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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,


alchemical rose
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