The Esotericon

World - Sin

A maiden fair wears a cape and garment around her waist. She holds a baton in her left hand and is surrounded by a leafy wreath of green. Just outside of this wreath wheel, there are the four winged creatures described in the famous vision of Ezekiel. In the upper left and right hand are the images of Adam and the eagle, while the lion and the ox reside in the lower left and right corners, respectively.

The name of the 21st character of the ancient alphabet is linked to the 21st hieroglyphic symbol of the Tarot. The original design of this character (pre-1200 B.C.) looks like this...

The ancient letter of Shin

This twenty-first hieroglyph is paired with the name of the twenty-first letter of the ancient alphabet. This name is שין and is derived from the biliteral root consisting of the letters Shin/S and Nun/N. This letter is the precursor to the modern letter S, which is the sister sibilant to the letter z (Z). In fact, the only difference in the pronunciation of the two is that there is a hum that is present when the letter Z is pronounced and absent when the letter S is spoken. Also, the two letters Z and S can be seen as mirror images when they are placed back to back with each other. The biliteral roots from which the two names of these two characters originate are almost identical as well.

The root from which the name of this character originates possesses the basic meaning of “to divide.” From this sense, two secondary meanings of “to cut” and “to make into two parts” were assigned to this root. From the secondary meaning of “to cut,” the meanings of “sharp,” “sharpen,” “weapon,” and “tooth” came into being, while the secondary meaning of “to make into two parts” gave birth to the meanings of “second,” “separation” and “repeat.” The etymologies of these various meaning can be seen in the words sharpen, second, and separation. So when the various meanings of the words Zain and Shin/Sin are compared, it can be seen that active energies associated with the word Shin/Sin serve as a perfect compliment to the passive feminine current of this word that focus on the energies of replication and reproduction in the sense of producing a separate and second life. The fact that the two words also contain the letter N as the second letter shows even more of a natural connection between the conceptualizations expressed by both words.

Four versions of the World trump of the Marseilles Tarot

Therefore, the wreath-wheel of Ezekiel could be seen as an ancient representation of a type of circle of life that is ever-repeating and cyclical. The two complimentary sides of the circle are also expressed as the symbols presented in the ancient text of Ezekiel. The left-handed expressions of the nocturnal vibratory element of reality are presented on the left side of the image and the diurnal flowing element of reality is expressed on the right.

In order to explain this placement of the four animals expressed the ancient text, it becomes necessary to examine the etymology of the names of these "animals." The first is the word adam, which is formed from the biliteral root of Daleth/D and Mem/M. In its most basic sense, this root means "red." From this meaning, the concepts of "dumb" and "dim" were derived, as can be seen in the etymoligical similarities of these two terms. The meaning of "earth" or "soil" is also applied to this root along with the well-known meaning of "man." Because the color of red is directly related to the root chakra, which is the center of the earth energies, this first "animal" of Ezekiel can be perceived as a type of expression of the root chakra. The lion is expressed in the ancient texts with the word arie, which is formed from the biliteral root of Aleph/A and Resh/R (primarily the letter Resh/R). This root is at the core of many concepts of iron and the navel chakra (see the 3rd section of The Kundalinicon for a more detailed explanation) and can be seen in the words Ares and iron. Therefore, Adam is an expression of the currents associated with the root chakra and appears on the left side of the image that represents the vibratory aspects of reality, while the lion is an expression of the currents associated with the navel chakra and appears on the right side of the image that represents the flowing aspects of reality.

The same type of observations can also be made about the other two "animals" of Ezekiel. The bull is expressed in the ancient text by the word sor, and is formed from the biliteral root that consists of the letters Sin/S and Resh/R. This root has a direct connection to the throat chakra of Venusian copper and can be seen in the words Ishtar, star, sitar, and serpent (see the 5th section of The Kundalinicon for a more detailed explanation). The word that represents eagle is formed from the triliteral stem of Nun/N, Sin/S, and Resh/R, which is an extension of the biliteral root that consists of Sin/S and Resh/R. When the sister sibilant of Zain/Z is used in place of the letter Sin/R this root also has the meaning of "crown" and "gold." The associations of gold with the eagle and the eagle with royalty are very common in many civilizations, thus, the crown chakra of gold would be the most logical and natural interpretation of this etymological reasoning. Therefore, the ox is placed on the left side of this trump, while the eagle is placed on the right.

The right hand is empty, and the left hand grasps a rod that is clearly pointed upwards like the royal scepter also featured in the Emperor and Empress icons. However, if the image in this hieroglyph is perceived as being a mirror image of the lady in the center of this hieroglyphic icon, then the entire concept of replication as it relates to feminine seduction and the reproductive process is then perfectly expressed by the symbolsim within the conceptualizations that are formed when the definitions of the name of the 21 st letter of the ancient alphabet are combined with the image of the 21st Tarot trump. This assertion is reinforced by the biological location of the root chakra, which is the center of the reproductive processes of the human species.

Also, it is of utmost importance to note that the sceptre of royal power is actually being held in the right hand of the lady in the 21st hieroglyphic icon, because the image that is displayed on the icon itself is the mirror image of the lady and not the actual human female that is being reflected. Once this perception is cognized, then the entire theme expressed by the many trumps (the Empress, the Emperor, the Pope, and the royal figure at the top of the Wheel of Fortune) that display the royal sceptre being held in the left hand becomes far more logical when these images are perceived in this context. The staff held in the left hand of the Hermit trump and the object held in the left hand of the Devil trump also receive a substantial influence from this perception of the mirror-image of the feminine and the various concepts of replication and reproduction that are associated with it.

It should also be noted that the book in the left hand of the Popess and the scales in the left hand of Astraea (the seated figure of the Justice trump) receive an extremely important symbolic interpretation from the left-handed theme that arises from the feminine-based mirror-image replication of the right hand. The book can be seen as a development of knowledge that arises from the left-handed empathic abilities that are developed through the gaining of knowledge, and the scales of Libra in the left hand of the goddess Astraea in the Justice trump can be seen as the balance of these intuitive powers of the divine feminine. Thus, the symbolic essence of these two trumps is enhanced to a far greater degree by applying this additional logic that arises from the vital essence that is expressed in the symbolism of the mirror-image of the World trump.

Finally, the object in the left hand in the Noblet version of the Magus trump is now clearly seen as a final development of the left-handed intuitive abilities that allow for the Magus to influence the four elements of physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual reality. This ability is accomplished by knowing. The very concept of knowing should be understood as the complete absorbtion of information so that it has both intuitive and conscious relevance within the mind. Once something is known, then it is not only percieved by the intellect, it is also felt by the emotions; thus, the developmental cycle that begins with the World trump is completed.

The Rider-Waite Version of the World Trump

In the text that accompanies the Rider-Waite tarot, A. E. Waites writes, “As this final message of the Major Trumps is unchanged--and indeed unchangeable--in respect of its design, it has been partly described already regarding its deeper sense. It represents also the perfection and end of the Cosmos, the secret which is within it, the rapture of the universe when it understands itself in God. It is further the state of the soul in the consciousness of Divine Vision, reflected from the self-knowing spirit. But these meanings are without prejudice to that which I have said concerning it on the material side.

The Rider-Waite version of the World trump

"It has more than one message on the macrocosmic side and is, for example, the state of the restored world when the law of manifestation shall have been carried to the highest degree of natural perfection. But it is perhaps more especially a story of the past, referring to that day when all was declared to be good, when the morning stars sang together and all the Sons of God shouted for joy. One of the worst explanations concerning it is that the figure symbolizes the Magus when he has reached the highest degree of initiation; another account says that it represents the absolute, which is ridiculous. The figure has been said to stand for Truth, which is, however, more properly allocated to the seventeenth card. Lastly, it has been called the Crown of the Magi.”

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