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The Tarot of Eli: The Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot- Key 15- The Devil & The Thoth Tarot-Key 15- The Devil

Qabalistic Tarot Card Comparisons.

On the Qabalistic Tree of Life, The Devil-Key 15, is the Path of Ayin, and it 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 Soul-individuality.

As I have stated before, the Solar Logos, is the Original Personality of the Divine Child of God, i.e. the Son/Sun and/or Soul. Note: this is not a sexual description of a species, rather it is an energetic one, For the Son of God is a Sun that sends "solar flares" (Divine Energy and Data) outward as individual expressions of It's own Self ( 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. Hence, the Soul is the Golden Psyche.

The Hebrew letter Ayin means -Eye (I) 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 and the serious suffering of life. Righteousness, will never "laugh at itself". However, to laugh at one's own peccadilloes, is to go beyond them. To laugh in the face of death, is to go beyond death.

In Barbra G. Walker's Book [ THE WOMAN'S ENCYCLOPEDIA OF MYTHS AND SECRETS] which has been honored by the London Times Educational supplement as 1986 "Book of the Year", the provenance of the word devil is noted as Persian. She 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. 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.

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/Sun of God" as the Solar Phallus. Much to study here as most of our "knowledge" is propaganda based misconstructions!

To the Qabalist, the Devil is not viewed as an evil entity (evil is just live spelled backward and the devil is 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. That is why a teach extensive classes on Qabalistic Tarot. The Devil is the intelligence that is Master of Manifest form, that comes already formed within our Physical bodies. As a persona of the Soul, we meet this "Survival Mind of Instinct" on the Path of Ayin, and must face it's god and conquer it. The Path of Ayin, takes the traveler into an understanding that we are entering a transition between the intellect of consciousness (individual conscious) and true spiritual conscious. In other words, our brain, is our Devil and fear is its god.

Three Paths lead directly into Tiphareth: THE DEVIL {key 15), ART (key 14 called Temperance in Golden Dawn and Rider-Waite-Smith Deck), 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) , 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, who is a personality of Mercury, 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". However, 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) of consciousness; "Raw", because 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 or Goat like image on the Waite and Crowley card), which is where Mars is exalted-in the Survival Mind. Capricorn, is a weighty, even blind sign of Earth and symbolizes the highest and lowest states of individual personality. 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,including Time, 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 eye sight and/or-sensual condition of measurement 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 unseen Real. This misconception of reality is symbolized on the head of the Rider-Waite DEVIL, by the upside down pentagram on the entities head. The upside down pentagram indicates delusion as our ideas of spirituality and reality are upside down as it is positioned over the "Third Eye" of Inner Sight.

The misconception of reality is symbolized in two ways on the Thoth Deck- THE DEVIL card. First, the smirking mouth, on both Cards, and second, the Goat represents the humorous figure of the childhood nemesis the "Bogey Man"; this "Bogey Man" is more of a demonic character on the Rider-Waite-Smith deck. The Rider-Waite-Smith and Thoth Tarot cards 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 is a humorous approach to our lives and is a tool which will help our consciousness to transcend the illusion of "fearing 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". Therefore, the Devil cautions us not to believe everything we think. It pays to noted 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.

This delusion of mental weakness, is shown as the chains around the necks of the Male and Female images in the Rider-Waite-Smith card. Our fear of fate, forces, and other states of enslaved thinking, brought on by our fear of pain, death etc. and limited physical sight are the chains that keep us from exercising our Spiritual- free Will-Power. This is the Trick of sensuality, it makes us believe only in reaction as reality rather than the Action, that makes the Real of things. Spirit is action, the body is reaction. Our Action must control our reaction, if we are to exercise our Divine Freedom of Choice. We must know ourselves as a trinity of the Divine; The Spirit (I), The Mind (AM) and The Body (Me). This Trinity is known mundanely as , I AM Me.

The Path of Ayin, means Eye, a sigil for the All Seeing "I" of the One Mind and if we believe in only what our physical eyes show us, we lose our inner "I" sight, shown as the third-eye, that is on the forehead of the Thoth Tarot Goat and as the point of the inverted pentagram on the Rider-Waite-Smith Devil. The enchained figures on the Rider-Waite-Smith card are shown horned indicating their servitude, however unwittingly, to this comical Bogey man. The woman figure sports a "fruitful" tail, implying sexual form and the male figure's tail is aflame, implying sexual force.

The Qabalist knows that there is nothing in the Universe that is not of The Divine Creative. The Devil as we are taught is merely a postulation of the ignorant who fear their body senses. Intellectually it is a state of mind that is a source of forms and appearance of relative existence and is the necessary means of reaching the Christ-Buddha consciousness that is Tiphareth, the sixth Sephiroth on the Tree of Life. This necessary state of mind, is also called the "Lord of the Gates of Matter and the Child of the forces of Time" (see the Emerald Tablet). The Devil then is both Tempter and Redeemer. He is also described as the "Prince of the Powers of Air", indicating that this state of energy conscious is mediating in the flow of Astral currents; Air being understood here as being the whole of Yetzirah, the Astral Plane which controls the ebb and flow of Matter.

The Path of Ayin, confers the ability to bring the pentagram right side up which is another way of saying, the ability to reverse the currents of Cultural Consciousness. This process begins with the intellect of Hod (Splendor) and leads into the intuition of Tiphareth (Beauty). Thus, Paul Foster Case in his text The Thirty Two Paths to Wisdom, calls the Devil the Renewing Intelligence. The Qabalist understands that only through the forces of the Devil and our right understanding of them, can we come directly to the Higher Consciousness of the Son of God.

It behooves us to remember that the word Manifestation actually means to create illusion, and while manifestation is the necessary means to create the illusion of earthly form for the Soul/psyche, it is the "dissolution" of these forms that is absolutely essential to the Path of Return. To the Qabalist, "dissolution" means analysis which is precisely what we apply when we intellectually separate the component forces and forms of the Universe and ourselves into 22 paths on the Tree of Life. By first conceptualizing these component parts and then reintegrating them through our understanding of their operation, can we Return to our Divinity. For instance, notice the little pale blue flowers resting on the Thoth Goat figures head. These flowers are called "forget me nots", and represent the foundational thought of the animal mind/survival mind. That foundation is "fear of rejection", i.e., forget me not! This is the foundational thought paradigm we, as Souls of Spirit's will, must overcome. Fear of rejection, besides being the first fear of a child, is the producer of all those little bedeviling thoughts that pester you throughout the day, as if you must be dragged down from the heights of willful optimism and back into the sniveling halls of fear. Fear of rejection is a slave's mentality and has no basis in reality within the immortal Spirit. For are you not breathing? That mere act, is proof of Spirit's acceptance of you. For the word, Spirit, comes from the Greek word, Spiro, which means breath.

The Astral light (Akashic fluid, Odic force, etc.) is manipulated for whatever purpose, through an understanding of the Devil which is a "Great Magical Agent" (Eliphas Levi) for the processes of alchemical manipulation, as to dissolve, to consolidate, to quicken, and to moderate. This is dissolution, re-integration, activity and grounding which can be described as Fire, Water, Air and Earth. This interaction of the four elements is implied in the Rider-Waite-Smith Devil card, as the inverted torch is Fire, the eagles claws of his feet, are Water, the wings are Air and the creature body is Earth. There is also the symbol of the "Ears of an Ass", a subtle implication of the Roman God Priapus, the Phallus god, to whom an ass was traditionally sacrificed.

The Thoth deck Card is more complex, as Crowley states that Key 15 represents, "creative energy in its most material form", and as "Pan Pangenetor, the All-Begetter" . Crowley's goat is Pan standing on the highest mountain-top on earth, against a,"background of the exquisitely tenuous, complex, and fantastic forms of madness." Between the legs of the Thoth Goat, is the wand of the Chief Adept and all in front of a Penis and two testicles, implying the purest or most male Priapic Force. The tip of the male organ is outside of the card, implying it is in the greater heavens, while the testes contain the bound up forms of manifestation. The mysteries behind this card require books of research and a good foundational knowledge of Qabalah----much too much for a blog to explain, so I hope this gets you started towards your discoveries and need be, my classes.

WHEN THE RIDER-WAITE-SMITH OR THOTH KEY 15-THE DEVIL CARD IS THROWN DURING A DIVINATION, IT IMPLIES:

  • Materialism.
  • Material Force.
  • Sometimes obsession (especially if thrown with the Lovers card).
  • Upside down thinking, where the illusion of fear rules your thought and "everything bad happens to me".
  • Not seeing the forest through the trees.
  • Living in your own illusion of suffering and being obsessed with pain. Such as a hypochondriac. 
  • Needing mirth  in your understanding, as you are too serious. Time to laugh at your assumptions.
  • Needing more action and less reaction in your life.

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

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