The New Orleans Voodoo Tarot-Key 8-Possession, is comparable to the Thoth Lust-ATU 11-card. Here the Lust of dance, ecstatically sets the drama for possession. The question of who dances, is answered with style and detail. The "cup runneth over", and self-conscious is obliterated in the torrent of Greater Self. As anyone who dances knows, dancing to the point of ecstasy, requires strength and the ability to exert effort toward a given end, is present in the dancer to such a degree that the sacred is drawn within him or her. This dance becomes the actions of the flowing inexhaustible reservoir of grace from the sacred.
Many people fear the word and act of possession. This is reasonable, as most of us are susceptible to possession. Possession by personality is common. We are Souls/Psyches, who struggle with the possession of our bodies by the man-made personality of our culture to the extent that we identify with that persona (Greek for "mask), much like an actor who wears a mask for so long that they become the pretense the mask represents. Therefore, most of us are possessed by the personality's limiting-worded definition of self. Since this is common, personalities are often unexamined by the mind and is often mistaken for Self. We lose connection with our true Psyche- The Soul- whose bright, warm and shining Grace, is disconnected from the heart chakra by our heartless persona's. This cuts off the bountiful wealth of the Self, as it is channeled to roles, self-absorbed poverty, mores, and expectations of personality. Possession by such a small ego strangles the vast array of possibilities inherent in Self. This serves "the few who wish to rule the many" very well, but serves the Great Soul-Self, who is your True Authority, not at all.
Therefore, what is often feared in ritual possession is a weakening of the hold of the personality on the small-ego or small self. The personality is likened to a small cage that a wolf-pup has grown up in, so it seems familiar and secure. The vast Greatness of Self, can seem foreign and forbidding. Look, personality is of value to socializing, for its structure can be used to create situations and to set the stage for involvements. The operative term here is "Used", and not cast as the user. Hence, I use emotions and are not used by them. One "emotes" thought through the operation of there small-ego and/or self-consciousness, Self is not emitted by self-consciousness. I AM Spirit, Mind and Body (the 3 circles on the Key of Solomon/Hierophant) -The Greater Self is a Trinity of small gods, who gather together to make a Greater Self. But in a world run by the philosophy of "Divide and conquer", we forgot the Trinity of Greatness, that is I AM ME and cower in the shadows of fear filled slavery to "another", be that "other" an outside authority, religion, drugs, alcohol, academia, food, money, governments, words or any and all institutions of man. Where is the Spirit in that?
Ritual possession is one way to break the chains of personality and free us from entrenched "ruler created" persona. Hence, the whirling dervish of the Sufi's, whose whirling dance builds up the ecstasy of Sacred possession by centrifugal force, as if flinging the persona out into the Abyss. Or the ritual sex of the Tantric, that reaches such powerful ecstasy, that only the Greater Shiva of the SELf that is the "l st" male and the Greater Shakti that is the "1st" female, combined making the Divine Creative, can occupy the body by simply being too much Sacred Power for a personality to exist in, as if it is a mote in the Sun. All of us forget by errant education, that Sexual Union is the Great Sacrament of Creation.
Therefore, the aspect of possession represented in this New Orleans Voodoo Tarot Card, is that of an overwhelming spirit astride the relatively dense body (condensed light is matter) of the one of the dancers. The Spirit is strong, without the restraints of personality; a strength that is absolutely necessary in order to shape and direct the physical mass of the dancer. Hence, the attributes of possession which include the willing or voluntary surrender to a force perceived as stronger that the little ego. For instance I view my day as a dance of Spiritual Will, rather than a personality's seeking of "more" as it goes about fearing loss. I Am is the name of the Greater Self, so I start the day as : I Am the Will, I Am the Way, I Am the Wealth, I own the Day. Therefore, the personality goes about serving the Greater I AM, rather than interfering with that will by "noisily shouting in the brain". As a Mind, I must teach the brain, who to listen to, and to who ignore. It now ignores the persona, as it is programed by the I AM that is Spirit, to run the loop thought of "Get over yourself, and get on with you, for impeccability is what we do", everytime the small-self tries to react to a situation. The Soul/Spirit acts in a situation, and not reacts to it.
When the New Orleans Voodoo Tarot- Key 8 is thrown in a divination, it implies:
- A bursting free from the bonds of limiting belief.
- Courage and the sufficient energy to act effectively.
To those of magic, lust is not obsession with the opposite sex. It is obsession with Being. It is the luster of Will- that ejaculated this universe of I AM into self- manifestation in the womb of “To Be”. It is the indivisible creative strength of I Am Me that vigorously 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 dance!
-Eli Serabeth, the class text: Enfleshenment
In this Military Industrial Empire, which indoctrinates by dividing and conquering, we have forgotten our Lust for being by dividing our spirit and mind from our bodies; as if spirit was an achievement rather than the one- composite of spiral of harmonic energy animating us. Because of this divisionism we have become automatons of our environment who are reaction instead of the powerful positive active expression of I AM ME who changes environment by the Power of Presence, i.e., Lust of Being.
This Thoth 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. The Priestess (ATU 2) is seen riding the 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. 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 of a personality, masking us from reality. This mask, creates the resulting division of forces and the person is unable to call upon the inner power that cleaves us from our chains of fear based self-imposed slavery to "man-made" identity.
We are Divinity dancing as the active and intimate Divine Creative whose self-expression is "Being"!
Therefore, 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 vigor 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! Our definition belongs to no one, not our environment, not our parents, not our rulers, not our state 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-Adam Kadmon (Qabalah tree of life). Peer pressure is not your definition! I AM defines you.
We see in this card the universal myth known as "beauty and the beast". This Thoth card represents the 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 divine beauty. The multi-headed lion 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 where 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 until we cannot radiate our purpose on this earth. Beauty created us to radiate ourselves into the movement of vigorous 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, for the mushroom has no personality channeling its Vigorous lust for life in errant directions. In all of us is this quiet manifestation of vigorous strength.
The Thoth Deck LUST -ATU-11, replaces the STRENGTH, card which is Key-8 in traditional Tarot decks. Strength is key 11 in the Golden Dawn and Ryder-Waite, Spiral Tarot, New Orleans Voodoo Tarot and Manara 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, I agree with Aleister Crowley's (Edward Alexander Crowley) 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 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.
The UNIVERSE -ATU 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 vigorous 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 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. It
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. Genetically modified Organisms derived from Angelic and animal interbreeding, the Nephilim, that is created to challenge the rules of limits and expand them if not to eliminate them altogether.
In explaining the symbology of this Great Lust Card Art of Lady Frieda Harris, Crowley writes:
"There is in this card a divine drunkenness or ecstasy. The woman is shown as more than a little drunk, and more than a little mad; and the lion also is aflame with lust. This signifies that the type of energy described is of the primitive, creative order; it is completely independent of the criticism of reason. This card portrays the will of the Aeon. In the background are the bloodless images of the saints, on whom this image travels, for their whole life has been absorbed into the Holy Grail."
This "madness" requires a focused willful spiritual intelligence, and not some mad Hatter type of personality, that can't even control its own thought.
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 Father/Mother, 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, 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 Passionate Photon Sun inheritance, in the confines of a condensed magnetic field that is the homo sapiens sapiens. This Heat or burning is experienced often in Tantric exercises, or the exercise of the Middle Pillar (Aleister Crowley's book, 777), all of which I recommend the interested party research.
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", whores or Saints, of which all 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!
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 hearts" instructs.
- 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 as strength, vitality, and power.
If ill defined:
- Lack of fulfillment.
- Addiction as a result of repressed instincts.
Thank you for your interest, comments and supportive donations. May you live long and prosper.