Hercules at the crossroads, Pieter Nolpe

Hercules at the crossroads

Hercules at the crossroads 850 480 V.M. Kwen Khan Khu

Dearly beloved friends:

It is with great pleasure that I send you a few lines to talk about this engraving entitled…


The artist of this beautiful engraving is Pieter Symonsz Potter ─1597-1652─, a Dutch painter active in Leiden and Amsterdam. A copy of this engraving is in the Rijksmuseum or National Museum in Amsterdam.

Hercules at the crossroads, Pieter Nolpe

This engraving, esoterically, alludes to the decision that has to be made by every aspirant to become a SOLAR MAN, in other words, by every Bodhisattva who, having already raised his seven Serpents of Fire, must clearly decide between the Dry Path of the alchemist or the Humid Path of the transmutatory art. That is why we see the Solar Hero with his characteristic mace at a crossroads.

There the aspirant to becoming a TRUE SOLAR MAN observes two paths, and in them we observe two very representative women. To the right of Hercules we find a lady carrying an open book with her. This lady has been baptized with the epithet of THE TRUTH. She is at the beginning of a narrow path along which people carry a cross on their shoulders. This image allegorizes the Direct Path or Path of Liberation. Gnosis, through the V.M. Samael Aun Weor, explains to us that such a way or path leads us to the renunciation of existence in the world of relativity in order to introduce us into the realm of liberation from the Wheel of Samsara…..

That path, esteemed readers, ends in front of a castle, which is nothing else than the abode of the BEING, our Father who is in secret.

The lady to whom we are alluding wears a sun on her chest. Such a sun represents light in every way. There is no doubt that this lady is Stella Maris, our dear inner Mother.

Near the Divine Eternal Feminine, leaning on a wall, floating, an angel appears offering a palm branch –a symbol of victory– auguring triumphs for Hercules on his journey.

Having said that, at this point we could ask ourselves why Hercules, who represents the SOLAR MAN, is shown before the Path of Liberation and before the other path that leads to perdition –or involution– and not to Nirvana.

ANSWER: Because what the artist has wanted to show esoterically is, precisely, that the Nirvanic Path itself is part of RELATIVITY, and the only way to free ourselves from all RELATIVITY is to absorb ourselves into the profundities of the TALIDAD. This is what is written in the Pistis Sophia unveiled by our Avatar: V.M. Samael Aun Weor. Many nirvanis who have later on wanted to return to the three-dimensional world to work for humanity, have been betrayed by the tentacles of the inner Beast, they have lost their values and have been converted again into individuals tied to the wheel of fatalities –namely: Samsara–, their psychological aggregates have resurrected in them and, finally, they have ended up involuting. That is the crude reality.

On the other side, another woman can be seen wearing a headdress on her head made of ostrich feathers. This lady is dressed with many material attributes in her garments. The aforesaid lady has been called THE DECEPTION. This woman points with her left hand to a globe that symbolizes our world, giving us to understand that the vast majority of the souls who live in this planetary orb are, certainly, captured by illusionism or deception.

Behind this other woman we see a demon speaking in her ears. Such a demon is the living representation of our animal Ego, which we already know to be manifold in its manifestation.

In the background on this other path represented by this woman we can see a couple walking with various demons that are sounding the drums of death, and there at the end of it we can see some violent flames that clearly indicate to us the flames of hell or involution. We can also see there at the end of this tenebrous path a circle made up of some people. This circle alludes to all the lost souls.

It is good to note that at the feet of this pretentious lady we see objects representative of vanity, pleasure, etc., etc., everything that keeps the multitudes clinging to the vicious circle of the Wheel of Samsara. That is why we die and then we are reborn in this valley of tears to again repeat our egoic foolishness.

Let us reflect, illustrious reader, on these images that confirm to us the need to define ourselves either for the paths of good or for the paths of evil.

─‘Do not give in to evil’─.