Monday, February 14, 2011

Atu XI - Lust


The authenticity of the true self, shown in all its glory, being an uninhibited expressor of life, no censorship of self, taming the ego, holding the reins in the receptive hand, holding the grail in the expressive hand, transmitting divine essence outward, loving life in all its aspects (especially love of Self), celebrating authenticity, embracing passion for all things (beings) Divine Feminine in her unbridled beauty.

from the original website:

 XI - Lust.
"Ecstasy, Lust, Passion, Desire, Longing, Drive, Physical Prowess, Athletics, Personal Magnetism and Radiance, Charisma, Dynamic Leadership"

"It's with the feeling in our hearts of lust that drives us to that which we desire to obtain. You have conquered many things in life of material wanting, whether it be love or money or egotisical ambition. However your cup is never full you want more! You draw more with your lust"
ian pennington

"Babalon is seen pulling at the tenuous membrane of the interface of I and O, drawing forth the ardour of I. This card lies in the centre of the abyss, at the tightest turn of the spiral forces where I and O meet. This is the clarion call of desire, where massive strength (the beast) are coupled with the receptive power of the queen of stars. Between them - the sweetest thing: The great work."

"In response to geoffrybrooks(see below) Id say your a genius except that you quoted almost verbatim from Robert Anton Wilsons book "Prometheus Rising". A great book by a great writer."

"A very old desire to acomplish some very deep feelings. Consequence of that, the persecution of a sort of anguish that try to find in itself a kind and reasonable justice."
EM Horsten

"This card to me requires The Strength to tame The Lust. So when I see it I think of Inner Strength, as well as, outer. Faith in your own abilities. When we see a huge, muscular boxer fighting with a petite karate expert, many times we will see the karate expert win the fight. True strength in mind and emotion.
This card also implies patience at times. Hang in there, you've got the Strength and desire to prevail!"
Lisa Lovejoy

"A lust and passion for life. To take all that is 'out there' and experience it to the fullest. Enveloping and intoxicating."

"In the Finnish translation of this card the name is INTOHIMO, which actually means PASSION. There is a difference between these two words. Even the picture tells more than the name of the card, for many years I was always thinking about 'passion', when I held this card in my hand. I don't know if my friends are upset about this false interpretation, maybe they would have preferred 'lust' in their lives !! ;-)"
Alli Mäntymäki

"This card to me has the meaning that one can or must aproach a thing with out guard or reproach, naked of all but self with open mind and heart and with the knowledge of our gods and with that and by that we can obtain that which we desire.
It's with the feeling in our hearts as lust is that drives us to that which we desire to obtain."
Vilas Finvarra

"The nude, laid back atop of the beast, represents the rapture inherent in the name of the trump. This is not a submissive image, for we must remember that the original name of the trump was 'Strength.'
The four main heads of the beast represent the four neurological circuits of Leary, which are in turn derived from the 'centres' of Freud and Jung:
1.) Oral Bio survival security.
2.) Anal emotional territorial conflict.
3.) Semantic ability and coding.
4.) Social and sexual imprints.
I believe it likely that the trump is indicative of the result of the transendence of the four above circuits, into neuro-somatic splendour.
The tail of the beast, coursing along the back of the nude, most likely represents the 'Kundalini' power normally associated with the spine."
Gary Brooks

'In response to Diane's interpretation of this trump card, I agree that it is a valued symbol that the woman is in control.... but we are dealing with wild beast here, and feel that another aspect of this would be that the control is only temporary, after all if it is only lust will the relationship hold out? I see this card in many readings where the inquierer is unsure of his/her outcome with a particular person... And how many romances last forever? The fire dies the beast goes free.'

"ATU XI is the bridge between Chesed and Geburah on the Tree of Life. This is the second of the three horisontal paths on the Tree of Life. Where ATU III, The Empress, may be regarded as the creative sexuality, placed above the Abyss between Chokmah and Binah, and ATU XVI, The Tower, placed below Paroketh between Netzach and Hod may be regarded as the failure in choosing between the Dove and the Serpent (see Liber AL I.57), ATU XI, Lust, represents a stage between the two of them. The ecstacy is no longer spiritual only, but karnal as well. The love of Chesed mingles with the strength of Geburah.

The card shows Babalon who, euphoricly drunk, rides naked on the Beast 666. The Beast has seven heads: that of an Angel, a Saint, a Poet, a voluptous Woman, a brave Man and a Satyr. The seventh head is the tail and is that of a Lion-Serpent. It represents man's desire fulfilled through courage (the lion) and wisdom (the serpent).

In Christianity the concept of Babalon is distorted in the image of Babylon of the Apocalypse of St. John. She's drunk on the blood of the saints, as told in that book (verse 17.6), meaning that each and every traveler from below and up above the Abyss, must sacrifice each single drop of blood in her cup. Blood being life, the meaning is clear: The individual life is left behind in order to participate in the universal ditto. She's a whore because she refuse no man willing to pay the prize of eternal life. Her Grail is a womb and in that womb each "Babe of the Abyss" is begotten. A new Master of the Temple is born and a new world order follows according to his coming.

Above the Grail is shown ten horns. They destroy the universal order. Ten shining circles are seen, but they are not yet arranged. It is the birth of the new world. It is the coming of a new time where the old times must be destroyed. This is the key of evolution. Likewise the Beast tramples on the Saints below his feet, supporting this symbolism. Old values are destroyed to make way for new ones.

The interpretation of the card is one of strength through joy, one of magical powers applied and one of fulfilling desires, karnal and spiritual. There's something rough in this card for it symbolises not only the fulfilment of desires in the "ever so pleasing way", but break limits and old values down - like suddenly discovering that what you thought were not in your taste, suddenly is the sweetest fruit of them all. There's something "theatrical" and excessive in it (no wonder it's attributed to Leo!), yet something absolutely positive. Every act becomes a sacrament. Everything is suddenly allowed. Guild vanish before the "cruel" image of the Beast who once seemed so horrible, but who's now the cutest little pussy cat you've ever met. In questions of love this card often symbolises the karnal fulfilment of the desire. In practical questions the card often symbolises a turn to the better. Be strong, then canst thou bear more joy ..."
Bjarne Salling Pedersen

"I've found a series of coincidental curiousities surrounding the symbolism of this card for me (this IS my card) Many years ago when first viewing the Crowley tarot, I was drawn to this card immediately upon sight. Learning more, this card is governed by Leo in astrology (I am a Leo), it is numbered 11, ( or "11:11," which appears mysteriously at any non-significant moment so often that I am bound to consider it a "meaningful coincidence," what meaning therein I have not a clue!) -- and more, etc. etc. Anyway......

The vision presented by the picture seems to me to portray a sensation of the state of "ALIVE!" It seems suitable that this card, also having been called, "Strength," would picture a woman in its visual conveyance -- however I am not surprised that this is so, in Crowley's tarot. This sensation, or it's meaning, is almost "uncontainable" for me to put into words.... (in other words....)

Just Look At Her! She Rides!

She is Riding! - not walking! not standing! not sitting! not watching! not worrying! not contemplating! not deliberating! not preparing! not anticipating!

She Rides! She holds the reins, she has control. Whatever the heck anybody says it is that she is holding in her other hand, she is holding it aloft with ease, with as much ease as she appears to have firm hold on those reins. She is strong. (...and enjoys it!)

Each she is holding in one hand alone, with each arm alone, with no indication of strain. Look at her arms!

The picture is drawn to show that she has a firm hold. (it doesn't take her two hands to have a good hold of either!) Look at her legs! Her entire body!

She is riding this wild, fantastic beast gracefully and relaxed, she throws her head back, in regalement of, "the Joy of Strength Exercised," as Crowley describes. (a breathtaking, heart pounding sensation!) She is laughing heartily in pure enjoyment herself! (but some might not see that)

I am far from being any expert on Crowley. However, consider the Victorian attitudes prevailing in his time, and long before... Then consider that here, we are shown "Strength" pictured by Woman. Also consider even the naming of this Card itself! The term, "Lust," in concept or condition carried such an unvirtuous and adverse connotation, "Lust" inferring the awfully sinful --- entirely in contrast to "generally acceptable behaviour"..... which was of paramount importance to "polite society" in Victorian times. This meaning has become typical to the term, persisting so in any era, religion, country or culture referred to as "tradional," perhaps, or "male dominated," or " Western," or "Christian," or similar. In these, woman are particularly inhibited or prohibited in the sense of what is portrayed by this card. (it can be difficult to go ahead and do what we really want to, or live the way we really want to, if we are concerned about what others may think or if others may disapprove...)

(She is such a Bad Girl!) (Tee hee!)

To get to a point, in a reading, this card might mean, "go for it!"

Remember, "the Joy of Strength exercised...."

One can't just sit there and have strength. Imagine just sitting and... "having strength." This creates a silly picture, in my mind.

"Strength" does not exist in the mere possession of the quality.

"Strength" is in the action. In and through the action is where we find "Strength."

STRENGTH IS ACTIVE. Strength inactive, is called "Rest."

Be ALIVE! Be Joyous! ENJOY YOUR LIFE without regret or apology! Don't let "second thoughts" beset you.


"Ride on!" right into whatever! Wherever! ....and Have the Strength."

"A Lion is caged in the heart of the virgin
Beastly Divine! Visions Sublime!
The Lust for Life can you find?!"
Jera (

"Card number 11. 11 is the number of true magick and the truly divine. It is 1 more than perfect (10). Think not in terms of the beast of revelations as the agent of the AntiChrist in the book of revelations. Consider the title, the book of REVELATIONS. It was a log of St. Johns revelations. The beast refered to is the bringer of the revelations. The beast of revelation, it brings revelation to you. It is the intuitive faculty one develops at higher levels upon the tree of life."

"Fallen, Fallen is Babylon the Great, who has ridden the beast of the apocalypse and carried the foul juices of her mating in a cup. Mother of Harlots and Abominations, creator of all that is truly fine and truly foul in the world. Unashamed, brazen in her power. The sacred whore who has been lost in our present world, but is starting to come back."
Babylon )

"Lust for life. Strength to overcome. Learning to indulge and enjoy. Fun. Trusting your strength to tame the beast (within)."
Alison (

"A lustre. The radiant glow of healthy living."

"The whore of Babalon astride the Beast of the apocolypse holding aloft a cup holding the blood of the saints whose withering faces can be seen in the background. Lust represents the breaking of all taboos, the rising above all rules to true enlightenment. The naked force of life unashamed. Freud called would know this card as the "Id" and mistakenly believe that it must be contained at all cost. Lust represents the boldness and gall that are required for life itself to exist. The older name for this card was "strength" and refers to the unfearing will needed to face the status-quo and force ones own brand of order upon it."

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