Tarot Card Comparisons: The Thoth Tarot, key 15- The Devil and the Babylonian Tarot, key 15-The Devil/Lamastu
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Thoth Tarot & comparisons

Tarot Card Comparisons: The Thoth Tarot, key 15- The Devil and the Babylonian Tarot, key 15-The Devil/Lamastu

The Tarot of EliThoth Key 15- THE DEVIL.
The difference between a comedy and a tragedy is that in a comedy the characters figure  out reality in time to do something about it.
--Bennett W. Goodspeed
The Universal Principle of mirth combined with stability. The Thoth Devil card has gone through a transformation within itself. Greek Mythology described the half-goat, half-man, as Pan the Sensual god of Merriment which also later became the god Bacchus of merriment and wine.

In Egyptian mythology, this was Ra, a sun deity symbol of Life Force and Energy. During the middle ages, the Christian inquisitional backlash to the panistic cults caused the Devil image to be created. The Christian propaganda campaign continued onward for many years, allowing myriads of demons, and devils to be created by imaginative monks, all in hopes of scaring the mundane back into the "fold" (coffers) of the Church. 
Interestingly, the Devil spelled backwards is Lived, and shows the obvious reason for this backlash-propaganda against "living-it-up" which was considered hedonism.  According to man-made theology, we must now consider the body a burden, that Nature somehow imposed on us down trodden immortal-Souls, and that the resulting sensuality is improper and a shame unto god. As if god/The Divine Creative, doesn't know what it wants!

 All superstitious nonsense aside, the Devil/Pan archetype represents the need to face whatever "bedevils" us. It reminds us to handle life from a place of humor which gives us the sure footedness of a goat  ( Capricorn) and the humor of Pan (the smiling goat). To avoid the ensnarement of fear (the web image of spider like veils)  we must hold on to our sense of humor, mirth and stability which centers us when we face real or imagined problems. It's okay to laugh in a traffic jam!

Capricorn, the goat, is able and willing to look at internal issues (third eye) and external bedevilment with both eyes wide open and focused straight ahead.

The Egyptian Eye of Horus staff represents our vision and intuition that  protects us from peer pressure and other peoples reaction to our creative motion. Busy bodies can't hold a candle to self-knowledge---they have none that is why they try to do everyone else! It's okay to smile at Myna birds, they just mimic intelligence, so stop taking them serious.

The male figures and female figures represent the creative power ability to combine male -electric and female-magnetic forces within our natures to create unlimited self possibilities.

Mirth allows us to be able to break the bondage of self-definition supplied by culture, society, media, theology and peers.  The Mirthful creator identifies Himself/Herself and therefore, you, ("created in god's own image") are free to define yourself as you will. This is the Freedom of Choice is called I Am Me. Creation is always about polarities, i.e. the Law of attraction and resonance.

The rings of Saturn are seen at the top of the card, as Saturn rules the sign of Capricorn.

When the Thoth Devil card is thrown:

  • It reminds us to stop struggling for truth amid  seeming contradictions.
  • We must accept the presence of paradox and realize our own truth.
  • Celebrate life, laugh. play, and dance upon the Earth---Why else create a sensual body ? 
  • To own the brain, rather than have it bedevil the Psyche.

On the Qabalistic Tree of Life, The Devil-Key 15: The Path of Ayin, connects the Sephiroth of the Solar Logos-Tiphareth, with the Sephiroth- Hod, which is the sphere of Mercury and intellect.

The Path of Ayin (meaning Eye, a symbol used for the Divine "I"), is the Twenty-sixth Path and is formative. In the terms of Self structure, it is the bridge between The Personality and individuality. As I have stated before, the Solar Logos, is the Original Personality of the Divine Child of God, i.e. the Son/Sun.

Note: this is not a sexual description of a species, which is a definite propaganda misdirection, rather it is an Energetic one, For the Christianized "Son of God" (Jesus Christ is an Latin derivative of the Greek Zeus Christos/ Sun of Zeus) is about the Solar Logos; a Sun that sends "solar flares" (Divine Yod/spirit Energy) outward as individual expressions of It's own Self (individual selves or Personalities); from Self into selves that circumnavigate, through the many myriad of  experiences of self-awareness back to Self, i.e. from Tiphareth to Malkuth and back up the Tree to Tiphareth again. [Spirit, is Divine Spiral Energy that is intelligent, and Willed.]
The Hebrew letter Ayin means-Eye and is a simple letter that also means-Mirth. This double meaning  may invite confusion; However, rest assured, that this Path of Ayin is one of the most difficult for western people to understand, for interpretation flies in the face of Christian cultural definitions that have been applied to the Devil. 

In Barbra G. Walker's Book [ THE WOMAN'S ENCYCLOPEDIA OF MYTHS AND SECRETS] which has been honored by the London Times Educational supplement as 1986 "Book of the Year", the provenance of the word devil is noted as Persian. She states." The Words "devil" and "divinity" grew from the same root, Indo-European devi (Goddess) or deva (God), which became daeva (devil) in Persian. Old English divell (devil) can be traced to the Roman derivative divus, divi, meaning gods. Thus it seems that, from the beginning, gods and devils were often confused with one another.  Therefore we know that confusion is the fate of propaganda and the art of rule. She goes on to explain such enlightening scholarship that I highly recommenced this book to anyone who seeks an honest education.

There is another fact here that may hide from reason, and that is the combination of the words Devi (Goddess)and Lingam (Male phallus), is Divya Linga ( Sanskrit word for Divine- lingam)  and has also been interpreted by propagandists of Christian past, as the word Devil,which actually bespeaks of the "Son of God" as the Solar Phallus and/or a Star ejaculating its energy. Much to study here as most of our "knowledge" is propaganda based misconstructions!

To the Qabalist, the Devil is not viewed as an evil entity (lived spelled backward), having its own god-like existence, as it represents a special mystery (Arcana) that must be experienced and understood before we can hope to directly know the Higher Self.

The Devil is the intelligence that is Master of Manifest form (the Survival Mind), which we meet on the Path of Ayin, and must face and conquer. However, the conquering is not one of brutality.
As an analogy, just look at this cute dirty dog, the dog represents a "survival mind" and it doesn't discern what is "dirt" (a euphemism for "bad thoughts") and what is not. Would you beat it for getting "dirty'? Not if you are a sane person with an empathetic heart. Truth is you'd bathe it, after it is done "playing in the dirt and mud of existence". The Soul should do the same for the "animal mind" of the human body!  The Path of Ayin, takes the traveler into an understanding that we are entering  a transition between the intellect of mortal consciousness (individual conscious) and true spiritual immortal conscious.

Three Paths lead directly into Tiphareth: THE DEVIL (key 15), ART (key 14 called Temperance in Golden Dawn and Babylonian Decks), and DEATH (key 13). Now each of these paths represents a special trial for the initiate; However, each student is not required to travel all three Paths.
  1. One way to experience Path Travel is  the Devotional Path of the Middle Pillar, where one need only experience the Path of Samekh (meaning- Prop) or the Art Card-key 14 (Temperance in other decks), leading from Yesod (Foundation ) to Tiphareth (Beauty). This is more of a gentle path of the Mystics  and demands less mental and emotional will from the Student.
  2. The Magi's way of following each and every Path, means the acquisition of control over Forces which each Path symbolizes: every Path confers a unique power ( "magical abilities"). A Magus is an active Force of Creation, rather than just a Passive one. The difference here, is that the Traveler of the Middle Path does learn to balance and understand within the Self, the forces of  the twenty-two Paths, but realizing these conceptual states of conscious energy does not necessarily develop the ability to manipulate them, which is an art necessary in the development of  a "discerning Sun of God Personality"; the Spiritual purpose for the human body! Manipulating the forces and forms of the physical dimension of Self-Awareness (Elements), is precisely the purpose of I-magi-nation's ("Womb with a view") claim to the human form!

Now I know, that some students of the Occult (hidden mysteries) enter into the studies seeking a type of "Raw Power", hoping to control others and circumstances to avoid pain and "doing unto others before they can do unto them" (Survival mind). Such misinformed students soon learn that if such Power is acquired and then misused, there is a devastating price to pay. So there is no question that for the timid, and doubtful, the Middle Path is much safer than facing and conquering the temptations of the Magical Path.

THE DEVIL represents Raw Power (Mars), it is the Force that brings about the transmutation of THE TOWER (key 16) and is in the sign of Capricorn (also shown as the Goat on the card), which is where Mars is exalted. 

Capricorn, is a weighty, even blind sign of Earth and symbolizes the highest and lowest states of individual  personality. Yet it is considered a sign of initiation, or release from matter formed limitations. These material limitations are suggested by the astrological ruler-ship of Capricorn by Saturn, the Planet of Binah, The Great Mother that governs the limitations of form, as does the influence of Saturn. These limitations are of both the enclosure of matter or of time, the artificial system by which we meter and enclose all activities, and our own self definitions.

Thus, THE DEVIL also represents the average person's misconception of "reality"; a perceptive belief  that the material-sensual condition is "Real". The Qabalist knows the physical-material world as the "1%" world, and realizes that the other invisible  "99%"  (often called "the other side of the Mirror") is the Real.
The misconception of reality is symbolized in two ways on the Thoth DEVIL card;
  1. The smirking mouth and,
  2.  the Goat represents the humorous figure of the childhood nemesis the "Bogey Man"  (Christianized devil image of the survival minds fear of the "enemy", a propaganda imagined vision of a "War based" slave society).

The Thoth Card then emphasizes the knowledge that our belief in the illusion of matter, i.e.mortality, (Matter is only .4% visible as our bodies are 99.6% space!) is actually laughable to us "Suns of the Divine Creative" and/or immortal Psyche/Soul, while implying that laughter and a humorous approach to our lives is a tool which will help our consciousness to transcend the illusion of "seeing it to believe it" and becoming "Knowing it by Being it".

The Christians didn't invent the concept of "the enemy", for the enemy was a common superstitious belief in destructive god's, who had it out for "mankind". These gods latter became diseases, natural disasters or genetic problems of our century and we have found out that by eating, thinking and establishing healthy practices, we can avoid many of these "demons".

The Babylonian Tarot, key-15, The Devil/ Lamastu depicts one of the earliest recorded "death goddesses", Lamastu (Sumerian-Dimme) who was one of the most feared entities in the Babylonian Pantheon.  This Demi-goddess and daughter of Anu was known to do evil for the pure pleasure of doing it, unlike most demons who were neutral and only followed the commands of gods.

The bogey concept is also shown here, as Lamastu was particularly fond of doing evil to children. She was held responsible for causing miscarriages, and crib death among infants. However, adults were also her prey, as she was also responsible for diseases and nightmares.  As a mater of fact, one of her epitaphs was "one who erases", which is exactly what the Soul does to the errant data of the personality. Therefore, it has been determined, that the Babylonian Lamastu was the prototype for the succubus and vampire legends, and a entertaining example of how much our mortal self, who fears the "unknown" and calls it "enemy", fears the unimaginable immortal Self.
The Card of Lamastu, is show with the astrological sign of Capricorn.  Lamastu is portrayed as having the head of a lioness, the ears and teeth of a donkey, the feet of an eagle, a hairy body, naked breasts and blood stained hands with long claws. Definitely a Banshee (Celtic equivalent of Lamastu) like terror form. A piglet and a dog suckle from her breasts and in her hands she holds deadly serpents. This image of serpents, also is reminiscent of the Hindu Naga, a mythical race of beings who were both destructive and at some times beneficial to mankind. On the Babylonian Card, along with the Donkey symbol, is also depicted the boat in which Lamastu used to sail along the "river" of the underworld.  

In Babylon, women often wore amulets sporting the sigil of another demon-Pazuzu who was the "evil wind demon", bitter enemy of Lamastu and therefore in this case, benevolent to mankind ("enemy of my enemy", kind of friendship) as he had the power to chase Lamastu back to her lair.

Mirth is the first great corrective and helps us not to take our perceptions of the material world seriously, which only means "fearfully".  It pays to noted that the Survival Mind of the animal, is our Devilish tempter that tricks us into believing we are as Moons who are at the mercy of Forces rather than the Magus (The Sun) who manipulates them.
As stated, the Devil card is called the Path of Ayin (eye) on the Tree of Life and connects Hod (Splendor) with Tiphareth (Beauty).  It is to be noted, that the Sephiroth (numbered circles) are objective intelligent STATES OF ENERGY, while the Paths are subjective states of intelligent energy.

One primary statement of the Path of Ayin (meaning-Eye or "I") is that the ignorant, superstitious person, sees the world in an "upside down" vision. Therefor the upside down pentagram is an occult symbol associated with the Devil. The Qabalist knows that "all things were from One by the meditation of One," [from the Emerald Tablet] stating the obvious, that there is nothing in the Universe that isn't of The One Divine Creative, including the bogey of the indoctrinated ignorant, the "Enemy" or Devil.

As stated , the Christian concept of the Devil is from the word Devi meaning goddess,  the "will to form" and is a rather obvious attempt at the misogynistic propaganda of the Patriarchal (military war based god) religions. If one has any education at all, one knows that the womb is the place of Form, not the male semen, which is analogous to pollen, if you will, and is but a source. And without the womb, semen will never become form. Therefore, the Divine Creative is both  Womb and Phallus and/or Form and Force! 

The Qabalah is all about states of energy known as "Force and Form", what is masculine is considered Force (electric) and what is feminine is considered Form (Magnetic) which is much more viable with today's biological and scientific knowledge. 

The intelligent state of energy known as Devil has also been called the "Prince of the Powers of Air", implying that this energy state is meditating in the flow of the Astral currents. In this context, Air is understood to be the whole of Yetsirah, the Astral Plane, which controls the ebb and flow of matter. (illustration from Robert Wang's Text book---The Qabalistic Tarot).

The ability to reverse the ebb and flow of Astral light, requires meditation, intellect and discipline, all of which are achieved by conquering the Path of Ayin. One must begin this process of discipline with the intellect of Hod, traversing into the intuition of Tiphareth,the Christ or Buddha state of intelligent energy. Even the scriptures talk of Christ's  passage through the temptations of the Devil, i.e. his own illusions brought on by matter.

By now, you may recall that THE DEVIL is Saturn in Capricorn, which brings up an interesting point. The Ancients stated that "Saturn eats its own children", (As depicted by Goya's Famous Saturn painting of Saturn devouring its own children, a metaphor for time) meaning that for Spirit ( I AM), illusion of form (Me) is necessary to produce the material form, and that the dissolution of these forms (Me) is essential to the Path of Return.

To the Alchemist dissolution means analysis, which is the precise application of separating the component forces of ourselves and our universe into twenty-two paths on the Tree of Life. The next part of the process is reintegrating these forces through the understanding of their operation. Eliphas Levi called THE DEVIL--The Path of Ayin---the"Great Magical Agent", this is a process of manipulation as, to dissolve, to consolidate, to quicken, to moderate,i.e. dissolution, re-integration, activity, and grounding.  Thus we have the same qualities as described to Fire, Water, Air and Earth.
Once again we understand The Devil to represent the "score of the forms and appearance of relative existence", a description supplied  in various Mystery Tests. Another ancient description is that the Devil is "Lord of the Gates of Matter and Child of the Forces of Time," which indicates a phallic energy state, Lord being husbandry, as the gateway to form is Yoni or Womb. Thus you will observe the stylized phallus and testes on the Thoth Deck Tarot Card, that is both the back drop and support of the Goat figure that represents the old god Pan. The testes are also seen as supporting human shaped white figures.

As one can see, there is represented an understanding of the intercourse of Forces and Form, that attributes to the understanding that "God is sex". In truth, The Creator, who is One that is Two, knew that It needed a mirror to see itself---------the material world is that which reflects from the mirror of consciousness. The I AM can only be aware of Itself, as a Me, a  self-reflection.

What the understanding of The Devil card produces in us , is the knowledge that the illusion of Form, is the same as the illusion of mirror reflections, its all reflected backwards and not a true, direct state of Being. Turn your mind around, and know that you are a Spirit who owns a body (which is a power tool for discernment), and not a body that is seeking Spirit. The analogy that I like to use when describing the common perspective, is that of a "fish in the ocean, seeking water". Not only is this a accurate description for a body seeking spirit, it is also a mirthful one that describe the illusion of form, as the fish-form can be stated as "The Ocean experiencing itself".

  • When the Devil card is thrown during a reading of tarot:
  • The querent is experiencing states of materiality, and/or material force.
  • Temptation of the flesh,sometimes obsession,  all associate with the "Trickster" god images of the past which is the principle of mirth.
  • The querent may experience humor over their material circumstances, or over what "bedevils" them.
  • The advice is to view your emotions humorously, which will free you from the illusion of their seriousness.
  • There is a warning here, that even the best of intentions, maybe wrong. Accept the presence of paradox and realize your own truth.
Thank you for your interest, comments and supportive donations. May you live long and prosper!

2 Comments to Tarot Card Comparisons: The Thoth Tarot, key 15- The Devil and the Babylonian Tarot, key 15-The Devil/Lamastu:

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I AM MEAN on Tuesday, April 28, 2015 4:05 AM

Funny, I actually hoped to see this card done after reading The Art Saturday. Lucky me. More humor, I actually didn't intend to read it. At least not this soon. Though apparently, my hunger for knowledge surpassed my desire for sleep. I am not disappointed either. Such great, useful knowledge! My greatest appreciation has got to be the two different Tree of Life diagrams above. Thank you.

One question, what does one do when one finds paradoxes within themself? Sure it's funny, but it also makes it hard to discern what one truely wants in life.

While I work out this addiction in my horrible time management skills, may you live long and prosper! With hearty laughs.

Reply to comment
Eli on Tuesday, April 28, 2015 10:15 AM
Thank you for your intense interest and comments. We are paradoxes, that is how we become manifest. Mortality, is Immortality, viewing itself, which is Truth, lying to itself, so it can know itself---sounds paradoxical to me! Just laugh at the paradoxes and do what feels right at the moment. What is Truly wanted in life, is not a conscious rational choice, you have to go inward to find that answer, as you are the Life (Spirit), who makes the alive (bodies) want. We can never escape paradoxes when we who are Self, build form as ourselves. May you live long and prosper!

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