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The Tarot of Eli-Major Arcana: Thoth Tarot- ATU 17-The Star & Santa Muerte Tarot-Key 17-The Star

Western Qabalistic and Tantric Tarot Card Comparisons.

Thoth-ATU 17-The Star

Santa Muerte- Key 17-The Star

The Star is called the Path of Tzaddi (fish hook) which connects the 7th Sephiroth-Netzach (Victory) to the 9th Sephiroth- Yesod (The Foundation). This is the path called the Natural Intelligence, by Western Qabalist Dr. Paul Foster Case in his instructional text, Thirty Two Paths to Wisdom; natural intelligence because it is the Path of proper approach to the Divine Energy inherent in each person. It is the Natural Intelligence, as it represents the proper use of Imagination----which is the Divine Womb, an Intelligence used in "image making"; many of us call it the Creator.

The perspicacious may recognize the Hebrew letter Heh, is printed on the Thoth Star card rather than the Hebrew letter Tzaddi /Tsadeh which is printed on the bottom of the Emperor Card. This is because an error was made in the Printing or by Aleister Crowley himself. For on the Emperor card, ATU 4- is printed the letter Tzaddi-hook rather than the letter Heh/He-Window/sight. To Correct this error, as Dr. Paul Foster Case has, is to understand the difference between the 2 cards and their attributes. One will also find that the Hebrew letters are translated into English by phonetics, since there is no words in English for them. Hebrew letters are numbers, hence, they will be spelled in English by "sound" which can make all kinds of spellings possible. For example, Qabalah, Kabbalah, Caballah, etc. are common spellings for a Hebrew letter combination meaning "receiving". To avoid confusion, I will use the spellings that were used by Aleister Crowley.

To most scholars of Tarot and Western Mysteries, the Star card represents the "Lower Eden", from which the Personality originates and the Emperor, represents "Upper Eden" where the Fiery Higher Self originates...The Solar Spiritual Self and is a therefore a window into the Higher Spiritual-Self. By this understanding, we can see a relationship of The Star Path (Tzaddi) relating to another Path, that of the Emperor (Heh) and how they can be confused. The Star card also relates to the Planet Venus (symbolized as a 7 pointed star), which to the ancients was seen as the "Morning and Evening Star", also referred to as Lucifer (meaning-Light bringer), whom the Christians called the Most beautiful of all Archangels, referring to the Sephiroth Tiphareth-Beauty, which is the Solar Logos personified and/or Soul.

To scholars of Western Hermetic Mysteries and Qabalah, Lucifer is not seen as a underworld figure, but rather the Higher Spiritual Self. But with proper enforcement of propaganda the meaning of Beauty (Synchronicity) became an Underworld Angel who was so narcissistic that he challenged God--as the Devil or Satan--which is the common Christian view. We all must study history to see how the Christians took the names of gods and goddesses of other religions and demonized them, which only contributed to ignorance and lost self-awareness. The truth is that the Latin word Lucifer-"Light bringer" is similar to the Greek Christos (Sun, also Zeus Christos or Sun of God) ----both relating to the fiery Sun of God....The Solar Logos and/or our Higher Self. The contradiction here is that the Christians call the homo sapiens sapiens, "made in the image of God" and yet by proclaiming you are that image is blaspheme and/or in the least, narcissism. The fact that Lucifer, Devil and Satan are often used to describe the same boogeyman, is also suspect. Since, in the early writings of the Hebrew Old Testament, Satan was seen as an enforcer of Yahweh's laws . Hence, Lucifer-Satan and the Devil are all different beings.*

*Satan in the Old Testament - {click on link for more info]

The Angel of the Yahweh was the satanfigure—both in judgment and in terms of instigation. There is no contradiction. Lastly, this would in turn mean there are no verses in the Old Testament that have a personal name satan. What about the Serpent? The satan in Job is an officer of the divine council (similar to a prosecutor). His job is to “run to and fro throughout the earth” to see …

Although English Bibles continue to capitalize the word satan in passages like Job 1 and 2, those passage do not have a specific individual in mind. That is, satan in these passages should not be understood as a proper personal name.

The reason this is the case is a rule of Hebrew grammar. In biblical Hebrew, the definite article (the word “the”) is a single letter (הַ; ha). Hebrew prefixes (attaches) the definite article to a noun (or participle to make it a substantive) so that, like all languages that have definite articles, the noun is made specific. However, biblical Hebrew does not put the definite article (“the”) on proper personal nouns (personal names). An example of this can be seen in English. I don't call myself “the Mike,” and Hebrew simply does not do this either (at all). In their biblical Hebrew reference grammar, Jouon-Muraoka note, “No proper noun of person takes the article, not even when it has the form of an adjective or a participle” (Paul Jouon and Takamitsu Muraoka, A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew (Editrice Pontificio Istituto Biblico, 2003; 2005), vol. 2:505; Par 137.b).

The Book of Job

Without exception, the word satan in Job occurs with the Hebrew definite article. Here is a Hebrew search showing this to be the case. This indicates quite clearly that satan is not a personal name. It is generic and means “the adversary.” The word can also be used of human beings (1 Sam 29:4; 2 Sam 19:23; 1 Kings 5:18; 1 Kings 11:14). All of these examples have satan without the article, but the referent is a human being, not a divine being, so satan isn’t here either.

Men and Angels

One might ask at this point whether there are instances where satanoccurs in the Hebrew Bible without the definite article. If there are such instances, might those occurrences of the term point to the Devil?

In terms of statistics, the noun satan occurs 27 times in the Hebrew Bible. Ten of those occurrences are without the article. Of these ten occurrences, seven refer to human beings and two refer to the Angel of Yahweh. That means nine of the ten instances clearly do not refer to the Devil or proper personal name, Satan.

The lone remainder is 1 Chronicles 21:1. This is the famous passage where satan provokes David to take a census, but in the parallel passage, 2 Samuel 24:1–25, Yahweh provokes David to take the census. Due to this parallel, and due to the fact that satan here has no article, this is viewed by some as the single instance of an evil, cosmic figure called satan in the OT. That’s actually not the case, though.

If one reads the Chronicles account of the census judgment carefully (the one that said satanprovoked the act), the destroying Angel is there “with a sword drawn in his hand.” The Hebrew phrasing behind this occurs only three other times: Joshua 5:13 and Numbers 22:23, 31. All three of these references are the Angel of Yahweh, and in one of them (Num. 22:23) he is referred to as “the satan.”

This connection back to the Angel of Yahweh is important. If you're familiar with my work on the two Yahwehs in the Old Testament, the likely explanation of the presumed contradiction between the two accounts of David’s census is that bothaccounts have the God of Israel instigating the census in order to judge David. This is because the Angel of Yahweh is at times equated with Yahweh. One could read the Chronicles account in light of that association. The Angel of the Yahweh was the satanfigure—both in judgment and in terms of instigation. There is no contradiction.

Lastly, this would in turn mean there are no verses in the Old Testament that have a personal name satan.

Now to get back to the subject: The meaning of the Hebrew word, Tzaddi, is Fish hook, implying meditation, a process inseparable from the proper use of imagination.Once we are hooked on an idea, we focus energy (emotion), and with proper diligent software running our brain, the body gets it done. The physical vehicle, is a power-tool of Imagination and as we all know, with computer run power tools, garbage programing in means, garbage production- out. Propaganda, indoctrination and dogma, are garbage, when controlled by an outside authority. Our AUTHOR (ity) is the Spirit within.

All this may be too much for the culturally programed personality to absorb, but the fact is, you were imagined into being by what we now call the Collective Unconscious, or Universal Collective Unconsciousness (Carl Jung). So for the sake of simplicity, I'll call it the Divine Intelligence. Also, the word personality came from the Greek-Persona, meaning mask. Hence, the word actually points out that the personality/ego, isn't you, it is a mask you wear. Since all of us know that once a lie is told often enough, it becomes a "truth" (the power of propaganda). A mask is a untruth, a lie, one we all participate in for the sake of "acting", for we have put on a mask/persona that hides our true identity to avoid the discomfort of "rejection", and we have worn it so long, that we believe it is our truth.

In the terms of Tzaddi, fish hook, the implication is that there is a merging of two streams of conscious energy, for something is put-in rather than taken out. Here the individual consciousness is attached to the Greater Conscious. In the Tarot/Qabalah, Water is the symbol used for consciousness/intuition, making the analogy of the fish hook being put in, pertinent as well.

It helps to understand that we are not a brain, nor any kind of separate physical device. We are a ternary Self-concept that is the Transmitter, the Transmitted and the Receiver. Just as a Radio Transmitter (in our case-Psyche/Soul) transmits frequency "everywhere but nowhere" at the same time. like a Sun and would be unheard/unreceived without a radio receiver so it is with the frequencies of Spiral Energy (Spirit) that would be unheard without a physical vehicle tuned to that infinite frequency by the Psyche that rules that brain/receiver. In this scenario, Spirit is the Will of the Universal Collective Unconscious, and the individual frequencies would be Soul Stations while the human vessel would be the receiving radio controlled- bio-robotic -programmable power tool.

In quantum physics, an entity is a point in time which to a timeless energy frequency, is extremely necessary for self-awareness. Points in time are necessary for a discriminating creator, for how do you know what you do , what you affect, or even "know thyself" when you have no way of examining the action? To gather Knowledge, the mind needs an intellectual gathering place---a place in time, i.e. a point of measure that has a beginning and an end. A point of a pen is also what authors need to write into manifestation their thoughts That pen gives them a Point in which to concentrate their thoughts so that they can be carefully examined, corrected and produced. Because of that point in time and the flow of ink (in physics this would be light) they can manifest those thoughts in time/space. Points begin the transformation of energy into images by the process of measure.

The material that the Divine Consciousness deals in is "Thought", something we know exists but are unable to explain its source. It is our "first matter", and in Qabalah, the first matter-thought is often symbolized as a fish. This concept allows me to take the next quantum leap in examination. Theoretically if we describe the Ocean, as the womb of earth life, (Imagination is the Womb of information) and a natural intelligence of Earth, we can see that to the Ocean, it is everywhere and nowhere at the same time, for it has no sense of self. However, the fish is made of Ocean and its elements/aspects and must exist in the Ocean as a "part of Oceanic imagination"; a self-image, if you will, of the Ocean itself. And as Spirit (I AM) must as if an Ocean of Energy act as the earthly Ocean that flows through the crystallized self -image (Me/fish) that it has imagined into existence, in order to be able to do the work of Self-Awareness. Now I know this is simplistic as an explanation can get, but it should help you in understanding why you have a physical vehicle, and why it is most sacred to Spirit!

The “I AM” (Imagination) denotes existence, the “me” establishes it as a sensual point in time, i.e. a place to do the work of Self-Awareness.

The Path of the Natural Intelligence is the Path of the raw forces attributed to the 8th Sephiroth- Netzach (Victory). To a Qabalist these natural forces are called the Elohim (Gods of Netzach) and are synonymous with nature itself. Moreover, the number of The Star, is 17 and when added together (1+7=8) seventeen becomes 8 which is key 8-Lust, which represents conscious control over the Kundalini (Lion-Serpent) whose description is both solar (lion is the symbol of the Sun) and sexual (serpentine force). As I have stated before, the Kundalini is coiled in Yesod, which is the Foundation of earth manifestation.

To many of the indoctrinated, sex-energy (life force) or Kundalini is a word of sin filled lust and emotional turmoil.

However, the initiate knows as we encounter the sexual energy in ourselves, we are approaching the Greater Mysteries of Tiphareth, The Solar Logos, the central star of our existence. Of course, “if you can't take the heat, stay out of the kitchen" Thus, the Path of Tzaddi-The Star is important to the neophyte as it is a very powerful Path which points out the proper way to approach the Kundalini...The Divine Spiral Energy inherent in all of us. MEDITATION.

This process of approach is a kind of yoga (communion) involving the "opening of Chakras" and/or the innervation of energy centers through the process of meditation. This is also the energy we use in the meditation process, being both the goal and means of enlightenment. The Star is the method or means of perfection that mentally connects the Macrocosmic Self to the Microcosmic Self.

In the Thirty Two Paths of Wisdom, the Magus Dr. Paul Foster Case stated that: The twenty eight path [Path of Tzaddi} is called the Natural Intelligence, and it is so called because through it is consummated and perfected the Nature of every existing thing under the Sun." {The brackets are my own insertion).

Qabalists know the Star Card represents the proper use of imagination, through the energy of meditation.

Even though meditation feels like a personal activity, successful meditation shows us that it is not we that are meditating but rather, we are meditated! Truth be known, The Higher Self brings the Personality into self- meditation. In the context of meditation, the Personality uses the Path of Tzaddi, The Fish Hook, in searching for reality in the context of introspection; However, meditation is also The Higher Self angling to pull the Personality up from the depths of self-enclosure which is a reality imposed on us by the physical senses and words.

The Star Card figure, represents the most pure manifestation of the Great Mother Binah at the level of Personality, preceding enclosure in matter, She is the Same figure found in The Empress, in her royal regalia; The Priestess and in The Universe cards,; However, here She is unveiled, in-robed, further representing Her purity.

The Star is associated with the love and inspiration sign of Aquarius. In the ancient world, Saturn was said to govern Aquarius, referring us to Binah, time and The Universe key 21.

Because the Star card represents the universe resolved into its ultimate elements, it relates to many more Paths than any other card in the deck. Thus, I recommend getting the text book by Robert Wang---The Qabalistic Tarot (A text book of Mystical Philosophy) and studying the many path Charts on the Tree of Life that he presents in the book.

Advice of the Dead: You are traveling the right path therefore do not give up hope. Continue, once you have completely focused on your objective, to channel your energies towards this, remembering that the more you give the more you will receive in exchange.

-From the Santa Muerte-Book of the Dead by Fabio Listrani

The Santa Muerte-Key 17- The Star, uses an interpretation of the Traditional Tarots. Like the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot. However, being St. Death, the image is depicted more like connecting life and death which is reminiscent of the Qabalistic Axiom of "As above so Below". Here the waters of life are connected from the above-macrocosm to the below-microcosm/earth. The 7 pointed star that represents Venus is also shown above the Santa Muerte image and the above landscape is barren desert while below is life giving water flowing from her hands. From her right hand flows the waters dead water (skeletal fish), and from her left, flows living water (fleshed fish). The Macrocosm is formless as it is the before in-form-action (information), while the microcosm is the place of forms.

All in all, both cards, the Thoth Star and the Santa Muerte Star, are projecting the same metaphysical information both are about following your inner star.

When the Star Card-ATU/Key 17, is thrown during a reading:

  • · The querent shall be or will be experiencing hope, faith and unexpected help for 17 weeks or 17 months.
  • Self-esteem and confidence contributing to self-efficiency and talent.
  • The querent, upon meditating, shall hear their own song (sound frequency), becoming harmony and then emoting love, calm and peaceful agility.
  • As a positive- basically the querent is or will be, experiencing freedom from all masks, illusions and restrictions while being replenished by the pure waters of the Universal Unconscious.
  • There is hope-Meditate. 
  • Creative hope.
  • Seeing the real face behind the mask.

If ill defined by the accompanying cards, there can be the experiencing of:

  • States of dreaminess, and deceived hope.
  • Destructive hope (denial of the truth).
  • Believing the mask is you.


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