As you may note, Crowley's Thoth Tarot Card is Key 11 rather than the common or traditional Key 8 of Justice and/or the Strength Card. The Thoth Deck Key 8 is called Adjustment (Justice) and because of his particular understanding of Gematria (numbers and magic) Crowley has switch the traditional numbers and meanings on this card.
The student should get Crowley's book 777 and go through the many meanings of the number 11, to really begin understanding his Lust Card. For instance, the Gemantic meaning of Prime number 11 is , "The great number of magick (his spelling), or energy tending to change,"on page 25, but further on he talks about Lilith and the feminine nature on page 64, where number 11 is also attributed with: "The initiatrix; Mistress of secrets. The Teacher." So what we seem to have is a pictorial presentation of "higher female magick or Womb-Rite" as the Strength behind the Formative Universe.
The Tarot of the Old Path, shows Key-8, Strength, with many of the same images, if less abstract, as shown in the Thoth Card. The sign of the "lazy 8" ( the number 8 laying on its side) or infinity sign, is the same that is over the Magicians head in Key 1. This sign indicates that one wields control and works with the physical energy of manifestation,due to greater spiritual awareness and understanding. This sign implies that One knows the One who became Two by "looking upon itself", and/or twisting a circle of infinite line, into a figure eight of infinite line. Now we have "other", and/or the creation of Masculine and Feminine as Two from One.
Since Leo is the astrological sign of this card, we have On both Cards the Goddess riding the Lion, symbol of Leo which is exalted in the Sun, thus showing us to levels of combined power achieving positive results. He is the Sun and She is obviously controlling His Force. A practitioner of Tantra would say,"She is in charge of the Phallus": Which is nothing new to Magic for that male Phallic force is shown as a wand in the Female image or magicians hand throughout the Tarot decks. Thus the Red hair also enforces the female control over the "Fire Energy"
The Caduceus in her hand takes the place of the traditional wand, in the Tarot of the Old Path, and it symbolizes the interchange of male and female polarities at all levels ( as shown on the Tree of Life). The levels being, physical, etheric, astral, mental, and spiritual in Wicca magick or Assiah, Yetzirah, Briah, and Atziluth, on the Tree of Life. On top of the Caduceus is the White Sphere of Kether, from the Qabalistic Tree of Life. The bottom of the Caduceus is the Sphere of Malkuth-Earth, with its colors it is the harmony of these two Spheres, that allows the Power to flow In Qabalistic words, "As above so below" is thus symbolized.
In the language of Plants, the Palm tree in the background implies assured victory. The distant Mountain implies Higher Thoughts, and the Sun shining in a blue Sky, implies the Union of He and She (blue water) that supplies all life.
The Thoth Deck Tarot key 11 calls Strength-Lust because of the Divine Frenzy that creates all things, It is the Lust that implies vigor and the rapture of vigor. In fact, Vigor is the power of the Wand. Again Leo is assigned to this card and the Kerub of Fire that is ruled by the Sun. This is the most powerful of the 12 zodiacal cards representing the most critical of all operations of magick and alchemy. As stated in past blogs, this is the path of influence from Chesed to Geburah, balance both vertically and horizontally and represents the act of the original marriage as it occurs in nature. Thus the Thoth Tarot card implies a divine ecstasy or Frenzy describing a primitive energy- creative order that is independent of criticism or reason; The Will of the Aeon and the Lust of I AM, that makes all things live.
In the back ground are the "bloodless" image of the Saints whose whole life has been absorbed into the Grail that is in the Scarlet woman's raised hand. The Female power behind blood, motivates this whole image. For every, body, child or adult, is of "mother's blood". There is no Father's blood in any of us.
As Crowley states in his Book of Thoth[page 95], "Now ye shall know that the chosen priest & apostle of the infinite space is the prince-priest the Beast; and in his woman called the Scarlet Woman all power is given.They shall gather my children into their fold; they shall bring the glory of the stars into the hearts of men.'For he is ever a sun and she a moon. But to him is the winged secret flame, and to her the stooping starlight".
As you can see, Crowley is working on the deeper magicks and depicting them in his Arcana. Those who can decipher the above statement of his, will know of a powerful Art.
The Ten rayed circles behind the figures of the Beast and his Bride, are the Ten Sephiroth that are latent and not yet in order. At the top of the Thoth Tarot card are the "horns of the Beast" shown as serpents sent forth in every direction to de-construct and reconstruct the World. The Sacred Serpent tail of the Lion is the Kundalini risen---which installs a Living Lust in the individual, but not a lust in the mundane sense, but in the Higher Sense of Divine. As you may note, a deeper understanding of this card is need, than just Strength and this can be found in Crowley's work, Liber XV ( magick, pp.345 sqq.)
WHEN THE STRENGTH OR LUST CARD IS THROWN DURING A DIVINATION:
- The key principle of Strength, Lustre, and Passion. are being expressed in the querent's life as expressions of passionate creativity, aliveness, and a strong trust in their abilities.
- Strength to overcome. The Spirit is allowing you the power to overcome all obstacles.
- The presence of Deep Spiritual force flowing into ones physical consciousness.
- Possessing the courage of ones convictions.
- The Balance and integrated Guidance of Opposites.
- Animal nature helper.
- Experiencing the gut level, instinctual drives that are relied upon for your protection and survival.
- Experiencing the Divine Frenzy in your heart of hearts, that will not allow you to do anything else but combine opposites into a harmony for powerful creation. This is a card of Sex magick.
- The strength and endurance necessary to achieve control.
- Fortitude connected to the Divine Mystery of Union (Sex magick) and the strength that resides in contemplation.
- With innocentia inviolata resides great strength.
- Trusting and allowing.
- Lower animal nature taking over.
- Abuse of power
- little faith
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