A Demon, a Stone, and the Aspirant

notre-dame-cathedralThe following article is an exceptional premise presented by guest writer Hayward Gladwin. Hayward skillfully outlines correlations found within the mysterious church of Rennes le Chateau to that of Freemasonry, key paintings, and more. His research is powerfully conveyed and will leave you with an intriguing perspective to respect.

Hayward perseveres in the search for Truth. His determination and dedication for the quest is something to greatly admire. It is a privilege to be able to share a part of his journey and findings here.

 

A Demon, a Stone, and the Aspirant

by Hayward Gladwin

 

as·pire:

1. To long, aim, or seek ambitiously; be eagerly desirous, especially for something great or of high value.

2. Archaic. to rise up; soar; mount; tower.

 

Upon entering the church of St. Mary Magdalene in Rennes Les Chateau, immediately to one’s left is the statue that many have identified over the years as the demon Asmodeus.  This sculpture, placed underneath the holy water stoup takes on the classic form of devil with horns, wings, and even pitchfork (according to one legend, the circle that is made by the statue’s right hand used to hold a trident, of course now there is nothing there).

408px-Le_Diable_-_Asmodee_-_Rennes-Le-Chateau_en_1990[1]

Demon at RLC

Why should such a statue, as others have asked, appear at the entrance to, of all places, a Christian church? Among the somewhat typical array of Saints, The Virgin, Christ, and others, what role does the Prince of Demons play in this scene and what would be the motivation for placing him there?

It seems that doing so may have been part of an obscure, yet peculiar tradition.

In his recent article in vol. 5 of Heretic magazine, “Exploring a Masonic Solution to the Mystery of Rennes-le-Chateau”, Maranatha puzzle author Duncan Burden brings up the subject of the rough and perfect Ashlars of Masonic lore and suggests that the statues of Asmodeus and Christ represent archetypal figures of good and evil, as well as the perfect and rough ashlars of Freemasonry. Of which stone pertains to either statue, there is no mention.

These rough and perfect stones, the ashlars, have been commonly understood as symbolizing the rough and perfect aspects of an individual’s character. Rough is the state of the aspirant starting the journey out of the original condition of darkness they are born into. The perfect stone would be one’s movement toward illumination, an achievement completed through personal refinement.

Although these descriptions seem quite simple to grasp, what other evidence is there to identify these rough or perfect stones with the statues of RLC in particular?  To begin the search, I suggest we turn to examples of stones found within works of art created by artists associated with the RLC mystery.

guercino_etinarcadiaego[1]

In Guercino’s “Et In Arcadia Ego”, a rough, squarish-looking stone engraved with the famous phrase sits to the side of a clearing, holding a skull on top. Two shepherds to the left look towards the scene, gazing ahead. The stone looks ancient, built of individual stones, yet crumbling and in a present state of ruin.  It’s form is rough, yet distinctive, and without having the clean, perfect sides associated with the perfect ashlar, its form is more suggestive of a rough ashlar.

Commonly, the rough ashlar is described as the rough stone taken straight out of the quarry, but if we look at more modern versions of the rough and perfect Ashlars, we see that both have a definable shape, and the distinction is made between sides with perfect planes or rough edges. The argument here is that in order to identify it as the stone that will later be worked upon to become perfected, its cubical form must be initially recognizable, especially if we are looking at it as an isolated symbol.

Rough & Smooth Ashlar

 

Does Guercino’s ruined pedestal have any relationship to the figures at the church in RLC though? If we look back to the earlier version of Guercino’s work involving this theme, I believe we do find an answer.

apollo

In Apollo Flaying Marsyas, we see the same shepherds on the left looking onward again to the scene on the right. However, instead of a stone with a skull on top, we see a scene referring to the Myth of Apollo and Marsyas, wherein during a musical challenge between the two, Marsyas, who dared to challenge Apollo at playing the reed pipes, was the loser. As punishment, Apollo ties the satyr Marsyas to a tree and skins him. This myth, originally a Phrygian myth, was often retold in the ancient Hellenic world with the character of Pan playing the role as Apollo’s rival instead of Marsyas.

The satyr, like Pan, is defined as creature which is half-human and half-goat. Both share similarity with the classical form of the devil: having hooves, horns and the body of a human. A commonly held belief is that Pan was one of the main influences for the largely Christian depiction of the Devil. Thus the pagan god of the pastoral lands essentially became demonized by the church. It seems natural then to assume that the figure of the Devil in the Church at RLC is being used to represent a character whom is similar, at least as a device, to that of Pan.

To be more to the point, the trajectory suggested here is that Guercino first created the work of Marsyas being flayed to symbolize the separation of the animal shell from the human character; though the light and truth of solar Apollo. (One might also benefit from examining the figure of Mithras slaying the bull in similar fashion). Afterwards, Guercino updated this motif with a second version replacing Apollo and the satyr with a rough stone with a skull on top. It is the stone which stands in to fulfill the role of Marsyas.

If this seems like too far of a stretch to make these lateral associations—the leap from satyr (Marsyas), to rough stone, to Asmodeus– when we take a look at the following passage from Fulcanelli’s “Mystery of the Cathedrals“, it is perhaps not as far off as we might imagine:

“It is thus that the ground plan for a Christian building reveals to us the qualities of the first matter, and its preparation by the sign of the cross, which points the way for the alchemist to obtain the First Stone- the corner stone of the philosophers’ Great Work. It is on this stone that Jesus built this Church; and the medieval freemasons have symbolically followed the divine example. But before being dressed to serve as a base for the work of Gothic art, as well as for the philosophical work of art, the rough, impure, gross and unpolished stone was often given the image of the devil.”

The next question would be how this “devil”, the figure of Pan, or the satyr Marsyas, equates to the role of the unrefined character of an individual as proposed by Masonic symbolism. There are two aspects that can be addressed in this regard.

The first is in figuring that Pan, the half-man and half-animal represents humanity in a state of primal innocence, or primitive (elemental) earth. Pan, in this sense, could be looked at as a character with one foot in the lower animal realm and one foot in the human kingdom so to speak; partially driven by mind yet prone to succumb to its primal or earthly urges.

The other perspective suggests a different read, in which we trace how the fallen Angel Asmodeus became a demon. In this sense, the figure of Asmodeus, who was once divine, becomes analogous to the fall of once-divine humanity, such as in the story of Adam/Eve. Humanity, in its present state of imperfection searches for what it once had and has since lost.

As a fallen character, the demon Asmodeus lacks the perfection of the higher angels, and is thus forced to rule from his lowly, rough and earthly throne. Furthermore, the character of Asmodeus can be also be equated with the story of another fallen angel, Azazel, who is found in the book of Enoch. In similar tales, both are bound and imprisoned in the desert by Raphael and, both are associated with, amongst other things, lust. “Az,” in Hebrew meaning ‘strong’ or ‘rough’, and “el” meaning, ‘of God’.

It is with these distinctions that the “rough demon” seems easily connected with the “rough ashlar”.

If we are comfortable with these definitions so far, let us move on to the next subject of identifying the Perfect Ashlar.

Adoration of the Shepherds. 1633. Oil on canvas. National Gallery, London, UK

Adoration of the Shepherd by Poussin

In this scene, which is depicting the nativity of Christ, we see something that might at first appear familiar to those who have followed the Maranatha and Rennes Le Chateau story. To begin with, the kneeling, bearded figure here bears a striking resemblance to the kneeling figure pointing to the tomb in Poussin’s Shepherds of Arcadia. However, instead of pointing to a letter on the tomb, in this painting he bows in veneration to the “newborn king”.

Most notable here is the depiction of a perfect stone cube that Joseph’s hand rests on directly above the infant Christ. The suggestion here is the connection between Christ and the Perfect Ashlar. The infant is swaddled directly below the stone and Joseph’s hand is placed on top which seems to suggest the infant’s placement there.

In another nativity scene by Poussin, The Adoration of the Magi, the perfect stone appears above the infant again. This time, a crown and a vessel of gold coins sits on top. It might be worth pointing out here that in Greek, the words ‘Christ’ and ‘Gold’ are very similar. “Christ” is χριστός (pronounced christós), “Gold” is  χρνσός (pronounced chrysós).

Yet, if we turn to another visual reference, this time found in western Kabbalah, there is another way in which we can find the perfect cubical stone as representing the symbolic figure of Christ.

On the Kabbalic tree of life, the center, or balancing point of the tree is known as the Sephirah Tiphareth. In terms of planetary symbolism Tiphareth represents the Sun, with its element as gold. Furthermore, in Christian Qabala, it is also the position for the Son, or Christ. The Son, in mystical terms, is that which is produced by the union of The Superior Mother and The Superior Father and becomes, in a sense, a “bridge” between higher and lower planes of existence.

If we were to trace the lines surrounding Tiphareth on the tree, we see the outline of a cube there. A perfect cube surrounding the central position of the symbolic Christ, with the sphere in the center as Tiphareth.

200px-Tree_of_life_bahir_hebrew

The symbolic meaning of Christ, as opposed to the literary or canonized meaning of the figure, has often been used to depict the inner development of an individual’s perfection. Thorough portrayal of this esoteric Christian motif can be found throughout much of Rosacrucian literature, for those interested in further reading.

But is that all there is to it? Have these lessons helped us to solve the Great Mystery, or have we simply reached the extent of the Lesser? Surely there is more to discover.

Taking a brief moment to return to the setting of the church in RLC, if we progress further inside the temple, crossing the checkered floor and leaving Asmosdeus behind at the door, we advance forward until meeting the statue of Christ being Baptized by John the Baptist.

The crouching figure of Christ, as noted, is similar in posture to the Demon at the door. Whereas we can perhaps understand now why the demon is crouching to the Earth, when we see the seemingly elevated symbol of Christ in a submissive position we might find ourselves having more questions than answers.

Yet, as members of the Johannites would likely have been the first to point out, Christ had a forerunner. He was John the Baptist. Simply knowing that Christ allegorically falls in second place to another (and one representing water at that), it is quite indicative of a Kabbalic theme indicating the plane above the central plane of Christ and Microprosopus (the small face); which is the upper and great sea of consciousness, the plane of Briah.

And with this knowledge, turning around to face the door at the entrance of the church as we begin to exit, the Demon Asmodeus would then appear on our right.

To summarize, we had started with the “Rough One”, Asmodeus, Azazel, Ashmodai, the Rough Ash-lar. We then moved forward tracing the development of the Perfect Ash-lar, through the symbolic Christ. Yet, as we recognized the higher plane above the position of Christ, symbolized by water and John the Baptist, we turn around to face the Demon again as we depart.

It is important here to review the following words from the Maranatha text:: “So high was the prize that Solomon rose the beast of Tobit.”

So, with this in mind, perhaps an act of proper restoration is at stake. The journey we had begun may have seemed finished with arriving at the central Sun/Son, but it appears that the once fallen angel may be in need of completion before all is said and done. And if this is the case, then the Daemon Asmodeus stands to represent not only the Rough Ashlar of original earth but something also of a higher principle. (It might be helpful to be remindful of the Hermetic Principle of Correspondence in this regard).

But if so, what do we have left to work with to figure it out?

Well, there are a few items that haven’t been fully discussed yet. First, there is a head. There is also a cross. A head on top of Guercino’s stone ashlar, and two prominent letters where the  kneeling figure in front of Poussin’s famous tomb is pointing to.

“RC”

(With special thanks to the Maranatha forum members of Tweleve, especially HT, Astree, and Ruby.)

Copyright 2014 by Hayward Gladwin.

 

Other articles by Hayward Gladwin:

Part two of the above: The Skull on the Tomb, The Rose on the Cross

The Tower of the Knights Templar

A Divine Origin of Nothing

A Masonic Meaning to January 17th?

 

 

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64 Responses

  1. Jenny Kile says:

    Excellent Hayward. Thanks so much for sharing!

    The rough ashlar reminds me of the ‘truncated’ stone in Albrecht Durer’s Melencolia I (1514). I plan on writing more of my thoughts on that soon. To me, it sits at the bottom of the ladder to realize one must ‘aspire’….climb, and become.

  2. haywardg says:

    And thanks to you Jenny for being so generous as to feature the writing on your site.

    Yes, the truncated stone does fit in with this and is most peculiar because of its geometry.
    I will be looking forward to read your thoughts on that!

  3. Nate Beck says:

    Hmmm, and I was beginning to wonder if I was the only one who realized how the tilted Cube was hidden in the Hexagram and Tree of Life lol.

    This is a wonderful article Hayward! I’m definitely looking forward to reading more of your thoughts.

    Thank you sir. 🙂

  4. Nate Beck says:

    Thought you all might find this interesting.

    In the Azazel/Scapegoat ritual of the Aaronic priesthood, as laid out in the Ritual Book of Leviticus, two goats are chosen and lots are cast for each of them, to decide which is sacrificed and which goes free into the wilderness.

    Casting lots as a form of divination was a common feature of the ancient world, and the Hebrews were no exception. Lots were rough or smooth stones of different colors or sometimes inscribed with characters, while others were white or black which signified a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer from the spirits or gods.The interesting feature here is that the Hebrew word for these lots is ‘Goral’, which means a rough stone!!!

    In Wolfram von Eschenbach’s ‘Parzival’ he tells us that the Stone that fell from Heaven is the Grail, or in this case, it is spelled Gral!

    In ancient Hebrew, the vowels are usually absent, which would give us the Hebrew word GRL for the lot.

    Now, do with that what ye will 😉

    • HaywardG says:

      Thank you Nate for that wonderful food for thought.

      The stone which fell from the crown of Rex Mundi, no doubt!

      Interesting that through Geomancy, dense earth was used to divinate or predict the more subtle.

      Found this interesting as well:

      “It was the hour when the diurnal heat
      no more can warm the coldness of the moon, wanquished by earth, or peradventure Saturn,
      When geomancers their Fortuna Major see in the orient before the dawn
      rise by a path that long remains not dim…”
      —Dante Aligheri, referencing the Greater Fortune

  5. Nate Beck says:

    I also should add the fact that casting lots was also how the Hebrews decided to divide the land of Canaan among the 12 Tribes. Geometry means ‘Measure of the Earth’ as I’m sure you are already aware.

    Might be some correlation here!

  6. Mark says:

    “And a Mighty Angel took up a great Stone like a Millstone and cast it into the Sea saying thus with violence shall the great (lost) city Babylon (Atlantas) be thrown down, and it shall be found no more at all. (lost). (Revelations 18:21)

    “Pharohs chariots and his army he has cast into the sea. His chosen captains are also drowned in the Red Sea. The depths have covered them. They sank to the bottom like a stone.” (Exodus 15;5)

    But whoever shall offend one of these Little ones, who believe in me,
    It were better for him if a millstone were hanged around his neck, and he were cast into the sea.” (Mathew 18:6)

    The “message” regarding the “stone,” (Ashlar or brick) as it relates to the understanding of the building of a house is that stone is heavy, not light (like spirit). The stone causes everyone to “stumble” in regards to the interpretation of it’s meaning.

    In fact when I go to “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” to cross check on the verses found in Acts 4, specifically Acts 4:11, which mentions the cornerstone, I get a very different interpretation than what is translated in The Bible. My own interpretation of all of Acts 4 is that the “message” regarding the Stone is that the stone is to be “dispised” rather than sought after.

    That might sound crazy, especially in light of the fact that Jesus’s name is mentioned at least twice in Acts 4. But if you click on the word “Jesus,” what you’ll find is that Jesus’s name never appears in Acts 4. Rather the word “name” (Hebrew Onomo) is mentioned twice, and the word Jesus is substituted in the place of “name” just before the word “Christ” appears.

    Why? Because after the word “Christ” is mentioned, the words Nazarite and Crucified follow. Likewise, when you click on the word “He” in the part “He is the stone rejected by you the builder,” the words “he” and “builder” are not included in the verses, but we’re added. Only 4 words appear in that verse (acts 4:11) being:

    “Stone dispise (reject) head corner (at the end).”

    So my own interpretation of this verse is;

    “The Stone that is to be dispised is the Head (skull) which is located at the end (corner) of the body.”

    It’s also possible that the stone could be some reference to a crystal. The ancient (fallen) Babylonians believed that Lapus (the sapphire stone) was sacred. Likewise, the Egyptians wore Lapus (millstone) necklaces. I just find it funny that if there’s two nations that The Bible is always putting down, it’s the Babylonians and Egyptians (the builders of the pyramids).

    “And they said to one another, go to, let us make brick and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime they had for mortar.” (Genesis 11:3)

    True, Jacob did annoint the rock with oil, and called it Bethel (the House of God), but it’s never mentioned HOW he did this. How can something as small as a rock (stumbling stone) become a ladder (stepping stone) which leads to Heaven? My guess would be that in the beginning, Jacob did it the wrong way, and did it by applying the oil on top of the rock. But in the end, as he began to contemplate how to make the essence of the rock (used to build his house) as light as spirit, the answer came to him. Simply drop the rock into a cup of oil, and the oil will contain the essence of the rock within it. Just a theory, but probably the correct one.

    • Maria Rigel says:

      I think the crossing of the Red Sea was through a place where the sea bottom was not very deep during a spring tide, so the water actually separates to both sides. I’ve been in a place where such a thing happened, and it really matches the description of the Bible. By the time the pharaoh’s army arrived, the water could be many meters deep.

  7. HT says:

    Wow, thank you Hayward! I’m very excited to read this article with full attention later today!

  8. Nate Beck says:

    Been revisiting these articles of yours Hayward…they really are magnificent 😀

    A thought struck me…..the Cube, the Perfect Ashlar, is also one of the Five Platonic Solids and (to me at least) is the simplest. Perhaps we must aspire to understand and develop our Ashlar into a Perfect Cube before we can understand anything else in Nature, Art or Sciences of the Soul.

    😉

    • Maria Rigel says:

      I think you are onto something there. The order of the Platonic solids is octahedron, icosahedron, dodecahedron, tetrahedron and cube. The cube is the last one. So once you understand the cube, you understand the universe.

    • Maria Rigel says:

      I think, though I’m not 100% sure yet, that understanding the cube is the path of Saturn. So it should be possible to start from the cube.

  9. haywardG says:

    Indeed Nate, it would appear to be so. Interesting that the cube represents Earth. Also, the 4 classical elements in 3 Dimensions– “cubed” as it were.

  10. haywardg says:

    Another thought in consideration of the character of Pan- and here is quite a circular story or path found in a an alternate version of the origin of Pan’s flute:

    When Perseus chopped off the head of Medusa, several things occurred afterward. First, the divine horse Pegasus is born, as is the brother Chrysaor (often depicted as a winged boar).

    From the corpse of Medusa, Athena (divine wisdom) took two ribs and fashioned out of them a flute. She played the flute and was captured by its beautiful sounds. One day Marsyas sees Athena paying the flute and tells her that as her cheeks become puffed out and her eyes bulging that playing the instrument does not become her. Athena sees this is true when she sees her reflection in a fiver. She flings down the instrument and curses at it. Marsyas (Pan) then picks up the instrument and masters it to the point where his confidence is so great that he is willing to challenge Apollo.

    For Athena, playing the instrument “brings her down”, yet for Marsyas (Pan) it “brings him up” to a level almost as high as Apollo.

    Pan’s flute has seven reeds. Classically there were six planets known- with the addition of the Sun in the middle.
    Look at the Kabbalah Tree of Life and see which spheres are attributed to these bodies. See Pan below (earth realm) and Athena above (divine realm) and how these bodies lie between them.

    • haywardG says:

      “Pan’s flute has seven reeds. Classically there were six planets known- with the addition of the Sun in the middle.
      Look at the Kabbalah Tree of Life and see which spheres are attributed to these bodies. See Pan below (earth realm) and Athena above (divine realm) and how these bodies lie between them.”

      This is a concept that has also has relevance with the Pythagorean school. Music of the Spheres, development of ratios between notes and interplay between them. The thing is this harmony doesn’t end with just the realm of the planets, it extends ‘above’ and ‘below’ this realm as well.

    • Maria Rigel says:

      Strictly speaking, the seven traditional planets were the five visible planets plus the sun and the moon. But I’m sure you know that.

      • HaywardG says:

        Yes, I was describing them more in their position on the Tree: 6 spheres around a center, of Tiphareth, (which is attributed to the Sun) to make 7. But yes, 5 visible planets, plus the sun and moon.

  11. Nate Beck says:

    Aha, I begin to see now! Thank you Hayward. Explains why the symbol of Jacob’s Ladder is used as well.

    I also find it interesting how many effects are caused by the death of Medusa in Greek myth…..

    Hmmmmm

    • Maria Rigel says:

      Perseus does look an awful lot like later knights in Grail stories. He gets magic items such as a magic mirror shield, winged sandals and a helm of invisibility from powerful wizards/gods (Athena – goddess of wisdom, Hermes – messenger of the gods, Hades – god of the underworld). Then he kills a monster, gets a magic mount, and maybe also a golden sword, if the legend of Chrysaor got a bit mixed-up in the telling. Just change the style of clothing, and you have a classic Grail story!

  12. Maria Rigel says:

    Just a brief comment on Mithras slaying the bull: Mithras was a sun god. Just before winter solstice, the Zodiac constellation that can be see at midnight facing South (ie in the same direction as the Sun at noon) is Taurus (the bull). So the myth is that the bull is keeping the sun from coming out in the morning, until Mithras (the sun) kills the bull and is able to start rising earlier and earlier again after winter solstice.

  13. Maria Rigel says:

    Some more thoughts:

    I’m pretty sure that the demon at the entrance has the function of being the guardian. It’s interesting that he’s just beneath the holy water. Water in Christianity is used for baptism, and this is described as being reborn – effectively a resurrection. Which is the end of the journey. So it’s also representing that the beginning and the end touch, that the journey goes full circle.

  14. Haywardg says:

    This I agree with this whole-heartedly I was trying to make suggestion of this in the article, through showing that the demon guardian is both at the entrance when arrive and that which you pass on the way out. In Kabbalah, there is a vital connection between the lowest sphere in (Malkuth) and the representation of the high triad of supernals (Binah). The fact is that the planet of Saturn is attributed to both. Binah, is also representative of the supernal sea of consciousness and Malkuth is the final state of creation (physical realm/earth). It would seem that the resurrection is to go from all the way down to the top of the tree, as is the direction pointed to by John the Baptist, our messenger of water. To raise “the beast of life”.

    • Maria Rigel says:

      What’s a bit difficult to explain here, without saying more than what I suspect I could get away with saying, is that in one sense it’s going full circle. In another, very important sense, it isn’t. Because the person that goes underground is not the same person that returns up.

      But I think that saying that the demon at the entrance represents as well something higher isn’t correct.

      • HaywardG says:

        The lesser demon is the lower countenance to a higher principle, it is very simple. They are not one in the same, but if you are going to study these issues you must first come to terms with the idea that many things are understood as being different expressions of the same principle. Saturn rules Binah (higher principle) as well as the lower, Malkuth. If you fold the page with the “broken tree” over (like a Mad Magazine last-page paper fold), you will see that the branches of the tree make a certain symbol. This is described as the “The pointing of his hand followed this lost art and to the symbol of his sons treasure guardian.” “Lost” art. Also, the clue that states “‘Like the split elm, join the broken tree together to find the way.” This symbol is both related to “Azazel” (a fallen angel- sometimes associated with Asmodeus), as well as the shape made over the Saturn square, which looks somewhat like an unclosed hexagram. So the two are “related” (expressions of the same principle), but not entirely the same.

        • HaywardG says:

          “…in one sense it’s going full circle. In another, very important sense, it isn’t. Because the person that goes underground is not the same person that returns up.”

          This, what you said, I do also believe to be true. The path is from noon to 6pm and back up to noon again, so to speak. Or from Kether, down to Malkuth and then back up again. Ride the lightning down, take a Serpent ride back.

          The demon and Saturn are somewhat like a set of instructions or road signs in this sense. But it is also a means of saying “it is right under your nose”.

          So don’t forget to go all the way to the bottom and circle around the buoy of Earth before making the attempt back up. Well, it will have to happen one way or the other anyway (by will or by force of nature), so just brace yourself.

          • Maria Rigel says:

            I don’t think it’s necessary to go all the way down before coming up. I think the different levels of freemasonry reflect different levels of depth you can reach. It’s just that the journey won’t be complete if you can’t go all the way down.

        • Maria Rigel says:

          I tried your suggestion of folding the image with the tree. I agree that there’s some interesting geometry there, but I don’t think it was meant to be discovered that way. The tree in Maranatha acts like a check: once you have figured out a figure of sacred geometry, you can superimpose it on the tree, and if you got it right, you’ll see that it fits with the nodes or lines of the tree. This is the meaning of the sentence “Even as the Great Tree withers that eternal truth will support its aged frame.” But if you try to work out sacred geometry from the tree itself, it’s very confusing, because there’s so much in there.

          The sentence “The pointing of his hand followed this lost art and to the symbol of his sons treasure guardian” refers to the pointing hand of the king in the middle of the fourth image. The lost art is sacred geometry hidden in pictures. You can deduce the king is meant to be David from the sentence that comes before: “First harken to David the astrologer for as he rests his staff next to his sons he points to the centre of the heavenly spheres and draws their frozen music.” The son of David is Solomon, so his son’s treasure guardian is the seal of Solomon, the pentagram.

          The clue “Like the split elm, join the broken tree together to find the way” refers to the hidden tree of life in the pictures of Maranatha that was revealed on the so-called solution. There is a way to find the tree of life that doesn’t involve wild guesswork. I think “like the split elm” indicates that what was really going on with the splitting of the elm at Gisors was dividing the knowledge of the tree of life in four parts, like it happens in Maranatha.

          I don’t know what symbol related to Azazel you are referring to. As for the sigil of Saturn, it’s of little consequence. It could have some relevance as a minor detail, but it definitely isn’t one of the major figures of sacred geometry.

          • HaywardG says:

            If I am following you correctly here, you are saying that the hand of the figure in the 4th image is the “King” pointing to the lost art, when this figure is actually referred to in the book as such: “Look to the armoured King of Terrors see him cast away a pilgrims staff and take the balanced shape of a staff of death a sword”.

            The released PDF solution also refers to this figure, in the 4th image, as the “King of Terrors” and uses his body with the head of the Lion on the mount and the ‘wings’ from the Tree to create the composite ‘beast’.

            “First harken to David the astrologer for as he rests his staff next to his sons he points to the centre of the heavenly spheres and draws their frozen music.”. This, I believe, refers to the 3rd image. This is because we see a figure placing his staff down onto the ground (resting) next to his son (who is kneeling).

            “he points to the centre of the heavenly spheres and draws their frozen music. For he is the measure of all things. The pointing of his hand followed this lost art and to the symbol of his sons treasure guardian”.

            The tip of his staff marks the center of the page. Look how the left and right sides of the tree are symmetrical. When you fold the page , you are following what his hand is doing on the staff, ‘folding over’. The ‘lost art’ is the image that will be missing when you fold the page.

            You can tell that this is all referring to image 3, because it is before more text that is still referring to things found in the image- ‘See no Gardener can use a serpents staff to hold back the vanishing stream Alpheus.’ The stream is flowing out from under the tree.

            Of little consequence! If you only knew…

            • Maria Rigel says:

              David isn’t the figure you say in the 3rd image, because that’s Aaron. “See to the first Joseph the prince the shepherd of Canaan. He leans and prays upon his staff.” So Joseph is the kneeling figure. Then: “His gaze through the all seeing eye of wisdoms guidance falls like a treasure to his kin to the very heel and toe of Aaron.”

              • HaywardG says:

                Anything is possible in this book, but this is why I disagree with you.

                The book says that the key is hidden in four scenes. Let start by making the simple assumption that this is the first four images that are compiled on 2 pages (front to back) and are separate from the other three in the book.

                “Terribilis Est Locus Iste” is covering what will appear throughout the book; what you are to look for, what to expect. “Hidden visions” and “sacred design” describe the image of the key.

                “Solis Sacerdotibus” is where actual reference to each image we are meant to look at begins. Let’s place them in order, rather than skipping around, taking them one at a time. It would not make sense to jump ahead in the order of images unless there was an instruction or other allusion in the text to do so.

                The text that begins “sharing of the sacred design”– tells us that we are to begin with the images. The text from the point of “For the arc of Time’s scythe” through to “…Michael, this Mercury, this Thoth is the sole conveyor of the hidden truths of the three worlds.” refers to image 1. Because, we simply see Time holding an hour-glass and Mercury/Hermes with his caduceus.

                The next part of the text from “See to the first, Joseph the prince…” until “The single direction of the pointing fingers are as true as the half broken Nehushtan .” point to image #2.

                Why?

                Because we know from “allowing this son of Hermes to climb the mount…”, “movings of the divine truth swaying in the breath of Zeus…” (the rose on the mount), and “see him kneeling before his own tomb on the mount…”, that we are all still focused on the place-setting of the mount in image #2. There is no other mount in the first four images. Aaron, Mosis and Joseph are all included in this section.

                The next section, “Parce Signe Tu Le Vaincras”
                refers to what comes after the mount, i.e. image #3 and image #4. Why? Because they are the next images in succession in the book.
                The part of the text beginning with “First harken to David the Astrologer…” and ending with “See no gardener can use a serpents staff to hold back the vanishing stream Apheus” would refer to image #3, since in this section there is reference to “the Great Tree”, and also the figure in image #3 next to the tree is holding a serpent staff (curved over at end) and standing away from the waters coming out from under the tree (vanishing stream Alpheus).

                The text “For with the formidable jewel that fell from the crown of Rex Mundi” up until “As the ruby elixir of life is caught in the vessel, that grail, the cup of Joseph…” refers to image #4, since it talks about the armoured King of Terrors (see armoured figure in #4), a sword (see sword in his hand), and a vessel on the lower left of the image (see a vessel to the lower left).

                Therefore, by simply following the order of the images in succession, and following the descriptions provided in the text, we can see which part of the text is referring to the correct image.

                David, then, by this simple logic, would be in image #3 and Aaron in image #2.

                I have followed the descriptions given in the section relating to the “mount” in image #2 as a set of instructions and it does produce a geometric shape, but I have already talked about that elsewhere.

            • Maria Rigel says:

              The meaning of “Look to the armoured King of Terrors see him cast away a pilgrims staff and take the balanced shape of a staff of death a sword” refers to the image of death on the first picture. The King of Terrors is another traditional name for Death. The image also looks like the Tarot’s Hermit, and that’s why it says it “cast away a pilgrim’s staff”. The “staff of death a sword” is the scythe.

            • Maria Rigel says:

              The PDF solution shows that you are expected to overlap the images sometimes. So sometimes you go back and forth between one image and another. In the case of the lines we are talking about here, it’s going back and forth between image 4 (king David) and image 3 (the tree).

          • Maria Rigel says:

            I’ve been thinking about the meaning of “He points to the centre of the heavenly spheres and draws their frozen music”. I think the centre of the heavenly spheres is the sun, and David points to it in two ways: First, with his whole body he indicates a pentagram. The centre of the pentagram coincides with the centre of the tree of life as indicated in the solution PDFs, with the sephiroth number 6, that corresponds to the sun. Second, the vertical of his body, from the top of the crown to his foot, points up to the top of the tree of life, which has the symbol of the sun in it.

    • Maria Rigel says:

      I’ve been looking at Kabbalah lately, and I agree there is a connection between the Earth and spheres 2 and/or 3, depending on how you look at them.

    • Maria Rigel says:

      Resurrection has been represented as going from the bottom of the Tree of Life to the top, but that way of thinking about it is rather misleading.

      A better way of describing the stages is:
      1. Cross the river
      2. Caduceus/spiral staircase
      3. Star/rose

      Alternatively:
      1. Tree of life
      2. Star/rose

      This is for beginner meditations. There are, obviously, more complex meditations, but I can’t tell you about what I don’t know.

  15. Maria Rigel says:

    On the Adoration of the Magi by Poussin: I agree that the stone is the perfect ashlar. The crown has 12 points, which indicates it’s the Zodiac. And the cup of gold is the Holy Grail.

  16. Maria Rigel says:

    On Christ and the cube: It’s more like a hypercube (4-dimensional cube), actually. As it’s shown in Dali’s “Corpus hypercubus”:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Dali_Crucifixion_hypercube.jpg

  17. Maria Rigel says:

    I’m not at all sure about the connection between Asmodeus and Azazel. True, they both fought with Raphael, but surely Raphael could have fought several completely different demons? And I haven’t found references to Azazel being a demon of lust, like Asmodeus.

  18. Maria Rigel says:

    The journey definitely isn’t completed with the Sun, either if you are using the five worlds of emanation in Kabbalah to signpost the way, or if you are using the traditional planets scale (which I prefer, because it’s a little bit more detailed and I find the writings less obscure).

    In terms of Kabbalah, the Sun is in the second world counting from the bottom, the world of formation. The next step doesn’t have much to do with fallen angels, it’s about the birth of the Divine Child – Kabbalah uses different language, but it doesn’t mean much to me at this point.

    • HaywardG says:

      I have never suggested that the Sun is the final step.

      What I did suggest is that a completion involves the completion (restoration) of the Demon, as in, “I complete/conquer this Demon Guardian at Midday”.

      The position of the Sun IS the Divine Child, the Son, as it is also attributed to the position of Christ on the Tree. And as it is often stated in one’s progress, the Sun must be sacrificed in order to ascend. This is the meaning behind the symbolism. The Son/Sun is born of union between the supernal figures of Binah and Chockmah in the Kabbalah. To ascend beyond the realm ruled by the Sun is to reach the gate of the Supernal Triad, which is kept by Binah, who is also attributed to Saturn.

      Incidentally, the symbol in the book that is attributed to Saturn (folded image #3) over the Saturn square is also associated by some to the demon Azazel. This is described in the book as “the symbol of his sons treasure guardian”. I know I posted this somewhere else on the forum, but anyway, I spent a long time thinking this one through, and it completely threw me off for a time. The questions was: “Why would the symbol of a demon be the same for a planet associated in a sphere high on the tree?” Then I realized that many Kabbalists attribute the force or spirit of the planet of Saturn not only to Binah (3rd sephirah) but to Malkuth (10th) also. It creates a very interesting narrative.

      The connection between Azazel and Asmodeus is supported more by thematic association, than by anyone’s personal transcription of one being equated to the other. I only pointed to it briefly, and the way I described it is a weak connection in the article, I admit, but there are many factors that convinced me of this connection. I will try to get at a more full explanation when I get a chance.

      • Maria Rigel says:

        The Son isn’t the Divine Child I meant. The Divine Child is the Holy Ghost. I was talking in terms of the old trinity, which is the Holy Family: The Father, the Mother and the Child. In terms of the Christian trinity, this gets translated to The Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. It can get confusing if you don’t know which trinity someone is using.

        The son in “the symbol of his sons treasure guardian” is the son of David, Solomon. You can tell because shortly before it says: “First harken to David the astrologer for as he rests his staff next to his sons he points to the centre of the heavenly spheres and draws their frozen music.” The symbol is the Seal of Solomon, the pentagram.

        I think the sigil of Saturn is the geometry associated with Saturn because, in actual fact, Saturn has no geometry. So somebody came up with that to give Saturn some geometry. I have no idea where the connection between that symbol and Azazel came from. I doubt it’s significant.

        • HaywardG says:

          It may not be significant to you, yet to me it explains the entire notion of the divine (origin in the supernal triad) falling to earth. Rex mundi, luciferian characters , it doesnt necessarily matter what their names have been, just what they are meant to represent, what they point to.

          But thanks, it’s been fun!

      • Maria Rigel says:

        You have to stop thinking of demons as necessarily bad. Demons, like angels, are messengers. I think the main reason to describe a messenger as a demon as opposed to an angel is to indicate, in the case of the demon, that there is more risk involved.

        The sephiroth have associations with every kind of realms, and that includes of course demonic realms. So it’s nothing strange for a sephiroth to have an association with a demon. All of them do.

        • HaywardG says:

          I am going to open now.
          I believe you are having a separation issue regarding the limits of your own personality and its projections to the world outside. As if whatever it is that you can or can not understand, then that simply must be the state of knowledge of the entire world and of everyone else in it. I understand, it is difficult to grasp all of these ideas and concepts, but nowhere, anywhere, did I make any allusion to a demon being “bad”. I stated that Azazel has been credited with the quality of lust. Should I ask you, do you think lust is bad? Would you like to share this reason why if so?

          Also, please I must ask of you not to speak to me of the Kabbalah in casual fashion without making a proven and enduring effort to understand it first. It isn’t for the profane, it is sacred, and your attempts at describing it border on being offensive to me.

          And in true, dependable fashion, you have missed the point of why it seemed strange, at the time, that the same figure had been attributed to two different positions at seemingly so far distances from each other. This, also, would become apparent with the development of a working understanding of the tree. But I think also now, that you are reading too much and not getting any practical experience. Perhaps you should try become an initiate somewhere, because I feel that you have many things attracting you to this subject, but they are not getting resolved.

          • Maria Rigel says:

            It’s possible to make a correspondence of almost anything with almost any of the sephirot of the Tree of Life. Which is the beauty of it. When you think of sephirat as having something like rigid attributes, you misunderstand the point of the Tree of Life.

      • Maria Rigel says:

        Saturn is actually associated with demons and all sorts of negative influences. You are wrong in thinking that high sephirat in the tree of life necessarily mean better or more desirable.

  19. Maria Rigel says:

    I’ve just looked at Duncan’s article on the church of Rennes le Chateau, and I’m struck by his choice of picture for the demon. It’s just a close-up of the face, and the mouth looks like a door. Or like one of those “mouths of truth”, where you are supposed to put your hand and tell the truth, under risk of getting it bitten if you tell a lie. Maybe he was trying to convey something like that.

  20. Maria Rigel says:

    It’s interesting that in Greek, Christ is gold plus a Tau. That might have been intended, or if not quite intended, maybe it was made significant at one point.

  21. Maria Rigel says:

    The story of Apollo and Marsyas indicates that, according to the Greeks, Apollo, the god of the Sun, was an excellent musician. Which makes me think about the music of the spheres. The ratios of the distances between the planets and the sun do follow something like a musical chord (as a first approximation, you can think about it as a 7th chord).

  22. Westley says:

    Rex Mundi might equal antimony in alchemy. at Rennes le Chateau. He is supporting holy water, aqua vitae, our menstruum. If you look at Rennes Le Chateau as an alchemical recipe, like cathedrals, you may find more answers.

    • HaywardG says:

      Westley- that is an excellent observation which I would most easily concur. The levels of significance which stem from this idea are mutually supportive given the examples mentioned here and as well quite meaningful.

      Thank you

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