“It is virgin Nature participating actively in the miracles of divine magic which is the subject of the eleventh Arcanum of the Tarot, Force, representing a woman victorious over a lion, holding its jaws open with her hands. The woman does so with the same apparent ease — without effort — with which the Magician of the first Arcanum handles his objects. Moreover, she wears a hat similar to that of the Magician — in the form of a lemniscate. One could say that the two stand equally under the sign of rhythm — the respiration of eternity — the sign ∞ ; and that the two manifest two aspects of a single principle, namely that effort signifies the presence of an obstacle, whilst natural integrity on the one hand, and undivided attention on the other hand, exclude inner conflict — and therefore every obstacle, and therefore all effort. Just as perfect concentration takes place effortlessly, so does true force act without effort. Now, the Magician is the Arcanum of the wholeness of consciousness, or concentration without effort. Force is the Arcanum of the natural integrity of being, or power without effort. Because Force subdues the lion not by force similar to that of the lion, but rather by force of a higher order and on a higher plane. This is the Arcanum of Force” (Meditations on the Tarot, Letter XI, Force 275).
Quoting from Letter I on The Magician:
“The first Arcanum —the principle underlying all the other twenty-one Major Arcana of the Tarot — is that of the rapport of personal effort and of spiritual reality. . . . The first and fundamental principle of esotericism (i.e. of the way of experience of the reality of the spirit) can be rendered by the formula:
“Learn at first concentration without effort; transform work into play; make every yoke that you have accepted easy and every burden that you carry light!
“This counsel, or command, or even warning, however you wish to take it, is most serious; this is attested by its original source, namely the words of the Master Himself: “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew xi, 30)” [7-8].
“…it is a matter of transposing the centre of directing consciousness from the head to the chest —from the cerebral system to the rhythmic system. Concentration without effort is the transposition of the directing centre of the brain to the rhythmic system —from the domain of the mind and imagination to that of morality and the will.”
“The Magician therefore represents the state of concentration without effort, i.e. the state of consciousness where the centre directing the will has “descended” (in reality it is elevated) from the brain to the rhythmic system, where the “oscillations of the mental substance” are reduced to silence and to rest, no longer hindering concentration.
“Concentration without effort — that is to say where there is nothing to suppress and where contemplation becomes as natural as breathing and the beating of the heart —is the state of consciousness (i.e. thought, imagination, feeling and will) of perfect calm, accompanied by the complete relaxation of the nerves and the muscles of the body. It is the profound silence of desires, of preoccupations, of the imagination, of the memory and of discursive thought.
“To begin with there are moments, subsequently minutes, then “quarters of an hour” for which complete silence or “concentration without effort” lasts. With time, the silence or concentration without effort becomes a fundamental element always present in the life of the soul.
“This ‘zone of silence’ being once established, you can draw from it both for rest and for work. Then you will have not only concentration without effort, but also activity without effort” (10,11).
–> The Magician