Tarot Card Comparisons: The Thoth Tarot-key 11: LUST & The Barbara Walker Tarot-key 11: STRENGTH
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Thoth Tarot & comparisons

Tarot Card Comparisons: The Thoth Tarot-key 11: LUST & The Barbara Walker Tarot-key 11: STRENGTH

The Tarot of EliThe Thoth Deck Key 11:LUST, Compared to the Barbara Walker Tarot-Key 11: STRENGTH. Key 11 is also represented in many decks, as the Strength-key-8 card.
Therefore the Thoth Lust-key11 replaces the STRENGTH, card which is Key-8, in the Golden Dawn, Connolly Tarot, Ryder-Waite, Babylonian and many other Tarot Decks and is also Key 11 In the Barbara Walker Tarot. So it may be confusing when I place it in the Path of Teth, which is normally called STRENGTH-Key  8.

Crowley believe that there is far more arcane truth in the title of Lust.

Contrary to some, I agree with Aleister Crowley's expansion of the STRENGTH card, into the LUST card because the Passion-( I Will Be) which is the The Vital Force behind Universal Construction, "the motion within the movement" of everything. Which is the Passionate expression of the Qabalistic Tree of Life- Supernal Triangle- "I" of Kether (I Will Be), the first Sephiroth,  the "AM" of Two,"Will to Force" - Chokmah Sephiroth #2 and "Will to Form"-Binah, Sephroth #3 who then Join to become One Passion that creates All, i.e. Androgynous
High Priestess (key 2), who controls both straight electromagnetic and curved (serpentine) electromagnetic waves of light, creating the Child "ME". This is the lusty sound of "I AM ME" that proceeds all self awareness.

This Serpentine Force, can also be called "Serpent theory", a much older concept rather than the newer phrase of Quantum Physics called "String Theory". However, both ancient and new physics agree that every particle has a serpentine string of active and passive energy with in it. In other words, there is within all things, vibratory strings of  Vital Fiery Force of "I AM".  Thus, Lust, where active and passive forces come together in a mutual dance of motion, 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. On the Thoth card, the Kundalini is illustrated as the "Sacred Serpent" tail of the Chimera/lion beast that The High Priestess/Scarlett Woman is shown as riding.

The UNIVERSE key 21, is the completion of the LUST CARD, and you'll see the Woman/Goddess 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 represents 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, through the High Priestess.

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), or the Lust Card, is a statement of methodology, whereby the Original Will controls the One Vital Life Energy that is the two Aspects of  "I AM". We must also remember, that the word Power, means "the ability to do work" and our body, if  Loved ( I AM ME) 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 Triple-Self Identity called " I AM ME"!

This Divine Frenzy, in order to not be destructive, requires a focused willful intelligence, much like Gilgamesh of Sumerian/Babylonian legend and not some mad hater personality, that can't even control its own thought.

 I would recommend that one Skry the Thoth card only after one is capable of holding a "one- thought" or image/pattern focus during an entire meditation!  For, any Psyche that Touches the Lust OF The Great Father/Mother (Divine Creative- I AM), will be profoundly charged, changed, and expanded beyond comfortable perspectives, all of which can be dangerous to the balance of our delicate-addictive-persona.

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!
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 that built the Microcosm would do to such a weak psyche, but then again, we have examples in Adolf Hitler, etc.That is why A.Crowley titles the traditional Strength card Lust.

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), 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!"

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/High Priestess), was the Sacred Virgins of the Temples, before Christianity, made them "evil women" or Saints, of which both perspectives were confusingly applied.

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". Horology is Time keeping, which exists 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 they 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.

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 became an empress-saint.
Yet the Whore of Babylon, the Fiery Feminine Divine Creative, is not "any man's" companion, she is the Mother of the Solar-Father God or "Fiery Vital Life Force" known as the "serpent force" and/or "sex" force ( The Egyptian word-Sex, is 6 , the number of the Sun). Something more for the diligent student to investigate!

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/Serpent, is balance both vertically and horizontally. Hence, 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 alive 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 get:  THE BOOK OF THOTH (Egyptian Tarot) by Master Theron (Crowley) where the information,lascivious poetry and passionate prose, start a fire in your imagination. For this card cannot be easily understood by mundane rationale thought, it must be felt in your guts as a burning passion; Felt not reasoned, to be understood.

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.
Again, the Qabalistic Hebrew letter attributed to this card is Teth (or Tet), meaning-serpent. The union of the zodiac and the letter-Tet, 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 Goddess of 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.

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. The Red Grail, or Blood Grail, is the Womb of the Scarlett Woman, the Blood of Life Creatrix and/or The Sacred Blood.

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:
  1. The Dove of the Holy Ghost, impregnated the Virgin Mary.
  2. Romulus and Remus (twins of Rome) where begotten of the God Mars and a virgin and were suckled by a Wolf.
  3. 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).

As I  previously alluded to, the Thoth Tarot Lust card, may be best explained in passionate prose than the stolid words of academia. In fact, the scholars of the Aeon of Osiris, foresaw this coming Aeon of Horus with the jaded eyes of fear, and horror. By not understanding the recessions of the Eons, they regarded every change a catastrophe. They viewed the Scarlett Woman and the Beast, as fearful unknowns and poisoned every definition of the Aeon of Horus with diatribes of fear filled ignorance. The Beast, is comparable to the Natural Animal mind of Earth, consisting of both the reptile brain and the mammal brain, which are awake and functioning in most people. However, the Hu-Man brain,which translates to mean God-Mind (Hu is Mandarin for God and Man-Hindu word Manas meaning mind), is either sound asleep in the majority of mankind or so distracted by conflicting thought from the Social Group Mind that it would be better off asleep.

The New Aeon of Horus, is the period of the "22nd century" human whose God Mind (Imagination +Consciousness) is awake and certain. Therefore correcting and healing the Social Group Mind of humankind, in both the group and the individual. The Theory is, that if enough of the human species "knows itself" and/or becomes enlightened, there will be a cascading effect in the Societal Group Mind, awakening the rest of the "sleeping" human species. In some fields of Scientific thought, this is called the "100th Monkey Principle" (from studies of Japanese monkeys). You may want to research this principle.
A.Crowley spent his entire long magick career pursuing the Scarlett Woman, and coined the Seven pointed Star (black and while illustration) which included the name of the Goddess, her number and letters which he spelled-B-A-B-A-L-O-N, because of the gematra (refer to Liber XV [Magick,pp.345sqq.]. This is a great mandala for meditation and by deciphering the letters and symbols, it also reveals a Major Arcana (secret sacrament) that absolutely must be known in order to work Magick with the Great Red Binah (Scarlett Woman) and manifest The Great Work ("As above, so below").  As Crowley has stated," This sacrament is a physical-magical formula for attaining initiation.... and it is in alchemy the process of distillation, operated by internal ferment, and the influence of the Sun and the Moon."

Seven are the heads of the Beast (Lion-Serpent) that the Scarlett Woman rides;
  1. The head of an Angel:
  2. The head of a Poet:
  3. The head of a Saint:
  4. The head of a Adulterous Woman:
  5. The head of a man of Valor:
  6. The head of a Satyr:
  7.  The head of the Lion-Serpent.
Behind the Beast, are the  rayed circles of the Ten Sephiroth, not yet in order, as every new Aeon demands a new system of Universal classification. At the top of the Lust Card, are the Ten rays, representing the Ten horns of the Beast and/or Ten Serpent forces sent in every direction to destroy and re-create the world. Reincarnation is part of this cards mystery.

In this Military Industrial Empire, which indoctrinates by dividing mind and soul, we have forgotten our Lust for Being and have become automatons of our environment who are reaction instead of the powerful positive active expression of I AM ME. The Thoth card represents the powerful purpose of Will to Form, as a female with the Gail held high, filled with the "Scarlett womb" energy that is the primal force of Life. The High Priestess (key 2) is seen here as A Scarlett Woman riding the Lust for life that is all around us, through us and is us. The anima, and animus of Earth, are the many faces of life that all are under the leadership of the Active Goddess.This card represents the universal principle of Passion, awareness and aliveness! This is also symbolic of self esteem, and courage necessary to acknowledge the inner convictions so necessary to manifest as the Passionate Creative-Self. In all of us is this irresistible strength of Earth. But in most of us, we are divided against ourselves and unable to call upon the inner power that cleaves us from our chains of self-imposed slavery. We are Divinity dancing as the  active Goddess and God whose self-expression is "Being"!

To those of majestic presence, lust is not obsession with the opposite sex. It is obsession with being. It is the lustre of Will-to-be that exploded this universe of Self into manifestation. It is the indivisible creative strength of I Am that radiates through us, outward, as a sun of creative passion that restores life in the most mundane indolence.

-Eli Serabeth, treatise on Enfleshenment

Key 11: The Principle of Strength, Passion, and Lustre.
One may also see in this card the universal myth known as "beauty and the beast". This key represents the beauty  of the Sun (Tiphareth on the Qabalistic Tree of Life) that is represented in all of us as combinations of talent, gifts, and creative resources which can quell our bestial natures. When our heart, mind and spirit are in a balanced combination of movement and repose--we manifest divine beauty.

The multi-headed lion has been said to represent "the beasts within" which Beauty has tamed to do her creative biding. She expands and liberates the living from their past bonds of survival thinking onward to greater achievements of courageous creation.

The word Lust comes from the root word Lustre which is radiance. Hence, the Lust within is our radiant beauty for we can not shine if we are not in our strength. Fear of our "beasts within" steadily weakens us  until we cannot radiate our purpose on this earth. Beauty (6th Sephiroth on the Tree of Life) created us to radiate ourselves into the movement of life! We all have much more purpose than we can see! Strength and Lustre are inseparable partners in creation. This can easily be seen as a soft and spongy mushroom pushes through hard concrete as if concrete were mere soggy paper, rather than the mushroom. In all of us is this quiet manifestation of strength.
The Barbara Walker Tarot-key11: STRENGTH, follows the tradition of a woman figure holding open a mouth of a Lion. In this case, Barbara Walker uses the image of her Magician card, who wears the symbol of infinity ("lazy 8" or lemniscate) as her hat.

This Tarot tradition seems odd in a Christian society that has designated the female as the "weaker sex". Therefore, this image is of either pagan or Tantric tradition, as most of the classical gods, and all the Tantric ones, were deemed helpless without their female Shaktis. These female goddesses were the embodiment of their strength, or as it was sometimes called, their power.
This philosophy implied, that the power of mana, or magical efficacy, belonged only to the Eternal Female and/or Grail.

Tarot's Lady of Strength is not the first association with lions. There are many versions of the Goddess Earth, that are associated with the idea of strength and the symbol of lion. In Egypt, Phrygia, Canaan, Babylon, Phoenicia, and Libya, The Great Mother Goddess tamed lions, rode lions, or transformed herself into a lion during her destroyer phase. She was the Amazon Queen- Cyerne, who founded the city of the same name. In Greek myth, she appeared as a nymph who could wrestle lions, and win. The name Cyerne means, "Sovereign Queen"; hence, she really was an earthly incarnation of the Goddess, and not really a nymph.
The Phoenicians and Greeks knew her as the Goddess Athene, Ath-enna, Anat, or Neith, all called Strength of Life.
 The Egyptian goddess name of
Neith, is believed to have come from an old Sanskrit title of the Goddess as the Primordial Abyss, Kala-Nath, in the guise in which she devoured the offspring she brought forth. Later in Western tradition, this became Saturn,or Chronos,the God of Time who ate his children.Therefore, Barbara Walker's Tarot card, shows a dark dead tree, with a Raven in its branches.

The implication here is the "Life eats itself to stay alive", and therefore, life and death are life-death, inseparable and eternal. Making the Goddess called Strength of Life, also the Strength of Death, as is Time itself.  Life-death, inseparable and eternal is also shown as, Oroboros , "the serpent that eats its own tail".

When the Lust or Strength card is thrown during a reading, it means:

  • Passion, awareness, and aliveness.
  •  A symbol that you have a strong faith in your abilities.
  • You have no qualms about relying on the spiritual powers within in order to handle the situation at hand. In other words you radiate your inner beauty. 
  • The querent is relying on spiritual powers to manage the situation at hand and is receiving the strength to over come. 
  • Following ones own inner light, doing what their "heart of heart" inner-self, says is right.
  • There can be an experiencing of a "gut level" driving force, instinctual.and compelling for protection or survival.
  • Also, possessing the courage of one's convictions.
  • The strength of Passion, in the Higher Nature, which are power, courage, energy, action and magnanimity.
  • One is experiencing the Law of Self-Domination, self-rule and self control.
  • That you are in union with or you should be listening to, the passionate roar of I Am that resides in your very essence of soul in order to find the bliss within, that radiates you as It's very creative and unashamed self.
  •  Reminds us that Our definition belongs to no one, not our environment, not our parents, not our rulers and not our theologians --but only to our passionate creative self.
  •  The querent will be experiencing or soon will be experiencing, in the next 11 wks or months; passion, awareness, aliveness and strength to overcome.
  • The querent is presently expressing their full creative abilities while also having a strong trust in those abilities.
  • There is present the Principle of Courage and Self Esteem. The inner passion of Will-To-Be- is appearing in the querent's waking consciousness.
  • The querent could be called an Enchantress, or is a passionate animal /nature/ helper.
  • The querent may also find Magical helpers through the Matriarchal Conscious that brings sexuality and language to her people. Also, knowing from the heart what is needed.
  •  Loving passion.
If ill defined, this card is about obstinacy and the negatives of the above passions with out love, but driven by fear (need).

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

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