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Serial Lesson 31
From Course VI, The Sacred Tarot, Chapter 11
Original Copyright 1936, Elbert Benjamine (a.k.a. C. C. Zain)
Copyright 2011, The Church of Light
Subheadings: The Birth Chart Talismans Other Than Gems Response to Healing The Star Horseman Court Cards The Moon Spread of 36
Illustrations: The Star The Moon The Spread of 36 The Eights
Chronology of the Tarot
AS the tarot is a pictorial synthesis of the universe, not only must it correspond to astrological influences, but also to the various divisions of time which are measured by these influences.
Already I have pointed out in some detail the strict correspondence between the 22 Major Arcana and the 10 planets and 12 zodiacal signs, that the 12 common Court Arcana describe people born under each of the 12 signs of the zodiac, and that the 4 horseman Court Arcana signify thoughts that relate to the 4 departments of life.
Now, as fully explained in Chapters 1 and 2 (Serial Lessons 103 & 104) of Course X-I, Delineating The Horoscope, each zodiacal sign is divided into three equal sections, called decanates. Each of these decanates embraces 10 degrees of the zodiac and has an influence distinctly its own. Thus in each quadrant of the zodiac there are 9 decanates. These decanates of the zodiac, however, each belong to one of the four elements; that is, to the triplicity of fire, of water, of air or of earth. The 10th, or transitional influence, therefore, represents the element to which the 9 decanates belong; for the 9 decanates are distributed among the three signs which make up one of the zodiacal triplicities. Thus the Minor Arcana of any one suit do not belong to one quadrant of the zodiac, but to signs in three quadrants; the triplicity to which they belong being designated by the suit, and the 10th Minor Arcanum of each suit, representing the completion of the cycle of that element and a transition to some other, more conveniently being placed adjoining the fixed sign of the element to which its suit belongs.
The astrological relationship of each card of the tarot is given in the key on page . This key contains vastly more than is apparent at first glance, and is well worth careful study followed by deep meditation. The ring of the key shows the rulership of each decanate and each triplicity of the zodiacal circle in relation to each of the 40 Minor Arcana of the tarot. The stem of the key shows the relation between each planet and sign to one of the 22 Major Arcana. The wards of the key turn in the three worlds; physical, astral and spiritual. And the people who exert an influence in these three worlds, and the four types of their thoughts, are shown on these wards as the 16 Court Arcana.
Here, however, we are more interested in chronology. The 12 common Court Arcana which represent people born during each of the 12 months, of course, correspond to the 12 months of the year. The 4 Horsemen, who represent the type of influence each person exerts through his thoughts, correspond to the distinctive influence exerted by each of the four seasons. If we include the 40 Minor Arcana, giving to each suit 13 cards in addition to the Horsemen, they then correspond to the influence of the 4 seasons, which contain 13x4, or 52 weeks. And the 22 Major Arcana then represent the 22 astrological influences that cause the weeks and seasons.
The numerical value of the Minor Arcana of each suit, obtained by adding their numbers, is 55; or 220 for all 40 cards. The value of the 12 common Court Arcana is 10 each, or 120. The value of the Horsemen is one each, or 4 for all; and as each Major Arcanum represents a single principle, if we omit the no-numbered tarot for the present, it gives us for the value of the whole tarot pack, 220 plus 120 plus 4 plus 21, or 365.
Yet the no-numbered tarot does not represent exactly zero, but any indeterminate quantity, which in this case may be taken as a trifle more than ¼. This no-numbered tarot, which here is given an arbitrary value of slightly more than ¼, represents both the unknown factors of astronomical calculations and of human endeavors. It recognizes that both people and stellar bodies have the power to deviate slightly through the use of their own volition from any orbit defined for them by environmental influences. It thus signifies the inherent power of action known as Free Will. But in the Chronology we are considering it becomes something more than ¼ day in excess of 365, such as is found in a year.
The Birth Chart
Turning now to a more practical application, it is found that the Major Arcana can give the astrologer additional information, when it is required, about a birth-chart or a progressed chart. The chart may be completely read, if desired, by placing each of the Major Arcana on the place occupied in the chart by its corresponding astrological sign or planet. Then it should be noted what might be expected, in the houses where the influences fall, from such combinations of forces as are shown by the tarot cards when united, either discordantly or harmoniously, as indicated by the astrological aspects.
The chief value of the tarots to the astrologer, however, is their use in this manner when he is in doubt, or needs additional information. When, in natal astrology, horary astrology, mundane astrology, stellar diagnosis, or in any other branch, he finds some difficult problem, such as determining what will transpire under a certain progressed aspect; if he will combine the cards according to the aspects and conditions in the chart, they often will shed an illuminating light that makes the answer clear.
Talismans Other Than Gems
Although stones and gems are more durable than others, they are not the only substances that can be used as talismans. Plants, for instance, have a temporary talismanic value when worn by those in whose birth-charts the sign ruling the plant is harmonious. And because some plants may be quite antagonistic to an individual, it is much better to select plants for the home and garden, not indiscriminately, but with the end in view of obtaining such as have a strengthening quality of astral vibration, and the aromas of which furnish subtle essences harmonious to the soul.
For talismanic purposes the young growing shoots or the parts bearing the flowers and seeds should be used. A good time to gather plants, either for talismanic or medicinal purposes, is during the hour just before the Moon rises in the sign ruling the plant, the best time being just at moonrise while the moon is in the sign ruling the plant.
Animals also sometimes have an influence similar to talismans, this being particularly true of domestic pets, such as cats, dogs and horses. When the attachment between the pet and its master is pronounced there is a keen desire on the part of the animal to afford protection and benefit. This desire stimulates its unconscious mind. And the unconscious mind, even of a creature much lower in the scale than man, through its psychic senses, has a very wide scope of perception. Not being inhibited by reason, the things that it thus senses psychically may make quite a strong impression upon it, and cause it to behave in such a way that it warns its master of approaching evil.
Even after the animal dies, its strong attachment to its master may cause it to linger in the astral realm quite close to him. Its unconscious mind, thus free from physical limitations, has a scope of intelligence far beyond what we expect of such an animal on earth. It perceives, from the astral plane, the events that affect its master. And it keenly senses his wishes, and desires that these wishes shall be granted.
It may thus, from time to time, be able to convey to him, through dreams and impressions, a knowledge of such conditions as are about to affect him. Or it may follow him to the seance room, and if this be of a certain low order, assist in manifestations there.
I am not assuming that an animal, just because it passes to the next plane, acquires human intelligence. But an animal which has had much human association while on earth, has little difficulty in sensing just what its former master wants. Just as, while on earth, a dog will fetch a stick that its master throws, so on the next plane will it try to do that which will please. It has not acquired human intelligence, but because it is free from the body its unconscious mind has a wide scope of perception, and it is more responsive than ever to its master’s thought. And it sometimes finds opportunity to manifest an intelligence of a not very high order in the seance room.
But aside from talismans and exceptional types of influences, the various objects of our environment each radiate a characteristic energy. If an object vibrates to the frequency of an astrological influence which is beneficial in our birth-chart, through increasing the strength of the harmonious vibration in us it renders us assistance. But the association with either objects or people which stirs up in us consciously or unconsciously, a feeling of discord, should be avoided as much as is practicable; for we attract events into our lives that correspond to the discords or harmonies we harbor within.
Response to Healing
This same principle explains why some people respond readily to one type of healing and some to another. By inspecting the birth-chart and the progressed chart the astrologer quickly can determine which planet’s vibrations are chiefly responsible for the trouble. Then by referring to the Arcanum ruled by the planet he can find the Natural Method of treatment which is commonly most efficacious in correcting the discords caused by the planet.
Thus if Mercury causes the affliction, mental healing is particularly applicable. If Neptune is the chief disturber, the disease is more susceptible to spiritual healing. Jupiter brings ailments that need a corrective diet. Venus tends to depletion that may be treated with rest and recreation. Uranus produces peculiar disturbances in the electromagnetic body that often yield readily to electricity and mesmerism. The discords of Pluto yield quickly to stellar healing. Water is the natural remedy for the afflictions caused by the Moon, and light for those caused by the Sun. If Mars is the disturber there is usually a temperature to be reduced, and if Saturn is back of the discord you may be sure that the vitality is low and needs earth-baths and outdoor life to build it up.
The affliction shown by a planet, due to the sign it is in, may manifest its discord in any one of the twelve zones of the body. In this course certain herbs ruled by each sign are given under the Arcanum corresponding to the sign. This will enable you to select those suitable for temporary talismans, or those that, through a corresponding vibratory rate, most readily affect the part of the body ruled by the same sign. For more details of the rulership of specific diseases you are referred to Course XVI, Stellar Healing, on Stellar Diagnosis and Stellar Healing.
Herbal remedies are administered according to two different schools of thought. The homeopathic system is that like cures like. From the occult point of view this means that an herb belonging to a certain sign, if taken into a healthy organism in excessive amounts, tends to cause a diseased condition of the corresponding part of the body. But if that part of the body is already diseased, the taking of the herb corresponding to this part of the body in very small amounts, builds up and strengthens this part of the body with its similar vibratory rate. In other words, the remedy is applied in such quantity as will give the diseased part the vigor to overcome the disease.
But this system can not be successfully applied to all diseases. Hence we have the allopathic system, which works on the principle that contrary cures contrary. From the occult point of view this means that the disease itself is attacked and an attempt made to annihilate it by means of something violently antagonistic to it. Instead of building up the vigor of the diseased part of the body, the attempt is made to destroy the disease and eliminate it from the body. Fire is thus fought with water, earth with air, and Mars with Saturn. This method seemingly is necessary to combat certain virulent diseases, but, through the violence of the remedies used, is much more apt to impair the constitution.
Here, of course, no attempt is made to discuss the relative value of medicines, or to give instructions in the specific cure of diseases through the administration of herbs. Instead, I merely give such hints as to the relative principles of underlying cures as I hope will prove of value to those who specialize in healing. From these hints they should be able to work out, in connection with their experience, the application in detail. And when the nature of the disease is obscure and the method of treatment in doubt, the use of the tarot as a divinatory instrument, by one who has some skill, can be used both in diagnosis and in determining the most effective treatment to secure a speedy recovery.
Arcanum XVII. Letter: Egyptian, Pilon; Hebrew, Pe; English, F—P—Ph. Number, 17. Astrologically, the zodiacal sign Gemini. Color, the lighter shades of violet. Tone, high B. Occult science, cosmic alchemy. Human function, the sense of sight. Natural remedy, such herbs as madder, tansy, vervain, woodbine, yarrow, meadow-sweet, privet and dog-grass. Mineral, the talismanic gem beryl, and such stones as are striped.
F—17 expresses in the spiritual world, immortality.
In the intellectual world, the interior light which illuminates the spirit.
In the physical world, hope.
Remember, then, son of earth, that hope is the sister of faith. Shed thy passions and thy errors in order to study the mysteries of true science and the key will be given thee; then a ray of divine light will break from the occult sanctuary in order to dissipate the shadows of thy future and show thee the way of happiness. If Arcanum XVII should appear in the prophetic signs of thy horoscope, whatever may happen in life, never injure the flower of hope and thou wilt gather the fruits of faith.
In Divination, Arcanum XVII may be read as Truth, Hope or Faith.
Arcanum XVII is figured by a blazing star of eight rays in the center of which is a white trine with point upward joined at its base to a black trine with its point downward. This star is surrounded by seven other stars. It hovers over a nude young girl who has one foot upon the sea and one foot upon the land, and who pours the fluid of universal life from two cups, one of gold, the other of silver. Near the girl is a flower of three blossoms, and above the upper one a butterfly opens its wings.
This young girl is the emblem of truth. She is nude, signifying that truth can be perceived only when stripped of the preconceived ideas and dogmatic opinions with which it has been clothed by the artificialities of civilization.
She rests partly upon the land and partly upon the sea to denote that truth is dual, the truth of reality and the truth of appearances, the truth of the practical and the truth of the ideal. The fluid is poured from a silver cup into the sea to indicate that the loving, emotional side of man’s nature must be nourished if he is to grasp the inner truth. And it is poured from a golden cup upon the land to denote the necessity of cultivating the positive, reasoning intellect if he is to possess the external truth.
The fluid flowing from the golden cup represents the forces of man, and that from the silver cup the forces of woman; together revealing the truth of soul-mate-hood, and indicating how the finer energies of man rejuvenate woman and how the finer energies of woman rejuvenate man; their forces mutually sustaining each other and making a joint immortality possible.
The eight-point star symbolizes the Law of Equilibrium, the balance between spirit and matter, male and female, the inner and the outer. It is the book of the apocalypse sealed with seven seals, and thus represents the inner realization and the outer realization, the birth of the soul and the birth of the body, under the influence of the planets, represented by the 7 surrounding stars, or seals.
Each of these smaller stars, or seals, has four points, to signify that man should recognize the nature of its influence and realize how to direct it into channels of his own choosing.
The two trines of the larger star symbolize the Hermetic Axiom, “As it is below, so it is above,” and reveal that evolution implies a preceding involution. It also indicates the necessity of experiences with both good and evil for soul progression.
The flower of three blossoms represents the three planes of existence from which the soul sips the nectar of wisdom, gaining thereby the strength to attain immortality, symbolized by the butterfly.
Number. —Numerically, 17 is the 2nd decave of 8, denoting the crystallized condition of Arcanum VIII polarized to the frequency level denoted by Arcanum II. It is involution followed by evolution, for, after all, matter is but polarized spirit. In the universe there is but one Principle, which manifests under two modes of motion as force and will. There is but one LAW, and this is sex, manifesting as male and female. There is but one Agent, which manifests as spirit and matter. And there is but one Truth, which manifests as appearance and reality. This is the truth represented by the star of Arcanum XVII.
Astrology. —The most pronounced symbolism of Arcanum XVII pertains to its duality, and the most dual sign of the zodiac is Gemini. This sign, pictured among the constellations as the Twins, representing Reason and Intuition, belongs to the first degree of emanation of the airy triplicity, and therefore represents the most interior and free use of the intellect. It corresponds to the day house of Mercury, the planet of mental expression, and thus is a fitting symbol of Truth. Better than any other sign, Gemini typifies the duality that sustains all worlds and alone makes life and consciousness possible.
Human Function. —The first step toward truth is perception. This perception should embrace both sides of the situation. And while knowledge requires also an inner comprehension of the meaning of things seen, the necessity for correct sight is implied in the vernacular expression, “I see,” used to signify comprehension. Mercury rules both Gemini and the eyes, and as Gemini corresponds to the day house of Mercury, it is more closely allied with the external vision. And if additional testimony were required to show the correspondence of the sense of sight with Arcanum XVII, it could be found in the restless activity of the eyes, and of the natives of Gemini, in their unceasing search for new information and new experiences.
Alchemy. —Arcanum XVII pictures the finding of the fountain of eternal youth. Gold and silver have been completely purified and the dross removed. Each, united to a proper flux, has been reduced to the first matter in the reverberatory furnace. And as a result of their transmuted union they are no longer merely gold and silver, but a delectable fluid, the coveted elixir of life.
Many have sought, but few have found, this precious draught. Some who have had it ready to their hand, have failed to recognize it. Others have discovered it accidentally, and while deeply awed by its wonderful properties have never perceived its real use and partaken of its life giving properties. More have been poisoned by drinking that which they hoped would prove to be the elixir, a fluid somewhat resembling it, but in reality quite destructive. Yet Arcanum XVII pictures its preparation in unmistakable terms to those who do not discard the simple and plain in search for the intricate and complex.
Bible. —The first pointed reference in the Bible to Arcanum XVII is Gen. 1:27; “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”
Thus is revealed the great truth exemplified in still more detail by the duality shown in Arcanum XVII. For not only does it point out that man is formed in the image of God, that the microcosm is a miniature copy of the macrocosm, but that both are, when complete, male and female. Whatever exists in the starry firmament above, according to both the Bible and this Arcanum, must have its correspondence in the constitution of man. But in addition thus to formulating the relation of the soul to the stars, it states positively that the macrocosm is both male and female; and implies that souls to persist must retain their sex; for when this attribute is destroyed man ceases to be an image of God, and no longer partakes of the divine nature.
John 8:32 reads; “And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” Now freedom implies a previous bondage. The bondage here considered is that imposed by the restrictions of the physical. But these restrictions are removed when the truth is perceived of man’s relations to the universe, and that the soul, educated for a definite mission in the cosmic scheme, survives physical death.
Rev. 5:1 mentions Arcanum XVII: “And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the back side, sealed with seven seals.” This, of course, is the book of nature, under the dominion of the 7 planets; and through a knowledge of it immortality is gained, for it enables the soul to partake of the tree of life mentioned in Gen. 3:22.
Just how this book of nature is to be opened and its contents made plain is quite distinctly stated; “Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.” As the lion is the zodiacal sign Leo, which rules the house of love, it is clear that the affections are used. But this is not the only factor; for next we read that the Lamb took the book. This is the zodiacal sign Aries, ruling the head. And this explains to us, in the language of universal symbolism, that neither love nor reason alone is sufficient, but that truth can be grasped completely only when there is a union of head and heart. And thus does the Lamb here typify the soul which has triumphed over Arcanum XIII, or death, through the combined activity of its intellect and its affections.
Masonry. —The degree of Provost and Judge is based upon Arcanum XVII. The duality of truth is symbolized in this degree by two keys. One is the key to the small ebony box containing the plans for building the temple, that is, the key to understanding the Divine Plan. The other is the key to the ivory box containing the temple keys, that is, the laws which govern the universe and the progress of the soul. The ivory box and the ebony box clearly indicate that both positive keys and negative keys are required, and that man and woman complement and complete each other.
Magic. —In Magic, Arcanum XVII is the perception of both the external and the internal truth. Such perception is made possible through the cultivation of the soul senses. But, because, through the principle that like attracts like, even a slight desire to deceive others attracts deceiving influences, care should be exercised here. The desires of the unconscious mind, also, have a tendency to warp such information to coincide with them, as it is raised from the astral brain to the physical consciousness. When one becomes unusually sensitive an idea through its sentiment may exert so strong an appeal that the emotion may easily be mistaken for soul response. Then, again, the thought images projected by other powerful minds are sensed by the psychic faculties, and those not fully initiated are apt to respond to these as if they were soul-responses to truth, when they, in fact, are merely being dominated by thought-forms.
Therefore, while the pure intuitions of the soul, when sufficiently freed from various other influences, are reliable guides to truth; for those who have not attained a very high degree of spiritual initiation, they can not be relied upon too implicitly. Consequently, in the search for truth, and in its apprehension, one set of faculties is used to test the accuracy of the other; intuition is used to check the reports of reason, and reason is applied to determine the reliability of intuition. Thus the initiate grasps both the exoteric and the esoteric aspects of truth.
He perceives that every atom of physical life is but the symbolic expression on the external plane of an indwelling spirit-atom. With his psychic vision he notes that every living form is a collection of these indwelling spirit atoms controlled by a central soul monad. This monad furnishes the conditions for their progress, as they do for it, dominating them by virtue of its labors in past incarnations.
That is, every plant and animal, as well as gem and stone, is but the material vehicle through which some soul is evolving and elaborating its powers. These astral entities that mold the form of crystals, plants and animals, causing them to assume the shapes they do, are the realities; for they continue to occupy new and higher forms, while the material forms they inhabit are transitory and unenduring, and consequently but an appearance.
The initiate recognizes the truth of appearance at its true value. He does not deny the existence of matter and its properties; for to those occupying the physical plane misery, disease and sin are as real as are spiritual verities to those occupying interior realms. It is as great a mistake to deny the qualities expressed by material form as to deny the reality of the spiritual ideals causing their expression. To one living entirely upon the physical plane the mere denial that a substance is a poison will not prevent it causing the death of the body. But to suppose that the material particles are the real cause of the fatality is to observe but one side of the truth; for these particles are but the material vehicles of spirit atoms that have a violent antipathy toward human life. They are really the physical expression of a spiritual ideal, or idea, and this idea can be sensed psychically.
If the spiritual development of the person is such that he realizes his own source and destiny, that he belongs to a higher spiritual state than the destructive forces of the poison, and that by virtue of his function in the cosmic scheme he should and can dominate all submundane atoms of life; in other words, if his spiritual nature is active, he can partake of the most violent poisons, or pass through fire as did Shadrack and his companions, unharmed, because his spirituality enables him to compel the obedience of the spirit atoms of the poison or the elementals of fire, preventing them from acting as usual.
Again, let us glance about us. The initiated see in all our great cities, slums and hotbeds of vice. It is useless to deny their existence, or the many contributing factors in external life that supply them with victims, the chief of which, perhaps, is the mental and magnetic inharmony of the parents at their conception. But even this is only a portion of the truth; for the clairvoyant vision reveals the existence of cities within cities, the lower astral world permeating the physical. The inhabitants of these astral slums are usually as unconscious of the people of the physical world as the latter are of them; yet the desires of the inhabitants of each realm react, through unconscious thought impression, upon the other, and the slums of the astral world stimulate the evil of external life. In fact, it might be said that the external slums are imitations of the inner hells to which they correspond.
Initiation. —In the soul’s initiation Arcanum XVII represents the attainment of divine illumination through the perfect rapport of the soul and the ego. The ego is not some mighty angelic power, but an eternal, scintillating atom of Deity, pure and innocent, depending on the soul-monads which are the positive and negative attributes of itself for knowledge of external life. The soul monad becomes closely associated with the brain of man, and when the spirituality is sufficiently active a conscious rapport is established between this monad and its ego. This brings the brain directly in touch with the soul’s center of deific life, enabling it to grasp the cosmic idea and realize what portion of that idea it is progressing to express. What God is the soul can never know, but it does grasp its own relation to God, and this truth leads it to freedom. This freedom is not that of annihilation, or a dreamy nirvana, but the ability through increased knowledge consciously to direct its own progression in harmony with the laws of cosmic evolution. Instead of being subject to the stars, it rules them. This illumination brings the conscious knowledge of its missing soul mate.
Occult Science. —Cosmic alchemy is the science of transforming the energies of society as a whole into those types of action that are most beneficial to it, that most effectively assist the highest development of its members, and that most completely cooperate in the fulfillment of the divine plan.
Horseman Court Cards
The Horsemen do not represent people, but thoughts or unseen intelligences. As thoughts are ruled by Arcanum I, each Horseman has a numerical value of 1. In divination they are read as thoughts or intelligences that have an influence upon the life of the client. The one who thinks the thoughts is indicated by the Court Card nearest whom the Horseman is found in the spread.
The Horseman of Scepters denotes thoughts concerning business. Right way up, it indicates thoughts advantageous to the client; reversed it signifies thoughts opposed to his business interests.
The Horseman of Cups denotes thoughts of love or affection. Right way up they are sincere and to the client’s advantage; reversed they indicate deceit or opposition to the true affectional desires.
The Horseman of Coins denotes thoughts relating to health or money. Right way up, they tend to the prosperity of the client; reversed they are plots to unfairly obtain money from him.
The Horseman of Swords denotes thoughts of enmity, strife or sickness. Right way up, it indicates thoughts devoted to the defense and protection of the client; reversed they are plans and desires for his ruin.
Arcanum XVIII. Letter: Egyptian, Tsaidi; Hebrew, Tzaddi; English, Sh—Ts—Tz. Number 18. Astrologically, the zodiacal sign Cancer. Color, the lighter shades of green. Tone, high F. Occult science, mediumship. Human function, spirit communion. Natural remedy, such herbs as water lilies, rushes, cucumbers, squashes, melons, and water plants generally. Mineral, the talismanic gem, emerald, and such stones as are soft and white, including selenite and chalk.
Sh—18 expresses in the spiritual world, the abyss of the infinite.
In the intellectual world, the shadows which envelop the spirit when it has submitted itself to the rule of the instincts.
In the physical world, deception and hidden enemies.
Remember, then, son of earth, that whosoever braves the unknown, does so at his peril. Hostile minds, figured by the black dog, will surround him with ambushes; friendly, servile minds will offer him flatteries; and treacherous minds, like unto the scorpion, will plan to attain their ends through his ruin. If Arcanum XVIII should appear in the prophetic signs of thy horoscope, observe and listen, but know how to be silent.
In Divination, Arcanum XVIII is Deception, False Friends, or Secret Foes.
Arcanum XVIII is figured by two pyramids at the edge of a road. The Moon above, half obscured by clouds, sheds a pale twilight. One of the pyramids, symbol of the twelve houses of the horoscope, is black, representing an ignorant and unspiritual life. The other pyramid is white, symbolizing a life enlightened by science and spiritual wisdom. In front of it is shown a door, or exit, indicating that those thus enlightened are not earth-bound, but pass freely, when their earthly life is completed, to a life in the higher spheres.
In the road before the pyramids are two dogs, one white and the other black; while between them, in a circle of white, crawls a scorpion. This dim, moonlight scene represents a seance room, the hidden perils of which are more redoubtable than those to be seen. The false radiance of the moon indicates the glamor that surrounds such an occasion. The good and the bad, the ignorant and the learned, symbolized by the pyramids, are gathered there at the edge of the road into the beyond. To such a place there may be attracted lying spirits, as signified by the black dog; friendly spirits, as denoted by the white dog; or treacherous and dominating spirits who have much knowledge, as indicated by the white circle in which the scorpion moves, but who use it to deceive and attain their selfish ends.
Number. —Numerically, 18 is the 2nd decave of 9, or wisdom polarized. Arcanum IX operating on the plane frequency of Arcanum II implies the exploration of secret realms. Such exploration is not without its perils, and should be attempted only by one who has made marked spiritual advancement, or under the guidance of a competent master. Under these conditions the negative and disintegrative states are not permitted, and then 18 becomes True Wisdom regarding the Science of Occultism.
Astrology. —Cancer is ruled by the Moon, and is the zodiacal sign most susceptible to influences from other planes, and most pronouncedly affected by its associates and its environment. The mediumistic quality correlates it to Arcanum XVIII.
Human Function. —Cancer is the most interior degree of emanation of the watery triplicity, and most readily receives and interprets the thoughts of entities occupying the interior worlds. What appears to be intuition often, with people born under this sign, is in reality the prompting of a discarnate entity. This ease of spirit communion corresponds to Arcanum XVIII.
Alchemy. —The true elixir of life has the peculiar power of absorbing and transmitting the energies of the surrounding magnetic atmosphere. If the elixir is pure it absorbs and transmits only the finer, higher, life giving energies. But if impure, it attracts grosser energies. Arcanum XVIII may represent either the true elixir or the false elixir.
The majority who seek this fluid of eternal youth fail to recognize the need for purity, or are unable to discern whether or not the elixir is truly pure. They thus prepare the draught by dissolving in the Water of Pythia whatever metals may be at hand, without precaution as to their purity and proper proportions. They deceive themselves, and drinking the false elixir thus prepared, are drugged into a semiconscious state in which they are unable to perceive even the approach of their own ruin.
Bible. —Saul, in his extremity, consulted a medium at Endor. Sam. 28:8; “And he said, I pray thee divine unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring up whom I shall name unto thee.”
The power of spirits to obsess is mentioned as a matter of course in Math. 10:1; “And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out.”
Paul speaks of deceiving spirits, I Tim. 4:1; “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron: Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats.”
Masonry. —The degree of Initiate Secretary is based upon Arcanum XVIII. Its lower aspect is the spy who listens at the veil and is captured, condemned by Hiram King of Tyre, and finally freed through the intercession of King Solomon. Its higher aspect represents that eminent saint, John the Baptist, to whom modern Masons dedicate their lodge; for the sun is baptised in the Holy Ghost when it enters the watery sign Cancer and reaches the highest, and symbolically the most spiritual, point in its annual journey.
Magic. —Arcanum XVIII explains the process of mediumship. The passive ever becomes the medium of the active, hence matter is the medium for the expression of mind. Broadly speaking, in the sense that it receives and transmits force, everything is mediumistic. Because the energies of the interior planes are more active than those external, the physical is mediumistic to the astral, and thus astrological forces influence the life of the material world.
Carrying the same thought further, the astral world must be passive to, and the medium of, energies from the spiritual world. Thus may we consider God as the great central controlling spiritual force of the universe, and that from Him down to the densest mineral atom there is a complete, graded scale of mediumship; each higher plane transmitting the One Universal Force to the plane next below, until finally it reaches and energizes the lowest realm.
Even the adept is but the medium for the expression of spiritual ideas upon the physical plane. The spiritual truths externalizing in his life are taught by schools on the interior planes and subsequently verified by his own experiences. The true adept never claims to originate the teachings he gives out; for he recognizes the fact that whatever truth man grasps on the physical plane is due to his reception of it from exalted souls whose interior plane of life enables them to dispel illusion. The truth these exalted beings realize is transmitted to them from still more interior worlds, and so on, to the very throne of God, Who is the absolute source of all truth. But there is a great difference between such conscious and controllable mediumship and that of the person who trusts to some controlling spirit guide, or permits a discarnate entity to use his body as a means of communication.
In the first place it should be understood that under proper conditions it is possible, and frequently happens, that people who have crossed the boundary of physical life do return and talk with their loved ones through the organism of some medium. But the soul world closest to earth is the lower astral, in which dwell earth-bound souls, vicious elementals, depraved elementaries, and a host of other entities, some of which are harmlessly mischievous, some of which are inimical to man, and some of whom desire to use him for their own ends. To abdicate the rulership of the body in favor of whatever unseen entity happens to be present, and that may claim to be anything that suits its purpose, is to court the domination of the soul by entities which may use their advantage to deceive, demoralize, obsess; and which always weaken the will.
Of all places, the public seance room seems to be one least likely to furnish anything of value, for the mixture of the thoughts and magnetisms attracts all sorts of questionable entities. Such conditions favor physical manifestations; for the beings responsible for them belong to the realm of force. Where the electromagnetic energy is present, phenomena can be furnished through an irresponsible medium as readily and as genuinely as can be produced by an adept. But the mediums cannot control them.
Much psychical phenomena is faked, because the genuine is so great a drain on the medium that he cannot generate the force to produce it often. Yet he feels that he must keep his patronage at any cost. Irresponsible mediumship is fraught with great peril.
Initiation. —In the soul’s pilgrimage Arcanum XVIII denotes the neophyte’s work in the astral, freeing earth-bound souls from their fetters, assisting those deceived to realize their errors, and encouraging them to strive for a new and better life.
Occult Science. —Mediumship is the science of reception and transmission, embracing the law of affinity and its application in the production of phenomena.
Spread of 36
This spread is used to give a general reading of conditions and events. After the customary preparatory shuffling and cutting, the cards are dealt one at a time face downward in a square of 36, starting at the bottom right-hand corner.
To read this spread, turn the cards over, from top to bottom, one at a time, in the order of their sequence as given in the diagram on page . Read each card as it is turned either as something conditioning the card just preceding it, or as a subsequent event, as the case may be.
The bottom row represents the past, the next row above represents the present conditions, and the cards of the four rows above, each row in its proper sequence, as conditions in the future.
Then, for additional information, after the spread has been read in this manner, start picking the cards up in pairs, reading each pair as some incident of the future. The first two to be picked up and read in this manner are 1 and 36, the next are 2 and 35, and so on until all 18 pairs have been read. This pair reading starts with the immediate future, as denoted by 1 and 36. It is not meant to supplant or contradict the first portion of the reading, but through revealing incidents of the future to shed additional information.
Eight of Coins
Eight of Cups
Eight of Scepters
Eight of Swords