So far on our travels around the Cube of Space we have arrived on and advanced from the West face (Part 1). We then rounded the Northwest edge at the Justice card of that face unto the North face (Part 2). From there we’ve traveled through the center of the Cube, touching base with The World card and briefly encountering our true inner Self, represented by the Fool card, and then arriving at the South face (Part 3). From the South face of the Cube of Space we are now rounding the Southeast edge at the Teacher card onto the East face.
All that we have learned through our experiences, trials and tribulations on the previous three faces has prepared us for what we will encounter here on the East face. Our access to the Teacher within, and the Wisdom he provides, makes it possible for us to be on this face. It is here that the student advances and becomes the spiritual Teacher.
Each and everyone of us, though blinded by the Wheel of Fortune and the Adversary/Deceiver of the West face will eventually make it to the East face. It may be beyond the reach of a single lifetime, but the exalted position of Teacher is in everyone’s future. Here compassion for ourselves and for others has become an integral part of our regenerated personality.
Our next stop on the East face is the Chariot card, found on the edge at East Below. The Charioteer is the teacher who is fully self-realized, in touch with the higher Self and in control of the lower self. I call this the Victory card. It represents the Middle Way, not the extremes of the right or the left. We meet not as bodies, but as spirits. On this level we have a delightful camaraderie. It is the spirit, or Self, in each of us that makes us interesting to each other. It is the triumphant rider in the vehicle of personality.
The Chariot is a summary of all the Keys in the first row of the Tarot Tableau. The Magician is our self-conscious, directive power. The High Priestess represents memory, the all-inclusive aspect of the sub-conscious. The Empress signifies the power of active imagination seated in the sub-conscious mind. The Emperor is our ability to constitute our lives in a fashion that is acceptable, not only to ourselves, but also to the Law of Life Itself. Our intuitive faculty is indicated by the Teacher. The Lovers Key symbolizes the keen discrimination necessary to unscramble all the different factors that are dynamically interacting in ourselves.
The attributes of the Chariot card are receptivity and will. The Magician’s gestures signify that our support comes from within. Once we get the message, we can exert the will. The Chariot card is the reward for the Magician’s efforts. The difference between people is not in the degree of will power, as a possession. It is the degree of our ability to express this power through our personalities.
The two wheels of his chariot indicate that he moves in harmony with the cycles of life, death and rebirth of the Wheel of Fortune. They propel him, rather than hinder as on the West face, forward on the Path of Initiation. He controls the two sphinx, “I like” and “I don’t like”, with the invisible reins of his mind. The winged golden disk on the front represents the third eye guiding his journey. The Cabala says, “the mind moves the body.” The Bhagavad-Gita says, “The Self is the Rider in the chariot of the body, of which the senses are the horses, and the mind the reins.”
His wand is crowned by the moon and the figure eight, representing the sacred stylus of Thoth and the power and ability to bring into being the sacred words of Spirit. Here he becomes the Teacher who writes the words of guidance so that those who are still trapped in the city, aka the West face of the Cube, will be able to find a way out. The teachings from the inner school given to him on the South face are now given to the rest of humanity.
Our next stop is the Emperor on the Northeast edge. His title means “he who sets in order.” The Hebrew letter attributed to this card means window and the sense function is sight. So what is going on here? A window admits light and air, or knowledge and breath, into the house, which, in this case, is our personality. A window is also a vantage point that allows us to survey all of our surroundings and to oversee all that goes on around us.
With this supervision we gain control over our personal universe. We actually gain both vision and supervision. After our examination our vision allows us to achieve insight into the realities of creation. We penetrate creation’s inmost nature by looking through that which is outwardly visible. Rather than merely looking at things around you, you develop true vision by looking into them. We develop feelings that will awaken our five inner senses of sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell.
Yes, we not only have physical senses but we have the same senses on a spiritual level. To see without our eyes, hear without our ears, feel without our skin, taste without our tongue, and smell without our nose. To develop this requires looking around you from the perspective of wondering what’s happening within, or behind, what you are looking at. You don’t figure it out; it’s just revealed to you. The quality of our vision determines the quality of our lives. If the perception of our surroundings is based on their appearance, then our response to them and how we live our lives will be short-sighted and dull.
Order is achieved with the help of reason – the two principle functions of this card. Here we learn to strengthen the pattern of order and control in our lives. To have order in your life you must establish order in your thinking. Whenever a new condition enters your life, take immediate steps to put it in its rightful place in the scheme of things. You always have the power to envision. This is a good pattern to establish in your life.
Keep an eye on things. Stay awake! You are constantly being invaded by things that don’t belong in your life. The solution: shut the door and just look out the window. You don’t need to buy, or include in your life, all that you see! The law of life is rule or be ruled. I don’t recommend letting someone rule your life, but that’s your privilege to allow it. Setting your house of personality in order is an essential aspect in your liberation. By this we accept spiritual responsibility for ourselves. The Emerald Tablet says, “and thereby all obscurity shall fly from you.”
Having passed the tests of the Emperor card we move on to the Lovers card on the East Above edge of the Cube. When I first introduced you to the Major Arcana Tarot cards I told you that it was a book about Life and that were only three characters involved in the story. I also mentioned that those three characters are all found within you. Here on the Lovers card we find all three. Adam represents your directing mind called self-consciousness. He’s personified by the Magician card. Eve is your receptive mind or subconsciousness, personified by the High Priestess. The Archangel is your superconscious mind, personified by the Fool card.
The power to discriminate, or perceive differences, is rooted in self-consciousness, or the Adam mind. It is the power that makes things and conditions seem to be real in and by themselves. Yet they are but a reflection of the One Reality. This ability to create illusions is a fundamental necessity in order that the individual self-consciousness may be manifested.
And, manifestation is simply the way the One Identity appears to itself, and the instrument of its self-perception is that which is the faculty depicted by Adam. In the Book of Tokens it is stated, “For the sake of creation the One Life that I am seemeth to divide itself, becoming Two.”
The function of this card is discrimination. This is most valuable to us when we can use it to perceive the difference between the real and the unreal. As long as we are slaves to appearances we perceive only unreality. When we awaken from the dream of sense to the inner knowledge of our true nature, we begin to understand reality. The function assigned to the Hebrew letter assigned to this card is smell. Again, this is associated in language with discrimination.
This card also presents the function of reciprocation – the act of giving and receiving mutually. Reciprocation is a relationship between distinct and separate entities. Why this is brought up here is to understand the relationship existing between the self-conscious, Adam, and sub-conscious, Eve, phases of mental activity.
The Adam mind gives suggestions that the Eve mind receives, works out, and gives back to Adam. In addition, reciprocation is also the relationship between superconsciousness, represented by Archangel Michael, and the human personality, when the latter is considered to be the combination of the two poles of personal mentality, Adam and Eve.
Remember, Adam is not the Self. The true Self is One and identical with Archangel Michael, or the Fool card. With all this in mind, then, reciprocity between opposites, when it is harmonious, is always of the same nature as that which we call Love. An inharmonious relationship is akin to Hate, the inversion of Love. Both love and hate are human emotions, but an eminent Master of the occult wisdom once made a statement that they are spiritual emotions.
This means that they are “root” emotions and that all other emotions and desires take on the character of either one or the other of them. We, as human beings, are on the path of return, headed back toward unity. Consequently the force we must employ is the synthesizing force of Love, and our desires and emotions must be colored by that force. It is always a uniting force of great power. We utilize the faculty of discrimination to help us to determine the true color of our emotional life.
The Way to Freedom is the Way of Love. Changes are not brought about by coercion, but through friendly persuasion. Love Is unconditional and self-imparting, like sunlight. We don’t have to generate love. It exists as a universal principle. All we have to do is let it flow through us. Pairs of opposites are not antagonists, but compliments. Thus the right understanding of the universe shows it to be, in all its details, an expression of the power of love, as the right balanced relationship existing between the various pairs of opposites of which the universe is apparently made up!
The tree behind Adam is the Tree of Life. It’s bearing 12 fiery fruits, the 12 signs of the zodiac. The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil stands behind Eve. The fruits of the five senses are shown, as yet untasted. The serpent is lifted up for healing. Adam didn’t have a fall. He had an uplifting experience that introduced him into a spiritual world through the agency of his feminine aspect. The apples were delicious and enjoyed by all! The serpent represents the power in ourselves that is our very salvation, the Kundalini experience.
You must have both intelligence and sensation in your life to make it successful. They are equally important, and you should think of them both at the same time. This card is a sacrament in the highest sense of the word because it represents the prolongation of life. Cabalists have great respect for God, for Creation, and for men and women. The Lovers Key sets forth this perfected balance between opposing forces. Its an ideal situation.
At this point we come to a cross roads on the East face. One choice is to continue on to the Cube face called “Above”. This is the solitary path leading back to God. This Path is represented by the Golden Key on the Teacher card. This is accomplished by briefly touching on the Empress card in the Center. Here we receive the ecstatic force of love both physical and divine. Then we return back to the Lovers card at East Above. From there we advance to the Above face of the Cube, where we find the Magician card at the Center. The Above face will be covered in The Cube of Space – Part 5.
The other choice is to continue to the Empress card at the Center of the East face. There we consciously choose to give up traveling to the next two faces of the Cube called Above and Below. We instead decide to be consciously reborn on the West face to help our fellow man awaken to his spiritual Inner Self.
Let’s look at the Empress card. The Empress has power over all sequences of development in the material world – exactly why she’s call the Empress. She is the subconscious mind – she’s Eve from the Lovers card. You mustn’t ever forget this. Her power is awesome. Put another way, everything in the material world is created through her.
She is the essence of love and will give you everything you want, need and desire in order to fulfill her love for you. A function of this card is imagination. So she will not only give you what you desire, but multiply and embroider it, mixing fact with fancy to elaborate the outcome. Just look at her card. She sits on a fancy cube, there’s wheat to be harvested at her feet, and she’s pregnant.
Now that you understand this, what are you, that part of you that’s Adam, asking her for? What do you think about throughout the day, where do you focus your mind, what do you listen to or watch? She will take all of that and give it back to you, in abundance. In ways you couldn’t imagine!
What are you doing today that’s multiplying itself into your future experiences? Does it serve you, or will it destroy you? Here’s where the lessons learned in the Lovers and Emperor cards concerning discrimination, reciprocation, and order come in to play. At this point on the Cube of Space you understand all of this – love is always victorious!
From the Empress card we travel through the interior of the Cube via the Hanged Man card. We go through the World card at the Center and enter on the West face through the Wheel of Fortune. As we enter the West face of the Cube of Space, we become a Messenger of Light. We also have full knowledge of all that has happened before in our lives. This is the Path represented by the Silver Key on the Teacher card. We immediately ascend to the Temperance card at West Above.
The Messenger reaches maturity on the West face and begins to develop the power to illuminate wisdom in others. At the end of the Messenger’s ministry the Messenger exits the West face via the Transition card and enters into the celestial government of the inner planes.