Tzaddi is not the Star

There has long been a lot of confusion over the last hundred years or so about the proper attributions of Path 15 (Chokmah to Tiphareth), and Path 28 (Netzach to Yesod).  Most attributions of the Tree of Life are in general agreement among most mainstream Golden Dawn and Thelemic orders.  Generally they align with the traditional Golden Dawn correspondences.  However, Path 28 and Path 15 are different.  As Crowley wrote about in the Book of Thoth (discussing his own Book of the Law), he discovered all was “naught aught” with the attribution of Tzaddi to the Star:  

“All these old letters of my Book are aright; but צ is not the Star. This also is secret: my prophet shall reveal it to the wise.”–From Chapter I of Liber AL: Book of the Law 

So if it’s not the Star, Crowley divined rightly it must Tzaddi who is the Emperor (which makes sense…the “Tz” sound of Tzaddi is in Czar, Ceasar and other forms of rulership.  The zodiac sign of Aires clearly is also correctly ascribed to the Emperor (there being symbols of rams on most versions of the card).  I actually agree that Tzaddi should be the Emperor tarot card, just as Crowley describes, however the problem is that Crowley’s placement of The Star tarot card is up high in Path 15.  While the attributions are right, the placement has never felt right to me.  

The Star card belongs down below with the Moon, and the Sun and just above the Earth (Malkuth). Nuit is clearly depicted in the Star card and her number is 56 which is path 28 x 2, so that also suggests The Star belongs here on that path, and Emperor should be up at path 15, where it crosses the Abyss (Daath) and connects the aspirant to Wisdom (Chokmah).  This keeps The Emperor up next to Empress. The zodiacal attribution of Aquarius, the water-bearer also correctly belongs here, as the woman in the card is emptying two water jugs. 

“Heh” is also clearly a strong feminine symbol, relating to the MOTHER and WATER in the TETRAGRAMMATON. Certainly this correlates far better to The Star card which portrays the goddess of the night sky Nuit, than it does to the overtly masculine Emperor card. 

The only way to reconcile this with the new attribution of Tzaddi to Emperor, and Heh to the Star, and still keep their proper positions on the Tree of Life, is if the HEBREW LETTERS SWITCH PLACES.  This is not something that I’ve ever seen done, and frankly is not something I had previously considered. It seemed set into stone that the Hebrew letters must be places in typical ascending order coming down the Tree of Life. 

Now it is clear to me by the explanations in the Book of the Law, that Tzaddi, which is also the aspirant, must be RAISED to the level of divinity by connection the Emperor to Wisdom. Which is what a ruler needs most! Wisdom! The Wisdom of Chokmah, not the internal corruption of Netzach! Also a “fishhook” which is what Tzaddi means in Hebrew, pulls something up. The Aspirant is the Fish that is pulled up to Divinity as NUIT comes DOWN.

“For he is ever a sun, and she a moon. But to him is the winged secret flame, and to her the stooping starlight.” –Liber AL I.16 

She comes down to her proper place, and her “her soft feet not hurting the little flowers” (Liber AL I.26) 

This arrangement has the huge advantage of having the Zodiac signs AND Tarot Trump card numbers proceeding orderly down the Tree of Life! No awkward swapping of the Zodiac, color attributions, or placement on the Tree of Life, etc. as was done before with the XVII (Star) and IV (Emperor) paths. Also unnecessary with this layout is the sometimes-used swapping of VIII (Strength) with XI (Justice), which Crowley did to to balance out the Star/Emperor swap (See his Book of Thoth for more details on why he thought to do this. He really loved to ascribe the number 11 to magick and specifically the Strength/Lust card…so there is some validity to his method for sure.)

A secret theme of the book of the law is raising the lowest to the high, and the high to the low.  So not only is this revealed through the quotes on Nuit stooping down (“O azure-lidded woman, bend upon them!”), I believe it to be shown also within the placement of the handwritten sheets. See this link: https://genie-demon.com/abrahadabra/ or https://thefoolspeaks.com/showthread.php?t=543

“Let him enter in turn or at once the four gates;” I.51 Liber AL. 

One enters through the center bottom of door the pyramid (on any of the four cardinal directions, or all at once) and through initiation it takes you to the very top, the Fool.  I believe the switching around of Tzaddi and Heh also accomplishes this in symbolic form. 

Even though I feel this is the most “correct” attribution, using one of the other traditional attributions isn’t really wrong because there is a special bond between these two paths built up over the centuries through the astral work of many thousands of adepts.  So there are remnants of each of these two sets of symbolism on either path.  Pathworking either of them is not wrong, just that an astute magician should be aware of the important and subtle distinctions just described. 

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