What Does LVX Mean?

A Brief Excursion into Qabalistic Semiotics.

The answer’s rather involved, so remember – you asked for it!

Step One: Lux = Light

Remember that a Latin “U” is written as a “V”, so the word becomes “Lux”, which means “Light”. Light is the first object created (“Fiat Lux”, the first words spoken by the Lord = “let there be light”); yet paradoxically it does not behave like a physical object, and this points toward the non-“objectiveness” of all other “objects”. Light is also the fastest-moving thing, therefore it defines both the original essence and the ultimate limitations of this universe.

Step Two: The Negative Existence

The nature of G-d according to the Qabalah is described in a trinary structure called “The Negative Existence,” comprised of:

  • Ain,
  • Ain Soph, and
  • Ain Soph Aur.

Loose Translation:

  • Ain = “Light” or “Nothing”
  • Ain Soph = “Limitless Light” or “No Nothing” (i.e., not even the knowledge of “nothing”), and
  • Ain Soph Aur = “Limitless Light in Extension” or “No Nothing Ever/Always”

Thus the formula of creation is threefold, consisting of varying degrees of pure light. The second degree is in essence a denial of the first, and the third denies that, by extending through time. The ancient Qabalists were forced to define divinity this way due to the paradoxes which inevitably arise in human minds when confronted with 4th and higher dimensional thinking — this is what the Sepher Yetzirah (the seminal Qabalistic text) is all about.

Step Three: The Death-Rebirth Cycle

These three letters also are Qabalistically and visually/formally linked to the principle dynamic structure of all Western Mysticism, that of the Death-Rebirth Cycle. According to The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn:

  • L == Isis Mourning (Osiris slain by Set)
  • V == Apophis Triumphant (the Rule of Death)
  • X == Osiris Risen (dead-yet-alive, to rule in the new order)

Many mystics go so far as to say that this cycle is the only dynamic evident in nature, as the direct interactions of all forces are governed by it. Here we see two mutually-opposed forces which interact to create a new, “elevated” state or force. This directly echoes Hegel’s “Thesis-Antithesis-Synthesis” model, as well as Gurdjieff’s “Law of Threes” and Buckminster Fuller’s “60-degree zero-vector matrix,” and similar structures literally permeate Western consciousness, lending further credence to the primacy of this dynamic. Obviously, we are not talking about literal death here, but rather death as a metaphor for all sorts of dynamic and transformative processes.

In Summation

Seen in this sense (and “spoken” in second-person, with a little application of poetic license), the phrase is intended as a sort of a “wish” or a “spell,” cast by the writer upon the reader:

“May you die and be reborn,
In the limitless extending Light of Godhead.”
Methaphorical Meaning For Scientific Materialists:

“May you change, and keep changing unto perfection.”


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