Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Good morning and Welcome! to the Scales of Ma’at daily reading for 29 Sep 2015: the Sage of Crystals (Queen of Pentacles) reversed and XIV Alchemy (Temperance.) (Today’s deck is *The Sirian Starseed Tarot* by Patricia Cori & Alysa Bartha. Giant, oversized cards make this lovely deck difficult to handle, and some of the printing is askew, otherwise a pretty deck. I don’t remember the price, but if it was excessive, then the deck is overpriced. It is a nice deck, not a great one.) I used to consider reversed Queens as manifestations of the Queenly virtues completely topsy-turvy, an “evil” version of the upright card. “Crazy old queens;” ah, applicable to so MANY groups! I’ve grown-up since those raw, new days and see them for what they represent – high female and/or maternal forces “out of whack,” out of balance, over emphasized or underemphasized. With a Queen upside down, forget Alice, forget the cat that went to see her, she’s emotionally unbalanced and she is dangerous (or useless.) Much like the Queen of Hearts in “Through the Looking Glass,” she is simply out of control and unmindful of her duties, perhaps her greatest “sin.” Today my Heart card is the Sage of Crystals (Queen of Pentacles) reversed. (I DO wish we could make a worldwide agreement to use ONE nomenclature – I don’t really give a rat’s flying ass if you call your Queen of Hearts the “Sacred Cleaner of the Litterbox” and your Page “The Turdlet From Which Spring the Manifold Blessings of the Original Primal Waters,” Stop It. It isn’t cute anymore, it isn’t New Age-y, it isn’t “enlightened,” it is clumsy and/or confusing so on this you can call for a unity of labelling, for the gods’ sakes! ) For me, today, I believe this card signifies a rather useless return to the inverted policy of the Pentacles, or more likely the RISK of returning, to an obsessional and unhealthy relationship with the 3-D love of “things.” Be careful, today, Mark, the Cornucopia is out of balance and could tip and cascade into ruin at any moment. Stabilize it.” It could also mean that I have delayed or am doing so in order to delay some change in myself that *should* be beneficial. Perhaps I’m Suspicious? I know I am of state-sponsored “vaccination programs” (“WHAT are they putting into your body with your signed consent? Do you KNOW?”) So perhaps I’m suspicious of some platter of chocolate-dipped ‘caprices’ that the Sage has just waltzingly presented to me? OR I have slowed down the manifestation for fear of overflow at this time? I don’t know, but it is being retarded BY me FOR me, and I need to find out today if that line of thinking is true, and if so, productive of the protection I wish? Let’s leave out Kabbalistic & alchemical considerations today, and just look at the cards – I’m not motivated to do “mystic breakdown” on the cards this a.m. from those additional perspectives. Facing this rather snotty but suspiciously unbalanced attitude of the Sage today is my old, old friend XIV, Alchemy, wearing a different guise today, a more awe-inspiring guise of a flaming, sun-like orb, melting and mixing everything together in its’ great furnace.. One never really thinks of the practical when looking at a “normal” XIV – the need for a vessel to contain the original matter that can be heated to such a high temperature that the original substance inside passes directly from a solid to a gaseous state, bypassing the liquid state. This “refinement” and “coagulation” of yourself as you transform yourself is, of course, necessary, otherwise you couldn’t (in the sense of impossibility) progress further into the higher Arcana. She is ALWAYS showing up in my life because a lot of mi life needs to be “tempered;” SO much raw ore that needs to be refined, melted, and recombined to produce a higher level of “me.” This can be done only at great temperatures or profound depths – in the heart of the flames or the bottom of the Limitless Ocean, in the coldest and most removed corner of space-time or at the gravitational center of a dark star, a “black hole,” the four transition points “in your cosmos” where such entire-being-transits are possible. Just as the galaxies are the citizens of a cosmic realm, which are each composed of billions of “subject” suns and on down the scale etc. (that might put us somewhere in the category of the fleas hopping around on a cow’s back on some outer-territory farm of our hierarchical governmental structure,) so we, too, must find a “democratic” way to blend the opposites and apposites of ourselves in the great blender of Temperance (which brings to mind, wouldn’t the alchemists have simply LOVED blenders?) I’m happy to see an old friend, XIV, but not quite as delighted to hear the message she brings, “Light the forges again; there are Works to create!” Ah, a bodhisattva’s work is never done . . . {{sigh}}. Grin – I don’t take myself that seriously, I really don’t – just enough. Well, it looks like I have to get dressed, go to Court, bitchslap a Queen, and then face my own judgement for my action immediately in the Court of Alchemy. I hope I hired a good attorney, but his name, “0 The Fool,” left me underwhelmed. We’ll see . . . .  


Sunday, September 27, 2015

Good morning and Welcome! to my 2-card daily draw for 27 Sep 2015: the 3 of Cups and XVI La Maison Dieu. (The deck today is *Le Tarot Noir* par Justine Ternel & Matthieu Hackiere. It is an absolutely lovely reinterpretation of the Tarot de Marseille, in somber colors, wide-format art cardstock and glossy finish. As the re-interpretation of a “classic,” it has a lot going for it. The size, however, while superb for viewing, goes from awkward to actually clumsy and uncooperative during the shuffle. Unless, of course, you have the paws of a Ukrainian bearded female wrestler, of course.) This is the 2nd or 3rd appearance of the 3 of Cups in the last few days, and “Yes! I get it!” As recounted yesterday, it has been a “brutally social” week. I used to do those, BY CHOICE, when I was younger, but entire months may go by now without seeing people and I don’t even notice the time passed nor care. As long as my wife retains the outside ties, which she LOVES doing, it is “her thing,” then I am still connected to my local community without actually having to be there. It is the best of all possible worlds, for me. I like, really LIKE, being a social “übermann” but now, later in life, fewer times than used to be the rule. Far fewer times, thank Osiris! Here I prefer to interpret this Heart card (in 2 ways: it represents my Heart in the “heart vs. feather of truth” Scale of Ma’at and secondly the Cups suit equals the heart suit in a deck of playing cards. So . . . . The card itself is all about Abundance. She lives in Binah, via Water. She’s Mercurian in the sign of Cancer, so that is unpredictable, playful, quick & festive. It is ALSO 3 being conceived & realized by 2. The Three of Cups combines the qualities of both the Ace and the Two of Cups. The undirected love has found its goal, it will grow and blossom. “The 3 (triad) as the number of synthesis and harmony will pour its riches into the seas of Binah, the seas of understanding and realization . . . Her Drive is pleasure, healing, sensuality, conception, fulfillness and her Light is good luck, joy, satisfaction, and passive success.” (Raven)  I can see this, today, as the replete satisfaction of an entire week spent “three-of-cupping.”  I was quite surprised to see XVI La Maison Dieu as “The Feather of Truth” card. Not horrified, not terrified, I didn’t soil myself our even dampen my underwear, I simply thought; “How curious!” I almost NEVER get this card for myself; in fact I can’t remember the last time. If I take it alchemically & Kabbalistically, it looks different. This is the Path of Peh, 27, (my daydate of birth, incidentally) in the Tree of Life. It is also Saturn and Uranus - the sudden breakout of realization, the destruction of old values and a “sea-change” in some aspect of my Life. Appropriately enough this card is ruled by the planet Mars, just as its element is Fire. On the Tree of Life is on the Axis Netzach – Hod. It’s numbering is a bit screwy – it IS 16, thus the cross sum is 7, but THIS time it is 4 X 4, and alchemically this is induration. (Google it. I wonder what they called the medieval version of “Photoshop?”) “The Tower is a symbol of endurance and its destruction, an allusion to sudden, maybe shocking realizations that crushes old views and persuasions, maybe the view of the whole world. The area of relative security starts wavering, our tower then falls and with it the walls around us that have become too narrow. It is rarely the evil, but rather the necessary development we meet when there is a change in the armor of destruction.” This speaks DIRECTLY to the Tower that has just fallen in my life (see recent posts.) So, if I am looking at it in this positive aspect, this violent Arcanum clearly signifies that I MUST Lose in order to Gain, with the gain being the greater. Her Drive is breaking up structures, destroying the old, getting rid of obsolete loads while her Light is a sudden realization of the truth, the will to change old ways, to recreate life and start something new. This COULD be a frightening card if happening in the immediate future, but in my case, it is simply confirmation that I acted in Harmony with the Universe when I killed the golems. This is a GOOD Sunday draw, a “sit back, relax, and regard with a kindly eye all of your recent activity and its’ results” draw. Amon be praised! (One of my peculiarities is that I get a kick out of ‘worshipping’ the Godhead, the Divine, in his/her avatars, hundreds of them, in ancient Egyptian religious mythology. It is the “religious jewelry” I prefer. I was brought up to believe in the superiority of aluminum foil and this lie was clear EARLY on – but I did find the gold for which I searched in the outer forms of Kemetian spiritual belief and interior illumination in the more “cosmic” tradition.) So, this being tossed into the definitely mixed salad, besides it being a g-o-o-d day, I want to make it one of quiet spiritual advancement, as well:
“Splendid you rise in heaven's lightland,
O living Aten, creator of life!
When you have dawned in eastern lightland,
You fill every land with your beauty.
You are beauteous, great, radiant,
High over every land;
Your rays embrace the lands,
To the limit of all that you made.
Being Re, you reach their limits,
You bend them for the son whom you love;
Though you are far, your rays are on earth,
Though one sees you, your strides are unseen.”   (from “The Great Hymn to Aten” by Pharaoh Amenhotep IV {Akhenaten) came to the throne in c. 1370 B-C. to reign as co-regent with his father Amenhotep III [c. 1397-1360 B.C.]. He attempted a religious revolution in which faith was focused on one god - Aten [the solar disk].)   

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Good morning and Welcome! to my 2-card daily reading which I call ‘The Scales of Ma’at’ for 26 Sep 2015: as my Heart stands the Knight of Staffs and as The Feather of Truth stands the Ace of Swords. (Today’s deck is *The Byzantine Tarot* by John Matthews & Cilla Conway. In this deck, Staffs are given the element of Air and Swords are given Fire. It is either jarring to one’s senses or confirms one’s newbie “mistakes” about elemental attribution. Individual call, “sortta–kinda;” if this were a more widespread variation, it would be a nightmare trying to keep track of what’s what. I have, of course, long-since “trained” myself to follow the accepted majority rule, so remembering the switch in this deck is both difficult but good exercise to use basic but dormant observational tipoffs. Here, you have to look for flame tipoffs in the Sword suit and Air tipoffs in the Staffs. I love the deck, but for this reason alone it will be of limited general use.) Seeing the Knight of Staffs depicted this way, I couldn’t help but think, “While his father, the King of Staffs, summoned and directed the army and occupied himself with supplies and logistics, the Prince was supposed to prepare to lead this force into battle; instead, he was off in the bushes fingering his own fife and lyre.”  For this one card, the elemental transition works as he is the “Prince of the Chariot of Fire" of both Thoth and Golden dawn decks. THIS depiction doesn’t really give one the impression of “Energy, Movement, Explorative, a Rebel and wanderer Leaving things behind but guarding a Passionate nature and a need for freedom.” (LWB) For Raven, this card is more about it’s’ place in Tiphareth and sitting astride Cancer & Leo. “The Prince of Wands represents the Air within the Fire, intellect and storm within the spiritual flaming. As the son of the Queen, he bears a certain heritage of the waters inside of him, expressing in romantic beliefs and a most generous nature. Though, the attributes of fire are excessively strong, combined with the flying airs the first impression is that of a hot storm, filled with action and willful, impulsive energies. Lacking the patience of the earth, the Prince of Wands wants it all and he wants it now. He has endless courage and tenacity; he can fight far superior forces until he has won.” (ibid) If I have to look at him as a Court character of Air, then he HAS to be the “hot breath of fire, “just as he may recklessly abuse the powers of his mind to fool and ridicule the slow and harmless. He isn’t mean-spirited; he simply moves so fast that he doesn’t see all of the ruins left behind. His drive, activity & impulsiveness are high and high-minded; his Light is Energy, creativity & passion. I must have mishandled the card in turning it or something – this could fit me today if read reversed; we’ve had a relentlessly “social” week, so today I’m staying home and being a couch potato. OR this rather “oisif” young man diddling mindlessly away (not necessarily being artistically creative!) as Constantinople shakes to the sound of Ottoman drums and Byzantine trumpets. Missing its’ much-needed directing hand, the young prince is being sought by The Feather of Truth today in the form of the Ace of Swords. Flames work better here, accompanying this incarnation of the suit as a whole and as it’s’ essence. Strength. Just pursuits. Agression. Power. Competition.  I’ve found that I don’t really consider the Aces anymore as integral integers in their respective suits, but form a 4-fold, separate “Noble Arcana.” THEN there are the Court Cards, then the pips. (Gladys Knight is nowhere to be seen.) It is the Roots of the Powers of Air. (Ugh. I feel as if I’ve been “put to the Question and recanted my heresy” . . . ! It isn’t really unpleasant but it IS uncomfortable. Burn the heretic! Burn the heretic! (If one had to be immolated in this fashion, I’ve always liked Jacques DeMolay’s parting malediction, summoning the royal house of France (the Capetians) AND the Pope to the throne of God within the year to answer for their crime (killing him) and they all DID die! Jacques was the last, official Grand Master of the Order of the Knights Templar. Live by the Ace of Swords, Die by the Ace of Swords. Ha.)  The Ace in this case (“he’s a poet but he don’t know it ‘cause his feet are L-on-g-f-e-l-l-o-w-s.”) This baby lives in Kether and is ALL of the Fire signs. Like every Ace, it represents the unstructured primary matter of its suit, the undifferentiated unity. 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 Fire (Air, damn it!) Here I believe, since I am already committed to my lazy day, the Ace is simply telling me that I should let my mind work rather than following my emotions only (which are VERY dominant right now due to recently solved “drama.”). It reminds me that the Ace is only the seed, that it needs experience to grow. I shouldn’t and I won’t put any negativity into the paucity of this reading, I just want to post it to show the general majority of draws, because the “showstoppers” are much rarer than one would suppose by my blog. Nevertheless, a reading is what makes it, and today exhaustion and a need for resourcing make this reading a lightly weighted consideration today. (Even if that Ace DOES want me to get off my ass and do something! today.) I am going to take a weekend of my own now, so I will probably be back Tuesday. Thus until then, keep it Zen, kids.  


Friday, September 25, 2015

Good morning and Welcome! to my 2-card Scales of Ma’at daily reading for 25-Sep-2015: the King of Cups, Prince of the Chariot of Waters, and the 9 of Cups, the Lord of Material Happiness. (Today’s day is one of my old friends, *The Hermetic Tarot* by Godfrey Dowson with the Imprimatur of the Golden Dawn. I have a real soft spot and comfortable corner of velvet the Hermetic, as it was HE who carried to me the original interest in the Golden Dawn, an interest beyond mockery. He’s older now and hard of hearing at times, so I dare share with you that I love him DESPITE a bit of weaseliness in his character; notice the adoption of R-W court ranking system but retaining the ORIGINAL title of the Thothic system of A. Crowley. The King is a “Prince of . . .” and it reminds me of an overeager post-grad student who is trying to one-up his counselling professor and yet daren’t differ too far from him for fear of grave offense. Amusing, but only briefly; one moves on. He’s an old friend, so be kind to him, please. Thoth-ish, B-W, it is most definitely a Golden Dawn product, but you love it for all that, too. That being said, if I wanted a slick & professional look to escort Ms. Monroe to the Governor’s Ball, I’d go pure Thoth, leaving Uncle at home with some wine and a good book.) The King of Cups turning up as my Heart today surprised me, initially. I am FAR from being the Master of MY Waters! I just started that giant housecleaning project to dismantle old monsters! But it IS my heart’s desire, to be the king of the Court of my own emotions. This King is subtle, crafty, artistic, (can be) violent and is astride Libra and Scorpio, astrologically. He has a fierce nature, but also a very calm exterior, which is understandable, given his responsibility to rule equitably over the Court of Water. That is where I intend to drive this particular, current chariot I’m escorting; right to the steps of the throne and up, to claim my crown. So rather than today’s Heart, I see this card as today’s Heart’s Hope. The Feather of Truth today is, oddly enough, the 9 of Cups, Lord of Material Happiness; and THIS one I’m reading as sage & sound advice about the possible FOIBLES of kingship! Normally this card delights, yet today, while still delighted, I am also advised: “Remember, Thou art stardust and to stardust you shall return.” Also, remember the difference between the 9 of Disks in a Thoth and the 9 of Cups: the Pentacles are “the Lord of Material GAIN” (emphasis mine) where these are “the Lord of Material HAPPINESS.” That is a BIG difference. This is Jupiter in Pisces, and his angels are Saliah and Aariel. In its’ fullest, simplest sense, of course the card signifies “. . . complete and perfect realization of pleasure and happiness.” (LWB) This isn’t all, though; even upright, it may stand for vanity, conceit and self-praise! He’s a kind, lovable Lord nevertheless, although VERY high-minded and irritated with small and limited ideas. He may appear as full of Folly, as well, but he isn’t. So-o-o, I’m going to read this as a dual reflection card, and the sometimes dual nature of Truth: ‘It is wonderful to be given a kingdom to rule with all of it’s’ bounty; yet, beware! The traps that beset the path of the inattentive man in a demanding role are numerous and naturally, very dangerous.’ This would look like an easy summation of the read, and it is, actually; and with that I am highly pleased. Yet . . . yet, there are times when 2 yearns to be 3, when marriage requires fulfillment. I even have a “standard-for-me” 3-card format that I have used before on these pages. So there are times when I don’t wish to draw a 3rd card for the Scales (as well as inelegant!), as I wish to a dollop more of guidance or wisdom to my “daily dose.” I’ve never been very good at visiting my spirit guide, although we are acquainted and on friendly terms, and a trek to him just to ass that dollop seems excessive. I have decided, therefore, that I shall, OCCASIONALLY, add an I-Ching hexagram in card form from the *I-Ching Dead Moon* set by Luis Royo. I like the art and card format appeals to me, much more than yarrow sticks or coins. Today, on my virgin run with this approach (it has been a LONG time since I’ve broken any of MY cherries!) I have drawn Hexagram #46 SHENG: Earth Over Wind. “The push upwards.” “The wind lifts the earth, the trees fastened by their roots support the lash of the wind and its’ branches move silhouetted in the sky. Personal merit propels us toward a higher position, a continuous process towards an end. The effort and enthusiasm favor the ascent. With interior strength and discipline we climb the long stairway.” (L. Royo) I couldn’t be more delighted! This is “straight from” my Osage heritage (a Native-American tribe) into which I was born as a windworker in a clan otherwise composed purely of healers. They (my family) had no idea how that had happened, but it was OBVIOUSLY the marriage of my Osage mother with my rather Norse/Germanic father and his importation of other archetypes into their project together. I am aware of the INTENSE nature of the relationship between wind and tree, and to be a windworker you must work with trees, as well, otherwise you can neither call nor dismiss her. And the encouragement to “push upwards!” Wow, I’m a bit overloaded with the generous Welcome! of the I-Ching. That “meriting the higher position” and the “push upwards” are ALL about the work I am currently doing “in-house,” dismantling the golems and cleaning out the attics (see previous posts.) As well as, of course, continuing the journey on the Red Road. (The Red Road is the Native-American equivalent of the Tarot’s “Journey” or “Path” through itself.) I am unsure if the I-Ching has a patron god or goddess, but for the moment I shall thank Guanyin, goddess of Mercy, for her generous smile today. I pray she smiles on all of you as well.


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Good morning and Welcome! to my 2-card ‘Scales of Ma’at’ daily reading for 24-Sep-2015: XIV Temperance and the King of Wands, in the respective positions of Heart and Feather of Truth. (Today’s deck is the *Kabbalistic Visions* Tarot set by Marco Marini & Luigi Scapini. [Deck & Book] When I first acquired the set, the deck & I did not become instant fast friends. In fact, it went into my box of “regrettable purchases,” and unfortunately it isn’t cheap. Not remembering our initial failure to gel, I recently re-opened it and took a look. I have identified the problem, of course; a disastrous decision was made when the cards were designed to give them ENORMOUS black borders that do NOTHING to serve the image they contain, which make the cards of unusual & ‘unfriendly’ dimensions, and whose images’ beauty and impact is lost to the reader because it has been shrunk and is most difficult to appreciate in its’ sea of blackness. I have cut off these criminal borders & magnified the images slightly, so these are the cards that I would LIKE to see instead of the perspective-misjudged abortions that they are. That being said, it is, at heart, a WONDERFUL Kabbalistic deck. Symbology and image have been beautifully linked in almost every case, and now I can love this deck among my other chosen children; these were just born, unfortunately, horribly maimed.) I feel peace returning to the Inner Realm after all of the spectacularly stormy weather of the last week or 10 days, when rifts of results & great leaps forward were being tossed in my lap on a 24-7 non-stop cycle; the weather has calmed. And out of the receding weather and into the calmness of the moment comes my dear, dear old friend, Temperance, this time in her avatar of a lovely red dragon, creature of strength. ‘XIV is actually the final card in a certain process known as the Way of the Soul. The dragon’s beautiful red skin is, like ours, a delicate and sensitive organ, and Temperance’s is made of a pelt of zodiacal symbols and “help” represent our melding of the human with the Divine. Ruach, the central part of the individual soul that expresses the sum of our experiences is melting with Neshamah, the Archetypes. The melting produces Yeshida which opens the way to the last three Sephiroth: Kether, Chokmah and Binah. The planets allow an infinite cycle of everyday life by every human being. And it is only through the planets’ dance that we may understand ourselves as part of the Universe, otherwise distant and unreachable.’ (Freely adapted by me from the writings of Marini & Scapini.) The dragon’s forked tongue holds 2 keys, silver and gold, representing respectively the seven “fundamental planets” in their silver amalgam of influence on an individual’s life & choices and the golden key represents the great outer planets are living beings and bring us the ability to analyze our lives in context, and to see beyond into the universal and chthonic beginning of the cycles of self-realization. Without the giant planets’ influence our perception could never encompass the tableau of beauty beyond, the Universe which is the Divine. As the Heart card in my Scalar reading this morning, XIV speaks of continuing patience with obstacle-removal procedures, diplomacy and inner balance. No wild-eyed hare today, thank you! This is the very positive and foundational Heart card of my day. “The Feather of Truth” is represented here by the King of Wands. I must admit that, myself manifesting usually as one of the male roles in the Courts of Air or Fire, I’m not surprised to see the card but a bit surprised to see it today as the “Feather of Truth.” But its’ presence is a kind of divine pat on the back assuring me that everything is ‘on plan’ as planned. The King is pure fire burning out of control, by nature, but here is the Master Incarnation of it. All those green flames are Chokmah aflame: Yod, 10th letter of the Hebrew alphabet stands guard above, as does the tattwa on the opposite side.  This is the “genuine access door” (LWB) to the Astral plane where the King can express the fullness of his power. Under a dome of protection supporting the King is the Tetragrammaton, reminding us how to find the stable form of this unstable force. IT is the feminine who gives form allowing the masculine to develop to its’ full expression without dispersion, which, unusable on the material plane where it generates chaos and destruction. It is ALL beautifully expressed in the image, where there is an eerie echo of my wail, “Why oh why did they have to go and ruin it with that black death border??” Suddenly, my interior cinema comes alight and I see myself starring in a production of “The Pietà.” Grin. Okay, back to “serious.” This card is Wisdom. He is awareness and psychological balance at a fine point. This is what allows the Tetragrammaton to exist WITH him but UNTOUCHED by him. This is a heavy-duty Ma’at card, because it is about Balance and the danger of the absence of harmony. This is a Big Boy card, as in, “I don’t have time, Ma; I’m a Big Boy now.” The energy failure of disharmony is necessary for the seeker to know his limits and make corrections, a process known Kabbalistic ally as “Tikkun.” I see ‘me’ being called to be ME. “You’re a big boy now, Mark, and the Quest, the Journey, the Path, the Red Road, whatever you want to call it, is rising under your feet to lead you through the climax of your movie. Put on your pants, we gotta go.” And so we do. ‘May the Lord of Light and Darkness guide our steps.’   

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Good morning and Welcome! to my 2-card Scales of Ma’at daily reading: the Sky Ace (Ace of Swords) and the Earth 3 (3 of Pentacles.) (Today’s deck is the ‘famous’ or ‘infamous’ *Minoan Tarot* by Ellen Lorenzi-Prince, & object of my recent contretemps with a publishing company that the artist, Ms. Lorenzi-Prince, fixed herself for me after word had filtered through to her. So now I am able to use this beautiful deck without making absurd adjustments. It IS beautiful, and the Minoan-style art of Ms. Lorenzi-Prince is not only inspired but tremendously appropriate. I like the deck. She is also the creatrix of the *Dark Goddess Tarot*.) Last night was a wonderfully social evening with a group of “young people” (early 20s,) gathering here through synchronicity, ended up socializing “en grande” here in our home, under our delighted gaze, participation, and a sort of “imprimatur” as this could be officially considered “an evening” now by the French youth because of the presence of benevolent oldsters. This is a particularly French thing, and the youth are as subject to its implacable laws here as they are not in most other 1st-world countries. Because my wife and I are childless and welcoming to the young, we have “good rep” in the city. Grin. It is also, of course, of inestimable aide that I smoke herb freely and openly. This adds the cherry on the top of the cake. We ARE an eccentric couple – “but it’s a good thing, dude.” Therefore, yesterday’s victory of Love & Recognition bore delightful fruit in the evening. Today, for my Heart, I have drawn the Sky Ace (Ace of Swords.) It is a surprising image for this Ace, isn’t it? However, the LWB has a wonderful little interpretation by the artist that makes perfect sense; “The desire for change is only the beginning. Do not lose what is present through lack of attention. Try everything. Discover what it means to be alive.” (Ellen-Lorenzi-Prince) And really, seen from a certain direction in a certain light, it is a perfect way to see the Ace of Swords, or here the Sky Ace. The “martial” element is not present in this “psychic version” of Tarot; in THIS culture, in THIS Art, it is seen as that explosion like the birth of a star. And in the context of my life, it is perfectly appropriate here, as I still caper in happiness that I have initiated the golem’s self-destruction inside the palace, to profit from this star-explosion of energy and emotion in the Grand Project. Remember, however, this Ace tells me, you had free elements BEFORE the event with you that are still important; don’t lose sight of them in the carnival festivities! Today I’m not feeling moved to haul in all the Kabbalistic and alchemical drag in which these cards today can be dressed; So I’m going to take today’s Ace at “face value” here, today, for now. The “Feather of Truth” card today is the Earth 3 (3 of Pentacles). My very first reaction was surprise! that today’s feather was represented in an “event.” Yet the image of that antelope is provocative, playful and VERY curious!    Read the artist’s interpretation of what her “Earth Three” card meant to HER, and I could EASILY see it as her symbol for the concepts behind the 3 of Pentacles. That said, let the Antelope speak for itself, via the LWB, of course; “Look to other cultures for inspiration. Communication is the key to success. Speak from the heart. You hold the potential for beauty and originality in your hands.” Again, a side of this manifestation of the Earth 3 was beautifully arranged & displayed yesterday evening; but there is a smile there for and from me in there, as well, as recently I have been having long, serious conversations with several DEDICATED younger people who have arrived at a point that my generation saw as well, but differently. When Woodstock and the “hippies” and “flower power” and the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco was the hippie gone-to-heaven, there was Vietnam and here in France the whole ’68 “Revolution in the Streets” had just happened, and blah blah blah. THESE youths have arrived at that point, too, but their dedication and “soul-drive” is learning how to make viable alternative-style communal living a reality before we destroy ourselves and a great deal of the good green Earth. They have plans. They are buying land. They are already building in certain very carefully selected locations. When this civilization falls, this “empire” which has held sway a good number of millennia is finally forced to feed its own body into the burning belly of Moloch, they want that these communities be ALREADY established havens where we ARE going to learn to live differently, in HARMONY, with our universe. My original cynicism has given way to a blossoming awe at how far they have already thought this through and progressed in manifesting it as a reality. I find that ALL of this is EXACTLY what that Earth 3 is communicating. Therefore I’m being told today, that, “Yes, Mark, today’s Feather of Truth is that these ideas and original creations are important, pay attention because they already ARE of importance to you, as you will see.” I rather like that. I feel very much like I have just paid a more-or-less ritual visit to my spirit guide and instead of finding him at home, I found he was absent but in his stead the Antelope had been left on notice that I might appear, and if so, to speak to me if it would of what it would.  I liked that very much, too. I am most thankful to the Antelope for his words to me today, and I will retain his advice. And, of course, I shall continue to profit from the calming-down carnival going on over in front of the palace. I feel that I have received what I need, a restful reading which nevertheless gave me indications for my Journey today. I wish at least as much for all of you who read these words this morning, and may the Lord of Light and Darkness guide your steps.  


Monday, September 21, 2015

Good morning and Welcome! to my 2-card Scales of Ma’at daily reading for 22-Sep-2015: the 3 of Swords reversed and the 8 of Swords. (Today’s deck is, again, one which was “delivered” to me this a.m. by my “card cat”, Wendy, one of our 4 and the serious card reader of the group. [Cat owners will understand.] I already had in mind a deck I wished to use, but one doesn’t ignore the Goddess. Today’s deck is *The Lilith Bible Tarot Deck* by Lorelei Douglas [I mistakenly called her ‘Lorelei Lee’ in my first post on her deck, thinking, of course, of Marilyn Monroe in “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.” She is also the creatrix of *The Golden Age of Hollywood Tarot*, which I would recommend as much as I do this current one. Her decks work, and they do it magically well. Yet there is something in this one, *Lilith*, that is spiritually magnetic in an undefinable way.) After yesterday’s Rocket to the Stars reading, I experienced an unusually “active” day emotionally; I was consumed with my reading, with my emotions, and with yesterday’s Big Decision the “seams” started to come apart on my first golem; The Great Sarcasm has begun his decomposition. I shed a LOT of tears yesterday, many of them happy, many of them tears of sheer relief that I have decided to do what I am doing. It was a GOOD day, but an exhausting one. So today, as I prayed to the Lord of Light and Darkness to aide me in his Wisdom, I had no idea, but a small hope, that today might perhaps, maybe, please? be just a little lighter for me.  It’s funny what the cards give you, sometimes; and I don’t mean funny ha-ha. I pulled the 3 of Swords reversed as my “Heart” today, and I didn’t even wonder one little bit, I knew, “Oh Lord, I’m free at last.”  The card can be interpreted as a blockage or refusal to deal with the Pain, thus even increasing its’ hold; but NOT today, not for me. This 3 speaks directly to my relief on the dismantling of the golems and the emergence of my heart, my REAL heart, not that hard ruby jewel I used to say was my heart. The “life-force” of that continuously open wound is gone, I have withdrawn it. The reversal of the 3 says THIS to me, a more alchemical reading, and not the other meaning which became attached for its own (negative) reasons. I am, however, being “witnessed” in my recovery by the mysterious and seductive 8 of Swords, a goddess by any other name. One white shoulder, a bared back, a swirling chinchilla wrap, and a crowned pearl snood all pale in comparison with the glow in her green, green eyes. And those eyes are looking at me, inexpressibly emotive, not in thanks but something else, something deeper, for by healing my wound I am setting her free. The bars of her prison are already rising away, and she will be let go to live her existence as Vital Life Force, as Libido. Her bars were my blocks. She, too, had been a prisoner of the golems, but that is over, now. I do not know if I shall ever meet this woman in this form ever again, I KNOW that, but the deed is done; I looked into her eyes, and I am in love. I am in love with whom I have set free, and I DO SO wish her well. She is, of course, always with me, but inside now, in a heart that now has room for her. I may never meet THIS beauty again, but we have each other’s love and recognition. And for today, for me, that is victory: Love and Recognition.

“Today is the only day. Yesterday is gone.” John Wooden   

Good morning and Welcome! to my 2-card Scales of Ma’at daily reading of 21-Sep-2015: the Ace of Vessels (Cups) and VII the Chariot. My heart quite literally “jumped with delight,” like the fish, to see that card. My heart and I have been spending a LOT of time together lately, in complicated, byzantine negotiations about MY necessity to “clean house” before we can progress any further, and he holding on for dear life to the very things that he considers life-sustaining and self-justifying. It’s like being back in kindergarten and trying to teach a recalcitrant child what is right and what is wrong and why and why not we mustn’t or shouldn’t do certain things, and the reverse. Hell, I’m assuming he’s old enough for kindergarten! I have been giving a LOT of thought to the “kind” of person I am, and if I like him, and what I would change about him if I could. THIS is combined with a twin thought-process thread of literally voyaging into my heart and first, looking around, and second, deciding what stuff needs to be taken out of that attic and burned in a ceremonial pile in the yard. And I’m looking at a LOT of stuff! Sixty-three years of accumulated emotions, some just skeletons now, others still rotting corpses contributing to the general stink, and still others actively at work trying to decide which way to go because they are “actively” lost. Yet I notice something; the rickety-rackety frameworks holding this enormous pile of dead and rotting emotion together can be glimpsed here and there through the oozing gobbets of detached feelings. And I KNOW them! Oh yes, I know them very intimately, because I built them with my own hands, joint by joint, pipe by pipe, and seam by seam, and when I was done with him first, he stood and named himself; “I Am The Great Sarcasm.” I then worked feverishly, as possessed as ever Dr. Frankenstein could ever have been, to build him a companion, alike to him in every way except even stronger, even more solid, even more pitiless. Then she stood, and named herself; “I Am The Great Naysayer – NOTHING Shall Pass ME And Thrive.” And then, weak with exhaustion, abuse and the air of lies that circulated in the Memory Palace, I closed the attic door, locked it, and threw the key out the window to fall a thousand feet below into the vast and uncaring ocean. Then away I went, to fill the palace with the furniture of my life, which ALL existed under the high and unreachable realm of Sarcasm & Pitilessness. I made a decision this past period of time, recently enough, that this was a BIG job, but one that I can do, cleaning out the attic. But I need to start now where I started then; I must disassemble Sarcasm. He’s easily reachable (I left backdoors, like any reasonable programmer does!), and I must begin the rather pitiless work itself of undoing that which I thought would, and DID! For a long time! work to protect me against that monstrously cruel world I was learning to survive in outside of the palace.  The upshot of all of this is that I have decided to actively try and stop being sarcastic and mean-spirited in my being as it shows itself to the world. I shall WORK at removing sarcasm from my rather formidable intellect and nearly-implacable will, and I will try, by the Lords of Light and Darkness! I will try, to be a nicer, gentler, more empathic person. My empathy is already high, Sarcasm and The Great Naysayer couldn’t enslave her, and therefore I think she’ll breathe the healthier air outside easier than her brothers and sisters, at first. My goal is to free the children from the attic, and to stop the work of the two beings I originally created to protect myself. Pitilessness will not long survive the fall of her other half, I hope. (I pray!) And from HER fall, I expect, FINALLY, the Sun to shine through all of the multicolored mullioned windows of my palace and to bring his nourishing Light. VII, the Chariot. I have been seeing a LOT of VII lately, and I DO mean a LOT! He’s turning up in all sorts of odd ways – the other day, I received as an unexpected gift a large colored drawing of VII, the Chariot. I thought, “What the hell?” But I tucked it away in the folio of things I intend to take and have framed on the next go-round. I did not connect until just recently the process in alchemy called sublimation and the Chariot (thanks to R.M. Place for that.) Sublimation is when your “matter” is in the vessel and you heat it to such a high degree that it bypasses becoming a liquid and instead jumps to stage 3, gaseous form. This, of course, is considered of “purer quality” than one having passed through the three stages. So Phaeton is driving the Chariot of his father, Apollo the Sun God, and of course he is inexperienced and swooping high & low, causing calamitous weather along his course. He’s rushing for his goal, you see, and with Mercury, Salt and Sulphur marking both his goal and his vehicle, he is seeing the Beginning of Time, those chemical symbols marking the birth of the soul and all alchemical essences. Our (My) Charioteer, this “impetuous youth” (and yes, I believe there are parts of me, large parts, even at 63, that are STILL This Impetuous Youth,) sees his goal (the dismantling of Sarcasm and Cleaning the Attic) and he rushes forward to it, because, quite frankly between just you and me I WANT to go back to that loving ‘state’ from which I originally came! Today I have, am being given, an opportunity to begin the work that I so desperately wish to accomplish, because I wish to save myself. I am the only one who can do it. Ms. Meleen’s (a deck creatrix & more) hexagram choice yesterday got me really roiled, it made me think, “Who do I think I am?”  I won’t repeat it here, but I will end with this: “This action can, at times, be immature and impetuous. But at other times, it can be what is needed to overcome fear and procrastination.” (Robert M. Place)   

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Good morning and Welcome! to my Scales of Ma’at today, the 20 Sep 2015: the 3 of Cups and the Ace of Disks. My, my, my, how quickly the tune changes! I haven’t been having particularly dark readings lately, but THIS one is so filled with Light, Love & Creation that one could be blamed for thinking my luck had taken a dramatic turn for the better! Now, if you’ve paid attention to the large legal warning nailed to my forehead by the government that the Tarot is for “Entertainment purposes” and nothing else, I’ll tell you that these mean you’re going to find a friend today and the two of you shall come up with a great material idea. Then you could laugh, say, “Sure, bloke, pull the other one!” Hahaha.  However, if you DON’T live in one of those benighted, bedeviled countries, I can speak a bit more to you (me) about your cards. Let’s look at my “1st card off the Wheel,” the 3 of Cups. Sure – joyous reunion, the possibility of imbibing a bit too much, but a trio of friends celebrating together. Well – yes and no. That trio is the three phases of the Moon, and the Dark of the Moon has been replaced with an act of Love under the canopy of the Chariot., and the 3 is the Lord of Abundance (it really should be the Lady of Abundance, but I’m not getting into another fuckin’ endless argument with Aleister!) Besides, we can fit the Lord into the schema of things, especially considering the next card (not yet!) Out of the 3 Cups rise three hands, holding the Pomegranate, the Golden Apple and a sheaf of wheat. Do I really need to repeat “the three phases of Woman” bit for you all? I thought not, you’re smart (you found this blog, didn’t you?) That curious little cross and shield with canopy below, by the way, IS the act of Love; lingam enter yoni, taking place under the starry canopy of the Chariot. She is ruled by Mercury in Cancer, but look at Cancer for a moment; Its’ decans are ruled by III the Empress, I the Magus and II the Priestess. The Big Three. Makes you wonder what is so damn important in finding this “lost” companion, or whatever? I believe that yes, there is joy in the finding, and happiness in the celebration, BUT there’s a servant at the back of the Chariot, whispering in my ear, “Remember; enjoy it NOW, it is evanescent.” Now isn’t the time to worry about the bill for this shindig you’re throwing, but don’t forget, it WILL be presented. (This is perfectly analogous to my physical health; I KNOW I’m paying the bill NOW for all those past years of decadence and living very large. However, knowing it will be presented and then seeing the actual sum are two different things!) This card goes on and on and on, but it seems so simple & pretty, doesn’t it? “Look at the pretty picture, Virginia; it will distract you from the fact that you are pregnant;” And WOW!!! Is She pregnant! She is the Root of the Powers of Earth, and ALL that implies. (I’ve changed J.S. Bach for Rihanna, so buckle up.) If I was going to tell Mr. Noodle on the street to give me the name of the Tetragrammaton, he’d bash me with his umbrella and move on. But this Ace is the final letter, Yod-Hè-Vau-Hè. And once you pronounce the name of “God,” you start again, you repeat it. (There is probably a tale somewhere of some anchorite rising into the clouds by meditating on the Tetragrammaton by itself, but I don’t know of it.) You know, what do you say about the Totality of Malkuth in front of you? I wouldn’t be saying much, my jaw would be on the floor, the spectacle is SO dazzling and overwhelming. Spirit made flesh. Filtered through the Sephiroth, Malkuth is the ultimate Disneyland.  Remember, the Princess of Disks is the “throne” of the Ace, and she is so strongly “recalled” by the 3 that she is almost present there, but she makes a late entrance like the Court Royalty amongst whom she belongs. Her baby? Oh, that’s Harpocrates, the twin of Horus and the Lord of Silence. Do you remember the 4 Laws? He is #4, “To Be Silent.” He is “also the mystical absorption of the work of creation, the Hè final of the Tetragrammaton.” (Meleen) (How odd – the words Thelema and Agape just jumped off my desk onto my feet, and there is NO breeze here in my study this morning.) By the way, did you know that, geographically, this Ace represents Europe and Africa? I didn’t. The Princess is ALL OVER Aries, Taurus & Gemini, whereas our 3 was Cancer. We can make it blend, I’m sure we can, I just need to find that damn Philosopher’s Stone, now where did I put it? (Speaking of stones & crystals! I ALWAYS wear citrine for its regenerative essences; I even have enough of them, ranging in size from 362 carats to tiny tiny, that if I had the money, I’d make myself a citrine crown, too. Back to the point – I keep a sack of stones next to my reading mat, and sometimes, NOT always, I ask Ma’at if I need to adjust my ‘crystal energies’ for the day. I did, today, and she was unequivocal, I need to wear sapphires and diamonds today, so I’ll search my rings. I believe I own 1 sapphire ring – I’m not as entranced by them as other stones. But they have made me think of Anastacia, so she’s on. Rock the neighbors at 9 a.m.!) My wife (she has a name – Jeanne – don’t forget it. And yeah, that’s a threat! Ha! I call her the Countess; she is, actually, the 22nd comtesse de Quelquedis, [poor as shit!]. The only family she knows intimately that is older than hers is mine – my Indian genealogy goes WAY WAY back.) As a French “aristocrat,” she is dyed-in-the-wool Catholic, but NEVER interferes in my beliefs. The Great Spirit blesses her for that.)Back to the cards – finally! – So, let’s give Mark his ha’penny worth of Fortune at the Brighton Pier Fortune Machine: “You will meet an old friend today and make plans for the future.” Well – perhaps. Yes, perhaps I shall “re-find” a person from my past, but good Geb, look at Facebook! You can have more “old friends” than Jesus on FB. And as for the festivities, don’t worry; I’m keeping a third eye on the mounting bill. The Ace excites me; Malkuth generally treats me VERY well, (well, not lately, but that’s just cash flow.) And besides, (and this marvels Jeanne – I don’t care if we ARE broke, because money means very very little to me. Having grown up with it, I never “learned the value of a dollar,’ to quote every single American father. If I have it, I have it; if I don’t, I don’t. What’s the worry? Go ahead; tell me about rent and food and electricity and autos and petrol and all the else – I DON’T CARE. Is there earth to sleep on? Is there wild food available? Have I found a relatively safe cave? Then I’m fine! I exaggerate a LITTLE, but not much. Money means so little to me, and yet it rules this Malkuth. Why? Why aren’t WE ruling Malkuth? (Political warning: as I get older, I become more and more an advocate of open rebellion in the streets. Tear down the banks! the stock markets! the fortresses of Money! and let’s start again; besides, Gaea isn’t giving us much time at all to straighten out our act.) Floating that “balloon,” if you will, of the ACE is Babalon and the Beast combined, mother and son and yet not, floating in a cloud of numbers being 666 and 156 (the Sun). The Sun and Materiality – that’s a lot, eh?

To finish off, I’m going to borrow from M.M. Meleen again, who ‘borrowed’ from the Tao Te Ching; “Those who know do not talk. Those who talk do not know. Keep your mouth closed. Guard your senses. Temper your sharpness. Simplify your problems. Mask your brightness. Be at one with the dust of the Earth. This is primal union. He who has achieved this state is unconcerned with friends and enemies. With good and harm, with honor and disgrace. This therefore is the highest state of man.”   

Friday, September 18, 2015

Good morning and Welcome! to my 2-card Scales of Ma’at reading for 19 Sep 2015: the Knight of Vessels and the 4 of Vessels. Ha! Well, no mistaking the message’s topic today, is there? It is my emotion(s), my unconscious. I go through a morning ritual when I start my day, like most of us. Feed the cats; take your pills; prepare the timer-carafe for my wife, make a cup of coffee for myself; and, finally with the have-tos all accomplished, I am able to turn to the pleasure of my morning, drawing the cards. (We are going to assume there was no drama choosing a deck today.) I light the candles, I prepare the reading mat, and I “clean” the table of extraneous shit. I put on my Tarot music (Yes, there are discs & discs of it!), light the incense if I want some that day, and then I pray. I pray to the Lord of Light and Darkness, I pray to the Cosmos, not some insane demiurge that has been left regretfully in charge. Then comes all the hoo-rah with the cards (for which our cat Wendy is unfailingly present, watching; I fantasize that she is Bastet’s representative keeping an eye on things. She went so far as to reject a choice, once, and substitute another; and let it all be damned! if it wasn’t more appropriate!) Now, I’m going to tell you a groaner, but continue, please; I put Cher’s Greatest Hits (Vol.1) on this a.m. instead of soothing Tarot music. You all degrade & diminish her, now, but she was my generation’s diva (& come on, I’m bi-, did you expect me NOT to like her?), and her music means things to me. Funnily enough, with her playing, I get an all-Vessels draw. If you read me at all, you know that Cups and I are ALWAYS on shaky ground, even at the best of times, but today has me nailed, I’m afraid.  Just look at that poor Knight of Vessels, lifting his jug to “verify” the water; what is he doing, “verifying his unconscious?” He doesn’t even see it but he has the great good luck to have a fish leap out of the water to greet him: encouraging? Warning? A friendly presence? How about the truth, she is the messenger and the symbol that the Queen of this suit is watching me (maybe smiling? Oh I do so hope. . . .) She wants me to explore, she NEEDS me to explore, or else we’re stuck. My Knight screams Synchronicity at me, and I’m so used to that that I’ll simply nod my head in affirmation. Of course, it could be a telegram informing me that Liliane Bettencourt (the richest woman in France) has finally died and, surprise! the legatee is me! Ha. I doubt that, but a friend keeps pushing Creative Visualization on me, so . . . who knows? (I do NOT visualize Mrs. Bettencourt’s death!). Back to topic: no, this Knight wants me to explore my unconscious, & my emotions, today. I say that ESPECIALLY in light of my “feather” card (heart & feather, remember?) today, the 4 of Vessels. This is a surprisingly illustrated card and makes me smile bigtime, every time, until I remember his/her signification. That magnificent elephant is perfectly balanced upon those 4 vessels; but does he DARE move? If we follow Robert’s read (Robert Place, the creator of the deck) these vessels represent emotional complexes he’s balanced upon but cannot disturb. Again, Robert: “. . . the Anima Mundi is not happy because we have stopped evolving and growing.” (pg.210)  “Ya gotta break a Vessel, man, maybe ALL of them.”  I’m (more or less) comfortable, and I’ve settled into emotional, unconscious habits because, as far as I knew, this is as Happy as it is getting. I’m wrong, naturally. (It is amazing how that phrase becomes more & more familiar the older one grows!) At the end of a reading yesterday, when the client & I were just chitchatting, I mentioned that I KNOW the Journey goes on, that spiritual progression beyond this plane is NOT a madman’s fancy. She’s 24; she nodded agreement, but her eyes were one big question mark. Also, she had lost a family member VERY young and that puts a big rock right into the middle of your river, forcing you to find a way around it. She had a “good” reading; she has several decisions to make, and pronto! But enough about her, let’s talk about me, Me, ME! (I felt very “Norma Desmond” writing that – LOL.)  IF I’m not mistaken, Knights normally carry Swords, so perhaps me the Knight can take a might swing and break those vessels myself, freeing the “elephant in the room.” But oh good Geb and Nuit, I don’t like messing around with my emotions – they are SO all-over-the-place! That, of course, means my “emotional knots” have to either be A) untied or B) treated like the Gordion Knot and simply cut through by the Knight. Knowing me (and yes, I do, despite what you may think of my ramblings), that Knight is going to swing one, mighty blow and simply sever the knots. ‘That’s the way I roll, baby. Hop on, or eat my dust!”  I SO need a teacher for navigating my emotions, but the Cosmos seems to be telling me, “Hey, fella, you are a big boy now. You carry a sword, too.”  If I just didn’t want so many fucking answers, I’d be better off. Like my father always says, “It’s better to be lucky than smart.” He’s also the first to tell me, “If YOU can’t figure it out, I don’t know who can; You’re the smartest person I know.”  He’s not sending mixed messages; he’s just being my Dad. With Mom gone, Dad is proving to be an amazing source of joy for me. I’m going to leave you today with a few of {{shudder}} Cher’s lyrics: “Beneath the white fire of the moon // Love's wings are broken all too soon  // We never learn //Hurt together, hurt alone  // Don't you sometimes wish // Your heart was a heart of stone.”   

Good morning and Welcome! to the 2-card Scales of Ma’at today, 18 Sep 2015: 0 the Fool and the 5 of Pentacles; so-called “misery.” (Today’s deck is *The Alchemical Tarot: Fourth Revised Edition* by, of course, Robert M. Place. A winner.) It isn’t, of course, rather let’s think of it as “Privation,” for then it can be read in a much more useful manner. I find the Fool very elegantly turned out indeed, for the start of the journey. Except that he has been blindfolded, which you often don’t see on Tarot cards of 0 the Fool. There is no yawning chasm but instead a rabbit hole (“remind you of anything Alice?”) He’s red-headed, supposedly a fey color and one signifying traffic with the supernatural – if you are from Plumpit, Tuscany, in the 13th century. In general, however, in the Middle Ages a “ginger” was not a favorable sign. So, I have Me, the Fool, born already with a certain amount of bad luck and devil-take-the-hindmost! About me. ready to set off, guided by magical rabbit (another alchemical sign of good fortune) and really fairly even ground for the star to guide me. Being Mercury, I’m quick, and I’m also heraldic, but in this case I have nothing to herald except my arrival. The other, PRIMORDIAL thing that 0 the Fool does is put me in the Way-back Machine to the MINDSET I had at the beginning of the journey, the “OK, let’s see what happens if I step out of my role!” 0 the Fool is a warning, too, if you are already walking the Path – DON’T LOSE TOUR INNOCENCE and your Spirit of Adventure. “All I have to do is finish you now, incomplete, and you’ll have to go back & start all over again:” Appreciate what you’ve learned while keeping your mind open and your mouth shut. I always feel a bit stupid & lost when I pull 0 the Fool to represent me (or in this case, my heart) but I have to admit to a great advantage here & now: the heart of a Fool is lighter than air because it contains no knowledge of any kind! Let the heart come back and be weighed at around 15 or 16, and THEN we’ll see if the 42 Negative Confessions are truthful when spoken from my yap. Go ahead, look up the 42 Negative Confessions, and tell me that you can recite them without lying, IF you are a grown adult. You can’t. Moses covered 10 of the basics, but the Egyptians were thorough!  OK, so Jack (the Rabbit) and I are off on our travels to discover the wide world and the wonders that inhabit it. And to whom do I run into right out on the Path? That’s right, the 5 of Pentacles, another “what an odd card!” Misery, poverty, hard times, yakyakblahblah, yes, we all know that; BUT look what’s going on. She/he is bypassing the town: he KNOWS there is no charity there, just as on more traditional depictions of the 5 you’ll see beggars walking past a church with its doors CLOSED, or NO DOORS at all. Your journey has cut you off from Christian succor. You KNEW that going on this journey was going to take the blindfold off, open your eyes, and see the Truth around you – reality is a suffering illusion that one MUST live through to gain the other side. You didn’t know traditional religions and systems of support would be closed to you? – then you are either a liar or an unrepentant Idiot. The Path is one of many, and CERTAINLY THE BEST, for leaving the trail of sheepdom and slavery. And look at our beggar, SURROUNDED by wealth if he will only see it! Did you notice the Pentacles are the 4 Elements? Did you notice he’s missing his right foot, not his left? That he still has the right hand upturned to ask “Heaven” for guidance & sustenance? The beggar passes by the town BECAUSE he knows that what he seeks isn’t there. And look, the Star is still shining on him, bigger & brighter than ever. Necessity of hardship is something we must ALL face. It is being thrown up on my board this morning to remind me that I’m just the Fool on the Journey, that my wife and I are in a moderately severe money crunch NOW BUT IT WON’T LAST FOREVER, and ABOVE ALL, take a look around me at the treasures that are just literally lying on the ground at my feet and I won’t see them, concentrated as I am on my empty hand. Look Down, Look Up, Mark!! You are being offered the Elements, and you don’t see it. By the way, just in case you were wondering, the lost left leg is the body part he has to give up to attain this stage, SO FAR. (It only makes me grin a bit nervously that all the leg trouble I’ve recently had is the left leg, also.) Son all in all, today I’m being upbraided, not only for wanting to return to simpler ignorance and for my blindness to the riches that DO surround me. Therefore today I will take a more forceful, positive attitude about my “fortune:” I can deal with my life – it is my most precious possession.” (app.)    

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Good morning and Welcome! to my 2-card Scales of Ma’at reading today, 17 Sep 2015: IV the Emperor and the Queen of Pentacles. (The deck today is *The Lilith Bible Tarot Deck* by Lorelei Lee, the author of the previous *Halloween Tarot.* I have rarely worked with a deck SO beautiful and detailed. It makes me want to blow the cards up to life-size so I can see Everything! I sometimes seem insincere with overfulsome praise, but you are going to want this deck; Trust Me.  I praise Lorelei to the skies for the work that went into this jewel!) So today my Heart comes up rather boldly and directly as IV the Emperor. You know, it is a funny thing about emperors, but everyone forgets the Responsibility of the post. Pictures of mad Nero fiddling while Rome burned to the ground (he didn’t and it didn’t) are popular but misguided. Being Emperor sucked a man dry, just as the American Presidency today. You DON’T come out looking unchanged, you come out looking like you’ve just been to Hell and didn’t know if you were going to make it back. I was thinking of all this while watching the last Palaeologus Emperor lose Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks in a movie. The Byzantine Empire was corrupt and all but dead anyway, but the passing of an empire is something to note.  I was thinking, “That Emperor has got to do EVERYTHING, his ministers are weasels, and he has to even take to the walls to fight the invaders!” He rolled in luxury for a while, of course, but the price was his Life. I’m not that attached to life that I couldn’t give it up for the good of many, or even a few, but it is the day-to-day responsibility that is CRUSHING. Luckily in Tarot we only see a figure of Power, but I think we should look underneath, too, at the sheer WEIGHT of it. Our Emperor here is naked, and yet he seems clothed in his royalty. The 4 animals all look like, “Have you got something to say about that? I thought not!”  What is he watching? He is watching someone/thing approach, and he looks a bit trepidatious about it. I’m glad I feel Emperor-ish today, and use it. He’s lifting me up out of a reasonless down-in-the-dumps state and helping me feel royal again. If this is my Heart today, I gladly submit it to Ma’at to be judged. What is it being weighed against, what Feather of Truth could possibly overwhelm me?  Ahah! The Amma (Queen) of Pentacles! She is EVERYTHING from which I just walked away. Look at her, really LOOK: she has it all, doesn’t she, from the fruits of the earth to sexuality incarnate, and this Lady has it going on. And to top it off, she offers me my RIGHTFUL place as King, rolling in abundance and luxury. Don’t get it wrong, there is NOTHING wrong with her; she is a gifted being. But she’s not what I want anymore, and I realized that a while back. Wealth, riches, gold, leopard skins and barbaric luscious princesses waiting for my calming and seductive touch were THEN, they are not NOW. I think Ma’at is asking me, “Are you sure? This can still happen if I wish it, or you may continue, unknowing and without help, to walk the Path of the Chosen. Choose.”  (That’s a bit of exaggeration on her part – you get clues & help ALL the time! You just have to know how to read them!) I loved her, you know, that Amma. I really did, but a being that can’t grow, can’t progress, is ultimately the most boring person in the Universe. I DON’T plan to be one of those lost and helpless souls.  

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Good morning and Welcome! to my Scales of Ma’at 2-card reading for 12 sep 2015: The Ace of Cups and the 7 of Swords, with a little help from our friend the charioteer. (Today’s deck is *The Byzantium Tarot* by John Matthews & Cilla Conway. I have a weakness for all things Byzantine and especially the Empire, so these cards feel good to me. Beautiful, iconic-style art, fabulous colors, and good scenes reminding one that Byzantium was a Naval empire more than a terrestrial one. Water = Emotions. I find that loving Byzantium is very much a matter of memory of the heart, so the cards deeply please me.) I start with a glorious, magnificent agate chalice, the Ace of Cups. It hovers above water & land, and the Dove descends upon it. I should have family love & emotional contentment: the former in basketfuls, yes, but the latter is always shadowed by my desire to complete the Path. I can feel the Cup in me, the home & family, the “feast & opulence,” the Joy & Delight of the Ace of Cups, these things are present in my life WHEN I WANT THEM. Faced across from the Cup is the 7 of Swords, here depicted as a sea battle. The secret weapon of the Byzantines was Greek Fire, a kind of early napalm, composed of pine resin, naphtha, quicklime & sulphur. Launched by catapult, when one hit an enemy troop formation or a vessel, it simply burst into unquenchable fire; the Byzantines were greatly feared because of it. It was pumped out of pressurized hoses, as well, on troops attacking the city walls. I am OFTEN full of Greek Fire. IF I’m going to “judge this card on its’ looks,” then I’m looking at hope, believe in myself, and with help (Greek fire) I can overcome the odds. It is about Perseverance, strategy & Cunning, which is where it just borders a “normal” 7 of Swords in most other decks. I’m not talking much about Kabbalistic meanings, but in Constantinople at the height of Empire there would have been charm sellers, “witches” and “occult personalities” by the fistfuls. What their knowledge was, centuries-sifted Roman beliefs along with ideas brought in from the East (like the Pantocrator, for example), and all of it would have made for a heavy, Christian-dominated brew. Well, all of this is fine. A loving, beginning Ace of Cups and a combative, piss-in-their-eye Byzantine captain vanquishing superior forces; but nothing, and I mean NOTHING, ties these together. That means I have to crave Ma’at’s forgiveness and throw a third card directly on the weighing arm: VII The Charioteer! Yeah! I was recently gifted with a large, card-at-random art print, and it was this, VII the Charioteer. Now he isn’t who springs to mind when I’m contemplating favorite cards, but perhaps he should. He’s Johnny-On-The-Spot, he’s willing to go ANYWHERE for me, and he is adored everywhere in the Empire that he goes because he’s a charioteer, a “modern gladiator;’ the races were the be-all and end-all of Byzantine sporting events. The Hippodrome occupied the center of the city, and played a far larger part in politics than imagined. IF I’m called to do anything by this card, it is to take the Ace of Cups to the warring lieutenant and let him drink of its’ calming brew; and I al to take back the lieutenant to remind the feasting and celebrating Byzantines that the barbarians are at the gated and it is time to get off their asses and organize a defense. I’m a go-between today, between pacific, warring feelings and the realm of the calm & joyous. I’m hoping this is a civilized era and the messenger isn’t executed if he brings bad news . . . and I really don’t have a favorite in these races? The monotheistic fervor of “You WILL search for God/Allah!” or the Byzantine obsession with the glories of the faith and the mercy of the Mother. So, we’ll see how this goes, but good Zeus! look at the energies: Water in the Kether of Briah, Netzach in Yetzirah and bridging them Cancer, a Water sign, with the Moon & Jupiter tripping the light fantastic in the background, as the Moon keeps showing up. So, Mark, go-between time today, and depend on your intuition and not you logic this time around. “With the Ace of Cups in your heart, go forward one step at a time, on task at a time, and I will move through Life triumphantly.’   

Friday, September 11, 2015

Good afternoon and Welcome to the Scales of Ma’at for the 11 Sep 2015: the King of Cups and the 7 of Wands. (Today’s deck is *The Fountain Tarot* by J. Saiz, J. Gruhl and A. Todaro. Very, very good deck!) I drew this late today, because I needed a full morning’s sleep, the body just said “No!” when I woke up at the usual 5 a.m. Also, out of a sense of misplaced obligation, I drew the cards (*Le Tarot des Alchimistes*) and they were utterly at odds, confusing, and although I hesitate to say it, full of shit. I, of course, was at fault, trying to read while groggy, exhausted, out-of-sorts and with a burning desire to re-bed myself. Now I have a more comprehensible draw, after having had some much-need rest and restoration (unfortunately there were no dancing hula boys & girls with which to refresh myself!) Although he is a FAR cry from my normal state of things, I was more than a little surprised to see the King of Cups, as he and I are barely acquainted and don’t like each other much anyway – I think he’s a wishy-washy bleeding heart who doesn’t really want to be king, and he sees me as a barbarian. I’d gladly snatch the crown off his decapitated head, but it is enchanted; it disappears if won by violence. It won’t reappear until a new king has proven himself on the Fields of Compassion. (Shitty enchantments.)  I think the King is more of a passing fancy here, a moment when I can rise above myself and live in Emotional Harmony for a day or so. He is, after all, Lord of the Waves and Waters, King of the Hosts of the Sea, and I do have a heavy emotional response to the ocean. He’s mainly in Aquarius but covers a good chunk of Pisces, too, but, unfortunately, he is the Fire of Water, and that means Steam, and a lot of it, and thus blindness; you can’t see where you’re going or who’s grabbing your gherkin in the sauna. As I said, I can DO him, but I don’t like him much. (He’s a hypocrite, too, one of my most detested qualities in others.)  Luckily I’ve got someone a bit more reliable riding shotgun, the 7 of Wands. The 7 showed up the other day, as well, mainly to give me a shot of “Valor,” and I suspect it is here today for the same reason. He’s Mars in Leo, a LOT closer to home for me (Aries) than the King up there. And lives in Netzach of Atziluth, again waters I’ve the habit of navigating, even though I can’t say I favor a re-passage, far from it. However, he DOES address disturbed equilibrium, and that is probably why the king is showing up, too = both are here to re-inforce a “Cool your jets, Mark!! Cool down and think!!” reaction from me to something that is on the horizon (probably self-induced.) That something is, doubtless, “And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?” (Yeats)  Well, that’s a bit grand, I admit, but you get the idea. Look at the guy on the 7 of Wands – this guy is brave. He’s got 6 Wands attacking him, and he isn’t cowering, he’s full-open striking back at the source of betrayal; and look how he has to turn back down the stairs to deal with it, he’s being attacked from behind or stabbed in the back by traitors. However, the 7 has an inner sense on how battles will work out, can ignore anyone & anything and always has a witty remark. That’s me, too, sort of . . . .  So, it looks as if today the message is “Stay calm no matter what, and if called upon to do battle, be fearless and take the battle to them.” “Them” is probably on the interior as well, as I can’t think of any gang series of Crips/Bloods wars happening in my neighborhood now or soon. So, “I welcome life and embrace opportunity by aligning myself with natural energies and benefitting from their strength?”  

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Good morning and Welcome! to my Scales of Ma’at for 10 Sep 2015: the 7 of Flames (Wands) and the Sage of Flames (Queen of Wands). (Today’s deck is *The Sirian Starseed Tarot* by P. Cori and A; Bartha. The “philosophy” behind the deck is rather Erik Van Dänekin-ish, but the deck has some great images. I’ve had it for a long time now, and have always hesitated using it (it is fricking large!) but whenever I take it out (not often) I love the images. Go figure. If you are small-handed, learn to manipulate better with your feet, too.) It seems as if I will be spending the day with women of Fire and resolve. Which is fine by me, I usually have all my life; my female friends weigh heavily in the Fire signs, especially Leo; I’m always broke in August. Today, however, I find out I’m starting with the 7 of Wands – and she isn’t normally someone to whom I give a lot of consideration. She’s all about Valor.  She lives in Netzach in the Tree of Life and of course by way of Fire. In Astrology her planet is Mars on Leo (I know this woman REALLY well!) Since she is entering Netzach, creativity and anarchy stand under the number of destiny. She is falling from Tiphareth, but she is a fighter, and though the element seems to be burning down, it will struggle to survive. I have to face up to forces stronger than myself, hopeless-seeming situations yet I have to fight. Her Drive is Courage and overcoming opposition, her Light is Initiation and rebirth but her Shadow is merely defensive, not offensive. I can’t think of whom among my current female friends this might represent, not does it seem a very facet of me, and so this is a wait-and-see. (“It’s a mystery, just a mystery,” as Cher said when asked if she had undergone plastic surgery yet again.) BTW, just as a side note, I always see that kerchief on her left arm at first as a large bird biting her arm to restrain her. Then my eyes refocus and I see the kerchief; also, I notice her Morse-white complexion and looks, and think “gypsy mummery . . . she’s about as Rom as the Queen of England.” Sometimes you just have to bitchslap that critical voice in your head.) As “they” say, “no rest for the wicked” and “no good deed goes unpunished;” in this case, I’m being hustled by the Queen’s Guard to an audience with Her Maj. Now, the Queen of Swords puts me on edge but I know how to deal with her, but that isn’t so with the Queen of Wands. She IS the Spider-Woman (Navajo-Hopi myth) the thinking goddess, the Athena and the ultimate female authority; her place dates from the epoch of the Matriarchy, She is the Great Yin to the Kings’ (or Knights’ - Thoth decks) Yang, and as such she is an Instructor in what for lack of a better term I’ll call “the civilized arts.” When my mother was alive, she was a great example of this Queen, and now I know a few aspirants but no crowned monarch. My wife is a different Queen altogether, and while I know a number of fine women most have yet to learn in depth about Gravitas and its place in the Courtly scheme. No, this could well be a female outside of my normal sphere of experience, or one I do know manifesting this side of her. It could, at a v-e-r-y l-o-n-g stretch be a facet of me, too, but I don’t buy that, I’m an instructor, too, but the resemblance stops there. (In the 1st place, I can’t imitate that posture! J And people tell me that heels do nothing for my “cupcakes.” L ) I like strong women, I always have. I can’t stand the “helpless screamers” at movies, or the “oh no, I don’t know what to do, call the Man!” women. Lack of spine in ANYONE creeps me out. So do “psychic vampires” and “wounded birds,” but those are other stories for other times. The Queen lives in Binah, and in Astrology she is a bit of Pisces and a lot of Aries. She is Water in the Fires of Atziluth. She’s a lot of things & people. Missing the stability of earth and the logic of air, tolerance and self-control never were her best disciplines. Her Drive is Motion and transformation, her Light is Independence and adaptability. If you have the bad luck to run into her Shadow, she is intolerant, despotic, jealous, reckless and demanding. (Like most grade school teachers and all nuns.) Well, again, I’ll have to wait and-see, because no one or no energy nexus springs to mind. This doesn’t resemble my Anima at all, either, so it is hard to see her springing into this configuration with any glee or need, for that matter. I could be wrong. (I like to say that once in a while, just to keep the memory of the taste of it in my mouth, because I’m not wrong. Not ever. Others haven’t accepted this yet, but they will, they have to, it is self-evident!) At any whohow, I think I’ll take a page from the Flames’ grimoire and “Welcome life & embrace opportunity; I am a radiant strong being filled with the power of love.” (app.)