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Secrets of the Hexagram

November 7, 2020

As we have seen, one of the symbols associated with Trump 5 is the Pentagram in which context it represents the human form. The head is at the top, the arms are outstretched and the legs spread apart. In this diagram, one human being stands for the entire species. pentagramManEach human being is a microcosm, a representation, constructed on a smaller scale, of the macrocosm, the entire magnificent and diverse universe. The Pentagram, therefore, is a symbol of the Microcosm.

Turning to the Lovers tarot card , we find occultists associating it with the Hexagram in the form of the Seal of Solomon and assigning it the Latin tag Pentagrammatica Libertas. The Six-pointed star, or Hexagram, makes clear sense since the number of the card is Six. But why does the Pentagram make a reappearance here in the form of the Pentagrammatica Libertas? Let us go through the problem step by step.

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The Hexagram is the symbol for the Macrocosm, just as that Pentagram is a symbol of the Microcosm. The Macrocosm, as I’ve said, embraces the whole Universe, a term sometimes applied to Trump 21 as an alternative to The World. Indeed, we will encounter the hexagram again when we come to investigate the properties of Trump 21. Occult teaching is that, if the student magician can, though esoteric practices, align themself with the harmony of the Universe, they will attain a state of liberation analogous to the state that Buddhism calls Nirvana. If that reading of the microcosm and the macrocosm is taken into account, it becomes apparent that the inner meaning of Pentagrammatica Libertas is “the freedom of human will”. When human will is brought into harmony with the will of the Cosmos it can work marvels. In coming into harmony with the will of the Cosmos, human will is absorbed into a higher will and aligned with it in such a fashion that human will desires what the will of the Cosmos desires, naturally, of its own free choice and without dissension.

This formula is reflected in the divinatory significances certain well-respected occultists assign to Trump 6. Paul Foster Case interprets The Lovers as meaning, “Attraction, beauty, love. Harmony of inner and outer life.” A.E. Waite takes a similar view of the card: “Material union, affection, desire, natural love, passion, harmony of things; contains also the notions of modus vivendi, concord and so forth; equilibrium.” These are attributes associated with the card’s geometric figure, the Hexagram, wherein two triangles, one upward facing, the other downward facing, are interlocked, forming a balanced, harmonious figure. It can represent the amicable union of two people or, as Paul Foster Case puts it, the “harmony of the inner and outer life” of an individual.

r-w-lovers     BOTA Lovers

The Lovers has other meanings, relating to the ordeals the initiate goes through as they travel the road to adepthood. The rationale to these ordeals is that they bring about harmony within the soul of the candidate for adepthood by ironing out any kinks that exist within the candidate’s inner nature. However, these ordeals are not the subject of our scrutiny in this review of the esoteric principles lying behind, and working through, the tarot Trumps.

The occult principle associated with the Lovers is Harmonization. It brings about an agreeable alignment between disparate parts, whether these be the disparate parts of the human organism, with its physical, astral and mental bodies, or of planet Earth, with all its biodiversity, or of the Cosmos, made up of innumerable solar systems and a sprinkling of black holes too.

In traditional Chinese lore Six is the number of Peace but also of Sacred Emptiness, meaning Emptiness of Form. In the time of absolute emptiness, so it is taught, one can plant the seed of one’s wishes. Whatever one thinks or imagines at that time can become a reality. This sacred moment of absolute emptiness occurs when the forces represented by the two triangles making up the hexagram are in perfect harmony, having achieved perfect balance.

In one occult school belonging to the Western Esoteric Tradition, there are three symbols depicting the stages of initiation. Two triangles one above the other, the first with its single point facing down, the second with its single point facing up, represents the lower grade initiate, the Trainee or Apprentice. A drawing of the same two triangles, this time with their points touching, indicates the grade of the Lesser Adept. But the symbol of the hexagram, the two triangles conjoined, is the badge of the Fully-Fledged Adept.

In such schools, there are grades within grades. When a Fully-Fledged Adept makes the step to Minor Magus, they recite this oath and its preamble before the assembled company of their peers. “It is written that anyone who hears the word of enlightenment must dedicated themselves to the cultivation of kindness and good. Anyone who listens to the word will gain wisdom. In order to enter the grade of Minor Magus, my mind and heart must unite as one, in harmony with all living creatures. Therefore, I renounce selfishness, for in each thought of personal interest good and bad intentions co-exist. I swear to maintain a big heart, a merciful heart, and a kind heart, even toward the insects that crawl at my feet.”

The rationale behind this oath is the conviction that the ideal magician must have a good heart and good ethics. For a person cannot hope to manipulate successfully the basic building blocks of the universe, the forces of Yin and Yang, without becoming one with the Cosmos. The hexagram is the symbol of that oneness. Neither you, dear Reader, nor I have attained the giddy heights of Minor Magus. But it is a goal we can aspire to, while, on the other hand, the conditions embodied in the hexagram do sometimes come about in the world, not as a permanent arrangement, but existing for a brief instance. When those conditions arise so does the opportunity to take advantage of Sacred Emptiness. At such a time can be planted the seeds of Good, not as part of the quest of personal attainment, but in order to sow love, mercy and harmony in the world for the benefit of the whole of Nature – the Earth and everything that is on it and in it, including humankind – at a time when all seems bleak, when division has become the order of the day.

Let me remind you of the words of L.R. Knost.

“Do not be dismayed by the brokenness of the world. All things break. And all things can be mended. Not with time, as they say, but with intention. So go, love intentionally, extravagantly, unconditionally. The broken world waits in darkness for the light that is you.”

Occultists and philosophers have, for millennia, insisted that all individuals possess this power . . . if they will only nurture it, and having nurtured it, put it to use. How to use it? That question was answered centuries ago by the Chinese sage Lao Tzu:

“If you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself. If you want to eliminate suffering in the world, then eliminate all that is negative in yourself. Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation.”

This is the work of the Pentagram (the individual human being) that will exalt it to the next stage, that of Pentagrammatica Libertas. We be only at the beginning of this adventure, yet we may still play a part. When two triangles align, creating the shape of a Hexagram, we can cast our Will into the Sacred Emptiness and sow seeds of goodness that will blossom in time to come. That is what the Fifth Exercise is all about.

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Exercise Five

Warning. Do not attempt this guided visualization if you have not already completed the previous four exercises.

At the start of this visualization, I want you to imagine that you are in a wood or forest. You can use a place you know as the model for your starting point. If you are unfortunate enough never to have visited an actual wood or forest, you can borrow an image from a movie you have seen. You could use the rainforest of the planet Pandora from Avatar or the background to the deer hunting scenes filmed in Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest that lie at the heart of The Deer Hunter. Adapt the scenery from any movie you have seen that has a forest in it.

To begin, sit facing East with your Wand on your lap. Light a candle to mark the beginning of the exercise. Close your eyes and conjure up the image of a wood or forest in your mind. You are in a natural clearing, narrow and broadly curved. The forest lies before you. Behind, you can hear the gentle sound of running water and you ‘know’ that a swift-flowing stream lies at your back. “In vision” you carry your Wand in your dominant hand (even though, in reality, it lies on your lap). Start to move into the wood, walking on the grass and avoiding any obvious obstacles such as bushes or clumps of nettles.

As you proceed, the canopy overhead becomes denser causing the light to take on a greenish tinge. You are unable to move forward in a straight line because the trees are distributed haphazardly. Every so often, you have to sidestep one of them. Try as best you can to continue in an easterly direction.

Keep your eyes peeled for a tree that has the sign of two triangles, separate, their points facing each other, carved into its bark. When you come to the sign, step to the right of that tree and follow the narrow path you will find there and which runs ever deeper into the forest. The tree trunks are more massive now, the trees themselves unbelievably ancient. There is a buzz of insects in the air and at times you hear the croaking of frogs. Tiny, brightly colored birds dart across your field of vision, busy with their quest for food. Make your way carefully along the path until you come to a tree with the sign of two triangles, their points touching, carved into its bole. Again, go to the right of this tree and press ahead. You will come to a massive boulder blocking your way. It is flanked on either side by two enormous redwoods, stretching above you seemingly into infinity. On the boulder, someone has painted in sky blue the astrological sigil for Venus and below it an arrow pointing to your left.

The path to your left may meander around the redwoods and the boulder, emerging on the other side of them. Or it may strike out at right angles to them, or it might twist you around and take you back in a westerly or north-westerly direction. Your path from here forward will be your path, one unique to you, shared with no other person on the planet. Follow your path until you come to a tree with a hexagram carved inclip_image002[11]to its bark, the sign of Human Will in perfect harmony with Cosmic Will. When you find it, look to your right and you will see another tree some distance ahead of you, huge and mighty, with a door set in its trunk, and three wooden steps leading up to the door. Approach this tree, mount the stairs, and knock at the door. It will slide open revealing a softly lit space within. Enter this space and the door will close again, and after a moment another door will slide silently open.

Passing through this second door, you find yourself in medium-sized room lit from above by a glowing globe of amber light. In the center of the room is a stone altar upon which lay two wooden triangles, one painted blue and with its point facing downward, the other painted red and with its point facing upward. Approach the altar and lay your Wand upon it while you adjust the positions of the two triangles so that they form a hexagram, and the hexagram is in the center of the altar. Once the two triangles are perfectly aligned they will change color. The entire hexagram will turn flaming scarlet if your Wand is red; it will become shining white if you are the possessor of a white Wand; and it will turn vivid emerald if own a green Wand.

As soon as the transformation occurs, in vision only, take up your Wand again and place its tip at the center of the hexagram, and wait to the count of five. (One, and two, and three, and . . .) During that time a figure will step forward out of the shadows gathered at the room’s corners. The figure approaches you and confirms that the time is right for casting the image of an ideal future into the Sacred Emptiness of the moment. On hearing this, you should form a mental picture of the Earth seen from space, revolving slowly, the varied blues of the oceans, the multitudinous greens on the continents, with here and there sandy shades marking out the deserts, and charcoal grey splotches indicating the sprawling conurbations of Europe, North America and China. Imagine peace within nations and between nations; imagine harmony between humankind and the natural world – the birds, the fish, the trees, the corals of the Pacific, the animals, the insects, the prolific plant life of our home planet. Allow these thoughts and images to well up in your heart and then will them to travel across to the shoulder of your active arm, down that arm, into your hand, into the Wand your hand is holding, and from the Wand into the center of the vivified hexagram. Take as long as you need, as long as the process requires. When you sense that the energy is no longer flowing out from your heart, remove the tip of your wand from the middle of the hexagram, and take a step back from the altar.

The figure that came forward out of the shadows now leads you to one side of the room (it may take you to the left or to the right, there is no set formula at this point) to where stands another altar. On this altar is a shallow silver bowl filled almost to the brim with water. The figure gestures for you to gaze into the water. On doing so, you will at first see only reflected light on the water’s surface, the bowl appearing to resemble a full moon. After a moment, light is replaced by darkness on the surface of the water, as if the moon was in eclipse, and you can see into the bowl. However, you find yourself peering into what seems to be the depths of the sea. Your vision ripples and you are aware of looking down hundreds of miles below the room in which you are standing. A form approaches moving with great speed. It streams up to the surface of the water in the bowl in front of you and emerges into the room. An arm and hand extend from the water. In the hand is an object. If you are the possessor of a white Wand, the object will be an ancient, leather-bound book lying flat on the palm of the hand. If your Wand is green, the object will be a simple gold ring, like a wedding band. Should you own a red Wand, the object is a short sword which the hand holds by its hilt, directing the blade skywards. Take the object. Be careful how you handle it if it is a sword! (You may put your Wand on the altar beside the bowl in order to retrieve the object.) The mysterious figure will then hand you a satchel. Put the object in the satchel and sling the satchel over your shoulder. Take up your Wand again. Let the figure guide you back to the central altar. You will see that the two triangles have been broken up into their constituent parts and arranged, one line above the other, so as to form the I Ching symbol Kh-Yen representing the purest form of power and positive energy. It is an expression of unadulterated truth and strength that exceeds all worldly, physical or immediate concerns.

You do not have the leisure to contemplate this change, however, for now it is time to return home. Go to the door by which you entered, which remains open, and step into the softly-lit space within. This door will slide shut and almost immediately another will slide open allowing you to walk down the three wooden steps and into the depths of the wild, untamed forest. Make your way back to the tree that has the hexagram carved on it and from there retrace your steps until you come to the massive boulder sandwiched between the two imposing redwoods. As you pass the boulder, you note that, while the sigil for Venus remains on it, the arrow giving directions to the tree of knowledge has mysteriously vanished.

Keeping to the path, continue until you reach the tree with the two triangles, points touching, incised into its bark. Walk on and in a while you will come to the tree on which the two separate triangles, one above the other, are carved. Continue and you will find more light penetrating the forest, and eventually you will reach the fast-flowing stream that cuts through it, the stream that was at your back when you set out on this adventure. Approach the stream and turn around so that you are facing East, as you were standing at the start of the exercise. In vision, hold up your Wand, pointing it heavenward. Then place it against your chest. Let the image fade and, gently but firmly, bring your consciousness back to the physical world, centering it in your body, seated, and with your actual Wand laying in your lap. When you feel your consciousness has fully returned to the material plane, extinguish the candle, leave the room and have something to eat or a hot drink.

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This may seem a lot to remember. To help you with the feat of memory, reduce the instructions to its component parts: You are in a forest; you go forward until you see the symbol of two separate triangles; step to the right and go forward until you find the second symbol; step to the right again and go forward until you come to the boulder between two redwoods; follow the arrow on the boulder and continue on that path until you see the third symbol to the right of which stands a tree with a door set in it. Go through the door, arrange the two triangles into a hexagram; look into the silver bowl, take the object when it comes out of the bowl; return to your starting point and then back to everyday consciousness.

Study the synopsis of events until the route you are to take is imprinted on your mind. Then you are ready to begin the guided visualization.

It will help if you understand the symbolism involved. The meaning of the three Arcane-Arcana-06-amoureux-loversymbols composed of two triangles you already know. An important juncture is reaching in the guided visualization when you come to the boulder between two redwood trees. The redwood, being a type of cypress, is sacred to Venus, who rules cypresses of all kinds. The arrow has been painted on the boulder in sky blue paint. The lighter shades of blue are also ruled by Venus, goddess of peace and harmony. She has an obvious connection with a card named The Lovers. Although in English-speaking countries The Lovers is almost always put under the rulership of Gemini, on the continent the card is widely believed to be governed by Taurus, one of the signs of Venus. (See illustration.) In numerology, Six is under the rule of Venus, and the Hexagram, the geometric representation of the powers of the number Six, is inexorably linked to The Lovers, as Trump 6. It is unsurprising, therefore, that this guided visualization is dedicated to the goddess of love and harmony, the Lady Venus.

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With this information in your possession, you should have no difficulty following the instructions for Exercise Five.

From → occult tarot

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