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The Song of Solomon
A Chant of the Mystic Marriage

   An ancient sage has said that "all the days of the world if added together are not so meritorious as the day on which the Song of Songs was written."

   The word Sheba, as previously noted, means seven, and Sheba's coming to Solomon constitutes the preparation for the soul delights of the Mystic Marriage which are the spiritual motif of the Song of Songs.

   For those whose eyes are opened to the true meaning of the Quest, this ancient legend of Sheba and Solomon contains many hints as to its purpose and the preparation necessary to its successful conclusion. Solomon, the Wisdom Seer, had found this Way and had learned to walk therein in preparation for the future embodiment of One who was to come as a more perfect and complete demonstration of "the Way, the Truth, and the Life." This sublime Song of Songs attributed to him sings in its inspired measures of the preparation of the Way.

   In this beautiful song the great alchemist-author has expressed in allegory the formula for making the Philosopher's Stone. The story itself is quite simple. It tells of King Solomon, who, upon visiting his vineyard on Mt. Lebanon, comes by surprise upon a fair Shulamite maiden. She flees from him. Later he visits her disguised as a shepherd and wins her love, after which he comes in state to claim her as his queen. The poem opens with a recital of their marriage in the Royal Palace.

   The Song of Solomon contains two principal characters, one masculine, the other feminine. The former bears the name Shelomah (peaceable), the other Shulamith (perfect). It is significant that both names are variations of the same root word, the termination varying to indicate the gender. Shulamith is the feminine form of Solomon. In the English translation the two characters are not differentiated as they are in Hebrew.

   The name of Solomon is also the name of God in three different languages: Sol-Om-On. In Egyptian, Hindu and Chaldean the form is Sol - Om - On. Franz Hartmann outlines most interestingly the alchemical processes given in this richly esoteric treatise. Every chapter also lends itself to an astrological interpretation, each one containing a description of one or another of the signs of the Zodiac.

   The fair Shulamite is the divine Sophia of the Ancient Wisdom, the Philosopher's Stone of the, medieval alchemists, the Beloved Lady of the Epistle of John.

   The Song of Solomon is principally a recounting of the steps or degrees which lead to the development of the Cosmic Consciousness partly evidenced in seership. These degrees, sometimes termed "veils" in the early Mystery Schools, are seven in number and are enumerated thus:

   Many pass beyond the first veil, some succeed in qualifying for the second and third degrees. "Many are called but few are chosen" at the entrance of the fourth step. Rarely indeed is one strong enough to qualify sufficiently in the degree of Detachment to pass into the higher stages. Still rarer is the exalted soul who is found worthy to enter into the mystic Illumination of the further degrees and so to hear that celestial marriage music which Solomon the Wise has woven into his Song, and to know the ecstatic reunion with that which now he finds again amid the soul rapture of complete at-one-ment upon "the mountain of spices."

   The coming of Solomon represents the beginnings of the Quest, and the arrival of the Queen the entrance into the second degree or passage through the veil of Love.

   In the long processes of evolutionary development each ego is born alternately in a masculine or feminine body so that the two poles of Spirit, which were divided in the separation of Adam and Eve, may again become equally active and potent in the egoic consciousness.

   The masculine pole of Spirit manifests as Will and the feminine as Imagination. In accordance with the predominance of one or the other is the physical body male or female. The purpose of incarnating alternately as man and woman is to teach the spirit to express increasingly the attributes of both poles simultaneously. The symbol of the New Aquarian Age is, therefore, that of the androgynous figure, which heralds the day when the spiritual androgyne will be the race type. This is already objectively demonstrated in part in the increasing freedom of women, their adoption of masculine attire and habits, and a similar trend on the part of men in the direction of the feminine privileges. Thus the biune spiritual power is being gradually but surely developed in the mass consciousness through impacts of experience, for life itself is always the supreme teacher.

   The "old soul," one who has known many earth experiences in human incarnations, if using a masculine garment will at the same time exhibit marked feminine characteristics such as gentleness, compassion, sympathy, tenderness and a deeper appreciation of the beautiful which flowers variously in the arts.

   The "old soul" in feminine incarnation has evolved many masculine characteristics, such as fearlessness, spiritual courage, a dauntless self-reliance and the attainment represented by St. Paul when he declared: "None of these things (of the outer world) move me."

   This blending of the two poles of Spirit constitutes the Mystic Marriage with which St. John opens his Gospel and its music accompanies every verse of Solomon's beautiful marriage Song. Veiled for those who are not yet ready for the Quest under the likeness of a vividly beautiful human love song, the Song of Solomon is to the illumined a revelation from the very Holy of Holies, wherein he stands face to face with the Light Eternal, now no longer seen "as through a glass, darkly," but with transcendent clearness.

   In some of the chapters King Solomon is singing to his beloved, while in others the loved one sings to him. In this antiphonic arrangement is indicated the interaction of the two poles of Spirit which express as Will (Epigenesis) and Imagination, and that together possess the potencies with which new creations come into being. In Masonry this development symbolizes the third degree, which is Knowledge.

   As previously observed, these two poles of Spirit form the two columns of all the ancient Mystery Temples in the many religions of the world. They are sometimes referred to as the Column of Strength and the Column of Beauty; also as the two columns of Victory. They form the Jachin and Boaz of the Masonic Fraternity. Always the candidate for Initiation must pass between these two columns in his search for Light.

   Solomon in his matchless Song refers in many ways and through many symbols to this blending of the two poles of Spirit, this great Balance achieved interiorly, which is the theme of the Zohar, prime repository of rabbinical esotericism.

   At the time of the separation of the sexes, the masculine aura partook of the golden glory of the Sun and the feminine of the silvery beauty of the Moon. King Solomon unites them again in the body of the Initiate, which he calls the raiment of his beloved, when he sings:

   Myrrh is a rare and fragrant plant grown in Arabia. It is very scarce and hard to procure and therefore so aptly symbolizes the soul body of the disciple which is built through living a life of loving, selfless service. Camphire, like myrrh, signifies the fragrance of this body. Those of high spiritual attainment such as certain of the saints, for instance, emit a beautiful perfume. Engedi is a Hebrew word with apparently two meanings, but when analyzed esoterically we discover that both meanings refer to the same thing. The word signifies "a goat's fountain" and also "the waters of eternal life." The goat is the pictorial symbol of Capricorn, sign of the birth of the Christ consciousness which lifts man above the limitation of death into the realization of eternal life.

   The Hebrew word for Nazareth means a flower and this flower is usually referred to as the lily. Thus, Jesus of Nazareth literally means "Jesus, the Flower" or "the Lily," that is, Jesus, the pure one. The body of the new race will be a flower body, beautiful and fragrant. Man's place in evolution is between the flower kingdom and the gods. Both the rose and the lily refer to the awakening of certain centers of spiritual power within the body of man. The rose symbolizes the positive force and the lily the negative.

   Such is the joyful song of the neophyte when he has passed through the trials and ordeals that beset the beginnings of the Path. He has been born into the true consciousness of the heaven worlds, where he walks in the light of the Sun of Spirit. This Song also celebrates the tender soul glory of the holy vernal season, when many immortal messages of the Spirit are conveyed through wise messengers who know how to use this flood tide to inundate the world-soul with powerful inspirational forces.

   The sublime Sermon on the Mount was given at the time of the Summer Solstice, and this beautiful Song of Songs at the Easter season. Jewish synagogues have retained the custom of reading the Song each year on the Sunday which occurs during the Passover and which is the Eastertide of the Christian church, the season of the Spring Equinox.

   In this lovely verse King Solomon. is sounding the keynote of purity. This high note is achieved only through chastity, conservation and transmutation. Only through regeneration can the greater and the lesser selves be reunited in the Mystic Marriage at which union the whole being exults in the ecstatic song: "My beloved is mine, and I am his; he feedeth among the lilies."

   "If the life is attuned to God every action is set to music." Both music and color form the setting of this triumphant soul chant. It breathes the fragrance of rose gardens and the deep loneliness of midnight skies studded with the light of blue-white stars.

   "My beloved is mine and I am his and he feedeth among the lilies," constitutes the chorus or sacred mantram of the Song and sounds the keynote of the Fifth Degree, Unification. This, translated literally, means that when one learns to seek God as the first and supreme Reality in life, he learns that God is seeking him with that same eager intensity, and the blending or merging of human consciousness with God-Consciousness is productive of this same ecstatic note of the soul's true awakening.

 — Corinne Heline


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