THE WORLD BECOMES THE VIRGIN
The Virgin, formerly the World, is Beingness, and she is the X, the mandala and the point or center of the mandala – the “point” of the Tarot. The Old World card was thought of as containing the entire meaning of the Tarot. No one card contains the total meaning, although each one is an expression of it. However, the Virgin, Beingness – as the point – is that which the Tarot manifests and enacts, for the point is, always, at all times.
Beingness is the spark or star upon the breast of the Mother. She is that to which the Mother gives birth. She is the star created by the Mother. She was the World. Now she is born new and virgin. She symbolizes the birth of a new beingness which is a transmutation of the earth or represents a transition, a new birth from one world to another one.
The Virgin dances, surrounded by her circle of 22 roses – the 22 Books of T. She could be considered a fire card, even as the Mother is a water card, for she is of the essence of fire which is beingness, light. She is that which is contained in the down-pouring cup of light on the left upper hand corner of the card. She is the elixir, the electric fire (light) which is beyond earth – as is consciousness, beingness.
In the Old World card, the nude figure in the center was surrounded by a garland of leaves. There were no roses. Now the leaves have flowered. This indicates that the present deck is a flowering of that which existed in the past. A rose is a perfect expression. The leaf comes before the rose.
Formerly the 22 Books were leaves, not roses – which is to say they were not perfect.
The Old World card held a dual meaning and was often thought of as the Whore of Babylon. The Virgin, Beingness, born of the Mother, transcends the externals and the outer reality. Beingness is inner. It is quintessence of that which is contained in the Holy Grail, now the inverted cup of light – not water.
The circle of roses sports five leaves, indicating five forces, also referring to the mandala which is always a five: a center point and the four arms of the X. These five leaves are related to the five jewels in the crown at the center of the Royal Maze Book and to the five symbols at the foot of the Unity Book. They also refer to the five letters in the word Tarot. And, since there are five fingers to a hand, they also say: One.
The five leaves, along with the Virgin encircled by her wreath of roses, suggest the form of a turtle – the old turtle of the Hindus which carried the world on its back.
The Virgin is the point of the mandala or the X in that she is the center. The circle or wreath of roses forms an O, the One Being. At the four corners of the card, or the four points of the X, are the following symbols: an inverted cup, a dual-faced child, a red apple
and a lightning struck horse. These symbols are the new astrological symbols of the zodiacal mutable cross. The inverted cup pouring light is Pisces, formerly symbolized by the fish swimming in two directions. The dual-faced child is Gemini, the twins now joined into one being. The whole red apple is Virgo, formerly the Virgin. The lightning-struck horse is Sagittarius, formerly the Centaur.
At the four corners of the World card were the symbols of the fixed cross: the man-angel, Aquarius; the eagle, Scorpio; the Lion, Leo; and the Bull, Taurus. Therefore, the change in symbols indicates that man has entered a new cycle and specifically refers to timing. The age of the fixed cross has ended; the age of the mutable cross has commenced. The symbols of the cardinal cross (Cancer, Capricorn, Aries and Libra), which pre-dated the fixed cross, may have dominated at the time of Atlantis. The fixed cross may have referred to the period from the Fall of Atlantis until the present.
The meaning of the mandala symbolized by the Virgin also is that Beingness, expressed through the point, is always functioning through all of its arms or the X, and that the point, the One, Being or Beingness, does not exist separately from the Manifestation but rather is embodied by the Manifestation constantly and at all moments. The One is the All and the everything, and everything is the One.
Another way of expressing it is that the Virgin is the Manifestation and is that which the Cosmic Spider is bringing forth through all spinnings of the Web of Destiny.
The Old World card expressed the same point and the same mandala. The difference is that the leaves have flowered, the symbols have progressed to those of the mutable cross and have, in themselves, undergone a transition; and that a higher and more perfect state of beingness is being manifested.
The Virgin is clothed by flowing white ribbons of purity which, however, do not go behind her but only in front. This means that nothing is concealed. At her left foot is the star that appeared on the breast of the Mother. In her right toes she lightly holds the black and white rods that represent the masculine and feminine polarities, or yin-yang, conscious-unconscious.
They may also represent the man and woman which the Hanging Man Hung.
They do not weigh upon her. They are not her concern.
The essence of the Virgin is lightness. She is light as she dances. The feather upon her head emphasizes this.
Beingness dances. Being is. The essence of Beingness is a dance.
It is that immortal fire that is contained in the cup, that has no shape or form, that is unalterable and forever. Beingness is the cup that is quaffed without diminution.
Beingness flows through every form, through every river, is contained in all, but is formed by none. It cannot be shaped or possessed.
Therefore it is called Virgin for it is the uncontaminable essence.