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Tuesday, 19 February 2013

No more martyrs

Thoth, Crowley & Harris
I drew the 'Look Thothward, Angel' cards for the week on Sunday, but this morning I felt the need to draw a card regarding my reluctance and my strange guilt attached to the situation with my hearing and hearing aid. I've already decided to assert myself and call them today, but I wanted a handle on why I feel this way about stuff like this? And what can I do about it?

I drew the Hanged Man. This is a weird Hanged Man. He hangs from an ankh, his foot coiled round by a snake. His other foot and two hands are pinned down by nails. He appears to be tacked onto a grid board of some kind, that's pretty strange. The ankh is upside down, emerging from a sun. Rays of green are emitted from the crown of his head, pointing toward another coiling snake. The card is made up of watery blues and greens.

One traditional interpretation of the Hanged Man is 'self-sacrifice for a greater good'. Or even just having a martyr syndrome. I've been learning a bit about Thelema and Crowley's philosophy, and to put it simply, he saw things as being divided into three eras or 'aeons': the Aeon of Isis, Aeon of Osiris, and Aeon of Horus. Isis was the time of goddess worship, The Great Mother; Osiris was the time of the 'dying-and-rising god,' such as Dionysus, Osiris, or Jesus. The Aeon of Horus is the era when we have moved beyond these to a time of self-realisation and self-actualisation.

In this card, we see the dying god of Osiris pinned to the watery (feminine) colours of Isis. These two eras are what have been 'sacrificed' -- because no sacrifice is required any longer. Crowley suggests that this card is a memorial to those two past Aeons.

The idea totally resonates with me today. The time of being a martyr is OVER. There is no need for me to feel feelings of self-sacrifice or martyrdom -- no need for me to feel that things are my fault and I must atone for them. Even things that could not possibly be my fault or have anything to do with me, which are things that I always take especially upon myself.

So while there's not much here about 'why' I feel this way, there's a clear message of what I can do about it. Actually, there is a message about the why: it's a behaviour and way of thinking based on an old paradigm of sin and atonement, and the old 'taking up your cross' thing, where you get the idea that if you're not suffering or tormented or 'enduring' in some way, you aren't being 'good'. Maybe that's why no matter what happens, some of us find a way to make it a personal burden and 'grief to bear'. From the twisted delusion that doing so somehow purifies us and makes us better. The card says, 'Say good-bye to all that. It's dead. It's done. It's all over. We don't need it no more.'

Whoever thought the Hanged Man could be a card of comfort. (I guess...maybe Crowley did.)

Affirmation: I am perfectly fine exactly as I am.


  1. very cool!!! I think one reason I don't seem to connect with this deck is the Egyptian focus. I've never connected with the Egyptian gods and such.

    1. There does seem to be a lot of Egyptian focus, but when you work with the cards, that seems to fade a bit. I was put off by the art work at first, which I didn't particularly like. Now I'm not so bothered by it, and in fact I rather like most of it.

  2. Very nice insight on sacrifice and self-sacrifice and how to work your way to "I'm done!" Thanks for this one, Carla, as the Hanged Man can truly baffle me with its upside-down ways of thinking.

    Also, I went out on a limb and gave Faceless Querent a reading from that Golden Draw. I know this is silly, but I feel a little nervous about your thoughts on it. (In other words, I hope you don't think I'm an idiot!)

    And maybe the Golden looks better trimmed? Ever seen it trimmed? Ever WANTED to trim yours? I'm a little scissors-happy at the moment, having just trimmed a DruidCraft for the third time. I think I got it right this time.

    1. I really love the Golden Tarot. I do hate the highly laminated cardstock. It's not fun to handle. But I like the borders on it, I wouldn't trim it. I saw a guy on YouTube who'd trimmed his and I liked it.

      I've got a trimmed Druidcraft. I took off the borders on top and sides, leaving the titles. I'm sure if you click it in the labels list to the right, you'll see some of my trimmed images.

    2. Actually scratch that! No you don't! Maybe I need to post some after this Thoth One Deck Wonder thing is done.

  3. On trimming . . .

    With the DruidCraft, first I took it ALL off. It looked naked and pitiful and I ditched it. Then I took just the white border off a new deck. It was still too big, although I liked the look. Finally, I did as you did, all borders off and left the labels at the bottom. It still looks a little naked to my eye, but it's much easier to handle--and I notice I can see some connections I didn't notice, otherwise.

    I took a look at the trimmed Golden. MUCH better to my mind. I'm not sure I like it enough invest the time, though. Maybe just find someone who loves it and pass it on . . .

    Thanks for your response on my Faceless post. I liked yours, too, and was definitely influenced by it. It's just hard for me not to see The Star and think only positive stuff.

  4. I used to feel that if I wasn't worried about something then I was a bad person I've come to realize that worrying doesn't make you a good or bad person - it just makes you miserable :-/