This is a transcription of an audio lecture from The Eternal Tarot of Alchemy and Kabbalah, originally given live at the Gnostic Academy of Chicago.
Let us remember that the tarot were originally inscribed in stone. This is a symbolic as well as a literal statement given by Samael Aun Weor.
In the metaphorical level, we know that the stone refers specifically to Yesod, which is the creative sexual energy, the foundation of the Tree of Life in the Kabbalah. To provide a little more background on the nature of the tarot, I’d like to explain to you some little known reference within the Qur’an to the sacred arcana, the immortal laws of the eternal tarot, especially as it applies to the Divine Mother, the High Priestess, the second arcanum, the subject of our discussion today.
We mentioned previously that the tarot are within all religions, including Islam. The Qur’an speaks about the tarot in a veiled fashion. The tarot are expressed in the Qur’an in an implicit manner, but after our explanations, this knowledge will be explicit.
The Qur’an states in Surah 85, verses 13 to 22:
Truly it is He Who originates and brings back. And He is the Forgiving, the Loving, Possessor of the Throne, the Glorious, Doer of whatsoever He will. Hast thou heard tell of the hosts—Pharaoh and Thamud? Yet those who disbelieve are in denial. And God is behind them, All-Encompassing. Nay, it is a Glorious Qur'an, upon a Preserved Tablet. -Al-Buraj: The Constellations
The preserved tablet is precisely the tarot, since this knowledge was written upon stone and is preserved by the solar initiates in the superior worlds.
The Sufi commentators explain how the preserved tablet is the origin of all scripture, the origin of all teaching, whether Judeo-Christian, Muslim, etc. This preserved tablet is precisely the stone of Yesod upon which the tarot are inscribed.
We mentioned previously that the twenty-two arcana of the sacred tarot are precisely the twenty-two Hebrew letters of the Torah in Kabbalah. As the third book of Enoch states:
“Receive [Kabbel, the root word for Kabbalah] the twenty-two [Hebrew] letters of the oath [of Sexual Magic].”
The word kabbel means to receive knowledge from divinity directly, through awakening consciousness. Likewise, Muhammad received al-Qur’an upon Mount Hira, or Jabal Nur, the “mountain of Light.” So he received, kabbel, the scripture, the law, the Qur’an, the Recitation, which signifies “to speak,” “to pronounce,” “to convey.”
Precisely the Qur’an, the Bible, the Bhagavad-Gita, the world scriptures, whether from east or west, originate from this preserved tablet, which certain Sufis stated is called the Mother of the Book, or the High Priestess, the Divine Mother of the tarot. Al-Qushayri explains that this Surah 85, verses 13 to 22, the reference to the Preserved Tablet, is explained with Surah 29 verse 49:
"Nay, it is but clear signs in the breasts of those who have been given knowledge (Marifah in Arabic, gnosis in Greek, Da'ath in Hebrew) and none reject Our signs, save the wrongdoers."
So what is this preserved tablet upon which the teachings of all traditions are founded? The tarot are principles, archetypes, forces, laws of nature, which need to be inscribed in our own stone, our body, wherein we find the cubic stone of Yesod, the sexual energy. It is precisely Yesod that provides genesis, which generates every scripture, which gives birth to every prophet. This is why Gabriel, the angel and power of the moon, Yesod, announces the birth of every great initiate, since it is through the lunar creative sexual force that one accomplishes the genesis of the soul.
We mentioned that the tarot can be presented in a deck, like the one we have available through Glorian Publishing. The tarot, however, are not limited to a deck, through a set of cards, because these laws are archetypes, experiences, blueprints for the creation of the soul, qualities of being, which are symbolized by the images of the cards. We do not find the real tarot within a physical deck, but in the higher dimensions, within the internal planes.
In the internal worlds, divinity uses this symbolic language, Kabbalah, to convey profound truths about our spiritual development, the dangers, the warnings, the inspirations. Therefore, we study Kabbalah to be well versed in communication with the inner Being, face to face, just as Moses received the twenty-two arcana or commandments of God upon Mount Sinai.
Some people say he received ten, but the truth is that he received twenty-two, in relation to the major arcana.
Similarly, Jesus received the Verb within the Jordan when baptized by John. Likewise, Muhammad the Qur’an, the Recitation, the pronunciation, the Word, from Gabriel, Jibril. The word Gabriel is alchemical and kabbalistic: Geburah-El. Gibur means “strength,” “severity,” or “justice,” relating to the sphere of Geburah on the Tree of Life. Ra is the solar divinity of Egypt, and El in Hebrew means God, spirit.
So what is this Gibur? The swastika, the cross in motion, the alchemical union of man and woman. From this cross of alchemy, the junction of the vertical phallus and the horizontal uterus, those energies, when conserved and never expelled, generate life; those forces enter into action, into movement, through breath, through spirit, through the Hebrew letter א Aleph or Arabic ا Alif. That spinning cross is precisely the Hebrew letter א Aleph that we spoke about previously.
When the wind, the prana, the breath, the creative energies of God, are in movement, they initiate and begin a new life. A prophet who proclaims the scriptures, who speaks, is using א Aleph, because he is initiating others into the teaching.
So when Muhammad received the Qur’an through distinct revelations, he precisely embodied its principles, its arcana, through the descent of those forces and their subsequent return up the spine through the path of initiation, symbolized by the Arabic ا Alif. ا Alif is a straight line, symbolizing the spine through which the prana, the creative energy, ascends. Every master, like Muhammad, works with the creative energy in the spine. The same with all prophets, since they are all children of the stone of Yesod, the preserved tablet, the Mother of the Book.
These arcana are inscribed upon a preserved tablet, which the esoteric Muslims or Sufis explain is a scripture that the angels, the masters, recite and study before the highest divinity, الله Allah. Every scripture in the world is based on a detailed understanding of the twenty-two arcana, which is a knowledge preserved and understood within the internal worlds.
The knowledge is internal; the tarot are internal. They are symbols of forces. For today’s lecture we are exploring the Mother of the Book, the second arcanum of the tarot: the High Priestess, the mother of the tarot, who is inside of us. Her law and laws must be inscribed within the temple of our body, heart, mind, and soul.
I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy תֹורָתְ law [is] within my heart. –Psalms 40:8
The Two Forms of Kabbalah
Remember that Kabbalah is dual in nature and that there are two forms of kabbalists. There are the intellectual kabbalists, and there are the intuitive kabbalists.
The intellectual kabbalists are sorcerers, black magicians, fornicators, those who do not conserve the sacred waters of God within the sexual act, who perform Black Sexual Magic or tantrism.
The intellectual kabbalists store a lot of scripture, knowledge, and teachings given by Moses, other Rabbis, etc., and yet they are exclusively limited to the intellect. That is all they know. They have a lot of book knowledge, lectures, teachings, etc., in the mind, but what distinguishes them is their lack of direct experience of what they have read. They have not verified the truths of divinity in those teachings.
Those intellectual kabbalists who fill the mind with that information know nothing of God, since they have not received, kabbel, kabbalah, the wisdom of divinity directly within the higher dimensions. Those who receive conscious knowledge, Da’ath, Marifah, gnosis, are intuitive kabbalists. They know what they have read about through meditation and astral travel.
So the Qur’an teaches us this principle very beautifully in relation to arcanum two:
He it is Who has sent down the Book upon thee; therein are signs [verses] determined; they are the Mother of the Book [the Tarot, the High Priestess], and others symbolic. As for those whose hearts are given to swerving, they follow that of it which is symbolic, seeking temptation and seeking its interpretation. And none know its interpretation save God and those firmly rooted in knowledge (marifah in Arabic, gnosis in Greek, Da'ath in Hebrew, the hidden sephirah on the Tree of Life, hidden within the throat whereby the verb is gestated, the power of the Tree of Knowledge). They say, "We believe in it: all is from our Lord." And none remember save those possessors of intellect. –Al-Imran 7
The last phrase, “possessors of intellect,” is an inadequate translation. The original Arabic is ulu'l-al-bab, “possessors of kernels” or “seeds.” An intuitive kabbalist can see into the core of things, into their seed, their root nature. This is the nature of intuition, to perceive and interpret the experiences of divinity directly without the interference of the mind. We do so precisely working with the sexual seed, the seed of life. Intuitive kabbalists also see into and interpret the heart or core of any doctrine, any knowledge, any dimension, precisely since they develop the power of prophecy, founded upon Yesod.
But those kabbalists who only study the exterior aspect of things, the shells or appearances of phenomena, are exclusively intellectual. These people are superficial; they don’t see the insides of their teachings, whether of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Gnosis, etc. We must learn to be profound, to learn to dive into the depths of any knowledge to extract its seed, its essence, through transmutation, meditation and direct experience.
Those who possess the shells, and not the seeds, are the black magicians, the intellectual kabbalists who dwell in the Klipoth, the world of shells. Klipoth in Hebrew means “shells.” A shell without a seed is empty of nourishment, of spiritual sustenance, of any genuine reality. The hell realms are empty of spiritual being.
In the infernal worlds, one can have knowledge, but only of the inferior aspect of things, through the shells of the ego. Every ego is a shell that traps consciousness in perdition, in the infradimensions, that we must learn to comprehend and transcend through the psychological work.
The Divine Mother, the High Priestess of the tarot, helps us to eliminate the shells of the ego so we can extract the seeds, the consciousness, the intuitive principles or arcana of the soul, to know the Tree of Life directly from experience. This is how we are liberated from suffering. Through this work of joyful perseverance, of comprehension and elimination of our defects, we create the music of the soul. Now you can comprehend the basis of Tchaikovsky’s famous “Nutcracker” Suite. You must crack the shells of the ego to develop the beauty and symphony of the consciousness.
In this manner you awaken consciousness in order to receive the knowledge of the superior worlds, synthesized through the twenty-two major arcana of the tarot. For as the Third Book of Enoch states:
“Receive [kabbel, kabbalah] the  letters of the oath.”
With the first Arcanum, we learn to descend in order to re-ascend. We must enter Klipoth and comprehend all the shells that condition our understanding. With arcanum two we learn to work with the Divine Mother, the occult science that liberates:
Have you considered the [sexual] Fire that you kindle? Is it you who brought into being the Tree [of life] thereof, or is it We Who bring it into being? We made it a reminder and an enjoyment for the desert dwellers [anyone who traverses the wilderness of initiation, be’midbar, through working with debar, the word]. So glorify the Name of thy Lord, the Magnificent! I swear by the places where the stars descend [the Magician orders the soul to descend then to return / ascend with glory]. And truly it is a magnificent path, if you but knew. Truly it is a Noble Qur’an, in a Book concealed [the tarot, which have not been unveiled until recently]. None touch it, save those made pure [through chastity], a revelation from the Lord of the worlds. –Al-Waqi’ah, the Event [56:71-80].
The Book Concealed is another name for the Preserved Tablet, the twenty-two major arcana that serve as the basis for every major religion, without exception. This knowledge of the tarot, the Book Concealed, hidden within the scriptures and the higher dimensions, was not made public until recent decades, through the writings of Samael Aun Weor. Remember that it was forbidden to teach alchemy in public during the era of Pisces. But now we are in the era of Aquarius, the water carrier, whereby the tarot is now being explained for the first time.
The Mother of the Book is the occult science, the Divine Mother Kundalini represented by the Second Arcanum, known as the sacred Cow or Heifer within the second Surah of the Qur’an, of which we will be discussing in detail today.
The Tree of Life and the Absolute
The number two is precisely the feminine, receptive or negative force that unfolds from the masculine, projective or positive force within the higher dimensions. This difference in forces from the higher planes manifests also within our physicality through the division of sexes.
The Father could not create life if it were not for the Mother. Man and wife cannot be priest and priestess of creation without each other. As above, so below.
We see here in this image the Tree of Life and a representation of man and woman with the image of the infinite, the holy eight, transposed over their bodies. Before speaking about the microcosmos, the human being, let us first discuss the macrocosmos, the universe at large.
The universe emerges because of the Divine Father and Divine Mother, who are unified and described in the kabbalah through the unmanifested, the אין סוף Ain Soph, which in Hebrew translates as the “Limitless.” In Kabbalah, our Ain Soph is our supra-atomic star, a primordial and eternal point of supra-divine, uncreated light that shines within the Absolute Abstract Space. Ain Soph is the essential root of our Being, the root of our existence, which is profound, unconditioned and limitless supra-divine happiness.
Ain Soph is referenced as the Star of בית לחם Bethlehem that guided the three magi towards the birthplace of Christ. ב Beth, as we are going to elaborate upon today, is the second Hebrew letter of Kabbalah, signifying a house, as well as wisdom. Bethlehem literally means “house of bread,” indicating that the light of Christ, the sphere of Chokmah, wisdom, is the solar energy manifested within the eucharist, the bread of wisdom that gives life to the soul. The house of wisdom is precisely the esoteric knowledge of the Second Arcanum, since through the power of the Divine Mother is how Christ is born in us. Our body is a manger or house in which the solar light of Christ can be born if we know how to practice this wisdom.
Let us discuss how לחם Lechem, this bread of wisdom first emerges into the universe. Christ, the light of divinity, first emerges from the Ain Soph as the Ain Soph Aur, the Limitless Light. This undifferentiated, uncreated light, to create the universe, first manifests as Kether, a י iod or point of light, the tenth Hebrew letter and tenth sephirah from the bottom to the top of the Tree of Life.
Remember that in the Magician card, Kether shows one side or aspect of his face. Kether is known in kabbalah as Arik Anpin, the Vast Countenance. This indicates that one part of him is knowable in this universe, through the Tree of Life. The other side of his face is obscured, hidden within the Absolute as the Unmanifested, the Ain Soph. Kether is the first manifestation of the uncreated light into the universe.
This light, manifested as Kether, unfolds into Chokmah, His Son. From Chokmah emerges Binah. Behold Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, to use Christian terms for the primordial forces of creation.
The main trinity represented in this graphic is composed of Kether, Chokmah, Binah, or Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, within the world of archetypes or splendors, Atziluth. This world in Kabbalah is a potential world, whereby the principles of divinity have not yet entered manifestation or creation. These forces constitute a unity in the world of archetypes, Atziluth, before these forces manifest as three in order to create life. Remember that within Kether is Chokmah and Binah. Within Chokmah is Kether and Binah. And within Binah is Kether and Chokmah. This unity is indivisible, but manifests in three ways. For the unity to create, it expresses itself as three, the number associated with genesis and creation.
Binah, the Holy Spirit, has a masculine and feminine aspect, known as Abba and Aima Elohim, Father and Mother, synthesized in the sacred name of this sephirah: Jehovah Elohim, which means gods and goddesses.
From the masculine aspect of Binah emerges the feminine aspect of divinity, the Divine Mother, and through their union in Da’ath, Briah, the world of creation, produce their Son, Chesed, the spirit.
For that light to create the Tree of Life in its totality, such a light must manifest through the power of Father-Mother in the world of Briah or Da’ath, the mysterious, alchemical tree of knowledge of good and evil, to create all things.
Before the logos can create, Father must unfold into Mother within Binah. Behold a second form of the holy trinity: father, mother, and son, which has its center of gravity in Binah and which is empowered through the mystical sphere of Da’ath. Da’ath is the kabbalistic world of Briah, the world of creation, wherein the sephiroth, the worlds of formation or Yetzirah, emerge.
When Binah unfolds himself into the divine feminine, they create through the science of Da’ath, to engender the spirit, Chesed. The world of Da’ath is the world of creation, Briah, in Kabbalah, whereby Osiris, the Father, and Isis, the Mother, join to create the Son, Horus.
In synthesis, all of this is contained and implied within the arcana. The Magician, unfolding into the High Priestess, forms the second arcanum of the tarot.
Be careful not to mix up the trinities: one tri-unity in the world of Atziluth, splendorous archetypes, and another in the world of Briah, creation. This is a deep teaching that requires intuition to comprehend fully and deeply.
Father, Mother, and Son create the Tree of Life, the lower sephiroth or world of Yetzirah, formation, and this light enters more dense forms of materiality, energy, and experience, down the Sephiroth or emanations of this diagram, until reaching the physical plane, Malkuth. Malkuth represents the world of matter and action, the fourth and final world of kabbalah: Assiah.
The light emerges from the Absolute, and forms the Tree of Life, so that our supra-atomic star, our Ain Soph, can acquire knowledge and understanding of its own divine happiness by returning that light (from below) back to Itself.
The Ain Soph of most people does not yet have comprehension, cognizance of its own happiness. Self-realization exists within the Ain Soph when the soul has performed the Great Work. An Ain Soph with cognizance of Itself is known as Ain Soph Paranishpanna. The word Paranishpanna signifies absolute cognizance of absolute happiness. But for this to occur, the disciple must return that light that is in Malkuth, their physical house, inward and up the Tree of Life, the different Sephiroth, through the work of the Divine Mother that we are explaining.
To return up the Tree of Life, back to our Ain Soph, we must become מלכים Malachim or מלכות Melachot, “kings” or “queens,” priests or priestesses, practical magicians who harness the forces of the physical body, Malkuth, our house, or Beth. This is to acquire wisdom and enlightenment of each Sephirah, each level of creation, until returning to our source, which is our origin.
Our Ain Soph is also a house, but empty, uninhabited, without realization. The Being is absolute happiness, yet lacks cognizance of this absolute happiness. It is an empty house. Our Ain Soph needs us to return, to reflect its own happiness through us so as to know Itself. It is uninhabited by the soul, the consciousness that can serve as a mirror for one’s supra-atomic star to perceive itself completely.
The Sufis refer to the Ain Soph with the separated Arabic letter ا Alif in the sacred name of God, الله Allah. This ا Alif is the nothingness, the sacred breath, the cosmic space, as well as the Ain Soph, which is why in Islam, no statues or images can be made of الله Allah, because no one can anthropomorphize space and the uncreated light. This Limitless space or uncreated light is precisely the kabbalistic Ain Soph.
The rest of the sacred name of God is Islam refers to the manifested expression of the light, the Tree of Life, signified by ل Lam, ل Lam, and ه Ha. The Arabic ل Lam or Hebrew ל Lamed refers to the tongue, to speech, to the manifested, creative Verb. The Arabic ه Ha or Hebrew ה Hei can also refer to the breath, but this specifically is in relation to the materialization of the cosmic breath into matter.
Therefore, recitation within Islam is so prominent, because it refers to the manifested expression of divine light from the unknowable cosmic space, the power of the creative verb. This cosmic space is called Mulaprakriti in Hinduism. It is the universal space of the Divine Mother, within whom is the bosom of the Universal Cosmic Common Eternal Father.
The Qur’an speaks of Prophet Muhammad’s night journey up the seven heavens or seven dimensions of the Tree of Life, towards the sacred house, the Ain Soph. We too must learn to perform Hajj, or pilgrimage to the sacred house, the Ain Soph, represented by the sacred Kaba, the stone of Mecca, which is obligatory for every Muslim or solar initiate to visit. This duty, hajj, represents the achievement of Self-realization or Ain Soph Paranishpanna.
The Prophet’s night journey, al-Miraj, is described in Surah 53: al-Najm, the Star:
By the star when it descends,
Your companion [Muhammad] has not strayed, nor has he erred,
Nor does he speak from [his own] inclination.
It is not but a revelation revealed,
Taught to him by one intense in strength –
One of soundness. And he rose to [his] true form
While he was in the higher [part of the] horizon.
Then he approached and descended
And was at a distance of two bow lengths or nearer (since the second letter of Arabic is ب ba, equivalent to the Hebrew ב Beth, signifying the sacred house and wisdom).
And he revealed to His Servant what he revealed.
The heart did not lie [about] what it saw.
So will you dispute with him over what he saw?
And he certainly saw him in another descent
At the Lote Tree of the Utmost Boundary [Ain Soph]
Near it is the Garden of Refuge [the Unmanifested Ain]–
When there covered the Lote Tree that which covered [it].
The sight [of the Prophet] did not swerve, nor did it transgress [its limit].
He certainly saw of the greatest signs of his Lord. —The Star, verses 1-18.
There is a limit how far the prophets and angels can go towards the heights, represented by the Lote Tree of the furthermost boundary, the Pass Not Ring cited by Blavatsky in her writings. Many initiates reach the Ain Soph, but further sacrifice is needed to enter the Ain, the Unmanifested Absolute.
To enter the bosom of the Cosmic Common Eternal Father, the Sacred Space, the Unmanifested Absolute or Ain, is very hard to achieve. However, before we can worry about that, we must unite with our own particular Ain Soph.
Regarding the path of self-realization, Ibn Arabi, a great Sufi Master, explained that only الله Allah, Ain Soph, our supra-atomic star, can comprehend Himself through the perfected soul.
From the Treatise on The One Alone, Kitab al-Ahadiyyah:
When one looks into a mirror one sees oneself. Whatever appears on you appears on the image in the mirror. When you look upon your image in the mirror, your image is looking upon you. Naturally the eye that looks at you from the mirror is your eye. Then, when the image in the mirror looks at you, is it not true that you are looking at yourself with your own eyes? If the name of the one who is looking in the mirror is Ahmad, and if the image in the mirror could speak and say, “I am Ahmad,” it would be telling the truth. Yet, as the image is reflecting, so would be the words. It would not be the image that calls itself Ahmad, but the one who is looking into the mirror.
So if someone says, “I am the Truth,” do not hear it from any other than the Truth Himself, for it is not a man who says it; it is the word of Allah. That man who utters these words is nothing but an image reflected upon an empty mirror, one of the infinite attributes of Allah. The reflection is the same as that which is being reflected, and the words of the image are the reflected words of the Real One.
The void [emptiness of the consciousness] is a mirror; the creation is the image in it. Man is as the eye of the image reflected in the mirror; the One who is reflected in the image is hidden in the pupil of that eye; thus He sees Himself. Then:
"He is the One who sees: He is the eye. He is the One who is seen." –Shaikh Mahmud Shabustari, Gulsheni-Raz
Only the one who has the eyes of his heart open will understand these words. -Ibn 'Arabi
If you want to understand what it means to reflect the light of the Ain Soph, you must develop your heart, Tiphereth, the beauty of the perfected soul.
The Qur’an also speaks about the Ain Soph as the house inhabited, meaning: an Ain Soph with realization, Ain Soph Paranishpanna:
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful,
By the Mount [of Initiation], and by a Book inscribed [the Preserved Tablet or tarot inscribed in stone], on parchment outspread; by the house inhabited [Ain Soph Paranishpanna] by the canopy [of the sky] raised [the skies in the internal plane represent your level of being, the qualities of your mind], and by the sea swelling over, truly thy Lord's Punishment shall come to pass. —Al-Tur, the Mount 1-7
By climbing the mountain of initiation, we ascend the Tree of Life, towards higher and higher levels of Being, until finally uniting with the longed-for goal, the Ain Soph. Once we return to our Ain Soph, we have inhabited our house once again, our true home.
As Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz exclaimed, "There’s no place like home!" She of course represents our soul that has traveled the straight and narrow path, the yellow brick road of wisdom, gnosis, until reaching her true origin. She accomplishes this through the silver slippers, which are red in the film. The one who guides her in secret is Glinda, a reference to the science of the Divine Mother, who is the Good Witch of the North. The sacred mantra relating to the North is IAO, the sacred name of God in Latin, or Jehovah in Hebrew. Within the Divine Mother, signified by the mantra RAM-IO is the Divine Father, who is in secret.
Slippers represent the mysteries of Yesod in kabbalah, since this is how we genuinely walk the path of initiation. Silver relates to the science of Mercury, Hermes, his winged boots that allow him to ascend and descend throughout the entire Tree of Life at will. Once we work with the science of mercury and the Divine Mother, we acquire the capacity to leave our egotistical dreams behind and return to our spiritual house, Beth, the Ain Soph.
Duality, Genesis, and the Second Arcanum
Let us discuss the nature of the number two in relation to duality and the High Priestess of the Tarot. The sign of the infinite is the magical symbol of tantrism, sexual alchemy. The sign of the infinite unites all three of our psychological and physiological centers, what in gnostic psychology we call the three brains: the intellect, the emotions, and the sexual organs. These centers relate to Netzach, the mental body or mind, Hod, the emotional body or heart, and Yesod, the vital body intimately related with the energies of the sexual organs.
These three vehicles relate to what we call our three brains within our physicality. Let us remember that the Tree of Life is this map of divinity and ourselves. To talk about the Divine Mother, the feminine aspect of God, we must remember that this Tree of Life manifests, emerges, because of the first card of the tarot. The Magician initiates, creates, begins, but to do so, he unfolds into his divine spouse, Devi Kundalini.
Man and woman, with their three brains united through the sexual act, can work to return inward and upward back to their own atomic star.
If you take the two signs of the holy eight from both man and woman and cross them, one horizontal and the other vertical, you form a famous symbol of Buddhism, the dorje, a tantric representation of sexual union, the vertical phallus with the horizontal uterus. The bell in Tibetan Buddhism represents the feminine sexual organs, the yoni. Both bell and dorje form the foundation of all spiritual realization, or Ain Soph Paranishpanna.
The science of the Second Arcanum is the path of sexuality, the Divine Mother Kundalini, who sleeps in the chakra Muladhara coiled three and a half times within this center, awaiting the moment of its awakening through sexual alchemy, white tantrism between husband and wife. Just as man and woman can create a physical child through sex, likewise we create the perfected soul through sexual union with the conservation and sublimation of the seminal matter into divine, Christic energy.
If we want to return to our own particular unity, the Ain Soph, we must work with the duality, man and woman. Ain Soph is a perfect unity, whose light unfolds into a duality and also a trinity to produce the creation of the universe. If we want to return to our origin, we must work in the perfect matrimony, because to create spiritually, we need our sexual compliment, through a member of the opposite sex. Both masculine and feminine polarities are required for creation, both of a physical child as well as the soul.
Description and Explanation of the Second Card of the Tarot
The most notable feature of this glyph, besides the feminine figure seated in contemplation, are the two columns of the temple, which in Masonry remind us of Jakin and Boaz, the white and black pillars. Jakin is masculine, Boaz is feminine. The pillars are reversed in this image in order to demonstrate that the Popess of the Tarot, the High Priestess, is looking out from within the temple, and that we, as disciples, are viewing her from the inside of the temple looking out. This is because Jakin, the white pillar of mercy, is the right hand pillar of the Tree of Life, consisting of Chokmah, Chesed, and Netzach, whereas Boaz, the black pillar of severity, is the left hand pillar of the Tree of Life, consisting of Binah, Geburah, and Hod. Notice also that the pillars Jakin and Boaz are in the waters, the bottom third of the card.
The Divine Mother is the force that reconciliates, who sits within the middle of the temple, emphasizing to us the spinal medulla in our body, wherein She rises through the alchemical science. She manifests in the middle pillar through our works, the middle pillar consisting of Kether, Da’ath, Tiphereth, Yesod, and Malkuth.
What do these two columns symbolize for us? Jakin represents the man, mercy. Boaz represents the woman, severity. These two columns support the temple of every mystery. Notice that with the image of this temple’s pillars there are four sections each, representing for us the four lower bodies of the human being, the lower four vehicles of the consciousness. Those four lower bodies are described in the Tree of Life as Malkuth, the physical body, Yesod, the vital body, Hod, the astral or emotional body, and Netzach, the mind or mental body.
These two pillars must have space between them, as Samael Aun Weor emphasizes in his books, as well as the poet Kahlil Gibran, who explains the nature of these two pillars very beautifully in a work known as The Prophet. I’d like to relate to you a poem from this text, to emphasize how man and woman balance each other in their relationship. They must not be too close with sentimentalism and attachment, nor too far apart with distance, self-importance, coldness, etc. They must find balance within each other and themselves. The masculine, projective force finds his equilibrium and harmony through the receptive force, and vice versa.
Here is the poem with some minor exegeses, commentary or explanation between the lines, since Kahlil Gibran teaches kabbalah and alchemy in a veiled form.
You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God (when submerged in the Ain Soph during the Cosmic Night, the Great Pralaya).
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds (the Aleph, the Prana) of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another, but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, (for as Paul of Tarsus indicates, those who are single should live as if they are married to their Divine Mother, and the married as single, chaste persons)
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.
For only the hand of (The Absolute Universal Spirit of) Life (the Unmanifested Ain) can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.
Husband and wife must find their equilibrium in their matrimony on a physical, sexual, emotional, mental, and volitional level [volition relating to will] or there will be imbalance and unhappiness.
In the Magician card, the Priest was standing. But with the High Priestess, she is sitting. Her posture signifies the feminine aspect of divinity, which is receptive, passive, nurturing.
She holds an open book, the Preserved Tablet, which is the kabbalah, the mystical science at the heart of all religions. Here we literally see the Mother of the Book, the Divine Mother or feminine aspect of divinity, who is eluded to in the Qur’an.
She has an Tao cross, of Venus, upon Her breast, indicating that She carries the milk of wisdom, spiritual sustenance, the nourishment for the soul. She is the kabbalistic Shekinah, the exiled power of Israel that can liberate and reconcile the true Jews, the intuitive kabbalists, with heaven, the divine. From Her breast is the milk of real knowledge, which is experiential. It’s what we verify. It’s what we know from facts. That sustenance that She gives to Her son or daughter emerges within us as a result of meditation, when we are face to face with our Divine Mother, speaking to Her, receiving the insights and symbols of dreams from Her directly. That’s how we nourish our soul.
Milk, as wisdom, is a substance that resembles semen within man or woman, the seminal matter. The milk also represents the divine virtues we create through learning to transmute our sexual energies, transforming the base material or semen into the light of enlightened consciousness. This is accomplished through Venus, the goddess of love.
Venus-Aphrodite is the beauty of our Divine Mother manifest in our hearts, Tiphereth. She provides beauty to the soul itself when we learn to work with Her intimately, cognizantly. Tiphereth, our human soul, or human consciousness or willpower, astrologically relates to both Venus and the Sun. The secret mantra of Tiphereth in kabbalah is Eloah va Da’ath Iod Hei Vau Hei, "Goddess of knowledge, Jehovah."
Who is this goddess of knowledge that resides in our heart temple? Our Divine Mother, the Popess or High Priestess of the Tarot. She enters and manifests in our heart through sexual magic, white tantrism, the science of alchemy with its sacred mantras.
Upon Her head is a serpent, indicating how She has raised that power of the serpent within us, to the mind, and that this feminine figure is a master.
She has a veil over Her face, referring to the veil of Isis. This means that the genuine mysteries of God can only be known through meditation, that we must tear the veil through alchemy, meditation, and the death of our desires, our defects, our ego.
Beethoven had an image of the Divine Mother, the divine feminine, above his desk where he would compose. Upon this painting was inscribed, in his own hand, the hermetic axiom of the Goddess Neith, the Egyptian Divine Mother, from the temple of this female divinity from ancient times: “I am all that was, is, and shall be, and no mortal hath lifted My veil.” So Beethoven was a Freemason, who knew this knowledge very well and depicted the tarot in his music, in accordance with his nine completed symphonies and the nine heavens or Sephiroth above Malkuth, whereby he slowly unveiled the mysteries of Isis in his compositions, for those who hath an ear to ear what the spirit saith unto the churches, the chakras of Revelation.
The veil of Isis can only be lifted through purification of our psyche. Sanctification and purity are the two essential requirements for knowing and experiencing the mysteries of the High Priestess of the Tarot. Sanctification signifies the death of the ego, through daily meditation. To purify means to be chaste, to not waste the sexual energy, to not expel it. To expel that energy is to be expelled from the temple of the Divine Mother, because the power of the Divine Mother is chastity, sexual purity.
Upon Her head are the horns of the bull Apis, which relates to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit, Jehovah Elohim in kabbalah, is masculine and feminine, signified by the masculine-feminine suffix of the word Elohim. El is masculine. Eloah is feminine. Iod Mem, im, is the masculine plural ending of the word Elohim, which means “gods and goddesses.”
The Divine Mother Kundalini Shakti is the feminine aspect of the Holy Spirit, the spouse of Shiva. The masculine aspect of the Holy Spirit, Shiva, is also known as Abba Elohim, and the feminine is Aima Elohim. Abba means “father,” as in Christ’s prayer before his Passion, “Abba, father, if it be possible, pass this cup of bitterness from me, but not my will, but Thine be done” (Matthew 26:39). The cup is a symbol of the yoni, the feminine sexual organs, the path of the Divine Mother, which is painful to the mind and ego, because through the alchemical work our desires must die. Aima means “mother,” and is signified by the holy grail, the cup of the mysteries, wherein is contained the milk or manna of wisdom.
The unification of Abba and Aima Elohim, implied through the unity of the first and second arcana of the tarot, produces the third arcanum: the Empress or Christified soul, the perfected consciousness, the topic of our next lecture.
The Divine Mother has always been represented by the feminine cow in many faiths. Milk, as referenced in the second arcanum, is an element abundant in cows, which we find represented in Hinduism by Krishna, the cowherd, a symbol of Christ nourishing himself through the seminal energies. We likewise find reference to the Divine Mother in the longest surah of the Qur’an, al-Baqarah, the Heifer or Cow.
This surah mentions how the powers of the sacred cow, the Divine Mother, can resuscitate the dead. This is a symbol of how the alchemical wisdom can bring those who are spiritually dead, filled with ego, back into spiritual life. In this passage, Moses is speaking before the unbelieving people of Israel and the need to slaughter a cow to achieve redemption. This does not make much sense literally, but if you understand that the cow represents the science of the Divine Mother, the real meaning is clear.
The solar initiates must, of course, slaughter the animal ego, to be reborn spiritually. This is represented by the slaughtering of the cow in al-Baqarah, which is the second surah of the Qur’an, directly referencing the mysteries of Arcanum 2:
And [recall] when Moses said to his people, "Indeed, Allah commands you to slaughter a cow." They said, "Do you take us in ridicule?" He said, "I seek refuge in Allah from being among the ignorant."
They said, "Call upon your Lord to make clear to us what it is." [Moses] said, "[Allah] says, 'It is a cow which is neither old nor virgin, but median between that,' so do what you are commanded." [That the cow is neither old nor virgin, but a middle ground, represents us: to begin the alchemical work, we should not be too old, but neither too young, like adolescents who should be virginal, yet in today’s age are not. The proper age to begin sexual magic is 21 for men and 18 for women, since women tend to mature faster biologically].
They said, "Call upon your Lord to show us what is her color." He said, "He says, 'It is a yellow cow, bright in color - pleasing to the observers.' " [The color yellow, in esoterism, symbolizes objective knowledge, wisdom of the solar mind, the Christic path].
They said, "Call upon your Lord to make clear to us what it is. Indeed, [all] cows look alike to us. And indeed we, if Allah wills, will be guided."
He said, "He says, 'It is a cow neither trained to plow the earth nor to irrigate the field, one free from fault with no spot upon her.'" [To be free from fault indicates that the power of the Divine Mother is pure, chaste, without blemish]. They said, "Now you have come with the truth." So they slaughtered her [or better said, slaughtered the ego through Her power], but they could hardly do it [because the work against the ego is very difficult].
And [recall] when you slew a man and disputed over it, but Allah was to bring out that which you were concealing. [All of us are guilty of slaying the image of the internal man, the true human being, through fornication. Afterward we constantly dispute about it, justify our degeneration, with excuses. Meanwhile we conceal our degeneration from others out of shame, when in truth the Being, Allah, knows how filthy our hearts and minds are].
So, We said, "Strike the slain man with part of it." Thus does Allah bring the dead to life, and He shows you His signs that you might reason. [All of us are dead to the spirit because of our ego. Therefore, the power of the Divine Mother can awaken and liberate us. This passage also indicates that when we die to the ego, we resurrect within the Holy Spirit at the end of the Second Mountain. All of this is for people with reason: or better said, solar intelligence, those possessors of intellect or possessors of kernels, seeds].
Then your hearts became hardened after that, being like stones or even harder [because despite being taught the science of alchemy, the followers of Moses remained fornicators]. For indeed, there are stones from which rivers burst forth, and there are some of them that split open and water comes out, and there are some of them that fall down for fear of Allah. And Allah is not unaware of what you do. [What are the stones from which rivers gush forth? The stones of the testicles or ovaries, the stone of Yesod, from which the seminal waters of transmutation emerge. Remember that “stones” is slang for gonads]. —Al-Baqarah, the Heifer 67-74
"The cow" in Spanish is La Baca. Spell La Baca backwards and you spell kabbalah, the teachings of the cow, the mystical science of Judaism and of Shekinah, the Mother of the Book.
La Baca can also refer to the Kaba, the sacred stone of the Muslims, which represents for us the mysteries of the stone of Yesod, the creative sexual energy.
Baqa literally means "subsistence" in Arabic. To have spiritual substance, to subsist within the Being, to self-realize the Being, we must first work with what the Sufis denominate as fana, which means "annihilation." To be in the Being, you must first die as an ego.
Regarding the horns of the bull, horns have dualistic significance in esotericism. They can refer to our egotism, our own satanic qualities, our animality. Horns in the positive sense can be represented by the horns of light, representing levels of self-realization within the Being. These horns of light were seen radiating from the head of Moses as he descended Mount Sinai, after he received the ten commandments from above. Michelangelo chiseled a statue of Moses to represent the horns of light, of wisdom, obtained by any solar initiate who completes the Mountain of Resurrection.
We too must chisel the stone of Yesod, our sexual energies, with willpower and intelligence, to provide perfect cubic shape, to serve as the foundation of our inner temple, as represented by the Second Arcanum. We must ensure that the power of the two pillars, within the waters of the card, must be perfected. All four levels of each pillar must be perfected, signifying the purification of the physical, vital, astral, and mental bodies, the lower quaternary of kabbalah or the four bodies of sin.
We accomplish this work through the hammer of willpower and the chisel of imagination, of intelligence and wisdom, to give shape to the soul. With the first arcanum of the tarot, we work with the hammer of willpower, concentration, the Magician. We initiate and begin this work. We direct our willpower in the spiritual endeavor. The second arcanum of the tarot is intelligence, imagination, the chisel of understanding by which we focus our willpower so as to give shape to our stone.
The Divine Mother is the force of imagination itself, the capacity to perceive non-physical, psychic, or spiritual imagery within meditation and the higher planes. Imagination simply is the ability to perceive images in the mind’s eye, whether voluntarily or involuntarily.
Imagination can also be dualistic, either conscious, unconditioned, free and clear of subjectivity, or it can be mechanical, negative, conditioned or egotistical.
Fantasy, daydreams, mental projections, are precisely negative imagination, conditioned perception. We typically experience negative imagination, fantasy, on a day to day, moment by moment basis. This is egotistical. We are hypnotized by our minds, imagining what we would have liked to say to that person who cut us off on the street during our drive to work, visualizing what we would have said if we could have pulled up to the side of the person, what revenge we can get, gratifying our anger, etc. We get lost in associative thinking, daydreaming about our family or co-workers and not paying attention to where we are at or what we are doing. This is all mechanical, subjective, negative, and constitutes, for most people, the daily state of affairs.
Conscious imagination is the ability to visualize during meditation any object we have decided to concentrate upon, such as a statue, a candle, a mandala, a stone. We concentrate on the object with our entire attention, never losing our attention focused on the object of our practice, and thereafter imagine it in our mind, our consciousness. We learn to see with our imagination the qualities of the image with perfect clarity, color, and accuracy. This of course develops through daily discipline.
Willpower, the Magician, helps us to concentrate on a specific task. Imagination, the High Priestess, grants us the capacity to perceive what we are doing. Together you achieve comprehension, the third arcanum, the perfected soul.
The serpent biting its tail in the card can represent the moon, the lunar, feminine forces, but also the ouroboros, a middle eastern symbol of eternity and how the Divine Mother Kundalini serpent must swallow the soul. We must be swallowed by the serpent to become purified, so that our conscious imagination can be perfected. This is paralleled by Jonah being swallowed by the whale, since Jonah literally means "dove" in Hebrew, a symbol of chastity and the Holy Spirit.
As described in The Perfect Matrimony, we must raise the serpent of Kundalini up the seven lower bodies of the Tree of Life: Malkuth, Yesod, Hod, Netzach, Tiphereth, Geburah, and Chesed, which are the physical, vital, astral, mental, causal, buddhic, and Atmic bodies. After raising the serpent up each body, we obtain an initiation of Major Mysteries, which are seven in total.
The serpent in this card is also a moon, which has profound significance, because the moon relates to the ego, to defects and desires. This is where we get the word lunatic, someone who is influenced by the moon, by violence, hatred, mechanical forces in nature. The moon is the ego, sorrow, sentimentalism, pain and suffering.
Our habits are one hundred percent lunar, mechanical, habitual, petrified in our psyche and body. We must go against mechanical, lunar behaviors to acquire solar intelligence, the powers of the Being. The moon is mechanical imagination, truly identified as fantasy, whereas the resplendence of the sun is the perfection of conscious imagination.
There is also a positive aspect of the moon, which is the Divine Mother Kundalini, but She has nothing to do with our inverted, negative desires, the inferior aspect of the moon known as Lilith and Nahemah. Devi Kundalini is the power that can liberate us from the inferior influences of the moon, the mind, from the demons or egos of Lilith and Nahemah, which are two lunar aspects of degenerated psychologies.
The serpent that ascends within the spine, to victoriously swallow the soul, is the Divine Mother Kundalini. The negative, devolving, degenerative and fallen serpent, the serpent of temptation that leads one into the infradimensions, into the hell realms, is the Kundabuffer, the tail of demons, which descends from the coccyx through lust and fornication.
The fiery seraphim or serpents bit the Israelites in the desert as a result of their transgression and disobedience to Jehovah. These fiery serpents that punish the soul are inverted sexual fires of the Kundabuffer, the forces of the ego, the fiery elements of lust and sexual desire. But to be healed of their degeneration, their perversity, to redeem their soul from the ego, the Israelites looked upon the serpent of brass of Moshe, Moses.
Brass is an alchemical symbol, the union of the metals tin and copper, representing man and woman. Through the fires of sexuality, of love, those metals fuse and produce the serpent of brass, the Kundalini, that rises within the spines of the initiates, husband and wife.
This is how the moon is gradually transmuted, transformed into a sun.
As described in the Qur’an, Muhammad performed the miracle of cleaving the moon in half, which people, of course, interpret literally. However, when you know kabbalah and alchemy, you see that any couple working in the perfect matrimony can cleave the lunar ego in half, to comprehend and annihilate it completely. This is a symbol of overcoming lunar mechanicity in order to be a solar adept through the power of the Divine Mother.
The sign of Cancer reigns in this card, which astrologically relates to the powers of the moon, Yesod, vitality, conception, and reproduction, which are regulated by the cycles of the physical moon. Menstruation and feminine sexual cycles are deeply related to the lunar phases, alongside the fluctuation and tides of the seas. The second arcanum of the tarot therefore relates to Cancer because it is a water sign, a moon sign. The sexual energies relate to the moon. The white moon is the Divine Mother. The black moon is Lilith, demonism, degeneration.
Those who abuse the waters of sexuality end up developing incurable diseases such as Cancer, which is intimately related with such a sickness.
The sign of Cancer is the sign of the scarab in Egyptian terminology. This insect is said to be immortal because it constantly regenerates itself and creates new bodies, which break away from old shells. This is a symbol of the regenerative faculties of sexual alchemy, for the soul learns to break free from the shells, Klipoth in Hebrew, the ego.
The symbol of Islam is a crescent moon with the star of Venus, indicating that we must work with the powers of Yesod, the lunar influence, through Venus, the star of love, the Divine Mother.
As we mentioned previously, the supreme mantra of sexual magic is the Latin I.A.O., Ignis, Aqua, Origo, or fire, water, and spirit. These principles are represented by the three mother letters of kabbalah: א Aleph [air], ש Shin [fire], and מ Mem [water]. The sound of the air or breath can be represented by an "h," the letter ה Hei. ה Hei, ש Shin and מ Mem spell השם Hashem, signifying "the Name." Spell Hashem backwards and you spell משה Moshe, Moses.
Moses is our willpower, our inner magician, who can raise the serpentine power up our spine through the merits and qualifications of the heart. By learning to control the air [mind], fire [emotions], and sexual organs [water], we give birth through the womb of ה Hei, the Divine Mother, to the solar bodies of esoterism.
You can also use the Hebrew י Iod, ה Hei, ו Vau for I.A.O. The sacred name of God in Judaism is יהוה Jehovah, Iod-Hei-Vau-Hei. י Iod is the man, ה Hei is the woman. ו Vav is the phallus, ה Hei is the uterus.
So you can see that the alchemical science of Hei, the Divine Mother, is absolutely sexual.
The Significance of the Hebrew Letter Beth
Now we are going to talk about the Hebrew letter Beth and the profound meanings thereof.
We’ve included in this slide an image of the Hebrew letter Beth with Krishna, who is the cowherd, alongside the sacred Ka’ba in the Middle East. Beth simply represents a house, and its calligraphy represents the two columns of the temple that we discussed.
Beth is also hidden in the Arabic tongue as Bayt Allah, "House of God," a reference to the Ka’ba or cubic stone of Yesod within Surah 22, verse 26 of the Qur’an:
And mention, O Muhammad, when We designated for Abraham the site of the House, saying, "Do not associate anything with Me and purify My House for those who perform Tawaf [circumambulations or circling around the Kaaba] and those who stand in prayer and those who bow and prostrate.
What is the house of God? We can say it consists of the solar vehicles that we create through alchemy. We talked previously about creating the soul, vehicles within the higher dimensions wherein we can manifest the light of God, principally through the solar astral / emotional body, solar mental body, and solar causal body or body of willpower. Beth or the solar vehicles are the Merkabah that took Ezekiel up to the heavens.
Notice that the letterב Beth is composed of three ו Vavs. The letter ו Vav is a straight line, signifying a spinal medulla. Three lines means three spines, signifying the three solar vehicles we must create in alchemy: solar astral, solar mental, and solar causal bodies.
Muslim circumambulate, circle around the sacred Kaaba in Mecca, seven times. This implies the work of raising the sacred fire of Kundalini up the spinal medullae of the seven lower Sephiroth of the Tree of Life, precisely through working with the House of God, the mysteries of alchemy, Allah-khemia, or Yesod.
Al-Baqarah, the second arcanum or surah of the Qur’an, is the longest in that scripture. As we mentioned earlier, the second arcanum relates to the sacred cow, the Divine Mother who grants resurrection and life to the soul that has died to the ego.
Krishna is the Hindu form of Christ, the logos, the divine, represented as a cowherd. There is a profound relationship between Krishna and the cow, Christ and the Divine Mother Cow, Baqarah. These aspects of divinity work together within us, especially in the advanced stages of the path.
There are many other interesting kabbalistic words that begin with the Hebrew letter Beth, all which point towards the significance of generating and developing the soul: Beth-El, “House of God,” Bethesda: "house of mercy,” Bathsheba: "daughter of the seven," or seven bodies of the Tree of Life, Beth Din: tribunal of justice, religion, or karma, which exists in the higher dimensions, and Elisabeth, pronounced El-Isis-A-Beth, El signifying God, Isis the Divine Mother, and Beth the consciousness. Elizabeth was the mother of John, the sacred Verb, or IEOUAMS, the seven vowels hidden in the name Johannes; and Bethlehem, “House of Bread,” we discussed already.
Beth and the Zohar
The heavenly Jerusalem in the Book of Revelations, as we see in this final graphic, represents the perfected soul, a house or city built in a cubic shape, representative of Yesod in Kabbalah. The jewels beneath the heavenly house or city, Beth, are the virtues of the soul that are generated through meditation and alchemy.
Beth in Hebrew and Arabic refers to the house of divinity, the heavenly Jerusalem, the solar bodies. However, Beth can also reference the sexual glands wherein are housed the creative sexual energies of genesis, the creation of the soul or solar vehicles.
This creation of the solar bodies is the mystery of Genesis, generation. The creation of the soul is known as בְּרֵאשִׁית Bereshit in kabbalah. Notice that בְּרֵאשִׁית Bereshit begins with Beth, the letter of wisdom.
Our body is a house with the energies of spiritual realization in a potential state. The mysteries of the second arcanum are hidden in the Hebrew acrostic Bereshit, or: (Bereshit Bara Elohim At Ha-Shamayim Vey-At Ha'aretz): בְּרֵאשִׁית בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים אֵת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֵת הָאָֽרֶץ׃ "In the beginning, Elohim created the heavens and the earth."
The Zohar explains that "In the beginning" should be read as "In wisdom, Elohim created." Beth represents the house of wisdom from which all spiritual creation emerges.
What wisdom does the Zohar reference in relation to the creation of the universe? The wisdom of the Divine Mother, the science of alchemy: to retain the sexual energies of tantrism and to never spill them. All of this is hidden in the Zohar’s teaching about the word בְּרֵאשִׁית Bereshit, which discusses how through raising the creative energy from the sexual glands to our brain within sexual alchemy, we can create the soul. All of this is accomplished through chiseling and perfecting the heavenly house or city of peace, Jerusalem, the cubic stone of the masons:
זהר Zohar, Radiance! Mystery! בְּרֵאשִׁית Bereshit, In the beginning, first of all. אהיה Ehyeh, I will be (Exodus 3:14), a sacred name engraved in its sides [more specifically, on the sides of the cubic stone]; אלהים (Elohim), God, engraved in the crown. —Zohar
We spoke about the Magician, Kether, whose sacred name of in Kabbalah is אהיה אשר אהיה, Eheyeh Asher Eheyeh, "I will be what I become, " or commonly translated as "I Am Who I Am. "
Eheyeh, I will be, is written on the sides of the cubic stone of Yesod, indicating the two energetic channels Ida and Pingala, since we enact the force of becoming, of transformation, through working with the caduceus of Mercury, as we explained previously in our first lecture in this course.
Elohim is written on the crown of the cubic stone of Yesod, since when the sacred fires rise from sex to the brain, when the Kundalini reaches the pineal gland, the Divine Mother below unites with the Divine Father, the Holy Spirit or Jehovah Elohim, above.
אשר (Asher), Who—a hidden, treasured palace, beginning mystery of רֵאשִׁית (reshit). —Zohar
Asher is the Holy Spirit who puts into activity the creative principles of the Divine Mother in sex. This is the mystery of beginning, רֵאשִׁית reshit.
אשר (Asher)— רֹאש (rosh), head, emerging from רֵאשִׁית (reshit). —Zohar
Rosh and Asher have the same Hebrew letters, but in different order. This signifies that the power of the Holy Spirit, Asher, Who, must rise from the sexual glands to the brain, to unite in the head, to form רֵאשִׁית "reshit," the beginning of genesis.
When afterward point and palace were arrayed as one, then בְּרֵאשִׁית Bereshit comprised supernal רֵאשִׁית (reshit) in wisdom. —Zohar
What is the point and the palace? The point is a י Iod, the tenth letter of Kabbalah, referring to Kether and the creative sexual energy within the point, the sperm or ovum.
The palace is the feminine sexual organs of Beth, the house of God. Obviously, by combining the sperm with the ovum one creates a physical child, but in alchemy, the י iod is conserved and the solar house is built within oneself. This is how one creates in the beginning with wisdom, signified by the Hebrew letter Beth. Or as the Zohar more accurately translates the opening of Genesis, "In wisdom, Elohim created."
Afterward the color of the palace transformed and it was called בַּיִת (bayit), house, while the supernal point (the energy of the semen or ovum transmuted) was called רֹאש (rosh) [since one transmutes the energies of one’s house, one’s Beth or sexual organs, to the brain, the head], merging in one another through the mystery of בְּרֵאשִׁית Bereshit, when all was as one in one entirety, before the house [beth] was inhabited [by the Logos, the Being]. —Zohar
You see that the sexual organs is our house, our Beth, wherein resides the creative energies? The word for house is בַּיִת (bayit). Combine that with רֹאש (rosh), the head, you spell בְּרֵאשִׁית Bereshit.
Through the alchemical science of transmutation, the Divine Mother raises the energies from our sexual glands of our Beth, sexual glands, to our Rosh, our head, to spell "In the beginning."
Once it was sown, arraying habitation [when the solar bodies are created in alchemy], it was called אלהים (Elohim)—hidden, concealed. —Zohar
אל El is God, masculine. אלה Eloah is Goddess, feminine, ים Iod Mem is masculine plural. Therefore, when man and wife unite sexually, they form a terribly divine god and goddess, אלהים (Elohim). In this way the house of the soul is created, "arraying habitation," to be filled by the incarnation of the Being. But all of this is "hidden, concealed," because one practices alchemy in secret and because the solar bodies remain hidden within oneself except to the sight of the spirit. So behold the mysteries of creating the solar bodies within Genesis and the Zohar!
To receive the bread of wisdom, the Word, the Qur’an, the recitation, the Verb, we must build our solar vehicles; we must create a house in which the Being can manifest and inhabit. Through alchemy, the sexual act, in which the semen is conserved, transmuted, we give birth to the solar vehicles. We raise the Kundalini up the spinal medullae of these lower vehicles of the Tree of Life: the physical, vital, astral, mental, volitional or causal, buddhic /conscious, and atmic / spiritual bodies. These are vehicles of materiality that exist in higher dimensions. We must raise the Kundalini up each of these vehicles, which in us are lunar, so as to create superior bodies that can transmit the light of divinity within us.
Nature gave us vehicles in order to exist in this physical plane and in the world of dreams, what is commonly called manasa rupa, mind-body, and kama rupa, body of desires, the lunar mental and lunar astral bodies. The lunar bodies are the vehicle of the ego and are controlled by the mechanical forces of nature. As we’ve discussed many times throughout our lectures, we must free ourselves from the lunar influence in order to become solar initiates, beings who are not controlled by the demonic forces of the inferior worlds, the lunar worlds, the Klipoth.
Those beings who follow the lunar path of black magic also are swallowed by the serpent, because the Divine Mother in hell, as the Kundabuffer, swallows her own children, with a lot of pain, to help disintegrate the ego in those regions. This is the path of spiritual failures.
But when we raise the kundalini in the perfect matrimony, we are also swallowed by the serpent, but in a positive way, in a revolutionary and Christic way. In the solar path, we acquire knowledge of ourselves. In the lunar path of the devolving serpent, we do not.
If we do not free ourselves from the lunar vehicles by creating the solar vehicles, and thereafter disintegrating the totality of the ego, we will be swallowed by the moon, the lunar serpent, within the infernal worlds.
So to escape that fate, we must create a house for God. We need to build the solar house in which the Being can live, because if the Being were to try to enter within us without solar vehicles, we would be annihilated. That is how powerful the vibration of the Being is.
We cannot incarnate God now precisely because our psychological house is in disorder. We all possess many defects. Each defect is autonomous and in conflict with the others. There is no order within the mind as Gurdjieff and Ouspensky taught in the Fourth Way school. Our house is filled with many people, many minds with their own thoughts, agendas, and preoccupations. As the gospels state:
“My house (the physical body) shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.” —Matthew 21: 13
I remember when I was meditating on retreat, I fell asleep with my back to the floor, since I was performing the Viparita Karani Mudra from the sacred rites of rejuvenation. In the experience, in the astral plane, I found myself flying towards a house, holding the hand of my physical mother. I felt excited and urgent, to show my mother the contents of my home. As I peered through the window, I saw crowds of kids and people, listening to very loud music, getting drunk, cursing and screaming a lot of obscenities, pushing into each other so hard that the walls were shaking like they were going to break. It was such riot and disorder that I knew I had to go back. I thought to myself with horror, “I’m not going to bring my mother in here. This is nuts!” Thereafter I woke up, returned to my body.
I realized afterward that the house in the experience was my mind, my Beth, and all those people in the house were my own egos, defects, and desires. I wanted to bring my own Divine Mother into that house, but realized I cannot when it is filled with such disorder. I must clean my house first, psychologically speaking.
This also reminds me of another experience where I invoked the Master Samael Aun Weor near the side of a road in the astral plane. He came down as a lightning bolt, which terrified me tremendously. You know the power of a lightning bolt, when it strikes near you? Well this was more powerful, because the Being, the solar divinities, are overwhelming, terrifying, infinite. He spoke to me one sentence, with a lot of severity, “Your house is a mess!” He was indicating that I need to clean my house up of ego, to comprehend and annihilate the ego. That was it. I returned to my body, very humbled.
So you see, in order for Christ to enter you, you must clean your house first of disorder, since that lightning bolt cannot enter within you without solar vehicles, and to create the solar vehicles, you must practice the perfect matrimony and work hard in the disintegration of your defects. Otherwise when Christ emerges as Samael Aun Weor did in the experience, you will be annihilated.
Christ spoke in parables about the Hebrew letter Beth and the need to construct a solar house, the solar vehicles, through the path of initiation and resurrection:
“We heard him (the Solar Christ) say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.” —Mark 14:58.
"Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." Then the Jews said, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” But He was speaking of (Beth) the temple of His body. —John 2:19-21
If the ego does not die completely, we cannot obtain absolute perfection and resurrection, when our physical body shall die and we shall resurrect within the Being, to be fully united with divinity.
We must learn to build our house upon the rock of Yesod, to create our solar vehicles through the perfect matrimony, the science of Yesod. Otherwise we will end up as failures.
“Therefore whosoever hears these sayings of mine, and does them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock [Yesod, the foundation]: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock (the Philosophical Stone of Kabbalah). And every one that hears these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand (of beliefs and theories): And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it." —Matthew 7: 24-27
We are going to end this lecture with two practices you can use to comprehend and experience the mysteries of the second arcanum.
When you awake in the morning from sleep and still have time before engaging in your daily responsibilities, and especially when you’ve just come back from a dream, continue to lay in bed, and with your willpower, concentrate to remember your experiences. Perhaps you were in another country in the astral plane, in Egypt, or another planet, and you want to remember and even return to those places immediately.
Imagine what you experience, the specific place or scene that you just left. Imagine it in detail. Imagine that you are actually there. As Samael Aun Weor wrote, don’t imagine that you are imagining, but actually do it. Be concrete and vivid. Actually see yourself hearing, seeing, touching, and walking in the place you were just at in the astral plane.
Then when you fall asleep, with your willpower and imagination in vibrating harmony, you can experience samadhi; you can return to the place you just experienced, particularly if you stay still, relaxed, and unmoving when you first wake, alongside your strong concentration and vivid imagination. I’ve done this many times when I wanted to return to a specific place I just visited in the astral world, or to return to an ordeal the Masters were giving me that got cut prematurely by me returning to my body, and which I wanted to go back to and continue. Therefore, when waking, I lay in bed and concentrated on the experience, imagined it, and fell asleep, in order to relive and return to the experience I just left. Concentration is willpower, the Magician card. Imagination is clairvoyance, the High Priestess. Together you produce Arcanum 3, the Empress, or comprehension, insight.
This is why, in this tradition, we work with many concentration and imagination exercises, so that we can also be skilled in meditation and dream yoga. Concentration and imagination can be developed by taking an object and focusing our attention on it, to thereafter visualize all of its details. This strengthens our capacities for perception and helps us to awaken consciousness, to make it strong, robust, trained for dream yoga discipline.
When those faculties are strong, you will easily return to your prior experiences through this practice.
Another practice you can do is a meditation and prayer for the Divine Mother. These are a series of prayers and mantras we will do together today. The prayer is as follows:
Be thou, oh Hadit, my secret, the Gnostic mystery of my Being, the central point of my connection, my heart itself, and bloom on my fertile lips, made Verb!
Up above, in the infinite Heavens, in the profound Height of the unknowable, the incessant glow of Light is the naked beauty of Nut. She reclines, she bends in delectable ecstasy, to receive the kiss of secret fervor of Hadit. The winged sphere and the blue of the Sky are mine.
O.A.O. KAKOF NA. KHONSA
O.A.O. KAKOF NA. KHONSA
O.A.O. KAKOF NA. KHONSA
Hadit is the masculine aspect of the Holy Spirit, Abba Elohim, or Shiva. Nut is the Divine Mother, Aima Elohim in Kabbalah, Shakti in Hinduism, who receives the secret kiss and fervor of Hadit, Her Divine Husband. You can perform this prayer and mantras in meditation or in sexual magic.
This is a transcription of an audio lecture from The Eternal Tarot of Alchemy and Kabbalah, originally given live at the Gnostic Academy of Chicago.
In this course, we’ve been discussing the nature of numerology, numbers, and its mystical application within Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and all religions. Numbers in themselves are intuitive principles; they express and elaborate the path of the soul in its unification with divinity. This path is taught, in a didactic manner, within the Egyptian Tarot, the Torat, the Torah, which literally means “law” or “laws.” Numbers describe laws in nature, the steps the soul needs to follow to achieve religare, religion, reunion. The knowledge of the path, based on experience, is gnosis, what we have verified through facts, what we know for ourselves.
There are two forms of nature: material and spiritual. Numbers govern the laws of both natures, both worlds. The number three is particularly important in relation to this, because the number three is the law of creation, the law origination, of genesis.
We spoke previously about the first card of the tarot: The Magician. This is the masculine principle that initiates life, the force that begins any endeavor, whether material, economic, psychological, or spiritual. However, the masculine, positive, of affirming force cannot develop, unfold, or impact anything without his counterpart, his feminine unfoldment, the Second Arcanum: The Priestess of the Tarot. She is the divine feminine within our consciousness. She is the negative or, better said, receptive force of nature that receives the masculine impulse, but to achieve what?
Man and woman in unison are represented by the holy name of divinity in Judaism: יהוה Jehovah, properly pronounced Jah-Chavah. Jah is the Divine Father, the masculine entity. Chavah is the negative or receptive force, the Divine Mother. Jah is represented by Adam. Chavah is represented by Eve, the “mother of the living” in Genesis.
As we've explained previously, the Hebrew letter ו Vav represents the phallus. The Hebrew letter ה Hei represents the uterus. Together, through the power of love, אל El, the spirit, Chesed in Kabbalah, they unite as the reconciling force of the divine mother, אלוה Eloah, the Empress.
When man and woman sexually unite, they give birth to a child. Just as husband and wife can give birth to a physical child, they likewise can give birth to the golden child of alchemy, the spiritual force known as Christ, Khristos, in Greek; who is an enlivening, spiritual fire that radically transforms our psychology when we have been properly prepared through scientific procedures.
Nature does not ignore the laws upon which it is founded. If we want to create life, we need a man and a woman. All of nature is governed by sexuality. This no one can deny. Life cannot exist for human beings, for animals, for plants, without the unity of masculine and feminine. Even chemicals, molecules, unite and join through sexual bonds, to create new substances, elements, or qualities, new compounds.
The same principle applies to spirituality, for as Jesus taught:
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.—John 3:3-6
Nicodemus was a literal man. Likewise, many people who read the teachings of Jesus. The prophet was speaking about the need to transform the sexual act into a sacrament, to not approach sex in the manner of everyday persons. He is speaking about the third arcanum of the Tarot: The Empress, how a man and woman can give birth to spiritual consciousness. For when the Magician works with his priestess, when the Divine Father, the masculine force, and the Divine Mother, or feminine force, work within us, they can give birth to the purified soul, represented by Sol, S-O-L, the Sun, the Solar Christic force, free of defect, blemish, or impurity.
Spiritual birth or creation is the third force, the force of reconciliation. These three forces are well cited by Gurdjieff: the positive masculine force is Affirmation, the negative / receptive feminine force is Negation. When they join, they unify through the synthesis, the union, the force of Reconciliation. Sexuality is the force of Reconciliation, how husband and wife come to enjoy the conciliating forces of divine love.
The Third Arcanum of the Tarot is light, signified in Genesis 1:3, יְהִי אֹור וַֽיְהִי־אֹֽור Yehi Ha-Aur, Va-Yehi-Aur: “Let there be light, and there was light.” The number three is precisely the life or light of comprehension, of spirituality, that is gestated, between husband and wife in the perfect matrimony and, more importantly, in meditation.
The woman represents the divine, feminine soul or consciousness. She is clothed in white garments, which represents the solar bodies. The Gospels speak about the Wedding Garment of the Soul, the solar vehicles (see Matthew 22), of which we spoke about in our lecture entitled The Solar Bodies, available on our website: chicagognosis.org.
A vehicle is a means by which something is transferred. Therefore, for the light or energy of Christ, to manifest within our soul, we need to create the solar bodies. Just as light cannot function without a bulb, we cannot manifest the supreme energies of divinity without purifying ourselves and giving birth to the soul or solar bodies.
We must have a mind, heart, vitality, and body that resonates with higher laws. Our mind, heart, vitality, and body, the lower four vehicles at the bottom of the Tree of Life, are afflicted with suffering, with conditions, with mechanical ways of behaving, represented by the moon. Netzach (mind), Hod (emotions), Yesod (vitality), and Malkuth (physicality) are governed by lunar desires. The moon governs mechanical forces or laws in nature. Therefore, our egos, desires, and defects are represented by the moon as well, because they are conditions, mechanical habits or behaviors. We must transform our psyche into a sun. This means that our willpower overcomes its conditioning so it can vibrate and transmit superior forces. This is accomplished in the perfect matrimony.
The Empress is in white garments because she is pure in thought, word, and deed. She is the Christified Soul, a consciousness that only knows how to do the will of divinity.
The Empress is represented by the Greeks as Urania-Venus. She is of the stars, of divinity. In Chaldean, Ur-Anas, signifies “fire” or “light” and “water.” That light is generated when we learn to work with our sexual waters, our seminal energy, and practice meditation. Light is created through harnessing the fire of sexuality.
She sits on the cubic stone, referring to the stone of the Masons, the sacred Ka’ba of Islam, the power of Yesod: the Foundation Stone of our temple. This stone is shown resting above a crescent moon, demonstrating that the soul has conquered instinct, sex, and desire: the vital forces of nature. The symbol of Islam also shows the crescent moon with the star of Venus, indicating how the lunar energies are transformed through the star of love. Therefore, a true believer in esoteric Islam is one who works with Yesod and governs it in him or herself.
The twelve stars residing above the head of the Empress signify the twelve faculties of the spiritual human being: the five senses plus clairvoyance, clairaudience, telepathy, polyvoyance, omniscience, and other refined senses of the soul. The twelve stars also represent the Zodiac and the twelve tribes of Israel.
The Empress is greeted by a bird, sacred symbol of the Third Logos, the Third Force known as Binah in Kabbalah. This is the white dove of the Holy Spirit. She also bears a staff in her right hand, indicating that through the work of the spinal column, of raising the power of the Holy Spirit or Kundalini up the medulla to the brain, one achieves genuine religion.
Explanation of the Third Arcanum
The number three is sacred, the law of creation is divine, and is found in many scriptures and cosmogonies. But the law of three is best explained through studying the Kabbalah: The Tree of Life. This is a map depicting different levels of consciousness, in all levels of matter, manifestation, expression, and abstraction / potentiality.
The Tree of Life is governed by the law of three. We find three triangles. The top is the Logoic Triangle, constituted of Kether, Chokmah, and Binah in Hebrew: Crown, Wisdom, and Understanding or Intelligence. These are the First, Second, and Third Logos: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in Christianity.
It's important to understand that the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit are not people, but energies in nature. We find the holy trinity, this primordial root energy, behind every level of nature and experience. In the atom, we find the proton represents the Divine Masculine; the electron represents the Divine Feminine; and the neutron represents the Holy Spirit that binds these two forces together, to create an atom, a unity.
The second triangle, in middle of this glyph, is the Ethical Triangle, constituted of Chesed, Geburah, Tiphereth: Mercy, Justice, and Beauty. These constitute our Innermost God, known as Mercy; the divine consciousness, known as Justice, and the human consciousness known as Beauty, respectively.
Tiphereth is the beauty of our soul that we develop through the application of willpower. This is a human quality. When we talked about the Magician, we spoke about how our own willpower must obey divine will, Chesed: the spirit, as well as the Logoic Triangle above. Kether, the Father, the Magician, must manifest in our willpower, Tiphereth, in our heart. Remember that when you transpose the Tree of Life on the image of a human being, Tiphereth resides in the heart.
The spirit, Chesed, is divine, and is also represented by the First Arcanum of the Tarot: The Magician. There are levels of divinity. We say that our Innermost Being is Chesed. But even Chesed has His Innermost Being, known as Kether. These are levels upon levels of experience, for as the Qur’an teaches us in Surah Al-Nur, verse 35: “Light upon light!”
Tiphereth is our willpower that is enmeshed in psychological impurity, in selfishness, egotism. Our present consciousness is a fraction of Tiphereth, an embryo of our full human potential and will. Parts of our consciousness are trapped in defects, vices, errors, represented by qualities of mind (Netzach, known as Victory in Hebrew), qualities of heart (Hod, known as Glory), qualities of vitality, instinct, or energy, known in the East as chi, (or Yesod in Hebrew, translating as Foundation), which all manifest in our physical body (Malkuth).
The Law of Three and the Three Brains
You can see that the law of three permeates every level of existence, of nature. More practically for us, we can relate the law of three to our three brains.
A brain in esoterism does not exclusively refer to the cranial center, but to a psycho-somatic machine that processes material, psychic, and spiritual forces. The three brains are how we relate to life, and it is in this manner that the law of three becomes most practical for our studies.
The intellectual brain processes thought and is a vehicle of the mind (Netzach) on the Tree of Life. It is how thought can express. Thought is a form of psychological energy that manifests within our physical brain, yet it is not limited to the physical brain. This is evident by a profound study of dreams, of awakening consciousness within the dream state, whereby we realize we are not in our physical body, Malkuth, but the fifth dimension: the astral and mental planes.
The emotional brain is the machine that focuses and processes sentiment, feeling, like, dislike, love, hate, etc. The emotional brain is constituted by our physical heart and its nervous systems, which materially manifest the energies of Hod on the Tree of Life.
The motor-instinctive-sexual brain is a machine that process vitality, the energies of procreation and life. It is the brain of movement, impulse, and sexuality. It can be said to be the brain of action, for it is our motor capacities, our impulses, and our sexual drives that push us to act. This is well known in media and advertisements, which use our most base impulses to try to get us to purchase their products.
The motor-instinctive-sexual brain relates to Yesod in Kabbalah. The foundation of our spiritual life is based on how we not only govern our mind and heart, but also our body. Our body is the vehicle through which our egotism, our desires, act.
We tend not to be very conscious of our impulses, because these operate in a very quick fashion. The energies of movement, instinct, and sex are very fast and hard to perceive and control. The heart is also difficult control, especially in moments of anger, because emotional energy functions on a very fast level, yet not as quickly as sexual energy. The intellect is the easiest to control, because it is the slowest of the three brains, despite what modern psychologists or esotericists may think.
Sexual energy is the most powerful force we carry within us. It is the force that gives us magnetism, internal chemistry, metabolism, catabolism, and drive. It can be used for creating material life, or if we know how, spiritual life.
So why study the three brains? Why study the Tree of Life in relation to the Third Arcanum? It is by studying ourselves and the dynamics of our mind, heart, energy / body, that we create spiritual life. We must learn to dominate our mind, heart, and bodily energies through willpower. Tiphereth is willpower and is in the very center of the Tree of Life. This graphic cannot function without the exercise of will. However, what willpower are we actualizing here and now? Is it selfish, egotistical, or unconditioned, pure? Is our willpower following divinity above, or is our will catering to our selfish thoughts, selfish feelings, and cravings and lusts of the flesh?
We must learn to perceive with our willpower and divine consciousness how our defects of mind, heart, and body produce suffering. What are the thoughts and anxieties we experience? Where do they come from and why? What are our attachments and insecurities? What psychological qualities do we carry within that make us dejected? Frustrated? Vain? Proud? What are our defects that make us vibrate at a very low level of being? We need to know the psychological obstacles if we want to ascend to a higher level of being.
We create our psychological experience based on our perception of the moment, which are conditioned and crafted based on our use of the three brains: thought, feeling, and will. If we want happiness, to create a spiritual life inside of us, we must intimately comprehend and control our thoughts, feelings and impulses, our three brains, using willpower, Tiphereth. This is the quality that can make us true humans, spiritual beings.
Remember that the Magician of the Tarot needs to organize the contents of the table in the first card to be a priest, to conquer the four elements represented by the quadrature of the table. He accomplishes this by means of the wand, symbol of the phallus, of masculine or assertive spiritual will. The four elements are represented by the following Hebrew letters:
A practical magician has complete control over the aerial nature of his thoughts, to yoke the tempests of antithetical thinking to replace it with the calm, natural, flowing winds of a heavenly, serene mind. Likewise, he controls the fires of the heart, curtailing any explosions of anger, resentment, fear, etc., to replace it with the fire of cognizant love. And likewise, a practical magician controls his sexual waters, who never wastes them through acts of desire. All of this is obtained by managing the physical body, the earth. An explanation of these four elements will be forthcoming in our lecture for Arcanum 4: The Emperor.
But you can see how the law of three organizes the Kabbalah. The three mother letters of Kabbalah constitute an important trinity, not only within our three brains, but in the Tree of Life. Aleph can signify the Magician, Kether; Shin, or the sacred fire or Menorah of Christ with its three wicks, represents Chokmah, the Second Arcanum. And the third force, the force of reconciliation, is found within Binah: the Holy Spirit, the Third Arcanum as the power of Mem, the waters of sexuality.
When you transpose the Tree of Life on a human being, the Logoic Triangle governs the head (Aleph), the Ethical Triangle governs the torso and heart (Shin), and the Magical Triangle, constituted by Netzach, Hod, and Yesod, relates to Mem, how we use our waters. Aleph has three iods, signifying the three primary forces of nature. Shin also has three wicks or points, indicating the union of Chesed, the spirit, Geburah, the divine soul, and Tiphereth, the human soul.
In relation to the elements, the true gnostic seeks to comprehend his or her defects and overcome them, to become cognizant of their sources. We do so by analyzing our three brains and how they function. We must understand how our mind is in turmoil, storming between thesis and antithesis, positive and negative concepts. Constant thinking is an obstacle to genuine self-knowledge, of spirituality, of gnosis. Genuine experiential knowledge of the higher worlds, of divinity, is only accessible by the consciousness, when the mind is still and serene, when it is not blowing like a hurricane. The mind tends to be caught between two extremes of thinking: accepting or rejecting ideas. The mind, in its conflict, becomes peaceful as we learn to apply the third force: reconciliation or comprehension.
Who is the one that must achieve comprehension? The silencing or serenity of the mind? The consciousness, through the application of will. Comprehension arrives when we introspect, when we learn to observe our mind, heart, and body with the sense of self-observation, with self-analysis, through the perception of unconditioned consciousness.
Three forces apply to the psychological work: when we begin to affirm the work of self-observation, we encounter resistance. Resistance is the force of the ego, of our defects, that does not want to be discovered and removed. Therefore, meditation is essential, to sit quietly and examine the mind without external distractions. We learn to introspect and observe our defects, to comprehend them through the application of will, of concentration, through the power of perception, known in esoterism as imagination. The third force arrives when we comprehend the source of resistance by exercising our willpower and perception, our consciousness, for through perceiving the origins of conflict, we resolve conflict.
This same dynamic applies to the rest of the other three brains.
The motor-instinctive-sexual brain, or better synthesized as the sexual brain, is the machine of attraction and repulsion. Through sexual energy we are either attracted to a member of the opposite sex or we do not. We find desire or revulsion in this center.
Despite the wisdom of this center, many people sadly do not comprehend how to use the sexual brain in a spiritual manner. They believe they must either indulge in sensual pleasures, in lust, or to run away from sex, to treat it as something filthy and disgusting. Both these approaches to sex are rejected in the Gnostic Tradition.
We do not go to either extremes in relation to sex. We do not reject sex as something disgusting, nor do we glorify its lustful applications. We instead comprehend sexuality and govern it with wisdom, with temperance, with enlightened eyes. We do not dive into impure usages of sex, and neither do we repress sexual instinct. We instead comprehend it and use sexual energy in a synthetic way, with cognizance, with purity. You see the three laws here? Many people get stuck in either affirming or denying sex as something lustful, but not comprehending its actual function: how to create spiritual life, cognizance, and the development of the soul. Affirmation is the first force. Negation is the second force. Comprehension or conciliation is the third.
Gurdjieff aptly stated that “humanity is third force blind.” People are indeed blind to the true purpose of sexuality, the force of conciliation.
The gnostic scriptures speak abundantly about overcoming the flesh. This flesh is Malkuth, but also expressed as desires in Yesod, Hod, and Netzach. Desire is ego, defects, degeneration, impure ways of thinking, feeling, and acting. Remember that ego is Latin means “I.” The ego is multiple. Desires are multiple. Desire is a technical term or equivalent of “ego.” The ego says “I want. I crave. I desire.” This is selfish will, not pure will. Pure will is known as Tiphereth. Let us understand that willpower is very different from desire. Tiphereth or willpower way of acting and knowing in accordance with the commandments given by our Divine Father and Divine Mother in our consciousness.
Therefore, we do not overcome the flesh by flagellating ourselves or rejecting the body, but using it appropriately, with the beauty of our pure willpower. This is well documented in books like The Perfect Matrimony and The Mystery of the Golden Blossom.
We must govern sex with willpower, and not let sex govern our will. This is how we become magicians. We work in the magic of love to create the Empress, the Christified or purified soul. Likewise, we control the other brains in this endeavor. The three brains can be used by our defects and desires, or by our soul, consciousness, known as Tiphereth. It is the heart that tells us which actions are wrong or right. It is the voice of conscience or intuition that states, “I should do this.” “I should not do this.” It is our willpower that knows how to govern the mind, heart, and body to create harmony within one’s psychological kingdom or empire.
The Law of the Pendulum and Force of Equilibrium
It’s easy to see how the first two forces relate to the three brains. We affirm some concept, religion, or idea with the first force: Affirmation. We arrive at a different idea, the antithesis, through Negation. Affirmation and Negation place each of the three brains in conflict.
We may like a person at one moment but hate them the next. We may also be attracted to someone sexually and yet also be repulsed by them. This is the dualism of the emotional and the sexual brains, respectively.
It’s enough to look at society to see how people constantly fluctuate between two extremes, two ends of a pendulum: positive, negative; affirmation, negation; thesis, antithesis; yes, no; good, bad. People don’t realize that these dualistic ways of thinking, feeling, and acting produce the hypnosis of the soul, the sleep of our consciousness. People are not aware of the psychological sources of their problems. Humanity simply likes to “go with the flow” of things. They do not like to comprehend the source of their sufferings, because to do so is to face a certain resistance in the mind, which tells them, “It doesn’t matter if I think or feel this way. I don’t need to change. The world needs to change instead.”
The reason why society is in conflict is because we are in conflict. We bear the same habits we blame in others within our three brains. It is hypocritical to condemn others for the same defects we possess, as Jesus teaches in the Gospels.
We like to affirm or reject things all the time in our psyche, habits, and dispositions. We believe in one religion with our heart one day, then reject it the next. People tend to change religions, political parties, or ideas like changing clothes. There is a constant fluctuation between extremes in the mind, heart, and body.
Therefore, where is the authenticity of our desires and yearnings in thought, feeling, and will? All of this is vain, to assume things will get better in time once other people change. External changes are superfluous. What’s important is the make psychological changes.
We have many conflicting desires that do not have any real sense of integrity, unity, or wholeness. They are separate, disparate, conflicting. So when we learn to look inside of ourselves, we face a difficult problem, which is seeing the mind, heart, and body exactly as they are, seeing the psychological contents of the three brains as they exist in the present moment.
The third force, the Third Arcanum, is necessary for our spirituality. The third force is developed as we introspect, as we self-observe our psychological conflicts, when we combine our willpower and perception to understand the sources of our conflicts. When we achieve comprehension of conflicts in the psyche, those conflicts will disappear. This is the third force: equilibrium, understanding, or psychological balance, represented in the Hebraic Kabbalah as the Third Sephirah at the top of the Tree of Life: Binah.
The Three Souls of Alchemy and Kabbalah
The number three relates not only to our three brains but to three types of soul in the Kabbalistic and Alchemical traditions. The three souls of Kabbalah are known as Nephesh, Ruach, and Neshamah.
All three of these terms signify “breath.” In our discussion of The Magician card, we spoke abundantly about the Hebrew letter א Aleph, that it signifies the breath, the wind, that initiates spiritual life. What is the relationship of the soul with breath? The Sufis state that the gnostic must guard his breaths against God Most High, to not use one’s breath or speech in vain. This is because the throat is the uterus of the Verb, the Word, the Logos, to Logoic Tringle. We create or destroy life based on our words.
Yogis and gnostics work with breathing exercises to transform energies in the body, whether through mantras, pranayama, runic exercises, sacred rites of rejuvenation, etc.
The word for breath or vanity, mentioned in the Book of Ecclesiastes, is הֲבֵל Habel, which is where we get the name Abel. “Vanity of vanities,” saith the preacher. “Vanity of vanities. All is vanity.” הֲבֵל הֲבָלִים Habel Habelim.
Remember that Abel, Habel, was killed by his brother Cain, symbolizing how our defects, our Sensual Mind, kills our soul through wrong thinking, wrong feeling, and wrong acting. Therefore, all of life is vain, because our spiritual potentiality has been nullified.
The Kabbalists also state that the inhaled breath is Neshamah, which is still pure and unsullied by the body. Ruach is the breath prepared for exhalation. Nephesh is the breath that finally reaches another person through dialogue. All three souls are different modifications of א Aleph, the spiritual energies of God, but in different levels of purity or conditioning.
Nephesh is the Animal Soul. It is constituted by our consciousness trapped in defects, egos. Nephesh is the origin of suffering. These are the lusts of the psyche and the flesh. Nephesh is animalistic and low, associated with different forms of violence. Notice how the animals within the animal kingdom follow the law of “kill or be killed. Eat or be eaten.” As the Bible states in relation to Nephesh, “Nephesh, Nephesh, Blood is paid for blood!” Or as Jehovah Elohim states to Cain, “The blood of your brother cries out to Me from the ground!”
We can easily see Nephesh in our media, where our television shows are saturated with sarcasm, with mental violence, making fun of or belittling others. This is a form of bloodshed in the mental plane (Netzach). We also find Nephesh in our Hollywood actors who abuse the emotional brain, tearing their hearts open with shows of extreme grief, cursing, and hatred. This is violence in the emotional world (Hod). And when people makes pornographic films, everyone is abusing their vital energies (Yesod) and defiling their bodies (Malkuth).
Remember the Fifth Commandment states: “Thou shalt not kill,” and yet everyone is killing the energies of divinity within their three brains and by violating the will of others. The Ten Commandments were given unto Nephesh in order that it can learn to stop being an animal.
All of us are Nephesh without exception. We constantly repeat egotistical and animalistic behaviors, including hatred, pride, greed, gluttony, etc. These elements constitute our animal inheritance, which have only become more complicated through the forces of evolution, devolution, and our intellect. The only difference between us and the animals in the animal kingdom is that we have intellect. We rationalize.
Nephesh-desire is one hundred percent lunar, mechanical. It is constituted by our habits. This is easy to see in Kabbalah, because Nephesh corresponds to Yesod, the vital forces, our instincts, as we see in this image on the tree of life. Our animality is defined by our mechanical, repetitive behaviors, our conditioning, associated with the moon, luna, which is where we get the word lunatic, someone who is depleted of reason and who follows degenerated, mechanical thinking. Nephesh is governed by the moon.
You can see by this definition and by reflecting upon yourself in meditation that everyone has many mechanical habits that are engrained, that are hard to change. We have a strong sense of ego, of self, of desire, that rationalizes and justifies its behavior. You see the problem here? The ego uses thought to justify its degeneration. Therefore, Samael Aun Weor stated that the greatest weapon the demons or black magicians use to pull the aspirants from the path is the intellect. Because everyone fortifies and worships the animal mind.
The intellect is not entirely bad. It is only bad when Nephesh, ego, desire, uses the intellect to propagandize its agenda. The intellect simply is a machine that can be used to process information, whether materialistic or spiritual. Therefore, in comparison with the animal kingdom, we have an advantage to use the intellect for divine purposes, to learn how to stop being an animal. When we acquire the intellect for the first time, divinity gave us certain commandments throughout the diverse religious traditions, to rationalize and demonstrate to us the path of becoming a true human being. And this is where the second type of soul, Ruach, comes into play.
Ruach is the Thinking Soul. This is our conscience, that part of us that gives us a sense of right and wrong, a certain level of gnosis: how certain actions and psychological behaviors are proper or improper given the circumstances. We’re are talking more about a soul that reflects upon itself, that conceptualizes its habits and seeks to remedy them.
Ruach relates to Chesed: Mercy in the Kabbalah, our Innermost God. Chesed is our Spirit on the Tree of Life, our Being, our divinity. This is our Inner Buddha.
When we face conflicts and difficulties in life, we must learn to use our Ruach. In the spiritual work, Nephesh, the Animal Soul, and Ruach, the Thinking Soul, are submitted to ordeals. This is to give Ruach the opportunity to see the lower, animal soul, and to comprehend its errors. For when we face tremendous and unexpected difficulties, we have the opportunity to see our most hidden defects, egos which we never thought existed in ourselves. But of course, we must be in self-observation to catch them. Whatever defects we catch through self-observation must be wholly comprehended in meditation. Through comprehension in meditation we learn to transform the animal in us into the human.
In a moment of anger, Nephesh pushes us to speak hurtful words, perhaps to a friend or co-worker. We must, in those instances, learn to reflect and rationalize with Ruach, to work with our conscience, to comprehend the source of that animalistic anger, so that we do not behave in mistaken ways. This is how we can transform our daily life.
According to Friedrich Nietzsche, animals are at least innocent. We are not. Because we have the intellect, we have greater responsibility for our actions. Human beings as they are now are worse than apes, because they have the intellect but continue to behave degenerately. We should not justify the animal within us, but seek to become a human being and afterward a superhuman being.
So what can make us into a human and even a superhuman being? Neshamah.
Neshamah relates to the powers of Geburah, Justice, or our divine consciousness, on the Tree of Life. Neshamah is pure, divine. It is a soul that is not mixed with degeneration, with egotism. It is a power of tremendous spiritual caliber, with the power to create a true human being, as represented in Genesis. When Jehovah Elohim (Binah) created the human being into His spiritual image, He used his Neshamah to enliven Nephesh, to purify it and make it holy. Jehovah Elohim breathed the breath of life, Neshamah Chaiah, into the nostrils of Adam, and Adam became a living soul, a Nephesh Chaiah.
A Nephesh Chaiah does not relate to common, ordinary persons like us, but to fully enlightened beings who have no defects. A Nephesh Chaiah is a Jesus, a Buddha, a Krishna, a Muhammad, etc.
We must use Ruach to control Nephesh. When Nephesh in us is conquered, and purified by Neshamah, the spiritual soul, Nephesh becomes a Nephesh Chaiah, it resurrects, it becomes a new being: one without anger, fear, resentment, jealousy, etc. This process is accomplished through the path of initiation and psychological purification in meditation.
The Three Kabbalistic Souls in the Qur’an
The Qur’an also refers to these three types of soul in the following manner:
Only Ruach, the thinking soul, with the help of Neshamah, can control Nephesh: the soul that commands to evil, our egotistical desires. When we face ordeals, our Nephesh is stimulated and comes to the surface, screen, and attention of our self-observation. If we are not in control of ourselves, then we will follow the animal in us: the soul that commands to evil.
The Surah entitled: The Resurrection, speaks of the blaming soul, another term for Ruach. Ruach is the one that blames us for our faults, Nephesh. This is not a term of masochism, that we enjoy blaming ourselves for our faults, or that we are pessimistic people. The question is: who is blaming who? It is the spark of divinity we carry within that is helping to call us to attention for our faults. The Bible states: “God loves those whom He chastises.” We must self-observe and see our animal desires for what they are. This is a form of blaming or criticizing our own selves, so that we can transform the consciousness. This is positive and necessary, for remorse is good, not egotistical, morbid, and self-flagellating shame. That is not the meaning of the term “blaming.”
When you look within yourself and comprehend how a certain action produced harm, you are blaming yourself with Ruach. You are becoming cognizant and remorseful for how your words of anger produced suffering. Suffering is always produced by animality. Remorse is a necessary emotional quality of the thinking / rationalizing soul. We must be responsible and take ownership for our faults if what we want is unification with divinity, with Neshamah.
In the Surah entitled The Dawn, verse 27, the Qur’an states, “O soul at peace! Return to thy Lord, content, contenting.” It is very appropriate that the soul at peace, Neshamah, is associated with the Surah known as The Dawn, whereby we witness the rising of the sun, the Solar Logos, a symbol of the Christic energy.
Neshamah, the spiritual soul, is what grants us peace, which allows us to return to divinity content and contenting others. Is our soul like this yet? Observe and be honest. Do we naturally irradiate light, happiness, contentment for others? Patience and fortitude? Compassion? Or are we self-wiled, self-centered, concerned for our self-image, the gratification of our senses?
If we are honest with ourselves we can admit that our souls are not at peace, that we do not have Neshamah developed inside. What we tend to have are a lot of social, personal, psychological, and economic problems.
Therefore, we need ordeals and difficulties. Ordeals are given to us by Neshamah, from the divine soul, by Geburah in Kabbalah, who signifies Justice. To be just and upright spiritual beings, we need to pay our debts, to pay what we owe. For if we spilled blood in the past, then we must pay for it in this life. It could mean that we are humiliated by the people we once condemned or shamed in past existences, or even in this life. To shame someone is to spill blood, to make blood flush a person’s face. If we harmed others, we will be harmed in return through the power of Justice. But this not a mechanical dynamic. Ordeals bring Nephesh to our attention, so that we can comprehend our faults. Without this conflict, we cannot arrive at genuine self-knowledge.
Here the three forces are at work to create Neshamah within us. We begin to self-observe, to analyze our minds and hearts in depth; we affirm this teaching in practice. Then resistance of the ego emerges; our Nephesh-desire fights, it wants to continue being an animal. Therefore, Paul of Tarsus stated:
For we know that the law [of Neshamah] is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin [Nephesh].
For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin [Nephesh] that dwelleth in me.
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good [through Ruach] I find not.
For the good that I would I do not: but the evil [of Nephesh] which I would not, that I do.
Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin [Nephesh] that dwelleth in me.
I find then a law [of Neshamah], that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
For I delight in the law of God after the inward man [the spiritual human being or superman, Neshamah]:
But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members [sex].
O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death [lunar vehicles]?
I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the [solar] mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin [Nephesh]. —Romans 7:14-25
Right now all of us are enslaved to desire. We must wage a holy war, to purify the psyche. We accomplish this through ordeals and by overcoming our lunar, mechanical habits. Neshamah is only fully developed in us once we have passed all the tests and ordeals, once Nephesh and Ruach are fully purified.
What’s also interested is that the Arabic word for Tranquility or peace is Sekinah or Shekinah, the Kabbalistic name for the Kundalini, the power of the Holy Spirit. For in the Surah known as the Victory, verse 4: “He it is Who sends own Tranquility into the hearts of the believers, that they may increase in faith along with their faith—to God belong the hosts of the heavens and the earth, and God is Knowing, Wise.” Just as the tongues of fire descended upon the Apostles in the Book of Acts, likewise the Tranquility, the Shekinah, Neshamah or spiritual soul, the Kundalini, comes down to us once we have passed the psychological tests and have been working diligently in a matrimony.
The Hebrew Letter Gimel
In relation to the three brains, the three Mother letters of Kabbalah, and the three souls, we can speak abundantly about the third Hebrew letter: Gimel, which is associated with the Empress of the Tarot.
Gamal is literally the Hebrew word for “camel.” It can also signify a rich man, which is a direct reference to St. Paul’s spiritual man. Remember that he speaks in his Epistles about the two men: one terrestrial, and one heavenly. The terrestrial man is poor, the human soul lacking virtue and development. He is made up Ruach. The spiritual man consists of the power of Neshamah, and constitutes the most divine within Kabbalistic psychology.
We are Nephesh, which has nothing to do with human qualities. We are not human beings; neither are we Paul’s terrestrial man, which fully manifests the developed Ruach, the Thinking Soul. Many people read the Old and New Testaments and want to believe that they are true human beings, just as Adam was created by the breath of life, Neshamah.
To become “a living soul” is to incarnate Neshamah, as I stated earlier. This is a very high level of attainment, achieved near the end of the path, at resurrection. We, right now, have animal mind, a mind that is poor, destitute, requiring assistance from divinity above, from Gedulah, Goodness, our Innermost Spirit, known also as Chesed: Mercy in Kabbalah.
The truth is that we have a fraction or portion of Ruach in us at this moment, which is the small still voice of our conscience. This must be developed further through comprehending and transforming Nephesh through initiation. Until Nephesh is controlled and transformed by Ruach and Neshamah, we are not human beings yet.
So why is the Empress, the three types of soul, associated with ג Gimel, the camel? ג Gimel is constructed of an elongated, erect Vav, symbol of the spinal column, but also the phallus. Remember that the distinctive feature of a camel is its spine, it's hump. The י Iod / Yod, the dot at the top can also represent a phallus, but also the sexual energy and potential of God that rises within the spine. Notice that there are three י iods, three types of soul hidden here, that we must work with alchemically. By working with the creative energy we aspire to reach our own inner Gedulah, Goodness, another term for Chesed, our Spirit, and to fully command the three types of soul within us.
The Zohar, when introducing the teachings of the Hebrew, Kabbalistic alphabet, discusses the symbiotic nature of ד Daleth and ג Gimel, the terrestrial and the heavenly men. The Zohar explains how when Iod-Chavah, Jehovah, wanted to create the heavens and the earth using the Hebrew letters, he called upon them from last to first. I won’t narrate the entire account at this point of our course, but regarding Gimel and Daleth, we find the following emphasis:
The Zohar states:
“The letters ד Daleth and ג Gimel entered and made the same request [to initiate creation]. He replied to them as well, “It is enough for you to be with each other, since the poor will never cease from the world, and need to be treated kindly. ד Daleth is poor; ג Gimel, Gomel, renders, goodness to her. Do not separate from one another! It is enough for one of you to sustain the other.”
Who are the poor that will never cease from the world? Those souls who are filled with Nephesh, who are poor in spirit, who lack development, yet who want to receive the riches of the Innermost, Gedulah, Gimel, the Spirit. The Essence—which is us—is merely a fraction of the human soul known as Tiphereth. It is conditioned and animalistic, yet wants to become transformed by Gedulah, by Goodness, by the Being.
The Qur’an gives us a similar teaching in Surah 47 verse 38:
“Behold! You are those who are called upon to spend in the way of God, yet among you some are miserly. And whosoever is miserly is only miserly towards himself. God is the Rich, and you are the poor. And if you turn away, He will cause a people other than you to take your place, and they will not be the likes of you.”
This is paralleled in the story of Pinocchio; a doll, a wooden boy, ד Daleth, who wants to become a true human being made into the image of God, of Gedulah, ג Gimel. ג Gimel in this story is the carpenter, Geppetto. See how everything is beautifully hidden within names and words? גאפטו Geppetto starts with the letter G, Gimel. He represents the Being who fashions ד Daleth, the poor human soul, from the wood of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Gimel also reminds us of Gnosis, Knowledge, since these words begin with G or a silent G-n, read as a “Neeyah” sound, such as with Jnana Yoga.
But of course, there are challenges to be faced and overcome for Pinocchio to cease being a Daleth, a poor puppet, to become perfected being, a Hebrew letter Gimel, as described in that fable. What’s also interesting is that our present word “God” is composed of ג Gimel and ד Daleth. ד Daleth represents and literally relates to a poor man, a fakir, or faqir. We need to reunite Daleth with Gimel in order to spell Gedulah, or גד G-D, God.
All of this occurs through the help of the Blue Fairy, the Divine Mother Kundalini through initiation, hidden within Arcanum 2. So I hope the relationship of ד Daleth and ג Gimel is obvious now.
We are also like a camel wandering the wilderness of initiation, seeking to be guided by our inner God. Nietzsche speaks about this in his Thus Spoke Zarathustra, through a chapter entitled: “On the Three Metamorphoses of the Spirit.” We must become like camels, entering our own particular wilderness or states of suffering, our daily life transformed through the work of initiation. This is for us to become a lion of Judah, a Bodhisattva, a master who has incarnated Christ. Much later does a Bodhisattva, the lion, reach perfection, resurrection, to become a child, but that is a topic for another lecture.
What keeps us alive in this search and longing for transmutation is the water in our hump, the transmuted waters of life ascending within our spine to nourish our brain, also signified by the top or head of the letter ג Gimel.
Speaking of initiation, the camel is also associated with the serpent and the angel Samael, the divinity responsible for raising the fire of Kundalini within his initiates or adepts in this present epoch. This is textually based from the following verses of the Zohar:
“Camels are the primordial serpent that was like a camel. When the angel Samael [the creative sexual energies of the sign of Scorpio] tempted Adam to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil, he was riding on a camel-like serpent [a Gamal or a Gimel like a serpent within the spine, the Hebrew letter Vav]. We learned that whoever sees a camel in his dream was punished by death from above but was saved from it. It is all the same, which means that the camel and the serpent that delivered death to the world are the same thing.”
The Zohar also explains how the Angel Samael is related to the power of the serpent in our spinal column, our ג Gimel or camel’s hump:
“When Samael tempted Adam to eat of the fruit of the tree of good and evil, he descended from heaven riding on this camel-like serpent at that time, all the creatures saw his image and fled from him.”
Let us unpack this passage. Astrologically, Samael governs Aries and Scorpio, relating to the head and to the sexual organs respectively. Samael is an angelic intelligence who works with the serpentine power Kundalini, rising from Scorpio, in sex, towards the brain, Aries. Adam is the head, and Eve, Chavah, is sex, as we’ve explained many times. The unification of the two is Iod Chavah, Jehovah, the Superman.
Therefore, we are tempted through sexuality, Eve, Chavah, and the brain, Adam, experiences the fruits of desire, the pleasures of fornication, through the animal spasm or orgasm. When this occurs, the serpentine power descends within the spine and Nephesh is fortified. Demons make that energy descend towards Klipoth from the Chakra Muladhara, forming the tail of Satan.
Because the power of Samael can elevate or destroy us, the Zohar often refers to this angel in a mixed way, as being demonic and heavenly. Right now, the Master Samael is risen, perfected. He was once fallen, but now he is resurrected. While Samael Aun Weor achieved perfection once more, the energy in us—known as Samael—is not. Therefore Samael, the serpent within our bodies, according to the Zohar, has tempted us and continues to tempt us. Let us not confuse the Master Samael with that serpentine power we carry in our sexual organs referred to as Samael, the sexual strength of divinity.
Always remember that we are Daleth, the poor man, an initiate seeking to receive the riches of the spirit, Gimel, the camel. But if we expel our seminal energies, we will be poor and without spirit.
As Proverbs 21:20 states: “There is treasure to be desired and oil (Shemen) in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up.” The treasures of the spirit are in our semen, our י iod, sperm or ovum, hidden within the bottom of ג Gimel, the spine. But as I said, if we ejaculate the י iod from our bodies, from the bottom of the Hebrew letter ג Gimel, we become spiritually dead. Through fornication, our sexual energy, our י Iod, is expelled from the bottom of the Hebrew letter ג Gimel, leaving us spiritually destitute. Daleth, the terrestrial soul, then becomes separated from Gimel, the spiritual being or Innermost.
As the Zohar states:
“We learned that whoever sees a camel in his dream was punished by [spiritual] death from above but was saved from it [when practicing transmutation]. It is all the same, which means that the camel and the serpent that delivered death to the world are the same thing.”
Therefore, spiritual death occurs when we make the serpent descend towards the Klipoth, but saved when raising that power up the spine, our camel’s hump, through scientific chastity. The י iod above ג Gimel signifies chastity, and the י iod at the bottom expresses the possibility for fornication.
Regarding the psychology of this Hebrew letter, we have all heard Jesus teach, “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into heaven.” Who is the rich man, in this case? I just stated that we are poor, poor in spirit, lacking development. However, all of us are rich with ego, self-sufficiency, pride, anger, etc. Therefore, we cannot enter heaven in this manner, because the ego is not compatible with heaven.
It is not by believing in anything, in anyone, that we will enter heaven, but becoming humble, like the Hebrew letter ד Daleth. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3). Remember that one must be poor in the spirit, not poor of spirit, lacking knowledge. As will be explained in the lecture on Arcanum 4: The Emperor, we must enter ד Daleth, the door, of initiation, through becoming humble. We must annihilate our ego and become poor in spirit, to recognize our misery, so that we can later ascend, as the Magician card indicates. We ascend only after descending into our own infernal worlds to work in sexual magic.
A camel, ג Gimel, the Innermost, is humble, and therefore can pass through the eye of a needle. Why a needle? A needle is used for sewing, and can symbolize the sewing and weaving of the solar bodies. We weave the solar bodies through sexual magic, through raising the creative energies up our spine, our camel’s hump. Not only is this significant, but the needle has an eye, which is the shape of a hidden י iod, a point, or dot; this signifies the power of Kether, divinity, the height of heights, the top of the Tree of Life. It is the power of divinity, the sperm or ovum in potentiality that becomes elongated and formed within our spinal medulla, becoming the letter ו Vav through alchemy. When an embryo forms, what we see is the spine, initially. This physically parallels how the energies of our iod, our energies, rises up and elongates, becoming a ו Vav, the spinal column. Our ו Vav, the spine, is hidden within the calligraphy of the Hebrew letter ג Gimel. It’s easy to see here that ג Gimel has a ו Vav, a spine, with three different י iods.
As we discussed the nature of Aleph in our first lecture, Aleph has three י iods, signifying the three primary forces. The Hebrew letter ג Gimel also represents, in its three י iods, the equilibrium of air, fire, and water, a direct reference to controlling the energies of the three brains. Remember that the mind is signified by א Aleph, the wind; the heart is signified by fire, ש Shin; and sexuality is represented by מ Mem, the waters of life.
The throne of the spirit is the spinal column, Gimel, whereby the power of Neshamah, the Kundalini or serpent power of Samael, works, but always against and upon Nephesh and Ruach. We must spiritualize ourselves through working with Neshamah in sexual magic, and to be resolved to endure the initiatic ordeals through using our Ruach over Nephesh, being guided by divinity.
Questions and Answers
Audience: So would you say that Neshamah, I mean just because we're born into this, you know, we pretty much do everything wrong in these systems that we have and all that, that basically, we have Neshamah when we're born, because we are not born with sin, are we?
Instructor: Well Samael explains something interesting that a child is pure up until the ages of four to seven. So this is a blank slate. But the problem is that the egos of that child enter and manifest within that soul between four and seven years of age because that's when that child is developing what we call personality.
Audience: But isn't that really just our society? If you have a child that is born in nature, and lives in accordance to nature, without all these kinds of institutions and constricts that make us Satanic, aren't they, can't they be Neshamah if they do not have all of these things thrown at them?
Instructor: One thing in Gnostic science and psychology, we talk about three influences upon a child. You have what's called the genotype, paratype, and phenotype. I may be mixing up the definitions of these, we do have genotype, which is karmic inheritance: our egos and defects that we created in past lives. So those are conditions and elements that we have to face eventually as becoming an adult.
But there are influences from environment, relating to paratype and phenotype, and being educated in a certain way to receive certain influences. So there is that component. And it's good if a child can have a very good upbringing, a good education, a respect for nature, especially within gnostic matrimonies, where couples know how to raise a child in accordance with these principles, so they're given extra help. But it doesn't really mean that that child will be perfect when they grow up because of karma, the ego. I've known certain missionaries in this tradition who have children and their children don't follow gnosis. So they may be brought up in a very good way, or hopefully a good way, with spiritual influences, but still a gorilla is a gorilla. You can take a gorilla to a dining hall in Paris and see what happens. We have that ego that's really strong, which develops, or better said, enters into us between the ages of four and seven.
Audience: Getting back to numerology and astrotheology, So I've had my numbers done before. I'm a twenty (slash) two. Is it OK to have your numbers done? How do the gnostics feel about numerology, having your numbers done by someone?
Instructor: Personally, in terms of numbers, we always work with astral projection, so that we communicate directly with our Innermost, our Gedulah.
Audience: So you don't work with the whole name on the birth certificate, the time you are born...
Instructor: We do. There's a reference to that in the end of Tarot and Kabbalah called the Keynote of the day, or better said, the Keynote of one's name. There's certain numbers, certain meanings that you can associate with your name based on a certain formula at the end of that book. I do not remember that off the top of my head, but there's a way to add the numbers of your name in order to get an understanding of the certain tonality of your existence, your present existence. And it relates to one of the twenty two major arcana, which you can relate to yourself...
Audience: That's what she said. I didn't meant to cut you off. The woman that did this, I felt intuitively that she was authentic, that she seemed to be that way. She figured out my numbers based on my birth certificate, the time I was born, where I was born, and I came out to be a twenty (slash) two, which when I looked it up, a two (I'm definitely two); and then my other number, which was my karmic debt number was sixteen (slash) seven, and sixteen in the arcanum is very interesting: it's a building where it's falling...
Instructor: Fragility. It's a very difficult number, because it means failure. But here's the thing: if you want to escape failure, Arcanum 16 = 1 + 6 = 7: which is the Triumph, the war that you have the wage against your defects. So there's a way to escape that tonality of that influence, easily. But in terms of the arcana, we always seek to as a ד Daleth, a poor person, to enter the astral plane so we can refer directly to our Innermost, because we can receive, do readings like that in the physical plane, but I've always found it more resourceful to ask a master in the astral plane: "What do I need to do?" And they show you a number and a situation, and that way it's much more dynamic, it's more direct, it's coming from God. Therefore, you can be absolutely certain that what you're receiving is coming from divinity, and that is always really what we need.
Audience: And that's just done through deep meditation?
Instructor: We meditate, we learn to astral travel.
Audience: Yeah, I haven't done that before, but I've never gotten back to that.
Instructor: Well we learn through practice and experience. But that's how your ד Daleth, we, the poor person, enter and unite with ג Gimel to form God, the perfect human being. So the heavenly man and the terrestrial man as St. Paul teaches are joined together, and we learn that science through dream yoga. We get advice in the astral plane, in the higher dimensions, about what we need to do.
Audience: Are there people here who do not have karmic debt, or do we all have karmic debt?
Instructor: This whole planet is... I do not know anyone who does not have certain debts, because you can say we are all cut from the same scissors.
Audience: It's a matter of degree, alright.
Instructor: Some people have life that's worse because they committed a lot of wrong action in the past, and that's why they're suffering a lot in this current time.
Audience: Yeah, I was going to say that as much as my karmic debt seems like it's a burden, I mean, I can't even imagine these people in third-world countries, what they're karmic debt is...
Instructor: Which if we study the Bhavachakra of Buddhism, it teaches that there are six classifications of human beings. You have the gods, the demigods, the humans, the hungry ghosts, the demons, and the animals. People in Buddhism think that refers to literal animals, demigods, in another plane of existence. There's a certain meaning to that, but there are many people in life who live like a demon, who live like an animal, who live like a hungry ghost, always trying to acquire more and get things. The myth of the hungry ghost is that they would try to drink and feed themselves but their mouth is only the size of a pin drop or pin needle. Interesting analogy there to [the eye of a needle where only a camel can pass]...
Audience: It's more like gluttony?
Instructor: Not just gluttony, but also...
Audience: It's because they suffer...
Instructor: Trying to acquire satisfaction, and comfort, and security. So it can be material. And trying to have the security but not being able to get it. But then you have people who live like gods and demigods who have a lot of wealth, but they're always afraid that they are going to lose what they have. So that's why it's better to transcend that wheel of recurrence, repetition, cyclical behavior we call Samsara. Samsara literally means "cycling," return and recurrence, to come back to. You have to cut through that to cease behaving as a Nephesh, as an animal, because an animal, Nephesh, rotates in that wheel, the Bhavachakra. Good, bad. Yes, no. Success, failure, Victory, defeat.
Instructor: That's duality and we have go through the third path, which is equilibrium, which is the path of the Bodhisattva in Buddhism, to balance all those forces, to make Nephesh a Nephesh Chaiah, make it holy.
Any other final comments or questions?
Audience: You said that the Empress relates to light?
Audience: And to get that light you utilize the fire, there again, in the semen?
Instructor: Yes, because יְהִי אֹור וַֽיְהִי־אֹֽור Yehi Aur Va Yehi Aur. אֹֽור "Aur" means light, and you find אֹֽור Aur, light, hidden as a seed within the sexual organs. The Zohar teaches that in the opening of that scripture, how hidden in the fourth day of Genesis, "Let there be lights in the firmament of heaven," (Genesis 1:14) מְאֹרֹת Me'orot, you have the seed of that word, אֹֽור Aur, מְאֹרֹת Me'orot, אֹֽור Aur is light, which they say is a seed within a human being, which is of course the reference to the sexual matter. If you expel the אֹֽור Aur, the seed, you have left in those Hebrew letters, from מְאֹרֹת Me'orot, מות Mavet, which means "death" in Hebrew. We'll talk more about the Zohar later.
But you work with that seed through mantra. You say, "Let there be light!" You're praying, your mantralizing, vocalizing sacred sounds, and then "There was light!" "Let there be light!" God says. "And there was light." So when we talk about the Hebrew letter ו Vav, "and" is ו Vav, the spine. That's how you create light in your spinal column. יְהִי אֹור Yehi Aur, "Let there be light," וַֽיְהִי־אֹֽור Va Yehi Aur, "And there was light."
Audience: It almost seems like the light is, for anyone, whether you're rich or poor, it's difficult as it is just because of a million... our thoughts going on in our head, but it almost seems that what I'm gathering by coming here every week is just we really have to control our carnal pleasures, our temptations, and if you just do that, then the universe, or God, or Tao, or whatever will kind of lead you towards the right path. It's really about controlling oneself, not worrying about all these other outside, you know, politics and this and that, and family matters. It's all about having control, about governing oneself. If you just that, then you will lead to a better path.
Instructor: And that's why the Zohar states that one must engage with Torah day and night. Of course many Jews read this and they think this refers to reading the scripture, but the Zohar says that working with Torah is working with water, Mem, your energies. So God says, "Work with Torah day and night." Torah means law, the Tarot, the law. So if you want to work with the law, to receive help from divinity, and perform בראשית Bereshit, generation in yourself, work with your sexual energy. As soon as you do that, the angels say, "Let's help him."
Audience: You're talking about meditation?
Instructor: And meditation too. But when you're working in chastity, that is how you get helped. That is the beginning. Because if you do not still the waters of sex, you can't control Nephesh.
Audience: I'm noticing that and it's not only not spilling the seed, it's not thinking about that...
Instructor: And that's why Nietzsche also talks about when people begin to become chaste, their lust, like an animal dog, he says in his book, a bitch, a female dog, follows them wherever they go. Lust looks through the eyes. Jesus said, "You've heard it said of old: you shall not commit adultery. But even if you look at another women with lust, with Nephesh, you've committed adultery with her in your heart."
So first step. abstain from fornication, and then the real work begins by analyzing your dreams, lustful dreams, and looking at the other sex, because that's the difficult part. It is easy to control the energies. Transmute, that's the beginning. But then you have the extirpate the roots of that problem, and that's why we have to meditate. Go into subconsciousness, the unconsciousness, infraconsciousness to work with the animal soul at that level.
And we get help from Neshamah who descends down in order to help us, which is symbolized by the play Romeo and Juliet. There's a part where Juliet, Geburah, Neshamah, the Divine Soul is trying to help her husband Romeo, Tiphereth. Tiphereth, Romeo gets exiled for having murdered Tybalt if you remember the play. Juliet is about to take a potion that is going to knock her unconscious and she fears taking it because she's afraid that she's going to wake up in the graveyard amongst the dead and the bones and the filth. Now of course this is a symbol of how Neshamah descends into our Klipoth, our hell, in order to help Romeo. And the of course the lovers are united through death.
People get very sappy and sentimental about the play. It's very powerful, but that's one level of meaning that people don't know, that there's another meaning there. Through mystical death of the ego, Nephesh, is how Geburah, Tiphereth, unite. But of course, she has to descend into that graveyard, and that is something we get help with, but only if we are chaste, because chastity is the key to open the door to initiation.
Audience: Wasn't there a similarity there... where somebody went through the looking glass into the ground? Or what was it?...
Instructor: Alice in Wonderland.
Through the Looking Glass is a wonderful initiatic story, but also we have to descend down the rabbit hole to see how deep it goes.
Audience: OK. Who went don't the rabbit hole?
Instructor: Alice. She is the consciousness, the one who has to explore our Nephesh, which manifests as the Mad Hatter, the intellectual brain, which doesn't have any reason, it is a lunatic; the Queen of Hearts, which is the abuse of the emotional energy; and the motor-instinctive-sexual center represented by the White Rabbit.
The Gnostic Academy of Chicago
Free public lectures, meditation classes, courses, articles, and lecture transcriptions.