Good morning and Welcome! to the Scales of Ma’at daily Tarot reading by & for myself, this 05 Oct 2015: IV the Emperor and the Knave of Wands. (Today’s deck is *The Gothic Tarot* by Joseph Vargo and Joseph Iorillo. This is what comes to mind when most people think of “gothic:” vampires, capes, seductive succubae trailing behind the vampire etc.etc.etc. “Gothic” is in fact a style of art and architecture that lent itself to this kind of medieval fantasizing as it is itself a product of the Middle Ages. If it harbored anything weird at all, it was repressed priests, hunchbacked bell ringers and wildly talented architects. I normally steer clear of this genre of deck because its’ effect on the client and reading is too oppressive. However, I DO buy them and enjoy them for myself. After an initial, “Eh . . . meuh,” on re-viewing it I like it better each time. For a Dracula deck, then, not bad, although I am saving MY idea of the champion vampire deck for later in the month!) Enough of bat wing and eye of newt, let’s get down to the cards, shall we? I feel as if I am in that detestable Bill Murray movie, “Groundhog Day,” where he keeps repeating the same day over and over. AGAIN today my Heart is at IV the Emperor! By all of the waiting souls in the Duat, I swear that my heart does not live in this trump! LOL. Well, maybe a little . . . I believe, at least, that my Heart (and heart) is temporarily in this place, on that throne (which in an alchemical deck would be the cube of Malkuth, the mastery of the physical, which also doubles as the altar of I the Magician.) I can imagine that we can ALL recite all of the major qualities & quirks of IV the Emperor in our sleep, therefore lets skip over that and look at him alchemically & Kabbalistically; or in one word, magically (I’ve given up on that pretentious - k- business. If you think we are talking about card tricks in here, then take your meds & get some rest.) So, here’s the straight dope on IV: He is on Path 15, Tzaddi in the Tree of Life. He is the Sun in Capricorn, standing for responsibility, order, security, continuity. His zodiacal reference is Aries. On the TofL, he’s walking the axis Netzach – Yesod. Naturally, his Element is Fire. His number is 4, representing physical reality, basic structure and 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. 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 (The United States of America!!!) 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 to 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. Yet we can't live without it, too many of those attributes will only lead to rational despotism and mental poverty.” (Raven) Exactly. An emperor, especially a good one, is “tolerated.” The passage of power is too easy in a society built on a dynastic succession policy, it ENCOURAGES assassination, murder & skullduggery. And if you are a shitty Emperor, then someone is going to spear your liver with a dagger sooner rather than later. 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. You MUST BE careful when inhabiting IV; it is too facile to slip into despotism, self-complacency, paucity of feelings, lack of fantasy and rationalism as a prison. He is accompanied today by a rather formidable looking guard, the Knave of Wands. I’ve always had a weakness for gargoyles, haven’t you? and unfortunately a very few of my -exs have appeared in this guise as well, once the rose-colored Ray-Bans fell off. I am not a good judge of who is good for me, usually. The Universe “stepped in” in the case of my wife and said to me, “Uh-huh, not this time, bub. This one is too important to leave in your misguided hands.” Thank you, Lords of Light and Darkness! In any case, the Knave of Wands CAN be excellent for me. Again, we can rote-recite his divinatory qualities, so let’s don’t and say we did. Let’s DO look, however, at his other qualities: the Knave here is, in a Thoth deck, the Princess of the Shining Flame, so it may help if you think of that gargoyle as representing the female of its species (!!!) She is in Malkuth in the Tree of Life, and her zodiacal assignations are Venus in the fire signs. She is the Earth in the Fires of Atziluth. She is Fire’s daughter, with all the flaming energy of the Knight yet unaffected from deeper emotions. While dancing in the flames, the Knave 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 can be all lust and anima. With her, I need to be aware that at her worst, she is unable to feel compassion and understanding; she can sink down to pure greed and cruelty. Her Drive is passion and the joy of life; her Light is enthusiasm, courage and beauty. So here is our Feather of Truth: Love & passion & youthful energy. The 1st two can be re-lit, but the 3rd might be a problem; I’m neither young nor energetic and my physical condition prevents amelioration at the moment. Nevertheless, Jump In, Mark, the Truth may be somewhere in that tourbillon of fresh love & enthusiasm, and if the Emperor falls dead from overexcitement, don’t worry, there WILL be a new one tout de suite. Therefore: I release my fears and allow myself to be filled with confidence and self-trust, because I trust and depend on my own Power.