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Tarot and Kabbalah: Arcanum 11

Arcanum 11

The Eleventh Arcanum in Kabbalah is known as the arcanum of Persuasion.

Persuasion in itself is a force of a subtle spiritual order. Occult wisdom states, “Vivify the flame of the Spirit with the force of Love.”

Love in itself is a powerful omnipotent force. The force of love keeps the worlds around their centers of cosmic gravity. Those centers of cosmic gravity are the suns. This is why Hermes Trismegistus stated, “I give thee love, within which the whole Summum of Wisdom is contained.”

A soft word pacifies anger. Persuasion has more power than violence. If a violent person wishes to attack us, then a gentle phrase should be sent unto this person; thus, his violence will be pacified. This is why in the Eleventh Arcanum a woman who is opening the mouth of a lion appears, representing the living force of Persuasion.

If we delve more profoundly, we find the lion with a double head which represents the two earths: the visible and the invisible. The lion as an animal is very important and very interesting. Lions served as hauling animals in Atlantis. They hauled wagons; they were meek. After the submergence of Atlantis, they became furious. The lion is a living symbol of fire.

Observe the sphinx for yourselves; you will notice that it has lion’s claws, representing fire. In the Aztec calendar, or Solar Stone, we find the lion’s claws.

These claws have a very grandiose significance. If we Kabbalistically add the number eleven, we get: 1 + 1 = 2. The Second Arcanum is the arcanum of the Priestess, occult science, the Divine Mother. She in herself is living fire. This is why She is known in the east as Devi Kundalini in Her individual aspect, and Maha-Kundalini in Her macrocosmic aspect. To learn how to work with this fire is vital; this is why the number 2 is Kabbalistically deconstructed as 1 man + 1 woman, and these are the two who must work with the fire in the Magisterium of Fire.

The chariot hauled by the lions is a very esoteric allegory originating from very archaic times. The chariot represents the human being, the lion represents the fire. This is nothing but a living symbol of the solar man, the Sun Man. When the chariot is spoken of it is alluding to the internal bodies of the human being: the physical, vital, astral, and mental bodies. In this chariot the real Being must ride. The Zohar portrays the Elder of Days as travelling in his chariot through the infinite. There is no doubt that the real Being has to always travel in his chariot in order to work in the worlds.

The lions of fire are the synthesis of this Kabbalistic number, because eleven is deconstructed as 1 + 1 = 2. The number two is deconstructed in the two unities, man and woman, the two columns of the temple, Jachin and Boaz; between these two columns is the arcanum. By analyzing this arcanum we get the magisterium of the fire as a conclusion. This sacred fire cannot be awakened with Pranayama or respiratory exercises in combination with meditation. With these exercises only small fractions or sparks are enflamed for the awakening of the chakras. Those sparks are elevated towards the centers, but this does not signify that the serpent Kundalini has risen.

Agni, the God of Fire, helps to awaken the fire, but only through working in the Ninth Sphere. Single people can help themselves with Pranayama in order to cause sparks to rise, but this does not signify that they raise the serpent.

We have a furnace, which is the coccyx, or Muladhara chakra, where according to the alchemists, we must place the receptacle. Within this receptacle the Mercury of sacred philosophy is found, or the Ens Seminis. Within the Ens Seminis the Ens Virtutis is found. One must close the receptacle in order to impede the raw matter (the semen) to be totally lost, in order for it not to be totally lost.

The laboratory has a chimney through which all of the steam must rise; this chimney is the spinal medullar canal. It also has a distillery within the brain, to be used for the distillation of the pure gold. This is the laboratory of those medieval alchemists who were transmuting lead into gold.

Many despise the elementals. We must not do this.

Salamanders keep the fire; Undines are within the raw matter, which is enclosed within its receptacle. The Undines can help us if we dominate them; if we do not, then they do what they want because they are very whimsical. The sylphs make the steam that escapes from the raw matter to rise. The Gnomes are in charge of the distillation of the raw matter, in order for it to be converted into gold within the brain.

I have known true devas of fire; I have been in contact with them. They live in the causal world, or the world of conscious will. They told me that beyond clairvoyance is intuition, which is superior because it belongs to the pure Spirit. With clairvoyance, the molecular world and the superior and inferior regions can be investigated; yet in the world of pure Spirit only intuition functions directly. This is why intuition is superior. Intuition has its roots in the pineal gland, the chakra Sahasrara or lotus of one thousand petals. This faculty is related with Shiva, or the flaming fire. This is the reason that this center gives us access to the world of the pure Spirit.

Forty-nine fires can exist within a human being. The seven chakras or churches multiplied by seven levels gives as a result forty-nine fires.

7 x 7 = 49

There are many types of fire: the fire of lightning; the fire that is concentrated within plants; the fire that burns in the interior of the mountains and that is vomited by the volcanoes of the earth; the fire that is utilized in order to cook; the fire that is in each world. But in synthesis, we will speak about two fires: the solar and lunar fire. The solar fire is Christic, sublime; it is Devi Kundalini. The lunar fire is Luciferic, negative, fatal.

The solar fire crystallizes in worlds, suns, and universes. The lunar fire crystallizes in all of those entities that constitute the animal ego.

A human being has to develop the forty-nine fires in his chakras.


- The Eleventh Arcanum is the work with the fire, with the force of love, in order to convert ourselves into living flames.

- The Undines work in the Ens Seminis.

- The Salamanders keep the fire lit.

- The Sylphs raise the steam.

- The Gnomes distil the Ens Seminis in the brain.

- The creatures of the water are commanded while holding a cup.

- The creatures of the air are commanded while holding a bird’s feather.

- The creatures of the earth are conjured while holding a rod or staff.

- The creatures of the fire are conjured while holding a sword.