Audio: The Emperor
A reading from The Emperor (Arcanum 4, Daleth) of the G.O. Mebes Tarot Majors Course
A reading from The Emperor (Arcanum 4, Daleth) of the G.O. Mebes Tarot Majors Course
A reading from The Empress (Arcanum 3, Ghimel) of the G.O. Mebes Tarot Majors Course
A reading from The High Priestess (Arcanum 2, Beth) of the G.O. Mebes Tarot Majors Course
Foreword to the new English translation of G.O.M’s Tarot Majors Course
The post of Emperor does not belong any longer either to those who desire it or to the choice of the people. It is reserved to the choice of heaven alone. It has become occult. And the crown, the sceptre, the throne, the coat of arms of the Emperor are to be found in the catacombs…in the catacombs – this means to say: under absolute protection.
And just as no parliament will replace the spiritual reality of the post of Emperor – the throne of David cannot be replaced by collectivity – so will no oecumenical council replace the spiritual reality of the post of Pope or the ‘throne of Melchizedek, king of plenitude (Salem)”. Whether the “cannon shot” predicted in the esoteric circles of the Occident be given or not, whether the sacerdotal throne remains visible or whether it be installed in the catacombs, it will certainly remain present for ever in the future history of humanity – despite what the prophets of its destruction may say.
Meditations on the Tarot
I am telling you facts, facts that are connected with the intentions not only of certain individuals who are joined together in brotherhoods but also of other beings who influence such brotherhoods and whose influence is also sought by those brotherhoods, beings who are not incarnated in the flesh like human beings but ones who have their body in the spiritual world…
Those brotherhoods who know about the spiritual impulses at work in human evolution saw the approach of that important event of the early 1840s, the battle between certain spirits and some other higher spirits which ended in 1879 when some spirits of an angel nature, spirits of darkness, fell victim to the event that is symbolised as the victory fo Michael over the dragon. On seeing this, those brotherhoods had to decide how to react to it and had to ask themselves: What is to be done about it?
….it was out of good intentions that spiritualism was launched in the world during the 1840s…..well-meaning spiritual mebers of the brotherhoods held the erroneous view that by using mediums they could convince people of hte existence of the spiritual world all around them; and they thought on the basis of that conviction it would then be possible to teach them about higher truths as well…..
….It will be up to humanity during this period to come to grips with evil as an impulse in world evolution….a certain degree of evil must be placed at the service of world evolution in a good sense….
The fact that there are beings invisibly amongst us who are so closely related to human beings, and that human beings are prevented by the way forces of evil play into their lives from recognising the spirit with their reason, means that there will be many opportunities for people to succumb to obscure errors and suchlike…..the human being must be a warrior for the spirit.
What people lack today is the courage to embark properly on researching the spiritual world. …during [this] period the time is approaching when humanity will have to deal very carefully with certain great life questions that have thus far been hidden, in a way, by the wisdom of former times.
Endeavours are to be undertaken to place the spiritually etheric element in the service of external, practical life….
….certain groups of people working in egoistically occult ways are making efforts in certain directions. Initially it was necessary for a specific kind of knowledge to retire into the background for humanity…This knowledge had to disappear, be slept through, so that people no longer had the possibility of drawing soul qualities out of their observations of nature but were instead more thrown back on themselvs. So that human beings could awaken the forces of their own being it was necessary for certain matters to appear first in an abstract form which must now take on a concrete spiritual form…
…a certain quarter seeks to remove the impulse of the Mystery of Golgotha from the world by bringing in another impulse from the West, a kind of antichrist, and that coming from the East the Christ-impulse as it appears in the twentieth century is to be paralysed by distracting people’s attention from the coming of Christ in the etheric realm….
…More than anything else, that quarter will strive to make use of the electricity, especially the earth’s magnetism, to bring about effects all over the world. I have shown you how the forces of the earth rise up in what I have termed the human double. People will discover this secret. It will be an American secret to use the earth’s magnetism in its duality, the northern and southern magnetism, in order to send controlling forces across the whole earth, forces that work spiritually.
What lies in store for humanity is that cosmic forces will be won for humanity in a dual way that is wrong or a single way that is right. This will bring a genuine renewal to astrology, which is atavistic in its old form – a form in which it cannot continue to exist. Those who know about the cosmos will struggle against each other….for the remainder of earthly existence the dead will collaborate with us to a high degree.
The moment you penetrate fully into all the secrets of the double, you will find yousrelf able to assess the value of brains that are merely lumps which you have placed on a scale, lumps which can be brought to life solely by the double.
You must come to realise that all the wishy-washy talk of ‘cosmic religosity’ or ‘how powerful the yearning for it is’, and so on is nothing other than a means of spreading fog over these matters which ought actually to be entering the world in clarity and which, above all, ought only to be carried in clarity into human life as practical moral and ethical impulses.
Rudolf Steiner, Individual Spirit Beings and the Constant Foundation of the Universe
With respect to the magnificent quarternary of traditional magic: “to dare, to will, to be silent and to know,” it is formulated – mutandis mutatis – by the Master in the following way:
Ask and it will be given you; Seek, and you will find; Knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, And he who seeks finds, And to him who knocks it will be opened. (Matthew vii, 7-8)
It is a matter of daring to ask, of the will to seek, of being silent in order to knock and of knowing when it is opened to you. For knowledge does not happen automatically; it is what is revealed when the door is opened. This is the formula of the synthesis of effort and grace, of the principle of work and that of receptivity, and, lastly, of merit and gift.
This synthesis enunciates the absolute law of all spiritual progress and, consequently, all spiritual discipline. It is the law which every Christian disciple, of every Christian spiritual school, obeys. And Christian Hermeticism, ie, the whole of traditional mysticism, gnosis, magic and occult philosophy, passed through baptism and transfiguration by the fire, light and life of Christianity, is in no way an exception here.
It should not be forgotten that Christian Hermeticism is not a religion apart, nor a church apart, nor even a science apart….it is the connecting link between mysticism, gnosis and magic, expressed through symbolism – symbolism being the means of expression of the dimensions of depth and height (and therefore of enstasy and ecstasy), of all that is universal (which corresponds to the dimension of breadth), and all that is traditional (corresponding to the dimension of length).
Being Christian, Hermeticism accepts the cross of the universality, the tradition, the depth and the height of Christianity, in the sense of the apostle Paul when he said:
That you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have power to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with the fullness of God. (Ephesians iii, 18-19).
This is the complete formula of initiation.
Unknown Author, Meditations on the Tarot, Letter VI The Lover
What was given in the different religious creeds has been gathered into one whole by Christian Rosenkreutz and the council of the twelve. This means that everything that the separate religions had to give and all that their followers strove and longed for will be found in the Christ Impulse Development during the next three thousand years will consist in this: the establishing and furthering of an understanding of the Christ Impulse.
From the twentieth century onwards all the religons will be reconciled in the mystery of rosicrucianism. And in the course of the next three thousand years this will become possible because it will no longer be necessary to teach from documents, for through the beholding of Christ human beings will learn to understand the experience Paul had on the way to Damascus. Mankind itself will pass through the experience of Paul.
The Maitreya Buddha will appear five thousand years after Buddha was enlightened under the bodhi tree, that is, about three thousand years from now. He will be the successor of Gautama Buddha. Among true occultists this is on longer in doubt. Occultists of both the west and the east are in agreement about it. So two things are beyond question:
firstly, that the Christ could appear only once in the physical body; secondly, that He will appear in the twentieth century in etheric form. Great individualities will certainly appear in the twentieth century, like the Bodhisattva, the successor of Gautama Buddha, who will become the Maitreya Buddha in about three thousand years.
But no true occultist will give to any human being physically incarnated in the twentieth century the name of Christ, and no real occultist will expect the Christ in the physical body in the twentieth century. Every genuine occultist would find such a statement erroneous. The Boddhisatva, however, will especially point to the Christ.
Rudolf Steiner, Rosicrucian Christianity
The Arcana of the Tarot, I must stress, are spiritual exercises. And the ninth Arcanum, the Hermit, is one of them.
One undertakes the essential thing about this exercise, namely the endeavour to draw light from darkness, ie, an effort aiming at knowledge which appears to you to be not only unknown but unknowable.
In fact, every serious antimony signifies psychologically: “the light that I possess is polarised at two poles; between these two luminous poles there is only one darkness”. Now, it is from this darkness that the solution to the antimony, the synthesis, must be drawn. It is necessary to create light from darkness. One could say that it is a matter of an act analogous to the Fiat lux (“let there be light”, Genesis i,3) of the first day of creation.
Experience teaches us that there are two kinds of darkness in the domain of consciousness. One is that of ignorance, passivity and laziness, which is ‘infralight’ darkness. The other, in contrast, is the darkness of higher knowledge, intense activity and endeavour still to be made – this is ‘ultra light’ . It is a question of this latter ‘darkness’ in instances where it is a matter of resolving an antimony or finding a synthesis.
Modern Hermetic literature takes account of the ‘neutralisation of binaries’, ie, the method where one finds the third term, or neutral term, for the two terms (‘binary’) corresponding to the active and passive principles….The method of ‘neutralisation of binaries’ is generally considered by Hermetic and occultist authors as the traditional method of Hermeticism.
Meditations on the Tarot, Unknown Author, Letter IX, The Hermit