We are focusing on the card titled The Magician and are getting into some of the land that was intended at the very beginning of this collection of reflections. The intent of Gnostic Tarot Cards is to present the Ancient – Modern Tarot Stream of Conversation in its most Gnostic elements through history. As we are approaching the temporary end of the cards as we are seeing them from the reverse order of their appearance (world through fool) we are picking up the subtler and more refined aspects to be seen in each card. This starts by looking at the World card and constricting the archetypal conversation of the Tarot into its scope.
When I first began reading and studying the Occult over a decade ago, I was introduced to the voluminous writings of Regardie and the Golden Dawn groups of teachers. I read tons and tons of pages about things that were completely foreign to me. Most of the information was as St. John said ” The light shines within the darkness, but the darkness comprehends it not”. Which is indicative of the entire issue at hand.
As I understood it at the time, Occultism was something to be understood conceptually . Knowledge was all power, and those who knew the ‘secrets’ to the inner workings of the universe were able to master it. Though I couldn’t see this flaw in thinking or even question the basis of intelligencia or intellect, this was revealed later to be only partly true ! Knowledge that can only be known by the faculties that are foreign to it can NEVER accomplish what an experience of that event can. Merely knowing something isn’t enough, and it definitely doesn’t endow powerful characteristics , such as those that I admired in Regardie, Waite and other Occultists of this time. This is how I am certain that within the Golden Dawn system , lies a fundamental flaw . As the new green occultist attempts to synthesize and develop a world view similar to that of the occultists before him, the transformative experience is however not given, and the dynamic power of the initiatic act is taken out of the Golden Dawn system. By a mere reading of the literature, the simulation of what Initiation is , is postulated and formulated in the conceptual mind, therefore leading the Practitioner to believe that to comprehend is to experience.
The words “Dynamic Power” appropriately can conceptualize what is shown in El Gran Tarot Esotericos Magician card. The Dynamism of changing energies within a cycle of cosmic proportion allows for so much space, that the experience can be given meaning past that of the previous self aware Practitioners that have performed it. Adding to the cycle of change that the tarot deeply impresses upon the “I” of those who use it. Questioning the basis of our psyches and existential makeup and invoking the powers that allow our world to have order and meaning.
As I will not explain the image above, simply because of respect to the spirit-self within all, and that space and attention span will not permit it, it indicates what the inner world of a true “Magi” is doing. Some of the symbols are of course Astrological, but also the lemniscate , and Solar symbols show me something a lot larger , more grand, than a human being in material form. It is not merely the Hule or body, that is presented above. What is given in the card is a reflection from the times of Jakob Boehme and his student Gichtel , and is our body of inner relatedness with the cosmos and godlike nature.
In this picture appropriately the description of “Light” is given, which no attempt by philosophy or language has been able to permanently extinguish or destroy that has tried to do so. Even Nietzsches comment that “god is dead” has not been allowed to permanently seal up the light in a place of unreachable depths or darkness. As long as the human can breathe, we are given all the “light” necessary to comprehend . Meaning essentially , as we question , formulate, conceptualize and quantify through self-awareness. This is the power that the “I” is given, that usurps self awareness and says that its own creation is higher than that which endowed it the ability to create in the first place. In the language of esotericism this is a conversation about the “Image and Likeness” of Godhead.
The “Image” is the archetype of the human being in all its subtle aspects and hidden connections to higher realms. The “likeness” is the reflection of the “image” and is not a synonym, but a secondary image that simulates the actual power of the original Archetype. When we look at St. John’s writing again with Light as the Image and Darkness as the Likeness , it becomes clearer that a statement such as Johns is more profound than can be first seen. Not only does it talk about the nature of Good and Evil in a Zoroastrian Dualistic way, but it also states that our Fall is part of the original formation of Image and Likeness. This has been expressed in Aramaic as the Kabbalistic ABBA and what later in the 14th century, was shown as the ‘Ungrund’ of Boehme.