Chapter 2 Achad's Works Home Page
The text of this electronic edition is taken from the Samuel Weiser printing of 1974. The work is not copyrighted. It was originally published in a private edition circa 1923.
The formatting kludges of the previous ASCII edition have been removed; the formatting in the present edition is as close to that in the original as is possible in the context of the Web.
This little book has been written in the spirit of Suggestive Inquiry, and the writing of it has led to many illuminating ideas in regard to the Universal Tradition as disclosed by the Tarot Trumps.
Some months ago, I prepared a treatise entitled "Q. B. L. or The Bride's Reception," purporting to be a simple exposition of the Qabalistic Process and an explanation of "The Tree of Life" with its Correspondences according to the system I had studied and practiced for a number of years.
While writing it I obtained some "New" ideas which seemed to indicate the possibility of the Restoration of the Order of the "Paths" to their Original form. These ideas I put down as they came to me, and included them as an Appendix to the main body of the book.
Briefly, the nature of the suggested change was as follows: The Qabalistic Tradition of the last few centuries is that the "Ten Sephiroth", or "Numerical Emanations", were formed by the "Lightning Flash" of Creation, while the "Twenty-two Paths" were produced by the Ascent of the "Serpent of Wisdom" from Malkuth to Kether.
The recognized Numeration of these Paths was from Number Eleven, transmitting the Influence from Kether to Chokmah, to Number Thirty-two, transmitting it from Yesod to Malkuth the Tenth and last Sephira.
I questioned this, since the Serpent is said to have Ascended, and suggested that the Eleventh Path should be from Malkuth to Yesod, and so on up the Tree in exactly the reverse Order.
Upon experimenting with this arrangement I discovered that although there seemed to be a decided improvement as regards the Paths below the Abyss, above it, all the symbolism became reversed and confused. Even so, there were some interesting combinations.
The main point was, however, that the new arrangement of the lower Paths suggested the possibility of a wonderful Astrological Harmony, since many of them were now united with their Planetary Rulers, etc., in the Sephiroth.
The next step was the discovery of the Symbolism of the Middle Pillar, when the Three Mother Letters of the Elements were attributed to the Three Paths which unite the Four Sephiroth which are in equilibrium. These, when placed in position, showed the Symbolism of the Universal Mercury under the form of a Caduceus and Winged Globe.
I decided, therefore, to adopt this arrangement of the Three Elements, and to try to place the Planetary and Zodiacal Signs in such positions on the Tree that the Astrological Symbolism would be perfect.
I discovered that this was possible. There was one variation, which, if adopted, disclosed some other valuable Qabalistic Symbolism in regard to "The Beginning". I explained this fully in the Appendix to Q.B.L. With my original notes left in their rough form, I published the complete book in a limited edition for Students of the Qabalah. This has met with a very good reception in all parts of the globe. I have received many encouraging letters, all of which express interest in the revised arrangement. The press reports have been favorable, and a conservative Magazine "The Occult Review" admits the importance of the discovery.
One great Authority, however, while admitting that many of the ideas are brilliant, says that he cannot accept this Reformed Order in the face of several hundred years of the old tradition, and maintains that the previous arrangement is the correct one.
While I realize that great changes in the recognized Systems of Initiation in certain Orders might be necessary if the Reformed Order of the Paths were adopted, and while recognizing the importance of the opinion of the Authority mentioned above, I still maintain that this New Arrangement is worthy of the most careful consideration and study. One would expect to find some reason for the arrangement of the Paths, and this present plan seems to me the most reasonable; in fact it suggests that there was an Absolute Reason in the Primitive Universal Tradition, though this became lost to view as time went on.
My aim is to discover the Truth insofar as that is possible to man, and to uphold what seems to me most true, until I am convinced of error; but, to change my viewpoint, if necessary, as soon as more Light is given me. If this "New" arrangement is correct, it will prove itself to be so in the minds of those who study it in an unbiased manner. In any case it is of interest as one aspect of truth, and its right place may be found in due course. It may lead the Student to other important discoveries as it has in my own case. I am convinced that the inquiry is by no means exhausted.
The Tarot Trumps, being a sort of Universal Alphabet, may of course be interpreted in a variety of ways, but I shall discuss their Symbolism when arranged upon the Paths of the Tree of Life according to the Reformed Astrological Order given in the Appendix to Q.B.L.
If by this means we obtain "More Light on the Tarot Trumps" and the Universal Tradition, which transcends what we call Light and Darkness, becomes plainer to my readers, the book will not have been written in vain.
Before discussing the matter in detail, I am giving a brief summary dealing with the earliest traditions of Mankind and their effect upon the present day, or the New Aeon, the Cycle of Aquarius, in which we are not living.
I trust that this book will lead to further Light on the very vital issues of this present Age, and perhaps to a solution of some of the most perplexing problems. At least, I hope so.
The more than ordinary interest displayed by all classes of people in the recent discoveries connected with the opening of the Tomb of King Tutankhamen, indicates, what may be termed, an Egyptian Revival.
This, to some, may appear quite unaccountable; in fact one of the popular writers in the daily papers has questioned just why the public should suddenly show such great interest in this particular discovery, while many similar ones have created little or no stir at all.
There may be a very deep underlying reason for this, and in order, if possible, to discover the hidden causes it will be necessary for us to make a brief survey of the Egyptian Current of Thought from the earliest times to the present day.
Again, we do not find the public interest centered alone in the treasures found in the tomb of Tutankhamen, but in nearly every instance reference is made to his immediate predecessor King Amenhatep IV, or to use his more familiar title King Khu-en-Aten.
King Khu-en-Aten is reported to have been the first King to attempt the establishment of a Monotheistic Religion in Egypt, and the Worship of the Aten or Solar Disk; whereas, after his death, Tutankhamen is said to have re-established the old order and the worship of Amen-Ra in place of that of Aten, or perhaps more properly Atum.
What was the cause of this controversy, and what is its bearing on the thought of the present day?
One of the immediate effects of the public interest in these matters has been the production of a charming little book by Robert Silliman Hillyer entitled "The Coming Forth By Day". This consists in a number of Hymns translated from the Egyptian "Book of the Dead", as it was erroneously called. But the chief item of interest is the introduction, giving a brief but sympathetic outline of The Egyptian Religion, which ends as follows: "For the mystics of the world have always, under all systems, escaped beyond the externals of faith, and held close to the Presence enthroned in the inner court of the temple; the same Presence in how many different sorts of temple! The God who walked by the Nile walks also among men today; whether we call him Christ or Osiris, whether we see him betrayed by Set or Judas, he is always here, he is always betrayed.
Osiris was not the shadow cast before by the coming of Christ, nor Christ a remembrance of Osiris; they are the same, the same significance in different syllables over the earth. The machinery of religion changes, but whatever the modern man finds in his heart, that the Egyptian found also; for that is not the Christian Religion or the Egyptian religion; it is Religion, and the rest is merely an attempt to name that which is nameless."
We can hardly imagine a statement of this sort being made in a small, popular book a few years ago. It is surely a sign of the times and of the Influence of the Ever-coming Son, the Crowned Child, Lord of the New Aeon.
But Mr. Hillyer does not go back far enough into the past to throw the most truly significant light on the present and future. In order that we may properly understand the matter, we must delve deeply into the remotest times; somewhat in the way Gerald Massey did in the "Book of Beginnings." In fact his research work is invaluable, but unfortunately far too lengthy and recondite for the popular taste.
Let us then endeavor to piece together a few of the most vital and interesting fragments, so as to obtain, if possible, a bird's-eye view of the whole matter.
The beginning of mythology with the mother and boy is universal, and still survives in the Virgin and Child of Rome. The sonship preceding the fatherhood represents the most ancient form of belief, and when recognized in that light, is found to explain many of the early mysteries.
The first boy and his mother were called Sut-Typhon.
Sut means "The Opener", and this may be taken in the physiological as well as the astrological sense. The Child was the opener in the sense of being born of the un-mated Mother. The Sun is the Opener of the Day, while Sut as the Star-god was considered the Opener of the Year with the rising of Sothis, and on his rising was the Great Bear cycle founded.
The earliest conception of the great Mother was under the form of the Hippopotamus, the Devourer of the Waters. This led to that of the Water-Dragon, Typhon. But the Great Mother was She who brought forth the Starts, thus we find Her assuming the form of the Star-Goddess, Nuit of the Heavens, who is represented by a beautiful human form arched over the earth. Her change to this human form was portrayed as "Beauty and the Beast in one Image", and from this was the ancient fable derived.
We find the Child described from the very earliest times, as of dual type, so that he became known as Sut-Har or Sut-Horus. Later the idea of twins arose, and these became the Gods of the Two Horizons. Sut the Opener and Horus the one who Shuts or Closes. The earliest phenomenal form of these twins was as darkness (Sut) and light (Horus).
Har or Horus as the Sun was an earlier type than Ra who later became the principal Sun-god. Har, as the son of Typhon the Great Mother, became known as the earliest of the Pharaohs and rulers of Egypt.
Primarily the word Pharaoh is derived from Har-Iu, which means the Coming Son of a two-fold nature, and of the two (Iu) houses. This, again, was Har of the Shus-en-Har or the Bar or Baal of the Heksus.
Now the rulers of the Shus were called Heks, and thus we may trace the early name of the God Hak which is a form of Harpocrates, the God of Silence, the Babe upon the Lotus; who is sometimes considered to be the twin of Horus, and concealed within him.
Har-Makhu was the Star-God of both Horizons. Sut-Har developed into the Solar Deity afterwards called Aten, or Atum. Thus we begin to see the Typhonian origin of the God Aten, and we shall learn from this something of the nature of the revival of Aten-worship under King Khu-en-Aten, the father-in-law of Tutankhamen.
But we first need some further links in our chain, and these may be supplied as follows:
As time went on there was mention of Four Suts, and the worship of the Mother Typhon and her son Sut began to fall into disrepute. A father was needed to account for the generation of all things, and gradually the idea of TUM the Old God of the Setting Sun arose, and he was said to be the Father of the Four Suts. (Thus the four Quarters were established, or perhaps the Equinoctial points and the Solstices). TUM then became known as ATUM, and the Solar Fatherhood was established. Also the twin Lion-Gods assumed the type of Sut-Horus in ATUM-RA.
The quarrel which rent the monuments arose on account of Sut-Horus (Sut as brother of the Sun) and the Egyptian Amen-Ra who was identified with the Greek Jupiter-Amen. An alliance was made between the Ammonians and the Osirians against the followers of Sut-Har, or Sutekh or Sebek, and the ancient genetrix Typhon.
The taunt flung by the Osirians at the Sut-Typhonians was "Orphan", intending to brand them as Fatherless in a religious sense because they worshipped only the Mother and the Child, who became looked upon as the Harlot and the Bastard.
This led to many unpleasant things being said on both sides, and we find a period when the followers of both forms or worship accused the others of every form of immoral practice.
We should now take up a slightly different angle of the situation. ATUM was the same as the first ADAM of the Hebrews. The Rabbis taught rightly that their typical Adam, of the same name as the monkey UDUMU, had carnal knowledge of every tame and wild beast that he could dominate, and was not satisfied until EVE was made for him.
ATUM as the Second ADAM represented the first purely Human Deity without any animal admixture. We now get a glimpse of one of the reasons for the strange half-animal half-human types found in the ancient doctrines. There is another explanation of this, however, which will be discussed later. At the same time we begin to see how it was that King Khu-en-Aten, who revived the early traditions, had many purely human figures made, quite unlike the other Egyptian Images, and that these came to light in the recent discovery of the Tomb of Tutankhamen, who preserved them.
We have made mention before of IU, which means Twin, or Dual being, male and female in one. As in the case of Pharaoh or Har-Iu, we again find IU as the root of the word Jew.
So, too, we find in Iu-Sif the origin of Joseph, of whom more anon.
We find in Unicorn, Sut the Sun and Typhon the genetrix, and how this type preceded the Bullock or Osiris.
Sebek (The Crocodile) was a form of IU-Sif, as well as Har-Makhu and Aten of the Disk, who were each the Iu of the two horizons, as Son of the Mother.
After the reign of King Apehpeh in Egypt, the religion again changed hands and there arose a "King who know not Joseph" i.e. who did not worship IU-SIF or the Coming Son.
IU, as the Genetrix, became IU-Pater or Jupiter; and IU the Son who Comes, became IU-Sus, or Jesus. The Ever Coming Son was the prototype of the Wandering Jew, originally a symbol of Eternal Youth.
If there is any historical Joseph to be found in the monuments he is AIU. He was a protégé of Amenhetep III.
This King was of the Black Aethiopian type, son of a black mother, but he married a fair wife. He was the father of Amenhatep IV, who changed his name of Khu-en-Aten, or the Adorer of Aten. Amenhatep the IV's nurse was the wife of Joseph. On account of his parentage, Amenhatep IV was probably of a Reddish type, and the Aten whose worship he adopted was the Red Disk of the Sun. He may, however, have obtained a glimpse of the Concealed Father or Sun behind the Sun, and thus recognized that in one sense the old Sut-Typhonian tradition was nearer the truth than the prevalent worship of Atum Ra, or Amen Ra. He was of course misunderstood, most people thinking he had gone back to a dark and despised tradition. I shall endeavor to show, later on, how this confusion arose.
We must remember that ATUM was born as Horus or IU, child of the Mother and afterwards developed into Atum-Ra as God the Father. Hence he became the make of the Gods and men, the Begetter who succeeded his father Ptah. ATUM means "Created Man" or ADAM.
When the human soul had come to be considered as derived from the Essence of the Male instead of the Blood of the Female, the woman was naturally said to be derived from the man, as she is in the second of the Hebrew Creations described in Genesis. A soul derived from Atum was dual in sex. The soul was divided into Adam and Eve, the typical two sexes of the Hebrew legend.
Again it is recorded "When Horus had fulfilled the period of 2155 years with the Easter Equinox in the Sign of Aries, the birthplace passed into the Sign of Pisces, when the Ever-Coming One, the Renewer as the Eternal Child who had been brought forth as a Lion in Leo, a Beetle in Cancer, as one of the Twins in Gemini, as a calf in the Sign of the Bull, and a Lamb in the Sign of the Ram, was destined to manifest as the Fish, in the Sign of the Fishes. The rebirth of Atum-Horus, or Jesus, as the Fish IUSAAS, and the Bread of Nephthys, was astronomically dated to occur in Beth-Lechem -- the House of Bread -- about 255 B.C., at the time the Easter Equinox entered the Sign of Pisces, the house of Corn and Bread."
There had been a time when the two birthdays assigned to Horus of the Double Horizon, were allotted to the Child Horus in the Autumn, and to the Adult Horus at the Vernal Equinox; but when the Solstices were added to the Equinoxes, in the new creation of the Four Quarters established by Ptah for his Son Atum-Ra, there was a further change. The place of Birth for the Elder, the mortal Horus who was born of the Virgin Mother, now occurred in the Winter Solstice, and the place of Birth for Horus the Eternal Son was celebrated at the Vernal Equinox, with only three months between the two instead of six.
As above stated, the Entry of Horus into the Sign of Pisces occurred 255 B.C., and another period 2155 years added to this, brings us down to the year 1900 E.V. at which time Horus should astronomically be expected to appear in Aquarius. This is a purely Human Sign, the Sign of MAN, the Water-bearer or Bearer of the Waters of Life in his own person.
In the year 1904 the Law for the New Aeon was received by one of the Adepts, and the reign of Horus duly proclaimed as Ra-Hoor-Khuit.
Since then many changes have occurred on the earth, and few can fail to recognize the coming of Horus in one of his aspects as the Avenger of his Father Osiris, so plainly manifested in the great World War, and in other ways. But Harpocrates, his twin, is hidden within Him, and we may look for the Crowned Child to be born in every Heart, during the Coming Period.
I have given this brief sketch, which is not by any manner of means complete, in order to prepare the mind of the reader for the explanation of the Universal Alphabet of the Book of Thoth, or the Tarot Trumps, in relation to their proper Paths on "The Tree of Life" of the Ancient Qabalah, as reformulated in my book Q. B. L.
I shall hope to show by this means that there is a still deeper meaning under all these things, that the Universal Tradition, long lost, may be revived to our great advantage in understanding not alone the Past, but the Present Period of the History of Mankind on this Planet.
But I shall first supply those who are unfamiliar with these ideas, with "The Essence of the Practical Qabalah," and even those who have read "Q. B. L." will do well to refresh their memories by a study of the brief outline which follows.
Chapter 2 Achad's Works Home Page