The Tarot of Eli, LLC: Major Arcana: Thoth Tarot- ATU 15-The Devil & Tarot of The Spirit-Key 15-The Devil

Western hermetic Qabalah, alchemical, astrological, numerical, and Tantric Tarot Card Comparisons.

· Tarot of the spirit

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Thoth- atu 15-the devil

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On the Qabalistic Tree of Life, the Trump card-The Devil-ATU/Key 15, is the Tree of Life Path of Ayin, and it connects the 6th Sephiroth of the Solar Logos, Tiphareth with the 8th Sephiroth-Hod, that is the sphere of Mercury and the intellect. The Path of Ayin, is called, by Dr. Paul Foster Case, the Twenty-Sixth Path and is formative. In the terms of Self structure, it is the bridge between The Personality and individuality and means "eye" and/or the Path of "I". The All Seeing "Eye" is he symbol for the first I-dentity in the Cosmos.

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As I have stated so often before, the Solar Logos, is the Original Personality of the Divine Child of Goddess/God, i.e. the Son/Sun and/or your Soul.

Note: this is not a sexual description of a species, rather it is an "Energetic one", For the Son/Sun of God/Goddess (Chokmah/Binah) is a Sun that sends "solar radiants" (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. The persona, is a mask of reflected light that the soul , as a mirror, wears so that it can achieve sensual/intimate self-awareness. This intimacy of Soul and Body, gives the soul the ability (power) to do work on the Plane of Malkuth/Matter. Hence, data then becomes in-form-action (information).

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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, who is merely an exploitation of the child's fear of rejection.

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 recommend this book to anyone who seeks an honest education. This confusion of gods and devils, is also why the Devil card, ATU 15 is a gematria 1+5=6; which is the Christ-Buddha consciousness 6th Sephiroth-Tiphareth. Hence, it is the "unseen" or shadow side of the Sun of the Divine Creative. That shadow side is the side that deconstructs so that new construction can be made. The fact that Christianity completely confuses the Devil and God is seen as both are shown to give and take life, to heal and cause disease and both want your soul, etc. But those who insist on a lie as truth, often confuse the two.

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. Hence, the Christian Devil is always shown with a phallic tail. Much to study here as most of our "knowledge" is propaganda based misconstructions designed to control definition and therefore, control the mind of the people!

To the Qabalist, the Devil is not viewed as an evil entity (lived spelled backward) having its own god-like existence, as it represents a special mystery of Identity (Arcana) that must be experienced and understood before we can hope to directly know the Higher Self. Within our Physical bodies, The Devil begins as a natural instinctual wet ware program that is Master of Manifest form (the Instinctual Mind), 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 intellect of instinctual consciousness (individual conscious) and true spiritual conscious. In other words, our Brain, an artificial intelligence, is our Devil for its beginning foundation of thought is fear,i.e., fear of death. It is the first emotion of a child that we call "fear of rejection", as the child's life depends on the being accepted by the parents. Instinctual thought is fear based. For there is only Predator and Prey based intelligence in nature.  Hence, the devil is always linked with illusion and the moon.

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Three Paths lead directly into Tiphareth:THE DEVIL {Key/ATU 15), ART (ATU/Key 14 called Temperance in Traditional Medieval Tarot decks), and DEATH (Key/ATU 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 Inner Path Travel is the Devotional Path of the Middle Pillar or Pillar of Mildness, where one need only experience the Path of Samekh (meaning- Prop) or the Art Card-ATU 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 mental/emotional power ("magical abilities"). Therefore, 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!

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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 the temptations of the Magical Path.

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In our society,THE DEVIL represents Raw Power (Mars-War), 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. 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 rulership 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.

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Therefore, THE DEVIL also represents the average person's misconception of "reality"; a perceptive belief that the material eyesight and/or-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 unseen Real, where everything is measured before formed. This misconception of reality is symbolized on the head of the Rider-Waite-Smith 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. On the Devil of the Thoth card, is a nice bouquet of little blue flowers. These flowers are called "forget-me-nots" as that is "fear of rejection", on which animal thought is based. While below this floral display is the "3rd" eye and/or third identity of Self:

  1. I
  2. Am
  3. Me

Me is the identity of the animal body. Hence, the total misconceptions of Life based on fear, is what the devil card implies.

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The misconception of reality is symbolized in two ways on the Thoth Deck-THE DEVIL card; the smirking mouth and the Goat represents the humorous figure of the childhood nemesis the "Bogeyman". This "Bogeyman" is more of a demonic figure on the Tarot of The Spirit- Key 15, much like the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot. Rather than show the Devil as some demonic netherworld god (fear of death seen as fear of rejection), the 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 also implying that laughter is a humorous approach to our lives and is a tool which will help our consciousness to transcend the illusion of "believing everything you think". 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, for we are to be the Perfect Trinity of Self in equilibrium; Spirit-Mind-Body. Equilibrium is kept by being the 3 states of love.

  1. Eros=love of flesh.
  2. Philo=Brotherly love.
  3. Agapé=Spiritual love.

Therefore, keeping the Pentagram of Fire, Water, Air, Earth and Spirit, right side up. This is done by acknowledging our "first identity" as Spirit, who has become more and more condensed, in order to experience "Being" and thereby, using our Spiritual Self as the "thinker".

It pays to note 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 these forces. The Wisdom of the ages, tells one to not believe in the Christian Devil. That the darkness within is merely our fear based thinking initiated by the survival mind of the biological brain that transfers its fear to a stimulated imaginary bogey men, created by those who wish to rule our imaginations.

These delusions of mental weakness, are shown on the Traditional Tarot, as a dark and unwholesome nightmare apparition of the predator. Hence, the Shadow Side of our mind is our fear of fate, forces, and other states of enslaved thinking, brought on by our fear of rejection, of pain, of death etc. Also, the limited physical sight, rather than insight, can be the bogey-men creator that keeps us from exercising our free Will- Spiritual Power, as we constantly react to the environment rather than the spiritual act of acting in that environment. 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. When reacting to others, we are choosing to be ruled by them and spend our lives trying to appease or destroy them while we are in a constant state of fear.

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The Path of Ayin, means Eye, a representation of the true "I" and/or our Soul/Psyche. Hence, if we believe in only what our physical eyes show us, we lose our inner "I" sight, shown as the All Seeing Eye, that is on the Forehead of the Thoth Tarot- Goat. Therefore, our "eye"/"I" sight is controlled by another force than our own Spiritual Identity. In other words, some outside authority controls our eyes making our observation only one that authorized by indoctrination, dogma, and/or "peer pressure".

The Qabalist knows that there is nothing in the Universe that is not of One Mind. The devil, as we are taught, is merely a postulation of those who wish to rule the knowledge by keeping others ignorant and making them fear their body/mind and spirit . Once, the Spirit, Mind and body are divided, by dogma, one becomes a "body bedeviled".

Intellectually the "Devil " Tarot indicates a state of mind that is a source of forms, a mind of measurement and appearance of relative existence and is the necessary intellectual means of reaching the Christ-Buddha consciousness that is Tiphareth, the 6th Sephiroth-Beauty- on the Tree of Life. For without measurement, there is no self-awareness and therefore, no discernment. That is why 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 and measurement/time of Matter. Time being the greatest "predator of all".

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Therefore, the inner Path of Ayin/"I", confers the ability to bring the upside down pentagram indicating "matter's rule over spirit", right side up. Right side up, the pentagram indicating Spirit's rule over matter; which is another way of saying, the ability to reverse the currents of astral light. This process begins with the intellect of Hod (Splendor) and leads into the intuition of Tiphareth (Beauty). Thus, Dr. 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/fear based thought and our right understanding of them, can we come directly to the Higher Consciousness of the Son/Sun of The Divine Creative.

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Adam Khadmon-"The Heavenly HUman"-Archetype of the "God image".

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 and therefore, measurement for the infinite 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.

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.

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The Thoth Tarot Card is more Arcanely complex than the Traditional Tarot Card. This is because, as Crowley states, that ATU 15 represents, "creative energy in its most material form", and as "Pan Pangenetor, the All-Begetter".;The fertility of Creative Force, rather than some child's bogeyman. 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 Phallus and two testicles, implying the Universal "All-Begetter". On the Thoth Devil card, 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, so I hope this gets you started towards your discoveries.

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The Tarot of the Spirit- key 15-the devil*

The Tarot of The Spirit- Key 15-The Devil, uses images more attuned to traditional tarot which stresses the point of paradox. For the closer one gets to one's own truth, the more one perceives contradiction. We realize the truth by accepting contradiction in our own lives. Hence, myrth is again proclaimed as essential to understanding. Celebrate being you, laugh, play, dance upon the Earth. Therefore, enjoy the senses, but do not become a slave to them.This slavery to senses, shows a male and female form chained to a block or cube (4 elements) of granite/matter; However, the rings around their necks are so wide that they can slip through the chains at any time. Hence, they are an illusion of enslavement. Hence, the halving of the block between them represents "half-truth", and the male and female must be combined as Anima/Animus (Spirit/Soul) to know the whole truth.

The devil is shown on this card, as a smirking entity with a goat head, with upside down pentagram, indicating his capricornian origins, as well as, it is the image of the scapegoat*.




scape·​goat | \ ˈskāp-ˌgōt \

Definition of scapegoat

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a goat upon whose head are symbolically placed the sins of the people after which he is sent into the wilderness in the biblical ceremony for Yom Kippur

2a : one that bears the blame for others

b : one that is the object of irrational hostility



scapegoated; scapegoating; scapegoats

Definition of scapegoat (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to make a scapegoat of

The red arm of the Tarot of The Spirit's devil, symbolizes matter in the act of doing; However he also has a hand with a hole in it to symbolize his potential openness to the Divine. The skeletal left arm and hand represent the temporary or cyclic nature of matter. The ability to pare down truth is shown as a sword, which is the territory and sword of the 5th Sephiroth of Gebura-Severity.

The Devil knows all this and more, hence the open third eye and the smirking mouth. He is not nearly as wicked as he seems, for that is all imagined by the brain and is merely a transformation of one's fear of death. He is the Patriarch, who knows that the separation of male and female, is controlled by his indoctrinated definition of the "battle of the sexes", keeping them apart secures his power of divide and conquer. He knows full well that if people find out the key to salvation is love, he will lose all of his illusions of power and authority. He is the fertile power of creative imagination as shown by his down pointing "dark phallus" and testes.

The descriptions of both the Thoth and Tarot of The Spirit devil are the same.


  • Materialism.
  • Material Force.
  • Sometimes obsession. (especially if thrown with the Lovers card)
  • Upside down thinking, where the illusion of fear rules your thought and one thinks that "everything bad happens to me".
  • Not seeing the forest through the trees.
  • Living in your own illusion of suffering and being obsessed with pain or fear thereof. 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.

If ill defined by surrounding cards:

  • Fateful entanglements.
  • Self destructive drives.
  • Emotional Hell.
  • Darkness.
  • Dark powers (fear).
  • Collective hysteria. 


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