The Qabalsitic Tarot of the Thoth Deck Key 11- Lust,
is represented in many decks, including the Babylonian Tarot, as the
Strength card. Crowley believe that there is far more truth and magick
in the title of Lust, for even in gematria, 11 is 1+1=2. It is the Lust of 2, Force (Masculine) and Form (Feminine) that builds and strengthens all creation.
Upon viewing the Qabalisitic 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)
It is also interesting to note, that the Path of Lust (Strength) is
balance both vertically and horizontally. Crowley judged Lust to be a
more expansive term than Strength because Lust implies not only Strength
but also 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
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
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 Magick 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. The woman (representing the Moon) is shown a
little drunk, maybe a little mad with ecstasy riding upon a lust
inflamed lion. This image implies the creative and primitive order of energy
that is completely independent of the criticism of reason.
Thoth Deck Lust card portrays the Will of the Aeon (Will to be above and below). The
goddess is holding high The Grail filled with the blood of Saints, 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), such as the Sumerian/Babylonian legend of Enkidu and Gilgamesh.
Again, the Thoth Deck LUST card, key-11, replaces the STRENGTH, card which is Key-8, in the Golden Dawn, Ryder-Waite, Babylonian and many other Tarot Decks. So it may be confusing when I and Crowley place it in the Path of Teth, which is normally called STRENGTH-Key 8.
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"
is the Passionate expression of the I AM, where the I becomes as Two, who then Join to become
One Passion that creates All, i.e. the"ME. Therefore the Active and Passive Motive force
of Kundalini, and/or of Lion-Serpent that motivates and activates the Higher Self becomes a manifested "ME". 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 creations, 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.
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
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/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 Will controls the
Vital Life Energy but without a need of result. 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!
This Divine Frenzy requires a focused willful intelligence
much like Gilgamesh of Sumerian/Babylonian legend (shown on Babylonian
Tarot Card) and not some mad hatter personality, that can't even control
its own thought.
The Epic legend of Gilgamesh, places him as a mighty Sumerian King, in the city of Uruk (he may have been a living ruler defied after his death).
As the Son of the warrior king, Lugalbanda and the wise cow goddess Ninsun, Gilgamesh, was a demi-god and a unrivaled warrior. He was said to have built the walls of the city Uruk and the temple compound named Eanna (house of Anu) which was dedicated to Ishtar.
The Epic begins portraying Gilgamesh as a mighty ruler, with a penchant towards arrogant actions. He often sleeps with brides before marriage and harassed young men.
When the people prayed
for help, the goddess Aruru created the wild-man champion, Enkidu, to battle Gilgamesh for them.
After a great fight, neither could defeat the other, and they ended up becoming friends. Such strong adventures as these two, had to go off on many adventures, defeating monsters, such as Humbaba
, Guardian of the Cedar Forest. They even kill the rampaging "Bull of Heaven" who was sent to destroy the city of Uruk. This really "pissed off" the gods of the heavens, so they decided there was a debt to be paid, and Enkidu was to pay that debt by dying.
In dreaming his own death, Enkidu, then sickens and dies, devastating Gilgamesh. Because of his grief over his friends death, Gilgamesh becomes obsessed with nature of life and death. Fearing his own mortality, Gilgamesh embarks on a quest to learn the secret of eternal life.
He comes upon the immortal human that survived the Great Flood, Utnapishtim, who was the only human granted immortality by the gods. Utnapishtim told Gilgamesh were to find a plant that restores youth. Squandering his only chance at immortality, Gilgamesh obtains and then loses the plant.
He then returns to Uruk, but with a new appreciative attitude towards the people and became a responsible leader. He may have been a mighty warrior, but his true strength came from his ability to grow and learn.
In his pursuit for happiness, as immortality, Gilgamesh finally learns to be grateful for what he already has. This Epic journey is analogous to the Epic journey of all seekers of "Higher Self", the true spark of immortality in us all. Like Gilgamesh, we are changed for the better by the journey. Which the Qabalist see's as the mental/spiritual/physical journey up the Tree of Life.
The Solar connection to the zodiacal
sign of Leo, is often shown as Gilgamesh wrestling a lion or as in the Epic of Gilgamesh, he is always praying to the sun God Shamash, his patron and protector. That is why the Babylonian Card-Strength/Gilgamesh shows him wrestling a lion, and also depicts a ziggarat (stepped pyramid) temple in the background.
Sckry the Thoth card only after you
are capable of holding one- thought or one 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
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". 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 a weak psyche, but then again, we have
examples throughout history; Adolf Hitler, etc.
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 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
- When the Lust card is thrown during a reading, it means:
- 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.
- Passions under the control of will.
- Courage to take risks.
- Harnessed force.
Thank you for your interest, comments and supportive donations. May you live long and prosper.