March 27, 2019
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The General Description of the Path

tzadiThis is path number Twenty-eight, joining Netzach to Yesod. This path is “characterized by the flow of vitalizing energy toward the feeling nature. The basic instability of the emotions can be overcome with the vital strength. This path should not be traveled until after the sephirah Hod has been touched via one of the paths; otherwise, the energy flowing into the emotional nature might lead to undesirable excesses of passion.”[1] This is a distinctively feminine path joining Venus to the Moon which are both feminine influences. The keynote of this path goes like this: “Vital energy flows into feeling. By energizing emotion, it creates a condition wherein highest guidance becomes accessible, joining the feelings of the personality with Divine Emotion.”[2]

tzaddiThe magical motto of this path is the following: “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the water and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God… divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament.”[3] This path is “distinctly feminine,” Regardie tells us, joining Venus to the Moon, both feminine influences.[4]

The path from Netzach to Malkhut is about movement; away-from and toward.  In this corresponding path from Netzach to Yesod there is still movement, but it is more complex and nuanced.  Like the previous path (which it mirrors) it is grounded in the noosphere, and concerns the intricate system of values with which we relate to things in the world.  The world is coloired-in according to how it relates to me – the noosphere is oriented around me, with me at its centre. Perhaps the simplest expressions of these mostly-unconscious valuations can be found in our preferences for dress, decor, food and music.  (Collin A. Low, The Hermetic Kabbalah, p. 326)


[1] Stephen Hoeller, The Fool’s Pilgrimage. Kabbalistic Meditations on the Tarot, p. 51.
[2] Stephen, A. Hoeller, The Fool’s Pilgrimage, Kabbalistic Meditations on the Tarot, p.81.
[3] Genesis. 1:6-7. Cited in Stephen, A. Hoeller, The Fool’s Pilgrimage, Kabbalistic Meditations on the Tarot, p.81.
[4] Israel Regardie, A Garden of Pomegrenates, p. 85.

The Hebrew Letter Correspondence: Tzaddi

tzzadiThis is the eighteenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Its numerical value is 90. Tzaddi – a “fishhook.” Its astrological attribution is Aquarius, the sign of the Water-bearer. . Its Yetziratic title is “the Natural Intelligence.”  Tzaddi has a final form TT, 900.





 The Tarot Trump Correspondence: XVII – The Star

the-starrThe Star (XVII) is the seventeenth trump or Major Arcana card in most traditional Tarot decks. A naked woman kneels by the water; one foot is in the water, one foot is on the land. Above her head a star shines out. In each hand she holds a jug. From one jug she pours a liquid into the water. From the other jug she pours a liquid onto the land. In other, older decks, a woman (or sometimes even a man) is simply looking and sometimes gesturing at a large star in the sky. “The meditative soul delves deeply into the waters of the unconscious, into which she pours vital force. She is balanced between the solid and liquid and the physical and emotional poles of being. The guiding star of the Higher Self shines above, reflected in the pool of unconscious emotion. The ibis bird of the enlightened, thinking faculty perches on a tree nearby. The meditative effort brings energy to the conscious self, the earth, where five rivulets of water form, and it stirs the feeling faculty into newer and deeper revelation of its nature.”[5] People have always looked to the stars as a source of inspiration and hope. There is something about their twinkling light that draws us out of ourselves and up into a higher plane. When we turn our eyes heavenward, we no longer feel the distress of earth. The Star reminds me of the clear, high voice of a soprano. There is something otherworldly about it. All the harshness and density of everyday life has been refined away leaving only the purest essence. After being exposed to the Star, we feel uplifted and blessed. Some frequent keywords, ideas and concepts related to this card are: Calmness, Free-flowing love ,Trust, Tranquility, Peace of mind, Pure essence, Hope, Serenity, Inspiration, Generosity, Optimism, Joy, Faith, Good will, Optimism, Harmony, Renewal of forces. In readings, the Star is most welcome when grief and despair have overwhelmed us. In our darkest moments, we need to know that there is hope,that there is light at the end of the tunnel. The Star is the opposite of the Devil who strips us of our faith in the future. Card 17 holds out the promise that we can eventually find peace of mind. The Star also reminds us to open our heart and release our fears and doubt. If you have been holding back in any way, now is the time to give generously. It is important to remember that the Star is inspiring, but it is not a card of practical solutions or final answers. Truly without hope we can accomplish nothing, but hope is only a beginning. When you see Card 17, know that you are on the right track. Your goals and your aspirations are blessed, but to realize them, you must take positive action. Use the light of the Star to guide you in your efforts.


[5] Stephen, A. Hoeller, The Fool’s Pilgrimage, Kabbalistic Meditations on the Tarot, p.80.

The 17th Step in the Fool’s Pilgrimage

ffooollThe Fool is suffused with a serene calm. The beautiful images on the Star (17) attest to this tranquility. The woman pictured on Card 17 is naked, her soul no longer hidden behind any disguise. Radiant stars shine in a cloudless sky serving as a beacon of hope and inspiration. The Fool is blessed with a trust that completely replaces the negative energies of the Devil. His faith in himself and the future is restored. He is filled with joy and his one wish is to share it generously with the rest of the world. His heart is open, and his love pours out freely. This peace after the storm is a magical moment for the Fool.

The Greek Deity Correspondence #1: Athena 

2D-Athena-BronzeThe Greek deity correspondence for this 28th path of the qabalistic Tree of life is Athena “as the patroness of both useful and elegant arts (the arts are the astrological characteristics of the native of Aquarius) is a correspondence.”[6]In Greek religion and mythology, Athena or Athene (Attic: Ἀθηνᾶ, Athēnā or Ἀθηναία, Athēnaia; Epic: Ἀθηναίη, Athēnaiē; Ionic: Ἀθήνη, Athēnē; Doric: Ἀθάνα, Athana), also referred to as Pallas Athena/Athene (Παλλὰς Ἀθηνᾶ; Παλλὰς Ἀθήνη), is the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, law and justice, just warfare, mathematics, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, and skill. Minerva, Athena’s Roman incarnation, embodies similar attributes.[7]Athena’s epithets include Άτρυτώνη, Atrytone (= the unwearying), Παρθένος, Parthénos (= virgin), and Ή Πρόμαχος, Promachos (the First Fighter, i. e. she who fights in front). In poetry from Homer, an oral tradition of the eighth or 7th century BC, onward, Athena’s most common epithet is glaukopis (γλαυκώπις), which usually is translated as, bright-eyed or with gleaming eyes.[8]The word is a combination of glaukos (γλαύκος, meaning gleaming, silvery, and later, bluish-green or gray) and ops (ώψ, eye, or sometimes, face). It is interesting to note that glaux (γλαύξ, “owl”) is from the same root, presumably because of the bird’s own distinctive eyes. The bird which sees well in the night is closely associated with the goddess of wisdom: in archaic images, Athena is frequently depicted with an owl perched on her head. This pairing evolved in tangent so that even in present day the owl is upheld as a symbol of perspicacity and erudition. Unsurprisingly, the owl became a sort of Athenian mascot. Other epithets include: Aethyta under which she was worshiped in Megara.[9] The word aithyia (αίθυια) signifies a diver, and figuratively, a ship, so the name must reference Athena teaching the art of shipbuilding or navigation.[10] In a temple at Phrixa in Elis, which was reportedly built by Clymenus, she was known as Cydonia.[11] Athena is also a shrewd companion of heroes and is the goddess of heroic endeavour. She is the virgin patron of Athens. The Athenians founded the Parthenon on the Acropolis of her namesake city, Athens (Athena Parthenos), in her honour.[12] Athena’s veneration as the patron of Athens seems to have existed from the earliest times, and was so persistent that archaic myths about her were recast to adapt to cultural changes. In her role as a protector of the city (polis), many people throughout the Greek world worshiped Athena as Athena Polias (Ἀθηνᾶ Πολιάς “Athena of the city”). The city of Athens and the goddess Athena essentially bear the same name[13] “Athenai” meaning “[many] Athenas”. The citizens of Athens built a statue of Athena as a temple to the goddess, which had piercing eyes, a helmet on her head, attired with an aegis or cuirass, and an extremely long spear. It also had a crystal shield with the head of the Gorgon on it. A large snake accompanied her and she held the goddess of victory in her hand. Athena competed with Poseidon to be the patron deity of Athens, which was yet unnamed, in a version of one founding myth. They agreed that each would give the Athenians one gift and that the Athenians would choose the gift they preferred. Poseidon struck the ground with his trident and a spring sprang up; this gave them a means of trade and water —Athens at its height was a significant sea power, defeating the Persian fleet at the Battle of Salamis— but the water was salty and not very good for drinking. Athena, however, offered them the first domesticated olive tree. The Athenians (or their king, Cecrops) accepted the olive tree and with it the patronage of Athena, for the olive tree brought wood, oil, and food. Robert Graves was of the opinion that “Poseidon’s attempts to take possession of certain cities are political myths” which reflect the conflict between matriarchal and patriarchal religions.[14] Athena is then stringly associated with Athens, a plural name because it was the place where she presided over her sisterhood, the Athenai, in earliest times: Mycenae was the city where the Goddess was called Mykene, and Mycenae is named in the plural for the sisterhood of females who tended her there. At Thebes she was called Thebe, and the city again a plural, Thebae (or Thebes, where the “s” is the plural formation). Similarly, at Athens she was called Athena, and the city Athenae (or Athens, again a plural).”[15] The Greek philosopher, Plato (429–347 BC), identified her with the Libyan deity Neith, the war goddess and huntress deity of the Egyptians since the ancient Pre-Dynastic period, who was also identified with weaving. In his dialogue Cratylus, the Greek philosopher Plato gives the etymology of Athena’s name, based on the view of the ancient Athenians: “[…] For most of these in their explanations of the poet, assert that he meant by Athena “mind” [nous] and “intelligence” [dianoia], and the maker of names appears to have had a singular notion about her; and indeed calls her by a still higher title, “divine intelligence” [Theian noesis], as though he would say: This is she who has the mind better than others. Nor shall we be far wrong in supposing that the author of it wished to identify this Goddess with moral intelligence [en ethei noesin], and therefore gave her the name etheonoe; which, however, either he or his successors have altered into what they thought a nicer form, and called her Athena.”[16] This is sensible, as some Greeks identified Athena’s birthplace, in certain mythological renditions, as being beside Libya’s Triton River.[17] “Black Athena Theory” to explain this associated origin by claiming that the conception of Neith was brought to Greece from Egypt, along with “an enormous number of features of civilization and culture in the third and second millennia.”[18]Günther Neumann has suggested that Athena’s name is possibly of Lydian origin; it may be a compound word derived in part from Tyrrhenian “ati”, meaning mother and the name of the Hurrian goddess “Hannahannah” shortened in various places to “Ana”. Scholar Martin Bernal created the controversial.[19]Thus for Plato her name was to be derived from Greek Ἀθεονόα, Atheonóa —which the later Greeks rationalised as from the deity’s (theos) mind (nous). The Greek historian, Herodotus (c. 484–425 BC), noted that the Egyptian citizens of Sais in Egypt worshipped a goddess whose Egyptian name was Neith;[20] and they identified her with Athena.[21] Some authors believe that, in early times, Athena was either an owl herself or a bird goddess in general: in Book 3 of the Odyssey, she takes the form of a sea-eagle. These authors argue that she dropped her prophylactic owl-mask before she lost her wings. “Athena, by the time she appears in art,” Jane Ellen Harrison had remarked, “has completely shed her animal form, has reduced the shapes she once wore of snake and bird to attributes, but occasionally in black-figure vase-paintings she still appears with wings.”[22] Some Greek authorshave derived natural symbols from the etymological roots of Athena’s names to be aether, air, earth, and moon. This was one of the primary developments of scholarly exploration in the ancient world.[23]Athena never had a consort or lover[24] and is thus known as Athena Parthenos, “Virgin Athena”. Her most famous temple, the Parthenon, on the Acropolis in Athens takes its name from this title. It is not merely an observation of her virginity, but a recognition of her role as enforcer of rules of sexual modesty and ritual mystery. Even beyond recognition, the Athenians allotted the goddess value based on this pureness of virginity as it upheld a rudiment of female behavior in the patriarchal society. Kerenyi’s study and theory of Athena accredits her virginal toponym to be a result of the relationship to her father Zeus and a vital, cohesive piece of her character throughout the ages.[25] This role is expressed in a number of stories about Athena. Marinus of Neapolis reports that when Christians removed the statue of the Goddess from the Parthenon, a beautiful woman appeared in a dream to Proclus, a devotee of Athena, and announced that the “Athenian Lady” wished to dwell with him.[26]Hephaestus attempted to rape Athena, but she eluded him. His semen fell to the earth and impregnated the soil, and Erichthonius was born from the Earth, Gaia. Athena then raised the baby as a foster mother.[27] Other variants relate that Erichthonius, the serpent that accompanied Athena, was born to Gaia: when the rape failed, the semen landed on Gaia and impregnated her. After Erechthonius was born, Gaia gave him to Athena. Athena as the goddess of philosophy became an aspect of the cult in Classical Greece during the late 5th century BC.[28] She is the patroness of various crafts, especially of weaving, as Athena Ergane. The metalwork of weapons also fell under her patronage. She led battles (Athena Promachos or the warrior maiden Athena Parthenos)[29] as the disciplined, strategic side of war, in contrast to her brother Ares, the patron of violence, bloodlust and slaughter—”the raw force of war”.[30] Though Athena is a goddess of war strategy, she disliked fighting without purpose and preferred to use wisdom to settle predicaments.[31] The goddess only encouraged fighting for a reasonable cause or to resolve conflict. As patron of Athens she fought in the Trojan war on the side of the Achaeans. Athena appears in Greek mythology as the patron and helper of many heroes, including Odysseus, Jason, and Heracles. Athena’s wisdom includes the cunning intelligence (metis) of such figures as Odysseus. Not only was this version of Athena the opposite of Ares in combat, it was also the polar opposite of the serene earth goddess version of the deity, Athena Polias.[32]Athena also was the patron goddess of several other Greek cities, notably Sparta, where the archaic cult of Athena Alea had its sanctuaries in the surrounding villages of Mantineia and, notably, Tegea. In Sparta itself, the temple of Athena Khalkíoikos (Athena “of the Brazen House”, often latinized as Chalcioecus) was the grandest and located on the Spartan acropolis; presumably it had a roof of bronze. The forecourt of the Brazen House was the place where the most solemn religious functions in Sparta took place. Tegea was an important religious center of ancient Greece,[33] containing the Temple of Athena Alea. The temenos was founded by Aleus, Pausanias was informed.[34]The various Athena subgroups, or cults, all branching from the central goddess herself often proctored various initiation rites of Grecian youth, for example, the passage into citizenship by young men and for women the elevation to the status of citizen wife. Her various cults were portals of a uniform socialization, even beyond mainland Greece.[35]


[6] Israel Regardie, A Garden of Pomegrenates, p. 85.
[7]Deacy, Susan, and Alexandra Villing. Athena in the Classical World. Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2001. Print.
[8]Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, 1940, A Greek-English Lexicon
[9]Pausanias, i. 5. § 3; 41. § 6.
[10]John Tzetzes, ad Lycophr., l.c.;Schmitz, Leonhard (1867). “Aethyta”. In Smith, William. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. 1. Boston, MA. p. 51.
[11]Smith, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.
[12]Deacy, Susan, and Alexandra Villing. Athena in the Classical World. Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2001. Print.
[13]”Whether the goddess was named after the city or the city after the goddess is an ancient dispute” (Burkert, Walter, 1985. Greek Religion (Harvard), p.139.)
[14]Graves, Robert, (1955) 1960. The Greek Myths revised edition.16.3 p 62.
[15]Ruck, Carl A.P. and Danny Staples (1994). The World of Classical Myth: Gods and Goddesses, Heropnes and Heroes (Durham, NC), p.24.
[16]Plato, Cratylus, 407b.
[17]Aeschylus Eumenides. 292–293. Cf. the tradition that she was the daughter of Neilos: see, e.g. Clement of Alexandria Protr. 2.28.2; Cicero, De Natura Deorum. 3.59.
[18]M. Bernal, Black Athena: The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1987), 21, 51–53.
[19] See Mary R. Lefkowitz, Black Athena Revisited, The University of North Carolina Press, 1996; Jacques Berlinerblau, Heresy in the University: The Black Athena Controversy and the Responsibilities of American Intellectuals, Rutgers University Press, 1999.
[20]”The citizens have a deity for their foundress; she is called in the Egyptian tongue Neith, and is asserted by them to be the same whom the Hellenes call Athena; they are great lovers of the Athenians, and say that they are in some way related to them. (Plato, Timaeus 21e)
[21] Plato, Timaeus 21e, Histories 2:170–175.
[22]Harrison, Jane Ellen, 1903. Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion., p. 306.
[24]S. Goldhill. Reading Greek Tragedy (Aesch.Eum.737). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986.
[25] Karl Kerenyi, Die Jungfrau und Mutter der griechischen Religion. Eine Studie uber Pallas Athene.Zurich:Rhein Verlag, 1952.
[26]Marinus of Samaria, “The Life of Proclus or Concerning Happiness”, Translated by Kenneth S. Guthrie (1925), pp.15–55:30, retrieved 21 May 2007.
[27] Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheke 3.14.6;
[28]Walter Burkert, Greek Religion 1985: VII “Philosophical Religion” treats these transformations.
[29]C.J. Herrington, Athena Parthenos and Athena Polias. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1955.
[30]Darmon.”Athena and Ares”. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1978.
[31]Loewen, Nancy. Athena.
[32]C.J. Herrington, Athena Parthenos and Athena Polias. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1955.
[33]”This sanctuary had been respected from early days by all the Peloponnesians, and afforded peculiar safety to its suppliants” (Pausanias, Description of Greece iii.5.6)
[34]Pausanias, Description of Greece viii.4.8.
[35]P.Schmitt,”Athena Apatouria et la ceinture: Les aspects feminis des apatouries a Athenes”in Annales:Economies, Societies, Civilisations (1059-1073).London:Thames and Hudson,2000.

The Greek Deity Correspondence#1:  Ganymede the Cup Bearer

ganymedeGanymede is also a correspondence on this 28th path of the Tree of Life “because of his almost feminine beauty and because he was the cup-bearer,”[36] also refered to as “the Water Carrier.”[37] In Greek mythology, Ganymede (Greek: Γανυμήδης, Ganymēdēs) is a divine hero whose homeland was Troy. Homer describes Ganymede as the most beautiful of mortals. In the best-known myth, he is abducted by Zeus, in the form of an eagle, to serve as cup-bearer in Olympus. Some interpretations of the myth treat it as an allegory of the human soul aspiring to immortality. It also served as a model for the Greek social custom of paiderasteia, the relationship between a man and a youth. The Latin form of the name was Catamitus, from which the English word “catamite” derives.[38]Ganymede was the son of Tros of Dardania, from whose name “Troy” was supposed to derive, and of Callirrhoe. His brothers were Ilus and Assaracus. Ganymede was abducted by Zeus from Mount Ida, near Troy in Phrygia.[39] Ganymede had been tending sheep, a rustic or humble pursuit characteristic of a hero’s boyhood before his privileged status is revealed. Zeus either sent an eagle or turned himself to an eagle to transport the youth to Mount Olympus. In the Iliad, Zeus is said to have compensated Ganymede’s father Tros by the gift of fine horses, “the same that carry the immortals,”[40] delivered by the messenger god Hermes. Tros was consoled that his son was now immortal and would be the cupbearer for the gods, a position of much distinction. Walter Burkert found a precedent for the Ganymede myth on an Akkadian seal that depicts the hero-king Etana riding heavenwards on an eagle.[41]Ganymede was afterwards also regarded as the Genius of the fountains of the Nile, the life-giving and fertilizing river. Thus the divinity that distributed drink to the gods in heaven became the genius who presided over the due supply of water on earth. In Olympus, Zeus granted him eternal youth and immortality and the office of cupbearer to the gods, supplanting Hebe. Edmund Veckenstedt associated Ganymede with the genesis of the intoxicating drink mead, which had a traditional origin in Phrygia.[42] All the gods were filled with joy to see the youth, except for Hera, Zeus’s consort, who regarded Ganymede as a rival for her husband’s affection. Zeus later put Ganymede in the sky as the constellation Aquarius, which is associated with that of the Eagle (Aquila). A moon of Jupiter, the planet named for Zeus’s Roman counterpart, was named Ganymede by modern-era astronomers. Ganymede was afterwards also regarded as the Genius of the fountains of the Nile, the life-giving and fertilizing river. Thus the divinity that distributed drink to the gods in heaven became the genius who presided over the due supply of water on earth. Plato accounts for the pederastic aspect of the myth by attributing its origin to Crete, where the social custom of paiderasteia was supposed to have originated (see “Cretan pederasty”).[43] He has Socrates deny that Ganymede was the “catamite” of Zeus, and say the god loved him non-sexually for his psychē, “mind” or “soul,” giving the etymology of his name as ganu-, “taking pleasure,” and mēd-, “mind.” Ganymede, he points out, was the only one of Zeus’s lovers who was granted immortality.[44]In poetry, Ganymede became a symbol for the beautiful young male who attracted homosexual desire and love. He is not always portrayed as acquiescent: in the Argonautica of Apollonius of Rhodes, Ganymede is furious at the god Eros for having cheated him at the game of chance played with knucklebones, and Aphrodite scolds her son for “cheating a beginner.” The Augustan poet Virgil portrays the abduction with pathos: the boy’s aged tutors try in vain to draw him back to earth, and his hounds bay uselessly at the sky.[45] The loyal hounds left calling after their abducted master is a frequent motif in visual depictions, and is referenced also by Statius: Here the Phrygian hunter is borne aloft on tawny wings, Gargara’s range sinks downwards as he rises, and Troy grows dim beneath him; sadly stand his comrades; vainly the hounds weary their throats with barking, pursue his shadow or bay at the clouds.”[46]One of the earliest depictions of Ganymede is a red-figure krater by the Berlin Painter in the Musée du Louvre. Zeus pursues Ganymede on one side, while on the other side the youth runs away, rolling along a hoop while holding aloft a crowing cock. In fifth-century Athens, vase-painters often depicted the mythological story, which was so suited to the all-male symposium or formal banquet. The Ganymede myth was treated in recognizable contemporary terms, illustrated with common behavior of homoerotic courtship rituals, as on a vase by the “Achilles Painter” where Ganymede also flees with a cock. Ganymede is usually depicted as a well-developed, muscular young man. Leochares (about 350 BCE), a Greek sculptor of Athens who was engaged with Scopas on the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus cast a (lost) bronze group of Ganymede and the Eagle, a work that was held remarkable for its ingenious composition, which boldly ventured to the verge of what is allowed by the laws of sculpture, and also for its charming treatment of the youthful form as it soars into the air. It is apparently imitated in a well-known marble group in the Vatican, half life-size. Such Hellenistic gravity-defying feats were influential in the sculpture of the Baroque. In Shakespeare’s As You Like It (1599), a comedy of mistaken identity in the magical setting of the Forest of Arden, Celia, dressed as a shepherdess, becomes “Aliena” (Latin “stranger”, Ganymede’s sister) and Rosalind, because she is “more than common tall”, dresses up as a boy, Ganymede, a well-known image to the audience. She plays on her ambiguous charm to seduce Orlando, but also (involuntarily) the shepherdess Phebe. Thus behind the conventions of Elizabethan theater in its original setting, the young boy playing the girl Rosalind dresses up as a boy and is then courted by another boy playing Phebe. When painter-architect Baldassare Peruzzi included a panel of The Rape of Ganymede in a ceiling at the Villa Farnesina, Rome, (ca 1509-1514), Ganymede’s long blond hair and girlish pose make him identifiable at first glance, though he grasps the eagle’s wing without resistance. In Antonio Allegri Correggio’s Ganymede Abducted by the Eagle (Vienna) Ganymede’s grasp is more intimate. Rubens’ version portrays a young man. But when Rembrandt painted the Rape of Ganymede for a Dutch Calvinist patron in 1635, the usual classical erotic overtones were missing: a dark eagle carries aloft a plump cherubic baby (Paintings Gallery, Dresden) who is bawling and urinating in fright. Examples of Ganymede in 18th century France have been studied by Michael Preston Worley.[47] The image of Ganymede was invariably that of a naive adolescent accompanied by an eagle and the homoerotic aspects of the legend were rarely dealt with. In fact, the story was often “heterosexualized.” Moreover, the neoplatonic interpretation of the myth, so common in the Italian Renaissance, in which the rape of Ganymede represented the ascent to spiritual perfection, seemed to be of no interest to Enlightenment philosophers and mythographers. Jean-Baptiste Marie Pierre, Charles-Joseph Natoire, Guillaume II Coustou, Pierre Julien, Jean-Baptiste Regnault and others contributed images of Ganymede to French art during this period. The poem “Ganymed” by Goethe was set to music by Franz Schubert in 1817; published in his Opus 19, no. 3 (D. 544). Also set by Hugo Wolf. In stories by P. G. Wodehouse, the Junior Ganymede is a servants’ club, analogous to the Drones, to which Jeeves belongs. Wodehouse named it after Ganymede presumably in reference to his role of cup-bearer. American artist Henry Oliver Walker painted a mural in the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. circa 1900, depicting an adolescent, nude Ganymede on the back of an eagle. Ganymede and the god Dionysus make an appearance in Everworld VI: Fear the Fantastic, of K.A. Applegate’s fantasy series Everworld. Ganymede is described as attracting both males and females.


[36] Israel Regardie, A Garden of Pomegrenates, p. 85.
[37] Aleister Crowley, 777 and Other Qabalistic Writtings of Aleister Crowley, p. 85.
[38]According to AMHER (2000), catamite, p. 291.
[39]Idaea was a mountain nymph, mate of the river god Scamander, and mother of King Teucer a primeval Trojan king. On the same sacred mountain Paris lived in similar exile as a shepherd on Mount Ida, for his disastrous future effect on Troy had been foretold at his birth, and Priam had him exposed on the sacred slopes.
[40]The Achaean Diomedes is keen to capture the horses of Aeneas because “they are of the stock that great Jove gave to Tros in payment for his son Ganymede, and are the finest that live and move under the sun”: Iliad 5.265ff.
[41]Walter Burkert, The Orientalizing Revolution: Near Eastern Influence on Greek Culture in the Early Archaic Age, 1992, p. 122; Burkert notes that there is no direct iconographic link.
[42]Edmund Veckenstedt, Ganymedes, Libau, 1881.
[43]Plato, Laws 636D, as cited by Thomas Hubbard, Homosexuality in Greece and Rome, p252.
[44]Plato, Symposium 8.29–3-; Craig Williams, Roman Homosexuality (Oxford University Press, 1999, 2010), p. 153.
[45]Virgil, Aeneid V 256-7.
[46]Statius, Thebaid 1.549.
[47]Worley, “The Image of Ganymede in France, 1730-1820: The Survival of a Homoerotic Myth,” Art Bulletin 76 (December 1994: 630-643).

The Roman Deity Correspondence: Juno

juno0The Roman deity attribution for this 28th path of the qabalistic Tree of Life is Juno, which Israel Regardie describes as “the Greek goddess who watches over the female sex and was regarded as the genius of womanhood.”[48] The reason for this attribution, Crowley tells us, is because Juno is the great “Lady of Air.”[49] Juno is an ancient goddess, the protector and special counselor of the state. She is a daughter of Saturn and sister (but also the wife) of the chief god Jupiter and the mother of Mars and Vulcan. Juno also looked after the women of Rome.[50] Her Greek equivalent is Hera. As the patron goddess of Rome and the Roman Empire she was called Regina (“queen”) and, together with Jupiter and Minerva, was worshipped as a triad on the Capitol (Juno Capitolina) in Rome. Juno’s own warlike aspect among the Romans is apparent in her attire. She often appeared sitting pictured with a peacock[51]armed and wearing a goatskin cloak. The traditional depiction of this warlike aspect was assimilated from the Greek goddess Athena, whose goatskin was called the ‘aegis’. The name Iuno was once thought to be connected to Iove (Jove), originally as Diuno and Diove from *Diovona.[52] At the beginning of the 20th century, a derivation was proposed from iuven- (as in Latin iuvenis, “youth”), through a syncopated form iūn- (as in iūnix, “heifer,” and iūnior, “younger”). This etymology became widely accepted after it was endorsed by Georg Wissowa.[53] Iuuen- is related to Latin aevum and Greek aion (αιών) through a common Indo-European root referring to a concept of vital energy or “fertile time.”[54] The iuvenis is he who has the fullness of vital force.[55] In some inscriptions Jupiter himself is called Iuuntus, and one of the epithets of Jupiter is Ioviste, a superlative form of iuuen- meaning “the youngest.”[56] Iuventas, “Youth,” was one of two deities who “refused” to leave the Capitol when the building of the new Temple of Capitoline Jove required the exauguration of deities who already occupied the site.[57] These data show the intrinsic relationship between Jupiter and Juno and a common founding idea in their theology. Ancient etymologies associated Juno’s name with iuvare, “to aid, benefit”, and iuvenescendo, “rejuvenate,” sometimes connecting it to the renewal of the new and waxing moon, perhaps implying the idea of a moon goddess.[58]Juno’s theology is one of the most complex and disputed issues in Roman religion. Even more than other major Roman deities, Juno held a large number of significant and diverse epithets, names and titles representing various aspects and roles of the goddess. While her connection with the idea of vital force, fulness of vital energy, eternal youthfulness is now generally acknowledged, the multiplicity and complexity of her personality have given rise to various and sometimes irreconcilable interpretations among modern scholars. Juno is certainly the divine protectress of the community, who shows both a sovereign and a fertility character, often associated with a military one. She was present in many towns of ancient Italy: at Lanuvium as Sespeis Mater Regina, Laurentum, Tibur, Falerii, Veii as Regina, at Tibur and Falerii as Regina and Curitis, Tusculum and Norba as Lucina. She is also attested at Praeneste, Aricia, Ardea, Gabii. The epithet Lucina[59] is particularly revealing since it reflects two interrelated aspects of the function of Juno: cyclical renewal of time in the waning and waxing of the moon and protection of delivery and birth (as she who brings to light the newborn as vigour, vital force). The ancient called her Covella in her function of helper in the labours of the new moon. The view that she was also a Moon goddess though is no longer accepted by scholars. Some scholars view this concentration of multiple functions as a typical and structural feature of the goddess, inherent to her being an expression of the nature of femininity.[60] Other though prefer to dismiss her aspects of femininity and fertility[61] and stress only her quality of being the spirit of youthfulness, liveliness and strength, regardless of sexual connexions, which would then change according to circumstances: thus in men she incarnates the iuvenes, word often used to design soldiers, hence resulting in a tutelary deity of the sovereignty of peoples; in women capable of bearing children, from puberty on she oversees childbirth and marriage.[62] In this respect Juno is considered to be the patroness of marriage, and many people believe that the most favorable time to marry is June, the month named after the goddess. At the same time she would also be a poliad goddess related to politics, power and war. Other think her military and poliadic qualities arise from her being a fertility goddess who through her function of increasing the numbers of the community became also associated to political and military functions.[63]G. Dumezil has on the other hand proposed the theory of the irreducibility and interdependence of the three aspects (sovereignty, war, fertility) that he interprets as an original, irreducible structure as hypothesised in his theory of the trifunctional ideology of the Indoeuropean. While Dumezil’s refusal of seeing a Greek influence in Italic Junos looks difficult to maintain[64] in the light of the contributions of archaeology, his comparative analysis of the divine structure is supported by many scholars, as M. Renard and J. Poucet. His theory purports that while male gods incarnated one single function, there are female goddesses who make up a synthesis of the three functions, as a reflection of the ideal of woman’s role in society. Even though such a deity has a peculiar affinity for one function, generally fertility, i. e. the third, she is nevertheless equally competent in each of the three. As concrete instances Dumezil makes that of Vedic goddess Sarasvatī and Avestic Anāhīta. Sarasvati as river goddess is first a goddess of the third function, of vitality and fertility[65] associated to the deities of the third function as the Aśvin and of propagation as Sinīvalī. She is the mother and on her rely all vital forces.[66] But at the same time she belongs to the first function as a religious sovereign: she is pure,[67] she is the means of purifications and helps the conceiving and realisation of pious thoughts.[68] Lastly she is also a warrior: allied with the Maruts she annihilates the enemies[69] and, sole among female goddesses, bears the epithet of the warrior god Indra, vṛtraghnỉ, destroyer of oppositions.[70] She is the common spouse of all the heroes of the Mahābhārata, sons and heirs of the Vedic gods Dharma, Vāyu, Indra and of the Aśvin twins. Though in hymns and rites her threefold nature is never expressed conjointly.[71] Only in her Avestic equivalent Anahita, the great mythic river, does she bear the same three valences explicitly: her Yašt states she is invoked by warriors, by clerics and by deliverers.[72] She bestows on females an easy delivery and timely milking. She bestowed on heroes the vigour by which they defeated their demonic adversaries. She is the great purifier, “she who puts the worshipper in the ritual, pure condition” (yaož dā).[73] Her complete name too is threefold: The Wet (Arədvī), The Strong (Sūrā), The Immaculate (Anāhitā). Dumezil remarks these titles match perfectly those of Latin Junos, especially the Juno Seispes Mater Regina of Lanuvium, the only difference being in the religious orientation of the first function. Compare also the epithet Fluonia, Fluviona of Roman Juno, discussed by G. Radke.[74] However D. P. Harmon has remarked that the meaning of Seispes cannot be seen as limited to the warrior aspect, as it implies a more complex, comprehensive function, i. e. of Saviour.[75]Among Germanic peoples the homologous goddess was bivalent, as a rule the military function was subsumed into the sovereign: goddess *Frīy(y)o- was at the same time sovereign, wife of the great god, and Venus (thence *Friy(y)a-dagaz “Freitag for Veneris dies). However the internal tension of the character led to a duplication in Scandinavian religion: Frigg resulted into a merely sovereign goddess, the spouse of wizard god Óðinn, while from the name of Freyr, typical god of the third function, was extracted a second character, Freyja, confined as a Vani to the sphere of pleasure and wealth. Dumezil opines that the theologies of ancient Latium could have preserved a composite image of the goddess and this fact, notably her feature of being Regina, would in turn have rendered possible her interpretatio as Hera. Perhaps Juno’s most prominent appearance in Roman literature is as the primary antagonistic force in Virgil’s Aeneid, where she is depicted as a cruel and savage goddess intent upon supporting first Dido and then Turnus and the Rutulians against Aeneas’ attempt to found a new Troy in Italy. There has been some speculation—such as by Maurus Servius Honoratus, an ancient commentator on the Aeneid—that she is perhaps a conflation of Hera with the Carthaginian storm-goddess Tanit in some aspects of her portrayal here. Juno is also mentioned in The Tempest in Act IV, Scene I. In this, she relates to Prospero as they are both leaders in their realm and have spirit like messengers who are very loyal (Juno has Iris, Prospero has Ariel). William Shakespeare repeatedly mentions Juno throughout the play Antony and Cleopatra, often in forms of exclamation by the characters. All festivals of Juno were held on the kalendae of a month except two (or perhaps three): The Nonae Caprotinae on the nonae of July, the festival of Juno Capitolina on September 13, because the date od these two was determined by preeminence of Jupiter. Perhaps a second festival of Juno Moneta was held on October 10, possibly the date of the dedication of her temple. This fact reflects the strict association of the goddess with the beginning of each lunar month. Every year, on the first of March, women held a festival in honor of Juno Lucina called the Matronalia. Lucina was an epithet for Juno as “she who brings children into light.” On this day, lambs and cattle were sacrificed in her honor in the temple of her sacred grove on the Cispius. The second festival was devoted to Juno Moneta on June 1. Following was the festival of the Nonae Caprotinae (“The Nones of the Wild Fig”) held on July 7. The festival of Juno Regina fell on September 1, followed on the 13 of the same month by that of Juno Regina Capitolina. October 1 was the date of the Tigillum Sororium in which the goddess was honoured as Juno Sororia. Last of her yearly festivals came that of Juno Sospita on February 1. It was an appropriate date for her celebration since the month of February was considered a perilous time of passage, as then the cosmic year comes to an end and the limits between the world of the living and the underworld are no longer safely defined. Hence the community invoked the protection (tutela) of the warlike Juno Sospita, The Saviour.


[48] Israel Regardie, A Garden of Pomegrenates, p. 85; Aleister Crowley, 777 and Other Qabalistic Writtings of Aleister Crowley, p. 85.
[49] Aleister Crowley, 777 and Other Qabalistic Writtings of Aleister Crowley, p. 88.
[50]Corbishley, Mike Ancient Rome Warwick Press 1986 p.62.
[51]Rodgers, Nigel: “Life In Ancient Rome”, page 45, Anness Publishing Ltd, 2007.
[52] P. K. Buttmann Mythologus I Berlin 1828 p. 200 ff.; J. A. Hartung Die Religion der Römer II Erlangen 1836 p. 62 ; L. Preller Rômische Mythologie I.
[53]G. Wissowa Religion und Kultus der Römer Munich 1912 pp. 181-2, drawing on W. Schulze and W. Otto in 1904 and 1905. Juno would then be a derivate noun in -ōn-, rather unusual in the feminine.
[54]P. K. Buttmann Mythologus I Berlin 1828 p. 200 ff.; J. A. Hartung Die Religion der Römer II Erlangen 1836 p. 62 ; L. Preller Rômische Mythologie I.
[55]Robert E. A. Palmer Roman Religion and Roman Empire. Five Essays Philadelphia, 1974, p. 4; Marcel Renard “Le nom de Junon” in Phoibos 5 1950, 1, p. 141-143.
[56]G. Wissowa above p. 135; G. Dumezil La relig. rom. arch. Paris 1974; It. tr. Milano 1977 p. 185-186; C. W. Atkins “Latin ‘Iouiste’ et le vocabulaire religieux indoeuropéen” in Mélanges Benveniste Paris, 1975, pp.527-535.
[57] Émile Benveniste, “Expression indo-européenne de l’éternité” Bulletin de la société de linguistique de Paris 38, 1937, pp.103-112: the theme *yuwen- includes the root *yu- at degree 0 and the suffix -wen-. The original meaning of the root *yu- is that of vital force as found in Vedic ắyuh vital force, āyúh genius of the vital force and also in Gereek αιών and Latin aevum.
[58]Varro Ling. Lat. V 67 and 69 ; Cicero, Nat. Deor. II 66; Plutarch, Quaestiones Romanae, 77.
[59]The ancient were divided on the etymology of Lucina: some connected the epithet with the word lucus since the goddess had since the most ancient times a sacred grove and a temple on the Cispius near that of Mefitis: Pliny XVI 235; Varro Lin. Lat. V 49; Ovid Fasti II 435 and VI 449. Other favoured the derivation from lux as goddess of infants: Varro Lingua latina V 69; Cicero, Nat. Deor. II 68; Ovid Fasti, ii 450 and III 255; Plutarch, Quaestiones Romanae, 77. The association of Juno Lucina and Mefitis on the same or closely nearby site may not be coincidental as at Rossano di Vaglio in Lucania have been discovered inscriptions linking the two entites: “μ]εfίτηι καπροτινν[ιαις” and “διωvιιας διομανας” (domina) : cf. M. Lejeune “Notes de linguistique italique XXIII: Le culte de Rossano di Vaglio” in Revue d’Etudes Latins 45 1967 p. 202-221; “Inscriptions de Rossano di Vaglio 1971” in RAL 26 1971 p. 667 ff. The inscriptions are dated to the III-II centuries.
[60] G. Dumezil ARR ; V. Basanoff Les diuex des Romains.
[61]R. E. A. Palmer above, p. 3-56.
[62]R. E. A. Palmer above, p. 39.
[63] Kurt Latte Römishe Religionsgeshichte Munich 1960 p. 168.
[64]G. Pugliese Carratelli “Culti e dottrine religiose in Magna Gaecia” in La parola del Passato 20 1965 p. 1 ff.; also other works by the same author, Jean Berard and Mario Torelli cited below at note n. 164.
[65]Ṛg Veda II 41, 17
[66]Ṛg Veda II 41, 16: “Sarasvati the most mother, the most river, the most divine”; II 41, 17
[67]Ṛg Veda I 10, 30
[68]Ṛg Veda II 3, 8; I 3, 10-11
[69]Ṛg Veda II 30, 8
[70]Ṛg Veda VI 61, 7
[71]Except in Ṛg Veda VI 61, 12:: triṣadásthā having three seats
[72]Yt. V 85-87
[73]Yasna LXV 2 and 5.
[74]G. Dumezil “Juno S. M. R.” in Eranos 52 1954 p. 105-119; G. Radke Die Götter Altitaliens Münster 1965 article Fluonia, Fluviona.

The Egyptian Deity Correspondence #1:  Aroueris or Horus the Elder

horus-goldThe Egyptian deity correspondences for this 28th path of the qabalistic Tree of Life are Ahepi and Aroueris.[76] Regardie precise that “Aroueris means “Horus the Elder,” who was the lord of heaven.”[77] If we look at the other attribution for this path, it is not surprising to learn that in the Golden Dawn tradition, the Egyptian god Aroueris (or Hoor-Ouer) is associated with the element of Air.[78]In this form he represented the god of light and the husband of Hathor. Aroueriswas one of the earliest forms of Horus.He was the son or husband of Hathor and was considered to be a creator god and the archetypal king. He was a sky god, whose face was visualised as the face of the sun. As a result his name (“Heru”) was sometimes translated as “face”, rather than “distant one”, and was sometimes modified to “Herut” (“sky”). His right eye was the sun and his left eye was the moon and images of the “Eye of Horus” were considered to be powerful protective amulets. His speckled feathers formed the stars and his wings created the wind.He absorbed a number of local gods including Nekheny the Nekhenite (a hawk god) and Wer (a god of light known as “the great one” whose eyes were the sun and moon) to become the patron of Nekhen (Heirakonpolis) and later the patron god of the pharaohs. Nekhen was a powerful city in the pre-dynastic period, and the early capital of Upper Egypt. Later, he also became the patron of the pharaohs, and was called the son of truth. – signifying his role as an important upholder of Maat. He was seen as a great falcon with outstretched wings whose right eye was the sun and the left one was the moon. In this form, he was sometimes given the title Kemwer, meaning (the) great black (one). The Greek form of Heru-ur (or Har wer) is Haroeris. Other variants include Hor Merti ‘Horus of the two eyes’ and Horkhenti Irti.[79]


[75]D. P. Harmon “Religion in the Latin Elegists” in ANRW p. 197.
[76] Israel Regardie, A Garden of Pomegrenates, p. 85.
[77] Israel Regardie, A Garden of Pomegrenates, p. 92.
[78] Israel Regardie, A Garden of Pomegrenates, p. 92.
[79]Patricia Turner, Charles Russell Coulter, Dictionary of Ancient Deities, 2001.

The Egyptian Deity Correspondence #2: Ahepi the Ape-Headed Son of Horus

hapyAhepi is the ape-headed Son of Horus, “associated with the element of the Earth.”[80] The ape headed (dog headed, according to Budge) Hapi protects the small intestines,[81] represents the north and is associated with Nephthys.[82] The spelling of his name includes a hieroglyph which is thought to be connected with steering a boat, although its exact nature is not known. For this reason he was sometimes connected with navigation, although early references call him the great runner: “You are the great runner; come, that you may join up my father N and not be far in this your name of Hapi, for you are the greatest of my children – so says Horus”[83]Hapi, son of Horus, should not be confused with Hapi, God of the Nile. The latter is a fertility god associated with the inundation of the Nile river. He is often depicted as a bearded male with either lilies or papyrus plants on his head, signifying either Upper or Lower Egypt respectively. In Spell 151 of the Book of the Dead Hapi is given the following words to say: “I have come that I may be your protection, O N: I have knit together your head and your members, I have smitten your enemies beneath you, and I have given you your head for ever.”[84] Spell 148 in the Book of the Dead directly associates all four of Horus’s sons, described as the four pillars of Shu and one of the four rudders of heaven, with the four cardinal points of the compass. Hapi was associated with the north.[85]


[80] Israel Regardie, A Garden of Pomegrenates, p. 85.
[81]Jackal headed Tuamutef (aka Duamutef) protects the lungs and heart, represents the east and is associated with Neith. Hawk headed Qebhsenuf, god of the west, protects the liver and gall-bladder and is associated with the goddess Serqet. Man-headed Imsety, represents the south and held the liver. He is associated with the goddess Isis.
[82]O’Connor, David (1998). Amenhotep III: Perspectives on His Reign. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, p. 121.
[83]Faulkner, Raymond Oliver (2004). The Ancient Egyptian Coffin Texts. Oxford: Aris and Phillips., pp. 520–523.
[84] Faulkner, R. O., Translator. The Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead. New York: MacMillan Publishing Company, 1972, p. 148.
[85]Budge, Sir Edward Wallis (2010) [1925]. The Mummy; a Handbook of Egyptian Funerary Archaeology. New York: Cambridge University Press., p. 240

The Sacred Plant Correspondence: Olive

olivesThe sacred plant correspondence for this 28th path of the qabalistic Tree of Life is the olive, “which Athena is believed to have created for mankind.”[86] Crowley tells us that “olive is sacred to Minerva.”[87] The olive (Olea europaea) is a species of a small tree in the family Oleaceae, native to the coastal areas of the eastern Mediterranean Basin (the adjoining coastal areas of southeastern Europe, western Asia and northern Africa) as well as northern Iran at the south end of the Caspian Sea. Its fruit, also called the olive, is of major agricultural importance in the Mediterranean region as the source of olive oil. The tree and its fruit give its name to the plant family, which also includes species such as lilacs, jasmine, Forsythia and the true ash trees (Fraxinus). The word derives from Latin olīva which in turn comes from the Greek ἐλαία (elaía) ultimately from Mycenaean Greek e-ra-wa (“elaiva”), attested in Linear B syllabic script. The word ‘oil’ in multiple languages ultimately derives from the name of this tree and its fruit. The olive tree, Olea europaea, is an evergreen tree or shrub native to the Mediterranean, Asia and Africa. It is short and squat, and rarely exceeds 8–15 metres (26–49 ft) in height. The silvery green leaves are oblong in shape, measuring 4–10 centimetres (1.6–3.9 in) long and 1–3 centimetres (0.39–1.2 in) wide. The trunk is typically gnarled and twisted. The place, time and immediate ancestry of the cultivated olive are unknown. It is assumed that Olea europaea may have arisen from O. chrysophylla in northern tropical Africa and that it was introduced into the countries of the Mediterranean Basin via Egypt and then Crete or Israel, Syria and Asia Minor. Fossil Olea pollen has been found in Macedonia, Greece, and other places around Mediterranean, indicating that this genus is an original element of the Mediterranean flora. Fossilized leaves of Olea were found in the palaeosols of the volcanic Greek island of Santorini (Thera) and were dated about 37.000 B.P. Inprints of larvae of olive whitefly Aleurolobus (Aleurodes) olivinus were found on the leaves. The same insect is commonly found today on olive leaves, showing that the plant-animal co-evolutionary relations have not changed since that time.The olive is one of the plants most often cited in western literature. In Homer’s Odyssey, Odysseus crawls beneath two shoots of olive that grow from a single stock,[88] and in the Iliad, (XVII.53ff) is a metaphoric description of a lone olive tree in the mountains, by a spring; the Greeks observed that the olive rarely thrives at a distance from the sea, which in Greece invariably means up mountain slopes. Greek myth attributed to the primordial culture-hero Aristaeus the understanding of olive husbandry, along with cheese-making and bee-keeping.[89] Olive was one of the woods used to fashion the most primitive Greek cult figures, called xoana, referring to their wooden material; they were reverently preserved for centuries.[90] It was purely a matter of local pride that the Athenians claimed that the olive grew first in Athens.[91] In an archaic Athenian foundation myth, Athena won the patronship of Attica from Poseidon with the gift of the olive. Though, according to the 4th-century BC father of botany, Theophrastus, olive trees ordinarily attained an age of about 200 years,[92] he mentions that the very olive tree of Athena still grew on the Acropolis; it was still to be seen there in the 2nd century AD;[93] and when Pausanias was shown it, ca 170 AD, he reported “Legend also says that when the Persians fired Athens the olive was burnt down, but on the very day it was burnt it grew again to the height of two cubits.”[94] Indeed, olive suckers sprout readily from the stump, and the great age of some existing olive trees shows that it was perfectly possible that the olive tree of the Acropolis dated to the Bronze Age. The olive was sacred to Athena and appeared on the Athenian coinage. The Roman poet Horace mentions it in reference to his own diet, which he describes as very simple: “As for me, olives, endives, and smooth mallows provide sustenance.”[95] Lord Monboddo comments on the olive in 1779 as one of the foods preferred by the ancients and as one of the most perfect foods.[96] The leafy branches of the olive tree – the olive leaf as a symbol of abundance, glory and peace – were used to crown the victors of friendly games and bloody wars. As emblems of benediction and purification, they were also ritually offered to deities and powerful figures; some were even found in Tutankhamen’s tomb. Olive oil has long been considered sacred; it was used to anoint kings and athletes in ancient Greece. It was burnt in the sacred lamps of temples as well as being the “eternal flame” of the original Olympic Games. Victors in these games were crowned with its leaves. Today, it is still used in many religious ceremonies. Over the years, the olive has been the symbol of peace, wisdom, glory, fertility, power and purity. The olive was one of the main elements in ancient Israelite cuisine. Olive oil was used not only for food and for cooking, but also for lighting, sacrificial offerings, ointment, and anointment for priestly or royal office.[97] The olive tree and olives are mentioned over 30 times in the Bible, in both the New and Old Testaments. It is one of the first plants mentioned in the Bible, and one of the most significant. For example, it was an olive leaf that a dove brought back to Noah to demonstrate that the flood was over. The olive is listed in the Hebrew Bible[98] as one of the seven species that are noteworthy products of the Land of Israel.[99]

The Mount of Olives east of Jerusalem is mentioned several times. The Allegory of the Olive Tree in St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans (which reappears in greatly expanded form in the Book of Jacob in the Book of Mormon) refers to the scattering and gathering of Israel. It compares the Israelites and gentiles to tame and wild olive trees. The olive tree itself, as well as olive oil and olives, play an important role in the Bible. The olive tree and olive oil are mentioned seven times in the Quran,[100] and the olive is praised as a precious fruit. Most notably, it is mentioned in one of the most famous verses of the Quran, Ayat an-Nur: “Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The metaphor of His Light is that of a niche in which is a lamp, the lamp inside a glass, the glass like a brilliant star, lit from a blessed tree, an olive, neither of the east nor of the west, its oil all but giving off light even if no fire touches it. Light upon Light. Allah guides to His Light whoever He wills and Allah makes metaphors for mankind and Allah has knowledge of all things.”[101] Olive tree and olive oil health benefits have been propounded in Prophetic medicine. The Prophet Mohamed is reported to have said: “Take oil of olive and massage with it – it is a blessed tree” (Sunan al-Darimi, 69:103). The olive tree is native to the Mediterranean region and Western Asia, and spread to nearby countries from there. It is estimated the cultivation of olive trees began more than 7000 years ago. As far back as 3000 BC, olives were grown commercially in Crete; they may have been the source of the wealth of the Minoan civilization. The ancient Greeks used to smear olive oil on their bodies and hair as a matter of grooming and good health. Theophrastus, in On the Nature of Plants, does not give as systematic and detailed an account of olive husbandry as he does of the vine, but he makes clear that the cultivated olive must be vegetatively propagated;[102] indeed, the pits give rise to thorny, wild-type olives, spread far and wide by birds. Theophrastus reports how the bearing olive can be grafted on the wild olive, for which the Greeks had a separate name, kotinos.[103] After the 16th century, the Europeans brought the olive to the New World, and its cultivation began in Mexico, Peru, Chile and Argentina, and then in the 18th century in California. It is estimated that there are about 800 million olive trees in the world today, and the vast majority of these are found in Mediterranean countries. The olive tree, Olea europaea, is very hardy: drought-, disease- and fire-resistant, it can live to a great age. Its root system is robust and capable of regenerating the tree even if the above-ground structure is destroyed. The older an olive tree is the broader and more gnarled its trunk appears. Many olive trees in the groves around the Mediterranean are said to be hundreds of years old, while an age of 2,000 years is claimed for a number of individual trees; in some cases, this has been scientifically verified. Pliny the Elder told about a sacred Greek olive tree that was 1,600 years old. An olive tree in west Athens, named “Plato’s Olive Tree”, was said to be a remnant of the grove within which Plato’s Academy was situated, which would make it approximately 2,400 years old. The tree comprised a cavernous trunk from which a few branches were still sprouting in 1975, when a traffic accident caused a bus to fall on and uproot it. Since then, the trunk has been preserved and displayed in the nearby Agricultural University of Athens. A supposedly older tree, the “Peisistratos Tree”, is located by the banks of the Cephisus. River, in the municipality of Agioi Anargyroi, and is said to be a remnant of an olive grove that was planted by Athenian tyrant Peisistratos in the 6th century BC. Numerous ancient olive trees also exist near Pelion in Greece. Several trees in the Garden of Gethsemane (from the Hebrew words “gat shemanim” or olive press) in Jerusalem are claimed to date back to the time of Jesus.[104]Some Italian olive trees are believed to date back to Roman times, although identifying progenitor trees in ancient sources is difficult. A tree located in Santu Baltolu di Carana (municipality of Luras) in Sardinia, Italy, named with respect as the Ozzastru by the inhabitants of the region, is claimed to be 3,000 to 4,000 years old according to different studies. There are several other trees of about 1,000 years old within the same garden. The XV sec. trees of Olivo della Linza located in Alliste province of Lecce in Puglia were noted by Bishop Ludovico de Pennis during his pastoral visit to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Nardò-Gallipoli in 1452.


[86] Aleister Crowley, 777 and Other Qabalistic Writtings of Aleister Crowley, p. 100.
[88]Homer, Odyssey, book 5″.
[89]”He learned from the Nymphai how to curdle milk, to make bee-hives, and to cultivate olive-trees, and was the first to instruct men in these matters.” (Diodorus Siculus, 4. 81. 1).
[90]Towards the end of the 2nd century AD, the traveler Pausanias saw many such archaic cult figures.
[91]”Indeed it is said that at that [ancient] time there were no olives anywhere save at Athens.” (Herodotus, 5. 82. 1 ).
[92]Theophrastus, On the Causes of Plants,, 4.13.5., noted by Signe Isager and Jens Erik Skydsgaard, Ancient Greek Agriculture, An introduction, 1992, p. 38.
[93]”…which is still shown in the Pandroseion” (pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheke, 3.14.1).
[94]Pausanias, Description of Greece 1. 27. 1.
[95]”Me pascunt olivae, me cichorea levesque malvae.” Horace, Odes 1.31.15, ca 30 BC
[96]Letter from Lord Monboddo to John Hope, 29 April 1779; reprinted by William Knight 1900.
[97]Macdonald, Nathan (2008). What Did the Ancient Israelites Eat?. pp. 23–24.
[98] The Bible, Deut 8:8.
[99]Cooper, John (1993). Eat and Be Satisfied: A Social History of Jewish Food. New Jersey: Jason Aronson Inc.. pp. 4–9.
[100]Viktoria Hassouna (2010). Virgin Olive Oil. p. 23.
[101]Quran, 24:35.
[102]Theophrastus, On the Nature of Plants, 1.16.10.
[103]Isager and Skydsgaard 1992, p. 35.
[104]Lewington, A., & Parker, E. (1999) Ancient Trees., pp 110–113, London: Collins & Brown Ltd.

The Sacred Animal Correspondence: The Eagle, the Peacock & Man

a-peacockThe sacred animal correspondence for this 28th path of the qabalistic Tree of Life is the eagle, “which is said to have carried Ganymede away to Olympus.”[105] Beside the obvious relationship to the element of Air, the reason for this attribution, Crowley tells us, is because the eagle is the “King of the birds.”[106]

The peacock is also an attribution on this 28th path of the Tree of Life. The main reason for this attribution Crowley tells us, is because “the peacock is the bird of Juno as lady of Air and especially Aquarius, but the peacock might also be refered to Tiphareth or even to Mercury and Sagitarius on account of its plumage.”[107] All the way down into history, the peacock always been a powerful symbol and it has been used by many culture to illustrate supra human qualities such as immortality, incorruptibility, renewal, etc., not to mention that it has also been used in modern days by corporations in the composition of their logos.[108] In nature, what we usually refers to as Peafowl are two Asiatic species of flying birds in the genus Pavo of the pheasant family, Phasianidae, best known for the male’s extravagant eye-spotted tail, which it displays as part of courtship. The male is called a peacock, the female a peahen, and the offspring peachicks. The adult female peafowl is grey and/or brown. Peachicks can be between yellow and a tawny colour with darker brown patches. The term also embraces the Congo Peafowl, which is placed in a separate genus Afropavo. The male (peacock) Indian Peafowl has iridescent blue-green or green coloured plumage. The peacock tail (“train”) is not the tail quill feathers but the highly elongated upper tail coverts. The “eyes” are best seen when the peacock fans its tail. Being a living example of mother nature’s extravagance has made the peacock almost more mythical that actual. There is an old Hindu saying that the peacock has “the feathers of an angel, the walk of a thief and the voice of a devil.” The stunning tail is a courtship display that is also heavy and conspicuous, making the peacock vulnerable to predators, and also to moralizers who perceive this extravagant display as an example of pride and fall. The peacock’s gingerly strut is surely a means of maintaining balance while carrying his magnificent burden. His characteristic loud wailing associates him with the raucous crow, mythically identified with ambiguous forces – but all the more magical because of it. A funny thing to know about peacock is the fact that, like a cupped hand behind the ear, the erect tail-fan of the male helps direct sound to the ears. Both species have a crest atop the head. The female (peahen) Indian Peafowl has a mixture of dull green, brown, and grey in her plumage. She lacks the long upper tail coverts of the male but has a crest. The female can also display her plumage to ward off female competition or signal danger to her young. Peafowl are forest birds that nest on the ground but roost in trees. They are terrestrial feeders. Both species of peafowl are believed to be polygamous. During the mating season they will often emit a very loud high-pitched cry. They also travel in hunting packs between ten and ninety. Althoug popular opinion readily make the peacock an image of vanity, this bird is sacred to many deities from many diffferent places, peoples and religion and represents a fierce solar symbol, stemming from the way in which it spread its tail in the shape of a wheel. It was the emblem of the Burmeese monarchy, descended from the Sun. The Burmese Peacock Dance and the use of the peacock in the Cambodian prot dance relate to droughts caused by the Sun. Sacrificing a peacock, like the sacrifice of a stag, is a prayer for rain and for the heavenly gift of fertility.

There are many Hindu deities that are associated with the peacock, and in Buddhist philosophy, the peacock generaly represents wisdom. Kumāras (Skanda) whose steed is the peacock – there is a very famous depiction of this at Angkor Wat – is identified with solar energy. Skanda’s peacock certainly destroys serpents – that is, attachment to the physical and temporal – but the identification of serpent with the element Water confirms the kinship of the peacock with the Sun and the element of Fire, the antithesis of Water. According to Buddhist folklore, Buddha-to-be “was once born as a goldenpeacock, residing on the golden hill of Dandaka in the Himalaya mountains. When day dawned, the golden peacock used to sit upon the summit watching the rising sun, and it composed a prayer to protect himself in his feeding-pasture. … In the evening when the sun went down, the bird came back to the hilltop on which he rested to watch the setting sun, and he meditated to utter another prayer to protect him from dangers during the night time.”

In Tibetan Budhism, according to the Bardo-Thodol, the peacock is also the Buddha Amitābha’s throne, to which the colors red and the element of Fire corresponds. In this context it is also supposed to be the symbol of beauty and the power of transmutation, since the loveliness of its plumage is believed to derive from the natural transmutation of the poisons which it swallows when it destroys the serpents. Undoubtedly in this context we are, above all, concerned with immortality symbolism. This is the Indian explanation, and, furthermore, Skanda himself transforms poisons into a beverage of immortality. In Hinduism, the Peacock is associated with Saraswati, a deity representing benevolence, patience, kindness, compassion and knowledge.

India’s epic, the Ramayana, relates how the storm-god Indra transformed itself into a peacock in order to elude the demon Ravana, afterward rewarding the bird with hundreds of eyes in its feathers and the power to kill snakes. Indeed, it is the solar bird that has the heat to overcome fiery venom and searing drought. Evoking insight that can shift what is felt as poisonous into healing medicine, the peacock was said to transmute the snake’s venom into his blue throat-feathers and the snake’s cunning into the “eye of wisdom” on his tail.[109] Divine Shiva’s throat has turned peacock blue when he swallowed and purified the poison of the primordial ocean.

Peacock is also the mount of Hindu God of war Murugan. The peacock is the steed of Kartikay, the brother of Ganesha. Similar to Saraswati, the Peacock is associated with Kwan-yin in Asian spirituality. Kwan-yin (or Quan Yin, Guanyin) is also an emblem of love, compassionate watchfulness, good-will, nurturing, and kind-heartedness. Legend tells us she chose to remain a mortal even though she could be immortal because she wished to stay behind and aid humanity in their spiritual evolution. The peacock’s cawing heralds the Indian monsoon, time of mating and lush growth; lyrical images of the season depict him fanning his sumptuous feathers and dancing in the longed-for-rain.

In Buddhist Jataka, the peacock is a shape under which the Bodhisatva teaches renunciation of worldly attachments.

In the Chinesse world, the peacock is used to express wishes for peace and prosperity. It is also called ‘the Pimp’, both because it is used as a decoy and because one glance from the bird is supposed to make a woman pregnant.

In Babylonia and Persia the Peacock is seen as a guardian to royalty, and is often seen in engravings upon the thrones of royalty. The Peacock Throne, called Takht-e Tâvus (Persian: تخت طاووس‎) in Persian, is the name originally given to a Mughal throne of India, which was later adopted and used to describe the thrones of the Persian emperors from Nader Shah Afshari and erroneously to Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi whose throne was a reconstruction of the Achemenid throne. The name comes from the shape of a throne, having the figures of two peacocks standing behind it, their tails being expanded and the whole so inlaid with sapphires, rubies, emeralds, pearls and other precious stones of appropriate colors as to represent life, created for the Mughal Badshah Shah Jahan of India in the 17th century, which was in his imperial capital Delhi’s Public audience hall, the Diwan-i-Am. Shah Jahan had the famous Koh-i-noor diamond placed in this throne. The French jeweler Tavernier, who saw Delhi in 1665, described the throne as of the shape of a bed (a “takhteh” or platform), 6 ft. by 4 ft., supported by four golden feet, 20 to 25 in. high, from the bars above which rose twelve columns to support the canopy; the bars were decorated with crosses of rubies and emeralds, and also with diamonds and pearls. In all there were 108 large rubies on the throne, and 116 emeralds, but many of the latter had flaws. The twelve columns supporting the canopy were decorated with rows of splendid pearls.

From its origins in India, the peacock was greeted as a marvel throughout the ancient world. Byzantine and Roman imperial courtassigned the peacock to the empress, just as the eagle was the emperor’s bird. For the ancient Greeks, who protected the bird to assure its propagation, the peacock belonged to Hera, the Queen of Olympus, the Roman Juno. The eyes upon the peacock’s tail comes from Argus whose hundred eyes were placed upon the peacock’s feathers by the goddess in memory of his role as the guard of Io, a lover of Zeus that Hera had punished. The eyes are said to symbolize the vault of heaven and the “eyes” of the stars.Ovid relates how Mercury slew the hunderd-eyed Argus, who Juno had enlisted to spy upon the maiden Io, one of Zeus’s conquests: “So Argus lay low, and all the light in all those eyes went out forever, a hundred eyes, one darkness. And Juno took the eyes and fastened them on the feathers of a bird of hers, the peocock, so, that the peacock’s tail spread with jewels…”[110] Iris, the messenger of the gods, the rainbow, shares the same iridescent colors as the peacock’s tail, the cauda pavonis, sign of the dawning syntesis of heaven and earth, the goal of the opus.

In Christianity, the peacock, in particular, represented the solar disc (from the way it spreads its tail in the shape of a wheel) and also a starry sky (from the pattern in the tail feathers), hence immortality. This came from an ancient legend that the flesh of the peacock did not decay. When shown with Christ, they are particularly representative of the Eucharist and the incorruptibility of Christ’s body and, by extension, the human soul. Even St. Augustine believed the peackock’s flesh to have “antiseptic qualities” and that it didn’t corrupt. More generally in later Christian artwork, it was not unusual to see the peacock in the stable of Christ’s Nativity. There was even an ancient superstition that the blood of the peacock would dispel evil spirits and that eating its flesh could restore good health. It is also associated with the resurrection of Christ because it sheds it old feathers every year and grows, newer, brighter ones each year.

In funeral arts, it is not unusual to see a pair of peacock accompagned the lamb on Christian sarcophagi. Its image embellished everything from the Catacombs to everyday objects, like lamps, especially in early Romanesque and Byzantine churches. This example is two peacocks facing on the side of an ancient tabernacle with the Chi-Rho on the lid. Renaissance version of the adoration of the Magi, or the Annunciation, perched a peacock in the rafters, signifying auspicious events yet to unfold.

Additionally, the Peacock represents resurrection, renewal and immortality within the spiritual teachings of Christianity. The peacock’s molt in the fall, and unadorned for many months acquires brilliant plumage in the spring, a fact that found correspondence in the penitential season of Lent that precedes Easter renewal.

In Western iconography the peacock is portrayed drinking the waters of eternal life from the Eucharistic chalice. In addition the “multitude of eyes” upon its stunningly beautiful fan tail, suggested the all seeing eye of God, or the “all-seeing” church, along with the holiness and sanctity associated with it. In the Middle East they are shown on either side of the Tree of Life, symbols of the incorruptibility of the soul and the twofold nature of the human psyche.

Melek Taus (ملك طاووس – Kurdish Tawûsê Melek), the Peacock Angel, is the Yazidi name for the central figure of their faith. The Yazidi consider Tawûsê Melek an emanation of God and a benevolent angel who has redeemed himself from his fall and has become a demiurge who created the cosmos from the Cosmic egg. After he repented, he wept for 7,000 years, his tears filling seven jars, which then quenched the fires of hell. In art and sculpture, Tawûsê Melek is depicted as a peacock. However, peacocks are not native to the lands where Tawûsê Melek is worshipped.

Themes of renewal are also linked to alchemical traditions too, as many schools of thought compare the resurrecting phoenix to the modern-day Peacock. But the symbolism of the peacock goes even deeper than that, Crowley give more detailed explanations revealing the alchemical imagery behind this symbolism: “The vision of the Universal peacock is connected with the Beatific Vision, in which the Universe is perceived as a whole in every parts, as the essence of joy and beauty; but in its diversity this is connected with the symbolism of the Rainbow, which refers to the middle stage in Alchemical workings, when the Matter of the Work takes on a diversity of Flashing colors.”[111] Crowey goes on: “This, however, is connected not so much with the nature of Sagittarius in itself as an isolated constellation, but with its position on the Tree of Life as leading from Yesod to Tiphareth. Samekh must therefore be regarded in this matter as the threshold of Kether, and Tau of Yesod. These three, therefore, constitute the three main balanced spiritual experiences in the way of attainment.”[112] According to Kenneth Grant the peacock “is a glyph of the kalas identical with those typified by the Chinese under the image of the rainbow, and by the Alchemists as the multicoloured garment which appears biblically as the coat of many colours. The iridescent hues reminiscent of fish scales[113] are the kalas of the original fish (vagina) typical of the waters of creation as well as the red deluge of destruction, and they emanate their varied scintillations according to a systematic regimen the precise order of which has long been lost to the Western Arcane tradition.”[114]

Even if few authors mention it, Man is also a sacred animal attribution on this 28th path of the Tree of Life. The reason for this attribution is that man is the Kerub of Air.[115]


[105] Israel Regardie, A Garden of Pomegrenates, p. 85.
[106] Aleister Crowley, 777 and Other Qabalistic Writtings of Aleister Crowley, p. 90.
[107] Aleister Crowley, 777 and Other Qabalistic Writtings of Aleister Crowley, p. 94.
[108]In 1956, John J. Graham created an abstraction of an eleven-feathered peacock logo for American broadcaster NBC. This brightly hued peacock was adopted due to the increase in colour programming. NBC’s first colour broadcasts showed only a still frame of the colourful peacock.
[109] Beer, Robert (1999), The Encyclopedia of Tibetan Symbols and Motifs, Boston, p. 85.
[110] Ovid, Metamorphoses. Bloomington, Il., 1955, 25.
[111] Aleister Crowley, 777 and Other Qabalistic Writtings of Aleister Crowley, p. 94.
[112] Aleister Crowley, 777 and Other Qabalistic Writtings of Aleister Crowley, p. 94.
[113] The fish is the zoötype of Dagon, and, later, of the Christ or ‘saviour’ from the deluge.
[114] Kenneth Grant, Outside the Circles of Time, p. 22.
[115] Aleister Crowley, 777 and Other Qabalistic Writtings of Aleister Crowley, p. 90.

The Perfume Correspondence: Galbanum

galbanummmThe sacred perfume correspondence for this 28th path of the qabalistic Tree of Life is galbanum. Galbanum, Crowley tells us, “represents the element of Air in that exceedingly powerful incense of Tetagrammaton whose invention is ascribed to Moses.”[116] Galbanum is an aromatic gum resin, the product of certain umbelliferous Persian plant species, chiefly Ferula gummosa (synonym F. galbaniflua) and Ferula rubricaulis. Galbanum-yielding plants grow plentifully on the slopes of the mountain ranges of northern Iran. It occurs usually in hard or soft, irregular, more or less translucent and shining lumps, or occasionally in separate tears, of a light-brown, yellowish or greenish-yellow colour, and has a disagreeable, bitter taste, a peculiar, somewhat musky odour, an intense green scent, and a specific gravity of 1.212. It contains about 8% terpenes; about 65% of a resin which contains sulfur; about 20% gum; and a very small quantity of the colorless crystalline substance umbelliferone. It also contains a-pinene, b-pinene, limonene, cadinene, 3-carene, and ocimene.In the Book of Exodus,[117] it is mentioned as being used in the making of a Ketoret which is used when referring to the consecrated incense described in the Hebrew Bible and Talmud. It is also referred to as the HaKetoret (the incense). It was offered on the specialized incense altar in the time when the Tabernacle was located in the First and Second Jerusalem Temples. The ketoret was an important component of the Temple service in Jerusalem. Rashi of the 12th century comments on this passage that galabanum is bitter and was included in the incense as a reminder of deliberate and unrepentant sinners. Galbanum is one of the oldest of drugs. It is occasionally used in the making of modern perfume, and is the ingredient which gives the distinctive smell to the fragrances “Must” by Cartier, “Vent Vert” by Balmain, “Chanel No. 19” and “Vol De Nuit” by Guerlain. The debut of Galbanum in fine modern perfumery is generally thought to be the origin of the “Green” family of scents, exemplified by the scent “Vent Vert” first launched by Balmain in 1945. Hippocrates employed it in medicine, and Pliny[118] ascribes to it extraordinary curative powers, concluding his account of it with the assertion that “the very touch of it mixed with oil of spondylium is sufficient to kill a serpent.” The drug is occasionally given in modern medicine, in doses of from five to fifteen grains. It has the actions common to substances containing a resin and a volatile oil. Its use in medicine is, however, obsolete. The Latin name Ferula derives in part from Ferule which is a schoolmaster’s rod, such as a cane, stick, or flat piece of wood, used in punishing children.[2] A ferula called narthex (or Giant fennel), which shares the galbanum-like scent, has long, straight and sturdy hollow stalks, which are segmented like bamboo.[3] They were used as torches in antiquity and it is with such a torch that, according to Greek mythology, Prometheus, who deceived his father stealing some of his fire, brought fire to humanity.[4] Bacchae were described using the bamboo-like stalks as weapons. Such rods were also used for walking sticks, splints, for stirring boiling liquids, and for corporal punishment. Some of the mythology may have transferred to the related galbanum which was referred to as the sacred “mother resin.” Galbanum was highly treasured as a sacred substance by the ancient Egyptians. The “green” incense of Egyptian antiquity is believed to have been galbanum. Galbanum resin has a very intense green scent accompanied by a turpentine odor. The initial notes are a very bitter, acrid, and peculiar scent followed by a complex green, spicy, woody, balsamlike fragrance. When diluted the scent of galbanum has variously been described as reminiscent of pine (due to the pinene and limonene content), evergreen, green bamboo, parsley, green apples, musk, or simply intense green.[119] The oil has a pine like topnote which is less pronounced in the odor of the resinoid. The latter, in turn, has a more woody balsamic, conifer resinous character. Galbanum is frequently adulterated with pine oil.[120]


[116] Aleister Crowley, 777 and Other Qabalistic Writtings of Aleister Crowley, p. 115.
[117] The Bible, Book of Exodus 30:34.
[118]Pliny, Nat. Hist. xxiv. 13.
[119]Lawrence, B.M., “Progress in Essential Oils” ‘Perfumer and Flavorist’ August/September 1978 vol 3, No 4 p .54
[120]McAndrew, B.A; Michalkiewicz, D.M; “Analysis of Galbanum Oils”. Dev Food Sci. Amsterdam: Elsevier Scientific Publications 1988 v 18 pp 573 – 585.

The Color Correspondence: Sky Blue & Red Purple.

Sky_Blue_429695_i0The sacred color correspondence for the 28th path of the qabalistic Tree of Life is sky blue[121] and blue red purple.[122]




[121] Israel Regardie, A Garden of Pomegrenates, p. 85.
[122] Stephen Hoeller, The Fool’s Pilgrimage. Kabbalistic Meditations of the Tree of Life, p. 52.

The Jewel Correspondence: Chalcedony

chalcedony-The sacred jewel correspondence on this 28th path of the qabalistic Tree of Life is chalcedony. The reason for this attribution, Regardie says, is because this gem is “suggesting as it were the soft watery clouds and the stars by appearance.”[123] Crowley tells us almost the same thing, telling us that “Chaceldony suggests the clouds by its appearances.”[124] Chalcedony is a cryptocrystalline form of silica, composed of very fine intergrowths of the minerals quartz and moganite.[125] These are both silica minerals, but they differ in that quartz has a trigonal crystal structure, while moganite is monoclinic. Chalcedony’s standard chemical structure (based on the chemical structure of quartz) is SiO2 (Silicon Dioxide). Chalcedony has a waxy luster, and may be semitransparent or translucent. It can assume a wide range of colors, but those most commonly seen are white to gray, grayish-blue or a shade of brown ranging from pale to nearly black. The name “chalcedony” comes from the Latin calcedonius, the word used to translate the Greek word khalkedon, found only once, in the Book of Revelation; according to the OED a connection with the town of Chalcedon in Asia Minor is “very doubtful”. There is no reason to assume that the precious stone referred to by this name in the Bible is the same as what is now understood by the name.[126]Chalcedony occurs in a wide range of varieties. Many semi-precious gemstones are in fact forms of chalcedony. The more notable varieties of chalcedony are as follows: Agate is a variety of chalcedony with multi-colored curved or angular banding. Fire agate shows iridescent phenomena on a brown background; iris agate shows exceptional iridescence when light (especially pinpointed light) is shone through the stone. Landscape agate is chalcedony with a number of different mineral impurities making the stone resemble landscapes.Aventurine is a form of chalcedony, characterised by its translucency and the presence of platy mineral inclusions that give a shimmering or glistening effect termed aventurescence. Carnelian (also spelled cornelian) is a clear-to-translucent reddish-brown variety of chalcedony. Its hue may vary from a pale orange, to an intense almost-black coloration. Chrysoprase (also spelled chrysophrase) is a green variety of chalcedony, which has been colored by nickel oxide. Heliotrope is a green variety of chalcedony, containing red inclusions of iron oxide. These inclusions resemble drops of blood, giving heliotrope its alternative name of bloodstone. Moss agate contains green filament-like inclusions, giving it the superficial appearance of moss or blue cheese. Mtorolite is a green variety of chalcedony, which has been colored by chromium. Also known as chrome chalcedony. Onyx is a variant of agate with black and white banding. Similarly, agate with brown, orange, red and white banding is known as sardonyx. As early as the Bronze Age chalcedony was in use in the Mediterranean region; for example, on Minoan Crete at the Palace of Knossos, chalcedony seals have been recovered dating to circa 1800 BC. People living along the Central Asian trade routes used various forms of chalcedony, including carnelian, to carve intaglios, ring bezels (the upper faceted portion of a gem projecting from the ring setting), and beads that show strong Greco-Roman influence.Fine examples of first century objects made from chalcedony, possibly Kushan, were found in recent years at Tillya-tepe in north-western Afghanistan. Hot wax would not stick to it so it was often used to make seal impressions. The term chalcedony is derived from the name of the ancient Greek town Chalkedon in Asia Minor, in modern English usually spelled Chalcedon, today the Kadıköy district of Istanbul. At least three varieties of chalcedony were used in the Jewish High Priest’s Breastplate. (Moses’ brother Aaron wore the Breastplate, with inscribed gems representing the twelve tribes of Israel). The Breastplate included jasper, chrysoprase and sardonyx, and there is some debate as to whether other agates were also used. In the 19th century Idar-Oberstein became the world’s largest chalcedony processing center, in particular agates. Most of these agates were sourced in Latin America, in particular Brazil. Originally the agate carving industry around Idar and Oberstein was driven by local deposits that were mined in the 15th century.[127] Several factors contributed to the re-emergence of Idar-Oberstein as agate center of the world: ships brought agate nodules back as ballast, thus providing extremely cheap transport. Also, cheap labor and a superior knowledge of chemistry allowing them to dye the agates in any color with processes that were kept secret helped. Each mill in Idar Oberstein had four or five grindstones. These were of red sandstone, obtained from Zweibrücken; and two men ordinarily worked together at the same stone.[128]


[123] Israel Regardie, A Garden of Pomegrenates, p, 85.
[124] Aleister Crowley, 777 and other Qabalistic Writtings of Aleister Crowley, p. 105.
[125]Heaney, Peter J., 1994. Structure and Chemistry of the low-pressure silica polymorphs. In: Reviews in Mineralogy v. 29; Silica: Physical Behavior, geochemistry and materials applications. Ed. Heaney, P.J., Prewitt, C.T., Gibbs, G.V., 1-40.
[126]James Orr, ed. (1915). “Chalkēdōn“. The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia. The Howard-Severance company. p. 2859.
[127]Streeter, Edwin (1898), Precious Stones and Gems. p.237.
[128]Streeter, Edwin, 1898. Precious Stones and Gems. Page 237.

The Magical Weapon Correspondence: The Censer & Aspergillis

cencerThe magical weapons attribution for this 28th path of the qabalistic Tree of Life is the censer or aspegillus. Censers are any type of vessels made for burning incense. These vessels vary greatly in size, form, and material of construction. They may consist of simple earthenware bowls or fire pots to intricately carved silver or gold vessels, small table top objects a few centimetres tall to as many as several metres high. The reason for this attribution, Crowley tells us, has to do, once again, with a sky metaphor, because “the censer carries the perfumes as the clouds carry the distillation of the water of the earth.”[129] In many cultures, burning incense has spiritual and religious connotations, and this influences the design and decoration of the censer.In the Eastern Catholic Churches and the Eastern Orthodox Church, censers (Greek: thymiateria) are similar in design to the Western thurible.[130] This fourth chain passes through a hole the hasp and slides in order to easily raise the lid. In addition to the chain ceser described above, a “hand censer” (Greek: katzion) is used on certain occasions. This device has no chains and consists of a bowl attached to a handle, often with bells attached. In the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church and some other groups, the censer is often called a thurible, and used during important offices (benedictions, processions, important Masses). A common design for a thurible is a metal container, about the size and shape of a coffee-pot, suspended on chains. The bowl contains hot coals, and the incense is placed on top of these. The thurible is then swung back and forth on its chains, spreading the fragrant smoke

asperThe Aspergillis share the same sky metaphor as the censer, Crowley tells us that it “spinkles the lustral waters as the clouds shed rain.”[131] An aspergillum (less commonly, aspergilium or aspergil) is a liturgical implement used to sprinkle holy water. It comes in two common forms: a brush that is dipped in the water and shaken, and a perforated ball at the end of a short handle. Some have sponges or internal reservoirs that dispense holy water when shaken, while others must periodically be dipped in an aspersorium (holy water bucket, known to art historians as a situla). An aspergillum is used in Roman Catholic and Anglican ceremonies, including the Rite of Baptism and during the Easter Season. In addition, a priest will use the aspergillum to bless the candles during candlemas services and the palms during Palm Sunday Mass. At a requiem, if a casket is present, the priest will sprinkle holy water on the casket. The aspergillum can be used in other manners where sprinkling of holy water is appropriate, as in a house blessing, in which the priest might bless the entry to the home. The name derives from the Latin verb aspergere ‘to sprinkle’. The form of the aspergillum differs in the Eastern Orthodox Church. In the Greek Orthodox Church the aspergillum (randistirion) is in the form of a standing vessel with a tapering lid. The top of the lid has holes in it from which the agiasmos (holy water) is sprinkled. In the Russian Orthodox Church the aspergillium is in the form of a whisk made of cloth or hair. Sometimes, sprigs of basil are used to sprinkle holy water. In some of the Oriental Orthodox Churches, no aspergillum is used, but the priest will pour holy water into the palm of his right hand and throw it on the faithful. An aspergillium is also used by some Wiccans and other Witches to cleanse the ritual area (known as a Circle) prior to one of eight seasonal rituals, known as Sabbats, or a spell. Lunarized water, saltwater, or rainwater is used as opposed to Christian holy water.


[129] Aleister Crowley, 777 and Other Qabalistic Writtings of Aleister Crowley, p. 112.
[130]A thurible is a metal censer suspended from chains, in which incense is burned during worship services. It is used in the Catholic Church as well as in Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Armenian Apostolic, some Lutheran, Old Catholic, and in various Gnostic Churches. It is also used in Co-Freemasonry and in the practice of ceremonial magic.
[131] Aleister Crowley, 777 and Other Qabalistic Writtings of Aleister Crowley, p. 112.

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