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Chapter 10
Natural Talismans and Artificial Charms
F THE three types of invisible energies which have a power to influence human
life and destiny, I have already given consideration to those thought vibrations
emanating from names and numbers. Trains of thought are more specifically
treated, in their effect of changing the organization of the astral form and thus
attracting certain types of events into the life, in Course 9, Mental Alchemy. Thus, in this
and other courses, I have quite fully explained the use and effects of thought vibrations.
And in Course 10-1, Delineating the Horoscope, I have gone into the subject of
astrological vibrations. There remains yet to consider, therefore, only character
vibrations.
The character vibrations of localities, climates, and types of environment are set
forth in Chapter 5 of Course 8, Horary Astrology and Chapter 2 of Course 12-1,
Evolution of Life; the character vibrations of plants and minerals are stated in
connection with the various Arcana in this course; and the character vibrations of
colors are explained more specifically in chapter 9 of this course.
Now, of course, the subject of character vibrations is as wide as the universe itself;
for every object and condition has its vibratory rate, which may influence those
associated closely with it. We, therefore, can not hope to exhaust this subject; but I
feel that some mention, at least, should be made of the vibratory quality of musical
tones; and that, because of their unusual potency, both artificial charms and
talismanic gems should receive special consideration.
Musical Tones
--Music has two influences. The first is that which influences the mind through its
suggestive power, reaching it through the physical sense of hearing. The rhythm,
harmony and melody thus reaching the consciousness stir up emotional states and
physical responses. Whether certain music is beneficial or not depends upon the
individual. If it stimulates gross and selfish, or destructive, thoughts and feelings, it is
detrimental to the individual. But if it engenders feelings of tenderness, the desire for
helpful service, and aspirations to a noble life, it is beneficial.
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But the tones of a musical composition have an astral vibratory rate as well as a
physical one. The chief vibratory rate, and the one that thus has most influence
directly upon the astral body, is that of the Key in which the composition is played.
This key is itself a musical tone; for instance, the Key of C. The Key of C has an astral
vibratory rate which is the same as that radiated by the planet Mars, or by the letter O.
The direct astral effect of a tone, or of a musical composition played in the Key of that
tone, may be known by referring to the tone associated with each Major Arcanum.
Talismanic Gems
--Talismanic gems differ from artificial charms in that the influence of a talismanic
gem is that of its character vibration, while the influence of a charm is almost wholly
due to the thought vibration imparted to it.
Gems are particularly active crystals which have been attracted about lively and
energetic souls occupying the evolutionary plane of the mineral kingdom. The active
life of the astral form of the soul occupying a gem reflects itself somewhat in the
brilliancy of the gem. And due to the high degree of astral intelligence possessed by
certain kinds of gems, and due to the powerful character vibrations which they
radiate, they become among the most important of all character influences with
which we can associate, in their power to impart energy to the structure or zone of the
astral body of a person closely associated with them.
Now a birth stone is merely a gem ruled by the zodiacal sign occupied by the Sun on
the day of birth. And because the dynamic thought structure in the astral body
mapped by the place of the Sun in the birth chart is a very powerful thought group, a
gem ruled by this sign, when worn, through adding energy to the structure
mentioned, undoubtedly is rather powerful to influence the life.
But, as pointed out when discussing other things which add astral energy to
structures and zones of the astral body, whether this rather powerful influence will
increase the power to attract good fortune or will increase the power to attract
misfortune, depends upon whether or not, as shown by its aspects, the Sun structure
thus given power is harmoniously or discordantly organized.
The rising sign, also, corresponds to very strong thought cells within the astral body.
Consequently, a gem ruled by the rising sign in the birth chart has a powerful
influence upon the person. The intensifying of these thought cells lends itself to a
more energetic personality. This may have its advantages. But whether such a gem
will attract harmonious or inharmonious events through the greater energy of the
personality depends on whether or not the rising sign in the birth chart is harmonious
or discordant.
Furthermore, because certain stellar structures and zones of the astral body, as shown
by the house positions of the birth chart, tend more to influence certain departments
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of life, and other structures and zones to influence other departments of life, either a
gem or a person taken into close association adds energy to the thought cells of the
astral body in that zone which accentuates a given department of life. That is, either a
gem or a person adds energy to the astral body of the one associated with it chiefly in
that compartment ruled by the dominant astrological influence of the gem or person.
Therefore, in selecting a talismanic gem, or any associate, this should be kept in
mind, and such should be chosen as will add energy to the particular department of
life where help is most desired.
If the gem is desired, for instance, as an aid to business success, it should have the
same character vibration as the sign or planet in the birth chart most harmonious to
business. If the gem is desired as an aid to matrimonial harmony, one should be worn
having the same character vibration as the sign or planet in the birth chart most
harmonious to matrimony. But for general purposes, a gem may be selected that has
the same character vibration as the best planet or sign in the birth chart.
A word of caution should be inserted here; for jewelers who are not occult students,
and have only a desire to push the sale of whatever gems they may have in stock,
sometimes get up a list of birth stones according to their fancy and their particular
need for sales. That is, having heard of birth stones, but having no actual knowledge
of astrology, they give certain stones to certain months with no real information on
the subject.
The gem given to each zodiacal sign, in association with the Major Arcana, is the one
which, according to the ancients and according to competent occult students who
have checked as to accuracy, has been found most potent as having the character
vibration of that sign. To these gems listed under the Major Arcana should be added
these other available gems which most powerfully have the character vibrations of
the planets:
Sun--Sunstone.
Moon--Moonstone.
Jupiter--Chinese Jade.
Mars--Hematite.
Venus--Red Coral; also Amber.
Artificial Charms
--Charms do not owe their potency to their character vibrations, but to the thought
vibrations imparted to them in their preparation. Therefore, the substance used in the
making of charms should be mediumistic, in the sense of receiving and retaining
thought influences.
We all know that a piece of iron, a knife blade or a nail, for instance, if rubbed
repeatedly with a magnet, takes on the magnetic condition and itself becomes
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capable of attracting and holding other objects. In like manner certain other
metals--chiefly gold, silver, copper and tin--have the ability to take on, retain, and
exert the influence of, a thought vibration imparted to them. That is, whatever
thought influence is imparted to them with proper ceremony and at proper time,
becomes a part of the charm, and the charm henceforth radiates this thought
influence, whatever it may be.
Metals, unlike gems and stones, are very negative, and radiate almost no character
vibrations; but they readily, for this reason, absorb thought vibrations that may be
imparted to them. Organic substances, also, may be used in the manufacture of
charms, if pains be taken to select only those which, like the young sprouts of peach,
willow and witchhazel, are negative in quality.
The black magician usually makes his charms of organic substances of revolting
character and in grotesque form, the symbolism thus tuning him in on the type of
invisible force he wishes to attract and use. To this inversive image--as in voodoo
rites--he attaches a diabolical thought form by means of ceremonies and invocations
to the spirits of evil; the hideousness of the rite exciting the mind to fever pitch and
releasing emotional energy of sufficient volume and intensity to impregnate the
charm with the sinister thought and attach to it elemental forces. The fate of those
who make such charms as this is well depicted in Arcanum XVI.
Evil charms, however, are not always the outcome of design; for mediumistic
substances often absorb the mental images unconsciously impressed upon them.
Houses in which there has been great mental anguish, or terrifying emotions
associated with tragedy, sometimes become so permeated with these thought forms
as decidedly to be uncomfortable, and even unlucky, for subsequent occupants. For
this reason rooms in which there has been much sickness and suffering should not be
occupied, without special purification and ceremony, by sensitive persons.
Certain famous jewels, though not in themselves especially mediumistic, and
therefore not particularly suited to becoming charms, nevertheless, through
tragedies associated with them, have come to exercise such an evil function. The
emotional activities accompanying the tragedy have attached to the gem a vicious
elemental, which is not the astral counterpart of the gem, but an added intelligence of
malignant potency which guards it and brings misfortune to all who possess it. Such
is the Hope diamond. And as probably bearing a more deliberate curse, are the
treasures taken from the tomb of the Egyptian, Tut-Ank-Amen.
For ordinary purposes of making a fortunate charm, 14k gold or sterling silver is
excellent. For special purposes a charm for a man may be made of 21k gold, 1k silver,
1k copper and 1k tin; and a charm for a woman may be made of 21k silver, 1k gold, 1k
copper and 1k tin. The silver in the gold charm and the gold in the silver charm are
responsive to the feminine element in man and the masculine element in woman;
while copper and tin exercise the functions denoted by the planets Venus and Jupiter,
the love element and the devotional.
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Such a charm should be made only for some constructive purpose which can injure
no one. The thought the charm should carry should be imparted to it with due
ceremony and with as much high emotional intensity as possible, at midnight
(completing the ceremony just before that time) of the full moon (the midnight that
occurs just previous to the Moon making its opposition to the Sun). If the Moon is in a
negative sign, so much the better.
Whatever thought is thus imparted to the charm, it will carry, and impart to the
wearer. And it is potent to bring good luck, or any certain type of event into the life of
the wearer, in proportion to the clearness and the intensity of the thought thus
imparted to it.
The Black Magician--Arcanum XV
--Letter: Egyptian, Xiron, Hebrew, Samek; English X. Number, 15. Astrologically,
the planet Saturn. Color, blue. Tone, G. Occult science, weather predicting. Human
function, the physical body. Natural remedy, naturopathy. Mineral, lead.
X--15, expresses in the spiritual world, predestination.
In the intellectual world, mystery.
In the physical world, unseen fatality.
Remember, then, son of earth, that the most unprofitable thing in the world is
selfishness. Pride and rebellion but enchain the soul to lower spheres; but all trials
and misfortunes accepted with resignation to the supreme Will are an accomplished
progress bringing an eternal reward. If Arcanum XV should appear in the prophetic
signs of thy horoscope, cease to rely upon thy own power and wisdom and labor to
disengage thyself from pride and selfishness, which but bind thee to matter, mortality
and evil Fate.
In Divination, Arcanum XV may be read as Fatality or Black Magic.
Arcanum XV is figured by Typhon, genius of evil, standing triumphantly over the
ruins of a temple. In his right hand he holds a scepter surmounted by a circle resting
between two divergent bars. These spreading bars signify the inversive forces that
hem in and hamper the influence of spirit, represented by the circle. It is the emblem
of hatred and division.
In the other hand this creature holds the torch of destruction, whose blaze has been
applied to the ruins of the temple. He is crowned with flame to indicate he is not of
this world, and he has the wings of a bat, to indicate he is a denizen of the realm of
darkness. The horn on his nose signifies stubborn rebellion.
He has the breasts of a woman and the organs of a man, and is thus hermaphrodite,
emblem of self centeredness and a being devoid of love. The body is that of a hog, to
denote greed. The feet are those of a goat, to indicate the sign Capricorn, the home
sign of Saturn, or Satan; the sign most devoted to material ambitions. And the beings
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chained at the feet of this master of chaos also have goat heads, indicating that their
intelligence has been used exclusively to further material and selfish ambitions.
This malignant entity has the head of a crocodile, symbol of cruelty. The snake
emerging from his body, instead of from his brow, indicates the use of the creative
energy, not for enlightenment, but for physical gratification. It also represents
mediumship, rather than conscious control; for the chief center of power in
disintegrative mediumship is the solar plexus.
The two men with goat heads chained by the neck at the monster's feet represent the
certain fate that awaits all who use magical powers to attain selfish or purely material
ends. Sooner or later they become slaves of the very forces they have used, and are
finally completely destroyed in body and mind; and even after passing to the next
life, are chained by their evil deeds in the underworld.
All such evil entities, of this plane and the next, survive by preying on the ignorance
and credulity of others, as shown by the sign of sorcery they make with their hands.
They are racketeers and gangsters of both planes; and the ensemble, taken as a whole,
indicates both the bondage and the fate of those who follow the inversive path and
become dominated by the spirit of selfishness.
Number
--Numerically, 15 is the second decave of 6. Arcanum VI represents Trial and
Temptation, and Arcanum II, being negative, may bring a yielding to such
temptation to use invisible energies to gain personal ambitions at the expense of
others. 15, therefore, in this sense, is the number of black magic. 5 is the religious
hierophant, indicating the intellect dominating the elemental world. But adding 10
brings a change in fortune; and if this change of fortune precipitates the master from
his height, the 5 is reversed, and the elemental world dominates the intellect. Thus the
higher the station the farther the fall, and when such fall occurs, the exalted priest
becomes a prince of evil, and is then represented not by 5, but by 15.
Astrology
--I suppose, from a very extensive study of birth charts and the influence of
progressed planets in the lives of people, that the influence of the planet Saturn
coincides with at least one-half of the total of all human suffering and misfortune. He
is the planet of crafty selfishness, and, more than any other planet, seems to represent
inexorable fate. He well corresponds to Arcanum XV.
Human Function
--The physical body is man's universe of matter. It is the external vehicle through
which the soul gains experience and manifests its developing attributes. It should
always be governed by consideration of what actions, thoughts and feelings
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contribute most to universal progression. But, alas; all too often it is made merely the
seat of animal gratification and the organ by which to gain purely selfish ends. As the
most external of man's forms, and thus the least spiritual, the physical body
corresponds to the planet Saturn, and to Arcanum XV.
Alchemy
--Arcanum XV is the impure ingredients which must be eliminated in any type of
alchemy. In mental alchemy they are the discords which are annulled. In spiritual
alchemy they are the material effects as distinct from the influence on the character.
And in general this Arcanum represents the dross which rises to the surface of the
fluxed mixture as a skum, or excess slag, which must be skimmed off and cast aside.
Bible
--All the various references to Satan give us the picture of Arcanum XV. Thus,
Math. 8:31; "So the devils besought him, saying. If thou cast us out, suffer us to go
away into the herd of swine." So the forces obsessing these men passed into swine, or
were symbolized by swine, because of their greed. And their dashing down a steep
place to perish in the sea well depicts the condition and the end of those who are ruled
by selfishness; their affinity for evil forces precipitating them into frightful practices
that are supported by abandoned emotions, and which, sooner or later engulf them in
an ocean of misery.
Arcanum XV is also the star of religion inverted: Rev. 8:10; "And a third part of the
waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were
made bitter." That is, the emotions of men became corroded by selfishness.
Rev. 9:1; "And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the
earth; and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit, as the smoke of a great
furnace; and the sun and air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit." Thus is
described in accurate symbolism the slums and hells of the astral region, and the
works that emanate from these regions.
Some maintain that the inversive brethren can have no organization, but they are
certainly misinformed. These entities are, in truth, the racketeers and gangsters of the
life after death. Even on earth bandits and gangs have their organizations and their
leaders. And such parasites on society when they pass to the other side retain all their
evil propensities and their cunning. They are human beasts of prey, that hunt down
and try to destroy the defenseless.
Their chief method of getting victims is through having ideas widely accepted that
are untrue and which place people in their power. To get these ideas thus widely
accepted, they have recourse to thought dissemination, to the suggestive power of
repetition, to insinuations, to platitudes, and to inversions.
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Inversion is a method of presenting some idea in a manner that the lie is deeply and
inconspicuously concealed amid much truth. The more real the facts, and the more
widely they are recognized as facts, the better they afford cover for some cunning lie.
The inversive twist, by which the whole matter is made to appear to have a meaning
exactly the opposite of its true purport, is made to occupy so small a portion of the
whole presentation, and is so cunningly concealed by sophistical handling, that it
escapes the notice of all but the most acute. And this inversive twist--the
misinformation or misinterpretation--is so worded as to be subject to no direct and
simple test of accuracy. It is left as full of loopholes as possible, so that when one
presentation of the matter is proved to be a lie, it can be said that, after all, something
else was meant.
These inversions, having their origin in the astral hells by those who would prey upon
the credulity of the human race, are well symbolized by smoke arising from the pit to
darken the sun and air. And St. Paul recognized this invisible influence when he says,
Eph. 6:12; "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities,
against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual
wickedness in high places."
Masonry
--In the Past Master's degree, the power of the forces indicated by Arcanum XV are
represented by a riot when the candidate attempts to preside over the lodge and is
dethroned. The Secret Master's degree is represented by Arcanum XIV. But the
Master's Elect of Fifteen degree is indicated by Arcanum XV, in which the ruffians
who assassinated Hiram Abiff are overtaken and captured. They attempted to take
passage to Ethiopia, the dark underworld region, but were overtaken and paid the
penalty.
Magic
--In Magic, Arcanum XV indicates all those methods by which the selfish and evil
strive to gain control of others, to exploit them, and to make them their slaves. This
subject is elaborated in detail in Chapter 6 of Course 18, Imponderable Forces.
But here it is convenient only to point out that as soon as some religion, some political
doctrine, or some philosophy gains a goodly following, that the common course is
for it to fall into the hands of those who use it for their own selfish interests.
There are those on both planes who have powerful intellects, but no spirituality. They
are intelligent beasts of prey, having no sympathy, and no kindly feelings for others.
They are dominated by a greed for power, and permit nothing in heaven or earth to
stand in the way of their ambition.
By means of thought diffusion--by sending out powerfully charged thoughts, they
dominate weaker thoughts, and thus collect them as a snowball gathers in size as it
rolls down hill--they gain acceptance of certain ideas, which are utterly false, but
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which are advantageous to themselves. They worm themselves into the highest
positions of authority by showing power of leadership. And as soon as they reach a
position where they can do so they begin to betray their trust by warping ideas and
twisting truths, so that doctrines which were once spiritual and pure become the very
reverse of this.
Christianity at start boldly set out to renounce the sword, and to be purely socialistic
in its regard for money and property. But as soon as it gained sufficient following
those came into control who made it a religion whose followers are noted for seeking
power and worldly goods, and who carried, by means of torch and sword, their
religion into every land. With rifle bullets to back them they thrust the Christian
religion down the throats of weaker and less organized people the world over, and
made them trade for their merchandise, greatly to Christian profit. The missionaries
have been pioneers of trade, backed by soldiers, and later have been instruments for
keeping the doors of trade open.
The bloody crusades were for the purpose of establishing the religion of peace and
good will by means of the sword. And Christianity, as witnessed by the world wars,
continues to tolerate the murder of one nation by another. I am not commenting on
whether war is necessary, or whether the preachers did right in praying that God
would help their soldiers kill the enemy. I am merely pointing out, that right or
wrong, the original teachings of Christianity, as soon as the religion grew strong,
were twisted to mean just the opposite of their original intent.
Confucianism was originally merely an interpretation of the Tao, but it degenerated
into a political lever used to persecute those who followed other doctrines.
Mohammedanism was to abolish priests and rituals, but in after times these returned.
Buddhism now, having been practically driven from India, teaches many things
diametrically opposite to its early doctrines, and like Brahmanism in India, is a great
political power.
Perhaps no doctrine was ever concocted and forced on a people quite so successful in
keeping them servile and in despoiling them as Brahmanism and its caste system,
based on the doctrine of human reincarnation. Through investing the priesthood with
the authority to say what acts give good karma and what acts bad karma, and the
belief in its followers that bad karma is responsible for all the ills of life, and that
doing anything the priests forbid condemns the individual to suffer in the next human
incarnation, it places an absolute power in the hands of the priests which they use to
enslave the people while themselves living in luxury.
The effort is made also, in certain quarters, to discourage a belief in a self conscious,
progressive, enjoyable life after death. It is taught we must return to earth to gain
experience, over and over again. But the evidence of this inversion is too strong.
Thousands are proving for themselves that their loved ones still live in full
consciousness, and can, under specific conditions, yet communicate with those on earth.
But behind all these inversions, stands the cunning, destructiveness and selfishness
of those on both planes, who, in some manner, profit by confusing and deluding men.
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Initiation
--In the soul's pilgrimage Arcanum XV represents the meeting with the Dweller on
the Threshold.
This threshold dweller is Selfishness, and can only be overcome by a rigid
determination to live for the good of the whole and its progress, rather than for self.
When the individual decides, no matter where the path leads, to step only in the
direction of universal progress, to work only constructively, he meets the grim
dweller of the threshold.
You may be sure that racketeers and gangsters on either plane resent with
tremendous venom the rescue of victims from their clutches. Those who attempt to
enlighten their brethren, consequently, often suffer vile persecution.
Savanarola and other noble martyrs, were liberators of mankind from dark
ignorance, and paid for it with suffering. Martin Luther was not dreaming when he
threw his ink well at the devil; and he meant vastly more than appears on the surface
when he announced he married to please himself, to vex the Pope and spite the devil.
For where love is not, selfishness rushes in to fill the void; and ascetism, through
extinguishing the finer emotions, prevents the building up of spiritual strength.
Intellect alone can not build a spiritual body. It is feeling that creates. And the ascetic
crushes out the very emotions of sympathy and kindness, of love and devotion,
which otherwise would build an immortal vehicle for his soul.
Occult Science
--Weather predicting is the science of forecasting, chiefly by means of astrological
charts and positions, what weather will prevail on a given date. As influencing
weather, especially weather of severe character, the planet Saturn seems most
important. Therefore, this science corresponds to Arcanum XV.
Youth Court Cards
--The Youth of Scepters signifies a person ruled by the sign Sagittarius: benevolent,
free, jovial, quick tempered, energetic and fond of outdoor sports. Right way up it
denotes a Sagittarius man; reversed it indicates a Sagittarius woman. The dominant
idea is I SEE.
The Youth of Swords signifies a person ruled by the sign Capricorn: crafty, subtle,
reserved and avaricious. Right way up it denotes a Capricorn man; reversed it
indicates a Capricorn woman. The dominant idea is I USE.
The Youth of Coins signifies a person ruled by the sign Aquarius: witty,
argumentative yet amiable, artistic, humanitarian and fond of refined society. Right
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way up it denotes an Aquarian man; reversed it indicates an Aquarian woman. The
dominant idea is I KNOW.
The Youth of Cups signifies a person ruled by the sign Pisces: negative, timid,
listless, harmless, and much influenced by those about him. Right way up it denotes a
Pisces man; reversed it indicates a Pisces woman. The dominant idea is I BELIEVE.
The Lightning--Arcanum XVI
--Letter: Egyptian, Olelath; Hebrew, Ayin; English, O. Number, 16. Astrologically,
the planet Mars. Color, red. Tone, C. Occult science, Stellar Diagnosis and Stellar
Healing. Human function, the animal soul. Natural remedy, thermo-therapeutics.
Mineral, iron.
O--16, expresses in the spiritual world, the chastisement of pride.
In the intellectual world, the exhaustion of the mind which attempts to penetrate the
mystery of God.
In the physical world, the ruin of fortune.
Remember, then, son of earth, that only God is absolute. If Arcanum XVI should
appear in the prophetic signs of thy horoscope, reflect on the old oaks that have defied
the ravages of time and have finally been brought down after a century of immunity;
and think that thou too mayst be brought low at the very moment of thy great
arrogance by some unexpected blow.
In Divination, Arcanum XVI may be read as Accident or Catastrophe.
Arcanum XVI is figured by a pyramid decapitated by a thunderbolt. A crowned and
uncrowned man are precipitated from a platform built of seven stages, falling down
with the rest of the debris.
A pyramid is the most stable of solids, is the symbol of the earth, and also represents
the climax of earthly security. As composed of four trines, which are its sides,
corresponding to the houses of a birth chart, it symbolizes the horoscope of physical
life. From mineral up to man there are seven degrees of mundane life, the seventh, or
last stage of incarnation, being that of man. After one incarnation of man, and thus
gaining self consciousness, the soul continues its progress in higher-than-physical
spheres. Thus the platform on which the men were standing represents the last
incarnation in matter.
That the pyramid has been struck by lightning to the disaster of both a crowned and
an uncrowned man, symbolizes that Nature is no respecter of persons, and that she
strikes down both the high and the low, kings as well as subjects, who transgress her
law. It is also the symbol of those rivalries which are so common among men, which
divert energies into channels that result in ruin for all. It signifies sterile projects, ill
considered enterprises which are doomed to failure, ambitions which are frustrated,
and death by catastrophe. And it represents the false security which results from
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material success and the reliance upon purely material science, as well as the sure
punishment which is attracted ultimately by all those who use magical forces in the
attainment of selfish ends.
Number
--Numerically, 16 is the second decave of 7, and thus represented by Arcanum VII,
or complete physical union, used on the negative plane of Arcanum II. In this aspect
it indicates the power of sex to destroy, when actuated by any motive other than love.
Lust, selfish gratification with no care for the feelings of the other, union actuated by
desire for gain, and union in the practice of magic, all generate a force, but this force
is destructive in quality. Sex magic, in particular, generates a frightful force, but, as
indicated by 8 plus 8, in the end reacts on the user and brings to him a violent
punishment.
Astrology
--Astrologically, Mars is the planet of passion, of war, of violence, of accident, of
sudden destruction. As such it is well portrayed by Arcanum XVI.
Human Function
--A great deal is said in condemnation of the animal propensities that so frequently
crop out in the actions of men. But these animal propensities are merely men's most
valuable assets in a state of undevelopment. They should not be encouraged to
express their animal activities, it is true, yet without them to furnish energy, still
higher functions would have no power.
Nature has been at great pains to develop those qualities which lead to self
preservation and race preservation. These qualities are selfish, having been
developed through the struggle with other forms of life, for survival. But even though
they are, on the animal plane, self centered, and dedicated largely to the destruction
of enemies and the gaining of sustenance with no thought as to the consequence to
others, nevertheless, in order thus to preserve and provide for self and family,
creatures have developed initiative and an energy supply. This energy supply and
aggressiveness is the force behind the animal soul of man, to which Arcanum XVI
corresponds.
Yet without this animal energy man would have no force, would be able to
accomplish nothing. The animal propensities are the sole source of his energy, they
are the reservoir from which he must draw for any spiritual accomplishment.
Intellectual force may be on the plane of the animal, seeking selfish ends, or on the
plane of the spiritual, seeking good for all. But while man is still in the flesh, even
spiritual energy must draw its force from the volume of energy developed by the
animal; transmuting it merely, that is, diverting it from a selfish to an unselfish,
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purpose. Therefore, before there can be a vigorous divine soul, or a vigorous
spirituality, there is usually present a vigorous and active animal soul.
Alchemy
--In Alchemy, Arcanum XVI represents the heat of the reverberatory furnace. This,
on the mental plane, is supplied by feeling, the feeling of pleasure or pain. On the
spiritual plane it is supplied by a still higher type of feeling, by aspiration and
inspiration; and in its highest manifestation it arises from an insatiable longing to
assist to the highest possible degree in the advancement of the universe and the
happiness and joy of all forms of life.
Bible
--Elijah built an altar of twelve stones, represented by the four triangular sides of the
pyramid of life shown in Arcanum XVI. Kings, 18:38; "Then the fire of the Lord fell,
and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and
licked up the water that was in the trench." The fire is seen thus falling in the
Arcanum under consideration.
Sex magic also is mentioned in Revelations, and the destruction of all those who
follow such practices: "Mystery, Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots and
abominations of the earth." And, Rev. 16:18, "And there were voices and thunders,
and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were
upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great."
The great pyramids of Mexico, and those of the Mound Builders of the Mississippi
Valley, had a flat place on top, where a fire was built by a priest. Atlantis is reputed to
have been sunk in a single night by volcanic action and earthquake. Sodom and
Gomorrah perished by fire and brimstone, and the Tower of Babel, according to
Bible tradition, was never completed. And to still further clarify Arcanum XVI, it
may be repeated that those who take up the sword perish by the sword, that those who
seek to destroy others, themselves meet destruction.
Masonry
--In Masonry, the Master's Elect of Nine degree is based upon Arcanum XVI. We
find that Joabert steals ahead of the other pursuers, and discovering one of the
assassins of Hiram Abiff asleep, stabs him in the head and in the heart, then cuts off
his head and carries it home.
The 15 craftsmen who conspire to murder Hiram are represented by Arcanum XII.
Tubalcain represents the constructive attributes of the planet Mars, while Cain
represents the destructive side. Thus the three assassins of Hiram, and their
punishment, as well as the act of Cain, are symbolized by Arcanum XVI.
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Magic
--Arcanum XVI illustrates one of the most certain principles of magic, that any
destructive force sent against another, when the period of its orbit has been
completed, will return to inflict punishment upon the sender.
To send out an evil, or destructive, thought or force, a corresponding center, or point
of projection must be formed in the astral body. This nucleus of evil, or discord, itself
attracts influences of like quality, and thus ultimately brings misfortune upon the one
who projects such a force.
To fight an invisible force is but to increase its power, unless the source of it is
completely destroyed; for thinking about it in the act of fighting it keeps the person
tuned in on its vibratory rates. One can, of course, build a protection of cold
deflective armour about oneself, which will prevent the entry of such a force. Still
better, one can tune in on some entirely different interest so strongly that the invisible
energy is cut off, the receiver hung up. This is the safest of all methods.
But to start in to fight any individual, on any plane, by means of mental force, is
dangerous, and nearly always brings punishment. I do not mean that injustices
should be permitted. But that thought force, or magical energies, sent against
another, usually do as much damage in the long run to the one sending them, as to the
one against whom they are sent. Truth must be upheld, and the weak protected. But
not by using mental magic as a weapon.
Evil influences can not exist in an atmosphere of love and constructive effort, nor can
they penetrate into such a region. Therefore instead of sending out other discordant
vibrations in combat, evil forces should be ignored, and only constructive thoughts
built up and sent out. Such constructive efforts, together with the high energy
supplied by love, paralyze any force of evil; for it can accomplish nothing in such an
environment.
Initiation
--In the soul's pilgrimage, Arcanum XVI indicates that stage of development where
the neophyte finds himself called upon to protect those weaker than himself from the
influence of destructive psychic forces. But whether these forces are such as arise
from the practice of disintegrative forms of mediumship, or are those directly from
the inversive magi, either on earth or in the astral, he should obey the admonition of
the Bible to overcome evil with good. If he builds the things he desires, if he
constructs love and harmony, destructive forces can find no point of contact or
influence.
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Occult Science
--Stellar Diagnosis and Stellar Healing is the science of diagnosing from the birth
chart and progressed positions of the planets the nature of the disease, and of
applying the appropriate energies to the physical and astral bodies which will restore
harmony; for all disease is caused by discord. Such a discord is depicted by Arcanum
XVI.
The Wish Spread
--The wish spread, pictured on page 178, is used to determine if some wish will be
realized. First a card to represent the one making the wish is selected and placed face
up in the center of the spread.
The cards of the deck are then spread out, face down, and fifteen of them to be used in
this spread are selected at random. The other cards are then discarded.
The fifteen are shuffled and cut in the common routine manner, and dealt, one at a
time, face downward. Three go to the left of the central card, three above it, three to
the right of it, three below it, and three in the center on it.
To read, turn those over to the left--1--2--3, saying, "This is what surrounds you."
Then turn over and read those above--4--5--6, saying, "This is your wish."
Next turn over and read those at the right--7--8--9, saying, "This is what opposes
you."
Following which turn over and read those below--10--11--12, saying, "This is
what comes to your home."
And finally turn over and read those in the center--13--14--15, saying, "This is
what you will realize."
If the wish card--the 9 of cups--appears anywhere in the reading except in "This is
what opposes you," it is a sure sign that the wish, at least in part, will be realized. The
place where it falls will determine how soon it will come, the closer it is to card 1 the
sooner the matter will come to pass. But if the wish card--the 9 of cups--falls on 7, 8,
or 9, the desire will not be gratified, and the cards will show why.
When the wish card--the 9 of cups--fails to appear, if the cards are very favorable
the wish will come true, but if unfavorable, it will be denied. In either case the cards
by their different stations will indicate the details and show why the result is as
denoted.