The Thoth Deck Key 11-Lust, is represented in many decks, as the Strength-key-8 card. Crowley believe that there is far more truth and magick in the title of Lust.
Upon viewing the 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 is balance both vertically and horizontally. Crowley judged Lust to be a more expansive term than Strength because Lust implies not only Strength but 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 of Hermetic Qabalah get: THE BOOK OF THOTH (Egyptian Tarot) by Master Theron (Crowley) where the lascivious poetry and passionate prose, start a fire in your imagination. Some of Crowley's work may confuse your reason, for this card cannot be understood by rationale thought, hence it must be felt in your guts as a burning passion, to be understood as "I AM".
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 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 implies the creative and primitive order of energy that is completely independent of the criticism of reason and known as the 4th stage of Woman: Maid, Mother, Crone and Harlot.
The Thoth Deck Lust card portrays the Will of the Aeon. 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).
The Thoth Deck LUST card, key-11, replaces the STRENGTH, card which is Key-8, in the Golden Dawn, Connolly Tarot, Ryder-Waite, Jungian, Babylonian and many other Tarot Decks. So it may be confusing when I 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" as Two, "Am" who then Join to become One Passion that creates All, i.e. the Active and Passive Motive force of Kundalini, and/or of Lion-Serpent/Electromagnetic Energy Spectrum;I AM. 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, vibratory strings of Vital Fiery Force. Thus, Lust, represents where active and passive forces come together, and therefore 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 Original Will controls the Vital Life Energy by combining "Higher Law" with "Lower law". 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 Key 8-Strength Tarot Card) and not some mad hater personality, that can't even control its own thought. Do you know that you create thought, as the first material of manifestation? Therefore, you can't be "thought of" by consciousness, your place of origin is in the Divine Whore!
I would recommend that one Skry the Thoth card only after one is capable of holding a one- thought or image focus during an entire meditation! For, any Psyche that Touches the Lust OF The Great Father/Mother (Divine Creative), will be profoundly charged, changed, and expanded beyond comfortable perspectives, all of which can be dangerous to the balance of our delicate persona. To meet the Scarlett Woman, is to meet your death as a persona, and reincarnation as a "Christos" or Son/ of the Divine Creative. Remembering that Son is not a statement of Sex, but a statement of the "Golden Child", will help you avoid the concept of sexual superiority.
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". For this "Bad boy" is not just for any rodeo rider, it is the Roar of the "Big Bang", that started it all! It is the "Lust To Be", and if that power dances around in your "chamber of horrors", life becomes a "Daymare" of the Night, filled with the Monster Children of a fear besotted mind.
There is another reason 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 in 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), and the ancient Hermetic Greek Rites of Orgy, all of which I recommend the interested party research. As Mostaffa Jahaladine Rumi, the 12th century Sufi Master Stated in his devotional poetry, "...I Want the Burning!"From the Free Encyclopedia-Wikipedia: Ancient orgia
Main article: Orgia
In ancient Greek religion, orgia (ὄργια, sing. ὄργιον, orgion) were ecstatic rites characteristic of the Greek and Hellenistic mystery religions. Unlike public religion, or the private religious practices of a household, the mysteries were open only to initiates, and were thus "secret". Some rites were held at night. Orgia were part of the Eleusinian Mysteries, the Dionysian Mysteries, and the cult of Cybele, which involved the castration of her priests in a frenzied trance. Because of their secret, nocturnal, and unscripted nature, the orgia were subject to prurient speculation and regarded with suspicion, particularly by the Romans, who attempted to suppress the Bacchanals in 186 BC. Orgia are popularly thought to have involved sex, but, while sexuality and fertility were cultic concerns, the primary goal of the orgia was to achieve an ecstatic union with the divine.
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 Divine Whore is married to no-man, but is lover of all that is man.
The Christian word "Whore" is a bastardization of the Greek word, Hetacrate (meaning female companion) or Horae, who acted as midwives to the Greek Gods and inspired earthly horae ( harlot-priestesses) to train men in the Sexual Mysteries.
The temple dance, still called the Hora, was based on the Priestesses imitation of the zodiacal circling of "hours". Hence, Horology is Time keeping, because of the systems devised by the ancient Temple Priestesses of the Goddess. The Horae were call the "fair ones, begetter of all things who in appointed order, bring on day and night, summer and winter, so as to months and years grow full." These "fair ones" had many names: The Tantric word for sacred harlot was Veshya (Mahanirvanatantra, 328), probably derived from the Divine Creatrix's oldest names in Greece and Rome, Hestia or Vesta, "the hearth mother" who was served by Vestal Virgins who were originally harlot-priestesses. Then, "Hearth" and "Earth" both arose from the altar of the Saxon Goddess Ertha, or Heartha, the northern Hestia-Vesta. In fact, in the matriarchal age, every woman's hearth-fire was her altar. The hearth was also the omphalos (Orphic egg), (Potter & Sargent, 201) feminine hub of the Universe, and the navel-stone of the temple, around which the sacred harlots performed their Dance of Time.
In Egypt the sacred harlots were the "Ladies of the Hour", in Persia houris, in Babylon harines; among Semites they were the "whores" call hor (a hole), ancestresses of the Horites. One of the Greatest of Hermetic Secrets is shown on the Thoth Lust Card. Here She holds the menstrual blood of cleansing (the Red Grail), that purifies the Original Identity, that is hidden by "persona", by removing all that is not worthy of Her "Lust". The Soul is therefore Naked, reincarnated and free of man-made ideas of spirit. For Spirit is the Supreme Identity, and all of us are Spirit, no matter how many masks (persona) we wear, Spirit made man, and not visa verse. Therefore we are burdened with "ideas of Spirituality", masks of "goodness" which separate us from our Original Identity, that no man can "think of", let alone create. Here one Knows: I Am not good, I Am not bad; I AM!
Ishtar ( pronounced-Easter), the Mesopotamian creatrix, was considered the "Great Whore of Babylon",(Briffault 3, 169) who announced, "A prostitute compassionate am I." Mary Magdalene, Priestess of the Temple of Mari in King Salomon's court (Malvern,49) stated, " Not only are we compassionate of ourselves, but we are compassionate of all the race of mankind."
These ancient harlots, were revered for their learning and often commanded high social status and were considered the embodiment of the Queen of Heaven, who in Palestine was called Qadeshet, the Great Whore; therefore the harlots were honored like queens at centers of learning in Greece and Asia Minor. Noteworthy, is the empress Theodora, wife of Justinian, who began her career as a temple harlot (Bullough, 125). St. Helena, the mother of Constantine, was a harlot before she was called an empress-saint by the ancient Church, in order to encourage favor with her many followers .
Yet the Whore of Babylon, the Fiery Feminine Divine Creative, is not "any man's" companion, as she is "every-man's". She is the Mother of the Solar-Son or " Purifying Fire of Vital Life Force" known as the "serpent force".
The Jungian Tarot Card, STRENGTH-the daughter as collector of experience. Represents the original Anima, or female aspect of the Lover card, separated out just as the Feminine Aspect of the Magician card is the High Priestess.
The Daughter, is the consort of the original Man-Animus (illustrated in the upper right corner). Therefore, she is the consort of all Animus, in all of Us. Hence, the Whore, as she is married to "no man" and yet is consort to all Men.
Together, The Anima and Animus will produce a son in manifestation...the human conscious. Hence the pattern of Mother/Father/Son is repeated over and over again in Hermetic cosmology.
This "balance of opposites", psychologically, is the integration of the Divine Collective Unconscious and Consciousness, taking place on the many levels of consciousness we know as Sephira on the Qabalisitic Tree of Life. This encounter of consciousness (candle light) and unconsciousness (water). The Union of the Royal Couple-Son/conscious and Daughter/Unconsciousness takes place as a cyclic "dance", over and over again, getting more and more subtle until the Consciousness returns to the Original State as represented by the Fool Tarot Card.
The medieval symbol for the Sign of Leo (Sun), is the Lion, seen under the resting hand of the Daughter. Many nineteenth century commentators expanded this concept of Lion, to mean to mean "gentle and fearless" control of the sexual currents, and/or Kundalini/serpent force. Hence, innocence holding enormous sexual power under control, appropriately explains this card.
The sun is at her breast, and the Moon resides at her feet, with starry sky above, all of which represents the "Woman of the Apocalypse". Therefore, she is also the Whore of Babylon, which is sexuality unbridled (no bridle on the Lion) which can be violent, brutal and even dangerous. Many a fragile persona has suffered some sort of trauma when meeting the "Babylon" for it requires a willingness to accept the fact that beneath the most innocence human persona/facade, resides brutality and barbarism. It is often hard for those of Man-Made Christian religions, to understand that underneath the Virgin, lies the Dark one. Hence, the Virgin Mari also hides, by her brightness, the Dark Mari. Light is but a mask, that hides much with it's brilliance.
What really "takes the cake", is that one must stop trying to "be God" (always trying to be "good") in order for God to be them. Surrender must be absolute, and this is only achieved by accepting our failure "to be good". For we cannot invent god/good, the objective of religion and then try and be that ever elusive concept, for we are already a Self-invention of the Divine Creative (image of...), who examines itself by Being Me! The One knows that, "Everyone I see is another way to be me" and so must we.
Mundanely, never does a fish in the ocean,looking for water, seem intelligent! Therefore, a man trying to be "god", is such a fishy fool, for all that is; is of the One Energy;One Mind, experiencing Itself as All, this includes all of us. "I can never be All, but the All can be me", is how I describe surrender. For as a consciousness of collective experiences, I cannot invent the Divine Collective Unconscious, of which I am born of! This is also the Arcane message of the Chariot Card, hidden in the golden glow of the Solar Armor.
When the Lust card is thrown during a reading, it means:
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