the mutational alchemy tarot: tetractys spread

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The Shield & Sword spread (aka Celtic Cross) is generally best suited to examining outcomes where the Tree of Life spread is mostly geared to examining profiles. The Tetractys Spread is the one spread that is geared as liberally to either focus, yet is unfortunately the least understood and is almost never used by the vast majority of card readers. I would very much like to see this change because the Tetractys Spread is more than just a card spread. Coming to a fair degree of competence with this spread goes a long way towards establishing the so-called “Knowledge & Conversation” with one’s HGA (Holy Guardian Angel) or its exact equivalent. Magickal powers may come or go but the establishing of this working dialogue is something that never leaves you just when you might have needed it the most.

It’s best to begin by understanding the spread’s component parts: the monad (top row), the dyad (2nd row), the triad (third row) and the tetrad (final, fourth row). We can cast the spread in a variety of ways but these divisions always retain their unique identities. No one card can be identified as the “outcome card” in this spread but rather outcomes are assessed in lieu of all 10 cards acting together as one, the higher rows giving us additional feedback on the lower. This doesn’t mean we should avoid yes/no questions but rather expect that the tetractys speaks to us in its own way and it is up to us to learn that language well in order for our own accuracy to improve with practice. It has been said that it is impossible for the oracle to give us a false reading; rather our own limited interpretations get in our way. If we approach things this way we stand a much higher chance of coming away with a sense of satisfaction with the readings we embark upon. 

The Four Elements (mundane plane):
Aristotle defined the elements in the following way:

  • Fire is primarily hot and secondarily dry.
  • Air is primarily hot and secondarily wet (for air is like vapor, ἀτμὶς).
  • Water is primarily cold and secondarily wet.
  • Earth is primarily cold and secondarily dry.
    Though chiefly a memorization devise, his definitions have stood the test of time and are still used by modern card readers today. 

The following glyph demonstrates a qabbalistic slant on the four elements, flanked by the eight trigrams of ancient China:

PrintHere is a glyph that demonstrates personality types rooted in the four elements:

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One thing is apparent from this brief little discussion of elements thus far: there seems to be an unusually high degree of  disagreement over such a basic thing as the four elements! No serious student of the occult should let this stand in their way but rather press on until you reach a place of relative peace of mind with your own understandings. Despite the appearance of a certain amount of discord, this is all cosmetic and minor compared against the bigger picture which actually demonstrates a surprising degree of agreement on a grander scale. 

The Three Principles (planetary plane):
Salt (fixed, past), Quicksilver (mutable, present) and Sulphur (cardinal, future) constitute the three spiritual principles underscoring the four elements. Viewed as interactive forces, these amount to the Destroyer (salt), the Sustainer (quicksilver) and the Creator (sulphur) relating to our experience of time and change, of evolution and involution accordingly. 

The Two Seeds (ethereal plane):

The two seeds defined here as Luna and Sol are in all respects equivalent to Yin and Yang respectively. Together, with Unus Mundus we have the Three Gunas: Tamas (darkness, destructive, chaotic) on the Yin side; Rajas (passion, active confused) on the Yang side; together with Sattva (goodness, constructive, harmonious) uniting and completing them in the middle. 

The One Fruit (world soul plane):

Called Unus Mundus here we have what is called in the East Taijitu, or the balance of Yin and Yang together. We can also express this principle as the Tridosha or the balance of Yin, Yang and Jen properties balanced together as one. In any case we have an exemplification of purest meta-mind both preceding and completing all things. We have altogether left the realm of the mundane at this stage of no-thing-ness, yet all things remain intact held together in perfect love and will. 

Several noteworthy links on the tetractys spread:
https://web.eecs.utk.edu/~mclennan/BA/PT/D-tet.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetractys
http://www.telp.com/tarot/tetraktys.htm
http://www.tryskelion.com/tar_sprds_tetractys_spread.html

 m1thr0s

 

the mutational alchemy tarot: sephiroth spread

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Sephiroth spread with astrological correspondences and Da’ath by m1thr0s. Background photo by Izi Ningishzidda on location at The Abrahadabra Institute, Olympia, Washington, Winter 2014.

To many people the Sephiroth spread seems large and intimidating, but it’s important to remember it’s the same size as the Sword and Shield or Celtic Cross. Sure, you need to memorize a little Hebrew and the ordering of the Sephiroth to pull this one off from memory, but it’s not that hard. I started using this spread spontaneously after my studies required that I memorize the ordering of the Sephiroth for pathworking. Don’t be afraid to play with Kabbalah and the Sephiroth. Let m1thr0s and I tell you as a Jew you are welcome to it and don’t let anybody tell you it is anything less than your human inheritance if you want to claim it. 

On this handy sheet which you are welcome to print out, the Sephiroth are denoted by their classical planetary attributions from antiquity. The symbols m1thr0s created to represent the astrological signs are very important and have their own secrets. For example, the symbol for Terra or Earth has points that are at a 23.5 degree angle – the same as the axis of the Earth in relation to the sun. It’s also got a vesica pisces in the center, the universal symbol of unity and the vagina and it’s a symbol for the swastika, a traditional symbol of the goddess Kali. The little dot in the center resembles the eye of Siva or the All-seeing eye.

When m1thr0s put all of these symbols and meanings together in one killer talisman for Earth, I was really fucking impressed. I immediately disposed of all of the concept art I had done on the astrological signs and gave it over to him. I also love how Ma’at or Saturn, at Binah, The Sorrowing Great Black Mother looks like a huge pregnant lady opening her arms to give the viewer a hug. 

So when you start this reading you’ll decide whether or not to do Earth Ascending or Heaven Descending. These are the two fluxes. Earth ascending tends to be violent, unstable and chaotic, like the Kundalini Shakti, while Heaven Descending is steady, ordered and logical like Mercury or Logos. We’ve numbered this chart in the Heaven Descending order, as it is more common. You may want to use Earth ascending for help in attacking a difficult problem or situation which requires shaking things up. Just reverse the chronological order for Earth Ascending.

A note about Da’ath: You can cast Da’ath first or last. I usually cast it last. It’s not a Sephiroth so it doesn’t get a number, but it is important. Think of it as like a non-Sephiroth that acts as the seat of God, or if you like, the Cosmic Vagina. It’s called the Seat of Knowledge and it can also be thought of as the fruit of the tree of the knowledge. 

  1. Ruling Power or Energy.

    Kether.  Neither wholly male or female, it’s transliterated as “Crown”, and the brilliant white gold light of Kether represents the highest you can go on the tree, the “star” of the yuletide tree you put on the top of your evergreen for the holiday. It’s not the absolute highest, that doesn’t begin until you go even higher into Ain, Ain Soph, and Ain Soph Aur. These are on the map where Abrahadabra is concerned. (Abrahadabra Grid Proofs, The Abrahadabra Institute, m1thr0s www.abrahadabra.com, The Book of Mirrors) but we don’t address them in this spread. Consider them to be acting through Kether which is synonymous with the all-good well-wishing Will of Heaven or The Dragon. The position of Kether will tell you what the primary energy of the situation or person is. It dominates all of the other cards in the spread and if it’s a bad card of any sort, examine “afflictions” elsewhere in the tree. Otherwise it may indicate the need for a major change in thinking and behavior. When in doubt, remember you can ALWAYS cross a card you don’t understand, with another card. You can also do an I Ching reading in order to solve any confusion.

  2. The Wise All-Father, Logic 

    This position can illuminate the logic and rationality of the person or situation, and also signify one’s atttitude towards men and career relationships. Chokmah is called Wisdom in English. It also represents the grey All-Father and is the top commanding Sephiroth of the male pillar. The energy here is powerful and wise of course, able to discern between things and manifesting perspective from the Yang side of universal energy. Bright, logical, thinking, communicating active warm and passionate energy resides here. A good symbological representation for it in the archetypal library of humankind is Mercury or Logos. It can represent males in the situation or in the person’s life. Adventure, plans,  fun and technology are all ruled by this Sephiroth. There is a chance it is talking about a marital proposal. He also rules over words, while Binah rules over sound. It can talk about the relationship to society and to males, and looks at the big picture that can be difficult to see in the sandstorm of emotion and detail. Ouranos, also known as King George, is the ruling planet. This planet is all about eccentricity and futuristic ideas. He’s the guy that guides us into a better place, the world we can only dream of. All in all you should trust this guy because he has a better way of doing things, but emotions can often blind us to what is correct dharma. Chokmah is the aspect of the masculine side of universe that walks besides us when we are afraid or facing a challenge that requires thoughtfulness and courage.

  3. The Understanding All-Mother, Emotions 

    This position can illuminate deep seated emotions influencing the person or situation especially in relationship to loved ones. Binah is called Understanding in English, she’s the Great Black Mother in the East. We know this because in Kabbalah she’s the “mother of mothers”, as the mother to the Shekinah or personification of the wife/house of Hashem. This also applies to the Sanatana Dharma concept of the overarching Devi principle who stands above all Devis. Also known as The Sorrowing and the Great Sea of Binah. She’s the All-Mother and is associated with learning and teaching. Life itself is precious as it teaches and she grows. She is always virgin and whore. This is the last of the three supernals, forming the squat triangle that is called The Cave of the Ancients. Stillness, peace, justice, emotions, dreams and intuition are ruled by Binah. There is a Jewish saying that says “The mother understands what the child does not say” This position can reveal emotional issues in the subconscious or problems with women or ideas about women. It can also reveal hidden injustices. Saturn, her ruling planet has long been associated with justice, karmic repercussions and the gods of time, as a woman it is closely associated to the goddess Ma’at. Binah is the feminine aspect of universe that is with us to support us when we are suffering, either emotionally or physically, especially where there is injustice or sorrow.

  4. Generous, Helping and Kind Actions, Relationships 

    This position can advise how to rule the situation. Chesed is properly translated as Merciful-Benevolence, but it’s often given other titles like Love, Mercy and Kindness. It’s got an alternate name: Gedulah, which means Majesty. He is the ruler and is signified by a scepter, where Geburah his partner is signified by a sword. A good deity association is Elohim or any of the thunder-related sky gods, Rudra, Zeus, etc. It’s the middle part of the male pillar and there is also a saying to go with it and its partner, Geburah, Severity. “A turn of severity must be followed by a turn of kindness”. Chesed is all about stability and joy, taking care of things as they are and preventing misery and displeasure. If afflicted it may mean someone is being too lenient, or laws are not strict enough, but it can also mean tyranny and overstepping one’s bounds of authority. Its ruling planet, Jupiter, is bombastic and not interested in the small stuff. Its energy asks us to ignore details that arn’t important and forces us by its sheer size and presence to pay attention to “reality”. The magick of Jupiter can offer extreme joy and pleasure or it can draw our higher selves away from the task at hand. It’s also associated with sex and reproduction, but in the physical sense, down to genes and DNA, and not past lives and karma.

  5. Restrictive, Punishing, Just and Warlike Actions and Karma. 

    This position can advise on what actions to take. Geburah doesn’t mess around. She is the Law and Management. She’s red like blood and has Mars in the palm of her hand. This planet carries out the orders of Binah above her in the name of justice. What causes sorrow must be eliminated. This is far more complicated than one would think, as we can see from the state of the world today. Geburah can be set against the querent, representing a challenge, but it can also be benign. The reasoning of Geburah rules the chaos in Hod below and it also regulates Tiphareth. This area of the tree can indicate past karma influencing the situation, or some injustice being perpetrated that must be answered for eventually. It can also have to do with war and conflicts, soldiers or trials. There is a connection with the feminine as well. Even though Binah is the mother, Geburah can be considered the womb, where Chesed is the consort father. Geburah is also the proper seat of the Prince of Darkness which is probably why it’s been earmarked as the secret entry to the underworld by Satanists. The reason for this is not only the womb connection but that fact that it’s ruled by Mars, so it can be depicted as a knight in a chariot going to battle. The chariot is the uterus. Crowley depicted this scene on his Chariot card, as a golden knight decorated with the stars of Assiah.  Geburah is associated with the transition from spirit to the physical world, Karma and past lives in a newborn. 

  6. The Future to Be, True Will, Higher Self, Good Direction 

    Tiphareth translates as Beauty and it connects to all of the other Sephiroth with the exception of Malkuth. Many of the attributions spouted about Tiphareth are merely incorrect assumptions, mostly perpetrated by Cabalists (Christian Kabbalah practitioners.) It is called The House of the World to Come in the Bahir, and represents a perfected and complete world template which Malkuth is bound to follow. It is also the throne of light, so that adherents of Luciferianism may find it interesting, but since Lucifer is associated with the moon in the Greek language it is more properly the domain of Yesod, which may be considered the Alembic that filters the data from Tiphareth to Malkuth.  The position will indicate the current aspect of the energy and information coming from Kether that is at play in the situation, relationship or activity in question. Consider that this position is always positive no matter how weird or bad the card seems to you, it is basically good in this spot. For example, if you get Debauch you may need to live it up a little more in your life. 

  7. Endurance, Challenges, A Journey, Romantic Relationships,Trials

    Netzach is associated with the planet Venus and translates as “Victory”. I used to keep getting “bad” cards here and I thought I had an affliction in Netzach, but it was just a failure to comprehend that this sephiroth is all about the current challenge that needs to be addressed. Consider that it’s the quest given out by Tiphareth in order to achieve its splendid state. It can especially address problems in romantic relationships as it is ruled by Venus. Love is often a key to winning the war revealed here.

  8. Art, Creativity, Scholarly Pursuits, School, Non-Romantic Relationships

    Hod, is properly associated to Mercury and is defined by its orange and electrical energy. Ritual, art, religion, scholarly and intellectual activity are constants here. The act of creating a representation of invisible concepts is the property of Hod.  On the tree Hod represents the left thigh and Netzach the right. 

  9. Tomorrow, Spirit Manifesting, Entheogens, Possibilities

     Yesod is called Foundation, which is important to us in the sense that Malkuth isn’t the Foundation of Man. The procession of the Aeons marks the steady progress Man is making towards the glorious future of Tiphareth where everything will be perfect and ecstatic. This position will indicate actions or events that are coming into being. Right now they are only present in the intimations from fate or they are on the horizon about to come into being. The card here will indicate something that is already happening or will happen very shortly. 

  10. Present Circumstances and the Physical Reality

    Malkuth is finally the present enviroment surrounding the querent and is a matter of fact summary of things as they stand in the relationship, activity or venture. It also represents the querent’s physical self but not the higher self. Remember the entire Sephiroth is YOU. 

  11. Mystery, Knowledge, Magick

    The mysterious non-Sephira Da’ath called the Seat of Knowledge can be placed at the beginning or at the end of the spread. It can be a hidden ally or power, and the card will tend to be magnified in this area. If it’s afflicted, consider flushing Da’ath by actual banishment rituals of one’s choice, especially helpful would be the TwinStar ritual or the Da’ath hack. 

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• pursuing perfection •

The pursuit of perfection underscores every major religion on earth, yet perfection has virtually never been defined in a way that is pragmatically sensible from a logical point of view. It is only in the years following the end of World War II that such a definition might even have been a practical possibility, since prior to this it would never have been thought possible that humankind might come to threaten the balance of Nature itself on a global scale. Now we know differently and as I sit here hammering out this article in 2015 the discussion of perfection takes on the question of sustainability more than at any time in human history. Avoiding the consequences of global warming would amount to a practical application of perfection! Reversing the damage done to our environment and restoring Nature’s rich bounty would amount to a caliber of perfection requiring a miraculous change of events in human behavior, not at all likely to occur.  Suddenly perfection is adopting a very real and a very urgent definition.

Religion, generally, has maintained a pretty dismal view of Earth, portraying it over and over again as something to be disparaged and escaped. Called the Realm of Exploitation, both Hinduism and Buddhism  have portrayed Earth as a place of unspeakable suffering, the only solution of which was to quit the cycle of birth and rebirth that draws us to it time and time again. While not universally viewed in this way in Judaism, distortional spin-off religions have generally followed suit with this view of the world so that perfection has been viewed as a matter of successfully escaping its clutches by one means or another. So long as Earth is viewed as the enemy of perfection there is very little chance of including it in any plans that share an imagined perfection with the Earth itself. If it turns out that either Heaven or Hell are internal states and not external places then the possibility of realizing Heaven on Earth is decidedly disadvantaged by this grim outlook of Earth.

The most noteworthy exception to this anti-earth attitude is Qabbalah which defines Earth simply as Kingdom and does not assign characteristics of good or evil to it. East-Asian Yin/Yang philosophy also does not succumb to this notion of an inherently evil Earth where Earth is viewed as the Yin Principle opposing Heaven as the Yang. Tantricism, with its emphasis on the balancing of opposites, does not hold with the idea that Earth must be subdued in order for Heaven to prevail. Heaven out of balance is just as detrimental to our collective well being as Eath run amok, so this notion of Earth as an inherently bad place is not universally held to but has become a kind of fetish among the proponents of apocalypse for whom the path to perfection has become synonymous with the suppression of Earth. The exaltation of Life, Light, Love and Liberty are viewed as universal qualities generated internally where man himself is the right and proper focus of this miraculous attainment.  The thing for us to stay attuned to is the how with respect to the pursuit of perfection. Thus Pythagoras advocates To Know Thyself as the root of philosophical inquiry. Without a keen sense of who we are on a cosmic scale we cannot hope to achieve a balancing of opposites that has any enduring meaning. This means staying abreast of new knowledge that emerges and constantly updating our esoteric knowledge to attune itself to exoteric knowledge about ourselves and our environments. This is why the creation of maps plays such an important role in the ongoing pursuit of perfection.  The cross-referencing of ancient maps with modern knowledge yields new maps better geared to the knowledge we have on tap – knowledge that is bought and paid for through the dedicated labors of our best minds over extended periods of time. These new maps put us in a position of strength pertaining to the ancient goals which do not really change so much in themselves. Rather, what changes are the strategies which our new maps reveal.

The following chart demonstrates how the four bigrams (two line structures) pair against guanine (G), cytosine (C), thymine (U) and adenine (A) to give us a new and revolutionary system of 64 hexagrams that 5,000 years of Chinese assignments could not have given us. This eventually leads us to a new kind of binary hexagrams, the possibilities of which are as startling as they are universal.  
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This next chart redefines the Lo Shu diagram with its 9 ternary bigrams that gives us the elemental properties of its 9 internal chambers. This has never been accomplished before until now and would not be possible without the syncretic nature of Mutational Alchemy. Staying abreast of all available knowledge at our disposals is what qabbalah is all about.

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DNAYiJing01
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 Qabalistic philosophy is inherently syncretic in nature which puts more on its plate than most since it is constantly cross-referencing everything that comes before its view. This is the only way that important new knowledge can be identified and adjusted. In 1953 a body of new knowledge was introduced that will forever change the way we look at geomantic magick. Franklin, Watson and Crick and their publication of the DNA code language was not intended to advance the state of 21st century alchemy but clearly does so notwithstanding.The binary nature of the YiJing had already been identified in the 1600’s by Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz but what could not have been known was the stunning similarities between the YiJing and DNA. Several important books and dozens of scholastic articles have been written on this subject since but my purpose here is to hyphenate how unexpected  breakthroughs in scientific understandings can radically impact our sense of spirituality and perfection. 

For an informed qaballist, the Tree of Life is divided into 32 Paths of Wisdom. The 64 binary hexagrams have always been paired into 32 complementary opposites. Once we know that the 64 DNA templates are a direct parallel to the traditional 64 YiJing hexagrams, we only need some way to align the hexagrams to the Tree of Life to give us a map sufficient to assert perfection against the Tree. We also need a word or method to exercise this assertion. It happens that Mutational Alchemy answers to all of these issues and more. Thus we have every good reason for a high level of confidence that Mutational Alchemy puts us squarely on the road to Perfection, though in truth there are still certain mysterious elements lacking.  These have to do with the external environment, a very difficult thing to control with exact precision. This is one of the reasons some practitioners confine their work to special caves deemed suitable for visualization work. Others establish and maintain temple space reserved for visualization practice. Though not 100% crucial, controlling one’s external environment is a routine protocol in the ongoing pursuit of perfection. We need more capable individuals working along lines that can actually succeed instead of wasting their lives away on fantasy projections which cannot, or following in the footseps of frauds and dinosaurs who have no earthly idea where perfection lies or how it can be secured.  

m1thr0s