From this proceeds duality, the principle of opposition represented by two, the passive principle pre-eminent. Three is the neuter principle pre-eminent. But these three principles all reduce themselves into the fourth, which merely represents a new acceptation of the Unity as an active principle. This sequence of numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4, representing the active, the passive, the neuter, and a second active principle, corresponds in all points with the series of the letters of the sacred name, so that the latter may be thus written The sequence of the numbers, or the sequence of the letters, therefore, resolves itself definitely into the following data We shall presently return to the origin of this marvellous conception of the human mind, but for the present we must confine ourselves to the dissection of the machine, and to displaying its mysterious arrangement.
We shall now unveil this wonderful construction, which confirms in its application the universal law of analogies. The explanations which follow may appear dry to some persons; but they must remember that we are now giving them an almost infallible key to the ancient or occult science; and they will understand that they must open the door of the sacred arch for themselves. Let us now take one of the packets of fourteen cards and analyze its construction.
The packet consists of 4 figures: the king, queen, knight, and knave, and of ten cards which simply bear numbers. Lastly, the knave represents the 4th term of this sequence, which may be figured in this way Let us now study these numbers. Since this law is also applicable to the four figures, we can make a comparison based on the following proposition If we now group all the numbers of the sequence according to the letter of the tetragrammaton, to which they are analogous, we shall find Between what? We have already studied both the figures and the numbers separately, let us now see what connection exists between the figures and the numbers.
The series 1, 2, 3, 4 represents the emanation of the sequence king, queen, knight, knave in the divine world. Each of these parts can subdivide itself into three others, as the numbers indicate. Let us, however, return to our deduction, and by summing up the results obtained, we shall find Supplied with these data, let us continue our study, and apply the same principle to the other cards. The laws which we have defined for the constitution of one colour, apply in the same way to the other three colours. But when we consider the four colours of the Tarot, new deductions will be called forth.
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We must remember that these four colours are: the Sceptre, the Cup, the Sword, and the Money or Pentacles. The authors who have philosophically studied the Tarot are all unanimous in asserting the analogy that exists between the tetragrammaton and the four colours. We must pause one moment to notice the analogy, between these letters and the symbols of the Christian religion.
The series which we have studied in one colour is defined equally strictly in the four colours regarded as a whole, thus Let us then arrange all the cards according to their affinities, and we shall obtain the following results In each of the quarters, the cards that are analogous to the letters of the tetragrammaton will radiate from the centre. See the diagram on page opposite. The figures have the same connection with the colours as the numbers have with the figures. The sequence of the figures is reproduced in the three worlds by the numbers; the same thing takes place in the sequence of colours: Sceptre, Cup, Sword, Pentacles are reproduced in the figures.
And just as each colour has a complete whole, formed of a body, of a soul, and of a mind or vital force, so the four colours form a complete whole thus composed We can only point out the very instructive affinities shown in these figures; they can be carried to a great length. We need only compare this last diagram, which represents the four colours, with the first, which depicted one only, to see at once that the law upon which these two diagrams are constructed is the same, only that the applications of it are varied.
THE fundamental difference which exists between the minor and major arcana, is that in the latter the figures and numbers are united, whilst in the former they are distinct.
There are 22 major arcana, but one of them bears a 0, so that, in reality, there are only 21 great or major arcana. Most of the authors who have studied the Tarot have devoted all their attention to these 22 cards, without noticing the others, which, however, contain the real key to the system. But how are we to define the limits of these series? Each card of the minor arcana bears a symbol which easily connects it with the whole scheme Sceptre, Cup, Sword, or Pentacles ; it is different in this case.
Besides the symbol, each card expresses an idea. This idea is already a better guide, for it is easier to classify than the symbol; but this guide does not yet offer all the security that we could desire, for it may be read differently by various persons. The number is certainly the most reliable element, the easiest to follow in its evolutions; it is, therefore, the number that will guide us; and through it we shall discover the two other terms.
Let us now recall our explanation of the numbers, and we shall easily define the series of the major arcana. However, from the commencement we must make one great reservation. The numbers 1, 2, 3, 4 at once indicate the classification to be adopted and the nature of the terms. This 4th arcanum corresponds to the Knave and to the 10 of the minor arcana, and becomes Yod in the next or following series.
The active term 1 is at the head of the triangle, the two other terms are at the other angles. The 4 representing the Yod, therefore, acts with regard to 5 and 6, as the 1 acted with regard to 2 and 3, and we obtain another ternary. The 7 acts here as the 4 acted previously, and the same rule applies to all the series in the arcana.
The two ternaries, positive and negative, will balance each other to give birth to a second septenary and to its term of transition But if the two ternaries respectively act as positive and negative, why should not the two septenaries do the same? We should have therefore, definitely Yet each septenary contains one term which belongs to the preceding septenary, and one which belongs to the following septenary. Thus the 7 is the 7th term of the first septenary and the 1st term of the second. The last numbered card, which ought correctly to bear the number 22 or its Hebrew correspondent , closes the Tarot by a marvellous figure, which represents its constitution to those who can understand it.
We will return to it presently. Therefore, in the major arcana, the great law is thus definitely represented. See next page. Finally, the last ternary indicates the passage from the creative and providential World to the created and fatal world. This connection is found in the general affinities of the four letters of the tetragrammaton. The signs which follow each card in the preceding lists define the exact value of the card. One example will suffice to make this clearly understood. The same rule applies to the sub-divisions of these terms.
Each of the letters of the tetragrammaton governs one quarter of the circle which contains its affinities. The symbols should therefore exactly follow the evolution of the numbers, and this we shall find them do. However, as we shall now study each of the cards of the Tarot in turn, and as the reader's attention may be a little diverted by all these details, we have determined to commence by a short introduction to the study of the symbolism of the Tarot, an introduction in which we shall say a few words upon the grouping of the symbols.
This point explained, we can pass on to further details, which we shall terminate by a synthetic recapitulation. We thus hope to obtain the greatest possible light upon these difficult subjects. This law is thus represented We must therefore first define the four primitive terms in our symbols, which form the law exactly applicable to the whole symbolism. And, in fact, we find these four terms in our four first cards; the general sense of these terms being We shall see that this law applies exactly to each of the cards which possess three meanings.
A superlative or Divine meaning. A comparative or Magic-Astral meaning. A positive or Physical meaning, responding, to a transition. Lastly, the fourth card is a term of transition between the preceding series and the one that follows it. The symbolic series of the Tarot is therefore completely represented by the four first cards, exactly as the numerical sequence is represented by the four first numbers.
Reflex of the first. We can thus determine the meaning of the arcana 4, 5, 6, 7 in the three worlds, since we know the meaning of the arcana 1, 2, 3, 4. But if the second ternary is the reflex of the first, the same rule applies to the septenaries. All the cards of the second septenary will therefore be the symbolical reflection of those of the first. All the cards of the third septenary are representatives of the third term, or of transformation. The Divine Osiris-Brahma, or the Father. The three first arcana will therefore give the sense of all the others according to the following figure:.
This figure is very important, for it enables us to see at once the symbolical value of any card in the Tarot, by working in the following way It is therefore necessary to give further explanations. To obtain the origin and derivation of any card in the Tarot, it suffices to take the third card before it, and the third card after it. The 5th arcanum universal life therefore unites the two opposites. The passage of the vivifying fluid 4 into love 6 is performed through the medium of universal life 5.
Since each card of the Tarot has three meanings, it is easy to philosophize by means of our pack, without taking too much trouble about it. Another result of this rule is, that each card of the Tarot has a complementary in any card bearing a number which, added to its own, gives a total of The 11th arcanum reflected and transitory life therefore forms the transition between the 1st arcanum creative principle and the 21st arcanum universal generation.
To find the card that serves as complementary to any other, we must therefore subtract the number of the card in question from We have made this digression because all these details will be most useful to us presently. We can now return to the study of our major arcana. Let us once more recall the manner in which the four first arcana have given us the key to the symbolism of all the others, according to their affinities with the sacred word, as follows As we have already stated, each card of the Tarot represents a symbol, a number, and an idea.
We have endeavoured to avoid empiricism as far as possible in the course of these explanations; and therefore we first studied the numbers, for they are the most settled element, and give the most unvarying results in their combinations. Relying firmly upon the basis which we have thus constructed, we can now study the symbols with absolute assurance.
Look at your figures more attentively and you will soon perceive Egyptian symbols [the triple cross No. They at once prove that the Tarot of Marseilles is really the exact representation of the primitive Egyptian Tarot, slightly altered to the epoch denoted by the costumes. Only the gypsies possess the primitive pack intact. The studies of those learned men who have investigated the Tarot have confirmed this fact by the strongest evidence. Merlin conducted his researches very scientifically, and succeeded in discovering the original of our Tarot of Marseilles in an Italian Tarot at Venice, the father of all the later packs.
If, however, the existence of purely Egyptian symbols in these so-called Italian Tarots do not convince the reader, a few words on the transformation of the Tarot in the East, and in other countries of Europe besides Italy, will completely enlighten him on the subject. In spite of Merlin's assertions, the Tarot represents the summary of the scientific knowledge of the ancients. This is unquestionably proved by Chatto's researches amongst Orientals on this subject. We have placed the correspondences of the minor and major arcana, and of the four letters of the tetragrammaton, above this figure.
The Tarot of Etteila.
The Italian Tarot. The Marseilles Tarot. The Tarot of Watillaux. The German Tarot. The Tarot of Oswald Wirth. This pack is used by all our fortune-tellers. Its sole interest lies in the strangeness of its figures. It is worth consideration on this account. It became necessary to have a Tarot pack in which the symbolism was definitely established. This work, suggested by Eliphas Levi, who defined the principles on which it was to be based, has been accomplished by Mr.
Oswald Wirth. This clever occultist, aided by the advice of Stanislas de Guaita, has designed the series of the twenty-two major arcana. These drawings reproduce the Tarot of Marseilles, with the symbolical modifications suggested by the researches of Eliphas Levi upon this important question. Owing to the kindness of M. We shall use them both presently in our explanation of the symbolical meaning of each card, But before passing to the study of these symbols, card by card, we must see if there are no means of positively defining the symbolism of the Tarot.
We have already and sufficiently explained that the Tarot represents the ancient or occult science in every possible development. If we then wish to find a solid basis for the study of the symbols represented in the 22 major arcana, we may put the Tarot on one side for an instant, and devote ourselves to this ancient science. We shall thus commence work of quite a new character, whilst avoiding, so far as possible, falling into those errors which arise from the effort to explain the symbols of the Tarot by themselves, instead of seeking for their solution at their original source.
The first step in the search for these particular symbols leads us to discuss the grave problem of the origin of symbolism itself. We cannot enter upon, much less solve, this question by ourselves; we shall therefore quote the opinions of several writers upon this subject. Truth, having Unity for its criterion, the agreement of various conclusions in one point will be a valuable guide for us.
He received these data, so far as we can judge, from intuitive revelation, joined to the teaching of the Illuminism, of which he was one of the members. Lacour , in his book on the Elohim or Gods of Moses, has inductively determined the existence of a primitive alphabet, also composed of sixteen signs. All these writers, starting from very different points, agree in their conclusions, and this gives us a strong argument in favour of the truth of their inquiries.
But it matters very little to us whether these 16 primitive signs are the direct origin, either of the Hebrew, Sanscrit, Chinese, or Greek letters. The identity of source tends strongly to identity of results, and any one of these derivative alphabets will answer our purpose. The Hebrew alphabet, composed of 22 letters, seems preferable to us, on account of the concordance between the number of its letters and that of the Arcana in our Tarot.
We shall therefore adopt, as the starting-point of our study, the Hebrew alphabet of 22 letters, derived from the 16 primitive hieroglyphic signs. One single and identical conclusion arises from all these different points of view: the value of the Hebrew letter as a symbol. In it we possess a real symbol, of which we can ascertain not only the meanings, but also the origin. We could then make a Tarot exclusively composed of Hebrew letters and of numbers, but this is not our object; we are seeking to discover in the symbolism of the Hebrew characters the symbolism of the Tarot, and we shall thus realize our intention of ascertaining deductively the value of the figures of the Tarot and the reason they have been chosen.
The hieroglyphic value of each one of them according to its origin Fabre d'Olivet, Barrois ,. Once acquainted with these data, it will be easy for us to deduce from them the application of the letters to the symbols of the Tarot. But before we enter upon this study, it is necessary to say a few words upon the Hebrew alphabet in general and its constitution. The alphabet of the Hebrews is composed of 22 letters; these letters, however, are not placed by chance, one after the other.
Each of them corresponds with a number according to its rank, with a hieroglyphic according to its form, with a symbol according to its affinities with the other letters. Seven doubles double because they express two sounds, the one positive strong, the other negative soft ;. To render this clearer, we will give the Hebrew alphabet here, indicating the quality of each letter and its rank. We have now given a fixed principle for symbolism in the Hebrew letter, and need not fear being deceived by the false interpretation of a costume, or of an incorrect figure.
The Hebrew letter will be always there, to enlighten us upon obscure or difficult points. We must here beg for the reader's careful attention in spite of the length of the subject under consideration. We shall make every effort to be as clear as possible, and therefore we shall first explain the scheme which we have adopted in the study of each of the cards of the Tarot. Kircher and Fabre d'Olivet are our authorities in this work.
This portion of our work is strictly personal. We must warn the reader that the perusal of the recapitulations only will be of no use as a means of understanding the card of the Tarot, and that the best way will be to carefully follow the successive explanations of each card, with the Tarot before him. We cannot end this opening chapter without alluding to the basis upon which we have established the astronomical relations of each card of the Tarot. The numbers attributed to the twelve signs of the zodiac exactly correspond with the simple letters.
We considered that this absolute agreement between two documents of such different origin deserved our serious attention, and we have therefore given with each letter its astronomical correspondence. We see from our preceding work that if we know the exact meaning of the first card of the Tarot we can, from that, discover the signification of all the others.
We cannot approach this subject without great hesitation. The hope of ascertaining the truth is, in fact, troubled by the possibility of making a mistake which might have very serious results. The work which we have already accomplished will, however, enable us to decipher the meaning of the symbolism of the first card of the Tarot almost mathematically, but the general meaning only; whilst we know that each card must have not one, but three meanings.
We must discover three sufficiently general principles to be applied to every order of human knowledge; for this should be the object of the Tarot. In this case we will, as usual, resort to those eminent authors who have treated these questions from different points of view, and the agreement between their teachings will give us new light to illuminate our path. He asserted that he had discovered the formula of the absolute, and his works are unquestionably a summary of one of the most elevated syntheses that we have ever seen.
We need not discuss the doctrines of Wronski, but will only say a few words upon the three primitive elements which enter into his law of creation. Wronski places at the origin of all creation three elements, which he designates by the names Of Neuter Element E. Of Element of Being E. Of Element of Wisdom E. Principle of the Creation or Element of Wisdom.
Principle of Preservation or Element of Being. Principle of Neutralization or Neuter Element. These are the three terms upon which Wronski establishes the foundations of Reality, and, consequently, of all the systems of creation. We must remember these conclusions. Now it is not necessary to be very learned to perceive the absolute agreement which exists between the two authors; the one, Wronski, reached his conclusions by mathematics, the other, d'Olivet, attained his by profound study of antiquity and its mysteries.
The words used may vary, but the idea is fundamentally the same. Wronski's Element of Wisdom E. Wronski's Element of Being E. Here then are two very different systems, which lead to the same signification. But our conclusions do not stop here. Lastly, it does not require much study to prove to its that the human Will responds to Man. This is the basis of all the esoteric philosophy of the ancients, and not only Wronski and Fabre d'Olivet agree in their conclusions respecting this mysterious ternary; occult science itself proclaims its identity with these principles by the mouth of all its disciples.
God, Man, and the Universe, these are the most general principles that we can attain, and they constitute the three meanings of the first card of the Tarot. It remains for us to ascertain first, whether these meanings respond to the primitive hieroglyphic, and then to determine how far they extend through the whole Tarot.
Man, or the Microcosm, the Unity and the Principle in all the worlds, is the meaning of the primitive hieroglyphic, which, as we see, exactly renders the general ideas which we have established. But attentive consideration of this first card of the Tarot will enlighten us still further. If you take the first card of the Tarot and examine it attentively, you will see that the form of the juggler depicted upon it corresponds in all points with that of the letter Aleph. The bottom of the figure represents the Earth ornamented with its productions, the symbol of Nature.
Lastly, the centre is occupied by the Man himself, placed behind a table covered with divers objects. The right and left of the figure are occupied by the hands of the Juggler, one of them bent towards the Earth, the other raised towards Heaven. Man with one hand seeks for God in heaven, with the other he plunges below, to call up the demon to himself, and thus unites the divine and the diabolic in humanity.
If we wish to make a summary of the meaning of the symbol, so far as we have now deciphered it, we can represent it in this way The Juggler holds the wand of the Mage in the left hand, which he raises, and the four great symbols of the Tarot are placed before him.
The Cup, the Sword, the Pentacles or Talisman, which, as we have already seen, exactly correspond with the letters of the Tetragrammaton Pentacles or 2nd He , the cyclic symbol of Eternity, which unites the three first Principles in one Whole. The men of He , or the depositaries of the great truths discovered by the men of Yod: the Savants, the Judges.
Professional nobility. The men of Vau , or the guardians and defenders of the former: the Warriors. Nobility of the sword. The men of the 2nd He , the multitude from which the other classes are continually recruited: the People. The four great symbols are placed upon the table at random, and Man rules them and must arrange them; in the twenty-first arcana we shall find these symbols arranged in a cross.
The Unity-principle, the origin of which is impenetrable to human conceptions, is placed at the beginning of all things. We cannot seize the origin of this primal cause, which we are content to assert according to the absolute law of analogies so well expressed by Eliphas Levi If we cannot follow this Unknown in its principle, it is at least easy to us to follow it in its consequences, and therefore our study will be only the development of the Unity-principle in creation, related according to the Cosmogony of ancient initiation.
Lastly, the ternary of transition will. Moreover, each of these elements is contained in the two others in all points of their manifestations. We have now to recapitulate all the acceptations of the first card in a general figure. As each card in the Tarot will have the same recapitulation, we think it may be useful to explain the scheme followed in this arrangement.
At the head of the figure will be found the Hebrew number and letter of the card. Below it, the name usually given to the card in the Tarot. The Hebrew letters placed upon the upper line of this key indicate the origin of the card under consideration, the Hebrew letters placed above it indicate the exact meaning of the card. The Beth hieroglyphically expresses the mouth of man as the organ of speech. Speech is the production of man's inner self.
Therefore Beth expresses that inner self, central as a dwelling, to which one can retire without fear of disturbance. From this ideas arise of a Sanctuary, an inviolate abode for man and for God. But the Beth also expresses every production that emanates from this mysterious retreat, every internal activity, and from it issue ideas of Instruction, of the higher Knowledge, of Law, of Erudition, of occult Science or Kabbalah.
Beth corresponds with the number 2, and astronomically with the moon. This number has given birth to all the passive significations emanated from the Binary, hence the ideas of reflection, of Woman; applied to the Moon relatively to the Sun, and to Woman relatively to Man. God himself, or God the Father, reflects himself, and gives birth to God the Man, or God the Son, the negative relatively to his creator.
As we have seen, man is the divine receiver, therefore this second card of the Tarot will express all the ideas of the first conceived negatively. The woman is adorned with all the attributes of Authority and persuasion, and she is placed under the porch of the temple of Isis, between two columns. The woman is crowned with a tiara, surmounted by the lunar crescent, she is enveloped in a transparent veil falling over her face.
On her breast she bears the solar cross, and upon her knees lies an open book, which she half covers with her mantle. This is the picture of Isis, of Nature, whose veil must not be raised before the profane. The book indicates that the doctrines of Isis are bidden; but she divulges to the magi the secrets of the true Kabbalah, and of occult science. We must admire this profound symbol. The first card expressed Osiris in the three worlds; this second gives us the signification of Isis, the companion of Osiris The hieroglyphic meaning of the letter Gimel is the throat, the hand of man half closed in the act of prehension.
Hence it signifies all that incloses, all that is hollow, a canal, an inclosure. The throat is the spot where the words conceived in the brain are formed, or I might almost say embodied, therefore the Gimel is the symbol of the material envelopment of spiritual forms, of organic generation under all its forms, of all the ideas springing from the corporeal organs or their actions.
Generation is the mystery by which the spirit unites itself to matter, by which the Divine becomes Human. The signification of Venus-Urania, to which this card corresponds, is easily understood by the above explanations. The sign of the diffusion of the vivifying Principle through all the worlds and of the sun, through the Zodiac. The third card of the Tarot shows the result of the reciprocal action of the two first terms neutralizing each other in one principle. The absolute creative force, or Osiris, and the absolute preservative force, or Isis, neutralize themselves in the equilibrist force, which contains in itself the two very different properties of the two first forms.
The creative principle and the receptive principle, having, by their mutual action, given birth to the transforming principle, a complete entity is created. The term which now follows will correspond with the second he of the sacred word, and will consequently indicate the passage from one series to the other. The hieroglyphic meaning of Daleth is the womb.
It suggests the idea of an object giving plentiful nourishment, the source of future growth. The child is the living link, which in its neutrality reunites the opposition of the sexes; the Daleth therefore denotes abundance springing from division. Like the 1, it is a sign of active creation; but this creation is the result of previous actions easily determinable, whilst the origin of the Unity is inaccessible to human conceptions. The Daleth expresses a creation made by a created being. The Daleth should be the image of the active vivifying principle of the Universe, Jupiter, the reflex of the Primal cause.
The man indicates the active; his position, however, shows that this activity is engendered by a superior term. The man is bearded and wears a helmet with twelve points six on each side. He is seated upon a cubic stone, which bears the figure of an eagle. The helmet indicates the rule of the Divine Will in the Universe, and its universal action in the creation of Life eagle. The man's legs are crossed, his body forms a triangle. It first expresses a term of transition uniting the first series active and passive forces, the link between the two forces to the following series; the passage from one world to the other.
But it also represents this term of transition, itself becoming the first term in the following series. As the following series taken as a whole is negative relatively to the first, the fourth symbol represents the active influence of the first series 1, 2, 3, in the second series 4, 5, 6.
The 4 therefore expresses the reflections of the first card in all its details. It acts towards the first series exactly as the second card acted towards the first. In the Divine. In the Natural. The soul of the Universe. The hieroglyphic meaning of He is aspiration, breath. It is by aspiration that life is incessantly maintained and created. But life specializes the being, by rendering it different from any other; hence the idea of the being itself attributed to this letter. However, the action of life does not stop here.
It is also the mediating principle, which attaches the material body to the divine spirit, in the same way that man unites God and Nature; life is to the man aleph what man is to the universe, pre-eminently the mediate principle. This letter is simple; astronomically it corresponds with the igneous sign of the Ram, which it explains. The Initiate of the mysteries of Isis is seated between the two columns of the sanctuary.
He leans upon a triple cross, and makes the sign of Esoterism with his left hand. The two columns symbolize: on the right, the Law; on the left, the Liberty to obey and to disobey, the essence of Being, second idea. The Initiate wears a tiara. Two crowned men kneel at his feet, one clothed in red, the other in black.
As we see, this card is the complement of the second; the same rule applies to all the cards, when the total of their number makes 7. It is the direct reflection of the 4th arcanum, and the indirect reflection of the 2nd arcanum. It therefore signifies Adding weight to the tradition Ogham came from Spain, I included illustrations of several scripts I term Milesian Table, end of chapter.
Using this as template, I also skip the second and fifteenth when describing the ogham symbols. This keeps Ogham's myths congruent with symbols from other traditions. History often ignores the convergence and divergence of peoples sharing and developing traditions to make them uniquely their own. The Anatolian city of Militus, later ruled by the Greeks, was the first to use letters as numbers necessary for the later Greek practice of Gematria. Colonists from Crete, they claimed a lineage from Cadmus: " Milesian nobles traced their descent back to the Phoenician or one of his companions.
Son of a Phoenician, Pythagoras was born and later studied in that country. Sons of Mil arrived in Ireland along with the alphabet's promise of reincarnation. Known popularly as the Celtic Tree Oracle, the earliest oghams were named after trees. Stories associated with each tree fit the story unfolding through other alphabet symbols. That is, qualities associated with the 20 oghams mimic qualities associated with objects chosen for the same position in other alphabet patterns.
There is some disagreement about the original trees, but all the choices seem to relate to the unfolding Creation myth as original template. First mythic queen of Crete was Cadmus' sister. These later oghams seem simple mnemonics, not containing the richer qualities inherent in the original tree symbols. The full ogham script is given in the charts attached to this chapter.
All collections begin with symbols whose names start with a B, L and end 20 letters later with a word starting with I. Ogham stories often refer to events around the Black Sea, an area of early scripts. This was the location of Troy, Militus settled by people from Crete , and the tale of the Golden Fleece. First Bird Ogham, for instance, is Besan, 'pheasant'.
Colchis hosted the adventures of the Golden Fleece, another story associated with golden mysteries, metallurgy, great goddesses, and astrological serpent-trees. Oghams constantly hint at shared mysteries and measurements. They were brought from Egypt by Phoenicians to build the Temple of Solomon. Their initials were inscribed on the Temple's pillars flanking the door into its mysteries.
Cadiz was one of the many trade cities established c. He saw the temple's two pillars. One was made of gold; the second was a green emerald. The Pillars of Hercules in Cadiz were bronze. All written oghams, however, use Beth, Luis, Fearn alder. Some point in time before Ogham became a written script, the Ash tree traded places with Alder. Robert Graves, in his book The White Goddess, discusses this Battle of the Trees and their fight for the coveted position I will offer reasons for the Battle when I discuss the fourth and sixth letters.
A variant tradition about the creation of Ogham attributes the script to Scythians, warriors traveling between the Black Sea, India and China. According to medieval texts71 "Ogham was first invented soon after the fall of the Tower of Babel After ten years Fenius created Fenius also written as Phoeniusa, hints at his connection with the Phoenicians. His wife, Belait, recalls Baalat, feminine form of Phoenicia's Baal. In this version, his stepson was Hercules. Also, see Graves, White Goddess, , pp.
This ties him to legends of Masonry, another group inheriting the hidden secrets of measurement: "At ye making of ye toure of Babell there was a Masonrie first much esteemed of, and the King of Babilon yt called Nimrod was a Mason himself and loved well Masons. Numeral 72 as described above, is the rate 1 degree every 72 years of the Precession of the Equinoxes. This precession eventually caused star-gazing towers and pyramids aligned to a fixed star to fail and fall out of sync with Heaven's calendar.
Knowledge of astronomy was an important part of the training of the secretive Celtic druids.
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Milesians came from the city of Miletus settled by people from Crete located south of the Black Sea near Troy. After arriving in Spain Iberia , they sailed to Ireland to conquer the Fairy race. Discussed at the tenth charm, Celts also claim descent from Israelites, the Kabbalah tradition linking alphabets, number magic and other mysteries coming into the open about the time of Ogham's appearance. The more I research ancient patterns, the more sympathy I have for those who believe Earth spoke a common language before the Fall of Babel's Tower. Below is an ancient image of Alpha's Cow Head.
This is equally the shape of a woman's womb and a shape used for ancient graves see Letter One. Next to it are the prints of the Prince who has left his sole behind as he stepped off the earth. Grave shapes with Soles, Paleolithic Spain77 The necessity for the new Prints to be able to fill his father's shoes is very old. The Kabbalah was expanded in Spain and Gaul. Islay is a small western island northeast of Ireland. A ceremony "took place on the Council Island when appointing a Lord of the Isles.
There is a large rock with a depression shaped like a human foot, into which the elected chief placed his foot, denoting that he should walk in the footsteps Most also drop the 15th letter, a letter associated with a Devil, a demonized deva god. Other traditions place the unspoken One God as the silent Aleph.
Perth - Lot or Dice Box 1. Fehu, Fe - Cattle or Money Sowilo, Sol - Sun 3. Thurisaz, Thurs - Thorn or Giant Tir, Tiuwaz - God associated with North 4. Berkan -Birch 5. Raido, Reidh - Wheel or Ride also related to a word for 'fairies' Ehwaz - Horse 6. Kenaz, Kaun - Torch or Mannaz - Man Ulcer, Cancre 7. Gyfu - Gift Laguz, Logr - Lake or leek 8. Wunjo, Wynn - Joy Ingwaz - an Earth god also Ingvi-Frey. The symbol is used 9. Hagalaz - Hail, Hel, in alchemy to represent lead. Like Heal Saturn lead , Ingvi was responsible for fertility. Naudiz, Nyd - Need. Dagaz - Day This is Isaz - Ice sometimes placed last Othala - Homeland or Jera, Ger - Harvest or Inheritance Year In that city was a chief called Odin.
Asia in the ancient world included Anatolia and the Near East. The Germanic script known as runes or Futhark began appearing around early in the Common Era. It provides further clues uncovering the secrets hiding in our alphabet. Among the definitions of 'rune' is 'mystery'. Odin, a warrior aspect of Mercury, learned these mysteries from a dead god while hanging on a tree by a well near the Black Sea.
As Hermann, he is patron of both war and trade. Thousands of years after the vulture goddesses of ancient Anatolia carried their dead to heaven, Odin's bands of bird women, the Valkyries, performed the deed. Arriving as swans, ravens, or riding on flying horses, they carried away warriors slain in battle. Odin did not acquire a Mason's skill along with the runes. He hired a giant to build the great walls of his city, Cyclopean geometry being one of the skills of older earth giants cyclops. Like many ancient goddesses, Freya owned a necklace of stars.
Known as the Brisingamen jewel of flame , it was forged by 4 dwarves, the number of the corners of the year solstices and equinoxes. A goddess from a much earthier era, she slept with each of the dwarves as payment. The Elder Futhark of 24 letters appeared about CE. These later traditions have varying number of letters and shapes.
Like other alphabets, each rune represents the initial sound of an object: e. The various users Norwegian, Icelandic, etc. Because I am only interested in uncovering the attributes underlying each letter, I do not emphasize the source of various rune names. Although the stories unfolding through runes follow closely the magic hidden in Phoenician, the shapes and sounds of most runes derive from Germanic sources.
Each peoples adapted the pattern to suit their own culture. Repeating the important caveat, when comparing mythic alphabets, one must consider the story, NOT the shape or sound of each letter. My interest is in why the symbols were chosen to represent the orderly number position of each letter. Like all circular scripts, first and last symbols reflect a promise of Return. Last of 24 runes is cow-shaped Othala earth, inheritance, homeland. They begin with the promise of Earth's wealth Fehu. Like Ogham, runes were not used for general writing; rather they were primarily inscribed on boundary markers, tombstones another boundary or to work magic.
But like other ancient alphabets, runes if properly spelled include the promise of resurrection, the power to return the dead to life. The 24 Runes are arranged in 3 families of 8 Aettir, a word meaning both 'eight' and 'compass direction'. The families include those of the fertile earth god Frey, the Goddess Hel and finally, the sky god Tir.
This division seems to reflect the creator of runes having the same feeling I did: There were at least three separate families of the ancestor Phoenician. The first eight symbols reflect a cycle of fertility, growth and harvest, and then a Rising Up into a new Light. In the North these powers belong to Frey. Under his golden reign earth knew peace and good harvests. Second family begins with Hel, goddess of the Underworld. Her eight runes, as well as the letters of other alphabets, describe a soul-journey after death and emergence once more into the light of day sun, 16th rune; eye, 16th letter.
Hebrew begins Hel's family with ninth letter Teth 'coil' , marking the entrance into the Underworld of Tethys, see 9th Letter for Labyrinth myths. Associated with the command of stars spinning around the North Star, Tir's family seems to include astronomical data. Like the alphabet, each rune has a set place in the order. Additionally helpful for my search are poems describing the runic attributes: The Old English Rune Poem also known as Anglo Saxon poem 29 staves, recorded 10th century , Norwegian Rune Poem 16 staves, c.
The OIRP is especially helpful since its riddles were answered with glosses beneath each verse. There are other briefer mnemonic poems and magic spells in the sagas. The Old Play of the Volsungs "tells of the origin of Runes and seems to contain another fragment relating to the signs of the Heavens and the mysterious characters which they trace on the black vault of a moonless night, a fancy which the Jewish cabalists shared. As we shall explore, the attributes of these numbered symbols illuminate those of other traditions. The Dragon, once commander of the pole stars, lost control to the Wagons due to the Precession.
There have been numerous attempts to understand the meaning of the cryptic rune poems, curses, and less frequent blessings appearing in Norse poetry and sagas. I find the empowerment of each rune derives from the number magic present from its earliest Phoenician appearance. It may be that runes once included the deeper soul journey still present among the 22 letters of Hebrew but if so, they were not passed on.
I have found only a simple practical magic present in the rune charms available to us. We shall unravel those charms in the second part of this book. It has become 'Grave'. First rune is glossed Earth and Tir arrow , the arrow that will fertilize Earth with the third charm. The rune for grave has been flipped over and translated 'yew'. Intensely poisonous, the Yew, which represents the last Tree Ogham, was planted by graveyards. The poem declaims: "Yew holds all. In this shape, it usually indicated death rather than rebirth. The King dying for his Land, it eventually came to represent our Peace Symbol.
Abcedarium Nordmanicum83 83 Abcedarium Normannicum, c. Here, the symbol for 'grave' is translated as Yew, which was the coffin of the Vine. Reproduced R. Derolez, Runica Manuscripta , p. Their script-like symbols may have represented an early writing system. Like those of the ancient Black Sea cities of Asia Minor, they are not in a physical order nor do we know the names associated with the symbols.
Therefore, I am unable to include them in this comparison of mythic journeys. Noted above, it is the numerical placement of each letter that empowers it. Each symbol in the shared mystery traditions has been chosen to illustrate the story inherent in its placement in the unfolding series. Although many symbols used for later Indian scripts undoubtedly came from indigenous images, the idea of the alphabet and some letter shapes came from Phoenician.
Preceding India's sacred Sanskrit is the wisdom of Brahmi c. Letters have been scientifically divided into groups of 5's by the sound's formation in the mouth. It begins with potent A as first vowel and Ka as first consonant. Last letter is 'Ha. Ledbetter, Ancient Mystic Rites , Quest, , p. When the letter A is aspirated Mother Kali and her consort Shiva are creator and destroyer of each world. After he dances his own destruction, she takes his seed into her womb to deliver each new generation. Ultimate form of the Creatrix she too dances, wearing a necklace of skulls representing alphabet letters The Varnamala.
Hindus believe Sanskrit is a language of dynamism, and each of these letters represents a form of energy, or a form of Kali. Therefore she is generally seen as the mother of language, and all mantras sounds "86 I will discuss first vowel 'A' and first consonant 'K' with the first letter See Letter One. For now, consider the sound 'Ma'. In India, the cow is 'our mother'. Ah is the mother or father of all ensuing alphabet letters.
Note, first letter can be black or white; male or female. Shiva is often depicted as a pillar linga like numeral 1. Because I claim there are mysteries involved in the choices of the letters, it is relevant that the kanji Chinese symbol representing sound 'A' is a character for a menstruating woman. It referred to a woman using a napkin during menstruation. It will manifest after impregnation with the third charm. This is a fertile woman, capable of mothering the other letters.
This would be a peculiar choice of symbols if the letters were not hiding a story of material Creation. In the form of a sleeping serpent, Kali resides at the base of each human spine. A Hindu seeker of enlightenment is directed to awaken that power, the 'Awakening of the Kundalini'. Guiding the serpent along her ascent are the sounding of syllables attached to each of seven energy vortexes Chakras.
Hiragana 'ka', p. See Letter 11 for more on 'ka'. She travels through the sounding of 50 alphabet letters scattered among the petals of each chakra. Qualities of the seven Chakras mirror those of the first seven letters our alphabet. Each Chakra contains resident deities, colors, and sounds to aid the unfolding stages of a soul journey toward the light. Exploring and comparing the attributes inherent in each position among multiple alphabets, I quote from an ancient text, Shat-chakra Nirupana, c.
Tantra, an esoteric, mystical tradition of India, "correlates sound, form and colour. Sound produces form, and form is associated with color That sound India's astrology dates back thousands of years. The Vedic zodiac of 12 constellations is further divided into 27 or 28 mansions visited by the moon. Discussed above, this Cosmic Mother, our world's Galactic Center, still gives birth to new stars.
Kali resides in this Root Star. At the end of time, black Kali associated with calendars, time and fate will take the seed of her spouse Shiva Death, colored 88 Arthur Avalon, Serpent Power , Dover, , p. At the end of each World, she will generate another universe. Although we constantly underestimate the intelligence and sophistication of ancient scientists, I find it utterly amazing early sky watchers could identify this insignificant looking dark area of the sky, our Galactic Center, as the womb of Mother Time kala. Kali: "The game of dice personified. The thousands of characters, representing sounds, syllables, and images needed to write Chinese left it in the hands of a trained elite.
As far as I know, the symbols were never placed in order like the ABC's. Chinese history equates writing with images derived from observing changing Heaven and Earth. Possessing a bull's head like first Phoenician letter 'Aleph' or the Sky Bull as Orion or Mercury, he has been depicted twining like a revolving DNA strand 64 codons on 3 bases around his spouse, the serpent Nu Kua. He instituted the calendar, invented musical instruments … and is one of those given credit for the invention of writing. Because they measured the world after the Flood, they carry a compass and T-square.
The same symbols identify modern Masons, another group associated with measurements and ancient Mysteries. Fu Hsi and Nu Kua as serpents spinning among the stars, China c. Nu Kua is actually a goddess Nu Kua is said to bring order into chaos There is evidence to suggest that the I Ching may have actually evolved in pre dynastic China under matriarchal influence. Pan Ku, another bull as cosmic man, created the world from his body.
Note: Hiragana 'ku' is shaped like Orion's el-wand. Like divination by a hex of Germanic runes or a throw of a six-sided dice, 64 patterns in groups of 6's are created. These hexagrams are determined by selecting among 50 arrows yarrow wands. The casting of arrows evolved after the original tradition of reading cracks in heated shells or bones. My interest is myth rather than history, so continue with the Bull and his serpent wife associated with the gift of the I-Ching and writing.
Oracles are determined by reading descriptions of possible 64 Hexagrams. Each hexagram is derived from 8 Trigrams the Pa Kua chosen by chance from the patterns formed by casting yarrow wands. The 8 Trigrams are each given a name, a compass direction, and a season. I use the Early Heaven group. XX, 3, August , p. The Fu Hsi arrangement … follows a mathematical sequence. The Trigrams correspond to the unfolding story hidden in our Alphabet symbols and to the Creation as described in Genesis I. The sequence begins with a yet undivided Heaven and ends with the totally receptive female Earth.
Like the Shiela Na Gig and Kali described above, receptive Earth takes the seed of a dying land into her open womb to create another generation. Eight Trigrams together with the Sixty Four Hexagrams formed by their combinations I think Earth's measurements developed far back in history.
Whether true history or myth, "Casting rods by which the diagrams of the I-Ching are calculated was known to the Greeks as a Scythian practice, suggesting that the art may have been introduced into China by Mongol seerers. China's oracle script originally written on turtle shells and bones preceded the wandering Scythians by a thousand years, but they may have suggested the use of sticks for casting.
Both Celts and Germanic tribes have cultural and physical ties with the Scythians I include the quote to show a recognized kinship, not to suggest the historical origins of writing and divination. My exploration is simply to show that there exists an ancient and widespread pattern of unfolding earth magic; and that Hermetic mystics recognized a kinship between their various traditions. Each ordered symbol will be discussed as we proceed through the stories of the alphabet letters. Like our other symbols, each has attributes fitting our ancient pattern.
Containing 81 verses, the , like our own alphabet, hides a guide to the path Tao through life. At various times in its history, it was outlawed for being too earthy. The meaning described in the first seven verses fit closely to those of the alphabet symbols. The following Letter Chapters will make the relationship between the traditions clearer. Reborn old, he was one of Three Pure Ones. They descended from the stars of Orion to remind a corrupt world proper way to rule the world. The first eight letters tell a story of the readying of Earth for planting, the birth of her children, the sharing of their harvest, another planting and a final harvest.
Then occurs a rising up on the eighth day. I think this was the original 'Spell'. The last few letters reflect astronomical knowledge. Last letters in all the scripts imply a return that is ultimately judged a heresy and its believers to be heretics. I apologize in advance for the repetition of several illustrations. Few in number, I repeat ancient images to reinforce the qualities of the symbol under discussion. I juxtapose quotes from various ancient traditions to show the similarity of the underlying pattern.
Because of the complexity of my story, I will concentrate on the first sixteen letters, with short references to later letters when relevant. Again, I must emphasize I do not mean to trivialize the numerous traditions of luminous soul journeys that emerged from the original Spell. I am mixing and matching vastly different cultures simply to demonstrate that there IS a pattern.
To do so, I must simplify or ignore deeper mysteries. This is a journey over the surface of deeper waters. Then I began comparing traditions with a reputation for magic, including Germanic runes c. Realizing their histories are broken traditions, their meanings hidden, I explored other ordered patterns that are not alphabets. I quickly realized they all followed the same hermetic pattern. Expanding my search to include such diverse traditions as palmistry each finger named for a god representing certain qualities , astrology, the path of the Tao Te Ching, the I-Ching of China, Tarot cards and alchemy among others, the story hidden in the alphabet letters began to clearly reveal itself.
I will try to act as the pathfinder and guide through these multiple traditions. We begin with an undivided One. Both are considered mysteries. The mystery of mysteries is the gateway of marvels. First and last symbols of all early scripts using the world loosely promise a come-around-home. Our tale begins with a gateway, a promised entrance into the world of time.
It ends by marking the path of return after each rest. The alphabet starts its journey with 'A'. Written in Phoenician and ancient Hebrew, this bull's head is also the shape of a woman's birth-giving womb and the shape of ancient graves to which the dead return. Grave in form of letter 'A', Yugoslavia c. First letters includes such characters as a guide standing by the Gate, a pathfinder, a psychopomp traveling between the worlds of light and dark.
Promising the wealth of the material world, he helps travelers, merchants, and thieves along their journey. He then guides them home at the end of time. Let thyself be thy guide" Svipdagsmal, c. For Aleph the poet, remarking on the path, declaims: "Happy are those whose way is perfect. In time, that path became: "Heresy: Middle voice, to take for oneself, choose [one's own path]" Oxford Dictionary First symbol represents both a Gate Keeper standing at the entrance between the worlds and a Guide. Giving help to the traveler, he is propitiated at new beginnings.
As guide, he marks boundaries. In this poem, c. He learned his letters near the Black Sea. Like this Magician appearing thousands of years earlier, the original bull's head became a line arching between two arms. One hand reaches toward the sky, the other touching earth. We will encounter this shape, a shape recognizing events in heaven reflected on earth, multiple times on our journey through time. Note: 15 dashes may represent the 7 Rainy Hyades and 6 stars of the Pleiades flying before Taurus. First symbol as Aleph represented an ox.
Numerous sky bulls and cows have been posited, not incorrectly, as the source of Aleph's bull. They include the entire Sky as Bull, the stars of Taurus, and the bull of Orion. In reality, he is probably one of the oldest and most … primitive in origin. In first position his potential has not yet evolved. In time, the young Bull will mature, become potent, then grow old, but for now his circle through time is just beginning; his potential not yet unfolded.
His name bestowed the word 'hermaphrodite'. A ring worn on the little finger is a badge of 'gayness'. In this youthful form, Gaia meaning both earth cow and gay hermaphrodite has not yet split into male and female. Sun and moon, heaven and earth, the waters of male and female have yet not separated nor matured; the potential of Creation has not yet been realized. In palmistry, the rare line of fey intuition runs from the palm toward the mercurial little finger.
He can appear in multiple places at one and the same time and can acquire different aspects with passing time and cultures. Like gay Earth changing her face with the seasons, mercurial Aleph's shining young Bull will The Bahir, c. Passing from undifferentiated child into adolescent, he will father his people, marry his Land, and finally, age black into dark Saturn Cronus. As female after birthing a new generation, she will ultimately age into a Hag, a black Crone, a dying Moon. As first symbol quicksilver Mercury begins each of his journeys shining white.
Mercury painted behind glass forms a mirror, mirrors reflecting his double image. As it ages, the mirror darkens. Although I must introduce it here, the quality of duality's Mirror-like Wisdom does not actually appear until the second charm. As Magician of the first Tarot card, mercurial Hermes gave his name to hermetic traditions hiding secrets.
Given my assumption that alphabets reflect the measured stars moving over the earth, the Guide-as-Magician should also mark the passage of time. Hermes began his journey through time as a simple pillar, a herm. At first, ancient gods had no feet. As simple herms, they were bound to their Land. Eventually gaining feet, they began to wander away, necessitating being chained to their temples.
Early gods were bound to their land so travelers had to adapt to the gods of each new land they passed through. Each Canaanite Baal 'lord' was simply the Lord of that town, each Baal being a different lord. His secret name was not spoken. In time, pioneered by wandering Jews, God could eventually be found in his 'Word' and was no longer bound in place.
Hermes of Siphnos, c. The earliest herms housing gods Beth El were simple standing stones. In patterns ending with the seventh symbol, the eighth charm sings a rising up into a new octave. The herm's shadow, dark twin of a white sun, moves from a north position in the sky, crossing the zenith highest point at midsummer; then continues south towards winter. Returning after the Winter Solstice, it moves north towards summer once again. Sundial tracing a year's shadow Multiple calendars have been created during the thousands of years this story developed.
I don't suggest any specific calendar as original; only that the owner of first place stands at the Gate between the old year and the new, between the day and night. He looks forward as well as back. January, our first month, is named after two- faced Janus. Gatekeeper like Hermes, Janus was the god of Roman doors. Associated both with early writing and divination, it includes six ordered charms known as Trigrams. First is 'Heaven' Chien. It has not yet begun to divide. Active movement cannot occur until coming Duality supplies two points to travel between.
He rides a rat, first animal of the Chinese Zodiac which does not correspond to the western zodiac. Like Hermes, rats and Lord Ganesh are associated with both merchants and thieves of the material world. When Ganesh was first born, people became so interested in wealth, they stopped going on pilgrimages.
In the sacred Sanskrit script of India, 50 letters are ordered scientifically by their formation in the mouth. Because I have yet to discover an object named by each letter, I am unable to include this ordered script in my investigation. First vowel, however, is 'A'. It is formed in the lowest Because this tradition worships the One God, whose name is not spoken, aleph is a silent sound.
Ogham's contrasting tradition hides the Deus as Deuce. First consonant is 'ka', the sound of a crow. The Brahmi script, a syllabic alphabet c. Crow, Crete c. Ancient symbols being very specific, there may be an occult reason that some magicians raise the right arm, others the left. The first symbol can therefore be black, white, or like the mothering vulture of the Egyptian alphabet, black and white.
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As Numeral 1, 'Ka' is another herm, a tor, or pillar: It also represents the black shadow soul. According Jaschke, Tibetan English Dictionary, Ka represents "letter K, excrement, crow, pillar, one as a number. See 11th letter 'K' for further information about the twin I-I, the dark shadow soul as Ka. Magic crows are white when young.
In China a white three-legged crow once carried the sun across the sky. The heat burning him black, each sunset he entered the womb of night to heal and brighten before the next day's journey. First of 12 symbols worn by the ancient Emperor of China was a 3-legged crow. It follows the promise of ancient alphabets returning the dark toward a golden day and guiding the blackened soul toward enlightenment. Think of all the negative characteristics you can about that thing until you hate it.
Lastly do the same with a person — better make it someone you won't be seeing for a few days at least. Start by concentrating on all the unpleasant things about that person. Continue freely and guiltlessly finding fault until the person seems thoroughly evil to you. Now reverse the process and home in on the good characteristics. After all, that person isn't so bad.
The faults are not that different from your own weaknesses and little failings. As a matter of fact that person is a lot like you. Some of the same things that are hard for you are also hard for others. There are some good qualities too — keep it up until you love the person you hated a moment ago. Perform reversals of this sort with simple concepts, things and people until you are finished with the meditation. For the first part of this meditation, think of life as it was lived at some time in the past — perhaps around the turn of the century.
Go through the usual events of your day from rising in the morning to going to bed at night, but no electricity, no frozen foods, no cars, no TV, no radio. Take each thing that you normally do and imagine doing it within the conditions of a century ago. If you are feeling ill, home remedies are the only available thing. If you are cold, warm cloths — homemade or a wood fire are the ways to warm up. If you must go some place, walk or use a horse. If you want entertainment, visit friends or attend a meeting or game. Do this without considering the modern versions of these things. Do this with a feeling of happiness at having so much.
Don't compare the time of your imaginings with this time — just try to feel as though you were living in a little town or in the country around Take three minutes for this. Look at the Trumps of the Lovers and of Death. Each involvement with life is a bright thing. Each love is a harmony. Yet everything must rise, prosper for a time in the sun and then pass back into silence. Every moment of life has its proper end within itself. Strive to see Love and Death as one thing, not total life followed by the absence of it, but all life.
Use images like a letter written and enclosed in an envelope only to be reopened and read. Let these matters occupy your thoughts for a little while. This is important. It begins as an metaphor. Your life is a string of beads. Each waking day is a bead. Each sleep is a string or chain between beads. The shapes of the beads are sometimes different. Some are round. Some start or end sharply.
Some are of wood, some of precious metal with strange designs; some are plastic. Many of the beads of your days are dark and thin. Some are clear and filled with beautiful light. A few are larger than the others. Between the beads of day are the lengths of night — these also are different.
Some are dull thread, others bright with gleaming dreams. At more or less regular points special beads appear — perhaps every seventh bead is bigger and gathers the light scattered among the rest. Perhaps there are special beads at spaces apart. Let a vision of your life come upon you as a necklace about the throat of a goddess or a strand in the curtain of a god.
Beyond the length of the beads of your life there may be other strands and other beads. When the metaphor becomes real enough, you have passed beyond the domain of death and time; and all that you have ever been and will ever be will never pass away. You are an immortal ornament of delight the eye of the Creator. This first part will cover the events of the day again, but in a different way. You can either go systematically through the day from Morning to now or select particular points to concentrate upon. For the next three minutes examine the things you do without much thought.
These might include listening to radio or TV, purchasing food or other things, saying hello to people you meet casually or any of the little things of daily life. Try to see how you live with the cooperation of people you will never see. Look at the two Trumps: The Chariot and Temperance. Consider that the meanings of the Temperance Trump start on the Chariot at the winged sun and take in the lower portion of that card.
From this beginning compare the symbols on the two cards and consider how their meanings interrelate. Meditate on this, intellectually. Think of how this rule helps in society and how it harms individual freedom. Once again, consider the events of the day up to now. Or, if you wish, consider the chief events of your life. This time, try to identify the causes for feelings of guilt and for limitations on your behavior that seem to come from within.
Ask yourself if there is a true relationship between what you have done or not done and what would have helped you to a happier and more valuable life. Try to identify those half-unconscious limits that you have set upon yourself. Are there any limits to your feelings that need to be removed? Are there any new limits that need to be set? Consider especially the little things like the food you eat and the way you dress.
If you are strong enough, consider also the more difficult questions of faith or the lack of it in yourself and others or matters of duty toward yourself and others. Look at the three Trumps: Magician, Strength and Devil. Consider that the Magician is the knowing use of what is symbolized on the Strength Trump. Consider that the Devil is the unconscious use of the powers of Strength. After you have pondered this symbolism for a time, take one of the events you examined in the first part of the meditation and try to see the roles played by the Magician, Strength and the Devil in that event of your life.
Above all the changes of the world is a great eye. It looks downward upon a swirling cloud of images without passion. In the world is an eye that gazes to and fro in nervous fashion. All that it sees as beauty seems to fade or break — it sees with passion. Between the light and the dark is a great eye that sometimes flashes fire and sometimes brims with tears — yet its vision never dims.
Magician knows. Devil imagines. Strength sees life. The eye of the Magician never separates in judgment. The Eye of the Devil never unites in faith. The eye of Strength doubts and trusts with glances like a needle stitching the garment of life. This time, think back to a time when you were very excited about something or someone.
Focus on the emotions of the experience. Fantasize about the exciting experience. Try to get inwardly just as excited now as you were then — three minutes. The simplicity and calm of the High priestess is in the mind of the Hermit. From the strength of the Hermit, this inner mind manifests as a shining light. The Tower is the Hermit's mundane existence. When the light of discovery manifests, material affairs must be changed quickly or the light will fade. Continue meditating on the three Trumps for a time.
Take the experience of excitement that you used for the first part of this meditation and check it against the three Trumps: High Priestess — Was the mind prepared before the experience, or were there thoughts of doubt and hanging back? Hermit: Was the experience itself a complete thing, or was it interrupted? Tower: Did the experience have a lasting effect or was it merely a distraction? If something went wrong at any of these three points, what would have caused it to be better? The ultimate test is not the pleasure or lack of it that the excitement carried with it, but whether you can reach back to the memory of that excitement and draw benefit.
To begin, take inventory of all the little things that you do differently from other people. Consider matters of clothing, interests in crafts and education, the way you relate to friends, strangers and disliked people. Think also of your health and the things that give you pleasure or pain. Try to form an image of yourself as you might appear to others. Build up an image of your unique personality. Let the Empress be the inside you, the totality of your beliefs, emotions and knowledge resting in the inclosed garden of your mind. Let the Wheel of Fortune be your changing moods and inner vital cycles.
Let the Wheel of Fortune also be the changing opportunities and energies that surround you in the physical and social world. As for the Star, let it be the outer manifestation of your own particular Empress. Try to see your own star. Let the feeling of life guide your quest for the divine spark that draws the picture of you on the stream of time. Take a moment to remember a time when you seriously planned something for yourself. It should have been a semester of education, a marriage, a party, a change of address or anything like that.
Mentally go back to the plan. Send your thoughts over the same path that you followed then. Build up the original plan as it was before being put into practice. When you have done that, search your memory for the actual event. What changes did you have to make in your original plan to put it into practice? How did events influence the matter? Compare point by point the differences and similarities between your abstract plan and the actual attempt. Look at the three Trumps: Emperor, Justice and Moon. The Emperor plans, the Justice goddess mediates between plan and application. The Moon is the actual process of doing what is planned.
Try to feel the desire to mentally organize things when you look at the Emperor. Try to feel pressures and prodding from the physical world when you look at the Moon. Let Justice balance these two influences. The Emperor is a flame that leaps brightly from one perfect world to another. The Moon is a thick water that moves slowly from one world to another. Justice is agate between the flame and the great sea that blends the fire of imagination with the substantial flow of events in the world of matter.
Close your eves and see flames leaping up in one pan of the balance ans water settling in the other. Feel the pan of fire struggle upwards. Feel the pan of water sink downwards. Let your will hold the balance until the fire cools and the water boils — this is the nature of mind in action with matter.
Swirls of soft mist drift about you. There is no fear, only a warm yellow light that slowly brightens overhead. You are a child again playing in the sunlight upon soft green grass. Send back your thoughts to a place of comfort and peace. Let your memory build about you the soft caress of being loved. The Hierophant is an old friend from childhood telling a strange tale about the Hanged Man and all the dangers he overcame.
You are a child again in the garden of the Sun hearing your favorite fairy tale from your favorite story teller. Let the tale unfold in your imagination. Now and then we must return to the innocence of childhood. We must set aside cold webs of work and struggle to return to the land beyond the World's edge where dreams are gifts from a loving teacher.
In the arms of love all pains vanish. Adventures liven the child within with delightful images of princes, perils and princesses. Beauty sleeps inside an enchanted garden without concern for thorns that slowly hide outer sunlight. Beyond time and care she will awaken in the land of the eternal Sun. Imagine an icy-blue flame burning somewhere before you. This flame is not as earthly fire. It has no heat. It devours nothing. The light it gives does not illuminate anything on earth.
Draw near to the immortal flame. Step inside it. Let it fill you. Let the touch of it cleanse you of all weakness and fear. Your skin feels as though you are in a wonderful shower of tiny sprays that stimulate every part of you. Bask in the living flame for a time. Look at the three Trumps: Lover, Death and Judgment. The Lovers create the flame of life. Death cleanses the flame of all limitations.
Judgment opens the vision of the dweller in the flame to realms beyond all worlds imaginable. Meditate first on love to start the flame. Then sweep away all that dims the flame and is not of the light. Lastly, take a deep breath and let your eyes see without looking at the physical world. We live in a box formed by our beliefs and those of the people about us and behind us in time. That box has no hold on the inmost part of the soul. With a summoning of great light it is possible to rise above and beyond such limitation and rise on beams of radiance to the endless space of the limitless light that is beyond even the thought of time and the question of death.
It is good to do so. This meditation includes a transcript fragment of the class where it was first offered. I, No. OTO members may wish to obtain cassette tape M-6, which includes the ritual with examples and studies. What we are about to do is experiment with the time sense, to reverse it if possible. This is a good warming-up exercise for divining with or without the cards. Although I will be using a special warming-up ritual now, the basic technique which comes after is the main thing. This time, I want you to follow it yourselves. Listen to what I say as well as chant.
Try to eliminate all distraction. Try to clear your mind of the events of the day and any feelings of discomfort or anxiety. Get it clearly in your mind. Hold it through the banishment ritual actually any method you can use to relax is just a good; this ritual is just an example for group use today. Now, select and concentrate on your question.
At this point the Lesser Pentagram Banishment ritual was done with extemporaneous chant. The chant included a suggestion on clearing the mind. The ritual was also chanted, not the loud version. Visualizations were described during the chant insertions in the ritual to assist the listeners. Light paths were described during the Qabalistic Cross portions. Glowing pentagrams during the use of the four Names to the quarters. Pillars of elemental colored light with the Archangels and a sort of gyroscopic effect in the center of the ritual with the elemental pillars bending to touch above and below.
The gyroscopic part came after describing how the white ring of light appeared connecting the four pentagrams through the arcs of the pillars. The whole visualization tumbles on three perpendicular axes simultaneously. This means three colored hoops spinning on each other's central axes where the axes intersect the hoops. The tumbling hoops describe a sphere about the person performing the ritual. Difficult, but worth the effort. If this doesn't make sense, don't worry.
I plan to expand this portion someday. Here's the time reversal technique:. Imagine a grey light behind you. Use your visual memory to fill the grey space with details of the PAST that relate to your question. Concentrate on it. Let emotional contacts from the past liven up the vision in the grey space. Now, pull your attention forward into the space around your body. Imagine a white light surrounding you. Dimly feel the grey space of the past behind you.
The white space about you is the present. It's where you are now. It's what the question means to you now. Let yourself feel the tension of wanting to know the answer to your question, the question that grew from the grey past behind you. The question that burns in the white light of now. Before you is a great darkness. It is like a wall of black cloud. With great effort you try to see the answer to your question in the dark unknown of the future before you. Hold for a moment the image of the grey past behind you with its emotions remembered, the white light about you with its tension to know the answer, the trembling darkness of the unknown future before you.
With an effort of will, force the grey are to move toward you from behind. At the same time force the dark area to move toward you from in front. Let the grey and the black pass into the white. Let the black pass through you into the behind space.https://liracawinthe.tk
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Let the gray pass through you into the before space. Remember what will happen. Remember the answer to the question you will ask in the past that is the present and the future all in one. This is a Qabalistic way of seeing the creation of the universe and the beginning of all things. In it light is spoken of as though light were the essence of the Creator.
This is necessary so that the human mind have something to fasten on, not because light or any other perceivable thing is truly the essence of the Most High. Let your mind calm itself. Send away all the cares of the day, dispatch all your concerns from their inmost places. Relax even the feelings of self and ego a little. For this is the place where such things had not yet come into being. Close your eyes and let a vision of warm and featureless light come upon you.
In all directions there is a soft glow of brilliant light. Even the idea of direction is meaningless, for only the limitless light exists. Hold that for a bit. Within the vastness of the limitless light there is a sense of glowing. This is not separate but it is tangible. Light is about you like a thickness in the air. Soft and clam, bright and warm. Within the light a feeling of imminence grows. There is no change yet, but you feel that a change must occur. The light is featureless but it is about to move.
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Within you builds a feeling that something must be changed. It is not enough to be in a place of perfect limitless light. There must be difference. There must be a place within the infinite different from all else yet still of the infinite. The limitless light changes. Far off there is no change, the light extends away in featureless brilliance.
Within you the light gathers to a greater brilliance, near about you the light dims. At the center of your being the light forms a brilliant smooth point of radiance while all the nearby light seems to flow in toward the center. When the point is firmly glowing within, there is an established darkness about you. Far off there is a great and distant shore of light, as bright as it was before the beginning of the universe. Thus is the universe begun, a point of self and being concentrated in the center, about the point a great expanse of outside and something else.
Far away, a great sphere of light that is that is as true as the point within and as limitless as the beginning. This is the circle with a point inside, the symbol of the invisible sun, of Keter on the Tree of Life and the greatest mortal image that is reflected down through myriads of worlds as the Ace of Wands. When we are fully involved in doing, working and resting, it is as though there is no boundary between the world and the self. The trees bend their leaves to the same breeze that blows throughout all the world and moves the hair upon the head.
This is the moment before creation. When something disturbs our revere, consciousness pulls back from oneness with the world and hides behind the eyes. Then the world with it's people, places and things is outside and the self is inside. Somewhere beyond what we see there is a knowing that all the world is one place, and we are one with it forever.
Yet those things about us are separate seeming and perhaps even dangerous to the precious spark of ego that hides like a bright point behind the eyes. Look about you. Take in the sights of this place. See the many books or whatever else there is in large number about the place. They are all books. Their number can be counted. Yet they are all different from one another. Their covers keep them from being one vast and undifferentiated book. Even when two copies of the same book are here, they are not truly identical; some stain of a page, some speck of dust on a cover makes each one different from all the rest.
One among these books has been touched or read by you last. It is closest to you. It is the point where you contact this world of books. All the others are alien, more or less, compared to that one book. Yet all the books are but dim shadows of the great and invisible Torah, the Book of Books that never yet has fully entered this world. The understanding and the wisdom of such things is the essence of the Ace of Wands and of Keter on the Tree of Life in Atziluth. Let the circle with the point at its center be the symbol of this. Let yourself relax.
Return to a peaceful state. Let the image of the meditation of the Ace of Wands come upon you. In the center of your being there is a bright point of pure brilliant light. About you is darkness, featureless darkness. At a great distance from you is a vast and perfect light like the point at your center. This is the form of pure existence, light gathered in a single point from surrounding space with infinite, limitless light beyond. The circle with a point at its center, the sphere of existence with the focus of the existing one at its center. Hold that image about yourself. From the distant and limitless light above you a single beam of light begins to descend down toward the point of brilliance within you.
The beam becomes a line of light, slowly crossing the darkness toward you. You can see it now, approaching you from above, carrying with it a contact to the limitless light from before the beginning, from the eternity before the point of light that is your particular existence became separate from the vastness of the limitless light. The line of light touches the point of light and stops its evolution downward.
You were alone in the silence. Now you are linked with the eternal light by a single line of light. All the essence of all that can ever be is drawn into that line of light from the head of it, the place where it emerges from the limitless light so far away. All that you shall ever know descends to you by that single brilliant chord across the vastness of the silence, the silence that was left behind when the light that it contained drew together into the point of brilliance that is you.
The light of the line from infinity descends no farther. It is a touch of the All Existing that reaches only into you to embrace only you, to establish for you one path from the beginning infinite to the ending infinite that is your particular existence. This is the image of the great Sephira Chokmah on the Tree of Life and the highest image of the Two of Wands — A vast sphere beyond which there is endless and undifferentiated light. A point of brilliance at the center of that sphere.
A line of the same brilliant light, a radius to the sphere drawn from above to the center point. At times we dwell in solitude and see the world as though it was a thing wholly other, a thing apart, not of the self. Yet somewhere beyond that world is the greatness that holds all, the totality of existence that is one with the world and the self.
In answer to this need, in consolation of this aloneness, a single awareness sometimes descends from the highest hope in the infinite. This ray of Truth passes through the great void of the outside world, lighting by its passage all the highest things in that world, showing that all the world draws its nourishment from the same root as the self. This line of thought and inspiration, this moment of mystic insight reaches from the infinite to the inside of the self. At the moment of its touching there is no more loneliness. There is enlightenment in the void. And the void is void only by comparison to the light.
Imagine yourself in a room filled with books. You have tried to read them and have failed. Their words are unknown to you. Their ideas are closed to you. High up above the other books sits a dictionary. Through its aid you can cast the light of understanding upon the other books and unlock their meaning one by one. The dictionary, like the line of light from the infinite, is not easy to comprehend. Yet it can be studied, it can be learned; and through such study the void of unreadable ideas is peopled with familiar forms. Calm yourself. Let the image of the meditation on the Two of Wands form about you.
A point of light at your center, darkness all about you. At a great distance in all directions the same light that is concentrated at your center extends away to infinity. Hold that image. From above, a line of light descends toward the point of light at your center. Let that be the beginning of this meditation.
Visualize the line of light as a thin beam reaching down from the luminous infinity far above. Within the line of light are strange shadows and brighter glowings. Patterns seem to appear and vanish inside it. Some of the patterns illuminate the darkness a little to either side and grant visions of other realities than your own.
From dimly perceived images in the line of light, you form ideas and learn to see the elements of your own world. Below the bright point of light at your center is a vast darkness. Rays of light descend downward in imitation of the line of light. These gleamings are the efforts of your mind to penetrate the darkness. By their means the darkness is rendered less empty. One by one the glimmerings of thought find more and more tangible images in the darkness. The mind extends by stages of evolving awareness the patterns of the line of inspired light.
These images grow with understanding, first being very dim, then having rational form, then becoming almost solid and at last having the appearance of matter. This is the way in which we learn about the outside. This is the beginning of discovery of form through exercise of Understanding. The gradual outward spread of that part of self called form and perception is the function of the Sephira Binah on the Tree of Life and the Activity symbolized in the Three of Wands.
When a new idea comes into the mind by inspiration or more outward instruction, at first that idea lays dormant. In time other abstract expressions of the new idea are seen.