Arcana 7, 8, and 9
The Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth Arcana are “the Three Degrees of the Master.” These are the tools required for the labor in the Great Work.
In the Seventh Arcanum we find the Chariot, the emblem of Triumph. The Eighth Arcanum is Justice, the emblem of equilibrated strength in all directions. The Ninth Arcanum is the Hermit, the emblem of the occult cross and of its quest. All aspirants are looking for this cross, but we know in depth that this cross is the Ninth Sphere, sex.
The Seventh Arcanum is the qualities and capacities that are indispensable for the magisterium by means of self-dominion. One has to, or must learn how, to dominate oneself, to control oneself, in order to someday reach mastery, the magisterium of fire. If we carefully examine the Seventh Arcanum, we see that the chariot is pulled by two sphinxes, one white and the other black; this is the necessary yoking of the inferior nature symbolized by the two sphinxes that pull the chariot. To yoke signifies to dominate, to control the passions, to yoke the beast. The chariot is our life. The two sphinxes signify the pair of opposites: hatred and love, light and darkness.
The Eighth Arcanum, when considered in detail, signifies vigilance, justice. The sword aiming upwards signifies rightness. We need to be righteous in our thoughts, in our words, and in our deeds. The left hand of the woman holds the scale of equilibrium. Equilibrium and precision are represented in the scale of justice.
Thus, as the Seventh Arcanum, Triumph, is achieved through self-dominion of the chariot of life, by the dominion of oneself, by knowing how to drive our own life—in other words, intelligently directing the chariot of life—likewise the Eighth Arcanum represents righteousness, justice, firmness, equilibrium. Firmness is the sword, and equilibrium the scale. This firmness must be converted into the axis of life, into the central point of gravity of life, and of our existence.
In regard to the Ninth Arcanum, it is the Occult Light that manifests itself in initiation, thus vivifying the powers. In order to see this Light, one must be converted into a master; and it is clear that any aspirant must reach the magisterium.
The Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth Arcana are the tools of the work. The Seventh Arcanum teaches us how to control ourselves. The Eighth Arcanum teaches us justice and righteousness in our thoughts, words, and actions. The human being must live with righteousness.The Ninth Arcanum tells us of the Hermit who holds in his right hand the rod and in his left the lamp. What is important is to elevate this lamp aloft; it is vital to raise it in order to illuminate the path of others.
The Ninth Arcanum is fundamental. It is the arcanum of authentic mastery. The Ninth Arcanum is in the whole cosmos. Observe for yourselves the construction of the universe, and you will see the Ninth Arcanum everywhere. We find the nine above and the nine below.
9 + 9 = 18 1 + 8 = 9