Lisa Nigro
T z a d d i | Maze to the Stars
A Reflection on Walls, Dominance, and Order
     

 

Additional Information

       
 

A Journey... to The Star(s)
STAR being the 28th Path of the Qabalah : Its Key being the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good & Evil.

The journey of the Maze includes the ritual of pausing, contemplating, moving forward, stepping back, re-evaluating our position, being momentarily confused, maybe moving backward then moving forward again with hope, or faith, that there is a way in as well as a way out of the chaos. Through the act of "good" deeds we might think that we will attain something that is greater than ourselves, greater than the ego. So it is at the core of the Maze where we find the Passion, or key, to life itself. Religious beliefs add yet another dimension to the confusion of life, hence the never-ending arguments about the after life, Jesus Christ, and Adam and Eve. Therefore, at the end of our journey we come across the looming Grim Reapers, and the beginning of the end of the Maze we call Life on Earth. Passions run deep and in different rivers, we all want to believe in something. Idealistically, we all want to follow our passions to some greater truth, yes?
Also related to the Tzaddi Path is THE STAR tarot card. On this particular card there are seven primary rays of a star, plus fourteen secondary rays, which add up to 21. This is the number of Eheieh, the God name of Kether, telling us that the relationship of this Path to the Godhead is far more direct than is obvious on the surface. The Key to this card is the two trees: the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good & Evil, with the latter being the tree that Adam and Eve were forbidden of the fruit (though not the former). What is also shown in this Key is the Garden of Eden, a state of beginnings, with the Path of THE STAR being the lower Eden, the Eden of the Personality. The serpent Kundalini (the same which tempts Eve on the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil) is said to be "coiled in Yesod" (The Foundation), although when it is shown on the Tree of Life it touches each and every Path. So, as we encounter the kundalini force and the sexual energies in ourselves, we approach the Greater Mysteries of the Solar Logos, which is the central star of our existence. Every man and every woman is a star. Star = 200 = Power, i.e. the power of the individual doing their true will is the star (fire) within = PASSION.

This Labyrinth, or Maze, can also be seen as a game of sorts where one must sneak past the wrath of the KKK, hurdle through a Ring of Fire, and avoid detection by the Grim Reaper in order to successfully attain access to the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Life / Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. The KKK looms over the southern portion of the maze, and controls the entrance and exit points of the South and East. The Klan represents our fear as Americans with regard to racial disputes, black vs. white ethnicity, and a general difference of ethics between north and south: a divided nation. The bible thumpers reside here, and it is through side-stepping, square dancing, or confronting the "other" that we are able to search for truth in religious beliefs, disbeliefs, and/or spiritual practices.

The Grim Reaper presides over the northern portion of the maze and the entrances and exits to the North and West. The Reaper is the Gatekeeper to the "other side" and represents all that is unknown to us mortals. We fear him, yet we know that at any unexpected (or expected) moment he will tap us on the shoulder and call us into the abyss which leads one to the “after life,” whatever that may be — A predetermined fate? Or, merely a return to dust, dirt, and ashes? The certainty and uncertainty this character reveals must be overcome to exit the haze of life, as well as the maze itself.

At the Center Circle of the Maze, where the Tree of Life/Tree of Knowledge of Good & Evil stands, reward for finding ones way through part of the maze is found here. Now the participator in this game can take a moment to relax and celebrate in the letting go of fears while embracing hope as they partake in the symbolical eating of the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. Red ribbons and black sharpies will be available for the audience to write their hopes, fears, wishes, and/or passions on and tie to the tree (much like the yellow ribbons that are symbolically tied to trees in America during war times).

From Overhead, the WHITE of the KKK robes and BLACK of the Reaper's form the symbol of yin and yang. A dichotomy is created with the white of the KKK actually invoking fear, when generally we think of white as light, and good. And, while the black of the Reaper also invokes fear, ironically, it is through death that we may obtain a release from the material plain and possibly move on to the light, to something good, or better, toward nirvana. The separation between north and south by color is symbolic of wars so often waged between North and South, not only in America, but within nations such as Vietnam, Ireland, and Sri Lanka for example.

Along "The Way," and in the South-Western Sphere there is a Ring of Fire. It will either be propane powered through copper pipe, or formed with small vessels arranged in a circle and filled with flaming methanol. Here, the masculine and feminine principles are united by a ring and by fire. Having to avoid or hurdle the ring is part of the fun of the maze, and also symbolic of being tested or challenged by life's problems. This is also Lucifer's playground (and also thought to be the homeland of President George W. Bush and his croonies).

In the North-East Sphere, male and female Mummies, black and white respectively, lying on the ground or on a sacrificial table. The mummies will be sculpted with dirt and clay, then wrapped in gauze and painted. [I also thought of placing a Hanged Man here instead because of its relevance to the Path of THE STAR. Another option is to create something using water, the feminine principle, so as to counter-balance the masculine of the Ring of Fire].


We then see that the STAR relates to a great many more Paths than most other Keys in the Qabalah and, as such, is of special importance. We also understand that this Tree, related to the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the condition of "heavenly bliss" symbolizes the dualities of good and evil, pain and pleasure, hopes and fears, and the harmony and disunities of the human condition. THE STAR is a merging of many lights and also implies a shining forth from a central exalted point (center of the Maze) which has been related to Lucifer. That angel who is seen not as an underworld figure, but also as the Light-Bearer, and the "Morning and Evening Star," usually considered the planet Venus. And so a multiplicity of dualities in meaning exist and are transformed throughout the Maze. It is a grand reflection and expression of the good and evil doings of mankind which are so hopelessly entangled within the passions of the human race.
The elements set forth, the dark and the light, the yin and the yang, speak of human divisions and boundaries which trigger opposing forces to clash (as in a Dicatorship of the Majority) where the people's hopes and fears are manipulated, propagated, and finally challenged.

    Tohono O'odham labyrinth of the Native American Indian
which features I'itoi, the "Man in the Maze."
 
     
 
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