Shorthand Tarot – What makes a Tarot card?

When doing Tarot readings, I consistently look at all my deck and then carefully select….the RWS. Or at least an RWS based deck. I love to work with the Marseille deck privately, but seldom use it with a client. I like Thoth and Deviant Moon to explore, but seldom use them with a client. When I am finished with a reading, I take a photograph (or screenshot in online readings) to “write down the reading” for reference and to give it to the client.

A while ago I thought it would be a good idea to have a way of noting down readings by hand. To be able to do something wihtout a smartphone, internet access and all that comes with it. Of course one can simply write the names of the cards, but that was not what I looked for. I wanted something quick and unique. I am familiar with a lot of systems to write down information quickly, such as shorthand notation, Juan Tamariz’ system of symbols to write out magic performance instructions and others. But they all suffered from a serious drawback: For me and the client they do not capture the essence of the reading. The client has to recall what the card looked like in order to recall the reading, which is difficult from abstract symbol. My abilities as a graphic artist are seriously limited so drawing each card was no option.

I tried to work out what exactly I wanted to have and came to the conclusion that I wanted a sort of Icon which would convey the Gestalt of the card, its general look and its numerical, elemental and astrological symbolism without words. These are the things I most often refer to in readings, so they needed writing down. Do these things constitute what a Tarot card is? I think not, there is more, obviously and less as well. To some a Tarot card is an artwork, nothing more. To others it is a projection of a full esoteric system on a symbolic representation, nothing less. Still, I tried to have this information as my minimalistic tarot shorthand.

Each card should be drawable as just line art with a single thickness pen, and in less than a minute. Plus my sore head needs to remember 78 silly pictures, so too much detail could not be included. Thus I developed what I now call the Shorthand Tarot, by no means the only version of a simplistic handdrawn cards, but to me, useful ones. I now use them for notation and also for other activities, subject of future discussion.

I would love to see what you think and what you make of the two cards below.

Shorthand Tarot (c) 2013 Markus Pfeil

Shorthand Tarot (c) 2013 Markus Pfeil

Shorthand Tarot (c) 2013 Markus Pfeil

Shorthand Tarot (c) 2013 Markus Pfeil

I am a Germany based Tarot enthusiast available via http://www.Tarosophy.De

8 of swords – Free Me !!


8 of Swords scan Touchstone Tarot

Sometimes one can be in the perfect mood, and once they leave the house, someone else who is in a bad mood rubs off on them, and steals their joy! There is nothing more annoying to me. We all know the saying, “Misery loves company.” How true.

The other day I went to the grocery store, and the kids were all excited to pick out snacks for their cupboard. We were being silly and dancing in the isles, having a good time. Nothing could steal my joy, absolutely nothing. Or so I thought! After all, I was in the cookie isle.

Upon reaching the cash register, I began unloading my cart and within a few seconds my joy dissipated rather quickly. The cashier was in a funky mood, and decided to take it out on me, the customer.

Back when I was younger I would have told her to stick it where the sun don’t shine and walked out. But, now that I am older, and a responsible mother, I felt like the eight of swords. I was unsure of what to do, and even waiting for the rescue of a manager near by. Which didn’t happen, by the way. I was feeling persecuted, and wasn’t sure which way I should handle the situation.

When you sense or feel a negative mood emanating from someone, try this useful technique to try and understand what it is that’s going on with them. –

First, get yourself out of your own way! Discard the thoughts that you are feeling. Relax, close your eyes, and don’t forget to breath, or you will fall over.

Try to imagine that you are stepping into their shoes, and becoming that person. Feel what they’re feeling. The chances are that you will probably have a better understanding of what is going on, and might even be able to help.

After doing the above technique, I regained my joy, and a smile was back on my face. Apparently I have a beautiful smile because the cashier was no long in a fowl mood. My energies rubbed off on her. See, sometimes a smile really can make a difference.

Back to the 8 of swords. Release yourself from the bondage of misery around you. You have a choice of swords waiting to cut you free. Grab one and cut, what are you waiting for? Whomever tied you up didn’t do such a great job. Take off that blind fold, and see through your feelings. There is a happy ending if you allow yourself one.


“I am able to share, and trust my true feelings.”


Tarot Symbolism: The Contract Tarot 0: The Fool


“The Fool is cool! He’s old and he’s new Beginnings and choices As he approaches His journey, hearing voices Of inner wisdom. He is creative potential Innocent yet full Of faith and trust as Towards the Magus He must travel!”

The Fool card in the Tarot takes the completed energy of the Universe card and transmutes it into the start of a new journey! It’s almost like looking at the world anew through the eyes of a child.

Let’s look at the images on the card and then we’ll look at the symbols.

The background of this card is a sunlit atmosphere on top of a yellow/white diamond shaped background. Yellow is the colour of the element Air. The white diamond shapes signify Kether, the 1st Sephiroth on the Tree of Life.

In front of this background is a rainbow and a vineyard. The rainbow represents the promise of new life and is a link between the higher and lower energies of the chakra system. The vineyard signifies ecstacy and creative energy.

Three flying creatures can be seen: a dove, a vulture and a butterfly. The dove represents the descent of spirit into matter; the vulture signifies Mut, the Egyptian mother-goddess considered to be the creator of all things; and the butterfly is the symbol of Air and the soul.

In front of the vineyard are lilies and white roses. Lilies represent purity crowned by Spirit and the white roses signify Kether.

The lemniscate lies between Kether (Crown) and Chokmah (Wisdom) and represents infinity. The symbol for the zodiac sign Uranus is accompanied by the elemental symbol for Air and across from this lies the Hebrew symbol Aleph relates to the element of Air and the Scintillating Intelligence of the path between Kether and Chokmah on the Tree of Life.

The verse was given to me, or channeled. I ‘zone out’ and start typing and that is what emerged. I think it represents the Fool energy quite well. Any time you transmute energy, you keep a small part of what was and invite what is new to create something completely fresh. A new journey requires listening to that still small voice and applying creativity, faith and trust to go confidently forward without becoming attached to the outcome.

What do you see in this card?

Tarot Symbolism: The Ultimate Pilot – Thoth Tarot

By Odyn PenDragon

Atu XX is called “The Aeon” in the Crowley-Harris Tarot. Crowley’s use of the term is difficult and misleading, especially for “the beginner”. He ‘distorted’ the idea of “an epoch” to conform to his desire to ‘create a new religion’ (a huge mistake in my opinion). One is better off investigating the use of that term with regards to “Gnosticism”. (I have yet to read Jung’s book by that title.) The ‘classic’ full title is “The Last Judgment”, which is infinitely superior to the foreshortened “Judgement”; but one is much better off dissociating the “X-tian connection” to that phrase.
Crowley’s design of Atu XX, even by his own description, is claimed to be a portrait of “the Hierarchy of the New Aeon”, which is technically correct but, again, misleading by the presented wording. Instead of “back-pedaling” and then “forward-pedaling”, I’ll just jump right in.

The Developing Human has gone through the entire adventure as described by the Trump Series — from the initial “Abandonment of the Previous” of Atu 0 unto the eventual “Discovery of the Fuel Chamber” of Atu XIX. Atu XX is a portrait of A New Vehicle of Incarnation (a schematic if you will), and is “the rebirth” unto “a new human”. (I want to say “new being”, but let’s keep this within ‘humanity’.) The Seated Central Deity is “the new person” placed at the Captain’s Chair of the New Space-Time Vehicle. The “Wand of Power” in one hand is “the shifting-stick of the transmission gear-box” controlling “the velocity”. The other hand is “steering the vehicle” controlling “the orientation” (the phrase “I have crushed an universe, and nought remains” is a groovy technical phrase). The Ghostly Twin Sibling is what is commonly called “the astral body” of the physical pilot. In another sense, this is the gnostic Daemon in relation to the seated Eidolon. The Surrounding Goddess (Nuit) is not only the Shell of the overall Vehicle, but also the Distortion of Space-Time about that Vehicle, whereby “point A” and “point B” are ‘curved’ into coincidence. The Basic God-Focus (Hadit) is multi-aspect: the “point A+B” coincidence, the “fuel source”, and (to use a ‘disneyland’ metaphor) the monorail track of the Vehicle.

The complex image at the very base of the portrait, the “hebrew-letter-shin” with the “three children”, and the flames surrounding, I will not get into except that they refer to the ‘classic’ version of this card — yet beyond the average considerations (‘why the three fetal icons?’). The presiding image is a complex re-image of the ‘classic’ Trumpeting Angel.

For those not acquainted with “space-time travel”, I simply invite you to search for the presentation given by ‘the heretic-scientist’ Bob Lazar, who actually ‘back-engineered’ one of the “extra-terrestrial vehicles” (so he claims, by one faction; or so he lies, by another faction; or so, ‘who do you believe?’ (and that is a trick question)).

This “New Vehicle” is a complete violation of “what we are supposed to be” according to Nature. (Atu VII “The Chariot” is the Vehicle “we are supposed to be” according to Nature.) For those who pretend that “human evolution” is “better”, you should double-check with Nature “who prefers you that you subscribe to ‘her’ parameters”. Nature does not want the “new human” described in this portrait. The stage depicted with this portrait requires a “real grown-up attitude”, when you are cast out of the gestating house and unto a real ‘wild abandon’. “You are now A God.” This is very different from ‘answering to a god’. The “Children of Nature” have a much ‘easier’ time with the matter of ‘living’.
All you have to do is “stay asleep” within the ‘bed-chamber’ of “mother’s choosing”. Animals are very much friendly with this tactic. And “sleeping humans” are very much entrenched in animal life.

I was reluctant to use the term “resurrection” with this card, rather than “rebirth”, so I ran to my ‘trusty’ dictionary. The following three definitions are offered: a) “the act of rising again after death” (ok); b) “a bringing back into use” (ok); c) “a body snatcher” (HA! There It Is!). Atu XIV also qualifies as a “resurrection” of sorts; so how was that to be distinguished from Atu XX? Actually, in the “long analysis”, there is definitionally “no difference” — so the difference is only to be cognized within the Trump Series. But there is a huge difference between the “Temperence” stage and the “Aeon” stage, given the various ‘trans-terrestrial’ stages between those two (Atus XVI, XVII, XVIII and XIX).


Tarot Symbolism: The Thoth Tarot – 3 Magi


In this post, I am exploring the symbolism of the 3 Magi. Did you know there were 3 Magi in the Thoth Tarot?

They are: I – The Magus, also known as The Magus of Power; V – The Hierophant, also known as The Magus of the Eternal; and IX – The Hermit, also known as The Magus of the Voice of Power.

Let’s look at the common definition of Magus. From we find:

Definition of MAGUS

1a: a member of a hereditary priestly class among the ancient Medes and Persians
1b: often capitalized: one of the traditionally three wise men from the East paying homage to the infant Jesus

2: magician, sorcerer

of Magician we find:

Definition of MAGICIAN

1: one skilled in magic; especially: sorcerer

2: one who performs tricks of illusion and sleight of hand

and, of sorcerer, we find:

Definition of SORCERER

a person who practices sorcery: wizard

and finally, of sorcery, we find:

Definition of SORCERY

1: the use of power gained from the assistance or control of evil spirits especially for divining: necromancy

2: magic 2a

So, we have come full circle and can find the common theme to be: one skilled in magic.

The three magi in the Thoth Tarot are all quite powerful. They are in control of their skill and they each demonstrate mastery in their own unique ways. Let’s look a little more closely at them.
I – The Magus (The Magus of Power): This  young androgynous figure is the only one identified openly as Magus. He is so into himself isn’t he… all glorious and golden! On the Tree of Life, he joins Kether – the Crown to Understanding – Binah. His planetary trump is Mercury and he displays Mercurial properties magnificently! He looks like Mercury with wings on his feet. He is yellow and gray, Mercury in Atzilut (Emanation) and Yetzirah (Formation). He juggles eight tools which he uses to bring about his will. These eight tools are: the disk, censer, Wand of Double Power, the stylus/pen, the scroll, the Winged Egg, the cup and the dagger. Four of these represent the elemental weapons of the Magus. They are the disk, censer, cup and dagger. The Winged Egg represents Spirit. The Wand of Double Power is the symbol of energy and its function is to unite opposites under one will. The stylus/pen and scroll are instruments of Thoth, the Egyptian god of writing, wisdom and magick. His magick can be seen in the tools, the caduceus, the serpents, the infinity symbol, the blue dove, the winged sandals and the ape. Interpretation in a reading is around creative force of directed will, education, communication, change, messages, travel, commerce and business. You can find an image of the Magus here.
V – The Hierophant (The Magus of the Eternal): For a bearded old guy he really looks rather smug and know it all! He connects Chokmah – wisdom with mercy – Chesed. He wears the Crown of Osiris and radiates maturity and fatherly power. He rather bullish and this is Taurus in Atzilut (Emanation). His tools are the three-ringed wand symbolising the Thelemic (will) Aeons – Horus, Osiris and Isis. His magick can be seen in this card as the woman with the sword, the child Horus, the unification in the hexagram-pentagram symbol , the sandal strap, the oriel and Kerubim. Interpretation in a reading is around instruction, learning new things (like a child), intuitive understanding, esoteric knowledge, endurance, patience and physical labor. You can find an image of the Hierophant here.
IX – The Hermit (The Magus of the Voice of Power): He reminds me of a homeless figure being followed by his dog and, creepily, just a bit voyeuristic. Who knew? On the Tree of Life, he connects Chesed – mercy with beauty – Tipareth. He carries the Sun in his lamp and wears the white hair and beard of the Ancient of Days and the head of the ibis of Thoth/Mercury. His magick can be seen everywhere in this card from the Sun lamp to Cerberus to the Serpent Wand and finally, to the Orphic Egg. Interpretation in a reading is around illumination and isolation. You can find an image of the Hermit here.

I hope this has given you a beginning to understanding the symbolism of the 3 Magi in the Thoth Tarot. I have been studying using Lon Milo DuQuette’s book, Understanding Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot, Michael Osiris Snuffin’s book, The Thoth Companion and various resources from the internet. I would encourage you to look into these texts as well as The Book of ThothThe Book of Law and the Liber 777, all attributed to Aleister Crowley, which can be found on the internet as free pdf downloads.

Tarot Symbolism: The Fool in Tarot de St. Croix

This Fool is inspired by the sacred clown Koshare from the Pueblo Indians of the Southwest. He represents a playful way to look at a situation. He wears the mask of Coyote, a wild canine whose high pitched yipping sounds like laughter. Coyote carries the message of the trickster. In this card, The Fool makes a shadow puppet scene of danger. The message is to look beyond our fears to see what really lies behind it.

The Fool is both the beginning and the end of the major arcana in the archetypal journey of the tarot, represented by 0, which can also be seen as a circle. The path leads toward the full moon, which symbolizes the cyclical nature of life. The boat and the moon represents a journey into the mystery. The fools knapsack lies open in front of him, what will he take with him? The aspen stick with eyes symbolize the witness on his journey.

Whenever we begin a new endeavor or journey in life we have no idea of the actual outcome. The Fool is here to tell you to trust the journey. To realize our fears are fantasies. To enter the mystery with a playful sense of adventure.

by Lisa de St. Croix

Tarot Symbolism: The Long and Winding Path

by Anita Perez

For the purposes of this blog, I will be using images from the Universal Waite Tarot Deck. The RWS deck has become a Modern Standard; the Coloring used by Mary Hanson Roberts shows the detail admirably, and reproduces well.

The image of the path leading off into the distance is a key image in Tarot, even though most of the cards don’t show it. In some cards, it’s presence is implied rather than shown, (such as in the 10 of Wands, The Chariot, and even The Fool card itself).

ImageHis path may be invisible, be he has faith that it’s there.

Clearly The Fool is starting out on a journey; in fact many Tarot teaching traditions consider the entire deck to be stages in the Fool’s Journey. The presence of an obvious path may not seem necessary, since The Fool is creating the path by virtue of starting out on his journey, (even though the first steps seem to take the Fool over a cliff.)
I’m reminded of the invisible path in the Indiana Jones movie, “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” where Indiana has to step out into what seems to be empty space, taking it on faith that he will not tumble into the abyss, and finds that he is supported by a path that he couldn’t see until he was actually on it. The Fool is just such a character- able to take it on Faith that the path is there, even as he steps out into thin air. The mundane world would call him naive and foolish (what better reason to call him “The Fool”?). The fact that he is the key character in the Tarot, and that the journey through all the other cards is his journey, makes it clear that he is right, and that in order to grow and evolve, he must take that chance.


Let’s explore the images where the path is visible. Whether or not it indicates actual travel in the mundane sense, or represents an evolutionary process is up to the interpreter, and depends on the context of the reading.

Let’s begin with the Temperance card. A beautiful winged being with a shining face stands with one foot on land and the other in a pool of clear water. In older decks, this being is depicted as female, but in the RWS deck- the figure shown is androgenous.
A narrow well worn path rises from the water, leading toward the horizon. It meanders from the rocks at the water’s edge, through meadows and rolling hills toward lofty mountains that loom in the distance. A shining phantom crown hovers over those far peaks, seeming to beckon from the heights. The winged being pours fluid from one vessel into another. His  head is surrounded by a halo of energy. On his forehead is a bright yellow sun symbol that seems to add to the radiance of his golden hair and halo. A symbol of alchemy adorns the breast of his white robe.

Traditionally, this card represents moderation in thought, word and action, but it also has a deeper meaning, given by the root of the word itself- “temper”-ance. First, there is the quality of self-control, of not indulging in extreme demonstrations of emotion- either negative, such as anger- or positive, such as passion or euphoria. Also there is the process of tempering metals for fine tools and edged weapons, (very similar to the repeated steps of distillation in the alchemical process), where the metal is heated, worked and cooled repeatedly, giving it a superior tensile strength and flexibility.
In short, following a disciplined path while keeping true to a firm set of principles will bring you to heights where greater nobility of character is attained. The message also seems to indicate that it is more about experiencing the process of the journey than about achieving a specific goal. The process is what creates the changes, rendering you- the traveler- into a stronger, purer metal and an instrument capable of holding a sharper edge.

ImageA primitive creature crawls out of the primordial waters, seeking higher ground

The next card that shows the long and winding path is The Moon.

Again, it begins at the water’s edge, leading off into a mountainous distance. Two towers flank this path, as two animals- a wild wolf and a domesticated dog bay at the full moon shining above. A crawfish-like creature crawls up out of the water onto the beginning of the path. Yods- representing the gift of life energy- rain down from the shining moon.
Again, we have the indication of evolution- a journey that takes us from the watery realm of raw emotion and unconscious existence into the heights- a well worn symbol of enlightenment. The Moon, shining it’s yod-beams down upon the scene provides light for the creature to see the path it embarks upon.

ImageThe path here begins in a garden setting, but leads the viewer toward rocky terrain

Following this, we have the Ace of Pentacles- that most earthy representation of achievement. The scene is a garden of lilies bordered by a hedge of blooming red roses. In this case, the path starts out wide and smooth, leading to an archway that frames a view of a mountainous landscape. A hand offers a shining pentacle from a puff of cloud suspended in a pearl gray sky.

If we can tread the path from relative domestic comfort into the rough mountainous terrain, and not deviate from our purpose, the reward of earthly success is offered. Pentacles represent wealth and abundance, yet they also indicate the presence of creativity and the willingness to do whatever it takes to reach a goal. The fact that the path once again leads to the heights symbolizes that the reward will not just be a physical attainment, but also a refinement of character and spirit. Presumably, such processing will render the traveler more able to appreciate and manage the wealth that is gained with greater wisdom, creativity and fairness.

ImageIn this card, the path is shown behind the person in the card, at the lower left.

Finally we have the 8 of Pentacles.

A young man works diligently to create pentacles. He sits on his work bench, chiseling away at his current project, with a pleasantly absorbed expression. In the background, to the lower left hand side, behind the young man, a castle sits on a green slope. A yellow path partially hidden by trees leads up to the open gateway.
The process of perfecting one’s skills opens up the way to achieve many of the finer things in life. Becoming a competent and successful craftsman makes it possible to rise from your current position to the kind of person who could be invited to such a dwelling for commissions. Eventually, one could attain enough mastery of this skill to live in a place every bit as grand, and presumably support others in their quest for excellence in their turn.

ImageThe path leads to the castle entrance. The gate is open…

Becoming a master at one’s craft does not stop at making beautiful and useful things, and basking in the wealth one is able to earn. It also means that you attain a sense of self-respect because you are living up to your potential. When you know you are worthy of it, you can achieve wisdom and compassion as well, and can act as a mentor for others, who like yourself, start small and work their way up to mastery of their craft. What the master craftsman creates is not limited to finer and prettier objects; the finest product of this process is a finer self.

What more could The Fool aspire to?


Posted in Allegorical Fool’s Journey, archetypes, cartomancy, Metaphysical, Spiritual, tarot, Tarot for Self Discovery, tarot interpretation, tarotcircle | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Tarot Symbolism – That Monkey is always distorting my truth!

By Andrew McGregor

A little while back I wrote a post about what to do when you get lost in a reading or don’t know what a card means. This week it happened to me in pretty stellar fashion so I thought I’d share how I got myself out of the block.

I was reading for a client recently about how to deal with an institution. It was a reading all about advocating for their own rights in the face of being processed and not having their story heard. I am sure we have all run up against the machine of bureaucracy when trying to sort out problems with big companies. I get really frustrated when the person on the other end of the line says, “The computer won’t let me do that.” It may be true, but it sure doesn’t make me happy to hear it.

On to the Monkey business in this story

The Magician appeared in this reading to talk about actions to be taken to get the best results. If you look at the Magician in the Thoth deck you will find a monkey hanging out with him. You might have to look close in some variations as he is sneaking around in the background. Crowley, in the book for this deck, says of the ape that this little fella’s job is to distort the word of God. The Magician speaks the word of God and his primate cousin distorts it so that the truth is hidden. The whole business is like playing broken telephone.

I don’t often find myself stuck on a card these days. I ran through the common meanings that often surface with this card – exerting your will, balancing inside yourself, using truth and illusion to achieve your results, or the persons power to manifest things. BUT… the Monkey just kept staring at me. Perhaps its because Monkeys stole my lunch once but I just started to get a bad feeling about it. I tried to think it out to no avail, so finally I asked him straight out. The conversation went something like this:

“Okay Monkey Man is the client not being clear in their communication?”
“Oook, ook”
“Two ‘ooks’ for yes, one for no?” I asked.
“Ooo aaaahhhh”
“Okay I am on the wrong track, are their emotions getting in the way?”
“Haaa haaa”
Starting to feel a bit silly for talking to a picture of a Monkey I thought “Okay you are being too heady about all this.”
Out loud I asked politely “What do you have to say in this reading Mr. Cynocephalus Ape?”
In a charming voice the answer came “You are not hearing what I have to say, because they are not hearing what she has to say.”

So there it was, the institution was distorting the communication between my client and their service provider. This was something I knew about dealing with, and luckily, the card itself conveyed the solution. The magician is the master of truth and illusion, and as such, knows when he is not being understood. By accepting the reality of the broken telephone, the client could focus on checking the feedback loop to ensure accurate communication. It’s a perfect setting for asking the question like “Can you repeat back to me what you heard me say?” and other techniques like it to get the wax out of the ears, or in this case the institution out of the way, and get on to communicating as two people intent on finding a workable solution to the problems at hand.

Oooook Ooook…

Got some monkeyshines of your own to share? Jump in by posting a comment.

Desperate Planning – Thoth Tarot

By Odyn PenDragon

We humans (animals) tend to perceive structure (eye, ear, etc.), and from those, many tend to project from that a desire for some fantasy of “pattern”, and even further, the fantasy of “design”. Some passively accept this “design” model; but many others go further to then fantasize that there MUST BE A “DESIGNER”.

This Search-Desire for “A Designer” takes on many fascinating models, which unfortunately for many humans has produced the Fantasy of “A God”. Even my legacy-organization The Freemasons attempted a ‘renaming’ of that method by the term “The Grand Architect” — a desperate attempt to separate the “Great Designer” metaphor from the stupid ‘Control Freak’ monster they saw destroying the idea. But even they made a miss by clinging on to some ‘Grand Planner-Coordinator’ metaphor mixed in with some idea of centralized ‘control’.

Return to the ‘simplified’ method of ‘the’ YIN-YANG process: Enfolding & Unfolding. Sub-Atomic Processes enfold into Atomic Structure, and thereby unfold unto some ‘endurance’. Atomic Structure enfolds-combines into Molecular Structure, and thereby unfolds unto some further ‘endurance’ for those otherwise virtual sub-atomic ‘particles’. Molecules enfold into Cellular Structures, which even further unfold the ‘endurance’ of those very virtual sub-atomic ‘particles’ so deeply resident in the now growing complex structure. This “ladder” continues to cascade unto more complex structuring by serial enfoldings-combinations of the scale elements, and thus further unfolding of ‘endurance’.

Does this process describe “pattern”? Yes, according to our perception. Does this process describe “order” and/or “design”? Not necessarily ! The above described processes do not require any imaginary “Grand Planner”. Just because some “sentient being” perceives pattern and then projects a preconceived notion that such pattern MUST involve so-called “intelligent design”, is no proof of such a “Grand Planner”. It is simply proof of The Prover’s Obsession with their Model of Control. This all must, must, must make sense, yea?

This is where many make a miss in interpreting Atu III: The Empress. “She” is the Pure Happenings, which precede all considerations of the desperate attempts of all so-called ‘cognizant entities’ to make sense of the perceived patterns; and precedes the phase of Atu IV: The Emperor, who then attempts to configure his world as “Ruler” — ironically, “ruler” = “measurer”, “interpreter”. This newly-enthroned Emperor-of-one’s-own-empire MUST evaluate, coordinate, consolidate the vast array of otherwise non-sensical data into some semblance of order. The poor fool is now entirely dependant upon the ‘instructions-from-above’, to properly construct the empire.

This is here the danger of Atu V: The Hierophant. This figure has the awesome responsibility to properly instruct the Young Emperor on how to construct and conduct His Empire. If this figure-head has been poisoned with some Dæmon of Deception, the Young Emperor is now summarily cursed with the same poison, and the Empire is summarily distorted into that configuration. And this Hierophant does not get simple pass for ‘misunderstanding’. To achieve the Role of An Hierophant is not a light matter, and to bring poison to all the Young Emperors is HIGH CRIME. The simple Emperion of one’s own Empire is the business of that Emperor. Manipulation by the Hierophant deviant to the success of an Individual Empire, in favor of some Trans-Empire Poisonous Imagination is, again, High Crime in the Hierophantic Art.

All the “Priests of Plan” are Criminals, in the opinion of this ‘humble’ Mad Wizard. To promote the deception of any necessity for some “Grand Designer” to the Young Emperor desperately constructing one’s empire, is a direct violation of the time-honored Hierophantic Art. The tools of some ‘basic coordination’, and some hints at self-acceleration are the principal instruments — and then watchful instructions as the youngling stumbles.
And by the way, I would go so far to say that the Genuine Hierophants might be watchful of the Abberants who would poison the Young Emperors, and maybe take a blade to the necks of those Pretend Hierophants who would so joyously corrupt the Young Emperors into some Blind Allegiance with Their Dæmon. To be very clear — the “false path” is any ‘belief’ in some ‘Controlling Deity’.


Tarot Symbolism: No one is here….


People in the cards of a Tarot deck serve to focus the attention. They may signify the querent, or other people in the querent’s life who have a say in the event which is under consideration. They may signify possibilities for the querent. Always, they help in understanding what is, or what has to be, in a given context.

Thus, it is utterly fascinating for me, when a card has nobody in it…!

In the Rider-Waite deck, there are just two cards with no one… the Three of Swords and the Eight of Wands.

All the Aces have a hand holding the symbol of the suit, signifying a start, a step to begin, a root for manifesting the power of the suit. Each and every one of the Major Arcana are peopled… yes, even The Moon has the unbirthed Man in the Moon! And according to the Tree of Life, what you don’t have is as important in shaping your perspective as what is in your face….

The Three of Swords holds a bleak vision, if we would go by our trained mind. A symbolic heart (and this is what makes it unconnected to any person) is pierced through by three swords of such overwhelming weightage that the mere visual can invoke pity. The background contributes to the bleakness… colourless, cloudy, lashing sleet. And the perfectly symmetrical symbolic heart hangs in the middle of nowhere, stabbed yet not bleeding.

In contrast, the Eight of Wands looks uplifting. Again, though our trained powers of observation, we see a bunch of eight wands up in the air… above our heads, as it would seem from the distant hills. They have apparent direction, but no apparent control exerted by any human. And also the height of their displacement makes the action of the flying wands disconnected from humans. The light in the scene is clear and strong, and the perspective is wide open.

To me, here is the connect….

Lack of people symbolises times when we have no control over the situation. It could be that we have taken some action earlier, and the consequences have been ripped out of our hands. Or it could also be that the basis of our action had been assumptions… which is a case of immaturity, and thus, we feel no connection to what is happening now. Else, and more significantly, it could be the moment when we have the opportunity to realise that we have  far greater creative powers over our lives than we are willing to believe.

Nobody has broken anybody’s heart in the Three of Swords. It is a heart one has imagined…. It is an emotional box that one has defined through preferrences and dislikes. It is what we ‘think’ is our heart, and not what actually is. Thus, what is injured is an idea, a perception…. and not love. When our hearts break…. it is really not our ‘heart’ breaking. Our capacity to love is divine. Nothing destroys the divine. But our assumptions and our desires to be treated in a particular way because we are comfortable with it form an armour of egg-shells… threatened at every turn. And what more exemplary proof of that threat than the sword!!! We are easiest hurt by the words of others, whereas we need to be mature enough to realise that people speak their truth, not ours. We are just as liable to poke at other people’s ideas of self-importance, too! So, with Three of Swords, we meet our emotional immaturity and we have the opportunity to be thankful that those prods could grow us up in a hurry!

The Eight of Wands talks about our desire to control our lives being wrested out of our grip, and we are forced to learn… trust. It is when we are at our most passionate that we have the hardest grips. Nobody knows better than ourselves! And particularly, up until the previous card of Seven of Wands, we were striving, battling, pitting and pitching… and winning. We know what to do, and we are good at how to do it, right? Wrong. No matter how much you know, the divine always knows more. Indeed, in following our passion, we have chosen to be in the flow, and then, there comes a moment when it is only the flow. Trying to regain control would be a mistake… a huge one. It would only speak of fear. Letting be, letting go, letting God… That is the Eight of Wands!

When one or the other of these cards appear in a reading I am participating in, I realise that the querent stands at a threshold of growth… where he is being made to (yes, perhaps even forced to) drop his self-image and let in his divine image of far greater potential than he could imagine.

No one is here. The divine always is!