Tarot Card Comparisons: The Thoth Qabalistic Tarot Key 13-Death & The Connolly Tarot-Key 13- Transition
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Thoth Tarot & comparisons

Tarot Card Comparisons: The Thoth Qabalistic Tarot Key 13-Death & The Connolly Tarot-Key 13- Transition

The Tarot of EliThe Qabalistic Thoth Tarot-Key 13-Death.

1st law of thermodynamics (physics) "There is only one energy that cannot be created nor destroyed but only transformed."

What we 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 [Book of Thoth]: " 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 which represent three stages of transformation and/ or death and rebirth stages:

  1. The scorpion represents that part of ourselves that is willing to protect , and move away from conditions which cause pain and hurt. Letting go.
  2. The snake sheds old skin in order to rebuild anew and grow. This reminds us that in order to transform old identities, we must be willing to let go of the old and move on.
  3. 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 liberate Life!

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/dancing skeleton).
The 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.

The initiated personality 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! It may seem harsh or cold to those who fear death, that one doesn't suffer over the loss of a loved one, but the Higher Personality knows death as a transformer of personal consciousness, and therefore celebrates death as a growth process of the Soul that "I AM". Often, those who are lucid on the Astral will accompany the dying, in transition to the "other side of the Mirror" and show them a more lucid, less frightening and powerful way to "die", thus establishing a transition that will transform that personality which may be reincarnated again.
To aid those in transition, the initiate's personality must be able to leave the body and consciously travel the astral planes, without fear.

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 aids me in trusting the dissolution of my consciousness, as a transition towards re-birthing my original soul identity, purified of illusion and deception, such as, fear of being alone, abandonment, fear of pain, fear of discomfort, fear of rejection, fear of vulnerability, fear of change etc, which are all forms of "fear of Death". 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.

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 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 (Identity) "dies" to the invisible or "inner world", just as the personality transitions from the outer world back into the inner world at physical death; However if one has an Identity on both sides of the mirror (Inner and outer world),  "I AM Spirit" rather than "I am seeking to be more spiritual", one does not  "sleep" in death and "walks" in awareness from one body to another. The One energy Transforms itself by the process of perspective changes; of energy identity phases. From one phase of "I AM Me"/Being to another.

The Personality constructed consciousness of the mundane, is indeed extinguished in the Unconscious causing a period of "forgetful sleep". Often a transition into unconscious before the recomposed consciousness exits the Higher Self again and produces another operative artifice known as personality  that is used to operate another material form.

The exception to this recycling process, is when the consciousness and Unconscious are in a balanced union of daily communication, then the consciousness accompanies and thus carries the personality (accumulated environmental data) through the familiar unconscious state, 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 Matter, i.e. the illusions of senses, that the Personality experiences on the physical plane. These illusions or delusions 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 transfers from body to body by Personal union with the Awakened Soul. The Psyche is very practical and therefore uses the most expedient and functional software, to operate the wet-ware of the human form. In other words, the Psyche "doesn't fix what isn't broke"! Therefore, any personality that knows the Soul, knows "itself", and in so doing, it can't become "unknown"!

The Great Work, is Life itself as a Wholeness; a collective, not a divisionism of separates, all trying to prove themselves to a Creator, who 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 approved into being.

Life is breath. The Greek word Spiro (Breath), 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.

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  Thoth 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, as a fish is the child of the Ocean. Thus Nun is not Death itself, rather Nun is the keeper of the Gateway into Transformation. Roughly, this states that the "first matter", thought belongs to the Psyche, which 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 manifested conscious reality.

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 was Inanna, the Sumerian Venus, in her journey into the Underworld : Check out Wikipedia-Inanna; Illustration is Inanna by deHarm), as decided by the Higher Self, and then sent back down the Tree into your Malkuth-body  transformation. In Transformation, the perspectives of the Personality change from reality to the Real perspectives of the Great Work. Therefore, 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!

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.

The Thoth Deck card 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 Illustrated in this card is the sweeping scythe, harvesting souls, and the trans-formative bubbles of new life in its wake; all of which, support this analogy of life giving and life destroying.
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.

 As before stated, the astrological sign attributed to Death-key 13 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/evolution, which is the skeletal pattern of the Universe. For it is only by constant change can entropy be overcome by evolution.

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 and death means nothing. When one looks from the Immortal, mortality means only change.

Personally, 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."     The Higher Self responded to that by sending my " skeletal awareness" directly to the Great Mother Binah, who then broke down and reassembled the Personality into that of the Original Divine Child, and I awoke as the "Will to Be" and/or the "Will to Form" of the Great Mother of Form.

This  falling into the "inner" abyss, is a very hard journey to explain and it requires one not to be concerned with living or dying.  When 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.

I was a Red dot of light that appeared to be me out of indescribable darkness....The Great Red Binah, surrounded by all the experiences of the Red Psyche/Soul child of her creation. The purifying Force of resurrection, a stripping transition that remove all that was unworthy of Her Child, bathed me, \Loved me (indescribable ecstasy)  and sent me back down the Tree into Tiphareth and the Fiery Light of the Higher Self. 

Once a Divine Child always a Divine Child...somehow we've forgotten that, and thus disinherited ourselves by giving our personality up to fear of pain and becoming a cultural personality out of fear of punishment from the enslavers.

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".

Mars rules Scorpio, 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.
The Connolly Tarot-Key 13-Transition,
focuses on the saintly quality of death/transition. Here we have a saintly young man, dressed in the green robe of matter, while wearing the purple cloak of protection and generosity. He is stepping out of the darkness of a man-made personality into the light of Higher Self.  His soul has protect his transition and brought him into the light of benevolent change.

The swirling force of transition is beneath his feet and his child like qualities of wonder and innocence  are being purified, alone with intention, by the power of transition.
The white roses of purity are before him, while the Child of the Divine, is before him, holding the skying bowl  in which to see his purified future.

The Key words to this card are: TOTAL CHANGE.

The Death Card or Transition 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 conditions. 
  • 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 regeneration.
  • 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.

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

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