The Milo Manara Erotic Tarot Card-Key 6-The Lover's seems to display a confused pattern of bondage and sadism, as the woman posing for the artist is showing signs of flagellation and a rope around her wrist. The man must be mad, to call this the lover's. However, what he is displaying is the shocking truth of this card that is the Path of Zain on the Qabalistic Tree of Life, Zain, means-Sword or Armor and this path leads from the 3rd Sephiroth Binah, on the Pillar of Severity down to the 6th Sephiroth-Tiphareth on the "middle pillar" of mildness. This is called the Disposing Intelligence , as it gives control of one's self to another. One will note that the artist is dressed in early 17th century clothing. So Milo Manara, must have read the Text: The Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosenceutz, as well as a student of the Marquis de Sade. The image of the Woman is of a woman profaned, just what the Catholic Church was accused of doing by the Marquis.
Marquis de Sade, a French aristocrat, philosopher and writer of explicit sexual works, was born in Paris in 1740. His writings depict violence, criminality and blasphemy against the Catholic Church. During the French Revolution he was an elected delegate to the National Convention.
THE LOVERS card also relates to the Hermetic Marriage, or "Chemical Wedding", as written in the 17th century in a text called: The Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosenceutz which is one of the key documents of Hermetic-Qabalist. I've found this alchemical text very readable, much like a fairy tale, and yet one of the most profound pieces of esoteric or Gnostic symbolism ever written. The fact that the word Sword or Armor (Zain) is the word meaning of this path and that blood is spilled on this path, are all reconciled and/ or reinforced in this text and is artistically shown in the Manara Lovers card. This understanding requires some meditation on the Alchemical text. However, true love, is the annihilation of the individuals involved. For they become a composite self rather than an individual self. For instance, and simply put, let's say a red crayon-ego becomes the lover of a blue crayon-ego, each in union, annihilates the other, as they now become the color purple. In the act of physical sex, blood is spilled as well, either in the first penetration, or the Semen of the Male, which is made out of his blood. Love requires sacrifice and here that sacrifice is seen. For a Woman in a true marriage of lovers, gives up her ego to the man, and vise-verse.
The Oracle of the Gods is the Child-Voice of Love in Thine own Soul; hear thou it. Heed not the Siren-Voice of Sense, or the Phantom-Voice of Reason: rest in Simplicity, and listen to the Silence.
Key 6- THE LOVERS astrological sign is Gemini and is about the joining together of the female yin and the male yang. The magnetic and electric forces joining together to create a greater Self. This card represents the universal principle of the art and craft of relationship; the union of opposites that creates everything. The Lovers is about the Duality of the Divine Creative---Goddess/God and everything about this card is dual. Thus the journey of the twins, a universal motif found in all cultures. Hansel and Gretel, Raggedy Andy and Raggedy Ann; all the famous couples throughout history reflect this archetype of the Lovers.
The Lovers card is about love and relationships and reminds us that we are to be joyful and innocent in love (the two children) while exhibiting curiosity and playfulness; the adult couple facing each other remind us of loyalty and commitment. The Hermit, whose hands are in blessing above the royal couple, reminds us of the need to be alone and granting the gift of spaciousness for the purpose of individual contemplation, introspection and inner self meditation. All parts of balanced and flowing Love. The Iron gates in the back ground of the Thoth card symbolize the Lovers' need not to be limited, bared or restrained in their relationship. When this card is drawn it often symbolizes a loving relationship, soon to be or even a marriage and/or the inner balance of the female and male forces in an individual.
In the Text, THIRTY TWO PATHS OF WISDOM, Paul Foster Case called THE LOVERS, the Disposing Intelligence. The complexity of this card can barely be presented by the image on the card, and is even difficult to understand as a disposing intelligence. For to dispose, is to transfer control to another or to deal with conclusively or even to just get rid of.
THE LOVERS, the Path of Zain ( meaning Sword), runs between Binah (understanding) and Tiphareth (Beauty) and connects the Pure Conscious, from which all form emerged (Binah) with the central point of Manifestation (Tiphareth). The Term Lovers, seems simple enough, yet it is a complex and profound card, as it is not about the love of two humans, but rather the Twins or duality of the individual united in pursuit of Divine Love. The True meaning of Key 6, is embedded in the Astrological sign Gemini, The Twins. The Dual intelligent Forces of Male and Female, (electric and magnetic), are what THE LOVERS proposes to unite. These are equal and opposite Intelligence that must be united as a major step towards the Godhead on the Tree of Life. The surging of the Divine One Energy, across the Abyss into manifestation, formed stable dualities. The Lovers card is also representative of the loving relationship a Magi must make of the Cain and Able inside each of us, i.e. the animal and spirit or subconscious and consciousness.
The "Great Work", is a return to the primeval state (As above so below) by the communion or "marriage" of these dualities of manifestation. Here, the self- consciousness of ratiocination must give control to the Imagination/Unconscious and/or intuition.
As Robert Wang wrote about the Path of Zain (meaning; sword or armor) in his book: THE QABALISTIC TAROT," Thus this path may be considered the aspect of the Garden of Eden, from which mankind was expelled, but to which it may earn re-entry by conscious dealing with what has been called the inner Sun and Moon. The whole key to the Great Work is uniting of the Sun and the Moon under Mercury (the planet ruling Gemini)."
On the Thoth Tarot Card, THE LOVERS, the Sun is the man, the Moon is the Woman, and the Divine Fire that is above the Abyss (The Vital Force or Serpent Force), is represented as Cupid. Dr.Paul Foster Case has stated that, the Sun is self-consciousness and that the Moon is sub consciousness. Paul Foster Case, considered these are both aspects of the One Life Breath, each working half of the body. Today we know them as the Male half and the Female half of the human brain. As Case has stated, “When the Solar and Lunar currents of the Life-Power are rightly perceived, rightly discriminated, and when their operation is kept in proper order, the personality of the man engaged in this practice becomes a free, unobstructed channel for the outpouring of the cosmic life force." Case considered THE LOVERS card to represent one of the dualities united by the Spiritual Self. Just as most Tantric, and Gnostic practitioner's do. To the Qabalist, The Lovers, represents the union of manifested opposites under the Divine Love of the Supernal (Upper triangle of the Tree of Life) through Binah---The Great Mother. Thus, the Crowley Thoth Deck Card depicts the theme of union as and Alchemical "Hermetic Marriage" of the component parts of the seeker.
The Path of Zain is an active path, for the self-control and will attributed to Mercury which directs the movement and integration of opposites, is not passive; in fact, it is the fiery force or the Serpent Force known as the Kundalini which is masculine fiery force, united with the Feminine Watery force (flowing in waves as "serpentine:), both in equal measure and full of fiery dynamic and inspirational qualities. We often call this the "Caduceus"-The Wand of Mercury.
The inner hermetic marriage is a red-hot marriage, complete with Honey Moon and resulting "little death". For sure there is a type of death here, as the process of crossing the Abyss means the death of one's own concepts of self and the uniting of lover's annihilates the individual . This devastating passage is a willful and total self-destruction and immersion into the Divine Mystery of the 8-where 2 are really just one, as shown on the 2 of Disks card.
I'll leave you with a quote from the Gnostic Text, The Gospel of Didymos Judas Thomas where it is written that Jesus answered his disciples with:: (22) " When you make the Two One, and when you make the inside like the outside and the outside like the inside, and the above like the below, and when you make the male and the female one and the same, so that the male not be male nor the female, female; and when you fashion eyes in place of an eye, and a hand in place of a hand, and a foot in place of a foot, and a likeness in place of a likeness; then you will enter the kingdom." Jesus obviously knew of the Principles attributed to THE LOVERS card, but then he was a Nazarene Gnostic Master which is a Qabalist...the Word Christos is Greek and refers to the Sun/Son that is Tiphareth on the Qabalistic Tree of Life.
Which is also the Path of Zain, runs between Binah (understanding) and Tiphareth (Beauty) and connects the Pure Conscious, from which all form emerged (Binah) with the central point of Manifestation (Tiphareth). The Term Lovers, seems simple enough, yet it is a complex and profound card, as it is not about the love of two humans, but rather the Twins or duality of the individual united in pursuit of Divine Love. The True meaning of Key 6, is embedded in the Astrological sign Gemini, The Twins. The Dual intelligent Forces of Male and Female, (electric and magnetic), are what THE LOVERS proposes to unite. These are equal and opposite Intelligence that must be united as a major step towards the Godhead on the Tree of Life. The surging of the Divine One Energy, across the Abyss into manifestation, formed stable dualities.
The Great Work, is a return to the primeval state (As above so below) by the communion or "marriage" of these dualities of manifestation.
THE LOVERS and THE ART card of the Thoth Deck Tarot are amongst the most difficult to understand. The Path of the Art Card is Samekh (Meaning Prop) and requires a complete integration of the Personality or lesser ego in its subordination to the Greater Ego (whole-self) in Tiphareth and the Path of THE LOVERS is Zain (Sword of Armor) requires a complete integration of the total self, by disposing one's microcosmic -self to another manifest in the Macrocosm, returning the soul to the aspect of the "Garden" or Macrocosm, from which it emerged.
Thus, we can say that Art is the equilibrium of the Lower Self and THE LOVERS, is the balance of the Higher Self.
In Crowley's card, we have the Royal Marriage of opposites, presided over by the hooded figure that is both the Hermit and Mercury. Eve, the "compliant wife" and Lilith, the "First Wife", who was independent, are shown above the couple, with cupid aiming an arrow, symbolizing will. (The lower illustration of Lilith and Lord Python)
On the Thoth Card the Black King wears a crown of gold, bears a lance, and is attended by the Red Lion, while the Kings black child holds the lance in one hand and a club in the other. The White Queen, crown in silver, is attended by the White Eagle and her white child, that is interchanged with the black child, holds flowers in one hand and the bottom of the Grail in the other. The Product of this union, is the Orphic Egg that is the very essence of Life itself.
The symbolism of the two children, has been noted by Crowley as Cain and Able, which may seem out of place in a card called THE LOVERS.; However, the process of The Marriage is both reciprocal and repeated over and over again as it is defined by the infinity sign of Mercury-Magus, since the Sun and the Moon unite under Mercury. First one "Brother" dies, being absorbed into the other than there is a return to a balance of opposites after which the second "Brother" is killed and absorbed into the first. Theoretically, return to the Godhead requires that we incarnate repeatedly, in the twelve signs of the Zodiac, reaching perfection in each of the types of incarnation. The Christos incarnation is the perfection reached in Tiphareth which means Beauty in English and is the result of cyclic synchronicity.
This also bares repeating:
THE LOVERS card also relates to the Hermetic Marriage, or "Chemical Wedding", as written in the 17th century in a text called: The Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosenceutz which is one of the key documents of Hermetic-Qabalist. I've found this alchemical text very readable, much like a fairy tale, and yet one of the most profound pieces of esoteric or Gnostic symbolism ever written. The fact that the word Sword or Armor (Zain) is the word meaning of this path and that blood is spilled on this path, are all reconciled and/ or reinforced in this text and is artistically shown in the Manara Lovers card. This understanding requires some meditation on the Alchemical text.
When THE LOVERS is thrown during a reading, it is stating a principle of:
- Connection and affection.
- Art and Craft of Relationship.
- What is also suggested is the magical image of the power of surrender in which one form is given up in order to attain another.
- Being involve in a process of cooperation. ---combining energies for a common goal.
- Yin Yang attraction of polarities, or universal forces for one another.
- The power of sexual surrender to the Goddess within.
- This card can also mean a love affair with some sort of trial or choice involved... be it marriage or profane love.
- There is the Tantric Philosophy here also, only through physical union with a female can either a man or god, achieve true reality and the power to deal with it; A Spiritual/ sexual union, is required for shamans, priests, and holy men with the female is required before they gain full possession of their powers.
- In other words, the union of rational male right brain with imaginative female left brain must be a thing of beauty.
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