The Lovers↭Disposing I

Written by probationideadlyi on January 30th, 2013. Posted in Book of The Law



  • Disposing I
  • maze quadrants:safe harbour cube river cabels subquadrant safe harbour cube cet
  • tarot-of-magus-fortune-catcher: VI t siren marked id disc  IV   6 

The Lovers

  • Thoth The Lovers -The Children of the Voice- the Oracles of the Mighty Gods
  • Lower Arcanum:

This card and its twin,  Art, are the most obscure and difficult of the Atu. Each of these symbols is in itself double, so that the meanings form a divergent series, and the integration of the Card can only be regained by repeated marriages, identifications, and some form of Hermaphroditism.
Yet the attribution is the essence of simplicity. Atu  refers to , ruled by Mercury. It means The Twins. The Hebrew letter corresponding is Zain, which means a Sword, and the framework of the card is therefore the Arch of Swords, beneath which the Royal Marriage takes place.
The Sword is primarily an engine of division. In the intellectual world-which is the world of the Sword suit-it represents analysis. This card and Atu   together compose the comprehensive alchemical maxim: Solve et coagula.
This card is consequently one of the most fundamental cards in the Tarot. It is the first card in which more than one figure appears. [The Ape of Thoth in Atu I is only a shadow.] In its original form, it was the story of Creation.
Here is appended, for its historical interest, the description of this card in its primitive form from Liber 418.
"There is an Assyrian legend of a woman with a fish, and also there is a legend of Eve and the Serpent, for Cain was the child of Eveeva awake and the   serpent cypher serpentSerpent, and not of Eve and Adam; and therefore when he had slain his brother, who was the first murderer, having sacrificed living things to his demon, had Cain the mark upon his brow, which is the mark of the Beast spoken of in the Apocalypse, and is the sign of Initiation. "The shedding of blood is necessary, for God did not hear the children of Eve until blood was shed. And that is external religion; but Cain spake not with God, nor had the mark of initiation upon his brow, so that he was shunned of all men, until he had shed blood. And this blood was the blood of his brother. This is a mystery of the sixth key of the Tarot, which ought not to be called The Lovers, but The Brothers.

"In the middle of the card stands Cain; in his right hand is the Hammer of Thor with which he hath slain his brother, and it is all wet with his blood. And his left hand he holdeth open as a sign of innocence. On his right hand is his mother Eve, around whom the serpent is entwined with his hood spread behind her head; and on his left
hand is a figure somewhat like the Hindoo Kali, but much more seductive. Yet I know it to be Lilith. And above him is the Great Sigil of the Arrow, downward, but it is struck through the heart of the child. This child also is Abel. And the meaning of this part of the card is obscure, but that is the correct drawing of the Tarot card; and that is the correct magical fable from which the Hebrew scribes, who were not complete Initiates, stole their legend of the Fall and the subsequent events."
It is very significant that almost every sentence in this passage seems to reverse the meaning of the previous one. This is because reaction is always equal and opposite to action. This equation is, or should be, simultaneous in the intellectual world,where there is no great time lag; the formulation of any idea creates its contradictory at almost the same moment. The contradictory of any proposition is implicit in itself. This is necessary to preserve the equilibrium of the Universe. The theory has been explained in the essay on Atu I, the Juggler, but must now be again emphasized in order to interpret this card.
The key is that the Card represents the Creation of the World. The Hierarchs held this secret as of transcendant importance. Consequently, the Initiates who issued the Tarot, for use during the Aeon of Osiris, superseded the original card above described in "The Vision and the Voice". They were concerned to create a new Universe of their own; they were the fathers of Science. Their methods of working, grouped under the generic term Alchemy, have never been made public. The interesting point is that all developments of modern science in the last fifty years have given intelligent and instructed people the opportunity of reflecting that the whole trend of science has been to return to alchemical aims and (mutatis mutandis) methods. The secrecy observed by the alchemists was made necessary by the power of persecuting Churches. Bitterly as bigots fought among themselves, they were all equally concerned to destroy the infant Science, which, as they instinctively recognized, would put an end to the ignorance and faith on which their power and wealth depended.
The subject of this card is Analysis, followed by Synthesis. The first question asked by science is: "Of what are things composed? "This having been answered, the next question is: "How shall we recombine them to our greater advantage?" This resumes the whole policy of the Tarot.
The hooded figure which occupies the centre of the Card is another form of The Hermit, who is further explained in Atu IX. He is himself a form of the god Mercury, described in Atu I; he is closely shrouded, as if to signify that the ultimate reason of things lies in a realm beyond manifestation and intellect. (As elsewhere explained, only two operations are ultimately possible—analysis and synthesis). He is standing in the Sign of the Enterer, as if projecting the mysterious forces of creation. About his arms is a scroll, indicative of the Word which is alike his essence and his message. But the Sign of the Enterer is also the Sign of Benediction and of Consecration; thus his action in this card is the Celebration of the Hermetic Marriage. Behind him are the figures of Eve, Lilith and Cupid. This symbolism has been incorporated in order to preserve in some measure the original form of the card, and to show its derivation, its heirship, its continuity with the past. On the quiver of Cupid is inscribed the word Thelema, which is the Word of the Law. (See Liber AL, chap. I, verse 39.) His shafts are quanta of Will. It is thus shown that this fundamental formula of magical working, analysis and synthesis, persists through the Aeons.
One may now consider the Hermetic Marriage itself.
This part of the Card has been simplified from "the Chymical Marriage of Christian Rosenkreutz", a masterpiece too lengthy and diffuse to quote usefully in this place. But the essence of the analysis is the continuous see-saw of contradictory ideas. It is a glyph of duality. The Royal persons concerned are the Black or Moorish King with a golden crown, and the White Queen with a silver crown. He is accompanied by the
Red Lion, and she by the White Eagle. These are symbols of the male and female principles in Nature; they are therefore equally, in various stages of manifestation, Sun and Moon, Fire and Water, Air and Earth. In chemistry they appear as acid and alkali, or (more deeply) metals and non-metals, taking those words in their widest philosophical sense to include hydrogen on the one hand and oxygen on the other. In this aspect, the hooded figure represents the Protean element of carbon, the seed of all organic life.
The symbolism of male and female is carried on still further by the weapons of the King and Queen; he bears the Sacred Lance, and she the Holy Grail; their other hands are joined, as consenting to the Marriage. Their weapons are supported by twin children, whose positions are counterchanged; for the white child not only holds the Cup, but carries roses, while the black child, holding his father s Lance, carries also the club, an equivalent symbol. At the bottom of the whole is the result of the Marriage in primitive and pantomorphic form; it is the winged Orphic egg. This egg represents the essence of all that life which comes under this formula of male and female. It carries on the symbolism of the Serpents with which the King s robe is embroidered, and of the Bees which adorn the mantle of the Queen. The egg is grey, mingling white and black; thus it signifies the co-operation of the three Supernals of the Tree of Life. The colour of the Serpent is purple, Mercury in the scale of the Queen. It is the influence of that God manifested in Nature, whereas the wings are tinged with crimson, the colour (in the King scale) of Binah the great Mother. In this symbol is therefore a complete glyph of the equilibrium necessary to begin the Great Work. But, as to the final mystery, that is left unsolved. Perfect is the plan to produce life, but the nature of this life is concealed. It is capable of taking any possible form; but what form? That is dependent upon the influences attendant on gestation.

The figure in the air presents some difficulty. The traditional interpretation of the figure is that he is Cupid; and it is not at first clear what Cupid has to do with Gemini. No light is thrown upon this point by consideration of the position of the path upon the , for Gemini leads from Binah-Understanding to Tiphareth. There accordingly arises the whole question of Cupid. Roman gods usually represent a more material aspect of the Greek gods from whom they are derived; in this case, Eros. Eros is the son of Aphrodite, and tradition varies as to whether his father was Ares, Zeus or Hermes—that is, Mars, Jupiter or Mercury. His appearance in this card suggests that Hermes is the true sire; and this view is confirmed by the fact that it is not altogether easy to distinguish him from the child Mercury, for they have in common wantonness) irresponsibility, and the love of playing tricks. But in this image are peculiar characteristics. He carries a bow and arrows in a golden quiver. (He is sometimes represented with a torch.) He has golden wings, and is blindfolded. From this, it may appear that he represents the intelligent (and, at the same time, unconscious) will of the soul to unite itself with all and sundry, as has been explained in the general formula with regard to the agony of separateness.

No very special importance is attached to Cupid in alchemical figures. Yet, in one sense, he is the source of all action; the libido to express Zero as Two. From another point of view, he may be regarded as the intellectual aspect of the influence of Binah-Understanding upon Tiphareth, for (in one tradition) the title of the card is "The Children of the Voice, the Oracle of the Mighty Gods". From this point of view, he is a symbol of inspiration, descending upon the hooded figure, who is, in this instance, a prophet operating the conjunction of the King and Queen. His arrow represents the spiritual intelligence necessary in alchemical operations, rather than the mere hunger to perform them. On the other hand, the arrow is peculiarly a symbol of direction, and it is, therefore, proper to put the word "Thelema" in Greek letters on the quiver. It is also to be observed that the opposite card, Sagittarius, means the Bearer of the Arrow, or Archer, a figure who does not appear in any form in Atu XIV. These two cards are so complementary that they cannot be studied separately, for full interpretation.

The Urn


  • :The Urn
  •  Minor Arcanum: 
  •  :




 There cometh into the stone the great Angel whose name is Avé, and in him there are symbols which strive for mastery,—Sulphur and the Pentagram, and they are harmonized by the Swastika. These symbols are found both in the name of Avé and in the name of the Æthyr. Thus he is neither Horus nor Osiris.
He is called the radiance of Thoth; and this Æthyr is very hard to understand, for the images form and dissolve more rapidly than lightning. These images are the illusions made by the Ape of Thoth. And this I understand, that I am not worthy to receive the mysteries of this Æthyr. And all this which I have seen (being all the thoughts that I have ever thought) is, as it were, a guardian of the Æthyr.

I seem quite helpless. I am trying all sorts of magical methods of piercing the veil: and the more I strive, the farther away I seem to get from success. But a voice comes now: Must
not understanding lie open unto wisdom as the pyramids lie open to the stars?
Accordingly, I wait in a certain magical posture which it is not fitting to disclose, and above me appears the starry heaven of night, and one star greater than all the other stars. It is a star of eight rays. I recognize it as the star in the seventeenth key of the Tarot, as the Star of Mercury. And the light of it cometh from the path of Aleph.

And the letter Cheth is also involved in the interpretation of this star, and the paths of  hé and vau are the separations which this Star unites. And in the heart of the star is an exceeding splendour, —a god standing upon the moon, brilliant beyond imagining. It is like unto the vision of the Universal Mercury. But this is the Fixed Mercury, and hé and vau are the perfected sulphur and salt. But now I come into the centre of the maze, and whirling dust of stars and great forgotten gods. It is the whirling Svastika which throws off all these things, for the Svastika is in aleph by its shape and number, and in beth by the position of the arms of the Magician, and in gimel because of the sign of the Mourning of Isis, and thus is the Crown defended by these three thunderbolts. Is not thrice seventeen fifty-one, that is, failure and pain?

Now I am shut out again by this black Svastika with a corona  of fire about it.
And a voice cries: Cursed be he that shall uncover the nakedness of the Most High, for he is drunken upon the wine that is the blood of the adepts. And BABALON hath lulled him to
sleep upon her breast, and she hath fled away, and left him naked, and she hath called her children together, saying: Come up with me, and let us make a mock of the nakedness of the Most High.

And the first of the adepts covered His shame with a cloth, walking backwards; and was white. And the second of the adepts covered His shame with a cloth, walking sideways and was yellow. And the third of the adepts made a mock of His nakedness, walking forwards; and was black. And these are three great schools of the Magi, who are also the three Magi that journeyed unto Bethlehem; and because thou hast not wisdom, thou shalt not know which school prevaileth, or if the three schools be not one. For the Black Brothers lift not up their heads thus far into the Holy , for they were all drowned in the great flood, which is Binah-Understanding, before the true vine could be planted upon the holy hill of Zion.

Now again I stand in the centre, and all things whirl by with incessant fury. And the thought of the god entereth my mind, and I cry aloud: Behold, the volatile is become fixed; and in the heart of eternal motion is eternal rest. So is the Peace beneath the sea that rageth with her storms; so is the changeful moon, the dead planet that revolveth no more. So the far-seeing, the fardarting hawk is poised passionless in the blue; so also the ibis that is long of limb meditateth solitary in the sign of Sulphur.

Behold, I stand ever before the Eternal One in the sign of the Enterer. And by virtue of my speech is he wrapped about in silence, and he is wrapped in mystery by me, who am the Unveiler of the Mysteries. And although I be truth, yet do they call me rightly the God of Lies, for speech is two-fold, and truth is one. Yet I stand at the centre of the spider's web, whereof the golden filaments reach to infinity.
But thou that art with me in the spirit-vision art not with me by right of Attainment, and thou canst not stay in this place to behold how I run and return, and who are the flies that are caught in my web. For I am the inmost guardian that is immediately before the shrine.

None shall pass by me except he slay me, and this is his curse, that, having slain me, he must take my office and become the maker of Illusions, the great deceiver, the setter of snares; he who baffleth even them that have understanding. For I stand on every path, and turn them aside from the truth by my words, and by my magick arts.

And this is the horror that was shown by the lake that was nigh unto the City of the Seven Hills, and this is the Mystery of the great prophets that have come unto mankind. Moses, and Buddha, and Lao Tan, and Krishna, and Jesus, and Osiris, and Mohammed; for all these attained unto the grade of Magus, and therefore were they bound with the curse of Thoth. But, being guardians of the truth, they have taught nothing but falsehood, except unto such as understood; for the truth may not pass the Gate of the Abyss 25½°

But the reflection of the truth hath been shown in the lower Sephiroth. And its balance is in Beauty, and therefore have they who sought only beauty come nearest to the truth. For the beauty receiveth directly three rays from the supernals, and the others no more than one. So, therefore, they that have sought after majesty and power and victory and learning and happiness and gold, have been discomfited. And these sayings are the lights of wisdom that thou mayst know thy Master, for he is a Magus. And because thou didst eat of thestar vortexcassiopeiapomegranate Pomegranate in hell, for half the year art thou concealed, and half the year revealed.

Now I perceive the Temple that is the heart of this Æthyr; it is an Urn suspended in the air, without support, above the centre of a well. And the well hath eight pillars, and a canopy above it, and without there is a circle of marble paving-stones, and without them a great outer circle of pillars. And beyond there is  the forest of the stars. But the Urn is the wonderful thing in all this; it is made of fixed Mercury; and within it are the ashes of the Book Tarot, which hath been utterly consumed.

And this is that mystery which is spoken of in the Acts of the Apostles; that Jupiter and Mercury (Kether and Chokmah) visited (that is, inspired), Ephesus, the City of Diana, Binah—was not Diana a black stone?—and they burnt their books of magick.
Now it seems that the centre of infinite space is that Urn, and  Hadit is the fire that hath burnt up the book Tarot. For in the book Tarot was preserved all of the wisdom (for the Tarot was called the Book of Thoth), of the Æon that is passed. And in the Book of Enoch was first given the wisdom of the New Æon.
And it was hidden for three hundred years, because it was wrested untimely from the Tree of Life by the hand of a desperate magician. For it was the Master of that Magician who overthrew the power of the Christian church; but the pupil rebelled against the master, for he foresaw that the New (i.e., the Protestant) would be worse than the Old. But he understood not the purpose of his Master, and that was, to prepare the way for
the overthrowing of the Æon. There is a writing upon the Urn of which I can but read the (two) words: Stabat Crux juxta Lucem. Stabat Lux juxta Crucem.
And there is writing in Greek above that. The word ‘nox’ written in Greek, and a circle with a cross in the centre of it, a St. Andrew's cross.
Then above that is a sigil(?), hidden by a hand.
And a voice proceedeth from the Urn: From the ashes of the Tarot who shall make the phoenix-wand? Not even he who by his understanding hath made the lotus-wand to grow in the Great Sea. Get thee back, for thou art not an Atheist, and though thou have violated thy mother, thou hast not slain thy father. Get thee back from the Urn; thy ashes are not hidden here.

Then again arose the God Thoth, in the sign of the Enterer,and he drove the seer from before his face. And he fell through the starry night unto the little village in the desert.



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