Behind the boy is a tree on fire, which is a reference of the Burning Bush of the Old Testament. The Burning Bush is of great importance in Masonic ritual, especially for the 33rd degree, whose members are considered to be “near the Burning Bush”.
“In the third Exodus it is record that, while Moses was keeping the flock of Jethro on Mount Horeb, “the angle of Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush”, and there communicated to him for the first time his Ineffable Name. This occurrence is commemorated in the Burning Bush of the Royal Arch Degree. In all systems of antiquity, fire is adopted as a symbol of Deity; and the Burning Bush, or the bush filled with fire which did not consume, whence came forth the Tetragrammaton, the symbol of Divine Light and Truth, is considered in the advanced degrees of Freemasonry, like the Orient in the lower, as the great source of true Masonic light; wherefore Supreme Councils of the Thirty-Third Degree date their balustres or official documents, “near the B.B.” or Burning Bush, to intimate that they are, in their own rite, the exclusive source of all Masonic instruction”.
– Albert G. Mackey, Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, Part 1
In the background is an Egyptian pyramid, the ultimate symbol of the Mysteries in occult teachings.
A strange feature of the painting is the woman apparently trapped inside a transparent cube, hanging from threads coming from the sky. Does she represent the common man, stuck in the confines of the material world (occultly represented by the cube) and manipulated by unseen the forces from above?