An Introduction to Tattvas
Any work within one's sub-conscious is real and potentially dangerous. It is possibleto spark off deeply repressed memories and traumas, which at the extreme can lead toa serious life crisis. Tattva work is no different, and many tales abound warning against becoming obsessed with one particular Tattva (element), which may lead to a state of imbalance. I highly recommend that anyone wanting to explore the Tattvas at very least be familiar with the concepts of 'active imagination', 'visualisation', or 'pathworking'. It is a good idea to record details of all sessions in a journal or diary, for later reference.
Tattvas are a way of directly "experiencing" the 5 alchemical elements, so aretherefore the logical progression of the previous elemental grade where the elementswere first discussed and symbolic ways of working with them described. The studentis now taught a method of directly learning the "theoretical" structure of the elementalworlds.
A Brief History of the Tattvas
There are six main schools of thought on Tattvic philosophy. The original Tattvasystem was developed by the Indian Kapila as part of his Sankhya philosophy. Thiswas about 700BCE, but the roots of Tattvic philosophy go back to at least 2000BCE.Kapila's Sankhya philosophy system divides the universe into five basic Tattvicshapes, which when countercharged become 25 Tattvas.The word Tattva is comprised of two words, "Tat" (meaning "that") and "Tvam"(meaning "thou"). Tattva basicially means "thatness", that is, the real being of anything. It is generally translated as meaning "quality". Further, "Tat" represents theGodhead and "Tvam" the individual, giving a meaning (which fits in well withHermetic Philosophy) of "That (which is the Universe) art thou." This is similar to theHermetic axiom of "As above, so below", and is directly related to the concepts of theMacrocosm ("Tat", Godhead) and Microcosm ("Tvam", individual).1