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The Twelve Foundation Stones and the Portals

  1. The Meaning of the Mandala
  2. Jesus Second Axiom-Make the Left Hand Like the Right Hand
  3. Too Much Left Brain Use is Creating Many Illnesses
  4. Psychological Implications
  5. Understanding Ezekiel's Four Levels
  6. The Zodiacs of Babylon and Egypt
  7. Ley Lines, Power Points & Sacred Temples
  8. The Universe Is Made of 90% Dark Matter and 10% Light Matter
  9. The Kingdom of Heaven
  10. The Seven Levels of Consciousness & The Seven Elohim
  11. The Seven Levels of Consciousness & the Question of Inspiration of the Bible
  12. The Somatic Gospel, Plus The Origins of the New Testament


"Then Judas (not the Iscariot), said, Behold, Lord, we see that everything here is like the Signs of the Heaven and that the nature of man is both hidden and revealed. . . Jesus answered, It is very hard to perceive the Soul because it does not continue in the same fashion or shape or emotion.” - Gospel of the Egyptians

On pages 11 and 12 of this study, we revealed the meaning of the four Minor suites in the Tarot cards: the Staff, the Sword, the Pentacle and the Cup. We must now give some consideration as to why there are ten numbered cards in each suite followed by a Page, a Knight, a Queen and a King, also belonging to each suite. On this page, I have laid out the ten of Staves (or Clubs) and the ten of Pentacles. These two cards alone display the skill and understanding possessed by Dr. Arthur Waite (1857-1942) and Miss Pamela Smith of the original Tarot cards, as they produced this series.

Anyone who has ever studied the Cabala will recognize the arrangement of the ten Pentacles as making up the glyph of the Tree of Life here displayed. The Torah consisted of the law

and the written teachings of Moses, while the Cabala is made up of the secret oral teachings which Moses delivered to the Seventy-two Elders of Israel. But the fact that there are ten Pentacles pictured here does not explain why there are ten numbered cards in each suite under the King and Queen, etc. Since I do not have space to comment on the meaning of each card, I will simply comment on certain ones.

The ten of Pentacles shows an aged man, surrounded by wealth, having come to his old age in the enjoyment of not only his children but also his grand children. The ten of Staves shows us a man departing this lifetime carrying little with him but the hard won lessons of this life time. When he dies, he will have many memories to take with him into his next life, but he will depart as a victor nonetheless. Whereas the man displayed on the ten of Swords is a defeated man.

In our study of the Sword, we saw that it represented mental development. And we also saw that too much left-brained activity without right-brain balance leads to illness, disease and even death. We all know individuals who are brilliant in some ways but foolish in other ways.

What is sadly lacking in too many of our lives is an even balance between the physical, mental, emotional (signified by the Cup), and spiritual aspects of our lives.

The monk living in a cave cannot develop all of these various aspects equally, because one must interact with society to learn virtue and temperance. It is by the interaction and tension of rubbing elbows; the give and take of struggle between man and wife, family and career, privacy and duty to country, that true character is built. Not in sequestering oneself in a monastery. Do not misunderstand me, I believe in monastic situations for certain kinds of work but not for producing character.

The picture on the ten of Cups, shows a happily married couple living in a cottage, in the country with their children playing merrily. It is true that a happily married couple must work to achieve happiness. It doesn’t just happen

automatically. The ten numbered cards show us the lives of ordinary men and women who did not achieve Perfection, but who may have appeared to be successful. In contrast with these are the Kings and Queens.

Now, I suppose that some will reason that because the original Tarot cards were drawn up during the Medieval Ages when feudal society still regarded chivalry and knight-hood and royalty with great admiration, that that accounts for why we have the Page, the Knight, the Queen and the King. That would certainly be true on the surface but we also know that the Cathars were looking forward to the overthrow of feudal society; especially the Roman version of Papacy and Royalty. This can easily be seen in the Major Arcana card called, The Tower, where we see both king and pope being cast to the ground from a high tower. In esoteric circles there were four grades of existence above that of the average, albeit successful, happily married individual and those were the:


Throughout the years, schools of higher Wisdom have generally used four names or their equivalent to establish the four levels or grades in their schools. Generally, the Aspirant is considered to be one who sincerely desires to enter the brotherhood. He may be accepted only on very limited terms. He may be required to study for a couple years and to perform menial chores for the brotherhood. He then becomes an Apprentice or worker inside the brotherhood but the higher truths are held in abeyance until he has established himself and proven his integrity. Eventually he becomes a Companion, with greater responsibilities and finally, he becomes a Master. The blessed Jesus can be seen classifying his disciples in this manner:

“Thomas then spoke to the Lord saying, ‘I beg you to explain something to me. I’ve heard you speak of hidden things, so I will ask you something about them, since it is obvious to me that the truth is difficult to perform before men.’ Jesus answered him, ‘If the things that are Visible to you are obscure, how can you hear about the things that are Invisible. And if it is hard for you to perform the works of those truths that are Visible in this world, how shall you perform those deeds that pertain to the Exalted Height and to the Pleroma, which are not visible? And how will you be called ‘Laborers’? In this respect, you are only Apprentices and have not received the height of Perfection.” - Book of Thomas, the Contender1


The Gospel of John reports Jesus as saying, “If I have spoken to you about earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things?2

Another passage in John has Jesus saying: “”You are my Friends, if you do what I command you [to do]. From hence forth, I will no longer call you Laborers because a servant doesn't know what his Lord does but I shall call you Friends (Companions) because I have made known to you everything that I heard from my Father.”3


The Greek word here translated as ‘friends’ or ‘companions’ is the Greek word philos which literally means ‘princes’ or those standing around the throne. 4 Another term used in the New Testament is ‘Master’. Jesus was called a master on various occasions and others accepted that designation.5


So, when the designers of the Tarot cards label some as Page, Knight, Queen or King, they were actually pointing to these grades within their order, as follows:

Page ————Aspirant




The Sufis still employ terms very analogous to those used in ancient times.

An ‘Aspirant’ is one who seeks to be initiated but has to wait to be accepted by a spiritual teacher. A ‘Mutasawwif’ is one who is a ‘novice’ or a ‘poor one’. He does follow a teacher. An ‘Arif’ is a ‘knower’ or Gnostic, who has experienced the reality of the Tawhid. And a ‘Shaykh’ is a spiritual guide or teacher.

Now the Cathars only recognized two authorities above the level of a King and those were the ‘Emperor’ and ‘Hierophant’, which corresponds to the Sufi ‘Wali’ or saint, who possesses the direct reality of God and is able to express this through miracles and spiritual knowledge, and the ‘Al-Insan al-Kamil’ or the Perfect Man, who is the great spiritual teacher of the age.


On page 22 of this study, I published a diagram showing the relation of the orbits of the nine Planets within a cone. Since a cone is a spiral, I am now showing the nine Planets with reference to the action of a Spiral. The placement of their orbits along the line of the Spiral just happens to coincide with the locations of our twelve music notes. Note for instance the Asteroid Belt just happens to correspond to the F-sharp note - a note that should not be used in music. Mercury corresponds to the C-sharp note, Venus to the D and Earth to the D-sharp, while Mars corresponds to the E note. I will leave you to ruminate on these tidbits. God bless you and yours. Jeffrey Brackeen

1. The Book of Thomas the Contender, Chapter 8, Vs 174-177, The Complete Gospel of Jesus Christ, Edited by Jeffrey Brackeen, Koinonia Comm. 1994

2. John 3:12

3. John 15:14, 15

4. See the Septuagint in Esther 2:18, Gen. 32:28; Isa. 56:4,5

5. See Mk. 12:14, Jn. 3:10, Jam. 3:1

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