THE BOOK OF ALCHEMY
Received and scribed by
David Cherubim, 1988 e.v.
(Comments written in 1994 e.v.)
Now, o my beloved brethren of the Golden Dawn, shalt thou read herein the words of Hermes Trismegistus, Thrice greatest Lord of Our Royal Art and Science, whose Voice is Wisdom and whose Thought is Light. And this, o my beloved brethren, is His Holy Book, dedicated to His Royal Work, the Magnum Opus of the Sun. It is made of thirty-six verses in all, being a manifestation of the Glory of Mercury, from whence it was written in the mind of a Magician. It is the magical fruit of the Invocation of Hermes-Mercurius-Thoth, the Threefold Lord of Our Majestic Opus of the Sun, in whose Holy Image it was written. Mayest thou partake of the splendour of its Truth, tasting the sweetness of its Wisdom, to fortify and illumine thy soul, mind and body with the Life and Light of the Sun which is the Eternal Spirit of the Golden Dawn.
1. The Great Work is One: Attain Thou That. All things are modes of expression of That One Thing and Its Eternal Quest for Unity with Itself in the Immeasurable Light of Its Universal Holiness.
(Comment: The One is the Many. There are as many great works as there are stars in the Universe. That which "Thou" shalt attain is your own Great Work, which is the fulfillment of your own True Will. All things partake of that great union between the human and the divine; all is a necessary part of that great play of your own True Self. The Immeasurable Light is Kether, the first Sephira on the Qabalistic Tree of Life which represents the Yechidah or the True Essence of the soul, your Highest Self.)
2. This is the Highest Will of All: Union with That.
(Comment: The Highest Will of All is to attain union with That, your Kether Self, or your True Self, which is the All in All. And this can only be achieved through your True Will, which is your True Self in action.)
3. That Alone is Truth; and this that thou knowest is a necessary complement thereof.
(Comment: The only valid truth in the Universe is your True Self as indicated by the dynamic motion of your True Will; and your physical consciousness is a necessary, complementary part of your True Self, made manifest for you to accomplish its One Will on earth.)
4. Wherefore We charge ye to know the True Nature of That One Thing.
(Comment: It is in the nature of the Secret Chiefs to instruct all in the knowledge of their True Self. Thus they have delivered one of their own unto the world, to initiate this knowledge in the minds of men and women. But the True Nature of that One Thing is for each individual to discover in his/her own way, since it partakes of the very essence of his/her own unique nature. It cannot be realized through another; it must be obtained by oneself, for oneself and in oneself. All that another can do is to assist you to the Path, to initiate this knowledge in you. But once you are on the Path, only you can master that knowledge in accordance with your own True Will.)
5. Therefore shall We also charge ye to know the One Meaning of That One Thing, as ye shall learn in the course of thine initiations, through the many lives of thy fabricated karma, to the Final Illustrious Summit of Thy True Will in the Eternal and Secret Abode of LVX; yea, in the Eternal and Secret Abode of LVX.
(Comment: The One Meaning of the True Self is in the Way of its True Will. The True Will is the mystery of initiation and incarnation. The Eternal and Secret Abode of LVX is the Home of our True Self, the Place of the Palace of Perfection.)
6. The Great Work of the Sun is proclaimed: Attain Thou the Mystic Crown of the Ages!
(Comment: The Great Work of the Sun is to attain our Kether Self, which is the All in All, defined above as the True Self. This Royal Work makes for the attainment of the Philosopher's Stone, which is a symbol of our True Self. It is with this stone that the Alchemist can transmute all base metals into the Perfect Gold of Nature. But this is only a metaphor for the Supreme Transmutation of the human into the divine. As Eliphas Levi wrote in “Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie“: "The Great Work is something more than a chemical operation: it is an actual creation of the human Word initiated into the power of the Word of God Himself.")
7. Here is a prophecy of divinity, most sublime for many future Adepts. This Royal Book of Our Transcendental Science will remain amongst men of this little earth for many generations to come. Many adepts in the future will understand this Holy Book and apply its secret gnosis to the accomplishment of the Great Work; and thereby will they secretly partake of the Ineffable Mystery of the True Stone of the Wise, which is hidden in the Sanctum Sanctorum of the Eternal Temple of the Holy Magick of Light.
(Comment: This holy book can be compared to the famous Emerald Table of Hermes, which has exercised a profound influence on many Adepts of the Hermetic Art. This alchemical book shall also influence, in a most profound manner, many Adepts in the coming generations, and it shall be the cause of much speculation among them. But of these many will come to an understanding of the Great Work and thereby attain the Stone of the Sages.)
8. By the Ageless Wisdom of Hermes Trismegistus, Thrice-greatest-One, who is the Lord of Our Royal Science and Sacerdotal Art, is this Holy Book made possible for the children of men.
(Comment: The Ageless Wisdom pertains to the Sephira called Chokmah on the Qabalistic Tree of Life. Chokmah is the Logos. Hermes Trismegistus, or Hermes-Mercurius-Thoth, is the Logos, and He is the Threefold Lord presiding over the alchemical Art. This is none other than His Holy Book for the illumination of the Adepts in the generations to come.)
9. He that hath an ear to hear, let him hear the wondrous and melodious splendours of High Wisdom, immanent yet concealed within these sweet celestial words of the vast subtlety of the Crown of Creation.
(Comment: The true teachings of this holy book cannot be found in the words which go to make up its external form, but can only be intuitively realized by the interior ear of the Spirit. These are the wondrous and melodious splendors of the Logos who is the Crown of Creation.)
10. Thou shalt discern the imperishable golden splendours of these holy runes of magick in the Eternal Vision of Wisdom, and with the Inner Ear of Thy Spirit, and also by virtue of a certain key of knowledge which is unpronounced and unrecognized amongst the men of this little world of corporeal existence.
(Comment: You shall intuit the interior meanings of this holy book in the ageless light and intelligence of the Logos, and by way of your inner ear, and also by virtue of a certain key of knowledge which, when discovered, unlocks all the mysteries of Our Royal Art and Science. This key is openly revealed in the interpretations that follow.)
11. These secret splendours reveal the highest glory for the perfect attainment of the One Truth in man.
(Comment: The interior parts of this holy book are its true revelations. These interior truths are what constitute the attainment of the Great Work. To reveal is to remove a veil, to unveil a Mystery. The highest glory is the Knowledge of our Kether Self, which alone makes for the perfection of our soul.)
12. For all that is recorded herein is a true testimony of things seen with the Inner Eye of Our Soul, and of things heard with the Inner Ear of Our Spirit.
(Comment: This holy book is a true testimony of the Wisdom of the Secret Brethren of the Rose and Cross. But I have no proof of this fact; only personal experience can demonstrate the authenticity of my words. Illustration: You cannot convince a blind man that there is such a thing as light. A greater fool is he who tries to convince him!)
13. This Holy Book is a fountain of truth, by which ye shall come to understand the Invisible Agencies which direct the hidden operations of the Great Work throughout the infinite spaces of Infinity, with worlds without end, above and below, left and right, before and behind.
(Comment: The Invisible Agencies of Alchemy are supernal and universal in kind. They are the very forces of infinity, which constitute universal creation, preservation and destruction. These are manifest in all things, and all things are but combinations and modifications of these Universal Principles.)
14. These Subtle Agencies are three in number, capable of great and vast transformations through pure multiplication and exaltation of their infinite and elastic elements of becoming.
(Comment: In the Qabalah these three Agencies are linked with the three Supernal Sephiroth on the Tree of Life. These are Kether, Chokmah, and Binah. These three Sephiroth are the hidden cause of all transformation in the Universe. They are abstract, synergistic, conspiratorial Principles which cannot be defined in any concrete or linear terms, for they are beyond all manifestation, existing in what we may call "the interior universe." These three Agencies are the very forces which constitute the Great Work in both Macrocosmos and Microcosmos, and they are the hidden cause of all celestial and terrestrial changes through the multiplication and exaltation of the subtle forces which are the universal, central instruments of creation.)
15. Yet there is but One Knowledge of the One True Formula of those Three Arcane Agencies which constitute the accomplishment of the Great Work, which hath been communicated partially in diverse ways throughout the aeons of time, with each way declaring itself the One Absolute Truth.
(Comment: The One Knowledge of the One True Formula of these three Agencies is simply the knowledge that they are One. These three Principles are unified self-transformations and self-perpetuating productions of each other. This One Knowledge has been the subject of many a school of thought, yet under the dire spell of monistic thinking. There is, however, a further mystery.)
16. But herein is a great and mighty misfortune, which hath bound many uninitiated candidates of Our Royal Art to the baleful chains of ignorance and death.
(Comment: As pointed out in the beginning of these comments: the One is the Many. The One Knowledge of Our Royal Art is, in point of fact, infinite in kind, being as diverse as the stars in the Universe. This may seem paradoxical to the mind, but to the soul it is a fact as simple as the nose on your face.
Monism and monotheism, may you note it well, are dangerous beliefs which have corrupted our worldview. Our Universe is multidimensional, and there is nothing in Nature that is not a phenomenon of multiplicity.)
17. For many are the ways which lead to the grand Golden Palace of Our Magnum Opus, and in each way thou shalt find a lesser formula of knowledge applicable to the One End; yet are all these lesser ways but mere reflections of the One True and Unknown Way of Attainment.
(Comment: The are many paths which lead to the perfection of the soul; and since all paths lead to the same place, they are all reflections of the One, that is, they are all reflections of each other. Again, I must emphasize, the One is the Many.)
18. There are also three lesser agencies which concentrate and synthesize the Three Higher Agencies into the innumerable worlds of Our Infinite Universe.
(Comment: The three lesser agencies are, of course, Sulphur, Salt and Mercury which, according to Eliphas Levi, constitute the Stone of the Sages when they are thrice combined in AZOTH by a triple sublimation and a triple fixation. AZOTH, the First Matter of our work, can be compared with the Atom, and the three agencies which constitute AZOTH can be compared with the proton, the neutron and the electron which are the three basic indivisible components or particles which compose the Atom. The proton and the neutron are contained in the central nucleus of an atom, and outside of this nucleus is the electron.
Now all atoms are identical in substance; that is, every atom has an identical, fundamental, internal structure; the protons, neutrons and electrons in one atom are identical to those in any other atom. The atoms of one element differ from those of another element only in the number of their protons and electrons. Also note that atoms cannot be created or destroyed; they can only be rearranged by chemical reactions. It was Democritus of Abdera [400 B.C.] who proposed the theory that all things were composed of atoms and empty space, though the theory of atoms did not become a living part of scientific thinking till the latter part of the 18th century.
Sulphur, Salt and Mercury can also be linked with the three Gunas or Qualities of Yoga Philosophy, which are the three fundamental modes of Energy. Such are called Tamas [Passivity], Rajas [Activity] and Sattva [Equilibrium]. Tamas is Salt, Rajas is Sulphur, and Sattva is Mercury. These correspond with the Atu of Thoth called "The Magus" [Sattva/Mercury], "The Emperor" [Rajas/Sulphur], and "The Empress" [Tamas/Salt]. Aleister Crowley, regarding these three Principles, wrote in “The Book of Thoth“: "Sulphur is Activity, Energy, Desire; Mercury is Fluidity, Intelligence, the power of Transmission; Salt is the vehicle of these two forms of energy, but itself possesses qualities which react on them.")
19. If thou canst discover the exoteric operations of these three lesser principles of Nature, thou shalt likewise obtain a holy glimpse of the Three Higher Principles of which We speak.
(Comment: The three lesser agencies are reflections of the nature of the three Higher Agencies of the Universe. Salt reflects the essence of Binah, Sulphur reflects the essence of Chokmah, and Mercury reflects the essence of Kether. To discover the exoteric operations of these three lesser Principles of Nature is, in the ultimate sense, a scientific process. The model of the Atom affords us a wealth of information in this regard.)
20. Each lesser principle is a sign of the higher, but after a certain manner most secret and most mysterious.
(Comment: As previously indicated, the lesser is a reflection of the greater. Thus it is written: "As above so below, and as below so above, for the accomplishment of the Miracle of The One Thing.")
21. On earth shalt thou find these principles reflected and made especially manifest in thy works of physical union.
(Comment: In the sex act is reflected the mystery of the operation of the three Principles. Works of physical union are, in fact, the most suitable means of attaining an understanding with regard to the inner workings of Nature for the production of the Philosopher's Stone. Thus did Sir Edward Kelly write in his “Stone of the Philosophers“: "In short, our whole Magistry consists in the union of the male and female, or active and passive, elements through the mediation of our metallic water and a proper degree of heat." And in the “Rosarium Philosophorum” it is written: "From a man and a woman make a circle, then extract from this a square, and from this extract a triangle, and then make a circle, and you will obtain the Philosopher's Stone.")
22. There is fire, and there is water, and then there is Air: there is sulphur, and there is salt, and then there is Mercury.
(Comment: Fire represents the Masculine or Solar Principle called Rex, the King; Water represents the Feminine or Lunar Principle called Regina, the Queen; and Air, which is Water coagulated by Fire, is the product of their union, the Androgynous or Mercurial Principle called Rebis or Regulus, the little King. These are the Male and Female operators, or the Red Lion and the White Eagle, and their One Will to Unite. Sulphur is the Blood of the Red Lion, Salt is the Gluten of the White Eagle, and Mercury is that which results from the dissolution of the Sulphur in the Salt, which is also the Chymical Marriage of Sulphur and Mercury, or the Union of the Fixed and the Volatile. Such is also called the Hierosgamos of the Sun and Moon and the Conjunctio of Fire and Water.)
23. Seest thou not the true nature of these things?
(Comment: Not all are able to understand these alchemical mysteries, to pierce the Veil of Isis, no matter what is said on the subject or how much of it is revealed. Thus do I speak so fearlessly and openly regarding these alchemical mysteries, knowing that none may understand my words without already having in their possession the secret keys to this knowledge.)
24. Ah! thou hast not yet trained thy mind to comprehend the treasures of earth, which are not material wealth, nor are they material goods; but rather are they holy treasures which, when found, make a man to sell all that he hath for them.
(Comment: The true treasures of earth are the treasures of life itself. They are incomparable in nature, being invaluable elements in the constitution of existence. Without these true treasures there is no life, no creation, no evolution.)
25. But the Three Higher Principles of the Universe are beyond these, being subtle, ineffable and supernal. All three of these greater principles are equal in essence to one another; there is no difference between them in the measure of infinity which they contain within themselves: each one of these Higher Principles is equally infinite.
(Comment: The Three Higher Principles of the Universe are immaterial abstract energies, metaphysical in nature, which remain unchanged in their various combinations with each other and in the modifications of their manifestations in matter through the activity of the three lesser Principles which are their direct reflections on earth.)
26. Now let it be understood amongst the holy circle of Initiates that in thine own Holy Rose Garden there dominates these Three Higher Principles of the Vast Unknown of the Celestial Beyond.
(Comment: The Holy Rose Garden is, of course, the human body, the Laboratory or Laboratorium of Our Magnum Opus, wherein are concealed the Three Higher Principles of the Universe through their subtle interplay in matter by way of the three lesser Principles of Nature.
In "The Book of the Elder Kings", scribed by my hand in the year 1988 e.v., it is proclaimed by the Brothers of the Rose and Cross: "Ours is the Sevenfold Path of Initiation: thou shalt transmute the base lead into the subtle Aurum Solis by rising on the Stairway of the Heavens in thy Secret Laboratorium on earth. Here is the Excellent Way! The steps of the Stairway are seven; the Laboratorium is Our Holy House of Song and Our Holy Rose Garden, which thou knowest so well. Yet to those who are vulgar, it is a secret even though they themselves possess it.")
27. Thou shalt first secure Understanding; then shalt thou attain Wisdom; and so shalt thou obtain the Ageless Crown of Eternal Splendour. These are the Three Ineffable Mysteries of the Palace of the Stars!
(Comment: Understanding is Binah, the third Sephira on the Qabalistic Tree of Life; Wisdom is Chokmah, the second Sephira on the Qabalistic Tree of Life; and the Crown is Kether, the first Sephira on the Qabalistic Tree of Life. Such are the True Keys to the Golden Palace of Our Magnum Opus.)
28. They are also the eternal secrets of the Great Lamp of Wisdom: there is the light, and the oil, and the lamp itself.
(Comment: The Lamp of Wisdom is what guides the soul on its journey to the summit of the Great Mountain of Hermetic Attainment. The Lamp is held in the 'hand' of our True Self who is represented in Tarot by "The Hermit". The Hermit holds this Lamp on high that we may comprehend the threefold nature of the Great Work to illumine our Path and make bright our ways.)
29. Study thou well this threefold teaching of Hermes-Mercurius-Thoth, Thrice-greatest-Master of the Opus of the Sun; and so shalt thou accomplish the Great Work of the Aeon.
(Comment: The Hermit is the image of Hermes-Mercurius-Thoth, as one who has attained the Great Work and stands ready to illumine all others below Him on the Path with the threefold teaching of the ages. Yet only those who are truly fit for His Teaching can recognize His Wisdom. The unfit cannot recognize His Wisdom, since they are blind and stupid, unable to see or comprehend the obvious, the Light that is even now upon them.)
30. Thou shalt also know that the Three Higher Principles of which We speak are mysterious revelations of a more Ineffable Trinity of Inscrutable Unity.
(Comment: This seems to imply a mystery of Qabalistic significance in which Kether, Chokmah and Binah are but reflections of three higher abstract concepts, called Ain [Nothing], Ain Soph [The Limitless], and Ain Soph Aour [The Limitless Light]. These are the three Veils of Negative Existence which are beyond the Tree of Life. From them, however, emanate the three Supernals, and from these the remaining Sephiroth.)
31. Now the Inward Work is threefold; and the Outward Work is threefold. Each is a Threefold Unity of Soul, Mind and Body.
(Comment: The Inward Work is, of course, Mystical Alchemy and the Outward Work is, of course, Sexual Alchemy. Both of these operations are comprised of three basic stages. These three stages are called Nigredo, Albedo and Rubedo, or the Black, the White and the Red. Nigredo is the stage of Dissolution, which is the Putrefaction of our work; Albedo is Coagulation, which is the Synthesis of our work; and Rubedo is Sublimation, which is the Multiplication of our work.
These three stages are represented by three figures, which constitute the Astrological Trinity of Scorpio. These are the Scorpion, the Serpent, and the Eagle. The Scorpion is Nigredo, the Serpent is Albedo, and the Eagle is Rubedo. The latter of these three is the astrological equivalent of the alchemical Phoenix and Pelican. It represents the Great Attainment, the rebirth of the soul or stone, which can now transfigure all base metals into the Perfect Gold of Nature. Thus the great emblem of the New Order of the Golden Dawn is the Eagle whose Vast Wings represent the Liberty of the Adept to accomplish the Great Work.
The three stages in Mystical Alchemy, or the three states of the stone, are transmutations of a most peculiar kind. They are, in fact, metamorphic in nature, constituting actual quantum jumps or abrupt transitions from one state of development to another; they do not necessarily follow a logical pattern of change. The stone itself remains continuous throughout the operation, but the changes it endures are not connected with each other in any phenomenological or observable sense. Each stage is a complete transformation of the stone, a veritable death and rebirth of its soul from one state of existence to another. Each stage, though it is the natural result of our work, comes about unexpectedly; it is an unpredictable event in the space-time continuum.
Now in this threefold experimental operation the saline stone of Our Majestic Work first undergoes a critical death or disintegration process, which is also a purification of its soul, mind and body. It then becomes the White Tincture of our work, which is a magical consecration of the stone, and this White Tincture transmutes base metals into the Silver of the Moon. Then it becomes the Red Tincture of our work, the Elixir of Life, which transmutes base metals into the Living Gold of the Sun.
In Egyptian mythological symbolism, this threefold operation is represented by the slaying of Osiris by his brother Set, His revival through the Magick of His wife Isis, and His mysterious resurrection in His son Horus, who is the Aurora Aurea or Golden Dawn of Our Regal Art, and whose holy image is the Solar Eagle. Such is the death and rebirth of THAT which is like unto itself: such is the Great Experiment of the Royal Art of the Sun!
DISSOLUTION is the FIRST KEY to the GREAT WORK. It is the purification of Sulphur and Mercury. COAGULATION, the second key, is the unification of Sulphur and Mercury with the aid of Salt. These two keys correlate with the alchemical formula "solve et coagula". SUBLIMATION, the third key, is the multiplication of the stone by repeating the actual operation, and the effect of this process is the exaltation of the Philosopher's Stone.
Eliphas Levi wrote in “Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie“: "This stone is both one and manifold; it is decomposed by analysis and recomposed by synthesis. In analysis it is a powder, the alchemical powder of projection; before analysis and in synthesis it is a stone." The analytical decomposition of the stone is the dissolution of our work; it is the volatilization of the fixed. The synthetic recomposition of the stone is the coagulation of our work; it is the fixation of the volatile. These two alchemical processes result in the production of the Philosopher's Stone, but only in potential form. It is not until the stone is subjected to Sublimation that it is completely regenerated and, ergo, capable of transmuting base metals into gold and conferring immortality.
Sublimation ultimately becomes an eternal self-generating process which regenerates the stone time and time again, making of the stone an immortal soul, and an eternal traveler on the Great Circle of Perpetual Initiation. Sublimation makes for the immortalization of the stone; it is the Principle of Eternal Change, the magical perpetuity of the stone, which constitutes its immortal existence. As the Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said: "There is nothing permanent except change.")
32. The Hidden Stone of the Ages is thus obtained, even here and now. Let the Sun and the Moon unite; let them bear an Hermaphrodite! Let a child be born: it shall be the Stone of the Sages, the Medicine of Metals, and the Elixir of Life.
(Comment: It is by the scientific application and execution of the threefold operation of Alchemy that the Stone of the Philosophers is to be obtained, here and now. The Sun is man; the Moon is woman; and the Hermaphrodite is the magical product of their union. This Hermaphrodite is Two-in-One; S/he is the Rebirth of the Sun and Moon. Such is called their Magical Child and is the Great Secret of Alchemy, the Arcanum Arcanorum which constitutes our true power and wealth on earth, the key to our immortality and orderly perpetuation as an evolving species. The Magical Child is also known as the Stone of the Sages, Medicine of Metals, Universal Medicine, Elixir of Life, Universal Solvent, Dew of Immortality, Amrita, Soma, Mana, Eucharist of the Sun, Wine of the Sabbath, Powder of Projection, Red Tincture, Unguent, Pill of Power, Potable Gold, and the Quintessence. Such is the mystery of Samson's Riddle: "What is sweeter than honey, and stronger than a Lion?" It is also the mystery of which Paracelsus wrote in “The Aurora of the Philosophers“: "The Son of Hamuel says that the Stone of the Philosophers is Water Coagulated, namely in Sol and Luna. From this is it clearer than the Sun that the matter of the Stone is nothing else but Sol and Luna." In Michael Maier's "Chemical Secrets of Nature", it is written: "The offspring of the Sun and Moon is the Philosopher's Red Stone, floating upon the liquid in the crucible." Roger Bacon in his "Mirror of Alquimy" wrote: "Alquimy is the science that teaches the preparation of a certain medicine or elixir which, if it is poured over base metals, brings them on the instant to a state of perfection.")
33. Also the Threefold Unity Above is expanded into a seven-petalled Rose; and on each petal there is inscribed in fire one of the seven letters of VITRIOL.
(Comment: Kether, Chokmah, and Binah, in their subtle interplay of orgasmic ecstasy, produce seven other emanations or Sephiroth on the Tree of Life. These are Chesed, Geburah, Tiphareth, Netzach, Hod, Yesod, and Malkuth. To these correspond the seven Metals of Alchemy, the seven Chakras of Yoga and the seven traditional Planets of Astrology. Such form a seven-petalled Rose with the letters VITRIOL inscribed in fire on its petals.
VITRIOL is a Notariqon for "Visita Interiora Terrae Rectificando Invenies Occultum Lapidem", which is Latin for "Visit the interior parts of the earth; by rectification you will find the secret stone." VITRIOL is the name that Basilius Valentines [Basil Valentine] applied to the Universal Solvent, a secret diluent salt. VITRIOL represents the balanced combination of Sulphur, Salt and Mercury. And how is this achieved? "Make the fixed volatile - unite the fugitive male with the fixed female."
Basil emphasized a third Principle in the Great Work which he called Salt, concerning which he wrote: "Salt is the fire, the water that does not wet one's hands." VITRIOL is a name for this third Principle; it is also a name for the Philosopher's Stone. In the word VITRIOL is contained the formula of the Great Work by which the Adept can attain the Secret Stone through the rectification of the salt and its subsequent regeneration.)
34. Also each rose petal is of a different color; four petals are mixed, and the other three are virgin. Also each petal has a unique scent, taste, and touch to it. All these come forth from the Centre of the Cross, that is, from the Place of the Palace of the Stars in the midst of it all.
(Comment: Netzach, Hod, Yesod and Malkuth are impure, they are mixed principles, combinations of the interplay of Chesed, Geburah, and Tiphareth, which are reflections of Kether, Chokmah, and Binah. Colors pertain to sight, the sense of Fire. Scent is Air, taste is Water, and touch is Earth. These four elements are manifestations of the seven Sephiroth below the Abyss which come forth from the Center of the Cross of the Sun.
Note also that in the Sevenfold System of Initiation in the New Order of the Golden Dawn [Thelemic Order of the Golden Dawn] there are four outer stages and three inner. The four outer stages are the four gates to the Palace of the Stars in which we experience the Three Invisible Rites of Initiation. The completion of these seven stages of initiation make for the attainment of THAT which exists beyond the Planetary Spheres: it constitutes the transcendence of the Planetary Spheres and the subsequent attainment of the Gnostic Ogdoad, which is the eighth sphere of Celestial Wisdom.)
35. And in each letter of fire on the seven petals of the Sacred Rose there is concealed a vision and a voice. And in each vision and voice there is concealed a divine splendour of unspeakable transmutations of ineffable mystery and wonder. All these inner splendours are different stages of Our Master Opus of Divine Transformation which can be interpreted in many ways in many lands.
(Comment: In each Sephira there is concealed a vision and a voice corresponding to its own particular nature. This is the vision and the voice of initiation. And in each vision and voice there is concealed a divine splendor which partakes of the nature of the initiation that corresponds thereto and which is capable of being interpreted and defined in a variety of ways.)
36. So saith Hermes Trismegistus, Lord of Our Royal and Sacerdotal Art of Alkhemi, who is also the Wisdom of the Gods and the Logos of the Ineffable Unknown. Mysteries revealed are mysteries concealed; and none but the Wise may decipher them. This Holy Book of the Magick of Hermes is hermetically sealed; and none but the Wise may unravel its sublime splendours of High Wisdom for the accomplishment of the Great Work of the Sun; yea, for the accomplishment of the Great Work of the Sun.
(Comment: In this holy book are many mysteries of Our Royal and Sacerdotal Art revealed by the Voice of the Logos Himself; but, it is a true saying: "That which guides the Wise misleads the foolish." This holy book is sealed with the Spirit of Wisdom itself, and only the Wise may intuit and commune with that Spirit to attain the Great Work, the Summum Bonum, True Wisdom and Perfect Happiness.)