The First Card of the Tarot:
The Magician



the magician   


THE MAGICIAN stands for that in you, which is acutely aware, which WILLS. You are not your body and you are not the stream of consciousness, which flows through your mind. You are the awareness, which looks at your stream of consciousness, which flows through your mind and selects from it for your own purpose. The awareness which wills, is what you are: AS ABOVE, SO BELOW. This universe is the house of the Eternal Light, or Life, the Energy which we call God. This Prime Energy is the AWARENESS, the alert spectator, the actor in its house, the universe, just as we should be an alert spectator or actor in our house, the body; but God's house, if we could see it with His eyes and know its purpose, is perfect. He and His House are One.

Due to the misuse of our body in our previous lives, we cannot identify ourselves with it until we make it over. However, the ONE LIFE, which we call GOD naturally, can and does identify itself with ITS body, the Universe. There was nothing out of which it could make the Universe, but Itself. For the purpose of manifestation, the One Energy divided Itself into Two (the masculine principle and the feminine principle). These two are called the superior and the inferior natures, though they are equal. The superior nature is the Will, and by working upon another part of itself, the inferior nature (the substance), it produced all the things which go to make up the Universe. The Will supplied the ideas, the images. The inferior nature supplied the substance out of which those images took shape and gave them the shape, which the Will instructed it to take.

The receptor in our minds which perceives, which discriminates, and which recognizes the relationships, is identical with the superior nature of this One Energy, which we call God. It is in this sense that we are made in the image of God. Our awareness, which wills our Will, is identical with His. We call this awareness the "Self-conscious." We possess the power of ATTENTION, the power of seeing how things are related in cause and effect, only because that Energy possesses the same. If He did not possess it, we could not. It is this Energy, which is aware of what is going on, which wills, and which selects. We call that the self-conscious (the consciousness of Self).

In the Bible, in the terminology of theology, the self-consciousness is often called Adam. An ancient and occult proverb says that Adam was set in the Garden of Eden to grow roses. The Garden of Eden is an allegory for the human body, though unfortunately most of you are not told this by the orthodox churches. Moreover, what is the consequence? Most people think this is one of the quaintest stories ever written, this story of the Garden of Eden. Being so full of contradictions, people think it is merely a whimsical superstition trying to explain something that is not explainable. There is a theological phrase, which we meet often in the Scriptures, "the Old Adam." The Old Adam is the "natural man."

THE MAGICIAN in this card is the SPIRITUAL MAN. Spiritual man has made himself out of the natural man by working on himself. In this card, you see him cultivating his roses, making himself spiritual; the garden is his own body. Stripped of this little allegory it means the self-conscious was set in the body to refine the desire of the body--to civilize it, as we say. Our body is the first medium of our activity, and all our activity of expression must be manifested by means of our body on this physical plane. It is the mechanism of our expression.

If the Garden of Eden is our body, and Adam is the self-conscious mind, then who is Eve? Eve is the ruling mentality in the subconscious, the Collective Subconscious. We have two different consciousnesses in our body: the self-conscious, or Adam, and the subconscious, or Eve. The work of all practical occultism is to teach us to balance them. Tarot calls Eve THE EMPRESS (card III), or Venus. At present, your sub-conscious vastly outweighs your self-conscious, though you think it is just the other way around. You think your self-conscious outweighs your subconscious. Let us look at that more closely.

The Center, BETH, stands for the thinking lobe of the brain and that part of it, which is greatest, the PINEAL GLAND. The Pineal Gland is shaped like a pinecone, which is why it is called pineal. In dreams and in myths the pine tree is constantly used as a symbol of intuition for the same reason. Intuition comes from the Pineal Gland. The PITUITARY GLAND is sometimes called the "master gland," and the glands it controls are called "target glands." The Pituitary was once believed to be of little or no importance. It is now known to be extremely important in releasing hormones, and some of these control the activity of the other endocrine glands. It was to these glands that the Master Jesus made reference when He said, "Blessed are the eyes that see." As its name signifies, the Pineal Gland is the sacred pine cone in man--the eye single, which cannot be opened until the Spirit Fire is raised through the sacred seals which are called in orthodox religion the Seven Churches in Asia, the Seven Golden Candlesticks, and which are called in Eastern teachings, Chakras.

The Pineal Gland is about the size of a pea and it is located in the top part of the center of the brain. It possesses a very peculiar body, almost like a hive. It is full of little pigeonholes filled with a granular substance, which is called "brain sand." When you read in Scripture that a person goes up to the Mount to pray, it means he sends his consciousness into his Pineal Gland. You might recall that Moses went to Mount Sinai to receive the Law and that Jesus was always going up onto the Mount to pray. Why did they not receive the Law and pray on the plain? That is what is meant by these sayings. Prayer, then, is for "High Places" in the occult reading of the Scriptures.

BLACK in the cards has two meanings: a lower meaning and higher one. The lower is IGNORANCE and the higher is MYSTICAL KNOWLEDGE. STONE and stone color in all the cards have two meanings. The lower meaning of Stone signifies the NATURAL BODY, the physical body, which the Bible says is made out of the dust, a mineral. Remember that dirt is powdered stone. The higher meaning signifies the UNION OF THE SON (dust) WITH THE FATHER (stone): that is to say, the union of the personality with the Higher Self. This union is brought about when the brain sand, in the Pineal Gland, is fused into the crystal stone. When it is fused we become, in the occult use of the word, ALIVE. Hence, the pair of opposites the letter stands for and this is precisely the use of the two words, the quick and the dead, in the Gospel narrative. Whenever Jesus speaks of the quick and the dead, the quick means those people whose Pineal Gland is functioning. By the dead, he means ordinary people.

It should be quite apparent to any careful reader that many expressions in the Scriptures have a double meaning very different from their ordinary meaning; words such as faith, death, birth, blindness, and poverty. Let us take one of these beatitudes: "Blessed are the poor in spirit." What a strange expression. Why should the poor in spirit be blessed? It certainly does not mean being spiritless and not standing for your rights. It must have some ethical meaning. The ethical meaning is non-attachment to THINGS. Blessed are they whose life is not in things, in possessions, or in acquisitions.

One of the central ideas of Jesus was that the multitude should be taught in parables, and that the hidden things should be revealed only to those who are ready for them. It is constantly forgotten by the orthodox churches (if it was ever known) that much of what Jesus said was intended only for his disciples. "I teach you," he said, "the real mystery of the things of the Kingdom of Heaven. I teach the multitude in parables." He cautioned them against "casting their pearls before swine." The things that were meant for the quick should never be cast before the dead. The churches have never made any satisfactory explanation of these statements. Surely, the teachings of Jesus would have no point unless they were meant for everybody, unless there is a hidden meaning in them. What did Jesus mean by saying, "Don't cast your pearls before swine?" He told his disciples he would reveal to them the mystery of the Kingdom of Heaven. The principal idea in the Ancient Mysteries was that man, by his own work upon himself, died and was born again into a higher type of man. The Old Adam, the natural man, died and was born into the spiritual man. The ordinary, unawakened person Jesus referred to as the blind and the deaf by the words, "Those who have eyes to see, let them see, and those who have ears to hear, let them hear." Those who were in the graves did not mean the dead people, but those who had not awakened their Pineal Gland--those people subscribing to orthodox knowledge. The word dead ordinarily means those who are in their graves. He said that He came to teach both the quick and the dead. To the quick, He taught the mysteries of the coming of Heaven. To the dead He talked in instructive parables. The quick, or alive, were those who had reconstructed their bodies, who had made the spiritual man out of the natural man.

The chief index of this reconstruction is the awakened Pineal Gland. The highest function of Mercury, the mind, is to awaken the Pineal Gland and, by its use, bring down the White Light from the White Plane into our physical bodies.

This card shows THE MAGICIAN, and a magician is a man who works magic. The modern magician is not a magician at all; he is only a sleight-of-hand man. He does things so quickly that he deceives the eye, and he knows how to distract the eye while he does it, so that the eye does not perceive when he does it. He performs tricks with his hands, which deceive our eyes. A magician, in our modern association, means a man who presents an illusion to make you believe it.

This card shows THE MAGICIAN bringing down the WHITE LIGHT, the Force from above to transfuse and transform his house (his body). Not only can he transform his body, but by passing the White Light through his transformed body, he can transform his more distant environment. All Nature has the same composites as the subconscious, and the subconscious is what is transformed. Our environment begins with our house, our body. The Body is the House of the Mind. The Mind is the House of the Will. So your first house is your mind, your second house is your physical body, and your third house is outside your physical body. When you affect the animal, plant, and mineral bodies that surround you, it is called a miracle--but a miracle only means a change that is worked by an unknown force. If we use this force with the intention to control other human bodies or to get anything for ourselves, it is called Black Magic, as distinct from White Magic. The same force is used and the same force is brought down. When it is used with guilty design, or to enslave other human beings to our Will, or to fetter their Wills in the least way, it is employed for evil and not for good purposes. Therefore, you see the intention of its employment is what constitutes the difference between White Magic and Black Magic; the force is the same. There is no moral quality in a force. The moral quality is, instead, the intention.

In THE FOOL'S hand is a WHITE ROSE and the meaning of this is PURIFIED DESIRE. The Five Roses in THE MAGICIAN'S garden are not WHITE but RED. Remember, Black Magic is just as much a magic as White Magic. You do not have to have purified desire in order to be a magician.

Now, what does THE MAGICIAN do to bring down the White Light? The basis of all occult magic is the use of the sex force. It is a sex force at its mental level, not at its physical level. That is to say, it is sex force transmuted, sex force lifted to the mental plane where it functions as a powerful nerve force, a force that has nothing primarily to do with the biological function of reproduction.

By lifting the sex force to the head and transmuting it into mental sex force, THE MAGICIAN establishes definite contact with the superconscious. That is what the sex symbols in the Church mean.

This MAGICIAN has established definite contact with the superconscious by lifting the sex force to the head, transmuting something, which was a physical force into a mental force. The whole teaching of the mystic about sex differs very much from that of the Church. The occultist or mystic very much regrets the tragic mistakes of the churches in having the idea there is anything evil in the conception and the use of sex. The churches teach that it is better to get along without the employment of physical sex and that it is evil to use sex under any conditions other than ceremony--and only then it is officially condoned to use sex. The churches do not inquire of two people who have joined in wedlock how they live. It was thought what evil there was in sex was avoided if they were married by the Church. The mystic teaching about sex is very different from this. This teaching is that the physical use of sex must always be accompanied by love. Any use of sex without love is blasphemy--blasphemy against the Life Force, whether the two have been married or not. The occultists and mystic teach that if unmarried people love and are not encroaching upon the rights of others; there is no essential evil in their physical use of sex.

These cards present the highest objective possible in the particular state of consciousness that each one depicts. In this card, the highest use of the Mind is to bring down the White Light by the agency of the mental sex force. There is no reason whatever for a person to seek to transmute his sex force, unless he feels the inner urge to do so! In the preliminary stages, you cannot complete the process and engage in the physical use of sex at the same time. This is exceedingly dangerous in itself, as it prevents completion of the process. The reason is a practical one. To complete the process it is necessary for you to make certain new cells in your brain. The construction of these new cells demands certain chemicals, which, now, Nature is using for the physical sex force. To raise the sex force to the head compels the temporary suspension of the physical use of sex. When the process is completed, the physical use will be resumed without impairing the function of the mental. It is from the aforementioned fact that the very regrettable attitude of the churches toward sex arose, thus appearing to condemn sex. The mystic or the occultist advises no one in this personal matter whether it is time for you to try to raise the sex force. The time to attempt it is when you feel that it is time. In the same way, the occultist says that it is a perfectly personal matter when you think you should give up other things. No one else knows enough about you to insist you should undertake this process.

The organ that the practical occultist develops is the Pineal Gland. This makes new brain cells in the Reasoning, or left lobe, of the brain. Unless the Pineal Gland is energized by currents coming from the sex ganglia…. (many pages follow in this card before the symbolism appears).


You see the artist has very well suggested that one-half of THE MAGICIAN is rigid and the other half is loose. You can see that in his hand. He is holding up his right hand very rigidly while the other hand has no tension at all, so that the force comes down and just drips off his fingers. That is the experience, which you will have if part of you is relaxed. As you approach it, you will note how it follows of itself. This is the body attitude to try for. I do not know any other way to describe it. His pose appears to be a steady effort without any strain whatever. That statement sounds contradictory on the face of it, "Steady effort without any strain."

One-half of him is putting forth strenuous effort. The other half of him is relaxed so that he takes up the strain, or absorbs the strain. In taking things with ease, THE MAGICIAN conversely shows his mastery of them.

THE MAGICIAN'S pose shows the technique of concentration. The general impression is that concentration is difficult. It is difficult in that it takes a great deal of experimenting. When you have learned it you wonder why you were so long experimenting with it, it is so simple. I do not know if anyone will be able to tell you how to go about it, or how to learn it. Continuous practice, with awareness, will surely yield results.

If you take THE MAGICIAN'S attitude--part of you very tense and part of you very relaxed--you will find yourself concentrating before you know it. It is your self-conscious that you hold rigid and it is your subconscious that you relax. The only effort you are putting forth should be in the mind, and you balance that effort through an entire lack of tension in the body. An entire lack of tension is relaxation. Relaxation is just the opposite of concentration. This must be learned; otherwise, you would be devitalized in order to relax. You will learn that, too, with effort. Where effort is not present, you are not relaxing; suddenly, without making effort, you find that you have achieved it.

What have you concentrated on? Not your mental force, you do not concentrate upon that. You concentrate upon the Light (White) that comes down from THE FOOL, as it passes through your brain. You keep that effort going while you look at it as long as you please. If you can hold that in your mind, you automatically put yourself in touch with the boundless resources of the subconscious.

On the next card, THE HIGH PRIESTESS, the subconscious is infinitely vaster than you, the awakened consciousness. The subconscious is a sea on which you, your consciousness, is only a wave--a wave on the surface. How do we find the subconscious?


many pages continue ...


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