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Chronology of the Tarot

Chronology of the Tarot

S the tarot is a pictorial synthesis of the universe, not only must it correspond
to astrological influences, but also to the various divisions of time which are
measured by these influences.

Already I have pointed out in some detail the strict correspondence between the 22
Major Arcana and the 10 planets and 12 zodiacal signs, that the 12 common Court
Arcana describe people born under each of the 12 signs of the zodiac, and that the 4
horseman Court Arcana signify thoughts that relate to the 4 departments of life.

Now, as fully explained in Chapters 1 and 2 of Course 10-1, Delineating The
Horoscope, each zodiacal sign is divided into three equal sections, called decanates.
Each of these decanates embraces 10 degrees of the zodiac and has an influence
distinctly its own. Thus in each quadrant of the zodiac there are 9 decanates. These
decanates of the zodiac, however, each belong to one of the four elements; that is, to
the triplicity of fire, of water, of air or of earth. The 10th, or transitional influence,
therefore, represents the element to which the 9 decanates belong; for the 9 decanates
are distributed among the three signs which make up one of the zodiacal triplicities.
Thus the Minor Arcana of any one suit do not belong to one quadrant of the zodiac,
but to signs in three quadrants; the triplicity to which they belong being designated by
the suit, and the 10th Minor Arcanum of each suit, representing the completion of the
cycle of that element and a transition to some other, more conveniently being placed
adjoining the fixed sign of the element to which its suit belongs.

The astrological relationship of each card of the tarot is given in the key on page 21 of
chapter 1. This key contains vastly more than is apparent at first glance, and is well
worth careful study followed by deep meditation. The ring of the key shows the
rulership of each decanate and each triplicity of the zodiacal circle in relation to each
of the 40 Minor Arcana of the tarot. The stem of the key shows the relation between
each planet and sign to one of the 22 Major Arcana. The wards of the key turn in the
three worlds; physical, astral and spiritual. And the people who exert an influence in
these three worlds, and the four types of their thoughts, are shown on these wards as
the 16 Court Arcana.

Here, however, we are more interested in chronology. The 12 common Court Arcana
which represent people born during each of the 12 months, of course, correspond to
he 12 months of the year. The 4 Horsemen, who represent the type of influence each
person exerts through his thoughts, correspond to the distinctive influence exerted by
each of the four seasons. If we include the 40 Minor Arcana, giving to each suit 13
cards in addition to the Horsemen, they then correspond to the influence of the 4
seasons, which contain 13 X 4, or 52 weeks. And the 22 Major Arcana then represent
the 22 astrological influences that cause the weeks and seasons.

The numerical value of the Minor Arcana of each suit, obtained by adding their
numbers, is 55; or 220 for all 40 cards. The value of the Horsemen is one each, or 4 for
all; and as each Major Arcanum represents a single principle, if we omit the
no-numbered tarot for the present, it gives us for the value of the whole tarot pack,
220 plus 120 plus 4 plus 21, or 365 The value of the 12 common Court Arcana is 10
each, or 120.

Yet the no-numbered tarot does not represent exactly zero, but any indeterminate
quantity, which in this case may be taken as a trifle more than ¼. This no-numberedtarot, which here is given an arbitrary value of slightly more than ¼, represents boththe unknown factors of astronomical calculations and of human endeavors. It
recognizes that both people and stellar bodies have the power to deviate slightly
through the use of their own volition from any orbit defined for them by
environmental influences. It thus signifies the inherent power of action known as
Free Will. But in the Chronology we are considering it becomes something more
than ¼ day in excess of 365, such as is found in a year.

The Birth-Chart

–Turning now to a more practical application, it is found that the Major Arcana can
give the astrologer additional information, when it is required, about a birth-chart or
a progressed chart. The chart may be completely read, if desired, by placing each of
the Major Arcana on the place occupied in the chart by its corresponding astrological
sign or planet. Then it should be noted what might be expected, in the houses where
the influences fall, from such combinations of forces as are shown by the tarot cards
when united, either discordantly or harmoniously, as indicated by the astrological

The chief value of the tarots to the astrologer, however, is their use in this manner
when he is in doubt, or needs additional information. When, in natal astrology,
horary astrology, mundane astrology, stellar diagnosis, or in any other branch, he
finds some difficult problem, such as determining what will transpire under a certain
progressed aspect; if he will combine the cards according to the aspects and
conditions in the chart, they often will shed an illuminating light that makes the
answer clear.

Talismans Other Than Gems

–Although stones and gems are more durable than others, they are not the only
substances that can be used as talismans. Plants, for instance, have a temporary
talismanic value when worn by those in whose birth-charts the sign ruling the plant is
harmonious. And because some plants may be quite antagonistic to an individual, it
is much better to select plants for the home and garden, not indiscriminately, but with
the end in view of obtaining such as have a strengthening quality of astral vibration,
and the aromas of which furnish subtle essences harmonious to the soul.

For talismanic purposes the young growing shoots or the parts bearing the flowers
and seeds should be used. A good time to gather plants, either for talismanic or
medicinal purposes, is during the hour just before the Moon rises in the sign ruling
the plant, the best time being just at moonrise while the moon is in the sign ruling the

Animals also sometimes have an influence similar to talismans, this being
particularly true of domestic pets, such as cats, dogs and horses. When the
attachment between the pet and its master is pronounced there is a keen desire on the
part of the animal to afford protection and benefit. This desire stimulates its
unconscious mind. And the unconscious mind, even of a creature much lower in the
scale than man, through its psychic senses, has a very wide scope of perception. Not
being inhibited by reason, the things that it thus senses psychically may make quite a
strong impression upon it, and cause it to behave in such a way that it warns its master
of approaching evil.

Even after the animal dies, its strong attachment to its master may cause it to linger in
the astral realm quite close to him. Its unconscious mind, thus free from physical
limitations, has a scope of intelligence far beyond what we expect of such an animal
on earth. It perceives, from the astral plane, the events that affect its master. And it
keenly senses his wishes, and desires that these wishes shall be granted.

It may thus, from time to time, be able to convey to him, through dreams and
impressions, a knowledge of such conditions as are about to affect him. Or it may
follow him to the seance room, and if this be of a certain low order, assist in
manifestations there.

I am not assuming that an animal, just because it passes to the next plane, acquires
human intelligence. But an animal which has had much human association while on
earth, has little difficulty in sensing just what its former master wants. Just as, while
on earth, a dog will fetch a stick that its master throws, so on the next plane will it try
to do that which will please. It has not acquired human intelligence, but because it is
free from the body its unconscious mind has a wide scope of perception, and it is
more responsive than ever to its master’s thought. And it sometimes finds
opportunity to manifest an intelligence of a not very high order in the seance room.

But aside from talismans and exceptional types of influences, the various objects of
our environment each radiate a characteristic energy. If an object vibrates to the
frequency of an astrological influence which is beneficial in our birth-chart, through
increasing the strength of the harmonious vibration in us it renders us assistance. But
the association with either objects or people which stirs up in us consciously or
unconsciously, a feeling of discord, should be avoided as much as is practicable; for
we attract events into our lives that correspond to the discords or harmonies we
harbor within.

Response to Healing

–This same principle explains why some people respond readily to one type of
healing and some to another. By inspecting the birth-chart and the progressed chart
the astrologer quickly can determine which planet’s vibrations are chiefly
responsible for the trouble. Then by referring to the Arcanum ruled by the planet he
can find the Natural Method of treatment which is commonly most efficacious in
correcting the discords caused by the planet.

Thus if Mercury causes the affliction, mental healing is particularly applicable. If
Neptune is the chief disturber, the disease is more susceptible to spiritual healing.
Jupiter brings ailments that need a corrective diet. Venus tends to depletion that may
be treated with rest and recreation. Uranus produces peculiar disturbances in the
electromagnetic body that often yield readily to electricity and mesmerism. The
discords of Pluto yield quickly to stellar healing. Water is the natural remedy for the
afflictions caused by the Moon, and light for those caused by the Sun. If Mars is the
disturber there is usually a temperature to be reduced, and if Saturn is back of the
discord you may be sure that the vitality is low and needs earth-baths and outdoor life
to build it up.

The affliction shown by a planet, due to the sign it is in, may manifest its discord in
any one of the twelve zones of the body. In this course certain herbs ruled by each
sign are given under the Arcanum corresponding to the sign. This will enable you to
select those suitable for temporary talismans, or those that, through a corresponding
vibratory rate, most readily affect the part of the body ruled by the same sign. For
more details of the rulership of specific diseases you are referred to Course 16,
Stellar Healing, on Stellar Diagnosis and Stellar Healing.

Herbal remedies are administered according to two different schools of thought. The
homeopathic system is that like cures like. From the occult point of view this means that
an herb belonging to a certain sign, if taken into a healthy organism in excessive
amounts, tends to cause a diseased condition of the corresponding part of the body. But if
that part of the body is already diseased, the taking of the herb corresponding to this part
of the body in very small amounts, builds up and strengthens this part of the body with its
similar vibratory rate. In other words, the remedy is applied in such quantity as will give
the diseased part the vigor to overcome the disease.

But this system can not be successfully applied to all diseases. Hence we have the
allopathic system, which works on the principle that contrary cures contrary. From
the occult point of view this means that the disease itself is attacked and an attempt
made to annihilate it by means of something violently antagonistic to it. Instead of
building up the vigor of the diseased part of the body, the attempt is made to destroy
the disease and eliminate it from the body. Fire is thus fought with water, earth with
air, and Mars with Saturn. This method seemingly is necessary to combat certain
virulent diseases, but, through the violence of the remedies used, is much more apt to
impair the constitution.

Here, of course, no attempt is made to discuss the relative value of medicines, or to
give instructions in the specific cure of diseases through the administration of herbs.
Instead, I merely give such hints as to the relative principles of underlying cures as I
hope will prove of value to those who specialize in healing. From these hints they
should be able to work out, in connection with their experience, the application in
detail. And when the nature of the disease is obscure and the method of treatment in
doubt, the use of the tarot as a divinatory instrument, by one who has some skill, can
be used both in diagnosis and in determining the most effective treatment to secure a
speedy recovery.

The Star–Arcanum XVII

–Letter: Egyptian, Pilon; Hebrew, Pe; English, F–P–Ph. Number, 17.
Astrologically, the zodiacal sign Gemini. Color, the lighter shades of violet. Tone,
high B. Occult science, cosmic alchemy. Human function, the sense of sight. Natural
remedy, such herbs as madder, tansy, vervain, woodbine, yarrow, meadow-sweet,
privet and dog-grass. Mineral, the talismanic gem beryl, and such stones as are

F–17 expresses in the spiritual world, immortality.
In the intellectual world, the interior light which illuminates the spirit.
In the physical world, hope.

Remember, then, son of earth, that hope is the sister of faith. Shed thy passions and
thy errors in order to study the mysteries of true science and the key will be given
thee; then a ray of divine light will break from the occult sanctuary in order to
dissipate the shadows of thy future and show thee the way of happiness. If Arcanum
XVII should appear in the prophetic signs of thy horoscope, whatever may happen in
life, never injure the flower of hope and thou wilt gather the fruits of faith.

In Divination, Arcanum XVII may be read as Truth, Hope or Faith.

Arcanum XVII is figured by a blazing star of eight rays in the center of which is a
white trine with point upward joined at its base to a black trine with its point
downward. This star is surrounded by seven other stars. It hovers over a nude young
girl who has one foot upon the sea and one foot upon the land, and who pours the fluid
of universal life from two cups, one of gold, the other of silver. Near the girl is a
flower of three blossoms, and above the upper one a butterfly opens its wings.

This young girl is the emblem of truth. She is nude, signifying that truth can be
perceived only when stripped of the preconceived ideas and dogmatic opinions with
which it has been clothed by the artificialities of civilization.

She rests partly upon the land and partly upon the sea to denote that truth is dual, the
truth of reality and the truth of appearances, the truth of the practical and the truth of
the ideal. The fluid is poured from a silver cup into the sea to indicate that the loving,
emotional side of man’s nature must be nourished if he is to grasp the inner truth. And
it is poured from a golden cup upon the land to denote the necessity of cultivating the
positive, reasoning intellect if he is to possess the external truth.

The fluid flowing from the golden cup represents the forces of man, and that from the
silver cup the forces of woman; together revealing the truth of soul-mate-hood, and
indicating how the finer energies of man rejuvenate woman and how the finer
energies of woman rejuvenate man; their forces mutually sustaining each other and
making a joint immortality possible.

The eight-point star symbolizes the Law of Equilibrium, the balance between spirit
and matter, male and female, the inner and the outer. It is the book of the apocalypse
sealed with seven seals, and thus represents the inner realization and the outer
realization, the birth of the soul and the birth of the body, under the influence of the
planets, represented by the 7 surrounding stars, or seals.

Each of these smaller stars, or seals, has four points, to signify that man should
recognize the nature of its influence and realize how to direct it into channels of his
own choosing.

The two trines of the larger star symbolize the Hermetic Axiom, “As it is below, so it
is above,” and reveal that evolution implies a preceding involution. It also indicates
the necessity of experiences with both good and evil for soul progression.

The flower of three blossoms represents the three planes of existence from which the soul
sips the nectar of wisdom, gaining thereby the strength to attain immortality, symbolized
by the butterfly.


–Numerically, 17 is the 2nd decave of 8, denoting the crystallized condition of
Arcanum VIII polarized to the frequency level denoted by Arcanum II. It is
involution followed by evolution, for, after all, matter is but polarized spirit. In
the universe there is but one Principle, which manifests under two modes of
motion as force and will. There is but one LAW, and this is sex, manifesting as
male and female. There is but one Agent, which manifests as spirit and matter.
And there is but one Truth, which manifests as appearance and reality. This is the
truth represented by the star of Arcanum XVII.


–The most pronounced symbolism of Arcanum XVII pertains to its duality, and the
most dual sign of the zodiac is Gemini. This sign, pictured among the constellations
as the Twins, representing Reason and Intuition, belongs to the first degree of
emanation of the airy triplicity, and therefore represents the most interior and free use
of the intellect. It corresponds to the day house of Mercury, the planet of mental
expression, and thus is a fitting symbol of Truth. Better than any other sign, Gemini
typifies the duality that sustains all worlds and alone makes life and consciousness

Human Function

–The first step toward truth is perception. This perception should embrace both
sides of the situation. And while knowledge requires also an inner comprehension of
the meaning of things seen, the necessity for correct sight is implied in the vernacular
expression, “I see,” used to signify comprehension. Mercury rules both Gemini and
the eyes, and as Gemini corresponds to the day house of Mercury, it is more closely
allied with the external vision. And if additional testimony were required to show the
correspondence of the sense of sight with Arcanum XVII, it could be found in the
restless activity of the eyes, and of the natives of Gemini, in their unceasing search
for new information and new experiences.


–Arcanum XVII pictures the finding of the fountain of eternal youth. Gold and
silver have been completely purified and the dross removed. Each, united to a proper
flux, has been reduced to the first matter in the reverberatory furnace. And as a result
of their transmuted union they are no longer merely gold and silver, but a delectable
fluid, the coveted elixir of life.

Many have sought, but few have found, this precious draught. Some who have had it
ready to their hand, have failed to recognize it. Others have discovered it
accidentally, and while deeply awed by its wonderful properties have never
perceived its real use and partaken of its life giving properties. More have been
poisoned by drinking that which they hoped would prove to be the elixir, a fluid
somewhat resembling it, but in reality quite destructive. Yet Arcanum XVII pictures
its preparation in unmistakable terms to those who do not discard the simple and
plain in search for the intricate and complex.


–The first pointed reference in the Bible to Arcanum XVII is Gen. 1:27; “So God
created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female
created he them.”

Thus is revealed the great truth exemplified in still more detail by the duality shown
in Arcanum XVII. For not only does it point out that man is formed in the image of
God, that the microcosm is a miniature copy of the macrocosm, but that both are,
when complete, male and female. Whatever exists in the starry firmament above,
according to both the Bible and this Arcanum, must have its correspondence in the
constitution of man. But in addition thus to formulating the relation of the soul to the
stars, it states positively that the macrocosm is both male and female; and implies that
souls to persist must retain their sex; for when this attribute is destroyed man ceases
to be an image of God, and no longer partakes of the divine nature.

John 8:32 reads; “And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”
Now freedom implies a previous bondage. The bondage here considered is that
imposed by the restrictions of the physical. But these restrictions are removed when
the truth is perceived of man’s relations to the universe, and that the soul, educated
for a definite mission in the cosmic scheme, survives physical death.

Rev. 5:1 mentions Arcanum XVII: “And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the
throne a book written within and on the back side, sealed with seven seals.” This, of
course, is the book of nature, under the dominion of the 7 planets; and through a
knowledge of it immortality is gained, for it enables the soul to partake of the tree of
life mentioned in Gen. 3:22.

Just how this book of nature is to be opened and its contents made plain is quite
distinctly stated; “Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath
prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.” As the lion is the
zodiacal sign Leo, which rules the house of love, it is clear that the affections are
used. But this is not the only factor; for next we read that the Lamb took the book.
This is the zodiacal sign Aries, ruling the head. And this explains to us, in the
language of universal symbolism, that neither love nor reason alone is sufficient, but
that truth can be grasped completely only when there is a union of head and heart.
And thus does the Lamb here typify the soul which has triumphed over Arcanum
XIII, or death, through the combined activity of its intellect and its affections.


–The degree of Provost and Judge is based upon Arcanum XVII. The duality of
truth is symbolized in this degree by two keys. One is the key to the small ebony box
containing the plans for building the temple, that is, the key to understanding the
Divine Plan. The other is the key to the ivory box containing the temple keys, that is,
the laws which govern the universe and the progress of the soul. The ivory box and
the ebony box clearly indicate that both positive keys and negative keys are required,
and that man and woman complement and complete each other.


–In Magic, Arcanum XVII is the perception of both the external and the internal
truth. Such perception is made possible through the cultivation of the soul senses.
But, because, through the principle that like attracts like, even a slight desire to
deceive others attracts deceiving influences, care should be exercised here. The
desires of the unconscious mind, also, have a tendency to warp such information to
coincide with them, as it is raised from the astral brain to the physical consciousness.
When one becomes unusually sensitive an idea through its sentiment may exert so
strong an appeal that the emotion may easily be mistaken for soul response. Then,
again, the thought images projected by other powerful minds are sensed by the
psychic faculties, and those not fully initiated are apt to respond to these as if they
were soul-responses to truth, when they, in fact, are merely being dominated by

Therefore, while the pure intuitions of the soul, when sufficiently freed from various
other influences, are reliable guides to truth; for those who have not attained a very
high degree of spiritual initiation, they can not be relied upon too implicitly.
Consequently, in the search for truth, and in its apprehension, one set of faculties is
used to test the accuracy of the other; intuition is used to check the reports of reason,
and reason is applied to determine the reliability of intuition. Thus the initiate grasps
both the exoteric and the esoteric aspects of truth.

He perceives that every atom of physical life is but the symbolic expression on the
external plane of an indwelling spirit-atom. With his psychic vision he notes that
every living form is a collection of these indwelling spirit atoms controlled by a
central soul monad. This monad furnishes the conditions for their progress, as they
do for it, dominating them by virtue of its labors in past incarnations.

That is, every plant and animal, as well as gem and stone, is but the material vehicle
through which some soul is evolving and elaborating its powers. These astral entities
that mold the form of crystals, plants and animals, causing them to assume the shapes
they do, are the realities; for they continue to occupy new and higher forms, while the
material forms they inhabit are transitory and unenduring, and consequently but an

The initiate recognizes the truth of appearance at its true value. He does not deny the
existence of matter and its properties; for to those occupying the physical plane
misery, disease and sin are as real as are spiritual verities to those occupying interior
realms. It is as great a mistake to deny the qualities expressed by material form as to
deny the reality of the spiritual ideals causing their expression. To one living entirely
upon the physical plane the mere denial that a substance is a poison will not prevent it
causing the death of the body. But to suppose that the material particles are the real
cause of the fatality is to observe but one side of the truth; for these particles are but
the material vehicles of spirit atoms that have a violent antipathy toward human life.
They are really the physical expression of a spiritual ideal, or idea, and this idea can
be sensed psychically.

If the spiritual development of the person is such that he realizes his own source and
destiny, that he belongs to a higher spiritual state than the destructive forces of the
poison, and that by virtue of his function in the cosmic scheme he should and can
dominate all submundane atoms of life; in other words, if his spiritual nature is
active, he can partake of the most violent poisons, or pass through fire as did
Shadrack and his companions, unharmed, because his spirituality enables him to
compel the obedience of the spirit atoms of the poison or the elementals of fire,
preventing them from acting as usual.

Again, let us glance about us. The initiated see in all our great cities, slums and
hotbeds of vice. It is useless to deny their existence, or the many contributing factors
in external life that supply them with victims, the chief of which, perhaps, is the
mental and magnetic inharmony of the parents at their conception. But even this is
only a portion of the truth; for the clairvoyant vision reveals the existence of cities
within cities, the lower astral world permeating the physical. The inhabitants of these
astral slums are usually as unconscious of the people of the physical world as the
latter are of them; yet the desires of the inhabitants of each realm react, through
unconscious thought impression, upon the other, and the slums of the astral world
stimulate the evil of external life. In fact, it might be said that the external slums are
imitations of the inner hells to which they correspond.


–In the soul’s initiation Arcanum XVII represents the attainment of divine
illumination through the perfect rapport of the soul and the ego. The ego is not some
mighty angelic power, but an eternal, scintillating atom of Deity, pure and innocent,
depending on the soul-monads which are the positive and negative attributes of itself
for knowledge of external life. The soul monad becomes closely associated with the
brain of man, and when the spirituality is sufficiently active a conscious rapport is
established between this monad and its ego. This brings the brain directly in touch
with the soul’s center of deific life, enabling it to grasp the cosmic idea and realize
what portion of that idea it is progressing to express. What God is the soul can never
know, but it does grasp its own relation to God, and this truth leads it to freedom. This
freedom is not that of annihilation, or a dreamy nirvana, but the ability through
increased knowledge consciously to direct its own progression in harmony with the
laws of cosmic evolution. Instead of being subject to the stars, it rules them. This
illumination brings the conscious knowledge of its missing soul mate.

Occult Science

–Cosmic alchemy is the science of transforming the energies of society as a whole into
those types of action that are most beneficial to it, that most effectively assist the highest
development of its members, and that most completely cooperate in the fulfillment of the
divine plan.

Horseman Court Cards

–The Horsemen do not represent people, but thoughts or unseen intelligences. As
thoughts are ruled by Arcanum I, each Horseman has a numerical value of 1. In
divination they are read as thoughts or intelligences that have an influence upon the
life of the client. The one who thinks the thoughts is indicated by the Court Card
nearest whom the Horseman is found in the spread.

The Horseman of Scepters denotes thoughts concerning business. Right way up, it
indicates thoughts advantageous to the client; reversed it signifies thoughts opposed
to his business interests.

The Horseman of Cups denotes thoughts of love or affection. Right way up they are
sincere and to the client’s advantage; reversed they indicate deceit or opposition to
the true affectional desires.

The Horseman of Coins denotes thoughts relating to health or money. Right way up,
they tend to the prosperity of the client; reversed they are plots to unfairly obtain
money from him.

The Horseman of Swords denotes thoughts of enmity, strife or sickness. Right way
up, it indicates thoughts devoted to the defense and protection of the client; reversed
they are plans and desires for his ruin.

The Moon–Arcanum XVIII

Letter: Egyptian, Tsaidi; Hebrew, Tzaddi; English, Sh–Ts–Tz. Number 18.
Astrologically, the zodiacal sign Cancer. Color, the lighter shades of green. Tone,
high F. Occult science, mediumship. Human function, spirit communion. Natural
remedy, such herbs as water lilies, rushes, cucumbers, squashes, melons, and water
plants generally. Mineral, the talismanic gem, emerald, and such stones as are soft
and white, including selenite and chalk.

Sh–18 expresses in the spiritual world, the abyss of the infinite.
In the intellectual world, the shadows which envelop the spirit when it has submitted
itself to the rule of the instincts.
In the physical world, deception and hidden enemies.

Remember, then, son of earth, that whosoever braves the unknown, does so at his
peril. Hostile minds, figured by the black dog, will surround him with ambushes;
friendly, servile minds will offer him flatteries; and treacherous minds, like unto the
scorpion, will plan to attain their ends through his ruin. If Arcanum XVIII should
appear in the prophetic signs of thy horoscope, observe and listen, but know how to
be silent.

In Divination, Arcanum XVIII is Deception, False Friends, or Secret Foes.

Arcanum XVIII is figured by two pyramids at the edge of a road. The Moon above,
half obscured by clouds, sheds a pale twilight. One of the pyramids, symbol of the
twelve houses of the horoscope, is black, representing an ignorant and unspiritual
life. The other pyramid is white, symbolizing a life enlightened by science and
spiritual wisdom. In front of it is shown a door, or exit, indicating that those thus
enlightened are not earth-bound, but pass freely, when their earthly life is completed,
to a life in the higher spheres.

In the road before the pyramids are two dogs, one white and the other black; while
between them, in a circle of white, crawls a scorpion. This dim, moonlight scene
represents a seance room, the hidden perils of which are more redoubtable than those
to be seen. The false radiance of the moon indicates the glamor that surrounds such an
occasion. The good and the bad, the ignorant and the learned, symbolized by the
pyramids, are gathered there at the edge of the road into the beyond. To such a place
there may be attracted lying spirits, as signified by the black dog; friendly spirits, as
denoted by the white dog; or treacherous and dominating spirits who have much
knowledge, as indicated by the white circle in which the scorpion moves, but who use
it to deceive and attain their selfish ends.


–Numerically, 18 is the 2nd decave of 9, or wisdom polarized. Arcanum IX
operating on the plane frequency of Arcanum II implies the exploration of secret
realms. Such exploration is not without its perils, and should be attempted only by
one who has made marked spiritual advancement, or under the guidance of a
competent master. Under these conditions the negative and disintegrative states are
not permitted, and then 18 becomes True Wisdom regarding the Science of


–Cancer is ruled by the Moon, and is the zodiacal sign most susceptible to
influences from other planes, and most pronouncedly affected by its associates and
its environment. The mediumistic quality correlates it to Arcanum XVIII.

Human Function

–Cancer is the most interior degree of emanation of the watery triplicity, and most
readily receives and interprets the thoughts of entities occupying the interior worlds.
What appears to be intuition often, with people born under this sign, is in reality the
prompting of a discarnate entity. This ease of spirit communion corresponds to
Arcanum XVIII.


–The true elixir of life has the peculiar power of absorbing and transmitting the
energies of the surrounding magnetic atmosphere. If the elixir is pure it absorbs and
transmits only the finer, higher, life giving energies. But if impure, it attracts grosser
energies. Arcanum XVIII may represent either the true elixir or the false elixir.

The majority who seek this fluid of eternal youth fail to recognize the need for purity,
or are unable to discern whether or not the elixir is truly pure. They thus prepare the
draught by dissolving in the Water of Pythia whatever metals may be at hand,
without precaution as to their purity and proper proportions. They deceive
themselves, and drinking the false elixir thus prepared, are drugged into a
semiconscious state in which they are unable to perceive even the approach of their
own ruin.


–Saul, in his extremity, consulted a medium at Endor. Sam. 28:8; “And he said, I
pray thee divine unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring up whom I shall name unto

The power of spirits to obsess is mentioned as a matter of course in Math. 10:1; “And
when he had called unto him his twelve disciples he gave them power against unclean
spirits, to cast them out.”

Paul speaks of deceiving spirits, I Tim. 4:1; “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that
in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits,
and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared
with a hot iron: Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats.”


–The degree of Initiate Secretary is based upon Arcanum XVIII. Its lower aspect is
the spy who listens at the veil and is captured, condemned by Hiram King of Tyre,
and finally freed through the intercession of King Solomon. Its higher aspect
represents that eminent saint, John the Baptist, to whom modern Masons dedicate
their lodge; for the sun is baptised in the Holy Ghost when it enters the watery sign
Cancer and reaches the highest, and symbolically the most spiritual, point in its
annual journey.


–Arcanum XVIII explains the process of mediumship. The passive ever becomes
the medium of the active, hence matter is the medium for the expression of mind.
Broadly speaking, in the sense that it receives and transmits force, everything is
mediumistic. Because the energies of the interior planes are more active than those
external, the physical is mediumistic to the astral, and thus astrological forces
influence the life of the material world.

Carrying the same thought further, the astral world must be passive to, and the
medium of, energies from the spiritual world. Thus may we consider God as the great
central controlling spiritual force of the universe, and that from Him down to the
densest mineral atom there is a complete, graded scale of mediumship; each higher
plane transmitting the One Universal Force to the plane next below, until finally it
reaches and energizes the lowest realm.

Even the adept is but the medium for the expression of spiritual ideas upon the
physical plane. The spiritual truths externalizing in his life are taught by schools on
the interior planes and subsequently verified by his own experiences. The true adept
never claims to originate the teachings he gives out; for he recognizes the fact that
whatever truth man grasps on the physical plane is due to his reception of it from
exalted souls whose interior plane of life enables them to dispel illusion. The truth
these exalted beings realize is transmitted to them from still more interior worlds, and
so on, to the very throne of God, Who is the absolute source of all truth. But there is a
great difference between such conscious and controllable mediumship and that of the
person who trusts to some controlling spirit guide, or permits a discarnate entity to
use his body as a means of communication.

In the first place it should be understood that under proper conditions it is possible,
and frequently happens, that people who have crossed the boundary of physical life
do return and talk with their loved ones through the organism of some medium. But
the soul world closest to earth is the lower astral, in which dwell earth-bound souls,
vicious elementals, depraved elementaries, and a host of other entities, some of
which are harmlessly mischievous, some of which are inimical to man, and some of
whom desire to use him for their own ends. To abdicate the rulership of the body in
favor of whatever unseen entity happens to be present, and that may claim to be
anything that suits its purpose, is to court the domination of the soul by entities which
may use their advantage to deceive, demoralize, obsess; and which always weaken
the will.

Of all places, the public seance room seems to be one least likely to furnish anything
of value, for the mixture of the thoughts and magnetisms attracts all sorts of
questionable entities. Such conditions favor physical manifestations; for the beings
responsible for them belong to the realm of force. Where the electromagnetic energy
is present, phenomena can be furnished through an irresponsible medium as readily
and as genuinely as can be produced by an adept. But the mediums can not control

Much psychical phenomena is faked, because the genuine is so great a drain on the
medium that he can not generate the force to produce it often. Yet he feels that he
must keep his patronage at any cost. Irresponsible mediumship is fraught with great


–In the soul’s pilgrimage Arcanum XVIII denotes the neophyte’s work in the astral,
freeing earth-bound souls from their fetters, assisting those deceived to realize their
errors, and encouraging them to strive for a new and better life.

Occult Science

–Mediumship is the science of reception and transmission, embracing the law of
affinity and its application in the production of phenomena.

Spread of 36

–This spread is used to give a general reading of conditions and events. After the
customary preparatory shuffling and cutting, the cards are dealt one at a time face
downward in a square of 36, starting at the bottom right-hand corner.To read this spread, turn the cards over, from top to bottom, one at a time, in the order
of their sequence as given in the diagram on page 211. Read each card as it is turned
either as something conditioning the card just preceding it, or as a subsequent event,
as the case may be.The bottom row represents the past, the next row above represents the present
conditions, and the cards of the four rows above, each row in its proper sequence, as
conditions in the future.Then, for additional information, after the spread has been read in this manner, start
picking the cards up in pairs, reading each pair as some incident of the future. The
first two to be picked up and read in this manner are 1 and 36, the next are 2 and 35,
and so on until all 18 pairs have been read. This pair reading starts with the immediate
future, as denoted by 1 and 36. It is not meant to supplant or contradict the first
portion of the reading, but through revealing incidents of the future to shed additional

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