In most other Tarot Decks, key 8 is called STRENGTH; However, in Aleister Crowley's estimation, the word Strength doesn't do this deception of intelligence justice,as I also agree.The LUST Card is Key,11 in the Thoth Deck and has replaced the STRENGTH card.; However, I'll choose to place it as Key 8, Strength Card, for Traditional Tarot Readers, as does Robert Wang in his book, THE QABALISTIC TAROT.
The Lust Card-Key 11,, is the Path of Teth, the 19th Path on the Tree of Life. The Hebrew letter, Teth, means snake, which is often refereed to as Serpent Force. The zodiacal sign assigned to this card is Sun Powered sign of Leo.. Leos is symbolized as a Lion, while Teth, is a Snake, the combination of these two, is the Lion-Serpent, the idea of which fostered the Dragon images of the ancients.The interchangeability of the Lion and the Serpent symbols represents an important key in understanding the great embedded profundities of this card.
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 manifestation.
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, one understands that the realities these symbols represent, can also be interchanged. In truth, the 1st law of Thermodynamics,"One Energy that can not be created nor destroyed, only transformed,", is the One Spirit of Qabalah, and can take any form it wills and in great diversity, as the 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 den 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 the tempted-sun bather to near death on the beach and Redeemer, by providing Vital Life Force..
Transformation can be confusing but it should be known that without the flow of vital life force between opposites, there would be no "Limited Light", that all manifestation is constructed of. Thus, we have the Greater Countenance, the Macrosopus, of Limitless Light, that can only be known as Darkness or Dark Fire (Dark Energy), designing Two (Male- Female) Self concepts, 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,(Macrosopus) and the Limited light of manifestation is the Objective, and knowable finite side of the One (Microsopus). 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, (electric and magnetic), is the stuff of Vital Life Force. I think you can now see why Vital Life force, is also called "sex energy".(Tree of life illustration is from the book: THE QABALISTIC TAROT, by Robert Wang)
The Lion symbol, in the context of the Qabalah, has to do with 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 Solar Power represented in this Lust 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.
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, but knowing your limits, will keep you from becoming Sun burned in the flesh, and the severity of a Mind Burn ( Emotional trauma) in the consciousness. Lust, in a Godly sense, can "burn out your lights"! So the initiate must become adept at Self Knowledge, so that they don't damage their "I sight" when joining intelligence with Higher Intellectual Forces..
Putting aside metaphor, too much Sun/Vital Force can be dangerous, so that is why the Tantrics, and Gnostics, go through long, diligent meditations, exercises of intellect, and philological devices 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. Love is what holds your molecules together, even under the rapid increase in atomic vibration that your body under goes when the "Kundalini rises"The Lust of God----is the Orgasm that never stops flowing. There should be enough information here to keep the perspicacious occupied until tomorrow's continuation so the text on the Thoth Deck Key 8-Lust. will continue in tomorrow's blog.
Thank you for your interest and comments. May you live long and prosper.