The Ten of Disks: Adam Kadmon and the Vault

The last of the decanic minors, the Ten of Disks, was the most recent card finished.

This card, as the last decan of Virgo which is ruled by Mercury, combines the energies of the Hermit with the Magus, in the sephira of Malkuth.

bordered Hermit for web  bordered color 10 of Disks  bordered Magus for web

The following is from Book M: Liber Mundi, the guidebook to Tabula Mundi tarot:

The Lord of Wealth is the last decan of earth sign Virgo. This decan is ruled by Mercury, which also rules and is the exaltation of Virgo itself. The sephira is Malkuth of Assiah, the material world of manifestation. Malkuth is the last sephira, and this is the Malkuth of Earth, the final world. Thus this card is considered the final card of the minor arcana, much as the Universe is the final trump and the Princess of Disks is the final court. What was begun with the Ace of Wands here reaches its climax and culmination, or in other words, the Pure Will inherent in Kether (represented by the Ace of Wands) and expressed in the Magus (card of Mercury and the path from Kether to Binah) is now brought to material form. This is the sum total of the Great Work, and the point at which the cycle can regenerate and begin again.

bordered BW 10 of Disks
Crowley says of the card that “Therefore, in it is drawn the very figure of the Tree of Life itself.” Tabula Mundi demonstrates this with a rendition of the Tree as Adam Kadmon, the “Primordial Man”. Adam Kadmon is said to exist in Kether. From Adam Kadmon and the divine will of Kether, the Four Worlds descend and emerge, each as a letter of the divine name, from the very tip of the thorn of the Yod.
The related trumps of the card are the Hermit and the Magus. From the Hermit card, we have the symbolism of the Yod, shown here at the forehead of the winged helm at Kether. Also from the Hermit, the ten sephiroth are seen as descending into the stone stairwell in the ground. This is symbolically earth and the descent into matter. But also in the more mundane sense, this can be seen as a vault, with the sephiroth as coins of wealth and prosperity either descending and accumulating in the vault, or rising in order to be used. For wealth can only accumulate for so long until it becomes dormant and inert; it requires the intelligence of Mercury to give it purpose beyond pure material aggregation.

The various elements of the Magus card give the emblematic forms to the sephiroth and body of Adam Kadmon. In the place of Kether, is the Magus’ winged hem accented by a central Yod. Anthropomorphically, there is correspondence between the Tree of Life and the human body. The sephiroth form the body of Adam Kadmon, and Kether is the crown and the head, while Chokmah and Binah are the cerebral hemispheres of the brain, here shown as the left and right sides of the helm. The Supernals in this sense are the mind of the figure. Chesed and Geburah correspond to the right and left arms, Tiphareth to the heart, Yesod to the genitals, and Netzach and Hod to the right and left legs. Note that depictions of the figure face into or are seen as if stepping into the Tree – when viewed from the front the sephiroth have to be flipped around the middle pillar. In this card all of the depictions on each of the coins or emanations take the appropriate parts from the Magus, with the exception of Tiphareth at the position of the heart, which takes the Yod-like flame from inside the Hermit’s lantern. Thus the Supernals show the front and sides of the Magus’ winged helm. Chesed and Geburah as the arms of the figure are marked with the disk and the galaxy the Magus holds. Yesod is marked with the Mercury symbol from the “wand” on his table at the level of his genitals. Netzach and Hod have the combined and interchanged depictions of the sun and solar lemniscate from the front of the mix table. This echoes the Thoth deck’s depiction of a solar symbol at the level of Hod, of which Crowley comments “These disks are inscribed with various symbols of mercurial character except that the coin in the place of Hod (Mercury) on the Tree is marked with the cipher of the Sun. This indicates the only possibility of issue from the impasse produced by the exhaustion of all the elemental forces.” Malkuth appropriately then shows the four worlds from the bottom of the Magus’ table, here in circular form joined at the sphere of Malkuth . Symbolically they form the quartered circle, a symbol of Malkuth. This is in total a glyph of the Great Work, the Summum Bonum and realization of True Will.

Earth symbol cropped
The Augur: Adam Kadmon, the descent and ascent, the Vault. This is the pinnacle of success and the culmination of will in the material world – give your wealth inner and outer purpose beyond mere accumulation.


Deck comparisons:

pents10  ten of disks thoth  ten_disks_rosetta_lg  bordered color 10 of Disks

The Rider Waite Smith Ten of Pentacles shows an old man seated at the arched gate of a village, surrounded by family and dogs, with ten pentacles in a Tree of Life formation. The Thoth Ten of Disks shows ten golden coins in a Tree of Life formation on a background of violet coins. The golden coins are marked with various Mercurial symbols except for Hod which has a solar symbol. Malkuth is shown as the largest and heaviest coin. The Rosetta Ten of Disks is pictorially much like the Thoth, except the golden coins have other Mercurial elements and are looped together in the manner of Chinese coin clusters given out to symbolize and increase wealth. The tenth coin is larger than the rest and dangles free from the string in the position of Malkuth, ready to drop down out of the picture and into the new cycle.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.