We enter the final face of the Cube of Space through The Magician at the Center Above, and come out onto the face Below. The Fool card is the axis of the Cube from Above to Below. We travel along this axis which joins the two faces, allowing the Master of Light to transform the lower self once and for all . The Master fearlessly faces all remaining flaws, misgivings, doubts and misunderstandings. This is also the Master’s final stay in the physical body.
Here resides the High Priestess, the Master of Darkness in the Center of the surface Below. In Part 5 we explored the letters of the Hebrew alphabet assigned to each of the Tarot cards placed on the edges of the Above face. Here we will look at the cards on the edges of the Below face to find out what we must master in order to succeed in our journey and complete our Return Home.
If all of this seems overwhelming, so much to learn, so much to remember, just be reassured that you already know all of this. Your Inner Self has forgotten nothing. Be aware that you don’t go anywhere, because you are everywhere. You’ve just forgotten. The deeper part of your mind is perfectly familiar with this universal language of pictorial symbolism used in the Tarot. By just looking at the cards you are setting a foundation and evoking thoughts particular to that card.
The Tarot holds the keys to open the locks in your mind, and they will open, one by one by one. It shows you the tools available which will make your journey a success. This is your journey, not someone else’s. When you reach a certain point, your Teacher will arrive. But that point is different for each of us. As you clothe yourself in sincerity and compassion for yourself, and compassion for others, your eyes will slowly open.
Relax. Though a little scary at times, you will also have moments where you’ll laugh out loud for the joy of this adventure. When you need something, ask for it. Shout out loud for it. This is a conversation that you must have with your creator. Demand from the Cosmos what you need. You won’t know how it’ll arrive, but you may be sure that it will be delivered in full by the Master Of Darkness, the High Priestess.
So let’s explore this Master of Darkness, the symbol for our subconscious mind, and the side of the Cube of Space called Below. The High Priestess is Key 2, and among the meanings of the number 2 is subordination. Look at Key 1 The Magician. He represents the objective mind, or self-consciousness. So if you look at Key 2 in relation to Key 1, the figure in Key 1 is engaged in controlling the powers of sub-consciousness. And these powers are always amenable to his suggestive influence.
So the important thing to remember at all times is to be careful about what you are suggesting to your subconscious mind. Subconscious mind is represented by the garden in Key 1. If you plant careless observations and incorrect reasoning in your garden, then you will be surrounded by weeds. If you’ve learned concentration, the focus of this card, then you will be able to make your mental imagery clear and definite – voila – the lilies and the roses. You will always get what you ask for, or what you let others ask for you. Be careful with that!
With this ability to develop seed ideas you will realize that sub-consciousness has perfect powers of deductive reasoning. Deductive reasoning starts with a premise and then works it way down to a conclusion. If the premise is inaccurate, then so would be the conclusion. The Hebrew double letter Gimel associated with this card means both peace and strife. Which would you rather have?
Another aspect relating to the number 2 is the line, the extension of a point. The diameter of a circle (an extension of two directions) divides the circle into two parts, each a duplicate of the other. This ability to duplicate is referred to as memory, a basic function of sub-consciousness. It keeps a perfect record of all experience, and therefore has perfect memory.
The High Priestess has a scroll on her lap of all the memories ever created. Through our personal sub-consciousness we have access to the universal supply of all original material and can make it what we will. These memories are not just derived from our personality and its experiences, but includes all race experience. And you thought the information on the internet was amazing. Tap into this source. Wow! And the Tarot teaches you how to do just that.
The High Priestess card actually covers the five laws of practical recall – mnemonics. The two pillars represent two of these laws by their form and color, and another by their position. You will remember easily ideas or things which (1) are like each other, (2) are a sharp contrast to each other, and (3) are near to each other in time and space. You will be able to catalog your memories using these links.
The other two laws are (4) frequency, demonstrated by the repetition of the fern leaves and pomegranates on the veil, and along with frequency goes (5) recency, or recent experiences, since we tend to recall recent experiences more readily than others.
Originally the Hebrew letter Gimel, the letter of this card, was a crude picture of a bow. This is why it comes after Beth in the Hebrew alphabet. Beth’s original character was an arrow-head. In the development of weapons, the bow follows the arrow. Arrows were thrown by hand by primitive races.
Once created, the bow carried the arrow to its mark. But the bow is secondary, an implement. The bow extends the range of the arrow. So the sub-conscious mind symbolized by the bow, Gimel, carries your conscious determinations to a successful conclusion. It’s what makes your decisions “hit the mark.”
Another aspect of the Master of Darkness is propulsion. The self-conscious mind aims and steers, like driving a boat or an airplane, and the subconscious mind provides the motive force. In science, this is the force that causes something to move or, in a sense, the force that induces motor action. As a symbol the bow is feminine. The characteristics of the Master of Darkness, the subconscious mind, are naturally associated with the feminine sex.
The letter name Gimel in Hebrew is camel. At one time the camel was the main means of transportation across vast distances. It was the connection between great cities, the means of commerce, of communication and the spread of different cultures. Association is another aspect of this card.
One familiar action of sub-consciousness is mind-wandering. This enables us, while in a state of reverie, to pass from thought to thought until we cover a vast field of ideas. But unless we learn to control this through concentration, it’s like a camel running wild. When we learn to drive it, then it will take us to any chosen goal quickly.
The letter Gimel is also said to correspond to the Moon, which is a “ship of the skies”, just as the camel is a “ship of the desert.” In the brain the Moon center is the pituitary body. This center is understood by occultists to be a transmitting station, through which the mental states of self-consciousness are relayed to centers below it in the body. Through the Master of Darkness we have a perfect connection with all points of space.
The main point of all this is for you to realize that “your” personal field of subconsciousness is materially connected with even the most distant stars. Paul Foster Case tell us, “Use Key 2 to stimulate your memory. Look at it. Take the hint that it gives. The High Priestess sits at ease. There is no strain about her. When you wish to recall anything relax your body and let your mind be passive. The current of associations will then flow freely, and after a little while it will bring the desired information to the surface of your mind.”
Let’s move on to the next card on the surface Below, ruled by the Master of Darkness. We first visited Key 15 The Deceiver on the Western face. Here we find him again at West Below. The letter associated with The Deceiver is Ayin, meaning eye, or outer appearance.
The eye, as an organ of vision, has a relationship with Key 4 The Emperor, which represents sight. And this sense of sight is the source of much of our misinformation about our environment. Take for instance optical illusions. But we are only deceived as long as we allow it.
In Sanskrit matter is called Maya, illusion. But what we call matter is just the appearance of what we call “Spirit” as it takes on name and form. The critical error in our mind is that we try to establish a separation between matter and Spirit.
In reality matter is just the appearance of, or you could say the extension of, Spirit. It is the Life Power reflecting upon Itself. And in order for us to comprehend and understand this we must work through all of the trials and tribulations that are created by these material appearances and our attachments to them.
We learn not just how to remove ourselves and others from suffering, but the true magic is that with this wisdom we gain the power to transmute all semblance of evil into manifestations of positive good. This is a power that both binds and liberates. It creates form with all its limitations. It also provides the Path of Liberation. Key 15 is a symbol of man’s ignorance of the true nature of Reality and his place in this Reality. It is the ignorance that is the problem – not the Reality.
As we evolved from the beginning of time our initial emphasis was survival. We observed nature, its cycles of seasons, the birth and death of various species, in order to make some sense of living on this orb. Nature places the emphasis on type, not on the individual. Only the fit survive. Here we have the automatic forces of nature below the human level and hence the idea “all you see is all there is”. This was expressed in Key 10 the Wheel of Fortune on the West face, where we first entered the Cube of Space. Experience is gained through the objective world of appearances.
As time moved on evolution created another principle – consciousness. Consciousness is veiled by the mechanical aspects of creation. But now experience is gained through the subjective world of consciousness, from within. Here we realize the significance of the material aspect of creation, of the whirling cycles of change that we live in. The combination of the material aspect of creation and the consciousness to understand it allows us to control our environment.
Let’s move on to the next card called the Moon Key 18 located at the edge South Below. Here we begin the process of organization. We are not discussing an association of human beings in various groups or societies. Rather we are beginning the organization of the various parts of the human body into a higher type of organism.
This is not accomplished through what is spontaneously provided by the general manipulations of evolution. No. This is through the practice of the Great Art, as the alchemists call their Work. The practical application of the principles of Ageless Wisdom is aimed at this change in the human organism.
This change is not by selection and breeding, but by the direct action of man’s will and imagination upon his own vehicle of flesh and blood. Only thus is the change effected. It is also not just a consequence of personal efforts. But the personal factor is required. You will need to see, understand and apply the principles, laws and forces covered here in order to transform your own body. This is called the Operation of the Sun.
We use imagination to accomplish this, so you will need to keep your thoughts clear and definite. Thus sub-consciousness will build you a body that corresponds to them. You cannot just sit and hold mental images. When our images are vivid they will impel us into courses of action which will help to bring about these changes.
The Hebrew letter associated with this card is Qoph (Q), which means back of the head. This brings to our attention that the most important organs of the human body are located at the rear of the skull. Here we find the posterior lobe of the cerebrum which contains the sight center. So we actually see with the backs of our heads! The tissue just below this is the medulla oblongata. It unites the brain to the spine and nervous system. It connects the higher centers of sensation, thought and action located in the head and the subordinate centers located in the body.
The medulla controls respiration, regulates the heart and the circulation of the blood. Its functions are carried on without interruption, even while we sleep. Therefore sleep is assigned to the Hebrew letter Qoph in the Qabalah.
Sleep is when our body regenerates, removes waste accumulated during the day, and our mental processes continue at subconscious levels even when the cells of the upper brain are resting. Our aspirations and efforts are built into our bodies, our organic structure, while we sleep. Our dominate desire is built into every cell this way.
So this suggests a very important activity that you should do every day. This is the practice of retrospection, the reviewing your day’s activities just before going to sleep. This shouldn’t take very long. As you review your day, those things or activities that you like and you want to be a part of your life, look at and accept.
Those that you don’t want, toss out, like the trash. Never muse too long on your failures. Do not worry. Worry is concentration of the negative appearances of life. If you can worry well and at length, then you possess the ability to concentrate. Change the polarity of your thoughts and emotions in your daily life. Impress your subconsciousness, before you fall asleep with the most positive images of good that you can fashion.
And now lets move on to the Chariot Key 7 located at the edge East Below. Among the meanings of number 7 are mastery, conquest, peace, safety, security. Hence we can expect to find in connection to the number 7 indications of power that can establish harmony, can bring order out of chaos, a power of adaption and adjustment. That power is Will.
The occult conception of will is quite different than the ordinary idea of will. It’s not looked upon as a personal faculty. Instead it is a living, motivating power behind the entire universe, and every person and thing has an equal share in it.
The difference between persons is not in degree of Will power, as a possession. We all have access to a limitless supply. The difference is the degree of our ability to express this power through our personalities.
Will power is a universal, cosmic energy, not a personal force. To think differently, to have the delusion that you have any will power of your own, is to be in a state of bondage. Do you claim ownership of the air you breath? No. Jesus said,”I have no will save to do the will of Him who sent me.” Learn to be receptive to the inner guidance of the only Will power that there really is.
The Hebrew letter Cheth (Ch) associated with this card means field or fence. The implication is enclosure. In man the field is personality, and the master of this field, the one who cultivates this field, is the Inner Self. Thus, the idea is that personality can be cultivated. And if your vehicle is properly prepared, then the potencies of Will power can be brought into active manifestation. This gives you an idea as to the true function and purpose of your personality and its value as the instrument of your spiritual progress. You are not your body, your emotions, or your intellect.
A chariot is a movable fence, a protection for its rider. Personality is a vehicle of power, an instrument through which power is made manifest. Remember that the number 7 is related to the idea expressed by the verb “to vow”.
Dedicate yourself to an ever-increasing measure of receptivity to the influence flowing into your field of personal consciousness from within. In the Bhagavad-Gita we read, “The Self is the rider in the chariot of the body, of which the senses are the horses and the mind the reins.”
The last card is the Hermit Key 9 found at North Below. The law attributed to this Key is Response. The idea here is that no personal activity has its beginning, source, or origin within the limits of the personality.
We all think that our thoughts and actions express purely personal motives. Personality is the mask of the true identity. And that identity is above and not limited to the conditions of personality.
The Hebrew letter Yod resembles a flame. The Hermit’s hat on the card is in the shape of a Yod. It is a part of every Hebrew letter, thus symbolizing that the spiritual energy, or flame, is present in every mode of the Life Power’s self-expression. The Yod is a noun meaning “the hand of man”. The hand of man is able to perform its many operations because it is the seat of highly organized centers of touch. Thus, the sense of touch is assigned to the letter Yod.
The hand of man is also a symbol of how the mind of man makes contact with that which is above. Note the right hand of the Magician. He links his self-consciousness level to the super-consciousness level by raising the hollow wand with his right hand.
The uplifted wand represents the sublimation of the Serpent Power, aka the kundalini. Key 9 also means attainment through union. This means the end of the Path is reached when the personality meets the Inner Self in perfect contact.
The zodiacal sign Virgo is attributed to the letter Yod. Virgo is ruled by Mercury – that is the power symbolized by the Magician, self-consciousness. Virgo is exalted, has its highest mode of expression, in Mercury. Mercury represents the Life Power working at the self-conscious level through the brain. Virgo’s field of activity is the small intestine, especially the upper part, where food is assimilated, changed into a creamy substance called chyle, and sent to the various parts of the body through the bloodstream.
With proper self-conscious direction, the finer forces present in chyle are liberated into the bloodstream, which energize the brain centers (Mercury) that function in the experience called Illumination. This experience is that of conscious union with the One Identity. Among the highest expressions of human self-consciousness are those that control the activities of the intestinal tract. Strange, but true. We do this by carefully choosing what we eat, and by using the law of suggestion to release the subtle forces in chyle.
The Hermit tells us that above the merely personal level of our daily experience there is a real Presence and now that Presence is all that we aspire to be. Also, that Presence is friendly and definitely helpful. Comprehend it we may not. Touch it we can, and as often as we remember to do so. For only by an illusion are we separate from it. Actively present in all that we think, or say, or do is this One Identity, the Ancient of the Ancient Ones, the fundamental and sole Will, whence all manifestation proceeds.
After obtaining the wisdom of the Hermit, the Master of Darkness returns to the Center Below, the domain of the High Priestess. From Below the Master ascends Above via the axis of the cube, which is the Fool.
Rising up the path of the Fool, the Master of Light and Darkness consciously enters the Temple that dwells at the Center of the Cube, the realm of The World. Here the Master enters the seventh and final point of the Cube, as Ascended Master. The beginning has become the end.