The universe resounds with the joyful cry I AM.
The proper study of the Paths (Major Arcana cards) is the ascending of Understanding up the Tree of Life (going inward), as we are "below" (going doward is going outside) and need to remember the realms of Pure Spirit "above". But this is the illusion of caused by the condensed light of sensual being. In truth, you are Spirit, which is Infinite Will/Energy, making you both Here and There for you can only be Here if you are already There. Be that as it may, the experiences 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. Earth manifestation, with its crystalline lenses and mirrors of reflected light, (the "I sight" of our senses), helps us reflect deeply on the microcosm, so that we better understand the macrocosm.
As long as our Divine Consciousness is functioning though a physical vehicle, this is where our serious esoteric work begins and ends.
The Path of Tau- ATU/Key 21-The Universe, joins the crystallized world of earth, the 10th Sephiroth Malkuth-Meaning Kingdom, with the 9th Sephiroth- Yesod -meaning Foundation. It is the first journey of the personality out of the material condition that leads us to a greater understanding of the Personality that was designed by the Soul ( 9th Sephiroth-Tiphareth) for each incarnation, before our man-made personality blinded us to our divinity.
Dr.Paul Foster Case, who wrote the book, The Thirty Two Paths to Wisdom (the number Thirty Two is the sum of the Paths and the Sephira) 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/sensually oriented, we think that the Mind's realm of ideas, dreams, or thoughts, are somehow divorced from the physical, giving us a dual concept of ourselves as a body and mind. The Qabalah and Metaphysics teaches that all is Mind and yes, the body is "crystallized identity": but Mind just the same! Taking this a step further, all is Spirit and the body is "Crystallized Spirit". In the Mysteries, the distinction of Mind and Body is one of perception (brought on by senses), not an actuality. For each of us are a menage à trois, meaning- "3 in a house" and that house is the homo sapiens sapiens. The "I" is Spirit, the "Am" is Mind and the personality is the "Me" of our ternary self.
Therefore, 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 illusionary concept of Yesod (Foundation), whose planet is the Moon, is based on the understanding that most of the Universe is unseen, in fact, our bodies are composed of the electromagnetic spectrum and seem solid, yet they are 96 % invisible. This estimation comes from the fact that invisible Dark Energy comprises 26% of the matter Universe, and invisible Dark Matter comprises 70% of our known Universe. That means, that most of us are judging the Kingdom of God, the Earth and our flesh, with less than 4% of our minds, often using only our reaction to sensuality as a "truth"! 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.
The Universe 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. Regardless of cultural interpretation this card symbolizes the Divine Androgen that is both dynamic and magnetic in a perfectly balanced dance (life motion) of I Am. Whose harmonic dance transforms the idea of being.
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 Scrying. Scrying, is simple really, all one has to do is focus on a card allowing impressions they receive to flow freely in the mind or even imagine themselves entering the Tarot image. 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 Vision of the Card. Hence, the use of a "dark mirror" is recommended, as it reflects the card in a "mirror image" that reveals even deeper arcane information. Some may breathe deep and easy, relaxed in body, and letting their eyes become pathways and mentally project themselves into the Key Vision. Others, as do I, like traveling into a tunnel, imagine themselves entering the Visions, as the card grows ever bigger until entry. At first, maybe boredom takes over, but soon the diligent student discovers that what they experience in this scrying, is not of their own making. They often are astonished at the vitality, energy and spontaneous images that these Tarot "mandalas" invoke.
In the Forces of Tau, is the Knowledge, the data, of all the accumulated understood ideas that went into the making of our world. For when data is understood, it becomes information, which in this world becomes in-form-action. 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" and/or know our-self. The Path of Tau begins the process of knowing ourselves as we have been known into existence by the Divine I AM; an existence so dutifully produced by our Divine Parent’s Lucid Dream. In fact, if the student of Tarot/Qabalah, doesn't scry these cards, they may as well be a deck of playing cards or be a charlatan that preys on superstitious minds for monetary gain as any fundamental religion does.
From the standpoint of Gnosis (knowledge), the Universe ATU/Key 21, may be the most important card in the deck, as it is the beginning of our journey back to Spiritual/Spiral Awareness: the inner journey so important to "enlightenment". On this Path of Tau, we experience our own personality consciousness, which is of our cultural making; a reality that can be both frightening and gratifying. In actuality, we make our own reality by our reactions that come from being alive and the Universe card helps us to travel beyond the self-absorbed reality of our personalities, into the Higher Self reality that created our consciousness in the Beginning. Freedom of Choice defines our "End" by the composite pattern of perspectives that often form our personalities.
Between the Hebrew letters of Aleph and Tau, is the entire Universe, the Alpha and the Omega and we must journey upwards/inward 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 inner Path that can only be successfully traveled by those who begin the process of bringing their Personalities into a self-understanding balance. Of personalities (all forms are illusion), we have many, 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.
This may also astound the student, but it is 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 ( "different angels" of light). 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. Truth being, 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 Creator and wonder of wonders, you are not condemned but Loved without condition! As one practices scrying on these Paths, one begins to experience the "pull" of assistance as they travel up the subtle Paths of the inner-self. It is as if Spirit or Angels reach out and grasp your "mind" and you are spiralling into greater and greater dimensions of Divinity. Never fear, you will mentally return to this world, but the "you" that returns is greatly expanded mentally and therefore, unfettered by material conditions.
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 Astral/Universal Collective Unconscious, is the Path of Tau, and the Astral is 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, as if made of mercury. There is deception in the Astral, Fantasies, that may never make it into manifestation, phantoms of survival thinking and some you of these images are seen as "holy" and some you never want to see, so be discriminating. Only through divination can we enter the "Administrative Intelligence" balance; a discrimination or discernment that is shown on the Universe Card by depicting the Dancing Woman draped with the Caph-shaped scarf while being surrounded by the animal symbols of the Four Elements of Alchemy.
If you have been keeping up with my blogs, you may understand that the Universe Card is a multidimensional understanding of the Cosmic Mind, both macrosmic and microcosmic. 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 unto matter. Of course, energy frequency, and Mind are insuperable, 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 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 Mother of Conscious and which is Saturn in the exalted Supernal Realm of Atziluth. She is completely expressed on the Path of Tau, 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 who gives life and destroys it as the Great 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 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. For we are "stars", i.e., images of light.
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 and/or the Western Magic image of the lemniscate ( Greek, meaning-Ribbon) This is also the natural course of the Akashic Fluid (Astral Fluid) of Yesod where the Serpent Kundalini is coiled in its passive state, and uncoiled in its active state and is the image of 0=2.
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 consciousness in the most dense and difficult expression. Again, discrimination 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.
Sickle in hand 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 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) by remembering our divinity and/or claiming our cosmic inheritance. 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 from which they are created.
Over time, as I will attest, the cards are almost a redundancy, each a degree different than the other. But again, we think by association and the Tarot Cards help us correspond to the many Degrees of the Divine.
Let me reiterate:
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.
Symbolically this path connects the earth to the Microcosm (Microprosopus in The Sepher Yetzirah-Qabalistic text) represented by the Hexagram which is the connected Seven Planets on the Tree of Life.
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 Qabalistic standpoint 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.
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; 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 blameless 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 Lucid Entry into the Astral realm of dreams, 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. 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. Discrimination and/or 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" is now established because we are the "images of the Divine Creative" feeling for all 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 death. 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.
The Tarot of The Ages- Key XXII, isn't listed as Key 21, even though it uses traditional Tarot images of the Key-21 World card. In this deck the authors reinstated the 0-Fool card as key 21. Aleister Crowley has proclaimed the Fool as both 0 and 22, for it represents the beginning and end of all things and it is known that the 78 cards of the Tarot are all degrees or aspects of the Fool who is the 0 and/or infinite spirit and/or the 0=2. Here the Goddess image is surrounded by the 4 universal elements, in their symbolic images of Man, Eagle, Lion and Bull. Behind her is a unnamed planet. On her head she wears the crescent moon image of Hathor, the cow goddess of ancient Egypt, whose milk was said to made the milky way. All of which are traditional tarot images of this card. In her right hand is the wand of everlasting light, which is a male phallic image of the "semen" that was ejaculated by " god" into the Universe -"Abyssal womb"and /or the Yod force that is represented in the Tarot wands suit.
Rather than use the Hebrew letter Tau/Tav and the planetary symbol for Saturn, the Tarot of the Ages Key XXII uses the Hebrew letter Tav/Tau, like the Thoth Universe card, but uses the planetary symbol of Jupiter instead of Saturn. Saturn represents Cronos, the God of Time, while Jupiter represents a Merciful God of Creation. Truth being, the Wheel of Time, rules the manifested world and Jupiter is more of a Chessed, a god of architecture. However, both Thoth and Tarot of the Ages Universe cards bear the same meanings.
When the Tarot of The Ages and Thoth Universe card are thrown in a divination, they imply:
- The querent is casting the circle which means they are mastering in some way the three planes of mind, body and emotions.
- End of a phase, a completion of some work and expanding toward another.
- It means synthesis, the matter itself, world and Kingdom.
- More than any other card, The Universe depends on the accompanying cards, as it usually denotes the subject of the question.
- Ultimate change.
- The end result of all efforts.
- Rewards that come from hard work.
- The outcome of events despite other signs.
If ill defined by surrounding cards:
- Failure to complete a task one starts.
- Lack of vision.
Thank you for your interest, comments and supportive donations. May you live long and prosper.