Cube of Space
Dr. Paul Foster Case lays bare much pictorial symbolism, primarily with the major arcana, in The Tarot: Key to the Wisdom of the Ages. Mr. Case is chiefly responsible for presenting this arcane symbol to the mass consciousness with this publication. He introduces the Cube of Space with Chapter VIII on the Emperor. All the alchemical hints of the elements, the planets (as metals) and the twelve signs of the zodiac as steps in the process toward manufacture of the Philosophers’ Stone are contained within the Cube symbol. In The Qabalistic Tarot by Mr. Robert Wang, the Cube diagram is dittoed from the Case work with no additional information offered. Manly Palmer Hall's Secret Teachings illustrates a Cube symbol on page CXLVII, titled Table X in the chapter ‘Fifteen Rosicrucian and Qabalistic Diagrams.’ In that Cube all the edges are labeled the twelve tribes of Israel, hinting the names of the tribes themselves very likely concealing secrets toward confection of the Stone. Finally, and originally, the Sepher Yetzirah (Book of Formation) describes a Cube of אין סוף, Ain Suph, the Second Veil of the Absolute, by the expansion of space in six directions, sealed with the six permutations of the Holy and Divine Name, יהו, IHV. The implications are endless. Levels within levels unravel themselves for the earnest miner who would work its mysteries.
The Cube diagram is not offered or even needed again here. In these days there are numerous images of the Cube of Space to be found on the Internet. Initially, the best use of it in meditation would be to imagine the Cube about the head. Orient the Cube so that the three co-ordinates Aleph, Mem and Shin cross in the center of the brain, while the Empress in the East is set at the back of the head. Since the Empress symbolizes Creative Imagination seated at the back of the brain, images from there traverse the Mem axis (gathering Universal Water Substance, אין סוף אור) toward outward, physical manifestation symbolized by the Wheel of Fortune and Jupiter in the West, outside the eyes. The dictum, ‘Look to the East,’ does not necessarily mean we face that cardinal compass direction in meditation, like with Yoga. We look to the East regardless physical compass directions. With this orientation we discover the Death Tarot Key stationed slightly before us and to the left. Readers of the Yaqui Indian magic will remember that Don Juan Matus often reminded Carlos that Death, as the eternal bearer of changing conditions, could always be found off to the left. With Yoga Asanas, on the other hand, practitioners are instructed to “face the East,” the actual compass direction and sunrise when beginning a round of exercises at dawn.
Central to the Cube, at the point where the three co-ordinates intersect, are posited Saturn, the World Tarot Key, Alchemical Lead, and the element Earth. This Earth element is the First Matter, אין סוף אור, AIN SUPh AUR, residing in the very center of our being. Combined with the pure elements, Fire and Water, and borne upon the Air, the First Matter expands and fills space in all the endless directions. Imagine the filler as a thick, milky, crystalline fog. Every point in space is the exact center of the universe, expanding in all directions. The six directions are attributed to the rest of the Hebrew double-letters, the planets, and therefore the alchemical metals and chakras. Each of the six faces is bound on four sides by edges of the Cube. All the edges are assigned the twelve simple Hebrew letters, zodiacal signs, tribes of Israel, Labors of Hercules, the twelve steps of the Alchemical Process, and any other symbolism suggested by the mystical number twelve in any secret teachings from wherever.
Concentration and meditation on any of the six directions, metals or chakras necessitate the inclusion of the four boundaries on that face of the Cube. These boundaries shed more light on the metals, on both conscious and subconscious levels, than could ever be printed on pages like these. The top face of the Cube, for example, is illustrated by the Magician Tarot Key, the Metal Mercury and the self-conscious mind. Four stages of the Alchemical Process bounding this face are: Fixation, Gemini, East-Above; Dissolution, Aquarius, South-Above; Incineration, Sagittarius, West-Above; and Digestion, Leo, North-Above. All these steps in the Process involve suggestion or direction from the conscious mind or Metal Mercury, with aid from the side Metal in the direction North, South, East or West. These two Metals or Chakras, combined with the ruling and exalted planets of the zodiacal signs attributed to the various steps, are keys to those steps.
The bottom of the Cube, on the other hand, is faced by the High Priestess and the subconscious. Therefore, the alchemical steps bounding her are performed by her, called the Woman's Work. These are: Multiplication, Pisces, South-Below; Separation, Cancer, East-Below; Fermentation, Capricorn, West-Below; and Distillation, Virgo, at North-Below. Another use to which we may apply the wisdom of the Cube reveals means by which the conscious and subconscious minds relate. The vertical edges offer insight. The North-West edge is the station of the Justice Tarot Key. The path of Lamed on the Tree is called the Faithful Intelligence in the Book of Formation. Faith inducts our conscious hopes and dreams to impress the subconscious level which deduces images toward their actualities, but within the laws of Karma. South-West and Death, also called the Imaginative Intelligence, brings on the changes imagined by destroying the existing conditions that lock up energy. South-East, the Hierophant and Intuition, directs our course in life by the Still, Small Voice. Accurate reasoning and vision, allocated to the Emperor at the North-East station, set up subconscious responses toward problem solving. That all twenty-two letters of the alphabet are assigned a point, face or edge of the figure is obvious. But four final forms of the Hebrew letters (Kaph, Peh, Nun, Tzaddi) strike lines connecting each upper corner with an opposite lower corner by passing diagonally through the center point occupied by Tau. Mem final occupies the center point with Tau, forming a two letter word, תם, tome, meaning 'to be finished, to perfect, to cease' as a verb. As a noun and with different vowels points the Hebrew dictionary defines תם, tome, as 'innocence, simplicity'; 'completeness, perfection.' Such is that Center Point within us. The fountain of ideas sourced from the Cube is inexhaustible. It is the Stone containing the making of The Stone. It holds the formation of a Universe and all that IT contains, visible and invisible. From its arcane secrets we may create a universe by returning the King to His Throne.