Plate V - The First Parable
When reading over this First Parable in the actual manuscript, do not be deceived as to the hidden, inner meanings. The protracted description might seem initially confusing for the first-time reader. Trismosin writes of the Earth outside and inside. Discern and study the differences, and be mindful of the allegories. Many sage writers speak of the ‘mountain’ of Spirit, and of ‘mining the Ore’ within the ‘earth’ of the physical body. In Latin ‘ore’ is aes, summing to 23, as is חיה, chaiah, Hebrew for the ‘Life-force’. Both are allusions to the First Matter. Notice the Sun at the upper left, the astrological symbol of which is a circle surrounding a central point. In occult arithmetic the point equals 1, the full circle, 22; together, 23.
Therefore, when we see males (self-consciousness) ‘mining’ their way into a ‘mountain of Spirit’ it is an allusive hint toward the act of meditation, the very first ‘particular’ of this Art. In meditation we are delving into the deep, watery subconscious (the crescent Moon at the bottom of the circle portion).
Ultimately we are seeking the Christ level within, the obviated Sun at the top. So again, illustrated here is the “Operation of the Sun and Moon with the aid of Mercury”. These are the main details within the upper circle worth any consideration.
The written portion of this parable winds down with the ‘Philosophers’ Mercury’, the higher vibrations above the natural human’s intellect. When achieved, the ‘Philosophers’ Sulphur’ is the result. The parable ends with...
About this Sulphur HERMES says: “It will receive the powers of the highest and lowest planets,
and with its force it penetrates solid things, it overcomes all matter and all precious stones.”
‘This Sulphur’ is the Rajas Guna mode within all seven Chakras; the ‘highest’ three, above the Anahata (Sun) Chakra (are Venus, Mercury and Moon), and ‘lowest’ three below (being Saturn, Jupiter and Mars). The focus of Rajas Guna seven times coupled with Sattva Guna; the hint behind the banner Coagula Masculinum in Plate IV, is the ‘Spiritual Fire’.
This is the first Plate where the lower base of the illustration comes into definite and pointed consideration. First, notice the lower arc portion of the large circle, under the crescent Moon. Barely discernible in this smaller representation is scribed the name Esther. Under the sphere is a scene from the Bible out of the Book of Esther 5:2. In the arched interior of his throne room King Ahasuerus (Xerxes I) holds out The Golden Scepter. In his commentary Julius Kohn notes that the king “is handing his Scepter to the Queen,” whereas in the Hebrew of the Scripture verse, Queen Esther only touched the tip of the Scepter (this allowed her to speak). Other than this specific scene with its alchemical implications, there seems to be no other organic connection between the Book of Esther and the alchemical theme of Splendor Solis that can be detected. The Biblical story addresses an injustice finally brought to Justice, freeing the Jews from annihilation. The Jewish Feast of Purim commemorates this occasion.
So why this scene? Firstly, it matches up almost perfectly with Plate IV where a king and queen are facing each other. The king holds a Golden Scepter. The queen, with out-stretched fore finger (the Creative Hand of Yod) is poised in the fore-motion of appearing to touch.
Below, in Plate V, King Ahasuerus and Queen Esther also face each other. The king holds out The Golden Scepter, while the queen is about to touch the tip, as the Bible verse narrates. In that verse 5:2, ‘The Gold Scepter,’ spelled out in Hebrew, is שרביט הזהב, sarbit ha zahab, which letters sum up to 539. Two, quite poignant Hebrew terms come to mind: שקוף אבן, shquph abn; ‘Transparent Stone,’ and בהיר ענהר, bahir onbr, ‘bright (or clear) amber’. Each sums to 539. The exact implication being: that in both Plates, the Queens (subconsciousness personified), through the pointed suggestive prowess of exalted self-consciousness (the Kings), distill extra amounts of the semen solare (chylus) toward full maturation of the Transparent Amber Stone.
So much more is implicated by the astute placement of these varied hints. Before she was Esther the Bible story reveals her maiden name was הדסה, Hadassah, meaning ‘myrtle’. The Myrtle plant, with scented leaves for oils, etc., has been sacred to Venus around the Mediterranean Sea since forever. The Hebrew name Hadassah sums to 74 and equals the Hebrew letter Lamed when spelled out (למד). This letter, and its path on the Tree, is assigned to the astrological sign Libra, ruled by Venus, and assigned to the ‘Justice’ Tarot Key. The central theme of the Book of Esther is concerned with ‘Justice’ for the Hebrews. And ‘Esther’, Biblical Qabalists teach, is the regular Syrian form of the name Ishtar, the Babylonian goddess corresponding to Astarte, and again, associated in Babylonian astrology with the planet Venus. Keep in mind that the Path of Libra, with Venus, is rooted in Geburah, the Sphere of Mars, on the Tree of Life.
Where is all this leading? In Qabalah the Venus ‘influence’ is primarily associated with Creative Imagination and the Desire Nature (the seventh sphere, Netzach). Aqua Regis, also summing 74, is the ‘Royal Water’, another name for the First Matter, which Creative Imagination coalesces into physical forms. The Divine Agreement is one such form. In the Greek Qabalah the term, αἱ διαθῆκαι, oi diathikes, meaning ‘the covenants’, also totals 74 with the above. As for the confection of the ‘Transparent Stone’; creative imagination, chylus, the four elements, Rajas Guna with Sattva Guna within the seven metals, and now, a hint toward 'The Covenants', it is then rather easy to fathom why Solomon Trismosin (whoever he was actually) chose the Esther story for this ‘parable’.
Moreover, if you remember, Aqua Spherica, the ‘spherical water’, is another name given the First Matter mentioned at the end of Plate IV. This term might have been initiated by Christian Knorr von Rosenroth, a German Christian Hebraist and Qabalist, who lived in the 1600s. Or, Rosenroth might have gotten the term from another source, since the Hebrew of this term is אספירכא, espherica, sums to 372. And because, as the trail of hints progresses, this Hebrew word is found in The Most Holy Trinosophia, by the Comte de Saint Germain, later identified as ‘Master R’ by Theosophists of the nineteenth century. Espherica is the name of a bird described within the Trinosophia as being yet another description of Alchemical Mercury. The Trinosophia is filled with erudite Qabalah and Hermetics far too complicated for those of us utterly unfamiliar with either genre.
However, by its affinity with number 372, אספירכא, espherica, leads next to עקרב, aqerawb, ‘a scorpion’, the Hebrew name of the astrological sign governing the reproductive organs, and ruled by Mars. And this is a direct clue to all the hidden meanings behind ‘The Covenants’ which the Lord established with Abraham in Genesis 17:2-10. The connection with Libra/Venus and Scorpio/Mars is the explanatory crux behind The (True) Covenant that is only symbolically hinted by, and expressed as, the outward ritual of Circumcision. The ‘true’ Israel is the spiritual Son of the Father of All. The (TRUE) Covenant can never be outwardly expressed by words; only ‘realized’. With concerted meditations along these lines, that Covenant may be revealed.