International Order of Kabbalists - Tree of Life (Western Hermetic Tradition)

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Situation on the Tree:
Between Kether and Binah in the Supernal Triangle.

Key: The Hebrew Letter Beth. House

Title: Magus of Power.

Spiritual Significance: Mercury.

Tarot Card: I - The Magician.

Colours in the Four Worlds:
In Atziluth: Yellow.
In Briah: Purple.
In Yetzirah: Grey.
In Assiah: Indigo, flecked violet.



The papers below describe the Twelfth Path of Beth, that symbolises the infleunce between Kether and Binah. It is (More to follow)...

(Updated 13 November 2020)


Kether - The Magician - Binah

By Jean Greenslade (1995)

“Let there be Light” and there is brilliant, everlasting light emanating from Kether. The order of manifestation is - “First there was darkness, out of which came light, then came colour, sound and form after that”.

Kether is the ideal - it is the archetypal world from which all springs forth to Malkuth via the Lightning Flash. The first swirlings of existence are in Kether and the God-name is Eheieh, meaning “I Am That I Am”. The Archangel, Metatron, symbolises attainment of the Great Work. Metatron has been called ‘King of Angels’, ‘Prince of the Divine Face or Presence’, ‘Chancellor of Heaven’, ‘Angel of the Covenant’ and ‘the lesser Yod He Vau He’ (the Tetragrammaton). Metatron is charged with the sustenance of mankind. The Hebrew Talmud says Metatron is the link between the human and the Divine. It is said that in his earthly incarnation Metatron was the Patriarch Enoch.

The Archangels, in the World of Creation, Briah, are like the managers, departmental managers, operating in each Sephirah according to the qualities of the Sphere. They are assisted by the Hosts of Angels in the Yetziratic World, and the Angels are skilled and efficient craftsmen, but only in their own speciality. The Holy Living Creatures or Chaioth HaQadesh are in Kether and are really a higher level of the elements in Malkuth - Fire, Earth, Air, Water - as above, so below.

Binah is the feminine aspect of Kether which embraces the mother principle. Binah is given the name Understanding. The mundane Chakra is Saturn, the symbol of restriction - and, of course, a mother has to understand and know when and how to restrict her offspring. In Binah we find the constructive power which carries out and puts into operation the Divine thought which comes from Kether through Chokmah. The pure force of Chokmah becomes form in Binah - on the path of the Lightning Flash.

The female aspect of the Deity is sometimes called Shekinah and the union of the “mother” and “father” aspects of the Deity takes place in the first two Kabbalistic Worlds. Kether is in Atziluth, the Archetypal World and Binah is in Briah, the Creative World. (the third and fourth Worlds of Yetzirah and Assiah are seen as the fruits of the union). The father God in Kether is Eheieh and the mother Goddess in Binah, Shekinah.

The Angelic overlord of Binah, Tzaphkiel, has the job of overseeing the “karmic records”. The name Tzaphkiel can be translated as “the watcher of God” or as “the beholder of God”. If we accept that God knows all, and observes all, then we have to be prepared to accept that Tzaphkiel is His ideal eye. Through the eye of Tzaphkiel not only may God know us, but we may eventually come to know God.

The Hosts of Angels here are the Aralim, called “the valiant ones”, who in the Yetziratic World of Formation bring into being the form for which creation commenced in Briah.

But which path unites these two Sephiroth? The second letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Beth, is placed on the path of the Magician. Beth represents the feminine principle of the God-ness energy and is characterised by traditional “yin” imagery because its meaning is translated as “House” or “Enclosure”. Beth is used several times in the Bible to describe a place.

Bethlehem (House of Bread or Sustenance); Bethesda (House of Healing - the name of the pool in Jerusalem known for its healing properties); Bethel (House of God - where Jacob had his vision of the stairway to heaven); and Bethany (House of Figs - where Jesus often visited).

The number Two is also traditionally associated with the feminine and its related ideas of polarity. The Magician is path 12 on the Tree of Life and if we take Kether (1) + Beth (2) we get 3 and this path leads into Sephirah 3. Man is also a threefold creature having Spirit, Mind and Body. Also every system has a beginning, a middle and an end - so 3 was considered the first perfect number. Pythagorus called 3 “the one and the many”, meaning a limited expression of both 1 and 2, and a number of talents because three is the Creative Principle in the Godhead, the number of self-expression. Mercury is the astrological sign for the Magician bringing in the element Air which is symbolic of Spirit. In the Tarot, the hands of the Magician symbolise the two pillars before the temple thereby indicating duality, positive and negative.

Although path 12, The Magician, is numerically the path which follows The Fool. I always look at this path as the end of the Fool’s journey when he is so much wiser because he has experienced the whole Tree - The Fool is now the Adept?

This would appear to be a path for the upward journey on the Tree. It is not on the Lightning Flash although the Sephiroth at each end of the path are. This path is only used by the Serpent of Wisdom and is therefore, as used by the Adept, the peak on the Path of Initiation. The Fool needs to experience the rest of the Tree to be able to correctly use the forces issuing down from Kether. Mercury is also indicative of communication and surely after journeying all over the Tree, The Fool is ready to communicate some of the wisdom he has gained.

But, all is cyclic in this universe of ours. Nothing is static and so the Fool has to get ready to travel again, learning more, and adding the knowledge thus gained to his store of wisdom. On the path of the Magician comes the realisation of one’s abilities - there is always more to learn.


The Path of the Magician

By Peter Oddey (2000)

The Tree of Life is a testament to the balance and order of the cosmos. Each sephiroth and each path is the perfect balance of its adjoining and opposite number. Male and female, light and dark, active and passive, force and form, objective and subjective are a few of the polarities comprising the Tree's essence.

In the path of The Fool, the first signs of undifferentiated force, in its simplest state, are found. In the path of the Magician, the One has become Two and duality announces its appearance. The meaning of the letter Beth, which is assigned to the path, is a 'house' and the Sepher Yetzirah ascribes Beth as a double letter, meaning life or death; the first and perhaps greatest polarity. The title ascribed to the path is "The Magus of Power" and in the twelfth path, the Magician infuses primal form into the order of manifestation. The breath of the Fool, acts as the means and motivation behind the pronouncement of the Word of the Magician. For as the tradition states: "He who is able to pronounce the Name of God, is the Master of the Universe".

The Magician of the twelfth path is the "house of light". He is both the enclosure and transmitter of the light of Kether. The Magician is both the messenger and the message. The Rider-Waite, Paul Case and Golden Dawn Tarot cards convey the idea of the Magician at work; before him are the tools of his trade: Wand, Cup, Sword, Pentacle and the Magician is depicted in the act of invocation. The Thoth Tarot of Aleister Crowley, painted by Lady Frieda Harris, depicts the Magician and his wand as one. The picture seeks to convey the idea of light waves in a constant state of motion and flux, where the Magician is both the conducter and the conductor of the power invoked. The message of the Magician is light; the light of comprehension, the light of wisdom and understanding, with the power and authority to create. Holiness has been described as light, so that when the angels of the scriptures cry "Holy, Holy, Holy", they are declaring that God is light, wisdom and understanding.

The Yetziratic text of the 32 Paths of Wisdom tells us that the Twelfth Path is called the Transparent Intelligence. Kether, the Crown, reflects the Primal Glory through the Transparent Intelligence and the text tells us that the twelfth path is the path of vision and prophecy. Vision and prophecy may be regarded as somewhat passive, by comparison with the active stance of the Magician in the act of invocation, as depicted on the Tarot cards.

In this respect, Christian theology appears to greatly support the ancient Kabbalistic texts and may assist our perspective at this level of the Tree.  St. John's Gospel sets forth Jesus Christ as the pre-existent Word in its opening verses and St. Paul, in his letter to the Colossian church, also sets forth the Christ as, "before all creation, holding the nature of all things together by the Word of His Power". Indeed, this particular passage may be part of an ancient hymn or liturgy, and the inference is that its roots may extend far back into the classical culture and its many mystery religions. More specifically, the association of the spirit of Christ with the spirit of prophecy, and thus confirmation that the high path of the Magician and the high path of the Logos are one and the same, may be found in St. John's Revelation 19:10 which states: "The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy".

So the association of ideas:

The Magus of Power
The Pre-Existent Word
The Primal Glory
The Path of Prophecy
The Transparent Intelligence, through which light and power pass,

are all at one in the Twelfth Path.

Ancient tradition has it that both St. John and St. Paul were versed in the teachings of Kabbalah. St. John received his teaching directly from the Christ and St. Paul was brought up under the Jewish sage Gamaliel. Indeed, some would say that the Revelation, for instance, cannot be fully understood without a thorough knowledge of Kabblalah, Tarot and esoteric tradition generally.

As one would imagine, the power at this level of the Tree is beyond comprehension. The position of the Magician between Kether, which contains both force and form and Binah, the great organiser, places him at the very fount of Universal origin. The Magician, wears the Crown of Kether and sits on the Throne of Binah.

Binah, the third sephiroth is titled 'Understanding' and is also known as Khorsia, the Throneworld. The realm of Binah is the Seventh Heaven of the apocalypse, wherein is found the great white throne of St. John's Revelation 20:11 "Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence and there was no place for them". (New International Version). This is the vision of St. John, as he stands in the spirit before the Throne of the Seventh Heaven, gazing up into the House of the Transparent Intelligence. The scripture confirms that there is no place for the mundane order, before the Supernal Throne of Binah.

The Tarot cards of the Minor Arcana attributed to Kether and Binah are the Aces in Kether and the Threes and Queens in Binah. Kether contains the roots of the powers of Fire, Water, Air and Earth. In Kether, the Magician can call upon the very seeds of all the elements comprising existence. Effectively, his command is absolute. Indeed, it is his authority over the elements, throughout the Worlds and Paths of the Tree of Life, that enables him to impose his will upon the Great Sea of Binah. The Sea of Glass or Crystal referred to in St. John's Revelation 4:6. This is the pure, transparent Sea of Contemplation and reflection. As the magician of the earth plane imposes his will upon the sea of the astral light or telesma, so the Magician of the twelfth path orders creation through the Sea of primary forms, in Binah. As above so below, but after a heavenly manner: as below, so above, but after an earthly manner.

In this sense, the Kings of Chokmah, perform a similar function to the Magician. The Queens of Binah are the culmination of the force initiated by the Kings; not rapid and powerful like the Kings, but consolidating and enduring. One can see, therefore, the importance of Binah in the first trinity of sephiroth. Binah acts as the terminal, concluding point for both Kether, along the path of the Magician and Chokmah, along the path of the Empress. Binah is the focal point of the Supernal Realm, the Throne of Creation, prior to crossing the abyss toward manifestation.

This is further confirmed in the general meaning attaching to the four Threes, of the Minor Arcana, in that these imply both the completion and commencement of action for good or bad; both the resolution of that begun in the Worlds and Paths beyond Binah and the commencement of that which follows into the order of manifestation, thereafter.

It is the Magician's power over the elements that enables him to materialise and dematerialise in the earth plane, at will. The appearance of angels in the scriptures, the taking up into the heavens of Enoch and Elijah in the Old Testament, and, of course, the mystery of the resurrection appearances in the New Testament, bear testimony to this power over the elements, as we know them. The miracles of the prophets Elijah and Elisha also make marvellous reading in this context.

As we can see therefore, the Magician of the twelfth path, is not the entertaining conjurer of the Marseilles Tarot deck, nor the medieval magician whose skill is in manipulation of the natural realm. He is not the ceremonial magician of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, nor the solitary magician commanding the celestial hierarchy. Indeed, the text of the 32 Paths of Wisdom points to the mystic who, in the eternal stillness and silence, receives the Word of God from the Ain through Kether.

These are all reflections of a far greater whole, for as the scripture states, "in my Father's House are many mansions".

The Magician of the twelfth path of whom we speak, effortlessly combines opposite polarities. He is the perfect synthesis of both eternal contemplation and primal action.


The Magician

By Keith Rowland (1984)

The Magician stands at the threshold of eternity, with the cosmic forces at his command. Indeed the Tarot card contains the symbol for this right above his head, the ∞ (Lemnisculate), the endless flow of the one ebb and flow, like the swish of the cosmic tide.

He is placed on the Path connecting Kether to Binah, and is thus responsible for the direction of force into the beginnings of form, though at the Atziluthic level this is in archetypal form. In dealing with the apparently unseen cosmic energies, the first Arcanum is also known as the Intelligence of Transparency.

The Magician stands in his magical robes with right hand raised, carefully grasping his magic wand, or "conducting rod". The creative spirit of Kether from the One flows through his body, as a vessel or channel to be directed to the earth by his left hand - the "giver" (the right being the receiver). The spirit force is just that, neither good nor bad - that being decided by the use it is put to. Thus, according to the use the Magician makes of the Divine power, he is conducting the power either of light or darkness to Malkuth. He stands, therefore at the directing point of manifestation, in full consciousness, bringing light (hopefully) to all life of any form which requires it.

Naturally the Magician is found in all of the four worlds, where his work is carried out in a manner favoured by the conditions existing in the particular world.

His work in Atziluth is to bring the endless stream of energy into the first shaping of pure form; this work is not clouded in any manner, since it is above the Abyss. This is the conduction of the Divine spark from its origin, influenced by the other path which connects with the Divine Mother, Binah, i.e. the path of the Empress.

In the Briatic World, on the return journey, the Magician is perfected after the experiences of his incarnations have allowed him return across the Abyss.

In the Yetziratic World, where the emotions abound, the Magician's work can be thus influenced, the extent depending upon the individual's character and tuning of dedication to the Will of the One. By the return journey through Yetzirah the mind will control, balancing where necessary any excessive emotional direction of the past. The purity of his work is thus gradually shaped ready for his ascent into Briah.

As is to be expected in Assiah, the physical world, the Magician's work can be dictated by his personality, complicated by the ego, and all the associated external influences which seek to influence the individual. These generally are all necessary "tests" which seek to push the individual into action, the result of which can be good or bad: strength, devotion, and all the many positive attributes may thus be built into the individual. Conversely, all the negative things of the Magician of darkness may also be taken in. The choice is ours.

We are all thus Magicians of some form and bent, whether we consciously perform rituals in an occult manner (including the priest drawing the spirit into himself and thus the water, wine and bread), spreading light, healing or whatever with the aid of the archangels. Maybe some have not consciously performed or even contemplated such an act, but even so they will have been filled with inspiration at some point of their life, or perhaps "psyched" themselves up before an event or competition - unconsciously drawing in energy.

In this unconscious manner, the danger lies in the way in which the imbibed energy is used - passed on - or perhaps it is not passed on. That is the worst. For, unless the conductor and receiving vessel is of a strong enough constitution, the power, if too strong, will burn out the circuit. Such surges of energy, when uncontrolled and not transmitted on in a positive manner are destructive and dangerous.

All proper circuits allow energy to flow freely, and when a resistance is included (either human or electrical) the congestion causes a waning, and lowering of the output. Psychically, this also reduces the input. Thus one of the true cosmic laws is that of the free transmission of energy. The Magician's aim should be thus. He will then allow an even greater inflow of Divine Light and Love to enter, which he can pass out to all who need. Surely this is the aim of all who are on the true path of light.

This sending out or transmitting may be done on many levels. The Magician there­fore makes all the possibilities of life real, creating out of the four main energies (the elements of Air, Fire, Water, Earth) symbolised by the Wand, Sword, Cup and Pentacle, which lie on the Magician's table or altar. However, he is surrounded by flowers, which symbolise the earth, and the need to ground or earth the spirit of the Divine, to bring the full potential into reality. All magicians need to have their feet firmly planted on the ground.

The role of the Magician is that of communication - of Divine Force from Kether to Malkuth, it is therefore appropriate to assign Mercury - as both God and astrological sign to this path. The Greek equivalent, Hermes, is also assigned.

The Arcanum depicts unity of everything - in the four elements, to the unity of heaven and earth (and below to the Qliphoth) - Divine to the Devil. It is also the union of Will, the directing force - to know, to dare and to keep silent - a very old occult adage.

The Hebrew letter Beth, meaning House, is assigned - the Beginning, as in Genesis, when the world was physically created - the formless into form. In the House of the One, there are many mansions, or dimensions, i.e. the Sephiroth. When viewing the Tree, the hands of the Magician may be likened to the two pillars before the temple - again representing the two alternatives of positive or negative. The Magician has the control of these, he represents the movement of the formless into the reality of form, and the words often used in the Church, or occult: "Knock and it shall be opened unto you" have complete understanding. Unless you do the knocking it is unlikely that any doors will be opened. The Magician thus learns how to control the four elements in a balanced manner in the glory of the Divine Light, he thus has the potential for control over all creation, from star to planet and the nature kingdom.

At the level of Binah, at whatever worldly level, the Kether force is understood and controlled.

The Yellow Ray operates over all spheres of creativity, and so the Magician will be in a sympathetic tuning to it. He will develop his powers of sympathy, tolerance, accuracy, devotion and commonsense, amongst others. The negative aspects may also be apparent in the undeveloped magician, struggling through insufficient attention to detail, inaccuracy, absentmindedness, etc. The solar plexus is the operational centre to concentrate the yellow ray energy.

Through his powers of command, and at the highest level, the Magician represents the Divine in man. It may be beautifully revealed and unclouded giving divine truth, or conversely represents deception.

The gemstones of this Arcanum are the Opal and Agate; plants which correspond to the Magician are Vervain and Herb Mercury.

The perfumes which vibrate in sympathy with the Magician are mastic, mace and storax.

The Magician, with his magical weapon, i.e. the wand or caduceus, stands before the creation and manifestation of creation itself. He has no limitations in his mind, for all is possible, for he has the four main energies of the universe at his disposal - the four Tarot symbols symbolising the Tetragrammaton: Wands, the Yod, Cups the He; Swords, the Tau; and Pentacles, the second He. With the Divine Breath behind his actions all comes to be.

Let us spread the light of creation, bringing the gifts of healing, tongues and knowledge of science, down to Malkuth.


The Magician

By Carly Stevens (1984)

"In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God".
The Magician is the second Arcanum, or subjective Path, but the twelfth Path of the Tree, joining Kether and Binah, force and form.

The gods of this path are Mercury, Hermes, Thoth and Cynocephalus: Mercury to the Romans or Hermes to the Greeks, he is the god of travellers and messenger of the gods, conductor of souls to Hades, he can be eloquent and persuasive, cunning and dishonest. Thoth, of the Egyptians, recorded the results of the weighing of the heart of the dead, he has knowledge of magic and invented writing, so is the patron of scribes. The Cynocephalus are a fabled race of men or apes, with dogs heads, from whom were chosen the priests of Anubis, Egyptian god of the dead, who was also present at the weighing of the heart.

Mercury, Hermes or Thoth, he is the bearer of the wand (representing energy sent forth, the ceaseless flow of life which expresses eternity, hence the wand or caduceus is the magical weapon of this path), and the messenger of the gods bringing the Word of Creation. The Word is ruled by the law of reason, necessity or chance in the dual nature of Mercury: this is the origin of confusion between reality and illusion, truth and fiction, wisdom and folly; Mercury does not include conscience, but rather the need to accomplish by foul means if fair cannot be used, hence the fables of his cunning.

Returning to the Cynocephalus, this ape type creature was reputed to follow behind Thoth, with the intention of distorting the Word to introduce ambiguity, confusion and falsehood.

The gods fully express the duality of this Path, it can be truth or falsehood, positive or negative. The hands of the Magician show the drawing down of the forces of Kether, and also represent the two pillars before the temple; above his head is the symbol Lemnisculate, a symbol of eternity; and before him are representations of each of the elements, the four basic forces of life, which he unites. The card is on the pattern of a triangle resting upon a square, showing the pure force of air and spirit in Kether being brought down into the level of matter in Malkuth. This card reaches from heaven to hell, from Ain to Qliphoth.

The duality of the Magician unites the divine and the Devil, the force which emanates from Kether can be used to bring either light or darkness into Malkuth. The forces themselves are neutral until directed by the Magician: when controlled by the part of the Fool on his descent, they can easily be misdirected and misused. In Kether the power is dormant; it is activated through the path of the Magician, then harnessed in Binah.

The four elements - air, water, fire and earth - are represented by the sword, cup, wand and pentacle, and also symbolise Yod, He, Vau, He - the Tetragrammaton. The Magician learns to use these forces and by their manipulation can control all the forms of nature, he is capable of transforming the universe and he sees no limitations. Master of his own fate; he rules destiny, at the highest level this is the divine motive in man. He is Pagad, the Master of Fortune. In this Arcanum lies the answer to "seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened"; also the rule of magic: to know, to dare, to do, to keep silent.

The Hebrew letter for the Path of the Magician is Beth, the house. "In my Father's house are many mansions", this can apply to the many aspects of the Tree. "I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever". We have already mentioned that this Path contains the aspect of eternity: "by wisdom is an house builded: and by understanding it is established". The house of the magician is established in the house of Binah. The pattern of the triangle over the square shows the crude outline of the house, this pattern is shown in this Arcanum. The triangle formed by the 11th, 12th and 14th Paths forms a roof over the rest of the Tree, the completion of the house which is the Tree of Life.

The planet ruling this Path is, of course, Mercury, combining the dual nature of Gemini, the Twins. It is a planet ruled by the element of air, which element symbolises spirit. Both the 11th and 12th Paths are above the Abyss and consequently the level of spirit. Mercury is represented by the Yellow Ray, which signifies its creative activity and mental ability. The Magician must have a highly developed mind and intellect in order to utilise the abilities inherent in this Path.

The Magician’s powers, gained through this Path are: healing, the harnessing of power to correct imbalance in form; the gift of tongues. Mercury is very eloquent, and those ruled by the element of air tend to volubility, hence the increase in ability to communicate; and knowledge of sciences, the creative and extraordinary mental capacity of the Magician comes into play here. May it be remembered that the laws of magic are natural laws, or scientific laws which our scientists have not as yet comprehended.

This Path is the Intelligence of Transparency, and also gives the gift of seership. This gift can be more trouble than it is worth, unless used with true dedication and developed with understanding and wisdom.

In the world of Atziluth the archetypal magician is expressed through the organised magical ceremonies of Purple Rays on the devotion of Indigo. In Briah the perfected magician returns through the colour of Grey, before reaching total perfection of White Brilliance in Kether. The Purple Ray of ceremony and magic governs the magician in Yetzirah, he is inclined to use his powers emotionally, but on the return Path will have mastered this and his mind will be the controlling influence. Creative mental stimulation is applied through the Yellow Ray in the world of Assiah, along with the healing properties of this colour; the personality will govern the use of the magician's abilities.

The gems symbolic of the Magician are Opal and Agate. The former is milky white, with a fine play of colour. Mercury is sometimes represented as multi-coloured; this stone is generally considered to be unlucky. Agate is a ruby-type stone, but the word also means astir, afoot, astray - these relate to the harnessing of a free force into the ideas of form.

The perfumes associated with this path are: mastic, the gum resin used in varnish or cement; mace, the spice ground from dried aril; and storax, a resin from trees such as benzoin, often used in perfumes and incense. The plants: Vervain, reputed to possess great magical and medical powers, almost a panacea; and the herb mercury, a plant with an inflorescence of flowers appearing as one flower.

The animals are the swallow and the ape: the swallow is a migratory bird, hence a traveller and under the patronage of Mercury, with a forked tail which can be taken to symbolise duality; the ape has already been mentioned under the subject of the Cynocephalus, where he names or imitates the Word of the god in such a manner as to distort the truth, to ape is to mimic or imitate, it is not reality, though it may represent it; the expression "God's ape" means a born fool.

Here we have the method of harnessing power, transmutation of force to form, form to force, the manipulation of matter by pure energy, whether for good or bad. The dual nature of Mercury can encompass opposite aspects and can be used by the wise to create harmony and balance.


The Magician

By Rosalind Westwood (1978)

This is the second arcanum but the twelfth Path which connects Kether and Binah, there is direction of force into form.

Here is the symbol of the ceaseless flow of life, the expression of eternity. About his waist is a serpent, the serpent appearing to devour his own tail, and here indicating more especially the eternity of attainment in the spirit. Above the Magician's head or contained within his hat is the sign of eternity, a figure eight on its side. This is also the mysterious sign of the Holy Spirit, the sign of life, like an endless cord forming the figure 8 in a horizontal position. Therefore his inspiration is seen to emanate from his own true self, the spark of divinity within him. He acts with supreme confidence knowing that whatever he wills must be in accordance with the Universal Will. He is the conscious link between the World of Spirit and the World of Man. The Magician's hands symbolise the drawing down of the Kether Powers. Here is the utilising of the Universal forces to bring light to Malkuth.

In some packs the Magician holds a wand in his right hand, raised towards heaven, while the left hand is pointing to earth. This dual sign is known in very high grades of the Initiated Mysteries; it shows the descent of grace, virtue and light, drawn from things above and derived to things below. The suggestion throughout is therefore the possession and communication of the Powers and Gifts of the Spirit. On the table in front of the Magician are the symbols of the four Tarot Cards, signifying the elements of natural life, which he uses like counters, and he adapts them as he wills. Through the four elements the Magician can control nature, even the stars and planets will obey his commands.

With further reference to the number eight, the mystic number is termed Jerusalem above, the land of flowing milk and honey, the Holy Spirit and the Land of the Lord. According to Martinism, 8 is the number of Christ.

He is assigned the number one, the number of positive action, individuality and creativity. The Magician is forceful and self confident and stands alone.

He can perhaps be seen as Prometheus, grasping the gift of fire from Heaven after stealing it from the Gods. Prometheus as depicted in the Greek Myths was quick witted and wily, like the Gods Hermes or Loki, or the American Indian folk hero Coyote, and was strong willed and self-assured, as shown in defiance of Zeus. Psychologically the myth of Prometheus can be said to refer to the time when man first attained self consciousness "stealing" if from the unconscious and thus taking upon himself one of the attributes of divinity. In so doing he also assumed the responsibilities of Godheads; he is now responsible for his actions, but in taking possession of the world he has lost sight of his soul. The light of the Ego obscures the softer radiance of the spirit. He is the master of his fate and the ruler of destiny.

Following on from the Fool, the Magician signifies the first stage of conscious existence, the emerging self-awareness of the child and the beginning of his journey through life. His first task will be to learn to live in his environment; he must come to wield his elemental weapons, his physical senses, with power and authority before he can proceed.

The Powers he possesses can also be Powers of darkness, neither black nor white until he deploys the powers he controls. The forces moving from Kether are just forces. The Fool in the part of the Magician on the way down can use them wrongly,whereby he can become the Juggler, the trickster who conjures with life, delighting to observe the effect his clever sleight of hand has on lesser mortals. The object of his juggling is not that of wisdom, but power. If he succeeds in invoking real elemental forces, then he becomes a wizard - the instrument of those demonic powers he sought to control.

In the world of Atziluth exists the archetypal Magician. In the Briatic World, on the Path of return, is the Perfected Magician. At the Yetziratic level the Magician is inclined to let the emotions dictate the use of his powers. On the return Path in the Yetziratic world the mind will govern the use. In the Assiatic World the Magician's Powers are used at the dictates of the personality. Here we find the will to know, to dare, to do and to keep silent.
The Hebrew letter for this Path is Beth - house. In my Father's house (the Tree) are many dimensions or mansions (the Sephiroth).

Like the Path of the Pool, this Path is above the Abyss, the level of spirit. The Magician's inner garments are white to signify his inward purity and equilibrium; his outer robe and girdle are scarlet to showthe fire of his purposeful activity. The lilies around his feet symbolise his aspiration, the roses his achievement.

The Italian name for this Arcanum is Pagad, the Master of Fortune. He is the Teacher who appears when the pupil is ready, the Master of wisdom who will instruct the Fool in the hidden ways of the soul.

In mundane terms he is the man who uses his intellect and energy to explore and transform the World around himself, who is not satisfied with things the way they are, but must ceaselessly search for meanings and alternatives. Being unable to accept the explanations that are given him concerning the nature and goal of life, he must strive to uncover the secrets of existence for himself. In this aspect he is the hero who has embarked on the quest for wisdom, the seeker at the door of the hidden temple.

Mercury is the astrological sign for the twelfth Path. This brings in the element of Air which is symbolic of spirit. Mercury symbolizes mental activity, and ability. The Magician is one whose mind has been highly developed.

The hands of the Magician also symbolise the two pillars before the Temple. The Magician, therefore symbolizes the duality, positive and negative reaching up to heaven and reaching down to hell. In this arcanum there is depicted the Divine united to the Devil.

Seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened, is fully expressed in this arcanum. The wand, the cup, the sword, and the pentacle, are symbolic of the four major forces or elements.

At the level of Kether the Power is dormant. The Magician brings the Power into action. The Kether force is controlled at Binah (Understanding). Mercury is symbolic of the yellow ray, which expresses creative activity.

The four great symbols of the Tarot which the Magician has before him symbolise Tetragrammaton, wand the Yod, cups the He, sword the Vau and pentacles the second He.

Precious stones are Opal and Agate.


To be continued...