December 12th, 2007
Two diagrams from John Hazelrigg’s The Sun Book (1916), which reconciles astro-theology, alchemy, and the allegory of Christ.
Man is a “fourfold unit as concerns the elements of his constitution, each of which acts through the threefold essences of his being [Mercury, Sulphur, and Salt; or Spirit, Soul, and Body]; and expressed accordingly each by a triangular symbol, thus: ? Earth, ? Fire, ? Water, ? Air… The field enclosed by the basic lines of these four ideographs is an equilateral square (base of the pyramid), typifying the human cosmos as a reflection of the fourfoldness of the Microcosm. With these folded over, as with an envelope, the apex of each centers at the navel, which is the All-Seeing or Psychic Eye.
“These again are summarized in the… interlaced triangle — the Solomonic Seal — the three lines composing the upright symbol signifying Spirit-fire-air, the masculine trinity; the one inverted is Soul-water-earth, or the feminine trinity; — not separate identities, but differentiations or diverse modes of activity of the One Essence. Combined, these two symbols represent Man-Woman as the substance of the six days of Creation… The seventh day, or the central point equidistant from the six apices of the triangles, signifies not a state of rest, but of equilibrium or repose in the formative processes, and whereat — the investment completed — is inaugurated a new departure in the realms of becoming” (p156-8).
This creation is an allegory for the “interior experiences of every disciple in the path of Initiation. It is thus that the microcosmic system is transformed from a sepulcher of vanities into a tabernacle of divine realities” (p160).
Briefly (too briefly), these six stages are:
1. Nativity, fermentation: “the manifestation of an energy that induces to decomposition, that the elements of bodies may be re-combined in new compounds… that creates a condition of inter-repellence that breaks up and dissolves, to the end of a higher refinement and a more subtle re-arrangement of the relativities, both as concerns physical and spiritual substance” (p161-2). This energy, this vital heat, is the fire of the microcosmic Sun, the Spirit.
2. Baptism, betrothal: of the Soul to the Spirit: a necessary duality: a Divine Marriage between the radical moisture of the microcosmic Moon (Woman) and the vital heat of the microcosmic Sun (Man), whereby the Soul is vivified and may infuse into the Body. Whence the initiate must now confront the four elements of his inner nature.
3. Temptation, earth: “through bodily cleansing the entire structural constitution is gradually metamorphosed and sensitized — the protoplasmic fluids seek new currents — the intermolecular ethers grow more penetrant and corrective in cellular transformations, and the aberrancies and the chimeras that constitute the confusions of the microcosmic wilderness are quelled and corrected through conflict with the sensuous incitements — the sex desires, gluttony, the physical vanities, and the carnalities of the animal nature” (p166).
4. Passion, calcination, fire: the cleansing of the Mind: “here the Higher Will is constrained to do battle with the glamors of Illusion, to overcome the seductive sophistries of Reason, the material Logic that betrays” (p168). “Only in passivity of mind doth the Divine principle express itself” (p174).
5. Gethsemane, dissolution, water: “whence is evolved the intro-vision that feels and knows and does not reason” (p170). This element “claims attention to physical ablution, an important point in connection with which is the fact that the pores of the skin as exhaling media do but represent a function correlative with that of inspiration. In- and out-breathing are not exclusively a specific action of the lungs, for every capillary duct is an avenue of communication with the Universal” (p174).
6. Crucifixion, sublimation, air: “thence through the aeration of the blood the fire at the center of soul is evoked” (p175). “This is the point of Equilibrium” (p172), the “interlaced halves of his being… linked with the Supernal Center” (p176).
“Man is both the artificer and the laboratory. He is the agent and patient, the principle and the personification; he is at once God’s most gifted craftsman and Almighty’s most interesting workshop; he is the Philosopher’s subject-matter, as also the alchemical vase in which it is leavened into holy consistencies — a consortment of perversities and concupiscences, yet a god in the making. He is a circumference, whose center is an altar of divinity where abide the fires of Hestia, whether in abeyance or irradiating forth as the rivers which flowed from out of Eden to water the Garden; for here, housed in clay, guarded by the keepers of the mystical gates, and battlemented with physiological ramparts, is the fabled Eden in which still walk Adam and Eve, as at the dawn of Time; where still crawls the slimy serpent, and where groweth the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” (p147).