Notes of a Hermetic Conversation on October 31, 207
Tarot conversation October 31st – The Moon
We began by invoking the ruler of the current phase of the Moon, the Healers and Pastors of Humanity (traditionally Mercury/Wednesday).
We then prayed the Lord’s Prayer in the Sephiroth, and the Divine Alphabet with particular emphasis on the petitions of the Lord’s Prayer each path is associated with, up through the 18th Arcanum, The Moon.
We then read the opening quotes of the 18th Letter-Meditation and looked at the Tower of Destruction, The Star and The Moon:
– One first notices the gravitational force of the Moon. Everything in the image is drawn to it, either physically or psychically. A deep Blue Moon, like a vacuum or a well that everything is falling into. Beyond this, even the types of forms chosen (the dilapidated towers, the plaintive dogs, the craggy edge of the pool, the crayfish) all seem deeply related to the Moon.
The mountainous forms in the foreground make it seem as though this could be a much larger body of water, that we aren’t seeing all of it.
– In a certain sense, this is an inversion of the Hanged Man, with the Lunar Imagination up at the top rather than at the bottom. But it shares a certain topsy turviness with the Hanged Man, in that everything appears to be falling up (one could turn the card upside down and it might look more correct, just like with the Hanged Man).
– The pattern of triangles is different vs for example The Tower. In the Tower, the points of two triangles meet in the middle, whereas in this card, it seems that the bases of two triangles meet in the middle. In fact, if we look at page 517 in MOT, we can see that the form is more of a hexagon, two triangles on the top and bottom of a square. This draws our attention to the differences between the two dogs (or the dog and wolf) and the two towers. They are symmetrical, but not exactly the same. For example, one tower is capped and has no windows or doors, while the other is more open.
This is a continuation of a left/right protocol that has become clear by now in different Arcana.
– This gravitational, sucking power of the Moon is connected to psychological struggles. Experiencing an external will steering my personal will to an action that is antithetical to the nature of my own will. When I let that external will push me all the way and I engage in a certain undesirable action, it is self-negating. I have damaged my self because of this. But at the same time, the past leading up to this deed has changed; it has been me the entire time, my personal will has been subsumed by what used to be an external will.
Being overtaken by arrogance or grandiosity. This leads to a break in the continuity of my will, an overpowering reflectivity breaks its natural flow.
– The nature of the shadow/the double. You can’t see it. Once you see it you’re blinded. You have to learn to see it peripherally. It can’t be recognized in a direct perception. In fact, on a subconscious level, we don’t want to see it, it’s too traumatic to assimilate and impossible to contextualize, because it is our anti-self that is also a part of our self.
A lot of this is addressed in the show Twin Peaks. David Lynch practices transcendental meditation, is very into eastern mysticism, so a lot of this permeates the show. There are portals to what is more or less the astral plane, a realm of dopplegangers that act as guardians of the threshold. One is hypnotized and drawn in by these portals or by these dopplegangers. One becomes powerless. The sucking image of the Moon is very reminiscent of the imagery in the show. These dopplegangers always find their entry through lust, fear, anger, any of the deadly sins. When they find this opening, then the original personality becomes subsumed, is sucked into a nothing realm.
The dopplegangers (or tulpas as they are called in the show) are only ever recognized by people other than those they are doubling as. They must bring the double to the point of realizing that it doesn’t actually exist. One level of freeing the individual from his or her double. Interesting that this is something that must be done by the community on the behalf of somebody – again, it is almost impossible to recognize one’s own shadow head on.
– The crisis in this card arises from the gentle face of the Moon. It doesn’t match the mood of the rest of the Arcanum. The fourth day of creation – “The Moon has dominion over the Night.” A divinely ordained rulership. The top of the Moon is cut off, associating this part of the card with the heavenly realm (as has been the case in other cards).
It makes one think of Yahweh, as the protector on the Moon against the negative effects of the 8th Sphere. Like the eye of calm amidst the storm, in a way. A pure gentleness surrounded by disturbing, unearthly elements.
– This makes one think of Tomberg’s description of Daath – of jumping with one’s thinking into the nothing, and learning to swim. One cannot be taught how to swim, one must simply do it.
The Bergson quote at the beginning of the Letter/Meditation. It is impossible for the intellect to grasp the living/continuous. We must make the instinct conscious and disinterested. This awakened instinct is like the face in the midst of the eclipse: a new knowing that comes about in the face of the eclipse of normal knowing (intellect, reflected intelligence).
The splitting of the personality, the splitting of the harmony of consciousness. Thinking has to grow beyond physical, discontinuous thinking into living thinking. Thinking, feeling, and willing have to be brought out of their element and intentionally taken hold of.
– The 12th Letter-Meditation on The Hanged Man is, like this Letter-Meditation, very much focused on Intuition, or as it is called in that case the Zodiacalized Will. He seems to be less self-conscious about it, it is not the impossible effort of leaping into the unknown in the realm of thinking. It is more the trust in God that comes as a natural course with Righteousness (Abraham, Job).
The first 9 Arcana are an experience of Enstasy, of inner development. 10, The Wheel of Fortune, is a turn toward Ecstasy, facing the macrocosm.
It is very interesting to see the arrangement of the column of Sacred Magic (Vau): The Devil with the Hanged Man above and the Moon below. The Hanged Man and the Moon are two sides of confronting The Devil; one is unconscious, the other is conscious.
In fact we can arrange it so that the face of the Moon overlaps the head of the Hanged Man. This becomes an image of the sub-earthly elements of the Moon being taken up into the lunar imagination of the Hanged Man and redeemed through Solar Thinking back into the Zodiac.
We can expand this – we can make the head of the Devil become the head of the Hanged Man; the pedestal of the Devil becomes the face of the Moon. Here we have a concrete image of cognizing evil, of the Green Demons meditation. The Moon is like an image of people watching terrible news on TV. The Devil is the true cause of this terrible news, which lies veiled to the masses behind the eclipsed Moon. But The Hanged Man is the Grail Knight who can bear the reality that exists behind current events and can send it up to the hierarchies.
The Moon is the voodoo-magic, the Media, Technology, which is presenting a non-rational and terrifying mess to the people. The two towers, the two dogs, and the crayfish represent 5 unhealthy reactions to this non-rational content: building philosophies of negation or affirmation (the two towers), retreating in fear/anxiety/depression (Crayfish); revolution (the wolf) or submission (the dog).
– In later Letter-Meditations, Tomberg indicates that the “Midnight Sun” is the Moon. The Dark Night of the Soul. God’s brightness is so luminous it makes all the rest darkness by comparison, the soul is thrown into darkness. This is the position of the Moon in the Night.
– The act of cognizing Evil. The Pillar of Empress, Lover, Hermit, Hanged Man, Devil, Moon, Fool is the Pillar of Cognizing Evil, the Pillar of Severity. It culminates in the Fool – that’s all that’s left at the end, we are reduced to the Fool due to cognizing evil!
– The Wheel of Fortune is the pivot. Before this point, there is no story, and after this point, with each iteration of YHVH, the story takes on more and more form and drama. It is like a reset button, with Force showing us the true physical (the Will), The Hanged Man showing us the true etheric (naivety, innocence, morality), and Death showing us the true astral (broken, awakening of consciousness, yes and no). Temperance shows us the true nature of the Ego, weaving everything together. From The Devil on, it is a realm of karmic consequences, of reworking and recapitulating.
Really, the first 9 Arcana show a path of inner development (enstasy). 10 through 15 shows us the process of initiation, from the Threshold of the Wheel of Fortune, to the actual crossing of Death, to the unveiling of the true nature of Good and Evil in Temperance and the Devil. These progressions are like baby steps, or budding forces – a chain reaction.
The 16th Arcanum, the Tower, shows the soul sent back to the earthly realm in order to accomplish deeds on behalf of the spiritual world. What it means to put into practice one’s initiation, integrating it and resolving it with one’s karma and unconscious life.
– Tomberg’s description of the nature of the Moon’s radiance in The Wandering Fool. He talks of the radiance of the Moon in its own right, not as a reflection of the Sun. This is something Robert talks of in the article reprinted in this year’s JSW, that in Atlantean times the Moon radiated its own light, and when the etheric withdrew into the human being, the wise Leaders of Humanity withdrew into the closed, hardened fortress of the Moon. It’s possible that beginning soon, this radiance will come back to life.
Tomberg describes the radiance particular to the Moon as that relating to Memory. Memory is the only light that shines when all else is in darkness. We can think of our modern situation, of being plunged into the greatest darkness. What will be the memory that is our only light? He relates this light of memory to religion, ritual, ceremony, mystery drama. He says that the deepest memory is Love, the Love that began the world. He says that most Christians do not remember past incarnations because they do not Love the past – the pagan past. What does this mean for our time? With Kalki Avatar acting as the annihilator of ignorance (darkness) and the champion of True Religion? With the fifth sacrifice of Christ that brings about karmic clairvoyance?
If we do not see the Face of Yahweh in the eclipsed Moon, it is only Madness. The card becomes much more disturbing if we think away the face of Yahweh, the only point of light and purity in the card. The lifeline.
The quote from page 616 – the Kalki Avatar will be the guide in the transformation of potential schizophrenic madness into the wisdom of the harmony of the two worlds and of their experience. Thinking of Phillip’s history, or of the many who are on the brink of some kind of “schizophrenic madness.” Lacking the face of the Moon. Again the path of the Pillar of the Grail Knight. We might imagine Kalki in his final incarnation as the only human being who has not gone mad – and through his word, a flipe occurring, an inversion, and suddenly many are brought into the wisdom of the harmony of the two worlds and their experience.
We closed with the ending to the Knight’s Practice.