March 27, 2019
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The General Description of the Path

samekkkThis is path number Twenty-five, joining Tiphareth and Yesod. “This is the first path of divine illumination, wherein the individual experiences contact with the indwelling god, the Christ within, the hope of glory, the Holy Guardian Angel. It is a path of great energy, and, significantly, it proceeds from the sephirah of vital force, which also is the first operative center of the psychosexual power, sometimes called “Kundalini.” If the aspirant has not completed the path of the personality prior to this experience, the aroused fire might easily injure and even destroy him.”[1] According to Israel Regardie, “this path leads from Yesod to Tiphareth, the sphere of the Sun. The angel of the Tarot, would typify the Holy Guardian Angel whom man aspires.

Transcendence – Yesod is the centre of the Ego, a product of the Necessity of the world.  It is the outcome of an environment. It knows how to run our lives.  It is limited however.  Sometimes it realises how limited it is, and may voluntarily choose to transcend itself. This path is the intrusion of the greater into the lesser, and signifies the possibility of growth. (Collin A. Low, The Hermetic Kabbalah, p. 327)

samekThe keynote of this path, according to Stephen A. Hoeller, is the following: “Properly balanced between intellect and feeling, the soul calls on the vital force to propel it into the region of consciousness where divine illumination occurs.”[2] The magical motto of this path is a quotation from german philosopher Novalis and goes as follow: “An angel bendeth o’er thee, And bears thee to the stand; And, filled with joy, before thee, Thou seest the Promised Land.”[3]

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[1] Stephen Hoeller, The Fool’s Pilgrimage. Kabbalistic Meditation on the Tarot, p. 52.
[2] Stephen, A. Hoeller, The Fool’s Pilgrimage, Kabbalistic Meditations on the Tarot, p.85.
[3] Cited by Stephen, A. Hoeller, The Fool’s Pilgrimage, Kabbalistic Meditations on the Tarot, p.85.

The Hebrew Letter Correspondence: Samekh

ssaammeekkThis is the fifteenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Its numerical value is 60. This letter means a “prop.” The path is attributed to the zodiacal sign of Sagittarius, the Arrow, and is called “the Tentative Intelligence.”

 The Tarot Trump Attribution: XIV – Temperance

temperanceeeeThe tarot attribution is XIV – Temperance, showing an angel crowned with the golden sigil of the Sun, clothed in beautiful white robes, and on his breast are written the letters of the Tetragrammaton over a white square, wherein is a gold triangle. He pours a blue liquid from a guilt chalice into another. This path leads from Yesod to Tiphareth, the sphere of the Sun. The angel of the tarot, would typify the Holy Guardian Angel to whom man aspires. The keynote of the astrological sign, the arrow pointing heavenwards, is aspiration, and the sigil of thye Sun and the gilt triangle over the heart of the angel, all point to the object of aspiration, representing Asar-Un – Nefer,45 man made perfect. Hardly any doubt can be entertained as to the correctness of these tarot allocations.

In readings, the appearance of Temperance may indicate that moderation is required in some aspect of life, especially when extreme cards are present (such as the Knights). This card can also indicate a need for balance. Interpretations of this card’s appearance may focus on bringing balance to the life of the Querent. In conflict situations, Temperance suggests that compromise and cooperation are vital. The appearance of the card itself may serve as a reminder that a compromise between two seemingly incompatible options is often the best option. In fact, to temper can mean to modify by adding a new component. By combining and recombining, we come up with the ideal mixture or solution. The precise place of this card in the Querent’s life will be determined by other cards in the spread. Temperance is the card of good health in all areas – physical, mental and emotional. When illness or dis-ease is a concern, Temperance holds out the promise of vitality and well-being. There are certain people who exude a kind of quiet composure. They may not say much, but they go about their business with an air of calm deliberation. Their presence is comforting because they are so centered. This is the energy of Temperance. To be temperate is to show moderation and self-restraint. In a world full of enticing indulgences, it is often necessary to find the middle ground. Sensible, maybe, but also a bit boring? The energy of Temperance may seem unexciting on the surface, but it is the calm of a hurricane’s eye. All around are swirling winds, but in the center is a still point that brings everything into balance.

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The 14th Step of the Fool’s Pilgrimage

Pierrot-Court-jester-fool-Anonymous-144480embracing the Hermit, the Fool has swung wildly back and forth on an emotional pendulum. Now, he realizes the balancing stability of temperance (14). He discovers true poise and equilibrium. By experiencing the extremes, he has come to appreciate moderation. The Fool has combined all aspects of himself into a centered whole that glows with health and well-being. How graceful and soft is the angel on Card 14 compared to the powerful but rigid ruler in the Chariot (Card 7)? The Fool has come a long way in realizing the harmonious life.

 The Zodiacal Correspondence: Sagittarius

sagitarioSagittarius is essentially a hunting sign and the symbol of Sagittarius is the centaur, half-man and half-beast, who is a correspondence of Samekh. Sagittarius is a constellation of the zodiac, the one containing the galactic center. Its name is Latin for the archer, and its symbol is (Unicode U+2650 ♐), a stylized arrow. Sagittarius is commonly represented as a centaur drawing a bow. It lies between Ophiuchus to the west and Capricornus to the east.α Sgr (Rukbat) is not the brightest star of the constellation, having a magnitude of only 3.96 (not shown on the main map as it is located below the map’s southeastern corner, north is up). With 22 stars in this constellation known to have planets, Sagittarius has more known planetary host stars than any other constellation.The Babylonians identified Sagittarius as the god Nerigal or Nergal, a strange centaur-like creature firing an arrow from a bow. It is generally depicted with wings, with two heads, one panther head and one human head, as well as a scorpion’s stinger raised above its more conventional horse’s tail. The Sumerian name Pabilsag is composed of two elements – Pabil, meaning ‘elder paternal kinsman’ and Sag, meaning ‘chief, head’. The name may thus be translated as the ‘Forefather’ or ‘Chief Ancestor’.[4] The figure is reminiscent of modern depictions of Sagittarius. In Greek mythology, Sagittarius is identified as a centaur: half human, half horse. In some legends, the Centaur Chiron was the son of Philyra and Saturn, who was said to have changed himself into a horse to escape his jealous wife, Rhea. Chiron was eventually immortalised in the constellation of Centaurus or in some version, Sagittarius. The arrow of this constellation points towards the star Antares, the “heart of the scorpion.” Sagittarius (♐) is the ninth astrological sign in the Zodiac, which spans the zodiac between the 240th and 269th degree of celestial longitude. According to the tropical zodiac of western astrology, the Sun transits this area of the zodiac between November 22 and December 21 each year (sometimes the dates vary slightly). Sagittarius is seasonally associated with the transition from autumnal moisture to mid-winter dryness. Because its period indicates a change of season, it is known as a “mutable sign”[5] describing an instinct toward change and an easy ability to modify or adapt to the demands of the environment. The sign is governed by Jupiter, a planet which is symbolically associated with temperate qualities which loosen, relax and expand. Sagittarius is also linked with the “element of fire,” which represents outgoing, action-oriented energy that seeks spontaneous expression.[6] As the mutable fire sign, governed by an expansive planet, the symbolic focus of the sign is connected to the principle of exploration and evolution. Correspondingly, Sagittarians are reputed to be drawn toward travel and philosophy, and to enjoy social contacts, meeting new people and exploring other cultures. They are said to be highly intelligent, broad-visioned, tolerant in their views, mainly concerned with the “big picture” but with little patience for the details.[7]Joanna Watters (2003) defined a key phrase for this sign as “I seek” and describes Sagittarius as “the sign of the higher mind … the pursuit of wisdom and search for meaning are just as important as new places and experiences”.[8]Like all the fire signs, Sagittarius can be idealistic in vision but tactless in expression. They are known for their bluntness and are often unaware of their ability to cause anguish in others. [9]

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[4]Gavin White (2008), Babylonian Star-lore by, Solaria Pubs, page 155.
[5]William Lilly, (1647) Christian Astrology. Republished as facsimile, London: Regulus, 1985, p. 88.
[6]Kevin Burk, Astrology: understanding the birth chart: a comprehensive guide to classical interpretation. Llewellyn Worldwide, 2001, p. 46.
[7]Kevin Burk, Astrology: understanding the birth chart: a comprehensive guide to classical interpretation. Llewellyn Worldwide, 2001, p. 71.
[8]Joanna Watters (2003), Astrology for Today. London: Carroll & Brown, p. 24.
[9]Joanna Watters (2003), Astrology for Today. London: Carroll & Brown, p. 24.

The Greek Deity Correspondence #1: Apollo as Archer

appolo-archerThe Greek deity correspondence for this 25th path of the qabalistic Tree of Life are “Apollo and Artemis as hunters with the bow and arrow…”[10] Apollo is probably one of the most important and complex of the Olympian deities in ancient Greek and Roman religion, Greco–Roman Neopaganism, and Greek and Roman mythology. The ideal of the kouros (a beardless, athletic youth), Apollo has been variously recognized as a god of light and the sun, truth and prophecy, healing, plague, music, poetry, and more. Among other objects, Apollo’s most common attributes were the bow and arrow.[11] In Homer, Apollo is clearly identified as a different god, a plague-dealer with a silver (not golden) bow and no solar features. Apollo was worshipped throughout the Roman Empire. Apollo, like other Greek deities, had a number of epithets applied to him, reflecting the variety of roles, duties, and aspects ascribed to the god which diverges according to regionalities. In the traditionally Celtic lands he was most often seen as a healing and sun god. He was often equated with Celtic gods of similar character.[12]But in the present case those are not the attributes that brought us to him; in the context of this 25th path of the Tree of Life we are rather interested here in Apollo’s attributes as an acher and a skilled horseman, not to mention the fact that Apollo was the brother of Artemis, the goddess of the hunt which also carry the bow and arrow. Among the numerous epitets under which Apollos is known throughout the Celtic world we have:Apollo Atepomarus, Apollo Belenus, Apollo Cunomaglus, Apollo Grannus, Apollo Maponus, Apollo Moritasgus, Apollo Vindonnus, and Apollo Virotutis. Some of those epitets offers attributes that are interestingly cognant with those of the Archer’s version of Apollo that interests us the context of this 25th path of the Tree of Life. Among others, it worth mentioning the Apollo Atepomarus epitet, that mean “the great horseman” or “possessing a great horse”. Apollo being a sun god, it is interesting to know that horses were, in the Celtic world, closely linked to the sun.[13]Apollo Cunomaglus (‘hound lord’) was a title given to Apollo at a shrine in Wiltshire.[14]The cult centers of Apollo in Greece, Delphi and Delos, date from the 8th century BCE. The Delos sanctuary was primarily dedicated to Artemis, Apollo’s twin sister. At Delphi, Apollo was venerated as the slayer of Pytho. For the Greeks, Apollo was all the Gods in one and through the centuries he acquired different functions which could originate from different gods. In archaic Greece he was the prophet, the oracular god who in older times was connected with “healing”. In classical Greece he was the god of light and of music, but in popular religion he had a strong function to keep away evil. The connection with Dorians and their initiation festival apellai is reinforced by the month Apellaios in northwest Greek calendars,[15] but it can explain only the Doric type of the name, which is connected with the Ancient Macedonian word “pella” (Pella), stone. Stones played an important part in the cult of the god, especially in the oracular shrine of Delphi (Omphalos). The “Homeric hymn” represents Apollo as a Northern intruder. His arrival must have occurred during the “dark ages” that followed the destruction of the Mycenaean civilization, and his conflict with Gaia (Mother Earth) was represented by the legend of his slaying her daughter the serpent Python.[16] Apollo and his sister Artemis can bring death with their arrows. The conception that diseases and death come from invisible shots sent by supernatural beings, or magicians is common in Germanic and Norse mythology.[17] In Greek mythology Artemis was the leader (ηγεμόνη: hegemone) of the nymphs, who had similar functions with the Nordic Elves. The “elf-shot” originally indicated disease or death attributed to the elves, but it was later attested denoting arrow-heads which were used by witches to harm people, and also for healing rituals.[18] The Vedic Rudra has some similar functions with Apollo. The terrible god is called “The Archer,” and the bow is also an attribute of Shiva. Rudra could bring diseases with his arrows, but he was able to free people of them, and his alternative Shiba, is a healer physician god.[19] As an archer, Apollo was seen shotting arrows infected with the plague into the Greek encampment during the Trojan War in retribution for Agamemnon’s insult to Chryses, a priest of Apollo whose daughter Chryseis had been captured. He demanded her return, and the Achaeans complied, indirectly causing the anger of Achilles, which is the theme of the Iliad. In the Iliad, when Diomedes injured Aeneas, Apollo rescued him. First, Aphrodite tried to rescue Aeneas but Diomedes injured her as well. Aeneas was then enveloped in a cloud by Apollo, who took him to Pergamos, a sacred spot in Troy. Apollo aided Paris in the killing of Achilles by guiding the arrow of his bow into Achilles’ heel. One interpretation of his motive is that it was in revenge for Achilles’ sacrilege in murdering Troilus, the god’s own son by Hecuba, on the very altar of the god’s own temple. Apollo’s use of the bow make several other casaulties when Niobe, the queen of Thebes and wife of Amphion, boasted of her superiority to Leto because she had fourteen children (Niobids), seven male and seven female, while Leto had only two. Apollo killed her sons, and Artemis her daughters. Apollo and Artemis used poisoned arrows to kill them, though according to some versions of the myth, a number of the Niobids were spared (Chloris, usually). Amphion, at the sight of his dead sons, either killed himself or was killed by Apollo after swearing revenge. A devastated Niobe fled to Mount Sipylos in Asia Minor and turned into stone as she wept. Her tears formed the river Achelous. Zeus had turned all the people of Thebes to stone and so no one buried the Niobids until the ninth day after their death, when the gods themselves entombed them.Apollo is casted in the role of an archer once again in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, where Phoebus Apollo chaffs Cupid for toying with a weapon more suited to a man, whereupon Cupid wounds him with a golden dart; simultaneously, however, Cupid shoots a leaden arrow into Daphne, causing her to be repulsed by Apollo. Following a spirited chase by Apollo, Daphne prays to her father, Peneus, for help, and he changes her into the laurel tree, sacred to Apollo.

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[10] Israel Regardie, A Garden of Pomegrenates, p. 82.
[11]. Other attributes of his included the kithara (an advanced version of the common lyre), the plectrum and the sword. Another common emblem was the sacrificial tripod, representing his prophetic powers.
[12]Miranda J. Green, Dictionary of Celtic Myth and Legend, Thames and Hudson Ltd, 1997.
[13]Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum XIII, 1863–1986; A. Ross,, Pagan Celtic Britain, 1967; M.J. Green, The Gods of the Celts, 1986, London.
[14]Apollo Cunomaglus may have been a god of healing. Cunomaglus himself may originally have been an independent healing god. See W.J. Wedlake, The Excavation of the Shrine of Apollo at Nettleton, Wiltshire, 1956–1971, Society of Antiquaries of London, 1982.
[15]Graf (2009), Apollo, Taylor & Francis, p. 104-113; Burkert also notes in this context Archilochus Fr. 94. See Walter Burkert, 1985. Greek Religion (Harvard University Press) III.2.5 passim.
[16]Herbert W. Park (1956). The delphic oracle. Vol.I, p.3.
[17]”The conception that the diseases come from invisible shots sent by magicians or supernatural beings is common in primitive people and also in European folklore. In North-Europe they speak of the “Elf-shots”. In Sweden where the Lapps were called magicians, they speak of the “Lappen-shots”. Martin Nilsson (1967).Vol I p.541.
[18]Hall, Alaric. 2005. ‘Getting Shot of Elves: Healing, Witchcraft and Fairies in the Scottish Witchcraft Trials’, Folklore, 116 (2005), 19-36.
[19]However the Indo-European component of Apollo, does not explain his strong relation with omens, exorcisms, and with the oracular cult.

The Greek Deity Correspondence #2: Artemis as Archer

artemis--In the classical period of Greek mythology, Artemis (Greek: (nominative) Ἄρτεμις, (genitive) Ἀρτέμιδος) was often described as the daughter of Zeus and Leto, and the twin sister of Apollo. She was the Hellenic goddess of the hunt, wild animals, wilderness, childbirth, virginity and young girls, bringing and relieving disease in women; she often was depicted as a huntress carrying a bow and arrows.[20]Various conflicting accounts are given in Classical Greek mythology of the birth of Artemis and her twin brother, Apollo. All accounts agree, however, that she was the daughter of Zeus and Leto and that she was the twin sister of Apollo. The myths also differ as to whether Artemis was born first, or Apollo. Most stories depict Artemis as born first, becoming her mother’s mid-wife upon the birth of her brother Apollo. The childhood of Artemis is not fully related in any surviving myth. The Iliad reduced the figure of the dread goddess to that of a girl, who, having been thrashed by Hera, climbs weeping into the lap of Zeus.[21] A poem of Callimachus to the goddess “who amuses herself on mountains with archery” imagines some charming vignettes: according to Callimachus, at three years old, Artemis, while sitting on the knee of her father, Zeus, asked him to grant her six wishes: to remain always a virgin; to have many names to set her apart from her brother Apollo; to be the Phaesporia or Light Bringer; to have a bow and arrow and a knee-length tunic so that she could hunt; to have sixty “daughters of Okeanos”, all nine years of age, to be her choir; and for twenty Amnisides Nymphs as handmaidens to watch her dogs and bow while she rested. She wished for no city dedicated to her, but to rule the mountains, and for the ability to help women in the pains of childbirth. Artemis believed that she had been chosen by the Fates to be a midwife, particularly since she had assisted her mother in the delivery of her twin brother, Apollo. All of her companions remained virgins, and Artemis closely guarded her own chastity. Her symbols included the golden bow and arrow, the hunting dog, the stag, and the moon. Callimachus tells how Artemis spent her girlhood seeking out the things that she would need to be a huntress, how she obtained her bow and arrows from the isle of Lipara, where Hephaestus and the Cyclops worked.[22] Okeanus’ daughters were filled with fear, but the young Artemis bravely approached and asked for bow and arrows. Callimachus then tells how Artemis visited Pan, the god of the forest, who gave her seven bitches and six dogs. She then captured six golden-horned deer to pull her chariot. Artemis practiced with her bow first by shooting at trees and then at wild beasts. According to the Homeric Hymn to Artemis, she had golden bow and arrows, as her epithet was Khryselakatos, “of the Golden Shaft”, and Iokheira (Showered by Arrows). The arrows of Artemis could also to bring sudden death and disease to girls and women. Artemis got her bow and arrow for the first time from The Kyklopes, as the one she asked from her father. The bow of Artemis also became the witness of Callisto’s oath of her virginity. In later cult, the bow became the symbol of waxing moon. Artemis’ chariot was made of gold and was pulled by four golden horned deer (Elaphoi Khrysokeroi). The bridles of her chariot were also made of gold. Although quite seldom, Artemis is sometimes portrayed with a hunting spear. Her cult in Aetolia, the Artemis Aetolian, showed her with a hunting spear. The description about Artemis’ spear can be found in Ovid’s Metamorphosis, while Artemis with a fishing connected with her cult as a patron goddess of fishing.As a goddess of maiden dances and songs, Artemis is often portrayed with a lyre. Deer were the only animals held sacred to Artemis herself. On seeing a deer larger than a bull with horns shining, she fell in love with these creatures and held them sacred. Deer were also the first animals she captured. She caught five golden horned deer called Elaphoi Khrysokeroi and harnessed them to her chariot. Artemis got her hunting dogs from Pan in the forest of Arcadia. Pan gave Artemis two black-and-white dogs, three reddish ones, and one spotted one – these dogs were able to hunt even lions. Pan also gave Artemis seven bitches of the finest Arcadian race. However, Artemis only ever brought seven dogs hunting with her at any one time. Orion was a hunting companion of the goddess Artemis. In some versions of his story he was killed by Artemis, while in others he was killed by a scorpion sent by Gaia. In some versions, Orion tried to seduce Opis,[23] one of her followers, and she killed him. In a version by Aratus,[24] Orion took hold of Artemis’ robe and she killed him in self-defense. In yet another version, Apollo sent the scorpion. According to Hyginus[25] Artemis once loved Orion (in spite of the late source, this version appears to be a rare remnant of her as the pre-Olympian goddess, who took consorts, as Eos did), but was tricked into killing him by her brother Apollo, who was “protective” of his sister’s maidenhood. A Queen of Thebes and wife of Amphion, Niobe boasted of her superiority to Leto because while she had fourteen children (Niobids), seven boys and seven girls, Leto had only one of each. When Artemis and Apollo heard this impiety, Apollo killed her sons as they practiced athletics, and Artemis shot her daughters, who died instantly without a sound. Apollo and Artemis used poisoned arrows to kill them, though according to some versions two of the Niobids were spared, one boy and one girl. Amphion, at the sight of his dead sons, killed himself. A devastated Niobe and her remaining children were turned to stone by Artemis as they wept. The gods themselves entombed them. Artemis may have been represented as a supporter of Troy because her brother Apollo was the patron god of the city and she herself was widely worshipped in western Anatolia in historical times. In the Iliad,[26] she came to blows with Hera, when the divine allies of the Greeks and Trojans engaged each other in conflict. Hera struck Artemis on the ears with her own quiver, causing the arrows to fall out. As Artemis fled crying to Zeus, Leto gathered up the bow and arrows.

Artemis played quite a large part in this war. Like her mother and brother, who was widely worshiped at Troy, Artemis took the side of the Trojans. Artemis, the goddess of forests and hills, was worshipped throughout ancient Greece.[27] Her best known cults were on the island of Delos (her birthplace); in Attica at Brauron and Mounikhia (near Piraeus); in Sparta. She was often depicted in paintings and statues in a forest setting, carrying a bow and arrows, and accompanied by a deer. In Greek classical art she is usually portrayed as a maiden huntress, young, tall and slim, clothed in a girl’s short skirt,[28] with hunting boots, a quiver, a bow[29] and arrows. Often, she is shown in the shooting pose, and is accompanied by a hunting dog or stag. When portrayed as a goddess of the moon, Artemis wore a long robe and sometimes a veil covered her head. Her darker side is revealed in some vase paintings, where she is shown as the death-bringing goddess whose arrows fell young maidens and women, such as the daughters of Niobe. At Ephesus in Ionia, Turkey, her temple became one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It was probably the best known center of her worship except for Delos. There the Lady whom the Ionians associated with Artemis through interpretatio graeca was worshiped primarily as a mother goddess, akin to the Phrygian goddess Cybele, in an ancient sanctuary where her cult image depicted the “Lady of Ephesus” adorned with multiple rounded breast like protuberances on her chest.

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[20]“Her proper sphere is the earth, and specifically the uncultivated parts, forests and hills, where wild beasts are plentiful” Hammond and Scullard (editors), The Oxford Classical Dictionary. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1970) 126.
[21] Homer, Iliad xxi.505-13;
[22]Callimachus, Hymn III to Artemis 46.
[23]Another name for Artemis herself”, Karl Kerenyi observes, The Gods of the Greeks (1951:204).
[24]Aratus, 638.
[25]Hyginus, Poeticon astronomicon, ii.34, quoting the Greek poet Istrus.
[26]Homer, Iliad 21.470 ff.
[27]“. . . a goddess universally worshiped in historical Greece, but in all likelihood pre-Hellenic.” Hammond, Oxford Classical Dictionary, 126.
[28]Homer portrayed Artemis as girlish in the Iliad.

 

The Roman Deity Correspondence: Diana

diana-the-archerThe Roman Deity correspondence for this 25th path of the qabalistic Tree of Life is Diana, “as the celestial archer and the goddess of the chase.”[30] In Roman mythology, Diana (lt. “heavenly” or “divine”) was the goddess of the hunt and moon and birthing, being associated with wild animals and woodland, and having the power to talk to and control animals. Diana (pronounced with long ‘ī’ and ‘ā’) is an adjectival form developed from an ancient *divios, corresponding to later ‘divus’, ‘dius’, as in Dius Fidius, Dea Dia and in the neuter form dium meaning the sky.[31] It is rooted in Indoeuropean *d(e)y(e)w, meaning bright sky or daylight, from which also derived the name of Vedic god Dyaus and the Latin deus, (god) and dies (day, daylight). Diana was somtimes equated with the Greek goddess Artemis, though she had an independent origin in Italy. On the Tablets of Pylos a theonym δι(digamma)ια is supposed as referring to a deity precursor of Artemis. Modern scholars mostly accept the identification.The ancient Latin writers Varro and Cicero considered the etymology of Dīāna as allied to that of dies and connected to the shine of the Moon.Diana was worshiped in ancient Roman religion and is revered in Roman Neopaganism and Stregheria. Dianic Wicca, a largely feminist form of the practice, is named for her. Diana was known to be the virgin goddess and looked after virgins and women. She was one of the three maiden goddesses, Diana, Minerva and Vesta, who swore never to marry. Oak groves were especially sacred to her. According to mythology, Diana was born with her twin brother Apollo on the island of Delos, daughter of Jupiter and Latona. Diana made up a triad with two other Roman deities: Egeria the water nymph, her servant and assistant midwife; and Virbius, the woodland god. The persona of Diana is complex and contains a number of archaic features. According to Dumezil[32] it falls into a particular subset of celestial gods, referred to in histories of religion as frame gods. Such gods, while keeping the original features of celestial divinities, i.e. transcendent heavenly power and abstention from direct rule in worldly matters, did not share the fate of other celestial gods in Indoeuropean religions – that of becoming dei otiosi,[33] since they did retain a particular sort of influence over the world and mankind. The celestial character of Diana is reflected in her connexion with light, inaccessibility, virginity, and her preference for dwelling on high mountains and in sacred woods. Diana therefore reflects the heavenly world (diuum means sky or open air) in its sovereignty, supremacy, impassibility, and indifference towards such secular matters as the fates of mortals and states. At the same time, however, she is seen as active in ensuring the succession of kings and in the preservation of humankind through the protection of childbirth. These functions are apparent in the traditional institutions and cults related to the goddess. 1) The institution of the rex Nemorensis, Diana’s sacerdos (priest) in the Arician wood, who held the position till someone else challenged and killed him in a duel, after breaking a branch from a certain tree of the wood. This ever open succession reveals the character and mission of the goddess as a guarantor of kingly status through successive generations.[34] Her function as bestower of authority to rule is also attested in the story related by Livy in which a Sabine man who sacrifices a heifer to Diana wins for his country the seat of the Roman empire.[35] 2) Diana was also worshipped by women who wanted to be pregnant or who, once pregnant, prayed for an easy delivery. This form of worship is attested in archeological finds of votive statuettes in her sanctuary in the nemus Aricinum as well as in ancient sources, e.g. Ovid.[36] Diana often appeared as a young woman, age around 12 to 19. It was believed that she had a fair face like Aphrodite with a tall body, slim, small hips, and a high forehead. As a goddess of hunting, she wore a very short tunic so she could hunt and run easily and is often portrayed holding a bow, and carrying a quiver on her shoulder, accompanied by a deer or hunting dog. Sometimes the hunted creature would also be shown. As goddess of the moon, however, Diana wore a long robe, sometimes with a veil covering her head. Both as goddess of hunting and goddess of the moon she is frequently portrayed wearing a moon crown. In Rome the cult of Diana should have been almost as old as the city itself as Varro mentions her in the list of deities to whom king Titus Tatius vowed a shrine. It is noteworthy that the list includes Luna and Diana Lucina as separate entities. Another testimony to the high antiquity of her cult is to be found in the lex regia of king Tullus Hostilius that condemns those guilty of incest to the sacratio to the goddess. Diana was worshipped at a festival on August 13,[37] when King Servius Tullius, himself born a slave, dedicated her temple on the Aventine Hill in the mid-sixth century BC. Being placed on the Aventine, and thus outside the pomerium, meant that Diana’s cult essentially remained a foreign one, like that of Bacchus; she was never officially transferred to Rome as Juno was after the sack of Veii. It seems that her cult originated in Aricia,[38] where her priest, the Rex Nemorensis remained. There the simple open-air fane was held in common by the Latin tribes,[39] which Rome aspired to weld into a league and direct. Diana of the wood was soon thoroughly Hellenized,[40] “a process which culminated with the appearance of Diana beside Apollo in the first lectisternium at Rome.”[41] Diana was regarded with great reverence by lower-class citizens and slaves; slaves could receive asylum in her temples. According to Françoise Hélène Pairault’s study,[42] historical and archaeological evidence point to the fact that both Diana of the Aventine and Diana Nemorensis were the product of the direct or indirect influence of the cult of Artemis spread by the Phoceans among the Greek towns of Campania Cuma and Capua. Though some Roman patrons ordered marble replicas of the specifically Anatolian “Diana” of Ephesus, where the Temple of Artemis stood, Diana was usually depicted for educated Romans in her Greek guise. If she is accompanied by a deer, as in the Diana of Versailles (illustration, above right) this is because Diana was the patroness of hunting. The deer may also offer a covert reference to the myth of Acteon (or Actaeon), who saw her bathing naked. Diana transformed Acteon into a stag and set his own hunting dogs to kill him. Worship of Diana is mentioned in the Bible. In Acts of the Apostles, Ephesian metal smiths who felt threatened by Saint Paul’s preaching of Christianity, jealously rioted in her defense, shouting “Great is Diana of the Ephesians!”[43] After the city secretary (γραμματεύς) quieted the crowd, he said, “Men of Ephesus, what person is there who does not know that the city of the Ephesians is the keeper (guardian) of the temple of the great Diana and of her image that fell from heaven?”[44]

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[29]Greek poets could not decide whether her bow was silver or gold: “Over the shadowy hills and windy peaks she draws her golden bow.” (Homeric Hymn to Artemis), and it is a golden bow as well in Ovid, Metamorphoses 1.693, where her nymph’s is of horn. “And how often goddess, didst thou make trial of thy silver bow?”, asks Callimachus for whom it is a Cydonian bow that the Cyclopes make for her (Callimachus, Hymn 3 to Artemis).

[30] Israel Regardie, A Garden of Pomegrenates, p. 82.
[31] See G.Dumézil La religion Romaine archaique Paris, 1974, part 3, chap. 1.
[32] G. Dumezil La religion Romaine archaique Paris 1974, part 3, chap.1.
[33] Mircea Eliade Traite’ d’histoire des religions Paris, 1954.
[34] Ovid Fasti III, 262-271.
[35] Titus Livius Ab urbe condita 1:31-1:60.
[36] Ovid Fasti III,262-271.
[37] The date coincides with the founding dates celebrated at Aricium. Arthur E. Gordon, “On the Origin of Diana”, Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association 63 (1932, pp. 177-192) p 178.
[38] Her cult at Aricia was first attested in Latin literature by Cato the Elder, in a surviving quote by the late grammarian Priscian. Supposed Greek origins for the Aricia cult are strictly a literary topos. (See A.E. Gordon “On the Origin of Diana” in Transactions of the AMerican Philological Association 63 1932 p.178 note, and p. 181).
[39] commune Latinorum Dianae templum in Varro, Lingua Latina V.43; the cult there was of antiqua religione in Pliny’s Natural History, xliv. 91, 242 and Ovid’s Fasti III 327-331.
[40] The Potnia Theron aspect of Hellenic Artemis is represented in Capua and Signia, Greek cities of Magna Graecia, in the fifth century BCE.
[41] Gordon 1932:179.
[42] “Diana Nemorensis, déesse latine, déesse hellénisée” in Mélanges d’archéologie et d’histoire 81 1969 p. 425-471.
[43] The Bible, Acts 19:28.
[44]The Bible, Acts 19:36.

The Sacred Animal Correspondence #1: The Horse

arabian_horseThe totem animal attributions for this 25th path of the Tree of Life are the horse and the dog.[45] The reason why the horse is attributed here, Aleister Crowley tells us, is that “besides being partly a horse; the horse itself is connected with the idea of hunting and speed.”[46] In this connection with speed it is important here to make the distinction between the speed of Sagittarius “which is the flickering of a dying fire,” and the speed of mercury which is “the speed of thought or electricity.”[47] The horse (Equus ferus caballus)[48] is one of two extant subspecies of Equus ferus, or the wild horse. It is a single-hooved (ungulate) mammal belonging to the taxonomic family Equidae. Horses’ anatomy enables them to make use of speed to escape predators and they have a well-developed sense of balance and a strong fight-or-flight instinct. Horses in warfare have been seen for most of recorded history. The first archaeological evidence of horses used in warfare dates to between 4000 to 3000 BC, and the use of horses in warfare was widespread by the end of the Bronze Age.[49] Horses were also used to perform hard work, especially in agriculture and for transport as far back in human history. Their strenght and endurance demonstrated in the accomplishment of those tasks since immemorial times earned them an indestructible association with “muscular power” in the human psyche. An example of that is the fact that the term “horsepower” was coined when came the time to invent a scale to measure the output power of engines and machinery; and this is why we are still using the linguistic metaphor “strong as a horse” in our everyday conversations. In the same frame of mind, once past puberty, the young man takes the horse as a symbol, in the fullest sense of the term, of what Paul Diel calls “the driving forces of the libido,” with all this implies in terms of fire, fruitfulness and warmheartedness. As a symbol of strength, of the creative forces and of youth, and acquiring a sexual as well as a spiritual valence, the horse now share symbolically in both the chthonian and the celestial planes. Although its origins were in the Underworld,[50] the horse gradually became a creature of the Heaven and the Sun. The Indian horse, the asha, literally meaning “that which pierces,” its penetration being that of the light. The horse is a fabulous striving power to we we aspire for good and ill will. We tamed them. They came to know us. We whispered to them and they understood us. We broke them and they gave us their services. We tied them to our plows and carts, we settled the Wild West upon their backs, and they have carried us into and through countless warsa and expansive conquests. They have served as a symbol of aristocracy and enticed our betting minds. Our struggle for freedom has been won through the freedom they have sacrificed for us in exchange for a powerful mutual bond and benefit. Yet our freedom can dangerously turn into a miscarriage of the sacrifice, which means that we can become possessed by our galloping unconscious power drives and filled with inflated pride or runaway dreams of conquest. No wonder that the sacred horse sacrifice, such as the Hindu Ashvamedha, was central to many ancient peoples who held freedom, power and mysteries of tile life, death, and renewal in balance through this ancient cult ritual. The horse, intimately tied our psyche and civilisation, has symbolically and literally brought both death and salvation. The Tantric emblem of the Bodhisatva Avalokitesvara, the horse symbolizes the power of his grace scattered to the Four quarters of the Earth. In the Bardo Thodol, Ratnasambhava, the Buddha of the South and a solar symbol, sits on a throne built up of horses. He is also a symbol of wisdom and physical beauty. The horse is a “transcendence” for man. Posseidon, god of the sea and quaking earth, gave the horse to mankind, but Athena of wise counsel gave us the bridle. With these gifts we have transcended the literal limits of space, time and strength by harnessing horsepower to our effort, while in imagination, the horse has become an even greater chthonic power animal of the cosmic beyond, magically capable of beating a hoof to bring forth springs of living water, soaring winged into the sky, driving the sun across the heaven or inspiring fear and dread ad the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse. In Buddhist, as well as Hindu texts and in Greek writers under Plato’s influence, horses are above all else symbols of the senses harnessed to the chariot of the spirit and controlled by the Self who is the charioteer. In the same way, the teachings of the Bardo are said to be like the bridle which controls the horse’s mouth. The Greek Goddess Artemis, which is an attribution for this 25th path also have a chariot. The story of her encounter with pan tells how she captured six golden-horned deer to pull her chariot. Artemis’ chariot was made of gold and was pulled by four golden horned deer (Elaphoi Khrysokeroi) not horses. The bridles of her chariot were also made of gold.[51] Helios, which is sometimes identified with Apollo, was imagined as a handsome god crowned with the shining aureole of the Sun, who drove the chariot of the sun across the sky each day to earth-circling Oceanus and through the world-ocean returned to the East at night. It would be nice to be able to cite the chariot as a sacred attribute of Apollo, which is one of the Greek deity attributed to this 25th path of the Tree of Life, but unfortunately the link established between the two is tenuous at best. It is true that, as time passed, Helios was increasingly identified with the god of light, Apollo;[52] however, in spite of their syncretism, Apollo and Helios were also often viewed as two distinct gods.[53] The sun-god, the son of Hyperion, with his sun chariot, though often called Phoebus (“shining”)[54] is not called Apollo except in purposeful non-traditional identifications. Despite these identifications, Apollo was never actually described by the Greek poets and philosophers as driving the chariot of the sun, although it was common practice among Latin poets. [55] Therefore, Helios is still known as the ‘sun god’ – the one who drives the sun chariot across the sky each day. In Greek myths, the horses carrying the chariot are described as “wingned,”[56] “swift footed”[57] and “firefed.”[58] The white horse of the Sun, drawing the Sun-god’s chariot, becomes an image of what beauty gained when the spirit (the Charioter) controls the senses. In the western culture a great deal of attention is accorded to “pale” or white horses. The white horse, whose whiteness is considered dazzling by most, is everywhere recognized as the symbol of majesty. Generaly it is ridden by him whom the Book of Revelation calls “Faithfull and True,” which generally refers to Christ. St John goes on to describe the heavenly host mounted on white chargers and this is why, in medieval iconography, angels are depicted on horseback. This whole process of ascention culminates in the figure of the majestic white horse, the steed of heroes, saints and spiritual victors. All great messianic figures ride such horses. This is the reason why, in Hinduism, Kalkin, the future avatar (incarnation) of the god Vishnu, will be a white horse. We can hear almost the same story in the Islamic world; according to the Quran, at his expected coming, the Prophet Muhammad will also be riding a white horse. Lastly the white horse which the Buddha rode at the Great Departure, riderless, stands for the Buddha himself. It would seem that the horse is one of those basic archetypes firmly embedded in folk-memory. Its symbolism encompasses both poles of the cosmos, the upper and the lower, and hence it is truly universal. The Norse God, Odin, “Swift” and “Shaker,” rides his eight-legged white steed Sleipnir, gathering the dead, a ride which induced such fear in the countryside folk that they would lay fodder aside for Sleipnir as he passed,[59] while at the end of this dark age the tenth incarnation of Vishnu as the white steed Kalki will bring forth a new world. Mounted on horseback, heroes and dreamers, ride upon very close but unknown raw powers of their animal self and intelligence, challenged with quickened libido and pulsing drive. They must tune to these and hold them well is life is to be lived as fully embodied spiritual adventure of heart and mind. The questing medieval knight on horseback is an archetypal image of the utmost of such attunement along a dangerous path toward inner and spiritual truth, while countless fairy tales heroes enter the woods and emerge victorious from threatning and enemied darkness only through surrender to the will and counsel of magical horse who knows the way. In Grimm’s tale “The Goose Girl,” the head of the slain horse Falada takes on a guardian and oracular quality, speaking to the suffering heroine of her mother and reminding her or her origins and truth, for as the symbol of the deepest original animal nature closest to us the horse is mother, like the horse-headed Demeter, or the Cerltic goddess with horse, Epona. The horse is also a warrior and sacred to Mars, but the warrior hero’s treasure lies in how he transmute the litteral power of the horse into new awareness. Hold your horses, Phaeton could not hold his and met a disastrous death. He tricked his father Apollo/Helios into allowing him to take control of the great chariot of the sun for a day, but the horses sensed a weaker hand and tore off out of control, endangering the order of the universe. There are nightmare horses of frenetic and crazy power, horses out of control, horses running away with us, getting loose, stanpeeding, destroying. An urge to be set free from this life can take hold. The nightmare, coming from the Indo-German “mer” meaning to “pulverise” or “crush” and links linguistically to words implying putrefaction and rotting, a process paradoxically valued by the alchemists, as decay is nature’s ground for the new. They incubated the matter of their work in horse’s dung, a containment referred to as the “horse’s belly,” imagining that the gold, or highest value, would come forth from the waste as its very ground. Thus, psychologically seeing through the horseshit without defense tames the nightmare mind and whisper to the mad horse that smeells our fear. The nightmare hag-on-horseback, or the black demon-horse mount of Hel,[60] breathes a dreadful and otherwordly air upon the dreamer and tugs him into a land of destructive mania and sexual violence masked by illusion. Such was the vulnerability of the adolescent protagonist of Peter Schaffer’s Equus taken down by the demonic seduction of his nighmarish love for a horse.

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[45] Stephen Hoeller, The Fool’s Pilgrimage. Kabbalistic Meditation on the Tarot, p. 53
[46] Aleister Crowley, 777 and Other Qabalistic Writtings, p. 93.
[47] Aleister Crowley, 777 and Other Qabalistic Writtings, p. 93.
[48] Grubb, Peter (16 November 2005). “Order Perissodactyla (pp. 629-636)”. In Wilson, Don E., and Reeder, DeeAnn M., eds. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2 vols. (2142 pp.). p. 630-631;International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (2003). “Usage of 17 specific names based on wild species which are pre-dated by or contemporary with those based on domestic animals (Lepidoptera, Osteichthyes, Mammalia): conserved. Opinion 2027 (Case 3010)”. Bull.Zool.Nomencl. 60 (1): 81–84.
[49] Whitaker, Julie; Whitelaw, Ian (2007). The Horse: A Miscellany of Equine Knowledge. New York: St. Martin’s Press.pp. 30–31
[50] A belief deeply seated in folk memory throughout the world, associates the horse in the begining of time with darkness and with the chtonian world from which it sprang, cantering like blodd pulsating in the veins, out of the bowels of thee earth from the depths of the sea. This archetypal horse was the mysterious child of darkness and carrier both of death and of life, linked as it was to the destructive yet triumphant powers of Fire and to the nurturing yet suffocating powers of Water.
[51] Homeric Hymn 9 to Artemis (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C7th or 6th B.C.); Callimachus, Hymn 3 to Artemis 98 ff (trans. Mair) (Greek poet C3rd B.C.); Callimachus, Hymn 3 to Artemis 138 ff; Callimachus, Hymn 3 to Artemis 170 ff; Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 3. 879 ff (trans. Rieu) (Greek epic C3rd B.C.).
[52] The earliest certain reference to Apollo identified with Helios appears in the surviving fragments of Euripides’ play Phaethon in a speech near the end, Clymene, Phaethon’s mother, laments that Helios has destroyed her child, that Helios whom men rightly call Apollo (the name Apollo is here understood to mean Apollon “Destroyer”. See Euripides, Phaethon, fr 781 N². The identification became a commonplace in philosophic texts and appears in the writing of Parmenides, Empedocles, Plutarch and Crates of Thebes among others, as well as appearing in some Orphic texts.
[53] One just has to remember the fact that Helios was a Titan, whereas Apollo was an Olympian.
[54]Classical Latin poets also used Phoebus as a byname for the sun-god, whence come common references in later European poetry to Phoebus and his car (“chariot”) as a metaphor for the sun.
[55] It was really only the Latin poets, such as Ovid, Virgil and Seneca, who truly conflated the gods. Even in poets like Ovid, however, it is worth noting that the sun-god is often titled “Phoebus,” but never directly referred to as “Apollo.” Further, the same poets who mention Phoebus the sun, often call him “Hyperionides” (the son of Hyperion), and “Titan” (the Titan god) in the same passage. The name “Apollo,” on the other hand, is used almost exclusively for non-solar references, i.e. Apollon as the god of music, oracles and poetry.
[56] Ovid, Fasti 3. 415 ff.
[57] Homeric Hymn 37 to Athena 12 ff.
[58] Nonnus, Dionysiaca 12. 1 ff
[59] Mercante, Anthony S. Zoo of the Gods: Animals in Myth, Legend. & Fable. NY, 1974, p. 74.
[60] Herzog, Edgar, (1966), Psyche and Death: Archaic Myths and Modern Dreams in Analytical Psychology, London, p. 66ff.

The Sacred Animal Correspondence #2: The Dog

dogThe dog is also attributed to this 25th path of the Tree of Life because “the dog is sacred to the huntress Artemis.”[61] The dog has been attributed to another path under the form of the Cerberus casted in the role of gardian of the gateway to the underworld, but the aspects of the dog that is the essence of this attribution are his propensities for the hunt and his superior acuity of his sense of olfaction and audition. What modern calls “the domestic dog” (Canis lupus familiaris and Canis lupus dingo) is a domesticated form of the gray wolf, a member of the Canidae family of the order Carnivora. The dog may have been the first animal to be domesticated, and has been the most widely kept working, hunting, and companion animal in human history.[62] Their value to early human settlements led to them quickly becoming ubiquitous across world cultures. Over the 15,000-year span in which the dog has been domesticated form the wolf, [63] it has diverged into only a handful of landraces, groups of similar animals whose morphology and behavior have been shaped by environmental factors and functional roles. Through selective breeding by humans, the dog has developed into hundreds of varied breeds, and shows more behavioral and morphological variation than any other land mammal.[64] Man has been tied the dog as his ultimate animal friend and ally for thousands of years. The uncanny superiority of his senses, his capacity to track a smell over immense distances, his sureness of direction, his keen feeling for truth of heart, have been our extension into realms where we could not venture unaided by his guidance. While the human brain is dominated by a large visual cortex, the dog brain is dominated by an olfactory cortex. The olfactory bulb in dogs is roughly forty times bigger than the olfactory bulb in humans, relative to total brain size, with 125 to 220 million smell-sensitive receptors. The bloodhound exceeds this standard with nearly 300 million receptors.[65] Subsequently, it has been estimated that dogs, in general, have an olfactory sense ranging from one hundred thousand to one million times more sensitive than a human’s. In some dog breeds, such as bloodhounds, the olfactory sense may be up to 100 million times greater than a human’s.It is the reason why he can find what we have lost in the proverbial woods of the unknown, and gain nurturance from the hunt; in some cultures he was felt to commune with the spirit world. The frequency range of dog hearing is approximately 40 Hz to 60,000 Hz, which means that dogs can detect sounds far beyond the upper limit of the human auditory spectrum.[66] In addition, dogs have ear mobility, which allows them to rapidly pinpoint the exact location of a sound. Eighteen or more muscles can tilt, rotate, raise, or lower a dog’s ear. A dog can identify a sound’s location much faster than a human can, as well as hear sounds at four times the distance.While a dog’s visual acuity is poor, their visual discrimination for moving objects is very high; dogs have been shown to be able to discriminate between humans (e.g., identifying their owner) at a range of between 800 and 900 m, however this range decreases to 500–600 m if the object is stationary.The first dog that ever hunted in company with man was probably the one who used to follow the mighty Nimrod. It was unquestionably a species of tawny greyhound, still to be seen in Syria and Egypt, and powerful enough to seize and strangle the wild boar. All nations of classic antiquity have in tun claimed the honor of the birth-place of the hunting dog. The Greek mythology has many legends, the most striking is of which is, that the twins of Leda first followed game, and we have Castor and Pollux among the stars still engaged in their favourite pursuits. The type of primitive anima is best preserved, among those familiar to us, in the European shepherd dog. It is a light animal, cut for the course, with eyes piercing, ears fine and straight, air alert and spiritual. Its coast of hair is rough and its tail sweeps the ground. All hunting-dogs that we now possess proceed from this breed. In the Celtic world the dog, or hound, was associated with the warrior caste. In contrast with the Greco-Roman world, the hound was used as an object of laudatory comparison and metaphor. The name of their greatest hero, Cùchulainn, means ‘Houd of Culann’ and we know that all Celts, both insular and continental, trained dogs for war and hunting. To compare a hero with a hound was to do him honour and to pay tribute to his valour in battle. There is a complete absence of the pejorative and there does not seem to have been hell-hound like Cerberus. The dog in nowhere spoken with kindness in the Old Testament or the New; and the Jews in the Eastern countries retain their dislike to the animal even to this day. In even worst in Islam where they seem to have pictured the dog as embodying almost all that is utterly vile in creation.[67] It is well know that the domestic dog has a predisposition to exhibit a social intelligence that is uncommon in the animal world. Dogs are capable of learning in a number of ways, such as through simple reinforcement (e.g., classical or operant conditioning) and by observation.Dogs also demonstrate sophisticated social cognition by associating behavioral cues with abstract meanings.[68] One such class of social cognition involves the understanding that others are conscious agents. Scientific behavioral research has shown that dogs are capable of interpreting subtle social cues, and appear to recognize when a human or dog’s attention is focused on them. The German philosopher Arthur Shopenhauer was quite an admirator of the dog, going as far as to say that he personally prefers their company to that of human beings. In his Parerga and Paralipomena he speaks very highly of their “moral and intellectual qualities.”[69] Somewhere else, in an interview, he goes on to make the apology of their honesty and transparency,[70] saying that the friendly swingning of the tail that dogs are known for is far more authentic and welcoming than all the hypocrit fake smiles, frowns, and horrible facial rictus that human beings are exchanging in their everyday face to face interactions. Homer has used the faithfulness of the dog to give point to one of his most beautiful episode. In Homer’s the Odyssey, Argos (Greek: Άργος) is Odysseus’ faithful dog. After twenty years struggling to get home to Ithaca, Odysseus finally arrives at his homeland. In his absence, reckless suitors have taken over his house in hopes of marrying his wife Penelope. In order to secretly re-enter his house to ultimately spring a surprise attack on the suitors, Odysseus disguises himself as a beggar, and only his son Telemachus knows his true identity. As Odysseus approaches his home, he finds Argos lying neglected on a pile of cow manure, infested with lice, old and very tired. This is a sharp contrast to the dog Odysseus left behind; Argos used to be known for his speed and strength and his superior tracking skills. Argos recognizes Odysseus at once and he has just enough strength to drop his ears and wag his tail but cannot get up to greet his master. Once Odysseus passes by (but not without shedding a tear for his dog) and enters his hall, Argos dies. The simplicity of the relationship between Argos and Odysseus allows their reunion to be immediate and sincere.[71]Dogs never desert their masters, their indefectible fidelity is notorious all around the world and this is why they are regarded everywhere in various mythologies as accompagnying their masters even unto death and as guide in the afterlife. Sometimes they even follow their masters in Heavens, like it was the case for the Chinese alchemist Wei Po-yang[72] who supposedly ascended into heaven with his dog.[73] The more we think about it, the more we realise that it was in fact a real blessing, we might say, that this marvellous animal has been willing to come into our civilized world, separating himself from his wolfish ancestry, to take his place at man’s side with such a friendly attitude, a blossoming of unconditional love and devotion that sometimes surpasses our own. It’s mainly because he was willing to pay the price of separating himself from the wildest sides of his nature in order to team up with his human companion that the dog has assumed such a central place in mythologies as a guide between the worlds of life and death, known and unknown, human and animal, and symbolically between the conscious mind and the wilderness of the unconscious psyche and soul. In nearly every world mythology, our constant companion the dog has come to be associated with our other constant companion, death. In this context, it is striking to remember that alchemists and philosophers used the analogy of the dog devoured by the wolf for the purification of gold by antinomy, the penultimate stage of the ‘Great Work.’ Now dog and wolf are none other than the two aspects of the symbol in question,. Which undoubtedly is resolved in this esoteric image as well as being given its deepest significance. Simultaneously dog and wolf, the sage – or saint – purifies himself by devouring himself; in other words, by an act of self-sacrifice he finally reaches the last stage oif spiritual self-mastery.

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[61] Aleister Crowley, 777 and Other Qabalistic Writtings, p. 94.
[62]The word “dog” may also mean the male of a canine species, as opposed to the word “bitch” for the female of the species.
[63]Savolainen P, Zhang YP, Luo J, Lundeberg J, Leitner T (November 2002). “Genetic evidence for an East Asian origin of domestic dogs”. Science 298 (5598): 1610–3.
[64]Spady TC, Ostrander EA (January 2008). “Canine Behavioral Genetics: Pointing Out the Phenotypes and Herding up the Genes”. American Journal of Human Genetics 82 (1): 10–8.
[65] See Coren, Stanley (2004). How Dogs Think. First Free Press, Simon & Schuster.
[66] See Alderton, David (1984). The Dog. Chartwell Books.
[67] Dogs are also regarded as unclean. Jinns often appeared in the shape of black dogs. Dogs howling near a house presage death and their flesh is used as a preservative against barrenness, ill-luck, etc.
[68]Coren, Stanley (2004). How Dogs Think. First Free Press, Simon & Schuster.
[69] “Ideas Concerning the Intellect Generally and In All Respects,” in Parerga and Paralipomena, Volume II (translated by E. F. J. Payne), page 82.
[70] “Ce qui rend la société de mon chien si agreeable, […] c’est la transparence de son être. » (Didier, Raymond (1992), Entretients [avec Arthur Shopenhauer] Criterion, Paris, p. 112.)
[71] See Homer. Odyssey. Trans. Stanley Lombardo. Canada: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 2000. Print.
[72] Wei Po-yang was a Taoist philosopher, who wrote the earliest known Chinese treatise on alchemy and is considered by most as “The Father of Alchemy.”
[73] He did so after having testing a pill of immortality he manage to produce through alchemical manipulations. The dog died, he did too after taking the pill anyway, and one of his disciples followed him. The others disciples were sceptic and did not take the pill. After they were gone, He took the disciple, whose name was Yü, and the dog, and went the way of immortals.

The Sacred Plant Correspondence: Rush

goldstrike-rushThe sacred plant correspondence for the 25th path is the rush. The main reason for this attribution follows closely the lead established by the Greek Deity attributions (which are all archers) and the magical weapon attribution for this path (which is the arrow); so logically rush has been designed as the sacred plant of the 25 path of the Tree of Life because it is “used for making arrows.”[74] Juncaceae, the rush family, are a monocotyledonous family of flowering plants. There are eight genera and about 400 species. Members of the Juncaceae are slow-growing, rhizomatous, herbaceous plants, and they may superficially resemble grasses. They often grow on infertile soils in a wide range of moisture conditions. The most well-known and biggest genus is Juncus. Most of the Juncus species grow exclusively in wetland habitats. A few rushes are annuals, but most are perennials.The early sprouts of soft rush were sometimes eaten raw by the Snoqualmie of Washington. Juncus shoots were eaten raw, roasted in ashes, or boiled by Maidu, Luiseño, and others. Owens Valley Paiute ate the seeds. Soft rush stalks was gathered in wetlands and was eaten on occasion by the Nlaka’pamux and Lillooet people of British Columbia. Soft rush, also called candle rush by the Japanese, is used for tatami mats. Large mats were also made by California Indians by piercing holes in Juncus and threading cordage through the holes so the Juncus stalks were aligned side-by-side. These flexible mats could be rolled and stored when not needed. The dried pith of plants of this family was used to make a type of candle known as a rushlight. In medieval Europe, loose fresh rushes would be strewn on earthen floors in dwellings for cleanliness and insulation. Particularly favored for such a purpose was Acorus calamus (Sweet Flag), however, a plant from the unrelated monocot order Acorales vernacularly called “sweet rush.”[75]

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[74] Israel Regardie, A Garden of Pomegrenates, p. 82.
[75]Burton, Alfred. Rush-bearing: An Account of the Old Custom of Strewing Rushes: Carrying Rushes to Church; The Rush-Cart; Garlands in Churches; Morris-Dancers; The Wakes; The Rush. Manchester: Brook & Chrystal, 1891; pp. 1-12

The Perfume Correspondence: Lignaloes or Aloes

aloe-veraThe perfume correspondence for this 25th path of the qabalistic Tree of Life is lignaloes,[76] or simply aloes.[77] The reason for this attribution according to British occultist Aleister Crowley, is that “The perfume of Lingum Aloes, intuitively suggests horsemanship in an airy racecourse… It is therefore to Sagittarius… as the path leading form Yesod to Tiphareth, that is this perfume apply…”[78] Obviously the connection explaining this perfume attribution must be understood through the sacred animal correspondence of this path, which is the horse, in order to get in touch with this peculiar fragrance that Crowley describe as intuitively evoking an equestrial ambiance. Aloes is the commonly use term for agar oil.[79] Aquilaria agallocha is the source oif the tree’s fungus infected wood, which is distilled for the odoriferous oil. The fragrance of aloes is mentioned in the Bible, more specifically in the Book of Proverbs, where we find the following sentence: “I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamond.”[80] The term aloes-wood is used to signify many frangrant woods.[81] Aloes-wood (Heb. ‘ahalim), a fragrant wood, corresponds to the Aquilaria agallochum of botanists, or more specifically, as some suppose, to the costly gum or perfume that is usually extracted from the wood. These kinds of trees are found in China, Siam, and Northern India, and grow to the height sometimes of 120 feet. This species is of great rarity even in India. There is another and more common species, called by Indians aghil, whence Europeans have given it the name of Lignum aquile, or eagle-wood. Aloewood was used by the Egyptians for embalming dead bodies. Nicodemus brought it (pounded aloe-wood) to embalm the body of Christ;[82] but whether this was the same as that mentioned elsewhere is uncertain. True agar wood has been known and used perhaps as long as sandalwood. Lign-aloes is also refered in the Bible, but according to modern scholars, lign aloes is a corruption of the Latin lignum aloes and is thus a type of wood rather than a resin.[83] Ancient Greek botanist Dioscorides[84] refers as to agallochon as a wood imported from Arabia or India. He noted that it was odoriferous, with an astringent or a bitter taste. The traditional magical use is for protection and healing. Fungus infected trees produced the oleoresin which is then distilled under pressure. Agar oil range from pale yellow to dark amber. This very viscous liquid is sweet and rich with a woody-balsamic note and a sweetness reminiscent of sandalwood.[85]

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[76] Israel Regardie, A Garden of Pomegrenates, p. 82.
[77] Stephen Hoeller, The Fool’s Pilgrimage. Kabbalistic Meidtation on the Tarot, p. 53.
[78] Aleister Crowley, 777, p???
[79] Richard A. Miller, Iona Miller (1990), The Magical and Ritual Use of Perfumes, Bears & Co. p. 106.
[80] The Bible, Proverbs 7:17.
[81] The Bible, Numbers 24:6; Psalms 45:8; Proverbs 7:17; Cant 4:14.
[82] The Bible, John 19:39.
[83] Richard A. Miller, Iona Miller (1990), The Magical and Ritual Use of Perfumes, Bears & Co. p. 106.
[84]Pedanius Dioscorides (Greek: Πεδάνιος Διοσκουρίδης; circa 40—90 AD) was a Greek physician, pharmacologist and botanist, the author of De Materia Medica — a 5-volume encyclopedia about herbal medicine and related medicinal substances (a pharmacopeia), that was widely read for more than 1,500 years.
[85] Richard A. Miller, Iona Miller (1990), The Magical and Ritual Use of Perfumes, Bears & Co. p. 106.

The Sacred Color Correspondence: Green& Blue

00FF00The sacred color attributions for this 25th path of the Tree of Life are green[86] and blue.[87]

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[86] Israel Regardie, A Garden of Pomegrenates, p. 82.
[87] Stephen Hoeller, The Fool’s Pilgrimage. Kabbalistic Meditation on the Tarot, p. 53.

The Magical Weapon: The Rainbow & the Arrow

arrowwssThe magical weapon correspondence for this 26th path of the qabalistic Tree of Life is the arrow. This attribution, obviously, follow closely the mythos of the Greek deity attributions and even the zodiacal attribution which are all archers. Israel Regardie points out, in his book A Garden of Pomegrenates, that the rainbow is also a correspondence here because of the Hebrew letter attribution of Samekh, “and in this connection the god Ares is attributed.”[88] In his qabalistic writtings, Crowley goes on to say that “the Arrow is sacred to the rainbow symbolism.”[89] The arrow attributed as a magical weapon on this path, he add, must be understood in terms of a “swift and straight application of force.”[90] Considered as a symbol of the tooth, the dart, sharp object which flies through the air to surprise and kill its victim at a distance, the arrow was invoked as a goddess to protect some and strike down others in the Rig-Veda.[91] The arrow also symbolizes sudden, terrifying death: Apollo, death-god in the Iliad, slays Niobe’s children with his arrows. According to Crowley the arrow “represents especially the spiritualisation of the magical energy, being a missile sped through the air, no longer connected physically with the material form of the magician.”[92] The accuracy of the arrow’s aim and the force of its impact depend on the strength of whoever draws the bow. It is almost as if the arrow has identified with the archer who projects himself and hurls himself upon his prey. Thus the arrows of the gods never miss their mark. Those of Apollo, Artemis and Eros were always supposed to strike the heart. Thought strikes home like an arrow and rives the soul with a torment which cannot be assuaged. If love’s arrows never miss, they are activated by a lightning glance of the eyes. ‘The Lover,’ Alexander of Aphrodisias explains, “simultaneously beholds and desires, and his yearning makes him send out a continuous stream of beams towards the object of his desire. The beams may be likened to a fight of arrow which the lover shoots at his beloved.”[93] Ovid informs us, uses two types pf arrows wich always hit their mark: if they are tipped with gold they kindle passion, but it tipped with lead they extinguish it.

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[88] Israel Regardie, A Garden of Pomegrenates, p. 82.
[89] Aleister Crowley, 777. And Other Qabalistic Writtings, p.111.
[90] Aleister Crowley, 777. And Other Qabalistic Writtings, p.104.
[91] Rig-Veda, 6:75.
[92] Aleister Crowley, 777. And Other Qabalistic Writtings, p.111-112.
[93] Tervarent, Guy de (1959), Attributs et Symboles and l’Art Profane, 1450-1600, Geneva, p.186.

The Jewel Correspondence: Jacinth

jacinth-orange-zircon-cambodiaThe precious stone attribution for this 26th path of the Tree of Life is jacinth, “which in reality refers to the beautiful boy Hyacinth who was killed accidentally by Apollo with a quoit.”[94] Crowley agrees to say that “the attribution is somewhat far-fetched – from the blood of the boy to the traditional weapon of his lover.”[95] Jacinth is a red transparent variety of zircon used as a gemstone. Jacinth is also a flower of a reddish blue or deep purple (hyacinth), and hence a precious stone of that colour.[96] It has been supposed to designate the same stone as the ligure (Hebrew leshem) mentioned in Exodus[97] as the first stone of the third row in the high priest’s breast-plate, the Hoshen. In Revelation[98] the word is simply descriptive of colour. Jacinth is also mentioned in the apocryphal Book of Enoch, where in Enoch’s first journey through earth and Sheol, he enounters a enormous mountain of jacinth, or jacinth-like in appearance.[99] Pure jacinth contains a very uncommon, precious metal named Zirconium. As it contains such precious metal, it is named Jacinth. Its color is purple tinged with yellow luster; it is also violet and olive. Inner part of it looks like brilliant bubbles. Jacinth with purple luster, which is also crystal and bright, works better. Pure or genuine Jacinth does not receive any mark or it does not erode if you scratch it on a touchstone. Singholi and Italian jacinth are crystal, beautiful and they have bright luster. According to palmistry and horoscope, one can wear jacinth in order to be protected from the phase of influence of the ascending node, also in order to be free from the evil influence of ascending node. If you use this gemstone named Jacinth, you may get protection from being involved in suits and cases, sudden dangers, debts and loans, etc. According to Parashar Pundit, person who is a Jatok/Jatika of Virgo/Scorpio should wear Jacinth on Scorpio occasion. According to a good number of scholars, religious leaders, wearing Jacinth protects one from sudden danger or from accidents and dispels ill fortune. How to use and weight: It should be worn in a gold ring or a locket. Ring worn Middle finger, locket in the neck, even you can wear it right arm for male and left arm for female. After binding the gems it is essential to purification it (Shodhon) and the wear it best day, lagna, thithi and auspicious time which note down by me or your personal astrologer. Jacinth should be weight above 10 Carat.

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[94]Quoits (koits, kwoits) is a traditional game which involves the throwing of metal, rope or rubber rings over a set distance, usually to land over or near a spike (sometimes called a hob, mott or pin).
[95] Aleister Crowley, 777. And Other Qabalistic Writtings, p.104.
[96] The Bible, Revelation 21:20.
[97] The Bible, Exodus 28:19
[98] The Bible, Revelation 9:17.
[99] The Book of Enoch XVIII: 6-7.

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