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Magickal Library


VII. The Chariot

Atu VII refers to the zodiacal sign of Cancer, the sign into which the Sun moves at the Summer Solstice1. Cancer is the cardinal sign of the element of Water2, and represents the first keen onrush of that element. Cancer also represents the path which leads from the great Mother Binah to Geburah, and is thus the influence of the Supernals descending through the Veil of Water (which is blood) upon the energy of man, and so inspires it. It corresponds, in this way, to the Hierophant, which, on the other side of the Tree of Life, brings down the fire of Chokmah. (See diagram.)

The design of this present card has been much influenced by the Trump portrayed by Eliphaz Levi.

The canopy of the Chariot is the night-sky-blue of Binah. The pillars are the four pillars of the Universe, the regimen of Tetragrammaton. The scarlet wheels represent the original energy of Geburah which causes the revolving motion.

This chariot is drawn by four sphinxes composed of the four Kerubs, the Bull, the Lion, the Eagle and the Man. In each sphinx these elements are counter-changed; thus the whole represents the sixteen sub-elements.

The Charioteer is clothed in the amber-coloured armour appropriate to the sign. He is throned in the chariot rather than conducting it, because the whole system of progression is perfectly balanced. His only function is to bear the Holy Grail.

Upon his armour are ten stars of Assiah, the inheritance of celestial dew from his mother.

He bears as a crest the Crab appropriate to the sign. The vizor of his helmet is lowered, for no man may look upon his face and live. For the same reason, no part of his body is exposed.

Cancer is the house of the Moon; there are thus certain analogies between this card and that of the High Priestess. But, also, Jupiter is exalted in Cancer, and here one recalls the card called Fortune (Atu X) attributed to Jupiter.

The central and most important feature of the card is its centre- the Holy Grail. It is of pure amethyst, of the colour of Jupiter, but its shape suggests the full moon and the Great Sea of Binah.

In the centre is radiant blood; the spiritual life is inferred; light in the darkness. These rays, moreover, revolve, emphasizing the Jupiterian element in the symbol.

1 Note that Cheth- Cheth 8- Yod 10- Tau 400- has the value 418. This is one of the most important key-numbers in Liber AL. It is the number of the word of the Aeon, ABRAHADABRA, the cypher of the Great Work. (See The Equinox of the Gods, p. 138. Also The Temple of Solomon the King.) On this word alone a complete volume could, and should, be written.

2 Hence St. John Baptist's Day, and various ceremonials connected with water.


This page last updated: 03/01/2018

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