Monday, December 29, 2008

The World

Um... Hmm... were to begin... well it's big... and round... mostly covered by water, third planet from the sun, and "Mostly Harmless". (If you understand that last reference then I really like you and you can suck on my towel anytime!)

But seriously, I like this card, the symbolism is pretty straightforward, at least to a primate like me. But for those of you who don't know the basics of it, the heads of the Bull, Eagle, Lyon and Man represent the elements Earth, Air, Fire and Water.

This is one of the cards we use in our first degree initiations, much like a Masonic Tracing Board, which has been a personal hobby of mine for many years and sparked a deeper interest in the Tarot.

We use this card to illustrate the basics; how the world is composed of these four primary elements and how our bodies * also composed of these same elements* contain our spirit or soul. We also use it as a Tracing Board for the Lodestone, which is a daily adoration exercise.

One of the more subtle symbols of the card always seems to be the Vesica Piscis, more pronounced in this earlier Tarot of Mareilles.

The deeper symbolism of the Vesica has been a recent study project of mine and has turned out to be essential to the higher degrees of my CraftWork.

I was really intrigued by these very earlier renderings found in the Illuminated Manuscript, especially these ones of Jesus, which I know will be of interest to at least one particularly Christian Ceremonial Magician I know.

Should my prior interpretation of the cards symbolism change when I consider this older depiction of Jesus? No, I think not, I think perhaps it validates it. Especially when you consider the *union* symbolism that creates the Vesica.

"The symbols of the wise are the idols of the vulgar, or else as meaningless as the hieroglyphics of Egypt to the nomadic Arabs. There must be always a common place interpretation for the mass of initiates, of the symbols that are eloquent to the Adepts" Albert Pike, Morals & Dogma.

So long and thanks for all the fish...

6 comments:

Rufus Opus said...

yes yes yes, one Christian ceremonialist likes it a lot. Christ the Pisces gets lost a lot in modern Evangelical interpretations. I.E., ignored, shunned, and kept hidden as much as possible, then outright denied ASAP, but they'll still put the fish on their cars. :sigh:

I like the femininity of the Vesica. The Catholics have some seriously fucked up doctrines, in my opinion, odd interpretations of what I've experienced as a Christian, to put it politely. The picture you posted shows the Logos birthed into the realm of matter, into the form of Jesus, with the four elements in the background supporting its manifestation.

Recent Enochian Work has made up for a dearth of elemental Work in my past. I can understand that picture and the meaning of the World card much better now. the Christ shown in the image is not only the religious image of the messiah, it's also the Great Wok perfectly represented, Mankind restored to its rightful place manifesting as an image of God and standing at the crossroad between manifest and unmanifest, with the powers that make up reality serving him. It's not just Jesus, it's me seated there. It's not just the Law, the Book of Life, or the Scriptures he's holding, it's also the Spirit Book, the record of the spirits magicians work with and their seals and signs.

The Shemhamephoresh angel names are retrieved from the Torah by lining up the letters of the verses in Exodus where it talks about the Lord of Hosts leading the people as a pillar of fire by night and a column of smoke by day. The extraction of useful angel names, the understanding that they are retrieved from the words that make up other words, by finding the occult, hidden patterns beneath the obvious, manifest meanings of the words, that's what the book is to me. It's what became known today as the Book of Shadows. It's held in the left, receptive hand, and the right, projecting hand is held aloft, yet turned outward to the world, through the veil, in front of the labial edge of the Vesica around the Man in the image.

It is very much the image of Christ the Magician, who we Christians With a Clue (ChwthChlhu, not to be confused with Cthulhu) recognize as the first Brother.

You know, it looks like it'd be rather uncomfortable to be the Vesica.

Rufus Opus said...

Crap, I mentioned the Catholics' odd doctrine, but I forgot the rest of my point. At least they have Mary deified. No one gets that the Holy Spirit's a girl. It's nice that at least the Catholics recognized her in SOME form.

WitchDoctorJoe said...

"it's also the Great Wok perfectly represented, Mankind restored to its rightful place manifesting as an image of God and standing at the crossroad between manifest and unmanifest, with the powers that make up reality serving him. It's not just Jesus, it's me seated there.

It's what became known today as the Book of Shadows. It's held in the left, receptive hand, and the right, projecting hand is held aloft, yet turned outward to the world, through the veil, in front of the labial edge of the Vesica around the Man in the image"

VERY well said!!!! See! I knew YOU would get it!

Rufus Opus said...

Sweet! thought I had it.

"The Great Wok." I can't believe I'm the one syncretizing East and West.

Maybe the Great Wok is for making the Great Stir Fry. With Cheese. For the Punguins.

My Gal said...

I had all 4 of the trilogy in hardback at one time :)

Thank you for the illumination on the Vesica Pisces. While I have been working with it for sometime I had just been moving by instinct. When I put the one in the grove it was purely hamster driven kick. Honestly, I had not gotten much beyond the basic images. Very cool! Thanks!

WitchDoctorJoe said...

RO, something you said the other day has been haunting me since I read it, it reminded me of something profound I had read and I finally found it!

you wrote:

"the Logos birthed into the realm of matter, into the form of Jesus, with the four elements in the background supporting its manifestation"

Albert Pike wrote:

"it is the threefold alliance of the day and night, the luminous image of the dogma, the light made shadow, as the savior is the Logos made man: and all this repose on the same law, the primary law of creation, the single and absolute law of nature, that of the distinction and harmonious ponderation of the contrary forces in the universal equipoise"

Cool, and to illustrate, check this out! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Orbit5.gif