Thoth- ATU 0- The Fool (Atu 22)
Certainly! The Thoth Tarot, created by Aleister Crowley and Lady Frieda Harris, is a renowned and influential deck in the world of Tarot. It was designed between 1938 and 1943, with Crowley providing esoteric knowledge and Harris bringing the artistic vision to life.
Symbolism and Imagery: The Thoth Tarot is rich in symbolism and esoteric meaning. Each card is a visual representation of Crowley's teachings on Hermeticism, Qabalah, astrology, and various mystical traditions. Lady Harris's vibrant and detailed artwork captures the essence of these complex ideas.
Qabalistic Influences: Crowley, being deeply involved in Western Hermetic Qabalah, infused the deck with Qabalistic principles. The cards are interconnected with the Tree of Life, and the symbolism reflects the spiritual journey through the sephiroth and paths of the Qabalistic tree.
Astrological Correspondences: Astrology plays a significant role in the Thoth Tarot. Each card is associated with specific astrological attributes, allowing for a deeper exploration of cosmic influences on the human experience.
Thematic Structure: The Major Arcana follows a specific thematic structure, representing the Fool's journey through spiritual development. The Minor Arcana, divided into four suits (Wands, Cups, Swords, and Disks), explores various aspects of daily life, emotions, intellect, and material concerns.
Crowley's Thelemic Philosophy: The Thoth Tarot is also infused with Crowley's Thelemic philosophy, emphasizing personal will, spiritual evolution, and the pursuit of one's true purpose. This adds a unique and individualistic dimension to the interpretation of the cards.
Controversy and Mastery: The Thoth Tarot has faced controversy due to its esoteric and unconventional nature. However, many practitioners appreciate its depth and consider it a powerful tool for self-discovery and spiritual growth when mastered.
In conclusion, the Thoth Tarot is a masterpiece that blends mysticism, symbolism, and artistry. Its complexity and depth make it a valuable resource for those seeking to explore the intricacies of the human psyche and the mysteries of the universe through the lens of Tarot.
The Fool is the most esoteric of all the Major and Minor Arcane. Every card in the Tarot Deck is an aspect of THE FOOL-0, and therefore, 78 distinct aspects of your Psyche. Therefore, the Fool is the Beginning and End.
As a Path, THE FOOL connects Kether -1-(Crown) with Chokmah-2- (Wisdom). To the Qabalist, Kether is known as the Source of All, and Chokmah is known as Father God or God of the Covenant.
The Path of Aleph, meaning OX, is about the "flowing of Life Force and creative power", showing the "SPIRIT'S aim to be that of final manifestation on Earth and/or Sensual Being. Crowley symbolizes this "Holy Spirit" (The Spirit on every level of the Tree of Life) as a dove in the Thoth Deck Card. Crowley also called The Letter Aleph, a phallic symbol.....but then so is the Projected Will that is THE MAGUS, and one wonders if Crowley was so besotted with the Phallus, that he was unable to see anything else; However, truth be told, only by reference to Sexes and sexuality do we come to the minutest glimmering of understanding about the electromagnetic Universe.
To even begin understanding THE FOOL, we must entertain a multifaceted and fluid interpretation of Force and Form.
Dr. Paul Foster Case, founder of the B.O.T.A., calls this Eleventh Path, in his book THE THIRTY-TWO PATHS OF WISDOM, the fiery or Scintillating Intelligence. which makes sense as The Path of Aleph boarders on the Limitless Light (Ain Soph), which is "not" or "naught"; Light without limit which is darkness to us who need a beginning and an end to see. So here we try to explain what can't be seen as The Fiery Darkness which is the possibility of vibration or motion and the First Perception of the One having potential for activity.
In the context of Masculine electric sexuality, the Fool is the Testes, (represented by the three flowers beneath the spread legs of THE FOOL) and the Magus is the Phallus, as He directs active first flow from the Fool rather than potentiality doing so. However, I fear that is a limiting concept of the ONE-----as the Ain Soph is "No-Thing", but then, all concepts are less than the potential for conception.
We may reason that the potential for Thought comes from Dark Energy as Dark Matter (The First Material). The appearance of Thought emanates the Light- Mind, which is the vessel for Thoughtful ideas and/or Womb of Thought Forms, i.e. The I-magi-nation, transcending all reason. Thus, our reason leaves us with more questions than answers but necessarily so because we then must build measurements to create the answers!
Limitlessness is an exceedingly difficult concept! To say that THE FOOL represents the initial potential for thought which transcends reason, is about the best I can do with words. However, the special reality we may touch in sleep, often gives us images that do not correlate to our mundane understanding of reality, so our dreams are so abstract and are considered as nonsense to our waking consciousness. However, the Great Work (As above so below) involves the assimilation of The Real, not a reality conceived of mundane ideas based on self-absorbed survival thinking. And the Real Concepts are from "what is Not" making "What is" from Dreams of Potential- Self!
To think of the Universe as "the Divine Creative Dreaming" (Darkness Dreaming it is Light) is very difficult to grasp, and the fact that you are a "Lucid" Dreamer (Image of the Divine Creative), who has been given the "Power of Observation", meaning you can change the Perspective of "things" just by observing them, is just about as mind boggling as it gets....and just such a glimmer of insight requires a "beyond the Mundane" understanding of Self! Thus, your Divinity is not often acknowledge by the mundane; However, your Womb, the conception of "the image of God", is the invisible Sephira, Daath (knowledge), which is the Path Where Goddess (Understanding)/God (Wisdom) meet face to face (Tibetan, Yab Yum) and is known as the Path of Daleth-THE EMPRESS, your Spiritual Birth Mother/ Feminine Principle of the Divine Creative!
On the Qabalistic Tree of Life, all the Paths leading upward to Kether, THE FOOL, THE MAGUS, AND THE HIGH PRIESTESS, must be approached with a certain understanding of whimsy, as we realize that by crossing the Abyss and approaching Kether (As above, so below) means the total annihilation of Self as we perceive it, thus presenting us with the irony of our attempt to grasp such esoteric and refined principles from an earthly-mundane perspective. Often, when teaching the Major Arcana and knowing what I say, cannot truly convey what I am saying, brings a smile, if not outright laughter to my face. To me, The I AM potential is ironically displayed as a limited conception--a Me. Being a "Me" must never be taken too seriously, for that concept will change daily, when one enters the Higher Self.
When examining the Fool, one gets to the point of Tetragrammaton (YHVH), the "secret name of god". Crowley summed this up as: "The Union (Communion) of the Father and Mother produces Twins, the son going forward to the daughter and the daughter returning the energy to the Father; by this cycle of change the stability and eternity of the Universe is assured." To understand this, it may be necessary to go back through history to the Matriarchal age. It was a time where succession was not through the first-born son but through the daughter. The King was not ruler by inheritance but rather by the right of conquest. In the stable societies of the time, the king was a stranger, a foreigner. He then had to kill the old king and marry the daughter. The Anglo-Saxon word husband meant, "Keeper of her property". So, the King was a caretaker, and the Queen was the Owner. The Fool -0-being the symbol for the One Energy, which cannot be created nor destroyed, only transformed. Therefore, all the relationships heralded in the Tarot cards, are simply aspects of O, twisting itself into 8, and becoming "Two who are One" and/ or male and female.
Respect for the wandering mad-man or lunatic runs high throughout history. As it still does in India and other Asian nations. In fact, a common quote in medieval times is, "This queer stranger? Let us entreat him kindly. it may be that we entertain an angel unawares." Study into Percival, Mako-the son of Set, or Sebek (crocodile god), or even Hoor-Pa-Kraat will help explain the Fool cosmogony.
On the Tree of Life, the first is Kether-0-, who represents the Pure Being, which is an aspect of pure No-thing as Force and Form hasn't been invented yet. In Kether's manifestation of the Pure Being, he is not one but two; His divine name is Eheieh, which means "I Will Be" but he is only One because he is zero. One leads to nowhere, which is where it came from. So, the only possible beginning is in Two, Kether (crown) and Chokma (Wisdom)/Force and that manifestation must be silence because the number 3, Binah's number (understanding-Form) has not yet been formulated. In other words, there is no mother, Binah is the Virgin Mother, because Male is a Form of Force, and no Form has yet been invented, so When Binah, who is Understanding, is impregnated by silent Wisdom, she has still not known a male! Male and Female where both invented at the same moment when the Twins were born from silent Wisdom impregnation. Therefore, with Kether and Chokma, there is impulse but nothing else, until Binah is formed out of Understanding. Only when impulse is interpreted, does it become "The Word", or the Logos, i.e. the womb! I could go on and on confusing you with abject despondency, but this is enough to stimulate a unique perspective about the Universe.
The Fool -0 is not a key card, for key cards are about doors or gateways of knowledge being opened. Nothing has nowhere to go---so it 0. It is all the Power that ever was or will be.
The design of the Thoth Fool card represents many mythological explanations of this Principle:
- The Thoth Deck Fool has the horns of Dionysus Zagreus, and between them is the phallus cone of white light---indicating the influence of Kether-Crown, upon him.
- His background is Air, drawing from Space and his attitude is that of one bursting unexpectedly into the world. A good simile for Time.
- He is clad in the Green of Spring and wears the Phallic gold shoes of the Sun.
- In his right hand is the Wand tipped into a pyramid of white---simulating Kether.
- In his left hand is the flaming pinecone, indicating vegetable growth under the same Fiery influence of the White light, as well as the Grecian cone topped Wand of Dionysus known as the Thyrsus.
- From his left shoulder, hangs a bunch of bagged grapes, representing sweetness, fertility, and the basis for ecstasy (Ecstasy gave birth to the Universe); shown by the stem of the grapes forming into rainbow hued spirals; The form of the Universe as a collective.
- Upon this spiral whorl are other attributions of the "godhead"; the vulture of Maut, the dove of Venus (Mari, or Isis) and the sacred ivy of the Devotees of the Green Man.
- There is also a buttery fly of many-colored air, a symbol for the Soul and the winged globe with its twin-serpents, which is echoed by the twin infants embracing on the middle spiral.
- Above is the benediction of three flowers in one (Kether, Chokmah, Binah).
- The tiger (fear) is fawning unnoticed on his leg.
- And beneath his feet runs the Nile with lotus stems and a crouching crocodile (Sebek).
The whole Fool card is a glyph of the Creative Light which is Dark Energy and unseen by the naked eye.
Unless there are many surrounding cards of a very spiritual nature or the position of the Fool card is thrown into a highly spiritual position in the reading, a more mundane reading of the Fool card is often warranted.
When thrown during a reading, the Fool represents.
- Ideas, thoughts, spirituality, and that which endeavors to rise above the material world.
- However, if the question of the querent is regarding a material event of ordinary life, this card is not well defined. Herein, it shows folly, foolishness, stupidity, eccentricity and even mania.
- The Fool is too ideal and unstable to be good in material things.
- The Fool is more about a willingness to "Throw oneself into the Abyss of the Unknown" rather than operating in a reasonable manner.
- Returning to the innocence of the "child within".
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