THE 26TH PATH
“The 26th path is perhaps the most difficult for us to understand, but the ancient Egyptians and Greeks and Romans would have had little difficulty with it. As you know it is called ‘The Devil,’ and the devil has had all sorts of fearful connotations associated with it over the years. But notice that this path leads from the sphere of the intellect to the sphere of harmony and balance called Tiphareth, or Beauty in Hebrew, and Tiphareth is really the sphere of the cosmic Christ force. All the savior gods are associated with that sphere.”
“You’re right. I don’t understand how the force of the devil leads to the force of the Christ.”
“Each path of the major arcana of the tarot has, as you know, a Hebrew letter and an astrological or elemental symbol associated with it. The Hebrew letter for this path is ayin and the astrological symbol is Capricorn. Both have deep significance. ‘Ayin’ in Hebrew means eye, but in the context of the card, ayin suggests the eye of inner knowledge, the third eye. With the third eye, the invisible eye located in the forehead, you see the deeper meanings beneath appearances. You can see intuitively, in a sense, and that is how you must look at this symbol of the devil, which personifies all that modern society considers evil.”
“It is hard to look at this image. It’s really hard to see beyond all the things I’ve been taught.”
“Yes, extremely hard. But remember that Capricorn is an earth sign and that in the Qabalah nothing that God has made is evil. There might remain unbalanced force due to the process of evolution, which as humans with free will we can channel for our own selfish or evil purposes to harm others, but earth is the Kingdom, the culmination of all that God has created. When you look at the devil in the picture, you see the goat, the horned God, the epitome of the dynamic masculine life-force manifested in this realm. The life-force in the Kingdom manifests in one way as sexual energy, but remember that the life-force manifests on all levels in the Kingdom, the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual levels. You cannot say that the life-force is good on one or two or three levels only. If you do, you blaspheme against the very Source of all creation. So many people want to cut the Tree off at its roots and live only in the spirit or the mind. That can only lead to terrible psychological problems, indeed to much of the evil that we do encounter.”
“So if you see with the inner eye, you will see that all of life is sacred, even the physical plane?”
“Oh yes. And all of the vibrations of energy in this vast cosmos are holy. All the different species of plants and animals have their own vibrations of energy, so to truly understand the earth, you need to become a shaman yourself, to feel the vibrations of all the plants and animals, and in that way you connect with all levels of the life-force in our world. The only true sin, in my opinion, is having a value system that cuts you off from knowing all the vibrations of life.”
“In the card, you see the devil as a type of sphinx with the legs of a bird, the body of a man, and the head of a goat, sitting on a black cube, which symbolizes earth. A man and a woman, both naked, are chained to the cube. The background is totally black, which suggests limitation and ignorance, the dark night of the soul. The world is always partially in darkness, but night is not an evil state. In fact, the devil is raising his right hand in a blessing, with all four fingers held up, suggesting that one should see everything, one should not turn away from any part of God’s creation. The man and woman, after all, only appear to be chained to the cube, but they can easily escape if they lift off their chain. We may be chained by our senses to the physical world for a while, but we can easily grow beyond the limiting values of materialism. Once we do, we can move into the sphere of Beauty.”
“In a sense, the Devil is terrible, for you must experience the symbolic death of initiation to know the divine within all things. Initiation shatters the ego, and what is left is the One in the All, the Many in the One. To those who cannot truly see, the Devil appears to chain you in a prison, and you, not recognizing that everything is connected, might be tempted to work with the Devil only for your personal gain, so you become a sorcerer, feeling the sun, but not part of it. Matter is only one form of divine energy in a continual state of birth, growth, death and rebirth. To truly know this is to understand The Source of the Kingdom.”
Assiah: Cold dark-gray, nearing black.
Take the next path.
Cards associated with Capricorn:
Two of Pentacles.
Three of Pentacles.
Four of Pentacles.
Cards associated with the eighth sphere, Hod:
Eight of Wands.
Eight of Cups.
Eight of Swords.
Eight of Pentacles.
Cards associated with the sixth sphere, Tiphareth:
Six of Wands.
Six of Cups.
Six of Swords.
Six of Pentacles.
Knight of Pentacles.