Posts Tagged ‘Aleister Crowley’

In The Beginning . . .


O¡  The Fool!  Such a sublime symbol for any beginning, The Fool of the Tarot unequivocally must be the first Key of the Tarot.  However, The number attributed to this Key is Zero.  Zero being that which precedes manifestation as its glyph reflects that primordial symbol of the Cosmic Egg.  With no beginning or end, it is infinity, ultimate potentiality, The Universe contained therein.

I have been folding my body for years and fumbling through pages of books for longer.  I was told to write more than once, and I have talked about it even longer still, without writing a single word.  I have set sail on many different paths in my short years and they have all worked their magic on me in their own ways, along with so many other things, to make me who I am today.  They tore at boundaries in my psyche and chiseled away the build-up of societal conditioning (and there is so much further to go).  I now find myself not unlike a canvas, albeit a slightly blemished one, but nonetheless a blank canvas.

The Fool is all about the Journey, referred to by the Western Occult tradition as The Great Work; because it is work.  Although, it is The Fool who whistles while he works.  One may then wonder why this path should be chosen.  What would make it so different from any of the others? All other ways have so far proven to be desolate and barren roads, or some, which are full of nourishment for a soul and gratification for so many, still seem to reach a wall within my inner recesses.  In my humble opinion, no philosophy should postulate a finality or ultimatum of any sort, but should move continuously, evolving and circling endlessly just as life itself.  I have studied and stewed with these thoughts at great length and discovered that it is exceedingly the most perfect epitome of a syncretic tradition.  All previous roads seem to be made unobstructed through it.  I resign to say that it all seems to come back to a belief, that for me, has to do with how deep transcendent experiences are not only reserved for those who have by some chance been left with no worldly responsibilities or who have chosen to renunciate them.  Also worthy of these Ordeals and just as capable of deriving the same merit from them, is the individual who is in his world, willfully, accumulating responsibilities and becoming are real part of it.  This is further expounded upon by commenting on what was set forth when the eight Brethren of the claimed original Fraternity of the Rosie Cross had dispersed into different  far off countries.  At that time, these men made a small six part agreement.  The second article states that,

“None of the Posterity should be constrained to wear one certain kind of habit, but therein to follow the custom of the Country.” [Fama Fraternitatis]

I have read enough to know that these Masters never chose a single word lightly and all things were truly intended to have meaning and power on multiple dimensions.  I intuit an assertion that this also refers to something else common throughout the Western Occult tradition.  This is to embrace the life you have been given and soar to great heights, building oneself up from its framework and not from that belonging to any other.   This is not unlike how the extravagant garb of The Fool does not simply represent how he dresses, but even more so, his personality and all his material works; those otherwise insignificant as well as those which are life-long.

The Naught

When we look into the Qabalah (the sacred mathematical system of correspondences and mysticism of Jewish origin from which the Tarot is derived), we find that this elusive concept of the Zero is shrouded  in what we call the Triple Veil of the Negative.  I posit that it is less a shrouding and more of a clothing, as if to adorn an invisible man.  The man himself remains concealed, but the clothing reveals to us the shape of it by explaining the process our mind goes through as we perceive this Non-Thing that seems to always in someway defy any language.

We begin with אין (Ain) or Nothingness; a nihility that goes beyond the absence of Some-Thing.  This comes even before the idea of the Some-Thing has arisen, a world devoid of desire.  Then immediately, following in our sequence of logic, we realize how absurd this truly is and that No-Thing undeniably must infer the existence of a Thing that is not there.  How fitting it is that The Fool be the symbol for such baffling conceptions.  And so this Nothingness becomes the container for which this Thing could reside.  This Space is the canvas having been prepared by the painter, having been created in me and is the blog, yet to be filled with my Mercurial ruminations.  This container, this second veil is the אין סוף (Ain Soph) or Limitless Nothingness.  The third and final veil is revealed as we look into this space, filling it with the Light of Awareness.  אין סוף אור (Ain Soph Aur) or Endless Light is as the fruit of The Great Work, the canvas painted, the blog filled with words; remembering that any whole is far more than the sum of its parts.

However, Zero is in actuality much more than Nothingness.  For it not only resides at the beginning of all things, but also in between the numbers, we find the Zero hiding. Furthermore, Zero, in its extension, signifies magnitude.  Just place any number of Zeros subsequent to an integer of your choosing and see for yourself.  Further still, when we are finished counting; when all is done and death comes, there again we are left with Zero.  Therefore, the Zero is existing within all times, throughout it and by that, beyond it.  Is this not akin to super-consciousness, an awareness not bound by the common chains of time and space? Here it becomes inextricably linked with the ultimate attainment of The Great Work described by Israel Regardie as the bringing down of the Godhead into over manifestation.  As it is written,

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” [Genesis 1:27]

And so we find that the fool represents The Great Work in its entirety just as the The Fool contains within it all of the following Keys of the Tarot and as the seed contains the tree with all of its springtime effulgence.

And a mighty wind blew . . .

Lastly, I will mention another primary attribution of The Fool in the element of Air.  Although I seemed even to myself to be one of the last persons that would quote the Bible, I implore you to indulge me once more.

“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” [Genesis 2:7]

Air is how this Journey begins and there are many cognates throughout the mythologies of antiquity.  Aleister Crowley spoke of the Egyptian vulture-goddess Maut who became impregnated by the Spirit of the Wind.  The Vulture has for many centuries been a symbol for renewal and purification by uncommon means.  The Vulture is also the first character of Egyptian Hieroglyphics just as א (Aleph), also corresponding to the element Air and attributed to The Fool of the Tarot, is the first letter in the Hebrew alphabet.  We can follow this thread etymologically all they way into Europe, when the Tarot was more prominent in society and beautiful decks were in existence throughout the realm.  Among a myriad of terms for fools, jesters and madmen, we find on the Tarot decks ‘Il Matto’ in Italian and ‘Le Mat’ in French.

The Occultists of the past few centuries define the principle of Air as the first-born son of the paternal elements of Fire and Water.  It is the mediator of the two.  As the Emotional Intelligence of the cool and wet Mother balances the ceaseless transformative energy of the hot and dry Father, Air arises and turns the eternal transformation of the Father into evolution and progress.  Air signifies all gases, moving and mixing freely, denoting community.  Again here, I am reminded and inspired by the blog, through which we share knowledge, experiences and revelations and those temporal and spatial chains are again overcome.

Final Statement

I know that in naming my blog The Fool and then explaining him thus, I imply lofty goals and an immense depth to my blog.  I hold fast to never aiming low.  However, I do not wish to misrepresent myself as an illumined master.  I am an ordinary man, not rich.  I work a lot, have a family and possess very little time to waste.  I suffer from procrastination, I avoid confrontation and subject myself to a great many other human afflictions.  I know many will find this blog foolish and thus see me as a fool, but this is an integral part of the symbology.  I say, who has greater strength of character than he who rises every morn only to be laughed at incessantly, and that, only if he is good at what he does?  The Fool is always rewarded for is foibles and in the end it is he who takes the last laugh, even unto Death.  Or then again, maybe he is just a fool . . .

Daniel. 93.

“The joy of life consists in the exercise of one’s energies, continual growth, constant change, the enjoyment of every new experience. To stop means simply to die. The eternal mistake of mankind is to set up an attainable ideal.” [Aleister Crowley]


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