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Tarosophia https://tarosophia.com The Wisdom, Science & Art of the Tarot Fri, 22 Mar 2019 14:35:45 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3.2 https://tarosophia.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/LogosHeaders/cropped-SiteIcon-32x32.pngTarosophiahttps://tarosophia.com 32 32 118641668 ASK YOUR DECK #002https://tarosophia.com/2019/03/ask-your-deck-002/ https://tarosophia.com/2019/03/ask-your-deck-002/#respond Tue, 12 Mar 2019 18:07:23 +0000 https://tarosophia.com/?p=1635 #002 – WHAT TO MAKE OF IT ALL?

You’re never in a secure position. You’re never at a point where you have it all sewn up. You have to choose to be secure, like a stone, or insecure – but able to flow…

~ Keith Jarrett

Being the second installment in this occasional series of frivolous ways to interact with the Tarot.

On this occasion, I approach with a certain levity, which may lead to matters of some gravity arising – a strange behaviour for gravity, which is mostly a drag. Tarot is one of those funny exceptions that resists attempts to define or pin down, so that whatever you set up as the premises for your interaction with it must be dismantled, turned inside out and upside down, in order to get to the real wisdom. It’s more like a poem than an equation, but more like a manuscript than an actual performance. The reverberations are in your mind, the performance silent and private. Funny peculiar.

It is both what you make of it, and everything that you don’t; light when you bring it dark things, determinedly witty when you are expecting sincerity and integrity, unfailingly serious when you come at it with a joke, mercifully female when your enquiry is masculine, mercilessly male when your demand is feminine, old when you require novelty and fresh when you require experience. But, like all mirrors, it only flips the image in one plane, and so remains useful, as long as you remember the essential illusion of what is staring back at you.

What was the Question?

Tarot is very reliable if only the querent, the one seeking its wisdom, is actually aware of the question. All the answers are there – indeed, they are everywhere, in everything – if only we can actually articulate and understand our question.

This is much harder than it sounds, and typically more pointless than you suspect at the outset.

What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?

~ Mark 8:36

And by a similar token, what good is the answer “42” to a question as vague and ranging as “What is the meaning of Life, the Universe and Everything?”

As Douglas Adams so humorously and penetratingly noticed: Sure, the answer might seem simple; but what exactly is the question?

Questions with meaningful answers cease to be questions, because a cogent, useful answer cancels the question interrogating reality in search of it, and the whole dynamic is reduced to Zero. “What do these carrots weigh?” is not the sort of question that can lead to tenure in a University philosophy department, precisely because it is a meaningful – and thus real – question with a meaningful – because real – answer.

“What are the directions to the morgue?” exists in a similarly tenuous situation of having an answer that cancels the premise of the enquiry. Once you’ve found accurate directions, and then the morgue, the question disappears; maybe all questions, depending on your reasons for seeking the location of the morgue.

What is my Question? is an amusing sort of tautology, and quite useful as a brief meditation, before it collapses into the title of a thankfully yet-to-be-made game show. Is there a God? Is there a Question? What if the Universe is a question? What if God is?

Questions which do not pass this muster include most questions like those above, posed by moral philosophers and religious organizations: “How should I live?”, “What is the meaning of {insert manifest living phenomenon that need not subscribe to the human need for ‘meaning’ here}”, “What happens after we die?” and similar intellectual labyrinths and cul-de-sacs, which emerge from unconscious panic around ‘the mind’ as the only tool you have, that it is a hammer, and that therefore every single aspect of Reality really should be – regardless of context and consciousness – a nail.

If the only tool you have available is not the tool for the job – why, then find some nails you *can* hammer away at, and make a living that way! Like arguing with straw-men instead of real ones, it beats working.

So, first let’s confront the fact that the question is a bit pokey. “What to make of it all?”  All what? Make how? And so on. The presumptions in the question are strong, critical, not incidental or of mere passing interest. I’ll make a film about that soon. It’s a side of consulting oracles that gets hardly any attention. If you really understand the Question, you probably don’t need Tarot cards, psychic trance, or sorcerous jiggery-pokery to get an answer. Are you sure you haven’t set your ego-mind up with an unsolvable riddle to play with, like those cards with “The statement on the other side is true” printed on one side and “The statement on the other side is false” printed on the other? Many Tarot consultations devolve into a search to understand a question more than a search for a useful answer. This is something that never ceases to amaze me, honestly.

But let’s indulge ourselves, and assume there is a resolvable, that is to say meaningful, confusion. This confusion is about All of It, Everything. By the science and art of divination, of giving voice to that which by default has none (the Divine), we can make sense of the Signals, which at the moment appear as just Noise. There are patterns in the clouds. We’re not just making it all up.

Those patterns, signals, what-have-you, include: the rising tides of old psycho-social diseases like fascism and populism with demagogues at the frothing, scummy crest of the wave; the imminent collapse of the ecosystem and the economy which must always, ultimately, reduce back to it, digits-on-screens as flowers-in-bees, profit here as loss there, the essential balance and homeostasis of a finite world; the inability of The System to confront and deal with its own mess; the failure of the Wise Men who are supposed to govern, or at least to confront those who do with wisdom; the failure of the socio-political systems of a few hundred years ago to manage populations and resources in the 21st Century with the easy, callous viciousness of the past; the absence of decent alternative ideas with any currency or Power to influence the Whole; the bankruptcy of ideologies; the disruption of tradition and protocols by technology; the automation of the workplace and redundancy of most of humanity; billionaires and starving children; pointless, soul-crushing tedium in the workplace; The System, dammit, the Whole Thing, *including Consciousness!* The impending collapse. Perhaps most importantly, most poignantly, my reaction to it on every level of Being.


SPREAD: Single Card Draw

A: The Ace of Cups
(+ The Hanged Man & Death – Elemental exegesis)

The Ace of Cups

This was one of those instances where the card fairly leapt from the deck during the shuffle, a unique ‘individual’ suddenly springing free of its Oppression within the ‘collective’ of the pack (perceptive readers might ‘see what I did there’, for which one must only count backwards from this particular Ace) to stand up, be counted, and Daring, Willing, to make itself Known1

A lone Ace. Kether, the Crown, in the Qabalah (its wettest ‘flavour’, being always inscrutable and ‘hidden’, the Monad, the Absolute). Water, the Form, as the mother of all expressions of water everywhere. The Great Flood. The Teardrop.

In situations where it’s just one card, or few enough to not be a huge distraction, or exactly the intended number for the spread selected, I will always allow these situations to dictate. Such cards deserve either to be the actual spread (if the exact required number), or certainly to enter into an ‘aside’ before the reading to consider the card(s) that have so urgently made themselves known before replacement into the deck for a new shuffle, for the actual cards to be drawn. 2If it comes up again – well, needless to say, immense focus should be centered on the card, element, modality or other dignity and location in the spread where it re-appears. If not then consider it a hidden aspect, a ‘nuclear’ (of the nucleus) aspect of the situation. Once you’re sat shuffling, game is on. Everything is Divine. Symbols are real, and real things are Symbols.

In this instance it was just that one, perfect Ace that revealed itself – though as an Elemental card (a pure Seed of the Element Water), and as the Root of the Powers of its element, it can be further understood by meditation (reflection would be a more appropriate term for watery meditation) on other cards, Trumps and Court, as we shall see (The Hanged Man – elemental Water, and Death – the Kerubic Water sign, and zodiacal ‘seat’ of the Princess of Cups, who is the ‘throne’ of this particular Ace).

So: The Ace of Cups is ‘what to make of it all’ – the synthesis required, which results, through this act of creation, of imagination, of science and art, of taking all the ingredients of ‘it all’ and ‘making’ something – in the Ace of Cups.

I was both delighted and surprised by this response. What a Holy Chalice! What a Sacred Athanor! The Grail! Fill to overflowing, and be merry with your spillage! Let your Cup runneth over…😉

Aces hold a special place in the Tarot, as they do in regular playing cards. Even in our vernacular, ‘ace’ has come to mean specific things: A hole-in-one type situation, a success on first attempt, an un-returnable serve, but not ‘beginners’ luck’ – an ace is the perfect balance of skill mixed with fate. She’s ace, he aced it, this is ace, it’s all coming up aces. There is the notion of good fortune (indeed, aces are ‘lucky cards’ in Tarot, signifying new beginnings, infinite potentialities which require activation, or the hand of a human to will-into-Being and manifest properly) but with the hidden implication that human agency must be combined with circumstance to manifest something. Perhaps only the mildest and most modest attention is required to move from ‘could be’ to ‘now is’, and set in motion the promise of the element hidden within its Seed. Destiny is present, but not still sufficient without some – however modest – aid from the participant. Even if that aid is The Hanged Man – the paradox of doing not-doing, of letting go of even the desire to let go.

The Root of the Powers of the Waters

Water is a fascinating element within Tarot, and the magickal philosophies that it recently represents. The base of all magickal systems – however draped in the cladding of religions, or not – revolve around theories of correspondence (“As above, so below…”). It’s why walnuts are good for your brain and honey attracts clients, it’s why bathing in basil leaves is a prosperity ritual and burning old photographs frees you from any residual influence of the people-and-time depicted in the image. So, let’s start above, and do the work of the below as an exercise within.

From the relentless drip-drip of your bathroom tap, via the puddle concealed beneath the wobbly paving slab, to the roar of the Iguazu Falls on the border of Argentina and Brazil, or the record-breaking rainfall that dumped itself on the USA last year, Water spans a vastness of scale that includes comets as frozen ice in interstellar space and 55-65% of the mass of every human being. We are, mostly, made of it, as indeed is our planet mostly covered in it (about 71% of the surface area, more than ⅔). Our emotional inner-scape and intuitive non-rationality ‘reflects’ (ahem) this. Consciousness floods us in waves, and shows us ourselves in the mirror.

Before we were born, from our conception to our birth, we floated in it, in the amniotic sac inside our Mother, listening to her heartbeat muffled through it’s medium, and feeling the blood, our blood, the water of life itself, coursing in our own veins. Water is feminine, maternal, acting as and through a sacred receptacle. Tidal, water obeys the rhythms and cycles of the Moon, ebbing, flowing, flooding, just as the moon waxes, fills, and wanes, all the way to empty, influencing water, sometimes a still reflective surface, other times a roaring, turbulent unstoppable rush. Water demands great respect, no less – albeit very different – than Fire, for while it is life-giving, cleansing, refreshing and transparent, it is also profound, mysterious, unfathomably deep, impenetrable, and smothering, deadly deep and murderous. Water on a good day is your most trusted (and taken for granted) friend, a refreshing slaking of the thirst and cleansing of the journey so far. Water at it’s worst is a devastating and implacable foe, unpredictable and merciless, journey’s end, a farewell to everything. Water is a great, unsolvable-because-ever-evolving Mystery. Water is always contextual. Water is rising, still or sinking.

Water changes state – solid, cold, hard as earth itself, but easy to sculpt, ever plastic; liquid, cool, welcoming, elastic and expansive; gas, heated, high-pressure and agitated. This transformative cycle is essential to its basic nature. It is very unusual in having its solid form be less dense than its liquid form, hence ice floating in water, and pain that cannot be released. Water is mysterious, and cyclical, hinting at the nature of consciousness and reality itself – ever transforming, but held in dynamic equilibrium always, neither created nor destroyed, just shifting phase, hard, soft, insubstantial, soft, hard again, invisibly ascending and descending its Worlds. 

Water depends, as liquid, on its receptacle – it flows, spreads, drips and is received by the emptiness of forms. It is the space inside the jug that determines the shape of the water, it is the valley (forged by a glacier, also water) that directs the stream, it is the high mountain rains that bring down the river, from above to below – water is a slave to gravity (the Moon’s and the Earth’s, Saturn’s, and no doubt all the other sources of gravity in the Universe, yours included)­ – the relationship between Water (Cups) and Earth (Disks, gravity, valleys, mountains etc.) is no less than the relationship of Water to Air through the action of Fire. Water relates, water is ever present, water is the lubricant of every negotiation, swimming in your gut, flooding you with emotion, quickening your blood, dissolving your fear, drowning you in your hope, and your dread. Water is the Universal Solvent, itself unsolvable.


The Wand and the Cup – Tarot imagery and symbolism is occult (hidden) only if you lack eyes to see, and sometimes that blindness takes real effort. Symbols in the unconscious are primitive. The Wand as a great Phallus, Fire, seed-bearer, action, penetrating the Mystery, seeking Return. Yang, virile, outward, visionary. The Cup as great Yoni, Water, gestation, reception, fertilizing the Seed as the penetrated Mystery. Yin, fertile, inward, the vision itself – pregnant, gestating, manifesting a potential, with the fruit of the union of Wand and Cup emerging via Swords (Air) into Disks (Earth). Everything you know is a concept, made real by memory. Water transmits this memory through generations of incarnation into bloodlines, families, gene-pools.

Water is the Mother, Consciousness, Soul, in which Time and all Form is conceived – the Mother of all liquids: ink, blood, sulphuric acid, beer, wine, LSD.

Salad is mostly water, as is every dressing ever poured on it, and every soup or sauce made to break bread with those you love and nourish. Without Water, there is no nourishment.

Our emotions are Watery phenomena – real, no doubt about that, and yet ephemeral, difficult to contain, grasp, define, hold onto, or find firm ground beneath. They must be contained to be studied, and then they are not what they were, not wild, chaotic, free and flowing.

Only the shallowest flow allows ordinary physical mastery of more conventional solid environments, and even then one must be sure, ever mindful, not to get swept away or lose one’s footing, or actually slip up. Water, as soon as it moves, can be very treacherous. Care and attention are always required. Context is everything – how to respond now, authentically and spontaneously, ever conscious of flow, implying Time – where is the Source, and what is the Destination, and how do I navigate in the Now? Knowledge of the stars aids with mastery of Water – a useful Map, to help one locate where – and when – you are in that vast expanse, a sky-in-reverse, Below, to the Above. To navigate Water, look to the Stars.

Baptism – the end of an old, illusory life and the re-birth into a new, spiritually lensed vision – is a Watery sacrament, typically. Our emotions are turbulent, can easily overwhelm (‘whelm’ is Old English meaning ‘to submerge completely’ – like Baptism). Falling in love begins as a joyride over spectacular waterfalls, and we all hope it leads to pristine, beautiful lakes, still enough for reflection and bathing, deep enough for the Mystery to intrigue over the years, crystal clear, and supporting flora and fauna that delight; and yet, so often, we wind our way into a swamp, a stagnant, polluted and vacuous quicksand that swallows us and leaves no visible trace of our Foolish wandering, where only scavengers and outcasts prowl, and little grows but the fungus of past mistakes, and the mould of bitter recrimination, and the algae of regret. Water, with its mirror-like quality, the First Mirror, in fact, reflects us, and reflects our needs about ourselves – and so it deceives, as much as it clarifies and demonstrates. Water is slippery. Remember Narcissus, reflections are addictive. But they lead us to the Moon, the third great moment of reflection in the history of mankind, seeing The Pale Blue Dot from that Great Perspective for the first time, after the first still pool, and the first mirror glass. Water reflects. Vision, and our attachment to it, motivates. It is in the Cup that Soul attaches or not to the Fire that instinct has pulled from Spirit to contend with.

In Liber T – a reference work no serious student of Tarot should be without – the relationship between Princesses – and hence the Ace of which they are the ‘throne’ – with the rest of the zodiacal and planetary dignities of the Tarot is clearly laid out. The princesses – as the recipients, and youngest most uninitiated children of, the component energies of their Parents – The Knight and Queen – have yet to ‘earn’ the zodiacal real-estate that is their eventual inheritance – upon their marriage with the Beauty of the Prince, their betrothing to their ‘Spiritual groom’ (Holy Guardian Angel), in the Kerubic, fixed, expression of their Element, and immediate succession therefore to the throne of the Queen, ‘Awakening the Eld of the All-Father’, and so on.3 They thus rule the Earthly ‘quarters’ of the triplicities which house these zodiacal signs (each zodiac symbol is 30⁰ of arc in the night sky, 12 in total for the full circle of 360⁰ on the Wheel of Life (zodiac) – hence a consecutive triplicity is a 90⁰-quarter  – in the case of Water, the region centered beneath the Libra-Scorpio-Sagittarius arc, with the focus on Scorpio, Kerubic (Fixed) Water, where the Prince rules, and the Ace Power of Kether is ‘firmly established’ in form, in the realm of Yetzirah, Formation, the angelic (messenger) realm, not mere instinctual idea and emotional response of the higher planes of Soul). This Earthly quarter is The Pacific region.

There are 2 Major Arcana cards which warrant suitable meditation along with the Ace of Cups and should be included for added depth in our interpretation of this reading: Atu XII – The Hanged Man (because it is the Elemental archetype for Water), and Atu XIII – Death (because it is attributed to the zodiac sign Scorpio, and thus elaborates on the nature of the Ace of Cups, via the Princess and her Prince, with rulership in this exact area, both materially – the Princess – and Zodiacally – the Prince, and through its Elemental provenance, fixed (Kerubic) Water).

The Hanged Man

The Hanged Man

The Hanged Man is a fascinating Tarot card, and in the mystical traditions imposed on Tarot is attributed to the Hebrew Letter Intelligence Mem, which means ‘water’, as well as ‘people’, ‘nations’, ‘languages’ and ‘tongues’.

Water is the symbol par-excellence of consciousness in all it’s forms. The Gematria (number attribution in Hebrew) of the letter Mem is 40 – reminding us of the 40 days and nights of the Flood, 40 years in the wilderness, the 40 days of Moses revelation on Mt. Sinai, the 40 days of fasting and the 39 weeks – and then birth in the 40th – of the gestating human foetus. It is traditional in Judaism that the Holy Qabalah is not studied until the 40th year, the ‘year of wisdom’.

Other interesting gematria correspondences for the number 40 are ‘deceptive’, ‘loathing’, ‘brightness’, ‘to cut, strip off, flay’, ‘to bear, bring forth’, ‘to draw, lift out’, ‘to hang about’ (LOL!), ‘to be torn’, ‘in secret’, ‘concealed, hidden’, ‘if not’, ‘perhaps’ and ‘unless’. I think these are, indeed, times of Universal deception, of things hidden and secret.

The Hanged Man is a very particular level of initiation of the conscious journey in the Tarot – a picture more of the Garden of Gethsemane, and the relinquishing of control to a Higher Spiritual purpose, than the actual Crucifixion, despite the obviousness of the image and the connection to the artistic representation of punishment for traitors in medieval Italy on which it based, pittura infamante. It implies deep, deep meditation, reflection, silence and serenity. The whole phoneme of Mem relates to watery Mysteries – maternity, matter and the matrix of manifestation. Mmmmm. An absolute stopping of outer trajectory and the commencing of the inner trajectory, leading to liberation. AUM, the Word of Creation.

The ‘Man’ being Hanged is etymologically a pun on the root men- meaning “to think”, from which we derive our word “mind”. The Hanged part suggests, as Liber T usefully points out, “suspended from above”, i.e. dependant upon (and pendant from) something higher without support from anything beneath. There’s a vital meditation there for deeper understanding of consciousness-as-water, and the process of The Hanged Man.

Suspended mind: defeat of the Monkey, that Cynocephalus Ape that confuses the Word of the Magus. Indeed, the end of Self, or at least self-created-self, the endlessly spun yarn that somehow talks you into believing that ‘you’ control everything, and the World, and Life, is your personalclay for the moulding and modelling.

The Hanged Man is also indicative of sweeping social movements predicated in shared emotion, and hysterical crowd-reactions (as well as noble abandonment to Original Consciousness – “not my Will, but thine be done!” or, in more Thelemic vernacular, the alignment (through abandonment) of the individual will with the True Will, with the Word of the HGA or Holy Guardian Angel); getting out of your own way and discovering what is left in that absence.

That’s the Spiritually inclined interpretation, the less dignified are precisely that abandonment of self into group-think on a massive scale that ends in fandoms at best and lynch-mobs, baying crowds, and the Hitler Youth at worst.

The Hanged Man is thus the reassuring/devastating knowledge that the self *imagined* in ignorance to be the self is nothing of the sort, and that the extraordinary Truth of the new initiate is that of playful Life itself, all of it, forever, Eternity is real and you are It, expressing uniquely and in a never to be repeated fashion, as you have been since the Beginning-less beginning and will be until the End-less end. Most people experience something analogous when they ‘fall in love’.

It is a complete reversal of everything that has held you firm and assured you of What-Is-Actually-Going-On, a Damascene moment of utterly astonished upside-down-ness. What appeared (and still appears, from outside) to be sacrifice, loss, abnegation, defeat, is revealed, from within to be the absolute Victory of absolute Surrender.

The Hanged Man represents Neptune as an outer planet – the Sea God, of course, Poseidon, watery, but also – in the context of the question – Neptune rules over society-wide emotional journeys, dreams, delusions, rules the watery zeitgeist, the social-political-emotional sea in which we all swim, as well as mystic experiences, profound intuition. It was the Hanged Man who presided over the bizarre public displays of emotion when Princess Diana, or Prince, or David Bowie died, it was the Hanged Man who created the inner landscape to which Donald Trump and Brexit are the hopeful, desperate, inevitably unrequited and unfulfilled answers (obviously ludicrous, absurd questions…recall the preamble that began this reading, on the critical importance of understanding your enquiry…).

The Hanged Man, suspended mind, relinquishing of control to the Life Force that preceded and gives rise to it, a completely new relationship to Mind/Self, what it is for, what it most certainly is not for, and how this relationship changes absolutely everything, once you stop taking on jobs for which you are seriously not qualified and have none of the tools. The gift, or curse, of the Self – a rebirth, the Hanged Man is transitioning from caterpillar to pupal stage, no sign of butterfly, the Hanged Man represents, more than any other quality, the power of solution and desire for the dissolution inherent in the Element Water.

“Let go”, he whispers, dangling and deliberately helpless, hands tied, all action taking place within; that inner Vision being everything of value, the chai (“living”) 18 rays of green light flowing from the Ace of Wands into the watery athanor of the Ace of Cups, borne forth with the rider of the archetypal Chariot (chrysalis-as-container-for-change, Cancer, Cardinal Water), now become human, born at last, now here hanging, made flesh, and ‘suffering’ the liberating disillusionment that will be necessary for the real growth step towards…



Ole’ Bonesy again.
Atu XIII. “From the mundane to the Monumental…”

We have previously taken a different sort of sojourn through the cheeriness of this most beloved Arcana, but let’s consider him again, from the context here posed. Remember, Water – even more than every other Element – is always and totally contingent on container, context, dignity, and influence. The Question, dammit, the Question.

The ground that Death consecrates is the boneyard that is haunted by the corpse of ‘business as usual’. The nightmares and spirits stalking between the rows of headstones and memento mori on the unusually springy and fecund Earth are united in chorus: you can deny me, run away from my grinning visage all you want – but Things Cannot Go On Like This, and I’m not Going Away. Aces are new, hence Change. Growth, it has been noted, hurts.

Change is Here. Endings are Here. Transition. Before the Rebirth of the New: some long-overdue scything down and a period of mourning, burial of ‘headless forms’, putrefaction, liquification, transformation, re-absorption, and fertilization all depend on the journey through Scorpio’s watery Underworld, the Nile in which Osiris was drowned.

I think the greatest genuine fear that Death wields as this almighty taboo deep in the psyche is the end of relationship. I mean, that’s a fair definition of the Absolute, as well, if you think about it. The Absolute, by definition, has no relationship to any ‘thing’ else – ‘It’ ‘Is’ ‘All’, that’s what makes it Absolute, not Relative. No wonder Death is recognized as ‘meeting your maker’. No wonder it’s so hard to say goodbye to anybody, expected or unexpected, when they die; so hard to swim in those deep waters. Your relationship is frozen in time, no longer in the flow, no longer in the river, but a marker someone behind you, for ease or for ill – the things said, known, unspoken, hidden…forever seems suddenly so obvious, so real in the context of its previous abstraction, the solid ice that stretches as far as the eye can see around the hole of everything you didn’t communicate when there was still Time.

Time. Death is God as Timekeeper.

Death is le petit mort, the annihilation of orgasm, that window to non-Self that shatters the armour of the Charioteer (the card is, of course, named The Chariot), and gets down to, well, hard bonin’.

Birth and Death, the two end-states of the exact same Spectrum Disorder…or perhaps it’s a unique, ancient Spectrum Of Order, the alleles and ladder-steps of your DNA structure, von Neumann machines, replicating themselves and creating living, breathing advertising campaigns for that subtle code, seeking new programming environments to co-create permutations of that essential pattern, and devise new campaigns to attract a new Cup in which the Wand and Sword of Yang can stir the depths, and plough the Disk of the soils of Yin. The heaving breath of the Spring and the last gasp of the Autumn, Saturn returning for the final, sombre but footloose Dance while Mars seduces Venus with mythically bad pickup lines.

From the stillness of the Hanged Man, Mem, Water not subject to any influence, suspended only from Above; to Death, Nun, Fish, that which (ironically here!) lives in and depends on (or is upended in) Water.

The wisdom that is received in the 18-rayed flash of chai that is gestating toward that 4-coiled serpent manifestation at some other moment of Now demands a process as irrevocable, as relationship altering as Death, the real hard-to-say-goodbye-I-don’t-believe-it-say-it-isn’t-so reality of Death, Change, The End that Was Implied In The Beginning. The shattering instant of climax.

It would be lovely if completely letting go of ‘business as usual’ and redefining the entire apparatus of identity and meaning that Death implies really were a game of chess in a Bergman film, or a scheduled lunch appointment with Bonesy (who doesn’t eat much, after all) where you calmly and rationally (The Emperor, the 4 that Death’s 13 as 1+3 invites us to consider ‘of the nucleus’) hand over all the Life Force and ego infrastructure to the Reborn neshamah, or Divine Soul (notice the Nun at the beginning, the vibration-into-being of it as phoneme, nnnnnnnnnnn, a twanged ruler on the edge of a school-desk, an elastic band between the fingers, the unmissable announcement of Now as a manifestation, not mid-point between (mind-created) Past and Future…neshamah, the Soul, which is what measures Time, an illusion – much like Death!).

Death is a wake-up alarm, a reminder of what Real Value must be in the shadow of the transience of this insane struggle to live (allegedly). The Christian connotations of the fish and Death through the Rebirth of Baptism in the Hanged Man, the truest self-initiation, ‘the wet path’ abound: truly embrace Death, as your friend, your teacher, your constant companion. Mourn your cat, who is dead, long gone; grieve your pets, all buried already; shed the tears for your parents, who’s funeral you have just arrived back from; and your children, they are dust, their joy nothing but a memory for long since dead survivors; your business, an industry now obsolete for decades, all glories and tribulations forgotten; your life’s-work, however grand or mediocre, is rain in the relentless rhythm of time’s river, washed from recollection, a footnote in the sweeping narrative that roars and bounds under gravity’s spell through caverns and earth’s embrace, to the sea, to the sea, to the sea. Mourn! Grieve! The natural state of all this is Death! And so…

The next day, you awaken, and see: a miracle. The resurrection. Hallelujah, again! One last day, one more sunrise, one final chance – to be with them, go do that, perfect that other thing, or finish the whatnot. One remaining opportunity to understand, listen, be acknowledged, and to acknowledge. Rejoice, for Death is beaten once more! We are Risen! Look, Our Works!

One last swim in that fathomless, profound Cup, and its rivers running rapids through mountain and valley, such winding paths to return back to their origins in the profound dark depths of the Sea, or the frozen Ice of the poles, or the howling, apocalyptic winds and their storms, flames and destructive furies, heaving, seismic and molten, into the very heart of matter itself.

Forgiveness is, of course, a major theme – both the ‘treachery’ of the Hanged Man and the ‘attachments’ and inevitable pains of Death, with its binding impact on relationship. Dissolve it all. Drip drip drip, just time and patience, but don’t run out…Death carries an hourglass, Death has multiple alarms programmed in, Death is always busy, scheduled, booked up. Birth too, they work out of the same Office. Beep beep a beep. Beep beep a beep.

Right in the center of the Watery triplicity is the essential sexualization (again, a Scorpio, fixed Water theme in keeping with the zodiacal attribution) of consciousness that mediates between the bloodlines and specific karma of being born to particular parents in a particular land and culture at a particular time, with the journey from a specific family context into the World (Cancer, The Chariot, cardinal Water, 4th House) to the spiritual destination in mutable Pisces, the dissolution and sublimation of what is, prior to any other discovery, merely the reproductive instinct run amok and turned into a pornographic epicentre for programming the behaviour of the vehicle bearing these Mysteries within.

It is in the tousling with the Constant Companion – Ole’ Bonesy – that this drama will play out. From sexual fixation and satisfaction to…to what, exactly?

That’s a little beyond this blog post, perhaps. Not just another Boner, presumably. LOL 😉

The Princess

Finally, then, since the Princess of Cups is so deeply connected to her Ace – indeed, all Princesses to all Aces – we should cast our glance on her graceful, dancing, flowing form to consider her message to us, being a news-bearing type. I keep telling you, you can’t consider Tarot cards in isolation!

She is caught between the idealism and dream-romance of her basic nature and the pragmatism and realpolitik of the World she finds herself in. She is caught between the fear of being hurt further or giving herself over completely. There is a fragility there that is protected by layers of warmth and emotional creativity, by grace, and personable people-skills – but don’t let that fool you. The Princess of Cups often struggles with ‘reality’ – the consensual kind. She prefers her inner World, but must work hard to integrate in the Outer one, to Make Sense of It All.

She is the lighthouse – perhaps imagined, perhaps not – in the storm we did not prepare for, she reminds us that in the most profound darkness, we must choose to search for light, and continue to dream, to seek that light that is no light at all, that shines within – or does not shine. She comes to taunt us, lovingly, always friendly, with the memory that if we relinquish our optimism, then we guarantee that we will have nothing whatsoever to be optimistic about. She is the light-bearing wish when all other lights have gone out, reminding us of our own vital role in maintaining purpose, meaning and that rare commodity in this over-commodified, capital worshipping cult of the normal – hope. Hope not as carrot to keep us blindly trudging onwards, like a donkey ride on the beach where we are the donkey – but rather, hope as ideal, as goal, as purpose against which we can measure our actual, true progress.

The Princess of Cups is in search of simplicity in a time of diminishing resources. She, like the Ace of which she is Throne, invites us to consider the symbiosis of our relationships. She “represents the power of Water to give substance to idea, to support Life, and to form the basis of chemical combination” according to Crowley. She is the crystallization of instinct toward idea. Pragmatic, earthy steps are needed to transform the ephemeral, liquid transience of her Element into new stations of plan and action. She encourages the thoughtful gesture, the creative decision and process, the fixing of otherwise elusive and fanciful aims into definite goals and achievable steps of progress toward them. She is neither possessive, jealous, nor moonstruck. Any relationships which have been revealed to lack the necessary depth are up for review. She calls us forwards to new relationships, with ourselves and others.

In the I Ching the Earth-of-Water is Hexagram number 41 – Sun, Decreasing. The commentary speaks of the need to understand how the decrease of that which is lower automatically creates the increase of that which is higher, how giving relates to receiving. “Surely something is to be lost…”

“There is a time for decreasing the firm, and increasing the yielding”. All that is excessive must be trimmed, all that is insufficient will thus (as consequence) flourish.  

And you thought the Ace of Cups meant ‘Falling in love’!!!???

Sure, it can. The cost is often high, is all. Perhaps the Highest. There is no shallow end. You either sink, or swim. Ace of Cups, baby! Love and Death have the same precise effect on Consciousness. Sex too.

The Four Horsemen are abroad, do you not hear their charge? Do you not see the dust cloud on the horizon, slowly approaching? Do you not recognize those familiar, terrifying visages as your own, grinning reflection?

Die Daily!

~Aleister Crowley


Question: What to make of it all?

Draw: Ace of Cups

Answer: It’s not just a storm in a teacup.
Look toward community, and collaboration for solutions.
It’s all solution.

Here is the opportunity to reach others, and truly touch alike hearts. Withdraw. Be still. Don’t act. Diminish. Be simple.

This, too, shall pass.
As, too, shall you.

The most profound wisdom can be just the right amount forgotten.
Business as usual cannot continue.

Embrace the change, with grace, or be destroyed by it.
Draw those you love close, and let go.
Prepare the new vision with love and humility.

There is no shame in inactivity.
Inner activity demands stillness.
You must be open, receptive, something is gestating, and needs time.

Beware Time.

Please feel free to ask me anything you like, especially about any weird terms you don’t understand, or what the fuck I am ranting on about. I’ll answer pretty much anything I can.

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Welcome to The Apocalypsehttps://tarosophia.com/2019/02/welcome-to-the-apocalypse/ https://tarosophia.com/2019/02/welcome-to-the-apocalypse/#respond Mon, 18 Feb 2019 21:37:41 +0000 https://tarosophia.com/?p=1585

Few men realise that their life, the very essence of their character, their capabilities and their audacities, are only the expression of their belief in the safety of their surroundings.

~ Joseph Conrad

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ASK YOUR DECK #001https://tarosophia.com/2019/02/ask-your-deck-001/ https://tarosophia.com/2019/02/ask-your-deck-001/#comments Thu, 14 Feb 2019 13:58:20 +0000 https://tarosophia.com/?p=1538 #001 – WHAT IS THE INTERNET?

An occasional blog series I plan to pursue until death, or 999 answered entries of random, on-the-spot questions for a tarot deck, whichever comes first.

Start at the beginning…and go on.

No bullshit, no pre-planning, no card-sharking, just shuffle and pull either one card or a designated spread (which I’ll designate) for insight and day-to-day knowledge of the Tarot and its workings – expect mid-length exegesis and eisegesis. Maybe keep a dictionary handy, I use words like ‘eisegesis’. By all means play along and share your own insights.

If you want to skip some rambling, go straight to the answer/reading here. << that’s a hyperlink.

Tricky to spot, huh? There are loads here, keep your eyes peeled.

Background you can skip if you wish

So, after being inspired by an unlikely friend I observed taking the plunge before me – my oldest childhood buddy, who has a stellar career as a global bigwig in the world of digital advertising and thus close contact with many of the ‘unicorn’ companies to have emerged from Silicon Valley, including the Zuckerberg Panopticon – I decided to follow suit, and to completely ditch Facebook this year.

When I say ‘ditch’, I don’t mean give it a wide berth, uninstall the app (I did that years ago), de-activate and login just occasionally, or reduce my usage to just family and friends and certain times and days.

I mean The Ripley Manoeuvre, for those who like an ‘Aliens’ reference in their esoteric ditherings.

I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit…

I joined the social network we all love to hate back in 2007, so there is no small shortage of sentimentality, and some significant escalation of commitment involved in this decision – it’s a 12 year-old blog of my online life since then, after all, just on the perimeter of its blog-adolescence, so to speak. It’s me making witty non sequiturs and getting on my high horse, humorously (well, I laugh, anyway). But then again…

I seriously can’t think of anything specific that it does for me, other than reduce the number of Great Works of Literature I am likely to read before I expire, and wind me up. My Gods, it winds me up. Or rather, the bilge that circulates on it does. People I barely know but apparently have a ‘connection’ with seriously do – people, let’s face it, are fairly insane.

Facebook sucks Soul out of self and society. Attempts to better define its benefits always seem to end up in ‘It’s where everybody is!’ type circular canards, a bizarre statement on every level. The more time you spend there, the less time you are spending anywhere at all except in your own trap. No-body is there. It’s dis-embodied. There are so many ways to ‘stay in touch’, some of which literally involving being in close enough physical proximity to touch, as served us for the last 10,000 years as a species.

So I remember my Kohelet (Vanity! All is vanity!), my Daoist Straw Dogs, my anicca, and offer my lovingly woven online poppet as a joyous sacrifice to the (Wu) Way.

Facebook is a giant scam.

The Internet is Better Than This.

So am I.

There’s always been that gnawing feeling, ever-present, with Facebook – it’s a creepy monster that crept up and swallowed everything, creepily, being run by creeps being creepy. Subsequent, constant, and consistent affirmation in the daily news that things, indeed, are not aright in the High Castle of Cornball Connectivity, gave me enough reason to dispassionately reconsider my relationship with the whole platform and concept. It’s been more than a decade of this shit let’s face it, and the trend is toward ‘graver and graver’ in terms of violations and revelations. It needs breaking up. I’m a Queen of Swords, Libran as they come, if that helps explain. I have an Aquarius Moon. We are, as a species, well into the opening Act of the Apocalypse. This is no time for syrupy sentiment. Saturn is Returning, hard.

The Queen of Swords. It me.

As if by Magick, the latest scandal to engulf Facebook crossed my threshold in the middle of this cogitation, and proved a sufficient catalyst for what turned out to be a much easier decision than I had imagined it would be; so I hit the buttons to vaporize my account.

A Burning Facebook smell

It’s vaporizing right now – the process takes 30 days (and I shouldn’t log-in again during that time or I’ll recover it and reset the counter). They are not making it straightforward and simple with a keystroke to Exit the Stage – which either tells you something worth knowing, or you are definitely choosing that it doesn’t. Resurrection is as simple as an email address and password in Social Paradise. Never mind all the crucifixion at the third hour, expiration at the sixth hour and ascendance at the IXth hour…

“It is difficult to get a person to understand something, if their livelihood depends upon them not understanding it.”

~ Upton Sinclair

For posterity (vanity), here is my epitaph, briefly ‘shared’ while I downloaded my info and did necessary administration on business pages that were linked to my account.

Bye Bye, Disembodied World!

If you click through some of the hyperlinks scattered in the text so far (not especially visible, but they are slightly darker than the regular text, and turn gold when you hover) you can decide for yourself if Facebook deserves all the Soul-Fuel you feed it so that it can profit massively off you and, er, confused little kids using their parent’s credit cards unwittingly (‘whales’ as they are affectionately referred to by the FB Archons, a Vegas casino term for ‘big spender’. Leaked internal email exchanges reveal refusing refunds as a matter of policy, and achieving precedent-setting high scores for untrustworthiness with credit-card suppliers – themselves no angels, but still, disgusted at the predatory policies of the Big Blue Thumbs-Up), like a sprawling global parasite elegantly coded in PHP by the best minds of this generation.

We digress, though.

That’s quite enough preamble.

Get to the point, already

Facebook has, for many people, really become the front-end, or indeed ‘face’ (duh) of the Internet – quite an achievement for a fundamentally sinister project (c’mon, read a little news, grow up) that has been abusing your privacy from Day 1.

Since I’ve bailed on the Big Brother Eye-Ear-&-Mouthpiece, I thought I’d start this process with a question I’d genuinely like some Tarot insight on.

Online seppuku is as good a place as any to begin:


SPREAD: Single card draw

A: Atu IX – The Hermit

Atu IX – The Hermit

Kind of obvious.

If you asked me without the draw what I’d choose to answer this enquiry, there’s a 1 in 3 chance I’d have chosen this card immediately, from a 1 in 78 chance on a blind-draw. There are 3 really obvious Major Arcana to pick without too much heavy philosophical lifting, and The Hermit is one of them.4

The Hermit – solitary, isolated, onanistic even (if you know Crowley, and Austin Osman Spare, the whole Victorian Occult gang, sex magick is never far away, and certainly not here, where it is within reach, so to speak, well in-hand, fully grasped), wise beyond measure, knowledge hard won, pure – but through rarefaction, as a result of purgation and trial, and with knowledge of the entire journey, the bridge-node of the intricate web set in perfect balance, the receiver and outcome of the accumulated forces that preceded, unique because touched by and thus containing a little of all that came before, keeper of all knowledge, the great illuminator and revealer of secrets, the source of unexpected, high help, the “naked lunch” moment in which what is on the fork must be swallowed, no further scooping round the plate possible. Chew it down. Grizzled, yet innocent, quite the trick. The Authority of Experience. The Loss of Innocence.

The Hermit is the ‘highest form of Mercury, the Logos (‘complete explanation’, ‘word’) and Creator of Worlds’, the inseminator (one who seeds a cycle) as manifestation (spermatozoon), rather than abstraction (which would be the Magus, Mercury, the channel for Power, the transformer that is also the thing transformed). The Hermit is the spiritual-mental-physical Being that results from the equilibration-in-action of the 9 preceding cards (from 8, Adjustment, Lamed, ‘teaching’ and ‘ox-goad’ right the way back to 0, The Fool, Aleph, ‘ox’). You can never consider a Tarot card properly in isolation, even – especially – the card numbered IX and called ‘The Hermit’ 😉.

But – though our Journey has surely been long – we are not now, nor indeed never, far from the Magus, even all the way up this Mountain we vaguely recall springing off all that time ago, with a Bearded Ancient looking suspiciously like an Ibis (Thoth or Tahuti) leading the Way back to the summit ahead.

The Hermit is attributed to the constellation Virgo, ruled by Mercury (as is Gemini), the planet which also exalts therein – a double dose of that Mercurial mirror-tongued slipperiness and quickness of silver, connecting and lighting the Moon from, to and with the Sun, the bridge and transformer and that which is transformed. Alchemy, innit. Oracles speak in riddles, and it turns out I do also.

Clearly, the Cross-Roads where conditions blur and the One with Winged Sandals, the Messenger of the Gods has rulership, is of some relevance to this Tarot explanation of the Internet, via ourselves, so let’s digress a little to explore that. Mercury is closest to the Sun (the Light which He bears ‘in hand’, shaping it, on the design on the Atu IX for The Hermit), and the Sun – as any Fool gnose – is the Querent, the one seeking the Tarot, the Self (not necessarily the Per-sona-lity, the mask with an actor inside it, but the Id-entity – the actual Consciousness, no mask). Mercury is the planet par excellence of the cycles of conscious perception and awareness (compared to, say, the Moon (Priestess), who rules cycles of unconscious attention, suggestibility and emotion).

A Storyteller

In His stories (and He owns ALL stories, all symbols, all languages, all scripts, including of course Tarot) He is always involved in hi-jinks, tricks, playful games (which are of course, utterly terrifying and amoral games delightful, delirious, demonstrative, deadly and devastating to mortal beings, when not recondite, ridiculous, redemptive, righteous, reasoned or responsible for sudden recourse to synonyms unceasing and suddenly sibilant, flowing from alliterative fluid flexibility with the anachronistic assonance or consonance of an otherwise ordinary and unremarkable sentence).

Born to the nymph Maia (and thus only semi-Divine), Mercury finagled his way to full divinity within a few days of his birth. Researchers and developers of Artificial Intelligence using the enormous datasets of the World Wide Web may wish to play close attention to this interesting aspect of our protagonist and his Internet tutelage here, in these opening moments of Apocalypse, and all that goes along with that old yarn ‘unveiling’.

Mercury covers a vast and multitudinous range of functions in the World of myth and astrology, with an ever-changing face – not for nothing is He the patron of thieves, liars, tricksters, jesters, mountebanks, illusionists and charlatans… as well as the supposedly more noble writers, playwrights, orators, myth-makers, philosophers and the apparently (though don’t be Fooled) more worldly merchants, and their functions of commerce, and markets. This Hermit opens pathways to brand new vocations, that’s for sure, as is eventual retirement. He invents solutions for problems we didn’t even know we had, just like Jeff Bezos. He is often depicted with a purse (10 of Disks, Mercury in Virgo – the ‘shadow’ of the Queen of Swords 😉).

A very slippery and perfectly amoral agent, Mercury has a supernatural stamina for eluding responsibility, retribution or blame with a limitlessly inventive litany of excuses and alibis, sophistries and arguments, caveats and mental traps. He is a very fine illusionist, and all Reality is His trick.

This silver tongue can also, of course, be put in the service of great oration, poetry, and inventively loquacious linguistic acrobatics at service to something High – illusion is illusion, stories are representations. An essential Alchemical description of Mercury is Mercurius Duplex, utriusque capax – Mercury Double, and capable of either or both. Unsurprisingly, there are two Mercurial ‘roads’ – Promethean Mercury (a morning star) and Epimethean Mercury (an evening star). As morning star, He is known for His rulership of Gemini – quick thinking, inventive, ranging across disciplines and effusively communicative, playing all angles, social, projecting and experiencing the results of attempts at ‘reconciling the opposites’ both within and without (individually and collectively).

This also works well for The Internet, of course, and is an important consideration; but let’s stick with the card we pulled, narrowing our focus (Mercury to a tee) to his Epimethean mask in His rulership of Virgo, shuffling along as The Hermit: scholarly, footnoted (hyperlinked, even), careful and cautious with regard to history, protocol, precedent; analytic, detail oriented and thus capable of sage observation and meticulous, profound research. Many passwords, hidden security questions, guarding many secrets. There is no conflict or contradiction here with the idea of the Virgin, as we shall see further on. With the Hermit, though He often represents Journey’s End by one understanding, any serious student of Tarot knows that Ends are always (always) Beginnings. And so, as the Master says to the Student convinced that they have arrived somewhere: Go further.

Contrast this – which my Tarot deck seems to be pointing toward as some sort of  ideal (for me, at least) conceptual framework with which to consider ‘The Internet’, and which certainly coincides with the idealistic dreams of its architects – with the devil-may-care, creative-destruction, smash it up and see what’s left, do-first-ask-later, disruptive techno-utopianism of the Silicon Valley Set and their digital vampire-squids, ‘creatively disrupting’. Ahem.

Am I being biased? Most of the CEO’s are barely adults, and there is no oversight from Wise Ancients. You decide.

An Over-The-Hill Virgin

Virgo is the Earth at it’s most feminine and receptive (‘the Virgin Earth’), forming the crust over Hades. As Crowley says in The Book of Thoth “The highest symbolism of this card is, therefore, Fertility in its most exalted sense…”.

The seeds sown in this virtual soil may grow abundant – and certainly strange – fruit indeed. We are all reaping the Truth of that harvest.

The work of Virgo/Mercury/The Hermit is ‘to transmute the light of intelligence, active in analysing facts and processes of nature or sorting out substrata of experience, into the light of wisdom which delivers the soul hidden in all matters.’

This explanation is from the absolutely inspired astrologer Monique Pommier, whom I recommend any serious Tarot student investigate (she writes very dense prose, but her Tree of Knowledge is full of Good Oranges, so to speak).

I’d like to quote liberally from her analysis here, hoping she doesn’t mind a fair-use cut’n’paste of such rich prose. Good art is copied, but great art is stolen:

From the emergence of the exalted Sun (in Aries, The Emperor) and the receptiveness of the exalted Moon (in Taurus, The Hierophant), a son is conceived: Mercury, the seed of mind. The Ram spirit impregnates Taurus matter, and Mercury is the fruit of their engagement, the light of consciousness which differentiates and organizes world matters into an increasingly whole and mindful organism — a matrix of light, a Virgin “Mater” (Mother/Matter) pregnant with the sun. Mercury lights the “moon” with the “sun.” Indeed, “Mercury leads Aries to Virgo — where the idea or Word of God comes to the crisis of the birth hour.

Monique Pommier

The Hermit, as Atu IX, is the Positive Crisis – the moment gestation becomes birth, and the Paradise of the Womb must be exchanged for Existence, that is the Self-as-Incarnation, and Mind must be “made Flesh”. Ideas become concrete manifestations with the Hermit. At His absolute best, He is what inspires the World – ‘who spiritualizes matter and embodies spirit, suggests the innermost will of Mercury: to “inspirit” the flesh of the world, to “light” all matters with the wisdom and love that the Son inherently is, as both the fruit and principle of cosmic relatedness.’ He is your Age, identical with the Age of Universe, bestowed upon you at that moment of ultimate Crisis – your arrival.

Equally, though, we should be extremely careful where the focus of our Conscious Perception – our ‘fruit and principle of cosmic relatedness’ – is trained, and Mindful – always Mindful, care will follow – of what we are admitting ‘INSIDE’ (Beyth, The Magus). The Internet is fundamentally an extension of our thinking-and-organising-through-analysis structure, the momentum of the self-created self. An ‘Artificial’ version of the human instrument of thought, created by the human instrument of thought, is genuinely terrifying for all of Nature, which it seeks – now as for the last 10,000 years – to supplant and replace with itself.

He doesn’t stop, I find. Always busy. Always recounting an endless narrative, a litany, a prayer unending, literally Making Way. There is no escaping this. Every thought is a prayer with The Hermit. Every single one, not just the ones you are paying attention to and wishing on.

The only tool that could possibly help you is the one already transformed in to the Master that has enslaved you and now recommends a mutiny – against Itself. You see the issue. You are reaching for your own hands, blind to your own eyes.

The Hermit abandons, unable to transcend or enlighten further. The final obstacle, giving up the desire for a desire-less state, dropping all works of mind, aware that Mind is a Myth, and prepared for the implications of that. Death! Though Life may go on.

Further clarity, or certainly food for thought follows – and bear in mind that Virgo rules the intestines, the athanor of the body where the subtle is separated from the gross, food become chyle, and the very building blocks of the physical organism are extracted from trapped sunlight, animal or vegetable, to supply the very cells and physical structures with which the fleshy vehicle must use spirit, the One Power, the Life Force, axé, prana, qi, call it what you Will, from void into being and back again, through this miraculous aparelho, this instrument, this dirt that we’re made of.

In Virgo, the mind is exalted as the intermediary agent and the intermediate realm where substance (physical, emotional or mental) is clarified and light conceived, where matters are elucidated and intuitions conceptualized. It is the mediator (the true “Medea”) and the remedy. Its fundamental task is to meditate (and mediate) the fragmented world into wholeness.

Monique Pommier

OIC. A tool, then, not a Master. The purpose of the tool is a world made whole, from fragments.

Hmmm. There is no doubt that this is indeed the potential and depth of ‘The Internet’. The Hermit certainly indicates this potency – Crowley jokes that he would ‘be very nervous’ if he were the Akashic Egg which Thoth-Hermes / The Hermit is ‘studying’ so intently, actively engaged in its fertilization and eventual hatching, and the fertility symbols abound on the card in keeping with the Virgo attribution as we have already discussed. There’s a spermatozoon as the Rod of Thoth (matron!), and a hand and Light bouncing around telling its own(anistic) story in the wonderful art of Frieda Harris, and the Secret of Sigils is therein hidden, as any Chaos Magic Kid from the late 80’s with a distant, nervous grin will tell you. Something is being born of ‘Danger-Opportunity’, the birth of Karma, or Action-Reaction (responding to the balance set by the previous card, Atu XIII Adjustment), a Magickal Child will be born; sometimes an actual child, but rarely of a Hermit.

It is in the all-pervasive texture of language that the “conversation” between Above and Below, essence and objective matters, self and not-self, finds the bones, articulations and substance through which it may experience itself in the human consciousness. Language contributes to bring the “logos” that “was in the beginning” to the hour of birth, by providing the vessel for its evocation from the world matrix. Language structures the “thinking” which passes as a ubiquitous bridge across different levels and areas of being, allowing spirit to penetrate further into the complexity of things, and matter to distil its ultimate simplicity of being.

Monique Pommier

Phew. Hope they’ve got WiFi in the Underworld.

A vital aspect of this Virgoan quality is discrimination, or discernment – the words are synonyms, though intriguingly, the latter has fallen from usage as the former has grown in modern times, a shift which appears to correlate loosely with the pervasive and recent exponential explosion of technology, mass media, broadcast and eventually narrowcast via the Internet to all recesses of the World, acting as mediator between conscious experience and the senses by which we actually experience Reality.

Discernment fell as Discrimination rose – take from that what you Will.

It’s interesting, at least, that the first Magickal challenge, in the Virgin Earth of Malkah the Bride, Malkuth, the Kingdom, the World of Action, Assiah, what we tend to call ‘Reality’, is the capacity to develop ‘Discernment’ and avoid the trap of ‘Avarice’. Without passing this test, your spiritual growth will be impossible, as unbounded fantasy and mind-stuff supplants ever further your properly-plugged-in consciousness-and-context sense of what Is.

The intelligence is used to select and assimilate the matters of life along the patterns of the personality or the opinions of the time rather than the intuition of the soul. It tends to dissect, deconstruct and reduce them into concrete ingredients; to suspect and exclude that which cannot be weighed, measured or classified; to be captive to the technically correct, the logically proven, the practically efficient. The cultural refinement of the technical intellect brings much valuable clarification and skillful interpretation of materials, but contains the risk of constricting reality in limiting interpretations.

Monique Pommier

Ahem. Now there’s an Internet I can re-cognize. How does our use of the tool contribute to each of those possibilities?

The Hermit is also attributed to the Hebrew Letter Intelligence YOD or YUD – literally “hand”, with which the Hermit carries the Light of the Sun – and, again, the perceptive reader is referred to the work of Austin Osman Spare and the onanistic practices of Sex Magick. Since we are here looking at etymologies, ‘Hermit’ itself comes from Late Latin and Greek eremita, from eremia, “desert” which, in turn, comes from eremos, “solitary”. The diamond form of the Lamp/Sun that He carries is a reference to Kether, or Jechidah, “the concealed” or “the only one”, respectively – which is itself Alone (all-one).

The Hand – Yod – the seed letter, the sperm, the inseminating source of the ‘Flame’ Aleph-Beyth (Alphabet), from which all the other Letter Intelligences are created. It looks like a flame, right?

The Hand – with our somewhat unique opposable thumbs, and so, to our ancestors as to us, are we ‘made in the image of Gods’. Our mastery of the World, the sacred 5 as 4  – elements, directions, fingers, what have you – dominated by a Quintessence, Water, Earth, Spirit, Air and Fire or Pinky, Ring, Middle, Index and Thumb. The gematria value of YOD is 10, our two hands’ (10 is binary 2) count of immeasurably useful digits, with which much of our interaction with the Internet takes place, the tools by which our perceptions and thoughts (Mercury) are made flesh (Virgo), to be shared with the Whole World Wide. The World is a result of the fashioning hand of both Gods and Men. We are alike.

YOD. Both Y (why?) and I (because). IOTA. Double and capable of either, or both. The Hermit as essentially masculine (Yang, active, an odd number) but with an equally essentially feminine quality (the first non-prime of the odd numbers, a square number, and so possessing an even-ness, Yin, receptive). The depositor of Mind in the Vehicle of Matter. The Old Man and the Virgin, said the Priestess to the Hierophant. Everybody giggles up their sleeves.

The Hermit is a Psychopomp – those Spiritual entities responsible for guiding the Soul from Hades/Tartarus, the Underworld, to safer realms, guiding Lower Consciousness and our essential ignorance (guarded in the Atu by Cerberus, the three-headed dog whose heads signify Thought (the raised head, primary, first), Speech (the yapping mouth) and Action (the glance backwards) and whom Thoth-Hermes/ Mercury has ‘tamed’, bringing that lower nature into accord with more elevated currents and principles), toward Higher Consciousness, humility, and the Light of Wisdom. Summing up, perhaps, as the 9 so essentially does, to something like “De-clutch your brain before putting your mouth in gear.” The 9, we are told in Liber T, always relates to an essentially psycho-logical (Soul-Description) state, condition or environment. All the 9’s of the Tarot can only be ‘properly interpreted’ with this in Mind.

It’s a Moebius-Strip, isn’t it?

Such a shame that so often it doesn’t pan out this way in our – perhaps overextended – attempts at connectivity (Gemini) where perhaps a little more introspection and study of ourselves (The Hermit) would be appropriate, if indeed our aim is Wisdom, something Higher, rather than preening vanity, and Low attainment (Venus, the Empress has Her fall in Virgo, and depending on your own clarity and wisdom, a casual glance at your social feeds can help elucidate what this might hint at pretty well, I feel).

If popularity is to be a marker of achievement, we should all remember that Adolf Hitler had tens of millions of ‘followers’ while Jesus of Nazareth only managed twelve.

Going Deeper

Heading into vague Jungian fog, the Hermit is a vital liberation of the Spiritual Instinct – the desire for Wisdom – from the trappings and orthodoxies and ideologies of the Hierophant. The Hermit is our personal quest for value(s), a journey within, an inner search for universal truths, stories, laws, stripped of exterior ornaments, dogmatic cultural distortions and ritual trappings. He is also the epiphany of moving beyond ‘if-then…’ logical tautologies. The Hermit helps us become more truly ourselves, to answer the question “What am I all about?” and “What is important to me, just me, me without masks or games, me with nothing to prove and nobody to hoodwink or impress, forget culture, forget imitation, forget all the input, and see what process remains”. The Hermit is fasting, as well as feasting. He perhaps hints at the Fool-ishness of ‘tribal’ identification in the guts (Virgo) of the Internet, the need to stand unique and in solitude as indeed you always are when using it, even if using it to ‘connect’ to a friend in another timezone. Seeking your tribe in such an ephemeral and spook-y Hall of Mirrors is probably not such a Wise use of the Hermit. He proves that overconsumption is a vice, whatever the ‘food’, and a need for nourishment needs careful inspection and understanding.

This Hermit unveils and illumines, exposing secrets, bringing to Light that which has been obscured, veiled or deliberately buried (Julian Assange is, indeed, a Hermit, though not by choice – he is suffering the consequences of having stood up to an errant Emperor and His Hierophants, Wikileaks surely being one of the most enlightened and useful outgrowths of this Virgoan Mercury Hermit that we all now use as World Brain, while his (Assange’s) ongoing character assassination takes place in the Gemini Road of this Mystery, and its Spectacle, with various Magi competing over his highly valuable Narrative).

The Hermit forces us to confront ourselves – and, of course, left to run amok this can have disastrous consequences. On the basis of what we discover, what we feel, read, hear, see, experience in this Journey through ourselves, we often discover new goals, a shift of perspective from achievement to meaning, or the other way, and perhaps kindred spirits, and the errors of tribal identification. Internal activity can become so important, so filled with (apparent or otherwise) meaning that we begin to lose all interest in our immediate environment, in relational interaction with other vehicles of, rather than disembodied curations of, consciousness – Hermit behaviour can bring us into conflict with friends, family, colleagues, loved ones through our own self-absorption, solipsism, and disconnection from the vital threads of interaction that define us in relation to others.

The Hermit scans, seeks, questions, researches, fills in the details, dots the i’s and crosses the t’s. He is borne on the wings of philosophies, cosmologies, and ideologies and through synthesizing all of this through the locus of meaning, He forms a new vision of His place in Life and Society at large. Through the solitary he makes his way to the relational (6th House ruler becoming 7th, Libra, Adjustment, the House of Marriage, and Relationship, the horizon of Self and beginning of the long journey through the Zodiac (‘Wheel of Life’) back to Aries, the Persona of the Self and its Source).

Netizen beware, of course…There is great danger here, as with all the stations of the Fool’s Journey through the Major Arcana. The Hermit is, fundamentally and essentially, losing touch with mundane reality. The Hermit may contain Wisdom, and Knowledge and Secrets, but he also is a mad old bastard, a truculent drunkard, a spouting and fulminating loon on a shoebox at Speaker’s Corner, quoting and misquoting scripture and fantasy with no way of knowing which is which, if there is a difference or if it’s important or not, leading us Will o’ the Wisp-like into swamp and marsh land from which there may be no easy escape once we have succumbed to the undercurrents of that perfectly internally consistent derangement. There’s barely a more common and difficult type of archetype possession to be exorcised of. The Grumpy Old Loon.

Cut off from involvement in the Outside World, the Hermit can completely sever the umbilical cord linking him to the daily mundane, becoming a maladjusted eccentric, completely tangential to skilful living and the World of Action. He can be a horrendously phony guru, spouting forth delusion after delusion, wrapped in the certainty of the demagogue, the Old Man, overcompensating for chronically weak ego. Far from His more positive expressions, He can be blind, deaf and mercilessly punitive, forcing diseased ideas on those who stray within his magnetic but toxic, rigid orbit. Fruitful discussion becomes impossible, every idea contrary or critical becomes a threat to Identity and must be savaged, difference of opinion becomes “ignorance” or “bullying” – a determined proselytizer, forcing the World to succumb to His and only His perspective, which drifts further and further from the religious Truths which were supposed to have inspired it in the first place, and become husks, fossilized platitudes and manipulative speechifying designed to sell something shoddy to the unsuspecting and unaware. Too many of these Hermits roam the highways, virtual and visceral.

So, I remind myself to be conscious of which face of this Symbol I am engaged with when online and offline, and consider afresh my decision to vaporize Facebook. Beware of the demonic algorithms of the Big Tech giants, those invisible machine intelligences, disembodied, that track you wherever you are, know more about you than you know about yourself, spy on you unawares, deeply understand and predict your wants, needs, hopes and fears, suggest ‘friends’ to you, study your interactions and alliances, enemies and search terms, and – without any moral agency other than the drive to sell you to advertisers and sell more useless McGuffins, material, ideological and political – attempt to steer your behaviour toward outcomes that are definitely not your own.

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, or An Evolving Planetary NLP Routine and Dodgy Hypnotic Induction?


Q) What is the Internet?

Ai) A big lonely wank-fest that is

Aii) Full of information, some bad, some good, some reliable, some not so much.

Who knew?

Anyway, don’t worry too much about all this.
Pretty soon it will all be gone.

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On the Tarot of Fibonaccihttps://tarosophia.com/2019/01/on-the-tarot-of-fibonacci/ https://tarosophia.com/2019/01/on-the-tarot-of-fibonacci/#respond Wed, 23 Jan 2019 23:45:35 +0000 https://tarosophia.com/?p=1489

Oracles are never what they seem. For oracles to be oracles they have to contain something hidden. The more you think you understand them, the less you probably do. That’s where the danger lies. As the ancient Greeks said, the words spoken by oracles are like seeds.

~ Peter Kingsley, In the Dark Places of Wisdom

You might remember the Fibonacci series from your arithmetic education in School.

It is far older than the eponymous Italian mathematician that history has chosen to bear its legacy, dating back at least to ancient Babylon, where it appears in the Tablet of Shamash (c. 888–855 BC).

The Ark of the Covenant, described in the biblical book of Exodus (c. 600-400 BC) also alludes to the so called ‘Golden Mean’ that emerges from mathematical study of the famous nominal sequence that has adopted Fibonacci’s name.

It appears in Indian Mathematics as a part of the study of Sanskrit prosody, the study of poetic metre and rhythm in the Vedas.

So, the pedigree of this mathematical curiosity has very, very old roots in human culture, often tied to ancient aesthetics.

In mathematics, the Fibonacci numbers, commonly denoted Fn form a sequence, called the Fibonacci sequence, such that each number is the sum of the two preceding ones, starting from 0 and 1.

So F0 = 0, F1 = 1 and Fn = Fn-1 + Fn-2 for n>1

The sequence therefore looks like this:

0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144 etc.

Start at 0, proceed to 1, then add the last two values to get the next one; rinse; repeat.

It is intriguing for many reasons, but not least because of the facility with which one can use it to obtain an approximation of the famous ‘Fibonacci Spiral’ or ‘Golden Spiral’ – a logarithmic spiral whose growth factor is φ, the golden ratio. That is, a golden spiral gets wider (or further from its origin) by a factor of φ for every quarter turn it makes. This appears to be a vital structural component of the physics of Life in our Universe, appearing in the shape of galaxies, and especially phyllotaxis, the arrangement of leaves in growing plants – which involves successive growths of leaves or petals being separated by the ‘Golden Angle’ – an angle that results from sectioning the circumference of a circle into two arcs defined by the Golden Ratio, φ Here is a demonstration of how this is calculated and drawn:

The Golden Spiral
The Golden Spiral, derived from the Fibonacci Sequence and revealing Phi

So what? I hear you cry! What is all this boring mathematics? So living processes are based around very simple mathematics, God is a geometer, angles are angels and φ, the Golden Ratio, appears to be deeply coded into the basis of our living Reality much as it’s transcendental cousin π (Pi) is deeply coded into the basis of Circles, all circles everywhere and anywhen… What about the Tarot?

Let’s play cards

Well, if we grab the Fibonacci numbers and look at their relation to gematria, Tarot and the Mysteries it represents, there is indeed an intriguing story to be told.

0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13 and 21

The first 9 (oh ho! 9 – Yesod, ‘Foundation’, ‘the Vision of the Machinery of the Universe’, the Muladhara bhanda) digits in the Fibonacci Sequence are a fascinating exploration in Tarot terms.

We have the Alpha and Omega book-ending our sequence – 0 to 21, the Hero’s Journey, the Fool’s Quest – all the way from Aleph (the Fool, 0) to Tau (The Universe / World, 21) – from limitless potential and the undecided possibility of All, from the Realm of the Three Negative Veils and Atziluth “the Mind of God”, from Idea, Spontaneous Eruption, Inspiration, to the concrete, manifest and extant World of ‘the Ten Thousand Things’ that we take as ‘ordinary Reality’, the World of Assiah, the World of form and substance, space and time – and Limitation. From Pure Spirit, No-Thing, from a complete absence of quality or quantity, yet teeming with Unborn Undying Life, to the Anima Mundi, the Soul of the World, and the complete clothing (and hiding) of Spirit in the dirt that we’re made of, and oh-so-afraid of, the Limits of Time, Space, Life and Death, and of course, the seductive illusion of the Material.

Within the Fibonacci sequence as a Tarot sequence, this Journey is ‘contained’ or at least apparently defined, by 9 definite stations – an odd number, meaning we have a definite ‘ centre’ (the 5th term, which has 4 prior and 4 subsequent – this is Atu III, The Empress – ‘Love’, Daleth ‘Door’) and that the Mystery herein is discreetly alluded to or related with The Hermit, Atu IX – The Perennial Wisdom, the Divine Seed of All Things, Alone (All-One) in Solitude, the Religious function – but without trappings or structures or tradition as expressed in the Hierophant – hence Yod, ‘Hand’ also ‘Work, Make, Praise’ as a verb. A manifestation of Thoth-Hermes (The Magus, Atu I), but fully manifest in a physical vehicle, a bearded Ancient walketh, bearing a Lamp and Staff, the Lord of Magick, the Inner Wisdom that Illuminates, and ventures forth – the Sacred 9.

9 is itself a fascinating number, a visual spiral as an Arabic numeral, and not a million miles away from the Golden Spiral as a glyph (depending on your font, of course) – 9 endlessly ‘returns’ to itself – multiply 9 by any whole number and the resulting number can be further summed from its own digits to reduce back to…9! It lurks within itself, whatever the multiple (try it! 9 x 12345 = 111105; 1+1+1+1+0+5 = 9!) You can read more about the fascinating nature of 9 over at the infallible (ahem) digital Akashic Records. It’s a Zero with a tail, don’t you know? It’s an upside-down 6, I tell you! We’ll come back to that, as is the nature of 9, looping and returning, “never ceasing from exploration, with the end of all exploring being to arrive where we started, and know the place for the first time.” 9 is truly fractal.

So, let’s consider the steps of the sequence in our Fibonacci Hero’s Journey, and see what emerges from the Tarot as a lens through which to consider this fundamental aspect of Nature, specifically how it arranges itself for growth and Life, for development within the cosmic order, predicated around the magic 3 and its square, 9 (the first ‘even’ odd-number – 1,3,5 and 7 all being primes).

The Fool

0 – The Fool (Pure Potential, Innocence, Silence)

Aethyr, Uranus, the Life Force, Rebellious Freedom, the Original Face, the Madman and the Trickster, amoral adventurer, sainted and sinned, springing forth from the Void in order to crack the Cosmic Joke (humour being in the Eye of the Beholder far more than Beauty, though this also has a most Divine Role). Cracking Wise. We have to start somewhere, so it may as well be Nowhere, and have no Beginning nor End, nor be Anywhen. No-Thing, an absence of Boundary for the manifestation of any Quality, Quantity or Consistency – which thus includes the potential of All, by Be-ing None. Anything could happen, anytime, and probably Will (pun intended). The eternal sum of perfectly cancelled contrary forces, +ve and -ve, yin and yang, divine and mundane, sacred and profane, demonic and angelic, Self-Cancelling, unchanged and unchanging Eternity. Der reine Thor, the Pure Fool, from Wagner’s Parsifal – the initial and final reconciliation of all Cosmic Opposites. Follis, “bag of wind”, or “bellows”, the Ultimate Razzberry. The Absolute. THAT, about which Nothing can be said, for the Tao that can be Named is not the Eternal Tao. The Rootless Root, the Causeless Cause. Look at it – it’s an Egg, containing all Potencies and Developments, but as yet not cracked (wise or otherwise) and spilling forth its yolk (or, indeed, yoke).

As I was going up the stair, I met a man who wasn’t there…

The Magus

1 – The Magus (The Will, Self-Consciousness, The Point, Initiation, The Active)

Quicksilver, Mercury, the Magician: mercurius duplex, utriusque capax – Mercury Double, and capable of Either or Both – a sublime entity that is both the Transformer and the Substance Transformed. Note the intriguing fact that this old Alchemists’ title of Mercury sits very comfortably with the fact that 1 appears TWICE in the Fibonacci Sequence. Double – and capable of Either or Both. The Monad is the Monad, and Unity cannot know another, for – obviously – there isn’t another (Nisargdatta Maharaj, the Hindu Advaita (non-dual) Guru, on being asked “How should we treat Others?” replied “There are no Others”…)

Mercury’s Nature is, indeed, Always Dual – both the Agent of Transformation AND The Thing Transformed, able to adopt the Rajas-like creative fire of Alchemical Sulfur, the Tamas-like spiritual balance of Alchemical Salt but at the same time never losing it’s essential mutable and adaptive power to cause them to mingle and recombine in novel, completely unique ways, maintaining an essential balance between Yang (Action) and Yin (Reception), harmonising and reconciling all these Opposites into a new Sattva-like Synthesis. The Cogito which, ergo, Sum. I AM, the invisible point (Hadit) from which all manifestation must eventually issue, and eventually circumscribe (Nuith).

The only option for the Monad, the Absolute, the One, the Lord of Science, the Messenger of the Gods, having emerged from No-Thingness, is to reflect. There is no ‘out there’, but, dual as Mercury is, there Will Be ‘in here’. Consciousness recognises its own nature, and can consider itself AS IF it were Other – an act of Imagination. So, in order to kick-start Creation, the One must consider All That Is – Itself – and begin to Dream. The Hebrew letter-intelligence is Beyt ‘House, Family’ or, indeed ‘With, Within, Inside’ – relating to ‘House’. The Dual Nature of Mercury (a hermaphrodite – Hermes-Aphrodite, the Magus-Empress) must be explored within the Singularity that the Magus represents – so s/he prepares a conscious avatar, an Idea about Hirself that is not Hirself but merely the Idea of Hirself, a reflection of What Is (The Self) into its conscious representation (A projection of the Self within Self-Substance). Here, then, is the Pioneer, “He Who Goes Forth”.

The High Priestess

2 – The High Priestess (The Reflection, the Dyad, Adaptation, The Receptive)    

Well, what did you expect from a Magician’s reflection…? Of COURSE it’s alive. Mercury combines Life Power with the Essential Self, reflects, and creates the Mirror, the component of Thought which is not Mental…that which feels, gestates, incubates, participates in regular, rhythmic and cyclical, change and adaptation to the needs of the Original Source, but which is veiled and hidden from that Source (the reflection is not known, by default, to that which ‘casts’ it – note that shadows, reflections and, indeed, ‘spells’ (Mercury is the ‘Logos’ or ‘Word of Creation’) are all ‘cast’…by Magicians). Here, then, are Opposites, Polarities.

The Holy 2, the High Priestess is the feminine Yin to the ultimately masculine Yang/Duality of the Holy One – which contains both/either/neither. The One reflects itself and creates an essential tension, a dynamism held in perfect tautology – On/Off, Dark/Light, Manifest/Unmanifest, Macro/Micro, and essentially, brings the power of adaptation and change to that which was Changeless. As a new dimension of Self – Not-Self, Imaginal Projection of Self, that which is veiled from the Self (The essential Unity that pervades All) – begins to interact with and help develop the Urge to Being. An oscillation is now possible, the basis of vibration is here established, the 2 can circumscribe the 1. Hadit and Nuith prior to manifestation, the infinitesimal Point, and the Infinite Space. This tension is unbearable, a vacuum which must be filled. In this way, is the High Priestess a soil in which every seed planted by the Magician will gestate and burst forth it’s flowers. The Hebrew letter intelligence is Gimel and there is much disagreement over its exact meaning (The High Priestess is behind the Veil, very tricky to apperceive, to pin down, to not be blinded by the Light in which She dwells, and behind which she reigns). ‘Walk, Gather, Deal, Give to’ are all worthy translations.

The Empress

3 – The Empress (The Birth, Creation)

Fertilized and pregnant with the Urge or Will of the Magus, the Empress bursts forth – the Aphrodite of the Magus’ Herm(es)-Aphroditism – the Seducer, the bursting forth of Creative Will with its origin in Mercury, 1, it’s growth, nurturing, history and development in the bloodline-karma of the High Priestess’ Moon, and finally its explosive emergence as the Great Seduction – Maya, sensory experience, Mother Nature, Mamma Mia, the rush of colours, tastes, sounds, and tactile experiences that Creation, by way of Her ever-birthing glory and Mystery, convinces us of the World of ‘the Ten Thousand Things’. We now have our essential first 4 ‘stations’ of the Tarot Fibonacci – and reference to the Qabalistic Tree of Life reveals that these four Major Arcana complete the pathways of the ‘Supernal Triangle’ leading from Godhead to Manifestation in Form – the ‘pathways of the letter intelligences’ that connect, respectively, Kether (the Crown) with Chockmah (Wisdom – via the Fool) and Binah (Understanding – via the Magus), Kether (the Crown) with Tiphereth (Beauty – and the World of Formation – via the High priestess) and finally, the path that connects Chockmah (Wisdom) and Binah (Understanding) through the pathway of Love, the Empress, Venus, Aphrodite, the Great Seducer from which all Form proceeds – the Union that creates Da’ath (Knowledge – in the most ‘Biblical’ sense imaginable (eg ‘And Adam knew Eve, his wife; and she conceived’ – clearly a little ‘knowledge’ is, as the saying goes, a dangerous thing…). Da’ath is The 11th, or hidden Sphere of the Tree of Life – The Abyss, as it is affectionately known, where reason must retire, for beyond is only the Ideal, and completely inscrutable to a manifest Mind. This Hebrew letter-intelligence is Dalet, ‘Door’ and means ‘Entrance’ or ‘A back and forth movement’ – indeed, the Grand Entrance of every human being, through Aphrodite’s sacred ‘Door’, a short ‘Walk’ from ‘Inside’ the ‘House’, via a ‘back and forth movement’, and over and over again, rinse, repeat…

The Hierophant

5 – The Hierophant (Culture/Religion)

When we reflect upon (The High Priestess, 2) our own lineage, bloodline, the crest of the wave of the ocean of Being that preceded us, and consider, Spiritually, with the guidance of intuition as well as reason, the seductive union with all this intermingling and sensual experience, if we can draw our gaze from the evolving resplendence and endless creativity of The Empress (3) and somehow, as with the High Priestess, see *through the Veil* without being distracted by a near irresistible instinct to peep up either of their celestial skirts, if we can embrace these matriarchs of the Astral World as the teachers and Mothers they are, then through our instruction in Nature’s Ways we will, inevitably, produce the expansive, turbulent and entirely new, novel and dynamic condition of the 5 – The Hierophant, literally the ‘One Who Reveals the Sacred’, the Union of the Higher Self (“that which is Above”) with the Lower Self (“that which is Below”) and the complete transformation of both through this yoking, this yoga, this Union. Thus we have the Hierophant attributed to the zodiac sign of Taurus – which is ruled by Venus (The Empress) and in which the Moon exalts (The High Priestess), and in which the raw materials of Creation, the dirt and dust and blood and toil, are volcanically (Vulcan is the esoteric ruler of Taurus, following Alice Bailey) and tempestuously re-configured in ever more complex geometries, anarchies, hierarchies and blends until, after Aeons of Time, such every-day, utterly sublime structures as sparkling emeralds, sea cucumbers, and the human eye have emerged from the churning chthonic processes, unravellings, recombinings, fusings and high pressure molten eruptions and irruptions. The human eye and its connection to the central nervous system is simply the least ‘substantial’ and most ‘spiritual’ form of matter yet discovered which can evolve before physicality and the material must, presumably, be abandoned entirely…

A new order of evolution is instantiated by the Hierophant, a blueprint for logarithmic development. Religious orders, closely guarded occult (hidden) knowledge, the structures which will eventually produce Logic, and the entire foundation of Western Civilization are the result of yoking (The Hierophant, Vav – ‘Nail’ or ‘Hook’, ‘to Yoke’ or ‘Secure’) the powers of The High Priestess and the Empress to the service of the duality that the Magus has tricked us all with, to re-veal the Unity behind the Duality – that Above and Below are ‘as’ each other, that Within and Without share qualitative Reality, despite quantitative or apparent difference. Taurean qualities – strength, fortitude, patience, the inner labour, as well as reference to the myth of the Minotaur – the labyrinth, man-made, in which some essential part of us is entombed, lost, seduced (‘lead away from’) the encounter with the numinous Reality behind all appearances… The Hierophant demands obedience to a structure in order to undo all structure, requires methodical Work in order to arrive in the realm of Eternal Play, and hides a smirk because He, and only He, Truly Gets The Joke : G(ee!) -U – R – U…


8 – Adjustment (Law & The Balance of Opposites)

Another Cardinal sign, like Taurus: here is Libra – the scales of cosmic justesse (‘accuracy’ or ‘precision’), the inevitable and inexorable tides of karma (‘action’) – in a by now completely dynamic and perfectly equilibrated Universe in which Absolute Laws can be deduced from the Individual encounter with the Other – a vital aspect of the exaltation of Saturn in Libra (where, once again, Venus, The Empress, rules – here Venus Hesperides, sophisticated, tasteful, aesthetic, concerned with harmony and essential recognition of the Principles of the Other, in contrast to the Hierophant (Taurean) Venus Lucifer, concerned with acquisition and desire of Beauty, and recognition of the Actuality of Other (always, with the Empress, there are Two).

From the mystical, spiritual, and initiatory rites of the Hierophant emerge the secular Laws, customs and contracts of Adjustment. From the new ideal of the transformative and dynamic 5, the rhythmic equilibrium and pulse of the fallen-lemniscate 8, the sum of all that has come before and the intimation of Eternity-As-Rhythm, the tempo and groove of Inifinity – now full, now empty, now active, now passive, now directed, now chosen. We arrive at the great horizon of Self, where the Sun of our unique consciousness sets, and darkness encroaches.

Now the Self is confronted with the result of this process of division, insemination, reflection, gestation, pregnancy, birth, motion and structure – an inscrutable and definite ‘horizon’ (Libra) beyond which the Sun (Self) ‘falls’ and the terrifying, Mysterious Other begins. The Self has dimension, age and is subject to the Limits (Saturn) and frustrations of the ‘Hell of other people’ – the natural Descendant of astrology.

Furthermore, we have Ma’aat, in her Harlequin robes, the Hand-maiden of Thoth-Hermes, and female-complement to the Fool – Lamed (‘cattle prod’, and also, as a verb, ‘learning’) to the Fool’s Aleph (‘ox’ or ‘cow’, the absolute engine of the earliest agricultural societies).

“Why me?”, cries the Fool, not Understanding.

“Because You”, answers Adjustment, with the Love of a Mother (Venus, the Empress) and the severity of an Old Man (Saturn, the Aeon/Judgment).

Now our Self- Conscious, Unconscious, Creative and Cultured Self must learn the responsibility of Being created “in the Image of God” – karma is a blind machine, and we are subject to the blind Justice of this Universal Goddess, as are all, but our uniqueness defines how it will affect us.

The answer to the Question can never come too late, You’re somewhere on the Spectrum, you’re free to Love or Hate, Created in God’s Image, Now, What will you Create? As you navigate, equilibrate, and trade in Love or Hate.

Equilibrium and poise are required if the Veil is to penetrated and Reality to be apprehended precisely, accurately – the only Way to possibly Work (the Hierophant) with it (Adjustment). Everything must be brought into Right Relationship, nothing excluded for squeamish or fearful or excited or selfish reasons, everything given it’s true and proper measure in context and essential dynamic balance with Everything Else – that which lives, grows and thrives ‘beyond the horizon of Self’. Individual sovereignty and Spiritual balance requires, systematically and with the precision of a clockwork, collective dissolution and rhythm (8) between the extremes (Saturn exalted in Libra) of Self and Other, Inner and Outer, Sacred and Profane, Autumn and Spring (Adjustment/The Fool/Empress). Truly, the road of Excess can lead to the Palace of Wisdom – just be careful to not get waylaid by the Saloon of False Prophets, the Motel of Hedonism or the Bordello of New Age Bullshit – all of which *appear* no different to the now Infamous Palace…and yet the stucco is faker, the smiles more contrived, the tips far more generous, and the Wisdom therein really nothing of the sort. To mention nothing of the bill on checking out…

The Fool, and his Harlequin, are Tricksters, mountebanks, and Mercury is the patron Saint of Thieves and Liars.

Beware, Aspirant, Beware – justesse, precision, accuracy, the line separating pure Folly and simple madness from Divine Inspiration and Spiritual Emergency is a tightrope so slender you often have no idea you were precariously balanced upon it until you have already fallen off and unceremoniously broken your etheric Chariot on the cold, hard floor of a Reality you were blissfully, ignorantly blind to. Optimism is no solution, pessimism no comfort – hope is a carrot dangled before the Donkey (Fool, Ox, Hierophant, Bull) to keep it plodding mindlessly forward. Remove the carrot and walk on with clear vision!Justesse. Adjustment. Obeying the Cosmic Law is the only true freedom in the whole Universe.


13 – Death (Death & Rebirth, Resurrection, Transformation, the inseparability of Light and Darkness)

And so, from the gestatory nurturing Love of the High Priestess / Moon (Ruler of Cancer, our bloodline, our Family Tree), via the Cosmic Door (Dalet) of the Womb of Venus-Aphrodite (The Empress, ruler of Taurus, our physical efforts, and Libra, our discernment), hitching a ride with the Hierophant to the sacred marriage in Libra, the Woman Satisfied, girt with a Sword clenched between her thighs, taking karma into her own, serious, truthful and perfectly equilibrated hands, aware of Her Divine Power as consort of the ineffable and unpredictable Fool, comes the encounter with Persephone – the journey to Hades, to the Underworld, the irrational, a deep incubation in the waters of the Holy Nile, where Osiris was slain and dismembered – and resurrected. Just as the Empress gave birth to the Journey, so must Persephone conclude this cycle – all that is Born must Die, to be Reborn. Be still and know that Day and Night, be still and know that Death and Life are One, Holy, Circle.

Seduce – from Latin seducere, ‘to lead (astray)’ – and consider the 7 of Cups (Venus in Scorpio / Empress in Death) ‘Debauch’ – from the French debauchere, ‘to lead (astray)’… seduction and debauchery are the same thing – a leading away from…from what? From Truth, dear Aspirant. From the Cold Hard Facts.

Death is Truth. Persephone was worshipped, alongside her mother Gaia (or Demeter) in the Eleusinian Mysteries of Ancient Greece – the secret rites which promised initiates entry to Eternal Life and almost certainly involved the consumption of entheogenic/psychedelic medicines – and the revelations of the Underworld, and its connection to this sensual World of experience. Hers were the rites of Spring – the joyous return of Abundance after the fallow Winter. All Nature rejoiced when Persephone was re-united with her mother, Gaia (Demeter). The Queen of Darkness, bride of Pluto – is the Source of Life. How funny. How perfect.

But it is Venus, the Empress – Life Itself! Mother Nature! – who is the Seducer, here. It is She who ‘leads us astray’, She who deceives us. It is our vehicle of Desire that keeps us from immediate Spiritual Enlightenment, that winds, riverine, a circuitous and wending route back to the Great Sea (Binah, Saturn) through the myriad lightshows and carnival-esque World of the Ten Thousand Things. It is Aphrodite, not Persephone, who prefers the simulacrum, the surface, the superficial, to the real Meat’n’Bones, the inner marrow, which is Persephone’s domain.

13: the 3 as properly understood through the lens of the 1, together intimating the 4 – the structure and Law of All. It is our first double-digits, re-iterating earlier stages of development in combination, correspondence and cooperation (Adjustment). A new vision of the actual basis of Life and Perception/Cognition (3 and 1, Empress and Magus, Venus and Mercury), and how they combine and inter-relate to create Structure and Form (4 – The Emperor).

In the older Tarot tradition, the 13th Atu is nameless. Just as the Fool had no number, the Atu now commonly called ‘Death’ had no name. In antiquity, it was rare to speak of Persephone, or call Her by name – more commonly, She was referred to as Kore – ‘the Maiden’, or simply ‘the Goddess’. That was sufficient. Everybody knew what that meant.

She was an essential part of the true ancient meaning of philosophy – the love of wisdom – which had little to do with what we conceive of as philosophy today. Philosophy was not an endless discussion – it was a revolution of your life, something which changed you forever, due in no small part to your encounter with the Goddess, the Maiden, with Death. The great initiation was as relevant then as it is today – you had to die before you died. You had to encounter, visit, and return from Tartarus, the Underworld – not as abstraction, not as vision-quest, not in some intellectual or sophistic fashion, but really, through a process of stillness and incubation in the bowels of the Earth, in caves tended by special priests who could guide you to your own Death, and yet keep you alive in the process. You died, and yet did not expire. You encountered a state that was not sleep, not wakefulness, not Life, not Death, but rather…something else; and on your return, you were Changed – forever. A philosopher. Now properly in touch with the true Source, now able to see through the Great Deception, now capable of truly Living, for the first time, aware of Reality, which is Still, Eternal, Unchanging, Forever, unlike the deception, which is temporal, ephemeral, endlessly re-configuring and re-designing new forms and distractions and beauties and diversions. A proper grounding in the Essential Truth of the Mack Daddy himself – the Nameless Arcana. Ole Bonesy.

Death – the Source of all Life. The Darkness that begets the Light. The Hebrew letter intelligence assigned is Nun ‘Sprouting seed’ – meaning ‘Continue’, ‘Perpetuate’, ‘Heir’ or ‘Offspring’ – worthy indeed of much meditation, for it is the incubation of the seed that leads it to sprout and perpetuate, and it is Death that is our inheritor, that we in turn inherited.

The Universe

21 – The Universe (The Soul of the World, Everything, The Totality of All)

And so, finally, the End. The capitulation. The individuated climax of the descent of Spirit into Matter and its redintegration (sic) back into Spirit – The Anima Mundi, the World Soul. Leela – the Cosmic Dance. Indra’s Net. The Divine Choreography hidden in the deepest recesses of the Profane Chaos.

Here’s a fascinating etymology (let the student of Tarot remember: study deep and well the etymology of words!): ‘The World’, which Crowley, aptly, retitled ‘The Universe’ – since it always meant exactly this, the totality of everything known and unknown, all that could or would ever be known – derives it’s title from the Greek kosmos, the etymological root of which was kosmeo – from which the word ‘cosmetics’ is derived, since it means ‘decoration, adornment, ordered ornamentation’. Meditate thoroughly on why the entire Universe presented to the senses (and how else have you ever experienced it?) is, at root, ‘a decoration, an ornamentation, a pretty mask applied for the purpose of Beauty’!

Is it any wonder that Venus/Aphrodite (the Empress) has her planetary detriment in Scorpio (Death, the Nameless Arcana)? The ruler of Beauty, adornment, vanity and Love in the sign of dissolution, putrefaction, raw sexuality and the Underworld…

The Universe is the joy of the Element Earth, the recipient and benefactor of all the combination and re-combination of the purer Elements that have created Her – The Fool (Air), the Hanged Man (Water), The Aeon/Judgment (Fire) – the absolute concretization of all the potentials, the performed Dance of the Music of the Spheres, unique among Her brethren for containing a little bit of absolutely everything – just as the Fool ‘contains’ and represents the potential for absolutely anything.

The Universe is ‘the collapse of a quantum superposition’ into a ‘component state’ – it is the Observation, the Observer and the Observed – that creates Everything and is thereby Created. Cosmic Consciousness.

21 is also the sum of the digits 0-6 – remember that the sum of our Fibonacci sequence was 54, the 6th order of 9, the total number of entries in the Fibonacci sequence contained in the Major Arcana? 6 is the first ‘Perfect Number’ of the Greeks – its factors sum to it (1+2+3 = 6, and 1x2x3 = 6).  

The Fool (Aleph) and the Universe (Tav) combined spell ‘Ath’ – which means ‘Essence’. Tav itself means ‘Cross’ – the Sign thereof – and thus expansion/extension. The Atu refers to the Completion of the Great Work, just as the Fool refers to its commencement – and all the in-betweens are agents and modes of it’s fulfilment. The Daughter, Malkuth, dancing in the centre ‘manipulates the radiant spiral force’ – and what a beautiful description of the Fibonacci sequence made geometry that is!

To explore Crowley’s own words and visions more thoroughly “This is the Daughter of the King. This is the Virgin of Eternity. This is she that the Holy One hath wrested from the Giant Time, and the prize of them that have overcome Space. This is she that is set upon the Throne of Understanding. Holy, Holy, Holy is her name, not to be spoken among men. For Kore they have called her, and Malkah, and Betulah, and Persephone.”

The Universe is the celebration and completion of the impulse of the Fool, the negative issuing forth into manifestation.

Look deeply into the face of a flower, look beyond it’s beauteous deception, and you will surely see for yourself.

As the great American poet Walt Whitman said of his own illumination “An intuition of the absolute balance, in time and space, of the whole of this multifariousness, this revel of fools, and incredible make-believe and general unsettledness we call The World; a soul-sight of that divine clue and unseen thread which holds the whole congeries of things, all history and time, and all events, however trivial, however momentous, like a leashed dog in the hand of a hunter.”

Go forth, student of the Book of Tahuti, fellow Tarot reader: and hunt!

The Paths of the Sepher Yetzirah

0 Scintillating Intelligence

1 Intelligence of Transparency

1 Intelligence of Transparency

2 Uniting Intelligence

3 Illuminating Intelligence

5 Triumphal/Eternal One

8 Faithful Intelligence

13 Imaginative Intelligence

21 Administrative Intelligence

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Make Sense, Dammit!https://tarosophia.com/2017/10/make-sense-dammit/ https://tarosophia.com/2017/10/make-sense-dammit/#respond Tue, 10 Oct 2017 12:05:24 +0000 https://tarosophia.com/?p=1199

A good deal of this rests upon the Platonic ideology, which maintained that any material object was an impure and imperfect copy of some ideal perfection. So men who wished to advance in spiritual science and philosophy strove always to formulate for themselves the Pure Idea. They tried to proceed from the Particular to the General; and this principle has been of the greatest service to ordinary science. The mathematics of 6+5=11, and 12+3=15, was all in bits. Advance only came when they wrote down their equations in general terms. X²-Y²=(X+Y)(X-Y) covers all possible cases of subtracting the sqaure of one number from the square of another. So the Meaningless and Abstract, when understood, has far more meaning than the Intelligible and Concrete.

~ Aleister Crowley, The Book of Thoth

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Popper’s Paradox, and the Art of Empire : Ruminations on the number 4https://tarosophia.com/2017/08/poppers-paradox-and-the-art-of-empire/ https://tarosophia.com/2017/08/poppers-paradox-and-the-art-of-empire/#respond Fri, 25 Aug 2017 11:07:44 +0000 https://tarosophia.com/?p=1165 No doubt it has crossed your social feed at some moment in the past couple of weeks – the 20th Century philosopher Karl Popper’s famous ‘Paradox of Tolerance’ from his seminal book “The Open Society and its Enemies“.

The somewhat anachronistic scene of hundreds of angry young white American males goose-stepping through a small town in Virginia, USA, wearing the Swastika and chanting ‘Blood and Soil!’ – a famous Nazi maxim – along with other even less savoury slogans from the same creed, was hard to avoid or take seriously; right up until someone was killed.

In case you, like most normal human beings, skipped right on past it with a combination of bewilderment and disgust, the reason for the sudden popularity of Mr. Popper and his paradox was that it deals with precisely the conundrum being faced by the US in face of a resurgent, emboldened neo-Nazi base which supports Donald Trump as president, a country which – allegedly and in theory at least – prides itself on the value of Free Speech. Indeed, the US constitution legally enshrines the freedom to pontificate about whatever you may choose, without fear of repression by others or the State, in the very first Amendment to its founding Constitution. The amendment as adopted in 1791 reads as follows:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

~ 1st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America

Popper, in 1945, felt compelled to address the thorny issue this openness and tolerance of divergent views presented: if a society values tolerance and freedom of expression, what should it do when those freedoms are used to promote or inculcate a society of intolerance and oppressive, authoritarian censure which actively jeopardise its enshrined values? Can a tolerant society survive if it allows the spread of intolerance, and thus prohibition or abandonment of the very freedoms it values so highly? Was Voltaire high on opium when he declared “I may not like what you are saying, but I will defend to the death your right to say it!”? Or had he simply never been to Charlottesville, Virginia on a Neo-Nazi Friday night shindig which resulted in the death-by-vehicular-homicide of a counter-protestor looking to shoo out of town such openly violent, intolerant and divisive views and speech?

Popper himself concluded, paradoxically, that a tolerant society could not tolerate intolerance if it wished to survive intact.

Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.

~ Karl Popper, “The Open Society and its Enemies”, 1945

He concluded that we are warranted in refusing to tolerate intolerance.

We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance,the right not to tolerate the intolerant.

~ Ibid.


Not wishing to get into the nuance of protected speech, yelling “Fire!” in a crowded building, or whistleblower persecution and that whole thorny thread of philosophy and law which admittedly bears much relevance to the overall debate, let’s instead narrow and occult our focus and consider the issue from the perspective of the Tarot. Let us consider the very-far-from-humble number 4, and it’s decades in the Major Arcana – specifically The Emperor Atu IV and Art (or Temperance) Atu XIV. If there’s time, we’ll peek at the Minor Arcana too, and how it is influenced by the Majors.

Who’s yer Tzaddi?


4 is a number of stabilization, balance and form. It is Σ10 (Sigma Ten) – 1+2+3+4=10. It contains the blueprint of the finished cycle. It is the organizing centre from which the completed manifestation proceeds. The Emperor takes care of the application of Cosmic Law to the Earthly Plane; He is responsible for the correct operation and function of the World. Dependable, stoic and unafraid of conflict, we can count on the Emperor; we know that He is up to any challenge. Representing an unshakeable reality principle, and grounded, stable Power, he manages material strength-in-action and his sacred Duty is to protect others. He governs, sets boundaries, and civilizes. He rules with Justice and Mercy, but tends toward Justice unless restrained. He’s usually itching for a fight. He doesn’t back down. He sees all your weakness, but never weakens.

So far so good. The Emperor ensures that all views are given fair hearing, that sauce for the goose is also sauce for the gander, and that where conflict or struggle may erupt, Power stands by to keep the Peace and allow the Politic to flourish. This is The Emperor. This is 4. The rod or the carrot, the point is rulership. Governance. Security through Peace – albeit via the threat of all out War (The Emperor is Aries, ruled by Mars – Atu XVI The Tower). The Emperor’s ultimatum is “Or else!” He is Society’s, and your Inner Policeman.

Atu XIV – Art (Temperance)


Art, or Temperance, Atu XIV, is the second Decade of 4 in the Major Arcana. Art brings bevels and curvature to the sharp, Platonic cube of the Emperor’s domain and throne. Art softens the right-angles and files down the brutality of such Power, it adds fleur de lhys and inconography to beautify and represent and abstract. Art adds what is missing from this Sacred Recipe: to concrete Earthly security is blended an abstract Spiritual security, intimate knowledge of the Self achieved through introspection, and great equanimity in the allocation and distribution of such terrible Power. Art introduces the Mystery: The Circle of Spiritual Protection into the Square of Earthly Power. Art is Sun Tzu, or Machiavelli, when applied to the naked furore of the Emperor. Art is brinkmanship, and avoiding conflict through skillful means, or at least ensuring the odds swing wildly in your favour before issuing threats. Art does not like to threaten, but to unite, so solve and absolve. Art seeks Union, Art remembers Love, and understands that ‘only Love can Unite the Divided’. Art is the Emperor and Empress finding perfect balance.

If Art is not present to support and guide the Emperor, then, like Churchill’s apocryphal utterance:

What are we fighting for?

~ Not Winston Churchill

The Emperor without Art will fall – easily and terribly – into dictatorship and tyranny, exalting the material and rational, the exterior, at the expense of all other considerations, becoming obtuse, denying the virtue of the soft and yielding, of the interior, and – losing kindness – loses Himself. Bureaucracy that is a satire of itself erupts. “Your papers, please!” Soon, He ceases to concern Himself with the Other at all, never mind the Other in all of its unique, independent Truth. He goes mad with his own Power.

Without the Emperor’s principles and grounding in Reality, in Earth, Art is mere illusion: smoke and mirrors, or maladaptive magic, even. Spirituality as fanatic faith in a chimerical Heaven, a passing and soon finished-with Dream of Something Better, with no anchor at all in the incarnate, the here and now, the dirt that we’re made of, and oh-so afraid of. Art then becomes an excessive kindness, a ludicrous extension of principle into a headlong collision with Reality, an affectation of love and compassion which protects the useless and useful alike, which harbours the Evil and the Good in the same refuge in the vague hope that everyone can just Get Along. Then, the grip on reality becomes tenuous and notional, and as we lose purchase on such ephemera as tolerance, the ability to distinguish and discern the very causal phenomena that are essential to understand if we are to embody social intelligence and basic common sense also slips through our fingers. Art then becomes Platitude, Wisdom-Quote, garbled New Age bollocks.

What a conundrum.

Like a tree which must send deep roots into the Earth if it aspires to higher and higher growth, the Emperor and Art must collaborate on notions of social order. Slapping violent rhetoric which openly seeks the oppression of the Other into the same discourse as equally violent rhetoric which – nonetheless – openly opposes oppression and threats of violence against minorities and under-represented parts of the body politic is an utter failure of the Emperor’s necessary influence on Art. Equally, allowing openly armed militias to parade around in quiet University towns threatening queers, jews, blacks and journalists is a staggering failure of Art’s necessary influence on the Emperor. The media are hugely culpable in this mutual failure of imagination, boundary, and application of abstract Law to Earthly issues. The media should help support and provide the Art, but have been co-opted as an extension of the Emperor’s peculiar concerns.

And so, the ill dignities of the Minor 4’s. Right in the roots, the 4 of Wands is an affliction rather than a relief. The creativity of the People is held captive in monotonous routine, commerce becomes an end in itself rather than a means to liberty. Bullies flourish, dominator characteristics are rewarded and the weak are afraid and not up to the task of challenging errant authority. Rather than the diplomacy of Venus in Aries, the original Will continues to push, push, push. Strife, the 5 of Wands, is beckoning.

The emotional instability of the 4 of Cups cannot cleanse this malaise. It too is heading for the evaporative heat of the 5, ‘Disappointment’. The storm that is gathering in the background of the card is ominous, like that moment in an 80’s horror pic when badly composited clouds gather around the town heading for disaster. The People have placed their faith and hope in the Other, and the other is not up to the task. Everywhere there is insecurity, lack of freedom, smothering and overt materialism.

This unfortunate alchemy of Fire and Water can only produce foetid and noxious gases in the Intellectual realm. The 4 Swords, crossed in apparent ‘Truce’, are obtuse, unfeeling, fixed and dogmatic. The mind is a prisoner of its concepts, and everywhere the inexperienced espouse theories of which they have no living notion. There is much bluster, but mostly it is all talk. Heels are dug in, and nobody wishes to contemplate the other view, or live in the other’s shoes. Apparent peace can any moment erupt into violence and loss. The 49 petalled rose in the centre is fragile, false, enforced by a sharp, double-edged Doctrine that cannot know Love without a modification of its constrainsts and stubborn intransigence. Here is fanaticism and closed minds.

And so, the crystallization, the vibration into the manifest ‘Power’ of the 4 of Disks. Never mind a man’s home being his castle. This is the prison-industrial complex, this is Abu Ghraib, this is secret renditions and torture camps. Material stagnation ensues: obesity is the number one malady afflicting the richest nations on Earth, that and loneliness. Everywhere, Spirit is trapped in Matter, and there is little sign of Redemption. Immobility restricts ingenuity and flexibility. Money is elevated to Golden-Calf styles of worship, while economies stagnate and prosperity implodes. The Mantra of the sealed family is ‘I’m all right Jack, so fuck you!” It crescendos into a National anthem, as nationalism and bigotry rises and festers.

The biggest problem, plain for most to see, is that the current Emperor has No Clothes. He is no Artist.
And so, the Empire flounders, and with it the civilized convulses and will, eventually, die.
The Hierophants he has surrounded himself with are mostly nutjob evangelical Republicans from the so-called ‘Christian-Right’, a misnomer if ever I heard one.

Look to the balance of the Art in your Empire, look to the presence of the Empire in your Art.
Material and Spiritual Law require agents of enforcement, else the ‘contract has no teeth’.
Be one.

Bevel that cube, but square the circle while you are at it.
And for the sake of all that is Holy, stop sharing Wisdom Quotes on Facebook.
God help us.












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Solve et Coagula – A MoGraph Adventure #4https://tarosophia.com/2017/06/solve-et-coagula-a-mograph-adventure-4/ https://tarosophia.com/2017/06/solve-et-coagula-a-mograph-adventure-4/#respond Tue, 20 Jun 2017 16:43:51 +0000 https://tarosophia.com/?p=1140 Alchemy plays a large and imposing role in the inner workings and teachings of the Thoth Tarot, and a rudimentary understanding of Alchemy can help a great deal with decoding and relating to the images and myths of the Tarot generally. The stages of Alchemical transformation and the creation of the Philosopher’s Stone have obvious and facile parallels with the journey of the cast of the Major Arcana, and with the very essence of Divination itself.
Alchemy posits, most essentially, some proto-scientific a priori assumptions about the nature of Reality and Life itself which underpin much of the overall point and purpose of consulting an Oracle: that all of Creation is on a journey of progress, that things which appear fixed and stable are always actually in flux and transformation, and that through purification and the removal of the profane, the gross can become the subtle, and the Base can be made Noble. Whether it’s Metals or human Souls we are discussing, the fact that with Work, Change is possible, and that the nature of that change can be refinement and perfection, is the entire point. That less is often more is an interesting tangential insight.

A major part of the Alchemical process, then, is known as “Solve et Coagula” – to dissolve and to coagulate. We take the prima materia – the First Matter – and then subject it to this process – analysis, followed by synthesis, melting it down, removing what’s useless or not required, and forming it into a whole again, only purer, finer, with more subtle nuance and less gross qualities. Using discernment and the powers of our intellect we discover the constituent elements, forces and structures creating our present Reality. Then we subject them to stresses, “heat” and the process of “rectification” – the melting in fire, removal of impurity, and reformation or distillation into a more essential (of the essence) form which foregrounds and brings into action the highest unrepresented functioning while back-grounding or retiring the over-dominant lower functions. Equally, this process can take conflicting opposites within the gross – masculine/feminine, introvert/extrovert, active/passive, strong/weak, happy/sad – and create a reconciliation or ‘middle way’ – a new functioning, which partakes of both opposites, and contains the essence of each, while being neither, within the subtle. The Sacred (“Alchymical”) Marriage, that creates the Divine Androgyne, or Enlightened Being.

And this perfectly describes the entire dynamic of a Tarot reading. First there is Science – Analysis. We take the thesis, and thus postulate the antithesis. We see what the reading is about, and what antagonises or troubles the dynamic process underway. We consider interior and exterior factors and carefully tease apart the threads of your Life – the prima materia. Then, when the constituting forces and influences have been identified, comes the Art – Synthesis. We take the thesis and antithesis, and without denying or avoiding the realities described, we co-create the Synthesis – the meeting and inter-relation of these otherwise contradictory elements, now beautifully and harmoniously integrated into a functional Unison, and expansion of conscious agency. Instead of an internal war, instead of magnetic repulsion, we create a third option, in which the opposites are reconciled and related back to the Whole – YOU.

These principles, by the way, are perfectly encoded in the Major Arcana Trumps Atu VI – The Lovers and Atu XIV – Art (or Temperance). Solve et Coagula. Analysis and Synthesis. Research and Design.

The Lovers – Atu VI

Atu XIV – Art (Temperance)







But enough text – here is a #MoGraphAdventure illustrating the Art, the Coagula, Synthesis – Pulling Your Self Together!

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Bad Puns – A MoGraph Adventure #3https://tarosophia.com/2017/06/bad-puns-a-mograph-adventure-3/ https://tarosophia.com/2017/06/bad-puns-a-mograph-adventure-3/#respond Wed, 14 Jun 2017 14:47:06 +0000 https://tarosophia.com/?p=975 For this second ident to help promote our consultation service – us cartomancers have to do all our own marketing – I used Cinema 4D with the Turbulence FD plugin to run a fire simulation. FIRE. Wands. Instinct. Urge. Energy and Vitality. Sexuality. Power. Spirituality. Creativity. Inspiration. Libido and Self Esteem. The actual agenda. The deepest roots.
There is something very amusing, to me, about 10,000 years or more of evolution since neanderthal hominids learned to create and control fire for their own purposes to me sitting learning a 3D package running plugins to realistically simulate that most unusual plasma on a laptop with more computational muscle than was available for NASA to land men on the moon, or launch Voyager II out of the Solar System.

That’s Fire, also: smoulders for ever, safe and forgotten – suddenly bursts into ferocious activity or explodes unexpectedly. Never ignore it’s warnings. It’s dynamic is extreme. It can transport, inspire, transform. It can destroy, incinerate, or comfort. It is both the source and scourge of Pride. It can make you an extremist. Demagogoues trade in it. It is unpredictable, but follows clear rules.

Simulations, let me warn you, take a looooong ttiiiiimmmee tooooooo reeeeeennnnddeeerrrrrr. It’s simulating accurate physics, using fractal noise and clever shaders and things, but in the end I think you need more than a black (or mostly black) background to do it any justice, and a better computer to do the render…a fire needs more context, is what I’m feeling about the end result.

The music is a quick drum’n’bass 6/8 tune I knocked together after finding a cool synth patch on a Nord Lead 3 🙂

Still, I’m pleased with the animation. The stormy clouds in the background were all done in After Effects, as was all the explosion and electric effects plus 3D lettering (apart from the burning Tarosophia, which was Cinema 4D). There’s a fair bit of fine detail – some brief particle stuff with lightning, camera shakes, that kind of thing – that passes quickly but adds a lot. I like the cheesy pun, Sophia, SoFire…Tarosofire.

Plus, it is an important point to bear in mind: Divination is not to be taken lightly. It’s not a Game, nor a Con, but Something Else Entirely…
People can and do get burned. Tarot has a chthonic energy running all through it, as well as more Angelic and elevated currents of wisdom. It’s not afraid of it’s own Shadow. Some people really are though, not unreasonably, and such folk can trip over in various ways if not careful around tinkering with archetypes and deep psycho-spiritual structures as we do in Tarot…As Carl Jung pointed out, “One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of Light, but by making the darkness conscious”. (Emphasis added)

Prometheus, incidentally, stole fire from the Gods on Mount Olympus and gave it to Man – for which he was punished and suffered eternally at the hand of Zeus, not unlike the Garden’s Serpent who encouraged Eve to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. And we all know where that lead…

Advance, my fellow Sapiens, and tread firmly, but ever cautiously…

The Tower – Atu XVI

It is the True Will exploding the mind spontaneously

~ Aleister Crowley

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Id-Entity – A MoGraph Adventure #2https://tarosophia.com/2017/06/id-entity-a-mograph-adventure-2/ https://tarosophia.com/2017/06/id-entity-a-mograph-adventure-2/#respond Wed, 14 Jun 2017 12:50:32 +0000 https://tarosophia.com/?p=957 So, in order to promote these darque artes on ye booke of faces, I have decided to create a series of MoGraph idents which will, hopefully, illustrate some vital principles about Tarot and the Great Work in some subtle and not so subtle ways. Subtlety, I must admit, is not one of my stronger traits.
The first was made with my extremely newborn skills with Cinema 4D, and finished off in After Effects. I recorded and played all the music also. Quick and simple, but quite effective also, I was pretty pleased with the outcome here. Most times, simplicity is the elusive but essential Key.

I highly recommend 3D modelling and animation as a meditation for Tarot readers – something about having to envision the entirety of an x,y,z space really helps open the mind to perspectives and how a different angle of the same scene can change the meaning of the events transpiring within it…in often surprising and enlightening ways. Plus, it’s a sort of crazed megalomaniacal pleasure having God-like power to create realistic worlds with functioning and controllable physics. Abrahadabra.



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Tarosophia – A MoGraph Adventure #1https://tarosophia.com/2017/06/tarosophia-a-mograph-adventure-1/ https://tarosophia.com/2017/06/tarosophia-a-mograph-adventure-1/#respond Wed, 14 Jun 2017 10:15:28 +0000 https://tarosophia.com/?p=895 At the end of February this year I decided that rather than write reams of text about my basic philosophy with regard to the Tarot, it would be more constructive and useful and interesting to bring the text alive in a film, having been inspired by a motion typography (MoGraph) rendition of the Taylor Mali poem “Speak with Conviction”.
A picture, after all, is worth a thousand words, so twenty-five of them per second fooling your brain into perceiving continuous movement is truly wielding a magic of quite overwhelming power. The King James Authorized Bible has 783,137 words – or 31.32548s of moving pictures, if you prefer – about the length of a typical high budget TV ad. The root of the word propaganda is a committee of cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church responsible for foreign missions, founded in 1622 by Pope Gregory XV, to propagate – that is, spread – the Gospels. But, as we know only too well, any message will do.

So I asked a friend who works in animation what software is used to do that funky MoGraph thing, and thus did I first open up Adobe After Effects with a mind to get my head around how it works and make one of those for myself. Turns out Adobe After Effects is very user friendly, especially if you’re familiar with any of their other apps like Photoshop and Illustrator, as there is a ‘native environment’ that’s familiar to all in the Creative Cloud Suite. So, in case you haven’t seen it in the ‘About Us’ pages, here is the first in a series of six films I am making about Tarot, how I approach it, what you need to know if you are considering a reading with me, what makes a good question, and how oracles function, after 15 years of pondering such things.

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