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Builders of the Adytum

New Zealand

By the time this newsletter reaches you the Olympics will be

over, the races run, or swum, or rowed, or sailed ... whatever.

But what a wonderful occasion despite the controversies

when virtually the whole world comes together to celebrate
friendship as well as rivalry without guns being fired (except in
competition) and nobody dying (we hope).

Zenith News Notes No 97, September 2012

BOTA Meetings
We l l i n g t o n
B.O.T.A. Headquarters NZ, Cnr Treadwell & Naenae Rds, Lower Hutt
Enquiries: Phone 04 567 5751 or Fax 04 567 5757
Qabalistic Healing Service:
Every Sunday morning at 10.30 am
Class Work: 2nd, 3rd, 4th & 5th Tuesday of each month at 7.30 pm
Pronaos: 1st Tuesday at 7.30 pm (initiated members only)

Higher Thought Temple, Union Street, Central City
Enquiries: Phone 09 273 3046 - Frater Michael Sutcliffe
Qabalistic Healing Service:
1st Sunday morning of the month at 10.30 am
Healing Colour and Sound Ritual:
2nd Wednesday of each month at 7.30 pm
Tarot Key Discussion: 3rd Wednesday at 7.30 pm
Tree of Life Meditation and Chanting:
4th Wednesday at 7:30pm

Enquiries: Phone 03 472 7274 - Soror Jan Faris
Qabalistic Healing Service :
1st and 3rd Sundays at 10.30am
Vibratory Attunement Healing Service :
2nd Sunday at 10.30am
Class Work : 4th Sunday at 10.30am and 1st Tuesday at 7:00pm
Meditation Meeting :
5th Sunday at 10:30am

(Australian Meetings listed on the inside back cover)

September 2012

17th Path, Key 6

Zain The Lovers

It has been suggested in our work that during a

period of study on a grade or path, that we should
think of the qualities attributed to that grade or path
as already hours, every expression of the one is part
of our real identity-what has been unfolded is. To
become receptive to it is to become more fully our
Self. Our focus this morning is on the 17th Path on
the Tree of Life, it is the second path ascending into
Binah connecting with Tiphareth, to it is attributed
the Hebrew letter Zain and Key 6 The Lovers-with
the related zodiacal sign of Gemini, ruled by
Mercury. The letter name Zain means sword, a
cutting instrument suggesting discrimination, the
title of the Path Is the Disposing Intelligence which
has the same discriminating and separate feeling. Ascent into the Path of
Zain requires the recognition of the Omnipresent and its influence of the
three prime aspects of the One Indivisible Being, in various proportions
and mixtures that indwell all the worlds and planes and beings. The
concept of Three in One is summed up beautifully in this small meditation
in relation to this Path.

"Thou art the One who separates-to heal-to make whole-thou preparest me
for Neshamah, the Sanctifying Soul!"

This concept of the Three in One is an expression of Dominion, it is

primary and ancient.

In Key 6 we see this ideal when the three principles are established, we see
it on The Tree of Life where Binah completes the Supernal Triad. She
contains within, the powers of , the Will of Kether and the Wisdom of
Chokmah, they are all blended in the Understanding of Binah, she is
recognised as the Foundation among the Supernals and again we see it
where ascent into the 17th of Zain is only possible after we have perfect

Zenith News Notes No 97

interaction between the 3 Sephiroth below the Supernals, in the Egoic

Triad of Tiphareth, Geburah and Chesed. Where the powers attributed to
the Exempt Adept of Chesed have been unfolded, represented by the open
Path of Teth Key 8 Strength. The three central figures in this Key
primarily relate to the three modes of human consciousness-the Angel as
Super Consciousness, the man as self-consciousness and the woman as
subconsciousness, by considering other triplicities linked to this key we
can gain an even deeper understanding, the Angel also portrays the
Alchemical principle of Mercury, also Kether and the Father. The man
portrays Alchemical Sulphur, Chokmah and the Son, the Woman portrays
Alchemical Salt, Binah and the mother principle.

The mental faculty of Key 6 represents Discrimination. In its most

constructive use discrimination is that in us which is able to discern small
differences between things that seem identical, it helps us to deepen our
understanding and concern for others and helps us to discover truth.
The 6th Sephirah of Beauty is the starting point for entrance into this Path
of Zain that ascends into Binah and Understanding, the orange of this path
indicates that the same mental faculties attributed to Hod are at work but
on a higher more perfected level of operation, then Hod is sufficiently
transformed because of its continued influence it is now able to receive
through the opened Pillar of Severity, it becomes our instrument of
discrimination for work in the Path of the Sword.

It is the built in quality of discrimination that enables us to recognise the 3

subtle qualities inherent in all things, discrimination of this highest order is
the result of long devotion to practising all we receive. This is symbolised
by the man and woman in Key 6, fine distinctions must be made between
these levels of consciousness before truths and illumination may be
received by the Angel, they also represent the Alchemical Sun and Moon
referring to the Primal-active fiery and passive watery-currents of the Life-
power which are present in all things.

They are objective and subjective, as the inner organs are ripened through
much balancing and interaction between these two levels of consciousness.
Then we are ready for the portion of the Great Work in which the
kundalini ascends. The Subjective level has the order and discipline of the
best expressions of intellectual unfoldment, while the objective level has

September 2012

the warmth, and sensitivity and caring that is expressive of the highest
subjective qualities. They portray the activity of perfect reciprocation
creating a loving and harmonious relationship, then the Angel portraying
Tiphareth can illuminate the pair, building the mental body, refined
enough to ascend this Path of Zain. The illuminated condition of
subconsciousness is what makes us automatically discriminating. The
Violet mountain in the background is an emblem of the Great Work-here
in relation to the three figures it represents the transformed Yesod (or
Foundation) as seen on the Tree of Life, this is the automatic level of
consciousness symbolised also by the female in Key 8 representing the
completed work of the Angel. She represents us with transformations so
firmly established that they are totally in dominion on the automatic level
of consciousness, totally receptive to the higher planes illuminations, this
illuminated substance comes from the Angel, it represents the highest most
refined frequencies of substance, this is what aligns us with the major
rhythms of universal beings, this highly refined spiritual essence known
also as the Mercury of the sages emanates into manifestation from Binah
and becomes purified subconsciousness, or Alchemical Salt, when cleared
of impurities its vehicles can receive the mercurial substance from the
Angel, this is how we become automatically discriminating.

Alchemical Sulphur is the active principle shown by the male as self-

consciousness, this idea is symbolised again in Key 1 by the magician. He
is the Sulphur principle of Alchemy in action. The ability to focus
attention, to act as a transmitter or mediator for bringing down and
utilising the illuminating substance of Mercury.

In Key 6 the man is passive, showing the ideal relationship when the three
principles have been established, he becomes more of an observer of work
knowing the true work to be performed by the Angel, reflected to him by
way of the subconscious mind, this is the female now prepared to do so.
Although this Key appears calm and the male passive, it still holds many
symbols revealing a fiery intensity, in the Angels flame like hair, the
flames in the tree behind the man, the serpent and fruit symbols, these all
suggest an intensity of desire or zeal needed. We have been told that
Initiation is the Greatest Art of all, it requires precision instruments,
vehicles of the finest sensitivity, they must be activated with a fine
discrimination if truths are to be revealed. By taking up this work we apply

Zenith News Notes No 97

that zeal, where we look into ourselves and become good self critics
wielding the sword of Zain, imperfections that we have considered
unimportant in ordinary life have changed since taking up the fiery zeal of
the sword of Zain, this is an emblem of the consuming desire to know
truth, no matter how painful, when we permit ourselves to recognise the
errors in our personality we begin to transform them, to equilibrate them as
we open ourselves to more revelations of truth-linked with the
discrimination faculty a subtle inner discernment emerges, a
perceptiveness to things and people that goes beyond what the outer senses
and mental reasoning faculties can report. Fine discrimination is an art.
Whatever field or level of consciousness we apply to it, it is a learned
faculty. Usually the learning process includes the overcoming of many
difficulties trials and pain, any skill is the result of labourious mental work
at some time. Gemini linked with this Key is a mental air sign to which
quick thinking and fast accurate decision making are attributed, this skill is
the result of past work and not necessarily in this lifetime, the level of
individual development makes a difference and also any particular
emphasis being worked out in any given lifetime.

The title of this Key, The Lovers, would indicate that this Key is
particularly dealing with discrimination in relationships, where we have
experienced emotional upheavals we often learn the most. Discrimination
in love develops from our sorrows and disappointments, as we mature in
the work we are able to see that mostly our suffering was caused by our
own false images and expectations. One of the necessary qualities to
ascend this path is the capacity for skilful settling of conflicts, to
equilibrate unbalanced forces, this must become second nature. The Angel
is Raphael, Archangel of Air and Mercury, Raphael is God as Healer, with
his illuminating light he heals the conflicts and eliminates the errors on the
concrete mental plane, he unites and harmonises, expressed as the Lovers,
by revealing higher truth. When the interaction on this level is such that
desire and its development are dedicated to performing the Great Work
then the "Mountain of Attainment" as representing Yesod, begins to be

The scene in Key 6 is concerned with bringing about an ideal relationship

between the three Alchemical principles and the three levels of
consciousness, this enlightened insight into existence is accomplished by a

September 2012

more definite view of what we have chosen, most of us come into the work
with an idealistic yearning to serve humanity and the hierarchy of light, it
is usually hazy and indefinite, especially as to how we might accomplish
it, this is where our work enables us to realise the adjustments that we need
to make as pictured here in Key 6. A harmonious reciprocating and open
relationship must be in operation between its two basic levels of awareness
before clear receptivity to the substance of illumination from Neshamah
becomes possible.

Binah is the Divine mother of us all! The blessed one-the essence of love-
because thou art love, all that thou givest birth to must in essence be that

We shrink from change;

yet is there anything that come into being without it?
What does Nature hold dearer, or more proper to herself?
Could you have a hot bath unless the firewood underwent
some change? ... Do you not see, then, that change in
yourself is of the same order, and no less necessary to
Marcus Aurelius
121-180 AD Roman Emperor and Philosopher

Zenith News Notes No 97

Key 20, Judgement

As we can see from its title, Key 20 is assigned to

Judgment. In one respect the scene depicted refers
to reception into the Christ Consciousness, but this
is not the topic under consideration here. Instead,
we will be focusing on Key 20 from the viewpoint
of its position in the 31st Path of the Tree of Life
the Path joining Malkuth to Hod.

What limits our ability to judge accurately?

The aspect of judgment applicable to this discussion
is evaluation. Both judgment and evaluation depend
on the ability to be aware of the full picture. Fourth
dimensional consciousness, shown in this Key, is
the plane of conscious awareness of the One Self,
the One Ego in Tiphareth [The Tarot: 85]. This type of consciousness is
available to very few people, and so most of us do not see the full picture
when we look at present or past experiences. This limitation of
consciousness limits our ability to evaluate or judge accurately.
Consequently it is wise to be humble in expressing our opinions and

Receptivity of the mind to physical plane intelligence

The connection between Malkuth (the physical plane) and Hod (the
intellect, or the self-conscious, thinking mind) via the 31st Path of Shin
points to our ability to increase our receptivity to the intelligences of the
physical plane.

Lets start with a technique that enables us to eventually accept full

responsibility for all that happens to us in this life on the physical plane.
The practice I am referring to is that of using the world as a mirror. For
example, when another driver cuts us off by pulling in front of us without
warning, causing us to brake and take evasive action, instead of reacting
angrily, we might wonder, When and how am I cutting people off,
causing upset? When this practice has become a habit, we can quickly
move away from feelings of self-pity, and the idea that a particular

September 2012

experience is so unfair because we are an innocent victim. These thoughts

and feelings are based on an underlying belief in our separation from
others, separation from the world separation from Divinity. Although
Qabalists recognize that separation is contrary to our beliefs, this remains a
theoretical concept until we have grounded it by converting it into a
habitual way of thinking and being.

When we use the world as a mirror, held up so we can observe the patterns
of both error and success in the outer world, and realize these are a
reflection of our own thoughts, feelings and actions, we can interpret our
experiences from the perspective of our unity with life, instead of
separation from it. It takes time to establish any new habit. Working to
establish this one honours our aspiration and intent to complete the Path of

There are other ways in which we can bring positive new interpretation
and intelligence from the physical plane (Malkuth) into our conscious
mind (Hod). Dwell on your attitude to your body, your environment, your
community, nature, and the planet. Think about how you can care better
for each, and why this might be important. Renewing our relationship with
all aspects of the physical plane and extending our receptivity to the
intelligences there, is a specific project. If we take it on we must apply
ourselves with determination and persistence. Further instruction is
available in the B.O.T.A lessons. This is a project that will take us far
along the 31st Path of Shin.

We move now to a completely different topic which is our focus for the
remainder of this article.

The letter Shin, Kundalini and assimilation

The meaning of the Hebrew letter, Shin, assigned to this Key gives us a
clue to how consciousness is evolved towards Fourth Dimensional
awareness. Shin means tooth or fang. The word fang should bring to
mind Kundalini the serpent power which is expressed on the physical
plane as libido, or the sex-drive. Serpent power is related to the power
that opens and balances the chakras, [SSP 50: 3] and this is a pre-requisite
to fourth dimensional or super-conscious awareness. We are told that the
real function of libido and sex is the drive of the Life-power to provide

Zenith News Notes No 97

itself with finer and finer vehicles of expression" which in turn achieve
union with the One Self. [TF 32: 3]. This, of course, is our great goal.

Both words, tooth and fang, also refer to assimilation. We use teeth to
chew, to break down food, so we can absorb and then assimilate its
constituents. This is analogous to the work we must do to assimilate
experiences. Until we have assimilated past experiences we will have
emotions that are trapped, resulting in resistances that limit our progress,
that limit our ability to see the whole picture and to judge impartially.
Errors of judgment have consequences that are inescapable, and to be free
of them we must eliminate their cause the trapped emotions and
behavioural habits linked to non-assimilated or non-integrated experiences.

The positive symbolism of the coffins and death

In Key 20, we see three figures standing up, each in an open coffin. We
automatically think of death of the physical body when we see coffins. But
Anne Davies has said: The principal of death has to do with many things:
death to the false personality; death to the patterns, forms of thinking and
feeling that are bound up in the unevolved, the ignorant and primitive
forms of consciousness. We have to die to the old in order to be born into
the new, and we never die to the old until we can see that the old really has
no place in our lives . Release from the coffins [as shown in this Key,
refers to] release from our prisons of yesterday, from what we cling to
in misinterpretations of the experiences that bind us in negative emotional
experiences. [SSP 50: 3]

This ties in with what Paul Case said, in an article reproduced in Zenith
News Notes, No 95, in March 2012, P3: In its youth the soul is always
looking ahead, always expecting something from the future, always gazing
toward the Beyond. When the soul has gained experience, it looks the
other way. It knows that the goal may be found by retracing ones
steps. What this means should become apparent from what follows.

Release from our coffins the assimilation of trapped energy

Trapped emotions and misunderstanding due to incorrect judgments of
past events cause resistances in us. These resistances affect our judgment,
our physical health and they certainly limit our ability to be an
unobstructed vehicle for the flow of Divine Love and Creative Powers

September 2012

through us. We take note of the saying, What you resist persists. Here is
an unspoken imperative for us to identify our resistances and be committed
to releasing them.

How do we assimilate emotional energy that is trapped in our memories of

painful past experiences?
The B.O.T.A practice of contemplating one Tarot Key every day for a
week, and then moving on to the next Key, combined with reading one of
the lessons for the particular Key, cannot be over-emphasised as a safe and
successful method. In addition, we must do the work of balancing the
opposites, (see Table) and open our consciousness in meditation. By
taking notes about the insights we receive during study and meditation
periods we can anchor the new understanding, the new interpretation of
past events.

Let us consider another active process to assist becoming free from our
resistances and assimilating energy trapped in unresolved experiences. The
nature of this process is one of being with. The time we are about to
spend on this is insufficient to really explain the process in great depth.
The following is merely an introduction to those who are interested and
also have normal mental health. This method may not be appropriate for
people needing medications to stabilise their mental health, or those with
severe emotional scars. The process is gentle and natural, but it may not
suit all because it involves being with our emotions.

Before telling you about the process, I want to acknowledge its source, and
recommend the book devoted to it. Im referring to The Presence Process,
Revised Edition, by Michael Brown. A central concept in this process is
that our present pains and upsets have their origin in, and are a direct
extension of, past pains and upsets. Thus, when pain or negative emotions -
such as anger, anxiety or resignation - arise, we can immediately recognize
them as a messenger of past upset that is awaiting integration. Our access
to assimilating the trapped energy is by being with the feelings we have

Michael Brown says: We choose to be with our pain or discomfort

unconditionally, which means we have no agenda aside from being with it.
We arent trying to fix, change, understand, visualize, transform, heal, or

Zenith News Notes No 97

manipulate the discomfort in any way. We [feel] it as deeply as possible,

allowing the charged emotion to respond which means that whatever
happens as a consequence of our being with it unconditionally is valid.
Our objective is not to wallow in our upsets. Rather, our role, as a
conscious mind is simply to stay with the feelings, in exactly the same way
that a caring mother, father, an older brother or sister would stay with us
until our upset disappears. It may be helpful to visualize ourselves in that
nurturing, caring attitude while our inner child-self experiences the pain.
This is not a one-off activity: it must be performed ongoingly - whenever
we are able to stop what we are doing and be with pain and emotional
discomforts as they are experienced.

This approach gradually transforms our relationship with pain and

discomfort. Instead of treating these occurrences like an invading enemy,
we approach them like a mother gently comforting a distraught child with
her unconditional Presence. War within ourselves cannot realize peace.
However, the integrative capacity inherent in unconditional attention
does. [Michael Brown]

We have considered two important aspects of the work we can do in the
31st Path of Shin. This article only provides an introduction to both. The
first involves increasing the receptivity of our mind to physical plane
intelligence. This is not a small undertaking. The second involves retracing
our steps experientially, facing, feeling our past discomforts and
assimilating the energies trapped there. It enables correcting past errors of
judgment and the resistances they caused. We do not need to force this
work we just make sure we persist with it. Both types of work are a
labour of love - gifts to ourselves that will dissolve our resistances and
thus enable love to flow more freely, more abundantly through us to

Table: The Pairs of Opposites

Life and Death (Key 1)
Peace and Strife (Key 2)
Wisdom and Folly (Key 3)

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Wealth and Poverty (Key 10)

Grace and Sin (or Beauty and Ugliness) (Key 16)
Fertility and Sterility (Key 19)
Dominion and Slavery (Key 21)

References and abbreviations

The Tarot. Paul Foster Case.
TF = Tarot Fundamentals lessons
SSP = Development of Super-sensory Powers lessons
Zenith News Notes, No 95, March 2012: P1 -4,
The Presence Process, Revised Edition. Michael Brown.

Key 9 The Hermit

The tarot key titled the Hermit bears the number 9.

This might remind us of the letter Teth which has
the numeral value 9 and is assigned to Strength, the
key which precedes the Hermit in the tarot series. 9
might also remind us of the 9th Sephirah Yesod on
the Tree of Life. To the Hermit is attributed the
letter Yod which is the number 10. 10 might refer to
the ten Sephiroth, or to the 10th Sephirah Malkuth,
the physical plane. Astrologically, the Hermit is
assigned to Virgo, the 6th sign of the zodiac and an
earthy sign. On the Tree of Life, the Hermit
corresponds to the 20th path which connects the
Sephirah Chesed, Mercy, with Tiphareth, the sphere
of the Sun.

The Hermit is clearly human. He stands at the pinnacle, representing the

highest in humanity. His robe is grey, showing that he has neutralised all
the pairs of opposites. The staff he has used for climbing is held lightly in
his hand no longer needed. The blue Yod cap draws attention to the
Hermits mind. The colour blue refers to the High Priestess and the phase
of consciousness that links all of Life. Blue is also the colour of Chesed, or

Zenith News Notes No 97

Mercy, the 4th Sephirah. The Hermit is linked beneficently with all life.
This is a key of blessing.

The lamp holds a six pointed star the Mogen David, meaning in Hebrew
the Shield or Star of David. David means love so we could call this the
Star of Love. It is in the spirit of loving kindness that the Hermit looks
below, shining his lantern for younger brothers and sisters on the path to

We know on a deep level when we see this key that it represents a

blessing. Thats why so many aspirants are attracted to Key 9 when they
see it for the first time. Many report that it is their favourite key.

The blessing of Key 9 evokes a response in us a striving for the higher,

that keeps us on the spiritual path. It works the other way too. When we
strive earnestly and sincerely to reach upward and inward to the highest
that is in us, the response comes. And Response is the Law that is assigned
to this Key. In Tarot Fundamentals, Dr Case writes This Law may be
stated thus: Every activity of human personality is really a response to the
initiative of the Originating Principle of the Universe.

He carries on Put simply, the lesson of Key 9 is that our personal lives, in
even the least particulars, are responses to the flow of energy originating in
the One Self. Whether we know it or not, that Self is what is designated by
the pronoun I and the letter Yod, Hebrew equivalent to our letter I, is
also the initial letter of the word YHVH, indicating God, and the noun
Yechidah, the term Qabalists use to designate the One Self.

Even in Introduction to Tarot, one of the first courses we do in the lessons,

he writes Every man and woman on this planet is connected to the One
Self by a ray of the cosmic light. None of us lives or moves, but by this
power. All personal action is really a response to impulses coming down to
us from the Father of Lights. Thus the supreme conscious attainment is
the realisation that the One Self is also the Only Self.

The One Self knows all its personal manifestations and works through
every one to bring about that persons conscious union with the Supreme.

September 2012

If all this seems quite abstract there is a very practical side to Key 9 as
well. From early on in the lessons we learn that Key 9 is assigned to Virgo
and that Virgo is assigned by astrologers to the part of the body that
contains the intestines. Our work is extremely practical and aims at a series
of transmutations that are completed here in our physical bodies.

From Introduction to Tarot again ...the heights of adeptship are reached

as a result of minute alterations in the chemistry and structure of the
physical body of man.
Outwardly, an Adept looks like any other member of the human race, but
his blood is different, his organs function better, and what are rudimentary
structures in most human skulls are fully functioning organs in the brain of
a fully liberated master of life. The place where the fundamental difference
between an adepts body and that of an ordinary man is determined is in
the region governed by Virgo.
And in this regard the best story we have is that of the birth of the Christ
child in a manger, which is a feed trough for cattle, in a place called Beth
Lehem the House of Bread. In our Christmas service is the line (or very
close to it) And I have brought to Bethlehem the House of Bread, a
comforter who shall blossom within you. These ideas are very practical,
mundane even, and at the same time spiritually exalted. Virgo is an earth
sign and related to the 6th house which is all to do with hygiene and day to
day work routines and personal health. These seemingly mundane things
are important for our spiritual advancement.

The phrase Mogen David the Star of Love in the Hermits lantern - adds
to 107. 107 is the number of the Latin phrase LVX Domini Light of the
Lord. This is the Light mystics come into contact with when they start to
make progress on the Path. We should understand this contact in the literal
sense of touch because the sense of touch is assigned to Key 9.

Mystics use quite sensual language to describe the experience of contact

with higher levels. They are very definitely touched by the experience. The
Psalms use the imagery of the Bride and Groom, of Lover and Beloved.
Yod, which is the Life and Light force of Chokmah, is also the hand which
reaches out and touches.

Zenith News Notes No 97

107 is also the number of the Hebrew phrase, meaning Altar of

Earth. This phrase appears in Exodus just after JHVH has delivered the 10
Commandments to Moses on the Mountain. He says You shalt not make
Gods of silver or gold. You shall make an altar of earth for me and you
shall sacrifice your burnt offerings and your peace offerings on it.

This Altar of Earth is something that has to be built here on the physical
plane. We get a strong clue as to what it is when we look at the word
translated as earth Adamah. It is written Adam Heh. If we switch it to
Ha Adam it means the Adam, or the Man, or generic humanity. This
reminds us that spiritual aspirants are builders and workers. If we want to
encounter the kinds of things that are designated by terms like LVX
Domini, we first need to build an instrument capable of the task.

Starting to weave some of these strands together now, Key 9 is related to

the actual process by which we build light-stuff into our vehicles. In the
lessons we are given some quite homely advice on how to achieve this.
Whether we take that advice is up to us. Another word adding to 107 is the
word MASU meaning rejected, as in the stone that was rejected by the

107 is the number you get if you add AB, Father; AIMA, Mother; and
BEN, the Son. The numbers are 3, 52 and 52.

All three phases of the Life Powers expression are visible in Key 9. The
Father is shown by the letter Yod and the grey colour of the robe which is
assigned to Chokmah. The inky, indigo-black colour of the background of
this key is a colour that is associated with Binah the third Sephirah on
the Tree of Life - also associated with AIMA. The lantern is six sided and
contains a six pointed star both corresponding to Tiphareth on the Tree,
where Ben the Son is located. These are the three great principles of life
that keep the Universe in an endless state of becoming.

Implicit in the idea of Father, Mother and Son is the idea of reproduction
which is closely associated with this Key. The number 9 is Yesod on the
Tree of Life, seat of the reproductive forces. The staff in the Hermits hand
is - adding to 54 - the number of Dan, the Hebrew tribe associated
with Scorpio. There are other Scorpio references in this key. Mattah means

September 2012

sceptre, or staff, or serpent. A serpent was said to be the symbol on the

standard of Dan.

Key 13, Death, is the key assigned to Scorpio. When we put Key 13 side
by side with Key 9 we notice the scythe in Key 13. If we look at Key 9, the
staff and the Hermits cap taken together form the shape of an upside
down scythe. In Key 13 the scythe is turned toward earth. In Key 9 it is
turned toward heaven. Key 13 is called Death. If we think of the scythe in
terms of reaping, then the position of the scythe in Key 9 shows that the
Hermit has gone beyond death.

The pathway that leads to this high state is the pathway trodden by
alchemists and yogis for centuries. We get a glimpse of what it is by
analysing the letters of the Hebrew word for staff .
is the root of water the great sea from which all forms come. The
Hanged Man assigned to this letter shows surrender to higher forces and
the suspended Mind, or Samadhi.

is the power of suggestion, and the Kundalini energy that is coiled at the
base of the spine when we begin the Path of Return. The yogic and
alchemical path is to raise this force until it energises certain centres in the

the last letter of the word - is related astrologically to the region of

the head in the human body.

In the BOTA training system we do work with these forces but we do not
focus special attention on any particular centre or channel. The work that
we do with Tarot and Qabalah, and the practical exercises we are given,
create the necessary conditions for spiritual progress to be made if and
when we are ready.

So what can we know about higher states of consciousness while we are

still struggling up the mountain toward the Hermit? We can use the Law of
Correspondences to reason from lower to higher, from the Below to the
Above, as discussed in the Kybalion.

Zenith News Notes No 97

One thing about states of consciousness is that we cant know them until
we experience them. The number 9 is related to Yesod. This is sometimes
referred to the astral plane and related to psychic phenomena. One thing to
notice particularly about the Hermit is his absolute calm and poise. He has
neutralised the opposites. We can be sure that no destabilising psychic
sideshow disturbs the peace of this state of consciousness.

But there is a tendency in us all to think of consciousness our

consciousness as being fixed. I am I the same today as yesterday and
the same tomorrow. There is a level on which this may be true but the
reality of our personal states of consciousness is that they are constantly
changing - from experiencing strong emotion, to intense concentration, to
relaxation and calm. When we are waiting for something that were
looking forward to, time seems to slow right down and drag on for hours.
When were happy, time seems to zip by, and we can hardly believe we
have to go to bed because theres work tomorrow.

Sudden flashes of insight, unexplained depression, a disembodied feeling

... these are all states of consciousness that we can experience at various

One experience that happened to me that opened me to the possibility of

different ranges or states of consciousness happened when I was driving.
It was a cold night in Dunedin and I couldnt work out why the traffic was
moving so slowly. The road seemed clear ahead, so I pulled out. Thats
when I realised how icy the road was the reason everyone else was
driving so slowly. I was going a normal speed but the conditions were far
from normal.

The wheels started to spin ... the car started to slide ... straight towards a
lamp post. I remember thinking about my mother and how upset she would

Thats when something changed. It was as if everything slowed down. The

lamp post started to fill up the windscreen. That was how I experienced it
the lamp post wasnt getter closer, it was getting bigger and bigger. I had
time to think What if the crash starts a fire? so I calmly reached down
and switched off the engine. The experience was in slow motion,

September 2012

absolutely calm, and a bit detached. It was like I was watching what was
happening rather than actually being involved in it.

Then came the impact and I snapped back to a more normal state of
consciousness. I hit the lamp post, bumped my head a bit, but I wasnt
badly hurt and life moved on.

But the memory of that experience has stayed with me. I had the feeling
that the calm, detached, watchful presence might have been there all the
time. I dont have any evidence for this but it was like my everyday
consciousness was switched off for a short time and then switched back on
... possibly because of the shock. And it was interesting that underlying
consciousness didnt know the lamp post was getting closer; it thought it
was getting bigger that learned response to visual perspective was gone.
And my experience of time was completely different.

All of this may have very little to do with the kind of consciousness shown
in the Hermit. But it did show me I experienced that there are different
kinds of consciousness from the ones we are used to. The everyday
conceptions of time and space that are necessary for us to live our lives in
the physical universe are not necessary in other ranges of experience.

Its best not to try to label this kind of thing. It was actually quite matter of
fact and pedestrian in a way. No doubt there is a neuroscientific
explanation that involves a series of neurons firing out of sequence and by-
passing the older part of my brain. All the phenomena in my experience
are quite common in accident and emergency situations the smaller
consciousness that we use is stunned or put aside and we work directly
from a deeper part of our being.

In the lessons, we are told that the Hermit is Purusha the Onlooker of the
samkhya yoga system. Purusha is pure consciousness and does not become
involved in Prakriti, the material world of personality. Purusha is more of a
witness to the events of this world.

I now have a very vague feeling a glimpse - for what that concept may
be like and Im extremely grateful to the Lord of Life for that minor traffic

Zenith News Notes No 97


To this transformation of man by himself is

addressed what is called the Great Work. It is
accomplished by the recognition of the law
typified in Key 8. That law is also symbolized by
the Hebrew letter f Teth, whose shape suggests what its name
signifies a serpent.

The law in question is the law of vibration and transformation,

which the ancients represented by the serpent symbol.
The True and Invisible Rosicrucian Order, Paul Foster Case

The form of f Teth is inverted, thus symbolizing hidden,

inverted good as expressed in the Zohar, its good is hidden
within it. The form of the letter f Teth symbolizes the union of
the groom and the bride consummating with conception. The
secret of the f Teth (numerically equivalent to nine, thenine
months of pregnancy) is the power of the mother to carry her
inner concealed good the fetus through the period of
The Alef-Beit, Rabbi Ginsburgh

The first f Teth, that appears in the Torah is in the word tov, bwf,
meaning good. It is found in Genesis 1:4; And God saw that
the light was good. (tov, bwf) This shows that f Teth is a general
symbol for goodness.
The Wisdom in the Hebrew Alphabet, Rabbi Munk

September 2012

Drawing the Teth

Begin by drawing the letter y Yod (A to B) on the left side of the

grid. Make a downward stroke beginning at the centre of the y Yod
(C) curving and widening outward to the point at the base of the
letter (D). Continue the widened stroke horizontally to the right
edge of the letter (E).

Just below the bottom point of the initial y Yod (F) and to the
point (G), begin a curved and narrowing stroke ending at (E).

It is very important to keep a space between the initial y Yod (A-

B) and the final descending stroke starting at (F-G) and ending at
(E). f Teth is an open letter.

Whether living alone is adventure or hardship will

depend entirely on your attitude and your decisions.
Become friends with yourself; learn to appreciate
who you are and your unique gifts. Be patient with
yourself and use your sense of humour to keep
things in perspective.

Dorothy Edgerton American Writer

BOTA Meetings
Study Group: 4th Sunday of the month
Enquiries: Frater Ross & Soror Tania Giles - 03 5967 1502
Soror Ellen Green - 03 9569 6720

Study Group: 3rd Sunday of each month.
Enquiries: Phone John Latore - 8362 4016 or 0404 804016
Phone Felice Arlotta - 8362 3986

Qabalistic Healing service / Class Work:
1st Tuesday of each month at 7.00 pm
Pronaos: 3rd Tuesday at 7.30 pm (initiated members only)
Unitarian Church, 15A Francis Street, Sydney
Enquiries: Phone: Suzie Farrow - 02 9953 4613 or 0450 090

Study Group: 4th Sunday of each month at 1:30pm
Enquiries: Phone Christine Norris - 0415 410 145 or
Suzie Farrow - 0450 090 422