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Yael R.

Dragwyla First North American rights


Email: Polaris93@aol.com 24,980 words
http://polaris93.livejournal.com/

Qaballah and Tarot: A Basic Course in Nine


Lessons
Lesson II: Keys 1-10 – the Lower Arcana and the
Court Cards
© 1997 by Yael R. Dragwyla

B. The Lower Arcana of the Tarot and the Ten Sephiroth of


the Tree of Life
1. Sephirah 1, Kether, and the four Aces of the Tarot
a. The Sephirah

Kether (“Crown”). Sphere of Pluto ß or î*

*The first symbol is formed of the initials for the astronomer Percival Lowell, whose assistant, Clyde
Tombaugh, actually discovered Pluto – a capital “P” for Percival, whose upright is shared with the
capital “L” of “Lowell,” the foot of which projects from the upright to the right: the “footed P.”
The other symbol is a sigil incorporating the Circle of Spirit above an upturned Crescent of Soul,
which in turn surmounts the Cross of Matter.

Dion Fortune says of Kether:

Kether, the first Manifest, represents the primal crystallisation into manifestation of
that which was hitherto unmanifest and therefore unknowable by us.
In Kether there is no form but only pure being . . . . It is . . . a latency only one
degree removed from nonexistence.
Kether . . . is the One, and existed before there was any reflection of itself to serve
it for an image in consciousness and set up polarity. 4

In his Hermetic lexicon, Liber 777, Aleister Crowley gives for the Magickal image of Kether an
“ancient bearded king seen in profile.” 5
In his tour de force of modern Western Qaballism, A Practical Guide to Qabalistic Symbolism,
Gareth Knight gives these attributes for Kether:

GOD NAME: An ancient bearded king, seen in profile


GOD NAME: h y h a – Eheieh
ARCHANGEL: Metatron
ORDER OF ANGELS: Chaloth ha Qadesh, Holy Living Creatures
MUNDANE CHAKRA: Primum Mobile. First Swirlings.
VIRTUE: Attainment. Completion of the Great
Work.
TITLES: Existence of Existences. Concealed of the
Concealed. Ancient of Ancients. Ancient
of Days. The Smooth Point. The
Primordial Point. The Most High. The
Vast Countenance. The White head. The
Head Which is Not. Macroprosopos.
SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE: Union with God.
ATZILUTHIC COLOR: Brilliance.
BRIATIC COLOR: Pure white brilliance.
YETZIRATIC COLOR: Pure white brilliance.
ASSIATIC COLOR: White, flecked gold.
VICE: [Knight gives none. However, the vice best
assigned to Kether and Pluto would seem
to be raw hunger for power in any form.
The major sin of Kether would be denial of
the unity of God.]
SYMBOLS: The point. The point within a circle. The
crown. The swastika. 5a

As he tells us:

Kether is the fount of Creation, the point where life wells up from the deeps of the
Great Unmanifest. It is manifestation on the point of becoming manifest, the centre
crystallised in the midst of Non-being, containing within it the potentialities of all to
come. It is the supreme height of Godhead . . . .
...
[It] is the Primal Glory, because no created being can attain to its essence. Were
any created being to attain to its essence, which according to the Spiritual Experience is
Union with God, it would by that very fact become uncreate. Yet this is the goal of all
evolution as the Virtue of Kether reveals, Attainment, Completion of the Great Work.
The Great Work, a term often met with in magical and alchemical writings, is the great
work of life itself, the death of free-moving spirit into form and its subsequent
regeneration.5b

Mythologically and religiously speaking, all the Creator Gods, Male and Female, are associated with
Kether, especially the uncreated (“Bornless”) ones which, arising from the Waters of Chaos, create the
universe out of Themselves or Nothing (Ain). These include the Egyptian Gods Djehuti, Black Isis, and
Osiris; the Northwest American Indian create-trickster Raven; the North American Indian spirit Spider-
Woman; and all the other Gods that created the Universe and all in it from nothing more than their own
substance, and were Themselves created by no other God.
Kether is the first and highest of the Supernals, the triad of Sephiroth at the top of the Tree of Life.
Kether represents God the Creator; Chokmah, Sephirah 2, represents Adam, Man, father of humanity;
Binah, Sephirah 3, represents Eve, Woman, mother of humanity; and the three Supernals together
represent humanity in its unfallen state in the Garden of Eden, able to walk and talk with God and
understand the languages of all things. The Supernals as a collective also represent the Enlightened Ones
who have achieved Samadhi and have become One with all things (Kether itself represents attainment of
Samadhi as an event). The number of the ruler of the Supernals, Kether, 1, signifies that above the
Abyss, all contradictions are resolved in divine Unity.
Being the purest and highest of the Sephiroth, the Supernals are represented not by colors as such but
instead by the Contrasts: Kether, by pure white, the apotheosis of all light; Binah, by pure black, the
apotheosis of all color; and Chokmah, by gray; the transition between white and black, the shadow and
the Wisdom that understands that existence is never a matter of all black or all white.
“As above, so below.” The Tree of Life has its distorted reflection in the Tree of Evil, just as the
Heavens and Empyrean of Dante’s Divine Comedy have theirs in the Inferno. In Canto XXXIV of
Dante’s Inferno, Virgil bids Dante look upon the face of Satan, the Lord of Evil. Dante reports,
concerning Satan:

Were he as fair once, as he now is foul,


And lifted up his brow against his Maker,
Well may proceed from him all tribulation.

O, what a marvel it appeared to me,


When I beheld three faces on his head!
The one in front, and that vermilion was;

Two were the others, that were joined with this


Above the middle part of either shoulder,
And they were joined together at the crest;

And the right-hand one seemed 'twixt white and yellow;


The left was such to look upon as those
Who come from where the Nile falls valley-ward.

Underneath each came forth two mighty wings,


Such as befitting were so great a bird;
Sails of the sea I never saw so large.

No feathers had they, but as of a bat


Their fashion was; and he was waving them,
So that three winds proceeded forth therefrom.

Thereby Cocytus wholly was congealed.


With six eyes did he weep, and down three chins
Trickled the tear-drops and the bloody drivel.

At every mouth he with his teeth was crunching


A sinner, in the manner of a brake,
So that he three of them tormented thus.

To him in front the biting was as naught


Unto the clawing, for sometimes the spine
Utterly stripped of all the skin remained.

"That soul up there which has the greatest pain,"


The Master said, "is Judas Iscariot;
With head inside, he plies his legs without.

Of the two others, who head downward are,


The one who hangs from the black jowl is Brutus;
See how he writhes himself, and speaks no word.

And the other, who so stalwart seems, is Cassius. . . ."


*Dante Alighieri, The Inferno, Canto XXXIV. Translation by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
(http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/19859), , lines 34-68.

Red in front, white to the right, black to the left – these can be equated with the vices and sins of the
Supernals: the “red to the front,” i.e., in the middle, represents the vices and sins of Kether, all
associated with overweening lust for power over others and the perversion of the Will against Life itself;
white on the right represents the vices and sins of Chokmah, associated with addictions of all kinds,
idolatry, perversions, sadism, cruelty, masochism, and horror, all the results of the seduction of the Will
by evil; and the black face on the left represents Binah, associated with the malefic employment of the
Divine Names, black Magick, and sorcery of any kind. In Taoistic symbolism, red represents life itself,
the pulsing beat of blood in the body; white represents death, i.e., the absence of blood and its vitality;
and black represents chi, the vital, fertile ground out of which all things come to be. In that system, red
could be associated with Kether, white with Chokmah, and black with Chokmah, for Kether is the first
impulse of life itself, Chokmah is the wisdom that accepts that all who live must die, and Binah
represents both the mother who gives birth to all and the matrix of the space-time continuum out of
which Magick can shape any reality desired. So Dante’s color-coded symbolism for the Faces of Evil
actually accords rather well with the vices associated with the Supernals: red, for the perversions of Will
and of the primordial life-springs of existence that are the sins of Kether; white, for the denial that all of
us are mortal and the seductions of the Will that maintain that Lie that are the sins of Chokmah; and
black, for the Faustian sins of Binah that involve the malefic employment of the Arts and Sciences of the
Spirit, i.e., black Magick in all its forms.
Because of its associations with Pluto and thus with Scorpio and Aries, the following may all be used
to represent Kether (and thus would be appropriate images for the Aces of the Tarot, as well): diamonds,
lavas, or any other stone formed deep in the hottest parts of the Earth’s crust, near the boundary of the
crust and the mantle; the metallic inner core of the Earth; artificial stones of all kinds; the metal
plutonium, as well as platinum and white gold (which is either platinum-plated gold, an amalgam of
iridium and platinum, or a mixture of nickel and gold); volcanism, especially active volcanoes; the
surgeon’s scalpel; the first shoots and buds of Spring, and births of any kind; deserts and desert animals,
particularly the Scorpion (the desert suggests Scorpio by its insistent absence of water, so that Water
becomes Power and Life on the desert); wells, swamps, marshes, still deep lakes, the de-oxygenated
depths of the ocean, and sewers; dragons, Salamanders, and the Phoenix (dragons breathe fire,
Salamanders [the heraldic and mythological sort] live in fire, and the Phoenix is regenerated in it);
eagles, especially the American eagle (because of their associations with Scorpio); fire in any form,
including the leonine, Solar form; nuclear and thermonuclear explosions, and nuclear and thermonuclear
power in any form; the chief executive of any government; Gods such as the Hindu Kali (death and
destruction), the Polynesian Pere/Pele (volcanism), the Hindu Agni (Lord of fire), and Hades (the Greek
Pluto); anything suggesting power in any form; almond trees; skulls and skeletons; the Elixir Vitae (the
drug of Kether); the perfume ambergris; the tools of Alchemy; the forge and the other things pertinent
to the Smith and his smithy; the Cook, his/her tools, and the kitchen; and images of birth, death,
regeneration, and resurrection of all kinds.
Each traditional Sephirah has associated with it one of the first ten Amendments to the United States
Constitution (Articles of the Bill of Rights) and one of the Ten Commandments.* The First Amendment
to the U.S. Constitution is associated with Kether:

*The Sephiroth collectively symbolize Torah, as represented by the Ten Commandments. The Paths and
the letters of the Hebrew alphabet associated with them represent the Talmud, the Commentaries on
Torah.

Article I
Religious establishment prohibited. Freedom of speech,
and the press, and the right to petition.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting


the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the
right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress
of grievances.

The Commandment associated with Kether is:

I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house
of bondage.
You shall have no other gods before me.

Exodus 20:2-3, Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version

b. The four Aces


Tarot represents Kether by means of the four Aces. The designs of the Aces, unlike those of other
numbered cards of the Lower Arcana, are somewhat problematical, because the set of concepts embodied
by Kether and represented by the Aces are so abstract that they are, in the words of one philosopher, “one
stage above non-existence.” Aleister Crowley says of the Aces that

[t]he Aces represent the roots of the four elements. They are quite above, and distinct
from, the other small cards in the same way as Kether is said to be symbolized only by
the topmost point of the Yod of Tetragrammaton. In these cards is no real
manifestation of the element in the material form. They form a link between the small
cards [those numbered Two through Ten] and the Princesses [of the Court Cards], who
rule the Heavens around the North Pole. . . .

...

. . . [B]oth in their appearance and in their meaning, the Aces are not the elements
themselves, but the seeds of those elements.* 6

*Italics mine.

According to both Crowley, in Liber 777, and the Golden Dawn, the titles and attributions of the four
Aces, each of which represents one of the four primary or elementary aspects of Kether, is “The Root of
the Powers of Fire” (Wands or Staves [Clubs], for the Element Fire; “the Root of the Powers of Water”
(Cups or Chalices [Hearts]), for the Element Water; “the Root of the Powers of Air” (Swords [spades]);
and “the Root of the Powers of Earth” (Coins, Discs, or Pentacles [Diamonds]). 7 This doesn’t give much
to go on. However, for his Rider Tarot pack, Arthur Edward Waite used an interesting device which also
suggests something about the interrelationship between human spirit or will and the human hand, the
means by which that spirit becomes most powerfully manifest in the world, whether by building,
destroying, or in the more esoteric activities involved with spoken and written language. In each of the
four Aces of his pack there is shown a hand issuing from a cloud, holding up the symbol of the Suit to
which that Ace belongs.
For example of the Ace of Wands, he gives “[a] hand issuing from a cloud [grasping] a stout want or
club.”8 Kether is so removed from ordinary human experience that on a conscious level we are able to
grasp almost nothing of its essence. But the essential core of its meaning is energy, the basic power and
activity of the Elements, as divorced from the multitudinous manifest forms of their expression shown in
the other cards of the Lower Arcana – energy in the raw, as it were, considered apart from the matter
which is its apotheosis. The device of a hand coming out of nowhere and bearing up the symbol of the
Suit is thus an excellent choice for a representation of Kether and the Aces. For of all parts of the body
of an individual human being, none so completely symbolizes the totality of human behavior, history,
and experience as the hand. The hand, always in motion, carries out the greatest achievements of the
human spirit, from the creation of great literature to the building of cathedrals, as well as accomplishing
acts of murder and theft. Even a deaf or dumb man can converse fluently with others if he hands,
through the miracle of the written word and Ameslan. The hand makes love, holds an infant – indeed,
delivers a newborn, gathers stones together and throws them away, makes war with a sword and peace
with a pen, creates the works of Shakespeare and Goethe as well as Hitler, builds a factory that fills the
environment with deadly pollution and launches and crews a ship that sets out to save the whales, and in
every other way makes our world what it is. Its God is Hermes-Djehuti, Lord of Magick and Cunning,
the Bright Swift One Who rules the Winds and the Mind. Like its Lord, the hand is ever-darting, ever-
moving, never-ceasing in the quick fluid motions by which it makes and unmakes worlds in stone, flesh,
and the printed word. What better symbol of the energy represented by Kether, whether the abstract
energy of Newton’s world or the infinitely complex movement and permutations of the biophysical
universe in which we live today?
Another way in which the Sephiroth may be pictorially represented in the Tarot is in terms of the
geometrical figures appropriate to each Sephirah. In the case of Sephirah 1, Kether, this would be the
Circle, the most perfect figure, representing the Perfection of God Who, as Augustine tells us, is Itself the
“Circle Whose Center is everywhere and Whose Circumference is nowhere.” The Circle has just one
“side,” its circumference, and is therefore appropriate for representing the first Sephirah, whose Key
Number is 1. Some schools of hermetic thought assign the Point to Kether and the Circle to the Zeros,
Ain, Ain Soph, and Ain Soph Aur.9 But since the Point has no dimension at all and therefore no
extension, it could be considered to be more appropriate to the Zeros, and the Circle to Kether.*

*Other figures that might be appropriate for representations of Kether on the Aces are the Möbius Strip, a
figure with but one side and one edge, and the Klein Bottle, a figure which has only once surface.
The first figure can only be represented in 3 dimensions, the second in 4; the Möbius Strip seems to
have two sides and two edges, but because of the half-twist in it has but one, and the Klein Bottle
seems to be a two-sided surface, but has only one surface. Higher-order figures like these, created by
means of 1½, 2½, 3½ . . . twists, are in the same family, and could also be used. So could the Wild
Sphere, which is created by pulling out the surface of a sphere like taffy on two sides until the
extensions almost meet, then dividing each extension’s tip into two “horns” and extending these to
intertwine but not tie a knot with the “horns” of the other extension, then doing the same to those, ad
infinitum, as follows:
It is the Circle within which the Magickian stands when performing a Magickal Operation of any
kind, for the Circle represents God, and whoever stands within it is thus identified with God and within
the Grace and Power of God, under the aegis of divine protection. In all rituals of Ceremonial Magick,
no matter what else is done, the Magickian first invokes (“calls in”) the God or Archangel type of
Operation which the Magickian wishes to perform, In calling-in the Light of this God, the Magickian
thus recalls Genesis I:3, the first act of Creation: “Let there be Light.” That verse is assigned to Kether,
and so is the Circle which helps recall it.
Astrology also lends itself to pictorial symbols of Kether that might be appropriate to the four Aces
of the Tarot. For example, Kether’s Planet is Pluto, whose Gods are Pluto; Pluton; Dis; Hades; Kali;
Agni; Ta’aroa/Kanaloa, the Polynesian Lord of Hell and the Deep Sea); Pere/Pele, Ta’aroa’s sister/wife,
Lord of Volcanism; Baron Samedhi, the Voudon Lord of Death; the Grim Reaper; and all the other
Gods of Death, Power, vast wealth, buried treasure, and final judgment. Its metal is plutonium, out of
which was created the bomb that destroyed the living city of Nagasaki in a fiery holocaust that shattered
the expectations of the world and put it on a new, inconceivably perilous path into the future. A painting
of a hypothetical view of the Planet Pluto, or a photograph of His surface taken by a robot or manned
space-probe, a photograph o9f Nagasaki just after it was destroyed by the Bomb, a picture of a cemetery
or morgue, or one of any great fire would thus be an excellent starting-point for illustrating an Ace.
But Pluto doesn’t just represent death and destruction. He also rules birth, transformation,
regeneration, transmutation, renewal, and resurrection. Pictures of birth and beginnings are therefore also
highly appropriate to the Aces. A picture of an open, empty tomb at dawn, representing the resurrection
of Christ, would be a perfect symbol for them; so would a Unicorn, which represents the resurrection of
the dead, rejuvenation of body and spirit, and the healing of all sickness and wounds. A picture of an
Alchemist’s laboratory and working gear would likewise be appropriate to the Aces. In short, Kether,
Pluto, and the Aces represent the Ultimate, the First Breath and the Last Judgment, the Alpha and Omega
of all things, and anything symbolizing these would be appropriate to the Aces.
Traditionally, long before the telescope made it possible for human beings to discover the existence
of Neptune and Pluto, Kether’s astrological assignment was the Primum Mobile, the spherical Firmament
within which were supposedly contained all the Heavens and the Earth in a series of concentric spheres.
To the inner surface of the Primum Mobile were attached the Fixed Stars, and it was the rotation of this
outermost Sphere of Creation that was supposed to be responsible for the precession of the Equinoxes and
similar phenomena. This concept could be graphically adapted for the Aces, certainly for the Ace of
Discs/Coins/Pentacles, the basic symbol for which is itself round or spherical to begin with. In fact the
Pentacle, when used for the Suit representing the Element Earth, itself represents the Pantacle, a material
symbol of the Magickian’s or Qaballist’s Universe. This can be anything from an armillary sphere of the
heavens or a globe of the Earth to a book about the universe and what it contains. A Tarot pack, for
example, is also a Pantacle, for its cards represent all the essential wisdom and knowledge about Creation
in existence at the time the pack was designed. So the Primum Mobile as an armillary sphere could be
used on the Ace of Pentacles to good effect, if it fit with the design used throughout the pack as a whole.*

*The idea of using a picture of a Tarot pack on the Ace of Discs/Coins/Pentacles is rather intriguing. It
suggests an infinite regress, something like the old cylindrical Quaker Oats cereal boxes which have
a Quaker holding a box of Quaker Oats cereal on which is a Quaker holding a box of Quaker Oats
cereal on which is . . .

Perhaps the most basic association with Kether is that of Light, the Light of Creation. For this
reason, all the Aces of the Tarot have suggestions of the Power of that Light, generally in the form of
rays of illumination emanating from a central source, usually the symbol of the Suit to which the Ace
belongs. The idea is the manner in which that Light manifests in each of the Four Realms: the Light of
Spirit, the essence of the Will to create; the Light of Creation itself, the first stirrings of reaction to the
Will of God in the receptive Void that is God’s medium for Creation; the Light of Enlightenment and
Intelligence, that first consciously recognizes the existence of Creation and delineates its meaning; and
finally the Light of Physical Manifestation, in which we experience Creation with our mundane senses, in
all its inertia and glory. These four levels of manifestation are respectively symbolized by Wands,
Staves, or Clubs, representing Spirit and Will; Cups, Chalices, or hearts, symbolizing Emotion and
Creativity; Swords or Spades, representing Thought and Intellection; and Coins, Discs, Pantacles, or
Diamonds, representing the Body, Physical Reality, a finished and whole Weltlehr. For this reason, a
good symbol of Kether that could be used in the Aces would be the eye, the receiver and interpreter of
light.*
*Kether, Unity, also represents the fact that “contradiction is Unity above the Abyss.” One of the great
paradigm shifts that has occurred in 20th-Century physics is that which has given us a better
understanding of the nature of light. Before the first few decades of this century and the “30 years
that shook physics,” experiments had shown that under some conditions light behaves like a wave,
and under others like a particle. This apparent contradiction was intensely frustrating to physicists,
who were not able to resolve this apparent paradox until the publication of Einstein’s papers on the
Special and General Theories of Relativity and the work in quantum mechanics that followed this.
Today, light is believed to be something which has both “particle-like” and “wave-like” aspects, but
which is itself neither particle nor wave, in the same way that, e.g., a building may be painted blue
on one side and red on another, but is itself not a color of any kind. Such paradigm-shifts are one
example of “crossing the Abyss” between Chesed and Binah, in this case a collective one involving
the entire world community of scientists, scholars, philosophers, and engineers: above the Abyss, all
paradoxes and contradictions are seen as only apparent, capable of resolution via a paradigm-shift
engendering a new viewpoint that allows one to perceive the underlying noumenal unity among a
bewildering variety of seemingly contradictory and paradoxical phenomena. Kether, the Crown,
Lord of the Supernals, indicates by its number, 1, such underlying, primordial Unity behind the
ephemeral Plurality of the “real” world of our waking senses and perceptions. As it says on the
Great Seal of the United States: E pluribus unum.

But any of the rulerships of Kether and Pluto can be used as symbols in the Aces. For example, the
parts of the body ruled by Pluto, which include the crown of the head, the sex-organs, and the brain* can
all be used. So could scenes representative of the biological processes peculiar to Pluto, e.g., birth, death,
such cytological phenomena as meiosis, Kundalini rising, and so forth.

*Because the brain is the most massive and complex of the sex-organs. If you doubt that it is a sex-
organ, consider that it evolved to its present capacity and complexity in good part not only to
facilitate the finding of mates and the rituals peculiar to mating and starting a home, but also and
especially to keep track of those tricky little dickenses, the ultimate products of mating, one’s
children, who would otherwise be far too fast and agile for their poor parents to keep them out of
mischief long enough to survive and reproduce in their own turn!

As for the divinatory meanings of the Aces, a good clue to these is the diurnal esoteric dominion of
the Planet Mercury, i.e., the Sign Aries, which rules beginnings. The Aces show the beginnings of all
enterprises and the power inherent in all beginnings; reversed or in bad aspect in a reading, they show
those beginnings aborted or perverted out of their original intent. The general design and meaning of the
four Aces is as follows:

1) WANDS

Design: A hand issuing from a cloud grasps a stout wand or club which is usually shown
with flowers sprouting from it. It hovers high above a landscape containing trees in leaf and a
river; some designs also include a castle on a hill. Leaves in the form of the Hebrew letter Yod
drift about the branch, and a halo of light surrounds the hand holding the wand.

Upright meaning: Creation, invention, enterprise, the powers which result in these;
principle, beginning, source; birth, family, origin, and in a sense the virility which is behind
them; the starting point of enterprises; money, fortune, inheritance. Calamities of all kinds. A
successful Magickal invocation (Kether is associated with the Circle, used to invoke the Gods).

Reversed: Fall, decadence, ruin, perdition, to perish; also, a certain clouded joy; a sign of
birth [obscure]. An invocation which has gone seriously awry, with deadly impact on the
Operator and/or those close to him/her.
2) CUPS

Design: Below is water, on which are water-lilies. A hand surrounded by a halo issues
from a cloud, holding in its palm a golden chalice, from which five streams of water,
accompanied on all sides by falling dewdrops in the form of Yods, pour into a lotus pool. A
white dove holding in its beak a Host in the form of a white circle which is marked with a cross
descends to place the Wafer in the Chalice. Arthur Edgar Waite remarks of it, “It is an
intimation of what which may lie behind the Lesser Arcana.”

Upright meanings: House of the true heart, joy, content, abode, nourishment, abundance,
fertility; Holy Table, the felicity thereof. Inflexible will, unalterable law. Achievement of
Samadhi (union with God). Conception.

Reversed meanings: House of the false heart, mutation [suggesting transmutation, a


function of the Sign Scorpio, which is associated with this card], instability, revolution.
Unexpected changes of position. Abortion, miscarriage.

3) SWORDS

Design: A heavenly, hand enwrapped with a halo issues from a cloud, grasping a sword
which it holds upright; the tip of the sword is surrounded by a crown garlanded with two
branches, one of which has red berries. Yods hover over the head and hilt of the sword,
illuminating it with solar light. The hand and sword hover high in the clear air above a bleak
and mountainous landscape.

Upright meanings: Triumph, everything carried to excess, “everything louder than


everything else,” conquest, the triumph of force. It is a card of great force, in love as well as in
hatred. The crown may carry a much higher significance than comes usually within the sphere
of fortune-telling. Great prosperity or great misery. Successful surgery. A healed wound.

Reversed meanings: The same, but the results are disastrous; another account says
conception, childbirth, augmentation, multiplicity. For a woman, marriage broken off through
her own imprudence. Unsuccessful surgery. An unhealing wound.

4) COINS/DISCS/PENTACLES

Design: A hand surrounded by a halo, issuing from a cloud, holds a yellow coin or plate in
which is inscribed a Pentagram. Below it is a garden hedged with red roses and filled with white
lilies. Through the arch of an arbor in the hedge, to the right, can be seen the peaks of
mountains, hazy blue with distance, far away. A path runs from the viewer through the arbor
toward the mountains. (In the pirated edition of the Waite-Rider pack that came out in the
1960s, a serendipitously lovely effect was created when, in order to evade copyright
requirements, the publishers of the deck changed the original gray sky of the Waite-Rider
version of the card to a deep violet. The resulting overall effect of the contrast between that
gorgeous sky and the green of the foliage in the card is absolutely exquisite. The Frankie
Albano version of the Tarot, which is now accepted as legitimate because of its great beauty, is
now considered a standard in the field.) In the Book of Thoth pack by Aleister Crowley and
Frieda Harris, this card encodes several signature icons of Aleister Crowley, such as the number
666 and inclusion of symbols suggestive of the male external genitalia.

Upright meanings: Perfect contentment, felicity, ecstasy; also, speedy intelligence; gold.
Great wealth. Buried treasure. The treasures of Hades. The most favorable/luckiest of all the
cards. Wherever it appears, it brings great good fortune. The best possible results from a
Magickal Operation. Ultimate satisfaction.

Reversed meanings: The evil side of wealth; bad intelligence; also great riches; also great
riches. In any case it shews prosperity, comfortable material conditions, but whether these are
of advantage to the possessor will depend on whether the card is reversed or not [as well as its
placement in the spread and its relationship to other cards]. A share in the finding of treasure. 10
Buried treasure unearthed with difficulty. Geology. The planet Earth. Earth, the Element.
Manifestation resulting from a Magickal operation; hence also Creation, the universe, the
multiverse. Physical reality. Objective reality.

In the main, various sources are in agreement on the divinatory meanings of the Tarot cards,
including the Aces.
For example, for the Ace of Wands, Paul Foster Case gives: “Energy, strength, enterprise, principle,
beginning.”11 Exceptions include, e.g., Kahn’s “A letter, a book, an important piece of writing” 12 and
Grimaud’s “The power of man over matter. Success due to force, force overcome, results of force
annulled by some other force.” 13 The latter is in fact closer to most interpretations given of the Ace of
Swords. Crowley gives “Root of the powers of fire. Blind, solar, phallic fire,” 14 and William Butler, in
his Dictionary of Tarot, suggests, “The active principle of Earth, the first emotions. Phallic.” 15 These
last two interpretations are not in contradiction with Waite’s; rather, they address the more fundamental
Qaballistic meanings of the card rather than the issues usually addressed in horomancy, and for this
reason they may not be as useful for those not familiar with Qaballah and the other esoteric disciplines.
In addition to their association with Kether and the Planet Pluto, the Aces are also associated with
the Cherubic or Fixed astrological Signs, according to their Element. That is, the Ace of Wands is
associated with Fire and the Fiery Fixed Sign Leo as well as the Season of Summer; the Ace of Cups,
with Water, Scorpio, and Autumn; the Ace of Swords, with Air, Aquarius, and Winter; and the Ace of
Coins, with Earth, Taurus, and Spring.
Astrologically, Kether and the Aces are associated with the conjunction, an angle or aspect of 0°.
Associations for this aspect include, e.g., action, beginnings, consolidation, cycles, direction, dynamism,
emphasis, focus, initiation, intensity, intensification, the new, the personal, pioneering, power,
prominence, or unity.

Designs for America’s Tarot:*

1) Ace of Wands: Center: A tan or medium-brown hand, red-gold hairs on its wrist, issuing
from a cloud, holding an upright Wand; in the palm of the hand is an amber eye. Upright:
Sequoia from redwood forests of American Far West. Reversed: lone manzanita bush in
the midst of a burned-out forest.

Meaning: Upright: The root of the powers of Fire. Inspiration. Exercise of the Will,
especially in Magickal Operations. Associated with the Salamander and the Lion, and thus
with both David and Christ (as the Lion of Judah). People who have fair or sun-bleached
hair, blue or green eyes, and tan or dark skin. Animation, enterprise, energy, growth. The
South. Courage, hope, love. Inimical to Cups, friendly with Swords and Pentacles.
Summer. Glory. Blind Solar, phallic Fire. Beginning, strength, principle. Beginnings of
journeys, enterprises, inventions, or families. The power of mind over matter. Male libido.
Initiative. Birth. Innovation, pioneering, pioneer, origin, creation, initiation, news, cause,
reason, parentage, transmission of a message. The virility and energy underlying the
healthy family. Money, fortune, inheritance, investments, wealth. A letter, book, or
important written work. Reversed: The heart. The Sign Leo (about July 23-August 22 of a
given year). Barrenness, sterility, most major vices. Endings or destruction of enterprises,
journeys, inventions, families. Success due to force and oppression, force overcome, results
of force annulled by some other force. Persecution, pursuit, violence, vexation, cruelty,
tyranny, oppression. Fall, decline, descent, depreciation, profanation, that which will
happen only once and which cannot be taken back or cancelled out. Fall, decadence, ruin,
perdition, damnation, to perish, a certain clouded joy. Calamities of all kinds. A sign of
birth.

2) Ace of Cups: Center: A fair-skinned hand, blond hairs on its wrist, issuing from a cloud,
holding a Cup upright. The Cup is filled with wine. In the center of the palm of the Hand is
a hazel eye. Upright: Crater lake. Reversed: Settling-pond at Hanford nuclear reactor,
glowing in the dark.
Meaning: Upright: Root of the powers of Water. Admirable or Hidden Intelligence. God.
Union with God. Samadhi. Water in its most secret and original form. The feminine
counterpart of the Ace of Wands, derived from the Yoni and the Moon. Associated with the
Eagle, the Scorpion, the Phoenix, the Wolf, and the Serpent. The Realm of Undine and the
Nymphs. Fertility, productiveness, beauty, pleasure. The coming of transcendent love, joy,
contentment. The mind filled with the spirit of love. Great psychic protections, knowledge
which will be realized. Plans, latent thoughts. Passion, inspiration. Creative thought,
dreaming, reverie. A house. Creative things in general. Abundance, perfection, joy.
Feasting, banqueting, good cheer. The beginning of a love-affair. Sanction, permission,
inspiration, idealism, enthusiasm, blessing. May denote a leader, teacher, guide, or any
influence of this nature. Legislation, direction, instruction, hospitality, sympathetic
reception, driving, hunting, traveling, planning for the future, invitation, convocation,
appeal. Detoxification. The ending of addictions. House of the true heart, joy, content,
dwelling, nourishment, abundance, fertility, Ark of the Covenant, Holy Tablets (of the Ten
Commandments), Torah. Inflexible Will, unalterable law. The laws of Nature. The Realm
of Hades-Pluto and Baron Samedhi, Lords of Scorpio. Reversed: The sex-organs and the
bowels. The Solar month of Scorpio (October 23-November 21 of a given year). The
ending or corruption of transcendent love, joy, or contentment. The mind filled with hate.
Benefits to be scorned. Nightmares, night-terrors, insanity. Forced joy. Pleasure indulged
to the point of revulsion. Change, alteration, unrequited love. Novelty, metamorphosis,
inconstancy, Alchemical transmutation. Mutation. Poison, poisoning, poisoner. Death.
Rebirth. Environmental pollution. Translation and interpretation. House of the false heart,
instability, revolution. Unexpected change of position.

3) Ace of Swords: Center: A fair-skinned hand, dark brown or black hairs on its wrist, issuing
from a cloud, holding an upright Sword. A crown of light circles its tip. In the palm of the
hand is a brown eye. Upright: A sword (alternate: a beautiful skyscraper). Reversed: The
Bomb (alternate: a slum building).

Meaning: Upright: Root of the Powers of Air. The primordial energy of Air. Destruction
may be necessary to achieve something better. Associated with the Bald Eagle and the
Man. The Realm of Uranus-Urania and Liberty, the Lords of Aquarius, liberty, radical
change, and scientific advance. The domain of the Faeries and the Sylphs. Invoked force.
Conquest. Activity. The Sword used by Michael and Kali to battle demons. Force
expressed as justice which maintains the world order, as the equilibrium between Mercy and
Severity. A man forced to use his own strength. Strong action with victory bringing
advantage. Liberty, liberation, freedom. Authority. Stress. Love, affairs of the heart.
Triumph, fecundity, fertility, prosperity. Workings of Ceremonial Magick, invocation.
Telepathy, intuition, telekinesis, teleportation. Initiative, force, masculine activity, seed,
germ, commencement of a matter, decision, starting-point, emphasis, fructification,
execution (of a plan). Annihilation of doubt and uncertainty. Courage, firmness, integrity,
great passion or intense enmity, fury, vehemence. Triumph. The excessive degree in
everything. Conquest, triumph of force. A card of great force in love as well as hatred.
Conception, childbirth, augmentation, multiplicity. Great prosperity or great misery.
Reversed: The Solar month of Aquarius (about January 20-February 17 of a given year).
The ankles, circulation of the blood, lower legs, pituitary gland. Violence, murder, sudden
death. The libertine. The gain of one’s own freedom or power at the expense of that of
others. A love affair that leaves the woman in dire straits. Black Magick. Embarrassment,
foolish and hopeless love, obstacle, hindrance. Beginning of hostilities. Execution (of a
living being). Affliction, pain. Disaster. For a woman, marriage broken off through her
own imprudence.

4) Ace of Discs: Center: A swarthy- or dark-skinned hand, black, kinky hairs on its wrist,
issuing from a cloud, holding a silver Liberty-head dollar. In the palm of the hand is a
golden-brown eye. Upright: Semi-sphere of Planet Earth, seen from space. Reverse: The
lower semi-sphere of same, but as it would appear after total thermonuclear war and/or
planet-wide ecological disaster.
Meaning: Upright: Root of the powers of Earth. Associated with the Bull. Realm of the
Gnomes. Ruled by Venus. Stoicism under adversity. Faithfulness. Dedication. Devotion.
Material success obtained by invocation of the Gods. The luckiest card in the Tarot pack.
Great good fortune, wealth, prosperity, material success in all forms. The Wheel of
Fortune. Perfect contentment, great happiness, triumph. A purse of gold, money, riches.
Inheritance, gifts. Economy. Beginning of good fortune. Creative energy, fulfillment of
hope, wish, desire. Good luck, bright prospects. Profit. Perfect contentment, ecstasy,
speedy intelligence, comfortable material conditions. Reversed: The Solar month of Taurus
(roughly April 20-May 19 of a given year). Adenoids, cerebellum, lower jaw, jugular vein,
larynx, mouth, neck, pharynx, salivary glands, throat, thyroid gland, tongue, tonsils, vocal
cords. Greed or avarice. Poverty. Ending of good fortune. Bad luck. The unluckiest card
in the Tarot pack. A share in the finding of treasure.

*Designed by Yael R. Dragwyla. No artist has yet been commissioned to execute the cards. See section
E. below. Each card is divided into halves, each having its own design, one for the Upright meaning,
the other for the Reverse. The two scenes are set bottom-to-bottom, like the designs of playing-
cards, e.g., as in the King of Hearts or Spades. But the two scenes on each card, unlike those on
playing-cards, aren’t identical, or even mirror-images. The Reverse scene is either a parody or a
redemption of the Upright one, either its Qlippoth or its reversal in meaning.

c. The interrelationship of the Sephirah and the cards


The four Realms and their Elements are the Roots of the Power of the Will of God. The Great
Unspeakable Name of God, called Tetragrammaton, spelled in Hebrew Yod-Heh-Vav-Heh and
transliterated into English as YHVH, represents the synthesis of these four Elemental Realms of Being
into the Quintessence, the Spirit of God. It is no accident that in Waite’s and Crowley’s versions of the
Tarot there can be found within the Ace of each suit the letter of the Name corresponding to the Element
of that Suit: Yod, for Fire and Wands; the first Heh of Tetragrammaton, for Water and Cups; Vav, for
Air and Swords; and the second Heh for Earth and Pentacles/Discs/Coins. These letters are intricately
woven into the whole of the design of each card, so that one has to know that they are there, and what
they are, in order to recognize them. For example, the crown at the tip of the Sword in Waite’s Ace of
Swords, together with the leafy branch hanging from it, forms the Vav of that Suit. In Waite’s Ace of
Cups, the fountains springing from the Chalice in the Ace, together with the Chalice itself, form a Heh.
Yods floating in the form of leaves float about the upright Wand in Waite’s Ace of Wands, and the gate
and trellis in the hedge in his Ace of Pentacles form a Heh.
Similarly, in Waite’s Ace of Wands, other Qaballistic associations with Kether are embedded in the
design of the card. The theme of “Beginnings” characteristic of Kether is represented by the phallic form
of the Wand itself and the spermatozoon-like Yods dancing about the Wand, which suggests the upright
phallus and the sperm it ejects during the sexual intercourse that eventually brings a new soul into the
world. The river, the trees, and the prosperous castle high on a hill are indicative of new enterprises and
the prosperity these bring. Likewise, all the various aspects of the card should suggest aspects of Kether
in Atziluth; ideally, as much as we can comprehend of the Fiery and Spiritual manifestations of Kether
should be represented one way or another in the Ace of Wands.
In the same way, the associations of Kether in Briah, Root of the Powers of Water, should be fairly
well represented in the Ace of Cups/Chalices/Hearts; those of Kether in Yetzirah, the Root of the Powers
of Air, in the Ace of Swords/Spades; and those of Kether in Assiah, the Root of the Powers of Earth, in
the Ace of Pentacles/Discs/Coins/Diamonds.
The Aces are above and distinct from the other “small cards” or Lower Arcana in the same way that
Kether is symbolized only by the topmost point of the Tree of Life and that of the Yod y of
Tetragrammaton, the Great Name of God, h w h y. Generally, these cards have little or nothing to do
with manifestation of their Elements in material form. They form a link between the Lower Arcana and
the Pages/Princesses, who rule the Heavens around the North Pole. Going Eastward from Hiroshima,
Japan, the Elements rule Fire, Water, Air, and Earth. Thus the Aces and the Pages more or less rule the
Pacific Rim, the Ring of Fire surrounding the Pacific Basin, and all within it; the Cups rule the
Americas; the Swords rule Europe and Africa; and the Pentacles or Disks rule Asia.
Nota bene: The Element of Spirit, the Quintessence, like Fire is associated with the letter Shin c. It
is also associated with Kether. In a sense, all the Aces represent this Element, but the Ace of Wands in
particular is associated with it. On the other hand, the Element of Void or Chaos may be associated with
the letter a, which is also associated with Air and the Planet Uranus, so the Ace of Swords can do double-
duty for both Air and Chaos. It must be remembered, however, that the Aces are not the Elements
themselves, but rather the seeds or roots of those Elements.

2. Sephirah 2 and the four Deuces


a. The Sephirah

Chokmah (“Wisdom”). Sphere of Neptune Þ

Gareth Knight gives these attributes for Chokmah:

MAGICKAL IMAGE: A bearded male figure


GOD NAME: h y – Jehovah or Yah [Yah]
ARCHANGEL: Ratziel
ORDER OF ANGELS: Auphanim. Wheels.
MUNDANE CHAKRA: The Zodiac
VIRTUE: Devotion
TITLES: Power of Yetzirah. Ab. Abba. The
Supernal Father. Tetragrammaton. Yod of
Tetragrammaton.
SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE: The Vision of God Face to Face
ATZILUTHIC COLOR: Pure soft blue.
BRIATIC COLOR: Gray.
YETZIRATIC COLOR: Pearl gray iridescence
ASSIATIC COLOR: White, flecked red, blue, and yellow
VICE: [Knight gives none. However, the vices
best assigned to Chokmah and Neptune
would seem to be addictions in any form,
pathological lying, seduction of the
innocent for prurient purposes, and all
other Neptunian vices, crimes, and sins.]
SYMBOLS: The Lingam. The phallus. Yod. The Inner
Robe of Glory. The standing stone. The
tower. The uplifted Rod of Power. The
straight line. 16

For Chokmah, Liber 777 gives the following assignments:

Crowley says, concerning the Magickal Image of Chokmah, “Almost any male image shows some aspect
of Chokmah.” 17
Chokmah is the essence of Masculinity, and its most basic image is the male animal, particularly the
human male. According to Liber 777, its most precious stones include the star ruby and the turquoise;
its tree is the amaranth; its vegetable drug is hashish or marijuana*; and its perfume is musk. 18 Because
of its association with the Planet Neptune, it may also be represented by such things as the ocean, pearls,
coral, rivers, seashells, and seahorses – indeed, horses in general, since according to one set of ancient
Greek religious teachings, Poseidon (the Greek avatar of Neptune) was the one who gave humanity the
horse. Thus colors associated with water, rivers, and the sea such as aquamarine and other aquatints,
nacreous hues, the gray of ocean fogs, and the entire range of greens, blues, and purples are all associated
with Chokmah. Chokmah’s vices, crimes, and sins (which were not listed by Knight) therefore include
all the Qlippoth of Neptune: sloth, murder, suicide, poisoning, treachery, espionage, slander, gossip,
addictions, corruption of innocence, deceit, lying, etc. Poisons of all kinds, both in their toxic and in
their medicinal aspects, are associated with Neptune and thus with Chokmah. Sleep, dreams, trance,
hypnosis, psychedelic and other psychoactive drugs, illusion, deception, confusion, chaos, con-artistry,
delusions, and many of the psychoses, especially paranoid schizophrenia, are associated with Neptune
and Chokmah. Mirrors and the principle of Reflection are associated with Chokmah, partly because of
the association with the number 2, and partly because Neptune, Chokmah’s Planet, is a higher octave of
Luna, Who reflects the Sun’s light and is the Lord of Mirrors.

*Marijuana is sacred to the God Shiva, one of Whose aspects is The Sun on the Waters of the Sea, a
Neptunian image.

The parts of the body that facilitate sleep and reaming, particularly REM-sleep, include the corpus
coerleus in the brain stem, hence this part of the brain is ruled by Neptune and thus by Chokmah. The
feet, traditionally ruled by the astrological Sign Pisces and thus Neptune, are likewise under their
dominion. More importantly, the bilateral symmetry of the body and its asymmetric differentiation of
function, particularly in the brain, is ruled by Chokmah because of the association with the number 2 and
the principle of Reflection allied with it. The two loves of the human brain, exhibiting different but
complementary functions, clearly illustrate this principle. Thus the corpus callosum, the structure
connecting the two hemispheres of the brain and facilitating their communication and cooperation, is
ruled by Chokmah and Neptune as well. In particular, all “right-brain” functions, including spatial
perception, musical appreciation and competency, color perception, etc. are all Neptunian in nature, just
as “left-brain” functions, including logic, vocabulary, etc., are all ruled by Binah and Uranus (for a full
discussion on which, see the following section, below).
All evolution begins with an instability of some kind – until the balance of a system is upset, no
change can take place in it. Once that instability takes place, the system works to attain equilibrium once
more, its organization evolving from form to form, passing through phase after phase of contending
forces, until finally balance is re-created. At that point, evolution and change cease, and cannot come
into being again until the stability of the system is once more upset. Kether, the beginning of all things,
is a Point formulated in the Void, having position but not dimension. If, however, that Point is extended
through Space, it becomes a Line. In a sense, Chokmah is the Line formed when Kether, the Primordial
Point, is extended in Space.
Chokmah, the outpouring energy that is represented by that Line, or by the uplifted Wand of Power
or Fire-Dagger of Will, is essentially dynamic. In fact, it is the primordial dynamism, the beginning of
energy and motion. Kether is essentially static in nature, being a limiting of the free and formless in the
bonds of form (however tenuous that form may be), and it is not until Chokmah that true energy and
motion begin. 19
Chokmah is primordial Force, even as Binah, Sephirah 3, is essential Form. In a sense, Binah may
be considered to be the soul of Matter, of Structure; just so, Chokmah is Energy in its purest form. That
which moves, flows in any way, that is the vehicle of transformation or transportation, is of Chokmah.
Israel Regardie says:

The first Sephirah . . . contained in essence and potentiality the other nine Sephiros
and gave rise to them in a process which can be mathematically stated. . . .
[T]he ultimate differentiation of existence, . . . so far as we can grasp it is a plus
and minus, positive and negative, male and female, and so we should expect on the
Tree of Life to find that the two emanations succeeding Keser [Kether] partake of these
characteristics. We ascertain that the second Sephirah, Chokmah or Wisdom, is male,
vigorous and active. . . . .
...

Chokmah is the vital energizing element of existence, Spirit or the Purusha of the
Sankhyan philosophy of India, by which is implied the basic reality underlying all
manifestations of consciousness. . . .20
Chokmah comes into existence as a reflection into the Void of Kether, the first emanation. The idea
of the number 2 is thus associated with it because Chokmah – Kether’s reflection, is the second thing to
come into existence, Kether being the first. Neptune is a higher octave of Luna; where Luna is the
Mirror of Sol, reflecting in polarized and coherent form the light of Her Lord, Neptune is the Principle of
Reflection itself, that which gives the Mirror its power to reflect.
Crowley says of Neptune:

Ah, Neptune is the soul!


And does this not fit the sea? If [sic] the sea at once infinitely calm, and infinitely
angered? Does not the sea take strange shapes, break up the light into a myriad
fantastically colored flaws? Illusion and art, chameleon and dragon, that is the sea! Is
not the sea now tender, now adorable, sunkissed, now terrible in its torment, a whirl of
insatiable desires? Did not Sappho fling herself into the sea, and did not Undine draw
thence the bitter joy of her veins.
...

. . . Neptune is the soul, with all its naked nerves played upon by rays of alien
systems, malicious capriciousness, fairy, or else harp-strings swept by some player from
beyond, too subtle and divine for his melodies to reach the ears of mortals. 21

Astrologically, Neptune is the higher octave of Venus. Just as Venus rules the fine arts, Neptune
rules the principles behind the Arts, the powers inherent in music, color, light, and form. Whereas Binah,
“Understanding,” and its Planet Uranus rule the power of the Logos, the Word, and thus the “left-side”
functions of the brain such as speech and formal logic, Chokmah and Neptune rule the “right-side”
functions of the central nervous system such as spatial perception and the esthetic senses. Whereas
Binah rules vocabulary and pronunciation, Chokmah rules the melody underlying language and the flow
of vowels for which the consonants are merely the otherwise inanimate vehicles. Whereas Binah is the
body of language, Chokmah is its soul.
Similarly, Chokmah rules the flow and flux of existence in all things, Lord of the Waves, as Binah
has the dominion of the Particle. It is the orbital described by the probability function of the position of
an electron in an atom, the function ψ that defines the shape of light and light’s material avatars, the sub-
atomic particles of which all physical reality is constructed. It is the song of the soul, the Grace of God,
the faith that carries one through the Dark Night of the Spirit when there is seemingly no possible reason
for hope.
Traditionally, before the existence of the Planet Neptune was known, the Sphere of the Zodiac or
Fixed Stars was assigned to Chokmah. This fits well with the Planet Neptune, for Neptune rules the Sea,
and knowledge of the Stars and their geometric interrelationships on the backdrop of the heavens was
absolutely required for navigation over any distance by seafarers from the beginning. Landsmen can
almost always find or make stationary landmarks to aid their passage. But there are no landmarks on the
deep ocean, far from all land, and only by means of a thoroughgoing knowledge of which Stars rise,
culminate, and set in a given place at a given time of year were long ocean voyages possible at all, up
until the advent of modern gyroscope compasses and similar aids. The great seafaring peoples, especially
the Polynesians, were also superior astronomers, at least in terms of their specialty. Hence the ocean and
those who know it well have ever been associated with the Stars and a science of the Stars. So it is fitting
that Neptune likewise be associated with Chokmah, because of the long, close tie between the sea and the
stars in the history of humankind.
The Second Amendment to the U. S. Constitution is associated with Chokmah:

Article Two

Right to keep and bear arms

“A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free Sate, the right
of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

The commandment associated with Chokmah is


You shall not make yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in
heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you
shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God,
visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and the fourth
generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who
love me and keep my commandments.

Exodus 20:4-6, Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version

Nota bene: A perfect exemplar of the wisdom, perfect vision, and selfless love represented by Neptune
and Chokmah is Joshua Norton, late of San Francisco, California.
Perhaps it is worth recounting here the legend of the Emperor Joshua Norton, since this Planet’s
influence shares much of his nature.

Everybody understands Mickey Mouse.


Few understand Herman Hesse.
Hardly anybody understands Einstein.
And nobody understands Emperor Norton.
– Malaclypse the Younger, K.S.C.

Joshua Norton, or, as he preferred to be called, Norton I, proclaimed himself


Emperor of the United States and Mexico in 1859.
Although a pauper, he was fed free in San Francisco’s best restaurants.
Although a madman, he had all his state proclamations published in San
Francisco’s newspapers.
While rational reformers elsewhere failed to crack the national bank monopoly
with alternate currency plans, Norton I had his own private currency accepted
throughout San Francisco.
When the Vigilantes decided to have a pogrom against the Chinese, and sane men
would have tried to stop them, Norton I did nothing but stand in the street, head bowed,
praying. The Vigilantes dispersed.
Although a fool, Norton I wrote letters which were seriously considered by
Abraham Lincoln and Queen Victoria. Although a charlatan, Norton I was so beloved
that 30,000 people turned out for his funeral in 1880.

Joshua Norton is the perfect counterpoint and balance to Harriet Tubman, associated with Binah and
Uranus (see below).

b. The cards
Geometrically, unlike the case for any other positive integer, a regular two-dimensional polygon
doesn’t exist. Where the Circle clearly represents 1, the Triangle 3, the Square 4, etc., on up through the
n-gon and Number n, no such two dimensional symbol exists for the number 2. We could use something
like a convex-lens-shape of the form

or perhaps a semicircle, i.e.,


But no regular polygon exists to represent 2, nor does a figure such as the Circle exist for it. This is
actually in keeping with the nature of Chokmah. Chokmah is Wisdom, and Wisdom is gained through
experience of those things which we cannot easily put into words or represent by simple symbols.
Chokmah’s Planet, Neptune, rules mystery, illusion, fraud, deceit, confusion, error, hidden matters, the
past, deeds done in darkness, sacrifice, leaps of faith, and the Vision that comes only to those who have
the Grace to receive it without embellishing or attempting to control it or keep it to themselves. It also
rules the Sea and Water, which take all shapes and the shape of anything containing them without having
a clearly limited and delineated shape of their own. That no one precise geometric shape exists to
represent Chokmah is very much in keeping with its nature.
However, if we are to represent it on its Tarot cards, the Deuces, then we must have some symbol
that can represent it adequately. Perhaps fractals, those elusive, infinitely self-replicating forms from
Chaos Theory, especially the gorgeous Mandelbröt Set, could serve to properly represent Chokmah.
Astrologically, Chokmah and the Deuces are associated with an aspect of 180°, the opposition. This
aspect is associated with, e.g., awareness, balance, partnership, challenge, companionship, completion,
the stranger, conflict, confrontation, consummation, cooperation, encounter, fertility, fraternity, face-to-
face encounters of any kind, fruitfulness, fulfillment, fusion, joining, links, marriage, polarization,
push/pull, approach/avoidance paradigms, aversion/attraction paradigms, reactions, separation, sharing,
stretching, struggle, understanding, or union (an unexpected link with Kether!).
From various sources we have the following designs and interpretations for the Deuces of the Tarot:

1) WANDS

Design: Generally, two Wands or Rods, crossed.


Waite’s pack shows a man standing on a battlement, looking out over the sea. In his right
hand he holds a globe; in his left, a Wand. To his right, resting against the wall, is another
wand. To his left, on the wall, is a St. Andrew’s Cross, one arm of which is composed of white
lilies and the other of red roses. Crowley’s pack combines these motifs, showing a St. Andrew’s
cross formed from two jester’s sceptres superimposed on a sigil of the Zodiacal Sign Pisces;
above are the sigils for Mars and Aries. The Fantasy Showcase Tarot* has two views: the
upright view shows a sunny, daylight scene, and a king on his throne holding two Wands crossed
before him, overlooking his domain; the reversed view shows a moonlit night scene, a queen on
her throne, likewise holding crossed Wands, overlooking the same domains (artist: Gary Scott
Csillaghegyi). In general, almost all Tarot packs conserve the motif of two crossed Wands, with
or without the St. Andrew’s Cross.

*Collected by Bruce Pelz, with a booklet explaining the meanings of the cards by Walt Leibscher. Each
card illustrated by a different artist. Rights to individual cards reserved to the respective artists. ©
1980 by Bruce Pelz. This pack is unusual in that not only was every card illustrated by a different
artist, but also because in addition to the normal compliment of 22 Trumps of the Major Arcana, it
has two more: Trump XXII: Separation, and Trump XXIII: The Farrier (the latter has meanings
rather similar to those of Trump XX, The Last Judgment, in a normal pack).

America’s Tarot: Upright: A redwood forest, a man and woman dressed in Lincoln green
and brown felt shoes standing before a redwood, against which leans the trunk of another, fallen
redwood tree. Reverse: An endless plain filled with the stumps of countless redwood trees, only
two living trees left of what had been a gigantic redwood forest. A logger stands between the
two trees as he contemplates one of them, his back to the other, holding a gasoline-driven chain-
saw in one hand.

Upright meaning: Mars in Aries. First decanate of Aries, 0°-9°9’9” of the Sign. Dominion;
the Will in its most exalted form. A clear-cut choice between two alternatives, one of which is
far more preferable than the other. Taking or seizing control of one’s own destiny. Other
interpretations include riches, fortune, opulence, magnificence, grandeur.

Reversed: The loss of will, or the achievement of worthless goals. Loss of control over
one’s own destiny. Surprise, astonishment, extraordinary occurrence, enchantment, trouble,
fear. The head, especially the cerebral hemispheres of the brain. March 20 through March 31 in
any given year.

2) CUPS

Design: Two carven chalices or, less usually, dolphins. When chalices are represented,
generally they are held by two lovers. In Waite’s design, which shows the two lovers holding
cups, the winged head of a lion with a caduceus hovers above them. Crowley’s pack shows two
cups resting upon the sea; from a fountain composed of two fish and two lotuses the cups are
filled to overflowing, and in the sky are visible the symbols of Venus and the Sign Cancer.

America’s Tarot: Upright: two pristine rivers springing from one source, running through
beautiful, fertile meadows. Reversed: two heavily polluted rivers running by or through a great
city.

Upright meaning: Venus in Cancer. First Decanate of Cancer, 0°-9°9’9” of the Sign.
Love; love as the foundation of Will. The harmony of male and female interpreted in the most
general sense. Perfect harmony, expressed as intense joy and ecstasy. Marriage, warm
friendship. Pleasure. Affection, attachment. Lovemaking, friendship, passion, concord,
hospitable meeting or reception, interrelation of the sexes, desire. Shared fortune. The most
creative form of intuition. Artistic creation, possibly after a sterile period. A successful Tantric
(Sex-Magickal) Working.

Reversed: The breast. Breast cancer. June 20 through June 30 of any given year. Lust,
greed, ‘cupboard love.’ Separation, disagreement, parting, divorce, temporary separation.
Something peculiar concerning a meeting, perhaps conditional upon some other circumstance.
Crossed desires, obstacles, opposition, hindrances in the way of a relationship, a liaison, or a
partnership. An unsuccessful Tantric Working; one which has gone seriously awry, with deadly
impact on the Operator and/or those close to him/her.

3) SWORDS

Design: Generally, two Swords crossed. However, Waite’s pack shows an interesting
modification of this in the form of a blindfolded figure seated beside the sea, her hands crossed
and holding two upright swords; above her is a waxing moon (which of course becomes a
waning moon when the card is reversed).

America’s Tarot: Upright: Two railroad tracks that come together into one track in the
foreground; in the distance at about the same remove from us are two trains, one coming toward
us on one track, the other speeding off toward an endless horizon on the other. The ground over
which they pass is a fertile prairie filled with short-grass. Alternatively, two crossed American
Indian war-lances. Reversed: the Thin Man and the Fat Man (the first and second atomic
bombs to be used in World War II) poised in the act of falling through the air to land on
Japanese cities; one bomb comes in front of the other in its flight, so that they appear to be
crossed. Or, crossed guided missiles. Alternatively: two broken lances.
Upright: The Moon in Libra. The first decanate of Libra, 0°-9°9’9” of the Sign. The Lord
of Peace Restored. Peace. Balanced force. Friendship. Equilibrium. The interplay of
opposing forces of creation, resulting in life. Strife and dissent uniting to produce truth and
beauty. A quarrel made up. Peace restored, yet with some tension remaining. Harmony.
Victory without conflict or battle. Valor, firmness, courage. An attempt to forestall enmity.
Conformity. Concord in a state of arms. Tenderness, affection, intimacy. Marriage, formal
marriage. Gifts for a lady, or perhaps a dowry. Influential protection for a man in search of
help, sanctuary, amnesty.

Reversed: The kidneys. September 22 through October 1 of any given year. Indecision.
Passive success. A temporary amnesty. Stalemate. Duplicity, falsehood, disloyalty, lies,
betrayal, dishonor. False friends, treachery, lies. Divorce. Dealing with rogues – “thieves fall
out.”

4) COINS/DISCS/PENTACLES

Design: Generally, a lemniscate (figure-eight or infinity symbol) within the two terminal
loops of which are shown two Pentacles, disks, coins, flowers, balls, or similar figures. The
Marseille Tarot shows two four-petaled flowers, each centered in a coin; the two coins are
joined by something that looks as if it were intended to be a lemniscate on which is printed the
maker’s name and two dates, 1748 e.v. and 1930 e.v. Waite’s pack shows a young man dancing
by the sea; in his hands he juggles two Pentacles which are surrounded by a lemniscate.
Crowley’s pack shows a lemniscate formed by a crowned snake; within either loop is a ball in
the form of the T’ao, each ball including two of the signs of the four Elements, and at the top of
the card is the Sign for Jupiter, while at the bottom is that for Capricorn.

America’s Tarot: Center: two silver Liberty-head dollars, one exactly above the other,
within a lemniscate such that each is within one of the lemniscate’s two loops. Upright: Two
great mountains, perhaps the Grand Tetons of Wyoming, majestic and breathtakingly beautiful
against “azure skies and amber fields of grain.” Reversed: Two industrial slag-heaps or piles of
mine-tailings, or perhaps two heaps of junk in a junkyard.

Upright: Jupiter in Capricorn. The first decanate of Capricorn, 0°-9°9’9” of the Sign. The
Lord of Harmonious Change. Change, generally of a positive nature. Change in all forms,
whether to do with money, travel, news, or communications. Visit to friends. The juggler, and
all that he implies. Spiritual and financial riches. News and messages in writing. Troubles
more imaginary than real. Christmas. Gaiety, play, enjoyment, celebration. A dance.

Reversed: The knees or gall-bladder. December 21 through December 31 of any given


year. Monetary obstacles. Need for financial dexterity and intelligence. Obstacles, agitation,
trouble, embroilment expressed in writing. Enforced gaiety, simulated enjoyment.
Handwriting, composition, letters of exchange. Bad omens, ignorance, injustice.

Knights

1) WANDS

Design: Generally, a mounted knight carrying a Wand or a club of some sort. Motifs of
Fire are usually included in the design. Waite’s pack shows a knight riding through a desert; his
clothing is decorated with Salamanders, and a plume of fire streams from his helmet. Crowley’s
shows a fiery knight with a black and fiery horse, and motifs for the Sign Leo.

America’s Tarot: Upright: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Reversed: Cotton Mather (it was
he, among others, who brought an end to the Salem witch trials, contending that they had done
little or no good and a great deal of harm, and that little evidence existed to support the
accusations made against the various “witches”).
Upright meaning: Sagittarius (Mutable Fire). The Lord of the Flame and the Lightning;
the King of the Spirits of Fire (Salamanders). 20 degrees Scorpio to 20 degrees Sagittarius
(about November 11 to December 11 of a given year). The fiery part of Fire. A young man of a
Fiery disposition or with Sun in a Fire Sign. Dark, friendly young man. Activity, generosity,
fierceness, pride, swift and unpredictable in action. Someone from far away. An in-law.
Traveler. A journey into the unknown. Adventures. The Son. A youth; a man in his prime.
Marriage, change of state or title. A priest, rabbi, or other ecclesiastic. A philosopher. A
university teacher or student.

Reversed: The arterial blood system, bile, blood, buttocks, sciatic nerve, upper legs, hips,
thighs, liver, and generative organs. Late November, early December. Departure, change of
residence. Impetuosity. Evil-mindedness, cruelty, bigotry, brutality. Change of residence,
departure, emigration. Abandonment and flight. Rupture, division, interruption, discord.
Frustration of a woman’s hopes for marriage.

2) CUPS

Design: Generally, a mounted knight carrying a chalice. Waite’s pack shows a knight who
wears a winged helmet, riding across a desert toward a river and the mountains; he carries a
cup, and his clothing is decorated with red fish. Crowley’s shows a winged knight riding a white
horse out of the sea; his upright hand holds a cup, above which is a crab, and his wings are the
stylized extension of a peacock located in the lower right of the design.

America’s Tarot: Upright: Walt Disney, George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, or other great
American filmmaker with scenes from his films in the background. Alternate: Buddy Holly or
other famous American musician/composers; great American mathematicians; etc. Reverse: A
montage of really terrible TV program characters and stars or others symbolizing total waste of
creativity.

Upright: Pisces (Mutable Water). The Lord of the Waves and the Waters; the King of the
Hosts of the Sea (Undines). Rules from 20 degrees Aquarius to 20 degrees Pisces (about
February 9 to March 10 of a given year). The Fiery part of Water, its power of solution and
dissolution. Passivity, gracefulness. Someone ruled by Venus or with Sun in Pisces.
Amiability. Someone who is quick to react to things, but whose action does not endure;
someone who is sensitive, but with little depth. The essence of the nature of a person signified
by the card is innocence and purity. Frail destiny, destiny which must be seized. A lover. An
offering. Arrival, approach, advance. A young man of fair complexion, fair hair, and blue,
gray, or green eyes. A stranger, a sailor, a man coming from far away (across the sea).
Imagination, vision, dreams. A mysterious person, a mystery. Someone who acts anonymously.
A hidden friend. A ninja. A dreamer haunted by his visions. Arrival, approach. A messenger,
a proposition. Subtlety. A visit from a friend who unexpectedly brings money. A
mathematician, physicist, artist, cinematographer, riparian ecologist.

Reversed: The feet and toes; the endocrine system, qua system; the lymphatic system;
mucus, mucus membranes; the cerebellum as gateway to the Astral Planes and the Akashic
Record; the corpus callosum, corpus coerleus, pineal gland, and other organs in the brain
involved with dreaming or synthesis of neurological function. Dilettantism. Sensuality,
idleness, dishonesty. Deceit, lying, con-artistry. Shattered, broken destiny. A rival, a seducer.
A proposition or message. An unappreciated offer of love or work. Duplicity, abuse of
confidence, fraud, cunning. Intoxicants, addictive drugs, merchants of the same. Occultism,
black Magick. Venomous reports, vicious gossip and rumors, slander, blackmail, possibly a
change of life caused by these. Murder. Poison. A hidden enemy. An assassin. Incitement.
An instigator, spy, saboteur. Trickery; treachery.

3) SWORDS

Design: Generally, a mounted knight, carrying a sword. Waite’s pack shows a knight
riding hell-for-leather, flailing his sword through the air; his clothing is decorated with
butterflies and red birds. Crowley’s shows a knight wearing a helmet from the tip of which four
wings issue, which enables him to fly; in his right hand he carries a longsword, in his left he
carries a shortsword, and below him are three birds.

America’s Tarot: Upright: Nikola Tesla or other great American inventors/thinkers.


Alternative: the Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Reversed: J. Robert Oppenheimer, father of the
atomic bomb.

Upright: Gemini (Mutable Air). The Lord of the Winds and the Breezes, the King of the
Spirits of Air (Faeries, , Sylphs, Sprites). 20 degrees Taurus to 20 degrees Gemini (about May
10 to June 10 of any given year). The Fiery part of Air, the violent part of motion applied to an
apparently manageable Element. The idea of attack, activity, skill, subtlety, cleverness.
Someone who is fierce, delicate, or courageous. Someone who is active, subtle, fierce, skillful.
A dark-haired, brown-eyed young man. Someone who is dashing, brave, clean-hearted, and
courageous, but inclined somewhat to domineer. Ready for a fight. Martial bravery. A soldier,
an intellectual, a librarian, a driver of public vehicles, telephone operator, elementary school
teacher or student, a postman or postal clerk, anyone involved in communications media, a
reporter, a journalist, someone who loves books. Skillfulness, capacity, promptness.
Ingenuousness, simplicity. Romantic chivalry. Enmity, wrath, war, death when other cards also
indicate death. Heroic action. A hero. Military adventures and experience. Oxygenation of the
blood, breath, breathing. Hyperoxygenation of the blood.

Reversed: The breath, respiratory system, bronchi, diaphragm, trachea, lungs; the
capillaries; senses of hearing, eyesight, touch, taste, and smell; upper ribs; thoracic cavity;
memory; the nervous system, neurons; oxygenation of the blood; the shoulders, arms, hands,
and fingers. Someone who becomes the prey of his own idea, which comes to him without
reflection. Indecisiveness. Someone who is easily thwarted by opposition of any kind. The
futility inherent in inadequate violence, hence a sociopath or psychopath. Someone inclined to
domineer and overvalue small things. Deceitfulness, a tyrannical nature, craftiness. The start or
end of a misfortune. Someone who is extravagant, a braggart, a tyrant over anything or anyone
too helpless to defend him- or herself. Incapacity, impulsiveness, hypocrisy, imprudence,
conceit. A conceited fool. Dispute with an imbecile. Struggle with a rival who will be
conquered. Blood-poisoning. Anoxia, hypo-oxygenation of the blood, suffocation, strangling.

4) COINS/DISCS/PENTACLES

Design: Generally, a mounted knight holding a disc, coin, Pentacle, or similar symbol.
Waite’s pack shows a knight on a black horse, carrying a Pentacle before him in his outstretched
hand; his helmet is crowned with oak, and his horse is heavy and slow. Crowley’s pack shows a
dark night on a dark horse in a field of ripe wheat; his helmet is topped by a stag’s head.

America’s Tarot: Upright: George Washington Carver or other inventors who discovered
or invented things that made life far better for many Americans on a practical level. Reversed:
John D. Rockefeller, Stephen Gould, Andrew Carnegie, or other great American financiers.*

*Thus demonstrating, as with other reverses, that the reversed position does not always signify negative
or bad things. Andrew Carnegie was a philanthropist who helped establish the American free public
library system; the other plutocrats likewise contributed a great deal of good to this country, in spite
of the very real sins against individuals or the public committed by a number of them. In general,
the reversed position of a card can mean the mundane aspects of something whose spiritual aspects
are expressed by the upright position; a part of the body signified by the astrological entities
associated with the card; a time of year; or negative attributes of the card. Which are implied
depends upon the rest of the spread in which the card is found.
Upright: Virgo (Mutable Earth). The Lord of the Wide and Fertile Land, the King of the
Spirits of Earth (Gnomes). 20 degrees Leo to 20 degrees Virgo (about August 10 to September
12 of a given year). The Fiery part of Earth. Someone who tends to be laborious, patient,
heavy, preoccupied with material things. A dull young man. Strong instincts. A laborer,
financier, practical inventor, analyst. Black-haired young man with black eyes, swarthy or dark
skin. A useful man. Trustworthiness, wisdom, economy, order, regulation. A brave man who is
unemployed. Discreet aid in financial difficulties. Advantage, interest, a loan, inheritance, a
messenger bringing any of these, or news concerning them. Utility, serviceableness, interest,
responsibility, rectitude. Matters and issues concerning health, pets, tenants, or employees. An
employee, a tenant, a pet, a veterinarian, a healer, a chiropractor, nurse, acupuncturist, herbalist.
A useful man, useful discoveries.

Reversed: Late August and early September. The small intestine, abdominal cavity,
metabolism, digestive system, gall bladder, pancreas, and Solar plexus. Someone with little
grasp of intellectual matters even when they closely concern him or her. Someone who is
hopelessly stupid, slavish, incapable of foresight, churlish, interfering, over-critical, surly,
instinctively jealous of anyone better off than he is, who meddles in petty affairs. Someone who
is idle or negligent. Stagnation, placidity, discouragement, carelessness.

c. The interrelationships between the Sephirah and the cards of the Tarot
Chokmah is the first manifestation; Kether is completely concealed, its nature unknown to anyone.
Thus only on reaching the Twos does an Element appear as that Element itself. Chokmah is virtually
uncontaminated by any influence other than that of Kether,* so as represented in the Twos the Elements
appear in their original harmonious condition.

*Kether represents the outermost bounds of the Solar System and the Inner Planes associated with these,
as well as the influences impinging upon the Solar System from interstellar and intergalactic space.
Hence the only Qlipphotic influences that can affect Kether, hence Chokmah via Kether, are those
that come from those regions of the Inner Planes associated with the Universe beyond the Solar
System.

Crowley calls the Two of Wands the Lord of Dominion; this card represents the energy of Fire in its
best and highest form.
Likewise, the Two of Cups is the Lord of Love, representing the energy of Water in its best and
highest form.
The Two of Swords is the Lord of Peace, representing Air in its most perfect form.
The Two of Discs or Pentacles is called the Lord of Change, or Change, and represents Earth in its
purest and most perfect form. The Pentacles are also connected with the Pages or Princesses, and
therefore with the final Heh of the great Four-Fold Name of God, Tetragrammaton, h w h y . Earth is
the throne of Spirit; there is thus a close tie between Kether and Malkuth. Therefore in Crowley’s pack,
this card shows the symbolism of Ourouboros, the snake that endlessly devours its own tail, in the form
of a Möbius Strip, a loop with only one side and no end, similar to the figure-8-on-its-side infinity
symbol or lemniscate (∞) above the head of the Magician in Waite’s pack.
The Knights represent the powers of the letter Yod in Tetragrammaton. They are the most active,
purest aspect of the energy of whatever Element they represent, collectively representing the Fiery
aspects of the Elements. Because of this they are generally represented as being on horseback, clad in
full suits of armor. Their action is swift, violent, and transient. For example, the Knight of Wands (Fire)
corresponds to the lightning-flash; the Knight of Cups (Water), to rain and springs; the Knight of
Swords (Air) to winds; and the Knight of Discs or Pentacles (Earth) to mountains (which, on the
geological scale of things, are generally impermanent and quickly brought low).
The Knight of Wands represents the Fiery aspect of Fire, Fire in its most volatile and violent aspect,
manifest both as physical fires and as the Will (the Bomb, as an example both of technological
achievement and of extreme heat and force, might be an archetypal expression of this aspect of Fire); the
Knight of Cups, the Fiery aspect of Water, manifest as rain, springs, and Water’s power of solution; the
Knight of Swords, the Fiery aspect of Air, manifest as wind and storm, the power of motion applied to an
apparently manageable element; and the Knight of Pentacles, the Fiery aspect of Earth, in particular the
phenomena of mountains, earthquakes, and gravity, as well as Earth as the producer of Life. Physical
analogues of these might be respectively the plasma that constitutes a flame, for Fire of Fire; lava,
whiskey, vodka, gasoline, vitriol, aqua regia, hydrochloric acid, or some other flammable or burning
liquid, for Fire of Water; hot air, live steam, or any other extremely hot form of gas, or the nuee ardente
(“Burning Wind”) often emitted by andesitic volcanoes, for Fire of Air; and pellets of plutonium,
uranium, or other radioactive elements, or red-hot iron, for Fire of Earth.

3. Sephirah 3 and the four Treys

a. The Sephirah

Binah (“Understanding”). Sphere of Ý (Uranus)

The traditional astrological assignment for Binah was the Sphere of Saturn. But now that the Planet
Uranus is well-known to Western, European-derived peoples, that Planet is assigned to this Sephirah. In
turn, Saturn is now assigned to Da’ath, the “Sephirah” that lies in the Abyss between the Second Plane of
the Tree of Life, which is determined by the Path connecting Binah with Chokmah, and the Third Plane,
determined by the Path connecting Chesed and Geburah. Binah represents Enlightenment, the Shattering
of a World-View that has become so strait and confining that only by destroying it and opening itself up
to a larger universe can the Spirit grow. Thus Uranus, Planet of revolution, breakthrough discoveries,
and Universal Brotherhood is appropriately the Planet of Binah.
Unlike Neptune and Pluto, which cannot be seen with the unaided eye and are visible from Earth
only by the aid of powerful telescopes and fly-by space-probes, Uranus can be seen with the naked eye,
even under less than optimal conditions. It can even be seen without a telescope from the Los Angeles
Basin on relatively clear nights by anyone with good vision! In fact, many peoples in the Americas and
elsewhere in the world had recognized Uranus as a Planet rather than as a Star for millennia, noting that
its average motion along the Ecliptic of some 4° per year is far too rapid for it to be the proper motion of
any Star. But Europeans had no idea of the existence of a Planet beyond Saturn until William Herschel
“discovered” Uranus telescopically in 1781 and announced his finding to the European scientific
community. In fact, what Herschel discovered was the planetary nature of Uranus rather than its
physical existence, for Uranus had been noted many times over the centuries on the charts of European
astronomers – but as a Star rather than as a Planet. At any time, Europeans could have realized that this
“disappearing Star,” which, once spotted by an astronomer, disappeared from the location of its discovery
within a year or so, was a Planet. But something in the collective psyche of Europe kept this from
happening until the late eighteenth century, just after the completion of the American Revolution and
around the time of the French Revolution.* The European discovery of Uranus, originally named
“Herschel” after His discoverer, was the outward and visible sign of an internal revolution in
consciousness which Europe and her American colonies were then undergoing, side-by-side with their
various political revolutions then in progress.

*Since the time of Ptolemy, in the second century A.D., learned Europeans had believed that there could
be no more than two Lights and 5 Planets, the classical Planets including Mercury, Venus, Mars,
Jupiter, and Saturn. The Ptolemaic system dominated astronomy until the advent of the heliocentric
Copernican system in the 16th century. The ancient philosophers imagined the universe to resemble a
complex machine consisting of concentric crystalline regular polyhedrons and spheres nested one
inside another, which carried the Sun, Moon and Planets in their motions and made the “music of the
Spheres” as they revolved. By “regular” was meant that each of these polyhedrons was in the form
of an n-sided figure each of whose faces is a perfect polygon, the faces congruent, each a regular
polygon, and all the edges of which are the same length. Only five such regular polyhedrons exist.
These include the tetrahedron, a four-faced figure each side of which is an equilateral triangle; the
cube; the octahedron, which has eight faces, each of them an equilateral triangle, and looks like two
pyramids stuck base-to-base; the dodecahedron, which has ten faces, each of which is a perfect
pentagon; and the icosahedron, which has twenty faces, each of which is an equilateral triangle.
These five solids are also known as the Platonic solids, though they were known to the Greeks
well before Plato lived.
The cosmos was believed to have the Earth at its center. Around the Earth was a Sphere in
which was inscribed a tetrahedron, and which was superscribed by a cube. The later was inscribed in
another Sphere, which was superscribed by an octahedron, which was inscribed in a Sphere which
was superscribed by a dodecahedron, which was inscribed in a Sphere which was superscribed by an
icosahedron, which was inscribed in yet another Sphere. These Spheres gave off music as they
turned – the Music of the Spheres – and each of their songs corresponded to a note of the musical
scale then in use. The five Planets and the Sun and Moon were carried by the Spheres geometrically
determined in this way – and there was no room for more Planets.
This beautiful clockwork scheme, based on perfect geometric figures, was believed to be the
only one which a perfect God could have made. Religious belief thus kept this
philosophical/scientific scheme locked into the European mindset for long centuries. Only the
revolutions of the 18th century were able to challenge it successfully, enabling William Herschel to
see what had been there all along for Europeans to see, had they been willing to: that beyond the
“last” of the Planets of the classical cosmos was at least one more of Sol’s children, a whole new
world, Uranus.

Native American peoples, some of whom were well-acquainted with Uranus as a Planet, are
appropriately associated with Him. The “American experience,” the cultural shock which Europe
underwent beginning in the late fifteenth century when Europeans first stepped onto American shores and
met some of America’s native peoples, precipitated a series of psychocultural upheavals by which Europe
was so radically transformed that the resultant changes might better be called “evolutionary” than
“revolutionary.” The ideals of democracy and freedom upon which the later American and French
revolutions were based were inspired by observation by European explorers and anthropologists of
American native peoples, who lived in a state that Europeans of that time could only perceive as
complete, untrammeled, nearly inconceivable freedom.* Indeed, nineteenth-century European thinkers
were so impressed by the egalitarianism and freedom in which so many native Americans lived that their
observations and theories led Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels to erect the socioeconomic and
sociopolitical theories and models which found their apotheosis in Karl Marx’s monumental Das Kapital.
Later, more careful observations and new discoveries by anthropologists from Europe and European-
derived culture would reveal that many of the ideas upon which Marx, Engels, and their colleagues based
their theories were substantially as well as essentially in error, thereby invalidating many of Marx’s
conclusions. But that did nothing to mitigate the impact upon the non-American world of either Marx’s
ideas or the historical experience upon which those ideas were based, an impact still felt today in a nearly
undiminished strength by the entire non-Indian world. So it is fitting that Uranus, Planet of Revolution,
be associated with the peoples the original experience of which by Europeans triggered so many great
revolutions the world over.

*Where those same Europeans had not yet managed to decimate or destroy those peoples and their
cultures.

Binah, the third member of the Supernal Triangle of Kether-Chokmah-Binah that forms the top of the
Tree of Life, should be studied in relation to Chokmah, which balances it on the opposing Pillar of the
Tree (it is never possible to understand a Sephirah when it is only considered apart from its position on
the Tree, in relation to the other Sephirah; for it is just those relationships which show its niche in the
Cosmos as a whole, and thus its spiritual nature and meaning).
Binah represents the female or Yin powers of the universe, in the same way that Chokmah represents
the male or Yang forces. Chokmah and Binah respectively represent Positive vs. Negative; Force vs.
Form. Each heads its Pillar: Chokmah stands at the head of the Pillar of Mercy, the Right-Hand Pillar of
the Tree of Life, Binah’s place lies at the head of the Pillar of Severity, the Left-Hand Pillar of the Tree
of Life. (Kether heads the Middle Pillar.]
Kether is Pure Being; Chokmah is Pure Energy, or Pure Function. Just as Chokmah is emanated by
Kether, Binah is emanated by Chokmah. Force never moves in a straight line, but always in a curve
which ultimately travels throughout the universe; therefore it eventually returns whence it issues forth,
but in a higher octave, since the universe has evolved since it first started out. Therefore force
proceeding in this way, dividing and re-dividing and moving at tangential angles to its original direction,
will eventually evolve into a system of interlocking stresses which is relatively stable. Over time,
however, that stability tends to be upset as fresh forces are released into manifestation, introducing new
factors to which adjustment has to be made.
It is such state of temporary equilibrium, which is created by the interacting and evolving forces as
they act and react and finally come into a deadlock, which is the basis of form. As an example, the atom
itself is essentially a constellation of electrons and neutrinos, each of which is a vortex of Pure Force or
Energy. Binah represents the stability thus achieved, which is a condition of existence, rather than an
entity in its own right. 22

The Qaballistic assignments for Binah include the following:

MAGICKAL IMAGE: A mature woman


GOD NAME: my h l a h w h y
ARCHANGEL: Tzaphkiel
ORDER OF ANGELS: Aralim (Thrones)
MUNDANE CHAKRA: Saturn (traditional; modern: Uranus)
VIRTUE: Silence
TITLES: Ama, the Dark Sterile Mother; Aima, the
Bright Fertile Mother; Khorsia, the
Throne; Marah, the Great Sea
SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE: The Vision of Sorrow
ATZILUTHIC COLOR: Crimson
BRIATIC COLOR: Black
YETZIRATIC COLOR: Dark brown
ASSIATIC COLOR: Gray, flecked pink
VICE: Avarice
SYMBOLS: The Yoni; the Kteis; the Vesica Pisces;
the Cup or Chalice; the Outer Robe of
Concealment

For Binah, Liber 777 gives the following assignments:

Chokmah is associated with the Declaration of Independence of the 13 American Colonies from
Great Britain:

In Congress, July 4, 1776

A Declaration by the Representatives of the United States of America,


in General Congress Assembled
When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve
the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the
powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of
Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that
they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are
endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life,
Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. – That to secure these rights, Governments are
instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. –
That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the
Right of the People t alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its
foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall
seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate
that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes;
and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer,
while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which
they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing
invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism,
it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new
Guards for their future security. – Such has been the patient sufferance of these
Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former
Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of
repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an ab-
solute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid
world.

He has refused is Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public
good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance,
unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so
suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people,
unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a
right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant
from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into
compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness
his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected;
whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the People
at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the man time exposed to all the
dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose ob-
structing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to en-
courage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of
Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to laws for es-
tablishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the
amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass
our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our
legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution,
and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended
Legislation;

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us;

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, for punishment for any Murders which they
should commit on the Inhabitants of these States;

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world;

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent;

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury;

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences;

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, estab-
lishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it
at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these
Colonies;

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fun-
damentally the Forms of out Governments;

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to
legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging
War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives
of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the


works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty &
Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy of the
Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms
against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to
fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the
inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare
is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble
terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince,
whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be
the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them
from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jur-
isdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and
settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we
have conjured them by the times of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations,
which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have
been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in
the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of
mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Con-
gress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our
intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies,
solemnly publish and declare That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be
Free and Independent States; that they are absolved from all Allegiance to the British
Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is
and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have
full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to
do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. – And for the
support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence,
we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish
justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the
general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do
ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

The following Amendments to the U.S. Constitution apply to Binah:

Article III
Conditions for quarters for soldiers.

No soldier shall in time of peace be quartered in any house without the


consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be proscribed by law.

Amendment XIII
Abolition of slavery.

1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime


whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States or
any place subject to their jurisdiction.
2. Congress shall have power to enforce this law by appropriate jurisdiction.

Amendment XIV
Citizenship rights not to be abridged.

Amendment XV
Race no bar to voting rights.

Uranus, the Planet of Chokmah, is best represented by the Goddess Liberty. The ideal of liberty has
its apotheosis in the Uranian Goddess Liberty, Whose colossal image stands today on Liberty Island
(formerly Bedloe’s Island) in New York City’s Upper Bay region. The statue, whose full name is “The
Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World,” was given by the people of France to America as a symbol of
French-American friendship. In the words of the designer, Frederic Auguste Bartholdi (1834-1904), the
statue “welcom[es] the peoples of the world with the torch of liberty.” Finished in 1884, reaching New
York in 1886 after shipment from Rouen, France, the statue stands 151 feet tall from base to torch. The
distance from the foundation of the pedestal to the torch is 305 feet, that from the top of the statue’s head
to its heels is 111 feet. It weighs 450,000 pounds. There are 167 steps from the land level to the top of
the pedestal, 168 steps inside the statue from the entrance to the head, and 54 rungs on the ladder that
leads to the arm holding the torch. (Visitors may enter the head of the statue, but not the torch.)
Generations of immigrants, fleeing oppression in other lands, have thrilled to the sight of this statue,
symbolizing their hopes for liberty and opportunity in the new land, as they came into New York City
Harbor via Ellis Island, now renamed Immigration Island, which is also in New York Harbor, near
Liberty Island. Their feelings have been magnificently summed up in Emma Lazarus’s famous poem,
which is graven on a tablet within the pedestal upon which the statue stands:

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,


With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost, to me.
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!141

The outer surface of the statue consists of a jacketing of copper, a metal ruled by Venus. This surface has
of course oxidized over the years, in consequence becoming a greenish-blue in color, curiously similar to
the color of the Planet Uranus Himself, as photographed by Voyagers I and II. This color also suggests
the hues of green associated with Venus, as does the seven-rayed crown on the statue’s head, since the
number 7 is also a number of Venus. This is fitting, since Venus is very strong in Aquarius, Uranus’s
Sign, and the motto on the American National Seal, E pluribus unum – “Out of many, one” – indicates
that the strength of American comes from the fact that it comprises a vast wealth of different peoples,
cultures, and cub-cultures held together not by brute force, but by common consent, enlightened altruism,
and mutual tolerance, aspects of Agape. Agape is the manifestation of Venus in Pisces, in which Venus
is exalted, implying that due to the selective pressures on our species during the Aeon of Osiris (Pisces),
the capacity for Agape has been so strengthened in us that it has finally manifested in the form of the
communal virtues of libertarianism, as part of America’s way of life and law of the land.
These Venereal aspects also indicate the relatively matrifocal cultures of native Americans, who also
treat their children far less oppressively and more lovingly than did the Europeans who discovered,
conquered, and displaced them. At least as far as Europeans were concerned, native Americans lived in a
state of almost unbelievable freedom, closeness to nature, and profound spirituality, all ideals of the
Aquarian Age, ruled by Uranus.142 These humane ideals and virtues all grow out of the ability to love, to
empathize with others, and depend upon that ability for their continued nurturance and development.
This trait is one of the characteristics of Venus in Her most exalted manifestations, exemplified by Her
exaltation in Pisces and Her esoteric rulership of Cancer. Pisces, mundanely ruled by Neptune, Venus’s
higher octave, is the Sign of Agape, completely unselfish or divine love, and represents the development
in the growing child of the ability to identify with others, necessary for a healthy sense of community
with others, the absence of which is a hallmark of sociopathology; Cancer, mundanely ruled by the
Moon, is the Sign of the home and the nurturance of the extremely young child by its adult caretakers,
particularly the affection and love without which the ability of the young child to love cannot develop
successfully.143
One of the most strikingly Uranian features of the statue is its base, Fort Wood, which is in the form
of an 11-pointed Star. 11 is the Key Number of Aleph, which has the numerical value of 1 and is
correlated with the Planet Uranus, the Element Air, and Trump 0 of the Tarot, The Fool.144
A partial list of the correlates of Uranus include the intuitive faculties, or sixth sense; iconoclasm;
the bohemian, beatnik, hippie, Yippie, or other non-conformist; the revolutionary or anarchist; the
humanitarian and the philanthropist; Enlightenment, the awakening of the Higher Mind; destruction of
old orders, and liberation of all kinds.
The commandment associated with Binah is

You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain; for the Lord will not
hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.

Exodus 20:7, Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version

Nota bene:

One final note, concerning Uranus’s true Qaballistic associations.


Before the discovery of Saturn, Sephirah 3, Binah was assigned to Saturn, Sephirah 2, Chokmah, to
the Fixed Stars, and Sephirah 1, Kether, to the Primum Mobile or Firmament. After the discovery of
Uranus, there was heated debate about which Sephirah to assign it to or, indeed, whether to assign it to a
place on the Tree of Life at all. Clearly Uranus’s influence and characteristics had a very close fit to the
meaning of Tarot Trump 0, The Fool, and its corresponding Path, Aleph; just as clearly, the old
assignments had worked very well, thank you very much, why change them? Among modern researchers
Robert Godwin, author of Godwin’s Cabalistic Encyclopedia: A Complete Guidance to Both Practical
and Esoteric Applications (Llewellyn, 1994), agrees with the latter opinion. He says:

In my opinion, the three outer planets (Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto) have no place
in an esoteric system such as the cabala. Their addition to the tradition makes no more
sense than discarding Fire, Water, Air, and Earth in favor of the 92+ elements of the
periodic table. Efforts to shoehorn new scientific data into an established esoteric
symbology are misguided attempts to force mysticism to conform to the details of the
physical universe. There is nothing symbolized by these planets that was absent from
the human psyche before their discovery or that was not already adequately symbolized
by existing structures.
Even in astrology, attempts to work additional planets into the system of rulerships
and dignities have made hash out of the elegance and symmetry of the older scheme. In
cabala, the absurdity of the whole approach is exemplified by the rather silly equation
of Pluto = Kether; i.e., revolutionary change = undifferentiated Oneness!
From Planet Earth, these outer planets are invisible to the naked eye. They should
remain so in esoteric thought.

– Ibid., p. 226

However, Godwin’s first assertion, that “there was nothing symbolized by these planets that was
absent from the human psyche before their discovery or that was not already adequately symbolizes by
existing structures,” is refuted by the fact of mutation and evolution. While all organisms are equal
before God, and should be before the Law, still only an idiot would claim that they all think alike, or
have absolutely identical emotional universes. A bird’s mind is very different from that of, say, a cat –
and both are psychospiritually alike as two peas in a pod in comparison to a squid, spider, or virus! The
neurologist Oliver Sacks, in his wonderful An Anthropologist on Mars: Seven Paradoxical Tales (Alfred
A. Knopf, 1993), and Roger Penrose, in Shadows of the Mind: A Search for the Missing Science of
Consciousness (Oxford University Press, 1994), make exquisitely clear how anything from one small
mutation in a parental gene to a road-accident can make a tremendous difference in the workings of mind
and soul – and occasionally even add something new. The long, long record in the rocks that documents
the history of life on Earth shows the incomprehensibly vast, sweeping changes to which life has had to
adapt during its tenure on our world – and as mind, soul, and spirit must work with the body in some sort
of cooperation to facilitate survival, obviously these, too, have varied enormously over the eons, even as
they have from one type of organism to another, or even between two individuals in the same species, co-
existing in the same moment of time. In fact, the discovery of Uranus was followed swiftly by the
inception of the first great modern* Industrial Age of the West – which included the wide-scale use of
many chemicals never before released on Earth’s surface in significant quantities. This, in turn, produced
increasing numbers of mutations in human beings and other organisms – and no one today can reasonably
claim that the current generation’s mind-set is identical, or even very similar, to that of even the great-
grandparents of today’s adults, let alone that of Western society of just a century ago.

*Quibblers among my anthropological colleagues will quite rightly point out that the first great industrial
revolution probably was that of the taming of fire by human beings, the second that of the beginnings
of agriculture and animal husbandry. The first took place possibly hundreds of thousands of years
ago, the second, tens of thousands – at least. But the first wide-scale harnessing of steam as well as
machines of all kinds for use in industry took place in the West in the last three centuries.

As for Godwin’s second assertion, I believe that Part 2 of Volume 1 and Chapter 1 of Part 2 of
Volume 3 of this work is a more than adequate refutation thereof.
Finally, Uranus is quite visible with the naked eye on many nights from Earth, even from the Los
Angeles Basin, for those who know where to look. It moves so slowly that many who observe it don’t
realize that it is a Planet, not a Star. But numerous pre-telescopic cultures have not only observed it, but
recognized its Planetary nature, including several North American native cultures, some Siberian
cultures, and other “primitive” peoples.
Clearly, while Godwin’s beliefs on this matter work for Godwin, they don’t exactly accord with
objective reality in certain critical respects.
At any rate, the question remains: Where does Uranus fit on the Tree of Life? Binah is clearly
associated with the Old Testament God JHVH, Whose nature is Saturnian. Doesn’t this show that Saturn
should still be associated with Binah?
It might, if that were the whole story. But it must be remember that while JHVH could be a
domineering, tyrannical, fearsome God, He was also from the beginning a God of liberation. It was
JHVH Who, through the good agency of Moishe Rabbinu, led the Children of Israel out of captivity in
Egypt, into the Promised Land. So JHVH was also a Uranian God, a God of liberty.
In fact, in this country, during the time of Black slavery in the South, Black slaves constructed a
whole spiritual machinery of resistance, rebellion, and self-liberation out of ideas, themes, and images
contained in the Old and New Testaments, disguising them as Christian hymns, psalms, sermons, and
exhortations as well as in the form of “simple folk-songs,” e.g., “Follow the Drinkin’ Gourd” and other
musical sky-maps to freedom. JHVH, like the Planetoid Chiron,* has both a Saturnian and a Uranian
side. Trouble starts when His followers stop at His Saturnian nature, becoming fearful and passive and/or
tyrannical, domineering, and cruel (depending on whom they are dealing with, those below or those
above them) themselves. This sort of failing is in fact essentially that of the Sin of Da’ath, which also
entails mistaking mere factual knowledge and adherence to theory (Saturnian Da’ath) with true
understanding (Binah) or even real wisdom (Chokmah). Crossing the Abyss involves a psychospiritual
evolution from a passive, stone-like nature to that of an active, “bird-like” one, so that one ceases to wait
in Chesed (Da’ath) for Someone to come and carry one across the Abyss, and finally spreads one’s
spiritual wings and flies across it to Binah. Uranus rules the Air, and the self-initiative which is the
necessary beginning of liberty and liberation, hence represents Binah, attained by that triumphant self-
evolution by which one is enabled to Cross the Abyss. Saturn represents the Abyss of Da’ath, itself. And
the Planetoid Chiron represents the transformation within from Saturn/Da’ath to Uranus/Binah necessary
to cross the spiritual Abyss between Chesed and Binah.* Hence Uranus is associated with Binah, Saturn
with Da’ath.

*For more on whom, see Volume 2, Part 14, “Orphans of the Sky” in my textbook New Magicks for a
New Age.

Historically, one of the great avatars of Liberty was Harriet Tubman, nee Ross.
The historical person of Harriet Tubman, known to history as General Moses,* of whom this Planet
is the namesake, was born into slavery in the ante-bellum American South. At fifteen, her head was
injured by an overseer who, according to one account, beat her on the head with an iron bar. As a result
of this beating, for the rest of her life she was subject to “fainting fits,” probably a type of epilepsy,
during which she frequently had prophetic visions – _real_ ones, which always came true, true
clairvoyant and precognitive faculties, which she always believed were gifts of God, given to her by Him
to aid her in His work. It was by aid of these visions, many times, that she was able to accomplish her
work of helping to free other slaves and keep them and herself from being re-taken by slavers or killed on
their long journey North.**

*”Well has she been called ‘Moses,’ for she has been a leader and deliverer unto hundreds of her
people.” From Scenes in the Life of Harriet Tubman (1869) by Sarah H. Bradford (b. 1818).

**She said of her unique gifts and their aid in her work, “‘Twant me, ‘twas the Lord. I always told him,
‘I trust to you, I don’t know where to go or what to do, but I expect you to lead me,’ and he always
did.” Told to her biographer, Sarah H. Bradford (c. 1868).

Not long after that beating, while still a very young woman, she made her way to freedom and her
niche in history. She told her biographer Sarah H. Bradford [c. 1868] of her escape from slavery:

When I found I had crossed that line,* I looked at my hands


to see if I was the same person. There was such a glory over
everything.

*On her first escape from slavery in 1845.

Eventually she became the most famous conductor on the Underground Railroad, the system of
routes by which escaped slaves made their way North, to freedom. She made nineteen dangerous trips
back and forth, often disguised, escorting more than three hundred slaves to freedom. Always with her
was her pistol, which she was known to have used a number of times with deadly effect to defend herself
and her charges and prevent their being taken back into slavery or worse. Her first words upon meeting
new “passengers” to conduct to freedom on the Underground Railway, were “you’ll be free or die.”
Once, when asked what her philosophy of life was, she replied, “There was one of two things I had a
right to, liberty or death; if I could not have one, I would have the other; for no man should take me
alive . . .”
She is a prime example of the importance of the part played by Black women in the American Civil
War, e.g., Sojourner Truth, the legendary ex-slave who had been active in the women’s rights movement
and became a recruiter of black troops for the Union Army, as did Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin of Boston.
Tubman herself raided plantations, leading black and white troops, and on one such expedition freed 750
slaves.*

*See Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States (New York: Perennial Library/Harper &
Row, Publishers, 1980), pp. 170, 180-181, 188., and Anne Petry, Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the
Underground Railway (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1955), passim.

The Star Polaris is associated with Uranus, hence with Chokmah.


Polaris, or Alpha Ursa Minor, a topaz-yellow and pale white binary Star at the tip of the tail of the
Constellation of the Lesser Bear, has long been known as “the most practically useful star in the
heavens.” For many centuries, this Star has been the Lodestar or Steering-Star of navigators, the Pivot
Star of seamen, and the Latin Navigatoria of voyagers. In many lands and ages, it has been known as a
symbol of constancy and faithfulness. In legends from all over Asia, Polaris is known as the spire or
pinnacle of the cosmic Mountain of the World or “Axis of the Universe,” the fabled Mt. Meru or Sumeru
of Hindu and Buddhist lore. In ancient China, it was known as T’ai Chi, “the Axis of the Universe,” “the
Center,” “the Ridgepole,” the “Great Root,” the “Wheel of the Universe,” the “Pole Star,” “the Wheel of
Life.” In early Buddhist thought, it was used to express the concept of the Wheel of the Law, later called
karma.
Closer to our own era, it served as guide for Black men, women and children escaping from slavery
in the American South who were fleeing toward the North, as celebrated in the Black “Spiritual hymn,”
“Follow the Drinkin’ Gourd.” This was a song of the Underground Railway of the American Civil War
era. Like so many other Black “spirituals,” this song was actually a call to freedom – and a practical tool
for attaining it. In the following song, the Gourd is the Little Dipper (Lesser Bear), at the tip of the tail of
which is the North Star, Polaris, the guide-star of the Northern Hemisphere. The same constellation
aided the moonlight rebels of Ireland, who called it the Plough and the Stars, and put it on their flag. The
“old man” referred to in the song was apparently a real historical person, a member of the Underground
Railway who guided runaway Black slaves on the first leg of their journey to freedom; he wore the “peg-
leg” of the song, and used it to mark the trail in the ground. But at the same time, the phrase refers to the
Mississippi River, across the banks of which lay the road to freedom. 11 is the Key Number of Aleph,
Whose Planet is Uranus; Uranus rules the 11th Sign, Aquarius, and is exalted in Scorpio, which falls in
November, the 11th month. The song itself goes as follows:

When the sun comes back and the first quail calls,
Follow the drinkin’ gourd,
For then the old man is a-waitin’ for to carry you to freedom
If you follow the drinkin’ gourd.

Chorus:
Follow the drinkin’ gourd –
Follow the drinkin’ gourd!
For the old man is a-waitin’ for to carry you to freedom
If you follow the drinkin’ gourd.

The river bank will make a very good road,


The dead trees show you the way,
Left foot, peg foot, traveling on –
Follow the drinkin’ gourd.

The river ends between two hills,


Follow the drinkin’ gourd,
There’s another river on the other side,
Follow the drinkin’ gourd.

Where the great big river meets the little river,


Follow the drinkin’ gourd,
The old man is a-waitin’ for to carry you to freedom,
If you follow the drinkin’ gourd.

Polaris has thus been associated with the struggles for freedom of slaves and oppressed people for at least
four centuries, from the time when Black Africans were first forcibly transported to the Americas as
slaves right down to the Vietnam Era, when Viet Cong used its light to navigate by night during their
raids and assaults against American and South Vietnamese bases.
Polaris is not located precisely at the true North Pole, being a little less than 1 degree distant from it.
During the next 150, years, this distance will diminish and the Star will be closest to the exact pole (27’
31” distance from it) in the year 2102. The change in distance is due to the gradual change in the
precession of Earth’s axis of rotation, which has a period of some 25,800 years, the “precessional cycle.”
During this time the polar point moves in a Great Circle about 47 degrees in diameter. The star Thuban
(Alpha Draconis) was the Polar Star about 4,600 years ago, during the age of Pyramid-building in ancient
Egypt; 12,000 years ago, the bright star Vega (Alpha Lyrae) occupied the position of honor. Presently
Polaris is much closer to the true Pole than Vega can ever been, and is a much more accurate guide to
true North than any compass. If a greater degree of accuracy is required, the true Pole lies very nearly on
a line drawn from Polaris toward Eta Ursae Majoris (which Constellation is also called the Wain), the last
Star in the handle of the Great Dipper.* So this Star, while being the closest easily visible Star to the
North celestial pole for about 1,000 years out of some 258 centuries, comes closer to that pole than any
other lying near the “precessional circle” described by the North celestial pole during one cycle of the
precession of the Earth’s rotational axis. And during historically recent times, as the North Pole it has
functioned as a guiding light for those seeking freedom or battling against oppression.

*For more on the astronomy and the historical and psychospiritual significance of Polaris, see John
Burnham, Burnham’s Celestial Handbook: An Observer’s Guide to the Universe Beyond the Solar
System, revised and enlarged edition, Volume III: (New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1978), pp.
2008-2024; Vivian E. Robson, B. Sc., The Fixed Stars and Constellations in Astrology (York Beach,
ME: Samuel Weiser, Inc., 1979), pp. 108-109, 184-185; and Richard Hinckley Allen, Star Names:
Their Lore and Meaning (New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1963), pp. 453-458.

Among the Gods and Goddesses associated with Binah are Medusa, the Crone aspect of Pallas
Athena; Isis, especially Dark Isis; Kali, Parvati, and Chandi, the Battle-Aspects of the great Hindu
Mother-Goddess Durga; Eris, Goddess of Chaos and Discord; and Persephone, the Wife of Hades,
Queen of the Underworld. Binah is the Bitter Mother Who is both Womb and Tomb, Mother and Crone.
Thus figures of motherhood as well as of Crones would be suitable for the Treys, as would bodies of
water, Battle-Goddesses, etc.

b. The Cards
Geometrically, just as the Circle represents Sephirah 1, Kether, so the Triangle, the strongest of all
structures, symbolizing the Power of Omnipotent and Almighty God, represents Sephirah 3, Binah,
Understanding, which represents how we grasp reality. During evocations – “callings up” – of spirits of
any kind, the Magickian directs the spirits so called into the Triangle of Art, a figure painted, inscribed,
or otherwise put on the ground just outside the Circle. If the spirit or spirits to be called up are benign or
at least neutral, the Triangle of Art is laid at the East of the Circle; if it or they are malign, or the
Magickian is unsure of their nature, the Triangle goes to the North. This Triangle, which is in fact an
equilateral triangle which has God-Names of Power and various Magickal devices along its borders, is
the geometrical apotheosis of divine strength and power. Unlike all polygons of four or more sides, the
Triangle can’t be collapsed by merely pushing against an unbraced side; each side is braced and
supported by the other two, and the whole is one structural unit. It is the basic structural unit of any
geometrical structure, made by bracing higher-order polygons internally and thus dividing them up into
so many triangles. The Triangle is thus the symbol of engineering and construction-work, the essence of
form. Therefore as a construct in the Worlds of Mind, Spirit, and Creativity, it is unbreakable by any
being from the Inner Planes which possesses less power than a true God.*

*Though we, who, like all manifest living beings, contain within ourselves the seed and essence of
divinity, can mentally and spiritually create and destroy such constructs, as a disembodied spirit
trapped in one cannot.

Binah, Understanding, is the Realm of the Power of the Mind, and its Power is that by means of
which we comprehend and manipulate our world. The Triangle is thus a fitting symbol for it, and an
appropriate one for any of the four Threes of the Lower Arcana.
Astrologically, Binah and the Treys are associated with an aspect of 120°, or trine, a soft aspect
associated with, e.g., absorption, benefits, blending, charisma, comfort, confidence, contact, creativity,
dramatization, ease, enthusiasm, expansion, expressiveness, facilitation, fashion, fashionableness, flow,
friendliness, goodwill, harmony, humor, increased value, joy, kindness, laziness, luck, optimism,
overindulgence, addictions, recreation, reward, smoothness, talents, or understanding.

The Treys
1) WANDS

Design: Various arrangements of three Wands. Waite’s pack shows a man looking out over
a landscape that could be either the sea or a desert (the background color in this card is
sometimes yellow, suggesting either a yellow sea or sand); his right hand grips one upright
Wand, to his left stands another, and slightly behind him and to his right stands a third.
Crowley’s shows one Wand upright, passing through the intersection of two others that are
crossed; the Wands are tipped with Lotus flowers, and they are superimposed on a design of two
ten-pointed Stars, one of which is concentric to the other, the intersection of the three Wands
passing through their center; a sigil of the Sun is above the whole, and that for Aries below.
The New Tarot shows three snakes arranged in an equilateral Triangle; this suggests the
Triangle of Art, one of the Magickal Weapons associated with Binah (as the Circle is associated
with Kether).

America’s Tarot: Upright: three redwoods and a forest ranger, much as in the design of the
card in Waite’s pack. Alternate: three American Indian war-lances in an arrangement similar to
Crowley’s. Reversed: Three broken arrows or war-lances, or three fallen redwoods.

Upright meaning: The Sun in Aries. 10º 0’ 0” – 19º 59’ 59” Aries. Virtue; established
strength. The successful beginning of a great project. The inspiration and fire of the artist or the
inventor. Pride. Power. Departure, beginning, groping, advancing. Research. Success
depending upon surrounding cards. A business from which material goods will be shipped to
distant markets. Business at hand. Creative perspective. Analysis of matters underway.
Enterprise, undertaking, commerce, trade, negotiation, barter. Hope, desire, attempt, wish. The
basis of the work is now firmly established, and the undertaking can be fearlessly continued –
especially positive if the question concerns a Magickal Working of any kind. Communication,
instruction, reflection, message, writing, postage and letters. Discovery. Cooperation in
business. Collaboration will favor enterprise.

Reversed: The nose; those parts of the limbic brain which, like the amygladae, are
involved in self-assertion, self-defense, and aggression; the eyes and the optical cortex. Around
April 1 through April 10 of any given year. Failure of nerve, paralysis of Will. Arrogance.
Passing impressions, theft, loss. The end of troubles, suspension or cessation of adversity. Toil
and disappointment.

2) CUPS

Design: Generally, three chalices. Waite’s pack shows three women in a fertile field full of
ripe crops, each holding aloft a cup. The Aquarian Tarot shows three women holding cups
before a giant lotus; one is crowned with roses, one with circles, and one is uncrowned.
Crowley’s pack shows three cups in designs reminiscent of ripe pomegranates or grapes from
which liquid light falls as if from three fountains; there are also eight lotus flowers; the sigil for
Mercury is above, and that for Cancer below. The New Tarot shows three pears joined by a
triangle.

America’s Tarot: At the top are the sigils for Mercury and Uranus, conjoined; at the
bottom, the sigil for the Sign Cancer. Upright: three pristine mountain lakes joined by streams
of water, from the surfaces of which blazing light is reflected, spilling out over the landscape;
the landscape consists of fertile mountain pasture or meadow filled with an abundance of
wildflowers and grasses; fireworks burst in the night sky, in which is a glorious full Moon (4 th of
July, Independence Day). Reversed: three polluted lakes.

Upright: 10º 0’ 0” – 19º 59’ 59” Cancer. Mercury in Cancer. Abundance; fulfillment of
the Will of Love in abounding joy. The spiritual basis of fertility. Maternity. Comfort, healing.
Plenty, hospitality, eating, drinking, pleasure, dancing, new clothes, merriment. Spiritual riches
resulting from a balance between the physical and the mental. Fruitful contribution by the union
or collaboration of two beings. Fulfillment. Good beginning of a new venture. The eve of a
journey. Success, triumph, victory, favorable issue of a matter. The beginning of love. Mutual
love. Good health, recuperation. Conclusion of any matter in plenty, happy issue, etc.
Unexpected advancement for a military man.

Reversed: The stomach and duodenum. July 1 through July 11 of any given year. Gastric
or duodenal ulcers, cancer of the gastrointestinal tract, cancer of any kind. Unbridled passion,
self-indulgence, sex without love. Pleasure surfeited, turning to pain. Intermittent and transient
bounty or abundance, abundance that does not last. Extravagance. Business close at hand.
Expedition of business, quickness, celerity, vigilance. Excess of physical enjoyment and
sensuality. Consolation, cure, or the end of a matter.

3) SWORDS

Design: Various arrangements of three Swords, though Swords forming an equilateral


Triangle might be appropriate, since it would suggest the Triangle of Art, used to evoke spirits –
upon which the Sword is used as an appropriate Magickal Weapon. The Marseille Tarot shows
two curved Swords, crossed; a third stands upright between them. Waite’s pack shows three
Swords piercing the same heart. Crowley’s shows two small Swords and a larger one, their
points meeting in the center of a white flower in full bloom. The New Tarot shows three blades
in a triangle.

America’s Tarot: Upright: Three skyscrapers. Alternatively: three pens, three computers,
or other arrangement of three artifacts of some kind, all suggesting the energy of the creative
intellect. Reversed: three bombs or guided missiles aimed at the same target.

Upright: 10º 0’ 0” – 19º 59’ 59” Libra. Saturn in Libra. Sorrow, disappointment, tears,
heartbreak. Delay, absence, separation. Necessary strife and conflict toward the end of the
destruction of that which is obsolete. Struggle upheld by strength of mind, ensuring victory over
the physical. Gain by force or in battle. Rupture. Strife, removal, dispersion. A nun. A
quarrel. Divorce. An open enemy, the clear manifestation of enmity or hostility. Hatred.
Oppression, worries, a condition of being burdened, baffled hopes. Seclusion. Pessimism.
Absence. Small talk. Bitter and evil thoughts. Illness. Alienation. Error of judgment. Wrong-
headedness. Aversion. Affliction of any kind. Division. The Triangle of Art. A successful
evocation. A theoretical model (scientific), an hypothesis. An intellectual discovery. Computer
science.

Reversed: The adrenal glands. October 1 through October 11 of a given year. Secrecy.
Perversion. This card is associated with Hekate. Wars and disorders. Distraction, confusion,
disorder, error, incompatibility. Misrule. Evil schemes. For a woman, the flight of her lover.
A meeting with one whom the Querent has compromised. An unsuccessful evocation, with
results deadly to the Operator and/or those close to him/her. An important scientific or
philosophical model or hypothesis which, though in serious error concerning the reality it tries to
predict, is nevertheless widely accepted by leading authorities in the field as well as the public,
having thus a strong deleterious impact on a society and culture and the people who are part of
them.

4) COINS/DISCS/PENTACLES

Design: Three Coins, Disks, Pentacles, or similar figures, generally arranged in a Triangle.
Waite’s pack shows a monk and a hooded man observing a stonemason at his work on an
archway at the apex of which are three Pentacles arranged in an upright equilateral Triangle.
Crowley’s pack shows a three-sided pyramid as seen from above; each one of the apices of its
base touches the center of a wheel; above is the sigil of Mars, below, that of Capricorn. The
New Tarot shows three Stones, with an equilateral Triangle.

America’s Tarot: Center: three silver Liberty-head dollars arranged in an equilateral


Triangle. Upright: three “purple mountain majesties” above a fertile plain. Reversed: three
heaps of junk, industrial waste, or mine-tailings in a polluted wilderness.
Upright: 10º 0’ 0” – 19º 59’ 59” Capricorn. Mars in Capricorn. Work (used in the sense of
engineering or construction). Magickal Working. Construction, material increase, growth,
financial gain. The businessman, merchant, or craftsman. Business, paid employment,
commercial transactions. A journeyman (as opposed to an apprentice or Master). Freemasonry.
High status, a gain in status, earned honor, esteem. Craftsmanship. Nobility, elevation, dignity,
rank, power. The beginning of good fortune. Civilization. Aristocracy. Skill. Civil treatment,
respect. Noblesse. Agreeable relation. Métier. Employment, profession. Marriage. Good
done to others. Bounty. Profitable relations in business. Restoration. Reparation. Successful
repair of something damaged. Beneficial arrangement. A marriage that will do much good,
particularly one with great political significance. Skilled labor. Renown, glory. Celebrity for a
man’s eldest son.

Reversed: The calf of the leg. The spine. January 1 through January 10 of a given year.
Forces taken from the occult to bring about gains in the physical world. Relative equilibrium.
A fall from high status, fall from grace, humiliation, loss of titles and honors. Shoddy
workmanship, anything done badly. Children or offspring. Commencement. Youths.
Mediocrity, puerility, pettiness, weakness.

Queens
1) WANDS

Design: Generally, a crowned woman seated on a throne, holding a Wand. The Marseille
pack shows a queen with a roughly carved club over her right shoulder. The Waite pack shows a
queen seated on a throne decorated with lion motifs, holding a sunflower in her left hand, a
Wand in her right; a black cat sits before the throne, and designs of lions and sunflowers appear
behind her on a canopy. Crowley’s pack shows a queen crowned with a winged solar disk,
holding a wand tipped with a pine cone; her throne is formed of fire, and a leopards sits near
her. The New Tarot shows a Serpent Queen, an alligator, a snake, two daffodils, and a ship;
above is a crown with a lunar crescent.

America’s Tarot: Harriet Ross Tubman. Alternates: Susan B. Anthony or other American
pioneer Suffragette/Feminist; Thomas Jefferson, who was an Aries; Ned Buntline, a gunsmith;
Belle Star, a female gunslinger. The Person is seated on a throne made of redwood and carved
with motifs suggestive of them, which rests on a stage, and he/she holds a pistol in his/her right
hand and a sunflower in his/her left; a couchant puma lies on the stage before the throne, and
axolotls play about the throne; a tapestry made of flames is draped against a wall behind the
throne, covered with images of pumas and axolotls.

Upright meaning: Aries (Cardinal Fire). Queen of the Thrones of Fire. 20 degrees Pisces
to 20 degrees Aries (about March 10 through April 10 of a given year). The Watery part of Fire.
Queen of the Salamanders. Adaptability, persistent energy, calm authority. A kindly and
generous nature. An immense capacity for friendship and love on her own initiative. Strong
loyalty and trust. Fertility. Kindness, sympathy. A lover of the country and of the home. A
matriarch. Adaptable. Steady force, steady rule. Great attractive power, magnetism, charisma.
Power of command. Well-liked. Kind and generous when not opposed. Passionate anger.
Efforts to avoid the blows of fate. Astute woman. Honesty. Business transaction. A sociable
woman. Woman living in the country, lady of the manor. A good and virtuous woman. A dark
woman. A friend. Seriousness. A good counselor. The mother of a family. A practical
woman. Wealthy or desiring wealthy. Ambitious. Artistic. A chaste, loving woman.
Honorable. Well-disposed toward the subject of adjacent card if the latter signifies a man,
interested in the Querent if it signifies a woman. Love of money or a certain success in
business. A good harvest in all senses. A woman with hair which, even if dark, will have red or
blond highlights, or is sun-bleached; blue, green, gray, or hazel eyes; heavily tanned or dark
skin.
Reversed: The head and everything in or on it; the brain, and in particular the cerebrum;
the face; the upper jaw; sinuses; the skull. The Sign Aries. March 20 through April 20 of a
given year. Someone who is impatient with opposition or frustration of any kind. Pride which
lacks spontaneous nobility, self-complacent vanity, snobbery. A tendency to brood, which
results in a wrong decision execute with great savagery. Can be easily deceived. May be stupid,
obstinate, tyrannical, quick to take offence. A strong tendency to vengefulness without
sufficient grounds for it. Obstinate. Possibly treacherous without warning (and, incidentally,
without cause). Possibly unfaithful if married. Fatality, defense by means of brutality.
Stubbornness. A gossip or flirt. Possibly a meddler or dangerous woman. Jealousy, deceit,
instability in emotional matters, fickleness. Love of money, avarice, usury. Strictness.
Economical nature. Obstacles. Resistance. Opposition. Passive and cool, not easily roused to
passion. Money matters, e.g., banking, stocks, shares, etc., rather than money itself. Good,
economical, obliging, serviceable. Infidelity. Goodwill towards the Querent, but unable to
exercise it.

2) CUPS

Design: Generally, a seated, crowned woman holding a cup or chalice. The Marseille
Tarot shows a seated queen who holds a naked sword in her left hand, and an ornate, covered
cup in her right which is so elaborate that she must rest it upon her knee. Waite’s pack shows a
queen sitting on a throne by the sea, holding an ornate cup decorated with angels; her throne is
decorated with cherub-mermen, and incorporates a scallop motif in the heading. Crowley’s pack
shows a shadowy queen beside a lotus pool; near her is a crane and a fish; the cosmic
lemniscate motif is repeated through the card in various forms. The New Tarot shows the Queen
of Pears with a golden crown above and the sigil for Cancer at the bottom; in the central figure
are white roses, a pear, a crab, and a Viking ship.

America’s Tarot: Elizabeth Taylor. Alternates: Bette Davis, Betty Page.

Upright: Cancer (Cardinal Water). The Queen of the Thrones of the Waters. 20 degrees
Gemini to 20 degrees Cancer (about June 10 through July 10 of a given year). The Watery part
of Water, its power of reception and reflection. Queen of the Nymphs and the Undines.
Dreaminess, illusion, tranquility, able to receive and transmit everything without being herself
affected. Fair woman, imaginative woman. The gift of vision. A poet. Kind, imaginative,
poetic. Good-natured underneath a dreamy appearance. Imagination stronger than feeling.
Prevailing wisdom. Prudence. Good advice. Best friend of the Querent. A fair woman, a
woman with fair hair, blue or green or gray eyes and fair skin. A happy and satisfied woman. A
beautiful woman. A sensuous woman. Success, happiness, advantage, pleasure. A beloved
woman. The mistress. Good, intelligent, active, and practical woman whom the Querent will do
well to obey, and who deserves his full esteem. Careful and attentive. Loving intelligence.
Virtue. Natural growth. Worldly promotion. Fame. Good, fair woman, honest and devoted,
who will do service to the Querent. The gift of vision. Wisdom. Santa Sophia. A perfect
spouse and good mother.

Reversed: The stomach, alimentary canal, esophagus, duodenum, and gastrointestinal tract;
the lower ribs; breast, belly; uterus. June 20 through July 23 of a given year. Everything that
passes through a person signified by the card is distorted. Not willing to take to much trouble
for others. A coquette. Good advice which will be disregarded. A Cassandra. A barmaid. A
woman who is in a good position, but meddles with everyone else. A woman who is not to be
trusted. Success with attendant trouble. A good woman. Distinguished woman who is not to be
trusted. Perverse woman. Vice. Dishonor, depravity. Sometimes a woman of equivocal
character. A rich marriage for a man. A distinguished marriage for a woman.

3) SWORDS

Design: Generally, a seated, crowned woman holding a Sword upright in her right hand.
Waite’s pack shows a stern-faced queen sitting on a throne decorated with butterflies and
winged cherubs, wearing a crown also decorated with butterflies; in her right hand, she firmly
holds an upright Sword. Crowley’s pack shows a queen seated on a cloud; in her right hand
hangs a Sword, point downward, and in her left she holds a human head; her throne is jagged
and crowned with the head of a cherub. The New Tarot shows the Blade Queen, two peacocks, a
Sword, purple irises, a ship, and a crown with an eye set into its side; below is the sigil for
Libra.

America’s Tarot: Amelia Earhart, seated in the pilot’s seat of her plane, in flight above the
ocean; she is smiling, obviously very happy; a bald eagle flies just above her plane, a flock of
butterflies accompanies her, and there is the faint image of a peacock overlaid on all.

Upright: Libra (Cardinal Air). The Queen of the Thrones of Air, Queen of the Sylphs and
the Faeries. 20 degrees Virgo to 20 degrees Libra (around August 10 to September 10 of any
given year). The Watery part of Air. The elasticity of Air and its power of transmission. A
perceptive, keen observer. A subtle interpreter. An individualist. Swift and accurate at
recording ideas. Confident actions. Gracious and just. Graceful. Good at dancing and
balancing. An assessor, a mediator, an arbitrator, a diplomat. Widowhood, mourning. A keen,
quick, intensely perceptive, subtle woman. Fond of dancing. Intelligence, complexity of
personality, attention to accuracy/detail, alertness, skill and accuracy in discernment.
Independent. Versatile. Swift to act. Ingenious. Intensely perceptive, keen observation, subtle,
quick, accurate in superficial things. A fair-skinned woman with dark hair and dark eyes. A
beautiful woman whose beauty is accentuated by fine bone-structure, slenderness, and wiry
constitution, as opposed to the Queen of Cups, whose beauty is a matter of a willowy build, soft
skin, and full contours. A woman of authority. A female judge, a pilot, a hostess. A widow.
Someone who is dour or sad. Widowhood, loss, privation, absence, separation. Suffering,
afflicted woman. Sterility. Grief. Familiarity with sorrow. Not a symbol of mercy, generally
not one of power. Female sadness.

Reversed: The kidneys, bladder, ureters, urethra, urine, and adrenals; the skin, sweat, the
sweat-glands; the testes; the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes; lower back; bodily
equilibrium; the bones of the inner ear in their function of balance; all bilateral systems of the
body. September 22 to October 22 of any given year. Devious, slanderous, an enemy of
subtlety, dangerous qualities. Someone who is cruel, sly, deceitful, unreliable, though with a
good exterior, i.e., either a hypocrite or a dangerous hidden enemy. Calumnious will, unpleasant
advice, slander, evil words. Destruction bearing fruit. Someone who is sly or crafty. A
prostitute, of either gender. A bad woman, ill-tempered and bigoted woman. Riches together
with discord. Abundance together with worry, joy with grief. A dark, wicked woman, gossip,
calumnies. A woman of bad character. Paid love. Deception, menace. Failure.
Unemployment. The absence of a woman. The evil influence of a woman. Malice, bigotry,
artifice, prudery, bale, deceit. A bad woman with ill-will towards the Querent.

4) COINS/DISCS/PENTACLES

Design: Generally, a crowned woman seated on a throne, holding a Pentacle, disc, coin, or
similar symbol aloft in her right hand. The Marseille pack shows a seated queen, holding a
Pentacle aloft in her right hand; the center of the Pentacle is an 8-petaled flower; in her left
hand she holds a sceptre which rests upon her left shoulder. Waite’s pack shows a queen seated
upon a throne formed of a ram’s head; she sits in a flowery field beneath a bower of roses, and
near the throne is a rabbit (in the pirate edition of the Waite pack, the sky behind her is an
absolutely gorgeous deep purple suggestive of the sky in C. L. Moore’s marvelous short story,
“Jirel Meets Magic”). The Aquarian Tarot shows a queen in an ermine robe, wearing a winged
helmet. Crowley’s pack shows a queen wearing a helmet which incorporates the gigantic horns
of a ram, and a goat stands before her; she holds a globe with an interlocking disc design in her
left hand, and in her right she holds a diamond-tipped spear upright. The New Tarot shows a
crown, a bear, a Phoenician or Egyptian ship and, at the bottom of the card, the sigil of
Capricorn.

America’s Tarot: She is seated on a throne formed of piled-up Liberty-Head silver dollars;
in her left hand she holds a gigantic silver dollar upright, and in her right she holds a diamond-
tipped spear, as in Crowley’s pack. A goat stands before her. The sky behind her is azure blue,
the field before her is filled with amber grain, and purple, majestic mountains are in the
background. Image: Adelle Davis, the great American nutritional scientist. Alternate: Rachel
Carson.

Upright: Capricorn (Cardinal Earth). The Queen of the Thrones of Earth. 20 degrees
Sagittarius to 20 degrees Capricorn (around December 10 to January 10 of two given, successive
years). The Watery part of Earth. Queen of the Gnomes. The function of Water as Mother.
Generous, intelligent, charming, moody married woman. A woman with dark hair, skin, and
eyes. Passivity, usually in its highest aspect. Possess the finest of the quieter qualities.
Ambitious in useful directions, immense fund of affection, kindness, greatness of heart. Strong
in intuition and instinct, weaker in intelligence, quiet, hard-working, practical, sensible,
domesticated. Impetuous, kind, timid, charming, great-hearted, intelligent, melancholy, truthful.
A dark woman. A generous woman. Liberality, greatness of soul, generosity. A serious cast of
intelligence. Opulence, generosity, magnificence, security, liberty. Liberty gained through
wealth. A rich and happy marriage for a young man. A fortunate marriage for a woman. Good,
intelligent woman who will render service to the Querent. Help, assistance, woman of good
standing. Timidity. Material benefit, earnings, wealth, rent, products, security, insurance,
diploma, patronage of science, technical and industrial works. High standing in the community,
high honors, renown, fame. A politician of either sex. Civil service, someone employed in civil
service. Christmas. A redeemer, redemption, salvation. Midwinter celebration, feasting.

Reversed: Minerals, mineralization of tissues; bones, bone-marrow, joints, and the


skeleton; the spleen; the gall-bladder and bile; finger- and toenails; chitin (as on insects), hair,
scales, fur, feathers, armor in any form; teeth, horn, claws; knees, knee-caps, shins, spine, and
back. December 21 through January 20 of two given successive years. (In a reticent and
unassuming fashion) lustful and even debauched. Inclined to the abuse of alcohol and drugs.
Dull, servile, foolish, drudges rather than workers. Indecisive, foolish, capricious, changeable.
Disappointment in a given situation due to a lack of wisdom. A struggle to acquire and keep
that which is acquired. Sale of possessions. Certain evil. A suspicious woman. A woman
justly regarded with suspicion and doubt. Evil, suspicion, fear, mistrust. Presents from a rich
relative. An illness. A fall from grace, humiliation, loss of honor and titles, etc. A tyrant,
tyranny; a despot, despotism. An oppressor.

c. The interrelationships between the Sephirah and the cards of the Tarot
The four Threes, which represent Binah, express the symbolism of Understanding: the Idea has
become fertile, the Triangle of Art has been established. The Threes express the fact that while the
stability of Binah can never be upset, nevertheless it can give birth to something new.
In Crowley’s pack, the Three of Wands is the Lord of Virtue. The idea of Will and dominion has
become manifest as Character.
The Three of Cups is the Lord of Abundance. Here, Love has at last borne fruit; but on a level
sufficiently far down the Tree that a very definite difference among the Suits is evident which wasn’t
possible before.
The Three of Swords is the Lord of Sorrow, which represents the idea of division and mutability
which is the Airy aspect of reality. This card reflects the darkness of Binah, the mourning of Isis over
her dead Lord, Osiris, but this is not the sorrow of mortals, depending upon individual disappointed or
discontent. Rather, it is universal sorrow, the quality of Melancholy.
Finally, the Three of Pentacles exhibits the manifestation of Earth as crystallization of force. It is
thus called the Lord of Work, representing real accomplishment.
As for the Queens, these represent the first Heh of Tetragrammaton. They are the complements of
the Knights, receiving, fermenting, and transmitting the Fiery energy of the Knight in the form of
offspring, either of the body or of the mind, in the same way that Woman receives the sperm of the Male
in her womb, thereby conceiving a child. They represent the second stage in the process of creation
whose fourth and last state is manifestation upon the physical plane. The fact that the Queens are shown
seated on thrones emphasizes the fact that they all have definite functions.
The Queen of Wands represents the Watery aspect of Fire, its fluidity and color; the Queen of Cups,
the Watery aspect of Water, its power of reception and reflection; the Queen of Swords, the Watery
aspect of Air, its elasticity and power of transmission; and the Queen of Pentacles, the Watery aspect of
Earth, the function of that Element as Mother and matrix, the ground of being and womb of all things.
Astrologically, they respectively represent the beginnings of each of the four Seasons: the Spring
Equinox, the Summer Solstice, the Autumnal Equinox, and the Winter Solstice. Their physical analogs
might be respectively a candle-flame, dancing in the wind; a still pool or lake; telecommunications
equipment; and rain-soaked earth in early Spring, waiting for the first seeds within it to sprout.

♣ ♥ ♠♦