Here, this lunatic fiction will be ballooned out even further. It will be shown that Crowley appears, either knowingly or otherwise, to have encoded the key developments of this 108-year timeframe within the 22 major arcana cards of his version of the tarot, The Book of Thoth.
While Crowley, and artist Lady Frieda Harris, altered some of the iconography and names in their deck, the basic structure, number and order of the cards highly conform to the traditional tarot. If anything, Crowley hoped to reverse some of the discrepancies and contradictions that he saw prevented the older tarot decks from fully corresponding to other occult systems like astrology, the Kabbalah, Egyptian mythology, etc. The Thoth deck, in this regard, is both modernist and traditional.
In most versions of the tarot, the 22 cards of the major arcana correspond to the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet, and both the cards and the alphabet can be placed on the 22 paths connecting the ten sephiroth on the Tree of Life. Certain authors also correspond the 22 trumps with the 22 chapters of The Book of Revelation.
It is well-known among occultists that the "story" of the major arcana on one level depicts an alchemical transformation of the would-be initiate. This blog will also touch upon this interpretation at some point. What is not so discussed, though, is that the sequence of 22 cards also reveals a collective and historical undertaking of the Great Work. It is surprising that this reading of The Book of Thoth is not more widespread, especially given Crowley's own preoccupation with the shifting of the ages.
This post will contend that the sequence of 22 cards in the major arcana of the Thoth deck depict the 108-year period of Great Work that will fully usher in the Aeon of Horus this year.
The number 22, like the year 1904, is also prominent in the life and work of James Joyce. Joyce placed much significance in the fact that he was born on the Second of February -- 2/2 or 22. In addition to being the 33rd day of the year, on leap years ( and Joyce's year of birth -- 1882 -- was a leap year) there are 333 days left in the year. It was also celebrated as Imbolc in pagan Ireland, and later Christianized as St. Brigid's Day. Brigid plays a very important role in Joyce's fiction.
Joyce's first novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, was first serialized on Feb. 2nd, 1914. His most celebrated novel, Ulysses, was published on his 40th birthday on Feb. 2nd, 1922 (2/2/22). The date June 16th, the setting of the novel, also sums to 22 (6+16), and both Joyce's protagonist, Stephen Dedalus, and Joyce himself were 22 years of age in 1904. Robert Anton Wilson points out in his Coincidance (a title taken from the Wake), that the first sentence of Ulysses contains 22 words the final being "crossed":
Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed.
As several scholars have pointed out, this opening scene is really a mock mass, a theme that continues throughout Ulysses and eventually degrades into an open black mass. Joyce is consciously inverting religious tradition in order to make us all conscious of its power. Contrary to appearance, Joyce is entirely respectful of esoteric tradition and would have known well that in Jewish tradition only those 40 and over are allowed to study the Kabbalah. His final book, Finnegans Wake, is pure Kabbalah.
Both Crowley and Joyce, then, recognized the value of 22. The 22 major arcana map out the progression of this 108-year period between ages. I have not found a precise pattern in the "playing" of these cards. They are not evenly played at regular intervals during the 108 years. Instead, it appears that like in Mckenna's Timewave Zero there is an acceleration or compression towards the end of the cycle. More cards are played near the culmination of the 108 years.
Much work needs to be done here to make this a comprehensive theory. What follows is a rough sketch that is only intended to be suggestive. At this point it is nothing more than a fictional narrative.
The Dark Mandala
The first card which is readily recognized in relation to events comes very late in the sequence. It is hoped that at some point the whole progression of 22 trumps will be matched with events that have taken place from 1904 to 2012, but at this stage I'll start with the playing of card 16, The Tower.
The iconic connection between The Tower and the attack on the World Trade Center on 9/11 was quickly noticed by many observers. The fire from above, the collapsing tower, the falling bodies, even the sinister overseeing Eye are symbols common to both.
9/11 is still a great mystery that continues to influence nearly everything on the world stage. There is no consensus as to what happened or what it ultimately meant. Even the official version of events, as is often pointed out, is a conspiracy theory and the only question is how far and how deep the conspiracy extends. It is obvious that the official U.S. 9/11 Commission was in no way interested in finding this out. The actual details will likely remain in shadow.
The greater significance of 9/11, though, is its identity as an era-changing event. While it falls late in the 108-year cycle, it is the opening pulse of the more compressed fractal iteration of 11 years. As noted in the last post, this shorter period roughly corresponds to the 11-year sunspot cycle.
In a sense, it is a major bifurcation point. It tended to push people in one of two directions. On the one hand, it provoked an even deeper entrenchment into the dualistic mindset -- "either you're with us or with the terrorists." Conspiracy theorists also did not escape this polarizing trance. The active dualism was only replaced by the "patriots" or "truth seekers" vs. the "globalists," the "NWO," or the "Illuminati." This might represent a higher turn in the spiral, but it remains mired in dualism.
On the other hand, 9/11 forced a smaller group of people even further down the rabbit hole. It exposed the matrix-like unreality of the entire world system. Everything is a part of the conspiracy. But beyond even the matrix is the realization that even the dreamers are a part of the dream. The Illuminati are dazzled by their own Spell. We are the Illuminati. It reminds me of Nietzsche's "History of an Error," in which he explains the interdependence of "reality" and "appearance,"
The real world—we have done away with it: what world was left? the apparent one, perhaps? … But no! with the real world we have also done away with the apparent one!
The dualistic reality models as shown in movies like The Matrix quite naturally morph into the more complex, less certain, multi-layered models as depicted in a film like Inception. Of course these are mainstream representations. Fans of Philip K. Dick and psychedelics would have known all this long ago. With 9/11, the clear blue-sky veil of reality was irreparably rent. The door opened between the two pillars. Strange things are pouring through.
9/11 does not wholly represent the crowning act of the New World Order, a mass sacrifice and the capping of the pyramid, but instead it is a desperate gesture, a fumble and flailing to maintain illusory control. But it is also something more than this. It was, and really still is, the centre of a dark mandala of world attention.
It was a ritual on a global scale orchestrated more than anything, perhaps, by the process of consciousness itself. 9/11 satisfied a mass desire for something momentous to happen, something apocalyptic, something to shake us all up, something to make us face our many problems, something to get things rolling. If 9/11 did not happen we would have been forced to make it happen. Maybe we did?
Quite early on, researchers like Goro Adachi, Jake Kotze and others pointed out the "megaritual" quality of 9/11. Those deepest down the rabbit hole, addicts of the red pill, were "initiated" by this ritual and able to see the matrix beyond the matrix beyond the matrix..... Conspiracy theorists went mainstream and predictable, and synchronicity artists are now entrenched in the radical margins.
The next card was not played for several years after 9/11. Presumably the full consequences of 9/11 had to first run their course before the next act was staged.
Following 9/11, Fear and his cohorts have had a heyday -- the War in Afghanistan, the War on Terror, the War in Iraq, multiple terrorist attacks across the globe, the deepening and darkening of the conspiracist subculture, all manner of natural disasters, multiple epidemic scares, the Patriot Act and its equivalents internationally, the steroidal expansion of the police state control grid, etc., etc. All this was an expected outgrowth of 9/11.
Higher Turn of the Spiral
The next shoe to drop, though, was economic -- the "financial 9/11" of 2008, signified most obviously by the collapse of Lehman Brothers. The world must not only be transformed geopolitically, and in terms of "security," but the entire structure of the production, distribution and consumption of wealth must be completely overhauled. All human transactions must be transformed.
The card for this is not as obvious as The Tower, as its corresponding event is not as sudden or dramatic. And whereas The Tower has almost wholly negative connotations the next trump, The Star, is much more ambiguous in its meaning. The collapse of the global economic system is undoubtedly a terrible thing, but for many it represents the end of a great evil and its demise is the sign of Hope. This is precisely the meaning of The Star.
We know from some of the earliest tarot decks, as in the interpretation of Antoine Court de Gébelin, that the star of Card 17 is really the Dog Star, our old friend Sirius. Crowley uniquely corresponded this card with the Hebrew letter, Daleth "the Door" -- the letter of Da'at. There is a mystery in this.
We also know that the astrological sign corresponding to this card is Aquarius, the water-bearer. The Star is the sign, for those who have eyes to see, of the coming Age of Aquarius -- the dawning of which coincides with that of the Aeon of Horus. Of her design of the Star card Frieda Harris writes,
This is built up as a design on a spiral to show the rising force of a new age. The woman holds two cups, the north and south poles of magnetic attraction. Above her a new star is rising, beneath her are the crystallising dogmas of a former Age.
The spiral represents the transcendence of Euclidean conceptions of space. Crowley writes that "It will be seen that every form of energy in this picture is spiral." In the New Aeon even our old ideas of time and space must be laid aside. Joyce repeatedly makes this same point in both Ulysses and Finnegans Wake.
The spiral appeared in the sky of Norway on Dec. 9, 2009. This is a classic NCE (Non-Consensus Event). The official story is that it was an out-of-control Russian missile, but many still believe that it was a type of UFO or an opening wormhole. A creative interpretation is that it was a "crop-circle of the sky."
Whatever it was, it brought the figure of the spiral to the conscious attention of millions. It was a living symbol of the "playing" of the Star card. While old forms, most notably economic, are in the process of passing away a symbol, "real" or not is unimportant, of the new was revealed -- and coincidentally on the day before Obama received the Noble Peace Prize in Norway.
The Sinister Passage
The next card in the major arcana is The Moon. This is called by Frieda Harris "the most sinister card."
Card 18 reveals the dangerous passage between the towers of death and horror. In this it reminds one most of the terrifying journey Frodo and Sam made between the towers of Minas Morgul in order to pass into the dark land of Mordor in The Lord of the Rings. As in the meaning of this card, theirs was a journey through a shadowy realm that was necessary in order to restore the light. Harris also writes,
This card represents the state of impure horror, hidden darkness which must be passed through before light can be reborn.
The Moon further represents illusion and the breaking of illusion. It is "at the brink of important change." This dangerous passage well describes our collective experience of the last year and a half. We all have had the sense, consciously or not, that the world is on the brink. We live in constant anxiety of total economic collapse as the ramifications of the 2008 crisis have not in any way resolved themselves.
In 2011, protests, riots and revolutions spread across the globe most in direct response to economic pressures. It is a mistake to conclude that these movements were in all cases fully created and/or manipulated by the elite. Obviously the intelligence agencies had their fingers in the pie -- it is their job to attempt to control events -- and we see this most in "rogue" nations like Libya and Syria.
But what of all the unrest in allied or complicit countries -- in Bahrain, in Djibouti, in Kuwait, in Israel, in Spain, in Chile, in the UK, in New York City? Was this all orchestrated as well? Or, as this blog keeps saying, is something bigger happening? Is the genuine unrest and the covert manipulation all part of a more complex pattern?
Added to the disruptions in economic and social systems are the "natural" disasters which have been afflicting much of the planet -- earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, droughts, storms of all sorts. Are the "Illuminati" the cause of all of these as well? Or, reflecting the non-divisible unity of mind and body, is the imbalance of the global brain -- planetary human civilization -- causing dis-ease within the body of the Earth? The narrow passage is also the passage along the birth canal. The scarab acts as midwife and a new Sun is about to be born.
The sign of The Moon card came with the Moon herself. On December 21, 2010 -- two years before the Mayan calendar end date -- there appeared a dramatic and rare Winter Solstice lunar eclipse. To me, the blood red Moon is as good a sign as any of the dark passage before the coming Aeon emerges brightly from the shadows for all to behold.
Here Comes The Sun
Card 19 is The Sun and the imagery of this card matches nicely with the symbolism that's been apparent in London 2012. There is good reason to suppose that this powerful trump was "played" during the Closing Ceremony.
Crowley's version of the card depicts the Sun rising over the World Mountain. The mountain is at once Mount Olympus, the Glastonbury Tor and the Mount of Purgatory.
The Closing Ceremony, while not as multi-layered and as rich in symbolism as the Opening, is certainly a ritual to mark the shifting of the ages. I won't go through every aspect of this symbolism, others have already brought much of it to light, but I'll focus on aspects of the Ceremony relating to the ongoing analysis of this blog.
With the very first act we know where we are. During the first performance by Emeli Sandé the camera takes a close-up of the truck she is singing on. The truck is wrapped, like everything else in the ceremony, with newsprint bearing headlines from the plays of Shakespeare and other works of British literature.
The first headline we notice should be familiar to the readers of this blog -- "We are such stuff as dreams are made of." This is from Prospero's famous soliloquy closing The Tempest, which was quoted at the end of a previous post. We are still in the dreamland of Purgatory. We are still on Prospero's mysterious island.
This all becomes blatant a few minutes later. The focus shifts to the middle of the stadium, the intersection point at three crosses of a huge Union Jack, where Winston Churchill emerges from the top of the Big Ben tower (note the time shown on the clock -- 9:11) and delivers the same Caliban speech as Brunel gives at the Opening Ceremony.
This sets up a number of symbolic parallels. The centre of the three crosses of the Union Jack, representing also the saints of Britain, is at the same "location" as the Glastonbury Tor was during the Opening Ceremony. This is the Axis Mundi. As George Michael revealed during his performance later in the evening,
Remember right now you are at the centre of the universe.
The Big Ben tower is the equivalent to the great Oak, the World Tree, which was the living portal atop of the Tor at the Opening Ceremony. We notice that while Brunel gave Caliban's speech at the base of the World Mountain now, after completing the Purgatory of the Games, Churchill/Brunel gives the same speech emerging from the "Tree" at the summit of the "Mountain."
Dante gives us our bearings here. At the top of Mount Purgatory is the Earthly Paradise, Eden. We can only return to the Garden after purging all of our sins -- transmuting selfish vices into virtues. The three crosses of the Union Jack also remind us of this -- the three X's of the XXXth Olympiad. These are the three crosses of Golgotha, another representation of the World Mountain which by tradition was the resting place of the skull of Adam.
The three crosses are also the two pillars and the veil of the Temple. The veil is torn and and we return to the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, the site of the Fall. Once again we come back to the portal of Da'at. This exactly what is being conveyed at the centre of the Olympic stadium during the Closing Ceremony of London 2012.
This should not surprise us. This point is always where we return to at the shifting of the ages. The world is once again at the chaotic tipping point between the Fall and the Redemption. The Closing Ceremony, London 2012 in general, the entire sequence of the thirty modern Olympic Games, the "playing" of the Major Arcana exist as rituals to honour this passage in an attempt to derive power from it.
Also situated at the middle of the stadium, the intersection of the three crosses, is a familiar symbol -- the Ferris Wheel. This simulation of the obviously esoteric London Eye is either anchored to or suspended above the centre during the entire Ceremony. Why?
This is an obvious response to the original Ferris Wheel last in operation at the 1904 Olympic Games in St. Louis. The 2160 passenger capacity represents the 2160 years of an astrological age. The wheel's return to the centre of London 2012 indicates that the cycle has now closed. The wheel has turned, a new age has now begun, the 108 years of hidden activity is now complete.
Many of the "headlines" shown may also refer to this juncture, this transition between states:
To be or not to be,
This is how the world ends,
After this is silence
We are in a moment of collective passage through the portal, through the stargate. The Ceremony contained much symbolism of this sort, too much to briefly explicate here. Many researchers have pointed out the connections of the Ceremony and the Aurora shooting -- Michael Caine, Bruce Wayne's butler in the Dark Knight trilogy, counting down to a Batman pantomime. Why was this featured? Either as synchronicity or as an intended message, the implications are pretty staggering.
We can expect more and more of these sorts of connections, and an ever increasing number of people to become aware of them. I think it is a mistake, though, to interpret these connections too hastily or too definitively. Too much is in play here and things are moving too quickly to make any final conclusions. All we can say with certainty is that the weirdness is approaching a crescendo.
Up From The Ashes
The most significant point of the entire ceremony was the extinguishing the Flame in the Olympic Cauldron. The symbolism here was absolutely mind-blowing. The Flame may have been snuffed out, but the Phoenix arose from the ashes. The transition into the New Aeon was completed.
The symbolism of the phoenix is precise -- it exemplifies the culmination of the Great Work. In The Secret Teachings of All Ages, Manly P. Hall spells this out very clearly,
Mediaeval Hermeticists regarded the phoenix as a symbol of the accomplishment of alchemical transmutation, a process equivalent to human regeneration.... to all initiates and philosophers the phoenix is the symbol of the transmutation and regeneration of the creative energy -- commonly called the accomplishment of the Great Work.
We see this reflected in the iconography of numerous alchemical prints of the Medieval and Renaissance periods. It is easy to see the parallels with the Closing Ceremony.
The Phoenix is also commonly known as the bird that rises from the ashes of its parent and former self. This symbolism is universally related with the turning of the ages. As the bird of fire returns to its nest, incinerates itself, and a new bird rises from the ashes the grand cycle is renewed. Just as the Phoenix is both an individual and a collective symbol, so the Great Work is completed on both individual and collective levels.
The length of the cycle that the Phoenix's fiery death and rebirth spans has differed in traditional accounts. While 500 years became the standard classical Greek reckoning, there is evidence of an older and much more precise Egyptian measure.
The Egyptian precursor to the Phoenix is called the Bennu, a mythical bird whose self-immolation and resurrection coincided with the Sothic cycle of 1461 years. The Sothic cycle describes the number of years, due to precession, it takes for Sirius to rise with the Sun at the same position. (It's interesting that the Wikipedia entry for this notes that, "This cycle was first noticed by Eduard Meyer in 1904...")
The Phoenix has in this way always been connected with Sirius. This blog has explored how the 70 days of the Torch Relay represented the traditional journey of Sirius through the underworld, or Duat. We also looked at how the actual heliacal rising of Sirius with the Sun over London occurred on Aug. 12th, the day of the Closing Ceremony.
The symbolism of the Phoenix, then, not only points to the heliacal rising but to the shifting of the ages. This refers to the 108-year transitional period, but also to the wider shift between the Ages of Pisces and Aquarius and possibly even greater cycles of time as the Maya calculated.
A Strange Loop
Many researchers and web commentators appeared almost disappointed that false flag doom did not strike London 2012. They were convinced that all signs seem to indicate this and when it did not occur they concluded that the "Illuminati" themselves promoted this false conspiracy in order to further discredit and ridicule the "Truth" movement. After "crying wolf" for so many times the "Truth" movement would be understandably entirely ignored by the public as a source of reliable information.
This whole line of analysis, this blog maintains, is misguided. The elite may have promoted these conspiracy theories, but not primarily to discredit anyone. The conspiracy theorists are already sufficiently effective at this. Instead, the promotion of the esoteric, conspiratorial dimension of London 2012 was to attract attention.
Billions of mainstream sports fans predictably tuned into the mass spectacle, but the spinners of the matrix also required a more discerning audience. They want us, esoteric researchers, to analyze their symbolism, to speculate on its meaning, and spread these theories over the web. They require the ambiance -- made legitimate because derived from "alternative" sources -- of fear and mystery that we imbue the Games with.
Perhaps we are creating the occult narrative. The masonic sorcerers require our input. This appears to be confirmed in rumours that the theme of "the green and pleasant land," etc. was inspired by Danny Boyle's perusal of conspiracy websites. Regardless of the veracity of these of rumours, we see this kind of thing everywhere.
In movies, in music videos, in concerts, in advertisements, in political campaigns, in fashion, and so on we see the same esoteric symbolism and meaning as is exposed in conspiracy sites. Are the marketing experts and trendsetters simply scouring the net for new and vital memes, realizing that occult and conspiratorial images and suggestions will get their products and clients far more widespread and close attention then conventional promotion? Are we all just unwitting and unpaid stooges in a vast viral marketing scam? Are we only auditory distortions in a giant feedback loop?
If this the case, why bother to continue with this? Why provide TPTB both the creative fodder and the attention that they so desperately crave? Once again, though, we must look beyond the obvious polarities. Are the symbols coming from esoteric researchers which are then co-opted and disseminated by advertisers hungry for attention? Or do corporations and governments intentionally use these esoteric symbols in order to derive magical influence from them, and later we researchers expose these intentions?
This is a chicken and egg question. Could it be, though, that the symbols emerge, as it were, on their own? Does the human collective unconscious, acting like a psychic planetary thermostat, cause symbols and archetypes to well up into consciousness as they are required? This is the suspicion of this blog. The 108-year cycle is much more like a pattern or a rhythm than a plan.
The Forging of the Lapis
Sirius rises with the Sun in Leo, the House of the Sun. The Phoenix presides over the hottest dog-days of summer when Sirius doubles the power of the Sun. Representations of The Sun Card in other tarot decks directly associate it with the Phoenix, and the eight rays of the Sun are often shown in a pattern identical to the crosses of the Union Jack. There is little doubt that The Sun was played during the Closing Ceremony of London 2012.
The following 17th century alchemical print, reproduced in Jung's Psychology and Alchemy and titled "The Mountain of the Adepts," really encapsulates much of the symbolism behind London 2012. The Great Wheel, the London Eye, is shown here as the precessional cycle of the zodiacal ages. This reveals that the Great Work is both individual and collective.
The four elements are also the four directions, the four points of the cross, the Four Apostles, and the four kingdoms of Britain with their respective saints. The Mountain, like Purgatory and like the Glastonbury Tor, rises up from seven tiers -- depicted here as the seven stages of the alchemical process.
The fiery Phoenix arises from the ashes of the consummation of the Sun and the Moon. This consummation is discussed in Dante, in Blake, and throughout the poetic and alchemical tradition. It is the hieros gamos of Dante and Beatrice, The Lamb and the Holy City, Salt and Mercury, the boy and girl dancing together on the mountain of the Sun card.
This Divine Marriage reverses the Fall of Adam and Eve, and the rise of the Phoenix signifies the new Redemption. The final forging of the Lapis, the Philosopher's Stone, is the equivalent to the return of Christ (and also Antichrist). It is also the portal of Da'at.
All symbols, to be effective, must be ambiguous. They must contain at once the entire cosmic cycle of dissolution and coagulation. They must contain day and night, summer and winter. For something to be truly Whole, as Jung continually taught, it must also integrate its Shadow. This is why we go astray when we interpret ritualized events like London 2012 as only the evil Illuminati, or as only the culmination of the Agenda to implement the full New World Order.
There is no doubt that this is a big part of what is going on. But it is not all. Just as on a fairly mainstream level we can interpret the Olympics in two opposing ways -- idealistically as the coming together of all nations in a celebration of human excellence, or cynically as an orgy of nationalism and corporate consumerism only made possible with the implementation of a temporary police state -- esoterically we can also take two perspectives.
Was London transformed into Zion? The green and pleasant land of the opening was by the closing a Union Jack highway intersection. No obvious transcendence there. But it, like 9/11, was also the centre of a planetary mandala of attention -- a mandala that even sucked in hardened and cynical researchers like myself. We also played our role. And that was the point. The Sun card was played and the Ages are completing their shift.
There are only two cards left to complete the 108-year cycle which we can expect to see played by the end of this year. The first will be The Aeon, when the new age is definitively announced, and The Universe is last, when the completion of cycle merges into the completion of all cycles. And with The Universe comes the return of the Woman and the Snake.
Postscript One Hundred and Eight
In a cosmic giggle-type confirmation of these blog posts a crop circle appeared in England on Aug. 26th, probably the most stunning of the entire season, featuring a huge circle with a three dimensional cube inside of it. The cube is showing only three of its faces, but on each face is 36 "squares." In total, then, there are 108 sections.
Additionally, as the three hidden faces of the cube presumably also have 108 divisions then we reach the full 216 years of the Rosicrucian cycle -- 108 years of hidden activity and 108 years of open movement. Is there still any doubt that this year begins the next cycle?