The Babylonian Tarot- Key 19-The Sun-Shamash
The Babylonian Tarot- Key 19-The Sun-Shamash, depicts the Mesopotamian god of the Sun, justice, truth and judgment, Shamash. He was the son of the Moon god, Sin and the twin brother of the goddess, Ishtar. Adad, the god of weather, was his younger brother. Shamash's companion was the goddess Aya. It was said that every morning he arose from the eastern gates of heaven, with the solar rays radiating from his shoulders. Each night he entered the underworld through a gated mountain int the West.
Because of his penetrating light, that banishes all darkness, Shamash was considered to be the "one from whom no secrets are hid", is able to see all things. Naturally this ability makes him the arbiter of justice, who punishes the wicked and rewards the virtuous; The destroyer of evil, and protector of the righteous. He was often accompanied by 2 deities, his children, a daughter Misaru, justice and his son, Kittu,"righteousness".
Like the later Greek Sun God-Helios, Shamash is often shown standing in his chariot pulled by horses or standing upon the back of a horse, going through a mountain pass. On the Babylonian Tarot card, his standing on his horse, while wielding a pruning saw for cutting plants. At his head, is his primary symbol of a solar disc, an emblem containing a four pointed star with radiants.
When thrown in divination, the Babylonian Tarot-Key 19-The Sun-Shamash, implies:
- Glory and honor.
- Gain, riches, happiness, joy, pleasure, birth and renewal.
- Vindication of daring ideas.
- Achievement against odds.
- The power of knowledge.
- The conscious mind.
- Increased perception.
- Spiritual communication.
If ill dignified"
- Arrogance and showing off.
Thoth-atu 19-the sun
The Hebrew letter Resh (bottom left), which is assigned to the Thoth Sun card, means-Head. Thus the Head is seen as the Sun of the Body. It is the Head-Sun that rises above the Earth and the lower animal thoughts of the survival thinking.
The Sun, is cited as the Thirtieth Path and/or the Collective Intelligence, in Dr. Paul Foster Case's Tarot instruction called [The Thirty Two Paths of Wisdom], The Collective Intelligence of the Sun (Son) exercises control over the 12 signs of the zodiac (12 guideposts of Personality), as shown on this card by the 12 rays radiating outward from the central orb, as well as, a link between the personalities that have been experienced in different incarnations.
The Path of Resh, is the first of the Personality triad of paths, rising on the Tree of Life, from #9-Yesod (foundation) to #8- Hod (splendor). The Path of Resh encountering student, will experience the intellectual-formative side of this conscious energy as an activating force of the Personality. Just as the Higher Self and the Spiritual Self are composites of the masculine-intuitive dynamic, Yod and a feminine-Intellectual-formative , Heh, that together combine opposing forces , producing a set of equalized forces called Vau, so does The Path of Resh.
All of this is explained in greater detail in my class reference book by Robert Wang: THE QABALISTIC TAROT (a text book of Mystical philosophies). For now, suffice it to say that The Sun-collective, assembles all the component parts of the Personality, on these lower paths, by infusing them with "light and Warmth" which are considered intellectual qualities. Thus the Path of the Sun (Resh) is considered the highest level of human intellect, as The Star-Key 17, is considered the highest path of human emotions.
What may be curious to the discerning student of Tarot, is that when you combine The Sun 's high intellect with the high emotion of The Star card, the balanced effected is represented by The Tower-key 16, which at first glance seems the opposite of balance, if not outright chaos. However, what we are witnessing here, is the destruction of the unworthy elements of the "man-made personality", so that the Sun (son) Solar-Personality, under the authority of the Soul, is free to arise to its Source.
The Lower Paths on the Tree of Life, Tau, Shin and Resh, (The Universe, The Aeon, The Sun-), are the symbols of the component parts of the Personality which functions through the body-vehicle, as Spirit's experience-collecting apparatus. The Higher Self must function through the Personality if it is to influence the physical plane, as Pure Spirit must function through the Higher Self to establish "Whole Shelf". The fact that we perceive separation between these aspects of one, is to necessitate understanding of each of the components that are in a state of infinite connectivity. The Tree of Life does describe, by its pattern, a degree of separation, as Sephiroth, but the Paths show us they are all connected and that the perception of separation is to expedite understanding of a dimension of conscious energy.
Perception, is noted for its wide varieties from one organism to another, so it is up to each individual student to literally create their own Qabalah. The Path of Resh is crucial in developing the individual Qabalah and/or "receiving" from the Higher Self. Upon journeying this Path of The Collective Intelligence, one will receive the imprint and acceptance of "Spirit guides: or those beings who direct the inner learning experience of the student. On the Path of Resh (head) the candidacy for Tiphareth (Beauty), The Conscious of the Son (Sun), and /or Higher Self, is begun.
The Path leading into Hod, is where inner discoveries are made as the Inner Teachers exert their influence on the material world, clarifying the relationship between mind and body.
The Path of Resh, will help the student understand the control and limitations of intellect. The Path of the Sun, is also the path of ”awakening", that helps the student understand the use of the tremendous "Sexual Force" of Yesod (Foundation) that is known as the "secret" or Arcane force manipulated by the initiate of the Mysteries. This force has many names, such as "Serpent Force", Kundalini, or "Life Force", all of which fall short in proper perception, as most definitions do. This force of the "inner sun" must be experienced to be understood, and proper preparation for its "rising" must be made by experiencing of the Perceptual Intelligence on the Path of Shin (The Aeon).
Yesod, is attributed to the Moon which governs the ebbing and flowing of the Astral Light (Akashic Fluid of the Universal Collective Unconscious) and is the sexuality beneath our material existence. Hod is Mercury, the first similarity of the specific Personality. The Personality is hermaphroditic, as male and female qualities have yet to be separated out as specifics. The Path of the Sun, when considered developmentally, is the point of childhood of the emerging Personality as it builds toward an earthly incarnation. By traveling upward, towards Hod, we are once again experiencing this initial innocence: a kind of re-experiencing youth and/or a rebirth. The initiate reaches a stage where there is some recollection of the Source from which we emerged.
The dancing Twins, on the Thoth Tarot Sun card, symbolize the purest-innocent repression of the electric-male (Earth) and the magnetic female (Water) principles in physical manifestation. These Twins are also a reference to the astrological sign of Gemini, the sign that links Taurus (Earth) and Cancer (Water). The ancient Greeks and Romans also referred the sign Gemini, to Apollo and the Sun.
In the Thoth Tarot Sun card, the green mound beneath the Twins, symbolizes fertility, as its shape shows aspiration to the Higher Self. The Children dance, free from enclosure, symbolizing freedom from the "prejudices of the people that date morally from the about 25 hundred B.C." [Crowley] Here, the Sun, is the Rose-Cross expanded from four arms to 12 rays and embracing the whole of creation in its rays, it is the “adorable Fire” that is the vital life force of all creation.
This expanded "Inner Sun" is felt by the initiate, as a very warm rising, fertile power, and adorable fire, that does change the physiology of the physical form into the ": Master’s Body" and/or "the Philosopher's Stone".
The Hexagram is the symbol of the composite Thirtieth Path which is compressed of the Four Elements, the Signs of the Zodiac, and the Planets, all under the Ruler ship of the Sun. Thus, the Hexagram is the symbol of the perfect integration of Personality and Higher Self (Tiphareth -meaning Beauty). The Sun is also called the "Splendor of the Material World”, which is representative of the intellect acting upon the dual human condition of, consciousness (Hu-Man) and the physical body (Homo Sapiens). Thus, the Sun is a point of connection with the Greater Life that is comprised by balancing the homo sapiens intellect with the Higher Intellect that is the "Sun (Son) of God": the Hu-Man. Hu is Mandarin for "god", and Man is from the Hindu, Manas, meaning "mind". Hence, the Hu-Man is the Son/Sun of god; the god being the Collective One Mind of All.
For the initiate, experiencing the Path of Resh, is very profound as it is the introduction to the inner sun, which is the light of the personality, as the outer sun is the light of the physical world. What one tends to forget, while experiencing the warmth and light of this inner sun, one's personality cannot look directly into this solar intelligence, any more than they can at the physical sun, without suffering damage. As shown by The Tower Card; equilibrium will be reached by "burning away" what is unworthy of the Higher Personality. Hence, what you "think you are" will be destroyed in the bright knowledge of the Solar Self/Soul, who "Knows you as itself" and not something conditioned by the "Pleasure-pain" training of mankind.
As I have said before, working on the Paths brings about definite physiochemical changes in the human body and as one of the most noted teachers of the Hermetic Qabalah, Dr. Paul Foster Case has stated in his study course, The Thirty-Two Paths of Wisdom,"...marked inner differences from the average person, are due to psychological contrasts in the mental state of the ordinary human beings, but they are also the outer signs of organic changes inside the skin of the new creature. He [She] is chemically and structurally unlike genus homo. There are different constituents in his [her] blood stream. Through his [her] nervous system pass currents of force not present in most human bodies because in his [her] organism channels are open which are closed in the physical vehicle of most persons. Centers in the nervous system and in the brain, and glands related to them, function differently in the body of an adept from the way they do in the bodies of the greater number of his [her] contemporaries." (The brackets are my own addition, as it was written when the proper He was used to describe both sexes.) This is the same physiochemical change that happens to adepts in the Tantric Arts, where balanced Divine Male and Divine Female energy opens up the Divya Sidhis or magic abilities.
The Qabalist always bears in mind that the Personality, the component parts of which are represented on these lower Paths of the Tree of Life, functions through the body as an experience-collecting vehicle for the Soul/Spirit. To divorce the body from the Spirit is a most serious mistake of divisionism, for then we are mentally and thus physically divorcing ourselves from the very Powers that created the body for the purpose of "self-awareness"! The body is the crucible of the Alchemist, and the Sun is the important symbol, as well as, the furnace heat that is the alchemical process of turning the lead of unworthy thought into the gold of Higher Mind.
When the Key 19-the Sun Card is thrown during a reading:
- The querent shall experience gain, riches, glory and sometimes honor.
- Maybe called arrogant which is often a misunderstanding of their glowing self-confidence.
- The querent might make great displays of vanity but this is only seen when accompanied by very negative cards.
- The dance of the divine twins, can also be considered a meeting of the soul (solar) mates. However, this most esoteric and requires a Lover’s or Love card to clarify as an exoteric event.
- The united dance/rhythm of the Anima (Spirit) and Animus (soul)with the homo sapiens body.
- A great explosion of Creative thinking.
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