Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition
No. 12, Vol. 2. Vernal Equinox 2007
Appendix II: Notes to Dee’s Monas Hieroglyphica
by Vincent Bridges
The Monas is the most brilliantly simple of any explanation I have ever read of sacred geometry.
Theorems I – X can be attributed to the sephira, as expanding mathematical symbols/concepts. Theorem XI is Daat, gnosis, and points to the precession of the equinox as the key knowledge. Theorem XII – XV deal with the effects of the planets and their arrangement within the Monas/Tree. XVI and XVII concern the 252/LVX connection with the Cross. XVIII is the core of astro-alchemy. XIX seems an odd throw-away aphorism, but is actually very profound. XX returns to the Cross, and the mysteries of three, four and seven. XXI and XXII contain the secret of practical, ceremonial alchemy. XXIII is the high point, where he ties it all together, and XXIV is the coda, pointing just in case we din’t get it, to St. John of Revelation...
Notice the significance of Theorems XVII and XXIII.
XVII introduces the LVX of the Golden Dawn’s (GD) later analysis of the key word and supplies the Tantric key up front, although I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone comment on it. The number 252, which Dee extracts from the Cross figure, is the number, as Dee must have known, of the Hebrew word serpent’s den. In XXIII, Dee equates it with the fermentation of the Philosopher’s Stone. In his introductory letter to Max the Emp, Dee spells it out: “There is present, hidden in the most central point of our Hieroglyphic Monad, a terrestrial [physical] body, How this body may be activated by Divine force, the monad teaches without words. When activated, it copulates in a perpetual marriage with the sun and the moon – even if before this, whether in heaven or elsewhere, the sun and moon were completely separate from this body.” He goes onto say that after such an activation, the new monadic body “can receive no further nourishment on its native soil, and no drink, until the fourth, and truly great, metaphysical revolution is completed.”
The fourth revolution is the passing of the fourth age of the Great Year of precession. The hermetic tradition, as opposed to the central American worldview, saw the cycle as four great Ages of roughly six thousand years each. According to Trithemius and Joachim of Flores, these ages were composed of seven archangelic periods organized in a three fold, overlapping wave. This is essentially the magickal and prophetic world view of Nostradamus, who used it time events from his time to beyond ours. There are many different systems for counting the reign of each archangel, Trithemius was vague on that point, but I like the version extracted from the Arbetal by Dr. Rudd where the Olympic spirits are each given precise time periods. Using this version, Dee and Nostradamus agree with Fulcanelli and the Maya. Dee knows this, and many of his plays on “mercury” and luna existens, viva point to the fact. His time period was focused on the shift from Och to Haggith, Sun to Venus, while the coming new age, our time period, roughly 2010, is the shift from Haggith to Ophiel, or Venus to Mercury, which closes out this six thousand year age and begins the next.
Theorem XVIII shows how well Dee understood this aspect. The egg diagram shows the order of the angelic ages, with the inner egg showing the extent of the Christian era, Joachim of Flores’ age of the Sun/Son.
Theorem XXII is the practical end of things, and should be read in conjunction the GD material on alchemy, particularly Mathers’ “Z2: The Formulae of the Magic Light.” The adepti should note the similarities between the altar in the GD version and Dee’s example in theorem XXII.