Plate XVI – The Fourth Treatise, Fifthly
Represented here is the Metal Copper, the Holy Inner Planet Venus, and the Vishuddhi Chakra of Buddhism. The Force-center is a point in the spine behind a group of nerves in the well of the throat composed of the thyroid and pharyngeal plexuses, which regulate emotions.
Beginning with the upper panel we have Venus herself riding in a cart. Mr, J. Kohn notes: “On one wheel is Aries and on the other Libra, Venus in Aries and Libra.” One might think this an error in that Venus has duel rulership with Taurus, not Aires. But the detail is no less brilliant in that Solomon Trismosin was pointing the rest of us elsewhere; into some very detailed and intricate Hermetics and Qabalah.
To pull our attention, the front wheel is smaller, and indeed, emblazoned with a Ram symbol instead of a Bull for Taurus. He was pointing out Venus’s detriment in Aries rather than her duel rulership. The hint of the smaller wheel is accented by Venus holding a restraining cord tethering Cupid. This actually is the crux of the entire Plate, and quite complicated to explain with mere words. This plate is intricately tied to Plate XIII, symbolizing the Jupiter Force-center.
The cart above the Jupiter retort is pulled by two Peacocks, while the one Peacock is central in this Venus retort. Pavo, ‘peacock’, sums to 47 in the Latin Cabala Simplex. This equals Rosa, ‘Rose’, and hints the direct message. Mr. Paul F. Case tells us:
“The Rose is a symbol of aspiration, of desire and of the Human soul. The white rose
represents purified desire; the red completion of the Great Work through action.”
All esoterists would be familiar with the Red Rose as representative of Venus, Desire and Netzach on the Tree of Life as the Seat of the Desire Nature. So a ‘Rose’ could very well have been placed within this retort to drive that message directly. However, the intention to link this retort of Venus with that of Jupiter in Plate XIII would not have worked as well with Two Roses pulling the Jupiter cart. Hence the Peacock connection linked by number associations, a very common tool of Qabalah. Still, the ‘Rose’ reference inside this retort would have been clear enough to all those employing “the use of the Cabalists and the Old Astronomers”, as Paracelsus had advised.
Here, with the peacock, is portrayed Venus’s potentially pure beauty and true glory if her expression isn’t inhibited by a Venus in Aries (the Detriment). From Mythology we learn that Cupid is progeny of Jupiter and Venus. Cupid is the Roman equivalent of the Greek Eros, whose name came to mean love of all kinds, but Cupido (Lat.) is strictly sexual lust and the root of concupiscence.
Cupid is pictured shooting arrows into a Copper Heart. Cupid’s prolific base expressions of love truly display the detrimental behavior exuding from our habitual Saltish tendencies within Our Copper (Alchemically speaking). Thus far all this is describing the miserly, selfish side of love as expressed by sex acts devoid any true loving affection.
The cart goes nowhere since the Doves of Venus stand still. The Doves are mentioned frequently in much esoteric literature. Others refer to the Ensigns of Diana. Being feminine the two goddesses both represent modes of our Subconscious. The two ‘Doves’ represent ‘Pure Love’ and ‘Creative Imagination’. Neither can be fully expressed when the Rajas Guna is steeped in Tamas proclivities with concupiscence in our Copper.
‘Two Doves’ in Lain is duo enim columbae, which sums to 137, that of Spiritus Dei, ‘the Spirit of God’, and קבלה, QBLH, Qabalah. Who can deny that 'Pure Love', 'Creative Imagination', the 'Spirit of God' and 'Qabalah' are actually all the same when Rajas Guna is coupled with Sattva Guna, or ‘Sulfur conjoined with Mercury in Copper’ (Alchemically speaking). Moreover, the Doves of Venus in Latin is Venus Columbae, summing to 136 and that of Dei Gloria Intacta, the ‘Untouchable Glory of God’.
Roger Bacon wrote of the Nature of Copper:
“Copper is an unclean and imperfect body, engendered of ARGENT-VIVE, impure, unfixed, earth, burning, red (not clear),
and of the like SULPHUR. It wants purity, fixation, and weight and has too much of an impure color, and earthiness not burning.”
Basil Valentine: “Copper is generated of much Sulphur but its Mercury and Salt are in equality.”
Then, here in the written portion of this manuscript it is stated:
Fifthly – The Heat works elevatingly, for by its force the spirits hidden in the Earth are raised up into the air, wherefore the Philosophers say, that whosoever can bring to light a hidden thing, is a Master of the Art. The same is meant by MORIENUS, when he teaches that "he who can recreate the Soul is able to see color, and also by ALPHIDIUS saying: “Hence it is that this Combat raises upwards, or else you shall not gain by it.”
We “recreate the Soul” (the Vital Soul in Yesod) through Meditation, whereby the concerted practice turns the Heat of Sulfur toward Mercury in all the Metals. A frequent alchemical axiom is to: “Make Mercury of All Your Metals.” Subconsciousness is thereby ‘purified’ and the Secret Fire is aroused.
Now we come into the Qabalah side. Columbae, the Latin for ‘Doves’ sums to 64, which equals נוגה, nogah, the Hebrew for ‘Venus’. The Sphere of Venus is the 7th Sphere on the Tree of life. It is the Seat of the Desire Nature within us all. As for 'our Metal' Bacon says that it “is an unclean and imperfect body” when expressed through the natural human devoid compassion (Venus in ‘detrimental’ Aries). “The Heat works elevatingly” (toward the 4th Sphere, Jupiter, above Venus on the Tree) stated Fifthly. That ‘heat’ is the Sulfur mode in our Copper. When our Sulfurous Desires are turned to its Mercury (Sattva) mode, then, “by its force the spirits hidden in the Earth (Taurus) are raised up into the air” (Libra). This is Venus’s duel rulership in Taurus (sensual) and Libra (altruistic).
Now see in the illustration that there is a circular aperture through the ceiling of the niche for the ‘hidden spirits’ from Venus to rise up. However, the vessel is tethered to the columns by a golden chain. The gold chain hints Tiphareth again, but the 'hidden spirit' expressions of ‘Pure Love’ and ‘Creative Imagination’ are inhibited by the lower expression of the separative ego, devoid compassion.
The 7th Sphere of Venus is beneath the 4th Sphere of Jupiter, the sphere of Mercy on the Tree of Life. The Desires of Venus may ascend to limitless beneficence should the Heat (of Sulfur) turn from its Tamas expressions. “...Whosoever can bring light to a hidden thing (the Pure Love of Venus), is a Master of the Art,” reads the manuscript portion. So we see the person of Venus in the upper panel tethering Cupid in efforts to restrain his indiscriminate squandering. Again, Meditation is the key for turning ‘our Sulfur’, in ALL the Metals. Doing so, the Power of Desire becomes solely concerned with the higher aspirations, and the power of emotion personified as Venus begins to express in higher, altruistic love and ascends into the unlimited Mercy and Beneficence expressed from the Jupiter Center in the 4th Sphere. Our desire nature begins to reflect the higher, divine beneficence of Chesed. The two are intimately intertwined. There can be no true expression of Love without Mercy and Compassion, and True Mercy cannot be expressed without the altruistic, Higher Desires.
There is no power more liberating than the power of unconditional love that is locked away within each of us. We all hold various and multiple excuses and inhibitions creating the fear for expressing Love openly. Meditation, meditation, meditation melts those inhibitions and breaks those golden chains of the separative ego, freeing the Power to ascend!
Please remember that the Three Modes of Material Nature are actually the expressions of Super-consciousness (Mercury); Self-consciousness (Sulfur); and Subconsciousness (Salt). These are OUR expressions of consciousness from within us, not arbitrary abstract terms we read about.
Finally, the colorful scenes underneath and on both sides of the central Venus panel are the mundane activities that are played out under the influence of Venus in one’s Natal Horoscope.