International Order of Kabbalists - Tree of Life (Western Hermetic Tradition)

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Situation on the Tree:
Between Hod and Yesod.

Key: The Hebrew Letter Resh. Head.

Titles: Lord of the Fire of the World.

Spiritual Significance: The Sun.

Tarot Card: XIX - The Sun.

Colours in the Four Worlds:
In Atziluth: Orange.
In Briah: Gold yellow.
In Yetzirah: Rich amber.
In Assiah: Amber rayed red.




The papers below describe the Thirtieth Path of Resh that symbolises the infleunce between Hod and Yesod. (More to follow)...

(Updated 15 January 2021)


The Path of The Sun – The 30th Path

By Doreen Sturzaker

The 30th Path between Hod and Yesod. It is the Collective Intelligence implying combination, bringing together, unification. It is a Path of synthesis, bringing together all that has gone before into a new format and controlled. The Card speaks of renewal, there is a feeling of lightness; it reminds me of the Fool at the pivot point of the Path of Return and the simple nakedness of the child brings to mind the quotation, “Except ye be as a little child ye shall not enter the Kingdom”, this aspect of renewal of life can be reflected upon in the appearance of the various Root and Sub-Races, each one being higher on the evolutionary spiral, each Race consolidating what has gone before and going on to develop a different aspect of consciousness. In the study of the Planetary Chains and Rounds the continuing cycle of renewal and progression can be followed.

Resh, the Hebrew letter of the Path, means the head and face, the countenance, and countenance means to hold together or to contain thus giving ideas of management and control.

In Assiah the Path is Amber rayed Red indicating that there is great energy and creativity available to carry out the task in hand. There is an impression of light and joy as the child sits triumphantly on the horse and the horse has a benign expression too, solar energies pour down on him illumining the way ahead. The position of the child is interesting; he has turned his back on the sun's Rays and appears to be riding away in triumph, but this is interesting; the physical Sun and the spiritual Sun sending forth streams of force strike the Chakras, the vital force Centres along or approximating to the spinal column at his back, stimulating and stirring them and through the stirrings the Spark is awakened and activated into taking its serious steps to place the personality under the control of the individuality.

As the child is turning away from the wall it suggests that the personality may hitherto have refused to face up to realities, but with the motivation by the sun's spiritual Rays and the activation of the Chakras the Individuality has its first realisation that the wall has to he removed. It represents restriction and restriction is a necessary condition for development to take place, we have to learn to work within it and through it and on this particular Path it appears in each Sephirah showing that the Path is one that teaches discipline and single-mindedness The Red banner indicates that the self-conscious mind is active. He is a child of the Sun born of Light and radiant energy and because he partakes of its nature he responds to the solar fires burning within, the fires of mind which lead him onward to become the ruler of the natural world, the Sun is exalted in Aries signifying authority and leadership.

In Yesod, the horse symbolises both communication and a journey, and as it is a white horse also symbolises death. A change has to be brought about, the lunar flame of Yesod leaps to meet the activating fires of Mercury. Up till now a path of materialism has been followed and now the mental vigour of the colour Amber helps to push him in the direction of the mental world of Hod. He stands as a firmly based self-conscious Individual and goes on to meet the challenges of the sphere of Hod.

In some Packs, including the Foster Case Pack, the card of the Sun depicts two children, a boy and girl, probably intended to show that as a way of achieving unity the attainment of balance, between positive and negative, is a way of reaching harmony between the emotions (Yesod) and the intellect (Hod). On the Case card the two children stand hand-in-hand within a large circle inside of which is a smaller circle and they each have one foot in the small circle and the other in the large, the first step in breaking out of the confining ring of the material state.

In Hod his first task is to remove the barrier that hinders further progression and this is quite difficult because it means making retribution for all his acts against Universal Law that have gone to build up the wall, but it is only by using the qualities of the Amber - that of justice and wholeness - can he see the wisdom of balancing up his actions and in this manner will the barrier be dissolved and the way ahead become clearer. But whilst Individuality is saying 'Remove the wall' personality is answering 'Let it remain, it is cosy and safe behind it'. The early struggle that takes place between the personality, snug in its illusions, and the Individuality anxious to stand free. The child being naked may also symbolise that the transgressions against Universal Law have been carried out in innocence and ignorance of the Law, but just as ignorance of the law on the physical plane is considered no excuse so does it apply in the higher Realms too.

Hod at one end of the Path has for its ruling Archangel either Michael or Raphael, both are Archangels of the Sun and are interchangeable in the Worlds of Briah and Yetzirah. “Esoteric Astrology" tells us that Mercury and the Sun are one, in Mercury we have the activating agent stirring and prodding Individuality to wake up and take control of Personality but at this level it would hardly take supreme control. It could however be expected to have enough strength to take over and control the emotional body so that when the Path has been successfully trodden in Hod the lower mental body will be freed from the tangled web of emotion. The Yellow Ray of Mercury is a great mental activator, Hod in Assiah is a Yellowish Brown flecked with White; we can perhaps see it more easily in Assiah. We have the Yellow activating Ray and the Brown Ray of study and depth of thought whilst the flecks of White, like the white horse, indicate the change of thought that has to take place if the Path is to be conquered. In Yetzirah, Hod is a Reddish Brown so here we have the necessary stimulation together with the depth of thought.

In Netzach there may be a turning away from the true Path to chase all sorts of red herrings, energies are diffused. Renewal and regeneration may come through the arts as his source of inspiration. And the sunflower seeds of wisdom which are scattered around may be garnered into a golden harvest of wisdom if he turns to his Higher Self for guidance.
In Tiphareth, the sixth degree of gold relates to Tiphareth and to the Sun. This degree is known as paz and zahab muphaz, which means pure gold so here we gain a fuller understanding of what the Sun is holding out and encouraging the child to go out and seek,  The pure gold, or to put it another way, the spiritual way of life which enriches a man more than any material possessions ever could. Among the Sun's activities, as the Mundane Chakra of Tiphareth, is to bring to the surface the quality of sacrifice and this Path of the Sun is one of the earlier initiatory sacrifices, that of realising and then taking the first step along the Path towards sacrificing the material way for the spiritual illumination.

In Geburah he comes slap up against that wall again, for all through the spheres the hindrances and ignorant actions that have helped to build a solid-seeming wall have become increasingly more subtle and now one of his tasks is to completely rid himself of the stumbling block to his progress. The Amber colour of the Path in Yetzirah stands for justice and wholeness and justice he will certainly get when Universal Law catches up with him, and he will need a sure-footed mount to carry him over the difficult road, for having decided to change himself and follow a spiritual way it is quite a different matter to keep to it at this level or the Tree.

In Gedulah the wall is recognised for what it really is - a character developer in Assiah, by trouble and suffering for past errors, strength and positive virtues are built in. In Yetzirah the barrier is crumbling and the dislodged stones can be used as stepping stones, learning the lessons that the pathway of life has to teach he rises phoenix-like from the ashes and debris. He sees the wall as a necessary part of the Great Illusion now it no longer exists for him in this sphere of Gedulah. The sun has become the Light of Kether as it is beamed through Chokmah and the whole being is renewed through the Rays playing upon ever subtler Centres awakening and stimulating them.

Across the Abyss in the sphere of Binah the only wall or hindrance left to him could be a reluctance to discard finally the last traces of material life, tenuous though it now is. The Golden-Yellow Ray of the Path is the light of the Spiritual Sun of Kether Illuminating the last vestiges of the wall and what is left of the tenuous form and personality.

He reaches Chokmah where he finds that the wall is now the veil that shields him from the searing brilliance of Kether. He stretches up to pluck the sun flowers to take of their seeds of wisdom from its source and in so doing the veil is rent asunder and he sees 'face to face'. The way to Kether is open to him.

The Path of the Sun in Kether is the archetype of the perfect blending of personality with individuality, and the consequent regeneration of the entire Being.


Yesod, the Sun and Hod

By Alfred J. Lesser (1976)

The 30th Path, applies the principle of diversification and detailed specification of what is ultimately to manifest in our material world. One sun is reflected in the multitude of sun flowers on the Tarot card, one barrier which separates us from that lower mental world of Yetzirah is represented by innumerable bricks. The one child is representative of all mankind, and the one horse of all the diffe­rentiated forces of the material universe. And yet, as if to show that in spite of all that diversification there remains a basic unity, all elements are represented and active on this Path, as they were in Kether or are in Malchut for that matter. And the fiery red banner which draws our attention from behind the wall further indicates the cohesion between the principles relevant to different states of consciousness.

This cohesion is brought about by the Collecting Intelligence (or consciousness), so called in the Sepher Yetzirah, and meaning the application of scientific elucidation of all phenomena of the universe. Reason, so often decried by spiritual movements, has nevertheless its rightful place here, and already we are beginning to expand our reasoning so as to include many phenomena previously labelled unscientific. I am convinced that ultimately not a single phenomenon existing in any of the four Worlds will be unresponsive to an adequately expanded reasoning appropriate to it.

It is obvious that it is as yet impossible for any of us to claim mastery of this science, and that therefore the present paper must of necess­ity remain very incomplete when it comes to the higher Worlds, but I shall, nevertheless, try to show the implications of my postulation, We are, after all, like the child on the horse just after it has turned around to face the sun. There is still the wall to climb or pass through, and many a wall after that.

The 30th Path, when we come to ascend it, is one of cognizance, being the link between perception in Yesod and interpretation in Hod. And this is one of the principles which I shall later try to trace through the different Sephiroth. But let me now first concentrate on the Path in its downward aspect, that is to say the projection of the ideas of Hod as detailed schema for perfection and execution in Yesod.

To come back to healing, for instance: Its impetus and activation is brought to us along the 28th Path, but its actual implementation and the manner in which it is brought about in Yesod is directed by Hod along the 30th Path. In this way a perfect balance is established in Yesod, which after all is most necessary if we are not only to gain but to maintain health and harmony in our functions.

The 30th Path also represents the development of inherent polarities, and in particular that of the sexes, into duality, a process which is seen to be applied gradually upward from the lowest species, where we still find androgynous remnants as in some plants and the snail.

In Malchut the plant turns toward the light, just to choose one example. This effect is brought about in Yesod, but its reason is directed by Hod and the action instigated along the 30th Path in Malchut. All chemi­cal changes and combinations of atoms into different molecules are brought into being along the 30th Path, the chemical lawsappertaining to them being instigated by Hod and the atomic or electrical changes being brought about in Yesod. It is a two-fold or reflex operation: The stimulus is perceived in Yesod, recognised or conveyed via the 30th Path to Hod for interpretation and reaction.

The reaction consists of the appropriate rules being applied to Yesod in return, again along the 30th Path, and this resulting in the action in Malchut. Ithink that this scheme applies to all chemical, electro-magnetic and gravitational actions, but probably not to other purely physical phenomena, in which Yesod appears to be excluded and the 31st Path Hod-Malchut directly involved.

Coming now to Yesod, the Sephira where, as it were, the last touches are being put on everything prior to material manifestation, we must first of all consider that most delicate phenomenon which is the mechanism of procreation of the species. All details are here being monitored by Hod, collected and collated along the 30th Path, until they are ready for execution in Yesod. And this does not only apply to structural details, but to all influences which come down along the path of the lightning flash. Emotional, karmic, astrological detail compounded in, for us, incomprehensible complication as by a cosmic super-computer.

In the ascending aspect of the Path wefind ourselves stripped of all this pre-physical detail, emotionally basking in the sun of so promising a path and preparing for the wisdom to which we vaguely feel it is going to lead us, that wisdom which is the pull that after freeing us from the Earth of Malchut, will also draw up out of the fluctuating water of the moon, then make us realise the fickleness of the Air of Hod, and ultimately lead us to the Fire purification of the sun in Tipharet and Geburah.

But first let us examine our condition on the 30th Path in Hod. In this lofty realm of Splendour, on a Path illuminated by the sun, we perceive through our expanding consciousness for the first time that there really is a reason for each cause and effect. And what is more, us find ourselves on the path of cognizance which leads us to the ability to interpret all.

We begin to understand the wisdom which is coming down to us from Gedulah, purified and balanced through Tipharet. We come to appreciate the justice of karma, though it may still reach us upside down via the 23rd Path. And we observe how the mundane Chakras of all the Sephiroth bring their astrological influences to bear on whatever we can perceive. Our vista is vast; in fact we imagine "we know it all", until we look over our right shoulder and notice that there is a vast realm still laying in darkness, which we have to explore before we can proceed. We have been so preoccupied with the Bene Elohim, the ideas of the gods, that we have forgotten the gods themselves,

What do the gods teach us on the 30th Path in Netzach? They should teach us humility and a sense of proportion. They teach us that what we thought was a perfect reason for all, was but half a reason. That this half reason will have to be sacrificed before we can rise farther. That we have again become land-locked or Earth-bound, though on a higher plane, and that we have to give up our Hod reasoning for a more advanced one which takes into account also those influences and forces which hitherto we considered anything but reasonable. Only when we have done that can we go on to Tipharet.

In the sun of Tipharet, on the sunniest of all paths, we are being bleached and purified till we realise that all we have previously known was only reflection, illusion and partial wisdom. Here we rest for a while given a well deserved respite, until we begin to look around again and are ready to go on.

In the judgment hall of Geburah a ray of the sun glints down on us and illumines the Path which shows us the reasons and methods of karma itself. We realise that the 22nd Path of Justice is a parallel of the 30th Path only on a higher plane, and we can now make our deductions from this. We see how justice operates through karma and through which organisation this operation is put into practice. We learn to appreciate its specification, its method, and finally their implementation. Thus we can observe the Path in its downward movement while we are ourselves ascending it.

When we reach Chesed, the sphere of the Masters, we are faced with decisions which while being on a far higher level yet are not dissimilar to those which face us in Malchut. We have the next hurdle to surmount, this time the Abyss. And meanwhile we have to work on with the means which our present consciousness allows us. We no longer come across as much detail on our 30th Path as we did in Malchut or Hod we have to deal far more with generalities, yet any shading or variation in these generalised forces on their way from reasoning to execution produces effects lower down the Tree which are out of all proportion to the magnitude or amplitude of the variation.

Thus we really must assume the responsibilities incumbent on us as masters and work with the circumspection which only our slow and methodical ascent of the Tree could teach us. Our object here is that of enlightened merciful work for mankind and the evolution of the universe, and it is only through the correct inter­pretation of our perceptions, and through the skilful operations based on correct reasoning from this elevated viewpoint that we can hope to be successful in our endeavour.

Once we have crossed the abyss we have no more influence on the operations of Binah than we now have on those of Yesod. Here it is the Archangels which put newly formed principles into operation. Michael the illuminator and propagator of wisdom is joining forces along the 30th Path with Gabriel, the fertilizer and announcer, and the end who combines the wisdom of Michael with the love of Auriel. In Binah we find the archetypes of reasoning and illumination transformed along the 30th Path into those of propagation and language or speech.

And in Chocmah we find the same in the original forces, with wisdom striving for expression and the forces of continuity for fertility.

When it is finally given to us to experience the 30th Path in Kether we shall learn how Elohim. Zebaot, the Intelligence of the universe, collects and collates all the diversity of His plans and projects and perpetuates them in the Life of which He as Shaddai El Chai is the Lord.


Yesod, the Sun and Hod

By Barbara M. Croucher (1981)

This is the 30th Path of Collective Intelligence which runs from Yesod, the ninth Sephirah, to Hod, the eighth one, and is a path of heavenly illumination. Why then is it so far down on the Tree? It sounds as if it should be much higher up, just below Kether perhaps to do it justice.

If we look at the number of this card, we find that we are in 10 - Strength, Heaven Unwearied, Eternity and Fate. More problems. So let us have a closer look at the facts.

Ten and nine both denote the end - nine because it is an horizon as regards digits, being farthest away from one; ten because it shows that the series is indeed at an end and new organization and grouping are necessary in order to proceed. Nine, a trinity of trinities, echoing the all-embracing Kether, which contains in its Atziluth Tree three downward and one upward pointing triads, if we ignore Yesod. Ten - sum total of all Sephiroth. Therefore this must be a most important Path.

That is just what it is. The Sun, the 19th Arcanum, can be a complete end or a chance to develop. The material sun is, of course, necessary for life and growth, but too much can lead to drought and death. We are reminded of this if we have a look at the card and see the 13 Yods - the number of death. These can symbolise either a new birth or else the end of a situation. The children's nakedness can imply that they have shed all outworn garments, but at the same time, were it not for that protective wall which we see behind them, they might shrivel to nothing. They have a pleasant ring of fertile grass, but it is only diminutive and could not sustain them for very long.

What has this Path to do with Foundation and Glory? If a foundation is to be consolidated, it must be restricted in size at the beginning. It must be protected until it is sufficiently established to do without protective walls. But, later on, when this stage is over, the walls must be removed or else there will be stag­nation and no desire to explore what lies beyond. Too much satisfaction with the light that there is, not realising that if intelligence is to be collective, there must be more and more experience of ever-increasing light and at all levels, or progress is prevented.

The Glory comes when Binah, streaming down the Negative Pillar, awakens the Under­standing that stagnation is impossible and that the light recedes as we travel towards it. Though some glory will certainly have been achieved, this will only have been a fraction of what could be. The number of this card, 19, adds to 10, unity with zero symbolising man and the universe or completion. Yet as there is no end or beginning in the Limitless, ten is at once an end and a beginning - an effect as well as a cause, which triggers off a new set of circumstances. Reminiscent of a kind of Malkuth, where the end contains the seeds of another beginning.

If ten isthe beginning of a new set, we will have to think of the next number, eleven - Strength. If we think of the Sun as being the centre of the planetary system, how much is that card eleven the centre of the Tarot. Arranging the trumps in three rows of seven - excluding the Aleph - we find that this is so. Eleven is the centre of the spread. This card depicts the Sun lion having his mouth kept open by the understanding so that never will the brilliance on that path be con­sidered insurpassable or finite. Surely this applies equally well to path number 30. We see the Spiritual Sun ever waiting to be recognised as a growing light. We can also think of Binah perpetually arousing the inner forces to keep the third eye open. Again, surely the message of the path of the Sun.

The foundation of the journey is the glimpse of the physical sun in Assiah, the lowest level, finally taking us to the Glory of what the Vast Countenance could contain.

Resh adding to two hundred as does the Egyptian word "Kanaphin" or winged disk-symbol of the sun. Under the shadow of Jehovah’s wings we shall soar to the greatest possible brightness. But shadow is necessary, protection is necessary, as we have seen. But later, the closed-in Paradise with merely the Tree of Knowledge is not enough, we must move out to taste both trees of good and evil, mercy and severity, if we are to do this. So we must start as far down the Tree as possible so that experience swings like a pendulum to and fro up the Tree to the greatest moment when we can say: "The glory of the Lord shall be revealed".


The Sun

By Dorothy Horan (1992)

This is the 19th Arcanum and the 30th Path. The Path of the Collecting Intelligence, from it is deduced the judgement of the stars. Hod is at one end of the path and Yesod at the other end. It is a Path of splendour and along it flows the stellar light of Mercury and the lunar flame. Embodied in this Path are all four elements: Mercury - Air, Moon – Water, Sun - Fire, and the child depicted on it – Earth.

The ruling element of the Path is fire through the influence of the sun, the planet of the Path.

On the Arcanum is a naked child, riding a horse; behind him is a wall and above, the sun sending down its rays of light. Above the wall rises the heads of sunflowers, as always with faces turned towards the sun. Here is the indication of what the student or initiate must do, turn his face towards the spiritual sun. The spirit is confined within the material as symbolised by the wall. Freedom is to be obtained by turning towards the sun. The naked child indicates that the student or initiate must strip himself of everything material. Innocence is also expressed by the child: "except ye become as a little child".

The white horse is a symbol of purity, the child on its back - victory of spiritual purity.

Collecting Intelligence means just that: on the outward journey denser matter is collected; on the return journey, to conquer this Path, the student or initiate must collect the spiritual intelligence.

In the World of Assiah, both material and spiritual are collected. At the Yetziratic level spiritual emotions are collected. On the Briatic level of being, purity is collected. Atziluth is the archetypal world and shows on this Path how perfect purity and innocence can bet obtained.

Pride is a quality associated with the sun and the student or initiate must be careful not to develop spiritual pride. Stubbornness can also be developed on this path, if care is not taken, through the influence of Hod.

Mercury, the mundane chakra of Hod, can influence in quick decisions which are stubbornly held although wrong. With the combination of Hod and the Moon from Yesod, imagination can run riot. Typical of this Path are those who believe they have been sent for a Divine Purpose. This is the Path of the puritan and rigid orthodox. It is here that true spiritual light can be drawn and the waters of wisdom be absorbed. The spirit can take the first step towards complete freedom.
The Hebrew letter for this path is Resh, which means head or face. "He shall drink of the brook (waters of wisdom) in this way therefore shall he lift up the head". "A man's wisdom maketh his face to shine" (Ecclesiastes 8).

From this Path the student or initiate can rise to the heights or fall to the depths. The spirit of air, the purifying forces of fire and water, if used as such, are there to help in the conquest. Victory over this Path on the return journey leads to the Glory of Hod. It also leads to the sphere of the host of angels known as the Sons of God.

Enlightenment, freeing the mind from conventional wisdom, ortho­dox ideas, petty concerns, and worries, the magician begins to soar towards the sun, identification with the One Life of the Universe, Man as a little child, in the sense of innocence and simplicity - "A little child shall lead them”.

Heliotrope is the precious stone in harmony with the sun. This gives the wearer safety and protection, and under certain conditions can cause the wearer to become invisible. Sunflowers are the plants associated with the path.

The sparrow-hawk is the animal of the sun. Symbolised in the sparrow-hawk is the lesser spirit imprisoned in mass material, and the spirit expanded in its conquest.

Acquiring wealth, spiritual or material, is the magical power of the Path of the Sun.

Cinnamon is the perfume to use in working this path. Alcohol is the danger drug on the Path of the Sun.

The gods predominant on the 30th Path are Apollo, Surya, Helios and Ra. The Ray of this Path is Orange, the Ray of the concrete mind. 465 is the mystic number of the 30th Path. The magical weapon is the bow and arrow, the bow of promise and the arrow of des­truction. The arrow is symbolic of direction - straight as adie.

In the Hermetic Tarot, Lord of the Fire of the World - Resh Head Beneath a fiery sun, two children dance wildly and a rose appears between them and behind each of them. The roses represent the flowering of the solar influence, the dancing sirens are young, shameless and insolent. The sun and its heat are both a beneficent source of life, and a melter of the waxen wings of ambition and curiosity. The sun radiates upon the children. It is Heru-Ra-Ha. Lord of the New Aeon.

The fiery warmth of creation. The sun is male.

Alcohol or life water is fire water. The conjunction of opposites where two principles unite, one active, the other passive, come together in a fluid and shifting creative/destructive relationship. Particularly when burning, alcohol symbolises one of the great mysteries of nature. Bachelard says when alcohol burns it seems as if the "female" water, losing all shame, frenziedly gives herself to her master, fire.

Six is symbolic of ambivalence and equilibrium - comprising the union of two triangles (fire and water) and hence signifies the human soul. The Greeks regarded it as a symbol of the hermaphrodite. It corresponds to 6 directions of space (2 for each dimension) and to the cessation of movement (since the creation took 6 days). Hence it is associated with trial and effort. It has also been shown to be related to virginity and to the scales. An ambiguous number - expressive of dualism (2 x 3 or 3 x 2).

Helios signifies the sun in its astronomic aspect, just as Apollo symbolises it in its spiritual aspect. In ancient cults he appears as a god who presides over the seasons, vegetation, fecundity and the fruitfulness of the earth.

Apollo In mythology and alchemy, his spiritual and symbolic significance is identical with that of the sun. The spreading golden hairs which crown the god's head have the same meaning as the bow and arrow (sunrays). The Greek name is Apollon --'from the depths of the lion’ and expresses the meaningful relationship of the sun with Leo.

Eliade considers the horse is associated with burial rites in Chthonian cults. Stienon considers it an ancient symbol of the cyclic movement of the world of phenomena; hence the horses, which Neptune with his trident lashes up and out of the waves, symbolise the cosmic forces that surge out of the Akasha - the blind forces of primordial chaos. Diel concludes the horse stands for intense desires and instincts, in accordance with the general symbolism of the steed and the vehicle.

The ancient Rhodians made annual sacrifice to the sun of a 4 horse quadriga, which they would hurl into the sea. The animal was also dedicated to Mars, and it was thought an omen of war. To dream of a white horse was thought to be an omen of death. The horse pertains to the natural, unconscious, instinctive zone.

Jung suggested it might be a symbol for the mother - that it expresses the magic side of man, "the mother within us that is intuitive understanding". He also recognises it as a symbol of man's baser forces and also of water.
The horse can also signify the wind and sea-foam, as well as fire and light.

Surya - the ancient Aryan religion was based upon sky worship and the early gods were devas or "the shining ones", Surya or the Sun God is depicted driving across the heavens in a flaming chariot like Helios or Apollon.


The Sun

By Peter Oddey (2001)

“Which is more important, the sun or the moon?” queried the pupils of Mullah Nashrudin, popular hero of Turkish Folk Tales. “Well now, let’s see” he replied, “it must be the moon. After all, what use is the sun in daytime? Whereas the moon is at least useful: if it weren’t for the moon how would we see at night?”

But of course, the anecdote relays an important truth, which is that:

for whatever reason, perhaps the blind fear of idolatry, or maybe just simple ignorance, the importance and the sheer greatness of the sun are invariably understated or taken for granted.

Never mind that the sun is the source of life, that it has provided light and warmth for millions of years before we arrived and will continue to do so for millions of years after we have left it. The sun on every level, including the Path of Resh and the Tarot of The Sun, is a mystery and a truth far beyond comprehension.

Another old tale relates how when the gods created man, they wished to conceal his divinity from him, so they hid it in the place they knew he was least likely to look: in himself! But in truth, the Path of the Sun, which adjoins the World of Hod, the Glory and the Intellect, with the World of Yesod, the Pure Foundation and the sub-conscious, is the Path of the knowledge of the fullness of all things. Like the sun which constantly shines into the ravines and caverns of the furthest planets of our solar system, so the power and extent of our own minds is way beyond our own comprehension.

The Hebrew letter for the Path, Resh, which means a head of a man or woman, hints at the totality of what we are considering. Just because this is a Path situated in the Tree at the lower end, the psychological, emotional end of the Tree, does not mean that the light from this Path does not extend into every World and Path throughout the entire Glyph.

The Path of Resh, to which is typically assigned the Tarot card of The Sun, speaks of the intellect of mankind. Not just the intellect in the sense of our academic resources, or lack of them(?), but the fullness of the human mind including its rational, emotional, logical and intuitional faculties together with its power to imagine, remember, discriminate and project, all functioning toward one and the same end, which is the fullness of understanding and wisdom. As with the sun, our ability to experience and correlate our earthly existence, is the source of life itself. But also like the sun, there is a certain limitation to its capacity. As the sun has a finite life-span, so too our comprehension is finite. For as with Paul Foster Case’s meditation for Cheth, the head of Resh, which our mind is:

“ . . . the hedge of protection
enclosing the field of existence.
 . . Yet is the hedge of safety
also a wall of limitation,
and the darkness against which it defendeth thee,
is the radiant darkness of the Limitless Light,
too brilliant for thine eyes.”

We are able to grasp little pieces of the whole, comprehend here flashes of brilliance, catch the occasional insight into the divine, but words such as infinite and eternal, omnipotent and omniscient, unending and everlasting, can only be understood by our finite minds as approximations at best.

And so this is the Path of the Collecting Intelligence, which Robert Wang tells us means:

“ . . . that it exercises control over a number of given components in this case the signs of the Zodiac, which are symbolised (in most Tarot card depictions) by the twelve rays emanating from the Sun".

These signs are the twelve guide-posts of Personality and receptacles of Planetary influences, one of which governs the birth and life course of each incarnation. Thus the Sun is central not only to the incarnation at hand but acts as a link between Personalities which have been experienced in other incarnations. It is also Collecting in that all the component parts of the Personality, discovered on these lower Paths are infused with the dual action of the Sun, light and warmth. It may appear curious, but these are considered intellectual qualities" (Kabbalistic Tarot).

The link between our higher intellect, the Sun, the Zodiac and incarnation, marks the Path out as entirely integral to life’s experience.

All the well-known Tarot packs depict the Sun with its rays reaching to all parts, the Ten Sephiroth, the Twenty-Two Paths, the four Worlds of Emanation, the twelve Houses of the Zodiac, all are touched by the rays of the Sun in one or other of the packs.

I particularly appreciate the Golden Dawn version, where in the midst of a walled garden, two naked children stand, one on earth, the other in water, holding hands. The two children can be said to symbolise the totality of the components making up human consciousness, balanced, reciprocal and in harmony and all confirming that true enlightened consciousness is a balanced combination of all parts of the working mind.

This is the inner sun and it is with the light of this inner sun that we are able to travel the Worlds and Paths of the Tree and receive the lessons they bring.

As the solar system would cease to exist without the fullness of the Sun, so we would not exist without the fullness of our minds and we may deduce from this that the Tarot also, would cease to exist without the Path of Resh.


The Sun

By David Woodin (1977)

Suspended, seemingly motionless in the heavens. The sparrowhawk epitomizes the desire for freedom portrayed on the 30th path. Far below is a bleached carcass, representative of acquisitions to be discarded as they outlive their usefulness, a reminder of the necessary sacrifice and purification requisite in the quest for spiritual truth.

This path is called The Collecting Intelligence but there can be no collecting nor freedom without sacrifice. At each level of the Tree the initiate may grow in the realisation that true freedom is yet a further step beyond the present barrier, erected to demark the boundaries of his progress. With the collecting of intellect, and the expansion of consciousness it brings, comes the added responsibility of its application and the inherent danger of an ego-centred goal. The Fool, blinded by sunlight, may lose sight of the true Sun in contemplation of the false one. He will then bear the childhood illusion of being somehow special in relation to the Divine, perhaps as the chosen one or Saviour of mankind, under the lunar influence he may indeed believe that the Sun shines from the back of his head!

It has been suggested this may be a path of driving idealism found to be incompatible with reality and coloured by vanity: 'Vanity of Vanities, all is Vanity - There is nothing new under the Sun'. In this Biblical quote vanity is repeated three times, could this be because in Hebrew vanity is cognate with the word for breath? The breath is triune as Neshamah, Ruach and Nephesh, reflective of the Perfect archetypes Yechida, Chia and Neshamah. To the ancient Egyptians the sun, asSpiritual representative, bore this triune native as Kephra, the rising sun, Ra, the noonday sun, and Tum or Aturn the setting sun, counterparts to the Virgin, Mother and Hag of the Moon. 'There is nothing new under the Sun', for these are but reflections of their perfect archetypes, even a new moon is hidden from our view, like the High Priestess emerging from that hidden side of the Crown supernal.

With regard to purification, the Jewish practice of circumcision, connected with the naming of a child, may be allocated to this path. The dictionary definition of circumcision being: purification of the heat and passions, a spiritual purification. Raish is the Hebrew letter of the 30th path meaning 'head'. Certainly the head which rules the earth in loveless and godless intellectuality will be 'shattered', but intellect can also be turned to the suprapersonal and supersensible in the transformation from mere cleverness into Wisdom. Here is to be noted the numerical value of Raish, 200 and its archetype the number two of Chokmah, the sphere of Wisdom. On this parched journey the initiate thirsts for the waters of Wisdom, in humility he stoops at the pool to drink and is thus able to bring about the "lifting up of the head".

In the Assiatic world of Malkuth our hero moves free of the Yesodic night-womb emerging on the fleshy horizon - born head first into the physical world as the focal point of attention. The first sign of independence is signalled by his ability to hold his head upright, a posture he endeavours to maintain thereafter. At this level the stifling of emotional outlet produces the first barrier: inertia. Through hard experience he learns that Self assertion means survival, and it is this quality that gives him the necessary drive to overcome inertia and the warped view of a depersonalised world of number and rank. Man, in the process of transforming the face of the earth and himself, is mediator or sparrowhawk between heaven and earth, his sharp vision is yet clouded and the humble Sparrow may easily escape his diverted attention. Independence and Truthfulness are the qualities he needs to develop to construct the spiritual Foundation in Yesod of the Yetziratic world.

In Yesod, headstrong and impetuous, he faces barriers formed of habit patterns. The ‘Vision of the Machinery of the Universe’ does not coincide with that of his mental machinery, as he goes on seeking personal liberation from the collective miasma of desires. The Collecting Intelligence here receives, reflects and purifies the emotions. Caught up as he is in the herd instinct, he breaks down what he considers are the puritanical barriers of sexual restriction and consequently is faced with our modern dilemma of morality/immorality and the forming of new boundaries. Yet the Star of Hope shines forth, bringing faith in future progression and a passionate desire for Truthfulness and emotional Stability that may be realised through purification by the lunar flame to balance intellect and the emotions.

In Hod rigidity may set in, as freed in part from the herd instinct of Yesod, the somewhat overbearing rational faculty, with its inclination to let conviction limit perception, is experienced. Here is the aridity of rationalism with the danger of a world made to fit our conviction, confronting him is the barrier of stubbornness. It is at this point that he must put away childish ideas and concepts wrongly held; now the barriers tumble into the collective pool of fantasy. Hod, binding by its very diversity, presents a formative barrier of dogmatic orthodoxy, where religious truths are kept out of reach in the puritanical silence. Freedom of speech and thought are his aids in removing the barrier.

Eight is the initiate’s number, that of Hod, and the 8th letter, Cheth, is the chariot or vehicle of the word - he takes the reins in a bid to control instinctive drives and by analysis may gain freedom from them. Each fact presents a new barrier, as it has been said: 'facts are merely stopping places on the road to further knowledge'. Adaptability, the quality of Hod, with its roots in Chesed, may bring the initiate closer to the Righteous Ones linking with the Righteousness of Yesod. Speech here represents the great evolutionary liberation from the spell-binding charms of Circe towards spiritual freedom, as personal Glory is given up for that of the Sons of God.

In Netzach, full of energy and vigour the initiate is confronted by the voluptuous nature of Venus. Rationale is difficult to exercise in this sphere of multiplicity with its tendency to wild philosophical dreaming. His task is to control the burning desire for freedom, and a redirection of his ideal of love towards that of its ultimate expression in Kether. With the concept of practicality held firmly in mind the barrier is overcome and he may advance to the Sphere of the Sacrificed Gods.

In Tiphareth, as a seeker of knowledge he needs must move beyond self interests of the personal realm which present the barrier at this level. As sacrificed King he may reinstate him self in devotion to the Great Work as a child of innocence, collecting the inheritance of Daath, The 'false' ego is here transmuted for the golden form of Truth, yet there is still the danger that he may use its power for selfish ends. He is but a poor simulacrum of that Supernal force beyond as he endeavours to integrate and synthesise, in harmonious combination, diversities of his psyche. Thence the purified Nephesh stands as a pure white stallion, a fitting vehicle and from his raised vantage point he is able to see beyond the impeding barrier, which instantly dissolves. The magical number of the Sun is 465 which resolves, by Gematria, to six, a perfect number and that of Tiphareth, the sphere of Splendour Solis, significator of the ascent of consciousness in all its glory on the suprapersonal venture.

In Geburah he faces a formidable barrier indeed, that of Karma. He must learn to face the necessary retributions of Karmic law and by the faculty of adaptability and analysis he begins to formulate the correct approach and accepts the justification of its execution. Old morality is here exchanged for the new. The Waite pack depicts a child mounted on a white horse, sacrificial animal in Solar rites, that also alludes to mastery of instinctive drives. He is shown holding a banner, its shape suggests the Hebrew letter lamed, ox goad of Justice, and cognate with the idea of Justice was Shamash, the sun god. Here is a play on words both in Hebrew and English, as to raise the banner can also mean to raise through the expansion of his compassionate nature the initiate must choose between the Formative and Creative worlds as his sphere of activation. Known to the Greeks as the "Eye of Jupiter', Sol (equivalent to EL) shines forth in all its glory and magnificence at the border line of personal consciousness. Innocent as a babe he steps towards the Creative World of Briah.

In Binah the limitations of a personalised form are removed. The Sun or word has returned to its Source Supernal - the mouth whence it was formed. He is become a re-born Individual bearing the innocent state once shared by Adam in harmony with Eve. But the hero will not rest until he has once again taken his place at the round table, with Understanding he approaches the sphere of spiritual Truth. In Chokmah the Truth is learned or rather 'collected', as he stands face to face, eye to eye with Unity. He claims his independence in all Truthfulness, his remaining desire is to merge with that Individual of Individuals. Central point in the Zodiacal circle he is that 13th member - the final Sacrifice is made, it is the wise decision that lifts him into the Atziluthic World of Kether.

In Kether the Promise is fulfilled, the covenant kept, Divine archetype of purity and innocence the Collecting Intelligence gathers Existence into its all-seeing eye. To this level are attributed the Divine Names, those of Hod and Yesod respectively are: ELOHIM TZABAOTH and SHADDAI EL CHAI. If we combine these letters, as suggested in Kabbalistic writings, by Gematria we arrive at the number 948, equivalent to two words. The first is KARMATZ ( ח מ ץ ) which means fermented or leavened, this would seem to imply the Sun at its Zenith. The second word, MARKUTZ ( מ ח ץ ) according to the Hebrew lexicon means: dash violently (the head to pieces), perhaps this represents the setting sun at its moment of Supreme Sacrifice and humility, setting in a blaze of Glory, the red streaked sky as an epitaph.

But ever beyond in the black vastness shines the stellar light of Spiritual hope for mankind.


The Path of the Sun

By Nina Starke (1976)

Journeying down the Tree, the Fool collects his bricks and builds his walls and each wall is built of denser matter, thus obscuring more and more of the Sun, until, in Malkuth he has completely lost his spiritual light and guidance.

It is not surprising that the Fool completely loses his sense of direction in Assiah, for almost from the cradle he learns the words, “You must work hard to get on” and this phrase follows him through most of his life. What is this “getting on”? It is amassing of wealth and bricks and mortar and the Fool is led to believe that this is his true aim and his wall is surely built of dense material bricks. However, the Sun has the power to penetrate his material wall and when he feels the magnetic force of the Sun’s Rays, his first struggle commences, for he realises that his desire for the material must be subjugated to the desire for the Spirit and to achieve this, he must learn the discrimination of Malkuth.

In Yesod, his emotions, being intractable and intangible, will again cause him to lose his feeling of direction. There is no stability, particularly as the Path of the Sun has Yesod at one end. Not knowing where he is going, will he be able to scale the wall of his emotions? On one side of the wall are the Waters of Illusion and on the other the Waters of Wisdom and the promise of the Sun. Among other factors, the Orange Ray of Concrete Mind, embodied in the Path, will help him to find stability and plant his feet firmly upon the Foundation. Arriving in Hod, the Fool will find a complete reversal of the conditions he experienced in Yesod. Here he will build himself an intellectual wall of rigid and unbending thought-forms. He knows just where he is going because of the Pride in the Orange Ray; it does not occur to him that he might be wrong. Mercury, with its logicality and perception and the Yellow Ray of Creative Activity can serve to shatter his bigoted ideas and he can destroy the wall and firmly turn his face to the Sun.

Netzach, with its idealism, is a dangerous Sephirah for the Fool. How many mistakes and errors are made by those who exist in a beatific and false state of perfection? It is this Wall if Idealism, which completely bars them from a wider vision. Venus can show the Fool the true way of Love and Wisdom and with the concrete mind of the Orange Ray, he can harness his uncontrolled ideas to a state of harmony, thus the barrier will disappear and his way open to the Higher Mental World and Tiphareth.

Arriving in Tiphareth, he finds the wall divides the Sephirah into two parts – a lower and a higher. The length of his sojourn in the lower half will depend upon his desire to cling to the known and lower mental world, but the power of the Sun on the Path and the Sun in Tiphareth should provide the necessary drive to cause him to willingly relinquish that which has now served its purpose. With this sacrifice, he finds the wall is now surmountable.

The transition from the Lower triangle to the first point of the Higher triangle is such an elevating experience that the Fool may be misled into thinking that his objective is in his grasp. He enters Geburah filled with the Pride of the Path because he has achieved much and little more bars his way to the Spirit, but this is not so, for he meets the strangest wall of all. The preceding walls now appear as nothing in comparison to this wall, which is quite rigid and unyielding. In Geburah it is the true wall of the card – the wall built with all the Karmic bricks the Fool collected in his sack. He finds that he cannot surmount the wall or batter it down. Each brick must be removed and the task is arduous and laborious – almost too much for the Fool without the aid of the courage, will and power of the Red Ray of Geburah, but until this wall is removed, he cannot continue his journey to the final Sun of Kether.


The Path of the Sun

By Alan Goffin (1976)

Too many nights of straining to hear the whispering voice of my teacher had rendered my hearing over-sensitive. I picked up the least sound and the fall of blossom from the spring trees crashed into my senses like the roar of Armageddon. This was too bad, for I still had not made out a single word of his instructions.

The noise of life made me tired and as is my wont, I fell into a reverie. I could not have known, but this was to be my last dream. I saw myself as a child, unable to speak and innocent of worry and lethargy. A kindly old man lifted me upon the back of a massive steed. He led my mount through a meadow of bright grass and delicately blossomed shrubs. I could feel the warm throb of joy as only a child can feel it, a ‘now’ feeling, no past to be guilty about and a future of sin too far distant to make any impression.

The horse began to shiver as if this slow walk were causing it’s powerful body to stiffen. It was impatient. The old man led us to a high wall and so far as I could see this wall surrounded the whole meadow. The old man was talking to me and pointing to the wall – but I could not understand him and my horse and I were now both impatient at our slow progress. I laughed and slapped the horse with my hands. It shied and galloped off into the meadow, leaping and whinnying with fear. I found the fear of this animal merged into my own until it was transformed into an ecstacy that was tangible even in sleep. Fear and joy experienced almost together, my horse and I were one. In the distance I saw the old man beckoning, but what could I do? The horse would never obey me, a weak infant, so I could not persuade it to return in any case.

The horse galloped toward the wall, but reared up and turned away. I felt only relief at this for I would surely have been smashed to pieces had it tossed me. I felt the animal tiring and it slowed down. I gripped it’s mane grimly for fear it would shy again, but it stopped and began grazing.

Once more the old man approached us. He was again speaking feverishly, pointing to the wall and then up at the sun. I could see that the sun was now low in the sky; still a blazing mass of light, but seemed now to be resting on the wall. The old man gestured to me as if giving me instructions as to how to control the horse.

I could feel darkness approaching and then I saw at once what he was telling me. If I were to escape the darkness I must pursue the sun. If I would pursue the sun I must scale the wall. If I would scale the wall only the horse can take me. If I would be taken by the horse it must obey me. If the horse would obey me I must understand my instructor. I was anxious now and concentrated upon the gesticulations of the old man.

Following his guidance I persuaded the horse to gallop at the wall. It refused to jump.

I tried again, still following the same instructions. Again it refused.

The horse was terrified, but I patted and stroked it. I waved to the old man, but he merely looked anxious. I turned my horse again and again we rushed to the wall. Its eyes bulging and blazing with fear and fury, my steed rose. I saw the wall rushing past my eyes until daylight appeared. The horse straightened itself and the wall appeared beneath its hindquarters. I never awoke in the same world again.

The Path of the Sun is about illumination, about vision. But what is vision? What is so spectacular about being able to see? To answer this we must penetrate the symbolism of the Sun. Whilst the Sun illuminates, it does not of itself provide vision. There is another Sun to which we must look in order to have vision. The card contains obstructions as well as means of escape.

In Yesod fantasy provides the universe of consciousness; the objective of the Thirtieth Path is to eschew fantasy for the richer, more permanent, pastures of reality. Hod is not so much the goal of the Thirtieth Path as the means of obtaining it; a sort of John the Baptist to the Christ of Tiphareth. The master will communicate through Hod, but there can be no grace through Hod, no powerful supernatural hands to lead the soul into new pastures. It is more of the nature of a challenge, a presentation of arduous tests with mere hints of solution. The onus of understanding the signs lies firmly with the aspirant. In following the Path upward through the Sephiroth clues to the meaning of the vision should be obtained. Child, horse, wall, Sun; these four constitute a key to the meaning provided by the Tarot.

In Assiah the search for eternity ends with the Sun. Man follows the rules of the Collective Intelligence and searches for meaning in the motions of the stars. It is almost as though it were impossible to escape from finitude – days, months and years. Yet man, the dreamer, never asks why his life is singled out as a straight line leading from birth to death and perhaps onwards. If the Sun lives and dies once a year, the Moon once a month and the earth once a day, why should he not also infer that his own life-time is but a cycle, an orbit around an inner Sun? The Path of the Sun is the Path that takes him to understanding. The outer Sun provides him with light, the inner with life.

The ubiquity of cycles is often considered a trite observation. In an effort to escape from the cycles of the physical world and embed the psyche in the fantasy world of progress, mankind invents time. If he can measure a thing then he has power over it, or so he thinks. So he invents time and measures it with clocks. No, the Earth, Moon and Sun will have nothing to do with clocks. Clocks tick away Man’s time and provide a background for the tawdry pageant of fantasy – fantasy about the past and the future, the drama of history, the tragedy of human stupidity. Ignorant of its existence, Man lives on his orbit, his face away from the light; he is illuminated but has no vision.

To choose the Path of the Sun is to recognise the dawn of a new understanding. The child symbolises this dawn, for to the child the world is new – it is not circumscribed by theory of ideology, it does not perceive immutable patterns which cloud the vision. The world is naked. The Path of the Sun tells us, however, that childlike innocence is by no means enough. The horse represents the power and energy of the animal passions and it determines that they are a prerequisite for escaping from the world of fantasy, bounded by fear, into the new age (or new life) bounded only by a horizon of light.

Thus the Sun has no truck with feeble efforts to strangle the passions – no vision that way. Those who would scorn their body with its exquisite machinery for joy are asking to collide headlong into the wall. They may think they are spiritual, but they know not that their souls are far too puny to face the higher worlds. They try to leave behind them the most powerful spiritual tool that they have, their body of passion and desire, that insatiable transmuter of solar energy represented by Yesod.

The child represents potential rather than actuality; he is the moment and has a gargantuan appetite for experience. It is at this moment that the child is able to act on his own, that he is able to make the leap. His passions are the vehicle for his joy, not his sorrow; he sits on them, not they on him. The true thrill of discovery is not concerned with solving a problem. There never was any problem. All that is needed is to be alive. This is the life of the inner Sun. A child is also a symbol of love, for love is the inner Sun and the child its product.

In Assiah, the frequency of human illumination is not high and often the flash of insight is unaccompanied by the necessary abandonment of preconceptions. It is thus the seed that falls on stony ground. All great human achievements derive from the not inaptly termed insight. They inevitably require courage, courage or madness, madness or child-like disregard for convention. It is clear that insight does not lead to more eccentricity. Children are not eccentric. The power of their logic, with the meanings of words still wedded to nakedness, is penetrating.

Thus the man or woman of vision is respected, even if despised – they have seen something that others have not and cannot see and their job is to explain it. But how? How do you describe the night sky, or rolling meadows, to a blind man – are words sufficient?

Vision has the property of clairvoyance which really means not seeing into the future, which is a pure fantasy, but seeing into the present, seeing its potential and its possibilities – seeing, in a word, its reality. It is depth vision, not distance vision and it illumines the soul.

In Yesod the power of fantasy to bind is paramount. Gone are the solid roots of Assiah through which fantasy is constrained to flow. The psychic experiences of Yesod tend toward chaos but it is a chaos that hints at meaning. In Assiah meaning had to be invented, in Yesod they may be discovered. Yesod is the horse of the Waite Tarot card. It is powerful and intelligent but is suffused with blind desire. Atlas needed some sort of insanity in order to persist in the questionable task of supporting the world. The child in Yesod is anointed with the Water of Divine Wisdom; he is thus able to command Atlas. The clairvoyance of insight is profoundly manifested in Yesod. This “clear vision” is necessary for the Waters of the Moon are oft murky and their changeableness is not conducive to the firm government of the horse.

What is the nature of the insights of Yesod? Magically Yesod is connected with the function of the Thirtieth Path. The visible Sun is the Moon of the Hidden Sun and the machinery of the Universe (which means its laws – geometry so to speak) is the milieu of the astrologer. The essence of insight in Yesod is the search for simplicity in the complexity. Such a simplicity exists, it is not invented as in Assiah, but is to be found in the reflected glory of the Great Sun, whose motion is known to none but Himself.

In Hod the method of the master is revealed. How does one instruct the aspirant who neither hears one nor, if he could hear, would he understand? Understanding the master is a form of insight, although this must not be confused with the greater task of understanding the Sun. The aspirant will only really take notice when he feels anxiety, when he feels that he is about to lose his life, or his light in the broader, mystical meaning of the word. The master, then, will lead the aspirant to danger and this will persuade him to listen more carefully. The words of the master are almost invariably misunderstood. The aspirant thinks he is talking of things on the aspirant’s level of awareness which, to the master, is a level of fantasy. The master is able easily to manipulate these fantasies until the aspirant, with humiliation and shame, realises he has been a marionette dancing as his teacher pulls the strings.

This knowledge comes in Hod. The shock brings the insight. To realise one has been living in a fantasy is almost equivalent to awakening to reality. Whilst Hod is regarded as the sphere of the concrete mind, this very concreteness is a stimulus to action. The masters exploit it well. However, to call Hod concrete is to misrepresent the Sephirah, for as we understand concreteness it suggests fixedness. Whilst Hod bears a skeletal structure it is no means immobile (how can Mercury-Thoth-Hermes be immobile?). Hod is the Rock but is also the home of the most mobile of the gods. Hod is the broadcaster. Hod is the new pasture over the wall.

Netzach renders the Thirtieth Path a haven of bliss. Netzach reveals reason triumphant. The joy of discovering the Heavenly Father and knowing that all things are possible through Him makes even the challenge of the wall devoid of fear. The Sun shall never escape from the enlightened one for his face is drawn always towards it. Can even death be a pleasure to be savoured as the best wine? Can ever suffering be a delightful consummation? Netzach gives the power to realise. There are infinite possibilities in all the objects available to the personality and here they are all realised. The old dragon of time no longer threatens with the flame of extinction.

Theory is revealed as a creation. There is no doubt and beauty reigns. No explanations, no questions to be answered, no problems to solve, just superbly fascinating riddles and all the time in the world to solve them. The secret of eternity graces the aspirant on the Path of the Sun in Netzach. The power to calculate itself becomes almost lascivious there is so much life here. And when we mentioned earlier that love could be identified with the inner Sun, in Netzach we bask in its light, drink its vitality into the very core of our being. It is the purest art of the personality to transcend its limitations and reach the fountain of Divine Reason.

There is an absolute necessity for all beings in the Universe to discover joy and here it is.

The proximity of Netzach to Tiphareth does not imply that a new dimension is not discovered on passing into Tiphareth. We discover that even Suns have Suns. The wall to be scaled to tread the Thirtieth Path in Tiphareth seems infinitely high. From joy we pass once more to doubt. The universe of joy is not the whole universe, for only the humble personality can experience the surrender of the Path in Netzach. All that pales into a misty illusion when the Great Luminary is invoked.

The Path in Tiphareth is of the nature of a pursuit, the pursuit of the rapid Mercury. This is symbolic of the pursuit of meaning, for meaning appears rapidly to dissolve fantasy and the escape from fantasy involves watching preconceptions and fixed ideas disappear into an apparent void. Tiphareth is the junction of the Moral and Physical Worlds. What in the lower Sephiroth appeared as a paradox – the telescoping of time into an apparently dimensionless Now – becomes in Tiphareth an expansion of the trivial into the ultimately profound. Moral acts take account of the wholeness of the moment, its completeness.

The illusion of time has the effect of spreading experience so that feeling is reduced to a minimum. It is like trying to spread a teaspoon of jam over a dozen slices of bread, the flavour disappears. The consciousness of Tiphareth increases the flavour of life by accenting the importance of action. One is suddenly a part of the Cosmos. The importance of vision in morality is clear. An unconscious act is amoral, a conscious act has the power of knowledge behind it, it is sanctified so to appear, for the actor is a participant in the Divine Plan. It seems to us here that it is impossible to have in mind all the possibilities of an act and fulfil them all at once. Such is the measure of expansion that accompanies the Path of the Sun in the Sun.

We must forget the devotional aspect of Tiphareth. Devotion is a commitment and its measure is sacrifice. A sacrifice is a conscious vow – not a mouthing of unintelligible gibberish in the conventional sense – it is a promise to oneself that one will follow the Path of the Sun to the end. In Tiphareth the End is visible on the Path of the Sun, for that is surely the function of Visions – seeing in the humblest object the light of Divine Reason – the Holy Spirit.

Tiphareth is the Sephirah of the Sacrificed Gods and therefore represents the ceremonial attached to the cycles of eternity. By making the ultimate sacrifice a soul is released from the cycle and is permitted to journey the universe with the dangers that must necessarily accompany such an itinery. These dangers are brought home in Geburah. Action requires Will, a will freed from the bondage of acts performed. Geburah can hold no fears for a child, who will feel nothing but exhilaration at the thought of being invincible. That fear is absent will not prevent the scourge of retribution from inflicting wounds.

Pain and evil are as much a part of the real universe as joy and the good. A child is resilient to these afflictions only so long as it remains a child and therefore Geburah involves a perpetual rejuvenation by exorcism – the exorcism of repentance, for only a will that is free may repent. In the context of the cycles, repentance involves recreating the circumstances that led to the evil act. The act may then be undone. The power required for such a circumstance is enormous. Siegfried, although he was fearless, was stupid and he paid for his stupidity with death. Apollo, a god of this Path, was also courageous when he destroyed Python, the serpent that oppressed the world, a representation of the monotonous cycle of birth and death. But Apollo lacked insight and was circumscribed by the Arrows of Cupid, tortured by his own vulnerability. It is the task of Geburah to give courage to the child and to disestablish him from his vulnerability.

The master who guides the child has been very much in the background hitherto. In Gedulah he once more makes his appearance, for the wall to be negotiated now is none other than the Abyss itself. The answer to the Abyss is to be found in all the other experiences of the Path in the other Sephiroth. It is merely a question of integrating them and using the well-practiced insight, obtain from them a pattern and a method for the escalation. The master in Gedulah restrains and tries to persuade the aspirant not to attempt the feat, for the prospect of the Pit awaits failures. Wise advice, for having unravelled the mysteries of destiny, once more to plunge into the tedious round again is a most unattractive prospect.

Gedulah holds the key but is full of warnings. The big test of the Path is to be found in Gedulah for the Yetziratic Text explicitly relates Hod to Gedulah and perhaps the ripe fruit of knowledge is ready for picking. But the quest for meaning has no end and at every station of the way there are dangers and threats. Without these can there be no meaning, for a measure of the importance of an act is the danger therein.

The final flourish to the aspirant’s escape from meaninglessness is his warm embrace of death in the certain knowledge that life thereafter will be the richer. The wall is attacked and daylight appears.

“When the ten thousand things are viewed in their one-ness we return to the origin and remain where we have always been.” Thus said Ts’en Ts’en, the Taoist. The inner Sun may be identified with the Heart of Adam Kadmon and if Adam Kadmon is aught he is the realised possibilities of Man – the potentiality become actuality. But for this realisation only one thing is missing – the breath of Divine spirit is not yet to be breathed into him. This knowledge is the Will, the Will which is Cosmic Law.

The infant spark is now placed in the Womb which shall nurture him and ultimately bare him into the World of Spirit. That knowledge is now transcended means that there is no more that can be known in Binah. Vision is the faculty of realisation, realisation of the Tree of Life, which Tree was and is the spark now growing. Binah is the Wall on the card and the pursuit of the Sun is still being followed, with an increased urgency. The nine stages he has completed are relived to prepare the aspirant for his new appointment, King of the Tree. The nine stages are Malkuth, Yesod, Hod, Netzach, Tiphareth, Geburah, Gedulah (children of Binah), Daath the death and Binah the Birth. These nine stages are the nine cycles of gestation, but these are cycles of the outer Sun, which is the region of the Inner Sun, the Crown.

At the end of the gestation period the aspirant is ready to be released from his dependence on the nutritional wealth of his Mother Binah. No longer is he to be fed from the forms of the Created World, but is to learn to create himself. Terror is the first reaction on being born again, Terror and confusion. The light is blinding, the air is too fine, too sweet to inhale. The new-born King gasps for breath, chokes and wriggles. He opens his eyes in Chokmah and is blinded by the light of the Unnameable One. He turns to his Mother and the great wave of Love which vibrates throughout the whole of Creation is now concentrated on this Holy Pair. Together they discover and together they climb and together they reach out. The Mother hands her offspring the Crown, whispering, “Take it, take it and survey the Kingdom, now a blaze of light, the Light that shines from Thee!”

Atziluth is the new pasture which was of old. Atziluth is the Great Sun that illuminates the seasons of life, the head of heads. With the Wand of Chokmah Adam rules its Universe from the throne of Binah. Glory, Glory, Shaddai Elohim! The Almighty Living God and the God of Hosts are One. Pegasus, who can gallop on the Earth and fly in the Heavens like an eagle is supreme Lord of the Path of the Sun.


Sun and Moon

By Patrick Fullick (1976)

The Sun and the Moon, both planetary beings of sorts, have quite separate functions in our  home scheme. Separate and, I think, neither inclining towards greater importance than the other. As my yardstick of whether the complete Tree can do without either of them must surely testify. A short appraisal of their functions or non-functioning follows.

The Sun could be said to represent the Direct Current of our Solar System, it breathes and pulsates to be sure but then every other of the Ain’s offspring follows suit. Much of the Sun’s action is observable, even forecastable without trouble and yet it is representative of future Man. Boding of a time when the same Light within the centre of our being brings unity to quell the wasteful strife. Unity by direct action of our wills exercised in struggle and learning. The testing of the Hero facing the black monsters of his own creation and armed with a sword, the Hero has time to retract, to reflect and be afraid. The choice with the Sun is a conscious one and determination the sword, to Know.

So its direct beams, physical or otherwise, are plainly determined, warmth or cold, shadow or light, life or death, the Sun shows them all with equal clarity. But what of Sister Moon?

Long before Solar worship set the pattern of time and religious thought the Moon dictated the tides of Man’s affairs. Here is the body responsible for the Alternating Current and the one most closely allied to this planet in more ways than one.

Whereas the Sun’s extensions of action bring clarity, the Moon’s are heavily fraught with uncertainty to the logical assessment of Hod. Largely autonomous, its directive is, ‘if it lives keep it that way no matter the cost.’ So built into every cell, the Waters of the Moon do just that, survival is what counts by hook and by crook with procreation just to be certain. And the wisdom of building from the start with that in mind has paid dividends but for a price; slow, very slow. Whatever comes from the Cosmos or from the Sun has to go deep into us and through the Moon, so all the layers of garbage spice the clarity and nothing is clear any more.

Physically, without tides, the planet would be washed with the stench of decay and not the Waters of our Mother Sea. No doubt the Moons of other planets have an equal task and comets, moons too, a mercurial one.
And so, equal I believe them to be from my own standpoint in time. Should I be dying then a reappraisal would be needed for in Yetzirah we may find a reversal of roles.

The High Priestess of the Silver Star portrayed as being ruled by the Moon is ruled by another Star and not our Moon, although a close connection exists between them. That, however, is another paper.


The Path of the Sun

By Marcia Goffin (1976)

SeparateThis is the story of initiation. It is the story of the two sons, the son who is the seer of That and the son who is the see-er of that which he wishes to see. The first son has had enough of the illusion. He is the prodigal son who is turning back to his Father's home, which he sees reflected in symbolic form in his mind at Hod and understands the secret wisdom in his heart. This son can be seen on the Crowley tarot pack symbolised as the two little angels of his psyche with their faces turned to the Sun and their arms raised and joined in adoration.

They appear to be flying up from the depths of the unconscious to their spiritual goal. The spiritual goal is the central Sun, where abides the Collective Intelligence. The two little angels are surrounded by the twelve signs of the Zodiac and in between each sign the twelve rays of creation shoot out from the central Sun. The predominant colours are yellow and orange, implying the attainment of the wisdom of the yellow ray through the use of the orange ray of the concrete mind. This prodigal son, as he looks out at the encircling twelve gates of re-entry to the physical existence, decides he has had enough of the continual round of births from sign to sign. He integrates the positive and negative aspects of his psyche and fixes his attention inwards, away from the constant merry-go-round of attachment. He will be the knower of True Knowledge.

The second son is of a completely different calibre. His mind is centred at Yesod, the opposite end of the Path of the Sun. All his being is concentrated there in the valley of illusion, but he, in his pride, cannot see it as illusion. He is the happy child sitting astride the white steed of his own little will. He does not look at the high wall behind him and realise his limitations. All he can feel is the hot, bright sun on his back. In true sun pride fashion he says, "Look, the sun is shining on me. In me you will find all the answers". What shall we say of this son other than, yes, he does stand in the sunlight, but with his back to the Sun. He sees only shadows and shadows are his laws - and what is this son but a caster of shadows? We can see his image in the Waite tarot card. He is the little, but dangerous, son of the narrow mind.

The first son sees clearly because he knows that he has to develop that which is given on the hermetic way via the Path of the Devil. He has a lot of really hard work to do. The second son is the complacent and lazy son with the narcissus complex. He sees the Sun of Tiphareth reflected in the illusion of Yesod. "I will take the easy way" is his motto, for he follows the dictates of his little will and expects everything to be handed to him on the silver platter of Yesod.

The first son has the hardest path. It is the path of duality on which his discrimination is tested to the point of razor sharpness. Unlike his young brother he cannot have the firm and complacent conviction of saying this is this, and that is that, for he does not know. The pride of the Sun is curbed at every point of the journey.

Both sons are in the School of Life. The second son is in the junior school, although he will think he is at the very best university. His elder brother, having passed all the exams of the earthly schools has moved to the finishing school, for this son has fully tasted of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil and has moved to the Tree of Life. His young brother cannot see the second tree because he is, as yet, still lost in the mist of his illusion of the little “I am”.
At each Sephirah there occurs a major waking up, or initiation.

Malkuth - The Birth

Here at the beginning is the story of the two sons birth. Isaac and Rebekah had twin sons, Jacob and Esau. Esau was the first son to be born, and his twin, Jacob, emerged grasping Esau's heel. Jacob is Esau's Achilles heel. Esau, being the first born, should have inherited his father's birthright, but his brother Jacob persuaded him to forfeit this for the material gain of worthless pottage. This story symbolises spirit's descent into matter. Esau (the soul) desired pottage (a denser physical body).

This Jacob (the personality) could furnish him with, but, in payment for this gift of a denser body (which proved worthless anyway because it was soon consumed) a sacrifice had to be made. The sacrifice of the birthright is Esau's (the soul's) loss of memory of its rightful inheritance. Jacob (the personality) in his craftiness of disguise as the true son stole his brother's blessing, and ever since because of man's wrong identification the power falls into the wrong hands, for Jacob (the personality) always wants that which is not his for his own gratification. This is the story of "The Fall" all over again.

Through this narrative, for the sake of clarity, we will continue to call these sons by their symbolic names, Esau and Jacob, but, as will be apparent, they are, of course, the Jekyll and Hyde in us all - the little self and the True Self.
In Malkuth both sons are born into physical form. Jacob is the clever, crafty son, but he is also the lazy son. He is most interested in all that which the sphere of Malkuth can offer. He is acquisitive and greedy continually thinking of the rainy day and seeking to protect and provide himself for when this dire circumstance may arise. His policy is that of one-up-manship which festers in the roots of discontent, and fed on the manure of jealousy.

He is like the eleven sons of Jacob who steal from Joseph (symbolic of the soul) the coat of many colours (the true inheritance). This they despoil in animals blood and rip it to pieces. The soul is sent into exile, while they seek to claim their father's favour. Here we see the birth of the rank materialist, or the religious or political bigot, all of them power hungry. The Jacob of the story will survive at any cost and let his brother perish, for he must be the chosen one.

Esau, the simple, trusting son, is the true inheritor of his Father. The shock of his brother's deceit and the loss of his inheritance wakes him with a jolt. The inertia is dispelled, for he knows he must seek what he has lost. He approaches the second tree and begins to eat its fruit of Why? Why? Why? The fruit of wisdom is then planted anew as his father's love reaches out to him and the beginnings of discrimination are born in his heart.

At Yesod - The Baptism

Here in this emotional plane Jacob is in his true element, that of the waters of illusion. For is he not the clever son? He possesses that which his brother can never have, and now he is independent of family ties. He is strongly self willed and powerfully magnetic to his admiring cronies, who gather about him and baptise him in the waters of their admiration. But his pride cannot be independent of this admiration he craves.

Esau, his elder brother, is silent. He instinctively feels a growing independence and freedom in his inmost nature, but as yet it is as tenuous as a dream. He could not prove this inner growing strength he feels, even if he wanted to. He thinks his secret thoughts in silence and the silence becomes the vacuum of loneliness. He is as an outcast from society, a loner, not to be understood. The baptism occurs in the flowing tears of the loneliness of despair, and then at last he hears his father's voice acknowledging him with pride as his true son. Now that his Father has spoken and given him his blessing he is an independent son in his own right.

At Hod - The Test of the Devil

Jacob again comes to the fore. Here is the great brainchild who knows all the answers. Listen how cleverly he can play with words, batting them about and twisting then here and there to suit his purpose. Here is the crafty, power hungry politician, or the crafty, power hungry religious fanatic once again. But now the power of the mind is supreme. All those who share his views are classified as intelligent, or at least sane of mind. Those who do not agree pose a threat to his supremacy. They are viewed with suspicion, which can quickly boil to hatred.

Jacob's views will definitely be preserved for the sake of his truth and if the devil of opposition challenges him, he will murder his foe. Indeed it is at this point that he does just that, for he strangles his father's voice which he hears in his mind of inheritance "Be honest with your brother and love him as you do yourself, for you and he are one". Jacob at Hod with his fully developed analytical mind now regards his father as a liar, for very clearly his brother is an idiot and deserves to be treated as such. Jacob now casts aside his Father's inheritance which he stole from Esau. No longer does it give him the confidence it once did. It has become a mill stone about his neck. From now on he will be a law unto himself; the worthless conscience will now no longer bother him.

Esau at Hod sees the precious jewel of his inheritance so arrogantly abandoned by his brother. In wonder he picks it up and carefully wipes off the thick layers of dust. In it his brother's leering face appears before him, "You fool, throw this useless thing away. Your Father is a liar for he says we are one. We can clearly see there are two of us: am I not talking to you now? Ignore the old fool and believe and follow me and everything you want can be yours". Esau looks in wonder and then in horror as he slowly realises the leering features and scornful voice are merely his own distorted reflections. Here is a part in his mind that he would prefer not to see. But the Sun of the soul gives courage and heat. That which is not wholesome must be burnt out. The devil of diversity is exorcised in the blazing heat of anger. That which is false is rejected and the virtue of the Sephirah Hod, which is truthfulness, is ablaze with splendour.

At Netzach - The Transfiguration

Jacob, the crafty, feels the full impact of the creative force of this plane. He creates with the brilliance of expediency. That which will make him powerful and successful are of paramount importance. He is geared to the favourable reactions of his leechlike admirers, who bow and scrape before him, transfigured in the light of his reflected glory. He knows the lust of power and their lust for his brilliance gives him this strength. Here lurks the Hitler or Stalin of the masses, and all the other dangerous false Messiahs of whom we have been warned. For underneath the sugary outer coat of seeming love lies the lust for self glorification and power. But, oh my, what a charisma this person has! He is the Venus trap of all unsuspecting and stupid insect minds.

Esau at this point is lost in the rainbow of his Father's love. He hears the most beautiful music and verse and sees the most glorious colours. He is filled to over-flowing and the love flows out in notes and colours of loveliness, because they cannot be contained. His whole being is transformed. "A genius!" some clear sighted people exclaim. Others dismiss him as a crank. But he is completely impervious to the attitudes he creates around him. He does not even notice them for he is so completely immersed in his Father's love.

At Tiphareth - The Crucifixion

Here the full force of Jacob's pride comes to the fore. Here he is the true Son of the Sun, or so he thinks. He looks around at all his cringing, adoring cronies with pride and contempt, this anti-Christ of the blackest art. "Sacrifice your incorrect thoughts and feeling's and come to me, for I am the harmony and the Truth at the centre of the wheel". But he is thinking "All of then are mine, and mine alone. I am the supreme king of this domain and complete power and dominance will be mine. All who dare to oppose me I will sacrifice as blots on society".

Whole continents and races have been destroyed under this pride of the false will. For the anti-Christ does not want to be the sacrifice himself, not if he can help it, that is. And if he, unfortunately for him, makes a boo boo, he will have to be content to be the glorified martyr - or so he hopes.

Esau at Tiphareth listens to his Father and knows his Father's True Will. He is at peace in the quiet pastures of his mind, for his Father's Will is his will. "Save my sheep", is his Father's command, and he looks with compassion at the mindless creatures who are his young brothers. There is so much darkness where breed the germs of ignorance and hypocrisy. Esau holds forth the light of Truth, and all who would stone its clarity are thrown back into confusion upon themselves. The light bearer is the willing sacrifice, for the light draws the attention of the marauding wolves, thirsty for the blood of the upstart who disturbs their peace. Just as the wolves would kill him and devour his flesh so the true body of his teaching is destroyed by his younger brothers. The body is stripped, but it is only the outer vestments which are shared among his executioners. These outer vestments are but remnants of his teaching.

So it is to this day that only the outer remnants persist, for what is symbolic is still interpreted as literal. Man still follows the cult of Mithras, which was incorporated into the Christian teachings for the sake of expediency. This teaching dates back to the age of Taurus, when the bull was the sacrifice. During the age of Aries the lamb was slaughtered. In the age of Pisces the fishes were caught and consumed. "What now of the Aquarian age, the water carrier, the man? Is man now to be the sacrifice? And what is his sacrifice? His flesh and blood? How long will it be before the true meaning of sacrifice is properly understood - the sacrifice of all which does not clearly reflect the Truth? How much longer will it be before there is true communion among souls when the bread of understanding is broken and shared between disciples of the Truth and their minds washed in the wine of wisdom? Only when these principles are clearly reflected in men's souls will the Sun of God, the Christ, truly appear on earth.

At Geburah - The Descent into Hell

Here Jacob will have a hot sticky time. All the destruction he has caused will now rebound on him, and unless he has managed with his mind to construct the most indestructible armour, not much of him will survive this ordeal. Most anti-Christ’s here must be like Hitler in the underground shelter, reduced to a complete wreck, kept going on the drugs of their mad pride, while all around them is complete and utter devastation. Only the most determined will endure, but there are some who are very determined.

Esau carries his light of Truth into the fires of hell and comforts and helps those who will accept his help. This descent into hell holds no discomfort for him. It is merely a continuation of his Father's work. There is nothing of him to burn, for he has ceased to be. If there was Attachment to his life's work, even this has now fallen from him.

At Gedulah - The Resurrection

What remains of Jacob drags it’s determined way to Gedulah, an almost empty suit of armour, still posing as real life, held together by its mad pride, for even the hottest flames cannot penetrate this asbestos will. He smiles his sinister smile as he looks down onto the havoc he has caused. Stupid fools! If they were as strong as he they could be here with him now. And look! Even his martyr's death is soon for­gotten; there is no thanks at all. He has been rejected by all and now he seeks his revenge, for here in the sphere of the Masters exists both black and white forces.

Esau at Gedulah is resurrected in his father's image. No one can remember him too well, for he is a myth that lives on in man's sub­conscious. His Father's inheritance is shared among his young brothers and in the true communion of their souls they will, when they become aware, see his Father's reflection in one another's eyes, which are the mirrors of the soul. In time they will know with the shock of joy that their Father's blessing is all around then. It stares at them from blue eyes, brown eyes, green eyes, grey eyes, hazel eyes, and sometimes, if they listen very carefully, their Father will speak to them through the voice of a fellow brother. The white master at Gedulah is the master telegraph transmitter and receiver. Men's minds are his apparatus, not to be programmed against their will, as would his dark brother, but with utmost discrimination and true compassion, for everything must be according to the Law of Divine Will, love and Creativity.

Probably most Jacobs and Esau’s stay at this point on the Tree for a very long time. The former because that is where he can do the most damage to what seems his own twisted advantage. He would be loth to move anyway because his position is so precarious - something like the game of snakes and ladders. The only ladder left looks most uninviting, for it stretches endlessly over a mighty chasm of endless depths. Those who risk that could be lost in its vile depths. As he looks down all he can see are slippery snakes, and once he starts sliding down there will be no stopping. He would be drowned in their poisonous venom at the bottom of the pit of his evil mind.

The Esau’s stay at Gedulah for countless time, for this is where they can pour forth their endless compassion.
Now the story of the initiations is over, as far as we can understand. But there is still the top part of the Tree. Few Jacobs will attempt the crossing and even fewer would actually make it, and if they did they would hardly be very thrilled at the dubious reception at the other end. For there at Binah waits the possessive mother. Like a huge and hairy spider she sits in her mighty web of restriction. She hugs them tightly to her and smiles her strange smile as the empty shells they have become break and are crumbled into dust. The dark mother cannot hear their cries of pain for they are hers and she will possess them forever. She eats the dry bitter dust of their remains, but it is so repulsive she spews it out into the Abyss. The tortured evil remains have their last life drop squeezed from them.

Esau, the true son, grows tired eventually of his weary and seeming endless task. He looks upward and can see his Father in the distance. Closing his eyes and with courage born of complete faith and purity he crosses the bridge over the dreadful pit.

At Binah the loving mother folds him to her breast and he rests there for a while in her loving silence. He is like the caterpillar who completely changes his form in the quietness and solitude of his cocoon.

But the time comes when the cocoon has completed its work of magic. The mother gives birth and the most beautiful butterfly breaks its bonds and flies higher and higher, and round and around in ever decreasing circles of the most brilliant colours of Chokmah. There is atiny speck of flashing lights and then no more, for the true Son has merged with his Father at Kether.


The Path of the Sun

By Lars H. Bratt (1976)

It is very difficult to describe the experiences which one is likely to meet when ascending or descending a Path on the Tree of Life unless one has already had conscious experience of such an undertaking.

I feel that as I have not yet experienced the nature of the 30th Path of the Sun, consciously in any case, I will resort to a purely academic approach. This may be helpful in planting a few seeds of thought into our minds though it will remain very brief and incomplete, especially where the nature of the Path is concerned in higher levels of existence.

When first approaching the Path of the Sun we find that it connects Yesod, the Sphere of the Subconscious towards the base of the Pillar of Equilibrium, with Hod, the Sphere of the Concrete Mind at the base of the Pillar of Severity. When the glyph of the Lightning Flash is superimposed upon the Tree the Path also lies in line with the descent of Spirit into matter. From this information, I gather that the Path is of prime importance in the development of consciousness. This indicates great struggle and conflict, overshadowed by the Pillar of Severity at the top end. It is interesting to note that the 22nd Path running parallel with the Path of the Sun, but on a higher arc is the Path of Justice and karmic adjustment.

The text associated with the Sepher Yetzirah states that the 30th Path is the Collective Intelligence. I deduce from this that all modes of consciousness we have experienced in the past and in our previous incarnations are gathered together into a pool of experiences out of which is evolved the concrete mind. So this Path is one of intellectual development and this is further stressed by the Yetziratic Text when it refers to astrologers perfecting their science.

Astrology can mean all sciences, for by it man is able to predict future trends in his affairs. The astrologer of yesterday is equivalent to the modern scientist of today, for after having built up synthetic concepts about the workings of natural laws, he can now predict the behaviour of matter under various conditions. This has led to the highly sophisticated technological society we live in today. I feel that at the end of the second World War began the Age of Technology which culminated in placing a man on the moon. Humanity as a whole was then on the Path of the Sun.

It was while meditating upon the card of the 19th Arcanum of the Tarot where I drew my strongest impressions of the nature of the Path. In most versions of the Tarot the 19th Key is drawn as showing two little children, a boy and girl, standing naked in a walled garden, overlooked by sunflowers. The Sun pours down Life and Light from above onto this beautiful garden. The nakedness of the children symbolises a state of purity and innocence. The children represent humanity as a whole, the boy symbolising the conscious mind and the girl the sub-conscious. The four sunflowers, representing the four worlds of the elements, turn to the children showing that only through man can the elemental kingdoms become spiritualised.

The most important symbol, in my opinion, is the wall in the background. This wall is made up of stone blocks laid in five courses in the B.O.T.A. version and eight courses in the Rider/Waite version. Paul Case attributes the five courses to the five physical senses. As language is based upon labelling or describing experiences relating to the five physical senses it is very limited when trying to describe experiences lying beyond the frontiers of physical sensation. Therefore mystics are forced to resort to symbolism when trying to convey the experiences of the higher states of consciousness from one mind to another. Because the wall symbolises this limitation, the children turn their backs to the wall in repudiation showing that the highest states of Reality cannot be understood by an intellectual approach only.
This barrier of the intellect is the main message which the card is trying to express in the physical world, the World of Assiah-Malkuth.

Stone also symbolises wisdom when we recall that the Hermetic Wisdom was engraved upon an emerald tablet. The Rosetta Stone was the key which enabled us to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphs and so unravel the ancient Egyptian Mysteries. In the Rider/Waite version of the Tarot, the eight courses of stone correspond to Hod, the Sphere of the concrete mind.

The colour of the Path in Assiah is amber rayed red. Amber is a high octave of the orange ray and orange is the ray of the concrete mind. The sun shining upon the Path is the mundane chakra of Tiphareth and its colour is also orange. The initiate travelling the 30th Path in Assiah is concerned with the expansion of consciousness and conquest of life in the light of pure reason. It is interesting to note that the key to the Path is the letter Resh which means the head, the container of the intellectual mind. Bringing it right down to mundane living, I would say that the student going through university and struggling hard to master his subjects, often burning the midnight oil, so that he may overcome the ominous wall of the final exams looming up before him is on the Path of the Sun whether he knows it or not.

The great Goddess Reason narrows our field of vision however, for academic knowledge for its own sake can divorce us from the realities of the world around us. This can also lead to pride, the vice of Tiphareth whose mundane chakra is shining upon the Path. It may take many incarnations before we reach a state of humility and become as the little child riding forth from the garden of the intellect into the Kingdom of Heaven, carried along by the white horse of Solar freedom. The qualities of the red ray which streak the amber of the Path gives to us the courage and strength to overcome this conflict.

Having freed ourselves from the 30th Path in Assiah, we continue our journey up the Tree in Malkuth with all its trials and experiences to overcome, eventually ceasing to incarnate into physical bodies when crossing beyond the Abyss, to finally ascend beyond Malkuth and enter into the Tree in the first Sephirah of the Yetziratic World, Yesod.

On arriving at the Path of the Sun in Yesod, the Sphere of the Moon, we are now existing in the fluidic astral/etheric states of consciousness. Here, all the Paths are fraught with illusion and deception. Following our long term in Malkuth, we have developed the virtue of discrimination which should help us to maintain our bearings and so prevent us from becoming entangled in the webs of emotion. The background colour of Yesod is deep indigo which brings with it the qualities of purification. From the moon, the mundane chakra of Yesod, comes the colour of silver which brings peace. Here the wall is met again, built by our emotional vices which have to be cleansed and brought back into equilibrium again. The symbol of the naked child again indicates the purity of emotion which we must attain to in order to surmount the wall and ride forth again on our white steed, happy and free to ascend the remaining Paths in Yesod and eventually meet up again with the next wall awaiting us on the Path of the Sun in Hod.

In Hod, we enter into the Sphere of the Concrete Mind itself, the first sphere of the lower mental world. As this is the sphere of the intellect, our outlook on this Path reaches its greatest rigidity. Our ideas become very orthodox and our thinking tends to go very much by the book. Here the dry world of pure intellectualism reaches its greatest peak. The dangers of self-righteousness become very real indeed and all progress comes to a rigid standstill, held back by academic pride, the vice of the Sun. All hope is not lost, however, for the yellow ray of Spiritual Creativity shines forth from Mercury, the mundane chakra of Hod. This ray guides the aspiration of the student who will eventually attain, once again, the innocent qualities of the small child, so overcome this wall of pure intellect and ride forth again in freedom, to enter into Netzach, the Sphere of Polarity.

Here the pure love influence emanating from Venus, the mundane chakra of Netzach, expands the rigid outlook of the concrete mind. The danger here lies in the other extreme which this strong love ray could induce causing us to swing to a state of blind, naive innocence, the exact opposite to the rigid state of consciousness held previously.

The wall is overcome when this extreme condition is brought back under control again by the rational mind, stimulated by the orange ray from the Sun. We must remember that the 30th Path is the Path of Pure Reason, and although it is exalted in Hod, it must not be allowed to be in detriment in Netzach. The harmony of balance finally attained between these two extremes permits the student to overcome the wall and ascend up the rest of the Tree in Netzach and enter into the Sphere of Harmony itself, Tiphareth.

When attaining again to the 30th Path in Tiphareth, the Sphere of Sacrifice, we are surrounded by the pink rose colour which develops the qualities of unselfishness within ourselves. Although Tiphareth is the bridge between the higher and lower mental level the Path of the Sun is in the lower half. So as we are still in the lower mental world it requires a determined effort, helped by the influence from the Mundane Chakra of Tiphareth, to sacrifice the ties of passion and desires of the lower mental plane. In this effort we are helped by the influences emanating from the Sun, the mundane chakra of Tiphareth. Here the symbol of the naked child stands out very clearly, for by sacrifice we shed the outer garments of the lower worlds to attain the greater prize of freedom and the higher worlds.

It is only by complete and willing sacrifice, without any thought of holding back on the price that we are able to finally surmount the wall and gain release from the Path of the Sun, to ascend the rest of the Tree in Tiphareth to enter into Geburah, the Sphere of Cosmic Justice and Karma.

Eventually we arrive again to the wall blocking our way upon the 30th Path in Geburah. Here we are faced with the sum total of our Karma, which must be overcome before we can progress further. It is said that the Mills of God grind slowly, but they grind exceedingly small. Here we meet up with THE Law: Action and Reaction are equal and opposite. To put it another way, as we sow, so shall we reap. Cosmic Law is Omnipotent. Thus not even the tiniest atom, insignificant in our eyes, let alone the universe, can escape from it. Each detrimental thought, even so trivial that we have forgotten it a few moments later adds to that wall which we will all have to face.

By the time we have arrived to Geburah, however, a lot of karma has already been resolved so the wall will not be such a titanic monster as it may appear at first.

Still remembering that the Path is that of the intellect, we have the knowledge required, together with the stimulation of energy and courage from the influence of Mars, the Mundane Chakra, to dismantle the wall brick by brick and finally resolve our Karma to move up the rest of the Tree in Geburah and enter Karma-free into Chesed, the Sphere of the Masters and last Sephirah of the Yetziratic World.

When treading the 30th Path in Gedulah, we meet up with a barrier of choice. Do we carry on our journey into the World of Briah, or do we remain behind to assist our brethren who are not so advanced and still working in the lower levels of consciousness and who look to us for guidance as we ourselves used to do when we searched for our Masters to show us the way.

The Amethyst Ray issuing from Jupiter, the Mundane Chakra of Gedulah, brings out the qualities of humility and most of us will elect to stay behind for a time and give service. By taking this decision we are in turn also helping to accelerate the process of the Divine Plan by extending our wholeness into the lower planes of existence and therefore spiritualising the elements of those planes. Let us still remember our four sunflowers, who stayed behind and still looking at us after we had left the garden bidding farewell.

Eventually we will ascend the Tree in Gedulah to cross the Abyss and enter into Binah, the first Sephirah of the Briatic World. Binah is the Archetypal Concept of Form. It was in Binah, the Bright Fertile Mother, that the boundless flowing energy of Pure Being of Chokmah became restricted and broken up into stable concepts of Form, each unit of Life becoming individualised and projecting personalities into experience of the lower levels of consciousness.

To go into Binah on the Path of Return is to lose our personalities and merge to become one with our individualities. So again we have reached a wall of choice on the 30th Path and we must decide whether or not to overcome it and raise our consciousness at the price of the dissolution of the Personality. The influences emanating from Saturn, the Mundane Chakra of Binah, bring out the qualities of secrecy and inner stability of the Spirit to help us come to our decision and thus overcome the wall to ascend the rest of the Tree in Binah and journey ever on forward to Chokmah.
Upon entering Chokmah, the Sphere of Wisdom, we are now conscious of ourselves as a Divine Spark, existing now beyond the realms of form.

Upon reaching the 30th Path again, we now have another decision to take and that is either to remain as a separate, individualised Divine Spark, or to merge with the Swarm of Divine Sparks who have attained a similar state of evolution. At this stage, the Swarm which broke up at the beginning of Time to undergo individualisation by entering into experience of the denser levels of manifestation is once again reuniting. But the collective consciousness is now strengthened by the trials and pain of experience. Just as we have lost our personalities at Binah, so now we must lose our state of individual individuality at Chokmah. Eventually this decision is taken and the wall is overcome and we ascend the rest of the Tree in Chokmah to stand in the Vision of God, Face to Face.

So we leave the Briatic World and enter into Atziluth in Kether. Upon treading the Paths in Atziluth, we are experiencing their Archetypal Concepts. It is here that the deepest meanings of the Tarot cards have their root. The 30th Path is now bathed in the Pure Brilliance of the Cosmic Sun behind the Sun and we are truly leaving the Garden of Manifestation behind to enter forth into the Kingdom of Heaven. The wall is still on the Path but now it is purely the Archetypal Concept which shows that whatever barrier man has built in his way by fear or ignorance can be overcome. Eventually we ascend the Tree in Kether to attain at long last to the Union with God, the Completion of the Great Work, so becoming One with all things, Cosmic and omnipotent.


To be continued...