|Occult Code||Genetic Code|
|Letter Class:||SIMPLE||POLAR Amino Acid|
|I Ching Kua:||15 MODESTY||UCU|
|52 KEEPING STILL (MOUNTAIN)||UCG|
|53 DEVELOPMENT (GRADUAL PROGRESS)||UCA|
|54 THE MARRYING MAIDEN||AGU|
|58 THE JOYOUS, LAKE||AGC|
Crowley: The oracle of the Gods is the child-voice of love in thine own soul; hear thou it. Heed not the siren-voice of sense, or the phantom voice of reason: Rest in simplicity, and listen to the silence. Openness to inspiration, intuition, intelligence, second sight, childishness, frivolity, thoughtfulness divorced from practical consideration, indecision, self-contradiction, triviality. (BT p. 256) The intuitional or inspirational voice. It is the illumination of the mind and the heart by the Great Mother. (BT p. 24)
The first argument to put forward for the congruence of these kua and this tarot card stems from a structural artifact of the DNA code. The amino acid serine is coded for by six codons. Four of them are contiguous within that code. Two others are composed of nucleotides which are complementary to two others. Codon AGU is the complementary opposite of codon UCA and codon AGC is the complement of UCG. These relationships are unique within the genetic code. No other amino acid has this structural relationship among its codons.
Crowley: This card (VI) and its twin, XIV, "ART" are the most obscure and difficult of the atu. It is double, the meanings form a divergent series. (BT p. 80) ... The essence of the analysis (symbolized by this card) is the continuous see-saw of contradictory ideas. It is a glyph of duality. (BT p. 82)
In the I Ching, every kua has an opposite (anti-kua) which is obtained by substituting every yin line with a yang and every yang line with a yin. When this card is seen through its related kua the reason for the difficulty and obscurity become clear. The group of six kua assigned to this card is the only one, within my arrangement, that contains within itself kua of opposite structural form. There is in this group an implied contradiction based on the structural duality of its component kua.
54 opposite 53 58 opposite 52
It is important to know that while this card speaks of knowing through a non-rational means, it does not represent the actual reception of the voice. What this card emphasizes is; "openness to inspiration." It speaks of the preliminaries necessary for being able to receive the knowledge which actually comes through trump XVII "THE STAR" after the window of intuition is opened by means of the efforts represented in this card.
Crowley: In this symbol is therefore a complete glyph of the equilibrium necessary to begin the Great Work. (BT p. 83)
The basic technique for achieving the equilibrium necessary to begin the work of self understanding is through the various modes of meditation and yoga. If one has not learned how to deal, in a growth oriented way, with the many contradictions that exist in both the external world and the internal world, it becomes very problematical whether or not information received through non- rational means can be handled in a way that will promote life affirming concepts and behaviors.
Crowley: Rest in simplicity, and listen to the silence.
Wilhelm: (kua 52) In its application to man, the hexagram turns upon the problem of achieving a quiet heart. Possibly the words of the text embody directions for the practice of yoga. ... When a man has thus become calm, he may turn to the outside world. He no longer sees in it the struggle and tumult of individual beings, and therefore he has that true peace of mind which is needed for understanding the great laws of the universe and for acting in harmony with them. Who ever acts from these deep levels makes no mistakes. (p. 201)
Kua 52, The image: THUS THE SUPERIOR MAN DOES NOT PERMIT HIS THOUGHTS TO GO BEYOND HIS SITUATION. (p. 201-202)
Wilhelm: (kua 52) The heart thinks constantly. This cannot be changed, but the movements of the heart, that is a man's thoughts - should restrict themselves to the immediate situation. All thinking that goes beyond this only makes the heart sore. (p. 202)
Crowley: (I Ching, kua 52) Earth; keep silence like thy spine! See none about thee! Thus the silk of wisdom's spun. Plant firm the feet; repose be now thy law. ... Fortune attends who persevere in quiet.
From the above comments we can see that kua 52 "KEEPING STILL" deals with Crowley's admonition to rest. The other concept which Crowley adds is simplicity. It should not be difficult to see that modesty, which is the theme of kua 15, is related to, almost synonymous with, simplicity.
Wilhelm: (kua 15) This shows what modesty is and how it functions in great and strong men. ... This also shows how modesty functions in lowly, simple people: they are uplifted by it. It is the law of heaven to make fullness empty and to make full what is modest; ... (p. 63)
Kua 15, The image: THE IMAGE OF MODESTY. THUS THE SUPERIOR MAN REDUCES THAT WHICH IS TOO MUCH, AND AUGMENTS THAT WHICH IS TOO LITTLE. HE WEIGHS THINGS AND MAKES THEM EQUAL. (p. 64)
Thus we see that "rest in simplicity," as the means for achieving equilibrium, is the combined theme, means, and goal of the kua "KEEPING STILL" and "MODESTY." This technique is applicable to both the inner and outer realms of the person engaged in the Great Work.
Wilhelm: (kua 15 line 6) Genuine modesty sets one to creating order and inspires one to begin by disciplining one's own ego and one's immediate circle. (p. 67)
The technique of resting in simplicity in order to hear the silence and thus be able to hear the inner voice of inspiration is recommended in kua 58 "THE JOYOUS" also.
Kua 58, line 1: CONTENTED JOYOUSNESS. GOOD FORTUNE. (p. 225)
Wilhelm: (kua 58) A quiet, wordless, self-contained joy, desiring nothing from without and resting content with everything, remains free of all egoistic likes and dislikes. In this freedom lies good fortune, because it harbors the quiet security of a heart fortified within itself. (p. 225)
The goal of all this meditation on dualities is the achievement of a state of balance. The seeker will encounter all kinds of obstacles and obstructions of a personal and social nature. If one is to become open to the child-voice; work must be performed.
Kua 39, The image: THUS THE SUPERIOR MAN TURNS HIS ATTENTION TO HIMSELF AND MOLDS HIS CHARACTER. (p. 152)
Wilhelm: (kua 39) Difficulties and obstructions throw a man back upon himself. ... The superior man seeks the error within himself, and through this introspection the external obstacle becomes for him an occasion for inner enrichment and education. (p. 152)
Wilhelm: (kua 39 commentary on the decision) One's activity is directed not outward but inward, to one's own country. Turning inward is achieved through obstructions and the improvement brought about by this turning inward ("conversion") is the great value inhering in the effect of a time of obstruction. (p. 580)
Kua 52, line 3: KEEPING HIS HIPS STILL. MAKING HIS SACRUM STIFF. DANGEROUS. THE HEART SUFFOCATES. (p. 202-203)
Wilhelm: (kua 52) This refers to enforced quiet. ... In exercises in meditation and concentration, one ought not to try to force results. Rather, calmness must develop naturally out of a state of inner composure. If one tries to induce calmness by means of artificial rigidity, meditation will lead to very unwholesome results. (p. 203)
This warning brings us to the next kua in our constellation, which describes a deliberate and gradual process of development. The imagery of kua 53 is of a marriage. "THE LOVERS" is a depiction of a marriage; to be more precise; it is the hermetic marriage.
Kua 53, The judgement: DEVELOPMENT. THE MAIDEN IS GIVEN IN MARRIAGE. (p. 204)
Wilhelm: (kua 53) The development of events that leads to a girl's following a man to his home proceeds slowly. This principle of gradual development can be applied to other situations as well; ... within is tranquillity, which guards against precipitate actions, and without is penetration, which makes development and progress possible. (p. 204)
Of course kua 54 "THE MARRYING MAIDEN" provides additional support for the congruence of the card imagery with the I Ching. The common concept illustrated by these two kua is the achievement of a workable union. For Crowley, the overcoming of dualities by way of equilibrium is illustrated by the alchemical process which he terms the hermetic marriage.
Crowley: In the Yi King, the fiery part of Water is represented by the 54th Hexagram, Kwei Mei. ... It deals with the difficulties of rightly mating such opposites as fire and water ... (BT p. 156)
Crowley refers to kua 53 as "Fortunate Marriage"; while kua 54 is termed "Unfortunate Marriage."
A proper marriage of body and mind opens one up to the "child-voice of love," which is the same "thing" as the explanatory principle known as "intuition." The I Ching also recognizes love as the principle behind the union of opposites.
Wilhelm: (kua 54) Affection as the essential principle of relatedness is of the greatest importance in all relationships in the world. For the union of heaven and earth is the origin of the whole of nature. (p. 209)
Crowley: In this symbol is therefore a complete glyph of the equilibrium necessary to begin the Great Work. But, as to the final mystery, that is left unsolved. Perfect is the plan to produce life, but the nature of this life is concealed. (BT p. 83)
Wilhelm:(kua 52) KEN ... is the mysterious place where all things begin and end, where death and birth pass one into the other. (p. 652)
Kua 54, The image: THUS THE SUPERIOR MAN UNDERSTANDS THE TRANSITORY IN THE LIGHT OF THE ETERNITY OF THE END. (p. 209)
Kua 54, Commentary on the decision: THE MARRYING MAIDEN DESCRIBES THE GREAT MEANING OF HEAVEN AND EARTH. IF HEAVEN AND EARTH DO NOT UNITE, ALL CREATURES FAIL TO PROSPER. THE MARRYING MAIDEN MEANS THE END AND BEGINNING OF HUMANITY. (p. 664)
Wilhelm: (kua 54) The present hexagram indicates the cosmic order of the relations of the sexes and the cycle of life. (p. 665)
Crowley: The key is that the Card represents the Creation of the World. (BT p. 81)
The union of the sexes has but one cosmic function; that is the production of the Orphic egg. The union of the female egg and the male sperm creates the "seed of synthesis" which produces the infinite variety of earthly life forms. The central symbol of the tarot trump "THE LOVERS" is this fertilized egg.
Crowley: This egg represents the essence of all that life which comes under the formula of male and female. (BT p. 83)
It would be difficult, if not impossible, to speak of this union of male and female opposites without including in the process the concept of joy. Unfortunately, for Crowley this component comes into the picture by way of the negative attributes given to the card when it is ill-dignified.
Crowley: ... childishness, frivolity, instability, triviality
Wilhelm: (kua 58) The joyous mood is infectious and therefore brings success. But joy must be based on steadfastness if it is not to degenerate into uncontrolled mirth. (p. 224)
Line 3: True joy must spring from within. But if one is empty within and wholly given over to the world, idle pleasures come streaming in from without. This is what many people welcome as diversion. Those who lack inner stability and therefore need amusement, will always find opportunity of indulgence. (p. 225)
Line 6: A vain nature invites diverting pleasures and must suffer accordingly. If a man is unstable within, the pleasures of the world that he does not shun have so powerful an influence that he is swept along by them. ... He has given up direction of his own life, and what becomes of him depends upon chance and external influences. (p. 226)
Kua 58, line 2: THE GOOD FORTUNE OF SINCERE JOYOUSNESS CONSISTS IN HAVING FAITH IN ONE'S OWN WILL. (p. 225)
Crowley brings much of his own philosophy to his tarot deck and so deviates from more traditional themes. No where is this more apparent than with "THE LOVERS." He believed, or said he believed, that the primitive form of this card described the biblical story of Cain and Abel. The point of this story, as interpreted by Crowley, was to illustrate the idea that God would not listen to man's prayers unless blood was shed. Hence the concept of sacrifice was included in the process of communication with the powers of heaven.
Crowley: The shedding of blood is necessary, for God did not hear the children of Eve until blood was shed. ... and this blood was the blood of his brother. This is a mystery of the sixth key of the tarot, which ought not to be called THE LOVERS, but THE BROTHERS. (BT p. 80-81)
Cain's offering was the fruit of the earth, that is to say, the things of the vegetable kingdom. Abel's offering was of the animal kingdom, and necessitated the shedding of blood. Cain's sacrifice did not gain God's respect. Cain didn't get noticed by God until after Cain slew Abel. It is interesting, and just a little disconcerting, to discover that the I Ching also includes the concept of a bloodless and hence failed sacrifice.
Kua 54, line 6: THE WOMAN HOLDS THE BASKET, BUT THERE ARE NO FRUITS IN IT. THE MAN STABS THE SHEEP, BUT NO BLOOD FLOWS. NOTHING THAT ACTS TO FURTHER. (p. 212)
Wilhelm: At the sacrifice to the ancestors, the woman had to present harvest offerings in a basket, while the man slaughtered the sacrificial animal with his own hand. Here the ritual is only superficially fulfilled; the woman takes an empty basket and the man stabs a sheep slaughtered before hand - solely to preserve the forms, this impious, irreverent attitude bodes no good for a marriage. (p. 212)
The Hebrew letter ZAIN represents a sword. We can assume that the sacrifice mentioned above involved a blade of some sort. But the primary meaning of the sword, in the context of this card, is a reference to the process of division, or analysis.
Crowley: The sword is primarily an engine of division. (BT p. 80) ... The subject of this card is analysis followed by synthesis. (BT p. 82)
The lower trigram of kua 54 and both trigrams of kua 58 are TUI.
Wilhelm: (kua 58) TUI is the lake, which rejoices and refreshes all living things. ... its "stage of change" is metal. The cutting and destroying quality is the other side of its meaning. (p. 685)
To summarize: Crowley's card carries the image of what he calls "the hermetic marriage," while two of the associated kua have marriage as their themes. In one of these kua (54), the marriage is itself symbolic of the mysterious union of heaven and earth which brings forth all living things. The theme of reconciling opposites in order to achieve a functional equilibrium is common to both the card and a number of the kua. Since this trump is a glyph of duality, it seems significant that four of the kua associated with it make two pairs of complementary opposites.
Another of the themes demonstrated by this trump is the means whereby one can attain a state of inner equilibrium sufficient to allow the reception of "inner voices." The technique implied is yogic and stresses stillness and simplicity or modesty. These are the themes of kua 52 and 15 respectively. That joyousness should be associated with the production of life seems natural, but in Crowley's interpretation such an emotion is linked to the negative concepts of childishness and triviality. Kua 58 examines the concept of joy from both positive and negative perspectives.
Kua 58 is composed of the trigram TUI, which has the attributes of joyousness, talk or discussion or analysis and because it is linked to the "element" of metal it refers to weapons; i.e. sword. The sword is symbolic of the process of division; i.e. the analysis portion of the full alchemical program of "analysis and synthesis."
Even the rather dark and idiosyncratic interpretation of the sacrifice of blood finds a parallel in the imagery of the I Ching.
All of this points to the possibility that Crowley got his ideas from the I Ching or that both symbol systems derive their content from a common root source.