One of the most important differences between the Rider Waite Smith and Thoth system is the major arcana assigned to the number 20. In RWS and older systems, this card is called Judgement. It signals the end of a cycle, a period after all choices and actions have been made. Like the bells at the end of an exam, it tells us that it’s time to put our pens down and hand in our papers. From here on, we wait for the judges to determine how well we did and what we deserve as a result.
Aeon, on the other hand, heralds a new age. Crowley believes that humanity is entering a new era.
I think many people innately feel this shift in humanity. Astrologers call this the transition to the Age of Aquarius and many believe that this will be an time of humanity and progress. Looking at the world around us right now, however, this glorious destiny seems like a far fetched dream.
It seems like the modern world is plagued with violence, anger and frustration. All the social issues humanity has endured is coming to a boiling point at the same time. The race, gender (including sexual orientation and gender identity) environmental and economic struggles has escalated to a point where it’s almost impossible for people on different ends of the political spectrum to have healthy conversations.
Are we really on the verge of a breakthrough towards a better world in which humanity and respect for the earth will replace the conquest and conquer mentality? Or is this a cultural collapse that will leave us broken and even more divided?
Meditating upon The Aeon card, I am reminded that I have a say in which conclusion we end up with. Every time I close my mind and heart to another’s opinion without truly hearing what they have to say, every time I resort to anger and judgement, I am adding to the paving on the road that leads towards destruction.
To undo these negative mental and emotional habits, one of the most important things to recognize is that there is ignorance, self-superiority and bigotry on both sides of the political spectrum. Likewise, compassion and kindness is also beyond race, gender, and belief systems. We can’t claim righteousness and open-mindedness while systematically labelling a certain set of people as dumb and evil simply because they don’t agree with us. We need to stop being so easily offended by opinions that don’t accord with our own.
If we all listen just a little more and broadcast a little less, perhaps we can reach the Aeon that Crowley foresaw.