The following is an excerpt from the text written to accompany THE METAMORPHIC TAROT OF THE SPIRITS:
0 THE JOURNEY:
This image correlates to the FOOL card of the traditional Tarot. The landscape is replaced by the Hallway, a connective juncture familiar to Bardonauts. We might regard this as a birth canal, whether winding wombward or gravebound. The traveler carries an Eshu, the Child God who is also the Lord of the Crossroads. The dog, often associated with Papa Legbha (as St. Lazarus), follows this theme, that of the Opener. Lazarus is traditionally depicted as “lame,” hobbling along on his crutch. And yet Legbha is a Loa of great and dazzling speed through all dimensions of Space and Time. The outward appearance is apparent. The inward truth of Legbha is that of the “Youth of a Thousand Summers.”
The form of Eshu is egg-like in form and indicates the POTENTIAL OF OPENING. We are reminded here of the powerful declaration in Crowley’s Book of the Law wherein the God Horus states: “My left hand is empty for I have crushed an Universe and nought remains.” This Arcana is, indeed, the NOUGHT of the Tarot and indicates the vital, yet unfertilized, Space outside of established and fixed reality tunnels.
1 THE MASTER JI:
This image was the very first generated for the Metamorphic Tarot. The change of name from The Magician (or Magus) to “The Master” is due in part to the Masonic context of this Arcana, wherein the visage appears above the checkerboard or “Mosaic Pavement” of the Lodgeroom. In Masonic Lore, this is the World, comprised of Polarites (“Good” and “Evil”) which are continually interacting. For the Dualist, this interaction may be experienced as a type of strife. For the Gnostic, the same interplay will be known along Thelemic Lines where “Love is the Law (dynamic interplay being the Nature of the Cosmic Go-ing), Love Under Will” (the active and constant participation of the Magician as co-creator).
With one eye closed and the other open, two worlds join in a single Mind (“Neither naked nor clothed, barefoot nor shod”). We can consider this consciousness in accord with the Third Ray of Alice Bailey’s teachings: “Harmony through Conflict.” We are also reminded of the sun glasses worn by Papa Ghuedhe, Laughing Lord of the North (the Masonic “Place of Darkness”). I distinctly recall conversing with a Freemason who remarked that the Blue Lodge of Masonry was a “Ghuedhe Cult.” I would agree wholeheartedly with this. From its sundry emblems (several of which resurge in this Tarot) to its central theme of Death & Resurrection, these ritualized Degrees convey, in external form, a type of psychodrama belonging to the Ghuedhe Familie.
At the same time, we also understand this Master as Rising From The EAST. Seated in the place of the rising solar disc, we behold the “Most Worshipful Master” of Freemasonry, a form of Legbha Ji, the Birth of the Sun. Thus we find Light and Darkness coming together in this card, swirling in the hands of the aptly “Juggler” whose Mercurial associations also speak to a bisexuality in which the polarities of Light and Darkness are conjoined.
The commentary on cards 0 and 1 really run together. Ouspensky wrote that the Fool of the Tarot was really the same figure as the Magician. He observed that the four mystical tools of the Magician (Wand, Sword, Cup and Pantacle) were contained in the bag of the Fool. With the Fool, these Elements are LATENT. With the Magician, they have re-entered Spactime in conjunction with the CONSCIOUSNESS of the Master Mason whose Resurrection is into the Gnosis of the Sun.
Thus we find the glorious proclamation of Michael Bertiaux’s Lucky Hoodoo Grimoire:
O Light! There is no Darkness! We are in the Presence of Endless Light!
JI, Qabalistically read, is Yod/Yod or 10 + 10 (20). This is the Number of the Arcana known as Judgment, the Resurrection. Hiram Abiff is raised by the “Strong Grip of the Lion’s Paw.” Further on in the Metamorphic Tarot, we encounter the visage of the One spoken of in the Monastery of the Seven Rays as “THE MASTER-THE LION.” This is a VERY significant portion of the first year lessons.
The Lion is the Christ (The Lion of the Tribe of Judah). This Christ is the Bridge between God and Man. We can regard this as the bridge between the Eternal and Temporal, what Soren Kierkegaard calls THE PARADOX. Kierkegaard saw the link between the Eternal and Temporal as being accomplished through the Leap of Faith. The expression has since devolved into a commonplace manner of saying “Have some guts…take a chance!” For Kierkegaard, this was a much more serious issue than risking convenience for a potentially pleasing outcome. It was a movement wherein we go beyond all our Spacetime Rationality, having brought it to an End. We have climbed the ladder, as Wittgenstein would say. And then we kick it away.
If this seems like an easy thing, we are mistaken. It is simple. Painfully simple. But it asks of us ALL THAT WE ARE. The great Zen Patriarch Hui Neng admonished one to relinguish attachment but not interest or engagement (in contradiction to other Buddhist ideals which extolled the extinguishing of Mind altogether). Therefore the above mentioned “Spacetime Rationality” is not destroyed. Rather one’s consciousness is extended over a gulf which that Rationality (rooted in Spacetime Being/Experience) cannot cross. It’s limits are known and one goes BEYOND THEM. This, in effect, creates or gives birth to a “Crossroadian,” who is “In the World but not of it,” as written in the Biblical injunction.
Arcana 17, THE STAR (re-titled TI BON ANGE) is depicted within this deck as this New Being in fetal form. The Initiatory Path wherein the Master becomes such evokes a type of Double Birth. Not only is the Initiate transformed into a Being partaking of both Temporal and Eternal Worlds but we find that this New Being also becomes an Inlet into Spacetime for the Mind of God, a SUN of God born into Time. This emergence indicates something other than the physical incarnation which provides the field for its unfolding.
It is the birth of Gnosis.
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