Tarot Card Comparisons; The Thoth Tarot and the Babylonian Tarot: 0- THE FOOL.
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Thoth Tarot & comparisons

Tarot Card Comparisons; The Thoth Tarot and the Babylonian Tarot: 0- THE FOOL.

The Tarot of EliThe Thoth-Key 0 - The Fool card and the Babylonian Tarot-0- Fool/Enkidu.
 
Fear not.
What is not real, never was and never will be.
What is real always was and cannot be destroyed.
                                             -Bhagavad Gita
 
The fool is the universal principle that is associated with the state of conscious energy, that is us before and after death. In other-words, the conscious state that is Soul/Psyche/Spirit. Many of us know that we " have a spirit" but few of us know that we are Spirit and have a body and seek not spirituality but rather are Spirituality bringing  whole-conscious, Psyche-liberation and expansion to Earth anima and animus! Both well displayed in the Babylonian Tarot of Sandra Tabatha Cicero.

In brief, Sandra Tabatha Cicero, has been actively involved in the magic community for decades. She is a Senior Adept  of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Together with Chic Cicero, she has several books in print with Llewellyn. With a bachelor's degree in fine arts, from the University of Wisconsin, she is also an accomplished artist.

Her Babylonian Tarot, is based on the cosmology and legends of ancient Mesopotamia (Greek for: "the land between the rivers"), a fertile cradle of civilization that resided between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, which is now modern Iraq. Mesopotamia, or Babylonia as it is often now called, is where the first world cities appeared during the 4th Millennium B.C.E.
The Fertile Crescent, was the home of the Sumerians, the first builders of civilization in Mesopotamia, which went on to outlast its creators and became the foundation of Babylonian civilization. Therefore, the gods and goddesses of the Sumerians, were adopted by the various civilizations of the Babylonians, (Akkadian, Babylonian and Assyrian empires). There god/goddess names were often changed, but the characteristics were kept the same.

Her card deck has the 78 original cards of modern tarot, such as the Thoth Deck. However there is an extra Major Arcana Card called "Genesis", which is about the " Ain Soph" and which I shall depict at the end of the Major or Trump comparisons. There are also four extra Court Cards. There are the traditional King, Queen, Prince and Princess of each of the four elements and also a fifth card called the Kerub, which represents the element of Spirit.
Her four suits are Wands, Cups, Arrows (Swords) and Disks.

The Fool, Enkidu, is the first Champion. Enkidu was a "wild man" champion created by the Goddess Aruru to defeat Gilgamesh, a cruel dictator to the oppressed people of Uruk.  Enkidu was depicted as a type of satyr or "bull-man" that was known in Sumerian as gud-alim.  The fact that such an image of man existed is discredited by modern authors, the image successfully suggested a very wild and innocent person who was completely unacquainted with civilization, i.e. a fool. The legend goes on to state that Enkidu ate grass (shown in his hand), and ran/played with the wild animals, therefore the image of a dancing gazelle is depicted on the Enkidu card.

 In short, Enkidu was discovered by a hunter, Tsiadu, who is much put-off by Enkidu's destruction of his animal traps.  After witnessing the extreme strength of Enkidu, Tsiadu, informs Gilgamesh of his experience with the wild man.  Gilgamesh now suspects the purpose of Enkidu's creation, and bids Tsiadu to return to Enkidu with a priestess of Ishtar named Shamhat (the female image on the card). For six days and seven nights, Shamhat used her beauty and charms to tame Enkidu, who could think of nothing but her. At the end of the 7th night, Enkidu discovered that he has become "a man" and is no longer accepted by the gazelles and other animals as their own. (Interestingly, in Qaballah, 6 is the number of Tiphareth/Beauty/ The Sun, the Christ/Buddha consciousness, and 7 is the number of the Sephiroth, Netzach/Victory and often attributed to the "goddess".)
Shamhat takes him to the city of Uruk (depicted as a walled city on her card) to learn the ways of civilization. When Enkidu enters the city of Uruk, he fights and then befriends Gilgamesh...  This is a very short summation of the Gilgamesh legend and I would suggest that the interested, look it up and read it.

By befriending Gilgamesh, Enkidu lost his innocence and became a man of "ruler controlled self-definition", a man-made man.

Rather than just being assumed as being mystical, trans-personal , transcendent, ecstatic in its nature, the Thoth Fool, and the Babylonian Enkidu, represent the power of wonder and ecstasy that is so apparent in the very young; before they succumb to indoctrination and form a "cultural identity". The cultural identity is not real so Qabalists call it "reality" which we all know as relative. The Real is the infinite part of ourselves!

The Oriental symbol for fear is the tiger, shown on the Thoth Card, is an apt description as fear stops your mental progress and devours your reason. In the Thoth card, fear is seen as attempting to gnaw on the leg of the fool who isn't giving any power to fear. He looks forward, and the tiger can't even make a dent in his attention. Enkidu, as also fearless as the legend depicts.

The Fool-0- is the energetic essence of who we are; an unflappable immortal spiritual flow of energy consciousness that flows from the Infinite Source.  Both the Thoth and Babylonian card symbolizes the creative expression that is needed to  give birth to new  parts of our lives and to boldly take risks that are so necessary to evolutionary development! When this card falls in a reading it shows us that this is the moment to do what you fear and trust the spirit within!
 
The Fool is the most esoteric of all the Arcane. Every card in the Tarot Deck is an aspect of THE FOOL-0, and therefore, 78 different aspects of your Whole Psyche.

As a Path in the Psyche, THE FOOL connects Kether -1-(Crown) with Chokmah-2- (Wisdom). To the Qabalist, Kether is known as the Source of All, and Chokmah is known as Father God or God of the Covenant.

The Fool is the Qabalistic Path of Aleph, meaning OX (Enkidu is a "Bull Man"), and is about the "flowing of Life Force and creative power", showing the "SPIRIT'S aim to be that of Earth and/or Sensual Being.

Crowley symbolizes this "Holy Spirit" ( The Spirit on every level of the Tree of Life)  as a dove in the Thoth Deck Card. Crowley also called The Letter Aleph, a phallic symbol, but then so is the Projected Will that is THE MAGUS, and one wonders if Crowley was so besotted with the Phallus, that he was unable to see anything else; However, truth be told, by reference to Sexes and sexuality do we come to the minutest glimmering of understanding about the Universe (the Sumerian theologians knew this to be true, therefore the mating of Enkidu and Shamhat). Also the Fool and the Magus are separated by a "degree" of definition.

To even begin understanding THE FOOL-0-, we must entertain  a multifaceted and fluid interpretation of Force and Form. 
Paul Foster Case calls Aleph/The Fool, the Eleventh Path, in his text THE THIRTY-TWO PATHS OF WISDOM, the fiery or Scintillating Intelligence, which makes sense as The Path of Aleph boarders on the Limitless Light (Ain Soph), which is "not" or "naught". Light without limit is a "darkness" to us who need a beginning and a end to see. So here we try to explain what can't be seen as The Fiery Darkness which is the possibility of vibration or motion and the First Perception of the One having potential for activity and/or Primeval potential energy. This concept is held up by the creation legend of Enkidu, the primal fearless champion.

In the context of Masculine sexuality, the Fool is the Testes, and the Magus is the Phallus,(represented by the three flowers beneath the spread legs of THE FOOL) as He directs active first flow from the Fool rather than potentiality doing so. However, I fear that is a rather limiting concept of the one who is Two, as the Ain Soph is "No-Thing", but then, all concepts are less than the potential for conception. Besides it is hard, if not nigh impossible, to understand that No and Thing (Ain Soph) are a dual function of Oneness. Enkidu became two in the legend, by becoming "a man". Therefore, he is both animal nature, and hu-man (God-Mind) natured.

We may reason that the potential for Thought, comes from the Dark Energy as Dark Matter (The First Material). The appearance of Thought emanates Mind, which is the vessel for Thoughtful ideas and/or Womb of Thought Forms, i.e. The I-magi-nation, transcending all reason. Thus, our reason, leaves us with more questions than answers but necessarily so because we then must build (create) the answers and/or "Civilization"!

Limitlessness is a very difficult concept, for even to imagine it, we must form limits!

To say that THE FOOL represents the initial potential for thought which transcends reason, is about the best I can do with words. However, the special reality we may touch in sleep, often gives us images that do not correlate to our mundane understanding of reality, so our dreams seem to be so much abstraction and are considered as nonsense to our waking condition. However, the Great Work (As above so below) involves the assimilation of  The Real- I Am, not a reality conceived of mundane ideas base on self-absorbed survival thinking. And the Real Concepts are from "what is Not" making "What is" from the Universal Collective Unconscious-Dreams of Potential- Self Identity!

To think of the Universe as "God Dreaming" (Darkness Dreaming it is Light) is very difficult to grasp, and the fact that you are a "Lucid" Dreamer (Image of God), who has been given the "Power of Observation", meaning you can change the Perspective of "Things", is just about as mind boggling as it gets, and yet it doesn't give you the potential to observe "No-Thing"! Just such a glimmer of insight requires a "beyond the Mundane" understanding of Self! Thus, your Divinity is not often acknowledge by the mundane animal mind; However, your Womb (i-magi-nation), the conception of "the image of God", is the invisible Sephira, Daath (knowledge), which is the Path Where Goddess (Understanding)/God (Wisdom) meet face to face ( Tibetan,Yab Yum) and is known as the Path of Daleth-THE EMPRESS, your Spiritual Birth Mother/ Feminine Principle of the Divine Creative! Enkidu was formed of "clay" by the Feminine Divine Creative- Goddess Aruru (Binah, in Qaballah) who was his Spiritual birth Mother.

I'll end this brief dissertation on the Fool, with this: All the Paths leading upward to Kether,THE FOOL, THE MAGUS, AND THE HIGH PRIESTESS, must be approached with a certain understanding of whimsy, as we realize that by crossing the Abyss and approaching Kether ("The Word of God", The potential for all vibration) means the total annihilation of Self as we perceive it, thus presenting us with the irony of our attempt to grasp such esoteric and refined principles from an earthly-mundane perspective. The legend of Gilgamesh also attempts this difficult task.

Often, when teaching the Major Arcana of the Supernal Triangle, (Top Trinity on the Tree of Life) and knowing what I speak, cannot truly convey what I am saying, brings a smile, if not outright laughter to my face. To me, The I AM potential is ironically displayed as a limited conception--a Me. Being a "Me" must never be taken to seriously, for that concept will change daily, when one enters the Higher Self.

To reiterate, THE FOOL- 0, is the initial potential for thought, transcending all reason. Thus  making objectifying the Upper Regions, the Supernal Triangle, a futile endeavor. However, once we recognize the impossibility of consciously approaching the Highest Levels of the Tree of Life, i.e. The Universal Collective Unconscious, in a direct manner, we are forcibly driven into the key Principles of the Mysteries/Metaphysics  of As Above, So Below.
 We begin seeing that the Below is a mirror reflection of the Above. The Divine Spirit is all we know, we breathe it, we live within it, it is ourselves. Because we know this Divinity to be "the One Energy that cannot be created nor destroyed, only transformed" (1st Law of Thermodynamics), we know that everything is of this One who is Two, as symbolized by THE FOOL that is the Path of Aleph.
In this context, Aleph is attributed to Air and means Life-Breath. Just as Spirit is from the Greek root word Spiro, which means Breath. Tho One Spirit, the Holy Spirit, is then the Life-Breath. This is well known in Eastern cultures, and Prana Yamas (Breath yoga meaning,"life/death") are a major if not primary part of all Spiritual development. The Word Prana, is the Life-Breath energy.

Now I have described the Magus in past blogs, as relating to "Words" (vibration), the underlying sonic of patterned manifestation. However, it is the power of breath that expels the sound. Thus THE FOOL activates THE MAGUS.

Crowley, considered Air to be a vacuum, as related to THE FOOL who is the fertile Nothingness and egg of Spirit, so too speak. The universal Egg of Spirit is known, by Gnostic and Qabalisits, to be the EGG OF AKASHA, the zero of THE FOOL which also represents this egg of spirit, and is the mathematical formula of us one male, minus one female= 0 . Therefore, the understanding is that the Egg of Akasha, is a fertilized ovum of undefined sexuality, but having the potential for Both! One who is Two.

THE FOOL, is the very expression of the god name of Kether, Eheieh, which means I will be. This is the Divine Child as yet unborn, who is all potential and who is our very beginning (uncivilized Enkidu)!

Therefore the Tiger, "fawning about" THE FOOL'S  leg, is also an archetype representing the Animal Nature (survival mind) as related to the Higher Spiritual process.

  1. The Horns on the Thoth and Babylonia figure represent those of Dionysus Zagreus.
  2. The green clothing on the Thoth Fool, is that of the Green Man of Spring.
  3.  The grapes at his feet are a tribute to Bacchus, the Greek God of Ecstasy.
  4. The Crocodile (great creative energy) a swimming at his feet in "the Nile" (Crowley quote). Also there are images referring to the Godhead, such as the dove of Venus and the vulture of Maat.
  5. Then there is the triple egg shape created by the caduceus in motion, symbolizing the Ain Soph Aur (The three states of No-thing). 
As you may realize, the imagery is so subjective that I haven't the space to detail it all for you. If you need more detail, and you do, I would recommend reading Crowley's BOOK OF THOTH,  Robert Wang's Book: THE QABALISTIC TAROT and investigating the Mythology of the Ancient Greeks, Babylonians and Egyptians.







When THE FOOL  card in both decks, is thrown during a reading:
  • The querent is in or experiencing a state of ecstasy and/or a state of Peek experience.
  • Fearlessness.
  • Courage. 
  • And is completing all motion  by Faith, absolutely trusting THE SPIRIT.
  •  A feeling of being protected, and that everything will work out.
  • Being open to what the future brings!
If ill defined by accompanying cards, The Fool, is then the harbinger of folly, mania, extravagance and even negligence.

Thank you for your interest, comments and supportive donations. May you live long and prosper.


2 Comments to Tarot Card Comparisons; The Thoth Tarot and the Babylonian Tarot: 0- THE FOOL.:

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Daniel on Friday, April 10, 2015 11:57 AM
Great text many thanks
Reply to comment
 
Eli on Saturday, April 11, 2015 8:55 AM
Many welcomes. Thank you for your comment and interest. May you live long and prosper.

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