. 1st law of thermodynamics (physics) "There is only one energy that cannot be created nor destroyed but only transformed (and transmitted)."
we mortals of immortals should understand is that life/death are two aspects of the same
state of being. Alive is life-death, as form is time-space, there are no
divisions. Therefore, this card represents the Universal Principle of
Letting Go and Moving On.
As Crowley stated: " The Universe is Change; every Change is the effect of an Act of Love: all Acts of Love contain Pure Joy. Die Daily.Death is the apex of one curve of the snake Life: behold all opposites as necessary compliments, and rejoice."
Death is the Scorpio
symbol in the deck. There are three symbols of Scorpio
in the key of 13 (1+3=4 completion) which represent three stages of transformation and/ or death and rebirth stages:
- The scorpion represents
that part of ourselves that is willing to protect, and move away from
conditions which cause pain and hurt. Letting go.
- The snake
sheds old skin in order to rebuild anew. This reminds us that in order
to transform old identities, we must be willing to let go of the old
and move on
- The Eagle or Phoenix, is about vital force, of immortality and regeneration. The bird in or nature is vital free spirit
who is irrepressible and ever changing. The skeleton represents the
inherent body structure that allows movement and change within our self
expression as well as, it is the bones of who we are and represents our
ancestral lineage and our commitment to grow and evolve through
birth/death cycles. The Crown represents expanded consciousness; where
one has conquered the survival mind of the animal. To be honest all of
us know we don't survive this manifestation. We move on to expand and
Death-key 13, is known as the Path of Nun on the Qabalistic Tree of Life. Nun, means, Fish (illustrated on the card) and is also the Hebrew simple letter for Movement. (Thus the running skeleton).
Path of Nun
runs from Netzach (Victory) to Tiphareth (Beauty) on the
Tree of Life, and is one of the three aforementioned paths that leads
from the Personality to the Higher Self.
initiate may experience the Higher Self on any one of these Three Paths,
Art (The Path of Samekh), The Devil (The Path of Ayin), and Death, the
Path of Nun; but the lessons of all three must be mastered.
The figures of the Art card, the Devil card and the Death card are all different aspects of the same thing; The Higher Self.
On the Path of Nun
one is literally launching the consciousness into the Dark Collective
Unconscious of Universal Origins. This takes courage and determination,
for the consciousness, no mater how big it thinks it is, appears to be
extinguished in the Universal Unconscious. I liken the consciousness to
an Artificial Intelligence, and the Unconscious as the Real
Intelligence. This artifice of perspective, aids me in trusting the dissolution of my
consciousness, as a transition towards re- birthing my identity, purified
of illusion and deception. In fact, the word meaning of the Path of
Nun, Fish, reveals the whole arcane doctrine of the Qabalah, as it is
the symbol for the "first matter" that moves within the Infinite Ocean
of Unconscious, i.e. Thought.
You may realize that thought is a material as from it all forms are created . In fact without the first material of thought, there is only No-Thing!
The perspicacious student
will note that the Tree of Life has a Path for Death, that of Nun, but
seems not to have a Path for Birth: However, The Devil, Path of Ayin,
enchains our Personality in Proton- Matter as it leaves the Higher Self on its
journey down the Tree of Life. Thus the Devil is a card of Birth. Plus
there is the fact that both Death and Birth are essentially the same
transition. As one is born in visible light and/or "outer World", their
"I" sight dies to the invisible or "inner world", just as the
personality transitions from the outer world back into the inner world
at physical death. The One energy Transforms itself by the process of
perspective changes; of energy identity phases. From one phase of Self-Awareness to
The Personality constructed consciousness,
is indeed seemingly extinguished in the Unconscious, as would an atom seem to be extinguished in a Galactic Cloud. This individual disappearance into the Collective causes a period of
"forgetful sleep" before the now cleansed Personality exits the Higher Self (I AM) again and
produces another operative artifice known as consciousness/Me,that is
to operate another material form. The exception to this recycling
is when the consciousness and Unconscious are in a balanced
union, a Wholeness of Psyche, that accompanies the Personality back to the Higher Self, without
needing physical death to do so. This is done when the consciousness has
become discriminatory, and knows the tricks of Mater, i.e. the
illusions of senses, that the Personality experiences on the physical
plane. This has been called by Gnostics, as "dying daily". These sensual illusions or delusions of the physical world, come from the perspective of
separateness and survival thinking of the physical form. Thus, the fear
of Death, must be conquered by the consciousness "that won't experience
the death sleep", that is, the consciousness that knowing, faithfully, transfers from
body to body by Personal Higher Self knowledge. Everyone of us can be a Dali Lama!
Great Work, is Life itself as a Wholeness, not a divisionism of
separates all trying to prove themselves to a Creator, that by the very
process of creation, had already Approve them into being! Those who are
seeking approval, a survival mechanism of the social animal, are what I
call "fish in the Ocean,looking for water." and/ or "Wanna-Be's" who
forgot that they already Are.
We may be rain drops (personalities) from the Soul cloud (Daäth), that forms because of the Union of the Great Sun (The Fool-Higher Self) and The Great Ocean of Binah (The will to form of the Divine Collective Unconscious- The Empress), but each raindrop is proved in the Soul Cloud, (High Priestess) before it falls into the Ocean of Life (Yesod). Whereas it becomes the "Water of Life", of which all things are composed of and operated by!
Raindrops become fish in the great Ocean of life, as sperm become "beings" in the great Womb of mother.
Life is breath. The Greek word Spiro,
is the root word of Spirit and spiral. Therefore, (logic jump here!) you
the Spirit, are the spiral breath of the body. You are the Life and the
body is alive (Self and Selves). Thus "seeking a life", is analogous to
a fish in the ocean seeking water. You, the Psyche, are Life. The body is what you make alive, and because of "freedom of choice", the body you make alive, is your soul (sole)responsibility!
The Beauty of Tiphareth,
the Higher Self, is that once you return to this aspect of Personality,
you return to your body knowing that you, as a Personality, are
completely accepted and not fearing rejection in the least ( a mask of
fear of death)! In other words, you "Know Thyself".
The Tarot Card- Death-key 13, is called the many texts of the Mysteries, "The Child of the Great Transformers" and also the "Lord of the Gates of Death";
Implying that Nun is not the Great Transformers themselves, he is
their Child. Thus Nun is not Death itself, rather Nun is the keeper of
the Gateway into Transformation; we are Nun! Roughly, this states that the "first
matter", thought, is the Gate keeper of Transformation, which is
not too difficult to "wrap your head around" if you understand that how
you "perceive yourself" transforms your reality. There is also an alchemical symbol of this Path as putrefaction,
which is the decaying black mass in the crucible that eventually
transforms into gold and is considered a trans-formative process of
turning death into new life.
After Traveling one
of the Three Paths of the "Dark Night of the Soul", where your
consciousness is torn down, relieved of all that is not worthy of you, ( as a raindrop is purified in the Ocean)
as decided by the Higher Self, and then sent back down the Tree into
your Malkuth-body transformation, the perspectives of the Personality
change from reality to the Real perspectives of the Great Work; to be an
aware-sensual-Soul, rather than a socially made personality, is only
possible by returning to the Higher Self. Your brain can't do the job as
it is an artificial sense of self!
The Babylonian Tarot, Key 13,
Death, Ereshkigal, is in absolute agreement with this process of Transformation of the consciousness.
Depicted is the Sumero/Babylonian twin sister of Ea, Ereshkigal, "Queen of the great below". Her Akkadian name was Allatu, roughly translated as meaning strength.
One of the names of the land of the dead was, Arali (it had many) and was thought to be a guarded and gated opening to a stair case that lead to a chamber below the Absu, the fresh water sea below the earth.
Death was considered the great equalizer, as it eliminated the arrogant titles of Kings, and treated them just as it would the slaves. No one is less or greater in death. The underworld as was the home to other chthonic deities and a few demons, such as the galla, whose job was to fetch the dead.
Ereshkigal was often referred to as the dark sister of Ishtar, therefore, she can be equated to the shadowy alter-ego, whose behavior is aggressive and ferocious. The reader of the Sumerian mythos will find Ereshkigal's rage, both primeval and boundless.
The underworld of many ancient religions, even the one's thinking they are most modern, is often the metaphor for the dark unconscious/animal mind (self-unaware psyche) with all its fears, jealousies, unwanted desires and repressed psychic impulses. Thus Ereshkigal, represents all the raw, instinctual impulses that have been shunned and shoved into the subconscious. Therefore the rage, and ferocity of Ereshkigal, represents what happens to our personality-consciousness if it ignores and suppresses our culturally unwanted psychic material; the oppressed and shunned instincts, will leak out in unhealthy and unwanted ways.
Therefore, Ereshkigal will not be ignored. She/the Unconscious, will force us to see the truth about ourselves; no mater how unpleasant. Only by shinning the Light of the Higher Self, into the Dark Crevasses of our Underworld of oppressed instincts, can we find the freedom so necessary to the Divine Self Awareness that is both the "Great Work" and our Whole Self of Inner and Outer Union...."As above, So below" .
The Babylonian Tarot card shows the astrological sign of Scorpio is beneath the enthroned Ereshkigal, ruling over her realm of the dead.
The Thoth Tarot, symbolizes
this trans-formative process as a scythe, a harvesting tool that is
also a symbol for Time. Time is under the control of Saturn-Binah, the
giver and destroyer of Life who is Illustrated in this card is the sweeping
scythe, harvesting souls, and leaving the trans formative bubbles of new life in
its wake; all of which, support this analogy of life giving and life
The skeleton is the frame work that holds the organs
and can be seen as a seed of the body as the minerals that are
attributed to bone are the "seeds" of organic forms.
astrological sign attributed to Death-key13 is Scorpio, a
trans-formative sign of three symbolic images, the Scorpion, the Serpent
and the Eagle. Thus, we have the transformation of a dangerous
earth-crawling creature, to a serpent which symbolizes the Astral Light,
weaving its way upward to become an Eagle (behind and above the figures
head) that sours above all heads. All of which are represented in the
Thoth Deck Tarot Card as movement. Movement being seen as
change/transformation, which is the skeletal pattern of the Universe.
For it is only by constant change can entropy be overcome.
The term "Dark night of the Soul" refers to the
darkness of unknowing, where the psyche is striped of the desire nature
of the personality. This leaves a dreadful emptiness, almost a complete
disinterest in everything.
upon experiencing these Three
Paths of the Dark Night, The Devil, Art and Death, there was left only a
thought of despair repeating over and over again, abolishing any other
desire or thought. It was, " I can't be YOU, You must be me." (click on dark masked figure for further Death info}
Higher Self responded to that outcry, by sending my " skeletal awareness"
directly to the Great Mother Binah, who then broke down and reassembled
the Personality into that of the Divine Child, and I awoke as the "Will
to Be" and/or the Desire of the Great Mother of Form. This inner falling
into the abyss, is a very hard journey to explain and it requires one
not to be concerned with living or dying. As one reenters the Womb of Creation itself, one becomes a mechanical
motion, pushing ahead with great faith, as Life's processes have no
value one still mechanically crawls towards the Higher Self. Moving
forward in a total darkness, inch by inch, the Soul (Psyche) begins the
process of "putrefaction", believing, but not always so sure, that there
will be light that will eventually appear and lead the way.
It was a
Red dot of light
that appeared to me out of indescribable
darkness....The Great Red Binah in her blood red attire. A purifying Blood Red- Force of resurrection,
Bathed me, \Loved me/resurrected me (indescribable ecstasy) and sent me back down the
Tree into Tiphareth and the Fiery Light of the Higher Self.
Divine Child (Perspective of Divine Self) always a Divine Child....somehow bathed in sensuality, we've forgotten that, and
thus disinherited ourselves by giving our Soul-personality up and becoming a
cultural man-made personality out of fear of pain/punishment.
The term "Dark Night of the Soul" was first coined by St. John of the Cross where he said."...although
this happy night brings darkness to the spirit, it does so only to give
it light in everything; and that, although it humbles it and makes it
miserable, it does so only to exalt it and to raise it up; although it
impoverishes it and empties it of all natural affection and attachment,
it does so only that it may enable it to stretch forward, divinely, and
thus to have fruition and experience all things, both above and below".
Upon conquering the Path of Nun
, the Soul built personality is reconstructed as the Personality of the Higher Self, and the emptied brain is filled with the Primary Imagination...The will to form and
the Understanding of the Great "Womb with a view".
Scorpio rules the sex organs. Thus this Death Card,
represents a Sexual energy, a reproductive energy which is consciously
directed in a physical exercises such as that of Tantra, or that of
Crowley's Middle Pillar
, an activity best represented by
Crowley's Death Card. The initiate is now following the "Path of the
Flaming Sword" , which is both destructive and constructive and not for
the weak of character or for those who fear death, as shown by trying
to dominate others before they can "eat you".
The Key 13 Death Card, during a reading, suggests:
Time, Age and transformation.
- Rarely does it symbolize physical death
and only if borne out by the accompanying cards.
- For the Querent, this
is the Principle of letting go, and moving on.
- A rebirth out of Old
- A type of transitional metamorphosis which destroys the
something old to build the something new.
- A Realization of Life Power
as it is released from past confines and revitalized by change and
Thank you for your interest, comments and supportive donations. May you live long and prosper!
When this card is thrown it means that we are
eliminating what is no longer in service. giving up your sense of self
to a feeling of merging with another or The Greater Self who is both life-death.
We are pruning and composing. This is a brief, so for more information
Email <firstname.lastname@example.org>.Thank you for your interest,
your comments and your supportive donations. May you live long and