The Tarot of Eli, LLC-Major Arcana: Thoth-ATU 21-The Universe & Haindl Tarot-Key 21- The Universe

Western hermetic Qabalah, numerical, Tantric, Alchemical, and Astrological Tarot Card Comparisons.

· Haindl Tarot

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Thoth- ATU 21-The Universe

The Great One of the Night Time.

The Universe resounds with the joyful cry I AM.


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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".  Since coming "down" the Tree of the Universal I AM, so that we can "make manifest" our Self-Information, our Psyche.Soul has had to make many sacrifices to "down size" into more and more condensed forms of I AM.  From Tiphareth to Malkuth our Mind had to compartmentalize, anima/female and animus/male, had to split into separate sexes instead of the hermaphrodite that is the Soul.  Then the instinctual mind of the animal had to be adopted, in order to operate a physical-sensual body that is so necessary for information to become form. We are Stars, not planets, and therefore, must understand the planetary mental structure as well as our own.  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. Earth manifestation, with its crystalline lenses and mirror reflected light, (the "I sight" of our senses), helps us see deeply into the microcosm of Mind, so that we better understand the Macrocosm of Self. For Self /I Am is all there is and all that we shall ever understand. However, with all this adapting and adopting, we seem to have become amnesiacs and forgotten the Self/Psyche that came to earth to be human. 

As long as our Divine Consciousness is functioning though a physical vehicle, this is where our serious esoteric work begins and ends. Because of the intimacy that senses give us, we tend to forget we began in the Macrocosm as a Spiritual Being (spiral energy forming into a sphere of experience), long before we became owners of measured form. However, without sensual memory of the subtle dimensions of the multiverse, we have "forgotten" our roots and the purpose for our becoming more and more condensed.

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The Path of Tau-Key 21-The Universe, joins the crystallized world of earth, Malkuth-Meaning Kingdom, with the 9th Sephiroth- Yesod -meaning Foundation it is the first journey path 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 /ego and divided sexual being,  blinded us to our divinity.

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Dr.Paul Foster Case, the founder of B.O.T.A. who wrote the book: The Thirty Two Paths to Wisdom (the number Thirty Two is the sum of the Paths and the Sephiroth) calls the Path of Tau (The Universe 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.

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The understanding of the Hebrew letter Tau (meaning cross), and the Path from Malkuth to Yesod, is rooted on the fact that all is Mind/Self. 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; therefore, we have a dual concept of ourselves as a body and mind, The Qabalah teaches that all is Mind and yes, the body is "crystallized idea": but of the Mind just the same! Taking this a step further, all is Spiritual Will of  I AM (one energy)and the body is "Crystallized Willed information". In the Mysteries, the distinction of Mind and Body is one of perception (brought on by senses), not an actuality. The Spirit and Body are as connected as the dreamer is with their dream. 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 96 % invisible. This estimation comes from the fact that invisible Dark Energy comprises 26% of the matter Universe, and invisible Dark Matter comprises 70% of our known Universe. That means, that most of us are judging the Kingdom of I Am, the Earth and our flesh, with less than 4% of our minds, via sensuality! Since Malkuth is the only sensual kingdom, we must travel the Path of Tau to experience the "Seven Palaces of Assiah"(Seven planets), as represented by the seven pointed star on the Star Card Key 17.

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Rider-Waite-Smith-Key 21-The World

This card was traditionally called The World and is the key of individuality, totality, and wholeness. To those of Eastern culture, this is the image of Shiva; to the Christian, this is the image of the Virgin Mary with her foot on the head of the serpent. Regardless of cultural interpretation this card symbolizes the Divine Androgen that is both dynamic and magnetic in a perfectly balanced dance (life motion) of I Am.

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Before I go on with further explanation of the Universe- Key-21, it would be appropriate here to tell you how to mentally "Walk" the Path of Tau. This mental walk, is called Skrying. Skrying, is simple really, all one has to do is focus on a card that is reflected in a dark mirror, allowing impressions to form or even imagine themselves entering it. This is somewhat like lucid dreaming, where you enter the dream and control the events. Here, one is projecting themselves into an inner vision by the use of a "day dream", projecting oneself into the Vision of the Card. Some may breathe deep and easy, relaxed in body, and light 2 candles in the periphery and mentally project themselves into the Key Vision, others, as do I, like traveling into a tunnel, imagine 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" of Self invoke. * NOTE; To make a dark mirror is to remove the glass and paint the back of the mirror black. Return it to its frame and you have a dark mirror. The candles make a gentle light, so that the reflected image of the card which is presented face to face with the dark mirror, is muted but bright enough to see and reverses  the illusion effect of reflected light of this realm so that one see's the "truth behind the reflection".

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In the Forces of Tau, is the Knowledge, the data, of all the accumulated ideas that went into the making of our world. There is much to experience and remember here so discernment is recommended, as we journey back into our Divine inheritance, we must educate our "I's" in order to perceive our "I AM ME", and/or our Whole Self. 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 Creative’s 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 Key 21, may be 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" and/or Memory of Spiritual Self. 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 Universe card helps us to travel beyond the self-absorbed sensual reality of our personalities, into the Higher Self reality that created our consciousness in the Beginning. Freedom of Choice defines our "End" by the composite pattern of perspectives that often form our personalities.

If it is here, it is there. If it is there, it is here. If it is not here, it is not there and if it is not there, it is not here. 

[The Tao]

Between the Hebrew letters of Aleph (fool) and Tau, (Universe) is the entire Universe, the Alpha and the Omega, the Macrocosmic-Microcosmic, and we must journey upwards from our Spirit's "ending" manifestation, into the Beginning....for they who know their end, know their beginning! (Nag Hammadi Library) 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 personalities, we have many, each represented by the Sephiroth on the Tree of Life and for the sake of Knowing Thyself, they must be viewed at first, independently, and later as a wholeness which is the rational behind the legion of persona's that we as Spirit have is shown in the Transmigration of the Fool to the Universe, where we return to No-thing, from which we came. All for the  purpose of "Above all things, know thyself" which begins another cycle of I AM awareness. The return to No-thing, is not an end but another beginning. 

This may also astound the student, but it is on the path of Tau (The Universe Card), 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 has defined you deficient, that to the whole of the Universe you are most precious! The purpose of Tarot is to help you see, as you are seen by your Creator and wonder of wonders, you are not condemned but Loved without condition! Your mental choices are Universal supported! This is both magic and tragic, depending on how you know yourself. 

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One of the most important lessons of the Universe card, is that of Discernment, a process that can only be learned in the earthly realm of Malkuth. This gateway to the Astral-fluid levesl of Mind, 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, to reflect you in crystalline light on a dark moon pool. There is deception in the Astral, such as Fantasies, that may never make it into manifestation, and some you never want to, so be discerning, even though only through divination can we enter the "Administrative Intelligence" balance; an action that is shown on the Universe Card by depicting the Dancing Woman draped with the Caph/Kaf-shaped scarf (the blue fabric) while being surrounded by the animal symbols of the Four Elements of Alchemy. The Hebrew letter Kaf/Caph, means "Palm", as in palm of the hand and therefore implies containment.


If you have been keeping up with my blog, you may know that the Universe 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, 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 unto matter and returns to No-thing by becoming less and less dense; all of which is implied in the Mobius Loop in the center of the Card, behind the Dancing Goddess as a caph shaped scarf. Of course, energy frequency, ideas and Mind are insuperable, 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. Diligently skrying is more than just a moment of silent contemplation, it is also a gathering of  I AM information.

I have discussed the "Will-To-Form” of the Great Mother Binah (3rd Sephiroth on the Tree of Life) who is the Life Conscious and which is Saturn in the exalted Supernal Realm of Atziluth. She is completely expressed on the Path of Tau, key 21-The Universe. 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 who gives life and destroys it and Great Mother Binah. The mastering of Time/Space, is the Soul's purpose, and that mastery is shown in the Soul's Avatar of Sensual Measurement on Earth; The Human Body. We are to be masters of our own dream by becoming intimate with that dream. The oval ring of Stars that surrounds the central female figure represents the Womb of the human female, as well as, the Cosmic Womb, known as the Vesica Pisces, into which the soul passes after body death. We arise from our death surrounded in a ring of stars, on our way to the Great Mother of Stars for each of us is a Star.

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Life, with its beginning, middle, and end, processes in waves or spirals (Spirit is a Spiral flow of Will-to-be Energy) which come back upon themselves. This circling back upon itself is often shown as a Great Serpent with its tail in its mouth. 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. 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 (The Divine Collective Unconscious) which on the path of Tau, is consciousness in the most dense and difficult expression. Again, discernment must be used when traveling the Akashi of Yesod, many who entered this Path, entertain themselves with extended fantasy and find themselves tormented by phantoms of their 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. Hence, the Tarot.

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With fish hook ( reference to Star Card) in hand this Universe female figure hooks the All Seeing "I" to her "Will to Form" creating limitations and restrictions of the "I AM", while weaving them into a web matrix to dance on. The regenerative diamondback serpent is representative of the need to transform, and is the serpentine force of universal fertilization that is often shown curled around the Orphic Egg from which the All is born. Coiled at the base of our spine is such a cosmic force, something we must animate in ourselves before we can expand and liberate ourselves from the past self- imposed limits of amnesia.

The spiral hair symbolizes growth and evolution of Spirit's I AM.

The diamond halo is the symbol for expanded awareness, such as psychic abilities etc.

The Greek pantheon at the bottom represents the home of all the goddesses and gods/The Mind. When our body becomes the temple of our divinity, such a pantheon are we.

The four animals symbolize, earth (Taurus the bull), fire (Leo, the lion), and water (Scorpio, the bird): and air (Aquarius, the human face). This shows us that it is important to express ourselves, physically, (Taurus), spiritually (Leo), emotionally (Scorpio), and mentally (Aquarius).

To some people, the Tarot is about prophecy and seeing into the future but to Qabalists, the Tarot is about developing psychic abilities (Divya Sidhis, in Sanskrit which means: Magic abilities) by linking the multi levels of Spiritual Self to Physical Self. The more a reader uses the cards to find answers to given questions, the more that reader taps into the unseen currents of subtle energy/conscious that forms the Whole Self. Over time, as I will attest, the cards are almost a redundancy since the answers are always deeply felt. But again, we think by association and the Tarot Cards help us correspond to the Divine.The Path of Tau, is the ascending path from 10-Malkuth-Kingdom (bottom circle-Sephiroth) to the circle above it which is 9- Yesod-Foundation. Which is the path of the 21-Universe Trump/Major Arcana. We ascend the Tree of Life as we work from our material perspective (below) to our Divine Inheritance/Spiritual perspective-(above). We have manifested on Earth to achieve a more refined/intimate discerning perspective of the Universal Self through a personal learning- relationship with it. Our work with Earth is where all serious esoteric work begins and ends (Alpha and Omega) as long as Divine Consciousness is functioning through a physical being. The Path of Tau, The Universe, is the first path out of the material condition of the survival mind (animal consciousness) and leads towards understanding of the Personality constructed by the Greater Self (Higher Self) of Tiphareth (Beauty) for each incarnation.

The Thirty Two Paths of Wisdom [text by Dr.Paul Foster Case] calls this path the "Administrative Intelligence", and states that it "directs and associates in all the operations of the seven planets". Symbolically this path connects the earth to the Microcosm (Microprosopus in The Sepher Yetzirah-Qabalistic text) represented by the Hexagram which is the connected Seven Planets on the Tree of Life. The Path of Tau, is both power and servitude as ascribed to the Palace of Holiness that sustains all things. That Palace, being the associated seven planets and the Path of Tau that connects them to earth.From the Qabalistic standpoint the 21-Universe Card may be the most important card in the deck for it is the point where we begin the process of inner exploration. It is on this Path that we encounter our own personal self-conscious, a personality that is all inside our heads divorced from physical reality.

The Path of Tau, is an initiation of the Personality into its own structure, which is the Microcosmic Universe (The All of the Universe is the Macrocosm). During this initiation we will also encounter symbols and ideas of a greater consciousness than our own and begin to see ways in which our being relates to a total universal picture. For example, on the afternoon of December 6, 1909, between the hours 2:00 and 4:15 p.m., in a lovely valley of fine sand in the desert near Bou-Saad, North Africa, Aleister Crowley, accompanied by the poet Victor Nueberg, who served as his magical scribe, crossed the Abyss ( elevate his intiatory consciousness from the 4th Sephiroth Chesed to the 3rd Sephiroth Binah) and experienced the terrible vision of the 10th Enochian Aethyr. {see The Vision and The Voice]. According to Crowley: The Next Evening, Dec. 7, 1909, between 9:30 and 11:10 pm, still feeling thrilled with the bliss of that magical plateau, he experienced the vision of the 9th Aethyr, (Vision and the Voice) something of which he described both eloquently and ponderously. All I can say is that he is describing a face to face encounter with the goddess of ATU XXI-The Universal Womb. His description while being fascinating and wonderous, is also that of man who just can't find the necessary words to convey the Powerful ecstasy of the moment. Neither could I when I encountered the Creatrix, all I could do after the experience that left a burning in me that has yet to extinguish, is draw a quick picture of the Greater Her that Crowley called Babalon and many before him call Her, Koré, Malkah, Betulah, Kha Dro Ma , Dakini and Persephone. I can only present the poor drawing that I hurriedly made after the consciousness was able to animate my body again, it was an automatic drawing as I couldn't take my "minds eye" off of Her. I know that the image is a metaphor for The Womb of the Universe that is a State of the Divine Creative that is beyond the measurements of form. But this is the impression that my inner sight gave to my brain after the rapture of Her presence simmered down to a low boil. In the picture all the dazzling light is missing, for it radiated off of her in every direction and was beyond my meger talent to produce.

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The blue and gold (Water-Sun)necklace had the hindu glyph of the sound OM as its central piece. All I can say is that I marvel that I survived the experience, for I was in a state of purified energy for days afterward, a pure Soul/Solar Self and couldn't do mundane functions well, if at all, luckily a friend became a help to me until I could function as a body again.

We must also understand that The Universe is a Path of Entry into the Astral, which seeks to deceive. All image is a metaphor, a story we tell ourselves and therefore not the truth itself. Many people believe they are on one Path or another, when they are just entertaining themselves with a personal extended fantasy. We must apply every test of reason and feeling to the symbols we perceive on the Astral; we know it is not of our own making if we are actually learning from these symbols, and by applying verification or corroboration through research. Discrimination is the most important lesson/virtue of Malkuth. However, by going completely up the middle pillar of this Greater Self, we cross the Abyss and meet the Great She,The Will to Form,  who is completely beyond description. The Path of Tau, is the only one of the 32 paths of Wisdom that connects sensation to the rest of the tree. "As above, so below" is now established because we are the "images of God" feeling for all states of Greater Self-conscious! Sensation is the Energy Microscope that is needed for impeccable creation in the Microcosm. Discerning Impeccability is necessary to expand and liberate the living from their own Phantoms of self-identity, i.e. fears of not being good enough or "right". However, even though the body is part of the 1% world of physical matter, it is 100% of all sensation. Thus, we are fooled into thinking the sensation is us, which is an illusion in itself. So to begin with psychic development, we must give our senses to the Universe----so meditate on 21-The Universe card and expand your self-awareness.


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Haindl Tarot-Key 21-The Universe

Besides using the same title as the ATU 21 of the Thoth Tarot, the same Hebrew letter of Tau is shown in the upper left corner of the Card. The Rune Gebo (G)m meaning  gift is on the upper right corner and the astrological symbol for Saturn is shown on the bottom right. All in agreement with the Thoth Tarot.  However, no Univesal dancer is shown, Here the serpent is a dragon that circles the Earth's shown bottom half. Both are green, the color of new life. The fire is red, the color of blood and energy, mixed with white which is the color of pure thought and/or Mind. The dragnish serpent's breath is burning away the illusions of manifestation.

When the Universe card is thrown in a layout the querent is:

  • Casting the circle which means they are mastering in some way the three planes of mind, body and emotions.
  • End of a phase, a completion of some work and expanding toward another.
  • It means synthesis, the matter itself, world and Kingdom.
  • More than any other card, The Universe depends on the accompanying cards, as it usually denotes the subject of the question.
  • Wholeness.
  • Completion.
  • Paradise regained.
  • Resolution of restraints.
  • Conclusion of Karma.
  • The wayfarer in front of the throne of the Divine Creative.
  • Recovery from illness.

If ill defined by the surrounding cards (Thoth) or reversed (Haindl) it implies:

  • The street to nowhere.
  • The deceptive world of appearances.
  • Endogenous depressions.
  • Lack of willpower.

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