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Tarot of the Abyss. Message in the cards. Part II
© Productions RJPT, Ottawa 2001 The Cards, their meaning. X:" Fortune rota volvitur: descendo minoratus. Alter in altum tollitur nimis exaltatus “(Carmina Burana, Carl Orff version) which means: "Fortune is a wheel that turns, making the weak fall. It then raises to glorify with the greatest joys." The perpetual movement of the wheel gives each state the seed of its contrary as depicted by the Yin-Yang symbol. By analogy, the longest day of the year beckons the shortening of the days to come and vice-versa. Even the gods can do nothing against the 3 Norns for they decide of the world's fate. They are sometimes seen as 2 good and one wicked, but this is only a matter of perception: it is difficult to like what causes pain! We have not the wisdom to understand that they always water the World-Tree in function of its needs rather than our desires.
© Productions RJPT, Ottawa 2001 The Cards, their meaning. XI:The Hebraic letter for Strength (Teth) signifies the serpent. Though it caused expulsion from Paradise, it gave the power, freedom and the responsibility that accompany choice. To mate with these faculties gives birth the greatest things, but it also changes a person forever (she will never again be a virgin). To be penetrated by this strength becomes a hallucinogenic and narcotic ecstasy offering the power of the world. Some will say that it is not personal strength, but that which comes from abandonment to Providence. This becomes true the instant one confers to the Divinity all the powers of the world including the most animal passions, devoid of all sentimentalism. It is actually much more then strength in itself, it is downright pleasure taken in the exercise of power. Where VI uses force to direct the currents toward love, XI uses harmony and fertility for every goal without discretion.
© Productions RJPT, Ottawa 2001 The Cards, their meaning. XII:The Hanged Man is better entitled the Hanged Woman on account of the abused passiveness of the feminine Archetype. The quality of this card is that she sees the goal of her sacrifice. Without this understanding, it is not even possible to abandon oneself because the pain is far to distracting to permit the required Perfect Trust. The Hanged Wo/Man is always her/his own victim because s/he knows pain is the best way to find the illumination sought. Indeed, without this trial by terror, one cannot demonstrate tenacity to any conviction whatever. We must be the woman bound and raped by life and society with no means to defend ourselves nor to escape: we become the puppets of a cause that we find revolting because water (attribute of this card) is the domain of emotions, where misleading is the most convincing.
© Productions RJPT, Ottawa 2001 The Cards, their meaning. XIII:Death remains the road which unites us all. In a devastating situation, is it not better to kill those attitudes and habits that have led us there? The sorcerer of the Pit rots there because he is incapable of removing his gaze from the worms that have caused his fall. Science affirms that the only constant thing in the universe is change. So the passage from one state to another obliges the total cessation of the former. We may thus invest our hope in the fact that everything comes to an end. If we weep the passing of good days, we may rejoice in the termination of suffering. We can also understand it in terms of destiny: heralding an inescapable end.
© Productions RJPT, Ottawa 2001 The Cards, their meaning. XIV:Temperance. VITRIOL: Visitae Interiora Terra Rectificando Invenies Occultem Lapidem (visit the interior of the earth; by rectification shalt thou find the hidden stone). To climb the summits of the Spirit, one must first descend to Hell and find the gold that is buried therein. Or else, it is in ordinary life that one understands the most sacred spiritual truths. We speak of XIV in terms of transformation. Contrary to death, we do not deny the present but rather harmonize with the pure essence. We have lost nothing, but have tidied-up to put things where they belong, not elsewhere. XV:The Devil shows that a person does not go to hell save of his own volition. It is a lack of will to get out of one's slum, and especially a conscious or unconscious refusal to recognize one's predicaments. This is the lesson of the Shadows: that of which we are wary in others and accuse them is part of ourselves, directly or by refraction.
© Productions RJPT, Ottawa 2001 The Cards, their meaning. The card, therefore, in this optic, is the master of illusion: wanted deceit. So much destruction, abuse, torture, so many annihilated cultures, decimated peoples and other ravages have been made in the name of God and/or of justice than by any direct affront by the evil per se. To look truth in the eyes is often unpleasant because we see our own grossness. What is naturally repugnant (including goodness and cleanliness for anarchists) is pleasant and ecstatic to the Devil as it is the being's veritable nature. He can be equated to the World-Tree of the Shamans: the edifice of existence itself as he takes his nourishment from the humus (rot) of the soil. You maintain the choice of optic: will you keep your sight on the excrement or on the tree which finds it's vitality therein?
© Productions RJPT, Ottawa 2001 The Cards, their meaning. XVI:In isolating himself, the Hermit built a safe enclosure around him preventing the exterior world from touching him, but which also kept him prisoner by the same token. The Tower sees the shattering of the armour that held in his essence. Liberation of any kind necessarily brings about the crumbling of the container, be it a physical or allegorical edifice. To escape cataclysm, the only refuge is to immerse on self entirely in this energy. During initiation by their masters, mortal or invisible, shamans always live a kind of destruction of their body which often manifests physically as a severe illness or acute psychosis. The falling asunder or their corrupt part, which restrains the psychic self, remains ever extremely unpleasant, but necessary to enable their Holy nature to manifest freely. The Tower also signifies the corruption of will when God decided to take physical form via the earthly plane.
© Productions RJPT, Ottawa 2001 The Cards, their meaning. XVII:By incarnating, he plunged himself into Darkness, but lo, the Star shines and he awakens consciousness of his origin. Thus connection is established between conscious and subconscious: the body and the Soul. The thinning of the veil between dream & reality can create (magic). Difficulties under the guises of loss or bad luck are often attributed to this card because the subconscious returns to earth what earth sent to the unconscious. If arrogance, abuse or pig-headed negativity have filled the subconscious, unpleasantness must ensue. Failing that, if with the required effort a person's progression, is honestly accomplished independently of physical or moral appearance, the result can be nothing other than good luck as the fruit of his labours. So functions magick, both black and white.
© Productions RJPT, Ottawa 2001 The Cards, their meaning. XVIII:The Moon rules over water where swim 2 fishes in opposite direction demonstrating confusion caused by the seemingly jumbled world of sentiments and psychic perceptions. It doesn't help that everything that surrounds us is but the reflection of a reflection of reality (water mirrors the moon which reflects the sun)! This card represents all that causes fear in the human being by reason that it is difficult to perceive what is actually there. Seeing as the Moon reflects the sun to illuminate trails in the dark of the night, there is an equilibrium between dangers and the road that will get us out. What is hidden in the depths of the Soul therefore necessarily speaks of a past that will affect the future in accordance with our actions and decisions in the present. This is the card of the "Underworld" ("Unterwelt") where one can find all the terrors of existence, the antithesis of our hopes, joys and dreams; all that one would call filthy and disgusting is to be found there. The only way to escape the Shadows of non-understanding and nightmares is do like the crayfish in classic cards which follows its path oblivious to any fear or joy and without really understanding why, nor to what it is going.
© Productions RJPT, Ottawa 2001 The Cards, their meaning. XIX:After surviving the confusions and side-tracking by false illusions which came from the shadows and depths of our Soul, we awaken to the rising Sun which will elucidate our minds! The nightmare, which was only a notion desiring to be known, can do nothing but shine once we expose it. And we can do nothing but expose it as soon as we notice its existence. "Truth will set you free", says the Gospel. It thus procures a freedom that opens the door to every imaginable bounty. It is the prize for having persisted to trek toward your goal despite unnerving illusions: you push onward with "One Star in Sight". (Essay by A. Crowley) One must still be careful: freedom liberates but can also shatter if it comes out to fast, to raw, to the wrong person or at the wrong time. Tact is well advised because the Sun may warm, but it also burns. All learning need not be gained only in suffering: there is also something to be learned in joy! After all, if we seek to unite with our Divinity, it is surely not to weep even more!!!
© Productions RJPT, Ottawa 2001 The Cards, their meaning. XX:The notion of resurrection or rebirth is associated with Judgement in concordance with the Thelemic response: "Love is the law, love under will." This means that resurrection, on the final judgement day, would relate to our experience of lobe. Not only philanthropic and selfless love, but also conjugal and passionate love. The presence of a child in many versions signifies the evaluation of the fruit of one's work, of one's toil. The card can also be understood as a means to VI (love is obtained by the free joys in life, not through pity which creates a psychotic symbiosis between the victim and the rescuer!). It will be understood that in the path of the Shadows, it is necessary to live a complete rotting of the being, like a seed in the soil, in order to germinate to one's full potential (living intense pain produced such gothic and fantasy novelists!).
© Productions RJPT, Ottawa 2001 The Cards, their meaning. XXI:The World (or Universe) shows mission accomplished, and the intoxication by success and accomplishment! Return to the drawing-room to prepare a new project. Mastery of the absolute, having realized everything, opens the door to all possibilities as a new Fool. "God is nothing, and there can be no union with God because there is nothing outside God: appearance and emptiness are like steam and water, the eye and seeing are like clouds and ocean. Those of you who stand at the threshold, understand one thing: you are in everything and everything is in you!" (Baphomet) Being complete, one returns to nothingness, having nothing left to accomplish. Reversed, at the pathological state, he lets himself be lured by the illusions of delays, of inertia and opposition. In fact, it is a lie to talk of this card in terms of direct and reversed because all possibilities belong to it. If Karma is not compensated, one must reincarnate and start the lesson over again.
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