ARCANUM I

[Letter Athoim (A) Number I]

THE MAGUS: Will

    A--1 expresses in the divine world the absolute Being who contains and from whom flows the infinity of all possible things: in the intellectual world, Unity, the principle and synthesis of numbers; the Will, principle of action: in the physical world, Man, the highest of all living creatures, called upon to raise himself, by a perpetual expansion of his faculties, into the concentric spheres of the Absolute.

    Arcanum 1 is represented by the Magus, the type of the perfect man, in full possession of his physical and moral faculties. He is represented standing upright, in the attitude of will proceeding to action. He wears a white robe, image of purity. His belt is a serpent biting its tail: the symbol of eternity. His forehead is enclosed in a fillet of gold, signifying light; this expresses the continuum in which all created things revolve. The Magus holds in his right hand a golden sceptre, image of command, raised towards the heavens in a gesture of aspiration towards knowledge, wisdom and power; the index finger of the left hand points to the ground, signifying that the mission of the perfect man is to reign over the material world. This double gesture means that human will ought to be the earthly reflection of the divine will, promoting good and preventing evil.

    Before the Magus on a cubic stone are placed a goblet. a sword and a shekel--a golden coin in whose centre a cross is engraved. The goblet signifies the mixture of passions contributing to happiness or misfortune, according to whether we are their masters or their slaves. The sword symbolises labour, the striving that overcomes obstacles and the tests that pain makes us undergo. The shekel is the image of aspirations fulfilled, works accomplished, the apex of power attained by perseverance and will-power. The cross, seal of the infinite with which the shekel is engraved, announces the future ascent of that power into the spheres of the future.

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