Santa Muerte- Key 13-Death
The Thoth -Death-ATU 13, is known as the 24th Path of Nun on the Qabalistic Tree of Life. Nun, a Hebrew letter, means Fish (illustrated on the Thoth card) and is also the Hebrew simple letter for Movement, as represented as the running skeleton on the Thoth Card and the pregnant Angel of Death/Saint Death awaiting a birth, on the Santa Muerte Tarot.
The 24th Path of Nun runs from Netzach (Victory) to Tiphareth (Beauty) on the Tree of Life, and is one of the three aforementioned paths that leads from the Personality to the Higher Self. The initiate may experience the Higher Self on any one of these 3 Paths: Art (The Path of Samekh), The Devil (The Path of Ayin), and Death, the Path of Nun; but the lessons of all 3 must be mastered. The figures of the Art card, the Devil card and the Death card are all different aspects of the same thing; The Higher Self, which is a collective of many "selves".
On the Path of Nun, one is literally launching the consciousness into the Dark Collective Unconscious of Quantum-Universal Origins. This takes courage and determination, for the consciousness appears to be extinguished in the Universal Collective Unconscious. I liken the consciousness to an Artificial Intelligence, and the Unconscious as the Real Intelligence. This artifice aids me in trusting the dissolution of my consciousness, as a transition towards re-birthing, where it is purified of illusion and the deception of being a material being. In fact, the word meaning of the Path of Nun, Fish, reveals the whole arcane doctrine of the Qabalah, as it is the symbol for the "first matter" and/or "thought", that moves within the Infinite Ocean of Unconscious. Interestingly, since Nun is a verb, it means to "sprout or grow", implying the Skeleton is a perpetual seed.
The perspicacious student will note that the Tree of Life has a Path for Death, that of Nun, but seems not to have a Path for Birth: However, The Devil, Path of Ayin, "enchains" our true personality in matter as it leaves the Higher Self on its ever more condensed journey down the Tree of Life. Therefore, the Devil is seen as a card of Birth. Plus, there is the fact that both Death and Birth are essentially the same transition. As one is born in visible light and/or "outer World", their "I" sight dies to the invisible or "inner world", just as the personality transitions from the outer world back into the inner world at physical death. Hence, the One Energy Transforms itself by the process of destruction of energy phases. From one phase to another is the paradigm of evolution. Hence, the Phases of the Moon are often used as symbols of transition and even to the *superstitious, harbingers of death.
*Although feared as an archetype for millennia, she is the one who reminds us that death is part of the life cycle, just as the Moon's dark phase precedes the New Moon. The Crone is often represented by goddesses associated with death and the underworld, such as the Greek Hecate, the Russian Baba Yaga, and the Celtic Morrigan and Cailleach Bear.Maiden, Mother, and Crone: The Wiccan Triple Goddess ...
The Personality constructed consciousness and/or self-consciousness, is indeed seemingly extinguished in the limitless Universal Unconscious causing a period of "forgetful sleep" before the Personality exits the Higher Self again and produces another operative artifice known as self-consciousness that issued to operate another material form. The exception to this recycling process, is when the self-consciousness accompanies the personality back to the Higher Self, without needing physical death to do so. This is done when the consciousness has become discriminatory and/or discerning, and knows the tricks of Matter, i.e. the illusions of senses, that the personality experiences on the physical plane (The Devil card) and has developed the attributes of Mercury, that is, has become a messenger of the "god's"/Sephirotic Spheres. Many illusions or delusions come from the perspective of separateness and survival thinking and the other boundaries of the physical form's fear of dying. Therefore, the fear of Death, must be conquered by the consciousness "that won't experience the death sleep". That is to say, the mercurial consciousness that knowing transfers from body to body, by becoming a "Mercury", messenger of the physical world to the Soul and visa versa. Our True Personality is that of "Sun/Son" of the Divine Creative. As a psyche whose evolution was begun in the existence of light rather than on a material evolution. Just as light is used a carrier of information in fiber optic cables, we as Souls, are the Light/Suns that carries the information of the I AM. We only believe we need to "seek the light", when we wear a caul of lies over our identity. Lies, that are words, controlled by the Patriarchy and its minions of media, academia, theology etc.
The Great Work, is Life itself, as a Wholeness, "as above so below", where the avatar of our soul; the” alive" persona, are no-longer perceiving themselves as a divisionism of separates from spirit and mind; all trying to prove themselves to a Creator that by the very process of creation, had already Approve them into being!
Those who are seeking approval, a under the ego of the survival mechanism of the social animal, are what I call "fish in the Ocean, looking for water." and/ or "Wanna-Be's" who forgot that they already Are inheritors of the Divine I AM.
The Beauty of Tiphareth, the Psyche or Higher Self, is that once you return to this aspect of personality, you return to your body knowing you, as a personality, are completely accepted and therefore, do not fear rejection in the least (a mask wore over fear of death). In other words, you "Know Thyself".
The Tarot Card- Death-key 13, is called the many texts of the Mysteries, including the Golden Dawn texts, "The Child of the Great Transformers" and also the "Lord of the Gates of Death"; Implying that Nun is not the Great Transformers themselves, he is their Child. Thus, Nun is not Death itself, rather Nun is the keeper of the Gateway into Transformation. Roughly, this states that the "first matter", thought, is the Gatekeeper of Transformation, which is not too difficult to "wrap your head around", if you understand that how you "perceive yourself” transforms your reality. Therefore, this card is more about a "spiritual transformation", rather than an actual physical death.
After Traveling One of the 3 Paths of the "Dark Night of the Soul", a phrase coined by St. John of the Cross, where your consciousness is torn down and cleansed of all that is "not the true you" as decided by the Feminine aspect of the Higher Self, and relieved of all that is not worthy of Her child. You are then sent back down the Tree into your Malkuth-body transformation as an Active Soul rather than a reactive-"knee jerk" persona. This personal death of perspectives changes our "I" sight, from man-made reality to the Real perspectives of the Great Work; To become an Aware-Sensual-Soul, rather than a socially made personality. This transition is only possible by returning to the Higher Self....Your brain/ego can't do the job as it is an artificial sense of self who is programed by its reaction to environment, indoctrination and peers!
To reiterate, Nun: Is the Hebrew word that means Fish, which is the symbol for the First Matter. There is also an alchemical symbol of this Path as putrefaction, which is the decaying black mass in the crucible that eventually transforms into purity and is considered a transformative process of turning death into new life. The Thoth Tarot-Key 13- card symbolizes this trans -formative process as a scythe, a harvesting tool that is also a symbol for Time. Time is under the control of Saturn-Binah (Geburah), the giver and destroyer of Life. This process is Illustrated in this card as the sweeping scythe, harvesting souls, and the transformative bubbles of new life in its wake, all of which, support this analogy of life giving and life destroying.
The skeleton is the frame work that holds the organs and can be seen as a seed of the body as the minerals that are attributed to bone construction are the "seeds" of organic forms.
The astrological sign attributed to Death-key13, is Scorpio, a transformative sign of three symbolic images, the Scorpion, the Serpent and the Eagle. Thus, we have the transformation from a dangerous earth-crawling creature, to a serpent which symbolizes the Astral Light, weaving its way upward to become an Eagle (behind and above the Thoth Deck figures head) that sours above all heads. All of which are represented in the Thoth Tarot Card as movement. Movement being seen as change/transformation, which is the dancing skeletal pattern of the Universe. For it is only by constant change can entropy be overcome and Life evolve.
The term "Dark night of the Soul" refers to the darkness of unknowing, where the psyche is striped of the desire nature of the personality. This leaves a dreadful emptiness, almost a complete disinterest in everything. Personally, upon experiencing these three Paths of the Dark Night; The Devil, Art and Death, I was left only a thought of despair repeating over and over again, abolishing any other desire or thought. It was," I can't be YOU, you must be me." The Higher Self-responded to that by sending my "skeletal awareness" directly to the Dark Sea (Abysmal Womb) of the Great Mother Binah, who then broke down and reassembled the Personality into that of the Divine Child, and I awoke as the "Will to Form" and/or the Understanding of the Great Mother of Form. I know now to not serve or enslave my mind to an outside authority, for only the inner author of Self Am I.
[image of the Egyptian Scarlet Mother-Sek Met]
This inner journey is a very hard journey to explain and it requires one not to be concerned with living or dying. Hence, one does not fight, or try to swim out of this ocean of darkness. Rather, one becomes a mechanical motion, pushing ahead and/or descending with great faith, as Life's processes have no value, one still mechanically crawls towards the Higher Self by sinking into the dark depths. Moving forward in a total darkness, inch by inch, the Soul (Psyche) begins the process of "putrefaction", believing, but not always so sure, that there will be light that will eventually appear and lead the way. It was a Red dot of light that appeared to me out of indescribable darkness. The Great Red Binah, known as the purifying Force of resurrection, and/or "the Scarlet Woman", The Red Gail, bathed me in the universal blood of Mother and with caresses, she peeled the "dead" identities from my Psyche, an act of Divine Love (indescribable pain and ecstasy) and sent me back down the Tree into Tiphareth and the Fiery Light of the Higher Self. Once a Divine Child always a Divine Child....somehow we've forgotten that, and therefore, disinherited ourselves/our personality, from the Macrocosm.
The term "Dark Night of the Soul" was first coined by St. John of the Cross where he said:"...although this happy night brings darkness to the spirit, it does so only to give it light in everything; and that, although it humbles it and makes it miserable, it does so only to exalt it and to raise it up; although it impoverishes it and empties it of all natural affection and attachment, it does so only that it may enable it to stretch forward, divinely, and thus to have fruition and experience all things, both above and below...". Hence, upon conquering the Path of Nun, the Soul is reconstructed as the Personal Simulation of the Higher Self, and the emptied brain is filled with the Primary Imagination...The will to form and the Understanding of the Great "Womb with a view".
Mars/Pluto rules Scorpio. Scorpio rules the sex organs. Therefore, this Death Card, represents a Sexual energy, a reproductive energy which is consciously directed in a physical exercise such as that of Tantra, or that of Crowley’s Middle Pillar, an activity best represented by Crowley's Death Card. The initiate is now following upward, the "Path of the Flaming Sword" (see Robert Wang's-THE QABALISTIC TAROT), which is both destructive and constructive and not for the weak of character or for those who fear death, and collapse under "peer pressure" whose symptoms are shown by trying to dominate or control others or how they think about one's-self. The Spirit/Soul, doesn't fear judgment, for it already has been "judged good enough". For the Divine Creative creates what it wants to be, and therefore, is not insane nor a viral identity program created for the purpose of enslaving another's energy, for the purpose of a Few who wish to rule the many.
Crowley/Harris, in the creation of the Thoth Card, departed from the tradition set by the Golden Dawn or the older Marseilles cards. Here the Angel of Death is the image of a Skeleton, yet that is also what one would call the Goddess of the Underworld, who has many names in mythology. Here, we could call her Samothea, who often is depicted as having an hourglass hanging from her waist; an hour glass that represents time. Time being the greatest predator of all forms, as all that begins-ends. Since, death is inevitable to all forms it definitely isn't a punishment for "evil doers". For death falls on the just and unjust alike. Mother reclaims her Children and bathes away the man-made illusions of self. Rather, having to live out one's life of lies, and "wrong doing", is a real punishment, for to think ill is to be psychologically ill.
The Goddess death is known in many cultures, as the Crone, Samotheo, Santa Muerte, Durga etc.
SAMOTHEA, S/\MO3E/\, `White-Goddess'. British Celtic. Goddess of the moon, barley, inspiration and death; Inventress of letters, astronomy and other sciences. Eponym of the earliest name for Britain Samothea. To whom are sacred: pearl barley; sow.
"The Dead are reborn again and lie in the belly of the conscience."
--Austin Omar Spare
The Santa Muerte- Key 13- Santa Muerte depicts the Goddess of this magnificent Tarot Deck. She is Calavera Catrina, Días de los Muertos or Santa Muerte, all names given her by Central Americans. She is not created as a threat by rulers, demigods or fundamental theologians; She is separate from all the illusions manufactured by the Patriarchy. In fact the figure of Santa Muerte has an ambitious and glorious objective; to wave a banner of resistance and redemption in the face of the arrogant and powerful, jeering at their blindness. She stands defiant before the abuses of the Patriarchy/those who govern, and speaks truth before false prophets or moral fictions. Life expands and liberates itself through death. Transformation requires new beginnings.
What one finds in Tarot, and its pantheon of archetypal images, and especially the Tarot of Santa Muerte, is a celebration in honor of all those who have gone before us. The memory of those who have gone before, nourishes the Universal Collective Unconscious; a mind of experience that we can tap into using Tarot. Above all nonsense, Death represents as transformation and rebirth. You are made of Light/Energy, for that is the Solar-Self/Soul of you. Energy cannot be destroyed nor created, only transformed. You are one of the many transformations of Self that we call the "I AM". Your presence is a blessing to us all, not a burden. Thank you for being you and not being a knee jerk puppet of whatever regime you are born into. Stand as The Sun- all shining and bright, unashamed and cleansed of all indoctrination: Your Presence is enough! So be Present as the Star that you are. We all belong to the Great Mother as an Understanding of Divine Self. Above all things know thyself!
The Tarot-Key 13-Death, when thrown during a reading, suggests:
If ill defined by surrounding cards:
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