Tarot Card Comparisons: The Thoth Tarot Key 11, Lust and the Babylonian Tarot key-8, Strength.
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Thoth Tarot & comparisons

Tarot Card Comparisons: The Thoth Tarot Key 11, Lust and the Babylonian Tarot key-8, Strength.

The Tarot of EliThe 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) upon Geburah.

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 Crowley.
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.

The 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:
  1. The Aeon of Isis (the first Aeon) was connected to Pisces and Virgo.
  2. The last Aeon, that of Osiris, is connected to Aries and Libra.
  3. 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. 

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, 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.

The Kundalini, 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, 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/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 research.

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!
  • 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.

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