The universe resounds with the joyful cry I AM.
The Druid Craft Tarot-Key 21-The World, is a very attractive pagan rendition of the traditional tarots, such as the Rider-Waite-Smith. Life's paradigm, is done in waves and spirals that turn back on themselves as does the 8 and/or the Mobius Loop. This is the natural course of Yesod, the fluid "light" of dreams. Hence, the Universal or World Mother is always shown dancing, as she swirls and spins as opposed to her most abstract form of energy, The Empress-ATU 3, where she is place solidly on the Throne. It is also common to show her surrounded in a wreath that is either spherical or in the shape of the Vesica Pisces, the shape of the attractive Celtic design of the Druid Craft Wreath. In her hands are the golden wand of the Sun (representing her masculine counterpart), and the Silver wand of the Moon. At the four corners of the card, are the elements and suits of Tarot arrayed in their sigils. Stars above, world below, the Great Virgin of Malkuth dances the rhythmic breath of us All.
The proper study of the Paths (Major Arcana cards) is the ascending of Understanding up the Tree of Life, as we are "below" and need to remember the realms of Pure Spirit "above". The experiences on Earth, assist us in our goals of a more refined understanding of Universal patterns. Such as a microscope helps the biologist in a more refined understanding of cell- structure and bacteria. Earth manifestation, with its crystalline lenses and mirror reflected light, (the "I sight" of our senses), helps us see deeply into the microcosm, so that we better understand the macrocosm.
As long as our Divine Consciousness is functioning though a physical vehicle, this is where our serious esoteric work begins and ends; at this Point In Time/Space, called "Me".
The Path of Tau-ATU 21-The Universe,
joins the crystallized world of earth, Malkuth-Meaning Kingdom, with the 9th Sephiroth Yesod -meaning Foundation. It is the first journey out of the material condition that leads us to a greater understanding of the Personality that was designed by the Higher Self (Tiphareth) for each incarnation, before our indoctrinated man-made personality blinded us to our divinity.
Dr.Paul Foster Case, a master of gematria, who wrote the book, The Thirty-Two Paths to Wisdom (the number Thirty-Two is the sum of the Paths and the Sephiroth added together) calls the Path of Tau (The Universe card) the “Administrative Intelligence" because it "directs and associates in all seven planets." The "seven planets" he is referring to are the Microprosopus-Hexagram pattern of the seven planets on the Tree of Life.
The understanding of the Path of Tau (meaning cross), from Malkuth to Yesod, is rooted on the fact that all is Mind. I know that as we are all body oriented, we think that the Mind's realm of ideas, dreams, or thoughts, are somehow divorced from the physical as we have a dual concept of ourselves as a body and mind. Yet, Mind is "All Seeing", everything that exists, is a measurement of knowledge. The Qabalah teaches that all is Mind and yes, the body is "Crystallized Thought": but a Mind just the same! Taking this a step further, all is Spirit, the Womb of Spirit is Mind and the body is "Crystallized Spiritual Self Thought". In the Mysteries, the distinction of Mind and Body is one of perception (brought on by senses), not an actuality.
The pictures we see when we close our eyes, are a more refined form of matter, the images and energy forms which are closest to the physical condition. The concept of Yesod (Foundation) is based on the understanding that most of the Universe is unseen, in fact, our bodies are composed of the electromagnetic spectrum and seem solid, yet they are 96 % invisible. This estimation comes from the fact that invisible Dark Energy comprises 26% of the matter Universe, and invisible Dark Matter comprises 70% of our known Universe. That means, that most of us are judging the Kingdom of God, the Earth and our flesh, with less than 4% of The Mind's Information, via sensuality/ physical measurement! Since Malkuth is the only sensual kingdom, we must travel the Path of Tau to experience the "Seven Palaces of Assiah"(Seven planets and Seven major body Chakras), as represented by the seven pointed star on the Star Card Key 20.
This card is the key of individuality, totality, and wholeness. To those of Eastern culture, this is the image of Shiva; to the Christian, this is the image of the Virgin Mary with her foot on the head of the serpent.
Regardless of cultural interpretation this card symbolizes the Divine Feminine of the Divine Androgen that is both dynamic and magnetic in a perfectly balanced dance (life motion) of I Am.
Before I go on with further explanation of the Universe- Key-21, it would be appropriate here to tell you how to mentally "Walk" the Path of Tau. This mental walk, is called Skrying. Skrying, is simple really, all one has to do is focus on a card, that is reflected in a Black Mirror (imitates the Great Dark Sea of Binah), where candle light waves and spirals, allowing impressions to form or even imagine themselves entering it. This is somewhat like lucid dreaming, where you enter the dream and control the events. Here, one is projecting themselves into an inner vision by the use of a "day dream", projecting oneself into the Vision of the Card. Some may breathe deep and easy, relaxed in body, and close their eyes and mentally project themselves into the Key Vision, others, as do I, leave eyes open, and like traveling into a tunnel, imagine themselves entering the Visions, as the card grows ever bigger until entry. At first, maybe boredom takes over, but soon the diligent student discovers that what they experience in this lucid skrying, is not of their own making. They often are astonished at the vitality, energy and spontaneous images that these Tarot "mandalas" invoke.
In the Forces of Tau, is the Knowledge, the data, of all the accumulated ideas that went into the making of our world. Here, the Infinite can experience the illusion of "Self-Measurement". There is much to experience and remember here so discrimination is recommended, as we journey back into our Divine inheritance, we must educate our "I's" in order to perceive our "I AM Me". The Path of Tau begins the process of knowing ourselves as we have been known into existence; an existence so dutifully produced by our Divine Creative’s Lucid Dream of Self. In fact, if the student of Tarot/Qabalah, doesn't skry these cards, they may as well be a deck of playing cards or be a charlatan that preys on superstitious minds for purely monetary gain.
From the standpoint of Gnosis (knowledge), the Universe Key 21, may be the most important card in the deck, as it is the beginning of our journey back to Spiritual Awareness: the inner journey so important to "enlightenment". On this Path of Tau, we experience our own personality consciousness, which is of our own making, a reality that can be both frightening and gratifying. Yes, we make our own reality and the Universe card helps us to travel beyond the self-absorbed reality of our personalities, into the Higher Self reality that created our consciousness in the Beginning. Freedom of Choice defines our "End" by the composite pattern of perspectives that often form the information that births our physical-personalities.
Between the Hebrew letters of Aleph and Tau, is the entire Universe, the Alpha and the Omega and we must journey upwards from our Spirit's "ending" manifestation, into the Beginning...."for they who know their end, know their beginning!" Thus, the Path of Tau-The Universe, is a Path that can only be successfully traveled by those who begin the process of bringing their Personalities into a self-understanding balance. Of persona/ personalities, we have many, each represented by the Sephiroth on the Tree of Life and for the sake of Knowing Thyself, they must be viewed at first, independently, and later as a wholeness; a Self-Fractal.
This may also astound the student, but it is on the path of Tau (The Universe Card), that one discovers the extent to which the process of inner exploration is assisted by the guidance of the "Angels" (Different angles of light frequency) particularity archangels. The Family of Spiritual Self, is vast and many, and of that family, we are the Children of the Divine Couple; The Inheritors of Creative Imagination. It may surprise you, especially since the Pavlovian indoctrination of your personality has defined you as deficient, that to the whole of the Universe you are most precious! For you give the Dream, a Lucidity of Measurement that the Infinite cannot be. The Dream, is the Infinite "I". The purpose of Tarot is to help you see, as you are seen by your Creator and wonder of wonders, you are not condemned but Loved without condition! You are Spirit's Sacrament.
One of the most important lessons of the Universe card, is that of discrimination or discernment, a process that can only be learned in the earthly realm of Malkuth; the realm where measurement is take as "experience". This gateway to the Astral, is the Path of Tau, and the Astral is the place of “Fluid thoughts", ideas, dreams, before they crystallize into manifestation. It is as if light were liquid, as if the mirror of your mind is not yet solidified, to reflect you in crystalline light. There is deception in the Astral, Fantasies, that may never make it into manifestation, and some you never want to, so be discriminating and/or discerning, but only through divination can we enter the "Administrative Intelligence" balance; a discrimination that is shown on the Universe Card by depicting the Dancing Woman draped with the Caph-or Khaf, (meaning riches or poverty) shaped scarf while being surrounded by the animal symbols of the Four Elements of Alchemy.
If you have been keeping up with my blog (eli-lsmerchantile.com), you may know that the Universe Card is a multidimensional understanding of the Cosmic Mind. After much study, one may grasp the principle that the entire Tree of Life, which is taught through the Path of Tau-The Universe, is the most profound concept of "As above, so below". To a sensual body, this means "up and down", to the Infinite, this just means "higher vibration" and "lower vibration", or "less condensed and more condensed", a normal occurrence as energy condenses to greater and greater crystallization by gravity, unto matter. Of course, energy frequency, ideas and Mind are insuperable, just as electricity and data in your computer are inseparable. Thus another axiom is attributed to the Tree, "The Know is in the Flow". That is why, when we mentally journey a Path, we gather knowledge and/or information, at the same time we encounter higher mental frequency. Diligently skrying is more than just a moment of silent contemplation, it is also a gathering of information.
I have discussed the "Will-To-Form” of the Great Mother Binah (3rd Sephiroth on the Tree of Life) who is the Life Conscious and which is Saturn in the exalted Supernal Realm of Atziluth. She is completely expressed on the Path of Tau, key 21-The Universe. The female figure of the " Cosmic Dancer" of the Universe, is the fullest expression of this Life Conscious and has been called Isis, the Anima Elohim, as well as, Saturn who gives life and destroys it and Great Mother Binah.
The oval ring of Stars that surrounds the central female figure represents the Womb of the human female, as well as, the Cosmic Womb into which the soul passes after body death. We arise from our death surrounded in a ring of stars, on our way to the Great Mother. This Vesica Pisces, is shown as a wreath on the Druid Craft Tarot.
Life, with its beginning, middle, and end, processes in waves or spirals (Spirit is a Spiral flow of Will-to-be Energy) which come back upon themselves, is shown as a faint Mobius Loop in the background of the Universe Card. This circling back upon itself is often shown as a Great Serpent with its tail in its mouth or the lemniscate of the magician. This is also the natural course of the Akashic Fluid (Astral Fluid) of Yesod where the Serpent Kundalini is coiled in its passive state, and uncoiled in its active state.
The Universe Card is also surrounded in the Great Dark Sea, a reference to the Great Mother Binah, who is the Sea of all consciousness (The Divine Unconscious-The Dreamer) which on the path of Tau, is consciousness-Lucidity, in the most dense and difficult expression. Again, discrimination must be used when traveling the Akasha of Yesod, many who entered this Path, entertain themselves with extended fantasy and find themselves tormented by phantoms of their own making. The discerning traveler will supply every test of reason, and feeling. After a time of discernment, one will begin experiencing a process of learning, which is not of their own making. Verifying the images, by elaborate research definitely aids in this process.
Sickle in hand the Universal Creatrix figure cuts away limitations and restrictions while weaving them into a web to dance on.
The regenerative diamond back serpent is representative of the need to transform before we can expand and liberate ourselves from the past self- imposed limits.
The spiral hair symbolizes growth and evolution.
The diamond halo is the symbol for expanded awareness, such as psychic abilities etc.
The Greek pantheon at the bottom represents the home of all the goddesses and gods. When our body becomes the temple of our divinity, such a pantheon are we.
The four animals symbolize, earth (Taurus the bull), fire (Leo, the lion), and water (Scorpio, the bird): and air (Aquarius, the human face). This shows us that it is important to express ourselves, physically, (Taurus), spiritually (Leo), emotionally (Scorpio), and mentally (Aquarius).
To some people, the Tarot is about prophecy and seeing into the future but to Qabalists, the Tarot is about developing psychic abilities (Divya Sidhis, in Sanskrit which means: Magic abilities). The more a reader uses the cards to find answers to given questions, the more that reader taps into the unseen currents of subtle energy/conscious, where the Universal information lies.
Over time, as I will attest, the cards are would seem a redundancy since the answers are always deeply felt: However, they just keep expanding, just as the Universe does. Hence, we think by association and the Tarot Cards help us correspond to the Divine who thinks of itself as "you".
The Path of Tau, is the ascending path from 10-Malkuth-Kingdom (bottom circle-Sephiroth) to the circle above it which is 9- Yesod or Iesod-Foundation. Which is the path of the 21-Universe Trump. We ascend the Tree of Life as we work from our material perspective (below) to our Divine Inheritance/Spiritual perspective-(above). We have manifested on Earth to achieve a more refined/intimate discriminating perspective of the Universe through a personal learning-relationship with it. Where once all was dream, now the Dreamer, is within the Dream. Hence, Self is Examining Itself. Our work with Earth is where all serious esoteric work begins and ends (Alpha and Omega) as long as Divine Consciousness is functioning through a physical lucidity.The Path of Tau, The Universe, is the first path out of the material condition of the survival mind (animal consciousness) persona and leads towards understanding of the Personality constructed by the Greater Self (Higher Self) of Tiphareth (Beauty) for each incarnation.
To reiterate: The Thirty Two Paths of Wisdom [text by Paul Foster Case] calls this path the "Administrative Intelligence", and states that it "directs and associates in all the operations of the seven planets". Symbolically this path connects the earth to the Microcosm (Microprosopus in The Sepher Yetzirah-Qabalistic text) represented by the Hexagram which is the connected Seven Planets on the Tree of Life.
The Path of Tau, is both power and servitude as ascribed to the Palace of Holiness that sustains all things. That Palace, being the associated seven planets and the Path of Tau that connects them to earth.The Path of Tau, is an initiation of the Personality into its own structure, which is the Microcosmic Universe (The All of the Universe is the Macrocosm). During this initiation we will also encounter symbols and ideas of a greater consciousness than our own and begin to see ways in which our being relates to a total universal picture.
From the Qabalistic stand point the 21-Universe Card may be the most important card in the deck for it is the point where we begin the process of inner exploration. It is on this Path that we encounter our own personal self-conscious, a personality that is all "inside our heads" divorced from physical reality.
This is a subjective Path which can only be successfully traveled by those who have begun to bring their Personalities into self-understanding balance; otherwise an out of balance personality will find itself tormented by phantoms of its own making and the gates of understanding are closed to them. Those who have truly come to grips with personal Life Experience will find inner help and encouragement along the way. Sometimes, in every step of the way. It helps to remember that you are a Powerful Psyche, who operates bodies as a way to measure, and not a body who builds a personality.
We must also understand that The Universe is a Path of Entry into the Astral, which seeks to deceive as only a dream can. Many people believe they are on one Path or another, when they are just entertaining themselves with a personal extended fantasy. We must apply every test of reason and feeling to the symbols we perceive on the Astral; we know it is not of our own making if we are actually learning from these symbols, by applying verification or corroboration through research. Discrimination is the most important lesson/virtue of Malkuth.
The Path of Tau, is the only one of the 32 paths of Wisdom that connects sensation to the rest of the tree. "As above, so below" is now established because we are the "images of God" feeling for all states of Greater Self-conscious! Sensation is the Energy Microscope that is needed for impeccable creation in the Microcosm. Discerning Impeccability is necessary to expand and liberate the living from their own Phantoms of self-identity, i.e. fears of not being. However, even though the body is part of the 1% world of physical matter, it is 100% of all sensation. Thus, we are fooled into thinking the sensation is us.
So to begin with inner-psychic development, we must give our senses to the Universe----so meditate on 21-The Universe card and expand your self-awareness. We must understand that every light side can only represent a true unity with the dark counterpole, otherwise we will not understand the message of this card. Hence, the Snake, which can be Python or Aesculap, the symbol of life , as well as, of the Snake of Paradise-Death. Here, Lilith, "the first" wife, is dancing with her husband, Lord Python, and as she spins in her erotic dance, we have Life-Death-Death-Life etc.
- When this Key/ATU 21-World or Universe card is thrown,
- The querent is casting the circle which means they are mastering in some way the three planes of mind, body and emotions.
- End of a phase, a completion of some work and expanding toward another.
- It means synthesis, the matter itself, world and Kingdom.
- More than any other card, The Universe depends on the accompanying cards, as it usually denotes the subject of the question.
- Resolution of constraints.
- The end of Karma.