The Four Sixes The Four Princes

□ The Sacrificed Gods

□ Consciousness of the Higher Self and of the Greater Masters

□ The Vision of the Harmony of Things

□ Healing and Redemption

□ The Elemental Kings

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Symbols: The Calvary Cross, the Rose Cross, the Truncated Pyramid, the Cube, Vau. Planet: The Sun Color: Yellow

In Kether is the Radix of a Golden Glory and thence is there a pure, primitive and sparkling, gleaming golden yellow which is reflected into Tiphareth. This is the first reflected Triad completed. And the sphere of its operation is that of Shemesh, the Solar Light, and bestoweth Life, Light and Brilliancy in metallic matter, and it ruleth the sphere of action and of the Sun. And YHVH Eloah va-Daath is a God of Knowledge and Wisdom, ruling over the Light of the Universe; and its Archangel is Raphael, the Prince of Brightness, Beauty and Life. And the Name of the Order of Angels is Melechim, that is Kings or Angelic Kings, who are also called the Order of Virtues, Angels and Rulers.

The initiation of Tiphareth is the first of the greater initiations into the meaning of the Self. Here the individual encounters his own Higher Self, and sacrifices his personality, that which he has hitherto believed to be himself. And while this description may appear glib, the initiation of Tiphareth is literally a losing of what one has known to be life, a sacrifice of that life for a greater reality. This is the real meaning of the passage: "For whosoever shall save his life shall lose it; and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it."81 A sacrifice, in these terms does not mean the relinquishment of something much desired, rather, it is what has been described as the "translation of force from one form to another." This is a translation of force directed by the Will.

Once more, nothing on the Tree of Life is static. God grows, unlike exoteric Christianity where, at its most primitive fundamentalist level, existence is viewed as a simple dichotomy between good and evil, the Qabalah describes a Universal Energy (The One) which goes through varying conditions. We, ourselves, through a natural process of evolution, become different gods in turn, and sacrifice one principle to another.

Tiphareth is the center of the Tree of Life and, as such, is called the "Mediating Intelligence." The powers of all the other Sephiroth flow into it, where they stand balanced and sanctified. The vision of Tiphareth is of the Universal Harmony, a vision also linked to its nature as a healing center where all is brought into harmonious interworking. It is the center, also, of the Planets. In the Hexagram, each of the six points represents a planet (and a planetary Sephira), with the Sun at the middle of the figure (Figure 16).

Tiphareth is the Light of the Soul, on which the life of the Soul depends. In the same way, the physical manifestation of Tiphareth, the Sun, provides the light and life support for the earth.

Throughout all serious esoteric writings, the term Light repeatedly appears, and it may seem that this is a metaphor about the Spiritual condition. But reference to Light is not metaphorical; it is descriptive. Those with even minimal experience of the inner worlds will attest to the fact that much of the inspired literature of the East and West, interpreted by theologians as merely symbol, is a strikingly accurate description of spiritual experience.

Tree Life Planets
Figure 16. Attribution of Planets to the Hexagram. Planetary angles are attributed according to the Tree of Life. The Supernals are represented by Saturn, which is related to Binah.

The search for direct experience of this Light is the "Great Work" of the Personality in incarnation, and devotion to the Great Work is the virtue assigned to Tiphareth. The principle involved is that when the individual man improves himself in some way, that improvement works to the benefit of the entire human race. Moreover, as it was put by the Egyptian astronomer Ptolemy, in his Centiloquy: "A sagacious mind improves the operation of the heavens as a skillful farmer, by cultivation, improves nature."82 Ultimately, the Great Work is the work of return to the Godhead from which the Universe emanated.

To deal with the mysteries of Tiphareth, one must first have undergone the initiations of Earth, Air, Water and Fire (Malkuth, Yesod, Hod and Netzach, respectively). No matter how a religious or esoteric cultus, whether Christianity, Buddhism or Qabalism, may describe the various component parts of the Personality, or the initiation of the four lower Sephiroth, an integration must be undergone before the descent of the Light which is God the Son. This integration is a personal atonement for the Fall. In Tiphareth is the Redemption.

As the Spirit in Tiphareth is King over the four Elemental aspects which are the Personality, so the rulers of the actual Elemental Kingdoms of Earth, Air, Water and Fire are found in Tiphareth. These are the Malachim, elementals who are Kings over the other elements because they have gained immortality. This occurs only through the intervention of human beings. Man is, in fact, the initiator of the Elementals.

There is another very common biblical reference which takes on an extraordinary meaning when interpreted in Qabalistic terms: "Except ye be converted and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven."83 Entering the Divine Light of Tiphareth is a renewal, a "conversion," or a "turning around," as the Greek word is often translated. The result of the experience is to become a child in a new world. So, The Child (which will, by definition grow into manhood within the new experience) is attributed to Tiphareth. Tiphareth is the Child who grows to adulthood and takes Malkuth (our material earth) as his bride. At the same time, Chokmah and Binah themselves were produced by the Will of the Eternal Father in Kether. Thus Tiphareth, on the Middle Pillar, the Pillar of Equilibrium, is God the Son.

Readers who encountered this idea for the first time, as it related to the Court cards in An Introduction to the Golden Dawn Tarot, may have found it an appealing fairy tale: The King and Queen marry and give birth to a Prince, who marries the Princess, etc. But this is not mere fancy, it is an anthropromorphic symbolism explaining the operation of the n 1 n* wherever it appears. Tiphareth is the Prince, the Vau, of the formula.

But Tiphareth is also the realm of the Sacrificed Gods, Christ, Buddha, Osiris and others. So we understand that the Prince must die in order that the Universal Cycle be renewed.

There are a number of key symbols related to Tiphareth, of which the first is a figure based on six. This is the Cube, a form taken twice-over in the double cube altar of Malkuth. Another six-sided figure, attributed to the Sephira, is the Pyramid which is truncated or, in essence, has its top cut off. This pyramid represents Adam Kadmon, the six lower Sephiroth. It is the Archetypal Man, above whom are the Heavenly Supernals, Binah, Chokmah and Kether. The Supernals are the completion of the pyramid.

Another important Tiphareth symbol is the Calvary Cross, properly shown as black, surrounded by a circle, and mounted on three steps. This is the Cross of Wisdom through Sacrifice. The Rose Cross and Rose Cross Lamen are also powerful Tiphareth symbols.

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Responses

  • susanne
    Why is the tarot card the sun called the prince of heaven?
    4 years ago

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