Thoth- ATU 21-The Universe
Santa Muerte -Key XX1-The World
The universe resounds with the joyful cry I AM.
The proper study of the Paths (Major Arcana cards) is the ascension of personal understanding up the Tree of Life, as we are condensed "below" and need to remember the realms of Pure Spirit "above". Often the experiences of personality on Earth, assist us in our goals of a more refined understanding of Universal patterns. Such as a microscope helps the biologist in a more refined understanding of cell- structure and bacteria and/or building blocks of life. Earth manifestation, with its crystalline lenses and mirror reflected light, (the "I sight" of our senses), helps us see deeply into the microcosm that is Self, so that we better understand the macrocosm that is THE- Self.
As long as our Divine Consciousness is functioning though a physical vehicle, this is where our serious esoteric work begins and ends, and begins again.
The Thoth Universe card is the 32nd Path of Tau/Tav that joins the crystallized world of earth, Malkuth-Meaning Kingdom, with the Sephiroth Yesod -meaning Foundation It is the first journey out of the material condition that leads us to a greater understanding of the Personality mask that was designed by the Soul (Tiphareth) for each incarnation, before our man-made personality became a caul that blinded us to our divinity.
The Hebrew letter Tau or Tav, is "T" which embodies the sign of the cross or the reflection of the visible within the invisible. According to Crowley:
The Universe is the completion of the Fool (Aleph). It is attributed to the letter Tau. The 2 cards together accordingly spell the word-Ath, which means essence. All reality is consequently compromised in the series of which these 2 letters form the beginning and the end. This beginning was No-thing: the end must therefore, be No-thing, but Nothing in its complete expansion.
Dr. Paul Foster Case, who wrote the book, The Thirty Two Paths to Wisdom (the number 32 is the sum of the Paths and the Sephiroth) calls the Path of Tau (The Universe card) the “Administrative Intelligence" because it "directs and associates in all seven planets." The "seven planets" he is referring to are the Microprosopus-Hexagram pattern of the seven planets on the Tree of Life.
The understanding of the Path of Tau (meaning cross), from Malkuth to Yesod, is rooted on the fact that all is Mind. I know that as we are all body oriented, we think that the Mind's realm of ideas, dreams, or thoughts, are somehow divorced from the physical. We are indoctrinated to have a dual concept of ourselves as a body and mind, The Qabalah teaches that all is Mind as does the Tau. And yes, the body is "crystallized mind": but Mind just the same! Taking this a step further, all is Spirit/Light and the body is "Crystallized Spirit/Light". In the Mysteries, the distinction of Mind and Body is one of perception brought on by senses, not an actuality. Like a microscope the physical senses seem to separate what is examined from the whole, yet this is not so. Therefore, "reality" sees separates, where the Real is always Whole.
The pictures we see when we close our eyes, are a more refined form of matter, the images and energy forms which are closest to the physical condition. The concept of Yesod (Foundation) is based on the understanding that most of the Universe is unseen, in fact, our bodies are composed of the atomic electromagnetic spectrum and seem solid, yet they are 96 % invisible. This estimation not only comes from the fact that invisible Dark Energy comprises 26% of the matter Universe, and invisible Dark Matter comprises 70% of our known Universe but also from the fact that atoms are mostly space*. That means, that most of us are judging the Kingdom of Self, the Earth and our flesh, with less than 4% of our minds, via sensuality and cultural "wetware" programs! Since Malkuth is the only sensual kingdom, we must travel the Path of Tau to experience the "Seven Palaces of Assiah"(Seven planets), as represented by the seven pointed star on the Star Card Key 20.
This card is the key of individuality, totality, and wholeness. To those of Eastern culture, this is the image of Shiva; to the Christian, this is the image of the Virgin Mary with her foot on the head of the serpent.
*Atoms contain almost all of their mass in a tiny nucleus at the center of the atom (like a marble in a soccer stadium). Surrounding that nucleus are the electrons and protons (which have comparably little mass and take up next to no space). That means atoms are almost entirely made of “empty space”.The Universe is Mostly Empty Space - Fact or Myth?
Regardless of culturalinterpretation this card symbolizes the Divine Androgen that is both dynamic and magnetic in a perfectly balanced dance (life motion) of I Am. The fact that your physical identity takes up almost "no space", its solidity is merely imagined; imagination means "image maker" and that is just what you, as a Psyche/Soul, are doing; making your own image by "Will to Be"! You are light, and the seeming-solid world is made up of Lucid dreams of Self-reflection and/or Transformations of I AM.
Before I go on with further explanation of the Universe- Key-21, it would be appropriate here to tell you how to mentally "Walk" the Path of Tau. This mental walk, is called Skrying or Scrying. Skrying, is simple really, all one has to do is focus on a card, reflected in a "dark mirror", allowing impressions to enter their consciousness. This is somewhat like lucid dreaming, where you enter the dream and control the events. Here, one is projecting themselves into an inner vision by the use of a "day dream", projecting oneself into the mirrored-Vision of the Card. Some may breathe deep and easy, relaxed in body, and mentally project themselves into the Key Vision, others, as do I, mentally enter the mirror- like traveling into a tunnel. This imagining entering the art of the card, as the card grows ever bigger until entry. At first, maybe boredom takes over, but that is the first step of meditation, soon the diligent student discovers that what they experience in this lucid skrying, is not of their own making. They often are astonished at the vitality, energy and spontaneous images that these tarot "mandalas" invoke. [ To make a dark mirror, take a small mirror that you can put on a desktop, and remove the glass from the frame and paint the back of the mirror glass black. Then replace it in the frame. Since it is dark, one must use 2 candles to reflect light upon it. Candles are recommended because the flame moves on the wick. This motion is an integral part of the viewing.]
In the Forces of Tau, is the Knowledge, the data, of all the accumulated ideas that went into the making of our worlds. There is much to experience and remember here so discrimination is recommended, as we journey back into our Divine inheritance, we must educate our "I's" in order to perceive our "I AM Me/Self". The Path of Tau begins the process of knowing ourselves as we have been known into existence; an existence so dutifully produced by our Divine Parent’s Lucid Dream of I AM and/or 0=2. In fact, if the student of Tarot/Qabalah, doesn't skry these cards, they may as well be a deck of playing cards or be a charlatan that preys on superstitious personas for monetary gain.
From the standpoint of Gnosis (knowledge), the Universe Key 21, may be the most important card in the deck, as it is the beginning of our journey back to Spiritual-Self- Awareness: the inner journey so important to "enlightenment". On this Path of Tau, we experience our own personality consciousness, which is supposed to be of our own making, a reality that can be both frightening and gratifying. Yes, we make our own reality or it is made for us by indoctrination and dogma . Hence, the Universe card helps us to travel beyond the self-absorbed reality of our personalities, into the Higher Self reality that created our Solar-Consciousness (soul) in the Beginning. Freedom of Choice defines our "End" by the composite pattern of perspectives that often form the energy-in-motion (emotions) that animate our personalities. If our "beginning" as personality is defined for us by an outside "author" (authority) it ends as defined by that "outside" authority so dictates. If personality is that of the Soul's own information, it then is totally under the control of the Soul's authority and becomes a "mercury" like messenger between the "reality" and the Real.
Between the Hebrew letters of Aleph and Tau, is the entire Universe, the Alpha and the Omega and we must journey upwards from our Spirit's "ending" manifestation, into the Beginning....for they who know their end, know their beginning! Thus, the Path of Tau-The Universe, is a Path that can only be successfully traveled by those who begin the process of bringing their Personalities into a self-understanding balance brought on by deep introspection. Of personalities, we have many, for ours Souls are copies of the Universal Collective Unconscious, and therefore, are collectives of evolutionary self-awareness, each represented by the Sephiroth on the Tree of Life and for the sake of Knowing Thyself, they must be viewed at first, independently, and later as a wholeness.
What may also astound the student, it is that on the Path of Tau (The Universe Card), that one discovers the extent to which the process of inner exploration is assisted by the guidance of the "Angels", particularity archangels. The Family of Spirit is vast and many, and of that family, we are the Children of the Divine Couple; The Inheritors. It may surprise you, especially since the Pavlovian indoctrination of your personality has defined you deficient, that to the whole of the Universe you are most precious! The purpose of Tarot is to help you see, as you are seen by your "Inner- Creator"; "inner" because your Creator lies within your Space and wonder of wonders, you are not condemned but Loved without condition and imagined as Self!
One of the most important lessons of the Universe card, is that of Discernment, a process that can only be learned in the earthly realm of Malkuth. This gateway to the Astrals of self-dreaming, is the Path of Tau, and the Astral is the metaphysical name for the place of “Fluid thoughts", ideas, dreams, before they crystallize into manifestation. It is as if light were liquid, as if the mirror of your mind is not yet solidified, and discernment is needed to reflect you in a positive manner into the world of crystalline light. There is deception in the Astral, Fantasies, that may never make it into manifestation, and some you never want to, so be discerning, but only through divination can we enter the "Administrative Intelligence" balance; a discrimination that is shown on the Universe Card by depicting the Dancing Woman draped with the **Caph/Kaf-shaped scarf while being surrounded by the animal symbols of the Four Elements of Alchemy (Fire-Water-Air-Earth).
Kaf is the first of the "double letters" in Hebrew, having both a "medial" form and an ending form (sofit). The Mystery of Kaf In Jewish Mysticism, the two letters of the word "kaf" are the initial letters of the two Hebrew words: koach ("potential") and poel ("actual"), suggesting that Kaf enables the latent power of the spiritual (the potential) to be made actual in the physical:
If you have been keeping up with my blog (eli-lsmerchantile.com), you may know that the Universe Card is a multidimensional understanding of the Cosmic Mind and/or Greater Self. After much study, one may grasp the principle that the entire Tree of Life, which is taught through the Path of Tau-The Universe, is the most profound concept of "As above, so below". To a sensual body, this means "up and down", to the Infinite, this just means "higher vibration" and "lower vibration", a normal occurrence as energy condenses to greater and greater crystallization into matter. Of course, energy frequency, ideas and Mind are inseparable, just as electricity and data in your computer are inseparable. Thus another axiom is attributed to the Tree, "The Know is in the Flow". That is why, when we mentally journey a Path, we gather knowledge at the same time we encounter higher mental frequency. Diligently skrying is more than just a moment of silent contemplation, it is also a gathering of successful information.
Many times I have discussed the "Will-To-Form” of the Great Mother Binah (3rd Sephiroth on the Tree of Life) who is the Life Conscious and which is Saturn in the exalted Supernal Realm of Atziluth. She is completely expressed on the Path of Tau, ATU/Key 21-The Universe. The female figure of the " Cosmic Dancer" of the Universe, is the fullest expression of this Life Conscious and has been called Isis, the Anima Elohim, as well as, Saturn (Time) who gives life and destroys it and the Universal Collective Unconscious as The Great Ocean of Mother Binah.
The oval ring of Stars that surrounds the central female figure represents the Womb of the human female, as well as, the Cosmic Womb/Vesica Pisces, into which the soul passes after body death. We arise from our death surrounded in a ring of stars, on our way to the Great Mother.
Life, with its beginning, middle, and end, processes in waves or spirals (Spirit is a Spiral flow of Will-to-be Energy) which come back upon themselves. This circling back upon itself is often shown as a Great Serpent with its tail in its mouth. This is also the natural course of the Akashic Fluid (Astral Fluid) of Yesod where the Serpent Kundalini (inner soul) is coiled in its passive state, and uncoiled in its active state.
The Universe Card is also surrounded in the Great Dark Sea, a reference to the Great Mother Binah, who is the Sea of all consciousness (The Divine Unconscious) which on the Path of Tau, is self- consciousness in the most dense and difficult expression. Again, discernment must be used when traveling the Akashi of Yesod, many who entered this Path, entertain themselves with extended fantasy and find themselves tormented by phantoms of their own making. The discerning traveler will supply every test of reason, and feeling. After a time of discernment, one will begin experiencing a process of learning, which is not of their own making. Verifying the images, by elaborate research definitely aids in this process. Therefore, the Universal Womb is shown with sickle in hand as this figure cuts away limitations and restrictions while weaving them into a web to dance on.
The regenerative diamondback serpent is representative of the need to transform/regenerate before we can expand and liberate ourselves from the past self- imposed limits.
The spiral hair symbolizes growth and evolution.
The diamond halo is the symbol for expanded awareness, such as psychic abilities etc.
The Greek pantheon at the bottom represents the home of all the goddesses and gods. When our body becomes the temple of our divinity, such a pantheon are we.
The four animals symbolize, earth (Taurus the bull), fire (Leo, the lion), and water (Scorpio, the bird): and air (Aquarius, the human face). This shows us that it is important to express ourselves, physically, (Taurus), spiritually (Leo), emotionally (Scorpio), and mentally (Aquarius).
To some people, the Tarot is about prophecy and seeing into the future but to Qabalists, the Tarot is about developing psychic abilities (Divya Sidhis, in Sanskrit which means: Magic abilities). The more a reader uses the cards to find answers to given questions, the more that reader taps into the unseen currents of subtle energy/conscious that composes the collective soul.
I will attest that over time,the cards are almost a redundancy , each a degree apart from the other as all represent an aspect of the 0-Fool. But again, we think by association and the Tarot Cards help us correspond to the Divine Identities that form the One.
Already you know that The Path of Tau, is the inner ascending path from 10-Malkuth-Kingdom (bottom circle-Sephiroth) to the circle above it which is 9- Yesod-Foundation. Which is the path of the 21-Universe Trump. We ascend the Tree of Life as we work from our material perspective (below) to our Divine Inheritance/Spiritual perspective-(above). We have manifested on Earth to achieve a more refined/intimate discriminating perspective of the Universe through a personal learning- relationship with it and/or intimacy with creation. Our work with Earth is where all serious esoteric work begins and ends (Alpha and Omega) as long as Divine Consciousness is functioning through a physical being, the Divine is intimately involved with the information of Self.
The Path of Tau, The Universe, is the first path out of the material condition of the survival mind (animal consciousness) and leads towards understanding of the Personality constructed by the Greater Self (Higher Self) of Tiphareth (Beauty) for each incarnation.
The Path of Tau, is both power and servitude as ascribed to the Palace of Holiness that sustains all things. That Palace, being the associated seven planets and the Path of Tau that connects them to earth.
From the self-awarenessstandpoint the 21-Universe Card may be the most important card in the deck for it is the point where we begin the process of inner exploration. It is on this Path that we encounter our own personal self-conscious, a personality that is all inside our heads divorced from physical reality. Therefore, The Path of Tau, is an initiation of the Personality into its own structure, which is the Microcosmic Universe (The All of the Universe is the Macrocosm). During this initiation we will also encounter symbols and ideas of a greater consciousness than our own and begin to see ways in which our being relates to a total universal picture.
This is a subjective Path which can only be successfully traveled by those who have begun to bring their Personalities into self-understanding balance and/or begin the process of "above all things, know thyself"; otherwise an out of balance personality will find itself tormented by phantoms of its own making and the Gates of understanding are closed to them. Those who have truly come to grips with personal Life Experience will find inner help and encouragement along the way. Sometimes, in every step of the way.
We must also understand that The Universe is a Path of Entry into the Astral Illusions, which seeks to deceive. Many people believe they are on one Path or another, when they are just entertaining themselves with a personal extended fantasy that entertains the ego. We must apply every test of reason and feeling to the symbols we perceive on the Astral; we know it is not of our own making if we are actually learning from these symbols, by applying verification or corroboration through research. Again: discernment is the most important lesson/virtue of Malkuth.
The Path of Tau, is the only one of the 32 paths of Wisdom that connects sensation to the rest of the tree. "As above, so below", just as the nervous system connects the brain to the rest of the body. Intimate Self is now established because we are the "images of God" sensating for all the above states of Greater Self-conscious! Sensation is the Energy Microscope that is needed for impeccable creation in the Microcosm. Discerning Impeccability is necessary to expand and liberate the living from their own Phantoms of self-identity, i.e. fears of not being. However, even though the body is part of the 1% world of physical matter, it is 100% of all sensation. Thus, we are fooled into thinking the sensation is us. So to begin with psychic development, we must give our senses to the Universe----so meditate on 21-The Universe card and expand your self-awareness beyond the ego, who is all falsehood, deceit and illusion.----for it is man-made and word bound and not of your Soul's self-identity of which you were built to be the image of.
Advice of the dead: Do not give up and do not be afraid. The road you have taken is the right one and whatever difficulty you find will be brief and you will achieve the results you desire.
-From the Santa Muerte Book of the Dead-by Fabio Listrani
The Santa Muerte- Key 21-The World, uses the title given this key by traditional Tarot. This card represents the total realization of expansion and achievement. The realm of Malkuth-The Word, brings with it a seemingly slow but constant and determined evolution (time-shown as an hourglass) toward one's Real- personal and professional objectives seen as the transformation and discovery of a new balance at the peak of a cycle. Hence the Bride of All Creation-(Time / Santa Muerte) is shown on the "top of the World". The scythe is the cyclic "thread cutter".
When this card is thrown, the querent is casting the circle which means they are mastering in some way the three planes of mind, body and emotions.
If ill dignified by surrounding cards:
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