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XIII

נ Death
Transformation, change, voluntary or involuntary, in either case logical development of existing conditions, yet perhaps sudden and unexpected. Apparent death or destruction, but such interpretation is illusion.
נ

ATU XIII

Death

The Child of the Great Transformers.
The Lord of the Gate of Death

This card is attributed to the letter Nun, which means a fish; the symbol of life beneath the waters; life travelling through the waters. It refers to the Zodiacal sign of Scorpio, which is ruled by Mars, the planet of fiery energy in its lowest form, which is therefore necessary to provide the impulse. In alchemy, this card explains the idea of putrefaction, the technical name given by its adepts to the series of chemical changes which develops the final form of life from the original latent seed in the Orphic egg.

This sign is one of the two most powerful in the Zodiac, but it has not the simplicity and intensity of Leo. It is formally divided into three parts; the lowest is symbolized by the Scorpion, which was supposed by early observers of Nature to commit suicide when finding itself ringed with fire, or otherwise in a desperate situation. This represents putrefaction in its lowest form. The strain of environment has become intolerable, and the attacked element willingly subjects itself to change; thus, potassium thrown upon water becomes ignited, and accepts the embrace of the hydroxyl radicle.

The middle interpretation of this sign is given by the serpent, who is, moreover, the main theme of the sign. [The Qabalists embodied in the Book of Genesis, Caps I and II, this doctrine of regeneration. NChSh, the Serpent in Eden, has the value 358: 50 also MShICh, Messiah. He is, accordingly, in the secret doctrine, the Redeemer. The thesis may be developed at great length. Later in the Legend, the doctrine reappears in slightly different symbolism as the story of the Flood, elsewhere in this Essay explained. Of course, the Fish is identical in essence with the Serpent; for Fish=NVN=Scorpio=Serpent. Also, Teth, the letter of Leo, means Serpent. But Fish is also the Vesica, or Womb, and Christ -and so on. This symbol resumes the whole Secret Doctrine.] The serpent is sacred, Lord of Life and Death, and its method of progression suggests the rhythmical undulation of those twin phases of life which we Call respectively life and death. The serpent is also, as previously explained, the principal symbol of male energy. From this it will be seen that this card is, in a very strict sense, the completion of the card called Lust, Atu XI, and Atu XII represents the solution or dissolution which links them.

The highest aspect of the card is the Eagle, which represents exaltation above solid matter. It was understood by the early chemists that, in certain experiments, the purest (i.e., most tenuous) elements present were given off as gas or vapour. There are thus represented in this card the three essential types of putrefaction.

The card itself represents the dance of death; the figure is a skeleton bearing a scythe, and both the skeleton and the scythe are importantly Saturnian symbols. This appears strange, as Saturn has no overt connection with Scorpio; but Saturn represents the essential structure of existing things. He is that elemental nature of things which is not destroyed by the ordinary changes which occur in the operations of Nature. Furthermore, he is crowned with the crown of Osiris; he represents Osiris in the waters of Amennti. Yet more, he is the original secret male creative God: see Atu XV. "Redeunt Saturnia regna." It was only the corruption of the Tradition, the confusion with Set, and the Cult of the Dying God, misunderstood, deformed and distorted by the Black Lodge, that turned him into a senile and fiendish symbol.

With the sweep of his scythe he creates bubbles in which are beginning to take shape the new forms which he creates in his dance; and these forms dance also.

In this card the symbol of the fish is paramount; the fish (Il pesce, as they call him in Naples and many other places) and the serpent are the two principal objects of worship in cults which taught the doctrines of resurrection or re-incarnation. Thus we have Oannes and Dagon, fish gods, in western Asia; in many other parts of the world are similar cults. Even in Christianity, Christ was represented as a fish. The Greek work IXThUS, "which means fish And very aptly symbolizes Christ", as Browning reminds one, was supposed to be a notariqon, the initials of a sentence meaning "Jesus Christ Son of God, Saviour". Nor is it an accident that St. Peter was a fisherman. The Gospels, too, are full of miracles involving fish, and the fish is sacred to Mercury, because of its cold-bloodedness, its swiftness and its brilliance. There is moreover the sexual symbolism. This again recalls the function of Mercury as the guide of the dead, and as the continuing elastic element in nature.

This card must then be considered as of greater importance and catholicity than would be expected from the plain Zodiacal attribution. It is even a compendium of universal energy in its most secret form.
777
I
Key Scale
24
II
Hebrew Names of Numbers and Letters
Nun
III
English of Col. II.
Fish
VI
The Heavens of Assiah
Akrab
VII
English of Col. VI.
Scorpio
VIII
Orders of Qliphoth
Necheshthiron
X
Mystic Numbers of the Sephiroth
300
XI
Elements (with their Planetary Rulers)
Mars Water
XII
The Tree of Life
Pathjoins 6–7
XIII
The Paths of the Sepher Yetzirah
Imaginative I.
XIV
General Attribution of Tarot
Death
XV
The King Scale of Colour (y)
Green blue
XVI
The Queen Scale of Colour (h)
Dull brown
XVII
The Emperor Scale of Colour (v)
Very dark brown
XVIII
The Empress Scale of Colour (#)
Livid indigo brown (like a black beetle)
XIX
Selection of Egyptian Gods
Merti goddesses, Typhon, Apep, Khephra
XX
Complete Practical Attribution of Egyptian Gods
Hammemit
XXI
The Perfected Man
Sekhet—the Belly and Back
XXII
Small selection of Hindu Deities
Kundalini [[Yama]]
XXIII
The Forty Buddhist Meditations
Hacked in Pieces Corpse I
XXXIV
Some Greek Gods
Ares [[Apollo the Pythean, Thanatos]]
XXXV
Some Roman Gods
Neptune [[Rhea]]
XXXVIII
Animals, Real and Imaginary.
Scorpio, Beetle, Crayfish or Lobster, Wolf [[all Reptiles, Shark, Crablouse]]
XXXIX
Plants, Real and Imaginary
Cactus [[Nettle, all poisonous plants]]
XL
Precious Stones
Snakestone
XLI
Magical Weapons
The Pain of the Obligation [[The Oath]] The Arrow (swift and straight appli-
XLII
Perfumes
Siamese Benzoin, Opoponax
XLV
Magical Powers [Western Mysticism]
Necromancy
XLIX
Lineal Figures of the Planets, &c., and Geomany
Rubeus
LI.II
Numeration of Col. LI.
50
LI.III
English equivalent of Col. LI.
N
LIII
The Greek Alphabet
Ν ν
CXXXVII
Signs of the Zodiac
♏ Scorpio
CXXXVIII
Planets ruling Col. CXXXVII.
Mars
CXXXIX
Angel Lords of the Triplicity in the Signs by Day
Bethehon
CXL
Angel Lords of the Triplicity in the Signs by Night
Sahaqanab
CXLI
The Twelve Tribes
Dan
CXLII
Angels ruling Houses
Susul
CXLIII
Twelve Lesser Assistant Angels in the Signs
Saitziel
CXLVI
Angels of the Decantes (Ascendant).
Kamotz
CXLVII
Angels of the Decantes (Succedent).
Nundohar
CXLVIII
Angels of the Decantes (Cadent).
Uthrodiel
CXLIX
Magical Images of the Decans (Ascendant)
A man with a lance in his right hand, in his left a human head
CL
Magical Images of the Decans (Succedent)
A man riding a camel, with a scorpion in his hand
CLI
Magical Images of the Decans (Cadent)
A horse and a wolf
CLII
Perfumes (Ascendant)
Opoponax
CLIII
Perfumes (Succedent)
As for Asc.
CLIV
Perfumes (Cadent)
As for Asc.
CLV
Goetic Demons of Decans by Day (Ascendant)
Ipos
CLVI
Magical Images of Col. CLV.
Angel with lion’s head, goose’s feet, horse’s tail.
CLVII
Goetic Demons of Decans by Day (Succedent)
Aim
CLVIII
Magical Images of Col. CLVII.
Man with 3 heads—a serpent’s, a man’s (having two stars on his brow), and a calf’s. Rides on viper and bears firebrand).
CLIX
Goetic Demons of Decans by Day (Cadent)
Naberius
CLX
Magical Images of Col. CLIX.
A black crane with a sore throat—he flutters.
CLXI
Goetic Demons &c. by Night (Ascendant)
Amy
CLXII
Magical Images of Col. CLXI.
Flaming fire.
CLXIII
Goetic Demons &c. by Night (Succedent)
Oriax
CLXIV
Magical Images of Col. CLXIII.
Child with angel’s wings rides a two-headed dragon
CLXV
Goetic Demons &c. by Night (Cadent)
Napula
CLXVI
Magical Images of Col. CLXV.
Leopard.
CLXVII
Egyptian Gods of Zodiac (Asc. Decans)
Arimanius
CLXVIII
Egyptian Names of Asc. Decans
Sentacer
CLXIX
As Col. CLXVII (Succedent)
Merota
CLXX
As Col. CXVIII (Succendent)
Tepiseuth
CLXXI
As Col. CXLVII (Cadent)
Panotragus
CLXXII
As Col. CXLVIII (Cadent)
Senciner
CLXXIII
Genii of the Twelve Hours (Levi)
Nantur, Toglas, Zalburis, Alphun, Tukiphat, Zizuph, Cuniali
CLXXV
Hebrew Letters
נ ן
CLXXVI
Numerical Value of Col. CLXXV.
50 700
CLXXVII
Geomantic Intelligences
Barachiel
CLXXIX
Numbers printed on Tarot Trumps
13
CLXXX
Title of Tarot Trumps
The Child of the Great Transformers. The Lord of the Gate of Death.
CLXXXI
Correct Design of Tarot Trumps
A skeleton with a scythe mowing men. The scythe handle is a Tau.
CLXXXII
The Human Body
Intestines
CLXXXIII
Legendary Orders of Being
Lamiæ, Stryges, Witches
CLXXXIV
Numeration of Arabic Alphabet
50
CLXXXV
Numeration of Greek Alphabet
50
CLXXXVI
Diseases (Typical)
Cancer
CLXXXVII
Magical Formulæ (see Col. XLI)
AUMGN