Above all things, know thyself!
Thoth-ATU XV-The Devil
The spiral Tarot-Key 15-The Devil
The Lord of the Gates of Matter; The child of the Forces of Time.
On the Qabalistic Tree of Life, 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, which is the sphere of Mercury and the intellect. The Path of Ayin, is the Twenty-sixth Tree of Life Path and is formative. In the terms of Self structure, it is the bridge between The Personality and individuality; the false- ego and the Soul.
As I have stated so often before, the Solar Self-the Soul, is the Original Individual 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/Sun of God is a Sun that sends "solar flares" (Divine Energy and Data) outward as individual expressions of It's own Self ( individuality); from Self into selves (personalities) 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. Which all works just fine, if uncorrupted. After all we are born Stars in this Universe. Our personal Merkabah becomes our chariot through the invisible planes on "the otherside of the Mirror" of reflected light.
The Hebrew letter Ayin means-Eye (I) and is a simple letter that also Means-Mirth and is shown on the bottom of the Thoth Tarot and to the right of the Spiral Devil image. This letter's 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 Dogmatic Christian cultural definitions that have been applied to the Devil which is another form of corrupted "eye-denity". There is a division in our I-dentity. When one has been "Pleasure/Pain" trained (indoctrinated) from childhood onward into social pressure, one has developed a false ego and/or a false identity made for them by some outside "authority". That faux ego, is the devil within who is created out of the fear based imagination of the subconscious/survival mind of the body collective. Here the ego is given surcease for it now can blame all it's self-absorbed suffering on some god-like deity that is out to get it. This suffering is supposed to make us holy in the world of the Patriarchy. Both the Thoth Tarot and the Spiral tarot know this is bunk. Just a play on fear used to control mankind so they "tow the line" of the few who wish to rule the many. That way your hunger, poverty, illnesses and lack of housing can be blamed on a deity rather than the Greedy who rule from the shadows.
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 onto explain such enlightening scholarship that I highly recommenced this book to anyone who seeks an honest education as opposed to indoctrination. This confusion of gods and devils, is also why the Devil card, ATU /Key 15 is a gematria 1+5=6; which is the Christ-Buddha consciousness the 6th Sephiroth-Tiphareth. Hence, it is the "unseen" or shadow side of the Sun of God/ Child of the Divine Creative , the subconscious and/or instinctual mind side. It is well noted in Hermetic Qabalah and metaphysics, that the gods are creations of the Created. In other words, they are Imagined; as are the boogey mans. The I AM, imagines the ME.
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 an metaphoric erect phallic tail. Much to study here as most of our "knowledge" is propaganda based misconstructions!
Imagination is the True Mind of Formation. When your Imagination is under the control of outside authority, due to fear of punishment and/or death (fear of sensation), you are bedeviled throughout life and become a "Mind divided", which is a living hell if you want to get anything done for yourself. Your "I", EGO, belongs to the True Self, the original I AM, not the trained " I Want to Be" and/or false Identity/Ego. The Personality, is imagined, it isn't you but its secret is that the devilish ego has you thinking it is you! You can't see yourself through the masks of culture and words. We are all lost in a forest full of words, and can't see our own I-dentity through the clutter of the "me's".
The "Shadow side" of our mind, is the survival mind and its fear based perspectives. It is always telling us "you need this, or you won't survive" and/or "happiness depends on getting this, that or the other thing"...
To the Qabalist, the Devil is not viewed as an evil entity (lived spelled backward), having its own god-like existence. Rather it represents a special mystery (Arcana of the Mind) that must be experienced and understood before we can hope to directly know the Higher Self. Within our Physical bodies, The Devil is the intelligence that is Master of Manifest form (the Instinctual Mind) that has been corrupted by "Those who rule definition" and a manifestation of our own imagination that we meet on the Path of Ayin, and must face and conquer, thereby turning a fear motivated wolf into a obedient dog of an ego. The Path of Ayin, takes the traveler into an understanding that we are entering a transition between the intellect of self-consciousness (individual conscious) and true spiritual conscious. In other words, our Brain, an artificial intelligence, is our Devil not by design, but by the very act of indoctrination and fear based dogma. Hence, the devil is always linked with illusion and the moon for the moon has no light of its own but reflects that of the Sun---an outside authority; The Sun being the Mind. Therefore, the Goddess. Hence, the Crone (Wise Woman), who is the one that "cuts" the cord of time, and/or ends the measure of Form, is often seen as the "devil. Woman is one of the first "Devils" of the Patriarchy. This is easily seen, in the Christian Misogynistic Religion, where Woman (Eve) is painted with the "downfall" of man. This is done merely because the Patriarchy (useless old men) wish to control the Womb of Life, i.e. Imagination and your "time" on earth and thereby, control your life as a form of their wealth.
Three Paths lead directly into Tiphareth (your Solar Psyche): THE DEVIL ( ATU/Key 15), ART (ATU/Key 14 called Temperance in Traditional Medieval Tarot decks), and DEATH (ATU/Key 13). Now each of these paths represents a special trial for the initiate; However, each person is not required to travel all three inner Paths.
One way to experience 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-Key14 (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 introspection from the Student.
The Magi's way of following each and every Inner-Path; The Lightning Path-means the acquisition of control over Intelligent Forces which each Path symbolizes, as every Path confers a unique power/ability ("magical abilities"). Therefore, a Magus is an active Force of Creation, One who Masters Time, the Alpha and Omega, rather than a Passive one who fears its end. The difference here, is that the Traveler of the Middle Path does learn to balance and understand within the Self, the forces of the Thirty-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 of Mercury"; the Spiritual purpose for the human body, which is made in the form of Time and connected to the Inventor of Time-the Imagination! For it is certain, that data is information, and the only way to enjoy the "idea of Self" and/or Self-Information is to sensualize it and thereby, become intimate with one's own creation of identity. This intimacy is called "experience", and when one experiences information, it becomes knowledge.
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 by fear and intimidation thereby creating circumstances to avoid personal 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...as the darkness sucks away your vital life force. So there is no question that for the timid, who are controlled by the false-ego, the Middle Path is much safer than facing and conquering the temptations of the Magical Path: a path that builds an unconquerable Soul. A true measure of a person's character is not found in adversity, for most people can handle adversity. The True Measure of Character happens when one acquires power.
The Spiral Tarot-The Devil, Key 15- shows a gray man and a woman standing , chained around the neck by a sinister boogeyman figure. Their dead arms supporting a mirror image of a woman, who is also chained to this sinister image of "outside" authority, and who sees her true actions reflected in that mirror. No doubt, good or bad and/or good or evil are in the eye of the beholder, but doing ill to others, does ill to yourself. Hence, on the Devil figure''s navel is drawn an upside down pentagram: meaning, subconscious fear has subjugated the will of Spirit. The trident in his hand is that of the Greek God Neptune or the Hindu Lord Shiva. The trident is a traditional symbol of the "Storm God" of many cultures.
Both the Spiral and Thoth tarot let us know that the "gods" are a creation of the creative; as are the boogey mans. The Chains imply that we are all quantumly connected in the timelines of Universal Energy and the Universal Collective Unconscious, or to any authority we fear the most. When one has cut the "chains" of cultural fear and racial fear, they are released to a world of "I AM Love". For behind the razzle dazzle of forms, is the the Great Creatrix who fully loves, without condition, her Children. But blinded by fear, a child can never see its Mother and a Soul can never see its Divinity.
The twisted serpents at their feet represent perverted sexual energy. What few realize is that "sexual energy" is the Vigorous Life Force that all creativity is generated from. To separate sexuality from spirit, is to pervert it.
Rider-Waite-Smith, Key 15-The Devil
THE DEVIL represents Raw Power(Mars/Aries), it is the Force that brings about the transmutation of THE TOWER (key16) and is in the sign of Capricorn (also shown as the Goat or Goat like image on the Traditional Tarot like-Rider-Waite-Smith and the nontraditional Crowley cards), 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 (Cronos), The Great Maid- Mother-Crone, that governs the limitations of form, produced by the measurement of Time/Space. These limitations are of the enclosure of matter and/or timed by using the artificial system by which we meter and enclose all activities.
Thus, 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. This misconception of reality is symbolized on the head of the Rider-Waite 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/the One I-sight that becomes divided into body senses. For "to hear," is another way to see, "to smell", is yet another way to see, as "to feel" is yet another way to see and this also holds true for "to taste".
The "third eye" , the True I-denity, is shown on the smirking Goat image of the Thoth Card. He smiles, because he knows a hidden truth. That truth being, he is yet another Identity of Self, imagined and created out of your inherited wealth, i.e., the Imagination/image-making power of the "Inner-Womb with a view". Hence, the total misconceptions of Life based on fear, is what the devil card implies. The Subconscious fear of Death, that has been profaned by indoctrination, generates the dark evil boogeyman that lurks in the labyrinth of our subordinated minds. Here is presented the profaned belief that death is a punishment, when in all reality it is merely a transition from one state of energy to another and/or Transformation and holds no fear for the immortal Self/Soul. If there is a punishment in the Universe, it is from our own thinking. Punishment holds no fear for the non-sensual Soul, only the assumed intimacy of senses can fear pain/punishment. In other words, justice as "punishment", a profaned belief, is not dealt out by the supernatural, but ourselves, for with a body Avatar, we become sensual and/or be intimate with our own thinking and find the Lord of Mater, is the subconscious animal mind, something of who we were never intimate with before, as we are Celestial not material. We become bound by sensation, yet another new experience, and find that sensation clutters up the "self-awareness" with fantasies of fear and pain. Those who rule identity take great advantage of this "fear of death" and hold a faux authority over the fearful, an emotional/mental enslavement by threats, of loss, of discomfort, poverty, and death. Hence, only the enslaved fear punishment from their dark masters. The Son of Goddess/God, the Divine Creative, knows their is only love in creation, and spirit is the Energy that cannot be created nor destroyed. Hence the true identity of "ourselves", lives in the splendor of light and knows the flesh as a partner in knowledge, not a profaned boogeyman.
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 "Boogey Man". Rather than show the Devil as some demonic netherworld god like the medieval dogmatic belief, 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 making it less serious and/or Dramatic. Humor is a tool that will help our consciousness to transcend the illusion of "thinking 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 is necessary to remember that all image is imagined for all is Mind. Truth is "I AM'" which denotes existence; what I AM is is thought of and therefore is assumption. Hence, The Devil Card cautions us not to believe everything we think, for thought is our invention, not our inventor! Hence, on the forehead of the Thoth Goat, is a bunch of little blue flowers. These are called forget-me-nots, implying that the survival thinking of the physical body is based on "fear of rejection", i.e., forget-me-not! The Root and Trunk of all Fear is Fear of Death, fear of rejection is a branch of that Tree. Fear of rejection produces all the "Drama Queens" that we see made famous by media, by cultural peer pressure, etc..Death is just "a measurement", not and end to "making measure", for we are the Children of the Divine Hermaphrodite, and our inheritance is Creation itself!
It pays to note that the Survival Mind of the animal, is our subconscious Devilish tempter (faux-ego) 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 is stimulated by imaginary bogeymen, that are created by those who wish to rule our imaginations. The Patriarchy knows that by ruling another's imagination, you rule another's identity and thereby, make it work for the Ruler's Creation Fantasy; to control your "ME" means to rule your I AM! "I" is identity, AM is mind, and ME is created as "self-expression" of the I AM. Hence, always "what I Am" is always assumed, and therefore, a story we tell ourselves.
These delusions of mental weakness , are shown in Traditional Tarot, as a dark and unwholesome nightmare apparition of a predator, chaining (enslaving) us to Earth. 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 pain, death, rejection etc. Also, the limited physical sight, rather than insight, can be the bogeyman creator that keeps us from exercising our free Will- Spiritual Power, as we constantly react to the environment as prey, rather than the spiritual act of taking action in that environment as one in command of Self. This is the Trick of profaned 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 them or profane them while we are in a constant state of fear of rejection. We become lost in a realm of being a victim (prey) of our environment, rather than the Emperor/Empress of command in our environment. Never reject the predator/ survival mind of yourself, know it and love it for its instinct is well developed after millions of years. On earth, organic life eats itself to stay alive, this is how it mimics immortality. Love, domesticates the "lion within" and that way your predatory nature becomes a loving and aware self-conscious mind, rather than a fear based devilish ego that strikes out in anger at the environment and at others. We are the Sun/Son of the Divine Creative, we shine and radiate our presence no matter how many clouds are in the environment, "others" don't dictate to the Sun/Son how to shine.
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-The Divine Androgyny on the Tree of Life. For without measurement, there is no self-awareness and therefore, no discernment, and/or no space (space is a measurement in between point A to point B). 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" (From 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 of Matter by the process of "rational" thought. Thought being the first material Imagination (Womb Intelligence of the Mind) uses to begin the process of "formation". Hence, in Yesod exists our Divine Hermaphrodite (Hermes and Aphrodite as one being) and/or Divine Androgyny, before the illusion of separate sexes. Yes illusion, because our brains are both male and female, hence, hermaphroditic. Hence, what we imagine to be separate, isn't so in reality.
Therefore, the inner Path of Ayin, 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 mental life. 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/Profaned Imagination and our right understanding of them, can we come directly to the Higher Consciousness of the Son/Sun of The Divine Creative.
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. We don't come from earth, we have come to earth as a solar being. 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 and claim our Divine Inheritance and/or True Self in an intimate way.
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.
Letting some "outside authority" control your identity
The Thoth Tarot Card is more Arcanely complex than the tradition Tarot card, as well as the Golden Tarot card. This is because, as Crowley states, that Key 15 represents, "creative energy in its most material form", and as "Pan Pangenetor, the All-Begetter". Rather than some child's bogeyman. Crowley's goat is Pan standing on the highest mountain-top on earth, against 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 is in front of a Phallus and two testicles, implying the Universal "All-Begetter" (Expressive side of Imagination). On the Thoth Devil card, the tip of the male organ is outside of the card, implying it is in the "Greater Heavens" (Abyssal Womb), while the testes contain the bound up forms of manifestation. The Thoth Devil card, asks us "Who controls your identity? The Useless Greedy Patriarchy of old Men, or your unprofaned Sun of Self as I AM?
WHEN THE THOTH ATU 15 or THE SPIRAL TAROT- KEY 15-THE DEVIL CARD IS THROWN DURING A DIVINATION, IT IMPLIES:
- 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.
- Perception of the true, complete self.
If ill defined by the surrounding cards it implies:
- Fateful entanglements.
- Self destructive drives.
- Dark powers.
- Collective hysteria.
Thank you for your interest, comments, and supportive donations. Your generosity blesses your prosperity. May you live long and prosper.
Traditional Tarot Card Comparisons Blog.