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.In the Thoth Deck key 8 is the Adjustment card, which replaces the old Judgment card. Thus the Thoth Key 8 is a proper comparison to the Justice card.
The Thoth Lust Card-Key 11 and the Spiral Tarot Strength Key 8 are 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. Leo
is symbolized as a Lion, while Teth, is a Snake, the combination of
these two, is the Lion-Serpent, or the Sexual Serpent Force, 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
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." ; what we would call "dark energy" today.
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.
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 obviously shown. Wisdom, is also often 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 the tempted-sun bather
to near death on the beach and Redeemer, by providing Vital Life
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. In the modern world these opposites 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".
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 the Spiral Tarot and Thoth Lust Card as the Lion, 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. This image also implies the brute nature of this force, that must be tamed/contained by the Goddess.
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..
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, while Tempering the flesh. Thus allowing flow through and
out into another, forming a Vital Spiral of energy flow, that
Re-Vitalizes all sentient 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 the strong underpinnings that supports your body. Love is what holds
your molecules together, even under the rapid increase in atomic
vibration that your body undergoes when the "Kundalini rises" becoming The Lust
of God, the Divine Frenzy, that is the Orgasm that never stops flowing.
To reiterate,The Thoth Deck LUST card, key-11, replaces the STRENGTH, card which
is Key-8, in the Spiral Tarot and Ryder =-Waite Tarot Decks. So it may
be confusing when I place it in the Path of Teth, which is normally
called STRENGTH-Key 8. 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 Passion that creates All, i.e.. the
Active and Passive force of Kundalini, and/or of Lion-Serpent. It 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,
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. Kundalini is known as the Sacred Fire, when in its active phase, purposely focused by Will.
UNIVERSE key 21, is the completion of the LUST CARD, and you'll see the
Woman figure riding the Lion Serpent in the illustration of the Thoth 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 is 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 key.
The Spiral Tarot Strength Card, shows the goddess Ishtar subduing the adored animal nature, that is represented as the lion, but is also a representation of the Sun, Leo. The Hebrew letter Teth (meaning-Snake) is shown in the left hand corner and the astrological symbol for Leo is in the right hand corner both implying the lion serpent force. The blue roses sacred to the Goddess Sophia (Wisdom) are shown in full fruitful bloom and the Goddesses wardrobe, is decorated with the Red Roses sacred to Geburah, or the "scarlet woman". The Sexual Goddess. The diaphanous robes of the goddess Ishtar also suggest "the veils of light" that all form is woven from.
this is a very powerful path and those of sensitive psyche, will be
profoundly affected. One must appreciate the fact, that this Path of
Teth, Lust or Strength Card, is a statement of methodology; whereby the Will
controls the Primal 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 the Spiritual Will, Power in this dimension of crystallized energy. A power to weave our
very own Vital Life Force into masterpieces ! This requires a focused
willful intelligence, and not some mad hater personality, that can't
even control its own thought.
Skry this card only after you are capable
of holding a one- though or image focus during an entire meditation!
Any Psyche that Touches the Lust OF The Great Father/Mother, will be
profoundly charged, changed, and expanded beyond comfortable
perspectives, all of which can be dangerous to our delicate egos. In
other words, one must be diligently trained in channeling higher and
higher and thus hotter vibratory levels of Vital Life Force, before they "Ride the
Lion-Serpent". 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 every politicians
"secret life" will show. It is hard to imagine, what the Macrocosmic
Lust would do to such self absorbed microcosmic psyche... but then again,we have examples
in Adolf Hitler, etc. Sadly, we are seeing in our modern world, examples of "sex force" perverted by the cultural "flesh phobia" dished out by religious dogma, by the young males who go on killing sprees. The body is God's Passion made manifest, and only Love of being,and passionate creativity can contain such a powerful presence of Divine Frenzy. Fear of being, will only pervert vital primal life force into self destructive frenzies.
Lust represents a very important initiatory
formula dealing with Serpent Power. This Spiraling Power is the Force
that opens,or stimulates all the Chakras (energy centers) in the Human
body. The Principles embedded in the Lust or Strength Card, tell us how to use this
power. This is a "Divine Frenzy" which when stated alchemically,"the
heat of the furnace makes the Stone" or if religious,"inflame thyself
with Prayer". 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 the interested party
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. Something more for the diligent student to investigate!
the Lust card is thrown during a reading, it means the querent:
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.
- Is 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.
Thank you for your interest and comments. May you live long and prosper.