What is Malkuth?
Malkuth or Malchut (“kingdom”; ملكوت ;מלכות), or Shekhinah, is the tenth of the sephirot in the Kabbalistic Tree of Life. It sits at the bottom of the Tree, below Yesod. This sephirah has as a symbol the Bride which relates to the sphere of Tipheret, symbolized by the Bridegroom. Pendant to the system of three triads, and synthesizing all the former numbers, is Malkuth, the Kingdom – the tenth Sephirah. Malkuth is the world of the four elements, matter in its entirety, and all the forms perceived by our five senses, summing uo in a crystralization the former nine digits or series of ideas.
Unlike the other nine sephirot, it is an attribute of God which does not emanate from God directly. Rather it emanates from God’s creation—when that creation reflects and evinces God’s glory from within itself.
Malkuth means Kingdom. It is associated with the realm of matter/earth and relates to the physical world, the planets and the solar system. It is important not to think of this sephirah as merely “unspiritual”, for even though it is the emanation furthest from the divine source, it is still on the Tree of Life. As the receiving sphere of all the other sephirot above it, Malkuth gives tangible form to the other emanations. It is like the negative node of an electrical circuit. The divine energy comes down and finds its expression in this plane, and our purpose as human beings is to bring that energy back around the circuit again and up the Tree.
Some occultists have also likened Malkuth to a cosmic filter, which lies above the world of the Qliphoth, or the Tree of Death, the world of chaos which is constructed from the imbalance of the original sephirot in the Tree of Life. For this reason it is associated with the feet and anus of the human body, the feet connecting the body to Earth, and the anus being the body’s “filter” through which waste is excreted, just as Malkuth excretes unbalanced energy into the Qliphoth. Another way to understand this is that when one is sitting, as in a meditative state, it is the anus that makes physical contact with the Earth, whereas when one is standing or walking, it is the feet that come in contact with the Earth, or Malkuth.
Malkuth is also associated with the world of Assiah, the material plane, and the lowest of the Four Worlds of Kabbalah. Because of this relation to Assiah, it is also related to the Suit of Pentacles or Coins in the Tarot. In the modern card set, this relates to the Suit of Diamonds and symbolizes material wealth, or the treasures found in the physical world. Through Assiah, Malkuth is also related to the four Page cards in the Tarot as well. These are seen as the Jacks of the modern deck. Because it is directly associated with Assiah, Malkuth also represents the second He (ה) in the tetragrammaton (יהוה). There is also a connection to the tenth card of each suit in Tarot. The element of Malkuth is Earth.
The name of God is Adonai Melekh or Adon ha-Arets. These exist in the highest world, Atziluth. In the world of Briah, where the archangels reside, the archangel of this sphere is Sandalphon. In the world of Yetzirah, the Ishim (souls of fire) is the Angelic order. In Assiah, the planetary or astrological correspondence with Malkuth is the Earth. In the outer shell of its Sephiroth in Assiah, the Qliphah of Malkuth is Lilith.
Symbols associated with this sphere are a Bride (a young woman on a throne with a veil over her face) and a double cubed altar. Where Binah is known as the Superior Mother, this sphere is referred to as the Inferior Mother. It is also referred to as the bride of Microprosopos, where Macroprosopos is Kether.
From a Christian viewpoint this sphere is important since Jesus preached that people should “seek first the Kingdom of God”.
In some systems, it is equated with Da’at, knowledge, the invisible sephirah.
In comparing with Eastern systems, Malkuth is a very similar archetypal idea to that of the Muladhara chakra. In this manner, Malkuth is again associated with the anus, although technically the Muladhara is located in the sacram bone. In Shakta tantra, which is also associated with the Earth, the plane in which karma is expressed.
Although Malkuth is seen as the lowest Sefirah on the tree of life, it also contains within it the potential to reach the highest. This is exemplified in the Hermetic maxim ‘As above so below’.
The Astrological Correspondence: The Earth
, also known as “the Earth” and “the World” and sometimes referred to as the “Blue Planet”, the “Blue Marble“, Terra or “Gaia“, is the third-most distant planet from the Sun, the densest planet in the Solar System, the largest of the Solar System’s four terrestrial planets and the only celestial body known to accommodate life.
The modern English noun earth developed from Middle English erthe (recorded in 1137), itself from Old English eorthe (dating from before 725), deriving from Proto-Germanic *erthō. Earth has cognates in all other Germanic languages, including Dutch aarde, German Erde, and Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish jord. The Earth is personified as a goddess in Germanic paganism (appearing as Jörð in Norse mythology, mother of the god Thor).
Earth is a terrestrial planet, meaning that it is a rocky body, rather than a gas giant like Jupiter. It is the largest of the four terrestrial planets in size and mass. Of these four planets, Earth also has the highest density, the highest surface gravity, the strongest magnetic field, and fastest rotation, and is probably the only one with active plate tectonics.
A planet that can sustain life is termed habitable, even if life did not originate there. The Earth provides liquid water—an environment where complex organic molecules can assemble and interact, and sufficient energy to sustain metabolism. The distance of the Earth from the Sun, as well as its orbital eccentricity, rate of rotation, axial tilt, geological history, sustaining atmosphere and protective magnetic field all contribute to the current climatic conditions at the surface.
It is home to millions of species, including a global population of humans, that are supported and nourished by its biosphere and minerals. The human population is grouped into around two-hundred independent sovereign states that interact, among other means, through diplomacy, conflict, travel, trade and media.
According to evidence from sources such as radiometric dating, Earth was formed around four and a half billion years ago. Within its first billion years, life appeared in its oceans and began to affect its atmosphere and surface, promoting the proliferation of aerobic as well as anaerobic organisms and causing the formation of the atmosphere’s ozone layer. This layer and Earth’s magnetic field block the most life-threatening parts of the Sun’s radiation, so life was able to flourish on land as well as in water. Since then, Earth’s position in the Solar System, its physical properties and its geological history have allowed life to persist.
Earth’s lithosphere is divided into several rigid segments, or tectonic plates, that migrate across the surface over periods of many millions of years. Over 70% percent of Earth’s surface is covered with water, with the remainder consisting of continents and islands which together have many lakes and other sources of water that contribute to the hydrosphere. Earth’s poles are mostly covered with ice that is the solid ice of the Antarctic ice sheet and the sea ice that is the polar ice packs. The planet’s interior remains active, with a solid iron inner core, a liquid outer core that generates the magnetic field, and a thick layer of relatively solid mantle.
Earth gravitationally interacts with other objects in space, especially the Sun and the Moon. During one orbit around the Sun, the Earth rotates about its own axis 366.26 times, creating 365.26 solar days, or one sidereal year.[n 6] The Earth’s axis of rotation is tilted 23.4° away from the perpendicular of its orbital plane, producing seasonal variations on the planet’s surface with a period of one tropical year (365.24 solar days). The Moon is Earth’s only natural satellite. It began orbiting the Earth about 4.53 billion years ago (bya). The Moon’s gravitational interaction with Earth stimulates ocean tides, stabilizes the axial tilt, and gradually slows the planet’s rotation.
The standard astronomical symbol of the Earth consists of a cross circumscribed by a circle.
Unlike the rest of the planets in the Solar System, humankind did not begin to view the Earth as a moving object in orbit around the Sun until the 16th century. Earth has often been personified as a deity, in particular a goddess. In many cultures a mother goddess is also portrayed as a fertility deity. Creation myths in many religions recall a story involving the creation of the Earth by a supernatural deity or deities. A variety of religious groups, often associated with fundamentalist branches of Protestantism or Islam, assert that their interpretations of these creation myths in sacred texts are literal truth and should be considered alongside or replace conventional scientific accounts of the formation of the Earth and the origin and development of life. Such assertions are opposed by the scientific community and by other religious groups. A prominent example is the creation–evolution controversy.
In the past, there were varying levels of belief in a flat Earth, but this was displaced by spherical Earth, a concept that has been credited to Pythagoras (6th century BC). Human cultures have developed many views of the planet, including its personification as a planetary deity, its shape as flat, its position as the center of the universe, and in the modern Gaia Principle, as a single, self-regulating organism in its own right.
The Egyption God Correspondence: Osiris
The Egyptian God attribution for Malkuth is Osiris according to Crowley’s classification. (Aleister Crowley, 777, p. 6) Israel regardie add more nuances telling his reader that Sebis is the Egyptian god attributed to Malkuth. This is mainly because “he is figured with the head of a crocodile, the Egyptian hieroglyph of gross matter.” 64 Regardie also wants us to add Psyche, the lower Nepthys and the “unmarried Isis” to this list. In this same mind-set, the Virgin, or the Bride, is another Zoharic title for Malkuth, use however in a particular sense. (Israel Regardie, A Garden of Pomegrenates, p. 54)
Osiris (//; also Usiris), is an Egyptian god, usually identified as the god of the afterlife, the underworld and the dead. He was classically depicted as a green-skinned man with a pharaoh’s beard, partially mummy-wrapped at the legs, wearing a distinctive crown with two large ostrich feathers at either side, and holding a symbolic crook and flail.
Osiris is represented in his most developed form of iconography wearing the Atef crown, which is similar to the White crown of Upper Egypt, but with the addition of two curling ostrich feathers at each side (see also Atef crown (hieroglyph)). He also carries the crook and flail. The crook is thought to represent Osiris as a shepherd god. The symbolism of the flail is more uncertain with shepherds whip, fly-whisk, or association with the god Andjety of the ninth nome of Lower Egypt proposed. He was commonly depicted as a green (the color of rebirth) or black (alluding to the fertility of the Nile floodplain) complexioned pharaoh, in mummiform (wearing the trappings of mummification from chest downward). He was also depicted rarely as a lunar god with a crown encompassing the moon.
Osiris was at times considered the oldest son of the Earth god Geb, and the sky goddess Nut, as well as being brother and husband of Isis, with Horus being considered his posthumously begotten son. He was also associated with the epithet Khenti-Amentiu, which means “Foremost of the Westerners” — a reference to his kingship in the land of the dead. As ruler of the dead, Osiris was also sometimes called “king of the living“, since the Ancient Egyptians considered the blessed dead “the living ones“.
Osiris is first attested in the middle of the Fifth dynasty of Egypt, although it is likely that he was worshipped much earlier; the term Khenti-Amentiu dates to at least the first dynasty, also as a pharaonic title. Most information available on the myths of Osiris is derived from allusions contained in the Pyramid Texts at the end of the Fifth Dynasty, later New Kingdom source documents such as the Shabaka Stone and the Contending of Horus and Seth, and much later, in narrative style from the writings of Greek authors including Plutarch and Diodorus Siculus.
Osiris was considered not only a merciful judge of the dead in the afterlife, but also the underworld agency that granted all life, including sprouting vegetation and the fertile flooding of the Nile River. He was described as the “Lord of love“, “He Who is Permanently Benign and Youthful“ and the “Lord of Silence”. The Kings of Egypt were associated with Osiris in death — as Osiris rose from the dead they would, in union with him, inherit eternal life through a process of imitative magic. By the New Kingdom all people, not just pharaohs, were believed to be associated with Osiris at death, if they incurred the costs of the assimilation rituals.
Through the hope of new life after death, Osiris began to be associated with the cycles observed in nature, in particular vegetation and the annual flooding of the Nile, through his links with Orion and Sirius at the start of the new year. Osiris was widely worshipped as Lord of the Dead until the suppression of the Egyptian religion during the Christian era.
The Pyramid Texts describe early conceptions of an afterlife in terms of eternal travelling with the sun god amongst the stars. Amongst these mortuary texts, at the beginning of the 4th dynasty, is found: “An offering the king gives and Anubis”. By the end of the 5th dynasty, the formula in all tombs becomes “An offering the king gives and Osiris“.
Osiris is the mythological father of the god Horus, whose conception is described in the Osiris myth, a central myth in ancient Egyptian belief. The myth described Osiris as having been killed by his brother Set, who wanted Osiris’ throne. Isis joined the fragmented pieces of Osiris, but the only body part missing was the phallus. Isis fashioned a golden phallus, and briefly brought Osiris back to life by use of a spell that she learned from her father. This spell gave her time to become pregnant by Osiris before he again died. Isis later gave birth to Horus. As such, since Horus was born after Osiris’ resurrection, Horus became thought of as a representation of new beginnings and the vanquisher of the evil Set.
The cult of Osiris (who was a god chiefly of regeneration and rebirth) had a particularly strong interest in the concept of immortality. Plutarch recounts one version of the myth in which Set (Osiris’ brother), along with the Queen of Ethiopia, conspired with 72 accomplices to plot the assassination of Osiris. Set fooled Osiris into getting into a box, which Set then shut, sealed with lead, and threw into the Nile (sarcophagi were based on the box in this myth). Osiris’ wife, Isis, searched for his remains until she finally found him embedded in a tamarind tree trunk, which was holding up the roof of a palace in Byblos on the Phoenician coast. She managed to remove the coffin and open it, but Osiris was already dead.
In one version of the myth, she used a spell learned from her father and brought him back to life so he could impregnate her. Afterwards he died again and she hid his body in the desert. Months later, she gave birth to Horus. While she raised Horus, Set was hunting one night and came across the body of Osiris.
Enraged, he tore the body into fourteen pieces and scattered them throughout the land. Isis gathered up all the parts of the body, less the phallus (which was eaten by a catfish) and bandaged them together for a proper burial. The gods were impressed by the devotion of Isis and resurrected Osiris as the god of the underworld. Because of his death and resurrection, Osiris was associated with the flooding and retreating of the Nile and thus with the crops along the Nile valley.
The idea of divine justice being exercised after death for wrongdoing during life is first encountered during the Old Kingdom, in a 6th dynasty tomb containing fragments of what would be described later as the Negative Confessions.
With the rise of the cult of Osiris during the Middle Kingdom the “democratization of religion” offered to even his humblest followers the prospect of eternal life, with moral fitness becoming the dominant factor in determining a person’s suitability.
At death a person faced judgment by a tribunal of forty-two divine judges. If they led a life in conformance with the precepts of the goddess Ma’at, who represented truth and right living, the person was welcomed into the kingdom of Osiris. If found guilty, the person was thrown to a “devourer” and didn’t share in eternal life.
The person who is taken by the devourer is subject first to terrifying punishment and then annihilated. These depictions of punishment may have influenced medieval perceptions of the inferno in hell via early Christian and Coptic texts.
Purification for those who are considered justified may be found in the descriptions of “Flame Island“, where they experience the triumph over evil and rebirth. For the damned, complete destruction into a state of non-being awaits, but there is no suggestion of eternal torture.
Divine pardon at judgement was always a central concern for the Ancient Egyptians.
The Greek God Attribution: Persephone and Psyche
The Greek Gods correspondences for Malkuth are Diana of Ephesus, Persephone and [Adonis] Psyche. (Aleister Crowley, 777, p. 8) Persephone is the virgin Earth and her legends indicate the adventures of the undedeemed soul; and Ceres is the maiden goddess of the Earth, too. Other are Lakshmi65 and the Sphinx,66 all attributed as representing the fertility of the Earth and of all creatures. (Israel Regardie, A Garden of Pomegrenates, p. 54-55)
In Malkuth, the lowest of the Sephiroth, the sphere of the physical world of matter, wherein incarnate the exiled Neshamoth from the divine palace, there abides the Shechinah, thye spiritual Presence of Ain Soph as a heritage to manking and an ever-present reminder of spiritual verities. That is why there is written “Kether is in Malkuth, and Malkuth is in Kether, though after another manner.” The Zohar would imply that the real Shechinah, the real Divine Presence, is allocated to Binah whence it never descendes, but that the Shechinah in Malkuth is an eidolon or Daughter of the Great Supernatural Mother.67 Isaac Myer suggests that “it is considered by Qabalists as the executive energy or power of Binah, the Holy Spirit or the Upper Mother.” (Israel Regardie, A Garden of Pomegrenates, p. 55 )
In Greek mythology, Persephone ( Greek: Περσεφόνη), also called Kore (“the maiden”),[n 1] is the daughter of Zeus and the harvest-goddess Demeter, and queen of the underworld. Homer describes her as the formidable, venerable majestic queen of the underworld, who carries into effect the curses of men upon the souls of the dead. Persephone was abducted by Hades, the god-king of the underworld. The myth of her abduction represents her function as the personification of vegetation which shoots forth in spring and withdraws into the earth after harvest; hence she is also associated with spring as well as the fertility of vegetation. Similar myths appear in the Orient, in the cults of male gods like Attis, Adonis and Osiris, and in Minoan Crete.
Persephone as a vegetation goddess and her mother Demeter were the central figures of the Eleusinian mysteries that predated the Olympian pantheon, and promised to the initiated a more enjoyable prospect after death. Persephone is further said to have become by Zeus the mother of Dionysus, Iacchus, or Zagreus usually in orphic tradition. The origins of her cult are uncertain, but it was based on very old agrarian cults of agricultural communities.
Persephone was commonly worshipped along with Demeter, and with the same mysteries. To her alone were dedicated the mysteries celebrated at Athens in the month of Anthesterion. In Classical Greek art, Persephone is invariably portrayed robed; often carrying a sheaf of grain. She may appear as a mystical divinity with a sceptre and a little box, but she was mostly represented in the act of being carried off by Hades.
In a Linear B (Mycenean Greek) inscription on a tablet found at Pylos dated 1400–1200 BC, John Chadwick reconstructs[n 2] the name of a goddess *Preswa who could be identified with Persa, daughter of Oceanus and finds speculative the further identification with the first element of Persephone. Persephonē (Greek: Περσεφόνη) is her name in the Ionic Greek of epic literature. The Homeric form of her name is Persephoneia (Περσεφονεία, Persephoneia). In other dialects she was known under variant names: Persephassa (Περσεφάσσα), Persephatta (Περσεφάττα), or simply Korē (Κόρη, “girl, maiden”). Plato calls her Pherepapha (Φερέπαφα) in his Cratylus, “because she is wise and touches that which is in motion”. There are also the forms Periphona (Πηριφόνα) and Phersephassa (Φερσέφασσα). The existence of so many different forms shows how difficult it was for the Greeks to pronounce the word in their own language and suggests that the name has probably a pre-Greek origin.
An alternative etymology is from φέρειν φόνον, pherein phonon, “to bring (or cause) death”.
Another mythical personage of the name of Persephione is called a daughter of Minyas and the mother of Chloris, a nymph of spring, flower and new growth. The Minyans were a group considered autochthonous, but some scholars assert that they were the first wave of Proto-Greek speakers in the 2nd millennium BC.
Persephone used to live far away from the other deities, a goddess within Nature herself before the days of planting seeds and nurturing plants. In the Olympian telling, the gods Hermes and Apollo had wooed Persephone; but Demeter rejected all their gifts and hid her daughter away from the company of the Olympian deities. The story of her abduction by Hades against her will, is traditionally referred to as the Rape of Persephone. It is mentioned briefly in Hesiod‘s Theogony, and told in considerable detail in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter. Zeus, it is said, permitted Hades, who was in love with the beautiful Persephone, to carry her off as her mother Demeter was not likely to allow her daughter to go down to Hades. Persephone was gathering flowers with the Oceanids along with Artemis and Athena—the Homeric Hymn says—in a field when Hades came to abduct her, bursting through a cleft in the earth. Demeter, when she found her daughter had disappeared, searched for her all over the earth with torches. In most versions she forbids the earth to produce, or she neglects the earth and in the depth of her despair she causes nothing to grow. Helios, the sun, who sees everything, eventually told Demeter what had happened and at length she discovered the place of her abode. Finally, Zeus, pressed by the cries of the hungry people and by the other deities who also heard their anguish, forced Hades to return Persephone.Hades indeed complied with the request, but first he tricked her, giving her some pomegranate seeds to eat. Persephone was released by Hermes, who had been sent to retrieve her, but because she had tasted food in the underworld, she was obliged to spend a third of each year (the winter months) there, and the remaining part of the year with the gods above. With the later writers Ovid and Hyginus, Persephone’s time in the underworld becomes half the year.
Various local traditions place Persephone’s abduction in a different location. The Sicilians, among whom her worship was probably introduced by the Corinthian and Megarian colonists, believed that Hades found her in the meadows near Enna, and that a well arose on the spot where he descended with her into the lower world. The Cretans thought that their own island had been the scene of the rape, and the Eleusinians mentioned the Nysian plain in Boeotia, and said that Persephone had descended with Hades into the lower world at the entrance of the western Oceanus. Later accounts place the rape in Attica, near Athens, or near Eleusis.
The Homeric hymn mentions the Nysion (or Mysion), probably a mythical place which didn’t exist on the map. The locations of this mythical place may simply be conventions to show that a magically distant chthonic land of myth was intended in the remote past. Before Persephone was abducted by Hades, the shepherd Eumolpus and the swineherd Eubuleus, saw a girl being carried off into the earth which had violently opened up, in a black chariot, driven by an invisible driver. Eubuleus was feeding his pigs at the opening to the underworld when Persephone was abducted by Plouton. His swine were swallowed by the earth along with her, and the myth is an etiology for the relation of pigs with the ancient rites in Thesmophoria, and in Eleusis.
In the hymn, Persephone returns and she is reunited with her mother near Eleusis. Demeter as she has been promised established her mysteries (orgies) when the Eleusinians built for her a temple near the spring of Callichorus. These were awful mysteries, which were not allowed to be uttered. The uninitiated would spent a miserable existence in the gloomy space of Hades, after death.[n 5]
In some versions, Ascalaphus informed the other deities that Persephone had eaten the pomegranate seeds. When Demeter and her daughter were reunited, the Earth flourished with vegetation and color, but for some months each year, when Persephone returned to the underworld, the earth once again became a barren realm. This is an origin story to explain the seasons.
In an earlier version, Hecate rescued Persephone. On an Attic red-figured bell krater of c. 440 BC in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Persephone is rising as if up stairs from a cleft in the earth, while Hermes stands aside; Hecate, holding two torches, looks back as she leads her to the enthroned Demeter.
The 10th-century Byzantine encyclopedia Suda introduces a goddess of a blessed afterlife assured to Orphic mystery initiates. This Macaria is asserted to be the daughter of Hades, but no mother is mentioned.
In the myth Pluto abducts Persephone to be his wife and the queen of his realm. Pluto (Πλούτων, Ploutōn) was a name for the ruler of the underworld; the god was also known as Hades, a name for the underworld itself. The name Pluton was conflated with that of Ploutos (Πλούτος Ploutos, “wealth”), a god of wealth, because mineral wealth was found underground, and because Pluto as a chthonic god ruled the deep earth that contained the seeds necessary for a bountiful harvest. Plouton is lord of the dead, but as Persephone’s husband he has serious claims to the powers of fertility.
In the Theogony of Hesiod, Demeter was united with the hero Iasion in Crete and she bore Ploutos. This union seems to be a reference to a hieros gamos (ritual copulation) to ensure the earth’s fertility. This ritual copulation appears in Minoan Crete, in many Near Eastern agricultural societies, and also in the Anthesteria.[n 6]
Nilsson believes that the original cult of Ploutos (or Pluto) in Eleusis was similar with the Minoan cult of the “divine child”, who died in order to be reborn. The child was abandoned by his mother and then it was brought up by the powers of nature. Similar myths appear in the cults of Hyakinthos (Amyklai), Erichthonios (Athens), and later in the cult of Dionysos.
The Greek version of the abduction myth is related to corn – important and rare in the Greek environment – and the return (ascent) of Persephone was celebrated at the autumn sowing. Pluto (Ploutos) represents the wealth of the corn that was stored in underground silos or ceramic jars (pithoi), during summer months. Similar subterranean pithoi were used in ancient times for burials and Pluto is fused with Hades, the King of the realm of the dead. During summer months, the Greek Corn-Maiden (Kore) is lying in the corn of the underground silos, in the realm of Hades and she is fused with Persephone, the Queen of the underworld. At the beginning of the autumn, when the seeds of the old crop are laid on the fields, she ascends and is reunited with her mother Demeter, for at that time the old crop and the new meet each other. For the initiated, this union was the symbol of the eternity of human life that flows from the generations which spring from each other.
Persephone held an ancient role as the dread queen of the Underworld, within which tradition it was forbidden to speak her name. This tradition comes from her conflation with the very old chthonic divinity Despoina (the mistress), whose real name could not be revealed to anyone except those initiated to her mysteries. As goddess of death she was also called a daughter of Zeus and Styx, the river that formed the boundary between Earth and the underworld. Homer describes her as the formidable, venerable majestic queen of the shades, who carries into effect the curses of men upon the souls of the dead, along with her husband Hades. In the reformulation of Greek mythology expressed in the Orphic Hymns, Dionysus and Melinoe are separately called children of Zeus and Persephone. Groves sacred to her stood at the western extremity of the earth on the frontiers of the lower world, which itself was called “house of Persephone”.
Persephone was worshipped along with her mother Demeter and in the same mysteries. Her cults included agrarian magic, dancing, and rituals. The priests used special vessels and holy symbols, and the people participated with rhymes. In Eleusis there is evidence of sacred laws and other inscriptions.
The Cult of Demeter and the Maiden is found at Attica, in the main festivals Thesmophoria and Eleusinian mysteries and in a lot of local cults. These festivals were almost always celebrated at the autumn sowing, and at full-moon according to the Greek tradition. In some local cults the feasts were dedicated to Demeter.
Thesmophoria, were celebrated in Athens, and the festival was widely spread in Greece. This was a festival of secret women-only rituals connected with marriage customs and commemorated the third of the year, in the month Pyanepsion, when Kore was abducted and Demeter abstained from her role as goddess of harvest and growth. The ceremony involved sinking sacrifices into the earth by night and retrieving the decaying remains of pigs that had been placed in the megara of Demeter, (trenches and pits or natural clefts in rock), the previous year. These were placed on altars, mixed with seeds, then planted. Pits rich in organic matter at Eleusis have been taken as evidence that the Thesmophoria was held there as well as in other demes of Attica. This agrarian magic was also used in the cult of the earth-goddesses potniai (mistresses) in the Cabeirian, and in Knidos.
The festival was celebrated over three days. The first was the “way up” to the sacred space, the second, the day of feasting when they ate pomegranate seeds and the third was a meat feast in celebration of Kalligeneia a goddess of beautiful birth. Zeus penetrated the mysteries as Zeus– Eubuleus which is an euphemistical name of Hades (Chthonios Zeus). In the original myth which is an etiology for the ancient rites, Eubuleus was a swineherd who was feeding his pigs at the opening to the underworld when Persephone was abducted by Plouton. His swine were swallowed by the earth along with her.
The Eleusinian mysteries was a festival celebrated at the autumn sowing in the city of Eleusis. Inscriptions refer to “the Goddesses” accompanied by the agricultural god Triptolemos (probably son of Ge and Oceanus), and “the God and the Goddess” (Persephone and Plouton) accompanied by Eubuleus who probably led the way back from the underworld. The myth was represented in a cycle with three phases: the “descent”, the “search”, and the “ascent”, with contrasted emotions from sorrow to joy which roused the mystae to exultation. The main theme was the ascent of Persephone and the reunion with her mother Demeter. The festival activities included dancing, probably across the Rharian field, where according to the myth the first corn grew.
At the beginning of the feast, the priests filled two special vessels and poured them out, the one towards the west, and the other towards the east. The people looking both to the sky and the earth shouted in a magical rhyme “rain and conceive”. In a ritual, a child was initiated from the hearth (the divine fire). It was the ritual of the “divine child” who originally was Ploutos. In the Homeric hymn the ritual is connected with the myth of the agricultural god Triptolemos The high point of the celebration was “an ear of corn cut in silence”, which represented the force of the new life. The idea of immortality didn’t exist in the mysteries at the beginning, but the initiated believed that they would have a better fate in the underworld. Death remained a reality, but at the same time a new beginning like the plant which grows from the buried seed. In the earliest depictions Persephone is an armless and legless deity, who grows out of the ground.
The Roman God Attribution: Ceres
In ancient Roman religion, Ceres (//, Latin: Cerēs) was a goddess of agriculture, grain crops, fertility and motherly relationships. She was originally the central deity in Rome’s so-called plebeian or Aventine Triad, then was paired with her daughter Proserpina in what Romans described as “the Greek rites of Ceres”. Her seven-day April festival of Cerealia included the popular Ludi Ceriales (Ceres’ games). She was also honoured in the May lustration of fields at the Ambarvalia festival, at harvest-time, and during Roman marriages and funeral rites.
Ceres is the only one of Rome’s many agricultural deities to be listed among the Di Consentes, Rome’s equivalent to the Twelve Olympians of Greek mythology. The Romans saw her as the counterpart of the Greek goddess Demeter, whose mythology was reinterpreted for Ceres in Roman art and literature.
Ceres’ name may derive from the hypothetical Proto-Indo-European root *ker, meaning “to grow”, which is also a possible root for many English words, such as “create”, “cereal”, “grow”, “kernel”, “corn”, and “increase”. Roman etymologists thought “ceres” derived from the Latin verb gerere, “to bear, bring forth, produce”, because the goddess was linked to pastoral, agricultural and human fertility. Archaic cults to Ceres are well-evidenced among Rome’s neighbours in the Regal period, including the ancient Latins, Oscans and Sabellians, less certainly among the Etruscans and Umbrians. An archaic Faliscan inscription of c.600 BC asks her to provide far (spelt wheat), which was a dietary staple of the Mediterranean world. Throughout the Roman era, Ceres’ name was synonymous with grain and, by extension, with bread.
Ceres was credited with the discovery of spelt wheat (Latin far), the yoking of oxen and ploughing, the sowing, protection and nourishing of the young seed, and the gift of agriculture to humankind; before this, it was said, man had subsisted on acorns, and wandered without settlement or laws. She had the power to fertilise, multiply and fructify plant and animal seed, and her laws and rites protected all activities of the agricultural cycle. In January, Ceres was offered spelt wheat and a pregnant sow, along with the earth-goddess Tellus at the movable Feriae Sementivae. This was almost certainly held before the annual sowing of grain. The divine portion of sacrifice was the entrails (exta) presented in an earthenware pot (olla). In a rural context, Cato the Elder describes the offer to Ceres of a porca praecidanea (a pig, offered before the sowing). Before the harvest, she was offered a propitiary grain sample (praemetium). Ovid tells that Ceres “is content with little, provided that her offerings are casta” (pure).
Ceres’ main festival, Cerealia, was held from mid to late April. It was organised by her plebeian aediles and included circus games (ludi circenses). It opened with a horse-race in the Circus Maximus, whose starting point lay below and opposite to her Aventine Temple; the turning post at the far end of the Circus was sacred to Consus, a god of grain-storage. After the race, foxes were released into the Circus, their tails ablaze with lighted torches, perhaps to cleanse the growing crops and protect them from disease and vermin, or to add warmth and vitality to their growth. From c.175 BC, Cerealia included ludi scaenici (theatrical religious events) through April 12 to 18.
In Roman bridal processions, a young boy carried Ceres’ torch to light the way; “the most auspicious wood for wedding torches came from the spina alba, the may tree, which bore many fruits and hence symbolised fertility”. The adult males of the wedding party waited at the groom’s house. A wedding sacrifice was offered to Tellus on the bride’s behalf; a sow is the most likely victim. Varro describes the sacrifice of a pig as “a worthy mark of weddings” because “our women, and especially nurses” call the female genitalia porcus (pig). Spaeth (1996) believes Ceres may have been included in the sacrificial dedication, because she is closely identified with Tellus and, as Ceres legifera (law-bearer), she “bears the laws” of marriage. In the most solemn form of marriage, confarreatio, the bride and groom shared a cake made of far, the ancient wheat-type particularly associated with Ceres.
From at least the mid-republican era, an official, joint cult to Ceres and Proserpina reinforced Ceres’ connection with Roman ideals of female virtue. The promotion of this cult coincides with the rise of a plebeian nobility, an increased birthrate among plebeian commoners, and a fall in the birthrate among patrician families. The late Republican Ceres Mater (Mother Ceres) is described as genetrix (progenitress) and alma (nourishing); in the early Imperial era she becomes an Imperial deity, and receives joint cult with Ops Augusta, Ceres’ own mother in Imperial guise and a bountiful genetrix in her own right. Several of Ceres’ ancient Italic precursors are connected to human fertility and motherhood; the Pelignan goddess Angitia Cerealis has been identified with the Roman goddess Angerona (associated with childbirth).
Ceres was patron and protector of plebeian laws, rights and Tribunes. Her Aventine Temple served the plebeians as cult centre, legal archive, treasury and possibly law-court; its foundation was contemporaneous with the passage of the Lex Sacrata, which established the office and person of plebeian aediles and tribunes as inviolate representatives of the Roman people. Tribunes were legally immune to arrest or threat, and the lives and property of those who violated this law were forfeit to Ceres.
The complex and multi-layered origins of the Aventine Triad and Ceres herself allowed multiple interpretations of their relationships; Cicero asserts Ceres as mother to both Liber and Libera, consistent with her role as a mothering deity. Varro’s more complex theology groups her functionally with Tellus, Terra, Venus (and thus Victoria) and with Libera as a female aspect of Liber. No native Roman myths of Ceres are known. According to interpretatio romana, which sought the equivalence of Roman to Greek deities, she was an equivalent to Demeter, one of the Twelve Olympians of Greek religion and mythology; this made Ceres one of Rome’s twelve Di Consentes, daughter of Saturn and Ops, sister of Jupiter, mother of Proserpina by Jupiter and sister of Juno, Vesta, Neptune and Dis. Ceres’ known mythology is indistinguishable from Demeter’s:
“When Ceres sought through all the earth with lit torches for Proserpina, who had been seized by Dis Pater, she called her with shouts where three or four roads meet; from this it has endured in her rites that on certain days a lamentation is raised at the crossroads everywhere by the matronae.”
Ovid likens Ceres’ devotion to her own offspring to that of a cow to its calf; but she is also as the originator of bloody animal sacrifice, a necessity in the renewal of life. She has a particular enmity towards her own sacrificial animal, the pig. Pigs offend her by their destructive rooting-up of field crops under her protection; and in the myth of Proserpina’s abduction on the plains of Henna (Enna), her tracks were obscured by their trampling. If not for them, Ceres might have been spared the toils and grief of her lengthy search and separation. Enna, in Sicily, had strong mythological connections with Ceres and Proserpina, and was the site of Ceres most ancient sanctuary. Flowers were said to bloom throughout the year on its “miraculous plain”.
No images of Ceres survive from her pre-Aventine cults; the earliest date to the middle Republic, and show the Hellenising influence of Demeter’s iconography. Some late Republican images recall Ceres’ search for Proserpina. Ceres bears a torch, sometimes two, and rides in a chariot drawn by snakes; or she sits on the sacred kiste (chest) that conceals the objects of her mystery rites. Augustan reliefs show her emergence, plant-like from the earth, her arms entwined by snakes, her outstretched hands bearing poppies and wheat, or her head crowned with fruits and vines. In free-standing statuary, she commonly wears a wheat-crown, or holds a wheat spray. Moneyers of the Republican era use Ceres’ image, wheat ears and garlands to advertise their connections with prosperity, the annona and the popular interest. Some Imperial coin images depict important female members of the Imperial family as Ceres, or with some of her attributes.
The word cereals derives from Ceres, commemorating her association with edible grains. Statues of Ceres top the domes of the Missouri State Capitol and the Vermont State House serving as a reminder of the importance of agriculture in the states’ economies and histories. There is also a statue of her on top of the Chicago Board of Trade Building, which conducts trading in agricultural commodities.
The dwarf planet Ceres (discovered 1801), is named after this goddess. And in turn, the chemical element cerium (discovered 1803) was named after the dwarf planet. A poem about Ceres and humanity features in Dmitri‘s confession to his brother Alexei in Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, Part 1, Book 3, Chapter 3.
An aria in praise of Ceres is sung in Act 4 of the opera The Trojans by Hector Berlioz.
The goddess Ceres is one of the three goddess offices held in the The National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry. The other goddesses are Pomona, and Flora.
Ceres is depicted on the Seal of New Jersey as a symbol of prosperity.
Ceres was depicted on several ten and twenty Confederate States of America dollar notes.
A manga by Yuu Watase is known as Ceres Celestial Legend
The Hindu God Attribution: Lakshmi [Kundalini]
Lakshmi (Sanskrit: लक्ष्मी lakṣmī) is the Hindu Goddess of wealth, love, prosperity (both material and spiritual), fortune, and the embodiment of beauty. She is the wife of Vishnu. Also known as Mahalakshmi, she is said to bring good luck and is believed to protect her devotees from all kinds of misery and money-related sorrows. Representations of Lakshmi are also found in Jain monuments.
Lakshmi is called Shree or Thirumagal because she is endowed with six auspicious and divine qualities, or Gunas, and also because she is the source of strength even to Vishnu. When Vishnu incarnated on the Earth as the avatars Rama and Krishna, Lakshmi took incarnation as his consort. Sita (Rama’s wife), Radha (Krishna’s lover), Rukmini and Satyabama are considered forms of Lakshmi.
Lakshmi is worshipped daily in Hindu homes and commercial establishments as the goddess of wealth. She is also worshipped as the consort of Vishnu in many temples. The festivals of Diwali and Kojagiri Purnima are celebrated in her honour.
As per Devi, the Supreme power, is called Durga or Shakti. The abstract power has been imagined by the Hindus as Durga Shakti. Both Lakshmi and Saraswati are forms of Durga or Shakti or Tridevi the eternal consort power of Parabrahman the Trimurti. By the help of the Supreme soul (Adi Purusha) to create the Supreme Power (Adi-shakti), three other shapes have been created from the Supreme Power.
She is seen in two forms, Bhudevi and Sridevi, both either side of Sri Venkateshwara or Vishnu. Bhudevi is the representation and totality of the material world or energy, called the aparam Prakriti, in which she is called Mother Earth. Sridevi is the spiritual world or energy, called the Prakriti. Most people are mistaken that they are separate beings although they are one, that is, Lakshmi. Lakshmi is the power of Vishnu.
Mahalakshmi’s presence is also found on Sri Venkateswara (at Tirumala) or Vishnu‘s chest, at the heart. Lakshmi is the embodiment of love, from which devotion to God or Bhakti flows. It is through Love/Bhakti or Lakshmi that the atma or soul is able to reach God or Vishnu. Lakshmi plays a special role as the mediator between her husband Vishnu and his worldly devotees. Lakshmi represents a more soothing, kind, warm and approachable mother figure who willingly intervenes in the lives of devotees. When asking Vishnu for grace or the forgiveness, the devotees often approach Him through the intermediary presence of Lakshmi. She is also the personification of the spiritual Fulfillment. Also, she embodies the spiritual world, also known as Vaikunta, the abode of Lakshmi-Narayana or Vishnu, or what would be considered Heaven in Vaishnavism. She is also the divine qualities of God and the soul. Lakshmi is the embodiment of God’s superior spiritual feminine energy, Param Prakriti, which purifies, empowers and uplifts the individual. Hence, she is called the Goddess of Fortune. She is believed to be the mother of the universe.
Devas (gods) and asuras (demons) were both mortal at one time, in Hinduism. Amrit, the divine nectar that grants immortality, could only be obtained by churning the Kshirsagar (Ocean of Milk). The devas and asuras both sought immortality and decided to churn the Kshirsagar. The samudra manthan commenced with the devas on one side and the asuras on the other. Vishnu incarnated as Kurma, the tortoise, and a mountain was placed on the tortoise as a churning pole. Vasuki, the great venom-spewing serpent, was wrapped around the mountain and used to churn the ocean. A host of divine celestial objects came up during the churning. Along with them emerged the goddess Lakshmi. In some versions she is said to be the daughter of Varuna, the sea god since she emerged from the sea. According to Vishnu Purana she is said to be the daughter of Bhrigu and Khyaati and resided in Swarga, but left Swarga and made Ksheersagara her home due to the curse of Durvasa and later emerged again after the churning of the ocean. In some versions, after her emergence from the sea, she accepted Vishnu as her consort while in some she was already Vishnu’s consort. The moon (chandra) also appeared from the ocean during the churning, making it her brother.
Lakshmi in Sanskrit is derived from its elemental form lakS, meaning “to perceive or observe”. This is synonymous with lakṣya, meaning “aim” or “objective”. Lakshmi has many names. She is known to be very closely associated with the lotus, and her many epithets are connected to the flower.
Lakshmi is described as bestowing coins of prosperity and flanked by elephants signifying her royal power. However, in some texts, she has an owl as her vahana. Her expression is always calm and loving. The lotus also symbolizes the fertile growth of organic life, as the world is continually reborn on a lotus growing out of Vishnu’s navel.
Lakshmi is worshipped daily, but special focus is given in the month of October. Her worship ceremonies include people offering food and sweets, chanting her 108 names, prayers being repeated, and devotional songs being sung.
There are innumerable slokas in praise of Mahalakshmi. Some of the most famous prayers for worshipping her are “Sri Mahalakshmi Ashtakam”, “Sri Lakshmi Sahasaranama Sthothra” by Sanathkumara, “Sri Stuti” by Sri Vedantha Desikar, Sri Lakshmi Stuti By Indra, “Sri Kanakadhara Sthothra” by Sri Aadhi Shankaracharya, “Sri Chatussloki” by Sri Yamunacharya, “Sri Lakshmi Sloka” by Bhagavan Sri Hari Swamiji and Sri Sukta which is contained in the Vedas. The famous Lakshmi Gayathri Sloka, “Om Mahalakshmichae Vidmahe sri Vishnupathinichae Dhi-Mahi Thanno Lakshmi Prachodayat” is a prayer to Lakshmi contained in the Sri Sukta.
There is another famous prayer pronounced by the great sage Agastya: “Agastya Lakshmi Stotra“. Although Mother Lakshmi is worshiped as the goddess of fortune, when she is worshiped with Narayana, the worshiper is blessed with not only wealth but also peace and prosperity. They can be worshiped in forms, such as Lakshmi Narayana, Lakshmi Narasimha, Sita Rama, Radha Krishna, or Vithal Rukmini.
In many areas of India it is customary that, out of respect, when a person’s foot accidentally touches money (which is considered as a manifestation of Lakshmi) or another person’s leg, it will be followed by an apology in the form of a single hand gesture (Pranāma) with the right hand, where the offending person first touches the object with the finger tips and then the forehead and/or chest. This also counts for books and any written material, which are considered as a manifestation of the goddess of knowledge Saraswati.
The Sacred Perfume Attribution: Dittany
The sacred perfume attribution for Malkuth is Dittany of Crete68, (Aleister Crowley, 777, p. 13) Israel Regardie tells us, ” because of the heavy clouds of dense smoke given off by this incense.” (Regardie, A Garden of Pomegrenates, p. 55)
Dictamnus is a genus of flowering plant in the family Rutaceae, with a single species, Dictamnus albus, which has several geographical variants. It is known variously as burning bush, false dittany, white dittany, gas plant and Fraxinella. It is an herbaceous perennial, native to warm, open woodland habitats in southern Europe, north Africa and much of Asia.
In the summer months, the whole plant is covered with a kind of flammable substance, which is gluey to the touch, and has a very fragrant, lemony aroma; but if it takes fire, it goes off with a flash all over the plant. The name “burning bush” derives from the volatile oils produced by the plant, which can catch fire readily in hot weather, leading to comparisons with the burning bush of the Bible, including the suggestion that this is the plant involved there. The daughter of Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus is said to have ignited the air once, at the end of a particularly hot, windless summer day, above Dictamnus plants, using a simple matchstick. Numerous varieties and cultivars have been selected for garden use. The variety D. albus var. purpureus (purple flowered dittany) has gained the Royal Horticultural Society‘s Award of Garden Merit.
The plant is inedible: the leaves have a bitter and unpalatable taste. Despite the lemon-like smell, the plant is acrid when eaten. All parts of the plant may cause mild stomach upset if eaten, and contact with the foliage may cause photodermatitis.
Some use has been made of the plant (chiefly the powdered root) in herbalism. However, as the alternative name “false dittany” implies, it is unrelated to the dittany found in Crete, which has a much more significant history of medicinal use. Like dittany of Crete, dictamnus was believed to be useful for cordial and cephalic ailments, to help resist poison and combat putrefaction, and to be useful in malignant and pestilential fevers. It was also used for cases of hysteria.
An infusion of the tops of the plant was also used as a pleasant and efficacious medicine in the gravel. It was believed to work powerfully by provoking urine and easing colicky pains which frequently accompany that disorder. The root was considered a sure remedy for epilepsies, and other diseases of the head, opening obstructions of the womb and procuring the discharges of the uterus, but the use of the plant is considered obsolete today.
The Sacred Plant Attribution: Willow Livy, Ivy
The sacred plant attribution for Malkuth is Willow Livy, Ivy (Aleister Crowley, 777, p. 10)
Willows, sallows, and osiers form the genus Salix, around 400 species of deciduous trees and shrubs, found primarily on moist soils in cold and temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere. Most species are known as willow, but some narrow-leaved shrub species are called osier, and some broader-leaved species are referred to as sallow (from Old English sealh, related to the Latin word salix, willow). Some willows (particularly arctic and alpine species) are low-growing or creeping shrubs; for example, the dwarf willow (Salix herbacea) rarely exceeds 6 cm (2 in) in height, though it spreads widely across the ground.
Willows all have abundant watery bark sap, which is heavily charged with salicylic acid, soft, usually pliant, tough wood, slender branches, and large, fibrous, often stoloniferous roots. The roots are remarkable for their toughness, size, and tenacity to life, and roots readily grow from aerial parts of the plant.
The leaves are typically elongated, but may also be round to oval, frequently with serrated edges. Most species are deciduous; semievergreen willows; coriaceous leaves are rare, e.g. Salix micans and S. australior in the eastern Mediterranean. All the buds are lateral; no absolutely terminal bud is ever formed. The buds are covered by a single scale. Usually, the bud scale is fused into a cap-like shape, but in some species it wraps around and the edges overlap. The leaves are simple, feather-veined, and typically linear-lanceolate. Usually they are serrate, rounded at base, acute or acuminate. The leaf petioles are short, the stipules often very conspicuous, resembling tiny, round leaves, and sometimes remaining for half the summer. On some species, however, they are small, inconspicuous, and caducous (soon falling). In color, the leaves show a great variety of greens, ranging from yellowish to bluish.
In China, some people carry willow branches with them on the day of their Tomb Sweeping or Qingming Festival. Willow branches are also put up on gates and/or front doors, which they believe help ward off the evil spirits that wander on Qingming. Legend states that on Qingming Festival, the ruler of the underworld allows the spirits of the dead to return to earth. Since their presence may not always be welcome, willow branches keep them away. In traditional pictures of the Goddess of Mercy Guanyin, she is often shown seated on a rock with a willow branch in a vase of water at her side. The Goddess employs this mysterious water and the branch for putting demons to flight. Taoist witches also use a small carving made from willow wood for communicating with the spirits of the dead. The image is sent to the nether world, where the disembodied spirit is deemed to enter it, and give the desired information to surviving relatives on its return. The willow is a famous subject in many East Asian nations’ cultures, particularly in pen and ink paintings from China and Japan.
- A gisaeng (Korean geisha) named Hongrang, who lived in the middle of the Joseon Dynasty, wrote the poem “By the willow in the rain in the evening”, which she gave to her parting lover (Choi Gyeong-chang). Hongrang wrote:
“…I will be the willow on your bedside.”
- In Japanese tradition, the willow is associated with ghosts. It is popularly supposed that a ghost will appear where a willow grows. Willow trees are also quite prevalent in folklore and myths.
- In English folklore, a willow tree is believed to be quite sinister, capable of uprooting itself and stalking travellers. The Viminal Hill, one of the Seven Hills Of Rome, derives it name from the Latin word for osier, viminia (pl.).
- Hans Christian Andersen wrote a story called “Under the Willow Tree” (1853) in which children ask questions of a tree they call “willow-father”, paired with another entity called “elder-mother“.
- Old Man Willow in J. R. R. Tolkien‘s legendarium, appearing in The Lord of the Rings.
- “Green Willow” is a Japanese ghost story in which a young samurai falls in love with a woman called Green Willow who has a close spiritual connection with a willow tree. “The Willow Wife” is another, not dissimilar tale. “Wisdom of the Willow Tree” is an Osage Nation story in which a young man seeks answers from a willow tree, addressing the tree in conversation as ‘Grandfather’.
Ivy, plural ivies (Hedera), is a genus of 12–15 species of evergreen climbing or ground-creeping woody plants in the family Araliaceae, native to western, central and southern Europe, Macaronesia, northwestern Africa and across central-southern Asia east to Japan and Taiwan. On level ground they remain creeping, not exceeding 5–20 cm height, but on suitable surfaces for climbing, including trees, natural rock outcrops or man-made structures such as quarry rock faces or built masonry and wooden structures, they can climb to at least 30 m above the ground. Ivies have two leaf types, with palmately lobed juvenile leaves on creeping and climbing stems and unlobed cordate adult leaves on fertile flowering stems exposed to full sun, usually high in the crowns of trees or the tops of rock faces, from 2 m or more above ground. The juvenile and adult shoots also differ, the former being slender, flexible and scrambling or climbing with small aerial roots to affix the shoot to the substrate (rock or tree bark), the latter thicker, self-supporting and without roots. The flowers are greenish-yellow with five small petals; they are produced in umbels in autumn to early winter and are very rich in nectar. The fruit is a greenish-black, dark purple or (rarely) yellow berry 5–10 mm diameter with one to five seeds, ripening in late winter to mid-spring. The seeds are dispersed by birds which eat the berries. The berries are moderately toxic to humans, but are very bitter, so poisoning is rare. Ivy foliage contains triterpenoid saponins and falcarinol, a polyyne; falcarinol is capable of inducing an allergic reaction (contact dermatitis) in some people. People who have this allergy (strictly a Type IV hypersensitivity) are also likely to react to carrots and other members of the Apiaceae as they also contain falcarinol. It has also been shown to kill breast cancer cells.
he name ivy derives from Old English ifig, cognate with German Efeu, of unknown original meaning. The scientific name Hedera is the classical Latin name for the plant. Old regional common names in Britain, no longer used, include “Bindwood” and “Lovestone”, for the way it clings and grows over stones and bricks. US Pacific Coast regional common names for H. canariensis include “California ivy” and “Algerian ivy”; for H. helix, regional common names include the generic “English ivy”.
The name ivy has also been used as a common name for a number of other unrelated plants, including Boston ivy (Japanese Creeper Parthenocissus tricuspidata, in the family Vitaceae), Cape-ivy or German-ivy (Delairea odorata in the family Asteraceae), poison-ivy (Toxicodendron radicans in the family Anacardiaceae), and Swedish ivy (Whorled Plectranthus Plectranthus verticillatus, in the family Lamiaceae).
The Precious Stone Attribution: Rock Crystal
Quartz is the second most abundant mineral in the Earth‘s continental crust, after feldspar. It is made up of a continuous framework of SiO4 silicon–oxygen tetrahedra, with each oxygen being shared between two tetrahedra, giving an overall formula SiO2.
There are many different varieties of quartz, several of which are semi-precious gemstones. Especially in Europe and the Middle East, varieties of quartz have been since antiquity the most commonly used minerals in the making of jewelry and hardstone carvings.
Pure quartz, traditionally called rock crystal (sometimes called clear quartz), is colorless and transparent (clear) or translucent, and has often been used for hardstone carvings, such as the Lothair Crystal. Common colored varieties include citrine, rose quartz, amethyst, smoky quartz, milky quartz, and others. Quartz goes by an array of different names. The most important distinction between types of quartz is that of macrocrystalline (individual crystals visible to the unaided eye) and the microcrystalline or cryptocrystalline varieties (aggregates of crystals visible only under high magnification). The cryptocrystalline varieties are either translucent or mostly opaque, while the transparent varieties tend to be macrocrystalline. Chalcedony is a cryptocrystalline form of silica consisting of fine intergrowths of both quartz, and its monoclinic polymorph moganite. Other opaque gemstone varieties of quartz, or mixed rocks including quartz, often including contrasting bands or patterns of color, are agate, sard, onyx, carnelian, heliotrope, and jasper.
The Sacred Color Attribution: Yellow-Olive-Citrine
According to Crowley the King scale of color correspondence for Malkuth is Yellow (Aleister Crowley, 777, p. 4) and the color of its Queen scale are citrine, olive, russet, and black,69 (Israel Regardie, A Garden of pomegrenates, p. 55 ; Crowley, 777, p.7) In the Queen scale the color is violet. (Crowley, 777, p.7) In the Empress scale t’s black with yellow stipes. (Crowley, 777, p.7)
Citrine // is a colour, the most common reference for which is certain coloured varieties of quartz which are a medium deep shade of golden yellow. Citrine has been summarized at various times as yellow, greenish-yellow, brownish yellow or orange.
The original reference point for the citrine colour was the citron fruit. The first recorded use of citrine as a colour in English was in 1386. It was borrowed from a medieval Latin and classical Latin word with the same meaning. In late medieval and early modern English the citrine colour-name was applied in a wider variety of contexts than it is today and could be “reddish or brownish yellow; or orange; or amber (distinguished from yellow)”. In today’s English citrine as a colour is mostly confined to the contexts of (1) gemstones, including quartz, and (2) some animal and plant names. E.g., Motacilla citreola is the scientific Latin name for a certain wagtail bird that lives in Asia and has golden-yellow plumage and the bird may be called the “Citrine Wagtail” in English.
“Citrine” is used in the names of birds and other lifeforms with such colouring to describe their appearance, including the Citrine Wagtail, Citrine Warbler, Citrine Canary-flycatcher and Citrine Forktail.
The web color olive is a dark yellow, or a dark green with a yellow hue typically seen on green olives. It can be formed by adding a small amount of black to yellow dye or paint. As a color word in the English language, it is unexpectedly old, appearing in late Middle English. Shaded green, it becomes olive drab.
Olive can also be referred to as dark yellowish green. That the color olive is a shade of yellow can readily be ascertained by inspecting its hex code—the red and green values are equal, with no blue value, signifying a shade of yellow.
Yellow // is the color of gold, butter and ripe lemons. In the spectrum of visible light, and in the traditional color wheel used by painters, yellow is found between green and orange. Yellow is commonly associated with gold, wealth, sunshine, reason, happiness, optimism and pleasure, but also with envy, jealousy and betrayal. It plays an important part in Asian culture, particularly in China.
The word “yellow” comes from the Old English geolu, geolwe, meaning “yellow, yellowish”, derived from the Proto-Germanic word gelwaz. It has the same Indo-European base, -ghel, as the word yell; -ghel means both bright and gleaming, and to cry out. Yellow is a color which cries out for attention.
The English term is related to other Germanic words for yellow, namely Scots (Scottish people) yella, East Frisian jeel, West Frisian giel, Dutch geel, German gelb, and Swedish gul. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the oldest known use of this word in English is from The Epinal Glossary in the year 700.
Yellow is the color the human eye sees when it looks at light within the wavelengths of 570 and 590 nanometers, the wavelength of light between green and orange.
In the language of optics, yellow is the 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. Light with a wavelength of 570–590 nm is yellow, as is light with a suitable mixture of red and green. Yellow’s traditional RYB complementary color is purple, violet, or indigo, while its colorimetrically defined complementary color in both RGB and CMYK color spaces is blue.
Yellow, in the form of yellow ochre pigment made from clay, was one of the first colors used in prehistoric cave art. The cave of Lascaux has an image of a horse colored with yellow estimated to be 17,300 years old.
In Ancient Egypt, yellow was associated with gold, which was considered to be imperishable, eternal and indestructible. The skin and bones of the gods were believed to be made of gold. The Egyptians used yellow extensively in tomb paintings; they usually used either yellow ochre or the brilliant orpiment, though it was made of arsenic and was highly toxic. A small paintbox with orpiment pigment was found in the tomb of King Tutankhamun. Men were always shown with brown faces, women with yellow ochre or gold faces.
The ancient Romans used yellow in their paintings to represent gold and also in skin tones. It is found frequently in the murals of Pompeii.
During the Middle Ages and Renaissance, yellow became firmly established as the color of Judas Iscariot, the disciple who betrayed Christ, even though the Bible never describes his clothing. From this connection, yellow also took on associations with envy, jealousy and duplicity.
The tradition began in the Renaissance of marking non-Christian outsiders, such as Jews, with the color yellow. In 16th century Spain, those accused of heresy and who refused to renounce their views were compelled to come before the Spanish Inquisition dressed in a yellow cape.
The 18th and 19th century saw the discovery and manufacture of synthetic pigments and dyes, which quickly replaced the traditional yellows made from arsenic, cow urine, and other substances.
Circa 1776 Jean-Honoré Fragonard painted A Young Girl Reading. She is dressed in a bright saffron yellow dress. This painting is “considered by many critics to be among Fragonard’s most appealing and masterly”.
The 19th-century British painter J.M.W. Turner was one of the first in that century to use yellow to create moods and emotions, the way romantic composers were using music. His painting Rain, Steam, and Speed – the Great Central Railway was dominated by glowing yellow clouds.
Georges Seurat use the new synthetic colors in his experimental paintings composed of tiny points of primary colors. particularly in his famous Sunday Afternoon on the Isle de la Grand jatte (1884–86). He did not know that the new synthetic yellow pigment, zinc yellow or zinc chromate, which he used in the light green lawns, was highly unstable and would quickly turn brown.
The painter Vincent van Gogh was a particular admirer of the color yellow, the color of sunshine. Writing to his sister from the south of France in 1888, he wrote, “Now we are having beautiful warm, windless weather that is very beneficial to me.
In the 20th century, yellow was revived as a symbol of exclusion, as it had been in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Jews in Nazi Germany and German-occupied countries were required to sew yellow triangles with the star of David onto their clothing.
In the 20th century, modernist painters reduced painting to its simplest colors and geometric shapes. The Dutch modernist painter Piet Mondrian made a series of paintings which consisted of a pure white canvas with grid of vertical and horizontal black lines and rectangles of yellow, red, and blue.
Yellow was particularly valued in the 20th century because of its high visibility. It often replaced red as the color of fire trucks and other emergency vehicles, and was popular in neon signs, especially in Las Vegas and in China, where yellow was the most esteemed color.
In the west, yellow is not a well-loved color; in a 2000 survey, only six percent of respondents in Europe and America named it as their favorite color. compared with 45 percent for blue, 15 percent for green, 12 percent for red, and 10 percent for black. For seven percent of respondents, it was their least favorite color. Yellow is the color of ambivalence and contradiction; the color associated with optimism and amusement; but also with betrayal, duplicity, and jealousy. But in China and other parts of Asia, yellow is a color of virtue and nobility.
Yellow has strong historical and cultural associations in China, where it is the color of happiness, glory, and wisdom. In China, there are five directions of the compass; north, south, east, west, and the middle, each with a symbolic color. Yellow signifies the middle. China is called the Middle Kingdom; the palace of the Emperor was considered to be in the exact center of the world.
The name of the legendary first Emperor of China, Huang Ti, meant literally “the Yellow Emperor.” The last emperor of China, Puyi (1906–67), described in his memoirs how every object which surrounded him as a child was yellow. “It made me understand from my most tender age that I was of a unique essence, and it instilled in me the consciousness of my “celestial nature” which made me different from every other human.”
The Chinese Emperor was literally considered the child of heaven, with both a political and religious role, both symbolized by yellow. Only members of the Imperial household were permitted to wear yellow. Distinguished visitors were honored with a yellow, not a red, carpet.
In Chinese symbolism, yellow, red and green are masculine colors, while black and white are considered feminine. In the traditional symbolism of the two opposites which complement each other, the yin and yang, the masculine yang is traditionally represented by yellow. Just as there are five elements, five directions and five colors in the Chinese world-view, there are also five seasons; summer, winter, fall, spring, and the end of summer, symbolized by yellow leaves.
Yellow, as the color of sunlight, is commonly associated with warmth. Yellow combined with red symbolized heat and energy. A room painted yellow feels warmer than a room painted white, and a lamp with yellow light seems more natural than a lamp with white light.
As the color of light, yellow is also associated with knowledge and wisdom. In English and many other languages, “brilliant” and “bright” mean intelligent. In Islam, the yellow color of gold symbolizes wisdom. In medieval European symbolism, red symbolized passion, blue symbolized the spiritual, and yellow symbolized reason. In many European universities, yellow gowns and caps are worn by members of the faculty of physical and natural sciences, as yellow is the color of reason and research.
The word for ‘gold’ in Latin is aurum, which means yellow. In ancient Greece, the gods were depicted with yellow hair, and men commonly bleached their hair or spent hours in the sun to turn it yellow. However, in medieval Europe and later, the word yellow often had negative connotations; so yellow hair was more poetically called ‘blond,’ ‘light’, ‘fair,’ or especially ‘golden.’
Yellow is the most visible color from a distance, so it is often used for objects that need to be seen, such as fire engines, road maintenance equipment, school buses and taxicabs. It is also often used for warning signs, since yellow traditionally signals caution, rather than danger. A yellow light on a traffic signal means slow down, but not stop; a yellow penalty card in a soccer match means warning, but not expulsion.
- in The Roman Catholic church, yellow symbolizes gold, and the golden key to the Kingdom of Heaven, which Christ gave to Saint Peter. The flag of the Vatican City and the colors of the pope are yellow and white, symbolizing the gold key and the silver key. White and yellow together can also symbolize easter, rebirth and Resurrection. Golden haloes mark the saints in religious paintings. Yellow also has a negative meaning, symbolizing betrayal; Judas Iscariot is usually portrayed wearing a pale yellow toga, and without a halo.
- In Hinduism, the divinity Krishna is commonly portrayed dressed in yellow. Yellow and saffron are also the colors worn by sadhu, or wandering holy men in India.
- In Buddhism, the saffron colors of robes to be worn by monks were defined by the Buddha himself and his followers in the 5th century BC. The robe and its color is a sign of renunciation of the outside world and commitment to the order. The candidate monk, with his master, first appears before the monks of the monastery in his own clothes, with his new robe under his arm, and asks to enter the order. He then takes his vows, puts on the robes, and with his begging bowl, goes out to the world. Thereafter, he spends his mornings begging and his afternoons in contemplation and study, either in a forest, garden, or in the monastery.
According to Buddhist scriptures and commentaries, the robe dye is allowed to be obtained from six kinds of substances: roots and tubers, plants, bark, leaves, flowers and fruits. The robes should also be boiled in water a long time to get the correctly sober color. Saffron and ochre, usually made with dye from the curcuma longa plant or the heartwood of the jackfruit tree, are the most common colors. The so-called forest monks usually wear ochre robes and city monks saffron, though this is not an official rule.
The color of robes also varies somewhat among the different “vehicles”, or schools of Buddhism, and by country, depending on their doctrines and the dyes available. The monks of the strict Vajrayana, or Tantric Buddhism, practiced in Tibet, wear the most colorful robes of saffron and red. The monks of Mahayana Buddhism, practiced mainly in Japan, China and Korea, wear lighter yellow or saffron, often with white or black. Monks of Hinayana Buddhism, practiced in Southeast Asia, usually wear ochre or saffron color. Monks of the forest tradition in Thailand and other parts of Southeast Asia wear robes of a brownish ochre, dyed from the wood of the jackfruit tree.
- In the religions of the islands of Polynesia, yellow is a sacred color, the color of the divine essence; the word “yellow” in the local languages is the same as the name of the curcuma longa plant, which is considered the food of the gods.
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.”Yellow is used to symbolically represent the third, solar plexus chakra (Manipura).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.
The Scared Animal Attribution: The Sphinx
In Greek tradition, it has the haunches of a lion, sometimes with the wings of a great bird, and the face of a human. It is mythicised as treacherous and merciless. Those who cannot answer its riddle suffer a fate typical in such mythological stories, as they are killed and eaten by this ravenous monster. This deadly version of a sphinx appears in the myth and drama of Oedipus. Unlike the Greek sphinx which was a woman, the Egyptian sphinx is typically shown as a man (an androsphinx). In addition, the Egyptian sphinx was viewed as benevolent, but having a ferocious strength similar to the malevolent Greek version and were both thought of as a guardian often flanking the entrances to temples.
In European decorative art, the sphinx enjoyed a major revival during the Renaissance. Later, the sphinx image, something very similar to the original Ancient Egyptian concept, was exported into many other cultures, albeit often interpreted quite differently due to translations of descriptions of the originals and the evolution of the concept in relation to other cultural traditions.
Generally the role of sphinxes is associated with architectural structures such as royal tombs or religious temples. The oldest known sphinx was found near Gobekli Tepe at another site, Nevali Çori, or possibly 120 miles to the east at Kortik Tepe, Turkey, and was dated to 9,500 BC.
From the Bronze age, the Hellenes had trade and cultural contacts with Egypt. Before the time that Alexander the Great occupied Egypt, the Greek name, sphinx, was already applied to these statues. The historians and geographers of Greece wrote extensively about Egyptian culture. Heredotus called the ram-headed sphinxes Criosphinxes and called the hawk-headed ones Hieracosphinxes.
The word sphinx comes from the Greek Σφίγξ, apparently from the verb σφίγγω (sphíngō), meaning “to squeeze”, “to tighten up”. This name may be derived from the fact that the hunters for a pride of lions are the lionesses, and kill their prey by strangulation, biting the throat of prey and holding them down until they die. However, the historian Susan Wise Bauer suggests that the word “sphinx” was instead a Greek corruption of the Egyptian name “shesepankh,” which meant “living image,” and referred rather to the statue of the sphinx, which was carved out of “living rock” (rock that was present at the construction site, not harvested and brought from another location), than to the beast itself.
There was a single sphinx in Greek mythology, a unique demon of destruction and bad luck. According to Hesiod, she was a daughter of Orthus and either Echidna or the Chimera, or perhaps even Ceto; according to others, she was a daughter of Echidna and Typhon. All of these are chthonic figures from the earliest of Greek myths, before the Olympians ruled the Greek pantheon. The Sphinx is called Phix (Φίξ) by Hesiod in line 326 of the Theogony, the proper name for the Sphinx noted by Pierre Grimal‘s The Penguin Dictionary of Classical Mythology.
The sphinx was the emblem of the ancient city-state of Chios, and appeared on seals and the obverse side of coins from the 6th century BC until the 3rd century AD.
The Riddle of the Sphinx
The Sphinx is said to have guarded the entrance to the Greek city of Thebes, and to have asked a riddle of travellers to allow them passage. The exact riddle asked by the Sphinx was not specified by early tellers of the stories, and was not standardized as the one given below until late in Greek history.
It was said in late lore that Hera or Ares sent the Sphinx from her Ethiopian homeland (the Greeks always remembered the foreign origin of the Sphinx) to Thebes in Greece where she asks all passersby the most famous riddle in history: “Which creature has one voice and yet becomes four-footed and two-footed and three-footed?” She strangled and devoured anyone unable to answer. Oedipus solved the riddle by answering: Man—who crawls on all fours as a baby, then walks on two feet as an adult, and then uses a walking stick in old age. By some accounts (but much more rarely), there was a second riddle: “There are two sisters: one gives birth to the other and she, in turn, gives birth to the first. Who are the two sisters?” The answer is “day and night” (both words are feminine in Greek). This riddle is also found in a Gascon version of the myth and could be very ancient.
Bested at last, the tale continues, the Sphinx then threw herself from her high rock and died. An alternative version tells that she devoured herself. Thus Oedipus can be recognized as a “liminal” or threshold figure, helping effect the transition between the old religious practices, represented by the death of the Sphinx, and the rise of the new, Olympian gods.
In Jean Cocteau‘s retelling of the Oedipus legend, The Infernal Machine, the Sphinx tells Oedipus the answer to the riddle, to kill herself so that she did not have to kill anymore, and also to make him love her. He leaves without ever thanking her for giving him the answer to the riddle. The scene ends when the Sphinx and Anubis ascend back to the heavens.
There are mythic, anthropological, psychoanalytic and parodic interpretations of the Riddle of the Sphinx, and of Oedipus’s answer to it. Numerous riddle books use the Sphinx in their title or illustrations.
Sphinx is indeed reported to have had many Riddles, but this offered to Oedipus was the chief, “What is that which in the morning goeth upon four feet; upon two feet in the afternoon; and in the Evening upon three?” What was answered by Oedipus is not known. But they who interpret concerning the Ages of Man are deceived. For a Quadrangle of Four Elements are of all things first to be considered, from thence we come to the Hemisphere having two lines, a Right and a Curve, that is, to the White Luna; from thence to the Triangle which consists of Body, Soul and Spirit, or Sol, Luna and Mercury. Hence Rhasis in his Epistles, “The Stone,” says he, “is a Triangle in its essence, a Quadrangle in its quality.”
Revived sphinxes in Europe
The revived Mannerist sphinx of the 16th century is sometimes thought of as the French sphinx. Her coiffed head is erect and she has the breasts of a young woman. Often she wears ear drops and pearls as ornaments. Her body is naturalistically rendered as a recumbent lioness. Such sphinxes were revived when the grottesche or “grotesque” decorations of the unearthed “Golden House” (Domus Aurea) of Nero were brought to light in late 15th-century Rome, and she was incorporated into the classical vocabulary of arabesque designs that spread throughout Europe in engravings during the 16th and 17th centuries. Sphinxes were included in the decoration of the loggia of the Vatican Palace by the workshop of Raphael (1515–20), which updated the vocabulary of the Roman grottesche.
From France, she spread throughout Europe, becoming a regular feature of the outdoors decorative sculpture of 18th-century palace gardens, as in the Upper Belvedere Palace in Vienna, Sanssouci Park in Potsdam, La Granja in Spain, Branicki Palace in Białystok, or the late Rococo examples in the grounds of the Portuguese Queluz National Palace (of perhaps the 1760s), with ruffs and clothed chests ending with a little cape.
Sphinxes are a feature of the neoclassical interior decorations of Robert Adam and his followers, returning closer to the undressed style of the grottesche. They had an equal appeal to artists and designers of the romantic, and later symbolism movements in the 19th century. Most of these sphinxes alluded to the Greek sphinx, rather than the Egyptian, although they may not have wings.
Sphinxes in Freemasonry
The sphinx image also has been adopted into Masonic architecture. Among the Egyptians, sphinxes were placed at the entrance of the temple to guard the mysteries, by warning those who penetrated within that they should conceal a knowledge of them from the uninitiated. Champollion says that the sphinx became successively the symbol of each of the gods, by which portal suggests that the priests intended to express the idea that all the gods were hidden from the people, and that the knowledge of them, guarded in the sanctuaries, was revealed to the initiates only. As a Masonic emblem, the sphinx has been adopted in its Egyptian character as a symbol of mystery, and as such often is found as a decoration sculptured in front of Masonic temples, or engraved at the head of Masonic documents. It cannot, however, be properly called an ancient, recognized symbol of the order. Its introduction has been of comparatively recent date, and rather as a symbolic decoration than as a symbol of any particular dogma.
The Sepher Yetzirah Title: “The Resplendent Intelligence.”
The Sepher Yetzirah denominates Malkuth as “The Resplendent Intelligence.” (Israel Regardie, A Garden of Pomegrenates, p. 55 ; Aleister Crowley, 777, p. 4)
The Tarot Card Attribution: The Four Tens
The tarot cards attribution for Malkuth are the four Tens. (Regardie, A Garden of Pomegrenates, p. 55; Aleister Crowley, 777, p. 10) In his book A Garden of Pomegrenates, Israel Regardie explains the reason for this attribution precising that “It is given by the Zohar the final H.h TT of Tetragrammaton, and authority attributes to it the four Princess cards of the Tarot. “(Israel Regardie, A Garden of Pomegrenates, p. 55 ; Aleister Crowley, 777, p. 4)
The Number 10 is seen as the end and also the beginning. The Number 10 has gone full circle and thus returns to the original state of 1 or in the case of Tarot, The Ace. This is because all numbers are born out of the Numbers 1 to 10 and all we need to learn is contained within this Number or a combination of its components. As 10 is reduced down to 1 by adding the digits 1+0=1 we close the door on a cycle of life while simultaneously opening the door on a new one. Out of death comes new life. In nature, the Cycle of the Four Seasons brings us the different stages of birth, life, harvest and death only to begin all over once more, on and on and on.
We are constantly passing through 10 Stages in our life. Some of these can be major, such as moving home, moving job, ending a relationship or deciding to have a baby. Even death itself can be seen as a 10 because depending upon personal belief, we pass from the end of a cycle of life and are born into the spirit world or into another incarnation. Then we have the constant 10′s in our daily life. The completion of a project before moving on to the next, the signing off on a contract or business deal, eventually getting to the bottom of the laundry basket before it fills up once again. Therefore 10′s can be seen as both simplistic or major depending on the circumstances surrounding it.
As we complete each Cycle or 10, we are expected to have learned something or gained experience. We are supposed to be much the wiser for our journey, which should enable us to be more confident and prepared when embarking on the next cycle. If not, our journeys would become meaningless and pointless. If you are entering a new relationship after ending a previous one, hopefully you will have learned a lot about yourself and your emotional needs that should positively influence your choice of new partner. On a simplistic level, a hobby of mine is making Boudoir Dolls and designing wonderful period costumes for them, painting their faces and styling their wigs. I have no professional training, and so have been teaching myself. As I work my way through the creation of each doll from Ace to Ten, I learn a lot and usually through my mistakes. Once the doll is complete I then move on to the next. As I complete each doll (stage 10), they are beginning to look better and better, and are also taking me less time to complete. I have learned some tricks of the trade along the way, and therefore am being a little bit more adventurous each time. This is because I have completed several stage 10′s and personally expect more and better of myself. I do have to start at Ace each time with the birth of the creative design for my new doll before scissors are even taken to cloth but I have been down this road or journey a few times now so I am prepared for the little pitfalls and errors that can happen if I am not careful. I am returning to The Ace each time but from a Higher Perspective and a deeper understanding of what is involved and demanded of me. The Four Tens in The Minor Arcana are the same. Once they have completed their Cycle from Ace to Ten, they once more find themselves at Ace but this time it is on a Higher Plane with a heightened sense of awareness and maturity.
The Four Tens in the Tarot represent the completion of the Lessons of the Suits and the beginning of a New Cycle with a set of circumstances born out of the previous cycle. The Tens are the culmination of the Elemental Energies as they act independently in the individual Suits. In the Ten, The Suits are expected to have realised the potential of their Elemental Gifts presented to them by Spirit in The Ace. They have fulfilled their mission or quest, for good or bad, and now must bear witness to it. Their harvest is in and has been weighed and measured. They must now take ownership of it and full responsibility for the outcome. They all started out in the Ace with equal potential, and most importantly, freedom of will, and the choice as to how best to use their Elemental Gift. They were given advice by Spirit but no hard and set rules were laid down. It really was very much up to them and they were left to their own devices.
The Four Suits quickly became quite predictable in their actions, emotions, thoughts and behaviour as they marched, ran, stumbled or crawled through each Stage and for certain we knew who to put our money on as they neared the finish post. In The Ten, they now have the Full Experience of their Suit and Elemental Energy behind them. Most I am sure would admit to being not fully equipped at times for situations or circumstances they found themselves in. This is because it is not possible to work with just one Element and be successful all round. As humans we aspire to have a good balance of all Four, the Gift of the Elements, the Tools of The Magician. Throughout the Minor Arcana we have seen incidents in certain Cards where more than one Element was being utilised to achieve the desired result, but other than that, they did try to operate as purely as possible. How have they fared?
The Wands show the result of too many challenges, too much action and not enough rest. However, their Ten also shows their blistering determination and amazing stamina. The Cups show the joy and happiness that love and family can bring along with a sense of inclusion of, and concern for the wider community. They show the results of following your Heart. The Swords show us how our thoughts and beliefs can eventually destroy us if no mental discipline is applied. The Pentacles show us the results of hard work and commitment manifesting in the material world.
So who won the Race? How you answer that question will mostly depend on your own personality and Elemental Influences. For me, I would like to think that they were all pretty close coming into the final straight until the Swords collapsed. The Cups, full of concern and compassion, stopped immediately to help their fallen comrade while The Wands and Pentacles kept going. I think The Wands were due to finish first, but became too cocky too soon by making a last-minute change of plan. Heading off on what they thought to be a short cut, resulted in bringing them home the hilly route, the toughest of all. Someone did try to stop them but they were off and gone before anyone could get to them. The Pentacles stuck to their original plan and never wavered. They crossed the finish line first, barely out of breath but immediately alerted the officials to inform them The Swords were down. The Pentacles then rushed back to help The Cups carry The Swords over the finish line. This gave The Cups second place and The Swords, third. The Wands came home eventually struggling up over the hills, cursing, swearing and definitely not in a good mood. Well, that is only my version of course.
On the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, The Four Tens reside in the 10th Sephira – Malkuth (Kingdom/Physical World). It represents the manifestation of all creation; life, ideas, form. Malkuth gives tangible form and density to all God’s Emanations and so completes the cycle as the seed is given birth and becomes manifest. This is the furthest Sephira from Kether (Source) but does not mean that it is un-spiritual.
The Four Pages of The Court Cards and The Four Tens of The Minor Arcana also reside here. The Seed of Elemental Potential Gifted by Spirit in The Ace has travelled through each 10 Stages or Spheres until it has being realised in the physical. The Energy or Emanation originated from the Source and will eventually make its way back to the Source to await Re-birth once more. The Cycle has been completed in The Ten. The Four Pages fittingly reside here, and like The Aces, hold the physical potential of their Suit in its immature state.
Astrologically – Corresponds with The Earth.
In The Major Arcana, The Four Tens correspond with Card Ten, The Wheel (X) of Fortune and also Card 19 (1+9=10) The Sun. The Wheel of Fortune teaches us the Lesson of Cycles and the constant movement of energy, situations and apparent luck. What goes around, comes around and consequences as a result of action taken. Once aboard The Wheel of Fortune (life), all the ups and downs of life are experienced, the gains and losses, happiness and sadness, strenghts and weaknesses, loves and hates, fears and courage. The Wheel of Fortune deals with fate and destiny and can be a hard one to pin down for it, like the Universe, is in constant motion. Some of the Suits may have believed they could control the movement of this Magical Wheel in an attempt to manipulate its power and Lady Luck but nothing can stop its constant rotation. It is as old as time itself and has been there long before us and will be there long after we are gone. We shall hop aboard it on countless occasions, in different shapes and forms, but we shall never be able to stop it. We should use our time wisely aboard The Wheel of Fortune and observe closely how it works. Then we can use it to our advantage. The Four Suits have each completed their Cycle on The Wheel, and if wise, will have observed and learned much.
The Sun (IX) Card brings manifestation into the physical and the birthing or re-birthing of new life and energy. It brings a creative explosion in its wake and for The Four Suits represents the culmination of their journey through The Minor Arcana with the eventually birthing or manifestation of their potential in the Ten. The Sun brings illumination, life and a time to celebrate and enjoy the rewards from all their effort and hard work.
Any Tens appearing in your Reading will suggest the end or beginning of a new Cycle. It very much depends on the Ten/s in question but they usually represent a bit of good luck with life turning out as you wished. They suggest goals reached, potential realised and hard work paying off. Change is also on the way when Tens appear and more than likely you are ready for it. If the Ten is a Sword, then the change may be quite harsh and initially perceived as bad luck, but in the long run is for the best.
Upright Tens represent a natural conclusion to a situation or circumstance, and should generally be viewed positively. It can represent a time when you have all your i’s dotted and t’s crossed. All the work is done for the old Cycle and you are enthusiastically looking forward to the next.
Three or more Tens in a reading suggest contracts, legal documents or the purchase or sale of a home, car, or business. Also they represent a period of immense change in your life but the change should be good.
When Reversed, Tens can still be positive but there may be blocks to completing tasks or reaching goals. You may not be able to fully realise your potential. There is still work to do regardless of how exhausted you might feel. Reversed Tens often point to unfinished business and it will depend on which Ten and how many are present as to where the problem lies and how widespread it is. They may point to an eagerness to move on to fresh pasture and a new Cycle before completing the old. Impatience and frustration are often felt with Reversed Tens as you are not quite there yet.
Reversed Tens can also suggest change that is either unwelcome (check surrounding cards) are initially perceived as such. They do not bode well for business deals or the signing of contracts. Big sales or purchases may fall through. You may feel down on your luck or that the Universe is out to get you. It can be a sign that The Wheel of Fortune has begun her downward rotation and you are feeling the effects. Realise that this is only temporary so don’t excessively brood over it. Life should balance out again quite soon.