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Messianic Consciousness on the Tree of Life – TIPHARETH – the 6th Path

Illustrations from the Albano Waite Tarot@deck reproduced by permission of US Games Systems, Inc., Stamford, CT 06902. Copyright c 1990 by US Games Systems, Inc., Stamford, CT. Further reproduction prohibited.

The 6th path or sefirot on the tree of life, TIPHARETH, This path is known as the  Messiah path. In the East it would be called the Bodhisattva consciousness.. The 6th path, works with Christ as analogy, it is the place of experiencing the crown of thorns, the compassion for the stench of the leper colony, the rage of righteousness, and the loneliness of Gethsemane. Note the placement of this path on the Tree of Life; it is the center of our collective being.


TIPHARETH is the path used to define the 5th Absolute found in my book, Choosing Honor.  5) Change is constant.  Ascendance requires non-attachment. In the workings of the Light change is a constant. The important art of life is not to stand in the way of change and right things happening.

In Tarot each suit represents a personality type. Your astrological sign determines your personality type.  Pentacles represent earth signs. Cups represent water signs. Swords represent fire signs. Wands represent air signs.  It should be noted some Cabals differ over the fire and air signs. Some think swords are air and wands fire. I don’t.  Jung didn’t either. I follow Carl Jung on this.

Whole personalities according to Jung are born dominated by one personality type. These types are four parts of a circle of wholeness that is a fully realized personality. Jung’s theory is that a person dominant in one type is usually lacking the most in the aspects of the type counter clockwise on the circle. A person’s suppressed or lacking aspects are the key to personality disorders. Realizing full consciousness, to be whole, is to realize a full balance of all four personality type consciousnesses on all ten sefirots or circle paths on the Tree of Life.

The 6 of Pentacles represents the sensate personality balancing all for all. The figure in this card is giving money with his right hand and holding a scale in his left. Notice his right hand is in symbolic benediction. The money is spiritual giving. The scale is in the left hand, the hand of intuitive knowing. Measured knowing. This is about insightful giving.  Giving too much can be just as damaging as not giving when it is desperately needed. The supplicant who is not receiving has a bright red (power) something in his pocket. There is hard boundary line in the background these figures are outside the bounty of the rest of the world. Wholeness requires fully integrating all with balanced fairness into the bounty of both the spiritual and material world.

The Feeling personality type in the 6 of Cups realizes taking responsibility for self. Contrary to the first impression of tranquility given by this charming card, this path has to transcend righteous indignation. The key to this understanding is in the left side of the picture. An adult wielding a sword is walking away on a stone path. A path marked by the diagonal cross of the martyred Saint Andrew. These blissfully ignorant children have had all of their needs met, and they are about to discover what it is to have to fend for themselves. This is a card of betrayal, right betrayal.  The children have read head coverings, they have the power. The young girl has red shoes; she has the rooted strength. But, this all-trusting young girl’s left hand is gloved in white, innocence, untested pure knowing. Feeling personalities have to discover that they can take responsibility for self. Wholeness requires the awareness that others are not responsible for your well being, you are.

The 6 of Swords represents the Thinking personalities perseverance. The consciousness here  can be summed up in the saying, “when the going gets tough, the tough get tougher.” The figures are in a boat, the boat’s captain is left hand up; he knows, and right hand down, doing the work; bringing about the change. Wholeness requires that we move through or across the troubled waters (note the ripples in the foreground) with determination and strength of will, even if we have to carry everyone who depends on us as we do it.  We do it with or without help.


The 6 of Wands, the Intuitive personality on this path is moving forward with or without support. On the card we see a figure rides a horse triumphantly, wearing a laurel on his head.  The wand is in the rider’s right hand wields a funeral wreath. This figure has allowed his ego to die to gain this victory. Note the faces of his supporters; they are not happy. Betrayal, discontent is evident.  The figure rides a horse, the symbol for moving forward. But, there is something wrong with the way the horse is dressed. The drape is too full. The horse’s head could be a puppet or prop. In this case the way forward is staged. The figure holds the horses reins in his left hand, he knows, it is his staging. Wholeness requires the death of ego and planned action that moves forward in spite of what supporters might think.

Please note:

This reading is meant for the practice of Yoga of the West, a Tarot meditation designed to build a bridge of intuition between the reader’s unconscious mind and the symbolism found in the cards.  People also consult the cards as an oracle. Caution is advised. An oracle opens the door to spiritual deception as easily as spiritual truth. To read more about Yoga of the West go to http://bit.ly/9BiovO

Mary T. Ficalora, is the author of the award winning book, Choosing Honor: a philosophical treatise that applies the symbolism found on the Tree of Life to reveal an unpredictable tonic for what ails America. For more on Kabbalah and how it relates to the tonic prescribed in Choosing Honor go to http://bit.ly/f0VOAX

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