Alchemical Gnosis, Tree of Lief and Tarot


Alchemical Gnosis, Septenary Tree of Life and Tarot

This discussion is transplanted from a talk in Kabbalah's and Alphabets in reply to queries on how to make use of the spheres in the Tree of Sephiroth and how Tarot are involved - however my comments, which alternate from an entirely different source/system appeared to require their own thread germane to the system with which I am familiar - and to jettison the Kabbalah altogether to avoid confusion and cross-over. Hence I am extracting my comments and re-building the context here.

Though I come at the Tree from an entirely alien perspective to Kabbalah - the system I reference has similarities in external appearance (It is also a tree with spheres) and an arguably similar methodology for moving through them. This system uses the Tarot cards as meditative devices rather than divinatory, with each sphere of the seven sphered tree (labelled with planets) acting as a representation of one of the seven classical forces known to the ancient world as they are, beyond appearance and at their essence.

The method by which ones makes use of this Tree is to meditate on Tarot cards drawn to represent a particular set of archetypes (Although identifying those that arise within particular to ones understanding is superior to using existing archetypes) one by one, associated with the respective spheres.

The concept here is to bring to the conscious mind unknown associations, prejudices and biases that are projected outward from the subconscious onto objects (the essential process of an archetype). This allows projections to be 'withdrawn'. This process aims to restore the energy used on projection to the user once exposed and integrated into the conscious mind.

In the case of the Tree with which I am familiar, the lowest sphere is comprised of hidden/subconscious/Occult (in the literal sense) associations, primal atavisms, unconscious prejudices/biases/blueprints that for the most part we are not aware of.
How I use Tarot, and designed my own Tarot is to bring out these unconscious, subliminal contents and make them conscious by gazing intently at each major archetype in a series - though I do not find the modern Tarot's useful for this, (entirely subjective aesthetics) and living or activating the archetypal image as if an experience.
That is, one talks to the characters, lets their mind wash over the image and speak its mind, tell you what it is, lets colours, emotions, allows opinions, feelings about the images to come to the fore and some of them, often surprise the person viewing them.
This is the first step to moving through the Spheres, creating a baseline of what Work needs to be done in the Great Work.

Now this can go even further... following this exploration of the lowest, Moon/Lunar sphere, by entering into the Dark Night of the Soul not only in mental meditation but in actions and private explorations in ones life by attempting to waken and unearth as much of this unknown inside one as possible (often very dark and frightening) to provide a base line idea for how much work and what kind of work is required to move through the remaining spheres and work toward the Great Work. In some sense, Individuation - and beyond.

Now - it is in the sense of living the forms of each spheres energies through your human being and exploring them to their full limits to explode projections outward and inward to part the trees and see the scene beyond them as it were - a psychic integration of the content in its raw state, an intuitive psychic empathy with the forces as they are - not as they appear through their hand-holds or symbolism... that the Tree should or could be best apprehended and the link between theory and practical application and attainment, made.

Insofar as the Kabbalah's Tree is concerned, I would suggest that the process of extraction and overcoming as one works their way through the various strata (by whatever exoteric handholds or names we give them) are similar if not interchangeable. So the exoteric model and its arrangement, is not a major concern nor need match one another to give similar results - but speaking of my method and system in a Kabbalah thread has engendered some confusion so I have made this new thread.


The Tree

A Diagram of the Tree I use and refer to in the above.


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Colours and the Tree

Alright - so now that some concept of the Tree has been built, lets look at the Alchemical Gnosis process more closely.

Here you can see a new diagram, still with seven spheres, but which illustrates three colours associated with each sphere. This corresponds to the colours used in each of my Naos Deck major arcana cards. Shown here is 0: The Fool. As you can see, it uses blue yellow and black, and matches the sphere of Mercury. Three Tarot cards are each attributed to one Sphere.

By meditating on the Cards image, I project all my associations and expectations, meaning and so on upon it. Why is the dog following him, why is the Fool walking off the cliff, what is the significance of the butterfly? For instance, are each questions that might arise and that my knowledge base answers personally. Then of course I might wonder where has the Fool come from, what is at the base of the cliff, what would he be playing on his instrument, why is the moon present, and so on - and to each query, no doubt my mind would provide some answer, some reason, or projected meaning for each enquiry. Does the card make me feel anything? Annoyance, anger, or do parts of the card remind me of something, or vaguely seem familiar? This process unlocks many unusual and unexpected associations.

Now, in my life, I undertake the journey of the Fool, adopting his archetype, as a trickster a wanderer and mystic for example, and begin to look at involving myself in things and forms and ways of thinking and being that are Mercurial - change, alteration, quickness, changes of view, indulgence and transformation and gravitate toward such experiences.

I change my jobs, my philosophy, my appearance, my friends, my expectations, my fears, by putting myself into a mercurial state, adopting an attitude of Change and quiksilver, of flowing from one form to the next and seeking to understand the relationship between what I thought I knew and what I now know - and how it is that one took precedence over the other.


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This process can take years, even a lifetime, even be lived simultaneously as exploring other spheres, or flitting back and forth through them as one desires or one is pushed.

As one begins to experience the Archetype one begins to see, ideally, the essence of the Archetype not through someone else's window, but their own deepest essence of what this Archetype represents and Is as a Force in the World.

See here the difference between the Naos Deck 'Master Card' drawn aged around age 19-21, and the later 'Master Card' drawn around age 26-27. The Tarot cards may not have been wholely responsible for the transformation - but - they serve as a means to illustrate the divide, between what was known and apprehended as World then, and later in terms of esoteric appreciation. One begins to 'unlock' the secret language of life by making conscious these archetypal rugged shards of what one thinks a force is, then works with it to understand it in the real world by adopting its shapes, and meanings and attribution, and becomes something else by re-attaining the lost energy projected onto things as archetypes. As this energy is returned, gnosis, or self-awareness of the forces that inspired others tarot into being become less muddied and more transparent and personal to the point through experience and exploration - they are understood.


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A Diagram of the Tree I use and refer to in the above.

Looks like standard planetary hexagram.

My model works with the Moon at the centre of the 'unconscious' , which has 3 primary 'drives' that clearly relate to the three inner personal planets. For ease of explanation ; Mars and Venus are the primary polarities ( or fire and water), and expression

The problem I have with it is it doesnt map on to the psyche correctly (and it may not have meant to ? )
s of self and anima/animus, the fight/ flight polarity, etc. Mercury (as in all most systems) is the mediator (and communicator ) and has contact with the 2 world ( heaven and hell or the earth and the underworld ) as psychopomp, and links the unconscious to the ego Sun.

Once Mars is bought down into its lower position( the 'fall' of 'man' ), the rest 'falls' into place. But this is more of a system of astrological tree that relates to the psyche, than any Kabbalistic model (that seems more to describe a process of ,manifestation' or creation other than any personal psychological mapping .... although I am aware the GD system that they introduced into Kabbalah does include a ToL mapped onto the body)


Hello. The Psyche is a construct - it will fit whatever map I tell it to. Besides, everyone is going to have problems with MY map, because its not THEIR map.
My interest is in sharing the principles I have used for transformation and how they relate to the Tarot. I.e. How the car works, not what model I'm driving.

Can you give a concrete example in human terms how you bring Mars down - or how the fight/flight polarity, mediator and psychopomp which links the unconscious to the ego (Sun) operates in day to day living?

& can we stay away from the Qablah? There is a thread for that.