January 22-24, 2014: VI. The Lovers

Led by Al-Shariyf, based on Liber Theta. (Download a free copy of Liber Theta from http://www.thelema.org/publications.)

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January 22-24, 2014: VI. The Lovers

Postby Al-Shariyf » Wed Jan 22, 2014 7:56 am

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VI
THE LOVERS

(Gemini)

“O Mother, extinguish my brilliance in thy devouring night. Let not my brilliance stain the sublimity of thy perfection. Let not my little light blind me so that I cannot see Thee. Thy love is the velvet sheath to my sword, & the white-hot heat that tempers it. Take me for the sword in thine own hand, with which Thou art girt, O warrior-lover.”

MEDITATION COLOR: Orange.

HEBREW LETTER: Zayin, sword, symbolic of intellect and representative of division, multiplicity, severing, severity.

CARD NAME: “Lovers” is the title of the Second Grade of the Order per Liber Legis, equivalent to Adept. It comes from the Indo-European root leubh-, “to care, desire, love.” Important derivatives include belief, love, libido.

ESOTERIC MEANING: The Consciousness of Sensation (or Consciousness of Disposition). It provides faith to the Compassionate (i.e., the Adepts), and clothes them with the Holy Spirit. Within the Supernals, it is called the Foundation of Beauty.

TREE of LIFE: Tifereth to Biynah. (Links ‘Beauty’ and ‘Understanding’; or the Ego-center with Intuition, Ruach with N'shamah, Vav with Heh. The wedding of ‘the Son’ with ‘the Mother.’ The Ordeal of the Abyss. Confrontation of duality and multiplicity. The Mystery of Knowledge.)

ESOTERIC TITLE: The Children of the Voice, the Oracle of the Mighty Gods

TANTRIC & ALCHEMICAL SIGNIFICANCE: The Wedding. Declaration of the Work to be done, employing a complex alchemical symbolism. Solve.

DIVINATION: Inspiration, receptiveness, intuition, intelligence, “second sight,” childishness, frivolity, triviality, thoughtfulness divorced from practical considerations, indecision, contradiction, self-contradiction, instability, the necessity to choose between alternate paths. May mean love, union, the proper mating of opposites, resolution of differences, a proper relationship between the inner and outer aspects of life (or between subconsciousness and ego-consciousness).

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"To advance—that means Work. Patient, exhausting, thankless, often bewildering Work. Dear sister, if you would but Work! Work blindly, foolishly, misguidedly, it doesn’t matter in the end: Work in itself has absolute virtue." -Magick Without Tears
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Re: January 22-24, 2014: VI. The Lovers

Postby danica » Fri Jan 24, 2014 2:11 pm

- sword, duality.... „For I am divided for love’s sake, for the chance of union.“
- Eros = influence from Kether; it initiates
- The swords in the background act as a defense – a barrier that protects the pair in this Holy moment (separates the Sacred from the Profane)
- The whole of the card imagery looks like a pyramid, its apex being the head of the Priest; two female figures on both sides are like guardians of this Mystery

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- “Children of the Voice”: Voice is duality too (Silence is One)
- Eros has a band over his eyes – there is not differentiation through sight in this principle
- The Priest is a hidden force, he is behind the veil – a deep, mysterious force, unavailable to mind & senses, it can only be glimpsed and its Presence felt; its nature is similar to that of the Sun, the color suggests (Tipharet in Yod-scale).
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- A wedding takes place on an open field, there are various animals, and a lot of birds that sing; the atmosphere is intensely ceremonial & celebrant. The King and the Queen are uniting in the Presence of the Highest; they approach this as their Service, without passion, without affection, but cold and calm. This Union is not to produce the Third, to give birth to children, but to become One – it’s Death, seen from the perspective of duality, the Many.

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- The whole of this card-imagery is dynamically focused UP, it presents an “upward” motion…
- Love, intimacy, marriage, complementary-forces
- A personal insight and a sort of revelation took place, and I stared crying – it was purifying.
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- The two of them are One, they mutually define each other – there is not one of them without the other.
- The two female figures above are representatives of Binah, as seen from the “outside” perspective (a “pure”, white, appealing aspect, and a “dark”, repulsive aspect); the winged-egg-girt-with-serpent represent Tipharet, but also Kether (6 as manifested extension of 1) & Hadit.
- It looks like all levels of polarity shown here (the alchemical animals, children, King&Queen and their magical weapons) arise from the wings of the Egg; and as if the whole process depicted in this card is an “elaboration” of the ATU I theme: here, the spiral forces of Caduceus are particular beings (polarities incarnated), and the Wand itself is personified and “mature” (the Priest-figure).
- Every phenomenon of the phenomenal world has its complementary opposite, an in this, its annulment. EVERYTHING, except for the Winged-Egg, which is not a phenomenon of the phenomenal world, but which lies in its core – being its root. “…But there is that which remains.”
"Write, & find ecstasy in writing! Work, & be our bed in working! Thrill with the joy of life & death! Ah! thy death shall be lovely: whoso seeth it shall be glad. Thy death shall be the seal of the promise of our age long love. Come! lift up thine heart & rejoice! We are one; we are none."
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Re: January 22-24, 2014: VI. The Lovers

Postby Al-Shariyf » Sat Jan 25, 2014 7:14 am

Day one notes

What I see in this card is the orchestration of a Union that is about to take place. The motif division is astounding - however, it's a division that is a prerequisite for the Union to happen at a later time.

The swords in the back seems to be guarding & gating off an event that happening or that will be happening. Perhaps this the place where the reception will take place?

Day Two
Orange - Alchemical Mercury & Sulphur combined

I'm fascinated by this hooded figure in the image. Everything in the picture seems to be doing his bidding. The bride and the groom occur as puppets on invisible strings that dance to the puppet master's tune.

The cherub carries a bow and a container of arrows; the container has the word Thelema on it. Love under will. What happens when he shoots the arrow? Who gets struck?

I'm compelled to write more about the division against oneself in this card. The inherent duality in all things, yet, they are merely extremes of one continuum

Day Three
Intellectual blockage, piercing insight into a matter, inner turmoil & reconciliation, distinction and distinguishing, marriage proposals and divorces, pairs, relationships between this and that, compromising

The King & Queen take each other's hands in Holy Matrimony - a gesture that says "I am me and You are you and together we are One"

The rational, intellectual Ruach & the intuitive, creative Neshamah are married. They are one & must function as one & utimately will function as one. They share & include & love one another, freely, willingly & like a child who loves their best friend.

This is done in service to something greater than themselves

I had a lot of fun with this card
"To advance—that means Work. Patient, exhausting, thankless, often bewildering Work. Dear sister, if you would but Work! Work blindly, foolishly, misguidedly, it doesn’t matter in the end: Work in itself has absolute virtue." -Magick Without Tears
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Re: January 22-24, 2014: VI. The Lovers

Postby Avshalom Binyamin » Tue Jan 28, 2014 1:18 pm

I've been a little swamped, so haven't had a chance to post my notes before.

The Lovers card feels like divisions and mirrors between Self and Other, Inside and Outside, Subject and Object. The sword (Zain) dividing the unity into opposite twins (Gemini).

One revelation was: The extent to which we can love determines the extent to which we can experience being loved.

Psychologically, this is about projection. We make the mistake of looking into a mirror, and imagining that the reflection is not caused by us. We split ourselves in half, and pick a side.
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Re: January 22-24, 2014: VI. The Lovers

Postby Deus Ex Machina » Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:09 am

danica wrote:- It looks like all levels of polarity shown here (the alchemical animals, children, King&Queen and their magical weapons) arise from the wings of the Egg; and as if the whole process depicted in this card is an “elaboration” of the ATU I theme: here, the spiral forces of Caduceus are particular beings (polarities incarnated), and the Wand itself is personified and “mature” (the Priest-figure).
- Every phenomenon of the phenomenal world has its complementary opposite, an in this, its annulment. EVERYTHING, except for the Winged-Egg, which is not a phenomenon of the phenomenal world, but which lies in its core – being its root. “…But there is that which remains.”


Ah, love those insights, thank you!

Al-Shariyf wrote:The cherub carries a bow and a container of arrows; the container has the word Thelema on it. Love under will.


Ah yes, Love under Will indeed, how did that obviousness elude me! Thank you.

Now, for the labor of my days:

Day 1

Cupid is blinded (love is blind), but he is guided. This is love ordained and guided from above! The card is filled with signs of intertwined dualism, repeating that yin/yang releationship in multiples: black7white, male/female, lance/grail, snake/egg, club/fower. The winged egg girt with a snake promises offspring. The meanings of Gemini, the mental sphere and swords intertwine in my mind. This is a "mental marriage" of some kind, perhaps reflecting union on a higher level. Not a union of two, but a union of one! The orange meditation color calls to mind the color of oranges, ie. fruit, thus it is about seeds.

Day 2

Mercury, intellect, sword, .. Solve! Tet it seems that Lovers would be about Coagula, I need to understand this apparent paradox...

The fact that there are so many symbols of dualism/polarity implies that this card is not about any single dualist pair or even the concept of it, but about an unfolding process. Wherever I look, I see it happening. It is not an instance of Solve, but the process of Solve itself! The symbols and their stark contrasting colors implies that the key thing is distinction, ie. knowing one thing from another. Which is exactly what Solve is! The result of all this dissolution and the process is the winged egg... Cupid is guided by a sense keener than eyesight. Thelema! True Will strikes through even if it is blinded. The cupid strikes me as the magus, playful and creative, concerned with things. Love requires Solve. For love, you must distinguish and appreciate differences! And this is exactly what this entire process of Tarot meditation does! I am falling in love!

I note that once more I have the same revelation. That whatever is happening or depicted in the card is happening in my meditation. The idea keeps repeating itself in my meditations.

Day 3

The two women in the card, who are they? Eve and Lilith? Venus and ? Heh and Heh Final? Division leads to order, which is harmony. The twins (Gemini) seem to come out of the egg. The serpent (in the man's robe and also around the egg) and the dove (in the grail) are also seen in the Hierophant. Hermes is the Magician/Magus and it is he who is performing the marriage. The marriage is his magic! He is the primary actor in this card. This seems equal to the active mental component that is raised in this meditation. Suddenly I see and feel division happening on a cellular level. My body is teeming with life and alchemy. Alchemy is a kind of attention! Then I am drawn into sharp one-pointedness (zayin).
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Re: January 22-24, 2014: VI. The Lovers

Postby Al-Shariyf » Thu Jan 30, 2014 9:42 am

Avshalom Binyamin wrote:I've been a little swamped, so haven't had a chance to post my notes before.

The Lovers card feels like divisions and mirrors between Self and Other, Inside and Outside, Subject and Object. The sword (Zain) dividing the unity into opposite twins (Gemini).

One revelation was: The extent to which we can love determines the extent to which we can experience being loved.

Psychologically, this is about projection. We make the mistake of looking into a mirror, and imagining that the reflection is not caused by us. We split ourselves in half, and pick a side.



Av, your posts are filled to the brim with Wisdom. I love it!
"To advance—that means Work. Patient, exhausting, thankless, often bewildering Work. Dear sister, if you would but Work! Work blindly, foolishly, misguidedly, it doesn’t matter in the end: Work in itself has absolute virtue." -Magick Without Tears
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Re: January 22-24, 2014: VI. The Lovers

Postby Avshalom Binyamin » Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:31 am

Thank you! :)

And thanks for keeping this going. It's really valuable.
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Re: January 22-24, 2014: VI. The Lovers

Postby Mephisto » Tue Feb 11, 2014 8:49 am

Well, I've returned to the kingdom of men and my studies. Good to be back.

I'll be playing catch-up over the next week so as to get back on track. Excerpts from my notes for "the Lovers:"

Sunday, Feb. 5th, 11:40-1:55 A.M.

"There is no sword outside the mind."--Japanese saying.

To become both firm and yielding as need dictates; need: that which is essential for the functioning of the cosmos. 0=2=11, duality is of the nature of reality. Limitation is a mere seeming: "all things flow according to the whims of the Great Magnet." Dissolution is impertinence and blasphemy to the Holy Spirit. Only with warrior strength will the mind be mastered. All symbols are interchangeable; remember the Ape of Thoth. [...]

Note to self: Reel in your foolish intellectual meanderings! Force without purpose is a sure path to Ruin.

Tarot studies resumed.

Ctd. later: meditation is the cleaning and sharpening of the sword. Observe first the natural tendencies of the mind and breath, only later seek control.

Visions of spheres and spatial relationships: pure mind relates itself through mathematical formulae; pure cognitive faculty realized in number. The symbol is not the idea. "Why" and "wherefore" make no difference if all is possible.

Feb. 10th 10:55-11:03 A.M. (Meditation interrupted.)

[...]

"This card and its twin, XIV, Art, are the most obscure and difficult of the Atu."

"The contradictory of any proposition is implicit in itself." --Book of Thoth

Ctd. later: The Magician, simply put, is a master of cause and effect. "The Hermit," from "Hermes," stands in the sign of the Enterer, benediction, and his hands orchestrate the wedding. Duality pervades Gemini, the mad genius, Castor and Pollux, the myths of the two brothers throughout history. The Epic of Gilgamesh also represents this, early Sumerian epic, with Gilgamesh and Enkidu: the dual nature, King and Beast.

The unbalanced Gemini is perhaps the most erratic of any sign in the Zodiac.

All symbols have a dual nature: how simple this intellectual doctrine and how difficult to comprehend. Binah to Tiphereth, as if True Understanding were not exclusive to Mind alone but only through the Divine Light of Intuition (Binah) united to the Solar Force of Tiphereth.

Right thought, right speech.

Feb. 11, 8:00-8:15 A.M. "The Lovers"

Excellent meditation this morning. I was easily able to calm the reasoning faculty and allow the card to interact with my subconscious/intuitive aspects of mind. "The Lovers" and its companion card, "Art," show symbolically the dictum "Solve et Coagula." The Sword and the Arrow. The secret of all practical Magick.

Art is practical Magick, the reconciliation of opposite: this is the purpose of all artistic endeavor, to manifest the resolution of opposites in the material and spiritual realms. "For I am divided for love's sake." "Unite by thine art so that all disappear."

There is with this card a definite duality; but what at first seemed contradiction I realize now to be the opposition necessary to Union.

[...]


I am enjoying all of your responses. For now I'll be doing one card a day and should be back on schedule by the end of the week.
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Re: January 22-24, 2014: VI. The Lovers

Postby Anael Lucis » Sat Nov 15, 2014 10:00 am

Card representing union of opposites within an individual
Wedding – official dedication and commitment of one’s physical and mental faculties to the Great Work
Red lion, white eagle - alchemical symbols of male/female polarities, solar and lunar qualities (Pingala and Ida within an individual’s body)

Children of 2 distinct polarities standing before adults in reversed order – light child holding cup and flowers (yoni) corresponding to Princess standing in front of the Prince; dark child holding the lance and baton (phallus) corresponding to Prince standing in front of Princess – this seems to me much like the symbolism of Yin-Yang; also children looking almost ethereal (thick white aura around them) seems like they represent inner qualities of Princess and Prince

Both lovers holding implements in their left arms (receptive); holding their right hands together (active); her robe has bee pattern; his robe has patterns of what seems to me like curled snakes; their fur sports heart patterns: they are veiled by the same quality and intention – that of love
Lance rising from the egg w coiled serpent below – indicating that the lance (phallus) is endowed with pure Kundalini energy – potency

On each side of the card two columns on top of which stand ordinary/mundane male and female (I noted that their postures seem pretty specific), stripped and simple, as they come into the world – contrasting with the royally dressed and crowned lovers below – lovers are crowned meaning they acknowledged and are re-claiming their divine birthright – the ordinary man/woman above could be representative of polarities manifest in Malkuth, a place where spiritual journey begins; this contrast can be observed as Past-Present-Future – where Past is mundane male/female, Present is union of now spiritually ripe (crowned) Prince/Princes and Future is indicated by the winged Egg – that which is yet to come – the result of alchemical wedding – “life” in unfolding and about to spring forth; or perhaps new knowledge/wisdom about to be born, metaphoric Philosopher’s stone – wings give it specific context – Hadit – “flame that burns in every heart of man and in the core of every star”

Winged Egg with Serpent coiled about it 2.5 times – Kundalini awakened
Zayin – “sword”, and swords in the card - remind me of the Sword of Manjushri, (Manjushri representing the wisdom quality) – wisdom that cuts through delusions, trimming parts which do not serve us; also the value of division indicated in Liber AL “For I am divided for love’s sake, for the chance of union”
"As long as space endures, as long as sentient beings remain, until then, may I too remain to dispel the miseries of the world." - Arya Shantideva, Bodhicaryāvatāra
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Re: January 22-24, 2014: VI. The Lovers

Postby danica » Fri Nov 21, 2014 7:35 am

Anael Lucis wrote:On each side of the card two columns on top of which stand ordinary/mundane male and female (I noted that their postures seem pretty specific), stripped and simple, as they come into the world – contrasting with the royally dressed and crowned lovers below


I've had a true A-ha! moment reading this - thank you!
"Write, & find ecstasy in writing! Work, & be our bed in working! Thrill with the joy of life & death! Ah! thy death shall be lovely: whoso seeth it shall be glad. Thy death shall be the seal of the promise of our age long love. Come! lift up thine heart & rejoice! We are one; we are none."
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Re: January 22-24, 2014: VI. The Lovers

Postby Anael Lucis » Fri Nov 21, 2014 8:21 am

Oh great, I'm glad!

I have been very much enjoying your insights as well as a matter of fact! Also I noticed we occasionally have very similar insights and observations.

❤️
"As long as space endures, as long as sentient beings remain, until then, may I too remain to dispel the miseries of the world." - Arya Shantideva, Bodhicaryāvatāra
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Re: January 22-24, 2014: VI. The Lovers

Postby [V] » Sun Oct 09, 2016 1:08 pm

I had an interesting epiphany about this card.

Zayin is the Disposing Intelligence. It represents "discrimination". To dispose something is to set it aside. The sword is a symbol of this because it represents air, and can cut things into pieces which resonates with discernment.

This path connects 3<---->6

3 is the number of growth & expansion. It's also a saturnian number, which represents restriction, boundaries, etc. These two qualities are one and the same. When something is divided into many parts, that creates the illusion of expansion

6 is the number of reciprocation. 6 is the number that "interfaces" with all the other number in a harmonious way and applies their principals in perfection.

So for 6 to apply the principals of 3 (expansion, understanding, etc) it must use Zayin, which can expand and reduce the whole through the power of discernment.

I was thinking about Raphael, and I realized that the image of the lovers contains his image. You can't see his face, but I think that must be Raphael.

Reason I see this, is because the first two letters Resh & Peh demonstrate the same action of Zayin that I described.
Resh is the solar light from AIN SVP AVR. The Peh from the boundless light represents the power of speech, which separates and gives things form. So Raphael's formula contains the clue that the undifferentiated light is differentiated into manifestation through the principal of separation & disposition. This sounds an awful lot like the path of Zayin!

And interestingly enough, the Lovers by Paul Foster Case has a picture of Raphael behind the man & the woman, which supports this perspective!
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