Tuesday, August 11, 2009
The Pictorial Key to the Tarot - Being fragments of a Secret Tradition under the Veil of Divination, by Arthur Edward Waite. Originally published in 1910
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The little treatise which follows is divided into three parts, in the first of which I have dealt with the antiquities of the subject and a few things that arise from and connect therewith. It should be understood that it is not put forward as a contribution to the history of playing cards, about which I know and care nothing; it is a consideration dedicated and addressed to a certain school of occultism, more especially in France, as to the source and centre of all the phantasmagoria which has entered into expression during the last fifty years under the pretence of considering Tarot cards historically. In the second part, I have dealt with the symbolism according to some of its higher aspects, and this also serves to introduce the complete and rectified Tarot, which is available separately, in the form of coloured cards, the designs of which are added to the present text in black and white. They have been prepared under my supervision-in respect of the attributions and meanings-by a lady who has high claims as an artist. Regarding the divinatory part, by which my thesis is terminated, I consider it personally as a fact in the history of the Tarot - as such, I have drawn, from all published sources, a harmony of the meanings which have been attached to the various cards, and I have given prominence to one method of working that has not been published previously; having the merit of simplicity, while it is also of universal application, it may be held to replace the cumbrous and involved systems of the larger hand-books.
PART I; The Veil and its Symbols
INTRODUCTORY AND GENERAL;
The pathology of the poet says that "the undevout astronomer is mad"; The pathology of the very plain man says that genius is mad; and between these extremes, which stand for ten thousand analogous excesses, the sovereign reason takes the part of a moderator and does what it can. I do not think that there is a pathology of the occult dedications, but about their extravagances no one can question, and it is not less difficult than thankless to act as a moderator regarding them. Moreover, the pathology, if it existed, would probably be an empiricism rather than a diagnosis, and would offer no criterion. Now, occultism is not like mystic faculty, and it very seldom works in harmony either with business aptitude in the things of ordinary life or with a knowledge of the canons of evidence in its own sphere. I know that for the high art of ribaldry there are few things more dull than the criticism which maintains that a thesis is untrue, and cannot understand that it is decorative. I know also that after long dealing with doubtful doctrine or with difficult research it is always refreshing, in the domain of this art, to meet with what is obviously of fraud or at least of complete unreason. But the aspects of history, as seen through the lens of occultism, are not as a rule decorative, and have few gifts of refreshment to heal the lacerations which they inflict on the logical understanding. It almost requires a Frater Sapiens dominabitur astris in the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross to have the patience which is not lost amidst clouds of folly when the consideration of the Tarot is undertaken in accordance with the higher law of symbolism. The true Tarot is symbolism; it speaks no other language and offers no other signs.
Given the inward meaning of its emblems, they do become a kind of alphabet which is capable of indefinite combinations and makes true sense in all. On the highest plane it offers a key to the Mysteries, in a manner which is not arbitrary and has not been read in, But the wrong symbolical stories have been told concerning it, and the wrong history has been given in every published work which so far has dealt with the subject. It has been intimated by two or three writers that, at least in respect of the meanings, this is unavoidably the case, because few are acquainted with them, while these few hold by transmission under pledges and cannot betray their trust. The suggestion is fantastic on the surface for there seems a certain anti-climax in the proposition that a particular interpretation of fortune-telling--l'art de tirer les cartes--can be reserved for Sons of the Doctrine.
The fact remains, notwithstanding, that a Secret Tradition exists regarding the Tarot, and as there is always the possibility that some minor arcana of the Mysteries may be made public with a flourish of trumpets, it will be as well to go before the event and to warn those who are curious in such matters that any revelation will contain only a third part of the earth and sea and a third part of the stars of heaven in respect of the symbolism. This is for the simple reason that neither in root-matter nor in development has more been put into writing, so that much will remain to be said after any pretended unveiling. The guardians of certain temples of initiation who keep watch over mysteries of this order have therefore no cause for alarm.In my preface to The Tarot of the Bohemians, which, rather by an accident of things, has recently come to be re-issued after a long period, I have said what was then possible or seemed most necessary. The present work is designed more especially--as I have intimated--to introduce a rectified set of the cards themselves and to tell the unadorned truth concerning them, so far as this is possible in the outer circles. As regards the sequence of greater symbols, their ultimate and highest meaning lies deeper than the common language of picture or hieroglyph. This will be understood by those who have received some part of the Secret Tradition. As regards the verbal meanings allocated here to the more important Trump Cards, they are designed to set aside the follies and impostures of past attributions, to put those who have the gift of insight on the right track, and to take care, within the limits of my possibilities, that they are the truth so far as they go.It is regrettable in several respects that I must confess to certain reservations, but there is a question of honour at issue.
Furthermore, between the follies on the one side of those who know nothing of the tradition, yet are in their own opinion the exponents of something called occult science and philosophy, and on the other side between the make-believe of a few writers who have received part of the tradition and think that it constitutes a legal title to scatter dust in the eyes of the world without, I feel that the time has come to say what it is possible to say, so that the effect of current charlatanism and unintelligence may be reduced to a minimum.We shall see in due course that the history of Tarot cards is largely of a negative kind, and that, when the issues are cleared by the dissipation of reveries and gratuitous speculations expressed in the terms of certitude, there is in fact no history prior to the fourteenth century. The deception and self-deception regarding their origin in Egypt, India or China put a lying spirit into the mouths of the first expositors, and the later occult writers have done little more than reproduce the first false testimony in the good faith of an intelligence unawakened to the issues of research. As it so happens, all expositions have worked within a very narrow range, and owe, comparatively speaking, little to the inventive faculty.
One brilliant opportunity has at least been missed, for it has not so far occurred to any one that the Tarot might perhaps have done duty and even originated as a secret symbolical language of the Albigensian sects.
I commend this suggestion to the lineal descendants in the spirit of Gabriele Rossetti and Eugène Aroux, to Mr. Harold Bayley as another New Light on the Renaissance, and as a taper at least in the darkness which, with great respect, might be serviceable to the zealous and all-searching mind of Mrs. Cooper-Oakley. Think only what the supposed testimony of watermarks on paper might gain from the Tarot card of the Pope or Hierophant, in connexion with the notion of a secret Albigensian patriarch, of which Mr. Bayley has found in these same watermarks so much material to his purpose. Think only for a moment about the card of the High Priestess as representing the Albigensian church itself; and think of the Tower struck by Lightning as typifying the desired destruction of Papal Rome, the city on the seven hills, with the pontiff and his temporal power cast down from the spiritual edifice when it is riven by the wrath of God. The possibilities are so numerous and persuasive that they almost deceive in their expression one of the elect who has invented them. But there is more even than this, though I scarcely dare to cite it.
When the time came for the Tarot cards to be the subject of their first formal explanation, the archaeologist Court de Gebelin reproduced some of their most important emblems, and--if I may so term it--the codex which he used has served--by means of his engraved plates-as a basis of reference for many sets that have been issued subsequently. The figures are very primitive and differ as such from the cards of Etteilla, the Marseilles Tarot, and others still current in France. I am not a good judge in such matters, but the fact that every one of the Trumps Major might have answered for watermark purposes is shewn by the cases which I have quoted and by one most remarkable example of the Ace of Cups.I should call it an eucharistic emblem after the manner of a ciborium, but this does not signify at the moment. The point is that Mr. Harold Bayley gives six analogous devices in his New Light on the Renaissance, being watermarks on paper of the seventeenth century, which he claims to be of Albigensian origin and to represent sacramental and Graal emblems. Had he only heard of the Tarot, had he known that these cards of divination, cards of fortune, cards of all vagrant arts, were perhaps current at the period in the South of France, I think that his enchanting but all too fantastic hypothesis might have dilated still more largely in the atmosphere of his dream. We should no doubt have had a vision of Christian Gnosticism, Manichæanism, and all that he understands by pure primitive Gospel, shining behind the pictures.I do not look through such glasses, and I can only commend the subject to his attention at a later period; it is mentioned here that I may introduce with an unheard-of wonder the marvels of arbitrary speculation as to the history of the cards.With reference to their form and number, it should scarcely be necessary to enumerate them, for they must be almost commonly familiar, but as it is precarious to assume anything, and as there are also other reasons, I will tabulate them briefly as follows:-
Class I. The Trumps Major; Otherwise, Greater Arcana
1. The Magus, Magician, or juggler, the caster of the dice and mountebank, in the world of vulgar trickery. This is the colportage interpretation, and it has the same correspondence with the real symbolical meaning that the use of the Tarot in fortune-telling has with its mystic construction according to the secret science of symbolism.
I should add that many independent students of the subject, following their own lights, have produced individual sequences of meaning in respect of the Trumps Major, and their lights are sometimes suggestive, but they are not the true lights. For example, Éliphas Lévi says that the Magus signifies that unity which is the mother of numbers; others say that it is the Divine Unity; and one of the latest French commentators considers that in its general sense it is the will.
2. The High Priestess, the Pope Joan, or Female Pontiff; early expositors have sought to term this card the Mother, or Pope's Wife, which is opposed to the symbolism. It is sometimes held to represent the Divine Law and the Gnosis, in which case the Priestess corresponds to the idea of the Shekinah. She is the Secret Tradition and the higher sense of the instituted Mysteries.
The High Priestess is the guardian of the unconscious. She sits in front of the thin veil of unawareness which is all that separates us from our inner landscape. She contains within herself the secrets of these realms and offers us the silent invitation, "Be still and know that I am God."
The High Priestess is the feminine principle that balances the masculine force of the Magician. The feminine archetype in the tarot is split between the High Priestess and the Empress. The High Priestess is the mysterious unknown that women often represent, especially in cultures that focus on the tangible and known. The Empress represents woman's role as the crucible of life.
In readings, the High Priestess poses a challenge to you to go deeper - to look beyond the obvious, surface situation to what is hidden and obscure. She also asks you to recall the vastness of your potential and to remember the unlimited possibilities you hold within yourself. The High Priestess can represent a time of waiting and allowing. It is not always necessary to act to achieve your goals. Sometimes they can be realized through a stillness that gives desire a chance to flower within the fullness of time.
The Magician - acting consciously, thinking, the known and obvious.
Two of Wands - acting boldly
Seven of Wands - being aggressive
Eight of Wands - putting plans into action
NON ACTION, UNCONSCIOUS AWARENESS, POTENTIAL, MYSTERY.
Opening to what could be. Seeing your hidden talents. Allowing development. Letting what is there flower. Sensing the mystery. Looking beyond the obvious. Approaching a closed off area. Opening to the unknown.Remembering something important. Sensing the secret and hidden. Seeking what is concealed. Acknowledging the Shadow Staying nonactive, withdrawing from involvement. Allowing events to proceed without intervention. Being receptive to influence. Becoming calm. Being passive. Waiting patiently. Accessing the unconscious. Using your intuition. Seeking guidance from within, trusting your inner voice. Opening to dreams and the imagination. Being aware of a larger reality. Seeing the potential Understanding the possibilities
3. The Empress, who is sometimes represented with full face, while her correspondence, the Emperor, is in profile. As there has been some tendency to ascribe a symbolical significance to this distinction, it seems desirable to say that it carries no inner meaning. The Empress has been connected with the ideas of universal fecundity and in a general sense with activity.
Supplementary Synopsis (Wikipedia)
She is the Queen of Heaven, as shown by her crown of stars. She is the Great Goddess, the consort of the dying god. She’s associated through her cross sum (the sum of the digits) with Key 12 The Hanged Man, the Dying God, her Son (or daughter) and Consort, who dies at Autumn Equinox or Winter Solstice, and is reborn with Winter Solstice, Spring Equinox, or Beltane. She’s also associated with Key 21, The World, the final card of the Tarot. Through death, rebirth, and reproduction the world is renewed.
She is associated with Isis, both as the mistress of heaven and as the Ur-Poisoner. According to some tales, Isis achieved the queen ship of heaven by poisoning Ra with a serpent and refusing to heal him until he told her his secret name. Isis’s consort was Osiris, who is about as good an example of The Hanged Man as one can find in world mythology.
The Empress is closely associated with the suits of Disks (Earth) and Wands (fire/masculine generative force). She is the mistress of the Knights (12th cards of the Minor Arcana), who as Grail Knights are in some sense searching for her, and, like their counterpart in the Major Arcana, the Hanged Man, may well die for her.
She is also associated with Ishtar and Inanna, who went alive into the underworld and came back. She is sometimes associated with Demeter, the mother of Persephone. When Hades, the lord of the underworld, kidnapped and raped Persephone, Demeter stopped everything from growing until a deal was struck whereby Persephone spends part of the year with her, part of the year dead.
The fruit on her gown suggests a pomegranate. The pomegranate, of course, is the fruit that Persephone thoughtlessly or hungrily ate in the underworld, which binds her to it for part of every year. It also suggests the wall hanging behind The High Priestess’s throne, veiling us from the greater mysteries.
When she appears in a spread, she may represent life itself asserting itself through our attempts to master it. She can also represent the smothering of a blanket of ivy as it paralyzes and chokes the forest. She often represents mothers, good and bad, or the demands of the real world. She can also portray the blood flowing throughout all living things, and the womb and the tomb.
The Empress may also represent the Object of Desire. Most obviously, the love of the beloved, the love and approval of parents, especially (but not solely) mothers. While this may be healthy, over attachment to the object (or to the idea of the object) can be a danger sign.
If the Empress is the Object of Desire, the Hanged Man (or a Hanged Man substitute from the Minor Arcana) is the one who desires. This can inspire Great Works, or trap the Querant in pathology. Attachment can lead to death, metaphorically or otherwise. When The Empress kills (again, metaphorically or otherwise), it is usually by consuming, suffocating, or poisoning.
The Empress may represent the veil of illusion, Maya (illusion). In the Book of Thoth deck, she holds a lotus in her hand, associating her with the mother of the Buddha, the mother of the knowledge that transcends the world. In her beneficent aspect, she gives, nurtures, and/or celebrates life. In her negative aspect, she takes it, either literally or figuratively.
4. The Emperor, by imputation the spouse of the former. He is occasionally represented as wearing, in addition to his personal insignia, the stars or ribbons of some order of chivalry. I mention this to shew that the cards are a medley of old and new emblems. Those who insist upon the evidence of the one may deal, if they can, with the other. No effectual argument for the antiquity of a particular design can be drawn from the fact that it incorporates old material; but there is also none which can be based on sporadic novelties, the intervention of which may signify only the unintelligent hand of an editor or of a late draughtsman.
5. The High Priest or Heirophant, called also Spiritual Father, and more commonly and obviously the Pope. It seems even to have been named the Abbot, and then its correspondence, the High Priestess, was the Abbess or Mother of the Convent. Both are arbitrary names. The insignia of the figures are papal, and in such case the High Priestess is and can be only the Church, to whom Pope and priests are married by the spiritual rite of ordination. I think, however, that in its primitive form this card did not represent the Roman Pontiff.
6. The Lovers or Marriage. This symbol has undergone many variations, as might be expected from its subject. In the eighteenth century form, by which it first became known to the world of archæological research, it is really a card of married life, shewing father and mother, with their child placed between them; and the pagan Cupid above, in the act of flying his shaft, is, of course, a misapplied emblem. The Cupid is of love beginning rather than of love in its fulness, guarding the fruit thereof. The card is said to have been entitled Simulacyum fidei, the symbol of conjugal faith, for which the rainbow as a sign of the covenant would have been a more appropriate concomitant. The figures are also held to have signified Truth, Honour and Love, but I suspect that this was, so to speak, the gloss of a commentator moralizing. It has these, but it has other and higher aspects.
7. The Chariot. This is represented in some extant codices as being drawn by two sphinxes, and the device is in consonance with the symbolism, but it must not be supposed that such was its original form; the variation was invented to support a particular historical hypothesis. In the eighteenth century white horses were yoked to the car. As regards its usual name, the lesser stands for the greater; it is really the King in his triumph, typifying, however, the victory which creates kingship as its natural consequence and not the vested royalty of the fourth card. M. Court de Gebelin said that it was Osiris Triumphing, the conquering sun in spring-time having vanquished the obstacles of winter. We know now that Osiris rising from the dead is not represented by such obvious symbolism. Other animals than horses have also been used to draw the currus triumphalis, as, for example, a lion and a leopard.
8. Fortitude. This is one of the cardinal virtues, of which I shall speak later. The female figure is usually represented as closing the mouth of a lion. In the earlier form which is printed by Court de Gebelin, she is obviously opening it. The first alternative is better symbolically, but either is an instance of strength in its conventional understanding, and conveys the idea of mastery. It has been said that the figure represents organic force, moral force and the principle of all force.
9. The Hermit. As he is termed in common parlance, stands next on the list; he is also the Capuchin, and in more philosophical language the Sage. He is said to be in search of that Truth which is located far off in the sequence, and of justice which has preceded him on the way.
But this is a card of attainment, as we shall see later, rather than a card of quest. It is said also that his lantern contains the Light of Occult Science and that his staff is a Magic Wand. These interpretations are comparable in every respect to the divinatory and fortune-telling meanings with which I shall have to deal in their turn. The diabolism of both is that they are true after their own manner, but that they miss all the high things to which the Greater Arcana should be allocated. It is as if a man who knows in his heart that all roads lead to the heights, and that God is at the great height of all, should choose the way of perdition or the way of folly as the path of his own attainment. Éliphas Lévi has allocated this card to Prudence, but in so doing he has been actuated by the wish to fill a gap which would otherwise occur in the symbolism. The four cardinal virtues are necessary to an idealogical sequence like the Trumps Major, but they must not be taken only in that first sense which exists for the use and consolation of him who in these days of halfpenny journalism is called the man in the street. In their proper understanding they are the correlatives of the counsels of perfection when these have been similarly re-expressed, and they read as follows: (a) Transcendental justice, the counter-equilibrium of the scales, when they have been overweighted so that they dip heavily on the side of God.
The corresponding counsel is to use loaded dice when you play for high stakes with Diabolus. The axiom is Aut Deus, aut nihil. (b) Divine Ecstacy, as a counterpoise to something called Temperance, the sign of which is, I believe, the extinction of lights in the tavern. The corresponding counsel is to drink only of new wine in the Kingdom of the Father, because God is all in all. The axiom is that man being a reasonable being must get intoxicated with God; the imputed case in point is Spinoza. (c) The state of Royal Fortitude, which is the state of a Tower of Ivory and a House of Gold, but it is God and not the man who has become Turris fortitudinis a facie inimici, and out of that House the enemy has been cast. The corresponding counsel is that a man must not spare himself even in the presence of death, but he must be certain that his sacrifice shall be-of any open course-the best that will ensure his end. The axiom is that the strength which is raised to such a degree that a man dares lose himself shall shew him how God is found, and as to such refuge--dare therefore and learn. (d) Prudence is the economy which follows the line of least resistance, that the soul may get back whence it came. It is a doctrine of divine parsimony and conservation of energy, because of the stress, the terror and the manifest impertinences of this life. The corresponding counsel is that true prudence is concerned with the one thing needful, and the axiom is: Waste not, want not. The conclusion of the whole matter is a business proposition founded on the law of exchange: You cannot help getting what you seek in respect of the things that are Divine: it is the law of supply and demand. I have mentioned these few matters at this point for two simple reasons: (a) because in proportion to the impartiality of the mind it seems sometimes more difficult to determine whether it is vice or vulgarity which lays waste the present world more piteously; (b) because in order to remedy the imperfections of the old notions it is highly needful, on occasion, to empty terms and phrases of their accepted significance, that they may receive a new and more adequate meaning.
10. The Wheel of Fortune. There is a current Manual of Cartomancy which has obtained a considerable vogue in England, and amidst a great scattermeal of curious things to no purpose has intersected a few serious subjects. In its last and largest edition it treats in one section of the Tarot; which--if I interpret the author rightly--it regards from beginning to end as the Wheel of Fortune, this expression being understood in my own sense. I have no objection to such an inclusive though conventional description; it obtains in all the worlds, and I wonder that it has not been adopted previously as the most appropriate name on the side of common fortune-telling. It is also the title of one of the Trumps Major--that indeed of our concern at the moment, as my sub-title shews. Of recent years this has suffered many fantastic presentations and one hypothetical reconstruction which is suggestive in its symbolism. The wheel has seven radii; in the eighteenth century the ascending and descending animals were really of nondescript character, one of them having a human head. At the summit was another monster with the body of an indeterminate beast, wings on shoulders and a crown on head. It carried two wands in its claws. These are replaced in the reconstruction by a Hermanubis rising with the wheel, a Sphinx couchant at the summit and a Typhon on the descending side. Here is another instance of an invention in support of a hypothesis; but if the latter be set aside the grouping is symbolically correct and can pass as such.
11. Justice. That the Tarot, though it is of all reasonable antiquity, is not of time immemorial, is shewn by this card, which could have been presented in a much more archaic manner. Those, however, who have gifts of discernment in matters of this kind will not need to be told that age is in no sense of the essence of the consideration; the Rite of Closing the Lodge in the Third Craft Grade of Masonry may belong to the late eighteenth century, but the fact signifies nothing; it is still the summary of all the instituted and official Mysteries. The female figure of the eleventh card is said to be Astræa, who personified the same virtue and is represented by the same symbols. This goddess notwithstanding, and notwithstanding the vulgarian Cupid, the Tarot is not of Roman mythology, or of Greek either. Its presentation of justice is supposed to be one of the four cardinal virtues included in the sequence of Greater Arcana; but, as it so happens, the fourth emblem is wanting, and it became necessary for the commentators to discover it at all costs. They did what it was possible to do, and yet the laws of research have never succeeded in extricating the missing Persephone under the form of Prudence. Court de Gebelin attempted to solve the difficulty by a tour de force, and believed that he had extracted what he wanted from the symbol of the Hanged Man--wherein he deceived himself. The Tarot has, therefore, its justice, its Temperance also and its Fortitude, but--owing to a curious omission--it does not offer us any type of Prudence, though it may be admitted that, in some respects, the isolation of the Hermit, pursuing a solitary path by the light of his own lamp, gives, to those who can receive it, a certain high counsel in respect of the via prudentiæ.
12. The Hanged Man. This is the symbol which is supposed to represent Prudence, and Éliphas Lévi says, in his most shallow and plausible manner, that it is the adept bound by his engagements. The figure of a man is suspended head-downwards from a gibbet, to which he is attached by a rope about one of his ankles. The arms are bound behind him, and one leg is crossed over the other. According to another, and indeed the prevailing interpretation, he signifies sacrifice, but all current meanings attributed to this card are cartomancists' intuitions, apart from any real value on the symbolical side. The fortune-tellers of the eighteenth century who circulated Tarots, depict a semi-feminine youth in jerkin, poised erect on one foot and loosely attached to a short stake driven into the ground.
13. Death. The method of presentation is almost invariable, and embodies a bourgeois form of symbolism. The scene is the field of life, and amidst ordinary rank vegetation there are living arms and heads protruding from the ground. One of the heads is crowned, and a skeleton with a great scythe is in the act of mowing it. The transparent and unescapable meaning is death, but the alternatives allocated to the symbol are change and transformation. Other heads have been swept from their place previously, but it is, in its current and patent meaning, more especially a card of the death of Kings. In the exotic sense it has been said to signify the ascent of the spirit in the divine spheres, creation and destruction, perpetual movement, and so forth.
14. Temperance. The winged figure of a female--who, in opposition to all doctrine concerning the hierarchy of angels, is usually allocated to this order of ministering spirits--is pouring liquid from one pitcher to another. In his last work on the Tarot, Dr. Papus abandons the traditional form and depicts a woman wearing an Egyptian head-dress. The first thing which seems clear on the surface is that the entire symbol has no especial connexion with Temperance, and the fact that this designation has always obtained for the card offers a very obvious instance of a meaning behind meaning, which is the title in chief to consideration in respect of the Tarot as a whole.
15. The Devil. In the eighteenth century this card seems to have been rather a symbol of merely animal impudicity. Except for a fantastic head-dress, the chief figure is entirely naked; it has bat-like wings, and the hands and feet are represented by the claws of a bird. In the right hand there is a sceptre terminating in a sign which has been thought to represent fire. The figure as a whole is not particularly evil; it has no tail, and the commentators who have said that the claws are those of a harpy have spoken at random. There is no better ground for the alternative suggestion that they are eagle's claws. Attached, by a cord depending from their collars, to the pedestal on which the figure is mounted, are two small demons, presumably male and female. These are tailed, but not winged. Since 1856 the influence of Éliphas Lévi and his doctrine of occultism has changed the face of this card, and it now appears as a pseudo-Baphometic figure with the head of a goat and a great torch between the horns; it is seated instead of erect, and in place of the generative organs there is the Hermetic caduceus. In Le Tarot Divinatoire of Papus the small demons are replaced by naked human beings, male and female ' who are yoked only to each other. The author may be felicitated on this improved symbolism.
16. The Tower struck by Lightning. Its alternative titles are: Castle of Plutus, God's House and the Tower of Babel. In the last case, the figures falling therefrom are held to be Nimrod and his minister. It is assuredly a card of confusion, and the design corresponds, broadly speaking, to any of the designations except Maison Dieu, unless we are to understand that the House of God has been abandoned and the veil of the temple rent. It is a little surprising that the device has not so far been allocated to the destruction Of Solomon's Temple, when the lightning would symbolize the fire and sword with which that edifice was visited by the King of the Chaldees.
17. The Star, Dog-Star, or Sirius, also called fantastically the Star of the Magi. Grouped about it are seven minor luminaries, and beneath it is a naked female figure, with her left knee upon the earth and her right foot upon the water. She is in the act of pouring fluids from two vessels. A bird is perched on a tree near her; for this a butterfly on a rose has been substituted in some later cards. So also the Star has been called that of Hope. This is one of the cards which Court de Gebelin describes as wholly Egyptian-that is to say, in his own reverie.
18. The Moon. Some eighteenth-century cards shew the luminary on its waning side; in the debased edition of Etteilla, it is the moon at night in her plenitude, set in a heaven of stars; of recent years the moon is shewn on the side of her increase. In nearly all presentations she is shining brightly and shedding the moisture of fertilizing dew in great drops. Beneath there are two towers, between which a path winds to the verge of the horizon. Two dogs, or alternatively a wolf and dog, are baying at the moon, and in the foreground there is water, through which a crayfish moves towards the land.
19. The Sun. The luminary is distinguished in older cards by chief rays that are waved and salient alternately and by secondary salient rays. It appears to shed its influence on earth not only by lightand heat, but--like the moon--by drops of dew. Court de Gebelin termed these tears of gold and of pearl, just as he identified the lunar dew with the tears of Isis. Beneath the dog-star there is a wall suggesting an enclosure-as it might be, a walled garden-wherein are two children, either naked or lightly clothed, facing a water, and gambolling, or running hand in hand. Éliphas Lévi says that these are sometimes replaced by a spinner unwinding destinies, and otherwise by a much better symbol-a naked child mounted on a white horse and displaying a scarlet standard.
20. The Last Judgment. I have spoken of this symbol already, the form of which is essentially invariable, even in the Etteilla set. An angel sounds his trumpet per sepulchra regionum, and the dead arise. It matters little that Etteilla omits the angel, or that Dr. Papus substitutes a ridiculous figure, which is, however, in consonance with the general motive of that Tarot set which accompanies his latest work. Before rejecting the transparent interpretation of the symbolism which is conveyed by the name of the card and by the picture which it presents to the eye, we should feel very sure of our ground. On the surface, at least, it is and can be only the resurrection of that triad--father, mother, child-whom we have met with already in the eighth card. M. Bourgeat hazards the suggestion that esoterically it is the symbol of evolution--of which it carries none of the signs. Others say that it signifies renewal, which is obvious enough; that it is the triad of human life; that it is the "generative force of the earth... and eternal life." Court de Gebelin makes himself impossible as usual, and points out that if the grave-stones were removed it could be accepted as a symbol of creation.
21. The Fool, Mate, or Unwise Man. Which, however, in most of the arrangements is the cipher card, number nothing. Court de Gebelin places it at the head of the whole series as the zero or negative which is presupposed by numeration, and as this is a simpler so also it is a better arrangement. It has been abandoned because in later times the cards have been attributed to the letters of the Hebrew alphabet, and there has been apparently some difficulty about allocating the zero symbol satisfactorily in a sequence of letters all of which signify numbers. In the present reference of the card to the letter Shin, which corresponds to 200, the difficulty or the unreason remains. The truth is that the real arrangement of the cards has never transpired. The Fool carries a wallet; he is looking over his shoulder and does not know that he is on the brink of a precipice; but a dog or other animal--some call it a tiger--is attacking him from behind, and he is hurried to his destruction unawares. Etteilla has given a justifiable variation of this card--as generally understood--in the form of a court jester, with cap, bells and motley garb. The other descriptions say that the wallet contains the bearer's follies and vices, which seems bourgeois and arbitrary.22. The World, the Universe, or Time. The four living creatures of the Apocalypse and Ezekiel's vision, attributed to the evangelists in Christian symbolism, are grouped about an elliptic garland, as if it were a chain of flowers intended to symbolize all sensible things; within this garland there is the figure of a woman, whom the wind has girt about the loins with a light scarf, and this is all her vesture.
She is in the act of dancing, and has a wand in either hand. It is eloquent as an image of the swirl of the sensitive life, of joy attained in the body, of the soul's intoxication in the earthly paradise, but still guarded by the Divine Watchers, as if by the powers and the graces of the Holy Name, Tetragammaton, JVHV--those four ineffable letters which are sometimes attributed to the mystical beasts. Éliphas Lévi calls the garland a crown, and reports that the figure represents Truth. Dr. Papus connects it with the Absolute and the realization of the Great Work; for yet others it is a symbol of humanity and the eternal reward of a life that has been spent well. It should be noted that in the four quarters of the garland there are four flowers distinctively marked. According to P. Christian, the garland should be formed of roses, and this is the kind of chain which Éliphas Lévi says is less easily broken than a chain of iron. Perhaps by antithesis, but for the same reason, the iron crown of Peter may he more lightly on the heads of sovereign pontiffs than the crown of gold on kings.
Download the complete Rider Waite Major Arcana Image Files
0. The Fool
01. The Magus
02. The High Priestess
03. The Empress
04. The Emperor
05. The Heirophant
06. The Lovers
07. The Chariot
09. The Hermit
10. The Wheel of Fortune
12. The Hanged Man
15. The Devil
16. The Tower
17. The Star
18. The Moon
19. The Sun
21. The World
Friday, August 7, 2009
There is no study so saddening, and none so sublime as that of the early religions of mankind. To trace back the worship of God to its simple origin, and to mark the gradual process of those degrading superstitions, and unhallowed rites which darkened, and finally extinguished His presence in the ancient world.
At first men enjoyed the blessings of nature as children do, without inquiring into causes. It was sufficient for them that the earth gave them herbs, that the trees bore them fruit, that the stream quenched their thirst. They were happy, and every moment though unconsciously they offered a prayer of gratitude to Him whom as yet they did not know.
And then a system of theology arose amongst them vague and indefinite, as the waters of the boundless sea. They taught each other that the sun, and the earth, the moon, and the stars were moved and illumined by a Great Soul which was the source of all life, which caused the birds to sing, the brooks to murmur, and the sea to heave. It was a sacred Fire which shone in the firmament, and in mighty flames. It was a strange Being which animated the, souls of men, and which when the bodies died, returned to itself again.
They silently adored this Great Soul in the beginning, and spoke of Him with reverence, and sometimes raised their eyes timidly to His glittering dwelling−place on high.
And soon they learned to pray. When those whom they loved lay dying, they uttered wild lamentations, and flung their arms despairingly towards the mysterious Soul; for in times of trouble the human mind so imbecile, so helpless, clings to something that is stronger than itself.
As yet they worshipped only the sun, the moon, and the stars−and not as Gods but as visions of that Divine Essence, which alone ruled and pervaded the earth, the sky, and the sea.
They adored Him kneeling, with their hands clasped, and their eyes raised. They offered Him no sacrifices, they built Him no temples; they were content to offer Him their hearts which were full of awe, in His own temple which was full of grandeur. And it is said that there are yet some barbarous islands where men have no churches nor ceremonies, and where they worship God, reflected in the work of His thousand hands.
But they were not long content with this simple service. Prayer which had first been an inspiration fell into a system, and men already grown wicked prayed the Deity to give them abundance of wild beast's skins, and to destroy their enemies.
They ascended eminences, as if hoping that thus being nearer God, He would prefer their prayers to those of their rivals. Such is the origin of that superstitious reverence for high places which was universal throughout the whole of the heathen world.
Then Orpheus was born. And he invented instruments which to his touch and to his lips, gave forth notes of surpassing sweetness, and with these melodies he enticed the wondering savages into the recesses of the forest, and there taught them precepts of obedience to the great Soul, and of loving−kindness towards each other in harmonious words.
So they devoted groves and forests to the worship of the Deity.
There were men who had watched Orpheus, and who had seen and envied his power over the herd who surrounded him. They resolved to imitate him, and having studied these barbarians, they banded together, and called themselves their priests. Religion −is divine, but its ministers are men. And alas! sometimes they aredemons with the faces and wings of angels.
The simplicity of men, and the cunning of their priests has destroyed or corrupted all the religions of the world.
These priests taught the people to sacrifice the choicest herbs and flowers. They taught them formulas of prayer, and bade them make so many obeisances to the sun, and to worship those flowers which opened their leaves when he rose, and which closed them as he set.
They composed a language of symbols which was perhaps necessary, since letters had not been invented, but which perplexed the people and perverted them from the worship of the one God.
Thus the sun and moon were worshipped as emblems of God, and fire as an emblem of the sun, water as an emblem of the moon.
The serpent was to be worshipped also as an emblem of wisdom and eternal youth, since it renews its skin every year, and thus periodically casts off all symptoms of old age.
And the bull, most vigorous of animals, and whose horns resemble those of the crescent moon.
The priests observed the avidity with which the barbarians adored these symbols, and increased them. To worship the visible is a disease of the soul inherent to all mankind, and the disease which these men could have healed they pandered to.
It is true that the first generation of men might have looked upon these merely as the empty symbols of a Divine Being, but it is also certain that in time the vulgar forgot the God in the emblem, and worshipped that which their fathers had only honored. Egypt was the fountain−head of these idolatries, and it was in Egypt that the priests first applied real attributes to the sun, and to the moon whom they called his wife.
It may perhaps interest you to listen to the first fable of the world.
From the midst of chaos was born Osiris, and at his birth a voice was heard proclaiming−"The ruler of all the earth is born."
From the same dark and troubled−womb were born Isis the Queen of Light, and Typhon the Spirit of Darkness.
This Osiris traveled over the whole world, and civilized its inhabitants, and taught them the art of agriculture. But on his return to Egypt the jealous Typhon laid a stratagem for him, and in the midst of a banquet had him shut up in a chest which exactly fitted his body. He was nailed down in his prison, which cast into the Nile floated down to the sea by the Taitic mouth, which even in the time of Plutarch was never mentioned by an Egyptian but with marks of detestation.
When Isis learnt these sad new she cut off a lock of her hair, and put on her mourning robes, and wandered through the whole country in search of the chest which contained the dead body of her husband.
At length she learnt that the chest had been carried by the waves to the shore of Byblos, and had there lodged in the branches of a tamarisk bush, which quickly shot up and became a large and beautiful tree, growing round the chest so that it could not be seen.
The king of the country amazed at the vast size the tree had so speedily acquired, ordered it to be cut down to be hewn into a pillar to support the roof of his palace−the chest being still concealed in the trunk.
The voice which had spoken from Heaven at the birth of Osiris made known these things to poor Isis, who went to the shore of Byblos and sat down silently by a fountain to weep. The damsels of the queen met her and accosted her, and the queen appointed her to be nurse to her child. And Isis fed the infant with her finger instead of with her breast, and put him every night into fire to render him immortal, while transforming herself into a swallow she hovered round the pillar which was her husband's tomb, and bemoaned her unhappy fate.
It happened that the queen thus discovered her, and shrieked when she saw her child surrounded by flames. By that cry she broke the charm and deprived him of immortality.
By that cry Isis was summoned back to her goddess−form, and stood before the awe−struck queen shining with light and diffusing sweet fragrances around.
She cut open the pillar, and took the coffin with her, and opened it in a desert. There she embraced the cold corpse of Osiris, and wept bitterly.
She returned to Egypt and hid the coffin in a remote place: but Typhon, hunting by moonlight, chanced to find it, and divided the corpse into fourteen pieces. Again Isis set out on her weary search throughout the whole land, sailing over the fenny parts in a boat made of papyrus. She recovered all the fragments except one which had been thrown into the sea. Each of these she buried in the place where she found it, which explains why in Egypt there are so many tombs of Osiris.
And instead of the limb which was lost, she gave the phallus to the Egyptians−the disgusting worship of which was thence carried into Italy, into Greece, and into all the countries of the East.
When Isis died, she was buried in a grove near Memphis. Over her grave was raised a statue covered from head to foot with a black veil. And underneath was engraved these divine words:
I am all that has been, that is, that shall be, and none among mortals has yet dared to raise my veil.
Beneath this veil are concealed all the mysteries and learning of the past. A young scholar, his fingers covered with the dust of venerable folios, his eyes weary and reddened by nightly toil will now attempt to lift a corner of this mysterious and sacred covering.
These two Deities, Isis and Osiris were the parents of all the Gods and Godesses of the Heathens, or were indeed those Gods themselves worshipped under different names. The fable itself was received into the mythologies of the Hindoos and the Romans. Sira is said to have mutilated Brahma as Typhon did Osiris, and Venus to have lamented her slain Adonis, as Isis wept for her husband−god.
As yet the sun and moon alone were worshipped under these two names. And as we have seen, besides these twin beneficial spirits, men who had begun to recognize sin in their hearts had created an Evil One who struggled with the power of light, and fought with them for the souls of men.
It is natural for man to fabricate something that is worse than himself. Even in the theology of the American Indians which is the purest of the modem world, there is found a Mahitou or dark Spirit.
Osiris or the sun was now worshipped throughout the whole world, though under different names. He wag the Mithra of the Persians, the Brahma of India, the Baal or Adonis of the Phoenicians, the Apollo of the Greeks,the Odin Of Scandinavia, the Hu of the Britons, and the Baiwe of the Laplanders.
Isis also received the names of Islene, Ceres, Rhea, Venus, Vesta, Cybele, Niobe, Melissa−−Nehalennia in the North; Isi with the Indians; Puzza among the Chinese; and Ceridwen among the ancient Britons.
The Egyptians were sublime philosophers who had dictated theology to the world. And in Chaldcea arose the first astrologers who watched the heavenly bodies with curiosity as well as with awe, and who made divine discoveries, and who called themselves The Interpreters of God.
To each star they gave a name, and to each day in the year they gave a star.
And the Greeks and Romans who were poets, wreathed these names into legends. Each name was a person, each person was a god.
From these stories of the stars originated the angels of the Jews, the genii of the Arabs, the heroes of the Greeks, and the saints of the Romish Church.
Now corruption grew upon corruption, and superstition flung a black and hideous veil over the doctrines of religion. A religion is lost as soon as it loses its simplicity: truth has no mysteries: it is deceit alone that lurks in obscurity.
Men multiplied God into a thousand names, and created Him always in their own image. Him, too, whom they had once deemed unworthy of any temple less noble than the floor of the earth and the vast dome of the sky, they worshipped in caves, and then in temples which were made of the trunks of trees rudely sculptured, and ranged in rows to imitate groves, and with other trunks placed upon them traversely.
Such were the first buildings of worship erected by man from no reverence for the Deity, but to display that which they doubtless conceived to be a stupendous effort in art.
It may not be needless to remind some of my readers that a superior being must view the elegant temples of the Romans, the gorgeous pagodas of India, and our own Gothic cathedrals with feelings similar to those with which we contemplate the rude efforts of the early heathens, who deemed God unworthy of the fruits and flowers which he himself had made, and offered to him the entrails of beasts, and the hearts of human beings.
We may compare an ancient and fallen religion to the ship of the Argonauts, which the Greeks desiring to preserve to posterity, repairing in so many different ways, that at length there did not remain a fragment of that vessel which had born to Colchis the conqueror of the Golden Fleece.
Let us pass over a lapse of years, and then contemplate the condition of these nations in whom religion had been first born. We find the Egyptians adoring the most common of plants, the most contemptible of beasts, the most hideous of reptiles. The solemnity and pomp of their absurd ceremonies held them up to the ridicule of the whole world.
Clemens of Alexandria describes one of their temples:−−(Pœdag. lib. iii).−−
"The walls shine with gold and silver, and with amber, and sparkle with the gems of India and Ethiopia: and the recesses are concealed by splendid curtains. But if you enter the penetralia, and inquire for the image of God for whose sake the fane was built; one of the Pastophori, or some other attendant on the temple approaches with a solemn and mysterious face, and putting aside the veil suffers you to obtain a glimpse of the divinity. There you behold a snake, a crocodile, or a cat, or some other beast, a fitter inhabitant of a cavern, or a bog than of a temple."
The priests of Egypt, always impostors, but once so celebrated, had now degenerated into a race of jugglers.
Also the Chaldœans lived upon the fame of their fathers, and upon their own base trickeries.
The Brachmans or Brahmins, those priests of India, once so virtuous and so wise−ah! they too had fallen. Once they had forbidden the shedding of so much as an insects blood: one day in the year alone, at the feast of Jagam, they were authorized to sacrifice the flesh of a beast, and from this many had refrained from attending, unable− to conquer their feelings of abhorrence.
But now they had learnt from the fierce Scythians and from the Phoenicians who traded on their coasts to sacrifice the wife upon her husbands pyre−−to appease the gentle Brahmah with the blood of men.
Now the angels who had presided over them became savage demons, who scourged them on to cruel penances, nay to life−times of suffering and famine.
In the sacred groves where once the Brachman Fathers had taught their precepts of love, men emaciated, careworn, dying, wandered sadly, waiting for death as tortured prisoners wait for their liberty.
But worse still, these wicked priests sought through the land for the most beautiful young women, and trained them to dance in the temples, and to entice the devotees to their arms with lustful attitudes and languishing looks, and with their voices which mingled harmoniously with the golden bells suspended on their feet. They sang hymns to the Gods in public, and in private enriched the treasuries of the pagoda with their infamous earnings. Thus a pure and simple religion was debased by the avarice and lewdness of its priests: till the temples became a den of thieves: till prostitution sat enthroned upon the altars of the Gods.
Greece and Rome buried in sloth and luxury did not escape the general contamination. The emblem of generation which Isis had bestowed upon the Egyptians, and which they had held in abstract reverence, had now obtained a prominent place in the festivals of these nations as did the Lingam in those of the Hindoos. It was openly paraded in processions in the streets: it was worn by Roman nations in bracelets upon their arms.
The sacred festivals and mysteries which they had received from the Egyptians, and for which the women had been wont to prepare themselves by continence, and the men by fasting, were now mere vehicles for depravities of the lowest kind. Men were permitted to join the women in their worship of Bacchus, of Adonis, of the Bona Dea, and even of Priapus, and so dissolute did the Dionusia become, that the civil powers were compelled to interfere with those of religion, and the Bacchanalia were abolished by a decree of the Roman senate.
And the Jews, the chosen people of God, had not their religion changed? had not God, weary with their sins, yielded them to captivity, scourged them with sorrow, menaced them with curses?
They worshipped Baal−peor, the Priapus of Assyria, they sacrificed their children to Moloch: they had dancing−girls in the holy temple.
I will not go deeper into particulars so degrading to human nature. I will rather invite you to follow me to a corner of the world where, at least for many ages religion was preserved in its pristine purity, and whose priests, through a barbarous soldiery, were received as martyrs in heaven before they had learned to be knaves upon earth.
It was an isolated spot unknown to the world in the earlier ages of vice. It is now a kingdom renowned for its power and for its luxuries from hemisphere to hemisphere.
It was encircled by the blue waters of the German and Atlantic Seas, and abounded in the choicest gifts of nature.
It was called The White Island from those cliffs which still frown so coldly upon Gaul, and The Land of Green Hills from its verdant mountains. Come with me to its shores, and I will show you its priests in their white robes, and its warriors in the blue paint of war, and its virgins with their long and glossy yellow hair.
But first I will lead you back into the past, and relate to you why this land was called Albion, and why Britain.
Meanwhile; Troy had fallen: the wanderings of Eneas were past: and Ascanius had died leaving behind him his son Silvius. The son of Silvius loved a maid, who became pregnant. Then the wise men and women of the land were sent for, and all those who knew songs of magic art. They cast. their lots and found sorrowful spells: that a child would be born through whom both his father and mother would suffer death: that through their death he would be driven from the land, and after a long time would be crowned with honor.
His mother died as she gave him to the world, and the child, whom they named Brutus, when he had become a youth, shot his father through the breast a−hunting the deer.
His kindred banished him from the land, and he sailed sadly over the sea−streams into Greece where he headed an insurrection against Pandrasus the king, and with such success that the king offered him all his ships, and treasures, and Imogen his only daughter if he would consent to seek another kingdom.
So Brutus, with his followers, like Eneas of old, sailed forth upon the waters in search of a new land.
After two days and two nights the sea became blue: the wild waves were hushed: they came to a desolate island: its inhabitants had been slain by the pirates: the timid deer coursed over its wasted shores.
But they found there a marble temple, and within the fair and beautiful image of Diana.
Brutus with twelve wise men, and with Gerion, his priest, entered the temple while his followers remained without. He bore a vessel of red gold in his hand: it was filled with wine and with the milk of a white hind which he had killed. Having kindled a fire by the altar, he walked around it nine times. He called to the goddess beloved of his heart: he kissed the altar and poured the wine and milk upon the fire.
"Lady Diana! loved Diana! High Diana!" he cried. "Help me in my need. Teach me whither I may go and wherein I may dwell. And there I will make thee a lofty dwelling and honor thee with great worship.
Then he spread the hide of the white hind upon the altar, and kneeling upon it fell asleep. In his dreams he beheld Diana floating towards him with sweet smiles. She laid her hands like a wreath of flowers upon his head, saying:
Beyond Gaul in the west thou shall find a winsome land: therein thou shalt prosper. Therein is fowl: there is fish: there dwell fair deer: there is wood: there is water: there is much desert: grim giants dwell in the land. It is called Albion.
For thirty days and thirty nights they sailed past Africa and over the lake of Silvius, and over the lake of Philisteus: by Ruscikadan they took the sea, and by the mountain country of Azare. They fought with the pirates, and gained from them such treasures that there was not a man in the fleet who did not wear gold and pall. And by the pillars of Hercules they were encompassed by mermen who sing songs so sweet that mariners will rest slothfully on their oars, and listen to them for days without wearying of their songs to hear−−these impeded them much with their wicked crafts, but they escaped them safely.
In a peaceful sea, and among the playing fish they came to Dartmouth in Totnes. There the ships bit the sands, and with merry hearts the warriors went ashore.
It happened after many days that Brutus and his people were celebrating holy writs, with meat, with drink, and with merry glee sounds: with silver and with gold: with horses and with vestments.
Twenty strong giants descended the hills: trees were their clubs: in the centre of their foreheads was a single eye vivid as the blue ice. They hurled huge stones and slew five hundred of the Trojans. But soon the fierce steel arrows of the Trojans whistled through the air, and blood began to spurt from their monstrous sides. They tried to fly; but those darts followed them swift and revengeful, as birds of prey winged with the dark feathers of death.
Nineteen were slain and Geog−magog, their leader was brought bound before Brutus, who ordered a wrestling match to be held between the giant and Corineus, a chieftain of his army.
A mighty crowd gathered upon the downs by the sea−cliff.
Corineus and the giant advanced towards each other, they yoked their arms and stood breast to breast. Their eyes gushed blood, their teeth gnashed like wild boars, their bones cracked. Now their faces were black and swollen, now red and flaming with rage. Geog−magog thrust Corineus off his breast and drawing him back broke three of his ribs with his mighty hand. But Corineus was not overcome, he hugged the giant grimly to his waist, and grasping him by the girdle swung him over the cliff upon the rocks below.
Which spot is called "Geog−magog's leap" to this day. And to Corineus, the conqueror, was given a dukedom, which was thence called Corinee and thence Cornwall.
Brutus having conquered the giant off−spring of the treacherous sisters, built a New Troy, and erected temples to the great Diana, and caused her to be worshipped throughout the land.
Which was named Britain after Brutus, the first man who set foot upon its shores.
Fables are seldom actual impostures. They are usually truths disguised in gaudy or grotesque garments, but so disguised that the most profound philosophers are often at a loss how to separate the tinsel from the gold.
But even when they remain insolvable enigmas, they are, at least, to be preferred to the etymological eurekas and tedious conjectures with which antiquarians clog the pages of history, and which are equally false and less poetical.
My fable of Albion is derived from the ancient chronicles of Hugh de Genesis, an historiographer now almost forgotten, and is gravely advanced by John Hardyng, in his uncouth rhymes, as the source of that desire for sovereignty which he affirms to be a peculiarity of his own countrywomen.
The story of Brû or Brutus was first published by Geoffrey of Monmouth, and was generally supposed to have been a monkish fabrication, till it was discovered in the historical poems of Tyssilia, a Welsh bard.
It is worthy of remark that the boys of Wales still amuse themselves by cutting out seven enclosures in the sward, which they call the City of Troy, and dance round and between them as if in imitation of the revolution of the planets.
In a poem by Taliesin, the Ossian of Wales, called The Appeasing, of Lhudd, a passage occurs, of which this is a literal translation:
"A numerous race, fierce, they are said to have been,
Were thy original colonists, Britain, first of isles,
Natives of a country in Asia, and the city of Gafiz
Said to have been a skilful people, but the district is unknown
Which was mother to these children, warlike adventurers on the sea;
Clad in their long dress, who could equal them?
Their skill is celebrated, they were the dread of Europe."
This is strong evidence in favor of the Phœnicians, at that time the pirate−scourges of the sea, but in the Welsh triads, or traditional chronicles, we read that−−
"The first of the three chieftains who established the colony was Hu, the Mighty, who came with the original settlers. They came over the Hazy Sea from the summer country, which is called Deffrobani, that is where Constinoblys now stands."−−Triad 4.
It maybe possible to reconcile these contradictions of history in its simplest state, to which I might add a hundred from later writers.
We learn fromJosephus that the Scythians, were called Magogœi by the Greeks, and it is probable that these (who certainly did migrate to Britain at a remote period) were the real aborigines, and the race alluded to in the fourth Triad. That then the warlike race of Taliesin also migrated from another region of the East, and that their battles with the Scythians gave rise to the fables of Brutus and Magog; for it was a practice, common enough with illiterate nations, to express heroes in their war−tales by the images of giants.
This superstition is somewhat borne out by the assertion of Tacitus and other classical writers, that at the time of Cæsar's invasion, there were three distinct races in Britain, especially contrasting−the red−haired, large−limbed, and blue−eyed Celts of the North, with the Silures of Devon, Cornwall, and the Cassiterides or Scilly Isles, who had swarthy faces and dark curly hair, like the Iberi of Spain.
But let us pass on from such dateless periods of guess−work, to that in which The White Island first obtained notice from those philosophers, and poets, and historians, whom now we revere and almost deify.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
The Master Teacher from Venus, Sanat Kumara was Shamballa’s first leader and his spiritual teachings inspired volunteers to build the first perfect city nine hundred years before his arrival. His establishment of the three-fold flame is the teaching of inherent divinity in all of us and “is the cohesive action for the Earth, and a thread of light from It connects with the Flame in the heart of every individual. It is this action that has sustained each one through the centuries.”
Unfortunately, Shamballa’s beauty and perfection could never be physically sustained on our Earth. It was built three times and destroyed twice by cataclysmic earth changes. The third destruction was brought about by the Master Teachers themselves. According to legend they realized soon after the City was rebuilt for the third time, until humanity evolved to higher states of spiritual consciousness, Shamballa’s true purpose would never be understood without distortion, and that it’s relocation to the finer, ethereal levels would assure entry only for those individuals who had developed, “the eyes to see and the ears to hear.”
Sandlewood logs were stacked around the city and set afire. The City Of White with it’s temples of Venusian inspired design were sent to the fifth dimension where it still remains.
In New World Atlas, Volume Three, Saint Germain comments on the opening of Shamballa for Ascended Master students, “In honor of this, a time-honored tradition among those who are graduates of the Trans Himalayan Brotherhood and Sisterhood, known as the Great White Lodge is to gather together and feast.
This is on a yearly basis at the eve of the New Year. It is at this time that we celebrate life and the joy and wonder of creation. We gather in song and dance celebrating all great patterns and plans, and set our service to the unending Divine Plan and the infinite service to the Light Of God That Never Fails
Nicholas Roerich and the The Chintamani Stone
By Mark Amaru Pinkham for Four Corners Magazine
Left Picture; On seated camels, right to left: Nicholas Roerich, Vladimir Shibaev. January, 1925. Port Said, Egypt.
W ith the current massive outpouring of information regarding the fabled Holy Grail (or Grails) it is impossible to ignore what may be the very first Holy Grail on Earth, the Chintamani Stone, the “Treasure of the World.” Between 1923-1928 this stone, which first manifested on Earth many thousands of years before the Cup of Christ, was taken by the great Russian artist and mystic Nicholas Roerich into the heartland of the Far East in order to reunite it with the mother stone it had been separated from, a massive jewel that resided in Shambhala, the Land of the Immortals.
This Chintamani Stone, which is of extra-terrestrial origin, had supposedly been brought to Earth by emissaries from a planet orbiting the star Sirius and then handed over to Shambhala’s principal resident, the elusive “King of the World,” a monarch known by many mystics in the East but only by a handful of occultists in the West. In regards to its identity in the Holy Grail legends, the Chintamani Stone appears to be synonymous with the “Stone of Heaven,” the Holy Grail manifestation mentioned by Wolfram von Eschenbach in his famous Grail rendition known as Parzival, which is regarded by most Grail scholars to be the most complete and authoritative of the Grail legends. The Chintamani Stone certainly fits the profile of Eschenbach’s enigmatic Stone of Heaven because, like its literary counterpart, the Treasure of the World is said to possess both the power to make a human immortal, as well as to have come to Earth from “Heaven” (Sirius), a truth that is supposedly engraved upon it as Sanscrit letters that Roerich once translated as “Through the Stars I come. I bring the chalice (Grail) covered with the shield.” Like Eschenbach’s stone the Chintamani Stone is, apparently, also green in color, since Roerich is on record as also stating that the Chintamani Stone is similar in appearance to a species of meteorite known as Moldavite, which is dark green in color. If the Chintamani Stone is indeed Eschenbach’s Stone of Heaven could it also be the original Philosophers Stone, which legends assert could turn a base metal into gold and a human into an immortal deity? Could it be the original Holy Grail, the one that was later emulated by all Holy Grails, including the Cup of Christ and the wood of the True Cross? With so much evidence in its support of its power and existence, it does indeed appear that the study of the Chintamani Stone should warrant special consideration in any contemporary Holy Grail research.
The Nature and Purpose of the Chintamani Stone
Information is scant concerning the Chintamani Stone, but supposedly the extra-terrestrial stone is stronger than penetrating Radium and its dynamic rays can instantly increase a person’s own vibratory frequency while bestowing upon him or her the ability to see into the past and future, evolve into an immortal human being, or even secure world dominion. It has also been suggested that the stone can never be adequately tested scientifically because much of it exists in a higher dimensional frequency than the one we exist within.
Other pertinent data regarding the Chintamani Stone maintains that it was brought to Earth by Sirian missionaries during a remote era in order to eventually help precipitate a one-world civilization based upon mutual support, love, and equality. In order to effectuate this lofty goal, the Sirians are believed to have, throughout history, made sure that the stone remained in the possession of certain planetary rulers or organizations that have been in the position of influencing the world on a grand scale. Since its arrival on Earth, the Chintamani Stone has, for example, been in the possession of he who is the supreme consciousness governing all of the world from an etheric plane, the King of the World, while parts of it have been in the possession of such acclaimed conquerors and empire builders as King Solomon, Genghis Khan and Akbar the Great. There is some indication that one part of the stone has been the sacred stone of the Kaaba, which has united millions of Moslems around the globe. In recent history it is known that a portion of the Chintamani Stone was given to the founders of the League of Nations, whose stated goals were the creation of a one-world civilization free of hate and war. This was the stone that Nicholas Roerich carried back to Shambhala following the collapse of that international organization.
One burning question remains in regards to the current whereabouts of the Chintamani Stone. Did Roerich complete his journey to Shambhala? Is the sacred stone back in the Land of the Immortals? Most historians agree that Roerich did not technically reach Shambhala but instead arrived in a Tibetan location which is intimately connected to it. One such location is Shigatse, home of the Tashilumpo Monastery and headquarters of the Panchen Lama, one of the ruling lamas of Tibet who is sometimes referred to as higher in the planetary spiritual hierarchy than even the Dalai Lama himself. Legends state that there are many underground tunnels connecting the Tashilumpo Monastery with Shambhala, and it is an accepted truth that certain incumbent Panchen Lamas have physically traveled there over the course of many hundreds of years. The Third Panchen Lama even wrote a book, called Road to Shambhala, within which he outlined directions on how to travel overland to Shambhala. Another salient connection that forever links the Panchen Lama, Shigatze and Shambhala is the Kalachakra Tantra, an intensive form of Tantric Buddhism taught and practiced in both places.
During the time that Roerich would have visited Shigatse the holy Tibetan city was a world headquarters of the Great White Brotherhood and swarming with Ascended Masters, such as Master Koothumi and Master Morya, an adept who taught Nicholas and his wife, Helena, the path of Agni Yoga, an alchemical path based upon the teachings of the Kalachakra. Previous to Roerich’s visit in Tibet Madam Blavatsky had similarly made an excursion to Shigatse to study with the Great White Brotherhood and to acquire information for her tomes on esoteric history, which include Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine. One of Blavatsky’s students, Alice Bailey, is noted for having later received numerous transmissions regarding Shambhala and the King of the World from the Master Djwhal Khul, who was a resident of Shigatse at the time.
Could the Chintamani Stone have really come from Sirius? Did humans have contact with the Sirians in the distant past? Perhaps. In the last century anthropologists in Mali discovered that some of the African country’s tribes, such as the Dogon and Bozo tribes, claimed to have once had visitations from Sirian missionaries who acted as their teachers. To prove their claims these tribes revealed some of the obscure information transmitted to them from their mentors, which included a knowledge of the Sirian grouping of three stars, as well as a knowledge of the moons surrounding certain distant planets in our Solar System. Such information could only be acquired through observation with very high-powered telescopes, a luxury these primitive tribes were never in the position to possess.
Robert Temple, author of The Sirius Mystery, which records the history of the Dogon people and their encounters with the Sirians, found another possible Earth link with Sirius soon after his book was published. Members of Freemasonry, who had long known of Sirius as the Great White Lodge in the Galaxy and commonly depicted it in their lodges as the Blazing Star, contacted Temple and invited him to become an initiate of their organization. Although Temple could not subsequently find explicit indications that Freemasonry had been in direct contact with Sirian missionaries in the past, he did find intriguing clues connecting them to the star Sirius, including the eye within the triangle symbol which currently surmounts the pyramid on the US seal. This triangle, an ancient Freemasonic symbol, depicts the Grand Architect of the Universe and is closely associated with what the Dogon refer to as the “Eye” of the universe, the dwarf star Digitaria, that is part of the trinitized Sirian grouping of stars and recognized by the tribe as the Creator of the Universe. The US seal eventually became featured on the back of the US dollar bill during the administration of Franklin Roosevelt, who was himself a high-ranking Freemason and Shriner, and before that it was the symbol of the eighteenth century Illuminati, who sought to achieve the Sirian goal of a one-world civilization although it is believed they did so with less than purely altruistic intentions. Temple also discovered another clue indicating a close connection between the Freemasons and Sirius: the day of US independence by the Freemasonic fathers, July 4th, is one of the days of the year when our Sun is in its closest alignment with Sirius.
The Return of the Chintamani Stone
When Nicholas Roerich was touring Tibet and Mongolia he constantly heard cries among the Buddhist monks of “It is the time of Shambhala!” According to the monks the King of the World would soon sweep down from Shambhala with a huge army to destroy all evil upon the Earth before declaring himself our planet’s eternal ruler. Supporting his inevitable rule was destined to be the Chintamani Stone, which currently resides in the King’s Tower in the very center of Shambhala.
Roerich and his mentors within the Great White Brotherhood and the Theosophical Society founded by Madam Blavatsky maintain that the army of the King of the World is, in truth, a power emanating from Shambhala that continually raises the frequency of our planet. It was, for example, this power that fueled WWII and, ultimately, led to the fall of the Third Reich, even after the Nazis attempted to harness it for their own self-serving purposes. Eventually this transformative power will destroy all energetic blockages that exist at a lower frequency than itself (i.e., negativity, greed, control, etc.) while simultaneously accelerating the evolution of all life forms on Earth. Once it has completed its pre-destined goal, state the Theosophists, a planetary civilization based upon love and equality will finally emerge. Perhaps then the King of the World and his Chintamani Stone will make their presence known universally to all.
More on Cintamani Stone;
Cintamani (also spelled as Chintamani or called the Chintamani Stone) is a wish-fulfilling jewel within both Hindu and Buddhist traditions. In Buddhism it is held by the bodhisattvas, Avalokiteshvara and Ksitigarbha. It is also seen carried upon the back of the Lung ta (wind horse). Within Hinduism it is connected with the gods, Vishnu and Ganesha.
By reciting the Dharani of Cintamani, Buddhist tradition maintains that one attains the Wisdom of Buddha, able to understand the truth of the Buddha, and turn afflictions into Bodhi. It is said to allow one to see the Holy Retinue of Amitabha and assembly upon one's deathbed.
The Cintamani is said to be one of four relics that came in a chest that fell from the sky (many terma fell from the sky in caskets) during the reign of king Lha Thothori Nyantsen of Tibet. The king however did not understand the purpose of the objects, however he kept them in reverence. Several years later, two mysterious strangers appeared at the court of the king explaining the four relics amongst which include the Buddha's bowl (possibly a Singing Bowl) and a Charmstone (jewel, crystal or gem) with the Om Mani Padme Hum mantra inscribed on it, known as a mani stone. These few objects were the bringers of the Dharma to Tibet. Importantly, we now know that crystals are resonant substances and resonance is key to the Mantrayana, and the Mantrayana was the first stream of the Buddhadharma to fall from the sky into the court of Thothori Nyantsen.
The mani-jewel is translated with Chinese ruyi as ruyizhu 如意珠 "as-one-wishes jewel" or ruyibaozhu 如意寶珠 "as-one-wishes precious jewel", and as Japanese nyoi-shu 如意珠 or nyoi-hōju 如意寶珠. The Digital Dictionary of Buddhism's ruyizhu entry says.
A mani-jewel; magical jewel, which manifests whatever one wishes for (Skt. mani, cintā-mani, cintāmani-ratna). According to one's desires, treasures, clothing and food can be manifested, while sickness and suffering can be removed, water can be purified, etc. It is a metaphor for the teachings and virtues of the Buddha. … Said to be obtained from the dragon-king of the sea, or the head of the great fish, Makara, or the relics of a Buddha.
Taken from the blog "Pleiadian"