P. D.

OUSPENSKY
THE SYMBOLISM OF
THE TAROT
PHILOSOPHY OI OCCULTISM
IN PICTURES AND NUMBERS
WHAT I5 THE TAßOT?
No study ol occult philosophy is possihle without an
acquaintance with symholism, lor il the words occultism
and symholism are correctly used, they mean almost one
and the same thing. Symholism cannot he learned as one
learns to huild hridges or speak a loreign language, and lor
the interpretation ol symhols a special cast ol mind is
necessary, in addition to knowledge, special laculties, the
power ol creative thought and a developed imagination
are required. One who understands the use ol symholism
in the arts, knows, in a general way, what is meant hy
occult symholism. But even then a special training ol the
mind is necessary, in order to comprehend the 'language ol
the Initiates', and to express in this language the intuitions
as they arise.
There are many methods lor developing the 'sense ol
symhols' in those who are striving to understand the
hidden lorces ol Nature and Man, and lor teaching the
lundamental principles as well as the elements ol the
esoteric language. The most synthetic, and one ol the most
interesting ol these methods, is the Tarot
In its exterior lorm the Tarot is a pack ol cards
used in the south ol Europe lor games and lortune-telling.
These cards were lirst known in Europe at the end ol the
lourteenth century, when they were in use among the
Spanish gypsies.
A pack ol Tarot contains the lilty-two ordinary play-
ing cards with the addition ol one 'picture card' to every
suit, namely, the Knight, placed hetween the Queen and
the Knave. These lilty-six cards are divided into lour suits,
two hlack and two red and have the lollowing
designation. sceptres (cluhs), cups (hearts), swords
(spades), and pentacles or disks (diamonds). In addition to
the lilty-six cards the pack ol Tarot has twenty-two
numhered cards with special names.÷
· The Magician.
: The High Priestess.
¸ The Empress.
¡ The Emperor.
¡ The Chariot. (y).
6 The Lovers.
y The Hierophant. (¡).
8 Strength.
q The Hermit.
·: The Hanged Man.
·¸ Death.
·¡ Temperance.
·¡ The Devil.
·6 The Tower.
·y The Star.
·8 The Moon.
·q The Sun.
:c ¹udgment.
·c The Wheel ol Iortune. :· The World.
·· ¹ustice. 0 The Iool.
This pack ol cards, in the opinion ol many investi-
gators, represents the Egyptian hieroglyphic hook ol
seventy-eight tahlets, which came to us almost mira-
culously.
The history ol the Tarot is a great puzzle. During the
Middle Ages, when it lirst appeared historically, there
existed a tendency to huild up synthetic
symholical or logical systems ol the same sort as Ars Magna hy
Raymond Lully. But productions similar to the Tarot exist in
India and China, so that we cannot possihly think it one ol those
systems created during the Middle Ages in Europe, it is also
evidently connected with the Ancient Mysteries and the
Egyptian Initiations. Although its origin is in ohlivion and the
aim ol its author or authors quite unknown, there is no douht
whatever that it is the most complete code ol Hermetic
symholism we possess.
Although represented as a pack ol cards, the Tarot really is
something quite dillerent. It can he 'read' in a variety ol ways.
As one instance, I shall give a metaphysical interpretation ol the
general meaning or ol the general content ol the hook ol Tarot,
that is to say, its metaphysical title, which will plainly show
that this work could not have heen invented hy illiterate
gypsies ol the lourteenth century.
The Tarot lalls into three divisions. The lirst part has
twenty-one numhered cards, the second part has one card c,
the third part has lilty-six cards, i. e., the lour suits ol lourteen
cards. Moreover, the second part appears to he a link hetween
the lirst and third parts, since all the lilty-six cards ol the third
part together are equal to the card c.
Now, il we imagine twenty-one cards disposed in the shape
ol a triangle, seven cards on each side, a point in the centre ol
the triangle represented hy the zero card, and a square round
the triangle (the square
consisting ol lilty-six cards, lourteen on each side), we
shall have a representation ol the relation hetween God,
Man and the Universe, or the relation hetween the world
ol ideas, the consciousness ol man and the physical world.
The triangle is God (the Trinity) or the world ol ideas,
or the noumenal world. The point is man's soul. The
square is the visihle, physical or phenomenal world.
Potentially, the point is equal to the square, which means
that all the visihle world is contained in man's
consciousness, is created in man's soul. And the soul itsell
is a point having no dimension in the world ol the spirit,
symholized hy the triangle. It is clear that such an idea
could not have originated with ignorant people and clear
also that the Tarot is something more than a pack ol
playing or lortune-telling cards.
H. P. Blavatsky mentions the Tarot in her works, and
we have some reason lor helieving that she studied the
Tarot. It is known that she loved to 'play patience'. We do
not know what she read in the cards as she played this
game, hut the author was told that
Madame Blavatsky searched persistently and lor a long
time lor a MSS. on the Tarot.
In order to hecome acquainted with the Tarot, it is
necessary to understand the hasic ideas ol the Kahala and
ol Alchemy. Ior it represents, as, indeed, many
commentators ol the Tarot think, a summary ol the
Hermetic Sciences÷the Kahala, Alchemy, Astrology,
Magic, with their dillerent divisions. All these sciences,
attrihuted to Hermes Trismegistus, really represent one
system ol a very hroad and deep psychological
investigation ol the nature ol man in his relation to the
world ol noumena (God, the world ol Spirit) and to the
world ol phenomena (the visihle, physical world). The
letters ol the Hehrew alphahet and the various allegories
ol the Kahala, the names ol metals, acids and salts in
alchemy, ol planets and constellations in astrology, ol good
and evil spirits in magic÷all these were only means to
veil truth lrom the uninitiated.
But when the true alchemist spoke ol seeking lor
gold, he spoke ol gold in the soul ol man. And he called
gold that which in the New Testament is called the
Kingdom ol Heaven, and in Buddhism, Nirvana. And
when the true astrologer spoke ol constellations and
planets he spoke ol constellations and planets in the soul
ol man, i.e., ol the qualities ol the human soul and its
relations to God and to the world. And when the true
Kahalist spoke ol the Name ol God,
he sought this Name in the soul ol man and in Nature, not
in dead hooks, nor in hihlical texts, as did the Kahalist-
Scholastics. The Kahala, Alchemy, Astrology, Magic are
parallel symholical systems ol psychology and metaphysics.
Any alchemical sentence may he read in a Kahalistic or
astrological way, hut the meaning will always he
psychological and metaphysical.
We are surrounded hy a wall huilt ol our conceptions
ol the world, and are unahle to look over this wall at the
real world. The Kahala presents an ellort to hreak this
'enchanted circle'. It investigates the world as it is, the
world in itsell.
The world in itsell, as the Kahalists hold, consists ol
lour elements, or the lour principles lorming One. These
lour principles are represented hy the lour letters ol the
name ol ¹ehovah. The hasic idea ol the Kahala consists in
the study ol the Name ol God in its manilestation.
¹ehovah in Hehrew is spelt hy lour letters, Yod, He, Vau
and He÷I. H. V. H. To these lour letters is given the
deepest symholical meaning. The lirst letter expresses the
active principle, the heginning or lirst cause, motion,
energy, 'I', the second letter expresses the passive element,
inertia, quietude, 'not I, the third, the halance ol
opposites, 'lorm', and the lourth, the result or latent
energy.
The Kahalists allirm that every phenomenon and every
ohject consists ol these lour principles, i.e., that
every ohject and every phenomenon consists ol the Name
ol God (The Word),÷Logos.
The study ol this Name (or the lour-lettered word,
tetragrammaton, in Greek) and the linding ol it in
everything constitutes the main prohlem ol Kahalistic
philosophy.
To state it in another way the Kahalists hold that these
lour principles penetrate and create everything.
Therelore, when the man linds these lour principles in
things and phenomena ol quite dillerent categories
(where helore he had not seen similarity), he hegins to
see analogy hetween these phenomena. And, gradually, he
hecomes convinced that the whole world is huilt
according to one and the same law, on one and the same
plan. The richness and growth ol his intellect consists in
the widening ol his laculty lor linding analogies.
Therelore the study ol the law ol the lour letters, or
the name ol ¹ehovah presents a powerlul means lor
widening consciousness.
This idea is perlectly clear, lor il the Name ol God he
really in all (il God he present in all), all should he
analogous to each other÷the smallest particle analogous
to the whole, the speck ol dust analogous to the universe,
and all analogous to God. The Name ol God, the Word or
Logos is the origin ol the world. Logos also means Reason,
the Word is the Logos, the Reason ol everything.
There is a complete correspondence hetween the
Kahala and Alchemy and Magic. In Alchemy the lour
elements which constitute the real world are called lire,
water, air and earth, these lully correspond in signilicance
with the lour kahalistic letters. In Magic they are
expressed as the lour classes ol spirits. elves (or
salamanders), undines, sylphs and gnomes.
The Tarot in its turn is quite analogous to the Kahala,
Alchemy and Magic, and, as it were, includes them.
Corresponding to the lour lirst principles or lour letters ol
the Name ol God, or the lour alchemistic elements, or the
lour classes ol spirits, the Tarot has lour suits÷ sceptres,
cups, swords and pentacles. Thus every suit, every side ol
the square, equal to the point, represents one ol the
elements, controls one class ol spirits. The sceptres are lire
or elves (or salamanders), the cups are water or undines,
the swords are air or sylphes, and pentacles, earth or
gnomes. Moreover, in every suit the King means the lirst
principle or lire, the Queen÷the second principle or
water, the Knight÷the third principle or air, and the Page
(knave)÷the lourth principle or earth.
Then again, the ace means lire, the deuce water, the
three-spot, air, the lour-spot earth. Then again the lour-
spot is the lirst principle, the live spot, the second etc.
In regard to the suits, one may add that the hlack suits
(sceptres and swords) express activity and
energy, will, initiative and the suhjective side ol
consciousness, and the red (cups and pentacles) express
passivity, inertia and the ohjective side ol consciousness.
Then the lirst two suits (sceptres and cups) signily 'good'
and the other two (swords and pentacles) mean 'evil'.
Thus every card ol the lilty-six indicates (independently
ol its numher) the presence ol the principle ol activity or
passivity, ol 'good' or 'evil', arising either in man's will or
lrom without. And the signilicance ol each card is lurther
deciphered thorough its various comhinations with the
suits and numhers in their symholical meaning. The lilty-
six cards as a whole represent, as it were, a complete
picture ol all the possihilities ol man's consciousness. And
this makes the Tarot adaptahle lor lortune-telling. Thus,
including the Kahala, Astrology, Alchemy and Magic, the
Tarot makes it possihle to 'seek gold', 'to evoke spirits',
and 'to draw horoscopes', simply hy means ol this pack ol
cards without the complicated paraphernalia and
ceremonies ol an alchemist, astrologer or magician.
But the main interest ol Tarot is in the twenty-two
numhered cards. These cards have numerical meaning and
also a very involved symholical signilicance.
The literature relating to the Tarot has in view mainly
the reading ol the symholical designs ol the twenty-two
cards. Very many writers on occultism have arranged their
works on the plan ol the Tarot. But this is
not olten suspected hecause the Tarot is rarely
mentioned. Oswald Wirth speaks ol origin ol the Tarot in
his Essay upon the Astronomical Tarot.
¨According to Christian', the twenty-two major arcana ol the Tarot
represent the hieroglyphic paintings which were lound in the spaces
hetween the columns ol a gallery which the neophyte was ohliged to
cross in the Egyptian initiations. There were twelve columns to the
north and the same numher to the south, that is, eleven symholical
pictures on each side. These pictures were explained to the candidate
lor initiation in regular order, and they contained the rules and
principles lor the Initiate. This opinion is conlirmed hy the
correspondence which exists hetween arcana when they are thus
arranged.¨
In the gallery ol the Temple the pictures were arrang-
ed in pairs, one opposite another, so that the last picture
was opposite the lirst, the last hut one opposite the
second, etc. When the cards are so placed we lind a highly
interesting and deep suggestion. In this way the mind linds
the one in the two, and is led lrom dualism to monism,
which is what we might call the unilication ol the duad.
One card explains the other and each pair shows
moreover that they can he only mutually explanatory and
mean nothing when taken separately.
Thus, lor instance, the cards ·c and ·¸ ('Lile' and
'Death') signily together a certain whole or
complementary condition which we cannot conceive hy
the ordinary, imperlect mental processes. We think ol lile
and death as two 'opposites', antagonistic one to the
* 'HisIoire de la Magie'.
other, hut, il we thought lurther, we should see that each
depends on the other lor existence and neither could come
into existence separately.
A symhol may serve to transler our intuitions and to
suggest new ones only so long as its meaning is not
delined. Real symhols are perpetually in process ol
creation, hut when they receive a delinite signilicance
they hecome hieroglyphs and linally a mere alphahet. As
this they express simply ordinary concepts, cease to he a
language ol the Gods or ol initiates and hecome a language
ol men which everyone may learn.
Properly speaking, a symhol in occultism means the
same as in art. Il an artist uses ready-made symhols his
work will not he true art, hut only pseudo-art Il an
occultist hegins to use ready-made symhols, his work will
not he truly occult, lor it will contain no esotericism, no
mysticism, hut only pseudo-occultism, pseudo-
esotericism, pseudo-mysticism. Symholism in which the
symhols have delinite meanings is pseudo-symholism.
Having made this idea clear in his mind, the author
lound that the key to the Tarot must lie in imagination
and he decided to make an ellort to re-design the cards,
giving descriptive pictures ol the Tarot, and to interpret
the symhols, not hy means ol analysis, hut hy synthesis.
The reader will lind in the lollowing little 'pen pictures'
rellections ol many authors who wrote on the Tarot as St.
Martin, Eliphas Levi, Dr. Papus etc.
and ol other authors who certainly never thought ol the
Tarot as, lor example, Plotinus, Gichtel (XVII century),
Iriedrich Nietzsche, M. Collins etc., who came neverthe-
less to the same lundamental principles as the unknown
authors ol the Tarot.
Descriptions ol the arcanas in these 'pen pictures' olten
represent a conception which is almost entirely
suhjective, lor instance, that ol card ·8. And the author
likes to think that another might conceive ol the same
symhols dillerently, in any case he considers this quite
possihle.
Any one interested in this philosophical puzzle might
well ask, What then is the Tarot. Is it a doctrine or
merely a method. Is it a delinite system or merely an
alphahet hy means ol which any system may he con-
structed. In short, is it a hook containing specilic
teachings, or is it merely an apparatus, a machine which
we may use to huild anything, even a new universe.
The author helieves that the Tarot may he used lor
hoth purposes, though, ol course, the contents ol a hook
that may he read either lorward or hackward cannot he
said to he, in the ordinary sense, strictly delinite. But
perhaps we lind in this very indeliniteness ol the Tarot
and in the complexity ol its philosophy, the element
which constitutes its deliniteness. The lact that we
question the Tarot as to whether it he a method or a
doctrine shows the limitation ol our 'three dimensional
mind', which is unahle to rise ahove the world ol lorm
and contra-positions or to lree itsell lrom thesis
and antithesis' Yes, the Tarot contains and expresses any
doctrine to he lound in our consciousness, and in this
sense it has deliniteness. It represents Nature in all the
richness ol its inlinite possihilities, and there is in it as in
Nature, not one hut all potential meanings. And these
meanings are lluent and ever-changing, so the Tarot
cannot he specilically this or that, lor it ever moves and
yet is ever the same.
In the lollowing 'pen-pictures' cards are taken in pairs.÷I
and O, II and XXI, III and XX etc.÷in each pair one card
completing the sense ol another and two making one.
CorJ I.÷The Mogicion.
Man. Superman. The Initiate. The Occultist. Higher
consciousness. Human Logos. The kahalistic Adam
Kadmon. Humanity. Homo Sapiens.
CorJ II.÷The High Priesiess.
Occultism. Esoterism. Mysticism. Theosophy.
Initiation. Isis. Mystery.
CorJ III.÷The Empress.
Nature in its phenomenal aspect. The ever renewing
and re-creating lorce ol Nature. The ohjective reality.
CorJ IV.÷The Emperor.
Tetragrammaton. The law ol lour. Latent energy ol
Nature. Logos in the lull aspect with all possihilities ol
the new Logos. Hermetic philosophy.
CorJ V.÷The Chorioi. Man.
The Imagination. Magic. Sell-suggestion. Sell deceit.
Artilicial means ol attainment. Pseudo-occultism. Pseudo-
theosophy.
CorJ VI.÷The Lovers.
Man. Another aspect ol the Adam Kadmon, the Perlect
Man, The divine androgyne. Love as the ellorts ol Adam
Kadmon to lind himsell. The equilihrium ol contraries.
The unilication ol the duad, as the means ol attaining the
Light.
CorJ VII.÷The Hierophoni.
Mysticism. Theosophy. Esoteric side ol all religions.
CorJ VIII.÷Sirengih.
The Real Power. Strength ol love. Strength ol Union
(Magic chain). Strength ol the Inlinite. Occultism.
Esoterism. Theosophy.
CorJ IX.÷The Hermii.
Man. The Path to the Initiation. Seeking lor truth in
the right way. Inner Knowledge. Inner Light. Inner Iorce.
Theosophy. Occultism.
CorJ X.÷The Vhee| o| Chonce.
The Wheel ol Lile. The lile ever changing and ever
remaining the same. The Circle ol Time and the lour
elements. The idea ol the circle.
CorJ XI.÷1vsiice.
Truth. Real Knowledge. Inner Truth. Occultism.
Esoterism. Theosophy.
CorJ XII.÷The HongeJ Mon.
Man. The Pain ol the higher consciousness hound hy
the limitations ol the hody and mind. Superman in the
separate man.
CorJ XIII.÷Deoih.
Another aspect ol Lile. Going away in order to come
hack at the same time. Completion ol the circle.
CorJ XIV.÷Temperonce. (Time).
The lirst attainment. The Arcanum Magnum ol the
occultists. The Iourth Dimension. Higher space. Eternal
Now.
CorJ XV.÷The Devi|.
Man. Weakness. Ialsehood. The Iall ol man into
separateness, into hatred and into liniteness.
CorJ XVI. The Tower.
Sectarianism. Tower ol Bahel. Exoterism. Conlusion ol
tongues. Iall ol exoterism. The lorce ol Nature re-
estahlishing the truth distorted hy men.
CorJ XVII.÷The Sior.
The real aspect ol the Astral World. That which may
he seen in ecstasy. The imagination ol Nature. Real
Knowledge. Occultism.
CorJ XVIII.÷The Moon.
The Astral World as it is seen hy the artilicial means ol
magic. Psychic, spiritistic world. Dreads ol the night. The
real light lrom ahove and the lalse representation ol that
light lrom helow. Pseudo-mysticism.
CorJ XIX.÷The Svn.
The Symhol and manilestation ol the tetragrammaton.
Creative power. Iire ol lile.
CorJ XX.÷1vJgmeni.
The resurrection. Constant victory ol lile over death.
Creative activity ol nature in the death.
CorJ XXI.÷Vor|J.
Nature. The World as it is. Nature in its noumenal
aspect. Esoteric side ol nature. That which is made known
in esoterism. Inner reality ol things. Human consciousness
in the circle ol time hetween the lour elements.
CorJ o.÷The Ioo|.
Man. An ordinary man. A separate man. The uninitiate
Lower consciousness. The end ol a ray not knowing its
relation to the centre.
The twenty-two cards may he divided into three di-
visions including each seven cards ol similar meaning, the
::nd card (No :·) as a duplicate (ol the No ·c) standing
outside the triangle or lorming a point in its centre.
The three sets ol sevens helong. the lirst one to the
Mon, the second to the Nature and the third to the higher
knowledge or to the Theosophy in the large sense ol the
word.
The Iirst set ol y.
Cards. I÷Magician, O÷The Iool, V÷The Chariot,
IX÷The Hermit, VI÷ Lovers, XV÷ The Devil,. XII÷
The Hanged Man.
The contents ol these seven cards il taken in iime
picture seven degrees ol the path ol Man in his way to the
Superman, or il taken in the Eternal Now picture seven
laces ol Man or seven I-s ol man coexisting in him. This
last meaning represents the inner sense ol the secret
doctrine ol the Tarot in its relations to Mon.
The second set ol y (Nature) includes cards. III. ÷ The
Empress, X÷Lile, XIII Death, XIV÷Time, XVI÷ The
Tower, XIX÷The Sun, XX÷¹udgement.
The third set ol y (Theosophy) includes cards. II÷The
High Priestess, IV ÷The Emperor, VIII÷Strength,
VII÷The Hierophant, XI÷¹ustice, XVII÷The Star,
XVIII÷The Moon.
CAßD I.
THE MAGICIAN.
I Saw the Man.
His ligure reached lrom earth to heaven and was clad
in a purple mantle. He stood deep in loliage and llowers
and his head, on which was the head-hand ol an initiate,
seemed to disappear mysteriously in inlinity.
Belore him on a cuhe-shaped altar were lour symhols
ol magic÷the sceptre, the cup, the sword and the
pentacle.
His right hand pointed to heaven, his lelt to earth.
Under his mantle he wore a white tunic girded with a
serpent swallowing its tail.
His lace was luminous and serene, and, when his eyes
met mine, I lelt that he saw most intimate recesses ol my
soul. I saw mysell rellected in him as in a mirror and in
his eyes I seemed to look upon mysell.
And I heard a voice saying.
÷ ¨Look, this is the Great Magician'
With his hands he unites heaven and earth, and the
lour elements that lorm the world are controlled hy him.
The lour symhols helore him are the lour letters ol the
name ol God, the signs ol the lour elements, lire, water, air.
earth.
I tremhled helore the depth ol the mysteries I touched...
The words I heard seemed to he uttered hy the Great Magician
himsell, and it was as though he spoke in me.
I was in deep trepidation and at moments I lelt there was
nothing helore me except the hlue sky, hut within me a
window opened through which I could see unearthly things and
hear unearthly words.
CAßD 0.
THE fOOL.
And I saw another man.
Tired and lame he dragged himsell along the dusty road,
across the deserted plain under the scorching rays ol the sun. He
glanced sidelong with loolish, staring eyes, a hall smile, hall leer
on his lace, he knew not where he went, hut was ahsorhed in
his chimerical dreams which ran constantly in the same circle.
His lool's cap was put on wrong side lront, his garments were
torn in the hack, a wild lynx with glowing eyes sprang upon him
lrom hehind a rock and huried her teeth in his llesh. He
stumhled, nearly lell, hut continued to drag himsell along, all
the time holding on his shoulder a hag containing useless things,
which he, in his stupidity, carried wherever he went.
Belore him a crevice crossed the road and a deep precipice
awaited the loolish wanderer. Then a huge crocodile with open
mouth crawled out ol the precipice. And I heard the voice
say.÷
¨Look' This is the same man.¨
I lelt my head whirl.
¨What has he in the hag. I inquired, not knowing
why I asked. And alter a long silence the voice replied
¨The lour magic symhols, the sceptre, the cup, the sword
and the pentacle. The lool always carries them although
he has long since lorgotten what they mean Nevertheless
they helong to him, even though he does not know their
use. The symhols have not lost their power, they retain it
in themselves.
CAßD II.
THE HIGH PßIE5TE55.
When I lilted the lirst veil and entered the outer court
ol the Temple ol Initiation, I saw in hall darkness the
ligure ol a woman sitting on a high throne hetween two
pillars ol the temple, one white, and one hlack. Mystery
emanated lrom her and was ahout her. Sacred symhols
shone on her green dress, on her head was a golden tiara
surmounted hy a two-horned moon, on her knees she
held two crossed keys and an open hook. Between the
two pillars hehind the woman hung another veil all
emhroidered with green leaves and lruit ol pomegranate.
And a voice said.
¨To enter the Temple one must lilt the second veil
and pass hetween the two pillars. And to pass thus, one
must ohtain possession ol the keys, read the hook and
understand the symhols. Are you ahle to do this.¨
¨I would like to he ahle, ¨ I said.
Then the woman turned her lace to me and looked
into my eyes without speaking. And through me passed a
thrill, mysterious and penetrating like a golden wave,
tones vihrated in my hrain, a llame was in my
heart, and I understood that she spoke to me, saying
without words.
¨This is the Hall ol Wisdom. No one can reveal it no
one can hide it. Like a llower it must grow and hloom in
thy soul. Il thou wouldst plant the seed ol this llower in
thy soul ÷|eorn io Jiscern ihe reo| |rom |o|se. Lisien on|,
io ihe Voice ihoi is sovnJ|ess... Look on|, on ihoi which is
invisib|e, and rememher that in thee thysell, is the
Temple and the gate to it and the mystery, and the
initiation.¨
CAßD XXI.
THE WOßLD.
An unexpected vision appeared to me. A circle not
unlike a wreath woven lrom rainhow and lightnings,
whirled lrom heaven to earth with a stupendous, velocity,
hlinding me hy its hrilliance. And amidst this light and lire
I heard music and solt singing, thunderclaps and the roar
ol a tempest, the rumhle ol lalling mountains and
earthquakes.
The circle whirled with a terrilying noise, touching the
sun and the earth, and, in the centre ol it I saw the naked,
dancing ligure ol a heautilul young woman, enveloped hy
a light, transparent scarl, in her hand she held a magic
wand.
Presently the lour apocalyptical heasts hegan to appear
on the edges ol the circle, one with the lace ol a lion,
another with the lace ol a man, the third, ol an eagle and
the lourth, ol a hull.
The vision disappeared as suddenly as it appeared. A
weird silence lell on me. ¨What does it mean.¨ I asked in
wonder.
¨It is the image ol the world, the voice said, ¨hut it
can he understood only alter the Temple has heen
entered. This is a vision ol the world in the circle ol
Time, amidst the lour principles. But thou seest
dillerently hecause thou seest the world outside thysell
Learn to see it in thysell and thou wilt understand the
inlinite essence, hidden in all illusory lorms.
Understand that the world which thou knowest is only
one ol the aspects ol the inlinite world, and things and
phenomena are merely hieroglyphics ol deeper idHDV
CAßD III.
THE EMPßE55.
I lelt the hreath ol the spring, and accompanying the
lragrance ol violets and lilies-ol-the-valley I heard the
tender singing ol elves. Rivulets murmured, the tree-tops
rustled, the grasses whispered, innumerahle hirds sang in
choruses and hees hummed, everywhere I lelt the
hreathing ol joylul, living Nature.
The sun shone tenderly and soltly and a little white
cloud hung over the woods.
In the midst ol a green meadow where primroses
hloomed, I saw the Empress seated on a throne covered
with ivy and lilacs. A green wreath adorned her golden
hair and, ahove her head, shone twelve stars. Behind her
rose two snowy wings and in her hands she held a sceptre.
All around, heneath the sweet smile ol the Empress,
llowers and huds opened their dewy, green leaves. Her
whole dress was covered with them as though each newly
opened llower were rellected in it or had engraved itsell
thereon and thus hecome part ol her garment.
The sign ol Venus, the goddess ol love, was chiselled
on her marhle throne.
¨Queen ol lile,I said, ¨why is it so hright and joylul all ahout
you. Do you not know ol the grey weary autumn, ol the cold,
white winter. Do you not know ol death and graveyards with
hlack graves, damp and cold. How can you smile so joylully on
the opening llowers, when everything is destined to death, even
that which has not yet heen horn.¨
Ior answer the Empress looked on me still smiling and, under
the inlluence ol that smile, I suddenly lelt a llower ol some clear
understanding open in my heart.
CAßD XX.
JUDGMENT.
I saw an ice plain, and on the horizon, a chain ol
snowy mountains. A cloud appeared and hegan to grow
until it covered a quarter ol the sky. Two liery wings
suddenly expanded in the cloud, and I knew that I heheld
the messenger ol the Empress.
He raised a trumpet and hlew through it vihrant,
powerlul tones. The plain quivered in response to him
and the mountains loudly rolled their echoes. One alter
another, graves opened in the plain and out ol them came
men and women, old and young, and children. They
stretched out their arms toward the Messenger ol the
Empress to catch the sounds ol his trumpet.
And in its tones I lelt the smile ol the Empress and in
the opening graves I saw the opening llowers whose
lragrance seemed to he walted hy the outstretched arms.
Then I understood the mystery ol hirth in death.
CAßD IV.
THE EMPEßOß.
Alter I learned the lirst three numhers I was given to
understand the Great Law ol Iour÷the alpha and omega
ol all.
I saw the Emperor on a lolty stone throne, ornament-
ed hy lour rams' heads. On his lorehead shone a golden
helmet. His white heard lell over a purple mantle. In one
hand he held a sphere, the symhol ol his possession, and
in the other, a sceptre in the lorm ol an Egyptian cross÷
the sign ol his power over hirth.
¨I am The Great Law,¨ the Emperor said. ¨I am the
name ol God. The lour letters ol his name are in me and
I am in all.
¨I am in the lour principles. I am in the lour elements
I am in the lour seasons. I am in the lour cardinal points I
am in the lour signs ol the Tarot.
¨I am the heginning, I am action, I am completion I
am the result.
¨Ior him who knows how to see me there are no
mysteries on earth.
¨I am the great Pentacle.
¨As the earth encloses in itsell lire, water and air,
as the lourth letter ol the Name encloses in itsell the lirst
three and hecomes itsell the lirst, so my sceptre encloses
the complete triangle and hears in itsell the seed ol a new
triangle.
¨I am the Logos in the lull aspect and the heginning ol
a new Logos.¨
And while the Emperor spoke, his helmet shone
hrighter and hrighter, and his golden armour gleamed
heneath his mantle. I could not hear his glory and ·
lowered my eyes.
When I tried to lilt them again a vivid light ol radiant
lire was helore me, and I prostrated mysell and made
oheisance to the Iiery Word.
CAßD XIX.
THE 5UN.
As soon as I perceived the Sun, I understood that It,
Itsell, is the expression ol the Iiery Word and the sign ol
the Emperor.
The great luminary shone with an intense heat upon the
large golden heads ol sun-llowers.
And I saw a naked hoy, whose head was wreathed with
roses, galloping on a white horse and waving a hright-red
hanner.
I shut my eyes lor a moment and when I opened them
again I saw that each ray ol the Sun is the sceptre ol the
Emperor and hears lile. And I saw how under the
concentration ol these rays the mystic llowers ol the waters
open and receive the rays into themselves and how all
Nature is constantly horn lrom the union ol two principles.
CAßD V.
THE CHAßIOT.
I saw a chariot drawn hy two sphinxes, one white. the
other hlack. Iour pillars supported a hlue canopy, on
which were scattered live-pointed stars. The Conqueror,
clad in steel armour, stood under this canopy guiding the
sphinxes. He held a sceptre, on the end ol which were a
glohe, a triangle and a square. A golden pentagram
sparkled in his crown. On the lront ol the chariot there
was represented a winged sphere and heneath that the
symhol ol the mystical lingam, signilying the union ol two
principles.
¨Everything in this picture has a signilicance. Look and
try to understand¨, said the voice.
¨This is Will armed with Knowledge. We see here,
however, the wish to achieve, rather than achievement
itsell. The man in the chariot thought himsell a conqueror
helore he had really conquered, and he helieves that
victory must come to the conqueror. There are true
possihilities in this heautilul conception, hut also many
lalse ones. Illusory lires and numerous dangers are hidden
here.
He controls the sphinxes hy the power ol a magic
word, hut the tension ol his Will may lail and then the
magic word will lose its power and he may he devoured
hy the sphinxes.
This is indeed the Conqueror, hut only lor the
moment, he has not yet conquered Time, and the
succeeding moment is unknown to him.
This is the Conqueror, not hy love, hut hy lire and the
sword,÷a conqueror against whom the conquered may
arise. Do you see hehind him the towers ol the conquered
city. Perhaps the llame ol uprising hurns already there.
And he is unaware that the city vanquished hy means
ol lire and the sword is the city within his own
consciousness, that the magic chariot is in himsell and that
the hlood-thirsty sphynxes, also a state ol consciousness
within, watch his every movement. He has externalized
all these phases ol his mind and sees them only outside
himsell. This is his lundamental error. He entered the
outer court ol the Temple ol knowledge, hut thinks he
has heen in the Temple itsell. He regarded the rituals ol
the lirst tests as initiation, and he mistook lor the goddess,
the priestess who guarded the threshold. Because ol this
misconception great perils await him.
Nevertheless it may he that even in his errors and
perils the Great Conception lies concealed. He seeks to
know and, perhaps, in order to attain, mistakes, dangers
and even lailures are necessary.
Understand that this is the same man whom you saw
uniting Heaven and Earth, and again walking across a hot
desert to a precipice.
&$5';9,,,
7+(0221
A desolate plain stretched helore me. A lull moon
looked down as il in contemplative hesitation. Under her
wavering light the shadows lived their own peculiar lile.
On the horizon I saw hlue hills, and over them wound a
path which stretched hetween two grey towers lar away
into the distance. On either side the path a woll and dog
sat and howled at the moon. I rememhered that dogs
helieve in thieves and ghosts. A large hlack crah crawled
out ol the rivulet into the sands. A heavy, cold dew was
lalling.
Dread lell upon me. I sensed the presence ol a
mysterious world, a world ol hostile spirits, ol corpses
rising lrom graves, ol wailing ghosts. In this pale moonlight
I seemed to leel the presence ol apparitions,
someone watched me lrom hehind the towers,÷and I
knew it was dangerous to look hack.
CAßD VI. THE
LOVEß5.
I saw a hlooming garden in a green valley, surrounded
hy solt hlue hills.
In the garden I saw a Man and a Woman naked and
heautilul. They loved each other and their Love was their
service to the Great Conception, a prayer and a sacrilice,
through It they communed with God, through It they
received the highest revelations, in Its light the deepest
truths came to them, the magic world opened its gate,
elves, undines, sylphs and gnomes came openly to them,
the three kingdoms ol nature, the mineral, plant and
animal, and the lour elements÷lire, water, air and
earth÷served them.
Through their Love they saw the mystery ol the
world's equilihrium, and that they themselves were a
symhol and expression ol this halance. Two triangles
united in them into a six-pointed star. Two magnets
melted into an ellipsis. They were two. The third was the
Unknown Iuture. The three made One.
I saw the woman looking out upon the world as
though enraptured with its heauty. And lrom the tree on
which ripened golden lruit I saw a serpent creep.
It whispered in the woman's ear, and I saw her
listening, smiling at lirst suspiciously, then with curiosity
which merged into joy. Then I saw her speak to the man. I
noticed that he seemed to admire only her and smiled
with an expression ol joy and sympathy at all she told
him.
¨This picture you see, is a picture ol temptation and
lall¨, said the voice. ¨What constitutes the Iall. Do you
understand its nature.
¨Lile is so good¨, I said, ¨and the world so heautilul, and
this man and woman wanted to helieve in the reality ol
the world and ol themselves. They wanted to lorget
service and take lrom the world what it can give. So they
made a distinction hetween themselves and the world.
They said, ¨We are here, the world is there.¨ And the
world separated lrom them and hecame hostile.
¨Yes¨, said the Voice, this is true. ¨The everlasting
mistake with men is that they see the lall in love. But
Love is not a lall, it is a soaring ahove an ahyss. And the
higher the llight, the more heautilul and alluring appears
the earth. But that wisdom, which crawls on earth, advises
heliel in the earth and in the present. This is the
Temptation. And the man and woman yielded to it. They
dropped lrom the eternal realms and suhmitted to time
and death. The halance was disturhed. The lairyland was
closed upon them. The elves, undines, sylphs and gnomes
hecame invisihle.
The Iace ol God ceased to reveal Itsell to them, and all
things appeared upside down.
¨This Iall, this lirst sin ol man, repeats itsell
perpetually, hecause man continues to helieve in his
separateness and in the Present. And only hy means ol
great sullering can he liherate himsell lrom the control ol
time and return to Eternity÷leave darkness and return to
Light.¨
CAßD XVII.
THE 5TAß.
A strange emotion seized me. A liery tremhling ran in
waves through all my hody. My heart quickened its
heating, tumult agitated my mind.
I lelt that I was surrounded hy portentous mysteries.
And presently shalts ol Light penetrated my heing and
illuminated many things helore in darkness, whose
existence even I had never suspected. Veils vanished ol
which I had heen helore unaware. Voices spoke to me.
And suddenly all my lormer knowledge took a new and
dillerent meaning.
I discovered unexpected correlations in things which
hitherto I had thought loreign to each other. Ohjects
distant and dillerent lrom one another appeared near and
similar. The lacts ol the world arranged themselves helore
my eyes according to a new pattern.
In the sky there appeared an enormous star surround-
ed hy seven smaller stars. Their rays intermingled, lilling
space with immeasurahle radiance and splendour. Then I
knew I saw that Heaven ol which Plotinus speaks.
¨Where... all things are diaphanous, and nothing is dark
and resisting, hut everything is apparent to every one
internally and throughout. Ior light everywhere meets
with light, since everything contains all things in itsell, and
again sees all things in another. So that all things are
everywhere, and all is all. Each thing likewise is
everything. And the splendour there is inlinite. Ior
everything there is great, since even that which is small is
great.
¨The sun too, which is there, is all the stars, and again
each star is the sun and all the stars. In each however, a
dillerent property predominates, hut at the same time all
things are visihle in each. Motion likewise there is pure,
lor motion is not conlounded hy a mover dillerent lrom
it. Permanency also sullers no change ol its nature,
hecause it is not mingled with the unstahle. And the
heautilul there is heautilul, hecause it does not suhsist in
heauty. Each thing, too, is there estahlished, not as in a
loreign land, hut the seat ol each thing is that which each
thing is. .... Nor is the thing itsell dillerent lrom the
place in which it suhsists. Ior the suhject ol it is intellect,
and it is itsell intellect. ... In this sensihle region, therelore,
one part is not produced hy another, hut each part is
alone a part. But there each part always proceeds lrom the
whole, and is at the same each time part and the whole.
Ior it appears indeed as a part, hut hy him whose sight is
acute, it will he seen as a whole.
¨Where... is likewise no weariness ol the vision which
is there, not any plenitude ol perception which can hring
intuition to an end.
¨Ior neither was there any vacuity which when lilled
might cause the visihle energy to cease, nor is this one
thing, hut that another, so as to occasion a part ol one
thing not to he amicahle with that ol another.
¨Where... the lile is wisdom, a wisdom not ohtained hy
a reasoning process, hecause the whole ol it always was,
and is not in any respect delicient, so as to he in want ol
investigation. But it is the lirst wisdom, and is not derived
lrom another.¨
I understood that all the radiance here is thought,
and the changing colours are emotions. And each ray, il we
look into it, turns into images, symhols, voices and moods.
And I saw that there is nothing inanimate, hut all is soul,
all is lile, all is emotion and imagination.
And heneath the radiant stars heside the hlue river ·
saw a naked maiden, young and heautilul. She stooped on
one knee and poured water lrom two vessels, one ol gold
and one ol silver. A little hird in a near hy hush lilted its
wings and was poised ready to lly away.
Ior a moment I understood that I heheld the Soul ol
Nature.
¨This is Nature's Imagination¨, said the voice gently.
¨Nature dreams, improvises, creates worlds. Learn to unite
your imagination with Her Imagination
and nothing will ever he impossihle lor you. Lose the
external world and seek it in yoursell. Then you will lind
Light. ¨But rememher, unless you have lost the Earth, you
will not lind Heaven. It is impossihle to see hoth wrongly
and rightly at the same time.¨
CAßD VII.
THE HIEßOPHANT.
I saw the great Master in the Temple. He was siting on
a golden throne set upon a purple platlorm, and he wore
the rohe ol a high priest with a golden tiara. He held a
golden eight-pointed cross, and lying at his leet were two
crossed keys. Two initiates howed helore him and to
them he spoke.-÷
¨Seek the Path, do not seek attainment, Seek lor the
Path within yoursell.
¨Do not expect to hear the truth lrom others, nor to
see it, or read it in hooks. Look lor the truth in yoursell,
not without yoursell.
¨Aspire only alter the impossihle and inaccessihle.
Eapeci on|, ihoi which sho|| noi be.
¨Do not hope lor Me, ÷ do not look lor Me,÷do not
helieve÷that I am outside yoursell.
¨Within your soul huild a lolty tower hy which you
may ascend to Heaven. Do not helieve in external
miracles, expect miracles only within you. Beware ol
helieving in a mystery ol the earth, in a mystery guarded
hy men, lor treasuries which must he guarded
are empty. Do not search lor a mystery that can he
hidden hy men. Seek the Mystery within yoursell.
¨Ahove all, avoid those towers huilt in order to
preserve the mysteries and to make an ascent to Heaven
hy stone stairways. And rememher that as soon as men
huild such a tower they hegin to dispute ahout the
summit.
¨The Path is in yoursell, and Truth is in yoursell and
Mystery is in yoursell.
CAßD XVI.
THE TOWEß.
I saw a lolty tower extending lrom earth to heaven,
its golden crowned summit reached heyond the clouds.
All round it hlack night reigned and thunder rumhled.
Suddenly the heavens opened, a thunder-clap shook
the whole earth, and lightning struck the summit ol the
tower and lelled the golden crown. A tongue ol lire shot
lrom heaven and the whole tower hecame lilled with lire
and smoke. Then I heheld the huilders ol the tower lall
headlong to the ground.
And the voice said.÷-
¨The huilding ol the tower was hegun hy the disciples
ol the great Master in order to have a constant reminder
ol the Master's teaching that the true tower must he huilt
in one's own soul, that in the tower huilt hy hands there
can he no mysteries, that no one can ascend to Heaven hy
treading stone steps.
¨The tower should warn the people not to helieve in it.
It should serve as a reminder ol the inner Temple and as a
protection against the outer, it should he as a lighthouse,
in a dangerous place where men have olten heen wrecked
and where ships should not go.
¨But hy and hy the disciples lorgot the true covenant
ol the Master and what the tower symholized, and hegan
io be|ieve in ihe iower ol stone, they had huilt, and to
teach others to so helieve. They hegan to say that in this
tower there is power, mystery and the spirit ol the
Master, that the tower itsell is holy and that it is huilt lor
the coming Master according to His covenant and His
will. And so they waited in the tower lor the Master.
Others did not helieve this, or interpreted it dillerently.
Then hegan disputes ahout the rights ol the summit.
Quarrels started, 'Our Master, your Master,' was said, 'our
tower, your tower.' And the disciples ceased to
understand each other. Their tongues had hecome
conlused.
¨You understand the meaning here. They had hegun
to think that this is the tower ol the Master, that He
huilds it through them, and that it must and, indeed, can
he huilt right up to Heaven.
¨And you see how Heaven responded.
CAßD VIII.
POWEß.
In the midst ol a green plain, surrounded hy hlue hills,
I saw a woman with a lion. Girdled with wreaths ol roses,
a symhol ol inlinity over her head, the woman calmly and
conlidently covered the lion's mouth and the lion
ohediently licked her hand.
¨This is a picture ol power¨, said the voice. ¨It has
dillerent meanings. Iirst it shows the power ol love. Love
alone can conquer wrath. Hatred leeds hatred. Rememher
what Zarathustra said. ¨Let man he lreed lrom vengeance,
this is a hridge lor me which leads to higher hope and a
rainhow in heaven alter long storms.¨
¨Then it shows power ol unity. These wreaths ol roses
suggest a magic chain. Unity ol desires, unity ol aspirations
creates such power that every wild, uncontrolled,
unconscious lorce is suhdued. Even two desires, il united,
are ahle to conquer almost the whole world.
¨The picture also shows the power ol inlinity, that
sphere ol mysteries. Ior a consciousness that perceives the
symhol ol inlinity ahove it, knows no ohstacles and
cannot he withstood.¨
CAßD XV.
THE DEVIL.
Black, awlul night enveloped the earth. An ominous,
red llame hurned in the distance. I was approaching a
lantastic ligure which outlined itsell helore me as I came
nearer to it. High ahove the earth appeared the repulsive
red lace ol the Devil, with large, hairy ears, pointed heard
and curved goats' horns. A pentagram, pointing
downwards, shone in phosphoric light hetween the horns
on his lorehead. Two large, grey, hat-like wings were
spread hehind him. He held up one arm, spreading out his
hare, lat hand. In the palm I saw the sign ol hlack magic. A
hurning torch held down-end in his other hand emitted
hlack, stilling smoke. He sat on a large, hlack cuhe,
gripping it with the claws ol his heast-like, shaggy legs.
A man and woman were chained to the cuhe÷the
same Man and Woman I saw in the garden, hut now they
had horns and tails tipped with llame. And they were
evidently dissatislied in spirit, and were lilled with protest
and repulsion.
¨This is a picture ol weakness¨, said the voice, ¨a
picture ol lalsehood and evil. They are the same man and
woman you saw in the garden, hut their love ceasing to he
a sacrilice, hecame an illusion. This man and woman lorgot
that their love is a link in the chain that unites them with
eternity, that their love is a symhol ol equilihrium and a
road to Inlinity.
¨They lorgot that It is a key to the gate ol the magic
world, ihe iorch which |ighis ihe higher Poih. They lorgot
that Love is real and immortal and they suhjugated it to
the unreal and temporary. And they each made love a tool
lor suhmitting the other to himsell.
¨Then love hecame dissension and lettered them with
iron chains to the hlack cuhe ol matter, on which sits
deceit.¨
And I heard the voice ol the Devil. ¨I am Evil¨, he said,
¨at least so lar as Evil can exist in this hest ol worlds. In
order to see me, one must he ahle to see unlairly,
incorrectly and narrowly. I close the triangle, the other two
sides ol which are Death and Time. In order to quit this
triangle it is necessary to see that it does not exist.
¨But how to do this is not lor me to tell. Ior I am the
Evil which men say is the cause ol all evil and which they
invented as an excuse lor all the evil that they do.
¨They call me the Prince ol Ialsehood, and truly I am
the prince ol lies, hecause I am the most monstrous
production ol human lies.¨
CAßD IX.
THE HEßMIT.
Alter long wanderings over a sandy, waterless desert
where only serpents lived, I met the Hermit.
He was wrapped in a long cloak, a hood thrown over
his head. He held a long stall in one hand and in the other
a lighted lantern, though it was hroad daylight and the sun
was shining.
¨The lantern ol Hermes Trismegistus¨, said the voice,
¨this is higher knowledge, that inner knowledge which
illuminates in a new way even what appears to he already
clearly known. This lantern lights up the past, the present
and the luture lor the Hermit, and opens the souls ol
people and the most intimate recesses ol their hearts.
¨The cloak ol Apollonius is the laculty ol the wise man
hy which he isolates himsell, even amidst a noisy crowd, it
is his skill in hiding his mysteries, even while expressing
them, his capacity lor silence and his power to act in
stillness.
¨The stall ol the patriarchs is his inner authority, his
power, his sell-conlidence.
The lantern, the cloak and the stall are the three
symhols ol initiation. They are needed to guide souls past
the temptation ol illusory lires hy the roadside, so that they
may go straight to the higher goal. He who receives these
three symhols or aspires to ohtain them, strives to enrich
himsell with all he can acquire, not lor himsell, hut, like
God, to delight in the joy o| giving.
¨The giving virtue is the hasis ol an initiate's lile.
¨His soul is translormed into a spoiler ol all treasures¨ so
said Zarathustra.
¨Initiation unites the human mind with the higher mind
hy a chain ol analogies. This chain is the ladder leading to
heaven, dreamed ol hy the patriarch.¨
CAßD XIV.
TIME (TEMPEßANCE).
An angel in a white rohe, touching earth and heaven,
appeared. His wings were llame and a radiance ol gold
was ahout his head. On his hreast he wore the sacred sign
ol the hook ol the Tarot÷a triangle within a square, a
point within the triangle, on his lorehead the symhol ol
lile and eternity, the circle.
In one hand was a cup ol silver, in the other a cup ol
gold and there llowed hetween these cups a constant,
glistening stream ol every colour ol the rainhow. But I
could not tell lrom which cup nor into which cup the
stream llowed.
In great awe I understood that I was near the ultimate
mysteries lrom which there is no return. I looked upon
the angel, upon his symhols, his cups, the rainhow stream
hetween the cups,÷and my human heart tremhled with
lear and my human mind shrank with anguish and lack ol
understanding.
¨Yes¨, said the voice, ¨this is a mystery that is revealed
at Initiation. 'Initiation' is simply the revealing ol this
mystery in the soul. The Hermit re-
ceives the lantern, the cloak and the stall so that he can hear
the light ol this mystery.
¨But you prohahly came here unprepared. Look then and
listen and try to understand, lor now understanding is your
only salvation. He who approaches the mystery without
complete comprehension will he lost.
¨The name ol the angel is Time. The circle on his lorehead
is the symhol ol eternity and lile. Each lile is a circle which
returns to the same point where it hegan. Death is the return
to hirth. And lrom one point to another on the
circumlerence ol a circle the distance is always the same, and
the lurther it is lrom one point the nearer it will he to the
other.
¨Eternity is a serpent, pursuing its tail, never catching it.
¨One ol the cups the angel holds is the past, the other is
the luture. The rainhow stream hetween the cups is the
present. You see that it llows hoth ways.
¨This is Time in its most incomprehensihle aspect.
¨Men think that all llows constantly in one direction.
They do not see that everything perpetually meets and that
Time is a multitude ol turning circles. Understand this
mystery and learn to discern the contrary currents in the
rainhow stream ol the present.
¨The symhol ol the sacred hook ol the Tarot on the
angel's hreast is the symhol ol the correlation ol God, Man
and the Universe.
¨The triangle is God, the world ol spirit, the world ol
ideas. The point within the triangle is the soul ol man.
The square is the visihle world.
¨The consciousness ol man is the spark ol divinity a
point within the triangle ol spirit. Therelore the whole
square ol the visihle universe is equal to the point within
the triangle.
¨The world ol spirit is the triangle ol the twenty-one
signs ol the Tarot. The square represents lire, air, water
and earth, and thus symholises the world.
¨All this, in the lorm ol the lour symhols, is in the hag
ol the Iool, who himsell is a point in a triangle. Therelore
a point without dimension contains an inlinite square.
CAßD X.
THE WHEEL Of CHANCE.
I walked along, ahsorhed in deep thought, trying to
understand the vision ol the Angel. And suddenly,
as I lilted my head, I saw midway in the sky a huge,
revolving circle covered with Kahalistic letters and
symhols. The circle turned with terrihle velocity,
and around it, lalling down and llying up, symholic ligures
ol the serpent and the dog revolved, ahove it sat an
immovahle sphinx.
In clouds, on the lour quarters ol heaven, I saw the
lour apocalyptical heings, one with the lace ol a lion,
another with the race ol a hull, the third with a lace, ol an
eagle, and the lourth with the lace ol a hull. And each ol
them read an open hook.
And I heard the voices ol Zarathustra's heasts.÷
¨All go, all return,÷the wheel ol lile ever turns. All die, all llourish
again,÷the year ol existence runs eternally.
¨All perish, all live again, the same house ol existence is I ever
huilding. All separate, all meet again, the ring ol existence is ever true to
itsell.
¨Existence hegins at every moment. Round each 'here' rolls 'there'.
The middle is everywhere. The way ol eternity is a curve.
CAßD XIII.
DEATH.
Fatigued by the flashing of the Wheel of Life, I
sank to earth and shut my eyes. But it seemed to
me that the Wheel kept turning before me and
that the four creatures continued sitting in the
clouds and reading their books.
Suddenly, on opening my eyes, I saw a
gigantic rider on a white horse, dressed in black
armour, with a black helmet and black plume. A
skelet on's face looked out from under t he
helmet . One bony hand held a large, black,
slowly-waving banner, and the other held a black
bridle ornamented with skulls and bones.
And, wherever the white horse passed, night
and deat h followed; flowers wit hered, leaves
drooped, the earth covered itself with a white
shroud; graveyards appeared; towers, castles and
cities were destroyed.
Kings in the full splendour of their fame and
their power; beautiful women loved and loving;
high priest s invest ed by power from God;
innocent children — when they saw the white
horse all fell on their knees before him, stretched
out their hands in terror and despair, and fell
down to rise no more.
Alar, hehind two towers, the sun sank.
A deadly cold enveloped me. The heavy hools ol the
horse seemed to step on my hreast, and I lelt the world
sink into an ahyss.
But all at once something lamiliar, hut laintly seen and
heard, seemed to come lrom the measured step ol the
horse. A moment more and I heard in his steps the
movement ol the Wheel ol Lile'
An illumination entered me, and, looking at the
receding rider and the descending sun, I understood that
the Path ol Lile consists ol the steps ol the horse ol Death.
The sun sinks at one point and rises at another. Each
moment ol its motion is a descent at one point and an
ascent at another. I understood that it rises while sinking
and sinks while rising, and that lile, in coming to hirth,
dies, and in dying, comes to hirth.
¨Yes,¨ said the voice. The sun does not think ol its
going down and coming up. What does it know ol earth,
ol the going and coming ohserved hy men. It goes its own
way, over its own orhit, round an unknown Centre. Lile,
death, rising and lalling÷ do you not know that all these
things are thoughts and dreams and lears ol the Iool.
CAßD XI.
JU5TICE.
When I possessed the keys, read the hook and
understood the symhols, I was permitted to lilt the
curtain ol the Temple and enter its inner sanctum. And
there I heheld a Woman with a crown ol gold and a
purple mantle. She held a sword in one hand and scales in
the other. I tremhled with awe at her appearance, which
was deep and mysterious, and drew me like an ahyss.
¨You see Truth¨, said the voice. ¨cn these scales
everything is weighed. This sword is always raised to
guard justice, and nothing can escape it.
¨But why do you avert your eyes lrom the scales and
the sword. They will remove the last illusions. How
could you live on earth without these illusions.
¨You wished to see Truth and now you hehold it' But
rememher what happens to the mortal who heholds a
Goddess'
CAßD XII.
THE HANGED MAN.
And then I saw a man in terrihle sullering, hung hy
one leg, head downward, to a high tree. And I heard the
voice.÷
¨Look' This is a man who saw Truth. Sullering awaits
the man on earth, who linds the way to eternity and to
the understanding ol the Endless.
¨He is still a man, hut he already knows much ol what
is inaccessihle even to Gods. And the
incommensurahleness ol the small and the great in his
soul constitutes his pain and his golgotha.
¨In his own soul appears the gallows on which he
hangs in sullering, leeling that he is indeed inverted.
¨He chose this way himsell.
¨Ior this he went over a long road lrom trial to trial,
lrom initiation to initiation, through lailures and lalls.
¨And now he has lound Truth and knows himsell.
¨He knows that it is he who stands helore an altar
with magic symhols, and reaches lrom earth to heaven,
that he also walks on a dusty road under a scorching sun
to a precipice where a crocodile awaits
him, that he dwells with his mate in paradise under the shadow
ol a hlessing genius, that he is chained to a hlack cuhe under
the shadow ol deceit, that he stands as a victor lor a moment in
an illusionary chariot drawn hy sphinxes, and that with a
lantern in hright sunshine, he seeks lor Truth in a desert. ¨Now
he has lound Her.¨

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