Faith – Symbolic Analysis

Posted on June 7, 2011


“…each mind/body/spirit complex shall and should and, indeed, must perceive each archetype, if you use this convenient term, in its own way. Therefore, you may see that precision is not the goal; rather the quality of general concept complex perception is the goal.”- Ra, Session 77



Arcanum 17

Key Observations:

  • The naked figure is androgynous in this card but is drawn as a female some cards.  The exposed breasts may be a symbol of the nourishing energy force of Faith and the naked openness of catalyst of the spirit.
  • The star being black and white representing duality or the two forces balanced and shining brightly above the head of our water pourer. Unlike the sun and the guardian that preside over the catalyst of mind and body, it seems that polarity in its proper configuration (that is light on top) and is the guiding force in this form of catalyst. The diamond shape has its own deeper meaning as well as the star shape that surrounds it
  • One cup waters the plant while the other cup waters the sea. One nourishes the self and others in balance and harmony so both the self and other selves can flourish.
  • The three-headed flower mind, body and spirit in their state of maturation. The configuration of symbols also forms a staff which could represent our will as the divine self. Notice that the water is poured just to the right of the flower.
  • The butterfly a symbol of the transformed, but also being a winged creature realization that the mind/body/spirit complex is, having made contact with its potentiated self, now beginning its flight towards that great Logos which is that which is sought by the adept.
  • All that is unprocessed that has come before the notice of a mind/body/spirit complex is catalyst.
  • The foundation of spiritual catalyst seems to be polarity, but in a balanced equal way. Both polarities exist here in equal proportion. Note the placement of the feet.

Deeper Meanings: suggestions have been embedded within every image pointing to perspective, functions and relationships each archetype has with polarity, the material world and the other archetypes. Observing the left or right hand or the position of the figure (forward or side facing) are two examples of another layer of symbolism that can be considered. Ex. the right hand may be considered to represent the right-handed path or the “service-to-others” path, while the left hand may be considered the left handed path or “service-to-self”. Facing to the left may suggest that this archetype is naturally focused in the direction of self.

  • Experience is offered consistantly.
  • Growth in all three areas are promised to grow with the ability to achieve ultimate transformation as represented by the flowers and butterfly.
  • Polarity seems to be alluded to both in the endless pouring cups and the star over head. This card is often called the star.
  • Notice how the figures right toes are clearly on the light side, yet his legs and left hand are on the left. Perhaps this suggests that most of the “leg work” of this catalyst is accomplished in the offering of the negative experiences. Indeed, we see that the darkest events that occur in our life, bring about the most positive change in our self.

The Water-Bearer

The Sun in astrology stands for our inner nature, or character. The eleventh sign of the zodiac, Aquarius, the Water-Bearer, is ruled by serious Saturn and outrageous Uranus. What an alarming mixture! A fixed (strong and solid) sign, Aquarius governs intellect and originality. It is an Air sign, which makes Aquarians generally intelligent, unorthodox and inventive, although you often appear to be eerily detached and personally uninvolved.

The Sun, ruler of our inner nature, is in the sign of its detriment here, for Saturn, the ruler of the outer darkness, is enthroned in Aquarius. The erratic energy of Uranus, planet of the unorthodox and eclectic, makes you unpredictable and subject to profound and unexpected deviations from the norm. Yet, due to the restrictive influence of Saturn, Aquarians exhibit considerable personal stability and work well within a structured environment.

Modern key words for the Faith:

Calmness —– Free-flowing love —– Trust

Tranquility —– Peace of mind —– Pure essence

Hope —– Serenity —– Inspiration —– Generosity

Optimism —– Joy —– Faith —– Regeneration

Good will —– Optimism —– Harmony —– Renewal of forces