The Thoth Tarot Key 11-Lust:
Is represented in many decks, as the Strength-key-11 card or the Strength card as Key 8. Crowley believe that there is far more truth and magic in the title of Lust.
Upon viewing the Tree of Life, one can see that The Lust Card is not the path of Strength of Geburah (Severity) but rather the influence from Chesed (Mercy) upon Geburah. It is also interesting to note, that the Path of Lust is balance both vertically and horizontally. Crowley judged Lust to be a more expansive term than Strength because Lust implies not only Strength but " the joy of strength exercised". To me, it is vigor and the rapture of vigor expressed in True Presence. This Rapturous Vigor represents something I call "Will to Be"; when the Soul's will to be is fully established in the physical flesh. " Beauty and Strength, leaping laughter and delicious languor, force and fire, are of us!"...to quote Crowley.
I really recommend that the knowledge seeking student get: THE BOOK OF THOTH (Egyptian Tarot) by Master Theron (Crowley) where the lascivious poetry and passionate prose, start a fire in your imagination. For this card cannot be easily understood by rationale thought, it must be felt in your guts as a burning passion, to be understood.
The Zodiacal assignation of the Lust card is Leo which is the Kerub of Fire and ruled by the Sun. This card is considered the most powerful of the 12 zodiacal cards and represents the most critical operations of both Magic and Alchemy.
The Qabalistic Hebrew letter attributed to this card is Teth, meaning-serpent. The union of the zodiac and the letter Teth, produces the image we see illustrated on the Lust card, of the "Lion- Serpent" (latter to be called, Dragon who is a compilation of all animals) that combines the many headed lion body with a haloed Serpent tail.
The Thoth Lust card portrays the original marriage as it occurs in nature showing a divine drunkenness or ecstasy rather than the Strength Tarot Card traditional woman with her hand in the mouth of a lion . The Scarlett Woman, on the Thoth card (representing the Moon) is shown a little drunk, maybe a little mad with ecstasy riding upon a lust inflamed lion. This implies the creative and primitive order of energy that is completely independent of the criticism of reason. Here is the reasoning behind diversity and variety.
The Thoth Deck Lust card portrays the Will of the Aeon. The goddess is holding high The Grail filled with "the blood of Saints" (A western magic euphemism for menstrual blood) , whose whole life has been absorbed by the Grail and whose bloodless images are in the back ground of this card.
In order to understand the magical doctrine of the Aeons, it is necessary to refer to the most ancient fables, legends and of the Zodiac.
- The Aeons are subject to Zodiacal procession, for instance, the Aeon of Isis (the first Aeon) was connected to Pisces and Virgo.
- The last Aeon, that of Osiris, is connected to Aries and Libra.
- The present Aeon of Horus, is referred to Aquarius and Leo.
The central mystery of the Aeon of Osiris, was that of incarnation, and descriptions of all god-men were founded on some mythological story of some kind that essentially denied human fatherhood to the hero or god-man (Daemon -in Greek) by portraying a animal in god form as the impregnator of the immaculate conceptions. For example, the Dove of the Holy Ghost, impregnated the Virgin Mary, Romulus and Remus (twins of Rome) where begotten of the God Mars and a virgin and were suckled by a Wolf. The father of Gautama Buddha, was said to be an elephant with six tusks who appeared in his mothers dream. Similar fables are to found in every religion based on the Dying God (the Aeon of Osiris).
The Lust Card of Thoth Tarot, is THE Qabalistic Tree of Life- PATH OF TETH: Key 11-Lust (Strength):
* Primary color: Yellow-Greenish
* Musical note: E
*Astrological Sign: Leo (fixed fire)
* Word Meaning: Snake
* Simple Letter: Taste
*Esoteric Title: The Daughter of the Flaming Sword
THIRTY-TWO PATHS OF WISDOM (Paul Foster Case) : The Nineteenth Path is the Intelligence of all the activities and spiritual beings, and is so called because of the affluence diffused by it from the most high blessing and most exalted sublime glory.
Connecting both Geburah (severity) and Chesed (mercy), The Path of Teth, forms the first path of the Microprosopus (The Lesser Countenance of the Universe known as the Microcosm) . This Path is the outpouring of energy from Chesed to Geburah in the process of creation--which is why Crowley named his card Lust-"divine frenzy"- instead of the more common usage of Strength. His most repeated instruction was to ," Inflame Thyself with Prayer" which corresponds to the Alchemist expression of, " The heat of the furnace makes the Stone."(Philosopher's Stone). Here Great Passion is a heat acquired and confined by the initiate during an magical exercise such as that of the Middle Pillar.
This is not for the impatient or "fearful of effort" and extreme passion, as Paul Foster Case stated often and repeatedly," By prolonged practice...pursued something for months and years without apparent result, those who follow the Way of Liberation (to expand and liberate-Tantra) effect changes in their subconsciousness. These changes are symbolized by Key 8 (Key 11) (Strength/Lust card) and produce at the same time the result shown in Key 16 (The Tower)."
The student must understand that the whole point of meditation exercises is an actual and subtle change in the structure of the body cells. Dion Fortune (Mystical Qaballah) called the Qaballah, "Yoga of the West"---Yoga being "communion". In actuality it is the Tantra yoga of the West. Tantra is Sanskrit for "to expand and liberate" and Yoga-meaning communion, makes the expression Tantra Yoga, mean," To expand and liberate through communion", and the word Qabalah means "to receive", a mutual and often lengthy process of 10 becoming 1. Indeed, I had to go through years of effort in exercises (Tantra and Qaballah) and meditation to be able to "Stand On The Path of Teth", my persona immersed in the" divine frenzy". Then to teach the Great Passion "To Be", to my students, without going into a sexual obsession, as the body is totally stimulated by this "Lust to create". The Energy flow is as Tireless as the stars, and one's Psyche also becomes that in its expression, but only after a constant "dipping" in and out of that Fiery Passion, sometimes to points of one's own considerable frenzy, that burns away the indoctrinated perspectives of the man-made world.
The Path of Teth (Strength/Lust) leads to the edge of the Abyss---the Source of All, The Ultimate Simplicity; the paradox is that the nearer we are to the ONE- the more complex becomes the Symbolism for words cannot convey the Knowledge- flow of the "Fiery Sun" (The Fiery creative-Conscious) ! Thus Leo is the symbol of the "Sun Lion" and it is the lion which is permitted to open the Sacred Scroll of the Apocalypse. In other words, the Solar intelligence, represented by this Key, can open higher levels of consciousness beyond the Sun (Tiphareth) itself.
The symbolism of this is "Sun god" is often the image of Sun God Mithra, whose body is human, but whose head is that of a lion, showing a brute force ("divine frenzy") which may be used constructively or destructively. He is also often shown with the twin serpent forces of Masculine and Feminine, suggesting an androgynous creativity. This Path of Teth, Serpent, is the Forge of Geburah's Sword and indicates a caution that the invoking philosopher may be overwhelmed by this power. Therefore, not unlike the story of Daniel in the Lion's den, he must hold back the destructive power of the Lion through force of will; a will that strong takes time to develop and is not an over-night sensation; it takes time- often a lot of it. I have students protesting this, yet they haven't even developed the will to stop being a "want-to-be" as their personality's reality, is still that of desire. Yet, the Path of Teth, the Lust/Strength card, is called the "Lust without need of result". . You must be an undaunted "I AM" to wield the PRIMAL Will of one who Controls the Lion! But the fact that their Personality, and/or animal ego, is fighting to hold onto its delusional past of "survival thinking", AVOIDING meditations and "sex" rituals---shows that it sees the danger of Real Sun/Son before it and fears its personal survival! Now those of cultural mind must willfully proceed, by overcoming the inner trickster who tries to waylay them with excuses why not to meditate or skry on a tarot card. Meditation on The Cards aids us in releasing the false self and become the Real Person!
In Alchemy, the symbol of the lion has three forms;
1-The Green Lion, the energy of nature before it is purified and subjected to the will.
2- The Red Lion, the force of nature under perfect control (The controlled energy flow developed by Tantra Yoga) which is the Alchemical Sulfur (solar energy) combined with Mercury (will).
3- the Old Lion, the completely purified consciousness, linking the Soul with the Higher Spiritual Self which is "older than time itself."
Because of the inexplicable knowledge of this Path, words tend to develop confusion rather than clarity, as often the symbolic Lion -Sun, is at one level, the Kerub of Fire, symbol of the Four elements, but this is not the same flow as the lion of the Sun's Spiritual Fire and/ or Kundalini, which is also a Serpent (Serpentine flow) of Fire and Water, Divine Masculine and Divine Feminine, respectively. The fiery Lion-Serpent is an aspect of the Life Force, which in manifestation, is a duality of activity (masculine) and passivity (feminine). Kundalini, the Sacred Fire, is the active phase, purposely unleashed and directed by the Will of Watery Mother, i.e. Imagination. This "divine frenzy" of Lust without need of result, represents a very important initiatory formula dealing with the Serpent Power (shown on the Lust Card as the Haloed Serpent Tail) which is used to stimulate the various centers of energy in the body (Chakras). There are seven Chakras which are activated by the Lion-Serpent Power. Hence, this taming of the Lion by the "Womb-man" in the Lust Card, means that to bring the energies symbolized by the Lion with it's head of Archetypes, under perfect control, is to open the seven- seals (Chakras) on the Book of Reality above the Abyss. Where one may know "The Above" (Supernal Triangle of the Tree of Life)--from which all manifestation emerges. This "opening" is an important Path of transition---a gateway to Daath (knowledge).
To reiterate: The Path of Teth, connects Chesed (Mercy) and Geburah (Severity) and channels a great outpouring of Energy from the Masculine Chesed, to the Feminine Geburah. This Great Outpouring, is the Path on which Fire becomes Light, which produces a "heated" manifestation. The Path of the Flaming Sword and/or "Flaming Serpent" is also known as the progeny of the "Daughter of the Flaming Sword", i.e. The Lust/Strength tarot card.
The Supernal Triangle is composed of Kether (Crown), Chokma (Wisdom) and Binah (Understanding), and is composed of what Paul Foster Case stated in his BOOK OF TOKENS, as the "Radiant darkness of the Limitless light." The Supernal Triangle is above the Abyss, while the Path of Teth crosses just below it (the yellow path between Chesed and Geburah). Thus the Path of Teth, Lust, is the first Path of Microprosopus (Microcosm or Lesser Countenance.) and the Primary Path of the Higher Self, linking great opposites below the Abyss.
As symbols interchange, such as the Lion and Serpent (later: Chimera), one understands that the realities these symbols represent, can also be interchanged. In truth, the 1st law of Thermodynamics states that: " There is only one Energy that can not be created nor destroyed, only transformed," which can be interpreted as the One Spirit of Qabalah. Transformation means that Spirit can take any form it wills and in great fecund diversity, as the earth and Universe has shown. Wisdom, is represented by the snake holding its tail in its mouth (also a 8 symbol). Many of us of the western cultures, know that the Serpent was also considered the Tempter, in the garden of Eden myth. However, since it is Fiery, the Serpent is vital Life Force, and/or the Redeemer. But then the Sun itself is both Tempter, burning in its invisible heat, the tempted-nude-sun bather to near death on the beach and Redeemer, by providing Vital Life Force to all things alive.
Transformation as sex can be confusing but it should be known that without the flow of vital life force between opposites, there would be no "Limited Light", nor diversity so necessary to expand and liberate identity. It should be noted that the "Power of Limitation" begins as sex. Thus, we have the Greater Countenance, the Macrocosm, of Limitless Light, that can only be known as Darkness or Dark Fire (Dark Energy), designing 2 Self concepts, Masculine electric and Feminine Magnetic, so that limits could be produced by the interchange of Forces and Form. The Dark Light is the invisible/unseen subjective infinity of the One,(Macrocosm) and the Limited light of manifestation is the Objective, and knowable finite side of the One (Microcosm). The whole of which is often called by Gnostics as "The Mirror"---one side infinitely dark, the Abyss, and the other side reflective of the image of all who look into it. That could also be called the Unconscious and the consciousness.
To put this simply, The Lust of the One, by becoming Two who must always join in impassioned flow or mutual attraction to create, (electric and magnetic become electromagnetic), this union is the stuff of Vital Life Force. I think you can now see why Vital Life force, is also called "sex energy". Crowley's idea of Lust as the joy of Creation experiencing its strength, is right on the button. For only in the Human body/Spirit Mind- paradigm, can the Divine Creative experience its Joyful Creative Strength! Hence, only through the intimacy of sensuality, can Creation experience itself!
Hence, the Lion symbol, in the context of the Qabalah, has to do with Divine Strength and is not a representation of intellect, as it refers to the greatest strength of all, the Light of the Sun, the ruler of Leo the Lion of Astrology. The Solar Power represented in this Lust/Strength Card, can open the Higher levels of Consciousness beyond the Sun (Tiphareth) itself. The graphic representation of the Ancient god Mithra, whose body was that of a man and whose head was that of a lion, depicts this concept anthropomorphically.
Also the Egyptian Goddess Sekhmet, was often shown drawn with a lioness head along with the Serpent and Sun crown. She was a form of The Western Hathor (and later- Isis), as the Sun sets in the West and in Egypt the West was the direction one goes upon death to the Underworld.
The Brute force of Kundalini (Serpent Force--Vital Life Force) can be used destructively or constructively, and on the very Path of Teth, flows the Vital Life force from Chesed (Mercy) to Geburah (Severity) which forges the Sword of Geburah, indicating the possibility of the initiate being overwhelmed by the power which one evokes. We are reminded ( Re-Minded) here, that as the Sun is a vital life force to manifestation, the Dark Sun, is vital to the flow of Higher Thought. Therefore, knowing your limits, will keep you from objectively becoming Sun burned in the flesh and subjectively experiencing the severity of a Mind Burn ( Emotional trauma) in the consciousness. Lust, in a Divine Creative- sense, can "burn out your low voltage earthly lights"! So the initiate must become adept at Self Knowledge, so that they don't damage their "I sight" , by expanding it beyond the "point of no return"; a inappropriate happenstance, when joining a personal intelligence with Higher Intellectual Forces. Have fun deciphering that!
Putting aside metaphor, too much Sun/Vital Force and/or Kundalini can be psychosomatic - dangerous, so that is why the Tantrics, and Gnostics, go through long, diligent meditations, exercises of intellect, rituals both singular and dual and the use of philological devices (such as Tarot) so that this flow of Vital Life Force is unblocked, unrestricted (not feared), and can flow through and out into another, forming a Vital Spiral of energy flow, that Re-Vitalizes Life. So all of you who wish to experience the Rapture of Kundalini, note that the Rapture can become a Raptor to those whose "House is not built on a strong foundation" of Love, both of Self and Others. Love of Being, is what holds your molecules together, even under the rapid increase in atomic vibration that your body under goes when the "Kundalini rises " which is a quantum vibration of The Lust of God. To the Macrocosm, this Kundalini is the Orgasm that never stops flowing, causing the destruction and reconstruction of all life. It is also a rapture in the individual that one can adapt to, but is never willing to stop.
Tarot Correspondences: 11-Lust & 19-The Sun.
As stated: In the Thoth Tarot, 11-Lust is the Strength or Justice Card in many other decks. Crowley and Lady Frieda Harris knew that the Lust of Creation, was the underlying Strength in the diversity of Life Itself.
In this correspondence the astrological sign is; Strength/Lust-Leo and the astrological Planet, The Sun. I know many people fear the word Lust, but it relays the tremendous passion that gave birth to the "Big Bang" and the word Strength seems to be a bit watered down. As A.Crowley wrote about the Lust card: "Migrate Energy with Love; but let Love devour all things."
The astrological form of Lust: I will.
The astrological motion of the Sun: I seek myself through what I create.
Rune stones are: Lust-Uruz, the run of strength, sacrificial animals, and physical endurance.
The Rune stone for The Sun: Sowelu, the rune of wholeness and the life forces; means "the Sun." Primary color is Yellow and secondary is mustard.
Lust and The Sun are associated with the Third Chakra -the Navel Chakra- of the solar plexus that in Sanskrit is called the Manipura Chakra. This chakra indicates will power, wishes, metabolism, humor, wisdom, ego, attitudes, prejudices, reactions, ideas, intellectual analysis, ...it is the chakra of The Intelligence.
The stones/minerals of this association are; Topaz, amber, citrine, tsilaisite tourmaline, yellow fluorites, yellow chalcedony.
The corresponding musical notes are: Lust-E# and for The Sun-D.
The Qabalistic letters are: Lust-simple letter-Taste. The path (Tree of Life) Hebrew alphabet-Teth,The Intelligence of all the activities of the Spiritual Beings. The symbolic meaning is-snake. The "Spiritual Beings" are what is often called the 7 Immortals and/or Auric bodies of your Aura. However, I think this is in error, for the 8th body of your Aura is the Physical Body. It to is a Spiritual Being, called "organic matter", for it is designed of Oroboros, the Serpent that Eats its own Tail. Which is a metaphor for Organic Matter that eats itself to stay alive; a form of immortality.
For The Sun- double letter- Fertility-Barrenness. The path-Resh, The Collecting Intelligence. Symbol of meaning-Head.
The Herbal essences: Lust- Rosemary, Juniper Berry, Orange. For The Sun the herbal essences are: Cinnamon, Mandarin or Tangerine, Frankincense.
The Correspondence of Lust and The Sun produces Passive Magic which is the ability to create magic by trusting the (lust) plan of operation to the Divine Creative within. The most potent kind of magic since the Original Lust is involved and it comes with release from personal desire for one's own ends, patience through faith (trust) and power through acceptance. In other words, releasing the goal of personal wants to the expansion and liberation of Life of which you are a part of.
Again, when assembling all these correspondences, mineral, essences, etc. One of each is enough; However, each has an associating "vibration" so the greater the influence is felt with the "many". For those of you who really wish to do powerful passive magic meditation, assemble the stones/minerals in a large circle, place within that circle a pillow to sit on, the Lust Card and The Sun card as focal points of meditation, Herbal essences may be outside the circle . Have a pitch pipe inside the circle with you and blow the notes associated with both cards and vocalize your trust in The Divine Creative (Thy will be done)---then focus on the union of the Cards.
I often place four cinnamon essence-lit candles in a square and circle the stones within that square and place a bowl of water with Rosemary herb/ or Juniper Berry essence with in the circle with me. The Vibrations of Energy seem to be greatly enhanced by such a construct.
"Come forth, o children, under the stars, & take your fill of love! I am above you and in you. My ecstasy is in yours. My joy is to see your joy." [quoted from the BOOK OF THOTH by Master Theron]
As I alluded to previously in the explanation of the Thoth Tarot Lust card, passionate prose may better explain this card than the stolid words of academia. In fact, the scholars of the Aeon of Osiris, foresaw this coming Aeon of Horus with the jaded eyes of fear, and horror. By not understanding the recessions of the Eons (Aeon), they regarded every change a catastrophe. They viewed the Scarlett Woman and the Beast, as fearful unknowns and poisoned every definition of the Aeon of Horus with diatribes of fear filled ignorance. The Beast, is the Natural Animal mind of Earth, consisting of both the reptile brain and the mammal brain, which are awake and functioning in most people. However, the Hu-Man brain, which translates to mean God-Mind (Hu is Mandarin for God and Man-Hindu word Manas meaning mind), is either sound asleep in the majority of mankind or so distracted by conflicting thought from the Social Group Mind that it would be better off asleep.
The New Aeon of Horus, is the period of the "22nd century" human whose God Mind (Imagination +Consciousness) is awake and certain. Therefore correcting and healing the Social Group Mind of humankind, in both the group and the individual. The Theory is, that if enough of the human species "knows itself" and/or becomes enlightened, there will be a cascading effect in the Societal Group Mind, awakening the rest of the "sleeping" human species. In some fields of Scientific thought, this is called the "100th Monkey Principle" (from studies of Japanese monkeys). You may want to research this principle.
A.Crowley spent his entire long magick career pursuing the Scarlett Woman, and coined the Seven pointed Star (black and while illustration) which included the name of the Goddess, her number and letters which he spelled-B-A-B-A-L-O-N, because of the Gematria (refer to Liber XV [Magick,pp.345sqq.]. This is a great mandala for meditation and by deciphering the letters and symbols, it also reveals a Major Arcana (secret sacrament) that absolutely must be known in order to work Magic with the Great Red Binah (Scarlett Woman) and manifest The Great Work ("As above, so below"). As Crowley has stated," This sacrament is a physical-magical formula for attaining initiation.... and it is in alchemy the process of distillation, operated by internal ferment, and the influence of the Sun and the Moon."
On the Thoth Lust Tarot Card, Seven are the heads of the Beast (Lion-Serpent) that the Scarlett Woman rides; the head of an Angel: the head of a Poet: the head of a Saint: the head of a Adulterous Woman: the head of a man of Valor: the head of a Satyr: and the head of the Lion-Serpent. Behind the Beast, are the rayed circles of the Ten Sephiroth, not yet in order, as every new Aeon demands a new system of Universal classification. At the top of the Lust Card, are the Ten rays, representing the Ten horns of the Beast and/or Ten Serpent forces sent in every direction to destroy and re-create the world. Reincarnation is part of this cards mystery.
As I stated, I agree with Aleister Crowley's expansion of the STRENGTH card, into the LUST card because the Passion-The Vital Force of Universal Construction, "the motion within the movement" of everything, is the Passionate expression of the I AM As Two, who then Join to become One, often shown as a "lazy eight" (figure eight laying on its side). Represented here is the Passion that creates All, i.e. the Active and Passive Motive force of Kundalini, and/or of Lion-Serpent/Electromagnetic vibrational- Energy Spectrum. This Serpentine Force, 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 things, vibratory strings of Vital Fiery 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 in a rhythmic beat, like a heart. Kundalini is known as the Sacred Fire, when in its active phase, purposely unleaded by Willed goal.
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 Card represents 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/Binah key 3.
Again, this is a very powerful Qabalistic path and those of sensitive psyche, will be profoundly affected. One must appreciate the fact, that this Path of Teth (meaning Snake), Lust Card, is a statement of methodology, whereby the Original 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 Willed -Power in this dimension of crystallized energy. A power to weave our very own Vital Life Force into masterpieces of Self Identity! But be warned, for "here be dragons", if your sexual desires are still kept as those of a "wanna-be" man-made personality, upon encountering the Kundalini, one will become so obsessed with sexual union, that they can't eat or sleep and madly seek sexual gratification. This, then could be a time for institutionalization!
This Divine Frenzy requires a focused willful intelligence, much like Gilgamesh of Sumerian/Babylonian legend (shown and explained in earlier blogs on Babylonian Tarot Cards) and not some mad hater personality, that can't even control its own thought.
I would recommend that one Skry the Thoth card only after one is capable of holding a one- thought or image focus during an entire meditation and after one has already met the "Secret Lover" within! For, any Psyche that Touches the Lust of The Great Father/Mother (Divine Creative), will be profoundly charged, changed, and expanded beyond comfortable perspectives, all of which can be dangerous to the balance of our delicate persona.
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". For this "Bad boy" is not just for any rodeo rider, it is the impassioned Roar of the "Big Bang", that started it all! 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 most every theologian's or politician's "secret life" will show. It is hard to imagine, what the Macrocosmic Lust would do to such a weak psyche, but then again, we have historical examples in Caligula, Adolf Hitler, etc.
The Heat applied, is the great passion within the confines of Tantric exercises, or the exercise of the Middle Pillar (Aleister Crowley's book,777), all of which I recommend that the interested party research. As Mustafa Jahaladine Rumi, the 12th century Sufi Master Stated in his devotional poetry, "...I Want the Burning!", for if one is properly tempered by the Serpent fire, one is in ecstasy.
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) or Horae, who acted as midwives to the Greek Gods and inspired earthly horae ( harlot-priestesses) to train men in the Sexual Mysteries. The temple dance, still called the Hora, was based on the Priestesses imitation of the zodiacal circling of "hours". Horology is Time keeping, because of the systems devised by the ancient Temple Priestesses of the Goddess. The Horae were call the "fair ones, begetter of all things who in appointed order, bring on day and night, summer and winter, so as to months and years grow full."
These "fair ones" had many names: The Tantric word for sacred harlot was Veshya (Mahanirvanatantra, 328), probably derived from the Divine Creatrix's oldest names in Greece and Rome, Hestia or Vesta, "the hearth mother" who was served by Vestal Virgins who were originally harlot-priestesses. Then, "Hearth" and "Earth" both arose from the altar of the Saxon Goddess Ertha, or Heartha, the northern Hestia-Vesta. In fact, in the matriarchal age, every woman's hearth-fire was her altar. The hearth was also the omphalos (Orphic egg), (Potter & Sargent, 201) feminine hub of the Universe, and the navel-stone of the temple, around which the sacred harlots performed their Dance of Time.
In Egypt they were the "Ladies of the Hour", in Persia houris,
in Babylon harines; among Semites they were the "whores" call hor (a hole), ancestresses of the Horites.
Ishtar ( pronounced-Easter), the Mesopotamian Creatrix, was considered the "Great Whore of Babylon",(Briffault 3, 169) who announced, "A prostitute compassionate am I."
Mary Magdalene, Priestess of the Temple of Mari in King Salomon's court (Malvern,49) stated, " Not only are we compassionate of ourselves, but we are compassionate of all the race of mankind."
These ancient harlots, were revered for their learning and often commanded high social status and were considered the embodiment of the Queen of Heaven, who in Palestine was called Qadeshet, the Great Whore; therefore the harlots were honored like queens at centers of learning in Greece and Asia Minor. Noteworthy, is the empress Theodora, wife of Justinian, who began her career as a temple harlot (Bullough, 125). St. Helena, the mother of Constantine, was a harlot before she became, via revisionism, an empress-saint.
Yet the Whore of Babylon, the Fiery Feminine Divine Creative, is not "any man's" companion, she is the Mother of the Solar-Father God or "Vital Life Force" known as the "serpent force". This "Powerful Form" of the Great Mother, is pretty well illustrated on the Thoth Tarot.
Therefore, She is the Great Whore and no man's servant; For She is impregnated by Photon Suns....Something more for the diligent student to investigate!
To me, Lust is the vigor and the rapture of vigor expressed in The True Presence , The Prometheus in us all. This Rapturous Vigor represents something I call "Will to Be"; when the Soul's "I will be" is fully established in the physical flesh. " Beauty and Strength, leaping laughter and delicious languor, force and fire, are of us!"...to quote Crowley.
I really recommend that the truly seeking student get: THE BOOK OF THOTH (Egyptian Tarot) by Master Theron (Crowley) where the lascivious poetry and passionate prose, start a fire in your imagination. For this card cannot be easily understood by rationale thought, it must be felt in your guts as a twisting- burning passion, to be understood: A fiery Serpent encircling your spine.
When the Lust or Strength card is thrown during a reading, it means:
- The querent will be experiencing or soon will be experiencing, in the next 11wks or months; passion, awareness, aliveness and strength to overcome.
- The querent is presently expressing their full creative abilities while also having a strong trust in those abilities.
- There is present the Principle of Courage and Self Esteem. The inner passion of Will-To-Be- is appearing in the querent's waking consciousness.
- The querent could be called an Enchantress, or is a passionate animal /nature/ helper.
- The querent may also find Magical helpers through the Matriarchal Conscious that brings sexuality and language to her people. Also, knowing from the heart what is needed.
- Loving passion.
- The querent is relying on spiritual powers to manage the situation at hand and is receiving the strength to over come.
- Following ones own inner light, doing what their "heart of heart" inner-self, says 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 power, courage, energy, action and magnanimity.
- One is experiencing the Law of Self-Domination, self-rule and self control.
If ill defined, this card is about obstinacy and the negatives of the above passions with out love. Spiritual and sexual deviancy, one of which is celibacy .
Thank you for your interest and comments. May you live long and prosper!