Thread: The Universe
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Michael Sternbach  Michael Sternbach is offline
Join Date: 30 Aug 2014
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Michael Sternbach 

Originally Posted by Snaut View Post
I have a different question but did not want to open another thread. In fact, I have two questions.

In the second coil of the snake there are five gray rays on the patter of the snake. They never caught my attention before. What is this? Any ideas?

The second one concerns the kerubic beasts in the quarters. Compared to the RWS world card the eagle and the guy are exchanged. Was this a blend in the RWS or is it one of those weird crowley things. In the Thoth Hierophant the association of kerubic beasts to quarters is the same as in the universe.

As far as I understand because of astrology we have
lion = leo = fire
bull = taurus = earth
man = aquarius = air
eagle = scorpio = water

In the LBRP we have
air in front
water behind
fire on the right
earth on the left

,which makes things even more confusing. So we have three different ways of assigning elements/kerubic beasts to directions.
Although what we see here are representations of the four fixed signs of the zodiac, they are obviously not shown in their astrological order which has Leo (fire) opposite Aquarius (air), and Taurus (earth) opposite Scorpio (water).

Rather, the way the kerubim are arranged on those two Majors, they represent the Aristotelian cross of the elements which is central to alchemy. On it, fire (hot and dry) is opposite to water (cold and wet), air (hot and wet) opposite to earth (cold and dry).

The third way to pair the elements (fire/earth and water/air respectively), as suggested by the LBRP, would seem to be based on Plato's Timaios and can also be seen in Julius Evola's The Hermetic Tradition. Evola found this scheme in the unpublished documents of UR, an Italian Hermetic-Pythagorean group that he was a member of, comparable to the Golden Dawn.

None of these arrangements is "wrong", each is just highlighting a particular way the four elements relate to one another. But yes, when making further attributions (such as to the four cardinal directions), this gets very confusing. As every so often in the esoteric sciences, there is no consensus there, what is "right" depends on context or personal preference.
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