The Lover

She seizes him and kisses him,
And with impudent face she says to him;
I had to offer sacrifices,
And today I have paid my vows.
So now I have come out to meet you,
To seek you eagerly, and I have found you.
(Proverbs vii, 13-15)

The sixth card is translated from the visual language of the Tarot into the poetry of Solomon. For a dark-haired woman with an impudent face clad in a red robe seizes the shoulder of the young man while another, with fair hair and dressed in a blue mantle, makes appeal to his heart with a chaste gesture of her left hand.

At the same time, above, a winged infant archer, standing out against a white sphere emitting red, yellow and blue flames, is about to let fly an arrow directed at the other shoulder of the young man. Does one not hear a voice which says: “I have found you”, and another which says : “Those who seek me find me” ?

from theTarot of Marseilles
I Wisdom, dwell in prudence,
And I possess knowledge and discretion . . .
I love those who love me,
And those who seek me find me.
(Proverbs viii, 12, 17)

The choice before the young man, the Lover, is between the vows of obedience, poverty and chastity and the way of power, richness and debauchery. The three vows are in essence memories of paradise, where man was united with God (obedience), where he possessed everything at once (poverty) and where his companion was at one time his wife, his friend, his sister and his mother (chastity). 

 One is chaste only when one loves with the totality of one’s being. Its flashes of fire are the flame of the Eternal.

Set me as a seal upon your heart,
As a ring upon your arm;
For love is strong as death . . .
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
A flame of the Eternal.
(Song of Songs, viii, 6-7)
We human souls of today bear within us the flame of the memory of Eden. All true monks and nuns are widowers and fiancés in the depths of their hearts.
O man! Take heed!
What saith deep Midnight, indeed?
I lay asleep, asleep –
I waked from my deep dream –
A deeper than ever day may deem.
Deep is its woe –
Joy deeper than woe is she:
Saith woe: Hence, go!
Yet Joy would have Eternity –
Profound, profound Eternity!
(Friedrich Neitzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra)
Freidrich Nietzsche
Garden of Eden by Hieronymus Bosch

The arrow of fire, of the flame of the Eternal brings about true celibacy as well as true marriage. The heart of the monk is pierced just as the heart of the fiancé on the eve of the wedding.

Other beings surrounding us may seem to have a less real existence than ourselves. Yet it is love that awakens us to the reality of ourselves, of others, of the world and of God.

All forms of love (charity, friendship, paternal love, maternal love, filial love, brotherly love) derive from the same primordial love root of the fact of the couple Adam-Eve.

Love is a cascading current that tends to fill and inundate all.

This is the inverse of Sigmund Freud’s pansexual doctrine. For Freud “libido” or sexual desire is the basis of all human psychological activity. However the whole of love is to sexual desire as white light containing the seven colours is to the colour red. Freud’s libido is only a single colour seperated from the whole.
There are six more aspects to love that Freud ignores.

Just as Karl Marx saw homo oeconomicus, so Sigmund Freud saw homo sexualis as the basis of homo sapiens.

Karl Marx
Sigmund Freud
Alfred Adler
Carl Gustav Jung
Freud’s student Alfred Adler advanced the doctrine of homo potestatis that man’s will to power plays the leading role in the foundation of the human being.

Carl Gustav Jung, while admitting the partial truth of these two theories, through his clinical experience discovered a much deeper truth.Thus thanks to Jung, man is known fundamentally to be homo religiosus as well as partially homo sexualis, homo potestatis and homo oeconomicus. Jung discovered the divine breath at the core of the human being.

Jung explored psychic layers in succession. Correponding to the layers of archeology, palaeontology and geology, Jung treats psychic layers as the living past of the soul. Nothing is lost. Essential history, i.e. real joy and suffering and revelations of the past, continue to live in us.
In ourselves is to be found the “Edenic” layer or that of Paradise and the Fall. Do you, dear Unknown Reader, doubt the essential truth of the book of Genesis or of Moses? Descend into the depths of your own soul, descend as far as the roots, to the sources of feeling, will and intelligence – and you will know.
The Edenic layer expresses in symbolic language the first layer or “beginning” of human psychic life.
Michelangelo: The Fall and Expulsion from Garden of Eden

Knowledge of the beginning, initium in Latin, is the essence of initiation. The first or Hermetic initiation is a conscious descent – or enstasy – into the depths of the human being. Here one becomes more and more profound until one awakens within oneself to the primordial layer – the “image and likeness of God”.

The music of the spheres engraving from Renaissance Italy shows Apollo, the Muses, the planetary spheres and musical ratios

One can compare it to a chemical experiment undergone on the psychic and spiritual level.

The second or Pythagorean initiation is based on the sense of spiritual hearing. It is essentially musical. It is by ecstasy – or rapture, going out of oneself – that the ‘spheres’ or ‘heavens’ are revealed to oneself.

Sounds, numbers and geometrical forms were the three stages of mentally visualising the ineffable experience of the music of the spheres.

This is what the apostle Paul said of his own experience of the ‘spheres’ or ‘heavens’ in ecstasy:

I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was carried up to the third heaven – whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows.

And I know that this man was raised up into paradise – whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows – and he heard ineffable words, which man is not allowed to express.
(Corinthians xii, 2 – 4)

One can compare it to a chemical experiment undergone on the psychic and spiritual level.

The second or Pythagorean initiation is based on the sense of spiritual hearing. It is essentially musical. It is by ecstasy – or rapture, going out of oneself – that the ‘spheres’ or ‘heavens’ are revealed to oneself.

Sounds, numbers and geometrical forms were the three stages of mentally visualising the ineffable experience of the music of the spheres.

This is what the apostle Paul said of his own experience of the ‘spheres’ or ‘heavens’ in ecstasy:


The temptation in paradise was threeefold, just as the temptation of Jesus Christ in the wilderness:
  1. Eve listened to the voice of the serpent. The serpent is horizontal. It claimed that the source of light would be transferred from God to man. Before the Fall the intelligence of Adam-Eve was vertical. They listened only to God. Obedience is is devotion without reserve to the voice from above. But now Eve compared two voices – as if they belonged to the same plane. This is the origin of doubt and of disobedience.
  2. She “saw that the fruit was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes.” (Genesis iii.6). Now the voice of the serpent vibrated within her being. She was induced to seek experience. This was the beginning of greed, the principle opposed to poverty.
  3. She “took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some of it to her husband, and he ate.” (Genesis iii.6). The third stage of temptation is to escape from doubt by plunging into experience – and making the other take part. Here is the beginning of unchastity. To make experiments based on doubt is the essence of carnal, psychic and spiritual unchastity. The spiritual world does not suffer experimenters. One seeks, one asks, one knocks at its door. But one does not open it by force. One waits for it to be opened.
Eve Offering the Apple to Adam in the Garden of Eden by Lucas Cranach the Elder


Grace is the doctrine concerning chaste relationship between what is above and what is below. God is the source of illuminatory and revelatory grace. He cannot be grasped, but He can reveal Himself. Conscious breathing in of the reality of grace is Christian Hatha-yoga. Hatha-yoga is the vertical breathing of prayer and benediction.
In other words one opens oneself to grace and one receives it.

Ask, and it shall be given you;
Seek, and ye shall find;
Knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
For every one that asketh receiveth;
And he that seeketh findeth;
And to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
(Matthew vii, 7-8)
Pelagius 354-418 believed to have come from Britain
Dear Unknown Friend, if you have knowledge of theology, you will recognise the doctrine of the Catholic Church concerning the relationship betweeen work and grace. You will reject Pelagianism, according to which it is only work (or effort) which counts, and also Luther’s Protestantism, according to which it is only grace which counts.

Meanwhile the work of redemption began with the repetition of the three primordial temptations. This time the Son of Man was tempted in a terrestrial wilderness, and it was not the serpent who tempted but AntiChrist, “the prince of the world”, Nietzsche’s Superman.
Martin Luther 1483 - 1546

The Antichrist, the ideal of biological and historical evolution without grace, is not an entity created by God, but rather the egregore or phantom generated by the evolution opened up by the serpent – that science studies and teaches.

He appeared to Karl Marx and showed him “in an instant all the kingdoms of the world” where all the slaves of the past are transformed into sovereign masters, who no longer obey God, having dethroned him; nor do they obey Nature, having subjugated her.

And the phantom of humanity has appeared to many others. He appeared also to the Son of Man in the desert. This was the meeting of the Divine law made flesh and the law of the serpent – biological and historical evolution – made soul.

The Groping Law of the Serpent and the Three Temptations

First Temptation by William Blake
The law of the serpent is the action of the will moving gropingly forward, snaking through epochs and layers of biological evolution, passing from form to form. The three temptations of the Son of Man in the wilderness were his experience of the directing impulses to evolution. They test the tree vows of obedience, chastity and poverty. Matthew begins his account with the last trial.
Poverty is expressed by solitude and fasting:
Second Temptation by William Blake
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
And he fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterward he was hungry.
The tempter came and said to him:
“If you are the Son God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.”
(Matthew iv, 1 – 3)
This is the essence of the aspiration of humanity in the scientific epoch. Synthetic resins, synthetic rubber, synthetic fibre, synthetic vitamins, synthetic proteins and . . . eventually perhaps synthetic bread!

The operation proposed by the tempter is the dominating motif of the doctrines overrunning the world today, which regard the economic life as primary and the spiritual life as an “ideological structure” built upon the economic base.
Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
(Matthew 1v, 4)
Not only the spirit and soul of man are able to live, i.e. to receive impulses, forces and substances from above, but also his body. To cite only the cases that are well-verified: Teresa Neumann lived solely from Holy Communion for decades, Saint Catherine of Siena lived seven years from Holy Communion alone; Saint Lidvina of Scheidam, Rotterdam, likewise for many years lived exclusively from Holy Communion.
The next temptation is against chastity:
Then the devil took him to the holy city, and set him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to him:
If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written:
“He will give his Angels charge of you”, and
“On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot upon a stone”.
Jesus said to him: Again it is written,
“You shall not tempt the Lord your God!”
(Matthew iv, 5 – 7)
This was the temptation of chastity. For chastity excludes all trial. The trial is the essence of what the Bible designates as “fornication’. Fornication is threefold: spiritual, psychic and carnal. This is why the prophets of Israel stigmatised the spiritual fornication of the people of the Old Alliance each time that they let themselves be seduced by the cults of “strange gods”.

The third temptation is directed at the vow of holy obedience.

Third Temptation by William Blake

This time it is a matter of the will-to-power.

Again the devil took him to a very high mountain,
and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory;
and he said to him:
All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.
Then Jesus said to him:
Begone, Satan! For it is written, “You shall wor
ship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.”
(Matthew 4, 8 – 10)

The choice here is between the pinnacle of evolution, the superman who is “as God”, and between God himself.

The Sixth Arcanum of the Tarot, “The Lover”, evokes the three temptations and the three vows. One cannot be “chaste” without being “poor” and “obedient”; just as one cannot renounce the divine ideal in favour of the ideal of the superman, without at the same time falling into the region of trial (experimentation) where there is no immediate certainty, and into the region of the law of the serpent;

You shall go upon your belly and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.
(Genesis iii, 14)
i.e. the region where there is no grace.

What is the immediate result of resisting temptation?
Temptation of Christ by Fra Angelico
Then the devil left him, and behold.
Angels came and ministered to him.
(Matthew 4, 11)

This response belongs to the range of ideas of the Seventh Arcanum, “The Chariot”, whose card represents a man standing on a triumphal chariot drawn by two horses.