Arcanum 21 – Shin ש

The twenty-first letter of the Hebrew alphabet is ש (Shin) who’s numeric significance is 300 and its kabalistic significance is 21. There are many ways of representing this letter/sign, some of which were used in the ancient world, here are some examples:

The following information is from 3 books: The Initiatic Path in the Arcana of the Tarot and Kabalah, Esoteric Course of Kabalah, and Manual of Practical Magic, all by Samael Aun Weor. Some of the information is repeated, but is presented here so that there is a single place to find all relevant material.


Arcanum № 21: It can be represented by the Pentagonal Star inverted, which represents Black Magic. Arcanum № 21 is Failure, Foolishness, The Lunatic Of The Tarot. One who works in Self-Realization is exposed to committing insanity. One must work with the 3 Factors for the Revolution of Consciousness:

1: TO DIE.

TRANSMUTATION: Indicates that one must Transmute. The Brain must control Sex, when the brain loses control over sex, when Sex achieves the domination of the Brain, then the Star of 5 Points, Man, goes headfirst into the Abyss. This is the Inverted Pentagram, the symbol of Black Magic. In this Arcanum the danger is indicated with precision by the Crocodile.


HOUR: “TWELFTH HOUR OF APOLLONIUS”: “the towers of fire are disturbed (this is the triumphant entry of the master into the limitless joy of nirvana, or on the other hand the renunciation of the joy of nirvana for the love of humanity and is converted into a Bodhisattva of compassion).


-From Ch.107 of The Initiatic Path in the Arcana of the Tarot and Kabalah by Samael Aun Weor

Description of the Card of the 21st Arcanum: “TRANSMUTATION”

In the upper part we find the Black Moon and the White Moon; the antitheses.

In the middle section, a Magician with the STAFF OF THE PATRIARCHS in one hand and the Ansata or Tao Cross in the other hand; he is found standing upon a crocodile which waits with open jaws to devour him.

THE CROCODILE IS SET, SATAN, THE PSYCHOLOGICAL “I”, the Myself, always lying in wait to devour the one who allows himself to fall.

The Magician valiantly grasps the Tau Cross (the Arcanum A.Z.F.) to defend himself. The Magician is covered with a tiger skin. Indubitably, the Dog and the Tiger are esoterically associated in the same work of the Mystical Death. The Dog is the Sexual Fire, the Erotic Instinct which is found at the very root of our seminal system.

The Tiger is different and this is known by the “Tiger Knights”, those jaguars who fight against the Ego, those true felines of Revolutionary Psychology who have pitted themselves against themselves, against their own psychological defects. Really the Sagacity and the Ferocity of the Tiger are necessary in order to kill the Human Personality and make the Dragon of Wisdom of 7 Serpents (symbols of the Decapitated human being) shine in man.

-From Ch.21 of The Initiatic Path in the Arcana of the Tarot and Kabalah by Samael Aun Weor


Arcanum № 21 has been confused with Arcanum № 22 which is the Crown of Life. ARCANUM № 21 IS THE “LUNATIC OF THE TAROT” or “Transmutation”. The kabalistic sum gives us 2 + 1 = 3. In this Arcanum 21 the Initiate has to fight against the “3” Traitors of Hiram Abiff: the Demon of Desire, the Demon of the Mind and the Demon of Ill-Will.

ONE IS NEVER IN MORE DANGER OF BEING A DEMON THAN WHEN ONE IS CLOSEST TO BEING AN ANGEL. Every Initiate who allows himself to fall is really the Lunatic of the Tarot. When the Alchemist spills the Vessel of Hermes, he in fact becomes the Lunatic of the Tarot, “The Fool ”. It is necessary to eliminate Desire if we want to avoid the danger of falling.

He who wants to annihilate Desire must discover its causes. The causes of Desire are to be found in the Sensations. We live in a world of sensations and we need to understand them. There are five types:


The Five special Types of Sensations are transformed into Desire. We must not condemn the Sensations, we must not justify them, we must profoundly comprehend them. Only by comprehending the Sensations do we kill Desire. Only by annihilating Desire can the Mind be liberated, which is normally found trapped within the bottle of Desire. Liberating the Mind produces the Awakening of the Consciousness.

If we want to put an end to the causes of Desire we need to live in a constant State of Vigilance. It is urgent to live in a State of Alert Perception, Alert Novelty . The “I” is a great book, a book of many volumes. Only by means of the technique of Internal Meditation can we study that Book.

-From Ch.21 of The Initiatic Path in the Arcana of the Tarot and Kabalah by Samael Aun Weor


This Arcanum is the LUNATIC OF THE TAROT or “Transmutation”. It has been confused with Arcanum 22 which is the “CROWN OF LIFE”. Arcanum № 21 can be represented by the inverted pentagonal star which symbolizes Black Magic.

In esoteric schools it is emphatically affirmed that we have a Luminous Astral Body. Yet this is very debatable because the Astral Body must be created in the Ninth Sphere through the transmutations of the H-SI-12.

What the average person possesses is the Body of Desire, which is confused with the Astral Body, this is a grave error, a tremendous mistake, because THE BODY OF DESIRE IS NOT THE ASTRAL BODY. In the Egyptian Mysteries that body is known as APOPI, this is the Demon of Desire. That Demon is frightfully dangerous , and to think that every one has it, that the whole world is evil; in order to cease being so is only possible through the efforts and super-efforts of this path, only in this way will we cease to be Demons.

Mr. Leadbeater describes the Mental Body as a marvelous yellow body with a resplendent Aura; the Mental Body is mentioned by everyone as being sublime; however, when one studies it one discovers that this is not THE AUTHENTIC MENTAL BODY; the authentic Mental Body is created with the transmutations of the H-SI-12, a body which precisely comes from Adam. Thus the Mental Body which people [presently] have is another Demon which in the Egyptian Mysteries is known as the Demon HAI, it is terribly perverse, and, [just] as in the Egyptian Mysteries, it must be put to death and decapitated in the Sphere of Mercury.

Theosophy speaks to us about the Causal Body, but man does not have the Causal Body but rather the Demon of Ill-Will, called NEBT in the Egyptian Mysteries.

The Demon of Desire, the Demon of the Mind, and the Demon of Ill-Will are the Three Furies of which classical mythology speaks; they are the three assassins of Hiram Abiff; the Three Traitors who crucify the Christ: Judas, Pilate and Caiaphas; the Three Traitors that Dante found in the Ninth Circle: Judas, Brutus and Cassius. In order to incarnate the Real Being, the Solar Bodies must be created through the transmutation of the H-SI-12 and we must convert ourselves into True Men, but to reach this state the Ego must be dissolved so as not to become a Hanasmussen with a double center of gravity, like for example Andrameleck. A Hanasmussen is a Master of the Black Lodge and of the White Lodge.

In the Orient some sects call them Marut and some of the Mohammedan sects render cult to them; the Hanasmussen has worked in the Forge of Cyclops, but has not dissolved the Ego; thus they are abortions of the Cosmic Mother.

Arcanum № 21 is Failure, or the Lunatic of the Tarot, Transmutation indicates that one must transmute. In the work of Self-Realization one is exposed to the risk of committing follies, one must work with the Three Factors of the Revolution of Consciousness:

1: TO DIE.

The Dissolution of the Ego is necessary because it is nothing other than a sum of tenebrous entities. We have reached the conclusion that every human being must dissolve the Ego; the seeds must be incinerated, and afterwards one must bathe in the River Lethe in order to put an end to the memories of the past; and after the confirmation in the Light, one is then received by the White Brotherhood, here the documents are signed and one is then taught that one must be careful, from that instant one must draw back the Veil of Isis which pertains to Sex.

IF THE WOMAN IS NOT IN AGREEMENT WITH THE MAITHUNA, then she does not work and the man should do so in silence, and vice-versa; IF THE MAN IS NOT IN AGREEMENT WITH THE WORK IN THE MAITHUNA, then the woman should work in Silence.

The most difficult thing is the destruction of the Lunar Bodies, he who dissolves the Ego has very fertile ground, so the man or woman who is already old must make use of their time in order to dissolve the Ego, awaken Consciousness, and attain Illumination.


One is not alone, but is helped by the Father-Mother, she helps like the Mother who looks out for her son, and He also, but if one violates the oath of Chastity, then one falls and is abandoned by one’s Mother, being submitted to pain and bitterness.

In Arcanum 21 Danger is clearly indicated by the Crocodile. THE FOLLY, THE ERROR IS TO STRAY FROM THE PATH.

-From Ch.43 of The Initiatic Path in the Arcana of the Tarot and Kabalah by Samael Aun Weor

SYNTHESIS of Arcanum 21:

Our single disciples of both sexes can practice transmuting their Sexual Energy with the OLIN Rune.


1. In the standing position, the disciple will inhale and exhale rhythmically several times.

2. In keeping with the inhalation of air, the imagination and will must be united in vibrant harmony so as to make the Sexual Energy rise through the two ganglionic cords of the Spine until it reaches the Brain, Eyebrow Center, Neck and Heart, in successive order.

3. Then the breath will be exhaled, the disciple firmly imagining that the Sexual Energy is secured in the Heart.

4. Upon exhaling the breath the disciple will vocalize the Mantram “THORN” in this way: THOOOORRRRNNNN.

5. With the practice of the OLIN Rune, various movements of the arms should be carried out.

6. The disciple should place the right hand upon the waist.

7. He will extend both hands towards the left, the left hand being higher than the right, stretching the arms and forming a sharp angle with the trunk.

8. Place both hands upon the waist.

In this manner our single disciples of both sexes can transmute their Sexual Energy. The Sexual Energies are also transmuted via the Aesthetic Sense, with the Love of Music, Sculpture, and with long walks, etc. The single person who does not want to have sexual problems must be absolutely pure in thought, word and deed.

-From Ch.43 of The Initiatic Path in the Arcana of the Tarot and Kabalah by Samael Aun Weor

The Twenty First Arcanum: ARCANUM 21

Let us now study Arcanum 21 of the Tarot. The Hieroglyphic of this Arcanum is THE LUNATIC. Examining this Arcanum, we can see the unfortunate poor lunatic, who wanders aimlessly without direction, with a shoulder bag within which he carries all of his absurdities and vices; his clothes are in disarray leaving his creative organs exposed and a cat following him, that bites him incessantly and he does not even try to defend himself.

In this Arcanum we find sensitivity represented, THE FLESH, MATERIAL LIFE. We could also represent this Arcanum with the INVERTED FLAMING STAR. Every Initiate that allows themselves to fall is really THE LUNATIC OF THE TAROT.

When the Alchemist spills the Cup of Hermes, he in fact converts himself into the Lunatic of the Tarot. It is necessary to annihilate desire if we want to avoid the danger of falling. Many Masters who swallowed Soil, even many Resurrected Masters, fell and converted themselves into the Lunatic of Arcanum 21 of the Tarot!

It is enough to remember Zanoni during the French Revolution. He was a Resurrected Master and nonetheless he allowed himself to fall when he fell in love with an Actress from Naples. Zanoni died by the guillotine after having lived with the same physical body for thousands of years.

Whosoever wants to annihilate desire must discover its causes. The causes of desire are found in SENSATIONS. We live in a world of Sensations and we need to Comprehend them, there are five types of Sensations:

Fifth TACTITLE SENSATIONS, related with the sense of touch.

The five special types of sensations transform themselves into Desire. Therefore, the causes of Desire are found within Sensations. We must not condemn Sensations, nor must we justify them. We need to profoundly COMPREHEND them.

A pornographic image strikes the senses and then passes to the mind, and the outcome of this perception is a SEXUAL SENSATION which is soon transformed into Animal Desire. After passing through the sense of hearing and through the cerebral center of sensations, a vulgar morbid type of song is converted into SEXUAL DESIRE.

We see a luxurious car, we sense it and thereafter we desire it.

We taste a delicious cup of alcohol, we perceive its odor with our sense of smell and feel its delicious sensations and thereafter we desire to drink more and more until we become inebriated, therefore smell and taste turn us into gluttons and drunkards.

The sense of touch places itself under the service of all of our desires and then the “I” receives pleasure from amidst the vices and wanders like the LUNATIC OF THE TAROT from life to life with his bag (within which he carries all of his vices and absurdities) on his shoulders.

Whosoever wants to annihilate Desire, must first intellectually Analyze the SENSATIONS and then PROFOUNDLY COMPREHEND THEM, it is impossible to profoundly comprehend the Contextual Concept within a Sensation with the mere Intellect, since the intellect is just a small fraction of the mind.

If we want to PROFOUNDLY COMPREHEND ALL THE SUBSTANTIAL CONTEXT of a certain sensation of any kind we then indispensably need the technique of internal meditation, it is urgent to PROFOUNDLY COMPREHEND in all the levels of the mind. The mind has many subconscious and unconscious levels and depths which are normally unknown to Man.

Many individuals, who have achieved ABSOLUTE CHASTITY here in the physical world, become terrible fornicators in other levels and profundities of the mind when they are submitted to difficult ordeals in the internal worlds.

Great anchorites and Holy hermits discovered with horror that the LUNATIC OF THE TAROT continues living in other more profound levels of their understanding. Really, only by comprehending the sensations in all the wrinkles of the Mind can we annihilate desire and kill the LUNATIC OF THE TAROT who hides among all of the wrinkles of the Mind.

It is necessary that the Student learn how to see and hear without TRANSLATING. When a man perceives the beautiful figure of a woman and commits the error of translating that perception into the language of his sexual desires, then the outcome is SEXUAL DESIRE, this type of desire, even when it is forgotten, continues living internally in other unconscious levels of the Mind. This is how the “I” incessantly fornicates in the internal worlds. Therefore, it is important to learn how to see without translating, to see without judging.

It is indispensable to see, hear, taste, smell and touch with CREATIVE COMPREHENSION, only in this way, are we able to annihilate the causes of Desire. Really, the tree of desire has roots that we must study and PROFOUNDLY COMPREHEND. Upright perception and creative comprehension annihilate the causes of desire, when the mind escapes from the bottle of desire it elevates itself to the superior worlds, then the awakening of the CONSCIOUSNESS arrives.

Normally, the MIND is found bottled up within the bottle of desire; thus, it is indispensable to take the mind out of the bottle if indeed what we want is the awakening of the Consciousness, it is impossible to awaken consciousness without taking the mind out of the bottle.

We constantly hear complaints from many Students who suffer because during the sleep of their physical bodies they unconsciously live within the superior worlds. Many of them have performed many esoteric practices in order to achieve ASTRAL PROJECTION, yet they do not succeed; when we study the life of these whiners, we discover within them the Lunatic of the Tarot, these people are full of desires; only by comprehending the sensations, can we kill desire. Only by annihilating desire do we liberate the mind which is normally found bottled within the bottle of the Desire. By liberating the mind, the awakening of the consciousness is produced.

The LUNATIC OF THE TAROT is the Psychological “I”, the “Myself”, the Reincarnating Ego. If we indeed want to finish with all the causes of Desire, then we need to live in a state of constant vigilance. It is urgent to live in a state of alert perception, alert novelty. The “I” is the great Book, a book of many volumes. Only by means of the technique of Internal Meditation will we be able to study that book.

When we discover and profoundly comprehend a defect in all of the levels of the mind, then this defect is disintegrated; each time a defect is disintegrated, something new occupies its place: a password, a Mantram, Some Cosmic Initiation, an esoteric degree, a secret power, etc. This is how we fill ourselves, little by little, with true Wisdom.


The Kabalistic addition of this Arcanum gives us the following result: 2 plus 1 equals 3 [2 + 1 = 3]. One is the FATHER (KETHER), Two is the SON (CHOKMAH), Three is the HOLY SPIRIT (BINAH). This is the Resplendent Dragon of Wisdom within every Man that comes into the world.

Anyone who achieves the dissolution of the Psychological “I” (the Lunatic of the Tarot) incarnates his Resplendent Dragon of Wisdom. Whosoever incarnates it becomes, in fact, a Spirit of Wisdom.


It is not by isolating ourselves from our fellowmen that we are able to discover our defects. It is only by means of interrelations that we SELF-DISCOVER OURSELVES, in interrelations we can surprise our defects because they flourish in our human personality and spring forth. SELF-DISCOVERY and SELF-REVELATION in social interrelations exists.

When we discover a defect, we must first analyze it intellectually and thereafter comprehend it in all of the inner layers of the mind, by means of the technique of MEDITATION. It is necessary to concentrate on the discovered defect and meditate on it with the intention of profoundly comprehending it. Meditation must be combined with the state of slumber; thus, this is how, by means of profound vision, we become conscious of the defect we are trying to comprehend; once the defect is dissolved, “SOMETHING NEW” arrives; it is necessary to be in a state of alert perception and alert novelty during Internal Meditation. In order to receive that SOMETHING NEW, each defect must be replaced with “SOMETHING NEW”. This is how Man becomes truly wise, this is the path of Wisdom.


As we dissolve the LUNATIC OF ARCANUM 21 OF THE TAROT, Intuition is developed; this is the flower of Intelligence. Intuition and Comprehension replace Reasoning and Desire, the latter two are the attributes of the “I”. Intuition allows us to penetrate into the past, into the present and into the future. Intuition allows us to penetrate into the deeper meaning of all things. INTUITION grants us entrance into the world of the Ineffable Gods; any Intuitive Initiate converts themselves into a True Prophet.


It is urgent for the devotee of the Path of the Razor’s Edge to intensify the development of INTUITION. This faculty resides in the coronary Chakra; this Chakra shines in the Pineal Gland, which is the seat of the soul, the third eye. Modern Scientists believe that they know more than the old Sages from the ancient SCHOOLS OF MYSTERIES and thus, they deny all of these things related with the Pineal Gland and take it only to the purely physiological side (pretending, with this, to slap the faces of the GREAT HIEROPHANTS with a white glove).

The old sages from ancient times never ignored that the Pineal Gland is a small, reddish-gray cone-shaped tissue located in the posterior part of the brain. They knew very well that the hormone that is secreted by this gland is intimately related with the development of the sexual organs and that after maturity, this Gland degenerates into fibrous tissues that no longer secrete such a hormone, and then impotence arrives; there only exists one exception in all of this: that of the gnostics. They preserve the activity of their Pineal Gland and its Sexual function throughout their whole life with Sexual Magic. THE PINEAL GLAND IS THE CENTER OF INTUITIVE POLYVOYANCE.

Intuition manifests in the Heart as premonitions, but in the Pineal Gland those premonitions become Intuitive images. It is urgent that our devotees practice the Powerful Mantram of Intuition. This Mantram is the following: “TRIIIIINNNNN…” prolong the sound of the vowel “I” and of the consonant “N”, giving it a tone similar to a bell.

The Student, submerged in perfect meditation and with their mind blank, shall inundate themselves in a great SILENCE, and then mentally vocalize the Sacred Mantram. One can chant this Mantram as many times as one wishes, after about ten minutes of vocalization the student must cease vocalizing the mantram and continue with the Mind Blank for an indefinite period of time; when the Great Silence inundates us, then the EXPERIENCE OF THE GREAT REALITY comes to us.

-From Ch.21 of Esoteric Course of Kabalah by Samael Aun Weor



1. Those who cannot come out in the Astral body owe it to having lost the faculty and then they have to reconquer this faculty through daily Meditation.

2. Meditation is a scientific system to receive internal information.

3. When the Magician submerges him or herself into meditation, they abandon the physical body and can converse with the sidereal Gods.

4. Meditation covers four phases:

5. ASANA: (Posture of the physical body).

The body should remain in an absolutely comfortable position.

6. DHARANA: (Concentration).

We should separate the mind from all types of earthly thoughts.

“Earthly thoughts should fall dead before the doors of the Temple.”

One has to concentrate the mind only within… on our INTIMUS.

7. DYANA: (Meditation).

The disciple should meditate in those instants on the INTIMUS.


“Remember that thy bodies are the temple of the living God and that the Most High dwells in us.”

The disciple should fall asleep profoundly trying to converse with his INTIMUS.

8. SHAMADI: (Ecstasy).

If the disciple has been able to fall asleep meditating on their INTIMUS, then they enter the state of Shamadi and they can see and hear ineffable things, and converse with the Angels in a familiar manner.

It is in this way that one awakens Conscience from its millenary lethargy.

It is in this manner that we can acquire true Divine Wisdom, without the need of harming the powers of the mind with the battle of reasoning, nor with vain intellectualism.

Meditation is the daily bread of the Wise.

9. With Meditation our Astral Body is transformed, our astral experiences are made clear during the hours of sleep and in this way man reconquers his powers and learns to come out in the Astral Body at will.

10. Then he will be able to use, with success, the clues that we gave in the chapter of GIMEL or The Empress.

11. With Meditation we can function without the four bodies of sin, in the world of the MIST OF FIRE.

12. During the hours of sleep every human being functions in the Astral Body.

Dreams are Astral experiences.

13. Upon awakening, we should force ourselves to remember all our Astral experiences.

14. During sleep every person is outside their physical body.

-Paraphrase from Ch.21 of Manual of Practical Magic by Samael Aun Weor,
available in Magic, Alchemy, and the Great Work