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Monday, 13 January 2014

Prince of Toques


Thoth Tarot 
I've always thought this card from the Crowley-Harris Thoth Tarot looked unfinished. Compared to the highly detailed art on the other cards, this one looks more like a sketch to me.

Lon Milo DuQuette says that all the Swords courts have wings, though of various abstract and unusual shapes. Here our Prince of Swords, who looks rather like a green glass bottle that has morphed into man-shape and started moving around, has two or perhaps three circular wings with a triangle pattern in the middle. The three small figures pulling his chariot also have circular wings with angular designs in them. His hat strikes me as funny. It looks like a multi-coloured knit bauble hat, but no doubt it really is some sort of armour with heraldry on top. (Reminds me of Mike from the Monkees.)

He's not wearing any clothes and does look like
animated green glass, as do his minions. Are those shadows  internal organs floating around murkily in there? In his left hand he holds a sickle, in his right, a sword, with his arm craned back at an awkward angle. If he intends to strike from that position, I shouldn't think it would be with terrible accuracy. (It looks to me more like he's scratching the back of his shoulder blade.) It's a posture poised to hack--no fine distinctions.

His funky little conveyance doesn't have a seat (maybe green glass guys don't need to sit down) and appears to be some sort of New Age hover craft. Floating within a sphere of green, housed in a sphere of gold, is a bipyramid, or dipyramid -- two pyramids joined together at the base. It reminds of the mer ka ba, known as the Chariot of Ascension. I wonder if he has a foot on one wheel to act as a brake or if he is just in the middle of a tucking-the-leg-under-oneself manoeuvre.

'He is full of ideas and designs that tumble over each other. He is a mass of fine ideal unrelated to practical effort. The children pull the chariot irresponsibly in any direction that takes their fancy,' Crowley writes, 'They are not reined in, but perfectly capricious. The chariot consequently is easy enough to move, but quite unable to progress in any definite direction except by accident. This is a perfect picture of the Mind.'

Ideas are created and destroyed continuously. He creates with the Sword, and cuts down with the sickle. DuQuette says that we are doing the same thing every moment of our waking lives. Well, they don't call it the 'monkey mind' for nothing. It is sort of like a mad chariot dashing around willy-nilly.

I guess my mind will be racing a lot today.

Or maybe I should take my bauble hat.

1 comment:

  1. Ha ha, definitely a monkey mind type scenario, here, there and everywhere. Love the shot from the Monkees :D

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