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Qaballah and Tarot: A Basic Course in Nine Lessons
Lesson III: The 22 Paths of the Tree of Life and the Greater Arcana of the Tarot
B. The Individual Paths
13. Key 23
Mem m “Water.” Trump XII, The Hanged Man. The Element Water ; the Planet Neptune Þ. Cardinal value, 40; ordinal value, 13. At the end of a word, Kaph takes the form \ and has the value 600. Connects Sephirah 5, Geburah with Sephirah 8, Hod. Roman/English equivalent: M.
a. Qaballistic Meanings and Theory
Mem is the Path linking Geburah and Hod. Like Binah and Chesed, the Sephirah Hod is a ‘Water’ Sephirah.* A major principle of Water is reflection, and it is in Hod that the reflections of the principles of the higher worlds may be discerned. Hod is a Sephirah of the mind, and the reflections of this Sephirah concern pure reason rather than the images of ungoverned impulses and emotions which are reflected in the Magick Mirror of Yesod. When images occur in Hod they are more in the nature of abstractions, e.g., mathematical models, than the boiling confusion of unconscious elements, basically emotional in content, of Yesod.
*Mercury, the Planet associated with Hod, rules the Airy Sign Gemini and the Earthy Sign Virgo, so it may seem strange to associate Hod with Water. However, in Chinese cosmology as well as in both Western and Far Eastern Alchemy, Mercury is associated with Water because His metal, mercury, flows like water at room-temperature and under one atmosphere of pressure, rather than being hard and solid, like most metals. So His Sephirah, Hod, likewise has Watery characteristics.
On the other hand, Geburah, like Chokmah and Netzach, is a “Fire” Sephirah. Yet it has certain characteristics very like those of the action of water.* Much of Geburah’s influence is overtly violent and intensely active, but it also does its work by the slow erosion of accretions over long periods of time. Thus this Path provides on the one hand the stability necessary to reflect the higher worlds without distortion [Sephirah 8, Hod}, and on the other, unending action over countless eons of time [Sephirah 5, Geburah].
*Mars, the Planet associated with Geburah, is a Lord of Scorpio, the Cherubic Sign of Water. Mars is associated with Fire, but one aspect of His Fire is the phenomenon of rust, the oxidation of iron or other metal by dissolved oxygen in water, and His Fire is thus commingled with Water. This is reflected in the fact that He is a Lord of both Scorpio and Aries, the Cardinal Fire Sign.
Generally speaking, Chesed concerns what the Individuality is, its essence, while Geburah concerns what it does, its behavior and impact on its environment. Geburah also has a corrective or assessing element, the ability to perceive what is, to perceive what ought to be, and the ability to act so that after that action everything is as it should be. These principles of action are also aspects of the Personality. The mental link which enables this is the 23rd Path of the Tree of Life. Esoterically, the symbol of the man hanged upside down on Trump XII, The Hanged Man, which is associated with the 23rd Path, is one of sacrifice, both the utterly unselfish cooperative effort made for the good of the whole and every individual within that whole, the exchange of one thing for something significantly better. The Hanged Man hangs upside down, indicating that the values of the higher worlds are the reverse of those of the lower. However much appearances seem to indicate the contrary, the most basic Spiritual Law of the Universe is that you get out of life exactly what you put into it.24 One must first make one’s mind completely clear and receptive, capable of processing and recognizing pure reason without being hampered by inaccurate opinions or inappropriate fears. Once the light of pure reason is achieved, one’s destiny becomes clear, as the symbolic links of this Path will show. The symbolism of Water refers us to Binah, the Great Sea, whose influence passes to Geburah,* and from there to this Path and Hod by the 18th Path. Binah is the most concretized form of the Spirit qua Spirit, in which the true image of the Self and one’s Destiny rests. Also, the title of Tarot Trump XII, Spirit of the Mighty Waters, gives understanding of the nature of this Path: the Mighty Waters are those of the Anima Mundi, the Universal Soul, in which is reflected the True Luminous Image of the Creator. On a deeper level, the Mighty Waters are those of Ain Soph, “No Limit,” in the Realm of the Unmanifest, in which each Spirit’s Cosmic Atom lies, projecting the Divine Spark itself into manifestation.25
*Geburah’s Planet is Jupiter, the traditional ruler of Pisces. Pisces is the Sign of the Ocean Sea.
Each of the four Elements is associated with one of the four Outer Planets, which include Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. Earth is represented by Saturn; Air, by Uranus; Water, by Neptune; and Fire, by Pluto.* Path 23, which is associated with Water, also clearly has symbolic ties with Neptune, the modern ruler of Pisces and of altruistic self-sacrifice, as the above quotations from Knight suggest. (Neptune and Pisces are, however, also associated with such goodies as stealth, sabotage, murder, poison, adultery, and all other things Dark and Dreadful that do their dirty work from behind and out of the shadows. Let’s not get too carried away with the sweet-and-light side of Neptune, gang . . .)
*In turn, Saturn is associated with Da’ath, the Abyss between Chesed and Binah; Uranus, with Binah; Neptune, with Chokmah; and Pluto, with Kether. The influences of these Sephiroth should be born in mind when considering the meaning of any Path associated with them.
Like His brothers Zeus and Hades, Neptune’s Greek analog was one of the sons of Kronos and Rhea. When Kronos had been deposed by the revolt of the Olympians, the three brothers shook lots in a helmet to determine which of Them would receive the rulership of the Heavens, the Sea, and the Underworld, deciding that the Earth was to be held in common by all. As a result of this lottery, Zeus became King of the Heavens, like His grandfather, Ouranos, before Him; Hades became Lord of the Underworld and all its treasures; and Poseidon became Lord of the Sea. Poseidon was every bit as dignified as Zeus, but unlike His extroverted brother He had a sullen, belligerent nature. Like His enormous domain, the Sea, when angry He often displayed a terrifyingly violent rage. During his rages, he often caused catastrophic sea- and earthquakes with His Trident, an almost inconceivably powerful Weapon very similar in form and function to the Weapon of Shiva, the Hindu Lunar God of Power and Destruction.*
*A hint of just how powerful comes from the fact that the average earthquake or seaquake unleashes anywhere from 40 to 200 megatons of energy – from about one to four times more powerful than the most powerful thermonuclear test on record, the thermonuclear device tested on the Kamchatka peninsula on October 29, 1961, and 4,000-20,000 times more powerful than the A-bomb dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945.
But He could be gentle, too, taking great delight in the world and its pleasures. Sharing Zeus’s enthusiasm for amorous dalliance, He often gave His wife Amphitrite almost as much vexation over His wayward behavior as Zeus did Hera over His own randy adventurousness. Appropriately enough, therefore, according to one cycle of stories He was the father of Aphrodite, Goddess of Love and Lust, Who rose naked in all Her glorious beauty from the foam of the Sea. When it came time for Poseidon to take a wife, He first courted Thetis the Nereid, for He wanted a wife Who would be at home in the depths of the Sea. But when Themis the Nymph prophesied that any son born to Thetis would be greater than His father, Poseidon desisted, and gave His blessing to Her marriage to a mortal, Peleus. He then approached Amphitrite, another Nereid, Who at first found His advances repugnant, and fled to the Atlas Mountains to escape Him. But He sent messengers after Her, and one of them, Delphinus, pleaded Poseidon’s case to Her so well that She finally agreed to marry Him. Out of gratitude, he placed Delphinus among the Stars as a Constellation, the Dolphin. Amphitrite bore Him three children: Triton, Rhode, and Benthesikyme. She was a good wife to Him, but even so, as previously mentioned, He drove Her to distraction with His pursuits of other females. Above all, She hated His infatuation with Skylla, daughter of Phorkys, Lord of Death, Whom She changed into a barking monster with six heads and twelve feet by throwing a Magickal potion in Skylla’s bathingpool.*
*Skylla = Scylla, a dangerous rock on the Italian side of the Straits of Messina, opposite the whirlpool Charybdis, likewise personified mythologically as a ravenous monster. Navigating these straits is an extremely dangerous business even for powered boats, because the margin of error between avoiding being wrecked on Scylla and falling into Charybdis and being sucked down to a watery doom is extremely small. The saying “between Scylla and Charybdis” means being between two perils, neither of which can be evaded without risking running afoul of the other. This myth of Skylla’s transformation into a terrible monster by Amphitrite is obviously an origin story that came into existence as a way of explaining how the terrible strait came into existence, and why and how the good Gods had created and maintained it in existence.
Poseidon had a keen eye for beauty and elegance. In the great stables adjoining His underwater palace off Aegae in Euboea, He kept glorious white chariot-horses with brazen hooves and golden manes, and a golden chariot. Whenever He went out riding in His chariot, ocean storms instantly ceased, the Sea became calm, and sea-monsters rose to the surface of the water to frisk about His chariot. Among the Greek myths is a fascinating just-so story about Poseidon concerning the way in which the women of ancient Greece lost their political suffrage. It seems that Poseidon was greedy for control of Earthly kingdoms and wealth, and, as a result of that Greed, he once claimed possession of Attica by thrusting His great Trident into the Acropolis at Athens, where a well-spring of sea-water immediately gushed out, which still existed long after, during Classical times, the sound of the surf coming up out of the depths of the well from far below whenever the South Wind blew. Later, during the reign of Kekrops, Pallas Athena, the daughter of Zeus, came and took possession of the well, but by a far subtler means: She planted the first olive-tree beside it. Poseidon, furious, challenged Her to single combat; Athena would have accepted, but Her father intervened, and ordered Them to submit Their dispute to arbitration. They therefore appeared before a divine court, consisting of Their fellow deities, Who called on Kekrops to give evidence. Zeus, as Lord of the Court, of course remained neutral; but while all the other male deities supported Poseidon, all the Goddesses voted for Athena. As it happened, there was exactly one more Goddess than there were Gods casting votes on the matter. Thus by a majority of one, the court found for Athena, giving Her title to Attica, because She had given the land the better gift. Poseidon, a notoriously poor loser, sent enormous waves to flood the Thrisian Plain, where Athena’s city of Athenae stood. She fled to the city that would become Athens and took up residence there, likewise naming it after Herself. So, to appease Poseidon’s wrath, so that he would not destroy Athens as well, the women of Athens were deprived of their vote, and the men were forbidden to bear their mother’s names in the way they had done prior to that time. In this story Poseidon probably represents the ancient island kingdoms of the Aegean Sea and those regions of the Mediterranean Sea close to it. These island kingdoms were wealthy and powerful, and the early land-based cultures of the Attic Peninsula, the land we now call Greece, could not have afforded to antagonize the sea-kingdoms too far. It is likely that somewhere far back in the history of that region, in order to pacify and retain an alliance with a powerful patriarchal island-nation ally, one or more of the proto-Hellenic Attic peoples repudiated the Great Goddess and shifted the psychospiritual focus of their culture from a matrifocal to a patriarchal one. Another possibility is that “Poseidon” in this story refers to pirate bands of the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas, consisting primarily of men, with a few captured women or dispirited female campfollowers aboard their ships, whose land-raids forced the land-based proto-Hellenic Attic peoples to adopt a more and more patriarchal, militaristic cultural set, with the fortress mentality and sharp division of roles between men and women into male/warriors vs. female/breeders characteristic of patriarchomilitarism, because of the edge on survival which such a sociocultural shift would have given them in such a situation. In any case, it is certain that this story reflects real, historical events, however distorted their transmission down the ages via the medium of this story may be. Stories such as this are clues concerning the probable beginnings of patriarchal tyranny among Attic peoples, ones which the astute historian or anthropologist can’t afford to overlook. The mythology of Poseidon overlaps and commingles with that of Zeus in confusing ways, probably reflecting the historical process of cultural borrowing and accretion that occurred as different cultures entered Attica, sometimes living peacefully side-by-side or even intermarrying with older ones in the region, sometimes absorbing earlier Attic cultures more violently, via conquest and pillage. In this case, island and land-based cultures must have interacted considerably over the centuries in many ways, sometimes through relatively peaceful mercantile exchanges, sometimes through piracy or imperialistic conquest. In the latter case, it is quite possible that this season’s pirates could be next season’s conquered people; the victims of rapine and piracy may not always have been all that innocent of such crimes themselves. When, at the end of this process, sometime at the beginning of Greece’s Classical period, Zeus had become the unquestioned ruler of the entire pantheon of Greece’s many Gods, and Poseidon was firmly established in the Greek religion as Lord of the Sea, the various cultures of land and sea which They had respectively represented over the previous centuries had so thoroughly and inextricably intermingled that the boundary between the mythologies of these two Gods had consequently become quite blurry, losing much of its definition along the way as a result of this process.
Thus many of the things ascribed to Zeus are also associated with Poseidon, but in different storycycles. For example, according to one set of stories, the creation of the horse is ascribed to Poseidon. This may reflect a series of historical events by which horses were first brought to the Attic peninsula from outside, perhaps from Scythia, on board merchant-vessels belonging to the island-peoples referred to collectively in these stories as “Poseidon.” But another story-cycle, probably a much later one, taught that Zeus Himself had created the horse and gave it as a gift to mankind, as He had all other great good things, and that Poseidon only falsely claimed to have done so Himself in one of His many fits of bragging. In any case, however, horses were clearly sacred to Poseidon, and even today Western astrology reflects this by assigning the rulership of horses and other large animals to Pisces, the Sign of the Sea, whose Lord is Neptune. Also, as previously mentioned, in one set of stories Poseidon was said to have been Aphrodite’s father; in others, it was said that Zeus begot Her on Dione, Who is variously said to have been either the daughter of Oceanos and Tethys the sea-nymph or the child of Air and Earth. In still another cycle, which confuses Poseidon with Ouranos, it was said that the Goddess was born of the bloody foam which gathered about the severed genitals of the murdered Ouranos when His son Kronos threw them into the sea.*
*At times, this sort of mythological ambiguity tends to drive modern minds such as ours to distraction. We like things to be “cut and dried, on the square, straight and level.” As a result, we tend to reject anything that can’t be easily pinned down and dissected and its parts clearly identified and labeled. But it would be a grave mistake to decide that only one of these stories is the “true” one and the rest somehow “false” or “mistaken.” Because the Greeks, like the Jews and the Hindus, cherished originstory cycles from more than one era of their history, rather than keeping just the one they liked the best, suppressing all the rest, it is possible to trace the evolution of their culture over many centuries from its ancient beginnings in the intermingling of many different early settlers in and around Attica to the Classical period. Sigmund Freud, for all his faults, wisely regarded the development of the psyche of the growing human child as a reproduction in microcosm of this same process. From his broad, extensive Classical education as well as his researches, he concluded that by looking carefully at all the different visions, dreams, ideas, and other phenomena of mind thrown up by the psyche not as a self-contradictory, nonsensical hash but rather as psychoarcheological evidence of the history of the person in whom that psyche has developed, a beautifully detailed, highly accurate portrait of that person’s life up to the time of such a psychoanalysis could be obtained. And, just as it is true on the historical and psychodynamic planes, this principle also holds good on the psychospiritual ones. The story of the birth of Aphrodite is a case in point. Aphrodite, known to the Romans as Venus, is the nocturnal esoteric ruler of Aquarius, whose diurnal esoteric Lord is Juno (Hera), whose mundane Lords are Saturn (Kronos) and Uranus (Ouranos), and in which Jupiter (Zeus) and Neptune are exalted. Further, Venus is diurnally exalted in Pisces, which is mundanely ruled by Jupiter and Neptune. Thus all four of these Planets clearly have Aquarian aspects, and as a result tend to blend well in Their interactions. The plurality of stories concerning the birth of Venus and the mythological ambiguity surrounding it reflect the fact of the astrological harmony of function among these four divinities; for this reason alone, it would be a mistake to gloss it over by junking all but one of these stories as being somehow less “true” than the others. The ambiguity inherent in historical, psychodynamic, and psychospiritual reality is also exhibited on the purely physical level. Apparently “solid” matter, such as electrons, can be diffracted just like a beam of light. Not only is this true of a stream of electrons, which would be understandable in terms of the wave properties of the stream itself, but it holds true for individual electrons, as well. Electrons and other leptons, while clearly material in their own right, are so small that they are right at the boundaries of “solid” matter, and consequently behave in ways that do not always conform to what we normally expect of matter. Quantum mechanics reveals that the physical world can be exceedingly fuzzy and ambiguous, and that the appearance of solid boundaries and clear-cut divisions between things that is supposedly the hallmark of the “real world” is ultimately only that: an appearance, and little more. If ostensibly objective physical reality has its fuzzy aspects, then it’s a lead-pipe cinch that the far more subtle, slippery psychosocial, psychospiritual, and Magickal universes of the Inner Planes
frequently exhibits fuzziness in extremis. The ambiguity characteristic of Greek and Hindu mythology and the Pentateuch is just a psychohistorical expression of the fuzziness inherent in the nature of things – a phenomenon which, by the way, is one of the matters ruled by Neptune, Whose keywords include Ambiguity and Ambivalence.
According to Robert Graves, Poseidon’s “children” may have had Their origin in the three aspects of the Moon-Goddess, and there are other hints of Lunar mythology in Poseidon’s story-cycles. This may reflect the fact that Luna and Neptune are both strong in the Signs Cancer and Pisces, and that Luna is also a sort of lower octave of Neptune.171a As we shall see, all these stories and myth-cycles reflect the astrological and Magickal influence and powers of Neptune, Whose Keywords include the following: Ambiguity, Ambivalence, Impressionability, Nebulousness, Deception, Dissolution, Diffusion, Entropy, Fog, Mist, Fusion, Transcendence, Intoxication, Interpenetration, Concealment, and the Occult. The problem which Neptune poses is: How can a fish know water? Neptune’s native solves the problem either by a) vision*, i.e., climb out of the water and look at what’s there, as we did early on in life’s long history; or b) by induction, sensing the resistance of the medium as one moves through it and concluding from it something about the nature of that medium.
*The Mystical Vision Trance, in which one carries out a psychospiritual exploration of the Inner Planes.
The Esoteric Nature and Influence of Neptune
Even with the data received from Voyager 2’s fly-by of Neptune, a great deal concerning Neptune’s physical make-up still remains conjecture only. This reflects His nature as the Planet of Mystery. Uranus rules the bizarre and unusual, but His nature is to Enlighten by presenting us with them, to cause scientific and technological breakthroughs as spin-offs of unexpected emergent results of scientific experiments, and to introduce “strange” thoughts into our minds which ultimately initiate whole new philosophies and new ways of looking at things which revolutionize our lives. But the Understanding which Uranus brings can ultimately be tested against objective reality, and understood in objective terms and with respect to linear logic. This isn’t true of Neptune. Neptune brings us experiences whose logic is either multilinear or alinear, like the logic of psychodynamic and psychospiritual reality, or the geometry of the Mandelbröt Set. Uranus rules the Timeless, the Eternal, those things which can only be understood in a manner that doesn’t depend on timelike processes; Neptune rules the Infinite, and the second dimension of Time, choice, by the repeated exercise of which we slowly grow into the Wisdom that is Neptune’s apotheosis. The concept of alternate worlds, generated by the selection of different options at choice-nexi, is a Neptunian one. Uranus teaches us how to transcend our limitations, cross Da’ath’s Abyss of Night, by shattering the old boundaries of explored or consensus, “permissible” reality in a way which nevertheless does not violate principles of natural law. For this reason, Uranus rules birds, because long ago birds learned to transcend the limits set by gravity on their physical being by growing feathers, elongating their forefeet into wings, and taking to the air. Just so, we achieve Binah, Understanding and Enlightenment, by transcending the mistake of thinking of ourselves as inert stones (Saturn, and the seven Sephiroth below the Abyss) that must be winched, thrown, or otherwise transported across the Abyss by some agency outside ourselves, coming to Understand that we are instead creatures of Spirit, spreading the wings of Spirit and flying under our own power across the Abyss into the Garden of the Supernals. Neptune, on the other hand, teaches us the nature of those limits themselves. In some cases, He dissolves those limits away in an incomprehensible flood of inassimilable experiences, leaving us to flounder in the mud, so that we learn that limits, in the form of structure and order, can be of supreme value. In others, He instructs us in how to do without limits, to leave behind the circumstances in which the old limits were relevant and take up new ones entirely, just as the whales, big and small, gave up a life on land bound by gravity, restricted to two dimensions, and adapted themselves to life in the ocean, with its
gravity-canceling buoyancy and its three-dimensional niches to which a consideration of gravity is irrelevant. Whereas Uranus gives us Understanding and the knowledge necessary to it, Neptune gives us Wisdom, born out of experience as Venus was born of the foam of Ocean: the Wisdom to accept our limits, when we must – or to take up a mode of life in which the previous limits do not, cannot apply at all.* Uranus rules that moment of life when the umbilicus that joins mother and new-born child is cut and the neonate becomes a truly air-breathing organism for the first time; Neptune, a higher octave of Luna as well as of Venus, rules the entire nine months of life prior to that and the environment of the womb, during which the fetus is an aquatic animal, living in the womb’s tiny sea, free of gravity, its existence one of timeless dream and completely accepting sensitivity to every sensation, sound, and substance that comes to it through the flesh of its mother’s abdomen or the placenta and umbilical cord.
*Neptune is also the ruler of alcoholism and indeed of all addictions. From Alcoholics Anonymous comes this prayer, which sums up this idea precisely: Oh, Lord, Teach us to change the things That we can change, To accept the things We cannot change, And to understand The difference between them.
Uranus rules applied mathematics and science, objectively acquired, hard knowledge, engineering and crafts, and the knowledge inherent in these; Neptune rules the theoretical disciplines, and all abstract concerns. Uranus rules the exotic, attractive to us because it excites our curiosity; Neptune rules beauty, as well as the elegance of a beautiful formal proof and the fitness, the rightness of a theory which we find attractive initially for no other reason that the fact that it seems so right. Saturn rules pragmatic Truth, Uranus rules Enlightenment and scientific, objectively verifiable Truth; but Neptune rules all those forms of Truth, such as Beauty, or any other perception ultimately dependent upon our instinctive, subjective gut reaction to the world, which does not depend upon linear logic or objective evidence for their attractiveness and acceptance. Uranus rules the great mass of the atmosphere which, tugged about by the tidal pull of Luna and Sol, pushed inexorably Westward by Coriolis forces, weighs down upon the heavily folded and wrinkled surface of the Earth, dragging across it, snagged by that surface and rebounding against it as it rolls onward toward the Sunset and the Western Gates of Death, adds mega-erg upon remorseless mega-erg to the strain of Earth’s crust against itself until that energy is suddenly released, all at once, in catastrophic earthquakes. Uranus is Pure Form, the essence of Form, the potential of Form, its purest abstract, like those great currents, such as the Jet Stream, that structure our atmosphere; He brings new form into manifest being by shattering the older forms that stand in His way. Neptune, on the other hand, is Lord of Ocean. He is the Lord of Water, of all that dwells in the Earth’s waters, and of Water’s manifold forms, aspects, and manifestations, as well as of all the treasures and the secrets hidden in its mysterious depths. He accommodates Himself to all things, taking His form entirely from His container, His content from all that His environment brings to Him, absolutely passive and receptive – yet He is the Universal Solvent, dissolving all that is placed in Him, at last. By letting gravity do all the work for Him, He always gets where He wants to go. Incompressible, when manifest as the turgor of a humble weed, He can shatter the strongest concrete like a saltine cracker to make a passage for that plant to reach the Sun’s light and warmth, insinuating Himself upward via the tendrils of the growing plant into every tiniest nook and cranny of the barrier between Himself and Apollo, riddling it with Himself until, crazed and disintegrated throughout by the ever-growing network of His Will, that barrier falls away in defeat. Pure Force, He is the Universal Solvent, the most volatile of all compounds, and the subtlest. Neptune rules the process by which a caterpillar becomes a butterfly, which involves the complete disassembly, at a molecular level, of the caterpillar and the re-assembly of the resultant mess into a
butterfly. The chemical constituents of the caterpillar provide both the fuel and the structural material necessary for the latter. The wisest of all substances, the subtlest of the Elements, it was Water which, taking experience from all the world around it, drew about itself a skin of Van der Waäl’s forces, manifested Will, and began to move about the world under its own power and initiative. We are all nothing but water tied up in bags of electromagnetic forces, with a few odd trace materials thrown in for flavor. The essence and substance of Life and Will is Water, the primordial material and the sine qua non of Life.172 It is for this reason that Neptune is associated with Chokmah, the Father, Whose Element is Fire, including the Fires of Spirit, rather than with Binah, the Mother, primordial Water. It is only in Water that Spirit and Will manifest themselves on the physical planes, and while the substance of Water, the compound oxygen dihydride, is Watery, its essence is Fire and the Spirit, the Intentionality and Purpose that is the hallmark of all biological phenomena, ourselves included. Neptune dissolves, but also resolves and re-integrates. Neptune shares the Lordship of Alchemy with Pluto; while Pluto rules the transmutative aspects of Alchemy, Neptune rules the biochemistry and biophysics of water, the fundamental basis of all Earthly life.* Water, the Universal Solvent, is also a fundamental tool of the Alchemist, so much so that Neptune shares that Art’s Lordship with His brother Pluto.
*”Life is basically characterized as water with a few trace contaminants” – Larry Niven, paraphrased from his “Becalmed in Hell,” in Tales of Known Space: The Universe of Larry Niven (New York: Ballantine Books, 1975).
In Einstein’s equation E = mc2, Uranus/Binah is “mc2,” pure Form, while Neptune is “E,” Fire, purest Force, energy in its purest manifestation. Water, the Universal Solvent, is virtually formless, filling any volume into which it is put up to a level dictated by the presence and strength of any nearby gravitational fields (ruled by Saturn) as well as its own inherent volume, taking on the shape of any surface upon which it lies. Itself formless, it dissolves all things, and is thus pure Force. On the other hand, however, in Einstein’s paradox of the Immovable Object versus the Irresistible Force, Saturn may be said to represent the first and Uranus the second, while Neptune resolves the paradox itself via Piscean integration and synthesis to create a larger framework that can accommodate both conflicting elements (Daleth, the Path connecting Binah/Uranus to Chokmah/Neptune, represents the reconciliation of those elements within the resolution represented by Chokmah/Neptune). Here, the pure Force that is Neptune forces the entire matrix of things to change to accommodate what would otherwise be in irreconcilable paradox. For this reason, Neptune is the higher octave of Venus, Who rules diplomacy and accommodation. But whereas Venus brings about accommodation by causing harmony or reconciliation between the individual elements that are in conflict, Neptune creates it by changing the underlying structure of the universe in which the conflict is manifest, so that it is eliminated by modification or elimination of the principles of that universe that gave rise to it in the first place, as in Einstein’s resolution of the apparently paradoxical results of the Michelson-Morley experiment of 1887 e.v. via his Special and General Theories of Relativity. Neptune rules Sephirah 2, Chokmah, the Sphere of the Starry Heavens or Zodiac, because Neptune rules higher mathematics, modern physics, computer science, and photography, all of which are necessary to observe and make sense of our modern Cosmos. Whereas Uranus rules computer hardware, Neptune rules software, and the mathematical reasoning upon which it is based. Uranus rules the pure forms of higher mathematics, and the principles upon which modern technology and science are based; Neptune rules the essential processes of the discovery and the proving out of the structures studied in higher mathematics and the principles of modern objective, pragmatic arts and sciences, the very energy of that process. Neptune, the Crown of the Pillar of Mercy of the Tree of Life, and the higher octave of Venus, is the apotheosis of emotion or feeling, hence is hot, as the emotions – ruled by Venus – are Fiery in nature. Likewise the physical Planet Neptune is unexpectedly hot, much more so than frigid Uranus, Who is much nearer the Sun. Uranus, Crown of the Pillar of Severity and higher octave of Mercury, is cold, as Mercury, and logic, reason, and intellect, ruled by Him, are cold. Neptune rules fantasy, Uranus rules science-fiction
– respectively the Yang and Yin of cutting-edge literature (which is conceived above the Abyss, appreciated only by the Enlightened).* *
*Pluto, Crown of the Middle Pillar as well as of the Tree of Life as a whole, rules the literature of horror, which is the union of science-fiction (ruled by Uranus) and fantasy (ruled by Neptune). The Planet Mercury, the lower octave of Uranus, is cooler than Venus, the lower octave of Neptune, even though Venus is farther from the Sun than Mercury is – the same relationship that holds true for the physical avatars of Their higher octaves. Will the Planet Pluto be found to be a mosaic of hot and cold, physically speaking?) [Noted August 4, 1993, at 10:31 p.m. PDT, Seattle, WA.]
Neptune, His Sign Pisces, and the Twelfth House traditionally rule prisons and hospitals. These are absolutely artificial little worlds in miniature. Because of the malignity of the issues with which they deal – crime, illness, insanity, possession, death – such institutions are thus manifestations of Qlippoth of the true, healthy expressions of this Planet, Sign, and House. Thus artificial, sealed, more or less self-sustaining habitats of all kinds are under the dominion of Neptune and His Sign and House, including, e.g., spacehabitats, submarines, sealed terrestrial environments, installations on airless worlds or those with unbreathable atmospheres, etc. By extension, in the human realm, Neptune, along with His Sign and House, also rules artifice and artificial creations of all kinds, hence Homo faber – Man the Maker – himself. Beyond the realm of the strictly human, He rules sealed environments, self-sustaining systems, and habitats maintained by the deliberate effort of living beings of all kinds – and thus He rules Gaia, our living world, Whose eco-physiological systems (to paraphrase Lovelock’s lovely term, “planetary physiology”), from the atmosphere to tectonic plates and the whole cycle of materials from the Earth’s core and mantle to the continents and back again, are all the products and result of the activities of Earth’s life over the approximately 3.5 billion years of its existence.* Uranus, Aquarius, and the Eleventh House rule the technology necessary to sustain such habitats, from the chloroplasts invented by Earth’s first green plants, by which Earth’s botanical life has created and maintained our oxygenated atmosphere ever since, to the high-energy, cyberneticized technology necessary to build and maintain a complete space-station or Lunar habitat, its complement of staff-members and visitors included. But the habitats themselves, miniature, artificial universes created and sustained only because of the deliberate, willed activities of living things, are holons ruled by Neptune, Pisces, and the Twelfth House, which rule holons of all types, as well as such holistic processes as synthesis, such arts and technologies as holography, and such phenomena as holographs. Pluto, Scorpio, and the Eighth House, on the other hand, rule the matrices in which such habitats are embedded, from the rock and soil of artificial terrestrial biospheres built and staffed by human beings to the oceans in which nuclear submarines cruise to raw space itself, the Body of Our Lady Nuit, the home of space-stations and interplanetary and interstellar vessels. (In the case of submarines and other artificial marine habitats, Pluto is represented in His Avatar of Ta’aroa, Polynesian God of Hell, the Wild Storm, and the Oceanic Abysses.)
*It is interesting, in this context, that Earth is often referred to by those in the biological, ecological, and astronomical sciences as “the water world.” Earthly life is basically intelligent water, water which, by acquiring some solid and gaseous materials kept in suspension within itself, enabled itself to move around on its own and fill every conceivable niche, including that of motile, land-dwelling animals such as ourselves. Gaia Herself, Earth’s biosphere, is this same theme of “life = water” writ large, on a medium covering an entire Planet. Neptune is the Lord of Water. Since Gaia and Earth’s life are water, water which learned how to take charge of its own destiny, take on shape and form, move around on its own, and act to fulfill its own Will by its own actions, Neptune naturally would seem to be Lord of Gaia and of Earthly life as well, anyway. The fact that Neptune is Lord of deliberately created habitats, and that Gaia is such a habitat, built and maintained by Earth’s life over some 3.5 billion years, according to the model developed by Lovelock, Margulis, et al., leads to this same conclusion, but from a different direction. That both lines of reasoning lead to the same conclusion strongly suggests that astrologically and Magickally speaking, Neptune can be considered to be a
major influence over Earthly life, on the biological planes, and over Gaia, Earth’s biosphere, at least on ecological and planetological ones.
Finally, whereas Saturn rules the Superego, and Uranus rebellion against or freedom from it, Neptune rules Conscience, that is, awareness of the needs of self-in-community, the Greater Self. The Superego is born out of fear – fear some ultimate authority, especially authoritarian caregivers or anyone else with ultimate power over one’s being and destiny during one’s earliest stages of life. Such fear is in the domain of Saturn; rebellion against it is in that of Uranus. The conscience, on the other hand, is born out of love, out of identification with someone who is greatly loved, usually the nurturing parent of one’s infancy: one learns, via such a relationship of love, to empathize with others, and feel compassion for them as a result. Conscience is the perception of one’s greater self as embodied in other individuals, one’s community, even humanity in general, and those who act on the basis of their conscience are motivated to do so by the drive to nurture and protect their greater self as manifest in others even at great risk to themselves. Neptune, the Lord of Selfless Love, is thus the ruler of conscience and the acts of compassion motivated by it. For example, during the Hitlerian era in Germany, many “pure Aryan” Germans who stood to lose a great deal by it if caught, helped rescue Jews from certain death, helping them to escape Germany or Germanoccupied countries, even hiding them in their own homes, at risk of certain death should they be found out. Most of these were ordinary people, not saints, with the failings common to us all. Yet they went out of their way to help people they didn’t know, perhaps didn’t even like (some of the rescuers were in fact professed anti-Semites!), at great risk of life and everything they held dear, for no other discernible reason than conscience. So these rescuers were impelled by the drive to protect and cherish their greater selves, the perception of which is ruled by Neptune, as manifested by the objects of their rescue attempts, the Jews, Gypsies, and other “ethnic undesirables” whom they helped, or at least tried, to save.*
*See Eva Fogelman, Conscience and Courage: Rescuers of Jews During the Holocaust (New York: Anchor/Doubleday Books, 1994), passim. On page 3 thereof is a catalog of a few of some of the people who helped rescue Jews during the Holocaust, in spite of their all-too human failings.
More broadly speaking, Neptune rules Agape, love that is not dependent upon ethnic background, gender, presence or lack of a sexual bond, genetic kinship, or even species. People keep pets not only as child-surrogates, but also, if only unconsciously, in order to re-establish and strengthen their bonds to the greater community of all life, Gaia, Mother Earth. Thus in a manner of speaking, pets are also parentsurrogates. In fact, this is literally true in the case of many cats, who attempt countless times to get their humans interested in the mice and other small game they catch and bring to them. Rather than trying to placate powerful parent-figures with “presents,” they are trying to teach their beloved but backward “kittens” how to hunt and otherwise support themselves in life. That this is so can be confirmed by what happens when, instead of rejecting these “gifts” with loud protest, their human “children” act pleased and “accept” these gifts with apparent great praise and delight (ditching them later only out of sight and sound of the cat who brings these to them, of course): subsequently the cat will start performing all sorts of stalkpounce-and-kill activities, using everything from catnip mice or other toys to dead leaves to Little Friskies kibble-bits, whatever’s handy, in front of their human people at every opportunity. In other words, since these huge, awkward kittens at last seem to have gotten the idea that live game is interesting, the next step in the educational process clearly is to teach them how to run it down and kill it . . . (Isn’t maternal love wonderful in its never-failing optimism and faith?) Ultimately, Neptune rules the sort of love that impels others to lay down their lives and risk all they have for others, including non-human others. It inspires the Animal Rescue activists who break into animal-testing laboratories to rescue animals, at risk of heavy fines and long imprisonment if caught; the Earth First activists who put “all they are and all they have” on the line for a forest, a lake, a meadow, Mother Earth Herself; anyone who extends a hand to others in peril, in need of rescue or comfort, regardless of pragmatic and personal considerations. But while Neptune rules the highest expressions of love, He also rules the most extreme of love’s betrayals, as well as any abuse of trust and love for selfish ends. He rules deception, betrayal, and the
violation and defilement of love and trust as a source of perverse pleasure. The following section deals with these and other Qlippothic expressions of the influence and power of Neptune.
The Qlippothic aspects of Neptune: Abuses of Subtle Power, and Subtle Abuses of Power
The four Outer Planets, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, are Lords of Elemental Power, of the primordial ultimate forces and principles upon which all existence is based, and their uses and abuses. Of these, Neptune and Pluto are the strongest and most profoundly important. Pluto rules the spirit and the Will, whose physical locus includes the most of the hind-brain and brainstem. Neptune rules the soul, whose physical throne comprises the pineal gland, the hypothalamus (the throne of appetite and desire, the Lordship of which He shares with Pluto), the corpus callosum (bridge between left and right hemispheres, the Integrator and Synthesist), and the corpus coerleus (the seat of vision and dream so often triggered during deep sleep by Plutonian surges through the brain-stem containing it, producing night-terrors). These two Planets together therefore rule black Magick and sorcery, abuses of power over others, Pluto ruling enslavement of the Will and destruction of the spirit of others for political reasons, personal gain, or sheer pleasure, Neptune ruling enslavement or destruction of the souls of others for whatever end. Neptune, as Lord of Water, rules memory. Memory has three aspects: ancestral and cultural memory, ruled by Cancer, in which Neptune is nocturnally exalted; biological or genetic memory, going back to the dawn of Life on Earth, ruled by Scorpio, of which Neptune is diurnal esoteric Lord; and past-life memories of the soul’s journey from lifetime to lifetime, impelled by the Plutonian Fire of Will, the vast oceanic reservoirs of the personal and collective unconscious ruled by Pisces, of which Neptune is diurnal mundane Lord. Neptune rules the uses and abuses of power over all these, and over the emotions, the active principle of the soul. He thus rules psychiatry, a profession in which the physician’s oath is honored more in the breach than otherwise. It was Thomas Szasz, the anti-establishment psychiatrist, who said, I would far, far rather be charged with murder than insanity. I can always defend myself against a charge of murder. Psychiatry is a weird, amphibious profession that is half medical, half legal in nature, tending strongly to partake of the virtues of neither and the worst sins of both. Frequently used by individuals as well as societies as a form of verbal prestidigitation to evade justice rather than achieve it, psychiatry is notorious for its use in suppression of political dissent in the former Soviet Union, the United States of America, and elsewhere. It has also been used to help destroy the credibility of potential witnesses to serious crimes, to railroad people into mental hospitals and rob them of their rights under the law and their property and goods in a legally sanctioned way, to ensorcel the minds of individuals and whole populations into disbelieving their own minds and memories or purchasing and using things they don’t need, or which might actually be harmful to them, or endorsing political candidates who have absolutely no merit whatsoever for the elected office for which they are running. Among other forms of Neptunian sorcery, the psychiatrization of society has helped to facilitate the suppression of the fact of endemic, aggravated abuses of women, children, and other disenfranchised victim-classes in stratified urban societies by those in power over them, or, when suppression of such crimes isn’t possible, to turn the blame for the results of such chronic abuse on its victims, themselves, e.g., blaming egregious psychoneuroses and psychoses that are the results of years and years of systematic, chronic physical and emotional assaults, psychospiritual violation, and terrorization endured by helpless children, women, employees, etc. on “fantasies” entertained by the “perverted” victims rather than on the chronic, egregious abuse they have suffered. Here, clearly, Neptunian evils are inextricably intermixed with Plutonian ones, since psychiatry in such cases works to control, subvert, and harness both the memories (Neptune) and the wills (Pluto) of others in the service of maintenance of the status quo. Where Pluto commits crimes of any kind, especially murder and the enslavement of the Wills of others for ends not their own, Neptune rules the evil conjurer who uses the skills of social and verbal prestidigitation to perpetuate and conceal such crimes. The psychiatric medicalization of morality and jurisprudence is used to confine the innocent without regard to their rights. Victims of crime are labeled as “sick” when they try to reach out for aid and comfort
or to report what has happened to them – so that society forgets all about the possibility that the crimes were real, or bringing perpetrators to book, in the ensuing psycho-legal uproar. Crime and evil become trivialized and are reflected back upon the victims, rather than investigated and justly dealt with. Perjury comes to be called “denial.” Gratuitous violence and utter disregard for the rights of others is labeled “acting out.” And while in some cases it may be truly appropriate to refer to exceedingly dangerously violent individuals as “psychotic,” “sociopathic,” or by other psychiatric labels, because their egregiously violent behavior is driven by factors beyond their control, the psychiatrization of justice goes even farther, putting these felons into “hospitals,” from which they are all too often released as “cured” after a very short time – going forth to commit further crimes of predatory violence. Other Qlippothic expressions of Neptune include, e.g., iatrogenic diseases such as virulent staphylococcus and other antibiotic-resistant infections, which evolved in hospitals (ruled by Neptune); water-pollution (Neptune rules Water, is a Lord of toxins, and is a co-ruler of discard and waste); covert crime of any kind; addictions which, such as addictions to illegal substances, must be hidden from society; etc. In Magickal explorations of the Tunnels of Set, evocations of Malkunofat, the Qlippothic spirit of Key 23, Mem, Neptune’s Path could be profitably beefed up with material taken from, e.g., a hospital of any kind, a room where a crime was perpetrated and covered up, a mental hospital used to confine people who are not insane for criminal goals, a drug-addict’s works, etc.
The Last Word: Aleister Crowley on Neptune
Neptune is the Chalice, filled with pure water or fine wine, placed at the North side of the Altar. The Chalice is the Soul of all Life, creative and responsive, which must be completely open, empty of distractions, and receptive in order to allow the God to enter into and inform the Deep Mind, the True Self, with Its power. The Lesson of the Chalice is the willing Dissolution in the Waters of Creation of the Ego, the daylight mind, and mundane self through Magickal ritual, thereby making oneself available to the Gods as a perfect Instrument and Weapon of Their Will, for whatever purposes They wish. It is the Chalice that makes possible the gift of the Magus of “All I am and all I have” to Them, to do with as They Will, and thereby attain perfect Union with Them. Crowley says of Neptune: The Mind of the Father said ‘Into Three!’ and immediately all things were so divided. This oracle . . . refers . . . to the division of Nature into the three active elements of fire, air and water. Earth is a mixture of these three in diverse proportions. In this division . . . the kingdom of fire fell to Hades or Pluto, that of air to Zeus or Jupiter, and that of water to Poseidon or Neptune. Neptune is, therefore, the Lord of Ocean, and especially of that Oceanus the greater river that girdles the whole earth. One is not wise to laugh, as the shallow laugh, at the supposed absurdities of old geography. The earth is not a flat plate, but the solar system is; and on the rim of that plate is that lonely sphere, Neptune, the outpost of the fortress of the Sun. So that it was by a most happy accident that this planet was called by the name of the Lord of the Oceanus. [The editor remarks: “It is also fortuitous that Pluto, which is beyond Neptune, is equivalent to Hades which was considered by the ancient Greeks to be below or beyond Oceanus.”] Such is the far off base, in the wise and true dreamland of the philosophers, of the palace of our knowledge. Let us see how their strange symbols have been hints of truth, how the root of poetry has grown the tree of prose. First, consider Neptune as a lonely Sentinel patrolling the confines of our camp. Think of the solitude and darkness of that mysterious and eternal journey, what thoughts must bloom. Mystic, austere, romantic, will they not be? What messenger comet may approach from utmost space? The spirit of adventure thrills the blood, frosted as it is by the contact with a space of icy-nothingness, save . . . meteors and dark stars. Neptune is always starlit; at its distance from the Sun our Father [Sol] is hardly bigger than any
other star. So Neptune gallops through semi-eternal night with his source of heat and motion too remote to cheer him, but with hope, faith, love. How spiritual, how star-pure, must then be the secret thoughts of such a one, the hermit of the Solar System? How indomitable, how lonely, how refined must be his moods. Yet there is something in solitude which sets men dreaming. Not always is that dream the starry aspiration of the Knight vowed to some inaccessible lady, often there steals through the faery window a glint of some fantastic mirth. In lighter moments, there is something of the troubadour, and even of the Pierrot, in his melancholy craving for the inaccessible. For it is not in the Neptunian nature to reach harbour. He longs for love and friendship; did he gain them he would retire. For nothing can satisfy that thirst of things infinite; there is no goal attainable. Neptune is man’s boundless spirit; heaven itself is too narrow for his desires. So into his nature comes the gay coquettishness; he becomes conscious of his own anguish; and this is externalized as a love of masquerade. He knows that love is unattainable; and so he plays at love. He knows that happiness is beyond his reach; and so he seeks it by a violation of the limits of existence. His true nature, thrilled through by the wisdom of the stars with whom he holds such raptured communing in the centuries of that timeless vigil, leads him to mystic trances, to visions of deity, to mysterious marriages with elements beyond our system. For he, the Ishmael of the planets, never turns his face towards the sun. But if he be not steeled to endure exile, to attain the snowy summits of omniscience and bliss by means of the wise eremite, then the false nature mocks the true. It revels, fantastic and fond, in comedies bitter at the core, in the use of strange drugs or of perverse delights, in soulless and neurotic dreams, he seeks to satisfy his soul. Ah, Neptune is the soul! And does this not fit the sea? Is not the sea at once infinitely calm, and infinitely angered? does not the sea take strange shapes, break up the light into a myriad fantastically coloured 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 hence the bitter joy of her veins? Are we not the sea’s moods unstirred, unplumbed, and do they not harbour monsters more terrible than the fancy of antiquity ever invented? . . . [L]et the romance and the terror, the mystery and the unearthly joy of all the artists of the world direct your glance; look upon the sea through their eyes, and draw into your soul the wonder and the wantonness of it. Then understand how proper is the Ocean as an image of the soul, how proper is Neptune to be the ruler of the Ocean. The soul! . . . Neptune is the soul, with all its naked nerves played upon by rays of alien systems, malicious, capricious, fairy, or else like harp-strings swept by some player from beyond, too subtle and divine for his melodies to reach the ears of mortals. Only that sympathy, that yearning, that other-worldliness in ourselves, that influence of Neptune in our horoscopes, enables us to catch a far-away echo of that lyre, faint, silvery music of the Psyche of our inmost being. . . .173 A later editor remarks of this that . . . [Neptune’s] characteristics of secrecy were illustrated even in its mode of discovery, for its existence was determined mathematically (from discrepancies in the orbit of Uranus) before it was actually sighted. Its qualities of formlessness and secrecy were strangely reflected on the physical plane by the discovery of gas lighting and the upsurge of spiritualism in its modern form. . . . It is interesting to note that the symbol of Neptune [Ψ ], although obviously an allusion to the trident of the god Neptune, is similar to the Greek letter psi, which has been adopted as their symbol by modern researchers into E.S.P., a very Neptunian activity.174
Curiously, the exact date of the first verified telescopic sighting of Neptune was September 23, 1846.* 23 is the number of Eris, the Goddess of Discordianism, Lord of Chaos and Discord – phenomena often associated with Neptune’s influence; September is the 9th month, most of which is taken up by the Solar month Virgo, ruled by Persephone, and also associated with Eris, because of its rulership over fine-grained phenomena of the sort studied by Chaos Science; and taking the year of Neptune’s discovery, 1846, 1 + 8 = 9, reflecting September, while 46 = 2 x 23 – and 2 is the Key Number of Chokmah, the Sephirah of Neptune!
*In fact, it may not have been the first actual telescopic sighting of Neptune. In 1980 it was announced that Galileo himself actually saw Neptune with his telescope in January of 1613 e.v., 233 years before He was sighted by the German astronomer J. G. Galle, His official discoverer. Uncharacteristically, Galileo did not recognize the true nature of the moving object he sighted then, which he sketched close to Jupiter – apparently the first clearly documented instance in which this great Lord of the Starry Wastelands, famous for His traits of elusiveness, confusion, and legerdemain, worked His elegant wiles upon someone who would become a supreme shaping force upon the history of Western civilization and, ultimately, the whole world.175
A final historical note on Neptune:
The following is taken from Jeremy Bernstein’s Hitler’s Uranium Club: The Secret Records at Farm Hall (Woodbury, NY: American Institute of Physics, 1996), which presents excerpts from recordings taken by British Military Intelligence of conversations among German physicists interned before the end of WW 2 at Farm Hall, a safe house in England run by British MI. From report 4, pp. 119-120: II. 6th August 1945 1. Shortly before dinner on the 6th of August I informed Professor Hahn that an announcement had been made by the BBC . . . that an atomic bomb had been dropped. Hahn was completely shattered by the news and said that he felt personally responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, as it was his original discovery which had made the bomb possible. . . . With the help of considerable alcoholic stimulant he was calmed down and we went down to dinner where he announced the news to the assembled guests. 2. As was to be expected, the announcement was greeted with incredulity. following is a transcription of the conversation during dinner. *** HAHN: They can only have done that if they have uranium isotope separation. WIRTZ: They have it too. HAHN: I remember Segré’s, Dunning’s, and my assistant Grosse’s work; they had to separate a fraction of a milligram before the war, in 1939. [Segré is Emilio Segré . . .. John Dunning was an experimental physicist who worked with Fermi on the early fission experiments. Aristide von Grosse, who was at Columbia University at the outbreak of the war, collaborated with Dunning and Alfred Nier on the early experiments to show that 235U was the fissionable isotope of uranium. He had been Hahn’s assistant in the early 1930s.] LAUE: “235”? The
HAHN: Yes, “235.” HARTECK: That’s not absolutely necessary. If they let a uranium engine run, they separate “93.” [The Germans understood that what Harteck refers to as “93,” and which is now called neptunium, was unstable. It decays into “94” – plutonium – with a half-life of 2.36 days. Hahn published a paper on this decay in Die Naturwissenschaften in 1942. To make sense, if sense can be made of the colloquy that follows, let us review briefly here the remarks made in the Prologue about the German knowledge of the use of transuranic elements, such as plutonium, for weapons. Independently of developments in the United States regarding transuranic elements, on the 17th of July 1940 von Weizsaecker produced a report for the German project in which he suggested using element 93 as a fissionable weapons fuel. It was not until 1942 that Hahn published the paper referred to above that showed that this element was unstable and completely unsuitable for this purpose. In the meantime in August of 1941 Houtermans came up with the idea of using element 94 – plutonium – which is long lived and as fissionable as 235U. This idea must have made its way into the project since at his lecture before the Nazi dignitaries on 26 February of 1942, Heisenberg refers to using “94.” In the experiments that the Germans did to make a reactor they must have produced trace amounts of plutonium. It did not seem to have occurred to them to do any radiochemistry on these. Of course without a functioning reactor they never could have made enough plutonium to use in a bomb. In what follows, Harteck and Hahn seem to have forgotten that element 93 is unstable.] HAHN: For that they must have an engine which can make sufficient quantities of “93” to be weighed. [It is not clear what Hahn has in mind here. He is still talking about “93.”] GERLACH: If they want to get that, they must use a whole ton. [This reference to a “ton” is equally obscure. A “ton” of what?] HAHN: An extremely complicated business, for “93” they must have an engine which will run for a long time. If the Americans have a uranium bomb then you’re all second raters. Poor old Heisenberg. LAUE: The innocent! HEISENBERG: bomb? . . . ALL: No. HEISENBERG: Then it’s got nothing to do with atoms, but the equivalent of 20,000 tons of high explosive is terrific. WEIZSAECKER: It corresponds exactly to the factor 104. [Probably what Weizsaecker has in mind here is that 1 kilogram of uranium completely fissioned would correspond in energy to about 104 tons of exploding TNT . . . ] GERLACH: Would it be possible that they have got an engine running fairly well, that they have had it long enough to separate “93”? [As noted earlier, the word “engine” is apparently a translation of the German word Maschine, which the German scientists used throughout the war when referring to the reactor or pile.] . . . – Ibid. Did they use the word uranium in connection with this atomic
***** The metal plutonium, whose atomic number is 93 (uranium is 92, plutonium is 94), is ruled by Neptune. In the natal horoscope of Aleister Crowley, Neptune’s position is 2° 0’ Taurus in the 10th. (Crowley was born at 11:30 p.m. Greenwich time [UT] on 10/12/1875 at Leamington Spa, United Kingdom [1° 31’ W, 52° 18’ N]. His Ascendant is 5° 52’ Leo, MC 13° 10’ Aries. Sun, 19° Libra, 4th; Moon, 22° Pisces 41’, 9th, in mutual reception by House with Jupiter, 7° 8’ Scorpio, 4th; Mercury, 13° 21’ Scorpio, 4th; Venus, 24° 24’ Libra, 4th; Mars, 22° 52’ Capricorn, 6th; Saturn, 19° 31’ Aquarius, 7th; Uranus, 19° 7’ Leo, 1st; Pluto, 23° 14’ Taurus, 11th; Moon’s North Node, 8° 27’ Aries, 9th. It is of interest here that the numbers 19, 13, 31, and 11 are so prominent here.) According to Crowley, 93 is the number of the Aeon of Horus/Aquarius and of the “current” that kicked it off when he did his Cairo Working of 3/20/1904 e.v. at midnight (0 a.m.) in the Great Pyramid at Cairo, Egypt, which apparently manifested as his writing of The Book of the Law at Cairo on April 8-10 of that year. Later, the Nazis began their research into the occult – or perhaps began with such research – that was ultimately concerned with odd uses of Crowley’s work (something which Crowley hated, by the way – he detested the Nazis and all they stood for, and in fact worked closely with MI5 during WW2, to do what he could to help the Allies defeat Nazi Germany). Eventually, because of the Nazi takeover of Germany, WW 2 began, culminating in production and use of the first two nuclear devices in a military capacity – the dawn of the Atomic Age. This was the quintessential Thelemic moment, and it came about by use of fissionable materials such as uranium and plutonium. The fact that neptunium, which can be produced from uranium, is unstable and liable to decay into plutonium is highly significant not just to nuclear physicists and engineers, but also to students of occult history – for the atomic number of neptunium, the number of protons in its nucleus, which define its essential chemical nature, is 93. Finally, in The Book of Five Rings, the classic Japanese text on strategy and kendo (Way of the Sword), in the chapter on Water (“The Water Book”), Miyamoto Musashi discusses methods of victory as the long-sword form of the Ni Ten Ichi school of strategy. Of the five attitudes, feelings, and strategies (godai) of ninpo taijutsu, Neptune rules Water (sui no waza). According to Jack Hoban, in Ninpo: Living and Thinking as a Warrior (Chicago: Contemporary Books, 1988): In the water feeling, you have arrived at the realization that you must respond to the attack. All humans are incomplete, and the fact that you may not be strong enough, fast enough, or well-enough prepared for the attack is normal and natural. Imagine the queasy feeling in the pit of your stomach that fear tends to generate, and move back at a 45-degree angle, leading from that spot. Breathe from that spot, also. As you do this, you should have the same feeling as you would have if you were to attempt to sit down on a chair that is suddenly pulled away. Your back foot doesn’t “step” to where it ends up. It is brought back so that you don’t fall. Have a training partner try to grab you, and use this same smooth, back-pedaling movement to glide back and away from his grasp. Again, keep the responsive feeling, and try the sui no waza. It is the feeling, not the movement itself, that defines the strategy. Ibid., p. 139 This sums up the Will of Water and of its Lord, Neptune, as well as anything can. Yetziratic text: “The Twenty-third Path is the Stable Intelligence, and is so-called because it has the virtue of consistency among all numerations.” Yetziratic title: Spirit of the Mighty Waters Yetziratic attribution: Water
Hebrew letter: m, s (Mem) Numerical value: 40, 600 Title: The Spirit of the Mighty Waters Principle: Sacrifice; receptivity; dissolution (dissolving something into itself, taking something into solution) Astrological assignment: Neptune Þ. With Jupiter, Neptune rules Sagittarius and Pisces; is exalted in Cancer and Aquarius; and is the esoteric ruler of Libra and Scorpio. Neptune is fruitful, moist, magnetic, and feminine; and superior, ponderable, and ponderous (its orbit around the Sun is greater than Earth’s), Element (Alchemical): Water. The Universal Solvent. Element (chemical): Hydrogen, the first element of the Periodic Table, Z=1 (though, strictly speaking, hydrogen per se is not a chemical element, since it has no neutron. The first real element is actually helium, z=2); neptunium, the ninety-second real element, z=93/ Ecological process, realm, or principle: The short list: Oceans, great lakes, seas; marine life; evolution; earthquakes and tsunamis (the manifest, localized, ephemeral signs of hidden, generalized, long-term tectonic processes) Neptune rules the principle of diffusion. Neptune rules Earth’s hydrosphere, collectively, all oceans, seas, lakes, rivers, and other water-systems of this Planet. He is also Lord of the processes by which virgin water is vented to the Earth’s surface via volcanoes and similar outlets from the lower crust and mantle of the Planet, captured and bound in rock from free-standing bodies of water such as oceans and lakes, received on Earth from water-bearing meteorite and cometary impacts, circulated throughout Gaia via the tissues of living things as they live and die, are consumed by others organisms, and are otherwise recycled, etc. He rules the tectonic processes that gives rise to sea-quakes and tsunamis; the ecological processes that give rise to and maintain grasslands necessary for the sustenance of horses; and marine, riparian, and lacustrian ecosystems of all kinds. Neptune rules altruism, and therefore all interactive systems dependent upon altruistic or altruistic-seeming behavior among the organisms in the system. This would include beehives; partnerships between pollinating insects and various flowering plants; the scavenging for parasites in the mouths or on the hides of larger animals by smaller ones, for example, such as is found in coral atolls of tropical oceans, where sharks come to have their mouths picked clean of parasites by tiny “dentist fish”; etc. He therefore rules the genetic mechanisms that seem to be associated with altruism and community, e.g., the diploid-haploid reproductive process found in bees, etc. In the micro-ecology of the body, He rules all biochemical processes involving water; all tissues, organs, and other systems that store water within the body; and the organs such as the kidneys which return waste-water from the body to the general environment. Physical chemistry: The solvent. Liquids. Colors: Liber 777 gives: King Scale of Color, deep blue; Queen Scale of Color, sea-green; Emperor Scale of Color, deep olive-green; Empress Scale of color, white, flecked purple. All watery colors; the turquoise-blue of highly productive tropical reef communities. De Vore gives lavender, sea-green, mauve, smoke-blue, and “peculiar shades of gray.”
Barbara Watters gives sea-green and iridescent, pearl-like hues. Additionally, since Neptune, like Uranus and Pluto, rules advanced science and technology, Neptune is associated with electromagnetic wavelengths beyond or below the visible spectrum, and in particular is associated with ultraviolet (Uranus, with X-rays, microwaves, and cosmic background radiation; and Pluto with gamma radiation). Gods: Greek: Poseidon; Nereus; Proteus; Glaucus; Phorkys; Amphitrite (born of the Ocean, i.e., from the sea-foam that was the sperm of Poseidon); Thetis; Triton and his children, the Tritons; Oceanus (the personification of the World-Ocean) Roman: Neptune, “Foam-Born” Venus Egyptian: Tum, Ptah, Auramoth (as Water), Asar (as Hanged Man), Hekar, Isis (Hathoor) USA: The Great Father of Waters (the name for the Mississippi River used by the Algonquin Indians) Celtic: Fideal (a water-demon which behaves much like the German Lorelei and the Greek Sirens); Fand (“Pearl of Beauty”; a sea-Goddess); Geofon (British ocean Goddess); Latis (British Goddess associated with water); Lir/Llyr (Wales; similar to Oceanus, Poseidon, Neptune), God of the Sea; Manannan mac Lir (Celtic: God of the ocean and fertility) Hindu: Soma (apas), Varuna (one of the eight Dikpala, the beings who guard the Eight Directions); Shiva (as the Sunlight Dancing on the Waters); Makara (sea-monster with the body of a crocodile); Maya, Lord of Illusion. Buddhism: Varuna Voudon: Olokun, God of Oceanic Abysses and the Unconscious. SubGenius: “Bob,” as chief martyr of the Church of the SubGenius, and He Who Succeeds by Screwing Up Totally. St. Gerry Reith, a High Church scribe and early martyr of the Church. JHVH-1, Who is duplicitous, sneaky, cruel, treacherous, confused, and a lush Who makes too many stupid bar-bets; He is also a SubGenius analog of Odin. NheeGhee, the Great Discordian Malefic (He is also associated with Saturn). Discordianism: Eris. Chaos. The Emperor Joshua Norton. H. P. Lovecraft: Cthulhu, Who sleeps in His house in drowned R’lyeh. H. P. Lovecraft Himself, as First Prophet of the Starry Wisdom Cult and as the Sufferer, who was also a battered child (Djehuti, associated with Neptune because He is Lord of Orphans, is also Protector of Battered Children). Stephen King: LaVeyan Satanism: Szekely (Romany Gypsy): Chinese: Japanese: Sujin, Kami of the Sea and of Water (alternate names: Mizu no Kamisama, Kuni no Kotachi; Mizu no Kamisama Judaism: IA, the Father Christianity: The Christ, as God of the Christian Aeon of Pisces/Osiris. Jesus of Nazareth, as teacher and martyr. Jesus the Crucified Christ. God the Father. Jesus on the Cross (the Sacrifice); John the Baptist (the use of water for baptism) Islam: Scandinavian/Norse: Odin, as the Magus and Lord of Wisdom (the Hanged Man of Trump XII of the Tarot, which is associated with Key 23, Mem, Neptune’s Path, has frequently been interpreted as Odin hanging upside-down by one foot on the tree Yggdrasil in His quest for wisdom) The French Enlightenment: Madame La Guillotine Russian: Hungarian: African: Southeast Asia:
Polynesian: Ta’aroa (Tahitian) or Kanaloa (Hawaiian), Lord of Hell, the Ocean Storm, and the Deep Sea. (The Cthulhu Mythos developed by H. P. Lovecraft and other writers postulates numerous links between Lovecraft’s Great Old Ones, of Whom Cthulhu was one; Sumerian religion; Haitian Magick; and Tahitian religions.) Native Australian: Eskimo: Central American: American Indian: American folklore: Science-fiction: The Land of Oz: The Wizard (who was, after all, an illusionist par excellence, not a true Magickian) Biblical associations: Jonah and the Whale (OT Book of Jonah); Genesis 1:2, 6-8,10,20-22; Jesus walks on water (NT Matthew 14:22-33, Mark 6:45-52, and John 6:16-21); NT Matthew 3:13, Mark 1:9, Luke 3:23 Countries: Normandy, the Sahara Desert, Portugal, Egypt, the southern portions of the Middle East, Minoa, Crete, Japan Cities: Lancaster, Ratisbon, Alexandria, Seville; Cancun. Businesses: petroleum industry, fishing industry, hospitals, all charitable institutions and trusts Employment: bootleggers, drug dealers, kidnappers, music composers, mathematicians, computer programmers, caricaturists, speculators, diplomats, politicians, mediums, ninjas, sailors, naval officers and enlisted men, marines, photographers, moviemakers, lifeguards, makers of swimming-pools, pool maintenance personnel, Olympic swimmers and related athletes Meditation: Meditation on water Magickal Power: The Great Work; talismans; crystal-gazing (scrying) Perfume: Onycha, myrrh Musical tone: G sharp or A flat. Qlippoth: Ghagiel*
*See Kenneth Grant, Nightside of Eden (London: Skoob Books Publishing, 1994), pp.
Legendary orders of being: Undines, Water-Nymphs, Mermaids, Tritons, Nereids. The Phorcids, children of Ceto by Phorcys, another Sea-Being, are associated with Key 23. They include Ladon, Echidne, and the three Gorgons, Stheino, Euryale, and Medusa; the three Graeae; and the Hesperides. Chrysaor and Pegasus, children born of Medusa (an Avatar of Pallas Athena) and sired by Poseidon, are associated with Key 23 and Neptune.
The beings that are reported to come to Earth in UFOs are associated with Neptune. In some cases, this is because they are mysterious, deceptive, and confusing. In others, it is because of what contactees have been ingesting just prior to the contact. Gugs, ghasts, and night-gaunts, creatures of nightmare all of which are found in the Dreamlands, the place where dreamers go while sleeping, make frequent appearances in Lovecraft’s fiction. They are counterbalanced by Zoogs, who are sometimes helpful to travelers. Alchemical references: Sulfur; the Universal Solvent Metals, stones, and minerals: Coral, beryl, aquamarine, amethyst, ivory, moonstone, glass, porcelain, crystal balls, petroleum, oil, natural gas, byproducts of combustion, volcanic ejecta (which contain enormous amounts of water). Alan Oken gives coral, aquamarine, ivory, platinum, neptunium, and radium. Ivy Goldstein-Jacobson adds amethyst, and such artificial substances as glass, porcelain, and imitation or synthetic materials. Nicholas De Vore adds lithium.* Watters adds the pearl, made by oysters, oceanic creatures, and salt, because of the saltiness of ocean waters.** Neptune rules the actinides, the chemical elements which have atomic numbers 89 (actinium) through 103. These are analogs of the Uranus-ruled lanthanides, beings the next series of that kind up from the latter in the Periodic Table. Metals whose dissolved salts are plentiful in sea-water are Neptunian. Calcium carbonate, or limestone, is a rock which forms in the ocean, and could not form elsewhere due to the conditions of temperature, pressure, and chemistry necessary for its creation, and it is therefore ruled by Neptune.† The shells of marine animals, some of which are used in jewelry, or prized for their beauty and/or rarity, and so qualify as precious or semiprecious stones, are Neptunian. By the same token, iodine (Z=53) is ruled by Neptunian, because of its pervasive presence in water.‡ Curiously, iodine is necessary for the functions of the thyroid gland, which produces thyroxin, a hormone that enables the body to convert stored food to metabolic energy, reflecting Neptune’s association with Chokmah, Pure Force, the Father, Whose Element is Fire/Spirit. It is of interest in this context that the metal of Mercury, quicksilver or mercury metal (Z=80), displays such Neptunian properties as elusiveness (try grabbing some with your bare hands!). The Sign rulerships of mercury are 180ø across the sky from those of Neptune, and therefore in opposition to Neptune’s dignities, so that they provide reflections or mirrors of Neptune’s qualities – qualities with which Mercury Himself, like so many Mercurial phenomena and the metal mercury, is richly endowed! Neptune is also one of the rulers of natural gas and oil. Though these are not solid substances, and in that sense are not “stones” or “gems,” they are highly valuable sources of energy for technology and for use in the home, and therefore sources of wealth, as gemstones are, and thus subtle versions of precious stones. Neptune rules fluids of all kinds. These include not only liquids, but also gases, plasmas, glasses, and matter so finely divided that it flows like a liquid, e.g., jeweler’s rouge (pumice) and finest-grade powdered sugar. In terms of physical phases, Neptune rules the liquid phase, as Uranus rules the gaseous phase, Pluto the plasmoid phase, and Saturn the solid phase; but Neptune also rules the fluid or flowing, Watery aspects of any of the latter three phases. Finally, the element helium (Z=2) is ruled by Neptune, since its atomic number is 2, that of Neptune’s Sephirah, and is found naturally only in gaseous form. Element 23, vanadium, likewise is ruled by Neptune, since its atomic number is the same as the Key Number of Neptune’s Path, Mem. And Element 40, zirconium, is ruled by Neptune as well, since its atomic number is the same as the value of Mem.
* Though since the word itself literally means “stone substance,” it is more likely to be ruled by Saturn. This is especially so today because of the ominous connotations due to this metal’s use in manufacture of thermonuclear bombs. **Traditionally, however, salt is associated with Saturn.
Saturn traditionally rules this mineral; as in the case with salt, this indicates the delegation to Neptune of certain of the rulerships of Saturn. Traditionally, this chemical element is ruled by Luna – of which Neptune is a higher octave.
Plants, real and imaginary: Lotus; sea algae; all water plants; drug-yielding plants Oken gives plants from which recreational drugs of any kind are extracted, including marijuana (which, incidentally, is sacred to the Hindu God Shiva); coca (the source of cocaine); the opium poppy (source of all opiates, from opium and laudanum to morphine, heroin, codeine, etc.); devil’s weed [jimson weed or datura?]; peyote; and psilocybin mushrooms (this last is a fungus, not a plant, but since Neptune tends to blur boundary-lines, it will be included in this section). He suggests that for the same reason, tobacco herb and coffee beans are Neptunian in nature. And he adds that along with the Moon, Neptune rules over certain plants with occult properties, such as orchids. Neptune rules seductive or addictive pleasures, which naturally include all narcotic drugs, tobacco products, coffees and teas; things that give or enhance aesthetic pleasure, such as psychedelic drugs; and the occult, in the sense of that which is hidden or mysterious, which includes plants used for occult purposes, such as orchids or mandrake root. So Oken’s ascriptions here are appropriate for Neptune. Goldstein-Jacobson gives parasitic and medicinal plants of all kinds, tobacco, plants which yield (presumably recreational) drugs, kelp, and dwarfed plants and trees.^184 Neptune rules seducers, betrayers, plagues, and other things that are often associated with parasites, as well as hospitals, so the first two are appropriate. Tobacco, given also by Oken, is a recreational as well as a ritual drug, thus ruled by Neptune. Kelp is a sea-plant, hence under Neptune’s rulership as Lord of the Sea and all in it. Neptune rules torture, cruelty, and confinement, all of which could be said to be involved in the process of creating bonsai (dwarf) trees, so He could be said to rule dwarf plants, at least those deliberately created by gardener’s arts. All plants that live in the sea or in the world’s great rivers and lakes are under Neptune’s dominion as Lord of the Sea. Barley, oats, grapes, potatoes, etc., from which the most common potable alcohols, such as whiskey, vodka, wine, ale, and beer, can be distilled are likewise ruled, at least in part, by Neptune. (The little yeast organisms in the solutions that produce these drinks are Neptunian, as well, since they do the ultimate donkey-work of converting sugars, natural or artificial, into ethanol.) As Lord of Pisces, Neptune rules all hidden violence, from guerrilla warfare to assassinations, as well as murder in any form. As diurnal esoteric Lord of Scorpio, which rules all toxic substances, from snake- or spider-venom and strychnine or cyanide to industrial waste, He rules all poisons, the secret murder-weapons par excellence. Therefore He also rules all poisonous plants and mushrooms, particularly the amanita varieties of mushroom, which are psychoactive in small quantities and deadly in only slightly larger doses. Animals, Real and Imaginary: The short list: Fish, sharks, rays, skates, marine arthropods; scorpion-serpent-eagle (Cherub of Water = Scorpio); beetle (Kephra); wolf; reptiles; crablouse (louse)
Liber 777 gives “Eagle-Snake-Scorpion,” the Cherubim of Water, for Key 23. (Interestingly, Central America’s Christ-Teacher, Quetzlcoatl, also known as Kukulcan, the Feathered Serpent, is a quasi-composite of these three animals. Also, the flag of Mexico shows an eagle attacking a serpent (the result of an error of understanding by Latinos of the real symbol of native Mexican culture, an eagle bearing a scroll). Neptune in Scorpio is thus associated with Mexican and Central American cultures. Just as Uranus rules the animals of the air, Saturn those of the land, and Pluto those which live near the vents of volcanoes, in hot springs, and close to the deep-ocean vents near mid-ocean ridges where new material continually wells out to form new seed-bed from the earth’s hot interior, so Neptune rules the animals of the oceans and seas. These include all teleost (bony) fishes, whose bony skeletons evolved in the calcium salt-rich environment of the ocean; all squaline or cartilaginous fish, the sharks, the rays, etc.; shellfish, actually arthropod, and molluscine invertebrates, whose soft, moist, tender bodies inside their hard shells or chitinous integuments are so quintessentially Neptunian; the whales, including all porpoises and mammalian dolphins; the pinnipeds, such as seals, sea-lions, manatees, and dugongs; and cephalopods, such as octopi, squid, and cuttlefish, so perfectly adapted to the water and so lovely in motion within it. Glabrous land-animals that prefer to keep their skins moist and/or which like water and swim well, such as pigs, elephants, and human beings,* are likewise ruled by Neptune, at least in part. Finally, the fugu-fish, a coveted delicacy among gourmets the world over, especially in Japan, ruled by Neptune because it is a teleost fish, is also under His dominion because, when improperly prepared by the cook, the fish is deadly poisonous and will kill the person eating it. Also, the fish’s liver-toxin that is the culprit in this case supposedly has been used as a drug to induce a zombie-like state in unwitting victims, and thus comes under Neptune’s dominion as Lord of deceit, betrayal, covert violence, etc.**
*Elaine Morgan, in Descent of Woman (New York: Stein and Day, 1972), makes a very good case for the thesis that at one point in our evolution, we ourselves temporarily returned to the sea, at least to the tidewaters of the coasts of Africa and India, some 3-5 million years ago, in order to avoid the perils of life on the savanna. There, she argues, we evolved our characteristically large buttocks, distinctively shaped pair of (female) breasts, and a number of other important aspects of our physical and psychospiritual makeup. Because of this, Neptune is clearly one of the rulers of Homo sapiens as a species . The other is Uranus, ruling Aquarius, the cherub of which is The Man, for we are a Starstriving species, astronomers and space-travelers, both under the dominion of Uranus. **See Wade Davis, The Serpent and the Rainbow (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1985), for his thesis concerning probable use of fugu-fish poison and bufotonin in the preparation of drugs used to transform healthy human beings into half-alive zombies.
Venomous animals are Neptunian, because of Neptune’s diurnal esoteric rulership of Scorpio, and thus of all venoms, toxins, and poisons, which are traditionally ruled by Scorpio. Toads which secrete psychoactive substances are Neptunian, not only because these secretions can be quite lethally poisonous, as well, but also because they, like fugu-fish livertoxin, supposedly are used to make the drugs used in the creation of zombies. Animals which camouflage themselves to look like other animals, such as the viceroy butterfly, which resembles the bad-tasting monarch butterfly, or which feign death, such as the ‘possum, are ruled by Neptune. Animals which, like cats and human beings, cherish their sleep and often spend a good deal of time at it, are therefore at least partly ruled by Neptune. Such animals include all predatory mammals, among others. (Neptune, the Great Illusionist, presents a seductive, lovely face to us most of the time. But within the depths of His Ocean is the shark, a preeminently Neptunian organism. As Crowley says, “In the heart of Neptune is Mars.”)
Neptune is Lord of animals which, like the fox, adopt ruses to escape their enemies. He likewise rules all animals which symbolize or incarnate wisdom, such as the aforementioned fox, the elephant, the mule, and the owl. For this reason, a Neptunian animal par excellence is therefore the snake or serpent, the traditional symbol of Wisdom in all its aspects, including guile and subtlety, which is also a logo of Scorpio, of which Neptune is esoteric Lord. Venomous snakes of whatever species are thus especially under the dominion of Neptune, both because they are serpents and because of their venom. Neptune rules the crocodile, above all, the Nile crocodile. That animal not only lives in rivers, and is thus associated with Neptune for that reason, but also strikes from concealment, a Neptunian tactic. Set, the God of Evil of the Egyptians,* was originally a crocodile-God, and in His apotheosis expressed very clearly those aspects of Saturn closely associated with Neptune’s malefic nature, such as covert malice, etc.
*Actually, Set has a function rather like Kali does in Her culture: as an agency of Heaven’s justice. He is, as it were, the Divine Cop, the ultimate ecological check-and-balance Who acts to destroy the sources of great evil before they can destroy the civilization or the world. If Horus is the ancient Egyptian equivalent of the Archangel Michael, Set is a sort of divine Green Beret, a one-God Special Forces Unit that gets called in when no one else can do the job. He is therefore a frightening being, one whose business-end it is wise to avoid. Out of fear of Him, over the ages many have associated Him with the objects of His work rather than with the results of that work, so that He has thereby gained a reputation as an evil God. But He is no more evil than a tornado, which is Gaia’s way of balancing out Her heat-budget when no other way presents itself and the alternative is ecological disaster in still worse forms.
Neptune rules bees. Bees display totally selfless altruism and self-sacrifice for the good of the whole hive, qualities eminently Neptunian. They also have a powerful venom in their stings, essentially identical with black widow spider venom, though there is far less of it per bee-sting than per spider-bite. Neptune rules venoms of all kinds, as well as barbed weapons, such as bee-stings. Finally, traditionally bees are associated with Aphrodite, Whose higher octave is Neptune. For all these reasons, then, bees are in Neptune’s domain. All internal parasites are Neptunian, because of their hidden and secretive life-styles. Fleas are ruled by Neptune because of their habit of concealing themselves in the fur of their hosts. In particular, gestating organisms in the wombs of mammals and sharks such as Great Whites (Carcharodon carcharias) Rats are ruled by Neptune, as are cockroaches, because most of the time they live in concealment, down in sewers, behind the baseboards of houses, etc. All animals living in sewers, which are ruled by Scorpio, are under Neptune’s dominion. Neptune rules hair and fur, and is associated with the Root of the Powers of Fire. Thus He rules Class Mammalia as a whole, since these animals are covered in fur or hair and are warm-blooded.
*Saturn rules poikilothermic or cold-blooded animals, in general; Uranus rules anything that flies; and Pluto rules animals that live below ground or in environments too hot or toxic for most forms of life, such as brine shrimp, toxic tube-worms, bacterial colonies found in the settling-ponds of runoff from the cooling systems of nuclear reactors, etc.
Finally, Neptune’s traditional dignity, the Sign Pisces, rules large animals and wild animals in general, and the horse in particular. The Mediterranean peoples whose God was Poseidon were merchants, and shipped horses from such places as Scythia to markets all over
the Mediterranean. So Neptune, like Athena and Jupiter, rules the horse; He is also the ruler of any large, wild animal. Creatures in general: Parasites, medicinal plants, dwarfed plants and trees (e.g., bonsais) Vegetable drugs (plant extracts): Extractions used for purging the body; cascara; tobacco Foods, drugs, flavors, and perfumes: For Key 23, Liber 777 gives phosphates and sulfates (sulfa drugs, i.e., one of the earliest dependable antibiotics) for His mineral drug, cascara and all purges for His vegetable drug, and myrrh and onycha* for His perfumes.
*Onycha (Greek: ονυξ), along with equal parts of stacte, galbanum, and frankincense, was one of the components of the HaKetoret (holy incense) which appears in the Old Testament in the book of Exodus(Ex.30:34-36) and was used in the temple in Jerusalem. This formula was to be incorporated as a holy incense and was not to be duplicated for nonsacred use. What the onycha of antiquity actually was cannot be determined with certainty.
De Vore gives poisons, liquids, and habit-forming drugs.186 This implies that Neptune rules all addictive substances, drinks of any kinds, and foods which are either toxic in their own right, occasionally (such as the aforementioned fugu-fish) or inevitably (e.g., cyanide), or which tend to promote histological toxicity, such as white sugar and rancid fats. De Vore also gives all subtle and seductive flavors, and, presumably, foods with such flavors, or perfumes having odors with similar qualities.186a To this list could be added all elusive or illusionary odors and flavors. While alcoholism is an affliction ruled by Neptune, alcohol itself is primarily a Solar drug, sacred to the Solar God Dionysos. (This further supports the idea that Sol has an esoteric dignity in Pisces, Neptune’s diurnal mundane rulership.) Whereas the psychedelic drugs, which can be used for enlightenment, and are not addictive by nature, are ruled by Uranus, the addictive drugs are ruled by Neptune, especially the opiates and the other inducers of dream, sleep, analgesia, and anesthesia. Neptune rules all addictive substances, including such cultural commonplaces as cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, snuff, and tobacco in any other form; cocoa; chocolate; coffee*; aspirin**; white sugar, and, by extension, candies and other sweets that are sweetened with this drug and which one comes to crave for their sweet taste and the endocrine high they induce from ingestion†; and a host of other substances which are either sold over the counter or can be obtained legally via prescription and are not commonly thought of as addictive. Toxins such as bufotonin used to create the infamous zombie drugs of Haiti (for more on which, see above) are Neptunian, since they undercut the critical faculties and promote Neptunian state such as catatonia and hypnogogia.186b Homeopathic tinctures of Neptunian substances are excellent Neptunian drugs. Diuretics, including coffees and teas containing caffeine, which promote the flow of water, are Neptunian. So is water itself. Neptunian foods include all sea-foods; anything with an elusive or illusory taste; and anything which strongly affects the endocrine system or its functions, such as white sugar, as well as all foods prepared from organisms of any kind that are ruled by Neptune. Specifically, addictive drugs may be assigned to Neptune and His Keys as follows (e.g.): Cocaine – Qlippoth of Chesed of Chokmah (or of Kaph of Mem) Coffee – Qlippoth of Hod of Chokmah (Beth of Mem)
Steroids (when taken for the “high” and as part of an addictive syndrome) – Qlippoth of Geburah of Chokmah (Peh of Mem)
*Not only are coffee and other caffeinated beverages and foods addictive, but their long-term use produces a symptomology not normally thought of in association with caffeine in our culture. These symptoms range from growing paranoia, psychomotor seizures, insomnia and sleep other disturbances of all kinds, depression, and bipolar syndrome to systemic disturbance of endocrine function, not to mention cancer of the stomach or intestines, all of which are ruled primarily by Neptune or Neptune in combination with the other Outer Planets. Traditionally, caffeine is ruled by Mercury, but this is because of the “speedy” state of mind it can induce. In fact, that “speediness” is ephemeral, and chronic use of caffeinated products such as coffee impairs coordination and reflexes, ruled by Mercury. Even longer use can induce seizures, altered states of conscious, and paranoia, classic Neptunian symptoms. Clearly long-term use of the drug opposes the proper functioning of Mercuryruled systems of body and mind, just as the Signs ruled by Neptune oppose those ruled by Mercury. The apparent Mercurial “high” induced by caffeine is an illusion – and Neptune, the Great Deceiver, Lord of the Lie, rules illusions of all kinds. The Neptunian nature of the most fundamental effects of caffeine on the body is subtle in its manifestations and expressions – and Neptune rules subtlety, craft, and guile in all forms. So caffeine in all its manifestations is primarily ruled by Neptune, and only secondarily – if at all – by Mercury. **Aspirin can be a viciously addictive drug. It can also produce bizarre altered states of consciousness when taken in large quantities over long periods of time, states that approach or attain the mystical and the visionary – and Neptune rules the Mystic, the Visionary, the Prophet. It is first cousin to LSD, chemically speaking, with a chemical structure very similar to that of the latter, an hallucinogen/psychedelic masquerading as a quotidian over-the-counter analgesic – and Neptune rules the Mimic and the Masque, as well as being a secondary ruler of psychedelics (because of the cosmic beauty they reveal to users). Its analgesic mechanism is still not clearly understood – and Neptune rules mystery. Modern forms of aspirin are derived from coal-tar rather than willow-bark, which was the original source of the drug – and Neptune rules petroleum and its by-products. Thus aspirin, like caffeine, comes under the primary jurisdiction of Neptune on a variety of counts. †Though it is not commonly realized, white sugar – sucrose – is in fact a drug, a very potent one that stimulates the central nervous system and the endocrine system, especially the pancreas, temporarily putting them into overdrive. White sugar is used as a religious sacrament by the Thuggees of India, especially just prior to violent action, and it is traditionally added to dishes served at religious and holiday feasts throughout India.
Clothing, Magickal Weapons, and other things, objects, and processes: For Neptune’s Magickal Powers, Liber 777 gives the Vision of God Face-to-Face and the Vision of Antinomies for Key 2, and the Accomplishment of the Great Work, Talismans, Crystal-Gazing, “etc.”, for Key 23. For Magickal Weapons, it gives the Lingam and the Inner Robe of Glory for Key 2; and the Cup, the Cross of Suffering, and the Wine, for Key 23. For Transcendental Morality, it gives the virtue of Devotion for Key 2, and the Magickal Power of audere for Key 23. To the list of Magickal Weapons given for Neptune by Liber 777 might be added the whip, for the erotic stimulation it confers and its connotations of masochism, a Neptunian vice, and slavery, ruled by Pisces and Neptune; instruments of torture and execution, from the rack to the stake, for their associations with martyrdom and injustice, ruled by Neptune; Here is a list of Magickal Weapons of Neptune in each of the Signs:
Aries – the Seed; the Flamethrower (liquid or fluid Fire, Fire from petroleum products) Taurus – the Pipe or Conduit Gemini – the Cistern; the Shadoof; the Pump Cancer – the Fountain; the (Fisherman’s) Net (associations with St. Peter as well as Christ) Leo – Napalm; the Phallos (Root of the Power of Fire, the Father) Virgo – the Net Libra – the Veil (the Bride of Christ) Scorpio – the Trident; the Poisoned Dagger or Ring; the Black Dragon of Alchemy; the Titrator (for titrating chemical compounds and mixtures), an instrument of Alchemy and Homeopathy; the Flush Toilet (Uranus, Who is exalted in Scorpio, rules technology, so the flush toilet is associated both with Scorpio and with Neptune, for its use of running water as a primary mechanism of its action) Sagittarius – Fireworks; the Horse-Collar; the Stake (for execution by fire, i.e., burning at the stake, especially as a religious devotion or auto da fe); the Pipe (to conduct water, part of an irrigation system); the Pipe or Bhong (to smoke a toke of Shiva’s and “Bob”‘s preferred Unspeakable Herb, or for use for smoking opium) Capricorn – the Dam; the Water-Clock; the Rack, the Boot, the Strappado, and other instruments of political torture Aquarius – the Nuclear Submarine Pisces – the Chalice; the Whip; the Cross Goldstein-Jacobson gives transparent fabrics, nets, and veils for Neptune, along with imitation and synthetic materials, and therefore, presumably, clothing made of these; prosthetic appliances such as glass eyes, dentures, toupees, and artificial limbs; plastics and things made of plastic; crystal balls; films, film negatives, photographic supplies, and cameras. De Vore gives mysterious and unidentifiable substances of all kinds; democratic and popular movements, mobs, and the common people (reflecting Neptune’s diurnal exaltation in Aquarius); mystics, dreamers, psychics, visionaries, and mediums, and therefore, by implication, the subjects of their gifts; hospitals and charities; socialized medicine and hospitals; seditions; socialism; and widespread unrest. As for clothing, since Neptune rules the acting and cinematic professions, costumes of all kinds are ruled primarily by Neptune, by definition. Neptune rules imitation fur, artificial fabrics, imitation and synthetic materials, plastics (which are manufactured from petroleum products), prosthetic body-parts, glass eyes, dentures, toupees, films, photographic negatives, photography supplies, equipment for swimming-pool maintenance, cameras, camcorders, video files, VHS and DVD recordings, DVDs and other media containing computer software; trojans, worms, viruses, and other computer malware; Anatomy and physiology: The short list: The feet; the pineal gland and corpus coerleus in the brain (involved in the processes of sleep and dreaming) Liber 777 gives “the organs of nutrition” for Key 23, for reasons that are not clarified (typical for Neptune!). Oken gives the pineal gland, and “all parts of the nervous system which are receptive to psychic impressions.” He asserts that “Neptune is also influential in the functioning of the chakras (the psychic centers of bodily energy) and the human aura.” The pineal gland secrets serotonin, which is involved in psychedelic experiences, trances, and dreams. It is a chemical analog of both LSD and aspirin, the latter being a pain-killer and antipyretic, reflecting Neptune’s rulership of analgesics as well as of water in any form, including cool liquid water to put out fires and cool down heated surfaces. Traditionally, this gland has long been known
as “the Seat of the Soul.” On both counts, this is an especially appropriate association for Neptune. De Vore adds to this the organs of extra-sensory perception, intuitive and psychic receptivity; the functioning of telepathic, psychic, or occult faculties; and the formation of white blood-cells. In the case of this last, in mammals, white blood-cells are products of the immune response, manufactured in the marrow of the bone, which thus functions as part of the immune-system. The immune response and immune system, being the way in which the body fends off disease organisms and defends itself from illness, are ruled by Mars. So Neptune’s rulership of white blood-cells once again calls to mind Crowley’s dictum that “at the heart of Neptune is Mars”! Ungar and Huber add to these the endocrine system, the feet, the spinal canal, lachrymation (production of tears, and the tear-ducts), and the toes. The notochord, spine, and skeleton are all partly ruled by Neptune, since all of these first came into existence among marine organisms, which spent the first 140 million years or so of their existence – one-fourth of their evolutionary history – in the oceans.* Further, the spine, like the brain, requires salts of calcium as an absolute necessity for its functioning, while the skeleton must have this element for its growth and maintenance. Such salts have their origin in the world’s oceans. Neptune’s domain includes numerous parts of the vertebrate central nervous system and its functioning, including some organs and faculties that are apparently unique to the hominidae, including Homo sapiens. Dreams and dreaming, which have their physiological throne in the corpus coerleus, part of the brain stem, are Neptunian functions; therefore the corpus coerleus itself is also ruled by Neptune. The reticular activating system, an extremely important system in the brain stem, which responds to addictive stimulants such as methedrine and caffeine as super-stimuli, is ruled in part by Neptune. The thalamus and the corpus callosum, which serve as neurological “bridges” between the two hemispheres of the human brain, are ruled by Neptune, since they synthesize or synergize (Piscean functions) emotion with intellect, spatial or mathematical perceptions with verbalization, and dream with thought. The asymmetry of function between the two hemispheres of the brain, such that one hemisphere concerns itself with logic, spoken language, and social skills while the other is concerned with spatial perception, esthetic creativity, and, possibly, the cortical faculties involved in ESP, may be unique to our species which is, for a variety of reasons, ruled by Neptune, as we have previously seen. The asymmetrical development of the cerebrum into dominant and sub-dominant hemispheres, with the corresponding development of right- or left-handedness, etc., is common among mammalian species in general and, possibly, among other vertebrates, but so far we have found no other species besides ourselves with the particular type of division of cerebral functions between the two cerebral hemispheres that is characteristic of human beings. The cerebellum, riding on the rear of the brain like the Old Man of the Sea, in which resides practical memory (i.e., the memory of learned skills, as opposed to memories of experience), is traditionally ruled by Pisces and therefore by Neptune, ruler of that Sign, just as memory in general is ruled by Luna, a lower octave of Neptune. The parasympathetic nervous system, which calms excitation and renders the organism relaxed and receptive to external impressions, is under Neptune’s rule. Finally, the forebrain, the frontal lobes of the cerebral cortex, is ruled by Neptune. This part of the brain, the physical throne of the superego, often puts the mind at the mercy of the collective consciousness or of unreasonable or cruel social or parental demands, making the person a victim and martyr (a Neptunian affliction) of pathological social and psychic functioning.
**The earliest possible candidates for the ancestors of the vertebrates were found in the Burgess Shale, a rock unit about 200 ft (60 m) long and at most 8 ft (2.5 m) thick that crops out on the flank of Mt.
Stephen in British Columbia. This formation dates from the mid-Cambrian of about 520 million years ago, and was discovered in 1909 by the then dean of American Cambrian paleontology, Charles Doolittle Walcott, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. Reopening of Walcott’s Burgess Shale Quarry in the late 1960s provoked a re-examination of Walcott’s collection. Among other animals either found for the first time in the rock of the formation or among Walcott’s original collection and re-classified at this time was a little wormlike beast, Pikaia, a swimming organism about 2 in (5 cm) long. The V-shaped bundles of muscles along its flanks are structures known only among chordates, our own phylum. A dense mass reaching back from its head along the top of its body could be a notochord supporting the dorsal nerve column, something else unique to chordates. Pikaia seems to be a cephalochordate, related to living lancelets, though that identification is not certain. After this promising start, it took perhaps another 140 million years for vertebrate life to make its way out onto dry land, in the form of the first amphibians. For more on this and related subjects, see The Book of Life: An Illustrated History of Life on Earth (Stephen Jay Gould, general editor. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1993), pp. 51-58, and Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of History, by Stephen Jay Gould (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1989), passim.
Psychology: Neptunian traits and behavioral tendencies include modish and the faddish character traits, i.e, those deliberately assumed, as an act or pose; illusory, elusive, and intangible emotions that are poorly understood even by those who experience them; acts dictated by powerful but inexplicable drives and motives, directed toward invisible, intangible ends; strong sensitivity to harmony, sympathy, symmetry, rhythm, poetry, the dance, and beauty in any form, and extreme revulsion at their opposites; a love of music, particularly that produced by stringed instruments; attraction to the morbid and the erotic, sometimes bordering on necrophilia or masochism; social unrest; a tendency to get swept up in mob emotions or mass trends; whim and whimsicality; a tendency to renege on a bargain or contract or go back on one’s word at the merest whim; chronic sadness or grief, often concealed by laughter and mockery, particularly self-mockery; tendencies toward selfeffacement or self-destruction; a tendency to be overwhelmed by emotion, to react with extreme emotion to things to which such strong emotion may not be wholly appropriate; artistic, poetic, mystical, or psychic vision; and seductiveness. Examples of Neptunian personality structures include the extremely psychic, especially those whose extreme sensitivity therefore makes them so vulnerable to the moods, emotions, and spiritual states of others that as a result, they are in danger of contracting psychosis; the person who chronically entertains false hopes and indulges him- or herself in tricky schemes, yet is extremely sympathetic to others (a la Herman Melville’s The Confidence Man); whimsical persons; the mystic; the poet; the artist; the institutionalized person, who can no longer function outside the institution in which he or she has been long confined; the chronically psychotic; the mesmerist; the other-worldly temperament. Neptunian faculties include feeling, desire, emotions of all kinds, extreme charisma of the sort found in the world’s movers and shakers, imagination, esthetic sensitivity and talent, psychic faculties and many forms or aspects of extra-sensory perception. When thwarted or too greatly stressed, the native strongly tends to become psychoneurotic or even psychotic, melodramatic and histrionic, and susceptible to flattery, the power of suggestion, and mere appearances of things. Such a person is often very conformistic, but may succeed in enterprises requiring great intelligence, originality, and mental persistence for their accomplishment. Neptune’s virtues include devotion (see Col. L of Liber 777) and faith or devotional belief. The latter comes from Neptune’s rulership of Pisces, the fourth House of the natural Zodiacal Wheel from Sagittarius, which is the Sign of Higher Knowledge. Counting counterclockwise around the Wheel, the fourth from a given House (counting that House as the first in the sequence) rules the outcome of the affairs of that House. Since belief or faith, ruled by Pisces, is the outcome of higher knowledge, Neptune, ruler of Pisces, includes faith and belief
among His virtues. His greatest virtue is of course Wisdom, since this is the meaning as well as the name of His Sephirah, Chokmah. Diseases: Neptune is feminine, warm and moist, and erratic, and is associated with abnormal conditions and surprising developments or hidden complications that usually trick the unwary and prevent them from getting at root causes of Neptune-caused ailments. Neptune causes wasting diseases, abnormal conditions, baffling symptoms that are hard to diagnose and may be groundless; comatose conditions, fainting, suffocating, or choking; stupefaction, torpor, unconsciousness as a result of drug overdoses or from anesthetics; hysteria, suicidal tendencies; abortion, danger of miscarriage in pregnant women, and danger to those women from miscarriage; blood-poisoning; sleeping sickness (also called Human African trypanosomiasis, sleeping sickness, African lethargy, or Congo trypanosomiasis, it is a parasitic caused by a pathogen, a protozoan of the species Trypanosoma brucei, transmitted by the tsetse fly. The disease is endemic in some regions of sub-Saharan Africa); or from a collection of pus in a part of the body ruled by the sign in which Neptune is at the time or at the native’s birth. In cases of surgery, Neptune shows by its closest aspect the type of anesthetic used, and the likelihood of recovery from the surgery as far as complications from the anesthetic go. Neptune can cause diarrhea; diseases caused by bacteria; all cryptic illnesses and disease processes; illness caused by ingestion of pollutants and poisons. Neptune in the 6th House of the horoscope through the signs gives the following diseases: Aries: brain maldevelopment or sickness, delusions, drug habits, debilitating nightmares, coma Taurus: septic conditions (blood-poisoning) in the throat, afflictions of the eyes or tongue Gemini: consumption and wasting of the system Cancer: alcoholism, hypochondria, cryptic gastrointestinal problems Leo: suspension of the action of the heart Virgo: malnutrition, tuberculosis of the bowels, Crohn’s Disease, appendicitis Libra: edema, kidney disease (especially when it restricts the passage of urine and leads to edema), mineral/ionic imbalances in the blood, sociopathy Scorpio: sexually transmitted diseases, peritonitis, cryptic bowel problems, psychopathy Sagittarius: nervous disorders, tuberculosis Capricorn: leprosy, skin diseases, cryptic spinal problems Aquarius: obsessions (OCD), nervous afflictions, problems of the nervous system on a physiological level Pisces: OCD conditions; edema; diseases, injuries, and maldevelopment of the feet, drug addictions Liber 777 gives “chill” for Key 23. De Vore gives anoxia or oxygen deficiency; glandular imbalances due to unknown causes; energy depletion and wasting diseases; anemia; neuroses; catalepsy, “often the result of undirected or undisciplined psychic activity”; hypochondria; and drug addiction. Goldstein-Jacobson gives wasting diseases, abnormal conditions of all kinds, baffling symptoms that are hard to diagnose and may be groundless; coma, fainting, suffocation, or choking; stupefaction, torpor, and unconsciousness caused by drugs, anesthetics, etc.; hysteria; suicidal tendencies; and danger from miscarriages, abortions, and blood-poisoning, or “from a collection of pus,” according to the Sign of Neptune’s placement. She says that in charts erected for surgeries, Neptune shows, by His closest aspect, the type of anesthetic that is used. Typically Neptunian pathologies include amnesia; mystification concerning the real motives of others, a symptom frequently associated with severe psychoneurosis or psychosis; catatonia; hypnogogic stupors; poisoning from any source, including septicemia; masochism*; passive-aggressive behavior syndromes; the biochemical psychoses, such as
schizophrenia and paranoid schizophrenia**; imaginary, psychosomatic, and psychogenic illnesses†; nightmares and pavor nocturnes (“night-terrors” or “night-horrors”); pathological, compulsive lying; sleep apnia and other sleep pathologies; any unconscious compulsive or obsessive syndrome; passive-aggressive behavior syndromes; pathological lying; alcoholism, drug addiction, and all other forms of substance abuse; necrophilia; and confusion of all kinds. In particular, Neptune rules migraines, because these can be set off by coffee, a drug of Neptune, and smog, the by-product of burning of petrochemicals (ruled by Neptune); and diabetes that is caused or exacerbated by ingestion of white sugar, another drug of Neptune.
*Sadism, the complement of this psychosexual behavior syndrome, is ruled by Pluto. **Schizophrenia is not the same as schizoid, dissociate or multiple-personality syndrome, which is ruled by Uranus. Schizophrenia is associated with the “fragmented” or “shattered” personality rather than the “sub-divided” one of MPS. The term “schizophrenia” refers to a splitting off from reality itself of the whole person, rather than a splitting apart into coherent sections of the personality, as is the case in MPS. The personality completely loses focus, and in consequence the person functions erratically and badly, with problems making appropriate associations between external reality and internal, psychic events or acting thereon. In paranoid schizophrenia, the schizophrenic regains a focus, but it is an inappropriate or pathological one. The cost of that focus is that the person slowly becomes a social pariah and misfit, suspecting everyone and unable to establish satisfactory and fulfilling social and sexual relationships with others, due to the nature of the focus itself, which is based upon a perception or misperception of persecution by individuals or a conspiracy for reasons that are nebulous, unprovable, and often completely crazy, frequently combined with delusions of grandeur. †The latter are also ruled by Uranus, because they arise as a result of very real Magick applied accidentally and unconsciously or otherwise to the sufferer’s body by self or others.
Both physically and psychologically, Neptune rules parasitism, infestation by parasitic organisms of any kind as well as the psychosocial pathology involving unhealthy codependence of one individual with another, or outright vampirism, psychological or physical, inflicted on an individual by another. Neptune rules the parasites of plants, such as mistletoe, as well as parasites on animals. Psychologically speaking, one of the most insidious of the Neptunian psychosocial pathologies is recreational woman- and child-abuse, particularly that involving psychological assaults and terrorism perpetrated upon the victim in order to keep the latter in a state of mystification concerning the reason reasons for the abuse or the fact that the perpetrator benefits from it in any way. In terms of both their natal charts and their general development, both abuser and abused will exhibit various Neptunian character traits or aspects of personality structure, and the relationship between them itself is a Neptunian pathology.*
*However, the idea that the victim has somehow agreed to being victimized by the perpetrator is itself a Neptunian sociopsychopathology, one popularly known as “blaming the victim.” Almost invariably, in these Neptunian patterns of abuse, the victim has no real power over the situation and no way to bring the abuse to a halt, whereas the perpetrator has nearly total power over the victim – and, all too often, the tacit approval of society concerning the abuse. The behavior of the perpetrator has many Plutonian, Uranian, and Saturnian aspects, whereas the victim-status of the target of the abuse is purely Neptunian in nature. Neptune rules martyrdom, sacrifice, and related matters, and it is as if the victim had been chosen not only by the perpetrator but even by society itself to be a sacrifice to some dark Gods of urban power and wealth. This is done in exactly the same way that in many “primitive” and earlier cultures, as recorded in myths and folk-tales that have since come down to us, communities would sacrifice tribute maidens and youths to dragons or ogres – wild ravening beasts or predatory
human beings – that were ravaging and terrorizing the neighboring countryside, to buy them off, or even gain favors from them that would benefit the community as a whole. These tribute maidens and youths had to be the best the community had to offer, perfect in body and soul, innocent and beautiful, or the dragon or ogre or whatever would reject them and continue its predations or not grant the desired favors. Likewise, innocent children and women are often battered to death in body, soul, and spirit over a long period of time by some monster of a parent or guardian or spouse while the entire neighborhood, the families of both abused and abuser, even the court-system, though they could hardly not be aware of what is happening, act as if they were completely oblivious to it. Once the victim is either dead or in the critical ward in the hospital, suddenly everyone seems to wake up out of a trance and immediately make haste to arrest and punish the perpetrator. Up until then, however, it’s, “Oh, she brings it on herself!”, or, “Of course they aren’t mistreating him – he’s just accident-prone!” right up until the victim is dying or dead. Whatever arcane benefit society gets out of this, it perpetuates this evil charade as long as possible by using such ploys as the “blame the victim” technique, not because the victims truly are to blame, but rather because this soothes the consciences of those who must allow this sort of horror to go on because the alternative is perceived as worse, whether it truly is or not.
Finally, the specific vice of Neptune is idolatry. This failing is of course a specific violation of Judeo-Christian law, as recorded in Deuteronomy and Leviticus. In more basic, non-pejorative terms not peculiar to any one culture or sociological milieu, however, idolatry is the result of a confusion of psychospiritual map – the thing idolized – with esoteric territory, the Being or aspect of divinity represented by that idol. For example, the dysfunctions known as miserliness, venality, cupidity, greed, and acquisitiveness, all variations of extremes of inappropriate hoarding behavior, are the result of confusion of particular manifestations or results of prosperity – itself an understandably desirable thing to experience – with that prosperity itself. The insecure, frightened, sick old man or woman who lives in destitution in filthy, unfurnished, unheated quarters, with inadequate clean water, food, and medicine, with only rags for clothing – but with hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars in coins, greenbacks, treasury bills, securities, bonds, uncashed checks, and other negotiable assets stuffed into the old, smelly mattress of his or her bed – is an archetype of this sort. In such a case, this sort of confusion of spiritual ends with manifest means takes the form of clinging to the particular representations of prosperity with such autistically narrow-focused intensity that the actual process of prosperity is entirely forsaken. As a result, in the midst of a potential plenty, or at least the instruments which, properly managed, could be used to secure it, one is sunken into the most terrible, soul-destroying poverty and fear. In the general case, by falling into the vice of idolatry, the Magickal analogue of which is lust of result, one becomes so enamored of either of the means of securing a healthy state of being or its results that, in trying to gain it or hold on to its manifest and particular instances, once loses the greater good – the ongoing, desirable condition – itself, perhaps permanently. Magickal image: A hanged man; a man hanging upside-down by his heels; Odin hanging upsidedown on Yggdrasil Patterns and compounds of color: Illusive and changeable colors, such as those found in slicks of oil on water, are associated with Neptune, because these traits are so characteristic of Him. So are the splendid computer-generated compositions from Julia sets or subsets of the Mandelbrot Set, in which colors are assigned to given points in the display according to the number of computations necessary to determine whether a given point is in the set or not. (That is, a particular color is assigned to a point in the Cartesian Plane if the number of computations necessary to determine whether it is a member of a given set falls within the range of numbers assigned to that color, e.g., ranges such as 1, 2-3, 4-8, 9-15, or whatever.) As an art form, the Mandelbröt Set is especially appropriate as an example of
members of Neptune’s Sphere, since He rules beauty, higher mathematics, and computer software, all of which are strongly associated with the Mandelbröt Set. Forms, shapes, lineal figures, geomantic figures, figures related to pure number, and numerological associations: The Greek Cross Solid and the Mystic Rose of 22 Petals are associated with Neptune. So are the three Geomantic figures of the Watery Triplicity of Signs: Populus and Via, for Cancer; Rubeus, for Scorpio; Laetitia, for Pisces. All fractal forms are associated with this Key, especially the beautiful Mandelbröt Set, the apotheosis of the mathematical and aesthetic beauty ruled by Neptune, because of the associations of the number 23 with Chaos, the science of which is concerned with fractal mathematics. Finally, curved lines, rhythmic curves, and nebulous and chaotic forms in general are all associated with this Key. Numerologically speaking, the numbers 2 and 23 are associated with Neptune, since these are His Key Numbers. So are the Mystic Numbers of the Sephiroth associated with these Keys, respectively (1 + 2) = 3 and (1 + 2 + ... + 23) = 276 In addition, the sum of the values of the letters of the name of the Hebrew letter associated with His Path, MIM, is 40 + 10 + 600 = 650 = 5 x 13 x 10. Further, the sum of the digits of this number is 6 + 5 + 0 = 11, and 1 + 1 = 2 (the Key Number of His Sephirah!). So the numbers 5 (Geburah, Mars), 13 (Gimel, Luna), 10 (Malkuth, Earth and Saturn), and 11 (Aleph, Uranus) are associated with Him, numbers with which He already has other affinities because of His Qaballistic functions and astrological characteristics, as well. Other numbers associated with Him include the sums of the values of the letters spelling out the God-names associated with His Keys, IA for Key 2, whose sum is 10 + 1 = 11 (1 + 1 = 2), and AL for Key 23, whose sum is 1 + 30 = 31 (3 + 1 = 4). The first reinforces His association with 11 because of the value of MIM, the second shows an association between Him and the current of the New Aeon, the number of which is 3 x 31 = 93. Further, in the case of the second, AL is the God-name of Chesed, whose Planet is Jupiter, with Whom Neptune co-rules the Signs of His strength; the number of Chesed is 4, the sum of the digits of the sum of AL, and also the value of Daleth, Key 14, whose Planet is Venus, Neptune’s lower octave, still another reinforcement of the association between Neptune and 4. Notice that all these numbers, save for the sum of the values of MIM and that of the digits of the number of AL, are prime numbers. This is appropriate, since prime numbers, divisible only by themselves and 1, are slippery little so-and-sos to get hold of conceptually and psychologically, a trait analogous to Neptune’s quality of elusiveness. Magick Square: The Mystic Rose of 22 Petals (Regardie) The Mystic Roses of 55, 136, etc. Petals There is no 2 x 2 Magick Square Figures related to pure number, other mathematical entities: Fractals, and in particular the Mandelbröt Set and all Julia Sets; computer software (as mathematical entities); those mathematical truths that cannot be deduced from the systems of which they are part (Kurt Gödel’s work) Domain: The Watery realms in general, and, in particular, all oceans and seas Archangel: Gabriel Quarter: Western Buddhist symbolism:
Occupations and ecological niches: Davis tells us that Neptune rules bootleggers, kidnappers, musical composers, photographers, caricaturists, speculators, diplomats, politicians, psychic mediums, the oil and fishing industries, hospitals, and all charitable institutions and trusts. De Vore gives “those concerned with the investigation of scientific or metaphysical secrets”; geniuses, prophets, and spiritual counselors; those engaged in “water pursuits” [water-sports? occupations having to do with water, such as fishing]; artistic and literary geniuses; philosophers; occultists; occupations concerned with water or lipids. He adds to these, as general categories, profoundly wise and eccentric individuals; persons of mysterious origin; and seditionists. According to Barbara Watters, Neptune rules scientists, slavers, mathematicians, photographers, movie-makers, frauds, propagandists, those whose jobs are involved with television, con-artists, those working in public relations, those who work in orphanages, those connected with nursing homes, embezzlers, chemists, fishermen, fishmongers, those working in the petroleum industry, social and welfare workers, those employed by charities, poets, painters, musicians, ballet dancers. Additionally, Neptune rules entertainers of all kinds. In particular, He rules comedians; actors and actresses, especially those in pornographic productions; the cinema and the theater; illusionists and prestidigitators (stage magicians); make-up artists; dancers in general and ballet dancers in particular; and graphic and musical artists of all kinds. He rules gamblers and all those involved in gambling in any way, including owners and managers of casinos, croupiers and dealers, those who service gambling machines, etc. He rules con-artists, embezzlers, and all those who make their living by means of fraud and chicanery. Likewise He rules blackmailers, since these gain their income by using secrets as weapons. He rules advertising agents, the advertising industry as a whole, used-car salesmen, and all other types of snake-oil purveyors. He rules beauticians and cosmetologists (He shares the rule of this domain with Venus). He rules morticians, because they are (a) cosmetologists and (b) con-artists.*
*He shares this domain with Saturn and Pluto, Lords of Endings and Death.
He rules martyrs, masochists, all who suffer, and all who mourn. He rules all those engaged in hidden activities and practices; undercover professions such as those of undercover police, secret police, and guerrilla soldiers; and ninjas. He rules cryptology and cryptologists, particularly those who work at putting clear messages into code, rather than decoding encrypted information. He rules sailors and mariners in general,* especially submariners.** Likewise, he rules swimmers and divers. Marine, lacustrian, and riparian ecologists are under His dominion. So are biochemists, since all Life is based on water and its peculiar biochemical aspects.
*He shares this rulership with Luna, the traditional ruler of such occupations. **Pluto is the secondary ruler of submariners, especially in the case of those who crew or command nuclear submarines. This is because Pluto’s Polynesian avatar is Ta’aroa (Kanaloa), God of Hell and the Deep Sea.
Alchemists are governed by Neptune (but co-ruled as well by Pluto, since Pluto is the Great Transformer and, as ruler of the metal plutonium, a ruler as well of mutations caused by
radiation and radioactive fallout), as are homeopathic specialists and researchers, since the foundation of both these disciplines is the study and manipulation of Water, both as a chemical compound and as an Elemental property of the universe. So are pharmacists and the pharmaceutical industry. The pharmaceutical disciplines depend heavily upon the uses of water; they involve the seeking out of unknown or hidden things, particularly plants and animals hidden in water; and allopathic pharmaceuticals are based upon substances which are often very poisonous or are potentially addictive in nature, qualities ruled by Neptune. Neptune rules hair, and therefore wig-makers and barbers; costume makers and designers; cosmetic surgeons; and those who make prosthetics or false members of all kinds for cosmetic rather than prophylactic reasons, such as elevator heels, false breasts or “falsies,” and contact lenses that make the eye seem to have a different color than its own natural one. Neptune rules horses, and therefore rules race-tracks, betting-agents and touts, jockeys, veterinarians who deal with horses, etc. He also rules wild-animals of all kinds, and therefore zoo-keepers, field ecologists, national park rangers and forest rangers, etc. In the same way that hardware producers and experts are ruled by Uranus, software (computer programs and systems) producers and experts are ruled by Neptune. Neptune rules mathematicians, as well. Neptune rules those properties of space and time that are extremely subtle, elusive, and hard to comprehend and understand, and therefore such areas of study as quantum mechanics. He thus also rules the physical aspects of many or most cryptophenomena, such as UFOs, strange disappearances, etc., in addition to those that are purely the results of hoaxes, or reports of them due solely to psychosis or hysteria. Whereas Uranus is the Magickian, Neptune is the Mystic. It is Uranus’s task to make real and manifest the unreal and intangible, to manifest imagination in concrete form, to make available to ordinary people those things heretofore reserved for the Elect, to make the Dream come true; it is Neptune’s to provide the Dream, the aspiration, the imagination, the hints of things unknown for Uranus so that the latter can bring them into quotidian manifestation. Uranus is the Scholar, Engineer, Technician, and Scientist; Neptune is the Artist, Poet, Mathematician, and Mystic. When Uranus has solved all the problems, it is Neptune’s task to bring new problems and new questions into consciousness so that Uranus may forever have new work on hand to do. Places, nations, and peoples: The Japanese and Polynesians, both of whom have made their homes on Pacific archipelagos. Goldstein-Jacobson tells us that Neptune rules places of retirement, confinement, seclusion, and enforced solitude, such as penitentiaries, jails, police stations, hospitals, asylums, cells, and barred places, and that in Neptune-ruled places there is always some form of restraint. She says of Neptune that There is always something mysterious and hard to explain in a horary question where Neptune is the significator[; his] influence tends to fool or defraud so that the querent is misinformed or uninformed about the property or the person inquired about. It is like a face seen through a veil, assuming some value that is not really there & leads the judgment astray. Any real estate will give an effect of greater attractiveness than it [actually] possesses. If Neptune rules or is in the house of question, say that the querent must be on his guard; appearances are deceptive and the matter is not entirely as represented: the place is not altogether as it seems nor is the thing genuine, and there is a shadow on the title. An example of a Neptune-ruled nation is the island-nation of Barbados, which bears the device of Neptune’s sigil, the trident, Y on its flag.
Another is Israel, founded on May 14, 1948, at 4 p.m., Tel Aviv Summer Time. In Israel’s natal chart, Neptune, at 10ø Libra, is exactly rising, and thus has the same type of influence over this modern nation-state that Uranus has over the United States of America. In general, all island states and nations are Neptune-ruled, including, e.g., Australia, Pitcairn Island, the Hawaiian Islands before their annexation by the United States, etc. In the case of the last, the modern state of Hawaii, now part of the United States of America, is often a way-station for international sales of narcotics, ruled by Neptune. Its politics has often been of the clandestine sort, all the dirtier and deadlier for that. And it has been home to a base of the United States Navy ever since the annexation by the USA of the Hawaiian Islands, the Navy of course also under Neptune’s dominion. Hollywood, California, A. K. A. “tinsel-town,” is the perfect example of the Neptuneruled city. Glamour, glitz, and the arch-phony here rule supreme, the most glamorous mansions are no more than empty fronts and facades to fool the camera; and both booze and drugs have always flowed freely here. (Ronald Reagan, our 40th President, was originally a Hollywood B-actor – and by now it is quite clear that both he and his vice-president, George Herbert Bush, gave the orders and approved the actions involved in Iran-Contra, to the success of which narcotic drugs, especially cocaine, in egregiously large quantities in exchange for modern high-tech weaponry were crucial. Neptune rules narcotics; here again is His pervasive influence over Hollywood made manifest, in strange, indirect, subtle ways typical of Neptune.) The Northern Quarter of the Circle and the Altar are ruled by Neptune. Traditionally, during Magickal evocations, it is from this Quarter that evil spirits and demons are believed to come, and in which the Triangle of Art is placed when evocation of a demon or other entity with something of an attitude is to take place. Non-malignant entities may come from this Quarter, as well, but the traditional association between North and evil or malignant influence is very strong in the Western Ceremonial tradition. Here, Neptune represents pathologies of those Saturnian functions expressed as concealed evil and malice, seductive and subtle evil, the lower Astral realm, and so on. All oceans, seas, great lakes, and mighty rivers are ruled by Neptune, Who rules Water in general and all particular expressions of it. Discordians, Erisians, SubGenii, practitioners of Bujinkan ninpo or tai chi, Taoists, and Christians are examples of Neptune-ruled or -associated religious groups and communities. All Polynesian peoples and nations are Neptunian, because their ancestors were at home at least as much on the waters of the Pacific Ocean as mother other peoples are on the land. Planetary Age of Man: By the reckoning that an ideal life-span is 120 years long, and that each Planet rules a decade of life, Neptune rules the Ninth age, that spanning ages 81-90. Neptune rules those parts of the life that are lived outside space and time: dream-sleep; hypnotic and hypnogogic states and trances of all kinds; psychic states; visions induced by the use of drugs, by pain or by fasting, or by hypnosis, whether performed by oneself or another; artistic and scientific or mathematical inspiration; and gestation, the time when the mammalian fetus forms and develops into an organism which ultimately can live out of water, breathing air. Matters of the horoscope: In general, these include the following: Abandoned persons or things, abandonment, orphans; abdications; abnormalities of all kinds, abnormal behavior; absent-mindedness; accomplices; acting, as a profession, actors and actresses; addicts, alcohol (potable), alcoholism, ale, beer, booze, bourbon, cocaine, crack (cocaine), crank (methamphetamine), drug addictions, drugs, drunkenness, drunks, ethanol, Habafropzipulops (or ‘frop, the Sacred Herb of the Church of the SubGenius), hashish, hemp (marijuana), liquor, narcosis, narcotics, opiates, vodka, whiskey; alchemy; aliases; altruism; ambiguity; ambivalence; anchorites, eremites, hermits, recluses, reclusiveness, retreats, solitude; amnesia, fugue; amnion,
amniotic fluid, caul, uterus, womb; analgesia, anesthesia, anesthetics; annulments; anonymity; anonymous letters; antiseptics (these are invariably poisons of one sort or another, and are used in association with infections by micro-organisms, ruled by Neptune); artificial feet; the arts (fine), artists, painters, sculptors; ascetics; assassins; astral entities; asylums; bacteria, bacteriologists, bacteriology; bafflement, confusion, confoundment; bars, bartenders, taverners, taverns; beaches; betrayal; bigamists, bigamy; bisexuality; black holes (the inside of); blackmail; bliss, ecstacy, fascination, rapture; blurriness, blurs, dimness, fuzziness; bondage and dominance, masochism; brewing (as beer), distilling (as alcohol); boats, sailors, ships, submariners, submarines; cameras, cinema, film, movies, photographs, photography; caprice, capriciousness; character defects; charitable institutions, charities, charity given and received; cheating; chemicals, chemistry; chrysalis, cocoon, pupa; clairvoyance; clandestine matters and affairs, clandestine relationships, clandestine work; cloudiness, clouds; clowns, clowning, lampoon, mockery, satire; codes, cryptologists, cryptology; commingledness, commingling; communion; community (as a collective phenomenon); compassion, concern for others; computer software (the hardware is ruled by Uranus); concealed conditions, people, or things, concealment; concentration camps; confidences, confidential matters; confusion, mystification; con-games, con-artists; conspiracies; contrition, repentance; crime; cruelty, sadism, schadenfreude; crying, grief, mourning, weeping; cryptophenomenology (the study of irreproducible and cryptic phenomena, such as UFOs, Bigfoot, Nessie, etc.)*; damnation, defeat, deprivation, loss, perdition; dancing; daydreaming; deception; radiation, whether biochemical, chemical, ecological, economic, moral, thermodynamic, or any other; delays; delusion; detention; disinformation; displaced, homeless, or exiled persons; dissolution, both physical and psychospiritual; dreamers, dreaminess, dreams; drowning, embezzlement, fraud; emotional illness, emotional instability, emotional problems, hysteria; enchantment, hypnosis, fascination, trance; engulfment; enigmas, enigmatic things or people, mysteries, mysterious things or places, mystery, quandaries; errors in judgment; escapism; esthetic sensitivity, esthetic talent; E.S.P.; evasion, evasiveness; exile; failure; faith; false appearances, falsity; fantasy; feet; fish, fishermen; flooding; fluidity, fluids, liquids; fog, mist, precipitation, rain; forced conformity; forgetfulness; frustration, hindrances; fur, hair; fusion; fuzziness; gas, gases, gas-lines; ghettos; glamour; gossip, gossips, rumors, rumor-mongers; guerrilla soldiers, guerrilla warfare; hallucinations, psychoses (chronic and seductive, as opposed to the painful, sudden, and catastrophic episodes or syndromes of violent psychosis which are ruled by Uranus); haze, smog, smoke; hidden agendas; homeopathy; hospitals; hot-tubs; hugeness, vastness (as opposed to mere largeness, ruled by Jupiter); hypersensitivity; ideals, idealism; illusion; imagination, imaginative ability; impotence; impractical ideas; incurable illnesses; infectious substances, used medical sharps; infidelity; insatiability; inspiration; insubstantialness; interpenetration; intrigues; intuition; junk; kidnapping; lakes, oceans, rivers, seas; leaks (of liquids or gases); liars, lies, lying; limitations, limiting conditions; martyrdom, martyrs; masquerade; mathematics, higher; medicines, pharmaceuticals, pharmacists, pharmacologists; meditation, meditation rooms, meditators; mental health workers; mental illness; misfortune; misinformation; misrepresentation; monasteries, monks; music, musicians; mysticism, mystics; myth, story; navigation, navigators; navies; nebulae (astronomy); nebulousness; nervousness; nervous breakdowns; neuroses, obsessions, psychoneurosis; ninjas, ninpo, Bujinkan ninpo; nursing homes; occult abilities; occupations involving unreality; oil, oil-lease investments, oil wells; orphans; Out-of-the-Body Experiences (OOBEs); pain (chronic); paranoia; the past; past mistakes; patience; patients (n., those passively or unwillingly suffering the attentions of others, particularly medical, psychological, interrogational, or just plain sadistic); peace, quietude; penal institutions, prisons; perfumes; perversions; perversity; petroleum; philanthropy, philanthropic organizations; philosophers; phobias (co-ruled with Uranus); pipe-dreams; plots, schemes; plumbing problems (e.g., leaks); poetry, poets; poisons, toxicity, toxins, venomousness, venoms; pollution of the environment; prisoner-of-war camps; problems, personal; psychic ability. psychic senses, psychic phenomena, psychics; psychoses; pupils (students); puzzles, riddles (recreations); quantum mechanics; religious sects; renunciates, renunciation, sacrifice (the verb), sacrifices (the noun); research; restraint, restraints; retirement from
work; retirement, places of; romanticism, romantics; saboteurs, spies; scandals; screens, veils; séances; seclusion; secret burdens, matters, problems, sorrows, or worries; secrets; secret police; sedatives; seducers, seduction, seductiveness; self-deception, self-destruction, self-undoing; selflessness, selfless giving, selfless service; self-sacrifice; septic tanks;** shipping; shrouds; sins of commission and omission; skeletons in the closet; sleep; sneaking, sneaks; the spirit; spiritism, spirits, spiritualism; spiritual attunement, spirituality;† stained glass; strip-tease artists; submergence; substitutes; subversion; suffocation; suicide; surrealism; surrender; swimming pool; sympathy; synthetics; traitors, treachery, treason, treasonous acts; trance; ulterior motives; the Unconscious, especially the Collective Unconscious; undercover agents, undercover work; undoing; undulations, waves; unrealism; unreality; vagueness; vandals; vigils; vision (artistic, psychic, or prophetic, not the physical sense); vision, defects of; virtual reality (the software, and the psychospiritual and esthetic considerations associated with it); wanderlust; wasting diseases; water; waterdamage; water-tanks, wave mechanics; welfare programs; widowers, widowhood, widows; widow-makers (slang for anything deadly); wisdom; withdrawal into fantasy; writers. According to Barbara Watters, Neptune rules Communism and Communists; junk, selfsacrifice, Christianity, impotence, images, mirages, and hallucinations. Notice how many of items in the preceding list also come under Saturn’s traditional dominion. Neptune represents those pathological aspects of Saturnian influence that have to do with secret treacheries and violence, hidden and forbidden pleasures, bondage, retreat from the world, and the maximization of entropy.
*The work of Jacques Vallee and other cryptophenomenologists report the following Neptunian aspects of the UFO phenomenon and everything connected with it: (1) Confusion in reports of their appearance and behavior; (2) frequently, equal confusion in the states of mind of those making the reports, sometimes followed by psychotic episodes in people who have experienced UFO contact (this, mind you, in cases in which it is obvious to the most skeptical hard scientist that something real, objective, and physical has taken place, regardless of the stability of the mind and emotions of those making reports about it); (3) the many baffling aspects of the phenomenon, which suggest that our physical sciences are inadequate to explain it, and that our views of physical reality need drastic revision; (4) the con-artists who cash in on fanatical belief in UFO “Gods” by so many people. Obviously, UFOs are also ruled by Uranus, because many are reported as “objects in the sky.” But not all of them come from the sky; some are, in fact, of marine origin. In addition, the typical reports of the behavior and occasional occupants of the things in so many cases match those from the Middle Ages and earlier of such things as the Faery-Folk, elves, trolls, goblins, fox-fire, and many other things which no one then associated with high-energy technology, as we do now – and which generally were not reported to come from the sky. So while Uranus rules some aspects of some cases of the phenomenon – i.e., those which seem to come from the sky, and/or which appear to involve high-energy technology, both of which are Uranian – its general nature, involving enormous confusion, mysterious apparent violations of physical laws, exploitation of the gullible by clever con-artists, and so on, are all Neptunian by nature. This is so of reports of UFO-like phenomena going back into the mists of time, as transmitted to us via oral folklore traditions from countless cultures and ages. Therefore Neptune is the primary ruler of UFOs, and Pisces is the Sign associated with them. **Neptune is the diurnal esoteric ruler of Scorpio, which rules sewers, septic processes, etc. †Neptune is associated with Sephirah 2, Chokmah, the Father, Root of the Power of Fire, and thus with Spirit. But Spirit is Will and Intention, ruled by Pluto, Who is the nocturnal mundane Lord of Scorpio, of which Neptune is diurnal esoteric Lord.
Watters tells us that Neptune signifies the principle of diffusion. She says:
Neptune is the most difficult of all the planets to understand because its mode of operation is so subtle and frequently so slow as to be imperceptible on the material and rational planes where human judgment is formed. Abstractly, Neptune is the astrological equivalent of the Second Law of Thermodynamics in physics: that is, the principle of entropy. Entropy is the process by which a given amount of energy when released into the environment gradually becomes diluted or diffused throughout the entire available area until it appears to be dissolved in its surroundings. The total amount of energy released remains the same, but as it is diffused through the widest possible area it merges so completely with its surroundings that it cannot be retrieved in its original form. Its power becomes so diluted, vitiated, that it loses its original integrity and turns into something else. . . . Therefore “Neptune rules everything associated with the loss of individual identity, with the dissolution of the ego, with the merging of the individual thing or person into an amorphous collection or collective.” Because of this, Neptune co-rules Communism (the primary ruler of which is Uranus); gooey things such as putty, taffy, and tar; homogenized milk and other erstwhile heterogeneous mixtures; junk, “where the original integrity of things is lost through breakage, wear and tear, dissolution”; self-sacrifice; Christianity; slavery and slaves; impotence, whether physical, mental, psychospiritual, social, or political; dreams; images, mirages, and hallucinations; photography, motion pictures, the picture on television, the public image, propaganda, and many types of fraud; deception; poisons, drugs, and alcohol; welfare and charities, and the groups that dispense it; orphans and orphanages; illegitimate children; skeletons in the closet; embezzlement; and bankruptcy. She tells us that on the material or constructive side, Neptune rules the ocean, hence ships, navies and sailors; hospitals; chemistry and chemists; gas and oil; fish, fishermen, and fishmongers; the ballet and ballet dancers; poets, painters, and musicians; the endocrine glands and the biochemistry of the body; and “the wealth of the sea.” Music: Music ruled by Neptune includes, e.g., Muzak and other forms of “elevator music”; popular music designed to soothe or entrance; and “New Age” music, such as the works of Stephen Halpern. (Music in these genres are especially useful for putting people in states of relaxation, total acceptance, unquestioning credulousness, etc. so that it is, as a result, much easier to sell them things they don’t want and don’t need, or otherwise con them out of their money and worldly goods. See references to con-artists, frauds, etc., above.) Since Neptune rules the fine arts, including music, the music associated with Neptune includes all classical and elegant works. Individual works might include, e.g., the works of Philip Glass, a modern electronic musician whose works are hauntingly beautiful; sea-chanteys of all kinds; Claude Debussy’s impressionistic masterpiece, La Mer (1903-1905); “Sweet and Low,” a lullaby by Alfred Tennyson; “Aloha Oe,” the national/state anthem of Hawaii; “The Exodus Song,” by Pat Boone, theme music from the movie Exodus (the modern state of Israel, with which this movie is concerned, is ruled by Neptune in the same way that the United States of America is by Uranus); “Hatikva,” the national anthem of Israel; “Summertime,” by George Gershwin and Du Bose Hayward, from Porgy and Bess; “Old Man River,” Oscar Hammerstein II and Jerome Kern, for Showboat; all Christian songs and hymns; and the U. S. Marine Corps Hymn. The apocryphal piece “Blue Monday,” the playing of which on the radio in various Eastern Bloc countries was reported to generates waves of suicides, is ruled by Neptune. The score for the Rogers and Hammerstein musical Oklahoma! is associated with Neptune, because of Oklahoma’s history: the martyred land, filled with peoples in exile (the
Cherokee Nation, etc.), the Dust Bowl (martyrdom of the ecological system of the land), and the tremendous amount of sub-surface wealth it contains in the form of oil. Lullabies of all kinds are associated with Neptune, Lord of Sleep and Dream; in particular, the old song “Sweet and Low (Wind of the Western Waters), is particularly Neptunian in nature: Sweet and low, sweet and low, Wind of the western waters; Low, low, breathe and blow, Wind of the western sea; Over the rolling waters go, Come from the dying moon and blow, Blow him again to me, While my little one, while my pretty one sleeps. Sleep and rest, sleep and rest, Father will come to thee soon; Rest, rest, on mother’s breast, Father will come to thee soon; Father will come to his babe in the nest, Silver sails all out of the west, Under the silver moon, Sleep my little one, sleep my pretty one, sleep. (“Sweet and Low,” lyrics by Alfred Tennyson (arranged by Joseph Barnaby). Both because it is a lullaby (Neptune rules sleep and dream) and due to its content, which concerns the sea, this lovely song is perfect for reinforcing invocations of Poseidon, Neptune, and other Gods and Goddesses of the Oceans, Great Lakes, and vast river-systems such as the Mississippi and the Amazon. (The student should look up one of the musical arrangements, such as Barnaby’s, which have been composed for this lullaby; the text below doesn’t show the rhythm of the song, without which much of its power is lost.)) See Chapter 10 of Part 3 of the Appendices in Volume 1 of New Magicks for a New Age for lyrics to various Neptunian musical pieces. Poetry: These include, e.g., hymns and chants to the Polynesian Gods Ta’aroa (Kanaloa, Lord of Hell and the Deep Sea) and Tane (Kane, Lord of the Sky); “Danny Deever,” by Rudyard Kipling;, poems and song-lyrics about the sea Graphic arts: The works of Salvador Dali, Monet, and other surrealists are all ruled by Neptune, and co-ruled by Uranus. All cinematic productions of any kind are ruled by Neptune, by definition. Specifically, such productions as The Robe (on the life of Jesus of Nazareth), Books and other literary productions: Robert A. Heinlein, “They,” Unknown Worlds, 1941: A story of the quintessential paranoid delusion. – Or is it?
Robert A. Heinlein, The Puppet Masters (New York: Ballantine Books, 1951,1990). Ditto. Cubed. Herman Melville (1819-1891), The Confidence Man (185?): A discourse by a con-artist. Herman Melville, Moby Dick (1851): The archetypal novel of the Ocean-Sea and all in it – including men. Georg Cantor, Contributions to the Founding of the Theory of Transfinite Numbers (Philip E. B. Jourdain, translator. New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1955): This work, on the mathematics of the infinite, forever changed mathematics, opening it up to the development of ideas that in the past had been strongly resisted. See below, concerning its author. Bruce Schneier, Applied Cryptography: Protocols, Algorithms, and Source Code in C (New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 1994): Detailed discussion of the ways in which programmers can use cryptography to maintain the privacy of computer data. Includes discussion of PGP – if you gotta ask, you can’t afford it . . . John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath (New York: Viking Press, 1939): The stunning, Pulitzer-winning novel of the tragedy of the American Dust Bowl and its immediate victims, in particular the “Okies,” made exiles and paupers because of man-made ecological disaster on a then-inconceivable scale. Flora Rheta Schreiber, Sybil (Chicago: Regnery Press, 1973): The horrifying true-life account of a woman with at least 16 separate personalities as a result of a long series of ghastly assaults inflicted on her when she was a toddler by her own mother. Truddi Chase, When Rabbit Howls (New York: Jove Books, 1987). An autobiographical case-history of a woman who was so horribly traumatized throughout her early years by a sociopathic step-parent that she developed at least 92 separate, distinct personalities – who, in fact, collectively comprise the real author of this fascinating book. More horrifying than Sybil. Raises the interesting assertion that like the author(s), in general people who suffer from multiple personality syndrome (MPD) also tend strongly to manifest such paranormal abilities as poltergeist and other psychokinetic phenomena, projective as well as receptive telepathy, and many others. Eric Berne, Games People Play: The Psychology of Human Relationships (New York: Grove Press, 1964). While this delightfully satirical but simplistic view of human sociopsychology does provide a few useful insights about the dynamics of interrelationships, it does not address the fundamental realities of the lives of many of us, such as pain, oppression, illness, death, poverty, etc. A textbook on human psychology for those who live in strictly in the Summerland, where all is always wonderful and those tiresome intrusions, such as hunger, thirst, need to void one’s bladder, child- or woman-abuse, burglary, murder, political corruption, etc. never intrude and one always has everything completely under one’s control. Not recommended for the realistic – except maybe as a way to get the drop on otherwise successful con-artists who study this book as a way of improving their techniques. Claude M. Steiner, Games Alcoholics Play (New York: Ballantine Books, 1984): Ditto – mit schnapps. Or whatever your poison happens to be. (See discussion on the 18 th amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America, above.) Jacques-Yves Cousteau, The Shark: Splendid Savage of the Sea (Garden City, NY: Doubleday and Co., Inc., 1970): The shark is an ancient animal, yet highly evolved, with a form of intelligence as powerful as any mammal’s, but so different from ours as to seem as if it belonged to another planet. This splendid creature inhabits the great deeps of the ocean, and with its formidable powers and fearsome reputation is clearly one of Neptune’s own. N. Scott Peck, Children of the Lie: The Hope for Healing Human Evil (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1983): If Saturn represents Evil in all its horrible variety, the Outer Planets represent the three main forms Evil takes: Uranus is Ahriman, the Destroyer; Pluto is the Murderer; and Neptune is the Deceiver, Father of the Lie. In this book, Peck presents the vast damage the Lie, the Qlippoth of Neptune, does to us all, both to those against whom it is used and those who wield it as their weapon. Malachi Martin, Hostage to the Devil: Possession and Exorcism of Five Living Americans (New York: Reader’s Digest Press/Crowell Distributors, 1976): Five real-life
case-studies of souls in bondage to Evil. Another aspect of Evil represented by Neptune is possession, here closely examined by an outstanding journalist. Dante Alighieri, Inferno (from The Divine Comedy): The ultimate portrait of the lesspleasant features of the Collective Unconscious. The New Testament: The book of the Aeon of Osiris/Pisces, ruled by Neptune. The Stark Fist of Removal: The official magazine of the Church of the SubGenius, the world’s first industrial religion, founded by J. R. “Bob” Dobbs, the martyred Saint of Sales (his forerunner and First Prophet was Phineas T. Barnum, the Buddha of Bulldada, for more on whom, see below). The entirety of the Alternative Press, A.K.A. the Marginals Publishing Movement, which is to the Collective Unconscious what the lyrics of a song are to its melody. Bram Stoker, Dracula (1897): The Vampire is the archetypal symbol of that face of Evil that is ruled by Neptune – the Seducer, Deceiver, Poisoner, and Soul-Eater. This, the first truly modern fictional treatment of the Vampire, inspired scores of films (Neptune rules cinema) based upon it, one of the best of which is Lugosi’s portrayal of the title role in Tod Browning’s 1931 film, Dracula. Other outstanding works on this theme include: Byron Preiss (editor), The Ultimate Dracula (New York: Dell Books, 1991 (anthology); Robert R. McCammon (editor and contributor), Under the Fang (New York: Pocket Books, 1991) (theme anthology); Jeff Gelb and Lonn Friend (editors), Hot Blood: Tales of Erotic Horror (New York: Pocket Books, 1989) (anthology); Jeff Gelb and Michael Garrett (editors), Hotter Blood: More Tales of Erotic Horror (New York: Pocket Books, 1991) (anthology); Jeff Gelb and Michael Garrett, Hottest Blood (New York: Pocket Books, 1993) (anthology); Michele Slung (editor), I Shudder at Your Touch: 22 Tales of Sex and Horror (New York: ROC Books, 1991) (anthology); Michele Slung (editor), Shudder Again: 22 Tales of Sex and Horror (New York: ROC Books, 1993) (anthology); Stephen King, It (New York: Viking Press, 1986); Stephen King, ‘Salem’s Lot (New York: Doubleday, 1975). Edward Stephens, Blow Negative (Garden City, NY: Doubleday and Co., Inc., 1962): There is also redemption. Films: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006) Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007) Well-done art films of any kind Walt Disney’s Fantasia Fantasia 2000 Saints and exemplars: The aforementioned J. R. “Bob” Dobbs (1929-1984), the martyred “Saint of Sales” of the Church of the SubGenius (Neptune also rules the apocryphal). Phineas T. Barnum (1810-1891), a pioneer of American pedagogy who made the process of education concerning fraud and con-artistry painless, even pleasant. “Bob” Dobbs may have been the Saint of Sales, but Barnum was the Buddha of Bulldada, standing more or less in the same relation to “Bob” that John Brown did to the Fightin’ Jesus. The Marquis Donatien Alphonse Francois de Sade (1740-1814), whose pixie-like sense of humor enraged Popes, outraged civil authority, may or may not have stimulated an untold horde of under-the-covers-with-the-flashlight adolescent readers to think for themselves, inadvertently and unwillingly helped to kick off the French Revolution, and in general was about as easy to pin down and force to conform to society’s dictates as it is to force a greased moray eel in a tank full of baby bass to practice diet-control. Georg Cantor (1845-1918), Russian-born German mathematician who revolutionized mathematics with his contributions to the foundation of a theory of transfinite sets – and died in a madhouse shortly after he was finally recognized and honored for his tremendous
contribution to modern mathematics, as he deserved to be. Recognition came too late for him, after too many years of grinding poverty, rejection, and humiliation. Albert Einstein (1879-1955), musician, amateur sailor, and mathematician – who, in 1906 e.v., just two years after Aleister Crowley wrote Liber AL, nearly single-handedly launched a revolution in the physical sciences that has had the world reeling ever since. John Paul Jones (1747-1792), Scots-born American naval officer and privateer prominent in the American Revolutionary War, founder of this country’s first navy. Hyman George Rickover (1900-1986), Father of the Nuclear Submarine. Vlad “Tsepes,” Voivode of Wallachia (November 25, 1431 – December 18, 1476), the historical Dracula Bram Stoker, author of Dracula, who led a rather interesting life himself And last, but certainly not least, His Majesty the Emperor Joshua Norton, one of San Francisco’s best-loved historical persons and (in his time) living legends, who combined the virtues of madness and spiritual puissance and sagacity, especially exemplifies the nature of Neptune: 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. (See also Section 3 of Chapter 13 of Volume II of my New Magicks for a New Age, concerning the hypothetical trans-Plutonian Planet named after Joshua Norton, associated with Sephirah Aleph-sub-Null [ℵ 0].) American emblems, sigils, symbols, folklore, and urban legend: Davy Jones and his Locker John Paul Jones
Far Eastern cosmological associations:
Trigrams from the I Ching: K’an The Abysmal, Water (Moon) ___ ___
________ ___ ___ Kên Keeping Still, Mountain ________ ___ ___ ___ ___
Hexagrams from the I Ching: 23. Po / Splitting Apart (King Wen arrangement) ________ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ above Kên Keeping Still, Mountain below K’un The Receptive, Earth THE JUDGMENT SPLITTING APART. It does not further one To go anywhere. THE IMAGE The mountain rests on the earth: The image of SPLITTING APART. Thus those above can ensure their position Only by giving generously to those below. 29. K’an / The Abysmal, Water (King Wen arrangement) ___ ___ ________ ___ ___ ___ ___ ________ ___ ___ above K’an / The Abysmal, Water below K’an / The Abysmal, Water THE JUDGMENT THE ABYSMAL repeated.
If you are sincere, you have success in your heart, And whatever you do succeeds. THE IMAGE Water flows on uninterruptedly and reaches its goal: The image of the ABYSMAL repeated. Thus the superior man walks in lasting virtue And carries on the business of teaching.
b. Design and Title of Trump
The Hanged Man has a strong connection with the Norse God Odin. In The Words of the High One, translated by Paul B. Taylor and W. H. Auden, Odin says: Wounded I hung on a wind-swept gallows For nine long nights; Pierced by a spear, pledged to Odin, Offered, myself to myself; The wisest know not from whence spring The roots of that ancient rood They gave me no bread, they gave me no mead; I looked down: with a loud cry I took up runes; from that tree I fell. Gallows, rood, and tree are Yggdrasil, the World Tree, the Ash which is rooted in the Underworld and which supports heaven. Yggdrasil was known as “Odin’s Horse”; and it was Yggdrasil that sheltered the remnant of humanity at the time of Ragnarok, the Twilight of the Gods, when everything else perished. Yggdrasil literally means “Yggr’s Tree” – “Yggr” being another name for Odin. From “Yggr” you get “ogre.” Stories such as “Jack and the Beanstalk” trace their ancestry back to Odin. Among the Norse, by custom hanged men were considered to have been sacrificed upon Yggr’s Tree (the gallows) to Odin. After their deaths they became members of his band, riding with him in the storms – a hint of them is found today in the Country-and-Western song “Ghost Riders in the Sky.” So the tree is a place of sacrifice; of safety; a gallows; and a place of visionary experience. In the Edda, Odin is offering himself to himself; there is no suggestion that he was coerced into doing this. At the end of nine nights he descends from the tree; he has taken up runes – he has learned runes, words of power – as a result of his ordeal. Later in the Edda Odin says, referring to the runes he has learned, I know a twelfth; if a tree bear A man hanged in a halter, I can carve and stain strong runes That will cause the corpse to speak, Reply to whatever I ask. Thus he has gained the power of necromancy, the ability to divine the future by aid of the dead. As it happens, he is describing his Twelfth Rune and what it enables him to do – which is the Magickal Power ascribed to Mem and Trump XII, The Hanged Man, which, not counting Trump 0, The Fool, is the twelfth card of the Major Arcana. Coincidentally or not, the Hanged Man is never shown suffering. He is either expressionless or in the grip of some fantastic, beatific vision which lights up his face with joy and bliss. There is
suffering in Odin’s sacrifice, but clearly the suffering is entirely voluntary, and it has a purpose: a Magickal initiation, the acquisition of wisdom and knowledge. Another medieval belief concerning hanging had to do with the Hand of Glory. By theft, one obtained the hand of someone hanged for murder, then either render the hand down into tallow and make candles of it, or burn the hand itself as a candle. Burning a hand-candle in a house was said to make the housebreaker who carried it invisible or cause the legitimate occupants of the house to fall asleep. Thieves are under the protection of Light-Fingered Hermes – and Hermes and Odin have long been equated with each other. These connections among Hermes, Thoth/Djehuti, Odin, and the Hanged Man are somewhat tenuous, but they imply an explanation for the attributions of this card that makes more sense than just about any others given for them. Nota bene: In some representations of the Hanged Man, his legs form a figure 4, connecting him to both Trump IV, The Emperor, associated with the astrological sign Aries, and Chesed, Sephirah 4, associated with Jupiter. Gringonneur: A man hanging by one foot from a frame. In either hand he holds a small bag filled with something heavy. There is no indication that he is suffering. Bembo: Similar to Gringonneur’s version of The Hanged Man, except that his legs are crossed in an informal figure 4, and his hands are hidden behind his back and, possibly, tied together. As in Gringonneur’s version, he shows no sign of suffering. Swiss Tarot: Similar to Gringonneur’s and Bembo’s. Insight Tarot: Similar to the three above; the hanged man is smiling. Marseille Tarot: The traditional design. Italian Tarot: As above. Wirth Tarot: As above. Waite Tarot: The hanged man dangles from a Tau cross made of living trees; his head is surrounded by a bright halo. His face is expressionless. B.O.T.A. Tarot: Like Waite’s, except that the gallows has the older “U” form. Crescent moons decorate the hanged man’s tunic (an adaptation of the pockets of the garment worn by the hanged man in the Marseille Tarot). Aquarius Tarot: Like Waite’s version, except that the cross is of a standard design, and is formed of living wood. Crowley: The hanged man has his arms outstretched and nailed to a large, square board or some other sort of backing; one of his legs is likewise nailed to it. His other leg, by which he hangs from the cross, is loosely held by a reversed Ankh through which his unbound foot passes, implying that he hangs there by an effort of will rather than as a punishment. The Ankh extends from the heart of a solar disk at the top of the card. Near the Ankh a serpent is wrapped around his leg. Beneath his head is water, and under the surface of the water is either a writhing serpent or a whole nest of serpents which, like the one coiled around his ankle, might be vipers. His face is expressionless, indeed, just a bare sketch of a face, and a green halo surrounds his bald head. Green and blue predominate in the color-scheme of this card; green is the traditional color of Venus, who is exalted in Pisces, the sign ruled by Neptune, while blue is that of Neptune and Jupiter, co-rulers of Pisces. New Tarot: In this pack, the card has been retitled The Hanging Man. The card shows a man standing, his legs astride, a sunset or sunrise visible behind him (which it is depends on your point
of view, whether the card is reversed or not, and its relationship to other cards in the spread). His left boot-clad foot is upon a castellated tower; his right is braced against a globe on top of another building. From his left arm hangs a naked man; from his right hangs, reversed, a naked woman, and it is unclear how she hangs. A girdle of living serpents binds the central figure’s waist. On his chest is the letter “A.” A red lotus or tulip grows from his head. He is weeping. America’s Tarot: Center: Timothy Leary as the Hanged Man. Background: Hollywood, California. Upright: great American artists, especially Elizabeth Taylor (a Pisces). Ghost-over of John F. Kennedy and David Koresh. Reverse: Ronald Reagan. Ghost-over of nuclear submarine, with armies cowering before it, illustrating Chapter 3, Verse 46 of Crowley’s Liber Al vel Legis: “I am the warrior Lord of the Forties: the Eighties cower before me, & [Key 38 of the new, 16Sephiroth Tarot; see below] are abased. . . .” The Divine Comedy Tarot: Obverse/Upright: The Sphere of the Fixed Stars (the Eighth Heaven), from The Paradiso. Converse/Reverse: The Eight Circle of the Inferno, with its 10 Bolgias, as a system. Biblical Tarot: The crucifixion of Jesus on Golgotha. Below Golgotha, a shaken Jonah is shown emerging from the body of a beached whale onto a rocky beach; one hand to his face, his mouth slightly open, he looks up wonderingly at the heavens. In the background can be seen Jesus, standing on the waters of the Sea of Galilee in the midst of a storm, offering his hand to Peter, who is starting to step out of his boat and onto the waters to join his Lord. John Burt’s MAD Tarot: Alfred sits on a swing that hangs upward in defiance of gravity (in all senses). The Robert A. Heinlein Tarot: The H. P. Lovecraft Tarot: Great Cthulhu lying, dreaming, in his tomb in R’lyeh. Deep Ones swim all around the fabled sunken city, and their God, Dagon, sports nearby. On the surface of the ocean, Polynesians in an outrigger canoe sail calmly across the sea in the teeth of a terrible storm. Another design would have the creatures of nightmare found in the Dreamlands, the gugs, nightgaunts, and ghasts, swarming under a moonlit nightscape; zoogs cling to branches of nearby trees. The Dreamlands themselves are the perfect setting for the design of this card, which should reflect and celebrate the lucid dreams and nightmares out of which Lovecraft spun his tales. The Stephen King Tarot: The R. R. McCammon Tarot: Air Force One – the American Presidential aircraft – nose-down in a lake, tail high in the air. Around the lake is devastation and heaped-up, scorched rubble, bones protruding from it here and there. No live trees or other planet lake stand by the lake, though there are a few dead trees, their bark heavily scorched, their leaves burned away, most of their limbs gone. A man wearing a mask covering his entire head stands by the lake; the mask is in the form of an oval-shaped, lumpy, brown mass, like the exterior of a
gigantic tumor. A cutaway scene below shows three crude redoubts in the Earth: one, in the bowels of a great, ruined city, is in a twisted and badly torqued tunnel, and is inhabited by a woman dressed in scorched rags, her hair mostly scorched away and her face and hands burned, her eyes wild and mad; one, in the bowels of a great mountain somewhere in the Pacific Northwest, is inhabited by a tall man dressed as a soldier whose right hand is missing, and a slender young boy wearing broken, thick-lensed glasses who would be considered weak and wimpy save for his expression, which is calculating and determined; and the third, somewhere underground in a blasted, burned landscape in Kansas, is inhabited by a once-pretty girl of about 8 years old and a very tall man who is no longer in his prime but still formidable, both of them badly burned, most of their hair gone, their clothes burned rags. Nota bene: Only in the Gringonneur, Swiss, Waite, and B.O.T.A. packs is the hanged man hanging by his right leg. In all the others, he hangs by his left leg.
c. Divinatory Meanings
Case: Seas, oceans, and water. Neptune. A pale-blue color. The musical note G sharp or A flat. Suspended mind (coma?). Christian: The sacrifice. Violent death. Revelation of the law. The teaching of duty and sacrifice. Crowley: Water. Cold and moist conditions. Stable Intelligence. The Hanged Man (as symbol). Deep blue. Asar as hanged man. Isis, Poseidon, Neptune. Eagle, serpent, scorpion. Lotus, all water plants. The stones beryl and aquamarine. The Magickal Weapons associated with this card are the Cup or Chalice, the Cross of Suffering, and the Wine of Transubstantiation. His perfumes are onycha (one of the perfumes compounded in incense used in Mosaic ritual) and myrrh (highly valued since ancient times for its fragrance, sometimes considered to be worth more than its weight in gold; it has been used throughout history for personal adornment and religious rituals, as a medication (among others, it has antibacterial properties), and in embalming ointments). The Magick Powers of the Hanged Man are crystal-gazing (i.e., clairvoyance, precognition, and retrocognition, aided by the focusing power of crystals) and the making and use of talismans. His linear figures are those of the Watery Triplicity of Scorpio-Pisces-Cancer. His true name is Spirit of the Mighty Waters. He represents the spiritual function of water in the economy of initiation. He represents a baptism which is also a death (dying to one’s old life in order to be born again in a new one). If the card is badly aspected, he can represent enforced sacrifice, punishment, loss (fatal or voluntary), suffering, defeat, failure, abortion, death. Douglas: The ability to adapt to changing circumstances. Flexibility of mind. A willingness to submit oneself to the dictates of the inner self and cast aside practical considerations when the time is right. Wisdom and guidance from the unconscious mind. Over-reliance on the concrete mind. Materialism. A warning of impending psychic disorder through an inability to accept the reality of the unconscious mind. An inner struggle ending in defeat. Gray: Wisdom, prophetic power. A pause in one’s life. Suspended decisions. Self-surrender leads to transformation of personality. Material temptation conquered. When ill-aspected, it represents arrogance, preoccupation with the ego, resistance to spiritual influences, too much absorption in physical matters, wasted effort, or false prophesy or false prophets. Golden Dawn: The severity of splendor. Execution of judgment. Mars acting through water upon Mercury. The Spirit of the Mighty Waters. Enforced sacrifice, punishment, loss. Something fatal and not voluntary. Suffering of any kind.
Grimaud: “That which is up is like that which is down” (a variant of “As above, so below”). A bad card, always indicating the abandonment of something, destruction, renunciation, or uncertain projects. A card of second rank which has no strength. When enclosed by other cards, its influence is destroyed. It can also mean something or someone bound by Fate. Possible success of a plan of sentimental nature, but if so, success is doubtful, and if it is attained, it is without enjoyment or pleasure. Lack of frankness, reticence, hidden plan, hypocrisy. Huson: Wisdom, often occult and intuitive, attained through sacrifice. Psychological constriction. An ill-conceived sacrifice or a lessening of strictures. The turning point in the psychic life, and coming to grips with the unconscious. The means by which the descent into the Underworld is made. Kahn: A person of high spirituality. Sacrifice of one’s own interests for a spiritual or artistic gain. Suspension of the will, annihilation of being, thereby becoming wedded to the primal will. Gate to awareness of universal truth and cosmic reality. The first stage of unfolding. Intuitive experience, timing, survival through intuition and faith. Priest, prophet, Magickian. Doing the bidding of higher forces. Slow reconstruction of attitudes and awareness. Keeper of the temple. Tact, reserve, finesse, escape from danger, ability to talk oneself out of trouble, tactful handling of enemies, sudden disappearance, disguise, false pretext, pretending, blending into one’s surroundings in order to escape detection, a criminal who escapes arrest and/or prison. Winning confidence through tact. Kaplan: The Hanged Man’s face expresses repentance rather than suffering. Life in suspension, reversal of both mind one’s way of life. Transition, abandonment, renunciation, changing of life’s forces, sacrifice, readjustment, regeneration, rebirth, improvement, sacrifice which may have to be undertaken in an effort toward a goal which might not be attainable. When the card is ill-aspected, it can mean a lack of sacrifice, an unwillingness to make a necessary effort, a failure to give of oneself, a preoccupation with the concerns of the ego, or a false prophesy. Knight: Utterly unselfish cooperative effort for the good of the whole, the exchange of something for something better, the discovery that the values of the higher world are the reverse of those of the lower. Lind: Voluntary sacrifice, the incarnation of spirit in matter, the quickening of nature by an exterior spiritual force. Winter Solstice. Mathers: Self-sacrifice, sacrifice, devotion. Bound: selfishness. Unbound: partial sacrifice. Mayananda: Baptism and transition. Sacrifice in the sense of making holy or whole. Scorpio. Evolution. The dark night of the soul as an inevitable prelude to direct vision of the Sun. Papus: Lamed, the arm. A sign of expansive movement. Punishment or violent death, voluntary and involuntary. Libra. Absolute submission to the divine. Equilibrated force. Sadhu: Lamed, an arm or hand outstretched, an open hand. Sacrifice. The messenger from above to below, service. Thierens: The Hanged Man. Pisces. Loss to the outer world, handing over the results of one cycle to the following one. Waste, spoil, mishap. Consciousness opened to inner truth. Ussher: The crucified God. An ordeal. Libra, lamed, a goad or pointed instrument. Waite: It should be noted that the tree of sacrifice is (1) of living wood; (2) that the face expresses deep entrancement, not suffering; (3) that the figure as a whole suggests life in suspension, but life, not death. It is a card of profound significance, but all the significance is veiled. Wisdom,
circumspection, discernment, trials, sacrifice, intuition, divination, prophecy. When ill-aspected, this card can mean selfishness. It may refer to the body politic. The Divine Comedy Tarot: Biblical Tarot: OT: The timeless moment just before Creation began, when all was in suspension, silent and waiting for the Will of God to quicken it. NT: The Crucifixion. John Burt’s MAD Tarot: Alfred sits on a swing that hangs upward in defiance of gravity (in all senses). The Robert A. Heinlein Tarot: The H. P. Lovecraft Tarot: The recall of dreams. Lucid dreaming. A glimpse of the future, a warning, or clairvoyant views of the world in dreams. An omen given to you in a dream should be acted on appropriately. Divination of the future. The Stephen King Tarot: The R. R. McCammon Tarot: “I do not find The Hanged Man. Fear death by water.” General meaning: The darkness and the deep. The womb, a pregnancy, gravidity, a seed, a seedcasing. Gestation, whether of an idea or a living organism. Pupation, as in that life-stage of a lepidopteran insect during which it spins a cocoon around itself and then under goes a biological meltdown within it, then, using a few biochemical templates left behind after the meltdown for that purpose to do so, it reassembles itself, but in an entirely new form, that of the butterfly or moth, the imago (reproductive) stage of its life. The economy. The body politic. Earth, as the “pale blue dot,” i.e., a small world 80% of the surface of which is water. Delayed gratification of a lesser need or desire in order to fulfill a greater one. Faith, belief. Memory: personal, cultural, and, especially genetic, as well as the memory of past lives one has lived. The womb. Epic fail. The unconscious mind. The Collective Unconscious. Clairvoyance, psychism, precognition, retrocognition, and other paranormal abilities. Mystery. Quantum mechanics. Computer software. Higher mathematics. Idolatry. Sacrifice. Cruelty. Punishment. Wisdom. The fine arts, especially music, dance, and the visual arts. A prophet. A martyr. A slave. Slavery. Saintedness, a saint. When ill-aspected, it can represent malignant narcissism, a great loss, the selling of one’s soul. Drug addictions, alcoholism, any addictions. Sleep and dreaming. Narcotics and other addictive substances. Brainwashing. Tsunami, earthquake. Secrets, hidden things, covert action. Ninjas. Damned lies. Espionage, sabotage, murder, genocide. Ancient instincts and the wisdom they give. The history of the soul. The wellspring of creativity. Diplomacy. The tides. Sailors, sailing ships, journeys by water. Naval warfare. A submarine. A disguise, someone who is disguised, the condition of being incognito, someone who is incognito. Pretense. Living a lie. Invisibility achieved by the practical tactic of blending into the background rather than by steering light around oneself or otherwise Magickally avoiding being seen. Prison, imprisonment. A hospital, hospitalization. Confinement. Bondage. Bankruptcy. A poisoner, a saboteur, a spy, an assassin, a murderer, their deeds. Gossip, behind-the-scenes activity, someone who works to do harm in hidden fashion. Manipulation of individuals and groups. A seer, a wise man.
d. Interrelationships of the Path and the Trump
Mem, the 23rd Path connects Geburah, associated with Mars, to Hod, associated with Mercury. It also resonates with Chokmah, which, like Mem, is associated with Neptune.
Though Mars is ruler of the Fiery sign Aries, is also ruler of the Watery sign of Scorpio; and Mercury, though ruler of the Airy sign Gemini and the Earthy sign Virgo, has an affinity with the Watery sign Cancer due to the fluid properties of mercury metal. Traditionally, Neptune is considered to be the higher octave of Venus, ruling at large and in the general case what Venus rules in the small and particular case. But Neptune also behaves in many ways like a higher octave of Luna; both rule Water, Neptune doing for the general case what Luna does for particular cases of the Watery realms of the world. On the other hand, Mars displays Watery properties in Scorpio, especially the acidic aspect of Water that dissolves even the hardest metals and strongest materials, because of which it is often called the Universal Solvent. The Geburah aspect of Chokmah and the Chokmah aspect of Geburah are associated with the ninja, the invisible warrior who can slip into the most well-guarded citadel to do his work and then, his work done, leave again without being seen or apprehended. Authentic ninjas are the greatest warriors of all time, true Adepts of Geburah and Chokmah who perfectly illustrate the principle, “At the heart of Neptune is Mars.” And consider submarine warfare, especially that carried out by modern nuclear submarines, the most terrible and effective guerilla warfare weapons ever invented, Mars at His most effective in the very heart of Neptune. Hence Neptune can also be considered to be a higher octave of sorts of Mars. And, because of the similarity between His Watery nature and that of Mercury, He could be considered a higher octave of Mercury, as well. So here are four bodies – Luna, Venus, Mars, and Mercury – who could all be considered lower octaves of Neptune, the symbolism of whose whose Trump and Path should therefore also reflect some of the essential characteristics of the Trumps which respectively represent those four bodies: Trump II, The High Priestess; Trump III, The Empress; Trump 16, The Tower; and Trump 1, The Magician.
Nun n “Fish.” Trump XIII, Death. The Sign Scorpio ù. Cardinal value 50. Ordinal value 14. At the end of a word, has the form } and the value 700. Connects Sephirah 6, Tiphareth, with Sephirah 7, Netzach. Roman/English equivalent: N.
a. Qaballistic Meanings and Theory
The Trump that is associated with this Path is XIII, Death. One of the esoteric titles of this card is Lord of the Gates of Death. There is no reference to birth in the symbolism of the Trump 26; but birth is another sort of death, or rather, death is another kind of birth, each being the opposite of the coin from the other. All change in life entails the death of the former condition and birth into the new condition, which is why the other title of this Trump is “the Child of the Great Transformers.” Ascent of the 24th Path entails the process of the death of the Personality, whether as a result of the death of the body or as a part of the greater death of Initiation. In the first case the Personality still exists and functions in the world, though not for its own sake, but in order to further the ends of the Individuality in which consciousness is now situated. In the second, the Personality remains part of a living organism, also working to bring about the True Will of the Individuality. All three ascending Paths to Tiphareth, the 24th, 25th, and 26th Paths, are of equal importance, as they are Ways to union between the Individuality and the Personality. But the 24th Path carries additional significance in that it is on the Path of the Lightning Flash, the composite Path running from Kether, Sephirah 1, the Crown of the Tree of Life, down the planes* to Sephirah 10, Malkuth, the Sphere of Manifest Reality. It therefore represents the fundamental birth and death of the Personality.
*This Path runs from Kether along Aleph, represented by Trump 0, The Fool, to Sephirah 2, Chokmah, then along Daleth, represented by Trump III, The High Priestess, to Sephirah 3, Binah. From Binah it leaps to Chesed, Sephirah 4, via Da’ath – in this case, there is no traditional Path between the two Sephiroth of the sort that visibly connects the components of the 22 pairs of Sephirah that is represented on standard illustrations of the Tree, but Da’ath does the same service to the transition from Binah to Chesed that the quantum-mechanical principle of electron tunneling (see, e.g., http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_tunnelling for more on which) does for subatomic particles, and in essence becomes the Path from Binah to Chesed (for more on Da’ath see Part 2 of Lesson II of this course). From Chesed it travels via Teth, associated with Trump VIII, Strength, to Sephirah 5, Geburah. From Geburah, via Lamed, associated with Trump XI, Justice, it travels to Sephirah 6, Tiphareth; from Tiphareth, via Nun, associated with Trump XIII, Death, to Sephirah 7, Netzach; from Netzach, via Peh, associated with Trump XVI, The Tower, to Sephirah 8, Hod; from Hod, via Resh, associated with Trump XIX, The Sun, to Sephirah 9, Yesod; and finally, from Yesod, via Tav, associated with Trump XXI, The World, to Sephirah 10, Malkuth, and manifestation.
Da’ath, the Sephirah of the Abyss (see Lesson II, Part 2), is concerned with the Fall from Grace through the Abyss, where Da’ath is located, into individual existence, bridging which is the Sephirah Da’ath. The Abyss has an analogue which is met with on all three Paths before Tiphareth. This is the Gulf. The Gulf is has to be leaped, and leaped alone, stripped of all hindering burdens, in faith.* It represents the dead-point between the psychology of Personality and that of Individuality. On the 26 th Path, A’ain, represented by Trump XV, The Devil, connecting Sephirah 6, Tiphareth, with Sephirah 8, Hod, the intellect has to be set aside before the powers of the intuition can be developed and achieve dominance. On the 25th Path, Samekh, represented by Trump XIV, Temperance, connecting Sephirah 6 with Sephirah 9, Yesod, the will, memory and intellect have to be set aside before the powers of charity, faith and hope can take over. And on the 24th Path, death has to be accepted before rebirth into higher consciousness can be achieved. It is therefore one of the great crises of spiritual progress because of the great temptation to turn
back from the unknown to the apparent safety of known things – but to succumb to the temptation is to lose all the fruits of past effort.
*Which reminds one of the old song, “Lonesome Valley”: You’ve got to walk that lonesome valley Well you gotta go by yourself Well there ain’t nobody else gonna go there for you You gotta go there by yourself. Now mother walked that lonesome valley Now mother walked, she walked it by herself Well there ain’t nobody else could ever walk it for her She had to walk it, she had to walk it by herself You’ve got to walk that lonesome valley Well you gotta go by yourself Well there ain’t nobody else gonna go there for you You gotta go there by yourself Now father walked that lonesome valley Now father walked it, he walked it by himself Nobody else could walk it for him Well he had to walk it, he had to walk it by himself You’ve got to walk that lonesome valley Well you gotta go by yourself Well there ain’t nobody else gonna go there for you You gotta go there by yourself Now John was a baptist He was some folk say he was a Jew He wrote that holy holy bible The bible tells you, it plainly tells you That he was, that he was a preacher too You’ve got to walk that lonesome valley Well you gotta go by yourself Well there ain’t nobody else gonna go there for you You gotta go there by yourself You’ve got to walk that lonesome valley Well you gotta go by yourself Well there ain’t nobody else gonna go there for you You gotta go there by yourself This is an old American traditional gospel folk song, dating back to its first known recording in 1927 by old-time musician David Miller. Through the years, it was sung by many other country & Western artists such as the Monroe Brothers, the Carter Family, the Carolina Ramblers Stringband, the Dixie Reelers, Woody Guthrie and others. It was also recorded by Elvis Presley, once on December 4, 1956, during the Sun Session in Memphis, Tennessee, and later on as a professional cut proofing his love for old gospel tunes. See, e.g., http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Lonesome_Valley, for more on which. Another version of this song is
You’ve got to walk that lonesome valley You’ve got to walk it by your self There’s no one here can walk it for you You’ve got to walk it by yourself Some say John, he was a Baptist, Others said he was a Jew But the Holy Bible plainly tells us, That he was a preacher too Mother said when she was dying, Just before her breath was gone Son put your trust in Jesus, And you won’t be left alone If you can’t preach like Peter, If you can’t pray like Paul You can tell the love of Jesus, You can say He died for all (Courtesy of http://toneway.com/songs/lonesome-valley) The second verse of the second version of this song, above, gives the flavor of the experience of bridging the Gulf: you must do it all alone – except for the presence of God, in Whom you must have absolute faith as you take this leap. It is one of the great Dark Nights of the Soul, one in which you ultimately discover that at the heart of that terrible darkness is the blinding light of God, and the allencompassing love He has for His creatures.
The concepts of Death and Rebirth are at the base of all true esoteric study and practice, and of all true religions, and one comes upon their symbolism again and again. The symbolism of the 24 th Path is concerned with the same ideas. The Trump of this Path is XIII, Death, the skeletal reaper wielding a scythe. The scythe is both a symbol of time and one of abundant harvest, because it is associated with Ceres, Goddess of the Grain and of its harvesting. The path also concerns conception and birth, and, because it is necessary for both and has always been associated with a kind of death, the Little Death of consciousness that is orgasm, sex, as well. Sex has a profound relevance to this Path, for the beginnings of the approach to the consciousness of Individuality is an act of Divine Love, and also the fertilization of the seed of higher consciousness that will gestate and eventually be born into the world. The initiate who has attained Tiphareth is called Twice-Born, i.e., is said to have been born again. The heads and hands lying about the field on the Tarot card are often considered to be new life growing, but the significance of the skeleton is often missed. The skeleton is the basic scaffolding of the body upon which all the rest of it is built, and is therefore an outstanding symbol of Individuality, or even of the Spirit upon which the outer vehicles of the Self are built.*
*The character Death in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series of science-fiction novels is fortuitously a wonderful symbol of the 24th Path, combining in himself death, endings, compassion, wisdom, a reverence for life and fierce desire to protect it from whatever would destroy it (see especially Pratchett’s Soul Music [http://www.amazon.com/Soul-Music-TerryPratchett/dp/0061054895/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1278185877&sr=1-1]), and abundance and fertility (see especially Pratchett’s Reaper Man [http://www.amazon.com/Reaper-Man-TerryPratchett/dp/0061020621]).
The spiritual significance of the Path is represented by the astrological sign Scorpio, a Water sign associated with the Hebrew letter n (Nun), which means “Fish.”27 But unlike the cardinal sign Cancer, the ruler of lakes, rivers, streams, ponds, and other open bodies and runs of water as well as the tides of both the oceans and the crust and mantle of the Earth, with all their boundless, mercurial energy, or the mutable sign Pisces, ruling the ever-changing, salty oceans, seas, and their shallows, Scorpio rules the Fixed expression of Water, associated with alchemical Sulfur, representing Water’s raw, savage power. Like the
fuel in a rocket, the more tightly Water is constrained, the harder it works to throw off its shackles, and the more effect it has on everything around it. Water is nearly incompressible; if water is brought up from a mile or more beneath the surface of the ocean in a bathysphere, upon reaching the surface, that water will shoot out of the tiniest hole or other opening in the casing of the bathysphere with more power than a bullet shot from a gun. Nearly anything in its way will be holed through by the force of that eruption, neatly illustrating just how much water dislikes being restricted in any way, and how hard it will work to throw off any such restriction. Seemingly paradoxically, the best symbolism of Scorpio is the desert, where water is at a premium and life works ceaselessly to maximize its acquisition and conservation, whether the hot deserts of the world, such as the Sahara in Northern Africa and California’s Mojave Desert, in North America (http://www.mbgnet.net/sets/desert/hot.htm), or the cold deserts (http://www.mbgnet.net/sets/desert/cold.htm), such as the Atacama Desert sited along the coasts of Chile and Peru, and the Great Basin of the North American Southwest – and the far more extreme cold desert that is Antarctica, where just about every form of complex life save penguins, some other birds, and seals, who haunt Antarctica’s coasts but avoid the Stygian cold of the interior, and of course humans, with their highlevel technology, clothing, buildings, and vehicles, has no ability to survive. Scorpio also represents oases, including marine oases, filled with life, found in the midst of otherwise barren regions of the oceans. Wherever life must struggle to acquire and conserve water, Scorpio represents its environment. Above all, then, Scorpio represents the Hypersea, life on land. As biologists Mark and Dianna McMenamin (http://www.worldlingo.com/ma/enwiki/en/Mark_McMenamin), students of Lynn Margulis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynn_Margulis), point out that in order for water-based organisms, evolved for life in the oceans, where their tissues were constantly, effortlessly bathed by the life-giving waters of the sea, to survive on land, in a relatively dry and arid environment, they had to somehow recreate the oceans on land, conserving water as best they could in their bodies and immediate surroundings. Life on land is a unified whole. What makes it different from marine life is that unrelated terrestrial organisms – plants, fungi, and animals – form a vast number of direct, physical connections through which fluid can move. In effect, the McMenamins claim, life on land has not so much forsaken the sea as created a new sea within the sum of its tissue–something Dianna and Mark have dubbed Hypersea (http://discovermagazine.com/1995/oct/hyperseainvasion571). Life had to die to the oceans in order to be born on land – which it did, at least as far back as the Ordovician Period of the Paleozoic, 488.3±1.7 to 443.7±1.5 million years ago, if not in the Cambrian period, before then. The symbols of Scorpio and the Eighth House of the horoscope, the Scorpion, the Serpent, and the Eagle, are all associated with deserts (the eagle ranges the deserts of the upper layers of the troposphere, from which it can see vast areas of land and have a better chance of finding suitable prey on the ground). The Phoenix, the bird that lives forever by cremating itself alive every thousand years so that it may be reborn, renewed, is another symbol associated with this sign. Scorpio also rules wells, cisterns, and other relatively small containments for water, and creatures found in such places, such as filarial worms and other parasites, various types of bacteria, some insects, etc. can also be used to symbolize this sign and house. The scarab or dung beetle, revered in ancient Arab and the image of the God Kephra, Who gives life to consciousness through the concentration of life energies, has long been associated with the ideas of death and rebirth, and thus is an outstanding representation of the nature of Scorpio and the Eighth House. Historically, the imagery of Trump XIII may go back to the Black Death, which swept Europe in the 14th century, killing 30-60% or more of Europeans. The nursery-rhyme “Ring Around the Rosy”* entails the same imagery of the Black Death, as well. The imagery of the card is, as Bill Butler points out in his Dictionary of the Tarot (op. cit., and see the bibliography included with these course notes), absolutely democratic, nearly unique among the traditional designs of the cards of the Tarot. The closest card to it among the Trumps, symbolically speaking, Trump X, Fortune, is primarily concerned with royalty and its reigns, past, present, and future, as compared to those who are powerless and whose status is unlikely to change, the commoners. While that Wheel may turn for all of us equally, clearly on it some are more equal than others. But the imagery of Trump XIII shows all struck down equally by death: king, bishop, woman, child, man, all harvested by that same deadly scythe.
*The words of the nursery rhyme are: Ring around the rosy
A pocket full of posies Ashes, ashes, We all fall down. The opening words, “Ring around the rosy,” represent the skin lesion associated with the disease that appears as a bright red, or rosy, ulcerated spot surrounded by a ring. The next line, “Pocket full of posies,” has Magickal origins. Physicians used to carry scented herbs and flowers – usually posies (small bouquets or bundles of flowers) – in front of their noses in an attempt to ward off the plague and, probably, the stench of death that began to pervade European communities as a result of the horrendous toll brought about by the disease (whether the posies protected them from the plague or not, the custom continued because the stench was just too horrendous to put up with unabated). Traditional 17th century London physicians wore long robes and a long beaked mask with posies stuffed inside. The final verse, “Ashes, ashes, we all fall down,” symbolizes death by the plague. See, e.g., http://soundmedicine.iu.edu/segment/138/Ring-Around-the-Rosy.
The odd thing about that is that because of the Black Death, out of that period of European history, a feudal period which was anything but democratic, Europe’s first middle class arose, and upward mobility was born. Thanks to the pestilence, labor became a seller’s market; for the first time, the skills and labor of surviving commoners, whose numbers had been so drastically reduced by the Black Death, and who had always provided most of the labor necessary to building and maintaining civilization, became valuable in their own right, something that a man could trade for in an open market. Commoners who had traditionally been wedded to the land and essentially owned by their feudal lords gained their freedom as those lords died, and many became well-off, even wealthy as a result of hiring themselves out for work for whoever had the wherewithal to pay them for their labor. The Black Death was thus the opening shots of the long battle for the Rights of Man that ultimately culminated in the founding of the United States of America, and was further refined and solidified by the American Civil War and the ratification of the 13 th and 14th Amendments to the United States Constitution, by which, at least legally, America finally freed her slaves. Death conquers all – even the nastiest forms of oppression. Trump XIII expresses that fact. The Qaballistic correspondences of Nun, Scorpio, and the Eight House are as follows: Yetziratic text: “The Twenty-Fourth Path is the Imaginative Intelligence, and it is so called because it gives a likeness to all the similitudes which are created in like manner similar to its harmonious elegancies.” Yetziratic title: Child of the Great Transformers. Lord of the Gates of Death. Yetziratic attribution: Scorpio Hebrew letter: Nun n } Numerical values: 50, 700 Astrological assignment: Scorpio ù, the 8th month of the astrological year, and the 8th House of the horoscope. Scorpio is cold, nocturnal, feminine, negative, fruitful, phlegmatic, repressed, subtle, deceitful, secretive, magnetic, emotional, passionate, preoccupied with hidden things, devious, clever in solving puzzles, and often of superior intelligence. Scorpio is ruled by Pluto and Mars; Saturn and Uranus are exalted in it; and Jupiter and Neptune are its esoteric Lords. Scorpio is Watery and Fixed. Chemicals: Acids.
Ecological process, realm, or principle: Recycling, by which nutrients in the form of minerals, gases, and liquids are recycled through the material substance of the Earth and down through time, as well as the sort of recycling in which humans engage, that is, turning old objects to new uses, and breaking down glass, paper, and other materials into raw materials which can then be made into new things. Death and dying. Predation. Taxation. Parasitism. Physical chemistry: Decomposition of organic material. Colors: According to Barbara Watters, in Horary Astrology and the Judgment of Events (Washington, DC: Valhalla Press, 1973; p. 28), Scorpio’s colors are maroon and purple. In Liber 777, Aleister Crowley gives the following colors for Scorpio: green-blue (King Scale of Color, Column XV); dull brown (Queen Scale of Color, Column XVI); very dark brown (Emperor Scale of Color, Column XVII); and livid indigo-brown, like a black beetle (Empress Scale of Color, Column XVIII). In his Encyclopedia of Astrology (New York: Philosophical Library, 1942; p. 57), Nicholas de Vore gives dark brown for Scorpio’s color. Gods: Greek: Hades, Dis, Orcus, Phorkys, Thanatos, Typhon, Ares Roman: Pluto, Orcus, Martius (Mars) Egyptian: Anubis, Osiris (the Slain God), Nepthys, Kephra Semitic: Dagon, a God of Fish or Fishing, a major northwest Semitic God worshipped by the Amorites, Philistines, Akkadians, etc. USA: Zombies, vampires, werewolves, the Undead in general Celtic: Fideal (a water-demon which behaves much like the German Lorelei and the Greek Sirens) Hindu: Yama. Kundalini rising. Kali. Buddhism: Voudon: Olokun, God of Oceanic Abysses and the Unconscious Mind (Pluto rules abysses and the Unconscious) SubGenius: “Bob”, as representing Death and Rebirth Discordianism: H. P. Lovecraft: Dagon (in the short story of the same title) Stephen King: LaVeyan Satanism: Szekely (Romany Gypsy): Chinese: Japanese: Shinigami (any death-spirit), Enma (a version of Yama, borrowed from the Hindu pantheon), Izanami (a Goddess of creation who later became a Goddess of death) Judaism: Sheol (the tomb) Christianity: Jesus in his tomb Islam: Scandinavian/Norse: Hel, Goddess of Death and the Underworld The French Enlightenment: Madame La Guillotine Russian: Hungarian: African: Dan-Ayido-Hwedo, also known as Damballah Southeast Asia: Polynesian: Ta’aroa (Tahitian) or Kanaloa (Hawaiian), Lord of Hell, the Ocean Storm, and the Deep Sea. (The Cthulhu Mythos developed by H. P. Lovecraft and other writers postulates numerous links between Lovecraft’s Great Old Ones, of Whom Cthulhu was one; Sumerian religion; Haitian Magick; and Tahitian religions.) Native Australian:
Eskimo: Central American: American Indian: American folklore: Science-fiction: The Land of Oz: The Deadly Desert Biblical associations: All verses having to do with death, dying, and the things of the dead. Countries: Norway, Morocco, Algeria, Syria, Jutland, Queensland, the Barbary Coast, Bavaria, and, in Spain, Valencia and Catalonia Cities: New Orleans, Louisiana; Seattle, Washington; Washington, DC; Cincinnati, Ohio; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Halifax, Newcastle, Dover. The 19th degree of Scorpio is said to rule Liverpool, England. Also, Oswieçim (Auschwitz), Bergen, Belsen, any other cities where genocide has taken place. Hamburg and Dresden, Germany, which suffered horrific damage from fire-bombing during World War II. Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. Peshtigo, Wisconsin, which was totally destroyed on October 8, 1871, by a great firestorm, on the same day that Chicago burned, both fires and numerous others around them due to a stagnant weather-system that had descended on that entire area and remained there during the hottest part of the year; due to the buildup of pine slash, sawdust, and woodchips due to lumbering in that area as well as the removal of trees by lumbering, leaving the rest of the wooded areas to become desiccated due to arid conditions there, between the weather and stupid behavior on the part of people living and working in the area, the fire that started that day became so huge and hot that it left hardly anything standing, actually melted railroad ties and the metal wheels of railroad carriages, and actually vaporized people caught up in it. Hinckley, Minnesota, which perished in the same way Peshtigo did on September 1, 1894. Meditation: Skeletal corpse Magickal Power: Necromancy (evoking spirits of the dead in order to force them to reveal what they know of the future, act at the bidding of the necromancer, or otherwise command them to carry out the necromancer’s will) Perfume: Opopomax, Siamese benzoin, anything that gives off the stench of dead things, putrescine, cadaverine Musical tone: G natural Qlippoth: Necheshthiron, brazenness
*See Kenneth Grant, Nightside of Eden (London: Skoob Books Publishing, 1994), pp.
Legendary orders of being: Lamia, Strygoi, witches The ghouls of Lovecraft’s fiction Mi-go, who fly through space in their brain-canisters, another of Lovecraft’s creations. The Undead, e.g., zombies and vampires. Dragons, Wyrms Eagles
The Phoenix Serpents, snakes, mythical reptiles, dinosaurs, pterodactyls Alchemical references: Sulfur. The Universal Solvent The process of purification of substances. The Black Dragon of alchemy, in which matter is encouraged to (alchemically speaking) putrefy (ferment, rot, decompose), sometimes with a small sample of the desired original pure material to act as a “seed.” Once this process is completed, the material is then recomposed into its “pure” form, which, while chemically identical to the original material, has some distinctly different properties. In many cases, this “perfected” material is then highly useful for medical purposes. The alchemical decomposition of materials. Decomposition of materials into their Watery and Fixed components. .Metals, stones, and minerals: Snakestone, serpentine; mineral wealth of any kind; scrap iron; recycled material; ancient rock, especially any dating from the Paleozoic Era or earlier in Earth’s history; basalt, granite, and any other volcanic rock; metamorphic rocks, especially those formed under tremendous pressures and temperatures; diamonds; fossils. Plutonium, especially bomb-quality metal, ruled by Pluto, Lord of Scorpio and the Eighth House. Gravestones. Plants, real and imaginary: Cactus, thornbrush, nettle, any other plant with sharp spines or hooks; poisonous plants Animals, Real and Imaginary: Wolves, coyotes (Canis latrans), jackals (the African species Canis adustus, Canis aureus, Canis mesomelas); crustaceans, such as lobsters or crayfish; mollusks; birds of prey such as eagles and hawks; carrion birds such as ravens and vultures; rats; vermin; swine; stinging insects; arachnids, especially scorpions; reptiles, especially large monitor lizards and snakes, and above all venomous snakes and Komodo dragons (which, it turns out, are not only fearsomely large and toothy, but venomous, as well); worms; dragons Creatures in general: Scorpio rules predators and predation, whether those that prey on members of their own species (e.g., serial killers, thieves) or those that prey on other species. The latter include, e.g., eagles, carrion-eaters such as vultures. It rules crustaceans and mollusks (because they tend to be bottom-feeders); dangerous sea-creatures such as sharks, killer whales, box jellyfish (class Cubozoa), stonefish (family Synanceiidae), octopi (both because octopi are mollusks and because they are venomous), barracuda, giant and colossal squid, and Navy SEALs; poisonous fungi. Lamia, Strygoi, witches The ghouls of Lovecraft’s fiction Mi-go, who fly through space in their brain-canisters, another of Lovecraft’s creations; they have colonized Yuggoth, a world also known to us as Pluto, ruler of Scorpio The Undead, e.g., zombies and vampires. Dragons, Wyrms Eagles The Phoenix Serpents, snakes, mythical reptiles, dinosaurs, pterodactyls Foods, drugs, flavors, and perfumes:
Scorpio, of which Neptune, like Jupiter, is an esoteric ruler, rules toxins of all kinds, especially those used to kill. It therefore rules the entirety of the modern allopathic pharmacopoeia, designed as medical antagonists to suppress symptoms and disease-causing processes rather than to support the body’s normal functions, since all such drugs are toxic, often highly toxic, and must be prescribed conservatively to avoid harming the patient. Scorpio rules all natural and unnatural toxins, from arrow-frog poison and fungal and plant toxins such as belladonna and concentrated doses of most of the Amanita mushrooms to cyanide, strychnine, and other artificially prepared chemical poisons. It rules pollution, corruption, and toxicity in all forms, and thus rules environmental pollution of all kinds. And because of its affinity with Pluto and Uranus and thus the metals plutonium, uranium, and the other actinides, it especially rules radioactive fallout and pollution by fallout. Scorpio rules all drugs made from plants and fungi that are phallic in shape. It rules drugs made from plants that are ruled by Mars, such as garlic, pepper, brambles, and wormwood. Its traditional ruler, Mars, rules plants with thorns or prickles, such as cacti and nettle, as well as those with a strong acrid taste, such as onion or garlic, and herbs such as basil, tarragon, and sarsaparilla. Scorpio rules drugs made from such Mars-ruled plants. As a ruler of war, mutation, extinction, and evolutionary radiation, Scorpio rules organisms which have come about as a result of mutations due to damage to the gonads of their parents from radiation, radioactivity, toxic chemicals, excess ultraviolet light, etc., and thus rules drugs made from the tissues and fluids of such creatures. Scorpio rules all poisons and all venoms. Clothing, Magickal Weapons, and other things, objects, and processes: The “plague doctor” costume that was worn by 14th-century European physicians who tried to treat and care for victims of the Black Death:
The Pain of the Obligation (the Oath), as Magickal Weapon. Tools pertinent to the coroner and the forensic investigator.
Things/commodities/products: The body: Scorpio represents the principles of reproduction and elimination. It is the ruler of the testicles and ovaries, the vagina, the penis, the groin, the prostate gland, the pelvic basin and its contents, the public bone, the nasal bone and cartilage, and the appendix. It rules the organs of excretion, which are in particular the bladder and urethra, the large bowel and descending colon, the rectum, the anus, and the sweat glands. Mars, the traditional ruler of Scorpio, rules the nose and the red blood cells; Pluto, the co-ruler of Scorpio, rules the reproductive and eliminatory organs. Diseases: Scorpio rules diseases of the reproductive and eliminatory systems and organs. These include, e.g., stricture of the urethra, diseases of the prostate gland, rupture, inguinal hernia, Crohne’s Disease, piles, susceptibility to infections, sexually transmitted infections, secret disorders, retention of urine, inflammatory diseases (involving the action of the adrenal glands, ruled by Mars), malignancies (cancers), nasal catarrh, infestations by intestinal parasites such as tapeworms and hookworms, illnesses or injuries caused by stinging insects; perils presented by surgery or torture; constipation, diarrhea, colitis, appendicitis, intestinal peritonitis, and surgery of any kind. As ruler of sewers and the bowels, Scorpio rules bacterial diseases such as those caused by E. coli, Multiply Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, and Vibrio cholerae, the cholera pathogen, and septicemia (blood-poisoning). Diseases ruled by Scorpio are frequently hard to reach and hard to cure. When Neptune (Keys 2 and 23) is also involved, they become cryptic, and virtually impossible to diagnose properly or cure. Psychology: The psychology of death and dying, of the reactions of living organisms to the presence of dying or dead ones, and to learning that one may be dying oneself. Death and decay. The process of psychoanalysis. The dynamics of the personal and collective unconscious. The instincts. Fight-flight reactions. The psychology mediated by the most ancient parts of the brain. Magickal image: A skeleton mowing a field full of human heads with a Tau-shaped scythe. Patterns and compounds of color: Dark red, brown. The colors of death and decay. Forms, shapes, lineal figures, geomantic figures, figures related to pure number, other mathematical entities, and numerological associations: Rubeus. The infinity symbol ∞ (representing what lies beyond the portals of life) Magick Square: A 50 x 50 Magick Square. Archangel: Gabriel, as Archangel of Water. Angel: Gabriel (Angel of the Cherub of Water), Michael (Christian), Azrael (Islam), Samael, Sariel (one of the Seven Angels of the Earth in Judaic tradition), Adriel Intelligence: Imaginative Intelligence Point of the compass: North by east
Buddhist symbolism: The skeletonized corpse Occupations, businesses, and ecological niches: Scorpio rules surgeons, physicians specializing in diseases of the eliminatory or reproductive organs, thanatologists (those who study the processes of death), those specializing in radiation medicine, those who specialize in regenerative medicine or lifeextension therapy; butchers; toxicologists; assassins, hit-men, street-gangs, drug rings, serial killers, serial rapists, gangsters, gangbangers, pirates, and organized crime in general; dictators; executioners; the IRS and other organizations dealing with taxes; corporate executives; morticians, coroners, those involved in the mortuary industry, gravediggers, undertakers, pharmacists (Scorpio shares this rulership with Pisces and Virgo), alchemists, chemists, cosmologists; volcanologists, paleontologists, paleobiologists, paleoclimatologists, and geologists (this specialty is co-ruled by Capricorn, Virgo, and Taurus, depending on its orientation); coyotes (those who smuggle illegal immigrants into a country); and prostitutes, pimps, madams, procurers, those trafficking in sex-slaves; psychiatrists and psychoanalysts; welfare workers; archaeologists, paleontologists, and paleobiologists; forensic investigators, forensic pathologists, and detectives; psychoanalysts, especially Jungians and others working with the Collective Unconscious; Scorpio rules the Internal Revenue Service and other tax agencies; probate judges, attorneys acting as estate executors. Scorpio rules recycling. Hence any creature whose activities aid or cause the recycling of nutrients through air, water, or soil is ruled or co-ruled by Scorpio. Such organisms include, e.g., numerous bacteria and fungi, vultures, ravens, and other necrophagous creatures; earthworms, which turn the soil under and bring nutrients from below to the soil’s upper layers; molds, rusts, and other fungi that break down rocks, walls, and other material and in that way aid the recycling of its constituent chemicals, etc. Scorpio rules human recycling centers, garbage collectors, administrators and workers at plants that process recycled materials, Scorpio rules genetic change and evolutionary trends, hence rules bacteria and viruses, which happily, continuously swap their genes around with one another and with eukarya at the slightest opportunity, in that way helping to bring about evolutionary change in just about every one of Earth’s countless evolutionary lineages. Places, nations, and peoples: Peoples: The people who live in the underground areas of cities. Places: Externally, Scorpio rules swamps, marshes, muddy ground, brackish tidal basins, quicksand, and locations subject to flooding; stagnant or polluted pools, rivers, lakes, or other bodies of water; mines, especially those where precious stones and metals are extracted; places of buried treasure; slums, ghettoes; latrines, cesspools, sewers, and privies; vandalized structures and locations; bleak stretches of territory; drains; places where bodies have been dumped; places where vermin and reptiles breed; rubbish dumps, places of rot and stench, tar-pits and oil pools; ruins near water; brothels; slaughterhouses and butcher shops; smithies, forges, and any place where metal is smelted; the drains from mortuaries, autopsy rooms, and coroners’ offices; and cemeteries, tombs, mausoleums, columbaria, crematoria, and graveyards. Inside, it rules drains, sinks, toilets, and the plumbing leading to sewers; damp, moldy rooms that are shut off; sculleries; bathrooms and the medicine cabinets within bathrooms; any place that is secret or hidden, such as secret stairs, underground tunnels, and hidden doors, secret drawers in desks or chests, and chests and other containers with false bottoms; and any place used for hiding valuables. In real estate, it signifies slum property; swampy land with poor drainage; houses in bad repair; land in danger of flooding; polluted land; land with unexploited mineral wealth or buried treasure; and haunted houses, houses with bad histories that are consequently hard to rent or sell, and properties in lonely places with no easy access to them.
Outside, Scorpio’s direction is north by east; inside structures, it is the northeast wall of the structure. Scorpio rules the Dead Sea – which is, incidentally, one of the greatest treasure houses of mineral wealth on the planet. Scorpio rules volcanoes and volcanic provinces, tectonically active areas, the tectonic plates by which the continents of the Earth are supported, volcanic islands, flood basalt leavings (e.g., the Siberian Traps, the Deccan Traps, etc.) Scorpio rules any places in which the remains, fossils and otherwise, of numerous creatures are to be found, especially those from mass extinctions. Matters of the horoscope: Debts, prostitution, sex, death, inheritance; jiu-jitsu, tae kwando, ninpo taijutsu, tai chi, and other subtle forms of combat arts; organized crime; murder; archeology, cosmology; welfare funds; buried treasure; secrets, secret negotiations, conspiracies; black holes (physics). Scorpio and the Eighth House of the horoscope rule the history and biological or evolutionary roots of being from the viewpoint of DNA and the species. They rule sex, death, birth, resurrection, regeneration, and other primordial processes of life as such, on the level of biochemistry, as well as the occult Poetry: The Lament for Makaris, by William Dunbar (1460-1520?) “Adieu; Farewell Earth’s Bliss” or “Summer’s Last Will and Testament” (1600) by Thomas Nashe (1567-1601) “The Second Coming,” by William Butler Yeats Music: “The Mercy Seat,” as covered by both Johnny Cash and Nick Cave. “Going Home,” in Antonín Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 in E Minor “From the New World,” Op. 95, B. 178, popularly known as the New World Symphony (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symphony_No._9_(Dvo%C5%99%C3%A1k)). The hymns “Abide With Me” and “Now the Day is Over” The apocalyptic “Farewell Angelina” by Bob Dylan, as covered by Joan Baez Chorale from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Requiem Mass in D Minor (K. 626). This is the great Mass of the Dead, of Death and Judgment, with all its terrifying and exalting imagery of Judgment Day Any piece of solemn funeral music Graphic arts: Books and other literary productions: On Death and Dying, by Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. One of the most important psychological studies of the late twentieth century, On Death and Dying grew out of Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’s famous interdisciplinary seminar on death, life, and transition. In this remarkable book, Dr. Kübler-Ross first explored the now-famous five stages of death: denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Through sample interviews and conversations, she gives the reader a better understanding of how imminent death affects the patient, the professionals who serve that patient, and the patient’s family, bringing hope to all who are involved. Dr. Peter Douglas Ward, Rivers in Time: The Search for Clues to Earth’s Mass Extinctions (Columbia University Press, 2000) Films: Horror films concentrating on death, rot, decay, zombies.
Saints and exemplars: Josef Mengele, known as the Angel of Death among inmates of Auschwitz concentration camp; Jack Kevorkian, infamous as a major proponent and perpetrator of physician assisted suicide; Dame Cicely Saunders, founder of the Hospice Movement; Elisabeth Kubler-Ross (see “Books and other literary productions,” above, for more information); History: World War II, a major change which was the logical outgrowth of what had gone before (World War I, the Great Depression, etc.), but for many sudden and unexpected, and leading to Uranian changes such as the development of the atomic bomb and the opening of the Atomic and Space Ages. It also entailed mass slaughter as well as outright genocide – some 50-60 million or more people perished because of it. World War I, for similar reasons – World War I came about because of treaties among the European powers which, rather than preventing it, as they were intended to do, enabled it, an event that stunned the whole world, but which was the logical result of what came before it, including those treaties. Wars in general. 9/11, which came “out of the blue,” and entailed the deaths of nearly three thousand innocent bystanders. Armed revolutions, including, e.g., the Bolshevik Revolution (the October Revolution) of 1981. Mass extinctions, including the greatest ones of all, at the end of the Permian Period of the Paleozoic Era of Earthly life, the End-Cretaceous Event that closed out the Mesozoic Era, etc. The April 20, 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster, which has essentially destroyed the life of that body of water, the ninth largest in the world, as well as the economy of the region; Pluto is a co-ruler of petroleum and its products, of the oil industry, of mass death, of the fate of banks and banking (as the 4th house of outcomes of the 5th house of banking), and of disastrous events that are the logical but unexpected outcome of prior conditions (BP, the company doing the drilling that caused the disaster was drilling where it was at the time in order to avoid the cap-and-trade laws pushed through by the US Congress supposedly as “green” legislation, and the area being drilled in was about the worst for that purpose that you can imagine); of mines (drilling for oil is a form of mining), etc. The Black Death of the 14th Century, peaking in Europe between 1348 and 1350, which completely transformed Europe’s culture, economy, and population. The Holocaust of the Jews carried out by the Nazis (oddly enough, the symbol of the dread SS, Germany’s police arm that was so intimately involved in carrying out the Holocaust, was the death’s-head; and Josef Mengele, known by inmates of Auschwitz as “the Angel of Death” because of the hideous experiments he perpetrated on camp inmates, especially children, was one of its more infamous perpetrators) American emblems, sigils, symbols, folklore, and urban legend: The death of J. R. “Bob” Dobbs
Far Eastern cosmological associations:
Chinese astrological sign corresponding to Scorpio: the Boar. Those born in the year or under the sign of the Boar tend to be intellectually curious, honest and tolerant, those born in the Year of the Pig can be relied upon for their loyalty and often make true friends for life. The Element Metal is associated with the west and with Autumn. The west is where the Sun sets in the evening, and in many cultures it is associated with death, being the place where souls go when they leave the body. Thus Scorpio is associated with the west in such cultures, and with Autumn and its Element, Metal. Metal, and therefore Scorpio, is thus associated with destruction and decline, the solid but molded (ductile materials), acridity, copper, the planet Venus, and the color white. Metal controls the lungs and large intestine (the lower bowel). It is represented by the White Tiger. The yang expression of Metal is a weapon; its yin expression is a kettle. The chemical associated with it is sublimate of mercury. Metal, that which obeys and changes, produces Water, that which soaks and descends; Metal is produced by Earth, which is used for seed-time and harvest. Metal destroys Wood, that which is straight and crooked; Metal is destroyed by Fire, that which blazes and ascends. Trigram from the I Ching:
K’an The Abysmal, Water (Moon) ___ ___ ________ ___ ___ Hexagrams from the King Wen arrangement of the I Ching: 29. K’an / The Abysmal, Water (King Wen arrangement) ___ ___ ________ ___ ___ ___ ___ ________ ___ ___ above K’an / The Abysmal, Water below K’an / The Abysmal, Water THE JUDGMENT THE ABYSMAL repeated. If you are sincere, you have success in your heart, And whatever you do succeeds. THE IMAGE Water flows on uninterruptedly and reaches its goal: The image of the ABYSMAL repeated. Thus the superior man walks in lasting virtue And carries on the business of teaching. 24. Fu / Return (the Turning Point) (King Wen arrangement) ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ __________ above K’un The Receptive, Earth below Chên The Arousing, Thunder THE JUDGMENT RETURN. Success. Going out and coming in without error. Friends come without blame.
To and fro goes the way. On the seventh day comes return. It furthers one to have somewhere to go. THE IMAGE Thunder within the earth: The image of THE TURNING POINT. Thus the kings of antiquity closed the passes At the time of solstice. Merchants and strangers did not go about, And the rule Did not travel through the provinces.
b. Design and Title of Trump
Gringonneur Tarot: Death on horseback, trampling his victims. Bembo: A skeleton, standing, holding a bow. Swiss: Death, harvesting the living. Insight: Death harvesting a crop of heads, hands, and feet. Marseille: Essentially the same design as that for this card in the Insight Tarot. Italian: Similar to the designs of the cards in the Insight and Marseille Tarot. Wirth: Like the Marseille design. Waite: Here, Death is shown in black armor, riding a white horse. In his left hand he carries a flag on which is a white rose on a black field, meaning, “In the midst of life, we are in death.” Yellow stamens or seeds are shown within the rose, meaning, “In the midst of death, we are in life.” In the field through which he rides are a dead king, a curious child, a despairing woman, and a praying bishop. On the horizon, framed by the towers of a castle, the Sun is rising. B.O.T.A.: Like the Marseille Tarot, but with a rising Sun. Aquarian: Somewhat similar to the Waite design, except that only death, the flag, and the rising Sun are visible. Crowley: The central figure is Death with a scythe. Other elements of the card design include a scorpion, a snake, a fish (Nun), a lily, a laughing eagle, and the spirits of those who have died. Spiral-like curve in part of the card may hint at rebirth. New: Retitled “The Renewer.” Death as a hooded man stands within a large crown. He presents a skull to man kneeling before him. From outside the crown, a woman pleads with Death. A circle of stones in the background contains a golden chalice. The Sun is shown partially obscured by a cloud. America’s Tarot: Center: a montage of America’s great creators of horror fiction and cinema, from Poe, Hawthorne, and H. P. Lovecraft to Stephen King, R. R. McCammon, and George Romero, in a circle, with the Grim Reaper, holding up a blooming flower in his skeletal right hand, at the center of that circle. Upright: Seattle, Washington; the Bandini Fertilizer Corporation in Los
Angeles, California. Reverse: Washington, DC; the alligators in the NYC sewer system, contentedly munching on New York White (you know, that outtasight primo crop that grows there due to all the pot-seeds flushed down toilets by paranoid NYC Hippies). Images suggesting recycling, sewers. Xaviera Hollander, Dr. Ruth, etc. A molecular diagram of the AIDS (HIV) virus. The Divine Comedy Tarot: The card shows souls being carried across the River Styx to Judgment on a raft steered by Charon, the Ferryman. Above, souls are shown being admitted to Paradise, and between those two levels, souls are shown just beginning their climb up Mount Purgatory. Biblical Tarot: The tomb in which Jesus was laid. In the background is Golgotha, “the Place of the Skull,” a killing-ground on which those condemned to die by the Romans were executed. Tombs, graveyards, and areas where people died, especially by violence, are considered to be ritually unclean in Jewish law, and must be ritually purified before contact with them is permitted. Or, those who must deal with such things all the time – morticians, coroners, surgeons, undertakers, gravediggers, etc. – must undergo ritual purification themselves before mingling with those who have not been thus contaminated. This card should at least hint at that. The 23 rd Psalm is also applicable to this Path. John Burt’s MAD Tarot: The Old Crypt-Keeper stands behind a wealthy, smugly self-satisfied, prosperous-looking man, about to plink him with a bony finger. The Robert A. Heinlein Tarot: The H. P. Lovecraft Tarot: Upright: Yuggoth. Reversed: That region of the Dreamlands where the ghouls live. Mi-go, creatures that travel through outer space, which is ruled by Pluto, glide through the skies in their brain-canisters, their bright red brains showing at the tops of the canisters. Great Old Ones that have “wings” for travel in space together form a frame around the central scene of the card. The Stephen King Tarot: The R. R. McCammon Tarot: The Great Salt Lake in Utah. In the midst of blasted lands, the lake is surrounded by a vast, makeshift “city” of refugees, the best-off of whom live right on the lake shores in trailers or other relatively secure shelters, the rest of whom live in tents, tumbledown shelters made of whatever they have been able to salvage, or even mere holes dug into the dirt. Above, the skies are filled with lowering black clouds; an endless, icy, sleet-filled rain falls from the sky. The Sun is not seen; what light there is, is directionless and heavily filtered by the clouds. Here is the grave of the old world, filled with the teeming refugees whose old way of life has died, reborn into a world utterly unlike everything they once knew and loved, inimical to life and hope in every way. In the foreground, with the lake and everything around it as background, is Lt. Col. James Macklin, Ret., dressed in rags, filthy, with a heavy growth of beard, his right hand gone, staring out at the viewer with narrowed eyes. In his left hand is a machete with a bright, sharp blade. Next to him is the boy, Roland Croninger, with whom he escaped the deathtrap that Earth-House, the survivalist retreat carved into the heart of a mountain in Idaho, had become due to a near-miss by a hydrogen bomb explosion. Roland wears aviator’s goggles; his clothes are in rags, and he is as filthy as Macklin. He stares out at the viewer with the total concentration of a predator on the hunt.
c. Divinatory Meanings
Case: Nun, “fish.” To grow or sprout. Fertility, fecundity, productiveness; generative power. Motion; to walk. Change, transformation, modification, variation. Change as the basis of modification. Mars as ruler of and Uranus as exalted in Scorpio. Imaginative intelligence. Musical note: G natural.
Christian: Creation, destruction, and renewal. The ascent of the spirit into the divine spheres (those of Binah, Chokmah, and Kether). The transformation of human nature upon reaching the end of its organic period. Crowley: Fish. Scorpio, water. Mars as ruler of water. The Imaginative Intelligence. Death. Greenblue. Typhon, Kephra. Kundalini. Ares, Martius. Scorpion, beetle, lobster or crayfish, wolf. Cactus, snakestone. His Magickal Weapon is the Pain of the Obligation. His perfumes are Siamese benzoin, opopomax. His Magickal Power is necromancy. His geomantic sign is Rubeus. The Lord of this card, who is called the Child of the Great Transformers, the Lord of the Gates of Death, rules transformation, change (voluntary or otherwise), logical developments of existing conditions, but perhaps sudden and unexpected (as is to be expected with Uranus exalted in Scorpio), apparent death or destruction. Douglas: Major change, perhaps apparently by chance, which is the logical result of what has gone before. A clean sweep necessary for further growth. Gray: Transformation, change, destruction followed by rebirth. Disasters, revolutions or other forms of violent change. Ill-aspected, this card signifies stagnation and lack of change. Golden Dawn: The sovereignty and result of victory. Sol acting through Scorpio upon Venus. Osiris under the destroying power of Typhon afflicting Venus. The Child of the Great Transformers, Lord of the Gates of Death. Time, ages (Saturn, co-exalted in Scorpio, rules time, Uranus, exalted in Scorpio, rules Deep Time and thus the ages before us and the passage of ages); transformation, involuntary change. Sometimes, but rarely, it signifies death and destruction. Grimaud: Symbol of movement and steady advance. Death. The end of something. Illness or shock, but a fatal outcome can be avoided. Can mean death whose effects do not stop at death alone, but continue on beyond in evil deeds. Huson: Death, literally. A profound change in the psyche. The initiate stripped of masks. Kahn: Elements of sudden change, escape from danger, escape from a tricky legal situation, escape from imprisonment of one sort or another, escape from the persecutions of parts of the Querent’s mind. Change and liberation. Kaplan: Like Gray’s interpretation, plus the literal meaning of death. Knight: Literal death, plus the regeneration of the life force. Lind: Death of the old, ridding oneself of fleshly desire. Mathers: Death, change, transformation, alteration for the worse. Death just barely escaped, partial change, transformation for the better. Mayananda: Transformation. Death and resurrection. Reincarnation. The dark night of the soul. Papus: Mem (the Hebrew letter, which normally is associated with Key 23 and the Hanged Man). A woman, the companion of man. Being in unlimited space. Destruction preceding or following regeneration. Sadhu: Mem (Hebrew letter). A woman. No astrological sign is given. Immortality and permanency in the Essence (God). Transmutation of forces. Death and reincarnation. Thierens: Saturn (co-exalted in Scorpio). Otherwise similar to Waite and Papus.
Ussher: The frontier between time and eternity, future and past. Mem (Hebrew letter), meaning “water.” Waite: Change. Transformation from lower to higher. End, mortality, destruction. For a man, the loss of a benefactor; for a woman, many contrarieties; for a maid, failure of marriage prospects. Inertia, sleep, lethargy, petrifaction, somnambulism, hope destroyed. The Divine Comedy Tarot: Dis, Hell’s capital city and administrative center Biblical Tarot: Fear not death. John Burt’s MAD Tarot: The Robert A. Heinlein Tarot: The H. P. Lovecraft Tarot: You will be invited to dine with a ghoul. Or, perhaps, you will be invited to be dinner for a ghoul. One can’t be sure. The Stephen King Tarot: That is not dead which only sleeping lies, / And with strange Aeons, even death may die. The transformation of normal human beings into fish-men (see Lovecraft’s “The Shadow Over Innsmouth”) The R. R. McCammon Tarot: Your inside face will become your outside face, so be careful of your attitude. Suggested meanings: Extinction, mass extinction, evolutionary radiation after a mass extinction. One’s genetic heritage, perhaps all the way back to the beginnings of life on Earth, four billion years ago. The Hadean Eon of Earthly history, 4.5-3.9 billion years ago. A hadean realm, such as that containing volcanoes, hot springs, etc. Molting, casting off of obsolete and restrictive structures so that new ones can take their place. Death and endings. Rebirth. Reincarnation. Rejuvenation. Plagues, pestilences, and pandemics that kill numerous people. Alchemy, transformation, transmutation (alchemy), mutation (biology). Execution. The hangman, executioner. Eternity, the afterlife. Immortality. Wills and legacies, goods of the dead. Death (literal). Death in all forms. Despair. Suicidal depression, especially if paired with Trump XII.
d. Interrelationships of the Path and the Trump
Nun is the Path connecting Sephirah 7, Netzach, with Sephirah 6, Tiphareth. Netzach is associated with Venus, and Tiphareth with the Sun, both of which have dignities in the signs Pisces, Taurus, Gemini, and Cancer, signs of Spring and Summer and the life and warmth they bring. Yet Nun is associated with Scorpio, the heart of Autumn, and this is because in order to attain to Tiphareth upon leaving Netzach, one must undergo the death of the Personality, through either physical death or the greater death of Initiation. In the first case, the Personality simply ceases to exist, but in the second, it still exists and functions in the world, though not for its own purposes. Rather, it now exists to further the goals of the Individuality, wherein the center of consciousness is now sited. Qaballistically speaking, the center of consciousness in Individuality is in Tiphareth, and the “face of the Father” which is referred to is, in a sense, the image of the Spirit, in heaven, that is, Kether and the Supernal Triangle consisting of Kether, Chokmah, and Binah. The Abyss divides the Archetypal and Creative worlds of Spiritual consciousness from the Formative World of the consciousness of the Individuality, so it might be more accurate to say that the image that is gazed upon is really the Individuality’s higher ideas of what its Spirit is. This image should be placed in Chesed (or perhaps in Da’ath, though the latter, located in the Abyss itself, is relatively formless). “Image” is a misnomer when it comes to the levels beyond Hod, where there is no image as we normally understand the term. Any level above Hod has neither shapes nor forms as our quotidian consciousness, shaped by spacetime, conceives those terms. The “image” is therefore a kind of intuition of what is right or wrong for that Individuality. If the “image” is wrong or distorted, the Individuality will be
attempting to mold itself on a pattern not in conformity with the Spirit which originally projected it and still projects it. This false image, or Eidolon, is at the root of Original Sin. The Spirit is perfect, but when the Eidolon is projected, if it is distorted, the image of itself that will be used as a pattern for the vehicles of denser manifestation will inevitably result in sin, evil, and disease. In almost all cases, the cause of distortion of the Eidolon is reluctance to manifest, or, in other words, fear of pain, leading to a loss of selfconfidence and assurance that can cause the Spirit to make a misstep, as it were, and injure itself. This is more or less the reason for evil in the world, for a fallen Spirit does not injure itself alone, but because all humanity and, indeed, all life, is interlinked, the stumble and fall of one involves that of all. And the Path of Nun, represented by Trump XIII, Death, is one along which the danger of falls are great. This is what the Seven of Cups, Debauch, associated with Venus in Scorpio, represents: the groundless fantasies and confusion which so many on this Path experience, the tendency to mistake the desires of the moment for True Will and embrace them as if they were one’s true ideal life path. These are the errors of the hypothalamus, that part of the brain that registers the body’s needs and translates them into cravings that impel one to do that which is necessary to fulfill those needs. But if, however, the translation is too strong, too weak, or too distorted, or isn’t extinguished by fulfillment of the need but continues on indefinitely, forming an addiction, the result is a deep injury to body, soul, spirit, and/or mind. The Five of Cups, associated with Mars in Scorpio, shows the dangers of this Path; the Six of Cups, associated with the Sun in Scorpio, shows the pleasures that can result from treading this Path. There are thus two chances of failure to one of reward associated with the experience Nun, but as attainment to Tiphareth mandates the use of this Path, to try to avoid the dangers and illusions associated with it means the failure of the Personality and its ultimate extinguishment in physical death, for its fulfillment can only come about through its transformation into the Individuality – and that can only be brought about by taking the Path of Nun. Nun is an alchemical Path, that is, one of transformation of the soul via ritual and achievement. Here is what J. C. Cooper has to say concerning alchemy in Chinese Alchemy: The Taoist Quest for Immortality (New York: The Sterling Publishing Company, 1990), pp. pp. 73-77): Two of the artificers most concerned with alchemy and necessary for its work were the miner and the smith. The miner operates in the early stages, bringing forth the ores, helping and hastening the process of birth. That he was involved in the sacred aspect of the work is shown by the fact that the opening of a new mine required a religious ceremony and elaborate ritual: fasting, prayer or meditation, incantation, ritual cleanliness and sexual abstinence were necessary as in any other branch of alchemy. To interfere with the Earth Mother is to tread on dangerous ground, indeed, in some cultures, such as the Tibetan and Amerindian, it was altogether prohibited by sacred scruples. Even on the lower folk-level, mountains, mounds and the underworld are treated with extreme caution as the homes of spirits, fairies, dwarfs, trolls and gnomes. These underground workers were always mysterious and feared for being in touch with underworld and dark powers. There is a vast background of myth which incorporates all transformers; among these the smith occupies an important but extraordinarily ambivalent position; he can be venerated as a god or royalty, or despised as an outcast. In some cases he is the First Ancestor who came down from heaven to found civilization. Like Prometheus, he brought the secret and use of fire to humanity and had a close association with the sky and thunder gods. These were the white smiths. Among shamanistic tribes these smiths were also descendants of a celestial smith who came to earth to teach men the use of fire and metals. The smiths’ sons married the daughters of earth and all smiths are descended from them. Smiths held a high position at court, or were treated as royalty, on account of their divine descent; they were the divine artisans and the smithy was a centre of ritual and worship. Among Mongols and in Turkistan the smith was also a culture here, ‘a free horseman.’ There is a tradition that Ghengis Khan was a smith before he rose to become ruler of the Mongols and a world-conqueror. There were also king-smiths in Africa. On the other hand, also in Africa, among the Massai, the smith was ‘an unclean one’ and it was dangerous to go near his hut, while to sleep with a woman of the smith class could cause a man to go mad or beget deformed offspring.
It was largely the pastoral, nomadic and hunting tribes, with the exception of the Mongols, who looked down on the smith and regarded him as an untouchable. But in all cultures the smith was held in awe and feared as a Master of Fire. He could reduce solid matter to liquid, something without form, and then could turn the pliable liquid into the solid again. Like all ‘creation’ craftsmen, and like the alchemist, he was a transformer and a transmuter of matter and dealt with the mysterious and magical; like the potter he turned the pliable into form; like the carpenter he brought form out of the formless, the prima materia. In his ambivalent position the smith could be creator or destroyer; he made both the weapons of death, the sword and the spear, and the tools of life and growth, the spade and the plough. As the blacksmith he handled iron, an almost universally disliked and feared metal, though it was sacred in some cases as an apotropaic. This association with iron was also ambivalent; the metal is everywhere dreaded by the spirit world, evil spirits, witches or fairies will not go near it or cross an iron object: ‘Iron scares spirits.’ As an evil metal it was not allowed to be used in the construction of any sacred place, but since it repels evil spirits, the shaman loads himself and his ritual robes with iron articles and iron is used for this purpose in amulets. The blacksmith, as a master of fire, is naturally associated with the hearth and this puts him in touch with the powers of the underworld; the hearth gives access to the forces of the dark regions and the blacksmith originally learned his craft from an underworld divinity. In the Hebrew tradition the craft was brought down to earth by the fallen angel Azazel. With this connection with the powers of the underworld it was natural that smiths were credited with other magical powers, such as prophecy and healing. Another reason for the fear of the smith was the practice of blood sacrifice, both human and animal, in the smelting of metal, although sometimes the sacrifice was voluntary. Also he was constantly surrounded by evil spirits, menacing him and against which he had to take every precaution and there had to be absolute silence accompanying his movements, all of which made him worth avoiding. Then, again, his tools, the hammer, anvil and bellows have magic powers of transformation, while the stove, cauldron and furnace all have the function of dissolution and death. Smelting is a work of fusion, the abolition of individual identity, the return to primordial chaos. The ores, regarded as male and female, yang and yin, become one in union. This has a sex symbolism which is further accentuated by the ‘heat’ involved; a symbolism also present in the hammer and anvil, the hammer being the formative, masculine force in nature, with the anvil as the passive feminine. The hammer is the weapon of the Thunder Gods, the Divine Smiths, with the anvil as the earth, matter. The striking of the hammer on the anvil, bringing down fire from heaven, represents divine justice and power, this is why oaths were taken on the anvil, a practice which continued until recent times when marriages over the anvil, at such places as Gretna Green, perpetuated the smith’s ancient religious functions. This is a perfect analogy of the way in which the Path of Nun entails the process of transmutation of the soul from Personality to Individuality via the Black Dragon of the dark night of the soul. It can be a fearsome Path – but the rewards for treading it successfully are great, and the loss entailed in refusing to tread it, or in treading it and then turning back before completing the ascent from Netzach to Tiphareth, is deadly.
Samekh s, “Prop.” Trump XIV, Temperance.28 Sagittarius (ú). Cardinal value, 60; ordinal value, 15. Connects Sephirah 6, Tiphareth, with Sephirah 9, Yesod. Roman/English equivalent: S.
a. Qaballistic Meanings and Theory
Samekh, leading from Sephirah 9, Yesod, to Sephirah 6, Tiphareth, represents the link between Individuality and Personality. It is on this Path that the beginnings of mystical or higher consciousness are developed. Before mystical consciousness can affect and be integrated with the functions represented by the “lower” Sephirah, they have to be stabilized and calmed. This process is represented symbolically by the analogy of a journey through a desert or wilderness, during which the soul is thrown entirely upon its own resources, save for faith. A loss of courage or faith at this point means a clinging to the consciousness represented by Malkuth, Yesod, Hod, and Netzach, and an inability to take on that of Tiphareth or even higher Sephiroth. All three Paths from the lower Sephiroth to Tiphareth – Nun, Samekh, and A’ain – entail the Dark Night of the Soul, and Samekh represents the Desert Way, on which the soul must leave behind the life of the Outer Planes and lower Spheres, even though it is not yet conscious of the life of the Inner Planes and upper Spheres, invoking the inner light that will become a Golden Dawn guiding its way through the darkness and into the Light. Traditional designs for this Trump show an angel, possibly Raphael, standing in a wilderness, pouring the waters of life from a golden chalice or cup into a silver one. The golden chalice represents Tiphareth, Sephirah 6, associated with the Sun, and the silver one represents Sephirah 9, Yesod, associated with the Moon, the two Sephiroth which this Path connects. In his Dictionary of the Tarot,* Bill Butler says of the design of this card that it is one of the least successful Tarot designs, a survival from the very earliest Tarot packs, from the period during which variant decks proliferated and artists may have found it difficult to be innovative in their approach to card designs. Wirth, Waite, and other, more modern designers of Tarot packs seemed to have missed their chance to correct this, and the design of this Trump remains what it has been since the beginning, as Butler says, wishy-washy. He points out that the original meaning of this Trump, Temperance, probably refers to cutting wine with water. However, originally, rather than cutting wine – or any other beverage, for that matter – with water, people cut their water with wine, which helped prevent the transmission of disease organisms in water, as alcohol acts as an antiseptic. Rarely did anyone have a dependable source of safe, clean water for drinking or any other use; cutting water with wine had a prophylactic value before anything else, and early on in the history of Europe and the Middle East people learned that water without wine could be deadly, while water to which wine had been added was safe to drink. To make that sort of connection, and that long before the germ theory of epidemic disease existed anywhere, required the sort of thinking in which students are trained by higher education, i.e., in colleges and universities. Higher education is ruled by Sagittarius and the 9th House of the horoscope, which are associated with Trump XIV, Temperance. Furthermore, the 9th House of the horoscope is the house of outcomes for 6th-House matters; among other things, the 6th House rules health and whatever affects it, as well as healers, nurses, nurse-practitioners, and other medical workers who do not have advanced medical degrees such as that of Medical Doctor (M.D.). On the other hand, matters of public health, including epidemics, are ruled by Pisces and the 12th House, which are ruled by Neptune. Neptune is also a co-ruler of Sagittarius and the 9th House, making a third connection between the design of this card and its astrological referents. So perhaps the traditional design of this Trump is appropriate, after all. The title of this card, Temperance, may also have to do with the tempering of souls, analogous to that of metals, to make them fit to be used as tools in the Great Works of God.
*Bill Butler, Dictionary of the Tarot (New York: Schocken Books, 1975, 1977), p. 162.
The astrological sign Sagittarius, which is associated with this Trump, is the sign of aspiration, and fits this Path well. So does the color blue, the Atziluthic Color of the Path. This color of aspiration extends the
whole length of the center of the Tree, coincident with the Middle Pillar, from Sephirah 10, Malkuth, at the Tree’s base, to Sephirah 1, Kether, its crown, though the farther down the Tree it is, the closer it is to indigo. Sagittarius is associated with the centaur, a creature half God, half beast, which human beings are; and it was Chiron, a centaur, who begged to die in order to be released at last from the agony of his unhealing wound. Zeus consented, and Chiron thereby freed Prometheus, the Titan, Tartaros, where Prometheus was being punished by Zeus for giving fire to humanity, into the light of Heaven. After death, Chiron was then made immortal by Zeus and placed in the heavens as the asterism of Sagittarius, the Archer, which represents a centaur drawing a bow. This Trump thus represents the first stage of the ascent of humanity from a purely physical existence to the highest levels of Spirit via aspiration and religious devotion. The ascent of Samekh, represented by Trump XIV, Temperance, is one of apparent darkness and aridity, the Path on which the soul aspires to the light of higher consciousness, sustained only by its own resources. Its descent is the flowing down from the Individuality of life, light, and love, as the Individuality seeks to make and establish contact with its projection in incarnation. This is why Trump XIV is called Daughter of the Reconcilers, for the Path reconciles the evolutionary history of humanity with that of the successive incarnations of individual human souls, the Individuality with the Personality. It is also called the Bringer Forth of Life, for in this manner is new life brought to birth, the higher life into the outer world, and the life of experience into dense manifestation.29 Qaballistic correspondences: Yetziratic text: “The 25th Path is the Intelligence of Probation or Temptation, and is so called because it is the primary temptation, by which the Creator tries all righteous persons.” Yetziratic title: Daughter of the Reconcilers. Bringer-Forth of Life. Yetziratic attribution: Sagittarius Hebrew letter: s (Samekh) Numerical value: 60 Astrological assignment: Sagittarius, the 9th month of the astrological year, and the 9th House of the horoscope. The rulers of these are Jupiter and Neptune; Mars and Pluto are exalted in them; and Saturn and Uranus are their esoteric rulers. Sagittarius is hot, dry, barren masculine, positive, diurnal, choleric, active, double-bodied (half human, half bestial). According to Barbara Watters, the Moon’s South Node is exalted here. Sagittarius is Fiery and Mutable. Chemicals: Capsicum (the active ingredient in pepper-spray) Ecological process, realm, or principle: information Scattering, dispersal; the transmission of cultural
Physical chemistry: Combustion (oxidation of organic materials). Colors: Liber 777 gives, for the King Scale of color, blue; for the Queen Scale of color, yellow; for the Emperor Scale of color, green; and for the Empress Scale of color, dark, vivid blue. Geraldine Davis gives yellow, or “green sanguine.” De Vore gives olive and light green. Barbara Watters gives yellow-green, like chartreuse.
Gods, Archangels, and angels: Greek: Chiron, Zeus; Apollo and Artemis (archers), Prometheus (the Titan who gave fire to humanity) Roman: Jupiter; Diana, the Archer Egyptian: Nepthys Babylonian: Marduk USA: Celtic: Hindu: Vishnu, in His avatar as a horse Buddhism: Voudon: SubGenius: “Bob,” as the ultimate Travelin’ Salesman and Arch-Seducer of Women and Everyone Else Discordianism: H. P. Lovecraft: Stephen King: LaVeyan Satanism: Szekely (Romany Gypsy): Chinese: Japanese: Judaism: The angel of the sign of Sagittarius in the zodiac is Ayil or Sozajasel. According to Rabbi Chomer, the two governing spirits of the sign are Vhnori and Saritaiel (Saritiel). Heywood, in The Hierarchy of the Blessed Angels, gives Adnachiel as the ruler of Sagittarius. (http://www.steliart.com/angelology_angelic_properties_S.html) Christianity: As in Judaism; also, Sachiel, Uriel Islam: Ayil Scandinavian/Norse: Thor, Loki The French Enlightenment: Madame La Guillotine Russian: Hungarian: African: Southeast Asia: Polynesian: Native Australian: Eskimo: Central American: American Indian: American folklore: Science-fiction: The Land of Oz: Dorothy, who travels far Biblical associations: Genesis 21:20; Jeremiah 51:3; Genesis 27:3; Genesis 48:22; Genesis 49:24; Joshua 24:12; II Samuel 1:18; I Kings 22:34; II Kings 9:24; II Kings 13:15; II Kings 13:16; I Chronicles 12:2; II Chronicles 18:33; Psalms 11:2; Isaiah 66:19; Jeremiah 49:35; Jeremiah 50:14; Jeremiah 50:29; Jeremiah 51:3; Lamentations 2:4; Lamentations 3:12; Ezekiel 39:3; Hosea 1:5; Habakkuk 3:9; Revelation 6:2; Genesis 49:23; Judges 5:11; I Samuel 31:3; II Chronicles 35:23; Job 16:13; Isaiah 22:3; I Samuel 20:36; I Samuel 20:37; II Kings 9:24; II Kings 13:17; Psalms 11:2; Psalms 64:7; Psalms 91:5; I Samuel 20:20; I Samuel 20:21; I Samuel 20:22; I Samuel 20:38; II Kings 13:15; II Chronicles 26:15; Job
6:4; Psalms 7:13; Psalms 120:4; Psalms 127:4; Isaiah 7:24; Jeremiah 50:14; Lamentations 3:13; Ezekiel 5:16; Habakkuk 3:11; Genesis 27:3; Psalms 127:5; Jeremiah 5:16 Also, Job 39:19-25, Psalm 121:1. Countries: Various parts of Arabia, Italy, and France; Spain, Hungary, Provence, Australia, Yugoslavia Cities: Cologne, Stuttgart, Nottingham, Avignon, Toledo, Budapest Meditation: Limited aperture Magickal Powers: Transmutation, shape-shifting. Musical tone: G sharp or A flat Qlippoth: Nachashiron Legendary orders of being: Centaurs. Legendary horses, e.g., Babieca, El Cid’s horse; Bucephalus, Alexander the Great’s horse. The nightmare The Wise Mule (who will come to a halt and refuse to go father, however badly he is beaten for it, because peril such as a road out or something of the sort lurks up ahead) Hippogriff Alchemical references: Decomposition of a material into its Fiery and Mutable components. .Metals, stones, and minerals: Liber 777 gives jacinth. Tin, and minerals incorporating tin, chemical element 50 (symbol SN) Turquoise According to the website “Sagittarius Birthstones” (http://www.bernardine.com/birthstone/sagittarius.htm), the stones of Sagittarius includes five Zodiac gemstones: topaz, amethyst, ruby, sapphire, and turquoise. In addition to the Zodiac stones, topaz is listed as the Planetary stone for Sagittarius and beryl as the Talismanic Stone. Plants, real and imaginary: John Lust, in The Herb Book, makes the following assignments: 1) As the centaur and ruler of the forests, forest trees with catkins, and oak, beech, and elm; 2) mallows, feverfew. Liber 777 gives rushes, presumably bulrushes, among which the infant Moses was discovered by the Pharaoh’s daughter (OT Exodus Chapter 2) Any plants used to heal or prepare medicines that can heal wounds, counteract pain, and save lives. Any plants that arrive in an area as invaders, from some other region, e.g., kudzu, which has almost taken over the American South. Animals, Real and Imaginary: Horses, zebras, donkeys, mules, other equines Centaurs
Animals that come into an area as invaders from some other region, e.g., Formosan termites, which have ruined countless structures in New Orleans; snakehead fish*, etc.
* According to Wikipedia.org, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snakehead_(fish)), Snakeheads (Channidae) are a family of freshwater fish native to Africa and Asia. These predatory fish are distinguished by a long dorsal fin, large mouth and shiny teeth. They have a physiological need to breathe atmospheric air, which they do with a suprabranchial organ, a primitive form of a labyrinth organ. (The labyrinth organ, a defining characteristic of fish in the suborder Anabantoidei, is a much-folded suprabranchial accessory breathing organ. It is formed by vascularized expansion of the epibranchial bone of the first gill arch, and is used for respiration in air. ) There are two extant genera, Channa, in Asia, and Parachanna, in Africa, together including of 30-35 species. Snakeheads are considered valuable food fish. Called Ca Loc in Vietnamese, they is prized in clay pot dishes and pickled preparations. Larger species, such as Channa striata, Channa maculata, and Parachanna obscura, are farmed in aquaculture. Baby snakeheads feed on plankton, aquatic insects, and mollusks. Adult snakeheads mostly feed on other fish, such as carp, or frogs. In rare cases, they may take small mammals such as rats. The size of the snakehead species differs greatly. “Dwarf snakeheads” such as Channa gachua grow to 10 inches (25 cm). Most snakeheads grow up to 2 or 3 feet (60–100 cm). Only two species (Channa marulius and Channa micropeltes) can reach a length of more than 1 meter and a weight of more than 6 kg. It is illegal to keep snakeheads as pets in all states of the USA and other countries because they have become an invasive species, thanks to their release into the wild by their erstwhile owners. In the U.S., National Geographic Magazine referred to snakeheads as “Fishzilla.”
Creatures in general: Alien creatures, creatures from afar, strange monsters Foods, drugs, flavors, and perfumes: Food: foreign cuisines; food that has a fiery or hot taste, such as food heavily seasoned with curry or peppers Perfumes: Lign aloes Clothing, Magickal Weapons, and other things, objects, and processes: Magickal Weapon: The Arrow (swift and straight application of force) Things/commodities/products: The body: Hips, thighs, and buttocks. Jupiter in Sagittarius describes someone who has a tall, upright, well-formed, muscular body; an oval face of fine expressions; wide open, hazel-grey or dark brown eyes; and thick, chestnut-brown, or dark brown hair. Diseases: Sciatica; falls from horses; injuries from large beasts; snake bites; afflictions caused by overexposure to extreme heat (heat-stroke, burns); hunting injuries; malaria; sunstroke. Some degrees of Sagittarius are associated with blindness.
Psychology: Sagittarius is sagacious, curious, exploratory, changeable, impatient of restraint, sociable, fun-loving, witty, talkative, sportive, daring, optimistic, fickle, expansive, superficial. Jupiter in Sagittarius describes someone who is obliging, noble, free, spirited, industrious, friendly, generous, tolerant, optimistic, philosophical, and generally successful; but if Jupiter suffers bad aspects in the natal horoscope, the individual is likely to be bigoted, timid, arrogant, careless, and indifferent. Magickal image: The figure of Diana the Huntress (a centaur might also be appropriate) Patterns and compounds of color: Forms, shapes, lineal figures, geomantic figures, figures related to pure number, other mathematical entities, and numerological associations: The geomantic figure Acquisitio The Rose (5 x 5) The numerical value of Samekh is 60 = 2 x 2 x 3 x 5, associated with the sextile, a major astrological aspect of 60° Magick Square: A 60 x 60 Magick Square Archangel: The angel of the sign of Sagittarius in the zodiac is Ayil or Sozajasel. According to Rabbi Chomer, the two governing spirits of the sign are Vhnori and Saritaiel (Saritiel). Heywood, in The Hierarchy of the Blessed Angels, gives Adnachiel as the ruler of Sagittarius. (http://www.steliart.com/angelology_angelic_properties_S.html). Point of the compass: East by south Buddhist symbolism: The skeletonized corpse Occupations, businesses, and ecological niches: The clergy; scholars; philosophers; diplomats, the foreign service, the State Department, ambassadors; gamblers, those employed by lotteries; jockeys, horse breeders and trainers; world travelers, adventurers; foreign correspondents; those working in public relations; broadcasters, publishers, webmasters, Internet server employees; lawyers, attorneys; advisors and counselors to presidents, kings, and other rulers; the eminence gris behind the throne (the 12th House from the 10th House rules those who work in secret behind heads of government); satirists, clowns; celibates; explorers, adventurers, big game hunters; importers; philanderers and others with somewhat variegated sex-lives; mountain-climbers; railroad workers, truckers, airline workers; Magickal Power: Transmutation Places, nations, and peoples: Peoples: Scythians, Mongols, post-Columbian American Indians, and others whose lives are intimately entwined with that of their horses Places: Racing stables, barns for vehicles used in races, riding schools, race tracks, pastures for horses; universities, publishers’ offices, seminaries; lawyers’ offices; courtrooms, especially those of the highest courts; privy council chambers; great houses (mansions) with extensive grounds, such as those of nobility and aristocracy or the very wealthy; rectories and other places where clergy live; and cathedrals. In houses, it rules upper rooms, balconies, areas close to the ceiling, and places near the fire.
In real estate, it is associated with open, hilly, and somewhat arid land; the highest land around; mountain peaks; hunting parks or grounds. The direction of Sagittarius is east by south. Matters of the horoscope: Horses and other equines, their gear (tack), horse-racing, horse-breeding; tin, and objects made from it; glass; religious artifacts and vestments; foreign countries; safaris, hunting expeditions, exploratory expeditions, and mountain climbing; publishing, commercial broadcasting, the Internet as a system, the World Wide Web; gambling and lotteries (shared with Leo and the 5th House of the horoscope); higher education, universities; codes of law, ethics, or morality; lawyers and attorneys; legislation, legislators; the Lower House of the United States Congress; long journeys; the import-export business, companies involved in it; archery; philosophy; skyscrapers, high bridges; forest fires; national foreign policies. Poetry: Music: Songs: “Drill Ye Tarriers, Drill,” “Casey Jones” Graphic arts: Books and other literary productions: Black Beauty, The Black Stallion Films: My Friend Flicka, The Black Stallion, The Horse Whisperer Saints and exemplars: Engineer Casey Jones, Porter John Blair, Conductor Tom Sullivan, Engineers Jim Root, William Best, and Edward Barry (see following entry for details) Crazy Horse (Lakota: Tašúŋke Witkó (in Standard Lakota Orthography), literally “HisHorse-is-Crazy” or “His-Horse-is-Spirited” ; ca. 1840 – September 5, 1877) was a respected war leader of the Oglala Lakota. He fought against the U.S. federal government to preserve the land and traditions of the Lakota way of life, participating in the Battle of the Little Bighorn in June 1876. After surrendering to U.S. troops under General Crook in 1877, this prominent leader was fatally wounded by a military guard while allegedly resisting imprisonment at Camp Robinson in present-day Nebraska. American emblems, sigils, symbols, folklore, and urban legend: The railroads, or “Iron Horse,” and the legendary men who built them, worked on them, and, sometimes, gave their lives for their passengers. For example, during the horrific firestorm at Hinckley, Minnesota on September 1, 1894, Engineer Jim Root, conductor Tom Sullivan, and John Blair, aboard the locomotive St. Paul and Duluth Number 69, saved many lives. John Blair was a brave African-American porter who helped save many lives when the train on which he was working was caught up in the horrendous firestorm near Hinckley, Minnesota, in 1894. He selflessly did everything he could to save white passengers on a train engulfed in flames. Though the train itself caught fire on its passage away from Hinckley, Root managed to get the train beyond the flames before bailing along with the passengers, while Blair and Sullivan did all they could to keep the terrified passengers aboard the blazing
train during that mad ride through hell itself. A second, rescue train captained by Engineers William Best and Edward Barry likewise saved many: in the midst of terrifying flames and near-lethal radiant heat, Best held the train in Hinckley as long as he could in order to give refugees a maximum chance of reaching the train and getting aboard, and thereby saved many. Casey Jones: John Luther “Casey” Jones (March 14, 1863 – April 30, 1900) was an American railroad engineer from Jackson, Tennessee, who worked for the Illinois Central Railroad (IC). On April 30, 1900, he alone was killed when his passenger train, the Cannonball Express, collided with a stalled freight train at Vaughan, Mississippi, on a foggy and rainy night. His dramatic death trying to stop his train and save lives made him a folk hero who became immortalized in a popular ballad sung by his friend Wallace Saunders, an African American engine wiper for the IC. Due to the enduring popularity of this song, his life and legend have been celebrated for over a century. All American Indians who lived by the horse
Far Eastern cosmological associations:
Chinese astrological sign corresponding to Trigram from the I Ching: Kên, Keeping Still (Mountain) ________ ___ ___ ___ ___ Li, The Clinging, Fire ________ ___ ___ ________ Hexagram from the King Wen arrangement of the I Ching: 25. Wû Wang / Innocence (The Unexpected) (King Wen arrangement) _______ _______ _______ ___ ___ ___ ___ _______ above Ch’ien The Creative, Heaven below Chên The Arousing, Thunder THE JUDGMENT INNOCENCE. Supreme success. Perseverance furthers. If someone is not as he should be, He has misfortune,
And it does not further him To undertake anything. THE IMAGE Under heaven thunder rolls; All things attain the natural state of innocence. Thus the kings of old, Rich in virtue, and in harmony with the time, Fostered and nourished all beings.
52. Kên / Keeping Still, Mountain
(King Wen arrangement) ________ ___ ___ ___ ___ ________ ___ ___ ___ ___ above Kên / Keeping Still, Mountain below Kên / Keeping Still, Mountain THE JUDGMENT KEEPING STILL. Keeping his back still So that he no longer feels his body. He goes into his courtyard And does not see his people. No blame. THE IMAGE Mountains standing close together: The image of KEEPING STILL. Thus the superior man Does not permit his thoughts To go beyond his situation. 30. Li / The Clinging, Fire (King Wen arrangement) ________ ___ ___ ________ ________ ___ ___ ________ above Li / The Clinging, Fire below Li / The Clinging, Fire THE JUDGMENT
THE CLINGING. Perseverance furthers. It brings success. Care of the cow brings good fortune. THE IMAGE That which is bright rises twice: The image of FIRE. Thus the great man, by perpetuating this brightness, Illumines the four quarters of the world. 56. Lü / The Wanderer (King Wen arrangement) ________ ___ ___ ________ ________ ___ ___ ___ ___ above Li / The Clinging, Fire below Kên Keeping Still, Mountain THE JUDGMENT THE WANDERER. Success through smallness. Perseverance brings good fortune To the wanderer. THE IMAGE Fire on the mountain: The image of THE WANDERER. Thus the superior man Is clear-minded and cautious In imposing penalties, And protracts no lawsuits.
b. Design and Title of Trump
Gringonneur Tarot: A seated woman pouring liquid from one vase to another. Bembo: The same, except that the woman is standing. Swiss: The same as Bembo’s, except that the woman has become an angel. Insight: As above. Marseille: As above. Italian: As above. Wirth: As above.
Waite: Similar to the above. An angel stands beside a pool, one foot in the water. A path leads from the pool to the mountains in the background and the sunrise, just over their peaks. Beside the pool are yellow irises. On the angel’s breast is a triangle within a square, and on her head is a solar symbol. B.O.T.A.: Like Waite’s, except that the angel is pouring from a vase into the pool with her right hand. In her left hand she holds a torch upside-down; a stream of Yods descends from it. The triangle and square on her breast are replaced by a Heptagram, and above it are the Hebrew letters h w h y . Instead of irises, there are two of the Beasts of the Apocalypse, the Lion and the Eagle. Aquarian: The card shows a stylized angel. Crowley: The card shows a two-headed, many-breasted woman pouring liquid with her left hand into a cauldron which she stirs with a besom (a traditionally constructed brooms made of a bundle of twigs tied to a stouter pole). A white Lion and a red Eagle drink from the cauldron. Behind her is a circle in which is inscribed Visita Interiora Terrae Rectificando Invenies, Occultum, Lapidum (“Examine the inner parts of the Earth. By refining, you will discover the hidden stone”). On her gown is a pattern of bees and snakes. New: In this pack, the card is retitled “Reverser.” It shows a woman standing in a desert, holding a cone formed of blue liquid in her right hand, and resting her hand upon a cone formed of red liquid. Above her is a yellow Sun partially occulted by the silhouette of a hawk in front of it. America’s Tarot: Background: the buildings of a great university; a cathedral, a synagogue, a Baptist chapel, a Mormon Temple, etc.; spacecraft ready to launch; an express freight-train running on rails that stretch to the horizon (ghosted). Center foreground: an Indian warrior with bow and arrow (ghosted). Upright: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and other positive Sagittarian persons of this country. Reverse: Cotton Mather* and other negative Sagittarian types. Alternate: At top, railroads; at bottom/reverse, guided missiles.
*But let us also remember that it was due in great part to the efforts of Cotton Mather and his father, Increase Mather, both judges, that the Salem witch-trials and attendant hysteria were brought to an end much sooner than they might have been. The Mathers, father and son, found the commotion over the “witchcraft” to be no more than mob hysteria and the witch-trials to be therefore unjust in the extreme, and ruled to close the latter.
The Divine Comedy Tarot: Dante stands at the base of Purgatory Mountain, which he is about to begin ascending. Dante, Purgatorio I-III. Alternately, a design based on Canto XV:43-78 of the Inferno: “If you follow your star, you cannot fail to reach a glorious harbor.” Biblical Tarot: Psalm 121:1. A man holding a bow, nocking an arrow, getting ready to shoot, standing before mountains, looking up at them, his back to the viewer. The Hebrew letters h w h y dance above the peaks of the mountains. John Burt’s MAD Tarot: Moxie pours from one cup into another, mixing a spark-throwing cocktail as she stands in front of a bar stocked with Sterno, cough-syrup, and rat-poison. The Robert A. Heinlein Tarot:
The H. P. Lovecraft Tarot: Antarctica and the Mountains of Madness. Mi-go carrying the brains of guests in cans on long journeys. The Stephen King Tarot: The R. R. McCammon Tarot:
c. Divinatory Meanings
Case: s (Samekh, “tent-peg / prop”). Wrath (or quivering, or vibration). Vibration as the basis of manifestation. Sagittarius, ruled by Jupiter. The color blue. Tone: G sharp or A flat. Tentative Intelligence, or, the Intelligence of Probation. Christian: The solar spirit: initiative. The perpetual movement of life, the combinations of ideas that create morality, the combination of the forces of nature. Crowley: A prop. Sagittarius in Fire. The Sun and Jupiter ruling Fire. The Intelligence of Probation, tentative one. Temperance. Blue. Nepthys. Vishnu in His horse avatar. The hunters Apollo and Artemis. Diana as Archer. The centaur, horse, hippogriff, and dog. The rush. The jacinth. The Magickal Weapon is the Arrow (swift and straight application of force). The perfume is lign-aloes (derived from a Mexican tree). The Magickal Power is transformation. The geomantic sign is Acquisitio. The Daughter of the Reconcilers, the Bringer Forth of Life. Retitled Art in The Book of Thoth. Combination of forces, realization, action based upon accurate calculation, the way of escape, success after elaborate maneuvers. Douglas: Temperance, in the literal sense, the mixing of opposing or antagonistic ingredients in proper proportion, with the implication that this mixing takes place internally, within the Querent, that it is a matter of self-adjustment, rather than, as with many of the cards, an eternal force or person involved with the matter. When ill-aspected, this card represents the inept handling of potentially beneficial situations. Gray: Combination, management, working together, modification. signifies the opposite of those meanings. When ill-aspected, the card
Golden Dawn: The beauty of a firm basis. The sovereignty of fundamental power. Sol acting through Sagittarius upon Luna. Daughter of the reconcilers, the bringer forth of life. Combination of forces. Realization, material action, effect for either good or evil. Grimaud: In every act of renewal, nothing is done abruptly, but all is in proportion and moderation. Reflection, decision which is not immediate. Consideration of arguments pro and con. Combines well with Justice, a card of equity. Fickleness and hesitation will be annulled. Huson: Combination, unification, reconciliation. Short-term stalemate followed by resolution. Illadvised partnerships, concessions, arbitration. Kahn: Distillation, reduction to the simplest ingredient, simplicity. perplexity. Recklessness, extravagance,
Kaplan: Frugality, discipline, moderation, patience. Discord, hostility, and the negative aspects of moderation, et al. Knight: Like Crowley’s version of the card, with additional interpretations of the reconciliation of human vehicles of evolution and reincarnation, individuality, and personality. The higher life manifested in the outer world, the life of experience manifested in the higher world.
Lind: Purification of the soul. The past, flowing through the present into the future. Mathers: Combination, conformation, uniting. Ill-aspected or reversed, this card represents ill-advised combinations, disunion, clashing interests. Mayananda: Temperance. Art as symbolic language, mantra, or the word. Sagittarius. Papus: Nun. The offspring of the female, a son, a fruit of any kind, all things produced. Augmentation, Scorpio. Combination of different fluids. Individualization of existence. Sadhu: Nun, Scorpio. A fetus. Deduction, harmony of mixed elements, reversibility of processes. Pursuit of harmony of the astral constitution. Thierens: Mercury. Distribution. The nervous system. The post office. Reflection and reproduction. Ussher: Rhythm and measure returning to normal after death. The supernatural. Nun, the fish, dweller in the water. Scorpio, the Dragon, regenerated as the Eagle. (Ussher makes the same connection as Crowley does of scorpion/snake or worm/eagle.) Waite: That which tempers, combines, and harmonizes the psychic and material natures. Economy, moderation, frugality, management, accommodation. Things connected with churches, the priest who will marry the Querent. Ill-aspected, the card can mean disunion, competing interests. America’s Tarot: A long journey, possibly by rail. America as the Melting Pot, combining assimilation to mainstream American culture with great cultural diversity. Foreign languages. Foreign customs and cultures. Ill-aspected: bigotry, injustice. The Divine Comedy Tarot: Aspiration, True Will, persistence in effort until success is reached. Purgatory, purgation, purging. Biblical Tarot: Inspiration, aspiration. John Burt’s MAD Tarot: The Robert A. Heinlein Tarot: The H. P. Lovecraft Tarot: A long journey, possibly in a brain-can carried by Mi-go. A journey to Antarctica, possibly involving either a close encounter with a vicious, polymorphous extraterrestrial that assimilates every life-form it encounters, or an unfortunate incident involving the Elder Things, or both. A sense of humor, which is badly needed at this point. The Stephen King Tarot: The R. R. McCammon Tarot: Suggested meanings: Complexity formed by the union or synthesis of simpler entities. Systems of things which, individually, are governed by Mercury and Gemini. Cooperation. Moderation is advised, moderation in all things, etc. Symbiosis, synthesis, syncretism, synergy, synergistic interactions. Purging, Purgatory (as a place where the soul is gradually purified of any dross). A long journey, journey to a foreign country. The law, legislators, lawyers, attorneys. Foreigners. Management, administration. Ritual and ceremony. Universities, higher education. Astrology, alchemy, Magick, Qaballah, Runes, I Ching, divination of any kind or in general. Prediction. Prophecy. Science. In-laws. Ultimate outcome of a problem with health or a medical crisis. Administrators and administration of hospitals, asylums, ashrams, retreats, monasteries, nunneries, convents, or other places of retreat or seclusion. Religious institutions, the clergy (cathedrals, synagogues, mosques, temples, and other religious buildings come under Pisces and the 12 th
House, associated with Key 29). Firefighters, fire scientists, fire chiefs, fire ecologists, all others associated with the study and management of fire. Nuclear reactors, nuclear reactions as harnessed by science or technology. The harnessing of solar power by space-based collectors and the redistribution of the energy captured by them to points below as needed for power. Electrical power distribution systems (the Grid). Systems of electronics, systems in general. When revised or badly aspected, may mean parasitism, addiction, obsession, compulsion, possession by spirits; enemy aliens; going overboard on anything; pyromania; synergistic interactions which create problems, such as bad drug interactions, synergistic results of nutritional deficiencies which create even worse problems;
d. Interrelationships of the Path and the Trump
Samekh is the Path connecting Sephirah 9, Yesod, associated with the Moon, with Sephirah 6, Tiphareth, associated with the Sun. This is therefore a Path taking the aspirant from the reflective life, symbolized by Sephirah 9 and Luna, to the source of the light reflected in Yesod, represented by the Sun and Tiphareth. Yesod has to do with the wild melee of ideas, thoughts, impulses, and emotions making up the instinctive life, while Tiphareth is the centralizing principle, organizing, coordinating, and directing all the energy of the organism and the soul in productive ways. The Sun, like the Moon, is an esoteric lord of Pisces, the sign of Faith, and it is by Faith and Faith alone that this Path from Yesod to Tiphareth can be trod successfully, by keeping the Eye of the Spirit firmly fixed on the divine ideal represented by Tiphareth and ignoring the transient illusions thrown out by Yesod as one makes one’s way along this Path. Sagittarius, associated with this Path, like Pisces is ruled by Jupiter and Neptune; in it, Mars and Pluto are exalted; and Uranus and Saturn are its esoteric rulers. It is therefore a hard Path to tread; the planets from Saturn outward from the Sun are all, technically speaking, malefic in nature, representing hardship, difficulty, unexpected disasters, and a host of other troubles. But it can be mastered, for Jupiter’s benignity tempers the hardships it presents with great rewards and the understanding that this, too, is a route to God.
A’ain u, “Eye.” Trump XV, The Devil. Capricorn (û). Cardinal value, 70; ordinal value, 16. Connects Sephirah 6, Tiphareth, with Sephirah 8, Hod. Roman/English equivalents: O (long); A’a; Ng.
a. Qaballistic Meanings and Theory
The 25th Path, Samekh, is a Dark Night of the Soul on the Way of Love, or Devotional Mysticism. Likewise, the 26th Path, A’ain, may be considered a similar test on the Way of Wisdom, the Hermetic Path, and the 24th Path, Nun, can be thought of as the Way of Power or Nature Mysticism and Art. This doesn’t mean that a given individual will only experience just one of the three according to his “Path.” On the contrary, everyone gets all of them, for that three-fold division is given merely for convenience of study, and is by no means a system of water-tight barriers. This aspirant or that may feel the tests of one Path more than the others, according to his personal bias, but the balanced soul will feel the tests more equally. It is well to work over all these Paths on the Tree of Life, for in the end, all of them must be assimilated. It might be more accurate to say that Nun tests the driving emotions, Samekh, the devotional aspirations, and A’ain, the intellect as the soul makes its journey from consciousness centered in Yesod to consciousness centered in Tiphareth. So, according to one’s bias, one of these three Paths will be experienced the most strongly, a second less strongly, and the third least strongly of all. The Tree of Life is useful here, for it enables the other Paths to be sought after and worked upon in meditation so that more balanced progress is made. The Yetziratic Text gives useful information concerning the problem that the mind has when it tries to come up with some idea of what God is. As one changes, so does one’s idea of God. To the human mind, God is, and can only be, the idea of human being. Thus there are in many different human cultures many ideas of what God is: a ferocious tribal deity among older pagan cultures, the ancient Greek idea of the ruler of a Divine city-state, the ancient Egyptian idea of stiff, formal, hieratic figures, the Old Testament picture of God as something like an oriental despot, 30 and so on up to modern times 31 (though that is not to say that as time goes on, those first ideas of what God is aren’t modified in kind with a people’s developing cultural and spiritual growth) And just as the religion and mythology of a people reflects that race’s psychology, so does the religion and faith of an individual reflect his psychology. This by no means disproves the existence of God, but it does recognize that all our ideas of the nature of God are the creation of the human mind. Mind cannot come to grips with that which transcends it, the spiritual levels of being. This is why the attribution of the Devil to A’ain is appropriate, for the Devil is an illusion, just as are all men’s formulated ideas of God. The mind doesn’t have the means to create an accurate idea of God. This is also implicit in Key 23, Mem, Trump XII, The Hanged Man. To the mind, spiritual reality seems the opposite of what it really is, and the closer the mind gets to truth, the more it is led into paradox. Yet the inability of the human mind to come up with an accurate idea of God doesn’t mean that all the great religions are deluded and worthless. All of them point the way toward the one light. And anyone who abandons orthodox religion misses a great deal of supreme worth. If one has the spiritual insight to see the essential unity of all religions, then one ought to have the ability to get the most out of, and to contribute one’s share to, any one religion. Usually, the best religion for someone is that which makes the greatest appeal to him.**
*On the other hand, what about those religions that encourage jihads, mass-murder, and other interesting pastimes? Such religions and movements have always had plenty of followers – but that doesn’t necessarily make them good. To ignore them is to ignore – or be ignorant of a great deal of human history. To claim that the existence of such spiritual disaster areas “just helps others work out their karma” and are “needed” by their adherents is to reveal that one has never loved anyone else – or even one’s own skin – at all, or else is a complete idiot who is not capable of extrapolating ten minutes ahead from even the best and most complete data in the universe. Moral idiot or intellectual cretin, either way, if one can casually dismiss the hideous dangers presented to anyone around them by potential jihads – which, once activated, inevitably become no-brakes Juggernauts – one either has no
brains, no heart, or both conditions. “Karma” or no karma, what right has anyone to claim that it is “all right” for others to be massacred and worse and the natural world torn to pieces in the wake of a jihad, a sorcerous campaign for sacrifices, or any other sort of murder-orgy? – Obviously, the same anyone who cries “Foul! Unfair!” when he gets mugged.
Also, while the appreciation of the universal validity of all religions is the best means of approaching spiritual reality by means of the mind, it must be borne in mind that the rationale of a religion is to be irrational. Ultimately, as it gropes towards an understanding of God, the human mind is faced with the idea of the infinite. The nineteenth century French occultist, Eliphas Levi, said, “The infinite is the inevitable absurdity which imposes itself on science. God is the paradoxical explanation of the absurdity which imposes itself on faith. Science and faith can and ought mutually to counterbalance each other and produce equilibrium, they can never amalgamate.”* (“Paradoxes of the Highest Science.” Theosophical Publishing House translation.)
*Clearly Levi was no mathematician. See, e.g., Georg Cantor, Contributions to the Founding of the Theory of Transfinite Numbers (New York: Dover Publications, 1955; original published in 1915), passim; Philip J. Davis, Reuben Hersh, and Elena Anne Marchisotto, the Mathematical Experience, Study Edition (Boston: Birkhäuser, 1995), passim, esp. pp. 168-173; Ernest Nagel and James R. Newman, Gödel’s Proof (New York: New York University Press, 1958, 1968), passim; John D. Barrow, Pi in the Sky: Counting, Thinking, and Being (Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press, 1992); passim, esp. Part 5; and Douglas R. Hofstadter, Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid (New York: Vintage Books, 1980), passim. There are ways by which the intellect can grasp infinity, but Levi seems not to have been aware of them. One era’s or individual’s profundity is another’s joke – one very good reason for my extensions of the traditional Qaballah, to deal with concepts and systems of thought that hadn’t been invented in earlier eras, which make older ways of conceptualizing and discussing esoteric matters obsolete, such as our current mathematical understanding, quantummechanics, biochemical genetics, and so forth.
Another thing that Trump XV, The Devil, represents, is that one can be voluntarily enslaved by either science or faith if he rejects the other. In the design of the card, the figures chained to the Devil are not themselves devils, but human beings wearing devil’s caps and holding their tails on behind them. Putting the Devil up on a pedestal in the later packs is a nice touch; additionally, in the Marseilles version, he is raised up on two stones. This duality is further represented by the Devil’s two horns and the two forks of the Hebrew letter A’ain, signifying that one can be spiked on either one of the Devil’s horns: rational science or irrational dogma.* Note that the Devil holds a scepter in his left hand instead of his right, like an image reflected in a mirror; this signifies that the noumenal world appears inverted in the phenomenal worlds, which is also hinted at by Trump XII.
*For an outstanding discussion on this point, see Roger Shattuck, forbidden Knowledge: Prometheus to Pornography (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1996), passim.
The astrological sign Capricorn is to A’ain. Capricorn governs all things having to do with authority, limitation, restriction, and concretion or manifestation, in line with its planetary rulers, Saturn and Uranus.* The Atziluthic or King Scale color of this Path is indigo, the same as that of Tav, the 32nd Path, which is associated with Saturn and Earth; the same is true of the Queen Scale color of both Paths, black. Black is also the Queen Scale color of Sephirah 3, Binah, associated with both Saturn and Uranus, while the Queen
and Emperor Scales of Aleph, Key 11, associated with Uranus and Air, are respectively sky blue and blue emerald green, resonating with Tav (indigo blue), though on a higher octave.
*Uranus governs the antithesis of the traditional virtues of Capricorn and Saturn, such as revolution, rebellion, upheaval, breakthroughs, liberty, etc., i.e., the exceptions that prove out Capricorn’s rule.
The problem doesn’t lie in real religious faith. Rather, it is faith in dogmatic authority that is at the root of so much trouble, as exemplified by the brilliant astronomer, mathematician, and physicist Galileo Galilei. There are countless other examples of what happens when the immovable object that is dogmatic authority of any kind is impacted head-on by the irresistible object that is some hero whose time has come, particularly in modern political faiths from liberal laissez-faire to Marxist determinism. In modern times, to a great extent the authority of science and reason that has replaced that of ecclesiastical authority; however, there are signs that now, in the early 21st century, the pendulum is beginning to swing back toward the equilibrium point. Human nature being what it is, doubtless will eventually swing back to the irrational side of things, and then return, and then swing back, and so on ad infinitum, until humanity achieves some semblance of permanent balance in its outlook, or even outgrows irrational authority completely.*
*Unfortunately, because we are primates, and even more, closely related to the great apes, like our primate cousins we are band animals, organisms for which a bad leader is often far better than no leader at all. Though the type of leader we prefer to follow, and whether or follow actual, real-world, real-time leaders or internalized ones that even have died long ago, seems to be pedagogically and culturally determined by our experiences from birth on, the tendency as such appears to be genetically hardwired. Knight’s vision here is lovely – but it will remain only a vision until Homo sapiens evolves into some other type of organism, which is less likely than the probability of our becoming extinct long before that could happen due either to collective suicide or cosmic accident, e.g., planetary death by comet. See, e.g., Hans Kummer, Primate Societies: Group Techniques of Ecological Adaptation (Chicago: Aldine-Atherton, 1971), concerning typical primate groups and group dynamics.
The abuses of authority, whether rational or otherwise, are based, ironically enough, on sheer ignorance, so antithetic to this Path of knowledge. As Eliphas Levi says: It is through Ignorance that a man is proud since he then fancies to make himself honored by rendering himself ridiculous and contemptible. It is through Ignorance that a man is avaricious since he thus makes himself the slave of what is made to serve us. It is through Ignorance that a man becomes a debauchee, since he then makes a deadly abuse of what should relate to and propagate Life. Through Ignorance men mutually hate in lieu of loving, isolate themselves instead of helping one the other, separate instead of associating, corrupt instead of improving each other, destroy in place of preserving and weaken themselves in egoism in lieu of strengthening themselves in universal charity. Man naturally seeks that which he believes to be good, and if he almost always deceives himself, foolishly and cruelly, it is that he does not know. The Despots of the old world did not know that the abuse of Power involves the fall of power, and that in digging the earth to hide their victims they were digging their own graves. The Revolutionists of all times have not known that anarchy being the conflict of Lusts and the fatal reign of Violence, substitute might for right, and pave the way ever for the rule of the most audaciously criminal. . . .32*
*Levi here is speaking as (a) a man of the Enlightenment, and (b) a Frenchman. As for (a) the Enlightenment conceived of man as basically good and wise, corrupted only by experience. Police records the world over seem to show otherwise – that there are many who not only, though lucidly aware of right and wrong, take great pleasure in doing evil, knowing it is evil and even that it will eventually destroy them, go on to perpetrate it. Also, many addicts, whether of sex, alcohol, hard drugs, or whatever, are very aware that eventually indulging their particular jones will destroy them – and go right on indulging themselves, either out of suicidal despair or profound love of the thing to which they are addicted. See, e.g., Lyall Watson, Dark Nature: A Natural History of Evil ((New York: HarperCollins, Publishers, 1995), passim. As for (b), Levi was well aware of the excesses of the French Revolution of the late Eighteenth Century, which had occurred not so long before he wrote this passage. Writing as a true son of France, he apparently did not count the hopeless barbarians of the New World and their pretensions to a new libertarian nation – i.e., the American Revolution of 1776, which was a matter of men fighting to throw off a tyrannical form of government imposed from without and substitute for it one of their own making, clearly not a rebellion fomented by the sort of “Revolutionists” of whom Levi writes in the above passages.
How can such ignorance, the ignorance of the real, spiritual basis of life, be overcome? Theology doesn’t seem to be the answer. Levi, took a very poor view of it: The most dangerous and the saddest of sciences is Theology, for it constitutes itself wrongly a science of God. Rather it is a science of the foolishness of man when it seeks to explain the inscrutable mystery of the Divine. His reason for this view is that: It is through blackened glasses that we can alone gaze on the sun; looked at through a clear glass, it seems to us black, and blinds us. God is for us as a sun; we must walk by His light with lowered eyes; if one tries to gaze fixedly on Him our sight fails. In this passage Levi nails the crux of the matter and the secrets of the Path bang on. In our present life we can see, but only as “through a glass darkly,” but the apparent mental difficulties involved with treading this Path are insurmountable only if the concrete mind remains fixed as concrete, i.e., remains in Hod, content just to gaze up towards the Sun of Tiphareth. But A’ain is meant to be trod, and the attribution to it of Capricorn, the Goat, signifies that by treading it nimbly, leaping from crag to crag, we can attain great heights. In the process our mind will be transformed. After all, this Path is called the Renewing Intelligence. As the mental atmosphere becomes more rarefied, so will the mental processes be transformed from intellect to intuition. A’ain entails a transformation of the intellectual consciousness of Hod to the illuminated consciousness of Tiphareth. The Goat, supremely creative, but its legs shackled, once released can leap higher and higher until eventually it can spring from the highest pinnacle and become the winged All-Seeing Eye of Horus. The ascent of A’ain is a process of transferring from the concrete to the abstract mind, from the intellect to intuition, and the descent of this Path is perhaps of even greater value, for to understand anything it is best to aim at the highest point of understanding and work downwards. Thus one makes an intuitive leap and then comes down to logic and observation to see if the facts prove out, the method of scientific discovery. In this way the forces of the Lord of the Gates of Matter, Child of the Forces of Time are transcended, and, to paraphrase the Yetziratic Text, all things which can be renewed, are renewed by the construction of a new creative orientation to them. The fact that The Devil is called Lord of the Gates of Matter and Child of the Forces of Time doesn’t mean that matter and the phenomenal worlds are evil. Rather, it means that our ideas about matter and time are, like The Devil, illusory: and the only way to see things correctly is with the Spiritual Eye, beyond time
and space. The development of that type of Pure Reason which makes such perception possible is an aspect of the Renewing Intelligence. A’ain is a difficult Path, for it is the intellect’s approach to God, which, if it is not prepared to be transformed or renewed, but attempts to ‘define’ God on its own terms, meets only with the monstrous image of itself, a Caliban-like figure, reflected in the glass of its own illusions.33 As far as the Tarot Trump associated with this Path goes, it generally combines all the European legends concerning either the Devil as Antichrist or the Devil as a survival of pre-Christian Gods. In some packs, e.g., the Marseille, his horns suggest Cernunnos, or Hern the Hunter, a Celtic God of the Hunt and the Wild. In other packs he is hermaphroditic and half-goat to suggest Baphomet, the name originally derived from a corruption of “Mohammed”; later, Baphomet appeared as a term referring to a pagan idol in the trial transcripts of the Inquisition of the Knights Templar in the early 1300s. Baphomet was revived in the 19th century in the English-speaking world with the publication of various works of pseudo-history that tried to link the Knights Templar with conspiracy theories elaborating on their suppression. The Devil is always the personification of evil, but his meaning depends upon personal interpretations: evil is desirable or damnable, it is internal or external. The Trump is a mirror-image of Trump V, The Hierophant, which represents the Pope. Typhon, the last son born of Gaia, fathered by Tartarus, the deadliest monster of Greek mythology, who was finally slain by Pallas Athena, is associated with this card. Yetziratic text: “The Twenty-sixth Path is called the Renewing Intelligence, because the Holy God renews thereby all the changing things which are renewed by the creation of the world.” Yetziratic title: Lord of the Gates of Matter. Child of the Forces of Time. Yetziratic attribution: Capricorn Hebrew letter: u (A’ain) Numerical value: 70 Astrological assignment: Capricorn, the 10th month of the astrological year, and the 10th House of the horoscope. Saturn and Uranus are its rulers; Mercury is exalted in it; and Pluto and Mars are its esoteric Lords. Capricorn is cold, dry, nocturnal, feminine, negative, bestial. Capricorn is Earthy and Cardinal. Chemicals: Mineral substances; solutions and compounds incorporating lead (chemical element 82; symbol Pb); salt (principally, NaCl, but also any mineral salts) Ecological process, realm, or principle: Soil ecology, recycling of minerals over long stretches of time. Physical chemistry: Solids; lead (chemical element 82; symbol Pb); zinc (chemical element 30, Zn); conversion of gases and liquids to solids, freezing; Colors: Liber 777 gives, for the King Scale of color, indigo; for the Queen Scale of color, black; for the Emperor Scale of color, blue-black; cold dark grey, approaching black. Geraldine Davis gives black, russet, or a swarthy brown. Nicholas de Vore gives dark brown or black. Earth tones. Gods: Greek: Kronos; Pan, Pan Priapus; erect Hermes and Bacchus Roman: Saturnus
Egyptian: Khem, Set USA: Celtic: Hindu: Lingam, Yoni Buddhism: Voudon: SubGenius: “Bob,” as King of Management, Ruler of the Whole Freakin’ World, ArchTyrant and Arch-Revolutionary, the Saint o’ Sales, and the Greatest Comedian Discordianism: H. P. Lovecraft: Stephen King: LaVeyan Satanism: Szekely (Romany Gypsy): Chinese: Japanese: Judaism: Christianity: Islam: Scandinavian/Norse: The French Enlightenment: Madame La Guillotine Russian: Hungarian: African: Southeast Asia: Polynesian: Native Australian: Eskimo: Central American: American Indian: American folklore: Science-fiction: The Land of Oz: Biblical associations: h w h y ; Psalm 121:1 Countries: Barbara Watters gives India; Greece; parts of Persia (Iran); Albania; Bulgaria; Mexico; Panama; and the Orkney Islands. Cities: Barbara Watters gives Oxford. Meditation: Putrid Corpse Compass direction: South Magickal Power: The Witches’ Sabbath; the Evil Eye. Magickal Weapons: The Secret Force; the Lamp. Musical tone: A natural Qlippoth: Dagdagiron (the Fishy or Fish-like Ones) Lithuania; Saxony;
Legendary orders of being: Liber 777 gives satyrs and fauns; panic demons The Sea-Goat, icon of Capricorn Alchemical references: Saltes .Metals, stones, and minerals: Chemical elements lead and zinc; shell; stone; clay; black diamond; salts; hailstones, ices (including water ice, but also any other form of ice) Plants, real and imaginary: Plants with woody exteriors, such as trees and some bushes; Cannabis sativa; Liber 777 gives orchid root, thistle, Indian hemp John Lust gives comfrey, cypress, hemlock, nightshades, yew. He also gives all plants governed by Saturn, e.g., 1) plants with cooling qualities, such as barley, comfrey root, tamarind; 2) woody shrubs or trees that show annual rings (like Saturn’s rings), such as elm, cypress, and pine; 3) poisonous or narcotic plants, such as hellebore, monkshood, hemlock, marijuana, mezereon, yew; 4) quince, red beet, sloes, Solomon’s seal. Animals, Real and Imaginary: Barbara Watters gives goats, crows, ravens; Liber 777 gives the goat and the ass Additionally: all venomous animals, including some shrews, platypi, some snakes, some lizards and other reptiles (e.g., Komodo dragons); The Sea-Goat, icon of Capricorn Creatures in general:
Foods, drugs, flavors, and perfumes: Foods: Mushrooms, especially those which are lethally poisonous, such as many of the Amanitas; orchid (Satyrion) and all other plants whose parts or whole are shaped like the genitals; fugu fish; dishes prepared from the flesh of goats, asses, etc.; drugs prepared from these; any heavily salted food Flavors: salty Perfumes: Musk; civet; Saturnian perfumes, such as the odor of Saxifrage; the odors of putrescine and cadaverine Clothing, Magickal Weapons, and other things, commodities, objects, and processes: Barbara Watters gives hides, furs, woolens; lead; stone; slate; diamonds; coal; bones; rare woods such as ebony and mahogany; wooden casks; sails; doors; gates; sails; doors, gates, boundaries; the customs and its tariffs; anything made of lead, zinc, leather, bone, skin, shell, stone, or clay; bars, grills, locks; rope, cords, string, chains; anything that confines or protects, such as armor, corsets, belts; orthopedic equipment; crutches; passports; the estates of the dead; probate courts; any official documents relating to travel or the passage of goods between countries; funerals; mourning clothes; objects of somber hue, especially black; the foundations on which anything is built; railroads; corporations,
especially those which are old, moribund, or monopolies. Note that many of her assignments for Capricorn might be more appropriately assigned to Scorpio, especially anything to do with the dead and their estates, detective work, etc. And her assignment of railroads, trucking companies, and their employees to Capricorn is questionable; these are far better ruled by Sagittarius, which has to do with long-distance travel and everything connected with it. Additionally, salt; cages; prison cells (prisons themselves are ruled by Pisces and the 12th House of the horoscope); the season of Winter; freezing rains, sleet, snow, drought, disastrous fires, especially firestorms; terrorism The body: Capricorn rules the skin, teeth, skeleton, and joints. Liber 777 gives the genitals. Diseases: Barbara Watters: Rheumatism, arthritis; broken bones; osteomylitis; psoriasis; deafness; leprosy; scurvy; rickets; eczema and other types of dermatitis; calcium deficiency diseases; tuberculosis of the bone; curvature of the spine. Geraldine Davis gives colds, chills, poor circulation, melancholia (depression), rheumatism, gout, constipation, and skin diseases. The planets afflicted in Capricorn in the 6th House, or afflicting Saturn in the 5th House or from the 6th House, give the following conditions: The Moon afflicting Saturn or afflicted by Saturn in or from the 6th House can give long, lingering, and chronic complaints caused by colds, chills, neglect, and general physical debility as a result of malnutrition or other cause; health disorders associated with the Moon tend to be systemic and long-term. The Sun afflicting Saturn gives chronic disorders, lingering complains, illnesses arising from cold, neglect, and privation; she says that this is the worst affliction that the Sun, ruler of the course of one’s life and one’s career, can have. Mercury afflicted in Capricorn gives constipation and bowel troubles due to worry and melancholic tendencies; rheumatism; and gout. Venus afflicted in Capricorn gives constipation; skin disorders; and knee trouble. Mars afflicted in Capricorn or afflicting Saturn gives yellow jaundice; dysentery; skin diseases; rheumatism; or inflammation of the knee joints; Mars is the Lesser Malefic, and Saturn the Greater Malefic, so afflictions of the one by the other can give rise to extremely serious conditions. Jupiter afflicted in Capricorn or afflicting Saturn can give sluggish circulation of the blood, eczema, or skin trouble. Saturn afflicted in the 6th House in Capricorn can give skin diseases; constipation and bowel complaints; rheumatism; ague; all painful and chronic troubles affecting the knee joints. Uranus afflicting Saturn or afflicted in the 6th House in Capricorn can give deformities in the knees, or cramps in the knees. Neptune afflicting Saturn or afflicted by Saturn in or from the 6th House can give leprosy or other skin diseases (I would be particularly concerned about virulent MRSA (Multiply Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, a.k.a. flesh-eating bacteria in that case), and general septicemia, a.k.a. blood poisoning). Pluto afflicting or afflicted by Saturn in or from the 6th House can give deadly chronic conditions that ultimately kill. Animal life, including human life: Progeria, a condition in which the organisms ages at a far faster rate than is normal for that species, producing symptoms of old age in the young of the species, etc.; arthritis (other mammals and reptiles often become arthritic; wild snakes have been observed who are so crippled by arthritis that they don’t survive for very long, as they are unable to catch food, move fast enough to escape predators and other dangers, etc.); cancer or other degenerative conditions of the skeleton or skin; nutritional deficiencies such as those of Vitamin C (scurvy) and calcium; envenomation (by animals), poisoning (by plants or chemicals), allergies involving skin lesions; gingivitis, other dental diseases; hypothermia Plants: Diseases that cause a tree or other woody plant to produce defective integument or be unable to produce a woody integument; an inability to grow internal support structures or produce sufficient cellulose, a structural material; freezing Prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells: Inability to produce the internal scaffolding on which other structures in the cell depend on for support;
Psychology: Capricorn is practical, authoritarian, dutiful, narrow-minded, conservative, longsuffering, ambitious, status-conscious, resentful, malicious, unforgiving, selfish, miserly, coldly lecherous, political; a patient servant but a hard master; melancholy, pessimistic. In psychodynamic terms, this sign might be called “anal-erotic.” Magickal image: The figure of Pan Priapus or a satyr, erect. A Herm (an image of Hermes composed of a pillar capped by Hermes’ head and on which is the figure of the erect male organ; in some cases, the head is missing). Patterns and compounds of color: Forms, shapes, lineal figures, geomantic figures, figures related to pure number, and numerological associations: Magick Square: A 70 x 70 Magick Square. Figures related to pure number, other mathematical entities: Traditionally, triangles are associated with Saturn because they are the strongest geometric figure (as long as a triangle’s sides are intact, you can’t deform the figure by pushing on a side the way you can with quadrilaterals). Rectangles, squares, rhombuses, cubes, hypercubes, and other figures with straight edges that meet at right angles are associated with Saturn. Liber 777 gives the Geomantic figure Carcer, the Calvary Cross, and the Solid (polyhedron) Archangel: Cassiel Spirit: Intelligence: The Renewing Intelligence Point of the compass: South Buddhist symbolism: The skeletonized corpse Occupations, businesses, and ecological niches: Barbara Watters gives those who work with leather, hides, and wool; policemen; custom house officials; probate judges; estate administrators; dermatologists and bone surgeons; sail-makers; locksmiths; coopers; stone masons, bricklayers, cement workers; potters; railroad men and truckers; diamond miners and merchants; lens grinders; contractors and builders of large, utilitarian, or public buildings; all those who enforce discipline either publicly or privately, hence the mayor, the school principal, the governor, the business managers, the family disciplinarian; misers; the old; chronic invalids; railroad workers and truckers; Additionally: Immigration and Nationalization Service; prison wardens; dentists; makers of prosthetics of any kind; terrorists; illegal immigrants; the FBI, Interpol, and other police agencies; kings, presidents, prime ministers, premiers, governors (within their state or district), county supervisors, city management, rulers in general; Places, nations, and peoples: Peoples:
The Rapanui, the people of Easter (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter_Island); the Hindus Places:
Barbara Watters gives stables for oxen, mules, horses, or other work animals; goat sheds; barns for farm machinery; tanneries; manure piles and compost heaps; stone quarries; potteries; places where stones are cut or monuments are made; lead and zinc mines; woolen mills; police stations; night courts; magistrate’s courts; jury rooms; shoe stores or factories; places that make or sell leather objects, such as saddles, luggage, purses, leather garments; boundary lines, or the borders between countries; coal mines and places where coal is stored; diamond mines. In houses, it signifies dark corners, dark places close to the ground, thresholds and places nears them, and foundations. Capricorn is the general significator of real estate (though Cancer rules the land at your feet, your home, your country, etc.), especially buildings of a solid, utilitarian, or commercial type. In rural areas it signifies fallow or barren fields, cut-over timber land, and places overgrown with bushes and briars. Capricorn’s direction is south. Ivy Goldstein-Jacobson gives abandoned places and slum areas; woods, deserts, barren fields, fallow fields; mines, wells; neglected farms; mountain peaks and crags. Additionally: Frontiers, borders, government buildings; Egypt (because of the pyramids); The continent representative of Capricorn is Antarctica; the Arctic is also ruled by Capricorn. High, cold mountain passes, frozen tundra, permafrost, ice sheets, ice caps, etc. are ruled by Capricorn. Matters of the horoscope: Capricorn on the 5th-House cusp or a planet in Capricorn in the 6 th House that makes major aspects to other significant points in the chart signifies health conditions and parts of the body ruled by Capricorn (for more on which, see above). It signifies places ruled by Capricorn, and the southern quarter of the area indicated by the placement of the Moon and Significator. Capricorn on the cusp of any house in the chart, or a planet in Capricorn in that house and aspecting other significant points in the chart, signifies that the matters ruled by that house have a Capricornian cast or seeming, or that persons best described by Capricorn as to their nature or position in the world are involved, or that whatever else is involved has a Capricornian cast. The placement of Saturn and Uranus in the chart and the aspects they make to other significant points in it show where and how those other points are influenced by Capricorn. Where weather is to be considered, strong aspects to Saturn or Uranus or to the cusp of any house in Capricorn by other bodies or the Ascendant will indicate the likelihood of cold weather, weather typical of Winters at high northern latitudes, severe drought and aridity, or the onset of great wildfires, depending upon the latitude of the place being asked about, the season, and the lay of the land there. Poetry: Dylan Thomas, “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” Graphic arts: Books and other literary productions: John Long, Mountains of Madness: A Scientist’s Odyssey in Antarctica (Joseph Henry Press, 2001; ISBN 978-0309070775)
Films: Scott of the Antarctic (1948, directed by Christian Nyby), The Thing From Another World (1951), The Thing (1982, directed by John Carpenter), Happy Feet (2006, directed by George Miller), March of the Penguins (2005, Luc Jacquet) Other productions: At the Mountains of Madness – An HPLHS Radio Drama (produced by the H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society; available on CD from them at http://www.cthulhulives.org/TOC.html. Saints and exemplars: Loren Eiseley, author of All the Strange Hours, The Immense Journey, The Star-Thrower, etc. Captain Robert Falcon Scott (June 6, 1868 – March 29, 1912), Antarctic explorer Howard Phillips Lovecraft (August 20, 1890 – March 15, 1937), author of At the Mountains of Madness (written in 1931, serially published in 1936 in the February, March, and April issues of Astounding Stories) American emblems, sigils, symbols, folklore, and urban legend:
Far Eastern cosmological associations:
Trigram from the I Ching: Hexagrams from the I Ching:
53. Kên / Keeping Still, Mountain
(King Wen arrangement) ________ ___ ___ ___ ___ ________ ___ ___ ___ ___ above Kên / Keeping Still, Mountain below Kên / Keeping Still, Mountain THE JUDGMENT KEEPING STILL. Keeping his back still So that he no longer feels his body. He goes into his courtyard And does not see his people. No blame. THE IMAGE Mountains standing close together: The image of KEEPING STILL. Thus the superior man
Does not permit his thoughts To go beyond his situation.
26. Ta Ch’u / The Taming Power of the Small
(King Wen arrangement) ________ ___ ___ ___ ___ ________ ________ ________ above Kên / Keeping Still, Mountain below Ch’ien / The Creative, Heaven THE JUDGMENT THE TAMING POWER OF THE GREAT. Perseverance furthers. Not eating at home brings good fortune. It furthers one to cross the great water. THE IMAGE Heaven within the mountain: The image of THE TAMING POWER OF THE GREAT. Thus the superior man acquaints himself with many sayings of antiquity, And many deeds of the past, In order to strengthen his character thereby.
b. Design and Title of Trump
Gringonneur Tarot: Missing Bembo: Missing Swiss: The Devil triumphing over a damned, weeping soul Insight: The Card shows an hermaphroditic Devil, standing on a platform, a sword in his left hand. Two demons are chained to the front of the platform. Marseille: The same. Italian: The same, except that the sword in the Devil’s left hand has become a club in his right. Wirth: The goat-headed God, torch in his right hand, candle in his left. Waite: A claw-footed Devil perched on a black pedestal, with a captive woman and man chained to the front of the pedestal before him. His right hand is raised, with his first and second fingers held together, and his third and forth fingers together in the same way. He has the sigil of Saturn in his palm. The horns of a goat are on his head; between them on his head is an inverted pentagram. His left hand holds an inverted torch, with which he has fired the tail of the male captive, who
stands to the left of the Devil (i.e., on the viewer’s right hand); to the right of the Devil (the viewer’s left) is the woman, whose tail incorporates a pomegranate as part of its design. Both captives bear horns; they are only loosely chained to the pedestal, and could conceivably simply shuck out of their chains at any time and walk away if they wished to. The design of this card is a rather obvious inverted reflection of that of Waite’s Trump VI, The Lovers. B.O.T.A.: Like Waite’s, but with important changes: the sigil of Mercury is on the Devil’s belly, just below his navel; and one of his breasts is square, the other round, to emphasize his hermaphroditism. Aquarian: A stylized design incorporating the inverted pentagram, the inverted torch, and the full Moon. Crowley: The card is highly stylized, incorporating an erect phallos with testicles, the divine, lilywhite Goat, and a staff terminating in the winged Solar Disc and serpents. In the center of His forehead, the Goat God a fully dilated Third Eye (Eye of Wisdom), an extension of the pineal gland, which René Descartes claimed is the seat of the soul. There are a number of visual puns in the card, such as testicles that double as body-cells and genetic symbols that are also diagrams that might be Chinese in origin. New: This card, retitled “The Thinker,” shows two figures, a black man and a white woman, who strain to dislodge a man seated in full lotus position at the top of a burning tree. A snake is coiled around the trunk of the tree. America’s Tarot: The Soviets, Sputnik, American mountain ranges. Personages such as Nikita Khrushchev and Mikhail Gorbachev (Upright), and Josef Stalin (Reverse). The entrance to Club Vesta*. Ghost-over of Anton Szandor LaVey to the waist in a pool; his reflection in the pool is Jesus of Nazareth. Alternate: Upright: Alfie with an arm around his good buddy the Russian Krokodil. Reverse: Alfie inside the smiling Krokodil.
*From Club Vesta. An allegorical work in progress by Yael R. Dragwyla.
The Divine Comedy Tarot: An illustration of Canto 34 of the Inferno, showing Satan imprisoned in the very center of the icy wastes of the 9th Circle and of Hell itself, his three mouths eternally gnawing on the bodies of Brutus, Judas, and Cassius (Inferno, 34:53-67). Brutus is gnawed on by the mouth of Satan’s left, black face, into which he has been stuffed feet-first, so that his face and upper torso are visible; Cassius is likewise feet-first in the mouth of Satan’s right, whitish-yellow face; and Judas is placed head-first in the mouth of Satan’s red, central face, only his frantically kicking legs showing, his back skinned by Satan’s claws. Brutus and Cassius are punished in this lowest region of the Inferno for their assassination of Julius Caesar (44 B.C.E.), the founder of the Roman Empire that Dante viewed as an essential part of God’s plan for human happiness. Both Brutus and Cassius fought on the side of Pompey in the civil war. However, following Pompey’s defeat at Pharsalia in 48 B.C.E., Caesar pardoned them and invested them with high civic offices. Still, Cassius continued to harbor resentment against Caesar’s dictatorship and enlisted the aid of Brutus in a conspiracy to kill Caesar and re-establish the republic. They succeeded in assassinating Caesar but their political-military ambitions were soon thwarted by Octavian (later Augustus) and Antony at Philippi (42 B.C.E.): Cassius, defeated by Antony and thinking (wrongly) that Brutus had been defeated by Octavian, had himself killed by a servant; Brutus indeed lost a subsequent battle and took his life as well. For Dante, Brutus and Cassius’ betrayal of Julius Caesar, their benefactor and the world’s supreme secular ruler, complements Judas Iscariot’s betrayal of Jesus, the Christian man-god, in the Bible.
Judas was one of the twelve apostles; he struck a deal to betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver, fulfilling his treacherous role – foreseen by Jesus at the Last Supper – when he later identified Jesus to the authorities with a kiss. Regretting this betrayal, which lead to Jesus’ death, Judas returned the silver to the Sanhedrin, then hanged himself (Matthew 26:14-16; 26:21-5; 26:47-9; 27:3-5). Dante’s Satan is a parodic composite of his wickedness and the divine powers that punish him in hell. As ugly as he once was beautiful, he is the wretched ruler of hell, whose tremendous size (he dwarfs even the Giants) stands in contrast with his now limited powers: his flapping wings generate the wind that keeps the icy lake that constitutes Hell’s 9th Circle frozen, and his three mouths chew on the shade-bodies of three arch-traitors, the gore mixing with tears gushing from Lucifer’s three sets of eyes (Inferno 34.53-7). Lucifer’s three faces–each a different color (red, whitish-yellow, black)–parody the doctrine of the Trinity: three complete persons (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) in one divine nature–the Divine Power, Highest Wisdom, and Primal Love that created the Gate of Hell and, by extension, the entire realm of eternal damnation. With the top half of his body towering over the ice, Lucifer resembles the Giants and other half-visible figures (after Dante and Virgil have passed through the center of the earth, their perspective changes, and Satan appears upside-down to them, with his legs sticking up in the air. See http://danteworlds.laits.utexas.edu/circle9.html for more on which. Biblical Tarot: Matthew 4:1-11, the temptation of Jesus by Satan: Jesus has been led by the Spirit into the desert, and has fasted 40 days and nights. Satan appears before him, telling Jesus to convert the stones around him to bread, and otherwise tempting him. The card shows a triptych of Jesus in the desert, Jesus at the top of the Temple in Jerusalem, and Jesus at the top of a high mountain, Satan tempting him in all three places. In the desert, the temptation is to convert stones to bread; on top of the Temple, it is to throw himself off the Temple’s highest point, trusting God to bear him up and not let him be hurt; and on the mountain, it is to bow down and worship Satan in exchange for gaining rule over all the kingdoms of the Earth. Reversed: Jesus as King and Lord over all. John Burt’s MAD Tarot: A hapless Devil is dragged protesting down the street by eager, leashed Alfred & Moxie, like Dagwood trying to walk Daisy. The Robert A. Heinlein Tarot: The H. P. Lovecraft Tarot: Abdul Alhazred, the Mad Arab, in the Great Southern Desert of Arabia, standing before an apparition of Yog-Sothoth. Judging from the ritual trappings all around him, he has just evoked Yog-Sothoth to visibility in the Triangle of Art. He looks stoned out of his mind, and, indeed, there is a hookah at his feet; it is likely he has been taking pulls at it throughout the ritual. Alternate: The scholar Barzai of Lovecraft’s story “The Other Gods,” who, accompanied by the young priest Atal, his disciple, donkey in tow, goes out of the city Hatheg into the stony desert, crossing it to get to the lofty mountain Hatheg-Kla. The card shows them reaching the summit of Hatheg-Kla, where the Gods are said to dwell; it is night, the Moon is full, her radiant light struggling through clouds to touch the summit here and there with brilliance, and on one edge of the Moon is a spot of blackness signaling the unpredicted eclipse coming, the one that brings the Other Gods; and just out of sight of the two men but visible to the viewer of the card, on the other side of the summit, are the Other Gods, the Gods of the Outer Hells . . . Alternate: Great Cthulhu, rising from R’lyeh on the Day of Dreadful Bliss. The Stephen King Tarot: The R. R. McCammon Tarot: The Man of Many Faces, one cyclopean eye dead center in the middle of his forehead, sharks’ mouths opening in his cheeks and chin, his main mouth grinning nastily, stands in the midst of a desolate, post-apocalypse wasteland. He wears cowled a robe the color of blood and slate; the cowl is pulled back enough to show his face plainly. He holds out one hand to the viewer; in it is held a globe signifying the kingdoms of the Earth – but the globe itself drips
blood, implying that accepting it is ratification of a Devil’s bargain of the sort that never ends well. c. Divinatory Meanings
Case: A’ain, meaning “eye” and “foundation.” The limitations of the visible, sensation. Mirth. Capricorn, ruled by Saturn, in which Mars is exalted. The colors blue-violet and indigo. The musical tone A natural. Renewing Intelligence. Christian: Typhon. Fate. Predestination. Mystery, the unforeseen, fatality. Crowley: Eye. The sign Capricorn, ruling Earth. Venus and the Moon ruling Earth. Renovating Intelligence. The Devil. Indigo. Nepthys, Lingam and Yoni, Pan, Priapus (erect Hermes and Bacchus). Vesta. Goat. Ass. Indian hemp, orchis (orchid) root, thistle, black diamond. His Magickal Weapons are the Secret Force and the Lamp. His perfumes are musk, civet, and Saturnian scents. His drug is orchis (orchid) (Satyrion). His Magickal Powers are the Evil Eye and the “Witch’s Sabbath.” His geomantic sign is Carcer. His title is the Lord of the Gates of Matter, the Child of the Forces of Time. Blind impulse, irresistibly strong and unscrupulous, ambition, temptation, obsession, secret plan about to be executed; hard work, obstinacy, rigidity, aching discontent, endurance. Douglas: Having to do with the unconscious mind in general and its potential dangers. Gray: When well-aspected and/or upright, the card refers to black Magick, illness, improper use of force, bondage to material things, discontent, sensation without understanding. When ill-aspected and/or reversed, it refers to the dawn of spiritual understanding, loosening the chains of slavery to material things, hesitation, or the conquest of self-interest or pride. Golden Dawn: The Sovereignty and Beauty of Material Splendor. The Sun acting through Capricorn upon Mercury. Lord of the Gates of Matter, Child of the Forces of Time. Materiality, material force, material temptation. Sometimes it means obsession, especially when coupled with Trump VI, The Lovers. Grimaud: A forceful card which has no meaning in the abstract. Triumph; not a good card in the physical sense, for it signifies triumph achieved by wickedness and scheming. Fortune acquired by fraud or trickery. The overpowering of others by unscrupulous means, bringing about the destruction of others. Punishment inevitably following misdeeds and/or sins. Inverted, the card signifies great evil with extremely harmful effects. Huson: Fate in its most tyrannous aspect. Possibly a happy event, depending upon other cards in the layout. The Querent has absolutely no choice in the matter under consideration. Kahn: The police, meddling persons, exposure, adultery, a forceful person, force, insanity, seducer, sadist, sordid behavior, thief, killer, rapist, secret police, insidiousness, double-dealing, act of fate, bigamist, crystallization, robber, voodoo, black Magick, forced to do something, sexual deviation, strange or sudden disappearance. Kaplan: Death, misery, disaster, bondage, violence in all forms. The ending of these; the conquering of oneself. Knight: The apprehension of God by the intellect, possibly resulting in the intellect perceiving God as being a distorted version of itself, hence the Devil. Lind: Pan; instinctive behavior; folly.
Mathers: Fatality for good, fatality for evil. Mayananda: Capricorn (Saturn negative). The Third Eye. The opacity of the Third Eye among human beings. The Eye of Siva, brought about by the development of the physical at the expense of the spiritual. Papus: Samech. An arrow making a circular movement. The image of the year. Sagittarius, the mysterious astral force. Destiny, fatality, the Dragon of the Threshold. Sadhu: Samech. An arrow flying in a circle. Sagittarius. Logic. Nahash (the Serpent which tempted Eve). Fate. Thierens: The Devil. Mars. Sex problems, in nature in every sense and kingdom, but particularly the animal kingdom and animal passions, both for the preservation of the body and for that of the human species. Energy, desire, lust, war, struggle, difficulties, pain, loss, exercise, training. The struggle for existence. Ussher: The subhuman, the libido, or anarchy. Waite: Upright: The Dweller on the Threshold Outside the Mystical Garden (Eden). Ravage, violence, vehemence, extraordinary efforts, force, fatality, that which is predestined but is not for this reason evil. Reversed: Evil fatality, weakness, pettiness, blindness. The Divine Comedy Tarot: Devil’s bargains never end well. Abuse of power. The worst sorts of betrayal. The judge in a case at law. Secular law, secular rule. Bad law. Evil influence. Biblical Tarot: Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, and unto God what is God’s. “No king but Jesus.” John Burt’s MAD Tarot: Bad clowns attack! Negating tyranny by getting everyone to point and giggle at the tyrant. I’m glad I’m old – childhood was hell! The Robert A. Heinlein Tarot: Tyrannous government. Evil influences. Earth is not room enough, dammit! The H. P. Lovecraft Tarot: revolutionaries. The Stephen King Tarot: The R. R. McCammon Tarot: Evil influence, bad law, tyrannous rule. Bill Butler: An evil external force. Brace yourself. Internal force which cannot be ignored; learn to deal with it or be destroyed by it. In most readings, this card is probably less a card of Evil, per se, than it is of paralytic fear, with all that it implies. It can signify great personal danger. Suggested meanings: When upright and/or ill-aspected: Fraud. Abuse of power, betrayal, the worst sorts of betrayal. Black Magick, sorcery. Oppression, tyranny, tyrants, despots, bad laws, extreme cruelty, torture. Duress. An evil influence. Bureaucracy, government of any kind. Courts at law, judges, a decision in a case at law. The Supreme Court, superior court, lower courts, appellate courts. When reversed and/or well-aspected: King, president, prime minister, premier, ruler of any kind. Remember that Jesus was a Capricorn. Evil rule, evil influence. Anarchy, when it is useful to would-be
d. Interrelationships of the Path and the Trump
A’ain is the Path connecting Sephirah 8, Hod, representing Mercury, with Sephirah 6, Tiphareth, associated with the Sun. A’ain is associated with the astrological Sign Capricorn, ruled by Saturn and Uranus; in which Mercury is exalted; the esoteric rulers of which are Mars and Pluto. At its best, A’ain represents the discipline and the energy needed to rise from intellectual consciousness in Hod to the centering consciousness of Tiphareth, from the realms of the intellect to the realms of Spirit, and then to return to life with the enlightenment of the knowledge of the difference between and the nature of the two. At its worst, this Path represents the sort of rigid thinking and inability to change that makes it impossible to realize its purpose.
Peh p, “Mouth.” Trump XVI, The (Blasted) Tower. Mars Ú. Cardinal value 80; ordinal value, 17. At the end of a word, takes the form [ and has the value 800. Connects Sephirah 7, Netzach, with Sephirah 8, Hod. Roman/English equivalents: P; also, Ph, as in Greek φ (phi).
a. Qaballistic Meanings and Theory
Peh, a lateral Path connecting two Sephiroth on the same plane of the Tree of Life, is the main support of the Personality, linking the center of creative power in Netzach with that of concrete ideation in Hod. It thus entails tremendous dynamism, directly linking the basal Sephiroth associated with the opposite poles of the Principles of Manifestation, the Positive and Negative Pillars of the Tree of Life. In this Peh resembles the principles of the structure of the physical atom, which is a complex of forces of differing polarity held in together as a unit with tremendous power. The amount of psychospiritual energy bound up within one human life is astronomically large, similar in size to the amount of physical energy locked up in the atoms of the body of that individual by the formula E = mc 2, through the binding energy of the Strong Force. It is energy on this scale that may account for certain types of hauntings, particularly those of a violent or long-lasting type. Great shock, such as that due to being a victim of murder or other form of sudden death, may cause a splitting off of certain aspects of the personality, resulting in the great force that must be present for entities to evolve into greater and greater strength on the Inner Planes in the absence of prepared conditions, so that they become able to throw heavy physical objects about. This kind of thing relates to rare types of spiritual pathology that need not be gone into in detail, but it does give a concrete example of the enormous power involved in the makeup of the less spiritual, more physical aspects of a human individual associated with the four lowest Sephiroth on the Tree of Life, Malkuth, Yesod, Hod, and Netzach. It is this force, which on this Path coincides with part of the Lightning Flash by which energy runs down the Tree from Kether to Malkuth, through which every living creature is inspirited and energized The Yetziratic Text calls the powers of this Path the Active or Exciting Intelligence, for it is the manifestation of the life-force in the lower Spheres. This is why Mars is associated with this Path. Mars is essentially the planet of activity and excitation, the mundane chakra of Geburah, the great Sephirah of Force in Activity. Appropriately enough, the colors of Peh are various shades of red, the color most closely associated with Mars, both artistically and physically (as a look at many of the color photos returned from the Red Planet by our many rovers, flybys, and orbital spacecraft will attest). The Hebrew letter of the Path is p (Peh), signifying the Mouth. The mouth of an organism takes in nourishment and utters speech. The receptive aspect of this Path can be regarded as the receiving of the downflow of life-force from Netzach via the Path of the Lightning Flash. By this means the lower being is kept in existence. Again, because this Path represents the structure of the individual’s personality, the attribution to it of the mouth reminds us that the purpose of incarnation is the seeking of the food of experience in form and matter for the benefit of the Individuality and the Spirit – the principle underlying the discipline of alchemy. In terms of Peh’s positive aspect, represented by the mouth, as an organ of speech, objective communication, it is obvious that the personality also serves this purpose. There is, however, a deeper significance of the symbol: the mouth is that which acts as a vehicle for the Word, the first manifestation of Spirit itself. “In the beginning was the Word, and the word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1.). In the case of the 27th Path, the Word has reverberated down to the psychological and intellectual levels of being represented by the plane of Netzach and Hod, and there formed a vehicle for itself: the personality. It is through this personality that the Word is uttered in the densest level of existence, Malkuth, the physical world. The shape of the letter Peh suggests a mouth, and the Yod-like shape inside it represents the tongue, which formulates the Word in action, or else as the Word itself. The shell of the mouth is represented by a shape like the letter Kaph, which also appears on the Tarot card associated with the 32nd Path, Tav, in the form of the scarf enwrapping the figure of the soul or Spirit on that Trump, XXI, The World or Universe. Remember that the higher meanings of the letter Kaph are a part of the 21st Path, which joins Chesed to
Netzach, the channel between individuality and personality where the purity of the Spirit first imprints the form of its image on the levels of the lower self, which up until then have been formless. The idea of a vehicle for the Spirit is also given in the Tarot Trump, in this case in the form of a building, called the Tower or the House of God, a fitting name for what the personality should be. Its esoteric title is Lord of the Hosts of the Mighty, implying a conjunction of the forces of Netzach and Hod, whose God-names are t w a b x h w h y (Yehowah Tzabaoth) and t w a b x m y h l a (Elohim Tzabaoth), respectively “Lord of Hosts” and “God of Hosts.” At first sight, the design of the Trump XVI, The Tower, calls to mind the Biblical story of the Tower of Babel, in which humanity attempts to build an edifice reaching the Heavens. The confusion of languages – tongues – that comes after the failure of the project is represented by the letter, Peh, “the mouth,” attributed to this Path. The story is given In the 11th chapter of the book of Genesis in the Old Testament. The Tower of Babel was struck down by a wrathful Yahweh, who would not tolerate mortal men reaching such heights. However, at the time that book of the Bible was written, the wrathful Jehovah was a minor tribal deity, which accounts for the fact that there seems to be an obvious distortion of motives here. It is humanity’s ultimate destiny to become as Gods, and so the Solar Logos, called in Christianity the Christ, would obviously not thwart the achievement of this aspiration. (In fact the historical roots of the story have to do with Babylon, then a great city-state, now a province in modern Iraq. At the time of the story’s first telling, Babylon was long renowned as a mighty and wealthy center of mercantilism, to which caravans of merchants and traders came from hundreds of miles around to sell their goods in Babylon’s teeming marketplace and purchase goods there to sell elsewhere. Such merchants spoke a wide variety of languages and were members of numerous cultures, and the story of the Tower of Babel may have been a just-so story, or parable, meant to explain why so many peoples with so many languages could be found in Babylon.* Later retellings of the story acquired a moral and spiritual significance serious enough to account for its inclusion in the first book of the Old Testament.)
*I.e., an example of what author Terry Pratchett calls “lies to children.” A lie-to-children is a story or other expression that simplifies material that is highly technical or difficult to understand for easier comprehension by children. (The word “children” as it is used here shouldn’t be taken literally, but rather as referring to anyone in the process of learning about a given topic, regardless of age. It is itself a simplification of certain concepts in philosophy of science. Because life and its aspects can be extremely difficult to understand without experience, to present a full level of complexity to a student or child all at once can be overwhelming, and will not contribute to the learning process, but rather siderail it completely. Hence basic, elementary explanations tend to be simple, concise, or simply “wrong” — but in a way that can make the lesson more understandable to the one at whom it is directed. Sometimes the lesson can be qualified, for example by claiming “this isn’t technically true, but it’s easier to understand.” In retrospect the first explanation may be easy to understand because of its inaccuracies, but eventually it will be replaced with a more sophisticated explanation closer to “the truth”. This “tender introduction” tactic is an important aspect of education. Such “lies to children” are not usually intended as deceptions, and may, in fact, be true to a first approximation or within certain contexts. See “Lie-to-children” and “The Science of Discworld in Wikipedia (respectively http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lie-to-children and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Science_of_Discworld more information on this phenomenon. Alternately, the story of the fall of Babel could be the preservation, however garbled, of some real, one-off historical event (see, e.g., Victor Clube and Bill Napier, The Cosmic Winter [Oxford, UK: Basil Blackwell, 1990], concerning the possibility that events recorded in the Old Testament and other documents from “primitive, superstitious” cultures actually happened, however distorted the memory of them through time became as it was passed on from one generation to the next via oral and written tradition). This doesn’t mean that Knight’s esoteric interpretation of the story is correct – after all, “As above, so below.” But if Knight’s interpretation, given here, is apposite, that also does not mean that it is the only possible appropriate interpretation of this or any other story. “There are many roads up the Mountain – but only one Mountain.”
In the biblical story, Babel (Babylon) fell and tongues were confused because of man’s pride, but in the sense that the pride of man (the sin of separation from God) caused men to build wrongly, or prematurely, and thus, by operation of Cosmic Law, to bring confusion and defeat upon themselves. The story may not have been true in a historical sense, but it is indeed typical of human beings to blame the failure of their projects upon the jealous pride of God. “And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech” (Genesis 11:6-7). Once it has attained earthly power, a priesthood, of whatever religion, is very prone to find divine reasons to keep men humble and preserve the status quo. But there is pride, and there is pride, and man gains little by that false humility, which is really spiritual laziness or even cowardice, that is content to leave everything to the priesthood, or to Jesus, or to God. Jesus’s parable of the talents has relevance here, the man who buried his talent received short shrift (Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 19:12-28). The story of Babel in connection with this Path and Tarot Trump is a reminder to build one’s foundations true, on the rock of faith, and true faith at that, certainly not the prideful sort of faith at the core of which is the drive to see oneself and have others see one as better than other human beings. The modern occult movement has tended to go very much in this direction – Madame Helena Blavatsky and the Theosophical Movement are a good example of this* – but such an attitude is based on the sin of separation, and an illusion, for all paths to God are ways of synthesis, as ways to God must be.
*And as for the movements that came after her, when it comes to the Transcendental Meditation Movement, the Church of Scientology, Shirley MacLaine and her following, the nice people wearing little tin beanies of the sort that make up the bulk of the various UFO cults such as the Unarians, and their ilk, let’s just not go there.
This Trump has another meaning that is revealed by examination of the traditional design of this card. Note that the Tower itself is not struck down. Its walls are unscathed, and its crown-like roof merely lifts up to receive the bolt of fire or lightning coming from heaven. The pieces falling from its are not bricks or stones, but instead radiations from the sky; in the old Marseilles Tarot, their number is 37, the mystic number, “unity itself in balanced trinitarian manifestation,” as Aleister Crowley puts it; when 37 is multiplied by any integral multiple of three up through 9, it gives the numbers 111, 222, 333, 444, etc. Similarly, the number of courses of bricks in the Tower is 22, the number of the Hebrew letters, and of the Paths upon the traditional Tree of Life. The top of the Tower is a Crown, symbol of Sephirah 1 Kether, with four battlements, representing the Four Aspects of God, and the Tower has three windows in it, one above two, showing the means of manifestation of force, and again emphasizing “trinitarian manifestation.” Though their genders aren’t clear plain on the old cards, the two figures falling from the Tower are generally considered to be a man and a woman. This calls to mind the alchemical symbolism given in allegorical work, “The Chymical Marriage of Christian Rosenkreutz.” The story is about the summoning of Christian Rosenkreutz to go on a quest that starts on Easter Day and takes several days to complete. His adventures, described in the story, are a summary of the initiation process. The first day he is summoned to a strange marriage of a king and queen. On the second day, Rosenkreutz sets out and chooses one of three paths – the hard stony way of initiation, the broad way of normal evolution, and the extremely difficult way which only one in a thousand are capable of, the path of the saint. He chooses the first of the three, almost inadvertently. On the third day, along with his fellow pilgrims, Rosenkreutz is tested by being weighed in a balance. He and the others who have passed the test remain afterwards, while all the rest, who have failed the test, are chastised and sent away. On the fourth day, Rosenkreutz is presented to the king and queen, is initiated into the secret knowledge of a strange temple, and is shown a play in seven acts that depicts in symbolic form the history
of the relationship between God, His Son, and Earth, the Son’s Bride. After this, the king and queen submit to a mysterious ritual in which they are beheaded. On the fifth day, Rosenkreutz steals a glimpse of “the naked Venus,” Isis Unveiled, and gets caught at it. For this he ultimately is sent back to the world, no doubt as a teacher, instead of remaining in bliss in the eternal company of the mysterious Order and the resurrected king and queen, whose real bodies had been secretly sent to a strange tower in the night, followed by them all journeying to the tower. On the sixth day of Rosenkreutz’s quest, they all take part in the alchemical process of transmuting the dead bodies of the king and queen into new life in the strange tower, which is seven stories high. On the seventh and last day, Rosenkreutz and the others return with the resurrected king and queen to the original castle, where they are invested with the Knighthood of the Order of the Golden Stone. Then, because of his stealing a glimpse of Isis unveiled, Christian Rosenkreutz is returned to the outer world.. The sevenfold alchemical process taking place in the tower described in this story is of great interest, for this Tower corresponds in many ways with the Tower of Trump XVI. In the ground floor of the Tower, Rosenkreutz and his companions are set to work extracting essences from plants and gems to be used in the subsequent regenerating process. On the Tower’s second level, the bodies are distilled in a retort and the liquor thus obtained siphoned off into a golden globe. On the third level, the globe is heated by means of sunlight reflected from many mirrors. When the globe is finally cut open by the use of a diamond drill, a large white egg is revealed. On the fourth level, the egg is incubated in a square sand-bath. The bird that hatches out of the egg is at first black and wild, but when it is fed some of the liquor distilled from the bodies, it becomes tame, and its feathers turn white. On the fifth level of the tower, the bird is put in a bath of a milk-like liquid and all its feathers are boiled off. The bird is revealed naked and shining by this process, which turns the bath blue. The bath fluid is heated strongly and processed into a blue powder which is used to paint the bird, leaving all but its covered by the paint. On the tower’s sixth level, the bird is placed on a strange altar which was in the temple on the fourth day of the adventure. There it pecks and drinks the blood of a white serpent in a skull. The serpent is revived and the bird then becomes a willing sacrifice, suffering its head to be chopped off. There is no blood until the breast of the bird is opened and its blood is caught in a receptacle. The body of the bird is then burned, and the ashes saved. Only certain of the pilgrims are admitted to the seventh level. The others are barred from it, and are told that the sixth level is the highest, and are set to making gold from some of the bird’s ashes. The four who are allowed onto the seventh level are put to work mixing ashes from the bird with water and molding a little man and woman from the paste that results. The man and woman are then heated and take on a sublimely beautiful aspect. These beautiful homunculi are then fed with the blood of the bird, which, after all, was made from the original bodies of the king and queen, and grown to life size. Then trumpets are placed in the mouths of the man and woman, and fire enters the room through a hole in the roof and flies into the mouths of the trumpets, ensouling the man and woman, who are the now regenerated and resurrected king and queen. This story is an allegory of higher initiation. The king and queen as they are before their death and resurrection are the two aspects of the personality represented by Netzach and Hod, respectively the psyche and the intellect, and their initial engagement to marry is represented by Peh, the 27th Path, which unites these two Sephiroth. But the goal of the process is a higher synthesis, so the personality is sacrificed. Its interests are no longer paramount, and its forces are turned in upon itself in a kind of distillation, representing the early initiatory process. That process culminates in a fertilized egg, the germ of contact with the individuality. That egg is hatched out, that is, the individuality takes over, at first crudely and in an unbalanced way, but eventually in harmonious control of its lower aspects. This is symbolized by the bird, which is at first wild and black, and then tame and white. The Qaballistic analog of the bird comprises the Tiphareth stages of the Child, the first stumbling efforts of the individuality to gain control of the Self, and the king, the individuality in full control. The bird then has its feathers boiled off and is painted with the blue tincture obtained from the liquid and the bath. This represents the evolution of the soul on the 22nd and 19th Paths, respectively connecting Geburah with Tiphareth and Chesed with Geburah, where all past karma is worked out and the individuality/personality realizes itself for what it is, all its outer aspects accounted for and all evolutionary
experience distilled to make the general “color” of the Spirit in Form. In this archetypal example it is blue, the color of Chesed and aspiration. There then comes the high initiation in Da’ath, which is part of the Sacrificed God formula of Tiphareth. The pecking of the serpent in the skull represents a breakthrough into the Supernal Worlds, after which the Spirit ceases existence, voluntarily, as a separate being in Form. The results of this very high Da’ath contact are all that most can attain. It is indeed an achievement, symbolized by the alchemical achievement of making gold from lead. But this is a material achievement; that is to say, the worlds of Form are not completely transcended by this experience. The highest initiation is that of the Supernals, where new vehicles of a spiritual nature are made and ensouled with the Divine Fire from the three Veils of the Negative, the Unmanifest – that is, a contact is made with the Cosmic Atom of the self, which originally projected the Divine Spark into manifestation. (In passing, it is interesting to note that the Divine Fire was directed into the new bodies through the mouth, the literal meaning of the letter Peh.) This process gives a completely new line of interpretation for the apparently downthrown king and queen on Trump XVI, The Tower, and for the Fire of Heaven entering through the crown-like roof of the tower itself. The implications lead us right into the Unmanifest beyond Kether, but the beginnings of the process are in the personality, and the “engagement” of the kind and queen represents the intention to unify the opposite poles of the self at the very highest level. On a lower level of interpretation the descending Fire comes down the 25 th Path. Wherever Paths cross are important points upon the Trees of Life. Thus, applied to the etheric vehicle of man, Geburah, the junction of the 27th and 25th Paths, is associated with the Spleen Center, the center which takes in force from the environment. Thus the Tower, the House of God, in this instance symbolizes the body, and the Fire of Heaven represents the inflow into the body of pranic force from its environment. In line with this attribution is one of the titles of the Tarot Trump of the 25th Path, the Bringer Forth of Life. The treading of this Path may be rough going unless the personality is well balanced and open to the descending Fire. It is a Path of the simultaneous use of vertical and horizontal polarity in the vehicles of the personality. It is also on the line of the Lightning Flash, and the higher pole, or source of power, is Netzach, which power is received into the form consciousness of Hod. If the personality has built itself too rigid a form in Hod, the descending Fire from Tiphareth may prove to be very disrupting, because in that case it must force its way through the rigid blockages, assuming it can get through at all. On the other hand, too much “Netzach” in the build-up of the Personality may cause the Tower to be unstable, the mortar holding its bricks together having too little binding force, the result of which would likely be a diffusion of consciousness. Obviously the first thing that is essential to successful occult work is a balanced personality. Without that, the Interior Castle, to use St. Teresa d’Avila’s term,* will be built on insecure foundations.34
*”I began to think of the soul as if it were a castle made of a single diamond or of very clear crystal, in which there are many rooms, just as in Heaven there are many mansions.” – Teresa d’Avila, The Interior Castle (I,i,1)
There has always been an initiatory tradition in both eastern and western alchemy. The transmission of vital knowledge can only take place from a master to a pupil, following certain lines of working within a spiritual environment, that is, the sacred and the intuitive, rather than the profane and reasoning intelligence. Craftsmen form secret initiatory societies and guilds and, traveling from one place to another in search of materials, carry their myths and lore with them. This initiatory succession has existed from the beginning in Chinese alchemy, and is implicit in the Hermetic tradition in the West. Initiation is the archetypal pattern of transition from one state to another, from life to death, death to rebirth, the return to the darkness of the womb before rebirth into the light. In alchemy the “death” of the metals, the black (nigredo) stage of preparation, is not only the death-experience of the initiation rites; it is also, psychologically speaking, the descent into the chaotic, undifferentiated realm of the unconscious; the return to the womb, the embryonic state from which a new organism is born. In alchemical teachings, to experience rites du passage, both physical and mental, often so severe as to amount to torture, is spoken of
as the “torture” of metals, which in the Far East is symbolized by the vermilion bird, the phoenix of Chinese alchemy. The most rigorous dedication and strength of character are required for the successful negotiation of the initiatory ordeal. Indian alchemy held the adept must be “intelligent, devoted to his work, without sin, and master of his passion.” Initiation is essentially a ritual confrontation with death that grants the knowledge of immortality, and kills the fear of death. From the beginning, the two craftsmen most concerned with alchemy and absolutely necessary to its work have been the miner and the smith. The miner did his work in alchemy’s early stages, bringing forth the ores that was to be used in the work of the alchemist, as it were, helping and hastening the process of birth. That he was involved in the sacred aspect of the work is shown by the fact that even well after the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the opening of a new mine involved religious ceremony and elaborate ritual that included fasting, prayer or meditation, incantation, ritual cleanliness, and sexual abstinence, as necessary to the work as in any other branch of alchemy. To interfere with or harm Mother Earth is to tread on dangerous ground. Indeed, in some cultures, such as among the Tibetans and many American Indian peoples, it was altogether prohibited by sacred fait. Even on the lower folk-level, as they still are in many places today, mountains, mounds and the underworld were treated with extreme caution, because they were believed to be the homes of spirits, fairies, dwarfs, trolls, and gnomes. Miners, who did their work underground, were always mysterious to others, and feared because they were believed to be in touch with the Underworld and its dark powers. There is a vast global background of mythology about Transformers, the Magickians who are able to bring about radical changes in materials. In these the smith occupies an important but extraordinarily ambiguous position. He can be venerated as a God or as royalty, but conversely he can also be despised and outcast. In some cases, he is the First Ancestor, who came down from heaven to found civilization. Like Prometheus, he brought the secret and use of fire to humanity and had a close association with the sky and the Thunder Gods. He was the archetype of the “white smiths.” Among shamanistic tribes these smiths were also believed to be the descendants of a celestial smith who came to earth to teach men the use of fire and metals. The smiths’ sons married the daughters of earth, and all smiths that have lived ever since are descended from them. Smiths held a high position at court, or were treated as royalty, on account of their divine descent. They were the divine artisans, and the smithy was a center of ritual and worship. Among Mongols and in Turkistan the smith was also a culture here, “a free horseman.” According to one tradition, Genghis Khan was a smith before he rose to become ruler of the Mongols and a world-conqueror. There were also smith-kings in Africa. But on the other hand, also in Africa, among the Maasai, the smith was “an unclean one.” It was believed to be very dangerous to go near his hut, and to sleep with a woman of the smith class could caste a man of another caste to go mad or beget deformed offspring. With the exception of the Mongols, it was largely the pastoral, nomadic, and hunting tribes who looked down on the smith and regarded him as an untouchable. Nevertheless in all post-Neolithic* cultures the smith was held in awe and feared as a Master of Fire. He could reduce solid matter to liquid, something without form, and then could turn the pliable liquid back into a solid again, this time in a form very different from its original one. Like all “creation” craftsmen, and like the alchemist, he was a transformer and a transmuter of matter, dealing with the mysterious and magical, a powerful sorcerer in his own right. Like the potter, he turned the pliable into form. Like the carpenter, he brought forth form out of formlessness, the prima materia. His ambiguous nature meant that the smith could be a creator or a destroyer. He made both the weapons that brought death, the sword and the spear, and the tools of life and growth, the spade and the plough. As the blacksmith, he worked with iron, an almost universally disliked and feared metal, though in some cases it was sacred because it was also an apotropaic, something that could be made into talismans that could ward off evil. This association with iron was also ambiguous; the metal is everywhere dreaded by the spirit world. Evil spirits, witches, and fairies won’t go near it or cross an object made of iron because the metal frightened the spirits. As an evil metal it was not allowed to be used in the construction of any sacred place, but since it also repelled evil spirits, the shaman loaded himself and his ritual robes down with iron amulets. The blacksmith, as a Master of Fire, was naturally associated with the hearth, which put him in touch with the powers of the Underworld; the hearth gives access to the forces of the dark regions and the blacksmith originally learned his craft from an underworld divinity. In the Hebrew tradition it was said that the craft was brought down to Earth by the angel Azazel. With this connection with the powers of the Underworld it was natural that smiths were credited with other Magickal powers, such as prophecy and healing.**
*The smith’s work and niche in society only because possible with the advent of settled communities that practiced agriculture and, as a result, were able to produce enough food in most years that they could afford to support specialists such as the smith, who did not toil in the fields or otherwise engage in food production, because his work required that he be freed from all other tasks so that he could concentrate on the work at which he was best. Moreover, other men, miners, had to dig in the earth to bring out the ore that the smith worked to produce weapons and tools. These, too, had to be supported by the community as a whole, because they could not do their work and still participate in food production. By and large, the Paleolithic and early Neolithic predecessors of such communities either were not settled, but were instead entirely migratory, rotating their occupation of the land from place to place as the seasons wore on, or simply had no need for the mining and working of metals. In the first case, they could not provide the sort of accommodations and sinecure the smith and miners needed to be able to do their jobs; in the second, there was no incentive for supporting such specialists. It was only during the Late Neolithic that the smith and the miner finally came into their own, because before that time there was simply no niches available to them anywhere, no incentives for such specialties to evolve and receive community support, and, most of the time, no means for communities to provide such support. **The regard in which iron was held, combining fear with awe and, clearly, covetousness, may have been due to the origin of much of the sources of iron readily available to humanity down the ages, which was the heavens themselves. Meteoric iron provided almost pure nickel-iron in the form of the “thunderbolt,” a massive body falling from heaven, presumably hurled to earth by the Sky-God. Many cultures, such as the ancient Greeks, believed the Sky-God to be the head of the pantheon of their Gods and Goddesses; others, such as the Norse, did not believe the Sky-God to be the ruler of heaven, but rather, perhaps, one of the sons of that ruler, or a close relative, such as Thor, the son of the Norse God Odin and the Master Smith of the Norse Gods (in the Greek pantheon, the Divine Smith was Hephaestos, Who worked the iron hurled by Zeus at the Earth). This form of iron was obviously of divine origin, and was dangerous not because it was evil, but rather because to touch the things of God frequently comes to a bad end, as witness the story of Prometheus, Who stole the Fire of the Gods in order to give it to mankind – and got chained to a rock in Tartarus and had his liver savaged every day by Zeus’s eagle for his pains. The other source of iron was the Underworld. Men had to enter the Underworld to find and dig it out of the rocky substrata in which it was embedded. In so doing, they injured Mother Earth, a terrible sin, and had to undergo all sorts of purification rituals both before and after mining the ore in order to ward off divine punishment for their sacrilege. In many cultures, especially early ones, they also had to fill in the mine after digging the ore out of it, as a way of healing the wound they had made in the body of Mother Earth in the process of mining. This was especially true in the case of mining of red ochre, an iron-based pigment valued for its color and its sacred properties and used by many Paleolithic cultures for painting the bodies of the dead, those of girls who had just begun to menstruate and had to undergo the ceremonies of initiation into womanhood, and those of priests and priestesses for various sacred ceremonies. The Underworld was a scary place, the abode of dragons and spirits and powerful Gods and Goddesses; angering these could bring hell’s own fury down on the unfortunate people guilty of entering their domains if the work was not carried out properly, with all due ritual precautions, so great care had to be taken in any such endeavor, lest disaster be brought down on the people by the sins of the miners. Either way, iron was a highly valuable material for the making of powerful weapons and the best agricultural and other tools, but acquiring and working it could come with a very high price, one that might involve the very destruction of the people themselves. So the extraction and working of iron was surrounded by numerous layers of sacred ritual and the lore that went with it, and the psychology accompanying man’s use of iron, including the way the people regarded the miner and the smith, was fraught with ambivalence and always edged with fear, if not outright revulsion. And that ambivalence was reflected in the fact that iron was believed both to kill and protect, to wound and to heal, a tool of the most potent forms of both black and white Magick. The powers of iron became ascribed to the
miner and the smith, and it was thus that the smith eventually became the priest responsible for rituals of blood sacrifice for religious purposes as well as simple butchering of animals for the table.
The smith also came to be feared because it was he who performed blood sacrifices of both human beings and animals in the smelting of metal. In the case of human sacrifice, sometimes the sacrifice was given voluntarily by the victim; most of the time, however, it was not, sacrificial victims coming from a pool of slaves and, after the winning of a battle or war against their enemies, prisoners of war. If such a sacrifice was needed and no slaves or prisoners of war were available, someone would be chosen by lot from the people themselves. Fear of such an eventuality made people wary of the smith, or even shun him as much as possible. In addition, the smith was constantly surrounded by menacing evil spirits, against which he had to take every precaution. There had to be absolute silence accompanying his movements, all of which made him worth avoiding. Then, too, his tools, the hammer, anvil and bellows had magic powers of transformation, while the stove, forge, cauldron, and furnace in his smithy all had the functions of dissolution and death. Smelting is a work of fusion, the abolition of individual identity, the return to primordial chaos. In the case of the making of implements of amalgams of various metals, such as bronze, which is made of copper compounded of tin, for strength and luster, the metals smelted out of the ores, regarded as male and female, yang and yin, become one in union. This has a sexual symbolism, which is further accentuated by the heat involved in smelting the ores and combining them, a symbolism which is also present in the hammer and anvil, the hammer being the formative, masculine force in nature, and the anvil the passive feminine. The hammer is the weapon of the Thunder Gods, the Divine Smiths; the anvil is the earth, matter, and Mother Earth Herself. The striking of the hammer on the anvil, bringing down fire from heaven, represents divine justice and power. This is why oaths were taken on the anvil, a practice which continued until recent times in marriages over the anvil, at such places as Gretna Green, perpetuating the smith’s ancient religious functions. The power of fire is also associated with the stove, oven, forge, or athanor, in which transformation took place. In Chinese alchemy the God of the Stove was frequently appealed to for help in bringing about a successful transmutation, especially when the recipe entailed roasting the mixture for as many as five hundred times. The stove was one of the five annual objects used for making religious sacrifices. Later the alchemical God of the Stove degenerated into the God or Goddess of the Kitchen honored in all Chinese homes. That deity looked after the occupants of the home. As the ancient Goddess, She was the “Old Wife” of the first cook. As God of the Kitchen the deity made an annual journey to heaven to report to the Jade Emperor on the conduct of the family during the year. Both God and Goddess of the kitchen had obvious associations with alchemy in the brewing of medicines and the roasting of ingredients. The Western version of the Stove of Chinese alchemy is the Athanor. It has many names and forms: the kiln, sphere, vase, egg or prison, or it can be the grave, again symbolic of death and rebirth from the womb as a place of warmth, growth, and transformation. The heart can also represent the vessel in which transmutation takes place. It is the “secret place,” and the melting of the heart is associated with the womb in the idea of return to primordial unity – that is to say, the embryonic state of the return to the origins. This, in Taoism, is the return of the Void.*
*In Japanese, the word for Void is one meaning “Sky,” hence Void is also associated with the Sky-Gods and thus with Saturn, Uranus, and Aquarius. In this connection, see Keys 11, above, and 28 and 32, below.
In China, some alchemical cults outside the Taoist tradition required blood sacrifice for the preparation of medicines, rites of exorcism, and the casting of metals, but these were condemned by true Taoists. Blood sacrifice is based on the idea of blood as the essence of life and the assumption that only life can give life. There is also the idea, found in myths and religious teachings all over the world, that the soul of one life can be transferred to another, the God dying to bring new life to the world. Stories of unsuccessful
castings of such items as swords or bells, both sacred objects tell of the deliberate self-sacrifice of a wife or daughter who throws herself into the molten metal, whereupon the casting immediately culminates, life having been given to the artifact from the one sacrificing herself for that purpose.34a*
*This, also applies to Key 31, below, which is associated with the Planet Pluto and the metal plutonium. Oddly, plutonium is a chemical analog of iron, one of its higher octaves, as it were, lying directly below it in the Periodic Table of the Chemical Elements, in Column 1 of Group VIII of that table (old arrangement). See Keys 58 (iron) and 126 (plutonium) in Part C, below. For more information on blood sacrifices associated with smithing and alchemical work, see, e.g., J. C. Cooper’s Chinese Alchemy: The Taoist Quest for Immortality (New York: Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., 1990).
Not only is Mars, associated with Peh, the last of the Personal Planets, in a sense he is also the first of the Social Planets. He gives us the ability to express and assert ourselves, to externalize our inner natures and allow the emergence of our potential into manifestation. Traditionally, Mars represents the principles of energy, force, will, desire, and passion, and the manifestation of initiative, assertion and aggression. He signifies the centrifugal forces active within experience, all forms of outwardly directed activity, how an organism begins and maintains things, and the desire to be effective and successful as a social entity. Mars is associated with the emergence and germination of the seed and the development of the ego. When Mars is in retrograde motion, his influence gives rise to unconscious motivations and the urge to swim against the current, to act against the normal flow of things. Mars represents our drive to survive as individual organisms and, in line with that, our emotional identification with everything we perceive as necessary to our individual survival. To that extent, Mars represents the ego, or rather the psychological defense mechanisms by which the ego is maintained and reinforced. Mars and Venus, the latter associated with Daleth and Trump III, The Empress, signify two different kinds of relationship between what is experienced and the one doing the experiencing. Mars represents the latter, the ego. It defines him, gives him a definite form and shape, and ensures that there is a separate entity to do the experiencing. Venus, on the other hand, emphasizes the relationship between him and what he experiences, the “thou” to his “I.” Venus works to create interrelationships among experiencers, so that higher levels of being can arise out of the interaction of individuals. A balance between the influences of Mars and Venus is necessary for the continued existence of relationships between subjects and objects. If either planet’s influence becomes excessive, relationships fall apart or fail to form at all. If it is Mars whose influence becomes too powerful, the organism tries to destroy the realm of the object, which it needs to give its own existence meaning. If, on the other hand, it is Venus whose influence becomes excessive, the organism loses the ability to survive as a separate experiencing being. For this reason, both Mars and Venus are involved in sexuality, since, for better or worse, sexual interactions between individuals express the essence of relationship. But whereas Venus represents the establishment of pair-bonding between sexual partners that can survive during intermissions between episodes of or even in the absence of all sexual activity, and is thus a force for altruism and altruistic behavior, Mars represents sexual desire as a primordial biological need and the drive of that individual to satisfy that need, often without any regard for the needs of that drive’s object. On the other hand, as Venus is the archetype of the sexually mature female and her sexuality, Mars represents the sexually mature male, male potency, and male sexuality. In short, Mars represents the energy of the individual as expressed through active and self-assertive behavior, just as He represents that part of the solar Being that is the manifest heat and light of the Sun. Mars is not chi, the basic metabolic energy of the cell, or the font of Kundalini energy that erupts in orgasm and fuels the Magickal Machine of the Spirit for Hermetic Workings, the energies of death and conception. Nor is He the Solar Phoenix cycle that maintains the Sun’s energy through thermonuclear reactions deep in the Sun’s heart. Those functions are represented by Pluto, Who co-rules the Signs of Mars’ dominion. Instead, Mars represents the day-to-day behavior of individuals and their attempts to assert themselves, survive, and meet their individual needs, as He also represents their ends as individuals, and the dissolution of the discarded remnants of self so that the self may be returned again to the well-springs of Life, there to be once more incorporated into Life through the action of Pluto.
Geburah, the Sphere of Mars, is the neglected Sephirah. Peh, the Path of Mars, is likewise neglected among members of many schools of esoteric training, who believe that the relentless, vital energy and influence of Mars are not appropriate for those seeking to find union with God. But just as the adrenals, spleen, immune system, and red blood cells, all ruled by Mars, are necessary to the life of the body, so are the esoteric functions of Mars – courage, daring, initiative, and drive – necessary to the life of the Spirit, for their form of the underpinnings of the Will, the ultimate expression of Spirit and of life itself. Though New Age cults and study groups find the soldier, the athlete, the butcher, the cowboy, and the shepherd to be distasteful, even contemptible and repellant, these are all adepts of Geburah, whose roles in life have given them experience in the energy of that sphere and Peh, the Path associated with it. That’s valuable experience, especially for those who have become students of esoteric disciplines. Geburah and Peh are integral parts of the Tree of Life, and the things associated with them are integral parts of human life and absolutely necessary to them. Training and experience in the things proper to them should therefore not be eschewed by students of esoteric disciplines. All too often, such students are convinced that only a sweetness-and-light mindset is appropriate for study and practice of esoteric disciplines, and that any other sort of attitude can only be found among adepts of the Black Brotherhood. That sort of mindset will inevitably cause the student to become passive-aggressive in all of his dealings, social, Magickal, or any other. At best, this makes for a very unhappy life. And in extreme cases, it can cause the practitioner of esoteric disciplines to bring down disaster on his own head. The life well-lived is a balanced life. Likewise, those who aspire to mastery of the esoteric Arts and Sciences must do so in a balanced way – one that includes study, practice, and experience of the things pertinent to Geburah and Peh as well as those of Da’ath, Binah, Tav, and Aleph. Don’t look down on the Warrior – he is wise, for he knows that while peace is the most desirable way of life, war will be a constant among humanity as long as humanity exists, and that all human history is in essence the history of human warfare, its causes, its consequences, and its context. For we eukarya – humans and otherwise – are no different from our microbial cousins, the pathogenic bacteria and viruses, who are continuously engaged in war for the resources within themselves and everyone else, an endless war that nevertheless drives the evolution of excellence in all things as, in every moment, infectious disease carves away every weakness from every species and grants vitality, elegance, beauty, strength, and triumph to all surviving lineages. This is no small gift. Death is the Great Sculptor that shapes every aspect of life, paring away whatever doesn’t work and doesn’t fit, thereby evoking from the marble of organic reality endlessly evolving life in all its glory and wonder, and death by infectious disease is just one of his many tools for doing so. War is just the remorseless, unending battles the body’s immune system must fight at every turn to enable us to survive in the face of nonstop assaults on the body by a vast host of microbial predators determined to take control of and use our tissues to further their own survival, and the soldier, who has had to crawl through septic muck to carry out his superiors’ orders and further his own survival knows that very well. Students of esoteric disciplines would do well to turn to the soldiers to guide them along Peh, the Path of Mars, and along the byways of the Tree of Life that take the seeker to the Sphere of Geburah. Qaballistic associations: Yetziratic text: “The Twenty-Seventh Path is the Active or Exciting Intelligence, and it is so called because through it every existent being receives its spirit and motion.” Yetziratic title: Lord of the Hosts of the Mighty. The House of God. Yetziratic attribution: Hebrew letter: p [ (Peh) Numerical value: 80, 800 Principle: Energy, physical, emotional, and spiritual; masculinity, maleness; physical strength Astrological assignment: Mars, which, with Pluto, rules Scorpio and Aries; is exalted in Virgo and Sagittarius; and is the esoteric ruler of Capricorn and Leo. Mars is barren, malefic, hot, diurnal, dry, electric, masculine.
Day of the Week ruled by Mars: Geocentric: Tuesday Heliocentric: The daylight hours of the third day of the week Hours of the Day ruled by Mars: Geocentric: The first, eighth, fifteenth . . . sixty-minute periods after the most moment of dawn and the third, tenth, seventeenth . . . sixty-minute periods after the first moment of sunset on Tuesday, the third day of the week; any hour immediately preceding one ruled by Sol and immediately following one ruled by Jupiter on any day of the week Heliocentric: The first, eighth, fifteenth . . . sixty-minute periods after the most moment of dawn and the third, tenth, seventeenth . . . sixty-minute periods after the first moment of sunset on the third day of the week; any hour immediately preceding one ruled by Sol and immediately following one ruled by Jupiter on any day of the week during hours of daylight (Mars’ higher octave, Persephone, rules the third, tenth, etc. hours after sundown on the third day of the week as well as any hour immediately preceding one ruled by Pluto and following one ruled by Hera on any night of the week) Grades of the Temple: 6th° = 5th Grade: Adeptus Major (2nd Rank of 2nd Order) Elements (Alchemical): Cardinal Fire (in Aries), Fixed Water (in Scorpio) Element (chemical): Iron (Z = 26, atomic mass = 55.845) Ecological processes, realms, or principles: Competition. Immunity and immune responses. Predation; territoriality; the sociobiological mechanisms that contain intraspecies aggression at a level such that it doesn’t destroy that species. Speciation. Evolutionary boundaries, that is, topographical and other features that isolate populations and so encourage speciation – mountains, oceans, etc. Selective pressures, i.e., those that eliminate genes from the gene-pool, and so help define species as well as create them. Physical chemistry: All compounds containing iron; combustion (the rapid, exothermic combining of oxygen with anything else, especially carbon and carbon compounds, which in the process releases great heat); the processes of rusting and corrosion; the return of solar energy bound up in carbon compounds to the atmosphere and then, as infrared energy, to outer space Colors: Knight: Scarlet; red; Venetian red; bright red rayed azure and emerald. Liber 777 gives the following. King Scale: Scarlet; Queen Scale: Red; Emperor Scale: Venetian red; Empress Scale: Bright red, rayed azure or emerald. Barbara Watters gives red and purple for the colors of Mars. Generally, those colors that suggest war, the carnage that accompanies it, and the desolation that is its fruit are all associated with Mars, particularly fiery or bloody reds. Additionally, some authorities attribute the colors magenta, claret, or drab shades of brown and green to Mars.
Patterns and compounds of color: Anything suggesting fire Gods: Egyptian: Horus, Nepthys, Menthu. Greek: Eris, Ares, Pallas Athena. Roman: Mars, Minerva, Venus Victrix. Scandinavian/Norse: Thor, Tulsco, Tiu USA: Celtic: Hindu: Vishnu, Varuna-Avatar, Kali, Mangala, Lohita, Kartikeya Buddhism: Voudon: Ogun, Oshagun SubGenius: “Bob,” Nhee-Ghee, the Fightin’ Jesus. Discordianism: Eris, Elmer Fudd; Marvin the Martian H. P. Lovecraft: The war between the Elder Things and the Shoggoths, their creations, which turned on their creators in a war of extermination Stephen King: LaVeyan Satanism: Szekely (Romany Gypsy): Chinese: Japanese: There are quite a few of these. They include (the list is not necessarily exclusive): Ama-Tsu-Mara: Shinto god of smiths. He is pictured as a Cyclops. Bishamon: God of war, justice and protector of the law. He is one of the Shichi Fukujin Ekibiogami: God of plagues and epidemics. Futsu-Nushi-no-Kami: God of fire and lightning, a war god and general of Ameratsu. Hachiman: God of war and agriculture, divine protector of the Japanese people. Hoso-no-Kami: God of smallpox. Iki-Ryo: The spirit of anger and envy which harms. Kagutsuchi: Japanese god of fire. Kanayama-hikoL God of metals. Kanayama-hime: Goddess of metals. Nominosukune: God of wrestling. Sae-no-Kami: A group of kami, or deities, who guard the roads of Japan. Judaism: r w b g m y h l a (God Almighty) Christianity: Christ coming to judge the world Islam: The French Enlightenment: La Guillotine Russian: Hungarian: African: Southeast Asia: Oceania: These are numerous, especially because Oceania, a vast region that includes most important archipelagos of the Pacific Ocean and the peoples who colonized them, encompasses Polynesia, Melanesia, and Micronesia. Some of the deities worshipped by Oceanic peoples include: Ku-kaili-moku (Polynesia): God of war Pele: Goddess of volcanic fires and volcanic phenomena in general. Her temper is fiery. She is an engineer. Ai Tupua’i: Goddess of healing and of war
Areoi: In the mythology of the Tuamotu (Society) Islands, a religious order first organized by the gods Oro-Teteta and Uru-Tetefa, two brothers living in heaven but later settling on earth. Like the Knights of St John, they were celibate warriors, who recruited their members from among the nobility. Dengei/Degei (Melanesia/Fiji): The Serpent-God, a judge in the Land of the Dead. In Fijian mythology, Degei is the Serpent-God in the Kauvadra hills. After death the soul faces a long journey from the sunny land of the living to the cold, misty Land of the Dead. Degei will interrogate the souls as soon as they arrive. Idle men, whose nails are long, will be punished. Industrious souls will be rewarded. After judgment the soul will be thrown into a deep lake. It will sink for a long time until it reaches Murimuria, a sort of Purgatory. There some will be rewarded and others will receive dire punishment. Only a few are chosen by the gods - arbitrarily, it seems - to go to Burotu, the land of eternal life and joy, where they will rest in the cool shade. Enda semangko (Melanesia): Both a war goddess and a fertility goddess. Fe’e: In Samoan mythology, he is the War-God, who is described as a huge octopus, living under the sea with his tentacles reaching to the far corners of the known world like a huge compass with eight hands. Fe’e was believed to cause thunderstorms in which his voice would be heard. The king’s diviners would listen and if the god’s voice was inauspicious, all war plans would be postponed. Fe’e courted the daughter of the King of Upolu, and when the king refused him, he knocked a hole in the barrier reef protecting the island, there the city of Apia now lies. There he had a stone house built for himself, the ruins of which have been pointed out to researchers. Under the sea he had a palace called Bale-Fe’e. Ku (Hawaii): The god of power and war. Kukailimoku: Hawaiian god of war. Kuklikimoku (Polynesia): God of war. Tu (Polynesia): The war god. Tu-Matauenga: The God of War, the first man Native Australian: Eskimo: Central American: American Indian: American folklore: Sergeant York; the Unknown Soldier, Crispin Attucks; railroad porter John Blair (who, on September 1, 1894, saved numerous passengers on his train from the enormous firestorm raging all around it – indeed, the railroad cars of the train were themselves on fire – by encouraging and comforting them and keeping them from jumping out of the cars and into the maelstrom of fire that was the Great Hinckley Firestorm of Minnesota, thereby keeping them aboard until a place of safety was reached, where the engineer brought the train to a halt and allowed everyone to debark from it); Jim Root, engineer of the same train on which John Blair served; Tom Sullivan, conductor on Root’s train; engineers William Best and Edward Barry, on a second, rescue train into Hinckley that brought refugees from the firestorm out of that blazing town – they held the train there until the very last possible moment, to allow refugees the greatest chance to reach the train and get aboard Science-fiction: The Land of Oz: World religions: The Fightin’ Jesus cult of SubGenius ninpo taijutsu tai chi the state religion of Old Rome Zen Buddhism (in its warrior aspects)
Biblical associations: Joshua (Hoshea) ben Nun, of the tribe of Ephraim, who led the Israelites to victory over the Canaanites. According to the Torah, the Hebrew Bible, he became the leader of the Israelite tribes after the death of Moses. His story is told chiefly in the books Exodus, Numbers and Joshua. According to the Bible, Joshua's name was Hoshea the son of Nun, of the tribe of Ephraim, but that Moses called him Joshua, (Numbers 13:16) and that is the name by which he is commonly known. He was born in Egypt prior to the Exodus, and was probably the same age as Caleb, with whom he is occasionally associated. He was one of the twelve spies of Israel sent by Moses to explore the land of Canaan. (Numbers 13:1-16) After the death of Moses, he led the Israelite tribes in the conquest of Canaan, and allocated the land to the tribes. The years in which these events took place is subject to academic dispute. According to conventional Bible chronology, Joshua lived between 1450–1370 BC, or sometime in the late Bronze Age. According to Joshua 24:29, Joshua died at the age of 110. The English name Joshua is a rendering of the Hebrew: “ יהושעYehoshua,” meaning “Yahweh is salvation”, from the Hebrew root “ ,ישעsalvation,” “to deliver/be liberated,” or “to be victorious.” It often lacks a Hebrew letter Vav ( )וbefore the shin ( ,)שallowing a reading of the vocalization of the name as Hoshea ( - )הושעthe name is described in the ֵַ ֹ ׁ Torah as having been originally Hoshea before Moses added the divine name (Numbers 13:16). “Jesus” is the English of the Greek transliteration of “Yehoshua”. In the Septuagint, all instances of “Yehoshua” are rendered as “Ι ησοũς” (Iēsoūs/Jesus), the closest Greek pronunciation of the Hebrew. Michael the Archangel, leader of the hosts of heaven against the hosts of Lucifer Judgment Day All Biblical books, chapters, and verses having to do with war and battle Commandment (from Exodus 20:3-17): Thou shalt not murder. – Exodus 20:13 The Ten Plagues of Egypt: The Plague of Boils (Exodus 9:8-11) Verses from Creation Story in Genesis: And God said, ‘Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.’ And itwas so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. And God said, ‘Let the earth put forth vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, upon the earth.’ And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, a third day. Genesis 1:9-13 Countries:
Cities: Ancient Rome, capital of the Old Roman Empire; ancient Sparta Meditation: Meditation on the color blood-red. Magickal Power: The Great Work; talismans; crystal-gazing (scrying) Perfume: Onycha, myrrh Musical tone: C natural. Orders of Qlippoth: GOLaChaB, Flaming Ones Qlippothic Spirit (from Kenneth Grant): Parfaxitas – his name is be vibrated on a deep and imperious note of command in the key of C (lower register), and the sound should be reminiscent of thunder. His number is 450. His sigil is drawn in a bright red pigment on an emerald square. Cantos from the Inferno of Dante Alighieri: Cantos VII-VIII Cantos from the Purgatorio of Dante Alighieri: Cantos XV-XVII Cantos from the Paradiso of Dante Alighieri: Cantos XIV-XVIII Article of Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America): Amendment V Provisions concerning prosecution. Trial and punishment – private property not to be taken for public use without compensation. No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless as a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation. Legendary orders of being: Furies, Chimerae, wild boars (as in the Caledonian Board), Harpies Alchemical references: The metal iron; the Element Fire; the blacksmith, the alchemist Metals, stones, and minerals:
Liber 777 gives the ruby as the stone of Mars, and also says that any red stone may be associated with Him, because of His traditional associations with blood and fire. It gives iron for His metal, a traditional attribution. De Vore adds the bloodstone, flint, malachite, and red hematite as stones of Mars, and steel as one of His metals. Oken adds jasper and lodestone to these. Lodestone is particularly fitting for Mars, since it is magnetized iron. Kunz adds sardonyx, beryl, topaz, jacinth, amethyst, carbuncle, agate, crystal, “magnet” (lodestone or magnetite?), halcyon, and carnelian. (His inclusion of amethyst in this list reflects Crowley’s dictum that “the heart of Neptune is Mars.”) Iron, in any and all forms. Iron pyrite Plants, real and imaginary: Liber 777 gives the oak, hickory, nux vomica, nettle, absinthe, and rue. In general, Mars rules plants with thorns or prickles, since these represent weapons and means of defense, appropriate to His influence in war and battle, and in protection of the community and its individuals. Such plants include, e.g., barberry, briars, cacti, hawthorn, the aforementioned nettle, thistles, and all thorny trees. Mars also rules plants with a strong acrid of fiery taste, or a pungent odor, such as capers, coriander, garlic, gentian, ginger, hops, horseradish, mustard, onion, peppers, radish, tobacco, and wormwood. In addition, Mars rules the following, generally because of their effects upon parts of the body or physiological processes ruled by Him, or because they exhibit some of His traditional traits of thorniness, heat, or pungency: all-heal, aloes, anemone, arsmart, basil, box tree, broom, butcher’s broom, catmint (catnip), crow-foot, flax-weed, furze-bush, garden cress, honeysuckle, hops, horsetongue, hyssop, leadwort, leeks, madder, masterwort, mousetail, plantain, sarsaparilla, savin, tarragon, and wake-robin. Animals, Real and Imaginary: Liber 777 gives the basilisk, because of its flaming breath; the horse, traditionally attributed to Mars because of its spirited nature (the war-horse is especially Martial in nature)*; the bear, for Alchemical reasons, and because of its great strength; and the wolf, especially sacred to Mars because a she-wolf suckled Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, whose patron deities were Mars and His sister Venus.
*The horse is traditionally associated with the Sign Pisces and its two Lords, Jupiter and Neptune. Today, Neptune is the primary ruler of Pisces, Jupiter the secondary. Again, an echo of Crowley’s dictum that “the heart of Neptune is Mars.”
Goldstein-Jacobson adds to these the scorpion, stinging insects, vermin, predators in general, and the raptorial birds, such as the eagle, falcon, and hawk. The eagle, which was the symbol of the might of the Old Roman Empire, is especially appropriate to Mars, as are stinging or biting animals in general. In addition, the following animals are associated with Mars: the wolverine, which is rather emphatic about establishing and maintaining its territorial prerogatives; bull-dogs, especially the pit-bull, because of their general temperament; the swordfish, because of its sword, a symbol of war; the great sharks with their vast, toothy maws, principally because of the somewhat irrational terror they inspire
among human beings, including those who never go anywhere near the ocean;* and armyants, because of their general behavior.**
*As a number of naturalists and marine biologists have noted, the shark is a very naughty animal – when attacked, he defends himself. **In fact, many species of ants, carry out both internecine and interspecies battles, raid the nests of other ants for booty, and exhibit a number of other traits commonly associated with the warrior, the bandit, and all other clients of the God of War, Strife, and Violence. This suggests that ants in general are ruled by Mars. But if so, this further supports the idea that Mars, the outermost of the Personal Planets, is also the innermost of the Social Planets. And of course He is – for, like all other forms of one-on-one relationship, battle, dissension, and all other forms of violent confrontation, all of which are ruled by Mars, require the presence of more than one individual, or more than one group of individuals. The old saying, “It takes two to quarrel,” says it all. The sensuality of Venus, and even Her altruism, only require one individual; after all, beauty can be appreciated alone, as can pleasure, while altruism can have oneself as well as anyone or anything else as its object. But aggression, anger, and fear always require the Other as their object, as does the drive to protect from harm, also one of Mars’ archetypal aspects. In fact, those animals most closely associated with Mars – those with terrible natural weapons such as lethal claws, dagger-like teeth, deadly talons, powerful venom, etc. – tend to display the greatest display of restraint in dealing with the younger, weaker members of their own species, and to have the most elaborate instinctive rituals for ensuring that internecine strife among them won’t be likely to critically wound or kill any of the individuals concerned. The throat-baring of wolves and dogs, the presentation behavior of cats, and the usual reactions of the winner to such displays are typical of such animals. Honeybees, whose venom is chemically identical to that of black-widow spiders, are perfect models of social animals; the female black-widow spider herself, once she has laid her eggs, dies and leaves her body to be eaten by her newborn spiderlings – the ultimate in motherlove, which just incidentally permanently removes her from their environment as one more source of danger to her newly-hatched offspring. As far as dealings with their own kind go, hawks are the real doves – actual flesh-and-blood doves, traditionally associated with Venus, like their cousins the pigeons and numerous other herbivorous animals, exhibit almost no ceiling (or perhaps “floor” might be a better word for it) on the possibilities of intraspecies strife. Attempts by experimenters to condition or force hawks, eagles, or many other types of carnivores to turn upon and do real physical harm to their own kind generally end by driving the subject into nervous breakdown and death, without getting it to attack one of its own. But it almost ludicrously easy to get doves, pigeons, deer, and many other herbivores to turn on other members of their own species in attacks that can easily become lethal. Pigeons, the darling of B. F. Skinner’s conditioning experiments, for example, can be induced to peck one another to death with so little effort on the part of the experimenter that many behavioral scientists are still stunned by this finding. Ultimately, the clients of Mars prove to have an altruistic restraint toward others of their own kind that those of Venus frequently lack. The reason for this is probably due to the general lack – up until the invention of modern psychologists, anyway – of situations that would put a significant number of the members of such herbivores at risk of serious injury or death from members of their own species. In the wild, herbivores, who lack the talons, fangs, venom, etc. of the carnivores that prey on them, are usually too busy avoiding predators, finding food, and protecting and raising their young to have much time for the sort of intraspecies dust-ups that can lead to the death of one or more participants. So there is generally little selective pressure on them that would eliminate most or all potential for the sort of intraspecies aggression that could put the participants at serious risk of injury or death. Carnivores, on the other hand, generally have more leisure time and opportunity for sociocultural interactions with others of their own kind, and regularly encounter such pressures. Expectably, such pressures seem to have given strong tendencies toward restraint in intraspecies battles, especially when younger members of their species are involved, a strong evolutionary edge over lack of such inhibitions.
Of the two, then, it is bloody-handed, murderous, puritanical Mars rather than gentle, fruitful, sensual Venus Who is essentially social in nature, however negative that nature may at times appear to be. It is Mars Who gives the strong evolutionary tendency toward culturally and even genetically built-in restraints against violence against one’s own kind; the clients of Venus generally lack the need for such restraints in their dealings with one another. So Mars is really the first of the Social Planets. In the words of an American general of the Army: “When the battle has begun, we have failed in our jobs.” It is Mars’ true task to prevent war – and as many a bar-battle will testify, it is, all too often, Venus’s task to start it. Just ask the participants in and victims of the Trojan War . . .
Crows, ravens, and other corvines are ruled by Mars. Traditionally, this is because they are scavengers, haunting battlefields, scenes of carnage due to violent death, and areas where deadly plagues have killed many.* But in addition, they are all highly social animals, with elaborate cultural and genetically hard-wired protections against escalation of intraspecific aggression to the point where it would become dangerous to them. They cooperate with one another in various endeavors, typical of the warrior-band. Also, crows “ant” with fire – that is, they like to catch sparks from braziers and barbecues in their wing-pits, which apparently gives them the same rush that they and similar birds, e.g., jays, get from using red or fire-ants for the same purpose, God alone knows why. Such birds can learn to strike a match and start their own fires – where this may lead, we are not sure, but the trend seems ominous . . . :)
* Also, Mars is the traditional ruler of Scorpio, which rules death, and crows are harbingers of death.
In general, carnivores that are social, hunt in packs, and take good care of their young are ruled or co-ruled by Mars. Tyrannosaurus rex and Allosaurus spp. of the Mesozoic Era of Earth’s history would have been ruled by Mars, for example, as are today’s wolves, wild dogs, and so forth. Creatures in general: Vegetable drugs (plant extracts): Foods, drugs, flavors, and perfumes: For mineral drugs, Liber 777 gives iron and sulfur. For vegetable drugs, it gives nux vomica, nettle, cocaine, and atropine, because of their stimulant effects. Methedrine can be considered to be a martial drug, since, like cocaine, in long-term users it produces the sort of viciously irrational violence for which the Greek War-God Ares was infamous. Goldstein-Jacobson adds coffee and liquor to these. Since their long-term use often produces behavior and mental states similar to those associated with addictions to “uppers,” e.g., cocaine, methedrine, coffee and alcoholic potables could be considered to be Martial. However, the primary ruler of coffee is Mercury, and that of liquor is Neptune. Liber 777 gives tobacco, pepper, dragon’s blood (the herb), and all hot, pungent odors as perfumes of Mars, because of their pungency, color, or other traits. Tobacco stimulates the production of adrenaline, which is ruled by Mars, so this makes it especially appropriate. Others include homeopathic tinctures of any mineral or gem ruled by Mars, such as iron or bloodstone; any hot, pungent food, such as chili or curry dishes; spices such as curry, chili, and any others not previously mentioned which lend to foods a fiery heat; peppery tinctures and tonics taken for health; steroid hormones of the sort used by athletes and weight-lifters to increase muscle weight; any drug that increases tendencies to combativeness and aggression; and food or drug that increases muscle weight, such as nutritional supplements for athletes
that contain megadoses of certain amino acids; any drug that increases male libido and/or causes or maintains an erection in the male; all sharp, astringent-tasting foods or drinks; all acidic tastes; all pungent, sharp odors, e.g., that of cordite and other waste-gases produced by the use of firearms and cannon; etc. Clothing, Magickal Weapons, and other things, objects, and processes: Liber 777 gives the Sword, Spear, Scourge, or Chain for the Magickal Weapons of Mars. For His Magickal Powers, it gives the Vision of Power, and Works of Wrath and Vision. For His Virtue, it gives energy [ambition, eagerness]; for His vice, it gives cruelty or wrathfulness. Things/commodities/products: Anatomy and physiology: Mars rules the head, the brain as an organ of the body, and the reproductive organs. Traditionally, Mars rules the muscles and their functions, and the ligaments that anchor the muscles to each other and to the bones. He also rules the sweat-glands and the sweat they produce as a result of muscular exertion; the adrenal cortex, its products, such as adrenaline, and its functions, the endocrinological underpinnings of all Martial activity and emotion; the head, in particular the face and the nose; the motor cortex of the brain, and the efferent nerves that connect it with the result of the body; the amygladae, organs within the temporal lobes of the brain involved in anger, territoriality, and socialization connected with appropriate social expressions of anger; the sympathetic portion of the autonomic nervous system, especially the Reticular Activating System in the brain-stem, involved in arousal, excitement, alertness, etc.; the organs of excretion; the external genitalia of the male, including the testicles and the lingam; and red blood-cells, in particular the iron-bearing hemoglobin molecule that gives them the ability to transport oxygen through the body. By extrapolation, Mars rules anything involved in assertive, protective or aggressive behavior, or strong or sustained physical effort; sex as a biological drive; the striving to fulfill any appetite; and the roots of anger, rage, terror, fear and other fight-flight behavior patterns. Psychology: Mars, along with Sol and Pluto, rules the Will. Sol rules the Will as expressed in one’s lifework or career; Pluto expresses those aspects of the Will that constitute a raw, primordial biological force; Mars basically manifests as self-assertion and the striving to maintain the self in existence, essentially unchanged, as an ego. Mars knows exactly what He wants and goes about securing it in the most efficient, effective possible way, all other considerations secondary to fulfilling His own desires. He therefore rules such traits as combativeness, territoriality, desire, enthusiasm, passion, courage, haste, anger, intolerance and fretfulness. He is seldom discouraged and not easily rebuffed, a center of power and energy, for better or worse. The Martial temperament includes an acute, penetrating mind, and is largely concerned with physical accomplishment through direct action, with an emphasis on tactics as opposed to strategy, and means as opposed to ends. He is self-assured, dominant, or even domineering. He brooks no interference, and may be ruthlessly uncaring about the well-being of others. He tends to be fearless and unhesitating when it comes to danger of any kind, and is well-suited for hazardous occupations, such as those of policemen and firemen. He loves His family and clan, and patriotism is one of the most important foundation-stone of His personality. He is ever-ready to protect His own, including family, friends or anyone and anything else with which He identifies Himself. He may have a strong sense of kinship with all humanity, but when it comes to individuals He is often self-centered and uncaring of others. He is forceful, active, inflammatory, generally careless and destructive, expert at His
callings, and extremely high-spirited. He is associated with force, activity, ambition, endurance, desire, strife, and pluck. When thwarted, He becomes cruel, egotistical, sarcastic, quarrelsome, coarse, and vulgar. Diseases, injuries, and other medical conditions: Mars rules acute diseases, particularly those that are inflammatory or associated with high fever, e.g., appendicitis; fevers and inflammations of all kinds; high blood pressure; internal hemorrhages; apoplexy; sharp pain; infectious, contagious, eruptive or virulent diseases; eruptions; wounds, bites and stings; cuts, sprains, strains, breaks, lacerations, concussions, and all other injuries due to sudden pressure beyond the breaking-strain of the tissue; bursitis, rheumatism and other damage to or disease of the muscles or ligaments; all violent injuries; adrenal exhaustion; burns and scalds of all kinds; the critical stage or crisis of any disease; abscesses, pustules, and other eruptions coming to a head; certain aspects of megalomania, which is primarily ruled by Sol; violent acting-out of any kind; predatory sociopsychopathology; seizures or fits brought on by high temperatures; tantrums and fits of temper; pathologies involving compulsive-obsessive attacks of rage, chronic rage, or any inappropriate outburst of violence; and any pathologies of the functions, tissues, organs or organ-systems ruled by Mars. Also, since Mars rules courage and competition, pathologies involving cowardice, excessive or inappropriate timidity, insecurities, and similar problems, including bullying and tantrums stemming from any of these, are ruled by Mars. Mars rules accidents, especially those that result in bleeding and/or burns. Insofar as treatments and remedies of medical pathologies go, Mars rules surgical operations of all types; vaccinations, injections, acupuncture, and any other procedure involving puncturing of tissues with a sharply pointed instrument; cauterization, moxybustion, or other use of heat to close or sterilize wounds or treat illness; and so on. Magickal image: Forms, shapes, lineal figures, geomantic figures, figures related to pure number, and numerological associations: For forms, Liber 777 gives the tesseract, the emblematic Rose, and the Pentagram. De Vore adds sharp angles and barbs, and fine, straight lines. 57 The Fylfot Cross and Swastika are also associated with Mars. Numerologically, Mars is associated with the numbers 5 and (3)3 = 27., because these are His Key numbers. His Path, the Hebrew letter Peh, has the value 80 = 5 x (2)4; the sum of the values which spell out the name of this Hebrew letter, Peh-Heh, is 80 + 5 = 85 = 5 x 17. The Mystic Numbers of the Sephiroth associated with Him are 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 = 15 = 3 x 5 and 1 + 2 + . . . + 27 = 378 = 14 x 27 = 2 x 7 x (3)3. Clearly the numbers 3 and 5 are strongly associated with Him. But 7, 9, 14, and 16, factors of integers associated with Him, also have strong connections with Him. 3 and 9 are numbers of Luna, while 7, 14, and 16 are associated with Venus, the divine sister-twin of Mars. In addition, 3 is also associated with Saturn and Uranus Who, like Mars, are astrological Malefics. Mars is strongly associated with the symbolism of Tarot Trump VII, The Chariot, which itself is associated with the astrological Sign Cancer, whose traditional ruler is Luna, another Lunar connection. The nature and influence of Mars is also defined in terms of Venus, since He is, as it were, Her mirror-image. Finally, Mars has many characteristics in common with Saturn and Uranus, His fellow Malefics. Appropriately, these connections are clearly reflected in His numerology, as well. Magick Square:
The 5 x 5 Magick Square is associated with Mars. This square takes the form: 11 4 17 10 23 24 12 5 18 6 7 25 13 1 19 20 8 21 14 2 3 16 9 22 15
By means of it, the talismanic Sigils of Mars, His Intelligence, and His Spirit are constructed. Seal of Mars:
Sigil of Mars:
Seal of Olympic Spirit of Mars:
Seal of Intelligence of Mars, GRAPhIEL:
Seal of Spirit of Mars, BARTZABEL:
Alchemical sigil of iron:
Domain: The Fiery realms in general, and, in particular, everywhere there is fire and great heat Archangel: Michael Angelic Choir: Seraphim Angel: Zamael Angels given by Barrett, et al.: Olympic Planetary Spirit: Phaleg Intelligence: Graphiel Spirit: Bartzabel Spirits given by Bardon, Barrett, et al.:
Name of Planet in Hebrew: Buddhist symbolism:
( ם י ד םMaDIM)
Occupations, businesses, employment, and ecological niches: Mars rules police, firemen, warriors, engineers, and athletes; and all those engaged in any competitive profession or enterprise. He rules military leaders, tacticians and military professions in general; surgeons; agitators, incendiaries, and violent criminals; blacksmiths; Alchemists (originally, blacksmiths and Alchemists were the same); butchers; barbers; all those whose line of work involves the use of cutlery or sharp instruments; workers in iron and steel; those who make weapons and implements of war; dentists (these are co-ruled by Saturn); and all those involved in manufacturing, engineering and the building industry, such as construction workers, engineers, carpenters,* etc.
*Traditionally, the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, who was a carpenter by profession, is taken to be December 25. This takes place during the Solar month of Capricorn. It is of interest in this regard that Mars is the diurnal esoteric ruler of Capricorn. Also, the ancients assigned the traditional exaltation of Mars to that Sign.
Ecologically speaking, Mars rules all organisms exhibiting a high degree of territoriality; organisms that tend to be loners; all meat-eating organisms (Venus rules all plants, but She shares with Mars dominion over carnivorous ones such as the Venus’s fly-trap); all predators; and all war-making organisms, including ants and primates. He rules all organisms displaying both great potential for terrible and bloody battles, and rigid systems of dominance and caste, such that group-leaders experience little trouble having their orders carried out, and internal strife, which could otherwise quickly become lethal, is minimized, as is true among many species of primates. He also rules all planetological processes involved in creating clear, distinct boundaries between regions, and in maintaining genetic differentiations within a species which, once in existence, are likely to evolve into one or more sub-species and, eventually, true, new species in their own right. Places, nations, and peoples: Mars rules places of action, such as arenas in which combat takes place; forges and kilns; machine-shops; slaughterhouses, operating rooms, and morgues; burned ground and devastated areas, such as battlefields and sites where massacres have occurred; sacred places where holocausts (burnt offerings) are offered to the Gods. Mars rules all castes of warriors, as well as warrior-peoples, e.g., ninjas. Planetary Age of Man: Mars rules the Fifth Age, the time when the individual, now established in his or her chosen field, tries to expand his or her sphere of influence and realize his or her growing ambitions. By the reckoning that respectively assigns the decades of one’s life to the Planets in ascending order of Their orbital distances from Sol, Mars rules ages 41-50. Matters of the horoscope: Primarily, Mars rules energy and its outward expression. Mars rules initiative.
Mars rules soldiers, pioneers, and engineers. Mars rules weapons, especially those carried in the hands that inflict cuts or other wounds, such as swords, knives, grenades, and guns. Mars rules strife, dissension, and arguments; warlike games and contests of athletic prowess; hunters; sheep, lambs, and those who breed, raise, and herd them. In mundane horoscopes, as ruler of Aries, Mars signifies war, violent crime, soldiers in combat, the steel industry, arsenals, and the colonization of new territory. As ruler of Scorpio, it signifies death, carnage, crime waves, taxes, a nation’s intelligence service (e.g., the CIA, the various intelligence services of military departments, etc.), detectives in vice squads and special investigations (homicide), torture chambers and concentration camps, organized, and the resources of an embattled nation’s allies or enemies. Mars rules accidents, especially those that result in bleeding or burns; acupuncture, amputation, dentistry, surgery, vaccinations, and any other medical procedure involving cutting, cauterization, puncturing or other acute invasion of the tissues, as well as massage, which involves manipulation of the muscles; aggression, battles, war; ammunition, guns, gunshots, knives, swords, and weapons and their action in general, especially weapons which are carried in the hand, and which inflict cuts or wounds; anger, arguments, dissension, strife; arson; assassinations, assaults, and attacks of all kinds; athletes and athletics (Mars is the secondary ruler of these, because of their competitive aspects and the muscular involvement inevitably associated with them); contests, especially those involving athletics, and warlike games, such as chess; death, carnage, massacres; elimination as a process, especially by death or violence, but also in the form of excretion of urine, feces or any other maximally entropized resource; energy, hence engines and all types of machines that produce energy, and by extension, machinery, mechanical items, mechanisms of all kinds, and mechanics, as a branch of physics; explosions; fire; hunters; initiative; leaders and pioneers of all kinds; men (Mars is the secondary ruler; Sol is the primary one); sexual desire; sterilization, i.e., sexual neutering; sheep, lambs, those who raise and herd them, and the places associated with these (because Mars rules Aries, Sign of the Ram, a time of the year when lambs are usually born); terrorists (Mars is the secondary and Pluto the primary ruler); torture, inquisition, those who carry these out, and the places associated with them; violence; virility (Mars is the secondary and Sol the primary ruler); and young men. Mars rules the process of elimination, especially by death or violence. In questions about health, if Venus is also badly afflicted, it may indicate venereal disease. It rules surgeons and surgery, fevers, and related matters. Mars rules iron and steel, and all things made of these metals. Mars rules the sex drive of the male. Music: The works of Steely Dan; “Mars, the Bringer of War,” from Gustav Holst’s The Planets; all marches, especially those directly concerned with war and battle, such as “The U.S. Marine Corps Hymn”; Tchaikovski, The 1812 Overture Poetry: Rudyard Kipling, “Recessional,” “Danny Deever” Amelia Earhart, “Courage” Books and other literary productions: Euripides, The Trojan Women, Hecuba Aeschylus, The Seven Against Thebes, The Persians Homer, The Iliad Hart Crane, The Red Badge of Courage Te Berserker science-fiction novels and stories by Fred Saberhagen, e.g., his collections Berserker (Ace, 1967) and The Ultimate Enemy (Ace, 1979)
Norman Mailer, The Naked and the Dead John Von Neumann, On Games Karl von Clauswitz, On War Richard Preston, The Hot Zone (Random House, 1994) B. S. Liddell-Hart, Strategy Sun Tzu, The Art of War Miyamoto Musashi, A Book of Five Rings; Jack Hoban, Ninpo: Living and Thinking as a Warrior (Contemporary Books, 1988) Massad Ayoob, The Truth About Self-Protection (Bantam Books, 1983), and In the Gravest Extreme: The Role of the Firearm in Personal Protection (Police Bookshelf, 1980) Randolph M. Nesse, M.D. and George C. Williams, Ph.D., Why We Get Sick: The New Science of Darwinian Medicine (Times Books/Random House, 1994) Dalton Trumbo, Johnny Got His Gun Stephen K. Hayes, Ninjutsu: The Art of the Invisible Warrior (Contemporary Books, 1984) Terry Pratchett, Guards! Guards! (London: Victor Gollancz, Ltd., 1989), Jingo 1997), and Reaper Man (ROC Books, 1992) Frederick F. Cartwright and Michael D. Biddiss, Disease and History (Dorset Press, 1972) Anthony B. Herbert, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army (Ret.), Military Manual of Self Defense: A Complete Guide to Hand-to-Hand Combat (Hippocrene Books, 1991 Wilhelm Pelikan, The Secrets of Metals (translated from the German by Charlotte Lebensart. New York: Anthroposophic Press, Inc., 1973) William H. McNeill, Plagues and Peoples (History Book Club, 1976) J. C. Cooper. Chinese Alchemy: The Taoist Quest for Immortality (Sterling Publishing, Inc., 1990) Yang Jwing-Ming, Yang-Style Tai Chi Chuan (Unique Publications, 1982) Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi, 34th Grandmaster of the Togakure Ryu, Ninjutsu: History and Tradition (Unique Publications, 1981) Frater Albertus, Alchemist’s Handbook (Samuel Weiser, Inc., 1974) Alan M. Gottlieb and David B. Kopel, Things You Can Do to Defend Your Gun Rights (Bellevue, WA: Merrill Press, 1993) Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land (1961), Red Planet 1949) C. L. Moore, Shambleau (1932) Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Barsoom series: A Princess of Mars (1912) The Gods of Mars (1914) The Warlord of Mars (1918) Thuvia, Maid of Mars (1920) The Chessmen of Mars (1922) The Master Mind of Mars (1928) A Fighting Man of Mars (1931) Swords of Mars (1936) Synthetic Men of Mars (1940) Llana of Gathol (1948) John Carter of Mars (1964) John Carter and the Giant of Mars (1940) (actually written by Burroughs’s son, John Coleman Burroughs) Skeleton Men of Jupiter (1942) H. G. Wells, War of the Worlds (1898) Kim Stanley Robinson, Red Mars (1993), Green Mars (1994), Blue Mars (1996) C. S. Lewis, Out of the Silent Planet (1938) Ray Bradbury, The Martian Chronicles (1950) Arthur C. Clarke, The Sands of Mars 91952)
David Drake, Birds of Prey (1984), Hammer’s Slammers (1979), Vettius and His Friends (1989), Ranks of Bronze (1986) David Drake and Eric Flint, the Belisarius Saga series of novels: An Oblique Approach (1998) In the Heart of Darkness (1998) Destiny's Shield (1999) Fortune's Stroke (2000) The Tide of Victory (2001) The Dance of Time (2006) Harry Turtledove, The Guns of the South (1994), How Few Remain: A Novel of the Second War Between the States (1997, The Great War: American Front (1998), Worldwar: In the Balance (1994), Worldwar: Tilting the Balance (1995), Worldwar: Upsetting the Balance (1996), Worldwar: Striking the Balance (1997) Thomas P. Lowry, M.D., The Story the Soldiers Wouldn’t Tell: Sex in the Civil War (1994) Visual arts: Pablo Picasso, Guernica Salvador Dali, Atavism of Twilight (1933-34), The Face of War (1940), Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee around a Pomegranate, a Second before Waking Up (1944) Films, movies, television products, etc.: All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) The War, a 2007 American seven-part documentary television mini-series about World War II from the perspective of the United States that premiered on September 23, 2007. The program was produced by American filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick and narrated primarily by Keith David. Episode 1: “A Necessary War” Episode 2: “When Things Get Tough” Episode 3: “A Deadly Calling” Episode 4: “Pride of Our Nation” Episode 5: “FUBAR” Episode 6: “The Ghost Front” Episode 7: “A World Without War” Gettysburg, a 1993 film dramatizing the decisive Battle of Gettysburg in the American Civil War. It was directed by Ronald F. Maxwell, who also wrote the screenplay, a close adaptation of Michael Shaara’s 1974 novel The Killer Angels, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1975. Architecture: The pentagon, Washington, DC Saints and exemplars: Joshua bar Nun The Maccabees, brothers who brought about the liberation of Judea from Antiochan rule
The legendary Miyamoto Musashi (1584-1645 e.v.), the kensei (“sword-saint”) of medieval Japan, author of A Book of Five Rings Moishe Dayan (1915-1981 e.v.), Israeli soldier, statesman, poet, and farmer General George S. Patton, widely considered to be a “soldier’s soldier,” and a startlingly adept astrologer St. George, the patron saint of warriors, policeman and firemen Paul Morphy (19th century), American Grand-Master of chess Bobby Fischer (mid-20th century), U.S. chess champion and egotistical nut “Serpico,” the policeman who blew the whistle on corruption among his colleagues on the NYC police force King David of Israel, who was a shepherd as a young man Red Adair, the legendary, archetypal fire-fighter, famous for combating oil-well fires and similar disastrous conflagrations (he would also be co-ruled by Pluto, Who rules primordial Fire, co-rules oil with Neptune, and so forth) Galileo Galilei, who developed mechanics as a branch of physics, and was a hot-headed man who sassed a Pope and was almost executed because of it Torquemada, the Grand Inquisitor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the muscle-bound body-builder, also known for his roles as a professional actor in which he plays men of action, warriors, etc. Ted Bundy, the serial killer, representing a dangerous Martial pathology The biblical Abel, a shepherd (or, alternatively, a hunter-gatherer) (ironically murdered by his brother Cain, an agriculturist, ruled by Venus) Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi, 34th Grandmaster of the Togakure Ryu school of combat arts Chief Joseph of the Nez Percé Indians (1840-1904 e.v.) Tecumseh (1768-1813 e.v.), Shawnee Indian warrior-chief Red Cloud (1822-1909 e.v.), Oglala Sioux Indian warrior-chief; Tu-sunko-witko (trans.: “They Fear His Horses”), or “Crazy Horse” (1849?-1877 e.v.) Oglala Sioux Indian warriorchief Miss Manners (real name: Judith Martin), syndicated columnist and expert on civilized behavior (the sort who prevents wars on a personal level as well as any other) Emily Post Joe Louis, the boxer Muhammad Ali, the boxer John-Henry, the Steel-Drivin’ Man Joseph Stalin Superman (the fictional character), Man of Steel American emblems, sigils, symbols, folklore, and urban legend: Sergeant York America’s war memorials, legends, etc. Prizefighter Muhammad Ali
Far Eastern cosmological associations:
Fire. South. Summer. Brilliance. Heat. Bitter. Red. Controls heart and small intestines. The Vermilion Bird (the Phoenix). Mars. Yang – Burning Wood. Yin – Lamp-flame. Iron. Realgar. Fire produces Earth (ashes), destroys Metal, is destroyed by Water. Mars is associated with the Element Fire (Yang expression), burning wood (Yin expression), the lampflame, realgar, the South, Summer, brilliance, heat, bitterness, the color red, and iron . He controls the heart and the small intestines. His symbol is the Vermilion Bird (the Phoenix). His Trigram is Li (The Clinging, Fire):
_______ ___ ___ _______ Due to His associations with Fire and iron, Mars is thus the God of Alchemists and blacksmiths. Hexagrams from the I Ching: 30. Li / The Clinging, Fire (King Wen arrangement) ___________ ____ ____ ___________ ___________ ____ ____ ___________ above Li The Clinging, Fire below Li The Clinging, Fire THE JUDGMENT THE CLINGING. Perseverance furthers. It brings success. Care of the cow brings good fortune. THE IMAGE That which is bright rises twice: The image of FIRE. Thus the great man, by perpetuating this brightness, Illumines the four quarters of the world. 27. I / The Corners of the Mouth (Providing Nourishment) (King Wen arrangement) ___________ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ___________ above Kên Keeping Still, Mountain below Chên The Arousing, Thunder THE JUDGMENT THE CORNERS OF THE MOUTH. Perseverance brings good fortune. Pay heed to the providing of nourishment And to what a man seeks
To fill his own mouth with. THE IMAGE At the foot of the mountain, thunder” The image of PROVIDING NOURISHMENT. Thus the superior man is careful of his words And temperate in eating and drinking.
Attributions from Ninpo (Way of the Ninja, Way of Wisdom) and Shinto (Way of the Kami or Gods): The Element Fire Ninjutsu combat arts comprise five basic styles of combat, each having its own Element: Fire, Water, Air, Earth, Void (or Sky).* In his classic work on strategy, A Book of Five Rings, Miyamoto Musashi, the legendary swordsman of feudal Japan (1584-1645 e.v.), describes these styles in detail.** In terms of application, Jack Hoban defines and discusses these five styles as they are used in ninjutsu combat arts in his Ninpo: Living and Thinking as a Warrior (Chicago: Contemporary Books, 1988). These styles are based on ancient Taoist Alchemical ideas (the philosophy behind tai chi also has its origins in Taoist alchemy). In Taoism, each Element is born out of another, and each is destroyed by another, as follows:† WOOD/AIR FIRE EARTH METAL WATER produces produces produces produces produces FIRE EARTH (ashes) METAL WATER WOOD METAL WOOD/AIR EARTH WATER FIRE destroys destroys destroys destroys destroys WOOD/AIR EARTH WATER FIRE METAL
Here, the Element Wood/Air corresponds to the energy and manifestations of the natural world, living organisms such as plants, animals, and so on; Metal corresponds to those of made things, tools and other artifacts deliberately produced from material not in their own bodies by living beings, such as the fruits of human technology, beaver dams, grass-blades used by house-cats to “fish” for gophers (lures to draw them out of their holes where the cat can nail them) (I’ve personally observed several such instances), sticks used by chimpanzees to dig for termites (which they regard as a tasty treat), matches (the sort you scratch on some hard surface to light them up) appropriated by crows to fire up a pile of trash so they can “ant” with its sparks (they actually do this! Research papers on file now, still trying to get the citations – check American Journal of Ornithologists et al.), etc. Since technological ideas are originally born out of the well of Void (the Unconscious), Metal corresponds to Void. All behavior can be classified as falling into one of these styles, including the behavior of an opponent. So if an opponent approaches you in, e.g., a Fiery mode or style, the appropriate response to his or her attack would be a Watery style, since Water destroys Fire. Or, if you wish to provoke, e.g. an Airy (Woody) behavior from someone, one should approach him or her in a Watery mode, since Water produces Wood/Air. And so on. A whole philosophy of combat arts can be built from this – and has been. From Sun T’zu’s classic work on military strategy, The Art of War, to modern ninjutsu and Wushu arts, the theory of opposing one Elemental style of combat with that of the Element that destroys the first, or producing peace by eliciting desired behaviors from others by presenting them with a mode of behavior of the Element producing the sort of Elemental response one wants from them, has been fruitfully developed to produce some of the most effective combat and martial arts schools in the world.
*In the West, this element corresponds to some extent to Chaos, just as the Chinese Element chi, Earth, corresponds to the Quintessence (because it is made of all things). Even more, Void corresponds to our Western idea of the Unconscious, as the original well of creativity out of which all things are born
and to which all things, when they end and decompose, return. From Void comes Yin and Yang, which combine to form all the other Elements, which combine to form chi; chi decomposes into the Elements, which decompose into Yin and Yang, which decompose into the Void, and it all begins all over again. **See, e.g., English translations of this work by Victor Harris (A Book of Five Rings: The Classic Guide to Strategy [Woodstock, NY: The Overlook Press, 1982]) and Hanshi Steve Kaufman (The Martial Artist’s Book of Five Rings: The Definitive Interpretation of Miyamoto Musashi’s Classic Book of Strategy [Boston: Charles E. Tuttle Co., 1994]). †Taken from J. C. Cooper’s Chinese Alchemy: The Taoist Quest for Immortality (New York: Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., 1990), p. 92.
b. Design and Title of Trump
Gringonneur Tarot: A tower, apparently blasted by lightning. Bembo Tarot: Missing. Swiss Tarot: Like Gringonneur, except that one figure has fallen, and one is still falling. Insight Tarot: As above. Marseille Tarot: As above. Italian Tarot: As above. Wirth Tarot: As above, except that the lightning comes from the Sun. Waite Tarot: Similar to the traditional, except that the customary falling hailstones or drops of solar fire have been changed to Yods, indicating a divine origin of the fire. The symbol is repeated ten times on the right and twelve on the left. B.O.T.A. Tarot: Like Waite’s. Aquarius Tarot: A tower struck by lightning, burning from the upper windows upwards, and stands beside the sea. A full Moon illuminates the scene. Crowley: A house seen falling beneath an Eye in the center of the heavens. To the right of the falling building is a great serpent with a Lotus crown. Between the collapsing building and the Eye above it, on the left, is a dove bearing an olive branch. Flames belch from Hell’s fanged mouth, below right. New Tarot: Retitled “Citadel.” In the background, a series of white concentric arcs resolves into the white figure of a star at the top of the card. Below the star are a series of circles containing the following symbols: a snake, a man and woman joined together, a torch, a lion, the Tai Chi, a book. There is a winged staff with roots on the right, and an upright sword with a crown around its point on the left. America’s Tarot:
The Blasted Tower. Portraits of war. Upright: montage of images from the American Civil War, World War I, World War II, a mushroom cloud in the background to express the consequences of unprovoked aggression. Alternate Upright image: The Branch Davidian estate in Waco, Texas, aflame after assault by the BATF on April 19, 1993 e.v. (signifying the catastrophic destruction of the image of America as a land of real justice and freedom, and of Article II of the Bill of Rights). Reverse: The American Revolutionary War, Ned Buntline, the planting of the U.S. flag on Mount Suribachi, other positive Mars images to express the principle of self-assertion. Center: the Pentagon. Alternate: 9/11 and the destruction of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, using the iconic images of that day made so famous by the Internet. The Divine Comedy Tarot: Biblical Tarot: The Tower of Babel, people milling about below babbling incoherently at one another. Above, the Lord and several angels look down on the scene in disgust. John Burt’s MAD Tarot: The Empire State Building, up which King Kong is climbing, is struck by an airplane (or the MAD zeppelin, with Alfie grinning from the helm). The Robert A. Heinlein Tarot: The H. P. Lovecraft Tarot: R’lyeh, its formerly drowned bulk rising above the waves, all its towers in ruins. The Stephen King Tarot: The R. R. McCammon Tarot: Nuclear attack on New York City; the city in blazing ruins, with a vast mushroom cloud rising above it.
c. Divinatory Meanings
Case: Peh, “mouth.” The mouth as an organ of speech. The power of utterance. Mars ruling Aries and Scorpio, and exalted in Capricorn. Scarlet. C natural. Grace and sin, or beauty and ugliness, are attributed to it by Qaballists. The Active or Exciting Intelligence. Traditionally, Case notes, The Tower refers to the Tower of Babel. Christian: The Lightning-Struck Tower: Ruin. The punishment of sinful pride, the downfall of the spirit that attempts to discover the mystery of God, reversals of fortune. Crowley: The mouth. Mars. The Exciting Intelligence. The House of God. The color scarlet. Horus, Ares, Martius (Mars). The horse, bear, and wolf. The plants absinthe and rue. Ruby, or any red stone. His Magickal Weapon is the Sword. His perfumes are pepper, dragon’s blood, and all hot, pungent odors. His Magickal Powers are Works of Wrath and Vengeance. His geomantic figure is the Pentagram. His title is Lord of the Hosts of the Mighty. Mars is the manifestation of cosmic energy in its grossest form. This card signifies total destruction, but destruction in order to obtain perfection, which, according to the doctrine of Yoga, is nothingness. Quarrel, ruin, combat, danger, destruction of plans, sudden death, escape from prison. Douglas: The force of destiny, possibly self-induced. Gray: Divine will attempting to break down man’s stubbornness. Change or catastrophe. Freedom gained at great cost, false accusations, imprisonment, oppression.
Golden Dawn: Victory over Splendor. Venus acting through Mars upon Mercury. Avenging force. Lord of the hosts of the mighty. Ambition, fighting, war, courage in certain combinations. Destruction, danger, fall, ruin. Grimaud: Imaginary creations produced by the desires of man. A very powerful card. A plan brought to an abrupt halt, liberation from prison, a dramatic turn of events or an unexpected shock. Downfall. Prevails over almost all the cards; but Trump XXI, The World, weakens its influence. Huson: The renewal and regeneration of that which is dead by fire, baptism by fire, cataclysm which may be turned to either good or evil results. Not total ruin, but rather catharsis. Kahn: More or less the traditional interpretation, with the addition of miracles, high Magick. Kaplan: Traditional. Knight: God speaking directly to the individual in the form of a solar flare. The possibility of tremendous benefit to one properly balanced to receive it; but if he is too strong, it will leave him unmoved, and if he is too weak, it will consume him. Lind: Destruction from Heaven punishing one who has sold his soul to the Devil. Freedom from the flesh. Mathers: Ruin, disruption, overthrow, loss, bankruptcy. Reversed: the same but only partially or incompletely. Mayananda: A transitional condition, always unpleasant. Mental obstruction or active opposition to the operation of wisdom. Preparation through destruction for a new birth. Papus: A’ain, in the material sense. Degenerated, it is all that is crooked, false, perverse, and bad. Capricorn. The invisible or spiritual world incarnated in the visible and material world. The material fall of Adam. Divine destruction, the Fall of man, the Fall from Heaven of Lucifer and his allies, the visible world. Sadhu: A’ain, meaning a material tie or bond, a connection in a state of tension. Logic, in establishing one thesis, eliminating others. The confirmation of the life of one form while destroying another by the use of an astral current. The destroyed or fulminated tower. Thierens: Uranus. The renewal of the form or of embodied life by the force of Heaven. The relationship between the macrocosm and the microcosm, each feeding on the other. Rupture, sudden disillusion, disenchantment, intuition, help from above and clear insight in relation to vanity and sham projects, illusion, and meaningless formalism. Ussher: Lucifer. Faust. A fall from grace or high estate as a result of the intellect and its misuse more than as a result of sensual curiosity. Cosmic jokes. Fate, or the incalculable factor. Waite: The ruin of the House of Life when evil has prevailed therein, the rending of the House of a False Doctrine. Intellectual destruction. Misery, distress, indigence, adversity, calamity, disgrace, deception, ruin. Unforeseen catastrophe. Reversed, the same in lesser degree; also, oppression, imprisonment, tyranny. The Divine Comedy Tarot: Ruin as a consequence of sinful pride. Biblical Tarot: Downfall and punishment await those who attempt to challenge Heaven and be as Gods. Reversed: repentance after the sin of pride.
John Burt’s MAD Tarot: Avoid women named Faye, especially if their surnames are “Wray.” Attack by bi-wing fighter planes is imminent; they will be Fokkers and Spads. The Robert A. Heinlein Tarot: The H. P. Lovecraft Tarot: The Stephen King Tarot: The R. R. McCammon Tarot: Butler: Inspiration, sudden illumination. Do not pass go; do not collect two hundred dollars; go directly to Hell. God having His little joke on you. Suggested meaning: Disproof of the Null Hypothesis. Disillusionment, especially when sudden and catastrophic. As above. Also: Violent anger. Horror, terror, any strong negative emotional reaction to something. Sexual tension. Mars, and the astrological associations of that planet.
d. Interrelationships of the Path and the Trump
The Sephirah of Mars is 5, Geburah, located at the junction of the Left Pillar of Power and the Third Plane of the Tree of Life. Mars is associated with Key 27 and the Hebrew letter Peh, which connects Sephirah 7, Netzach, with Sephirah 8, Hod.