TTHE FOOL PRESIDING...
ROW 1: THE CHIEF PRINCIPLES OF CONSCIOUSNESS
ROW 2: THE CHIEF LAWS OF CONSCIOUSNESS AND OF THE UNIVERSE
ROW 3: THE CONSEQUENCE OF YOUR USING THOSE LAWS, AND WHAT YOU HAVE ACCOMPLISHED
Tarot Tableau representing the levels of consciousness in the cards of the Major Arcana
All of the great teachers have taught that in order to change the world we first have to change ourselves. To give us a visual aid, the ancient teachers divided the twenty-two Major Arcana of the Tarot into what is referred to as a Tarot Tableau consisting of three rows of seven cards, with The Fool presiding over it. The Rabbi's Tarot states that the first row represents (1): THE CHIEF PRINCIPLES OF CONSCIOUSNESS. The second row represents (2):THE CHIEF LAWS OF CONSCIOUSNESS AND OF THE UNIVERSE. The third row represents (3): THE CONSEQUENCE OF YOUR USING THOSE LAWS, AND WHAT YOU HAVE ACCOMPLISHED.
We change the world situation through integrating our human egos into loving harmony with our Spirits. Assisting us in this endeavor, Ancient teachings in the Tarot are brought forward as a gift for the here and now in transforming ourselves and the planet. The LINKS (top-left) of the 22 Major Arcana take us to each card's COMMENTARY section and any card graphic takes you to its Tarot Gateway for a better look.
SUZZAN’S COMMENTARY ON THE FOOL — 0
Like all of the Major Arcana, card 0 - THE FOOL holds many secrets in its symbology. The Fool represents our preincarnate spiritual self, forming the consciousness, soul, and body for optimum use in this incarnation. Not surprisingly, the Fool begins the process in my Spiritual Evolution vision mentioned in Craig’s Foreword. Again, no surprise the Fool also represents the start of the journey around the Cube of Space. However, it is Daphna’s reference to the Ten Emanations, symbolized by the ten wheels on his robe that reveals why the Fool is set apart from the other 21 cards.
The reason lies with both the esoteric side of Christianity, or Gnosticism and the mystical side of Judaism, or the Kabbalah. It might help if we set the stage, as it were, by comparing the Gnostic and Kabbalistic view for the Tree of Life and the ten Sephirot, or as Daphna calls them Emanations.
It is important to understand that none of the names should be taken as literal descriptions, they are rather to be seen as consciousnesses/concepts and or energies. The most helpful message I ever received was that it is impossible for the human mind to comprehend spiritual workings; we can only approximate vague ideas through assigning human characteristics and actions to the Divine. This of course has led to some of the most serious errors in our understanding, not to mention causing numerous wars. Instead, if we consider more than one perspective it allows us to see how ancient wisdom was multifaceted and multidimensional. Just being open to this possibility facilitates changing the way we think. Ultimately, the names on both trees represent archetypes, and like the symbols in the Tarot cards, they are designed subliminally to help us remember our true selves and destiny.
With this in mind, let us consider what has been discovered about the mysterious Sephirot and the Tree of Life. Dion Fortune’s book The Mystical Qabalah is a superb source for new insights, even though it was written several decades ago. The author relates a strange story in her book concerning an entry in the Kabbalistic Zohar about the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet vying for the privilege of being used for the creation of the universe. Evidently, although that privilege was given to Beth, the Creator still placed Aleph first. I had always considered Aleph as the same as the English “A,” but I learned that in Hebrew that is not always the case. Case in point, although when written out in English, six Sephirot contain the letter “A” in Hebrew only one, Tiphareth contains an Aleph. It made more sense when I read that the word Elohim starts with Aleph. I wondered if this is why the Fool is assigned the note E-Natural. We will discuss the relevance of the musical notes assigned to each card a little later, but for now let us go one-step further with the mysterious Sephirot and consider how the archetypes of the Major Arcana were associated with the Tree of Life in my vision.
Before we look at them however, I think it would help to give you a summary of my vision. As Craig said the vision was in 7 Stages and highly subjective in imagery. One more thing, in my vision the 10 Sephirot had the traditional Kabbalistic names. Do not worry if the terminology seems complicated, I will be explaining the terms in my commentaries. The main thing to keep in mind is that the Sephirot, or as Daphna calls them Emanations, are archetypes and not to be taken literally:
My vision began with an overview of the traditional Kabbalistic Tree of Life with all 10 stations or Sephirot, together with the non-Sephirot Daath. Then zooming into the lowest Sephirot, Malkuth, I saw 3 miniature Trees of Life, one black, one white, and one gray dissolve into a six-pointed star (Stage 1). Zooming into the star, I emerged into another Tree of Life, which I learned was the Tree of Reason. This tree had a bright red line running through the tree that I understood represented the “Descent of Power line.” However, instead of starting the line in the top Sephirot, Kether, the “Descent of Power line” began in Chesed. Pulling back from the Tree of Reason, I expected to see the 22 Major Arcana appearing as the 22 paths that connected the ten Sephirot, but was surprised to see a single card materialize in the center of each Sephirot. Daath, depicted as a broken-line circle, was also included. Consequently, 11 of the 22 Major Arcana cards were represented on the Tree of Reason. Once I registered this, I felt myself descending the line of Descent through each of the Sephirot (Stage 2).
At the bottom of the “Descent of Power” line, I expected to ascend again, up the “Path of the Arrow.” Surprisingly instead of moving back up the tree, I continued below the tree through a gate and down a pathway to a large doorway (Stage 3). The other side of the door, I saw yet another Tree of Life materializing, but instead of a bright red “Descent of Power Line”, there was a bright blue line running through the tree. At this point, I was given to understand that it was blue to represent the passive/feminine, rather than the red masculine/active. I was also told that the blue line on this tree, which I learned was the Tree of Truth, was not a “Descent of Power line.” Instead, it was the exact opposite, a “Power of Ascent line.” Confirming this, I began rapidly ascending the Tree of Truth. In looking at the Tree of Truth, which was upside down, I realized that it was a mirror image of the Tree of Reason. (Later, we confirmed this when Craig recreated my vision, and held the Tree of Truth up to a mirror.)
Ascending the Power of Ascent line, I followed the same sequence through the ten Sephirot, only in reverse. Due to it being a mirror image, I appeared to move in the opposite direction to the traditional Tree of Life. Rising through Malkuth (10) to Yesod (9), but instead of moving to Hod, the 8th Sephirot, I went to Netzach the 7th and then across to Hod. This was repeated after I raised to Tiphareth the 6th Sephirot. Rather than moving to Geburah (5), I moved to Chesed the 4th Sephirot and from Geburah, I moved across to Chokmah the 2nd Sephirot, before backtracking to the 3rd Sephirot Binah and up to Kether. Like the Tree of Reason, I observed that a Tarot card materialized in the center of each station or Sephirot (Stage 4).
For me, the most striking difference between the Tree of Reason and the Tree of Truth was the placement of Daath (broken-line circle). On the Tree of Reason, Daath was in the traditional placement, immediately below the top circle, Kether, and straddling the first Atziluth or Archetypal Fire/Spirit and the second Briah or Creative Air/Mental planes, but in the Tree of Truth, Daath was not even on the tree. Instead, it was the doorway between the Tree of Reason and the Tree of Truth.
Still my vision did not stop when I reached the top station Sephirot, Kether, on the Tree of Truth. After a brief pause, both the Tree of Reason and the Tree of Truth rose up at a ninety-degree angle to the lowest or Earth/Physical plane completely merging with each other (Stage 5). Neither the masculine nor the feminine line of power was on the now completely combined trees, which I was told had become the Tree of Wisdom and Understanding. As I watched, I felt myself, which I now understood represented the Life-Principle in the Human Race emerge from the center Sephirot, Tiphareth and divide with the bulk moving to the left and Geburah, while a small number moved to the right and Chesed, then disappeared into Daath (Stage 6). Then I saw a transparent serpent winding its way back up the tree, its coils encompassing six of the Sephirot. The serpent then disappeared through Daath, to emerge out of the top Sephirot, Kether to leave the tree, unite, and swallow its tail, which was connected to a small Tree of Life in the distance (Stage 7).
Interpreting my vision necessitated applying the disciplines of numerology, astrology, Tarot, Hebrew letters, colors, elements, musical notes, directions, and symbols. Comparing the cards placement on both trees revealed so much more.
Although, the diagrams above only depict stages 2, 3, and 4 in my vision, my goal here is to give you a visual of how the cards are distributed through the Tree of Reason and the Tree of Truth. We will discuss each card’s placement in the commentary of each card, but as we can see card 0 - the Fool holds court as it were directing events from its position in Kether.
Most people, including Daphna believe that the Fool represents on the human level, the pre-incarnate spirit. Sometimes the terms soul and spirit can be mixed up. I had discovered in my studies that Paracelsus, the famous alchemist believed the body came from the earth: the Soul from the stars and the Spirit from God, or the Supreme Being. If Paracelsus were taken literally then he would appear to be saying that the Spirit and Soul are from different places. However, there are 3 kinds of soul, animal, human, and spiritual within human beings. The Spirit or Divine Spark is immersed in the Life Principle of the Earth, which includes all life, but the Spirit only becomes available through the Spiritual Soul. The youth gazing up at a White Sun in the card is carrying this information. According to Daphna apart from the Spiritual Plane, this can also represent the Abstract or Archetypal Plane. As she says, if we think of the Archetypal plane as representing the spark of an idea; the Creative as bringing that idea into consciousness; the Formative as bringing forth the image and finally, the Active as bringing that idea to fruition, we will get a better concept of the different planes.
I see The Fool representing on the human level, the Spiritual Soul. Traditionally there are four planes on the Kabbalistic Tree of Life incorporating the ten Sephirot. As stated, these equate to the Ten Emanations Daphna lists, represented on card 0 - the Fool’s robe as 10 wheels. Therefore, I take it to mean that the Spiritual Soul (The Fool) is the potential super-consciousness or Christ-consciousness, hidden within a human being.
As we know, the Fool represents the planet Uranus. I found this especially relevant because Uranus was not officially re-discovered until 1781. When we look at it and Neptune (1846) and Pluto’s (1930) discovery, not to mention the latter’s demotion from a planet, it holds valuable information about our Spiritual Evolution. Uranus is the higher octave of Mercury, which traditionally is assigned the eighth Sephirot, Hod, (Glory or Splendor). Placing the card that represents Uranus in my vision on the position of the first Sephirot Kether or Crown that also means Will makes sense. However, I believe the Fool rules the Major Arcana because it crosses dimensions, in that it encompasses several planes.
Uranus being officially re-discovered in 1781 is very interesting as Paul Foster Case pointed out that because the Hebrew letter Aleph means bull some people connect the invention of the Hebrew Language to the Age of Taurus. Hebrew has always been connected to the Tarot, even though many believe its origin is Egypt. This is one of those strange connections when both deductions could be right. Mr. Foster Case thought the Age of Taurus approximately spanned the years 2150 B.C.E. to 400 B.C.E. However, as we have recently ended the Age of Pisces and the Age of Aries fell between the two, if we use his dates there is not enough time for both Ages. Therefore, the Age of Taurus must have started earlier. Either way, what is important is that the Tarot could be a lot older.
Although Moses is believed to have lived around 1300 B.C.E., which would be the age of Aries, his contemporaries, the Egyptians worshiped the Apis bull. Why? This is clearly more reminiscent of the previous age, because of the sign of Taurus being the bull. However, if I take into consideration when the Hebrew religion originated, it makes sense. The Apis bull had been worshiped in Egypt for several thousand years, even when the patriarch Joseph had resided there. Consequently, as the Israelites had been in Egypt for hundreds of years, it is possible they were influenced by the Age of Taurus. That may also explain why the Israelites chose the figure of a golden calf to represent their Deity at the bottom of Mount Sinai. Nonetheless, whether Hebrew and the Tarot originated during the Israelites sojourn in Egypt or after, both scenarios indicate that knowledge of the Tarot occurred long before the Middle Ages.
In respect to the Cube of Space, we can see below in my rendition of the Cube that the Fool once again is in the highest position, almost hovering over the Cube. This is an illusion as the Fool actually dissects the Cube.
In David Allen Hulse’s New Dimensions for the CUBE of SPACE The Path of Initiation Revealed by the Tarot upon the Qabalistic Cube, he cites the Fool as representing your “essential self.” The Fool’s position on the Cube is as an axis point, which Mr. Hulse explains as acting as a bridge between “the infinite expanses of light above” and the “abysmal depths of darkness below.” In this way, the role of the Fool in the Cube of Space is “to unite that which is below with that which is above.”