For the Naassenes Paradise was a quaternity parallel with the Moses quaternio and of similar meaning.
Its fourfold nature consisted in the four rivers, Pison, Gihon, Hiddekel, and Phrat.
The serpent in Genesis is an illustration of the personified treenumen; hence it is traditionally represented in or coiled round the tree.
It is the tree’s voice, which persuades Eve—in Luther’s version—that “it would be good to eat of the tree, and pleasant to behold that it is a lusty tree.”
In the fairytale of “The Spirit in the Bottle,” Mercurius can likewise be interpreted as a tree numen.
In the Ripley “Scrowle” Mercurius appears as a snake in the shape of a Melusina descending from the top of the Philosophical Tree (“tree of knowledge”).
The tree stands for the development and phases of the transformation process, and its fruits or flowers signify the consummation of the work.
In the fairytale Mercurius is hidden in the roots of a great oak-tree, i.e., in the earth.
For it is in the interior of the earth that the Mercurial serpent dwells. ~Carl Jung, CW 9, Aion, Page 235, Para 372.
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