The Babylonian tarot- Key 8-Strength-Gilgamesh
The Babylonian Tarot- Key 8-Strength, chooses to use the name for key 8 that is traditional in tarot. However, the Thoth Tarot's ATU-8 is the traditional tarot's Justice card, whereas, ATU 11 is the replacement for the traditional strength card.
Depicted in the art of the Babylonian Tarot-Key 8, is Gilgamesh , a mighty Sumerian King of Uruk who is an unrivaled warrior. The Epic of Gilgamesh, written in cuneiform, is seen as one of the world's oldest piece of literature. Gilgamesh, is often shown wrestling a lion or bull, to show his great prowess as a warrior.
Gilgamesh is the archetypal hero who goes on a journey that is a transforming, and enduring seeking of knowledge. This is a common premise that has been used by story teller's throughout the centuries, as the Knights of the Round Table of King Arthur's Court, to the young Skywalker in George Lucius's modern movie epic of Star-wars. Gilgamesh transform from a selfish thug, to a wise ruler as he groomed by his experiences. on a journey in search of immortality. He experiences both victory and sorrow, gains a friend, only to loose that friend, rebuffs a deity, only to pray to another out of fear. Gilgamesh loses himself and find's the true self. He pursues an illusive immortality, only to finally appreciate what he already has and in the end becomes an immortal god. The analogy of Gilgamesh's journey is one that all who are seeking the "immortal within" must go through in their journey into the Psyche and/or back up the Qabalistic Tree of Life. In Qabalah, one goes "up" the Tree of Life, by going inward, and down the Tree of Life, by going outward.
The Thoth Deck LUST card, key-11, replaces the STRENGTH, card which is Key-8 in the Traditional decks. Strength is key-8 in the Golden Dawn and Ryder-Waite, Spiral Tarot and many other Traditional Tarot Decks. So it may be confusing when I place it in the Path of Teth, which is normally called STRENGTH-Key 8. As I stated many times, I agree with Aliester Crowley's expansion of the STRENGTH card, into the LUST card, because it is the Passionate Vital Force of Universal Construction, "the motion within the movement" of everything. Lust is the Passionate expression of the- I AM as Two, the I-phallus and the Am-womb, who then Join to become One Passion that creates all, i.e... The Active and Passive force of Kundalini, and/or of the Lion-Serpent. It can also be called "Serpent theory" instead of the Quantum Physics "String Theory", where every particle has a serpentine string of active and passive energy with in it. In other words, there is within all, vibratory strings of Vital Fiery strong atomic Force. Thus, Lust, where active and passive forces come together, seems a more appropriate understanding of the underlying "motion" of vigorous Life.
The Kundalini, or Fiery Lion Serpent is the vital aspect of Life Force, which in manifestation, is duality of passivity and activity. Kundalini is known as the Sacred Fire, when in its active phase, purposely unleashed by Will. It is the Inner Solar Self and/or inner Soul, that is the "Sun of God".
In this Military Industrial Empire, which indoctrinates by dividing Spirit-Mind-Body and conquering our imagination with the Ruler's own images of greatness and greed, we have forgotten our Lust for being as if Spirit was an achievement rather than the spiraling energy that is animating the homo sapiens as the new-evolutionary Spiritual expression of I AM. Here the Spirit-Anima is believed to be separate from the Soul-Animus, and both are seen as separate from the Body. Because of this indoctrinated belief in divisionism we have become automatons of our environment who are reactionary instead of the powerful positive active expression of I AM ME who changes the very environment by the Power of Presence and/or the Lust of Being. Therefore, the ATU 11-Lust card represents the powerful purpose of androgynous being, with the Grail held high, filled with the "Scarlett womb" energy that is the primal force of Life and/or "Life Blood". The Priestess (ATU 2) is seen riding the Lionish-Lust for life that is all around us, through us and is us.
The anima, and animus of Earth, are the many faces of life that all are under the leadership of the Active Goddess. This is the universal principle of Passion, awareness and aliveness! This is self-esteem, and the courage necessary to acknowledge the inner convictions so necessary to manifest as the Passionate Creative-Self and/or "Sun of God". In all of us is this irresistible strength of Earth; this Divine Frenzy.
However, in most of us, we are divided against ourselves and devote the creative power of lust to good and bad creativity. Resulting in division of forces and unable to call upon the inner power that cleaves us from our chains of fear based self-imposed slavery. The definition of a Ruler is "one who controls definition". The Psyche of the individual, the Soul, is the author of your definition, not the world of mankind. Accept any other authority as your definer, and you are worshiping a false god. Only the Inner you can define the Outer you. My authority, is The Soul who creates me as its self-expression in the world of Malkuth, material world. Hence, I AM is the only authority of Me. This is the truth of Lust.
We are Divinity dancing as the active Goddess and God whose self-expression is "Being"!
When this card falls in a reading, it means that you are in union with or you should be listening to the passionate roar of I Am that resides in your very essence of soul in order to find the bliss within that radiates you as it’s very creative and unashamed self. We live now! We are not to be "wanna-be's" who are the faux life of the past, hoping for a pretend future, therefore, not living the truth of today's passionate expression of I Am Me! The body is how the Soul experiences the Eternal Now! Our definition belongs to no one, not our environment, not our parents, not our rulers and not our theologians –our definition belongs only to our passionate creative self as the Divine grant of “freedom of choice”. Divinity gave you the right to define yourself as an image of the Supreme Being (Qabalah tree of life). Peer pressure is not your definition!
To those of magic, lust is not obsession with the opposite sex. It is obsession with vigorous being. It is the luster of Will- that ejaculated this universe of self into self- manifestation in the womb of “To Be”. It is the indivisible creative strength of I Am Me that radiates through us, outward, as a sun of creative passion that restores life in the dead. Therefore even in the most mundane indolence, we can still dance!
[ From text of Enfleshenment by Eli Serabeth]
To help with clarity, we can see in this card the universal myth known as "beauty and the beast". This key represents the Fiery Beauty (Tiphareth on the Qabalistic Tree of Life) that is represented in all of us as combinations of talent, gifts, and creative resources which can quell our bestial natures. When our heart, mind and spirit are in a balanced combination of movement and repose--we manifest the Divine Beauty of the Solar Self/Soul. The multi-headed lion on the Thoth Lust Card represents the beasts within which Beauty has tamed to do her creative biding. She expands and liberates the living from their past bonds of survival thinking onward to greater achievements of courageous creation.
Lust comes from the root word Lustre which is radiance. We cannot shine if we are not in our strength. Fear of our "beasts within" steadily weakens us with constant stress, until we cannot radiate our purpose on this earth. Beauty created us to radiate ourselves into the movement of life! We all have much more purpose than we can see! Strength and Lustre are inseparable partners in creation. This can easily be seen as a soft and spongy mushroom pushes through hard concrete as if it was mere soggy tissue paper. In all of us is this quiet manifestation of strength.
The UNIVERSE key 21, is the completion of the LUST CARD, and you'll see the Woman figure riding the Lion Serpent on the Lust card, dancing with the Serpent Force in the Universe card. Both illustrations are veils, concealing of principles, though at different ends of manifestation. LUST is the beginning of the Microcosm and THE UNIVERSE is the completion of it. Both of these cards are of that which is Womb, at the Highest Level, the womb-man who has tamed the Lion-Serpent and the womb-man who dances in space surrounded by the Cherubim of the four elements are both expressions of that which is the EMPRESS- Key 3.
Again, this is a very powerful path and those of sensitive psyche, will be profoundly affected. One must appreciate the fact, that this Path of Teth, Lust Card, is a statement of methodology; whereby the Will controls and unleashes the Vital Life Energy. We must also remember, that the word Power, means "the ability to do work" and our body, if loved as a master Craftsman loves and adores one's favorite-tools, gives us Will - to-Power in this dimension of crystallized energy; a power to weave our very own Vital Life Force into masterpieces of movement and repose! So let us all ride the “Lion Serpent” or Inner Dragon, with the powerful presence of loving control and shameless presence! This is the Divine Frenzy that obliterated one and split into two, which is known as the lemnistrate and infinity symbol of 0=8. Self-annihilation is also the process of becoming two, Force and Form, who then become One Dragonish expression of Frenzy and Form, when the Red-Babalon (Crowley’s spelling for purposes of Gematria) unites with the Golden Fiery Force of the Solar Husband, the offspring are Beautiful Monsters, Demi-urge Children who must learn to "walk" in this universe of I AM. the Homo Sapiens is a Genetically modified Organism derived from Angelic and animal interbreeding, with the Annunaki, "Those who from the Sky or Heavens Came", and the Nephilim are the children of that genetic modification. We are the Daemons (Greek for "God-Men") that have been created to challenge the rules of limits and expand them if not to eliminate them altogether, in the world of Malkuth. Our "gods" (genetic modifiers), came from the time of Sumer, where the history of our creation/modification is totally recorded in over 500 clay tablets. The Rulers of Definition cover this knowledge up as Myth, of which no self-respecting scribe who must record history under the orders of his king, would even consider. Truth is, the so ordered scribe would be very detailed in his description of the "goings on" of his time or loose his head. We are as the Greeks called us, Titans. Children of God's and Earth. God's being "The angels of heaven that came to earth and married the women of men" as the Bible is quoted of saying. The Hebrews called such children of "angels and man", Nephilim. Above all things; Know thyself!
To Know Thyself, requires a focused willful spiritual intelligence, and not some mad Hatter type of personality, that can't even control its own thought. Therefore, it is suggested by Qabalists to
Skry the Lust card only after you are capable of holding one thought or image focus during an entire meditation! Any Psyche that Touches the Lust of The Great Universal Divine Creative, will be profoundly charged, changed, and expanded beyond comfortable perspectives; all of which can be dangerous to our delicate denial based egos.
In other words, one must be diligently trained in channeling higher and higher vibratory levels of Vital Life Force, before they "Ride the Lion-Serpent". That is why A. Crowley calls the Traditional Strength card Lust.
For even the "little lust" of the manifested (Microcosm) seems to be beyond the cultural ego's control, as every politicians "secret life" of greed and sexual conquest will show. It is hard to imagine, what the Macrocosmic Lust would do to such a weak psyche... but then again, we have examples in Adolf Hitler, Stalin, Po Pot, etc., where lust becomes a violent form of masturbation.
Lust represents a very important initiatory formula dealing with Serpent Power. This Spiraling Power is the Force that opens, stimulates or spools up all the Chakras (energy centers) in the Human body. The Principles embedded in the Lust Card, tell us how to use this power. This is a "Divine Frenzy" which when stated alchemically becomes; “...the heat of the furnace makes the Stone" or if religious; “inflame thyself with Prayer". The Heat applied, is the Great Passion at friction in the confines of a condensed magnetic field that is the human. This Heat or burning is experienced often in Tantric exercises, or the exercise of the Middle Pillar (Aliester Crowley's book, 777), all of which I recommend the interested party research.
[whore of Babylon by davelebow]
Crowley's imagery may shock some, as he presents the Whore of Babylon, taming the Lion-Serpent but then he understood that the epitome of virginity (sign of Virgo), was the Sacred Virgins of the Temples, before Christianity, made them "evil women" or Saints, of which both perspectives were confusingly applied. The Christian word 'Whore" is a bastardization of the Greek word, Hetacrate, meaning female companion. Something more for the diligent student to investigate! I would suggest one get - The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets- by Barbra Walker and look this stuff up!
When the Lust card is thrown during a reading:
- It means the querent is relying on spiritual powers to manage the situation at hand and is receiving the strength to overcome.
- Following one’s own inner light, doing what their "heart of heart".
- Inner -self, says it is right.
- There can be an experiencing of a "gut level" driving force, instinctual. And compelling for protection or survival.
- Also, possessing the courage of one's convictions.
- The strength of Passion, in the Higher Nature, which are dragon like power, courage, energy, action and magnanimity.
- One is experiencing the Law of Self-Domination, self-rule and self-control
- This card represents the querent’s' passion, awareness, and aliveness
- A symbol that you have a strong faith in your abilities. You have no qualms about relying on the spiritual powers within in order to handle the situation at hand.
- In other words you radiate your inner beauty
When ill defined by the surrounding negative cards in a reading, it implies:
- Lack of fulfillment.
Thank you for your interest, comments, and supportive donations. May you live long and prosper.