The Inner Zodiac
Man hath weaved out a net and this net thrown upon the Heavens, and now they are his own – John Donne (Anatomie of the World)
Tarot, Astrology, Kabala and Numerology are sister disciplines. They are not meant to be studied, taught or practiced separately, as is all too common today.
Those who wish to practice these Arts esoterically, must use the four together. However, the secret of how this is performed is not of interest to most exoteric practitioners. The “glue,” so to speak, that holds the four great Arts together has been ignored and largely forgotten. Fortunately it has been re-discovered and explained in the Taroscopic System. In this regard, the Taroscopic System signals a major revision of what we presently know about the Hermetic Arts of Divination.
How important are the Divination Arts? Well, on the subject of astrology many great sages have spoken. Swiss psychologist Carl Gustav Jung accurately wrote: …astrology represents the summation of all the psychological knowledge of antiquity.
In The Secret Doctrine, Helena Petrovna Blavatsky emphasizes astrology’s ancient origins:
Whether the origin of the zodiac is Aryan or Egyptian, it is still of immense antiquity. Simplicius (sixth century AD) writes that he had always heard that the Egyptians had kept astronomical observations and records for at least 630,000 years…Diogenes Laertius carried back the astronomical calculations of the Egyptians to 48,863 years before Alexander the Great. Maritanus Capella corroborates the same by telling posterity that the Egyptians had secretly studied astronomy for over 40,000 years before they imparted their knowledge to the world
Of the many differences between Taroscopic and conventional astrology, that of greatest import concerns what I refer to as the “Inner Zodiac.” Contrary to what is believed by exoteric practitioners of the ancient “Round Art,” the zodiac is not merely an external phenomenon. On the contrary, it is a psychic apparatus. It is an enfolded attribute of the psyche; an ancestral image embedded within the so-called race memory. In Jungian parlance, it is an constellation of archetypes projected by consciousness onto the external world.
A man’s destiny, they say, is written in the stars. All he’ll ever do, all he’ll ever love, all he’ll ever be…If this be true, as I now suppose it must, only one question remains: who does the writing? – (Introduction: The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde, Curtis Signature Collection)
As seasoned students know, the study of astrology and its sister Divination Arts reveals the secret connections between psychic and physical energy.
Irish Druids, Egyptian Amenists, Native American Shaman, and members of the Stellar Cults of the ancient world (the Arya) understood the subtle relationship between mental processes and physical events. Long before the advent of the modern age – before Quantum Science and Holographic Theory – sages of old knew about the so-called “Implicate Order” and deep relationship between consciousness and matter. They knew there was no essential difference between microcosm and macrocosm.
After the great Stellar Cults fell from power, two changes occurred which had negative consequences for existence. Firstly, in the astrological canon, the sun replaced the stars as the dominant principle – or in other words, sun gods such as Amen Ra, Horus and Aton, gained supremacy over ancient stellar deities such as Set, Thoth and Taurt – and, secondly, the ego became the center of the psyche. Consequently, the antique precepts of astrological divination were gradually ignored. Knowledge of the Inner Zodiac was lost and men began believing the fallacy that consciousness and destiny are affected, in some undefined manner, by distant rocks floating in space. This “magic rays” nonsense continues to be promulgated and accepted by exoteric practitioners of the so-called New Age Movement. Regrettably, the prevalence of this fallacy means scientifically-minded men remain contemptuously dismissive of astrology. They turn from arcane metascience which might otherwise receive positive attention.
The word zodiac – from the Greek zoon – means “living creatures” or “living beings.” This emphasizes that the zodiac is a living phenomenon. If the signs of the zodiac are discovered in the heavens, they got there by way of the psyche’s strange but scientifically acknowledged capacities of projection and inflation. In short, the famous horoscope of twelve signs exists above us as a omnidirectional cinema-like projection of the innate twelvefold divisions of consciousness. As the twelve disciples of Jesus represented aspects of his own consciousness, so do the twelve signs of the celestial zodiac represent the twelve archetypal facets of the psyche. Hermetic Arts not founded on this fundamental precept are inauthentic. Astrology not based upon this precept is, in our opinion, not true astrological divination.
Know that the philosopher has power over the stars, and not the stars over him –Paracelsus
It is an erroneous interpretation of astrology to opine that special forces emanate from the planets and the stars – R. A. Schwaller de Lubicz (Sacred Science)
The collective unconscious appears to consist of mythological motifs or primordial images, for which reason the myths of all nations are its real exponents. In fact the whole of mythology could be taken as a sort of projection of the collective unconscious. We can see this most clearly if we look at the heavenly constellations, whose originally chaotic forms are organized through the projection of images. This explains the influence of the stars as asserted by astrologers. These influences are nothing but unconscious introspective perceptions of the collective unconscious – Carl Jung
As we all know science began with the stars, and mankind discovered in them the dominants of the unconscious, the “gods,” as well as the curious psychological qualities of the Zodiac: a complete projected theory of human character – ibid
The idea is to demonstrate that the zodiac is an archetype, not only within the collective unconscious, but within the fabric of reality itself…as a ground plan of creation. This archetype has not been invented. It exists, and knowledge of it has been developed in step with evolving human consciousness – Denis Elwell
Another important difference between Taroscopic and conventional astrological systems concerns the connections between astrology and Tarot. Indeed, we can go so far as to say that Tarot is the most precious Hermetic Art. This is because it alone makes use of a rich palate of archetypal images that resonate with deeper dimensions of consciousness. Sadly, as in the case of astrology, the Tarot has also long been misunderstood and misrepresented. It was not created by Gypsies; is not expressly for the use of fortune-tellers; and not merely a pastime for those who enjoy card games.
…the Alphabet of Thoth can be dimly traced in the modern Tarot which can be had at almost every bookseller in Paris. As for it being understood or utilized, the many fortune-tellers in Paris, who make a professional living by it, are sad specimens of failures of attempts at reading, let alone correctly interpreting the symbolism of the Tarot without a preliminary philosophical study of the Science– Helena Petrovna Blavatsky
The medieval packs are hopelessly corrupt or otherwise far from presenting the Ancient Truth of the Book in a coherent system or shape of lucid beauty – Aleister Crowley (The Book of Thoth)
We emphasize that each man is his own priest and each woman her own priestess. This doctrine was taught to adepts in ancient times, before the rise of orthodox religions and oppressive political and educational institutions. Ancient elders emphasized the need for independent moral and spiritual development. The purpose of the Hermetic Arts is to aid men on their journey toward psychic hygiene and wholeness, or as Carl Jung expressed it, toward Individuation.
Ancient adepts knew a toxic, virtueless man cannot hope to have healthy relationships with other human beings. More importantly, they knew such a man has a dysfunctional relationship with himself. Texts and inscriptions from antiquity leave us in no doubt about how important Selfhood and Self-discovery were to ancient elders:
Self-Realization is necessary before God-Realization – Vedic Adage
Know Thyself – Inscription at Delphi
He who knows himself knows god – Clement of Alexandria
The most excellent and important among all forms of knowledge is therefore self-knowledge; for if one knows himself he can also know God – Clement of Alexandria
Jesus said: If you have gained this within you, what you have will save you. If you do not have this in you, what you do not have in you will kill you – Gospel of Thomas
I pray Thee, O God, that I may be beautiful within – Socrates
According to Bishop Epiphanius, the Krist is the spiritual self within each person – Tony Bushby (The Bible Fraud)
The Egyptians had no vicarious atonement, no imputed righteousness, no second-hand salvation. No initiate in the Osirian mysteries could possibly have rested his hope of reaching heaven on the Galilean line of glory. His was the more crucial way of Amenta…to tread with the guidance of the word, that step by step and act by act he must himself make true – Gerald Massey (Ancient Egypt: Light of the World)
The Egyptians, Babylonians, Greeks and Romans, had no word in their language for sin: the Israelites introduced both the word and the concept into the stream of Western civilization and by doing so diverted it – Leonard Shlain (The Alphabet Versus the Goddess)
Clement of Alexandria said enlightenment was possible “when the two shall be one, the outside as the inside, and the male and the female neither male nor female.” This strange statement refers to an Alchemical process known as Hieros Gamos or Chemycal Wedding. It was a process of central importance to the elders who conceived the magical arts. It was of paramount importance to the creators of Tarot. In fact, if we study Arcanum I – The Magician – we see four symbols united, as it were, on a single table top. That’s right, the Magician is in the process of transmuting Fourness into Oneness.
The four objects on his table – the Wand, Cup, Sword and Disk – symbolize the four suits of the Tarot, and also the four elements: Fire, Water, Air and Earth. They also symbolize the four hemispheres of consciousness: Intuition, Emotion, Intellect and Sensation. One might say they symbolize the four great Arts of Tarot, Astrology, Kabala and Numerology which must be harmonized if the Great Work is to proceed successfully.
That we are right to speak of Tarot’s connection to consciousness is confirmed by a study of the Magician’s peculiar table. We notice it has a square top and three legs. This is because the card represents, among many things, the Great Pyramid in Egypt. The Pyramid has sides of three and a base of four. The Magician’s table has three legs and square top. The letter associated with the card is “B,” known in Hebrew as Beth. This term means “house” and connotes the “House of God.” In Egypt, the Pyramid was considered the House of God, as was the human body. So we understand the double meaning of the letter associated with Arcanum I. Of course numerically speaking, three times four equals twelve, the number of the zodiac. So, the Magician’s table can be regarded as an allusion to the twelve signs of the zodiac, which incidentally are divided into divisions of three and four. In short, Arcanum I emphasizes that the Divination Arts must be combined if consciousness is to be unified. Consciousness is fourfold and so are the Hermetic Arts. When the tools are harmonized, consciousness attains the fifth stage or Quintessence.
When thou hast made the quadrangle round, Then is all the secret found – George Ripley (Alchemist, 1490)
Through circumrotation, or a circular philosophical revolving of the quaternity, it is brought back to the highest and purest simplicity of the monad. Out of the gross and impure One there cometh an exceeding pure and subtile Monad – Heinrich Khunrath (Alchemist, 1597)
…the Kabalists hold that these four principles penetrate and create everything. Therefore, when the man finds these four principles in things and phenomena of quite different categories (where before he had not seen similarity), he begins to see analogy between these phenomena. And, gradually, he becomes convinced that the whole world is built according to one and the same law, on one and the same plan. The richness and growth of his intellect consists in the widening of his faculty for finding analogies. Therefore the study of the law of the four letters, or the name of Jehovah presents a powerful means for widening consciousness – P. D. Ouspensky
The Major Arcana has esoteric correspondences to the Egyptian, Hebrew, Irish and English magical alphabets, Kabalistic Tree of Life, chakra system, alchemical process, Precession of the Equinoxes, process of Individuation, yearly maturation of a human being, personality types, sequential movement of historical centuries (from the first to the twenty first), periodic table of elements, and several other esoteric and exoteric phenomena.
It is for good reason sages referred to the Tarot as the “Book of Life.” In fact, when students of Alchemy pontificate about the mysterious “Emerald Tablets of Hermes,” they fail to realize they refer to the seventy-eight cards of the Tarot.
The antiquity of this book is lost in the night of time…And goes back to an epoch long before Moses…It was written upon detached leaves, which at the first were of fine gold and precious metals…It is symbolical, and its combinations adapt themselves to all the wonders of the Spirit. Altered by its passage across the Ages, it is nevertheless preserved – thanks to the ignorance of the curious – Eliphas Levi
As an erudite Kabalistic book, all combinations of which reveal the harmonies preexisting between signs, letters and numbers, the practical value of the Tarot is truly and above all marvelous. A prisoner devoid of books, had he only a Tarot of which he knew how to make use, could in a few years acquire a universal science, and converse with an unequalled doctrine and inexhaustible eloquence – ibid
The Tarot embodies symbolical presentations of universal ideas, behind which lie all the implicits of the human mind, and it is in this sense that they contain secret doctrine, which is the realization by the few of truths embedded in the consciousness of all – A. E. Waite (The Key to the Tarot, Part II)
The Tarot can be considered one chapter, so to speak, in the greater Book of Symbolism. Its seventy-eight enigmatic pages of images, together with their geometrical, numerological and Astro-Theological motifs assist the adept to open the doors to his inner Wisdom Body or “Living Oracle.”
The means of entering into dialogue with the Living Oracle involves the correct usage of, and meditation upon, iconic images such as those in the Major Arcana. The images are figurative representations of our archetypal intelligence not normally accessible to the ego. This intelligence emanates from deeper hemispheres of consciousness.
As atoms are to matter, archetypes are to consciousness. The archetypes, as Alchemists of old understood, express themselves via images, colors, numbers, geometric shapes and musical harmonics. This fact was rediscovered and reiterated by Sigmund Freud and Carl Gustav Jung, and recently re-emphasized by Mircea Eliade, Joseph Campbell, Leonard Shlain and Bruce Lipton.
True symbolism depends on the fact that things, which may differ from one another in time, space, material nature, and many other limitative characteristics, can possess and exhibit the same essential quality – Titus Burckhardt (Alchemy)
Technically speaking, it is the so-called “right-hemisphere” of the brain that houses the ancestral intelligence or Living Oracle. This field of intelligence was referred to by William Blake as the “Imagination.” Its natural flow is, however, blocked shortly after we are born. It must be unblocked and communed with if life is to have meaning and enlightenment is to be attained.
Each card is, in a sense, a living being and its relation with its neighbors are what one might call diplomatic. It is for the student to build these living stones into his living temple – Aleister Crowley (The Book of Thoth)
If the great arts were good enough for Pythagoras and Egyptian sages who constructed the pyramids and temples of the Nile Valley, they are obviously good enough for modern man. Unfortunately, due to generations of indoctrination and persecution, inhabitants of the modern world suffer from “symbolic illiteracy.” Western man certainly excels at verbal communication. However, words prove less useful when we attempt to commune with deeper hemispheres of consciousness. They cannot open the way to the Living Oracle. That task is accomplished by symbols.
Scientists know verbal communication is a phylogenetically recent phenomenon. Moreover, as we said, it is only the smallest part of consciousness that expresses itself through language. It has recently been discovered that the human brain contains over 240,000 neural threads, enough to stretch from the earth to the moon. On each micrometer of these threads data is stored as pictograms or composite images, not words.
With the advent of verbal and written communication, humankind experienced a cognitive shift from a polyphrenic, holarchic mindset to the monophrenic, hierarchic mindset known today. The mythographers responsible for the rise of Judeo-Christianity saw to it that the Word of God replaced the more antique Image of God. In the Commandments we have the prohibition against “graven images,” that is, against symbols of divinity. Interesting that this particular prohibition comes before that against murder.
You shalt not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is under the water of the earth – (Exodus 20:4)
…According to the Ten Commandments, art, therefore, is more dangerous than murder – Leonard Shlain (The Alphabet Versus the Goddess)
Jewish law forbids the making of any graven images of the kind. Even the Jews of the present time will not permit any sculptured figures to be set up as monuments – James Hewitt Brown (Stellar Theology and Masonic Astronomy)
What are graven images? They are pictures. They are images of the gods or, more correctly, of the archetypes. Ireland, Egypt, and India were covered with such images, and all ancient cultures understood the mother tongue of Spirit was symbolism. They also understood the night sky was the tablet on which the “gods” communicated to initiated men who knew how to correctly decipher and interpret what was transmitted.
In order for the Solar Cult to successfully supersede and eradicate Stellar and Lunar Cults, there had to be an all-out prohibition against iconic images. This blatant act of colonization had several motivations. It served to suppress and eventually eradicate the pagans and their ways, and also allowed their destroyers to appropriate and pervert their symbolic canon. In other words, the archive of symbols that once served to uplift the soul of man now serves the opposite purpose.
The Old Testament is believed to have been based on the Torah. What is not commonly known or readily admitted, however, is that the Jewish Torah is itself based upon the Aryan Tarot. In fact, the words Torah and Tarot come from the same root, meaning “way” or “law.”
The Book of Genesis recorded that the plural word for Tarot was Torot. Therefore, the Torah represents a singular body of instruction or guidance in book form, and the Tarot signifies the plural version containing 22 individual picture cards of instruction or guidance. The word Torot became Tarot in the English language just as Ishtar became Easter – Tony Bushby (Secret in the Bible)
Remains of the original Tarot designs can be seen today in ruins of the temple of Thebes, capital of Egypt in 2000 BC, particularly on ancient ceilings in the halls of the palace of Medinet-Abou. Moreover, the 22 major cards are also found paralleled in the Book of the Dead, etched into stone crypts as vignettes or word sketches thousands of years ago – ibid
Originally the terms denoted the ancient Stellar goddess Taurt (pronounced Tah Urt). Her name can also be rendered Tauret, Taweret, Tarut, and so on.
Hippo Goddess Taurt (Tarot) in the center of ancient Dendera Zodiac. She was rendered as a great Bear by astrologers occupying more northerly climes. The ancient term for a bear was “art.” The syllable is found in the name Arthur, as in King Arthur, meaning “Bear Man,” and it also connotes “the first,” “the primordial,” the “most ancient,” as in ark, arche and archetypal, etc. The northern astrological enclosure of the Great Bear Mother is the original “Arcadia” or paradise. The term Ursa (as found in Ursa Minor and Ursa Major) means “little bear.
Taurt was the antetype of later sky and earth goddesses such as Apt, Wadjet, Nekhbet, Isis, Hathor and Nuith, etc. She is the original Virgin Mary. Masculine gods such as Atum, Amen, Ptah, Osiris, Anubis and Thoth, etc, were her children. Even the ruling Pharaoh was her terrestrial emissary. Several cards of the Major Arcana, such as the High Priestess, Empress, Justice, Star and Universe, directly refer to Taurt or similar Stellar goddesses of antiquity.
As we said, the suppression of symbolic motifs served to empower the demagogues of Judeo-Christianity. Religious indoctrination has served to disconnect men from nature, their supreme teacher and guide. Nowadays most men think of themselves as individuals when they are quite the opposite. Their dependency on one another is almost total. Spiritually, man does not look within for guidance; he looks to priests, pastors and gurus of every sort. The more man looks outwardly, the weaker he becomes psychically. And this meets with Establishment approval. The misleaders adore psychically mutilated men too narcissistic, obedient and self-sadistic to pose a threat to their dominion. When a man gets anxious over inner sterility, he is handed a large book of words. The Bible gives him his instructions. It tells him what to do and what to suppress and condemn. It tells him what is good and what is evil.
By the invincible power of traditional subservience, the inertia of the general mind, enhanced by the gullibility of ignorance, the masses have slipped under the force of a victimization that is both pitiable and tragic…Religious thought has detached itself from nature and searches in the illimitable areas of feeling, thought, and wonder for what understanding these may yield it…Religion is not the realm of knowledge, or even of thought, but purely of belief, as for the masses…All this chaos in the religious area was attended, accentuated, if not largely inspired by, one of the most staggering phenomena in the history of the race. This was – and is – the presence, power, and influence of – a book! – Alvin Boyd Kuhn (The Ultimate Canon of Knowledge)
Of course, where there are words there are images. One cannot be separated from the other. When, for example, a passage of the Bible is read aloud, it conjures images in our minds. This is because the mind thinks magically, or should we say imagically. The greatest words, those written by the poets, are “great” because of their capacity to convey images. We are not, therefore, moved by words as much as we are moved by the images words give rise to. And the images that move us are conjured within consciousness. Words, therefore, are merely carriers of images.
How often have we said or heard a phrase such as: “If I could only convey or explain what I see, then you would understand?” How often do we say or hear: “I’ll see what I can do?” When complications arise, and when conflicts occur, it is not over the images we have but the words we speak. It occurs because of what we say and how we say it. Images are essentially nonviolent. Moreover, words are of the Left-Brain. When we speak to someone, they do not hear us with the whole of their mind. And when someone speaks to us, our defenses are up. We hear the speaker with a small part of our brain. This is why we tend to be more receptive and attentive to those we know and care for.
Fundamentally, images do not normally foster gross misinterpretation or zealotry. They are synthetic, mutable and anomalous. They lead to words and speech but also to silence. They are cryptaesthetic and welcome multiple interpretations. Archetypal images, as found in great art, Alchemy, Tarot, or yantras and mandalas, awaken us to kataphatic knowledge, where knower and known are not polarized. When a sacerdotal image or geometric shape is deeply contemplated, it transmutes consciousness from the “hylic” (or base) level to the “phosphoric” (or spiritual) level. It opens consciousness to the reservoir of ancestral wisdom. This is why ancient Druids and Amenists cherished hierograms, and why Indo-Aryan sages employed mandalas and yantras. It explains why Tarot was conceived.
The man who understands a symbol not only opens himself to the objective world but at the same time succeeds in emerging from his personal situation and reaching a comprehension of the universal…thanks to the symbol, the individual experience is “awoken” and transmuted into a spiritual act – Mircea Eliade
As a result of his fragmented psychic state, the symbolically illiterate man is less able to resist the propaganda of the hidden dictators who control the world. He is vulnerable and perpetually victimized by overlords who manipulate his beliefs and allegiances. As time goes by, he becomes completely dependent on his masters, and will do and think whatever keeps him in subconscious rapport with them. If maintaining the status quo means loss of individuality, it is a sacrifice he makes. Modern man has just enough freedom to entrap himself, enough will to enslave himself, and enough understanding to choose ignorance.
The creative intelligence, from which modern man is divorced, can be likened to a great river upon which floats the fragile boat of ego-consciousness. The great river – or Imperial Self – has its own mysterious flow and course. It has its own enigmatic voice which speaks to each person in a unique manner. The voice man harkens to and takes for a guide is merely the voice of his ego or pseudo-self. Modern man’s failure to attune to his inner voice ensures he lives inauthentically. He endures a life full of competitiveness, envy, guilt, sorrow, loss and waste. Clinging to socially-vetted roles and plethora of ready-made escapes from the roles, man falls victim to what Alexis de Tocqueville referred to as the “tyranny of the masses.” Image-starved, he seeks to alleviate his systemic impoverishment in a compulsive manner, hence his addiction to television, video games, sports, pornography, advertisements, drugs, and all manner of virtual realities. However, these are temporary panaceas. They do not empower spiritually or lead to wisdom.
Fortunately, there are remedies for the state of decay. Working with the Divination Arts opens dialogue with the inner Wisdom Body or Living Oracle. The Divination Arts are the Western Magical Tradition. They bring magic back into our lives. They inspire, unveil and empower. The student who learns how to use the Arts correctly discovers their power and magnificence, and most importantly, learns to “know himself.”
The Tarot contains indeed the mystery of all such transmutations of personages into sidereal bodies and vice versa. The “Wheel of Enoch” is an archaic invention, the most ancient of all, for it is found in China. Eliphas Levi says there was not a nation but had it, its real meaning being preserved in the greatest secrecy. It is a universal heirloom – Helena Blavatsky
Psychologically, the cards of the Tarot, and personal Tarot chart, demarcate the “Rites of Passage” that occur throughout our lives. There are many such rites and they cannot be avoided. Each stage is usually distinguished by intense emotional experiences. They can be considered times of peak experience. However, they can also be times of emotional and spiritual challenge, when we are hindered by authority figures or strange inner compulsions that disturb our equipoise and upset our domestic routine.
The average person may experience approximately seven major Rites of Passage during their lives. The awakened person can have more, while a symbolically literate, self-realized person’s life may be considered one continuous Rite of Passage. The round of twenty two Major Arcana demarcate and illustrate the journey of these types.
The obvious Rites of Passage have been recognized by mainstream psychologists and philosophers for some time. They include birth, entrance to school, puberty, leaving school, the first sexual experience, the first job, marriage, giving birth, loss of a parent (or similar significant trauma), the astrological “Saturn Return,” divorce, menopause, retirement, and death. There are many others, such as moments of betrayal or punishment for misdeeds, and so on, not to mention the various euphoric experiences of a creative, religious or mystical nature.
Philosophically speaking, the Rites of Passage exist as unavoidable phases or stages of maturation. They are periods when the “horizontal” axis of our ego-life (or inauthentic existence) crosses the “vertical” axis of Selfhood (or authentic existence). When we live an ego-life, we are primarily concerned with recreation and occupation. When we live our according to the dictates of our Imperial Self we are primarily concerned with vocation. Each person’s ego-life has its own particular rhythm, movement and duration. Therefore, no two people experience the Rites in the same way. The nature of a person’s ego and the form the Rites take are revealed in a Divination Chart. By way of our Taroscopic Chart we receive invaluable instruction about the kinds of experiences we can expect as we enter the transformative phase. The insight we glean from a Chart enables us to make the best of what we experience. We get a clearer understanding of what our challenges and lessons will be.
For materialistic people the various Rites of Passage are experienced as uncomfortable and even alarming deviations from the sunny world of the ego. They are considered obscene interruptions in the routine or punctures in the bubble of normality. Due to these detours and times when the wires get crossed, we find ourselves doing very strange things. The rules of the game evaporate or even appear grotesque during, and experiences from the past, like advice of other people, become as useful as signposts in a ghost town.
The man content to remain on an infantile level of consciousness, does not pass successfully through the Rites of Passage. He does not mature and evolve. In fact, he may give way to fear and addiction in order to avoid purifying his psyche. The indifferent man remains fixed on the hylic (or base) level of existence. The magic of life passes him by. He may come to lament his life without realizing he is responsible for what comes his way. As Athenian philosophers stated, “a man’s character is his fate.” It follows that the more unique a person’s character, the more unique their Individuation Process will be and more distinctive the Rites of Passage leading to it.
The Process of Individuation was known, under other names, to Alchemists and mystics. They described the process figuratively as the “Quartering” or “Quaternity.” In the discipline of Sacred Geometry, as practiced by Pythagoras, Agrippa, Vitruvius, da Vinci, and other sages, it was depicted by a motif known as “Squaring the Circle.” In Christian Scripture the perfected state of consciousness is alluded to in the Book of Ezekiel as the “fourfold vision of God.” In the New Testament the nucleation of four hemispheres is subtextually referenced in the imagery of the crucifixion of Jesus on Golgotha or Skull Hill. Indeed, the phenomenon is to be found in numerous traditions throughout the world.
Lack of acknowledgement of the Rites of Passage thrusts a man toward the precipice of psychosis and oblivion. We now find millions of anxiety-ridden people prostrating their dignity and sanity before the sterile religions which, like dead suns in the cold wastes of space, offer neither light nor warmth.
During a Rite of Passage the Imperial Self attempts to provide us with the opportunity to move beyond the “horizontal” sphere of existence. In mystical terms, we get a chance to make a proactive shift from Karmic to Dharmic life. When in karma, ignorance is king. Death and the Devil are constant companions. In karmic life there is scant protection against the storms of fate. We exist because we learn to lean on hand rails provided by society. We learn to depend on so-called rights and privileges bestowed by worldly authorities. If the gifts of the world are forthcoming, we deem ourselves contented. If they fail to manifest, we become neurotic and depressed. We strike out at others, and end by cursing ourselves.
Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You close the Kingdom of Heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to – (Matthew 23)
Though Christ a thousand times in Bethlehem be born, But not within thyself, thy soul will be forlorn; The cross on Golgotha thou lookest to in vain, Unless within thyself it be set up again – Angelus Silesius
The Imitatio Christi will forever have this disadvantage: we worship a man as a divine model, embodying the deepest meaning of life, and then out of sheer imitation we forget to make real the profound meaning present in ourselves – Carl Gustav Jung
When we live authentically – in Dharma – we are mutable, open and real. Bad things happen and we still know adversity. However, our attitude toward the vagaries of life is not that of the karmic man. Our perspective and comprehension of what transpires is radically more mature and insightful. We are more than survivors, we are creators. We operate in the world as our own priests or priestesses, reinventing ourselves daily. We become our own teachers and cease being guided by the misguided. We do not wait for life to give us meaning, rather we bring meaning from within ourselves.
In order to actualize our Dharma we must first clean our emotions and psyche. This in turn means enduring many sacrifices. We come to understand what Sophocles meant when he wrote: “Nothing vast enters the life of mortals without a curse.”
Regardless of the nature or intensity of the Rites of Passage, we are not condemned to go through them blindly. The four great Arts of Divination, when correctly applied, provide us with the pertinent information we need to negotiate them correctly. By way of the Tarot and its sister Arts we receive clear information about the events, experiences, opportunities, relationships, obstacles, challenges and warnings coming our way during Rites of Passage. When correctly constructed and interpreted, our Chart becomes an invaluable compass leading us safely through the shallows and depths of the omnidirectional ocean of life. After all, as we said, the zodiac and the chart are extensions of our consciousness. The chart merely encapsulates the directions and advice of our Imperial Self.
God has placed at every man’s side a guardian, the Daemon of each man, who is charged to watch over him; a Daemon that cannot sleep, nor be deceived. What greater and more watchful guardian could have been committed to us? So, when you have shut the doors, and made darkness in the house, remember, never to say that you are alone; for you are not alone. But God is there, and your Daemon is there – Epictetus
The Divination Arts of Astrology, Tarot, Kabala, and Numerology, are the only diagnostic tools to provide insight into the Rites of Passage. They were in the world long before high price psychologists and counselors who are good at the patch-up but not much good at prevention.
Learning to create and interpret one’s own Taroscopic Chart is enjoyable and empowering. Giving readings to other people is one of the best ways to serve humanity. Of course, the Arts are merely instruments revealing the anatomy of a client’s psyche. They reveal what lies hidden from conscious awareness.
The Tarot can be thought of as a cathedral. Individual cards operate like a cathedral’s beautiful stained-glass windows, and spreads can be likened to the “light” which passes, with varied intensity, through the windows. An adept reader merely relates to his client what their own Imperial Self seeks to reveal. From mundane domestic issues to the great questions of life, the Divination Arts provide answers and guidance.
…perhaps there is a pattern set up in the heavens for one who desires to see it, and having seen it, to find one in himself – Plato
It is beyond question that the great ancient design of the zodiac is a wondrously conceived graph aimed to depict the structure of the Logos, the pattern or creative evolution, the essential constitution of the universe and the course of the current of life in the cosmos, and by analogy in man the microcosmic replica of the macrocosm…Man…was to fashion his new body of spiritual glory “after the pattern of the heavens,” the frame of the heavenly or zodiacal man, the primal Adam – Alvin Boyd Kuhn
Simply put, our lives can be compared to a complex jigsaw puzzle. We are each committed to put the myriad pieces together and and complete the puzzle. However, with any real puzzle we get if we choose to first observe the picture on the lid of the box before we begin. Seeing the picture is essential if we are to complete the jigsaw. It is a glimpse of the overall picture of existence that the Tarot and the other Divination Arts provide.
Psychology text books of future generations will look back on the modern psychologists working without the aid of astrology as being like the medieval astronomers working without the aid of the telescope – Richard Tarnas PhD