Plate VII - The Third Parable
If we as aspirants have succeeded to any sufficient degree through the actual practice of all these preceding parables with their attendant illustrated plates, and especially with the meditations and creative imagination hinted by the last two, then it could be said that we have aroused a sufficient quantity of the Secret Fire.
Please do not come to the erroneous conclusion by believing that any of this is a quick and ready process. It involves considerable time and patience, perhaps years (even incarnations), to draw out the Secret Fire from the Seven Metals of the Alchemists. That Secret Fire is the Rajas Guna mode coupled ardently with the Sattva Guna in ALL Seven Metals. The accrued Sulfuric Fires of Desire coupled with the Illumination Material of Sattva from the seven basic energies, with all their infinite expressions, hold the master key which will arouse Kundalini.
In this picture the Initiate holds a rod or wand in his right hand. At the top are two serpents flanking what appears to be an acorn or pine cone, a composite somewhat akin with the celebrated Caduceus of Hermes.
Seven golden stars surround the top; these represent the perfected Chakras. When the Seven Force Centers are balanced and perfected by their union with their pairs of opposites, then the Secret Fire from each rises to bring the aspirant into another level of perceiving with knowing. For there is a secret force, fiery in quality, which is to be raised from the lower chakras to their higher octaves.
Thus achieved, and a Herculean effort at that, activating, balancing and coordinating these seven basic energies within us, the young Initiate is now able to receive even higher, even more subtle energies with which to accomplish the ultimate goal. The triple-tiered crown upon his head refers to these higher vibrations. And the secret is well hid in its detail. The written parable reads: “He was crowned with three costly crowns, one of Iron, the other of Silver, and the third of pure Gold.”
Notice the metals are written in capitals. Iron is not a costly substance, but it is not the pecuniary value that is hinted here. The seven metals, or Chakras, are the seven Inner Holy Planets of the Qabalists. Generic humanity, whether its understood or not, or even known, employs the energies through these centers with vitalizing the lower nature. Turned from their Saltish tendencies toward their Mercury vibrations by means of Sulfur (Self-conscious fiery desire) activates and balances each center and coordinates a harmony with all the others. This prepares a candidate to absorb an influx of the higher octave energies, constituting the even more subtle vibrations than are normally received by the average human organism. The Secret Fire, thus gathered, invites the Spiritual Fire, the FIRE of the Father in the background of the picture.
The higher, Spiritual Fire energies are known under the symbols of the higher octave planets, the Supernals. These Super-conscious vibrations are symbolized by the three outermost planets of our solar system. The first costly Crown is of Iron, the metal of Mars. Its higher octave vibration comes from Pluto. Being able to receive the higher octave vibrations from what Pluto symbolizes allows the recipient to understand Chokmah, the Root of the Powers of Fire, and the Super-conscious awareness of Activity. This first detail is somewhat obvious to the experienced seeker, and hints the means of discovery behind the other two hinted more obscurely.
The other of Silver Crown suggests the Moon. But, the Moon has no known higher octave. Venus is the next planet to have a higher octave, which is Neptune traditionally. Neptune is associated in Qabalah and Tarot with letter Mem (meaning Water) and the blue color vibration; both are qualities of the Moon. The Tarot image assigned to Neptune is the Hanged Man with Moon crescents on his coat, also colored blue. And Neptune, all esoterists agree, has always been deemed the higher octave of Venus. Finally, Qabalists teach that on the Tree of Life the paths of Venus and the Moon cross each other at the level of the Supernals: Kether, Chokmah and Binah. These three Spheres are assigned the higher octave planets: Uranus to Kether; Pluto to Chokmah; and Neptune to Binah; the Triune-Creator of All. Esoterically then, certain Qabalah quarters teach that the higher octave of Neptune is assigned to both planets, Venus and the Moon. The list of similarities with both are actually inseparable. Receiving the higher octave vibrations from what Neptune symbolizes allows the aspirant to understand Binah, the Root of the Powers of Water, and the Super-conscious awareness of Substance.
Finally, uppermost, the third of pure Gold Crown offers hints toward the higher octave planet Uranus. But again, Gold, being assigned our central Life-giving Star, also has no higher octave. Traditionally, Uranus has always been assigned as the higher octave of Mercury. Cleverly insightful, these twists and turns of detail by Solomon Trismosin. Mercury, even as the title of this manuscript blatantly suggests, is actually the Adept’s fullest self-conscious expression of the One True Ego, the Sun in Tiphareth. The Sphere of Mercury on the Tree of Life is titled Splendor. The Splendor of the Sun (the Son as Tiphareth) is expressed through the exalted Self-conscious Intellect of the realized Adept. This is also hinted by the deliberate reverse of the color vibrations on the Tree; Sun with Orange, and Mercury with Yellow. Receiving the higher octave vibrations from what Uranus symbolizes allows the aspirant to understand Kether, the Root of the Powers of Air, and the Super-conscious awareness of Life.
To suggest that the top-most Crown on the young Initiate's head in the picture be ‘yellow’ (the color of Mercury and Uranus), and the middle crown ‘green’ (the color of Venus), would have been too obvious for the readers of this manuscript at that evolutionary period. And, it should be remembered that those outer, higher vibratory bodies: Uranus, Neptune and Pluto were not to be discovered, exoterically, for centuries to come after this manuscript made its debut. Yet, the original designers of the first Book of Tarot (around 1200 A.D.) and other erudite manuscripts such as this one, had all reserved and made places for these planetary bodies in their literature of that bygone era that they might be understood in the times to come. And, of course, right they were, because they were Adepts.
Due to the vibratory energies radiating toward our planet from these higher octave sources in this, our current evolutionary chapter, it is now allowed, even urged in cases, that these and many more esoteric doctrines should be exposed to all those of us with the insightful eyes to see and the finer frequency ears to hear. We are presently in the Aquarian Age which has opened us all to a deeper understanding of Life, Activity and Substance, the Super-conscious realities within each of us.
The White Dove on a Golden Apple in a Grasping Hand
The White Dove is immediately well recognized as the symbol of the Holy Spirit in much esoteric literature. In the New Testament it is recorded that the Holy Spirit descended upon the Christ in the form of a Dove in both Matthew 3:16 and in John 1:32. We are also familiar with the Dove on the shield of The Empress Tarot Key representing Spiritual Love. Here, in this scene, it represents the same. Tantamount to this, however, Columba Alba sums to 73 in the Latin Cabala Simplex. We may recognize 73 as the value within חכמה, Chokmah, Wisdom, the second sphere on the Tree, and the Dove symbol. Chokmah is also understood by Qabalists as אב, AB, the Life-giving ‘Father’. Added to this is אביכם, Abikem, ‘Thy Father’ found in Isiah 51:2, also totaling 73.
Depending on context, anything having to do with ‘Gold’ or a Golden something, like the Apple here, is a direct implication towards Tiphareth, the 6th Sphere on the Tree, symbol of the One True Ego within us all. Then again, ‘Apple’ is malum, summing to 52 in the Latin Cabala Simplex, which equals that of בן, Ben, ‘the Son’, the Christ Consciousness, the “son begotten, not made”. And, as AB is the ‘Father’ in Chokmah, BN is the ‘Son’ in Tiphareth. The White Dove upon the Golden Apple is the combined symbol of the complete and eternal union with both, the One Ego (Christ) and The Father.
All Qabalists are very familiar with the Hebrew letter Kaph (כ), the symbol is the ‘hand of a man in the act of grasping’. Thus the figure grasping a ‘Golden Apple with a White Dove’ implicates the complete apprehension as well the comprehension of the core meaning behind both.