Above all things, know thyself!
Thoth- ATU VII-The Chariot
Triple Goddess Tarot- Key 7-The Chariot ( IL Carro Triumphale)
Motion or change and identity or rest are the first and second secrets of Nature: Motion and Rest. The whole code of her laws may be written on the thumbnail. -Emerson
The Thoth Chariot represents the Universal Key of change/movement combination of stillness and activity: of movement and repose. Every individual is touched by change multi-dimensionally in their areas of Earth, Air, Water and Fire, as symbolized by the 4 pillars, the 4 wheels, and the 4 animals. These 4 elemental aspects of ourselves combine to create who we are, mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
The spinning disc in the hands of the charioteer, symbolizes the wheel of fortune (esoterically the Blue and Red Grail) that we have free-choice and can choose fortunate, positive, and abundant changes for ourselves. Actually there are 2 discs, one blue and one red. The Blue Disc represents the "Blue Water Grail" of the Divine Mother and the Red disc represents the "Blood Grail" (or Wine) of the Divine Mother. These wheels of blue and red also refer to the Merkabah of Jewish Mysticism. Merkabah/Merkavah Mysticism (or Chariot mysticism) is a school of early Jewish mysticism, c. 100 BCE-1000 BCE, centered on visions such as those found in the Book of Ezekiel chapter 1, or in the hekhalot ("palaces") literature, concerning stories of ascents to the heavenly palaces and the Throne of God. All based on Ezekiel's vision of wheels spinning within wheels. A commonly used example of an ancient astronaut visiting us in his Flying Object.
The Chariot also represents the more modern Merkabah, also spelled Merkaba, which represents the divine light vehicle allegedly used by ascended masters to connect with and reach those in tune with the higher realms. "Mer" means Light. "Ka" means Spirit. "Ba" means Body. Mer-Ka-Ba means the spirit/body surrounded by counter-rotating fields of light, (wheels within wheels), spirals of energy somewhat like in a torus, which transports spirit/body from one dimension to another. Such wheels are shown held between the arms of the Charioteer. The image of a Modern Merkaba Symbol is a shape made of 2 intersecting tetrahedrons that spin in opposite directions, creating a 3-dimensional energy field.
The 10 crystals on the golden armor represent the 10 powerful positive choices of the 10 Sephirotic Beings on the Qabalistic Tree of Life; The crown, which is "the crowning achievement", wisdom, understanding, mercy, severity, beauty, splendor, victory, foundation and kingdom, in that order. These 10 states of conscious energy are multidimensional movements and repose that are known as "Our Greater Self" and/or Adam Khadmon. When this card is thrown during a reading, it generally means that a new force is dissolving old forms. This is a time for clearing out, moving beyond the past, beginning with new energy and taking full responsibility for the past. This is a time of supreme magical power and self-mastery. But as always, this explanation is too short for a more profound understanding of this Powerful symbol for Self movement and much more study is required.
The Thoth Chariot is represented by the Hebrew letter Cheth or the 18th Path of Cheth on the Tree of Life. the word Cheth means enclosure, or fence which is that enclosure as the Chariot provides an enclosure for the Charioteer. In the THIRTY TWO PATHS OF WISDOM, The Great Western Qabalist Dr.Paul Foster Case stated: The Eighteenth Path is called the House of Influence (by greatness of whose abundance the influx of good things upon created beings is increased) and from the midst of the investigation the arcana and hidden senses are drawn forth, which dwell in its shade and which cling to it, form the cause of all causes.
Between Geburah (Severity) and Binah (Understanding) the Great Mother on the Tree of Life, runs the Path of Cheth. This is the highest and most profound Path on the Pillar of Severity and introduces the Personality to the Supreme Spiritual Self (Holy Guardian Angel) that wraps our Soul in the Golden Armor of Protection so that the Psyche can be carried through the unmanifested Universe,and/or Dark Matter and Dark Energy. The Chariot is the enclosure that holds the Soul in a state of peace, as it moves through all planes.
In his BOOK OF TOKENS, Dr. Paul Foster Cases stated this about the Chariot: I am the hedge of protection Enclosing the field of existence in this field thou dwellest, And I am thy defense, Against the darkness which is without. Yet is this hedge of safety alas a wall of limitation, and the darkness against which it defends thee Is the radiant Darkness of the Limitless Light, too brilliant for thine eyes.
The Darkness that Case, refers to is that of the Limitless Light (no measurement; hence :"dark") of Kether, the very pinnacle of the Supreme Spiritual Self. Pictured in the Chariot, the experience of the Spiritual Self is known in Alchemy as the "Exhalation", where the Alchemist's body becomes the Philosopher's Stone.
The Thoth Deck Chariot, shows the influences of both the Hindu Tattvas and the biblical text of Ezekiel with its "living creatures" being represented as 4 Sphinxes pulling the Chariot. These 4 Kerubim (angelic beings) represent not only the 4 Tarot Elements of Fire, Water, Air and Earth, but also each has 4 sub-elements, as do the Tattvas, and are represented as the 4 faces of the creatures.
Geburah,the 5th Sephiroth-Severity, is often symbolized with a Pentagram, or 5 pointed star, that has the 4 Elements crowned by the Spirit. Geburah is a Red/Ruby Force, and is symbolized on the Thoth card as Red Wheels, meaning that the force of Geburah (Severity) is the motive force of the Chariot. Geburah is complimented by Chesed (Mercy) on the Tree of Life, and this compliment is seen in the constant usage of the number 4, Chesed's number. Such correspondence with the number 4 is shown in the Thoth Chariot card as the 4 Sphinx, and 4 columns (4 Universal Elements) holding up the starry canopy or heavens of Binah (The Great Mother- Empress Card key 3). These 4 elemental columns are called the “4 columns of the Tree of Life in a Solid Sphere", adding a little more of the arcane to this card. However, 4 is the number of Form.
Above the Golden Armored figure on the Thoth Card is a crab, symbolizing the sign of Cancer Woven into the canopy is the word "ABRACADABRA", which Robert Wang thinks is an apparent pun on "ABRAHADABRA", a word that Crowley called, “one of the most important key numbers of the Liber Al...The word of the Aeon....the cypher of the Great Work which when using Qabalistic Geomatria (numerology), (Book 777 of Crowley) Abrahadabra adds up to 418. Using the math of numerology, we do the sum, 4+1+8= 13, the Key/ATU 13 of the Death Card that represents a great spiritual change.
Crowley understood that something martial is going on in the Psyche of the Seeker themselves. Much like the Bhagavad Gita, where the pursuit of enlivenment is symbolized by warring factions. On this highest Path of Severity, the Soul Warrior of Geburah has reached a pinnacle, as shown by the 10 stars/Crystals on his golden chest; the number 10 represents Assiah or Matter. Seated in meditation, with the Holy Graäl in his hands: the Cup (Womb) of 2 colors, the Blue one is the mental enclosure that we look directly into when using our Imagination to produce ideas, i.e. "the womb with a view", that is the Universal Element of Water and the Red Graäl is the "magical Wine" from water, that represents the "Mother's Blood" of the Microcosm. And if you dare to think about it, from the Waters of the Oceans on earth, all blood is formed and it is the amniotic "magic salty fluid" in the Womb that all children are formed in and from. Here also is the symbol of the Crab, Cancer, which is a not too subtle Tantric Alchemical symbol for a technique of Tantra Yoga in which male and female energies are "drunk" after being perfectly prepared, balance, and exchanged to create the 2 in 1 elixir of Life.
This "drinking" of male and female fluids/essences that produce the magic elixir of life might take a bit of explanation. Crowley "hinted" at this Tantric technique in his Book of Thoth, Pg. 256:
The issue of the Vulture, Two in One,
Conveyed; This is the Chariot of Power.
TRINC: The Last Oracle!
"The issue of the Vulture, Two in One, relates to the myth of Maät, the Egyptian Goddess of adjustment and supreme balance, her sacred bird is The Vulture. In times most ancient, it was believed that Vultures didn't mate, for in each bird was thought to be both sexes, and they produced their young alone and unmarried. Therefore, the Vulture represented a childbirth of an internal marriage of 2 perfectly balanced forces and/or 2 in 1.
One may ask "What the hell is TRINC the last oracle"? The answer to that entails a lengthy explanation beginning with the Story of Gargantua and Pantagruel a mystical satire written by François Rabelais (1494-1553). In the story Panurge, one of the main characters, seeks an answer to the question "Should I marry"? After much discussion, his partner's decided to seek the answer from the Oracle of the Bottle. As in all heroic journeys, many adventures happen before they eventually reach the Temple of the Bottle. Upon passing through the entry door of the Temple upon which is written En Oino Aletheia (in wine lies truth), they meet Bacbuc, the Priestess of the Temple who escorts them to the Bottle. Panurge posses his question, "Should I marry", the Holy Bottle makes a sharp cracking sound like breaking glass, : TRINC!, Which happens to mean "Drink". To Panurge, this is a firm "Yes" and he interprets TINC as an admonition to drink deeply from the well spring of life and knowledge. Now we jump to the language of Thelema imagery to continue our Qabalistic fairytale.
In Thelema, the elixir is brewed in the Holy Graäl by Babalon/Nuit in Binah (3rd Sephiroth-Understanding and Queen of the Qabalistic fairytale, who then offers it to the Beast/Hadit in Chokmah (the King of the Qabalistic fairytale) and they both Drink/Trinc and become ecstatically drunk. By drinking, they annihilate all sense of separateness and 2 become 1. This intoxication is also one of the "mysteries" of Dionysus, the Greek God of Wine.
The movement of the Chariot also conceals another mystery (arcana) of great significance. The Chariot is reminiscent of the Greek Chariot of the Sun, Helios, as the four horses of the Sun pulled the Chariot of the Sun across the sky. This is significant as a representation, since the Chariot moves between the Light, centered in Tiphareth (Beauty) and the Supreme Darkness of the Limitless Light (Dark Energy) at the hidden side of Kether (Crown). Yet, there is even a more complex meaning suggested here, as the Sun is guided by the Moon! And in both Greek Mythology and the Qabalistic Tree of Life, the sun is subordinate to the moon. Since the Chariot is of the sign of Cancer, that is ruled by the Moon (and in which Jupiter is exalted), the Charioteer follows this philosophy of subordination to the Great Mother (Will to form). The cardinal Path of the Moon, leads from Tiphareth (Beauty-Solar Logos) to Kether (Crown) is the Path of the High Priestess. Water (Pure Consciousness) takes precedence here and is represented by the Moon.
Therefore, this is a Higher Path card, and requires much skrying, meditation, and arcane study, so I recommend that you devote more time to this card than a brief lesson. At least, get the books I have recommended in this treatise and read them liberally! What is also noted here, is that the Male-Female relationship, is represented backwards here in our reflected world. The Male Force of the Universe is Subservient to the Female Force in order for Force to become Form. Idea is subservient to Understanding, for Life to progress. There is much to consider here, if one wishes to "Know thyself!" ·
None of these esoteric images of the Holy Guardian Angel or the Merkabah, are represented in the The Golden Tarot-Key 7-The Chariot. However, since this is a copy of the Visconti Sforza Tarot, this card exemplifies the Chariot Triumph (IL Carro Triumphale). It is believed that Bianca Maria personifies Laura, the protagonist of Petrarch's I Trionfi. Triumphs (Italian: I Trionfi) is a 15th-century Italian series of poems, written by Petrarch in the Tuscan language. The poem evokes the Roman ceremony of triumph, where victorious generals and their armies were led in procession by the captives and spoils they had taken in war. (From Wikipedia)
In this copy of the Visconti Sforza card, Laura, the driver of the chariot, displays many symbols of authority, including the golden crown, the scepter in one hand, and the imperial globe carried in the other hand. Laura seems to be enacting the Neoplatonic quest for immortality and therefore represents the archetype for the hero. Therefore, she must exert her will over the winged horses-one of which represents the Soul of Appetite and the other, the Soul of Will- as she guides the Chariot/Psyche/Soul toward the Higher Self (Qabalistic-Adam Khadmon) and/or enlightenment.
When the Chariot ATU/Key 7 is thrown during a reading, the querent is reminded:
- To devote themselves to the combination of activity and quietude so that they may have the drive to attain goals.
- It is a time of clearing out the past, moving beyond and beginning with new energy while taking responsibility for one's present condition.
- There is a need for victory here, by combining the images or content of the unconscious with the consciousness for the purpose of achievement.
- The Chariot also signifies that the querent has begun controlling a situation by the force of their personality....a focus of Will.
- The goal will need fighting for, but you have been granted the energy to win it!
- Will power when dealing with problems.
- Will to continue.
- Triumph over fear.
- Following your intuition.
If ill defined by surrounding cards (Thoth) or reversed (Haindl), it implies:
- Lack of will.
- Passivity or weakness.
- It may be best to let things run their course.
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