July 17, 2019
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The General Description of the Path

vavThe Sixteenth Path, connecting Chesed and Chokmah, and thus entirely located on the giving the giving, mild pillar, is next. The sixteenth path of the qabalistic Tree of Life has been attributed to the Hebrew letter Waw.  “Here we travel from love to wisdom. In appearance , this path seems midder and more joyous than the preceding Eigtheenth, but in reality it is also a path of much loneliness and sorrow. On it, the traveler must learn how to wed wisdom and love thereby serve humanity in an utterly impersonal way. It is the path of religiously oriented initiation, and its function is to transform the initiate into an anitiator.”[1]

Inspiration – Inspiration means ‘breathing into’. The ancients believed that the Gods ‘breathed into them’, and would pray to the Gods for inspiration.  Creativity can seem miraculous, an external source that pours effortlessly through a person.  Nietzsche wrote Also Sprach Zarathustra in just such fever of inspiration, and afterwards he described the experience: “Has anyone at the end of the nineteenth century a clear idea of what poets of strong eras called inspiration?  If not, I will describe it.  If we had the slightest residue of superstition remaining in ourselves, we would scarcely be capable of rejecting outright the thought of being no more than a mere incarnation, a mere mouthpiece, a mere medium of overpowering forces.  The concept of revelation, in the sense that suddenly, with indescriptible certainty and subtlety, something becomes visible and audible, something that shakes us to the core and knocks us over… All of this is involuntary unto the extreme but as in a storm of a feeling of freedom, absoluteness, power, divinity… This is my experience of inspiration… (Collin A. Low, The Hermetic Kabbalah, p. 331)

vav---The keynote of this path goes like this: “Uniting the principles of love and wisdom, this path denotes the high initiation of Divine Love, or authentic compassion, which makes it incumbent upon the initiate to be an impersonal, all-beneficent administrator of supernal grace and power, a builder of a bridge between God and man.”[2] The magical motto of this path is the following: “Priest and victim, whom of old type and prophesy foretold, thee incarnate we belhold.”[3]


[1] Stephen, A. Hoeller, The Fool’s Pilgrimage, Kabbalistic Meditations on the Tarot, p. 59.

[2] Stephen, A. Hoeller, The Fool’s Pilgrimage, Kabbalistic Meditations on the Tarot, p. 109.

[3] A Catholic Litany of Solemn Benediction. Cited in Stephen, A. Hoeller, The Fool’s Pilgrimage, Kabbalistic Meditations on the Tarot, p. 109.


 The Hebrew Letter Correspondence: Vav(6)

vavvvvvvvThe Hebrew letter is Vav, meaning a “peg” or “nail.”


The Tarot Trump Correspondence: V – The Hiérophant

5-the-hierophant--V – The Hierophant is the tarot attribution for the sixth qabalistic Tree of Life (Vav). In many modern packs, the Hierophant is represented with his right hand raised in what is known esoterically as the blessing or benediction, with two fingers pointing skyward and two pointing down, thus forming a bridge between Heaven and Earth reminiscent of that formed by the body of The Hanged Man. The Hierophant is thus a true “pontiff”, in that he is the builder of the bridge between deity and humanity. The Hierophant is typically male, even in decks that take a feminist view of the Tarot, such as the Motherpeace Tarot. In most iconographic depictions, the Hierophant is seen seated on a throne between two pillars symbolizing pairs of opposites, namely Law and Liberty or obedience and disobedience, according to different interpretations. He wears a triple crown, and at his feet are two keys, “those of Life and Death, which solve the mysteries of existence.”[4] Those are also considered to be the keys to Heaven. Like Hoeller indicates: “His left hand holds the patriarchal cross of the four elements. The crossed keys of the double kingdom of heaven and earth, the higher and lower selves of man, adorn the platform of the hierophant’s throne.“[5] Sometimes he is shown with worshippers, as his alternate title is the Pope or, sometimes, even Jupiter.[6] The two tortured priest kneeling before him symbolizes ”the intellectual and the desirous nature of man, both being dedicated, in this instance, to the service of divine love and grace.”[7] The card is also commonly known as, “The High Priest,” as a counterpart to, “The High Priestess” (which itself is also sometimes known as, “The Popess,” as counterpart to “The Pope”). The Pope card when upright commonly suggest to seek guidance, to follow a positive advice endorsed to the querant, to do the right thing, to have faith, to keep on the right side of God, to be a positive role model, to be disciplined in your approach to matters and to clear off negative karma.Except in rare cases, every human grows and develops within a culture. We learn by living with others. The Hierophant represents such official learning, especially in groups. A Hierophant is someone who interprets secret knowledge. On Card 5 we see a religious figure in a formal church setting. He is wearing the elaborate vestments of his office. His task is to bring the two initiates into the church so they can take up their appointed roles. In readings, the Hierophant often represents learning with experts or knowledgeable teachers. This card also stands for institutions and their values. The Hierophant is a symbol of the need to conform to rules or fixed situations. His appearance in a reading can show that you are struggling with a force that is not innovative, free-spirited or individual. Groups can be enriching or stifling, depending on circumstances. Sometimes we need to follow a program or embrace tradition, other times, we need to trust ourselves.



[4] Israel Regardie, A Garden of Pomegrenates, p. 73.

[5] Stephen, A. Hoeller, The Fool’s Pilgrimage, Kabbalistic Meditations on the Tarot, p. 108.

[6]Dummett, Michael and Ronald Decker. History of the Occult Tarot. Duckworth, 2002.

[7] Stephen, A. Hoeller, The Fool’s Pilgrimage, Kabbalistic Meditations on the Tarot, p. 108.

The Fifth Step of the Fool’s Pilgrimage

ffoolllEventually, the Fool ventures out of his home into the wider world. He is exposed to the beliefs and traditions of his culture and begins his formal education. The Hierophant (5) represents the organized belief systems that begin to surround and inform the growing child.

A Hierophant is someone who interprets arcane knowledge and mysteries. On Card 5 we see a religious figure blessing two acolytes. Perhaps he is inducting them into church membership. Although this image is religious, it is really a symbol for initiations of all kinds.

The child is trained in all the practices of his society and becomes part of a particular culture and worldview. He learns to identify with a group and discovers a sense of belonging. He enjoys learning the customs of his society and showing how well he can conform to them.


[5] Stephen, A. Hoeller, The Fool’s Pilgrimage, Kabbalistic Meditations on the Tarot, p. 108.






The Zodiacal Correspondence: Taurus

taurussexhoroscopeThe constellation of the bull (Taurus) is in such a position as to welcome the sun’s motion during the vernal equinox. Meaning, the constellation of Taurus corresponds to the motions of the spring in western astrology (May 14 to June 19). This also conjures symbolism of abundance, replenishment and subsidy as spring is a time when the earth experiences her renewal. The Hebrew letter Vav (attributed to this path) is its pronunciation, and means a “nail.” It is used as a symbol of the phallus. This usage is confirmed by the zodiacal sign of Taurus the Bull, which, as already pointed out, is a glyph of the universal reproductive force. The phallus, in the mysticism of the Qabalah, is a creative symbol of a creative reality, the magical will. As an aid to the comprehension of this idea we can quote from Jung’s Psychology of the Unconscious for a definition: “The phallus is a being which moves without limbs, which sees without eyes, which knows the future; and as symbolic representative of the universal creative power existent everywhere immortality is vindicated in it… It is a seer, an artist, and a worker of miracles.”[8] This definition is particularly appropriate to the Chiah, of which the lingam is the terrestrial symbol as well as vehicle. Astrologically speaking the bull symbol is one-in-the-same with the Taurus (and the word Taurus means bull in Latin). Traits of the Taurean personality could be considered very “bull like” because these people can be incredibly powerful in both physical and spiritual presence. To be sure, a Taurus who has made his or her mind up will be unmovable. The symbol to the left is the astrological sign of the bull, Taurus.


[8] Jung, The Psychology of the Unconscious, p. ??

The Egyptian Deity Correspondence: Asar Ameshet Apis

apis2The attributions follow the astrological one very closely, for we find here the Eguptian Asar Ameshet Apis,[9] the fighting bull of Memphis, who trampled on his enemies.

In Egyptian mythology, Apis or Hapis (alternatively spelled Hapi-ankh), is a bull-deity that was worshipped in the Memphis region. “Apis served as an intermediary between humans and an all-powerful god (originally Ptah, later Osiris, then Atum).” [quote: Virtual Egyptian Museum]

According to Manetho, his worship was instituted by Kaiechos of the Second Dynasty. Apis is named on very early monuments, but little is known of the divine animal before the New Kingdom. Ceremonial burials of bulls indicate that ritual sacrifice was part of the worship of the early cow deities and a bull might represent a king who became a deity after death. He was entitled “the renewal of the life” of the Memphite god Ptah: but after death he became Osorapis, i.e. the Osiris Apis, just as dead humans were assimilated to Osiris, the king of the underworld. This Osorapis was identified with the Hellenistic Serapis, and may well be identical with him. Greek writers make the Apis an incarnation of Osiris, ignoring the connection with Ptah.e

Apis was the most important of all the sacred animals in Egypt, and, as with the others, its importance increased as time went on. Greek and Roman authors have much to say about Apis, the marks by which the black bull-calf was recognized, the manner of his conception by a ray from heaven, his house at Memphis with court for disporting himself, the mode of prognostication from his actions, the mourning at his death, his costly burial, and the rejoicings throughout the country when a new Apis was found. Auguste Mariette‘s excavation of the Serapeum at Memphis revealed the tombs of over sixty animals, ranging from the time of Amenophis III to that of Ptolemy Alexander. At first each animal was buried in a separate tomb with a chapel built above it.

Khamuis, the priestly son of Ramesses II (c. 1300 B.C.), excavated a great gallery to be lined with the tomb chambers; another similar gallery was added by Psammetichus I. The careful statement of the ages of the animals in the later instances, with the regnal dates for their birth, enthronement, and death have thrown much light on the chronology from the Twenty-second dynasty onwards. The name of the mother-cow and the place of birth often are recorded. The sarcophagi are of immense size, and the burial must have entailed enormous expense. It is therefore remarkable that the priests contrived to bury one of the animals in the fourth year of Cambyses.

The cult of the Apis bull started at the very beginning of Egyptian history, probably as a fertility god connected to grain and the herds. In a funerary context, the Apis was a protector of the deceased, and linked to the pharaoh. This animal was chosen because it symbolized the king’s courageous heart, great strength, virility, and fighting spirit. The Apis bull was considered to be a manifestation of the pharaoh, as bulls were symbols of strength and fertility, qualities which are closely linked with kingship (“strong bull of his mother Hathor” was a common title for gods and pharaohs).

Occasionally, the Apis bull was pictured with her sun-disk between his horns, being one of few deities associated with her symbol. When the disk was depicted on his head with his horns below and the triangle on his forehead, an ankh was suggested. It also is a symbol closely associated with his mother.

Apis was originally the Herald (wHm) of Ptah, the chief god in the area around Memphis. As a manifestation of Ptah, Apis also was considered to be a symbol of the pharaoh, embodying the qualities of kingship.

The bovines in the region in which Ptah was worshipped exhibited white patterning on their mainly black bodies, and so a belief grew up that the Apis bull had to have a certain set of markings suitable to its role. It was required to have a white triangle upon its forehead, a white vulture wing outline on its back, a scarab mark under its tongue, a white crescent moon shape on its right flank, and double hairs on its tail.

The bull which matched these markings was selected from the herd, brought to a temple, given a harem of cows, and worshipped as an aspect of Ptah. His mother was believed to have been conceived by a flash of lightning from the heavens, or from moonbeams, and also was treated specially. At the temple, Apis was used as an oracle, his movements being interpreted as prophecies. His breath was believed to cure disease, and his presence to bless those around with virility. He was given a window in the temple through which he could be seen, and on certain holidays was led through the streets of the city, bedecked with jewelry and flowers.

Sometimes the body of the bull was mummified and fixed in a standing position on a foundation made of wooden planks. Bulls’ horns embellish some of the tombs of ancient pharaohs, and the Apis bull was often depicted on private coffins as a powerful protector. As a form of Osiris, lord of the dead, it was believed that to be under the protection of the Apis bull would give the person control over the four winds in the afterlife.

By the New Kingdom, the remains of the Apis bulls were interred at the cemetery of Saqqara. The earliest known burial in Saqqara was performed in the reign of Amenhotep III by his son Thutmosis; afterwards, seven more bulls were buried nearby. Ramesses II initiated Apis burials in what is now known as the Serapeum, an underground complex of burial chambers at Saqqara for the sacred bulls, a site used through the rest of Egyptian history into the reign of Cleopatra VII.

Apis was the most popular of the three great bull cults of ancient Egypt (the others being the bulls Mnevis and Buchis.) The worship of the Apis bull was continued by the Greeks and after them by the Romans, and lasted until almost 400 A.D.

According to Arrian, Apis was one of the Egyptian Gods for which Alexander the Great performed a sacrifice during his seizure of the country from the Persians.[2] After Alexander’s death, his general Ptolemy Soter made efforts to integrate Egyptian religion with that of their new Hellenic rulers. Ptolemy’s policy was to find a deity that should win the reverence alike of both groups, despite the curses of the Egyptian priests against the gods of the previous foreign rulers (i.e. Set who was lauded by the Hyksos). Alexander had attempted to use Amun for this purpose, but he was more prominent in Upper Egypt, which was not so popular with those in Lower Egypt, where the Greeks had stronger influence. Nevertheless, the Greeks had little respect for animal-headed figures, and so a Greek statue was chosen as the idol, and proclaimed as anthropomorphic equivalent of the highly popular Apis. It was named Aser-hapi (i.e. Osiris-Apis), which became Serapis, and was said to be Osiris in full, rather than just his Ka.

The earliest mention of a Serapis is in the authentic death scene of Alexander, from the royal diaries (Arrian, Anabasis, VII. 26). Here, Serapis has a temple at Babylon, and is of such importance that he alone is named as being consulted on behalf of the dying king. His presence in Babylon would radically alter perceptions of the mythologies of this era, though fortunately, it has been discovered that the unconnected Bablyonian god Ea was titled Serapsi, meaning king of the deep, and it is this Serapsi which is referred to in the diaries. The significance of this Serapsi in the Hellenic psyche, due to its involvement in Alexander’s death, may have also contributed to the choice of Osiris-Apis as the chief Ptolemaic god.

According to Plutarch, Ptolemy stole the statue from Sinope, having been instructed in a dream by the unknown god, to bring the statue to Alexandria, where the statue was pronounced to be Serapis by two religious experts. One of the experts was one of the Eumolpidae, the ancient family from whose members the hierophant of the Eleusinian Mysteries had been chosen since before history, and the other was the scholarly Egyptian priest Manetho, which gave weight to the judgement both for the Egyptians and the Greeks.

Plutarch may not however be correct, as some Egyptologists allege that the Sinope in the tale is really the hill of Sinopeion, a name given to the site of the already existing Serapeum at Memphis. Also, according to Tacitus, Serapis (i.e. Apis explicitly identified as Osiris in full) had been the god of the village of Rhacotis, before it suddenly expanded into the great capital of Alexandria.

The statue suitably depicted a figure resembling Hades or Pluto, both being kings of the Greek underworld, and was shown enthroned with the modius, which is a basket/grain-measure, on his head, since it was a Greek symbol for the land of the dead. He also held a sceptre in his hand indicating his rulership, with Cerberus, gatekeeper of the underworld, resting at his feet, and it also had what appeared to be a serpent at its base, fitting the Egyptian symbol of rulership, the uraeus.

With his (i.e., Osiris’) wife, Isis, and their son (at this point in history) Horus (in the form of Harpocrates), Serapis won an important place in the Greek world, reaching Ancient Rome, with Anubis being identified as Cerberus. The cult survived until 385 AD, when Christians destroyed the Serapeum of Alexandria, and subsequently the cult was forbidden by the Theodosian decree.


[9] Asar and Apis refer to the dual god Osiris Apis or Serapis. Ameshet or Amset is the man-headed Son of Horus.

The Animal Correspondence: The Bulll

bullBulls have held a place of significance in human culture since before the beginning of recorded history. They appear in cave paintings estimated to be up to 17,000 years old. The mythic Bull of the Heavens plays a role in the ancient Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh, dating as far back as 2150 BC. The importance of the bull is reflected in its appearance in the zodiac as Taurus, and its numerous appearances in mythology, where it is often associated with fertility. See also Korban. In Hinduism, a bull named Nandi, usually depicted seated, is worshipped as the vehicle of the god Shiva. Symbolically, the bull appears commonly in heraldry, and, in modern times, as a mascot for both amateur and professional sports teams. A bull in a coat of arms, on a crest or a shield, represents valor and magnanimity, bravery and generosity. The horns represent strength and fortitude and a winged bull is the symbol traditionally associated with St. Luke.The Orphic congregation[10] at certain of their holiest secret convocations solemnly partook of the blood of a bull, according to Murray, which bull was, by some mystery, the blood of Dionysus-Zagreus himself, the “Bull of God” slain in sacrifice for the purification of man. And the Maenads[11] of poetry and mythology, among more beautiful proofs of their superhuman character, have always to tear bulls in pieces and tast of the blood. The reader will also recall to mind the fair promise of Lord Dunsany’s most interesting story, The Blessing of Pan.In Celtic symbolism the bull represented physical strength and power. To the Celtic way of thought, the bull was also extremely virile, and so symbolized fertility and the power to procreate – to extend the life of the clans. Druids associated the bull with solar energy and the female cow with earth energy. The bull was also symbolic of great luxury, wealth and provision by later Celts. Indeed, cattle were a source of income and supply in many forms – a way of life for the Celts for centuries. You can read more about Celtic bull symbolism here.


[10] The Orphic Mysteries were named after Orpheus, the Greek hero with divine musical abilities, supposed author of sacred writings called the Orphic rhapsodies and the alleged founder of the religion. These writtings focused on the subject of purification and the afterlife. The Orphic Mysteries did not revolve around Opheus as much as they did the god Dionysus.

[11] Female follower of the rites of Dionysus.


The Hindu Dity Correspondence: The Creative Aspect of Shiva & Héré

2f978ca7In India we see the sacred bull revered as typifying Shiva in his creative aspect; also as glyphed in their temples by an erect lingam. Héré, the goddess of marriage, and Hymen, the god carrying the nuptial veil, are also correspondences.

The Greek Divinity Correspondence: Dionysus

Dionysus-KleophradesDionysus (Ancient Greek: Διόνυσος, Dionysos) was the god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine, of ritual madness and ecstasy in Greek mythology. His name in Linear B tablets shows he was worshipped from c. 1500—1100 BC by Mycenean Greeks: other traces of Dionysian-type cult have been found in ancient Minoan Crete.[12] His origins are uncertain, and his cults took many forms; some are described by ancient sources as Thracian, others as Greek.[13] In some cults, he arrives from the east, as an Asiatic foreigner; and in others, from Ethiopia in the South. In Greek mythology, he is presented as a son of Zeus and the mortal Semele, thus semi-divine or heroic: and as son of Zeus and Persephone or Demeter, thus both fully divine, part-chthonic and possibly identical with Iacchus of the Eleusinian mysteries. Some scholars believe that Dionysus is a syncretism of a local Greek nature deity and a more powerful god from Thrace or Phrygia such as Sabazios[14] or Zalmoxis.[15]Dionysus is a god of epiphany, “the god that comes”, and his “foreignness” as an arriving outsider-god may be inherent and essential to his cults. He is a major, popular figure of Greek mythology and religion, and is included in some lists of the twelve Olympians. His festivals were the driving force behind the development of Greek theater. He is an example of a dying god.[16]The earliest cult images of Dionysus show a mature male, bearded and robed. He holds a fennel staff, tipped with a pine-cone and known as a thyrsus. Later images show him as a beardless, sensuous, naked or half-naked youth: the literature describes him as womanly or “man-womanish”.[17] In its fully developed form, his central cult imagery shows his triumphant, disorderly arrival or return, as if from some place beyond the borders of the known and civilized. His procession (thiasus) is made up of wild female followers (maenads) and ithyphallic, bearded satyrs. Some are armed with the thyrsus, some dance or play music. The god himself is drawn in a chariot, usually by exotic beasts such as lions or tigers, and is sometimes attended by a bearded, drunken Silenus. This procession is presumed to be the cult model for the human followers of his Dionysian Mysteries. In his Thracian mysteries, he wears the bassaris or fox-skin, symbolizing a new life. Dionysus is represented by city religions as the protector of those who do not belong to conventional society and thus symbolizes everything which is chaotic, dangerous and unexpected, everything which escapes human reason and which can only be attributed to the unforeseeable action of the gods.[18]The bull, the serpent, the ivy and the wine are the signs of the characteristic Dionysian atmosphere, and Dionysus is strongly associated with satyrs, centaurs, and sileni. He is often shown riding a leopard, wearing a leopard skin, or in a chariot drawn by panthers, and may also be recognized by the thyrsus he carries. Besides the grapevine and its wild barren alter-ego, the toxic ivy plant, both sacred to him, the fig was also his symbol. The pinecone that tipped his thyrsus linked him to Cybele. The Dionysia and Lenaia festivals in Athens were dedicated to Dionysus. Initiates worshipped him in the Dionysian Mysteries, which were comparable to and linked with the Orphic Mysteries, and may have influenced Gnosticism. Orpheus was said to have invented the Mysteries of Dionysus.[19] Dionysus was another god of resurrection who was strongly linked to the bull. In a cult hymn from Olympia, at a festival for Hera, Dionysus is invited to come as a bull; “with bull-foot raging.” Walter Burkert relates, “Quite frequently [Dionysus] is portrayed with bull horns, and in Kyzikos he has a tauromorphic image,” and refers also to an archaic myth in which Dionysus is slaughtered as a bull calf and impiously eaten by the Titans. In the Classical period of Greece, the bull and other animals identified with deities were separated from them as their agalma, a kind of heraldic show-piece that concretely signified their numinous presence.[20] In the Jewish Kabbalah, the Hebrew letter Vav is also the “Son” of Tetragrammaton which is equated with Bacchus or a Christ figure in Olympus saving the world. The earliest discussions of mythological parallels between Dionysus and the figure of the Christ in Christian theology can be traced to Friedrich Hölderlin, whose identification of Dionysus with Christ is most explicit in Brod und Wein (1800–1801) and Der Einzige (1801–1803).[21]Modern scholars such as Martin Hengel, Barry Powell, and Peter Wick, among others, argue that Dionysian religion and Christianity have notable parallels. They point to the symbolism of wine and the importance it held in the mythology surrounding both Dionysus and Jesus Christ;[22] though, Wick argues that the use of wine symbolism in the Gospel of John, including the story of the Marriage at Cana at which Jesus turns water into wine, was intended to show Jesus as superior to Dionysus.[23]Scholars of comparative mythology identify both Dionysus and Jesus with the dying-and-returning god mythological archetype.[24] Other elements, such as the celebration by a ritual meal of bread and wine, also have parallels. Powell, in particular, argues precursors to the Christian notion of transubstantiation can be found in Dionysian religion.[25]Another parallel can be seen in The Bacchae where Dionysus appears before King Pentheus on charges of claiming divinity which is compared to the New Testament scene of Jesus being interrogated by Pontius Pilate.[26]Scholar E. Kessler in a symposium Pagan Monotheism in the Roman Empire, Exeter, 17–20 July 2006, states that Dionysian cult had developed into strict monotheism by the 4th century CE; together with Mithraism and other sects the cult formed an instance of “pagan monotheism” in direct competition with Early Christianity during Late Antiquity.[27] Dionysus is equated with both Bacchus and Liber (also Liber Pater). Liber (“the free one”) was a god of male fertility, wine, and growth, whose female counterpart was Libera. His festival was the Liberalia, celebrated on March 17, but in some myths the festival was also held on March 5.


[12] See Karl Kerenyi 1976.

[13] See Thomas McEvilley, The Shape of Ancient Thought, Allsworth press, 2002, pp.118-121; Reginald Pepys Winnington-Ingram, Sophocles: an interpretation, Cambridge University Press, 1980, p.109; Zofia H. Archibald, in Gocha R. Tsetskhladze (Ed.) Ancient Greeks West and East, Brill, 1999, p.429 ff.

[14]Patricia Turner, Charles Russell Coulter (2001), Dictionary of Ancient Deities, p.152.

[15]Patricia Turner, Charles Russell Coulter (2001), Dictionary of Ancient Deities, p.520.

[16]Burkert, Walter (1985), Greek Religion, pp. 64, 132.

[17]Otto, Walter F. (1995). Dionysus Myth and Cult. Indiana University Press.

[18]Alain Danielou, Gods of Love and Ecstasy, p.15

[19]Apollodorus (Pseudo Apollodorus), Library and Epitome, 1.3.2. “Orpheus also invented the mysteries of Dionysus, and having been torn in pieces by the Maenads he is buried in Pieria.”

[20]Burkert, Walter, Greek Religion, 1985 pp. 64, 132

[21]The mid-19th century debates are traced in G.S. Williamson (2004), The Longing for Myth in Germany.

[22]Pausanias, Description of Greece 6. 26. 1 – 2; Athenaeus,Deipnosophistae 2. 34a.

[23] See Biblica (Rome: Pontifical Biblical Institute) 85 (2): 179–198.

[24]Burkert, Walter, Greek Religion, 1985 pp. 64, 132

[25]Powell, Barry B., Classical Myth Second ed. With new translations of ancient texts by Herbert M. Howe. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1998.

[26] See Martin Hengel (2005), Studies in Early Christology, p.331; Powell, Barry B., Classical Myth Second ed. With new translations of ancient texts by Herbert M. Howe. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1998.

[27]E. Kessler, Dionysian Monotheism in Nea Paphos, Cyprus: “two monotheistic religions, Dionysian and Christian, existed contemporaneously in Nea Paphos during the 4thcentury C.E. […] the particular iconography of Hermes and Dionysos in the panel of the Epiphany of Dionysos […] represents the culmination of a pagan iconographic tradition in which an infant divinity is seated on the lap of another divine figure; this pagan motif was appropriated by early Christian artists and developed into the standardized icon of the Virgin and Child. Thus the mosaic helps to substantiate the existence of pagan monotheism.”

 The Roman Divinity Correspondence: Baccus

baccusWe saw earlier on that the Hebrew letter Vav is also the “Son” in the structure of the Tetragrammaton – Bacchus or Christ in Olympus (Heaven) saving the world. It also represents Parsival as the King-Priest in Montsalvat celebrating the miracle of redemption.[28] The name Bacchus is a derivative from a Greek root meaning a “wand.” Together with his many names of Bromios, Zagreus, and Sabazios,[29] he has many shapes, especially – so says Prof. Gilbert Murray – appearing as a bull and a serpent. Many of the correspondences of Tiphareth, the sixth Sephirah, have a close connection with this sixteenth path. Adonis, Tammuz, Mithras, and Attis are further allocations. Bacchus (Greek: Βάκχος, Bakkhos) is the name adopted by the Romans[30] and the frenzy he induces, bakkheia. His thyrsus is sometimes wound with ivy and dripping with honey. It is a beneficent wand but also a weapon, and can be used to destroy those who oppose his cult and the freedoms he represents. He is also the Liberator (Eleutherios), whose wine, music and ecstatic dance frees his followers from self-conscious fear and care, and subverts the oppressive restraints of the powerful. Those who partake in his mysteries are possessed and empowered by the god himself.[31] His cult is also a “cult of the souls”; his maenads feed the dead through blood-offerings, and he acts as a divine communicant between the living and the dead.[32]Introduced into Rome (c. 200 BC) from the Greek culture of southern Italy or by way of Greek-influenced Etruria, the bacchanalia were held in secret and attended by women only, in the grove of Simila, near the Aventine Hill, on March 16 and 17. Subsequently, admission to the rites was extended to men and celebrations took place five times a month. The mystery-cult may have been seen as a threat to the political status quo. The notoriety of these festivals, where many kinds of crimes and political conspiracies were supposed to be planned, led to a decree by the Senate in 186 BC — the so-called Senatus consultum de Bacchanalibus, inscribed on a bronze tablet discovered in Calabria (1640), now in Vienna — by which the Bacchanalia were prohibited throughout all Italy except in special cases that required specific approval by the Senate. In spite of the severe punishment inflicted on those found in violation of this decree, the Bacchanalia were not stamped out, at any rate in the south of Italy, for a very long time.


[28] In Wolfram von Eschenbach’s thirteenth century classic Parzival, the Holy Grail was originally brought down from Heaven by angels to the castle of Montsalvat. Parzival was the hero of the Arthurian Grail myths, who went from a childlike simpleton (the classic Fool) to knight and keeper of the Holy Grail. The Grail represented the salvation of Christ.

[29] According to Robert Grave, Sabazius, a name of Dionysus, means “breaker in pieces” (See Robert Graves (1997), The Greek Myths, Vol 2, p. 778). Legend has it that the god was torn to pieces and later reborn. Note the similarity to the Hebrew word Sabaoth or Tzabaoth, meaning “hosts, armies.”

[30]In Greek “both votary and god are called Bacchus.” Burkert, Greek Religion 1985:162. For the initiate as Bacchus, see Euripides, Bacchantes 491. For the god, who alone is Dionysus, see Sophocles Oedipus the King 211 and Euripides Hippolytus 560.

[31] Scholar Dana Sutton mentions Dionysus as The Liberator in relation to the city Dionysia festivals. In Euripides, Bacchae 379-385: “He holds this office, to join in dances, [380] to laugh with the flute, and to bring an end to cares, whenever the delight of the grape comes at the feasts of the gods, and in ivy-bearing banquets the goblet sheds sleep over men.” (Sutton, Dana F. (1983), Ancient Comedy, Twayne Publishers., p.2.

[32]Xavier Riu, Dionysism and Comedy, Rowman and Littlefield, 1999, p.105 ff.

The Perfume Correspondence: Storax

storaxxStorax is the fragrance correspondence for the Sixth Path of the qabalistic Tree of Life. Storax is the resinous exudate of the tree Liquidambar orientalis (commonly called oriental sweetgum or Turkish sweetgum) native to the eastern Mediterranean region, that occurs as pure stands mainly in the flood plains of southwestern Turkey and on the Greek island of Rhodes. It is occasionally used in incense or as an aromatic fixative in perfumery. The extraction of its sap and the production of an oil based thereof (sığala yağı), as well as exports of these products, play an important role in the local economy. The recolt of the sap and the preparation of the oil involve quite toilsome tasks lasting from May to November and consisting of several separate phases. There is a danger for the present generation of master oil makers not being replaced in near future.In English, this oil is known under several names, shortly as Storax to englobe all sweetgum oils, or as Styrax Levant, Asiatic Storax, Balsam Storax, Liquid Storax, Oriental Sweetgum Oil, or Turkish Sweetgum Oil. Diluted with a suitable carrier oil, it is used externally in traditional medicine for abrasions, anxiety, bronchitis, catarrh, coughs, cuts, ringworm, scabies, stress-related conditions and wounds. Eduard Simon extracted an oily liquid from storax through water damp distillation in 1839.[33] He named it “styrol” which translates to styrene in English. Some say that styrene was distillated before by others.[34] Styrene polymerises under natural conditions to polystyrene. The similarly named styrax is from a different plant.


[33]Simon E.: Liebigs Ann. chem. 31, (1839) p. 265

[34]Ray H. Boundy, Raymond F. Boyer, and Sylvia M. Stoesser, Styrene: its Polymers, Copolymers, and Derivatives, 1952, Reinhold, New York

The Jewel Correspondence: Topaz

london-blue-topaz-gem-1Topaz is a silicate mineral of aluminium and fluorine. The name “topaz” is derived (via Old French: Topace and Latin: Topazus) from the Greek Τοπάζιος (Τοpáziοs) or Τοπάζιον (Τοpáziοn), the ancient name of St. John’s Island in the Red Sea which was difficult to find and from which a yellow stone (now believed to be chrysolite: yellowish olivine) was mined in ancient times; topaz itself (rather than topazios) wasn’t really known about before the classical era. Topaz crystallizes in the orthorhombic system and its crystals are mostly prismatic terminated by pyramidal and other faces. Pure topaz is colorless and transparent but is usually tinted by impurities; typical topaz is wine, yellow, pale gray, reddish-orange, or blue brown. It can also be made white, pale green, blue, gold, pink (rare), reddish-yellow or opaque to transparent/translucent. Orange topaz, also known as precious topaz, is the traditional November birthstone, the symbol of friendship, and the state gemstone for the US state of Utah. Imperial topaz is yellow, pink (rare, if natural) or pink-orange. Brazilian Imperial Topaz can often have a bright yellow to deep golden brown hue, sometimes even violet. Many brown or pale topazes are treated to make them bright yellow, gold, pink or violet colored. Some imperial topaz stones can fade on exposure to sunlight for an extended period of time.Many modern English translations of the Bible, including the King James Version mention Topaz in Exodus 28:17 in reference to a stone in the Hoshen: “And thou shalt set in it settings of stones, even four rows of stones: the first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle (Garnet): this shall be the first row.” There is some confusion regarding the mystical meaning of the topaz gemstone because most mythology surrounding the stone was based on the yellow topaz (alternative November birthstone). Topaz was associated with the sun, due to its fiery color, and like many gemstones, was considered a royal gemstone. Depending on where you research your information, there are often numerous meanings associated with each gemstone. But with topaz, the consensus seems to declare that topaz is the gemstone of understanding, wisdom, and fulfillment. Topaz is said to promote clear vision and understanding both of the self and of the world at large, making topaz the stone of both self-realization and worldly wisdom. Topaz is also said to promote creativity, individuality, and self-expression. Other meanings include the topaz gemstone as a protective stone, a healing stone, and a promoter of truth. As one of the stones in Hoshen or the Breastplate of Aaron, topaz inherently contains within its abstract and metaphysical properties a spiritual depth unrivaled by many gemstones. Although it is sometimes disputed whether the Biblical text referred to a yellow topaz or chrysolite (another yellow stone), in Jewish writings, the topaz is said to bring blessings of joy and abundance to one’s life. Pliny says that Topazos is a legendary island in the Red Sea and the mineral “topaz” was first mined there. The word topaz might be related to the Arabic word توباز which meant “the subject of the search” or Sanskrit word तपस् “tapas” meaning “heat” or “fire.” Nicols, the author of one of the first systematic treatises on minerals and gemstones, dedicated two chapters to the topic in 1652.[35] In the Middle Ages, the name topaz was used to refer to any yellow gemstone, but in modern times it denotes only the silicate described above.


[35] See A Lapidary or History of Gemstones, University of Cambridge, 1652.

The Color Correspondence: Indigo

550080Indigo is the color of this path. Indigo is a color named after the blue dye derived from the plant Indigofera tinctoria and related species. The color is placed on the electromagnetic spectrum between about 420 and 450 nm in wavelength, placing it between blue and violet. Although traditionally considered one of seven divisions of the rainbow or the optical spectrum, modern color scientists do not usually recognize indigo as a separate division and generally classify wavelengths shorter than about 450 nm as violet.[36] Optical scientists Hardy and Perrin list indigo as between 446 and 464 nm wavelength.[37]  Many modern books place indigo on the spectrum between 450 and 420 nanometers,[1][5][6] which lies on the short-wave side of color wheel (RGB) blue, towards (spectral) violet. However, the correspondence of this definition with colors of actual indigo dyes is disputed. Optical scientists Hardy and Perrin list indigo as between 446 and 464 nm wavelength,[7] which occupies a spectrum segment from roughly the color wheel (RGB) blue extending to the long-wave side, towards azureIsaac Newton introduced indigo as one of the seven colors in his spectrum. In the mid-1660s, when Newton bought a pair of prisms at a fair near Cambridge, the East India Company had begun importing indigo dye into England,[8] supplanting the homegrown woad as the source of blue dye.

India is believed to be the oldest center of indigo dyeing in the Old World. It was a primary supplier of indigo dye, derived from the plant Indigofera tinctoria, to Europe as early as the Greco-Roman era. The association of India with indigo is reflected in the Greek word for the ‘dye’, which was indikon (ινδικόν). The Romans used the term indicum, which passed into Italian dialect and eventually into English as the word indigo. The country of El Salvador has lately been the biggest producer of indigo.[citation neededThe same indigo dye is contained in the woad plant, Isatis tinctoria, for a long time the main source of blue dye in Europe. Woad was replaced by true indigo as trade routes opened up, and both are now largely replaced by synthetic dyes.  Though the word indigo has existed in English since the 13th century, it may never have been a common part of the basic color-naming system.[4]

The color electric indigo is used to symbolically represent the sixth chakra (called Ajna), which is said to include the third eye. This chakra is believed to be related to intuition and gnosis (spiritual knowledge).[38] In New Age philosophy, indigo is regarded as representing intuition.[39]Psychics who claim the ability to observe the aura with their third eye generally associate indigo, in auras, with an interest in religion or with intense spirituality and intuition. Indigo children are said to have predominately indigo auras. People with indigo auras are said to be in occupations such as computer analyst, animal caretaker, and counselor.[40] Indigo color also ‘Symbolizes’ spirituality and is said to be a faithful guide on the path to one’s higher self. This association has its roots in the gemstones – azurite and lolite. When constantly in touch with the skin, these two stones enhance a person’s sixth sense and problem-solving ability. They boost creativity and help a person come up with innovative solutions for old problems. The presence of indigo in life, aids a person in attaining wisdom and gaining academic knowledge.

The tone of indigo used in the spiritualist applications is electric indigo because the color is represented as being the color of the spectrum between blue and violet.[38]


[36] See J. W. G. Hunt (1980), Measuring Color. Ellis Horwood Ltd.

[37] See Arthur C. Hardy and Fred H. Perrin (1932), The Principles of Optics. McGraw-Hill Book Co., Inc., New York.

[38]Stevens, Samantha. The Seven Rays: a Universal Guide to the Archangels. City: Insomniac Press, 2004. p. 24

[39]Graham, Lanier F. (editor) The Rainbow Book Berkeley, California:1976 Shambala Publishing and The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (Handbook for the Summer 1976 exhibition The Rainbow Art Show which took place primarily at the De Young Museum but also at other museums) Indigo Pages 152-153 The color indigo is stated to represent intuition.

[40]Oslie, Pamalie Life Colors: What the Colors in Your Aura Reveal Novato, California:2000–New World Library Indigo Auras: Pages 161-174

The Magical Weapon Correspondence: Labor of Preparation


The Drug Correspondence: Sugar Cane

sugarcaneSugarcane refers to any of six to 37 species (depending on which taxonomic system is used) of tall perennial grasses of the genus Saccharum (family Poaceae, tribe Andropogoneae). Native to the warm temperate to tropical regions of South Asia, they have stout, jointed, fibrous stalks that are rich in sugar, and measure two to six metres (six to 19 feet) tall. Crystallized sugar was reported 5,000 years ago in the Indus Valley Civilization, located in modern-day Pakistan and north India. Around the eighth century A.D., Arab traders introduced sugar from South Asia to the other parts of the Abbasid Caliphate in Mediterranean, Mesopotamia, Egypt, North Africa, and Andalusia. By the 10th century, sources state, there was no village in Mesopotamia that did not grow sugarcane.[41] It was among the early crops brought to the Americas by the Andalusians from their fields in the Canary Islands, and the Portuguese. Sugarcane products include table sugar, falernum, molasses, rum, cachaça (a traditional spirit from Brazil), bagasse and ethanol.


[41]Watson, Andrew. Agricultural Innovation in the Early Islamic World. Cambridge University Press. p.26–7.

The Plant Correspondence: Mallow

MallowMalvaceae, or the mallow family, is a family of flowering plants containing over 200 genera with close to 2,300 species.[42] Well known members of this family include okra, jute and cacao. The largest genera in terms of number of species include Hibiscus (300 species), Sterculia (250 species), Dombeya (225 species), Pavonia (200 species) and Sida (200 species). Most species are herbs or shrubs but some are trees and lianas. Leaves are generally alternate, often palmately lobed or compound and palmately veined. The margin may be entire, but when dentate a vein ends at the tip of each tooth (malvoid teeth). Stipules are present. The stems contain mucous canals and often also mucous cavities. Hairs are common, and are most typically stellate. The flowers are commonly borne in definite or indefinite axillary inflorescences, which are often reduced to a single flower, but may also be cauliflorous, oppositifolious or terminal. They often bear supernumerary bracts. They can be unisexual or bisexual and are generally actinomorphic, often associated with conspicuous bracts, forming an epicalyx. They generally have five valvate sepals, most frequently basally connate. Five imbricate petals. The stamens are five to numerous, connate at least at their bases, but often forming a tube around the pistils. The pistils are composed of two to many connate carpels. The ovary is superior, with axial placentation. Capitate or lobed stigma. The flowers have nectaries made of many tightly packed glandular hairs, usually positioned on the sepals. Most often a loculicidal capsule, a schizocarp or nut.


[42] See Judd, W. S., C. S. Campbell, E. A. Kellogg and P. F. Stevens. Plant Systematics: A Phylogenetic Approach.

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