by Paul Tisdell
This is a symbol of the stone although I don’t think many are aware of it as such.
it is in essence a cross above a triangle.
the man is hanging from a tree in the shape of the tau cross. I must say for me the Rider Waite deck has a purer archetypal structure. Tau is the planet Saturn who’s metal is lead, it is the path from Malkuth the kingdom to Yesod the foundation, the astral light. Tau also has as its totem a cross, Saturn is given the sepharah Binah – the 3rd sepharah which can be seen in the triangle. Binah is the supernal mother and the reversed triangle is her fitting symbol for it is a symbol of the yoni
The triangle among other things is a symbol of the waters of creation. The cross and the triangle are both associated with Saturn, the metal lead, the first place of transmutation. Lead is considered the most putrid of metals. Saturn is lord of our karma, so can we consider this is personally a good place to start. Binah – Saturn is given the title by the kabbalah of “understanding” and if you view the card the man’s head is illumined, can we assume understanding may turn some lights on. The first clue in this geometric image is something we need understand firstly before we venture any further.
Saturn rules the skeleton, the bones and its bird is the crow, who picks the bones of the dead. Suggesting a stripping away, kind of alchemic if you think about it. This idea can be seen in the practical alchemic process and in its spiritual counterpart as well as in our triangle and cross. The cross is the 4 elements and being crossed suggests the fifth is being extracted and this quintessence is gathered in the grail below our reversed triangle. This idea expresses itself in what is now a trendy process know as the Moses key, extracting the “I Am” from the elements, i.e. I am angry, fire – I am moody, water – I am argumentative, air – I am depressed, earth. The “I Am” is none of these and by removing it from these things we identify with we begin to liberate the self from its slumber of the elements. This same idea is expressed in the crucifixion of Christ only the symbology is even more explicit to the kabbalist, for the cross takes in the spheres of Hod and Netzah — theory and practice, thoughts and feelings.
The cross rises out of Malkuth, the grail gathers the blood of the 5 wounds or quintessence in Yesod, the sphere of the purifying intelligence, the law of love, the astral light, the foundation of the world. Please bare in mind I’m not going in depth here I will leave that for your speculation.
“And the spirit of God (Shin) hovered upon the waters of the deep (Mem) and God said let there be light”.
Mem is mute, it has no sound, the whole idea is in short, shut up, meditate, give up the world – tau, and go within. The card of tau shows the way here.
Let us return to the hanged man key, the letter Mem of the 3 mothers.
Our hanged man is upside down, what happens when we turn it the right way up?
This is the symbol of fire or sulphur, if you look at it you will see our cross of Saturn our karma, somehow is being released into an upward triangle and its male or phallic idea. This is a flame releasing the quintessence from the cross of matter. The flame is alive – the result of this activity of releasing this energy is light.
“and the spirit of God hovered over the waters of the deep and God said let there be light”
Our sulpur/fire is the letter Shin, the 3 pronged flame of the spirit. It is this letter that transforms the elemental YHVH to be the redeeming YHSVH. Shin is the card of the last judgment where from watery graves the dead are brought back to life.
I have said little, yet there is much – burn baby burn, “for the lord your God is a consuming fire, but ye that cleave unto to the Lord your God are alive everyone of you this day”. Paul