Link to this Article: http://www.llewellyn.com/journal/article/1922
The Divinities and the Spirit of the Tarot
This article was written by Jean-Louis de Biasi
posted under Tarot
The Tarot is a living being! It has its own intelligence, a personality you can feel every time you use the Tarot. When we take the Tarot Trumps in our hands, we do not hold an ancient document or an inanimate book. The Arcana of the Tarot are a real tool that allow us to invoke or evoke an immaterial and invisible mind. These Tarot Trumps are the visible appearance of an invisible form of consciousness, which can communicate with us by the medium of Tarot. By way of analogy, if you think of a photograph of a person, you understand that the photo is a representation of a person who is at a distance, not the person him or herself. This picture does not have a real and immediate relationship with the person it represents. This photo evokes our memories and helps focus our minds on the person so pictured.
Tarot is similar to this example. In the first instance, Tarot is a symbolic representation of powers that are normally distant from and invisible to us (just as a photo is a symbolic representation of someone who is at a distance, that we cannot currently see) and, in the second case, the Tarot permits us to establish a genuine link with these Divine Powers.
The esoteric traditions do not limit a mind and a being to only one physical dimension. Esoteric traditions recognize that Tarot establishes a true link and a reciprocal exchange between the material and immaterial substances, between our mind and the spiritual world. Our subtle bodies are an expression of this principle and they make it possible to enter directly into a relationship with the different levels of reality. Our minds can create forms in the astral dimension, whether positive or negative.
In order to comprehend how these energies operate, we must begin by understanding the process that led to the revelation of and contact with these Divinities and the Spirit (Angel) of Tarot. As you will see, the Initiates of antiquity wanted to synthesize their understanding of the universe in the Tarot Trumps. Indeed, the Tarot is a real symbolic summary of the Divine powers at work in the Cosmos. To the Ancients, our being is a representation of the Cosmos that is called the microcosm, whole at the same time being a real part of the macrocosm. That means that these representations affect what surrounds us, but also have an impact on the deepest parts of our being. It's from these ideas that the theory of the signatures (sigillum) was developed. We can summarize it here and say that all the elements that comprise the world (and even the universe) are connected and marked with a sign of recognition.
Thus, a yellow plant will have a relationship with the sun and with a physical problem like the jaundice, etc. The law of correspondences is derived from this ancient theory. It is a statement of the existence of invisible links between symbols or colors (for example) and states of consciousness. Thus, each Tarot Trump represents invisible Divine realities. The use of an Arcanum helps us to create a direct link between ourselves and this Divine power. All these correspondences are rooted in the most authentic Western traditions.
As the legend of the Tarot explains, there is no doubt that Initiates created the Tarot in order to transmit their knowledge. The Tarot encompasses a teaching that is at the same time spiritual and religious, but also includes teachings on divination. The original cards were designed to concentrate an important part of the energies connected to these Divine characters and figures. We must remember that these Arcana were passed on to the first Initiates of the Hermetic tradition awaked by the neoplatonicians of the Renaissance.
Thus we may understand that each card or Arcanum is not only a symbolic representation. The Major Arcana in the Tarot deck symbolize hidden Divine entities, and the elements that comprise each card make them true pentacles, which generate a real power. Of course, it is possible to feel this power spontaneously, but it is also possible to be consciously aware of the relationship between ourselves and these potent archetypes, if we utilize the right practices, rituals, et cetera. Everyone who meditates on and studies these Arcana, inevitably creates a network of very powerful links among himself or herself, the pentacle that constitutes the Arcanum of the Tarot, the corresponding Divinities, and the Angel or Spirit of the Tarot.
The visible appearance of specific cards increases and intensifies the power of the mind that uses them. When we speak about the use of the Tarot, we are not speaking just about the physical uses of the Tarot deck. The mental and astral bodies of all the individuals who have ever used or still use the Tarot today have given birth to an invisible Spirit of the Tarot. All those who have linked themselves to the Tarot have contributed to its egregore by giving the Tarot a genuine identity and an actual existence. It should be noticed that this reality exists in spite of the differences between the several representations of the Arcana. A very old esoteric principle explains that everything that is given a name actually exists on the invisible level.
This principle is called “the power of the Word.” The more users there are, the more the existence of this Spirit is validated, and that makes the Spirit more powerful. In the same way, those who use the Tarot with the intention of acting on the symbolic level and who are aware of their work in relation to the invisible, considerably increase the power of this Spirit. The forces that are invoked by these users will be concentrated, linked together, and increased.
If you could observe the invisible plane at this stage of the constitution of the Spirit of the Tarot, you would discover a special and powerful energy which be like a slightly pulsating nebula emanating various colors of the rainbow. When Initiates use the Tarot Trumps while being in a receptive state of consciousness, a contact is created on the invisible plane between them and this energy. A thin wire of luminous energy attaches them to this radiant center. Since the first uses of the Tarot, these bonds have been consistently reinforced, each Initiate benefiting from the development of this form of intelligence.
The relationship that is established flows in both directions (with both parties benefiting, so to speak). Thus, as the number of users increases, the power of the Spirit, this Angel of the Tarot, increases, and this actively reinforces the presence of the Tarot in divination, making the Angel itself more potent. To understand how this process occurs on the invisible level, we can use the analogy of the development of consciousness in a human embryo. The concentration of energy we have just described corresponds to the creation of the physical body of the child, before the appearance of its consciousness.
We still don't know with any certainty how this consciousness appears and when our mind begins to be aware of its own existence. Likewise, we cannot say when the Tarot Spirit becomes “conscious.” There are two hypotheses. The first hypothesis is that the consciousness of this Angel of the Tarot awakens gradually, like a child’s consciousness; the second is that the activation of this Intelligence of the Tarot was the work of Initiates who used particular rituals to awaken it. This practice is very similar to the creation of familiar spirits that we find in the Western Magical tradition. As with any ritual work at this level, the explanation as to how it works must obviously remain veiled. We may only say that this was the second step of the occult work of our ancestors, just after the creation of the Tarot itself. This occult work created the compression and concentration of the Divine energies, and this process gave life to a real entity that some later called the Angel or Spirit of the Tarot.
Once the Angel became conscious, it began to grow and develop, and it has not ceased developing and growing in power since that time. Thus, when we work within what we could call the “World of the Tarot,” we immediately place ourselves in relation to this entity. If this link is not built consciously, it is established with a receptive mind. Feeling this call, the Angel of the Tarot directs its power towards us. We can use this power. Various methods exist to intensify this contact and the first method for that is to use our intention and our will.
If you don't know these more advanced techniques, then you may try this simple technique. Take the Tarot deck in your hands and concentrate on the Angel of the Tarot. When you are concentrating, you must call the Spirit of the Tarot and ask it to give you light and guidance for your work and consultation. On the invisible plane this intention will start a special process.
Usually our invisible bodies surround us as a group of ovoids of energy of greater and lesser density. When we place a Tarot deck in our hands with the intention of using it, an intense, powerful and luminous irradiation appears in our aura. Our call to the Angel of the Tarot appears to the Angel as an open spot through which it may direct energy to help us. This may be likened to holes in the clouds that allow sunlight to pass through them. However, in this case, the process begins with the rays of energy leaving the heart of our being, crossing through this opening, and moving towards the heart of the Spirit of the Tarot. Our will to perform this action gives rise to a very special and strong vibratory link. Once this connection is established, energy will flow down towards our being, creating a real link to the Spirit of the Tarot during the period of our divination or work.
If this invocation is not accomplished voluntarily, the opening in your aura that we described above will not occur, and the rays of energy will not emanate from the Spirit to you. Our wish is to be receptive, and a passive attitude of wishing to receive is what triggers this effect.
Everyone who actively works with the Tarot creates a kind of “psychic echo,” which the Spirit of the Tarot feels. To explain how this works, imagine that you are picking up a Tarot deck. Try to think of that moment when you pick up the deck in this way: Imagine a calm surface of water with a rock at its center, only partially visible. If you throw a stone into the water, the waves that appear on the water’s surface will eventually reach the rock.
Once these undulations strike the rock, a series of concentric waves will bounce back towards you (as you are the originator of this phenomenon). We must remember that the Spirit of the Tarot exists independently of us, just as the rock exists independently of the person who throws the stone. The wave generated by our will/intention when we touch the Tarot Deck will reach the Angel and cause an immediate echo that will reverberate back to us. The difference is that the response of the Angel will be direct.
However, if we have not opened our aura by using special techniques of concentration, then the energetic response coming from the Angel of the Tarot might be stopped or reduced when it comes in contact with our aura. If your invisible bodies are very reactive to any external intrusion, then only a very small portion of the energy and inspiration will reach you. Therefore, we can certainly see the importance of developing a real awareness of the nature of our relationship to the Intelligence of the Tarot. Understanding this relationship and the process by which it is established allows us to easily create the right conditions and thus manifest an effective result.
In this way, you may begin to see the importance of this Spirit of the Tarot. We know that work with the Tarot has many different aspects: It may involve (1) a study of the Divinities that correspond to a specific card, (2) an inner working (a meditation for example), (3) a specific practice for someone else, or (4) it may be used for divination. In each of these cases, the phenomena we just described play a very important role.
1) In the first case, when we think about the cards and their symbols, the characters and the life of Divinities seen from the perspective of the Aurum Solis teachings, we start to unveil deeper meanings, and this process allows us to be able to use our increased knowledge. However, we use more than just the knowledge we have. The symbolic work extends well beyond that. With any study of this sort, we must remember the laws previously mentioned: the law of correspondences, the rules governing signatures, and the direct power of the cards. The symbols that are associated with each of the Divinities help us to find meaning during our studies, meditations, and contemplations. Eventually we will realize that these meanings and connections that we uncover do not occur by chance, but are directly influenced by the Divine powers concerned with that card.
Our analysis and study is guided by these influences. However, although this symbolic study considerably exceeds a traditional analysis, there are some levels that are more difficult to reach. If one desires to reach these levels, it becomes necessary to do “out of body” work in order to connect with these influences. It is in this “out of body” context that the Intelligence of the Tarot and the different Divinities can interact with us, creating steps upward that facilitate the evolution of our consciousness, which ultimately exceeds the simple human sphere where we work most of the time.
2) And 3) When we use these energies to work on ourselves or other people, the Divinities will allow us to harmonize the powers we select from among the Tarot cards. We are choosing to work under their benevolent protection, which will guarantee a more powerful energy. It is the same for the Angel of the Tarot, because we must remember that this Angel is the link among all the people using the Tarot.
4) In the last case (for use in divination) it is essential to be open to their Divine inspiration.
With this understanding, we will be able to balance and reconnect our souls to the harmonious Divine powers of the Cosmos.
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