This post I thought was nessecary as there is some amazing work being produced which I think deserves a larger audience. We as a blog are tiny but every little counts. So I really hope you like the look of this book produced in part by one of our interviewees, Andre Consciencia. It cointains within it I beleive a huge amount of work of great value to someone who is beyond step 8 of IIH and begining to explore the spheres. Even if you are not at that point I think it would still be a great book to have on your shelf to work towards.
When Black Moon Publishing received this book, the Bate Cabal reunited and concluded they had a book by someone coming from the Franz Bardon tradition, which, of course, was felt by me as an honor. It also made me happy that they thought the descendants of this most important adept and his inheritance were deserving of all the attention from the so-called occult community.
This book relates to the spheres and to the magic of mental wandering and of evocation (the major Arcana are not here 22 but numbered after the spheres). Bardon figures as the main practical influence of the training as well, and I think it is suitable to bring this work to the light of Bardon’s community, appreciating Simon’s invitation to do so.
"The path given by André of mastering the cards is in itself a path to Initiation and Adepthood. The cards and their mastery lead the user on a vast pilgrimage through the Tree of Life culminating, as all true journeys do, back to a self now refined and transmuted." - Louis Martinié
It is said that "the form these cards take is a recovery of an ancient Dragon current."
The Dragon represents in the west the guardian of spiritual treasures and the master-power of all 4 elements that requires the equivalent virtue of the knight to be matched, and on the east, it represents for the most part the spirits and the intelligences of these treasures themselves.
I have been asked on more than one occasion why, in the system of initiation of the Dragon Tarot, I’m following the Golden Dawn assignment of the elements to the tools (i.e. air = sword, wand = fire) instead of Bardon’s assignment, which I suppose would apparently be sword = fire and wand = air.
In Franz Bardon’s the Practice of Magical Evocation the wand is still attributed to Will and Authority, to fire thereof. The Sword is attributed to superiority and absolute victory, to light. They are like the letters S and K in the Key to True Quabbalah. These letters, together, result in Sh, a cosmic letter that is said to be as the Sun, and it comes as no surprise that traditionally the Sun is attributed either to fire or air.
In a way light is both the sublimation of fire and of air, its superiority comes from perfect clarity, there are no obstacles to overcome to begin with, the reason why the sword is picked over the wand (the fire whose direction overcomes obstacles) in cases of strong opposition. But the sword is still fire in that its outcome is light.
Bardon attributes to the sword the word, it is because of the word that traditional tarot attributions give air to the sword. In this case, the outcome is also light: "Let there be Light."
The differences are only apparent and never substantial or essential.
This small introduction having been given, I should proceed to speak of the work that is The Dragon Tarot (The Inner Circle and the Triangle) and its applications.
This book uses the Dragon Tarot from Manuel de Almeida e Sousa, a Portuguese adept, and has come to be by his request. The minor arcana deck itself follows the pattern of the ancient Portuguese dragon deck of playing cards, with some differences to other decks. The Major arcana built by Manuel, in turn, are eleven, and each of these trumps holds the esoteric conjunction of two traditional tarot trumps.
Together, the trumps evoke the Earth Zone (the card is named Concerning Chaos), the Moonzone (card named Route), Mercury Sphere (card named Infinite), the Venus Sphere (card named Moon), the Sun Sphere (card named Sun), the Sphere of Mars (card named Prince of Darkness), the sphere of Jupiter (card named Priestess), Saturn Sphere (Cycle card), the sphere of Uranus (Magician Card), the sphere of Neptune (Temple card) and the Sphere of Pluto (the Fool card).
The cards from 1 to 10 (the 10 is the horse, in this deck, or knight) divided by the four suits represent the quadripolarity of each sphere, the king and the queen the electromagnetism of each element.
While traditional Hermetic Kabbalah orders the elements in the creation process of the tree of life as Fire-Water-Air-Earth, and Franz Bardon does the same in his cosmology at Initiation Into Hermetics, I have found by the practice of absorbing and projecting the elements in that very same book that this order is of a cosmic nature. At the individual level, fire always needs air to manifest: will needs an idea to point towards, even if that idea is will itself. On the physical level, the same applies: fire needs air to expand and become.
For this reason, I have placed the order of initiation into our cards as distributed throughout the spheres as Fire-Air-Water-Earth, by increasing level of density and complexity, for starting with too much complexity would render the intellect inert and too much density would paralyze the untrained spirit.
There are, therefore, four cycles in the following sequence:
1 the Atziluth cycle represented by the suit of wands and element of fire, and ruled by Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.
2 the non cycle called the Abyss, which is the beginning of intuition and described by us as “the consciousness of the infinity of thing not known”, ruled by Pluto and represented by the card of the Fool.
3 the Yetzirah or formative Cycle represented by Swords (Air) and ruled by Venus, Mercury and the Moon.
4 the Briah or Creative cycle represented by the suit of Cups (water element) and ruled by Jupiter, Mars and the Sun.
5 the Assiah or material cycle represented by the disks (earth element) and ruled by the Earthzone.
The cards of the minor arcana that stand in the cycles are taught to be seen via the spirit, the intellect with all its faculties, the soul and the sensory organs. The major arcana are taught via electric traits and magnetic traits.
Each card has a phase of initiation. Distributed by the cycles the initiations range from exercises of:
Atziluth cycle - fixing the attention on an object, pure passive observation, positive confessions and training impermiability, fixing the attention on a thought/visualization, vacancy of mind, joining the conscious and the subconscious mind on thoughts and desires, joining the conscious and subconscious mind on action and sexual intercourse, techniques of awareness for one’s responsibility for outside events, banishing rituals, art and creative imagination, basic tantra, asanas, the ceremonial circle and associated meditations, meditation on the principle of light
The Abyss –.animal trance and trance through dance.
Yetzirah – the eternal now, techniques to remain impartial, techniques of sobriety, creative writing, techniques of solving problems, active listening, removing time and space from speech, conscious selection of the elements in ones life, the crafting of lamens and talismans, engagement in philosophy, introspection and deliverance from negative addictions, pranayama, electric / magnetic / electromagnetic meditations, the magical drawing of hexagrams, sacred geometry and numerology.
Briah – deepening states of love and compassion, consciousness transference, techniques for not allowing reason to interfere with states of grace, removing all anxiety and expectation, techniques of letting go, religious trance states of devotion through pleasure, trance states of eternity through different feelings and affections, magical oaths, sympathetic magic, Feng-shui, deliverance from trauma, basics of psychology, the soul mirror (negative and positive), deciphering symbology, the practice of mantras.
Assiah – life mirror (similar to the soul mirror but used to examine one’s exterior life), detecting all fallacies, mastering abilities, getting reed of unreliable beliefs, examining present and past failures and their lessons and how to learn them, deepening the knowledge of one’s sensations, discovering one’s limits and sphere of action, breaking blind ambitions and recovering pure will power, creating a parallel past that helps our purpose, the basics of science, inviting nature and the wilderness into our actions, pushing physical endurance forward, attaining non linear patterns and cosmic harmony.
Every time the initiations of a cycle are completed, the practitioner can perform the invocation of the corresponding cards. The invocations of the cards are mostly techniques to obtain their respective trance-states and god-forms, much in the likeness of how we work with gods in IIH. In turn, we exercise new powers and obtain siddhis.
When the initiations in all cycles have been completed, one can perform the evocation of any chosen card, as long as the previous invocation has been mastered. This evocation is not yet the evocation of their genii, it is rather the creation of a corresponding elementary that allows us to interact with the cosmic principle it stands for, and to use them as vessels for mental wandering. One is taught to dissolve the elementaries into a wish (similar to the procedure with the electromagnetic volt).
The Concerning Chaos card (Earthzone) has no evocation, its evocation is simply the deepest awareness of the world outside, as coming from the invocation.
Handling the Cards
It is only once this path to adepthood is completed that the actual handling of the cards begins. First, the reader learns of the proper fluid condensers to charge them and of the ways of charging each card. Then the adept builds the deck, downloading the images and using the appointed magical materials.
Ways of reading into each minor arcana are given as well as their combinations and the same for the major arcana. It is important to state that this reading is, in truth, a matter of conjuration similar to the use of the cosmic letters in the Key to True Quabbalah on one side, and the exercise of universal wisdom on the other.
Techniques of understanding the cards via dreams are given as well as exercises of low magic that are performed by sacrificing the knights to their elements.
A range of ethics is laid out to handle this deck as a magical tool. For instance, the whole process must be conscious and nothing must be left to chance, for the adept is conjuring instead of guessing. The extrasensory abilities are used to their fullness in order for one not to cross any red lines and use all the abilities for positive purposes, much in the likeness of the ethics a doctor must follow.
After such display of wisdom and maturation of one’s sensibility, responsibility and self conduct the cards may be used for divination.
The virtues necessary for this kind of divination are described. then techniques of tarot divination through clairvoyance, clairaudience and clairfeeling. One learns to build and use the crystal ball in conjunction with the cards, and the magical mirror. Mental and astral projection are taught in the context of tarot divination, and so is incorporation and channeling via the akashic trance and the passive state.
Evocation and Mental Wanderin
Finally, the ending stage begins. The constant in this Tarot is the dragon in all its forms and sub-forms, from East to West. The reader learns what the dragon means in the mystical and magical tradition, learns to travel mentally in the dragon-shape to the domains of the different dragons. Once the adept is experienced, he travels to meet the four original dragons corresponding to the aces and the five cosmic dragons of oriental lore. An advantage is that one learns the Japanese and Chinese tradition of working with dragon spirits.
Instructions to attain godhood are given regarding the phoenix, the Fenghuang. The way of building jade and bronze amulets is offered to encase this state of trance and the adept proceeds to evoke the four dragon rulers of the minor arcana into the triangle of art, being advised on how to deal with their subordinates and their classes.
At last, the keys for the evocation to the cosmic geniuses of the major arcana, each being of a different sphere and having subordinates on different locations.
The Franz Bardon adept will, in my biased opinion, have a lot to gain from this book, in part because much of the training will come easy to him or her, and in part because if being a true adept he or she can even apply the more advanced ideas right away, concerning the use of the cards and the practice with the dragons.
In any case, the mature magician will know how to apply the concepts depicted here in his or her own manner and to his or her own deck.