As we all know there is so many things that we can talk about and give detailed descriptions on this topic, Actually the symbolism of the Tarot keys can NEVER be exhausted. The only thing we can do is use the imagery and conceptual ideas embedded in the symbol to awaken a ‘inner light’ which is the ALL of the hermetic philosophers. Therefore as it is usually depicted this key is related to the sphere of the Archetypal Moon and the Kabbalistic correlation is Yesod.
Yesod , among other things is the vessel most closely related to the sexuality and creative manifestations of the initiate’s conceptual thinking and energies of the psyche. Its not difficult when we use the tarot keys themselves to explain this process. The number of the tarot key is just as important as the imagery itself. In our present path the key is that of 18. this is based upon a 10 digit system of numerical philosophy and is known as the number of cause and effect. For example the Key of the number 1 is that of the magician which is attention and all the ideas related to that key, The key of the number 8 is that of Strength and is pictured as the control of a lion force by a woman. The cards are beautiful in the Waite deck but every color image number attribution is a deep mystery that is only understood by proper instruction and training.
So in this brief survey of the 18th Arcanum we have the ideas of attention of the Magician will bring Strength of the Female aspect over the Lion in relation to the Moon symbolism. This is the secret that leads to the Gnostic “bridal chamber”. The bridal chamber can be said to be like a hidden union with the divine through a consort and love manifested. This is the path of our decent and not the ascent , for us returning we are actually learning valuable ways of controlling , (Not Suppression) and directing, the sexual force that is hinted at within the key. This is why the 18th key shows so many different forms of the evolution of species from plant to the “MAN” of the philosophers.
In actuality this secret is given many times in the Tarot keys and is actually from Sumer in the times of Mesopotamia and has been popularized through Egyptian and Eastern philosophy, till it has ended up on our cards as the Great Work. To the initiate this will all be obvious. The method however is the secret , which i must confess i haven’t learned from the western tradition. However from the Vajrayana teachings in Tibet the commentary on the Kalachakra tantra talks about Winds , Drops and Channels. Note that in a published book by PF Case called Hermetic Alchemy the keys to this system are also discussed in relation to Tarot.
To the advanced initiate the next thing that might jump out about the keys is that there are two pillars and the path of this key is between them. In Vajrayana teachings the Winds must be centralized and can’t exist in polarization or reside in the left or right. The published teachings of a neophyte call these two channels pillars and are a ritualistic way of anchoring the psyche of the individual to this form of practice.
Till we all are filled with light
Frater Cor Meum Lucidum