Devil - Samech
The name of the 15th character of the ancient alphabet is linked to the 15th hieroglyphic symbol of the Tarot.
The original design of this character (pre-1200 B.C.) looks like this...
The fifteenth letter of the ancient alphabet is the sibilant represented by the word סמך; this letter is a sibilant that is similar to the letter Sin/S. It is formed from the triliteral stem that consists of the letters Samech/S, Mem/M, and Kaph/K and has a direct etymological connection to the name of the Greek letter Sigma. This stem has the basic meaning of “to support;” therefore, it gains the derived meaning of “to aid.” This meaning of either aiding or supporting something can be applied to this Tarot image in many ways.
The Devil of the Marseille Tarot
A large demonic male figure stands over two miniature female devils that are bound at their necks by a rope that is connected to a central sphere. The Noblet version of the Marseilles Tarot clearly shows that the two smaller creatures of this hieroglyph are both female. This crucial difference makes a critical distinction that aids in the correct interpretation of the overall essence of this Tarot symbol. The central figure wields a device of some sort in his left hand as his reptilian wings flap softly in the background. There are cloven hooves present on the female members of the beastly trio. Horns can be seen on all three of their heads along with animal-like ears. They collectively represent the negative sexual passions.
The central figure of this notorious tarot symbol is most often associated with either the devil or the pagan horned deity known as Cernunnos. It could be argued that this Tarot symbol displays the natural embodiment of support that the male provides for the females. It could also be argued that the twin female slaves are the embodiment of the dual nature of the feminine currents (the motherly nurturing energies and the seductive alluring currents). The lower brain of the enteric nervous system is symbolized by the emblem with the human face that is worn over the abdomen of the male. This pictorial reference to the intuitive powers of the abdominal region is also an aspect of the Noblet Tarot that is not present on some of the later decks. It is because of this omission of data that the true symbolism of this iconic image is misunderstood.
It is also interesting to note that the central demonic figure of this trump is often given breasts in many later versions of the Marseilles Tarot, but this feature is not present in the Noblet version. However, the phallic representation of the male gender is almost always included on this figure. Also, the matter of whether or not the two smaller figures are either female or male matters tremendously in the overall interpretation of this hieroglyph. In all later versions of the Marseilles Tarot, the genders of little creatures are uncertain.
The core idea of this hieroglyphic icon asserts mastery over the intuitive facilities of the enteric nervous system through mastery of the dual feminine essences of seduction and maternal instincts. Only when this type of energy formation is found within an entity can the true empathetic currents of the left-sided passive frequencies be controlled to an extent that allows real and valid intuitive information to be correctly perceived.
The Devil of Rider-Waite
The Rider-Waite Tarot offers some different features to the initial design of the Marseilles Tarot. A. E. Waite comments about this trump in the deck's accompanying text and states, “The design is an accommodation, mean or harmony, between several motives mentioned in the first part. The Horned Goat of Mendes, with wings like those of a bat, is standing on an altar. At the pit of the stomach there is the sign of Mercury. The right hand is upraised and extended, being the reverse of that benediction which is given by the Hierophant in the fifth card. In the left hand there is a great flaming torch, inverted towards the earth. A reversed pentagram is on the forehead. There is a ring in front of the altar, from which two chains are carried to the necks of two figures, male and female. These are analogous with those of the fifth card, as if Adam and Eve after the Fall. Hereof is the chain and fatality of the material life."
Waite continues, "The figures are tailed, to signify the animal nature, but there is human intelligence in the faces, and he who is exalted above them is not to be their master for ever. Even now, he is also a bondsman, sustained by the evil that is in him and blind to the liberty of service. With more than his usual derision for the arts which he pretended to respect and interpret as a master therein, Éliphas Lévi affirms that the Baphometic figure is occult science and magic. Another commentator says that in the Divine world it signifies predestination, but there is no correspondence in that world with the things which below are of the brute. What it does signify is the Dweller on the Threshold without the Mystical Garden when those are driven forth therefrom who have eaten the forbidden fruit.”
One immediately notices after reading Waite's commentary that the written text does not match the image presented. In fact, there are things that are added that are not mentioned in the text; there are also things mentioned in the text that are nowhere to be found. For instance, there is no sign of Mercury at the pit of the stomach, and the flame from the downwards pointing torch is very close to the tail of the miniature male daemon. The tail of this little male appears to be on fire, and it looks as though the flame on the torch has lit the fire of the tail. The tail of the little male's female counterpart is not on fire and appears to have the shape of a bunch of grapes. The leaves surrounding these grapes appear to have a shape that is very similar to the flames on the tail of her counterpart.
The Baphomet of Eliphas Levi and its Similarity to the Devil Trump of the Tarot
Another observation that can be made is the apparent disdain for the overall symbolism that both Waite and Levi express for this hieroglyph. In his work, Dogma et Rituel de la Haute Magie, Eliphas Levi states, “day of reprobation and exile.” Levi echoes this basic theme of negatively emotive statements in other portions of the text as well. It is fascinating that both authors present such fearfully subjective prose in their descriptive works instead of objectively presenting the information in its natural state. It could be that these irrationally fearful passages of prose were concocted deliberately so that the authors would not appear to be promoting material contrary to the Christian system of hemeneutics and exegesis. However, these authors might also be expressing true emotional honesty with the words of their prose.
Goat got your diety?
If the most logical interpretation of “intuitive control of the enteric system by mastery of the twin feminine currents of maternal care and erotic seduction” is correctly perceived, then the essence of this iconic image is no longer one of notorious evil. There are numerous societies and individuals who recognize the Pagan god of Cernunnos as a benevolent god of nature and fertility; he represents many qualities and ideals that are in harmony with nature and the goodwill of humanity. Therefore, if the data is examined objectively and scientifically, then there is no need for any type of negative emotional reaction to the appearance of this hieroglyphic icon.
The Progression of the Energy Currents of the Devil
The Devil as the Target of Ascension from the Tower Trump
The flowing essence of the Tower trump is taken to the next level with the symbolism of the Devil trump. The intestinal flow of the gut is controlled by the enteric nervous system. Since this nervous system has been referred to as the "third brain" by modern science, it is quite easy to see how the knowledge of science confirms intuitive feelings and does not hinder them. This is the nature of the "support" that is provided by one's gut feeling. They do not hinder the intellectual process (unless there is a severe psychological disturbance within an individual); the gut feelings provide a kind of foundational support for the logical prowess of the intellect.
Since the iconic imagery of the Devil trump represents the highest plane of existence for the left-handed frequencies, it is possible to see the energies of this hieroglyph as being a type of unifier that finally brings together the basic qualities of the left-handed energies that constantly seek to divide things and place them in opposing camps. Thus, the horned deity is a type of hero that brings competing factions together. The masculine devil does this by gradually gaining control over the dual nature of the feminine essence; he does by understanding the basic properties of these currents and not by attempting to control or dominate them; such attempts would be idiotic, to say the least.
Therefore, it should be realized that the horned deity is not an agent of fear and evil. The horned deity is an ambassador of understanding. The benevolent horned god brings peace by understanding the very essence of erotic seduction and maternal instinct. This type of benevolence allows for an enormous peace of mind that lets the enteric system interact peacefully with the intellect so that the intuition provides a support for the logical prowess of the mind.
Balancing with the Right-Handed Energies of the Magus Trump
Therefore, the intuition provides support for the intellect. This support is illustrated in the Justice trump as the scales of Libra in the left hand of Astraea. The scales of Libra represent the perfect emotional intelligence that allows for a pristine balance of the soul. The balance of the left-handed emotional realms of the nocturnal Yin forces of the lunar goddess is the destination of the frequencies that permeate the trumps of the left column. It must also be understood that the scale is an instrument that must be used in order to be effective. Therefore, in order to allow the desired result to occur, sometimes the various items on the scale must be shifted or adjusted appropriately.
In addition, the scale can be used to measure various aspects of existence to see if they align in perfect balance with each other. Also, it should be understood that Astraea will often use the scales in order to find balance and solve various problems. She does not always choose to strike with her sword unless the scales indicate that there is no other effective means of balance that will fix any imbalance. However, if the strength of the sword is needed, then the goddess will deliver an effective blow and remedy the solution. This is the power of true justice.
This is the power that allows for a lasting world peace.
* * *
* * * * *