Double Headed Eagle
by J. Augustus Knapp commissioned by Manly P. Hall for The Secret Teachings
"Here is depicted the Supreme Hierophant, Master of the double Holy Empire of the superior and the inferior universes. The ancient emblem of equilibrium consisted of an androgynous body surmounted by two heads, one male and the other female, wearing a single imperial crown. That being alone is perfect in which all opposites are reconciled, and this state of perfection is appropriately typified by the two heads of equal dignity. Hence the double-headed eagle is reserved as the emblem of completion, for it signifies the Philosopher's Stone, the ultimate soul condition, and that absolute and transcendent perfection which arises only from the fullest unfoldment of the latent potentialities within the individual. Philosophically, the thirty-third degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite represents the innermost sanctuary of Masonic mysticism. If the double-headed eagle, the symbol of that sublime degree, were endowed with the power of speech it would say:
'Only he may wear me in whom there is no guile: in whom all passion has been transmuted into compassion, all natural ignorance into divine wisdom, all selfishness into selflessness; for I am an ancient and sacred emblem of all greatness, all perfection, and all truth. I represent a spiritual condition, a mental attitude, a physical state attained only by the elect of earth. I am the symbol of the illumined and transfigured soul which has been born again and has approached the throne of Divinity. I am the symbol of the gatekeeper, for with one face I behold the radiant countenance of my Creator and with the other the expanse of the universe which He has fashioned. Upon my strong pinions of intuition and reason men have ascended to a position betwixt heaven and earth. He in whom I spread my wings is more than a man yet less than a god; therefore he is a god-man. I clutch between my talons the flaming cherubimic sword, the flaming spirit-fire with which the miracle of my existence was wrought. I am the symbol of the initiator who through the ages carries Ganymedes into the presence of the gods upon his back.'" –Manly P. Hall, The Secret Teachings of All Ages
image size ~ 11" x 17"
image size ~11" x 17"