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Monday, 30 December 2013

True Will: The Ace of Swords in Thoth

The crowned blade of the Ace of Swords from the Crowley Harris Thoth Tarot floats before a sunrise amongst the clouds. Engraved on the sword is the word 'Thelema' in Greek lettering (Θελημα). The word 'thelema' itself is Koine Greek, the language of the New Testament of the Bible, and means 'will'. It is rarely seen in the Bible, but significantly, it is in the Lord's Prayer itself:

ἐλθέτω  βασιλεία σου· γενηθήτω τὸ θέλημά σου
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done
(Matthew 6:10)

'Thelema' is also the word used in the Garden of Gethsemane, when Jesus is praying to be spared the suffering of the cross, but concludes, 'Not my will but thine be done' (Luke 22:42).

Aleister Crowley uses the word 'Thelema' as the name of his personal philosophy: 'Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.' It is the religion created by Crowley. 

The card seems to be saying that the Will is the crowning glory of us all, which we use to cut through this life, to make our own way. There should be nothing, according to Crowley's philosophy, which should (or could) stand in the way of our True Will. It is appropriate that the Ace of Swords is chosen to represent Thelema, as it is recommended by Crowley that one practice skepticism and scientific method to assess everything and decide for oneself what is true. True Will, Crowley teaches, is different for everyone, and no one can help you find it. It is a sword you must lift and wield all by yourself. 

Now, what does this mean for me today? Looks like I may be called upon to plow through some b*llshit, and probably make some choices, which I would do well to approach with clarity and without too much emotion. 


  1. I had no idea "thelema" meant "will" so thanks for that (of course it makes perfect sense considering Crowley's statement). So "true will" is sort of a "be all that you were meant to be" sort of philosophy? I've got an extra shovel if you need one for digging out from the BS today. :)

  2. Cutting through the clouds of confusion to seek the gold of enlightenment. Yeah, definitely includes shoveling BS ;)