Histoire de la magie, (1871) Jean Baptiste Pitois // De Misteriis Aegyptiorum, Iamblichus (c. A.D. 250-325)
This post is, in a sense, a follow-up to the previous post published (16)17 january 2010. That post contained the poetry of Daniel Drumm, a guest blogger. To read Daniel's poetry simply scroll down to the previous blog entry. The two posts are on completely different subjects, hence I broke them into two distinct posts as well as keeping the previous entry from becoming too unwieldy. This entry is strictly concerned with The Synthesis of Mysticism, The Path of Totality and a presentation of the Attributes of the Major Arcana. The Avatars, the first five cards of the Major Arcana, have already been published in a post entry dated 27 october 2009. The Attributes are four in number and are so-called in The Path of Totality precisely because they function in an attribuable manner. It is important to remember that the Tarot is not a fortunetelling device, is not a window onto the future and predicts nothing. The Tarot is a guide for one's own realization and insight into how one is affecting one's destiny and is blocking or aiding the forces and energies that may be used to good purpose. All forces and energies can be turned to good usage, but it requires right-thinking and right-action. The same forces can wreak havoc if left unattended, unused, ignored or manipulated by the ego. With that in mind, the short following review is given and then the presentation of the Attributes.
The Synthesis of Mysticism
Human Will, illuminated by Science and manifested by Action, creates the Realization of a power that is used or abused according to good or bad Inspiration in the circle traced out by the laws of universal order.
After overcoming the Trial that is imposed by divine Wisdom, Will comes, by means of its Victory, into possession of the work that it created and establishing its Equilibrium on the axis of Prudence, dominates the oscillations of Fortune.
The Strength of man, sanctified by Sacrifice that is the voluntary offer of itself on the altar of devotion and expiation, triumphs over Death and its divine Transformation elevates it, beyond the tomb, to the serene regions of infinite progression opposing the reality of an immortal Initiative to the eternal lie of Fatality.
The course of time is measured by means of the ruins but, beyond every Ruin, the dawn of Hope can be seen reappearing in the twilight of Disillusionments. Man incessantly aspires to what escapes him and the sun of Happiness only rises for him after the Renewal of his being through death that opens up a higher sphere of will, intelligence and action to him.
Every will that allows itself to be governed by bodily instincts is an abdication of freedom and condemns itself to Expiation of its mistake or blame. In apposition, every will that joins God in order to manifest truth and operate justice enters, right from this life, into participation with the divine power over beings and things: the eternal Recompense of freed spirits.
Grand Hierophant/ The Path of Totality ©2009
Points from The Path of Totality:
1) This is not a faith of force but of spiritual Illumination, not as in Freemasonry or the Illuminati movement, but rather individual striving towards personal transformation and realization.
2) It is a faith of dedication to the belief that with serious effort, dedication and ruthless self-honesty anyone can attain transformation from this level of being to a better, higher plane of existence, knowledge and action. The Synthesis of Mysticism is central to the faith, although it will need to be broken down and worked out in simpler terms for step-by-step progression.
3) Symbology is central to The Path of Totality, oriented around ancient truths and universal imagery.
Grand Hierophant/ The Path of Totality ©2009
The ATTRIBUTES from the Major Arcana of the Tarot.
VI – The Lovers
The Two Roads, The Trial
Letter Ur – U, V – Number 6
U, V = 6 and expresses the Science of good and Evil in the Divine World. In the Intellectual World It is the balance between Necessity and Liberty. In the Physical World it is the antagonism of natural forces and the chaining of effects to causes.
Arcanum VI is represented by a man standing immobile on the corner formed by the junction of two roads. His eyes are fixed on the ground, and his arms crossed over his chest. Two women, one to his right and the other to his left, place one of their hands on his shoulders, showing him the two roads. The woman on the right has her brow bound with a golden circle and personifies Virtue. The one on the left is crowned with vine shoots and represents the tempter Vice. Above this group the Genius of Justice, gliding in a dazzling halo, tightens his bow and directs the arrow of chastisement towards Vice. The whole of this scene expresses the struggle between passions and conscience.
Remember that for common men the attractions of Vice are more prestigious than the austere beauty of Virtue. Take care in selecting your solutions. Obstacles in front of you block the road for which you are looking; opposing probabilities glide around your head and your will vacillates between opposing parties. In all cases, indecision is more disastrous than a bad choice. Go forward or retreat, but remember that a chain of flowers is more difficult to break than a chain of iron.
VII – The Chariot
Osiris’ Chariot – Victory
Letter Zain (Z) - Number 7
Z = 7 and expresses the Septenarius, the domination of the Spirit over Nature, in the Divine World. In the Intellectual World, it is the Priesthood and the Empire. In the Physical World it is the submission of the Elements and the Forces of Matter to Intelligence and to the Work of Man.
Arcanum VII is portrayed by the square-shaped war chariot, surmounted by a starry baldachin sustained by four columns. An armored victor advances in this chariot, holding a scepter and a sword in his hands. He is crowned with a gold circlet ornamented with three pentagrams, or five-pointed stars. The square chariot symbolizes the completed Opera of the Will that vanquishes obstacles. The four columns of the starry baldachin represent the Four Elements subject to the Master of the Scepter and of the Sword. On the square front of the chariot a sphere sustained by two unfurled wings is painted: a sign of the boundless exaltation of human power in the infinity of space and time.
The golden crown on the victor’s brow signifies possession of the intellectual light that illuminates all the Arcana of Fortune. The three stars that ornament it symbolize Power balanced with Intelligence and Wisdom. Three squares are traced on his armor signifying the rectitude of Will, Justice and Action, donated by the Strength that the chariot symbolizes.
The upturned sword is the sign of victory. The scepter is surmounted by a triangle, symbol of the Spirit, by a square, symbol of Matter, and by a circle, symbol of Eternity. It signifies the perpetual dominion of Intelligence over the forces of Nature. Two sphinxes, one white and the other black, draw the chariot. The white one symbolizes Good, the black Evil: the one conqueror and the other conquered; both have become the handmaids of the Magician who triumphed in the trials.
Remember that the empire of the world belongs to those who possess sovereignty of spirit that is the light that illuminates the mysteries of life. Smashing obstacles you will overcome your enemies, and your desires will be realized if you confront the future with daring armed by the awareness of your right.
VIII – Justice
The Scales and the Sword – Equilibrium
Letter Héletha (H) – Number 8
H = 8 and expresses absolute Justice in the Divine World. In the Intellectual World it is Attraction and Repulsion. In the Physical World it is relative, fallible Justice that emanates from men.
Arcanum VIII is portrayed by a woman seated on a throne, whose brow is encircled by a crown decorated with sword points. In her right hand she is holding a sword turned upwards, and in her left some scales. She is Themis, the ancient symbol of Justice who weighs actions and, as a counterweight, opposes the sword of Expiation to evil. Justice that emanates from God is the balanced reaction that rebuilds order that is the equilibrium between right and duty. The sword here is a sign of protection for the good, and a threat for the evil. The eyes of Justice are bandaged to point out how she weighs and strikes without taking the conventional differences that men establish among themselves into consideration.
Remember that to reproduce victory and dominate the obstacles already overcome is just a part of man’s task. To achieve it completely it is necessary to establish equilibrium between the forces that are brought into play. Every action produces a reaction and Will must foresee the clash between opposing Forces, in order to temper and annul them. Every future act is balanced between Good and Evil. Every intelligence that does not know how to balance itself resembles an aborted sun.
IX – The Hermit
The Veiled Lamp – Prudence
Letter Thela (TH) – Number 9
Th = 9 and expresses absolute Wisdom in the Divine World. In the Intellectual World it is Prudence, ruler of Will. In the Physical World it is Caution, guide to Actions.
Arcanum IX is depicted by an old man leaning on his stick as he walks, carrying before him a lit lamp that he hides under his cloak. This old man personifies the experience acquired during one’s life’s work. The lit lamp signifies the light of intelligence that must be spread over the past, the present and the future. The cloak half-hiding the lamp signifies discretion. The stick symbolizes the support that Prudence gives the man who does not free his own thought at all.
Remember that Prudence is the wise man’s armor. Caution enables him to avoid rocky coasts and precipices, and have a presentiment of treachery. Take it as your guide in all actions, even in the smallest. Here below nothing is indifferent; a pebble can overturn the chariot of a Master of the World. Remember that if words are silver, silence is golden.
And now to conclude, a brief entry taken from The Egyptian Book of the Dead: The Book of Going Forth by Day.
Chapter for being transformed into a swallow
I am a swallow, I am a swallow, I am that Scorpion-goddess, the daughter of Re. O you gods, may your savor be sweet; a flame has gone up from the horizon. O you who are in the city, I have brought him who guards his coils; give me your hands, for I have spent the day in the Island of Fire, I have gone on an errand and I have returned with a report. Open to me; then I will tell what I have seen. Horus is in command of the Sacred Bark, and the throne of his father Osiris has been given to him, while that Seth the son of Nut is in bonds because of what he has done. What is in Letopolis has been allotted to me, and I have made obeisance to Osiris. I have gone to make inspection and I have returned to speak; let me pass, that I may report on my errand. I am one who goes in esteemed and who goes out distinguished at the portal of the Lord of All; I am pure on that great tomb-plateau, for I have got rid of my evil, I have discarded my wrongdoing, I have cast to the ground the ills which were on my flesh. O you keepers of the gate, make a way for me, for I am one like you. I go out into the day, I walk on my feet, I have power in my strides. O You of the sunshine, I know the secret ways of the portals of the Field of Rushes. See, I have come, having felled my enemies to the ground, and my corpse is buried.
As for him who knows this chapter, he shall go out into the day, and he shall not be turned away at any portal in the realm of the dead, and he shall assume the shape of a swallow. A matter a million times true.
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From here in the DHOSF, until the next,