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2 and 3

I've been meditating on the High Priestess for a while now. Probably longer than I ought, but certain issues were brought to light.

One is the concept of "virginity". The High Priestess Key is associated with figures of Eternal Virginity as contrasted by The Empress who represents figures of Fertility.

But my thought is this; virginity is by definition a negative state (negative meaning absence of a thing rather than any badness or judgment). Virginity, to exist as a state of having not experienced sexual intimacy requires for it to have meaning, the potential for sexual union. Thus, this twoness is a kind of potential state as opposed to the fruitful state of threeness whereupon the two have joined creating between them the third state; that of relationship. (from I-Thou to We)

In unified consciousness there is no such thing as virginity because there is no two to join and by extension, no experience of joining to not have. Thus, two requires one but oneness negates two.

Virginity as a negative state also suggests that to turn it's awareness away from the unified state of existence to the potential for sexual union means that the High Priestess is an act of self-negation. This corresponds to the kabbalistic depiction of creation wherein the Spirit of God withdrew itself to make the Void.

This is where the Dove hovers as both the Bright and the Dark. This is the point of Creation-to-be and the source of beingness as beingness rather than as potential or even awareness of potential. This is the mystery of the Columbe, the maiden through whom the Most High incarnates through His desire to the Christform.

I would say more, but the Empress has me by the throat...

Tree and geometrical precision

someone who knows very little about Kabbalah asked me last night why the Tree of Life is in that particular shape. So I showed him:

The way the Tree is formed, it is mathematically and geometrically precise. The fact that the patterns within it all connect into greater patterns is no accident and has been part of the study of mysticism since the time of the Ancients. Because measurement was sacred and letters and numbers had meaning, life could be depicted in the microcosmic elegance that echoes the simplicity of the actual structures of the subatomic to the galactic. That this was evident from pattern itself is no accident and points back to the Emerald Tablet which states,


Without falsehood

Certain and most true

That which is above is as that which is below.

thoughts on 0 and 1

I saw a quote today that had meaning for me:

"Desire is the mother of all misery. When the desires [...] are directed toward attaining self-awareness, then the same desire becomes [...] a useful instrument for self-realization."
-Swami Rama, "Living with the Himalayan Masters"

In Tarot, the color red is often associated with the symbol of the lemniscate. Red, being a universal symbol of desire is understood to be that which begets after its own kind. Desire is the fruit of the tree that contains the seed of that same tree(Gen 1:11). This is shown in Tarot as the Roses growing both above and below the Magician, who bears the lemniscate over his head.( Note: fruit P'ri, Peh Resh Yod, valued at 200+80+10= 290 or 11)

This is also then pointed to as the tongue of the Lion in the Strength key (note: the woman in that key also has the lemniscate) and the echo of the Red Lion's tongue is worn as a feather in the cap of the Fool.

In the Magician, desire acts as both the Higher Will which is channeled through the Magician himself into the world of effects, or manifestation. In Strength, the red lion is tamed by the purity of the woman who directs the mouth of the lion. This is interesting as the lion in that key generally symbolizes sexual desire. (the Serpent of both temptation and the power of kundalini are the tail of the lion.)

Oftentimes in the symbolism of the digits for 0 and 1 are seen a kind of literal depiction of sexual organs and the concept of duality between male and female. So it is interesting then that the 0 key, the Fool has the lion's tongue as a feather in his cap while the Magician as the 1 key is veritably surrounded in a kind of vagina dentata of roses.

It occurs to me that this kind of male/female switch is intentional. the 0 and 1 can also symbolize the tongue inside the mouth. As it is said, "Man is not defiled by what goes into him, but by what comes out," suggesting that of all the powers of creation, Man's power of speech surpasses even the reproductive power in efficacy and danger. As such, the lion as the power of eroticism manifested both in the animal nature and in the tendency to make a joyful noise can only be tamed and directed by the feminine power or Shekinah. Kali too has the long, extended red tongue, symbolizing the awful power of speech as a tool of destruction and appetite. (not literally appetite for food, but rather blood or in Kali's case, to devour the life experience of humankind, thus eating its sin)

I was taught that the feather in the cap of the Fool was to symbolize animals, but what animal has red feathers? I suspect it is a Pheonix; again as desire is that which begets itself after even its own demise. Being in the cap of the Fool suggests that desire in that state is in the air (or even Air/Mercury) as an ideal. Not until the World Key do the red lemniscates truly hold the power of growth in perfect balance at the same point at which the Androgyne/Lord of the Dance is grasped (literally in the letter kaph which is now red blended perfectly with blue)

The grasping palm holds the object of desire as it was meant to be; a view of the Self in perfection. The power of speech then holds the key to having desire under control of the Higher Will. As it is said

“To attain the SANCTUM REGNUM, in other words, the knowledge and power of the Magi, there are four indispensable conditions--an intelligence illuminated by study, an intrepidity which nothing can check, a will which cannot be broken, and a prudence which nothing can corrupt and nothing intoxicate. TO KNOW, TO DARE, TO WILL, TO KEEP SILENCE--such are the four words of the Magus, inscribed upon the four symbolical forms of the sphinx.” (Sphinx= lion + magician)*quote from Eliphas Levi's Transcendental Magic

The power of 10 is the silent tongue held inside the mouth. The Wheel of Fortune is overcome by silent meditation.

Keep it secret, keep it safe!
Red oh red,
The taste of blood
On lips of wine
Red so silent,
Wait a minute
Or just a little while
What are you looking for,
The taste of red,


First I will point out that I began to write my thoughts about my daily meditation here:


typos and all...that is the beginning work I began to do on the meditation from Paul Foster Case known as the Pattern on the Trestleboard.

This meditation has been a very powerful influence in my life. I used to have migraines up to 3-5 times a week, now it's down to more like once or twice a month. I used to have nightmares that would be so disturbing I would go completely rigid during them and wake feeling the strain on my body that caused. Now I can laugh at the occasional bad dream and see if it has meaning for me. This meditation I do daily. It is the core of my spiritual practice.

The real magic, I feel is in the accompanying visualization. For those not in BOTA or familiar with the Pattern, the 11 statements correspond to the microcosmic kabbalistic Tree of Life glyph. (statement 0 is above the glyph) The pattern follows the lightning bolt patterns down the tree, so that should explain some of my remarks about why those statements are connected to certain parts of the body. When visualizing the Tree of Life and its Sephiroth, each Sephirah has a whole set of associations and meanings which can, once the pattern itself is memorized be incorporated into the meditative process.

In Hermetic (GD style) Kabbalah, the pathways between the Sephiroth are represented by certain Tarot Keys. Having been a student of Tarot for most of my life, this enriches it for me greatly so that when I return to more traditional Kabbalistic texts, the stories come to life in rich and ecstasy inducing ways. Reading the words of Rabbi Akiva while contemplating the Pattern really just blows my mind.

At any rate...

So the usual meditation is to recite the statements while visualizing the Sephiroth on the Tree overlapping the corresponding positions on the body and kind of lighting up as your attention moves along the lightning bolt.

In the original lesson material, Case recommended in the morning a normal 0-10 recitation but in the evening a reversed version. Later this recommendation was removed. I thought about it and I figured that while the Serpentine path up the Tree can be used, it often leads to serious mental and emotional instability, so I decided to try a kind of upward Middle Pillar version of the Pattern. Starting at the feet I moved up the four center Sephiroth with the corresponding statements as I did so.

Normally it goes:

This Is Truth About The Self

0. All the Power that ever was or will be is here now.-above the head

1. I am a center of expression for the Primal Will-to-Good which eternally creates and sustains the Universe.-the top of the head

2. Through me its unfailing Wisdom takes form in thought and word.-left side of the head

3. Filled with Understanding of its perfect law, I am guided, moment by moment, along the path of liberation.-right side of the head

4. From the exhaustless riches of its Limitless Substance, I draw all things needful, both spiritual and material.-left shoulder

5. I recognize the manifestation of the Undeviating Justice in all the circumstances of my life.-right shoulder

6. In all things, great and small, I see the Beauty of the Divine Expression.-heart

7. Living from that Will, supported by its unfailing Wisdom and Understanding, mine is the Victorious Life.-left hip

8. I look forward with confidence to the perfect realization of the Eternal Splendor of the Limitless Light.-right hip

9. In thought and word and deed, I rest my life, from day to day, upon the sure Foundation of Eternal Being.-the groin

10. The Kingdom of Spirit is embodied in my flesh.-the feet

So, for my upwards night meditation, I began with statement 10, then 9, 6 and then 1. I found this to be a powerful way to bring my awareness back to the Divine origin of life as I send myself off to sleep.

One night, however, as I contemplated the wording of these statements as well as the Middle Pillar on the tree and within my body, the statements themselves each blossomed out into a kind of flower of statements.

For instance, at the feet, "The Kingdom of Spirit is embodied in my flesh", I had already contemnplated that as Malkuth is associated with the four elements that within this Kingdom of Spirit was all the "lower" Kingdoms of life and that the true meaning of having lordship over the earth is to have control over the kingdoms within oneself.


The Kingdom of Fire is embodied in my flesh

The Kingdom of Water is embodied in my flesh

The Kingdom of Air is embodied in my flesh

The Kingdom of Earth is embodied in my flesh

The Kingdom of Spirit is embodied in my flesh

This creates a pentacle of light around the feet, grounding the body in the elements. In contemplating the 9th statement and its position, perhaps being a woman it seemed natural to me to emphasize the element within the statement dealing with cycles of time.

So, it goes from "day to day" to "hour to hour" to "minute to minute" to "now" and finally "within eternity"

For statement 4 at the heart, it blossomed out into the 5 senses:

...I see the beauty...

...I hear the beauty...

...I smell the beauty...

...I taste the beauty...

...I feel the beauty...

...I know the beauty...

(Because the heart is connected to a hexagram instead of a pentagram I felt 6 statements best embodied Tiferet's influence)

Finally, the crown. For those familiar with traditional kabbalah, it is understood that each Keter is a Malkuth for another Tree, and I was reading last night in a text on Hinduism that talked about a conversation between Shiva and Parvatri where Shiva tells her that knowledge can only be attained by one who has God's feet resting within his head. I found that to be very nicely connected to this meditation, so while the crown has the statement that hints at the macrocosmic reality, within that crown is the feet of the macrocosmic Tree and it's own middle pillar, so if I eventually get this whole meditation ironed out, I will eventually have an overlap between the crown states said for "I am" and simultaneously the feet statements for the "I AM", but for now:

I am a center of expression for the primal Will to good which eternally creates and sustains my body

...my relationships

...my community

...my world

...the Universe.

At some point I will elaborate on why each of those statements has its counterpart in the feet statements and how it connects to the four worlds of creation and of course the Tree within each Sephirah, making the crown more of a 10 to the power of ten kind of flower, essentially a thousand petaled lotus, but that I may well save for the book I will eventually write dealing with this material. For now, this is enough of a teaser for those who have eyes to see to work with if they feel a resonance with the material.

blessed be,


new tarot blog

For those interested I am hosting my colored and cleaned Tarot keys here:

I find the quality of the images works nicely. Please enjoy as I add them.

Article on The Fool key

OUTLINE OF TAROT Paul Foster Case The Bank of Life
Key 0 —The Fool
o draw money from a bank, you have to observe certain prescribed forms, based upon sound principles of banking. You have limitless credit with the Bank of Life, but you must comply with the regular forms of procedure, based upon the principles of life expression. Observe the rules and you can draw anything you want from the limitless supply at your disposal.
Tarot is your checkbook. A checkbook contains the forms you have to fill out to draw money from a bank. Every time you open a checkbook you get a lesson in banking. It tells you just what to do to draw your money. There is a date line to fill, a blank for the name of the person to whom the money is to be paid, a date line, a number, and a place for the signature. The check is no good unless it is properly filled out. In like manner, Tarot tells you how to draw supplies from the Bank of Life. It gives you all the necessary forms, but you must fill in the forms.
Tarot explains all the operations of the Life-power, all the secrets of the hidden forces in man, all the laws for the application of Conscious Energy to the solution of human problems. It also gives you the specific patterns which you can fill out, simply by giving daily attention to the pictures. Just as a bank has various forms to be filled out by those who wish to avail themselves of its services, so Tarot provides twenty-two patterns which include all possible variations of life-expression through human personality. You can fill any of them out. Life does the rest. Whatever you do is conditioned by subconscious mental states. The habitual attitudes of your subconsciousness work out for you in health and disease, success of failure, wealth or poverty, pleasure or pain. You can control the subconscious attitudes, because subconsciousness is always amenable to suggestion or impressions coming from the conscious level. The most potent suggestions are visual impressions. Pictures are worth far more than words. Each Tarot picture is a combination of visual images, especially designed to produce a specific subconscious response. Every detail of the picture has been carefully thought out, and the whole is a combination that represents the knowledge of master psychologists. To look at a Tarot Key is to impress its suggestions upon subconsciousness through your eyes. The subconscious reaction is inevitable. Just as a seed is bound to grow if you plant it, so the response from looking at Tarot is bound to occur, if you look. If you look without knowing anything about the pictures, you will get some response; but you will get the maximum response if you know what you are looking at. All communication of ideas is in symbols. All our symbols are conventionalized pictures. A gesture is a suggestion of a picture. A word stands for a mental picture. Symbolism, then, isn’t an obscure, out-of-the-way subject. Everybody uses it, and is vitally interested in it. Symbols are used because they’re the only means of communicating ideas, the only means of arousing subconscious response. The particular symbols used in Tarot are the ones which experience has shown to be the most potent in producing subconscious reaction. They call forth practically the same response from every human subconscious mind, no matter what the level of intellectual culture. Even a primitive soul will respond to a considerable degree.
The first Key of Tarot is titled The Fool, and the noun ―fool‖ is derived from the Latin follis, a bellows. What makes a bellows useful is that it can be filled with air, and that it intensifies and directs the pressure of air. Here is all occult practice in a nut shell. Actual atmospheric air is the first thing you must learn to control if you want to make contact with Limitless Power. Learn how to breathe. Breath is the great occult force, and in every Scripture the word ―breath‖ is used to designate the limitless Divine Working-power. For example: Sanskrit, Prana; Greek, Pneuma;
OUTLINE OF TAROT The Bank of Life Paul Foster Case
Key 0 —The Fool
Latin, Spiritus; English, Spirit. All mean ―breath.‖ So does the Hebrew Ruach (pronounced rooakh),
which we shall use a good deal, because it contains a formula that tells us why breath is so
important. In Hebrew it is spelled with three letters: xwr. r (Resh) stands in Hebrew for the sun.
w (Vav) stands for the earth. x (Cheth) stands for the influence of the moon. Sun, earth, moon,
then, is the formula for the Hidden Power in breath. Sunlight and moonlight – two specific kinds
of light vibration – direct light and reflected light, mixed in the earth’s atmosphere, such is the
real nature, on the physical side, of the Limitless Power which is free to us all. Understand by
sunlight, of course, the direct light of all true stars, and by moonlight the reflected light of all
moons and planets.
There is another hint to be gained from the title: are you afraid of being called a fool? Then
you can’t draw funds from the Bank of Life. Here are the names of some people who have been
called fools by their contemporaries: Moses, Buddha, Jesus, St. Paul, Mohammed, Columbus,
the signers of the Declaration of Independence, Edison, the Wrights, Henry Ford. Henry Ford
once declared that he owes his success to something he learned from an occult book written by
Orlando Smith, and that book is only a partial presentation of the science of life that Tarot
teaches, and helps you to apply. Better join these ―fools.‖
Aleph ()), attributed to Key 0 is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Its numeral value is 1,
and the name Aleph, pronounced awlef, means ―ox.‖ There are many occult ideas associated
with this letter. Here we will emphasize only two. First, the form of the letter is like a swastika,
an ancient good luck symbol. Second, oxen are patient. Put these ideas together and they suggest:
good luck is the result of perseverance. Do you want to enjoy plenty from the Bank of Life?
Unless your middle name is perseverance, and you sign it to all your checks, they will come back
marked ―no funds.‖ All great teachers have taught this principle.
The number of this Key 0, looks like an egg, and suggests the possibility of growth and
development. Understand it as representing No-thing, rather than ―nothing.‖ What is means is
this: There is no limit to the resources of the Bank of Life. The capital of Conscious Energy, the
treasure of the Life-power, has no end. That power is no thing, because every thing has fixed
limits, and it has none. Just as life comes out of an egg, so this power you are learning to draw
upon comes from within. It is the only power we may safely depend upon.
Anything less will be exhausted sometime, will fail sometime, will disappoint us sometime.
Nothing less than Limitless Life is adequate to our every demand. Here is another rule: you must
learn to be independent of every thing. Depend on no external circumstance. Depend upon no
human being. Depend upon no outward resources whatever. This is true independence, because it
is based upon absolute reliance upon all Power.
I refer you to other writings for the fine points about the symbolism of this picture. The main
features you need to be sure you see when you look at the design are as follows:
The Fool’s attitude. It expresses confidence in every line. In order to make contact with your
limitless resources, you must first of all believe that they are actually accessible. Then you must
expect to be able to use them. Finally, you must have a definite objective, a vision of something
beyond your present place in life. Remember that the zero sign is an egg. You must provide for
growth. No matter how little you think you have accomplished, you can grow. No matter how
advanced you are, there is still room for further development.
Furthermore, the Fool’s attitude is the actual physical pattern for holding the body so that you
will feel confidence, and express confidence. Look at this picture until you know every line of it.
Then whenever you feel like slumping, it will straighten you up, expand your chest, give your
heart and lungs and vital organs more room, and you will soon be full of ―pep‖ again. Try it and
see. The picture plants its seeds of suggestion in subconsciousness. Nobody who ever really uses
Tarot gets into the habit of slouching. What does the Bible say? ―No good thing will he withhold
OUTLINE OF TAROT Paul Foster Case The Bank of Life
Key 0 —The Fool
from them that walk uprightly‖ [Psalm 84:11]. If you slouch physically, there is something wrong with your contact with the Life-power. Tune in again by using this picture suggestion until it has become permanently effective. The sun behind him. Solar force is the physical form of the Life-power which is of most importance to us. Modern science, when it says everything is made from electrons, really says that everything is made from light, and sunlight is the primary form of light available to us. Moonlight and planetary light are forms of light reflected from the sun. The gases of the atmosphere are made of electrons, so they are really made of light, too. So is everything else. Thus the sun in the picture represents the fact that all the power there is, is light power. This is an ancient teaching. The practical application is this: are you getting your daily recharging from the sun? If not, why not? Begin tomorrow. Look at this picture every day, and your subconscious mind will so respond to it that you will feel like getting your share of sunlight, every day. The wreath around his hair. This represents the green leaves of the vegetable kingdom. It also represents the most important human food. If you want to draw on the Bank of Life you must eat green vegetables. You must, just as you must write your checks in the prescribed form. Life-power comes to you in certain forms, although the power itself is beyond all forms the green leaves bind sunlight, just as the wreath binds the fair hair of the Fool. Eat them daily. The feather rising from the wreath. It is the wing-feather of an eagle. It represents the animal kingdom, a step higher in life than the vegetable kingdom. It is also an ancient symbol of aspiration (which means ―to breathe towards‖), and truth. What do you aspire to? Have you a clearly formulated aim in life? Just as you must begin specify what you want to draw from a bank, so you must begin by formulating your aspiration. In the colored Tarot pictures, this feather is red, the color which represents action, that is, expression. You cannot truly aspire to get things. The only true aspiration is the desire to be something, the desire to express some particular form of the Life-power in action. What do you aspire to do? That is the first great question. The wand and wallet. The wand is a measuring tool, like a yardstick. What is your measure of the Life-power’s resources? What do you expect from it? Have you taken your own measure? Here is the Bible’s measure of a man: ―Thou hast madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet‖ (Psalm 8:6). The wallet represents the powers of the subconsciousness. The basic power of sub-consciousness is memory. Memory is essentially a reproductive power. Hence the wallet shows the picture of an eagle, because in the symbolism the eagle is one of the great types of the Life-power’s limitless ability to reproduce itself. Here is a key to much profound occult truth, which will be considered in subsequent lectures. The open eye on the flap of the wallet has also many deeply occult meanings. The one to remember is this: vision is what unlocks the subconscious treasure house. You have to access to all that has ever been known, to the nature-record of all that has ever been done. A clear seeing of what you want to be and do is the first essential to putting you in touch with the nature-memories bearing upon whatever kind of activity you are interested in. The rose. This represents desire. Its thorns typify pain. Its bloom represents the ideas of beauty and pleasure. The secret of controlling desire, of cultivating it and improving it, is the great practical secret of Ageless Wisdom. Hence this is a cultivated flower, and the Fool knows how to carry it so that the thorns do not prick his fingers.
The Fool’s garments. Without elaborating upon the occult meaning of these, it may be noted that the design on his outer robe is an eight-spoked wheel, surrounded by seven trefoils. The wheel represents the fundamental characteristic of the Life-power’s motion, which is rotary, or
OUTLINE OF TAROT Paul Foster Case The Bank of Life
Key 0 —The Fool
whirling. In the colored Tarot the spokes are red, the color that represents energy and light. Light in action, or conscious energy, is therefore the meaning. The green trefoils represent the seven great phases of the Life-power’s activity. These correspond to seven centers in the physical body. To make the Life-power work properly through these seven centers is one of the most important occult secrets, which is thoroughly explained in the lesson courses. There are ten repetitions of this design, and they correspond to ten aspects of the Life-power.
That is to say, the Life-power IS, in itself, and its manifestation, these things: (1) the originating Will-Energy that produces the universe; (2) unfailing Wisdom, which knows every principle of reality; (3) perfect Understanding of every condition and situation; (4) the limitless substance from which all forms are built; (5) absolute Law, which operates with undeviating accuracy; (6) a power working always toward the expression of Beauty, even though some of the processes may go through stages of temporary ugliness; (7) a power which cannot fail, because it is ALL POWER, so that it must be the Success Power; (8) a power which has produced glorious manifestations in the past, and may be rightly expressed to produce others more glorious in the future; (9) a power which is the Basis or Foundation of all human or other expressions of activity; and (10) a power that manifests itself in a perfect order, or Kingdom. This is the kind of power that you can draw upon. This is the real nature of the vital energy that courses through your body. This is the Conscious Energy that takes form in all your personal activities. This is the power which rushes, as atmospheric air, into your lungs with every breath. The picture of the Fool contains all the symbolic suggestions which will call forth the subconscious responses necessary to put you in contact consciously with this Limitless Power. It says to you: ―No matter if you seem to be on the very edge of a precipice, there is that in you which can enable you to find a way which leads to the height beyond. There may be a chasm at your feet, but you can bridge it. You may have come to the jumping-off place, as it seems to you, but that only means that you must pause long enough to get a clear idea of the goal beyond. See it and see it clearly. Then you will find the way.‖
The little dog? I’ve left him to the very last, where he belongs. He is a symbol of the intellect, the merely reasoning mind, which has nothing to go on but past experience. He’s all right. He’s a faithful friend. But you’ll get into trouble if you let him run your business. A dog is all right to lead the blind. Intellect will serve to guide those whose eyes are not open to the vision of possibilities beyond the average human attainments. But those who belong to the glorious company of God’s fools – the great seers and sages, the inventors, the pioneers, the masters of life – they always keep ahead of the little barking dog of the intellect, which is forever saying; ―Bow, wow, wow! Look out! You’ll fall over! What on earth are you looking at way up there? What’s the use? It can’t be done.‖ For the wise man sees and knows that every advance the world has made is the result of a vision some man or woman had when they came to a jumping-off place. And they write billion dollar checks, like Henry Ford, or find new worlds, like Columbus, or cross the Atlantic, like Lindberg, or change the destiny of nations, like those brave fools who pledged their lives and fortunes to maintain that great Declaration of principles on which this nation was established.