July 17, 2019
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The General Description of the Path

teth-500x450--This is path number nineteen, which is the second barrier or cross path that runs between Chesed and Geburah. Those paths on the Tree which are horizontal and join together a male and female Sephirah are termed reciprocal paths.[1] The fourteenth was the first of these; this nineteenth path is the second, linking Might with Mercy, Justice with Love. As the second cross path, “The force of the sublimated beast, the raised psychosexual force, is now employed in bridging the gap between the two great opposites of Mercy and Severity.”[2] The great alchemical work of uniting sulphur and salt and the light and dark halves of the soul, Yin and Yang, is to be accomplished on this path. The Tarot card Strength is associated to the Twenty-second path on the qabalistic Tree of Life.

Life – There is a tendency in Nature towards disorder.  Wires become tangled, hair becomes knotted, and some rooms become dirty and untidy.  Empty a bag of chess pieces onto a chess board and the pieces do not spontaneously arrange themselves. There is another unexpected tendency in Nature, what is sometimes called emergence, that causes organisation to appear in the midst of disorder.  The middle ground between order and disorder, a tireless chaos in which order and disorder are equally at home, is what we call life. (Collin A. Low, The Hermetic Kabbalah, p. 331)

The keynote of this path is the following: “From the way station of balanced beauty, we move to the principle of severity, and while so doing the karmic forces of purification subject us to a thorough process of judgment.”[3] The magical motto of this path is “Be not deceived; God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”[4]

teth--

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[1] See Israel Regardie, A Garden of Pomegrenates, p. 76. The term cross path is sometimes used; see Stephen Hoeller, The Fool’s Pilgrimage. Kabbalistic Meditations on the Tarot, p. 55.
[2] Stephen Hoeller, The Fool’s Pilgrimage. Kabbalistic Meditations on the Tarot, p. 55.
[3] Stephen, A. Hoeller, The Fool’s Pilgrimage, Kabbalistic Meditations on the Tarot, p. 91.
[4] GAL. 6:7. cited in Stephen, A. Hoeller, The Fool’s Pilgrimage, Kabbalistic Meditations on the Tarot, p. 91.

 

The Hebrew Letter Correspondence: Teth (9)

teth-------------This is the ninth letter of the Hebrew alphabet. This letter means a “serpent,” which is “suggestive of the serpent of Kundalini”.[5] The numerical value is 9.

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[5] Stephen Hoeller, The Fool’s Pilgrimage. Kabbalistic Meditations on the Tarot, p. 55.

 

The Tarot Trump Correspondence: VIII – Strenght

VIII-Strenght-smallThe Tarot Trump correspondence for the 19th qabalistic Tree of Life is VIII – Strengt. The design of this card is fairly constant across tarot decks, but we can notice that the older decks had two competing symbolisms: one featured a woman holding or breaking a stone pillar, and the other featured a person, either male or female, subduing a lion. Many cards, including that of the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, have the woman clasping the lion’s jaws.The modern interpretation of the card stresses discipline and control. The lion represents the primal or id-like part of the mind, and the woman, the ‘higher’ or more elevated parts of the mind. The card tells the Querent to be wary of base emotions and impulse. For example, in The Chariot card, the Querant is fighting a battle. The difference is that in Strength, the battle is mainly internal rather than external.

The Nineth Step of the Fool’s Pilgrimage

fooooooooooollOver time, life presents the Fool with new challenges, some that cause suffering and disillusionment. He has many occasions to draw on the quality of Strength (8). He is pressed to develop his courage and resolve and find the heart to keep going despite setbacks. The Fool also discovers the quiet attributes of patience and tolerance. He realizes the willful command of the Chariot must be tempered by kindliness and the softer power of a loving approach. At times, intense passions surface, just when the Fool thought he had everything, including himself, under control.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Zodiacal Correspondence: Leo

zodiac_leo-navyThe zodiacal attribution for the 19th path of the qabalistic Tree of Life is Leo. Its name is Latin for lion. Its symbol is . Leo lies between dim Cancer to the west and Virgo to the east.The Persians called Leo Ser or Shir; the Turks, Artan; the Syrians, Aryo; the Jewish, Arye; the Indians, Simha, all meaning “lion”. In Babylonian astronomy the constellation was called UR.GU.LA – the ‘Great Lion’; the bright star, Regulus, that stands at the Lion’s breast also had distinctly regal associations as it was known as the King Star.[2] In Greek mythology, Leo was identified as the Nemean Lion which was killed by Hercules during one of his twelve labours, and subsequently put into the sky.The Roman poet Ovid called it Herculeus Leo and Violentus Leo. Bacchi Sidus (star of Bacchus) was another of its titles, the god Bacchus always being identified with this animal. However, Manilius called it Jovis et Junonis Sidus (Star of Jupiter and Juno). Early Hindu astronomers knew it as Asleha and as Sinha, the Tamil Simham.In tropical astrology, the Sun is considered to be in the sign Leo from July 22 to August 22, and in sidereal astrology, from August 16 to September 15. Leo is considered to be a “masculine”, positive (extrovert) sign. It is also considered a fire sign and is one of four fixed signs[6] ruled by the Sun. Individuals born when the Sun is in this sign are considered Leo individuals. Under the tropical zodiac, Leo is occupied by the Sun from July 22 to August 22. Under the sidereal zodiac, it is currently there roughly from August 10 to September 15. The people under this sign are considered by most modern astrologers as natural leaders. They are also considered as outgoing, proud, warm-hearted, loyal, and from their wish to excel in all they do. Leo personalities are known to love those they are close with and they wish to protect and defend all those that need it. They are people that enjoy flattery and attention from others but when not loved or when they are not reciprocated they become depressed, self-pitying and self-destructive. Individuals in this sign need love and recognition from others to boost their ego and they demand it like something for granted. People born under this sign are also invariably materialistic they set a great value to material boons and strive to financial success. They are known to have plenty of worshippers but also many hidden enemies and they are normally recognized by their self-absorbed personality and their big ego.

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[6]Jeff Mayo, Teach Yourself Astrology, pp 38-41, Hodder.

The Greek Deity Correspondence: The Agricultural Aspects of Demeter

agricultural-aspect-of-demeterThe Greek deity correspondences for the 19th path of the qabalistic Tree of Life are the agricultural aspects of the goddess Demeter. According to Israel Regardie, on of the main reason for this attribution is that Demeter and Venus, as agricultural goddesses, are usually attributed to the Hebrew letter Teth.[7] In Greek mythology, Demeter (Attic Δημήτηρ Dēmētēr. Doric Δαμάτηρ Dāmātēr) is the goddess of the harvest, who presided over grains, the fertility of the earth, and the seasons (personified by the Hours). Her common surnames are Sito (σίτος: wheat) as the giver of food or corn/grain and Thesmophoros (θεσμός, thesmos: divine order, unwritten law) as a mark of the civilized existence of agricultural society.[8] Though Demeter is often described simply as the goddess of the harvest, she presided also over the sanctity of marriage, the sacred law, and the cycle of life and death. Demeter as an agricultural goddess appears rarely in the epic poetry. In Homer’s Odyssey she is the blond-haired goddess who is separating the chaff from the grain.[9] The harvesters must pray to Zeus-Chthonios (chthonic Zeus) and Demeter so that the crop will be full and strong.[10] In the Theogony of Hesiod she is the daughter of Cronus and Rhea. At the marriage of Cadmus and Harmonia, Demeter lured Iasion away from the other revelers. They proceeded to have intercourse in a ploughed furrow in Crete; she later gave him a son, Ploutos.[11]According to the Athenian rhetorician Isocrates, the greatest gifts which Demeter gave were cereal (also known as corn in modern Britain), the cultivation of which made man different from wild animals and the Mysteries which give the initiate higher hopes in this life and the afterlife.[12]In the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, dated to about the seventh century BC,[13] she is invoked as the “bringer of seasons”, a subtle sign that she was worshipped long before she was made one of the Olympians. She and her daughter Persephone were the central figures of the Eleusinian mysteries that also predated the Olympian pantheon. In Mycenaean Pylos, Demeter and Persephone were potniai (the mistresses). In classical Greece, they were invoked as tō theō (‘the two Goddesses’) or hai despoinai (‘the Mistresses’).[14]

agricultural-demeterMyths and cults to Demeter as Mother and Persephone as Maiden (Kore) lay at the heart of the Eleusinian mysteries. Demeter controlled seasonal growth and regeneration. When her virgin daughter Persephone (also known as Kore) was abducted to underworld by Hades, Demeter searched for her ceaselessly, preoccupied with her loss and her grief. The wrath of Demeter can be terrible to bear for the mere mortals and their food supply,[15] the stories says that during the time she was searching for her daughter the seasons halted; living things ceased their growth, then began to die.[16] Faced with the extinction of all life on earth, Zeus sent his messenger Hermes to the underworld to bring Persphone back. Hades agreed to release her only if she had eaten nothing while she was in his realm; but Persephone had eaten a number of pomegranate seeds (one, three, four, or seven seeds are eaten. This action had the undesirable effect to bound her to Hades and to the underworld for certain months of every year.[17] Winter, autumn, and spring by comparison have heavy rainfall and mild temperatures in which plant life flourishes. However the ancient commentary by Porphyry did not understand the myth in this way and saw Persephone’s descent as connected with the autumn and winter months. It was precisely during her trip to retrieve Persephone from the underworld that Demeter revealed the Eleusinian mysteries.[18] When Demeter was searching for her daughter Persephone, having taken the form of an old woman called Doso, she received a hospitable welcome from Celeus, the King of Eleusis in Attica. He asked her to nurse Demophon and Triptolemus, his sons by Metanira. As a gift to Celeus, because of his hospitality, Demeter planned to make Demophon as a god, by coating and anointing him with ambrosia, breathing gently upon him while holding him in her arms and bosom, and making him immortal by burning his mortal spirit away in the family hearth every night. In order to hold her promise, she put the poor Demophon in the fire at night like a firebrand or ember without the knowledge of his parents. Unfortunately, Demeter was unable to complete the ritual because his mother Metanira walked in and saw her son in the fire and screamed in fright, which angered Demeter, who lamented that foolish mortals do not understand the concept and ritual. So, instead of making Demophon immortal like promised, Demeter decided that instead she will teach Triptolemus the art of agriculture in order to make him teach the rest of Greece how to plant and reap crops. Strong with his new knowledge, Demophon flew across the land on a winged chariot while Demeter and Persephone cared for him, and helped him complete his mission of educating the whole of Greece in the art of agriculture. Later, Triptolemus taught Lyncus, King of the Scythians the arts of agriculture but he refused to teach it to his people and in order to punish him Demeter tried to murder Triptolemus but finally turned him into a lynx.[19] Being an agricultural figure, Demeter’s emblem is one of the most desired and researched vegetal in the world, the poppy; a bright red flower that grows among the barley.[20] Demeter’s epithets show her many religious functions. Among others she was the “Corn-Mother” who blesses the harvesters. Some nature cults interpreted her as “Mother-Earth”. The agriculturial Demeter may also be linked to goddess-cults of Minoan Crete, and undoubtedly embody some aspects of a pre-Hellenic Great Goddess.For example, in a well known clay statuette from Gazi we can see that the Minoan poppy goddess wears the seed capsules, sources of nourishment and narcosis, in her diadem.[21] According to Hungarian philologist Karl Kerenyi, “It seems probable that the Great Mother Goddess, who bore the names Rhea and Demeter, brought the poppy with her from her Cretan cult to Eleusis, and it is certain that in the Cretan cult sphere, opium was prepared from poppies.”[22] We saw that, by person interposed, Demeter taught humankind the arts of agriculture: sowing seeds, ploughing, harvesting, etc. It is of common knowledge that she was especially popular with rural folk, partly because they most benefited directly from her assistance, and partly because rural folk are more conservative about keeping to the old ways. Demeter herself was central to the older religion of Greece. Relics unique to her cult, such as votive clay pigs, were being fashioned in the Neolithic. In Roman times, a sow was still sacrificed to Ceres following a death in the family, to purify the household. One of her most common title and function was Despoina (“mistress of the house”), a Greek word similar to the Mycenean potnia. This title was also applied to Persephone, Aphrodite and Hecate.

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[7] Concerning the attributions to this path, see Israel Regardie, A Garden of Pomegrenates, p. 77; Stephen Hoeller, The Fool’s Pilgrimage. Kabbalistic Meditations on the Tarot, p. 55.
[8]Themis was an ancient Greek goddess, embodiment of divine order, law. She was the organizer of the communal affairs and she evoked the social order: Finley, The World of Odysseus, rev. ed. Viking Press. (1978:78 note 82)
[9] Homer, Odyssey 5.499
[10]Hesiod, Works and Days, 465
[11] Homer, Odyssey 5.125; Hesiod, Theogony 969 ff.
[12]Isocrates, Panegyricus 4.28: “When Demeter came to our land, in her wandering after the rape of Kore, and, being moved to kindness towards our ancestors by services which may not be told save to her initiates, gave these two gifts, the greatest in the world — the fruits of the earth, which have enabled us to rise above the life of the beasts, and the holy rite, which inspires in those who partake of it sweeter hopes regarding both the end of life and all eternity”.
[13]Nilsson, Martin P. (1940). Greek Popular Religion. p. 45: “We have a document concerning the Eleusinian cult which is older and more comprehensive than anything concerning any other Greek cult, namely, the Homeric Hymn to Demeter composed in Attica before Eleusis was incorporated into the Athenian state, not later than the end of the seventh century BC. We know that the basis of the Eleusinian Mysteries was an old agrarian cult celebrated in the middle of the month Boedromion (about October) and closely akin to the Thesmophoria, a festival of the autumn sowing celebrated by the women not quite a month later.”
[14]Pausanias, Description of Greece 5.15.4.
[15]”In her alliance with Poseidon,” Karl Kerenyi noted, “she was Earth, who bears plants and beasts, and could therefore assume the shape of an ear of corn or a mare.” In her period of eclipse, the Grain Goddess brought desiccation and death to the croplands of which she was the patroness. See Kerenyi, The Gods of the Greeks, 1951:185.
[16] See Karl Kerenyi, The Gods of the Greeks, 1951, pp.232 – 41 and notes 784 – 98. One of the numerous epitet of Demeter is “The Crone,” a title that corresponds to “Persephone the Destroyer”. Obviously this aspect represents her role as bringer of death. The name was later transferred to her daughter.
[17]According to some modern writers such as Walter Burkert, this corresponds with the dry Mediterranean summer, during which plant life is threatened by drought. See Burkert, (1985), Greek Religion. Harvard, p. 160.
[18]In some versions of the myth, Persephone is tricked into eating the pomegranate seeds but chooses to eat them, moments before her return to the upper world with Hermes. She was seen by some Hades’ gardeners who claimed to have witnessed her do so, at the moment that she was preparing to return with Hermes. Her return to the upper world signals the advent of spring. In another version, Hecate rescues Persephone.
[19]Some scholars believe the Demophon story is based on an earlier prototypical folk tale. See Nilsson (1940), p. 50: “The Demophon story in Eleusis is based on an older folk-tale motif which has nothing to do with the Eleusinian Cult. It is introduced in order to let Demeter reveal herself in her divine shape”.
[20] See Graves, Robert (1960). Greek Gods and Heroes. Dell Laurel-Leaf.
[21] This statuette can be seen at the Heraklion Museum, See this picture of the statuette in Karl Kerenyi (1976), Dionysos: Archetypal Image of Indestructible Life, figure 15.
[22]Karl Kerenyi (1976), Dionysos: Archetypal Image of Indestructible Life, p 24.

The Roman Deity Correspondence: The Agricultural Aspects of Venus

41aww5xrpgLThe Roman deity attribution for this 19th path of the qabalistic Tree of Life is the goddess Venus in her most agricultural aspects. Venus is a Roman goddess principally associated with love, beauty, sex, fertility, prosperity and military victory. She played a key role in many Roman religious festivals. It is interesting to know that most of the early Roman deities had agricultural and pastoral natures, especially deities of fertility. All the common deities we know of today were formerly gods of the field, agriculture, and fertility, such as Mars, Venus and Saturn. It wasn’t until the Romans came into the contact with the Etruscans in Etruria (Tuscany) and the Greeks living in the Campania, that the early Roman deities underwent changes. They were particularly influenced by the tales in the Greek myths. The Roman deities became increasing humans, where they can suffer from lust, anger and sorrow. Her cult began in Ardea and Lavinium, Latium. On August 18, 293 BC, her oldest temple was built. August 18 was then a festival called the Vinalia Rustica. The oldest temple known of Venus dates back to 293 BCE, and was inaugurated on August 18. Later, on this date the Vinalia Rustica was observed. A second festival, concerning the Veneralia, was celebrated on April 1 in honor of Venus Verticordia, who later became the protector against vice. Her temple was built in 114 BCE.

 

 

 

The Egyptian Deity Correspondence: Mau

bastet-apepAccording to the comments emmited by occult scholar Israel Regardie, in his book A Garden of Pomegrenates, it seems that the Egyptian deities Pasht (Bast), Sekhet and Mau are attributed to this nineteenth path of the Tree of Life mainly “because they are cat goddesses.”[23] The aspect of Horus commonly known as Ra-Hoor-Khuit is another correspondence here, because he is representing the Sun which rules Leo.[24] In fact, when we think about it, it seems that almost of all the Egyptian cat deities are seriously considered as a possible attribution here. The common cats (Felis silvestris catus), were known in Ancient Egypt as mau, and were tremendously important in ancient Egyptian society. Beginning as a wild, untamed species, cats were useful for limiting vermin in Egyptian crops and harvests; through exposure, gradually cats became domesticated and learned to coexist with humans. The two native Egyptian cat species were the Jungle Cat (Felis chaus) and the African Wildcat (Felis silvestris lybica). If we stick closely to the term, we find out that there actually is a variety of cat that were precisely named Egyptian Maus which are a small-medium sized spotted short-haired cat breed.[25] This is a very special kind of cat because the spots on an Egyptian Mau are not only on the coat. As a matter of facts, a shaved Mau has spots on its skin.[26] Historians tells us that the people living in what would later be Upper and Lower Egypt had a religion articulating its activities around the worship of animals, including cats. Universally praised, love and desired for controlling vermin and its ability to kill snakes such as cobras, the domesticated cat became a symbol of grace and poise. The Egyptians viewed their gods not as spirits but as intelligences that could be personified in a body. The earliest evidence of cats as deities comes from a 3100 BC crystal cup decorated with an image of the lion-headed goddess Mafdet.[27] The goddess Bast was originally depicted as a fiercely protective and warlike lion, like Sekhmet, but as Bast’s image “softened” over time she became more strongly associated with domestic cats. The Greek historian Herodotus wrote that in the event of a fire, men would guard the fire to make certain that no cats ran into the flame. Herodotus also wrote that when a cat died, the household would go into mourning as if for a human relative, and would often shave their eyebrows to signify their loss.[28] As cats were sacred to Bast, the practice of mummification was extended to them, and the respect that cats received after death mirrored the respect they were treated with in everyday life. Some interesting archeological discoveries have revealed that, as a revered animal and one important to Egyptian society and religion, some cats received the same mummification after death as humans. Mummified cats were given in offering to Bast.[29]

Bastet2The Egyptian goddess Bast is also an attribution for the 19th path of the Tree of Life. Her name is also spelled Bast, Baast, Ubasti and Baset.The Egyptian divinity “Bastet” is the name commonly used by scholars today to refer to a feline goddess of ancient Egyptian religion who was worshipped at least since the Second Dynasty. Like mentioned previously, the main reason why Bast is attributed the the nineteenth path of the Tree of Life is because she is a cat-god and that all the other attributions are organized under the theme of the feline mythos. It is documented fact that cats, in ancient Egypt, were revered highly, partly due to their ability to combat vermin such as mice, rats – which threatened key food supplies – and snakes, especially cobras. Archeological discoveries have shown that cats of royalty were, in some instances, known to be dressed in golden jewelry and were allowed to eat from their owners’ plates. Back in the oldest days or Egypt, the goddess Mafdet, the deification of justice and execution, was a lion-headed goddess. Later on, the cat goddess Bast (also known as Bastet) eventually replaced the cult of Mafdet, and Bast’s image softened over time and she became the deity representing protection, fertility, and motherhood.[30] In early Egyptian times, her name appears to have been bȝstt, where ȝ represents an aleph. In Egyptian writing, the second t marks a feminine ending, but was not usually pronounced, and the aleph ȝ may have moved to a position before the accented syllable, as witnessed by the Aramaic spelling ȝbst. By the first millennium, then, bȝstt would have been something like ‘obest‘ or ‘ubesti‘ in Egyptian speech.[31]The town of Bastet’s cult was known in Greek as Boubastis (Βούβαστις). The Hebrew rendering of the name for this town is Pî-beset (“House of Bastet”), spelled without Vortonsilbe.What exactly the name of the goddess means remains uncertain.[32] From the third millennium BC, when the Egyptian deity Bastet begins to appear in human record, she was often depicted as either a “fierce lioness” or “a woman with the head of a lion”. Images of Bast were created from a local stone, named alabaster today. Originally she was viewed as the protector goddess of Lower Egypt. As such she was also seen as defender of the pharaoh, and consequently of the later chief male deity, Ra, who was also a solar deity, gaining her the glorious titles “Lady of Flame” and “Eye of Ra”. Her role in the pantheon became diminished as Sekhmet, a similar lioness war deity, became more dominant in the unified culture of Lower and Upper Egypt. In the first millennium BC, when domesticated cats were popularly kept as pets, Bastet began to be represented as a woman with the head of a cat and ultimately emerged as the Egyptian cat-goddess par excellence. In the Middle Kingdom, the domestic cat appeared everywhere as Bastet’s sacred animal and after the New Kingdom she was depicted as a woman with the head of a cat or a lioness carrying a sacred rattle and a box or basket.Herodotus also relates that of the many solemn festivals held in Egypt, the most important and most popular one was that celebrated in Bubastis in honour of the goddess, whom he calls Bubastis and equates with the Greek goddess Artemis.[33] . In Greek mythology, the Egyptian lion goddess Bast is also known as Ailuros. According to Herodotus, each year on the day of her festival, the town is said to have attracted some 700,000 visitors,[34] both men and women (but not children), who arrived in numerous crowded ships. He tells us that the women engaged in music, song and dance on their way to the place of worship, great sacrifices were made and prodigious amounts of wine were drunk way more than it usually the case throughout the rest of the year.[35] This is perfect accord with other Egyptian historical sources which prescribes that the leonine goddesses are to be appeased with the “feasts of drunkenness.” In Egyptian sculptures and illustrations, for example, the feline goddess Bast was sometimes depicted holding a ceremonial sistrum[36] in one hand and an aegis[37] in the other. Since the divine Bast was born with the head of a lion, which is an archetypal solar symbol, she was then considered to be a sun goddess throughout most of Ancient Egyptian history. It was only later, when she was changed into a cat goddess rather than lionness, that the connection with the sun was lost and that she was artificially changed into a goddess of the moon by the Greeks that were occupying Ancient Egypt toward the end of its civilization. Turner and Bateson estimate that during the Twenty-second dynasty c.945-715 BC, Bastet worship changed to being a major cat deity (as opposed to a lioness deity).[38] With the unification of the two Egypts, many similar deities were merged into one or the other, the significance of Bast and Sekhmet, to the regional cultures that merged, resulted in retention of both, necessitating a change to one or the other. During later dynasties, Bast was assigned a lesser role in the pantheon, but retained.In the temple at Per-Bast some cats were found to have been mummified and buried, many next to their owners. More than 300,000 mummified cats were discovered when Bast’s temple at Per-Bast was excavated. The main source of information about the Bast cult comes from Herodotus who visited Bubastis around 450 BC during the heyday of the cult. He equated Bastet with the Greek Goddess Artemis.The lioness represented the war goddess and protector of both lands. As the fierce lion god Maahes of Nubia later became part of Egyptian mythology, during the time of the New Kingdom, Bastet was held to be the daughter of Amun Ra, a newly ascending deity in the Egyptian pantheon during that late dynasty. Bastet became identified as his mother in the Lower Egypt, near the delta. Similarly the fierce lioness war goddess Sekhmet, became identified as the mother of Maashes in the Upper Egypt.As divine mother, and more especially as protector, for Lower Egypt, Bastet became strongly associated with Wadjet, the patron goddess of Lower Egypt. She eventually became Wadjet-Bast, paralleling the similar pair of patron (Nekhbet) and lioness protector (Sekhmet) for Upper Egypt. Bast fought an evil snake named Apophis. Lower Egypt’s loss in the wars between Upper and Lower Egypt led to a decrease in the ferocity of Bast. Thus, by the Middle Kingdom she came to be regarded as a domestic cat rather than a lioness. Occasionally, however, she was depicted holding a lioness mask, hinting at her potential ferocity. Because domestic cats tend to be tender and protective of their offspring, Bast also was regarded as a good mother, and she was sometimes depicted with numerous kittens. Consequently, a woman who wanted children sometimes wore an amulet showing the goddess with kittens, the number of which indicated her own desired number of children. Eventually, her position as patron and protector of Lower Egypt led to her being identified with the more substantial goddess Mut, whose cult had risen to power with that of Amun, and eventually being syncretized with her as Mut-Wadjet-Bast. Shortly after, in the constantly evolving pantheon, Mut also absorbed the identities of the Sekhmet-Nekhbet pairing as well.

As it is habitually the case for almost all the others cat deities in the Egyptian pantheon, we are not surprised to see that another attribution for this 19th path of the qabalistic Tree of Life is the beautiful lion-goddess Sekhmet. In Egyptian mythology, Sekhmet (who’s name is also spelled Sachmet, Sakmet, Sakhet, Sekmet, Sakhmet and Sekhet; and given the Greek name, sometimes Sachmis), was originally the warrior goddess as well as goddess of healing for Upper Egypt. Sekhmet’s name comes from the Ancient Egyptian word “sekhem” which means “powerful one.” Sekhmet’s name suits her function and means, the (one who is) powerful. The qabalist researcher will be please to see that this reference to “powerfullness” in Sekhmet’s description is cognant with the theme and title of the Tarot Trump attribution for this path, which is VIII – Strength. In Egyptian lore, the goddess Sekhmet also was given titles such as the (One) Before Whom Evil Trembles, the Mistress of Dread, and the Lady of Slaughter. She is depicted as a lioness, the fiercest hunter known to the Egyptians. It was said that her breath created the desert. She was seen as the protector of the pharaohs and led them in warfare. Her cult was so dominant in the culture that when the first pharaoh of the twelfth dynasty, Amenemhat I, moved the capital of Egypt to Itjtawy, the centre for her cult was moved as well. Religion, the royal lineage, and the authority to govern were intrinsically interwoven in Ancient Egypt during its approximately three thousand years of existence. Sekhmet also is a solar deity, sometimes called the daughter of the sun god Ra and often associated with the goddesses Hathor and Bast. She bears the solar disk and the Uraeus which associates her with Wadjet and royalty. With these associations she can be construed as being a divine arbiter of the goddess Ma’at (Justice, or Order) in the Judgment Hall of Osiris, associating her with the Wedjat (later the Eye of Ra), and connecting her with Tefnut as well. Sekhmet’s name comes from the Ancient Egyptian word “sekhem” which means “powerful one.” Sekhmet’s name suits her function and means, the (one who is) powerful. She also was given titles such as the (One) Before Whom Evil Trembles, the Mistress of Dread, and the Lady of Slaughter. Sekhmet was believed to protect the pharaoh in battle, stalking the land, and destroying the pharaoh’s enemies with arrows of fire. An early Egyptian sun deity also, her body was said to take on the bright glare of the midday sun, gaining her the title Lady of Flame. It was said that death and destruction were balm for her warrior’s heart and that the hot desert winds were believed to be her breath.In order to placate Sekhmet’s wrath, her priestesses performed a ritual before a different statue of the goddess on each day of the year. This practice resulted in many images of the goddess being preserved. Most of her statuettes were rigidly crafted and do not exhibit any expression of movements or dynamism; this design was made to make them last a long time rather than to express any form of functions or actions she is associated with. It is estimated that more than seven hundred statues of Sekhmet once stood in one funerary temple alone, that of Amenhotep III, on the west bank of the Nile. Sekhmet also was seen as a bringer of disease as well as the provider of cures to such ills. Many members of Sekhmet’s priesthood were consedered to be on the same level of physicians and surgeons during the Middle Kingdom. In antiquity, many members of Sekhmet’s priesthood often were considered to be on the same level as physicians. She was envisioned as a fierce lioness, and in art, was depicted as such, or as a woman with the head of a lioness, who was dressed in red, the colour of blood. Sometimes the dress she wears exhibits a Rosetta pattern over each nipple, an ancient leonine motif, which can be traced to observation of the shoulder-knot hairs on lions. Occasionally, Sekhmet was also portrayed in her statuettes and engravings with minimal clothing or naked. Tame lions were kept in temples dedicated to Sekhmet at Leontopolis. To pacify Sekhmet, festivals were celebrated at the end of battle, so that the destruction would come to an end. During an annual festival held at the beginning of the year, a festival of intoxication, the Egyptians danced and played music to soothe the wildness of the goddess and drank great quantities of wine ritually to imitate the extreme drunkenness that stopped the wrath of the goddess—when she almost destroyed humankind. Beer, made from fermented barley bread, was the drink of choice for the festival of drunkenness as celebrated at the Temple of Mut. In 2006, Betsy Bryan, an archaeologist with Johns Hopkins University excavating at the temple of Mut presented her findings about the festival that included illustrations of the priestesses being served to excess and its adverse effects being ministered to by temple attendants.The point of all this wasn’t simply to have a good time, Bryan said. Instead, the festival — which was held during the first month of the year, just after the first flooding of the Nile — re-enacted the myth of Sekhmet, a lion-headed war goddess. According to the myth, the bloodthirsty Sekhmet nearly destroyed all humans, but the sun god Re tricked her into drinking mass quantities of ochre-colored beer, thinking it was blood. Once Sekhmet passed out, she was transformed into a kinder, gentler goddess named Hathor, and humanity was saved. The festival also turns up in chronicles from around A.D. 200.What’s particularly interesting in Bryan’s work is that such rituals were found to have taken place during a much earlier time in Egyptian history.Concerning the fornications that are allegedly taking place during those rituals, he’s not so sure that the sex was a religious obligation. Scientific reaserchers usually tend to think that it’s more likely to be a natural result of the vast imbibing of the beer, rather than an integral part of the ritual itself.

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[23] Israel Regardie, A Garden of Pomegrenates, p. 77.
[24] This is the third deity in Crowley’s Thelemic triad and a form of Horus. He is the Child born from the union of Nuit and Hadit.
[25]Along with the Bahraini Dilmun Cat, they are one of the few naturally spotted breeds of domesticated cat.
[26]This particular kind of cat known as the “spotted Mau” is an ancient breed from natural stock; its look has not changed significantly as is evidenced by artwork over 3000 years old. Unlike other spotted cats, the Egyptian Mau is a natural breed.
[27] In Early Egyptian mythology, Mafdet (also spelled Maftet) was a goddess who protected against snakes and scorpions and was often represented as either some sort of feline or mongoose (See Wilkinson, Richard H. The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt. p. 196. Thames & Hudson. 2003.)Mafdet is present in the Egyptian pantheon as early as the First Dynasty. Mafdet was the deification of legal justice, or possibly of execution (See Wilkinson, Toby A. H. Early Dynastic Egypt. p. 251. Routledge, 1999). She was also associated with the protection of the king’s chambers and other sacred places, and with protection against venomous animals, which were seen as transgressors against Ma’at. (See Wilkinson, Richard H. The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt. p. 196. Thames & Hudson. 2003.)
[28] Herodotus, ???? Fuck I lost trace of this one.
[29]As a matter of facts, in 1888, an Egyptian farmer uncovered a large tomb with mummified cats and kittens. This discovery outside the town of Beni Hasan had eighty thousand cat mummies, dating to 1000-2000 BCE.
[30] The word “Bastet,” which is the form of the name that is most commonly adopted by Egyptologists today, is merely a modern convention offering one possible reconstruction.
[31] Velde, Herman te (1999). “Bastet”. In Karel van der Toorn, Bob Becking and Pieter W. van der Horst. Dictionary of Demons and Deities in the Bible (2nd ed.). Leiden: Brill Academic. pp. 164–5.
[32]One recent suggestion by Stephen Quirke (Ancient Egyptian Religion) explains it as meaning “She of the ointment jar”. This ties in with the observation that her name was written with the hieroglyph “ointment jar” (bȝs) and that she was associated with protective ointments, among other things.
[33]Herodotus, ed. H. Stein (et al.) and tr. AD Godley (1920), Herodotus 1. Books 1 and 2. Loeb Classical Library. Cambridge, Mass. The exact references are: Herodotus, Book 2, chapter 59; Herodotus, Book 2, chapter 137.
[34]Herodote specify his statistical sources by saying: “as the people of the place say.”
[35]Herodotus, Book 2, chapter 60.
[36]The sistrum was a sacred instrument in ancient Egypt. Perhaps originating in the worship of Bastet, it was used in dances and religious ceremonies. In the hands of Bast, the sistrum symbolizing her role as a goddess of dance, joy, and festivity.
[37]An aegis (from Greek αιγίς) is a piece of clothing, more likely a cape, fixed on something resembling a collar or gorget and that is embellished with a lioness head. This was worn in ancient times to display the protection provided by a high religious authority or the holder of a protective shield signifying the same, such as a bag-like garment that contained a shield. It originally was derived from the protective shield associated with a religious figure when related in myths and images. The wearing of the aegis and its contents show sponsorship, protection, or authority derived from yet a higher source or deity.”
[38]Serpell, Domestication and History of the Cat, p. 184.

The Hindu Deity Correspondence: Vischnu as a Lion Hybrid

vishnu-lion-aspectThe Hindu deity correspondence for this 19th path of the qabalistic Tree of Life is Vischnu.[39] This attribution refers specifically to Narasimha which is one of the ten avatars of Vishnu that appeared in the Satya Yuga. In some representations, Vishnu takes the form of half-man/half-lion, in Narasimha, having a human torso and lower body, but with a lion-like face and claws.[40]The Man-lion defies classification and overpowers mortals who seek to outwit death.  Narasimha (Sanskrit: नरसिंह; IAST: Narasiṁha), (Tamil: நரசிம்மர்), (Kannada:ನರಸಿಂಹ) Narasingh, Narsingh and Narasingha-in derviative languages is an avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu and one of Hinduism’s most popular deities, as evidenced in early epics, iconography, and temple and festival worship for over a millennium.[1]   Narasiṁha is often visualised as half-man/half-lion, having a human-like torso and lower body, with a lion-like face and claws.[2] This image is widely worshipped in deity form by a significant number of Vaiṣṇava groups. He is known primarily as the ‘Great Protector’ who specifically defends and protects his devotees in times of need.[3]

There are references to Narasiṁha in a variety of Purāṇas, with 17 different versions of the main narrative.[4] The Bhagavata Purāṇa (Canto 7), Agni Purāṇa (4.2-3), Brahmāṇḍa Purāṇa(2.5.3-29), Vayu Purāṇa (67.61-66), Harivaṁśa (41 & 3.41-47), Brahma-Purāṇa (213.44-79), Viṣṇudharmottara Purāṇa(1.54), Kūrma Purāṇa (1.15.18-72), Matsya Purāṇa(161-163), Padma Purāṇa(Uttara-khaṇḍa 5.42), Śiva Purāṇa (2.5.43 & 3.10-12), Liṅga Purāṇa (1.95-96), Skanda Purāṇa 7 (2.18.60-130) and Viṣṇu Purāṇa (1.16-20) all contain depictions of the Narasiṁha Avatāra. There is also a short reference in the Mahābhārata (3.272.56-60) and a Gopāla Tapani Upaniṣad (Narasiṁha tapani Upaniṣad), earliest of Vaiṣṇava Upaniṣads named in reference to him.

Narasiṁha is also a protector of his devotees in times of danger. Near Śrī Śailaṁ, there is a forest called Hatakeśvanam, that no man enters. Śaṅkarācārya entered this place and did penance for many days. During this time, a Kāpālika, by name Kirakashan appeared before him.

He told Śrī Śaṅkara that he should give his body as a human-sacrifice to Kālī. Śaṅkara happily agreed. His disciples were shocked to hear this and pleaded with Śaṅkara to change his mind, but he refused to do so saying that it was an honor to give up his body as a sacrifice for Kālī and one must not lament such things. The Kāpālika arranged a fire for the sacrifice and Śaṅkara sat beside it. Just as he lifted his axe to severe the head of Śaṅkara, Viṣṇu as Narasiṁha entered the body of the disciple of Śaṅkarācārya and Narasiṁha devotee, Padmapada. He then fought the Kāpālika, slayed him and freed the forest of Kapalikas. Ādi Śaṅkara composed the very powerful Lakṣmī-Narasiṁha Karāvalambaṁ Stotram[20] at the very spot in front of Lord Narasiṁha.

Due to the nature of Narasiṁha’s form (divine anger), it is essential that worship be given with a very high level of attention compared to other deities. In many temples only lifelong celibates (Brahmācārya) will be able to have the chance to serve as priests to perform the daily puja. Forms where Narasiṁha appears sitting in a yogic posture, or with the goddess Lakṣmī are the exception to this rule, as Narasiṁha is taken as being more relaxed in both of these instances compared to his form when first emerging from the pillar to protect Prahlāda.

  • Narasiṁha indicates God’s omnipresence and the lesson is that God is everywhere. For more information, see Vaishnav Theology.
  • Narasiṁha demonstrates God’s willingness and ability to come to the aid of His devotees, no matter how difficult or impossible the circumstances may appear to be.
  • Prahlāda’s devotion indicates that pure devotion is not one of birthright but of character. Prahlāda, although born an asura, demonstrated the greatest bhakti to God, and endured much, without losing faith.
  • Narasiṁha is known by the epithet Mṛga-Śarīra in Sanskrit which translates to Animal-Man. From a philosophical perspective. Narasiṁha is the very icon of Vaiṣṇavism, where jñāna (knowledge) and Bhakti are important as opposed to Advaita, which has no room for Bhakti, as the object to be worshipped and the worshipper do not exist. As according to Advaita or Māyāvāda, the jīva is Paramātma.

In South Indian art – sculptures, bronzes and paintings – Viṣṇu’s incarnation as Narasiṁha is one of the most chosen themes and amongst [[Avatar]|Avatāra]s perhaps next only to Rāma and Kṛṣṇa in popularity.

Lord Narasiṁha also appears as one of Hanuman‘s 5 faces, who is a significant character in the Rāmāyaṇa as Lord (Rāma’s) devotee.

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[39] To verify this attribution, see Stephen Hoeller, The Fool’s Pilgrimage, p. 55.
[40] See Bhagavad Gita-P 7.8.19–22″.

 The Animal Correspondence: The Lion& the Serpent

lion-sacred-animal-tipharethThe animal correspondence for the 20th path of the qabalistic Tree of Life is, of course, the lion. This sacred animal attribution obviously follows the zodiacal attribution of Leo as well as the feline character depicted on the Tarot Trump IX- Strenght which is also attributed to this path. The attribution of the serpent comes from the association of the serpent with the Teth, the Hebrew letter attributed to this path. Israel Regardie makes the remark that concerning the “serpent” and “lion” correspondences, some authorities assume a phallic connotation for Teth.[41] The serpent and the lion are of particular importance in the study of alchemical literature. In alchemy, the lion represents the Sun, heat and sulphurus actions. A green lion symbolizes raw, untamed, or unpurified energy. A red lion is the same energy tamed and controlled through will and intellect. The serpent or dragon represents death and decay – in other words, transformation. In modern psychoanalytic theory, the serpent is lucidly recognized as a symbol both of the phallus and the abstract concept of wisdom.[42] In the realm of the wild, the lion (Panthera leo) is one of the four big cats in the genus Panthera, and a member of the family Felidae. With some males exceeding 250 kg (550 lb) in weight,[43] it is the second-largest living cat after the tiger. Wild lions currently exist in Sub-Saharan Africa and in Asia with an endangered remnant population in Gir Forest National Park in India, having disappeared from North Africa and Southwest Asia in historic times. Until the late Pleistocene, about 10,000 years ago, the lion was the most widespread large land mammal after humans. They were found in most of Africa, across Eurasia from Western Europe to India, and in the Americas from the Yukon to Peru.[44]The lion’s name, similar in many Romance languages, is derived from the Latin leo;[45] and the Ancient Greek λέων (leon).[46] The Hebrew word לָבִיא (lavi) may also be related.[47] It was one of the many species originally described by Linnaeus, who gave it the name Felis leo, in his eighteenth century work, Systema Naturae.[48]In Africa, lions can be found in savanna grasslands with scattered Acacia trees which serve as shade;[49] their habitat in India is a mixture of dry savanna forest and very dry deciduous scrub forest. The natural habitat of lions originally spanned the southern parts of Eurasia, ranging from Greece to India, and most of Africa except the central rainforest-zone and the Sahara desert. Herodotus reported that lions had been common in Greece around 480 BC; they attacked the baggage camels of the Persian king Xerxes on his march through the country. Aristotle considered them rare by 300 BC. By 100 AD they were extirpated.[50] A population of Asiatic lions survived until the tenth century in the Caucasus, their last European outpost.The species was eradicated from Palestine by the Middle Ages and from most of the rest of Asia after the arrival of readily available firearms in the eighteenth century. Between the late nineteenth and early twentieth century they became extinct in North Africa and Southwest Asia. By the late nineteenth century the lion had disappeared from Turkey and most of northern India.[51]Lions are powerful animals that usually hunt in coordinated groups and stalk their chosen prey. However, they are not particularly known for their stamina—for instance, a lioness’ heart makes up only 0.57 percent of her body weight (a male’s is about 0.45 percent of his body weight), whereas a hyena’s heart is close to 1 percent of its body weight.[52] Thus, they only run fast in short bursts,[53] and need to be close to their prey before starting the attack. They take advantage of factors that reduce visibility; many kills take place near some form of cover or at night.[54] They sneak up to the victim until they reach a distance of around 30 metres (98 ft) or less. The lioness is the one who does the hunting for the pride, since the lioness is more aggressive by nature. Males attached to prides do not usually participate in hunting, except in the case of larger quarry such as giraffe and buffalo. The male lion usually stays and watches it’s young while waiting for the lionesses to return from the hunt. Typically, several lionesses work together and encircle the herd from different points. Once they have closed with a herd, they usually target the closest prey. The attack is short and powerful; they attempt to catch the victim with a fast rush and final leap. The prey usually is killed by strangulation, which can cause cerebral ischemia or asphyxia (which results in hypoxemic, or “general”, hypoxia). The prey also may be killed by the lion enclosing the animal’s mouth and nostrils in its jaws[55] (which would also result in asphyxia). Smaller prey, though, may simply be killed by a swipe of a lion’s paw.The prey consists mainly of large mammals, with a preference for wildebeest, impalas, zebras, buffalo, and warthogs in Africa and nilgai, wild boar, and several deer species in India.[56] Lions hunting in groups are capable of taking down most animals, even healthy adults, but in most parts of their range they rarely attack very large prey such as fully grown male giraffes due to the danger of injury. Because lionesses hunt in open spaces where they are easily seen by their prey, cooperative hunting increases the likelihood of a successful hunt; this is especially true with larger species. Teamwork also enables them to defend their kills more easily against other large predators such as hyenas, which may be attracted by vultures from kilometres away in open savannas. In typical hunts, each lioness has a favored position in the group, either stalking prey on the “wing” then attacking, or moving a smaller distance in the centre of the group and capturing prey in flight from other lionesses.[57] Young lions first display stalking behaviour around three months of age, although they do not participate in hunting until they are almost a year old. They begin to hunt effectively when nearing the age of two.[58]Lions and spotted hyenas occupy the same ecological niche (and hence compete) where they coexist. Usually lions typically ignore spotted hyenas, unless they are on a kill or are being harassed by them, while the latter tend to visibly react to the presence of lions, whether there is food or not. Lions seize the kills of spotted hyenas: in the Ngorongoro crater, it is common for lions to subsist largely on kills stolen from hyenas, causing the hyenas to increase their kill rate. Similarly, lions dominate African wild dogs, not only taking their kills but also preying on young and (rarely) adult dogs. Population densities of wild dogs are low in areas where lions are more abundant.[59]Lions tend to dominate smaller felines such as cheetahs and leopards where they co-occur, stealing their kills and killing their cubs and even adults when given the chance.[60]The Nile crocodile is the only sympatric predator (besides humans) that can singly threaten the lion. Depending on the size of the crocodile and the lion, either can lose kills or carrion to the other. Lions have been known to kill crocodiles venturing onto land, while the reverse is true for lions entering waterways, as evidenced by the occasional lion claws found in crocodile stomachs.[61]Most lionesses will have reproduced by the time they are four years of age.[62] Lions do not mate at any specific time of year, and the females are polyestrous.[63] A lioness may mate with more than one male when she is in heat;[64] during a mating bout, which could last several days, the couple copulates twenty to forty times a day and is likely to forgo eating. Lions often inflict serious injuries on each other, either members of different prides encountering each other in territorial disputes, or members of the same pride fighting at a kill.[65] Crippled lions and lion cubs may fall victim to hyenas, leopards, or be trampled by buffalo or elephants, and careless lions may be maimed when hunting prey.[66]When resting, lion socialization occurs through a number of behaviours, and the animal’s expressive movements are highly developed. The most common peaceful tactile gestures are head rubbing and social licking,[67] which have been compared with grooming in primates.[68] Head rubbing—nuzzling one’s forehead, face and neck against another lion—appears to be a form of greeting, as it is seen often after an animal has been apart from others, or after a fight or confrontation.[69] Social licking often occurs in tandem with head rubbing.[70]Lions have an array of facial expressions and body postures that serve as visual gestures.[71] Lions tend to roar in a very characteristic manner, starting with a few deep, long roars that trail off into a series of shorter ones.[72] Lions have the loudest roar of any big cat.[73] The lion has been an icon for humanity for thouzands of years and have been represented figuratively since the Stone Age, appearing in cultures across Europe, Asia, and Africa. Representations of lions date back 32,000 years; the lion-headed ivory carving from Vogelherd cave in the Swabian Alb in southwestern Germany has been determined to be about 32,000 years old from the Aurignacian culture.[74] Two lions were depicted mating in the Chamber of Felines in 15,000-year-old Paleolithic cave paintings in the Lascaux caves. Cave lions are also depicted in the Chauvet Cave, discovered in 1994; this has been dated at 32,000 years of age,[75] though it may be of similar or younger age to Lascaux.Despite repeated incidents of attacks on humans, lions have enjoyed a positive depiction in culture as strong but noble. A common depiction is their representation as “king of the jungle” or “king of beasts”; hence, the lion has been a popular symbol of royalty and stateliness,[76] as well as a symbol of bravery. In antiquity, lions were common along the southern coast of the Mediterranean, as well as in Greece and the Middle East. In Greek mythology a lion appears in a variety of functions. The Lion Gate of Mycenae features two rampant lionesses who flank a central column representing the major deity of this early Greek culture that dates to the second millennium BC. In later classical Greek mythology, the Nemean Lion was portrayed as a people-eating beast; killing it was one of the twelve tasks assigned to Heracles. In the story of Androcles, one of Aesop’s fables, the hero, a runaway slave, pulls a thorn from a lion’s paw; when he is later thrown to the lions as punishment for escaping, the lion recognizes him once again and refuses to kill the man.[77]According to the Book of Genesis of the Hebrew Bible, the Israelite Tribe of Judah had the Lion of Judah as its symbol. The characteristic of the lion as the “king of the jungle” goes back to the influence of a manuscript untitled The Bern Physiologus.[78] Many other illuminated manuscript copies similar as this one survived and have transmitted its influence over ideas of the “meaning” of animals in Europe for over a thousand years. It was a predecessor of reference books called bestiaries (books of beasts).[79] Ancient Egypt venerated the lioness (the fierce hunter) as their war deities. Among those, who were venerated as such, we have the following figures: Bast, Mafdet, Menhit, Pakhet, Sekhmet, Tefnut, and the Sphinx.[80] The Nemean lion was symbolic in Ancient Greece and Rome, represented as the constellation and zodiac sign Leo, and described in mythology, where its skin was borne by the hero Heracles.[81] The lion was a prominent symbol in ancient Mesopotamia (from Sumer up to Assyrian and Babylonian times), where it was strongly associated with kingship.[82] The Classic Babylonian lion motif, found as a statue, carved or painted on walls, is often referred to as the striding lion of Babylon. It is in Babylon that the biblical Daniel is said to have been delivered from the lion’s den.[83]In the Puranic texts of Hinduism, Narasimha (“man-lion”) a half-lion, half-man incarnation or (avatar) of Vishnu, is worshipped by his devotees and saved the child devotee Prahlada from his father, the evil demon king Hiranyakashipu;[84] Vishnu takes the form of half-man/half-lion, in Narasimha, having a human torso and lower body, but with a lion-like face and claws.[85] Singh is an ancient Indian Vedic name meaning “lion” (Asiatic lion), dating back over 2000 years to ancient India.[86] Found famously on numerous flags and coats of arms all across Asia and Europe, the Asiatic lions also stand firm on the National Emblem of India. Further south on the Indian subcontinent, the Asiatic lion is symbolic for the Sinhalese, Sri Lanka’s ethnic majority; the term derived from the IndoAryan Sinhala, meaning the “lion people” or “people with lion blood”, while a sword wielding lion is the central figure on the national flag of Sri Lanka.The Asiatic lion is a common motif in Chinese art. They were first used in art during the late Spring and Autumn Period (fifth or sixth century BC), and became much more popular during the Han Dynasty (206 BC – AD 220), when imperial guardian lions started to be placed in front of imperial palaces for protection.[87] The island nation of Singapore derives its name from the Malay words singa (lion) and pora (city/fortress), which in turn is from the Tamil-Sanskrit சிங்க singa सिंहsiṃha and पुरபுரpura,[88] which is cognate to the Greek πόλις, pólis. “Lion” was also the nickname of several medieval warrior rulers with a reputation for bravery, such as the English King Richard the Lionheart, Henry the Lion (German: Heinrich der Löwe), Duke of Saxony and Robert III of Flanders nicknamed “The Lion of Flanders”—a major Flemish national icon up to the present. The royal symbolism of the lion was taken up repeatedly in later history, in order to claim power, for example by Henry the Lion. This association with the Lions among warriors to symbolize strenght in combat is amusing because even if they are powerful animals, the lions are not particularly known for their stamina.[89] The ongoing fascination is apparent today by the diversity of coats of arms on which lions are shown in various colours and forms. Many images from ancient times depict lionesses as the fierce warrior protecting their culture. Since in certain views lionesses seem to have a ruff, often the only clue to this difference between the genders is the lack of a massive mane. When no mane is apparent, the image often is described as a panther or leopard among cultures without familiarity with the nature of lion social organization and hunting strategies for prides.[90]Lions are frequently depicted on coats of arms, either as a device on shields themselves, or as supporters. (The lioness is much more infrequent.) The formal language of heraldry, called blazon, employs French terms to describe the images precisely. Such descriptions specified whether lions or other creatures were “rampant” or “passant”, that is whether they were rearing or crouching. The lion is a common charge in heraldry. It traditionally symbolises bravery, valour, strength, and royalty, since traditionally, it is regarded as the king of beasts. As many attitudes (positions) now exist in heraldry as the heraldist’s imagination can conjure, as a result of the ever-increasing need for differentiation, but very few of these were apparently known to medieval heralds.[91] One distinction commonly made (especially among French heralds), although it may be of limited importance, is the distinction of lions in the walking positions as leopards. The principal attitudes of heraldic lions: are: Rampant,[92] Passant,[93] Statant,[94] Salient,[95] Segeant,[96] Segeant Erect,[97] Couchant,[98] or Dormant.[99] Other terms are used to describe the lion’s position in further detail.[100] The lion’s head is normally seen in agreement with the overall position, facing dexter (left) unless otherwise stated. If a lion’s whole body is turned to face right, he is too sinister or contourné. If his whole body faces the viewer, he is affronté. If his head only faces the viewer he is guardant or gardant, and if he looks back over his shoulder he is regardant. These adjectives follow any other adjectives of position. A lion (or other beast) coward carries the tail between its hind legs.[101] The tail also may be knotted (nowed), forked (queue fourchée) or doubled (double-queued); as in the arms of the kingdom of Bohemia. The lions in the coat of arms of Wales, England, and Estonia are passant gardant. In French blazon this charge is called a léopard; a lion rampant gardant is a léopard lionné; and a lion passant with his head in profile is a lion léopardé. The position of the head, in this case, determines the species.[102] Lions continue to feature in modern literature, from the messianic Aslan in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and following books from The Chronicles of Narnia series written by C. S. Lewis,[103] to the comedic Cowardly Lion in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.[104]

Serpent-Strangely, the serpent is listed as a correspondence for this 19th path of the Tree of Life. Most certainly, the reason that explain this attribution is the fact that the serpent is somehow related the the Hebrew letter Teth which is assigned to this path. The serpent or dragon represents death and decay – in other words, transformation. It is probably its predatory behaviour cognant of those of the lion that make this animal a candidate for an attribution on this qabalistic pathway. Its unmistakable phallic shape combined with its habit of copulating for days or even week, has identifies the snake with active, penetrating phallic energy, fertility and potency. This is probably this set of attributes that make the snake a worthy candidate for a mystic association with entities such as the lion and the sun.

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[41] Israel Regardie, A Garden of Pomegrenates, p. 77.
[42] In Qabalah, the paths on the Tree of Life are connected by the Serpent of Wisdom.
[43]Nowak, Ronald M. (1999). Walker‘s Mammals of the World. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
[44]Harington, C. R. (Dick) (1969). “Pleistocene remains of the lion-like cat (Panthera atrox) from the Yukon Territory and northern Alaska”. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 6 (5): 1277–88.
[45]Simpson, D.P. (1979). Cassell’s Latin Dictionary (5th ed.). London: Cassell Ltd.. p. 342.
[46]Liddell, Henry George Scott, Robert (1980). A Greek-English Lexicon (Abridged Edition). United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. p. 411
[47]Simpson, John; Weiner, Edmund, ed (1989). “Lion”. Oxford English Dictionary (2nd ed.). Oxford: Clarendon Press.
[48]Linnaeus, Carolus (1758), Systema naturae per regna tria naturae: secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. 1 (10th ed.). Holmiae (Laurentii Salvii). p.41.
[49]Rudnai, Judith A. (1973). The Social Life of the Lion. Wallingford: s.n.
[50]Schaller, George B. (1972). The Serengeti lion: A Study of Predator-Prey Relations. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.p. 5.
[51] See Grisham, Jack (2001). “Lion”. In Catherine E. Bell. Encyclopedia of the World’s Zoos. 2: G–P. Chofago: Fitzroy Dearborn. pp. 733–39.
[52]Schaller, George B. (1972). The Serengeti lion: A Study of Predator-Prey Relations. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.p. 248.
[53]Schaller, George B. (1972). The Serengeti lion: A Study of Predator-Prey Relations. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, pp. 247–48
[54]Schaller, George B. (1972). The Serengeti lion: A Study of Predator-Prey Relations. Chicago: University of Chicago Press p. 237.
[55]Nowak, Ronald M. (1999). Walker‘s Mammals of the World. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
[56]Many other species are hunted, based on availability. Mainly this will include ungulates weighing between 50 and 300 kg (110–660 lb) such as kudu, hartebeest, gemsbok, and eland. Occasionally, they take relatively small species such as Thomson’s gazelle or springbok.
[57]Stander, P. E. (1992). “Cooperative hunting in lions: the role of the individual”. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 29 (6): 445–54.
[58]Schaller, George B. (1972). The Serengeti lion: A Study of Predator-Prey Relations. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.p.153.
[59]Woodroffe, Rosie; Ginsberg, Joshua R. (1999). “Conserving the African wild dog Lycaon pictus. I. Diagnosing and treating causes of decline”. Oryx 33 (2): 132–42.
[60]It seems that the cheetah has a 50% chance of losing its kill to lions or other predators. See O’Brien, Stephen J.; Wildt, David E.; Bush, Mitchell (1986). “The Cheetah in Genetic Peril”.Scientific American (254): 68–76.
[61]Guggisberg, Charles Albert Walter (1972). Crocodiles: Their Natural History, Folklore, and Conservation. Newton Abbot: David & Charles. p. 195.
[62]Schaller, George B. (1972). The Serengeti lion: A Study of Predator-Prey Relations. Chicago: University of Chicago Press., p. 29.
[63]Schaller, George B. (1972). The Serengeti lion: A Study of Predator-Prey Relations. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 174. It is interesting to know that as with other cats, the male lion’s penis has spines which point backwards. Upon withdrawal of the penis, the spines rake the walls of the female’s vagina, which may cause ovulation. On this subject see See Asdell, Sydney A. (1993) [1964]. Patterns of Mammalian Reproduction. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
[64]Schaller, George B. (1972). The Serengeti lion: A Study of Predator-Prey Relations. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 142.
[65]Schaller, George B. (1972). The Serengeti lion: A Study of Predator-Prey Relations. pp. 188–89.
[66]Schaller, George B. (1972). The Serengeti lion: A Study of Predator-Prey Relations. pp. 189–90.
[67]Schaller, George B. (1972). The Serengeti lion: A Study of Predator-Prey Relations. p. 85.
[68]Sparks, J (1967). “Allogrooming in primates: a review”. In Desmond Morris. Primate Ethology. Chicago: Aldine.
[69] This is an intra-gender activity, males tend to rub other males, while cubs and females rub females. See Schaller, George B. (1972). The Serengeti Lion: A Study of Predator-Prey Relations Chicago: University of Chicago Press., pp. 85–88.
[70]It is generally mutual and the recipient appears to express pleasure.
[71]Schaller, George B. (1972). The Serengeti Lion: A Study of Predator-Prey Relations. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.pp. 92–102.
[72]They most often roar at night; the sound, which can be heard from a distance of 8 kilometres (5.0 mi), is used to advertise the animal’s presence.[125]
[73]Their repertoire of vocalizations is also large; variations in intensity and pitch, rather than discrete signals, appear central to communication. Lion sounds include snarling, purring, hissing, coughing, miaowing, woofing and roaring.
[74]Burger, Joachim et al. (March 2004). (fulltext) “Molecular phylogeny of the extinct cave lion Panthera leo spelaea“. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 30 (3): 841–49.
[75]Packer, Craig; Jean Clottes (2000). “When Lions Ruled France”. Natural History: Nov.pp. 52–57.
[76]Garai, Jana (1973). The Book of Symbols. New York: Simon & Schuster.
[77] See Aesop; Gibbs L (2002). Aesop’s Fables. Oxford World’s Classics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
[78]The Physiologus is an early Christian book about animal symbolism which spread into many cultures and generally had great influence in Western culture. First written in Greek in the second century AD, the book was translated into Latin in about 400 AD, next into Ethiopic and Syriac, then into many European and Middle-Eastern languages.
[79]Medieval poetical literature is full of allusions that can be traced to the Physiologus tradition; the text also exerted great influence on the symbolism of medieval ecclesiastical art.
[80]Garai, Jana (1973). The Book of Symbols. New York: Simon & Schuster.
[81]Graves, R (1955). “The First Labour: The Nemean Lion”. Greek Myths. London: Penguin. pp. 465–69.
[82]Cassin, Elena (1981). “Le Roi et le Lion”. Revue de l’Histoire des Religions 298 (198–4): 355–401.
[83] The Bible, Daniel 6
[84]Bhag-P 1.3.18 “In the fourteenth incarnation, the Lord appeared as Nrisimha and bifurcated the strong body of the atheist Hiranyakasipu with His nails, just as a carpenter pierces cane.”
[85]Bhag-P 7.8.19–22″.
[86]. It was originally only used by Rajputs a Hindu Kshatriya or military caste in India. After the birth of the Khalsa brotherhood in 1699, the Sikhs also adopted the name “Singh” due to the wishes of Guru Gobind Singh. See Dr. McCleod, Head of Sikh Studies, Department of South Asian Studies, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. See also Khushwant Singh, A History of the Sikhs, Volume I.
[87]Because lions have never been native to China, early depictions were somewhat unrealistic; after the introduction of Buddhist art to China in the Tang Dynasty (after the sixth century AD), lions were usually depicted without wings, their bodies became thicker and shorter, and their manes became curly.
[88]According to the Malay Annals, this name was given by a fourteenth century Sumatran Malay prince named Sang Nila Utama, who, on alighting the island after a thunderstorm, spotted an auspicious beast on shore which appeared to be a lion.
[89]This is corroborated by the fact that a lioness’ heart makes up only 0.57 percent of her body weight (a male’s is about 0.45 percent of his body weight), whereas a hyena’s heart is close to 1 percent of its body weight. See Schaller, George B. (1972). The Serengeti Lion: A Study of Predator-Prey Relations Chicago: University of Chicago Press., pp. 37.
[90]In literary and historical references, note of a figure or an image as depicting a lion may relate to either gender without being specific, and be easily misunderstood, thereby then being drawn with a mane since it is so distinctive.
[91]Fox-Davies, A.C. (1909). A Complete Guide to Heraldry. New York: Dodge Pub. Co.p. 172.
[92]A “lion rampant” is depicted in profile standing erect with forepaws raised. The position of the hind legs varies according to local custom: the lion may stand on both hind legs, braced wide apart, or on only one, with the other also raised to strike.
[93] A “lion passant” is walking, with the right fore paw raised and all others on the ground.
[94] A “lion statant” is standing, all four feet on the ground, usually with the forepaws together..
[95] A “lion salient” is leaping, with both hind legs together on the ground and both forelegs together in the air. This is a very rare position for a lion, but is also used of other heraldic beasts.
[96] A “lion sejant” is sitting on his haunches, with both forepaws on the ground.
[97] A “lion sejant erect” is seated on its haunches, but with its body erect and both forepaws raised in the “rampant” position (this is sometimes termed “sejant-rampant”).
[98] A “lion couchant” is lying down, but with the head raised.
[99] A “lion dormant” is lying down with its eyes closed and head lowered, resting upon the forepaws, as if asleep.
[100]It should be noted that each coat of arms has a right and left (i.e. dexter and sinister) side – with respect to the person carrying the shield – so the left side of the shield as drawn on the page (thus the right side to the shield bearer) is called the dexter side.
[101]Fox-Davies, A.C. (1909). A Complete Guide to Heraldry. New York: Dodge Pub. Co. p. 180.
[102]This practice leads some people to insist bitterly that the beasts in the royal arms of England and Estonia are leopards, not lions. The correct answer to this question is unknown; nevertheless, they are depicted with a mane.
[103]Lewis, Clive Staples (1950). The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. HarperCollins.
[104]Baum, L. Frank ; Hearn, Michael Patrick (1973). The Annotated Wizard of Oz. New York, NY: Clarkson N. Potter, Inc. p. 148

 

The Flower Correspondence: The Sunflower

Sunflower_The sacred flower attribution for the 20th path of the qabalistic Tree of Life is, of course, the Sunflower. It is not by any means a coincidence nor a surprise to see that this attribution follows the zodiacal attribution of Leo, that is connecting itself on the sacred animal attribution of the lion who himself has strong connotation to the sun as well as the color and the gemstone attribution that all converges to the yellow. The Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) is an annual plant native to the Americas. It possesses a large inflorescence (flowering head). The sunflower got its name from its huge, fiery blooms, whose shape and image is often used to depict the sun. The sunflower has a rough, hairy stem, broad, coarsely toothed, rough leaves and circular heads of flowers. The heads consist of 1,000-2,000 individual flowers joined together by a receptacle base. From the Americas, sunflower seeds were brought to Europe in the 16th century, where, along with sunflower oil, they became a widespread cooking ingredient. Leaves of the sunflower can be used as cattle feed, while the stems contain a fibre which may be used in paper production. While their distinctive and brilliant appearance makes it easy to see why sunflowers have long held our fascination, when they were first grown in Central and South America, it was more for their usefulness (providing oil and food) than beauty. And perhaps this unique combination of striking beauty and utility is, in part, why sunflowers have appeared as such revered symbols throughout the ages.It’s said that the natives of the Inca Empire worshipped a giant sunflower, and that Incan priestesses wore large sunflower disks made of gold on their garments. Images of sunflowers were found in the temples of the Andes Mountains, and Native American Indians placed bowls of sunflower seeds on the graves of their dead. The Impressionist period of art is famous for its fascination with the sunflower, and this striking flower remains today a commonly photographed and painted icon of uncommon beauty. What is usually called the “flower” on a mature sunflower is actually a “flower head” (also known as a “composite flower”) of numerous florets, (small flowers) crowded together. The outer petal-bearing florets are the sterile ray florets and can be yellow, red, orange, or other colors. The florets inside the circular head are called disc florets, which mature into seeds. The flower petals within the sunflower’s cluster are usually in a spiral pattern. Generally, each floret is oriented toward the next by approximately the golden angle, 137.5°, producing a pattern of interconnecting spirals, where the number of left spirals and the number of right spirals are successive Fibonacci numbers. Typically, there are 34 spirals in one direction and 55 in the other; on a very large sunflower there could be 89 in one direction and 144 in the other.[105] This pattern produces the most efficient packing of seeds within the flower head. Sunflowers most commonly grow to heights between 1.5 and 3.5 m (5–12 ft). Scientific literaturereports that a 12 m (40 ft), traditional, single-head, sunflower plant was grown in Padua in 1567. The same seed lot grew almost 8 m (26 ft) at other times and places, including Madrid. A common misconception is that sunflowers track the sun. In fact, mature flowerheads typically face east and do not move. The leaves and buds of young sunflowers do exhibit heliotropism (sun turning). Their orientation changes from east to west during the course of a day.[106] The movements become a circadian response and when plants are rotated 180 degrees, the old response pattern is still followed for a few days, with leaf orientation changing from west to east instead.[107] The leaf and flowerhead bud phototropism occurs while the leaf petioles and stems are still actively growing, but once mature, the movements stop. These movements involve the petioles bending or twisting during the day then unbending or untwisting at night.[108] The common misconceptions according to which sunflowers blindly follow the sun made them a symbol of infatuation or foolish passion.They are also considered as a flower symbolic of spiritual attainment, flexibility, and opportunity. They are also symbolic of good luck, wealth and ambition. Give sunflowers away to someone who is working toward a goal and needs a big break in their lives. They are also an excellent housewarming gift as the receiver embraces new opportunities in the form of hearth and home.

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[105] Door John A. Adam, Mathematics in nature: modeling patterns in the natural world, p. 217.
[106]Shella, G.S.G.; Langa, A.R.G.; Salea, P.J.M. (1974). “Quantitative measures of leaf orientation and heliotropic response in sunflower, bean, pepper and cucumber”. Agricultural Meteorology 13 (1): 25–37.
[107]Donat-Peter Häder; Michael Lebert (2001). Photomovement. Elsevier. pp. 673
[108]Brian James Atwell; Paul E. Kriedemann; Colin G. N. Turnbull (August 1999). Plants in action: adaptation in nature, performance in cultivation. Palgrave Macmillan Australia. pp. 265.

The Jewel Correspondence: The Cat’s Eye

cat-eyeThe sacred jewel attribution for the 19th path of the qabalistic Tree of Life is the Cymophane, a precious stone that is popularly known as “cat’s eye”. We can reasonably think that one of the main reasons for this attribution is probably because of its feline relationship with the lion, the sacred animal attributed to this path, and also because its color is close to the yellow associated with the sunflower and the lion, or more precisely the yellow with greenish and purple shade color attribution that have already been associated to this path. Cat’s eye jewelry is very fascinating since the gemstone possesses a unique effect that resembles the slit eye of a cat. This effect in cat’s eye jewelry is caused by the reflection of light within tiny parallel fibers. This is technically called chatoyancy. True cat’s eye jewelry is created with a variety of chrysoberyl, the third hardest of all minerals. This is also the same mineral from which alexandrite comes. Cat’s eye jewelry is often made using cabochon cut specimens in order to accentuate its unique characteristic. The optimum color for cat’s eye jewelry is a honey-brown. Light striking the stone usually creates a shadow effect within the gem, such that the side away from the light is a rich brown hue and the side facing the light is a milky-white color. True chrysoberyl cat’s eye, not to be confused with quartz cat’s eye, may also exhibit apple green and dark green background colors.[109] The mineral or gemstone chrysoberyl is an aluminate of beryllium. The name chrysoberyl is derived from the Greek words χρυσός chrysos and βήρυλλος beryllos, meaning “a gold-white spar”. Despite the similarity of their names, chrysoberyl and beryl are two completely different gemstones. Chrysoberyl is the third-hardest frequently encountered natural gemstone and lies at 8.5 on the hardness scale, between corundum (9) and topaz (8).[110]The jewelry industry designates these stones as “quartz cat’s eyes”, or “ruby cat’s eyes” and only chrysoberyl can be referred to as “cat’s eye” with no other designation. Cymophane has its derivation also from the Greek words meaning ‘wave’ and ‘appearance’, in reference to the chatoyancy sometimes exhibited. In this variety, microscopic tubelike cavities or needlelike inclusions[111] of rutile occur in an orientation parallel to the c-axis producing a chatoyant effect visible as a single ray of light passing across the crystal. This effect is best seen in gemstones cut in cabochon form perpendicular to the c-axis. The color in yellow chrysoberyl is due to Fe3+ impurities. Gems lacking the silky inclusions required to produce the cat’s eye effect are usually faceted. An alexandrite cat’s eye is a chrysoberyl cat’s eye that changes color. “Milk and honey” is a term commonly used to describe the color of the best cat’s eyes. The effect refers to the sharp milky ray of white light normally crossing the cabochon as a center line along its length and overlying the honey colored background. The honey color is considered to be top-grade by many gemologists but the lemon yellow colors are also popular and attractive. Cat’s eye material is found as a small percentage of the overall chrysoberyl production wherever chrysoberyl is found. Cat’s eye really became popular by the end of the 19th century when the Duke of Connaught gave a ring with a cat’s eye as an engagement token; this was sufficient to make the stone more popular and increase its value greatly. Cat’s Eye has been treasured for many centuries, particularly in Sri Lanka (Ceylon), where it is believed to be a powerful protective stone, particularly against evil spirits. Chrysoberyl has long been considered a good luck charm in numerous cultures. As mentioned, Cat’s Eyes are effective protective stones and talisman. They are believed to induce positive thoughts and help promote tolerance and harmony. Also because of its golden hue, it has often been associated with wealth. Chrysoberyls are known to be associated with discipline and self-control. They are said to promote concentration and the ability to learn and to help the wearer with striving for excellence. In addition to this, they bring peace of mind; clearer thinking and increased self-confidence helping one become more understanding of the fact that they have everything they already need to succeed. It protects the wearer from all kinds of misfortunes. This stone if it is of a good quality, can take the person to top. It can cure ailments such as heart trouble, hemorrhage and increases knowledge, longevity and strength and cures otherwise chronic and incurable diseases.

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[109] There are also synthetic fiberglass versions often made into beads and used for cat’s eye jewelry.
[110]Klein, Cornelis; and Cornelius S. Hurlbut, Jr. (1985). Manual of Mineralogy (20th ed. ed.). New York: Wiley.
[111]Mitchell, T. E. and Marder, J. M., “Precipitation in Cat’s-Eye Chrysoberyl,” Electron Microscopy Soc. Proceedings, 1982.

The Perfume Correspondence: Olibanum

olibanumFrankincense, also called olibanum (Hebrew: לבונה, levonah; Arabic: لُبَّانٌ, lubbān; Armenian: խունկ, khunk), is an aromatic resin obtained from trees of the genus Boswellia, particularly Boswellia sacra, B. carteri, B. thurifera, B. frereana, and B. bhaw-dajiana (Burseraceae). It is used in incense and perfumes. There are four main species of Boswellia which produce true frankincense and each type of resin is available in various grades. The grades depend on the time of harvesting, and the resin is hand-sorted for quality. Frankincense is tapped from the very scraggy but hardy Boswellia tree by slashing the bark, which is called striping, and allowing the exuded resins to bleed out and harden. These hardened resins are called tears. There are numerous species and varieties of frankincense trees, each producing a slightly different type of resin. Differences in soil and climate create even more diversity of the resin, even within the same species. Frankincense has been traded on the Arabian Peninsula and in North Africa for more than 5000 years. A mural depicting sacks of frankincense traded from the Land of Punt adorns the walls of the temple of ancient Egyptian Queen Hatshepsut, who died in 1458 BCE. Frankincense was a part of the 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. It is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible book of Exodus 30:34, where it is named levonah, meaning “white” in Hebrew.[112] “While burning incense was accepted as a practice in the later Roman Catholic church, the early church during Roman times forbade the use of incense in services resulting in a rapid decline in the incense trade.”[113] Frankincense was reintroduced to Europe by Frankish Crusaders (Frank-incense). Although it is better known as “frankincense” to westerners, the resin is also known as olibanum, which is derived from the Arabic al-lubān (roughly translated: “that which results from milking”), a reference to the milky sap tapped from the Boswellia tree. Some have also postulated that the name comes from the Arabic term for “Oil of Lebanon” since Lebanon was the place where the resin was sold and traded with Europeans. The lost city of Ubar, sometimes identified with Irem in what is now the town of Shisr in Oman, is believed to have been a center of the frankincense trade along the recently rediscovered “Incense Road.” Ubar was rediscovered in the early 1990s and is now under archaeological excavation. The Greek historian Herodotus was familiar with Frankincense and knew it was harvested from trees in southern Arabia. He reports, however, that the gum was dangerous to harvest because of venomous snakes that lived in the trees. He goes on to describe the method used by the Arabians to get around this problem, that being the burning of the gum of the styrax tree whose smoke would drive the snakes away.[114] The resin is also mentioned by Theophrastus and by Pliny the Elder in his Naturalis Historia. Frankincense is used all around the world in perfumery and aromatherapy. Frankincense essential oil is obtained by steam distillation of the dry resin. Some of the smell of the frankincense smoke is due to the products of pyrolysis. Frankincense was lavishly used in religious rites. According to the gospel of Matthew 2:11, gold, frankincense, and myrrh were among the gifts to Jesus by the Biblical Magi “from out of the East.” Tradition says that it was presented to the Christ Child by Balthasar, the black king from Ethiopia or Saba, thus fulfilling Isaiah’s prophecy that gold and frankincense would be brought from the Gentiles to honor the heavenly king. [Is 60:6] Frankincense was the purest incense. When burned it produced a white smoke which symbolized the prayers and praises of the faithful ascending to heaven.The frankincense represented His sinless deity, sym. Worship (Savior). Lev. 2:15 – the meal offering was flour mingled with oil, signifying the sinless person of Jesus, with flour His humanity, and oil His divinity Lev. 5:11 – no frankincense could be put on the sin offering In the Bible’s old Testament, it was part of the temple rites . The aroma of frankincense is said to represent life and the Judaic, Christian and Islamic faiths have often used frankincense mixed with oils to anoint newborn infants and individuals considered to be moving into a new phase in their spiritual lives. Because the ancients often burned frankincense during religious rituals, this gift symbolizes sacrifice, Christ’s divinity, His sweet savor, and His priestly role. It is also a symbol of the Divine name of God. The Egyptians ground the charred resin into a powder called kohl. Kohl was used to make the distinctive black eyeliner seen on so many figures in Egyptian art. The aroma of frankincense is said to represent life and the Judaic, Christian, and Islamic faiths have often used frankincense mixed with oils to anoint newborn infants and individuals considered to be moving into a new phase in their spiritual lives.

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[112]Klein, Ernest, A Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary of the Hebrew Language for Readers of English, The University of Haifa, Carta, Jerusalem, p.292
[113]Gibson, Dan (2011). Qur’anic Geography: A Survey and Evaluation of the Geographical References in the Qur’an with Suggested Solutions for Various Problems and Issues. Independent Scholars Press, Canada.p. 160.
[114]Herodotus 3,107

The Color Correspondence: Yellow with Greenish and Purple Shades

FFCC00The color attribution for this path is sometimes refered to as purple[115] or as Yellow. In the name of a compromise probably made to match more specifically the mixture of color present in the Cat’s Eye gemstone attributed to this path, Stephen Hoeller, in his book The Fool’s Pilgrimage tells us that the proper color attribution is “Yellow with greenish and purple shades.”[116] Yellow is the color evoked by light that stimulates both the L and M (long and medium wavelength) cone cells of the retina about equally, with no significant stimulation of the S (short-wavelength) cone cells.[117] Light with a wavelength of 570–590 nm is yellow, as is light with a suitable mixture of red and green. The Christian holiday of Easter is represented by the colors yellow and lavender because the crocus flower, which is yellow and lavender, blooms in Europe in the spring. In the metaphysics of the New Age Prophetess, Alice A. Bailey, in her system called the Seven Rays which classifies humans into seven different metaphysical psychological types, the fourth ray of harmony through conflict is represented by the color yellow. People who have this metaphysical psychological type are said to be on the Yellow Ray.”[118] In Hinduism, yellow is used to symbolically represent the third, solar plexus chakra (Manipura).[119] Psychics who claim to be able to observe the aura with their third eye report that someone with a yellow aura is typically someone who is in an occupation requiring intellectual acumen, such as a scientist.[120]

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[115] Israel Regardie, A Garden of Pomegrenates, p. 77.
[116] Stephen Hoeller, The Fool’s Pilgrimage. Kabbalistic Meditations on the Tarot, p. 55.
[117]James W. Kalat (2005). Introduction to Psychology. Thomson Wadsworth. p. 105.
[118]Bailey, Alice A. (1995). The Seven Rays of Life. New York: Lucis Publishing Company.
[119]Stevens, Samantha. (2004), The Seven Rays: a Universal Guide to the Archangels. City: Insomniac Press, 2004. pg. 24
[120]Swami Panchadasi The Human Aura: Astral Colors and Thought Forms Des Plaines, Illinois, USA:1912–Yogi Publications Society Page 33

The Drug Correspondence: Carminatives

carminativesThe drug attribution for the 20th path of the qabalistic Tree of Life is the carminatives. A carminative, also known as carminativum (plural carminativa), is an herb or herbal preparation that either prevents formation of gas in the gastrointestinal tract or facilitates the expulsion of said gas, thereby combating flatulence. Carminatives have been shown to decrease lower esophageal pressure, which on the other hand increases the risk of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) or ‘heartburn’. Carminatives are often mixtures of essential oils and herbal spices with a tradition in folk medicine for this use.For example,Egyptians thought garlic and onions aided endurance, and consumed large quantities of them. Raw garlic was routinely given to asthmatics and to those suffering with bronchial-pulmonary complaints. Onions helped against problems of the digestive system.[121] Another plant, Coriander, C. Sativum was considered to have cooling, stimulant, carminative and digestive properties.[122] Both the seeds and the plant were used as a spice in cooking to prevent and eliminate flatulence, they were also taken as a tea for stomach and all kinds of urinary complaints including cystitis. Coriander leaves were commonly added fresh to spicy foods to moderate their irritating effects. It was one of the herbs offered to the gods by the king, and seeds were found in the tomb of Tutankhamen and in other ancient burial sites. Cumin, Cumin cyminum is an umbelliferous herb indigenous to Egypt. The seeds were considered to be a stimulant and effective against flatulence.[123] They were often used together with coriander for flavouring. Cumin powder mixed with some wheat flour as a binder and a little water was applied to relieve the pain of any aching or arthritic joints. Powdered cumin mixed with grease or lard was inserted as an anal suppository to disperse heat from the anus and stop itching. Leaves from many plants, such as willow, sycamore, acacia[124] or the ym-tree, were used in poultices and the like.[125] Tannic Acid derived from acacia seeds commonly helped for cooling the vessels and heal burns.[126] Castor oil, figs and dates, were used as laxatives.[127]

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[121] Extracts from the Ebers medical papyrus. pEbers 192.
[122] See The Hearst Medical Papyrus. pHearst (Der Londoner medizinische Papyrus), and Der Medizinische Papyrus des Britischen Museums, transcriptions and German translations by W. Wreszinski. 102, 124.
[123] See The Hearst Medical Papyrus. pHearst (Der Londoner medizinische Papyrus), and Der Medizinische Papyrus des Britischen Museums, transcriptions and German translations by W. Wreszinski. 28, 55, 125
[124] (e.g. pEbers 105, 415 [56]) or
[125] (e.g. pSmith 46 [20]).
[126] (e.g. pHearst 95, 249)
[127] (e.g. pEbers 25 and 251 [56]) figs (e.g. pEbers 41 [56])

The Magical Weapon Correspondence: Discipline

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