Arcanum 9 The Hermit
Description of the Plate
In this Arcanum, we find a rising moon in the waters of life. In the middle part of the plate is an old Hermit who is advancing forward, pointing out the path by holding in his left hand a lamp known as the lamp of Hermes, wisdom. With his right hand he holds on to the staff of the patriarchs, which represents the spinal column with its seven churches.
The prudent and wise Hermit is wrapped up in the protecting mantle of Apollonius, which symbolizes prudence. The palm of victory is behind him.
In the superior part of the plate is a sun that shines with three rays, indicating the three primary forces that descend to unite with the moon. The moon ascends and the sun descends, indicating that we need to transform the moon into the sun through transmutation. We need to convert the lunar bodies into solar bodies with the Arcanum A.Z.F.
Arcanum Nine clearly indicates the nine spheres of the atomic infernos of nature and the nine spheres of the nine heavens. This arcanum also points out the nine planets represented in the nine spheres of the planet Earth.
The initiate must descend to the nine submerged spheres to later win the nine heavens corresponding to each planet.
Esoteric Significance of the Arcanum
Arcanum Nine is the Hermit, solitude. This arcanum in its more elevated form is the Ninth Sphere, sex.
In the ancient temples, the descent into the Ninth Sphere was the maximum ordeal for the supreme dignity of the Hierophant. Hermes, Buddha, Jesus Christ, Zoroaster, Dante, and many other great initiates had to pass this maximum ordeal, the descent to the Ninth Sphere, in order to work with the fire and the water which originated the worlds, beasts, men and gods. Every authentic White Initiation starts here.
In the Ninth Sphere, or ninth stratum of the Earth, in the center of the Earth, in the very heart of the Earth, the sign of the infinite is found resplendent. This sign has the form of an eight. The sign of the infinite is the Holy Eight. In this sign the heart, brain, and sex of the genie of the Earth are represented. The secret name of this genie is Changam.
The Zohar emphatically warns us that in the depths of the abyss lives the Protoplasmic Adam, the differentiating principle of the souls. With that principle we have to execute a struggle to the death. This struggle is terrible: brain against sex, and sex against brain, and what is even more terrible and more painful, heart against heart.
It is obvious that in a human being all the forces are rotating over the base of the Holy Eight. One who wants to enter into the city of nine doors, mentioned in The Bhagavad Gita, must resolve to descend to the flaming forge of Vulcan.
In the human organism the Ninth Sphere is sex. One who wants to realize the Self has to descend to the Ninth Sphere to work with the water and the fire in order to achieve the Second Birth.
The flaming forge of Vulcan is found in the Ninth Sphere (sex). There, Mars descends in order to retemper his flaming sword and conquer the heart of Venus (the Venustic Initiation). Heracles descends in order to clean the stables of Augeas (our animal depths). Perseus descends in order to cut off the head of Medusa (the psychological “I,” or terrestrial Adam) with his flaming sword; Medusa’s head has many planted serpents which the esoteric student has to deliver to Minerva, the goddess of wisdom.
The fetus remains nine months within the maternal womb. In order for a planetary humanity to be born, nine ages are necessary in the womb of Rhea, Tonantzin, Cybele, or Mother Nature. As well, it is obvious that one has to descend into the Ninth Sphere in order to be gestated and to achieve the Second Birth.
Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God” (John 3:1-15). This refers to the building of the solar bodies. No one can enter into the Kingdom if they are dressed with lunar rags.
One has to build the solar bodies and this is only achieved by transmuting the creative energy. In Egyptian theogony, these solar bodies are represented by the Egyptian Sahu. No one has the right to sit at the table of angels if they are not dressed with the solar bodies. We have to build To Soma Heliakon, the body of gold of the solar human being.
It is written, “Narrow is the way that leadeth unto light.” Whosoever wants to follow this path, “let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (the three factors in the revolution of the consciousness: to Die, to be Born, and to Sacrifice [Mark 8:34]).
Those who want the realization of the Self must be ready to renounce everything: wealth, honor, peace, prestige, and must even give their own blood.
One must have a center of gravity, a permanent center of consciousness. Human beings are nothing but machines driven by the many “I’s,” (the pluralized ego). We are placed in a very disadvantageous situation, and this signifies that super efforts are required, as well as killing the “I.” The ego is Mephistopheles. It is the root of all our suffering and pain. It lives in accordance to its own conditioning. We have to reduce it to cosmic dust in order to have our consciousness awake, in order to see the path.
By knowing, we understand what it is to see, hear, and touch the great realities. There is a necessity to understand what is signified by “the bottom of the abyss.” When it is said that we must descend to the bottom of the abyss, that is a reality. When descending to the Ninth Sphere, we put ourselves in agreement with the planetary organism in which we live. This is by the law of concomitancies, or the law of relations. Those who work in the Ninth Sphere have descended to the bottom of their real aspect. If they have been working in the Ninth Sphere, then when they die they will see that they really live in that region (the Ninth Sphere is the center of the earth). Of course, those who will notice this will be the ones that have awakened their consciousness. We must warn the neophyte that supreme pain exists within the Ninth Sphere, just as Dante explains in his Divine Comedy. Dante states that some of the condemned have tears coagulated in their eyes, and others have the water rising up to their creative organs. One needs to know how to understand. One needs to know how to learn to suffer, to be submissive. Those who are not are the ones that fail. It is impudent to want to find happiness in the Ninth Sphere. This is because the realization of the inner Self has a price. It costs the same life.
Was it not perhaps Hiram Abiff who was assassinated and sought by twenty-seven Masters? This makes the Kabbalistic addition of 2 + 7 = 9.
There are great pains in the Ninth Sphere, up to the moment that one reaches the Second Birth. When Jesus said to Nicodemus that he had to be born again, Nicodemus did not understand. Jesus knew the great mystery. Could someone ever depart from the Ninth Sphere? Yes, when one reaches the Second Birth.
After I created To Soma Heliakon in the forge of the Cyclops (sex), I had to pass a period of profound reflection. In the residence of love, in the Temple of the Twice-born, I found other brothers and sisters that had also worked intensely in the flaming forge of Vulcan (sex). All of them were shining gloriously within the divine, indescribable enchantments of Holy Friday. We were reunited in order to comment about our struggles and pains.
We had been victorious. But, all of this is the beginning of beginnings, the foundation of foundations. There is something more about this, and it is necessary for you to be informed about it.
If a Twice-born, or someone who has reached Adepthood, is intent to reach the Angelic state, this person has to descend again to the profound well of the universe, to the Ninth Sphere. Then, when finished with that work, the Twice-born must rise up the ladder (Luciferic ladder), in order to reach the angelic state. If this being wants to be an Archangel, Principate, Throne, or Cherubim, he or she must do the same: descend in order to ascend. We must understand and distinguish between what it means to fall and what it means to descend. One who is already decapitated cannot be recapitated. On the eve of entering the Absolute, one has to descend to the Ninth Sphere.
If the Second Birth is achieved, the sexual act remains prohibited. The sexual act cannot be used at one’s will, but only if the command of the White Brotherhood (the Sacred Order) or the command of the Father who is in secret is received, and that command is to descend to the well of the abyss. One needs to obey. This is not pleasure, but pain and sacrifice.
One must descend and one must suffer upon the Luciferic ladder. We need to transform ourselves into Masters, as much as with the superior forces, as the inferior forces. The Father who is in secret commands; He knows what must be done. Only by receiving His order can one descend.
Those who fall are the only ones that lose their initiatic degrees, never those who descend. By finishing the work, the commands are received and the sexual union is not performed in a capricious way. The Father is the owner of this act and the order has to come from the Father. The sexual union does not belong to us, but to the Father.
The law of the Leviathan is the law of the Mason that has already passed all of the works or esoteric degrees. Since he is already decapitated he cannot be recapitated. This Mason cannot receive damage, neither from above, nor from below. He lives in harmony with the law, the great law. This is the superior knowledge of esoteric Masonry.
In the beginning one does one’s capricious will, then one does the will of the Father. When one does not have ego anymore the malignity will disappear and the individual will only know how to do the will of the Father. He is our own true Being; He is the Elder of the Days; He is beyond Atman. When He commands, His orders must be fulfilled.
One begins to gain liberation from the Ninth Sphere when one converts oneself into a Paramarthasattya (an inhabitant of the Absolute). Then, one submerges into the Abstract Joy. But before going there, a humiliation will occur. One needs to return to descend; otherwise one violates the law of Leviathan, the Seal of Solomon.
In the Apocalypse of the Holy Bible we also find the mysteries of the Ninth Sphere. “And I heard the number of them which were sealed, and there were sealed a hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.” [Revelation 7:4] Kabbalistically adding the numbers together, we have the number nine (144,000 = 1 + 4 + 4 = 9). This is the Ninth Sphere, sex. Only those that have reached absolute chastity will be saved.
“And I looked and lo a lamb stood on the Mount Zion and with him an hundred and forty and four thousand having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.” [Revelation 14:1] Mount Zion is the superior worlds. These numbers are symbolic numbers. Kabbalistically, we make the additions as follows 1 + 4 + 4 = 9, the Ninth Sphere, Sex. Only with the Great Arcanum can we be saved and receive the name of the Father on our forehead. The people of Zion are the spiritual people of God. These people (people of chastity) are all those that practice Sexual Magic.
Related to the new Jerusalem, “and he measured the wall thereof an hundred and forty and four thousand cubits according to the measure of a man, that is, of the Angel.” [Revelation 21:17] 1 + 4 + 4 = 9, sex. The number nine is the measurement of man, the one who is of the angel. For nine months we remain within the maternal womb. The Son of Man can only be born in the Ninth Sphere. There never was known an Angel that was not born in the Ninth Sphere.
Those who want to cut off the head of Medusa (the ego) must descend to the Ninth Sphere.
One who wants to incarnate the Christ must descend to the Ninth Sphere. One who wants to dissolve the “I” must descend to the Ninth Sphere. The Ninth Sphere is the sanctum regnum of the divine omnipotence of the Third Logos. In the Ninth Sphere we find the flaming forge of Vulcan.
Every fledgling that works in the Great Work must repose on their staff and must illuminate themselves with their own lamp and cover themselves with their sacred mantle. Every fledgling must be prudent. If you want to incarnate the Christ you must be like a lemon. Flee from lust and alcohol. Kill the most inner roots of desire.
There are abundant esoteric students who mistakenly affirm that there are numerous ways in order to reach God. But the divine, great Master Jesus said, “Because straight is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” [Matthew 7:14] If the esoteric student searches patiently through all of the four gospels, he will prove for himself that Jesus never said that there were many ways. The beloved savior of the world only spoke of one narrow door and one straight and difficult way and that way is sex. There is no other way to reach God. Never was there known in all of eternity a prophet that had known any door other than sex.
Some mistaken and confused esoteric students wrongly object to these teachings and affirm that Pythagoras, Zoroaster, Jesus, and other initiates were celibate, never having been with a woman. In all of the temples of the mysteries, sacred vestals existed. The materialists, the disrespectful ones, ones with evil intentions, arbitrarily pretended to call them “sacred prostitutes.” Albeit, these vestals were initiated virgins, esoteric virgins, even when their bodies were not physiologically virginal.The initiates of the temple, Pythagoras, Zoroaster, Jesus Christ, and all of the initiates from ancient times, without exception, indeed practiced the Arcanum A.Z.F. with the vestals of the temple. Only in the flaming forge of Vulcan could these great initiates retemper their weapons and conquer the heart of Venus.