The Aeon- ATU-20: 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 (Binah on the Tree of Life). The union of Isis & Osiris gave birth to Horus, the God of Perception and our Hu Man inherited intellect, which is seen as three floating fetuses. The Form of Nuit also 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 reborn/resurrected (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. One aspect of wisdom, is that we can perceive only what we believe to be seen. Here we have astral transformation that soon becomes physical manifestation and/or the observation that changes what is observed.
Everything is an self- observation 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/Observer communicating to the Whole of Collective Self as I Am (the I AM fractal)! We need never leave that which we truly love, for all we become truly aware of, we become! Becoming never ends, it is the in-form-action process of Mind!
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 (Ratioation) and Moon (Imagination), 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 ( numbered circle) and completion of the Pillar of Severity (The left side of the Tree of Life-forms a Pillar to the top Black circle that is Binah.) . 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 magical powers of Horus, invoked by the inner mental actions of the path traveling student, and 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/Base 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.
Therefore, the 31st Path, is where the components of the Personality first encounter in the Universe as Self, 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 (energy-in-motion). 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); a caution I greatly recommend.
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. Hence, the Self-Fractal of I AM.
The Thoth-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, 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". Each of us, are the Self-Identity of I AM, the personality is the Me of "now observation". It was born as Horus, the bright, warm, brilliance of intelligent energy/Mind. Something we call the "Soul", but is actually a collective of protons and is called the "Sun/Son of The Divine Creative". It is known in Qabalah as the "Heavenly Human"/Horus/Adam Khadmon.
This card, according to Qabalistic doctrine, also symbolizes the passing of the 500 year period of darkness and trial, preparatory to a new Aeon of Light." The Aeon, key 20, is called the Path of Shin, simple-meaning of Tooth and the maternal meaning of the Shin is Fire, both the simple meaning of the Path and the maternal meaning are a powerful combination.
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 Universal Collective Unconscious, not consciousness, simply because a consciousness is a microcosmic reality; However, if we release our consciousness to the Universal Unconscious Mind, we have developed a Consciousness that bridges the Macrocosm and Microcosm that is the personally attributed to Mercury or Hermes as a "messenger of the Sephiroth". 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- 10th Sephiroth-Malkuth with that of the 8th Sephiroth 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 Sephorotic controlled "Redeeming Fire"; a process that is physically experienced as the higher vibratory Passion of the "I Will Be" (Eheieh) 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. Just as electricity is the "fire that carries data" in our computers, so does the Fire of Shin, (Kundalini) carry the data of all that is I AM. Therefore, the lessons of Hod, of love and passionate being, are not a peacocks splendor, rather it is the Foundation of all Creation-the Observation of Self.
For the manmade personality of culture, the knowledge that this is a perpetual process of "burning off the unworthy", so that progress can continue, is hard won in a world of enslaving one's identity to words; Words that are controlled by "rulers". Therefore, the "Splendor of the Material World" and/or superficiality, is burned away in a kind of physical resurrection, a rebirth of both body and personality sending us perpetually towards the Great Mother as Horus, her resurrected-Solar Child/ "Son"/"Sun".
This paradigm shift* of death to resurrection is based 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-self. In other words, the balanced Energetic forces of both Shin (Sun) 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 E-motion 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.
A paradigm shift, a concept identified by the American physicist and philosopher Thomas Kuhn, is a fundamental change in the basic concepts and experimental practices of a scientific discipline. Kuhn presented his notion of a paradigm shift in his influential book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962).
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 by the Soul. 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). Which is shown as the "golden Cauldron" on the Art card, wherein the opposites, water and lightning fire are combined.
These introductory inner 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 to a brain that needs measurement to "see". This mental difficulty is also 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 produces Fire 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 Fire/Kundalini 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-homo sapiens sapiens), 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 ,i.e.,Horus.
Many Qabalists know the Middle Pillar, the straight alignment of Malkuth, Yesod, Tiphareth and Kether, is the pillar of balance, yet the Path of Shin, is 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 kind of intellect/conscious energy, everything we experience, every idea, every activity, co-exists in us with its opposite. This pathology of intellect without feeling, is known to Self, and in order to become more intimate with what is Life, a more condensed form of light body was needed to make the Mind Sensual. Hence, the homo sapien sapien, as the avatar of the Horus. Therefore, the upside down thinking of the Soul's purpose as ascending beyond the body is straightened out, for we are to ascend the body's survival thinking , based on fear of death, to that of the Soul's/Horus's knowledge of resurrecting the personality from the swamp of propaganda that it thinks is its identity. From lowly animal instinctual mind futilely striving for survival/immortality to the immortal Solar Self that is Horus, is the ascension implied. Horus must become manifest in the homo sapiens sapiens.
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 inner 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 work of highly advanced women and men, 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 have a reality of their own. The Qabalistic Teacher must explain that only when the student is able to go beyond the lower Astral (fear based images), is it where one touches 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 (Kundalini) permeates the Personality of the individual, in the descent of Solar Energy into Matter. Thus, the last illusions of personality separateness is burned away as our material self ascends, by observation, into the Sun/Son/Soul.
The Tree of Life is as the Universe, if we have learned any physics at all, we know that from the simplest concept, came all the complexity that is the Cosmos. In the Big Bang theory, a singularity (I), which came from nothing (Dark energy and Dark Matter), exploded outward, and became many (Am). This is also a concept easily seen in the development of the human body, as a single celled zygote, divides into hundreds of thousands of cells ultimately ending up as a homo sapiens sapiens 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 in The Fool. Therefore, in all the cards in-between we find the balance between what is expressed/objective or unexpressed/subjective.
Therefore, to give observable image to this discussion of simplicity into complexity, one needs 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 of I AM 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. Each of us has our own Tree of Life.
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 Child of God/Soul. 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 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". It may take some time before you realize that you are the "golden psyche"/Soul who is the Horus/Hru.
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 3 Yods, each have an internal homo sapiens sapiens 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.
The Tarot of The Spirit-Key 20-Resurrection, uses its own imagery of this Horus mental expansion. Here the male (sun) and female (moon) are combined forming the Horus/Soul (the soul is comprised of anima and animus as one who is 2: 0=2). Hence, personal conceptions are dissolved to be replaced by the deepest understanding possible. Here, both are in the final stage of knowledge as they know it; both are about to be resurrected into the Gnosis of Horus; a new aeon of thinking.
Here the cards symbology goes traditional, as the Angel Gabriel is shown blowing his trumpet, calling for the rising of the Psyche/Soul. Here, the lovers, whose deep love for each other blends them as one, rise up as the collective of the Soul (anima/animus). Therefore, the errant observation of divisionism is erased and oneness is seen. The vibrations of light, from lower more condensed to higher frequency is seen as from the dark brown of earth and to the rainbow "of the heavens". Therefore, moving through the rainbow path (Shin/fire) is the path of return to our Real Identity of Solar Self.
The red cross on the back of the United Self, represents the final healing is occurring. Also, the equal armed cross represents the salvation from death and eternal life have occured. Here one understands transformation and its necessary purification so that self can proceed beyond entropy. At the center of the cross is the point, which is the symbol for the "here and now" and/or a point in time, which in physics is described as an "entity". We are the entity who observes the now. The Soul can see the past and the future, and uses the homo sapiens sapiens as the messenger of now. Living the now, is your purpose in Life. To stay in the swamps of past emotional observation, leaves one dead to the now. To live in phantoms of futures wanted, leaves one in a realm of dreams, without recognition of the moment. Live the now! The Psyche that is your Soul collective, needs that from you, the "I" of the moment, who sees the point in time of manifestation as "I AM ME". The meanings are the same for both cards.
When the Aeon/Resurrection card is thrown during a reading:
When ill defined by surrounding cards:
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