The Running Press Tarot, is having fun with this bogey-man of childhood fame. Here, he is depicted as a well dressed trickster which is a common depiction. The Thoth Tarot goes beyond this into the Arcane of one of the most important Tarot Cards of the Deck.
On the Qabalistic Tree of Life, The Devil-ATU 15: The Path of Ayin, connects the 6th Sephiroth of the Solar Logos-Tiphareth with the 8th 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 of God" is a Sun that sends "solar flares" (Divine Energy) outward as individual expressions of Its 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.
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. The Eye (I).
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 of God" as the Solar Phallus. Much to study here as most of our "knowledge" is propaganda based misconstructions of language!
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 that creates our Psyche. The Devil is the intelligence that is Master of Manifest form (Will to Form is Female), 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 consciousness (individual conscious) and true spiritual conscious.
Three Paths lead directly into Tiphareth: THE DEVIL (key 15), ART (key 14 called Temperance in other decks), 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 as 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), 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 Qabalist'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 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. 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,i.e. measurement equals information. 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, as all is Mind!
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 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 Stars who transmit them.
Upon the head of the Thoth Devil-Goat, is a bunch of pale blue flowers called "Forget Me Nots". Now some may think this cute, and an attempt to apply mirth to this goat figure. However, "Forget-Me-Nots" on the head of the goat, points to a concept of the brain, that most of us have forgotten. The Survival Mind, and/or brain, fears rejection most of all. Forget me not, is simply another way to say "fear of rejection". Since the foundation of Survival thinking is based on fear of rejection, all thoughts of such a mind are based on "Fear", The Devil within. Hence, most of our relationships are dysfunctional emotions, based on "fearing rejection" rather than "true love".
Therefore, the Thoth Card implies that we must meet and beat the temptation to fear rejection, which makes all dysfunctional thought, including the ultimate rejection, fear of death. For our True Psyche of the Soul, whose foundation of thought is the Infinite- "I AM"... has no fear of rejection and rather knows that all that it Sees (All seeing "I") is another way of being the One Self of the first "I", that is Kether-Chokmah-Binah, and/or I AM. The Hebrew name for Kether is Eheieh, "I Will Be" and the not the Devil's " Don't Be". Fear of being rejected is indeed the Child's "boggey" man and most of us keep that inner bedeviling thought of "fearing rejection" all of our adult lives. Thereby, making us slaves to the body, and not Souls of Spirit who operate a sensual device in the Name of I AM.However, it is obvious that you exist as the answer to "I Will Be" as you are "I AM Being"! Being the answer to the Divine's will, is not something to feel rejected about. Know thyself!
On the Thoth Devil Card, the is an image of the Tibetan rock goat, with mighty sweeping spiral horns. The artist of the Thoth Tarot Cards, Lady Freda Harris, represented the Devil as the Egyptian goat god of Mendes, called Banebdjet. The same god that the Greeks identified with the lustful vegetation god Pan, who was the Son of Hermes. His face displays a sly smirk, because he represents the clever, but dark instincts of survival thinking.
About the Devil Crowley has written: "He rejoices in the rugged and barren less than in the smooth and the fertile. All things equally exalt him. He represents the finding of ecstasy in every phenomenon, however, naturally repugnant: he transcends all limitations; he is Pan: he is All. We see him in front of a tree trunk, which thrusts into the heavens, symbolic of the erect member growing into the Yoni of the Night Goddess. The Two spheres represent a cross section of testicles, within which new life germinates."
The dark elemental forces are at work here which is also represented as the staff with winged red circle and the Uraeus snakes- a Kings symbol of ancient Egypt, the shaft of which penetrates down to the roots of the phallic tree. The winged red orb, is the Egyptian symbol of the Sun, corresponding to the light in the darkness and/or the "All Seeing Eye" which is open on the Goat.
The All of Organic Matter, is seen by the Soul and the "Hu" (Manderin for -God) MInd, form the Hindu-Manas which translates into "Mind". Therefore, the word human, means "god mind" which is the All Seeing "I".
Hence, we have to mate together 2 minds. The one of material manifestation and the one of Imagination, the god-creative-mind. For we must have our True Identity running our body, the God-Mind, rather than the Animal Mind. To do this we must tame our "beast", and make it part of the Greater Self. We do this by loving our bodies as our Soul loves our Persona's. For we are the Ternary copy of The Divine Creative Supernal Triangle, atop the Tree of Life. We are now the consciousness of "Will to Force", "Will to Form" and " Will to Be". We are the result of the Divine Creative's Understanding of "I AM Me". Hence, all your powerful thoughts begin with I AM... a powerful statement of Will. But if you head is filled with fearful thoughts of seriousness, such as worry, concern and all self-absorbed thoughts of lesser self-value, i.e., thoughts that bedevil you, one can't collect their wits, let alone their will to change their fate.
Therefore, when the Devil card is thrown during a divination:
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