Tarot Correspondences to the Seven Palaces.
Liber Arcanorum τών ATU τού TAHUTI QUAS VIDIT ASAR IN AMENNTI sub figurâ CCXXXI  was first published in 1909 by Aleister Crowley. It is a Class A paper and students of the mysteries have found it to be one of the more accessible and understandable papers of the A.’.A.’. given that it is concerned with the Major Arcana of the Tarot; a topic that Crowley gave a very thorough treatise on in his ‘Book of Thoth’.
That said, most students err in trying to attribute the verses of Liber Arcanorum to the Tree of life instead of the Seven Palaces, largely because that’s just how the correspondences are given in the Book. The Tree of Life is the public face of the highly secret Seven Palaces, but an adept of the Inner Order understands that when his peers say something like “…the Hierophant, which, on the other side of the Tree of Life, brings down the fire of Chokmah…” he’s actually saying “…the Hierophant, which, on the other side of the Palaces, brings down the fire of Seventh Palace…”.
Crowley hints in the Book of Thoth of “a complete qabalistic system of greater depth and sublimity than any other”, and goes on to explain “The details of this system have not yet been revealed. It has been thought right, nevertheless, to hint at its existence…” He was talking about the Seven Palaces. In this system (which is far older than any other extant) the supernal sephiroth of Kether, Chokmah and Binah are rectified into one combined supernal Palace, and Yesod and Malkuth are brought together as the first Palace.
Just as the Tree of Life is at the core of Kabbalah, the Seven Palaces is the basis of the Merkabah, and indeed the study of Kabbalah may be considered the enciphered study of the Merkabah because the Tree of Life was derived from the Seven Palaces. These Palaces are not to be confused with the Qlippoth nor the Seven Hells as they are things that were themselves derived in their construction from the Tree of life; and are an averse depiction of the purity and sanctity of the former.
Originally, the silence and secrecy that has traditionally surrounded the Seven Palaces was due to a prohibition by Judah the Patriarch that forbade Jewish people from speaking about the Merkabah. The reasons for the prohibition were likely threefold; there was the Jewish desire to reclaim the land of Israel; there are pantheistic elements of the Seven Palaces such as the Goddess Elat and the Elohim of Hadad on its paths and palaces; and there appears to have been some concern over the spiritual welfare of students to the Merkabah, as evidenced by the stories of Rabbi Akiva and the Pardes.
The silence and secrecy of Occult orders on the matter has another source; either they are wholly ignorant of the Seven Palaces through some break in the proper transmission from adept to adept, or they are seeking to preserve knowledge that they have judged to be proprietorial to the wise; something that is (in their view) not to be seen with the eyes of the profane.
Crowley’s work with the Palaces was not a mere reiteration of the Merkabah. He took it upon himself to create an entirely new syncretic system upon it that was fit for the new Aeon as he saw it. His own silence about the Seven Palaces may have been because of Oaths to magical orders that he made, and equally – if he had revealed the Seven Palaces openly to the world at any time after he had published the Book of the Law, he would have given away the solution to the Riddle of Liber Al vel Legis.
There is however, no point in keeping something so secret that knowledge of it dies out completely and there is a break in transmission. Therefore I have absolutely no motivation to keep any of the system secret, and unlike Crowley I have made no oaths to anyone that would prevent me from doing so. Rather – I shall throw it open and let the latter day students of the mysteries have at it, and judge for themselves whether it is an effective vehicle for individual transformation and enlightenment – or not – from their results.
A fellow adept once remarked to me that when it comes to the mysteries, there is little need for formal secrecy as it is the limit of the students understanding that draws a veil of secrecy over matters such as these in any case.
Notes – The Gematria used here is biblical (paleohebrew) Gematria. Shin = 3 (not 300) and Tav = 4 (not 400). Also there is no final values for Ashuri final letters. Also the Isopsephy used here is one that adjusts the Greek letters to match their Paleohebrew counterparts. This link HERE takes you to the Isopsephy table.
The cards are keyed to Liber Arcanorum according to the value of their Hebrew letters, with the exception of the Shin and the Tav which appear at the end of the pack according to tradition. See ‘Tarot Correspondences’ for more information about the ordering of the pack.
The Fool (1) Aleph
0. A, the heart of IAO, dwelleth in ecstasy in the secret place of the thunders. Between Asar and Asi he abideth in joy.
[This card is attributed to the two Palaces of the Aleph.
“Wherefore I solemnly affirm
This twofold Oneness at the term.
Asar on Asi did beget
Horus twin brother unto Set.”
– The Twins, by A.C.
[Dedicated to Austin Osman Spare]
There is an essay “The Visions of Aleph” by Doctor T. – which was published in ‘The New York Magazine, Or Literary Repository’ in 1797 that may be of interest: https://tinyurl.com/ya8xwgja
The Aleph appears twice on the Seven Palaces. It is attributed to two of the Palaces themselves, at either side of the Seventh Palace. The Rabbis were wont to say “Aleph is never less than Beth” and this is figuratively true in respect of the Seven Palaces. The Alephs received the influx from the letter Beth above them, for God began the creation of the World with the letter Beth. The influx flows around the circumference to the twin Palaces of the Dalet below which are doors; one opening to allow the spirit to incarnate in the world below (the Palace of the final Heh) and the other allows the return of the spirit through its door once the earthly body is deceased.
What is united in the Palace of the Beth (2), is thus divided in the Palaces of the Alephs (1), and we may recall Crowleys equation “2 = 0”.
Asar is thought to be Osiris, and Asi – Isis. In the Palaces of the Alephs, they are primal forces that beget Horus the Sun God – (dwelling in the central Palace of the Resh) and all things on earth.
The Magician (2) Beth
- The lightnings increased and the Lord Tahuti stood forth. The Voice came from the Silence. Then the One ran and returned.
[Tahuti or Thoth is the Egyptian version of the Greek Hermes. He represents the wisdom and the word of the aeon. This card is attributed to the highest Palace which is the private abode of the creator divinity. In the heavens this Palace corresponds to the Pole Star. In Canaanite literature this card and it’s Palace corresponded to the God אל (EL).
In the Middle ages the this Palace was split into three to become the supernals of Kether, Chokmah and Binah on the Tree of Life.
The Palace of Beth forms 3 primary gates and 5 small gates from the paths around it.
There’s something very compelling about the initial alphebet of numbers – and by that I mean how each number essentially relates to each other spatially. By the term ‘The inital alphabet of numbers’ I mean all the really interesting stuff happening down at the level of single digits.
The most important permutation is the number base you intend to use. That determines the limit of how many units are accounted for in each cycle of the base number.
Now imagine that each base was a palace, that housed an infinite amount of numbers in each palace. Is there an infinite amount of numbers or is there Seven infinitive amount of numbers?
The seventh palace uses a binary number base; it is the light and the dark; the 1 and the 0; the positive and the negative; and yet, they exist as indivisible united parts of the whole. “What is above the abyss exists in unity and what is below the abyss exists in division.” And yet that is an inadequate description because by trying to describe divinity we can only say what it is not; ergo. God is not a number. God just made everything have a number through the very act of perceiving a difference… and even that shall remain a matter of eternal speculation. Are we all just quantum sparks going off in the quantum night of the pre-material world? Is every man and woman a quantum star?
Essentially we can only speak in numbers because all other qualia is absent on the subject of God. Ought said about God is instantly a thing of speculation only. The symbols of divinity and ancestor worship in both the old and new aeons share essentially the same quality; that they insist upon a God or a state of consciousness that cannot be named, nor described through the medium of words nor numbers. There is a semantic employment of the symbol of the veil being cast over something without form, nor measurement nor localized position in time or space. We can talk around the matter only by making a separation between the creator and the created, and yet that again is a matter of speculation only… the butterfly wing of a quantum fluctuation in the space-time continuum that is everywhere and nowhere and possibly there all at once.
God + Not God + God
אללאאל = 93
31 = אל
31 in base 10 is 11111 in binary.
The following is a list of permutations in their logographic placement of the letters in their mathematical relationship to each other, and to the Beth. There is little else to say, because the rest is God, united and at one with the universe; an all pervading, and everywhere experience of consciousness itself throughout a near infinitely long time period.
The High Priestess (3) Gimel
- Now hath Nuit veiled herself, that she may open the gate of her sister.
[The path associated with this card joins the Palace of the Beth with the Palace of Resh. It is the heavenly Holy of Holies between the abode of the Father and the abode of the son (and the Sun). Its gate value of 217 using all the letters is identical to the gate value of all the palaces when added together; thus representing that everything in the Macrocosm is both begat and extant from the manifestation of divine generation.
“Turn it this way, turn it that way, everything is in it” – Ben Bag-Bag.
“The card represents the most spiritual form of Isis the Eternal Virgin; the Artemis of the Greeks. She is clothed only in the luminous veil of light. It is important for high initiation to regard Light not as the perfect manifestation of the Eternal Spirit, but rather as the veil which hides that Spirit. It does so all the more effectively because of its incomparably dazzling brilliance. Thus she is light and the body of light. She is the truth behind the veil of light. She is the soul of light. Upon her knees is the bow of Artemis, which is also a musical instrument, for she is huntress, and hunts by enchantment.
Now, regard this idea as from behind the Veil of Light, the third Veil of the original Nothing. This light is the menstruum of manifestation, the goddess Nuith, the possibility of Form. This first and most spiritual manifestation of the feminine takes to itself a masculine correlative, by formulating in itself any geometrical point from which to contemplate possibility.” – The Book of Thoth, by A.C.
The third sister is Nephthys who creates in the dark and the silence. In the Palace of the Aleph there is only Isis (Asi) but the triune goddess is represented on this path. Isis veils herself with light. Nuit veils herself with the possibility of form and Nephthys veils herself in dense darkness as she creates.
When the Gimel (3) is added to the Zayin (7) and to the Palace of the Resh (200) then the gate of Nephthys is revealed: 210 for N.O.X.
The Empress (4) Dalet
- The Virgin of God is enthroned upon an oyster-shell; she is like a pearl, and seeketh Seventy to her Four. In her heart is Hadit the invisible glory.
[The Palaces of Dalet (4) on the left of the Wheel connects with the paths of Mem, Ayin, Peh and Resh. Ayin is 70 and the path of Ayin transmits the fertile and creative force and fire of the Sun from the Palace of Resh at the axis of the Wheel.
Not alluded to in Liber Arcanorum is the Palace of the Dalet on the right, probably because that would have been either too confusing or too revealing to the student. Traditionally, the Palace on the right is like a weigh station that receives dead souls from the underworld. In Sumerian literature this is called the ‘Palace of Ganzer’ which is visited by the Goddess of Inanna as she descends to the underworld, and it is connected to the paths of Kaph, Nun, Peh and a path of four letters below (Tsade, Qoph, Shin and Tav – QShTh spells ‘rainbow’ and pearls have an iridescent rainbow hue commonly associated with dissolution or purification).
From ‘Strong’s Concordance’ we learn that the word Ostrakon means both “oyster shell” and a potsherd; i.e. Terra cotta, earthen-ware; by implication, of earth or earthen. This Palace of Dalet on the left is the doorway (for the letter Dalet was a pictogram of a door) to Life or Rebirth; where the soul was clothed in the material flesh before entering into the world. When connected with the path of Mem above, the Daleth forms the word DM – which means ‘blood’ and when topped with the Aleph we have the spelling for ADM which means mankind – the Adam. Aleph ‘spirit’ + Mem ‘water’ + Dalet ‘earth’, with the solar light being ejaculated from the Ayin and the fire added from the Peh to form the human being.
When the Dalet joins with the Resh (of the solar barge) below then it forms the word DR which means pearl, or mother of pearl in Hebrew. See Strong’s Hebrew: 1858. דַּר (dar): http://biblehub.com/hebrew/1858.htm
The Star (5) Heh
- Now riseth Ra-Hoor-Khuit, and dominion is established in the Star of the Flame.
הלא־אלוה גבה שמים וראה ראש כוכבים כי־רמו
“Not is God in the height of the heaven
and behold the head of the stars – how high!”
– Job 22:12.
[ There is a lower Heh attributed to the 1st (bottom) palace and there is an upper Heh attributed to the path connecting the top (7th) Palace of the Beth with the Palace of the Resh at the axis of the Wheel. This upper Heh joins Gimel and Zayin on the path. The upper Heh is the first Heh of YHVH while the lower Heh is the final Heh of this name. The upper Heh of the name represents the gate of this path: Beth + Gimel + Heh + Zayin + Resh. Heh = 5 but the two Heh’s together total to 10, which is the value of גֹּ֣בַהּ ‘height’.
“He said: There is an upper Heh and a lower Heh” – The Bahir verse 29.
The lower Heh on the palace represents the earth in motion, and with time passing, but the upper Heh made up part of the home of God in the heavens; his heavenly temple in the stars – the chief or ‘head’ of them being the pole star at the Palace of the Beth. The lower Heh of the name represents the Palaces of the Alephs, the Daleths as well as the Palace of Heh.
הַמְשֵׁ֣ל ‘hamsel’ means the ‘Dominion’ and is seen in verse 25:2 of Job:
המשל ופחד עמו עשה לום במרומיו
“With dominion and fear he makes peace in his heights”
המשל hamsel is 78; the same number as the number of Tarot Cards in the pack, and 78 is the gematria vale of איואס – ‘Aivas’ the Angel of Ra Hoor Khuit (see Sepher Sephiroth). 78 + 15 (Gimel + Heh + Zayin) = 93.
Also כּוֹכָ֜ב שלהבה ‘Star [of the] Flame’ = 93 ( See Sepher Sephiroth); symbol of the macrocosm.]
The Hierophant (6) Vav
- Also is the Star of the Flame exalted, bringing benediction to the universe.
[The left hand of the Hierophant is open in benediction, and he points towards the bottom right of the star where the card of the Universe would be if the star were placed over the figure of the Seven Palaces.
The sign indicates the number 4, because there are 4 letters on the path thus indicated and also because the Universe card is attributed the letter Tav which has the value of 4. Essentially the hierophant is counting; starting with a closed fist and putting the thumb out for 1; extending the forefinger for 2; extending the middle finger for 3 then closing the thumb across the base of the fingers to make 4. The shape of three fingers also recalls the letter Tav itself; ת.
The Vav on of the name YHVH represents the 6 paths of the circumference of the Palaces ; Vav, Cheth, Mem, Resh, the fourfold Shin/Tav/Tsade/Qoph path, and the path of Kaph. ]
The Lovers (7) Zayin
- Her then beneath the winged Eros is youth, delighting in the one and the other. He is Asar between Asi and Nepthi; he cometh forth from the veil.
[Youth = Y(10) O (70) U (6) Th (4) = 90 + Gimel (3) = 93.
217 (this path’s gate number) – 93 -93 = 31 (אל AL in Thelema or EL traditionally.)
Ὄσιρις ‘Osiris’ = 396 – 93 – 93 = 210 (N.O.X.)
This card is the last of the 3 cards on the path between the Palaces of Beth and Resh. When the Zayin is united with the Palace of the Resh then 200 + 7 = 207 = אוֹר ‘Light’. When Resh (200) is united with the Beth (2) through the medium of the Heh (5) this also sums to 207. Aristophanes (c. 400 BC) writes of Eros:
“At the beginning there was only Chaos, Night (Nyx), Darkness (Erebus), and the Abyss (Tartarus). Earth, the Air and Heaven had no existence. Firstly, black winged Night laid a germless egg in the bosom of the infinite deeps of Darkness, and from this, after the revolution of long ages, sprang the graceful Love (Eros) with his glittering golden wings, swift as the whirlwinds of the tempest. He mated in the deep Abyss with dark Chaos, winged like himself, and thus hatched forth our race, which was the first to see the light.”
Nepthi/Nephthys is the Egyptian name of Nyx/Nox = 210
Gimel (3) + Zayin (7) + Resh (200) = 210
מַ֖יִם לָמָֽיִם = 210 waters from waters (See Genesis 1:6).
Gimel (3) + Heh (5) + Resh (200) = 208
In the Torah: שָׂרָ֖ה – ‘Sarah’ (208); הָגָ֖ר – ‘Hagar’ (208); יִצְחָ֑ק – ‘Isaac’ (208)
Also Eros Ἔρως = 191. 191 + 26 (YHVH) = 217.
One Zayin (7) + Two Heh’s (10) + Three Gimels (9 – one for each goddess) = 26 (YHVH). ]
The Chariot (8) Cheth
- He rideth upon the chariot of eternity; the white and the black are harnessed to his car. Therefore he reflecteth the Fool, and the sevenfold veil is reveiled.
[ This card corresponds with the path of Cheth that joins the Palace of the Beth to the Palace of the Aleph. The Palace of the Aleph is corresponded with the card of the Fool; thus the Charioteer reflecteth the Fool.
Merkabah in Hebrew means ‘Chariot’.
Liber 500 gives notes that Eternity ‘דּ֣וֹר דּוֹרִֽים’ means literally a ‘cycle of cycles’, and while this word is more usually translated as ‘generations’ the primitive root of דור properly, is to gyrate (or move in a circle) and it also means to remain or dwell (through cycles of time).
The design of this card appears to have been heavily influenced by Zechariah 6:1-7:
ואשב ואשא עיני ואראה והנה ארבע מרכבות יצאות מבין שני ההרים וההרים הרי נחשת׃
במרכבה הראשנה סוסים אדמים ובמרכבה השנית סוסים שחרים׃
ובמרכבה השלשית סוסים לבנים ובמרכבה הרבעית סוסים ברדים אמצים׃
ואען ואמר אל־המלאך הדבר בי מה־אלה אדני׃
ויען המלאך ויאמר אלי אלה ארבע רחות השמים יוצאות מהתיצב על־אדון כל־הארץ׃
אשר־בה הסוסים השחרים יצאים אל־ארץ צפון והלבנים יצאו אל־אחריהם והברדים יצאו אל־ארץ התימן׃
והאמצים יצאו ויבקשו ללכת להתהלך בארץ ויאמר לכו התהלכו בארץ ותתהלכנה בארץ׃
1 And I turned and lifted up my eyes and looked and behold, four (273) chariots (272) were coming from between two (63) mountains (260); and the mountains (266) mountains (215) of bronze (65).
2In chariot (279) the first (264) – horses (176) red (95) , and in chariot (285) the second (72) horses (176) black (261),
3And in chariot (279)the third (55) horses (176) white (132), and in chariot (279) the fourth (291) horses (176) spotted (256) bay (181).
4And I answered and said to the angel that spoke in, “What these, my Lord (lit. Adni)?”
5And answered the angel and said to me, “These four spirits of the heaven, go forth from standing before Lord (lit. Adun, (אֲד֥וֹן (61) all the earth,
6That in the horses black go forth to north land, and the white ones go forth to after, and the spotted go forth to the south land.
7“And the bay went out, and sought to go to patrol in earth.” And He said, “Go, get you here, walk to and fro in earth.” And they walked to and fro in earth.”
We cross reference against Crowley’s notes from the Book of Thoth:
The “amber coloured armour” of the Charioteer corresponds to the Bronze mountains.
“Upon his armour are ten Stars of Assiah, the inheritance of celestial dew from his mother”: this detail was inspired from the spots on the horses. The amber-coloured cobblestones underneath the Chariot reinforce this earthly facing attribution; to the North are the heavens and to the South is the Earth; so when the spotted horses go forth to the south country in Zechariah we may understand that they are going forth towards the earth.
“The scarlet wheels represent the original energy of Geburah which causes the revolving motion.” On the Seven Palaces; the Energy of Geburah is unveiled as the Energy of the Palace of the Aleph that begins the motion of all things, and this is represented in the biblical text by the red horses. Note that the red horses travel in no direction!
“This chariot is drawn by four sphinxes composed of the four Kerubs, the Bull, the Lion, the Eagle and the Man.” These are corresponded to the four spirits of heaven. The Bull and the Lion are coloured black like the black horses of Zechariah, and the Eagle and the Man are coloured white like the white horses of the biblical prophet. The inspiration to use Kerubs instead of horses probably came from Ezekiel 10:14-15:
As for the Wheels, they were cried the wheel in my hearing. And each one had four faces.The first face was the face of a cherub, the secondface was the face of a man, the third the face of a lion, and the fourth the face of an eagle.
On the canopy on the chariot is written Abrahadabra, which Crowley referred to in the Book of Thoth as ‘the Cypher of the Great Work’. ABRHD; the letters used to compose the word Abrahadabra are all the letters of the Palaces too. The eleven letters of Abrahadabra suggest the gate of this path, which is 11.
לְבָנִ֑ים White + וּשְׁחֹרִֽים and Black + מֶּרְכָּבָ֥ה Chariot = 666
מַסְוֶֽה a Veil = 111
666 + 111 = 777 “and the sevenfold veil is reveiled”.]
Lust/Strength (9) Teth
- Also cometh forth mother Earth with her lion, even Sekhet, the lady of Asi.
[ This card is attributed to the path between the two Palaces of the Aleph. The card was traditionally called ‘Strength’, and the path and was the domain of the Canaanite goddess Elat, and possibly her daughter Anat (daughter of El and Goddess of War and Fire). Sekhet is the Egyptian counterpart of Anat and her name means “the powerful one”. She is depicted as a lioness and she is a goddess of healing, but she can be enflamed by bloodshed and so festivals were celebrated at the end of battle to pacify the lust of Sekhet for war and conquest.
“In a myth about the end of Ra’s rule on the earth, Ra sends Hathor as Sekhmet to destroy mortals who conspired against him. In the myth, Sekhmet’s blood-lust was not quelled at the end of battle and led to her destroying almost all of humanity, so Ra poured out beer dyed with red ochre or hematite so that it resembled blood. Mistaking the beer for blood, she became so drunk that she gave up the slaughter and returned peacefully to Ra.”
The Hermit (10) Yod
- Also the Priest veiled himself, lest his glory be profaned, lest his word be lost in the multitude.
This card corresponds to the path of the Yod between the Palace of the Aleph (on the right) and the Palace of Resh. Crowley makes an equivalence between the figure of this card and spermatozoa. The figure of the priest resembles the phallus with the hair of streams of semen. The Yod of this card is part of the name: YHVH, and the paths of Teth, Lamed, Nun, Samekh and Ayin are also represented by the Yod in the name.
כֹּהֵן Kohen meaning ‘Priest’ (75)
לָ֑יְלָה Layelah meaning ‘Night’ (75)
אֹ֖הֶל – Ohel meaning covering, dwelling-place, home, tabernacle, tent (36). Ohel is from the primitive root word Ahal יאהיל; shine – to be clear (56). The two Yod’s are removed from Ahal to make Ohel.
75 + 36 = 111 מַסְוֶֽה a Veil.
The primary gate number of this path is 211 (Aleph + Yod + Resh), but gates are also had at either side such as Aleph + Yod = 11 and Resh + Yod = 210.
Fortune (20) Kaph
- Now then the Father of all issued as a mighty wheel; the Sphinx, and the dog-headed god, and Typhon, were bound on his circumference.
[ This path falls between the Aleph and the Daleth on the right hand side of the Seven Palaces.
The gate of the path of Kaph is 25 (Aleph + Kaph + Daleth). When it’s gate is added to the opposite gate of Mem (45) the total is 70.
אֲבִ֕י כָּל The Father of all (63); Abi Kal
אוֹפַ֣ן Wheel (137); Ophan
63 + 137 = 200 = Resh. The Sun is the axis of the Wheel of the Seven Palaces, and the letter Resh is attributed to the Palace at the center.
And I’ll be covering the second part of the tarot pack soon in Liber Arcanorum Part II.
- Bethsheba Ashe 11th July 2017.
 Although there remains much imaginative speculation over what name these initials represent, it is probably true that they represent no name for the Order at all; being simply the two Alephs of the Seven Palaces.
 See ‘The Faces of the Chariot’ by David Halperin.
 “I had been most solemnly sworn to inviolable secrecy. The slightest breach of my oath meant that I should incur “a deadly and hostile current of will, set in motion by the Greatly Honoured Chiefs of the Second order, by the which I should fall slain or paralysed, as if blasted by the lightning flash”. And now I was entrusted with some of these devastating though priceless secrets. They consisted of the Hebrew alphabet, the names of the planets with their attribution to the days of the week, and the ten Sephiroth of the Cabbala” – ‘The Confessions of Aleister Crowley’, pg 177.
 On one occasion when I was a young woman, my HGA actually intervened to prevent my initiation into one of the outer Orders. I stood before my well intentioned would-be initiators with the hood over my head and heard her calmly announce “I am sorry, but this may not be. You may not proceed”.
 So sayeth the Zohar.
 Lichtheim, Miriam (2006) . Ancient Egyptian Literature, Volume Two: The New Kingdom. University of California Press. pp. 197–199