THE 32ND PATH
The Fool places the Tarot card “The World” in front of you. You gaze at the card for a few moments.
“Before we proceed, you must answer this question: Do the Gods exist?”
You pause for a moment, then answer, “Well, they do and they don’t.”
The Fool smiles, “That is the only possible answer. The Gods exist, in a sense, as the creations of the created. Over the ages, spiritual people have factored out the various natural forces in the cosmos and have created forms in the imagination to embody them. These forces, over the ages, have been represented symbolically in different ways by different cultures, but even though the cultures are separated by vast distances in space and time, the similarities of the Gods are undeniable. Those with knowledge created them with human and animal characteristics so that the concrete mind can identify with them and channel the essence of those powerful forces into the soul. So, you see, the symbols of the Gods are bridges to vast, intelligent forces that are aspects of the Source.”
“How can anyone nowadays believe in the Gods?”
“Skepticism has nearly killed the possibility of belief, but if you allow yourself to be open to their influence, the possibility of connecting with them still exists. If you do connect with one of those vast intelligences that we call Archangels or Gods, you have no doubt. I often feel like an amoeba in their presence, but even though we are much less evolved, human beings contain the same energies as the Gods. In fact, it has been said that there is no part of us that is not part of the Gods. When we truly connect with them, they raise our vibration and stimulate our evolution in ways that cannot be measured.”
“How do you connect with a God?” you smile.
“Remember that everything is energy. Each of us is a point of awareness within fields upon fields of energy, from the finest spiritual vibrations to the densest physical manifestations, all emanating from the Source. Through symbol the mind rises to higher vibrations, and the God enters. In other words, the intelligent force ensouls the form that the worshippers have created. The more people who worship the God or Goddess, and the longer it is worshipped, the more real it is, in a sense, because the force over the ages has grown used to pouring its energy into our souls through a particular form. The forces are real, and people with knowledge in every culture have created the forms to suit the needs of their time. Perhaps that is why the array of Gods seems so baffling to so many people.”
“How does the Tarot refelct this?”
“Tarot cards are symbolic bridges to the forces of the Gods and Archangels, if you can see through the symbols to the real forces. Each card is actually a different path on the Tree of Life, revealing the energies in the known universe and in every individual. Do you understand so far?”
“I think so. You mean the cards show archetypes of the divine forces, just as the Gods and Archangels are symbols of the divine forces.”
“Yes, well said. The cards are placed in a specific order on the Tree of Life so that a person can progress on the paths in a gradual way up the Tree through various levels of consciousness. If you wish to try it, I can be your guide to introduce you to the energies, but eventually you will have to travel them again by yourself because each experience of the Tree is ultimately personal. And nobody else must know. Most people are not ready for this knowledge, but I believe that you are, because you have wandered onto this path. Look at "The World" and tell me what you see.”
“I see the soul in a mirror surrounded by a wreath, floating in the clouds. Red lemniscates at top and bottom seem to be holding the wreath together. I see the symbols of the four elements and feel the four levels of my being, the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual levels. The mirror is clear, as though cleansed of all worries and concerns.”
The Fool responds, “The woman floats in a clear oval shape resembling a mirror. The oval is the ‘sphere of sensation,’ also known as the aura, the subtle energy field that surrounds the physical body. The sphere of sensation contains the ‘world’ that you create through all your experiences on this plane as a spiritual, mental, emotional and physical being.”
The Fool's voice deepens, “Gazing into the mirror of ‘The World,’ you are faced with a choice: Cling to the lower self or rise up and experience regeneration. The symbols of the elements, the bull, the eagle, the man, and the lion, which represent the four ‘elements of the wise’ and four dimensions of the self, reveal that this process is about the regeneration of all levels of your being. That, my friend, requires the first, terrible initiation. Gazing at the mirror, you are beginning the process of dying to the old, judging what is essential for your progress and what you must leave behind. The sphere is egg-shaped, suggesting infinite potential, and is bordered by the green leaves of a victory wreath, with a red ribbon in the shape of a lemniscate, the mathematical symbol of infinity, at the top and bottom, suggesting the knowledge of the infinitude within and the divinity of all levels of existence. As the last path, ‘The World’ represents culmination and synthesis, a crowning achievement, the height of a progression. The figure also symbolizes ascension, or opening to a higher dimension and enlightenment. The four elements also suggest moving beyond the personal to an awareness of the interconnected nature of life as well as an understanding of the divine harmony and perfection of all levels of manifestation. The woman, who could be either ascending or descending, suggesting the stages of incarnation, passion, resurrection, and ascension, is the perpetual dancer, caught up in the eternal rhythms of life. Pictured as a hermaphrodite in an older tarot deck, she represents the male and female energies of force and form. In each hand she holds a wand, suggesting the dynamic, solar aspect of will, the necessary factor in beginning and maintaining the process of renewal.
“The physical world from the beginning drives the soul into the subconscious mind. You must explore the underworld to find your higher self. The current world turns the psyche into a cesspool of foul thought-forms, but purification leads to revelation, and as you gradually cleanse yourself spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically, your heart becomes as light as a feather, and your soul takes over your waking consiousness. That which does not serve heart and soul falls away. You rise to heights that formerly you could not imagine.
“If the soul is not purified, not light as a feather, you return to the lower self. But once you are aware of the meaning of initiation, of the death of the lower self, you return humbly to weigh your heart against the feather of Ma'at. The Hall of Judgment exists eternally within us, not in some other realm. And in truth, you cleanse yourself gradually, eliminating the negative energy from your etheric, astral, mental, and spiritual bodies over a long period of time.
“Conquering the unbalanced aspects of your nature is an essential aspect of the Path, and does not happen overnight. The foot slips now and then, but the dedicated aspirant returns wiser for his errors.
“Eventually, you weigh your heart against the feather of Ma'at, the Goddess of balance and harmony, and ‘go to Osiris,’ the Higher Self on the inner planes. Just as Horus was conceived by Isis and Osiris to manifest the divine on the physical plane, you too ultimately manifest the Higher Self in your daily life. We will continue with the next path soon. Until then read everything you can on the Qabalah and the Tree of Life.”
Atziluth (World of Emanations): Indigo.
Briah (World of Creation): Black.
Yetzirah (World of Formation): Blue-black.
Assiah (World of Action): Black, rayed with blue.
Take the next path.
Cards associated with Saturn:
Three of Wands.
Three of Cups.
Three of Swords.
Three of Pentacles.
Ten of Wands.
Eight of Cups.
Seven of Pentacles.
Cards associated with the tenth sphere, Malkuth:
Ten of Cups.
Ten of Swords.
Ten of Pentacles.
Page of Pentacles.
Cards associated with the ninth sphere, Yesod:
Nine of Wands.
Nine of Cups.
Nine of Swords.
Nine of Pentacles.
Advanced invocation: Invoking Saturn.
Read more about the Pentagram Spread.
Read an explanation of the Tree of Life.