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The Fourth Principle, Part I

September 5, 2020

by Tony Willis    

The Force known to students of the Occult Tarot as The Empress mediates the principle of multiplication or fecundity, as described in the previous article. In that role, and in line with her association with the number Three, she creates a triad of Qualities to aid her in her function. In the East, these Qualities are known as the Three Gunas and are named Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. Guna simply means ‘quality’ or ‘attribute’. Sattva describes a state of harmony, balance, joy, and intelligence. Rajas describes a state of energy, action, change, and movement while Tamas describes an opposite a state of darkness, inertia, inactivity, and materiality. The Gunas represent two opposing states plus a third state that seeks ever to harmonize or balance out the other two. All three Gunas are in constant flux, participating in a never-ending dance of interaction with each other.

This continual state of flux needs to be stabilized if anything concrete is ever to be manifested. Enter the Force known to students of the Occult Tarot as The Emperor, embodying the principle of organization. His attribute is Form and his corresponding Element is Earth. His symbol is the Philosophers’ Cross, or the Cross of the Wise, a reference to the four directions and what is sometimes poetically referred to as “the Four Corners of the Earth”. Consideration of these associations enables one to see that the Emperor rules over, not only the Element of Earth, but the planet Earth itself, and by extension, the ‘plane of Earth’, meaning the material plane.

emperor card-s

The Emperor’s chief quality is given as Authority, for to him has been delegated the power to shape the immaterial qualities of the Gunas as they proceed with their unending dance, Sattva pirouetting with Tamas, Tamas performing a pas de deux with Rajas, and, it may be, Rajas, Tamas, and Sattva all dancing together. The Emperor’s first act of shaping is to create those forces know to occultists as the Elements of the Wise, namely Fire, Air, Water, and Earth. At an intellectual level, these represent, working backwards, the solid state, the liquid state, the gaseous state, and electro-magnetic state, all of which are present in the material world. Water, H2O, is ice in its solid state, water in its liquid state, and humidity in its gaseous state. The electro-magnetic state can be detected in the material world in the subtle energy running through animals and even plants, where certain species react to the Sun’s ray by turning their petals in that direction during daylight hours in an effort to absorb solar energy.

Another quality ascribed to The Emperor is Adaptation. (These titles and associations can be checked by consulting books dealing with the philosophical aspect of the tarot, such as The Tarot of the Bohemians. At the same time, many of the attributes can be found written on the tarot cards designed by Gabriel Goulinat or listed in Mouni Sadhu’s book The Tarot: A Contemporary Course of the Quintessence of Hermetic Occultism.) The Emperor was awarded the quality of Adaptation by our predecessor adepts on account of the role he plays in connection with the Gunas, adapting their combinations, and giving them form; giving them, at one point in history, such and such a form, and at another, a different form, so that carbon can manifest as wood – the trunk of a tree – in one era, as coal in another, and as a diamond in another. The Emperor rules over ‘elements’ as science thinks of them – hydrogen, nitrogen, sulfur, phosphorus, and all the rest of the periodic table.


In the process known as Creation, the Emperor represents the coming into being of the material universe. The Force mediated by the card springs into action with the event referred to by physicists as the Big Bang, that mysterious explosion, emerging apparently out of nothing, and marking the advent of the Cosmos as a tangible, measurable thing. This adaptive, organizing Force continues to work in the world today. Wherever you can see organization going on – in the running of a hotel, on a building site, somebody packing belongings into the trunk of a car – the Emperor Force is at work. By the same token, whenever you see adaptation going on – from the branches of a tree growing around, and at times encompassing, some obstacle in their path to such recent inventions improving on something that already existed, like Electric and Plug-In Hybrid automobiles – you are witnessing the Emperor Force at work.

4 II      BOTA Emperor

It is this Force that you will need to contact and form a relationship with in order to consecrate your Wand. Before we move to the consecration stage, however, the Wand needs to be cleansed of whatever energies it currently carries. Only when it has been ritually purified will it be safe to infuse it with a quantity of Emperor Force.

Second Exercise

To recapitulate: If you have been directed to one of the Three Paths of Magick through the use of the visualization technique shown you in the previous article, you are ready to consecrate your own personal magick Wand. I will assume that you have made yourself a Wand, or had one made for you. The next step is the cleanse the Wand of any energetic detritus it may have picked up on its journey from being a humble piece of wood to becoming an intentionally crafted magickal implement.

This exercise is carried out mainly on the physical plane, although there is, as you would expect, an astral plane dimension to the rite. At this stage it is not vitally necessary that you are aware of what is going on “in vision”. If you are able to see or to sense the movement of astral plane energies, so much the better; but, as said, it is not a requirement, and the rite will work perfectly successfully whether you are aware of the Inner Plane forces or not.

Before going any further, buy a piece of material in which to wrap your Wand once it has been cleansed. The material can be of any kind, although silk is best since it is endowed with properties that prevent magickally charged energies leaking out into the wider world. It can be of any color. A shade of red is appropriate for the Red Wand, a green hue for the Green Wand, and a clear white for the White Wand.

Cleansing of the Wand prior to Consecration

To carry out this rite you will need: a candle in a holder and a lighter or box of matches; a saucer holding a small quantity of salt; and a cup containing water. Place the candle in its holder, the saucer and the cup along with your unconsecrated Wand on the table you intend to use as your altar. Light the candle as a signal to your unconscious mind that you are about to begin a serious magickal working. Pause and steady your mind.

Point to the salt using the first two fingers of your active hand. If you are right-handed, your active hand is your right hand; if you are left-handed then your active hand is your left hand. While pointing at the salt as directed say out loud:

“I exorcise you, creature of Earth, by the power of the Eternal Parent [as you say this, make a small equal-armed cross with your extended fingers over the salt], so that you may be purified of all evil and negative influences.”

Then hold your active hand flat over the salt, about three or four inches above it, and say:

“Creature of Earth, adore your Creator! In the name of the Eternal Parent, I consecrate you exclusively to the service of evolutionary good. Amen.”

After a small pause, point to the water using the first two fingers of your active hand, and say:

“I exorcise you, creature of Water, by the power of the Eternal Parent [make a small equal-armed cross with your extended fingers over the water], so that you may be purified of all evil and negative influences.”

Hold your active hand flat over the water and say:

“Creature of Water, adore your Creator! In the name of the Eternal Parent, I consecrate you exclusively to the service of evolutionary good. Amen.”

Tip the salt into the water and say:

“I ask You, Eternal Parent, Creator of Heaven and Earth and of all that is in them, both visible and invisible, that you stretch out your right hand of power upon these creatures of the Elements and bless them in your Sacred Name. Grant that this salt may make for health of the body and this water for health of the soul, and that there may be banished from the place where they are used every power of adversity and every illusion and artifice of evil. Amen.”

Now sprinkle the Wand with the blessed water while saying:

“In the Sacred Name which is above every other name, and in the power of the Eternal Parent of All, I exorcise all influences and seeds of evil from this Wand, that they may be bound fast as if with chains of steel and cast into outer darkness from where they shall not be able to trouble me as I carry out my function as a servant of the Sacred Mysteries.”

Wait a moment and then dab the Wand dry with a soft cloth. The salt and water should be returned to Nature. This is best done by pouring the salt-infused water on to a lawn. If you don’t have a lawn, throw the water into a neighbor’s garden or distribute it on plants in a park, since most city-dwellers have access to someone else’s garden or some communal green area.

Wrap the Wand in the material you have bought to store it in. Blow out the candle flame so as to signify to your unconscious mind that the ritual has concluded. Put the Wand aside until you are ready to consecrate it.

In Part II of this article, I will give instructions as to how the ritual of consecration is to be carried out.

From → occult tarot

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