The first Path into the Hermetic astral structure — The Tree of Life — is called The World and is attributed to the planet Saturn, the double letter Tav comprising the opposites of Dominion and Slavery, and is the lowest Path on the Middle Pillar.
We see a picture of a woman.
When dealing with imaginary magickal, it is customary for the psychopomp to take the contra-gender image. Given that this structure is almost always used by masculine witches, it is usually considered to be female.
I can hear GOETIABLATHER — the context of Jake Stratton-Kent — remark on PAIMON’s position — PAIMON’S OWLS: Vain is dragon.
Norse is not the high and moneyed astral form in current use, which would be something African-ish.
It would have been nice of them to tell us what they were up to so we could not be complete idiots for a while.
I am not against African imagery or magick. I will soon regale you with tales of my Mexican-American childhood when the Cubans had a wonderful situation of human spirituality and the Mexicans did as well, and we didn’t automatically assume that every Mexican was going to to turn into a Cuban. Not that BLAH BLAH BLAH. It is just not practical!
In any case, the female figure in The World for some reason is nude and quite attractive, which would convert in the mind to a marriage-type relationship, or at least one tinged by the energy and imagery of eroticism. This image goes back as far as the Marseille deck of the 1700s, a hotbed era of Rosicruciana, though a different one appears in Visconti-Sforza (two children holding up a city). So here we have a lure as well as an intention. The Hieros-Gamos — the sacred marriage — wherein the solar powers mate with the lunar. The early twentieth century made much of psychological interpretation a la Jungian psychology, and we are not exactly in a backlash but in a forward lash of reintegrating what was past into what was far past and what is yet to come. The modern world of scientific scholarship yields the incomprehensible luxury of the data that can enable us to piece together the world’s spirituality in deep and extensive ways, and the science has finally evolved beyond the rubric of malicious hooting against MAGICAL THINKING. Thanks, Einstein.
The entry into this world of Hermetic Cabala comes at the price of entry into a world and into engagement with the affairs of the The World. You are warned. The ruling class does much sorcery and is always inveigling TALENT. Whether we fetch coffee for the Congressman, or at what level, or how, we also need to look after our own interests, to stand our ground in our milieu. Hermetics is middle class and open. The price of admission is a lot of work.
The woman is encircled by a wreath. The wreath in classic western mythology is usually considered the bay leaf wreath of the poet/prophet associated with Apollo. Thus she is a Delphic figure steeped in the classics. That is an entry price for this world and not just western art magick. It is the Greek gods who work in the magicks of the West, even just as the planets of astrology. They are the gods, the dark arts of Christianity, the extension of Moses, the corrector of Egypt.
It is not just the classics. Here we see the four quarters represented by totemic animals: a man who looks like Apollo; a lion; an eagle; and an ox. These are represented as the four Pythageorean elements; the four Judeo-Christian Archangels; the four Gospels; the four shamanic quarters that facilitate the naked eye astronomy/astrology of navigation as well as the solar calendar which is the indispensable tool of agriculture; and the bilateral symmetry of the mammalian body which forms so much of our consciousness. They are also classes of animals that we have both practical and magickal relationships to: the birds of the air; the beasts of the field; the fishes of the sea; and every creeping thing that creepeth on the earth.
In toto, what we are looking at here is 13,000 years of magick, each system piled on top of the previous systems and all of it pings through our work. In many ways, each successive era was so adroit at destroying the last that they invariably ended up blowing priceless sculpture off the cliffs and not really loving humanity: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhas_of_Bamiyan
It is how war is. You sow salt into the fields, sorrowing.
Much can be done with archaeology and anthropology, but the scientific method falls far short of how such magick was genius and fine and real. We look back at the greatest eras of civilization that considered the gods as completely terrible and say, we will take the art and the science, but forget about Athena. She was nothing but a well-posed statue.
In fact, Hermetics doesn’t work all that well as the kind of operative witchcraft being inveigled of the ATR by the high people. It is too rubricked. It is mostly a world of psychospiritual development that does practical work by subconscious WEALTH.
A complete and extant sorcery like the Buddhist astral world and the ATR witchcraft has a lot that we do not, and also no doubt tends to get stuck in its own rut. So their black magicians are quite proficiently duking out the very sorcery that could save them. THE DOMINION is part of the human condition. They are blithely blowing our Buddhas off the cliff. They will have the SLAVERY of us.
Already who is not on the drugs?
Yet who cannot notice that their work is bubbled up? It will crash and find its natural level. Then we can tidy up and figure out what to do. In the meantime, let’s eavesdrop on the BOYFRIENDS. They work our stuff all over us. In fact, they know more about it than we do because some of them do the extant shamanism, which we forgot because we no longer have to ride horses to get places, hunt with dogs, mouse with cats, feed the chickens, the goats, and the cows or tend the garden. We no longer live in the forest with the wilder animals that we know often. Witches worked with toads as well as cats. Our nearer ancestors cannot track on us because our systems of life have changed so drastically they cannot follow along as we do not plough the fields, and we do not go to the same church because it does not represent scientific opinion.
When those of us who have opened the psychic centers study the classics, the energy field is overlaid with so much correctness in the civilized world of European thought that we do not see the magick, and the Hermetics of England is in a rut as well.
So their position is not entirely wrong, yet not full of the rectitude that WHO CARES? and they have been unmannerly. STONED.
If we check in with the highest path on the Middle Pillar, we see the High Priestess, seated in front of a sere, diaphanous veil with the Tree of Life in the pomegranates of Persephone. That way lies Hades and the entrance of the dead.
It is a mixed bag here — that we concede.