at least two very different formulas to express its meaning – one reserved for priest-initiates, the other given to neophytes and the profane.
Thus, for example, the initiate, carrying his hand to his forehead, said: To thee; then he added, belong: and continued, while carrying his hand to the breast – the kingdom; then to the left shoulder – justice: to the right shoulder – and mercy.
Then he joined the two hands, adding: throughout the generating cycles: ‘Tibi sunt Malkhut et Gevurah et Chesed per Aeonas’ – a sign of the Cross, absolutely and magnificently Kabbalistic, which the profanations of Gnosticism made the militant and official Church completely lose.”
(Levi, Dogma et ritual de la haute magi (Paris, 1861)”
H. P. Blavatsky