P, Peh, פ
Letter Peh, פ, transcribed as 'P' or 'Ph,' and sometimes 'F' holding numeration 80, means 'mouth.' The number of the whole letter-name פה is 85, and spelled out in plenitude פה הה, PH HH, equals 95. Peh is one of the 5 letters that takes a final form at the end of a word, ף, and holds numeric value 800. Qabalists assign Peh to the twenty-seventh path on the Tree of Life connecting the seventh sphere, Netzach (seat of Desire), to the eighth sphere, Hod (seat of Intellect). This path, called שכל מורגש, Saykel Morawgash, the 'Exciting Intelligence,' initiates the fiery Mars influence to unite the masculine and feminine halves of the Tree above (within) the depths of Yesod, the Vital Soul seated in the ninth sphere. Dr. W.W. Westcott says of this pat: "...it is so called because through it is consummated and perfected the nature of every existent being under the orb of the sun, in perfection."
The path is the lowermost (or outermost) of the three Reciprocal Paths. The Hebrew for 'Mars', מאדים, madeem, totals 95, and equals the fullest expression or plenitude spelling of Peh. In the Book of Tarot Peh and Mars are identified by the Tower Key, which illustrates a dark, awesome and frightening event where humanity is blasted by a horrible fire bolt from an angry god. Older versions titled this key, Awakening. This is more accurately descriptive of the enlightening event. For when Reality comes, like a flash of lightning from within, we are 'awakened' from the nightmare of our multi-leveled, ignorant and separative perceptions.
Our self-conscious ignorance, the male figure, and our erroneous habit patterns within subconsciousness, the female figure, are thrown from the false ego Tower of Babel. Truth is revealed, and all our preconceived ideas to the contrary fall aside like refuse. The lightning flash is the beginning catapult, hurling us toward union with the Stone. This is clearly demonstrated, to a Qabalistic alchemist at least, in the second verse of the Song of Songs. Self-consciousness cries out: “Let Him kiss me with kisses of His Mouth.” 'His Mouth' in the Hebrew verse is פיהו, peiho. Literally this is “the Mouth of Yeho.” יהו, yeho is the Divine Name in the Book of Formation, the permutation of which seals six directions, forming the Cube of Space (the Second Veil of the Absolute, אין סוף, Ain Soph). Peh (פ) is that Mouth, symbolic of the fiery, martial force that brings enlightenment by rechanneling the reproductive force rooted in the Svadishthana Chakra. The flash is the discovery of the First Matter and the beginning of the Alchemical Process. Song of Songs is the most descriptive book in the Old Testament concerning the Alchemical Process, but it may be approached and understood only by those “kissed with a kiss from His Mouth.” Later in the process this same martial force culminates the Work, and is alluded to in alchemical writings concerning the Bath:
“Cover the mouth of thy vessel securely.” – Turba Philosophrum
“Hence the true sage seals up the mouth of his vessel most carefully.” – The Closed Palace of the King
The advice seems ubiquitous from all genuine alchemical writings. This is not a reference to speech, although keeping a measure of silence is always good counsel when engaged in social intercourse. In veiled English it is a subtle reference to sexual continence for the duration. Squandering our reproductive force weakens our aura, the Glass Vessel. All the sages advise keeping the 'mouth' of the vessel sealed or closed until 'the Iron is attracted to Magnesia.' This is another reference to the marriage of the Red with the White (see IDA and PINGALA). The sealed mouth of the vessel is rechanneled reproductive energy, which creates a Bath of Moist Fire, also described as Humidity in the Vessel. The theme throughout the Song of Songs is one of eroticism. Nothing could be more accurately descriptive of the union of the lower with the higher, the left with the right, or masculine with feminine. We will never experience greater eroticism than that which the Exciting Intelligence bestows by the union of Mercy with Severity. See HERMETIC SEAL.