There is no tarot card that represents the Abyss or Daath, but if the Tarot is truly representative of spiritual and magical realms, we need to find a solution.
First of all, does the “false sephirah” Daath exist? Magicians and occultists consider Daath as a portal to the reverse or backside of the Tree of Life where various tunnels and demonic inhabitants exist, so someone has figured how to get there. Daath on the Tree is half way up the Path that connects Kether to Tipareth – the Path of The High Priestess. This is the only path, and Tipareth is the place of conversation with one’s Holy Guardian Angel, but we have gone past that point of no return. In the Book of Thoth, Crowley includes the poem Dust Devils in the Book of Lies, whose chaotic vortices echo his experiences in the desert when the demon Choronzon confronted him in the 10th Aethyr ZAX. You may note that the veil of the High Priestess.
There is an occult view that the universe is entirely different when one crosses the Abyss, whether through Daath or ZAX. Magicians and mystics have to climb the Tree of Life from just below Malkuth and ascend at the behest and indulgence of whatever Lodge they belong to. Atu 21 The Universe and the 10 of Disks are the starting point, yet pretty much every decent book on the Tarot starts with the Fool and the Aces, descending the Tree of Life. Deep knowledge of the Tarot (such as using the OOTK spread and Liber 777, found on this website), is actually the view from above the Abyss. Tarot readers got there, and never even knew, which is why they sell for a mess of pottage?
After that rather provocative statement, let’s backtrack to the problem faced by occultists – how do they access the Dark Side of the Tree with all its forbidden goodies? The concept of reversals, not of the tarot, but of the Tree wholesale, which is what Frater Achad memorably did. Invert the Tree and miraculously Daath superimposes on Yesod! Now you know why there is such as obsessive sex magick, and obviously lunar magick, as the moon rules both Yesod and The High Priestess. This article is not about sex magic, but soixante-neuf is an obvious candidate here, and the Art and Lust combination. Atu 28 The Moon, which is Pisces and Qoph, the back of the head, is also instrumental.
Opening the Key and the Abyss
Now that we have the tarot work with, we can see how to work with them with the magician’s choice of spread – the Opening of the Key spread. If you are familiar with this spread you will know about the uncounted cards, so if any of them mentioned above are uncounted, then we have a direct route to crossing the Abyss. The Abyss destroys structure and order, so don’t expect anything to make sense at least while your rational mind takes precedence.
Wherever two or more of the above-mentioned appear in a string opens up mirroring, which is a very powerful skrying technique which I discuss on newtarot.com .
Abyss of Numerology and Tarot
For those of you who need a greater level of “proof”, then we have gematria to fall back on. Daath is DOTh in Hebrew, 474, which breaks down into The Empress, The Devil, and The Universe, so any permutation of those three arcana in a string in the OOTK spread is the basis. Choronzon conveniently numbers 333 which is The High Priestess, Adjustment, and Aeon; powerful Thelemic arcana.
Finally, Dust Devils ends with V.V.V.V.V., which enumerates to 35, AGLA if we include the dots. Developing The High Priestess, Crowley points us to the Oyster, related to that other primary feminine energy, The Empress, and to his organization the A.A.
Next time you meet one of the putative Heads of the A.A. (there are many), ask them how their experience of the Abyss went, and how they survived Choronzon. And then tell them it is easier using the Tarot.