"Before you upon the Altar is the 18th Key of Tarot which symbolically resumes these Ideas. It represents the Moon with four Hebrew Yods like drops of dew falling, two dogs, two towers, a winding path leading to the Horizon, and in the foreground, water with a crayfish crawling through it to the land.
"The Moon is in its increase on the side of Mercy, Gedulah, and from it proceed sixteen principal and sixteen secondary rays, which make 32, the number of the Paths of Yetzirah. She is the Moon at the feet of the Woman of Revelations, ruling equally over the cold and moist natures and the passive elements of Earth and Water. It is to be noted that the symbol of the sign is formed of two lunar crescents bound together. It thus shows the lunar nature of the sign. The dogs are the Jackals of the Egyptian Anubis, guarding the Gates of the East and of the West, shown by the two towers between which lies the Path of all the heavenly bodies ever rising in the East and ever setting in the West. The crayfish is the sign Cancer and was anciently the Scarabeus or Khephra, the emblem of the Sun below the Horizon as he ever is when the Moon is increasing above. Also, when the Sun is in the sign Pisces the Moon will be well in her increase in Cancer as shown by the crayfish emblem."
The Magickal Title of this card is the Ruler of Hux and Reflux, the Child of the Sons of the Mighty. The path of the Moon runs between Malkuth and Netzach. It is the "Victory of the Material. Venus acting through Pisces upon the Cosmic Elements, deceptive effect of the apparent power of Material Forces." The Hebrew letter attributed to this path is Qoph, which means the back of the head just as Resh (the Sun) is the head. Thus the Moon card symbolizes that which is behind the head—the Subconscious. On this path, the Initiate must face all the phantoms that he has repressed and pushed into "the back of his head." Known as the Corporeal Intelligence which forms every body, it is also a very sexual path, full of animal lusts and fantasies. This path is a glyph of the Lower Astral, overflowing with illusions and ghosts; where Darkness rules by night, just as the Sun has ruled by day. On this path, the Initiate learns not to fear the dark, but to examine it carefully, and wait for its natural conclusion ... the rising of the Sun.
In the New Golden Dawn Ritual Tarot deck, two dogs are shown, baying and growling at the Moon. Two deserted towers are behind them, upon which are painted the two aspects of Anubis (God of the Underworld). Anubis of the East and Anubis of the West guard the Gates to the Hall of Truth. When confronted by these fearsome Guards, the student asks the question "Should I go now, or wait for the sun to rise?" From the Primal Waters, a crayfish starts up the winding road of evolution... alluding to the progression of physical forms. A crayfish is a low form of animal life, thus it represents low-level consciousness. It seeks the path of growth, which leads out of the darkness and into the Light.
The Moon is waxing on the side of the Pillar of Mercy. A face is seen in its center which is half light and half dark; it is a synthesis of all Moon gods and goddesses. Four Yods are falling from the Moon to the Earth, which refer to the Four Worlds—four hands to help the Initiate along this difficult path. The background color is red-violet, the color of the path of Qoph, while the landscape is the flashing
68 / The New Golden Dawn Ritual Tarot color of greenish yellow.
Dissatisfaction, voluntary change (as opposed to Death). Error, lying, falsity, deception. (The whole according whether the card is well or ill-dignified, and upon which it much depends.)
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The pathology of the poet says that the undevout astronomer is mad the pathology of the very plain man says that the genius is mad and between these extremes, which stand for ten thousand analogous excesses, the sovereign reason takes the part of a moderator and does what it can. I do not think that there is a pathology of the occult dedications, but about their extravagances no one can question, and it is not less difficult than thankless to act as a moderator regarding them.