Involution and Evolution of Numbers
CCORDING to Hermetic Science there are 10 planets in the chain. But
because it is a chain, the tenth planet (Pluto) not only closes the previous
sphere of influence, but also commences a new gamut. That is, Pluto is a
repetition, on a higher scale of existence, of the same influence as thatexerted by the Moon; but in addition to being a higher expression of the influence of
the Moon it serves an additional function as an influence of transition to an entirely
new phase of existence. Neglecting this cycle-closing function represented by Pluto,
there are 9 root planets.
These 9 root planets, however, express themselves also by virtue of overtone
qualities, in keys that are denoted by the 12 zodiacal signs, in addition to the
transition function of Pluto. Thus the principle expressed by Mars, expresses also in a
distinctive manner through two other key influences, the sign Aries and the sign
Scorpio; and the principle expressed by the Sun expresses in another key influence,
through the sign Leo. But the number of such key influences is not unlimited, as
shown by the fact that all things which we are able to discern can readily be correlated
to one of 22 distinctive keys. That is, everything we contact corresponds to one of the
ten planets or twelve Zodiacal signs. This we can prove by observing how a thing is
influenced by astrological forces.
The system of numbers in common use is likewise based upon ten fundamental
principles, the tenth influence closing the cycle, and starting a new gamut of
existence. The 0 shows the completion of the cycle, or circle, and the 1 indicates that
the first influence has been carried to a new plane, or phase of being. Thus either with
planetary influences or with numbers, we work with 10 separate characters, but there
are only 9 root influences.
Any number above 9 is merely one of the root numbers, to which 9 has been added a
given number of times. This adding multiples of 9 to some number is called
Theosophical Evolution, not because it derives from any particular group of people,
but because Theosophy means Divine Wisdom, and because in its particular
function, the number 9 is the key to Divine Wisdom in so far as numbers and cycles
Due to this peculiar function of the number 9, when a number higher than 9 is given,
instead of dividing it by 9 repeatedly until a remainder less than 10 results and thus
obtaining its root, the same result may be obtained merely by repeatedly adding the
digits of the number until there is but a single digit. That is, the adding of the digits is
but a short-cut method of dividing the number by 9. Because this use of the key of
Divine Wisdom, 9, to find the root of the number, is the reverse of Theosophical
Evolution, it is called Theosophical Involution.
Dealing thus with numbers, we are considering mere abstractions. But when man
thinks of a number, a name, or anything else, his thought is not an abstraction, but a
definite astral vibration radiating outward. The astral counterparts of objects also
radiate definite astral vibrations. And astral vibrations, as well as physical vibrations,
and those electromagnetic vibrations known as light and radiant heat, have an
influence upon the things they contact.
The tones of musical instruments are other vibrations with which we are even more
familiar, and which have many parallels to the astral vibrations of thought. For even
as a musical composition has a key, so every train of thought has its key, and
influences its surroundings according to this key vibration. And each simple thought
is a definite vibratory rate of astral substance, just as each musical tone is a definite
vibratory rate of physical substance.
Now with physical tones, if the vibration is increased to a certain degree, the same
sound repeats itself on a higher level. Raising the vibration still more causes the tone
to be produced on each of many higher levels. We commonly call each of these
higher levels an octave expression of the tone, because it was customary to use the
diatonic scale in which the interval between one tone level and the next was divided
into seven divisions, so that the eighth (octave meaning eight) repeated the tone on a
In the chromatic scale, however, the interval is divided into twelve tones, illustrated
by the 7 white keys and the 5 black keys of a piano, the 13th expressing the octave.
The Chinese have a reed instrument in which the interval is divided into 5 equal parts,
certain Indians use a scale of 6 equal parts, the Siamese use a tone scale of 9, and
certain Moravians use a scale of 24. Thus it will be seen that the interval between a
tone on one level and the same tone (commonly referred to as an octave) on another
level is variously divided by different people.
Now a thought has a vibratory quality very similar to a tone, except that it expresses
in high-velocity substance, that is, in astral substance, and a thought can be sounded
on different levels, just as a tone can thus be sounded. But it has been found
convenient, and more in conformity to natural principles, to divide the interval
between one thought-tone level and the next, not into 7, but into 9 divisions, so that
the 10th shall express the same tone on the next higher level. Therefore, instead of
calling the interval between a fundamental thought and its expressions on the next
higher level an octave, we call it a decave (decave meaning ten). The word DECAVE
has been coined, and will hereafter be used, to express the vibratory levels of thought
and astral substance.
In the notation, analysis, and charting of thoughts as vibratory tones, therefore, we
have 9 root tones. But even as in music overtones play an important part both in
composition and in the effect produced, so with thought-tones, there are peculiar
overtone effects that make it necessary to employ not merely 9 fundamental
characters to express accurately all thought-effects; but to consider as distinct factors
certain dominant overtone effects that observation shows to occur in the levels just
above the 9 root tones. Thus to chart a train of thoughts it may be necessary to employ
as many as 22 different characters.
When the string of a musical instrument is sounded the string not merely vibrates as a
whole, giving rise to the tone, but it also divides itself into two equal segments, each
of which tends to give forth a sound; into three equal segments, each of which tends
to give forth another tone; into four equal segments, each of which tends to give forth
still another tone, and so on. These tones produced by the smaller string divisions are
called overtones, and are utilized in musical composition.
Certain musical instruments encourage certain overtones and discourage others, and
thought-vibrations, likewise, produce specific overtone effects.
But because thought-tones are vibratory rates in high-velocity substance, we cannot
follow the comparison with physical vibrations into too great detail. University
scientists, through innumerable experiments conducted under strict test conditions,
have demonstrated conclusively that on the inner plane, distance and gravitation
each are of a different order than they are on the outer plane. And astrology indicates
that inner-plane weather affects the individual, not merely according to his
inner-plane constitution, but through certain time-space relationships. Astrological
energies, in their various combinations, constitute the inner-plane weather.
There are inner-plane weather conditions that affect groups, cities, nations and world
affairs, and through these influence each individual in the group, city, nation or
world. But the chief weather conditions affecting an individual are restricted to him.
In addition to the more general astrological weather conditions, each has his own
individual inner-plane weather. Such personal weather is mapped by major
progressions, minor progressions and transit progressions.
Also it has been found that with a thought-vibration the overtone quality is dominant
from tone 1 up to tone 22, and not only any one of the 9 root-tones, but any one of the
22 types of thought-vibration, can express its individuality on a higher vibratory
level or DECAVE.
Thus, in considering not merely thought-vibrations, but character-vibrations and
astrological-vibrations, because these are all inner-plane vibrations, we can not
confine ourselves merely to 9 root tones, but, due to the peculiar overtone properties
of astral vibratory rates, we must give full tone value to 22 different qualities, which
we shall, for convenience, call KEYS.
Every thought, every train of thought, every individual, every influence from the
firmament and every force in nature, therefore, because its astral nature is thus tuned,
vibrates to one of these 22 Keys.
And because each of the 22 key-tones may sound on various higher vibratory levels,
or Decaves, in order to find the key to which the thought of a number, for instance,
vibrates, it is necessary to reduce or involve it, by subtracting multiples of 9.
To thus apply the number of Divine Wisdom properly to obtain the Key of the
number, the digits of the number are added together, and the digits of the number so
obtained are added together again, and so on, until a number is obtained which is less
than 23. This number is the Key of the number considered.
Thus to find the Key, or vibratory thought-rate, of the number 1932 we simply add 1
plus 9 plus 3 plus 2, which gives 15 as its thought-tone quality.
Now the Key itself is the first Decave of a number. The second decave is obtained by
adding 9. In this case the second decave is 15 plus 9 which equals 24. The third
decave of a number is obtained by adding two times 9, in this case giving 33. But due
to the peculiar overtone properties of astral vibratory rates, the Key of 24 and 33 is
not 15, but 6. Yet when we add six times 9 to 15 we get 69, the Key of which is 15,
because in this number the overtone effect again becomes dominant.
From the above it will be seen that the way to find the decave in which the key is
sounded is to subtract the key from the number and divide by 9; and then because the
key itself is the first decave, to add 1 to the number thus found.
Thus 1932 minus 15 gives 1917. 1917 divided by 9 gives 213. That is, 9 has been
added to 15 just 213 times to get 1932. But as 15 itself is the first decave, to get the
number of the decave we must add 1 to 213, which gives us 214. This means that the
thought-vibration is 15 sounded on the 214th vibratory level.
Now if we desire to get the Key of the Decave, which we use only for divinatory
purposes, we merely add 2 plus 1 plus 4, which gives 7.
15 itself has a root, obtained through adding its digits–1 plus 5 gives 6 as the root.
But from a vibratory-tone standpoint the Key is the important thing.
The ROOT is a number below 10.The KEY may be any number below 23.
The DECAVE is the number of times 9 has been added to the Key plus 1, this 1 being
the first Decave, which is occupied by the Key.
The Key of the Decave is found by using the Decave as a number and finding its key
in the ordinary way.
When, therefore, we add the digits of a number together, let us not believe this is
some arbitrary method of finding its significance; but understand that we are
proceeding according to correct mathematical principles to find what number, as a
Key number, has been raised to a higher level by adding to it multiples of 9.
And when we find the Decave of the number let us bear in mind that the number itself
is on the first decave, and that to it has been added 9 a certain number of times. The
number thus expresses a certain decave of a Key number, just as a musical tone
sounded on a higher octave expresses itself as a tone which has been raised by
multiples of 7.
Isis Unveiled–Arcanum III
–Letter: Egyptian, Gomer; Hebrew, Gimel; English, G. Number, 3. Astrologically
the zodiacal sign Libra. Color, the lighter shades of yellow. Tone, high E. Occult
science, spiritual alchemy. Human function, the sense of feeling. Natural remedy,
such herbs as white rose, strawberry, violet, water-cress, primrose, heartsease, balm,
pansy and lemon-thyme. Mineral, the talismanic gem, diamond; and such stones as
white quartz, white spar and white marble.
G–3, expresses in the spiritual world, supreme power balanced by eternally active
intelligence and absolute wisdom.
In the intellectual world, the universal fecundity of being.
In the physical world, nature in labor, the germination of acts, which must hatch from
Remember, then, son of earth, that to affirm what is true and will what is just, is
already to create it; to affirm and will the contrary is to vow oneself to destruction. If
Arcanum III should appear in the prophetic signs of thy horoscope, hope for success
in thy enterprises provided thou knowest how to unite the activity which fecundates,
to that rectitude of mind which will make thy works bear fruit.
In Divination, Arcanum III may be read briefly as Marriage or Action.
Arcanum III is figured by a woman seated within a radiant sun. The rays from this sun
number thirty, the number of degrees in one zodiacal sign. The woman is crowned
with twelve stars, to represent the twelve signs through which the sun passes each
year. Her feet rest upon the moon, symbol of the feminine in nature. And the cube
upon which she sits represents the cross of matter, where rays of sun and moon meet,
and so signifies the union of male and female forces.
From her brow the sacred serpent thrusts its head as a symbol of enlightenment. In
her right hand she carries a scepter surmounted by a globe. This is essentially a
phallus, and indicates the perpetual action of creative energy upon all things born or
to be born. In her left hand she carries an eagle, the symbol of fruitfulness and of the
heights to which the flights of the spirit can raise itself through the emotions
engendered in union. The seat upon which she rests is covered with eyes, indicating
that through union the eyes of the soul have been opened to a knowledge of good and
This ensemble pictures, in terms of universal symbolism, generation, gestation, and
–Numerically, 3 expresses the union of polar opposites, the relation between such
forces as cause vibration and change. It thus represents the universal agent, action, or
word, and is typical of fecundity. It is the union of forces of different polarity that is
back of all action, all life and all intelligence.
As applied to human evolution it represents the ego joined to the body by the soul.
The soul develops and makes progress because the ego is polarized to positive spirit
and the body is polarized to negative matter. The interaction between these two
generates the force that impells the soul forward in its journey.
On the physical plane, 3 represents man and woman in marriage. In science it stands
for the dynamic laws; for the laws that govern the production and directing of energy.
It is because of difference in polarity that nothing is free from change, that all nature
is in constant motion.
–Having been tempted by the serpent of desire for material experience, the desire
for offspring–astrologically the fifth house, presided over by the sign Leo–Eve
falls into union. This union is astrologically the union of summer and winter, which,
with the conception resulting, is represented by the natural ruler of all partnerships,
the zodiacal sign Libra.
Arcanum III not merely pictures the union, but also the resulting enlightenment; for
Adam and Eve after union discerned they needed clothing, and the serpent of desire,
through desire’s fulfillment, became the serpent of wisdom. This serpent, symbol of
creative energy released by desire, is shown raised to the brow to indicate the power
that union possesses to increase the range of mental activity.
Isis Unveiled should be distinguished from the second decave of 3, which is
Arcanum XII and the sign Pisces; for this pictures negative union resulting in wasted
vitality. Also from the third decave of 3, which is Arcanum XXI, ruled by the Sun,
which reveals the use of union in making the highest spiritual attainment.
–Union is prompted by feeling. Also, the contact with objects which gives rise to
feeling is a form of union. Thus the human function known as the sense of feeling
quite naturally attaches itself to the arcanum which represents union.
–Arcanum III represents the union of the various ingredients. Not only must all the
proper ingredients be present before transmutation is possible, but they must enter
into union. The reverberatory furnace imparts some energy to them, but not enough
to complete the transmutation process. It is not, therefore, merely a matter of
assembling suitable metals in proper proportions. But they must be joined in such a
manner as mutually to increase their vibratory rates; adding the energy they thus
mutually generate to the process. Physical proximity is not sufficient for this
purpose. They must be intimately joined in their essential qualities.
—-The fall of Eve and the consequent expulsion of the human race from the Garden
of Eden is pictured by Arcanum III.The ark of Noah is another reference to the same arcanum. Its three stories
correspond to the three realms of the arcanum which are represented by the Sun,
typical of spirit, the Moon, typical of the astral, and the cube, typical of the physical
world. The cube, or physical world, or square cabin of the ark, is where the soul
undergoes its period of gestation.
-The Master Mason degree is based upon Arcanum III; and the meaning of the
whole story of the assassination, the burial, the finding and the raising of Hiram Abiff
is made plain by comparing it with the pictured symbols of this arcanum. It thus, in
reality, is the key to the Master’s Word which was lost at that time.
The G of Masonry, found traced upon the breast of the murdered Hiram, is the letter
of this arcanum. High twelve, the time the master was attacked, is represented by the
noon-day position of the Sun. Low twelve, the time he was buried, is indicated by the
position of the moon at the nadir.
The grave, which is six feet due east and west, and six feet perpendicular, is
represented by the six-sided cube upon which Isis sits. The sprig of cassia marking
the grave is presented in the tarot as a phallic scepter. The twelve Masons sent out to
hunt for Hiram Abiff are symbolized by the twelve stars above the head of Isis. The
five points of fellowship upon which Hiram was raised by means of the Lion’s paw
grip are indicated by the five eyes traced upon the cube; and the final transcendent
result of so being raised is pictured by the eagle on the left hand of Isis.
–In Magic, Arcanum III reveals the principle of vitalization. This principle springs
into existence as the result of that polarity represented in Arcanum II. That is, it is the
vibratory effect of the interaction of polar opposites.
One of the first things we learn in the study of physics is that every action is
accompanied by an opposite and equal reaction. Therefore, for every positive force
in the universe there must be an exactly similar force of negative attributes.
It is impossible, for instance, to make a magnet possessing only a positive pole. For
by the most fundamental law of nature, when a positive force of any kind is brought
into existence it must be accompanied by an equal, but negative force. This is the
principle upon which rests that great law of physics called the conservation of
energy. For if one member of this duality were to be absent, and the energy spent in
one direction were not always accounted for by an equivalent reaction, it would be
possible not merely to transform energy, but to create new energies, or actually to
lose energy already in existence. That such creation and such loss never take place
constitutes the well known law of the conservation of energy.
The law of the conservation of energy does not apply merely to one plane of
existence, but to all planes and states. Consequently, for every soul of positive, or
male, polarity, which comes into existence through differentiation, there
simultaneously springs into existence another soul of negative, or female, polarity. A
soul is a definite force, and it has polarity, and it is as impossible to conceive of a male
soul being launched upon the tide of involution and evolution without a similar
female soul also being launched at the same time, as it is to conceive of a magnet with
only one pole. Furthermore, because action and reaction are exactly equivalent, the
female soul must be the exact replica of the male soul, except in the matter of sex, or
Other than sex, the only possible difference between souls which thus have been
differentiated at the same time is due to the diversity of experiences which they have
had since differentiation. Ultimately they are both born upon the earth, and
sometimes they even meet in physical life as man and woman. But whether they meet
upon earth, or in some higher state of existence, by virtue of their simultaneous
differentiations and being originally exact counterparts, they are true soul-mates.
The ability of soul-mates spiritually to vitalize each other, although this may not be
acquired until planes far above earth are reached, makes their joint immortality
possible. But descending from such recondite considerations, in reality there is no
action, no life and no consciousness that is not traceable to sex.
Chemical affinity, for instance, is due to the marriage of atoms. They are impelled to
divorce less compatible partners and enter into union with those which have a greater
attraction for them. And we use the power generated in such marriages to drive
locomotives and to carry us about the country in automobiles.
Electricity and magnetism are due to positive energies endeavoring to unite with
negative energies; and analysis could show that every force in the universe which has
come under observation is the result of some similar sexual attraction.
Breathing, likewise, is dual, inhalation and exhalation, positive and negative. And in
the process, in addition to the oxygenation of the blood, electromagnetic energies are
picked up and lend their power to nerve, brain and electromagnetic body.
–In the soul’s pilgrimage Arcanum III represents its descent into material
conditions and then, having climbed the ascending arc of the cycle to the human
state, finding a suitable companion to assist in developing the spiritual attributes.
Spirituality implies an exalted emotional development.
–Spiritual alchemy is the science which uses each and every event of life as a means
of creating spiritual values. They are purified by separating the external appearance
from their real significance, and fluxed in proper combination. Should some
ingredients be lacking to perfect the transmutation, these events are sought out and
added to life’s collection.
–The sign Libra is the common significator of partnership, open enemies, lawsuits and
dealing with the public; therefore the Treys, corresponding numerically to Libra, in their
more common divinatory significance must relate to these things as applied to the
department of life indicated by the suit. But in their higher application they reveal the
influence of, and can be interpreted by, the third decanate of each zodiacal triplicity,
starting with the active, or movable signs.
The divinatory significance of the Trey of Scepters is a business partnership; its inner
interpretation is PROPAGANDA.
The divinatory significance of the Trey of Cups is a marriage for love; its inner
interpretation is RESEARCH.
The divinatory significance of the Trey of Coins is a marriage for money; its inner
interpretation is EXPIATION.
The divinatory significance of the Trey of Swords is a lawsuit or a divorce; its inner
interpretation is IDEALISM.
The Sovereign–Arcanum IV
–Letter: Egyptian, Denain; Hebrew, Daleth; English, D. Number, 4. Astrologically, the
sign Scorpio. Color, the darker shades of red. Tone, low C. Occult science, imponderable
forces. Human function, the absorption of electromagnetic essences. Natural remedy,
such herbs as heather, horehound, bramble, bean, leek, wormwood, woad, charlock and
blackthorn. Mineral, the talismanic gem, Spanish topaz, and among stones, bloodstone,
vermilion and lodestone.
D–4 expresses in the spiritual world, the realization, perpetual and hierarchic, of the
virtualities, the efficacies, contained in Absolute Being.
In the intellectual world, the realization of the ideas of contingent being by the
four-fold labors of the mind; affirmation, negation, discussion, and solution.
In the physical world, the realization of acts, directed by the knowledge of the truth,
the love of justice, the force of the will, and the works of the organs.
Remember, then, son of earth, that nothing can resist a firm will which has for a lever
the knowledge of the true and just. To combat in order to secure its realization is more
than right; it is a duty. The man who triumphs in that struggle only accomplishes his
earthly mission; he who succumbs in devoting himself to it, gains immortality. If the
Sovereign should appear in the prophetic signs of thy horoscope, it signifies that the
realization of thy hopes depends upon a being more powerful than thyself. Seek to
know him and thou shalt have his support.In Divination, Arcanum IV may be read as Realization.
Arcanum IV is figured by a man; on his head a sovereign’s helmet. He is seated upon
a cubic stone; his right hand raises a scepter surmounted by a circle, and his right leg
bent, rests upon the other, forming with it a cross.
The cubic stone, image of the perfect solid, signifies labor which has reached
completion. The cat, pictured on the side of the stone, indicates that the vision of the
soul penetrates the illusions of matter.
The sovereign’s helmet is an emblem of force conquered by power. The ruler is in
possession of the scepter of Isis, indicating that he has knowledge of the spiritual use
of the creative energies; and he points downward with his left hand to indicate that he
uses these energies in the subjugation of the physical.
The sacred serpent at his brow indicates enlightenment; and the hawk, sacred to the
sun, indicates his ambition to attain spiritual supremacy.
The cross, formed by his legs, symbolizes the four elemental kingdoms he has
mastered, and the expansion of human power through understanding.
The apron above the legs, together with them, figures a trine above a cross; the
symbol of mind dominating matter, and of the conservation of energy.
–Numerically, 4 expresses the result of action, the fruit of the toil typified by 3. It is
the realization from effort, and it is life springing into manifestation as the result of
the union of polar opposites. It thus represents the practical, the concrete, and
consequently that which has form.
It becomes, therefore, the type of the universal truth of reality, indicating that each
realm is actual when viewed from its own plane. It is also the practical as applied to
In the macrocosm it signifies the result of motion; in man it is the knowledge which
comes through experience. In science it relates to all those laws which govern the
effective use of energy; to those which govern what is produced by motion.
The Sovereign by his helmet and his attitude of dominating through force, expresses
martial energy; and the prominence of the phallic symbol relates him to the sex sign
of Mars rather than to the head sign, Aries. Furthermore, the fruitfulness and silent
type of strength are attributes of Scorpio.
Scorpio is the zodiacal sign of sex, the magnetic forces of which conserved as
indicated in Arcanum IV become a most potent power to dominate the elemental
realms of life. The negative aspect of this principle is indicated by the second decave
of 4, Arcanum XIII, which pictures the natural course of events when the force is
undirected, life and death in different types of forms following each other in
The inversive and degenerative use of the same principle is pictured in Arcanum
XXII, representing the third decave of 4. Here the T is represented with its point
down; but the other side of Pluto’s influence is the T with its point skyward; which is
the highest aspect of sex, the transcendent powers arising from a union of soul-mates.
–Magnetically, Scorpio is the most potent sign of the zodiac. Sex is back of all
energy, and in man generates electromagnetic currents. Sexual vigor tunes the
organism in on electromagnetic energies, which are all about us, and these give force
to the personal magnetism, and vitalize the emotions and the procreative fluids.
Scorpio, because of its rulership of sex, more readily than any other sign, is capable
of receiving and transmitting these magnetic energies, and thus Arcanum IV,
corresponding to Scorpio, is correlated to the faculty of electromagnetic absorption.
–When the ingredients are brought together their union generates a force, or heat.
The energy, thus liberated through the fluxing of polar opposites, when properly
controlled, is an essential factor in proper transmutation. The control of it, however,
is not accomplished by suppressing, or confining it, but by directing it into proper
channels. In fact, the directing of this energy into those channels which prevent it
from causing an explosion, or burning the various ingredients, is one of the most
important secrets of the alchemical art. Diverting it to the end desired corresponds to
–As Arcanum IV is the emblem of fruitfulness, there are numerous passages in the
Bible which refer to it; for throughout, fruitfulness is considered a virtue and
barrenness a crime. This applies more forcefully to the mental than to the physical
plane; for when man is barren of thought his progress ceases and the body falls into
Gen. 1:28. “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply,
and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and
the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
“Rev. 12:5. “And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod
of iron; and her child was caught up unto God and His throne.
“Thus is mentioned the fruitfulness of the sign Scorpio; its rulership, as belonging to
Mars, of iron; the rod held in the hand of the Sovereign, its dominating character, and
its possibilities of spiritual realization as symbolized by the hawk; for the child was
caught up to the throne of God.
–The Mark Master’s degree is founded upon Arcanum IV. As a whole the degree
and the arcanum teach that, “To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden
manna, and I will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which
no man knoweth, saving him that receiveth it.”
The sovereign of Arcanum IV sits upon such a stone, and the symbol of a new name is
engraved upon it, and he represents one who has overcome. The hawk pictured on his
breast is reputed, in legend, to fly to the sun. It therefore carries the same purport as
the eight Masonic letters which are interpreted either, “Hiram Tyrian, Widow’s Son,
Sent To King Solomon,” or, “He That Was Slain Soars To Kindred Spirit.” Thus
does Arcanum IV depict the key-stone which the builders rejected.
–In Magic, Arcanum IV reveals the principle of realization. This implies the
expectant attitude, and the preparation after the energy has been released to provide
for that which is to be fulfilled. There must be confidence that the work is being
properly performed, and that gestation will result in proper fruition. Worry, or
anxiety as to results, is fatal to proper development of that which is desired.
–In the soul’s pilgrimage, Arcanum IV indicates the result of marriage after the
state of manhood has been reached.
Both Christian monks and Hindu ascetics were under the impression that to be holy
one must be miserable. But modern psychology proves indisputably that happiness
leads to efficiency, and that misery tends toward disintegration without necessarily
adding anything to the spirituality.
Of all the avenues to spiritual development, the affections are the most potent. The
union prompted by lust and selfishness is one of the most destructive forces. Through
the emotions we raise or lower our vibratory rates, and thus tend to elevate ourselves
to a higher condition or lower and degrade ourselves.
The creative energies, in union, customarily arouse intense emotional states. If these
emotional states are such as inspire tenderness, kindness and the desire to be helpful
to others, they tend vigorously to build up the spirituality; for they cultivate a higher
basic vibratory rate. But if they engender brutal thoughts and encourage grossness,
through cultivating a lower basic vibratory rate, they destroy the spirituality.
Furthermore, there is no power which can lift the soul to such exalted states of ecstasy
as can love, and thus only through love can we of earth contact the higher spiritual
–Imponderable forces is the science which deals with all the invisible energies not
recognized by material science. In particular, it deals with the principles of
ceremonial magic, in which there is a more or less definite ritual and often there is
used specially prepared equipment such as wands, circles, seals, pentacles,
-The sign Scorpio is the general significator of fruitfulness, legacies, spirit
communion, the dead, and the partner’s money. Consequently, each of the fours, in
its more common divinatory significance must relate to one of these things according
to its suit. But in their higher application these cards reveal the influence of, and can
be interpreted by, the fourth decanate of each zodiacal triplicity, starting the count
with the movable signs.
The divinatory significance of the Four of Scepters is a legacy; its inner
interpretation is RULERSHIP.
The divinatory significance of the Four of Cups is an increase in the family; its inner
interpretation is RESOURCEFULNESS.
The divinatory significance of the Four of Coins is money received through a partner;
its inner significance is ORIGINALITY.
The divinatory significance of the Four of Swords is remorse for past action; its inner
interpretation is DETERMINATION.
–In all methods of reading the cards are dealt face downward; and they are turned
over from top to bottom, one at a time, as read. This prevents the mind from
wandering to other parts of the spread.
Any card right end up is considered slightly more fortunate than its common
significance. It then becomes like a planet receiving a good aspect. Any card wrong
end up is slightly more unfortunate than its common meaning. It then becomes like a
planet receiving a bad aspect. But reversal never makes a good card bad, nor a bad
card good. As Saturn and Mars are less evil when well aspected, and as Jupiter and
Venus are more potent for good when well aspected, in the same manner any card is
improved by being right end up.
Method of the Sephiroth
–In this method only the 22 Major Arcana and the 4 Aces are used. The Aces are
shuffled separately. They are the most potent of all; for they represent the four astral
kingdoms symbolized by their suits. They are called the Astral Keys, and outrank
any of the other cards.
The 4 Aces after being shuffled and cut are then dealt as illustrated on page 60, the
first on the kingdom marked Asc., the second on the M.C., the third on the Desc., and
the fourth on the N.C.
Then the 22 Major Arcana are shuffled, cut, and dealt one at a time around the ten
thrones, from I to X. This completed, the others are dealt back from throne X to
throne I. This leaves two cards, which are placed face downward at the side. These
are called the staff, and are only consulted when the figure proves contradictory. In
such instances the staff indicates why there was failure to give a plain answer, and
thus supports the devout student in his disappointment.
The first Astral Kingdom, marked Asc., is that of Life, and if the Ace of Coins falls
there it shows strength, vigor and vitality; if the Ace of Scepters, it is favorable but
denotes work and responsibility; if the Ace of Cups, that love of pleasure may deplete
the vitality; and if the Ace of Swords, that there will be sickness or death.
The second Astral Kingdom, marked M.C., is that of Honor and Business. The Ace
of Scepters falling there gives it great power; the Ace of Coins is favorable, but
indicates much effort required; the honor is blemished through the pursuit of
pleasure if the Ace of Cups falls there; and the Ace of Swords there presages failure.
The Astral Kingdom of Love is marked Desc. The Ace of Cups falling there indicates
joy and happiness; the Ace of Swords there marks disputes; the Ace of Scepters there
brings difficulties through difference in station; and the Ace of Coins signifies
The Astral Kingdom of Results is marked N.C. The Ace of Swords falling there
indicates a favorable ending; the Ace of Cups there brings pleasant results; the Ace of
Coins there is most unfortunate; and the Ace of Scepters there denotes a hard struggle
which yields inadequate returns.
If the question relates to life begin with the Asc., if to love or war with the Desc., if to
honor or business with the M.C., and if to secret things with the N.C.
First turn over, from top to bottom, the Ace, or astral key, of the question. Every
question possible belongs to one of the four kingdoms, and the Ace indicating the
general fortune of the matter is located as explained. After the significance of this
Ace is noted, turn over the cards belonging to its thrones. You will note that the Asc.
and Desc. have three thrones of two cards each, and that the M.C. and N.C. have but
two thrones of two cards each. In considering the Asc. or Desc. the two cards on the
center thrones, either I or VI, as the case may be, indicate the most important factors,
and the other four cards signify modifying influences. The cards on the thrones of the
question will indicate why the conditions signified by the Ace shown there exist and
give some details.
Then turn over the opposite Ace, which indicates the opposition to the matter. The cards
of its throne show the details of this opposition. Now if good cards occupy the kingdom
and thrones of the question, and also the opposition to the question, it is most favorable.
But if both the question and its opposition are held by evil cards, it is a bad omen. If the
opposition holds more evil than the question holds good, the matter will fail after a
struggle. If the question holds more evil than the opposition holds good, the matter lacks
merit and will fail of its own accord. If the opposition is good enough, it will be carried to
success in spite of its unworth. If the good in the question is stronger than the opposition it
will succeed in spite of opposition.
The kingdom next in order always indicates the culmination of the matter, and the
thrones opposite within their kingdom its end. Thus in a question of love, war,
marriage, etc., the Desc. becomes the question and the Asc. its opposition. The N.C.
then becomes its progress, and the M.C. its end. In a question of business, however,
the M.C. becomes the question and the N.C. its opposition, with the Desc. its
progress and the Asc. its end. If the question concerns psychic matters or hidden
things the N.C. becomes the question and the M.C. its opposition; with the Asc. its
culmination and the Desc. its end.
And in all cases the cards on the thrones will indicate the various factors, indicating
how and why. The four cards on the thrones of the M.C. or N.C. are of equal