Atu XX: The Aeon
Letter: ש Shin (Sh)
Proximity: Sephira #8 (Hod) to Sephira #10 (Malkuth)
Pent #31 “Perpetual” – Water of 震 (Chên) The Arousing, Thunder (Above/Below)
Earth of 坤 (K’un) The Receptive, Earth (Without/Within)
Berashith: “Elohim said behold I have given you”
(Upper right) Fire: Hex #27: 頤 (I) Corners of the Mouth / Providing Nourishment
(Lower left) Air: Hex #27: 頤 (I) Corners of the Mouth / Providing Nourishment
(Upper left) Water: Hex #28: 大過 (Ta Kuo) Preponderance of the Great
(Lower right) Earth: Hex #28: 大過 (Ta Kuo) Preponderance of the Great
Keywords (Dignified): Era, Time, Epoch, Age, Procession, Continuity, Mechanism, Adjudication, Adjustment, Judgment, Recurrence, Revolution, Reincarnation, Scrutiny, Accountability, Current, Tenor, Spirit, Collective Consciousness
Keywords (Ill-Dignified): Outdatedness, Ignorance, Karmic Issues, Reparations, Consequences
Historical: Traditionally referred to as The Last Judgement, the old decks show the dead rising from their graves, to answer the call of God in Heaven. Some decks show an angel, instead of God. Because of its overt Christian connotations, a lot of weird meanings have been attached to the card, over the years, including the idea that there is a council of elders waiting in the sky, to judge all of us after death, or, that it represents a guardian angel or something. The whole thing is creepy and must be discarded. While the old image of a council of Gods waiting in the chamber of Ma’at isn’t so bad, it was taken within the framework of an entire system built on a cohesive dialectic of magick that was intact and formed the basis of religion in ancient Egypt.
Golden Dawn: Called, The Last Judgement, The Spirit of the Primal Fire, The Last Judgement card corresponds to the planetary Saturn and the zodiacals Taurus, Leo, Aquarius and Scorpio and places between Sephira #9 (Yesod) and Sephira #10 (Malkuth) in the Golden Dawn system.
Thoth: Crowley names the card the Aeon, and this is the standard we have adopted, as well. He himself states, that it, “has been necessary to depart completely from the tradition of the cards, in order to carry on that tradition.” He explains the shape of the elbows of the messengers, as forming the letter Shin, meaning, apocalypse by fire. It is interesting what he says next: “This (apocalypse by fire,) was accomplished in the year of the vulgar era, 1904, when the fiery god Horus, took the place of the airy god Osiri,s in the East, as Hierophant.” Nuit, as the vault of heaven, Hadit as a fiery globe, and Heru-ra-ha, the introverted form of Ra Hoor Khut, is shown. He advises us to study the events around the world, 2,100 years ago, the onset of the Age of Osiris.
Mutational Alchemy Interpretation: It did not seem necessary to stay bound to any Earth-centric ideology, so the Aeon is represented in a more universal form, that of Abrahadabra, with the Secret Chiefs highlighted, and Ptah, the grand architect, standing behind it all, smiling. Here also, is Ra Hoor Khut and Heru Ra Ha. But it is free from all earthly conflict and stripped of any connection to Christian ideology.
We have a set of reciprocal inverse hexagrams on this card, #27 Corners of the Mouth, with the male elements, and #28 Preponderence of the Great, with the female Elements.
The first hexagram warns against one’s misuse of words. It is perhaps a commentary on the fickleness and treachery of words themselves, which, in mankind, rarely transcend human boundaries to reach universal truth. Instead, we are best off using genuine feeling and geometry, than to try and repair a conflict, or problem with mere words.
Preponderance of the Great shows us a scenario where things have passed their breaking point, in the lines attributed to Confucius. The sages (the older text,) are more concerned with showing us an example of a superior man, who is unconcerned with standing alone, or renouncing the world. He is like Ptah, in the sense that he can find a place in his or her being where no ties, attachments and worldly distractions can influence him enough, so that he ever makes the mistake of forsaking his True Will.
The Aeons are all about the Will of Heaven as it pertains to the economics of Life in general. This is a priority to superior people, but as for inferior people, they don’t care about it. This is injustice, or I should say, it is the source of injustice.
The Scene: The Aeon is thought of in terms of a set amount of years, anywhere from 1,000, to 2,000, as with the astrological ages. This concept may be incorrect, taken at face value. While stronger currents of one aeon or another may indeed exist, time at the level of the tree of life may be more of a Euclidean concept. While we may be living, in say, the year 1997, with another human, we are actually “looking back at them,” in time, from the Aeon of Ra Hoor Khut into the Aeon of some other ruler. We see hints of this all the time in stories, and cultural phenomenon. Avalon was one such example, said to be a place of timelessness, dedicated to the mother goddess of what is now Western Europe, destroyed by the shadow of Christianity – a manifestation of the Aeon of Pisces, or Osiris as Crowley refers to it.
As an individual can learn to navigate the tree, so too, can one participate in future, or prior aeons. The idea that the aeon is a genetic timeline, is also feasible – where one unlocks certain doors only with the right genetic markers in place. Everything that makes us who we are, is affected by DNA structure, so it is not difficult to imagine this is also being affected by the Aeonic trends.
In many cultures, the idea of the divine “culling” certain humans, while leaving others behind to live, (or die, alternately) is a religious theme, complete with its own art, rituals, dogma and stories.
The journey of the shamanic involves casting off old shells, as frequently as needed, – failure to let go of attachments can lead to distorted and stunted growth. Progressive movement through the aeons may be indicated by a child not being able to comply with its parent’s wishes, for one example of a common situation we see in everyday life. The parents may see it as defiance, the child may see it as rejection, when it is only an example of aeonic divergence and the conflicts and tension this necessarily incites.