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Serial Lesson 32

From Course VI, The Sacred Tarot, Chapter 12

Original Copyright 1936, Elbert Benjamine (a.k.a. C. C. Zain)
Copyright 2011, The Church of Light


To purchase the print book The Sacred Tarot click here

Subheadings:   The Sun    The Sarcophagus    The Magic Cross Spread

Illustrations:   The Sun     The Sarcophagus     The Magic Cross Spread     The Nines

Chapter 12

The Solution of Ancient Cycles

I HAVE designated under Arcanum VII that completion and perfection of form, in so far as the three-dimensional plane is concerned, is expressed by the number 7, and under Arcanum IX that the number of astral manifestation is exemplified by the number 9. We are now ready, therefore, to apply these two numbers to the law of cycles.

The cycles man can understand pertain to the physical plane and to the astral plane. He should first, of course, have some knowledge of the completion of form as seen on the physical plane, such as is to be found, for instance, in the septenary grouping of chemical elements. And for this purpose the number 7 is a valuable tool. But behind all such physical expression is the realm of ideas, the realm of astrological vibrations, the realm of the character-vibrations of things. And for the purpose of investigating this inner-plane region, the number 9 should be employed to aid the understanding.

Man, formatively considered, for instance, possesses a sevenfold constitution. Yet viewed from a higher scale, his interior potencies are not properly manifested until he has developed two additional factors, which we call reason and intuition. This adding of an evolutionary positive and negative factor to the outer-plane 7 gives us the inner-plane viewpoint, in which 9 aids the proper explanation.

Or, let us say, the 7 colors of the spectrum give formative expression to light on the earth-plane. But to understand the more essential nature of light, its inner-plane relations must be included. Black and white, the polar opposites, must be added to the physical 7, to get the necessary inner-plane comprehension.

The chemical properties of an element, to consider matter, are subject to the same law, being a periodic function of its atomic weight. But to reveal the thought-quality of the element it must be considered also as possessing a positive and negative, bringing the factors up to 9.

Yet as 10 is the cyclic number, the orbit of the cycles based either on 7 or 9, or both, expand and contract in this manner: Ideal cycles, those which measure intellectual and spiritual force, are solved by applying number 9. Practical cycles, which measure magnetic and vital force and the planes of manifestation, are unlocked by number 7. 10 closes the cycle. And by using 7 and 9 in connection with the cyclic number, 10, it is possible to solve every cycle in nature below the spiritual plane, from the intra-atomic cycle of the electron up to the orbital movement of a universe.

Why are there 360 degrees in a circle? We can not say it is merely chance. A circle is obviously a cycle, therefore embraces the number 10. It is also in nature the measure of intellectual and spiritual force, as can be observed in the study of orbital motions either of planets or of atoms.

Such orbits always express through four phases, which are well recognized in the moon’s orbit as its four quarters, and in the earth’s orbit as the four seasons, but are none the less present in all orbital motion. Therefore an orbit, or circle, is the cyclic number 10 multiplied by 4, or Realization (Arcanum IV), giving 40, which indicates any cycle as measuring the Realization of effort.

This number 40, which is the number of Minor Arcana of the tarot, explains all reference to 40 in the Bible as periods in which Realization was accomplished.

But an orbit, as a measure of ideals, or intellectuality and spirituality, is a function of the inner-plane number 9. Nine evolved to the 40th decave is 360, meaning Wisdom (9) Realized (4) in a cycle (10). Thus it is that any point on the earth’s surface passing through 360 degrees, or a day and night, is a measure of intellectual and spiritual force as applied to those born at different hours. It causes them to express, not merely the mental activity and repose which humanity at large does each 24 hours, but different Personalities.

In expressing cycles in terms of time, round numbers are used because often there are variable factors, such as are spoken of in connection with the no-numbered Arcanum of the tarot. The most apparent of these variations is that the relation of the Day to the Year is not exactly 1 to 360, but 1 to 365 ¼.

There is a good reason for this, but suffice it here to point out that the ancients overcame this discrepancy by making their year measure 360 days, and then at the winter solstice cutting out 5 days. Those five “Dies Non” were given over to festivity and were not counted in their calendar. The year, or orbital motion of the earth through 360 (3 plus 6 plus 0 equal 9) degrees, measures to humanity at large not only the variation in light and heat, but the quality of mental and spiritual influx. People born at different times of the year thus express different Individualities.

Furthermore, the yearly return of the Sun by transit over its place in the birth-chart is the measure of spiritual energy received by individual man.

Now if we wish to find the operation of the practical forces in life, we divide the number of days in the year by 7. This gives us 52 weeks. As 5 plus 2 equals 7, we know these weeks relate to practical affairs rather than to spiritual influences. And as a matter of fact, man regulates his physical existence by a week of 7 days.

The Moon, as it passes through the zodiac, by its phases, or relations to the Sun, measures out to man the magnetic expansion and contraction which govern intellectual activity. This cycle is a little more than 29 days. 2 plus 9 equals 11, therefore the 4 quarters of the Moon measure the Realization of Magnetic Force (Arcanum XI), the practical operation of which depends upon each phase of the Moon of a little more than 7 days. People born with the Moon in different parts of its orbit have different kinds of capacities.

But there is another cycle of the Moon of greater import to the Soul of man. It is the cycle of a little over 27 days during which the Moon traverses 360 degrees of the zodiac. 2 plus 7 equals 9, therefore this cycle relates to intellectual and spiritual forces, and we find actually that this cycle of the Moon from one transit of the Sun to another such transit in the birth-chart, measures the germination of spiritual powers and psychic possibilities.

By virtue of the function of 9, the movements in the heavens during the earth’s diurnal motion through 360 degrees measures out the Major events of life to man while the earth moves in its orbit 360 degrees. And the Moon’s orbital motion of 360 degrees measures out to man the Minor Events occurring during the earth’s orbital motion of 360 degrees. In other words, in natal astrology, whose influences come from the inner plane, the chief events of life are measured to man at the rate of a day for a year, and the minor events of life at the rate of a month for a year; both measures being functions of the number 9.

The Equinox is observed to move at the rate of 1 degree in 72 years (7 plus 2 equal 9). This makes the place of the Sun at the beginning of the astronomical year appear to retrograde through the zodiac 1 degree in 72 years, or through 360 degrees, completing the circle in about 72 x 360 equal 25,920 years. 25,868 to be exact. This period measures unto man all the different mental and spiritual forces possible during one Precessional Cycle.

This cycle of 360 degrees is divided by 12 into sections corresponding to the zodiacal signs, each section containing 30 degrees. Divide 25,868 by 12, and we get 2,156 years as the duration of one sub-cycle, or Age, as it is called. The equinox passes through the 30 degrees corresponding to each zodiacal sign, and this gives rise to the Age of that sign. It is the measure of the intellectual and spiritual force received by humanity, and determines its general trend.

The equinox, or place of the Sun at the beginning of the astronomical year, retrograded by “Precession” back from the first of constellated Aries, which is the beginning of the circle of stars, 30 degrees, and therefore into the space corresponding to the sign Aquarius, in 1881. The exact date is January 19, 1881. The chart for the hour and minute as well as the date, and a discussion of it, are given in Astrological Lore of All Ages. This is the time of the commencement of the Aquarian Age, and because the mental and spiritual force received by humanity is different when the Sun’s place among the stars at the beginning of the year corresponds to the place of different zodiacal signs, the student can get some idea of the type of civilization that, past or future, exists while the equinox is in any sign by multiplying 2,156 years by the number of signs removed from Aquarius, and adding to or subtracting from, the year 1881.

History thus records that during the time the Equinox moves by Precession through each sign there is also a change in the practical trend of the mental force and dominant interest about every 308 years. That is, the movement of the equinox through one sign is divided into seven equal periods, the number 7 signifying this formative trend. The duration of this period within the Sub-Precessional Cycle is obtained by dividing 2,156 years by 7, the result being 308 years.

Each of these formative periods is apparently under dominion of one of the seven planets. The Equinox always backs into a sign, entering the end of the 30th degree and moving back to 29, 28 and so on. And by reference to historical events we find that the first period after the Equinox enters a sign precessionally is ruled by the Sun, that the next period is ruled by Venus, the next by Mercury, then the Moon, Saturn, Jupiter and finally Mars as the last period in any sign. Anyone conversant with history can verify the influence of these periods.

From this information, which was first given out by Abbot Trithemius, it is possible to determine in a general way the trend of the intellectual forces as practically applied during any period of 308 years, past or future. If the period was ruled by the Sun the energies were applied to the engrandizement of State or Empire; if by Mars, they were devoted to mechanics and war; if by the Moon, it was a period of intellectual slumber; if by Venus, the energies were given over to art and luxury; if by Mercury, to intellectual culture; if by Saturn, to subtlety and superstition; if by Jupiter, to expansion and benevolence. The Sun started his rule of 308 years on December 23, 1880. Mars ceased to rule Dec. 21, 1880. Or, to be more precise, the solstice of 1880 in December is the point of reckoning from which the student can trace the influence of these periods either forward or backward.

Now we come to a very interesting theory which probably has no valuable practical application. That the obliquity of the ecliptic is constantly changing was observed by ancients as well as by moderns. That is, the Pole of the earth is moving in an orbit at right angles to the earth’s diurnal rotation at the rate of about 1 second every 2 years, or 1 degree in 7,200 years. If, therefore, the earth should continue this motion it would turn completely polarwise in 7,200 x 360 equal 2,592,000 years. And as turning around completely equatorwise is called one common day, so turning completely around polarwise is called one polar day.

According to modern astronomers, however, the earth does not thus turn completely over polarwise, but after moving through 3 or 4 degrees starts to swing back, according to known laws, which cause it thus to wobble. But because the time involved to observe this swinging back was so great some ancient concluded this polarwise motion continued uniformly on around the circle, and he based his larger periods of duration on this false Polar Day of 2,592,000 years. The days of creation mentioned in Genesis refer to these Polar Days of immense duration.

The Polar Day was known in Egypt, and its duration is incorporated in the Great Pyramid; although just because the amount of average movement of the earth Polarwise is included in this monument does not warrant us to conclude that they believed the earth thus completely to turn over, as this movement over a few degrees, even though it swings back, is really one of the most important astronomical movements, having profound effects upon the climate and other matters on the earth. And it is this average movement of 1 degree in 7,200 years which the pyramid records.

It should be understood that there is both geological evidence and archaeological evidence as well as modern knowledge of astronomical movements which all indicate that the earth does not turn over Polarwise and that the races which have been assumed to exist never have existed on the earth in physical forms. But because the theory was developed to a fine degree in India, and is the basis of the various sacred cycles there recorded, as well as being linked up with their accounts of races which once inhabited the globe, it is valuable to know it, even as a theory which modern science seems completely to have refuted.

The theory is that the Polar Day is the exact duration of the life-wave on the earth, and that this is the average time of the life on each planet. Therefore for the life-wave to travel once around the chain of 7 planets, and thus give formative expression to and develop 1 Round of Humanity, containing 7 Root-Races, takes 7 x 2,592,000 equal 18,144,000 years. Then to produce 7 Rounds of humanity requires 7 x 18,144,000 equal 127,008,000 years or 49 Polar Days. Then comes the Jubilee of Nirvana during which Nature sleeps for 7 Polar Days while the life-wave goes once around the septenary chain.

Then, according to this Eastern theory which archaeology quickly disproves, commences the Second Series, and the 7 Families, or Rounds of 7 Root-Races, each ascending to Angelic Spheres to become the parents and Guardians of the new series of humanity.

The number 360 was used by the ancients of the East to veil their sacred cycles, 360 Common Years being called One Divine Year. The Hindus, in their studies, also made use of the cyclic number 10. Thus we are informed that the Divine Maha Yug is composed of 10 Great Ages or Cali Yugs. A Cali Yug is 1,200 Divine Years, or 360 x 1,200 equal 432,000 common years, during which the earth’s pole, according to their theory of polar motion, was supposed to pass over 1/6 of its orbit of 2,592,000 years, making the sextile aspect to its own place.

A Dwaper Yug is two Cali Yugs, or 2,400 Divine Years, or 864,000 common years, during which the pole is supposed to pass over 1/3 of its orbit, making the trine aspect to its original place. A Treta Yug is 3 Cali Yugs, or 3,600 Divine Years, or 1,296,000 common years, during which the earth’s pole was supposed to pass over ½ of its orbit, making the opposition to its original place. A Satya Yug, according to these Hindu cycles, is 4 Cali Yugs, or 4,800 Divine Years, or 1,728,000 common years, during which the earth’s pole is supposed to pass over 2/3 of its orbit, making the second trine to its original place.

Furthermore, a Maha Yug is composed of 1 Cali Yug plus 1 Dwaper Yug plus 1 Treta Yug plus 1 Satya Yug, or the equivalent of 10 Cali Yugs, 12,000 Divine Years, or 4,320,000 years, during which, according to the Hindu theory, the earth’s pole is supposed to pass 1 2/3 times around its orbit. A Maha Yug is thus composed of 4 aspects bearing the relation 1-2-3-4 to each other, completing the number 10. And a Manwantares is 1,000 times 1 Maha Yug, during which portion of the Great Kalpa the planetary chain has been disintegrated and reorganized several times.

In some sense, for tradition so wide spread is seldom without adequate foundation, there doubtless was a Golden, Silver, Copper and Iron Age. Astrological influx combined with climatic conditions at some time in the dim past of the world. We are not justified, however, in believing these ages were dependent in the strict sense upon the hypothetical Polar Day. Yet an account of this theoretical linking up, as derived from Hindu sources, is not devoid of interest.

It was supposed that these ages referred only to the first Round of humanity, and as a matter of scientific fact, the evidence all points that humanity has not been upon the earth longer than the periods embraced within one or two Polar Days. But it is supposed, according to the theory, that these ages recur again as the life-wave leaves the planet, developing the highest states of the round, although they are not strictly called by the same names.

It was supposed that with the pole at right angles to the ecliptic, or sun’s path, there was an ideal climate in the temperate zones, and that the climate does not become excessively severe until the pole moves through 4 x 9 equal 36 degrees. As the pole moves through 1 degree in 7,200 years, this period of the Golden Age was supposed to have lasted 36 x 7,200 equals 259,200 years. Then while the pole passed through 3 x 9 equal 27 degrees, giving the Sun a maximum declination of from 36 to 63 degrees, there were hot long days in summer and cold long nights in winter. This Silver Age lasted 27 x 7,200 equal 194,400 years. While the pole passed through 2 x 9 equal 18 degrees, the Tropics reached an angle of from 63 to 81 degrees, and there were tropical summers and arctic winters on all portions of the globe. This Copper Age is supposed thus to have lasted 18 x 7,200 equal 129,600 years.

Then while the pole was passing through 1 x 9 equal 9 degrees, the Sun was approaching its vertical position once a year to both North and South Poles, and the climatic conditions were frightful. This Iron Age was supposed to have lasted 9 x 7,200 years or 64,800 years. These 4 Ages, related to each other by this theory as 1-2-3-4, are embraced in the time the Pole passed over one quadrant of 10 x 9 degrees, or 90 x 7,200 equal 648,000 years. And according to this Eastern theory the place in evolution of our present Great Western Race is that of one branch of the Fifth Root-Race of the 4th Round of Evolution.

Not the slightest evidence has been found to date that man existed on the earth so long ago as is thus implied. The records in the rocks indicate that one round of 18,144,000 years ago takes back to the end of the Oligocene Period of Geology, in which horses were the size of coyotes with three toes in front and three behind, camels were the size of sheep, bison, deer and the ox were small hoofed mammals, dogs were soon to develop to the size of bears, and the claws were developing on what later became lions, tigers and cats. And if we go back 4 such rounds, geology indicates there were no mammals, that it was a time when reptiles dominated the earth, and the first primitive birds, and the marsupials, forerunners of the mammals, were just developing. Or, if we wish to call the little rat-size marsupials mammals, which later they developed into, we can say they were beginning to develop along the lines we now recognize as mammals, about 4 such rounds ago.

But if we consider the length of time covered by the Golden, Silver, Copper and Iron Age, that is, 648,000 years, there is plenty of evidence that man was on earth that long ago. Also that the earth once had, but not due to polar motion, a mild and fruitful climate, followed by increasing cold, which about a million years ago ushered in an ice age, with intervals of warmth for thousands of years, followed by more glaciers. Racial memory undoubtedly preserves a consciousness of times which were mild and bountiful, followed by times in which there was tremendous cold and hardship. Eden on earth, and the Age of Horrors are dreams which record actual conditions that transpired since men are known to have inhabited the earth.

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The Sun

Arcanum XIX. Letter: Egyptian, Quitolath; Hebrew, Quoph; English, Q. Number, 19. Astrologically, the zodiacal sign Leo. Color, the lighter shades of orange. Tone, high D. Occult science, organic alchemy. Human function, inspiration. Natural remedy, such herbs as camomile, daffodil, cowslip, anise, eglantine, fennel, eyebright, dill, lavender, poppy, yellow lily, marigold, St. John’s wort, mistletoe, pimpernel, parsley and garden mint. Mineral, the talismanic gem ruby, and such stones as the chrysolite, hyacinth and soft yellow minerals.

Q—19 expresses in the spiritual world, the supreme heaven.

In the intellectual world, true happiness.

In the physical world, sacred union.

Remember, then, son of earth, that the light of the mysteries is a redoubtable fluid, put by nature at the service of the will. She lights those who know how to direct her; she strikes down with a thunderbolt those who ignore her power or who abuse it. If Arcanum XIX should appear in the prophetic signs of thy horoscope, happiness awaits thee in domestic life if thou knowest how to strengthen the conjugal circle and guard its sacredness in the sanctuary of the heart.

In Divination, Arcanum XIX may be read as Happiness and Joy.

Arcanum XIX is figured by a young man and a young woman holding each other by the hand. About them a circle of 20 flowers springs from the earth. Above is a radiant Sun of 21 rays, in the center of which is the symbol of conjugal union. This sun is the symbol of perfect union expressed on all three planes; perfect harmony of physical desires, intellectual interests, and spiritual aspirations.

The young man and woman are plainly dressed, indicating simplicity of life, moderation of desires and purity of thought. The flowers springing up about them symbolize the joy and happiness of the domestic circle which more than compensate them for material hardships. The 20 flowers signify the potency of domestic harmony to Awaken and Resurrect the spiritual flora of the soul.

This ensemble personifies the fact that when the sexes are truly wed, and the triple laws of harmony are obeyed, that their lives are a constant round of happiness and joy, even amid adversities and privation.

Number. —Numerically, 19 is the third decave of 1; or Arcanum I, Creative Energy, operating on the plane of Arcanum III, or Marriage. Consequently, Arcanum XIX is the application of the Divine Fire, controlled by Will and Intelligence, to the elaboration of domestic bliss. It is not only the perfect nuptial union of 7, but denotes added Sacrifice and Devotion (7 plus 12 equal 19).

It may, or may not, indicate the union of soul-mates. But it certainly indicates the union of souls harmonious on all planes, not merely for the purpose of spiritual advancement, but also for the production and rearing of children and to experience the joy of a home. Yet in fact, the harmonious vibrations set in motion, and the sacrifices necessary in the rearing of offspring, are most potent factors in developing the spiritual nature.

Astrology. —Astrologically, the house governing pleasure, joy, happiness, children and love affairs, is ruled by the zodiacal sign Leo. Leo governs the heart and its sympathies. It is the significator of such love as springs unselfishly into existence as the result of natural harmony, rather than the artificial marriages that today are all too common, which are prompted by material advantages. This “Lion of the house of Juda,” as it is called in Revelation, corresponds to Arcanum XIX.

Human Function. —Inspiration means the indrawing of the spirit. The source of all life and energy and spiritual power is the Sun, and He is the true source of inspiration. Leo is the home of the Sun, the heart center of man through which the Sun exerts its strongest inspirational power. Leo, therefore, corresponds to the capacity to receive inspiration. Love, which is ruled by Leo, is acknowledged to be the power which opens the inspirational gates. This is symbolized by the Sun overshadowing the lovers in Arcanum XIX.

Alchemy. —In alchemy, Arcanum XIX represents the quaffing of the true Elixir of Life. This does not bring instantaneous perpetual youth, for perpetual youth is the result of the gradual changes which the Elixir sets up in the finer forms.

This Elixir is really a love potion, and the result of quaffing it is a general and complete harmonizing of all the internal vibratory rates, so that they sound a sweet and powerful chord, the pitch of which gradually rises as the body and desires are refined, and in time thus results in youthful vigor added to perpetual life.

Bible. —In the Bible, Arcanum XIX represents the increase of oil by Elisha: 2 Kings, 4:6. “And it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said unto her son, Bring me yet a vessel.” Again in Kings 2nd, 4:17; “And the woman conceived, and bare a son at that season that Elisha had said unto her, according to the time of life.”

In the New Testament we find, Math. 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God.” And Rev. 22:17, “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst, Come: and whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”

Masonry. —In Masonry, Arcanum XIX is the basis of the Intendant of the Building degree in which the vacancy left by Hiram, the lost soul-mate, is filled. As the third decave, or marriage function of the creative 1, it is mentioned in the first Masonic degree: “Behold how good and how pleasant it is for the brethren to dwell together in unity! etc.” Furthermore, Arcanum XIX is the Lion’s paw grip by which Hiram Abiff is finally raised.

Magic. —In Magic, Arcanum XIX represents the sanctity of the home circle, within the protection of which, when it is harmonious and pure, there is utmost safety from any and all forces of evil.

Where there is complete harmony the forces of discord (and all evil tends to discord) can not intrude. The harmony between two who love devoutly is repellent to pernicious thoughts and pernicious entities. It is a hallowed circle of invisible influence which they can not penetrate.

For this reason, and because the unselfish feelings developed in the rearing and care of children tend powerfully to raise the dominant vibratory-rates far above any which can be reached or influenced by pernicious entities, these do their utmost to discourage domestic life and the rearing of children.

It is even taught in some quarters that a woman who bears children forfeits her chance of spiritual attainment in this life; and not until she reincarnates again and lives a non-child-bearing life can she expect to make much spiritual progress.

This is patently an inversion of the real truth; because spiritual progress depends upon love, unselfishness, and the refinement of the thoughts and emotions, and nothing develops these soul qualities faster than the love and care of a parent for children. The love of parents for their offspring is often the saving grace of their lives, keeping the inward affectional fires burning, whose warmth transmitted to the soul, keeps it from sinking into the icy death of self-centeredness.

The bearing of children on earth corresponds to sacred functions in the spiritual world. And while it is true that economic conditions, as well as pronounced discords in the fifth house of the birth-chart, may be severe enough that it is the wiser course not to bring children into the world, as they could not be given proper support and proper vigorous bodies, yet such conditions contravene nature, and occasion the loss of valuable experience to the soul.

The very fact that childlessness is always indicated in a birth-chart by severe discords, shows that such a condition is in the nature of an affliction rather than a benefit. Such a childless life can only be compensated for, in its effect upon the soul, by some marked and continuous effort, to benefit and care for some section of mankind, or some work for mankind as a whole.

There is a great amount of foolishness taught concerning the possibilities of eugenics. In order that men should profit as does domestic stock, through proper breeding for results, it would be necessary to place a practical breeder in charge of the whole human race, with the power to prevent the mating of all humans except a few superior individuals whom he would select, and to be able to compel the union of any man and woman, regardless of their desires in the matter. Such power, which is the secret of a stock-breeder’s success, is not likely to be given any man.

It is possible, within limits, however, to select the birth-chart of a child and thus determine many of the characteristics which the child shall possess. It is possible, also, through proper environment, to encourage characteristics which otherwise would not develop. And the ancient magi believed that an ideal image of characteristics of the future child, held by both parents before and at the time of conception had a powerful effect in determining the kind of soul attracted to the form thus conceived. They held also, as elaborated in Course IV, Ancient Masonry, that the mental plane in general of the parents, as indicated by their daily thoughts, and their harmony or discord in relation to each other, had a still further influence in shaping the destiny of the future child.

Initiation. —In the soul’s pilgrimage Arcanum XIX represents the reunion of true soul-mates into a single soul-mate system. So far as common requirements are concerned the marriage of harmonious souls is sufficient to afford those harmonies which aid spiritual progress. And, because this inner union is of spiritual bodies, only the few are highly enough developed to recognize it when it does take place. The majority mistake magnetic affinity for this inner blend, and consequently all too many discard one partner for another in the belief that the soul-mate has been found.

This is a deplorable situation, but does not mitigate against such relations when they exist in truth. In fact, this abuse is just another inversion of something holy to gratify sensuality.

The real union of soul-mates, to which Arcanum XIX corresponds, is purely spiritual, and does not of necessity require carnal contact. The blend may even take place in the spaces while the individuals are asleep, all, or nearly all recollection of it often vanishing when they awaken. Yet once this bond is formed, its power is never lost, and ultimately the two become conscious of the bond, either in this world or the next, and they begin to function then as a single system.

Occult Science. —Organic alchemy is the science which embraces all life-forms in the universe, and the changes in their characters which are produced by their experiences, and the processes by which they develop along special lines, each to become a valuable function in the body of the universal organism. Such processes are indicated as taking place by Arcanum XIX.

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The Sarcophagus

Arcanum XX. Letter: Egyptian, Rasith; Hebrew, Resh; English, R. Number, 20. Astrologically, the Moon. Color, green. Tone, F. Occult science, the next life. Human function, the Divine Soul. Natural remedy, hydro-therapy. Mineral, the metal silver.

R—20 expresses in the spiritual world, the immortality of the soul.

In the intellectual world, the judgment of conscience.

In the physical world, unexpected elevation.

Remember, then, son of earth, that all fortune is changeable, even that which appears most stable. The ascension of the soul is the fruit that it should draw from its successive trials. Hope in suffering, but mistrust thyself in prosperity. If Arcanum XX should appear in the prophetic signs of thy horoscope, fall not asleep, either in idleness or forgetfulness; for thou hast a mission to accomplish which providence will reveal when thou art prepared to receive it.

In Divination, Arcanum XX may be read as an Awakening or Resurrection.

Arcanum XX is figured by a sarcophagus on whose side is pictured a scarab. Above this tomb a genie sounds a trumpet, whereupon it opens and a man, woman and child rise from it, still dressed in their winding sheets.

The sarcophagus is the tomb through which man ascents to a higher life. The scarab is symbol of the immortality of the soul. The genie blowing the trumpet is the call to ascend to higher spheres. A man, woman and child arise together to indicate that immortality depends upon the trinity of positive and negative soul-monads united about their Deific ego. The innocence of the ego is represented by the child.

The real tomb is the physical body which confines and envelops the soul while it develops its powers through the functions of social life; its relations to other life-forms. After one life in human form it has acquired self-consciousness and has no need to return to earth. As indicated by the trinity rising from the grave, there are opportunities for family life and other experiences on the next plane, the total ensemble symbolizing this entering into a new and active life in a realm above matter.

Number. —Numerically, 20 is the third decave of 2, and thus represents Arcanum II operating on the plane of Arcanum III, occult science manifesting in marriage. In the King’s chamber of the Great Pyramid in Egypt is found a lidless sarcophagus, symbolizing the soul’s flight out of matter, and out of the physical body; but significant enough, no sarcophagus is found in the Queen’s chamber, for those who devised this great monument of occult science recognized that man and woman were but the two immortal portions of one Deific spiritual ego.

Astrology. —The Moon governs all periods of gestation, and is the magnetic mother of all life. Life on earth, in a physical body, is but the period of gestation which precedes a more vivid and active life in higher-dimensional realms. The Moon thus corresponds to Arcanum XX.

Human Function. —The ego is a spiritual spark of Deity, and as such is eternal; but the soul alone is immortal. What the Moon is to the Sun, that the soul is to the ego. It is the divine soul which, having evolved through countless life-forms, attains self-conscious immortality. Its effort in this direction is shown in Arcanum XX.

Alchemy. —In alchemy, Arcanum XX represents the Consciousness of the changes in himself, or the changes in other things, as the case may require, that take place as the transmutations proceed. It is the recognition of the new vibratory rates.

Bible. —The trinity rising from the sarcophagus of Arcanum XX is referred to in John 21:14; “This is now the third time that Jesus showed himself to his disciples, after He was risen from the dead.” Then Luke 24:51; “And it came to pass while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.” Such ascensions are mentioned still further in Rev. 20:6; “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power.”

This signifies that those who attain adeptship, and in the process build a spiritual form, not only voluntarily translate to the inner plane when life’s work is over, but that, instead of requiring still more arduous experience in the astral realms, they move at once to sojourn on the spiritual plane, thus escaping the so-called second death. Voluntary ascension is plainly indicated for both Elijah and Jesus, and may be inferred for Moses; Deut. 34-6; “But no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day. And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died; his eye was not dim, nor his natural forces abated.”

The birth into the next life may be accidental, natural, or surgical, depending on the circumstances. The natural method is that indicated in the lives of Jesus, Elijah, Moses and certain of the Indian tribesmen of the North. That is, they go voluntarily, and need no assistance from others on either plane.

The accidental method of birth into the next life occurs frequently on the field of battle, in sudden accidents, where there are explosions, and other places in which the death of the physical comes without warning and with considerable shock. In such cases not infrequently the individual does not realize for some time that he is dead. These cases, however, which represent a temporary inability to make the proper adjustment to the inner plane, are not the same as those in which, through the strong and unbreakable attachment to some earthly thing the individual is earthbound: Rev. 20:5; “But the rest of the dead lived again until a thousand years were finished.”

Masonry. —In Masonry, Arcanum XX is the basis of the Perfect Master degree. It is symbolized by the sprig of cassia, sign of immortality, that was found on the grave of Hiram Abiff. Still more is it exemplified by the coffin with a five-point star on the lid, and leaning over it the immortal sprig of cassia.

In the ritual of raising Hiram Abiff from the grave, there are three attempts made, as signified by the three persons rising from the tomb of Arcanum XX. The first two efforts are unsuccessful; and the resurrection is finally accomplished only when the soul-union method of the Lion’s paw grip of Arcanum XIX is employed.

Magic. —In many magical practices the assistance of those who have once lived on earth is invoked. More commonly than not those who control mediums are, or pretend to be, those who have once lived on earth.

It is true that a medium can tune in on a thought-form, or record left in the astral substance about our planet, so thoroughly as to be dominated by it. This is especially true of thought-forms to which, through mental magic, elemental life-forms have been attached. More commonly, however, mediums are actually controlled by those who once lived on earth, or they tune in on the thoughts and desires emanating from the unconscious minds of those in their circle.

The electromagnetic body of a person never moves far from the corpse after physical death, and it has no intelligence, or special power that can be utilized. The astral body of an individual can only be used through control of it, and an astral body is not a shell. The only spooks and shells of human origin are the powerful thought-forms left by people under great emotional excitement, the astral bodies of souls which are earth-bound, and the electromagnetic bodies of those whose corpses have not yet disintegrated. One might delude oneself into thinking any one of these was a departed loved one; but the discriminating would not make this mistake; and such spooks and phantoms can not be made successfully to impersonate loved ones who have passed to the next plane. The teaching that such is the case is merely the inversive use of a fact in the effort to disparage the belief in the immortality of the soul and to create a disbelief in the possibility of spirit communication.

Initiation. —In the soul’s pilgrimage Arcanum XX represents the awakening of the soul to its angelic state as the result of entering into the soul-mate system.

Occult Science. —The Next Life, is the science of those conditions which surround the life-form after it passes from the physical plane, and embraces a consideration of inner-plane properties, and the means by which the soul continues its advancement in the realms beyond the tomb.

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The Magic Cross Spread



In this spread the cards are shuffled and cut as usual. Then five cards are dealt in a straight line from left to right; and eight more cards are dealt in a vertical line crossing the horizontal row at right angles, as illustrated at the beginning of this Chapter (Serial Lesson 32). Thus while there are really only 13 cards in the spread, there are 5 in the horizontal line and 9 in the vertical line, making 14, the double 7 of regeneration. This explains the mystery of the cross; for 13 is the cross of death and 14 is the rosy cross of life.

The cards marked on the diagram 1 and 2 are to be read as the past. Cards marked 6 and 7 are the hopes and expectations. 4 and 5 represent the opposition and the adversaries. Then 3 is the present, where all factors meet to give birth to the future. And cards 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 represent the future so conceived.

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The Nines


Nine of Coins

Nine of Cups

Nine of Scepters

Nine of Swords


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