Tarot Card Comparisons: The Thoth Tarot Key 15: THE DEVIL & The B.O.T.A. Tarot Key 15: THE DEVIL
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Thoth Tarot & comparisons

Tarot Card Comparisons: The Thoth Tarot Key 15: THE DEVIL & The B.O.T.A. Tarot Key 15: THE DEVIL

The Tarot of EliThe Thoth Deck Key 15-The Devil: represents a concept that it is so subtle it is easily misunderstood. In fact the early Christian theologians, so misunderstood this concept that it is now considered  synonymous with evil.....like the Evil Twin of a One-God or some such nonsense.

For Western culture, The Devil, is a often a fear filled vision of a fallen god who competes for your Soul; which to me is an misguide notion of self-absorbed arrogance. Some how our soul is so valuable that god's fight for it, yet most of us don't even listen to it's inner sage advice!

For those who decide that fear doesn't have a place in Divinity, the Devil is often referred to as "the Trickster", which of course, is what matter really is. The Material world of form, tricks us all into believing that we are bodies--looking to be spiritual. When in truth, we are Spirit looking to incorporate the physical and spiritual into a new sense of Self. I like to say,"We are Spiral Entities of light seeking en-flesh-en-meant."

From the: Thirty Two Paths of Wisdom (Paul Foster Case)---The Twenty-sixth Path is called the Renovating Intelligence, because the Divine Creative renews by it all the changing things which are renewed by the creation of the world.
 Before I go too far into myth, one may need to understand the Trick of the material World. For instance, only 1% of us is matter, we are 99% invisible subtle energy, yet almost 100% of our sensation comes from the physical being! This often tricks us into thinking we are our "feelings/sensations" rather than the one who creates them!

The Path of Ayin, (Key 15-The Devil), connects Tiphareth (Beauty), the center of the Sun consciousness, with Hod, the sphere of Mercury and of the Intellect. This Path is formative and is the bridge between the Personality and the Individuality.

  • Primary Path Color: Indigo
  • Musical Note: A Natural
  • Astrological Sign: Capricorn (That is why the Goat is the symbol of this card: It represents Cardinal Earth)
  • Word meaning: Eye
  • Simple Letter: Mirth
  • Esoteric Title: The Lord of the Gates of Matter; the Child of the Forces of Time.

The Devil, key 15, of the Hermetic Qabalah, represents a  special mystery which must be penetrated before one can directly know and experience the Higher Principles of the Self.  We must face this often adversarial Master of manifest form and conquer it through the process of Mirth...by not taking our feelings and thoughts too seriously. On this Path of Ayin, we come to understand that that we are dealing with a Path on the Tree of Life which is a transition between the normal waking conscious intellect and the true spiritual consciousness. And successful transition is difficult to express, as the spiritual  consciousness is not constructed of words! This devilish intelligence is in control when doing becomes the vocabulary and belief is delegated to the realm of 1% of the electromagnetic self, i.e. matter.

The Devil, Temperance and Death, are the three Paths leading directly into Tiphareth (Sun of God-Beauty) and these Paths are each a special trial. To travel a Path, means to acquire certain psychic abilities, which is often called "control over certain energies"; each Path confers a unique power. However, the Path of the Mystic (devotional path) is up the middle, from Malkuth, Yesod to Tiphareth,  dealing only with Temperance and is called The Middle Pillar. Temperance means to  understand and balance, within the Self, the "energies" of all twenty- two Paths, without developing the abilities to manipulate these same individual "energies". The Magus, develops the unique ability to manipulate these "subtle energies" but if intelligent, quickly learns that misuse of such power  requires that a devastating price be paid! There is no question that the Mystic-devotional Path is a much safer one than the magical Path.

The Devil symbolizes raw power, and as such is very deceptive, tricky, and is the force that brings about the transmutation of The Tower-Key 16.  This Tarot key 15- is the sign of Capricorn in which Mars is exalted; a weighty, even blind, sign of Earth that symbolizes the highest and the lowest. It is also considered a sign of initiation which is release from physical matter and where we know ourselves as masters of time and space. Saturn is the Planet of Binah (The Great Mother) and Capricorn suggests ruler-ship by Saturn, as Capricorn governs the limitations of  form. Binah is Magnetic, and rules the enclosure of time-space.

The Devil represents the average person's misconception of reality;
the belief that our material condition is "real"; when "reality" is a psychosomatic illusion and The Real is the "other side of the mirror",i.e. the Unseen Spirit/The Universal Collective Unconscious. Our belief in the illusion of matter caused by the "energies" symbolized in The Devil (bogey man),  is actually laughable and it is here more than implied that laughter and good humor about our lives is a tool which will help us "see' beyond the illusion.
Mirth is the first great corrective.

The Sacred symbol of Mankind (Pentagram)
turn upside down,means that most people's vision of the world  and its relationship with Spirit (Spiral Entity)is itself  upside down. We may realize this when we realize that we came from Nothing as I to Am and then to something that is called "Me"...not to return to Nothing but to Expand Something into greater awareness of I AM ; The infinite Transformation of Energy!  Also, the Eye represents  both our acceptance of what we see in the sensory world as real, and the greater vision which comes from the use of the inner eye. We must come to understand that to accept what our physical eyes tell us as real, is to subject our intellect to a state of bondage that knows  only 1% of what is Real. The Devil represents the Energy-conscious that is meditating in the flow of Astral currents, as the whole of Yeszirah (Astral Plane) which controls the ebb and flow of matter.

The Hebrew letter Ayin,is attributed to this card, meaning Eye. Capricorn is the Zodiac attribution and that is why we have illustrated the Goat of Capricorn and the "All Seeing Eye" on the goats forehead.

On the Tree of Life, we see that Key 13-Death and Key 15- The Devil are symmetrically placed; they lead from the "son of god" mind (that is not to be confused with the self-consciousness of the animal survival mind that we inherit with earth bodies)Tiphareth, to the spheres where worded thought, on the left, and Bliss on the right, are developed. Between them, Key 14-ART leads similarly to the sphere which formulates  existence.

Here is something arcane for you to ponder: When the physical brain's personality leaves behind the Splendor of Words (HOD), as thought, it begins to climb the Path of Ayin (Devil) towards the Christ Consciousness (Hu-man consciousness) Tiphareth; However, the devilish part of this climb is the "personality survival ego" who will constantly try to  blind your "I" (identity) sight with the splendor of praise and rationale (See- the Temptations of Christ in the desert of the Christian Bible). The "I" of our I AM, must be open to the Real 99.6% of Self and not the rhinestone splendor of reality which is only .4% of self, which is obviously relative and based on survival thinking of the reptile and mammal intelligence of the body. The Human consciousness is the God Mind for the Hu is Mandarin for God, and the word man comes from the Hindu Manas-meaning Mind; Hence a god-mind has been joined with the reptile and mammal brains of the Earth evolution.

The Human Mind is vibrating to the frequency of  Buddha or Christ consciousness, and is not normally tuned into by the mundane person who is trained only to use the animal brains to describe a reality of a "good and evil" world, as they use reaction based thought given them by the body senses. Your very own Devil is your trained  or reaction based thought, i.e. your man made logic and rationale thinking! You may notice, that when you try to meditate, or concentrate on a ritual that elevates your awareness, that your brain keeps trying to interfere with thoughts of "you must","you Need to" and/or "You better do this first". That's your bedeviling thought process interfering with your Souls Will. Now the brain knows it can't defeat the Will of Spirit, so it confuses it with the splendor of words, which are definitions supplied by "your betters"; However, "Your Betters", do not exist for we all are Children of the Divine Creative, we all have the same potential, whether we use that potential equally, is up to the individual.
Each of us has Divine Freedom of Choice to imagine ourselves as we will. To Be or not To be" is indeed our plight when we are only of "reflective sight". We came as a Divine Intelligence, to project our mastery of matter; time/space intellect, outward through the body senses, not visa versa. Hence, we are "upside down thinking when we let "sensual reaction" teach us the world of time/space;  free to be ignorant of our truth because of "Pleasure Pain" training or are free to go beyond and be liberated from indoctrinated sensual limits, if we are a Tree of Knowledge.

It isn't enough to know that you have a program of devilish brain-software running in your head all day, (an anti-I AM Virus) and thus becoming a artificial will (intelligence) based on errant self concepts of "I Ain't"; you also have to begin exercising the Spiritual Will-To-BE,which is based on the foundation of Love "under will"/I AM:  "Above All Things Know Thyself"!

When looking at this card, you are looking at the "nature god Pan" standing on the highest mountain of earth, with a twinkle in his eye and a lazy grin on his face.  What many of us forget, is the Devil in Western Christian culture has taken the place of the "Trickster God" in many other cultures, which represented the dark subconscious. At one time, in medieval Europe, the harlequin image held this position because the life lessons that seem serious at the time of reaction, often look silly in the light of reason; survival thinking is a joke....you are  a Psyche who is both the life and death of the bodies you operate for experience.
 What many of us forget, is that whimsy, is an important part of creation, for without that principle we become "self-righteous" and take every thought we think way too serious; believing in the language-masks we wear. "Don't believe every thought you think", is the Whimsy powered message here; one that the murdering rulers and hate filled neighbors would be well to remember

Also, the background directly behind the Goat,on the Thoth card,  is obviously a male sex organ penetrating the heavens (the ring of the body of Nuit), complete with testes full of "little transparent people" which is also a sublime way of showing the Tree of Life. This not only shows that the Devil, which is a bastardization of the Hindu word -Devi that means -Krishna's virgin Mother/ Shakti a  female goddesses ( Virgin Mary in Christianity), is also a fertile male force. In all these Trump cards, there is a receptive female aspect and a male expressive aspect.

The words Devi and Devil, grew from the same root, the Indo- European word Devi became Daeva (Devil) in Persian. The old English divell (devil) can be traced to the Roman word divus or divi (gods). Just as the Greek  word Daemon, (god-man) was the root for old English-demon or devils. Theological propaganda has a long history. 
The fruitful  creativity of the Devil is also shown veiled  in the  symbol of the Wand of the Chief Adept, crowned with the winged globe and twin serpents of Horus and Osiris.
Let us try and understand this card with out indoctrination screaming in our brains, for this card shows a subtle truth about the Devil. He/She is a creative force that appreciates all living things. He rejoices in the rugged and barren as well as the smooth and fruitful. All things equally exalt him/her. This is the Whimsical side of all creation-where no matter how harried you act, or sorrow filled you are, or filled with joy and laughter, the Divine Creative enjoys being you and since you have freedom to choose, the Divine believes you enjoy what you are doing (after all you can do anything you want), no matter how you protest the doing.Being you is more important to Creation, than you being the fantasy of your thoughts. That dear friends is the truth; no matter what you believe or don't, Creation Knows You into being-----and loves being you!

"Sometimes I cry, with a smile on my face."

This is the World of the dark subconscious, from which we've elevated the body, the animal mind of instinct; of survival whose thought base is fear. We smile in our immortal souls, because we know, the body will never live through the life we give it----so to the body, the Soul is indeed a Lived and Devil----Lived reflected in the mirror of reflected light is Devil. The body actually fears the "new conscious" of Soul/Spirit union because it Always fears the unknown! There in, is whimsy. What the body depends on for Life, is also its death. I Am The Alpha and Omega of my forms. So the Devil card, reminds us to take a deep breath---relax, and go out and play----for physical being is how Spirit enjoys itself! Let's also remember to show some humor over what bedevils us for we are allowing the bedevilment! It pays to know that the devil, is a product of our indoctrinated "divide and conquer" thinking and the body human is our "joy of Being" but it must understand that it's immortality is in transformation of organic material, so it must be recycled. Like I say to my body/brain:" From cranberries you were built and to cranberries you shall return"...mean while let's have some esoteric fun!"

Thoth Deck Correspondences:

Key 15-The Devil & Key 21- The Universe (The World card in other decks).

The word devil derives from the Greek diabolos; di meaning l"to divide", and/or two. Abolos meaning to "abolish'.

The word archetypes are: evil (live spelled backwards), lived (devil spelled backwards), deus (two), divide, diverse, die, deva (Goddess), dervish, deviate, devious, diabolic, and diablerie (black magic). Both the Devil-key 16 and the Universe Card key 21 are also associated with Saturn and Capricorn (December 21- January 20), in which falls the Winter Solstice; Christmas Day. Before December 21-24 is when the Sun is farthest from the Earth. Christmas Day is when the Sun begins to rise again from its deepest descent, i.e. The Sun (son) is born again. There are many Gods and Goddesses  born at Christmas, such as, Buddha, Tammuz, Mithra, Quetzalcoatl, Frey and Freya, Attis, Saturn, Adonis, Herne, Pryderi, Persephone, Baalim, Dionysus, Osiris, Horus, and Jesus. Christmas is also known as Candle Mass, the lighting of candles to honor the birth of the Sun's light---a custom still  honored in many Christian churches on Christmas Eve.

  • : The Devil--Capricorn (Goat)
  • : The Universe (The World)--Saturn.
  • I structure
  • I seek myself through what I use.
  • Nauthiz, the rune of constraint, necessity, and pain is the devil's rune.
  • The Universe rune, is Wunjo, the rune of joy and light, the absence of sorrow and suffering.
  • e -Violet (indigo); secondary colors- nay-blue, black.
  • - Both are associated with the fifth chakra ( Throat Chakra) which represents expression, communication, creativity, media, inspiration, mantras, sound, devotion, spiritual expression/understanding  and also religious inspiration. 
  •  Stones and Minerals: Sapphire, sodalite, lapis lazuli, tanzanite, blue-violet fluorites and chalcedonies. Hematite, smoky quartz, onyx, jet, coal, and all black stones.
  • Devil-A.
  • The Universe-A
  • Devil-Simple letter- Mirth.
  • The Universe- Double letter- Power-Servitude.
  • Devil- Path Ayin, The Renovating Intelligence.
  • The Universe- Path Tau, The Administrative Intelligence.
  • Devil- Eye.
  • The Universe-Tau Cross (equal armed cross)
  • Devil-Clary sage, Patchouli. 
  • The Universe- Vetivert, oakmoss, myrtle.

Magic abilities:
Clairaudience. This psychic attribute is known as "clear seeing" which is the ability to "see" without regard to time/space or the use of physical eyes.

The knowledgeable student of the Qaballah knows that the Devil, Key 15 is about the illusion of Division---where as "The One Energy" seems to become two-He and She. She is Magnetism and He is Electric. United, they make all life possible; separate they cannot "give birth" to life. In the Universe Card, The One energy is also shown as The Goddess and The Serpentine God (electric force) with the "All seeing Eye of Horus---The son (sun) which represents ( among other esoteric ideas), clairaudience. Needless to say, a greater in depth study of these esoteric meanings must occur before we can manifest the"Mirth filled enlightenment of Union".

The B.0.T.A. Tarot-Key 15: THE DEVIL, representsthe horrible character of esoteric dogmatism which is so ridiculous to an enlightened person. Therefore, the principle attributed to this card is also Mirth. This card is about enjoyingthe masquerade of outside appearance, for it is a delusion. 
Those who fail to use discerning thought, are depicted on this card.

The ancients believed that the Devil is God inverted. This basically refers to Spirit as opposed to matter. Ignoring the fact that they are both of "The One energy that cannot be created nor destroyed, only transformed." Therefore, matter is a transformation of Spirit! This "Oneness" of Spirit and Matter is shown by the common black and white interlaced triangles familiar to every student of occultism.

Hence, the black background of Key 15 of the B.O.T.A. Tarot, signifies ignorance. Mental inversion, is shown as the inverted pentagram (upside down thinking) on the head of the devil, thus it is about falsehood and delusion.

At the devil's navel is the zodiacal symbol of Mercury.  The physical world is normally represented as a cube, but here on this card, the devil sits on a half cube which represents an imperfect understanding of the world and/or "half assed thinking".

The male figure is the self-conscious and the female figure represents the sub-conscious, and their hoofs and horns indicate that delusion bestializes human consciousness.  The chains that hold them to the block of delusion represents Bondage which is attributed to key 15.

When the Devil card is thrown during a reading, the querent is experiencing or will experience or is receiving:

  • Material force.
  •  Material temptation,sometimes obsession.
  • If the Lovers card is thrown with the Devil card, this would indicate obsessive lust.
  • The Devil card is about Material Forces,and the tricks that the material world plays on our Invisible Souls.
  • We take this Mask of Flesh so seriously, that Survival thinking takes over our personalities to the point where we forget, to remember, that we are not a fleshy being at all!
  • We own and operate one in the name of Life! Each of us is a Life Force, that makes a physical being live.....so it is okay to laugh and play with your body-Dependent and it is okay to smile when the body becomes so self absorbed it takes circumstances way to seriously....You are the Life Force and the Death Force of your very own body....you are Spirit who has no end or beginning ----it's okay to remind you devilish brain of that!
  • Creative energy in its most material form. Not only is Capricorn, the goat-god that is leaping on the summits of the Earth, but Capricorn is also ruled by Saturn, who makes for self-hood and perpetuity.
  • In this sign Mars is also exalted, showing its best form, the fiery material energy of creation.
  •  All the splendid things of Earth, including the Lust of idea, where any idea will do----"who cares what happens as long as my idea is covered in Splendor"!
  • This card also represents the legendary god, Pan Pangenetor, the All Begetter often called in earth-magick.

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

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