Emanationism and Limit-Cross are portrayed in the Syriac New Testament Tree of Life engraving (1555 CE, Austria). Like the Sarcophagus of Lord Pacal, the engraving shows a man on the brink of transformation into a god. The black and white sphere at the top, wherein the opposites are united, symbolizes the perfect Source or Creator from which everything flows. Below Source, and beginning with P1-Crown, are the emanated spheres of the World Soul positioned like kernels of creation within an ear of corn, reminiscent of Lord Pacal's positioning within kernels of corn on his sarcophagus. But in this World Soul design, the movable spheres-portals of the outer pillars are now seen closer to the Central Pillar.
P1-Crown, with P2-Force and P3-Form represent Mind and Idea, the direct emanation of Source. These three portals correspond to the head of Jesus at the Limit-Cross. P4 (Hidden) through P11, the portals of the World Soul emanated by Mind and Idea, represent the series of emanations in the creation of Matter and the cosmos, both lying below soul. The cosmos is sprinkled with stars and marked by a Menorah, symbol of The Boundless Light.
Limit-Cross, with a narrow Limit, is seen as the crucifixion cross. Lines like connect-the-dots connect the portals of the World Soul with the wounds of Jesus. Each wound is represented by a portal, and each portal is an Aeon (Emanation), a supernal being who comprises an eternal realm, meaning that each body part of Jesus is now divine.
The Aeons are cosmoi or various orders of the main cosmos that psychically encircle the material world. Shown delineated, they are spherical forms of subtle matter endowed with reason. They function as the Cosmic Engine in the creation and eternal transformation of souls, a process symbolized by the lemniscate (horizontal figure 8).
The Aeons, the Energy-Intelligences of the World Soul, are created in a process of extension of God. They are both unity and multiplicity, both collective and individual. They are the causation of the material world. Each successive Aeon is formed on the basis of the models in the portal above, with each Aeon less perfect than the one from which it flowed. Each Aeon is a portal-keeper.
"They are not crowded against one another, but to the contrary they are alive, existing in themselves and agreeing with one another, as they are from a single origin. Each of the aeons has ten thousand aeons in himself." (1)
"The entire system of the aeons has a love and a longing for the perfect, complete discovery of the Father ... who grants that he be conceived of in such a way as to be sought for." (2)
The Aeons, the Light-Beings of the eternal celestial realms, are the occult Forces of the universe. They were said to be the power of creation of the human body so that each part of the body of Jesus must credit its existence to the Aeons, as symbolized by the lines joining his body to the spheres. Humans may take their place as human-Aeons who become divine and who function with powers and responsibilities of divinities, according to the beliefs of the Gnostics and early Christians. This transformation is achieved by acquiring gnosis and by becoming like the Aeons, who are seeded in potentia within the human soul. Humans who search for Baphomet (Sophia-Wisdom-Holy Spirit) and Knowledge (Gnosis) become like the Aeonic spheres who are always striving upwards to the Source. In the Syriac New Testament Tree of Life, Jesus, the human believed to have been directly emanated by God, is soon to take his place among the Aeons.
The transformation of human into divinity is alchemical in nature, as symbolized by the phoenix. This transformation is the ultimate goal of The Great Work of lifting the curtain. Alchemy is the total science of energy transformation in which the philosophy of Emanationism is given practical and scientific application in the form of magic, astrology and chemistry. The end result of the successful alchemical experiment is "like the phoenix of the poets, a new personality is reborn from the ashes." (3)
The sun, P7 on the World Soul (far left) and the Syriac Tree, is in use in the engraving as an alchemical symbol. All references to P7 as the son or the sun or the Child of Saturn are a part of alchemical language used by Philalethes, Basil Valentine, the Cosmopolite and other well-known alchemists. (4)
Another alchemical symbol is Jacob's Ladder, seen placed across the face of the sun. It symbolizes climbing the Tree of Life--ascending the spheres--toward The Boundless Light. Jacob's head rests on the stone pillow, the paradoxical Philosopher's Stone out of which King Arthur pulled Excalibur, as written in the legend of the Knights of the Round Table. The Alchemists ceaselessly seek the Philospher's Stone. The alchemist reading the book is said to be St. John (of the Cross). He surely must be reading The Revelation of St. John the Divine. In Chapter One is written:
"And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned I saw seven golden candlesticks; And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot ... His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire ... And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth and was, dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore .... And what thou seest, write in a book."
Ironically, and typical of the cryptic nature of alchemical art, the Latin on the Syriac Tree translates into something like "Religion is a cross the entire world must bear."
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