But of this secret mercury; if you desire,
the secret for to learn, attend to me:
For this is a water which yet is fire,
which conquers bodies from their degree,
and makes them fly much like a spirit pure,
and this after fixing all flames to endure.
This water it doth flow from a fourfold spring,
which is but three, which two, and which but one,
is the only bath to bathe our king,
This is our maydew, this our flying stone;
our bird of Hermes in the mountains flying,
and without voice or note is always crying.
“When Christ the corner-stone, stirreth himself in the extinguished image of man, in his hearty conversion and repentance, then Virgin Sophia appeareth in the stirring of the Spirit of Christ, in the extinguished Image, in her Virgines attire before the soule: at which the soule is so amazed and astonished in its uncleanesse, that all its sinnes immediately awake in it, and tremble and shake before her. For then the judgement passeth upon the sinnes of the soule, so that it even goeth backe in its unworthiness, and is ashamed in the presence of its faire love, and entereth into it selfe, denying it selfe as utterly unworthy to receive such a jewell. This is understood by them who are our Tribe, who have tasted this jewell, and to none else. But the noble Sophia draweth neare in the essence of the soule, and kisseth it friendly, and tinctureth the darke fire of the soule with her Rayes of love, and shineth through the soule with her Kisse of love: then the soule skippeth in its body for great joy, in the strength of this Virgin-love, triumphing, and praying the great God, in the strength of the noble Sophia.”
In winter when the frosty nights are long
And sedge is stiff about the frozen meres,
One night above a volume of old song
Of legendary loves and magic fears
Sweetened by long elapse of slumbering years,
I nodded in the frosty firelight beam
And fell on sleep and straightway dreamed a dream.
I thought it was a luminous summer night,
And in the star-flecked welkin overhead
A fading sickle of soft golden light
Its wonder over all the landscape spread,
While fleecy clouds athwart its paleness sped:
Ten thousand thousand points of light did peep
Out of the boundless heaven’s velvet deep.
It goes without saying that nobody initiates anyone else, if we understand by ‘initiation’ the Mystery of the Second Birth or the Great Sacrament. This Initiation is operative from above and has the value and the duration of eternity. The Initiator is above, and here below one meets only the fellow pupils; and they recognise each other by the fact that they “love one another” (John xiii, 34-45)
There are no longer any more ‘masters’ because there is only one sole Master, who is the Initiator above. To be sure, there are always masters who teach their doctrines and also initiates who communicate some of the secrets which they possess to others who thus become in turn their ‘initiates’, but this has nothing to do with the Mystery of the Great Initiation.
For this reason Christian Hermeticism, in so far as it is a human concern, initiates no one. Amongst Christian Hermeticists nobody assumes for himself the title and the function of ‘initiator’ or ‘master’. For all are fellow pupils and each is master of each in some respect – just as each is a pupil of each other in some other respect.
Our feeling was that we were living in “Bible times”, which in reality had never ceased, nor ever do cease, except for those who are devoid of the spiritual consciousness, and for these those times never begin and have no existence.
The revelation is perpetual, and the power to receive it is natural to man, requiring no miracle. That he fails to receive it is through defect, not of constiution, but of condition, being self-induced by his habits of life and thought.
Anna Kingsford: Her Life, Letters, Diary and Work, Edward Maitland