Friday 31 January 2014

Lord of Works - 3 of Disks

Oh look, another 3 from Thoth Tarot. Looks like Mars in Capricorn. This card is known as Lord of Material Works.

DuQuette explains that this image is a view from above a pyramid resting on 'desolate desert' of grey sand that represents the 'great sea of Binah'. At the three corners of the structure are wheels. Each wheel contains a symbol for one of the three alchemical symbols, salt, sulfur, mercury.

I myself notice that these wheels look a lot like the Buddhist 'dharma chakra' or 'wheel of Dharma'. You often see the wheel with eight spokes, representing the noble 8-fold path. The 12-spoke wheel can represent the twelve links of dependent origination. It could also be a reference to the twelve signs of the zodiac, or any of the other significant 12s in various philosophies. Also I've just realized: 1+2=3.

This is a card of craftsmanship, skilled work. It reminds me that I should 'work smarter, not harder', as the saying goes. Angel Paths says the card encourages us to examine our lives for the 'apparently immoveable object' and then to 'lean on it with all our might.' Well, now, today is my day off and I don't feel inclined to any navel-gazing in search of barriers to break down today. However, I did receive my offer letter for my new job yesterday, and today would be a good day to read all that thoroughly and get all my Is dotted and Ts crossed. I'm also going away tomorrow to attend the fabulous Marsden Imbolc Fire Festival, and so need to do my usual map-finding, packing and other preparations for a weekend away. And I have just started out on a new hobby called 'Zentangles', and I borrowed a book about it from the library yesterday which I will have a read of today, after I get back from the hairdresser's. I spent half my lunch hour yesterday marching around the town centre in search of Sakura micron pens -- but even the local papercrafting and hobby shop didn't have them. You know, you try to patronize local small businesses, but almost invariably they don't have the thing you want, and so you end up ordering online anyway. Well, one can but try. If they don't have what I need, not my fault. The last time I bought a substitute option from that papercraft shop was when I wanted to colour the edges of Celtic Tarot blue, and they didn't have the inkpad I wanted, and so I took the shop girl's advice and got a different brand. It was a disaster. So there's no way I'm buying anything other than Sakura micron pens for my zentangles, even if the first one I've done is just done with a plain old black biro. :)

Thursday 30 January 2014

Is your ship coming in? | 3 of Wands

You know that job I've been mentioning? Well, I found out yesterday that I got it! I don't have any idea yet when I start, but I was offered it and I accepted, subject to references, etc. :)

Today I've drawn 3 of Wands. Crowley was fond of the 3s. With 3s 'the ideas have become fertilized, the triangle has been formulated. In each case, there is certain stability which can never be upset, but from which a child can issue.'

Here we have the Sun in Aries. Wow, the power of the Sun, in the sign of the Ram. Now that's power!

'When this card comes up in a reading,' says Angel Paths, 'it is important that you cast aside doubts and fears, refusing to fall back into old habits. Instead you must turn to the future, trusting in your own power, making no compromises.'

Most 3 of Wands cards depict someone surveying their domain, or contemplating the horizon, or setting off on a long, crooked path. All of these images encompass the feeling of 3 of Wands. Hopeful. Full of plans, self-belief, confidence.

Wednesday 29 January 2014

Burn baby burn

Thoth Tarot
The Lord of the Flame and Lightning. The King of the Spirits of Fire. King of Salamanders. 

All of these are Golden Dawn titles of today's card, Knight of Wands (or King of Wands, in most decks). He is 'Fire of Fire'. So he is very active and dynamic. He can be overwhelming. But he can also burn out really fast, in a poof. (Albeit a big, showy poof).

I couldn't feel less Knight of Wandsy today if I'd woken up this morning with the specific intention of feeling non-Knight of Wandsy. So we'll just have to see what happens today that could be a manifestation of this card.

Angel Paths says that on a day you draw this card, you may receive guidance from 'odd places,' so you should be alert to random input, because it might prove to be very useful and important. Now, I would never have come up with that interpretation of this card, so let's go with that one today and see what comes of it. :)

Tuesday 28 January 2014

Be brave like bull

'Stubborn strength, toil, endurance, placidity, manifestation, explanation, teaching, goodness of heart, help from superiors, patience, organization, peace.' ~ from Aleister Crowley's Book of Thoth

Today's card is the Hierophant. His throne is a rather rambunctious-looking bull. He is flanked by elephants. Why? Because he is the card of the zodiac sign Taurus, with Venus exalted. So that is why the Hierophant in this depiction is enthroned on El Torro and has a little Isis/High Priestess-looking figure standing before him at his feet. (Crowley's ubiquitous 'Scarlet Woman').

We see the pentagram represented throughout as well. The five-petaled rose on the window behind his head. The five-pointed star with the human figure inside it on his chest, and the outline of the upright pentagram suggested as beams of light about his figure, an additional inverted pentagram suggested across his body from under the chin, elbow to elbow and down to the nether region of the little Scarlet Woman before him. DuQuette suggests this is actually the union of a pentagram and hexagram, so maybe that big shape is a meant to be a six-pointed star (though it doesn't look like one to me). DuQuette says that the Hierophant represents the Holy Guardian Angel, a figure that in Crowley's philosophy we are all meant to find and converse with as part of the initiatory level.

The four Kerubic beasts are in the four corners, but not in the traditional order. They represent the fixed points of the zodiac, and are almost always a lion for Leo in lower right, eagle for Scorpio in upper right, bull for Taurus in lower left, and man or angel for Aquarius in upper left. However, in Thoth tarot, the eagle an man are reversed. That's because Crowley decided he wanted the eagle to represent Aquarius and the man/angel to represent Scorpio. The reasons don't mean anything to me but apparently did to Crowley. In fact I would probably not have noticed the switch if it had not been pointed out in Lon Milo DuQuette's Understanding Aleister Crowley's Thoth Tarot.

I usually link Hierophant with established institutions, social conventions, and organized religions, things like that, and I continue to do so even when using Thoth tarot, but there's an added sense here of something a bit wilder. I guess it's the Taurus energy of that bull. After all Crowley's divinatory meanings start out with 'stubborn strength, toil and endurance.' He represents the first stage of the Great Work, I suppose, and not so much traditional authorities such as doctors, lawyers, preachers and teachers that we usually associate with this card. He tells me to stand strong and find the truth within myself, which comes of finding unity. After all, Crowley writes of the Holy Guardian Angel:

Offer thyself Virgin to the Knowledge and
Conversation of thine Holy Guardian Angel!
All else is a snare.

Be thou athlete with the Eight Limbs of Yoga;
for without these thou art not disciplined for
any fight. 

I will take this card as advice to be tough today. Be stubborn, strong, enduring and get on with things. Listen to advice and guidance from those above me. Don't be cowed (pardon the pun) by those who have no authority over me.

Monday 27 January 2014

Let sleeping dogs lie?

Thoth Tarot
It's the last week of my 2nd annual Winter Solstice - Imbolc Thoth-a-thon, and I've decided to use my borderless deck for it. I have three editions of the Thoth, my first, the small purple box one, then this green box one which I trimmed of all borders and titles and rounded the corners on, and finally my favourite, the beautiful, silky, deeply colour-saturated 1986 AG Muller Thoth in the dark blue box.

Today's card is Moon. It features some of the usual elements of a Moon card - a crab (in this case, a water spider/scarab creature) emerging from murky depths at the bottom of the card, rising up toward a path that passes between two dogs (in this case, Anubis), two towers, and toward a horizon and a large moon. In this card, Anubis, the jackal-headed god of the afterlife, holding his set of keys, a black dog at his feet, stands guard to the path. He is the Lord of the Place of Embalming, patron of mummification and the dead on their path to the underworld. He was the god of the dead before Osiris took over, when he became lumped in with the many sons of Osiris. He is a very ancient god. The scarab, as usual, is depicted with a solar disk between its claws, a symbol of immortality. In fact, he is sometimes known as Lord of Midnight Sun. Falling through the sky from the disk of the moon are nine red yods, from the Hebrew alphabet. Yod, the first letter of the Tetragrammaton (Yod-He-Vau-He), the name of God, is thought to be representative of a totality, the absolute supernal. This symbol drips from the moon toward the path up from the depths of the water, which the scarab beetle rises toward. It suggests truths revealed.

It is an appropriate card for me to draw today. Yesterday I spent a lot of time thinking about people, about our many, many layers and depths. I felt awe and even dread of the frightening complexity of our selves, how we actually seem to relate to one another, even to those we are closest to and love the most, on only the most superficial of those many planes. We may think we know a person, but we've only scratched the surface. Even after 20, 40, 60 years. Can we ever -- do we dare -- to uncover those many layers, reveal the truth of our full person and theirs, bring up into light our weakness, our pain, our hurt, our anger? I don't mean the passing emotions of a day, but the true depths. Can we ever know our own strength, nobility, higher nature, let alone anyone else's? Is it possible to uncover those depths within ourselves and our loved ones, without destroying ourselves or each other? Or is it better, or at least easier, to just keep things on familiar ground, an even keel, just stay at the surface level and let the other stuff roil on in the deep, undisturbed by consciousness? It would be beautiful to have the full diamond of self, its many facets, revealed to one another. We've been scarred by its very formation, could we ever endure the mining of it?  Could we then endure the radiance of it revealed? Or is this something that can only be done on another plane of existence entirely, beyond this earthly realm? .... I sense only the danger of the entire proposition, lately. And thus this card, of murky depths and foreboding.

Friday 24 January 2014

Job readings

Pardon my self-indulgence, I've done more readings about this job I applied for. I used the Psy Cards last night in a 3-card draw:

The new job  -- My current job -- The outcome/future

Psy Cards
I don't see how you can get more positive on the new job than a card that is a big fat YES. The message seems clear that if they offer it to me, I should take it.

 The job I'm currently in presents a bit more difficulty. The Tower most certainly speaks at once to the feelings I've had already in the post -- isolation. I've even used that word when asked how I'm feeling in the job. A Tower can protect us and it can also harm us by imprisoning us. This card has two meanings to me. It's both the way I feel right now about the job, and also the challenges facing me in the job -- which would be to break down the isolationist tendencies in this particular workplace, as in work practices and ideas which are not part of a bigger, company-wide ethos. This is important and ultimately healthy work, but of course is quite challenging, particularly in the initial stages! 

The outcome/future card of Tree seems hopeful to me. The Tree is part of a larger ecosystem as seen by its spreading roots. So perhaps either way I go, I have to potential to feel more connected, to feel as if I am a part of something greater than myself, that I contribute in a meaningful way to a unified whole. 

I also did a Lenormand reading asking about the outcome of the interview process:

Esmeralda Lenormand

I see this as a positive reading, and asked for input on the Lenormand Study Group on Facebook: 

Eva Vanderschueren That looks really positive. Moon is also my working card. The clover is succes, the lily a superior at work, who is giving you the key to work with them, and that will be officially announced (letter). The letter can also be the contract. I would really be surprised if you don't have the job! 

Michele Rubino-Mccray I think it looks good Carla and you have the experience fot the job (Lilies) which leads to an offer (Key + Letter)

My own reading of it is that I will probably receive a letter telling me I've been lucky in work -- meaning I think it may be a yes. We'll see! 

Watery lady

Thoth Tarot
I blogged about this card a bit over a year ago. It sure doesn't seem like it's been that long! Where does the time go?

Today calls for me to be sensitive to the feelings of others. I need to look at things from the perspective of other people. I can practice reflecting what people say, verbalizing what they may be feeling in order to facilitate communication and understanding between us. I must be on my guard against feeling weak or resentful. It is also a day to seek beauty and to be creative and imaginative.

I wanted to see how this card was aspected today, so I drew the next two: 2 of Wands, 2 of Swords. The message seems to be --

Be sensitive and reflective today in the way you assert yourself, and in this way you can find peace or a truce.

That makes sense in my current situation, so I'll take it. :)

Thursday 23 January 2014

Slow and steady wins the race

Thoth Tarot
Nearly a year ago I drew this same card and christened him 'Lancelot du Nunchucks'. He's not really a knight, he's more of a king, because Crowley doesn't have kings in his Thoth deck.

I'm glad to see that today will be a slow and steady day. I have submitted the project I worked on last night, and I tried to be as steady and methodical in doing it as I could, to turn out an acceptable product. Now all we can do is watch and wait, not unlike the chap in this card.

Now that that is out of the way, maybe today would be a good day to investigate the state of my finances. I haven't done any close checking of my various accounts in a while so perhaps today would be a good day to do that. Though to be honest, I feel quite tired of frittering with details and maybe I will leave it. Maybe instead I will just tidy up some of the papers lying around here and see if I can at least find the folder in which I keep these things. That's a Knight of Disks thing to do, a chore having to do with the material or physical realm, that takes time and might be the sort of job that isn't considered 'fun' but that needs to be done. Good old dutiful Knight of Disks... I think that box is in the top of the closet...

Wednesday 22 January 2014

What would be prudent at this juncture?


noun \ˈprü-dən(t)s\
careful good judgement that allows someone to avoid danger or risks
1. the ability to govern and discipline oneself by use of reason
2. sagacity or shrewdness in the management of affairs
3. skill and good judgement in the use of resources
4. caution or circumspection as to risk or danger

Today's 8 of Disks makes perfect sense for me. I've got an important project to do, with a deadline of tomorrow noon, and the results of this project will have a direct bearing on the next year of my life. I certainly do need to be disciplined and focused today, to show skill and good judgement. So I am not belabouring the point today, but will cut this blog entry short. 

The 8 of Disks speaks to the proper management of energy, and the illustration on the card suggests the result, the getting out of our effort what we put into it. There is a symbol of the sun at the of the card and Mercury at the bottom of the card. There is a lot of energy there, all channeled and focused carefully and judiciously toward the goal. Time to get this show on the road, then. 

By the way, I checked the next two cards in the deck to add to this one -- 6 of Wands and 3 of Disks. Very promising indeed. :)

(The title is a reference to a Dana Carvey impersonation of George Bush -- not W. The first one. )

Tuesday 21 January 2014

Power power everywhere

Thoth Tarot
I didn't have time to do a daily draw yesterday because I had to get out of the house early to travel to my job interview. More on that later.

Today's card is the Emperor from Thoth Tarot. I like him very much. He is full of fiery Aries energy, flanked as he is by two rams peeping over each of his shoulders. He's holding his royal scepter and orb. His throne is decorated at each elbow with rather atomic-looking starbursts. His shield shows two flaming birds (phoenixes perhaps?) spreading their wings before a glowing red sun. The Lamb of God sits at his feet, and at the very bottom of the card are the phallic fleur de lis symbols. A big blazing sun frames his head. He's covered over from top to bottom with symbols of power and authority. And he's got his legs in an approximation of that open leg-cross style associated with men asserting their dominance. (Supposedly the ankle to knee position asserts the 'crotchal region' as Anchorman would say, while the knee over knee position shows a more passive personality. Anyway!...)

Today is the beginning of my second week in my new post. I think it is time to start asserting some of my own authority there. Must make myself and my wishes known. I suppose it's time to start telling people things I want them to do, and expecting them to do it.

As far as the other interview goes, I've done a series of readings about that post. The first one suggested to me that I would be a good fit for the role (done in Dec when I first read about the post):

Sunday 19 January 2014

I went clothes shopping so guess what I bought

Yeah, I bought a few actual garments...all from the same shop. (By the time I'd selected a few things and tried them on, I was pretty much done.) Fortunately they were having a clearance sale, so I managed to get several things for a good price. Of course, when I went up to pay, I realized I had left my bank card in the pocket of another coat (I remember thinking to myself when I dropped it my pocket the day before, 'Bad idea!',but I did it anyway), so I had to leave the items at the till and walk all the way home to get my bank card and return to the shop to pay! After that, you can be sure I was out of the mood to clothes shop, so I wandered in to The Works to check out the cheap books. I found, of course, a tarot deck. And of course, I bought it.

This particular deck is published by Top That Publishing and it seems to have been published under several different names. It is created by Bridget Reed and Colin Howard, and its first edition was called 'Cachet Tarot' which came out in 2003. Then it appears to have come out again 2012 in a box just labelled 'Tarot Cards'. This edition from 2013 is boxed as 'Tarot: Delve Into the World of Tarot Reading.' I paid £5.99 for it. 

This edition comes in a box that opens right to left, like a book. Inside there is a compartment for the cards which has a clear plastic insert that fits over it to hold the cards in place. Under the inset, there is a 64 page book. The book would be of little use to newbies (and virtually of no use to 'adepts'), though at least I can say that it gives rudimentary versions of widely accepted contemporary meanings, with a few curious exceptions. She says the Knight of Wands 'signifies a departure from challenge. He is unsure of commitment and cannot confront his own feelings.' Really?? I suppose that is a super-polite way of saying he's the type of guy who might try to get in your pants one day and be long gone the next, which is actually very true of him. Ha ha. The single page on 'Tarot Origins' claims that the 22 majors came first, followed 'much later' by the 56 minors, so... so much for tarot scholarship here. (The author also says 'symbolisation' for 'symbolism' in one card entry, which just sounds SO awkward and wrong to me!) I do like the way she lays out the Celtic Cross, which I never thought of before. Instead of putting that line of cards upward to the right of the cross, she puts them in a row underneath, and lays them out right to left, which is a very old-fashioned way of doing it. I like the way it looks and will start doing that myself, on the rare occasion I use the Celtic Cross.

The cards are big, 6.75 x 4.25 inches (16 x 11 cm), but a bit on the thin side, so the stacked deck is roughly 1 inch high (about 3 cm). In thickness, for comparison, I would put it at slightly thicker than the Druidcraft, which is the thinnest card stock of any deck I own. It has a similar soft, slightly floppy quality. The cards have a matte finish. The paper is quite malleable so the deck would be prone to easy nicking and indentations. You can see from the illustration above that the cards have a wide, ornate border and the colours are quite saturated. The pip cards are semi-illustrated: the set number of wands, cups, coins or swords are superimposed on a set background which is exactly the same for each card in the suit. I don't mind this at all. One curious aspect is that the coins suit is called 'pentacles' and yet the cards contain griffin-headed coins --no pentacles in sight. Ha! It's not a high quality deck, it's just a cheapy, but I can say that I actually rather like it and I am pretty sure I will keep it. 

Samples of pip cards:

Samples of majors: 

Some courts (see how three won't fit the scanner??):

Of course, there's always at least one clunker in a deck, and this is it: 

Saturday 18 January 2014

When is a cross not a cross?

Thoth Tarot
What a relief to see this card today. After the depressing series of daily draws I've had, and the bumpy start at the new job, it's nice to see the 6 of Swords, a card that usually signifies calm after the storm, success after anxiety and trouble.

Last night I fell asleep on the sofa around 9.00 and didn't wake up until 2 AM. After a nice bath and a few minutes reading, I went to bed and slept until 3.45. Got up and finished the book and drew and scanned this card. Went back to bed at 5 AM. Woke up at 8.00. So...perhaps I have been more anxious than even I realised. Fitful sleep is usually not my thing, a typical night being seven hours straight.

And so, it really is a relief to see this card today, with its curious imagery. We have six swords, all pointing to the centre of a cross. In the background spin an abundance of those curious wing-whirly-gig designs that Lady Frieda Harris has included in every card of the Swords suit. The cross would appear to be at the centre of a bubble. Either the swords pierce it without bursting it (as scientists do when manipulating cells) or they are in front of it. At the top of the card is the symbol of Mercury, at the bottom, Aquarius. The Golden Dawn title of the card is 'Lord of Earned Success.'

Thoth card back
Rose Cross or Rosy CrossThe cross is certainly the focal point here, but it is not just any cross. It is the Rosy Cross. You can see the rose in the centre, where the points of the swords meet. The same Rosy Cross is featured on the back of every card in the Thoth deck. Lon Milo DuQuette devotes an entire chapter in Understanding Aleister Crowley's Thoth Tarot to this design element of the cards. According to Crowley, the cross is the shape it is because it is an 'unfolded cube'. Perhaps...but it is also clearly a cross, as in the instrument of the death of Jesus of Nazareth. This is plainly indicated by the inscription 'INRI' going clockwise around the outside of the shape, an acronym for 'Iesvs Nazarens Rex Ivdaeorym', Latin for 'Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews,' which was inscribed on the cross, according to the New Testament of the Bible. DuQuette suggests that it could as easily stand for 'Igni Natura Renovatur Integra' ('All of nature is restored by fire'), an alchemical axiom. Leaving that aside, we can see that the four colours of the cross could easily stand for the four suits of the tarot minors. The rose shape in the middle of the cross contains 22 petals, which coincidentally match the number of tarot majors. Each petal gets a corresponding Hebrew character and astrological association, to match the majors. The pentagrams on each arm of the cross are said to represent the Aces and court cards of each suit. It gets pretty complicated. For the full explanation, see chapter 8 of DuQuette's book.

In any case, I take this card to mean that the initial stress of starting the new routine is behind me. I need to go shopping for something to wear to Monday's interview!

Friday 17 January 2014

No time for lemonade-stand thinking

I received a new tarot deck yesterday and thought I'd try it out today. It's the Bonefire Tarot  by Gabrielle West, self-published in 2013. I drew a card of the day: The Devil. Avoid temptation. Okay. I found myself drawing another: What should I avoid? Page of Coins. What should I do instead? Ace of Swords.

Bonefire Tarot, West 2013
I can see that I should avoid first impulses today, temptation to fall into old patterns, represented by The Devil. The Page of Coins squeezing lemons threw me for a minute--then I realized she must be making lemonade for a lemonade stand, the traditional first business enterprise of a young person. (I think it might be mythical. I don't know anyone who ever had a lemonade stand. But still, the image persists of a youngster sitting in the front garden peddling lemonade to the neighbours.) I can see how this applies. Today's temptation, amongst other things, might be to hole up somewhere on my own at work and continue making my own little plans. That is not a good idea. The Page of Coins may have enthusiasm for business enterprises, but she doesn't have any experience. She might be better off consulting others - or at the very least, enlisting someone to help her, to go in as a partner, share their thoughts and collaborate. The Coins suit, though, isn't so much about thinking as doing, and so the mucking in should be of a practical nature. Although the final card, advising what I should do instead, is the Ace of Swords. So perhaps instead of getting stuck in to some earnest but perhaps misguided busy work, I should use razor sharp thought to help me see the proper way to proceed. The Sword is slicing through an apple - could it be the apple of temptation? There is also a snake there. I just wonder if that is Garden of Eden imagery. The snake can be an ally as well as an enemy. Like the sword itself, he is double-edged. I like that all-seeing eye on the crown of the sword. Not fooled into false thinking or sent in the wrong direction. That's how I must be today. Not misdirected. I must recognize at every hand the temptation to blurt out or act on impulse, without thought. Today should be a day of measured actions.

Well, if I do all these things, what will be the outcome? I drew 7 of Wands. It certainly would keep me in a well-defended position. I had a look in the LWB: fending off all comers, defending your boundaries, keeping the moral high ground, overcoming creative blocks. Good then. 

My advice for the day: watch out for the temptation to give in to any innate weaknesses (for me, that would be blurting out my thoughts without considering consequences, and overthinking in an emotional way--ie, worrying!). Avoid lone busy work brought on by enthusiasm which might not be the most effective use of my time, chosen because of inexperience. Instead, use my head. Ask questions, seek advice. Be logical -- and keep emotions out of it. 

Thursday 16 January 2014

What do you do - pull the covers over your head?

Thoth Tarot
You know, this is the kind of card that puts people right off the Thoth Tarot. You draw a card marked 'Failure' and you read accompanying text like this: 'When the 7 of Disks shows up in a reading, you better hope your question was "What's going to happen to my worst enemy?"' -- and you pretty much want to give up entirely. (That quotation is from Lon Milo DuQuette, by the way). Crowley's relentless pessimism has to be ignored. You know what he was like. It's his way of poking us with a stick, no doubt laughing to himself.

Crowley's divinatory meaning for this card is 'unprofitable speculations and employments, little gain for much labour.' There is an air of promise that never came to fruition. To me, it's more of a 'spinning your wheels' kind of thing. It is like the darkest interpretation of the RWS 7 of Pentacles, the farmer waiting for his crop to be ready for harvest. That card has a feeling of potential, whereas this card is more like, 'You did all that work only to lose a good portion of your crop.' Who needs that?

The thing about this sort of card, though, is not to just read 'Failure', DuQuette's discouraging words, and to either go back to bed or march off into the world ready to receive the blows of outrageous fortune. You have to examine the meaning of the card in light of how you can make the best of it. Otherwise, what is the point?

Yes, the card points to material difficulties. Start by identifying them. Is it your job? An investment? Your physical body? Where might there be difficulties? (Ignore the word 'Failure'. Seriously. That is just a trigger -- Crowley and his ilk love pushing your buttons. Let them be pushed but let them be pushed for good and not despair!) Then ask yourself -- am I blowing these difficulties out of proportion? Am I dwelling on them too much? We know what happens when we dwell on things, right? This card can be a cue -- identify areas in which you feel that you may be facing 'failure' and get a grip! Get some perspective! Look at where you are right now. What actions can you take to prevent this 'failure' that looms so large in your imagination? Do you need to do anything at all?

Maybe all you need to do is let go of worrying about it. Maybe you need to gather information. Maybe you need to have a talk with someone. Maybe you need to stop doing one thing and start doing a different thing. Or maybe you just need to chill out and think about something else, let it lie.

And that brings us back to the RWS 7 of Pentacles, doesn't it. Patience -- doing what you can and leaving it.

Today, I will not worry about my fears of failure. I will take steps in the best direction I can identify and I will occupy my mind with other things.

(ETA. After I wrote this entry, I had a look at Angel Paths and Zeigler's book. We share the same opinion about this card. :) )

Wednesday 15 January 2014


Thoth Tarot
Actually I do feel rather 'indolent' today, though I find it a curious title for the 8 of Cups in the Thoth Tarot. In the main, this seems to be a very apt card for my overall feelings at the moment...

Yesterday I started a new post, but Monday I have an interview for a completely different one, and I do have high hopes for it, to the point that yesterday felt a little surreal, and today I'm sure will also be like that. The Golden Dawn name for 8 of Cups is Lord of Abandoned Success. And I don't know of a more apt name for getting a job one day and going to an interview for different one practically the next!

Now, Crowley calls this card 'the very apex of unpleasantness' and that 'this card represents a party for which all the preparations have been made, but the host has forgotten to invite the guests; or the caterers have not delivered the good cheer. There is this difference, though, that in some way or other it is the host's fault.'  Crowley does have a tendency to take an exaggeratedly dark view of things, as we saw yesterday with his interpretation of the Prince of Cups. The divinatory meaning given is temporary success without further results, thing thrown aside as soon as gained, not lasting even in the matter at hand, journeying from place to place. All of these seem to describe my feelings at the moment about my job situation. I would happily throw aside the post I've recently gained, at least for the duration of the 12 month secondment (and to be honest, forever), to take on a different role doing new things in a completely new setting. I suppose this points to the aspects of stagnation in the card. Even though my new job is a step up, it's still with the same service and doing more or less the same work, with a few added duties. Perhaps I need a fresher change than this.

On a personal level, this card can point to tiredness, and I certainly am tired this morning. Couldn't sleep well last night. Also, I feel quite lethargic (indolent) within myself due to lack of exercise, perhaps. Probably a lack of optimum nutrition as well. Jan at Angel Paths writes that this card represents apathy, disappointment, and stagnation, tiredness and being unable to generate energy. It is a day to be aware of energy (or lack of it) and to identify victim mentality in oneself. If you decide you are not the source of the problem, determine not to add to the situation through a negative attitude.

I do intend to do my best today, but I cannot deny there is the underlying detachment there of perhaps this not lasting for long, and my path possibly soon turning in a new direction. I shall certainly not burn any bridges, though, because one never knows the outcome of a job interview!

Tuesday 14 January 2014

Crashing onto the shore - Prince of Cups

Thoth Tarot
The Prince of Cups from Thoth Tarot comes blowing toward us, pushed by a giant wave, his curvy chariot pulled by a black eagle. In one hand, a giant lotus, in the other a cup with a snake rising from it, and on his head, a very grand helmet topped by what I assume to be another eagle. I like the way the eagle skims low over the shallow water of the beach, and how the incoming tide crashes along just behind our hero.

Though Prince of Cups is not much of a hero. He's not much like the RWS Knight of Cups, either, if that's what you're thinking. I don't know what Crowley's problem was with Prince of Cups, but he says:

'He is subtle, violent, crafty and artistic; a fierce nature with a calm exterior. Powerful for good or evil but more attracted by the evil if allied with apparent Power of Wisdom. If ill dignified, he is intensely evil and merciless.'  He goes on to say he is 'completely without conscience and usually distrusted by his neighbours.'

What, our mooning Knight of Cups intensely evil and merciless? This is something new indeed! For a more open perspective, I quite like Angel Paths website. Jan uses these words to describe the Prince of Cups: self-contained, secretive, hiding deepest passions, moody, sensitive, highly perceptive, readily using intuition. These qualities make more sense to me -- the Prince of Cups after all is 'Air of Water'. The thoughtful side of emotion. She goes on to say: 'The Prince of Cups works with desire on all levels. All we have to do is wish hard enough. And his energy will help us to achieve our aims. So on a day ruled by him, select one thing that you really really want, and spend a little time visualising it, imagining what it would feel like to have it, or experience it, and then gather all your strong feelings up into a bundle and push them out into the Universe.' 

Now that makes more sense to me. It seems to be more in line with Gerd Ziegler's interpretation in 'Tarot: Mirror for the Soul' -- 'Spend some time each day visualising yourself and your desires without getting lost in them.' (Although he seems to think that those desires are of a sexual nature, as the affirmation for the card given is: 'I now live out my sexual desires. This makes me more vital and fulfilled.' Well, this is why we need to read more than one person's thoughts about a card.)

I can put together some advice from all this, though. Today is my first day in a new job. I take this card as meaning I should keep my thoughts and feelings to myself, play things close to my chest. Best not share everything that flits through my head!

Also, I have been shortlisted for a completely different post, and the interview is on Monday morning! I just found out yesterday afternoon. So today is a good day to begin visualising myself being successful at interview and securing the post, but without losing sight of the current new job and the possibility that this is my 'new home' (should I not be successful at Monday's interview.)

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.