No. 900 Western Mystery Tradition Terms & References

The following assortment of links and illustrations are provided for study and research purposes. We consolidate this information in the No. 900 series pages for ease of reference. If you would like to introduce AF to a resource not listed, please write to us at

Asrological Terms Dictionary. The dictionary of astrological terms selected for this page of references is published by Chris Brennan. Chris Brennan is a well known Hellenistic Astrologer by training and practice. His CV of publications, research and podcast commentaries are extensive.

Etymology Resource. When appreciating the adaptations of ancient ideas as they present themselves in modern parlance is a practical reason to consider the history and origin of words, emphasis English words. Etymology is the study of the origin of words. It may not be obvious, for example, the words theater and thaumaturge are connected. Thaumaturge? From the Greek, it refers to persons capable of performing miracles. While the Greek term has ancient roots, thaumaturge does not enter the English speaking community prior to 1715 CE. In astrological terms we associate Neptune with the theater. It is interesting to ponder what it suggests to associate Neptune with the performance of miracles—the suspension of disbelief we connect with theater comes to mind. There are many sources for etymological inquiry. The link provided is a good open source place to begin; the adventure with words can become an important part of one’s self-development practice–and English is only one “voice in the chorus”—lest we forget.

Tarot terms and Cube of Space concepts. Rarely found in one location—interpretations of Paul Foster Case’s Tarot and the Cube of Space. This link features the research and insights of the Rt. Rev. Margot Whitney who draws heavily upon the work of Paul Foster Case and the Builders of the Adytum (which he founded). Her discussions of Major Keys and Tarot rudiments and a six part Cube of Space presentation have been selected for their orderliness and clarity of presentation. [Full disclosure: The AF received its early Tarot training in the 1970s thanks to the capable guidance of David Lober, also a Paul Foster Case devotee.]

Esoteric Christianity “Meditations on the Tarot”. This book on the Tarot was published anonymously and posthumously (the anonymous author lived between 1900 – 1973). In the opinion of the editors at AF—“Meditations on the Tarot” is highly recommended for serious students whose interests include Tarot, Esoteric Christianity and/or occult history in the West. “Meditations on the Tarot” is a masterwork.

Additional Tarot reflections acknowledging the work of Paul Foster Case may be found at The web site and related 22 Teachings YouTube videos are a resource to be included in a student’s network of thoughtful references on the Tarot and related hermetic practices.

The Jewish Virtual Library (formerly known as JSOURCE) is tremendous one-stop resource for Jewish history, politics and culture. While it does not define itself around Western Mystery Tradition topics or Jewish esotericism per se, subjects strongly influenced or defined by Judaism—examples, the Kabbalah, Alchemy and Gematria, to name only three, are very thoughtfully presented. The articles are scholarly with very complete source attributions. Highly recommended.

“The non-visible Universe is 250x larger than the visible Universe”. What if waking awareness and non-waking awareness are similarly proportioned? Non-waking awareness is the home of dreams, revealed knowledge, the archetype, the noumenal and unsummoned meaning, e.g., Love. Considered this way, while no less a mystery than non-waking awareness, waking awareness contrast non-waking awareness may be a lesser “wisdom”. How big is the Universe? The graphics and narrative of this YouTube video, produced by Wisdom for Life in 2020, are particularly well done.

House Themes. This chart illustrates, superficially, the thematic points of departure of the houses.

The Zodiac symbols follow. Practice by drawing the symbols.

The Planets and Luminaries (Sun and Moon).

Rulers: House Sign and Planet. This chart illustrates the classic Zodiacal rulers of each of the 12 houses; the inner circle represents the planet or luminary ruler of each sign. Example: First House: Aries: Mars; Fourth House: Cancer: Moon. Ninth House: Sagittarius: Jupiter.

This chart below illustrates the “Diurnal Cycle”—how day and night are presented as symbolic real estate within the horoscope. Note “East”, the morning Ascendant, is “left”. “North” is in the midnight position; And “South” is Noon as Midheaven. The day ends, “West” as the Descendant. The daily transit of planets is clockwise. Note: East, South, West and North orientations of the horoscope, at a waking level, are culturally counter-intuitive for Northern Hemisphere residents.

This illustration reminds us the Ascendant, or “East” is on the Left horizon. The Sun transits clockwise during each day.

The next illustration charts the Elements associated with each sign. Note the first four symbols at the top of the chart—these are alchemical symbols for Fire, Earth, Air and Water. The Decanates, as a concept, derive from the Elements.

The Gematria is an important feature of Kabbalah and Numerology, facilitating as it does, Biblical and Esoteric work. Following is a list of Hebrew Letters, their names and corresponding numerical identities.

Pythagoras. Understanding the work and tradition of Pythagoras is foundational to wisdom studies. The Tetractys is an important contribution given its focus on the number ten and the role of the triangle as Nature’s simplest form.

Tetragrammaton. Sacred names are part of the Western Mystery Tradition. Perhaps none more significant than the aboriginal Tetragrammaton. Note: Hebrew is read, left-to-right.

Pinteresque Named for the playwright, Harold Pinter, the term refers to a foreboding sense of concern or menace created by pausing the action.

Draconic Astrology This method of delineating the horoscope associates zero degrees Aries with the Moon’s North Node. The origins of this method are considered to be very old. It is a descriptive method of personal development emphasizing the soul’s trajectory. It has been suggested Edgar Cayce’s readings for subjects drew upon their Draconic charts (source: White Eagle School of Astrology). By reference, the Moon’s true North Node is recommended (contrast the mean North Node) as the predicate of the Draconic chart.

Original Light. Genesis 1:3-5  (King James Version)  “And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.”

Created Light. Genesis 1:14-16 & 19 (King James Version)  “14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. 16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars….19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.”

Unconsciousness. Non-waking awareness.

Sub-consciousness. Non-waking awareness.

Conscious. Waking awareness.

Spiritual Events. Birth. Death.

Apocatastasis. the doctrine of the final restoration of all sinful beings to God and to the state of blessedness. Source: