Lust is the zodiacal trump of Leo, a very powerful sign in the zodiac as it is ruled by the Sun, and the central or fixed of the fire sign trinity. The sign of the Sun in its glory. The Sun is Heru-Ra-Ha, lord of the new Aeon.
This is the woman and the beast, the lady and the lion or union of Babalon and Therion in the Thelemic pantheon. Now Babalon and Therion are major deities in Thelemic magick, pairs in the West and East in the same sense that Nuit and Hadit are paired on the North-South axis. Babalon and Therion are not portrayed on the Stele of Revealing as Nuit and Hadit are. But that is because Nuit and Hadit are Thelemic partners on a cosmic scale, while Babalon and Therion represent more earthly and lusty forces.
Babalon is often referred to as the Great Harlot, or Virgin Whore. It actually is a beautiful thing, as she is said to refuse no one. As Virgin she retains her purity and as Whore she holds and contains all with complete acceptance. As proof that her nature is Love, she lifts the Holy Graal, said to contain the “blood of the saints” and the Thelemic current, the magick from which all can draw. This Holy vessel is also symbolic of the Ace of Cups, and seen protected and carried by the Charioteer.
While thus Babalon is the Great Whore, Therion her counterpart is the Great Beast. Whether riding him, gently clasping his jaws, or entwined with his (err, most phallic) tail, she and he are united. Through the joy of union she merges with and thus controls or channels him. This is the rapture of vigor and the joy of Strength exercised. The Lion is a most powerful and regal symbol. Crowley took on the name the Master Therion as he identified with the power of this archetype of which he was the avatar (and because his ascendant was in Leo). Therion as the beast represents the force of the lower nature, the king of beasts or master of the wild kingdom within. Because after all an aspect of the Great Work is about self mastery. In the Thoth deck the lion is many headed, showing the myriad ways this force can manifest.
The Hebrew letter for the Lust card is Teth, meaning Serpent, or sometimes seen as Lion-Serpent. If you look closely, the tail that she so gently but firmly holds is actually serpentine. What is a serpent but a living spine? (Also note that spine is an anagram of penis haha) The card Lust has much to do with not only sexuality but the forces of kundalini that are said to rise from the base of the spine to the top of the head in the pineal gland. This rise of kundalini to the pineal gland is actually depicted in the Tabula Mundi Sun card, but you will have to own a deck to see that as it is not posted here. (I hold back a few cards because of those who steal deck images when you post them all, and so you get some surprises to explore. The Sun is one of the most important to me, and is one of a few cards I won’t post.) The Sun, ruler of Leo and thus the Lust card, shows this as the Hebrew letter of the Sun is Resh, meaning the front and central head, or the pineal grand.
Here is a picture of the deck sent to me by someone who has the Tabula Mundi Nox et Lux deck going by the nom de plume Violet Aura. I had to share it here because it shows the symbol we are speaking of on the deck box, plus the card for the central decan of Leo and the Fire of Fire court card. Even though the Knight of Wands is actually of the sign Sagittarius, not Leo, still Fire of Fire seems very solar.
Her website is the same as her name and is watermarked on the picture. (You will see, she takes a way better picture than I do!)
Not only is this called a “Sun Wheel” in some cultures as well as an Earth symbol, but if you look at it closely, you will see that it contains four of the letter “L”, each rotated in a different orientation or direction. For yes, this is the four worlds and four directions, the light of the Sun expanding in every direction.
What comes to mind when you think of four letter L’s? (If you are not a Crowley student or a Thelemite, maybe only Sesame Street, haha)
But the four L’s are for Liberty, Love, Life, Light.
It is a symbol of the four elemental powers of the Magus as it is formed of the synthesis of the Kerubic forms in one vehicle. This is Man on the quest to perfect and balance the four elemental powers (To Will, To Dare, To Know, and To Keep Silent) thereby awakening the fifth (To Go) which I think is the connection to Kether, the point within the circle where the four arms meet. “Establish thyself firmly in the equilibrium of forces, in the centre of the Cross of the Elements, that Cross from whose centre the Creative Word issued in the birth of the dawning Universe” (Liber Librae).
Liberty, Love, Life, Light; transmuted to Law. If you mirror and rotate them, these four L’s combine to form the quartered circle: the sun cross or the earth symbol of Malkuth. The four powers of the Sphinx gradually build the four sides of the Pyramid of Initiation, in ever higher and subtler manifestations until reaching the apex. These powers are developed on the material plane (Malkuth). Which is why this is a symbol of Earth. And Heaven on Earth.
And on that note, while I am not religious, I appreciate the message painted on this rock, near where I live. (Excuse the picture. My phone is so old, as far as cell phones go it is vintage, and while the camera was at one time state of the art, it takes “abstract” pictures. I went to a concert recently, and the person searching me looked at it and said “Is that a phone? Oh yeah, I wanted one of those in third grade.” hahaha makes one feel old. But I have my reasons.)