“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion.“— Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
* Meaning “to be within.” Take note of the meanings of Yetzirah and Assiah as discussed on the Minor Arcana page. These two Worlds are below the Abyss on the Tree of Life schemata and correspond to the left side of the “divided line” in the Platonic Tetralogies chart.
Nephthys, Saturn & the Crone
She (Nephthys) is the sister of Isis and companion of the war-like deity, Set…Nephthys is a protective goddess who symbolizes the death experience, just as Isis represented the (re-)birth experience. “Ascend and descend; descend with Nepthys, sink into darkness with the Night-bark. Ascend and descend; ascend with Isis, rise with the Day-bark.” – Pyramid Text Utterance 222 line 210
That quote from the Pyramid Text perfectly encapsulates the function of both Binah and Chokma. The “two mother” motif of Horus can be studied further in Gerald Massey’s book Egypt: Light of the World.
We also find much meaning numerologically between Binah, Nephthys, 3, and Chokma, Isis, 2. We do this by finding the corresponding Major Arcana cards of these spheres. Remember in the Moon page that the 2nd card of the Major arcana is The High Priestess and represents ‘Isis the Eternal Virgin.’ Now recall from the Venus page that the 3rd card of the Major Arcana is The Empress, symbolizing a fertilized universe “pregnant with form.” These two female archetypes serve the important function of “cradling” existence; one is the “day” and one is the “night”; one is eternally virginal (unable to be penetrated) and the other is eternally pregnant (the vast expanse). Isis represents the explosive energy locked within the atom, whereas Nephthys represents the great wilderness of space, the great sphere within which all spheres exist, that all atoms are within, what Nassim Harramein calls the “structure of the vacuum.” There is much overlapping of meaning and symbolism, but when we start to dig we find common threads that weave a great tapestry, even with connections between seemingly different religions. An interesting example of the paradoxical overlapping of symbolism and meaning is that Isis, The Virgin, is the one who actually gave birth to Horus (the Sun), not Nephthys as one might expect. This is where the concept of immaculate conception arises. As it is inscribed on the front of the temple of Isis in the city of Sais: I, Isis, am all that has been, that is or shall be; no mortal Man hath ever seen me unveiled.
Saturn, EL & and Black Cube
Even though there is a lot of fear mongering concerning Saturn around the internet, this video (made by a fundamentalist christian) still presents useful information. Indeed there are certain cults of Saturn that may be less than savory. What we want to look at here are the cross-cultural indicators of Saturn and explore it’s many symbols and meanings, which all basically amount to the same thing.
The Major Arcana card corresponding to Saturn is The Universe card, whose number is 21. The Hebrew letter attributed to this card is Tau, meaning Cross. The English equivalent of Tau is, of course, the letter T (t), which itself is shaped like a cross. When we look at the black cube or square(s) of Saturn, we begin to understand why it is directly associated with the symbol of the Cross.
The cube is the “base” of the platonic solids, and when turned and viewed from the right angle, it’s edges form a Hexagon. This is where the idea of someone being “hexed” comes from. We can take hex to basically mean “bind” or “bound.” When one puts a “hex” on someone else, all they are really doing is putting them in a box. You may positively “hex” someone by wishing them health and abundance, but negative hexing is done through things like gossip where one defines another persons space as having only certain negative and obstructive qualities. One essentially builds this box of “reality” around the targeted individual, and celebrities are all too aware of this form of binding magick as certain trivialities of their personal lives become endlessly repeated and turned back in on themselves in cacophonous “chamber of secrets” style reporting that is spread as far and wide as possible. This meaningless white noise has served to obstruct and drown out the utter Holiness of the Saturn’s Cube, itself being the chamber of prayer and sacred immanence.
The cube symbology of Saturn evokes the sense of hearing itself, that is how sound travels through a chamber of depth, width, height and length. The cube is the best way to symbolize sound if you think about it. Of course we do not live in a cube universe, but if you want to measure how sound travels in a space, or if you wanted to measure vectors in a 3D graph, the symbol works really well. You could say the cube is what listens to and reverberates our “resounding prayers,” being symbolic of how information itself travels within a fractal Matrix and which also holds a strong implication of Music (see J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Silmarillion below).
Black squares are also tied to Saturn as Jordan Maxwell has pointed out. One might wonder where the tradition of wearing a black square on the head after graduation came from. Astrologically Saturn is a planet of discipline, time and professionalism. After graduating, it could be said that one has passed through Saturn. Jordan found that the name for Saturn used to be El, being the root in words like “elite,” “elect,” “elevate,” “elders,” “elements.” It is also used in many of the names of Judaic angels, like Raphael, Michael, Tzadkiel, Uriel, etc. Saturn’s color is black, which is why judges where black robes, along with priests of the Jesuit Order, graduates, etc. It is a mixing of feminine and masculine for a man to wear the black robe of Saturn. We also see this for example in the interchangeable nature of Saturn being either Cronus (Father Time) or The Crone (the Old Woman). Within the The Devil card of the Major Arcana, being the card of Capricorn which Saturn rules, we see further allusions to mixing the masculine with the feminine (more on this below).
Jordan has also pointed out how earrings may symbolize how one “listens” to Saturn. Saturn is a planet of hearing and acoustics (it’s rings even look like a satellite dish receiving signals), and the black cube is like an acoustic chamber. Hearing is different than seeing in that hearing allows one to “see around corners,” to make out the dimensions of things without needing to see, smell or feel them. The sense of hearing is obviously connected to the act of prayer, where when one reverberates intention within the “acoustic chamber,” it becomes amplified in the hopes that “something is listening.” That “something” may be considered the morphogenetic field, the ocean of Binah (Saturn) we swim in (Sound travels much faster through water than through the air and also amplifies sound to a large degree. If you’ve ever shouted to someone over a lake you can easily see this). From wiki, the etymology of the word teffilah itself is interesting:
The word “teffiillin” is not found in the Bible, which calls them totafot. The Septuagint renbers “totafot,” “something immovable…” Menahem ben Saruq explains that the word is derived from the Hebrew Ve’hateif and Tatifoo, both expressions meaning “speech,” “for when one sees the tefillin it causes him to remember and speak about The Exodus from Egypt.””Teffilin” may have derived from the Aramaic palal, “to plead, pray,” a word closely related to the Hebrew tefillah, “prayer.” Jacob bed Asher (14th century) suggests that “tefillin” is derived from the Hebrew pelilah, “justice, evidence,” for tefillin act as a sign and proof of God’s presence among the Jewish people.
Passing through the rites and trials of El makes one an Elder. It takes Saturn about 29 years to go around the Sun. This is the infamous “Saturn Return” and shows why it’s often said (and more often implied, even if unconsciously) that an individual only truly becomes an adult at or around the age of 30. This is the time where uncertain experimentation and exploration generally “ends,” and a new phase of “Saturnian certainty” and immanence takes hold, which in essence brings the spiritual to the mundane and helps merge the physical with the metaphysical.
Even the word “old” has the roots of Al and El. Old, adult and eld are somewhat similar phonetically, but the two roots of AL and EL are interesting in and of themselves. We see it in the english words “all” and “altar” (think ELtar), the Islamic name for god “Allah,” and the Hebrew word “Ba’al” which can mean either “master” or “official” depending on it’s use. We see it in “bell” (think b-EL), “ball,” and also in grammar to imply an “actual thing” as in the Arabic “al,” the Spanish “el,” and even the French “la,” which all serve the same function as the English “the.” The archetype of Saturn, EL, does indicate “things unto themselves,” what is “actual,” that is, physical matter, the evidence of pelilah, also time, money, obligations, age, discipline and professionalism, etc (death and taxes.. another Saturnian saying). There are of course those controllers who consider themselves “lords” of the “Saturnian current” which may be something else to look into, but a lot of the fear mongering around Saturn itself needs remedy. Saturn is not up in the clouds, but ties an individual to a certain area “on the ground” that requires great attention and care, much like a garden. It may be painful at times, but through working with what Saturn brings out in an Astrological chart, one sees where they may indeed become very professional and skilled as all of this takes place “within the All”, or rather upon the Altar (EL-tar), the Earth.
There is a particular bright and lighter side to Saturn as well, bringing a kind of light that only Saturn can provide; a true, deep and glistening blackness; The Womb of the Universe. Note that El is also part of the word Elohim, meaning “many gods.” Within the “womb” of El, being the great expanse and wilderness of space, everything exists simultaneously. In other words, you’re a person among people flying around a star among stars within a galaxy among galaxies, and on the fractal continues with literally infinite variety therein (see the Venus page for more on the “all inclusive” fractal nature. Also note that feminine archetypes, be they Isis, Nepthys, Venus, the Great Mother, Artemis, the Crone, Virgo, etc., all contain variations of a certain “all inclusive” nature or philosophy concerning nature and natural processes, whereas the masculine archetypes contain within themselves a kind of exclusivity that concerns the process of initiation into one’s Self, for example with the Emperor, the Hierophant, Mars, Jupiter, Zeus, Aries, Leo, etc. But again there’s much overlapping and balance between these influences where even the so-called “exclusive” is always in communion with it’s opposite. Of course the difference between exclusive and inclusive (the masculine and feminine) is precisely the difference between being “open” and “closed,” so to speak. This is symbolized by the I and the O of the modern power button symbol (an open or closed circuit), for example, but also in how the interplay of I and O have been symbolized and mythologized in many religions and languages throughout the world (the Egyptian Ankh, mountain and sky symbolism, the bell, etc).
Saturn as the Womb of the Universe
21 (The Universe) = 2+1 = 3 (Binah, The Empress). Also 12 (The Hanged Man) = 1+2 = 3 (Binah, The Empress). 3 is the most feminine number, and the stories surrounding things like the Trinity represent understanding the plan of creation. Remember the 3 dimensional Cube of Saturn.
Instead of being “negative” or “dark,” The Universe card is actually quite positive. Being the last card of the Major Arcana, it represents a crystallization of energies, plenty, abundance, long cycles coming to a close, harmony between one’s inner and outer environments, accomplishments, etc. Note the close relationship in meaning to The Empress card, albeit with a more Saturnian flavor to it.
The embrace of Saturn is a very deep, loving and caring embrace. Understanding this planets placement within a chart can show where great care may need to be cultivated. Care in work, care in daily routine, and especially the care for one’s own being and hence, with humility, for the Universe itself, there being ultimately no division between them.
The very word “care” comes form the Latin root “cura,” which is where we also get the words “cure” and “curator.” There is also the priestly curate who performs cura animarum, Latin for the care of souls. Saturn’s color is black which may remind one of death or depth. The space between stars seems utterly black and hollow (Holy is derived from hollow and also hallow as in “hallowed be thy name,” the 3rd line of the Lord’s Prayer corresponding to the 3rd sphere of the Tree of Life, Binah, the Great Mother). People often wear black to funerals (Nephthys was the Egyptian goddess chosen to preside over funerals), and the curate or priest of the funeral, also usually dressed in black, is there to remind one of the closeness of death, to be a voice of comfort and understanding amongst the sorrow. The presence and immanence of death, when thoroughly contemplated and integrated, should engender a great care for existence and a deeper understanding of natural processes. Alan Watts explores the idea of immanence here (immanence meaning “to be within” god, or even within oneself depending on how you want to look at it. To “be within” may also be interpreted as being “gobbled up” by Saturn, that is, to be eaten up by time, but there is also that which escapes time. See the Jupiter page):
The word “climb” here is important and is partly why the goat or “devil” symbology was given to Capricorn. Mountain goats are quite comfortable in treacherous terrain, and there is also the well known fact that “goats will eat just about anything.” They are survivors and do not complain about their cricumstances. Their sheer ruggedness and love of high places is what stands out about them. The metaphor for human beings is basically to live authentically, and as Watts states, to live for yourself.
The Cardinal Earth Capricornian personality has a “hardness” about it. The message of Saturn, and of Capricorn, is that life is painful at times, and just as Alan Watts discussed above, at times the level to which an individual can integrate with the Shadow is the level to which they experience authenticity, whether it be authentic joy or authentic suffering. Authenticity is the key, the lock, and the room of Saturn, whereas the life un-lived and repressed is its darkest shadow. (It must be stated that the natural barriers that the mind creates between one’s current personality and past traumas are actually important and are put there for a reason. It is not always necessary for an individual to tear down those barriers to “open their prime wound” or “integrate with their shadows” in order to experience authenticity or “soul retrieval.” Irreversible damage may occur in certain individuals consciously attempting to dredge up dark psychic content. As one teacher put it, it may be best in these instances for an individual to simply start “breaking out the ceiling” of their temple through which the light of spirit may shine directly, rather than constantly trying to break down natural barriers to past traumas for purposes of “integration.”)
Why are there beings at all instead of nothing?
This overarching question of being vs. nothing is dealt with in this introductory lecture, which is a primer for Heideggers main work in Being and Time. There are many interesting symbolic anecdotes further tying Heidegger to Saturn and Capricorn; note that he wrote Being and Time while living in a mountain hut in the Black forest of Germany, that he was known to work hard whilst living there, chopping wood or performing some other task, and that he thrived on the bare essentials for survival, all whilst writing one of the most important philosophical texts of the 20th century. Interestingly enough, Heidegger’s work largely focuses on speech and grounding, that is, dialogue, the story of being itself. But what kind of story is being told, and from what grounds? The chamber of Metatron’s Cube is reverberating with one’s thoughts and actions which thencrystalize into a kind of solidity of their own through habit (note the Silmarillion creation myth below). Nature operates in the exact same way. Opening one’s eyes to the profound implications of the dynamics of dialogue and language within oneself (and ultimately within the Universe) is also shown in the Capricorn and Saturnian archetype.
…Words and language are not just shells into which things are packed for spoken and written intercourse. In the word, in language, things first come to be and are. For this reason, too, the misuse of language in mere idle talk, in slogans and phrases, destroys our genuine relation to things. – Heidegger ~ Introduction to Metaphysics (emphasis mine)
You may take note of the numerological relationship between Capricorn-The Devil, 15 (solidity, Saturnian, plenty, structure, things unto themselves and the Universe “as is”) to Gemini-The Lovers, 6 (airy, Mercurial, communication, language, speech, inquiry, mind). Both The Devil and The Lovers are deeply connected to things like community, politics and ultimately power. It is obvious to us now why slogans and catch-phrases are used in popular politics to such a great degree, that is because it works, and those who craft their words in order to bind and deceive usually end up with the most power by essentially trapping individuals within inescapable linguisticboxes out of which is seen no other discernible reality. The same method can certainly be said of how lawyers operate when attempting to defend the indefensible. They have two things chiefly at their disposal; a huge price-tag with a lot of access and resources (Capricorn), and a lot of extraneous over-use of technical legal speech aimed at binding the consensus of those attempting to judge what’s what (Gemini).
“The light of the body is the eye: if therefore your eye be single, your whole body shall be full of light.”
Jesus in matthew ch 6 v 22
This “eye” is the Yoni section of the Vesica Piscis, which may be read about further in the Neptune section of this page. The symbolism portrays the union of masculine and feminine principles. It is sometimes symbolized as a fish, and is where we get the name of the Zodiac Sign Pisces, the sign of the ‘Two Fish.” Upon further inspection, the Vesica Pisces is also found to be a symbol of Lucifer, “the light bearer.” This is the light of LVX, the light that is everywhere and in everything, even in one’s own body, hence Jesus saying “The light of the body is the eye: if therefore your eye be single, your whole body shall be full of light.” What could this cryptic statement possibly mean?
The Devil card holds clues. The two circles at the bottom of the card show the process of mitosis, that is, of cell division. Look up mitosis or cell division in any biology text book or anywhere online and you will see this exact same graphic. This particular stage of cell division, called the “metaphase,” is when the chromosomes align at the equatorial plate, and the one cell then becomes two cells pulling apart from one another even though they are still sharing the same space. This space they share is the Vesica Piscis, and one cell dividing into two cells is clearly what this geometrical principle represents. Within this process we may also find greater meaning in the story of Lucifer being “cast out of heaven” and falling to Earth where he shall “rule.” Note also how similar the word “angel” is to “angle.” Lucifer was indeed said to be “the most beautiful of God’s Angels (Angles).”
The first day of Capricorn is marked by the Winter Solstice, 3 days after which is Christmas, the supposed “birthday” of Christ. At the winter solstice, when the Sun has gone as far south as it can, it stops and remains in the “underworld” for 3 days before beginning it’s trek back north. After this three day event of the Sun not moving in any direction south or north, but simply remaining still, it finally begins to move north on December 25th, Christ Mass. After Jesus was crucified he was entombed and descended to “hell” for three days where he must have played cards and shook hands with the Devil. He was then resurrected and ascended to heaven. But, why is it that we celebrate the resurrection on Easter? Instead of three days, lets fast forward exactly three months to the Spring Equinox, the time of Passover and Easter. The number 3 here is the important constant to be aware of as it relates directly again to the card of Saturn, The Universe, 21. Great care must be taken in the northern winter months to prepare one’s “seeds” and “heirlooms” for planting in Spring (see the Personal Timelines page).
In this video, Charles Gilchrist says that the Vesica Piscis is “literally the Womb of the Universe.” I would differ here posing that Metatron’s Cube is the womb, whereas the Vesica Piscis is the opening of the “birth canal,” so to speak. Just as Lucifer was said to be “the most beautiful of God’s Angels,” so the Vesica Piscis is arguably the most beautiful and fundamental angle in Sacred Geometry. Lucifer and the Vesica Piscis are indeed the same thing, and one might also say that Lucifer is to the Vesica Piscis what the Devil is to Metatron’s Cube. This is just one way of looking at it.
As stated in the description of the video, it is a “root principle” from which all other principles in sacred geometry spring. Gilchrist also makes reference to the Big Bang, and there is a reason why the Big Bang theory has such a sexual connotation to it.