Mer-Amun with the help of many friends
For the Initiate who ventures beyond the Gates of Death, each Path is a carefully laid out journey with three distinct landmarks as guides through a definite progression of experiences: one for the setting, one for a turning-point, and one for the climax. These three landmarks appear in each Path as a Tarot trump, a Hebrew letter, and the presence of a deity, usually in a temple. We have been told that we must work the Paths three ways: 1) astro-travel and clairvoyance; 2) meditation and study, and 3) real-life experience. The three landmarks in each Path are also guides to these three ways of working that path.
The only purpose for working the Paths is to understand our true nature, and that of the world around us. By travelling the Paths, and absorbing the intimate experiences and lessons learned there till become part of our habitual character, we are guided from a mundane, clouded awareness, to a more spiritual clarity. This clarity is the result of a progressively deeper understanding of our own complex nature with all its moods, facets and characteristics. The order in which the Paths are traversed, and the order in which the three symbols are encountered in each path guide one through a systematic progression of understanding, making more and more sense of our complexity.
THE FIRST LANDMARK: THE TAROT TRUMP
We start with the Tarot trump as a gateway to the experience. Most people are familiar with the Tarot as symbols of mundane affairs as used in divination. In Tarot divination, the smaller set of 22 trump cards always signify the intervention of Supernal Forces, or of the Gods, in the mundane world. This means that by stepping into a Tarot Trump to begin a Pathworking, we are stepping into and exploring the presence of the Gods in our daily lives. In this way we are lead to a more spiritual understanding of ourselves and our lives. Since it is a depiction of those forces in our daily lives, the Trump shows what we ourselves will become on our return to our everyday world, if the experience becomes a part of our every-day character. The trump card, shimmering before us as a gateway, is ultimately an invitation to learn well, and be what that card represents: a manifestation of the gods on earth.
THE SECOND LANDMARK: THE HEBREW LETTER
The journey always starts with the more mundane principals involved in the Path. It also starts with principals more characteristic of the Sephiroth from which the Path begins (of the two Sephiroth that are at each end of the path, the one at the beginning is the more negative). As we explore the scenery at the beginning of each Path, we come across an artificially carved letter on some otherwise natural feature of the experience. It seems to stand out, as though it has been deliberately placed there long ago as a cryptic sign for someone who might recognise it, and for whom it might have meaning. This letter usually appears on a door or at a change in scenery and marks a turning-point in the experience. At this point, the experience shifts in a spiritual direction, more characteristic of the Sephirah at the end of the Path (of the two Sephiroth that are at the beginning and end of each path, the one at the end is the more positive). As the vastness of each landscape suggests, it might be possible to explore them forever, and even get “lost” in them, in the sense of missing the point, but here is evidence of intervention. Somewhere in the vastness of each hidden world, long ago, possibly even before there was a path beaten in the grass or dust, someone has deliberately placed a sign. A letter is a symbol of communication, of knowledge passed on, and through this marker, we are guided by the passed on wisdom of “Those Who Have Gone Before” to find in each Path, the Spiritual Clarity that is our Quest.
THE THIRD LANDMARK: DIVINE PRESENCE
If the tarot gateway depicts a spiritual principal in the mundane sense, the Goddess or God at the end of the Path embodies the spiritual principal in a personal sense. This landmark shows us where we must eventually arrive: to be like the Gods. If the experence and lessons therein are taken to heart, we can transform our characters from being like those in the earlier part of the journey to those of the Gods at the end of the journey. Likewise, our perception of our world can be transformed. A world that seems like the beginning of the journey can become for us, a world like the temple at it’s end.
THE ADMISSION KEYS
In addition to the three landmarks, each Path also has an Admission Key attributed. It has been stated that we must obtain an understanding of the Paths, to the extent that they must become part of our every-day character. The Admission Key to each path unlocks such an understanding. Each Admission Key represents a particular state of mind, or Point of View that unlocks the meaning of each Path, and makes it a here-and-now personal experience. Each “Point of View” expressed by an Admission Key is a different way of describing that One Point of View known to Initiates. Each is a unique reminder of that One Point of view where the practitioner considers himself to be, and identifies with, his Awareness, and everything else, including his own mind and character, to be aspects of the intimate and loving companion of that Aware Self. The Pathworking, then, offers us opportunities to explore and practice applying that One Point of View in all situations, systematically, from Beginning to End, always seeing our environment, including our own minds, from that One Point of View. With such practice, it is possible to make that One Point of View a constant habit in all circumstances. This accomplished, it is only a matter of time until one recognizes ones true nature to be the true Immortal Divinity behind all the Gods: both as that ever changing environment, and as the timeless, dimensionless Point of Awareness, and to realize that that both of these are void of any true substance or essence. In this way do we learn to transcend even the Gods, at will.
THE LANDMARKS AS GUIDES TO COMPLETE PATHWORKING
In our quest for Understanding, the three landmarks of the Paths correspond to the three paths that lead from the mundane view (Malkuth) to Understanding (top of the Tree of Life): the Tarot being the Gate (a title of the 32nd Path), the letter being the Prop (a title of the 25th Path), and the Gods being the Uniting Intelligence (a title of the 3rd Path). With the One Point of View as our Key, the Trump shows us that we are the divinity that is already present in our ordinary everyday life, a fact that is as old and as sure as the Ground we walk upon. The letter shows us the Path we must explore and study, using that One Point of View as our key to understanding the nature of our own divinity. Again, when we apply that Key Point of View, the Gods show us the Fruits of our labours if we learn to act like what we really are.
The Trump represents the astro-travel or clairvoyance part of the work, and is itself the gate to this particular type of work, but its symbology also offers instruction for finding the gateway to that Path in your ordinary everydaily life. The symbology of the card is a gate that is unlocked when considered to be a different illustration of that Key Point of View which we carry when working the Path. Each card becomes for us, a different expression of the empty, dream-like nature of awareness and its intimate environment.
The letter represents study, reason, analysis, contemplation, and meditation on the principles and laws at work in the Path, and is itself the letter in the Magical Alphabet to be considered. The lists of associated objects, symbols, ideas, myths and principals found in the Magical Alphabet pass on to us all the wisdom, pointers, warnings and advice of those who have gone before: what to watch for, what to watch out for, what to study further and how to deal with the changes that come from the experience. To unlock the meanings of all the symbology in the Magical Alphabet we simply consider each in the light of that Key Point of View: we consider each as a new description of the empty, dream-like nature of our own awareness and our intimate relationship with our living mind/environment.
The Gods and Temples represent the real-life experience we must explore. They each show us by example one of the ways we must try to see our world. They show us by example a role we can learn to play, as we apply that Key Point of View in our lives, allowing us to say to ourselves, using an example from the 32nd Path, “With that Key Point of View, the true nature of Divinity, I am Hades or I am Persephone, and this place is Hades. How would Persephone or Hades see this situation, what would they do, what would their decisions be?”. In another example from the Thirty-second Path we can say: “With that Key Point of View, I am always in the arms the Goddess of the Moon, and the world is always as light and clear as the Moon-light”, and we can learn to find Her and Her Light within ourselves where ever we go, and in whatever we do. In this way, one by one, we learn that the Gods are intimate parts of ourselves, and in this way too, we eventually transcend the gods themselves because, who carries the Key in their Person will find no Doors locked, no limitations on their experience or their capability; they can be any of the Gods at will. This limitlessness nature that is possible for us through hard work and constant practice, is something the Gods themselves do not share.