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TAROT INTBRPRETATION

LessonNineteen

PBRPETUAL TRANSF'ORMATION

TIIE TABLEAU for this week is:

9 l0 ll
1a
12 IJ
IA
r.t

15 t6 t7

'fhe
rnagicsquareis:

t2 17 10

t1 l3 l5

16 9 l4

In both arrangements,the centrall(ey is 13,Death. The constantsurnmationof the magic


squareis 39. It showsreversal(Key l2), expressing the Law of Response(Key 9) by the
agencyof creativeimagination(Key 3). I(ey 13 representsthe principal meanswherebythe
forcessymbolizedby the pairs of oppositesin the tableauare balanced.Key 12 showsthe
outcomeof this equilibration.

All the meanitrgsof this tableaurevolve round the idea of changesymbolizedby I(ey 13.
Rememberthat althoughthere is a sensein which Key 13 doesrelateto the phenomenonof
the cessationof a particularpersonalexistenceon the physicalplane,it refersalso to many
other deeply esotericdoctrines. The sayingin the Bible that the last enemyto be overcomeis
deathhas a direct bearingon thesedeepermeanings.

Plainly and briel.ly,the doctrineof AgelessWisdom is that the actualprocesseswhich bring


aboutthe cleathof the humanbody are expressionsof laws and forceswhich needonly to be

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TIIIOT ]NTERPRET'A7-]ON.' 19

understoodin order to releaseus fiom bondageto death. When we thoroughlyunderstand


what mahesus physically die, we shall learnalsothe secretof eternallife.

It is becausemankind has feareddeath,hasbeenso terrified by it that few indeedhave had


courageto study deathclosely. Little progresshas beenmadein this importantbranchof
occult knowledge. The few who have looked deathin the facehave reapedas their reward the
revelationof a pricelesssecret, This is what the alchemistsmeanby saying: "Dissolution is
the secretof the GreatWotk."

So begin your study this week by attentiveexaminationof Key 13, reviewing whatever
explanationof the symbolsyou havereceivedin other texts. Give specialthoughtto the
rising sun. Open your inner ear to any suggestionwhich may cometo yott from the Inner
School concerningthe seedsymbol in the upper left-handcornerof the picture. When the
I(eys are laid out in the tableau,this seedform seemsto point upwardtoward the Hermit, but
in the nragic squareit points toward the HangedMan.

In this connection,considerall you know aboutthe letter Yod, to which the Hermit is
attributedand all we have said concerningthe significanceof the elementof water. Observe,
also,that the rising sun is really one of the starspicturedin Ke1' ll.

Consicler: Keys 10, 12,16 and 14,as they areplacedin the tableau.At the top you seea
s),urlrolot-tlreturning wheel of time. The '.;nmovedsphinx,symbol of the spirit of hurnanity
is sitting still while the wheel turns. At the left is the Key showinghumanpersonalityas the
temporarysuspension of those
of the whirling forcesof the universeby the coudensation
fbrcesinto a particular form.

'fhus
one of the meaningsof Key i2 is that personalityis like a whirlpool. It maintainsits
iclentitybecauseof fbrcesflowing through it, and when theseare turned in anotherdirection,
the whirlpool of personalitydisappears.Our apparentstability as entitieson the physical
plane is only temporary.

If we fall into the error of supposingphysicalplaneexistenceto be our whole being, if we let


this error developinto the delusionthat a humanlife on the physicalplane is an isolatedfact,
unrelatedto the whole sweepof cosmic manifestation,then, inevitably, come the terror and
clestructionpictured by l(ey 16,which, in this tableau,is beneathKey 13, Death.

Wiser counsel,and certaintypes of experimentwhich are opento us, will overcomethe


'l'hen
delusion. we shall seethat physical existenceis but an incident in our total life
expressionand the openway shown in Key 14 will take us to the heightsof spiritual
realizatiou.

Fundamentally,it is the energyof the Primal Will, symbolizedby the light in the Hermit's
lantern,which is at work in the variousprocesseswhich breakdown the tissuesof the human
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INTERPIIETATION: t9

body. The breakdownof tissuereleasesthis energyin variousforms of our personal


activity-thinking, feeling, doing. Even a personapparentlyas inactiveas a sagewho sits
motionlessin profound meditationis, nevertheless, engagedin action. One evidenceo1'thisis
tlrat genuinework in mental control by concentrationand meditationmakesthe body perspire
lieely. Intensemental work of the kind leadingto direct perceptionof higher forms of reality,
is work that breaksdown cell tissuejust as cerlainly as doesmusculareflbrt. Perspirationis
always evidencethat the skin is eliminatingfatigue poison,and fatiguepoison is a
consequence of the disintegrationof cells. (Keys 9, 13, 17)

Look again at the Keys in this tableau. Notice the symbol hastwo wavy lines at the bottom of
the wheeljust over the letter R, and, in this arrangement,over Key 13. This is an alchemical
symbol for dissolution,but it is also the characterusedby astrologersfor Aquarius,the
zocliacalsign which is representedin the upper left-handcornerof Key l0 by the heaclof a
man. The man'sheadis in the samerelativeposition as the seedsymbol in I(ey 13. This is
also the place occupiedin l(ey 16 by the falling crown.

Man is the seedfbrm of a stateof life-manifestationtreyondhimself. One error that besets


him is the suppositionthat his presentstateis the crown of creation. In a sense,to be sure,
that which is the essenceof human life is identicalwith the one greatReality. The error is in
the suppositionthat the GreatWork is broughtto its completionby the appearanceof the
"natural man."

When the human race stops,so to say, and losesits vision of the Beyond,then confusionand
terror come. Readthe Bible story of the Tower of Babel. You will notice that the desireto
builcl a memorial to presentglory causedall the trouble. Key 16 showsthe sameerror
depicted. The Tower is a symbol of a vain attemptto arrestthe onward florv of the
Life-power. It representsthe sum-totalof tlie effors growing out of the folly of supposingthat
humanity, at its presentlevel of development,is the be-all and end-all of the creativeprocess.

As most of us know it, humanpersonalityis only a stageof that process.Beyond this stage
lie untold and unguessedglories. More than this, somefew beingsin every generation,
graspingthis truth, have in their own personsverified it, and havepassedbeyondthe
limitations whicli the ma.joritysupposeto be fixed, unalterablelaws. Somepersonsknow the
pastand the future, as well as the present. Somepersonscan readthe innermostsecretsof the
human heart. Somepersonsare not restrictedto the one spot on earthwheretheir physical
boclyhappensto be. Even someof us, who have caughtbarely a glimpseof the tremendous
possibilitiesof this seedfbrm we call "Man," have receivedour own small but definite
assurancethat our limits are not so f-rxedas oncewe believed. (Keys 10, 13, 16)

Even exotericdogmashave their germ of tnrth becausethey are veils for deepermeanings.
We may smile at the popularnotion that deathis the gateto a heavenwhere all the injustices
which seemto be rampanton this globe will be maderight. Yet there is a deepoccult sensein
which it is true that by dying we enterthe heaven-worldwhere evil ceasesto hold us in

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7'ARO7-INT'ERPRE'I'47']ON. ] 9

bondage. I{ave you ever stoppedto think that eventhe personwho beganto study this course
of lessonsis actually no more? To the degreethat your occult study has brought you
enlightenment,to that degreethe disintegrativeprocesssymbolizedby Key 13 has eliminated
someportion of the personyou were when you beganyour studies.

Problemsthat terrified you then have beensolved. Difficulties havebeenovercome. You can
seethe rvorking ofjustice in situationswhich formerly appearedto you to be unmixed evils.
Your taitlr-an open-eyed,reasonablef'aith,enablesyou to look forward to further
adjustnrctrts.

You have come to know that whateverbondageyou seemto be enduringis really a result of
ignorance. You are beginningto understandignoranceas resistanceof certainparts of your
physical organismto the passageof the light of the Life-power'sperfectknowledgeof all
things. T'hus,by dying to the old personality,you are alreadyglirnpsingyour place in the
greatcosmic order,and that place is, in very truth, the "heaven"where no unrighteousness can
enter,wheresorrowis at an end,whereperfectjusticeis the unvaryingrule. (I(eys 11, 13, 15)

I{eturning to the simile of the whirlpool as a symbol fbr existenceon the physicalplane,
remernberthat every whirlpool is in a stateof intenseactivity. Yet the working power behind
the activity is the flow of the river throughthe whirlpool. So it is with humanlife. False
mysticism is the refugeof deludedsoulswho fancy that by refusingto engagein action they
cornectoserto Reali[,. Suchpersonstry to avoid doing what tlreir halrdsfind to do. True
realizationis what is picturedby the l{anged Man, the knowledgethat the motive power does
not residein the personality.

One snspencls the falsenotion that what one doesis self-originated.True mystics,thetefore,
are nevermere Quietists. Many of them areprodigiousworkers. None ever are shirkers.
Somework with their brainsand nervecentersratherthan with their hands,but just the satne,
they r,vork. Yet in all they do, they are awarethat their personalactivity is but a phaseof the
world processon which that activity depends.

'fhis
mental attitudeis especiallyfavorableto the subtlechangesin body chemistry(closely
connectedwith nervc currentsactive in the areaof the body governedby Scorpio)which bring
aboutthe awakeningof the higher functionsof the brain. As thesefunctionsbecomeactive,
the consciousness of the personchanges.He dies to the old man and risesagaininto a higher
or"derof knowing whicli old books on magic call "The Knowledgeand Conversationof the
IIoly GuardianAngel."

Remember,"angel" meansmessenger.The particularangelnow having chargeof the


unfolclmentof your life may not be anythinglike what most personsimagine angelsto be.
'Ihere
are angelsand angels,and that centerof the Life-power'sexpressionwhich is the means
of leadingyou higher is your particularangelfor this stageof your journey along the Way to
Freedom. (I(eys 12, 13, 14)

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T A I I O ' I ' I N 7 'E R P R E ' I ' A T 'I O N . , ] 9

Rememberthis ftindamentaldoctrineof AgelessWisdom: All tbrms of life-expression are


vehicles of the One Identity. Behind and aboveyour particular"guardianangel" for the
presentmoment is the over-shadowingperfectionof the One Identity. FIe (or it may be she)
to whom is entrustedthe work of supervisingthe presentstageof your progress,is but a
messengerand representativeof that SupremeOne.

'fhejourney
yoll are making toward the heightsis the Way of Return. It is the upward arc of
flie wheel of manif-estation,You, and the rest of humanity, arelike Hermanubison the Wheel
of'Fortune. Your spiritual eyesare beginningto catchglimpsesof the glorious Beyond which
the Fool sees(hencethe eyesof Hermanubisare level with the letter A, or Aleph.) Your
spiritual earsare beginningto bring you someinkling of the truth that your real being is one
with the ONLY ONE,.

YoLrrf-aithis being confinned by experience,even as it is foundedon reason. You do not


believeblindly, AgelessWisdom saysto you: "Come,let us reasontogether."It showsyou
relationshipsamongthe variousphasesof existencewhich are passedover by most persons.
It sharpensyour powersof observation.It points out the footprintsof the Master Principle,
and developsyour creativeimaginationso that you can seewith the eye of faith what your
physical eyeshave not yet witnessed.

On ils practicalsidc,it is enabling5'outo mslic fine rrtust:nentsin I'or-:ithinL:ing,


nn.Cis
teachingyou how to direct your emotionallife into betterchannelsof expression.All this is
making you graduallyinto a new person. What you were is passingaway. What you are is
betterthan what you were.

As your spiritual vision grows keenerthrough creativeimagery,you will cometo understand


that pregnantsaying: "Beloved, now are we the childrenof God, and althoughit has not been
made manifestwhat we shall be, we know that when He shall be manifested,we shall be like
Hirn, for we shall seeHim as He is." (I(eys9, 10, 11)

The rvorld of naturalmen and women seeHirn as He is not. Becauseof this, the "God" of
'I'hus
exoterictheology is all too often more devilish than divine. tlie fearful image of the
Devil in Tarot is a pictureof God misunderstood, or seenmentallyas He is not. This vision
of terror has beenconjuredup by the collectiveimaginationof the naturalman who looks
with dreadon anythingwhich seemsto threatenthe continuanceof fixed statesof existence;
for the natural man puts his trust in form and seeksthe perpetuationof fbrm. Therefore he
fearschange,dreadsnovelty, detestsdifference. Conformity is his fetish, and when any of his
fellows daresbe different,the naturalman will go to any lengthto suppressthe innovation
and get rid of the innovator. Look aboutyou, and you will find many evidencesthat this is all
too prevalent,even in our supposedlymore enlightenedtimes.

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T A I I O T I N ' T E R PI I E T A T I O N . , ] 9

Examine closely this pictr"rreof the Devil. He representsall that doesnot "ftt in" with our
comfbrtablepreconceptions.But the Life-power will not be limited by our ignorance. It is
always presentingus with new appearances which seemto be exceptionsto our notions of
order. Thus the naturalman personifies these unknown activitiesas the demonand ascribes
his failnresto the maliciousinfluenceof the Adversary.(I(eys 15,16,17)

MEDITATIONS

FIRST DAY: I(eys 9, 73,17. The resistlessenergyof the Primal Will coursesthroughme. It
breaksdown every obstacleto its onwardmovement. It opensmy understanding,so that I
perceivcthe beautyof the GreatPatternof manifestation.The One Identity transforms me
into Its likenessand opensmy eyesto the wonders of Its Perfect Law.
'l'his
SECOND DAY: l(eys 10, 13, 16. I am ascendinginto a highel orderof being. very day
is a clayof change flom the imperfections of the past into a closer approachto the Divine
Iteality. The lightning-flashof inspilation overthrowsmy mistakenstructuresof ignorance
anclprejudice.I am an expressionof the eternal progressand transforming power of life
which breaks down every prison houseof ignorance.

TIIIRD DAY: I(eys 11, 13, 15. Mine is a reasonedfaith. I die daily away frorn the
rnisapprehensions of the past. I begin to seethat evil and seeminginjusticeare but aspectsof
tire Goocl,stagesof the Litb-power'sunfoldmentwhicli I have yet to understand.I am a
center of the power of cosmicadiustmentlvhich overcomesand transforms into beauty
every appearanceof evil.
'fhe
ITOIJRTI{DAY: Keys 12, 13,14. Life-porverin me, and flowing throughme, doesall
this. My thoughtsand words and deeds are but phasesof the GreatTransformation.Let rne
be guidedthis day by that Messengerof Reality whoseof1iceit is to direct my stepsalong the
Way to Freedom.I am calm and poisedin the midst of all thesechanges,for I know they
are translbrming me into a more perl'ectimage of the One Reality'

FIFTI-IDAY: I(eys 9, 10, I 1. The One Identitywatchesover me. The cyclesof necessity
bring rne ever nearerto the InevitablePerfection. The forcesof my life are balancedand trtte.
My true Self is the Witness,the Mover, and the Regulator of Its perfect worh.

SIXTI{ DAY: I(eys 15, 16,17. Thereis no bondagesavethat of ignoranceand fear. Am I in


prison? Then I have built the walls myself. Reality needsno walls for its protection,nor will
Truth suffel herselfto be veiled. Seemingevil is my opportunity to break down some
barrier of ignoranceand find my way into the paradiseof things as they really are.

This weel<,spenda shortpart of your seventhday in a little self-analysis.Seeif you can


discoverrvhereyou are still hangingon to conditionedresponsesdevelopedin the past.

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7 " 1R O T INTER]'RETATION, I9

Our greatestproblemsarisefrom our emotionalunwillingnessto flow freely with the river of


Lil-eas shown in l(ey 13. We are like swimmerswho hang on desperatelyto the sharprocks,
cutting and bruising ourselves,ratherthan enteringinto the florv of evolution through
cor.rscious
participation.

'fry
to clevelopa willingnessto change! Embraceevery changein your mental-emotional
zLltitudes
and environmentalconditionsas you would embraceyour dearly beloved.

Willingnessto die to your olclself with the host o1immaturenotionsit holds is one of the
greatsecretsof EternalLil'e.

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