Interpreting symbolic imagery is an art-form that only comes from an in-depth knowledge of the principles being illustrated. I wanted to use this famous Egyptian/Sumerian hieroglyph as the means of demonstrating how to translate symbolic imagery, because I have seen many instances where it was translated very poorly, or in a completely inaccurate way. We have a natural tendency to try and interpret ancient ideologies using our “modern paradigms” for understanding, instead of embracing the paradigm of those who wrote them. I’ve heard many say that the ancients just drew what they were seeing, and their writing should be taken literally as a result, and this imply isn’t true. Hieroglyphs were a universal language that illustrated ideas as principles in a way that could be conceptualized, which is the key factor to learning, and which could be interpreted equally by any race or culture. Due to the fact that they had to be interpreted, every single person formed a unique interpretation of the same idea.
One of the primary reasons for inaccurate interpretations is probably due to the fact that they don’t understand the imagery associated with occult sciences, which is the universal language of the ancient world. In ancient cultures around the world, the “soul” was a primary idea and what created the entire reality and life experiences of the human being. This particular piece is very rich in the symbolism that explains and describes how the Soul works on multiple levels simultaneously to create the illusion of reality as the means of gaining knowledge of itself through “experiences” of itself produced by both an inner and outer reality of the same nature. The only way we truly “know anything” is through experience, and in order to gain knowledge of our self we have to create experiences of our self.
I’m just going to give a basic interpretation of the symbolic concepts being illustrated, and allow you to fill in the blanks in whatever way makes sense to you. All symbolic imagery forms a “living language” that has to be interpreted in order to be understood, and every person forms a unique interpretation based on their level of knowledge and awareness. One of the things to always keep in mind is that in all symbolic compositions meant to represent a whole or greater idea, every single aspect used to compose it is a corresponding attribute and quality of the whole idea. This means that every shape, feature, number, color, quality, characteristic, and attribute has a specific purpose in communicating an important part of the greater idea. It’s this feature that gave us the saying that “a picture is worth a thousand words”. Symbolic imagery is the only language that’s universal in nature and can be equally understood by everyone while forming a unique variation of the same idea. From a spiritual perspective, we’re all meant to not only be individuals in our own right, but to create our experience of reality in a way that’s unique to us as a personalized version of a universal concept.
The first thing you always want to notice is the overall idea being illustrated through the composition of the whole piece. This image shows a large figure communicating with three smaller figures of the same nature (they all look alike) on a different level (dimension) and scale (size). The large figure sits on a square cube behind a wall or barrier that’s decorated with a motif that symbolizes polar opposites joined at the base, situated between two vertical pillars that are held together by a linear base and an overhead canopy or plane. The large figure rests on the upper plane of the cube and is a unification of the polar opposites which serve as its foundation and throne. A square or cube represents material reality as the organization of the four elements that make up the soul’s “constitution”, and are what forms the basis for the reality of the soul as its outer projection.
The larger figure represents the “higher self” as the human soul that forms and administers the entire material plane as a projection. Its headdress is shaped like a cone with five-waves of energy that symbolizes the third-eye and the transmission, reception, and transduction of energy through the ether (5), where it flows in waves through the hair, beard, and garment, and down through the base or linear foundation on which the whole idea rests, and up into the garment of the smaller figure that’s opposite of it on the other side of the barrier. There are seven primary waves or levels of energy flowing through the foundation and are what “inform” the reality of the three smaller figures on the other side of the barrier. The barrier appears as a wall that’s comprised of 33 layers or joints (spine has 33 vertebrae) whose foundation (base ornament) is polar (twin spiraling serpents), and whose capstone is triune. These 7 waves are adorned with 4 circles that enclose an 8 pointed star, and are spaced evenly in a way that represents the relationship of Phi (Golden Mean and the Law of Thirds) as the part being proportionately the same as the whole (halving and doubling) by how they’re positioned in relation with the upper plane that rises out of it.
In the right hand of the Soul is a circle and rod, which represents the yoni (womb) and the phallic (seed), which are made out of the same thing formed into complementary shapes (shape always indicates function). This is also the basis for the Monad, which is symbolized as a sphere with a rod or staff vertically emerging from the center. This is also commonly symbolized by an egg with a serpent wrapped around it, and a “solar disk” as the circular head dress of certain deities resting in a chalice formed by a serpent, with a tail coming out of the back side and a head coming out of the front.
The pineal gland of the brain looks like a serpents head and tail when viewed in its natural state within the brain. Above the head of the Soul and forming the foundation for the canopy overhead, is three symbols that represent the Moon (Mother), Solar Sun (son) and the Cosmic Sun (Father). The left hand holds the beard through which the signal is being transmitted, which resembles a pillar, through which cosmic energy is being translated by the Soul. Both arms are bent in such a way they form a right angle, and where the pillar (phallic) rests in the lap (womb), and the posture of the whole body also forms a right angle. The higher Soul is a hermaphrodite, where feminine and masculine aspects exist in a balanced and harmonious state.
The rod that rises out of the foundation forms a backdrop that extends up forming a right angle that hangs over the top of the barrier (resembles the corpus callosum of brain), and has a smaller version of the same figure as “dual aspects”, represented by 2 heads and set of arms and hands that are holding and controlling the 2 cords used to hang the “solar disc” on the other side of the wall. All three profiles of the higher self are of the left side of the face (associated with Chokmah), and all three of the smaller images are of the right side (polar opposite as a mirror image) of the same figure (associated with Binah). The cord is formed by two pieces wound in a spiraling motion and forms a triangle shape that also forms a right angle (Pythagorean Triangle). The disk rests on a holder or cradle on the table, which is formed out of the same motif as the cube throne and wall, representing polarity (two spirals orientated in opposite directions, resting on 2 horizontal (parallel) planes) and a base with 10 parts (universal laws). The table has 2 legs (pillars) bound together and strengthened by a cross-brace on the underside and top of the table on the upper side. A table top represents a “plane” of existence.
The solar disc, also called Shemesh, is associated with Tiphareth on the Tree of Life (Sun) as the Higher Self or true human soul that never incarnates into the physical realm because it’s what’s “creating and orchestrating” the “entire” physical plane from a higher dimension. The Solar Disc represents the Monad, the 4 elements and cardinal signs, 3 emanations that rise out of them (also at a right angle), and the archetypes of the zodiac, which form, govern, and operate the physical plane. The circle with a smaller (sometimes shown as invisible or empty) center, is divided into four solid points that resemble the 4 corners of the Earth on a compass, the 4 seasons of time as a transition between opposites, and the 3 waves that emanate from the combination (relationship) of pairs, which together form a “whole” as the expression of 12 archetypal energies that arise out of 4 cardinal signs or Elements. It’s comprised of 4 emanations that sit at a right angle to 4 material Elements, forming an 8 pointed star. There’s a distinct relationship between 3 and 4, one representing the mind, the other the material world which is formed by the mind as a mirror image and reflection into a parallel plane. 8 represents an octave which is formed out of 7 notes (3+4=7) as a “whole scale”. The cosmic disc is represented by 8 emanations, whereas the solar disc is 4 emanations at right angles to 4 solid triangles, representing the emanations of the Father made manifest through the son.
The disc is a “mirror image” and projection of the Higher Self on a parallel plane (the left side of the face is shown on the large image, and the right side of the same image on the parallel plane), and can only be “seen” or “known” through the “whole reality” of the individual within that plane. The lower soul can never look upon the “face of God” (its creator), because in order to do so you’d have to die and enter into the same plane. We can only know our Higher Self as God by looking within at the thoughts being transmitted and absorbed by our subconscious (wavelengths being transmitted and conceived), which produces the basis for our outer experience of reality. This is the same idea that’s conveyed through the image of a bearded god (ancient of days) that’s emerging out of a “winged disc” that has 4 layers of horizontal feathers and 3 layers of vertical tail feathers, with two legs and spiral feet, commonly thought to represent a UFO.
The 3 smaller figures of the same character and appearance of the Higher Self, represent the 3 aspects of the mind, self, and soul, commonly referred to as the subconscious, self-conscious, and etheric double, which is what forms the template or blueprint for producing the entire plane of material existence as a mirror image of itself. The subconscious is the aspect of our self that exists in direct contact with our higher self and receives instructions on what to create through mental imagery. The small image that’s the furthest away from the larger one is the one that’s receiving direct transmission through the underlying foundation on which the whole scene rises out of.
Both arms of the figure receiving the transmission from the Higher Self are raised to the higher self, and in the middle figure one arm is raised to the Higher Self, while the other holds a torch in the left hand that’s being held by the right hand of the third figure, showing a transmission of knowledge through the direct connection of complementary opposites (polarity). The third figure holds the table, representing the plane of material reality that the original projection serves to in-form. The cap on each of the succeeding figures gets smaller and more rounded, losing its cone shape. The Higher Self has a cap with 5 parts (ether) and the receiving aspect of the lower self has 4 parts (material manifestation). The transmission of knowledge takes place through a sequence of correlated stages that are all polar aspects of each other as an outgrowth of the same thing. The passive acts as a receiver for the active force of the same nature, and once it’s impregnated with the idea given to it by the active component, gestates and grows it into a reality as its offspring.
The basic idea being illustrated here is the Law of 3 in 1, or the One that has 3 aspects that perform different functions in creating the same thing. This is what’s called the “3-fold nature of the mind and soul”, and the 3 dimensions that make up physical reality as a 4th (unified) whole. The stature of the higher soul is larger because it contains all three aspects of the lower soul. All of what we experience as reality is a projection of our higher mind and is designed to acquire knowledge of it “self” through the “experiences” it creates of itself. Our Soul doesn’t just create our physical body as a specialized design that it then inhabits as a means of experiencing itself in the physical world, it’s the One creating the appearance of reality as a mirror image and projection of itself as both an inner and outer, and as a self and other. We can only “know” our true self through our “whole reality” which is necessary in order to create experiences of our self. We are not a body as a single aspect within a greater whole, but the whole itself. We are the one creating reality as a mental projection (step down process) from a parallel plane through the universal principle of polarity.
The Soul creates itself as a reality through the principle of complementary opposites that form 3 planes simultaneously as an upper and lower that are brought together in a unified state by a “middle”, and forms an inner and outer reality that are unified as an “experience”. This idea is illustrating what’s referred to as the Tetragrammaton in Esoteric Sciences, and the Tetrad (4 as a cube) in Sacred Geometry, both of which illustrate the process of creation. This is the process through which we’re “seeded” with an idea from our Higher Self (will), which is translated into a physical form in our imagination and developed with attributes and sensations, to produce an outer reality of the same nature. Everything comes about as a polar movement between passive and active aspects of the same thing, where an invisible idea as a frequency (pattern) is transmitted through the ether and received by the third-eye of its complementary aspect, and forms an internal image that becomes active as a blueprint for creating on that plane. The Will of our Higher Self forms the basis for all of our thoughts which are developed through sensory detail and give rise to complementary emotions, which form the basis for all material activity.
We can’t experience our self while in a unified state, and so duality is necessary in order to create a 3-D reality that we use as the means of experiencing ourselves in relation with our self as another and a greater whole. The ancients were obsessed with the “soul” because in reality, the Soul is all there is. Our Soul, like our mind, has three inherent aspects that all perform different functions in creating the same thing. This idea is commonly represented by a divine being with 3 heads or faces, usually with a larger center one, and two smaller ones on each side, and in Sacred Geometry by the triangle or pyramid, which has 3 faces and points, one of which is exalted in the center, and two which are parallel to each other on the same plane as its foundation. The upper forms the basis for the lower and descends into the lower sphere of consciousness through a right angle. The upper is symbolized by a vertical line or column (phallic) and the lower is symbolized by a horizontal line that’s the reflection of the upper. An “L” or “V” shape is used to represent the same line formed as a reflection or shadow image of itself.
Dr. Linda Gadbois