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The Tarot of Eli: The Erotic Tarot-Key 15-The Devil & The Thoth Tarot- ATU 15-The Devil.

Qabalistic Tarot Card Comparisons.

Key 15- THE DEVIL.

The difference between a comedy and a tragedy is that in a comedy, the characters figure out reality in time to do something about it.

--Bennett W. Goodspeed

In the Erotic Tarot of Milo Manara, The Devil -Key 15, is shown as a demonic Temptress, which is indeed appropriate as an image of the adult bogey man/woman. Before Christianity, the provenance of the word devil is noted as Persian. Barbara Walker states." The Words "devil" and "divinity" grew from the same root, Indo-European devi (Goddess) or deva (God), which became daeva (devil) in Persian. Old English divell (devil) can be traced to the Roman derivative divus, divi: gods. So there is some confusion of whether the devil is a demon as the Christian Theologians insist, or a God. This Theologian, finds the Devil to be neither one. For it is the Survival Mind of the Organic Living Being, we call Organic matter.

However, Milo Manara, has appropriately displayed the Demon Empousa:

From the Free Encyclopedia Wikipedia:

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By the Late Antiquity in Greece, this became a category of beings, designated as empusai (Lat. empusae) in the plural. It came to be believed that the specter preyed on young men for seduction and for food.[4]

According to 1st century Life of Apollonius of Tyana, the empousa is a phantom (phasma) that took on the appearance of an attractive woman and seduced a young philosophy student in order to eventually devour him.[10] In a different passage of the same work, when Apollonius was journeying from Persia to India, he encountered an empousa, hurling insults at it, coaxing his fellow travelers to join him, whereby it ran and hid, uttering high-pitched screams.[11]

An empousa was also known to others as lamia or mormolyke.[10] This empousa confessed it was fattening up the student she targeted to feed on him, and that she especially craved young men for the freshness and purity of their blood,[10] prompting an interpretation as blood-sucking vampire by Smith′s Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (1849).[4][14]

This linking of vampires and woman, seems to be one of the ancient reasons for the profane practice of celibacy in many patriarchal theologies. Since Theologies are based on superstition rather than knowledge of the Universal forces, and since the Patriarch couldn't control birth, but tried very hard to do so with fear and intimidation, and since the Patriarch blamed woman for man's downfall in the Garden of Eden, we can then see why the first devils were deemed females and seducers.Hence, the Milo Manara card shows just that. A patriarch being seduced by a empousa.

The Thoth Tarot-ATU 15-The Devil, shows a different concept of the Devil, but just as humorous. In fact, whimsy is one aspect of this card.

The Thoth and Manara Devil Card represents the Universal Key of mirth combined with stability. This card in the deck has gone through a transformation within itself. Greek Mythology described the half goat half man as Pan the Sensual god of Merriment which also latter became the god Bacchus of merriment and wine. In Egyptian mythology, this was Ra, a sun deity symbol of Life Force and Energy. During the middle ages, the inquisitional backlash to the pantheistic cults caused the Devil image to be created. The Devil spelled backwards is lived, and shows the obvious reason for this backlash-propaganda against "living-it-up" which was considered hedonism. As a puppet of culture, we must now consider the body a burden and sensuality improper…and beneath Holiness. Conveniently forgetting that Divine Creative built Its most sensual Self -image as the physical human body and/or Homo Sapiens. The Divine Creative can not be Lucid and/or intimate with its creations without sensations. That is why we are called "the Hands of God" for creativity is in our minds and done by our hands. Speaking of the "mind", the Devil/Pan archetype represents the need to face whatever "bedevils" us mentally. It reminds us to handle life from a place of humor which gives us the sure footedness of a goat (Capricorn) and the humor of Pan (the smiling goat). To avoid the ensnarements (the web image of spider like veils) we must hold on to our sense of humor, mirth and stability which centers us when we face real or imagined problems. It's okay to laugh in a traffic jam!

Capricorn, the goat, is able and willing to look at internal issues (third eye) and external bedevilments with both eyes wide open and focused straight ahead.

The Egyptian Eye of Horus staff represents our vision and intuition that protects us from peer pressure and other people’s reaction to our creative motion. By seeing beyond fear of rejection, busy- body gossip, can't hold a candle to self-knowledge--- it’s okay to laugh at Myna birds, they just mimic intelligence.

The male figures and female figures represent the creative ability to combine male -electric and female- magnetic forces within our natures to create unlimited self-possibilities.

Mirth allows us to be able to break the bondage of self- definition supplied by culture, society, media, and peers. The Mirthful creator identifies Himself- Herself as you, and you are free to define yourself as you will. This is the Freedom of Choice called I Am. Creation is always about polarities, i.e. the Law of attraction and resonance.

The rings of Saturn are seen at the top of the card, as Saturn rules the sign of Capricorn and represents Time.".the eater of its own children",as mythology has stated of the God Cronus/Saturn.

On the Qabalistic Tree of Life, The Devil-ATU 15 is The Path of Ayin, and connects the Sephiroth of the Solar Logos-Tiphareth with the Sephiroth- Hod which is the sphere of Mercury and intellect. The Path of Ayin, is the Twenty-sixth Path and is formative. In the terms of Self structure, it is the bridge between The Personality and individuality. As I have stated before, the Solar Logos, is the Original Personality of the Divine Child of the Divine Creative, i.e. the Son/Sun.

*Note: this is not a sexual description of a species, rather it is an Energetic one, For the Son/Sun of God is a Sun that sends "solar flares" (Divine Energy) outward as individual expressions of Its own Self to the Personality; from Self into selves that circumnavigate , through the experiences of self-awareness back to Self, i.e. from Tiphareth to Malkuth and back up the Tree to Tiphareth again. As Crowley stated: The Soul is the mirror that reflects our personality.

The Hebrew letter Ayin means -Eye and is a simple letter that also means -Mirth. This double meaning may invite confusion; However, rest assured, that this Path of Ayin is one of the most difficult for western people to understand, for interpretation flies in the face of Christian cultural definitions that have been applied to the Devil.

In Barbra G. Walker's Book [THE WOMAN'S ENCYCLOPEDIA OF MYTHS AND SECRETS [Harpers Collins Publishers] which has been honored by the London Times Educational supplement as 1986 "Book of the Year", Thus it seems that, from the beginning, gods and devils were often confused with one another." She goes on to explain such enlightening scholarship that I highly recommenced this book to anyone who seeks an honest education.Barbara Walker states." The Words "devil" and "divinity" grew from the same root, Indo-European devi (Goddess) or deva (God), which became daeva (devil) in Persian. Old English divell (devil) can be traced to the Roman derivative divus, divi: gods. So there is some confusion of whether the devil is a demon as the Christian Theologians insist, or a God.

There is another fact here that may hide from reason, and that is the combination of the words Devi (Goddess) and Lingam ( Male phallus), is Divya Linga ( Sanskrit word for Divine- lingam) and has also been interpreted by propagandists of Christian past, as the word Devil,: which actually bespeaks of the "Son of God" as the ejaculation of the Solar Phallus-The Zeus Christos, [ see-Semen-in the Encyclopedia of Erotic Wisdom by Rufus C. Camphausen] Much to study here as most of our "knowledge" is propaganda based misconstructions!

To the Qabalist, the Devil in not viewed as an evil entity (lived spelled backward), having its own god-like existence, as it represents a special mystery (Arcana) that must be experienced and understood before we can hope to directly know the Higher Self. Within our Physical bodies. The Devil is the intelligence that is Master of Manifest form, which we meet on the Path of Ayin, and must face and conquer. The Path of Ayin, takes the traveler into an understanding that we are entering a transition between the intellects of instinctual-consciousness (individual conscious) and true spiritual conscious. This is also shown by the little blue flowers that decorate the head of the Thoth Goat. These are called "forget-me-nots" , a fun way of showing that we are locked into fear of rejection when using the survival mind and/or instinctual mind of the animal body. We must therefore, get over that fear of being rejected, so that we can see that we are already accepted by the only power that has the ability to Create us. We are the Divine Creative's way of "seeing itself". The Path of Ain, is the Path of "I".

Three Paths lead directly into Tiphareth: THE DEVIL {ATU- 15), ART and DEATH (key 13). Now each of these paths represents a special trial for the initiate; However, each student is not required to travel all three Paths. One way to experience Path Travel is the Devotional Path of the Middle Pillar, where one need only experience the Path of Samekh (meaning- Prop) or the Art Card-key 14 (Temperance in other decks), leading from Yesod (Foundation ) to Tiphareth (Beauty). This is more of a gentle path of the Mystics and demands less mental and emotional will from the Student. The Magi's way of following each and every Path, means the acquisition of control over Forces which each Path symbolizes: every Path confers a unique power (“magical abilities"). A Magus is an active Force of Creation, rather than a Passive one. The difference here, is that the Traveler of the Middle Path does learn to balance and understand within the Self, the forces of the twenty-two Paths, but understanding these conceptual states of conscious energy does not necessarily develop the ability to manipulate them, which is an art necessary in the development of a "discerning Personality"; the Spiritual purpose for the human body!.

Now I know, that some students of the Occult (hidden mysteries) enter into the studies seeking a type of "Raw Power", hoping to control others and circumstances to avoid pain and "doing unto others before they can do unto them" Such misinformed students soon learn that if such Power is acquired and then misused there is a devastating price to pay. So there is no question that for the timid, the Middle Path is much safer than facing and conquering the temptations of the Magical Path.

THE DEVIL represents Raw Power (Mars), it is the Force that brings about the transmutation of THE TOWER (key 16) and is in the sign of Capricorn (also shown as the Goat on the card), which is where Mars is exalted. Capricorn, is a weighty, even blind sign of Earth and symbolizes the highest and lowest states of individual personality, the instinctual intelligence of Earth. Yet it is considered a sign of initiation, or release from matter formed limitations. These material limitations are suggested by the astrological ruler ship of Capricorn by Saturn, the Planet of Binah, The Great Mother that governs the limitations of form, as does Saturn. These limitations are of both the enclosure of matter or of time, the artificial system by which we meter and enclose all activities. Thus, THE DEVIL also represents the average person's misconception of "reality"; a perceptive belief that the material-sensual condition is "Real". The Qabalist knows the physical-material world as the "1%" world, and realizes that the other invisible”99%" (often called "the other side of the Mirror") is the Real. Also, the instinctual mind and/or survival mind is the author of superstitions and always fearing the unknown and therefore, assigning the unknown with demonic or angelic actions.

The misconception of reality is symbolized in two ways on THE DEVIL card: the smirking mouth and the Goat represents the humorous figure of the childhood nemesis the "Bogey Man" . This Card emphasizes the knowledge that our belief in the illusion of matter (Matter is only .4% visible as our bodies are 99.6% space!) is actually laughable while implying that laughter and a humorous approach to our lives is a tool which will help our consciousness to transcend the illusion of "seeing it to believe it". Mirth is the first great corrective and helps us not to take our perceptions of the material world seriously, which only means "fearfully". It pays to note that the Survival Mind of the animal, is our Devilish tempter that tricks us into believing we are as Moons who are at the mercy of Forces rather than the Magus (The Sun) who manipulates them.

At risk of redundancy, THE DEVIL, card is called the Path of Ayin (eye-I) on the Tree of Life and connects Hod (Splendor) with Tiphareth (Beauty). It is to be noted, that the Sephiroth (Circles) are objective intelligent STATES OF ENERGY, while the Paths are subjective states of intelligent energy.

One primary statement of the Path of Ayin (meaning-Eye) is that the ignorant, superstitious person, sees the world in an "upside down" vision. Thus the upside down pentagram is associated with the Devil. The Qabalist knows that "all things were from One by the meditation of One," [from the Emerald Tablet] stating the obvious, that there is nothing in the Universe that isn't of the Divine Creative, and the Children of the Divine Creative have the same power to create Image. We call it "Imagination", which is the Creatrix-Womb of image. So we can, by focused fear, create our demons, and our gods. For even the Qaballah states, that " the gods are the creation of the created".

As stated in yesterday's blog, the Christian concept of the Devil is from the word Devi meaning goddess, and is a rather obvious attempt at the misogynistic propaganda of the Patriarch (military war based gods) religions. If one has any education at all, one knows that the womb is the place of Form, not the male semen, which is -a pollen, if you will, and is but a catalytic force. And without the womb, semen will never become form. . The Qabalah is all about states of energy known as "Force and Form", what is masculine is considered Will to Force (electric) and what is feminine is considered Will to Form (Magnetic) which is much more viable with today's biological knowledge, as the early fetus, from 1 to 8 weeks old, are all female. Remember, the 3rd Sephiroth is Binah, who means "understanding" and the 2nd Sephiroth is Chokmah, meaning " Knowledge". Knowledge, unless Understood, can not become form. So the Knowledge of I AM , is formless unless the in-form-ation is applied, i.e., Understood.

The intelligent state of energy known as Devil has also been called the "Prince of the Powers of Air", implying that this energy state is meditating in the flow of the astral currents. In this context, Air is understood to be the whole of Yetzirah, the Astral Plane, which controls the ebb and flow of matter. The ability to reverse the ebb and flow of Astral light, requires meditation, intellect and discipline, all of which are achieved by conquering the Path of Ayin. One must begin this process of discipline with the intellect of Hod, traversing into the intuition of Tiphareth...The Christ or Buddha state of intelligent energy. Even the scriptures talk of Christ's passage through the temptations of the Devil, i.e. his own illusions brought on by matter.

You may recall that THE DEVIL is Saturn in Capricorn, which brings up an interesting point. The Ancients stated that "Saturn eats its own children",(as illustrated by the master painter Rubens), meaning that for Spirit ( I AM), illusion of form (Me) is necessary to produce the material form, and that the dissolution of these forms (Me) is essential to the Path of Return. To the Alchemist dissolution means analysis, which is the precise application of separating the component forces of ourselves and our universe into twenty-two paths on the Tree of Life. The next part of the process is reintegrating these forces through the understanding of their operation. Eliphas Levi called THE DEVIL--The Path of Ayin---the “Great Magical Agent" this process of manipulation as, to dissolve, to consolidate, to quicken, to moderate., i.e. dissolution, re-integration, activity, and grounding, Thus we have the same qualities as described to Fire, Water, Air and Earth.

Once again we understand The Devil to represent the "score of the forms and appearance of relative existence.” a description supplied in various Mystery Tests. Another ancient description is that the Devil is "Lord of the Gates of Matter and Child of the Forces of Time," which indicates a phallic energy state, Lord being husbandry, as the gateway to form is Yoni or Womb. Thus you may note the stylized phallus and testes on the Thoth Deck Tarot Card that is both the back drop and support of the Goat figure that represents the old god Pan. The testes are also seen as supporting human shaped white figures.

As one can see, there is represented an understanding of the intercourse of Forces and Form, attributes to the understanding that "God is sex". In truth, The Creator, who is One that is Two, knew that it needed a mirror to see itself---------the material world is that which reflects from the mirror of consciousness. Upon observation we may see that the I AM can only be aware of Itself, as a Me.

What the understanding of The Devil card produces in us , is the knowledge that the illusion of Form, is the same as the illusion of mirror reflections, it’s all reflected backwards... and is not a true state of Being. Turn your mind around, and know that you are a Spirit who owns a body (which is a power tool for discernment), and not a body that is seeking Spirit. The analogy that I like to use when describing the common perspective, is that of a "fish in the ocean, seeking water". Not only is this a accurate description for a body seeking spirit, it is also a mirthful one that describe the illusion of form, as the fish-form can be stated as "The Ocean experiencing itself".

When the Devil card is thrown during a reading of tarot:

  • When this card is thrown, it reminds us to stop struggling for truth amid seeming contradictions.
  • We must accept the presence of paradox and realize our own truth.
  • Celebrate life, laugh. Play, and dance upon the Earth---Why else create a sensual body?
  • The querent is experiencing states of materiality, and/or material force.
  • Temptation of the flesh, sometimes obsession,  all associate with the "Trickster" god images of the past which is the principle of mirth.
  • The querent may experience humor over their material circumstances, or over what "bedevils" them.
  • The advice is to view your emotions humorously, which will free you from the illusion of their seriousness.
  • There is a warning here, that even the best of intentions, maybe wrong. Accept the presence of paradox and realize your own truth.
When ill defined:
  • One is bedeviled by thoughts of lack. 
  • Poverty thinking.
  • Under the spell of "Fear of Rejection". 
  • Living in the past emotions.
  • Upside down thinking.

Thank you for your interest,comments and supportive donations. May you live long and prosper.

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