Plate XVIII – The Fourth Treatise, Eighthly (?)
You are reading correctly. Beneath Plate XVIII in the manuscript it is called out exactly thus. Within the written portion of The Fourth Treatise there is mention of a SEVENTHLY and an EIGHTHLY! Therein, the SEVENTHLY makes some references to this Plate, and Mr. Julius Kohn’s description of “The Eighteenth Picture” matches with what we see here.
The EIGHTHLY, nonetheless in the manuscript, mentions the author of The Three Words going on about the Fire in the three fire signs. Perhaps he is summing up something concerning Rajas Guna, the fiery Sulfur Mode, within the seven Chakras; not clear. If there is anyone out there reading this, and knows something more beyond my scope, perhaps you could shed some light around this conundrum?
Otherwise, Plate XVIII is concerned with the Metal Silver, the Holy Inner Planet Moon, the Moon Force-center and the Ajna Chakra governing the pituitary body residing within the brain behind the root of the nose.
The upper panel illustrates goddess Diana (Artemis of Greece) as charioteer, holding a crescent Moon with horns turned upward, indicative of the receptivity of Subconsciousness. The wheel, Mr. Kohn notes, displays the image of Scorpio. Curious, this Moon in Scorpio, the sign of its Fall.
Pulling the chariot this time are two Naiads (nymphs). Diana (Artemis) is the goddess of the hunt, among other duties. A female huntress? This is due to the hunt being primarily a subconscious process with using the senses to stalk prey; at least this was so before high-powered and scoped rifles.
Naiads were subject to the goddess (they get to pull the chariot). There was one Naiad named Salmakis who did not see fit to get on with the goddess’s program for hunting, sporting, etc. Instead, absorbed with her own beauty, she seduced the way-cool Hermaphroditus, the son of Hermes and Aphrodite. So in love was she with him that she prayed to the gods to never be separated. Taken literally, the gods merged the two forms to inhabit the same body. The Hermaphrodite resulted.
The panel above the retort is predominantly feminine, but within the retort itself is a masculine presence. Yet he stands on a convex image of a crescent, ‘dark side’ of the moon. Conversely, the aura surrounding him is of a golden hue when Subconsciousness reflects the True Brilliance of the One Ego (Tiphareth on the Tree) above and deeper within us.
The Kingly male in the retort stands on the “cold side of the Moon”, pointed out in the Fourth Treatise, SEVENTHLY. Notice that his torso is turned to his left while he gazes to his right. This is the duel nature of the Moon, which is the ruler of Cancer, also one of the zodiacal duel signs.
So all the above is a most clever way for Solomon Trismosin to tell us that the Moon Force-center within each of us is amoral. S/he will go both ways or either way that our Self-conscious mind will induce. Conscience is not the forte of Subconsciousness. S/he has the tendency to respond to whatever is the predominant emotion being submitted. Love, and s/he reflects it to all; hate, and the projection follows.
Roger Bacon comments on The Nature of Silver:
“Silver is a body, clean, pure, and almost perfect, begotten of ARGENT-VIVE, pure, almost fixed, clear,
and white, and of such a like SULPHUR; It wants for nothing, save a little fixation, color, and weight.”
Bacon tells us that it is “almost perfect”, because it is also “begotten of ARGENT-VIVE”, like that of the Sun Center. Argent Vive is another term for Ain Suph Aur, and everything is ‘begotten of it’. However, it is not as pure as the former. The finer, astral body of the subconscious is the vehicle of the astral plane (the World of Yetzirah in Qabalah) and susceptible to the influences of humanity’s collective subconscious. These influences must be cleared before the pure, gold brilliance of the Sun (Christ Consciousness) is reflected into the subconscious, then through self-consciousness and out throughout the personality life. The Sulfur mode (self-conscious expression) in this center is like that of its Mercury (Argent Vive) because Silver is dependent on suggestions from self-consciousness. Self-consciousness induces, but the center of sub-consciousness is deductive. It does not possess a discriminative faculty, therefore it elaborates upon whatever it receives. Silver moves this way or that depending on suggestions from Sulfur, so Bacon teaches it is “almost fixed” and “wants a little fixation”.