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The man who writes books on a Thelema that no beast shall divine. Founding member of Ordo Astri, Thelemic Magical Collegium. Member of Ordo Typhonis since 2000 e.v. More articles and essays are posted at https://ordoastri.org/ and https://tantrika.co.uk/

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Sagittarius and the Crowley-Thoth Tarot

The Tarot trump for Sagittarius is traditionally titled Temperance XIV. It depicts an Angel pouring liquid between blue and red vases. In the Crowley-Harris design, the card was retitled Art XIV. It is the art of alchemy that is portrayed in the Tarot card.

Art XIV Thoth Tarot Atu
The signs of the Zodiac are best understood as pairs. Gemini is the opposite, complementary sign to Sagittarius. In the Tarot trump for Gemini, The Lovers VI, pairs of opposites are shown: black and white, silver and gold, good and evil, male and female. The red and white tinctures of alchemy are there symbolised by the lion and an eagle. In the trump for Sagittarius, all the opposites have exchanged places: the red lion has become white, the white eagle has become red. The Angel, clothed in green and wearing light and dark masks, pours fire and water into a golden cauldron. Into the cauldron are mixed drops of blood from the paw of the lion and tears from the mouth of the eagle.

The link between Gemini and Sagittarius is the Arrow of Will. A stream of light, guided by an arrow, rises upwards from the cauldron until it reaches the heart of the Angel; from there, the light branches into a rainbow that falls over her shoulders like a cape. Whereas the card for Gemini depicted a mystic marriage, Art XIV symbolises the consummation of the mystical union. The idea expressed by Crowley in The Book of Thoth (pp. 103) is that an incomplete element is spiritualised only through the assimilation of its equal and opposite.

The means of accomplishment is written in gold lettering upon a large orb, shining like the Sun behind the Angel: Visita Interiora Terrae Rectificando Invenies Occultum Lapidum. ‘Visit the interior parts of the earth and seek out the hidden stone. By rectification thou shalt arise thereby.’ Alchemists describe the stone of the wise or universal medicine variously as a stone, a powder or a tincture. It may be divided into silver and gold or red and white, but its essence is always the same. As written on the Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus,
That which is Below is like unto that which is Above, and that which is Above corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish the Miracle of the One Essence.


© Oliver St. John 2012 

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