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The Tarot of Eli-Major Arcana: Thoth Tarot-ATU 17-The Star & Tarot of Druids- Key XVII-Gràinne

 

Western Hermetic Qabalah and Tantric Tarot Card Comparisons.

 

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Before I get into the explanation of the Star Tarot Card, I must clear up a scholarly error. In the Sepher Yetzirah (Major Qabalistic text) the letter Heh, which is errantly placed on the bottom left of the Star Card, is a simple word meaning, sight and doesn't belong as the letter representing the Star. The Letter Heh is well represented in THE EMPEROR, since he is the "Fiery Aspect of the Garden of Eden" of which the Higher Self relates as a Self-observation of the One. It is the first path that is attributed to a function, suggesting that sight is the first of the senses, as Aries, the sign attributed to the Emperor, is the first sign of the Zodiac. This Path of Heh, THE EMPEROR, is what I call the First "I" sight, while the EMPRESS is the "Am" of understanding (an inner sight I call a "Womb with a view")...Together they are the "I AM", the Counter Sexuality of the One Mind (she)/Energy (He). Pursuant to the garden theme, it is time to note that Crowley poses and interchange of The Emperor with the Star which myself and most Western Qabalistic Scholars see as a mistake. As stated, The Emperor is "the fiery aspect of the Garden of Eden", to which the Higher Self relates, while The Star is the Eden of Personality which connects the above and below. Each unto itself is a specific pristine point where consciousness can look both forward and back upon itself. Hence, sight is attributed to Heh, which is the Self -observation of the 1. Being that it is the 1st path of which sensation and/or sensory function which is attributed in the Qabalistic Text- Sepher Yetzirah, implying that sight is the first of the senses as Aries/Emperor is the first house in the Zodiac sequence. Therefore, as the first sign, Aries/Emperor, emerges directly from the 2nd Sephiroth- Chokmah, The Sphere of the Zodiac. Therefore, the Constituting Intelligence/Emperor is understood as the first phase of a natural cycle. All in all, the letter Tzadeh (Tzadeh) which is errantly applied to The Emperor in the Thoth Tarot, should be applied to The Star, and the letter Heh (He), applied to the Emperor. This may confuse the student who uses a Qabalistic Tree diagram where the error of placement that is Tzadde as Emperor and Heh as Star are used. This is because the artist hasn't discovered the error yet. The below Tree of Life is properly attired.

Key 17-The Star- as shown in the avant garde art of the Thoth ATU/Key 17 card, is the personification of the Goddess Principle rather than the pure philosophical idea, continuous and omniform. I was once asked why Crowley used ATU rather than Key to define his Trump/Major Arcana cards. The answer is a lot of guesswork, for no Thelemic or Scholar truly knows. However, I know that Crowley was a metaphysician and studied the sciences, especially Thermodynamics. Hence, ATU may mean Accumulated Thermal Unit. Which most definitely applies to the Major Arcana, for they are of the Universal Collective Mind and the One energy, proclaimed in the 1st Law of *Thermodynamics, are transformed out of 0=2. Here, energy is both heat and thermodynamic work, i.e. ATU.

*First Law of Thermodynamics

The first law of thermodynamics is a version of the law of conservation of energy, adapted for thermodynamic processes, distinguishing two kinds of transfer of energy, as heat and as thermodynamic work, and relating them to a function of a body's state, called Internal energy. The law of conservation of energy states that the total energy of an isolated system is constant; energy can be transformed from one form to another, but can be neither created nor destroyed.

The zodiacal attribution to this card is the sign of Aquarius and the element of Air.

In the Thoth Tarot, the Star-Lady is pouring her *Ambrosia on both herself and earth. Hence she is a pipeline that nourishes and vitalizing both. The pouring on the land, implies vitalizing and nourishing of the conscious awareness while the pouring into herself is like the river estuary flowing into the Sea; a simile for the nourishing of the intuitive unconscious. *(The liquor of Amrita of the Tantric and Hindu philosophers, the Nepenthe and Ambrosia of the Greeks, the Alkahest and Universal medicine of the Alchemists, The Nectar which is the mother of the Blood of the Grail) *

You may remember, that the river of Life/conscious, started in the Priestess Card, but now in the Star Card, is flowing into the Sea of Mind that is the Great Mother where all form has originated (The Universal Divine Collective Unconscious / The Mind that creates image).

By the Lady Star's glance, she links the solid ground of conscious awareness,

implied by the golden glow enlivened from her stare. She is the Star of Hope for all life.

The Tarot-Key/ATU 17- The Star, traditionally represents Isis unveiled, revealing the secret wisdom of the Priestess, who is Isis veiled in light and the Empress veiled in the ripeness of Nature. Her affiliation with the Temperance/Art figure is also suggested, as her optimism involves the fruitful interplay of the five senses, ego-consciousness and intuition as she links the worlds of Spirit-Mind and matter.

This Occult link, is also associated with the Egyptian Goddess- Sopdet and/or the Dog Star Sirius, whose helical rising on July 19th marked the Festival of Opet, the annual Egyptian festival that celebrated the fertilization of the Nile Valley. The message here is that of new life with greater understanding and insight where the light of the Soul is allowed to shine through the body as vital flowing Life force.

THE THOTH Tarot STAR-ATU 17:

Also represents another Egyptian Goddess, Nuit, our lady of the Stars. Here, she is definite in manifestation as well. She is holding two cups, one golden, held high above her head, pouring what represents the ethereal water [ which is also milk, blood or oil depending on the ritual] upon her head; indicating the eternal renewal of the inexhaustible possibilities of existence. The cups represent breasts as the "milk of the Stars", the nurturing agent for conscious life in the Universe. We know this "milk of the Stars" as the Milky Way Galaxy.

Behind her is the celestial globe with the prominent 7 pointed star of Venus. High in the night sky; is the spinning seven pointed Star of Babalon (Crowley spelling) implying the further explanation of the Goddess Nuit and her principle nature that is Love. Further in depth explanation of Nuit/Babalon is in the Book of Thoth by Crowley.

The silver breast-cup in her left hand, is pouring forth the immortal liquor of her life, the Amrita or Ambrosia, on the junction of land and water. The Water represents the Great Sea of Binah (The Collective Unconscious); manifesting as a more condensed form as Nuit the Lady of the Stars.

Her whirling cloud like hair represents the veils of light that cover the "Abyss", which lies between the sea and the land implying the veil between the Collective Unconscious and the conscious, that can be bridged by her intuitive spirit and/or "spiral"-consciousness.

Every form of energy in this Thoth Deck card is spiral. Spiral and Spirit come from the same Greek Word-Spiro, meaning "Breath" or "to breathe". The spiral shape is also in Einstein's mathematical conception of the Universe; Energy Swirls in spirals of motion that animate all life. The straight line is an illusion of mankind's need for order and rule and this doctrine of blindness to the beauty of the Universe, is shown by the rectilinear flow from the lower silvercup of the Thoth Star Lady. The straight line is no more than the limit of any curve; We often call this "shortsightedness". Besides, the Parallel Postulate, the foundation of straight line in Euclidean geometry, has long been proven incapable of proof and mathematicians now conceive that the straight line has no true correspondence with reality. The Qabalist always knew that this is a Spiral (Spiritual) Universe. She/He spins and dances within us, filling us with Her/His Lively- fluid-motion of united dancing.

In the First chapter of The Book of Law (Liber Al vel Legis), A. Crowley postulates, “the definite formula for the attainment of truth". 

The Book of the Law

Book by Aleister Crowley


Liber AL vel Legis, commonly known as The Book of the Law, is the central sacred text of Thelema, allegedly written down from dictation mostly by Aleister Crowley, although his wife Rose Edith Crowley is also known to have written two phrases into the manuscript of the Book after its dictation. Crowley claimed it was dictated to him by a preternatural being calling himself Aiwass, but the three chapters are largely written in the first person by the Thelemic deities Nuit, Hadit, and Ra-Hoor-Khuit respectively.

The Tarot of Druids-Key XVII- Gràinne, depicts a imaginary scene of the daughter of Cormac mac Art, who was married to the elder Fin, against the will of the gods. The cauldron beside her represent one of the finest celtic cauldrons. iIt is the silver Gundestrup cauldron (Silver cup of the star card ) found in Jutland in 1891 having a capacity of 28 gallons. Leaving aside the question of its manufacture, the cauldron reveals a wealth of iconography and has had scholars speculating about its idiosyncratic Celtic religious art since its finding. The flowing river is shown on the Star Card as "ethereal water". The Celtic Gràinne, is shown washing a rope. This implies the cleansing of one's personality done by the Star lady, as she pours her ambrosia over the Soul.

Grainne – Sun Goddess/Winter Queen by Judith Shaw

By Judith Shaw on

In the ancient Celtic world the Goddess was the One who expressed Herself through the many. Grainne is such a one. She is both Winter Queen/Dark Goddess, nurturing seeds through winter, and Solar Sun Goddess, welcoming the rebirth of spring. She is Aine’s sister or another aspect of Aine. She, like Aine, was honored at the summer solstice and the first grain harvest of early August with bonfires and torchlit processions on top of her sacred hill at Leinster, Ireland. Remnants of these festivals are still found in folk ritual today.

Grainne is a part of the triple goddess formed by Herself and Her two sisters, Fenne and Aine. Both Grainne and Aine were seen by locals as beautiful, golden-haired goddesses who visited their fields and hilltops to protect and nurture the land, people and animals.

(Read the whole article by Judith Shaw by clicking on link below.)

When ATU 17 -the Star or Key XVII-Gràinne Tarot Cards are thown in a divination, they both imply:

  • Hope
  • Faith
  • Realization and Spiritual illumination.
  • Truth unveiled.
  • Psychic or Spiritual abilities.
  • The potential to have hopes fulfilled.
  • Harmony.
  • Self-esteem and confidence
  • Balance being maintained by giving out in a controlled manner, that which is received
  • The courage to be yourself.
  • A peaceful restful period of spiritual connection to the Universe and others.
  • Also the mystics "Star body" and/or Astral body flowing with the Great Love of the Mother of Life.
  • Hope, immortality, inner light, truth unveiled.

When ill defined by the surrounding cards:

  • Disappointment.
  • Unfulfilled hopes.
  • Disharmony,
  • A narrow or closed minded attitude.
  • Confusion.
  • Sadness. 
  • Captivity.

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

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