The Hanged Man

This month’s card to explore is the Hanged Man.  This is the 12th card of the major arcana and shows a man suspended by one foot from an anhk, held there by a snake.

Hanged Man

The card is associated with the element water and is about baptismal initiation rights. It has obvious associations of seeing the world from a different perspective and the idea of voluntarily giving up action in order to achieve a more enlightened attitude even if it may require going through some discomfort or pain.

In the Thoth this is taken another step and often challenges us to release old patterns of behaviour and trust in something higher to guide us into the unknown – ie our life without our known ways of responding, defending and behaving. So it is a powerful card of inner transformation and surrender.

The crossed leg shown below the cross also has relevance in that a triangle below a cross indicate our sinking into the unconscious – the darkness – in order to retrieve our true selves and be born into the light anew. The snakes on the card lend themselves to this idea also.

There is a connection with eternal life and a feeling of permanence of spirit with this card too – as we release our inner fears, including the fear of death, so we are truly free to life each moment in the eternal now and are not as focused on the past or future, we are free to be completely in the present.

The Hermit

This month we look at the Hermit. This is connected to Wisdom through it’s attribution of Yod – the Hebrew letter, which is the first letter of the name of the Godforce YHVH. So we have associations with creation and father too, you can see this in the card in the image of the sperm and egg. The card is also attributed to Virgo and so Mercury(being the ruler of Virgo and exalted in it’s domain), in a high form, is represented here. There is good communication and also a tendency towards service for the higher good. Mercurial energy here is not wasted on chit chat but only used to further express truths and heal the self and others.

hermit

So in a reading we can see the Hermit heralding a time spent in self healing, self discovery and a withdrawal from the mundane world as one would expect of a hermit, and also a time of giving or receiving healing or advice to others to aid them on their way. The hermit might be a therapist you visit to help you overcome issues that are troubling you, or he may represent your own therapeutic skills in working with others.

He is independent and doesn’t need reassurance from others as he follows his own inner light.

On the Kabbalah we see this card as the balancing of the energy of love and mercy from Chesed (4’s) and the more practical expression found in Tiphareth (6’s). So we see the choice to express the deepest spiritual feelings and use one’s Will in this way. Heart is the way, rather than logic or practical knowledge, the person acts from their very spiritual centre. The effects are very present on the physical plane though and not just ethereal in nature, hence the idea of a deep healing. You can see the practical effects depicted in the wheat harvest in the card image, reminding us of both the symbolic food from inner work as well as the manifestation of good results on the physical, earthly plane.

Cerberus on the card represents the guardian of the underworld, the hermit has tamed him and so leads souls through the underworld safely, also the three heads represent speech, action and thought and the full command of these faculties that the hermit has.

 

Queen of Swords

This month’s card to explore is the Queen of Swords.

Queen of Swords in the Thoth (a well shuffled version!)

Queen of Swords in the Thoth (a well shuffled version!)

The queens in the Thoth are connected with Binah and so a mature feminine force. Binah is often considered restrictive, as the womb is restrictive it is also a place for grouwth and the new – but with boundaries. The queen here is also very boundaried and in the realm of the swords we see the mastery of thoughts, used in a way to nurture the self and others. We see her removing a mask, it is as if she is able to remove the mask she herself may have worn once, the thoughts she used to conceal her naked vulnerability from herself and the world. Now she can be seen in full and is facing both her own truth and sees the truth in those before her too. She weld the sword of discernment and will cut away all the superfluous untruths and allow the raw core of things to be seen unfettered with apology or judgement.

As such often she represents someone working in the field of counselling or psychotherapy with the ability to cut to the core of things, the ability to be genuine, yet boundaried, with clients and the insight to understand and help change thought patterns that are unhelpful on the path to ones own truth and Self. She nurtures the birth of the true self in our thoughts. She is the watery aspect of air so emotional logic which connects well with the field of psychotherapy and other emotional therapies.

She also represents a trustworthy honest friend who can witness our journey without casting judgement or needing us to do things their way.

her openness and vulnerability are her strengths and allow her to step outside of a situation and view it dispassionately whilst also holding her own person response. Her position on the clouds in the image reflects this perspective well also.

As court cards are also parts of us and not just who we find ourself attracting, though the process is the same – we attract people who show us parts of ourselves. in the same way in a reading this card can be both someone in the life of the querant as well as the querant themselves.

So the querant will have all these qualities coming from within themselves and using them to navigate the world. There is a need to drop masks to allow the vulnerability to be their strength. To get to the truth of the matter and to see their own thoughts truthfully, discerning what is mental chatter and discomfort and what is actually at the core.

It may well be that the querant has to use their ability to hold their own thoughts and perceptions in one hand and listen clearly to another with empathy through the other before making any response. And when a response is made it is not to be judgemental but discerning -having compassion and seeing that the others perception is likely to be spot on from their point of view, but your own point of view might tell a different story for you and you follow your own perceptions allowing the other theirs. Conflict is sorted by owning one’s feelings and acting for oneself, listening well and ensuring that what you have heard it is communicated back – even if it is something you actually disagree with. you don’t have to go along with someone’s ideas to listen to them fully.

She is the master of intention and able to think clearly about what is best in a situation. Insight and discernment working together well. She often is seen in service to others as she is one who, having seen, wants to take action to help another’s position.

Some may see her as cutting if she speaks a truth that is not ready to be heard, though it doesn’t bother her that someone has a negative opinion of her, she is more concerned with having the truth out, knowing the truth sets us free even if it is a painful birth sometimes.

 

The Fool

This month I am looking at the Fool card. This card is a very powerful card and contains a huge amount of symbolism and depth – I will just scratch the surface a little here this month.

The Fool

The card shows the Fool as the main character with feet up suggesting an ungrounded quality – it is almost as if he has his feet in the air sliding along joyfully on ice – I feel this connects us with the Fool’s trustfulness qualities – not fully owning his responsibility but completely trusting all will be well. An innocent childlike faith in things. The cord wrapped three times round the card is likened to the umbilical cord and is seen coming from his right nipple. There is a sense that he is nurtured and fed by his connection to the great Mother, hence his ability to have such complete faith. The universe looking after him as he follows his heart in all things. We see this manifest practically in someone’s ‘beginners luck’ with no conscious knowledge of how something ‘should’ be done often we find our first attempts at something are very effective, and decline as we start to impose our will, control and learning upon them before returning to a more conscious competence. This umbilical cord has a caduceus entwines and represents the healing that can spontaneously come as we follow our hearts into situations we then learn from and heal old wounds with the experience. It is also a symbol of transformation which is often apparent when this card appears. A new start and a complete transformation of how we view the world; we have fresh eyes on things and an excitement and heart based joy arises.

The bag he carries contains disks – each with an astrological symbol upon it. they are arrange around the sun symbol in the center, the planets surrounding and the constellations surrounding the planets, thus we have a representation of the universe. The fool carries with him the potential of all the universe and a potential wealth of everything that exists. Nothing is formed as yet – however the possibility is there as he sets out on his journey. The sun in his genitals and the sun as center in the bag both suggest that it is his own viewpoint that he is starting from, he has confidence, even where a more mature approach would consider this ‘foolish’. His moves forward are all about him, yet also he is in tune with himself in this starting position, there is rarely error in his approach, only the potential for great things to develop from the learning situations he encounters.

He ignores his fears and his animalistic desires, even his wounds, he is not ‘trying’ to heal, merely healing through the process of what befalls him naturally. Often we find this on our life path, that without conscious determination to heal our past we are put in situation which show us more and more clearly where we need to develop and heal. Our life in a sense is its own therapy, once we pay attention to it we can gain a great deal from following where we are drawn to go. The foll doesn’t have that awareness yet – however it is likely to come, through the situations he places himself in, and through his inner Will being adhered to. Fear does not make him careful and this is a strength.

 

21 The Universe

This month’s card for us to explore is the Universe. This card is the last of the major arcana and as such is about endings – however unlike the dramatic transformation of the Death card, here we experience a more harmonious, natural ending to things and a letting go of the struggle to change as all has been done that can be done. What we have learned through the process now stays with us and protects us for the future ahead. We can be free and innocent, naked as the dancer is, offering our transformation process up now as we no longer need it. We can trust in ourselves deeply to see and understand our responsibility and action in any situation, to know our choices and to decide from a clear place without us hiding important information from ourselves out of historical protective mechanisms.

The Universe

The Universe

 

Looking at the origin of the symbolism on this card we see it is astrologically connected with Saturn. The planet of structure, solidity, reliability and trustworthiness. So we see these traits in ourselves when this card appears. We can depend on ourselves. We also have no need to rush forward, but can take our time, there is nothing to escape from and no urgency – we are happy to be where we are in the moment. Saturn is the reality checker and here in this card we see that we are fully connected with reality as we have travelled the Major Arcanas challenges in order to arrive at this place. We are able to set boundaries where needed and able to be disciplined and ordered in order to travel the path in life we decide upon.

Tau is the Hebrew letter associated with this card. It means cross or mark and could be seen as a signature or a signing off of something. On the Kabbalah it is the path between Yesod and Malkuth so the journey of final manifestation on the Earth and then the return to spirit. So we have here more connections with the natural ending of one thing and the beginning of a new journey with a different focus. As we travel down the tree of life we are incarnating and becoming more fully present on the earth plane avoiding nothing and embracing it all – as we then turn round and travel up towards spirit so we are being aware of all that is on the earth plane – our personality, our inner nature and the limitations of being incarnated and having embraced it all we can now transcend without it being a journey of avoidance of pain, it becomes a journey which acknowledges pain and uses it for enlightenment.

The four corners of the card show the 4 Kerubim, the guardians and protectors. They also represent the 4 elements and so indication our inner protection through our wholeness. 

The building is the building of the earth plane and Crowley called this “the skeleton plan of the building of the house of Matter” it shows 92 chemical elements as seen by J Sullivan. So there is a strong symbol of the building blocks of all matter here in this card too and represents final manifestation in another way too. As Crowley also said it represents the celebration of the completion of the Great Work (which is our individuation here on this plane.)

 

10 of Cups

Happy New Year to you all!

This month we will look at the 10 cups, the imagery and symbolism in the Thoth deck.

The most striking connections we see on this card are with the Kabbalah and with the astrology linked to this card.

The arrangement of the cups show the tree of life and the lines between them the paths between the nodes. As a 10 it is connected with Malkuth and indicates the manifestation and perfection in the realm of the emotions (cups) So we see that satisfaction and fulfillment have been attained and that the person is fully aware of their emotional nature and of the concept that true joy can only come from within and it not externally determined. There is an outpouring of emotion from the highest source – Kether and it fills all the cups – the central pillar of the tree overflowing into the bottom cup.

Then looking at the astrology we see that this card is mars in pisces – two very different energies – the dynamic energy of mars in the peaceful still energy of pisces. However this is how the emotional energy doesn’t stagnate – the forcefulness of mars is at its most spiritual here and it ensures that the water does not remain still in its contentment but has the ability and energy to move forward into action, into the next step of manifestation through the 4 worlds of the Kabbalah. Mars energy keeps the pisces energy from stagnating in its abundance of water.

We can also see this as a shift from pisces into Aries – the next sign on the zodiac – which happens to be ruled by Mars. Even the image of the cups on the card show a resemblance to the sign for Aries and so the indication that it is movement from receptivity and complete emotional fulfilment into the active warrior like energy of Aries. Spring somes and a new path of growth is started having achieved emotional clarity and fulfilment.

As this is our card to start the year – perhaps have a think about what your next steps are with the tarot – how can you shift your enjoyment of learning about and working with the Thoth into the next stage? How can you make the Thoth more active and dynamic in your life? Answers to these question will help you move forward now.

I am taking applications for the Initial Thoth group course at the moment. It will be starting in February – there are limited places so do get your applications to me as soon as you can if you feel this is your next step in the journey.

May you have a wonderful New Year

Prince of Disks

This months card to explore is the Prince of Disks.

prince of disks

We see here earthy colours of the disks suit and a sense of determination in the ox’s motion forward. There is the idea of nothing will stop this man – even if the terrain gets difficult obstacles will be overcome. The prince himself is naked and has the innocence of youth with him. He has no need to make pretenses or to cover his motivations he is open and honest about what he is doing – very much what you see is what you get. he has charge of the ox but is not controlling so much that he won’t allow the ox to move as needed to overcome difficulties. Thus he trusts the path before him and is allowing his instincts and animal nature to inform him of what needs to be done when. I always see a strong connection to nature with this card and sometimes herbalism too with the plants and flowers in the background. Sometimes appearing as if they are diagrams in medical books . There is the idea of seeds being ready to germinate and life about to be set in motion after a time of stillness. He is associated with meditation and also with having done the inner work needed to create what he needs for his spirit in the physical world.

The Sceptre with the ball and cross represents the alchemical idea of the Great Work; the inner journey we all have to go on to find our true spirit. He contacted his true self and now has the ability to navigate forward in full trust of himself and his spirit. He is a very practical man though – one who plans well and is practical in all aspects, he works hard and is down to earth about things. Generally not emotional he is in touch with the nature of the world though. His spirituality shows through practical action rather than esoteric ideas. The orb in his left hand can be seen like the Earth and he has in his mind the good of all rather than personal goals with his plans and can often represent someone who works in positions concerned for the environment of the natural world in some way.

This is a very ‘worky’ card generally, talking of tasks and actions to be taken if not someone’s actual employment in life. This card is also connected with the movement into Taurus from Aries and you can see the Taurean bull on his headdress. Taurus is a fixed sign and reliable in nature. You can depend upon this person. They are likely to be interested in food in some way and may sometimes be overly stubborn, though usually this is a positive staying power rather than obstructive in nature.  They are also concerned with sensuality and are very in touch with their physical body and perhaps like to do some form of exercise that is connected with strength (as opposed to dynamic movement)

As this is a prince card it is seated at Tiphareth on the Kabbalah and as such represents the meeting of the physical world with spirit. He is the physical conduit for spirit – the messenger in a physical way. This physicality can include beauty, sensuality, food, shelter as well as the material needs of life in terms of money and work.