The proper study of the Paths (Major Arcana cards) is the ascending of Understanding up the Tree of Life, as we are "below" and need to remember the realms of Pure Spirit "above". 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, minute earth manifestation. With its crystalline lenses of light, the "I sight" of our senses, helps us sense deeply into the reflected 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 32nd Path of Tau-Key 21-The Universe or The World, joins the crystallized world of earth, Malkuth-Meaning Kingdom, with the Sephira Yesod -meaning Foundation. This is the first journey out of the material condition, that leads us to a greater understanding of the Personality that was designed by the Higher Self (Tiphareth) for each incarnation before our man-made personality blinded us to our divinity.In The Thirty-Two Paths to Wisdom (the number Thirty-Two is the sum of the Paths and the Sephiroth)Dr.Paul Foster Case calls the Path of Tau (The Universe card or World 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 Qabalistic Microprosopus, is comparable to the Microcosm.
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 as we have a dual concept of ourselves as a body and mind. The Qabalah teaches that all is Mind; yes the body is "crystallized self image", 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 instance,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 electromagnetic spectrum and seem solid, yet they are 99.6 % invisible. That means, that most of us are judging the Kingdom of the Divine Creative, (the Earth) with less than .4% of our minds, via the minutiae of sensuality! This is because Malkuth (the physical) is the only sensual kingdom. Thus we must travel the Path of Tau to experience the "Seven Palaces of Assiah"(Seven planets) as subjectively represented on the Thoth Universe card and the Ryder-Waite-Smith World card.
I previously explained that the Universe-key 21, is called the Path of Tau. The symbol of Tau is the equal armed cross which symbolizes the important fact that, the Thoth Universe, or Ryder-Waite-Smith World cards, as opposed to other Path- cards, represents all Forces present in their full expression. Tau is also the central point of the Aleph(Fool), Mem (Hanged Man) and Shin (Aeon) Paths which makes the equal armed cross. This Tau cross is shown on the Ryder-Waite card as crossed ribbons that bind the Wreath-Womb of the Cosmos. The Crowley card shows small tau crosses as the fabric of the Time/Space grid that surrounds the cosmic oval or Womb. All these Paths will be periodically explain in future blogs, as they have been in past blogs.
Before I go on with further explanation of the Universe- or World card, Key-21, it would be appropriate here to tell you how to mentally "Walk" the inner Path of Tau. This mental walk, is called Skrying. Skrying, is simple really, all one has to do is focus on a card and imagine themselves entering it. This is somewhat like lucid dreaming, where you enter the dream and control the events. I find it best to use a black or dark mirror, and view the cards reflection in the mirror, using candle light. Here, one is projecting themselves into an inner vision by the use of a "day dream", projecting oneself into the Vision of the Card. The dark depths of the mirror really aid in this illusion. While skrying, some may breathe deep and easy, relaxed in body, and close their eyes and mentally project themselves into the Key Vision. Others, as do I, leave eyes open, and like traveling into a tunnel, while imagining 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 lucid skrying, is not of their own making. They often are astonished at the vitality, energy and spontaneous images that these "mandalas" invoke.
In the Forces of Tau, is the Knowledge, the data, of all the accumulated ideas that went into the making of our world and the cosmos. 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 to perceive our "I AM", 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 Lascivious Lucid Dream. 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 minds for monetary gain.
From the standpoint of Gnosis (knowledge), the Universe or World, Key 21, maybe the most important card in the deck, as it is the beginning of our journey back to Spiritual Awareness: the inner journey so important to "enlightenment". On this Path of Tau, we experience our own personality consciousness, which is of our own making, a reality that can be both frightening and gratifying. Yes, we make our own reality and the World/ 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, and how Freedom of Choice defines our "End" by the composite pattern of our personalities.
Between the Hebrew letters of Aleph-Fool and Tau-Universe, is the entire Macrocosm and Microcosm, 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. Of Personality, we have many, built in "passed lives" and stored in a vessel of conscious energy known as our Soul. Each state of conscious energy is represented by the Sephiroth on the Tree of Life and for the sake of Knowing Thyself, they must be viewed at first, independently, and latter as a wholeness. This may also astound the student, but it is on the path of Tau, 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, that to the whole of the Universe, you are most precious!
The purpose of this blog is to help you see, as you are seen by your Creator and wonder of wonders, you are not condemned but Loved without condition! We all are a composite of Spirit, Mind and Body.
One of the most important lessons of the World/Universe card, is that of discrimination and/or discernment, a process that can only be learned in the earthly realm of Malkuth. This gateway to the Astral, 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; solidification of thought is necessary to reflect your identity in crystalline light; yet thought is but a theory. Hence, there is deception in the Astral, fantasies; phantoms that may never make it into manifestation, and some you never want to, so it pays to be discriminating.
However, despite the illusions and temptations of the Astral, only through divination can we enter the "Administrative Intelligence" balance; a Intelligence that is shown in both the Rider-Waite-Smith- World and Thoth Tarot -Universe, as the Dancing Womb-man draped with the Caph-shaped scarf (Rider-Waite-Smith) or Serpent Force (Thoth) while being surrounded by the animal symbols of the Four Elements of Alchemy. Implying, that from these elements of alchemy, she weaves the Universe in her dance. The All Seeing Eye in the Thoth Tarot- UNIVERSE card, sending forth rays of light that become the Lord Python, suggests the "first Husband" of the Goddess Lilith---the "First I-dentity" which would be Kether on the Tree of Life and later the Eye of Horus--the child of both Isis and Osiris, who is the Christ-Buddha consciousness.
The Universe/World Card is a multidimensional understanding of the Cosmic Mind. After much study, one may grasp the principle that the entire Tree of Life, which is taught through the Path of Tau-The Universe or World, 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. 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. Therefore, diligently skrying is more than just a moment of silent contemplation, it is also a gathering of information.
I have discussed the "Will-To-Form" of the Great Mother Binah (3 Sephiroth on the Tree of Life) who is the Life Conscious and which is Saturn in the exalted Supernal Realm. She is completely expressed on the Path of Tau, key 21-The Universe and the Ryder-Waite-Smith- World card. 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/Chronos who gives life and destroys it as Great Mother Binah. Some may be confused by this Chronos comparison, since "Father Time" is a description of Chronos/Saturn. However, the Ternary, Maid-Mother and Crone, is the Description of Binah, and of Time itself, from youth to old age, Time/Space is her domain as it is the measurement and weave used to build form.
The oval ring of Stars illustrated on the Thoth or the Wreath on the Ryder-Waite-Smith WORLD card, 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. The grid of Time/Space is shown on the Thoth UNIVERSE card as surrounding the oval Cosmic Womb. On the Ryder-Waite card it is shown as a woven wreath, that has been called the Wyrd (meaning in old English- the Weave). No mater the symbols,we all arise from our death surrounded in a ring of stars, on our way to the Great Mother. The Kerubs of the Four Elements, Fire, Water, Air and Earth are shown in corners of both THE WORLD and THE UNIVERSE cards.
Life , with its beginning, middle, and end, processes in waves or spirals (Spirit is a Spiral flow of Energy) which cycle back upon themselves. This circling back upon itself is often shown as a Great Serpent. 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.Thus, Crowley choose to represent the Great Serpent of Akashic Fluid as "Lord Python" of Lilith fame.
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 which on the path of Tau, is consciousness in the most dense and difficult expression. The Sea is less dark and light blue on the Ryder-Waite WORLD card. Again, discrimination must be used when traveling the Akasha of Yesod, many who entered this Path, entertain themselves with extended fantasy and find themselves tormented by phantoms of there 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.
When The UNIVERSE OR WORLD Card is thrown during a reading, it means:
- The matter itself.
- World and Kingdom.
- The principle of wholeness, totality and individuation.
- The querent will build in the next 21 weeks, new worlds internally and externally and actualizing them in their life.
- Attainment of goals and overcoming difficulties.
- Having everything available for you and the awareness to merely reach out and choose one of many options.
*More than any other card, The Universe depends on the accompanying cards, as it usually denotes the subject of the question.
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