The Fifth Day
by Jack Courtis
nymphs, and sea-goddesses had attended us; wherefore they immediately dispatched a sea-nymph to us to deliver their present and offering of honour to the Marriage. It was a costly, great, round and orient pearl, the like to which has never been seen, even in the new world. Now the Virgin having graciously received it, the nymph further entreated that an audience might be given to their divertissements, and to make a rest, which the Virgin was content to do, and commanded the two great ships to stand into the middle and with the rest to encompass them in a pentagon pattern. After which the nymphs fell into a
The sea people are principles of our consciousness, normally hidden from view. The great pearl is once again, the solidification of the life force, brought up to objectivity from the depths of our unconscious. Again, a very precious gift. Let us now consider the pentagram formation of the ships. It is quite deliberate. The principle of polarity (sun/moon) is inside and the 5 lower planets form the pattern. The formula of 5 + 2 = 7, is significant. The pentagram is the alchemical symbol for the integration of the 4 elements by the Quintessence. Inside it, polarity is the driving mechanism.
ring about them, and with a most delicate sweet voice began thus to sing:
The circle around the pentagram is a powerful symbol. One explanation, is the 12 signs of the zodiac encompassing the 7 planets in the 5 + 2 formation. This describes the karmic process. We should also recall that the ships of the Sun and the Moon carry the Bridegroom and Bride, who are the focus of the "marriage" and hence the process of transformation.
There is nothing better here below,
Than beauteous, noble, Love;
Whereby we like to God do grow,
And none to grief do move.
Wherefore let us chant it to the King,
That all the sea thereof may ring.
We question; answer you.
What was it that at first us made?
It was Love.
And what hath grace afresh conveyed?
It is Love.
Whence wasn’t (pray tell us) we born?
How come we then again forlorn?
Who was it (say) that us conceived?
It was Love.
Who suckled, nursed, and relieved?
It was Love.
What is it we to our parents owe?
It is Love.
What do they us such kindness show?
Who gathers in the victory?
It is Love.
Can Love by search obtained be?
How may a man good works perform?
Who into one can two transform?
It is Love.
Then let our song sound,
Until its echo rebound.
to Love’s honour and praise,
Which may ever increase
With our noble Princes,
The King, and the Queen,
The soul is departed,
Their bodies are within.
And as long as we live,
God graciously give;
That as great love and amity,
That as great love and amity,
They bear each other mightily;
So we likewise, by Love’s own flame,
May rejoin them once again.
Then this annoy
Into great joy
(If many thousand younglings deign)
Shall change, and ever so remain.
It is easy to get sentimental and think that this is a love song. It is more than this if we understand that love is the product of the principle of polarity acting symbiotically and not antagonistically. That is the whole point of reconciling the 7 pairs of opposites. It is also the reason for 7 verses in the song.
They having with most admirable consent and melody finished this song, I wondered no longer at Ulysses for stopping the ears of his companions for I seemed to myself the most unhappy man alive, that nature had not made me like these creatures. The Virgin soon commanded the ships to set sail. The nymphs were presented with a long red scarf for a gratuity and dispersed themselves in the sea. I was at this time sensible that Cupid began to work with me too, which yet tended but very little to my credit, and for as much as my giddiness, is likely to be nothing beneficial to the reader, I am resolved to let it rest as it is. But this was the very wound that in the first book I received on the head in a dream. And let every one take warning by me of loitering about Venus’s bed, for Cupid can by no means brook it.
The red scarf is given in exchange for the pearl. We can assume the pearl is white and we know the scarf is red. These are the colours adopted by CRC at the end of Day 1 which symbolise the step of redescent in the Emerald Tablet and which is the path between Keter and Tiferet on the Tree. Note also that the wound to his hand is the same as the wound to his head in the dream on Day 1.
After some hours, having in friendly waters made a good way, we came within range of the Tower of Olympus, wherefore the Virgin commanded by the discharge of some cannons to give the signal of our approach, which was also done. We espied a great white flag thrust out, and a small gilded pinnace sent forth to meet us. As soon as this was to us, we perceived in it a very ancient man, who was the warden of the Tower. Certain guards clothed in white accompanied him. We were received as friends and they conducted us to the Tower.
The white flag and the guards dressed in white suggest the "white" stage of the alchemical process. The old man is the guardian who stands at the threshold of these mysteries.
This Tower was situated upon an island exactly square, which was surrounded with a wall so firm and thick, that I myself counted two hundred and sixty passes over. On the other side of the wall was a fine meadow with certain little gardens, in which grew strange, and to me unknown, fruits; and then again an inner wall about the Tower. The Tower was just as if seven round towers had been built one by another, yet the middlemost was somewhat the higher, and within they all entered one into another, and had seven stories one above another. We came to the gates of the Tower and we were led beside on the wall. I well believe we were taken there, so the coffins might be brought into the Tower without our taking notice. We were conducted into the Tower at the very bottom, which albeit it were excellently painted, yet we had here little recreation, for this was nothing but a laboratory, where we were fain to beat and wash plants, and precious stones, and all sorts of things, and extract their juice and essence, and put up the same in glasses, and deliver them to be laid up.
The island is square to suggest the 4 elements. In this case, the Quintessence is the tower of 7 levels. There are 2 walls outside the tower, so that 3 doors have to be entered. The first level is a laboratory for the production of juices and essences. This reminds us of the Elixir of Life.
And truly our Virgin was so busy with us, and so full of her directions, that she knew how to give each of us employment enough, so that in this island we were fain to be mere drudges, until we had achieved all that was necessary for the restoring of the beheaded bodies. Meantime, (as I afterwards understood) three virgins were in the first apartment washing the corpses, with all diligence. Now having at length almost done with this our preparation, nothing more was brought us, but some broth with a little draught of wine, whereby I well observed that we were not here for our pleasure; for when we had finished our days work, everyone had only a mattress laid on the ground for him, wherewith we were to content ourselves.
This is clearly the level for the basic work to be done in preparation for the resurrection of the corpses. Note that 3 virgins wash the bodies. CRC is given broth and wine. It is easy to overlook this small detail. Broth sustains the body but what about the wine? What does wine do? It changes our awareness, perception or consciousness. As CRC observes, we are not here for our pleasure. Hence the wine indicates that altering our level of consciousness to make it different from body or sense consciousness, is part of the work.
For my part I was not very much troubled with sleep. Therefore, I walked out into the garden and went as far as the wall. The heaven was at that time very clear and I could well drive away the time in contemplating the stars. By chance I came to a great pair of stone stairs, which led up to the top of the wall. And because the moon shone very bright, I was so much the more confident, and went up, and looked as well upon the sea, which was now exceeding calm. Thus having good opportunity to consider better of astronomy, I found that this present night there would happen such a conjunction of the planets, the like to which was not otherwise suddenly to be observed. Now having looked a good little into the sea, and it being just about midnight, as soon as it had struck twelve, I beheld from far the seven flames passing over sea hitherward, and betaking themselves to the top of the spire of the Tower.
CRC goes up to a higher level of consciousness and observes a very unusual conjunction of the planets. That is, he gains a deeper understanding of astrology. We should observe that astrology describes the Above while alchemy describes the Below. Their true relationship and meaning are usually hidden from us. At 12 midnight, the 7 flames go to the spire of the tower. Again we are reminded of the zodiac and planets, as well as the Disciplines and the Reconciliations.
This made me somewhat afraid, for as soon as the flames had settled themselves, the winds arose, and began to make the sea very tempestuous. The moon also was covered with clouds, and my joy ended with such fear, that I had scarce time enough to hit upon the stairs, and betake myself again to the Tower. Now whether the flames tarried any longer, or passed away again, I cannot say, for in this obscurity I dared no more venture abroad. So I laid me down upon my mattress, and there being besides in the laboratory a pleasant and gently purling fountain, I fell asleep so much the sooner. And thus the fifth day too was concluded with wonder.
We finish the day with the conjunction of the 4 elements: the flames (fire), the winds (air), the sea (water), the island (earth). The tower of 7 levels is the culmination of this conjunction and in its lowest level, there is a fountain. Yet again, the Water of Life is hinted at.