This is a transcription of the audio lecture Twenty two Arcana of Tarot and Kabbalah 17 Arcanum 17 Hope originally given live on Gnostic Radio, which you can download for free.
The 17th Arcanum is called the Arcanum of Hope. Any spiritual aspirant, any religious minded person always seeks to find their hope in God, finding in divinity the inspiration to overcome suffering.
In the 17th Arcanum of the Tarot we find the science which fuels hope. In Gnosis we understand that any virtue, any divine attribute, arises from works. Mere belief does not convey onto the mind, onto the heart, lasting consequence. Hope is not mere belief. Hope - like faith - is derived from experience. Belief is a mere vain concept, while faith is the direct experience of that which is real. In the same way, we know that Hope is also born from direct experience.
Depicted in the graphic of the 17th Arcanum is a beautiful woman who rests comfortably on top of the waters, who bears in her two outstretched hands, two vials; one of gold and one of silver. Obviously the woman who appears without any veil is the revealed Isis: The Divine Mother, who appears in all her splendor, revealed and unclothed before the Divine sight of the initiate. To the common man she remains veiled, mysterious and invisible, and that is because true hope is not born in the hearts of the common man. The common man has vain belief, the concept of Hope, but not the experience of it. This unveiled vision of Isis, the Divine Mother, manifests in the consciousness of the one who knows the science of Venus, who knows how to unveil the mystery of the Divine Mother, whose mystery is only revealed to those who worship her in accordance with her laws.
Venus is the Roman name for an ancient goddess. The Roman cult to Venus was derived from the Greek, related to Aphrodite. And the Greek mysteries of Aphrodite were inherited and influenced by many other cultures. We find among the Babylonians, Ishtar, the goddess of love and fertility, and among the Sumerians, Innana. The goddess of love, Venus, Aphrodite, is so named due to her great beauty, and in the early times this name was bestowed upon a beautiful light that would appear in the sky at dawn. The Greeks called this morning star Phosphorus, or “light bringer,” which in Latin is called Lucifer. And the Greeks called this evening star Hesperus (Eosphorus, which means west). And when the time came that it was commonly recognized that these two manifestations, these two beautiful lights were the same, were one planet, they began to call it Aphrodite. Subsequently we have known it as Venus, but you can see that Venus/Aphrodite is Lucifer, is the Christ, in other words, or the messenger or vehicle of the Christ which heralds the arrival of the sun and announces its departure, the beginning and close of each day. Ovid in his Metamorphosis wrote:
Brilliant in the dawn Lucifer has mounted high, the star that wakes the world to work. – Metamorphosis 4:665
This ancient poem also presents a great deal of initiatic wisdom, and when Ovid writes of Lucifer he is writing of that influence, that star, the light which stimulates humanity to work in the path. That force is none other than Lucifer, the morning star, the light, whose feminine aspect is Aphrodite, the goddess of love.
Venus/Aphrodite is related to the day Friday - it is her sacred day - and among the Nordics, Venus/Aphrodite was Freya, which is where we get the name Friday, Freya’s day.
The symbol of Venus or her most ancient icon is a circle from which hangs a cross. And in this symbol we find profound symbolism: a gate or a doorway through which we can understand many things. Those who have some interest or familiarity with the Egyptian mysteries will recognize that this symbol is identical to the ubiquitous Egyptian Ankh, which among the ancient Egyptians was their most sacred symbol. This symbol consisted of more of a looped circle on top of the Tao cross, or a cross, a capital letter T. Throughout Egyptian artwork we find this sacred emblem whose meaning whose always conveys life, immortality. When we analyze the components of this symbol we find very interesting symbolism. Firstly, it has been said in all the ancient mysteries that the goddess of love, the goddess of beauty, Venus/Aphrodite, who inspires all creatures with their sexual impulse, utilizes this mirror to observe herself. Her mirror is this symbol - this hand mirror - which the goddess grasps in order to see her own reflection. In other words, the goddess sees herself in the sexual impulse that drives us.
The circle, one of the most ancient symbols known to man, represents continuity, cycles, eternity, perfection, the womb. The circle represents the monad, the spirit, God. We find in the Egyptian hieroglyphs a symbol which is sort of an elongated circle or an eye turned vertical. This is the hieroglyph Ru. Ru means “door, gate, mouth, entryway.” Ru, the hieroglyph, represents the birthplace in the sky from which the Sun emerges. So you remember Venus, that beautiful planet always appears in the sky at dawn and at dusk. Ru is the symbol for the doorway, the gateway, the mouth which the sun enters and exits.
The earliest symbol of this shape in the Egyptian hieroglyph looks like a curled piece of rope or a noose. It is a looped piece of string, a piece of rope which has one circle and the two ends cross each another. Here we find one of the earliest representations of the sacred Ankh, this beautiful symbol Venus. But this symbol is not unique to Egypt. It can be seen in many of the ancient images of Shiva, the creator destroyer of ancient Hinduism. In one of his arms he holds a noose or a pasa, and the pasa that he bears in his hand is a loop of rope or string which when he grasps it with his very hand, with his finger pointing outwards and the noose looped upwards above his hands he forms with his fingers the Ankh, the sacred symbol of Venus, the doorway of the Sun, the mouth through which the Sun enters and exits.
This symbol then has an ancient history. We understand from studying Gnosticism that the circle is the monad, is divinity, is God, is perfection, eternity, cycles, birth and death. The cross as well has an ancient history with many levels of meaning. We see in the cross two beams which are crossing one another, this represents the 4 elements, it also represents the crossing of man and woman, masculine and feminine. In the Egyptian mysteries we see of course that the Ankh is the circle on top of the cross, which indicates the spirit, or God controlling the four elements, or the Spirit or God dominating the connection between man and woman. This of course is the region of Venus, the Goddess of Love, who inspires in the heart of man and woman the attraction to the opposite sex and fills them with the capacity to love in a divine way.
When we refer back to the Greek mysteries we find a very interesting symbol related to the Divine Mother Venus. Everyone has seen the famous painting by Sandrea Boticelli: The Birth of Venus, in which we see the naked goddess emerging from the sea standing on a beautiful seashell. It is important for us to realize where this symbolism comes from and what it means.
Firstly we have to understand the name Aphrodite. The name Aphrodite is derived from her birth; Aphros is related to the foam of the sea. When the God Cronos took his scythe and castrated his heavenly father (Ouranos), he took the removed genitals and cast them into the divine mother ocean, and when the genitals of his father struck the water, the waters foamed and from the foam arose the beautiful perfection of Aphrodite. Thus her name means “born of the foam of the sea.”
Here we see Venus arising from the sea upon a shell and the Greek word for shell is Cties or Kteis. This is the Greek word for “shell,” which is also a word for the feminine sexual organs, but this word is also used in architecture, specifically in masonry. The Kties is a pedestal, a foundation, upon which is placed a pillar. Here we see the Tao cross, the pedestal, the foundation of Kteis topped by the phallus, a pillar. In ancient masonry this was the symbolic representation of the connection of the lingam-yoni or the phallus and the uterus, and if you were to take this symbol and look down on it from above you would see a circle with a dot in the middle. The circle is the Kteis, the feminine sexual principle, and within it is the dot, the masculine sexual principle.
If we extend the point into the cross of the Mother and Father, now we have the Celtic cross, a cross within a circle. This represents the same thing as the Ankh, the crossing of man and woman within the environment of the Divine Mother, or in other words how nature is regenerated.
In synthesis, the sexual impulse which drives every creature arises from the divine sexual forces emanating from the “foam of the sea” – the sexual chaos or womb of nature.
Nature is regenerated through the sexual forces, which act within the womb of Divine Mother Nature. The cross is the source of life, is the crossing of male and female, and when that cross is active, when it is enflamed, when it is energized, that cross spins and becomes the swastika, that ancient symbol, ubiquitous across the face of the Earth, present in every culture.
There are actually two stories explaining the birth of Venus, the birth of Aphrodite, and there is a reason for the two different stories. The first is that she is born when Cronos, in other words Saturn, performs a circumcision with his scythe, a symbol of his will, and those sexual masculine forces are combined with the sacred waters of the divine mother ocean - the sea - and from that chaste union the foam of the waters are churned. Emerging from those waters is the Divine Mother Aphrodite, Venus. Incidentally, the goddess Lakshmi from India is born in the same way, when the waters of the ocean are churned she is born and a lotus appears upon those waters.
The alternate version of the birth of Aphrodite is told by Homer. Homer explains that Aphrodite is born of a daughter of Zeus and Dione. In this case this aspect of Aphrodite is called Dionaea, or Aphrodite Pandemos or the common Aphrodite; this is the inferior aspect that is concerned with physical satisfaction of animal sensation, animal desire. This impure Aphrodite is perceived to be in direct opposition to the heavenly one (Urania, yet another name for the pure Divine Mother). This is why we see in the graphic of the Arcanum 17 two triangles in the waters, one which is white, which points upwards, is Aphrodite-Urania, the pure heavenly goddess of love who exists within the waters of Yesod, the sexual force. The black triangle pointing downwards is the domain of Lilith, Aphrodite-Pandemos, the fallen Sophia, who is Sophia-Prunikos.
So we find then a great duality in the forces of Aphrodite or the goddess of love. These two rival aspects are summarized and best understood when we analyze our own inner tendencies. In the case of a woman we can find that a woman has the capacity for different kinds of love, pure love and impure love. The pure love that a woman naturally has towards a child is a love that that is natural, beautiful and unconditioned - at least in its root. This can we say is an example –a materialistic, superficial example - of what is called pure love or chaste love, but within that same woman will also be the love of attachment; even with that same child, which the mother can love so purely, that love can become the love of attachment and the mother can become attached to the child. So we see this potential for love to change shape, for love to change direction. The one who bestows upon the psyche the capacity to love is Venus-Aphrodite, or own inner Divine Mother. She does this for our own good, for love is the essence of God.
The spiritual aspirant, the seeker, is seeking to become one with that love, but in order to arrive at such perfection that love has to be comprehended and made real, made spontaneous. In other words for pure love to manifest, the impure love must be removed. So then we have two forms of love to analyze and comprehend within ourselves; conscious love, which is the love of non-attachment, the simple, pure love of which the book of Second Corinthians speaks. When Paul writes that love does not seek its own, this is the love of chastity, of pure love unblemished with desire.
Every great master, every great prophet, embodies and represents conscious love. The great master Jesus beautifully exemplified all of the characteristics of conscious love in his gentleness and in his veracity. We find the same beautiful, exemplary behaviors in the master Moses, and in Buddha, in Quetzalcoatl. The path that all of these great prophets taught was the path to comprehend and realize the nature of conscious love.
In order to do that, we need to understand the second type, which is passionate love, attachment love, or in other words, conditioned love. This is the love that is filtered by desire. The love of a parent for a child has the potential to be pure, but generally it is not because we are so absorbed within our desires, within our fears, within our hopes, our egotistical hopes. The type of love that a parent has for a child can become tyranny when the conditional love, attachment-love, seeks to impress its will upon the child. The love between a man and a woman is the same; the potential exists for that love to be pure, to be a love of non-attachment, to be chaste love, but usually it is not. This is because the ego gets involved with its Pride, its Lust, its Fear. The ego wants to feel safe, the ego wants to be in control, the ego wants guarantees, proofs, promises and so our love can become tyranny; in other words it becomes impure love, which belongs to the Klipoth.
Love in these forms has to be understood, within our own behaviors, within our own mind. What are we attracted to? What draws our attention? What draws out of us what we think is love? When we experience something that we call love, is it conditional? Is it something we experience and enjoy because it makes us feel good, because it makes us look good? Because it makes us feel safe? Because it makes us feel important? Successful?
Pure love does not seek its own; pure love does not seek to feed itself with sensation, with possessions, with anything. Desire is the great corrupter.
Aphrodite is known to be the bestower of sexual virility, sexual attraction; she is the one who draws men and women together, but when she is impure - or in other words, corrupted by the desires of our own mind - she becomes Lilith, she becomes Nahemah. She becomes that fallen goddess who tempts, who seduces, and causes disharmony and discord.
In the stories of the ancient Gods and Goddesses we find many symbols of the seductive and the destructive powers of Venus/Aphrodite. We also find many stories of how she assists her children, her worshipers, so we need to understand this duality of Impure Love and Pure Love. These same qualities have to be examined within our own religion, within our own beliefs, within our own theories, within any doctrine which we study.
In the East these two points of view, these two forms of following the goddess of love, are known as the left-hand path and the right-hand path. The walkers of the right-hand path are those who follow after the pure Aphrodite, the goddess of love, Lakshmi. The walkers of the right hand path know that in order for them to acquire the boon, the gift, the grace of God, they must become pure. So they seek to purify themselves through the science of Venus.
The walkers of the left-hand on the other hand also work with the science of Venus, but the fallen Venus, the impure Venus, Lilith and Nahemah, also known in the East as Kali Ma. The walkers of the left-hand path embrace their desires and fulfill them.
The term Tantra means “continuum.” It refers to the continual flow of energies illustrated in the circle of the sign of Venus, but Tantrism has different forms. Black Tantra is that form of Tantrism within which the practitioner utilizes desire to feed desire, to create more desire, to become enslaved by desire. In Grey Tantrism the aspirant, the follower, occasionally satisfies a desire. And in White Tantrism the practitioner always seeks to renounce desire and conquer it.
When we examine the vows that any student of Tantrism takes, we discover the great differentiating factor between these schools of thought. In the Tantra of the Himalaya, we know that the student who begins to study Tantrism, to enter into that method of work, will take a series of vows. The third vow of the series requires the student to avoid sexual union with an unqualified person, in other words to not commit to adultery. The 8th vow states that the practitioner vows to never release “the jasmine flower drops.” What is that? To never release the flower drops? Firstly, we have to indicate we are studying the 17th Arcanum. We know in Kabbalah that numbers are very significant, so when you take the 17 and add the numbers together you get 8; so the 17th Arcanum relates with the 8th Arcanum and here in this 8th vow of White Tantrism of the East it says “never release the Jasmine Flower Drops.” In other words do not release the sacred, fragrant flower-like energies: the sexual seed, the flower of the Divine Mother. That is, do not orgasm, do not release that sacred fuel.
The flower is here on the head of Venus. The beautiful Lotus always symbolizes Isis in Egypt, always symbolizes Lakshmi in India, and always symbolizes Tara in Tibet. We see in the images of Tara that she sits upon a lotus throne surrounded by lotus flowers; that is because Tara is born from the lotus.
The lotus flower in the ancient Vedic scriptures emerges from the navel of Vishnu. From his navel springs a beautiful lotus and upon that lotus is born Lakshmi, the Goddess of Love.
That lotus flower is clearly a symbol of feminine sexual potency. The flower with its beautiful petals opening resembles the feminine sexual organs and is a universal symbol for such.
The lotus is a sacred flower in all the ancient mysteries. In the west it is called the water lily. Every image of the annunciation when the Angel Gabriel appears to the Divine Mother Mary contains within it water lilies; Gabriel holds in his hand water lilies, the Lotus. Gabriel is the angel related to the moon, to the fecundating powers of nature, to procreation; that is why he always announces the birth of the child savior.
The bodhisattva who announces the approaching birth of Buddha is shown with lotus flowers in his hand.
The child savior is born of the lotus. Osiris and Horus in the ancient Egyptian mysteries are both related to the lotus flower. The great tantric master Padmasambava has as his very name “lotus born”; Padma means "lotus" in Sanskrit - and in fact the goddess Lakshmi is often called Padma, the lotus.
So upon the head of our Divine Mother Venus in this graphic, we see the lotus flower, a symbol of her sacred force. The 8th vow of all Tantric Buddhists who follow the White Path is: never release the flower drops. Those are the drops of pure essence, the pure energy of the sexual forces; why? The 9th vow also says to commit oneself to chaste behavior. The reason this is so emphasized in white tantrism is because this energy is the very essence of enlightenment. The flower drops are a coagulated form of energy which the practitioner has to cultivate and develop within oneself.
In Mahayana Buddhism is introduced a beautiful term: bodhichitta. This is comprised of two Sanskrit roots; bodhi which is wisdom and chitta which is mind. The entire purpose of the greater vehicle of Buddhism, the Mahayana, is the cultivation of bodhichitta.
In the exoteric form, bodhichitta is explained to the lay person as the aspiration for the cultivation of compassion, in other words, Love. The common Mahayana practitioner practices everyday to cultivate conscious love for others and this is through the repetition of various types of meditation practices and various types of vows that are taken. The deeper a student goes, the more is introduced about the nature of bodhichitta.
The Mahayana practitioner who is advancing in their experiences of meditation is further led to understand that bodhichitta refers to the mind that realizes emptiness. Bodhichitta is the capacity to comprehend the void, Shunyata, or the inherent emptiness of the existence of nature.
If that Mahayana practitioner persists, they may be introduced into Tantrism, and in Tantra the practitioner takes these vows to practice chastity, to never release their sexual forces, and they are told why. It is because bodhichitta is the sexual energy. The sexual energy itself is the fuel, the matter, the force which creates conscious love. The follower of white Tantrism saves and cultivates the sexual energies to create bodhichitta, the wisdom mind, the mind of enlightenment. That is why all of the monks, nuns, lamas, priests of the Tantric path take vows of chastity. They do not renounce sex, they renounce the orgasm. This is how students of those traditions can explain to themselves why many of the great masters of their traditions have been married, or have consorts of the opposite sex. This is because bodhichitta is elaborated by combining the male and female sexual forces. That combination forms a cross, which spins and forms a swastika, which is present on many Buddhist symbols, on the altars. Bodhichitta is conscious love, and it is from this bodhichitta that the very soul is born, is elaborated, is perfected.
One school of Tantrism teaches this and calls it Tummo Yoga. This form of practice is most known in the Karma Kagyu school related to Marpa, Milarepa, Naropa and notable teachers such as these. The term Tummo is Sanskrit and means “she who terrifies egotistical forces.” In Tibetan this practice is called “fierce woman.” The practice of Tummo Yoga has been popularized by images of Yogis and Monks sitting naked in the freezing snows of the Himalayas doing a breathing exercise and melting the snow all around them by the heat that they generate. The heat they generate is the heat of Tummo, the Divine Mother, the fire of the Divine Mother Kundalini which rises in the central channel of the spinal column. This is the great force and fire which is utilized to destroy the forces of desire, in other words the ego itself.
Tummo Yoga is practiced all over the world by students of Tibetan Buddhism, but it has levels. The 14th Dalai Lama stated that in order to complete the development of Tummo, one should rely on a consort as one’s partner. A single person can develop and elaborate pure sexual forces or Bodhichitta within themselves, but the complete development of those forces is only possible between man and woman, who cooperate in the ancient Tantric wisdom of Karma Mudra or “action seal.” And this is the practice of white Tantrism, where the male and the female join in sexual union but with non-attachment, seeking to conquer desire, to become pure. This is the science of Venus, the science of Aphrodite.
Unfortunately, in these times there are many practitioners of the left-hand path who use the same words, the same concepts, the same symbols, and the same appearances in order to propagate their own perverted form of practice, which utilizes the orgasm as a vehicle to awaken consciousness; this is black magic. When the creative forces of the Divine Mother are harnessed through sensation-desire, more desire is created, in other words we fill the Klipoth, our own inner hell, with more energy.
In the act of sexual union, when the male and female are joined together, the sea is churned. The sea is the sexual waters, that sea foams; it churns and what rises from that foam? The Divine Mother herself. However, if the connection of man and woman is infected with desire, with lust, the emergence of the Divine Mother becomes polarized in the negative way, and that force becomes destructive, becomes damaging. If the churning of the waters is maintained with purity, with chastity, with prayer, the pure Divine Mother can rise. This is how Venus observes herself in the mirror. The sacred symbol of Venus is the hand mirror of the circle over the cross. When we use the sexual force, we define the forces of the Divine Mother within ourselves.
Here in the graphic we see the Divine Mother is mixing two fluids, male and female. In ancient alchemical terms, we say Gold and Silver. In universal terms, we say Solar and Lunar, Adam and Eve, Masculine and Feminine. This combination of forces is what happens when we combine male and female in the sexual act. Those waters are blended, those waters are churned, and creation ensues, but that creation can be positive or negative.
How does the Divine Mother in us see herself in the mirror of sex? Does she see herself as pure, as perfect or does she see herself as a whore?
Those who purify themselves through the science of Venus and utilize the forces of the two streams of sexual energy, these two forms of Bodhichitta, and combine them, can create the vehicle of the soul. Those who succeed in raising the Seven Serpents of Fire can then be given the most precious gift: the Venustic Initiations, the initiations of Venus. These initiations are only given to those who take the straight path, the path of the bodhisattva, within which the bodhichitta is perfected. The Venustic Initiations are the process whereby the Christ incarnates inside of the Human Being and perfects the Human Being. This is very rare.
We see in all the great prophets, the great ones, representations of the Venustic Initiations. The life of Jesus of Nazareth exemplifies in steps the various stages of the Venustic Initiations. And those who enter into those mysteries receive the guidance of their own Being, the guidance of Christ, in a much more profound way than those who do not enter the direct path.
There is a great difference between the clarity, precision and accuracy of the doctrine as spoken by a Bodhisattva in comparison with a Pratyeka Buddha or someone on the spiral path. This is why the teachings of Moses, of Jesus, of Buddha ring out and affect millions, because those prophets received the Venustic Initiations, incarnated the Christ, received the blessings of their own inner Venus, Christus-Lucifer. The wisdom that they receive illuminates the Bodhichitta, their own sexual forces transmuted into wisdom-mind. That Bodhichitta gives wisdom through the mouth, and the mouth is the Hebrew character related to the Arcanum 17: Peh. Peh symbolizes the mouth.
It is through the mysteries of Venus, the science of Venus, that the initiate can receive the sacred wisdom and speak it. We see this beautifully obvious in the growth and development of every person. If Venus is the one who bestows upon us sexual impulse, sexual attraction, we look into our own lives and see when does that happen in us? We know that in the first seven years in life, our growth and development is mostly influenced by the moon. We learn all of our instinctive and motor skills, how to walk, how to talk, how to move and control the body, how to go to the bathroom, many things related with base skills that we need.
From around age 7 to around age 14 we are under the influence of the second planet which is Mercury and in this stage we are in an intense development of the mind. Learning how to speak properly, we are in great activity; kids in this stage - you can’t stop them - they are in constant movement, because Mercury is the influence, Mercury, that fast planet.
And then from around age 14 we enter into the regency of the third planet, which is Venus. This is when our heart begins to blossom. Suddenly we discover the opposite sex - but most notably, we notice we enter into the development of ourselves as a sexual creature: our voices change. The energies which previously were developing all the skills of the body and then developing the skills of the mind, begin to develop the powers of the heart, but those powers are illuminated through the power of sex. In other words, the sexual forces begin to be influenced by Venus, who changes our voice through “Peh,” our mouth. We see an intimate relationship between Venus, the heart and the mouth. In the gospels the master Jesus spoke often of this. He said:
You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good, for out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. – Matthew 12:34
What goes into a man’s mouth does not make him unclean, but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him unclean. – Mathew 15:11
Truly what emerges from our mouth, this door, reflects our inner state. Reflects the contents of our heart and mind. This is why in the Book of James the apostle emphasizes with great clarity the necessity to control the tongue:
Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts of great things, behold how great a matter a little fire kindleth. And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity, so is the tongue among our members that it defileth the whole body and setteth on fire the course of nature and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beast and of birds and of serpents and of things in the sea is tamed and hath been tamed by mankind but the tongue can no man tameth. It is an unruly evil full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God even the Father, therewith we curse men which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing, my brethren these things oft not to be so. Doth a fountain send forth at the same time sweet water and bitter?
This is why we need the science of Venus. No man can tame the tongue, but Venus can, Christ can. We find our salvation, we find our hope, in the harnessing of the sexual forces under the regency of Venus, thereby directing those forces to destroy the ego through the powers of the fierce woman, Tummo. And in such a way we conquer desire, we combine the forces of male and female, the sun and moon, in order to elaborate the perfect Bodhichitta, wisdom-mind in ourselves.
And Jesus said to them: have you never read out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hath perfected praise? – Matthew 21:16
In other words we have to become as children, pure, innocent and loving our mother.
Are there any questions?
Question: The spinning cross, or the Swastika as you said, is that related to the Spiral Universes?
Answer: The spinning cross, the Swastika, is simply related to the activity of the sexual force. It may have other meanings but that symbol applies to any use of sexual energy, positive or negative. That sexual force is the same energy used to create the universe. Some say it does, some say it matters which way it spins, but in general we just analyze that the Swastika is an ancient symbol in all the worlds traditions and mythologies, it symbolizes the same thing.
One last point, at the top of the card there is an 8-pointed star. In mythology the 8-pointed star is representative of Venus, but this 8-pointed star also relates to how the 1 and the 7 become eight in this Arcanum, and of course the umber 8 is the symbol of infinity. Infinity is that flow back and forth, the cycles of nature, the interchange, the exchange of forces. Related to the Arcanum 8 we know we must have patience, it is the Arcanum of Job, so related to the Arcanum 17 we also must have patience and serenity. When we work with these forces, the sun and the moon, the gold and the silver, the man and the woman, the churning of the waters can be disruptive. The churning of the waters produces ordeals. When those waters are churned it is to pull out impurities and imperfections so that they can be purged. This is done for our own good. Our own God purges us of impurity but to us it is just suffering, its painful, and this is why we need this Arcanum, Hope. We understand that suffering happens because of Karma and when we seek to change suffering, we have to change the Karma, and to do that we have to see it. We have to know how we committed the error, what we misunderstood, and what we need to know to not repeat it. And so trials come, difficulties arise but as the Bible says,
We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts. – Romans 5:3-5
God’s love is of course the bodhichitta, compassion, the enlightened mind, which arises from the wise use of sexual energy.
Question: What planet will govern our body after we pass 63 years old?
Answer: The question is about The Metallic Planets of Alchemy. There are several lectures that cover this and several books. We know that there are 7 primary planets which influence the development of our lives and after the 7th we return once again to the moon and from there it depends on whether we are an initiate or not. Those who are not initiates begin to enter into new influences but those new influences are combined with the Moon, for example those beyond the age of 63 receive the lunar influence but also Mercury. So they may have a renewed interest in studying things, improving their minds, in reading and 7 years after that Venus so then they have a renewed interest in romance. This is why we see older people who become romantic, who may get married again. So again those cycles repeat. For the initiate, new planets come into the story and I will let you read about that on the website and in the books. Any other questions?
Question: Why does the star have 8 points?
Answer: The 8 points relate to the initiations of the Serpents of Light. There are 7 Serpents of Light related to 7 bodies, which are the 7 lower spheres in the Tree of Life and the 8th is related to Binah, but there is much more detail of that to be learned in other lectures.