|A Chariot Reading, drawn Mon 25 Feb 2013|
0 Fool - What am I leaping into?
1 Magician - Where is the energy, the magic?
2 High Priestess - What is secret or hidden or unspoken?
3 Empress - Where is my passion?
4 Emperor - What are the rules, possibly hidden or unconscious?
5 Hierophant - What is the path laid out before me?
6 Lovers - How do I express my passion?
7 Chariot - Where is it all heading?
(from Rachel Pollack's 'Tarot Wisdom')
First of all, in examining this reading I find that my instinct is not to reduce the card meanings to just their positional questions, as written by Pollack. I am seeing the cards in combination, and those combinations go beyond the rather simple questions provided by Pollack. Chances are this is what she intended by the spread, and the questions are just a springboard. But in any case, I feel in no way inclined to formulate an 'answer' to each question in turn based on the single card I have drawn from Thoth.
0. The Fool in combination with the Hanged Man speaks to me of the great potential to be found in the concept of the three Aeons: the Aeon of Isis, the Aeon of Osiris, and the Aeon of Horis. There are some things that you just recognize at once as being true for you (I hate the word 'resonate', and avoid using it whenever possible!), and this is one of those concepts. The Thoth Hanged Man, right now for me at least, symbolises the end of certain self-sacrificing or being in need of redemption. The freedom resulting from this realisation is The Fool. The Fool leads to this realisation. I believe this card points to more freedom in my spirituality, and in my view of myself.
1. The Magician in combination with the 10 of Swords is quite exciting. While in a fortune-telling sense it suggests that I will be facing tough times, the fact that the 10 of Swords is in combination with the Magician suggests that I am most definitely equipped to face even the worst of thoughts and worries. It reminds me that I have at my disposal all the resources of the seen and unseen worlds. The Magician is both the Grand Magus and the Trickster, and this is a good thing to remember where the 10 of Swords is concerned. You may feel like you're going to die, but you are not. You may feel like the end is near, but it is not. You may think that all hope is gone. But it is not. The pea may be under the next shell. As long as we have life and breath, we have possibility. And with the Magician, possibility is limitless.
2. The High Priestess in combination with the Queen of Swords shows me that while I may be open to exploring various spiritual experiences, I can still tell a hawk from a handsaw! (With apologies to Will Shakespeare). I like the balance I see here between these two figures. The High Priestess being all about the 'Shhhh!', while the Queen of Swords has pulled off the mask and sits back on her throne, knees apart and wearing what looks to me like a completely see-through top. She perches on the clouds of thought, her sword arm strangely elongated and unnaturally angled. It's almost as if she waits in purposeful relaxation, her BS-ometer poised to strike. 'Yes,' she says, 'I hear your message. I'll keep what I want and lob off the bits that strike me as bullcrap to hand back to you.' And isn't this a good position to be in when taking a closer look at the Thoth.
3. The Empress and the Hermit shows me another image of balance. The Empress is associated with Demeter, the goddess who was willing to stop and start the world for the sake of her kidnapped daughter, Persephone, and thus shows the interconnectedness of all life. (The knock-on effect when Demeter stops the growth cycles of earth demonstrate it). The Empress is symbolic of earthly appetites and passions and fertility. Balancing her in my draw is The Hermit. He, too, goes on a journey into darkness,and finds that it's he himself who bears the light. The Empress is the outward reveling in the physical, the Hermit is the inward exploration of the spirit. It seems to me they work to balance each other, or are trying to balance each other. I know I'm certainly trying to balance these two in my life.
4. Oh, look, more balance in this combination, but this one is a tough one. The Emperor in combination with the Knight of Wands. 'Emperor people,' Rachel Pollack writes, 'like numbered lists. Lists impose order on chaotic jumbles of reality.' How true that is! I love numbered lists, and I love The Emperor. I really respect what he's done for the place. I know, I know authority and all that, but look. We wouldn't have society or agriculture or rituals or stripey toothpaste if it wasn't for The Emperor. He's a good guy, if wound a little tight. But here he is balanced by the Knight of Wands! Now, how in the world is this going to happen to someone like me -- and why do I keep drawing the Knight of Wands? The Knight of Wands is impulsive and impetuous and doesn't worry about the consequences. I on the other hand colour code my personal diary, book a year's annual leave in advance and have this very week been searching for accommodation in Cornwall for September. When I read Alison Cross's story about booking ballet tickets online and bolting off to catch a ferry within the hour, unsuspecting 12-year-old son in tow...well, I felt an anxiety attack coming on just reading it! And yet, here is the Knight of Wands, trying valiantly to balance The Emperor. Can I go with that? Can I even remember what an impulse feels like?
(Cards 5-7 next entry!)