Monday, February 29, 2016

Good morning and Welcome! to my Scales of Ma’at for 01Mar2016: today my Heart is represented by the 3 of Cups and the Feather of Truth is virevolting around the 7 of Cups reversed. (Today’s deck is the *Tarot of the Sephiroth* by Dan Staroff, Jill Stockwell & Josephine Mori. The Majors are the selling point – the minors are fairly uninspired. Nevertheless, an excellent reading deck, slides along the “rails of Intuition” without effort.) Today I woke with any aftermath from the weekend totally gone and feeling rather low-key, pacific and calmly stable. The Tarot, of course, saw this immediately for the opportunity it was, and slipped TWO Cups cards in on me while I was distracted by my own serenity. If you read me from time to time then you know that the suit of Cups and I have ALWAYS labored under extra weight as compared to the other three suits. I came from a quintessentially American family, mother an American Indian and father the dirt-poor grandson of immigrants, therefore by mere definition my emotional life has been fucked up since before birth. Yet today I start the day with the 3 of Cups, a highly beneficent card. The 3 of Cups is Mercury in Cancer, a Water sign, lives in Binah, likes the color black and is the Womb of Creation. Ha! snuck that last one in on you, didn’t I? This is where the birth of the product of the previous 2 is made manifest; a new relationship, a new understanding in an existing relationship or regeneration in general but with an emphasis on the human, emotional aspect. An example, a couple mutually deciding on pregnancy and following through with their “creation & manifestation of Love.” (You can imagine how fatuous I find the current PCspeak for the situation, Oh, Good news! We’re pregnant!” No you’re not. She’s pregnant and is going to do amazing things through 9 months of intense change, pain and confusion. You just bred, Jack, so shut the fuck up.”) For me, I think/feel/intuit that this 3 is about my love for & relationship with the Tarot, and what I would like to do with it in the future. And there’s the rub, I know I want to go somewhere with it, I’m just not sure where. While I continue my own Journey, the selfsame Journey has taught me that NOT extending a helping hand to those who are also seeking in the dark is spiritually criminal. After the weekend’s presentation, I was asked several times if I would consider teaching in the Tarot field, and I had to admit to a GREAT deal of hesitation, having already ridden the Disneyworld “Academic Career”-themed rollercoaster. It left me feeling nauseous. Not teaching, I loved that, but the politics played at a university level for ridiculous scraps and mangy bits of phantom-esque power. Silly people playing with other peoples’ livelihoods. I believe this card assures me that the birth has arrived! even if I don’t quite know it yet, and it is waiting for me to open my eyes. If I do, perhaps I’ll perceive the 7 of Cups reversed, the playground of the Feather of Truth today.
 Another Cups card! Damn! I MUST pay better attention tomorrow. . . Grin. The 7 is Venus in Scorpio, again Water-based, and inhabits Netzach. Depending on your character you can read this card either as the birthplace of dreams of creation or the beguiling & misleading illusions that take place along the Journey, which may divert you from your purpose. Normally, I don’t like to “read the downside” of this card, “You are beset by a plethora of illusory choices. Choose not to choose,” but here, my intuition tells me that reversed now, it is talking to my willingness (or lack of it? I think not. . I hope not) to reject the illusion, any illusion, which may attach itself to the birth of my creation. An important element to remember is to NOT indulge in anger because addictive behavior is possible as well as a negative-reinforcing vanity.  I have become quite expert at rejecting addictive behaviors, having been afflicted with some of them during my lifetime. Wow, talk about illusions! AND delusions, of course; the 1st being due to never learning about the world’s misrepresentations and the 2nd being about committing the misrepresentation yourself. Unfortunately, I can also pipedream very well, and no, I don’t mean drugs. The French saying is “building castles in Spain,” implying you’re daydreaming, looking at the clouds, whatever, indulging fantasies. It seems to me that when you receive the 7 reversed, however, that you are invited to be wise and counseled to avoid the illusions but as a reversed card even your refusal is going to have a shadowed kickback. That is very fickle, and unacceptable, even if inescapable – I don’t have to “accept” the inevitable; I can fight it until it destroys me, IF NECESSARY. 
Nevertheless this card left me with some nagging grey feeling, which I decided to pull with an *Oracle of Visions* (Ciro Marchetti) draw. I received Oracle #32, Patience. (I shall attach the card in a “Comments” postscript. It is quite lovely.) Ah HA!! The quality I MOST lack, which is probably why I was left with the grey feeling! “Let the birth and the denial of <<attachment>> unroll as it wills, on its own time schedule, not yours, Mark. You always want everything yesterday! Cool your jets, Jack.” So, with some {{shudder}} Patience, I can manage to navigate that 7 of Cups, and protect, nurture & encourage the 3 of Cups happening within that ambience. Okay, I can at least be aware, right? With that in mind, may ALL of us benefit from the blessings of the Cosmos filling our beings this day!   

Good morning and Welcome! to my Scales of Ma’at for 29Feb2016: today my heart is represented by the 6 of Wands and the Feather of Truth is frolicking in the clouds of IV the Emperor’s symbolic hair/aura.  (*Tarot of the Holy Light* by Christina Payne-Towler & Michael Dowers.) I like today’s reading, it is a kindly disposed Dutch uncle telling me, “Yes, it was all fun and fête last night, wasn’t it? Well, I’m glad you had a good time, but let’s get back to the business of running the Empire, eh?”  As my Heart; the 6 of Wands is not just simple “diplomatic consensus,” it is at its heart much more about building community. You have to assemble a consensus and ride herd on ALL the parties involved to keep them from quarreling & upsetting your hard-won and carefully planned alliance. This is a card of combining binaries. Lion/Eagle, Sun/Moon, Jupiter/Mercury, Mars/Venus and the Moon/Saturn: all dualities to be combined and transformed to a higher state of being, of essence. YOU are the combining agent, you are the chemical that bonds these varying molecules together, and you have to keep it that way for any of your designs to work. I’m saying You, I’m meaning Me. I DID have a good time, in retrospect, at last night’s Tarot Town meeting, fine, now move on, move forward, get your shift together and remember that as IV the Emperor you have an empire to run. Back to work, mule! 
This 4, so solid that entire worlds are built on it, is YOUR/MY responsibility; I need to make sure everybody eats before I do, that all live in peace & harmony at whatever personal price to me. On the other hand, my personal life becomes the very real history of the peoples and the lands under my dominion. Thus me and my relation to every single element in my construct; as Mrs. Payne-Towler states, “You are First among equals and Last among equals.” You inaugurate the victory parade, that is true, but you also have to follow the parade to sweep up the elephant shit. The emperor brooks NO shit from any person; “You WILL run smoothly and function appropriately in my empire, or I’ll have your head & reproductive glands on a platter!”  To tell the absolute truth, I’m more than a bit like that anyway in my daily, “real” life. Grin. My wife makes a great Empress, though, making sure my head doesn’t become too swollen for the imperial diadem! LOL.  I suppose I “should” give you the associated “bones,” it really DOES help, you know! Okay, the 6 of Wands, AKA Victory, sits in Tiphareth in the Tree of Life, arrive on a tongue of Flame (Fire.) In astrology, it is Jupiter in the 1st decan of Leo, ruled by the Sun. (BTW, knowledge of angelic beings and where, why and how they are distributed amongst the Tarot has many sources (amongst which Mrs. Payne-Towler as well; she gives the information in her accompanying book. I find it a fascinating subject, but not of much practical use to me as I’m not practicing that genre of magic.) “The crisis of the Five of Wands is overcome; the lesson was learned and has turned into a victory. . . The Six of Wands shows that all the past troubles and disruptions have been necessary to grow and develop, and the victory we have now is more than just a gain by lucky chance. We have deserved it.” (Raven)  Yes . . . well, Harrumph . . . that’s a bit grand for a description of where my Heart is this morning, but yeah, I get the drift. And really, I DID have fun, but today IS about IV the Emperor, about putting my shoulder to the grindstone again and getting on with the business of not only keeping the machine on the right track but making improvements while “en route!” Graced by a fortunate combination of circumstance, the grindstone to which I “put my shoulder” moves easily in a well-oiled track. His bones are thus: He is the Sun in Capricorn, and Aries in the Zodiac, standing for responsibility, order, continuity. On the Tree of life he treads the axis Netzach – Yesod on a breath of Fire. His number, 4, is physical reality & basic structure. “He is the abstraction of establishment, its stability and security.” (Raven) Neatly put!  He further adds, “In a more personal view, the Emperor might stand for a time of stability and structure, linear thinking and discipline. [Although] we can't live without it, too many of those attributes will only lead to rational despotism and mental poverty.” So, get your little world back in order, fella, and truck on down the track of Today.” There is, however, one little zinger that last night gave to me, personally; this morning, I was aware that the Goddess was just a bit closer to the fires of my Heart, feeling more comfortable in front of the hearth. That was my gift from last night, and I’m delighted to have it. May the Cosmos bless us ALL today with Life, Health & Prosperity, to the greater good of all!    

Saturday, February 27, 2016

(NB. The following addresses a meeting held the evening of 28 February 2016. It was written the morning before the evening webinar. MLM)
Good morning and Welcome! to the Not-Scales of Ma’at for 28Feb2016; because I needed to change the parameters of the question, today isn’t the Scales, but instead a short-term question (The Bark of Anubis, perhaps?J,) so here it is: “What can I stress/do tonight to ‘advantage’ and make the Town Hall meeting a success, and What do I need to avoid/discourage in order to NOT let the meeting fall into a deep well of shit?” The cards are amazing, aren’t they? As the positive, Do it! card, I received II the Priestess, AKA Occult Knowledge, and as the negative, “Don’t encourage it!” card I received the 10 of Disks, AKA Satiety. (The deck is, of course, the *Tarot of the Holy Light* by Christine Payne-Towler & Michael Dowers.) Thus, the long and the short of it is that in order to have a successful meeting this evening I need to emphasize the search for the hidden or “occulted” part of the Journey, and I should actively discourage an attitude of Satiety, or “Been there, done that,” with Tarot from any of tonight’s participants, or more importantly, DO NOT indulge in it yourself! I wouldn’t, anyway, because I am a LONG, LONG way from being “sated” with the Tarot and tossing it aside.
 (And if that isn’t one of the MOST badass 10 of Disks you’ve ever seen, you need to show us yours!J) That’s it; there is no long-winded exposition/autopsy today. Just this and the promise that if you are there tonight, I WILL try and make it as interesting as I possibly can for all of us. (No, don’t ask me to do it in drag, AGAIN.) A ce soir, and may the blessings of the Cosmos feed ALL of our Hearts today! 
"At times you have a very un-lady-like way
Of running out
You’re on this date with me
The pickin's have been lush
And yet before the evening is over
You might give me the brush
You might forget your manners
You might refuse to stay
And so the best that I can do is pray
Luck be a lady tonight" (Frank Loesser)

Friday, February 26, 2016

Good morning and Welcome! to the Scales of Ma’at for 27Feb2016: today my Heart is represented by the 2 of Cups and the Feather of Truth is keeping HOT company with the Knight of Wands. (Today’s deck is the *Tarot of the Holy Light* by Christine Payne-Towler & Michael Dowers. You’ve seen it before, you know it is becoming one of my favorites, right up there alongside Alchemical IV by Robert Place. Learn to love it; you’ll be seeing a lot more of it if you continue to read me. J I cannot recommend this deck highly enough, for working with the Tarot with full alchemical and Kabbalistic “wings.”) The 2 of Cups has been coming up a LOT for me lately, if you’ve noticed at all. I have. The entire concept of dynamic partnerships is being underlined over and over again, either as if the lesson is SO very important it bears multiple repetitions, or I have completely misinterpreted the card & it is trying desperately to correct my misimpression. I think it might be a bit of both. Today for the 1st time I had an intuition that it isn’t simply a question of the marriage of the exterior and the interior parts of me, or my marriage with Jeanne, but that the 2 could actually represent an active and equally resourceful foe, for the card admits of that possibility. The 2 is in the 11°-20° range of Cancer ruled by Mars (whose energy is actually beneficial here.) It sits in Chokmah in the Tree of Life, arriving on Water and its Essential Dignity is the Moon in Aquarius. “The Two of Cups is the polarization of the freely floating streams of the Ace of Cups. Where the Ace was all-embracing in its feelings, the Two of Cups has a particular focus. The Ace was unity, the Two of Cups is differentiation, and feelings are focused on a specific object.” (Raven) I other words, there MUST be a goal or an outside referent for the 2 to work. The Moon shares the largesse of the Sun here and profits from the Sun’s ceaseless rounds of activity to bring it out of its reverie a bit.  So, bringing it all down (or up?) to the personal, I think I had better run a thorough “diagnostic check” on my partnerships program and see if it needs debugging or updating. I have no concerns for my marriage, it is rock-solid (I believe.) However, there IS reason to be concerned with the fairly acute swings of “decisional humor” I often experience when contemplating the question I so fervently fling about the Cosmos, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, but where’s my MALE love interest?” I want it all, the happy marriage to my beloved Jeanne (real) AND the physically exciting male presence (not yet real) for which I have a decided liking. To top it off, I have, in general, grim thoughts on the chances of that happening at this stage of my life, and actual proof that my more “mystical” needs have already moved on and only a part of me is left behind longing for a physicality that is no longer applicable.
With this in mind, I discover that the 2 of Cups is facing, of all improbable creatures today, the Knight of Wands, Mr. Sexy Glittery Brilliance himself. The Cosmos is mocking me. L No, not really, but it MIGHT be having a bit of fun at my expense, dragging this hot GQ-fashion plate of witty repartee and fiery passion across my trail at this time. I DO keep meeting them, though, to the point where it seems that Fate is literally shoving them into the spotlight to give me yet another conundrum of which to make head or tail. Montpellier is STUFFED with good-looking young men, for some reason. It IS a university town, or course. And I already serve a role in this community – “grandpa” or “dad” (depending on the age of the person) to whom one may go and receive counseling, advice, even wisdom, a hot meal from Jeanne, and if the stars are right an herbal cigarette. BTW, I LOVE that salamander splashed up against the wall by a blast of Fire, that is the Knight’s token yet I find it good-naturedly comic and informational at the same time. Staying power, fidelity and constancy are not what this salamander’s about; he’s a hot-blooded young man who can sway entire peoples with his brilliance an vision, et may let the whole thing drop tomorrow for lack of follow-through. He IS Sagittarius; also he sits in Tiphareth having blown in on his own Air. “The Knight of Wands represents the Air within the Fire, intellect and storm within the spiritual flame. As the son of the Queen, he bears a certain heritage from the waters inside of him, expressed in romantic beliefs and a most generous nature.” (Raven) That is pretty much me to a T, EXCEPT for my age, and a plethora of Experience, which suit me better for kingship. “Here, the attributes of Fire are excessively strong and combined with Air 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, refusals or delays might provoke explosive outbursts. He has endless courage and tenacity; he can fight far superior forces until he has won.” Well, I’m not sure I could stand having my younger twin as my “male interest,” there would certainly be fireworks. And as I said, a great deal of me says, quite simply, “Why are you hanging out back there? We moved on a LONG time ago!” I can only think some remnant of the physical compliment of Desire still remains alight in the embers somewhere, and it ISN’T necessarily a good thing to keep alive & nurture back to health. Some things are meant to die in their time. As I said before, “Review time, pal!”  May the Cosmos bring to each and every one of us exactly what we most need today!    

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Good morning and Welcome! to my Scales of Ma’at for 26Feb2016: my Heart card is the resplendent XXI The Crown of the Magicians (The World) while the Feather of Truth has decided to ride with his brothers on the wings of XIV The Two Urns (Temperance.) (Today’s deck, which you already intimately know like an old and discarded lover, is the *Ibis Tarot* by Josef Machynka. Better to discard a lover than this deck, which is worth its weight in gold. If you can find a copy, buy it, I don’t care if you have to sell your children.) Well! Today’s draw is one of those two MA card lollipops that sometimes show up on the cloth, and that I, personally, find so unhelpful. People rarely need to be told that things are going really well, they know that. They want to know where the possible catch points are and how to deal with them. Well, me, too. Don’t get me wrong; it is delightful when a hand like this shows up 1st thing in the morning and tells you, “Well, your Heart AND the Feather of Truth BOTH are well-seated and disposed today, the psychic weather is spectacularly spring-like, the Ain Soph ‘personally’ (ha-ha!) sent a message appointing you vice-regent of the Universe, etc. I like feeling the smile on my face, like anyone else. But if anything is true in this draw, it is the “slave behind Caesar” quality of the cards if you really look at them. The Heart, center-ring, living, beating Glory occupying the stage, XXI leaves little to no room for contradiction or even “wiggle” – everything IS perfect, dammit! LOL, okay, so it’s not quite that black & white or dictatorial, but you know what I mean.
 Here the Truth is in XIV, the Two Urns, or Temperance, spreading (by wing this time) the eternal message, “Moderation, Jack, moderation.” The Caesar anecdote has the “biga” (trusted gladiator) whispering in his ear during his triumphal entries, “Memento mori, sic transit Gloria mundi.” (NB: that is a conflation.) Let’s look at their bones quickly, shall we? For the XXI, The Crown of the Magicians - AKA the Universe – is on the Path of Tau, 32 in the Tree of Life. (Neptune as cosmic omniscience and Pluto as central power of creation) Its planet is Saturn, and its Path leads from Malkuth to Yesod by the power of Earth. “The Universe as the end and completion of the Major Arcana is the symbol for the zenith of development - the achieved goal. The work is done or will soon be and we have found our place in life or will soon do so.” (Raven) And XIV, The Two Urns – AKA Temperance/Art – is on the Path of Samekh, 25 in the Tree of Life, leading from Yesod to Tiphareth on a tongue of Fire. Astrologically in Sagittarius, there is Mercury in the 6th House. The Urns are “. . . the symbol for the right mixture, the perfect balance, standing for harmony, beauty and peace. But the trump can also show that sides that were previously ignored should be lived out and that contrasts should be put together to enrich the inner spectrum with new perspectives. From a personal (alchemical) view the 'solve et coagula' can mean that there is a need to leave a fixed position, to retire, watch and then go back again to combine on a new basis.” (Raven) I’m pulling lots and lots of threads together now, at this point in life? I find the warp & woof of my weave becoming much more complex, colorful and demanding of ALL my attention. The Urns’ message is well-placed, because when things this complex really are going this well (more or less, let’s be real!) then I can easily give birth to an egg of Hubris in my Heart, and that is exactly what the XIV warns against, “Easy, Mark, it’s okay to feel good, but don’t believe that bullshit about vice-regent of the Universe, OK, pal?” LOL. It’s amazing how quickly I can forget that I am merely a man, “memento mori.” Not that I really do, but poetic license, you know . . . . I WAS noticing a better balance between my emotions and my intellect the other night when speaking to a young man about a recent experience. To make a long story short, he had his cards read (by me) shortly before things went wildly haywire for the guy and he ended up in a psychiatric unit for a few days to find his sea-legs again. As of last night, he didn’t want to read the cards again, as they “had declenched” the previous experience. They hadn’t, of course, but I understood his feelings, I really did; and no amount of blahblah or yakyak on my part was going to help, in fact it might make it worse, so I just gently reminded him that, “of course,” the cards weren’t “to blame,” they had just reflected his confusion at the time. I am sure he will work his way back to the cards, I’ve noticed too much of a marked interest in the Marseille deck & style of reading in the young man for him to simply drop it. I recount the story because I notice that there has been a very slow but steady increase in the number of people tentatively reaching out to the Tarot for advice. I would like to think that I do my bit, personally, for Tarot by representing it to the best of my abilities in my local community, and if that confers a “good vibe” on Tarot locally, all the better. I just need to remember that XXI isn’t about down here; it is about my spiritual growth and realization, and my half-fish half-bird transformation into a soul on its flight to the Divine. In the meantime, while I need to keep my feathers clean with the waters of the urns, I can’t let my wings become waterlogged and unable to fly, paralyzed by doubt. Step forward and claim your progress, Mark. You need to in order to continue. My wish for us ALL today is that our Hearts are open to the blessings of the Cosmos that fall upon us like rain!    

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Good morning and Welcome! to my Scales of Ma’at for 25Feb2016 : my masquerading Heart, ever desirous of adventure, has shown up as the Ace of Swords and the Feather OF Truth is resting in the bosom of one of its closest friends, Athena, standing tall and regal on XI Justice  (Yay! For correct numbering!) (Today’s deck is one of my favorites, the *Tarot of the Sephiroth* by Josephine Mori & Jill Stockwell & Dan Staroff. VERY Tree of Life Deck, of course, wonderfully, brightly illustrated and superb art. I love it. On a scale of 1 – 5, a 4 for ease of read. 1 –Difficult cards to read, 5 – easy cards to read.) Ace of Swords is my Heart card, and to tell the truth, I need it to push itself up my backside and give me a power shot of energy, Miss Arden! “I iz draggin’ this mornin’, Miss Thang.”  I’ve been seeing the Ace of Swords so much lately I’m just going to run through his bones with you and give a quick decryptor for myself. The Ace, AKA the Roots of the Powers of Air, sits in Kether in the Tree of Life, arriving on a tongue of Fire. Astrologically he is all the Air signs. He is Vau. It serves as the connection between the physical & the etheric. Aside from the sword with the Vau carved on its blade, we MUSTN’T forget to notice the crown, which we often do being focused on the Ace of SWORDS. We must take both sword AND crown if we are to master this Arcanum; to participate FULLY in the rites of the Element of Air and its symbolism in the Sword. The crown is our armor and the sword is our wisdom as we march off into the Cosmos to become the Cosmos. And as we are marching off to our bright and happy future, we meet the Feather of Truth incarnated in XI Justice.

 Today she looks like Athena; the only thing missing is the owl. A quick look at her bones reveals: She is on Path 22 on the Tree of Life, running from Tiphareth to Geburah. Her Hebrew letter is the Lamed (look on the ox,) meaning Ox Goad (right hand.)  The male polarity of Justice as balanced by the female polarity in her right hand, the sign for Venus. The Sword is dormant, at the moment, and she is standing on the Scales of Justice. So Justice is the Feather of Truth which I need to keep in front of my Inner Eye today; and of course, Justice can express itself in a thousand ways large & small. I’m off on a business-oriented day, so I can only hope that Justice will reign in the hearts of everyone involved, and not just mine. Well, I’m keeping it short today, kiddies, Put on your costumes now and go blackmail the neighbors for cand . . . wait, that’s Hallowe’en. Oh, what the Hell, do it anyway! May the blessings and the energies of the Cosmos both inform and educate us today!  


Good morning and Welcome! to my Scales of Ma’at for 24Feb2016: as my Heart I have drawn the 4 of Wands and signifying the Feather of Truth today is the 8 of Swords. (Today’s deck is, again, *The Tarot of the Holy Light* by Christine Payne-Towler & Michael Dowers. I like it, obviously.) Ahh, a minor arcana hand, subtly leading the reader away from the bright lights of the big city for more dimly-lit country charms.  Not dim-witted, mind you. My Heart today is all about the 4 of Wands – the official sponsor of  *Tarot Teamwork – Get Your Team Up The Tree Today!* Yep, it is the long & loud call for like-minded individuals to join me, rendezvous of Arcturus 5, and then sweep in and eradicate Zurg’s evil empire together! Yay! Hurrah! Whoop-de-doo. No. Do you remember a little while ago when I was getting all of that Ace of Wands energy, the Ace yelling at me to get off my fat asscheeks and DO the “necessary thing.” Along the same lines, I am now being counseled to get my team together, the work is right ahead, c’mon, hustle, hustle! And I STILL don’t know what the project is! I’d better get a clue, and fast, before I have it built and walk away and never get the chance to explain it to myself! (Squirrelly, I know, but you understand. If you don’t, take the red or the blue pill, but for fuck’s sake! make a choice! J) Ok, doc, a quick look at the bones: 4 of Wands – AKA Completion, sits in Chesed in the Tre of Life, having arrived via Fire. In astrology she is Venus in the 3rd decan of Aries. “The Four of Wands represents Chesed - the power of condensation, growth and stability, standing in the structural discipline of the 4 - the work is done, the plan was successful, the Fire has settled and reigns over its realms. Fire is the element that stands for Atziluth, the world closest to divinity, and though the card might talk of every possible endeavor - a job, a relationship, an intellectual research, it is most likely aiming at something more spiritual . . . we've learned a lesson and that the failure in the 'profane' world was just what we needed to achieve more spiritual maturity.” (Raven) Harrumph! The bird talks to me of maturity and he’s all of 7 years old! Ha! Well, “from the mouths of babes,” I suppose . . . . There doesn’t seem to be a call for this card as something predictive but as a kind of secretarial record, because I feel we have already taken that step; a group of friends and I last night began to plan a set-time spiritual journey in which we shall all participate, in approximately three weeks, when we can all reassemble. The Work of the Rose goes forward by the Sun, by Light. My hope in it showing up this morning is to give it the USDA mark of approval as “Grade AAA prime-cut aged beef,” and approved for “public” consumption, i.e. my group. I find it a positive sign in the face of already taken action.
 Today the 4 Wands, the Rose and the Sun are all meeting over by the “picket sword fence” that has been constructed this morning by the Feather of Truth. Am I being barred from something? Warned? Why is there blood? This card is often called “The Test,” where I pass the “Does it really work?” stage of the Journey. The card’s quite clear Yes/No, Now/Wait, Positive/Negative qualities are clearly marked by how the card falls, Sun or Moon up. Either way, Stress may be involved and there is ALWAYS a need to keep a watch out for that. The postures of Success and of Failure are divided by a HAIR-THIN line, and the card doesn’t admit of childish behavior or hesitation or imprecision. Also, Triage Your Challenges.  Choose only those that strengthen you, not those that drain without return. Christine has a good line here with “. . . evolution does not favor the psychologically immature.” On a more medieval, earthy side, that gate appears to me much like the crossed swords barring entry to the King’s presence; is your counsel of wise enough temper to be worthy of admission to the council chambers of the King? Things must be unmade and remade here in the 8: one must have gained the fortitude along the way to weather the hurricane as you are deconstructed and reconstructed in the wink of an eye, but without problem because you have held your astral body intact, as a template. Christine remarks that the attitude is summed up by “Today is a good day to die!” I think I’ll part company with her, however, and choose, “Today is a good day to make informed choices to evolve.” Let’s peek at the 8’s bones real quickly: 8 – AKA Interference (??? Really?) sits in Hod in the Tree of Life, having arrived on a current of Air. In astrology he is Saturn in 21° - 30° of Gemini. “With the Eight of Swords, 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. Further, the Eight of Swords reveal the nature of the suit regarding its tendency of analyzing and considering everything, digging out a counter-argument for any argument there is, quickly recognizing any limitation and conclusion that in the end means the interference in the own reasoning.” (Raven) Well, just a country fête of cheery words today, aren’t you, Bird? Alright, challenge my emotions, don’t get into a selective blur. I get it (and thank you!) So, minor arcana hands CAN bring interesting news, but we all knew that, right? The Blessings of the Cosmos can and will find root today in the soil of your soul; Water the Seeds!   

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Good morning and Welcome! to my Scales of Ma’at for 23Feb2016: As my Heart card, I contemplate the azure & sapphirine depths in the person of XII the Hanged Man, and the Feather of Truth is playing games tickling the Knight of Swords’ necks, or hoods, whatever. (Today’s deck is *Tarot D: The Didactic Tarot* by Jeffrey N. Donato. BIG! Colorful! Shiffler® professional product! Action-packed, almost Marvel-style art, very kitschy and yet right on point. Mr. Donato has added 21 cards: 2 more in each suit and 12+1 other, unlabeled cards looking as important as the MA [99 cards total.] For my purposes in this read, I used the standard 78, pulling the extras until I can make sense of them and make a decision as to whether I shall ever work the extras or not. I won’t I imagine, I don’t like individual tinkering with the basic setup of the deck; it reeks of Hubris, of “Looky looky! I changed the metaphysical Universe All by myself! Aren’t I special?” “Yes, you’re special alright, enough to merit a horsewhipping; now get your ass to the woodshed.” Don’t misunderstand me; I LIKE the deck, but am reserving judgement on the extras and the story within, at least what I have gleaned of it so far. After all, it just arrived yesterday.)  With our eyes momentarily blinded by the riot of color on each card, I am at least capable of noting that my Heart today is XII the Hanging Man. That’s cool, I’m down with XII, and we are old friends. As I’ve stated before in my writings, I have NO problem with self-sacrifice, zilch, zero, IF it really is what it says it is and does what it wants to do – give itself in trade for something of great value & of future great use for others. I can get behind it to the point of practicing it; one can sacrifice one’s goals, as well as one’s self; or one’s dreams; or other meaningful facets of the donor being which merit consideration. So my Heart is living in the spirit of Sacrifice today, which is okay, IF I KNOW WHY.  I may display charity, but I dislike doing it stupidly, thus the WHY? He can start by telling me his “bones”: Well, he’s hanging out with Uranus which symbolizes neutralization and inversion and Neptune which IS the spirit of sacrifice, and it’s all wrapped up in the 12th house as a symbol for metamorphosis through isolation and knowledge. He’s “hanging” from the Tree of Life between Geburah and Hod, but can float on Water. His number, 12, ties him tightly to the zodiac. “In its positive aspect, the card shows the need for a time of consideration, the forced relaxation gives the opportunity to relax and reflect, to sort thoughts and ideas and find a new way to cope with a situation.” (Raven) Unlikely, positive words from you of all beings, eh, Raven? Well, what do I know? I wasn’t under the impression that a situation had arisen in my life that has brought me to such an Arcanum: I’m not DOING anything that requires that I step aside or abstain for the greater good, (unless of course I were to sacrifice myself for the greater benefit of men everywhere, who would no longer have to compete with my incomparable handsomeness & gentility. LOL!!) I’m going to put a marker on that one, and check back in later to see if something has come up that clarifies the card. I dislike pulling an extra at this point, “not just yet,” we need to see how it segues with the Feather of Truth. 
So, let’s look at the Knight of Swords, an old, old friend, sometime self and sometime sparring partner. His bones are simple: AKA the Prince of the Chariot of the Winds, he agitates in Tiphareth in the Tree of Life. Astrologically he bestrides Capricorn and Aquarius, riding on Air in Yetzirah. “Being Air in Air, the Prince of Swords is the pure manifestation of mind and intellect, full of plans and ideas which on the worst side may disturb and confuse each other, on the best create an inexhaustible spring of creative thoughts. On the dark side, the Prince of Swords lacks both the qualities of Water and Earth; he can easily become unstable, unreliable and extremely moody, using his amount of intelligence to trick himself through life, becoming a master of disguise and cheat.” Well, yes, it IS true; I do admit him as one of the main facets of my character, along with his King, and the Knight and King of Wands. I have old, old connections at the Pentacle Court, as well. I believe if every grown man is honest, he is a mixture of any, some and/or all of the male Court figures; the trick is to figure out which ones are REALLY you. The Knight is “one” of me, (just as is the XII, the Hanged Man, in that I slip into his skin so easily, but he is outside the Courts.) If I have ANYTHING to say to myself looking at today’s reading as a “gestalted” whole, I would say, “Mark, old pal, it’s time to cinch up your belt and take a breath. There’s some self-sacrifice that may need to be accomplished, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to be easy. It seems as if you are going to face active opposition from either a strongly rebellious and fougueux facet of your own personality or, with that much energy, it may crystallize exteriorly in the person of a young person who is involved in some way. Today you need to keep open your self-chat line and monitor what is being asked of you, and pay attention to the little microjudgments you are making all the time, as we all do. That Knight’s energy MAY be there to help you, you may suddenly be going on psychic “jihad” or “crusade,” I don’t know, but if it IS a doubled-duo, you have some heavy changes in mind and you don’t feel like waiting much longer to get them rolling. Is that right, Mr. Miller? It is? Um-hmm, I thought so. The tip jar is by the door.” Here’s hoping that the “tips” that the Cosmos gives us ALL today are “right on the money!”    

Monday, February 22, 2016

Good morning and Welcome! to my Scales of Ma’at for 22Feb2016: X the Wheel of Fortune is spinning in me instead of the pumping of my Heart and the Knight of Pentacles is taking the Feather of Truth to some sort of hostile stand-off. Hmmm. (Today’s deck is *The Vertigo Tarot* by David McKean and Rachel Pollack [yes, THAT Rachel Pollack!] That it is a professional job goes without saying, that it is beautiful goes without saying and the text is blow-you-away Rachel all the way. My one complaint about this deck is that the artist, or the printing process, renders the cards SO FREAKIN’ DARK they are actually hard to discern. I believe it was a conceptual idea to encourage readers to take deep psychic plunges, but instead it just throws me back on what I know of an Arcanum, since I can’t see a card’s illustrations nor the visual clues the artist wished to communicate to give his interpretation of the Arcanum. The shading on the cards gets an F (failure), I’m sorry to say; above all, for a Pollack deck which I SO wanted to be mysteriously marvelous. I’m hoping the next one???) Once over the minor disappointment, let’s move on. So, my Heart is feeling chancy today, is it? It wants to take its chances in the silken boudoir of some forgotten Egyptian hetaera, LOLOL. I kind of doubt that – my heart is well-loved right where it is and I know that, so I must be considering the general well-being and current (happy) inertia. I’m not looking for things to change, not in a BIG way, for a while yet. I’m enjoying my feeling of “everything’s right with the world, fucked up though it is, because I’m feeling happy, loved, and am having a good run of days at the current time.” Aww, come on, you know you are as venal as I am, you would & do say the same things when you are NOT the subject under the Galaxy’s microscope, so to speak. We are ALL that venal, it is just being human. Rachel’s rationale for this card is highly involved with a dynamic she has instigated in the deck involving certain precepts as characters, so her writings aren’t cross-applicable to other decks, but I’d like to quote a “morceau” of what she has written about this X; “The astrological attribution for this card is Jupiter, the same as with the Emperor, but with an extra flourish, as if to signify a higher level. The Emperor may represent laws and structures, but he too must follow his destiny. In Greek and Roman myth, the All-powerful Jupiter (Zeus) must bow to Necessity (Ananke.)” For Rachel, this card is ALL about the changes brought about by Necessity, and the up & down nature of issues as symbolized by the fall & rise of Set and Anubis, the two creatures on the Wheel, the Egyptian god of Death (sic: he was actually more the god of Chaos and Destruction, also Thunderstorms) and the Egyptian Guide of the Dead to New Life. I am intimately familiar with the vagaries of the Wheel, and try my best to take a Stoic approach to its turnings. Rich now, poor then, happy now, sad then, questioning & “questing” now, wounded and sealed up then. Here I am going to need to reach only the tiniest of bits to intuit that my Heart is a happy camper right now, because s/he keeps it (the X) always in memory and is deeply satisfied with the Balance we have for the moment. It IS transitory; we all know that, right? Well, let’s move on and see what the Feather of Truth wants me to focus upon today: the Knight of Pentacles. 
Hmm; okay; a pillar of rectitude, stillness, solidity, terre-à-terre values and a stubbornness born of the Great Dark. For Rachel, “There is something heroic about this card, something almost of a Martyr. Even blinded, he will fight to the end. In some ways, he is most like a Knight because of his dedication to a cause, even when the cause is hopeless [one cannot help not hinder the juggernaut of X The Wheel.] . . . The Knight struggles against harsh truths. They may include disease, poverty, or loss, or simply nature itself. Possibly he cannot win. He may know that, but he will not surrender.” I feel stillness inside, as if someone just finished the eulogy at a funeral! That is a beautiful description of her card (difficult though it may be to actually see!!) I don’t see the Knight of Pentacles often, I am not given to hosting or coveting or stocking that kind of energy. But I KNOW lots of Knights of Pentacles, and they are some of the BEST people to have as friends, loyal to a fault and quite often they have the hidden talent of morbid humor. They make GREAT people in your “gang of friends,” and I firmly believe that if you yourself are NOT a Knight of Pentacles, you should try to cultivate the friendship of one; they make dynamite and faithful friends. But in all of this, where is the Feather of Truth? That one is coming into my life? That the one (s) already here bear a stressed importance today? That I would do better to cultivate the qualities more? A LOT can be taken out of this being my “character goal of the day,” if I decide to take it that way. It may also signify the arrival of one of my many young friends, quite a few of whom visit on a regular basis; my wife and I are a “substitute home” for a lot of University kids – they know Jeanne will usually always have a meal and I’ll probably have some herb and they find my conversations interesting & thought-provoking. Grace of this, LOL, my wife and I have an unusually vast knowledge of today’s youth culture, Ha-ha! I think it is a GOOD trade, all that energy and vitality and innocence and YOUTH circulating in our home and in exchange they take away thoughts to explore, a full stomach and the hazy good feeling of some well-smoked herb, as well as the continued LOVE that Jeanne and I both feel for the Young - (we know what’s ahead, Ha!)  I am having the love affair I always wanted to have, but not with one person, with an entire statistical group – the Young. Perhaps I can try to be their Knight a bit, as well. That is at least a nugget of truth I can take away from here today. The Wheel turns and we ALL need our Knights of Pentacles from time to time when it does. May the Cosmos bring us ALL the richness and glory of the Divine today!   

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Good morning and Welcome! to my Scales of Ma’at for 21Feb2016: my Heart card today is XV the Devil and as the Feather of Truth we have the 5 of Swords. There is a 3rd card, the Valet of Swords, whose presence will be explained in due time. (Today’s deck is an oddity, le *Tarot Arcus Arcanum* by Hansrudi Wäscher and Günter Hager. I dislodged it from its cranny on Etsy or eBay or somewhere like that, I don’t remember. It is VERY much a French deck [satellites in a TdeMarseille universe, although this follows RWS schematics,] and the interpretation of very traditional images is rather quirky and entertaining.) Starting right off with my Heart in XV, the Devil. Well. wow; poopsy whoop-de-doo. yeah, feeling real excited and embroiled in the physical today, yeah, that’s it, . . . more sleep; ahhn the Devil yes, I see . . .hmm…(snore.) Bones, please, Nurse, I’m too lazy to get up today: “the Devil”, XV, is on the path of Ayin in the Tree of Life, going from Tiphareth to Hod. His planetary ruler is Saturn (of course!) and his Element is Earth. Oddly enough, 15 is the number of the full moon. (I wonder if that makes him the “patron saint” of werewolves.) “In the Tree of Life the Devil goes from consciousness and harmony to intellect and logic - against all dogma, never caring for rules, freely uncompromising and independent. There are no restrictions, no limitations, nothing is forbidden. The Devil is aware of the darkness; he knows all the shadows and will go on researching even at a high price.” (Raven) Thank you, Bringer of Mites and other unsavory “bestioles”! I think, being all adult here, we can ENTIRELY dispense with the long, b-o-r-i-n-g conversation about the 2-horned, forked-tailed, pitchfork carrying cartoon we all know and love (yes!) from childhood. In my own life, I actually KNOW a few XVs, because I tend to think of XV as a “seeker of extreme sensations.” OF course this isn’t always incarnated like that – it is such a protean, malleable energy that it can assume any guise; it tends to be cloaked by man’s governing orders in the diabolical trappings to dissuade rebellion &/or revolt &/or questioning of the established order. Now in THAT sense there, I can fully assume the XV this morning, and GLADLY. With each passing day, week, month and year I grow more and more convinced that only Revolution will bring down this rotten, evil system in which we live. I doubt I will leave to see it (but maybe!) but perhaps the next generation and certainly the next after that will know it intimately. All of the world will eventually realize the Emperor has no clothes; the capitalist system is a dead-end and always has been, that humanity must find a different way to live. I’ve spoken here before about my continually budding hope in the Youth, who I see acting already on all the information available to them. I’m proud of them. Other than that, I don’t have a lot in common with XV today, so pleasant conversationalist though he may be, I shall move on to find the Feather of Truth, which, bafflingly, leads me to the 5 of Swords. Defeat? Really???
 Defeat of what, exactly, I think, as I look at Harpo, Groucho & Zeppo all falsely modest and humble on the face of the card. (They borrowed the two others from Central Casting.) Let’s check bones here: AKA Defeat, the 5 sits in Geburah in the Tree of Life, arriving on a breathe of Air. Astrologically it is Venus in the 1st decan of Aquarius. “The Five of Swords have reached Geburah, the realm of motion and changing, of destruction and disintegration. The truce of the Four couldn't last; the airy Swords had to recognize that they never were meant for structure and stabilization, that they needed to stick to their unsteady nature, no matter how high the price might be. The deep crisis the Swords are going through in here also result in the influence of Venus, the planet of emotion, harmony and sensitivity. For the logical Swords who are forced to see everything absolutely clear and unveiled, too much sensitivity can mean a sharp pain that no reasonable argument might soften. Intelligent as they are, they clearly analyze the trap they're in and start struggling against fate, thus recognizing that they cannot win.” (Raven)  I quote Raven in full because for once I think His words are very reflective of what the 5 has done to my thinking processes here. It feels “embroiled,”, “chaotic,” and I cannot for the life of me imagine what the Feather of Truth would be doing here. 

So I decided I needed a 3rd card, this the Page/Valet of Swords. Well, hmmm – at least that kicked the energy up a few levels, and as an added bonus, I have dealt with him very recently in his role as the 3Wild Card” of the deck, which he truly is, anything & anybody can change when he is around, it is remarkable. Bones: the Page sits in Malkuth in the Tree of Life, and in astrology he is Venus in all the Air signs. His element, however, is the Earth and he breathes the Airs of Yetzirah. “The Page (sic) is 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. In the Earth, all the free qualities of Air get suppressed and restricted. “(Raven) I get the feeling from that that Raven has no warm; soft, fuzzy feeling in his heart for the Page, wouldn’t you? LOL.  How the Page concerns ME today (that’s right, Mark, don’t forget, it’s ALL about You, You, You! Grin.) is another matter. Being the Wild Card, and being the “smoothly hidden trickster” he can sometimes be, for some reason we get along; I think it has to do with the fact that I have a fondness for mountebanks and charlatans, I find them touching in their need & desperation to be liked. So I am going to say that rather than a day devoted to letting in the odors of defeat from the battlefield through the open windows, the Truth is to be recognized in something else, in some rather more concrete way, as of a refused offering being the cause of unrest. Only the day, as it unfolds, can tell on this on, so I cannot fore-tell about it. It doesn’t feel bad or good – it just feels a bit cold and artificial. IT is evoking curious sensations inside of me; this may be of some interest today. On verra. Okay, well, enough blahblah about what really isn’t, after all, a remarkable draw, but has its own insights to offer. May the insights and the offerings of the Cosmos come to Us all today, and be accepted with gratitude and application!    

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Good morning and Welcome! to my Scales of Ma’at for 20Feb2016: as my Heart card, I have the 2 of Wands, and as the Feather of Truth today stands the 3 of Disks. (Today’s deck is *Illustrations & Tarot* by Colleen A. Hardy. The deck is somewhat of a mystery; it comes with NO information whatsoever, the title & her name are mentioned ONCE on the band surrounding the package, which will be tossed, of course. She makes NO claims; there is NO LWB, nothing but a box of rather larger than normal Tarot cards, 78 of them, with STUNNING illustrations. It is a very professional job. I’m not sure why she’s made this deck, but it is Beautiful! Curious point: it is SO cypher-less than when you open it, it is not only virgin but newborn & of unknown parentage. It leaves you no choice but to adopt it, immediately, and with good will try to make it “yours.” It was an “Etsy” find.) Today’s draw is calm, for the most part, eh? With draws like this, I have to resist the urge to “throw the cards again” in order to have something a bit “meatier,” more dramatic, on the board. However, this is it, so look at it and accept it for what it is, Mark – sometimes beautiful things come . . . etc. I’m feeling remarkably lackadaisical this morning, like the cards are ALL my good buddies and I want to hustle them ALL down to the neighborhood bistro and order a round of pastis, simply because I don’t want any of the little bastards to start a heavy conversation. Of course they knew/know this, how could they not, they are me, right? So, like the “generally” well-behaved children they are, I’m being offered slight solace in the form of a truism, and a Tarot Card Truism at that! Ha ha! “Gather up your forces, Mark, there is a whirlwind of energy available for you if you can come up with the understanding and perception to recognize, honor & officiate at the alchemical wedding that could be going on here, if you do it correctly. I’m going to give you their two skeletons, but after that, I’m wrapping up. It’s a simple, clear draw, and doesn’t need three pages of verbal folderol from me. The 2 if Wands – AKA Dominion, sits in Chokmah in the Tree of Life, arriving by way of Fire. In astrology it is Mars in the 1st decan of Aries (ENERGY DYNAMO!!) “The power of energy that is born in the Ace is given direction and a goal in the Two of Wands. Chokmah as the power of creation and energy is the best possible surrounding for the flaming forces, the first manifestation following the pure idea, the beginning of transformation. Yet the card is not talking of consideration, let alone any cares. It comes up strong and recklessly, a wonderful thing when guiding at one good goal or project. Nevertheless, one should take at least a bit care that those wonderful powers won't crush anything around to pieces...”
 (Raven) Such an eloquent beak, don’t you think? And now, the 3 of Disks – AKA Works, sits in Binah in the Tree of Life, arriving on the element of Earth. In astrology it is Mars in the 2nd decan of Capricorn, hmmm; beware too much introspection, Mark. “The Three of Disks enters Binah, the fields of understanding and perception, initiating the process where the project that began in the Two of Disks is viewed and . . . in its completion.” (Raven) This card also addresses the alchemical wedding, in which Mercury combines with Sulphur and salt, thus creating “the philosopher's stone.” It implies the basic idea of Earth, the crystallization of its powers and qualities, the start of matter being established. Manifest, Mark, manifest she SHIT out of those desires of yours we have been addressing recently; your needs & desires to enlarge your metaphysical horizons & literally give Tarot more input into yourself & the world, and thus let the Art use you to further its message of “Evolve or Die.” And there we have it for my brief, simple, modest little reading for today. Ha! Well, at least it will be shorter than usual! Here’s praying that each and every one of us, and I am thinking of all of YOU out there, individually, are able to open our arms today and with a joyous heart accept the blessings of the Cosmos!    

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Good morning and Welcome! to my Scales of Ma’at for 19Feb2016: today my Heart is cowering behind the 5 of Wands while the Feather of Truth cavorts it up on a girls’ night out on the Universe. (Today’s deck is *The Rosetta Tarot* by M.M. Meleen. I love her insight and her art.) We ALL know the 5s are ALL the shits. They rarely if ever signal anything good, other than every bloody, gut-ripping fight has to end at some point. Or at least that is the way I USED to feel about them – now, out of sheer force of will training myself, I regard them as opportunities. They are certainly not always, in fact rarely, opportunities I would willingly choose, but there is something to be made of the positive in every situation, and no; don’t send any Hell’s Angels here to kick my teeth in with absolutely no provocation, thus proving me wrong. (Besides, I wear dentures. And yes, it was a shame when I had to get them last year at the age of 29, but early onset selective deafness can happen to anyone (SIC!). LOL. This 5 of ands is about the energies of Upheaval and Change, rebirth brought about through evolution, and one must fight in the Forces of Forward, not run with rats of retreat. Let’s take a gander at the old gal’s bones: AKA Strife, sits in Geburah in the Tree of Life, arriving on a tongue of Fire. In astrology she is Saturn in the 1st decan of Leo. “Fire isn't meant for settling and resting, and the flames burn high to break out of their own realm of the Four. This means revolutionary movements and aggressive renewals, and sometimes this isn't the most pleasant way to go.” (Raven) Well, yes, in a way, Mr. Corvus, and neither is giving birth, but you DO end up creating Life, don’t you?  So today my Heart is still going to be a bit confused and a lot torn about the question of where I am going to go from here with my Tarot. Which is, in fact, alright, because it seems that the Universal Balance of Peace & Decision may appear in the mind’s eye, too, sometime today. The strength of XXI is that having lived all 78 arcana, the illuminatus is then of a mind to return and perform the same journey but on a higher vibratory scale, a higher level of being, which will again advance hir to the next stage in the continual evolution of growth into the Divine.
 I don’t feel like being particularly wordy, so let’s take a look at XXI’s bones, wrap it up & take it home. XXI the Universe is on the Path of Tao, 32 in the Tree of Life. Neptune and Pluto double up here as the twin engines of weirdness for XXI, who is actually ruled by Saturn, yet another hard-core good-time party-kind-of gay spirit that hedonistically wheels through the outer Solar System – NOT - LOL. More lugubrious planets you would be hard pressed to find, even now in this age of astrophysical knowledge explosions. She walks between Malkuth and Yesod on the Earth, and is the ultimate symbol of the Whole. “The Universe as the end and completion of the Major Arcana is the symbol for the zenith of development - the achieved goal. The work is done or will soon be and we have found our place in life or will soon do so. (As I have found mine – Tarologue. mm) Seeing the second decade of the Major Arcana as a way of self-realization, the Universe becomes the crown and the end. The Death was the rebirth, the Art the beginning of the alchemic work, the Devil the overcoming of restrictions, the Tower the breakdown of the jail. We followed the Star, explored the Moon, found the Sun and watched the Phoenix rise from the ashes. Finally, we touched the Universe.” And with that, my friend Raven flies off to catch himself a nice & juicy minor arcana worm. I DO feel as if I am edging up there in the process, although of course the differential is a gradient, not a staircase with chthonic risers. I’ve reached The End of a long, a life long, period of walking the Red Road, taking the Journey. The time has come for yet another decision – where do I WANT the Path to take me now, in which direction lay my greatest future joys? Which SERVES best, both my development and that of those I may touch? The further you advance, the more you are asked to give of yourself to teach others, even unto after-death stages of existence, such as bodhisattvas. I would truly, fiercely, deeply like to believe that I am ready to be of use & service until the last of me is “used,” and the spirit of me may streak towards its reunion with the divine. I shall have to watch the film as well as others, with Mark the screen character’s life unrolling before our eyes and the audience in the dark squinting and dodging and ducking as Mark “suffers the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” and makes a startling mixture of good and bad ripostes. I’m cheering for the guy, frankly. I hope all the ones I love are doing the same. May the blessings of the Cosmos all make homes in our hearts today!   

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Good morning and Welcome! to my Scales of Ma’at reading for 18Feb2016: as my Heart card I have the 9 of Wands and masking the game of the Feather of Truth is the 6 of Swords. (The deck today is the *Thoth Tarot* by A. Crowley & L.F. Harris.) Unfortunately I don’t have a lot of time this a.m., or at least I think not. “They” are delivering and installing a new washer/dryer setup, with delivery “somewhere between 8 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.,” which we all know means, “Clear your day – we’ll arrive when we get there.” They usually ring the doorbell when it is most inconvenient for you. But, nevertheless, on to the cards, which I am interpreting today to the graceful sounds of the soundtrack to the film, “The Egyptian,” one of my favorite Hollywood epopee’s (the actual « Hymn to the Aten » sung by choir is unforgettable.) Showing up moving in from the horizon is the 9 of Wands, aka Strength. Quick, his “bones”: He is in Yesod in the Tree of Life, arriving on a tongue of Fire. In astrology, he is the Moon in the 2nd decan of Sagittarius. “. . . the fiery Wands have reached the happy Nine, the number that reflects on itself, entering the fields of Yesod - imagination and reflection back in the middle of the Tree of Life. Thus the Nine of Wands remembers its own qualities, showing the full powers of the fiery element rising again. So the card shows strength, determination and discipline, preparing itself for the final step to completion.” (Raven) Clear enough? Yes, I think so. I’m being told over and over these last few weeks, “It’s over; you need to Go Back and cover the missed points.” “Go back & cover the missed points” ?? Well, cheesus! I know what the card is saying, but I feel a bit like the knitter who is just told, “No, no need to unravel the WHOLE thing, just go back & pick up the missed stitches.” Which you can’t do knitting; it’s unravel or produce a damaged thing. This, too, however, is an okay thing; I don’t mind review sessions, as long as they aren’t Calls to Arms to charge full speed ahead into the past. I should remember, though - the shadow side of the card implies a warning - that I should use my spiritual consciousness to concentrate on my inner strength and master my will, and make it effective in the world I live in. O-o-o-kay! As the 9 is busy being himself and advocating that all attention be turned to him, “Me! Me! Look at me, Daddy!” we are in fact approaching the “orbit” of my Feather of Truth today, the 6 of Swords. 
I have a lifelong love/hate affair going on with ALL the Swords, but this one in particular gets under my skin. That may be due to the fact that 6s in general get under my skin; I am reminded of the biblical story of Jesus’ words, “So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, will I spew thee out of my mouth!” (Revelation, 3:16) whenever I have to deal with a 6. IF you know me at all through my writing, you know the Swords and I are intimate enemies, and I am even their King from time to time, although I prefer the Wand throne. Well, let’s get down to {sigh} work. His “bones”: aka Science, he is in Tiphareth in the Tree of Life, arriving on a breathe of Air. In astrology he is Mercury in the 2nd decan of Aquarius. “In the beautiful harmony of Tiphareth, the Six of Swords have overcome the crisis of the Five, the emotional wounds are healed and the element concentrates on its origin potentials, its very own powers and qualities. In science i.e. any fields of deeper thinking, the mind can unfold all its energies, and the restless Swords have the chance to combine the mind with the mental spirit from which it was born, to achieve a perfect harmony of it all.” 5raven) Well, my sometimes cupidity-driven Companion of the Feather is telling me today is that THIS 6 is good to have around; if you say so, Raven, but allow me my measure of reticence. The card can also be interpreted as Dominance, with Patience, working through Labor to obtain a “consensus of victory” after the troubles of the 5. I can only conclude from THIS card that me recent mental voyages about “where to go from here?” are being answered, yet again, and yet again in a roundabout way: “Gather your Strength, smooth out the rough or imperfect edges, and move forward into consensus on where you are going to take your gift & passion next!”  The question can be first approached by simplifying it, and working through a series of A-B choices that I can define as I go along. 1st choice will be, “Whatever I decide is the next ‘form’ of my ‘Tarot Evolution’, I need to decide if it is for public consumption or private reflection. Then on to what the content shall be, I suppose. I’m not sure, but I have to budge, to move, before my metaphorical feet meld to the floor. I have that feeling that I already know the answers to all of these questions; I’m just finding it necessary to tease them out of myself one at a time so as to develop some familiarity with what may be surprising decisions. On verra.  In the meantime, I’ve got to budge “mes fesses” (my ass) at the moment for the delivery guys. My wife is probably deciding what to wash first once the machine is installed, so I had better go make sure the practical is taken care of for the delivery, as well, such as a clear path into the place and an unlittered path to the laundry room. HA. Well, hoping that some of them are of a purely practical nature, here’s wishing that all of the Grace and manifold blessings of the Cosmos be Ours for the harvesting today!    

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Good morning and Welcome! to my Scales of Ma’at for 17Feb2016: my Heart is represented by the 2 of Cups and the Feather of Truth is riding the wind with the Page of Wands (the only winged Page.) (Today’s deck is again *the *Tarot of the Holy Light* by Christine Payne-Towler & Michael Dowers. I am falling in LURV with this deck. The more I use it, the more I “take to it.” I may even be forced to eat a bit of crow-flavored pie; 1st, not real crow because I’m against animal cruelty and 2nd, because I still believe in Part of my criticism, which is still just. The companion book, odiously expensive as it is, is WONDERFUL. The woman is SMART and she speaks my language, to such a degree that it is uncanny! I went ahead and bit the bullet for her abominably expensive 3-volume Kabbalah & the Tarot books, as well. These are all paperbacks, folks, and they are running $45 and UP! By Jove’s teeth! One would think one was back in university having to buy expensive & abstruse textbooks! However – if nothing else, get the cards. “Don’t make me stop the car, you’ll be sorry!” just do as I say – get the cards.) My day starts off with my Heart in the 2 of Cups, which is just dandy as far as it goes. QUICK look at her “bones”: Two of Cups – aka Love, sitting in Chokmah by Water, and is Venus in the 1st decan of Cancer. “The Two of Cups is the polarization of the freely floating streams of the Ace of Cups. Where the Ace was all-embracing in its feelings, the Two of Cups has a particular focus. The Ace was unity, the Two of Cups is differentiation, and feelings are focused on a specific object. Remembering that 2 as a number is the symbol of duality, it implies the Two of Cups needs a counterpart, a source or a goal outside itself.” Aye, there’s the rub, Horatio! or ‘Raven’ in this case. Thanks, my black-feathered friend. Both my wife and I are extremely content with our couple at this time (we generally are anyway; we both deeply dislike “not getting along at the moment” so we work very hard not to find ourselves there. A really deep, solid friendship makes an unshakeable foundation.) I believe this card, at least for today, is about enjoying the complicity I enjoy with a small number of people in my immediate circle. Yes, above all, my wife, but there are others, good friends who have earned & merit my trust & affections. Then there’s the duo of Me/Me, the male and female, the Animus/Anima coupling that had been SO long-delayed while I fought my inner, emotional demons. In a constant reaffirmation this reality keeps telling me that it is Right and Good that I am in these “couples,” for a variety of reasons, one of which is to learn cooperation in the most basic and intimate ways. I shine very brightly all alone; I needed to learn to dim the wattage a bit to accommodate a binary partner, and the process continues even now. I have ULTIMATE trust in myself and my own powers to persevere and conquer, but wow! it’s good to have company on the Journey, too!
 As I am bi-cycling down the road here, who do I meet but the Page of Wands literally flying in on one of his endless commissions for the Courts. Quick, bones! Aka the Spring Equinox, he’s in Malkuth having walked on Earth to arrive He is also, as a female, Venus in the Fire signs; he’s in Atziluth anyway. “The Page (sic) of Wands represents the Earth in the element of Fire, far from the Queen's depth and the Knight’s Air. She/he's the Fire's child, with all the flaming energy of the King, unaffected from deeper emotions. The only heritage from her mother is the good memory for insults and the thirst for revenge . . .” (Raven) Well, yes, but that is only part of the picture, actually.  “The Page of Wands as sovereign individual seems like a paradox from the standpoint of standard cultural norms and mores. . . . the Page’s life is lived through an ethos of self-ownership and self-empowerment, and it is under these terms that he undertakes his service to his Queen.” (C. Payne-Towler, “Tarot of the Holy Light” 2015, Brownfield Press.) If you read through her entire run-down on the Page, you could easily substitute “Mark” in there for “the Page” and your statements would be quite correct, TO A POINT. I am actually more of a knight/king mix kind of guy, but this Page rings certain bells quite clearly and distinctly. (Of course, most if not all Tarot cards should ring a bell SOMEWHERE in us; there is always a corresponding interior relation to each & every card.) IF there is a REAL Joker in a pack of Tarot, then it is this guy, the Page of Wands, because he can “strike fear in the hearts of power players on both sides of any issue. . . . he’s been taken into everyone’s confidence . . . he knows where all the bodies are buried.” In other words, he cannot be deceived, he knows too much. That sounds right up my alley, and it is also where the Feather of Truth is lodging today. I’m going to be called upon to remember the precepts of the Page’s behavior somehow, somewhere and it is important I retain neutrality and “herald from outside” aspect in whatever may arise today. Okay, will do, Your Majesty. Perhaps. (Grin!) It is a benign draw today, nothing spectacularly good or bad, just a day to be aware of partnerships of all kinds and to retain a mediator-type demeanor if a situation demands it. Good, as I have medical fish to fry this afternoon, and was hoping today wasn’t going to be one of those Smiting Sodom and Gomorrah days. May the energies of the Cosmos and the blessings they carry be Welcomed in our Hearts and homes today!