15th Hebrew letter (Samech).
ORIGIN OF THE SYMBOLISM OF THE FIFTEENTH CARD OF THE TAROT.
The Samech expresses the same hieroglyphic sign as the Zain (7th arcanum), that is to say, an arrow; a weapon of any kind; but to this idea is here added that of the arrow making a circular movement, of any circle defining and delimiting a circumscription.
This idea of an impassable circle has given birth to that of Destiny, of Fatality, circumscribing the limits of the circle in which the human will can act freely; so that the Serpent forming a circle of his own body, biting his own tail, has always been the symbol of this Fatality, of this Destiny, encircling the world in its embrace. It is the
image of the year (the ring), and of the fatal and settled revolutions of time.
As a letter, the Samech is the link (Zain) reinforced and turned back upon itself. As a simple letter, it corresponds with the zodiacal sign of Sagittarius.
FIFTEENTH CARD OF THE TAROT.
In every cosmogony the Devil represents the mysterious astral force, the origin of which is revealed to us by the hieroglyphic of Samech.
But a little attentive consideration of the symbol will show us that it contains several of the details which we have already seen in other figures of the Tarot, but under a different aspect.
If we place the Juggler by the side of the Devil we shall see that the arms of the two personages are using the same gesture, but in an inverse sense. The Juggler points his right hand towards the Universe, his left hand towards God; on the other hand the Devil raises his right band into the air, whilst his left points to the earth. Instead of the magic initiating wand of the Juggler, the Demon holds the lighted torch, the symbol of black magic and of Destruction.
By the side of the Devil, and balanced by him, are two personages reproducing the same symbolism that we find in the two women of the Lovers (6), and in the two supports of the gibbet of the Hanged Man (12).
The universal vivifying force represented by the 3rd arcanum, has here become the universal destroying force. The sceptre of Venus-Urania has become the Demon's
torch, the Angel's wings have changed into the hideous pinions of the God of Evil.
The 3rd arcanum symbolizes the Holy Spirit, or the Providence of Fabre d'Olivet.
The 15th arcanum symbolizes the False Spirit, or the Destiny of Fabre d'Olivet.
15+3 = 18/2 = 9.
The 9th arcanum, which fills the centre between the two figures, symbolizes Prudence, or the Human Will of Fabre d'Olivet.
The Devil has materialized upon his head the universal fluid which surrounded the head of the Juggler; this is indicated by the two six-pointed horns which adorn him.
He stands upon a cube placed upon a sphere, to indicate the domination of Matter (the cube) over the Spirit (the Sphere).
The fifteenth card of the Tarot derives its signification from its own symbolism--
1. DESTINY (chance).
2. FATALITY, the result of the fall of Adam-Eve.
3. The astral fluid, which individualizes.
NARASH, the Dragon of the Threshold.
Primitive Hieroglyphic: Serpent
Hebrew letter: Samech (simple)
Result of the fall of Adam-Eve
The Dragon of the Threshold