The Fifth Day
by Jack Courtis
The night was over, and the dear wished-for day broken when hastily I got out of the bed, more desirous to learn what might yet ensue, than that I had sufficiently slept. Now after that I had put on my clothes, and according to my custom, had gone down the stairs. It was till too early, and I found nobody else in the hall, wherefore I entreated my page to lead me a little about in the castle and show me some rarities. The page was (as always) willing, and presently led me down certain steps under the ground, to a great iron door, on which the following words in great copper letters were fixed:
Using the Spiritual Discipline of guidance, CRC goes to a deeper level of consciousness. The alchemical nature of the process now becomes apparent. Iron is the metal attributed to Mars and Gevurah on the Tree of Life. It is the polar opposite on the Tree, to Netzach and Venus, with copper being the metal attributed to her. CRC is proceeding between a pair of opposites. He is on the level of reality, Formation.
Here Lies Buried
that Beauty which hath undone
many a great man
both in fortune, honour, blessing
Venus is the archetypal anima who exists deep in every man. She is his dream and the standard by which he measures all women. No wonder a man is undone by her. No man can ever see her. This is the mystery of the Veiled Isis, she who no man has ever seen unveiled. There is more to this than sexual innuendo. There is a deep truth that can only be given in allegory. By the way, have you noticed the Arabic writing surrounding the word "Venus"? Arabic is the sacred language of Islam and was at the time of CRC, the language through which Greek philosophy and kabala, had been transmitted to Europe. It was therefore a language of secrets and mysteries. What better way to indicate the mysteries of the Lady Venus?
This I copied, and set down in my table-book. Now after this door was opened, the page led me by the hand through a very dark passage and we came again to another small door, that was now only set to, for (as my page informed me) it was first opened but yesterday when the coffins were taken out, and had not been shut since.
The dark passage and the small door allude to an underworld initiation. There is a small but crucial detail. The door has been opened for the first time. Only CRC has come to this door. By implication, only he is worthy to take this step. Remember many are called but few are chosen. Why was CRC chosen and by whom?
As soon as we stepped in, I saw the most precious thing that Nature ever created, for this vault had no other light but a luminance from certain huge carbuncles, and this (as I was informed) was the King’s treasury. But the most glorious and principal thing, that I here saw, was a sepulchre which stood in the middle of the vault. It was so rich and grandiose that I wondered that it was no better guarded, whereunto the page answered me, that I had good reason to be thankful to my planet, by whose influence it was that I had now seen certain pieces which no human eye (except the King’s family) had ever had a view of. This sepulchre was triangular, and had in the middle of it a kettle of polished copper.
The vault reminds us of the tomb of CRC as described in the Fama Fraternitatis. Another subtle comment from CRC is his reference to his planet. Which one is he talking about? Very likely it is Venus because in the Fama, his tomb is located at Netzach and that is attributed to Venus. His astrological planet is conjoined with his alchemical metal to give us a powerful indication that the archetypal feminine is vital to our initiation into the mysteries. It is also important for us to notice that the sepulchre (which contains a dead body) has 3 sides. This reminds us of the 3 pillars of the Tree and also the 3rd sefira, Binah, the Great Mother and hence a higher aspect of Venus. Finally, the kettle is copper and again points to Venus. We are in no doubt as to her importance. Note also that the kettle is an alchemical implement.
The rest was of pure gold and precious stones. In the kettle stood an angel, who held in his arms an unknown tree, from which it continually dropped fruit into the kettle; and as often as the fruit fell into the kettle, it turned into water, and ran into three small golden kettles. This little altar was supported by these three animals, an eagle, an ox and a lion, which stood on an exceedingly costly base.
The altar is a place of sacrificial action and hence reminds us of the middle pillar of the Tree which reconciles the orientations to God; knowledge/Severity is combined with love/Mercy into sacrificial action/Grace. There are 4 figures that are the Holy Living Creatures of the Apocalypse of John; angel, eagle, ox, lion. They also relate to the lower 4 psychic centres. Could the unknown tree be the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil? Is this the reason for all the secrecy and mystery? And the water, is that the Water of Life mentioned in the Apocalypse? But surely the Water of Life comes from the Tree of Life, what is it doing coming from the Tree of Knowledge? Perhaps life and knowledge are connected? Is life in fact to be understood to be the result of love? If so, the 2 Trees are themselves a great polarity that has to be reconciled by sacrificial action. There are deep mysteries in the quest for the Lady Venus. Is this why Isis is always veiled?
I asked my page what this might signify. "Here," said he, "lies buried Lady Venus, that beauty which hath undone many a great man, both in fortune, honour, blessing and prosperity." After which he showed me a copper door on the pavement. "Here," said he, "if you please, we may go further down." "I still follow you," replied I. So I went down the steps, where it was exceeding dark, but the page immediately opened a little chest, wherein stood a small ever-burning taper, at which he kindled one of the many torches which lay by.
Another copper door takes us further down. The ever-burning light is in fact, our Divine Spark. Our true being and the source of life that animates our vehicles of consciousness Spirit, Soul and Body. Remember at the end of Day 4 the flames (Spirit), the boats (Soul) and the coffins and chest (Body). We have in fact gone down 3 levels at this stage and this corresponds to moving consciously into our vehicles. The light is our direct awareness of our Divine Spark.