The New Orleans Voodoo Tarot- key 20-Ancestors, represents the thousand voices of Souls, that cry out within us all. The hands of the ancestors weave our destiny out of threads made of the waters of creation. According to the author, Louis Martinié, it is believed that to hear the cry of these souls, to feel the twistings to this thread, is to know our Name in its most pregnant fullness. We are all an inheritor of the Greatness that knows no end or beginning and the ancestors share this greatness with us often as words of wisdom. These ancestors, are of the Soul Collective. In your very Solar Self, i.e., Soul, are the many persona that have been "alive" before you. Each Soul is a collective of the many personalities that it has created as its self, it is an I AM, and before you the Soul was proclaiming its existence. This Great Solar Self, is a complete copy of the Universal Collective Unconscious, The Divine Creative and/or the Great Photon Sun at the Center of our Galaxy. Your Solar Self, is a composite of "like personas" as suns are made of composites of particles in Megalithic Clouds.
You have many Ancestor personalities, that can help guide you, and these are often called "guides". Your Soul is a vastness, unrealized by the limited sight of ourselves. Often, the Solar Self, is called the Akasha, where the Akashic records are kept. These are records of "past lives" that the Soul has created, i.e., past personalities, the sum of which has determined the Real You. Hence, All that you are, they were and All that you will be, they will also become. Knowing this, one can see that these "guides" have a lot invested in you. And yes, these ancestor persona's are not all necessarily from earth. There are a vast number of Suns out there, many with planets that support sentient life, and some vastly older than earth. However, they are all still "living" on their own timeline, and hence all functioning as part of the Soul Collective Experience. In truth, the Ancestor's of the Homo Sapiens Sapiens body where the "angels that fell to earth" and/or the Sumerian Annunaki (meaning-" those who from the sky came") as the art of both the Sumerians and Egyptians show. Therefore, we have extraterrestrial Ancestors as well.
Vast or small , the number of personalities doesn't matter, just choose well . In honoring the Soul and its vast ancestry, you honor yourself. Remember, Qabalah, means "receiving" and that is what a Mercury like personality does. It receives the messages from the "gods" and experiences these messages as Life. That is if you are the Real Persona, and not the one made by mankind. Until one goes through a complete exorcism of the Dark Night of The Soul (coined by St. John of the Cross) and returns to the body, cleansed of the dark misery of the Patriarch's slave- personality, one will not be able to hear the Ancestors with any clarity.
There is a great benefit in honoring our ancestor's and a great danger in ignoring them. You are considered the Primary Personality now, because you exist in the eternal Now, a Point in Time, that is the self- experience of the moment. You can always be that Primary Persona, if you continually, "create, see error and correct it", which is another definition of Wisdom. The Ancestors, of our Soul, or of our family, or even of our culture, really can help in seeing error, that we are so bound up in that we can't see it. Thank god for the other "I's" of my many "I"ed, Soul. Now I know the Peacock god, for it is the one of many Eyes (I's) and it is my Soul and now all eyes (I's) are open. By honoring my ancestors, I have become a Great Family of Self and live joyously in the moment, totally aware of many moments.
On the Ancestors tarot card, we see a float ridden by the loa (ancestor spirits), throwing gold beads that turn into serpents as they fall into the grasping hands of the crowd. Serpents represent "frequencies of energy", which carry the data of the Ancestors. Also, snake vertebrae are used to make necklaces of power and significance. Simbi, the patron of magic, is the green snake painted on the side of the float. Therefore, the loa represent the men and women that once walked this earth and therefore, can be claimed as ancestors. As in Thoth, the forms of the Loa/Spirits, are those of Egyptian deities as the lore of Tarot holds Egypt as its ancestral point of origin. Here is Horus, the Hawk headed "Sun/Son", throwing beads while making the Western Mystical sign for rending and closing the veil. Just as on the Thoth Aeon card, Hoor-paar-kraat, gives the sign of silence, with his fingers on his lips. This is part of the Western Magic's 4 Admonitions:
- To Will.
- To know.
- To dare.
- To be silent.
A primary attribute of this card is respect. By respecting ancestor's one respects themselves. This is also true when one respects others. For "Others" are all part of the One Universal Collective Unconscious that all Souls belong to. Hence, "Do unto another as you would have done unto you". The word respect means literally "to look at". When we truly "see", we note that each of us are on a different timeline, and each must learn the lesson's life imposes on us. The things I respond to negatively are the things I have done before, and know not to do now. That is how Wisdom is learned. Therefore, let other's alone, for they too have the right to learn Wisdom, by making mistakes first, and correcting them latter. Respect each individuals right to their disease by being ease no matter how much you "don't approve". Their Soul, will do as yours does, in time, it will remove all that isn't approved as you. Welcome to the Dark Night!
When the New Orleans Voodoo Tarot- Key 20-Ancestors is thrown in a divination, it implies:
- Final judgment.
- An understanding of the worth and meaning of one's actions within the context of the procession of life.
The Aeon represents the Universal Key of good judgment that is utilized in both personal and professional situations.
The Egyptian Goddess Nuit(Nut or Nuith), the dark Sky Goddess curves over the figure of Osiris, Egyptian God of Wisdom (Chokmah on the Tree of Life) who married Isis, Egyptian Goddess of Intuition (Mother Binah on the Tree of Life). The union of Isis & Osiris gave birth to Horus, the God of Perception, which is available to and seen as all of us, as three floating fetuses. Nut makes the sign of Leo; the zodiac Leo represents creative and professional power.
This card reminds us that properly used creativity makes positive impact in both family and professional career. Osiris-reincarnate as Horus, with his finger in his mouth, reflects that wisdom comes from experience; to create, see error and correct it, is the path of wisdom. Wisdom is not randomly spoken.
The red-winged eye of Horus at the top of the seated figure of this card represents inspired vision that gives us the whole-view of any situation. We should understand that by creating error and correcting that error, we become wise. Here we have astral transformation that soon becomes physical manifestation.
Everything is a symbol of the One Self, for everything proceeds from a generating idea (self-awareness) which is related to transcendent conception. I (Osiris) Am (Isis) Me (Horus)...is the generating principle of manifestation. We are the Divine Me communicating to the Whole of Spirit (Holy Ghost) as I Am Me! We need never leave that which we truly love, for all we become truly aware of, we become! Becoming never ends, it is the love process of being!
The Path of Shin-20-The Aeon
The Twentieth Key/ATU
Primary Path color: Radiant Orange-Scarlet.
Musical Note: C Natural.
Maternal Letter: Fire.
Qabalistic/Esoteric Title: The Spirit of the Primal Fire.
This is the 31st Path of Wisdom that is known as The Perpetual Intelligence, because it regulates the motions of the Sun and Moon, each in an order convenient for it. The Path of Shin known as Judgment because it joins (the orange path on the right lower side of the Tree of Life glyph) the Earth (Malkuth) with Splendor (Hod), the base Sephiroth (Circle) and completion of the Pillar of Severity (The right side of the Tree of Life --your left if looking at it--forms a Pillar to the top Black circle that is Binah. This is the Pillar of Severity.) . The Earth is now connected to the ultimate expression of Binah (Goddess/Mother) which is the Will to Form that is the activating Path of Intellect while the opposite, The Moon, is a formative Path of emotion. This Judgment, is a process undergone by the Personality as it strives to become conscious of its own inner working. It is perpetual process of monitoring of the Personality toward universal consciousness or what I call "Claiming your Divine Inheritance".
The Angelic powers, invoked by the desire of the path traveling student, slowly burn away that which is deemed unworthy of Divine Inheritance by the redeeming fire; a process that is actually physical and can be associated with the Kundalini Fire of the Root chakra as it rises up the spine towards the Brain. This is the "Splendor of the Material World"(as noted by the Golden Dawn) that points out the relationship of the Path of Shin to the physical body as a state of Resurrection or Rebirth.
Being the Path where the components of the Personality first encountered in the Universe are critically analyzed and judged (evaluated). It is a bright and fiery probationary path of the intellect while the Moon is the dark, cold and watery probationary path of the emotions. Both are the introduction to the true nature of Self (Greater Self) in incarnation and can thus be extremely difficult. That is one reason why people are cautioned about "Raising the Kundalini"(primal life force).
As seen in the 20-Aeon card, all elements are present on this path, either active or inactive--which is to say expressed (seen-active) or unexpressed (unseen passive) making these Elemental Paths difficult to understand. Shin contains all four alchemical Elements, Fire, Water, Air and Earth. The evolution of the cosmos is from the subtle (simple) to the most complex; from nothing to something. From simple quanta (subatomic particle) to complex molecular and cellular structures. In all things, the whole is implicit in the developing parts.
In the Thoth Tarot, The Aeon, supersedes all earlier concepts of the Key, and show the harmonious and spiritual state of human existence which will be on earth in the 22 century (according to Crowley). This is symbolized by the Goddess Nuith, and her consort Hadit (seen as a golden orb of light). Their union births Horus, a reincarnated Osiris, liken to a phoenix rising out of its ashes. Horus is shown as seated and standing depicting his active and passive forms. Another name for Horus is Heru, which is synonymous with Hru, "The Great Angel set over the Tarot".
According to Qabalistic doctrine, The Aeon also symbolizes the passing of the 500 year period of darkness and trial, perpetrated by the Patriarch and preparatory to a new Aeon of Light." There is much more to know, so if you have questions---research is recommended. The Aeon, key 20, is called the Path of Shin, a Hebrew letter meaning Tooth and that has the maternal meaning of Fire, both the literal meaning of the Path and the maternal meaning are a powerful combination, as both consume.
Dr.Paul Foster Case describes the Path of Shin, as, “The Perpetual Intelligence", because it is a continuous monitoring Intelligence of the progress of the Personality toward Universal Consciousness.
Now I have often called the Mind, the Universal Collective Unconscious, not consciousness, simply because a consciousness is a microcosmic reality; However, if we release our consciousness to the Universal Collective Unconscious Energy, we have developed a Consciousness that bridges the Macrocosm and Microcosm and becomes Cosmically Self-Aware! We have then successfully become the Horus, the 22nd century human evolution! That is the reasoning behind Crowley's replacing the old Judgment card with the newer Aeon card.
The Path of Shin joins the Earth Intelligence-10-Malkuth with that of 8-Hod-the Splendor Intelligence, which is the Sephiroth base of the Pillar of Severity, connecting Earth with the Will-To-Be ( Will to form) of the Great Binah. On this path, the Student experiences a perpetual burning away of that which is unworthy by the Archangel controlled "Redeeming Fire"; a process that is physically experienced as the higher vibratory Passion of the Will To Be of Kether, that begins hotly flowing through our bodies. This is a point of delicate balance, and a Teacher of the Mysteries must expect the Students to react in peculiar ways, such as a feeling of heated passion for the Teacher. This is simply a misplaced transference, because the cultural ego, seeks self-gratification when stimulated by a seemingly outside influence. This bright energy is really the beginning of unconditional love radiating within the student whose inner self is responding to the Gnosis (Knowledge).There exists a Love/ Passion dynamic that is the Fire of Spirit reacting to sensual flesh and with proper guidance the Student will go into the Fire, instead of trying to control it with conditions.
This is the lesson of Hod, love/passion is not a peacocks splendor, nor the razzle dazzle of reflected light, rather it is the Foundation of all Creation. For the personality to know this is a perpetual process of "burning off the unworthy", so that progress can continue, is often hard won. No matter, the "Splendor of the Material World" is burned away in a kind of physical resurrection, a rebirth of body and personality sending us perpetually towards the Great Mother and/or Abyssal womb.
This paradigm of resurrection is bases on the developments of the opposite card to this progressive Path of Shin, A path that is THE MOON -Key 18, relating to the disciplined quest for a greater reality, that actually changes the physiological. In other words, the balanced Energetic forces of both Shin and Qoph (the Moon) stimulate the rebirth of our bodies that necessitates a physiological rebuild, necessary to handle the higher vibratory states of the Higher Consciousness and the One Emotion, that has birthed all emotion, that is Love without conditions. This is a process that Dr.Paul Foster Case described, as building a "Master's Body". A body, where the Kundalini is flowing, uncoiled and hot, without emotionally adverse effects.
The Path of Shin, is the bright fiery probationary path of the Intellect where the components of the Personality first encountered in The Universe- Path of Tau, are critically analyzed and evaluated, i.e. Judged .The opposite path is that of THE MOON, a dark watery probationary path of emotions. The balance of Aeon and Moon, builds the Master body...the Manifested Body of Horus - The Solar Child of Isis and Osiris. (The two previous Aeons).
These introductory Paths to the True Nature of Self in incarnation, are usually extremely difficult to travel, because these Elemental Paths of which The Aeon, The Fool, and The Hanged Man are known, are very difficult to understand. This mental difficulty is because all of the Elements are present on each Path, in either repressed or expressed form. For example, the pattern of maternal letters (form producing intelligence) as stated in the Qabalistic text, Sepher Yetzirah that Air (Gases) produces Water which we know to be true by studying physics. THE FOOL-0, is pure Air. THE HANGED MAN-KEY 12, is Air acted upon by Water, and THE AEON- Key- 20, is Air and Water acted upon by the Original Big Bang- Fire within the human body. It pays to note, that the human body is the Crucible of Spiritual Alchemy. On the Path of Shin, the Consciousness (Water) is activated by the Dynamic Principle (Fire) in the presence of equilibrating Spirit (Air) with in the physical vehicle (Earth), all of which produces a balance of intelligence forces in the individual, necessary for total understanding of the Personality structure and its relationship to the Greater Self.
Many Western Qabalists know the Middle Pillar as the straight alignment of Malkuth, Yesod, Tiphareth and Kether, and call it the pillar of balance and that the Path of Shin, the Left hand Path or the left side Pillar of Severity and is usually subject to imbalance. The answer to this seeming quandary is that every symbol, represented on these Path cards, is a duality, containing its own opposite. Each Path must contain the essential components of its opposite Path, as energy moves from positive to negative, male to female, electric to magnetic. Upon viewing Hod (Splendor) you will see that it is connected or conjoined with Netzach. Hod is related to The Aeon, and Netzach is related to The Moon, showing that intelligence applied without feeling is as pathological as feeling applied without intellect. And since the Cards represent a illustration of a kind of intellect/conscious energy, everything we experience, every idea, every activity, co-exists in us with its opposite.
There are so many concepts to grasp in the Major Arcana, that the student may feel overwhelmed. Luckily, the images on the Cards are pictorial representation of the visual experiences of the Paths opening up a great deal of learning and data by meditating on them. These Qabalistic Images have been carefully assembled over the centuries by the experienced mental work of highly advanced women and men, our ancestors, who have at first traveled these inner Archetypal Roads and then meticulously laid down, in image, the details to assist latter generations.
It is the shortcoming of most students who begin these astral paths, that at once encountering theses Tarot constructs, believing that they live in reality. The Qabalistic Teacher must explain that only when the student is able to go beyond the lower Astral of the "little ego", that they may touche upon realities that activate the symbols, i.e. "open the Gates" to Greater Consciousness. For instance, while traveling the Path of Shin, one may at first experience what is illustrated on the Aeon Card. Diligent skrying, will soon project our consciousness beyond the visual construct into a understanding that the Path is the enervating, activating effect of the Cosmic Motive Principle on the individual consciousness. That is to say, that on the Path of Shin, the Fiery Spirit/Soul ( and inner Soul-Kundalini) permeates the Personality of the individual, in the descent of Energy into Matter. Thus, the last illusions of personality separateness is burned away.
The Tree of Life is as the Universe, if we have learned any physics at all, we know that from the simplest concept, cane all the complexity that is the Cosmos. In the Big Bang theory, a singularity, which came from nothing (Dark energy and Dark Matter), exploded outward, and became many. This is also a concept easily seen in the development of the homo sapiens sapiens body, as a single celled zygote, divides into hundreds of thousands of cells ultimately ending up as a complete body. In the Tarot, The Fool, is the ultimate simplicity and The Universe is representative of the ultimate complexity and yet all the Cards are implicit, unexpressed in The Fool. Therefore, in all the cards in-between we find the balance between what is expressed or unexpressed.
I am ending this discussion of subjective into objective, with the understanding that The Aeon, The Universe and The Moon are aspects of our individual waking consciousness that comprises a sensual personality while also representing stages of Self -Awareness.
The Aeon Card, representing the Path of Shin, is where the aspirant to the Mysteries experiences the Personality being lifted from the tomb of matter and evaluated on the extent to which it has balanced the four alchemical elements of Malkuth; Intellect (Fire), emotions (Water), Spirit (Air) and physical-sensual being (Earth). This individual balance also explains the fact that each individual aspirant encounters different experiences on the Paths.
It should be noted, that the patterns of the cards will be totally meaningless, unless the student understands what is symbolized by the four alchemical "Elements" and/or Elemental Forces that every Qabalistic symbol represents to a specific part of the Whole Self.
Further understanding of The Aeon or Path of Shin, is in its meaning, "Tooth", which suggests hardness, sharpness and/or biting. It is often interpreted as the teeth which chew prior to the ingestion of energy into the system--in this case the Kundalini is released and chews up the divided personality, by dealing a final bite to the perception of a separate and individual physical self, leaving the original Persona which is the Golden Child of the Divine Creative. A continual process of "Above all things, Know thyself"
As I have mentioned, Crowley's Aeon card departs completely from the traditional Cards of the Rider-Waite-Smith or Golden Dawn Tarot decks. The Aeon card is illustrative of Crowley's personal philosophy derived from The Book of Law, which he stated was revealed to him, thus forming the core of his teachings. He called the Aeon Card the Stele of Revealing. In his explanation of the Aeon, he claimed it superseded all traditional concepts of the Key (Judgment Card) because it shows the harmonious, spiritual state of human existence that will reside on this earth in the mid-twenty second century. This advanced human condition is illustrated by the Dark Sky Goddess Nuith arching over her consort, Hadit, who is the Golden Orb of Light. Their Union produces Horus, as shown both seated and standing, his passive and active forms. Crowley states that another name for Horus is Heru, which is synonymous with Hru, which he calls "The Great Angel set over the Tarot".
Consistently, Qabalistic doctrine is a system of Gnosis (Knowledge) that evolves with the races of mankind, we have passed into the predicted 500 year period of extreme darkness and trial, preparatory to a new Aeon of Light. Thus, we have the letter Shin below the Standing Horus, in a flowery form and the Three Yods, each have an internal human shape that is arising to partake of the Light of the coming Aeon. Naturally the study of The Book of Law is recommended to further the understanding of this card of the new Aeon.
When the Aeon card is thrown during a reading:
- It states that a final decision has been reached.
- A matter has been determined without appeal on its plane.
- The final decision has been made, and a new state of enlightenment is beginning.
- Birth, renewal and awakening.
- Recognition of the great correlations.
- Expanded perception.
- Liberation of previously concealed abilities.
If ill defined by surrounding cards:
- False identification.
- Self delusion.
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