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The Tarot of Eli-Major Arcana: Thoth- ATU 15-The Devil & Gothic Tarot- Key 15-The Devil

Western Qabalistic, Tantric, and Alchemical Tarot Card Comparisons.

· Gothic Tarot

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Thoth- ATU 15- The Devil

Lord of the Gates of Matter; Child of the Forces of Time.

The Thoth Tarot-ATU 15- The Devil & The Gothic Tarot- Key 15-The Devil:

On the Qabalistic Tree of Life, The Devil- ATU/Key 15, is the Tree of Life, Path of Ayin, and it connects the 6th Sephiroth of the Solar Logos, Tiphareth with the 8th Sephiroth-Hod, which is the sphere of Mercury and the intellect. The Path of Ayin, is the Twenty-sixth Path and is formative. In the terms of Self structure, it is the bridge between The Personality and individuality; the ego and the Soul.

As I have stated so often before, the Solar Self-the Soul, is the Original Individual of the Divine Child of God, i.e. the Son/Sun. Note: this is not a sexual description of a species, rather it is an "Energetic one", For the Son/Sun of God is a Sun that sends "solar flares" (Divine Energy and Data) outward as individual expressions of It's own Self ( individuality); from Self into selves (personalities) that circumnavigate, through the experiences of self-awareness back to Self, i.e. from Tiphareth to Malkuth and back up the Tree to Tiphareth again.

The Hebrew letter Ayin means -Eye (Symbol used for "I") and is a simple letter that also Means-Mirth. This double meaning may invite confusion; However, rest assured, that this Path of Ayin is one of the most difficult for western people to understand, for interpretation flies in the face of Christian cultural definitions that have been applied to the Devil.

In Barbra G. Walker's Book [ THE WOMAN'S ENCYCLOPEDIA OF MYTHS AND SECRETS] which has been honored by the London Times Educational supplement as 1986 "Book of the Year", the provenance of the word devil is noted as Persian. She states." The Words "devil" and "divinity" grew from the same root, Indo-European devi (Goddess) or deva (God), which became daeva (devil) in Persian. Old English divell (devil) can be traced to the Roman derivative divus, divi: gods. Thus it seems that, from the beginning, gods and devils were often confused with one another." She goes on to explain such enlightening scholarship that I highly recommenced this book to anyone who seeks an honest education. This confusion of gods and devils, is also why the Devil card, key 15 is a gematria 1+5=6; which is the Christ-Buddha consciousness 6th Sephiroth-Tiphareth. Hence, it is the "unseen" or shadow side of the Sun of God which we often call the "subconscious".

There is another fact here that may hide from reason, and that is the combination of the words Devi (Goddess)and Lingam (Male phallus), is Divya Linga (Sanskrit word for Divine- lingam) and has also been interpreted by propagandists of Christian past, as the word Devil, which actually bespeaks of the "Sun of God" as the Solar Phallus. Hence, the Christian Devil is always shown with a phallic tail as genitalia is seen as "unclean" and mustn't be shown. Implying that the Divine Creative put "dirty parts" on its own image! To me that just doesn't compute. For any such Creator would be insane. Much to study here as most of our "knowledge" is propaganda based misconstructions!

To the Qabalist, the Devil is not viewed as an evil entity (lived spelled backward), having its own god-like existence, as it represents a special mystery (Arcana) that must be experienced and understood before we can hope to directly know the Higher Self. Within our Physical bodies. The Devil is the intelligence that is Master of Manifest form (the Instinctual -survival-subconscious Mind), which we meet on the Path of Ayin, and must face and conquer. The Path of Ayin, takes the traveler into an understanding that we are entering a transition between the intellect of consciousness (personal self- conscious) and true spiritual conscious. In other words, our Brain, an artificial intelligence, which is ours to program has been programed, Indoctrinated and fed the Dogma of Slave Religions and has become our Devil. Hence, the devil is always linked with illusion and the moon.

3 Paths lead directly into Tiphareth: THE DEVIL { ATU/Key 15), ART (ATU/Key 14 called Temperance in Traditional Medieval Tarot decks), and DEATH (ATU/Key 13). Now each of these paths represents a special trial for the initiate; However, each student is not required to travel all 3 Paths.

One way to experience Path Travel is the Devotional Path of the Middle Pillar or Pillar of Mildness, where one need only experience the Path of Samekh (meaning- Prop) or the Art Card-ATU/Key 14 (Temperance in other decks), leading from Yesod (Foundation) to Tiphareth (Beauty). This is more of a gentle path of the Mystics and demands less mental and emotional will from the Student. The Magi's way of following each and every Path, means the acquisition of control over Forces which each Path symbolizes: every Path confers a unique power ("magical abilities"). Therefore, a Magus is an active-Mercurial Force of Creation, rather than a Passive one. The difference here, is that the Traveler of the Middle Path does learn to balance and may even know within the Self, the forces of the twenty-two Paths, but knowing of these conceptual states of conscious energy does not necessarily develop the ability to manipulate them, which is an art necessary in the development of a "discerning Personality"; the Spiritual purpose for the human body! The Spirit manipulates the physical body for the purpose of intimacy and/or experience. For only experience, produces Wisdom.

Now I know, that some students of the Occult (hidden mysteries) enter into the studies seeking a type of "Raw Power", hoping to control others and circumstances to avoid pain and "doing unto others before they can do unto them". Such misinformed students soon learn that if such Power is acquired and then misused, there is a devastating price to pay. So there is no question that for the timid, the Middle Path is much safer than facing and conquering the temptations of the Magical Path.

THE DEVIL represents Raw Power (Mars), it is the Force that brings about the transmutation of THE TOWER (key 16) and is in the sign of Capricorn (also shown as the Goat or Goat like image on the Waite and Crowley card), which is where Mars is exalted. Capricorn, is a weighty, even blind sign of earth and symbolizes the highest and lowest states of individual personality. Yet it is considered a sign of initiation, or release from matter formed limitations. These material limitations are suggested by the astrological ruler-ship of Capricorn by Saturn, the Planet of Binah, The Great "tough love" Mother, that governs the limitations of form, including Time, as attributed to Saturn. These limitations are of both the enclosure of matter or of time, the artificial system by which we meter and enclose all activities.

Gothic Tarot-Key 15-The Devil

THE DEVIL also represents the average person's misconception of "reality"; a perceptive belief that the material eye sight and/or-sensual condition is "Real". The Qabalist knows the physical-material world as the "1%" world, and realizes that the other invisible ”99%” (often called "the other side of the Mirror") is the unseen Real for within it is all Creation mentally formed before manifestation. This misconception of reality is symbolized on the head of the Rider-Waite-Smith DEVIL, by the upside down pentagram on the entities head. or the black cross on the head of the Gothic Tarot's Gargoyle like Devil. The upside down pentagram indicates delusion as our ideas of spirituality and reality are upside down as it is positioned over the "Third Eye" of Inner Sight.

The total misconceptions of Life based on fear, is what the devil card implies. As implied in the Gothic Tarot, fear is the dark evil that lurks in the labyrinth of our subordinated subconscious minds.

The misconception of reality is symbolized in 2 ways on the Thoth Deck-THE DEVIL card; the smirking mouth and the Goat represents the humorous figure of the childhood nemesis the "Bogey Man". This "Bogey Man" is more of a demonic gargoyle on the Gothic Tarot- Key 15. Rather than show the Devil as some demonic netherworld god, the Thoth Tarot cards emphasizes the knowledge that our belief in the illusion of matter (Matter is only .4% visible as our bodies are 99.6% space!) is actually laughable while also implying that laughter is a humorous approach to our lives and is a tool which will help our consciousness to transcend the illusion of "thinking it to believe it". Mirth is the first great corrective and helps us not to take our perceptions of the material world seriously, which only means "fearfully". Therefore, The Devil cautions us not to believe everything we think. The Theologians/Priests of the Patriarchy learned long ago, that if you control the imagination of people, you control the people and since fear is the most common and often most powerful motivation of the survival thinking of the subconscious mind, a bogey man must become the Divine's opponent and therefore, give the people a reason to "hide behind" religion as Divine.

It pays to note that the Survival Mind of the animal, is our Devilish tempter that tricks us into believing we are as Moons who are at the mercy of Forces rather than the Magus (The Sun) who manipulates these forces. The Wisdom of the ages, tells one to not believe in the Christian Devil. That the darkness within is merely our fear based thinking initiated by the survival mind of the biological brain that is stimulated by imaginary bogey men, that manipulate the forces of nature, and who are created by those who wish to rule our imaginations and therefore, enslave us to their faux-reality.

These delusions of mental weakness, are shown on the Gothic Tarot, as a dark and unwholesome nightmare apparition of predator. Hence, the Shadow Side of our mind is our fear of fate, forces, and other states of enslaved thinking, brought on by our fear of pain, death and fear of rejection etc. Also, the limited physical sight, rather than insight, can be the bogey-men creator that keeps us from exercising our free Will- Spiritual Power, as we constantly react to the environment rather than the spiritual act of acting in that environment. This is the Trick of sensuality, it makes us believe only in reaction as reality rather than the Action, that makes the Real of things. Spirit is action, the body is reaction. Our Action must control our reaction, if we are to exercise our Divine Freedom of Choice. When reacting to others, we are choosing to be ruled by them and spend our lives trying to appease them while we are in a constant state of fear. This is implied by the bouquet of little blue flowers on the head of the Goat image on the Thoth Card. Those little blue flowers are known as "forget-me-nots", which is another way of illustrating "fear of rejection" is how one is manipulated by the "devil".

The Path of Ayin, means Eye, a representation of the true "I" and/or our Soul/Psyche. Hence, if we believe in only what our physical eyes show us, we lose our inner "I" sight, shown as the All Seeing Eye, that is on the Forehead of the Thoth Tarot- Goat, which also symbolizes the astrological sign of Capricorn. and the "Scape goat" for man's own errors.

The Qabalist knows that there is nothing in the Universe that is not of One Mind. The devil, as we are taught, is merely a postulation of those who wish to rule the knowledge by keeping other's ignorant and making them fear their body and senses. Once, the Spirit-Mind- Body trinity of Self, are divided, by dogma, one becomes a "body bedeviled" by their own subconscious animal survival mind.

Intellectually the "Devil " Tarot indicates a state of mind that is a source of forms, a mind of measurement and appearance of relative existence and is the necessary intellectual means of reaching the Christ-Buddha consciousness that is Tiphareth, the 6th Sephiroth-Beauty- on the Tree of Life. For without measurement, there is no self-awareness and therefore, no discernment. That is why this necessary state of mind, is also called the "Lord of the Gates of Matter and the Child of the forces of Time" (see the Emerald Tablet). The Devil then is both Tempter and Redeemer. He is also described as the "Prince of the Powers of Air", indicating that this state of energy conscious is mediating in the flow of Astral/Mental currents; Air being understood here as being the whole of Yetzirah, the Astral Mental Plane which controls the ebb and flow of Matter.

Therefore, the inner Path of Ayin, confers the ability to bring the upside down pentagram indicating "matter's rule over spirit", right side up. Right side up, the pentagram indicating Spirit's rule over matter; which is another way of saying, the ability to reverse the currents of astral light to form what is loved instead of what is feared. This process begins with the intellect of Hod (Splendor) and leads into the intuition of Tiphareth (Beauty). Thus, Dr. Paul Foster Case in his text -The Thirty-Two Paths to Wisdom, calls the Devil the Renewing Intelligence. The Qabalist understands that only through the forces of the Devil and our right understanding of them, can we come directly to the Higher Consciousness of the Son/Sun of The Divine Creative.

It behooves us to remember that the word manifestation actually means to create illusion, and while manifestation is the necessary means to create the illusion of earthly form and therefore, measurement for the infinite Soul/psyche, it is the "dissolution" of these forms that is absolutely essential to the Path of Return to our Real Identity. To the Qabalist, "dissolution" means analysis which is precisely what we apply when we intellectually separate the component forces and forms of the Universe and ourselves into 22 paths on the Tree of Life. By first conceptualizing these component parts and then reintegrating them through our understanding of their operation, can we Return to our Divinity.

The Astral light (Akashic fluid, Odic force, etc.) is manipulated for whatever purpose, through an understanding of the Devil which is a "Great Magical Agent" (Eliphas Levi) for the processes of alchemical manipulation, as to dissolve, to consolidate, to quicken, and to moderate. This is dissolution, re-integration, activity and grounding which can be described as Fire, Water, Air and Earth.

The Thoth Tarot Card is more Arcanely complex than the Gothic Tarot Card. This is because, as Crowley states, that ATU/Key 15 represents, "creative energy in its most material form", and as "Pan Pangenetor, the All-Begetter". Rather than some child's bogey man. Crowley's goat is Pan standing on the highest mountain-top on earth, against a "background of the exquisitely tenuous, complex, and fantastic forms of madness." Between the legs of the Thoth Goat, is the wand of the Chief Adept and all in front of a Phallus and two testicles, implying the Universal "All-Begetter". On the Thoth Devil card, the tip of the male organ is outside of the card, implying it is in the "Greater Heavens", while the testes contain the bound up forms of manifestation. The mysteries behind this card require books of research, so I hope this gets you started towards your discoveries. You are not thought, but the maker of Thought. Hence you are a image-maker, and/or creator of images. Imagination is the Divine Feminine mind, that has been Profaned by the Patriarchy. Imagination gives us god-like power to create; Hence, the instruction texts of the Golden Dawn (Qabalistic Lodge) has stated: " The gods are creations of the created". Truth be told, I AM, is the creator of all that is made manifest and I AM... is how you create your identity and life. When your identity is ruled by ruler controlled definitions, you are suffering from a madness of collective hysteria and have become a slave to your environment rather than a ruler of your life. Let no outside authority be your identity, for that authority belongs only to you. Words never created you, nor will they ever do so. You are a Spiritual Creation of the Divine I AM.

WHEN THE GOTHIC OR THOTH ATU/KEY 15-THE DEVIL CARD IS THROWN DURING A DIVINATION, IT IMPLIES:

  • Materialism.
  • Material Force.
  • Sometimes obsession. (especially if thrown with the Lovers card)
  • upside down thinking, where the illusion of fear rules your thought and one thinks that "everything bad happens to me".
  • Not seeing the forest through the trees.
  • Living in your own illusion of suffering and being obsessed with pain or fear thereof. Such as a hypochondriac. 
  • Needing mirth in your understanding, as you are too serious. Time to laugh at your assumptions.
  • Needing more action and less reaction in your life.
  • Perception of the True Self.

If ill defined by the surrounding cards:

  • Fateful entanglements. 
  • Self-destructive drives.
  • Darkness.
  • Dark powers.
  • Collective hysteria.

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

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