"Before you upon the Altar is the Nineteenth Key of Tarot which symbolically resumes these ideas. The Sun has twelve principal rays which represent the twelve signs of the zodiac. They are alternately waved and salient as symbolizing the alternation of the masculine and feminine natures. These again are subdivided into the 36 Decanates or sets of ten degrees in the Zodiac, and these again are subdivided into 72, typifying the 72 Quinances or sets of five, and the 72-fold Name Schemhamphoresch. Thus the Sun embraces the whole creation in its rays.
"The seven Hebrew Yods on each side, falling through the air, refer to the solar influence descending. The Wall is the Circle of the zodiac, and the stones are its various degrees and divisions.
"The two children standing respectively on Water and Earth represent the generating influence of both, brought into action by the rays of the Sun. They are the two inferior and passive Elements, as the Sun and Air above them are the superior and active Elements of Fire and Air. Furthermore, these two children resemble the sign Gemini which unites the earthy sign of Taurus with the watery sign Cancer, and this sign was, by the Greeks and Romans, referred to Apollo and the Sun."
The Magickal Title of this card is the Lord of the Fire of the World. The path of the Sun runs between Hod and Yesod. It is "The Splendor of a Firm Basis. Mercury acting through the Sun upon the Moon." It is the first path of the Astral Triangle (the Personality) that the aspiring student confronts when scaling the Tree. The Yetziratic
Text calls this path the "Collecting Intelligence" because from it, astrologers deduce the judgement of the stars and the celestial signs (the zodiac). The zodiac exerts major influence and control over the formation of the character and personality of every human being. Thus on this path, the initiate begins to perceive the Higher factors which have formed his/her own personality.
The Sun path leads directly from Yesod, the Astral foundation behind all materialized forms, to Hod, the very seat of the intellect. The 30th Path is the conductor of the thought process or intellectual energy. Resh, the Hebrew letter given to this card means head, which further reveals its function as the "Collecting Intelligence," assembling information and experiences which the personality can use in its quest for something Higher. On this path, the initiate attempts to reconcile his God-given Mind with his animal body.
The Sun is the center of our world and the giver of light to the planet. Yet too much sun is harmful and can scorch the Earth. The double letter meaning of Resh is fertility/barrenness, an important lesson in balance when meditating on the Sun card.
The Sun here seen is orange, the color of the path of Resh. In its center is a head, face, or countenance (which comes from a Latin word meaning "to hold together"). The Sun holds life on our world together with its warming rays. Yet the face has no mouth, signifying the fact that humanity, for all its intellectual achievements, cannot communicate with the Divine Being through human speech. Language is far too inadequate to even describe a true spiritual experience. When communicating with the Higher Mind, no words are needed. The Sun has twelve rays, half of which are waved to symbolize vibration, and the other half salient to symbolize radiation. These are the two currents of feminine and masculine energy.
Two naked children (the Din and Doni of Gemini) are shown playing in a garden surrounded by a wall. The boy, standing upon Earth represents Taurus, while the girl dancing in the Water refers to Cancer. They also symbolize the purest enunciation of the male and female polarities in manifestation.
The wall is the circle of the zodiac which encloses the children and has influenced their very existence. It is also a barrier that keeps the children in the garden. Once they know how to use the knowledge given to them, they can climb over the wall. The zodiac is attributed to Chokmah, the Father behind the Son (or Sun). The falling Yods also allude to the influence of the Father and of the seven planetary energies descending into form. Five water flowers, along with five earth flowers, refer to the Tree of Life, the whole of Creation which the Sun embraces.
Interpretation in a Tarot Reading
Glory, Gain, Riches. Sometimes also arrogance. Display, Vanity, but only when with very evil cards.
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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.