LINKS and footnotes page for Toccata in F: Bach, Chakras, Tarot

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Other sites by E. Alan (Eric) Meece

Home and index with more links and contact info
The Tarot Journey by E. Alan Meece
Tarot and The Prisoner
Neo-Platonism and Alchemy
Summer Solstice Essay
Philosophy on a Circle, by E. Alan Meece
Philosophy Questionnaire
Reflections on Reality and its Reflection, my Masters Degree paper ; the foundation of this and other pages I have written
Philosophy and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
Climbing the Tree of Life
Driving Your Divine Chariot
Horoscope for the New Millennium
Horoscope for the New Age
Read the basics of astrology here
The enneagram IS astrology
Sacred Numbers
Mother Earth and Rebirth
Reinterpreting Spiritual Philosophy
My lists of favorite music, including organ music, classical, rock, and new age; with some You Tube links
Organ works by Eric Meece
Hear my Fantasy in E Minor on You Tube
My You Tube channel, with all my videos
Louis Vierne, the Man and his Music
My interpretation of Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven

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Related and referenced sites

chakras, etc.
Kundalini by Swami Sivananda
Tantra-Kundalini
Excellent you-tube intro showing links to many other approaches although vocal quality of speaker not perfect
Tantra and Kundalini, by Humanity Healing
Philosophy and Metaphysics of Kundalini, the divine / cosmic energy that lies within every human being
Balancing Ida and Pingala, by James Bailey from Yoga Journal
The Chakras, by All Good Things
Chakra, by New World Encyclopedia
Chakras on you tube, from stickyweb; first chakra
Meditating on the Chakras on youtube
Anodea Judith and the Wheels of Life
The Illuminated Chakras, Anodea Judith's chakra video
Kundalini and Tantric Yoga
Chakras and chakra test from eclectic energies
Chakra lectures, dances, meditations & excellent music with Jaisiya on you tube: chakra 1, chakra 2, chakra 3, chakra 4, chakra 5, chakra 6, chakra 7
Rick Richards on the chakras, and here is a full list of articles
short kundalini video on You Tube to Orff's Carmina Burana
The Chakras videos by Kristopher Stone
Understanding the Chakras on you tube
Safe and permanent kundalini awakening - the five necessities, by Tao Semko
Ellie Crystal's illustrated intro to chakras and related subjects
Tantric terms glossary
The Chakras - Understanding & Balancing the Major 16 Chakras, By Mesheril Christallene
the seven Chakras: The Landscape of Subtle Energies by Yogendra Nath Yogi
Greek and western medicine and chakras based in turn on this article
What is Justin Bieber doing @ 1:58-2:00 in the 2nd-most viewed video of all time? Ooh!

tarot, etc.
Robert M. Place, author of The Tarot: History, Symbolism, and Divination, and Tarot deck creator
Builders of the Adytum
Tarot, by Wikipedia
American Tarot Association, with card meanings by James Rioux
Aeclectic Tarot, with info on over 1000 decks
The Tarot Journey set to Bach's Toccata in F
The Fool's Journey on You Tube with music by Stewart Copeland
The Fool's Journey by Joan Bunning
Tarot Teachings by Avia Venefica
TarotVision journey along the path of the Major Arcana
Biddy Tarot card meanings
Tarot Card Meanings, based on "It's All in the Cards" by Kim Farnell
Paul Hughes-Barlow on tarot meanings. etc.

Today many card readers use "new age" or other recent variations on the original Tarot of Marseilles and Waite-Smith designs, with symbols known today instead of Renaissance era imagery. There are sites online which show most of the world's tarot decks.

kabbalah, etc.
Introduction to Kabbalah on You Tube
Secrets of Kabbala on You Tube
Kabbala by New World Encyclopedia
The Tree of Life and how it works (you tube)
Tree of Life, by One Spirit Ministries
Simple diagram of the Tree of Life and its divisions on You Tube
BOTA's Tree of Life
Halexandria Foundation Tree of Life article, by Daniel Sewell DocPtah Ward
artistic Qabbalah Tree of Life picture
Hermetic Qabalah by Wikipedia
Kaballah by Jerry Welch
Emanation and Ascent in Hermetic Kabbalah by Colin Low (a somewhat scientific orientation)
Tree of Life and the chakras, by occult-advances.org
Article in pdf illustrating the Tree of Life with the planets indicated
Ezekiel's vision on you tube; inspiration for the kabbalah tradition
Ezekiel chapter 1
Ezekiel chapter 1
John's vision in Revelation 4

alchemy, etc.
The alchemy website on levity.com
A lengthy article of the philosophical and psychological foundation of alchemy by Dirk Gillabel
Alchemy Rediscovered and Restored, by Archibald Cockren
agir3's you tube channel has all 50 of Atalanta Fugiens by Michael Maier, with illustrations from his alchemical book of that name (scroll down quite a ways), and here is fugue 46 based on Zeus letting two eagles fly (other fugues listed at right)
Atalanta Fugiens by Michael Maier with a link to this site with the text and pictures
The Flying Atalanta, from alchemistra
You can get Lute Music for Witches and Alchemists here; it contains one of the fugues called Atalanta Fugiens by Michael Maier
Alchemy - Sacred Secrets Revealed (Official Trailer)
Alchemy - Sacred Secrets Revealed on you tube
Solve Et Coagula - The Great Work of Alchemy on you tube
good discussion of alchemy
Hermeticism by New World Encyclopedia
Hermeticism & Alchemy by Terence McKenna, 4-hour talk on youtube
Plato, Alchemy and Jung
Periodic Table of the Elements
Platonic solids and Classical elements from Wikipedia; see also the links to each element.
Holographic Archetypes: the Dodecahedral Universe by Iona Miller
The Ancient Elements of Nature by Mountain Man
Greek Medicine Wheel
Alchemy, the Science of Enlightenment by Arion Love "The name Solomon is a conjunction of Sol or Sun and Mon or Moon, which is the alchemical marriage of opposites."
Extensive information on the four humors on you tube (part 1 of 3)
Hermetic art including the Triumphal Chariot of Antinomy

astrology and the spiritual journey, etc.
The Universal Astrological Mandala, by Charm Virgo
Corinne Helene on the Sun/Christ's journey through zodiac, equinox and solstices, with some Pachelbel
Vic DiCaras on the planets as the centers of our being, on you tube
Esoteric Astrology: The Journey of the Soul, By Candy Hillenbrand
The Zodiac by Spirit Walk Ministry
Music of the Spheres, by Leila Johnston
Gilded Serpent: Bellydancing, Mythology and Astrology by Keti Sharif
Astrology, by New World Encyclopedia
The enneagram IS astrology by E. Alan Meece
Hear The Planets on You Tube:
Mercury
Venus
Mars
Jupiter
Saturn
Uranus
Neptune

I have summarized the meaning of the planets here at my other web page.

New Thought, etc.
Community of Infinite Spirit, the Divine Science center of San Jose
Divine Science with links to all New Thought centers
Divine Science Federation
Rev. Donald O'Connor on Fillmore's 12 powers and the chakras
Fillmore's 12 Powers in the body. Note that I have rearranged these in my table

sacred texts, myths, symbols, esoteric philosophy and religion
Campbell's Hero's Journey explained in 8 stages, grouped under the 3 headings: Separation, Transformation and Return. With The Return as the 8th stage (represented here by The World card), we have the same 7 levels, plus the 8th as the "octave," (or re-descent) just like "returning" to the same note an octave higher (or "about 3 inches off the ground")
The Hero's Journey by Pati McDermott
The Hero's Journey by Maricopa Center
The Hero's Journey on you tube, by Christopher Vogler

The Ultimate Gift, a contemporary movie version of the hero's journey.
Click here to read the parallels between the tarot trumps and the movie

Summary of The DaVinci Code
Signs, Symbols and Secrets: Decoding the DaVinci Code (see page 67, Star of David and the pyramids)
Margaret Starbird on the Sacred Feminine and the Divine Marriage
The Ladder of Ascent by Michael Clarke
Internet Sacred Texts Archive
Merkaba, by Ellie Crystal
The vision of Ezekiel of the Merkaba and throne of God and of John in Revelation
Merkabah, Chariot of Ascension and The Holy Grail
Merkabah Ascension, love, the feminine, third eye, etc
Nassim Haramein on Grand Unified Field Theory and spinning dynamics, showing the sacred geometry symbols and merkaba.
We are the Center of Creation with more symbols
Nassim Haramein's Resonance Project and his physics lecture
The Quincunx - a Geometric Form of Christ in Majesty
The Secret of the Flower of Life Vol.2 by Drunvalo Melchizedek
The Significance of Five to the Stability and Transcendance of Ordered Systems
Mystical Numbers in religious and spiritual traditions
House of the Sun by Dirk Gillabel
Gnosis and Secrets of the Serpent by Philip Gardiner: self-realization and hidden serpent wisdom.
"To be born again in the sky, we needed to manifest the sky on Earth"
New Age Bible and Philosophy Center (formerly Rosicrucian) covers most of the subjects on this website
About Magic and the Memory Palace by Constable Research with longer article here
Rodurago Cypheron: Alchemy, Numerology, Astrology, Mythology and the Myths of Symbolism and its correspondences to Art, Literature, Psychology and Science.
Gichtel's Theosophia Practica, known in Bach's time and place
Medicine Wheel, by Ellie Crystal
Flower of Life and Sacred Geometry
We are living in a Fractal Hologram you tube light show, with music by Kevin Kendle
Buddhist states of existence
The Buddha documentary: the Buddha's spiritual journey, the three poisons (attributed by me to Fortune, Hanged Man and Devil, the 3 minor movements in the middle of Bach's Toccata in F), etc.
Seven Wonders of the Buddhist World
Wheel of Life by Mark Schumacher
Fractals in Hindu temples to help pilgrims envision the One in the many, the One found in each one.
Directory of Signs, Glyphs and Symbols

Bach, etc.



J.S.Bach
Bach biography
Johann Sebastian Bach by New World Encyclopedia, with more links
Bach's Changing World shows the mystical, pietist currents in Bach's time and expressed in his music, including Jacob Boehme's idea of "seven fountain spirits from which everything flows" and kabbalistic emanation
Canons and Fugues of J.S. Bach by Timothy A. Smith
Was Bach a Rationalist, Pietist, Neither, or Both? by Timothy A. Smith
Toccata, by Encyclopedia Britannica
Glenn Gould on J.S. Bach and the contrast to the more rational music that came after him
Virgil Fox interview in San Francisco on Bach, the organ, youth, reincarnation, etc. (see above!)
Virgil Fox and Liberace on Mike Douglas, and Virgil plays a piece of Toccata in F
Another Virgil Fox interview at the world's largest organ in Philadelphia, and the Bach light show!
Article on E. Power Biggs and Virgil Fox, missionaries of the organ
Answers.com on Bach's Toccata & Fugue in F, with a long list of many available CDs & samples of the piece
Wikipedia article on Bach's Toccata and Fugue in F
scholarly review of Toccata in F by Chris Eads, with chart of sections, notated score and bibliography
About Toccata and Fugue in F Major, BWV 540 by JS Bach By Vidas Pinkevicius
Program notes for a doctor's degree recital
Info on Preludes, Fantasias, Toccatas and Fugues BWV 531-540
Hypermeter and Performers Choices in Recordings of Toccata in F, by Dr. Leon Couch (is Toccata in F a dance?)
Organ Historical Society; best place to get organ music and Bach's Toccata in F, BWV 540
You can download James Kibbie playing the Toccata and Fugue in F here
See or get the written score of the Toccata in F in pdf format
Some scores and recordings of Toccata in F available at IMSLP
Philip Noyed's contemporary paintings are original, excellent visual musical themes and planes infused with Ch'i energy, and exploring related topics. One of his works is called Toccata: Kundalini Rising, and in his description he quotes this page and cites the Toccata in F.

Speaking of "Bach", I found through googling "Bach chakras" not only this site, but that Dr. Edward Bach sorted his famous flower remedies into the 7 chakra groups. This site discusses a book about this, along with more ideas about the chakras and consciousness.

Just googleing or searching for "Toccata in F 540 Bach" will yield many articles and reviews, and many places to buy and hear the Toccata on-line. Amazon.com has many different CDs available; just type "Bach Toccata in F 540" in the search box.

Beethoven is another composer whose works are interpreted as a heroic spiritual journey. The Third Symphony is an example, especially in the treatment by J.W.N. Sullivan

Corinne Heline wrote the magnificent study Beethoven's Nine Symphonies Correlated with the Nine Spiritual Mysteries in 1968, revised 2000 (see catalogue for info. Published by the New Age Bible and Philosophy Center, Santa Monica CA. (enjoy a little Bach music at this student's website!)



See and hear the Toccata in F, S. 540, played online on You Tube, etc.
(see also top of toccata page)

Lionel Rogg's great performance (embedded below)


Hear Lionel Rogg play each chakra section: ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR, FIVE, SIX, SEVEN.
Michel Chapuis's wonderful performance on a Schnitger organ, showing the correlation to tarot trumps. Don't miss it!
Another video of this version
Another video of the Chapuis version, with the Fugue, scrolling through the score
Dan Campolieta plays Toccata 540 on Aeolian-Skinner organ at Congregational Church in Hartford CT
A great Performance of S. 540/1 from Bach's church in Leipzig
Another video of this version
Virgil Fox performs Bach's Toccata in F in concert with pictures of Fox and symbols of chakras, tarot, etc. which I posted
Another video of this version


Hector Paris plays it in concert (embedded above)

See Toccata in F played by Balint Karosi. Many others are available on You Tube now too, along with other works. Find links on the right, once you are at one of these sites.
Toccata in F playlist! 200 videos
Wim Winters' great performance of Bach's Toccata in F
another video of Winter's performance
Lionel Rogg's other recording of S. 540 from St. Peters in Geneva in 1976, remastered in 2009
This performance of madame Marie Claire Alain of Tocata in F Major of Bach is perhaps one of the best or even THE BEST performance of this master piece ever performed and recorded!
Marie Claire Alain plays Toccatas and Fantasias; part 1: Toccata in F
Prof. Leon Couch III plays Toccata in F
Andrew Dewar plays Toccata and Fugue 540
Dave Kriewall plays Toccata and Fugue in F BWV 540
Mr. Scott's Our English Class: the most beautiful piece ever written for organ; quotes from wikipedia/you tube. Dave Kriewall on organ
Arjen Leistra plays the toccata in concert
Diane Bish plays the toccata, introduced with a little history; a real feat/feet to play!
Diane Bish plays it fast in 2012 (and accurate; better than Virgil!)
Fernando Germani plays Toccata and Fugue in F, BWV 540
Anne Lamm plays it
Ulfert Smidt plays the Bach Toccata in F, with intro in German
David Enlow plays Toccata and Fugue in F, BWV 540 in concert
Robert Kobler plays it on Gottfried Silbermann organ
Robert Kobler plays Toccata on small Silbermann organ, with score of the music shown in the video
Dazzling performance of S.540 by Cameron Carpenter at Sydney Opera House, with some original accents, and beautiful metaphysical light show related to this web site!
Bach, Toccata and Fugue F-Dur BWV 540, Anna Bakunts, organ sound only, but enjoyable, with pedal in higher register than usual. Fugue's 1st theme is played without trills so you can hear it more clearly.
Bach BWV 540 (toccata) - B. Foccroulle
Thomas Rothfuß spielt Toccata F-Dur, BWV 540 von Johann Sebastian Bach an der WRK-Orgel in St. Anton (Muenchen)
J. S. Bach - Toccata and Fugue in F Major BWV 540, Scott Youngs, Organist. All Saints' Episcopal Church, Phoenix
Fine version by Markus Wargh
F-dur toccata BWV 540/a, Hedvig Jakab - organ
E. Power Biggs plays the Toccata in F at Freiburg
Toccata in F S.540 on You Tube played by Helmut Walcha
Karl Richter plays Toccata and Fugue in F
Emily Thompson - 11 years old, played at Avondale College Church Great! Gert, watch your back!
Good performance by 12-year old Emily Thompson in Australia
Mary Pan, talented scholarship winner with great rhythm and sound
Both Toccata and Fugue played by Ekaterina Spirkina at The State Moscow Conservatory 12 January, 2017 The canons lack power, but the performance is quite fine, with a nice camera touch at the crown, panning upward to the ceiling as it sounds.
Toccata et Fugue en Fa Bwv 540 played by Pierre-Henri fairly dramatic version, although a bit staccato in places
Sietse van Wijgerden plays it
Jaap Zwart plays Toccata in F well in magnificent cavernous space, although the 2nd pedal solo seems to be Jaap's own invention!
Aaron Robinson plays it, with views of different cathedrals and organs
Daryl Robinson plays Toccata in F S.540
Alessio Corti: J. S. Bach - Toccata et Fuga in Fa maggiore BWV 540
Aram Basmadjian performs the Toccata in F Major by Johann Sebastian Bach on an Allen organ.
Mária Budácová plays Toccata and Fugue BWV 540 in Praha 2013
Mark Stotler plays it in Kansas
Toccata F-Dur BWV 540 - JOSEP VICENT GINER
Toccata and Fugue in F (BWV 540), organist: Steve Hohnstadt (good rhythm)
Ton Koopman plays Toccata and Fugue in F on the Rudolph Garrels (1730-32) organ, Groote Kerk (Maassluis)
Ton Koopman plays Passacaglia 582, Toccata in F 540, and Toccata in d Minor 565, with fugues
Toccata et Fuga F-dur BWV 540, Hayo Boerema
Schwester Mihovila plays Bach`s Toccata, BWV 540
Juan S. BACH's Tocata en Fa mayor played by Liudmila Matsyura Catedral de Alcalá Madrid
Csanádi László performs Toccata in F 540
Toccata & Fuge F-dur BWV540 PIOTR SIEDLIK, with paintings that resembles Noyed's
Bine Katrine Bryndor plays it and you can see the sheetmusic as it's played (although not all of the 2nd pedal solo is played)
Hans Fagius plays Toccata in F
Sir George Thalben-Ball plays the Toccata fast in 1933
Ivan Ronda plays Toccata and Fugue in F BWV 540
Toccata and Fugue in F BWV 540 by rogate good rhythm on toccata
Toccata in F major (BWV 540) van Joh. Seb. Bach, gespeeld door Gert van Hoef in de Regenboogkerk te Nijverdal.
Hallo, ik ben Gert van Hoef en mijn grootste hobby is orgelspelen!
Toccata 540 played fast, soft, expressively, and well by Cameron Carpenter "This version of the 540 has SOUL!!! and ROCKS!!!!"
Cameron plays it in F sharp, introduced in an interview
Toccata in F# S.540 featured as the finale in you tube symphony concert with master-showman Cameron Carpenter, and lights (but he leaves out the climbing or struggle theme in the 5th chakra)
Kimberly Marshall plays it on Fisk organ at Memorial Church at Stanford University
Simon Preston from his complete works recording
Prof. Michael Schneider plays it
Walter Kraft from his complete works recording
Hedvig Jakab - organ, live concert recording, July 4, 2010 Debrecen, Great Reformed Church, Hungary
gespielt von Schwester Mihovila Tenzera
moechtegernPianist plays it
Johannes Strobl plays it
Ivan Sokol plays it
Helga Schauerte plays it
Jungjin Kim plays it
Gerhard Weinberger plays it
Vincent Warnier plays it
Feodor Stroganov plays it
Axel Flierl plays it
Toccata & Fugue in F Major, BWV 540 played by François-Henri Houbart (lite sound)
Toccata and Fugue in F 540 played by Simone Gheller
Michael Antonenko performs J.S.Bach Toccata F major BWV540
Toccata in F BWV 540 of J.S. Bach played by Willeke Smits
Toccata in F BWV 540 of J.S. Bach played by Willeke Smits on Vimeo
Toccata & Fugue in F; Prof. Martin Schmeding on Hauptwerk organ of Joerg Glebe in a live concert using the sample set of the Marcussen-organ in Rotterdam/NL
TOCCATA ET FUGUE EN FA MAJEUR BWV 540 - GÜNTHER RAMIN ( 1946 ) from Leipzig
Just for fun I set up the iPhone to record my morning exercise. This is the F Major Toccata of Bach.
David Harrison plays it
Minne Veldman plays it
Minne Veldman - Toccata F-dur (J.S. Bach) (good after it gets going)
Marcel Dupre plays Toccata in F in 1961, at age 75, part two
Yang-Hee Song plays it
Another You Tube performance, by Paolo Zappacosta
one young lady's performance and her page turner :-)
Christopher Schroeder plays it good, but flat acoustics, and arpeggio theme wrong in places
Svend-Erik Pedersen, 2008
Stefano Faggioni plays BWV 540
Markus Zehnpfennig from Koln, with pauses between sections (Christ on the cross appears during the Death & Devil sections)
The Toccata in F from Chartres Cathedral
Paul Shimel Sr. Organ Recital Christ Episcopal Church Pensacola
Rudy Regner's Toccata in F playlist 12 videos
middle portions of Toccata in F played on church bells
Toning F with the Bach Toccata in F and Pastorale in F with Anthony Newman, from Music for Healing and Energy
London Symphony conducted by Albert Coates plays a transcription for orchestra by Heinrich Esser
Ira Levin plays his transcription for piano
Bach/Grainger - Toccata BWV 540 (Piano Six: Hamelin, Laplante, etc.)
Toccata und Fuga in F-Dur BWV 540 for Organ, transcribed for Piano Player with sheet music
Toccata in F played on 2 pianos
The organ toccata BWV 540 arranged and performed on two 13 - course baroque lutes by the LUTEDUO Anna Kowalska & Anton Birula.
Toccata and Fugue in F in software samples, offered by Virtually Baroque. Not as expressive, but no missed notes!
version for (electronic) orchestra
virtual organ transcription from Kanaal van virtomusic, softer, smooth piano-like sounds, with slight tremelo
Gabriele Corniani plays Toccata in F on virtual organ
transcription by Shost Glass on Musescore and you can follow the score
you tube version for organ
computerized version of Toccata and Fugue in F, showing the notes, by ChengXiaogong
another MIDI software version by Riu Hiiragi
Toccata in F from Virtually Baroque
June Lauren Prescott - Per suonarsi con calcolatore rotto
Performed by Gabriele Corniani on 124 stops digital organ
Kunst der Fuge MIDI files of S.540 and other preludes and fugues 531-552 Luquet version recommended
The Only Way (hymn) by Emerson Lake and Palmer quotes Toccata in F


Other organ and musical works relevant to this essay

  • Bach organ works
    (note S = Schmeider, compiler of BWV index of Bach works)
    Hans Fagius plays the Fugue in F, S. 540-2 with Bach's seal
    Fugue in F with the score in the picture
    Fugue in F performed by Pierre Astor

    Bach's Dorian-mode Toccata S.538 by Aarnoud de Groen, closely related to the F major Toccata S.540. It brings to mind a lofty sacred and/or Platonic dialogue or visionary experience.
    Professor Michael Schneider (1909-1994) plays Johann Sebastian Bach's "Dorian" Toccata in D minor, BWV 538
    Martin Ellis plays Toccata in d S.538
    Toccata in d, S.538
    Sam Melson plays it
    Helmut Walcha playing it so nicely

    The famous, grand and graceful Toccata and Fugue in d Minor S.565, played by Hannes Kastner
    As Michel Chapuis plays it, you scroll through the notes as they are played. Schnitger organ at Sint-Michaëlskerk in Zwolle/Netherlands, 1968.
    E. Power Biggs plays the Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, S.565
    The famous Toccata and Fugue in d Minor S.565 from Sydney Town Hall
    Hans Andre Stamm plays Toccata and Fugue in d Minor
    nice version posted by Hollywoody
    Karl Richter plays Toccata and Fugue in D Minor S.565
    Marie-Claire Alain, Toccata and Fugue in d Minor at St. Bavo Haarlem
    Marie Claire Alain plays Toccatas and Fantasias; part 2: Toccata in d Minor (portions)
    Miklos Spanyi, Toccata and Fugue in d S.565 and also here
    Diane Bish - Toccata & Fugue in d minor
    J.S. Bach - Toccata and Fugue in D minor BWV 565, Conrad Kleiger performs on the organ
    Virgil Fox plays Toccata & Fugue in d Minor 565
    Malinowski plays and graphically illustrates the score
    Toccata and Fugue in D minor (BWV 565) by E. Power Biggs, with score
    Roman Krasnovsky, J.S.Bach Toccata and Fuge d-minor, BWV 565
    Toccata y fuga en r-menor JS Bach LIUDMILA MATSYURA
    Jordan Smith performs it
    Stefano Ligoratti plays Bach's Toccata und Fugue in D-moll
    Toccata and Fugue played by Gert
    Toccata and Fugue in D minor, escorted by Dracula pictures
    (Toccata and) Fugue in d minor, Guitar Tapping
    Orchestral version of Toccata and Fugue in d from Fantasia
    piano version by David Berube
    Ultimate Toccata and Fugue
    Toccata and fugue in D minor by J. S. Bach played on glass harp (musical glasses) by Robert Tiso
    Toccata & Fugue BWV 565, Ivano Battiston accordion
    Toccata et Fuga d-moll. Denis Fedorov, accordion
    Ekseption puts some more rhythm and humor into some of the famous d minor
    Vanessa Mae, the Madonna of classical, plays Toccata & Fugue in d minor (sort of)
    Myleene Klass performs an arrangement of Bach's Toccata in d
    Metallica plays it
    Mannheim Steamroller's version (portion)
    Ancestry's Invocation Of Power In D minor
    all mixed up!

    Franz Hauk plays the Toccata in C, S.564
    Michael Murray plays Toccata in C, S. 564
    Vladimir Horowitz plays Busoni piano transcription of Toccata in C, S. 564
    Toccata and Fugue in E, S. 566, played by Lionel Rogg
    Passacaglia on You Tube, played by Balint Karosi
    Fantasia in G Minor, S. 542 played by Lionel Rogg
    Fugue in g minor S.542, played by Balint Karosi
    Diane Bish performs the "triple fuge" in E flat, "St. Anne" S.552/2, reputed to be symbolic of the Trinity.
    Andre Isoir plays it
    Virgil Fox performs Prelude and Fugue in D, S.532 (based on Pachelbel's Fugue in D Major)
    Felix Hell speaks about Bach as he plays the D Major Fugue S. 532
    Great Prelude and Wedge Fugue in e minor S.548
    Lionel Rogg plays Wedge Fugue S. 548
    Prelude and Fugue in C, S.547 (the 10-note theme illustrates moving up the Tree of Life, with the 3rd and 5th notes repeated, as if representing the two circles on those levels of the Tree.)
    Pastorale in F Major S. 590 (features F-major held pedal tone like Toccata in F)
    Fantasia in F on Come Holy Spirit, S. 651 (has similar elements to Toccata in F, including the crown theme)
    Little Prelude and Fugue in F, S.556
    Fox heavy organ light show with bits of S.548,565,578,577,582 and pithy comments

    Toccatas by other composers

  • French organ toccatas
    Toccata by Theodore Dubois
    Jules Grison Toccata in F played by Arjen Leistra
    Marija Loncar Strohm plays Toccata by Eugene Gigout
    Marie-Claire Alain plays Gigout Toccata in b Minor
    Robert Parkins performs it
    Daniel Chorzempa plays Louis Vierne's great toccata-like Finale on You Tube. I'd say the theme is another "chariot" ride!
    18 year-old Kevin Neel plays the First Symphony Finale at national cathedral
    Vierne's Toccata B Flat Minor from Pieces of Fantasie on You Tube
    Jean-Baptiste Monnot plays Vierne Toccata
    Widor plays Widor's Toccata in F from 5th Symphony for organ
    Chorzempa plays Widor Toccata in F
    Widor Toccata at Cathedral Basilica in Newark NJ
    Widor Toccata from Organ Symphony No. 5 - Thomas Heywood
    Virgil Fox plays it
    Widor Toccata in F played by young Rees
    Toccata from Suite Gothique by Leon Boellmann
    Marcel Dupre Toccata from 2nd Symphony for Organ
    Virgil Fox plays Maurice Durufle's Toccata
    Toccata, op. 23 by Otto Barblan (theme similar to S.540), not available now
    Diane Bish plays Pierne Prelude-Toccata
    Diane Bish plays Belier Toccata
    Gert van Hoef performs Belier Toccata
    Diane Bish plays Lanquetuit Toccata
    Diane Bish performs Le Clerc Toccata
    Jean Guillou performs his fiery, virtuoso Toccata (a good example once it gets going!)
    Jean Paul Verpeaux: toccatas for organ in G minor and A Minor
    Jean Paul Verpeaux: Toccata Notturna and "modern" Tempus Fugit Toccata
    Jean Paul Verpeaux: Toccata romana per un giorno di collera
    Henry Mulet, Tu Es Petra, played by Gilliam Weir. This toccata could be named after the Bible verse in which Jesus says to Peter that you are the rock (petra), on which I will build my church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it. The rock may be the alchemical philosopher's stone, for Jesus goes on to give his disciples "the keys to the kingdom... of loosing and binding, on earth and heaven..." Matthew 16:18-19. These are the alchemical principles of solve et coagula, or dissolving and binding. The keys became the Pope's symbol. More at Neo-Platonism and Alchemy, bottom of article.
    Virgil Fox performs it
  • French piano toccatas
    Debussy Toccata for piano
    Ravel Toccata from Le Tombeau de Couperin
    Quynh Nguyen performs it
    Cecile Chaminade Toccata, a perfect example of the post-Bach Toccata (my video)
    Saint-Saens Toccata from Etude Op.111 played by Dea Baba
    Saint-Saens Toccata from Etude Op.111 played by Cecile Ousse
    Poulenc Toccata
  • Other toccatas: piano
    Bach Toccata in g minor S. 915 Can you hear the 7 chakras and caduceus in the second half of the piece?
    Horowitz plays Schumann's influential piano Toccata, directly inspired by Bach's Toccata in F (Schumann heard Mendelssohn's "revival" performance of it)
    Ferdinand David's Toccata in E Minor, transcribed by Lizst (currently not available)
    Martha Argerich plays Prokofiev's piano Toccata in d Minor
    Description, sheet music and CD available of Prokofiev's Toccata
    Khachaturian Toccata for piano
    Kabalevsky: Rondo-Toccata and Toccatina
    Enescu Toccata, played by Sorin Creciun
    Balakirev Toccata in C# minor
    Vassil Kazandjiev Toccata
    Kapustin Toccatina Op.40 #3 played by Shan-shan Sun
    Jaroslav Jelek -- Toccata (Ralf Pisters, piano)
    Toccata, op. 54 - Jeno Takács performed by Mariya Orlenko
    Eugen Suchon, Toccata. Performed by young slovak pianist Juraj Rulicka
    Busoni Toccata, played by Claudius Tanski (only the first part, "prelude", fits the Bach-influenced modern style)
    Tauriello Toccata (great example)
    toccata no. 1 for piano by edgar ordóńez with witchcraft pictures
    Cuellar Toccata, performed by "piano girl" Vivian Yu
    William Gillock, Champagne Toccata for piano quartet
    Peter Mennin Toccata, by Chilean pianist Patricio Molina
    York Bowen - Toccata, Op. 155 (1957)
    Juraj Hatrík - TOCCATA performed by Danny Jun
    Ben-Haim: Five Pieces, #5 Toccata
    Josef Rheinberger: Toccatina
    Sancan Toccata played by Teresa Sierra
    Jackson Wang Toccata
    Rami Bar-Niv plays his Toccata
    Geoffrey Bush Toccata
    Amaral Vieira: Toccata for Piano Op137 (excellente!)
    Tito Aprea: Toccata, played by Antonio Marchetta
    M. Schmidt, Rock-Toccata
  • Other toccatas: organ
    raw material: Buxtehude Toccata in F, #156, forerunner of Bach's Toccata in F
    Buxtehude's tuneful Toccata & Fugue in F, #157
    raw material: Pachelbel Toccata in C, another one, and another one here, and:
    Pachelbel Toccata in F.
    another more-different Pachebel Toccata in F performed by Burghard Fischer
              Known for his famous Canon in D, Johann Pachelbel (1653-1706) invented the toccata style Bach perfected in the two canons of his Toccata in F S.540; a style in which the hands each play a rapid steady stream (or snake) of single notes above a sustained pedal note (organ point), which switches between tonic and dominant. The wikipedia article reports that Pachebel's famous 3-part Canon in D over ground bass was possibly composed in 1694 for the wedding of J.S.Bach's older brother and teacher. Pachelbel also wrote half of the theme on which Bach based his famous Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, S.565. It appears in his Fantasia in D Minor (@ 1:27 in this video).

    Toccata by Bach's son Johann Christian, played on synthesizer
    Spectacular French-style Toccata in D Flat for organ by Belgian composer Joseph Jongen, played by Roger Nyquist
    Virgil Fox plays solo version of Jongen's Toccata from Symphonie Concertante
    Fernando Germani, Toccata op. 12, played by Luca Scandali (virtuoso French style)
    William Walond Toccata in G (British 18th cent.)
    Brent Douglas plays Festival Toccata by Percy Fletcher
    Toccata by Percy Whitlock from Plymouth Suite
    Toccata in C by Franz Schmidt
    Toccata in F by Konrad Lindauer, short modern work inspired by Bach's
    Toccata in F by Simen Christian Nilsen another modern work inspired by Bach's
    Toccata & Fugue in G Minor in Bach's style by G. Kesik
    Toccata in F by Denis Beddard, played by Arthur Nobile Jr.
    Diane Bish performs another Toccata by Denis Beddard (he's from Quebec)
    Gert van Hoef plays Toccata from Sonata 1 by R. L Becker
    Minne Veldman plays Toccata by William Ralph Driffill
    Gert van Hoef plays Fantasie - Toccata over Wat God doet, dat is welgedaan by Klaas Jan Mulder
    Gert van Hoef plays Inleiding, Toccata en Koraal over Psalm 43 by Klaas Jan Mulder
    Gert van Hoef plays Toccata on Psalm 146 by Jan Zwart and also here
    Feike Asma speelt Toccata van Bram Bruin
    Medieval Toccata by Grimoaldo Macchia
    Toccata by Georgi Aleksandrovich Mushel, played by Diane Bish
    Pietro Yon Toccata on flute stops, played by Diane Bish
    John Weaver Toccata played by Diane Bish
    Toccata by A. Barie, played by Diane Bish
    Diane Bish performs her Toccata on Christ the Lord Has Risen Today
    Diane Bish - Variations on All Creatures of Our God and King: Introduction, Theme, March, Allegro, and Toccata
    Toccata on 'Hymn to Joy' by Mark Thallander
    Toccata on Joy to the World, by Martin Setchell
    Toccata Giacosa by Hans Andre Stamm
    Toccata on the Pentecost Choral "Der Geist des Herrn" for Organ by Hans Andre Stamm
    Toccata from Suite for Organ #2 by Hans Andre Stamm
    Toccata from Suite for Organ #3 by Hans Andre Stamm
    Toccata Mystique by Mark Andersen
    Mighty Toccata by Jon Kristian Fjellestad
    Erland Hilden , "Toccata" from Organ symphony nr 1
    9-year old Jacob performs his Grandad's Toccata in D Minor
    Toccata in Seven by John Rutter played by Diane Bish
    Toccata by Martin Ellis
    Toccata from Larry Thomas Bell's seven-movement "Liturgical Suite"
    Toccata on "O God, Our Help in Ages Past" arr. Robert Welch
    Festival Toccata on 'St. Anne' by Frederick Swann
    Toccata by Gordon Young
    Toccata by Robert Jones
    Modo Perpetuo Toccata by Robert Jones
    Franco Castelli - Toccata on Tota pulchra es, Maria, played by his student
    Flor Peeters: Toccata, Fugue et Hymne sur Ave maris stella
    Flor Peeters Toccata
    Toccata 2 by Matt Milne
    Toccata 11 by Thomas Aberg
    Toccata furioso by Christian Springer
    Roman Krasnovsky plays his own composition Toccata Domenicale @ 1:30
    Rock Toccata, by Fabio Mancini
    Toccata alla Rumba by Andreas Willscher
    Paul Harvey's short Rhumba Toccata for piano, transcribed for organ and played by Matthias Rascher

  • Other toccatas: orchestral and various
    Toccata for Trumpet and Organ by Padre Giovanni Battista Martini (1706-1784)
    Virgil Fox plays Joseph Jongen's Toccata (Modo Perpetuo) from Symphonie Concertante for organ and orchestra
    Toccata from Suite for Organ, Brass, & Percussion by Craig Phillips
    Hans Andre Stamm Toccata for Brass Quartet & Organ
    Kapustin Toccata for piano and big jazz band
    Toccata for Band by Frank Erickson
    Toccata for Band by Fisher Tull
    Black Dyke Mills Band - Toccata from Organ Symphony (Widor)
    Toccata by Paul Ayres for organ and clarinet
    Paul Mauriat's Toccata
    Emerson Lake & Palmer's rock n roll Toccata (portion)
    David Garrett's Rock Toccata live (mostly violin with light percussion)
    Toccata by Mannheim Steamroller
    S. P. Londonow: Scherzo-Toccata for Accordian
    Toccata for Accordian by Schmitt
  • Mozart outdoes Bach!... and who?
    Mozart's "Jupiter" Symphony #41 Finale is a fabulous Olympian achievement in counterpoint inspired by Bach. Click "more info" and watch NPR's commentary too. Or see below:

    The Mozart 41 Finale played by the Vienna Symphony
    Then, of course, there's Pete Townshend and The Who's Quadrophenia. It is musical alchemy. Four themes in one, sort of like The World card! "The Rock" is the philosopher's stone of rock! Picture the 4 members of The Who on the world card: Keith is the Bull (earth/Faith), Roger is the Lion (fire/Strength), Pete is the Eagle (water/Love), and John is the Man (air/Temperance).
    The 4 themes of Quadrophenia


    Here is a list of other chakra music. For example, in the new age, ambient, visionary music field of today, a number of fine works have been created.

    Topping the list is Chakra Gold by Aetherium, who are Kevin Kendle and Chris Puleston. brief excerpt of each chakra

    The Song of the Tree by Lis Addison (5th chakra only in this video)

    Chakras by Magnetic Wind (see also part 2)

    Light Music by Richard Shulman      some tracks available here; first track seems to be crown chakra

    Sacred Love by Christopher Lloyd Clarke, "the most beautiful chakra music in the world," a heart chakra piece, from supermindmusic

    Music for a Busy Head by Absolute Ambient/Matt Coldrick

    Fresh Aire II (1977) by Mannheim Steamroller features a suite of 7 "doors"      first door     second door      third door     fourth door      fifth door      sixth door     seventh door (7th door reminds me of The Who's Tommy)

    Fresh Aire 7 (1991) is the Chakras of the Body Chakras 1 and 2      Chakra 3      Chakra 4      Chakra 5     Chakra 6     Chakra 7

    The Seven Metals of Alchemy by Mannheim Steamroller

    Reiki, Chakra Meditation Music, New Age Music Therapy, Low Pulse Bio Movement, Relaxation - Composed by Gibi del Barrio

    Heart Chakra and the other chakras by Pat Simmons, from Chakra Mandalas

    Chakra Healing by Dean Evenson and Soundings of the Planet

    Chakra Meditation by Kim Scholten, with art by Walter Bruneel

    Chakra Journeys by Seckund Naychur

    The Seven Stages of Alchemical Transformation by Seth Osborn

    Chakra Suite by Steven Halpern      excerpt

    Chakra Chants I and II and Chakra Dance by Jonathon Goldman       2nd chakra 4th chakra      5th chakra      6th chakra      7th chakra

    Chakra Healing Zone by David and Steve Gordon Second sacral chakra, with flute by Robin Silver (composer of music for Anodea Judith's chakra video)

    Chakra Healing Chants by Sophia

    Kundalini Rising by Phillip Kanakis

    The 10 Minute Chakra by Akshara Weave

    Rhythms of the Chakras. Volume 2 by Glen Velez

    I will mention others here as I find or remember them. Lots of chakra music exists. Try using a search engine or you tube search if you want to see more examples.

    Bach's toccata is more energetic than some of today's more-meditative new age chakra music. Toccata in F is more like the venerable Hindu tradition of the chakra dance. It is energetic music that raises kundalini through our "energy centers." Here are some of the many videos on you tube of the more energetic kind of chakra music (with some sensual dancing too!).

    Dance the Chakras
    Ana Brett - Kundalini Yoga Dance Cardio Blast
    Kundalini Belly Dance Tribe
    Arabian kundalini dance, and Part 2 includes a snake at the 5th chakra and a group dance at the 7th.
    Awakening the Kundalini Serpent
    Innerverse - Awakening The Serpent
    Swami Ji Jaisiya's fire chakra dance (3rd chakra) Notice how the theme of this excellent music resembles Bach's 3rd chakra theme. See links to the other chakras.
    Chakra Dance by Louis Gervais to Indonesian gamelan music by the Suara Parahiangen
    Powerful Tantra music by David Parsons
    Devi Dhyani performing a Sacred Shamanic Chakra Dance to Pink Floyd's Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun



    Liner notes

    Here are liner notes for the Toccata in F by Bach, quoted from Lionel Rogg's collection of organ works in 1970 at Arlesheim, on Harmonia Mundi, and notes by Harry Halbreich, translated by Frank Dobbins, from Michel Chapuis' great 1968 performance of the Bach organ works on Valois; plus the comments by Hermann Keller quoted from the Wikipedia article.

    "On taking a closer look at the toccata (originally from "toccare", meaning to touch or to play on a keyboard as opposed to "cantare", and "suonare"), it is almost certain that Bach contributed in large measure to giving it its modern aspect, that of a brilliant piece characterized by an implacable rhythm.... With the "Dorian" Toccata in D minor (BWV 538) and the Toccata in F major (BWV 540), Bach left a definitive imprint on the toccata. We have seen that they are characterized by an uninterrupted movement, an impetus engendered by a motif which is less of a theme than an impulsion which, by its very structure, invites development. Bach is the unrivalled master of this type of musical dialectic. If the "Dorian" Toccata already achieves formal perfection, the Toccata in F major, by virtue of its proportions and, perhaps, even of its spirit, might be compared to the most impressive achievements in Gothic architecture. And one is tempted to analyse it in architectural terms. (See cathedrals here and in the video above) Because, after the double portico of flamboyant arabesques alternating between the manuals and the pedal, the ribs of a vaulting of ogival tracery are evoked by the powerful scaffolding of broken arpeggios, conceived as a great succession of modulations which lead successively to the neighbouring keys of D, A and G minor (three landings in which the initial motif re-appears, treated as a trio), before returning to the dominant on which the work culminates before coming to an end.... the Fugue in F major... is... a double fugue the last part of which super-imposes contrasting elements. The purity and richness of its composition and the flawless perfection of its tonal structure place this fugue assuredly among the finest Bach ever wrote." -- Lionel Rogg

    "With its 438 bars, the Toccata is really one of the most gigantic and one of the most wonderfully balanced structures to be found in Bach's work. In a mood of Easter rejoicing, a luminous canon in two parts is presented over a great pedal point spanning fifty-four bars. Linked to this is a majestic solo for the pedals of daring virtuosity. These two elements return in the course of a counter-exposition in the dominant key; then a cadential formula with chromatic chords, whose role as an architectural breathing-space is shown to be important by what follows, leads to the vast central section. This alternates a new fiery and flamboyant theme with three periods of equal length that bring back the initial theme successively in D minor, A minor and G minor. During the whole of this middle section, the colouring becomes darker, and the anxious modulation, sometimes very daring, contrasting with the radiant tonal security of the opening, give it the character of a kind of great development. The piece ends with a shortened and varied recapitulation of the first section but its tormented harmonies, recalling those of the middle section, elevate its role to the level of synthesis crowning the whole, a role enhanced by its brevity. The two themes of this Toccata are undoubtedly related. Shortly before the end we hear the famous second chord on C minor, which drew from Mendelssohn the exclamation: << When the modulation at the end happens it seems as if the church will collapse: Bach was really a terrible cantor! >>. The richness of the rhythmic and harmonic invention, as well as the supreme perfection of the proportions prevent any feeling of boredom when hearing this colossal fresco." -- Harry Halbreich

    Hermann Keller expresses his rapture as follows: "At the beginning the extensive linear construction of the two voices in canon, the proud calmness of the solos in the pedal, the piercing chord strokes, the fiery upswing of the second subject, the bold modulatory shifts, the inwardness of the three minor movements, the splendour of the end with the famous third inversion of the seventh chord, who would not be enthralled by that?"

    From You Tube, I saw this comment on Zappacosta's page: "The piece reminds me of a rivulet moving from an obscure region of the mountains back to the sea, much like our soul's excursion from an obscure terrestrial setting on this small planet--universally speaking--back to the (our) source, heavenly abode, God family, etc." - hilljhyt

    On Karl Richter's video, Eleuthero51 writes: "This is a work of Bach's that is like the construction of a Gothic Skyscraper ... beauty all the way from the ground to heaven."

    Also from You Tube, here is Dan Campolieta's description, posted on his excellent video of Toccata in F:

    The longest of Bach's extant organ preludes, there is some question as to when this piece was actually composed, and if indeed it should be coupled with the Fugue in F Major, BWV 540/2, which is not nearly as grand and complex as the toccata. Due to this uncertainty, the toccata is often performed separately, as is the case here.

    The work begins with a canon between the hands, with the right hand leading, over an F pedal tone in the bass. This is followed by an impressive pedal solo. After the piece's first cadence, Bach repeats the canon in inversion, with the left hand leading, now in the key of C Major. The second pedal solo ends with the hands rejoining with off-beat chords containing unexpected harmonies. These chords will serve as important transitional material for the rest of the piece.

    The remainder of the toccata is joyous in character and has the feeling of an unending song, as cadences are rare and the piece is continually spinning in new directions. A new theme is introduced containing similar pitches to the opening canon, but with a more upward trajectory. This becomes a ritornello which leads through the circle of fifths. At the end of the episode, Bach returns to the transitional chords, leading to an unusual cadence (V to V 4/2 of Neopolitan) which also navigates through a B-A-C-H motif in the pedal.

    Following is a trio based on the opening canon theme. At this point, all the material for the piece has been introduced. Bach continues to alternate between ritornello episodes and this trio material. Bach's contrapuntal mastery shines through because each time the trio section occurs, the parts are inverted so that by the end of the piece, each hand and the feet have played each of the three musical lines in their respective registers. From a technical standpoint, the pedal parts in these sections are some of the most difficult organ excerpts in the entire repertoire to perform in context.

    The final ritornello episode is cut short and leads to a long coda beginning in B-flat and then transitioning to a long C pedal. For the last time, we hear the transitional chords, the V 4/2 of Neapolitan cadence, the B-A-C-H motif, and the final cadence in F Major.

    Combining elements of the North German pedal toccata, Italian ritornello, and flawless counterpoint, it is no surprise why this piece is one of the most well-known of Bach's works.

    Performed on the 1961 Aeolian-Skinner with 68 ranks at historic Asylum Hill Congregational Church in Hartford, CT. Dan Campolieta has served as Organist and Associate Music Director at Asylum Hill Congregational Church since 2007, and is also a composer and jazz pianist.

    http://www.dancampolieta.com


    BACK to Toccata in F: Bach, Chakras, Tarot

    Here's a table showing how each of the 7 chakras are indicated by each of the 7 sections of Bach's Toccata in F. Read from the bottom up.

    Chakra SevenUplifting theme "stretched," representing eternitychariot theme ends on an unresolved chord, leading into struggle theme: yang chakraFinal chords in F symbolize the throne of GodUplifting theme predominates, symbolizing crown chakra
    Chakra SixUplifting theme has 3 repeats, with all 3 triple chords in the high octave: for the trinity, the 3 eyes, & the 3 virtueschariot theme ends on a peaceful tonic chord, yin chakraB flat symbolizes high chakraChariot theme (played by right hand) and original "snake" canon theme (played by left hand) heard in counterpoint, symbolizing synchronized yang and yin hemispheres in the 3rd eye
    Chakra FiveUplifting theme has 4 repeats, with two triple chords in high octave. Each repeat ends on an upward chord, showing clarity (Mercury)chariot theme ends on an unresolved chord, leading into struggle theme: yang chakrain repeat of original theme, the key is g minor, a relative of d minor of 3rd chakraBrief, businesslike chords without base notes introduce repeat of original theme in "purification" chakra original theme heard in high and middle notes as it moves downward, showing higher chakraRight hand enters before the left in repeat of original theme
    Chakra FourUplifting theme has 5 wandering (unstruck) repeats instead of four, symbolizing Venus (pentacle). One triple chord is heard in high octave (first level God is found)chariot theme ends on a peaceful tonic chord, yin chakrain repeat of original theme, dominant key returns in relative form of a minorPoignant theme introduces repeat of original "snake" theme, representing heart chakraoriginal theme heard in high and low notes as it moves downward, showing middle chakraLeft hand leads during repeat of original theme
    Chakra ThreeUplifting theme enters strongly for the first time, symbolizing will (Mars); repeated 4 times, with no triple chords in high octave. Uplifting theme returns to open each succeeding chakrachariot theme ends on an unresolved chord, leading into struggle theme: yang chakrain repeat of original theme, tonic key returns in relative form of d minorPower chords introduce repeat of original "manifesting" or "snake" theme, representing power chakraoriginal snake theme heard in middle and low notes as it moves downward, showing lower chakra Right hand leads during repeat of original theme
    Chakra Twofeminine left hand leads original canon snake theme: yin chakrachariot theme is heard 7 times, once in each chakra (except chakra one, and heard twice in 6th chakra). In 2nd chakra, chariot theme ends on a peaceful tonic chord: yin dominant key, C major; lower down on the scale. Lower notes = feminine/yin chakraoriginal manifesting theme predominates; sounds sweeter pedal solo grounds the listener, but more freely
    Chakra Onemasculine right hand leads in the original, manifesting "snake" canon (imitation) theme, indicating yang chakra pedal solo ends on a discordant note: indicates yang chakratonic key, F majororiginal manifesting "snake" theme predominates pedal solo grounds the listener in lower chakra

    BACK to Chakras and the Toccata


    Most recommended recordings


    Finding the 1970 Lionel Rogg definitive version of the Toccata in F and other Bach organ works on CDs issued on the Harmonia Mundi label seems to be getting harder. On the Answers.com page it is listed as Bach: L'Oeuv're d'Orgue, but copies might not be available for sale. If it costs about $70, make sure you get all 12 discs. If you see the dark-colored cover with the angel, that's the one. Meanwhile, if the 1968 Michel Chapuis version is available anywhere (volume 6 of his recording of Bach organ works, L'ouvre d'Orgue), grab it. His performance on the sparkling Schnitger organ at Zwolle Holland brings out the feeling and significance of the solar plexus and heart sections very effectively. Rogg and Chapuis both play it in a smooth, graceful and flowing style, unlike the performances by Biggs and many others which are too staccato.

    Go to Amazon.com and type "Toccata in F Bach 540" in the search box and many fine available recordings will come up which you can sample or buy. They have a new recording by Michael Murray at Zwolle on Telarc. He's good, so it might be worth it. Try typing in Lionel Rogg or Michel Chapuis too in case there are some copies available.

    Some releases available in 2009

    Michael Murray, Bach at Zwolle (Telarc)
    Robert Kobler, Bach: Organ Works / Köbler, Eger, Albrecht, Otto, Et Al: 15 CDs, 189 works (Berlin Classics 184172)
    Agnes Luchterhandt, Scene Bach, Byrd, Weckmann, Et Al / Luchterhandt, Janssen (MD&G (Dabringhaus & Grimm))
    Douglas Major, Masterworks By Bach (Gothic Records)
    Johannes Strobl, Scheidemann, BÖHM: Christ Lag In Todesbanden; Bach, Buxtehude, Etc (Audite 92560)
    James Hammann (Toccata in F) Guilmant In America (Raven Recordings (Classical) 330)
    Helmut Walcha, Bach: Great Organ Works (Deutsche Grammophon)
    Karl Richter, Bach: Organ Works (Deutsche Grammophon)
    Hans-Jurgen Ander-Donath, Orgelkonzert in der Dresdner Frauenkirche [ORIGINAL RECORDING REISSUED] (Berlin Classics)
    Marcus St. Julien, Romantics & Classics (Raven)

    Some of the recordings recommended by listeners and released before July 2007 are listed here.

    BACK to Toccata in F: Bach, Chakras, Tarot


    FOOTNOTES

    Footnote: alternative views of the kundalini pattern

    Some occult symbols (like the Golden Dawn's Tree of Life) reverse the positions of the planets, putting outer planets at the top instead of the Sun and Moon. The planets' places on this "Tree's" 10 "spheres" is based on another version of the "stairway to heaven": the Greek cosmos with the earth at the center of the universe, leading up from Earth, then to the fastest planet Moon, then up the ladder's 7 steps to the slowest planet Saturn, and beyond; with Sun in the middle of the stairway (which was actually the orbital path of the Earth). More about this on a future webpage. See also Planetary Dynamics

    Some traditional yogis do not say that the two currents switch from side to side, but that the feminine, lunar Ida current flows only on the left side of the body, and the masculine, solar Pingala current only on the right. Some say they only cross each other twice; at the 3rd and 5th chakras. I think this grand symbol contains any of these interpretations.

    If correlated to astrology, the current can still be seen both as running up and down on one side, or as switching from side to side. If all the yin signs, representing the lunar Ida current, are all placed on the left (as in the above table), and all the yang signs, representing the solar Pingala current, are all placed on the right, as on the Medicine Wheel and the Tree of Life, then (as I mentioned) the currents still shift back and forth as they proceed through the sign sequence during the seasons of the year. If the currents only switch at the 3rd and 5th chakras, then they mark the divisions between the 3 parts of the soul. Many clairvoyants observe the currents switching and the direction of spin changing, from one chakra to the next.

    Anodea Judith correlates the Moon with chakra 2, and Jupiter with chakra 6, and many authors follow this model. In this case, as I see it, the yin chakras 2,4,6 can be correlated with these planets (Jupiter with chakra 6 and Moon with chakra 2) if the whole series is flipped upside down, with Saturn (7th chakra) at the top (like the Golden Dawn's Tree of Life/Saturn = World card or Binah), while the yang chakras 1,3,5,7 continue to be correlated to the original Sun-at-the-top model shown above. Thus one current is pointing up, and the other is pointing down. Venus at the center, of course, fits both ways.

    However you look at and symbolize kundalini, it is the process of transformation that counts the most. Anodea Judith pointed out that the chakras are "a template for transformation," a map of the powers within us and how to develop and balance them. Alchemists called this "the great work." Bach's Toccata in F puts it into music. It is the template for transformation in sound, a precise map of the spiritual journey. The music reveals the lessons we need to learn at each level, and the rivers, valleys and mountains we cross on our way toward becoming ever more-perfect expressions of the divine energy that we are.

    BACK to Bach, chakras, tarot: the alternative way of representing the kundalini pattern



    Footnote: The myth of the serpent churning the ocean of milk: The most reknowned bas-relief carving at the famous Angkor Wat temple in Cambodia relates the Hindu story of Vishnu using a serpent being pulled back and forth by 108 gods and asuras (demons), 54 gods pulling one way, and 54 asuras pulling the other, spiralling around the central point (Mt. Meru), to churn the ocean of milk in order to produce the elixir of immortality. This myth obviously coincides with the two snake themes in Bach's Toccata in F consisting of 108 bars, 54 for each theme, each moving in opposite directions, opening up the hero's journey to immortality and the elixir of life. The churning of milk coincides with the water element being turned in the vortex of the second chakra. It also coincides with our Milky Way spiral galaxy. The gods and demons represent the light and the dark, or conscious and subconscious, both of which we need to embody in order to attain enlightenment.

    The actual carving at Angkor Wat appears to feature 180 instead of 108 gods and demons, 88 and 92 respectively, which may relate to the number of days between the equinox and solstice. According to the Oriental Architecture site, there are 5 monumental guardian gates to the fortified temple city of Angkor Thom. In front of each gate stand giant statues of 54 gods (to the left of the causeway) and 54 demons (to the right of the causeway) and they are said to relate to the story depicted at Angkor Wat.

    The story of the "108 gods and demons pulling the serpent in opposite directions" is also told in the documentary by John Bush Journey of Buddhism, Prajna Earth, which depicts the Angkor Wat carving and other great spiritual art and practices in the region. Angkor Wat is the largest temple in the world, the greatest of 40 other surviving temples of Angkor, and is recognized as a wonder and a masterpiece. Like Bach's Toccata, Angkor Wat is a model of the universe, and is built to be oriented toward the solstices and equinoxes and the four directions. Like the Taj Mahal, it has four towers surrounding a fifth in the center in a "quincunx" formation. Another temple near Angkor Wat (see under symbolism) has 108 towers to represent the 108 gods on Mt. Meru, the sacred mythic symbol of the center of the universe and home of the gods.

    The churning of the ocean of milk is also depicted in other Cambodian and Hindu temples. Many Buddhist and Hindu temples have 7 levels like the chakras, including (according to the Bush documentary) the great Buddhist temple of Borobudur in Java. 9 levels is also a common motif in many others. Like the Taj Mahal, Hindu Temples such as Borobudur, Angkor Wat and Kandariya are built with many "self-similar" repeating patterns-- what we now call fractals, as is the Toccata in F, the world's greatest musical temple.

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    Footnote: Some intriguing possible links to string theory are opening up. Remember that I mentioned how Titus Burckhardt writes in Alchemy, "a serpent or dragon as the image of cosmic power is to be found in all parts of the world... A reptile moves without legs and by means of an uninterrupted rhythm in its body, so that it is the incorporation, so to say, of a subtle oscillation." and that I mentioned that the Toccata in F's theme oscillates. On the string theory website we read: "For a closed string, the boundary conditions are periodic, and the resulting oscillating solution looks like two open string oscillations moving in the opposite direction around the string. These two types of closed string modes are called right-movers and left-movers..." This sounds like the two chakra currents to me, as well as Bach's two strings of snake-like canons, one right-moving and one left-moving. String theory asserts that the universe is like music, and that its fundamental "particles" "are like the harmonic notes played on a string." Pythagoras, mentioned here on the toccata website as a founding father of esoteric philosophy, is also cited as the first string theorist.

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    Footnote: another idea illustrated by the Toccata in F is Spiral Dynamics of Integral Philosophy, which proposes that life, people and history develop in stages, and that each stage "transcends and includes" the previous stage. The toccata theme itself is spiral-like as it oscillates back and forth, and in the first two sections of the toccata, we hear the snake-like theme twirling around itself; also spiral-like. Integral Philosophy also carries the same image illustrated in the Toccata in F of the two great currents moving up and down the entire spiral. At each of the 7 levels of the toccata, we move up in spiral fashion; first a yang chakra section and then a yin, as in Spiral Dynamics. The next level also "transcends and includes" the previous one. For example, the second chakra section shows how the first can be included and transcended by keeping all the same notes, but reversing the direction (left-hand leading instead of the right) and shifting to the dominant key. The third chakra adds a whole new theme based on the original one, yet brings back the original one too. In the fourth and fifth chakras, new themes are added to the start of the recurrance of the original theme (in the manifesting sections), and the fifth section retains the theme introduced in the fourth. At each level, all the themes are transferred to higher notes on the keyboard. Finally at the 6th chakra, the themes begin to be condensed and combined together, in a way that seems to expand our vision. The chariot and snake themes are played in counterpoint. In the final section all the themes are synthesized into one seamless expression of bliss.

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    Footnote: the 3 parts of the brain. In the 1960s Paul D. MacLean developed the triune brain theory and published it in his book The Triune Brain in Evolution. MacLean proposed that the reptilian brain complex was responsible for instinctual behaviors involved in aggression, dominance, territoriality, and ritual displays. He maintained that the structures of the limbic system arose early in mammalian evolution (hence "paleomammalian") and were responsible for the motivation and emotion involved in reproductive and parental behavior. The neomammalian brain complex or intellectual brain consists of the cerebral neocortex, a structure found uniquely in mammals. MacLean regarded its addition as the most recent step in the evolution of the mammalian brain, conferring the ability for language, abstraction, planning, and perception. Deepak Chopra and Rudolph Tanzi have used this concept in their books and PBS programs, and Carl Sagan and Arthur Koestler have also referred to it. The structure of the brain is very complicated, with many parts with different terms. The cerebellum is another major part in the back of the brain that governs posture and balance, but does not seem to be included in the triune model. Here is another website on brain structure. Also check the links on the wikipedia page for triune brain theory (link above) for more details (hard to follow though).

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    Footnote, Divine Science inherency of God: Divine Science is the founding school of New Thought, which taught and helped inspire the teachers of the better-known New Thought denominations of Unity, Science of Mind (Religious Science), and others. The Divine Science basic course defines the inherencies of God as 7 aspects of the Infinite Mind which operate in creation. They are also discussed briefly in Divine Science, Its Principle and Practice (Denver, 1957), p. 41-42, 234. Although this fact is not known to most Divine Scientists, these 7 inherencies of God correspond exactly to the 7 chakras. Our 7 chakra centers are where we connect to Spirit; they are the principle links or doorways between the Creative Spirit within us and our own bodies. The inherencies of Divine Science represent their highest spiritual expression. Here are the 7 inherencies as defined in the Basic Course by Divine Science, and how they correspond to the 7 major chakras:

    • Wisdom is the Infinite Mind Source perceiving its own ideas. For us, it is our capacity to see the ideas in the Mind of God, and to discern the best means of expressing them. The crown chakra connects us to the source of Infinite Mind, and its wisdom and bliss.
    • Knowledge is ideas manifesting in fixed patterns. It brings forth ideas as images, or patterns in our minds. The third eye chakra is our faculty of imagination or inner vision in which we see these patterns. The Tree of Life also uses these same terms wisdom and knowledge for the highest two sephiroth or phases of creation, but the most-usual translation switches these two words between the first and second sephiroth.
    • Understanding brings forth idea patterns in visible substance. Understanding knows how to produce and apply. The throat chakra is where we put divine ideas into symbolic form, vibration, and spoken language and song, both visible and audible, so we can apply them to life and adjust to conditions. Just as the inherency of Understanding knows how to produce, the thyroid gland at the throat releases our growth hormone.
    • Love is the conscious unity of oneness. The heart chakra is where we find the integrity or oneness of our own authentic self, and the compassion through which we experience connection with others.
    • Power is the ability to produce and bring ideas into actuality. The solar plexus or navel center is where we experience this power to focus energy for action.
    • Joy is a sense of being filled and overflowing with goodness. The inherency of Joy interprets the pleasures of the sacral chakra at their most elevated expression. It also illuminates the correspondence of this chakra with jovial and generous Jupiter.
    • Life is self-determined motion, the Creative Spirit in action throughout Its creation. This is also the definition of a soul, according to Plato. The base chakra is the basic center from which our life springs, and our will to live and survive within creation.

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    Footnote, Fillmore's powers: Charles Fillmore published The Twelve Powers of Man in 1930. Click on the link to see where he placed them in the body. In the table below I have added other names by which the same powers are also known, as well as other correlations.

    Powers, as located in my table, and other namesJesus' 12 apostles (or disciples)signs of the zodiac/planets (chakra order)Fillmore's location in the bodymy location in chakratarot card
    wisdom, judgmentJames, son of ZebedeeLeo/Sun, Neptunepit of stomachhead, left brain, 7 World, Judgement
    imaginationBartholomewCancer/Moon, Jupiterbetween the eyesbetween the eyes, right brain, 6Star
    understandingThomasVirgo/Mercuryfront brainthroat/mouth, connected to right brain, 5Devil
    power (of the word)PhilipGemini/Mercuryroot of tonguethroat/mouth, connected to left brain, 5Temperance
    orderJames, son of AlphaeusLibra/Venus, Saturnnavelleft heart, 4Justice
    loveJohnTaurus/Venus, Moonback of heartright heart, 4Hanged Man
    strengthAndrewScorpio/Marsloinsnavel, 3Hermit, Wheel of Fortune
    willMatthewAries/Mars, Suncenter front brainsolar plexus, 3Strength
    zealSimon the CananeanSagittarius/Jupiterback of head at medullasacrum/hips, 2Lovers
    faithPeterPisces/Jupiter, Venuscenter of brainsacrum, female genitals/top of head, 2/7Empress, Pope
    lifeJudasCapricorn/Saturn, Marsgenerative functionsbase of spine, male genitals, 1Emperor
    release, renunciation, elimination, forgivenessThaddeusAquarius/Saturnabdominal regionbase of spine, 1 Fool, Magician


    Notes on the changes I made to where Fillmore locates the 12 Powers: In general, Fillmore's overall picture of the powers is top heavy; the brain is seen as having more "powers" than the lower chakras. I have restored balance to the powers by giving the lower chakras their due, and thus aligning the powers better with the other systems. But both alignments seem to be mostly valid, depending on how you interpret the meaning of the words used to describe the "powers."

    "Order" matches up with the virtue Justice, and to both the tarot card and sephiroth of that name, which I correspond to the left side of the heart. I see no reason to associate "order" as Fillmore does with the navel, which is part of the 3rd chakra of will and self-assertiveness. However, the other changes I made can be seen to be almost interchangeable with Fillmore's order, if you notice the correspondences to the planets and signs. The Sun, for example, is linked both to Leo, which it rules, and to Aries, where it is exalted. Leo corresponds to the crown chakra, and Aries to the 3rd, the solar plexus. Fillmore associates wisdom/judgment with the 3rd chakra (which he calls "pit of the stomach"), and thus with Aries, whereas I have linked it to the crown chakra and its sign Leo to match the other systems that locate these virtues in the head (or top of the head), such as the final two tarot cards (Judgement, and World, which represents the virtue of Wisdom), the highest part of the Tree of Life, the highest inherency of God, etc. It is logical to think of wisdom as an intellectual virtue of the mind. But Fillmore places "will" in the head (and thus in the crown chakra) instead of wisdom, and Leo is the crown chakra sign, whose motto is "I will." But I have put will in the solar plexus to match the 3rd chakra of will, and the tarot card and virtue of Strength, etc. A slight shift in the meanings of "will" and of "judgment" or "wisdom" makes Fillmore's placements logical as well, however. Will, as associated with the crown chakra, means awareness of and alignment with God's will, not the personal will, which is how religious people such as Fillmore would prefer to consider the power of will. I, however, think that personal will is an important key to spiritual development, not something to be extinguished. But Judgment (or Wisdom) also fits well in the 3rd chakra. In this sense Judgment or Wisdom means the ability to make good decisions (which we make with our own "will"), which matches Aries, sign of the 3rd chakra. On the philosophy wheel, Aries and the 3rd chakra are placed on the left, like the left column of the Tree of Life (the active or decisive yang side), and where I also put Enneagram Type 8, Myers-Briggs type ENTJ, etc.; see my articles on these). It also matches Judgment as described by Myers-Briggs, the ability to make decisions in an organized way, which is in turn also associated with the left-brain and the left/yang pole of the philosophy wheel, the left column of the Tree of Life, etc. So these two alternate positions of the "powers" are interchangeable, depending on how you understand the words for them.

    In a similar way, we also see a link between the crown chakra and the 2nd chakra, and the different positions of Faith in the chart above. Neptune is exalted in Leo, sign of the crown chakra. But it is also the higher ruler of Pisces, the sign of Faith, which aligns with the 2nd chakra of generative creation and propagation. The lower ruler of Pisces is Jupiter. So "Faith" can be linked to either the crown or the second chakra. The corresponding sections in Bach's toccata, the second chakra (Empress card) and 7th chakra (Judgement card) sections, are the toccata's most joyous, transcendent, sweet and blissful moments. They bring out vividly these two alternate (higher and lower) positions of faith-- the transcendent virtue by which we can contact divine life. So faith is still associated with the brain, as Fillmore indicated, as well as with the primordial lower chakras. Notice I have also connected in another of my charts the highest tarot card The World with Pisces (sign of faith), as well as with the crown chakra, where Neptune, higher ruler of Pisces, is exalted.

    The Fool tarot card also represents Faith, and is linked in my tables to Aries. But just as The Fool is a wild card that can be played any time in the game of tarot, Faith is a basic power or virtue that applies anywhere in the body. However, it is especially associated in esoteric tradition with the lowest and highest chakras. The Fool, for example, is usually placed either at the beginning of the tarot parade, or near the end. Faith also means the 2nd chakra's power to propagate and nourish life, but Faith also fits the base chakra of basic life motivation, the willingness to go forth in action. Thus Faith has two places in my table on the main page (see BACK just below), corresponding to the two related but different definitions. Faith as a willingness to believe in spite of not knowing, is represented by Pisces and Peter, but Faith as the willingness to go forth and act without knowing the outcome, is represented by the next sign Aries.

    Zeal also shares the rulership of bouyant Jupiter, which rules the 2nd chakra, but Jupiter is also exalted in Cancer, corresponding to the brain (6th chakra) near where Fillmore places it. Zeal or enthusiasm is a nice fit for the joyous confidence of the 2nd chakra.

    None of these correspondences invalidates the scientific idea that these powers are all located in the brain. Everything in the body has a connection to the brain, because it is the switchboard and operations center of our body and of our embodied soul. But we also experience these powers at the other chakra centers and organs of the body, since our consciousness and intelligence are experienced and contacted there as well, and not solely in our brains as many scientists seem to think-- discounting as they do our own experience in favor of what can be measured and verified outwardly to other people with instruments used by our five senses, and discounting as well the proven scientific fact that abundant nerve tissue is found in each of the ganglia located at each of our chakra centers-- especially the heart center.

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    Footnote: other speculations can be made too about how to correlate signs, Hebrew letters and tarot trumps.

    Remember Mars and Aries are male, like the Emperor and Pope, and Venus and Taurus are female, like the Empress and High Priestess. So the correlations of signs and planets to these cards, and their trump order, could be changed to reflect this fact, confirmed in the chakras and the Toccata-- and also to represent the "new age" order in which female rulers often trump male ones, and in which the "esoteric" High Priestess trumps the "exoteric" Pope (since clearly, in the new age, esoteric philosophy is venerated and traditional religion is often scorned). We would therefore have:

    2. Emperor (Aries, camel) (formerly #4, Aries, window)
    3. Pope (Mars, door) (formerly #5, Taurus, nail)
    4. Empress (Venus, window) (formerly #3, Venus, door)
    5. Female Pope (Taurus, nail) (formerly #2, Moon, camel)

                        

    The Empress, of course, is clearly a sensuous symbol, and her Venusian sweetness really shines through in the second canon of Bach's Toccata in F. Of course, the original trump order is still valid too, since the patriarchy as been and still usually is the way of the world.

    Camel (gimel) could also be switched with fence (cheth), so that camel represents the Chariot and fence represents The Emperor. Then all 4 rulers in the tarot trumps would correspond to the parts of the house built by the Magician (beth). Emperors build fences between peoples, and the camel is a kind of chariot (the ship of the desert). But in that case, the Chariot would be trump 2 and the Emperor trump 7, if the Hebrew alphabet's order is maintained. It seems to be the case that the order among the lower group of trumps can be moved around more than the upper groups. This reflects what Charles Ponce wrote in his book Kabbalah: "About the beginning (God's realm) there is much agreement; about its result, the world, little." (p.112)

    Some kabbala scholars might object to my shifting around the correlations, citing the difference between letters that have only one as opposed to two or three sounds associated with them. These are the 12 single letters (supposed to align with the signs), 7 double letters (with the planets) and 3 triple letters (with 3 elements). But I point out that these differences and numbers do not apply to the Hebrew language as it is actually spoken, as any dictionary shows.

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               Footnote: for those interested in a more detailed correlation of the 12 notes, colors and signs with the 12 chakras (7 major and 5 minor) along the spine, as they are depicted in this picture (see left) (posted on flickr by Jai MA). Right now I agree pretty much with the picture, but I would adjust the correlation to correspond better to my other charts. This is how I see it now: In my table above, the Moon and Star cards and their associated symbols are designated "chakra 6 or 7". This is only because the Golden Dawn and BOTA made a correlation between the Moon card and the sign Pisces, as shown in their table. In our system the Moon and the Moon card are located in chakra 6, but violet is chakra 7. Following the suggestion of Robert Place, however, I have correlated the Moon with the Moon card, and this frees up PIsces for me to correlate it with World, violet and the crown, chakra 7-- see my table. So also, the Star card and its sign Aquarius correspond to violet (7th chakra) in the BOTA order, but are in the 6th chakra in my table. In the picture above, Aquarius, A# and violet are attributed instead to the Pineal gland, which is a good idea. This gland governs the brain's relationship to the soul and the cosmos, and usually is said to correspond to the 6th chakra (3rd eye). The pineal gland can also be considered a minor chakra that bridges the 6th and 7th chakras.

    Further down in the above picture, Capricorn/Devil corresponds to the 3rd eye, A and indigo (and to the Hebrew letter for eye). That makes some sense, although Capricorn/Devil is also 5th chakra; but Sagittarius and blue/G# are linked in this picture to the "zeal point" behind the throat (seen therefore as a minor chakra), and Scorpio (blue-green/G) corresponds to the throat. Some authors have also alluded to a "high heart" chakra located at a nub just above the heart. Here it is attributed to the thymus gland and Libra/F#. I would place Scorpio/Death and the blue-green sea color/G there instead of Libra (making it also a "lower throat"), and delete the "zeal point" from my spinal order, leaving Sagittarius/Temperance and blue/G# to correspond to the throat chakra proper (and also to the "zeal point"). That would return Libra/Justice and green/F# to correspond with both the heart and corresponding thymus gland. I like keeping the 7 glands and the 7 chakras aligned as much as possible. In the picture Virgo and yellow-green/F are attributed to the heart chakra, and it looks more like green proper. But I think there is a "lower heart" minor chakra between the heart and navel where we feel fear and sometimes romance. I would attribute this to Virgo (the Hermit) and yellow green, a color sometimes associated with fear. This way both F and F# remain associated with "the heart."

    The Solar plexus corresponds to Leo/Strength and yellow/E, and Cancer and D#/yellow-orange (which here looks beige) is attributed to a minor "duality" chakra just below it. This could be the navel and the Chariot card, the transition point or portal from the 2nd to the 3rd chakra, where we receive our original vitality and perhaps also our merkabah vehicle of ascension. The first hearing of the chariot theme represents it in the toccata. Going further down, we see in the picture that the sacral or sexual chakra is attributed to Gemini (The Lovers card) and orange/D, but this chakra is actually in the lower abdomen, while the sex organs themselves are located below it. Thus here in this picture they are recognized as a minor chakra corresponding to sexy sign Taurus and red-orange/C#. For obvious reasons, in this case Taurus corresponds to the Empress, not the Pope/Hierophant or High Priestess. The root 1st chakra and the testis "ejaculation muscle" in men corresponds to Aries/Emperor and red/C.




    BACK to Bach, chakras, tarot: reversing the BOTA correlation order



    Footnote: No doubt the allegory in the Tarot trumps or Major Arcana might need some updating. We don't live in Renaissance times, and the Tarot'smoral point of view could be seen to somewhat resemble the reactionary "red-state" attitudes of today's Religious Right fundamentalists. Male figures trump female ones, and sexuality and sensuality, often symbolized in the cards by women, is rejected in the Tarot's 2nd Act in favor of male discipline. The conservative, punishing parenting style described by George Lakoff might be seen to be preferred over the liberal nurturing style. All the more reason then (in a "new age" tarot) to change the trump order in the first section to elevate the female rulers over the male ones, as Bach's Toccata in F and the chakra system indicate. For in the Toccata, as in the chakras, the first chakra is male, and the second chakra above it is female!

    Interestingly, Robert Place noted that the High Priestess card was originally a picture of a female pope chosen by a heretical 13th-century sect which called itself "the new age." So the order implied by Bach in his toccata was actually a prophecy of the new age and the empowering of women today! And as I noted before, the powerful presence of love, joy and sensuality near the beginning of the journey at chakra 2 also shows how much of a motivating factor it is; we could not make the ascent without it. That's why the kaballah calls it "foundation." The discipline of virtue needs to be seen not as inflicting pain or domination on oneself or others. Rather, it is focusing on our 7 soul centers, and recognizing the power over us of our own uncentered demonic compulsions, fears and habits. By becoming conscious of these "demons," we master them. This is what Buddha meant, I contend, by his second Noble Truth, in which craving and attachment is named as the cause of suffering; which in turn is healed by Awakening (Nirvana, the 3rd Noble Truth). Remember also that on the Strength card, a woman tames a powerful lion using love. Notice how in the Toccata the pedal, heard solo in the Lovers card, soon leads the way in the uplifting theme of the Strength card.

    We also know today that our reasoning mind is not always virtuous, but often is chief among our demons. The ancient philosophers did recognize, however, that reclaiming ourselves and our consciousness from these compulsions is true power and virtue, not the worldly dominance over other people depicted on the lower trumps. They taught us that our addiction to indulgence, fear or comfort sometimes needs to be sacrificed in order to achieve "the great work." We also notice that the virtues and the highest wisdom are represented in the cards by females. Perhaps religious liberals and conservatives can find some common ground in the universal symbols of the Tarot trumps. It is interesting that the "Severity" of Justice, represented by the card Justice and by the sephirah circle colored red on the Tree of Life by modern occultists, and the leniency, nurturance and openness of "Mercy", represented by the Hanged Man trump and by the blue sephirah on the Tree, are both linked and balanced in "Beauty," the kabalistic symbol of the heart. Perhaps in the spiritual journey, then, we can reconcile today's red and blue states and their conflicting values in the culture wars. In my order, Temperance is placed between the red and blue circles on the Tree of Life.


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    Footnote: Why does the first pedal solo stop after 28 bars at path 28, while the second includes all 32 bars that correspond to all 32 paths on the Tree of Life? It never ceases to amaze me how Bach's Toccata in F provides answers that illuminate the spiritual path. Let's review things to see how.

    Notice how neatly the first 7 tarot cards, which represent the lower soul level, match the sections of the toccata's lower level. The two canons (imitation or double-helix snake themes) each start over half-way through, making 4 versions of the theme. These 4 themes match and symbolize the 2 mated pairs of imperial rulers: Emperor and Pope (first canon) and Empress and Priestess (second canon). The canons, each played with opposite hands leading, also match the two eagles flying in opposite directions to find the sacred center; the goal of the spiritual journey. These canons are the liberating current through which kundalini begins moving from imprisonment in the first chakra up to liberation. The 2 pedal solos are the manifesting current; they ground us in the lower chakras, but remember the manifesting current also comes down from the divine source. These pedal solos are symbolized by the other two cards in the lower soul-of-appetite section, besides The Chariot: The Magician and the Lovers. On one level they represent greed and trickery (the Magician, 1st chakra) and sensuality and indulgence (The Lovers, 2nd chakra), but they also give us divine guidance for the spiritual journey upwards. The Magician provides that guidance through rituals and spells that manifest the divine mind in the world and bring beauty into it through art (maya). He does this according to the principle "as above, so below," represented on the card by his hand gesture and by the 4 magical tools on his table that correspond to the 4 elemental creatures on the final World card, and in the first pedal solo by the four notes at the end (one out-of-tune pedal note, plus the three "fool chords") that are almost the same as the pedal note plus 3 "fool chords" that conclude the entire toccata and represent the throne of God (pictured on the World card, the highest trump).

    But the first pedal solo (The Magician) stops after 28 bars, while the second pedal solo (The Lovers) has all 32 bars that correspond to all 32 paths on the Tree of Life. So The Magician only takes us to path 28, which corresponds to The Star card. The Magician brings down divine energy from the throne of God, and is able to cast spells and enact rituals through inspiration (The Star, path 28). We as the seeker have not actually reached those levels yet, but we are linked to them through the Magician's manifesting current that guides us from above. The Lovers takes us beyond the Magician by giving us greater guidance through Love. That's because the next tarot card beyond The Star, the one which The Magician stops before reaching, is The Moon (path 29), which I point out later in this essay represents our perfected Merkabah or chariot of ascension. We don't fully reflect and manifest the divine until we have perfected our Chariot. But we are able to enter it in the next card-- the next path right after The Lovers. Then we can begin our journey in earnest, and enter the next soul level, even though we haven't yet fully learned how to drive the vehicle. That is because in the Lovers, we are able to connect more directly to the superconscious mind than we did in The Magician. He only links us as far as The Star. But in Love, Eve (the female part of us, represented by the girl on The Lovers card) is able to connect us to The Moon, our perfected chariot-- and to the 3 higher paths beyond it. Notice that in the Waite-Smith and BOTA decks the Adam figure looks to Eve, but Eve looks above to the angel. The female Eve thus guides and connects us to the higher level. She takes us up to the female Moon, our perfect receptivity to the divine, which the male Magician alone cannot do. The Lovers thereby allows us to get on board The Chariot in the next card and accelerate our journey, just as the 2nd pedal solo leads directly into the first dynamic chariot theme. The Chariot corresponds to the zodiac sign Cancer in the Golden Dawn system, but Cancer in astrology is ruled by The Moon. In the Toccata in F, only The Chariot card and The Moon card are symbolized by the chariot theme alone, and by the time we hear it in the 6th chakra section, when it becomes the theme for The Moon card, the chariot theme sounds elevated, peaceful and magnificently pure. Therefore the second pedal solo, which gives us all 32 bars and all 32 paths, prepares us through Eve's greater contact with the superconscious to enter The Chariot of ascension, and our ability to drive this Chariot will be perfected by the time we reach The Moon theme in the highest soul level. Notice how in The Ultimate Gift, by the way, Alexia (Jason's new love) coaxes Jason to ride the chariot (the bus), and that it's the females that get him to take the trip to Texas where he learns his dream, whereas the Magician Mr. Hamilton almost stops him from going.

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    Other aspects of the "4-fold world and center" with tables

    The seasons are related to the cycle of signs and kundalini presented above, symbolized by the caduceus. This is the same movement from dark and cold up to light and hot represented by the ladder of planets where we climb from dark, cold Saturn up to the hot, bright Sun. The season of Spring here represents the "liberating" phase, in which life is liberated from the dark and cold, while Autumn in the "manifesting" phase; even though it might also seem as if in Springtime things are "manifesting." This is another example of how symbols can sometimes switch around in their meaning. Spring therefore in the first table below will be correlated to the yin (liberating) water element, which is also related to the Direction West. It might seem as if Spring, when the light is increasing, is analagous to sunrise in the East; but since the Sun appears to move through the Houses in a reverse direction each day from its movement through the zodiac and the seasons, things are reversed; so that in the northern hemisphere the 10th sign Capricorn (Winter, when things are darkest), is equivalent to the 10th house (Noon, when the light is bright). This paradox can represent the ultimate connection between the spiritual and the material, the inward Sun of enlightenment and the outer world represented by Saturn.

    The four humors, and the four temperaments related to them, certainly correspond to the elements-- but these also correspond to the chakras, as we saw in the earlier table of exalted planets and chakras; thus to the "male" ascending line-- and to the toccata and tarot journey, rather than the female circle. This is also the chakras ascending along the backbone, or the central column on the Tree of Life; and the color spectrum rather than the color wheel. The humors are also related in this way to the yang (male) zodiac signs, which in our virtue order (see my table) indicate the virtues into which we convert our inherited "temperaments," as we grow spiritually on our path to wisdom and liberation.

    Sanguine, the most happy temperament, is linked traditionally to blood and to air (the word sanguine is derived from the Greek word for blood). We see that the 5th chakra (adaptation, purification and expression) is air, and that the virtue card "Temperance" is located there too, which means "proper mix of temperament" and thus "sanguine." Seen this way, the 4 temperaments are arranged in ascending order, as we move up the chakras and (we hope) our mood improves (this ascent also resembles other ascending patterns, like the Maslow hierarchy of needs, the scientology tone scale, the Hawkins power scale, developmental scales, etc.). Thus the choleric temperament, linked to yellow bile and fire and considered vindictive and angry, is found at the 3rd chakra of will. In its refined form it is the virtue Strength. The phlegmatic temperament, linked to phlegm and water and considered sluggish, is found at the 2nd chakra of pleasure (The Lovers). In its refined form it is sensuous Love. The melancholic temperament, linked to black bile and earth and considered sad, is found at the 1st chakra of concern for survival. In its refined form it is Faith (The Fool) and initiative. Faith is the "root virtue" in that it allows us to move forward and live (survive). Its opposites are fear and despair (melancholy). And of course the value of money (merchants, bourgeoisie), so necesssary to survival, depends on faith and confidence. Sometimes the 1st chakra is considered to be the seat of inherited beliefs (or faiths) too.

    The central 4th chakra, and the highest 7th chakra, are related to the spirit element, which takes our temperament beyond the physical humors to the spiritual virtues (Justice and Wisdom/World respectively), carried by the "humor" of consciousness that suffuses our bodies. Hope is related to the 6th chakra of vision (corresponding to The Star card, ruled by Aquarius-- sign of hope). Here in this table Hope can be grouped with Strength, since Fire as yin (light, vision, intuition) is the element of the 6th chakra, and fire as yang-energy is also the element of the 3rd chakra. Some say the 3rd chakra also corresponds to eyesight. Thus we see the place of all 7 virtues; the 4 Platonic or cardinal virtues (Temperance, Strength, Wisdom and Justice) and the 3 Christian virtues (Faith, Hope and Love). In our spiritual journey, we convert our inherited physical "temperament" into the corresponding spiritual "virtue."

    With these considerations, and others, we can also place these aspects of the four-fold world in an extended table. Here "swords," which is usually interpreted as "sorrow," is in the same position as sanguine, which means cheerfulness. But I think "sorrow" may be too negative an interpretation of the swords suit. If we think of the meaning of swords as contemplation, investigation and thought, and read the cards that way, we can see how "swords" and "sanguine" both relate to the air element; even though our runaway thoughts often bring worry and anxiety too. The Temperance card, located in the 5th chakra, carries these meanings. Also notice that Strength (choleric) is related to intuition, and this makes sense when intuition is interpreted as knowledge of enduring, eternal truths and values (often taught by priests), which bring strength through stability and endurance.

    Since "cold and dark" represents the base chakra and Winter in our kundalini scheme, and the base chakra represents the earth element, I associate cold with earth. Cold also represents matter in its slowest and most solid (earthy) state. Its opposite hot is equivalent to fire. Water and wet are equivalent, while its opposites are air and dry. Fire and water are sometimes called "the parent elements," and we notice that fire is hot, but also dry (thus giving birth to air), and water is wet, but also cold (giving birth to earth). Fire cannot be wet or cold, and water cannot be dry, but air (the element of communication) and to a lesser extent earth can contain all the other conditions. The 5th element spirit represents the condition of matter as alive and conscious-- in living things for sure, and perhaps in all things too. The Chinese represented this 5th element as "wood," but did not include "air" ("metal" being the equivalent).

    Unfortunately, Placing the weather conditions (cold, hot, dry, wet) in this table does not match the seasons, since the element of the fixed sign of each season, determines where I place the related weather condition. Since cold is earth, that means here it must be correlated to the Spring sign, the earth-sign Taurus. Though we can try to coordinate them, the 12 signs do not match the four seasons, four elements and four weather conditions, because there are three different signs in each season. However, if Scorpio the Eagle is considered (more literally) as a symbol of air (in which eagles fly) and thus dry, and Aquarius the Water Bearer is considered (more literally) as a symbol of water and wet, then the weather matches the seasons in this table.

    I include other planetary correlations here which were too complicated and confusing to include in the table on the main page, since the same planets can be placed in different columns depending on the context. So here is the extended four-fold quincunx table; still in toccata order:

    Imperial Tarot cards #1-5 EmperorPope/High PriestMagicianEmpressPapess/High Priestess
    Bach Toccata in F portionfirst canon pt.1first canon pt.2first pedal solosecond canon pt.1 second canon pt.2
    Element/weatherair/dryfire/hotspirit/alive earth/coldwater/wet
    SeasonWinterSummerthe poles/equatorSpringAutumn
    Fixed Sign/CreatureAquarius/ManLeo/LionWorld Soul/SophiaTaurus/BullScorpio/Eagle
    Temperament/fluidsanguine/bloodcholeric/yellow bilewise/consciousnessmelancholic/black bile phlegmatic/phlegm
    VirtueTemperanceStrength/HopeJustice/Wisdom FaithLove
    Tarot Suitswordswandstrumpscoins cups
    Functionthinkingintuitionindividuation sensationfeeling
    Philosophyrationalismessentialismspiritualism empiricismexistentialism
    Social Classnoblespriesthoodseekers bourgeoisieproletariat
    Outer PlanetSaturnJupiterPlutoUranus Neptune
    Governmentaristocracy (Federalist/Tory)theocracy (Christian parties)ecological (Green Party) republican (Republican)socialism (Democratic/Labour)
    Planets/sephirothMercury/gloryMars/severity Sun/beautyVenus/victoryJupiter/mercy

    The seasons relate to cyclic movement, while the four quadrants and directions are static spaces. In the former, fire and air are opposites; in the latter (as in table here), fire and earth are opposites. In some other schemes, fire and water are opposites. In these schemes, as in the chakras, the air element is highest.

    Cyclic Table

    In the table below, then, I place the seasons in cyclic order and show some resulting correlations. Since there is so much difference in weather between the early and late parts of a season, there aren't really just 4 seasons, but 12 (the signs of the zodiac); this may be why correlating the seasons with signs is more problematic.

    In the Generations Theory put forward by Strauss and Howe, 21-year "generations" move in a 4-fold cycle called "turnings," which symbolically are the 4 seasons of life. But I have noticed that these generational "seasons" (the 4 turnings) really correspond to day and night instead. Whereas during the seasons the Sun travels through the zodiac of signs, in this daily cycle, the Sun travels through the astrological houses, which are correlated in reverse order to the signs. For example, a day starts at Midnight, which is the 4th house, corresponding to Cancer. Just past midnight it moves into the 3rd house, which corresponds to Gemini (backward through the signs). Just before sunrise is the first house, corresponding to the first sign Aries. But as the Sun rises over the horizon it enters the 12th house, which corresponds to Pisces (backward from Aries); and so on. The four cardinal points, midnight (4th house/Cancer/water), sunrise (first house/Aries/fire), noon (10th house/Capricorn/earth), and sunset (7th house/Libra/air), correspond in that order to the 4 turnings, and to the generation in young adulthood at each turning. Meanwhile, the journey through the 4 fixed signs and their elements on the World card, correspond to the seasons, and to both the 4-letter name for God YHVH, and the 4 notes of the Toccata's God or World chord (consisting of high 3rd, middle tonic, low 7th, and middle tonic notes). Starting with Leo in Summer, the fire sign of the crown chakra, the 4 fixed signs move down from the crown to the 3rd chakra (Scorpio, Autumnal water sign), down to the base (Aquarius, air sign of Winter), and back up to the heart (Taurus, earth sign of Spring), and then back again to the crown (Leo). I have placed my correlations for the seasons, World card, generations and turnings in the cyclic table below.

    SeasonSpringSummerAutumnWinter
    Fixed Zodiac Sign on World cardTaurus/BullLeo/LionScorpio/EagleAquarius/Man
    cardinal pointNoon/CapricornSunrise/AriesMidnight/CancerSunset/Libra
    Turning/Generation3.nomad (X)2.prophet (Boomer) 1.artist (Silent)4.civic (Greatest/Y-Millennial)
    Elementearthfirewaterair
    Suitcoinswandscupsswords
    Functionsensationintuitionfeelingthinking
    Philosophyempiricismessentialismexistentialismrationalism
    Classmerchantpriestpeasantnoble
    Temperament/Virtuemelancholic/Faithcholeric/Strengthphlegmatic/Lovesanguine/Temperance
    Jungian TypeSTNFSFNT
    Imperial tarot cardEmpressHigh PriestHigh PriestessEmperor
    Tetragrammaton2nd HehYod1st HehVav
    Toccata World chordfinal tonic chord1st note or chord: a major 3rd1st tonic chord7th chord

    The philosophy wheel order doesn't fit as well here in the cyclic table, as it does in the static non-cyclic tables. This is because on the wheel, yang is always placed on the east (fire/essentialism and air/rationalism are yang) and yin on the west (water/existentialism and earth/empiricism are yin). In a cyclic order, yang and yin alternate; switching back and forth like the caduceus. For example, on the philosophy wheel, reason, which corresponds to air, is placed at the east. But here, air corresponds to sunset (Libra), at which time the Sun is in the west. On the philosophy wheel, the two upper quadrant philosophies (existentialism and essentialism), and their meanings, switch places from where they are here on the cyclic wheel. In other words, the philosophies from left to right across the table above do not follow their order on the wheel, but shift back and forth between opposites: empiricism to essentialism, its opposite; then existentialism to rationalism.

    Here in this cyclic table above, perhaps the old meaning of swords (air) as "sorrow" fits after all, and sanguine means learning to be cheerful in spite of the cold and "sorrowful" conditions of Winter. The civic generations exhibit just such traits, according to Strauss and Howe, authors of Generations theory, even though they come of age in a Great Crisis (a "winter").

    In another possible order, the cycle matches the philosophy wheel, but not the 4 fixed zodiac signs in seasonal order, nor the toccata order. In this cycle the weather matches the seasons better. Moving counter-clockwise from the upper left:
    Essentialism/intuition/fire/hot/Summer/yod/3rd
    Rationalism/thinking/air/dry/Autumn/heh/tonic
    Empiricism/sensation/earth/cold/Winter/vav/7th
    Existentialism/feeling/water/wet/Spring/heh/tonic.

    BACK to the "imperial" four-fold quincunx table


    As we saw, the four faces of the four beasts in Ezekiel's vision of God in his chariot-throne, are described in "toccata order." That means the order in which their corresponding sections in the Toccata in F are heard. These 4 sections are in the first two chakras of the Toccata, which represent worldly powers and appetites. The "snake theme" is heard 4 times, with the snake representing both "temptation" and the serpent power within us that needs to be tamed and transformed into spiritual power in our quest. Thus they are the four powers represented by the four imperial cards, and later (in the Fortune and World cards) by the four beasts around God's throne. First is heard the opening portion of the canon, or snake theme, in which the right hand is imitated by the left hand, which indicates male power. This is represented by the Emperor and the air element, which later becomes The Man (Aquarius). The second portion follows immediately, as the theme starts over; this "higher" portion representing the Hierophant or Pope, the "sacred" emperor, and the fire element, which becomes The Lion (Leo). After the first pedal solo (The Magician), the canon starts again with the left hand leading the right, which indicates female power. This is the Empress or living-earth element, which becomes The Calf or Bull (Taurus). The final portion follows immediately, as the theme begins again; this "higher" portion symbolizing the High Priestess or Papess, the "sacred" empress, and the water element, which later becomes The Eagle (Scorpio). The two male symbols are presented first, and then the two female symbols, just as they are presented in Ezekiel.

    The four gospels of the New Testament are also presented in toccata order. As designated by the early Christian authorities in the Second Century, Matthew is The Man (Aquarius, air sign), Mark is The Lion (Leo, fire sign), Luke is The Bull (Taurus, earth sign), and John is The Eagle (Scorpio, water sign). That means that the Toccata in F could represent the New Testament. This could even have been in Bach's mind as he wrote his piece. The Bishop Iranaeus and others had decided by the Second Century that these four earliest gospels (but unfortunately without the gnostic or Thomas gospels) should be chosen for the "canon," because four was the right number-- since there were four directions and four elements as well as four beasts in the visions of God's throne.

    And it turns out that the gospels fit the elements pretty well. Matthew is the most wordy and fully-explained gospel, befitting the mental air element. It contains Jesus' sayings in the most detail, and contains the most heated mental diatribes against rival Jewish authorities. It also discusses Jesus' future return most fully (Aquarius, sign of hope and expectation). Mark, on the other hand, emphasizes the actions and events in Jesus' life, and is short and to the point. It makes the clearest explanation of Jesus' thoughts on the creative power of the mind. It was the earliest, or pioneering gospel on which the others were partly based. All this is in accord with the active and inspired fire element. Luke contains the most examples of Jesus' healing powers, which relates to the body and health (earth element). It also brings Jesus' message down to earth with the most parables and stories, and puts it in the context of history, both before and after (The Acts). John's gospel is the most passionate and emotional, and the most mystical (water), as well as emphasizing doctrine and the meaning of Jesus' death (Scorpio, sign of death and rebirth), and providing the basis for Christian evangelism and fundamentalism (arousing fear as well as faith). It also assures us that Jesus will always be with us in Spirit.

    So you can hear the message of each gospel in toccata order as it unfolds in the 4 sections of the canon/snake theme, the theme on which the rest of the Toccata is based. The Acts of the Apostles is like the Chariot, taking them on their adventures through the early history of the Faith. It is the gateway to the long section of Letters that follows, mostly by Paul, which outline the practices and virtues (like Faith, Hope and Love) which we need to be good Christians, and which admonish followers to reject Paul's rivals and avoid temptations. This is like the middle section of the Toccata in which we hear the virtue themes and the struggles and battles with time and fate or inner demons. Finally we hear the book of Revelation, set to music in the Toccata's magnificent, revelatory and blissful final section. Here of course the four Apostles reappear in the vision of God's throne, in the final 4 chords; no longer in Toccata order, but in cyclic seasonal or astrological order: fire/Lion, earth/Calf, air/Man and water/Eagle (which can also be run backwards: fire, water, air, earth), and in alternating yin and yang signs (as on the caduceus/chakras). The beasts are no longer four faces on four separate beasts, as in Ezekiel (16 in all, which could also represent the 16 face cards of the minor arcana), but now integrated as one face per beast.

    BACK to the "imperial" four-fold quincunx table


    Mathematical patterns in the Toccata in F, S.540

    As a 7-step "stairway to heaven," the Toccata in F is part of a great tradition in which the number 7 is a sacred number. Certainly the pious J.S.Bach knew the Book of Revelation, which features the "7 spirits of God" in front of the Sacred Throne, and several seven-step events. The fact that the Toccata is called "apocalyptic" is another clue that the Book of Revelation may have influenced its creation, as it did other baroque composers (Handel's Hallelujah Chorus is from Revelation). The prominence of the number 4 in the Toccata also refers to the four living creatures around the Throne. The Bible itself is full of number symbolism from start to finish, and certainly no other well-known composer used numbers symbolically as often as Bach did.

    The Muslim pilgrims circle the sacred kaba seven times, just as the chakra currents circle the center 7 times. They also throw seven stones at a wall representing temptation, 3 times = 21.

    The famous fibonacci series of "divine proportion" is a ratio between numbers or lines. The ratio of two numbers or line segments, where one (call it A) is about 1.6 times longer than the other (B), is the same ratio as that between the longer line and both lines together. This is expressed as A is to B, as A+B is to A. This ratio creates a spiral that goes on forever, as illustrated by the famous image of rectangles within rectangles in which a spiral is drawn. See Robert Place's web page on Leonardo da Vinci for details and illustrations. This you tube video provides an introduction.

    Besides what I reported above, I studied the number of bars (measures) in each chakra section of Bach's Toccata in F, S. 540. One note to add, is that Lionel Rogg in his 1970 performance at Arlesheim only plays 82 bars of chakra 2, dropping 4 bars from the 2nd pedal solo. So does Walcha on You Tube. This is probably because, like other 18th century and earlier organs, it does not have the high pedal keys required to play those four measures.

    As I mentioned above, each section of the Toccata is linked to a chakra, and each has a "liberating" portion representing the upward-flowing current around each chakra, and a "manifesting" portion representing the downward-flowing current. Here are the number of bars in each section, with the proportions between their 2 portions (remember the divine proportion or PHI is 1.6180339...):

    chakra sectionbarslib.portionmanif.portionlib/manif. proportion
    (1)8254281.92857
    (2)935432 (plus "chariot", 7 bars = 39)1.722
    (3)6241211.952
    (4)5232201.6
    (5)6241211.952
    (6-7)8730(ch.6)57(ch.7).5263
    totals4382521861.3548

    As you can see, in chakra 4 (the heart), the proportions comparing the 2 sections (liberating and manifesting) almost match the divine proportion.

    If the 12-bar Sun section is included in chakra 6 instead of chakra 7, the total proportion is. 1.52. If, in addition, the first chariot section (7 bars) is added to section 3 instead of #2, the total proportion between liberating and manifesting sections is 1.622 (271/167).

    The two canons together have 108 bars; the two pedal solos 60. 108/60=1.8. Multiply this proportion by 10. 18x3=54. 18x6=108.

    Looking from end to end instead of side to side, we can compare the first three sections, plus the first half of the 4th (heart), to the second half of the 4th, plus 5th, 6th and 7th. We get close to the divine proportion. From the base to the middle of the heart is 269.33 bars, and from the middle of the heart to the crown is 168.67 bars. 269.33 divided by 168.67 = 1.5967. In bar 271, the chord introducing the 2nd half of the heart section (manifesting or Hanged Man section) is finished and held, passionately. Using bar 271 as the center of the heart instead of 269, again we get 271/167 or 1.622.

    Some other patterns are apparent. If we divide the Toccata into the 3 parts that correspond to the 3 parts of the soul, and the 3 parts of the Tarot journey according to Robert Place, the first two chakra sections (including the first chariot) is the lower soul. The "devil" section (the manifesting portion of chakra 5) is added to the last 2 sections, together representing the higher part of the soul. The proportions between the three parts of the soul are thus: (lower part)=175 bars, (middle part)=155 bars, and (higher part)=108 bars.

    Notice that the higher spiritual part of the soul has 108 bars. 108 is a very sacred number in itself, which is linked to the great year and other astronomical phenomena. Notice also in the table above, that the first two liberating sections (the two snake-like, double-helix canons) each have 54 bars. 54 x 2 = 108. As above, so below.

    Here is a video which explains some of the significance of the number 432 (108 x 4) related to the great year, astronomy and the music of the spheres.

    The number 54 x 10 = 540-- the very number Schmeider chose for this Toccata in his catalogue of Bach Works, known as the BWV. Quite a coincidence. Of course, 108 x 5 also = 540.

    When 175 (# bars in lower soul portion) is divided by 108 (# bars in higher soul portion) the proportion is 1.62, close to the divine proportion of 1.618.

    As I mentioned, the central bar of the Toccata comes during the great chords of the Wheel of Fortune section, in the middle of the 3rd chakra section (bar 219), representing the navel or solar plexus. Bar 271 of the Toccata, closest to the golden ratio of 1.618 when compared to all 438 bars, comes during the poignant introduction to The Hanged Man section, the very center of the Heart or 4th chakra. The 3rd chakra is the center of our will, and the 4th chakra is the "golden" center of our soul.

    Looking the other way, reversing the direction of the divine proportion, the second pedal solo ends at bar 168, leaving 270 bars for the rest of the toccata. So the fiery, "piercing" entry of the chariot theme (transition to 3rd chakra) comes at the divine proportion point, looking at the toccata backward (or downward). You can watch the status bar on You Tube performances to graphically see the divine proportion at these points of the piece (unless the video features a lot of applause at the end).

    270 times 2 = 540. The Toccata And Fugue in F is BWV #540.

    The Fugue has 170 bars, about the same as the smaller part of the divine proportion in the toccata (167 to 169 bars depending on where you count).

    Robert M. Place shows Leonardo Da Vinci's Vitruvian Man and its relationship to The Tarot. Leonardo places the Man inside an overlapping square and circle. The square represents our physical nature (the 4 minor suits), and the circle our spiritual journey (the trumps). The center of the square is located at the 1st or 2nd chakra, the groin. When focused on sexuality, we are centered on the physical. But when we look at the divine proportion point on the central up/down axis (along the backbone and between the legs) of the man inside the square, it is located at the 3rd chakra (navel, or solar plexus). This is also the central point of the circle. Place points out all this and more. I go on to observe that, at the divine proportion point on the axis within the circle (including the portion of the circle that rises above his head), is the Man's heart. This of course matches Bach's Toccata in F, in which the central bar #219 is in the middle of chakra 3, and the divine proportional bar #271 is in the middle of the heart chakra. It thereby describes The Man within the spiritual circle (or his spiritual journey), with his 3rd chakra at the center of the circle, and his heart at the golden proportion point on the up and down axis of the circle.

    Taking it another step further, bar 374 comes at the golden proportion point between the middle of the heart chakra section (bar 271) and the top of the crown (the end of the Toccata, bar 438). That is the start of the second Chariot theme in the third eye, thus in the very middle of the third eye section, where the two sides of the soul are integrated. Notice that this 6th chakra section is the only one that contains two chariot themes, the first combined with the snake theme (corresponding to The Star tarot card), and the second alone (The Moon card).

    And now for geometry! I linked the heart chakra and its section in the Toccata in F to the 12-sided Dodecahedron, citing its relationship to the 12 petals in Hindu chakra symbolism, as well as to the 5-sided pentagram, and said it represents spirit, the 5th element. There are 5 "Platonic solids", and Plato linked 4 of them to the 4 elements. Plato assigned Air to the octahedron because of its ability to penetrate. An 8-sided polygon relates to the 16 petals of the 5th chakra. Plato related Earth to the stable cube, which is based on the square that resembles the 4 petals of the 1st chakra. Remember in Leonardo's drawing, the center of the square is the first or earth chakra. Plato linked Fire to the tetrahedron, the first or original of the solids (4-sided pyramid, or 4 triangles; triangles are based on the number 3, for 3rd chakra, and the word pyr means fire). The number of sides plus the number of edges in a tetrahedron is 10 (3rd chakra has 10 petals). Water was linked with the 20-sided icosahedron because of its fluidity. Chakra #2 times 10 equals 20. It is composed of 20 equal triangles (3x2(0) = 6(0) petals). The dodecahedron was the 5th of Plato's geometric solids, and is the only other such figure; so associating it with spirit or Ether is logical. Plato said that the creator god used the dodecahedron "for arranging the constellations on the whole heaven." This could also represent the 12 signs of the zodiac, another symbol of the wholeness of the soul and the complete circle of heaven. Aristotle invented the term "5th element" or quintessence, claiming that it composed the "unchanging" heavens, but didn't link it to Plato's 5th solid, the dodecahedron. It was Plotinus who first described the 5th element as "spirit." He thus understood that the same Spirit that composes the heavens (for example, the planets and the zodiac) also composes the soul (the 7 chakras, especially the 4th and 7th, the sacred center). As we have seen, there's a planet and 2 signs for each chakra. As above, so below; as within, so without, is the spiritual principle.

    The five Platonic solids and elements are pictured below in a quincunx, as on the world card, the Taj Mahal and Angkor Wat, with the Dodecahedron and Spirit in the center and the four other solids and elements in the four corners, as they would be arranged according to the philosophy wheel and the toccata/Ezekiel order, and in our table of the 5 imperial tarot cards.

    Note that the word "quincunx" literally means five-twelvths, indicating again 5 combining with 12 as in the dodecahedron. This figure is a different meaning of the word from the astrological aspect, which is 5/12 of a circle (150 degrees).

    The dodecahedron, associated with the 5th element and the heart chakra, is composed of 12, 5-sided regular polygons. The 5 interior angles in this kind of polygon are each 108 degrees (a sacred spirit number, and the sum of the # of bars in the two full toccata canons), and add up to 540 (the Schmeider/BWV number of Bach's Toccata in F). The Key of F is the key of the heart chakra, which is indicated in the Toccata in F by the five wandering repeats in the uplifting theme, and represented by the 5-sided polygon faces of the dodecahedron, the Platonic solid corresponding to the 5th element, the quintessence, the heart chakra's element of Spirit. Venus, the heart's ruling planet, moves with the Earth in a 5-pointed rhythm, exhibiting 4 5-pointed stars and the fibonacci sequence as it does so, as do the pentagram and pentagon. 540 degrees is 1 and a half times around the zodiac or the circle. If you start at 0 degrees Aries, then 540 degrees equals the beginning of Libra, a heart-chakra sign ruled by Venus. And of course, the musical key of Venus and the heart chakra is F. F stands for Five, Four, and Five-Forty; and the F tone is a fourth, and an inverted, falling (or yin, for the heart chakra) fifth. Remember that the 54 bars of the 2nd canon are the inverse or mirror image of the first 54.

    Here is an astonishing article by Iona Miller about the Dodecahedron as a symbol of the universe.

    See the diagram of Venus and Earth orbits from Jeff Andrews in the Heart Chakra section (and below). The lines drawn between points on the two circular orbits form 4 5-pointed stars. Add the circle of the orbits to the 5 and the 4, and guess what you have: 540, the BWV number of Bach's Toccata in F. It's as if the drawing of Earth's and Venus' orbits is a logo for the Toccata in F. Remember also that the uplifting theme has 4 bars, and is repeated 5 times in the heart chakra section.

    All music is based on the Octave, the Fifth, and the Fourth tones, according to Pythagoras. If O stands for Octave, in which the first tone has spiraled around in a circle to meet itself, then once again we have 5, 4 and 0, this time the number 540 standing for all music and for Bach's Toccata in F. If the octave is represented by the number 8 instead, then that would make "all music" correspond symbolically to the great "masonic wedge" prelude and fugue in e minor, #548, or to the Trio in g minor, #584, or clavier works #845 (Gigue in F Minor, authenticity doubtful) or #9 in the Well-Tempered Clavier #854.

    The quincunx or world card formation/throne of God is also represented by the number 540: 4 figures in a circle or wheel (0) around the throne or spirit element in the center (5th element). (you could also cite # 405, 450, or 504 in some of these coincidental correlations, but these numbers just represent vocal hymn settings in Schmeider's BWV catalogue). The quincunx formation (God's throne), and the 3 tones on which music is based (using 0 for the octave), are thus numerically the same, #540. Remember, the interior angles of the dodecahedron, which represents the spirit or universal element, also add up to 540. Does that indicate that God is music, and that the Toccata in F by Bach BWV#540 is the music of God? Or you can substitute the word Universe for God, if you are more physics-minded, which would agree with string theory and Pythagoras (the universe is music).

    Could the relationships shown by all the Platonic solids to the chakras also reveal the Fibonacci sequence (1,2,3,5,8,13,21), and thus the divine proportion? After the cube (1st chakra) comes the "fluid" icosahedron, which has 2 x 10 faces (2 = 2nd chakra). The tetrahedron is a 3-dimensional triangle (tri = 3 = 3rd chakra), and each face of the dodecahedron is a 5-pointed figure (4th chakra = 5). The octahedron has 8 faces (5th chakra = 8). So if the sequence continues, the 6th chakra is ruled by the number 13 (the number of the toccata theme; 12 +1, a number of synthesis and wholeness and The Christ), and the 7th chakra is ruled by the number 21 (number of trump cards, and the number of the World card that rules the 7th chakra).

    The "star tetrahedron" is also linked to the heart chakra and to the "chariot of ascension" because it is the 6-pointed star, a figure that traditionally represents the union of all the elements. Since the "chariot" section of the toccata and tarot journey leads into the 3rd or fire chakra, the tetrahedron's association with fire is also shown. This chariot theme, as we saw, has 6 pairs of chords, and in each pair the first chord is higher than the second (yang/yin), and each is preceeded by a pedal note. That's a total of 18 pedal notes and chords. Together with the 4-note world or God chord that follows it, that's 22 pedal notes and chords, equal to the 22 trump tarot cards of the Major Arcana, 22 Hebrew letters, pathways on the Tree of Life, etc. (which represent the fool's or hero's journey in a chariot of ascension, or merkabah). The 3 motiff of the tetrahedron also appears in the 3 notes of the original theme's 3rd bar, which represents the 3rd chakra.

    You can also compare the 6 triangles of the Chariot Theme to the Tree of Life. It has 6 triangles, with the lines in each running from two sephiroth circles to a circle between them, with 3 triangles pointing up and three down, just like the pedal notes (see as the middle notes) in the Toccata's chariot theme alternate between up and down. The Chariot Theme in the 7th chakra seems to come down out of Heaven, so it corresponds best to the Tree.

    Kether represents the first high pedal note, followed by the two yang and yin circles on each side, Chokmah and Binah, which represent the two highest chords. Then the next low pedal note is Daath, which again connects to Chokmah and Binah above it. Then Daath becomes the second high pedal note, connecting to Chesed and Geburah (2 chords) below it on each side. The second low pedal note is Tipareth, connected also to Chesed and Geburah (the 2 chords) above it. The third high pedal note is Tipareth again, but connected to the 2 chords representing Netzach and Hod below it. Finally, the third low pedal note is Yesod, connected also to the 2 chords Netzach and Hod above it. This is followed by the 4 God chords, which this time represent Yesod, Netzach, Hod, and Malkuth, the 4 circles at the bottom of the Tree sometimes correlated to the 4 elements, or the 4 creatures of God's throne (the World of God chord).

    This sequence is presented literally in the crown chakra section, in which the chariot theme descends from the heavens, as the chariot becomes the very Throne of God itself before our ears. But the last chord of the 4 "God chords" in the chariot theme here is unresolved, like the chords in the 3rd and 5th chakras (also yang chakras, like the crown). The enlightened seeker has become the master, but feels (s)he must return down the tree of life to the Earth to share with others the light (s)he has discovered. As in the other two yang chakras, the struggle or climbing theme follows, this time representing this difficult and often dangerous Return into the manifest world. The final world chords that end the Toccata can also begin it again, if you choose.

    Special notes on the World tarot card

    Paul Foster Case in The Tarot (page 121) points out that the numbers of the four fixed signs of the zodiac, illustrated by the four symbolic creatures from Ezekiel and Revelation in God's "throne" pictured on The World tarot card, and often also the Wheel of Fortune card, are 2, 5, 8 and 11. These numbers are their position in the zodiac (Taurus is the 2nd sign after Aries, the first sign; Leo the 5th sign, Scorpio the 8th and Aquarius the 11th). These numbers add up to 26. The numbers corresponding to the Hebrew letters IHVH, the name for God, also add up to 26 (I = 10, H = 5, V = 6, H = 5). Using 8 as the number for the tonic note or chord, since 8 is the octave, the numbers for the World or God chords in the Toccata in F also add up to 26: 3rd note = 3, tonic note = 8, 7th note = 7, tonic note = 8. This pattern (using 8 = tonic note) would especially fit those instances of the World chord (such as the final chord) when the tonic notes jump up an octave higher, thus representing the presence of God. More on the Biblical and kabbalistic symbolism of the number 26 here.

    The English word "world" has 5 letters (for the 5 figures on the card, 5 elements, etc.), and the numbers corresponding to the letters in "world" add up to 71, which in turn adds up to 8 (the octave). The numbers in 26 also add up to 8.

    The first bar (the original canon/"snake" or "spiral" theme) of Toccata in F (BWV 540) has 7 notes, symbolizing the 7 chakras. The high notes are the first, third, fifth and seventh notes in the theme (the sixth is the same note as first and third). These high notes equate to the yang chakras, just as do the primary colors (red, yellow, blue), and the primary tones of the scale (do/tonic, mi/3rd, so/5th/dominant). The "yang" notes of the toccata theme, #1,3,5 and 7, are all higher than the notes neighboring them, which is why I call them the primary or yang notes of the theme. See the graphic of the theme turned upright on the main page, with yang notes on the left and yin on the right.

    Remember that the toccata's full theme has 13 notes. Multiplying 13 by 2, for the theme imitating itself in canon, equals 26, the number of God's name and the God/World chord.

    26 times 3 (like the 3 parts of the soul) = 78, the number of cards in a tarot deck. 26 times 2 is 52, the number of cards in a regular playing deck. If you add the two jokers, which take the place of the major arcana in a regular playing card deck, that's 54 cards, the same number of bars in a canon of the Toccata in F.

    The toccata's 4 World Chord(s) (3rd, tonic, 7th, tonic), which represents IHVH (God's name) and the throne of God in Ezekiel and Revelation shown on the World card, is made from the first three notes of the main snake theme (tonic, 7th, tonic), preceeded by the 5th note of that theme (the 3rd tone). The 4 World Chord notes are therefore the same as notes 1,2,3 and 5 of the main theme, heard in reverse order (like the way the virtues come down from God), and represent chakras 1,2,3 and 5. These are also the chakras represented by the 4 elements of fire, earth, air and water, and given the "elemental virtues" Faith (earth, chakra 1), Love (water, chakra 2), Strength (fire, chakra 3) and Temperance (air, chakra 5) in my tables.

    Remember these are also the same four elemental virtues represented by the members of the greatest rock group, The Who, in Quadrophenia. The four creatures around the throne of God and their four elemental signs on the World Card (Taurus/earth sign, Leo/fire, Scorpio/water and Aquarius/air), are also represented in both the toccata's main initial canon theme, and in its crowning (and oft-repeated) World Chord. The 5th element in the Center of the World Card, shown as Lady Sophia (wisdom), is represented by the spiritual virtues Justice (4th chakra, 4th note of the theme, a dominant tone), and Wisdom (7th chakra, 7th note = first note of next bar); while Hope (6th chakra, also fire) is represented by the 6th note of the initial theme, which repeats notes 1 (faith) and 3 (strength/fire); these three notes are all tonic tones.

    The World chords also conclude the chariot theme, and within that theme the 4 chords represent the crown chakra. But in this case the first note is not a major 3rd, but a 5th or dominant tone. This corresponds to the 4th note within the original theme, which represents the 4th chakra (the heart), instead of the 5th note (a major 3rd tone) representing the 5th chakra. Traditionally the heart chakra is linked to the air element instead of the 5th chakra, which is traditionally linked to ether. I would interpret this to indicate that the heart is essential to the chariot, our vehicle of ascension, which becomes on the higher levels the holy grail, or feminine receptivity to spirit, which is centered (among other places) in the heart. In other words, we travel our spiritual journey in our chariot (merkabah) through the yin heart center, more than through the yang fifth chakra. Remember that the Lovers card theme (2nd pedal solo) opens into the following Chariot card theme. The heart's virtue Justice (integrity) would also appear to be essential to our voyage in the spiritual chariot vehicle.

    The pedal notes of the chariot theme, remember, also stand for the central pole, the Sushumna or central spine of the chakras and the Tree of Life, and these pedal notes are all dominant or 5th tones. This central pole also symbolizes the sacred center of the heart and crown chakras. In the original theme, the central pole was represented by the held-down pedal note (pedal point), which shifted in the course of the theme from being the tonic tone to the dominant and back, as if in the lower chakras the pole or spine is attempting to get upright (or human) instead of horizontal (like an animal), but doesn't quite make it yet. In the chariot theme, the portal to the 3rd chakra of power, the pedal notes are all dominant, or upright. We are entering the soul of will, the human level capacities and virtues, for which we need an erect backbone!

    Finally, in the blissful crown chakra theme (the Judgement card theme), the held pedal point returns in the dominant key (C major), as if connecting the crown chakra to the heart, symbolized by the dominant C 4th note in the original theme. The crown theme combines two themes. Played in the left hand is an altered version of the uplifting "rocket" theme, moving downward as if from the crown, while the right hand plays a majestic but simple 4-note theme that resembles the God/World chord. This is repeated 4 times through 4 descending bars (24 notes total, same as during the virtue themes); then the hands switch and repeat. Then the liberating theme moves up and down the keyboard with joyous abandon, turning cartwheels as it goes. The crown theme in the right hand consists of the same notes played in the 4th bar (representing the heart) of the original theme.

    In the uplifting theme (see below), the fifth element of the World Chords is represented by a 5th note that sounds the 4th tone (heart chakra = 5th element), which leads into the 4 "world" or "God" notes (3rd tone and the other 3 chords) that follow.

    In the final World Chords, not only is this the case (since the struggle theme ends on that note, and then the 3rd tone pedal note and final 3 Chords follow), but the same fourth tone is imbedded underneath one of the Chords themselves, played by the pedal. This doesn't happen in the Toccata's many other World Chords, but only in the concluding World Chords that end the piece; the final destination of the journey. The 5th element has become integrated within the other 4 elements. The fifth element is also indicated in the final section (the 7th chakra) by the 12 bars that introduce the crown theme (which I also call the Sun card section). Here the uplifting arpeggio theme enters in two fragments of 6 bars each (12 total, like the dodecahedron), but instead of the four descending pedal notes underneath the uplifting theme (see above), there are 10 descending pedal notes under each fragment (two times five, like the five-sided faces of the dodecahedron).

    In Revelation 4, each creature around the throne has one face. But in the original revelation in Ezekiel 1, each creature has all four faces pointing in the 4 directions, and this makes 16 faces in all, corresponding to the 16 MBTI types. The goal in the spiritual journey is to become more than one's type, by developing all 4 functions. These are represented by the four elemental creatures in Revelation and on the World card, by the four imperial rulers, and by the four intertwined canon snakes, and all the world chords, in the Toccata in F. By integrating these different and opposing functions within us, we can steer our chariot or merkabah, just like God does as he sits on His throne.

    This article from crystalinks describes 2 other types of "angels" besides the 4 creatures (chayot) around the throne of God in Ezekiel: the wheels or ways (ophannim), and the flashes of fire (seraphim). The Seraphim powers the movement of the chariot, and are closest to God, and they control the "Chayot", which control the wheels of "Ophannim." These angels correspond respectively to the four cardinal, fixed and mutable signs in astrology.

    There may be other mathematical and numerical patterns to notice in the Toccata, which I will report here if I find them.



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