Above all things, know thyself!
Thoth Tarot- ATU VI-The Lovers
The Golden Tarot- Key 6-The Lovers (L'amore)
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. -Crowley
ATU 6- THE LOVERS is associated with the astrological sign of Gemini and is about the joining together of the female yin and the male yang and the left and right side of the Brain making one consciousness.The electric and magnetic forces joining together to create a Greater Self Awareness. This card represents the universal principle of the art and craft of relationship; the union of opposites that creates everything. The Lovers is more about the Duality of the Divine Creative, Goddess/God rather than an earth romance yet everything about this card is dual. Therefore, the journey of the twins, a universal motif found in all cultures. Hansel and Gretel, Raggedy Andy and Raggedy Ann, Radha and Krishna, Beauty and the Beast; all the famous couples throughout history reflect this archetype of the Lovers.
The Thoth Lovers card is about love and relationships on a spiritual scale 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, with hands raised above the couple in a blessing 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 background 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 (Anima) and male (Animus) forces in an individual. In his text, THIRTY-TWO PATHS OF WISDOM, the great Western Hermetic Qabalist, Dr. 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. THE LOVERS, the Path of Zain (meaning Sword), runs between Binah (understanding) and Tiphareth (Beauty) and connects the Pure Conscious, from which all forms 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-force and magnetic-reception), are what THE LOVERS proposes to unite. These are equal an opposite Intelligence, that the brain is a copy of. The brain's left logic side must be united with the right creative and intuitional side, 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 that because of Patriarchal indoctrination and dogma, have become unstable and many believe that there is "battle of the sexes". This is because of the "divide and conquer" dogma/indoctrination of the Patriarchy. Therefore, the Lovers card is also representative of the loving relationship a Magi must make of the Female and Male inside each of us, i.e. the Sun (rationale) and the Moon (imagination/emotions) or as some prefer, the shadow and light self.
The Great Work, is a return to the primeval state (As above so below) by the communion or "marriage" of these dualities of manifestation. 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 and Triple Goddess Tarot Card THE LOVERS, the Sun is the man-Left Brain, the Moon is the Woman-Right Brain, and the Divine Fire that is above the Abyss (The Vital Force or Serpent Force), is represented as Cupid in the Thoth Card. Dr.Paul Foster Case has stated that, the Sun is self-consciousness and that the Moon is subconsciousness. He,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 Western 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/Harris Thoth Card depicts the theme of union as and Alchemical "Hermetic Marriage" of the component parts of the seeker. Therefore, the Path of Zain is an active path of union as the self-control and will attributed to Mercury directs the movement and integration of opposites. Mercury is the messenger of the Divine and is not passive. In fact, it is also associated with the The Silvery Mercurial "Winged messenger of the Gods" information that resides in the Serpent Force known as the Kundalini that sleeps at the Basil Chakra, and is masculine fiery force, united with the Feminine Watery force (The Original Lovers flowing intertwined as waves that are "serpentine"), both in equal measure and full of fiery dynamic and inspirational qualities. The inner hermetic marriage that is within the Kundalini, is a red-hot marriage, complete with Honey Moon and resulting "personality death". Hence there is a type of death here, as the rising Solar Energy activates all chakras, thereby, elevating the personality to Daath, the Priestess who's process of crossing the Abyss means the death of one's own concepts of self. This devastating passage is a willful and total self-destruction and immersion into the Divine Collective where 2=1. For example, when there is Blue and there is Red, when they merge in a marriage, they have given up individuality and have become a Great Self that is Purple.
This immersion into the Collective is well said in Gnostic Text of the Nag Hammadi Library, The Gospel of Didymos Judas Thomas, where it is written that Jesus answered his disciples question of "When shall we enter the Kingdom?" Jesus said: (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 (2) in place of an eye (I), 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, which is the 6th Sephiroth who also happens to be hermaphroditic. Therefore, the Lovers, is a return to the original marriage of Binah and Chokman, the Divine Creative. (The brackets are my own).
THE LOVERS and THE ART card of the Thoth Tarot are amongst the most difficult to understand. The Path of the Art Card is represented as the Hebrew letter- Samekh (Meaning Prop) and requires a complete integration of the Personality (lesser ego) in its subordination to the Greater Ego (whole-self) in Tiphareth-The Solar self that is a combination of Hermes and Aphrodite (Hermaphrodite) in equal measure. The Path of THE LOVERS is represented by the Hebrew letter- Zain (Sword or Armor) and requires a complete integration of the total self manifest in the Microcosm, returning the soul to the aspect of the "Garden" or Macrocosm, from which it emerged. Hence 0=2 who return to the Alchemical solution and coagulation becoming 2=1. Therefore, the Lovers card is the marriage, achieved by going inward to one's Source and the Art card is the Divine Orgasim of the Consumated marriage that seals together , by fire, the perceived separation of the Anima and Animus so that the "male is no longer male and the female is no longer female."
In the Crowley/Harris card, we have the Royal Marriage of opposites, presided over by the hooded figure that is both the Hermit and Mercury. Eve (Priestess) and Lilith (Harlot) representing love pure and profaned, are shown above the couple, with cupid aiming an arrow, symbolizing will. 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 (egg wrapped in serpent) that is the very essence of Life itself and making the child born of the Union most important.
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 of united Anima and Animus, in each of the types of incarnation. The Christos/Buddha incarnation is the perfection reached in Tiphareth which means Beauty in English and is the result of cyclic synchronicity.
The Golden Tarot- The Lovers, is not so esoteric as the Thoth ATU VI card. The lovers are represented as 2 adults, in a medieval hand tying ceremony of marriage. However, the traditional ribbon tied around the hands is missing. The lack of facial expression on the faces of these 2 who are believed to be Francesco Sforza and Bianca Maria Visconti and the Italian title of L'AMORE implies that this card is more about Love itself than the couple being married. The Blindfolded Cupid stands on a pedestal towering above the couple, implying that cupid is more powerful than they are. The Blindfold indicates that Love has a certain randomness about his arrow's aim, and thereby indicates love's inexplicable reasoning of why people "fall" in love. The fact is that during the medieval period and that of the Renaissance, cupid was considered a troublesome imp who personified the Soul of Appetite and whose lust needed to be harnessed in the institution of marriage. The concepts of Anima and Animus as instructed by Carl Jung, have not been developed yet.
THE THOTH 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 the Hermetic-Qabalist and considered a Rosicrucian text. 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. This understanding united paradoxes, requires some meditation on the Alchemical text. Each of us is Female and Male, as the brain shows its Hermaphrodite construction. Just remember, to be both rational, and intuitive in equal measure and you will begin the process of reuniting the Divine Couple within your body, making it the honeymoon suite of the Divine Creative. We may not accurately dream of what that Divine Hermaphrodite is, but rest assured, it has dreamt you into existence.
When THE LOVERS is thrown during a reading, it is stating a principle of:
- 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 involved 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/God within.
- This card can also mean a love affair with some sort of trial or choice involved... be it marriage, Divine, or profane love.
- There is the Tantric Philosophy here also, only through physical union with a female/Dakini, can either a man or Immortal Being, achieve true reality and the power to deal with it; A Spiritual/ sexual union, is required for shamans, priests, and holy men with the Divine-Feminine is required before they gain full possession of their powers.
- There is also a process, in ritual magic, for Priestesses, who must be able to invoke the "Divine He" through the Male before they can gain their Powers of "Will to Force", inherited from the Divine Hermetic Marriage
- In other words, the union of rational male right brain with imaginative female left brain must be a thing of beauty.
- Spiritual love.
If ill defined by the surrounding cards (or reversed if Haindl Tarot):
- Unattainable ideal of love.
- Repressive neurosis.
- Inconsistency within oneself.
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