Serving the ideals of the Rosicrucian Movement

Commentaries on the Chymical Wedding of C.R.C.

The Third Day

by Jack Courtis

Now as soon as the lovely day was broken, and the bright sun raised himself above the hills and had again taken himself to his appointed office in the high heaven, my good champions began to rise out of their beds, and leisurely to make themselves ready for the inquisition. Whereupon, one after another, they came again into the hall, and giving us a good morrow, demanded how we had slept. Having seen our bonds, there were some that reproved us for being so cowardly and that we had not, like them, hazarded upon all adventures. Howbeit, some of them whose hearts still smote them made no loud cry of the business. We excused ourselves with our ignorance, hoping we should now be set at liberty, and learn wit by this disgrace, that they on the contrary had not yet altogether escaped, and perhaps their greatest danger was still to be expected.

There is a significant difference in attitude between CRC and his companions, compared with all the rest. Humility opposed to arrogance.

At length each one being assembled the trumpets began now to sound and the kettle drums to beat as formerly. We then imagined no other but that the Bridegroom was ready to present himself. Nevertheless, this was a huge mistake. For it was yesterday’s Virgin who had arrayed herself all in red velvet, and girded herself with a white scarf. Upon her head she had a green wreath of laurel, which most assuredly became her. Her train was now not merely small tapers, but consisted of two hundred men in harness, who were all (like her) clothed in red and white. As soon as they were alighted from the throne, she came straight to we prisoners, and after she had saluted us, she said in few words, "That some of you have been sensible of your wretched condition is hugely pleasing to my most mighty Lord, and he is also resolved you shall fare the better for it," And having seen me in my habit, she laughed and spake, "Good lack! Have thou also submitted thyself to the yoke, I imagined thou would have made thyself very smug," with which words she caused my eyes to run over. After which she commanded we should be unbound, and coupled together and placed in a station where we might well behold the scales. "For," said she, "it may yet fare better with them, than the presumptuous, who yet stand here at liberty."

Trumpets and drums have announced the Virgin several times now. This alerts us to the importance of inner awareness. Notice how she uses the colours red and white, in a manner opposite to CRC, when he began his inner journey. They symbolise the single path of redescent and the particular alchemical processes associated with that path. She wears the laurel wreath of victory; Netzach on the Tree of Life. She recognises the effort made by the "prisoners" and has them released. Now for the judgement.

Meanwhile the scales (which were entirely of gold) were hung up in the midst of the hall. There was also a little table covered with red velvet, and seven weights placed thereon. First off stood a great one, next four little ones; lastly, two great ones severally. And these weights in proportion to their bulk were so heavy, that no man can believe or comprehend it. But each of the harnessed men had together with a naked sword, a strong rope. These she distributed according to the number of weights into seven bands and out of every band chose one for their proper weight; and then she went back to her high throne. Now as soon as she had made her reverence, with a very shrill tone she began thus to speak:

Gold is the alchemical metal of the sun and the sefira Tiferet on the Tree. Here indeed is the "work of the Sun" of the Emerald Tablet - the scales of justice, the balance of the opposites. There are 7 weights in the formula: 1 + 4 + 2 = 7; but who will weigh the balance, who will pass judgement, who is the 8th in this equation? It is the Virgin, because she commands the 7 bands. Why is 8 important? Because there are 8 steps in the Emerald Tablet and 8 paths to Tiferet on the Tree of Life. The Tablet and the Tree are connected at that point .

Who into a painters room does go
And nothing does of painting know,
Yet does in prating thereof, pride it;
Shall be of all the world derided.
Who into the artist’s order goes,
And thereunto was never chose;
Yet with pretence of skill does pride it;
Shall be of all the world derided.
Who at a marriage does appear,
And yet was never intended there;
Yet does in coming highly pride it;
Shall be of all the world derided.
Who now into this scale ascends,
The weights not proving his fast friends,
And that it bounces so does ride it;
Shall be of all the world derided.

At this late stage, there is yet another warning for the unworthy not to proceed. Of course, we would never consider ourselves unworthy would we? Naturally we are moral, humble, have all the right attributes and are properly entitled to proceed, aren’t we?

As soon as the Virgin had done speaking, one of the Pages commanded each one to place himself according to his order, and one after another to step in. Certainly one of the emperors made no scruple of this, but first of all bowed himself a little towards the Virgin, and afterwards in all his stately attire went up. At this time, each captain laid in his weight; which (to the wonder of all) he stood out. But the last was too heavy for him, so that move he must, and that with much anguish that (as it seemed to me) the Virgin herself had pity on him, who also beckoned to her people to hold their peace, yet was the good emperor bound and delivered over to the sixth band. Next came forth another emperor, who stepped hastily into the scale, and having a great thick book under his gown, he imagined not to fail. But he was scarce able to abide the third weight, and being unmercifully flung down, and his book in that startled time flipping away from him, all the soldiers began to laugh, and he was delivered up bound to the third band Thus it went also with some others of the emperors, who were all shamefully laughed at and capriced.

In the early 17th Century, the time of the Chymical Marriage, it was important for a spiritual leader to have temporal authority as well. Consequently, the judgement begins with some emperors. They fail and are handed over, bound, to their respective bands. This is a karmic judgement and the binding is symbolic of the karmic consequences.

After these, there came forth a little short man with a curled brown beard, an emperor too, who after the usual reverence got up also, and held out so steadfastly, that methought, he would have withstood even more weights had they been ready. The Virgin immediately arose, and bowed before him, causing him to put on a gown of red velvet, and at last gave to him a branch of laurel, having a good store of them upon her throne. She willed him to sit down on the steps.

However, temporal authority is not always an obstacle. The red gown is symbolic of a particular stage of the alchemical process. The laurel is the evidence of success.

How it fared with the rest of the emperors, kings and lords, would be too long to recount, but I cannot leave unmentioned that few of those great personages held out, rascally Lapidem Spitalanficum {the universal medicine} makers, who were set upon the scale with such scorn, that I myself for all my grief was ready to burst my belly with laughing, neither could the very prisoners themselves refrain. For the most part, these could not abide that severe trial, but with whips and scourges were jerked out of the scale, and led to the other prisoners. Thus of so great a throng so few remained, that I am ashamed to relate their number. There were persons of quality also among them, who notwithstanding were (like the rest) honoured with velvet robes and wreaths of laurel.

Many are called but few are chosen. The reference to the universal medicine is to the Elixir of Life, something that is made at the close of the alchemical process. Here, we see the judgement of those who falsely pretend to make the Elixir. False prophets appear in every age. Karmically, their punishment is justified.

The inquisition being completely finished, and none but we poor coupled hounds now standing aside. At length one of the captains stepped forth, and said, "Gracious Madam, if it please your Ladyship, let these poor men, who acknowledged their misunderstanding, be set upon the scale also without their incurring any danger of penalty, and only for recreation’s sake, if perchance any thing that is right may be found among them." In the first place I was in great perplexity, for in my anguish this was my only comfort, that I was not to stand in such ignominy, or to be lashed out of the scale. For I doubted not but that many of the prisoners wished that they had stayed ten nights with us in the hall.

A different judgement is now to take place. CRC will be tried but with no penalty for failure. Is this because he has already succeeded? If so, what was the real test? Perhaps a clue lies in the reference to staying 10 nights in the hall. There are 10 sefirot on the Tree of Life. If we are validly working with a sefira without knowing it, we can be said to spend a night in the hall. After 10 nights, we have worked with the whole Tree and then we can be judged without risk of punishment, if we fail. That is because at this stage, failure does not have a moral quality about it. Such failure is not based upon evil motives and false claims.

Yet since the Virgin consented, so it must be, and we being untied were one after another set up. Now although the most part failed, yet they were neither laughed at nor scourged, but peaceably placed to one side. My companion was the fifth and held out bravely. Whereupon all of us, but especially the captain who made the request for us, applauded him, and the Virgin showed him the usual respect. After him two more were dispatched in an instant. Until my turn came to be for I was the eighth.

Significantly, CRC is the 8th to be tried on a no fault basis. Remember the 8 step process of the Emerald Tablet, mirrored in the 8 paths to Tiferet on the Tree. The "work of the Sun" of the Tablet, being equivalent to Tiferet on the Tree. Clearly, CRC has reached this stage. He has already succeeded.

Now as soon as (with trembling) I stepped up, my companion who already sat by in his velvet, looked friendly upon me, and the Virgin herself smiled a little. But for as much as I lasted all the weights, the Virgin commanded them to draw me up by force, wherefore three men hung on the other side of the beam, and yet could nothing prevail. Whereupon one of the Pages immediately stood up, and cried out exceeding loud, "THAT IS HE." Upon which the other replied, "Then let him gain his liberty", which the Virgin accorded; and being received with due ceremonies, the choice was given me to release one of the captives, whosoever I pleased. I made no long deliberation, but elected the first emperor whom I had long pitied and he was set free and with all respect seated among us. The last of us went to the test, but the weights proved too heavy for him.

If we remember that a page is a little boy, that this points to the little child as a symbol of Christ consciousness at Tiferet, and that CRC is the 8th to be judged, it is clear why his identity is proclaimed. Who is he? The clue is his release of a captive. CRC acts like a Bodhisattva. After he successfully completes the Noble Eightfold Way, he links his liberation to the liberation of others. What is he liberated from? In the West, we would say, from the Law. In gnostic terms this is necessity and chance. He is free from causation and hence does not create karma. His rank is Adeptus Exemptus. Yet he does not ignore the Law, he embodies it. His will is to do the Law.

Meanwhile the Virgin espied my roses, which I had taken out of my hat into my hands, and thereupon presently by her Page graciously requested them of me, which I readily sent her. And so this first act was finished about ten in the fore-noon.

CRC hands over the result of the 4 steps of descent that he has accomplished. Remember he has already exchanged what he has gained in his 3 steps of ascent, in getting to the hall of judgement. He now has only one thing left to give – himself. That is, he must redescend, to complete the alchemical process of the Tablet of Hermes. That is the Bodhisattva role. Note this is the "first" act. Of course it finishes at 10, the Tree of 10 sefirot has been mastered.

Then the trumpets began to sound again; those trumpets we could not see. In the interim, the bands were to step aside with their prisoners and await the judgment. After which a council of the seven captains and we as well was set, and this business was propounded by the Virgin as president, who desired each one to give his opinion as to how the prisoners were to be dealt with.

The council now consists of (7) captains, CRC and the liberated emperor (2), plus the Virgin (1). This is a clear reference to the Tree of Life, thus:

Keter (Crown) + Chakhmah (Wisdom)& Binah (Understanding) + the 7 lower sefirot.

The Crown is the deep spiritual principle that the Greeks called Nous. It is our true identity, our Divine Spark. It brings to bear upon the judgement that must now be considered, wisdom and understanding. How else is karmic justice to be done? The 7 lower sefirot are attributed to the 7 planets and in this context, they are the mechanism by which karma is to be executed.

The first opinion was that they should all be put to death, yet some more severely than others. Those who had presumptuously intruded themselves contrary to the express conditions; the others would have them kept close prisoners. Both which pleased neither the president nor me. At length by one of the emperors (the same whom I had freed) my companion, and myself the affair was brought to this point; that first of all the principal lords should with a befitting respect be led out of the castle; others might be carried out somewhat more scornfully. These would be stripped and caused to run out naked. The fourth with rods, whips or dogs, should be hunted out. Those who the day before willingly surrendered themselves, might be suffered to depart without any blame. And last of all those presumptuous ones, and they who behaved themselves so unseemly at dinner the day before, should be punished in body and life according to each man’s demerit. This opinion pleased the Virgin well, and obtained the upper hand in her favour. There was moreover another dinner granted them and they were soon having their way with it. But the execution was deferred until the noon hour. Herewith the senate arose, and the Virgin also, together with her attendants returned to her usual quarter.

Wisdom and understanding have brought a true verdict. Each man is to be judged according to his own circumstances. The punishment shall fit the crime. This is how karma operates. Execution is to occur at 12 noon. The 12 signifies the 12 signs of the zodiac, because if the 7 planets are the agents of karma, the 12 signs are the field of karma. The signs are the metaphysical place in which the agents function.

But the uppermost table in the room was allotted to us, they requesting us to take it in good part until the business were fully dispatched. And then we should be conducted to the Lord Bridegroom and the Bride, with which we were to present well content.

CRC and the liberated emperor are promoted to the top table in the room. This is the place usually reserved for the most senior officials. It is worth noting that CRC has spiritual authority and the emperor has temporal authority. They are placed together.

The prisoners were again brought into the hall, and each man seated according to his quality; they were likewise enjoined to behave themselves somewhat more civilly than they had done the day before, which yet they needed not to have been admonished, for without this, they had already put up their pipes. And this I can boldly say, not with flattery, but in the love of truth, that commonly those persons who were of the highest rank, best understood how to behave themselves in so unexpected a misfortune. Their treatment was but indifferent, yet with respect, neither could they yet see their attendants, but to us they were visible, whereat I was exceeding joyful. Now although fortune had exalted us, yet we took not upon us more than the rest, advising them to be of good cheer and that the event to come would not be so ill. They would gladly have understood the sentence of us, yet we were so deeply obliged that none dared open his mouth about it. Nevertheless we comforted them as well we could, even drinking with them to see if the wine might make them more cheerful.

The prisoners are indeed dealt with in accordance with wisdom and understanding, that is with true insight. We know this because CRC can now see the attendants who are still invisible to the prisoners.

Our table was covered with red velvet, beset with drinking cups of pure silver and gold, which the rest could not behold without amazement and very great anguish. But even before we had seated ourselves, in came the two Pages, presenting to all present on the Bride-groom’s behalf, the Golden Fleece with a flying lion, requesting us to wear them at the table, and as became us, to observe the reputation and dignity of the order, which his majesty had now granted us. This should be quickly ratified with suitable ceremonies. This we received with profoundest submission, promising obediently to perform whatsoever his Majesty should please. Besides these, the noble Page had a schedule, wherein we were set down in order. And for my part I should not otherwise be desirous to conceal my place, if perchance it might not be interpreted as pride in me, which yet is expressly against the fourth weight.

Have you noticed the red velvet? It is the "red" stage of the alchemical process. The silver and gold remind us of the moon and the sun, as the principle of polarity; and the cup is the recepticle of the alchemical "dew" which is the product of the union of the moon and the sun. Thus, at this ("red") stage, we must unite the energy of our Brow psychic centre ("moon") with the energy of the Heart centre ("sun"), in order to create the "dew" that fills the cup. What happens then? The Order of the Golden Fleece with a flying lion is bestowed. The Golden Fleece will be significant to Freemasons. In alchemy, it is equivalent to the Philosophers Stone. And the flying lion? Consider this, the Stone of the Wise is produced from the conjunction of the Sun and the Moon, with the aid of Mercury. Those with eyes, let them see.

Now because our entertainment was exceeding stately, we demanded one of the Pages, whether we might not have leave to send some choice bit to our friends and acquaintance, who making no difficulty of it, every one sent plentifully to his acquaintance by the waiters, even though they saw none of them; and forasmuch as they knew not whence it came, I was myself desirous to carry somewhat to one of them, but as soon as I was risen, one of the waiters was presently at my elbow, saying he desired me to take friendly warning, for in case one of the Pages had seen it, it would have come to the King’s ear, who would certainly have taken it amiss of me, but since none had observed it but himself, he purposed not to betray me, but that I ought for the time to come to have better regard to the dignity of the order. With which words the servant did really so astonish me, that for a long time after I scarce moved upon my seat, yet I returned him thanks for his faithful warning, as well as in haste and fear I was able.

CRC has good intentions, but he must not interfere with karmic justice. This is a warning to all of us. We simply do not know what the truth is when karma is operating. Good intentions do not overcome good judgement.

Soon after the drums began to beat again, to which we were already accustomed: for we well knew it was the Virgin and we prepared ourselves to receive her. She who was now coming in with her usual train, upon her high seat, one of the Pages bearing before her a very tall goblet of gold, and the other a patent in parchment. Being now after a marvellous artificial manner alighted from the seat, she took the goblet from the Page, and presented the same in the King’s behalf, saying, that it was brought from his Majesty, and that in honour of him we should cause it to go round. Upon the cover of this goblet stood Fortune curiously cast in gold, who had in her hand a red flying ensign, for which cause I drank somewhat the more sadly, as I have been but too well acquainted with Fortune’s waywardness. But the Virgin as well as we, was adorned with the Golden Fleece and lion, whence I observed, that perhaps she was the president of the order. Seeing this, we demanded of her how the order might be named? She answered that it was not yet seasonable to discover it, until the affair with the prisoners was dispatched. And therefore their eyes were still held, and what had hitherto happened to us, was to them only for an offence and scandal, although it were to be accounted as nothing, in regard of the honour that attended us.

Note that the Virgin and the pages represent the 3 pillars of the Tree of Life. She is the middle pillar and the pages are the outer pillars. The left is the pillar of Severity and the right is the pillar of Mercy. The middle pillar is that of Grace. Consequently, the Virgin takes the golden goblet (from the King, hence the masculine pillar of Mercy) and the parchment (pronouncing sentence, hence the pillar of Severity). Interestingly, the goblet conveys Fortune (with red flag), who personifies the gnostic concept of chance. The parchment symbolises necessity because it is a legal judgement. It is quite clear that a karmic function is being performed.

Hereupon she began to distinguish the patent which the other Page held into two different parts, out of which a portion was read before the first company. By necessity, they should confess that they had too lightly given credit to fictitious books, had assumed too much to themselves, and so came into this castle, albeit they were never invited into it, and had presented themselves with design to make their market here, and afterwards to live in the greater pride; and thus one had seduced another, and plunged him into this disgrace and ignominy, wherefore they were deservedly to be soundly punished.
Which they with great humility readily acknowledged, and gave their hands upon it. After which a severe check was given to the rest, much to this purpose.

Judgement is now delivered in the form of an acknowledgement that we should all consider because it applies to each of us.