As the tenth illustration represents the final liberation of the Divine Man from his physical limitations, so the eleventh depicts the attempt of the intellect to break away from bondage to the animal soul. The powerful man with his girdle and helmet of iron, and his crest of red plumes, is the Demiurgus or Regent of the physical world, the governor of the senses and appetites. He is attempting to bind the spiritualized intellect to the rock of ignorance. The handsome youth bearing the caduceus, is the philosophized intellect. The mastery of thought, which makes the mind a servant of the spiritual self, is the eleventh step of the old rite.
The whole phenomenal Universe against which the neophyte has struggled through his eleven strange and arduous adventures is personified in the red-plumed man. Here the world is making its last effort to hold the escaping superman. The effort is vain. No chains forged of earth can restrain or bind the Philosophical Mercury. We are told that in the alchemical processes this subtle essence can seep through an iron vessel (the warrior)—or through glass or porcelain—and vanish, in spite of every effort to capture its quintessence.
The eleventh figure contains numerous extraordinary and impressive hieroglyphics. The characters on the shield include a crossed scythe and sceptre—signifying death and resurrection, or mortality and sovereignty. There is also the axe-blade, the hieroglyph of the hewer, the builder, or the geometrician. The smaller hieroglyphics mean egg and cave, and the lunar crescent may symbolize either a lunar quarter or a gateway. These symbols unquestionably refer to steps in the initiatory drama.
The words in the panel at the top of the figure may be translated: “To be the sign of the Leg with Everlastingness, to pour out and to be the herald of destruction.” The thought is evidently prophetic, referring to the destruction of the unrighteous in the sign of Aquarius, the constellation which rules the eleventh section of the work.
The writing below the figures is purely mystical: “It is given that the evil shall be trodden out in the sixth portico.” The soul, in its spiritual cycle of regeneration, crosses from the lower to the upper hemisphere of the zodiac at the end of the sixth sign, Virgo, or the Virgin. This virgin is the mother of the Messiahs. As physical generation begins in Aries, so the generation of the wise begins with the Mother (the Mysteries) from whom they are born into the celestial hemisphere. The old order cannot proceed beyond the sixth gate, for the seventh is that of the new man or the second birth—a mystery hinted at in our inscription.
~from “The Most Holy Trinosophia of the Comte de St.-Germain,” incarnated watcher, “fallen angel.” Commentary by Manly P. Hall