The motion of our Conscious energy crystallization into form, is downward on the Tree of Life so it is obvious that the first path up ward is the Last Key of the Major Arcana, THE UNIVERSE key 21. This is the Path of Tau, meaning equal armed cross and/or the Tau cross (T-cross). Tau is a Double-letter, a combination of opposites and is called power-servitude.
The meaning of the word Power, is the ability to do work...and the ability to do esoteric work is why we-Spirit- have a physical body! We now must work from a material perspective (the "Below") to the Realms of Pure Spirit (the "Above") doing the Serious Work of the Divine [THE GREAT WORK], as long as our Divine Consciousness is functioning through a physical body.
The Path of the Key 21, joins Earth (Malkuth) with the Foundation (Yesod) and is the first path out of the material condition for the personality, leading towards an understanding of the Personality forged by the Higher Self of Tiphareth---for EACH incarnation. The Universe Card is the mandala for the "Administrative Intelligence", as Paul Foster Case described it in his document "The Thirty Two Paths of Wisdom". The Path of Tau is the "Thirty Second Path". and Paul Foster Case says," it directs and associates in all their operations the seven planets." In our discussions of the Universe, we are discussing the Material. I have often heard people refer to themselves as "mind and body" and when they meditate or dream, they consider that the images that come to them are somehow separate from the body-physical as if the Divine marriage of Spirit and Matter is really a Divine Divorce. Some how the body is not of Mind. The Gnostic Mysteries have for generations state that ALL IS MIND. The Above- Macrocosm and the Below-Microcosm , are Cosmic Self Awareness---MIND! The distinction between mind and body is perspective, not of actuality. Once again the perspective of "Divide and Conquer" does us mental harm. When we close our eyes and see pictures, we are seeing the foundation of Matter, the most refined form of matter which are the energy forms closest to the physical condition. The Physical is a Crystallization of these subtle forms brought about by the Power and Servitude of I AM ME----Force and Form whom both are Power, and who both Serve each other. We are the Figure Eight (infinity-symbol) of Force and Form. A twisting of Serpentine Force and Form flow.
As have stated before, we are 99.6% invisible---which means that most of our identity and the Physical World is Unseen!
As you can see by looking at the illustration of the Four Worlds, Assiah is Malkuth alone and it is described as our sphere of sensation, yet it is symbolized by the Seven Pointed Star which is representative of the Seven Palaces of Assiah (planets) By experiencing the Path of Tau--The Universe, we are taken to the Gateway of these Seven Palaces.
On the Path of Tau, the Universal Plan (The Great Work) becomes apparent without necessarily being understood. You can enter the "Holy of Holies" and encounter them is such away that you are "in them but not of them" , a product of the Divisionism perspective--which is where most "new agers" are at. They must progress further up the Tree of Life to become "of them".
What is important here is that all the Force and Form of The One Energy is present and self- balanced on this Path. The Above has Condensed as the Below! This is also stated in the Tao, as "What is here is there, and what is there is here. If it is not here, it is not there and if it is not there, it is not here." This is the Path of Initiation, where the personality is encountering itself and becoming aware of the fact that what we encounter on this Path is of our own making. This is where the physical personality, realizes it is not really "in charge of the Macrosomic Universe" but rather of all that is inside our heads which is a Microcosmic universe. However, we also encounter symbols and ideas which are of a greater consciousness than our own, and begin to see how are being relates to a Universal picture. It is easy to know when one is "on this path but not of it", we become dreamy, and the ego loves the fantasy of denial-- but not the work. In other words, "just lay back and the dreams will deliver you"--kind of thinking that doesn't understand "Power and Power tools"and if someone suggests that this is not enough---you must "do the Deed" as well, the ego sees an enemy and will use "name calling" to disabuse them while expounding on the belief system of fantasy.
Our own Survival thinking, must be observed on this Path in order to continue on into the Higher Self which is Oneness and not of the divisionism and "comfort dreams" of the survival animal mind which loves "belief systems" but abhors "deed-systems". To travel the Path upward to Tiphareth (Christ light) is a "deed system".This is a Path that can only be successfully traveled by those who bring their Personalities into a balance of self-understanding, where we no longer look for blame for the phantoms-of-pain that we are experiencing, entertaining ourselves with an extended comfortable fantasy, which many people believe is this Path.... a kind of Opiate that keeps us from seeing the self-surgery that must be done! The True Seeker, must keep in mind that the Universe is a Path of entry into the Astral (Yesod) and that the Astral "seeks to deceive".
In the Thoth Deck Universe Card, we see the Four Alchemical Elements as different images of heads surrounding the Oval-Womb (Will to Form-or Will to be) of the Great Mother and is both the entry point of Life and the exit of Death. Her fullest expression as Binah is represented as the female form within and is all principles that we perceive as matter. Time requires a beginning and an end to an event. So the event of Tiphareth Force down-pouring and uprising must have a beginning a middle and an end. Life processes run in waves,or spirals which come back upon themselves and this process is the nature of the Akashic Fluid of Yesod. This spiral force is directed by the passive and active energy flow, each of which is dual poled.(male and female). Shown on this card as the serpent Kundalini which represent the Primary sexual forces of Nature that will be experienced on the Path of Tau. The blue background of this card represents the Great Sea of Consciousness (Biinah-Sophia) in its most dense and difficult expression.There are many currents here, and some lead to the Light and others to the darkness of self- delusion. We must really carry the perspective of, "Everyone I see is another way of being Me" on this path so that we don't form this Akashic Fluid into "enemies" on this path of Self- Perspective- formed- images.
When thrown in a Tarot Reading, the Universe Card usually denotes the actual subject of the question, therefore depending entirely on the surrounding cards. It is The Matter Itself, Synthesis, World, and Kingdom. Thank you for your interest and comments. May you live long and prosper.