Tarot Correspondences to the Seven Palaces
In Part II we’ll be covering the paths corresponding to the Major Arcana from Kaph to Samekh.
Let’s crack on then…
Fortune (20) Kaph כ
- 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, and traditionally it represented the return of the spirit to its fundamental simplicity; represented by the Palace of the Aleph. The Palace of the Dalet received the souls of the dead, and those souls who would no longer be reincarnated upon the earth enter this path. This path exists on the circumference of the wheel and represents simplification or destruction rather than creation. Creation is the principle business of the Mem and takes place on the opposite side of the wheel.
“The lightnings which destroy, also beget;
and the wheel may be regarded as the Eye of Shiva,
whose opening annihilates the Universe,
or as a wheel upon the Car of Jaganath,
whose devotees attain perfection at the moment that it crushes them.”
A.C. – The Book of Thoth.
When its gate is added to the opposite gate of Mem (Aleph + Mem + Daleth) + (Aleph + Kaph + Daleth) = 70 which is the value of the Ayin; thus symbolising that the moment of creation is the moment of destruction and vice versa. This interplay between creation and destruction was thought by the ancients to be the cause of earthquakes and so the letter Kaph is associated with the trembling and quaking.
“As [Kaph] stood trembling with excitement before the Holy One,
two hundred thousand worlds together with the throne itself
were seized with a sudden tremor and seemed ready to fall.
“Kaph, Kaph!” cried the Holy One, “what hast thou done?
I will not create the world by thee, for thou beginnest Kala (ruin, loss).
Return at once to thy place on the throne of glory and abide there!”
Then Kaph retired and went back to its place.”
– ‘Secrets of the Letters’ (Sitrei ‘Otiyyot).
This is typological to the depiction of the Goddess Anat in stories of the Ba’al cycle from ancient Ugarit:
”Anath stamped with her foot,
and she rose from the ground.
Then she set her face
towards El at the source of the rivers,
in the midst of the channels of the two deeps,
she arrived at the domain of El, and came
to the abode of the king, Father of the Years.
She broke in, and entered the domain,
the bases of the pavilions quake.
Bull El, her father, lifted up his voice,
and hid himself in seven chambers,
inside eight enclosures.”
- The Epic of Baal – Bronze Age texts found at Ugarit (Ras Shamra).
The symbolism of the Sphinx, Anubis and Typhon are linked by Crowley to the 3 Gunas; sattva (goodness, constructive, harmonious), rajas (passion, active, confused), and tamas (darkness, destructive, chaotic).
The gate of the path of Kaph is 25 (Aleph + Kaph + Daleth).
When its gate is added to the opposite gate of Mem (Aleph + Mem + Daleth) + (Aleph + Kaph + Daleth) = 70.
אֲבִ֕י כָּל The Father of all (63); Abi Kal
אוֹפַ֣ן Wheel (137); Ophan
63 + 137 = 200 = Resh.
“The Sphinx is composed of the four Kerubs, shown in Atu V,
the bull, the lion, the eagle and the man”~ A.C. Book of Thoth.
Sphinx Σφίγξ = 293
The Bull הַפָּ֔ר = 285
The Lion הָֽאֲרִי֙ = 216
The Eagle הַנֶּ֙שֶׁר֙ = 258
and the Man והָאִישׁ֙ = 25
Hermanubis Ἑρμανοῦβις =482
Typhon Τυφῶν = 157 ]
Circumference is a loan translation from the Greek word ‘periphery’ περιφέ = 220.
285 The Bull + 25 and the Man = 310
216 The Lion + 25 and the Man = 241
258 The Eagle + 25 and the Man = 283
285 The Bull + 258 The Eagle + 157 Typhon = 700
241 The Lion and the Man + 482 Hermanubis + 157 Typhon + 220 Periphery = 1100.
Adjustment/Justice (30) Lamed ל
- Also the lady Maat with her feather and her sword abode to judge the righteous. For Fate was already established.
[ This path connects the Palace of the Aleph (on the left) with the Palace of the Resh. The feather of Lady Ma’at represents a weightless quality to both light and thought alike. This quality proceeds from the Palace of the Aleph to beget the Palace of the Sun (Resh) in a grand mating of the essential dualism of thought itself. On this path, the thought of light becomes manifest in Palace of the Resh.
The sword of Ma’at is also a symbol of mind, with each side of the blade representing the quintessential duality of thought. To understand any concept the mind must have some degree of comparison. A has to be contrasted with A before there can be a B. The first verse about the Fool (the Aleph) says “the one ran and returned”; a comparison must be made at the moment a thought enters our awareness.
The Palace of the Resh is the point where thought of light becomes light.
One of the popular modern explanations for consciousness has been developed by Professors Stuart Hammeroff and Roger Penrose. The theory is called “Orchestrated Objective Reduction” and I hope I don’t misrepresent them as I give a brief account of their work. They explain that the point at which there is a flash of consciousness (and this is approximately 60 times a second) is a moment when the objective reduction of the waveform happens followed by its collapse.
This collapse of the waveform occurs in an organised manner in respect of all living beings that are said to possess consciousness, and this is distinctly different from the generalised objective reduction of the waveform that is happening everywhere, all the time.
The Sun (or any other star) is essentially undergoing the same quantum process that generates our awareness, but it’s difficult to see how this process could be organised without the medium of microtubules. What organisation the Sun possesses, arises from the cycles of its magnetic fields as matter is converted into pure energy and light. At the point of the objective reduction of the waveform the sun possesses consciousness but we don’t know whether it thinks any thoughts or whether its awareness simply exists in an endless and undifferentiated ‘now’.
Equally, inside every candle flame there is a microdiamond right at its heart, and pervading the influence of this small centre of gravity is the medium of awareness. At the heart of each flame, a window is opened between the quantum universe and the macrocosmic universe.
The collapse of the waveform creates the experience of consciousness, even though time doesn’t actually exist at the pre-material level of the universe. Particles can be at two different places at the same time, or in two different times at the same place; the fundamental principles at the pre-material level of the universe are not the same as they are for the material universe. “Fate was already established”, may allude to the fact that, by the time we become aware of ‘it’, ‘it’ has already happened and the matter has already been decided one way or another.
“If they’re thinking about it now –
they’ve probably already done it somewhere else.”
In the Minor Arcana, we may see these themes reiterated in the Six of Swords. The theme of the card is the fulfilment of organised thought – ‘thinking’, and therefore ‘judging’; making comparisons and composing our awareness into an organised network of relationships between qualia. This is fundamental to our experience of reality; as fickle and unpredictable a mistress as the harlequiness. She is the personification of samsara to the Buddhist mind, but Thelema insists on a more positive perspective;
“Remember all ye that existence is pure joy;
that all the sorrows are but as shadows;
they pass & are done;
but there is that which remains”
– Liber Al vel Legis II;9.
This path has the main gate value of 231 Resh + Lamed + Aleph, and there are also the gates of Aleph (1) א + Lamed (31) ל and Lamed + Resh (230) ר.
אל Aleph + Lamed = El.
El is “is a Northwest Semitic word meaning “god” or “deity”, or referring (as a proper name) to any one of multiple major Ancient Near East deities”, such as the supreme god of the Canaanites.
The texts of the Ba’al cycle discovered at Ras Sharma, say that El makes his Temple in the mountains and that his temple has Seven Palaces. His son ‘Hadad’ (one of the Elohim or ‘children of El’) lived in the Seven Palaces of his Father. We see that statement in logographic terms on the Seven Palaces when we realise that the three bottom palaces of Heh + Dalet + Dalet spell Hadad (13).
‘Ma’at’ can be spelt in two ways in Hebrew. There is ‘מעת’ Moth in the Hebew. This word means a cycle or more literally it means ‘from Time’. It conveys the meanings of eternity and perpetually; a world without end. The word comes from the word ad עַד; meaning a cycle or long duration; forever. ‘Ad’ comes from the word adah, meaning to adorn, and also to pass by or take away.
The other word is מָעַט Maat which means to be or become small, diminished, or few.
“And having known these,
there are the wings of Maut the Vulture.
Thou mayest draw to an head
the bow of thy magical will;
thou mayest loose the shaft
and pierce her to the heart.”
– A.C. ‘Benshrur and Tolga’.
(December 12, 1909.
7-8. 12 midnight).
Ma’at can also be valued from the transliterated word, giving Mem + Aleph + Aleph + Tav = 46
אל Aleph Lamed = El = 31.
Bow = קרך = 320
Feather נוֹצָה = 110
Sword חָ֫רֶב 210
Abode חָצִיר = 308
Judge אֶשְׁפֹּֽט = 93. Also the value of ‘Thelema’ – written upon the shaft of the bow seen in the Hierophant card, for the shaft of the arrow is the “the quanta of Will.”
Righteous צַדִּ֛יק = 204
Wall קָר = 300. To ‘go to the wall’ is to face your fate. The chance or accident has קרה happened.
Established נוֹסָד = 120
3 x 31 = 93.
Righteous 204 – Judge 93 = 111.
אלף ‘Aleph’ = 111.
Ma’at (46) + El (31) = 77.
Feather + Abode = 418.
Feather 110 + Sword 210 = 320 the same as Bow קרך]
Feather 110 + Sword 210 + Bow 320 = 640 = 64 Established x 10
The Hanged Man (40) Mem מ, ם
- Then the holy one appeared in the great water of the North; as a golden dawn did he appear, bringing benediction to the fallen universe.
In traditional Tarot packs, the figure of the Fool is seen hanging upside down from a tree branch that resembles a Daleth. This is ‘Adam’ אדם(45), and he personifies the entire species. We all have to wait before we get born and the hanged man represents a period of pre-birth and gestation. The rope that Adam is tied to is the umbilical cord and he is suspended in the womb of his mother, in the waters of her amniotic fluid. The letter Mem represents the element of water and the preborn Adam is upside down, ready for his journey down the birthing cannal.
Besides the first man, the Fool may also represent Abraham (248) as there are 248 days in 9 anomalistic lunar months. Astronomical cuniform texts written in the Seleucid Period (312 BCE to 63 BCE) exhibit the relationship: 248 days = 9 anomalistic months, but given that 248 is a multiple of 31 (El) the number was probably known many generations earlier and across the ancient near east and by every midwife and doctor.
248 = 8 x 31
Kabbalistic tradition holds that souls descending from this path are pure and innocent; they have never been born before and are ‘new souls’. Souls that are reincarnating take their aleph with them on their journey through life and their return to a birth canal through the path of the Ayin after passing through Nun and the Palace of the Resh.
In this verse, the holy one is Osiris who is represented by the Aleph at the top of the path of the Mem. North is up and South is down, however left is east and right is west. When he enters the great waters of the North the gate of אֵ֥ם Aleph+ Mem (41) is created, meaning ‘mother’.
Below the Palace of the Daleth the fallen Universe awaits the benediction of a new birth, symbolised by the new Sun that rises each day at dawn. Included in the meanings of this card is the idea of spiritual initiation as rebirth.
The main gate of this path is 45 and a combined gate is made with the opposite path of the Kaph to make 70. Like a Bhavacakra, time on the seven palaces is a period of pre-birth, life, the afterlife – the cycle of reincarnation.
Note that from door to door (dalet to dalet) around the circumference of the Wheel is:
ד + ר + ה + ש + ת + צ + ק + ד = 410
לָרָקִ֔יעַ =410 “of firmament” (Genesis 1:7)
אֲרָרָֽט – ‘ararat’(410); mountain that Noah’s ark landed on after the Flood.
410 = אם Mother = 41 x 10
410 – The gate of Mem 45 = 365 (days a year).
Death (50) Nun נ, ן
- Also Asar was hidden in Amennti; and the Lords of Time swept over him with the sickle of death.
This path connects the Palace of the Daleth (on the right) with the Palace of the Resh.
Khenti-Amentiu was depicted as a jackal-headed deity at Abydos, who stood guard over the city of the dead. His name means “Foremost of the Westerners” or “Chief of the Westerners”, and ‘Westerners’ is a reference to the dead.
Amennti was the realm of the dead in ancient Egyptian mythology. Amennti is more usually referred to as the Duat. Asar (Osiris) was the lord of the underworld because he personified life after death and rebirth.
The dead had to undergo a number of obstacles before coming to the Duat to be judged in the “Weighing of the Heart” ritual (depicted in Spell 125).
In the presence of Osiris the dead person swore that he had not committed any sin from a list of 42 sins and this was known as the ‘Negative Confession’. The dead person’s heart was weighed on a pair of scales such as is featured in the justice card for the opposite spoke, against the feather of the goddess Maat. If the deceased’s heart owned to any sins they may have committed in life then ‘Ammit, the Devourer’ stood ready to eat the heart and put a swift end to their hoped for afterlife, and against this possibility the ancient Egyptian took extensive magical precautions during the course of his lifetime. If the scales balanced and the deceased had known a good life then he was taken to Osiris to become the ‘maa-kheru’ – meaning ‘vindicated’ or ‘judged’ or sometimes ‘true of voice’.
“…both the skeleton and the scythe are
importantly Saturnian symbols.”
A.C. ‘The Book of Thoth’.
Saturn was identified by the Romans with the Greek Lords of Time; Cronus and Kairos. Cronus (Κρόνος) personified the quantity of Time whereas Kairos (Καιρός) represented the quality of Time.
“Pherecydes of Syros in his lost Heptamychos (the seven recesses),
around 6th century BC, claimed that there were three eternal principles:
Chronos, Zas (Zeus) and Chthonie (the chthonic).
The semen of Chronos was placed in the recesses and produced the first generation of gods.” – Wiki
The gate of this path is 254: Dalet (4) + Nun (50) + Resh (200) = 254.
מות Mot (50) is the personification of Death in Ugaritic Myth. He is the son of El and the brother to Hadad, Yam and Anat. Mot had seven portions cut up for a feast Hadad was hosting and he took with him seven servitors when he went into the earth.
The Adam (50) האדם because the Heh prefix indicates the definite article. As all men all born, all men are also subject to death.
מָ֗וֶת Mawet Death (50)
לִשְׁחֹ֖ט ‘Lishot’; to Kill (50)
לשחתה ‘Lesahathah’; to Destroy (50)
יָ֔ם Yam; West or Sea (50)
Sickle δρέπανον (360)
Bone עֶ֚צֶם or Skeleton (200)
Cronus Κρόνος = 510
Kairos Καιρός = 401
“The middle interpretation of this sign is given by the serpent, who is, moreover, the main theme of the sign.
[The Qabalists embodied in the Book of Genesis, Caps I and II, this doctrine of regeneration.
NChSh, the Serpent in Eden, has the value 358: 50 also MShICh, Messiah. He is, accordingly, in the secret doctrine, the Redeemer] ” – A.C. ‘The Book of Thoth’.
הגאולה The Redemption = 50
נֹ֔חַ Noah = 58
הַמַּבּ֥וּל The Flood = 93
מַ֙יִם֙ Water = 90
NChSh; the Sepent in Eden = 61
MShICh; Messiah = 61
אַ֫יִן Ain; Nothing, naught = 61
נון Fish; the letter Nun = 106 (See Liber 500)
[ מִשֹּׁ֤רֶשׁ נָחָשׁ֙ Root Serpent = 307 (See Isaiah 14:29)
צֶ֔פַע Viper = 240
שָׂרָ֥ף מְעוֹפֵֽף Flying Serpent = 559 ]
93 The Flood + 90 of Water = 183 (see Genesis 6:17)
182 + 183 = 365
61 (See above) x 3 = 183
Root Serpent + Viper + Flying Serpent = 1106
1106 = Fish; the letter Nun (106) + the large Aleph (1000).
“Of course, the Fish is identical in essence with the Serpent; for Fish=NVN=Scorpio=Serpent.”
– A.C. ‘The Book of Thoth’.
Art/Temperance (60) Samekh ס
- And a mighty angel appeared as a woman, pouring vials of woe upon the flames, lighting the pure stream with her brand of cursing. And the iniquity was very great.
This path connects the Palace of the Resh with the Palace of the Heh. It is placed opposite to the heavenly divine residence. In terms of architectonic gematria: it connects the Royal Palace of King Solomon with the Temple. Thus part of the path enters into the compound associated with the Garden of Eden – which is within the Inner courtyard, while part of it traverses the outer courtyard to the Kings Palace. Thus – it functions to connect the spiritual with the mundane.
The gate name of Sarah (SRH = 265) is immediately apparent but corresponding value of the name of her husband Abraham only appears on the wheel by the process of magnification referred to in Genesis 12:2; when Abrahams name is magnified tenfold and the Beth upon the Wheel is given the value of 2000 rather than 2, then the name of Abraham is the same as the sum total of the gates above and below which is 2,480.
It has been argued that the attention God pays to Sarah is rather more intimate than would usually be expected, and this had led to speculation in some quarters that Sarah might be the personification of Asherah. The name Asherah translates as “she who moves across the water” so we can identify her as the spirit of God that moved across the face of the deep in the very beginning of creation (1:2). According to Midrash Genesis Rabbah – during Sarah’s life – a lamp was continuously alight from Sabbath eve to Sabbath eve. Her dough was magically blessed so she could feed as many visitors that came to her tent, and the door of her tent was always open.
The Canaanites believed that Asherah was constantly cheating on her husband EL with his son Hadad. This is the second manifestation of the Goddess on the Wheel of the Chariot. As ‘Elat’ she appears on the cross beam between the two Alephs, but just as EL manifests lower down on the Wheel through the agency of his son Hadad (who is but another form of the Father) – the Goddess manifests as Asherah to join with Hadad in a mundane sense upon the earth. Unfortunately the uninitiated came to regard Asherah as a wanton harlot because of a misunderstanding over the nature of the God and Goddess as they manifested both above and below in different guises, and this was used as an excuse to suppress Goddess worship in ancient Israel. In Kabbalah, the Goddess Asherah is the Shekinah – the feminine grace and face of God that manifests upon the earth.
In the Midrash Genesis Rabbah we learn that a cloud was constantly stationed over the Sarah’s tent signifying the presence and loving attention of God. Once Sarah died the miraculous happenings surrounding Sarah’s tent stopped – however when Rebecca married Isaac and entered the tent they re-manifested, which suggests that the woman Sarah was acting as a priestess would to allow the presence of the Goddess to manifest through her, and it was this that drew the attention of the God to her.
There are parallels between the tent of Sarah and the House of God in Jerusalem; the doors of both were open day or night; bread in the Temple remained fresh for a week just as Sarah also always had fresh bread; and in both Sarah’s tent and the Temple there was a continuous light from the Menorah.
The Tarot Card ‘Art’ has a solar background to the angel, and there is the suggestion of the ‘Sea’ (of the Temple courtyard) via the golden cauldron. The angel is dressed in Green appropriate to Venus because for 265 days, Venus appears over the horizon after the Sunset, and 265 is the number of the primary gate of this path.
הַשָּֽׁמֶשׁ – ‘The Sun’ = 51
גָֽדְלָ֤ה has become great = 42
ר֧וּחַ ‘Spirit’ (angel) = 214
הָאֲשֵׁרָ֑ה ‘The Asherah’ = 214
מיטטרון ‘Shekinah’ = 324 (See Liber 500).
מַלְאָךְ֙ ‘Angel’ = 91
אשים Angels of Malkuth; burnt or incense offering; “The flames” = 54 (See Liber 500)
אִשָּׁ֔ה ‘Woman’ = 9
סֵ֫פֶל ‘Bowl, vial’ = 170
חֵץ ‘Arrow’ = 98
אוֹי ‘Woe’ = 17
א֖וֹרִי ‘Lighting’ = 217
הַנָּ֑חַל ‘The Stream’ = 93
טָהוֹר ‘Pure, clean’ = 220
ארר ‘Cursing’ = 401
נושא ‘Iniquity’ =60 (See Sepher Sephiroth).
When the sentence is reduced to only the nouns and adjectives it reads “And a [mighty] [angel] appeared as a [woman] pouring [vials] of [woe] upon the [flames] [lighting]”: 42 Mighty + 324 Shekinah + 9 Woman + 170 Bowl/Vial + 17 Woe + 54 The Flames + Sun 51 = 667; The Number of the Scarlet Woman.
the [pure (220)] [stream (93)] with her brand of
[ארר Cursing. (401)] + 265 (SRH) = 666.
And the [iniquity = 60] was very great.
60 x 10 = 600.
“Good old A.C. … couldn’t resist scrawling his and SW’s number into his work. lol.”
The primary gates from this path are: Heh + Samekh (65); Resh + Samekh (260); and Samekh + Resh + Heh (265); and the combination of this gate with the one above it (217 + 265 = 482).
In Genesis 6:2 we arrive at the number 265 through the marriage of the Sons of the Elohim and Daughters of the Men: בני־האלהים את־בנות האדם; Bni 62 + Halhim 91 = 153; BnvTh 62 + Hadm 50 = 112; 153 + 112 = 265
Specific to this card and path is: 214 Asherah + 51 The Sun = 265
214 Asherah + 51 The Sun + 217 Lighting = 482
170 Bowl + 98 Arrow + 9 Flames – 17 Woe = 260
The gate of ‘Heh + Samekh’ (65) most likely represents the requirement to be silent before YHVH.
* * *
In Part III of Liber Arcanorum we’ll be covering verses 15 to 21; from the path of Ayin ‘The Devil’ to the path of Tav ‘The Universe’.
 “On the Mystical Shape of the Godhead: Basic Concepts in the Kabbalah” by Gershom Scholem, page 204.