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Qaballah and Tarot: A Basic Course in Nine Lessons
Lesson III: The 22 Paths of the Tree of Life and the Greater Arcana of the Tarot
B. The Individual Paths
19. Key 29
The Moon. Pisces ý. Cardinal value, 100; ordinal value, 19. Connects Sephirah 7, Netzach, with Sephirah 10, Malkuth. Roman/English equivalent: A guttural sound represented by the Roman “Q,” closer to the “Ch” of Cheth, like the Scots “loch” or German “Achtung!” than to the Roman “k,” but not the “kw” sound of “Qu” as used in written English.
Qoph “ ,קThe Back of the Head” (referring to the cerebellum, ruled by this Path). Trump XVIII,
a. Qaballistic Meanings and Theory
Qoph is concerned with the body as the vehicle of the Spirit, and with the basic instincts, especially sexual reproduction, which can lead to the reproduction of more physical bodies. It is therefore a Path in which the intellect plays little part, and those who operate more or less exclusively in the sphere of the intellect, or who don’t like considering the facts of physical life and the chemical and biological factors of their own being in Earth, may find it repellant. .The biological and physical roots of our lives is one of the things which one faces on the 29th Path. But this doesn’t mean though that we are entirely conditioned by our biology and the physicality of our being, or only a mere product of them. The spirit and individuality are capable of controlling the Personality in spite of our reflexes and instincts. We are necessarily rooted in instinct and in the protoplasmic makeup of our bodies, but this doesn’t mean that we aren’t responsible for our actions. 40
The Tarot card assigned to this Path is Trump XVIII, The Moon. The title of the Path is Ruler of Flux and Reflux, Child of the Sons of the Mighty. The traditional design shows a crayfish or lobster emerging from a stream or pond onto a path leading between two towers into a wild range of hills lit by the light of the Full Moon. On either side of the path are a dog and a wolf. Drops of blood fall from the Moon. The card is a composite symbol of the processes of physical evolution, the primitive amphibian emerging from water onto land and beginning a long evolutionary journey. The towers represent the opposite poles of manifestation, and the dog and the wolf show the wild and domesticated versions of a single species. The dog is an animal sacred to Hekate, Goddess of the Moon, and the primitive sexual side of the card is apparent considering that to the Greeks, the sound of a dog howling at the Moon was the apotheosis of sexuality. The blood dripping from the Moon is a reminder of “Nature red in tooth and claw.” In some designs, the drops of blood take the form of Yods, signifying spermatozoa. The Moon is associated with the great cyclic movements of tides, and also with the growth of vegetation and the menstrual cycles of women. This cyclic activity no doubt accounts for the title of the Trump, Ruler of Flux and Reflux. The alternative title, Child of the Sons of the Mighty, signifies the primitive Elemental aspects of the path, the Elemental Kingdoms being “creations of the created,” that is, creations of the Sons of God rather than of God Himself. The name of the Key to the Path, the Hebrew letter Qoph, is “the Back of the Head.” This attribution is strongly suggested by the shape of the letter, which is like the back of the skull, with the top of the spinal column attached. The spinal cord is the center for numerous automatic responses and reflexes; the hindbrain contains the medulla oblongata, through which pass nerve fiber tracts uniting the spinal cord and brain, and the cerebellum, which receives impulses from muscles, tendons and joints via the spinal tracts, and thereby regulates posture. The intimate connection of the back of the head with the physical coordination of the body echoes the description of the Path in the Yetziratic Text: the Corporeal Intelligence. The astrological significance of this Path has to do with the sign and constellation of Pisces, the Fish. In the heavens, the two fish of the constellation are spaced quite widely apart, and are joined by a long ribbon or string, like an umbilical cord. At one level of interpretation this could be taken to be the individuality and personality linked together in the world of form. Early on, individuality is held captive in form by the personality, but as one’s personal evolution within a given life or from life to life via incarnation progresses, the situation is reversed, so that the personality comes to be held under the control of the individuality. This is the long-term result of the principle of Flux and Reflux, the ebb and flow of the direction of growth of the spirit’s vehicles into and out of form. The following poem, a slightly paraphrased adaptation from Dion Fortune’s novels Moon-Magic* and The Sea-Priestess,** gives a good idea of the essential meaning of this card: I am She Who, ere the Earth was formed, Was Rhea, Binah, Ge. I am that soundless, boundless, bitter Sea Out of Whose Deeps life wells eternally. Astarte, Aphrodite, Ashtoreth, Giver of life and bringer-in of death; Hera in Heaven, on Earth, Persephone; Kali and Black Isis, dancing on Their hills of skulls, Mikhail and Ezeli, Black Mary and Athena, Battling demons in the sky, Star-flecked Nuit, o’er-arching all the world, Diana of the Ways, and Hekate: All these am I, all are found in Me. The hour of the high full Moon draw near; I hear the invoking words, hear and appear: ShaDdaI EL ChaI, Kether, and Rhea, Binah, Ge, And ELITh, self-creating Creation In Aspects three, I come unto the one who calleth Me. ***
O Isis Veiled and Rhea, Binah, Ge, Lead us to the Well of Memory, The Well-Head where the pale white cypress grows, By secret twilight paths that no man knows, The shadowy path dividing into three – Diana of the Ways, and Hekate, Selene of the Moon, and Persephone, Mother Mary, Lilith, and Tsou-Mou, Kali-Shiva-Chandi-Durga, Parvati, And the Lord of Magick, Djehuti, Thrice-Great Hermes, Psychopompos And Divine Hermaphrodite. The high full Moon at the zenith shines clear! O hear the invoking words, hear and appear! ShaDdaI EL ChaI, Kether, and Rhea, Binah, Ge! *** Sink down, sink down, sink deeper and sink deep, Into eternal and primordial sleep. Sink down, forget, be still and draw apart Into the Inner Earth’s Most Secret Heart. Drink of the Waters of Persephone, The Secret Well beside the Sacred Tree. I am that secret Queen, Persephone. All Tides are Mine, and answer unto Me. Tides of the Airs, Tides of the Inner Earth, The secret, silent Tides of Death and birth: Tides of men’s souls, and dreams, and destiny – Isis Veiled, and Rhea, Binah, Ge – ELITh, self-creating Creation In Aspects three. *** I am that Star that rises from the Twilight Sea, Bringing men dreams that rule their destiny. I bring the Moon-Tides to the souls of men, The Tides that flow and ebb and flow again, That flow and ebb and flow alternately: These are My Secret, these belong to Me. *** I am eternal Woman, I am She – The Tides of all men’s souls belong to Me. The Tides that flow and ebb and flow again, The secret, silent Tides that govern men: These are My Secret, these belong to Me. *** Out of My Hands he takes his destiny, The touch of My Hands bestows serenity. These are the Moon-Tides, these belong to Me. Durga in Heaven, on Earth, Persephone, Diana of the Ways, and Liberty, Athena-Medusa, Aphrodite from the Sea,
All these am I, and They are found in Me. *** The high full Moon at the zenith shines clear; I hear thy prayer of invocation, and appear: ShaDdaI EL ChaI, Kether, and Rhea, Binah, Ge, I come unto those who call upon Me. *** Sink down, sink down, sink deeper and more deep Into eternal and primordial sleep. Sink down, be still, forget and draw apart Into the Inner Earth’s Most Secret Heart. Drink of the Waters of Persephone, The Secret Well beside the Sacred Tree. Waters of life and strength and inner light – Eternal joy born from the Deeps of Night. Then rise, made strong, with life and hope renewed, Reborn from darkness and from solitude, Blessed with the blessing of Persephone And secret strength of Rhea, Binah, Ge. *** Persephone, O Moon of men’s desire, Thy lambent light illumines with cold moon-fire! Persephone, Persephone, Moon of the night, we long for Thee. In Outer Space, the Springs of Being arise; With tidal sweep, Life streams across the skies, And in men’s hearts awake the slumbering fires: Thou art the Queen of Dreams and of Desires. Persephone, Persephone, Moon of the Night, we come to Thee! *** The Moon is riding high and clear, O Lovely One, draw near, draw near; To lonely ones on lonely ways, Come down in dream of silver haze. Persephone, Persephone, All in the end shall come to Thee, Radiant ELITh, self-creating Creation In Aspects three.
*Dion Fortune, Moon-Magic (Weiser Books, 2003; ISBN 978-1578632893). **Dion Fortune, The Sea Priestess (Weiser Books, 1979; ISBN 978-0877284246).
The Ocean Sea: Qoph’s domain
The Archaean Eon of Earthly life and the first real oceans Earth’s oceans are ancient. Study of zircons* shows that liquid water must have existed on Earth as long ago as 4.4 billion years (4.4 Gya†) before the present, very soon after the formation of the Earth. This requires the presence of an atmosphere. The Cool Early Earth theory‡ covers a range from about 4.4 Gya to 4.0 Gya. Recent studies of zircons (in the fall of 2008) found in Australian Hadean rock hold minerals that point to the existence of plate tectonics as early as 4 billion years ago. If this holds true, the previous beliefs about the Hadean period are far from correct. That is, rather than a hot, molten surface and atmosphere full of carbon dioxide, the Earth’s surface would be very much like it is today. The action of plate tectonics traps vast amounts of carbon dioxide, thereby eliminating the greenhouse effects and leading to a much cooler surface temperature and the formation of solid rock, and possibly even life. *Zircon (including hyacinth or yellow zircon) is a mineral belonging to the group of nesosilicates. Its chemical name is zirconium silicate; its corresponding chemical formula is ZrSiO 4. A common empirical formula showing some of the range of substitution in zircon is ((Zr 1–y, REEy)(SiO4)1– x(OH)4x–y). Zircon forms in silicate melts with concentrated incompatible elements and accepts high field strength elements into its structure. For example, hafnium is almost always present in quantities ranging from 1 to 4%. The crystal structure of zircon is tetragonal crystal system. The natural color of zircon varies between colorless, yellow-golden, red, brown, blue, and green. Colorless specimens that show gem quality are a popular substitute for diamond; these specimens are also known as “Matura diamond.” Zircon is a remarkable mineral, if only for its almost ubiquitous presence in the crust of Earth. It occurs in igneous rocks (as primary crystallization products), in metamorphic rocks and in sedimentary rocks (as detrital grains). Large zircon crystals are seldom abundant. Their average size, e.g. in granite rocks, is about 0.1–0.3 mm, but they can also grow to sizes of several centimeters (a few inches), especially in pegmatites. Owing to their uranium and thorium content, some zircons may undergo metamictization.** The processes, related to internal radiation damage, partially disrupt the crystal structure and partly explain the highly-variable properties of zircon. As zircon becomes more and more modified by internal radiation damage, the density decreases, the crystal structure is compromised, and the color changes. Zircon is a common accessory mineral that occurs worldwide, a trace mineral constituent of most granite and felsic igneous rocks. Due to its hardness, durability and chemical inertness, zircon persists in sedimentary deposits and is a common constituent of most sands. Zircon is rare within mafic rocks and very rare within ultramafic rocks aside from a group of ultrapotassic intrusive rocks such as kimberlites, carbonatites, and lamprophyre, where zircon can occasionally be found as a trace mineral owing to the unusual magma genesis of these rocks.
Zircon has played an important role during the evolution of radiometric dating. Zircons contain trace amounts of uranium and thorium (from 10 ppm up to 1 wt%) and can be dated using several modern analytical techniques. Because zircons can survive geologic processes like erosion, transport, even high-grade metamorphism, they contain a rich and varied record of geological processes. Currently, zircons are typically dated by uranium-lead (U-Pb), fission-track, and U+Th/He (Uranium/Thorium/Helium) dating techniques. Zircons from Jack Hills in the Narryer Gneiss Terrane, Yilgarn Craton, Western Australia, have yielded U-Pb ages up to 4.404 billion years, interpreted to be the age of crystallization, making them the oldest minerals so far dated on Earth. In addition, the oxygen isotopic compositions of some of these zircons have been interpreted to indicate that more than 4.4 billion years ago there was already water on the surface of the Earth. This interpretation is supported by additional trace element data, but is also the subject of debate. **Metamictization (sometimes called metamiction) is a natural process resulting in the gradual and ultimately complete destruction of a mineral’s crystal structure, leaving the mineral amorphous. Affected material is therefore described as metamict. Certain minerals occasionally contain interstitial impurities of radioactive compounds and it is the alpha radiation emitted from these compounds that is responsible for degrading a mineral’s crystal structure through internal bombardment. Effects of metamictization are extensive: other than negating any birefringence previously present, the process also lowers a mineral’s refractive index, hardness, and specific gravity. The mineral’s color is also affected: metamict specimens are usually green or brown. Further, metamictization diffuses the bands of a mineral’s absorption spectrum. Curiously and inexplicably, the one attribute which metamictization does not alter is dispersion. All metamict materials are themselves radioactive, some dangerously so. †Gya: Gigayears, i.e., 109 years = one billion (thousand million) years. ‡The Cool Early Earth theory, abbreviated CEE, holds that the early planet Earth had a calm influx of bolides and a cool climate allowing fluid water, after the planetary accretion but before the occurrence of the Late Heavy Bombardment in the Hadean geological eon. The Cool Early Earth is believed to have been the state for some hundreds of million years around 4.2 billion years (Gya) ago. This Cool Early Earth theory is supported by supposed water conditions at the creation of western Australian Jack Hills detrital zircons dated to about 4.0-4.4 Gya ago, some time after the planetary accretion era of the early Hadean. The Cool Early Earth was immediately followed by the Late Heavy Bombardment.
But standing water doth not, by itself, an ocean make. An ocean-free Earth existed for perhaps several hundred million years as a consequence of extremely high surface temperatures following planetary accretion and formation. The birth of Earth’s oceans required a worldwide cooling of Earth’s surface to temperatures at which liquid water can exist for any significant length of time, and it took time after the birth of our world for its surface temperatures to fall to levels low enough to allow large bodies of liquid water to form there. That such a profound transition from the highly energetic conditions of the newly accreted Earth, whose surface was dominated by meteoritic bombardment and transient magma oceans, to cooler conditions capable of supporting liquid water and, eventually, life occurred is not in question – the evidence, including our very existence, is all around us today. But the timing of that transition, which in turn has implications concerning the timing of the establishment of the surface conditions necessary for that development, is poorly known. Part of the uncertainty of that timing is due to the fragmentary nature of the rock record for the first 500 million years or so of Earth’s history. Simply put, not much is preserved in the rock record for that time – but it is just that part of the rock record that holds the clues to it. The most promising information concerning that geological evolution is in two forms: 1) preserved sediments up to approximately 3,800 million years old; and 2) oxygen isotope studies of detrital zircons up to 4400 Mya* years old. *1 Mya = 1 meagayear (1 million years).
The oldest known rocks on Earth are almost exactly 4 billion years old, and are comprised of metamorphosed and deformed granitoids from northwestern Canada which, collectively speaking, are called the Acasta gneiss. Direct radiometric dating using the U-Pb method on zircons* has demonstrated that these rocks crystallized 4,030 Mya ago, only a few hundred million years after the birth of our world. However, these “oldest rocks” don’t record information on surface conditions at the time of their formation. The oldest direct evidence for the presence of surface waters are slightly younger sedimentary rocks about 3,800 Mya old, members of a class of rocks called banded iron formations,** that are exposed in southwest Greenland at a location called Isua. The very existence of the Isua banded iron formation requires the presence of stable surface water, at least locally for the chemical deposition of the sedimentary components at ca. 3,800 Mya. These rocks were deposited in a somewhat analogous way to how limestones or cherts are deposited directly from seawater in modern marine environments. *Radiometric dating (often called radioactive dating) is a technique used to date materials such as rocks, usually based on a comparison between the observed abundance of a naturally occurring radioactive isotope and its decay products, using known decay rates. It is the principal source of information about the absolute age of rocks and other geological features, including the age of the Earth itself, and can be used to date a wide range of natural and man-made materials. Together with stratigraphic principles, radiometric dating methods are used in geochronology to establish the geological time scale. Among the best-known techniques are radiocarbon dating, potassium-argon dating and uranium-lead dating. By allowing the establishment of geological timescales, it provides a significant source of information about the ages of fossils and the deduced rates of evolutionary change. Radiometric dating is also used to date archaeological materials, including ancient artifacts. Different methods of radiometric dating vary in the timescale over which they are accurate and the materials to which they can be applied. All ordinary matter is made up of combinations of chemical elements, each with its own atomic number, indicating the number of protons in the atomic nucleus. Additionally, elements may exist in different isotopes, with each isotope of an element differing in the number of neutrons in the nucleus. A particular isotope of a particular element is called a nuclide. Some nuclides are inherently unstable. That is, at some point in time, an atom of such a nuclide will spontaneously transform into a different nuclide. This transformation may be accomplished in a number of different ways, including radioactive decay, either by emission of particles (usually electrons (beta decay), positrons or alpha particles) or by spontaneous fission, and electron capture. While the moment in time at which a particular nucleus decays is unpredictable, a collection of atoms of a radioactive nuclide decays exponentially at a rate described by a parameter known as the half-life, usually given in units of years when discussing dating techniques. After one half-life has elapsed, one half of the atoms of the nuclide in question will have decayed into a “daughter” nuclide or decay product. In many cases, the daughter nuclide itself is radioactive, resulting in a decay chain, eventually ending with the formation of a stable (nonradioactive) daughter nuclide; each step in such a chain is characterized by a distinct half-life. In these cases, usually the half-life of interest in radiometric dating is the longest one in the chain, which is the rate-limiting factor in the ultimate transformation of the radioactive nuclide into its stable daughter. Isotopic systems that have been exploited for radiometric dating have half-lives ranging from only about 10 years (e.g., tritium) to over 100 billion years (e.g., Samarium-147). In general, the half-life of a nuclide depends solely on its nuclear properties; it is not affected by external factors such as temperature, pressure, chemical environment, or presence of a magnetic or electric field. (For some nuclides which decay by the process of electron capture, such as Beryllium7, Strontium-85, and Zirconium-89, the decay rate may be slightly affected by local electron density, therefore these isotopes may not be as suitable for radiometric dating.) But in general, the half-life of any nuclide is essentially a constant. Therefore, in any material containing a radioactive nuclide, the proportion of the original nuclide to its decay product(s) changes in a predictable way as the original nuclide decays over time. This predictability allows the relative abundances of related nuclides to be used as a clock to measure the time from the incorporation of the original nuclide(s) into a material to the present.
The basic equation of radiometric dating requires that neither the parent nuclide nor the daughter product can enter or leave the material after its formation. The possible confounding effects of contamination of parent and daughter isotopes have to be considered, as do the effects of any loss or gain of such isotopes since the sample was created. It is therefore essential to have as much information as possible about the material being dated and to check for possible signs of alteration. Precision is enhanced if measurements are taken on multiple samples from different locations of the rock body. Alternatively, if several different minerals can be dated from the same sample and are assumed to be formed by the same event and were in equilibrium with the reservoir when they formed, they should form an isochron. This can reduce the problem of contamination. In uraniumlead dating, the concordia diagram is used which also decreases the problem of nuclide loss. Finally, correlation between different isotopic dating methods may be required to confirm the age of a sample. For example, a study of the Amitsoq gneisses from western Greenland used five different radiometric dating methods to examine twelve samples and achieved agreement to within 30 Mya on an age of 3,640 Mya. Accurate radiometric dating generally requires that the parent has a long enough half-life that it will be present in significant amounts at the time of measurement (except as described below under “Dating with short-lived extinct radionuclides”), the half-life of the parent is accurately known, and enough of the daughter product is produced to be accurately measured and distinguished from the initial amount of the daughter present in the material. The procedures used to isolate and analyze the parent and daughter nuclides must be precise and accurate. This normally involves isotope ratio mass spectrometry. The precision of a dating method depends in part on the half-life of the radioactive isotope involved. For instance, carbon-14 has a half-life of 5,730 years. After an organism has been dead for 60,000 years so little carbon-14 is left that accurate dating can not be established. On the other hand, the concentration of carbon-14 falls off so steeply that the age of relatively young remains can be determined precisely to within a few decades. If a material that selectively rejects the daughter nuclide is heated, any daughter nuclides that have been accumulated over time will be lost through diffusion, setting the isotopic “clock” to zero. The temperature at which this happens is known as the closure temperature or blocking temperature and is specific to a particular material and isotopic system. These temperatures are experimentally determined in the lab by artificially resetting sample minerals using a high-temperature furnace. As the mineral cools, the crystal structure begins to form and diffusion of isotopes is less easy. At a certain temperature, the crystal structure has formed sufficiently to prevent diffusion of isotopes. This temperature is what is known as closure temperature and represents the temperature below which the mineral is a closed system to isotopes. Thus an igneous or metamorphic rock or melt, which is slowly cooling, does not begin to exhibit measurable radioactive decay until it cools below the closure temperature. The age that can be calculated by radiometric dating is thus the time at which the rock or mineral cooled to closure temperature. Dating of different minerals and/or isotope systems (with differing closure temperatures) within the same rock can therefore enable the tracking of the thermal history of the rock in question with time, and thus the history of metamorphic events may become known in detail. This field is known as thermochronology or thermochronometry. The age equation: The mathematical expression that relates radioactive decay to geologic time, is D = D0 + N(eλt − 1) where t is age of the sample, D is number of atoms of the daughter isotope in the sample, D0 is number of atoms of the daughter isotope in the original composition, N is number of atoms of the parent isotope in the sample, and λ is the decay constant of the parent isotope, equal to the inverse of the radioactive half-life of the parent isotope times the natural logarithm of 2. The above equation makes use of information on the composition of parent and daughter isotopes at the time the material being tested cooled below its closure temperature. This is wellestablished for most isotopic systems. However, construction of an isochron does not require
information on the original compositions, using merely the present ratios of the parent and daughter isotopes to a standard isotope. Plotting an isochron is used to solve the age equation graphically and calculate the age of the sample and the original composition. Radiometric dating has been carried out since 1905 when it was invented by Ernest Rutherford as a method by which one might determine the age of the Earth. In the century since then the techniques have been greatly improved and expanded. Dating can now be performed on samples as small as a nanogram using a mass spectrometer. The mass spectrometer was invented in the 1940s and began to be used in radiometric dating in the 1950s. The mass spectrometer operates by generating a beam of ionized atoms from the sample under test. The ions then travel through a magnetic field, which diverts them into different sampling sensors, known as “Faraday cups”, depending on their mass and level of ionization. On impact in the cups, the ions set up a very weak current that can be measured to determine the rate of impacts and the relative concentrations of different atoms in the beams. The uranium-lead (U-Pb) dating method: The uranium-lead radiometric dating scheme has been refined to the point that the error margin in dates of rocks can be as low as less than two million years in two-and-a-half billion years. An error margin of 2–5 % has been achieved on younger Mesozoic rocks. Uranium-lead (U-Pb) dating is often performed on the mineral zircon (ZrSiO 4), though it can be used on other materials, such as baddeleyite. Zircon and baddeleyite incorporate uranium atoms into their crystalline structure as substitutes for zirconium, but strongly reject lead. It has a very high closure temperature, is resistant to mechanical weathering and is very chemically inert. Zircon also forms multiple crystal layers during metamorphic events, which each may record an isotopic age of the event. In situ micro-beam analysis can be achieved via laser ICP-MS or SIMS techniques. One of its great advantages is that any sample provides two clocks, one based on uranium-235’s decay to lead-207 with a half-life of about 700 million years, and one based on uranium-238’s decay to lead206 with a half-life of about 4.5 billion years, providing a built-in crosscheck that allows accurate determination of the age of the sample even if some of the lead has been lost. This can be seen in the concordia diagram, where the samples plot along an errochron (straight line) which intersects the concordia curve at the age of the sample. Other methods of radiometric dating, using various elements for the purpose, exist that are highly reliable within restricted ranges of time. For more on radiometric dating, see, e.g., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiometric_dating **Banded iron formations (also known as banded ironstone formations, or BIFs) are a distinctive type of rock often found in primordial (Precambrian) sedimentary rocks. The structures consist of repeated thin layers of iron oxides, either magnetite (Fe 3O4) or hematite (Fe2O3), alternating with bands of iron-poor shale and chert. Some of the oldest known rock formations, formed over 3,700 million years ago, include banded iron layers, and the banded layers are a common feature in sediments for much of the Earth’s early history. The formations are abundant around the time of the Great oxygenation event, and become less common after 1.8 Gya. The reappearance of BIF conditions at 1,900 million years ago, and in association with Snowball Earth 750 million years ago, is difficult to explain. The total amount of oxygen locked up in the banded iron beds is estimated to be perhaps twenty times the volume of oxygen present in the modern atmosphere. Banded iron beds are an important commercial source of iron ore, such as the Pilbara region of Western Australia and the Animikie Group in Minnesota. The conventional idea is that the banded iron layers formed in sea water as the result of oxygen released by photosynthetic cyanobacteria (blue-green algae), combining with dissolved iron in Earth’s oceans to form insoluble iron oxides, which precipitated out, forming a thin layer on the substrate, which may have been anoxic mud (forming shale and chert). Each band is similar to a varve, to the extent that the banding is assumed to result from cyclic variations in available oxygen. It is unclear whether these banded ironstone formations were seasonal, followed some feedback oscillation in the ocean’s complex system or followed some other cycle. It is assumed that initially the Earth started out with vast amounts of iron dissolved in the world’s acidic seas. Eventually, as photosynthetic organisms generated oxygen, the available iron in the Earth’s oceans was precipitated out as iron oxides. At the tipping point where the oceans became permanently oxygenated, small variations in oxygen production produced pulses of free oxygen in the surface waters, alternating with pulses of iron oxide deposition.
Until 1992, it was assumed that the rare, later (younger) banded iron deposits represented unusual conditions where oxygen was depleted locally, and iron-rich waters could form then come into contact with oxygenated water. An alternate explanation of these later deposits was undergoing much discussion as part of the Snowball Earth hypothesis. This hypothesis states that following the breakup of the early equatorial supercontinent (Rodinia), the earth’s continents were totally covered in compacted ice (implying the whole planet was frozen at the surface to a depth of several kilometers). If this was the case, Earth’s free oxygen may have been nearly or totally depleted during a severe ice age circa 750 to 580 Mya ago. Dissolved iron then accumulated in the oxygenpoor oceans (possibly from seafloor hydrothermal vents). Following the thawing of the Earth, the seas became oxygenated once more causing the precipitation of the iron. Another mechanism for BIF-formation, also proposed in the context of the Snowball Earth discussion, is by deposition from metal-rich brines in the vicinity of hydrothermally active rift zones. Alternatively, some geochemists suggest that BIFs could form by direct oxidation of iron by microbial anoxygenic phototrophs (organisms that use light to make sugars as a food resource, such as blue-green algae).
The oldest known Earth materials are actually not rocks. Sand grains composed of the mineral zircon (ZrSiO4) have been discovered that are almost 400 million years older than the oldest rocks in the rock record. In the Jack Hills of Western Australia, detrital igneous zircons with U-Pb crystallization ages as old as 4.4 billion years occur in Archean clastic sediments deposited approximately 3,000 Mya before the present. Zircon is a very useful mineral that is mechanically resistant to erosion, chemically resistant to fluids, and can be ‘dated’ with the U-Pb method owing to the ubiquitous presence of trace amounts of radioactive uranium and thorium that are incorporated in most zircons at the time of crystallization. The very existence of these ancient zircons demonstrates that igneous rock (e.g., crust) was present starting at ca. 4.4 Gya. But the evidence of oceans preserved in these grains comes in a different form. Oxygen isotopes in geologic materials are affected by temperatures present during the formation and alteration of rocks and minerals. In basic terms the oxygen isotope ratio- the ratio of 18O-to-16O (usually expressed in a notation called ‘delta’, or δ18O, and reported relative to a standard material) of minerals from the mantle varies little due to the high temperatures in the mantle, and is usually around a value of ~5.5‰ (per mil or parts-per-thousand relative to a reference material). In contrast the δ 18O composition of surface materials (e.g., minerals and rocks) varies much more widely and can range from values similar to mantle minerals if unaltered (e.g. 5-6‰) up to values of δ 18O = > 30‰ due to low temperature reactions of minerals with fluids, such as surface waters like oceans. In simple terms mantle materials have ‘low’ δ18O values, while sediments and other low-T altered materials have ‘high’ δ18O values. Analysis of oxygen isotope ratio in zircon can address the nature of the reservoir of oxygen in the magma that is adopted by the zircon during crystallization. In other words δ18O(zircon) provides a reliable record of whether the parental δ18O(magma) was ‘mantle-equilibrated’ as all primary mantlederived magmas are prior to interaction with crustal materials, or whether the parental δ 18O(magma) was ‘crustal’ meaning that the magma inherited a component of its oxygen budget from assimilated crustal materials (like sediments or other altered rocks) which results in higher δ 18O values in the bulk rock and constituent igneous minerals. To address our question of when oceans first formed on Earth, we can analyze the δ 18O values of the ancient zircons to see if they record ‘mantle-equilibrated’ values, which would mean that no evidence of a crustal component is detectable in the oxygen of those zircons; or if they record “crustal” δ 18O values, meaning that the early magmas assimilated crustal materials that were affected by low-temperature interaction with water prior to melting. And because we can also radiometrically date the zircon grains themselves, we can place these conditions in a temporal context. What we find is that the oxygen isotope ratios (δ18O) in the oldest detrital igneous zircons record mantle-equilibrated values from 4400 to approximately 4,325 Mya (i.e., around 5.3 to 5.4‰). From 4,325 Mya to about 4,000 Mya the δ 18O values of zircons are slightly elevated, up to 6.3‰ (note: the upper end of this range, approximately 6.3‰, is higher than what is capable of being produced in a mantle melt; however, the uncertainty in these analyses overlaps with that of the mantle itself). Just after 4.2 Gya the story changes. Values of δ 18O in the igneous zircons reach values as high as 7.3‰ with uncertainties that exclude a mantle source. We infer that to produce these ‘high δ18O’ zircons required that the igneous protolith of the zircon must have assimilated or re-melted crustal materials that were altered by low-temperature processes at or near Earth’s surface. In other words, surface waters were present by at least 4.2 Gya.
What does all this mean? There are two hypotheses for when oceans originated on Earth. Hypothesis 1: Oceans first formed approximately 3,800 Mya before the present. The Isua BIF provides definitive “ground truth” that surface water was indeed stable at 3,800 Mya; however, no “boundary condition” can be defined by the Isua BIF. Simply put, there is no way to determine whether the Isua BIF was deposited in the first ocean on Earth. In that regard, the Isua BIF is like a geologic “snapshot”; we can’t infer that significantly large bodies of water existed on Earth’s surface before the Isua BIF. Hypothesis 2: Oceans formed much earlier than assumed in Hypothesis 1, by at least ca. 4.2 Gya. The Jack Hills detrital zircons provide an actual timeline that records the magmatic oxygen isotope compositions of magmas on the young Earth. In this record, we can see a time before the influence of low-temperature weathering was recorded in magmas prior to 4,200 Mya or so, and a definitive change in magmatic oxygen, as recorded in elevated δ 18O (zircon), came about after 4,200 Mya. In this regard, the detrital zircons actually record a boundary condition that marks when surface weathering, hence the presence of oceans, occurred for the first time on Earth. (For more on this topic, see, e.g., http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/earlyearth/questions/formation_oceans.html) Whether Hypothesis 1 or Hypothesis 2 actually proves to be the case, the first of Earth’s oceans formed no later than 3.8 billion years before the present, and perhaps much earlier than that; their formation marked the beginning of the Archean (alt. Archaean), formerly called the Archaeozoic (alt. Archeozoic or Archæozoic) Eon, a geologic division that began with the close of Earth’s Hadean Eon,* and lasted until the Paleoproterozoic Era of the Proterozoic Eon, which began about 2.5 billion years before the present.** It is for that reason that Pisces and its ruler, Neptune, are associated with the Archean Eon, in the same way that Pluto and Scorpio are associated with the Hadean Eon, and Uranus and Aquarius are associated with the Proterozoic Eon and, to some extent, the Paleozoic and Mesozoic, those periods of the Phanerozoic Eon† before the Cenozoic.‡ *The Hadean Eon is the major geologic division before the Archean Eon. It began with Earth’s formation about 4.6 billion years ago (4,600 Mya), and ended approximately 3.8 billion years ago, though the latter date varies somewhat according to different authorities. The name “Hadean” derives from Hades, Greek for “Underworld,” referring to the conditions on Earth at the time. The geologist Preston Cloud coined the term in 1972, originally to label the period before the earliest-known rocks. W. Brian Harland later coined an almost synonymous term: the “Priscoan period.” Other, older texts simply refer to the eon as the Pre-Archean. For more on the Hadean Eon, see Key 31, which is concerned with Pluto, ruler of that Eon, and Key 24, associated with the astrological sign Scorpio and Pluto’s domain, the Underworld and its correlates. **Instead of being based on stratigraphy, this date, that of the opening guns of the Proterozoic Eon, is defined chronometrically. The lower boundary (starting point) has not been officially recognized by the International Commission on Stratigraphy, but it is usually set to 3.8 Gya, at the end of the Hadean Eon. In older literature, the Hadean is included as part of the Archean. The name comes from the ancient Greek “Αρχή” (Arkhē), meaning “beginning, origin.” †Phanerozoic Eon: The time of well-displayed life, i.e., complex life with recognizable skeletons, either internal or external, and other hard parts. This is the current eon in the geologic timescale, and the one during which abundant animal life has existed. It covers roughly 545 million years and goes back from the present day to the time when diverse hard-shelled animals first appeared. Its name is derived from the Greek words φαίνω and ζωή, meaning “make life appear,” since it was once believed that life began in the Cambrian, the first period of the Phanerozoic. The time before the Phanerozoic, formerly called the Precambrian supereon, is now divided into the Hadean, Archaean and Proterozoic eons. The exact date of the boundary between the Phanerozoic and the Proterozoic is somewhat uncertain. In the 19th Century, the boundary was set at the first abundant metazoan fossils. But several hundred taxa of Proterozoic metazoa have been identified since systematic study of those
forms started in the 1950s. Most geologists and paleontologists would probably set the ProterozoicPhanerozoic boundary either at the classic point where the first trilobites and archaeocyatha appear; at the first appearance of a complex feeding burrow called Treptichnus pedum; or at the first appearance of a group of small, generally disarticulated, armored forms termed ‘the small shelly fauna’. The three different dividing points are within a few million years of each other. The Phanerozoic is divided into three eras: the Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic. In the older literature, the term Phanerozoic is generally used as a label for the time period of interest to paleontologists, but that use of the term seems to be falling into disuse in more modern literature. The time span of the Phanerozoic includes the rapid emergence of a number of animal phyla; the evolution of these phyla into diverse forms; the emergence of terrestrial plants; the development of complex plants; the evolution of fish; the emergence of terrestrial animals; and the development of modern faunas. During the period covered, continents drifted about, eventually collecting into a single landmass known as Pangaea and then splitting up into the current continental landmasses. ‡The Cenozoic Era (also Cænozoic or Cainozoic, meaning “new life”, from Greek καινός kainos, “new,” and ζωή zoe, “life”) is the most recent of the three classic geological eras and covers the period from 65.5 million years ago to the present. It is marked by the Cretaceous–Tertiary extinction event at the end of the Cretaceous that saw the demise of the last non-avian dinosaurs and the end of the Mesozoic Era. The Cenozoic Era is currently ongoing.
The Archean is one of the four principal eons of Earth history. When the Archean began, the Earth’s heat flow was nearly three times higher than it is today, and it was still twice the current level at the transition from the Archean to the Proterozoic (2,500 Ma). The extra heat was the result of a mix of remnant heat from planetary accretion, heat from the formation of the Earth’s core, and heat produced by radioactive elements. Most surviving Archean rocks are metamorphic or igneous. Volcanic activity was considerably higher than today, with numerous lava eruptions, including unusual types such as komatiite. Granitic rocks predominate throughout the crystalline remnants of the surviving Archean crust. Examples include great melt sheets and voluminous plutonic masses of granite, diorite, layered intrusions, anorthosites and monzonites known as sanukitoids. The Earth of the early Archean may have supported a tectonic regime unlike that of the present. Some scientists argue that, because the Earth was much hotter at that time than it is now, tectonic activity was more vigorous than it is today, resulting in a much faster rate of recycling of crustal material. This may have prevented cratonization and continent formation until the mantle cooled and convection slowed down; if so, it would have been a time when oceans were not just the dominant feature of Earth’s surface, as they are now, but virtually the only feature on it, making it the Age of Oceans, indeed. Others argue that the oceanic lithosphere was too buoyant to subduct, and that the rarity of Archean rocks is a function of erosion by subsequent tectonic events. The question of whether or not plate tectonic activity existed in the Archean is an active area of modern research. There are two schools of thought concerning the amount of continental crust that was present in the Archean. One school maintains that no large continents existed until late in the Archean: small protocontinents were the norm, prevented from coalescing into larger units by the high rate of geologic activity. The other school follows the teaching of Richard Armstrong, who argued that the continents grew to their present volume in the first 500 million years of Earth’s history, and have maintained a nearconstant ever since: throughout most of Earth’s history, recycling of continental crust back into the mantle in subduction or collision zones balances crustal growth. Opinion is also divided about the mechanism of continental crustal growth. Those scientists who doubt that plate tectonics operated in the Archean argue that the felsic protocontinents formed at hotspots rather than subduction zones. Through a process called “sagduction”, which refers to partial melting in downward-directed diapirs, a variety of mafic magmas produce intermediate and felsic rocks. Others accept that granite formation in island arcs and convergent margins was part of the plate tectonic process, which has operated since at least the start of the Archean. An explanation for the general lack of Hadean rocks (older than 3800 Ma) is the efficiency of the processes that either cycled these rocks back into the mantle or effaced any isotopic record of their antiquity. All rocks in the continental crust are subject to metamorphism, partial melting, and tectonic erosion during multiple orogenic events, and the chance of their survival on the surface decreases with
increasing age. When the Earth was very young, this process would have been far more rapid than it is today, rapid enough to ensure that virtually no rocky crustal material remains from that time. In addition, the Late Heavy Bombardment (LHB),* a period of intense meteorite bombardment during the period 4.03.8 Gya, pulverized all rocks then at the Earth’s surface. The fact that the age of the oldest surviving rocks is similar to that of the LHB is almost certainly probably not accidental. *The Late Heavy Bombardment (commonly referred to as the lunar cataclysm, or LHB) occurred approximately 4.1 to 3.8 billion years ago (Gya) at which time a large number of impact craters are believed to have formed on the Moon, and, by inference, on Earth, Mercury, Venus, and Mars, as well. The evidence for this event comes primarily from the dating of lunar samples, which indicates that most impact melt rocks formed during this relatively narrow interval of time. While many hypotheses have been put forth to explain a spike in the flux of either asteroidal or cometary materials to the inner solar system, no consensus yet exists as to its cause. One popular theory postulates that the gas giant planets migrated in orbit at this time, gravitationally perturbing the orbits of objects in the Main Asteroid Belt and/or Kuyper Belt as they did so, causing the latter to take up eccentric orbits and, in some cases, catastrophically intersect with the orbits of the terrestrial planets. Nevertheless, some argue that the lunar sample data do not require a cataclysmic cratering event near 3.9 Ga, and that the apparent clustering of impact melt ages near this time is an artifact of sampling material affected by a single large impact basin. The main piece of evidence for a lunar cataclysm comes from the radiometric ages of impact melt rocks that were collected during the Apollo missions. The majority of these impact melts are believed to have formed during the collision of asteroids or comets tens of kilometers across, forming impact craters hundreds of kilometers in diameter. The Apollo 15, 16, and 17 landing sites were chosen as a result of their proximity to the Imbrium, Nectaris, and Serenitatis basins. Under study on Earth, the ages of impact melts collected at these sites clustered between about 3.8-4.1 Gya before the present. The apparent clustering of ages of these was first noticed in the mid1970s by Fouad Tera, Dimitri Papanastassiou, and Gerald Wasserburg, who concluded that the ages of those impact melts record an intense bombardment of the Moon. They called that bombardment the “lunar cataclysm,” and proposed that it represents a dramatic increase in the rate of bombardment of the Moon around 3.9 Gya. If these impact melts were derived from those three basins, then not only did those prominent impact basins form within a short interval of time, but, based on stratigraphic evidence, so did many others. At the time, the conclusion was considered controversial. As more data has become available, particularly from lunar meteorites, this theory, while still controversial, has gained in popularity. The lunar meteorites are believed to randomly sample the lunar surface, and at least some of these should have been ejecta originated in regions far from the Apollo landing sites, ending up in the latter areas because of far-flung scattering due to the initial, highly energetic impacts. Many of the feldspathic lunar meteorites probably originated on the lunar far side, and impact melts within these have recently been dated. Consistent with the cataclysm hypothesis, none of their ages was found to be older than about 3.9 Ga. Nevertheless, the ages do not cluster about this date, but span a period of time between 2.5 and 3.9 Gya. Studies of the highland crater size distributions suggest that the same family of projectiles struck Mercury and the Moon during the LHB. If the history of decay of the LHB on Mercury also followed the history of the LHB on the Moon, Caloris, the youngest large basin discovered on Mercury, would be comparable in age to the youngest large lunar basins, Orientale and Imbrium, and all of the plains units are older than 3 billion years. While the cataclysm hypothesis has recently gained in popularity, particularly among dynamicists who have identified possible causes for such a phenomenon, the cataclysm hypothesis is still a controversial theory based on debatable assumptions. Two criticisms are that (1) the “cluster” of impact ages could be an artifact of sampling a single basin’s ejecta, and (2) that the lack of impact melt rocks older than about 4.1 Gya may have been due to all such samples having been pulverized, or their ages reset by some mechanism. The first criticism concerns the origin of the impact melt rocks that were sampled at the Apollo landing sites. While these impact melts have been commonly attributed to having been derived from the closest basin, it has been argued that a large portion of these might instead be derived from the Imbrium basin. The Imbrium impact basin is the youngest and largest of the multi-ring basins found on the central nearside of the Moon, and quantitative modeling shows that significant amounts of ejecta from this event should be present at all of the Apollo landing sites. According to this
alternative hypothesis, the cluster of impact melt ages near 3.9 Gya simply reflects material being collected from a single impact event, Imbrium, and not several. A second criticism concerns the significance of the lack of impact melt rocks older than about 4.1 Gya. One hypothesis for this observation that does not involve a cataclysm postulates that older melt rocks did exist, but their ages have all been reset by the continuous effects of impact cratering over the past 4 billion years. Furthermore, it is possible that these putative samples could all have been pulverized to such small sizes that it is impossible to obtain age determinations using standard radiometric methods. If a lunar cataclysmic cratering event were truly to have occurred on the Moon, the Earth would have been affected as well. Extrapolating lunar cratering rates to Earth at this time suggest that the following number of craters would have formed: 22,000 or more impact craters with diameters > 20 km, about 40 impact basins with diameters about 1000 km, several impact basins with diameter about 5,000 km, Serious environmental damage would occur about every 100 years. Prior to the introduction of the Late Heavy Bombardment theory, it was generally assumed that the Earth had remained molten until about 3.8 Gya. This date could be found in all of the oldest known rocks from around the world, and appeared to represent a strong “cutoff point” beyond which older rocks could not be found. These dates remained fairly constant even across various dating methods, including the system considered the most accurate and least affected by environment, uranium-lead dating of zircons. As no older rocks could be found, it was generally assumed that the Earth had remained molten until this point in time, which defined the boundary between the earlier Hadean and later Archean epochs. Older rocks could be found, however, in the form of chips off asteroids that fall to Earth as meteorites. Like the rocks on Earth, asteroids also show a strong cutoff point, at about 4.6 Gya, which is assumed to be the time when the first solids formed in the protoplanetary disk around the then-young Sun. The Hadean, then, was the period of time between the formation of these early rocks in space, and the eventual solidification of the Earth’s crust, some 700 million years later. This time would include the accretion of the planets from the disk and its slow cooling into a solid as the gravitational potential energy of this collapse was released. Later calculations showed that the rate of collapse and cooling was dependent on the size of the body, and applying this to an Earth-sized mass suggested this should have happened quite quickly, as quickly as within 100 million years. The difference between measurement and theory was something of a mystery at the time. The Late Heavy Bombardment is now offered as an explanation of this oddity. Under this model, the rocks dating to 3.8 Ga represent those that were solidifying after much of the crust was destroyed by the Bombardment. The Acasta Gneiss in the North American cratonic shield and gneisses within the Jack Hills portion of the Narryer Gneiss Terrane in Western Australia are, collectively, the oldest continental fragments on Earth and do not predate the late heavy bombardment. The oldest mineral yet dated on Earth, a zircon from Jack Hills, predates this event but may simply be a fragment of crust left over from this event, contained within a much younger (~3800 Ma old) rock. Some geologists believe they have found 4.28 billion year old rock in Quebec, Canada, though. This has led to something of a revolution in the understanding of the earliest stages of Earth’s history during the Hadean. Older references generally show the Hadean Earth having a molten surface with prominent volcanoes, for instance Hadean time. The name referred to the “hellish” conditions assumed on Earth for the time. It is now believed that the Hadean surface was solid, temperate, and water covered (albeit acidic). This is due to the presence of several particular isotopic ratios which suggest water-based chemistry took place at some point prior to the formation of the oldest rocks. Of particular interest, Manfred Schidlowski argued in 1979 that the carbon isotopic ratios of some sedimentary rocks found in Greenland were a relic of organic matter. There was much debate over the precise dating of the rocks, with Schidlowski suggesting they were about 3,800 Mya old, and others suggesting a lower age, around 3,600 Mya. In either case it was a very short time for abiogenesis, the origin of organic life from inanimate matter, to have taken place, and if Schidlowski was correct, arguably too short a time. The LHB and the “re-melting” of the crust that it suggests
provides a timeline under which this would be possible: either life formed immediately after the LHB, or, more likely, survived it, having arisen earlier during the Hadean Eon. Recent studies suggest that the rocks Schidlowski found are indeed from the older end of the possible age range at about 3,850 Mya, suggesting the latter possibility is the most likely answer. Schidlowski’s argument remains a topic of heated debate. More recently, a similar study of Jack Hills rocks shows traces of the same sort of potential organic indicators. Thorsten Geisler of the Institute for Mineralogy at the University of Münster studied traces of carbon trapped in small pieces of diamond and graphite within zircons dating to 4,250 Mya. The ratio of carbon-12 to carbon-13 was unusually high, normally a sign of processing by living organisms. Three-dimensional computer models developed in May 2009 by a team at the University of Colorado at Boulder postulate that much of Earth’s crust, and the microbes living in it, could have survived the LHB. Their models suggest that although the surface of the Earth would have been sterilized by the LHB, hydrothermal vents below the Earth’s surface could have incubated life by providing a sanctuary for heat-loving microbes. A series of simulations by Gomes, et al. start with a Solar System in which the gas giant planets are in a tight orbital configuration. This configuration is in itself stable, but assuming a rich transNeptunian belt, stray trans-Neptunians interacted with these planets, causing them to migrate slowly during a time of several hundred million years. Jupiter is predicted to have migrated inward, toward the Sun, whereas the other planets moved outwards, away from it. During this migratory process, the Solar System became catastrophically unstable when Jupiter and Saturn reached a 1:2 orbital resonance, causing the outer Solar System to reconfigure rapidly to a wide jovian system. As these planets migrated, resonances were “swept” through the asteroid belt and Kuyper belt, increasing the orbital eccentricity of the objects, allowing them to enter the inner Solar System and impact with the terrestrial planets, which events would have comprised the Late Heavy Bombardment. (For more on dynamical evolution of the Solar System and the migration of the gas giants, see, e.g., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nice_model) According to one planetesimal simulation of the establishment of the planetary system, the planets Uranus and Neptune formed very slowly, over a period of several billion years. Harold Levison and his team have also suggested that the relatively low density of material in the outer Solar System during planet formation would have greatly slowed their accretion. This “late appearance” of these planets has therefore been suggested as a different reason for the LHB. However, recent calculations of gas-flows combined with planetesimal runaway growth in the outer solar system imply that Jovian planets formed extremely rapidly, on the order of 10 Mya, which does not support this explanation for the LHB. One such mechanism is presented by the Planet 5 simulations, positing the former existence of a fifth planet, smaller than Mars, in the inner Solar System, outside the orbit of Mars but inside what is now the Main Asteroid Belt. The orbit of this planet was theorized to be nearly circular but metastable, and was disrupted at the time of LHB, becoming eccentric, slinging asteroids about to collide with the inner planets before ultimately plunging into the Sun. For more information on the Late Heavy Bombardment, see, e.g., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Late_Heavy_Bombardment, http://www.daviddarling.info/encyclopedia/L/late_heavy_bombardment.html, http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v435/n7041/abs/nature03676.html, and follow the links given there to find additional information.
The Archean atmosphere likely lacked free oxygen. Temperatures appear to have been near modern levels even within 500 Mya of Earth’s formation, with liquid water present, as evidenced by certain highly deformed gneisses produced by metamorphism of sedimentary protoliths. Astronomers think that the Sun was about one-third dimmer then than at present, which may have contributed to lower global temperatures than would otherwise be expected. That those temperatures were nevertheless not far from normal today is thought to reflect larger amounts of greenhouse gases then than have been present later in Earth’s history. By the end of the Archaean, around 2.6 Gya ago, plate tectonic activity may have been similar to that of the modern Earth. There are well-preserved sedimentary basins, and existing evidence of volcanic arcs, intracontinental rifts, continent-continent collisions, and widespread globe-spanning orogenic events suggests the assembly and destruction of one and perhaps several supercontinents during the Archean.
Liquid water was prevalent on the surface, despite the faint young Sun paradox, and deep oceanic basins are known to have existed by the presence of banded iron formations, chert beds, chemical sediments and pillow basalts. Although a few mineral grains are known that are Hadean, the oldest rock formations exposed on the surface of the Earth are Archean or slightly older. Archean rocks are known from Greenland, the Canadian Shield, the Baltic shield, Scotland, India, Brazil, western Australia, and southern Africa. Although the first continents formed during this eon, rock of this age makes up only 7% of the world’s current cratons; even allowing for erosion and destruction of past formations, evidence suggests that continental crust equivalent to only 5-40% of the present amount formed during the Archean. In contrast to the Proterozoic, Archean rocks are often heavily metamorphized deep-water sediments, such as graywackes,* mudstones,** volcanic sediments, and banded iron formations. Carbonate rocks are rare, indicating that the oceans were more acidic due to dissolved carbon dioxide than during the Proterozoic. Greenstone belts are typical Archean formations, consisting of alternating units of metamorphosed mafic† igneous‡ and sedimentary‡‡ rocks. The meta-igneous rocks were derived from volcanic island arcs, while the metasediments represent deep-sea sediments eroded from the neighboring island arcs and deposited in a forearc basin. Greenstone belts represent sutures between protocontinents. *Greywacke or Graywacke (German grauwacke, signifying a grey, earthy rock) is a variety of sandstone generally characterized by its hardness, dark color, and poorly sorted angular grains of quartz, feldspar, and small rock fragments or lithic fragments set in a compact, clay-fine matrix. It is a texturally immature sedimentary rock generally found in Palaeozoic strata. The larger grains can be sand- to gravel-sized, and matrix materials generally constitute more than 15% of the rock by volume. The term “greywacke” can be confusing, since it can refer to either the immature (rock fragment) aspect of the rock or the fine-grained (clay) component of the rock. **Mudstone (also called mudrock) is a fine grained sedimentary rock whose original constituents were clays or muds. Grain size is up to 0.0625 mm (0.0025 in) with individual grains too small to be distinguished without a microscope. With increased pressure over time the platey clay minerals may become aligned, with the appearance of fissility or parallel layering. This finely bedded material that splits readily into thin layers is called shale, as distinct from mudstone. The lack of fissility or layering in mudstone may be due either to original texture or to the disruption of layering by burrowing organisms in the sediment prior to lithification. Mud rocks, such as mudstone and shale comprise some 65% of all sedimentary rocks. Mudstone looks like hardened clay and, depending upon circumstances under which it was formed, it may show cracks or fissures, like a sun-baked clay deposit. They can be separated into these categories: Siltstone - greater than half of the composition is silt-sized particles. Claystone - greater than half of the composition is clay-sized particles. Mudstone - hardened mud; a mix of silt and clay sized particles. Mudstone can include: Shale - exhibits lamination or fissility. Argillite - has undergone low grade metamorphism. †Mafic is an adjective describing a silicate mineral or rock that is rich in magnesium and iron; the term was derived by contracting “magnesium” and “ferric”. Most mafic minerals are dark in color and the relative density is greater than 3. Common rock-forming mafic minerals include olivine, pyroxene, amphibole, and biotite. Common mafic rocks include basalt and gabbro. In terms of chemistry, mafic rocks are on the other side of the rock spectrum from the felsic rocks. The term roughly corresponds to the older basic rock class. Mafic lava, before cooling, has a low viscosity, in comparison to felsic lava, due to the lower silica content in mafic magma. Water and other volatiles can more easily and gradually escape from mafic lava, so eruptions of volcanoes made of mafic lavas are less explosively violent than felsic lava eruptions. Most mafic lava volcanoes are oceanic volcanoes, like Hawaii. ‡Igneous rock (derived from the Latin word igneus meaning of fire, from ignis meaning fire) is one of the three main rock types, the others being sedimentary and metamorphic rock. Igneous rock is formed through the cooling and solidification of magma or lava. Igneous rock may form with or without crystallization, either below the surface as intrusive (plutonic) rocks or on the surface as extrusive
(volcanic) rocks. This magma can be derived from partial melts of pre-existing rocks in either a planet’s mantle or crust. Typically, the melting is caused by one or more of three processes: an increase in temperature, a decrease in pressure, or a change in composition. Over 700 types of igneous rocks have been described, most of them having formed beneath the surface of Earth’s crust. These have diverse properties, depending on their composition and how they were formed. ‡‡Sedimentary rock is a type of rock that is formed by sedimentation of material at the Earth’s surface and within bodies of water. Sedimentation is the collective name for processes that cause mineral and/or organic particles (detritus) to settle and accumulate or minerals to precipitate from a solution. Particles that form a sedimentary rock by accumulating are called sediment. Before being deposited, sediment was formed by weathering and erosion in a source area, and then transported to the place of deposition by water, wind, mass movement or glaciers which are called agents of denudation. The sedimentary rock cover of the continents of the Earth’s crust is extensive, but the total contribution of sedimentary rocks is estimated to be only 5% of the total volume of the crust. Sedimentary rocks are only a thin veneer over a crust consisting mainly of igneous and metamorphic rocks. Sedimentary rocks are deposited in layers as strata, forming a structure called bedding. The study of sedimentary rocks and rock strata provides information about the subsurface that is useful for civil engineering, for example in the construction of roads, houses, tunnels, canals or other constructions. Sedimentary rocks are also important sources of natural resources like coal, fossil fuels, drinking water or ores. The study of the sequence of sedimentary rock strata is the main source for scientific knowledge about the Earth’s history, including paleogeography, paleoclimatology and the history of life.
Fossils of cyanobacterial mats (i.e., stromatolites, which were instrumental in creating the free oxygen in the atmosphere) are found throughout the Archean, becoming especially common late in the eon, while a few probable bacterial fossils are known from chert beds. In addition to the domain Bacteria (once known as Eubacteria), microfossils of the domain Archaea have also been identified. Life was probably present throughout the Archean, but may have been limited to simple nonnucleated single-celled organisms called Prokaryota (formerly known as Monera). There are no known eukaryotic fossils, though they might have evolved during the Archean without leaving any fossils. No fossil evidence yet exists for ultramicroscopic intracellular replicators such as viruses. In other words, it was during the Archaean Eon that the first oceans formed and then grew to cover most of the planet, and that living creatures, whose ancestors may have arisen during the earlier Hadean Eon, began to extract carbon dioxide from Earth’s atmosphere and, in the process of creating sugars for sustenance and the building of structural tissues, liberate oxygen from it, the beginning of the process that led to the rich oxygenation of first Earth’s oceans, and then her atmosphere. The stage for the evolution of animal life was thus set during the Archaean, for it was in the oceans that the first animals came into existence, where minerals and gases needed by living beings were abundant, and these nutrients could be easily extracted through simple absorption through an organism’s skin. It was much later, during the Phanerozoic Eon, the beginnings of which are ruled by Uranus and Aquarius (for more on which, see below), that complex life was able to colonize the land, where it was far harder to make a living than it was in water, and an additional stressor, gravity, that rarely came into play in water, required the creation of special support structures. Whether Earth’s life first began in Darwin’s “warm little ponds,”* or deep in the oceans, around hydrothermal vents, in either event protected from environmental shocks that could have generated turbulence that would have destroyed the conditions necessary for the formation of life but still possessing all the ingredients necessary for it, its first great flourishing occurred in Earth’s early oceans. It is therefore the oceans that witnessed most of life’s ancient beginnings, hidden from us by vast amounts of time and Elements most of us are not comfortable with, its existence only known by us from fossils and fossil chemical traces and whatever we have been able to infer from them. *Charles Darwin speculated, in a letter to the botanist Joseph Hooker (1871), on the possibility of a chemical origin for life: It is often said that all the conditions for the first production of a living organism are present, which could ever have been present. But if (and Oh! what a big if!) we could
conceive in some warm little pond, with all sorts of ammonia and phosphoric salts, light, heat, electricity, etc., present, that a protein compound was chemically formed ready to undergo still more complex changes, at the present day such matter would be instantly devoured or absorbed, which would not have been the case before living creatures were formed. We began in the sea. All our nature is based on it, its memory and that of the lives of our most ancestors in every cell of our bodies. Its yawning gulfs represent our nightmares and greatest fears; its bounty sustains our lives and gives us hope. From the writer of the book of Job to Debussy and Herman Melville to H. P. Lovecraft and the good folks who maintain the website Bloopwatch.org, our greatest writers and artists have always been fascinated by the sea and everything in it, using them extensively as subjects in their works – and for good reason, as the soul of humanity has been captive by the oceans since time out of mind. More: every atom of hydrogen in our bodies has been part of one sea or another since the very first oceans began to form on Earth, as the world’s first liquid water fell from the anoxic but water-rich skies, creating first puddles and rills, then ponds and streams, then lakes and rivers, and, finally, seas and oceans among the bare, still-cooling rocks that formed Earth’s nascent surface more than four billion years ago. Yet most of the oceans are unknown to us. We reflexively equate them with the Collective Unconscious, appropriately so, as Poseidon’s dominion is as much over the water in our bodies, of which we are rarely if ever aware, as it is of water at large. The great sharks and huge whales and unknown megacephalopoda, the vast, unknown Lovecraftian marvels, the undersea volcanoes fiery volcanic vents and quiet sea-mounts and great abysses and the rich bounty of the continental shelves, the East Pacific Gyre and all the oil slicks that BP ever let loose that lurk in the watery deeps – all of them have their counterparts in the depths of our unconscious minds, the ones that occasionally show themselves in the depths of night, around 3 a.m., when all the tides of the world are at their ebb our worst lucid nightmares burst forth to prey on our quaking sanity. All of them, and their correlates in our minds and souls and spirits, are represented by the astrological sign Pisces.
The Astrology and Astromythology of Pisces
Pisces and the Twelfth House rule the oceans and everything connected with them, and all the waters of the world. The oceans facilitate what might be called the emotional life of our living world, regulating the weather and climate everywhere on Earth, generating storms which in the short run may be extremely destructive, but are absolutely necessary in the long run if Earth’s heat-budget and the dynamics of her atmosphere are to remain healthy. But they also rule certain aspects of the human realm, and it is these with which astrologers, Magickians, and Qaballists are concerned. Pisces is the last astrological month of Winter in the Northern Hemisphere, and the last month of the northern astrological year. The days may be cold and bleak during Pisces, but nevertheless the Sun, trending north since the Winter Solstice, is warming the Earth, making it ready for Spring. Like water set to boil in a kettle, which, after reaching the temperature of 212° F (100° C), the temperature of boiling water, still doesn’t come to a boil until more heat has been added, enough to provide the energy needed to lift and convect water in the process we call boiling, the Earth doesn’t seem to be warming much during this month. It will only truly begin to warm after the Spring Equinox, by which time enough extra solar heat has been added to the ground that the atmosphere above begins to warm, as well, at which point temperatures begin to rise above those of the cold, grey, damp days of Pisces, when increased precipitation and the melting of Winter’s burden of snow and ice causes many areas to become boggy, generates floods, and reveals to view ugly things that were concealed from the world during Winter by snow and ice. Sol is an esoteric ruler of Pisces because his heat is busy transforming the world then, hastening the departure of Winter and the coming of Spring. Luna is the other esoteric ruler of Pisces because she rules flowing water and the tides, and that Element is more characteristic of Pisces than it is
any other astrological month. Water begins to flow across the land, now, transforming it, making it ready for Spring’s great resurrection of life; but it will still not be until the Sun enters Aries that the results of that transformation become evident in the form of new plant life sprouting everywhere, the first tender of buds of flowers showing themselves, and animals giving birth or hatching eggs in the midst of Spring’s bounty, when it is easiest to find food to feed themselves and their young. Luna’s diurnal esoteric dominion is over Pisces, which rules the oceans and seas of the world. She generates the great ocean tides, and rules the tides of Life itself and the emotions that power those tides, the tides of sex, reproduction, death, and evolution. This Path is beautifully represented by the musical piece Bolero, which builds and builds on a simple theme to a crescendo of enormous power, like the great rushing tidal-waves of emotion which build and build upon relatively simple biochemical processes taking place within the body that impel us to waking, sleeping, sex, rage, and all the rest of the vast spectrum of emotional and instinctual life, whether we will it or not. As the oceans hide a wealth of things not even suspected by us landlubbers, Pisces and the Twelfth House of the Horoscope rule hidden things and matters conducted from or in hiding. These include, e.g., sabotage, espionage, covert operations, guerrilla warfare, murder, poisons, and child abuse; anonymous contributions to charity, anonymous actions of any kind; charity; hospitals; martyrdom; masochism; the past; past incarnations, the history and evolutionary roots of the individual soul; the unconscious, both individual and collective; the oceans; and the evolution and extinction of species and the development of the individual as processes. They rule the hidden highways and byways of life, places of asylum or confinement: hospitals, ashrams, prisons, and the womb. These are the sign and house of the saint and ascetic as well as crime-lords and the most frightening criminals, the psychopaths that terrorize the world. They rule our nightmares of the latter, and our visions of the former, our fears of hell and our hopes of heaven. They rule the past, not only the immediate past of the moment, but the path the soul has taken through all its incarnations. As Cancer and the 4 th House rule one’s physical ancestry, one’s lineage and ancestors, and Scorpio and the 8th House rule one’s genetic ancestry, all the way back to the very first living creature on Earth, so Pisces and the 12th House are concerned with origins in time, in this case, the origins and roots of the mind and soul, and everything that has influenced these since their beginnings. Those ruled by Pisces are exquisitely sensitive to the thoughts and feelings of others. They absorb the ideas and emotional energy of everyone around them. They tend to be influenced more by external factors than by moral certitude, and may have trouble making up their minds. They are highly creative, with a strong esthetic sense, because of which many have become famous artists and scientists, such as the scientist Albert Einstein and the Renaissance artist Michelangelo. According to astrologer Alan Oken, those born under Pisces experience the tension and confusion of a constant dualism, the urge to unite oneself with the invisible forces of the soul in unending battle with the desire to take part in the material universe and control the affairs of that sphere, the finite consciousness of the individual struggling to make itself one with the infinite consciousness of Creation. Humanly, these manifest in competition between a drive to sacrifice one’s own well-being for the sake of others and the drive to exercise complete authority over others in order to fulfill one’s own personal goals. This dualism also manifests in the form of competition between one’s physical body, with all its limitations and its mortality, and the soul and the spiritual realms, whose boundaries are literally infinitely greater than those of the physical realm and immortality is the rule rather than the exception. The latter includes the realms of human emotion, imagination, and the unconscious mind, and it is those governed by Pisces who are best able to explore it, then tell the world about it via the arts and the sciences. Pisces governs the ultimate consequences of the actions and decisions of mortals such as ourselves, the end-point of the series of incarnations a soul undergoes in its quest for fulfillment and union with God as well as punishment or reward for one’s actions in a given lifetime. With Saturn, Pluto, and Scorpio, it governs Hell – but also Heaven, a dominion it shares with Aquarius and the 11 th House of the Horoscope, which are associated with Key 28, Tzaddi. Some call Pisces “the most misunderstood sign in the Zodiac.” This may be because Pisces is far more concerned with the oceanic collective unconscious and its connection with the physical universe around us than it is with the conscious mind and the concerns of daylight consciousness., with the origins of being itself and the matrix from which it arises and in which it develops and evolves than with individual expressions of being. The science-fiction author Larry Niven once half-facetiously referred to Earthly life as “water with trace contaminants” – which, on a cellular level, is absolutely true. Water, the true universal solvent, the most perfect medium for the biochemical processes of life, constitutes anywhere from 70% to 95% or more of a living creature by weight. We carry an ancient sea within
ourselves, and out of that sea arises all our emotions, dreams, thoughts, impulses, and intimations of the future. Those burn under Pisces are the most likely to experience true clairvoyance, precognition, and telepathy, because they are more consciously aware than most of that same restless internal sea, whose spiritual counterpart extends throughout the universe and even the infinite multiverse. Its surf breaks on every shore, everywhere, and its carries within itself the dissolved saltes of all that has ever been and all that ever could be. Qaballistic correspondences: Yetziratic text: The Twenty-ninth Path is the Corporeal Intelligence, so called because it forms every body which is formed in all the worlds, and the reproduction of them.” Yetziratic titles: Ruler of Flux and Reflux. Child of the Sons of the Mighty. Hebrew letter:
Numerical value: 100 Astrological assignment: Pisces, ruler of the 12th House of the horoscope, ruled by Jupiter and Neptune; in which Venus is exalted; and of which the Sun and Moon are the esoteric rulers. Pisces is negative, cold, moist, obedient, and fruitful; but in some individuals it manifests as effeminate, idle, sickly, and unfortunate. Other assignments for Pisces include crooked, hoarse or mute, bestial, broken, common, ascending, bicorporeal or dual or doublebodied, nocturnal, negative, feminine, and weak.* When the Part of Fortune is in Pisces or the 12th House, it becomes the Part of Misfortune.** Pisces is a Mutable Water sign. The 12th House is a Succeedent House of Endings. *See Nicholas de Vore, Encyclopedia of Astrology (NY: Astrology Classics Publishing, 1947, 2002; ISBN 1-53810-104-1), pp. 373-380. **Ivy M. Goldstein-Jacobson, Simplified Horary Astrology (Alhambra, CA: Frank Severy Publishing, 1960), p. 263.
Ecological process, realm, or principle: The formation of large bodies of water, i.e., great lakes, seas, and oceans; and the Hypersea.* In terms of body ecology, Qoph is represented by the fluids in and between every cell of every multicellular organism, and by those in the cells of bacteria and extremophiles. Also, Qoph is associated with the endocrinological systems of complex animal life, including Homo sapiens (Venus, the lower octave of Neptune, ruler of Pisces, which is associated with Qoph, is exalted in Pisces, and is one of the astrological rulers of the some of the endocrine glands, while Neptune rules the endocrinological system overall.) Those parts of the vertebrate brain associated with sleep and dreaming, which are ruled by Neptune, are under the dominion of Pisces, as well.
*The Hypersea is a concept first developed by biologists Mark and Dianna McMenamin. Life on land is such a spectacular success because, say Dianna and Mark McMenamin, 450 million years ago life created the Hypersea – a vast new ocean of interconnected tissues whose ways were chartered by pioneering fungi and parasites. Life started in the ocean about 4 billion years ago, and for 3.5 billion years, it remained there. Evolution created organisms that had to stay wet – they were essentially fluid-filled bags, and if
they dried out, their circulatory systems would collapse, and most of their proteins and DNA would crumple up into uselessness. Without the ocean’s nutrient-filled currents, they would starve, and they and their fragile eggs and larvae would be immobile, unable to reach new or better habitats. From the point of view of life in the sea, the land equals death. Yet animals, plants, and fungi first came ashore some 450 million years ago, and ever since then, life on land has been outrageously successful. Though land-based organisms have had to remain fluid-filled, DNA-based sacs, still relying on the same old oceanic ways of getting food and energy, such as predation and photosynthesis, there are now twice as many species on land as there are in the seas, and they produce some 50 times as much biomass as their marine counterparts. Furthermore, they manage this in a space only one-third as broad only a tiny fraction as deep as Earth’s world ocean. And they achieved these luxuriant statistics in very little time. If oceanic life were a hundred-year-old man, life on land would be an eleven-year-old child. Other researchers have tried to explain this land-sea paradox without much success. But Mark and Dianna McMenamin, a husband- and-wife paleontological team, have a hypothesis that they believe can explain it. To understand the success of life on land, they say, you have to recognize that it is a unified whole. What makes it different from marine life is that on land, unrelated terrestrial organisms – plants, fungi, and animals – form a vast number of direct, physical connections through which fluid can move. In effect, the McMenamins claim, life on land has not so much forsaken the sea as created a new sea within the sum of its tissue – something Dianna and Mark have dubbed Hypersea. “Hypersea is in many ways different from an ocean: for starters, it has no surface on which you can gaze, and it does not seek to be level. If you could look at life on land through a machine that registered only fluid, you would see great columns of nutrient-laced water rising – the columns would be where trees stand. You would see water flowing horizontally underground among plant roots and fungi, pouring into animals as they fed, moving as the creatures moved. According to the McMenamins, such a liquid matrix has become Earth’s newest aquatic habitat, one that marine organisms have aggressively colonized. And in critical ways it behaves exactly like an ocean: the movement of fluid through Hypersea provides life with the same sustenance that ocean currents do. But there is one notable difference in the life it feeds: rather than being passive beneficiaries of an ocean that surrounds them, land organisms can control the currents within themselves. Thus the Hypersea – life on land – was guaranteed to become a magnificent success. If the McMenamins are right, and Hypersea does actually flow through all creatures on the surface of the Earth, plants, animals, and fungi, all the cells in all the bodies of all creatures that live on land, the implications are enormous. Hypersea not only offers an explanation for the largely mysterious emergence of life onto the land, but it also suggests a number of bizarre life-forms that should once have existed and might still do so. It explains not only the terrestrial biota’s greater biomass and biodiversity, but also answers such questions as why terrestrial food chains are so much shorter than marine ones. It could provide agricultural and medical researchers with new ways to understand pests and diseases. It could even reveal the future of evolution. The beginnings of the idea of the Hypersea came about when Dianna McMenamin was an undergraduate at the University of California at Santa Barbara, coinciding with her interest in and study of the kingdom of the fungi. There are several hundred thousand species of fungus, which are more closely related to animals than are plants. Without a fungus, bread would not rise, and beer would be barley juice. Without penicillin and other antibiotics produced by fungi, infections would have claimed millions more lives this century than has actually been the case. Without fungi in the soil, most plants would die, because they are joined with fungi in life-giving symbiosis. Fungi exist as a web of slender threads known as hyphae, many of which are only one cell thick. They have no mouths with which they can eat like animals, and they can’t photosynthesize like plants. What they have are enzymes that can break down living tissue, dead organic matter, or even rock. Fungi get their nourishment by releasing these enzymes and then absorbing the resultant slush through their cell walls. The hyphae of many species, known collectively as mycorrhizal fungi, invade the roots of plants and sometimes even their stems, and plunge into their cells. Though the fungi then seem poised to suck the plants dry, they are in fact good, considerate neighbors. Mycorrhizal fungi take some of the plants’ carbohydrates, but in return they give minerals and other compounds – a more intelligent relationship than is often found between human neighbors. Fungi form underground networks that unite forests of different plant species. Sometimes a network acts like a nervous system. When a plant is attacked by insects, some species of fungus can pump pesticides into it. If one part of a stand of trees is poor in nitrogen and another is short of
water, fungi can transport the substances needed. And if the plants are starving, fungi can give them lumps of oil to feed on. One of Dianna’s interests as an undergraduate was the bizarre sex life of fungi. In many species of fungi, when two hyphae from different fungi meet, they probe each other. If they are of different sexes – a matter of genetic, rather than genital, compatibility – they fuse and exchange genes. (The species that Dianna studied has 5,000 different sexes.) After mating, fungi often produce aboveground structures such as mushrooms and toadstools, loaded with up to a trillion spores. By the time she was ready for graduate school, Dianna’s interests had focused on questions relating to the origin of life, and she decided to study paleontology at Santa Barbara. But she soon found that when she would ask other paleontologists about the origin of fungi, they’d simply shrug. With few known fossils, fungal origins were a blank. In 1980, Dianna met Mark, when he too came to study paleontology at Santa Barbara. They soon married. Mark’s own career had grown out of a boyhood fascination with early life-forms. When he was ten, he paged through a book of fossils and was struck by a picture of an inch-wide disk with three curved rays radiating from its center. The book explained that this creature, a tribrachidium, was 550 million years old, and that no one had any idea what it was. “I thought, this is very strange,” Mark says. The tribrachidium was among Earth’s first multicellular animals, known collectively as the Ediacaran fauna (named after Ediacara, Australia, where the first fossils were found). These animals were flat, boneless, eyeless, mouthless, and brainless. About 530 million years ago they vanished during a burst of evolution known as the Cambrian explosion, during which almost all the major forms of life that have existed ever since came to populate the oceans. “The whole focus of my graduate work was trying to locate these things, to try to find a new field site,” says Mark. He traveled the length of North America searching for one. Eventually he found a rich vein of Ediacaran fossils in Mexico. The site has yielded dozens of new species, and Mark has become an authority on the first chapter of the story of animals. Recently he discovered a jellyfish-like animal at the site that is 590 million years old – the oldest known fossil of a multicellular animal. Like other Ediacaran fossils, this animal was a humble blob. In their book The Emergence of Animals, the McMenamins hypothesize that these creatures lived in a world very different from ours, one that had plenty of room for humble blobs. Analogous to photosynthesizing plants, these creatures made their own food, so even though they were large, they weren’t predators, nor were they preyed on. Some animals harbored photosynthesizing microbes in their tissues, while others harvested the energy in chemical compounds in the ocean. Some were just passive nutrient absorbers, picking up amino acids kicking around in the water. Mark likes to call this tranquil world the Garden of Ediacara. For reasons that are still unclear, the Cambrian explosion brought the world’s first predators, complete with mouths and brains, and they swiftly destroyed the Ediacaran garden. But as Mark points out, there was an evolutionary upside: Those first predators forced their prey to do new things. Your lineage gets helped by the things that are trying to eat you. Help, in this instance, means you develop armors and poisons and escape maneuvers. And then the predators undergo a diversification, and you are forced to undergo one yourself in order to survive the new types of predators that are evolving, and so it goes in a positive feedback process, until, in a few million years, the ocean is filled with countless new species. In 1984 the McMenamins went to Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, where Mark had taken a teaching position. As they worked on their book on animals, Mark started overhauling his class on the history of life. “When I looked at the textbook I was using, there seemed to be something missing,” he says. “For one thing, fungi were barely discussed. For another,” he says, “plants were mentioned, but peripherally, in little boxes. This seemed like a serious oversight. The one thing I kept coming back to was coal.” In their study of early life, the McMenamins had noticed an odd coincidence. During the Cambrian explosion, dry land was occupied by only a varnish of bacteria. But within 60 million years, plants and animals arrived, and less than 100 million years after that, life on land was already more diverse than in the oceans. Land plants were forming forests so vast that they created a kind of rock never seen before: coal. For billions of years there’s no coal, says Mark, and then suddenly there’s a new rock. No one had been able to solve the mystery of how a biological process so powerful that it became a geologic force could burst on the scene so quickly. Mark became fascinated with this second explosion of Phanerozoic life. He and Dianna spent a great deal of time discussing this after he started doing his research, Mark tossing out explanations for it, Dianna shooting them down. In particular, she reminded him that any theory for the rise of
life on land had to explain the mysterious origin of fungi. I kept hammering on him, saying, ‘Look at the fungi!’ Mark turned to a fungus textbook for inspiration. “I’m reading, and I think, I’m not going to read this whole thing. In all the articles, the interesting things are either in the throwaway comments at the end or in footnotes. So I open up the book to one of the later chapters, and there’s a discussion of weird cases. I’m reading along, and one weird case is this fungus called Septobasidium. And suddenly it just hits me: this is the essence of why life works on land.” Septobasidium is a fungus with a taste for animals – specifically, for waxy, moth-like creatures known as scale insects that live as seemingly immobile bumps on the branches of trees. The fungus forms a blanket that traps the insect against a trunk. Then it inserts its hyphae into the insect and absorbs its fluids. But the paralyzed insect doesn’t die – it actually lives longer and has more young than its uninfected counterparts. It survives by sticking a long feeding tube into the tree and sucking out the tree’s fluids. In the meantime, the tree was drinking from a mycorrhizal fungus entwined with its roots underground – fluid was flowing from the fungus into the plant, from the plant into the animal, and from the animal into the fungus. Mark began to think of the other organisms connected to this association: the parasitic fungi that infected the mycorrhizal fungus, and the wormlike nematodes that latched onto the roots of the tree. He realized that Septobasidium, the tree drinking from the mycorrhizal fungus, and all the other organisms fed on currents of fluid, just as many marine organisms do – but this fluid flowed through their own tissues. The various organisms had, in effect, created an ocean inside themselves. The more the McMenamins talked over this concept, the more it seemed to them that the whole effort of evolution on land had been to re-create the ocean internally and exploit it. Perhaps it started as an act of evolutionary desperation, but it was eventually able to create the staggering bulk and diversity of life that has lived on land ever since. Comfortable as life might be in the ocean, it has its intrinsic limits. Creatures living in the surface waters of the ocean are in a perpetual state of famine. The biota strip them of their nutrients, scouring everything clean, and it takes a long time to replenish them. With few exceptions, plankton can do nothing but wait for an upwelling of deep water to bring in more nutrients. In the ocean, productivity is just little bursts of bioproductivity in the places around upwellings of nutrients, and at the fringes along continents. The rest is just desert. According to the McMenamins, the short pause between the Cambrian explosion and the advent of terrestrial plants, animals, and fungi was probably no coincidence. With brainy predators on the prowl, the only safe place left was a marginal one where the animals hadn’t yet become serious predators. Perhaps some protoplants and protofungi tried to scrape by along the coasts, where they had to endure dry periods. The protofungi would attack the protoplants and usually kill them. But suppose a defective protofungus failed to kill its victim – it could stumble into a symbiotic relationship with the plant that allowed them both to thrive. As the protofungus broke up rock and consumed it, it gave some to the protoplant. In turn, the protoplant could stop depending on ocean currents for its nutrients and start evolving the structures and shielding necessary for growing upright, out in the open air. Once a plant could escape the water, it could immediately gather far more solar energy. Drying out as a result of evaporation was a risk, but evaporation was also beneficial because it acted like a pump, pulling more water from the plant’s roots, laced with the food provided by the fungus, to its photosynthetic tissues. The McMenamins point out that what happens in this scenario is that suddenly the upwelling of the ocean that brings nutrients to the surface happens inside two kinds of cooperating organisms. Organisms have seized control of the nutrient flow. Instead depending on marine upwelling, land life can harness hypermarine upwelling. No longer do the organisms have to suffer in passive starvation. If the McMenamins are right, this fortunate arrangement should be preserved in the fossil record. Fungus fossils are rare, but not nonexistent, and Mark may have found some. Along with other researchers, he has been studying rocks from a 400-million-year-old pond in Scotland, finding spores in them that look exactly like those of modern mycorrhizal species. Winfried Remy of Westphalian Wilhelms University in Germany reported discovering in the rocks the unique, bush-shaped tendrils that mycorrhizal fungi insert into plant cells. Without that, vascular plants were probably doing well on their own, and fungi came along as opportunists. But the fungi seem to have been there from the beginning. Ever since its creation of Hypersea, life on land has become increasingly successful whenever it has figured out a new way to exploit or control the new medium. Early plants, for example, still
needed to let their gametes swim to each other in standing water. But within 50 million years they had figured out how to run this step of reproduction in their watery interiors. Only then did plants really start to race across the surface of the land, changing the face of the planet forever. As this new fluid habitat of plants, fungi, and animals expanded across the land, it became an inviting frontier for exploration. Many marine species moved onto shore not by sprouting legs but by slipping into the blood or sap of land organisms. (Some, such as the wormlike pentastomes, have since become extinct in the oceans.) Land parasites follow the same rules in a body as fish do in the ocean. They navigate with sensors, detecting chemical gradients instead of light or odors. They camouflage themselves from their predators – e.g., cells of the immune system do this, for obvious reasons – with biochemical rather than visual cloaks. Like fish, parasites can be territorial. In some parasitic wasp species, the mother will lay several eggs in a host. All but one hatch early and cruise the host’s body, killing competing parasites so that the last larva to hatch has a habitat all to itself. As any aquarium owner knows, there is a limit to how many fish you can put in one tank; the same crowding effect takes place among parasites in a host. It’s like a fishbowl full of live and hungry fish and other creatures, says Dianna. The similarity of the ecological niche of land-based parasites to that of ocean fish would seem to stop at migration, since terrestrial parasites face an obvious problem: in many places their sea is disconnected. But, like plants and fungi, parasites can take control of the Hypersea’s flow, directing it to get them from one host to the next. A dramatic example is offered by the worm Leucochloridium paradoxum. It matures inside snails, but to reproduce it needs to get inside a bird. Navigating its way through the Hypersea, the worm moves into the snail’s eyestalks. Its presence there turns the eyes a bright red. Partially blinded, the snail crawls to the top of a plant in search of light. There the snail, with bright eyes in plain view, is easy prey for birds. (For more on parasites and their relationships with their hosts, see, e.g., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parasitism, http://www.damninteresting.com/parasites-on-the-brain, etc.) The evolution of parasites in Hypersea helps explain the diversity of life on land. Once ashore, parasites were forced to begin aggressively exploring the many environments available to them inside land life – indeed, the difficulties of living outside a watery host left them little choice. Each potential host, of course, was a unique environment requiring special adaptations, a situation that encouraged the parasites to diversify, and they did so with enthusiasm. They even turned other parasites into their homes. Like a set of Russian dolls, a host caterpillar may contain a parasitic wasp larva, which in turn contains another larva, which is home to yet another larva, and so on, so that the caterpillar carries five parasites in total. The effect of such specialization is made clear by the fact that, by at least one estimate, parasitic wasps and their parasites constitute 8 percent of the world’s biodiversity – equal to one-quarter of all the diversity in the oceans. The diversity of life on land is also elevated as a result of the dense traffic of organisms and genetic material riding the currents of the Hypersea through various organisms. Mark’s favorite example is the chestnut tree. An Asian fungus has wiped out almost all chestnuts in the United States, leaving only their root systems. But a new strain of fungus has arrived. It carries an impaired virus that can live only in the fluid tissues of the fungus and renders the fungus harmless to chestnuts. When the new fungus meets the old and the two engage in some fungal sex, the virus slips into the harmful fungus and neutralizes it. Now, notes Mark, some foresters are claiming that the trees are recovering. The result is that the fungi act like a diversity pump. Instead of a tree getting wiped out by a parasite, with a net diversity of zero, the tree is still living, there are two strains of the fungus, and there is the virus. Not only viruses but, probably, bare-nekkid DNA get traded frequently through the flow of Hypersea. “The promiscuity of DNA in Hypersea has got to be tremendous,” says Mark. He cites recent work demonstrating that the fungi and algae that together form lichen appear to have traded an extraordinary number of genes – to a degree never seen in marine life. There are a few examples of this in the ocean, Mark concedes, but they’re minor and puritanical. The last time someone with scientific credibility claimed that life was united in some grand superorganism was in the 1970s, when organic chemist James Lovelock and molecular biologist Lynn Margulis suggested that the entire biosphere stabilized the composition and temperature of the atmosphere and oceans. They named the system Gaia. But though it is very poetic, the Gaia hypothesis doesn’t offer scientists a straightforward way to test it, something which has led many critics to call it unscientific. The McMenamins both admire Gaia, but they don’t think Hypersea will suffer its fate. As Dianna says, Hypersea makes specific predictions that can be refuted, and Gaia in many ways is simply a metaphor.
The McMenamins say that the idea of the Hypersea will rise or fall with future research into marine parasites, which have yet to be thoroughly studied. They predict that there should be far fewer nested parasites in the ocean, that they shouldn’t compete much with one another within a host, and that they should survive better than terrestrial parasites outside host organisms. “We also predict that the variance of virulence is bigger on land than in the ocean – more really bad parasites and others that are asymptomatic,” says Mark. “In marine habitats you’d expect a narrower spectrum of virulence, since the oceans are bathed in one medium. A virus can float all the way around the world.” Fungi also remain poorly understood. These, too, can help test Hypersea. Since hypermarine upwelling is a key to success in Hypersea, the most successful plants should be the ones that can associate with the most species of fungus. This would allow them to hook into Hypersea again easily when they attempt to colonize new ranges. (The widespread Douglas fir, for example, can associate with 2,000 types of fungus.) Yet another test would be to look for organisms that exploit Hypersea in ways allowed by the hypothesis but that are thus far unidentified. For example, just as marine animals have become terrestrial parasites, photosynthesizing algae or bacteria should also find an animal to be a fine aquatic habitat. Mark suggests that there are (or once were) terrestrial counterparts of the Ediacaran fauna, animals that survive by hosting photosynthesis. “Whenever I give a lecture on Hypersea,” Mark says, “someone comes up to me and says, ‘I think there’s one out there, too, and I’m going to find it’.” Mark himself will hunt for fossils of such life-forms. “I want to go into the Appalachian Mountains and look for evidence of unusual hypermarine linkages in these kinds of organisms. Maybe my photosynthetic land animal is there.” What if all the tests bear out the hypothesis? For one thing, we’ll have to realize that humanity is stirring it up as never before. Just as humans have brought zebra mussels from Europe to the waters of the United States, we have probably brought diseases like AIDS very quickly from one reservoir of Hypersea (monkeys) to another (ourselves) – and in both cases, the invaders are wreaking havoc. We would benefit from manipulating Hypersea’s currents wisely. Some of the McMenamins’ biggest fans are experts in biological pesticide management, who kill pests with parasites. The McMenamins suggest that by thinking of hosts as connected aquatic environments, new cures for the diseases afflicting crops and humans could be found. By fashioning a fake NO VACANCY sign, for example, parasites could be tricked into thinking that an uninfected host was too crowded. The Hypersea may even offer hints as to where life on land is going. The Hypersea is not like Gaia, a global union of life that keeps the world in a careful balance. Hypersea is life out of control, a rising tide building up biomass and speeding up evolution. A corollary of the McMenamins’ hypothesis is that Hypersea suggests a way to predict the future of evolution. As an example, Mark cites mangroves, coastal plants which send some of their roots down into soil, where they join with fungi, and send other roots tens of yards into the ocean, where they trap sediment and create new soil. There are marine organisms beginning to associate with these roots, such as certain sponges There are tests going on right now to see whether there’s a nitrogenhydrocarbon exchange between the sponges and the roots of the mangroves. Mangroves might move out to sea and form giant floating islands. Their roots, dangling down below the starved surface waters and into the nutrient-rich waters below, could join with sponges and other ocean organisms acting like fungi. The biological potential of this arrangement could be tremendous. Mark says, “If it gets big enough, you’ve got incredible pipelines. That’s going to have an immediate effect on carbon dioxide. As carbon dioxide levels fell, oxygen levels would rise, until they reached a point at which any terrestrial life other than mangroves might be endangered. At 35 percent atmospheric oxygen,” Mark speculates, “you could go out with a baseball bat and hit a maple tree and it would burst into flames.” Life wouldn’t come to an end because of that. There would still be the soggy mangroves and other marine vegetation to serve as Hypersea’s inheritors. In its fullest flowering, life would merely have gone back out to sea. For more, see “Hypersea Invasion,” in Discover Magazine (October 1995; http://discovermagazine.com/1995/oct/hyperseainvasion571)
Physical chemistry: Water as the chemical H2O. Ionic bonds that hold together the molecules of mineral salts* of the sort found in sea water.
*Salts such as sodium chloride (NaCl) that are commonly found in seawater may not be the best chemical representatives of the marine realm. The common idea of salts in oceans holds that over time, the oceans have become increasingly salty due to runoff from the land, adding more and more minerals to the oceans and thus increasing the amount of salts present in seawater. That the addition of salt to the oceans due to runoff is ongoing is indisputable. But volcanoes bring up other compounds, some of which react with the salt and precipitate it out, creating underground salt domes as more and more sediment piles up on top of the precipitates.** And as the tectonic plates of the earth move, oceans sometimes dry up, leaving enormous salt flats like those in New Mexico, which decreases the saltiness of the ocean. Marine scientists point out that over geologic time, the amount of salt thus taken back out of seawater by these processes exceeds the amount of salt contributed to the oceans via runoff, resulting in a net loss of salt to the oceans. The oceans began as the steady accumulation of rainwater and runoff in large catchment basins on the Earth’s surface, and for a while after the creation of the first oceans, seawater probably became increasingly salty due to runoff. But as geological eras and then eons passed, the processes that take salt out of seawater became dominant, because of which oceans are now less salty than they once were, a process that will continue until Earth’s last oceans dry up for good. **A salt dome is a type of structural dome formed when a thick bed of evaporite minerals (mainly salt, or halite) found at depth intrudes vertically into surrounding rock strata, forming a diapir. The salt that forms these domes was deposited within restricted marine basins. Due to restricted flow of water into a basin, evaporation occurs resulting in the precipitation of salts from solution, depositing evaporites. It is recognized that a single evaporation event is rarely enough to produce the vast quantities of salt found in evaporite deposits indicating that a sustained period of episodic flooding and evaporation of the basin must occur, as can be seen from the example of the Mediterranean Messinian salinity crisis. At the present day, evaporite deposits can be seen accumulating in basins that merely have restricted access but do not completely dry out; they provide an analogue to some deposits recognized in the Geological record, such as the Garabogazköl basin in Turkmenistan. Over time, the salt is covered with sediment and becomes buried. Since the density of salt is generally less than that of surrounding material, it has a tendency to move upward toward the surface, forming large bulbous domes, diapirs, sheets, pillars and other structures as it rises. If the rising salt diapir breaches the surface, it can become a flowing salt glacier. In cross section, these large domes may be anywhere from 1 to 10 kilometers across and extend as far down as 6.5 kilometers. †A diapir (French, from Greek diapeirein, to pierce through) is a type of intrusion in which a more mobile, ductile, and deformable material is forced into brittle overlying rocks. Depending on the tectonic environment, diapirs can range from idealized, mushroom-shaped unstable structures in regions with low tectonic stress, such as exist in the Gulf of Mexico, to narrow dikes of material that move along tectonically-induced fractures in surrounding rock. The term was introduced by the Romanian geologist Ludovic Mrazek, who was the first to understand the principle of salt intrusion and plasticity. The term “diapir” may be applied to igneous structures, but it is more commonly applied to non-igneous, relatively cold materials, such as salt domes and mud diapirs. Diapirs commonly intrude vertically upward along fractures or zones of structural weakness through denser overlying rocks because of density contrast between a less dense, lower rock mass and overlying denser rocks. The density contrast manifests as a force of buoyancy. The process is known as diapirism. The resulting structures are also referred to as piercement structures. In the process, segments of the existing strata can be disconnected and pushed upwards. While moving higher, they retain much of their original properties such as pressure, which can be significantly different from that of the shallower strata they get pushed into. Such high-pressure floaters pose a significant risk when trying to drill through them. There is an analogy to a Galilean thermometer.‡
Rock types such as evaporitic salt deposits and gas-charged muds are potential sources of diapirs. Diapirs also form in the earth’s mantle when a sufficient mass of hot, less dense magma assembles. Diapirism in the mantle is thought to be associated with the development of large igneous provinces and some mantle plumes. Explosive, hot volatile rich magma or volcanic eruptions are referred to generally as diatremes. Diatremes are not usually associated with diapirs, as they are small-volume magmas which ascend by volatile plumes, not by density contrast with the surrounding mantle. In addition to Earth-based observations, diapirism is thought to occur on Jupiter’s moon Europa, Saturn’s moon Enceladus, and Uranus’s moon Miranda. ‡A Galileo (or Galilean) thermometer, named after Italian physicist Galileo Galilei, is a thermometer made of a sealed glass cylinder containing a clear liquid and a series of objects whose densities are such that they rise or fall as the temperature changes. Suspended in the liquid are a number of weights. Commonly those weights are themselves attached to sealed glass bulbs containing colored liquid for an attractive effect. As the liquid in the cylinder changes temperature its density changes, and the bulbs are free to move, rising or falling to reach a position where their density is either equal to that of the surrounding liquid or where they are brought to a halt by other bulbs. If the bulbs differ in density by a very small amount and are ordered such that the least dense is at the top and most dense at the bottom, they can form a temperature scale. The temperature is typically read from an engraved metal disc on each bulb. Usually a gap separates the top bulbs from the bottom bulbs and then the temperature would be between the tag readings on either side of the gap. If a bulb is free-floating in the gap, then its tag reading would be closest to the ambient temperature. To achieve satisfactory accuracy, the weights are required to be manufactured to a tolerance of less than 1/1000 of a gram (1 milligram). The Galilean thermometer works due to the principle of buoyancy. Buoyancy determines whether objects float or sink in a liquid, and is responsible for the fact that even boats made of steel can float (of course, a solid bar of steel by itself will sink). The only factor that determines whether a large object will rise or fall in a particular liquid relates the object’s density to the density of the liquid in which it is placed. If the object’s mass is greater than the mass of liquid displaced, the object will sink. If the object’s mass is less than the mass of liquid displaced, the object will float. The interested reader who has never seen a Galilean thermometer can often find them in gift shops attached to museums and, of course, on the World Wide Web. The variegated coloring added to the oils in the glass bulbs in the thermometer make them very attractive additions to one’s home or office as well as excellent gifts to give to others.
Colors: Liber 777 gives crimson (ultraviolet) for the King Scale of color; buff, flecked silverwhite for the Queen Scale of color; light translucent pinkish-brown for the Emperor Scale of color; and stone color for the Empress Scale of color.* Nicholas de Vore gives “pure white and glistening” for Pisces’ colors, probably in reference to the pearlescent colors of the nacreous inner linings of the shells of abalone and oysters.** Barbara Watters gives gray-green and changeable pastels for the colors of Pisces.† As with Neptune, and, to some extent, Luna, the colors of Pisces include all those associated with the sea and great lakes, from deep Prussian blue through grey-green and storm-grey to the white of sea foam and, perhaps, the blood-red of the sunset reflected off the ocean, the gold or silver track of the midday Sun across its expanse, and the gleaming white of the sunlight dancing on the crests of the small waves that often dot the sea during the day under a clear sky (one of the God Shiva’s titles is “the Sun dancing on the waters”). *Liber 777, Columns XV-XVIII. **De Vore, op. cit., p. 57.
†Watters, op. cit., p. 34.
Patterns and compounds of color: Gods: Greek: Okeanos (Oceanus),* the World Ocean which the Greeks and Romans believed to be an enormous river circling the world in much the same way that the Great Southern Ocean encircles Antarctica and bounds the most southern reaches of the other continents; Poseidon,** Amphitrite (wife of Poseidon); the Old Man of the Sea (Nereus, Proteus, Glaucus and Phorkys) †
*Strictly speaking, Oceanus was the ocean-stream at the Equator in which floated the habitable hemisphere (oikoumene οἰκουμένη). In Greek mythology, this world-ocean was personified as a Titan, a son of Uranus and Gaia. In Hellenistic and Roman mosaics, this Titan was often depicted as having the upper body of a muscular man with a long beard and horns (often represented as the claws of a crab), and the lower torso of a serpent. **One of Poseidon’s titles is “Earth-Shaker.” He is associated with earthquakes, which normally would be ascribed to the rulership of Uranus. But the title comes from the fact that the Greeks, who were no fools, frequently observed tsunamis lashing the land after a quake at sea, and realized that the two phenomena were causally connected, i.e., the under-ocean quake gave rise to the tsunami that soon hit land. Since tsunamis take the form of enormous waves, and waves are ruled by Poseidon, they concluded that Poseidon had caused the quake, as well. Hence His title,”Earth-Shaker.” †Homer’s halios geron or Old Man of the Sea: Nereus, Proteus, Glaucus and Phorkys. Each one is a shape-shifter, a prophet, and the father of either radiantly beautiful nymphs or hideous monsters (or both, in the case of Phorkys). Nymphs and monsters blur, for Hesiod relates that Phorkys was wed to the “beautiful-cheeked” Ceto, whose name is merely the feminine of the monstrous Cetus, to whom Andromeda was due to be sacrificed. Each appearance in myth tends to emphasize a different aspect of the archetype: Proteus and Nereus as shape-shifters and tricksters, Phorkys as a father of monsters, Nereus and Glaucus for truth-telling, Nereus for the beauty of his daughters. Each one of these Old Men is the father or grandfather of many nymphs and/or monsters, who often bear names that are either metaphorical (Thetis, “establishment”; Telesto, “success”) or geographical (Rhode from “Rhodes”; Nilos, “Nile”). Each cluster of Old Man and daughters is therefore a kind of pantheon in miniature, each one a different possible configuration of the spiritual, moral, and physical world writ small - and writ around the sea.
Roman: Neptune; Oceanus Semitic: Dagon Egyptian: Anubis; Kephra, as the scarab in Trump XVIII, The Moon USA: Celtic: Creiddylad (Cordelia): Celtic (Welsh) goddess, daughter of Llyr (Lir); she later appeared in Shakespeare’s King Lear as the king’s daughter Cordelia. Dylan: Welsh sea God; brother of Lleu, eventually slain by Govannon. Fand: Wife of the Irish sea God Manannan. Lir (Welsh Llyr): Irish sea god. Welsh sea god. Father of Bran, Branwen, and Manannan.
Manannan mac Lir: Irish God of the sea. He was the son of Lir (the name Lir itself meant “sea”) and the husband of Fand. One of his sons was the mortal warrior-king Mongan. His Welsh equivalent was Manawydan ap Llyr. In addition to ruling over the seas, Manannan also determined the weather. He ruled over Tir na n-Og, the Irish Otherworld, said to lie under the sea. He was also said to reside on the Isle of Man, which derived its name from him. Manannan was depicted as a handsome warrior wearing splendid armor. He traveled over the surface of the sea in a chariot as though riding over a plain. Although not mentioned in the accounts of the two battles of Magh Tuireadh, he later came to be numbered among the Tuatha De Danann, the foremost family of Irish gods. Manawydan ap Llyr: Welsh version of the Celtic sea god, known to the Irish as Manannan mac Lir. Tethra: In Irish myth, the Fomorii sea God and God of the Otherworld. Shoney: A Celtic sea deity recognized in Britain. Hindu: Shiva; Varuna Buddhism: Voudon: Olokun, God of Oceanic Abysses and the Unconscious. SubGenius: “Bob,” as chief martyr of the Church of the SubGenius, and He Who Succeeds by Screwing Up Totally. St. Gerry Reith, a High Church scribe and early martyr of the Church. JHVH-1, Who is duplicitous, sneaky, cruel, treacherous, confused, and a lush Who makes too many stupid bar-bets; He is also a SubGenius analog of Odin (Who is one of the sources of the design of Trump XII, The Hanged Man, associated with Mem and Neptune, ruler of Pisces) Nhee-Ghee, the Great Discordian Malefic (He is also associated with Saturn). Discordianism: Eris. Chaos. The Emperor Joshua Norton. H. P. Lovecraft: As Polynesian and other Oceanic peoples figure prominently in the Cthulhu Mythos created by Lovecraft and his colleagues, their deities, spirits, and demons of the sea should be included here. Dagon, the Deep Ones, and Great Cthulhu, all characters created by Lovecraft, are associated with the sea. The Fungi from Yuggoth. Cthulhu, Who sleeps in His house in drowned R’lyeh. H. P. Lovecraft Himself, as First Prophet of the Starry Wisdom Cult and as the Sufferer, who may also have been a battered child (Djehuti, associated with Neptune because He is Lord of Orphans, is also Protector of Battered Children). Additionally, Lovecraft was one of the greatest of the Great Dreamers; dreams are ruled by Pisces and Neptune. Stephen King: LaVeyan Satanism: Szekely (Romany Gypsy): Chinese: Japanese: Judaism: Christianity: Islam: Scandinavian/Norse: The French Enlightenment: Russian: Hungarian: African: Southeast Asia:
Oceania:* Adaro (Polynesia and Melanesia): A sea God. In the myths of the Solomon Islands, an Adaro is a malevolent sea-spirit in the shape of a fish-man with all fins on his feet and gills behind his ears. He has a horn like a shark’s back fin and a pike on his head like a sword fish or sawfish. An Adaro can travel along rainbows and kill men by shooting poisonous flying fish at them. Aremata-rorua and Aremata-popoa: “Long-wave” and “Short-wave,” two marine demons who destroy mariners. They are greatly feared by Polynesian mariners because they were totally at the mercy of their immense power. Atanea: A dawn Goddess in some South Pacific islands, who created the seas when She miscarried and filled the hollows of the earth with amniotic fluid. Atutuahi (or Autahi): The southern star Canopus, Alpha Carinae, God of the Heavens, which guided Polynesian navigators on their months-long voyages. Atutuahi is addressed in hymns as the “Mother of the Moon and the Star.” Dakuwanga: The Fijian Shark-God, eater of lost souls. Fe’e: In Samoan mythology, he is the War-God, who is described as a huge octopus, living under the sea with his tentacles reaching to the far corners of the known world like a huge compass with eight hands. Fe’e was believed to cause thunderstorms in which his voice would be heard. The king’s diviners would listen and if the god’s voice was inauspicious, all war plans would be postponed. Fe’e courted the daughter of the King of Upolu, and when the king refused him, he knocked a hole in the barrier reef protecting the island, there the city of Apia now lies. There he had a stone house built for himself, the ruins of which have been pointed out to researchers. Under the sea he had a palace called Bale-Fe’e. (Shades of Cthulhu in R’lyeh!) Kanaloa (Hawaii): God of the sea. Magantu: The great white shark, a monster fish able to swallow a pahi canoe whole. Milu: Ruler of the underworld. Moeuhane (Hawaii): God of dreams. Pere: Goddess of the waters which surround islands. Her mother was Tahinariki or Haoumea, or Papa. She married Wahiaroa. One morning Pere wanted to travel so Her mother gave her the ocean in a jar to take with Her and later to carry Her in her royal yacht. In the beginning there was no sea at all, so Pere poured it out whenever She wanted to go. At first She carried the ocean in a jar on Her head, and later, when She had poured it all out, the ocean carried Her in Her lovely divine ship. Thus a mother will give birth to a son who will one day support her. Ruahatu (Tahiti): A sea god. Taburimai: In the myths of the people of Kiribati, Taburimai was the ancestor of the people, son of the demigod Bakoa. He had a brother Teanoi, the hammer-headed shark. One day the people of his island plotted to kill Taburimai but Bakoa got wind of the evil plans. He asked Teanoi to carry his brother to safety. This he did by swimming away across the sea. Then, having left his brother safely on the beach at Samoa, Teanoi flew up into the sky where he can still be seen (probably as the constellation Pisces*). Tangaroa: God of the ocean who breathes only twice in 24 hours thus creating the tides. (Polynesia) The Maori peoples’ lord of the ocean, and the supreme God who created all the other gods and mankind. Tagaloa: The Samoan Ocean-God See Tangaroa Tikokura: A wave-God of monstrous size whose enormous power and quick flaring temper are to be greatly feared. Tini Rau: Lord of the Fishes. (Polynesia) God of the sea. Turi-a-faumea (Polynesia): God of fish and reptiles. Ukupanipo (Hawaii): God of sharks.
*Note the striking similarity of names of Gods and Goddesses and other terminology of Oceania, along with certain cultural conventions, with those of ancient Egypt, the Hebrews, the ancient
Greeks, etc. For example, consider the Melanesian trickster-hero Maui, who became the God of earthquakes. He is also the most famous folktale character of Polynesia is Maui, the trickster hero with powers almost equal to those of a God, who steals fire for man (the legend describes the descent of Maui to the underworld, where he learns the art of making fire by rubbing two sticks together), fishes up the islands of the South Pacific, traps the sun to lengthen the day, and helps raise the sky. Maui is also known in Micronesian and some Melanesian folklore. Maui was born to Taranga, who wrapped the child in her hair and gave him to the sea-fairies. Maui is responsible for many things, including the birth of the myriads of islands in Oceania, the coconut, and the length of the day, which was once too short until Maui beat Ra with a stick and forced him to travel across the sky more slowly. Ra is a God of Tama, specifically Nui-te-ra, the Sun-God – but that is also the name of the Sun God worshipped by ancient Egyptians. There are also other striking similarities between Old World languages and Oceanic languages, such as “cohen” (meaning “priest” in Hebrew) and “kahuna” (an Hawaiian priest), generally ecclesiastical in nature, suggesting that these terms, unlike more idiomatic usage, which changes continuously, are from great antiquity. These similarities of linguistic forms and names of Gods and Goddesses between ancient Old World and Oceanic cultures suggest that perhaps peoples from both areas of the world came from a still more ancient culture or cultural region and somehow later became widely dispersed across the globe. In fact, some geologists and other scientists point out that the Black Sea likely formed around 7,500 years ago as the result of the bursting of an ice dam holding back the waters of the Mediterranean from what was then a vast freshwater glacier lake; the world was beginning to come out of the Ice Age then, and as it warmed, ice dams like that one finally melted through, allowing lakes and seas to mingle that theretofore had been walled off from one another by the ice. When that happened, humans living in communities around what had been a huge freshwater lake, now suddenly turned into a saltwater sea by the overwhelming inrush of seawater from the Mediterranean, had to run for their lives. The survivors must have been scattered in all directions, east, west, north, south. And wherever they eventually settled, they remembered the flood that had destroyed their homes and forced them into exile, giving rise to all the legends of an enormous, world-covering flood, including the Biblical version recounted in Genesis. Some of those exiles ended up in the Middle East, others in North Africa. Still others continued their trek down through Africa and out from its eastern coast, into the Indian Ocean and thence to the Pacific, many dropping out to settle on archipelagos they encountered on the way. That process probably took thousands of years to complete itself as it eventually gave rise to all the peoples and cultures of Oceania. Those who remained in the Old World became the Egyptians, the Jews, and countless other Old World peoples. But they had shared liturgical languages with their absent cousins, and as liturgical languages and terms used ecclesiastically tend not to change much over time, they retained many terms and names bearing striking similarities to those still in use today in Oceania: Ra, kahuna, and so many others. No direct proof of this has yet been unearthed, but the indirect evidence, mostly linguistic and mythological, is so striking and so telling that it can’t be disregarded. Nota bene: If such a flood due to the melting of a Late Ice Age ice dam actually occurred, it certainly wasn’t the only one. The evidence for many such have been found wherever the Ice bit deep. One such is in the Scablands of my state, Washington, which from the air can clearly be seen to have been scoured out by onrushing waters. Numerous other places like it abound in the Northern Hemisphere. For a detailed listing of deities and spirits of Oceania, see, e.g., http://www.janeresture.com/oceania_myths/mythology.htm
Native Australian: Eskimo: Central American: American Indian: American folklore:
Science-fiction: The Land of Oz: The Wizard (who was, after all, an illusionist par excellence, not a true Magickian) World Religions: SubGenius (because of its martyred founder, J. R. “Bob” Dobbs, as well as the way it confuses all outsiders and most insiders [Erisianism]). Islam (it came into existence in the Aeon of Osiris). The Starry Wisdom Cult of Lovecraft (associated with Neptune’s Sephirah, 2, Chokmah). Christianity. Ninpo taijutsu (because of its subtlety and flowing aspects). Biblical associations: The Book of Jonah (Hebrew: Sefer Yonah) (the story of Jonah and the whale) Genesis 1:6-10, Genesis 1:20-22 Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus to the Romans, is traditionally believed to be a Pisces. But Jesus may have ordered Judas to betray him, in order to fulfill his divine mission, in which case Judas would also be a martyr to history because of the villification heaped on him due to his obedience to his master. Judas also committed suicide, an act ruled by Pisces and the 12th House. Countries: Geraldine Davis gives Normandy, the Sahara Desert, Portugal, Egypt, and the southern part of Asia Minor.* Barbara Watters gives Portugal, the Normandy Coast, and Galicia in northern Spain.** Alan Oken gives Portugal, Normandy, Upper Egypt, Nubia, Galicia in northern Spain, and Calabria.†
*Geraldine Davis, Horary Astrology With Authentic Charts and Predictions (Los Angeles, CA: Tate Printing Company, 1942), p. 36. **Barbara Watters, Horary Astrology and the Judgment of Events (Washington, DC: Paperbacks, Ltd., 1973, 1982; ISBN 0-912356-06-5), p. 36. Valhalla
†Alan Oken, Alan Oken’s Complete Astrology (New York: Bantam Books, 1980, 1988; ISBN 0-55334537-0), p. 164.
Geraldine Davis gives Lancaster, Ratisbon, Alexandria, and Seville.* Barbara Watters gives Alexandria and Seville.** Alan Oken gives Alexandria, Seville, Worms, Lancaster, and Compostela.† Hollywood, California, the Mecca of the film industry, is also associated with Pisces and Qoph, as is Cannes, in France, for the same reason (the film industry is ruled by Neptune and Pisces)
*Davis, op. cit., p. 36. **Watters, op. cit., p. 36. †Oken, op. cit., p. 164.
Buddhist meditation: Meditation on conduct*
*Liber 777, Column XXIII.
Magickal Power: Bewitchments, casting illusions* *Liber 777, Column XLV.
Magickal Weapons: Liber 777 gives the Twilight of the Place and the Magick Mirror.*
*Liber 777, XLI. Musical tone: B natural.* *According to Paul Foster Case, as given by Bill Butler in Dictionary of the Tarot (NY: Schocken Books, 1975, 1977; ISBN 0-8052-0559-4), p. 178.
Qlippoth:** Neshimiron or Nashimiron: Manifestation of the female current, breeds other dragons, bestowing power of female dragons who seeks their power, sex Magick (Tantra), awakens the Luciferian essence. Revealing secrets, revealing the hidden, to undo someone, psychic powers, finding spies, undermine someone’s spell, to capture someone, to hide something, bindings, escape from an issue, confine evil, free an issue, karmic release, invisibility, finding someone, revealing deception, finding the truth. Crowley feels that Qoph could easily lead to encounters with Qlippoth, an illusionary prone path.
*The musical notes of the signs of the Zodiac and musical tempos of the planets are, in order:
Aries Taurus Gemini Cancer Leo Virgo
C C# or Db D D# or Eb E F
Moon Mercury Venus Sun Mars Jupiter
98.6 BPM 66.2 BPM 103.7 BPM 118.3 BPM 67.8 BPM 86.1 BPM
Libra Scorpio Sagittarius Capricorn Aquarius Pisces
F# or Gb G G# or Ab A A# or Bb B
Saturn Uranus Neptune Pluto
69.3 97.2 99.1 65.7
BPM BPM BPM BPM
Other musical correspondences:
Musical Notes of the Paths and Letters of the Hebrew Alphabet Path/Letter Qaballistic Tarot Trump Note Correspondence
Aleph Beth Gimel Daleth Heh Vav Za’in Cheth Teth Yod Kaph Lamed Mem Nun Samekh A’ain Peh Tzaddi Qoph Resh Shin Tav Air, Uranus Mercury Luna Venus Aries Taurus Gemini Cancer Leo Virgo Jupiter Libra Water, Neptune Scorpio Sagittarius Capricorn Mars Aquarius Pisces Sun Fire, Pluto Saturn, Earth (planet, plane of existence), Earth (Element) 0, The Fool I, The Magician/Magus II, The High Priestess III, The Empress IV, The Emperor E E G# F# C C# D D# E F A# F# G# G G# A C A# B D C A
XV, The Devil XVI, The Tower XVII, The Star XVIII, The Moon
Fire Water Air Earth C G# E A
Alchemical Correspondences Note Alchemical Materia
Sulfur Mercury Salte C E G#
Red (Scarlet) Red-Orange Orange C C# D
Colors, Musical Notes, and Planets Note Planet (Queen Scale of Color)
Planet (King Scale of Color)
Yellow E Sun Mercury Yellow-Green F Green Blue-Green Blue (Cobalt) Blue-Violet Violet Red-Violet (Magenta)
E F# G G# A A# B
Sun Venus Jupiter Saturn Moon
Mercury Venus Moon Saturn Jupiter
Svadhisthana Solar Plexus Heart Throat 3rd eye/Brow Crown
Chakras, Colors, Frequency, and Note Correspondences Color Frequency Note
Orange Yellow Green Blue Indigo White 9hz 10hz 10.5hz 12hz 13hz 15 hz D E F G A B
Suggested tonality of extra dimensions and their corresponding chakras Dimension Chakra Lower Plane Higher Plane Sound Sound
Physical Plane/Body Astral Plane/Body Mental Plane/Body Intuitive Plane/Body Spiritual Plane/Body Collective Mind Plane/Body Divine Plane/Body Root Chakra Svadhisthana Chakra Solar Plexus Heart Chakra Throat Chakra 3rd Eye, the Brow Chakra Crown Chakra Akin to a low rumbling thunder Roar of the ocean Bell/Gong Sound Buzzing, like a light swarming of bees Wind Similar to distant violins carried by the wind Soft “huuuu...” Soft whistling sound Akin to gentle wind blowing through trees Waterfall, Rushing Water Flute-like Tones Humming “ohm” Similar to deep woodwinds All sound and no sound felt as opposed to heard
Root Saturn Prithivi (earth) Lead Svadhisthana Solar Plexus
The Chakras Alchemica Tattwa l Materia
Musical Geomantic Note Sigil
E Amissio, Conjunctio, Carcer Populus, Rubeus, Laetitia, Via Puer, Fortuna Major, Acquisitio,
Apas (Water) Tejas (Fire)
Yesod Hod and Netzach, Tiphareth
Heart Throat Venus Akasha (Spirit-Ether) Copper 3rd Eye Crown
Vayu (Air) Akasha
Tiphareth, Da’ath Geburah and Chesed 3rd Eye Binah and Chokmah Kether, Singularity presented as a point
Fortuna minor Albus, Puella, Tristitia Caput Draconis, Cauda Draconis
Luna Mercur y
All 5 Tattwas Synthesized Akasha
Type of Brain
Reptilian Limbic system Neo-mammalian 4th Brain (like the Crown Chakra in nature) 5-7th Brains (like Kether in nature)
Brainwave Frequency Rates Rhythm Frequency
Beta Alpha Theta Delta Slower than delta 13-40hz 8-13hz 4-8hz 0-4hz Slower than delta
Un Pe E Ged Gal Graph Orth Ceph Na-Hath Gon Veh Ur Tal Drun Pal Med Mals Ger Don Fam
Enochian English Astrological Equivalent
A B G D C C# Z H I, J, Y C, K L M N X O F Q R S Air, Uranus Mercury Luna Venus Aries Taurus Gemini Cancer Virgo Jupiter Libra Water, Neptune Scorpio Sagittarius Capricorn Mars Aquarius Pisces Sun
E E G# F# E F D D# F A# F# G# G G# A C A# B D
T U, V, W
Fire, Pluto Saturn, Earth (Element), Earth (planet)
**As the Qlippoth are intimately associated with Pisces and the 12th House of the horoscope – as in Gemini and the 3rd House, the Moon has her esoteric rulership in this house and sign, where she is at her strongest, and the Qlippoth are a sublunar phenomenon, tremendously influenced by the tides of life, and easily evoked when Luna is in that sign or house – notes on the Qlippoth are in order here. The Qlippoth and infernal regions and their correspondences for all the Paths and Sephiroth are as follows:
The Qlippoth, Tunnels of Set & Nightside Translation Path Astrological Note Letter Correspondence
Vampiric Sylphs Aleph Air, Uranus E
Luminous pale yellow and emerald flickered with gold Deep yellow and indigo rayed with violet Silver and black Vivid sky blue & bright rose rayed with pale green Lurid red & glowing red Flame and brown New leather yellow & mauve Dark greenish brown and amber Sharp greenish yellow & gray Yellowish green and slate Bright blue rayed with yellow Pale green & rich blue
Poison of God
Lemurs (“Spirits of the Night”) Babalon
Hemthterith Uriens Zamradiel Characith
The Herd The Bloody One The Clangers The Black Ones The Flaming Ones The Scratchers The Smiters The Clayish Ones
Heh Vav Za’in Cheth
Aries Taurus Gemini Cancer
A# C# D D#
Yamatu Kurgasiax Lafcursiax
Yod Kaph Lamed
Virgo Jupiter Libra
F A# F#
The Deep Ones (shades of H. P. Lovecraft!) The Brazen Ones The Snaky Ones The Fishy Ones The Arsonists The Bestial Ones Malignant Women The Hagglers Tannim Ghouls
Deep blue and sea green Indigo brown and greenish blue Bright yellow and dark blue Black and indigo Bright red and Emerald Black and blue Slug-slime silver & stone Rayed red and amber Vermilion and emerald Black and blue
Saksaksalim A’ano’nin Parafaxitas Tzuflifu Qulielfi Raflifu Shalicu Thantifaxath
Samekh A’ain Peh Tzaddi Qoph Resh Shin Tav
Sagittarius Capricorn Mars Aquarius Pisces Sun Fire, Pluto Saturn, Earth (Element), Earth (planet)
G# A C B# B D C B#
The Qlippoth, Tunnels of Set & Nightside Qlippothic Shells Translation Path Sephirah or other Qaballistic Element
Qemetiel Belial Athiel Thaumiel Ogiel Satariel Masak Mavdil Gasheklah Golachab Tageriron Oreb Zaraq Samael The crowd of Gods Without God Uncertainty Twins of God The Hinderers The Concealers Place for rejected failures The Smiters The Arsonist The Hagglers The Ravens of Dispersion Poison of God Ain Ain Soph Ain Soph Aur Kether Chokmah Binah Da’ath Chesed Geburah Tiphareth Netzach Hod
No-thing No Limit Limitless Light Pluto, the Primum Mobile Neptune, the Starry Heavens Uranus Saturn Jupiter Mars Sol Venus Mercury
Gamaliel Lilith Satariel Samael Gamaliel Oreb Zaraq Beiriron Adimiron Tzelilimiron Shichiriron Shalhebiron Tzaphiriron Gasheklah Abiriron Ogiel Necheshthiron Nachashiron Dagdagiron Golachab Bahimiron Bestial Ones Aquarius Nashimiron Tageriron Thaumiel Satariel Lilith (Key 32 bis) Thaumiel (Key 31 bis) The
The Obscene ones Queen of the Night The Concealers Poison of God The Obscene ones The Ravens of Dispersion The Herd The Bloody Ones The Clangers The Black Ones The Flaming Ones The Scratchers The Smiters The Clayish Ones The Hinderers The Brazen Ones The Snaky Ones The Fishy Ones The Arsonist
Yesod Malkuth Aleph Beth Gimel Daleth Heh Vav Za’in Cheth Teth Yod Kaph Lamed Mem Nun Samekh A’ain Peh Tzaddi Qoph Resh Shin Tav Tav Shin
Luna Earth Air, Uranus Mercury Luna Venus Aries Taurus Gemini Cancer Leo Virgo Jupiter Libra Water, Neptune Scorpio Sagittarius Capricorn Mars Aquarius Pisces Sol Fire Saturn, Earth (the Element) Earth (the planet) Pluto
Malignant Women The Hagglers Twins of God The Concealers Queen of the Night Twins of God
Acheron Cocytus Phlegethon Styx
The Inferno Element Qlippothic Dragon
Earth Air Fire Water Typhon Samael Lucifer Leviathan
North East South West
See http://aleph9.blogspot.com/2009/02/occult-music-correspondence-tables-to.html, etc. for more information.
Legendary orders of being: Phantoms, werewolves* All spirits of the ocean, such as mermaids, nymphs, sirens, Lorelei, etc. *Liber 777, Column CLXXXIII.
Alchemical references: The decomposition of materials into their Watery and Mutable aspects .Metals, stones, and minerals: Liber 777 gives the pearl (Column XL). All stones, gems, and minerals associated with the sea are correspondents of Qoph. Alan Oken gives chrysolite, pumice, gravel, sand, topaz, amethyst, coral, aquamarine, ivory, platinum, neptunium (atomic number 93, associated with Neptune), and radium (atomic number 88).* Goldstein-Jacobson adds amethyst, aquamarine, beryl, and such artificial substances as glass, porcelain, plastics, and other imitation or synthetic materials.** De Vore adds lithium. † Watters adds the pearl, made by oysters, oceanic creatures, and salt, because of the saltiness of ocean waters. †† George Frederick Kunz gives amethyst.††† Pisces and its Lord, Neptune, co-rule the actinides the chemical elements which have atomic numbers 89 (actinium) through 103 (they share this dominion with Pluto and Scorpio). These are analogs of the Uranus-ruled lanthanides, beings the next series of that kind up from the latter in the Periodic Table. Metals whose dissolved salts are plentiful in sea-water are Piscean. Calcium carbonate, or limestone, is a rock which forms in the ocean, and could not form elsewhere due to the conditions of temperature, pressure, and chemistry necessary for its creation, and it is therefore ruled by Neptune. ‡ The shells of marine animals, some of which are used in jewelry, or prized for their beauty and/or rarity, and so qualify as precious or semiprecious stones, are Neptunian. By the same token, iodine (Z=53) is ruled by Pisces, because of its pervasive presence in seawater. ‡‡ Curiously, iodine is necessary for the functions of the thyroid gland, which produces thyroxin, a hormone that enables the body to convert stored food to metabolic energy, reflecting the association of Pisces ruler, Neptune, with Chokmah, Pure Force, the Father, Whose Element is Fire/Spirit. It is of interest in this context that the metal of Mercury, quicksilver or mercury metal (Z=80), displays such Piscean properties as elusiveness (try grabbing some with your bare hands!). The sign rulerships of mercury are 180° across the sky from those of Neptune, and therefore in opposition to Neptune’s dignities, so that they provide reflections or mirrors of Neptune’s qualities – qualities with which Mercury Himself, like so many Mercurial phenomena and the metal mercury, is richly endowed! Neptune, ruler of Pisces, is also one of the rulers of natural gas and oil. Though these are not solid substances, and in that sense are not “stones” or “gems,” they are highly valu-
able sources of energy for technology and for use in the home, and therefore sources of wealth, as gemstones are, and thus subtle versions of precious stones. Neptune rules fluids of all kinds. These include not only liquids, but also gases, plasmas, glasses, and matter so finely divided that it flows like a liquid, e.g., jeweler’s rouge (pumice) and finest-grade powdered sugar. In terms of physical phases, Neptune rules the liquid phase, as Uranus rules the gaseous phase, Pluto the plasmoid phase, and Saturn the solid phase; but Neptune also rules the fluid or flowing, Watery aspects of any of the latter three phases. Finally, the element helium (Z=2) is ruled by Neptune, since its atomic number is 2, that of Neptune’s Sephirah, and is found naturally only in gaseous form. Element 23, vanadium, likewise is ruled by Neptune, since its atomic number is the same as the Key Number of Neptune’s Path, Mem. And Element 40, zirconium, is ruled by Neptune as well, since its atomic number is the same as the value of Mem. These elements are therefore also associated with Pisces, over which Neptune has dominion. *Oken, op. cit., pp. 164, 224. **Goldstein-Jacobson, op. cit., p. 46.
Though since the name of that element itself literally means “stone substance,” it is more likely to be ruled by Saturn. This is especially so today because of the ominous connotations due to this metal’s use in manufacture of thermonuclear bombs. Traditionally, however, salt is associated with Saturn.
†††Kunz, op. cit., p. 345.
Saturn traditionally rules this mineral; as in the case with salt, this indicates the delegation to Neptune of certain of the rulerships of Saturn. Traditionally, this chemical element is ruled by Luna – of which Neptune is a higher octave.
Plants, real and imaginary: Liber 777 gives unicellular organisms and opium.* John Lust gives algae, seaweed, and water mosses.** For Neptune, which rules Pisces and the 12th House, Ivy Goldstein-Jacobson gives parasitic and medicinal plants, tobacco, plants used to produce drugs, kelp, and dwarfed plants and trees (e.g., bonsais); these presumably would also be associated with the sign and house.† Alan Oken gives seaweed, ferns, mosses, water lilies, and all other plants which grow in water.† All plants containing alkaloids or other chemicals to which people can become addicted are ruled by Pisces, as do all those various parts of which can be made into alcoholic beverages. The former includes, e.g., opium poppies; ephedra; members of genus Coffea, the various species of which produce coffee beans (the type species is Coffea arabica); plants of the genius Nicotiana, which produce tobacco; etc. The latter includes all grains, potatoes (used to make vodka), and many fruits (used to make brandy or wine; gin is made from the juniper berry). Mescaline, or 3,4,5-trimethoxyphenethylamine, a naturally-occurring psychedelic alkaloid of the phenethylamine class, is ruled by Neptune, Pisces, and the 12th House. This drug is mainly used as an entheogen (an entheogen (“God inside us,” from εν- (en), meaning “in, within,” θεος- (theo), meaning “God, divine,” and γενος (-gen) meaning “creates, generates”) is a psychoactive substance used in a religious, shamanic, or spiritual context), and as a tool to supplement various practices for transcendence, including in meditation,
psychonautics, art projects, and psychedelic psychotherapy. It occurs naturally in the peyote cactus (Lophophora williamsii), the San Pedro cactus (Echinopsis pachanoi), and the Peruvian Torch cactus (Echinopsis peruviana), and in a number of other members of the Cactaceae plant family. It is also found in small amounts in certain members of the Fabaceae (bean) family, including Acacia berlandieri. Mescaline cacti should therefore also be included here as plants ruled by Neptune, Pisces, and the 12th House. Datura, a genus of nine species of vespertine flowering plants belonging to the family Solanaceae, is ruled by Neptune, Pisces, and the 12th House. These precise and natural distribution of Datura is uncertain, owing to its extensive cultivation and naturalization throughout the temperate and tropical regions of the globe. Its distribution within the Americas, however, is most likely restricted to the United States and Mexico, where the highest species diversity occurs. Datura are herbaceous, leafy annuals and short-lived perennials which can reach up to 2 meters in height. The leaves are alternate, 10 – 20 cm long and 5 – 18 cm broad, with a lobed or toothed margin. The flowers are erect or spreading (not pendulous like those of the closely allied Brugmansia), trumpet-shaped, 5 – 20 cm long and 4 – 12 cm broad at the mouth; colors vary from white to yellow, pink, and pale purple. The fruit is a spiny capsule 4 – 10 cm long and 2 – 6 cm broad, splitting open when ripe to release the numerous seeds. The seeds disperse freely over pastures, fields and even wasteland locations. Datura, like some other Solanaceae, such as deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna, also known as belladonna, a source of the drug atropine), henbane (Hyoscyamus niger, also known as stinking nightshade or black henbane), and mandrake (containing deliriant hallucinogenic tropane alkaloids such as atropine, scopolamine, apoatropine, and hyoscyamine), belongs to the classic “witches’ weeds.” Most parts of the plants contain toxic hallucinogens, and Datura has a long history of use for causing delirious states and death. It was well known as an essential ingredient of love potions and witches’ brews. Datura, like numerous other hallucinogenic plants, is extremely toxic, and extracts from it can be used for poisoning. Neptune, Pisces, and the 12th House also rule poisons, poisonings, assassinations, and murder in general, so Datura’s inclusion here is doubly appropriate. Mandrake is also ruled by Neptune, Pisces, and the 12th House because of its use by occultists and witches for its intoxicant properties and its highly poisonous nature. It is coruled by Aquarius and Tzaddi because of the vaguely manlike shape of its roots, but its biochemistry is far more closely related to its essential nature, which is determined by its genes, so its primary rulers are Neptune, Pisces, and the 12th House, and its primary Qaballistic association is with Qoph. In fact, for these reasons, all poisonous plants and all hallucinogenic plants are associated with Qoph and Pisces, and should be included here. Aconitum, a.k.a. aconite, monkshood, wolfsbane, leopard’s bane, women’s bane, Devil’s helmet, and blue rocket, a genus of flowering plant belonging to the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae), for example, a classic poisoner’s tool, is a typical Piscean plant. So is the Giant Hogweed. Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum, a.k.a. giant cow parsley) is a plant in the family Apiaceae, native to the Caucasus Region and Central Asia. It may reach 2–5 meters (rarely 7 m) tall. Except for size, it closely resembles Common Hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium), Heracleum sosnowskyi, and Garden Angelica (Angelica archangelica). It is phototoxic, and in many jurisdictions is considered to be a noxious weed. Its sap can cause phytophotodermatitis (severe skin inflammations) when the skin is exposed to sunlight or to ultraviolet light. Initially the skin assumes a red coloration and starts to itch. Then, within 48 hours, blisters like burns form, leaving black or purplish scars that can last several years. Hospitalization may be necessary. Presence of minute amounts of sap in the eyes can lead to temporary or even permanent blindness. These reactions are caused by the presence of linear derivatives of furocoumarin in its leaves, roots, stems, flowers and seeds. These chemicals can get into the nucleus of the epithelial cells, forming a bond with the DNA, causing the cells to die. The brown color is caused by the production of melanin by furocoumarins. In Germany, where this plant has become a real nuisance, there were about 16,000 victims in 2003. Children should be kept away from Giant Hogweed. Protective clothing, including eye protection, should be worn when handling or digging it. If skin is exposed, the affected area should be washed thoroughly with soap and water and the exposed skin protected from the sun for several days. Those individuals who are allergic to
the plant could die as a result of anaphylactic shock if exposed to it, for which reason Giant Hogweed is ruled by Neptune, Pisces, and the 12th House. The list of plants that are highly toxic, produce narcotic chemicals, and/or which contain hallucinogenic substances would probably stretch from here to the Moon, so the interested reader is advised to find a good search engine and go looking for them on the World Wide Web. Suffice it to say that all of these are ruled – or, in the case of plants with more than one appropriate astrological ruler, co-ruled – by Qoph, Pisces and their astrological correspondents. (If you’re wondering why so many plants are capable of sickening or killing animal life that tries to ingest them or gets their juices in their eyes or makes skin contact with them, think about a typical plants sedentary way of life. It can’t get up and run away from predators, so it has to defend itself with whatever it can, and that means thorns, toxins, and other deadly things it can deploy without moving. It also needs some nitrogen in its diet, and any toxins it produces, such as on its stems, in its blossoms, etc. can do duty as food-providers for the plant by causing animals that try to ingest it or which brush against it to die on the ground around its roots or in or on its blossoms or leaves, so that as their rotting carcasses decompose, the products of that decomposition can be ingested by absorption or more active means (e.g., as carnivorous plants ingest their prey), giving it nitrogen and other nutrients in quantity, which it can get in no other way.) *Liber 777, Column XXXIX. Presumably “unicellular organisms” refers to single-celled eukarya such as amoeba, which have true cellular nuclei and membranes around the nuclei to protect them, as well as prokaryotic bacteria and archaea. (Domain Eukarya includes all multicellular organisms, including us as well as all other animals and all plants, and fungi, as well as some single-celled organisms, e.g., the aforementioned amoeba, whose cells do exhibit traits characteristic of eukaryotic cells. Members of Domain Bacteria, on the other hand, generally do not have membrane-bound organelles in their cells, but may nevertheless have such intracellular entities, and often have highly complex internal architecture. Extremophiles, members of Domain Archaea, who have no cellular organelles, and only simple intracellular architecture. Bacteria and archaea lack true cellular nuclei and nuclear membranes, and have but single loops of naked, double-stranded DNA per cell.) The inclusion of bacteria here makes sense, because Pisces and the 12 th House of the horoscope rule public health issues, and in particular infectious diseases that tend to spread widely, such as those caused by bacteria. But given that, viruses would be more likely candidates for inclusion here than archaea, which are distinct from bacteria in many ways and are either harmless or beneficial to eukarya, hence not matters of public health, except when their lack among us or in our environment creates health-related problems for us, our cultivars, our stock animals, our pets and companion animals, or wild animals living nearby. Archaea and bacteria are quite similar in size and shape, although a few archaea have very unusual shapes, such as the flat and square-shaped cells of Haloquadra walsbyi. Despite this visual similarity to bacteria, archaea possess genes and several metabolic pathways that are more closely related to those of eukaryotes, notably the enzymes involved in transcription and translation. Other aspects of archaean biochemistry are unique, such as their reliance on ether lipids in their cell membranes. The archaea exploit a much greater variety of sources of energy than eukaryotes: ranging from familiar organic compounds such as sugars, to using ammonia, metal ions or even hydrogen gas as nutrients. Salt-tolerant archaea (the Halobacteria) use sunlight as an energy source and other species of archaea fix carbon; however, unlike plants and cyanobacteria, no species of archaea is known to do both. Archaea reproduce asexually and divide by binary fission, fragmentation, or budding; in contrast to bacteria and eukaryotes, no known species form spores. Initially, archaea were seen as extremophiles that lived in harsh environments, such as hot springs and salt lakes, but they have since been found in a wide range of habitats, including soils, oceans, and marshlands. Archaea are particularly numerous in the oceans, and the archaea in plankton may be one of the most abundant groups of organisms on the planet. Archaea are now recognized as a major part of Earth’s life and may play roles in both the carbon cycle and nitrogen cycle. No clear examples of archaeal pathogens or parasites are known, but they are often mutualists or commensals. One example are the methanogens that inhabit the gut of humans and ruminants, where their vast numbers aid digestion. Methanogens are used in biogas production and sewage treatment, and enzymes from extremophile archaea that can endure high temperatures and organic solvents are exploited in biotechnology.
But no prokarya or single-celled eukarya such as amoeba are members of Kingdom Plantae. Instead, they belong under “Creatures in general,” below. The inclusion of the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum) here is understandable, as Pisces and the 12th House rule addictions as well as dreams and visions, which opium is said to induce in those who use it. But in that case, Ephedra (Ephedra sinica) should be included, too. The alkaloids ephedrine and pseudoephedrine are the active constituents of the plant. Pseudoephedrine is used in over-the-counter decongestants. Derivatives of ephedrine are used to treat low blood pressure, but alternatives with reduced cardiovascular risk have replaced it for treating asthma. Ephedrine is also considered a performance-enhancing drug and is prohibited in most competitive sports. Some species in the Ephedra genus have no alkaloid content; however, the most commonly used species, E. sinica, has a total alkaloid content of 1 – 3% by dry weight. Ephedrine constitutes 40 – 90% of the alkaloid content, with the remainder consisting of pseudoephedrine and the demethylated forms of each compound. The alkaloids present in that plant are potentially addictive, hence the subject of this sign and house. The same is true for all other plants used to induce visions, dreams, trances, etc., or the ingestion of which in any form can lead to addiction to them. **Lust, op. cit., p. 574. †Goldstein-Jacobson, op. cit., p. 44. †Oken, op. cit., p. 164.
Animals, Real and Imaginary: Liber 777 gives fish and dolphins.* For Neptune Ivy Goldstein-Jacobson gives shellfish, which presumably are ruled by Pisces and the 12th House.** All marine animals, vertebrates and invertebrates, are ruled by Pisces and the 12th House. The same is true of animals in great lakes and inland seas, e.g., the Black Sea, whether salt or fresh, and places such as Mono Lake in California and the Dead Sea in Israel, whose waters are so salt that they are inhabited only by halophilic extremophiles, brine shrimp, and some algaes. All animals that have venomous spines or venom glands, or otherwise present a danger from their venom, are ruled or co-ruled by Pisces. There is no short list of such creatures; their roster is tremendous. But typical members of this group include, e.g.: Cuban Solenodon (Solenodon cubanus) & Hispaniolan Solenodon (Solenodon paradoxus). Solenodons look similar to very large shrews. They both have venomous bites; the venom is delivered from modified salivary glands via grooves in their second lower incisors. The platypus: The Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) is a semi-aquatic mammal endemic to eastern Australia, including Tasmania. Together with the four species of echidna, it is one of the five extant species of monotremes, the only mammals that lay eggs instead of giving birth to live young. It is the sole living representative of its family (Ornithorhynchidae) and genus (Ornithorhynchus), though a number of related species have been found in the fossil record. The bizarre appearance of this egg-laying, venomous, duck-billed, beaver-tailed, otterfooted, swimming mammal baffled European naturalists when they first encountered it, with some considering it an elaborate fraud. It is one of the few venomous mammals; the male Platypus has a spur on the hind foot that delivers a venom capable of causing severe pain to humans. The unique features of the Platypus make it an important subject in the study of evolutionary biology and a recognizable and iconic symbol of Australia. This animal is doubly ruled by Pisces due to its aquatic habits. Eurasian Water Shrew (Neomys fodiens). Capable of delivering a venomous bite: Northern Short-tailed Shrew (Blarina brevicauda).
Capable of delivering a venomous bite: Southern Short-tailed Shrew (Blarina carolinensis) & Elliot’s Short-tailed Shrew (Blarina hylophaga). Possibly have a venomous bite: European Mole (Talpa europaea). The European mole, and possibly other species of mole, has toxins in its saliva that can paralyze earthworms, allowing it to store them for later consumption. Venomous/poisonous: Slow lorises (Nycticebus coucang, Nycticebus bengalensis, Nycticebus pygmaeus). Brachial glands on the inside of the elbows of the slow loris secrete a brown exudate. This exudate is licked and becomes mixed with saliva. A protein in the secretion, which is similar to the allergen protein isolated from the domestic cat, may be introduced by the bites of slow lorises, resulting in anaphylaxis. Thus, it is questionable whether the slow loris should be considered truly venomous. Skunks can eject a noxious fluid from glands near their anus. It is not only foul smelling, but can cause skin irritation and, if it gets in the eyes, temporary blindness. Some members of the mustelid family, such as the striped polecat (Ictonyx striatus), also have this capacity to an extent. Pangolins can also emit a noxious smelling fluid from glands near the anus. The Great Long-nosed Armadillo can also release a disagreeable musky odor when threatened. Other venomous animals include: Toxic birds: Toxic birds produce toxins to defend themselves from predators. No species of bird is known to actively inject venom, but some birds are known to be poisonous to touch or eat. These birds usually sequester toxins from animals and plants that they feed on, commonly from poisonous insects. The pitohui, the ifrita, and the Rufous or Little Shrikethrush sequester batrachotoxin in their skin and feathers. The African Spur-winged Goose is toxic to eat as it sequesters poison in its tissues from the blister beetles that it feeds on. Common Quail are also known to be toxic to eat around the time of certain migrations. Toxicofera (Greek for “those who bear toxins”), is a hypothetical clade which represents about 4600 species (nearly 60%) of extant squamates (scaled lizards.) It encompasses all venomous reptile species, as well as numerous related nonvenomous species. Toxicofera would combine the following groups from traditional classification: Suborder Serpentes (snakes) Suborder Iguania (iguanas, agamid lizards, chameleons, etc.) Infraorder Anguimorpha, consisting of: Family Varanidae (monitor lizards) Family Anguidae (alligator lizards, glass lizards, etc.) Family Helodermatidae (Gila monster and Mexican beaded lizard) Hallucinogenic fish and venomous fish: Venomous fish are fish that produce venom. There are at least 1200 species of venomous fish, and they include the Stonefish, Lionfish, Scorpion Fish, Stargazer, and Toadfish (Daector and Thalassophryne). Ichthyoallyeinotoxism, or hallucinogenic fish poisoning, comes from eating certain species of fish found in several parts of the tropics, notably the Indian Pacific. The effects of eating ichthyoallyeinotoxic fishes are reputed to be similar in some aspects to LSD. Experiences may include vivid auditory and visual hallucinations. This has given rise to the collective common name “dream fish” for ichthyoallyeinotoxic fish. The species most commonly claimed to be capable of producing this kind of toxicity include several species from the Kyphosus genus, including Kyphosus fuscus, K. cinerascens and K. vaigiensis. It is unclear whether the toxins are produced by the fish themselves or by marine algae in their diet, but a dietary origin may be more likely. As far as venomous and toxic invertebrates go, it might almost be more appropriate to ask which aren’t toxic than which are. Countless spiders, insects, other terrestrial invertebrates, and
myriad marine invertebrates either have venomous bites or are toxic to eat or brush against, and all of them are ruled by Pisces (the marine versions doubly so). Ancient, long-extinct life-forms: in most cases, we simply don’t know which extinct animals were venomous or toxic. We can make a reasonable guess as to some of them, for example, spiders, as well as relatives of extant modern families of insects which are clearly venomous or toxic, such as ants, bees, wasps, etc. Other paleobiological candidates include, e.g., therocephalians. They are an extinct suborder of carnivorous eutheriodont therapsids that lived from the middle and late Permian into the Triassic (265.0 – 245.0 Ma), existing for approximately 20 million years. The therocephalians (“beast-heads”) are named after their large skulls, which, along with the structure of their teeth, suggest that they were successful carnivores. Like other non-mammalian synapsids, therocephalians are described as mammal-like reptiles, although In fact, Therocephalia is the group most closely related to the cynodonts, which gave rise to the mammals. This relationship takes evidence in a variety of anatomical features, possibly including whiskers and hair. There remain many unanswered questions about the phylogeny, anatomy, and physiology of therocephalians. The fossils of therocephalians are numerous in the Karoo of South Africa, but have also been found in Russia, China, and Antarctica. Early therocephalian fossils discovered in Middle Permian deposits of South Africa support a Gondwanan origin for the group, which seems to have spread quickly throughout the world. Although almost every therocephalian lineage ended during the great Permian – Triassic extinction event, 251 million years ago, a few representatives of the subgroup called Eutherocephalia survived into the Early Triassic and continued to diversify. However, the last therocephalians became extinct by the early Middle Triassic, possibly due to climate change and competition with cynodonts and various groups of reptiles. Although the existence of a venom gland in these animals is controversial, the absence of postcanine teeth in association with a maxillary pit and grooved caniniform teeth indicate that a venom delivery apparatus may have existed in some therocephalian therapsids (e.g., Euchambersia).
*Liber 777, Column XXXVIII. **Goldstein-Jacobson, op. cit., p. 44.
Creatures in general: All members of Kingdom Fungi. Above all, Psilocybin mushrooms and some of the Amanita mushrooms, which contain alkaloids that can produce visions, dreams, trances, etc., should be included here. Psilocybin mushrooms, a.k.a. “magic mushrooms,” teónanácatl, teotlaquilnanácatl, and xochinanácatl, are fungi that contain the medicinal compounds psilocybin and psilocin. There are multiple colloquial terms for psilocybin mushrooms, the most common being magic mushrooms or “shrooms.” Biological genera containing psilocybin mushrooms include Agrocybe, Conocybe, Copelandia, Galerina, Gerronema, Gymnopilus, Hypholoma, Inocybe, Mycena, Panaeolus, Pluteus, Psilocybe and Weraroa. There are approximately 190 species of psilocybin mushrooms and most of them fall in the genus Psilocybe. Of those Amanita mushrooms that can be used for similar purposes, they are toxic in larger doses, and the line between the dose that gives visions and that which kills is very thin even in these species, for which reason those not knowledgeable about them – and even those that are, in most cases – are well-advised not to ingest any of them. Foods, drugs, flavors, and perfumes: Drugs:
Liber 777: All narcotics.* All drugs and other ingestibles that are addicting, from white sugar to alcohol to narcotics, etc. *Liber 777, Column XLIII.
Foods: All marine life, especially crustaceans and bottom-feeders. Flavors: Fishy, tasting of the sea, iodine-y taste.. Perfumes: Liber 777: Ambergris.*
*Liber 777, Column XLII.
Clothing and other things, objects, and processes: Barbara Watters gives fogs; chemicals; poisons; drugs; oil; fish and marine mammals; the ocean, especially its mysterious depths; liquor; espionage; chemistry; photography; motion pictures, the ballet; occultism; psychic phenomena; piracy; junk, anything discarded or unwanted, trash heaps; unsolved mysteries; ghosts and spectres, whether real or imaginary; hallucinations, especially if caused by drugs or alcohol; suicide; skeletons in the family closet; dreams, the unconscious mind, sleep; what happened before one was born; mysticism; Christianity; martyrdom.* Sou’westers, heavy raincoats, peacoats, and other clothing typically worn by sailors at sea; diver’s suits; wetsuits (the skin-tight rubber suits that cover the entire body from ankles to neck and the arms down to the wrists worn by Scuba divers); pajamas, nightgowns, and other sleepwear; truly scary, i.e., nightmarish versions of costumes and makeup such as those worn at Halloween; camouflage clothing. Also, Pisces is the run-up to the beginning of Spring and Easter. As such, it can be a time for wearing pastel clothing suggestive of the coming change of seasons. Other things ruled by Pisces include entropy; orphans, abused children; monks, nuns, ascetics, hermits; prisons and prisoners; assassination; torture; punishment; deceit, betrayal, fraud; submarines, submariners, and submarine warfare; guerilla warfare; ninjas, ninja combat arts, ninja dojos; sabotage; espionage; mysteries of all sorts; saints; hospitals; retreats, ashrams, hermitages; anything intended to hide something or cover it up so that it can’t be detected; public health matters; large animals; wild animals; cameras, both still and film; camcorders; webcams; dance, dances; tai chi, and any system of exercise, dance, or combat arts based on it; bathyscaphes, submersibles, any devices or probes used to explore the depths of the oceans; piracy; parasites; bacteria; anything hidden or covert. Pisces rules quantum mechanics and non-local phenomena and processes, such as electron tunneling; higher mathematics; computer software, computer programming, and information science; and the fine arts, the dance, the cinema, etc.
*Watters, op. cit., p. 35.
The body: Barbara Watters gives the feet, the liver, and the genes.* Liber 777 gives the legs and feet.** Ivy Goldstein-Jacobson gives the pineal gland, the reproduction of blood cells; lymphatic processes, mucus membranes, mucus and phlegm, and the action of the glands and the liver. She gives as the principles behind these the dominion over the psychic principle and the fibrin of the blood of Neptune; the dominion over the blood of Jupiter; and the dominion of Luna over lymph, phlegm, and the protoplasm of blood cells.† Add to these the locus coeruleus (also spelled locus caeruleus), a nucleus in the brain stem involved with physiological responses to stress and panic, and with sleep and dreaming.‡ Pisces rules the so-called junk genes, stretches of DNA in the chromosomes of each cell in the body whose functions are mostly unknown and which are usually unexpressed in the body and functioning of the living organism, or are only expressed subtly, as an influence on the expression of other genes in the organism’s genotype. When analyzed by biochemists, these genes are often found to be identical to genes found in the bodies of other species of organisms, in some cases species only very distantly related to the organism in whose DNA these genes are found. Some believe that these seemingly useless genes are preserved in the DNA of an organism because under certain unusual circumstances they may well become useful, or even critically important for the survival and/or ability to reproduce of the organism under consideration. Beyond that, the nature and purpose of these genes, which can be found in the chromosomes of numerous organisms, is not well understood, and is still a matter of furious debate.
*Watters, op. cit., p. 35. Rather than “genes” here, I’d give the chromosomes encoding the genes, as they are physico-chemical structures, whereas the genes themselves are information, hence numinous (non-physical) in nature. **Liber 777, Column CLXXXII. Traditionally, the thighs are ruled by Sagittarius, the knees by Capricorn, and the calves and ankles by Aquarius, so the assignment here of the legs to Pisces may be in error. †Goldstein-Jacobson, op. cit., p. 193. ‡The name of this organ is derived from the Latin words coeruleus and locus; it means “the blue spot”, a name derived from its azure appearance in unstained brain tissue. The color is due to light scattering from melanin in noradrenergic nerve cell bodies. (Caeruleus is the classical Latin spelling, but coeruleus, a more archaic form, is the more common spelling. The spelling ceruleus, formed by contraction of the digraph ae or oe into e, is an American English form.) The projections of this nucleus reach far and wide. For example, they innervate the spinal cord, the brain stem, cerebellum, hypothalamus, the thalamic relay nuclei, the amygdala, the basal telencephalon, and the cortex. The norepinephrine from the LC has an excitatory effect on most of the brain, mediating arousal and priming the brain’s neurons to be activated by stimuli. As an important homeostatic control center of the body, the locus coeruleus receives afferents from the hypothalamus. The cingulate gyrus and the amygdala also innervate the LC, allowing emotional pain and stressors to trigger noradrenergic responses. The cerebellum and afferents from the raphe nuclei also project to the LC, particularly the raphe pontis and raphe dorsalis. The locus coeruleus receives inputs from a number of other brain regions, primarily: Medial prefrontal cortex, whose connection is constant, excitatory, and increases in strength with raised activity levels in the subject Nucleus paragigantocellularis, which integrates autonomic and environmental stimuli Nucleus prepositus hypoglossi, which is involved in gaze
Lateral hypothalamus, which releases orexin, which, as well as its other functions, is excitatory in the locus coeruleus. The locus coeruleus may figure in clinical depression, panic disorder, and anxiety. Some antidepressant medications as well as the ADHD medication atomoxetine are believed to act on neurons in this area. This area of the brain is also intimately involved in REM sleep and dreaming, both of which are governed by Neptune and Pisces. Enhanced noradrenergic postsynaptic responsiveness in the neuronal pathway (brain circuit) that originates in the locus coeruleus and ends in the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala is a major factor in the pathophysiology of most stressinduced fear-circuitry disorders and especially in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The LC neurons are probably the origin of the first or second “leg” of what has been recently termed the “PTSD candidate circuit.” Combat-related PTSD (in a 2005 study of deceased American army veterans from World War II) was shown to be associated with a postmortem diminished number of neurons in the locus coeruleus (LC) on the right side of the brain. The role of the LC in PTSD may explain the dramatic effectiveness of two generic medications, Propranolol and Prazosin, for the secondary prevention and treatment of PTSD, respectively. The locus coeruleus is responsible for mediating many of the sympathetic effects during stress. The locus coeruleus is activated by stress, and will respond by increasing norepinephrine secretion, which in turn will alter cognitive function (through the prefrontal cortex), increase motivation (through nucleus accumbens), activate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, and increase the sympathetic discharge/inhibit parasympathetic tone (through the brainstem). Specific to the activation of the hypothalamo-pituitary adrenal axis, norepinephrine will stimulate the secretion of corticotropin-releasing factor from the hypothalamus, which induces adrenocorticotropic hormone release from the anterior pituitary and subsequent cortisol synthesis in the adrenal glands. Norepinephrine released from locus coeruleus will feedback to inhibit its production, and corticotropin-releasing hormone will feedback to inhibit its production, while positively feeding to the locus coeruleus to increase norepinephrine production. The LC's role in cognitive function in relation to stress is complex and multi-modal. Norepinephrine released from the LC can act on α2 receptors to increase working memory, or an excess of NE may decrease working memory by binding to the lower affinity α1 receptors. In opiate withdrawal: Opioids inhibit the firing of neurons in the locus coeruleus. When opioid consumption is stopped, the increased activity of the locus coeruleus contributes to the symptoms of opiate withdrawal. The alpha2 adrenoceptor agonist clonidine is used to counteract this withdrawal effect by decreasing adrenergic neurotransmission from the locus coeruleus. Rett syndrome: The genetic defect of the transcriptional regulator MECP2 is responsible for Rett syndrome. A MeCP2 deficiency has been associated to catecholaminergic dysfunctions related to autonomic and sympathoadrenergic system in mouse models of RTT. The Locus Coeruleus is the major source of noradrenergic innervation in the brain and sends widespread connections to rostral (cerebral cortex, hippocampus, hypothalamus) and caudal (cerebellum, brainstem nuclei) brain areas. An alteration of this structure could contribute to several symptoms observed in Mecp2-deficient mice. Changes in the electrophysiological properties of cells in the locus ceruleus were shown. These Locus Coeruleus cell changes include hyperexcitability and decreased functioning of its noradrenergic innervation. Interestingly, a reduction of the tyrosine hydroxylase (Th) mRNA level, the rate-limiting enzyme in catecholamine synthesis, was detected in the whole pons of Mecp2-null male as well as in adult heterozygous female mice. Using immunoquantification techniques, a decrease of TH protein staining level, number of locus coeruleus TH-expressing neurons and density of dendritic arborization surrounding the structure was shown in symptomatic Mecp2-deficient mice. However, locus coeruleus cells are not dying but are more likely losing their fully mature phenotype since no apoptotic neurons in the pons were detected. Researchers have concluded that “Because these neurons are a pivotal source of norepinephrine throughout the brainstem and forebrain and are involved in the regulation of diverse functions disrupted in Rett syndrome, such as respiration and cognition, we hypothesize that the locus ceruleus is a critical site at which loss of MECP2 results in CNS dysfunction. Restoration of normal locus ceruleus function may therefore be of potential therapeutic value in the treatment of Rett Syndrome. This could explain why a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (desipramine, DMI) which enhance the extracellular NE levels at all noradrenergic synapses could ameliorates some symptoms in a mouse model of Rett Syndrome. There is up to 70% loss of locus ceruleus neurons in Alzheimer's Disease. Mouse models of Alzheimer's disease show accelerated progression after chemical destruction of the locus ceruleus.
The norepinephrine from locus ceruleus cells in addition to its neurotransmitter role locally defuses from “varicosities”. As such it provides an endogenous anti-inflammatory agent in the microenvironment around the neurons, glial cells, and blood vessels in the neocortex and hippocampus. It has been shown that norepinephrine stimulates mouse microglia to suppress Aβinduced production of cytokines and their phagocytosis of Aβ. This suggests that degeneration of the locus ceruleus might be responsible for increased Aβ deposition in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients..
Diseases: Liber 777 gives gout.* Barbara Watters gives damage to the feet; gout; hepatitis; birth deformities; genetically transmitted diseases such as hemophilia and sickle-cell anemia; hereditary syphilis**; damage to the embryo from drugs taken by the mother during pregnancy, or injuries caused during delivery; discharges of mucus or pus; poisoning; drug addiction; and illness caused by overexposure to damp cold.† Ivy Goldstein-Jacobson gives afflictions of the feet and toes; bunions and corns, gout; contagious diseases, consumption (tuberculosis?), colds; fluidic disorders, dropsy, tumors, cancer, changes in the fibrin of the blood and the protoplasm of the blood cells; malnutrition and starvation of the body’s tissues; bowel complaints; reactions to bad psychic magnetism, hallucinations, obsessions, nervous sweating; often a reaction to alcohol, drugs, narcotics, fumes, smoke, and medicines. Disturbances of mind and soul (psychosis or psychalgia (psychosomatic pain), paranoia, monomania, etc.), often chronic.‡ Add to these sleep disturbances, nightmares, lucid nightmares, and night-terrors; panic disorders; Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD); clinical depression; bad reactions to any kind of drugs, whether narcotic or not; alcoholism (alcohol is associated with Key 30,Resh, and the Sun; but the Sun is an esoteric ruler of Pisces, hence the assignment of alcoholism to Pisces is doubly appropriate, as alcohol is also addictive); addictions of any kind, whether to drugs, foods, or anything else; obsessive-compulsive disorder; phobias; suicidal thoughts, suicidal depression, suicide; disorders of the endocrine glands and endocrine system; any diseases that are public health concerns, whether infectious or otherwise, hence all diseases caused by parasites or bacteria, especially sexually transmitted diseases, which are ruled by Venus, which is exalted in Pisces; edema of the feet; passiveaggressive behavior disorders; manipulative behavior disorders; psychological parasitism of others, etc. As Pisces is associated with the soul, sociopathy, which is caused by mal- or non-development of those parts of the brain having to do with the social instincts and feelings, the conscience, moral awareness, artistic creativity, mathematical genius, psychic abilities, clairvoyance, and related faculties, could be said to be ruled by Pisces, for it entails lack of many of the faculties which are considered to be part of the soul. Addictive behaviors such as pyromania (addiction to the thrill of setting fires), sex-addiction, and pathological gambling are ruled by Pisces.
*Liber 777, Column CLXXXVI. **Syphilis isn’t hereditary. Rather, it can be transmitted to a fetus in the womb of a mother infected with the spirochetal bacterium Treponema pallidum, the pathogen that causes the disease, the pathogen passing through the placenta and umbilicus from mother to child. There are no human genes that encode for the disease, which is only caused by the syphilis pathogen. †Watters, op. cit., p. 35. ‡Goldstein-Jacobson, op. cit., p. 193.
Psychology: Pisces rules the unconscious mind, both the personal unconscious and the collective unconscious, and the realm of sleep and dreams. It also rules paranormal abilities and psychic phenomena, such as clairvoyance, telepathy, precognition, teleportation, and telekinesis. It rules the psychology accompanying creative activity involving the fine arts, dance, musical composition and performance, the theater, the cinema, etc. Pathological psychospiritual matters ruled by Pisces include sadomasochism, manipulative behavior and the psychology responsible for it, obsessions with control and domination, passive-aggressive behavior and the psychology underlying it; nightmares, lucid nightmares, and night-terrors persisting after age 6 or so; sleep apnia, insomnia, and other sleep disorders; panic disorders; obsessive-compulsive disorders; hallucinations; addictions of all kinds; many character disorders; the psychology underlying addictive behaviors such as pyromania, sex-addiction, serial killings, serial rape, etc.. Pisces also rules the psychology of deceit, treachery and treason, fraud, assassins, and anyone else who works behind the scenes or in disguise, or uses deceit to accomplish his or her aims. Magickal image: The waning Moon.*
*Liber 777, Column CLXXXI.
Forms, shapes, lineal figures, geomantic figures, figures related to pure number, numerological associations, and other mathematical entities: The geomantic figure Laetitia is associated with Key 29 and Pisces.* Ichthys (more commonly spelt Ichthus, or sometimes Ikhthus, from Greek ίχθύς, capitalized ΙΧΘΥΣ or ΙΧΘΥC) is the ancient and classical Greek word for “fish.” In English it refers to a symbol consisting of two intersecting arcs, the ends of the right side extending beyond the meeting point so as to resemble the profile of a fish, used by Early Christians as a secret symbol and now known colloquially as the “sign of the fish” or the “Jesus fish”:
Pisces rules all higher mathematics, especially nonlinear algebras, the mathematics of chaos science, and related fields. It rules computer software and the programming that creates it, hence Boolean (Base-2) algebra. Spelled in Hebrew, ( קQoph) = ;ףוקadding the values of these letters gives us 800 + 6 + 100 = 906; adding the digits of the latter gives us 9 + 6 = 15 1 + 5 = 6. 906 = 2 x 3 2 x 17; 6 is a perfect number, equaling the sum of its integral divisors: 1 + 2 + 3 = 1 x 2 x 3 = 6.
*Liber 777, Column XLIX.
Archangel: The archangel Gabriel rules the Water signs in general; in particular, Asariel rules Pisces and Neptune. Asariel is the archangel governing the waters of the earth, and also one of the twenty-eight angels governing the twenty-eight mansion of the moon. His gifts and strengths are: Intuition, Dreams, Emotions, Spirituality, and the inner life of the soul. He guards the fluid and empathic energies of our subconscious and our creative essences. He also has dominion over the waters of the earth and the abundance of life that exists there. It was the combination of sunlight and water which ignited the beginnings of life on our planet, and it is the growth that occurs within the fluid and ever-changing properties of Earth's oceans and rivers that Archangel Asariel nurtures, guides and empowers. The deep ocean of our spirits fall under this Archangel's guardianship. Influencing Pisces in the zodiac, archangel Asariel has an important influence on our dreams and intuitive wisdom. He rules over is the essence of creativity which comes not from our hearts and minds, but from the universe at large, and is channeled through our unique abilities, talents and minds. Asariel teaches through inner wisdom, understanding and spirituality. The Guardian Archangel of water also protects our inner emotional waters and reflects the love that is undeniably ours and forever available to us from the universe. Point of the compass: According to Barbara Watters, Pisces is associated with north-by-west.* According to the rules for judging a horary chart (one erected to answer a question), the house and sign in which the planet representing the Querent (the one who asks the question) or the Quesited (the person or thing inquired about) shows the direction where he/she/it is located. Under those rules, the direction indicated by Pisces is likewise north-by-west, while that indicated by the 12th House is east-southeast.**
*Watters, op. cit., p. 36. **See Goldstein-Jacobson, op. cit., p. 74.
Occupations, businesses, and ecological niches: According to Barbara Watters, Pisces rules chemists; sailors; liquor merchants; monks and nuns; those who work in hospitals, jails, and orphanages; psychoanalysts; junk dealers; scavengers; drug addicts and pushers; alcoholics; neurotics; prisoners, slaves, and all others who are in bondage or exploited; secret enemies; secret agents; fishermen; divers; dancers; foundlings; illegitimate children; and clairvoyants.* Pisces rules abused children and orphans; hidden enemies (known enemies are ruled by Libra and the 7th House, which also rule war); political prisoners, especially those who must endure torture; the legendary aunts and others who were hidden away in the attics of the homes of their kin because of physical deformities or mental illness; the mentally ill; traitors; frauds and deceivers, exiles, kidnap victims; suicides; blasphemers and those who commit sacrilege; widows and widowers; the poor; gossips and rumor-mongers; victims of any kind; those who grieve and mourn; those who earn Darwin Awards; guerilla war, submarine warfare, and those who fight such wars; and the damned.
*Watters, op. cit., p. 35.
Places, nations, and peoples: Peoples: Oceanic peoples, e.g., Polynesians, Melanesians, Micronesians Places: Oceania (sometimes Oceanica), a geographical, and often geopolitical, region consisting of numerous lands – mostly islands in the Pacific Ocean and vicinity. The term “Oceania” was coined in 1831 by French explorer Dumont d’Urville. The term is also sometimes used to denote a continent comprising Australia Continent and proximate Pacific islands, and is one of eight terrestrial ecozones.* It includes the Hawaiian Islands, New Zealand, Tahiti, the Cook Islands, Papua New Guinea (the Independent State of Papua New Guinea), Australia, Fiji, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, Nauru (the Republic of Nauru), Kiribati (the Republic of Kiribati), Palau (the Republic of Palau), Samoa (the Independent State of Samoa), the Solomon Islands, Tonga (the Kingdom of Tonga), Tuvalu, Vanuatu, American Samoa, Ashmore and Cartier Islands, Baker Island, Clipperton Island, Cook Islands, Coral Sea Islands, Easter Island, French Polynesia, Guam, Howland Island, Jarvis Island, Johnston Atoll, Juan Fernández Islands, Kingman Reef, Midway Atoll, New Caledonia, Niue, Norfolk Island, Northern Mariana Islands, Palmyra Atoll, Pitcairn Islands, Tokelau, Wake Island, and Wallis and Futuna (this last an overseas collectivity of France). According to Ivy Goldstein-Jacobson, Neptune and Pisces rule places of retirement, confinement, seclusion, and enforced solitude, such as penitentiaries, jails, police stations, hospitals and asylums, and cells and barred places: there is always some form of restraint in the places indicated by them. Pisces governs secluded ground susceptible to sinkage, low and prone to flooding, perhaps a beach, bayou, or swamp which waterfowl frequent and fish can be found. Plants in such an area are more likely to be lush and parasitic than elsewhere. Indoors, Pisces indicates places that have low ceilings and cold or damp floors; it indicates rooms in which water or other fluids are available, and in which medications are under lock and key, or are otherwise inaccessible. Such places have only the most necessary furnishings, some of which are designed to keep a child or adult from falling out or getting out of them. Pisces can indicate dark cells used to punish prisoners, dark rooms used for processing photographs or for X-rays, etc. Pisces can indicate the northwest wall of a room where you will find a plant being inquired about.**
*An ecozone or biogeographic realm is the largest scale biogeographic division of the Earth’s land surfaces, based on the historic and evolutionary distribution patterns of terrestrial plants and animals. Ecozones represent large areas of the Earth’s surface where plants and animals developed in relative isolation over long periods of time, and are separated from one another by geologic features, such as oceans, broad deserts, or high mountain ranges, that formed barriers to plant and animal migration. Ecozones correspond to the floristic kingdoms of botany or zoogeographic regions of mammal zoology. Simply they are a definition of the plants and animals in a region further divided by the land form region. (Example the taiga ecozone in Canada is divided into the taiga plains, and taiga shield.) Ecozones are characterized by the evolutionary history of the plants and animals they contain. As such, they are distinct from biomes, also known as major habitat types, which are divisions of the Earth’s surface based on life form, or the adaptation of plants and animals to climatic, soil, and other conditions. Biomes are characterized by similar climax vegetation. Each ecozone may include a number of different biomes. A tropical moist broadleaf forest in Central America, for example, may be similar to one in New Guinea in its vegetation type and structure, climate, soils, etc., but these forests are inhabited by plants and animals with very different evolutionary histories. The patterns of plant and animal distribution in the world’s ecozones was shaped by the process of plate tectonics, which has redistributed the world’s land masses over geological history. The term ecozone, as used here, is a fairly recent development, and other terms, including kingdom, realm, and region, are used by other authorities to denote the same meaning. In some older works, continent is used, which leads to confusion with the geographic/geologic continents. J. Schultz uses the term “ecozone” to refer his classification system of biomes. **Goldstein-Jacobson, op. cit., p. 42.
Matters of the horoscope: According to Ivy Goldstein-Jacobson, Pisces and the 12 th House of the horoscope have to do with misfortune; bondage and persecution; imprisonment or confinement; banishment and exile; estrangements; ambush; kidnappings; secret enemies; traitors and treason; clandestine acts; subversion; wantonness; self-undoing; suicide; assassination; mysterious and undisclosed conditions; widowhood; blasphemy; periods of poverty or grief; funerals; and withdrawal by choice. They rule the past, and the end of the matter ruled by the 9th House of the horoscope. Malefics – Mars, Saturn, Uranus, or Neptune – in Pisces or the 12th House describe the activity there as unfortunate for the Querent; if they are direct and afflicting the ruler of the 1 st House, the mischief they cause is deliberate, farreaching, and carried out by ambush, and recognized too late to do anything about it. They give danger of imprisonment, criminal acts, estrangement from the father or family, cruel enemies, treachery or subversion, assassination or torture, and many accidents behind the scenes; and may indicate the death of a child. Benefics – Venus and Jupiter – in the 12 th or Pisces bring help in time of need and whatever shelter the Querent requires at the time. If afflicted in that house or sign, however, the benefics give only the least help and no other recompense. When Neptune is well-aspected in the matter, it signifies self-abnegation and flashes of intuition; when afflicted, Neptune indicates skeletons in the closet (which can also be indicated by Saturn in Pisces or the 12 th House). Venus in Pisces or the 12 th House indicates love and understanding, but if she is in her detriment there (e.g., Venus in Pisces in the 6th House, or Venus in Virgo in the 12 th House, etc.), she signifies wanton behavior and clandestine attachments; and if she is in bad aspect to Saturn, whoever she signifies is rejected by someone important. The Part of Fortune in Pisces or the 12 th House is the Part of Misfortune. The Sun in Pisces or the 12 th House shows unwanted publicity; the Moon, troubles with common people; Mercury, tattling and malicious communications, unless he is well-placed here, in which case he signifies a trusted messenger. Pisces and the 12th House rule damnation and the damned; arrest and imprisonment; malicious gossip; unfounded or unsupported rumors; urban legends that may or may not turn out to be true; Darwin Awards and those who earn them; guerilla warfare and those who wage it; Poetry: Homer, The Iliad, sections on Poseidon Rabindranath Tagore, “Ocean of Forms” I dive down into the depth of the ocean of forms, hoping to gain the perfect pearl of the formless. No more sailing from harbor to harbor with this my weather-beaten boat. The days are long passed when my sport was to be tossed on waves. And now I am eager to die into the deathless. Into the audience hall by the fathomless abyss where swells up the music of toneless strings I shall take this harp of my life. I shall tune it to the notes of forever, and when it has sobbed out its last utterance, lay down my silent harp at the feet of the silent.
Stephen Crane, “The Ocean Said to Me Once” The ocean said to me once, ”Look! Yonder on the shore Is a woman, weeping. I have watched her. Go you and tell her this – Her lover I have laid In cool green hall. There is wealth of golden sand And pillars, coral-red; Two white fish stand guard at his bier. ”Tell her this And more – That the king of the seas Weeps too, old, helpless man. The bustling fates Heap his hands with corpses Until he stands like a child With a surplus of toys.” Victor Hugo, “The Ocean’s Song” We walked amongst the ruins famed in story Of Rozel-Tower, And saw the boundless waters stretch in glory And heave in power. O Ocean vast! We heard thy song with wonder, Whilst waves marked time. “Appear, O Truth!” thou sang’st with tone of thunder, “And shine sublime! “The world's enslaved and hunted down by beagles, To despots sold. Souls of deep thinkers, soar like mighty eagles! The Right uphold. “Be born! arise! O’er the earth and wild waves bounding, Peoples and suns! Let darkness vanish; tocsins be resounding, And flash, ye guns! “And you who love no pomps of fog or glamour, Who fear no shocks, Brave foam and lightning, hurricane and clamour,– Exiles: the rocks!” Joyce Kilmer, “Mid-Ocean in War-Time”: (For My Mother) The fragile splendour of the level sea, The moon’s serene and silver-veiled face, Make of this vessel an enchanted place Full of white mirth and golden sorcery.
Now, for a time, shall careless laughter be Blended with song, to lend song sweeter grace, And the old stars, in their unending race, Shall heed and envy young humanity. And yet to-night, a hundred leagues away, These waters blush a strange and awful red. Before the moon, a cloud obscenely grey Rises from decks that crash with flying lead. And these stars smile their immemorial way On waves that shroud a thousand newly dead! Walt Whitman, “Out of the Rolling Ocean, the Crowd” 1 OUT of the rolling ocean, the crowd, came a drop gently to me, Whispering, I love you, before long I die, I have travel’d a long way, merely to look on you, to touch you, For I could not die till I once look’d on you, For I fear’d I might afterward lose you. 2 (Now we have met, we have look’d, we are safe; Return in peace to the ocean, my love; I too am part of that ocean, my love—we are not so much separated; Behold the great rondure—the cohesion of all, how perfect! But as for me, for you, the irresistible sea is to separate us, As for an hour, carrying us diverse—yet cannot carry us diverse for ever; Be not impatient—a little space—Know you, I salute the air, the ocean and the land, Every day, at sundown, for your dear sake, my love.) H. P. Lovecraft, Fungi From Yuggoth V: “Homecoming” The daemon said that he would take me home To the pale, shadowy land I half recalled As a high place of stair and terrace, walled With marble balustrades that sky-winds comb, While miles below a maze of dome on dome And tower on tower beside a sea lies sprawled. Once more, he told me, I would stand enthralled On those old heights, and hear the far-off foam. All this he promised, and through sunset’s gate He swept me, past the lapping lakes of flame, And red-gold thrones of gods without a name Who shriek in fear at some impending fate. Then a black gulf with sea-sounds in the night: “Here was your home,” he mocked, “when you had sight!” Graphic arts: Botticelli, The Birth of Venus Just about anything by Salvador Dalí All surrealist art Music:
Claude Debussy, La Mer George Frederic Handel, Water Music Books and other literary productions: Herman Melville, Moby Dick Edward Stephens, Blow Negative (New York: Doubleday & Co., Inc., 1962). A barely fictionalized account of the career and life-work of the late Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, father of the nuclear navy. It also contains one of the greatest lyric poems in the world – one taken directly from the mundane world of the submariner. Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking-Glass The work of H. P. Lovecraft, much of which was based on his lucid dreams and lucid nightmares, often concerned fear of the sea and its life, and was some of the greatest literature of horror of the 20th century Films: Moby Dick Das Boot: Das Boot (English: “The Boat”) is a 1981 German epic war film written and directed by Wolfgang Petersen from a novel of the same name by Lothar-Günther Buchheim, produced by Günter Rohrbach, and starring Jürgen Prochnow, Herbert Grönemeyer and Klaus Wennemann. Set during World War II, the film tells the story of U96, a single patrol U-boat, and its crew. It depicts both the excitement of battle and the tedium of the fruitless hunt, and shows the men serving aboard U-boats as ordinary individuals with a desire to do their best for their comrades and their country. The story is based on an amalgamation of the exploits of the real U-96, a Type VIIC-class U-boat commanded by Heinrich Lehmann-Willenbrock, one of Germany's top U-boat “tonnage aces” during the war. K-19: The Widowmaker: a fact-based fictional movie released on July 19, 2002, about the first of many disasters that befell the Soviet submarine of the same name. The film was directed by Kathryn Bigelow. The screenplay was adapted by Christopher Kyle, based on a story written by Louis Nowra. The movie cost $100,000,000 to make, but gross returns were only $35,000,000 in the United States and $30,500,000 internationally, qualifying it as a box office bomb. The film was not financed by a major studio (National Geographic was a key investor), making it one of the most expensive independent films to date. It was filmed in Canada, specifically Toronto, Ontario; Gimli, Manitoba; and Halifax, Nova Scotia. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K-19:_The_Widowmaker for more on the film. Alice in Wonderland (2010): A fantasy adventure film directed by Tim Burton, written by Linda Woolverton, and starring Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Crispin Glover, Michael Sheen and Stephen Fry and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It is an extension to the Lewis Carroll's two Alice novels Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass; where the movie adds a third part to the existing story, making up a trilogy. The film uses a technique of combining live action and 3D animation. It is extremely surreal, and the effects of its central portions are magnified by contrast with its ending and beginning, which take place in mundane settings Television documentaries: Victory at Sea, a documentary television series about naval warfare during World War II that was originally broadcast by NBC in the USA during 1952-1953. It was condensed into a film during 1954. The music soundtrack, by Richard Rodgers and Robert Russell Bennett, was re-recorded and sold as record albums. The original TV broadcasts were as 26 half-hour segments on Sunday afternoons at 3pm (EST), starting October 26, 1952 and ending May 3, 1953. The series, which won an Emmy award during 1954 as “best public affairs program”, played an important part in establishing historic documentaries as a viable television genre.
Saints and exemplars: H. P. Lovecraft, as one of the Great Dreamers Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, father of America’s nuclear navy and, in particular, of the nuclear submarine Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox: Francis Marion (c. 1732 – February 26, 1795) was a military officer who served in the American Revolutionary War. Acting with Continental Army and South Carolina militia commissions, he was a persistent adversary of the British in their occupation of South Carolina in 1780 and 1781, even after the Continental Army was driven out of the state in the Battle of Camden. Due to his irregular methods of warfare, he is considered one of the fathers of modern guerrilla warfare, and is credited in the lineage of the United States Army Rangers. For more on him, see, e.g., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Marion Stephen Decatur: Commodore Stephen Decatur, Jr. (5 January 1779 – 22 March 1820) was an American naval officer notable for his heroism in the Barbary Wars and in the War of 1812. He was the youngest man to reach the rank of captain in the history of the United States Navy, and the first American celebrated as a national military hero who had not played a role in the American Revolution. Decatur saw service throughout the Quasi-War, an undeclared naval war with France. In 1798, Decatur secured commission as a midshipman aboard the United States. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in 1799. For a brief period, Decatur served aboard the sloop Norfolk, but soon transferred back to the United States. Following the Quasi-War, the US Navy underwent a significant reduction of active ships and officers; Decatur was one of the few selected to remain commissioned. Given command of the brig Argus in 1803, he took it to the Mediterranean for service in the First Barbary War against Tripoli. Once in the combat zone, Lieutenant Decatur commanded the schooner Enterprise and, on 23 December 1803, captured the enemy ketch Mastico. That vessel, taken into the U.S. Navy under the name Intrepid, was used by Decatur on 16 February 1804 to execute a night raid into Tripoli harbor to destroy the U.S. frigate Philadelphia, which had been captured after running aground at the end of October 1803. Admiral Lord Nelson is said to have called this “the most bold and daring act of the Age.” This daring and extremely successful operation made Lieutenant Decatur an immediate national hero, a status that was enhanced by his courageous conduct during 3 August 1804 bombardment of Tripoli. In that action, he led his men in hand-to-hand fighting while boarding and capturing an enemy gunboat. Decatur was subsequently promoted to the rank of captain, and over the next eight years had command of several frigates. The United States declared war on Great Britain on 18 June 1812. United States, commanded by Decatur, the frigate Congress (36), and the brig Argus (18) joined Commodore John Rodgers’ squadron at New York City and put to sea immediately, cruising off the east coast until the end of August. The squadron again sailed on 8 October 1812, this time from Boston. Three days later, after capturing Mandarin, United States parted company with her and continued to cruise eastward. At dawn on 25 October, five hundred miles south of the Azores, lookouts on board United States reported seeing a sail 12 miles (19 km) to windward. As the ship rose over the horizon, Captain Decatur made out the fine, familiar lines of HMS Macedonian. In 1810, the Macedonian and the United States had been berthed next to one another in port at Norfolk, Virginia. The British captain John Carden wagered a beaver hat that if the two ever met in battle, the Macedonian would emerge victorious. However, the engagement in a heavy swell proved otherwise as the United States pounded the Macedonian into a dismasted wreck from long range. The Macedonian had no option left but surrender, and was taken as a prize by Decatur. Eager to present the nation with a prize, Decatur spent a fortnight refitting the captured British frigate so as to make it able to travel back across the Atlantic. After repairs, United States—accompanied by USS Macedonian and the brig Hornet—sailed from New York on 24 May 1813. On 1 June, the three vessels were driven into New London, Connecticut, by a powerful British squadron, and United States and Macedonian were kept blocked there until the end of the war. Decatur attempted to sneak out of New London harbor at night in an effort to elude the British blockading squadron. While attempting to leave the Thames River, Decatur saw
blue lights burning near the mouth of the river in sight of the British blockaders. Convinced that these were signals to betray his plans he abandoned the project. Suspicion was directed against the “peace men” for this betrayal, and the odious epithet of “Bluelight Federalists” was applied to extreme Federalists for many years. In the spring of 1814, Decatur transferred his commodore’s pennant to the President (44), flagship of his new squadron, which consisted of Hornet (20), Peacock (22), and Tom Bowline (12). However, the British had established a strict blockade in the squadron’s port of New York, therefore restricting any cruises out of there. In January 1815, Decatur’s squadron was assigned a mission in the East Indies. Shortly thereafter, Decatur attempted to break through the blockade alone in the President and make for the appointed rendezvous at Tristan da Cunha. On January 15, a day after setting sail from New York, he encountered the British West Indies Squadron composed of Razee HMS Majestic (56 guns, Captain John Hayes) and the frigates HMS Endymion (40 guns, Captain Henry Hope), HMS Pomone (38 guns, Captain John Richard Lumley) and HMS Tenedos (38 guns, Captain Hyde Parker). After the President was accidentally run aground, Decatur continued to attempt to evade his pursuers. Endymion was the first to come up and, after a fierce fight, he managed to disable the British frigate. But due to the damage sustained from Endymion, Decatur’s frigate was finally overhauled by Pomone and Tenedos, causing him to surrender his command. However, his hail of surrender was not heard by Pomone, which fired two broadsides into the President until she hauled down a light to signify surrender. As Decatur himself termed it, “my ship crippled, and more than a four-fold force opposed to me, without a chance of escape left, I deemed it my duty to surrender.” Decatur’s command suffered 24 men killed and 55 wounded, including Decatur himself, who was wounded by a large flying splinter. Decatur and his men were transported as prisoners to Bermuda until February 1815. On February 8, with news of the cessation of hostilities, Decatur traveled aboard HMS Narcissus (32), landing in New London, Connecticut. On February 26, Decatur arrived in New York City, where he convalesced in a boarding house. In May 1815, Commodore Decatur sailed his squadron of ten ships to the Mediterranean Sea to conduct the Second Barbary War, which put an end to the international practice of paying tribute to pirate states. Decatur was dispatched to Algiers to secure the release of American slaves, to obtain an end to tribute, and finally, to procure favorable prize agreements. Capturing the Algerian fleet flagship Mashouda as well as the Algerian brig Estedio in route to Algeria, Decatur secured an amount of levying power with which to bargain with the Dey of Algiers. Upon arrival, Decatur exhibited an early use of gunboat diplomacy on behalf of American interests. A new treaty was agreed to within 48 hours of his arrival, confirming the success of his objectives. After resolving the disputes in Algiers, Decatur sailed his squadron to Tunis and Tripoli to demand reimbursement for proceeds withheld by those governments in the War of 1812. In a similar fashion, he received all of the demands he asked of them, and promptly sailed home victorious. For this campaign, he became known as “the Conqueror of the Barbary Pirates”. Between 1816 and 1820, Decatur served as a Navy Commissioner. During his tenure as a Commissioner, Decatur became active in the Washington social scene. At one of his social gatherings, Decatur uttered an after-dinner toast that would become famous: “Our Country! In her intercourse with foreign nations may she always be in the right; but right or wrong, our country!” Carl Schurz would later distill this phrase more famously as, “My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.” For more on him, see, e.g., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Decatur Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi (Hatsumi Masaaki; for more on whom, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masaaki_Hatsumi), head of the Bujinkan Budō Taijutsu (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bujinkan). The Bujinkan ( 武 神 館 ) is an international martial arts organization based in Japan and headed by Masaaki Hatsumi. It is best known for its association with ninjutsu, i.e., ninja combat arts and culture. The system taught by this group, called Bujinkan Budō Taijutsu, consists of nine separate martial arts traditions. American emblems, sigils, symbols, folklore, and urban legend:
The emblems and symbols of the United States Navy, United States Marines, and United States Coast Guard
Far Eastern cosmological associations:
In the Chinese lunar calendar, the lunar month more or less corresponding to Pisces in the Western calendar is the Rabbit or Hare. This is the fourth month of the Chinese lunar calendar, coming after the month of the Tiger and just before the month of the Dragon.* It covers roughly February 19 through March 20; its first half, approximately February 19 through March 5, is the time of Rain Waters; and its second half, approximately March 6 through March 20, is the time of Excited Insects. This is the emblem of longevity, and is said to derive its essence from the Moon. When a citizen of China looks at the Moon, he or she sees a Moon Hare standing near a rock under a cassia tree, holding the Elixir of Immortality in its front paws. The Chinese name for the Hare is TÚ. The Hare rules the hours of each day from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. (i.e., the hours it rules don’t change, unlike in the Western Ceremonial Tradition and Western astrology, in which the first 60 minutes after dawn on the day of the week under consideration is ruled by the same planet that rules that day**). The direction of this sign is due east; it is a Spring sign. Its fixed Element is Wood/Air; its stem is Yin. The Hare symbolizes graciousness, good manners, sound counsel, kindness, and aesthetic sensitivity, his soft speech and graceful and nimble ways embodying all the desirable traits of a successful diplomat or seasoned politician.† *Theodora Lau, The Handbook of Chinese Horoscopes, Revised Edition (New York: Perennial Library, 1988; ISBN 0-06-096290-9), pp. 14, 82. **In the Western Tradition, the days of the week are ruled by the two Lights and the five classical planets, as follows:
Day of the Week
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Sol Luna Mars Mercury Jupiter Venus Saturday
The rulers hours of the week, then, are determined as follows: The first hour (first 60-minute period) after dawn is ruled by the same celestial body that rules that day. The second hour is ruled by whatever body has an apparent average angular motion through the Zodiac, as measured from day to day over the course of a year, that is swifter than that of the body ruling the first hour, but slower than that ruling the third hour. And so on, until the hour ruled by Luna, the body with the swiftest motion through the Zodiac is completed. Then the following hour is ruled by Saturn, which as the slowest angular motion, as seen from Earth, of the five classical planets and the Lights, and the whole cycle begins again, in this order:
Hour of the Day
x x+1 x+2 x+3 x+4 x+5 x+6
Saturn Jupiter Mars Sol Venus Mercury Luna
where x = any hour of any day ruled by Saturn, with the first hour (first sixty-minute period) after dawn ruled by the same body that rules that day of the week. This continues up until sunset. The third hour of the day is ruled by the body ruling that day, the previous hour by the next-swiftest body, the one before that – the first sixty-minute period after sunset – by the next swiftest body; the hour after the third hour is ruled by the body that is swifter than that ruling the third hour, but less swift than that ruling the fifth hour, and so on through the same cycle as is used during the daylight hours:
Hour of the Night
X x+1 x+2 x+3 x+4 x+5 x+6 x+7
Saturn Jupiter Mars Sol Venus Mercury Luna Saturn
where x = any hour of the night ruled by Saturn, with whatever body rules the daylight hours of that day ruling the third hour (sixty-minute period) after sunset. For example, the first hour after dawn on Sunday is ruled by the Sun, the second by Venus, the third by Mercury, the fourth by Luna, the fifth by Saturn, the sixth by Jupiter, the seventh by Mars, the eighth by Sol, the ninth by Venus . . . and so on up until sunset. The first hour after sunset on Sunday is ruled by Jupiter, the second by Mars, the third by Sol, the fourth by Venus, the fifth by Mercury, the sixth by Luna, the seventh by Saturn, the eighth by Jupiter, the ninth by Mars . . . and so on up until dawn of the next day. Another and perhaps easier way to determine which bodies rule the hours on a given day or night of the week, assuming you have an astrologer handy who can crank out the chart for you in a few minutes, is to erect a chart for that day and for the time on which the hour of the day or night under consideration begins. Then the 1st House of the chart represents the first two hours of that day or night, the 2nd represents the next two hours of that day or night, and so on. Using the formula given above to determine what body rules the first hour of that day or night. Then count off counterclockwise beginning with the chart’s Ascendant to determine what bodies rule the successive hours (remembering that each house represents two hours). For example, if the day is Tuesday, hence is ruled by Mars, and the time of day is one hour after sunset, the 1st house represents the second and third hours after sunset on that day, the former being ruled by Jupiter, the latter by Mars. The 2nd House represents the fourth and fifth hours of the night, respectively ruled by Sol and Venus. And so on. You can also, however, simply look at where the Sun is in that chart. If the Sun is above the horizon – anywhere in Houses 7-12 – then this is a daylight chart. In that case, count clockwise from the Ascendant (the cusp of the 1st House of the chart) to see how many degrees from the Ascendant the Sun is. If the Sun is in the first fifteen degrees counting clockwise from the Ascendant, the hour is ruled by the same body that rules that day of the week. If the Sun is in the second fifteen-degree segment clockwise from the Ascendant, the hour is ruled by that body that is swifter in apparent motion than the one ruling the first hour after dawn, but less swift than that ruling the third. And so on. For example, if the day of the week is, say, Wednesday, hence ruled by Mercury, if the Sun is in that segment of the chart that lies between 75° and 90° counterclockwise from the Ascendant, it is the sixth hour of the day, hence is ruled by Mars. For a night chart, one in which the Sun is below the horizon—anywhere in Houses 1-6 – if the Sun is in that part of the chart that is between 30° and 45° clockwise from the Descendant (the cusp of the 7th House), then that hour of the night is ruled by the same body that rules the day itself. If the Sun is between 15° and 30° clockwise from the Descendant, that hour of the night is ruled by the next swiftest body, while if the Sun is between 45° and 60° counterclockwise from the Descendant, the hour is ruled by that body that is swifter in apparent motion than the one ruling the preceding
hour, but less swift than that ruling the following hour. E.g., if the day of the week is, say, Tuesday, hence is ruled by Mars, and the Sun is in that segment of the chart between 90° and 105° counterclockwise from the Descendant, it is the 7th hour of the night, hence is ruled by Luna, since Mars rules the third hour of that night, Sol the fourth, Venus the fifth, and Mercury the sixth, so Luna rules the following hour, the seventh. †Lau, op. cit.., p. 84.
Trigram from the I Ching: K’an / The Abysmal (Water) ___ ___ _______ ___ ___ Hexagrams from the I Ching: 29. K’an / The Abysmal (Water) in the King Wen arrangement ___ ___ _______ ___ ___ ___ ___ _______ ___ ___ above K’an The Abysmal, Water below K’an The Abysmal, Water THE JUDGMENT The Abysmal repeated. If you are sincere, you have success in your heart, And whatever you do succeeds. THE IMAGE Water flows on uninterruptedly and reaches its goal: The image of the Abysmal repeated. Thus the superior man walks in lasting virtue And carries on the business of teaching. The meaning of this hexagram is danger, peril, and it advocates completing one’s tasks with sincerity and without being distracted by other things which might cause trouble or danger.
Design and Title of Trump
According to Bill Butler,* of all Tarot symbols, that of the Moon is probably better known than any other. We get the term “lunatic” from a Latin word for “the Moon”; it literally means “affected by the Moon.” Regardless of how much official denial is that there is any sort of connection between the phases
and tides of the Moon and violent or irrational behavior, cops on the beat and psychiatric techs all swear that such a connection exists – and that they have learned to brace for difficult times while at work whenever the Moon is full or new. The English word “month” comes from “Moon.” The words “moon” and “month” come from the Latin mensis (“month”), which derives from the Greek Aeolic form meis/mens (μείς/μηνς) of men/mene (μήν/μήνη; “month”, “moon”). From the same root we get, in various languages: English: “moon,” “moon-” (“-beam,” “-light,” “–struck”), “moony,” “month,” “menses,” “menstrual,” “menstruation,” “menstruate,” “menstruous,” “menopause,” “meniscus” (diminutive of mene: “small moon during the first quarter”) French: mois, mensuel Italian: mese, mensile Spanish: mes, mensual German: Monat, monatlich See, e.g., “Etymology of month, moon, menses, meniscus « ENGLISH WORDS OF GREEK ORIGIN” (http://ewonago.wordpress.com/2010/02/01/etymology-of-month-moon-menses-meniscus/). The word “menstruum,” meaning “menstrual fluid” or referring to the ambience in which the transmutation of a base** metal can take place, obviously comes from such roots. According to Butler,* in New Guinea natives would try to hasten the passage of months by throwing stones at the Moon, and wives of hunters would sing to the Moon while their husbands were out hunting, rejoicing when the Moon rose because it was a sign that their absent husbands were safe and well, for the same Moon that shone on them also shone on their husbands. Peruvian women prayed to the Moon for safe childbirth. Romans,, who worshipped Diana as Goddess of the Moon, especially associated the Harvest Moon and the bounty of the crops with Her. As still is the case today, throughout Europe it has been customary since before the Neolithic Age to plant while the Moon waxed and reap when it waned (here in America, The Old Farmer’s Almanac and similar publications still advise farmers to do the same). Down the ages, many believe that dew and moisture come from the Moon, for which reason custom demands that timbers be cut when the Moon is waning and timber is therefore drier. Sacrifices to the Moon have included foods, perfumes, wine, and even, in some cases, human sacrifices. In Albania and Anatolian Turkey, slave-priests of the Goddess were sacrificed each year after having spent the previous thirteen lunar months being fattened. A spear was run through his chest, piercing his heart. The manner in which he fell was carefully observed by the high priest, who interpreted it as an oracle of the Goddess. Those sacrificed to the Moon were often chosen because in some way they resembled the Moon, for which reason, when they were available, albinos were chosen as lunar sacrifices due to their pale skins, so like the white Moon. In Borneo, because of their pale skins, albinos were believed to have been sired by the Moon-God, Who impregnated their mothers. Worship of the Moon survived in Italy until at least the 19th century, and may still continue today in small, isolated communities that still hold the old beliefs and practice the rites that go with them. In Germany, lunar myths about the influence of the Moon on business are still believed today. And even in the Space Age, the Moon still symbolizes She Who moves the tides of the ocean and the affairs of men.
Gringonneur Tarot: Two men who might be scholars or scientists and performing computations in an open book. A waning crescent Moon overlooks them. Bembo: Diana stands with a broken bow in Her left hand, and a waning crescent Moon in Her right. Swiss: A young man, his dog at his side, serenades a young girl on a balcony who gestures at him. In the sky is an equatorial crescent Moon (i.e., with horns down or horns up). At the bottom of the card is a shellfish, a lobster or crayfish, flanked by two smaller crustaceans. Insight: An equatorial crescent Moon is shown. Below it are two dogs; one is howling, the other has his paw upraised over the legend “MA.” At the bottom of the card, a lobster emerges from a pool of water. Marseille: Similar to the above, except that the Moon is shown in splendor, and the text is missing.
Italian: It shows a crescent equatorial Moon, and is otherwise like the Marseille version. Wirth: Similar to Marseille version, except that the artists has combined the waxing, waning, and full aspects of the Moon. This sort of composite of the three aspects of the Moon is suggested in earlier packs, and is traditional in some later ones, but apparently was explicitly used for the first time in Wirth’s pack. Waite: Waite’s design is based on that of the Wirth and Insight version of the card. In this version, one of the dogs has become a wolf. The dog and wolf stand on either side of a dirt path leading from a foreground pond or stream from which a lobster rises menacingly from the water to hills in the far background; in the middle distance are two towers, between which the path runs. The sky is a deep, intense blue; the hills are the same color. The Moon above is inscribed in a circle from which 32 yellow rays project; the profile of the “Man in the Moon,” built into a crescent in the top right arc of the circle, faces toward the viewer’s left, suggesting a waning Moon, while the rest of the circle, both behind and in front of it, is empty; the entire interior of the circle is the same solar yellow of the projections from it. 15 bright yellow Yods fall from the Moon to the scene below. B.O.T.A.: Like Waite’s version, except that the features of the wolf are exaggerated. Aquarian: A huge crescent Moon is shown above a low rise; its horns are to the viewer’s left, suggesting it is a waning crescent. The sky above it ranges in color from a lighter to a darker blue, and is streaked or marbled in magenta. The Moon is circumscribed exactly by a circle; within that part of the circle that is bounded by the arc connecting the horns of the Moon is an expanse of intense blue with some magenta marbling and white dots that might be stars in the middle. Between the Moon and the ground below is an expanse of something that resembles Carrara marble, a white marble with dark grey inclusions. Below the word “The” on the face of the rise below the Moon is a white banner or arc-shaped sign that says “Moon”; below that are mountains, with a broad red plain in the middle distance, and what might be monoliths or mountains marching up to the foreground between the viewer and the plain. Crowley: The card is divided horizontally into two sections. In the larger section, above, a crescent Moon with horns down frames the top arc of an eye-like opening, the bottom arc of which forms the top of a human uterus. Nine Yods fall from the opening either down the outside of the uterus or within it, their destination the cervix and the vaginal exit from it. Through the opening can be seen twisting red, blue, and white ribbons of light that might be roads across a bluish-white expanse of land and blue-white clouds in a lambent blue sky. On either side of the uterus are twin versions of Anubis, each holding a staff, with a small dog at his feet. The lower panel shows the Sacred Beetle Kephra rising up from what looks like a red-blue-white field of energy potentials, the bright yellow Sun, radiating light, held in His two front legs. New: Retitled “Reactor.” A naked child holds aloft a set of keys. At the end of a long passage behind him is a waxing and waning crescent set against a background of the Full Moon. America’s Tarot: The Moon. Upright: J. Edgar Hoover, Harry Anslinger, Al Capone. Background (ghost): mushroom cloud. Reverse: Hollywood and a montage of famous film-stars; the martyred John F. Kennedy. The Divine Comedy Tarot: The Ninth Circle of the Inferno (the place of traitors), but also those places in the Paradiso where those saints who founded hospital orders and maintained refuges for those fleeing persecution of the faith might be found, and those places in Purgatorio where those whose sins had to do with overindulgence, or who had chased after deceptions, could be. Perhaps a better illustration for The Moon comes from Canto III of the Inferno. This canto has to do with, the Vestibule of Hell, in which the opportunists, those who in life refrained from taking command of their own lives, chase banners while being tormented by biting and stinging insects for all eternity.
The poem begins on the day before Good Friday in the year 1300. The narrator, Dante Alighieri himself, is thirty-five years old, and thus “halfway along our life’s path” (Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita) – half of the Biblical life expectancy of seventy (Psalm 90:10). The poem finds him lost in a dark wood, assailed by three beasts (a lion, a leopard, and a she-wolf) he cannot evade, and unable to find the “straight way” (diritta via) – also translatable as “right way” — to salvation. Conscious that he is ruining himself and that he is falling into a “deep place” (basso loco) where the sun is silent (l sol tace), Dante is at last rescued by the Roman poet Virgil, and the two of them begin their journey to the underworld. Each sin’s punishment in the Inferno is a contrapasso, a symbolic instance of poetic justice. E.g., fortune-tellers have to walk forwards with their heads on backwards, unable to see what is ahead, because they tried, through forbidden means, to look ahead to the future in life, etc. Such a contrapasso “functions not merely as a form of divine revenge, but rather as the fulfillment of a destiny freely chosen by each soul during his or her life.” Dante passes through the gate of Hell, which bears an inscription, the ninth (and final) line of which is the famous phrase “Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate” (“Abandon all hope, ye who enter here).” Before entering Hell proper, Dante and Virgil observe the Uncommitted, souls of those who in life did nothing, neither for good nor evil (among these Dante recognizes either Pope Celestine V or Pontius Pilate; the text doesn’t really make it clear which of them is meant). Mixed with those two are outcasts who took no side in the Rebellion of the Angels against God. These souls are neither in Hell nor out of it, but reside on the shores of the Acheron, their punishment to eternally pursue a banner representing self-interest while in turn being pursued by wasps and hornets that continually sting them, while maggots and other such insects drink their blood and tears. This symbolizes the sting of their conscience and the repugnance of sin. As with the Purgatorio and Paradiso, the Inferno has a structure of 9 + 1=10, with this “vestibule” different in nature from the nine circles of Hell, and separated from them by the River Acheron. The Vestibule of the Inferno strongly resembles the sublunar realm between Yesod and Sephirah 10, Malkuth, the Earthly realm, the sphere of ordinary, quotidian reality, the objective universe. The sublunar realm is tenanted by all the idle thoughts, dreams, fancies, fantasies, hopes, fears, musings, daydreams, and whims which, once entertained by the mind, are discarded and left to drift through the subspheres between Yesod and Malkuth. These are the Qlippoth (alt.: kliffoth, klippot, or kellipot (Heb. קליפותqelippot, meaning “peels,” “shells,” or matter, singular: קליפהqelippah and sometimes קליפותthe primeval “husks” of impurity), referring to the representation of evil forces in the mystical teachings of Judaism (such as in the Qaballah.) The word Qlippoth derives from the Hebrew word qelipoth. The Qlippoth are shells around the Sephiroth. Writing in The Kabbalah Unveiled, a translation of one of the founding texts of Hermetic Qaballah, MacGregor Mathers equates these forces with the Kings of Edom. He also offers the suggestion they are the result of an imbalance towards Gedulah, the Pillar of Mercy or the merciful aspect of God, and have since been destroyed. In subsequent Hermetic teachings, the Qlippoth have tended, much like the Sephiroth, to be interpreted as mystical worlds or entities, and merged with ideas derived from demonology. In addition to this, there are also The Seven Infernal Habitations or seven hells (Tehom, Abaddon, Titahion, Barshacheth, Tzelmoth, Shaarimoth and Gehinnom), twelve Qlippothic orders of demons, three powers before Satan, and twenty-two demons which correspond to the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. According to Aleister Crowley, the three evil forms (before Samael), are said to be Qemetial, Belial, and Othiel. According to Israel Regardie, the qlipothic tree consists of 10 spheres in opposition to the Sephiroth on the Tree of Life. These are also referred to as the “evil twins.” They are also the “Evil Demons of Matter and the Shells of the Dead.” The Qlippoth may also be viewed simply as the decomposing remains of thought-forms and their kin. But such astral detritus can also serve as nesting material for some truly malignant denizens of the Inner Planes, which will happily take up residence in them and, building up their strength by feeding on our emotional energy, eventually begin to parasitize and prey on us – such are among those entities that are believed to be responsible for the phenomenon of possession. By this interpretation, the Qlippoth are not themselves evil, but they lend themselves to evil as nesting material and even food for truly evil spirits, their presence on the Inner Planes being something like the “Eat at Joe’s” neon signs advertising diners at truck stops.
In similar fashion, in life, the Opportunists provided encouragement of evil and even enablement of it, usually in passive form, but sometimes actively. They thus made the likelihood of evil’s occurrence far greater than it might otherwise have been, and perhaps because of them, far worse forms of evil occurred down the centuries than might otherwise have been the case. Key 29, Path 19, ( קQoph), and Trump XVIII, The Moon, associated with Pisces, by nature have strong affinities with the Vestibule of Hell. For that reason, Canto III of the Inferno provides the best material in all the Comedia for an illustration of that Trump. Biblical Tarot: 1 Samuel 28:7-25: Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and inquire of her. And his servants said to him. Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor. As the story in 1 Samuel tells it, the Philistines were preparing to attack Israel. King Saul led out his army to face them at Mount Gilboa, but before the battle decided to secretly consult the witch of Endor for advice. The witch, unaware of who he was, reminded Saul that the king (i.e. Saul himself) had made witchcraft a capital offence, for which reason she was reluctant to do what he wanted. But after being assured that Saul wouldn't harm her, the witch conjures up the ghost of Samuel for Saul, so that Saul might question the dead prophet. Samuel’s ghost told Saul that he would lose the coming battle and his life. Broken in spirit, Saul returned to face the enemy, and the Israelites were duly defeated. To avoid the ignominy of capture, Saul asked his armor-bearer to kill him, but the other man refused. So Saul committed suicide by falling on his sword. The MAD Tarot: Mine: A night scene. An enraged Moxie Cowznowski, her silky red hair unbound and streaming out behind her, armed with a huge baseball bat with spikes embedded in its head, chases Dracula, the Wolfman, Frankenstein’s Monster, and the Mummy, who are clearly terrified of her, down the street. the chase takes place on a stretch of sidewalk bordered by a picket fence. Above, an enormous, waning crescent Moon with the face and hairdo of Medusa looks down on the scene, smiling as if it knows a wonderful secret. Several passing pedestrians look on at the chase with interest; a thought-balloon coming from the forehead of one of them says “Spa fon?” Two large dogs with their paws on the top of the fence peer over it, watching the chase, obviously bewildered. A great green lobster rising from a pond between the two dogs peers out at the action from under the fence. Overhead, the MAD Zeppelin floats by, pursued by the two spies of Spy vs. Spy, who are in a hot-air balloon that can’t quite catch up to the Zeppelin. John Burt: The two monochromatically complimentary spies of Spy vs. Spy bat at the Moon above a pool wherein crawls a crab with markings on its back that form Alfred’s face. The Robert A. Heinlein Tarot: The H. P. Lovecraft Tarot: Mine: The Moon. A bevy of weird, monstrous creatures, night-gaunts and ghasts and gugs and Deep Ones mixed with stick-thin, naked cultists, dance beneath the waning crescent Moon, which casts a strange, pearlescent radiance over all. Two more, smaller creatures of indeterminate aspect crawl out of a pond or the near shore of a body of water near the dancers’ feet. A skeletal dog and equally skeletal wolf snarl at the dancers. A road wends from the water toward hills far in the distance. The Moon stands above the hills. In the night sky near the Moon is the asterism of Pisces. David Winn: XVII, Tsathoggua (The Devil). It shows the Great Old One, whose amorphous body has the form of a furry, toad-like being with sleepy eyes and a toothy grin framed by huge lips, which also has features of both bat and sloth.
The Stephen King Tarot: The R. R. McCammon Tarot: Luis Royo Labyrinth Tarot: Before a wooden fence with a low gate or style in its center (but another look shows that these are great stone fortresses, many stories high, the style between them a skybridge, implying that the size of these dogs is enormous), underneath the full-dark night sky, two dogs (or they might be wolves) who are facing each other howl at a crescent Moon above. The Moon is oriented with its illuminated side up and to the viewer’s right, horns down and to the left, which is impossible, a dream image – in waking reality, physically speaking the illuminated side of a crescent Moon must face the Sun, which is often below the horizon, to the east (rising) or west (setting) depending on whether the Moon is respectively in a waning or waxing phase. At the dogs’ feet, between them, is a crescent Moon with horns to the viewer’s left, which, in the Northern Hemisphere, signifies a waning Moon (there one must look south to see the Moon; east is to one’s left, west to the right; and a crescent Moon with horns to the left/east is thus rising before the Sun, and waning). In the foreground, not far from the dogs, is an elliptical pool whose rim is obviously manufactured and probably of concrete, i.e., this is a man-made structure. The waterline is perhaps a foot below the edge of the pool; above the water, a lobster (or is it a eurypterid, scion of an ancient lineage of marine and freshwater arthropods, cousins to the arachnids, who became extinct 251 million years ago, during the greatest mass extinction in Earth’s history, the Permian-Triassic Extinction Event? Given how big the two howling canids must be, as contrasted against those great fortress towers, it is big enough and more than big enough to be such a Paleozoic revenant) hovers, head-down, somehow floating in the air without visible means of support. Moonlight floods the area, reflects glimmering from the surface of the water, from the fur or hair covering the canids’ bodies, from the fortresses. What might be mist or fog rolls across the base of the fortresses and under the style. The card is done entirely in tones of sepia and grayscale, which lends authenticity to the stone of the fortresses and the fur/hair on the bodies of the canids. At the top of the card, to the left, is the number 90, in silvery tones; to the right is that for Aquarius, likewise in silver or ash. At the base of the card, to the left, is the sigil for the astrological sign Cancer; to the right is the Hebrew letter צ (Tzaddi); between them are three linked stylized waves curling to the viewer’s right; these are all in the same silvery script as the symbols at the top of the card. Salvador Dalí Tarot: In the main panel of the card, against a golden Full Moon half-swathed in a wrap the color of the gown of the Blessed Virgin Mary a stylized version of the skyline of New York City is shown, glowing white and yellow over most of their surfaces, with dark grey shadows for contrast. The serene face of a sleeping saint or a meditating monk, likewise in yellow, looks out from the Moon; what might be the signature of the artist done in shades of blue is shown near the top of the head to which the face belongs. In the foreground, below the city, is a small lake, pond, or other body of blue water in which is a crayfish, huge when contrasted with the city above; between the far shore of the water and the city are low black hills, sky-blue moonlight glinting here and there on them; two dogs, facing each other, stand on a crest of a hill, baying at the Moon. One gigantic, distorted red arm of the crayfish, claw open to grab, rises above the pond into the night, high enough to overtop the tallest of the skyscrapers, leaving a yellow smear on it; more smears of yellow and red are left on the hills and in the water. Behind and to one side of the skyscrapers, to the viewer’s right, one huge star glimmers in the heavens below the Moon; other, smaller stars can be seen above the skyscrapers to the viewer’s left. The night sky is a blue so dark it’s almost black, but here and there in it are touches of color: purple, blue. At the left-hand side of the top panel of the frame containing the main panel is the Hebrew letter ( צTzaddi); at the right-hand side is “XVIII”; between them is the legend “The Moon.” At the left-hand side of the bottom panel of the frame is “XVIII”; at the right-hand side of that panel is “ õ”, the sigil of the astrological sign Cancer; and between the two is the legend “La Luna.” The script in these top and bottom panels is done in black, and the panels themselves are in metallic gold.
Tarot of the Witches: A vast crescent Moon, horns to the viewer’s left, floats in the sky above a barren-looking Earth. Well behind it, a tiny Sun is just sinking below the curve of the Earth. Normally, in the Northern Hemisphere, a crescent Moon oriented with horns to the viewer’s left
would signify a waxing Moon, since its illuminated side would be to the viewer’s right, hence toward the western horizon and a setting Sun (or, just possibly, toward the eastern horizon and a rising Sun, but the Sun is slightly to the viewer’s right, which hints it is in the west and setting), meaning it was trailing the Sun and thus waxing. However, with the Sun behind it, so that neither the Moon’s horns nor its illuminated Sun are facing the Sun, it is impossible to tell what phase it’s in; this is essentially an impossible configuration, one that might be seen in a dream. The illuminated side of the crescent is a lambent white, shaded in light blue along its rim. The sky containing Moon and Sun is a deep blue, fading to a somewhat lighter blue close to the Earth. Eleven white five-pointed stars float in the sky to the viewer’s left; the other side of the sky is barren of stars. Ten dead trees, their branches bare and their bark a ghostly ash-grey, rise from the Earth below; the soil in which they are rooted is a strange, dead-looking zombie-greengrey. Seven ravens or other black birds are perched in the branches of some of the trees. Inside the concave face of the crescent Moon is an androgynous face whose structure might be that of a man, but whose bright red lips suggest femininity. It looks toward the viewer’s left. On its left cheek is a large red heart-shaped mole or tattoo. Its left eye, the one visible to the viewer, seems to look out of the card, toward the viewer, but one can’t be sure of that. Its skin is a light, unhealthy-looking green in color. Its plump red lips are slightly parted; careful inspection of the card reveals sharp-pointed white teeth behind those lips. A yellow-white cloud with sharply pointed ends floats just in front of the Moon; another floats just behind the lower horn of the crescent; a third floats just below and in front of the Moon. The legend at the top is “XVIII”; the one at the bottom of the card is “The Moon.” This Tarot pack is one of the oddest this author has ever seen, and of all the cards in it, The Moon is probably the oddest and most sinister, subtly hinting at nightmares that dare to come out even before the Sun has decently set for the day. SubGenius Tarot: 9 male SubGenii in somebody’s back yard are sharing a bong beneath an enormous waning crescent Moon (obviously dawn isn’t far off); the Moon has the face of Aunt Nunu (the proto-Babalonian Goddess Nunu looks like an over-inflated sex-toy with a beehive where Her head ought to be, doing absolutely nothing, and looking unbearably smug about it, not to mention looking as if She badly needed a good weight-loss program or a good endocrinologist; here, only Her face shows, i.e., the featureless side of that beehive, except that it has features that suggest a nasty smile). They all appear to be freaked out and extremely paranoid; they probably all dropped LSD together earlier in the evening. Indistinct blobs of greater darkness that could be shadows but hint in sinister fashion of terrible things lurk everywhere.
*Butler, Dictionary of the Tarot (New York: Schocken Books, 1975, 1977; ISBN 0-8052-0559-4), pp. 176-177. **”Base metal” refers to the primary material used to begin the process of transmutation rather than “low,” “common,” or contemptible. It is used here in the same sense that “base of the pillar” is, i.e., as a support, or a basic material vitally necessary to the successful completion of a project.
c. Divinatory Meanings
Nota bene: According to Bill Butler, in his Dictionary of the Tarot, when interpreting the cards, “Traditional” refers to interpretations provided by S. L. MacGregor Mathers and Arthur Edward Waite.* *Bill Butler, Dictionary of the Tarot (NY: Schocken Books, 1975, 1977; ISBN 0-8052-0559-4), p. 15.
Case: Qoph, “back of the head.” The states of consciousness prior to full control. Hence the unconscious or subconscious mind, as contrasted with the conscious mind, and intuition or vision contrasted with the intellect. Sleep. Pisces, ruled by Jupiter and Neptune. The color violet-red (magenta). The musical tone B natural. The Corporeal Intelligence. Christian: Twilight, deceptions. The abysses of the infinite. The darkness that cloaks the spirit when it submits itself to the power of the instincts, deceptions, and hidden enemies. Crowley: In The Book of Thoth, Crowley says of this card: The Moon, partaking as she does of the highest and the lowest, and filling all the space between, is the most universal of the Planets. In her higher aspect, she occupies the place of the Link between the human and divine, as shown in Atu II. In this Trump, her lowest avatar, she joins the earthy sphere of Netzach with Malkuth, the culmination in matter of all superior forms. This is the waning moon, the moon of witchcraft and abominable deeds. She is the poisoned darkness which is the condition of the rebirth of light. This path is guarded by Tabu. She is uncleanliness and sorcery. Upon the hills are the black towers of nameless mystery, of horror and of fear. All prejudice, all superstition, dead tradition - and ancestral loathing, all combine to darken her face before the eyes of men. It needs unconquerable courage to begin to tread this path. Here is a weird, deceptive life. The fiery sense is baulked. The moon has no air. The knight upon this quest has to rely on the three lower senses: touch, taste and smell. [See the Book of Lies Cap.pß, Bortsch.] Such light as there may be is deadlier than darkness, and the silence is wounded by the howling of wild beasts. To what god shall we appeal for aid? It is Anubis, the watcher in the twilight, the god that stands upon the threshold, the jackal god of Khem, who stands in double form between the Ways. At his feet, on watch, wait the jackals themselves, to devour the carcasses of those who have not seen Him, or who have not known His Name. This is the threshold of life; this is the threshold of death. All is doubtful, all is mysterious, all is intoxicating. Not the benign, solar intoxication of Dionysus, but the dreadful madness of pernicious drugs; this is a drunkenness of sense, after the mind has been abolished by the venom of this Moon. This is that which is written of Abraham in the Book of the Beginning: “An horror of great darkness came upon him.” One is reminded of the mental echo of subconscious realization, of that supreme iniquity which mystics have constantly celebrated in their accounts of the Dark Night of the Soul. But the best men, the true men, do not consider the matter in such terms at all. Whatever horrors may afflict the soul, whatever abominations may excite the loathing of the heart, whatever terrors may assail the mind, the answer is the same at every stage: “How splendid is the Adventure!” Interpretation: Qoph, “back of the head, medulla.” Pisces, Water, Mars ruling Water. The Corporeal Intelligence. The colors crimson (as the color of menstrual blood), ultraviolet. Kephra, the Scarab. Vishnu in his Matsya avatar; Poseidon; Neptune. Fish, dolphins. Unicellular organisms. Opium poppies. Pearls. Magickal Weapons: The Twilight of the Place, and the Magick Mirror. Perfume: ambergris. Drugs: all narcotics. Magickal Powers: Bewitchments, Casting Illusions. Geomantic sign: Laetitia. Title: Ruler of Flux and Reflux, the Child of the Sons of the Mighty. Illusion, deception, bewilderment, hysteria, madness, dreaminess, falsehood, error, crisis, the darkest hour before dawn, the brink of important change. Douglas: In a general sense, intuition, particularly necessary to save the Querent from some crisis. Lack of nerve. Gray: Intuition. Possible bad luck for a lover of the Querent. Imagination restrained by practicality. Peace achieved at a high price. Avoid risks.
Golden Dawn: The victory of the material. Venus acting through Pisces upon the cosmic Elements. Deceptive effect of the apparent power of material forces. Ruler of Flux and Reflux. Child of the Sons of the Mighty. Dissatisfaction, voluntary change, lying, falsity, deception. Grimaud: Illusion. Scandal. Denouncement or a secret revealed. Huson: Gentle inner force leading to fluctuation, small errors, fertility or fulfillment, promise. Kahn: The soul, the spirit, danger to either. Kaplan: Deception, trickery, and related meanings. Knight: Qoph, “back of the head.” Pisces, the Fish. Ruler of Flux and Reflux, Child of the Sons of the Mighty. Instinctive man, the primitive, “nature red in tooth and claw” lurking in the primeval past of the species. Lind: Traditional. Mathers: Twilight, deception, error. Fluctuation, slight deception, trifling mistakes. Mayananda: The Gate of Resurrection. The soul ascending through the unconscious toward rebirth. Papus: Tzaddi, “fish-hook.” A term, an aim, an end. Aquarius. The final step of the descent of spirit into matter. The end of physical materialization, the end of divine materialization. Sadhu: Tzaddi, “roof” (why “roof” when the meaning of Tzaddi is “fish-hook” isn’t explained). The most ominous of all the Major Arcana. Twilight dusk; occult hierarchy; hidden enemies, hidden dangers in general. Thierens: The Moon. The life of the soul. Feelings, sentiments, changes wrought in existence by them. Water, and the female element in general, a woman, women in general, the passing of everything, uncertainty, dreams, exhibitions, plays, the lower class of people. Ussher: Power ideology or the guilt complex. (By extension, superstition.) Dread of the irrational. Waite: Upright: Hidden enemies, danger, calumny, darkness, terror, deception, occult forces, error. Reversed or in bad aspect (which reduces the power of whatever the Trump signifies): Instability, inconstancy, silence, lesser degrees of deception and error. Butler:* Feeling and intuition. The sum of the Suits Wands and Cups and all they stand for.** That which is hidden and, in that sense, female. That which is past, that which is yet to come. Regret or longing. That which is yet to be born. The intangible and the unreal. The unreal, in the sense of the non-physical. The dark half of the Tai Chi. The Divine Comedy Tarot: Upright and in good aspect: Idle fantasizing leading to sin. Seizing on the attractions of the moment without setting any long-range goals. Fraudulent fortune-telling, black Magick and sorcery, the evil side of the Great Arts. Becoming lost in masturbatory fantasies. Evil lurking in wait. Reversed or in bad aspect: Repentance of such sins, true remorse over having committed them, the putting away of the sinful life. A monk, nun, or saint who is truly devoted to God and has embraced the Godly life. Biblical Tarot: Fortune-telling or witchcraft, and its fruits. Hidden or unknown peril. Dreams as a medium of prophecy. The MAD Tarot: Mine: Dirty deeds done dirt cheap. When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. I had one grunch, but the eggplant over there.
John Burt’s: The Robert A. Heinlein Tarot: The H. P. Lovecraft Tarot: Mine: The invisible, the intangible. Information, as opposed to that in which it is encoded. The past, both human and prehuman. Silence. The deeps, abyssal depths, abyssal night, the deeps of space. Menstruation, menarche, menopause. Junk, entropy, detritus, confusion. The emotional mind, the limbic (emotional) brain (which includes numerous endocrine glands), the soul (psyche), emotions, feelings, whims. Paranormal phenomena, especially clairvoyance, psychic abilities, precognition, and psychokinesis. Possession and, when the card is reversed and well-aspected, exorcism. Demons. Superstition, irrationality. Quantum mechanics. Higher mathematics, computer software, computer science, information processing. Genetically mediated diseases due to errors in/damage to DNA; the libraries of “junk” genes of as-yet unknown function found in all eukaryotic organisms, including Homo sapiens. Einstein’s Special and General Theories of Relativity. Marine biology. Oceanography and paleoőceanography. Evolution. Sleep and dreams. Twilight, dusk; the tenebrous; crepuscular light and shadow. Creativity, imagination. Scandal, gossip, rumor, denouncement, a secret revealed. Mirages, illusions, delusions, hallucinations. Hidden evil, skeletons in the closet; hidden danger, hidden threats, anything hidden. Instinctive man, the primitive, “nature red in tooth and claw” lurking in the primeval past of the species, Darwinian evolution unmodified by social considerations. The tides, both of the ocean and great lakes and of life. Dagon, Cthulhu, Neptune, Poseidon, Amphitrite, other oceanic Gods, shark Gods. Ponape, Deep Ones. Tsunami, earthquake. Oceanic abysses. Hydrogen sulfide and methane gas emitted by anoxic bacteria in warm, de-oxygenated shallows. Methane clathrates in deep, ice-cold parts of the ocean. Ethereal beauty, sometimes concealing a filthy soul or a hidden agenda. Ocean life: fish, sharks, invertebrates. Bacterial epidemics, especially those that are highly resistant to antibiotics, such as tuberculosis and Multiply Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The states of consciousness prior to full control. Hence the unconscious or subconscious mind, as contrasted with the conscious mind, and intuition or vision contrasted with the intellect. Past lives and the consequences of actions performed in them. Poisons of all kinds; venom, especially venom produced by marine life; narcotic and psychoactive drugs. Saboteurs, spies, assassins. Ninjas. Navies, above all those with nuclear-powered vessels. Submarines, nuclearpowered or otherwise. Guerilla warfare. Retreats, ashrams, hospitals, asylums, orphanages. Child abuse. Hypnosis. Upright: Lucid dreams, lucid, luminous nightmares, night-terrors. Central nervous system dysfunctions. Psychosis. Fantasies. Terror, horror, fear, dread. Hidden or secret enemies, false friends. Error. Deception, lies, treachery, misrepresentation, falsity, fraud`. Darkness. Evil women (Lilith, the Night Demon). Occult forces, black Magick. Reversed: Instability, inconstancy, silence; lesser degrees of deception and error. David Winn: Earthly desires, drives, and goals. The Stephen King Tarot: The R. R. McCammon Tarot: Luis Royo Labyrinth Tarot: Royo says of the card that it is the “night card. From the world of fantasy, which also leads to darkness, to the world of deceit and lunatic illusions.”*** Upright and in good aspect: Hypnosis. Fantasy, nightmares, dreams, lucid dreams, lucid nightmares, fear, phobias, terror, troubled sleep. Hidden or unknown enemies, danger, darkness, deceit, deception, occult forces. Great creativity, artistic creativity. Forces welling up from the depths of the collective unconscious. Reversed or in bad aspect: Lesser degrees of deception and error. Reduced creativity. Waking consciousness. Instability, the ebb and flow of existence. Salvador Dalí Tarot: Rachel Pollack says of the card: “Coming between the inner peace of the Star and the clear day of the Sun, the Moon represents the mystery of the imagination, that area of distortion in which the instincts take shape as myths, dreams, and primal fears.”†
Meanings: Upright: Great upwelling of creativity from the wells of the unconscious mind. Terror, fear, nightmares, lucid dreams, lucid nightmares, troubled sleep. Hidden enemies, danger, calumny, darkness, terror, deception, occult forces, error. Reversed or in bad aspect (which reduces the power of whatever the Trump signifies): Instability, inconstancy, silence, lesser degrees of deception and error. Tarot of the Witches: Caution. Danger. Scandal. Error. Disillusionment. Deception. Trickery. Bad influences. Ulterior motives. Insincerity. Selfishness. Superficiality. Unknown enemies. The synopsis from Mysticgames.com says: “[This card] teaches us the nature of fear in the dark . . . the ancient dread of the demons that have now received new names in our enlightened times: bacteria, viruses, millirems‡, becquerels,‡‡ lead-polluted air, and acid rain.”‡‡‡ SubGenius Tarot: Upright and in good aspect: Visions of the Conspiracy Triumphant. Bum trips. Hangovers. Recovery sessions. Don’t look now, but here come the cops. Reversed or in bad aspect: Escape from Earth on X-Day as the aliens carry the true Yetinsyny away to Valhalla in their UFOs. Suggested meanings: Upright, in good aspect: Overwhelming fear. Paranoia. Paranoid schizophrenia or other psychosis. Scandal. Gossip or rumor, probably maliciously spread. Conspiracies. Generally, this Trump tends to signify all the nastier side of Pisces and the 12 th House, such as espionage, sabotage, cruelty, child abuse, skeletons in the closet, ambushes, passive-aggressive behavior and mindset, mental illness, sleep disturbances and dysfunctions, troubled sleep. Troubled conscience. Hypnosis with bad results, or used for unethical or criminal purposes. Clairvoyance, precognition, telepathy, or psychic reception, in dreams or otherwise. Cassandra the oracle, who always told the truth, and truly saw the future, to whom no one would listen before it was too late. Denial, in the psychological sense. Addictions. Alcoholism. Dysfunctional families, skeletons in the closet, child abuse, spousal abuse, elder abuse. Great upwelling of creativity from the wells of the unconscious mind. Hidden or unknown enemies. Dark fantasies. Horror. Neurosis. Psychosis. Medications that cause dangerous side-effects. Narcotics and other addictive substances. Behavioral addictions. Fraud, deceit, betrayal. Exile. Victimization. Depression. Suicide. Reversed or in bad aspect: The ebb and flow of existence. Hospitals, ashrams, retreats, recovery programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous. Psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, hypnotherapy with positive results. Instability, inconstancy, silence, lesser degrees of deception and error. Medications that reduce or eliminate the symptoms of neurosis or psychosis. Recovery from mental illness. *Butler, op. cit., p. 180. **Which comes down to Will and Idea, Spirit and Soul, Will and Whim, etc. – Yael R. Dragwyla ***Luis Royo, The Labyrinth Tarot (Rockville Center, NY: 1932413243), p. 52. Heavy Metal, 2005; ISBN 978-
†Rachel Pollack, Salvador Dalí’s Tarot (Salem, NH: Salem House, 1983; ISBN 0-88162-076-9), p. 46. ‡The röntgen or roentgen (symbol R) is a unit of measurement for exposure to ionizing radiation (such as X-ray and gamma rays), and is named after the German physicist Wilhelm Röntgen. Adopted in 1928, 1 R is the amount of radiation required to liberate positive and negative charges of one electrostatic unit of charge (esu) in 1 cm³ of dry air at standard temperature and pressure (STP). This corresponds to the generation of approximately 2.08×109 ion pairs. The röntgen (roentgen) equivalent in man (or mammal) or rem (symbol rem) is a traditional historical unit of radiation dose equivalent. It is the product of the absorbed dose in rads and a weighting factor, WR, which accounts for the effectiveness of the radiation to cause biological damage. A rem is a large amount of radiation, so the millirem (mrem), which is one thousandth of a rem, is often used for the dosages commonly encountered, such as the amount of radiation received from medical x-rays and background sources. Rems and millirems can be converted in a straightforward way to the SI unit, sievert:
1 rem = 0.01 Sv = 10 mSv = 10000 μSv 1 millirem = 0.00001 Sv = 0.01 mSv = 10 μSv The sievert (symbol: Sv) is the SI derived unit of dose equivalent. It attempts to reflect the biological effects of radiation as opposed to the physical aspects, which are characterised by the absorbed dose, measured in gray. It is named after Rolf Sievert, a Swedish medical physicist famous for work on radiation dosage measurement and research into the biological effects of radiation. Frequently used SI multiples are the millisievert (1 mSv = 10−3 Sv) and microsievert (1 μSv = 10−6 Sv). An older unit of the equivalent dose is the rem (Röntgen equivalent man); 1 Sv is equal to 100 rem, for a quality factor Q=1. In some fields and countries, rem and mrem continue to be used along with Sv and mSv, causing confusion. ‡‡The becquerel (symbol Bq) is the SI derived unit of radioactivity. One Bq is defined as the activity of a quantity of radioactive material in which one nucleus decays per second. The Bq unit is therefore equivalent to s−1. The becquerel is named for Henri Becquerel, who shared a Nobel Prize with Pierre and Marie Curie for their work in discovering radioactivity. ‡‡‡See http://www.mysticgames.com/mysticgames_cfmfiles/tarotinfo/deck.cfm?DeckID=2 for more information.
d. Interrelationships of the Path and the Trump
Key 29, Qoph, represents the astrological sign Pisces. It connects Sephirah 7, Netzach, associated with Venus, with Sephirah 9, Yesod, associated with the Moon. Venus is exalted in Pisces, while Luna is the esoteric ruler of that sign. Venus is also the lower octave of Neptune, one of the rulers of Pisces, and, like Jupiter, its other ruler, is a benefic. Qoph is thus a Path concerned with the seductive side of the Inner Planes, easy to fall prey to, hard to repudiate and walk away from. Treading it in the upward direction, from Yesod to Netzach, is thus a Path of denial, self-abnegation, sacrifice, selfless love, and devotion to God and the Good. When trod it in downward direction, it can be a Path of mistaking illusion for reality, the cultivation of bad emotional habits, addictions, and even possession.
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