The Qabalistic Thoth Tarot: The Major Arcana -Key 0 - The Fool card.
What is not real, never was and never will be.
What is real always was and cannot be destroyed.
The fool is the universal
that is associated with the state of conscious energy, that is us
before and after death. In other-words, the conscious state that is
Soul-Psyche within Spirit. Many of us know that we " have a spirit" but few of
us know that we are Spirit and have a body
and seek not
spirituality but rather are Spirituality bringing whole-conscious,
Psyche- liberation and expansion to Earth Anima (Latin meaning Spirit) and Animus (Latin meaning Soul)!
Rather than just being assumed
as being mystical, trans-personal , transcendent, ecstatic in its
nature, the Fool represents the power of wonder and ecstasy that is so
apparent in the very young; before they succumb to indoctrination and
form a "cultural identity". The cultural identity is not real so
Qabalists call it "reality" which we all know as relative. The Real is the infinite part of ourselves!
The Oriental symbol for fear is the tiger
In the Thoth card, fear is seen as attempting to gnaw on the leg of the
fool who isn't giving any power to fear. He looks forward, and the
tiger can't even make a dent in his attention. Therefore, the Fool represents the
energetic essence of who we are; an unflappable immortal spiritual flow
of energy-consciousness that flows from the Infinite Source.
The Thoth card
symbolizes the creative expression that is needed to give birth to new aspects of our lives and to boldly take risks that are so necessary to
When this card falls in a reading it shows us
that this is the moment to do what you fear and trust the spirit within!
To reiterate, THE FOOL- 0,
represents in The Hermetic Qabalah, the initial potential for thought,
transcending all reason. Thus objectifying potential for the Upper Regions, the
Supernal Triangle or the world of Atziluth, is a futile endeavor. However, once we recognize the
impossibility of self-consciously approaching the Highest Levels of the Tree
of Life, i.e. The Universal Collective Unconscious, in a direct manner,
we are forcibly driven into the key Principles of the Mysteries/Metaphysics of "As Above, So Below".
We begin seeing
that the Below is a mirror reflection of the Above. The Divine Spirit is
all we know, we breathe it, we live within it, it is ourselves. Because
we know this Divinity to be "the One Energy that cannot be created nor
destroyed, only transformed", we know that everything is of this "One who
is Two", as symbolized by THE FOOL that is the Path of Aleph.
In this context, Aleph is attributed to Air and means Life-Breath. Just as Spirit is from the Greek root word Spiro,
which means Breath. The One Spirit, the Holy Spirit, is then the
Life-Breath. This is well known in Eastern cultures, and Prana Yamas
(Breath yoga meaning,"life/death") are a major if not primary part of
all Spiritual development. The Word Prana, is the Life-Breath energy.
Now I have described the Magus in past blogs, as relating to "Words"
, the underlying sonic of patterned manifestation. However,
it is the power of breath that expels the sound. Thus THE FOOL activates
Crowley, considered Air to be a
vacuum, as related to THE FOOL who is the fertile Nothingness and egg of
Spirit, so too speak. The universal Egg of Spirit is known, by Gnostic
and Qabalisits, to be the EGG OF AKASHA, the zero of THE FOOL which also
represents this egg of spirit, and is the mathematical formula of us
one male, minus one female= 0 . Therefore, the understanding is that the
Egg of Akasha, is a fertilized ovum of undefined sexuality, but having
the potential for Both! One who is Two.
THE FOOL, is the very expression of the Hebrew god name of Kether:Eheieh, which means I will be. This is the Divine Child as yet unborn, who is all potential and who is our very beginning!
Therefore the Tiger, "fawning about" THE FOOL'S leg, is also an archetype representing the Animal Nature (survival mind) as related to the Higher Spiritual process.
on the Thoth figure represent those of Dionysus Zagreus,
the green clothing is that of the Green Man
of Spring, the grapes at his feet are a tribute to Bacchus
the Greek God of Ecstasy, and the Crocodile (great creative energy) a
swimming at his feet in "the Nile" (Crowley quote). Also are images
referring to the Godhead, such as the dove of Venus and the vulture of
Maat. Then there is the triple egg shape created by the caduceus in
motion, symbolizing the Ain Soph Aur
(The three states of No-thing).
you may realize, the imagery is so subjective that I haven't the space
to detail it all for you. If you need more detail, and you do, I would
recommend reading Crowley's BOOK OF THOTH, Robert Wang's Book: THE
QABALISTIC TAROT and investigating the Mythology of the Ancient Greeks
I would reread THE MAGUS blogs, Parts 1 & 2, before reading this
blog, as the Fool is the most esoteric of all the Arcane. Every card in
the Tarot Deck is an aspect of THE FOOL-0, and therefore, 78 different
aspects of your Psyche.
As a Qabalistic Path
, THE FOOL connects Kether -1-(Crown) with Chokmah-2- (Wisdom). To the Qabalist, Kether is known as the Source of All,
and Chokmah is known as Father God or God of the Covenant.
The Path of Aleph,
meaning OX, is about the "flowing of Life Force and creative power",
showing the "SPIRIT'S aim to be that of Earth and/or Sensual Being.
Crowley symbolizes this "Holy Spirit" ( The Spirit on every level of the
Tree of Life) as a dove in the Thoth Deck Card. Crowley also called
The Letter Aleph, a phallic symbol.....but then so is the Projected Will
that is THE MAGUS, and one wonders if Crowley was so besotted with the
Phallus, that he was unable to see anything else; However, truth be
told, by reference to Sexes and sexuality do we come to the minutest
glimmering of understanding about the Universe.
To even begin understanding THE FOOL, we must entertain a multifaceted and fluid interpretation of Force and Form.
Dr.Paul Foster Case ( Co-Creator of the Builders of the Adytum) calls this Eleventh Path, in his book THE THIRTY-TWO PATHS OF WISDOM, the fiery or Scintillating Intelligence,
which makes sense as The Path of Aleph boarders on the Limitless Light
(Ain Soph), which is "not" or "naught"or Light without limit which is
darkness to us who need a beginning and a end to see form. So here we try to
explain what can't be seen as The Fiery Darkness which is the
possibility of vibration or motion and the First Perception of the One
having potential for activity; i.e. Dark Energy.
In the context of Masculine sexuality,
the Fool is the Testes, and the Magus is the Phallus,(represented by
the three flowers and/or eggs, beneath the spread legs of THE FOOL) as The Magus directs
active first flow from the Fool rather than potentiality doing so.
However, I fear that is a rather limiting concept of the ONE-----as the
Ain Soph is "No-Thing", but then, all concepts are less than the
potential for conception.
We may reason that the
potential for Thought, comes from the Dark Energy as Dark Matter (The
First Material). The appearance of Thought emanates Mind, which is the
vessel for Thoughtful ideas and/or Womb of Thought Forms, i.e. The
I-magi-nation, transcending all reason. Thus, our reason, leaves us with
more questions than answers but necessarily so because we then must
build (create) the answers!
Limitlessness is a very difficult concept!
To say that THE FOOL represents the initial potential for thought which
transcends reason, is about the best I can do with words. However, the
special reality we may touch in sleep, often gives us images that do not
correlate to our mundane understanding of reality, so our dreams seem
to be so much abstraction and are considered as nonsense to our waking
condition. However, the Great Work (As above so below) involves the
assimilation of The Real, not a reality conceived of mundane ideas base
on self-absorbed survival thinking
. And the Real Concepts are from "what is Not" making "What is" from Dreams of Potential- Self!
To think of the Universe
as "God Dreaming" (Darkness Dreaming it is Light) is very difficult to
grasp, and the fact that you are a "Lucid" Dreamer (Image of God), who
has been given the "Power of Observation", meaning you can change the
Perspective that forms "Things", is just about as mind boggling as it
gets....and just such a glimmer of insight requires a "beyond the
Mundane" understanding of Self! Thus, your Divinity is not often
acknowledge by the mundane; However, your Womb, the conception of "the
image of God", is the invisible Sephira, Daath (knowledge), which is the
Path Where Goddess (Understanding)/God (Wisdom) meet face to face (
Tibetan,Yab Yum) and is known as the Path of Daleth-THE EMPRESS, your
Spiritual Birth Mother/ Feminine Principle of the Divine Creative!
I'll end this brief dissertation on the Fool, with this:
All the Paths leading upward to Kether,THE FOOL, THE MAGUS, AND THE
HIGH PRIESTESS, must be approached with a certain understanding of
whimsy, as we realize that by crossing the Abyss and approaching Kether
(As above, so below) means the total annihilation of Self as we perceive
it. Hence, presenting us with the irony of our attempt to grasp such
esoteric and refined principles from an earthly-mundane perspective.
Often,when teaching the Major Arcana and knowing what I speak, cannot
truly convey what I am saying, brings a smile, if not outright laughter
to my face. To me, The I AM potential is ironically displayed as a
limited conception--a Me. Being a "Me" must never be taken too seriously, for that concept will change daily, when one enters the Higher Self.
The Builders of the Adytum Tarot: The Fool-key 0,
traditional in its artistic expression than the Thoth Tarot. In fact, it comes uncolored and must be colored by the student of Tarot according to the instructions supplied by B.O.T.A. which are from the lesson curriculum of Dr. Case (booklet,"Highlights of Tarot" by Paul Foster Case). Seen here are my elementary attempts at coloration.
[Membership in B.O.T.A., and its correspondence lessons on Occult Psychology, TAROT, HOLY QABALAH, Spiritual alchemy, etc., as well as, supplemental Qabalistic diagrams, books and Tarot keys are available to sincere applicants. Write to: BUILDERS OF ADYTUM
5105 North Figueroa St.
Los Angeles, Calif. 90042
According to Dr. Case,
the key to understanding the Fool, is best explained by understanding the Hebrew letter Aleph,
Ox, which is attributed to this key. In medieval times Oxen where the motive power of agriculture as they pulled plows, wagons etc. Hence, the Ox symbolizes Cultural Power, Creative Energy, Life-Power, the vital power of plants, animals and Mankind. All of which comes to us in physical form as the sun. The principle is called Life-Breath: Prana
in Hindu, Pneuma
in Greek, Rauch
in Hebrew, and the Latin Spiritus.
Literately these words are "breath". However, they also refer to the all pervading Life-Energy and/or Spirit.
Thetitle of the key-0, comes from the Latin follis, meaning a "bag of wind". Therefore, the Fool, represents that which contains air, or breath. The egg shaped 0, represents that which contains all of the potencies of growth and development. This egg is often called the Orphic or Cosmic egg.
- On this hand colored Tarot card, the white sun refers to the One Force; the Universal Radiant One Energy, which is a collective of all the suns in this universe.
- The mountains represent abstract mathematical conceptions, which are behind all Knowledge of Nature. Being cold and snow covered, these mountains are not interesting to many. However, the snow melts, feeding the streams that make the fertile valley below. So will the Ageless Wisdom feed your self-consciousness, making fertile your imagination, and thus transforming your life.
- The Fool himself, represents the Eternal Youth; the One Force that never ages and is always at the height of its power. His expression is of a joyful and confident aspirant.
- The Victory wreath around his head also represents the vegetable kingdom.
- The Wand is Will.
- The Wallet, is memory.
- The white rose symbolizes purified desire.
- The B.O.T.A. Fool, sports a triple colored garment; White undergarment (purity, truth and wisdom), and black outer-garment ( ignorance and delusion) lined with red (passion, action and desire).
- Around his garment is a girdle of 12 ornaments (seven of which are showing) representing the Zodiac. Hence, the girdle represents time.
- The wheels that ornament the outer garment have eight spokes, which symbolizes the whirling motion by which the One Manifests itself.( 8 is one circle twisted upon itself, making one sphere Male and one sphere Female.)
- The intellect and merely reasoning mind are represented as the little dog, for he is a faithful companion but must have a master.
When THE FOOL card of both the Thoth or B.O.T.A. tarot is thrown during a reading:
- The querent is in or experiencing a state of ecstasy and/or a state of Peek experience.
- And is completing all motion by Faith, absolutely trusting THE SPIRIT.
- A feeling of being protected, and that everything will work out.
- Being open to what the future brings!
If ill defined by accompanying cards:
- The Fool, is then the harbinger of folly, mania, extravagance and even negligence
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