The reason why all natural things are put together in a body is, that there may be a united composition. – Solomon Trismosin
Plate 22 is the final plate of the series, and shows a blazing red sun perched above the horizon. The land is darkened against its brilliance, but it is a pastoral scene, a river running towards a large town in the distance. The sun has humanistic features, much like the first sunken black sun that we encountered in plate 19, the first plate of the third series. The main difference between the black sun and the red sun can be found in the eye direction. The black sun looked to his right, the direction that symbolizes solar and the masculine. In the red sun, the eye direction has changed to his left. The transformed sun looks to the lunar and the feminine; it has successfully reconciled the two opposites. The black sun also looked downwards, towards the prima materia that trapped them within the earth. In the final plate the sun looks heavenwards. He has been released from the material that bound him, and has transformed into his most perfect self.
The redness of the sun represents the final stage of alchemy, the Rubedo. The yellow rays streaming from the sun represent the third stage, the Citrinitas, which immediately proceeds the final reddening. Often referred to as blooming yellow flowers, the Citrinitas is also called the solar dawning, and refers to the assimilation of the masculine and feminine.
The lunar is no longer reflecting the solar, but recognizes its own light within. In physical alchemy, it is the turning point of silver into gold, and the creation of the elusive philosopher’s stone. In spiritual alchemy it is the point of awakening and enlightenment that comes with being a fully individuated person.
And so we reach the end of this journey, having examined all 22 plates of the Splendor Solis. This voyage has informed our thinking, and we can only hope that you have found something of worth in these words and images.
If – when – we revisit this tome, we like to think we will come to it a little wiser, a little older, a little better. That seems to be the intent of the creator(s) of the Splendor Solis, an intent we hope to respect, through living, through laughing, through loving.
In the meantime, we’ll keep writing.
Thanks for reading…until our next post,