When looking at the Thoth Tarot 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, when dead is inevitable.
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. "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, 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 aspect of Kali ( 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 fertile 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.
The blue crown of "Forget me nots", on the Thoth Goat, is also a mirthful symbol. In a Greek legend, God named all the plants when a tiny unnamed one cried out, "Forget-me-not, O Lord!" God replied, "That shall be your name." It is also the foundation of the self-absorbed self conscious whose foundation of thought is based on fear of rejection.
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 or it is a creative force that appreciates all living things. It rejoices in the rugged and barren as well as the smooth and fruitful. All things equally exalt It. 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. 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. We smile in our souls, because we know, the body, no matter how serious it thinks its doings are, will never live through the life we give it, as it will transform back into the organic material it came from. Hence, to the body, the Soul is indeed a Lived and Devil; Lived reflected in the mirror of reflected light is Devil. There in, is whimsy. What the body depends on for Life, It's Psyche, 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!
The difference between a comedy and a tragedy is that in a comedy the characters figure out reality in time to do something about it.
--Bennett W. Goodspeed
The Universal Principle of mirth combined with stability. This card in the deck has gone through a transformation within itself. Greek Mythology described the half-goat, half-man, as Pan, the sensual god of Merriment which also latter became the god Bacchus of merriment and wine.
In Egyptian mythology, this was Ra, a sun deity symbol of Life Force and Energy. During the middle ages, the inquisitional backlash to the panistic cults caused the Devil image to be created.
Interestingly, the Devil spelled backwards is Lived, and shows the obvious reason for this backlash-propaganda against "living-it-up" which was considered hedonism. According to man-made theology, we must now consider the body a burden, that Nature somehow imposed on us poor helpless spirits, and that the resulting sensuality is improper and a shame unto god(?). If that be so, then the Devil created us rather than the All Perfect Father God, of Christian dogma. However, the Christian dogma got around this reasoning by saying that it is freedom of choice, that is our down fall. Rather than knowing it to be a Divinely granted grace that gives us the power over our own creation's fate which goes a long way in proving that being a "free thinker", is very anti-Christian.
All ensconced superstitions aside, the Devil/Pan archetype represents the need to face whatever "bedevils" us. It reminds us to handle life from a place of humor which gives us the sure footedness of a goat ( Capricorn) and the humor of Pan (the smiling goat). To avoid the ensnarement of fear (the web image of spider like veils) we must hold on to our sense of humor, mirth and stability which centers us when we face real or imagined problems. It's okay to laugh in a traffic jam!
Capricorn, the goat, is able and willing to look at internal issues (third eye) and external bedevilment with both eyes wide open and focused straight ahead. The Egyptian Eye of Horus staff represents our vision and intuition that protects us from peer pressure and other peoples reaction to our creative motion. Busy bodies can't hold a candle to self-knowledge---they have none that is why they try to do unto everyone else! It's okay to smile at Myna birds, they just mimic intelligence.
The male figures and female figures represent the creative power ability to combine male-conscious and female-unconscious within our natures to create unlimited self possibilities. Mirth allows us to be able to break the bondage of self- definition supplied by culture, society, media, theology and peers. The Mirthful creator identifies Himself/Herself and therefore, you, ("created in god's own image") are free to define yourself as you will. This is the Freedom of Choice is called I Am Me. Creation is always about polarities, i.e. the Law of attraction and resonance.
The rings of Saturn are seen at the top of the card, as Saturn rules the sign of Capricorn.
As stated , this card is called the Path of Ayin (eye= I) on the Tree of Life and connects Hod (Splendor) with Tiphareth (Beauty). It is to be noted, that the Sephiroth (numbered circles) are objective intelligent STATES OF ENERGY (consciousness) that form our True Psyche and/or Real Person, while the Paths are subjective states of intelligent energy (unconscious).
One primary statement of the Path of Ayin (meaning-Eye) is that the ignorant, superstitious person, sees the world in an "upside down" vision. Thus the upside down pentagram is associated with the Devil. The Qabalist knows that "all things were from One by the meditation of One," [from the Emerald Tablet] stating the obvious, that there is nothing in the Universe that isn't of The One Divine Creative, including you.
As stated in yesterday's blog, the Christian concept of the Devil is from the word Devi meaning goddess, and the trident of Kali, which represented her three states we of the West would call, Maid, Mother and Crone. Thereby, The word, Devil, is a rather obvious attempt at the misogynistic propaganda of the Patriarch (military war based gods) religions. If one has any education at all, one knows that the womb is the place of Form, not the male semen, which is -a pollen, if you will, and is but a genetic blue print. And without the womb, semen will never become form as the "engineer" never received the blue print.
The Qabalah is all about states of energy known as "Force and Form", what is masculine is considered "Will to Force" (electric/solar/Consciousness) and what is feminine is considered "Will to Form" (Magnetic-Moon-Unconscious) which is much more viable with today's metaphysical knowledge.
The intelligent state of energy known as Devil has also been called the "Prince of the Powers of Air", implying that this energy state is meditating in the flow of the Astral currents. In this context, Air is understood to be the whole of Yetsirah, the Astral Plane, which controls the ebb and flow of matter. (illustration from Robert Wang's Test book---The Qabalistic Tarot).
The ability to reverse the ebb and flow of Astral light, the realm of thought as image, requires meditation, intellect and discipline, all of which are achieved by conquering the Path of Ayin. One must begin this process of discipline with the intellect of Hod, traversing into the intuition of Tiphareth, The Christ or Buddha state of intelligent energy. Even the scriptures talk of Christ's passage through the temptations of the Devil, i.e. his own illusions brought on by sensual matter and the illusions of thought as words .
THE DEVIL represented as Saturn in Capricorn, brings up an interesting point. The Ancients stated that "Saturn eats its own children" (as depicted in the famous Goya painting), meaning that for Spirit ( I AM), illusion of form (Me) is necessary to produce the material form of discerning thought, and that the dissolution of these forms (Me) is essential to the Path of Return. In reality, Life eats itself to stay alive, which means Life must digest itself to evolve and to the Alchemist dissolution means analysis, which is the precise application of separating the component forces of ourselves and our universe into twenty-two paths on the Tree of Life. The next part of the process is reintegrating these forces through the understanding of their operation. Eliphas Levi called THE DEVIL--The Path of Ayin---the"Great Magical Agent" this process of manipulation as, to dissolve, to consolidate, to quicken, to moderate.,i.e. dissolution, re-integration, activity, and grounding. Thus we have the same qualities as described to Fire, Water, Air and Earth.
Once again we understand The Devil to represent the "score of the forms and appearance of relative existence", a description supplied in various Mystery Tests. Another ancient description is that the Devil is "Lord of the Gates of Matter and Child of the Forces of Time," which indicates a phallic state of conscious energy, Lord being husbandry, as the gateway to form is Yoni or Womb state of Unconscious energy. Thus you will observe the stylized phallus and testes on the Thoth Deck Tarot Card, that is both the back drop and support of the Goat figure that represents the old god Pan. The testes are also seen as supporting human shaped white figures.
As one can see, there is represented an understanding of the intercourse of "Will to Force" and "Will to Form", attributes to the understanding that "God is sex" and/or The Divine Creative. In truth, The Creator, who is One that is Two, knew that It needed a mirror to see itself---------the material world is that which reflects from the mirror of Divine Creative Self- consciousness. The I AM can only be aware of Itself, as a Me, a self-reflection.
What the understanding of The Devil card produces in us, is the knowledge that the illusion of Form, is the same as the illusion of mirror reflections, its all reflected backwards and not a true state of Being. Yet it is the Power of Limitation, which is needed for SELF EXAMINATION and discernment. So, turn "your mind around', and know that you are a Spirit who owns a body (which is a power tool for discernment), and not a body that is seeking Spirit.
The analogy that I like to use when describing the common perspective, is that of a "fish in the ocean, seeking water". Not only is this a accurate description for a body seeking spirit, it is also a mirthful one that describe the illusion of form, as the fish-form can be stated as "The Ocean experiencing itself".
As stated: The Path of Ayin (meaning Eye which is a symbol for "I"), is the Twenty-sixth Path and is formative. In the terms of Self structure; it is the bridge between The Real Person and individuality. As I have stated before, the Solar Logos, is the Original Persona of the Divine Child of God, i.e. the Son/Sun.
Note: Son/Sun this is not a sexual description of a species, which is a definite propaganda misdirection, rather it is an Energetic one, For the Christianized "Son of God" is about the Solar Logos; a Sun that sends "solar flares" (Divine Yod Energy) outward as individual expressions of It's own Self (individual selves or Personalities); from Self into selves that circumnavigate, through the many myriad of experiences of self-awareness back to Self, i.e. from Tiphareth to Malkuth and back up the Tree to Tiphareth again.
The Hebrew letter Ayin means -Eye and is a simple letter that also means -Mirth. This double meaning may invite confusion; However, rest assured, that this Path of Ayin is one of the most difficult for western people to understand, for interpretation flies in the face of Christian cultural definitions that have been misapplied to the Devil. The "All Seeing eye" is really the I (the symbol for Original Identity is an "all seeing eye") of the First Identity which later became I AM, which is the duality we now call sexual Identity.
In Barbra G. Walker's Book [ THE WOMAN'S ENCYCLOPEDIA OF MYTHS AND SECRETS] which has been honored by the London Times Educational supplement as 1986 "Book of the Year", the provenance of the word devil is noted as Persian. She states." The Words "devil" and "divinity" grew from the same root, Indo-European devi (Goddess) or deva (God), which became daeva (devil) in Persian. Old English divell (devil) can be traced to the Roman derivative divus, divi, meaning gods. Thus it seems that, from the beginning, gods and devils were often confused with one another. She goes on to explain such enlightening scholarship that I highly recommenced this book to anyone who seeks an honest education. Barbara Walker's book: The Secrets of the Tarot, goes into a long dissertation on the conceptualizations of the Devil and its many names. I also recommend this one. On the Barbara Walker card are also represented the tradition male figure on the card, representing consciousness, and the female figure, that represents the unconscious, while also implying a "sexual component".
There is another fact here that may hide from reason, and that is the combination of the words Devi (Goddess)and Lingam (Male phallus), is Divya Linga ( Sanskrit word for Divine- lingam) and has also been interpreted by propagandists of Christian past, as the word Devil:which actually bespeaks of the "Son of God" as the Solar Phallus. That is why the Hermetic Thoth Card shows testes (ovals full of white humanoid shapes) and a large Universal Phallus penetrating the Dark Energy Womb. Barbara Walker also shows this Universal phallus as an extended phallus on her Devil image. Along with the Alpha (left hand side of card) and Omega (right hand side) Greek letters that mean Beginning and End.
To the Hermetic Qabalist, the Devil is not viewed as an evil entity (lived spelled backward), having its own god-like existence, rather it represents a special mystery (Arcana) that must be experienced and understood before we can hope to directly know the Higher Self.
The Devil is known traditionally as the intelligence that is Master of Manifest form (the Survival or instinctual Mind of Nature/Pan), which we meet on the Path of Ayin, and must face and conquer. The Path of Ayin, takes the traveler into an understanding that we are entering a transition between the intellect of mortal consciousness (individual conscious) and true spiritual immortal conscious of TheReal Person.
Three Paths lead directly into Tiphareth: THE DEVIL (key 15), ART (key 14 called Temperance in Golden Dawn, Barbara Walker and Babylonian Decks), and DEATH (key 13). Now each of these paths represents a special trial for the initiate; However, each student is not required to travel all three Paths.
Now I know, that some students of the Occult (hidden mysteries) enter into the studies seeking a type of "Raw Power", hoping to control others and circumstances to avoid pain and "doing unto others before they can do unto them" (Survival mind). Such misinformed students soon learn that if such Power is acquired and then misused, there is a devastating price to pay. So there is no question that for the timid, and doubtful, the Middle Path is much safer than facing and conquering the temptations of the Magical Path.
THE DEVIL represents Raw Power (Mars), it is the Force that brings about the transmutation of THE TOWER (key 16) and is in the sign of Capricorn (also shown as the Goat like figure on the Barbara Walker card), which is where Mars is exalted. Capricorn, is a weighty, even blind sign of Earth and symbolizes the highest and lowest states of individual personality (Real Person and self-conscious person). Yet it is considered a sign of initiation, or release from matter-formed limitations. These material limitations are suggested by the astrological ruler-ship of Capricorn by Saturn, the Planet of Binah, The Great Mother (Imagination) that governs the limitations of form, as does Saturn/Time. These limitations are of both the enclosure of matter or of time, the artificial system by which we meter and enclose all activities and our own self definitions. Thus, THE DEVIL also represents the average person's misconception of "reality"; a perceptive belief that the material-sensual condition is "Real". The Qabalist knows the physical-material world as the "1%" world, and realizes that the other invisible "99%" (often called "the other side of the Mirror") is the Real; for all is Mind.
The misconception of reality is symbolized in two ways on the Thoth DEVIL card;
This Card then emphasizes the knowledge that our belief in the illusion of matter, i.e.mortality, (Matter is only .4% visible as our bodies are 99.6% space!) is actually laughable to us "Suns of the Divine Creative" and/or immortal Psyche/Soul, while implying that laughter and a humorous approach to our lives is a tool which will help our consciousness to transcend the illusion of "seeing it to believe it" and becoming "Knowing it by Being it".
Mirth is the first great corrective (Severity is the second) and helps us not to take our perceptions of the material world seriously, which only means "fearfully". It pays to noted that the Survival Mind of the animal, is our Devilish tempter that tricks us into believing we are as Moons who are at the mercy of Forces rather than the Magus (The Sun) who manipulates them.
When the Devil Tarot card is thrown during a reading, the querent is experiencing or will experience or is receiving:
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