Tarot card comparisons: The Qabalistic Thoth Tarot-Key 14- Art & The Jungian Tarot-Temperance- the conciliatory daughter
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Thoth Tarot & comparisons

Tarot card comparisons: The Qabalistic Thoth Tarot-Key 14- Art & The Jungian Tarot-Temperance- the conciliatory daughter

The Tarot of EliThe Qabalistic Thoth Tarot-Key 14-Art:

In many other Tarot Decks, key 14 is called Temperance, which implies the heating and cooling of forged steel to make a keen, flexible blade or the slow cooling down process of tempering glass. And in a way, this process is also represented by the Thoth Tarot- Art Card's Path of Samekh (meaning -Prop); as it is attributed to the restriction and control over the forces of existence. Master Theron, however, in his book 777, made this comment on the Hebrew letter Samekh: It is "The Womb preserving Life.  Self-control and Self-sacrifice govern the Wheel."
At first, many students find the symbolism of the Thoth Major Arcana  complicated; However, the principle of the Path of Samekh or Art, is to produce a consciously controlled vision that is limited by will.  The purpose of Hermetic, Qabalistic, and Gnostic symbols is to furnish descriptions that most anyone can relate to. They are not remote or really complicated, if you focus on one at a time. In fact most of the symbolic language of the Mysteries, has been superseded by the language of Carl Jung and other psychologists. To Carl Jung, this ability to consciously control Visions, would be called "lucid dreaming", which is known to help the individual correct personality disorders.

Robert Wang goes on to explain, in his text book: THE QABALISTIC TAROT: "It should be added that the Metals described in Alchemical literature are the same as the Seven Chakras of the Hindus, the Seven Planets and the Serphiroth of the Microprosopus [lower seven on the Tree of Life.]. These words have been used as codes over the centuries, meaning seven distinct levels of objective consciousness. Thus when one speaks of a Planet ruling a sign of the Zodiac, what is meant in the relationship of a Sign to a given center of energy both in the Greater Universe and in the Human body." (the brackets are my own explanation).

The Art of awakening these Psycho-dynamic energy Paths in the Human Body, is the Qabalistic initiates goal. "To Know Thyself", is to know the "As above and so below" nature of our Whole Self.


The Art Card, is assigned the sign of Sagittarius, which is ruled by the planet Jupiter, which also is the Planet assigned to the Sephira-Chesed (Wisdom). Here, we should remember that Chesed is the architect of all manifestation, working with the "will to form"and/or "potential to form" of Binah (Understanding).

As explained before, Art-Key 14- is the Twenty Fifth
Qabalistic Path of Samekh, and is an actual physical process;  a arcane mystery for centuries of Gnostic, Mystics, Tantric yogis, Alchemists, and Qabalists that is known as a willed process of directing the communion or interchange of opposite energies. The beginning of this process is begun by the Higher Self; a process which is instituted  in the Sephira-Chesed, the most refined, point of  Microprosopus, to which the Higher Self is central.

Chesed the 4th Sephira-Mercy, is the enacting force (phallus) of the Great Mother Binah's  process of  "will to form"(womb).

Until the initiate accomplices the psycho-physical  alchemical process of the Path of Samekh, the Higher Self (Shown as an androgynous figure on the card) cannot be known to the personality.

Thus the Art of "Spiritual Alchemy" describes this Card and the whole process as a preparation of the Personality, and its physical vehicle, to deal with the Solar Forces (influx of Light) which would devastate a "normal" system.
This tempering is an ongoing process of measuring and testing, instigated by the Higher Self, to see how much the physical body can bear. When properly tempered, and the body can handle the stress of such energy, the arrow is released (Kundalini rises).

Once contacted on the Path of Samekh, the Higher Self will regulate the flow; tempering it so the individual isn't harmed. Often a great jolt of energy, will tell the individual to "back off", and relax.  Because this is a Passionate creative power so overwhelming, it is often described as Divine Anger, which is apt if we realize that anger is for self-motivation, driving one to get off of one's butt and do something. It could be said that Divine Anger is the motivation for Sagittarius to launch his arrow.
All in all, the Art Card key 14, is the consummation of the Divine Marriage, depicted on the Lovers card, Key 6, here the Orgasm of Spiritual Alchemy has been reached.  There is a perfect interchange of forces, as the Red Lion has become white, and the White lion has become Red.The Art card shows Water (consciousness) being poured on Fire (Spirit), and Fire is merged with Water, all within the purified physical vehicle, shown as the Golden Cauldron, i.e. the Master's body.  I would recommend that the discerning student of Hermetic Qabalah, get and read the Text Book, The Qabalistic Tarot by Robert Wang and the Book of Thoth by Aleister Crowley for further explanation of this coded process.

 Leading from Yesod ( foundation) to Tiphareth (beauty), the 25th Path of Samekh is as from Moon (Self-reflection) to Sun (Solar Source); from Personality to the Higher Self.
On this very difficult Path, the very enormity of the Great Work (As above, so below and so below, so above) will be experienced.

On the Qabalistic Tarot path of Samekh, the initiate may experience going through a long dark tunnel, believing ( not knowing) there is Light at the end of it.  This psychic Path of Samekh, The Art card, has been called the Path of "the dark night of the Soul", verifying that this is a Path of trial and temptation.

Samekh, is the Intelligence of Probation, as Paul Foster Case labels it in his text, THIRTY-TWO PATHS OF WISDOM. In various Gnostic texts, it is also called, "Daughter of the Reconcilers, the Bringer Forth of Life." All of these phrases lead us right to the very idea behind this card, which is the Great Mother Binah. Thus, the central figure of this card, is Female. Also, the ruling sign of the Path of Samekh, is Sagittarius,  the Archer, who is also Diana the Huntress, goddess of the Moon.

All of which repeats the principle that with the exception of the FOOL (0), all the figures of the Tarot are Mother Binah (Understanding) and Father Chokma (Wisdom) in different states of Force and Form.
 
Another helpful reference book,VOICE OF ISIS- by Hariette and Homer Curtis describes the Universal Mother (The "Womb with a View") as the "power of bringing forth in humanity the Divine Child or the Christ." This bearing of the Child is us reborn and achieved by conquering the Path of Samekh or The Art of Spiritual Alchemy.

Hence, We are not only to be as Moons, reflections of  personality, but also as the Solar Personality, the Son/Sun, who is the Divine Child, that radiates personality.
Now don't misunderstand, the Art card demonstrates how the experience of rebirth is brought about, which is to say, through the exchange and equilibrium of opposites by spiritual heat, which can only be symbolically described, but it does not demonstrate the birth itself. Therefore, the symbolism presented on the Hermetic  Qabalah's Thoth card, is not to demonstrate a "deep Mystery", rather this symbolism demonstrates how limited and inadequate is our language to describe the process. That is why the Qabalistic Tarot Reader, is not one who thinks that by memorizing descriptions and numbers of the cards they are a Tarot Reader. Rather, it is by skrying, and subjectively "walking the Paths", turning subjective into objective sensation ,i.e. the process of actual experience where one begins to Understand the Tarot.

The Art Card is not nearly so symbolic as some believe, it symbolizes the Alchemical Art where  Fire becomes Water and Water becomes Fire (...."When the male is no longer male and the female, female." : Gnostic Gospel of Thomas). This process is describing an actual event/process that happens in the initiates material body, i.e. an actual physical transformation. Thus we have illustrated on this card a Androgynous figure, combining the Water (consciousness with Lightning or Fiery Spirit) creating in the Golden Cistern (the Human body) what is known as the Living Water and/or consciousness vivified by merging with Fiery/bright and warm Spirit.  By bringing uninterrupted Spirit into the body, Spirit's fiery nature not only tempers the consciousness, one also tempers the Spirit with consciousness, thus forming "something more than the sum of its parts" with the addition of sensual discernment. A union of Master and Masterpiece!

This alchemical process is often describe by Qabalists as a personal application of the Yod (fire) and Heh (water) uniting in the body to produce Vau (Air) within the individual crucible of form which is Heh-final and Earth. This is described as a "Spiritual Orgasm" or "The Ecstasy" which is a process demanding inner manipulation of sexual forces (He-She) and is shown as an golden energy (in the shape of a stylized arrow) firing  upward and across the shoulders of the Divine figure in the Art Card. Even the often flesh-o-phobic Christian iconography, has accepted this Spiritual Orgasm. For instance, the ecstasy of the 16th century mystic, Saint Theresa which was described as an angel thrusting a flaming arrow into her heart .

The symbolical of the piecing arrow that brings ecstatic enlightenment is  actually an archetypal, and mufti-cultural accepted description of a real process of physiological transformation! What happens is a rhythmic, pleasuring motion of inner spiraling energy, an ebb and flow that is confined (shown as the figure eight associate with the Magus) in very specific perimeters (oval or womb shaped) but which is taken in either direction at will.

The Magus, knows that by changing the vibration of inner energy, one raises or lowers the level of consciousness, moving from Chakra to Chakra or Path to Path. Simply stated: the Kundalini (sexual energy) acting upon consciousness produces astral images, the pictures that form our objective minds. Hence the Spiritual Fire that is necessary to inflame our brain, wielding the She/He into the divine Hermaphrodite which produces a alchemical product called the "philosophers stone". A substance that gives "immortality", to the Personality.

The Psyche, is very practical, and it doesn't fix what isn't broken. Therefore, a Personality, that is of the perfect Temper, forged in the Love of Divine Feminine and Masculine in the Solar Logos, will continually reincarnate, with memory of the past and knowledge of the future, for it is now the objective collective of the subjective Soul,i.e. a "Philosopher's stone". 


The Jungian Tarot, TEMPERANCE, The Conciliatory daughter, depicts a young woman rather than the traditional androgynous image. This is to emphasize the need to be innocent (lacking prejudice) in the active, ongoing, spiritual psychical-forging process.

Presented is a ritual on a "natural stone" altar, pouring water onto fire, while also immersing fire into water. Here the meaning is one opposite is mediated by another. The twelve signs of the zodiac are represented as twelve candles which also psychologically symbolize the variety and totality of the human experience; suggesting that in any given situation, we learn to consciously bring opposites into play. Simplistically (to paraphrase Robert Wang) this is inhale/exhale, or "counting to 10", when angry, giving us time to become rational. Also it can mean "counting our blessings", when everything seems to be going wrong.
Subjectively, this tempering of opposites, is simply seeing another point of view, where we debate within ourselves; a type of "Devil's advocate". Therefore, we learn to neutralize the emotional or intellectual significance of any situation. In other words, learning not to take it serious, by being able to observe yourself, while realizing that there are opposites/dualities to everything.  Just as a pendulum swings, there is love and hate, happiness and sadness, thoughtful to emotional, all exist in equilibrium in our minds.  One may even forge the other, equalizing our feminine (imagination) and our masculine (rationale) on the altar of experience.

Even on a more refined level, Temperance refers to a wave interaction of those positive and negative polarities of  sexual energy consciously manipulated within the body/cauldron through Tantra Yoga or the little understood mystic practices of Jewish and Christian meditative exercises, which are often described as "spiritual alchemy". Modern science, in it's neurological and physiochemical studies, describes the effects of meditation and/or "mind control" on the physiology of the human form. Often providing remarkable insights into the beneficial effects of meditation through "bio feedback" mechanisms.



When the Art or Temperance card is thrown during a reading, the querent is experiencing or will soon experience:
  •   A combination of forces effecting realization and action.
  • A blending of all circumstances in order to achieve balance.
  • Trials and tribulations that lead to the "middle path", arriving at a profound realization.
  • The joining of conscious and unconscious into "one Consciousness", where the "I AM" is consistently observing the "Me", allowing "inner self" and "outer self" communication on a "experience the moment" basis.
Thank you for your interest, comments and supportive donations. May you live long and prosper.




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