Continued from August 18, 2017
August 18, second conversation:
Death and Temperance
Phillip, Joel, Jim, Ian, Kevin
Our conversation around Death and Temperance began to develop out of the conversation on counter-culture we had during the break…
– “Freedom is not license, necessity is not constraint”
– The entire crisis that is presented between Arcana 13 – 16 (Death, Temperance, The Devil, The Tower) is that of the mechanical (the automatic/unconscious) versus the miraculous (the creative, free deed/intention).
– Counterculture has become mechanical: t-shirts, phrases shouted out. Identity politics. Tattoos make everyone into a walking meme = “me.”
– The freakish becomes normalized. Normalization = mechanization. The Fringe Festival in Edinburgh is a perfect example of this. The miraculous as true creativity dwindles into the mechanical.
– Is a tattoo a push back against branding? “Accept me in spite of my projection.”
– Is it a remembrance of a prior incarnation? Like the Egyptians?
– Coomaraswamy speaks of “Figures of Speech and Figures of Thought” in reference to the Maori. They are portraying the etheric body through tattoos, maintaining a connection to the time when all could see the ether body out of clairvoyance.
– Other ancient body modifications. In a “Rune Soup” podcast they discussed Thai magical tattoos. They are quite painful. They are a spell written in invisible oil. There’s no display, nothing visible – the point is the magical act.
– The Devil apes God and goes first. Has the sacramental aspect of tattoo been pre-empted/degraded into the “Harley Davidson” stereotype?
– Acupuncture, accessing meridians. Also using needles.
– The transition from Death to Temperance = the process of disentangling being accomplished at death. Death = moment of death in an individual’s biography. Temperance = three day etheric review. The true “Illustrated man” of the carnival, the imprint and history of one’s life. The etheric imprint vs the digital world, digital images. How does our entanglement with fallen etheric forces (electro-magnetism, wifi) affect the etheric review?
– The etheric review is distinct from the kamaloka review, in which one views one’s deeds through the eyes of those affected. The etheric review is “one’s life flashing before one’s eyes.” This must be an overwhelming experience, as though one is at the center of one’s horoscope for a day. Steiner indicates that our higher self expresses itself via our biography. Experiencing our life as a whole is a meeting with our true, higher self. Especially if one has died with dementia, Alzheimer’s, etc (extreme forgetting of self), this must be like cool, refreshing waters after a long thirst. Our life experiences are then absorbed back into the archetypal (planetary) realms from which they emerged. After 70+ years of ego fabrication, of an illusory build up of separateness, the etheric review is the immersion, the baptism back into oneness with the cosmos.
– How did we form this biographical picture of the 22 Major Arcana? It began with the fourth Arcanum, The Emperor. We saw it as a “presentation in the Temple” of the Child. In terms of Yod = Magician, He = High Priestess, Vau = Empress, and He = Emperor, The Emperor is the 4th term, the finished product – the baby. It then became clear that The Magician expresses the moment of Conception (spontaneous creation); the High Priestess expresses Gestation (listening to the cosmos to weave the etheric into the physical); and the Empress expresses the moment of Birth (Sacred Magic, the Deed). After these four, Joel elaborated further:
The Magician = Conception
The High Priestess = Gestation
The Empress = Birth
The Emperor = Baby/Moon Years/Physical Body
The Pope = Young Child/Mercury Years/Etheric Body
The Lover = Teenager/Venus Years/Astral Body
The Chariot = 21-28/Sun Years/Sentient Soul
Justice = 28-35/Sun Years/Intellectual Soul
The Hermit = 35-42/Sun Years/Consciousness Soul
Wheel of Fortune = 42-49/Mars Years/Spirit Self
Force = 49-56/Jupiter Years/Life Spirit
The Hanged Man = 56-63/Saturn Years/Spirit Man
Death = Moment of Death
Temperance = Etheric Review
The Devil = 40 Days in the Wilderness
Tower of Destruction = Kamaloka/Moon Sphere
The Star = Mercury Sphere
The Moon = Venus Sphere
The Sun = Sun Sphere
The Judgement = Mars Sphere
The Fool/The World = Jupiter/Saturn Spheres, taking us to the “midnight hour”
– Arcana 1-9 are a process of Entangling. 10 begins the disentangling. Steiner indicates that from 0-21, the Mysteries of Birth are open to us, through the unconscious guidance of our Angel. Between 21-42, the Angel gradually lets us go. At age 42, depending on whether we have taken our inner development in hand, the Mysteries of Death can open up to us. Age 42 = Wheel of Fortune. We can begin to take up our disentangling consciously rather than leaving it until the moment of death.
– Typically as anthroposophists we think of two spheres of experience: life between death and rebirth, and life between birth and death. What is interesting about the biographical picture expressed through the Tarot is that the two spheres of experience become Conception to Midnight Hour (22 Major Arcana) and Midnight Hour to Conception (56 Minor Arcana). The Midnight Hour is the moment at which we choose our time and place of conception, according to Robert and other astrosophers. Through this division, we begin to see earthly life as part of a larger whole (the upward ascent through planetary spheres), rather than its own separate sphere.
– The 56 Minor Arcana and the descent down Jacob’s Ladder? Still a question…
– Temperance has a 5 pointed star on her forehead vs the 4 petalled flower on Death’s neck.
– Green grass in Temperance vs blue/yellow grass in Death. The real Earth vs the spiritual boundary. Death is like the negative of a photograph.
– There are no feet on the Angel. This is painful for her, she cannot descend all the way to Earth to help. Death, on the other hand, has only one foot. He is transitional. He is in a realm of bizarre, transitional experience.
(Here we introduced the Devil)
– The 13th-15th Arcana have a contiguous landscape. The Devil echoes the black and red of Death.
– Reminiscent of Psalm 23 “Though I walk through the valley of the Shadow of Death, I fear no Evil for Thou art with me.” Death/Thou/Evil = Death/Temperance/Devil
– The beings in the Devil are attached to their idea of Evil. The process of disentangling from what allows demon creation to occur.
– There is a recurring geometry throughout all of the Arcana of a triangle below and a triangle above, in different relationships to each other.
– The torch with the blue flame blends in with one of the wings.
– The benign thing that we fear greatly is Death; the awful thing that we joyfully create is the Devil.
– In the past, humanity only ever confronted the Shadow of Death, but this is changing in our time. The story of Death through the Tower of Destruction describes this in detail. In fact, the 14th and 15th Letter/Meditations on Temperance and the Devil contain everything one would need to know to be a Grail Knight.
At the time of the first Fall, the Image was kept intact (Human Freedom), while the Likeness fell (Morality/Virtue). The task of the Guardian Angel is to maintain the flow between these two realms, allowing the Image to revivify the Likeness. Now this is changing. Increasingly we will have to make the choice between the miraculous and the mechanical, due to the Angel pulling away from her activity. Man is being exposed to the possibility of the Second Fall through Technology. The Likeness (through the creation of Ghosts, Demons, Egregores) has the potential to infect the Image, destroying human freedom and putting the human being in bondage to its demonic creations (The Devil). This is the Mechanical Path. On the other hand, the Likeness can begin to be redeemed, to take up the work of the Angel on its behalf and set it free. This is the task of the Grail Knight – to consciously take up the work of the Guardian Angel, and redeem the Likeness. This is the path of the Miraculous.
We are now confronting Death itself, not just the Shadow of Death. See page 413, the quote from Origen. This describes the path of the Grail Knight exactly. It also describes the experience of this karmic group in NH between 2015-2017. At the beginning, we were “nourished by milk,” like children, through the visions and retreats with Estelle. The quote from St. John of the Cross from 413-414 reiterates this from another angle. We are now actively taking up the armor of the celestial militia; this is a hard and sometimes lonely path.
– Death’s geometry is akin to the Empress’s geometry: an upright Triangle above, then an upside down triangle and an upright triangle connecting in the middle, like a figure eight, below that. The figure made by Death’s vertical arm and head is like the scepter held by the Empress. The Empress=Birth, Death=Death.
– 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 express that we must be willing to be blasted from above. Temperance keeps the balance, whereas 15 reflects 13, and 16 reflects 12. The Hanged Man = zodiacalized will, Tower = Blasted from Above. Like King David.
– The above observation was made by someone who hadn’t been present for our ongoing conversations, someone only visiting for the retreat. What is remarkable is that this goes exactly with the correspondences between the Grail Knight’s Practice and the Tarot which Phillip and Joel had come to a few weeks back (see here: https://the-unknown-friends.com/devil/). See here:
“Hallowed be Thy Name” = Magician
“Thy Kingdom Come” = High Priestess
“Thy Will Be Done” = Empress
“Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread” = Emperor, Pope, Lover
“Forgive Us Our Trespasses As We Forgive Those Who Trespass Against Us” =
– 1st level (Moon Chakra) = Chariot
– 2nd level (Venus Chakra) = Justice
– 3rd level (Mercury Chakra) = Hermit
– 4th level (Sun Chakra) = Wheel of Fortune
– 5th level (Mars Chakra) = Force
– 6th level (Jupiter Chakra) = Hanged Man
– 7th level (Saturn Chakra) = Death
“Lead Us Not Into Temptation” = Temperance (the “Glory” or Fullness of the Chakras, Transfiguration)
“Deliver Us From Evil” =
– 1st Level (Saturn Chakra) = The Devil
– 2nd level (Jupiter Chakra) = Tower of Destruction
– 3rd level (Mars Chakra) = The Star
– 4th level (Sun Chakra) = The Moon
– 5th level (Mercury Chakra) = The Sun
– 6th level (Venus Chakra) = The Judgement
– 7th level (Moon Chakra) = The Fool/The World
“For Thine is the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory, Forever and Ever Amen.” = The Fool/The World (Again the Fullness of the Chakras through Resurrection).
With the 5th Petition, it is the ascent through the Chakras with the 7 healing miracles. With the 7th petition, it is the descent through the chakras with the sayings from the cross.
So we see here that Temperance is once again the same fulcrum, where 13/15, 12/16, 11/17, 10/18, 9/19, 8/20, 7/21/22 all become very natural pairs (see https://the-unknown-friends.com/devil/)
“Everything is cosmically ordered.”
The Grail sites also have a geometrical/numerical quality to them.
The AMEN method of looking at the Tarot.
A = 1, 5, 9, 13, 17
M = 2, 6, 10, 14, 18
E = 3, 7, 11, 15, 19
N = 4, 8, 12, 16, 20 = final verdict
21+22 then become a final “AUM.”