Above all things, know thyself!
Thoth- ATU XVI-The Tower
The Declarative Tarot-path 16-The Correction
The Tarot Apokalypsis- Key 16-The Tower
The Thoth-Tower is a hallmark image of the Tower of Babel brought down by God the Destroyer (Hindu-Shiva as shown by the Trident in the Tarot Apokalysis Card). The Tower also reflects the Hindu Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, who respectively create, sustain, and destroy the universe. Shiva is the God of Destruction, and he only needs to open his eye to destroy the universe. The only reality and/or perfection is Energy. This "open eye" can also be the personality de-constructed and reconstructed by the lightning strike of enlighten thought, as the radiant golden lines from the eye imply the One "I-dentity" that radiates the Selves we all are. On the Tarot Apokalypsis card is illustrated as the cremations of Hindu ascetics where freedom is achieved by the annihilation of one's own exterior. There is lightning in the sky of Shiva the destroyer and the flames of annihilation consuming the tower of the dead ascetics, while vultures fly around it. Vultures are taking the place of the fallen figures on the Thoth card. Although different in design, the Tarot Apokalypsis represents the same ideas as the Thoth -ATU 16-Tower Card.
The fire breathing dragon-mouth at the base, of the Thoth Tower Card, besides symbolizing this card's Hebrew letter Peh (meaning MOUTH), it also represents the Roman destroyer god and is the Cosmic and/or purifying fire that transforms life constantly to keep evolving the knowledge of the living. Crowley called it: "The manifestation of cosmic energy in its grossest form". [The Book of Thoth-Pg. 107]
In any case the burning Tower represents the institutions of man and in today's world the Tower of Babbel is media sponsored word hypnosis. Implying, we can rise to new heights of knowledge and understanding by destroying a static and traditional equilibrium. Hence, yielding to the Universe rather than trying to control it is the ultimate liberating experience. All man-made things are destined to perish, including ego constructs and man-made personalities, which are created by the presence of the "mind virus" that is the '"false ego", an institutional construct of "word hypnosis". This mimic, deceiver, liar, and parasite of your living power is not you, nor ever has it been. It is a viral infection of the subconscious and/or survival mind of the body. Its power over you depends entirely on your ignorance of its presence.
The 4 crystalline figures falling out of the Thoth Tower symbolize the crystallized thought and/or personality of the indoctrinated "wanna-be", i.e. Yesterday's thought- formed- people of indoctrination and dogma, who seek only comfort and fear change, which is another way to say they fear surprises. These fear-based thoughts hold us back from our impeccable performance, becoming a false ego, which emphasizes entropy in our individual life motion. By observation alone we can see that Evolutionary Life is all about performance rather than conformance. Thus, Essential Self is progressive thought; not enslaved/indoctrinated or dogmatic man-made thought. Therefore, in the Thoth Tarot versions of THE TOWER we see stylized lightning or energy strikes knocking off the geometric shapes of human forms which symbolize the man-made personalities that see reality as a world of straight lines; straight lines as in 'black and White" or "good and bad". Therefore, the man-made personality, sees a reality foreign to Nature and the Universe, which is more circular and/or spiral in nature, and is known for its lack of straight lines. And that knowledge, which is more often gained by error, is neither good nor bad, it is function. To see errors in yourself and to correct that error is how Wisdom is created. The Christians may call error a "sin", but this idea somehow evolved from Mt. Sinai where the God of the Moon-Sin-was said to reside, long before Christianity was developed. Therefore, to be a "sinner" was to be a worshiper of Sin, at Mt. Sinai. The Tower also implies that it is time we divorced ourselves from the archaic languages that we no longer use, and have no cultural meaning for us, as they clutter up our brains with words that have no real meaning to us anymore.
Eye (i) of Horus/ The symbol for the clear perception of the inner Christ or Buddha.
Tree of Life
Now since The Thoth Tarot is also called The Egyptian Tarot, the open eye at the top can also represent the Eye of Horus (which represents the Solar Self and/or Soul), Horus is the Egyptian Sun- God of perception; the perceptive state of awakening and seeing the deeper/inner authentic self that is not humanly defined by the babble of words but is Divinely created. Upon Awakening, from the "false ego", personalities are required to come into alignment with the Greater Self, which is symbolized by Horus/ the Golden Child and/or Sun/Son of the Divine Creative, which is known as the 6th Sephiroth-Tiphareth/Beauty and is androgynous in gender. The Child doesn't think in "Words", but rather in images as does the Soul-Psyche, and Universal Collective Mind. Words are not thoughts, but rather, indoctrinated programs as definitions and by using the same programs to get different results, is futile; this futility is especially present when one wears a mask of words thinking identity resides in the propaganda of words. Hence, personality growth doesn't come from words, but rather the Universal Language of Images. Therefore, the Tarot communicates to the Real You, who is the representative/ambassador of the Solar Being --- the I AM.
The Lion Headed and Haloed Serpent is a portrayal of Xnoubis or Abraxas. Together, these serpents represent the 2 forms of desire; desire that Schopenhauer would have called the Will to Live and the Will to Die. They represent the feminine (Will to live) and masculine (Will to die) impulses; the nobility of the latter is based upon recognition of the futility of the former. This is why the renunciation of love, as desire in all the mundane sense of the word has been so constantly announced as the first step towards Initiation /Aspiration. However, this is an unnecessarily rigid view. For this ATU-16 Tarot Card is not the only card in the pack, nor are "Will to Live" and the "Will to Die" incompatible. Without the will to begin and the will to end, no measurement can be made and a cosmos without measurement is Infinite non-space without form. To make anything manifest, it must have a beginning and an end and/or be measured. As Souls, we are the Alpha and the Omega of our bodies, the Masters of Time-Space and our personalities set up the boundaries of measurement that we "perceive ourselves to be". To know, is beyond "programed perceptions", and that knowing comes from the inner Divinity that we are formed as "self-reflections" of.
Therefore, the haloed lion- serpent also reminds us that by shedding old ways of thinking we become expanded and liberated from the past. Expanded consciousness requires expanded definitions of self and the arising of the Kundalini, a serpentine force (solar inheritance of coiled Solar Force that began as "I Will Be"), all coiled up at the base of the Spine. This could also be why the art of Lady Frieda Harris shows the fire at the base of the Tower rather than just the Traditional Tarot image of a lightning strike on top of the Tower of Babble. Besides the haloed serpent, on one side of the card is the dove, representing one of the two forms of desire, “The will to die". On the other side of the card is the Sacred Serpent, which represents the other form of desire, "The Will to Live". These are ancient symbols of Life and death, as the serpent sheds its skin, as a kind of resurrection and the dove flies towards the heavens as a "Holy Spirit". The Dove is also considered to be a Feminine symbol and the Serpent a Masculine one, as she is balanced peace of magnetism, and he is the serpentine-lightning-electric force that is the "motion in all movement".
The dove, because of the olive branch in its beak, can also represent the inner peace that we have when we become the authentic Divine -made being and/or the Greater Ego which comes from shedding the outer definition of man-made being and/or institutionalized false or Lesser ego. We are a Being of Light made of photons, who came to the world of matter, made of bio-protons, so that we could be intimate with the All of Creation. Photons are massless, data filled light, and to manifest, we need a Bio-Protonic body. Also, Flesh has many senses, to touch, taste, smell, hear and see manifestation: According to medical science, thirty-three of them to be exact! Therefore, in the material world, information becomes in-form-action. In-Form-Action is experience and experiences become knowledge. The Human body can be called a Manifestation of Realized Information and/or A Temple of Spiritual Wisdom.
Ma Ananda Sarita
In Kashmir Shaivism, a nondualist tradition of Shaiva-Shakta Tantra, the organs of the senses are part of the 36 principles of reality which create this reality. Specifically, they are called jñānendriyas (sense organs) are ghrana (nose), rasana (tongue), caksu (eye), tvak (skin), and srotra (ear). According to Ma Ananda Sarita:
“Each sense has the capacity to offer us Satori – spiritual awakening. Behind every sense, is a hidden sense, which is revealed to us as we dive deeply into that sensorial experience with awareness. Behind the outer eyes is the third eye, through which clairvoyance is awakened.
Hidden inside the two ears, is the third ear, through which we can awaken clairaudience. And deep inside the sense of feeling and touch, is hidden clairsentience. If we explore the sense of smell and taste, our olfactory ability is awakened to such an extent, that we can begin experiencing the ability to smell truth or untruth, and our discernment as to what is good for us or what is not serving our best interests becomes very pronounced. When all senses are vividly aware, we discover the phenomenon of ‘omnipresence.’ ”
*Ma Ananda Sarita is a world-renowned Tantra master and mystic offering courses, retreats, and trainings throughout the world.
Having received a direct transmission from Osho, she is true to the spiritual essence of Tantra and guides her students on the path of self-realization.
The Tower Card-ATU/Key 16, is the Path of Peh, a Hebrew letter meaning Mouth. Dr. Paul Foster Case calls the Path of Peh," The Exciting Intelligence", as vibrations excite matter, and the Mouth sends forth vibrations as sound or words. Hod (Splendor), the 8th Sephiroth and the center of the reasoning process is connected to the center of the intuition-desire nature, the 7th Sephiroth- Netzach (Victory) by the Path of Peh (Pé)-THE TOWER. This Path of the Personality brings into balance what is out of balance and is related to Mars, the Roman god of War and the North (later this became the god Pluto).
King Solomon's Temple
Traditionally the North was the quarter seen as the "greatest place of darkness", for when the Mysteries were initiated the North side of King Solomon's temple was the darkest side. But all is not doom and gloom here, as any initiate in the Western Mysteries knows, it is from the darkest night (dark energy) that comes Light and that "enlightenment has its origin in the hidden sources of power which terrify the minds of the ignorant". To us moderns who are familiar with Quantum Physics Theory, it is theorized that from the Invisible Dark Energy and Dark Matter are the birthplaces of Visible Light energy and visible matter.
Peh, the Hebrew letter, is called a double letter (double letters refer to the Soul), for it not only means Mouth but also Grace/Indignation, a union of opposites. Double letters are considered "gateways of the Soul", that have two directions of passage (Life-Death). It is also a fact that the mouth has two passages as well. One passage takes in nourishment into the organic system and another expresses speech. Thus, we can see the similarity between the two actions of the Path of Peh. For it not only is a devastating Path of the Higher Vibrations that burn away the dross of our cultural false personalities, it is also the entrance that nourishes the consciousness with Spiritual knowledge, (chanting and enlightenment) from the Real Personality and/or the Greater Ego.
Many of us are familiar with chanting and the effects of the power of vibration on the physical body. Many Mysteries propound on the use of "god names" or "Words of Power" to affect the destruction of "negative energies” (energy bound in fear) in body and environment. (Relative to speech, we know that the Logos, the Original Identity, is also called the Word,) These "negative energies" that The Tower card represents the destruction of, are our own personal towers of false concepts and institutions that are commonly believed to be reality. By tearing down, room is made for something new and tearing down the false ego, is like pulling off a mask which hides the true "Face".
Now I know that Mars, the planet applied to this card, is the symbol of the war god of destruction but few remember that the war god Mars is also attributed with the power of crop fertility. Again, the process of destruction to build anew is seen here as the peace and calm of the soil is distributed by a plow, to plant healthy crops. This really is the core of the message of The Tower-ATU/Key 16.
The Divine Hermaphrodite
The Tarot Tower symbolizes the construct that most people call "Me" or self/ego, where the false perspectives of the Personality are being shattered by the influx of the Ideals of the High Self/ Greater Ego and/or Original Self of I AM; Here destruction is a construction as place is being made in the self- consciousness for higher Knowledge. The toppling Tower also represents the destruction of manmade institutions, government, religions, or any accepted cultural values that aids the "mind virus". Yet this striking down, is not to be construed as the destruction of evil, rather it is a process of change, as "steppingstones" of perspective are built that contributes to the continual building up and striking down of concepts that lead into the Inner Realms of Higher Self; like the building up and striking down of miles as one travels. Another way to understand THE TOWER'S process, is that upon first approach to these "Higher Planes" of reality, many people anthropomorphize the States of Conscious Energy, as Archangels or "Spiritual Beings”, as that is how they "realize" them; However, these Creative Forces are formless and an invisible part of your totality, so in order to incorporate these forces into our own anthropomorphized "reality", we must deconstruct the previous false concepts of these angelic beings and know them as states of I Am and/or Self. This is a necessary process of progressive and expanding Self-Awareness as we mentally journey on the "Above all things, know thyself" Paths of the Tree of Life and/or remember our Divinity. Just to travel to greater destinations in the present, we must deconstruct the hold of perspectives of our past!
Krishna and Arjuna
The Higher Self is our True Ego, which is not ours alone for it is a collective of all selves, so The Tower's solitary destruction also represents the eradication of the personal false ego and its divisionism, a concept made by the survival consciousness of the animal body being infected by the "mind virus" of entropy. The lightning flashes are representative of sudden inspiration, or flashes of perception, which occur when we realize our Real Identities are a Universal, I AM that is a collective of knowledge created by Eons of Divine Self-Awareness. This inner conflict of false and real is why A. Crowley subtitled THE TOWER as WAR. But this is not a new perspective on the inner conflict of survival persona and the Higher Self, as throughout esoteric literature these moments of "inner war" are depicted. For instance, in the Bhagavad Gita, there is described symbolic battle of self-perspectives, and/or component parts of Self: The Higher Ego is portrayed as Krishna (Solar Logos), guiding Arjuna (lower personality/false ego) onto his inner, and personal field of conflict.
In Western literature, we have Christ, going through his days in the desert, solitary and alone, while being continually tempted by the "false ego" that Christians call Satan, which relates to the survival based false ego trying to usurp the Will of the True Ego (The Soul). The Gnostics called this "mind virus" Archon, the Algonquin Peoples called it the "Wetiko", parapsychologists call it the "mind virus" and/or "false ego", which is a "mimic" of life, but not alive as it is a parasite like a virus, which lives from vamping the life force of the host. This is also called "evil" by many, for it is "live" spelled backwards as in anti-life. This acknowledges the false one, as devolution rather than evolution.
Adam Khadmon-The Heavenly Human (Androgyny)
I mentioned that this card is about the destruction of the old order. In the Thoth Tower card, the all-seeing eye (I) observes and directs the destruction of the Tower, representing the old order, while Dis, the Roman god of the dead, belches flames against the tower base. These illustrations reinstate that the path of the Tower, is often considered to be an affirmation of the Primal Will; that it alone is the True Crown that brings into balance the pure poles of positive or male-electric Chokma and the magnetic negative or female Binah. Although we define by words, words are not truth as they are merely propaganda and/or definitions made by rulers ("Ruler" means one who controls definition; in our modern era that would be the Military Industrial Complex). So, the words, Chokmah and Binah define that which we truly don't understand, as the Will to Force (Chokma) and the Will to Form (Binah) are of the Primal Will of Eheieh-the God name of the 1st Sephiroth-Kether who is known as "I Will Be" all of which is before being and language. One "I AM" and many "selves" or one I Am making copies of itself as many "I's", makes a Universal Collective Identity of I AM The Heavenly Human (Adam Khadmon). which should be the personality that replaces the "Me". Much like a Prism creates colors out of pure white light, Self reflects upon self, and in so doing creates "self-awareness" as image and/or a collective of information as in-form-action.
Fire/Lightning is the first Phallic expression known as Chokma the 2nd Sephiroth.
The Divine Union of the Hermaphrodite Soul.
There are obvious sexual and Tantric connotations to this card, in the past, these were broadly suggested so that "polite society" would not be offended. However, "God is Sex" ( Vital Life Force-Fertility-Fecundity) the Tower itself is a phallic symbol, the Mouth, is the opening of the male reproductive male organ from which the Yod (seed of life), ejaculates. In Crowley's 1923 diary, he states that,"...the Blasted Tower which is really a Phallus shooting forth lightning’s of seed". The forced transmutation of energy from one form to another is done by Fire's destructive nature. This initial activation of transformation leads to fruition as energy is released to be restructured into another form of Self. As a practicing Tantric and Qabalist I know the Physical Male body is a type of capacitor of Positive electric force and the Physical Female body is a crucible (womb) of Negative Magnetic Energy (female Shakti), that captures and encloses the electric discharge of the Solar Logos (Male-Shiva), eventually producing active form, not unlike the flash of light, creates an image on the photographic film, making the sexual action one of caution for it is the state of emotions at the time of Union that create a "life form". As in Tantra, Qabalah understands that the Tree of All Life, is a balancing of opposites; a balancing of Force and Form; therefore, the Tantric Tree of Life can also be seen as the United Masculine and Feminine in a Maithuna (face to face) position called Yab Yum in Tibetan Tantra. The Spirit sees the body as a sacrament and the union of the feminine and masculine genders as "Whole Self" and a sacred action of the 2=1.
In the Tower card, the Mars force is presented as the sexual energy of the Microcosm (Microprosopus), and the image of the Tower is in some ways the phallus. The theory of which points to the all-important understanding that, it is the Higher Sexual Energy (that at first flows from Chokma to Binah, in the Upper Trinity of Kether), of Chokma/ Binah that is called the Supernal Triangle that destroys the perception of the culturally sponsored Personality and the false hoods about the nature of sexual function. There is a kind of destruction of the male sex organ itself in orgasm which relates to the destruction of the Singularity in the "Big Bang" (no pun intended)! Hence, the I is deconstructed as an individual and reconstructed as I AM, a collective of self-perspectives, which become understood as another way to be Self, which gives birth to I Am Me-the Divine Child, which is, Father=I (energy), Mother=Am (Consciousness) and Child=Me (awake consciousness). Although The Path of Peh, The Tower, may be symbolically phallic, this does not make it a "male only Path" as this Path exists prior to the differentiation of the sexes that are necessary for multiple and diverse incarnation. This Tower path is an amalgamation of both male electric and female magnetic force, dancing in a spiral rhythm of I AM. However, on the path of Peh, one must focus on the male electric force, sexual expressive force, which resides in all of us, as on other paths one must deal with female receptive components. Only in working in duality are the different polarities of the physical male and female bodies considered as they both experience the Path differently, according to their polarities.
The serpent (Male) and the Cup (Female)
There is also an interpretation here that the fall from the Tower, enables the sacrifice of one's culturally profaned perception of the sexual function that is continually required by humankind's definers to maintain the given Path by which one may return to the Source of All. However, the Path is initiatory as it prepares us for the Knowledge and Conversion of the Solar Logos of Tiphareth. What should be noted here, is that when you "ejaculate" electric energy into the magnetic crucible, you get electromagnetic energy that carries information to a place where the,"... the male and the female are one and the same..." …a partial quote from the Gnostic Gospel of Didymos Judas Thomas that is in the Nag Hammadi Library.
Adam Khadmon (The Heavenly Human)
Here's the whole quote: when asked by the disciples when they shall enter the Kingdom of God (The Whole Tree of Life/Adam Khadmon): (22) "Jesus said to them:
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 in place of an eye, 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."
This "becoming" is the understanding of the Divine Hermaphrodite, where" the two become One" which is illustrated in the Art Card, ATU 14 of the Thoth Tarot and the Birth of Horus, (Heavenly Human) is totally represented in the Aeon-ATU 20. This Gnostic Gospel completely explains the Qabalistic Tree of Life and will require in depth study, scrying of the Tower card, and Self Knowledge to understand. However, I'll give you some clues, "eyes into an eye" refers to changing perspective of the reality of sight, from the separatism of physical eyes to the collective All seeing eye (I)…the turning of a hand into a hand refers to the Hebrew word Yod--meaning Hand and called the Seed of Spirit. These Yods are shown as golden individual flames (Supernal spermatozoon) falling from the fiery tower. The male/ female transformation has already been explained in this text. It should be noted that the Higher Mysteries are sexual, but in perspective far beyond the libido of hormone besotted bodies locked in puberty, as would our society of flesh-o-phobes dictate. To profane the sexual act is to profane the Original Communion and Holy Mass of the Divine Creative where 0=2 and 2 become 1 again in an inner Divine Marriage of Anima and Animus and/or 2=1.
The Declarative Tarot-Path 16-The Correction.
The Declarative Tarot-Path 16-The Correction, presents the Tower card, which is most often feared, as an image of deconstruction necessary for reconstruction. Hence the image of a Volcano whose destructive actions create islands of future life. This is known to us as "catastrophes" or personal "tragedies" in our life motion that are seemingly dismantling our lives: However, these are foundation shifts taking place. Here one is challenged to stand tall, arise to the challenge and analyze what is happening and/or what is leaving or redistributing itself towards greater possibilities.
The central image of the Volcano has tossed old foundations into the sea to be cleansed and used later as minerals that feed the plankton, who support all life on earth, as well as creating new earth for grounded life forms. The Dolphins dance in the sea celebrating the opportunity that follows this fiery display. While different individuals choose different methods of dealing and/or coping with moments of chaos. Accompanying the volcanoes upheaval are storms of lighting and rain, where electric discharge and water cleanse the area of the ash falls of release. This is earth experimenting in the Water-Fire alchemy of creation. Behind the smoke and ash clouds, the sun is always present and radiating its life-giving energy to the world.
A fiery Phoenix arises "to show that the process of rebirth continues to ignite new opportunities and inspired continued flight" (Grace Sequoia). According to legend, each Phoenix lived for five hundred years, and only one Phoenix lived at a time. Just before its time was up, the Phoenix built a nest and set itself on fire. Then, a new Phoenix would rise from the ashes. Both the Greeks and Egyptians associated the Phoenix with the sun.
To the querent, the Tower Card means:
- Ambition, fighting, war and courage.
- Unexpected events that require us to let go.
- The necessary toppling of existing forms to make way for new life and new ways.
- It usually means that the querent will be experiencing an ego- personal process of eliminating all that is artificial, false-to-fact, and no longer useful to them; usually in a 16 week or monthly process.
- Healing and restoration come from this process. This is much like a doctor’s axiom of, “This is gonna’ hurt a bit, but it will feel better soon".
- Overcoming one's ego and setting the Soul free.
- Long standing activity or approach that may bring about disaster if continued.
- Burn down the destructive tendencies that no longer serve you.
If ill dignified by the cards accompanying it.
- The Tower can mean the destruction of the querent’s creation.
- Blind destruction.
- A shaking up.
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