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Tarot Trump: Death

The Death card shows a figure with a scythe churning up the sediment underwater. This trump is attributed to the Zodiac sign Scorpio, and ruling the Hebrew Letter "Nun (N)". Nun means "fish" in hebrew, and it is attributed to all kinds of serpent deities as well as the kundalini itself. The Phoenician letter "nun", which became the Hebrew letter, was a pictograph of a snake. In the Sanskrit Treatise called the "Varna Shiksha", the letter "Na" rules Serpent Gods, and so we find an overlap between the Qabalistic Hermetic Sciences and the Hindu Sanskrit Treatise. It is interesting to picture what Jesus says in the New Testament as being said by the Serpent God Kundalini. The Fish was the symbol of the Early Christians and, in the Paris Working conducted by Crowley, Hermes identified himself with Christ, the symbolism of the fish in itself Mercurial. Additionally, we can tie in the well-known and much mentioned fact that "Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior" is abbreviated ICHTHYS (ΙΧΘΥΣ) in Greek, which means fish. Many other elements of the gospel make it clear that Hermes is one with Christ.

The symbolism of the fish is incredible deep in regards to occultism and regards the secret fruit of initiation. Christ had said that he would make his disciples "fishers of men", which is significant as the metaphor for the illusionary reality of Samsara, in which we are stuck in a great ocean of illusion. Christ wanted to make his followers into those who have the ability to initiate others, and fish those stuck in the ocean of illusion, out of the waters. The fish also helps us to understand the link between Hermeticism and Christianity  due to the association with the Biblical Prophet, Enoch, called Idries in Arabic. In the Muslim world, it is widely accepted to this day that Hermes Trismegistus (the author of the Corprus Hermeticum) was one and the same with Enoch/Idries. In Ibn Arabi's "Mystical Astrology", he connects the letter Nun of this card to the abode of Enoch/Idries, further cementing this connection with Mercury, the Fish, Hermeticism, and the Enoch. Hermeticism is the "fish hook" which if we bite, takes us all the way out of the ocean of illusion, reeled in by our Hierophant Initiator, who then asks us to do the same for others. The letter Nun, according to Ibn Arabi, corresponds to Hasta Nakshatra, who is the Hermit in Tarot (Virgo), further alluding to masters of the Hermetic Tradition being referred to as "Hermits", as well as Christ stating that his students must become "as wise as serpents", serpents being NUN and the Death card. The Hermit Card is ruled by the letter Yod in Hebrew, meaning hand, further cementing the Hasta connection.

Being Kundalini itself, it is only natural that the Death Card embodies the female role within sexual magic. The Death Card is essentially the liberating and transformative forces of the 8th house, which harms the profane but protects and regenerates the initiates. The female, during sexual magic, accumulates large amounts of the fire element, which is used to purify and spiritualize the subtle body. This is the same force that the "evil" school of the failed adepts utterly rejects and hides from, as they having not generated the immortal solar robes and will eventually be destroyed and invaded by this same feminine force of death that they fear so much. The Heat of the Death Card is the Heat of the Grail and is responsible for the wound of King Amfortas in Parsifal at the hands of Kundry. The harm caused by the Grail in India is known as "Royal Consumption", but this same heat is what makes the alchemical art possible; we should never flee from it, as do the practitioners of the Black Lodge. The Death Card leads from Netzach to Tiphareth on the Tree of Life, and also rules the practice of Necromancy, which although easily abused, lends itself to very beneficial and creative magical practices involving healing and prosperity. For those interested in necromancy, I recommend "The Necromantic Treatise: Communing with the Spirits" by Martin Coleman, which outlines the benefits and hazards of the practice. Necromancy is essentially the same creative act depicted on the card itself, just as the Varna Shiksha recommends vocalization of the letter Na to actually helps one develop one's skill in the Fine arts. This is because of the creative forces involved, and the action upon one's Kundalini and Swadisthana center that are involved in the practice. Mercury, being the sexual waters, the Nagas, and serpent spirits, control rain flow and fertility. It is not uncommon to dream of snakes in the bed when an individual is pregnant, showing the blessing of the serpents. An individual wishing to observe the naga or serpent realm-- called Patala Loka by the Hindus-- may vocalize this letter and scry into a mirror to observe the realm. Alternatively, one may project one's astral body into this realm and observe the serpents, which are cautious but also extremely curious by nature. One becomes conscious of the beings around one's feet on the astral, and can be informed in many magical practices involving plants and stones. Nagas show how to overcome obstacles and become free from enemies. 

All poisons are connected to this card, and in Asian Occultism all things considered Yin-- such as scorpions, snakes, and vampiric creatures-- are attributed to this path. Lamia, serpent woman who prey upon babies and have strange amphibian-like phallic appendages, reside here, invading the auras of men's dreams in sleep. Centipedes are considered the main adversaries of Snakes in China, just as Garuda (the bird Spirits) are in India and Tibet. Worship of Garuda eliminates problems with Nagas and also Rahu in Jyotish, as well as helps with addiction problems. Working with the Death card through scrying or vocalizing the Na sound helps with issues involving hoarding, addiction, paranoia and eliminating greed and desires for revenge. Wealth and Peace are bestowed on the individual, and great inner purity is generated. When the method for eliminating Tamo Guna within oneself is understood, it allows for rising on the planes and spiritual development, which is especially good for treating male impotence or pregnancy-related difficulties. To transmute it we need the fire element, and the woman accumulates the fire element in the sexual act. The Astral Light is composed of sexual fluid and it should be obvious that the only path to salvation is through sex. Divorce and the disease of Cancer have their origin in their card, as do all sudden accidents and transformations. Cancer is associated with this card due to the association with kundalini, which is the force that holds our body together and maintains our immunity to invasive or corrupt organisms. Cancer is the growth of an alien personality, and working with the catabolic martial aspect of this card can eliminate one's emotional and sexual hang-ups (which, if not eliminated, allow the growth of foreign personalities/disease within). The Astral Light is the Sexual fluid, which is the plane of all illusion and which takes upon the shape and quality of one's desires. It is the ocean of milk of the Hindu myth, which must be churned to produce the Amrita. The astral light is also the deluding and illusory aspect of creation, and the Death card shows us how we destroy illusory holds, which bind us to the material world. It is through this path that we learn how to destroy that which binds us, and awaken our inner potential. Death destroys Illusion, and we can only become free from death through death itself. If we spell the letter "Nun" itself, it equals 106 in gematria, which is the same as the word "attained". Attainment in the Hermetic Tradition grants a person freedom and emancipation from death. In a divinatory sense, when this card comes up, it has all the associations of the 8th House of the Zodiac-- endings, transformations, hidden secrets, and poison. Because it is twelve houses from the 9th House, when we enter into this realm of the occult, it changes our perspective on religion forever and creates a loss of religion in the person's mind, as one now has a different internal perspective than the externally-focused teachings of the public priests. 

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