Golden Dawn Title
Book "T" - The Titles of the Tarot Symbols 1
|2. The Root of the Powers of Water|
|Element's Color 2||Blue
Queen Scale: Sea Green, King Scale: Deep Blue
Kether (1), The Crown
Kaph, Tau, Resh
The Self of Deity
|Intelligence of the Sephirah 3||Hidden Intelligence|
|Virtue and Vice of the Sephirah3||
Virtue: Attainment. Completion of the Great Work.
|Yetziratic Text 3||The First Path is called the Admirable or Hidden Intelligence because it is the Light giving the power of comprehension of the First Principle, which hath no beginning. And it is the Primal Glory, because no created being can attain to its essence.|
|Sephirah Color in Queen Scale4||Pure White Brilliance|
|Kabbalistic World and Color Scale of the Suit||
|Sephirah Color in King Scale5||Brilliance|
|Archangel of the Sephirah 3||Metatron (the Prince of Countenances)|
|Symbols of the Sephirah 3||The point. The crown. The swastika.|
|Subtle Anatomy of the Sephirah 7||
Part of Soul: Yechidah (the spiritual spark that is one with God, or, more non-denominationally, the universe itself)
|Astrological Attribution 8||
The North Pole
The quadrant containing the area of the pacific
|Tattwa (Elemental Counterchange) 9||
Apas - Akasa
A black egg within a silver crescent
Crowley in Book of Thoth 11
The Four Aces
The Aces represent the roots of the four elements. They are quite above, and distinct from, the other small cards in the same way as Kether is said to be symbolized only by the topmost point of the Yod of Tetragrammaton. In these cards is no real manifestation of the element in its material form. They form a link between the small cards and the Princesses, who rule the Heavens around the North Pole. The Meridian is the Great Pyramid, and the Elements rule, going Eastward, in the order of Tetragrammaton, Fire, Water, Air, Earth. Thus, roughly, Aces-Princesses Wands cover Asia, Cups the Pacific Ocean, Swords the Americas, Disks Europe and Africa. To make this relationship clear, one may go a little into the symbol of the pentagram, or Shield of David. It represents Spirit ruling the four elements, and is thus a symbol of the Triumph of Man.
The idea of the element of Spirit is very difficult to grasp. The letter Shin, which is the letter of Fire, has to do double duty by representing Spirit as well. Generally speaking, the attributions of Spirit are not clear and simple like those of the other elements. It is very remarkable that the Tablet of Spirit in the Enochian system is the key to all mischief; as, in the Hindu system, Akasha is the Egg of Darkness.
On the other hand, Spirit represents Kether. Perhaps it was never in the mind of the Exempt Adept or Adepts who invented the Tarot to go so far into this matter. The point to remember is that, both in their appearance and in their meaning, the Aces are not the elements themselves, but the seeds of those elements.
Ace of Cups
This card represents the element of Water in its most secret and original form. It is the feminine complement of the Ace of Wands, and is derived from the Yoni and the Moon exactly as that is from the Lingam and the Sun. The third in the Hierarchy. This accordingly represents the essential form of the Holy Grail.
Waite - Pictorial Key 12
Divinatory Meanings: House of the true heart, joy, content, abode, nourishment, abundance, fertility; Holy Table, felicity hereof. Reversed: House of the false heart, mutation, instability, revolution.
Additional Meanings: Inflexible will, unalterable law. Reversed: Unexpected change of position.
Ace of Cups - Table 13
Book of Thoth 11
Upon the dark sea of Binah, the Great Mother, are Lotuses, two in one, which fill the cup with the Life-fluid, symbolically represented either as Water, as Blood, or as Wine, according to the selected purpose of the symbolism. This being a primordial card, the liquid is shown as water; it can be transformed into Wine or Blood as may be required.
Above the Cup, descending upon it, is the Dove of the Holy Ghost, thus consecrating the element.
At the base of the Cup is the Moon, for it is the virtue of this card to conceive and to produce the second form of its Nature.
Waite - Pictorial Key 12
The waters are beneath, and thereon are water-lilies; the hand issues from the cloud, holding in its palm the cup, from which four streams are pouring; a dove, bearing in its bill a cross-marked Host, descends to place the Wafer in the Cup; the dew of water is falling on all sides. It is an intimation of that which may lie behind the Lesser Arcana.
Cup or Chalice or Cup of the Stolistes (Book "T", )
"The Laver of Water of Purification refers to the Waters of Binah, the Female Power refelcted in the Waters of Creation." (p. 61 GD Second Knowledge Lecture) In the Practicus Ritual, the symbolism of the Stolistes, the Cup of Water is discussed14:
|The Cup of the Stolistes partakes in part of the Symbolism of the Laver of Moses and the Sea of Solomon. On the Tree of Life, it embraces nine of the Sephiroth, exclusive of Kether. Yesod and Malkuth form the triangle below, the former the apex, the latter the base. Like Caduceus, it further represents the Three Elements of Water, Air and Fire. The Crescent is the Water which is above the Firmament, and the Triangle the consuming Fire below, which is opposed to the Celestial Fire symbolized by the upper part of the Caduceus.|
Hiram of Tyre Constructs the Molten Sea (1 Kings 7:23-26)The Cup of Stolistes holds Lustral Water. The word lustral comes from the Latin lustratio meaning purification.
23 Then he made the molten sea; it was round, ten cubits from brim to brim, and five cubits high, and a line of thirty cubits measured its circumference.
24 Under its brim were gourds, for thirty cubits, compassing the sea round about; the gourds were in two rows, cast with it when it was cast.
25 It stood upon twelve oxen, three facing north, three facing west, three facing south, and three facing east; the sea was set upon them, and all their hinder parts were inward.
26 Its thickness was a handbreadth; and its brim was made like the brim of a cup, like the flower of a lily; it held two thousand baths.
Fountain of Clear and Glistening Water (Book "T", ) Does this refer to the Star: "The nude female figure with the Star of the Heptagram on her brow is the synthesis of Isis, of Nephthys, and of Athor. She also represents the planet VENUS through whose sphere the influence of Chesed descends. She is Aima, Binah, Tebunah, the Great Supernal Mother - Aima Elohim, pouring upon the Earth the Waters of Creation which unite and form a River at her feet, the River going forth from the Supernal Eden which floweth and faileth not." (p. 188 GD Philosophus Ritual)
Clear Calm Water Below Cup (Book "T", ) "Let him now learn to control his emotions, on no account giving way to anger, hatered and jealousy, but to turn the force he hitherto expended in these directions toward the attainment of perfection, that the malarial marsh of his nature may become a clear and limpid lake, reflecting his Divine Nature truly and without distortion." (p. 72, Meditation contained in Fourth Knowledge Lecture)
Lotuses and/or Waterlilies (Book "T", )
In Book "T", the lotus appears on all the cards of the suit of cups except the Prince of Cups. Lotus flowers are the "symbols of regeneration and metempsychosis" (p. 55 GD, First Knowledge Lecture) and the lotus is the "Flower of Isis". (p. 224 GD)
The lotus flower rises in the morning from muddy waters to flower. This makes it a symbol of purity, resurrection and perfect beauty. It can stand for the creation of life from the slime of the primordial waters. As stated in the quote above, it is yet another symbol of regeneration, and it is a symbol of metempsychosis, or transmigration, which is the passing of the soul at death into another body. It is used throughout the suit of Cups in the Golden Dawn deck. About the Lotus, Crowley says, "The Lotus is the traditional plant of Water. Its roots are in water and its purity further suggests the action of water in lustration." Lustration is another word for purification, with roots in the Latin lustratio "purification by sacrifice".
"Metempsychosis, in other words the doctrine of the transmigration of souls, teaches that the same soul inhabits in succession the bodies of different beings, both men and animals." (Catholic Encyclopedia)
"The truth he found was that humans are like lotuses in a pool: all rooted in mud, most swamped below the surface, a few struggling to the light and some already blossomed", "Lotus flower: a plant of the water lily family; in Buddhism, the lotus is a symbol of the true nature of beings which remains unstained by the mud of the world (samsara and ignorance). It is also a symbol of the world with the stem as its axis. As an icon, it is a form of the seat or throne of Buddha. It is also considered a symbol of beauty and sacredness, yet one of unattachment as well since it floats on the water, yet remains dry. " (Siddhartha, http://www.gss.ucsb.edu/projects/hesse/works/sidd-notes.html)
Dove () "Some of the early parts of my story come from the Gnostic Infancy gospel of James. The Tripartite Tractate, the Gospels of Mary, Thomas, and Phillip were also influential. Much of the content is influenced by other Gnostic legends that appear in the Nag Hammadi. The legend of Sophia is a dominant theme in my own theology and in the story I have crated. Many Gnostic tales identify Sophia, the divine feminine principle and personification of wisdom, as being the original creator. Several texts in the Nag Hammadi refer to the legend—described in the Gnostic text On the Origin of the World, among other places—of Sophia being the original creator. Sophia, in the Greek, was the spirit of female wisdom. She was symbolized by the dove of Aphrodite, and in some Gnostic traditions, she was seen as the third entity in the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. Her legend can be traced through Jewish theology into Christian theology (Torjeson 263). The Trattato Gnostico identifies Sophia as being the Chaos from which Yahweh was born. One legend suggests that Sophia sent Christ, her son, to the Earth in the form of a dove (her totem) to enter into the man Jesus at his baptism in Jordan. She was the Holy Spirit that entered Mary’s body and caused her to conceive, and also who entered Elizabeth’s body and caused her to conceive John the Baptist (Walker 952). Many of the cults that sprang up following the death of Christ recognized him not as the son of Yahweh, but as the prophet of Sophia. " (http://www.gwu.edu/~medusa/herstory.html)
Letter of the Supernal Mother (He) (Book "T", )
"AIMA (Heb: Aleph, Yod, Mem, Aleph) The Supernal Mother is referred to HEH." (p. 77 GD, Fifth Knowledge Lecture) In the tetragrammaton, The first He represents Binah, the supernal mother, the left hemisphere of the brain where form and structure are added to inspiration.
"In Kabbalah, Binah is associated with the image of the "mother" who "cleanses" her "children" (the emotions, as we will presently explain) from their impurities."16.
Hebrew letter Mem, or Roman letter M (Rider Waite)
Mem is the mother letter of the Hebrew alphabet associated with water.
Blue, Deep Blue or Sea Green (decks)
Hermetic water symbol (decks)
Apas tattwa symbol (Ceremonial Magick (DuQuette))
Hexagram (Tarot of the Spirit)
Hexagrams appear on 7 out of 10 number cards of the Fire suit in this deck.
Club Background Shape (Enchanted)
This background shape appears on all number cards in the Wands suit of this deck.
The Hand is the special symbol that appears on all number cards in the Wands suit of this deck.
The Dragon or Serpent is the special symbol that appears on all number cards in the Wands suit of this deck.
Symbols of Kether
Within Kether is contained all the unrealised potential of the creation... see Symbols of the Tree of Life for expansion of this point.
Crown (Light and Shadow, Enchanted, Haindl, Cosmic Tribe, Gendron, Vision Quest, Medicine Woman, Greenwood)
In the Light and Shadow deck, 12 flames crown the wand. The Enchanted deck also shows a flame-crowned torch. In Haindl, flames surround the top of the lingam and the spear. In Cosmic Tribe, the wand is topped by an eye in a mandala. In Gendron, a sunburst tops the wand. In Vision Quest, the head of the arrow is flaming. In Medicine Woman, a sun appears on the position of the Crown chakra. In Greenwood, a flame-crowned bow drill.
The word Kether in Hebrew letters (Hermetic (Dowson), Magickal (Clark))
The word Keter or Kether in Roman letters (Kazanlar)
Angelic Hand Issuing from Clouds (Book "T", Waite-Smith, Hermetic (Dowson), Golden Dawn Ritual, Gill, Morgan-Greer, Medicine Woman)
The hand grasping a club is present in the Tarot de Marseilles, but only for the Swords and Wands suits, so I am not including it as a symbol meaning Kether. The clouds are a new feature in the Book "T" imagery. The Gill deck has the hand, but not the cloud. Only the Ace of Wands in the Enchanted deck has a hand, so again, I am not including it. Medicine Woman has the entire hand-from-clouds holding blooming wand from Waite-Smith, and so inherits that imagery.
One (Book "T", Waite-Smith, Thoth, Hermetic (Dowson), Ceremonial Magick (DuQuette), Magickal (Clark), Golden Dawn Ritual, Light and Shadow, Tarot of the Sephiroth, Tarot of the Spirit, Gill, Marseilles, Medieval Scapini, Old English, Morgan-Greer, Hanson-Roberts, Robin Wood, Whimsical, Enchanted, Kazanlar, Ancestral Path, Haindl, Osho Zen, Voyager, Cosmic Tribe, Gendron, Vision Quest, Medicine Woman, Shining Tribe, Rock Art, Greenwood, Arthurian (Hallowquest), Merlin, Dreampower)
White/Brilliance (Book "T", Waite-Smith, Ceremonial Magick (DuQuette), Magickal (Clark), Golden Dawn Ritual, Tarot of the Sephiroth, Tarot of the Spirit, Gill, Robin Wood, Whimsical (crystal ball), Osho Zen, Voyager, Gendron, Arthurian (Hallowquest), Merlin)
Infant or Toddler (Gendron)
An infant or toddler appears on all Aces of this deck
Symbols of the Tree of Life
Those rods which reference the Tree of Life glyph show the Ace of Wands as the source of all (since Kether in Atziluth is the first point of emanation from the levels of nothing). The Universe is continuously coming into being by a process of energy flowing out from the unmanifest into Kether, then through the nine following Sephiroth, ending as the materialized, perceptible being of Malkuth. This process is called the Lightning Flash or Flaming Sword. (The opposite journey, evolving back upward from Malkuth to Kether is called the Serpent's Path.)
Four Qabalistic Worlds (Book "T", Golden Dawn Ritual)
"The sigils of the Four Color Scales are drawn from the Rose Cross Lamen using the Hebrew names of the Four Worlds"17
Ten Sephiroth represented by Flames (or Leaves) (Book "T", Waite-Smith, Thoth, Golden Dawn Ritual, Tarot of the Sephiroth, Medicine Woman)
10 flames in Book "T" version represent the 10 Sephiroth, as well as revealing the fiery nature of Wands. Each flame represents one sephirah, and is divided into four sections and painted in the corresponding colors from the four color scales. Thus all the sephiroth in all the worlds are represented on this card. The Waite-Smith deck does not so easily reveal elemental correspondence by showing flames. However, there are 10 leaves attached to the three tiny branches coming from the wand; and they are arranged 3 on the right and left and 4 in the middle, just as the flames are in Book "T". The color scale symbolism from Book "T" is not preserved in the Waite-Smith version.
Three Pillars (with 3 Sephiroth on Right, 4 in Middle, and 3 on Left) -
Represented as a Club with Three Branches (Book "T", Waite-Smith, Hermetic (Dodson), Golden Dawn Ritual, Light and Shadow, Medicine Woman)
Wang18 states that the "inverted root of three sections" form of the Book "T" Wand is "possibly influenced by the Tree of Life diagram published by Fludd". The Waite Smith version has a subtle version of the three branches in the form of three tiny twigs with 3, 3 and 4 leaves. Light and Shadow goes one further in abstraction, showing three flowers, but of 7, 6 and 6 petals. Medicine Woman has the entire hand-from-clouds holding blooming wand from Waite-Smith, and so inherits that imagery.
Three Pillars (with 3 Sephiroth on Right, 4 in Middle, and 3 on Left) -
Represented by arrangement of Tongues of Flame (Thoth)
The Thoth deck preserves the Tree of Life glyph arrangement in its arrangement of flames along the club, though it is not a three-branched club.
22 Paths Between Sephiroth (Book "T", Thoth, Golden Dawn Ritual)
22 yods in Book "T" version representing the 22 paths and the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet as well as using the IHVH letter representing Fire. The position of their fall separates them into groups of mother letters, single letters and double letters. Yods in most decks are not explicit, but are the shape of leaves or flames. Waite-Smith does not preserve the 22 path yods; nor does Thoth, nor Hermetic. Thoth however explicitly shows the paths connecting the flames on the wand.
Emanation, Lightning Path or Flaming Sword (Thoth, Hermetic (Dowson), Light and Shadow, Tarot of the Sephiroth, Tarot of the Spirit, Hanson-Roberts, Robin Wood, Enchanted, Voyager, Gendron, Arthurian (Hallowquest))
The Thoth and Hermetic decks show lightning emanating from a central point (in the case of Hermetic, the center of the card's top edge). In the Light and Shadow deck, the staff emits waves. In Tarot of the Spirit19, "Dark rods shoot out. These rods are searching for something to penetrate". In Hanson-Roberts there are rays of sunlight coming from a single point behind a bank of clouds. In Enchanted, there are blue lightning bolts. Voyager and Gendron show rays of light, as does Arthurian's Spear Hallow, where white rays emanate downward from the tip of the spear.
Enochian Tablets and Sigil
(Ceremonial Magick (DuQuette))
Displays the applicable Enochian square from the Spirit Tablet and the lettered version of the entire Elemental Tablet it rules. Also displays the Great Enochian Sigil of the Element.
Another perspective - From Joan Bunning's site
1. (p. 540 GD)
2. Rose Cross (p. 310-311 GD), King Scale (Col XV, p. 4 777), Queen Scale (Col XVI, p. 7 777)
3. (p. 109 Fortune and p. 53-56 Wang)
4. Queen Scale (Col XVI, p. 7 777)
5. King Scale (Col XV, p. 4 777)
6. (p. 109 Fortune and p. 136 Chicken)
7. (p. 165-166 Whitcomb)
8. (p. 175 Chicken) and (p. 71 Ceremonial) "Together with the four Princesses, the Aces rule quadrants of the heavens around the North Pole of the Earth. The meridian line intersects Giza and the elements rule in IHVH order going Eastward."
9. (p. 70 Ceremonial) Hindu Tattwa Symbols are used for astral projection into an element. "Aces are the Spirit representatives of their respective suits, so their tattwa symbols are composite." The black egg of Akasha appears within the tattwa symbol of the suit element.
10. http://www.the-equinox.org/vol1/no8/eqi08016.html (Book "T" as published in Equinox No. 8)
11. http://www.angelfire.com/celeb/Crowley/thoth/thoth.html (BoT)
12. http://www.sacred-texts.com/tarot/index.htm (The Pictorial Key to the Tarot by A.E. Waite (1910))
13. (p. 94 Wicked)
14. (p. 177 GD Practicus Ritual)
15. Information about the Laver from the Temple Institute's site: http://www.templeinstitute.org/vessels/laver.html. The Temple Institute (in Hebrew, Machon HaMikdash), founded in 1987, is a non-profit educational and religious organization located in the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City. Molten sea described in plumbing history page: http://www.plumbingsupply.com/pmjerusalem.html
E. Cobham Brewer 1810-1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898. (http://www.bartleby.com/81/10653.html)Lustral water is water for aspersing worshippers was kept in an aspersorium, that those who entered or left the temple might dip their fingers into the water or be sprinkled by a priest. The same may be said of Indian pagodas, and the custom prevailed in ancient Egypt, and Etruria, with the Hebrews, and almost all the nations of antiquity. In Rome the priest used a small olive or laurel branch for sprinkling the people. Infants were also sprinkled with lustral water.
16. http://www.inner.org/times/tishrei/tishrei56.htm. A Torah Message for the Month of Tishrei from Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh "The New Year: A Chassidic Meditation for the High Holidays, the Festival of Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah"
17. (p. 80 Cicero, Chic and Sandra Tabatha. The New Golden Dawn Ritual Tarot: Keys to the Rituals, Symbolism, Magic & Divination. 1996: Llewellyn. ISBN 0-87542-139-3)
18. (p. 57 Wang)
19. (p. 75 Spirit)
20. (p. 100. Williams, Brian and Michael Goepferd. The Light and Shadow Tarot. 1997: Destiny Books. ISBN 0-89281-503-5 (came with deck))
21. (p. 158-159 Wood)
22. (p. 10-13 Haindl)
23. (p. 98-99 Cosmic Tribe)
24. (p. 96 Ryan, Mark and Chesca Potter. The Greenwood Tarot: Pre-Celtic Shamanism of the Mythic Forest. 1996: Thorsons, London. ISBN 1 85538 384 5 (came with deck).
[GD] = Regardie, Israel. The Golden Dawn: A Complete Course in Practical Ceremonial Magic. Four Volumes in One. The Original Account of the Teachings, Rites and Ceremonies of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (Stella Matutina) as revealed by Israel Regardie, with further revisions, expansion, and additional notes by Israel Regardie, Chris Monnastre, and others, under the editorship of Carl Llewellyn Weschcke. Complete index compiled by David Godwin. Sixth Edition. orig 1971. 1995: Llewellyn Publications, St. Paul, MN. ISBN 0-87542-663-8
 = Regardie, Israel, ed. 777 and Other Qabalistic Writings of Aleister Crowley. orig 1973, 777 orig 1909. 1997: Samuel Weiser, York Beach, Maine. ISBN 0-87728-670-1
[Fortune] = Fortune, Dion. The Mystical Qabalah (First published 1935) 1991: Samuel Weiser. ISBN 0-87728-596-9
[Wang] = Wang, Robert. The Qabalistic Tarot: A Textbook of Mystical Philosophy. (First published 1983) 1992: Samuel Weiser. ISBN 0-87728-672-8
[Chicken] = DuQuette, Lon Milo. The Chicken Qabalah of Rabbi Lamed Ben Clifford 2001: Weiser Books. ISBN 1-57863-215-3
[Whitcomb] = Whitcomb, Bill. The Magician's Companion: A Practical & Encyclopedic Guide to Magical & Religious Symbolism. 1993: Llewellyn Publications, St. Paul MN. ISBN 0-87542-868-1
[Ceremonial] = DuQuette, Lon Milo. Tarot of Ceremonial Magick: A Pictorial Synthesis of Three Great Pillars of Magick: Enochian, Goetia, Astrology. 1995:Samuel Weiser. ISBN 0-87728-764-3
[BoT] = Master Therion. The Book of Thoth (Egyptian Tarot). orig 1944. 1991: Samuel Weiser, York Beach, Maine. ISBN 0-87728-268-4
[Wicked] = Decker, Ronald, Thierry Depaulis & Michael Dummett. A Wicked Pack of Cards: The Origins of the Occult Tarot. 1996: St Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-16294-4
[Hulse] = Hulse, David Allen. The Key of It All: An Encyclopedic Guide to the Sacred Languages & Magickal Systems of the World. Book Two: The Western Mysteries. 1996: Llewellyn Publications, St. Paul MN. ISBN 0-87542-349-5
[Spirit] = Eakins, Pamela. Tarot of the Spirit. 1992: Samuel Weiser. ISBN 0-87728-730-9
[Wood] = Wood, Robin. The Robin Wood Tarot: The Book. 1998: Robin Wood. ISBN 0-9652984-1-8
[Haindl] = Pollack, Rachel. The Haindl Tarot: Volume II: The Minor Arcana. 1990: Newcastle Publishing, North Hollywood, CA. ISBN 8-87877-156-5
[Cosmic Tribe] = Ganther, Eric. The Cosmic Tribe Tarot. 1998: Destiny Books. ISBN 0-89281-700-3 (came with deck)
Reviews and More Information about the Pictured Decks
Top Left: Waite-Smith (Rider-Waite) -- Top Middle: Thoth -- Top Right: Hermetic (Dowson)
Middle Left: Ceremonial Magick (DuQuette) -- Middle Middle: Magickal (Clark) -- Middle Right: Golden Dawn Ritual
Bottom Left: Gill -- Bottom Middle: Tarot of the Sephiroth -- Bottom Right: Tarot of the Spirit
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Illustrations from the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck, Hermetic Tarot, Ceremonial Tarot, Gill Tarot, Tarot of the Sephiroth, and Tarot of the Spirit reproduced by permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc., Stamford, CT 06902 USA. Copyrights 1971, 1982, 1990, 2000, 1996 respectively by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. Further reproduction prohibited. The Rider-Waite Tarot Deck* is a registered trademark of U.S.Games Systems, Inc.
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