Queen Disks

I apologise for missing a few blog posts over recent months – things have been busy with me. I am here this month though and we are going to take a look at one of the court cards – Queen of Disks..

 

copyright US Games

copyright US Games

She sits amongst the richness of an aspidistra plant looking back over a winding path with little vegetation. So often this card indicates in practice that someone is reflecting over the past – which has been an arduous journey. There has been little sustenance on the way and little support as well as the feeling that the direction or destination is either unknown or constantly changing – just when you think you have an idea whats coming then life takes a whole new turn. However in this card it is over – that journey is now being reflected upon and the path can be seen as a whole and how everything was really for the best as it has brought you to your current place of abundance of nourishment and a deep trust in yourself. You got through it, supported yourself and were able to overcome challenges. As you recognise this consciously now you find future challenges less onerous as you know you can believe in yourself and in the natural unfolding of the way forward – even as it twists and turns unexpectedly.

The shield is a natural protection you have won for yourself, the goat a symbol of being able to move easily in otherwise difficult terrain, and also of creativity and the support of nature. The headdress a connection to higher realms as your guiding impulse and the septre of power you have earned. All is well – though there may be tears shed of sadness, or relief, of release of holding it all together. This passes easily and the strength in you remains. You have learned going with the flow of life as a step of power.

These are my initial feelings about this card, and very often how it shows in a reading – if we look at the technical aspects and correspondences we can see how these add or fit to this initial viewpoint and experience of the card.

So the wand has a hexagram inside a cube on its tip – this is representing the sun in the earth and as such the fertility of the land – we have come to a firtile place. a place of confidence and self esteem (Sun)  in practical matters (Earth). The goat on the orb is Sun in Capricorn – part of the decan this card covers, and as such represents the hard work, creative energy, and determined focus of Capricorn. We traveled the path, working hard to move along all the way and now have honed our ability to work at our creative pursuits on an inner and outer level. She is the watery part of earth and so uses intuitive understanding to help manifest things in their material form. She is also a nurturer, as the planet earth nurtures and provides for us so she represents being nourished physically – with food, exercise and healthy living, though can also indicate unhealthy consumption of food or natural drugs if positioned in a difficult place in a reading. She does generally represent the idea of surrender to the flow of things being a power. As Crowley said “She represents passivity, usually in its highest aspect”

4 disks – Power

This card is all about structure, solidity and strength in the physical world. Things have certainly manifested in the world in the fours, the first step downwards from the spiritual planes on the Kabbalah. Here we see strong square shapes and an image like a fortress. So we have a sense of power in keeping things out and also in keeping things in – the draw bridge shows the control we have on what and who we let in and what and who we keep out. We use our personal power to make these decisions. Sometimes it is needed that we shut the door on the world and keep our own counsel, sometimes we need to allow others in – those close to us and who we trust into our inner sanctum. The turrets have the symbols of the various elements on them – earth, water, fire and air. Spirit is missing, and there is a sense that this is a very material card. and all the elements come together to make the material world – we could get too caught up in the physicality – the ‘thing’ we have and would like, the practical things we have to do, and we forget to use these ‘things as vehicles to reach more spiritual perspectives. The castle as sanctuary where we find the space to hear our inner voice and the voice of spirit, or the castle to show off to others.

4 disks

This is sun in Capricorn which also has this dichotomy – often associated with hard work and reliability, Capricorn is good at being self motivated and making income and a secure life financially. Often forgotten is the aspect of sun in Capricorn which is highly spiritual and that the need for solitude contemplation, quietness and stillness are equally important to Capricorn’s balance. We see this balance here in the card in the form of having the choice to create the life we want by using our personal power. As we do so we gain the space we need and protect it at all costs, we also gain access to our own inner worlds and know how to use our emotions as information to aid our protection and access our intuition.

Very often when this appears in a reading we are looking at a situation where we need to get down to making some pragmatic and practical decisions and also we are needing to be strong in our beliefs and what we hold as correct. We are challenged not to give our personal power away, but to take it fully and act in the world to make our lives as we need them to be. We need discernment in order to understand where and to whom to say no. Sometimes drawing up the bridge and taking space even if others want more of us.

 

 

 

The Magus

This post I will talk about the Magus of the Thoth deck – some decks come with three versions of this card, they were never intended to all be used but were there as consideration for the owner to either pick one or to just appreciate other versions that were created by Frieda Harris. In those times there were two extra card slots for printing which weren’t needed and so for some publications they decided to make the alternative versions available.

The Magus

I came to the Thoth initially through the Gerd Ziegler book whilst I was also training as a counsellor so the psychological approach of Zeigler, being a Jungian therapist, appealed to me. He had made the decision to include all the magi in the deck and simply make the two be the skewed meanings of the magus as a whole – the unexplored extremes of ourselves – our complete light side and our complete dark side. The central and commonly defined ‘correct’ magus as the integrated dark and light sides of ourselves – the magical flow of life we experience when we are true to ourselves and incorporate information from our dark and light sides in our decisions and mapping of our life paths.

I found the approach useful to point out when I was being unaware that my shadow had taken over my actions, or that I was purely looking for the good in things and becoming unbalanced in doing so despite my good intentions, and of course where each of these were appropriate actions, or influences to allow.

I mention it in this month’s Thoth tips as there is often a discussion in the Thoth community around the three magi and some purists to Crowley’s wishes feel one should not use all three. It is my belief that we can and should follow our own heart about their use whilst keeping our eyes open for where we may delude ourselves. As with all things we need to find the path that is right for us at the time.

I have on previous posts talked about the White and Black magi alone so here I will expand up on the transcendental Magus.

This Magus walks the line between that which could be seen as good and that which could be seen as bad – having full awareness of both he knows when it is for the highest good – or in line with his true will – to keep a secret, to lie even for the right reasons, and when it is necessary to be impeccably open, when he needs to communicate in a adapted way to present his ideas and when he can simply be himself. He uses his ability to read and empathise with others to enhance his communication and to be heard in the essential things, even if some of the things he could say he leaves out. He is an excellent salesman, as long as he believes in what he is selling, he doesn’t not worry if he can not explain all the points – just to explain why it is good in the terms the person will understand, is enough. He is our own expert communicator. He appears relating to writing, data, the transmission of it, so the internet, travel to many places and quick movement. This card is connected to mercury – both the flexible communicator and the swift mover. He brings messages from afar and is playful and can be like a trickster. In the transcendental Magus we see the sacred clown archetype. How we can ‘get away with’ a difficult message by using humour – the person is able to receive the meaning without casting out the messenger as they might otherwise.

He is a creator and uses the power of speech to create his dreams – as we think things into being the speaking of our dreams brings forces together to make them happen – whether we are talking through the use of spoken ritual – or simply the talking of our dream to travel the world with our friends to find someone has synchronistically offers to remove some or all the obstacles you felt were barring you from living out the plan. What would I do with my house – oh I know someone who is looking for a 6 month let who loves plants so can care for your garden  too etc. Things that would not come to light had you kept quiet about your intentions.

The Magus aligns his intentions with his true Will and each other and thus creates easily, as all his energy is focused to a point. This concept can be seen very easily on this card image, there is a balance yet with flexibility; it is very well depicted as he stands almost dancing on his toes, able to use all that is around him to create.

 

 

 

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.