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.
The sacred arcana or laws of the tarot are universal to every religion. Arcana, in a specific definition, refers to laws. The singular arcanum signifies an individual law. These laws are specific to the creation of any cosmos, any universe and, more importantly, in relation to our own development as a soul, as a consciousness that strives to unite with that divinity.
Now the תורה Torah in Hebrew bares a profound relevance to the תֹורֹתָ Torat, which means “laws” in Hebrew likewise. And while this Torat has been expressed within the Judeo-Christian tradition through the mystical science of Kabbalah, this knowledge is universal. It is not limited to one particular culture, time, or place. And so every religion teaches through its symbols, its archetypes, its principles, the basic laws that guide the development of the soul in unification with the divine―whether we give that name yoga, from the Sanskrit yuj [pronounced “yug”]: to yoke, to unite, or the Latin religare, which means to reunite.
These laws are synthesized in what have become known as the twenty-two arcana of the tarot. Likewise the fifty-six minor arcana, minor laws, which bare a profound symbolism which is valuable to study. But in this course, we will talk about the major arcana: the first twenty-two cards, precisely because in the law of numerology and mathematics, the law of divine principles, these elements synthesize within these twenty-two laws themselves, represented by the twenty-two letters of the Kabbalistic alphabet, the language of the mystical Jews.
So I would like to read a quote for you from the founder of modern Gnostic tradition, Samael Aun Weor, who explained how the tarot and the Torat are synonymous, and that to know the tarot cards is to study the Jewish mysticism, Kabbalah. But of course, this knowledge, קבלה Kabbalah, is within all religions, not just Judeo-Christianity, as well as Islam, precisely because the word קבל Kabel in Hebrew means “to receive knowledge,” not from any book or from a lecture, from a scripture, but from our own awakened experience, when our consciousness verifies directly the truths contained in religion.
But the Jewish tradition is very deep and expresses this principle of the twenty-two arcana, and therefore it is valuable to study this aspect of religion in relation to our own development.
Samael Aun Weor stated the following:
"The Kabbalah is the science of numbers.
"The author of the Tarot was the Angel מטטרון Metatron. He is Lord of the serpent wisdom.” ―Samael Aun Weor, Tarot and Kabbalah
Anyone familiar with Hinduism knows that the serpent is the Kundalini power, and the Kabbalist refers to that energy as Shekinah.
“The Bible refers to him as the Prophet Enoch.
"The Angel Metatron, or Enoch, delivered the Tarot, in which the entirety of divine wisdom is enclosed. The Tarot remains written in stone.
"He also left us the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet.
“This great Master lives in the Superior Worlds, in the world of Atziluth, which is a world of indescribable happiness. According to the Kabbalah, this world is the region of Kether, a very high Sephirah. All Kabbalists base themselves on the Tarot and it is necessary for them to comprehend the Tarot and study it deeply. The Universe was made with the Law of numbers, measurements and weight. Mathematics forms the Universe, and the numbers become living entities." ―Samael Aun Weor, Tarot and Kabbalah
Intellectual and Intuitive Kabbalah
We can see there are two forms of Kabbalah. There is the intellectual Kabbalah, and there is the intuitive Kabbalah. There is knowledge we can learn from books, from writings, from lectures, from scriptures, about the structure of the soul about the path that leads to the divine, but that is merely intellectual. It does not equate with conscious experience of the truth.
Intuitive Kabbalah is the opposite. It is the verification of what has been taught by the great prophets of humanity, especially given by the Angel Metatron, who was the one responsible for giving to the Jews the symbolic language of Kabbalah: the twenty-two Hebrew letters, which we will be studying didactically with each major arcanum of the Tarot.
And so this real knowledge, קבל kabel, to receive real קבלה Kabbalah, is what we receive directly from the angels, not from a book or scripture as we have been stating, but when we learn to meditate. By relaxing the body, letting the body fall asleep, we as a consciousness go into the world of dreams, but with awakened perception―not in an unconscious or dreaming state―but in an awakened aware perception. This is so we can communicate in those regions, known as heavens in religion, with the great angels, just as Moses received the commandments from Jehovah. Really he was talking about an experience that he had within those dimensions, not just physically.
The Mystical Ascension of Moses
I would like to read for you an explanation given by the Book of Enoch the Third Book of Enoch, specifically, which scripturally emphasizes the origin of the tarot, so that we can look at a scriptural foundation for where these laws come from or when they were first inscribed and given to humanity. This is a Fragment of Ascension of Moses:
15.1 Rabbi Ishmael said: Said to me Metatron, the Prince of the Presence and the prince over all the princes and he stands before Him who is greater than all the Elohim. And he goes in under the Throne of Glory. And he has a great tabernacle of light on high. And he brings forth the fire of deafness and puts (it) into the ears of the Holy Chayyoth, that they may not hear the voice of the Word (Dibbur) that goes forth from the mouth of the Divine Majesty. ―The Third Book of Enoch: “Fragment of Ascension of Moses”
So this is a symbolic experience that happened within those higher dimensions. When Moses was physically asleep, he was entering with his soul up what is called the Tree of Life, which we will be talking about in-depth today. And in those higher dimensions, those higher sephiroth, those spheres of being, he had communicated directly with Metatron and received the knowledge of the Kabbalah.
15.2 And when Moses ascended on high, he fasted 121 fasts, till the habitations of the chashmal were opened to him; and he saw the heart within the heart of the Lion and he saw the innumerable companies of the hosts around about him. And they desired to burn him. ―The Third Book of Enoch: “Fragment of Ascension of Moses”
Meaning: that light, that intelligence of the divine is so intense, that to our terrestrial senses it is blinding. It is terrifying, but to the soul it is liberating, but to our lower animal qualities, our passions, our defects, of course, there is fear in relation to this direct communication with the divine.
15.2 But Moses prayed for mercy, first for Israel and after that for himself: and He who sitteth on the Merkaba opened the windows that are above the heads of the Kerubim. And a host of 1800 advocates and the Prince of the Presence, Metatron, with them went forth to meet Moses. And they took the prayers of Israel and put them as a crown on the head of the Holy One, blessed be He. ―The Third Book of Enoch: “Fragment of Ascension of Moses”
And so as we talk about Kabbalah, Israel does not just mean the people in the Middle East, but the parts of the soul that are trapped in conditions and defects and negative psychological qualities. As we see: Isis Ra El. Isis: the Divine Mother of Egypt; Ra: the solar god of the divine, which the Gnostics call Christ, the light of divinity which was manifest in Jesus; and אל El in Hebrew signifies the Lord, “God.” So the people of Israel are all those parts of us that are conditioned and which seek to perform the Exodus, up that Tree of Life, which we will be talking about.
15.3 And they said (Deut. 6: 4): "Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord" and their face shone and rejoiced over Shekinah and they said to Metatron: "What are these? And to whom do they give all this honour and glory?"
And they answered: "To the Glorious Lord of Israel". And they spake: "Hear, O Israel: the Lord, our God, is one Lord. To whom shall be given abundance of honour and majesty but to Thee יהוה the Divine Majesty, the King, living and eternal".
15.4 In that moment spake Akatriel Yah Yehod Sebaoth and said to Metatron, the Prince of the Presence: "Let no prayer that he prayeth before me return (to him) void. Hear thou his prayer and fulfil his desire whether (it be) great or small".
15.5 Forthwith Metatron, the Prince of the Presence, said to Moses: "Son of Amram! Fear not, for now God delights in thee. And ask thou thy desire of the Glory and Majesty. For thy face shines from one end of the world to the other". ―The Third Book of Enoch: “Fragment of Ascension of Moses”
This is a description of the beatitude of the soul, that is enlivened by the presence of the truth in those higher dimensions.
But Moses answered him: "(I fear) lest I bring guiltiness upon myself".
Metatron said to him: ''Receive [Kabel, Kabbalah] the  letters of the oath, in (by) which there is no breaking the covenant" (which precludes any breach of the covenant). ―The Third Book of Enoch: “Fragment of Ascension of Moses”
The Zohar, which is the mystical book of the Kabbalah, explains some of the meanings of congregation of Israel. Who are these people of Israel specifically?
"The expression, [heavenly host or] "Congregation of Israel," in the first instance, refers to the [archetypes] first born sons of Light, or, as they are termed in the Book of Job, the morning stars, who, along with the Sons of Elohim, sang their song of praise [as one―Ehad] at the creation of the world. In an extended sense, it includes [Metatron and any of] the true children of light [from any religion] who have attained unto the Divine Life [Kether]." ―Zohar
So the Kabbalah is within our heart, what we have verified, what we have tested. For as the Psalms 40:8 states, “I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea Thy תֹורָתְ Torat, laws, are within my heart.”
We will talk about what the Torat, the tarot are in synthesis. These are the laws that guide us. These are the laws that we must study first intellectually, then verify through experience, through meditation.
The Purpose of the Tarot
As we see here, we have three tarot cards, especially as publicized by gnosticteachings.org: Glorian Publishing. And I would like to emphasize a couple quotes about the purpose of the tarot, as well as its relationship to each other, each individual principle.
“The Tarot cards must be considered (1) as separate and complete hieroglyphs, each representing a distinct principle, law, power, or element in Nature…” ―Manly P. Hall, The Secret Teachings of All Ages
So mathematics is intuitive. Numbers bear symbolic reference to a type of experience, when we awaken in the dream state, in those higher worlds, and we invoke the angels or the divine beings about a particular problem. We face a challenge, an ordeal, a state of suffering we seek to reconcile. We ask to that divinity, through certain invocations, in order to receive that help, asking with our mind and heart for the solution to that problem.
Divinity, whether it be from our own inner divine truth our own Being or from an angel―they give us a number. They provide a number in specific relation to a situation that plays out in that dream world. This is the world of symbols, of archetypes, of images, living dramas, living art. When we receive a symbolic dream experience in relation to a number, they are teaching us what we need to do about our physical life, what we need to change, what the solution is to the problem.
It is always involved with relation to a number followed by a situation. It can actually be an image of the card, but the truth is that the tarot are not just limited to a deck. The tarot themselves are represented by the images of the deck itself, but the tarot are not the deck. The tarot are the principles within those images, within those symbols. And so each number is separate and complete, distinct, profound, but also these cards work together.
How to Use the Tarot
If we use the physical deck, we can fulfill a certain procedure which we are going to explain. So these cards also are:
“(2) in relation to each other as the effect of one agent operating upon another…” ―Manly P. Hall, The Secret Teachings of All Ages
When we use a physical deck, asking a specific question to divinity, what we do is we have an altar. It does not have to be very complex or sophisticated. It could just be a table with a white cloth, a candle, an image of the holy pentagram, which is a symbol of Christ, the Christic principle. We invoke divinity, asking for the solution to whatever difficulty we have. We meditate. We go deep. We reflect. We ask for the guidance we need.
We shuffle the twenty-two major arcana. We pull out one card. Place it face down.
Shuffle the fifty-six minor arcana. Pull out one card.
Shuffle it again. Pull out another card.
You will have a total of three cards: one is from the major arcana, such as Arcanum 19: Inspiration, followed by Arcana 47: Deduction and 29: Domesticity.
When you take the card, you leave the major arcanum alone. You leave that number by itself, and you add the sum of the two digits of the minor arcana.
For example, 47. You would add the two digits together: 4 + 7 = 11; and then synthesize that further: 1 + 1 = 2. So you want to get a number that is below 10 with the minor arcana.
Likewise, 2 + 9 = 11 = 1 + 1 = 2, and therefore you add the sum of these two cards: 2 + 2 + 19, which gives you the Arcanum 23, known as The Plower.
These numbers work together. They relate to each other. When you look for an answer or response within the decks themselves, you take into conjunction, into account, the different cards and their synthesis, as well as their relationship to each other. You have to look at the answer, which is found within not only Arcanum 19: Inspiration, but also Arcana 47 and 29―but then the synthesis: the numbers that are added together, Kabbalistically, give you the final answer, which 2 + 3 = 5, which is The Hierarch.
So you can look at Arcanum 23: The Plower, as well as Arcanum 5: The Hierarch.
This is just the practical explanation of how to use these tarot within a published deck.
Now as Manly P. Hall also emphasizes in this quote from The Secret Teachings of All Ages, he explains that the tarot are:
“…vowels and consonants of a philosophic alphabet. The laws governing all phenomena are represented by the symbols upon the Tarot cards, whose numerical values are equal to the numerical equivalents of the phenomena.” ―Manly P. Hall, The Secret Teachings of All Ages
So as I explained to you, the numbers are intuitive. Mathematics are highly symbolic. Numbers represent forces, experiences, qualities. And through this course we will talk about each of the twenty-two major arcana and specifically the intuitive meaning of those specific arcana themselves.
And so as Manly P. Hall states:
“As every structure consists of certain elemental parts, so the Tarot cards represent the components of the structure of philosophy [philos sophia: love of wisdom, Christ]. Irrespective of the science or philosophy with which the student is working, the Tarot cards can be identified with the essential constituents of his subject, each card thus being related to a specific part according to mathematical and philosophical laws.” ―Manly P. Hall, The Secret Teachings of All Ages
Eliphas Levi stated that very interestingly that if one gained only knowledge of the tarot, exclusive of all other subjects, he would be more competent in every spiritual study than a person who had not done such an endeavor.
“An imprisoned person with no other book than the Tarot, if he knew how to use it, could in a few years acquire universal knowledge, and would be able to speak on all subjects with unequaled learning and inexhaustible eloquence.” ―Eliphas Levi
The Tree of Life: A Cosmological Map
We talked about the Tree of Life. This diagram with its ten spheres represents the entire universe, from the highest regions of perception, of being, of divinity, towards the most material, concrete, and physical forms.
We talked about the region of כֶּתֶר Kether, originally, which is the Angel מטטרון Metatron, which is the top sephirah (“emanation”) of the Tree of Life emerging from that abstract nothingness, known as the Absolute: אין Ain, אין סוף Ain Soph, אין סוף אוֹר Ain Soph Aur. That is the unknowable divinity from which every universe emerges. That is the unmanifested divinity. It is not knowable at this level, but when we learn to experience the Tree of Life, we can go beyond it.
The first emanation of that truth is known as Kether. It is like a spark of light that emerges from the unknowable source. And from the bottom of the Tree of Life we have מלכות Malkuth, which is our physical body: our earth, our kingdom. Malkuth in Hebrew means “kingdom,” and it is the kingdom in which we must learn to conquer, so that we can ascend up this Tree of Life, back towards the origins, the source, the truth.
The tarot themselves, the first ten arcana, relate to this Tree of Life, specifically. And I would like to read for you some emphasis from Samael Aun Weor, who explained in his book Alchemy and Kabbalah in the Tarot, how the initial ten cards of the tarot relate to this diagram:
So these three Sephiroth (“emanations”) have been known in Christianity as Father, Son, Holy Spirit. Amongst Hindus they are known as Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva.
Question: Does the major arcana refer to the past?
Instructor: Well the first ten cards relate to the specific sephiroth themselves, and we find that this trinity at the top is represented in every tradition. In the Nordic tradition: Wotan, Baldur, and Thor.
You can use this image to interpret any tradition, the cosmology or the cosmogony, the pantheons. But in synthesis, these three spheres are a form of energy that emerge from that Absolute source and that descend, down into greater forms of materiality and experience.
Beneath that to the right, we have:
While this is a lot of information, we will be breaking this down systematically, just to go step by step in relation to the arcana. But I wanted to introduce to you and emphasize that these ten sephiroth of Kabbalah cannot be separated from the Tarot.
How to Interpret the Tarot
So each card is broken up into a series of symbols and images besides the plain numerical equivalent, within the Hebrew as well as the Egyptian.
We have a sigil or glyph at the top third of the card, followed by a magical symbol, which comes from Paracelsus, I believe, who was the great physician and doctor, great master of medicine who knew the tarot very well.
You have a Zodiacal letter or symbol, followed by the name of the card and the planet.
Notice that each part of the card is broken up into thirds. We have the top third, the middle third, and the lower third, followed by the body of the tarot, which is very significant in relation to Kabbalah.
We can see that the four parts of that card are known as the four worlds of the Tree of Life. The four worlds of Kabbalah explain the makeup or the constitution of that Tree of Life in a much more profound manner.
The world of Atziluth is the world of archetypes, principles, forces, which is that top trinity on the Tree of Life. It is Kether, Chokmah, and Binah: Father, Son, Holy Spirit.
That tri-unity, that tri-force, emerges from the unknowable divine in order to create life and create it anew, to create the universe and to also create our own interior psychological universe. We use those three forces in order to create the soul, to develop ourselves. When those three forces unite, they create something.
We know that in atomics, atomic physics, that we have the proton: the affirming force, the electron: the negative force, and likewise the neutron: the reconciliating force. Within the atom we find these three forces are present in order for any universe to exist. Whether from the atom or from the galaxy, these three forces are present. And likewise, we use these forces within ourselves in order to develop ourselves spiritually. So, these three forces create.
And the next world below, Briah (the world of creation), is precisely related to the next trinity on the Tree of Life.
So again, relating to numbers the תֹורֹתָ Torat, we find that numbers are very significant in the Tree of Life. We have three trinities followed by a fourth sphere, known as Assiah.
Briah, the world of creation, relates to our spirit, Chesed: “Mercy,” our own Being, our own particular divinity, who we are going to talk about in depth today, followed by Geburah “Justice,” which is our divine consciousness, and Tiphereth, “Beauty”: the human consciousness, the human soul, willpower.
Below that that energy of creation begins to take form in terms of the mind, the heart, and our vitality, respectively: Netzach, Hod, Yesod. Netzach means “Victory” in Kabbalah or in Hebrew, and it relates to the intellect, the mind. We have Hod, “Glory”: the emotional vehicle, the emotions themselves, the astral counterpart, the world of dreams, specifically relating to our heart. And Yesod, “Foundation,” relates to our vital depth, our vital forces, our vital energy.
Below that we have Assiah: the physical plane, the physical body, the world of matter and action, which is our body that we possess, which contains all the forces of the Tree of Life in their synthesis. All that energy from the top descends down through creation of the universe and also creation of our own body, in which our soul enters in order to exist in this physical plane.
These four worlds can be broken down further in relation the birth of a child. In the beginning there was an ovum and sperm. That principle that has yet to become actualized. It is an archetype. It is a blueprint for a human being. That is Atziluth. That is the world of archetypes. Those forces are not yet active. They are not present.
But through the sexual act, man and woman create. The sperm and ovum unite in order to form the child. Again, formation relates to the world of Yetzirah, which is the world of crystallizations, in forms such as mind, heart, vitality.
We find this in a birth of a child. And when that child emerges for the first time in the world, he or she takes his or her first breath and is in the world of Assiah: matter and action.
The Book of Isaiah, 43:7 states: “Everyone that is  called by My name, and  whom I created for My glory,  I formed him, yea  I made him…”
...relating to the four worlds that we see represented here. The Qur’an, which is the sacred book of Islam, states the same thing in Surah 82:6-8:
“O mankind! What has deluded you with regard to your noble Lord, Who created you [Briah], then fashioned you [Yetzirah], then proportioned you [Assiah], assembling you in whatever form He willed [from Atziluth]?” –Surah al-Infitar, “The Cleaving Asunder,” 82:6-8
The tarot synthesize all this, so it is a very deep knowledge. Now we are introducing this type of wisdom in a simple manner, but we will be talking about these four worlds of Kabbalah throughout this course in relation to the twenty-two arcana specifically.
But let us talk about the first card of the Tarot.
This is the Magician. The word Magician come from mag, the Indo-European word for “priest,” or from the Persian magus, which means “priest” as well.
Amongst the Persians, magus, magushan is a spiritual master, someone who has conquered him or herself, psychologically speaking. The word magician also relates to the word maha-atman, which is where we get the word mahatma in Hinduism. Maha means “great.” Atman means “soul” or “spirit.” So this is an image of a great soul or spirit, one who has fully mastered him or herself and is indicating the path to others. The word maha in Sanskrit could also be read as maga-atman, which is also the word for mage, priest, magician. In a Sanskrit, an “h” can be read as a “g.” Maha is maga, mage.
In this image, we see a priest holding in his left hand a staff of power, ascending up, and his right hand pointing towards the earth, pointing towards the inferior part of the card. That staff is a symbol of our spinal column upon which the sacred force of Kundalini rises. This is the שכינה Shekhinah power of the Kabbalists, the power of the Divine Mother serpent of which the Book of Enoch speaks.
In order to ascend up to those higher spiritual regions, represented by the stars of this graphic, one must learn to descend. The card of the Magician, the priest, is about entering into suffering. It initiates. It begins a certain type of development or struggle. But of course, this magician, by his perfect serenity, establishes and explains precisely this dynamic in order to ascend to the higher regions of the Kabbalah: the Tree of Life. One must face one’s own psychological iniquity. One must descend down that Tree of Life, entering into matter and form and into states of suffering, so that one can take those experiences and to return back to the source, to learn from those experiences themselves.
This is synthesized by the image of the table in front of him. As Samael Aun Weor explains, these items are in disarray. We have a sword representing, again, the spinal column or the power of the Divine Mother Kundalini, the sword of the divine masters, which rises up the spine.
Likewise, we have a vase, representative of the female sexual organs, the yoni. And then we have a moon on that table, which likewise represents woman.
The magician must learn to use these elements on the table for his own development. That sword is the serpent power, the fire of God, the creative energies which reside in our body, specifically in the base of our spine. Through union and Tantra, when man and woman unite sexually speaking, and by conserving that power, can transform those energies and rise them up the spine to the brain. That is signified by the staff that the magician holds in his left hand, but of course, to reach those heights, one must first confront one’s psychological degeneration.
We see that the sword is also a phallic symbol. Likewise the vase, the feminine yoni, the sexual organs, indicates that the magician, the real priest, is somebody who is married. Every priest has his priestess. Jesus of Nazareth had his Mary Magdalene, Mag-da-lene, the magician. He was a priest of Egypt and knew that science very deeply and taught it in his Gospels.
By learning to work with that sword and that vase, when a man and woman know how to work in a matrimony, they can use that energy to ascend and create the heavens of Urania, which are the stars of this graphic.
The moon on that table is also a representation of the mind, because the mind is the source of our habits, our problems, our difficulties. The moon indicates sorrow, pain, struggle, sentimentalism. It represents mechanicity. It’s very easy to see within nature that the moon governs much of our existence. Even looking at crime rates on a full moon, there are many instances of degenerated behavior as a result of that influence, the lunar influence. Likewise with menstruation, as well as the tides the moon, is a very impactful force upon physical and psychological nature.
But psychologically speaking, that moon represents egotism, defects, which must be destroyed or transformed, so that that moon can become a sun. The sun is a representation of the solar Logos which the Gnostics call Christ, Son of God, S-u-n or S-o-n.
Who is the one that grants us the ability, the magician, to organize the table? We see that there is a bird beneath, which is the Ibis bird of Thoth, the Egyptian symbol of the Holy Spirit. Any bird in any religion represents the Holy Ghost, which if we look back at the Kabbalah, we find that we have the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, represented by the top trinity: Kether, Chokmah, Binah.
Binah is represented by a bird, the Holy Spirit, which is an energy. It is the sexual energy, that energy which can create life of a child, physically speaking. When it is harnessed in a matrimony, it can be used to develop our spirituality. That is the sacrament of Rome, amore backwards, which means “love.” That is the Gnostic Church.
This is interesting that the word maga also relates to the word marga in Sanskrit. Marga means “path” and indicates the path of meditation, dhyana marga, specifically in certain scriptures. Marga also relates to mar, the sea, the ocean, which is the waters of Genesis. Those waters of creation, of Genesis, in which we give birth to the soul, are within our creative sexual organs, the gonads or the uterus of the woman. Those waters of life, the seminal matter, can be conserved and transformed into energy, into light, into fire, and it becomes the sword of that magician that he wields in order to conquer his own kingdom, to conquer himself.
So, the path of the magician is precisely the path of a matrimony, the path of a marriage.
Also, the table with its four sides represents for us the lower quaternary, the lower four sephiroth. We have Netzach, Hod, Yesod, Malkuth. Netzach is mind; Hod is emotions; Yesod is vitality or sexual energy, Chi among the Taoist; and Malkuth, our physical body.
The Magician is precisely our inner Chesed, our spirit, our Being. We have talked about how the soul needs to become a magician, to enter the path of spirituality, to initiate, to begin a new way of life. The one who does that is precisely our own inner divinity within us. So that image of the priest is a symbol of Chesed. This is our own inner God who is the only one who can help us to organize our own table: the psyche that we possess, that psyche, which is intellect, emotions, vitality, and our physicality.
It is easy to sit in meditation and to observe ourselves, psychologically, to see that we have many elements that are negative, and that we want to change. Otherwise we would never feel that impetus, that yearning to want to study spirituality, to learn how to escape suffering.
So there are negative thoughts. There are cruel emotions: resentment, fear, hatred, etc., which condition our consciousness, condition our psyche, trap our soul within perdition. Likewise, we have our vitality, which is usually squandered in a negative manner. We waste our vitality in many ways. It is easy enough to examine our life to see what habits we may have that drain us physically, mentally, emotionally, etc.
And so the Magician, our inner God, is the one who must organize ourselves. We as a soul must learn to obey divine truth. We as a consciousness, as the essence of God, is precisely that staff that the magician hold in his hand. That staff, if you are familiar with the Hebrew alphabet, is a straight line looks like the ו Vav, the sixth letter of Hebrew, which is a symbol of the spinal column.
If we look in the last graphic, we find that the Tree of Life, transposed upon a human being, we find that the heart embodies the third letter of the sacred name of God: יהוה Iod-Hei-Vav-Hei. י Iod at the top in the brain; ה Hei in the throat, ו Vav: the spine, the heart, relating to our willpower, followed by ה Hei in the sexual organs.
יהוה Jehovah is the sacred name of divinity, and we will talk about the meaning of those four letters soon. But we are that ו Vav, that willpower that God can use when it obeys His impetus, His command.
We have free will to choose to follow our conditioned psyche or to liberate the soul from its condition, with the help of our inner Magician, our inner priest, our inner Being. So that is the path of the priest―learning to use our willpower in order to free ourselves from that which makes us suffer. We learn that science precisely through meditation: dhyana marga.
The Three Priesthoods
We could say that there are three forms of priesthood that the Magician must follow in order to liberate the soul completely. Again this relates to the Tree of Life.
We find that the lower trinity: Netzach, Hod, Yesod: mind, emotions, and vitality, relate to three forms of magic. And again, magic, priesthood, is about exercising our own willpower upon our own inner nature in order to change who we are.
We say there are other forms of magic, such as black magi,c in which the person, through their egotism and their pride, uses their mind to control the minds of others, which is negative, which is what we do not teach. Instead, we teach how to follow our own inner Magician, our own inner Christ, our inner Being, precisely by learning to follow the three priesthoods.
Relating to Netzach, the mind, we have elemental magic [elementotherapy]: the work of helping the souls of nature, specifically through plants, working with the souls of plants so as that these elemental creatures, these souls of the plants themselves, can do beneficial service to others. This is also known as hermetic magic the science of Hermes in Egypt [Study Esoteric Medicine and Practical Magic, as well as Igneous Rose, to learn how to perform elementotherapy].
In Hod, the emotions, we have ceremonial magic, ritual magic, relating to the Gnostic Unction, the Holy Gnostic Church―of which we are a part of in this school―in which the soul receives the bread and wine of the Lord. This Holy Gnostic Church is not only just physical, but within those higher dimensions we can learn to travel in the astral dimension in order to speak face to face with Jesus Christ, and receive the bread and wine from him directly in his temple.
And Yesod, we have what is known as sexual magic, which is the work of a matrimony: where husband and wife agree to work in order to develop their spirituality. [See The Perfect Matrimony].
So those three sephiroth below are the triangle of priesthood. Relating to the work of the Magician, it is precisely through those forms of magic, of following divine will, in which we learn to organize our table.
One thing I did not mention was that if we look at even at the cloth or vesture of this master [the Magician], it is formed by a trinity, which is facing up, and that again refers to the three primary forces of nature: Father, Son, Holy Spirit, which is how the Magician is empowered. Our own spirit is empowered by working with those forces.
Those forces find themselves manifested within our physicality, as well as our vitality, our emotions, and our mind, which you could say form three centers of activity, as we mentioned previously: intellect, emotions, and our movement, our motor qualities.
One thing we did not mention is that the inferior part of the card is the basis upon which the Magician works―if we find the cubic stone of Yesod, which Yesod in Hebrew means “Foundation.” And this is the famous stone, which the builders rejected, as Jesus said in the Book of Matthew 21:42: “Did you never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same has become the head of the corner. This is the Lord’s doing, and is marvelous in our eyes.
The Freemasons are very well versed about the cubic stone of Yesod, the foundation stone of the temple of mysteries. That stone is a representation of our sexual energy, our creative potential, which in us is a blackened stone. It is blackened by desire, by passion, by lust, which in the Middle East, the sacred Kaaba of the Muslims is the blackened stone that the Muslims venerate. Their tradition state that, amongst the Sufis specifically, that stone must become purified, whitened, perfected, chiseled to its original and pristine form in a time before Adam’s fall from grace.
That stone is precisely the energies upon which we work, because without sexual, emotional, mental energy, we cannot function. Likewise, our spirituality is based, our development is founded upon the work of that energy, in a conscious and deliberate manner, because those forces can give life spiritually and physically. But if we learn to renounce the physical aspect of desire, of craving, of attachments, we can learn to use those forces for the truth.
So that cubic stone is also the power that can destroy oneself as well, and we find that this stone is beneath in the third trinity of the card―which is known as the world of Yetzirah specifically. It is within the waters of this card beneath the Magician’s feet. Again, waters remind us of la mer, the ocean of divinity, the Divine Mother whose energies are manifested within our sexuality. And as Jesus stated, this stone can be the foundation of our temple, or it can be the means of destroying oneself. For as he says in Mark 9:42 “And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea." Again, in this sense, the sea is our representation of passion, desires etc.
This stone is within the bottom third, the waters of this card. It is interesting that Yesod is known as the Sophic Hydrolith, the stone of the water. Stones refer to the genitalia since a person’s “stones” is slang for the generative organs. Also, the Magician uses the power of these waters within the stones, to purify the consciousness.
The magician, a real priest, is somebody who seeks to destroy desire, by comprehending it, to transform it, to transmute it into cognizance, into purity, into light. He does that through his willpower, which is us our soul, which can govern the intellect, the mind, the heart, and the body.
But of course, that necessitates a training, a work with that stone itself at the bottom of the card.
We also notice in this image the sign of Leo, the sign of the lion or the lions of Judah in Hebrew. יהודה Judah is spelled: י Iod ה Hei ו Vav ד Daleth ה Hei, five letters, which have an additional D sound, ד Daleth, in conjunction with י Iod ה Hei ו Vav ה Hei the sacred name of God [יהוה]. So a real lion of Judah, a real spiritual person, a real magician, is a Jew. But of course, we are not referring to the physical Jews in the Middle East, but those who follow יהו Yew the sacred name of God, which is synthesized as י Iod ה Hei ו Vav ה Hei: יהוה Jehovah. So a real Jew can be from any religion, not just from Judaism itself. But someone who has fully incarnated that light is a Jew, is a real master. And those who are degenerate are the גּוֹיִים goyim.
Of course, these people who are full of desire and lust, are egotistical, but of course, the Jewish tradition has lost the meaning of this. But the truth is that Leo, the sign of the lion, relates to the stone, because that stone is perfected. Or when it is perfected, it becomes the light of the sun, and transforms the Being into a lion, a master. This is signified by the crown of this initiate, who has a serpent before his forehead. That serpent symbolizes how that Kundalini power has risen from the base of the spine to the mind, and has fully illuminated that power of Yesod, of sexuality, which has been raised to the mind in order to fully illuminate it. So, the serpent raised on the forehead signifies that this magician has entered initiation, has initiated this path, who has raised those forces completely.
And so the stone, again, relates to the sun, as we see in this planetary symbol by a circle and a point. Again, the circle and the point not only represents the sun, but also represents Kether on the Tree of Life.
This stone also receives the Kabbalistic, Hebrew name of שם המפורש Shem Hamphorash, “The Stone of the Name” or השם Hashem. השם Hashem, the appellation for the sacred name of God, יהוה Jehovah, is משה Moshe, Moses, backwards. Hashem is a name for the Solar Logos, the solar divinity, which if we work with Shem Hamphorash, the stone of the solar force, we can incarnate the Name of God in ourselves, our inner Kether―the point that emerges from the Nothingness.
We see here that Kether is the first manifestation of the light of the divine into the universe, and manifests as a single point within the circle, which is obviously this unknowable divinity in which that light emerges. And if we know Hebrew, which we will talk about the letter י Iod in Kabbalah, relates with the tenth card, the tenth sphere, the top of the Tree of Life. But Kether is symbolized by a point in a circle.
So, while this magician represents our own Spirit, Chesed―as we look at this image above our own divinity―our own inner Magician is also Kether, because there are levels to God, levels of development. For us, our own inner Father, our own inner Being, is our Chesed, our Spirit, our own inner Mercy. As the Qur’an states, Bismillah Al-Rahman Al-Rahim, “In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.” أل رحيم Al-Rahim, “The Merciful” relates to רוּחַ Ruach, Spirit, which is relating to Chesed, but of course, Allah amongst the Muslims is Kether, Chokmah, Binah and Chesed, because the four sephiroth are the four letters of the Arabic name: الله Allah.
Arabic and Hebrew are really integral. We can study one alongside the other. They have the same meaning. We find that the circle in the point is the symbol of Kether, the Solar Logos, the Christ, emphasized at the top of the graphic with the eyes of Ra, the solar divinity of Egypt. Those are the eyes of omnipresence, of omniscience, of consciousness, of knowing. Divinity knows all and sees all.
Question: So would you say that that relates to the Sun?
Audience: Does Tiphereth also relate to the Sun?
Instructor: Well, Tiphereth relates to the Sun, but we could say that Kether is that point that emerges from that abstract absoluteness, that space of the Cosmic Mother, as a point, as a י Iod, which is a dot in Hebrew. Tiphereth does relate to that sign of the Sun, because in this card we find Tiphereth represented by that spine, that staff, which is where the energies rise when we know how, when we use them.
And so the eyes of Ra are the eyes of the Being, which are always present and knowing the present moment, which is the omniscience of our own divinity, because our own divinity knows all of our psychology, our mind, our heart, our body, our actions.
Question: Does Kether relate to the Ain Soph Aur? Like many suns, is Kether like an individual aspect of that?
Instructor: Well, Kether is the first manifestation of that light, and Ain Soph Aur is the limitless light of the divine.
If we look at the Tree of Life, the Absolute, the unknowable divine, has three aspects. Ain, which is nothingness, space. Ain Soph, which is limitless. Ain Soph Aur, which is that light of the Absolute that has not yet manifested into creation. When that light, which is single, wants to create something, it manifest physically as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, because those three forces help to create any cosmos.
The Ain Soph Aur is the spiritual sun from which that light is still unitary, but when it enters the universe, it has to create. Therefore, it divides itself into the three forces. So it reunites again to create life, specifically. And that is symbolized and implied within the symbol of the Sun.
Also, the eyes of Ra, we find that the eyes of Ra form the holy eight, which we imagine a sign of the infinite traced along these eyes. We will see that the eyes of Ra symbolize that continuity of consciousness, of knowing, of perception. The symbol of the holy eight is a symbol of tantra, a symbol of esoteric Buddhism, specifically as well as Egyptian mythology.
The word tantra means “continuum, flow, flux.” And so, the eyes of the spirit are opened when we learn to use our energies, creative, sexual, emotional, etc., in a continuum. We do not break that continuum by losing any form of energy in whatever manner. Instead, we conserve those forces so that energy becomes a flow in our psyche, which awakens powers, abilities, consciousness specifically, so as to serve God. Not ourselves, but the divine.
The Caduceus of Mercury and Serpentine Energy
Also represented in this holy eight, we can transpose that image upon the spinal column. And then in this next graphic, we find the Caduceus of Mercury held by the Angel Raphael, representing Hermes, the science of Hermetic magic. So that symbol of the Caduceus is a symbol of the holy eight, the continuum of energies of tantra, which rise up the spinal column. That staff is the spine, and the channels are serpents, that entwine around that staff itself, represent two channels of energy that we have within our vitality; as well as our emotional body, our dream body, which we travel with in the astral plane; the mind, etc.; and our physicality as well.
These are not physical. These are more semi-etheric, not tangible to the scalpel, but they exist to senses that can be verified through conscious investigation. We find that we have two channels that rise from our sexual organs up to our brain to form these two serpents.
We call them Ida, Pingala, in Sanskrit, and we call them Adam and Eve in Kabbalah. Adam is the solar serpent, where certain energies of a solar type rise from our genitalia to our brain. And then Eve is the feminine aspect of that form, which rises up the spine to the brain.
Of course, the analogies to the serpents are very prominent within the Judeo-Christian Bible, but that is another topic for another course. But we see that these serpents represent the holy eight, in which our creative energies can rise from sex to the brain, in order to elaborate the wings of the spirit, represented by this Caduceus.
Our spirituality is developed by working with those forces. Likewise, we see in this image seven stars above the head of the Angel Raphael, which indicates for us the lower seven sephiroth of this master. The lower seventh sphere of this Tree of Life have been illuminated by that top trinity: Father, Son, Holy Spirit. So, the sign of the infinite is the Magician’s staff: the staff of power. And as Samael Aun Weor explains in his book Alchemy and Kabbalah in the Tarot:
“The fire of Phlegethon and the water of Acheron unite in the Ninth Sphere.”
Again, tying into Greek mythology, this Ninth Sphere is not just the center of the earth of our planet, but also within our own body, because our body is an earth. And in the very center of our body, we have the creative energy: the waters of life, which can flow within us internally in order to give life.
But these two channels Ida and Pingala, Adam and Eve, the two serpents of the Caduceus of Mercury, have been known as the Two Witnesses in the Book of Revelation, for as it states:
“And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. As we said: “These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.” ―Revelations 11:3-4
So again, relating to numbers you add: a thousand two hundred and threescore days (1260) which is 1+2+6+0 = 9. The number nine is very prominent within, not only the Qur’an, but also the Bible. Nine relates to the ninth sphere: Yesod, the second to last sphere on the Tree of Life. And this ninth sphere is precisely the stone which we build our temple upon. So, this is the science of Mercury, Hermes.
Related to Hermes, we find the teachings of the Emerald Tablet, which is a teaching of sexual magic, sexual alchemy, of how man and woman can unite and purify their spirituous earth through a gentle heat, with much attention―where the couple awakes that fire of love and harmony in order to control that fire and to raise it up the spine into the mind. And that awakens the wings of the spirit which is symbolized in modern day medicine.
The Hebrew Letter א Aleph
Lastly, I would like to talk to you about the Hebrew letter א Aleph at the top right corner of the image. Each Hebrew letter relates to numerology, as a numerical equivalent, a numerical value. And so the letter א Aleph symbolizes the breath, the wind, the air. So we talked about the waters and the fire, but we cannot leave out the air, because it is by working with our own breath, our breathing, in which we learn to control the mind, meaning our mind.
And so the א Aleph is a symbol of the sacred winds of God, the force of the divine. The letter א Aleph is our own inner Spirit, because as the book of Genesis teaches, “The spirit of God floated upon the faces of the waters” (Genesis 1:2) and hovered upon those sacred waters in order to provide the first day of Genesis. That Spirit, that רוח אלהים Ruach Elohim of the Old Testament is precisely Chesed, our Spirit, our inner Magician, the א Aleph.
That א Aleph is a profound letter that initiates life, spiritually speaking. If we take the letter א Aleph, its easy to see that it relates to the air when we transpose it upon the symbol of the body and the lungs. You find that there is a transverse line followed by two י Iods, you could say, two dots. When you take that image of א Aleph and transpose it on a human being, you have the spine, but also the two lungs by which we have life the wind the breath. א Aleph initiates the breath, gives life, for as we find in the birth of a physical child, the first moments of birth, the child inhales air and exclaims and cries. That is the א Aleph in action initiating a new life beginning.
Question: You mentioned Ida and Pingala and then you have the central spinal column. How does that relate with pranayama?
Instructor: Well pranayama is the science of yoking that energy. Now with pranayama, which is the science of interchangeable nostril breathing, we learn to use the א Aleph, the breath, the wind, controlling it in order to stimulate the sexual creative energy, so that it can rise up the spine. And we have many exercises of pranayama, specifically in books like Kundalini Yoga, as well as The Yellow Book.
Comment: I forget what it says, but they say the breath is the billows of the sexual body.
Instructor: It is because the fire is sparked by that א Aleph. Thank you for saying that because that elaborates on what I wanted to talk about.
The fire of sexuality is enflamed by the breathing. It’s easy enough to see that if we control our breath, we also control our mind. Breath is the vital energy in the air, but also when we learn to use that spiritual air to hover upon the face of our own sexual waters, we can transmute that energy and bring it up to our mind, so that we can create the first day of Genesis. As the Hebrews state, יְהִי אֹור וַֽיְהִי־אֹֽור׃ Yehi Aur Va-Yehi Aur: “Let there be light and there was light.” The word light begins with א Aleph. אֹור Aur, as we look at the Tree of Life again, we have אין סוף אוֹר Ain Soph Aur, א Aleph ו Vav ר Resh spells out “light.” And that of course is generated when we learn to work with that breath. The letter א Aleph again is formed by two י Iods and a transverse line (ו Vav) which refers to the trinity the top of the Tree of Life. We have three points, three forces manifested in that energy, in that breath.
So a magician is somebody who, in the sexual act, controls their breathing, is not carried away by passion, and uses the breath along with his wife, together, to transform that energy up the spine. And of course, that is allegorized in the Bible in many cases.
The letter א Aleph, we find in a very famous name of God in Exodus. And it says when Moses was confronting the burning Tree of Life, the Burning Bush in which the fire of God was present there. And God saidאֶֽהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶֽהְיֶה Eheieh Asher Eheieh: “I Am that I Am,” and thus He said, “Thou shall say unto the children of Israel ‘I Am’ has sent you.” This is when Moses asked God to tell him, well, “By what name shall I call you when I go to Israel (to teach my soul who my master is)?” And the Lord says, אֶֽהְיֶה אֲשֶׁר אֶֽהְיֶה which means, “I Am that I Am,” but also means, “I Am Who Becomes,” “I Am That Becoming,” “I Am That Which Wills,” which initiates, which begins, which is symbolized by the letter א Aleph.
If you take that letter א Aleph and move it, if you spin it, it will form the swastika, which is the sacred cross in motion―which of course, certain people misappropriated that symbol for a very degenerated means. The swastika is the symbol of that א Aleph, the cross of sexuality in motion, because the vertical beam is the phallus; the horizontal beam is the uterus. And when a man and a wife unite sexually through that cross, and then they can serve that power, it spins. It becomes that א Aleph in motion, that swastika, which has been prominent in Buddhism and Hinduism especially. But of course, certain Germans took that symbol and really degenerated it for very evil purposes.
So, the Aleph is the symbol of the Magician, the wind, the breath. And it is that spiritual principle that we need to learn to obey, to follow within ourselves and in meditation and in our daily life, because that א Aleph is the power that is going to give life to our spirituality.
To emphasize this point, I would like to relate to you an experience I had many years ago, in which I was meditating at home, where I physically fell asleep and I woke up in the astral plane, the world of dreams. And I wanted to speak to my Being, my divinity, my Inner Magician, face to face. But what happened was I was intuitively called to descend into the earth, go down into the earth towards center of the heart of the planet.
This is a beautiful symbol of how we have to descend down like that Magician into the Ninth Sphere, to find that stone of Yesod, that creative energy. And as I approached my Being in the dark of those caverns, I felt His presence. I heard a heartbeat as well as a deep breathing of someone breathing very profoundly as if from exercise. And I felt that power emanating from my own divinity. So, my Being was showing me that “I Am א Aleph,” the Spirit, the wind, the breath, the presence which enflames every Tree of Life.
Afterward, I suddenly saw myself standing in an open parking lot, and I saw a yellow car like a race car. It started up and it started to skid away, and I knew intuitively that I had to chase that car, because I knew symbolically this represented something profound, that my inner Being wanted me to stop that car from driving around. But of course, the struggle was very intense, because it was very fast and I was losing energy, but I was very determined. But eventually the car slowed down as I followed it and I went down to it.
I realized much later how the car is a symbol of the mind, and the color yellow is a sign of the intellect, which my Being was showing me: “Your mind is chaotic and crazy and is wandering over all these places. You need to chase it by following the breath, א Aleph the spirit.” And eventually I caught up to that car, which is a symbol of taming the mind, becoming still within meditation. And of course, there is a man who in the car was a bald man, who came out of the car and I said, “Are you my Being?” And he said, “No, I am just a representation,” something to “symbolize something for you.” And then I woke up.
A symbol of baldness represents a lack of chastity because long hair in ancient times was a symbol amongst many cultures of sexual purity. Those who are impure are prostitutes, or those women caught in adulterous activity would be shaved of their hair to symbolize their licentiousness. So that is a symbol internally of how the one that was driving that car was my own desires, my own egotism, which I had to catch, to stop it, tame the mind, control it. That is how you become a magician, a priest.
So you learn how to control that energy through the א Aleph. The sacred name of God: יהוה Iod Hei Vav Hei, from top to bottom, represents this. We can transpose the Tree of Life on a human being. We find that י Iod is that dot that relates to Kether, the Crown, the truth. ה Hei relates to the breath, in the throat, which is what we actualize through sacred sounds like mantras, sacred sounds and vowels that we pronounce in meditation, and also in the sexual act when we learn to control the breath, the prana, the air. And the ו Vav again is the spinal medulla, but also is the sixth letter relating to the center of the Tree of Life: the willpower of our spirit, meaning ו Vav. And then last we have ה Hei in the sexual organs, a profound symbol. Jehovah you could say, in these four letters, is broken down into י Iod which is Father, ה Hei which is Mother, ו Vav which is the phallus; ה Hei which is the uterus. The sacred name of God is actualized between man and woman and they do that by controlling their א Aleph.
We’ve also included in this final image the Hebrew letter א Aleph along with the lungs, which are represented by the first letter of Hebraic Kabbalah transposed over the body of a human being. We also see the serpent of brass of Moshe, Moses, within the wilderness in the Book of Numbers.
The serpent of brass in the Torah hides the mysteries of the science of Aleph. The Hebrew term for wilderness is מִדבָּר midbar. דבָּר Dabar means “Word,” which reminds us of the genesis of the solar Christic energies within us, for “In the beginning was the Word, the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). We learn to work with the energies of the Father, the Magician, the solar divinity, through learning to walk with rectitude and love within the wilderness of our own life, our psychological states of suffering.
The path of initiation begins with א Aleph, the wind, the pronunciations, the sacred sounds we vocalize in alchemy and transmutation. To raise the serpent of bronze like Moses, the Kundalini power, is only possible within a matrimony, by priest and priestess, represented by the alchemical metals within brass. Tin represents Jupiter, man. Copper represents Venus, woman. Together, through fire and heat, you create bronze. Likewise, man and woman, priest and priestess, united by the fire of love, can create the serpent of brass within the spinal column.
The Magician teaches us to descend into the sexual act, the mysteries of Yesod. Afterward, through the mystical science of Kabbalah, the High Priestess of the tarot, we rise with the power of the serpent force through learning to control the sexual energies with our breathing, our breath.
Too much erratic and passionate breathing works to expel the seminal energies within sexual alchemy. Learning to profoundly inhale and raise the creative energies up the Caduceus of Mercury, up our spine, is the science of the Magician. All of this is accomplished through א Aleph.
As we mentioned earlier, the Book of Genesis depicts the emergence of light into our interior universe: “Let there be light! And there was light.” The word for light, in Hebrew, as we stated, begins with א Aleph, and is spelled א Aleph ו Vav ר Resh. ו Vav is the spinal column wherein we raise the Prana, the energies of א Aleph, from sex, up the spine, to the head, which in Hebrew is ר “Resh.” ראש Rosh signifies the brain or the head, which is where we get words like ראש השנה Rosh Hashanah, “head of the new year,” in Judaism.
Esoterically speaking, Rosh Hashanah signifies initiation, the beginning of a new year, and new life, the accomplishment of spiritual initiation whereby the Kundalini has risen within the entire spinal column to the mind and then the heart. Many people who follow Judaism don’t know the meaning of this, but the tradition holds these mysteries in a concealed form.
When we raise the light up our spine, we do so through א Aleph, the Magician, the real Being within ourselves. That serpent that the Magician raises is the second arcanum of the tarot: the High Priestess, the Divine Mother.
The following passage from Mark, Chapter 12, verses 28-30, emphasizes the path of the Magician within our mind, heart, body, and will.
“And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord [Kether is the first commandment, the first law, the Magician whose Sephirah resides at the top of the Tree of Life]: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart (Hod, the emotions), and with all thy soul (Tiphereth, human will, volition), and with all thy mind (Netzach), and with all thy strength (Yesod, sexual vital energy): this is the first commandment.” ―Mark 12:28-30
The mind is symbolized by the element air, and constitutes the aerial nature of thought, which fluctuates, flows, and changes like the clouds. The heart is symbolized by the element fire, wherein we either burn with passion, hatred, sentiment, or love. The sexual organs are filled with the seminal waters, wherein we find the element of procreation and spiritual life. And the earth is our physical body or matter that contains all of this.
We must learn to love our internal Magician within all three aspects of ourselves, known as the three brains of gnostic psychology, intellect, emotions, and sexuality, which we will be discussing and explaining in more depth throughout this course. Mind, heart, and sexuality constitute our internal machinery wherein the forces of the Magician can act.
As we indicated, the four elements are represented by the quadrature of the table the Magician must command, since it is precisely through his power that he can organize the contents of our psyche. The four corners of the table also remind us of the four Gospels through which divinity manifests and acts. Each gospel represents one of the four essential elements of nature that are symbolized by the four holy creatures mentioned in the Book of Ezekiel.
The Book of Mark represents fire, the lion. The Book of Luke represents the earth, the bull or ox. The Book of Matthew relates to water, an angel or human being. And the Book of John represents the air, the high-flying eagle.
The table with its contents is the matter composed of the four elements, the matter or Mother, Mater Dei, material of God, in which we can elaborate the soul. Those elements are in a potential state for spiritual creation, which the Magician can act upon to generate life. Of course, he cannot originate the soul without the help of the Divine Mother, the High Priestess, the receptive force, the subject of our next lecture.
To conclude I would like to relate to you an excerpt from one of Samael Aun Weor’s books in which he explains the nature of א Aleph in depth. So from Tarot and Kabbalah, he states the following:
The "Great Wind" is the Ancient of Days, the root of our Being, the occult of the occult, the mercy of mercies, the goodness of goodness.
The hair of the Ancient of Days has thirteen ringlets. If we add thirteen among itself we will have 1 + 3 = 4 (again the four letter name of God, Jehovah)
1 is the masculine principle, fire.
2 is the feminine principle, water.
3 is the Son of creation.
4 is the unity of life.
This is the holy Tetragrammaton. This is the name of the Eternal One, Iod Hei Vav Hei.
The hurricane, the four winds, the breath, the Word is represented in the beard of the Ancient of Days. This beard has thirteen locks.
The four winds are Iod Hei Vav Hei.
The 13th Arcanum is the Ancient of Days. Only by defeating death can we incarnate the Ancient of Days. The funeral ordeals of the 13th Arcanum are more frightful and terrible than the abyss.
In order to achieve the realization of the Ancient of Days within ourselves, we must totally accomplish the 13th Arcanum within ourselves.
We need a supreme death and a supreme resurrection in order to have the right of incarnating the Ancient of Days. Only the one who incarnates him has the right of internally wearing the hair and the beard of a Venerable Elder.
Only in the presence of the Angels of Death, after becoming victorious in the funeral ordeals, can we incarnate the Ancient of Days. Whosoever incarnates Him (The Magician) becomes another Elder in Eternity.
The mantra PANDER permits us to reach unto the Ancient of Days. This is possible within profound Meditation. In the world of Atziluth there is a marvelous temple where the majestic presence of the Ancient of Days is shown unto us.
The Ancient of Days dwells in the world of Kether. The chief of that world is the angel Metatron. This angel was the prophet Enoch. With the help of this angel we can enter into the world of Kether. The disciple who wants to penetrate into Kether will beg to the angel Metatron during his states of profound Meditation and he will be helped.
The Aztec goddess of death has a crown with nine human skulls. The crown (Kether) is the symbol of the Ancient of Days.
The skull (letter ר Reish, the head―because the word ראש השנה means head of the new year) is the microcosmic correspondence of the Ancient of Days in the human being. Indeed, we need a supreme resurrection in order to attain the self-realization of the Ancient of Days within ourselves.
In the world of Kether we comprehend that the great Law controls all that is created. From the world of the Elder of the Days, we see the human multitudes as leaves hurled by the wind.
The Great Wind is the terrible law of the Ancient of Days. "Vox Populi Vox Dei". A social revolt contemplated from the world of the Ancient of Days is a law in action. Each person, the entire multitudes look like leaves detached from the trees, hurled by the terrific wind of the Ancient of Days.
People do not know about these things. People are only preoccupied by acquiring money and more money. This is the poor, suffering humanity, who are only miserable leaves hurled by the great wind, miserable leaves hurled by the great Law.
Our authentic Being, in his essential root, is the Ancient of Days (we could say the Magician). He is the Father in us. He is our true Being. Our disciples must now concentrate and meditate very deeply on the Ancient of Days. The ecstasy, Samadhi, must be induced during Meditation.
May peace reign in all hearts; let us not forget that peace is light. Let us not forget that peace is an Essence emanated from the Absolute. It is light emanated from the Absolute. This light is the light of the Ancient of Days. Christ said, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you." (John: 14: 27). ―Samael Aun Weor, Tarot and Kabbalah
And in conclusion, I will give you a practice you can use in order to experience the nature of א Aleph. I will give you one in relation to this excerpt, but in the book Tarot and Kabbalah by Samael Aun Weor, he explains that one can meditate on the sign of the infinite.
First trace that image of the infinite, with your first finger and middle finger and thumb, around your heart. Trace it for a second, and then lay in bed meditate, relax, concentrate on that image in your mind. Fall asleep on that image, because that symbol will help to awaken consciousness in the astral plane, because that symbol represents the continuity of consciousness, vigil to dream states, symbolized by its open end and its closed end, which continually cycles eternally.
You can ask to be brought to a temple in Tibet, which is a sacred monastery known as the Sacred Order of Tibet, which is formed by 201 members, 72 Brahmans or masters lead by Bhagavan Aklaiva. And by being very dedicated, we can travel to that temple and receive certain ordeals so that we can become initiated as magicians in that priesthood. It’s a very ancient order. And through certain works we wake up in the astral plane by imagining that symbol, and then we will be taken to that place so that we can be brought into that higher brotherhood and sisterhood of the divine.
Of course, one thing that Samael mentions, and that one thing that I have verified, is that when they call you, they pull you by your feet in the astral plane. You feel a magnetic pull where they will take you where you need to go, and they will pull you out of your body. You will be taken to that place directly. So, you can invoke Bhagavan Aklaiva as a master. And that exercise is given in the book Tarot and Kabbalah.
Questions and Answers
Question: Is that the infinity symbol or what?
Instructor: The sign of the infinite is same symbol of the eyes of Ra, which is the Egyptian God. The holy eight which is again represented in our spine.
Question: So do that laterally? Is that correct?
Instructor: Yes, do it latterly around your heart, because the thing is you are working with your Vav, your heart. Because the letter ו Vav relates to the heart itself, which is the center of the spine in which we imagine, with our willpower and our concentration, that image, so that it enters into our consciousness. Do you have any questions?
Question: Does the Magician have power over the archetypes?
Instructor: Well the Magician is the archetypes, is those forces, because God is not something external, but is constituted by many principles and forces in nature. So those archetypes of the soul belong to God. And the Being or the Divine is not just some person. We represent them by an old man with a beard, as Samael mentions, but also by that symbol of the Magician, but that is a representation of a force that is universal. So those archetypes are the Being, and they belong to the Being.
Question: So when actually performing a tarot reading… you take the… is it the minor arcana?
Instructor: First one major arcanum, and then you shuffle the minor deck: the 56. Shuffle, it take out one card. Shuffle it again, take out another, so you have a total of three cards.
Question: So fate is supposed to play, I guess, a large part in what is revealed to you at that moment, right? So if you get an answer are you then able to perform another reading and, say you get a different answer, is it that answer that is different, or is it that you are supposed to take both answers?
Instructor: That is a good question. That tendency to want to get the answer we want is inherent to everybody, because the thing is, you know, what is essential to the practice, is that when you use the cards, the first answer you get is going to be the answer. Usually the mind does not like it. I mean I have done this many times where I have asked for help and I got a card like 12: suffering, the Apostle: I do not like this. This is painful, but then I kept wanting to change the answer, and then I really meditated on this and realized that no, God gives you a message―you keep it. The mind is what is stubborn and wants the message to conform to its ideas.
But the answer will always elude the intellect, which is why when you get an answer on a card, sit on it for months if need be, until you understand that card in relation to whatever problem you are facing because as the Talmud states, “A dream uninterrupted is like a letter not read.” Same thing with the tarot.
You know you got an answer. If you do not stick to it and really contemplate that response, you will be missing a very beautiful teaching, because the Being speaks through those numbers. Of course, those answers go against the mind, the ego, which wants certain things to conform to its will.
Question: So like it might not be logical? But at the same time, it doesn’t mean that it’s not right?
Instructor: Oh, it will be logical, but it is a superior logic, because our common logic from universities and scholasticism is very limited. There is a divine logic which Plato talked about called a Nous, a type of consciousness that is very elevated, in which you really you know things without having to rationalize about them and it can relate to superior concepts, superior ways of being. And you can read about that in The Republic, the symbol of the Allegory of the Cave, in which the soul escapes the cave of the mind in order to experience the light.
But when that person comes back into the cave to help others out, people do not understand this individual, because they are chained next to the wall looking at certain images from the fire behind them, projected onto the wall in front of them, like shadows. And they only see according to their limitations. The mind is like that. Even when you escape for a moment, you lose that experience and you come back. But we learn to develop a superior type of logic through experience, which is Logos, which is a symbol of Christ. Again, the trinity relates to Kether Chokmah, Binah: First Logos, Second Logos, Third Logos. So it is a divine reason. So the answer will make a lot of sense, but it requires a lot of intuition, because it is intuitive logic, not intellectual logic, if that makes sense.
Any more questions? We will begin to meditate. So, we will be continuing these lectures on the rest of the twenty-two arcana.
Question: Does that mean should we keep on coming back to the cave and trying to bring more people out?
Instructor: Well, you do that by your experience and your own understanding. You know, one does not have to become a teacher, but in fact, we learn through example more than our precepts, because the way you help out other people in the cave―yeah, giving the knowledge is very important. It is helpful. It can make a big difference―but of course, that requires sacrifice, because the people who are in that allegory trying to get out of the cave again were very resistant, very negative. They did not like being told, “No, I am egotistical, and I am wrong,” you know, and trying to get them to change is very hard.
You receive the Kabbalah, experiences, based on how you sacrifice for others, which is an important factor in this teaching. We talk about three factors relating to the three forces. We have Holy Affirmation, which we could say is sacrifice for others: to affirm the truth, to teach unto others or to help others according with our skills and our disposition. We have Holy Negation, which relates to: deny ourselves, go against our own defects, to comprehend our errors, and to change them. And then we also have Holy Reconciliation, which is to bear the cross. So Jesus says, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, bear up his cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24).
We have the factors of birth, the soul, to the cross of sexuality. We have death of desire, the ego, relating to the negation of our own defects. And then we have sacrifice for others: to affirm the truth. We all follow those three principles in our own way, but we do it in accordance with the will of our own inner Magician. We learn that through meditation, but of course, trying to help others is always very painful, especially when we have a lot of our defects, which get in the way. This is really the primary problem when we are trying to help another person. We have our own faults that we need to rectify, that prevent us from doing the best that we can―especially in difficult situations with difficult people, so to speak, if that makes sense, if that answers your question.
Comment: There was another cave that I was thinking about, the cave that Dante… but that’s another topic.
Instructor: Yeah, thank you for bringing that up, because Dante, the first book of The Divine Comedy is the descent into hell [Inferno]. First you descend and face your own defects, and then you purify yourselves in Purgatory and then you ascend [to Paradiso: Paradise]. So if you want to ascend, according to the Magician, you got to descend.
Question: What about that caption that says, “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here”?
Instructor: And it is interesting, because hope in the tarot, I believe, is the seventeenth card, seventeenth card of the tarot. In order to have hope, we have to be very strong, because that descent into facing our own evilness is very painful, very difficult, in which we will want to run away from the facts. But if we are those few people who are rarely remain true to their principles, then we can make the ascent like Dante did. Of course, with the help of his Guru, his teacher, not just a physical teacher, but in the internal planes―Virgil was his master.
Question: Wasn’t he a Roman poet? Was he spiritual?
Instructor: He wrote The Aeneid, which you can read about in the book The Magic of the Runes.
Question: Was he an initiate? Virgil?
Instructor: Oh yeah! A great master. The Aeneid is a very Kabbalistic text, which we can talk about at another time.
Question: All of them say that he is a Roman poet. That’s as far as I go…
Instructor: Well, he talked about the birth of Rome: Amore, the church or the city of Rome, which backwards spells love. So it is a symbol of the battles that any soul goes through against the ego, our defects, our own desires.
Question: How far can people go without realizing that they are an initiate?
Instructor: Well, here is the thing. Certain experiences may be kept from the soul, by divinity, to a degree, but certain initiations, which really belong to the Being, the divine, can be experienced. By special grace we could be given that experience. I know there is a case of Samael Aun Weor when he was entering into initiation at a certain degree. He actually was not aware of the initiation itself as it happened in the internal planes, but he was told later by his wife, “No you… we were in the temple and your Inner Being, Samael, was being initiated into the church.” And then he meditated and then he remembered.
So, there is not necessarily a set limit, but I would say the more you awaken, the more you will remember; the more that you will know. And in the beginning, we are usually very unconscious, very asleep. We do not know what is going on psychologically.
Question: So we could just be going through sufferings and transformations, but really the Being is going through the initiations?
Instructor: It is the Being that is the initiate, because the Magician, the priest, the one who gains power, is our Spirit. Now we do our part, but we have to recognize that we are nothing, because the Being is powerful. If the Being is powerful up there, that means down here, we are the opposite. So we should not be proud, but instead, we should do our part. And that gives experiences and qualities of understanding to our divinity. So the Magician, the priest, is our own Being, and He is the one who receives the initiations.
Question: So to Self-realize is to like be like the equivalent of the consciousness of the Being?
Instructor: It is to unite with the Being, and therefore the soul is not the soul anymore. It is the Being. It is reflected. So, think of it like you are looking at a mirror. The mirror is the soul according to Ibn ‘Arabi, a Sufi Master. He said that God looks at the mirror, at Himself, to contemplate Himself. Self-realization is when the mirror has been polished through dhikr: remembrance in Islam, so that the soul reflects the image of God within. So the soul is lost in that Divine Being. Self-realization is when all that parts of the Tree of Life, the ten sephiroth, are integrated, so they are not separate anymore, but they are unified. Then they can return with knowledge back to the Absolute.
But that is a very lofty goal. We first begin by initiation through overcoming our daily sufferings, by beginning a new way of life, in relation to the first arcanum of the tarot.
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