Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Good morning and Welcome! to the Scales of Ma’at for 01 July 2015: the 10 of Suns (Wands) and the 8 of Stars (Swords). (Today’s deck is *The Lost Tarot of Nostradamus* by John Matthews and Wil Kinghan. As far as “historical guesstimates” go, this is a fine “reconstruction” of what Michel de Nostradame’s personal deck of Tarot cards MAY have looked like. It is a BIG stretch to make some of the assumptions they are making, but they make them with a reasoned approach, even if not satisfying to the rigors demanded of testing by a nuclear physicist, so to speak. I like it – I may not use it very much because of the necessary “translation” [defining the 16th century with 21st century nomenclature] involved, but I do like it.) Um hmm, so today my burden causes a conjoined angel to fall from the Heavens, so take a seat and enjoy the show! Lol, no, not really, but the imagery is a bit cold, and leads one into wanting to be flippant. Well, let’s take a quick look at the basics and go from there. The 10 of Suns (Wands) is, Thoth-wise, the Lord of Oppression. IT is in Malkuth in the Tree of Life, Malkuth through Fire. In Astrology: Saturn in the 3rd decan of Sagittarius. “The Ten of Wands are standing for suppression and restriction, showing the Fire on the grounds of the Earth, where they cause an uncontrolled, destructive burning. Fire is not made to rest on the grounds, having lost the contact to the higher levels of spirit, it mutates to a blind and cruel force, not understanding the own self anymore. Fire is a power that has to be handled with imagination and reflection, not with stubbornness and hardened standards. “(Raven) Its Drive is: Cruel and overbearing force, thirst for might. Its Light is: The chance to think about it, learning. Its Shadow is: Cruelty, excessive pressure, selfish and material ends, dogmatism, aggression. Matthews & Kinghan this card has to do with continuing ancestral influences in your life (we all have them – ever thought that you “sound” or “act” just like your mother or father?) The card carries a whiff of Karma with it, as in “payback.” Forgiveness will be required, as well, if I’m going to break the patterns. IT seems like the only friend I have in sight is the 8 of Stars (Swords), but he is problematic. The Lord of – Interference, he is in Hod in the Tree of Life, Hod through Air. In Astrology: Jupiter in the 1st decan of Gemini. Its Drive is: Restlessness of mind, endless analyzing. Its Light is: Realization of causality, acceptance of limitation and relativity. Its Shadow is Confusion, aimless pondering, compulsive brooding “With the Eight of Stars, the suit enters Hod, the realm of intellect and logic, and one should think how happy the Swords must be now that they are 'amongst fellows'. But Hod is more the structure of mind, while the Swords are the freedom of mind - conflicts are pre-programmed.” (Raven) He doesn’t exactly sound like a comfortable friend, does he? I am tied at the hands & feet, prevented from movement. Illness IS keeping me at home, so that fits. I need to recognize the limitations and set myself free from criticism and doubt, and a feeling that there is no way forward. Well, okay, I can do that. SO in essence today I’m in a hard place, mental-burden-wise, and feel frozen; with the accomplishment of the need to decide to forgive and act, I can go forward. What I need to do is to direct my energies into the areas that will make the most difference, and then I may bound up & away, into the cerulean sky.   

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Good morning and Welcome! to the Scales of Ma’at for 29 June 2015: the 2 of Disks and the Knight of Swords (knight = king, Thoth-style). (Today’s deck is *Stella’s Tarot* by Stella Kaoruko & Takako Hoei.) Well, it looks as if I’m taking my juggling act to the front lines where I shall entertain the enemy into submission. No, no, no, of course not, but aren’t you tempted sometimes to just whip off a snotty answer to someone when they sneer, “So, what do the cards say?” in that tone of voice that just makes you want to bitch slap them? Actually, today IS fairly clear, or at least it seems so. Our deck juggler is up front, the 2 of Disks/Pentagrams. Basics: Two of Disks – Change. It is Chokmah in the Tree of Life, Chokmah through Earth. In Astrology: Jupiter in the 1st decan of Capricorn. “The Two of Disks represents the Earth in Chokmah, the realm of creation and energy, directing the pure material resources of the Ace towards a specific goal, in order to change from the raw material to the actual creation process. Further, the card is called Harmonious Change; it stands for the alternation and natural balance of gain and loss, weakness and strength, growing and fading, ever varying occupation and wandering. In nature, everything is in constant change, well balanced with and in each other, building the principle of natural growing and proceeding.” (Raven) The Two of Disks reminds us that we are still part of that Nature, that we have to accept the natural flow of changes and handle it with care and consideration. Its Drive is: Growing, proceeding. the beginning of a project. Its Light is: Flexibility, enthusiasm for a project which proceeds. Its Shadow is:  Imbalance, the inability to accept a change, clinging to a status quo that is about to fade or change. I’m pretty good on the adapting to change front, therefore I have always felt unmoved, positively or negatively about this card. I CAN adapt, however; to what is the question. As for our 2nd card today, the Knight of Swords, let’s take care of basics: Knight of Swords (Lord of the Winds and Breezes). He is Chokmah in the Tree of Life, and in Astrology: 21° Taurus to 20° Gemini. The Element and world: The Air of Yetzirah. “The Knight of Swords represents the Fire in the Air; he is the storm of the mind flaming up high. He is sharp-minded, analytical, clever, dexterous and courageous, always ready for and fond of argumentations and verbal wars. His passion for intellectual mind games can make him an excellent warrior in logical excursions, enjoying both picky subtleties and bizarre contradictions. At his best, the Knight of Swords stands for intelligent judgement and mental realizations, he is a skillful trickster and a keen observer. Though, lacking the depths of the water and the stability of earth, his mind games could turn into cloud-cuckoo-lands without inner reflections, he gets unable to decide simply for getting lost in too many theoretical variations.” (Raven) So, at the worst, the Knight of Swords tends to put logic and mind ahead of all other values, turning into a cold analytic judge and rating by logic only, without warmth or humanity; or even degenerates to a deceitful, sardonic tyrant of the mind. His Drive is: Intellect, science, enlightenment. His Light is: Sharpness of mind, logic, intellect. His Shadow is: Coldness, cynicism, ambiguity. That is fairly dynamically opposed to the previous 2, don’t you think? I do, but deeper down, I can see how 2 could be an engine to get to 1 and to stay there, firing little retrorockets of Attitude to stay in place. 2 is never going to move into that Knight, not in a million years, so this has to be a question of the knight acting UPON the 2 of Disks, not in-forming it. So, Mark, keep your shitty tyrant in check while you juggle and decide it doesn’t do any good to become so rigid that you appear to have a flagpole up your rear end. So, today the watchword is Don’t Be Hasty – every problem contains the seed of its own resolution, just be patient enough to seek it out.   

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Good morning and Welcome! Sundays are my day off, so just the cards, no reading. (Today is *Stella's Tarot* by Stella Kaoruko and Takako Hoei.) Have fun!  

Friday, June 26, 2015

Good morning and Welcome! to the Scales of Ma’at for 27 June 2015: XIX the Sun and the Page of Swords. (Today’s deck is the *Aquarian Tarot* by David Palladini. Bright, clear, Art Nouveau & Art Moderne style look.)  Right off the top today’s draw struck me as fine & acceptable, UNTIL I noticed that the Page is facing AWAY from the Sun; take these kind of small card factoids as you will, sometimes they will be the only toehold you get, the only crack in the enigma. Well, let’s take a look at all the small, informational cracks first; I like to do my investigating in this manner generally, not just in Tarot. I like to gather all the facts I have and/or can find relevant to the card, and then, with all the means currently at my disposal, create a “synthesis,” or even better, a “golem” that I can plug into my running mental scenario and see what, where, how and why he/she or it fits today, or just as importantly, doesn’t fit, and what is this going to do for me and my long plan of Self-realization? This is ONE area of my life where I am allowed, even encouraged, to think of no one but myself. (I have always hated the “philosophy” that says, “We share the joy; you alone bear the pain.” That approach is incentiveless, and doesn’t attract me, but if judeo-christian martyrdom gets you off, go for it. Pssst; don’t forget the awl to punch holes in your palms.) Well, let’s get on with it and look at the small facts we have about these cards. XIX - The Sun is on the Path of Resh, 30, in the Tree of Life. The Sun in House 5 stands for the joy of life, creativity and persuasive power. Its planet is Pluto, (hahaha) the Sun, of course. On the Tree the planet is on the axis Hod – Yesod. Its Element is, naturally, Fire. Its Number is 19 as a higher level of 9, the cross sum is 10 (> Wheel of Fortune > The Magician). “The Sun is the symbol of life and light, for the power that always is generously given without reducing itself. The Sun will shine and give light to the earth to make all life possible. So the Sun stands for vitality and optimism, the blossoming of our nature, and is a sign that we have overcome the time of darkness and are ready to enjoy the light. But the Sun also has its negative aspects. Never forget that without the depth of water, the sun will create a desert.” (Raven) His Drive is: Aiming at the light, living for generous, unconditional principles, his Light is: Vitality, generosity, warmth, self-confidence and his Shadow is: Self-complacency, dazzling shallowness, promising much and doing nothing. Hmmm, well, ugh. Thank God he’s not reversed today! Let’s take a look at Pagey, shall we? (“PaggySue, Paggy Sue, . . . did you know that “Peggy Sue” had a last name? True. It was “Gerron.”) In a Thoth deck, this is the (Princess of the rushing winds)? He/She is in Malkuth in the Tree of Life. In Astrology: Venus in the Air signs. His/her Element and world: The Earth in the Airs of Yetzirah. “The Princess of Swords is the earthy child of her element, the wind over the grounds of Assiah. Her logic can be destructive, she is perceptive, serious and rigorous, yet she can show the characteristics of a child that lacks morality and nobility. Therefore, the Princess of Swords can get stubborn and cruel, and while beginning to think independently about something, she can turn very discriminating and egoistic, showing aggressiveness whenever the result is not to her delight. In the Earth, all the free qualities of Air get suppressed and restricted. At her best, the Princess of Swords can be very practical and clever, showing fine skills when dealing with material matters or conflicting opinions, she can be generous and kind once she loses the inner fear and insecurity that results from the natural incompatibility between Earth and Air.” (Raven) His/her Drive is: Impulsive, curious; His Light is: Careful, courageous, serious; and his Shadow is: Malicious, cruel, spiteful, wasteful, failure to recognize facts, aggression, destruction. It is easy to see that we might have a lot of showy male dominance and the stink of testosterone in the air today, looking at these cards. Venus isn’t seeking to pick a fight with the Sun (she would lose), but like a bitch she is going to give him a hard time today just for the hell of it. There we have why his/her back is turned. She is going to start out the Sun’s day with a good pout. IT’s the kind of behavior that, as a parent, makes you want to pick up the recalcitrant child and shake it, hard, or simply turn it over your knee and give it a good hard spanking.  (But you can’t do that anymore, they will arrest you for abuse of a playing card. Sigh. That’s the problem with cards today; their packagers are WAY too lenient with them!) I think it more than likely that I am the Sun today, and the Page represents one of our younger friends having some sort of contretemps today; probably over my ongoing position that my wife and I are NOT simply a handy service station when cruising around town – if you are coming over, come over because you want to see US, not because you want a joint or a meal. Or it could be one of several reasons; our young friends all regard us as parents/grandparents in loco parentiis; we are more than happy to listen, to empathize, to feed you occasionally and if I am feeling generous to get you stoned after dinner. But we are NOT a given, so don’t make that mistake, ever. You’ll find the Garden of Eden closed to you forever. On a third paw, these cards might not be about anything like that at all, but be casting ME as the Page (although I doubt it; a 63 year old Page is obviously a Saturday Night Live skit, not a life destiny.) Whatever; I am just glad to see the Sun up and around, he and I have been good buddies for a long time. So, today, if Ethical Will is the Will of the Universe, then I know it’s going to be alright; it is what I like to come out triumphant in any confrontation.


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Good morning and Welcome! to the Scales of Ma’at for 25 June 2015: V the Hierophant and IV the Emperor. (Today’s deck is the *Xultun Tarot: The Maya Tarot Deck* by Peter Balin [no relation to the Balin from Erebor.] Everybody get out a fistful of thorns and pierce your tongues! Howl! Scream! Throw your neighbor’s empty carcass from the top of the pyramid while you hold aloft his or her smoking, flaming heart. Buy lots of obsidian jewelry. Practice elaborate scarification techniques. Let’s go Mayan! (This, btw, is the correct adjectival form of “Maya,” not simply “Maya” repeated.) I have a hell of a testosterone draw today! The cards could hardly make it any clearer; V the Hierophant, figure of spiritual authority, looks to the left, turning his back on IV the Emperor, who has turn HIS back on V and contemplates temporal power while looking to the right. (The purpose of using a deck like this certainly isn’t to profit from the reams of knowledge hidden in the imagery; just enjoy the pretty pictures. It does have one good thing going for it, though; it helps train your senses to read with 78 of anything, i.e. cards are just convenient and traditional, but you could read with 78 different flowers, or gems, or whathaveyou. However, there is a corner of my artistic appreciation reserved for pre-Columbian art, so I picked up this deck some while back – I’m not sure I would buy it now, however. My taste in decks has evolved now I WANT the symbology & all the attached information, not just the pretty picture.) Let’s look at these cards briefly, then. V - The Hierophant is the Path of Vau, 16 in the Tree of Life. His Sun is in Sagittarius as a symbol for the teacher of inner values, and Jupiter is in Pisces as the vision of eternity. Zodiac: Taurus. Tree of life: From Chokmah to Chesed. Element: Earth. Number: 5 as quintessence, the power that exceeds the four elements. “The Hierophant is a symbol for a world of belief and confession, may it be a church, a sect or an occult society. He's the pope, the druid or the High Priest in a system of creeds and dogmas. He represents the religious and intellectual tradition of a person, and may be the one the person is born to it or possibly the one who has chosen it by himself. In the positive aspect, the Hierophant represents the search for knowledge and illumination, the desire to study creed and dogma instead of simply accepting them, to research and achieve further development. It also stands for the deep fulfillment someone can find when really trusting their own beliefs.” (Raven) In a negative view, the Hierophant can stand for bigotry, the blind faith in dogma, intolerance towards everything different from the own confession. It can also mean gullibility, running to any kind of new belief just because the traditional one is suddenly considered boring or unsatisfying. His Drive is: Search for hidden truths, trust in inner instincts. His Light is: Wisdom and knowledge as an experience independent from dogmatism and science. His Shadow: Intolerance, esoteric nonsense. Let’s couple him with IV the Emperor; IV - The Emperor is on the Path of Tzaddi, 15 in the Tree of Life. His Sun is in Capricorn, standing for responsibility, order, security, continuity. Zodiac: Aries. Tree of life: The axis Netzach – Yesod. Element: Fire. Number: 4 as physical reality, basic structure, orientation. “The Emperor is the social Word, the structure of civilization, a symbol for its law and order, may they be good or bad, but the power behind them. He is the abstraction of establishment, its stability and security.” (Raven) In its negative aspects the card can represent the force of bad law in a society where stability is rated higher than morals or ethic. Once law and order are established as an institution, a bad emperor can turn out to be a disaster. And even at his best the Emperor is limited - he puts restrictions and borders on the spontaneity of spirit and nature. In a more personal view the Emperor might stand for a time of stability and structure, linear thinking and discipline. While we can't live without it, too many of those attributes will only lead to rational despotism and mental poverty. His Drive is: Mastery of the will over nature, a sense for law and order, plan and structure. His Light is: Creation, recognition, stability, realism, and responsiveness. His Shadow: Despotism, self-complacency, poorness of feelings, lack of fantasy; rationalism as a prison. If nothing else, I am reminded of the film/play *Becket*, especially where Henry cries to his barons, “Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest?” and his barons do so, much to his chagrin. I think it is a safe guess to say the two sides of my masculine character, the Hierophant and the Emperor, will be vying for some sort of primacy today, and I need to be aware of it and to BALANCE it, for Osiris’ sake! This is actually a perfect example reading for the Scales of Ma’at Spread, as these two opposites symbolize exactly what the scales are supposed to be doing, adjusting, weighing, distributing, etc. Thus, today, Mark, if you are trusting and depending on your own power, use it wisely to bring these two characters into unity and not drive them into opposition, which they naturally are already. So, Go, be Zen, Mark, and if necessary, kick ass in a Zen-like manner.  


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Good morning and Welcome! to the Scales of Ma’at for 25 June 2015: the Ace of Pentacles and the 7 of Swords.  (Today’s deck is *The New Palladini Tarot* by David Palladini.) Let’s eat our spinach and get on with it, okay? The Ace of Pentacles (The root of the powers of Earth) is in Kether in the Tree of Life, Kether through Earth. In Astrology: The signs of the Earth. “The Ace of Pentacles represents the entity of the element Earth, the beginning of Assiah, the material world of making. It stands for the pureness of the element, and also for its seed, the first little sprout that later becomes a tree.” (Raven) So the Ace of Pentacles can stand for the beginning of a material subject, this can be a physical project or a material value, which could mean the urge to material creation or the chance for material gain . . . but, the Pentacles not only represent plain materials, but the entire world of Assiah, the actual, physical earth of daily life, and the actual, physical body of the human being. This implies home and profession, daily works, familiar bondings, health and well-being in common. And in this context, the Ace of Pentacles tells us that something will be created, something will begin. Its Drive is: The beginning of creation. It’s Light is: A creation, a beginning, a chance and its Shadow is: Avarice, dissatisfaction with material circumstances, something was born but is not allowed to grow. Couple this with his stick & hoop partner today, the 7 of Swords. The Lord of Futility. He is in Netzach in the Tree of Life and goes to Netzach through Air. In Astrology: Moon in the 3rd decan of Aquarius. “The Seven of Swords show the element with its reigns loose, storming into the realms of anarchy and destiny, fighting against 'nobody knows what', getting entangled in many conflicting tendencies.” (Raven) Now none of the Suits is very lucky with the Seven - the Wands burn down, the Cups nearly drown and the Disks are out cold - yet the Swords are least willing to accept their fate and activate every trick and list they can figure out to get along. They are sly, wily, and tricksterish. And considering that the Swords are pure intellect, they are embarrassingly good in figuring out tricks. Therefore, the Seven of Swords can talk of trickery, cheating, sudden affronts, juggling and intentional confusion with unrestrained Mercurian amorality. However, bound to fail, even the clever Swords cannot escape the hand of fate. His Drive is: Lust (greed), trickery, cleverness. His Light is: Unmasking of illusions and disguises and his Shadow is: Treachery, deceit, illusion, amorality, evil tricks, and self-pity. IF anything, the Moon orbiting the Earth doesn’t seem to reflect any reality here, now, does it? The lovely, generous Ace and that son-of-a-bitch 7 of Swords together?? I think NOT, unless he’s being full of guile while a full moon shines down upon the earth. (If only Janine Worthington’s *In-Between Tarot* cards covered this far of a stretch!) This looks like a very confusing day for me, and if I can pull anything from the cards today, it is “don’t be stingy today, be large, be open, and accept new ideas. Don’t try to bargain or get something for nothing today, it isn’t going to work. If you are going to half-assedly try to accomplish things alone, you yourself will not be enough, so don’t try.” I feel slightly insulted! To whom do the cards think they are talking? Harrumph! I am NOT dishonest! Well, not usually . . . . Sneaky & sly I have tried from time to time, but I am SO bad at it! that there is no point in continuing my farce once observed. On the other hand, the Tarot never gives advice to “the me” that USED TO exist, but to “the me” that DOES exist NOW. So, if anything, I need to be aware that a bad form of behavior may be trying to make its way into my character. Man the barricades! As for the Ace, I am going to read that partly as the good fortune of very early this morning having to do with a possession and money, as well as assurance that the means by which I live are NOT under attack and even doing quite healthily at the moment. You couldn’t tell this by me, I’m seeing loss of income, but that isn’t what the cards tell me, they say it is necessary for what is coming up. So, we have an issue of trust (surprise – yawn) and I WILL trust the cards to know whereof they speak. IF my 3-D world is going to go through any shake-up, it is going to be evidently and obviously for the better. So, today, Mark, one step at a time; one task at a time, and pace yourself. Take things in order, do them to the best of your ability, and move on. It’s what is going to work for you today, pal.  


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Good Morning and Welcome! to the Scales of Ma’at for 24 June 2015: the 8 of Cups and 0 The Fool. (Today’s deck is *Crow’s Magick Tarot* by Londa Marks. Good deck, need to tease the reads a bit.) Today’s card of the 8 of Cups is the one upon which to focus my energy, I feel. I KNOW I am 0, the Fool, every day of my life; here it is merely standing in as my Significator, which it CAN do for all of us in ANY reading. Nevertheless, this is a two-card spread, thus let’s get down to the business of knowing our battle implements. The 8 of Cups is a Cancer in the Element Water card, the Lord of Abandoned Success. Actually, that should be the Lord of Timidity, but the timid can’t bring themselves to hold an election. He has the Sun in Pisces in Hod of Briah. He has a hidden gift for theft, often covered by bad weather. (That can be a metaphoric statement, as well.) His normal divinatory meaning is Indolence, or the combination Sorrow/Pleasure, but it helps also to think in terms of the 7 preceding the 8; having been tested and burned with the choice of illusion in card 7, our Journeyer (me) is being much more careful about sticking his hands into the Cups water again – I don’t know if it is boiling, freezing or just tepid. Accompanying our 8 is 0 the Fool. We know quite a bit about me, as it turns out. I am the Spirit of Air, my letter is Aleph, my value is 1 and I am supposed to mean “an ox” but then again I’m not Jewish so we’ll change that to “plain stubborn.”  Crowley’s phrase for him is “Lewd madness is sublime enlightenment.” It that be true, then I was sublimely enlightened not too long after my maturation, because Lewd Madness is home stomping ground for me. Everything has been about Balance and Justice and Strength and the Hermit lately, so much so that I am constantly feeling like 0 the Fool, starting the Journey anew each day, having gone nowhere up to that point. It is exciting, challenging, anger-making, despairing, to feel always that you are taking one step forward and falling two steps behind. So, fuck the Fool, let’s move on down the road, and besides, I want to think about the 8 of Cups today anyway. I suppose it could be true that I am timid in Cups matters; I am ultrasensitive to rejection or dismissal. Immense hurt become immense pain becomes immense anger becomes out-of-proportion response, and I feel powerless faced with the tsunami-like force of overwhelming emotion on my part. I suppose it boils down to “be careful how you tell me that you don’t love me.” I’m not proud of it, but it is true. My mother can come out of me at odd times, and I have never known a person to hold a grudge longer than her, she was almost Chinese that way (go brush up on your Chinese cinema.)  But in order to be timid today in a Cups matter or situation, that means my emotions have to be involved and I must “speak my piece” rather than keep silent if I want to resolve the situation. Okay, we’ll see, but if I end up with a fist in the face because I told Grégoire the plumber that I have feelings for him, I’m burning these cards! (I don’t know any Grégoire the plumber, but you get my drift.) OR perhaps the real-life reincarnation of either Gloria Swanson or Rita Hayworth is going to make an entrance, and I’m going to need to open my mouth and clumsily declare my obsession(s). Ha! I doubt it, but you never know, “stranger things, Horatio . . .” and all that. Well, my kick in the ass for today is “my energy is the energy of the Universe. My power is my own.” This is a bit like saying, “Money can do wonderful things. I’m broke.” Nevertheless, get out there and don’t be timid today, Mark. If something stirs your emotions, speak up, so to speak! Ha. If it lands me in jail because I’ve propositioned a police officer, I trust one of you will bail me out. More Fool I, eh?     

Monday, June 22, 2015

Good morning and Welcome! to the Scales of Ma’at for 23 June 2015: the Queen of Wands and VII the Chariot. (Today’s deck is *The Wickwillow Tarot* by Hal Weeks. Other than the cards being regrettably too small, a restraint imposed upon the author, the cards are wonderfully expressive. Very Colorful. No markings on the face [“XI” or “Justice”, for example] yet the cards are all instantly recognizable. Fun deck!) Today’s Scales is going to be on the order of “I’ll take it plain, no mustard, and no ketchup. I’m in a hurry!” –short, The Queen of Wands is my kind of woman, except that I married a Queen of Cups-kind of gal. Nevertheless, “historically” I have always had strong Wand women in life, all Fire signs, and all very much their own persons. As a result, I barely comprehend wishy-washy or uncertain women; they strike me as unfinished and unable to participate in Life. At any rate, here’s our rundown on the Queen of Wands today: (Queen of the thrones of flame) Binah in the Tree of Life Astrology: 21° Pisces to 20° Aries. Element and world: The waters in the Fire of Atziluth. Tree of Life: Binah. “Personifying the waters in the element of Fire, the Queen of Wands has a similar basis as the Knight of Cups, combining opposing elements when neither of the contrasts can overcome the other, thus having an unstable balance between them. As a queen, she is the mother of her element, the emotion and the sensitivity, thus having her attributes of love, understanding and sympathy, her abilities to form and create, spending trust and warmth. The fiery character provides pride, passion, inspiration and powerful independence, her charisma, strength and expansiveness. Due to the imbalance in her character, the Queen of Wands can easily shift to her dark side, becoming a hot-tempered, revengeful fury, domineering and possessive, taking the tiniest bit as a reason to bear a grudge for years. She never forgets and never forgives, and as easily her fiery temper makes her forget own mistakes, so deeply her watery depths can cause her to ponder long and broad about the mistakes of others. Missing the stability of earth and the logic of air, tolerance and self-control never were her best disciplines.” (Raven) Her Drive is: Motion and transformation; her Light is: Independence, honor, spiritual visons, passion, adaptability and her Shadow is: Intolerance, despotism, jealousy, reckless passion.  Our VII the Chariot is as follows: The Path of Cheth 18 in the Tree of Life. Mars in connection with Sun or Mercury; Mars as symbol of enforcement combines with Sun as symbol for will or Mercury as the symbol of the way (the swift messenger.) Zodiac: Cancer. Tree of life: The way from Binah to Geburah. Element: Water. Number: 7 as the number of earthly and divine harmony (3+4), destiny, motion. The Chariot stands for combined powers, ready to move forward. “It represents the dynamic principle and the human will to proceed, the ability to use the powers of life and keep the outer and inner balance. The Chariot shows a strong will, a strong personality, and at its best, victory and success. But it also is a symbol for controversial power, for contradictions that are not solved, but just controlled. In this, the trump also warns of overestimation and recklessness. With every new venture or beginning one should check carefully whether the desired goal is compatible with one's life and inner self. Additionally, the Chariot is a symbol for the armor we build up when moving forward in the process of self-assertion. It also alludes to the danger that we might mix this armor with our actual personality. So a negative aspect of the Chariot might involve understanding that the way of armed power isn't always the right one, which the controversial power inside may to be reconciled with one other, and not just controlled and suppressed.” (Raven)  His Drive is: The will to conquer, courage, victory. His Light is: The awakening of powers, the way ahead, searching and finding one's place in life, and his Shadow is: Megalomania, insensitivity, running against walls. All of this taken together, right off the top of my head, tells me to beware about being railroaded into something I don’t really want to do today, by that Queen of Wands. As I said before, I am a “mark” for such dames. So, if need be, I need to be ready to fire back today, and give Queenie some hot lead right in the pump (cheap gangster dialogue seems to impose itself.) At the very least, she can take her scheme and try to sell it elsewhere, I’m not buying into schemes today, thank you.  In order to move through life triumphantly, my chariot has to crush a few garlands thrown along the way.   

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Good morning and Welcome! to the Scales of Ma’at for 22 June 2015: the 2 of Minerals and XXI the World. (Today’s deck is *Le Tarot des Alchimistes* by Jean Beauchard, a kind of “twin tarot” to his *Tarot maçonnique*. These are BOTH fascinating decks and deep and pointed in their symbolism for each Art, Alchemy in the former and Masonic Rituals in the latter. The cards are huge, BTW: 9 X 17 cm. All are heavily notated with appropriate symbology, with the numbered pips being given in their status elements of the Tetractys, in their appropriate elements. A joy to behold & use if you want to explore the binary Tarot/Alchemy.) I am going to take the Scales in a slightly different direction today, and look mainly at the tie-in and twinned thought system of Alchemy when dealing with my Daily draw. Well! I’m not quite sure, right off the top, what to think here . . . hmm, the high and the low of the deck! If you count the Aces as supernumerary distillations of their Element, then the 2s are really the 1st card of any suit you meet, and here we meet the first card of the first suit, the very lowest of the kitchen servants, the 2 of Minerals (Earth.) In a general sense, Twos symbolize the equilibrium of Contrary energies when immobilized in a face-to-face meeting. There is “waiting” in the “gestation.” The Two is the passive, female principle of Yin. If God belongs to the Unity of One, Generation is the Two. Two must be present to induce movement, to leave the unity of One and enter into the domain of the Created. With the 2 of Minerals, there is an ambiguity in the relationship with matter and it is better to wait than to begin a creative current while that doubt exists. This, of course, is in my relationship with Earth today, and so the cards ate speaking of some sort of arising ambiguity in my feelings about some-thing today. Keep an eye out for it and resolve it as quickly as you can Mark, because what else you’ve got on the plate is rather large. Enter Arcanum XXI, the Be All and End All, at least until the next time around the Wheel we go. The sense of this card is total and unique: it represents perfection and its favorable influence on all the other cards. The quest, my quest, has been attained (well, not yet really, I’m being invited to contemplate that); Consciousness is Awake and sees both totality and detail. This is where all becomes Art. As the Tarot and Alchemy are Arts, my completion of myself will be Art, because the result is not evanescent, it is the Spirit taking on density, the reality of a solid body. Etienne Perrot uses an alchemical adage for this: “The Great Work consists in embodying the Spirit and to spiritualize the body.”  The card indicates fusion, of course, Matter with Spirit. The 5 planets around the figure are successive stages of the adept as he follows the Path, with the focal point being Mercury, up top. The circle, triangle and the square evoke Spirit, Soul and Body, gravitationally centered on the “seed” of the Gold. IF I have done work correctly, interiorization will be finished and my being realized. This little, little thing leading to this grand, great apotheosis is really the whole journey in a nutshell, and I feel as if I am being reminded that yes, it is here, I am on the right Path, no, I’m not fooling myself, and, Most Importantly, Don’t Skip A Step, Mark, they ALL have a purpose in building the new You on your way to Realization. After all, you want to continue to be a Child of the Universe, yes?   

Friday, June 19, 2015

Good morning and Welcome! to the Scales of Ma’at for 20 June 2015: the Page of Cups and III the Empress. (Today’s deck is the *Kazanlàr Tarot* by Dr. Emil Kazanlàr. Dr. Kazanlàr is an Iranian savant living in exile in Budapest, and that for a very long time. Through a series of happenstance the good Dr. and I were introduced and he offered me two of his own decks, this and another, different, in exchange for a small service. It is a very prized, personal possession now. It is a very Kabbalistic deck, as you will be able to see if you look closely at the colorful cards.) You could be forgiven for exclaiming in derision; “Why, that greased weasel Mark! He just keeps giving us the same reading over and over and just changing the decks to keep it interesting but confusing!” I forgive you the assumption (although I shall have to think about that “greased weasel” part, you really hurt me with that one.) I draw the Scales “fresh” every morning, and yes, these are just the cards that keep coming up . . . and up . . . and up. Okay, {{sigh}}, a really brief rundown first. Page/Princess of Cups (Princess of the Palace of the Floods) Malkuth in the Tree of Life. Astrology: Venus in the water signs. Element and world: The Earth in the waters of Briah. “The Princess (Page-sic) of Cups represents the earth in the waters of Briah, an island floating in the groundless seas. She is far from her father's flames and her mother's depth, and she lacks the researching spirit of her brother. She is of endless tenderness, kindness and lovingness, living on her isle of romance and joy. Therefore, an unaffected spectator might take her as childish or selfish, but the island of the princess can be so fertile and rich. Artistically inclined talents can be detected and supported, medial abilities can rise and deeper insights can be gained. On the dark side, the island can turn out to be a castle made of sand, sinking in the seas of irrationality and daydreaming. The Princess of Cups, unwilling to leave her realm outside the 'common' world, may sink with it and at its worst might seduce others to follow her.” (Raven  http://www.corax.com/tarot/ .)   Her Drive is: The exploring of the inner worlds. Her Light is: Intuition, sensibility, tenderness, fantasy, dreamy imagination and Her Shadow is: Faking, abuse of feelings, selfish, luxurious, deviation, and a flatterer. Accompanying him/her is the hostess of this weird morning ball we are attending, III the Empress. Path of Daleth 14 in the Tree of Life. Venus in Taurus, standing for fertility and growth, the earth rules the Taurus. Planet: Venus. Tree of life: The axis between Chokmah and Binah. Element: Earth. Number: 3 as the combination of the contrasts to a unity (synthesis, harmony.) “The Empress is the friendlier, more approachable aspect of the female archetype. She stands for maternity, love and mercy; at the same time she's a symbol for sexuality and emotion. She is pure feeling, absolutely unintellectual, but basically life. The Empress is the Great Mother, representing the beginning of all life. She is the power of nature, causing change, renewal, major plans. The Empress also stands for passion, a phase in which we cope life on an emotional and joyful basis, rather than on the thoughtful. This could mean great satisfaction, but in an improper context, when actually more analysis is needed. The Empress can also stand for a reflective, emotional attitude, refusing to accept reality. It also could stand for a person who is greedy for joy and abundance when actually just more self-control is needed.” (Raven, again.) Her Drive is: Devotion and maternity, Mother Nature, creating something new in connection of both inside and outside. Her Light is: Maternity, love, trust, fulfilling-ness, the joy of great abundance. Her Shadow is: Greed, envy, jealousy, laziness. This couple keeps showing up again and again in my daily Scales, and while I am aware of it, I guess I must NOT be FULLY aware of it or else it would quit its imitation of a boomerang. What IS IT about the Page and the Empress that I’m not getting?? I always knew there would be a price to pay for not paying attention to downstairs gossip (Harrumph!) but this is ridiculous. He/She does NOT fit ANYone in my life at the moment, so it must be an energy nexus. The Empress as a sign of material comfort is fully present in my wife, and we are enjoying profoundly peaceful concord, as we usually do. Pr. Kazanlàr sees III much more orthodoxly and “Islamically.” The Empress is the Spouse of God, and there is very little to nothing humble about her. That whole glory of the heavenly court thing is very orthodox anyway – Christ Pantocrator and all that. The orthodox branch of Christianity doesn’t like to do the humble barefoot thing; it likes gold and jewels and overwhelming other-dimensional glory. She isn’t reversed here, so I’m not dealing with either a hysteric or a lunatic. It’s Sagittarius, maybe, a sign I’m very rarely copacetic with and then again it could be the whole Cup and Venus vibe; we’ve talked before about my Anima and our fractured relationship. I’ve got Venus in the Water signs running out of my apocryphal quiver, and either at 63 I am being called to a duty of which I am no longer physically capable or Love has a Hell of BIG surprise for me if I would just open my eyes and see it. I’m not sure which prospect scares me more, beings asked to give massive amounts of Love or being asked to receive massive amounts of Love. (Dr. Kazanlàr has wonderful little east European stories that go with each illustration, but are too lengthy to put in a casual commentary, such as the Page of Cups representing a certain Tolbi, page to Ludwig of Hungary. The story goes on, I shan’t.) Well, all I can do at this point is keep my pants up and wait to see what the day has in store for me. An Empress and a Knight, coming to deliver WHAT to my doorstep? If Love and Beauty are going to flow through my life like an endless stream today, I have to keep a watch out for {{shudder}} beavers.  


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Good morning and Welcome! to the Scales of Ma’at for 19 June 2015: IX the Hermit and the Knight of Cups. (Today’s deck is *The Ellis Deck: 3rd Edition* by Taylor Ellis. I love this deck; I have the original and now this, the 3rd edition with its inevitable changes. These are great decks, and read like greased lightning, I have no idea why. You should own one, unless you really cannot grok the art.) Today is one of those draws that I would like, I wish, I fantasize about summing up for a client some day in this manner, “Well, considering your age, here’s your future: You’re going to join a cloistered order of monks, probably some hidden Serbian branch of the Dominicans, judging by the robe, and you are going to weep and pray in paroxysms of helpless frustration and understanding of the fatal weakness of the human character, for the sort of the world and its salvation. That’ll be 50 €, please.” Before I whip that off for the poor passing old fucker who wants his fortune told, let’s take a look at the cards drawn this morning. IX the Hermit: Path of Yod, 20 on the Tree of Life; Saturn as the keeper of the gate, or Saturn in Aquarius, standing for the search of wisdom and the keeping of independence. Zodiac: Virgo. Tree of life, from Chesed to Tiphareth. Element: Earth. Number: 9 as the number going back into itself (3 x 3.) The Hermit represents retirement from the outside world, introversion into the inner self, listening to the inner voice and caring for the inner self. He requires retreat from any 'high life' and loud company, and stands for a time of self-reflection and self-realization. For most people, the silent loneliness of the Hermit appears unattractive, but behind the Hermit is the wisdom of the High Priestess. You cannot listen to your inner voices while having a party. In its negative aspect, the Hermit could mean being afraid of others or of life. When the retreat turns out to be a runaway, the loneliness can turn into a jail. His Drive is: Retiring from life, retreat from the masses, looking into one's self, introversion. His Light is: Wisdom, realization, mental maturity, the inner light. His Shadow is: Numbness, loneliness, bitterness.  Joining him today on the gleaming dancefloor of Dawn is the Knight of Cups, the Jesuit of Love, the Militant Arm of Holy Mother the Feeling Heart. This “Prince of the Chariot of Waters” is in Tiphareth in the Tree of Life; in Astrology he is: 21° Libra to 20° Scorpio. His Element and world: The Air upon the waters of Briah. The Prince of Cups represents the Air above the waters, as the son of the King and the Queen - Fire and Water - he combines both the fiery flames and the watery depths of his parents, bringing them up in the heights of the Air, storming towards Yetzirah.

So the Prince of Cups has all the emotional depths of the water, but also the intellectual values of the Air. He is clever and open minded, and his emotional soul can make him a sensitive being and an “artist of philosophy.” Due to the heritage of Briah, he appears introverted and reversed, and indeed he tends to keep his secrets to himself. Like both his parents, he seems to be easily susceptible, but his sharp-minded air makes him choose justly what to accept in the end. On the shadowy side, the Prince of Cups can be reckless and selfish, always striving to improve his own goals and studies, carelessly sacrificing relations in order to perfect his art or passion, and he can be quite shifty in dealings. His Drive is: The combination of Spirit and Soul. His Light is: Compassion, warmth, love, artistic intentions. His Shadow is: Selfishness, unscrupulousness, cruelty. Mm mm. So, that is what I’ve got today, and as I said, it makes we just want to cynically flip it out, have it eaten, be paid and move on. There are times when I actually WANT this state of things, especially when I want to spend mental time alone contemplating my decisions, or something similar, but I certainly wasn’t feeling that this morning, and I’m not now, either. This could be a tough mood to fight today, wanting to sink into solitude; I could do the good thing, and go with the flow and try even to increase the strength of the experience in order to wring every last drop of understanding from it, or I could do as I’m feeling and blow it off. Not a good idea, but it won’t kill me, not today. Maybe I can compromise . . . yea, that’s it, compromise, and that will help me create my life and build my future, just not to the sound of Destiny’s whip, but my own. (Many, many thanks to Raven for today's contributions.)  

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Good morning and Welcome! to the Scales of Ma’at for 17 June 2015: the Ace of Swords and III the Empress. (Today’s deck is the *Tarot of Claude Burdel, 1751, Fribourg*, another simply perfect reproduction of an historical Tarot deck by Yves Renaud and Wilfred Houdouin here in France, based on the Tarot de Marseille. He has four of them out now, all little Fabergésian jewels. * See attached photos, one in French and the other in English, of the information included along with the deck.) I’ve got a Wow! reading this morning, with both cards upright and benefic for my delicate being today. (I am SO glad I’m not going to have to try and unweave Atropos’ thread from the carpet! [“Atropos was the oldest of the Three Fates, and was known as the ‘inflexible’ or ‘inevitable.’ It was Atropos who chose the mechanism of death and ended the life of each mortal by cutting their thread with her ‘abhorred shears.’ She worked along with her two sisters, Clotho, who spun the thread, and Lachesis, who measured the length. Atropos has been featured in several stories such as Atalanta and Achilles.” - Wikipedia].) First, let’s know the basics for the two cards, so that we can do it, say we’ve done it, and then you can all stand there looking innocent, with your fingers pointing at me, as the Deity turns around to see who threw the rotten egg. The Ace of Swords (The Roots of the Powers of Air) is in Kether in the Tree of Life On the Tree of Life is the arrival of Kether through Fire. In Astrology: It is the signs of the Air   The Ace of Swords is the seed of the intellectual power, the origin and beginning of the airy world of Yetzirah, which implies thinking, analyzing, realizing through logic and mind.    Like every Ace, it represents the unstructured primary matter of its suit, the undifferentiated Unity; therefore the Ace of Swords is the beginning of thinking, a first idea, a first thought or impulse from the mind and the essence of the element of Air.    So the card can stand for a first idea or realization, a new view of things, or simply tell us that we should let our mind work rather than following our emotions only. It also reminds us that the Ace is only the seed, that it needs growing and experience to proceed.  Its Drive is: Invoked powers. Whirling force of mind, realization & logic. Its Light is: Realization, clearness, objectivity, intellectual aspiration. Finally, its Shadow is: Intellectual debacle, coldness, cruelty through logic, intellectual dissatisfaction. His dancing partner at this morning’s Dawn Ball of the Fates is III, the Empress. She is on the Path of Daleth,    14 in the Tree of Life. She IS Venus in Taurus, standing for fertility and growth, with the earth ruling Taurus. Her planet is, naturally, Venus. She is situated on the Tree of Life at the axis between Chokmah and Binah. She is of the Element Earth? Her number is 3, as the combination of the contrasts to a unity (synthesis, harmony)   The Empress is the friendlier, more approachable aspect of the female archetype. She stands for maternity, love and mercy; at the same time she's a symbol for sexuality and emotion. She is pure feeling, absolutely unintellectual, but basically life. The Empress is the Great Mother, representing the beginning of all life. She is the power of nature, causing change, renewal, major plans.  The Empress also stands for passion, a phase in which we cope with life on an emotional and joyful basis, rather than on the thoughtful. This could mean great satisfaction, but in an improper context, when actually more analysis is needed. The Empress can also stand for a reflective, emotional attitude, refusing to accept reality. It also could stand for a person who is greedy for joy and abundance when actually just more self-control is needed.   Her Drive is Devotion and maternity, Mother Nature, creating something new in connection of both inside and outside. Her Light is Maternity, love, trust, fullness, the joy of great abundance. Her Shadow is a den for Greed, envy, jealousy, laziness. (Many thanks to ‘Raven’ for his massive contributions to subjects. I mainly use him in the above for descriptive passages.) Well, the day certainly proposed to be interesting, whether this Empress and this idea come from me or outside, I shall give whatever it is serious conversation, in order that I see clearly to the horizon, and allow love and beauty to flow through my life in a limitless stream (app.)


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Good morning and Welcome! to the Scales of Ma’at for 17 June 2015: the 8 of Wands and the Princess of Wands (or Rods). (The deck is the *Decadent Dream Tarot* by E. Boyce. And for the Scales today, I’m borrowing heavily from DuQuette, Kenner & Raven; I’m tired, honey, grandma needs a nap.) Well, right off the bat, it seems it is going to be Wands kind of imaginative & spiritual day. 8 of Wands –   The Lord of Swiftness; Hod in the Tree of Life; Tree of Life: Hod through Fire; Astrology: Mercury in the 1st decan of Sagittarius. With the 8 of Wands the element of Fire enters Hod, the realm of intellect and logic, ruled by Mercury - thus it is feeling right at home. This is Hod in Atziluth, the influence of Hod in the World of Pure Spirit. Mercury is not well placed here; it is in its detriment in Sagittarius, although Fire loves it anywhere. Its energies are mitigated and quickly expended in the Sign of the Archer, a phenomenon which Crowley likened to electricity in his card. Swiftness is what is demanded here, decisive action in high speed mode. The card can stand for sudden realizations, quick brainwaves, it can tell that the solution for a problem is already there or soon to come. It also reminds me that the spirit needs freedom to fly for otherwise it won't work at its best. The shadow side of the card can mean that I waste too much time with disputing and all kinds of tidbits, instead of moving quick and decisively. In another aspect of course it the size of the dose that makes the poison effective - if I rush it too much I'll end up with a mass of particles that won't do me any good. Drive: Excessive force applied too suddenly, very rapid rush, violent but not lasting. Light: Progression, ideas, creativity, motion, changes, development. Shadow: Rashness, thoughtlessness, rapacious, insolent, jealousy. Joining the 8 and leading him onto the dance floor is the Princess of the Shining Flame, the Princess of Wands. She is on Malkuth in the Tree of Life. Astrology: Venus in the fire signs, Element and world: The Earth in the Fires of Atziluth. The Princess of Wands represents the Earth in the element of Fire, far from the Queen's depth and the Prince's Air. She's the Fire's daughter, with all the flaming energy of the Knight, unaffected from deeper emotions. The only heritage from her mother is the good memory for insults and the thirst for revenge. (The Princess of Wands, Princess of the Shining Flame, the Rose of the Palace of Fire, Princess and Empress of the Salamanders, Throne of the Ace of Wands. The Princess of Wands is Earth of Fire, the personification of Specific Earth of Primal Fire. In the Golden Dawn card her hand rests upon a golden altar decorated with Rams' heads [Aries] reminding us that in the system of decans it is Aries which both begins and ends the series. The Fire being "sacrificed" on the altar of Malkuth, the Fire of the Wand (now so imposing as to be considered a dangerous club), and the Fire beneath her feet shoot upwards. This card is a dynamic and unpredictable as the crest of the Princess. In this card, as in all of his Court cards, Crowley attempts to represent the activity of the force in question. His swirling, dancing figure, inseparable from the Tiger, is the mundane aspect of fire. Here, especially, Crowley's dependence on the Golden Dawn designs is clear.)  At the shadow side, the Princess of Wands can lack all true warmth of the heart, faithless and self-indulgent, theatrical and unable to feel real compassion and understanding. At the worst, she can sink down in pure greed and cruelty, too cold and numbed to recognize the own emotional poverty and emptiness. Drive: Passion, joy of life. Light: Enthusiasm, courage, beauty. Shadow: Greed, arrogance, poverty of true feelings, superficial, theatrical, cruelty, instability, domineering, a gossip.    While dancing in the flames, the Princess of Wands has her own beauty with her insatiable hunger for life and her endless, powerful energies. Her passion is hot, explosive and fast, burning down the object of desire and forgetting about it as soon as a new one comes in sight. She's irresistible in her seductive carelessness, in all her lust and anima. So that is what I’m dealing with this morning. (Many thanks again to Lon Milo DuQuette, Corinne Kenner and Raven for the extensive use and paraphrasing of their material today. I am tired and not feeling too much like recounting Aladdin’s history to the beggar children gathered around the well.) About the only thing(s) I can come up with off the top of my head are A) finish tempering this little peccadillo and do it QUICK! Or B) beware if this situation pops up today, being rushed or pushed into action and opening a new front, it has BEUACOUP de danger points for you, fellow! SO, with that being the case, it seems as if I am going to release my fears and allow myself to be filled with confidence and trust; well, Hell, good deal; let’s get it moving, I’m ready!   

Monday, June 15, 2015

Good morning and Welcome! to the Scales of Ma’at for 16 June 2015: the Knight of Pentacles and XIV Temperance. (The deck is an odd one, *Tarot in the Land of Mysterium* by Jordon Hoggard. It is a whole mythos/set-up that is supposedly served by this Tarot, not independent of it. Of course that’s shit – the deck works perfectly fine OUTSIDE of the Land of Mysterium, so it is just a question of whether the art does anything for you. I leave that up to each of you.) We’ve been through these energies and flux points just the other day; lately, it seems that XIV Temperance is glued to one side of the Scales! The Knight of Pentacles is the all-business, no imagination, faithful, loyal & brave companion he should be, as an Earth representation. This Prince of the Chariot of Earth is the Air of Earth & has a hidden gift for Medicine and healing. He represents Virgo; and is connected to IX the Hermit. He’s concerned with the 6th house of health, work & service to others (Kenner.)  XIV Temperance . . . {sigh}. It is a bit like being bored with your new girlfriend, is my 24/24 go-round with Temperance lately. I get it, I get it!! Temper, temper, tempering away, I am, don’t worry. I get the idea – moderation in all things, even moderation itself. So, take care of duties and your earthly necessities for the Path, and remember not to become extreme about ANYTHING today, Mark, anything. You’ve apparently got a LOT of tempering to do, so just keep at it until the red dashboard light goes out. With XIV Temperance, I am “supposed to” be “allowing” my life to form perfect patterns around me, but that isn’t quite what I want; I want stable patterns, keep the window dressing. I am going to be moderate today about the level of my vexation on seeing XIV again & again & again, however, and simply do as I am told for today, at least; take care of your duties with a noble attitude, and continue to force feed yourself giant doses of ego-laxative in the form of moderation in ALL things. I can do it; it leaves me a bit cold, but I can do it. I need to do it, because if I don’t I will be meeting XVI before I can cope with it at all. That’s it, a short one today. Moderation, remember?   

Good morning and Welcome! to the Scales of Ma’at for 15 June 2015: the Ace of Cups and XIV Temperance. (Today’s deck is again *Crow’s Magic Tarot* by Londa Marks. I like it.) Well, right away I can see that today is going to be about Fusion, with both cards shining golden light on the concept of the perfect union, the blending of two good things to obtain a great thing, the positive summation of Love in its most original, unique and divine forms. Before we get too wrapped in the *bling!* product, let’s take a closer look at the individual elements of which it is composed.  My 1st card, the Ace of Cups, is, of course, the summation of the Cups suit; it is also in Kether in Briah, the element Water, (“. . . the Ace of Cups is attached to Briah - the world of pure feeling and sensitive intention. It is the female counterpart of the Ace of Wands, representing the female element water as a sign for devotion and care. The card also tells that the beauty and the ugly are two poles belonging together. Without shadow, there's no light - and mud is needed to make Lilith’s blossom.” – Raven) and it is an Enochian blessing & invocation of the six planetary angels. It is the seed of Receptivity and of Love, and is the heart of the Feminine archetype. (Just for a refresher, here are the 10 Spheres of the Sephiroth, from top down: 1) Kether/the Crown 2) Chokmah/Wisdom 3) Binah/Understanding 4) Chesed/Mercy 5) Geburah/Strength  6) Tiphareth/Beauty 7) Netzach/Victory 8) Hod/Splendor 9)Yesod/Foundation & 10) Malkuth/the Kingdom.). Pisces, Cancer and Scorpio fall here, all being Water signs. It needs to be remembered that the majority of our “thinking time” is spent on emotions, about 75% of it. That is the same ratio of Water in the human body and water covering the Earth. It is a lot, we just don’t realize how much.  Riding herd on the hearts with the Ace is XIV Temperance, another card of Fusion and union, but this time in me and reconciling opposite energies. We’ve run into Temperance a LOT lately, so I’m very familiar with the ongoing concept that I need to be forging, smelting and hammering out “the steel” , in short, Tempering, the unreconciled flows on energy in myself. I’m not going to get much further in the realm of the Emotions, a realm where I badly need instruction and progression, without doing that Tempering. She’s about Sagittarius, meaning education, philosophy & travel are important to her, all three of which I can say that I ably qualify. Tarot readers are natural philosophers in the first place, I am profoundly over-educated and I have traveled the seven seas and earned my golden earring the old-fashioned way: I have circumnavigated the globe. I am profoundly cynical about the human species, which makes me perfect to appraise it with sad affection and suggest blending here & there to effect change. (Unfortunately for me, this would work a lot better if I were a Water sign, but as a Fire sign, although I may compliment the Water receptivity, I certainly don’t grok it in its details because the Emotional is largely wounded in me, and thus far its only fruits to me have been an exponentially growing ability of Intuition and the presence of my wife in my life, who is MY tempering element.) But we are not talking about playing a waiting game or long-term analysis; I asked the cards about TODAY. Thus it seems that today is going to be a day when & where Temperance is needed; here, in a nutshell, is the essence of how I think XIV Temperance operates, but for this to be understood think of XIV Temperance as Art; yes, that’s right, let’s take a look at a Thothian interpretation! (Lucky you.) This is from Raven’s website on Tarot, and he does a bang-up job; I suggest you visit & browse (http://www.corax.com.) “Ace of Cups (The root of the powers of water) Kether in the Tree of Life Tree of Life: Kether (the eternal, spiritual) through water (the spring of soul) Astrology: Signs of water The Ace of Cups shows the way deep into our soul, to detect beauty and trust. It stands for the sources of love, for growing feelings, the desire for a relationship or the readiness to have a friend. Referring to the Kabbalah, the Ace of Cups is attached to Briah - the world of pure feeling and sensitive intention. It is the female counterpart of the Ace of Wands, representing the female element water as a sign for devotion and care. The card also tells that the beauty and the ugly are two poles belonging together. Without shadow, there's no light - and mud is needed to make Lilith’s blossom. Drive: The desire to melt in one another, sympathy, devotion, the beginning of a friendship or passion. Light: Emotional capacity, fertility, productiveness. Shadow: Alteration, diffusion, irrational thinking, hysteria, loneliness.” That is informational overkill, but it serves a good purpose; it helps me really lay down the rails upon which the Ace of Cups runs in my Memory Palace. Back to today – put some order in your poorly furnished House of Love, Mark, in order to ready it for new and different furniture, or at least new slipcovers! (Funnily enough, I was asked by a good friend, a musician, what song he could play just for me at the upcoming Montpellier Music Festival; without hesitation, I told him “The House of the Rising Sun,” I suppose being indicative of my opinion about THAT in general, that it is a losing, soul-killing proposition [except for my wife & marriage, naturally, but our marriage IS a testing ground where a LOT of new things are tried out first, before applying them to my interaction with the World in general!]) So, today, stomach in, shoulders back, ass up! Before All-Encompassing Love fills me and my environment, I need to dredge the channels that will get the Water there.     

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Good morning and Welcome! to the Scales of Ma'at for 13 June 2015: XII the Hanged Man and the 8 of Cups. (Today’s deck is *Crow’s Magick Tarot* by Londa Marks.) I’m going to run through this rather quickly, as I have readings to get off and an afternoon full of bookings. (Not that many - 3 – but they are ALL 90 minute bookings, so . . . I’ll be drinking so much tea that I should float in my dreams tonight.)    With XII the Hanged Man, “Spirit of the Mighty Waters,” we have the element Water lapping at the hull of Neptune (cue the eerie, “spiritually enlightened” music. On a side note, I love his Qliphothic Genie’s name, Malkunofat; doesn’t that sound like a villain on the old Hawaii 5-0 television series? Along with Wo-fat, Steve’s mortal enemy and perhaps (?) Malkunofat’s cherished nephew . . . works for me!) Neptune is ruled by Water, of course, so that works, and concerns the 12th house, where secrets hide, and the import of closed and locked institutions. Remember who Neptune was, the Roman god of the Sea, of Water. He is reclusive and tends towards otherworldly pursuits, our Hanged Man, and OF COURSE he represents living in and thinking through the New Reality. The self-sacrifice is all about THAT, bringing about a better good. Coupled with my Hanged Man this morning I have the 8 of Cups, “Abandoned Success,” AGAIN. {{Sigh.}} They were here earlier in the week, I believe, or else they’ve shown up quite frequently in private client readings.  The card is Saturn in Pisces, residing in Hod in Briah. If this were a person, he or she would have a hidden talent for sniffing out theft, and would be rigorously honest due to a moral code. It DOES signify, however, what we would call timidity or, more accurately, docility. Hod is in the control of Mercury, quicksilver and the rapidity of adjustment of the “dream” being hallmarks here. So, a card signifying this rapidity of abandonment of success because one STILL isn’t satisfied is coupled with a Major Arcana signifying a gung-ho attitude towards self-sacrifice. “Why, yes, I’d be DELIGHTED to let you boil my genitals in an alembic and help me become a Completed Man. I mustn’t forget the sulfur, brimstone, and blood of dragon and eye of newt to make it clear that my obsession and subsequent self-sacrifice is quite alright, however. Just a sec, lemme grab the two cards . . .” At any rate, it is good to know that the cards are reminding me that any energy I wield is the energy of the Universe, but that the power is mine alone. I can meditate on that today, as well as continue to consolidate and prioritize.


Thursday, June 11, 2015

Good morning and Welcome! to the Scales of Ma’at for 12 June 2015: IX the Hermit and XIV Temperance. (Today's deck is *Il Lombardi Danneggiato* by Doug Thornsjo.) Oh frabjous joy! Another 2 Major Arcana pull today. You wouldn’t think you would miss the minor arcana, would you? But upon a Daily draw the minors often provide the fuel for the shiny new motor that Edsel B. Ford has just given you. That being said today is alright with me because two old friends are dropping in, IX the Hermit and XIV Temperance. Boy, have we had some wild times together! The Hermit and I sharing peyote and ‘shroom tea on the Navajo Reservation one summer night, and then there was the time that Temperance dressed as a hooker for Hallowe’en and got SO trashed that she . . . well, never mind, suffice it to say we had to call the King of Pentacles for bail, and man! he wasn’t happy. But today I think they are here on a slightly more serious mission, i.e. telling me to take care of business. IX the Hermit, “Prophet of the Eternal; Magus of the Voice of Power” and his eternal flame are Virgo, mutable Earth ruled by Mercury (appositely interesting that Mercury is the messenger of the gods and the Hermit is also a teacher, i.e. “messenger.”) “In temporary solitude comes wisdom & inspiration,” Mark muttered as he walked the gloomy subterranean passages of the Pyramid, bare feet slapping the cold stone. Don’t get me wrong, I love my solitude, but on my terms and not dictated to me. The Hermit is Yod with the #10, and he is the Intelligence of Will. So, keep in mind, Mark: Mercury (and its association with I the Magician), Earth, Virgo. (The good news is that today Mercury gets his winged shoes turned in the right direction!) The Hermit has entered my chamber after rap-tap-tapping on the door with XIV Temperance on his arm. Now we must have looked at Temperance two thousand seven hundred and four times in the last week (ok, so I exaggerate,) and we “should” (gods, I HATE that word!) be familiar with her ground rules for gameplay. Interestingly enough, a detail jumped out at me, probably because of the deck I’m using today, but do you see how she is pouring her jug into one sitting on the floor, while on her shoulder rides another jug, presumably water. What if she is watering down the wine, “moderating” it, encouraging “Temperance” (Wikipedia: “The Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) was the first mass organization among women devoted to social reform with a program that "linked the religious and the secular through concerted and far-reaching reform strategies based on applied Christianity." It also helped to ban alcohol. They helped pass the 18th amendment.) ? It doesn’t matter to me, I don’t imbibe alcohol, but she could be equally warning about ANY overindulgence, and Osiris knows I have a long list. However, let’s look a bit differently at this champion of sobriety. She is Fire in Sagittarius and ruled by Jupiter (surely NOT his drunken Jove avatars!) Her Hebrew letter is “sammec,” which interestingly enough can be translated as “support.” She sits in the 9th house, thus calling forth education (higher), philosophy and travel (foreign). If Temperance were embodied in a youth one might even say that Temperance has sought out the Hermit as a spiritual guide, but in this case it feels more like traveling companions rather than a hierarchical relationship. So, am I going on a long trip and will forget to pack my lantern? Oh drat. Ha! Not likely, but what I DO feel here is a need to moderate “consumption,” in this case of too much scattered knowledge picked up in bits and drabs without any grand connective tissue to guide their placement. Ever have TOO MANY books to read, decks to break in, readings to write up, work to do on yourself as well, and you know if you could just SHUT YER YAP for a couple of minutes and stop consuming you could have time to digest, for a change! QUIT IT, Mark! Quit chasing every will o’ the wisp occult footnote, or reference, knock off some of your useless shoot-the-shit time on FB, and digest what you’ve already eaten, you glutton. Yes, I know you love it, but shit, man, you have to breathe and eat and sleep, too, you know. And remember that what you are doing NOW actually matters MORE than what you do mentally with your butt in a chair at your desk and feeling oh-so-sage as you shuffle cards. Tarot may be being gentrified and whitewashed as much as people wish (“We don’t deal with Shadow, thank you!!”) but the cards can still kick ass. Witness what I get told on a regular basis – and that is specifically because I have prayed and asked the Universe to converse with me in a manner I understand, and if that means shouting at me sometimes, then so be it. I am a full-blown Aries, born in a Dragon year, so I can be “just a touch” stubborn (I prefer “knows his mind”); and that, my friends, means that God, to whom I have given permission, is allowed to yell at me when I’m not getting IT. We have a difference of opinion on how often that is, but suffice to say that today is a lay low, don’t go social, moderate your vices & caprices for a day, and think about some of The Stuff and digest it and place it on the appropriate shelf. Now, if I can just shut up, not argue, and nod my head in agreement, I’ll be 2 steps of the verbal tongue-lashing that could be inevitable and instead I shall help shape my life in a perfect pattern around me. Standing at the center of the Labyrinth, I look up and see stars . . . .    

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Good morning and Welcome! to the Scales of Ma’at for 11 June 2015: the 8 of Cups and the 10 of Discs. (Today’s deck is the *Liminal Tarot* by Penelope Cline. From Aeclectic Tarot: “The Liminal Tarot is a beautiful 79-card deck, created to be an all-image tarot that can be read without a little white booklet. It was guided by Thirteen's Tarot Card Meanings and Lady Frieda Harris' paintings for the Thoth Tarot. Self-published in a limited edition of 200 decks.”)  These are both lovely cards separately, but together? Well, let’s take a look. The 8 of Cups, “Abandoned Success,” is Ruled by Saturn which is in Pisces, residing in Hod (in Briah – the fluidic Water-y realm.) On the Madame Sosostris front, the 8 means Indolence coupled with unpleasantness, sorrow twinned with pleasure. There is also a hidden talent or love of storms & tempestuous weather. (Well, that is me in a way, a worker with Air.) Wrapped up in a neat little package here we have the two Energies, Water & Air, carrying forward this 8 of Cups-ness, this “yeah, I’ve had it all, & so what?”-ness. Cynicism? Stoicism? Maybe, but less of the monarchial “Show me wonders, Magician!” and more of “There has to be more to it than THIS.”  Riding along with this 8 is, ironically enough, the 10 of Discs, or Pentacles. Happy, happy home well-stocked with gold and silver coinage and an entire room of the palace devoted to weaving fancy cloth. (Grin.) But if the 10s teach us anything, it is that when the energy becomes this etiolated it is on the verge of becoming something else, something entirely different. This, for example, might account for my “ennui” with “having it all.” I don’t literally “have it all,” of course, I’m not that rich, but all my life has been comfortable (more or less.) And yes, I NOW finally have that 10 of Pentacles picture, I’m living it. Is it enough? Hello no! of course it isn’t enough, because there is no inherent spiritual side to it, it is simply material comfort. It is true that one cannot Search if one is hungry or poor to the point of misery, but not having those impediments does not guarantee success, either! The 10 is Mercury in Virgo, residing in Malkuth in the realm of Assiah (Action). Oddly enough, there are hints of both travel and judgement hidden in this Arcanum (Goetian aspects.)  With the Earth elemental energy stuffing this card to the brim, we marry it to the previous 8 and what do we get? I can only interpret this as a further confirmation that my Path goes on, and that now I am so committed to it there is no turning back (the 8.) I have the 10, and am happy to have it, of course, but do I wish to reside there or in the 8, with the NECESSITY of further voyaging? I could kick back and take it easy now, after all, I am in the 10 of Discs, but really, to tell both you & me the evident truth, I am committed to following the path to its End, to my Completion, to my reunion with the Divine. Thank you 10 of Pentacles, but you already carry the stench of decay; I prefer to go on. It seems the only Element missing in this layout is Fire, but –ta da! – Fire is here, because I am here, and I am an extension of the element Fire in almost every way. So, let’s move forward today, Mark, mindful of the reminder that while you are comfortable, you haven’t arrived, there is still Journeying to do.  


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Good morning and Welcome! to the Scales of Ma’at for 10 June 2015: the Queen of Swords and XIII Der Tod (I’ve always rather liked the German for “Death”.) I’m using the *Kabbalistiches Tarot* again today, I am starting to really enjoy this figuration of the Kabbalah on the cards and the primary look at raw Energies in the draw. On our first brazen pan of the Scales we have the Queen of Swords, or the Water of Air; think windstorm during a downpour and you get the idea. Being so intimately tied to Air is understandable to me; I was born into the clan of Element-workers; my gift is working with Air. I usually need trees to work with the Air, as well, which brings in some Earth energy. On the other nebula, I’m an Aries and Fire sign through and through by personality, so I end up playing a kaleidoscope of roles, especially the Kings & Knights of both Fire and Air (Wands & Swords). Water, or Cups, is not a natural fit for me, and dealing with them is ALWAYS a bit recalcitrant on my part, even though I genuinely want what they offer. I crave what they offer. But between the Wind drying it out and the Fire turning it to steam, Water has a hard time existing in my Universe, much to my own chagrin. This Queen is firm but fair, & represents Libra, so she is a reflection of XI, Justice (oh, alright, or VIII.) As a Venusian, she works well with people, which is as it should be, as she her domain is the 7th house of partners & relationships. My Queen can represent “support from seemingly unsuitable sources”, and she has a hidden talent for mining, as in mining precious metals or stones. So it seems as if some Queen of Swords energy is coming my way today, I need to be aware of what she is trying to adjudicate here in my own castle, and your guess is as good as mine, (. . .well, no, that is obviously NOT true, I have a better guess because I’m IN it. So much for lip-service to false clichés!) Joining her on the Scales today is XIII Death. “Oh no, Mr. Miller, your pet Queen of Swords is going to die!!” “And you’ve been reading cards HOW long, dear?” (Just as a side note of faint interest, we are surrounded by fakirs & charlatans here in the south of France. Witch doctors & shamans abound, and they seem to making a living. I’m astonished, but also resentful, as I feel like a diamond merchant stranded at Rhinestone Central. The view of Tarot down here is still medieval. This card, Death, is, of course, the most misunderstand card of the lot.) However, anyone knowing Tarot at all (including that grumpy-faced cat) knows that XIII is better called transition; the modern sensibility finds it a bit harder to make the mind jump of death = change than the medieval mind did. We have Scorpio and his energy all the way; pedal to the metal, here, Scorpio is also a Phoenix, rising from the ashes of its own destruction. It rules the 8th house, the house of – oh my! What a surprise! – sex, death, joint resources and others’ money. His letter is Nun, linguistically related to Nuit, the Heavens & Crowley’s “Goddess.” With Pluto ruling, we get a goodly dose of “death,” regeneration and unavoidable change. Quite often Change is for the Good – we just cannot see it at the moment. Sex is everywhere here, too, and in conceptual ways, but everything here in this sign & planet is ruled by Water; Pluto corresponds to  - go ahead, guess – XX Judgment, these two thresholds on the very edge; one on the edge of the Major Arcana, and the other on the edge of our Solar System. Change, Great Big Change, leading to the Unknown, and both Justice & Judgement being employed. It all sounds like a rather merciless set-up, but I don’t see it that way. I see it through the eyes of a friend, and as a welcome step or three along the Red Road, the Path on which I walk towards my 2-stage goal (the 1st is becoming the Completed Work, the 2nd is “Going Home,” Union with the Divine.) So, today it looks as if Change is coming in on the Winds, and the energies of the Queen and XIII make it inevitable that I am faced with what to do with the givens. So, if I sit myself up properly, I can welcome change into my Life, embracing it fearlessly and hopefully.