Good morning and Welcome! to the Scales of Ma’at reading on a cold and rainy 07Feb2016: my Heart card this morning is the 6 of Cups and the Feather of Truth is rolling around in the 4 of Wands. (Today's deck is "The Thoth Tarot" by Thoth, Aleister Crowley & Lady Frieda Harris.) It’s Sunday, and as I do not participate in the Cannibal’s weekly rituals, a long and lazy morning stretches out before me (oh Hell, a long and lazy day!) I’m cancelling tonight’s dinner guests, and after I send my wife to the movies I can indulge my penchant for dressing in early Victorian women’s underwear and forcing the staff to copulate with inanimate objects. LOL, no, not really, but it DOES look like a housebound Sunday is in the works – while I love rain, storms and such, I also love picture windows, fireplaces and hot cups of tea. So . . . crush the herb, Gwendolyn, and let’s bake some cookies. In other words, it is a day that will be given over to Pleasure, the 6 of Cups. I always think of Pleasure as a male thing and Desire as a female thing – sexual (mis)training at an early age, I suppose. His bones are simple, really: Pleasure sits in Tiphareth in the Tree of Life, arriving by Water. In astrology he is the Sun in the 2nd decan of Scorpio. “The Six of Cups has overcome the crisis of the Five; it has learned and accepted its lesson. Tiphareth is the center, standing for beauty and harmony, the realization of consciousness. The 6 as the number of completion solves the imbalance of the 5, it combines the contrasts and reconciles the opposites. The 6 is open to all directions.” (Raven) Thank you, wise bird of mien black & foreboding! So, the 6 is open to ALL directions, not just the pre-programmed. It’s a good thing to know if you are the type of person who is torn by false moral dilemmas, the kind established “moral guardians” tend to use to chock-fill your head with crap, all designed to make you obedient. Luckily, “I ain’t that kind o’ bloke, Madam!” (The English use of the word “Madam” always brings to mind an old Churchill joke about a great lady he propositioned for £10,000.00. She simpered and said yes. He then proposed £10. She was outraged. He remarked one had established she was a whore, just not her price.)
Facing my whore of Pleasure . . .whoops! . . . I mean card signifying Pleasure which coils in my heart today like a lazy serpent after a heavy meal of young villagers is the brave and noble 4 of Wands, whirling and glittering across the Great Divide which separates them, for all the world appearing as if the Wheel of Ezekiel is issuing a challenge. (“Oh Daddy, a joust! A joust!” “Shut Up, Bérangère! Children are to be sacrificed and not heard!”) Before I can understand his challenge, however, let’s take a quick look at his bones; “Completion” (“Achievement” in the French version) – he sits in Chesed in the Tree of Life, having arrived on a tongue of Fire. In astrology, he 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.” (Raven) Well, of course it is, you black-winged harbinger of so-so poetry! (If you are a Fire person, or if Fire dominates your life for ANY reason, then the Spiritual search is MOST likely THE most important element of life to you. That and showing the world your tremendously multi-talented being, of course! LOL, I know, as I said, I’m Fire through and through.) More seriously, however, HERE I think the 4 is recalling the need for Balance and Temperance (VIIII/XI & XIV) to “rarify” the “gout,” or taste, of one’s pleasures, to move on to the fine cognac after you’ve been 13 yrs. old and tried out the Boone’s Farm Apple Wine. It is AS important for me to be Balanced and Equal in my pleasures as it is in my “work” or “existence.” I find that the farther one progresses along the Path, the more of the extraneous, wild, weird, fetishist and phantasmagoric falls OFF of the “Pleasure Vehicle” and the more one is satisfied, deeply, with what one used to consider terribly bland. “Discover the hidden subtleties of vanilla ice cream!” more or less. Unless you are ACTIVELY indulging your particular demons, pleasure becomes a more generalized feeling, something more akin to “lightly excited with profound contentment.” Perhaps I should say, “That is what it is to me, these days,” to give any readers a full “Caveat Emptor.” After all, at the very heart of ALL of THIS is the fact that we can only speak to our OWN journeys, never to someone else’s, unless you want to live out the plotline to “If You Meet The Buddha On The Road, Kill Him” by I.B. Zen. The only person I’ve ever wanted to be a guru for is myself, and then only if I couldn’t hear or didn’t trust the advice I thought I was getting from “Higher up.” So, keep the Balance and Steadfastness of the 4 in your 6, Mark, old pal. It is important. If you’re a cocktail kind of person, think of the 6 as your martini and the 4 as the toothpick & olive – focus & purpose. And really, if you put Focus and Purpose into your Pleasure, you automatically end up with a higher grade of product anyway, and when you make that focus & purpose “GOOD Focus and Purpose” your pleasure is not only increased but benefits others as well. Hey, now!! THAT’S a good deal! I like that! I can do that!! Well, one good thing out of this morning’s reading, at least; I don’t feel quite such the hippopotamus on a diet! May the Blessings of the Cosmos find you today no matter where you may be and Rain down upon you!