The Supernal Triangle and the Fool

The Supernal Triangle is made up of Kether, Chokmah and Binah, from which the Tzimtzum, or Light in Extension projects.

Significantly, this symbol is used in Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot in ways that reflect the Golden Dawn Teachings.

The Fool has two Triangles, the apex of the first beyond the head of the figure, while the other behind the body of the figure, the baseline at the centre ; while the Fortune has  it at the centre of the Wheel; in the Princess of Disks, we see it in the area from behind the Princesses’ head to her elbows. As the first and last cards, it is easy to understand why the Fool and Princess of Disks have this symbol when we consider the Concourse of Forces around the North Pole, around which the Aces and Princesses reside, but why is it prominent in Fortune, when it associated with Kaph? I believe the answer is a symbolic representation of the Earth at the Pole Star, and the whirling forces is the Spiral force of Creation. At the top is a flattened disk that is reminiscent of the diagram showing the Serpent path around the zodiac in the Concourse of the Forces.

The Chariot

Recently, I discovered “Abracadabra” worked into the blue canopy above the Thoth Chariot. The letters are not easy to see as they are part of the ’embroidery’. Crowley mentions ABRAHADABRA in the text, and in the correspondence between Frieda Harris and Crowley, she refers to the Chariot the Abracadabra. Crowley changed the traditional word to create the gematric value of 418, which is hugely significant in Crowley’s system, particularly Liber 418, The Vision and the Voice, a record of his explorations of the Enochian Aethyrs. HAD at the centre is the Egyptian god Set.

Why do I mention The Chariot here? Jupiter is exalted in Cancer, and Crowley emphasises the influence of Jupiter. Further, Crowley mentions June 24th, John the Baptists’ Day, hugely significant for Freemasons and Templars.

The Spiral

The Mystical Circumambulation around the Altar at the centre of the Temple. A concentric circle of three and a half turns, reflected in the Fool by the spiral around the man. “The centre turns not”. It is noteworthy that in the Princess of Disks, not only do we have the Yin-Yang symbol held by her, but the curvaceous nature of her robe echoes the swirling forces in Fortune.

The ‘Spiral of Creation’ mentioned by Crowley in the Fool and the Devil, Zero and AYN (Nothing) respectively, is an important aspect of the Golden Dawn.

An understanding of the Triangle is critical:

The Triangle is the only lineal figure into which all the surfaces can be reduced, for every Polygon can be divided into triangles by drawing lines from its angles to its centre; and the triangle is the first and simplest of all lineal figures. It refers to the Triad operating in all things, to the Three Supernal Sephiroth and to Binah, the Third Sephirah in particular.

Golden Dawn Book, Llewellyn

Aleister Crowley may have left the Golden Dawn decades earlier, but some things are never forgotten:

0. The Fool

This card is attributed to the letter Aleph, which means an Ox, but by its shape the Hebrew letter (so it is said) represents a ploughshare; thus the significance is primarily phallic. It is the first of the the three Mother letters, Aleph, Mem, and Shin, which correspond in various interwoven fashions with all the triads that occur in these cards, notably Fire, Water, Air; Father, Mother, Son; Sulphur, Salt, Mercury; Rajas, Sattvas and Tamas.

Crowley goes into more detail on the Three Gunas.

The nature of these qualities requires careful description. In the Hindu system are the three Gunas – Sattvas, Rajas and Tamas.

Later, Crowley describes the nature of change.

One of the most important aphorisms of Hindu philosophy is: “the Gunas revolve”. This means that according to the doctrine of continual change, nothing can remain in any phase where one of these Gunas is predominant; however dense and dull that thing may be, a time will come when it begins to stir.

…the Universe in its aspect as a continual change of state.

Now, we might understand the Universe to mean the Cosmos, except that when we read Crowley’s commentary on the Universe, there are significant overlaps that include the Fool and Fortune.

XI. The Universe

The Sign of the Cross, that is of extension; and this extension is symbolised is symbolized as four-fold because of the convenience of constructing the revolving symbol of Tetragrammaton.

The revolving Tetragrammaton is the ten spoked wheel on the Fortune card, but a more significant link to Fortune in the Kerubim:

The Universe

In the four corners of the card are the four Kerubim showing the established Universe; and about her is an ellipse composed of seventy-two circles for the quinaries of the Zodiac, the Shemhamphorasch.

Thus, Crowley subtly interweaves the Trinity with the Quadruplicity, astrology and the Polar forces. The female figure in the Universe is the Daughter, seen in her various manifestations in the Princesses, particularly the Princess of Disks. In the Concourse of the Forces, around the North Pole are the Aces and the Princesses, and in the Thoth depiction of the Princess of Disks is the Diamond Sceptre (symbol of Kether) pointing below her feet.


Although the astrological attribution of Fortune, Kaf, is Jupiter, it is clear that the planet figures little in the understanding, which throws light on the importance Crowley held for Kaf, or K, since he considered magic as  ‘change’, and famously changed the word to ‘magick’. As the eleventh letter, Kaf is exactly half-way through the alphabet, and eleven is the false sephirah Daath, which is the argument that is generally used for this letter regarding Magick.

Black and Red Triangles

Golden Dawn Banner of the EastThe upward pointing red triangle is Fire, but according to the Golden Dawn, the Black Triangle is Saturn or the Sephirah Binah on the Tree of Life. Saturn, of course, is Tau, and therefore the Universe, which relates it to Mother and Daughter, and black is the colour of Binah. In Golden Dawn rituals there are two Temple weapons of interest.

Golden Dawn Banner of the WestThe Banner of the East has the letter Tau at the centre of the Cross. Tau relates to the World or Universe, discussed above. Superimposed on the Cross is the Hexagram or Star of David.

The Banner of the West has the Supernal Triangle on a black background with the Cross at the centre. The Banner of the West keeps out undesirable forces during a ritual.

triancrossThere is one other interesting symbol that combines the Triangle with the Cross; this appears in the Concourse of the Forces and is the supreme symbol of The Golden Dawn.

Article Name
The Fool and the Supernal Triangle on the Tree of Life
In the Golden Dawn system, a simple white triangle represents the Supernal Triangle, made up of Kether, Chokmah and Binah, Tzimtzum, or Light in Extension

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