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Friday, 22 February 2013

Look Thothward, Angel: Day 5

Angel Insight Pack & Thoth Tarot
It's the last day of combining Thoth Tarot (Crowley & Harris) with the Angel Insight Pack (C Astell). This is a lovely mix, the Angel of Love with the Ten of Cups!

The Ten of Cups in the Thoth Tarot has ten golden loving cups in the pattern of the Tree of Life, all spilling over with what looks more like rays of light than any sort of liquid. I think it looks like a happy card, but Crowley says of it, 'It ought to look menacing. There is something very sinister about this card. It suggests the morbid hunger that springs from surfeit. The craving of the drug addict is the idea. At the same time of course, it is this final agony of descent into illusion which renders necessary the completion of the circle by awakening the Eld of the All-Father.' (letter from Crowley to Harris, 19 Dec 1939, published in 'Understanding Aleister Crowley's Thoth Tarot') Well, who cares what he says. He was a strange man, anyway. His own divinatory interpretation of Ten Cups in his Book of Thoth says: 'Permanent and lasting success and happiness, because inspired from above. Not so Sensual as Lord of Material Happiness [9 of Cups], yet almost more truly happy.'

Ten of Cups is the 'happily ever after card', and the familiar Rider Waite Smith card shows a joyous family and their snug little house nestling under a rainbow. And since even Crowley's divinatory meaning expresses the same sort of sentiment, I'm just going to ignore his ramblings about drug addicts. He was one, anyway. At the time he wrote the letter to Harris, he was a heroin addict, bankrupt, and living in a bedsit for which he hardly ever managed to pay the rent (and that was by convincing admirers or hangers-on to give him money). So no wonder his idea of 'perfect happiness' was to be overindulging in drugs. It would be.

BUT, this draw is about me, not him, and the 10 of Cups drawn together with the Angel of Love certainly bodes very well for my day. The Angel of Love holds a big heart shaped wreath made of red roses, and stands before a rainbow. I guess all cultures associate rainbows with good things and the promise of peace and tranquility, coming as they so often do after a storm, or at least miserable rain. The companion book to the Angel Insight Pack says, 'For inspiration, look at rainbows, a symbol of Divine love for humanity.' This idea of course comes from the Bible story in which God destroyed the world by flood, but set the rainbow in the sky afterward as a promise that he wouldn't do that again. (Which strikes me as rather like a husband beating up his wife and bringing her flowers after, but we'll just ignore that). No, let's just think of the rainbow as a symbol of all that is beautiful and wondrous and mysterious about this wonderful planet we live on. It's one of nature's accidental little gifts, which we can notice and revel in or ignore whilst focusing on troubles. Just like this couple, who actually have a rather small house out in the middle of nowhere, and two little kids, could, if they were the type, focus on worrying about buying a bigger house in town, and where the wife is going to get a new dress. (The one she's wearing actually does look pretty raggedy!) But NOPE, they are enjoying the glorious day and each other, because their essential happiness at being alive is all that matters.

I hope everyone has a lovely day during which you notice all the little blessings in life that you might otherwise have ignored today.


  1. The cards in that Castell Angel pack are really beautiful Carla xx:-)

  2. Celebrating the moment and living in joy - sounds like darn good advice! Had to laugh at your bit comparing God and the rainbow with a wife-beater - good ole Bible :D The rainbow is also associated with the Goddess Iris, and is seen as a bridge to spirit - I think I like that better ;)