By David Cherubim (Frater Aurora Aureae)
Copyright © 1998 e.v.
The Order of the Thelemic Golden Dawn.
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
The Devil of Tarot not only represents the darker elements, limitations and illusions of mankind, but beyond the Veil of Appearances, the Devil represents a much higher principle, being that the Devil also symbolizes Pan -- the All -- and Baphomet, who is both Male and Female, Two in One, uniting all things, integrating all parts of the Self.
In Magick, the Devil is a door to a Great and Eternal Mystery, which can only be understood by fearlessly passing through the door and entering into the Temple of the Unconscious. One Mystery of the Devil Atu of Tarot is, in fact, that there is more than meets the eye, and that we must look beyond the Veil of Appearances to Understand the True Nature of a Thing. The Devil Atu also informs us that the only real enemy is the self. But again, there is a much higher and more spiritual interpretation of the Devil, not as the false image of the self, but as the Integration of All. The Devil of Christianity is a perverted form of Pan, the All. Pan represents both the human and the animal united into One, symbolizing a perfect balance between Nature and Humanity.
The Devil represents the Unconscious Self for various reasons. The Devil can signify one's unconscious fears, limitations, and the unknown and hidden elements of the Psyche. Or it can signify one's Animal Self, which these days is very unconscious in its basic and pure form, but which must be accepted and integrated. Or, on a much higher level of thinking, the Devil, as Pan, can represent the Secret Self, or the True Self, the Spirit of the Middle Way and the Perfect Balance of All Things.
The Hebrew letter that corresponds with the Devil Atu of Tarot is Ayin, the Eye, which has two fundamental implications: As the Human Eye, it represents the limiting of consciousness to outside appearances or external conditions, which is ignorance. As the Third Eye, it represents the expansion of consciousness beyond the veil of the external into the interior World of Understanding. It has a double meaning, as does the Devil. The same applies to the inverted Pentagram, which is often only seen as a symbol of negativity, but in actual fact it conveys the formula of initiation itself.
The Devil is the Shadow Self, which is another term for the unconscious self or personal unconscious. It is the Natural or Instinctive Self, the Primitive and Animal Part of our natures, and pertains to all that we do not want to know or accept about ourselves due to the false beliefs and imprints of our society and a general fear of the unknown. It is called the shadow since it relates to the image that is cast upon the screen of life when the Light of Divinity illuminates the self. When the light emerges into consciousness, via the works of initiation of whatever kind, the shadow self appears and must be accepted, integrated and ultimately transcended, so that true equilibrium may be attained in the soul of the initiate. Without accepting our shadow self, we remain imbalanced. And Balance is the basis and the end of the Great Work!
Love is the law, love under will.
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