Heinrich Khunrath, Ampitheatrum Sapientiae Aeternae (Hamburg, 1595). The figure of the hermaphrodite as a metaphor for the dualistic nature of the universe. The black peacock labelled “AZOTH” leads us deeper into Hermetic territory. Azoth was the hypothesized universal solvent, the “ultimate substance” which could transform all elements. Here it seems to be used to convey the union of male and female (and of all elements) which would allow the corporeal human form to transcend to a divine plane (note the symbol of the trinity above the peacock feathers, which resemble diagrams of the celestial spheres). Read more.
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