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Oliver St. John is the author of twelve books covering Hermetic and Thelemic philosophy, Qabalah, operative magical Theurgy, the Tarot and astrology. He is a founding member of the Thelemic Magical Collegium, Ordo Astri, and has been a member of the Typhonian Order since 2000 e.v.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Lion-serpent of Summer

Our new Sepher Sephiroth book publication, The Flaming Sword Sepher Sephiroth, is scheduled for publication in 2016. Here is the main entry for the 19th path of the Hermetic Tree, Teth, which corresponds to Leo the Lion.

Thoth Tarot Atu Lust XI

Lust XI

Path 19, Teth: The Daughter of the Flaming Sword

The 19th path connects Chesed, the sphere of Jupiter, with Geburah, the sphere of Mars, and is imaged forth by the Tarot key Lust XI. The path is called the Intelligence of the Secret of all Spiritual Activities or the Occult Intelligence. The 19th path is the first that is wholly beneath the Abyss when descending, and the last before the Abyss when ascending the Tree; it is therefore the secret ruler and governor of all that is below, even as it receives the influence (mezla) from that which is above. The earlier versions of the 11th Tarot trump, such as the first printed Tarot of Marseilles, depict a curious form of what the ancient Egyptians termed as the “Opening of the Mouth”. The woman appeared to be forcing the mouth of a lion or other beast open. This is an image of the tearing open of the Gate of Knowledge, Daath—something that requires great spiritual strength and courage to do without suffering calamity, since there is a high risk of obsession by the flow of images on this high-powered path. The secret of the path is that material nature veils or conceals the numinous source of all. The magical power of the 19th path is the Power of Training Wild Beasts.

The “Training of Wild Beasts” is the art of deriving oracles from snakes and women. The power of hypnotism is also associated with the snake. The snake of light extends from the base of the spine to the medulla oblongata where the spinal column enters the brain at the back of the head. Occultly, the serpent then forms the third eye chakra. The secret of the 19th path is known to magi, and has been intuited by those that have travelled the intellectual path to its limits. To those seeking the realms beyond the Abyss, every bodhisattva is a lion in the road, an obstacle to the attainment of Gnosis. To be saved by Crowley is no better than being sent to hell by Jesus. Below the Abyss, “There is help and hope in other spells” (Egyptian Book of the Law, Liber AL vel Legis, II: 70).



© Oliver St. John 2013, revised 2016

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