Just to be devils advocate here for a second, I have no idea what it means either. The official 'Church of Satan' stance is that he wished the meaning kept secret, and aside from that my best guess is that it had something to do with the song of the same name he (reportedly) often closed his sets with.
Aside from that it has been reported that 'yankee rose' was some sort of ghost ship, but that's all rather vague too.
I'm not even sure if the phrase has any significance at all.
I have always thought that The "Yankee Rose" at the end of the SB had a connection to the way he reportedly closed his sets as well- that maybe LaVey likened creating the concept and writing the book to a non-musical performance, and the "Yankee Rose" was just his ironic way of "Closing the Set"
Also, the fact that people are still guessing about those two words over four decades after he wrote the SB, would no doubt be an immense source of amusement to LaVey if he was still with us today.
Maybe it was a personal experiment to see if the masses could be "confounded and confused" by an external source with almost no effort required- In The Doc's case, two well placed words in a book, with no accompanying explanation did that easily....
It could only have assisted in fueling his enthusiasm for further practical application in Lesser Magic, whatever his original reasons were for placing the words there.
To echo Jake, that secret has indeed been out of the bag for years. You just have to spend more than 3 minutes searching wiki. Also, I swear there was a thread about this topic here already. Must have been v1 or v2. Maybe someone with longterm memory can answer that. I know this topic was covered previously.
_________________________ Beer, the reason I get up every afternoon.
It is the answer to the question, What are the last two words on page 272 in your Satanic Bible?
That was one of the questions that I had to answer when I first joined this site... I remember trying to join at work then having to wait to get home only to see the answer was Yankee Rose... I think that was V2 (the last one)...
That and the title probation for the first 50 posts made you want to keep questions such as these in 101 where they belong...
"Are you ready for the new sensation?"
We are the music makers, And we are the dreamers of dreams. ~Arthur William Edgar O'Shaughnessy
Let's see... Yankee Rose comes at the end of TSB, and is a melodic tune. One deduction is: We know that LaVey loved music, playing in many venues of sorts.
My guess is sometime pre-1960, when he was playing the organ for a fee, he came accross a tune called Yankee Rose. After playing it for the first time in front of an audience, he decided to make the CoS. Thus, going about a new religion, and all it entails.
Having heard Dr. LaVey play the organ on many occasions, I can think of a hell of a lot worse sounds.
The organ is actually quite "satanic" as instruments go, because it is the only instrument that becomes what it needs to be to get its message across. It can sound like the oboe, wind whispering through the mellow tones, or carry undertones of trumpets, or drums far distant and coming to the fore... it can be sweet or it can rage. In the hands of a master, it can touch "the soul."
Bury your dead, pick up your weapon and soldier on.
Perhaps, such whimsical words were there for the purpose to make his readers understand that a whole context of a book should not be taken too literally... unlike a regular Bible is perceived literally. (there was this spy movie where a spy explains that very last information - usually stays in mind) Now, why exactly this song with the words: "rose"... oh, well, because its a queen of flowers, and why "yankee", or because its "american" and blah-blah-blah... maybe he liked the song
Yankee Rose was one of the standard organ tunes he'd play at gigs. I think he just liked the song. I doubt it had much meaning beyond that. The 2 words would be speculated on as if they were "Rosebud" from Citizen Kane. It probably was a playful touch on his part. I'm sure he knew it could have the odd effect it did. It really never was a secret though. Coming across the sheet music reminded me that folks still asked about "Yankee Rose"
Mr. Emmanuel: you live in the heart of Yorubaland. Yoruba magic and religion had an enormous impact on Cuban and Brazilian spirituality and a lesser but still huge impact on Haitian Vodou. Why not share with us some stories about the Ifa traditions and about Nigerian folk practices? Once you've provided some information about Witchcraft, the Second World, etc. I'm sure you'll find people on here will be more willing to help you.
Kudos to Dr. Aquino and Zeena Schreck for solving the "Yankee Rose" mystery. Zeena's explanation is credible, fits the known facts and answers the question better than any other theory proffered to date. When you're writing Anton LaVey's biography that's generally as good as it gets.
Initially, I considered it like the final period at the end of his manifesto. Much like he had a disdain for Thelemites discussing Liber Al vel Legis (and the Thelemites), he figured Satanists would end up in a perpetual state of Wax Philosophical as to its meaning. Much like Crowley added 'The Comment', he finished it off with 'Yankee Rose'.
I don't really care what it means, or was intended to mean according to the Super-sleuths. It's quite irrelevant to me, mine and so forth.
I personally think it could be related to his music or something he witnessed in his younger years, maybe a nickname for a lost love. Though it could also be a crude inside joke that no one would ever understand. There's another possibility that it could be completely meaningless or the meaning could go deeper than we seem to think. The scientific name for Rose would be Genus Rosa, the root of genus being 'Gen' meaning 'race and kind of' and Yankee meaning 'from the northern states'. If you simply put these definitions together not much sense comes from it but if you think more of it then you see that he could've been referring to a certain type of rose that only grows in a certain northern state. Whatever it may be "Yankee Rose" certainly is a mystery that may never be understood entirely.