Stories > Splendor Solis > Plate 17 - The White Queen (Mercury)
Within a crowned flask with open top, the white-crowned, bare-breasted Queen stands holding an orb and sceptre within a golden egg-shaped aura with an inner yellow band and outer blue band. She stands on a deflated solar face. Her sceptre is the same as the ones held by Ahasueros in Plate 5 and the King saved from drowning in Plate 7. The chariot of Mercury with caduceus wand and sickle (a reference to Saturn) is drawn by two cocks. The wheels represent Virgo and Gemini. Mercurial scenes depicted: masons, geometers, geographers, scholars, and musicians. (Stephen Skinner's Splendor Solis commentary)
The White Queen vs The Nobody
"This scene of city life and industry is a fitting representation of what we mean by the activities animated by the Logos Principle. Here the focus is not on interpersonal relating but upon an inner capacity for work, the performance of skilled tasks with joy and inspiration in a context ruled by a principle of discipline."
"The beautiful queen in the alembic corresponds psychologically to the Creative Feminine. In particular, she may personify the 'muse' in creative men, which can feel to them a very personal relationship."
"The life force is manifest within the individual, who lives in a loving relationship to the feminine qualities of grace, patience, wisdom, and creativity. When these themes emerge in analysis, the patient may search for a more suitable vocation or feel the need of a change from one form of creative activity to another."
My drawing of the Nobody may represent the flip side of artists or performers who create and explore their art in the shadow, away from the crowds. Or it may be creators who operate in the background, supporting the stars, but staying out of the spotlight, similarly to the muse. In a more general sense, it is an expression of the archetype of emptiness, of the well, which can be either a source of inspiration or a place to hide or fall into. In a person this may mean an humble attitude, a desire for privacy, or the feeling of being an imposter. (The symbolism was inspired by the Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami)
Note: the quotes in italic are from the book by J.L. Henderson and D.N. Sherwood, Transformation of the Psyche: The Symbolic Alchemy of the Splendor Solis

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