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The Tarot of Eli-Major Arcana: New Orleans Voodoo Tarot- Key 19-Gros Bon Ange & Thoth Tarot- ATU 19-The Sun

Western Qabalistic Tarot Card Comparisons.

The New Orleans Voodoo Tarot-Key 19-Gros Bon Ange, represents Love as the Sun.  Z'étoile is destiny, and the Tri Bon Ange is Will . Love is the union that is the stuff of existence. The Sun shines on the just and unjust, and therefore, it is unconditional, as it wraps all in its warm embrace. Without thought of time or place, the Sun gives its all to each. Therefore, this bight warmth isn't dependent on traits. The Gros Bon Ange (Big Good Angel) carries the grace of spirit and carries the ability to choose employ this grace. Guided by the star, Love is the road that Will walks. As Crowley has stated: "Do what thou wilt is the whole of the law; the law is love."

The aspect attributed to the Gros Bon Ange card is one of dynamic movement. The swirling, dancing sun is shown against a purple background, with yellow rays radiating outwards, containing small figures. Another attribute to this card is Energy, as energy comes from Suns. Energy that is necessary for life on this earth, released by a process of fusion. Just as the Sun above supplies energy for the earth, the Gros Bon Ange supplies energy for the spiritual life of the individual through the power of love and/or the uniting of dualities such as the Marassa Twins. Here again is the Mirror and its "other side", the invisible World of light, which is 99% of the electromagnetic spectrum, is reflected in the Visible World and/or 1% World, in reverse fashion.

When thrown in divination, the Gros Bon Ange card implies:

  • Influx of helpful energy. 
  • Success possibly earned by efforts or possibly not. 
  • Love freely given without regard to object. 
  • Happiness and joy.
  • Universal rather that particular love.

The Thoth -ATU 19- The Sun is assigned the Hebrew letter Resh which means-Head. Thus the Head is seen as the Sun of the Body. It is the Head-Sun that rises above the Earth and the lower animal thoughts of the survival thinking.

The Sun, is cited as the Thirtieth Path and/or the Collective Intelligence, in Dr. Paul Foster Case's Tarot instruction called The Thirty-Two Paths of Wisdom, The Collective Intelligence of the Sun (Son) exercises control over the 12 signs of the zodiac (12 guideposts of Personality), as shown on this card by the 12 rays radiating outward from the central orb, as well as, a link between the personalities that have been experienced in different incarnations. The Dancing twins on this card, are the Anima and Animus of the Soul-our Solar Self. As Crowley comments:

They represent the male and female, eternally young, shameless and innocent. They are dancing in the light , and yet they dwell upon the earth. They represent the next stage which is to be attained by mankind, in which complete freedom is alike the cause and the result of the new access of solar energy upon the earth.

Than "new access" is called Horus.

The butterfly wings shown on the dancing twins, are an expression of lightness and a symbol for transformation, similar to the phoenix that strives toward the heavens after being transformed from the ashes. Surrounding the Sun , is the zodiac that the Sun travels through on its course of each year. The symbolism of the cross is derived from the Sun as a process that divides the solar cycle into four equal parts at the four holy stations. The solstice axis is created through the shortest and longest day and the spring equinox that laterally running day and night lines. Because of this annual quartering, in the forms of the four seasons, which determines life on this earth, then the circle with a cross becomes the symbol for the divine law on earth.

The Sun is traditionally seen as masculine, as it is a principle of giving of itself completely and flowing through the universe. The rose, with its tempting fragrance and devotional power that opens up to the rays of the sun, contrasts as it represents the feminine: The two united, into a sun-rose is the expression of the fusion of opposites. The same is reflected in the rose cross, shown as medallions at the feet of the dancing children.

The grassy hill and the wall around its summit, represents the wall of paradise that separates human beings who have "fallen" into the polarity from the peak of unity on another symbolic level, or as Nikolaus von Keus, suggested, this wall of paradise that conceals God from the eyes (I's) of humanity exists in the "collapse of contradictions", and its portals are guarded by the most profound spirit of the mind. Hence, the "man-made" persona must be conquered and/or exorcised, or this door does not open. Only the Real Personality created by the Solar Self-Soul, can enter as the Mercury- the messenger of the Gods.

The Path of Resh, is the first of the Personality triad of paths, rising on the Tree of Life, from Yesod (foundation) to Hod (splendor). Upon encountering the Path of Resh, the student will experience the intellectual-formative side of this conscious energy, the Soul, as an activating force of the Personality. Just as the Higher Self -Animus and the Spiritual Self-Anima, are composites of the masculine-intuitive dynamic, Yod, and a feminine-Intellectual-formative , Heh, united combine opposing forces , producing a set of equalized forces called Vau, so does The Path of Resh. All of this is explained in greater detail in my class reference book by Robert Wang: THE QABALISTIC TAROT (a text book of Mystical philosophies). For now, suffice it to say that The Sun/Soul-collective, assembles all the component parts of the Personality, on these lower paths, by infusing them with "light and Warmth" which are considered intellectual qualities. Thus, the Path of the Sun (Resh) is considered the highest level of human intellect, as The Star-Key 17, is considered the highest path of human emotions. Intellect is formed by a collective of Photons, under the Law of Attraction, and/or Love. You Soul, is the Photonic/Solar source of the personality. A personality that is to perform as a Mercury, a messenger between the invisible worlds and the visible world of Malkuth. It is not formed of words, as is your man-made personality, which serves only the "few who wish to rule the many" and/or the Patriarch.

art done by John W. Kelly

What may be curious to the discerning student of Tarot, is that when you combine The Sun 's high intellect with the high emotion of The Star card, the resulting balanced effected is represented by The Tower-ATU 16, which at first glance seems the opposite of balance, if not outright chaos. However, what we are witnessing here, is the destruction of the unworthy elements of the "man-made slave personality", so that the Sun (son) Solar Personality is free to arise to its Source. So that Mercury, the spiritual messenger can fly again.

The Lower Paths on the Tree of Life, Tau, Shin and Resh, (The Universe, The Aeon, The Sun-), are the symbols of the component parts of the Personality which functions through the body-vehicle, as Spirit's experience-collecting apparatus,i.e. messenger of the Soul. The Higher Self must function through the Personality if it is to influence the physical plane, as Pure Spirit must function through the Higher Self to establish "Whole Shelf". The fact that we perceive separation between these aspects of one, is to necessitate understanding of each of the components that are in a state of infinite connectivity. The Tree of Life does describe, by its pattern, a degree of separation, as Sephiroth, but the Paths show us they are all connected and that the perception of separation is to expedite understanding of a dimension of conscious energy.

Perception, is noted for its wide varieties from one organism to another, so it is up to each individual student to literally create their own Qabalah. The Path of Resh is crucial in developing the individual Qabalah. Upon journeying this Path of the Collective Intelligence, one will receive the imprint and acceptance of "Spirit guides: or those beings who direct the inner learning experience of the student. On the Path of Resh (head) the candidacy for Tiphareth (Beauty), The Conscious of the Sun /Son, and /or Higher Self, is begun.

The Path leading into Hod, is where inner discoveries are made as the Inner Teachers exert their influence on the material world, clarifying the relationship between Spirit- Mind-Body. The Body is the Souls/Solar Self, sacred place on Malkuth. The Path of Resh, will help the student understand the control and limitations of intellect. This Path of the Sun, is also the path of” awakening", that helps the student understand the use of the tremendous "Sexual Force" of Yesod (Foundation) that is known as the "secret" or Arcane force manipulated by the initiate of the Mysteries. This force has many names, such as "Serpent Force", Kundalini, or "Life Force", all of which fall short in proper perception, as most definitions of the "inner sun" do . This force must be experienced to be understood, and proper preparation for its "rising" must be made by experiencing of the Perceptual Intelligence on the Path of Shin (The Aeon-ATU 20).

Yesod, is attributed to the Moon which governs the ebbing and flowing of the Astral Light (Akashic Fluid) and is the sexuality beneath our material existence. Hod is Mercury, the first similarity of the specific Personality. The Personality is hermaphroditic, as male-animus and female-anima qualities have yet to be separated out as specifics, The Path of the Sun, when considered developmentally, is the point of childhood of the emerging Personality as it builds toward an earthly incarnation. By traveling upward, towards the 8th Sephiroth- Hod-Splendor, we are once again experiencing this initial innocence: a kind of re-experiencing youth and/or a rebirth. The initiate reaches a stage where there is some recollection of the Source from which we emerged.

The dancing Twins, on the Thoth Sun card, symbolize the purest-innocent repression of the electric-male (Earth) and the magnetic female (Water) principles in physical manifestation. These Twins are also a reference to the astrological sign of Gemini, the sign that links Taurus (Earth) and Cancer (Water). The ancient Greeks and Romans also referred the sign Gemini, to Apollo and the Sun.

In the Thoth Sun card, the green mound beneath the Twins, symbolizes fertility, as its shape shows aspiration to the Higher Self. The Children dance, free from enclosure, symbolizing freedom from the "prejudices of the people that date morally from the about 25 hundred B.C." [Crowley] Here, the Sun, is the Rose-Cross expanded from four arms to 12 rays and embracing the whole of creation in its rays, it is the “adorable Fire” that is the vital life force of all creation.

This expanded "Inner Sun" is felt by the initiate, as a very warm rising, fertile power, and adorable fire, that does change the physiology of the physical form into the ": Master’s Body" and/or "Philosopher's Stone".

The Hexagram is the symbol of the composite Thirtieth Path which is compressed of the Four Elements, the Signs of the Zodiac, and the Planets, all under the Rulership of the Sun. Thus, the Hexagram is the symbol of the perfect integration of Personality and Higher Self (Tiphareth -meaning Beauty). The Sun is also called the "Splendor of the Material World”.

Representative of the intellect acting upon the dual human condition of, consciousness and the physical body. Thus, the Sun is a point of connection with the Greater Life that is comprised by balancing the human intellect with the Higher Intellect that is the "Sun (Son) of God"

For the initiate, experiencing the Path of Resh, is very profound as it is the introduction to the inner sun, which is the light of the personality, as the outer sun is the light of the physical world. What one tends to forget, while experiencing the warmth and light of this inner sun, one's personality cannot look directly into this solar intelligence, any more than they can at the physical sun, without suffering damage. As shown by The Tower Card; equilibrium will be reached by "burning away" what is unworthy of the Higher Personality.

As I have said before, working on the Paths brings about definite physicochemical changes in the human body and as one of the most noted teachers of the Hermetic Qabalah, Paul Foster Case has stated in his study course, The Thirty-Two Paths of Wisdom,"...marked inner differences from the average person, are due to psychological contrasts in the mental state of the ordinary human beings, but they are also the outer signs of organic changes inside the skin of the new creature. He [She] is chemically and structurally unlike genus homo.There are different constituents in his [her] blood stream. Through his [her] nervous system pass currents of force not present in most human bodies because in his [her] organism channels are open which are closed in the physical vehicle of most persons. Centers in the nervous system and in the brain, and glands related to them, function differently in the body of an adept from the way they do in the bodies of the greater number of his [her] contemporaries." (The brackets are my own addition, as it was written when the proper He was used to describe both sexes.) This is the same physicochemical change that happens to adepts in the Tantric Arts, where balanced Divine Male and Divine Female energy opens up the Divya Siddhis or magic abilities.

The Qabalist always bears in mind that the Personality, the component parts of which are represented on these lower Paths of the Tree of Life, functions through the body as an experience-collecting vehicle for the Soul/Spirit. To divorce the body from the Spirit is a most serious mistake of divisionism, for then we are mentally and thus physically divorcing ourselves from the very Powers that created the body and any advice that the Soul can give us! The body is the crucible of the Alchemist, and the Sun is the important symbol, as well as, the furnace heat that is the alchemical process of turning the lead of unworthy thought into the gold of Higher Mind. So get over yourself and get on with YOU, for impeccability is what we do.

When the ATU 19-the Sun Card is thrown during a reading:

  • · The querent shall experience gain, riches, glory and sometimes
  • · Maybe called arrogant which is often a misunderstanding of their glowing self-confidence.
  • Acceptance of life.
  • · The dance of the divine twins, can also be considered a meeting of the soul (solar) mates. However, this most esoteric and requires a Lover’s or Love card to clarify as an exoteric event.
  • One is striving for the light.
  • Reconciliation with the shadow side and realization of the innermost Soul/Higher Self. 
  • Vitality, generosity,  warmth, freshness.

If ill defined by surrounding cards:

  • The querent might make great displays of vanity but this is only seen when accompanied by very negative cards.
  • Self-satisfaction.
  • Delusions of grandeur.

Thank you for your interest, comments and supportive donations. May you live long and prosper.

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