Number: 8 Letter: n Cheth
Here again we see the queen of heaven in new attire and widi different attributes. She still wears her crown but under it is a red cap. This shows that she now has to work very hard widi her spirit. She penetrates everything with the power of the spirit in order to be just. The circle on the cap with the dot in the centre is the symbol of self-confidence. Now the queen of heaven has no wings. She does not need them; she no longer flies in boundless heaven but has climbed down to earth -into the world of activity - in order to dispense justice.
She is seated upon a mighty throne which provides her with a stable basis. On the back of the throne diere are eight yellow buttons - four to the right and four to the left - on a red background. They symbolise the number 8, the number of this tarot card. The number is also formed by placing one of the round scales on top of the other.
Her attire is rich in colours. The upper part of her bodice is red with a white border, the lower part is blue, which is also the colour of the lower half of her sleeves. She wears a red skirt, and over it an azure cloak with a green lining draped on her knees. As we know, red is invariably the symbol of spirituality, and blue the symbol of pure faith. The white border stands for the manifestation of the spirit through purity, the green lining for sympathy and benevolence to all living creatures. The upper half of her sleeves is made of yellow and green stripes revealing that she acts with benevolent intentions and wisdom.
In her right hand she holds a long sword, developed from the earlier sceptre. She rules no longer with her sceptre but with the sword of strife. She needs a weapon with which to enforce her decisions and judgement irresistibly and immutably. She often has to dispose of weighty problems with her sword as Alexander the Great had done with the Gordian knot. At the same time this sword is the queen's power of discrimination enabling her to separate the sheep from the goats. The sword is the discernment with which justice, having weighed every thought, word and deed, distinguishes the right in man from the wrong, eliminating the latter from his nature. In her left hand the queen of heaven holds a pair of scales which she uses to weigh everything that enters her sphere. The great question is whether she finds a thing too heavy or too light, accordingly keeping it or letting it fall.
Having attained self-confidence at the level of the conqueror, man must finally, at the level of justice, establish order in his inner being. Until now he has directed his attention outwards and cast the impressions of life, without examining whether diey were right or wrong, partly into his inner being, partly into his unconscious, as if into a large vessel. Now he has reached the stage where he must create order in himself. He fetches up memories from his unconscious to his conscious mind, and weighs the smallest impressions to find out whether they deserve to be absorbed or whether they must first be digested. He must create a balance for everything he bears within in order to find the absolute equilibrium in himself. If he discovers painful memories which still hurt him, he must find an explanation to balance out these memories so that he now sees them only as instructive experiences. He can even be pleased about them, because these painful experiences helped him to make great progress. He raises the image of all his friends and foes to his consciousness and tries to find out why he feels friendly towards one and hostile towards another. This kind of inner work can yield strange results. It was often precisely through his enemies rather than through his friends -who were perhaps not his real friends at all - that he learned and experienced and became more shrewd, prudent and wise. His enemies did not spare him, they often told him the objective truth to his face. His friends, on the other hand, did not want to hurt him and, purely out of false consideration and love, passed over his obvious mistakes in silence. Yet he will also find that he has had some real, true friends in his life, who also told him his mistakes or errors to his face, but nevertheless always stood by him. He now appreciates these true friends more than ever and will henceforth cherish them in his heart, in his grateful soul.
In the course of this work on himself in his inner being, something strange happens to him in the outer world. Previously, at the level of consciousness of tarot card 7, he was generally admired; many people came to him to ask his advice. Many came to question him about inner, spiritual matters. Many wanted to learn from him. Thus at that time he was like a magnet surrounded by seekers. Now that he has become uncompromising with himself as well as with others, the number of those who ask his advice, who want to hear his truths and learn from him, has significantly decreased. At the seventh level he had not yet learned discretion, nor did he know-that one must not freely impart each and every truth to immature men. Thus many people found him hard, devoid of understanding and unfeeling. Instead of prudently keeping silence, he grew less forbearing and stated his views unsparingly. This uncompromising frankness caused a certain estrangement between himself and those who could not fully understand him and the motives for his actions. The more skilled he grew at distinguishing the right from the wrong, the fewer were those who admired him and who were always in agree ment with him. Of his once large circle there remained but a few like-minded friends. In addition to this, he had weighed up everything in himself, recognised and realised his previously unobserved mistakes. That is why he grew more modest and felt less superior to others. Many had misunderstood this: his new modesty, growing out of his objectivity, the very sign of his inner greatness, they exploited in order to criticise and belittle him. Now, however, in his present state of consciousness, recognition by others is no longer as important to him as it used to be. His vanity has dwindled to such an extent that the approval of his inner voice, the voice of his higher Self, has become much more important to him than the acknowledgment and praise of the circle around him. Thus he continues along the chosen path and goes on working in and on himself,
Man therefore creates a general order within himself, tries to weigh up everything correctly and to perceive the true value of his experiences. He proceeds systematically and with method, and out of the chaos which formerly prevailed in him he establishes a divine order. He registers all his experiences up to the present time and allots to each of them its proper place according to its true weight in his inner being. All that he has ever done or left undone he subjects to a merciless reckoning. And he realises that he should have done many things he did not do, and should not have done many things he did do. He continues to weigh things up: 'That was the right thing to do, but I should not have done that.' He makes an irrevocable decision:' Next time I shall do everything much, much better! May God grant me the opportunity to do so!'
Tarot card 8 carries the number 8 and the letter cheth.
The number 8 is the self-reflecting and thereby self-dupli-cating divine circle, the symbol of the eternal spirit. If we place the circle on a mirror, we see the number 8. The spirit, the only absolute reality, is reflected in the material world of visions. It manifests itself in the material, subjectively real, and therefore transient, world. In Creation this process is without beginning or end, it is endless, and for that reason madiematicians have chosen this sign as the symbol of infinity. They draw it in a horizontal position so that we know it is not an ordinary 8. Just as the 8 runs on in itself from one circle over into another and in the same direction into infinity, so man circles out of his unconscious into consciousness, bringing out of the former into the latter long-since-forgotten and possibly repressed experiences. He weighs up the retrieved experiences, registers and judges them, until, out of the chaos, he has created order in his inner being. He learns that everything he apparently experiences in the external world, thus his entire fate, does not come from outside but exists within himself. If he does not like his fate, then he must change himself. Fate will then let him experience those things he will like.
In Greek mythology we are told the beautiful story of Narcissus. He caught sight of himself in the reflecting water and since he did not know that he himself was this beautiful image, he returned time and again to the water to look at the handsome stranger. Thus it is with man and his fate in the external world. He does not know that it is only a reflection of his Self, of his spirit. Therefore: the number 8 is the reflection of the eternal spirit in the world of visions, in the imaginary world, in the material world.
In the Cabbala, the letter cheth corresponds to the eighth sefirah: Hod means praise and splendour.
Tarot Card g
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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.