Thursday, March 31, 2016

Good morning and Welcome! to my Scales of Ma’at for 01Apr2016 : today my Heart is haunting the drifting mists and midnight airs of XVIII the Moon while the Feather of Truth seeks solace in the forest just beyond the 8 of Cups. (Today’s deck is *The Wild Unknown Tarot* by Kim Krans. It is unique and gives profound readings.) It is a “right on” but problematic reading; with my Heart in XVIII the Moon, I am not feeling very disposed this morning to spilling my morning guts on a piece of paper, nor am I keen on the idea of even subvocalizing my reading, preferring instead to gnaw it mentally like a Canis Major with a bone. HOWEVER, that’s not why they pay me the Big Bucks; spill your guts, Mark. (Yes, that’s right; I’m paid quite handsomely for every single Tarot post I make. What? You don’t have the same deal?? I’d speak to my agent, if I were you!) It isn’t actually that I have emotional drama to hide from the prying eyes of Madge Q. Public; it is that I am not feeling very forthcoming about ANYTHING right now. (One can imagine the consequences upon a reading; “Do you see anything?” “Yes, I do.” “What?” “That’s for me to know and you to find out. All I can say is watch out for the falling piano.”) The Moon is a clever girl (or rather fey young man, depending on your preferred mythological system.) In Scorpio scuttling across Pisces, s/he hangs out between Netzach and Malkuth. Water is everywhere, the universal solvent, the vast ocean of night and emotion. It’s ALL about the subconscious down here, and the subconscious is famously mute. “S/He leads us into the blackest depths of our soul where there are no words, just images and ideas. It represents a journey into the Dark, a look behind our own face.” (Raven & me) And it’s true, Dora! I feel not so much like a lost soul in the closed library of the cosmos, but rather like the caretaker who, peculiar individual that he is, lives to walk the silent, empty corridors and hold his own agreeable conversations with the lifeless exhibits. It isn’t a pout, honest! Rather, I think of it as a temporary “disengagement” from the machinery of Caring; as an empath, the world is constantly wounding me, resulting in my thick-as-a-brick hide. Nights on the Moon are my way of getting a facial: I soften up the underlying new skin and slough of the dead, dried and flaking epidermis of my battered emotional self. Please don’t get me wrong – I’m not singing the blues and bemoaning my fate – far from it! In a certain way, I LOVE the weirdness of my life; yet, the cares & concerns of others, just the simple MASS and VOLUME of the world’s hurt, really fucking gets me down sometimes, ya’ know? And when I become overly vulnerable, I need that space shuttle ticket to Destination Luna. There are also echoes, today, of fond farewells to a more “involved,” “active” emotional past, but they ARE that, fond farewells. My Moon is rising over the 8 of Cups, and I can “hear” the Feather of Truth shivering in the woods just beyond the scene of abandonment and melancholy. Move on, Mark, move on. “Nothing good remains for you here.” (TWUT Guidebook) I have never been the type of person who finds accident scenes morbidly interesting & hangs around in the hopes of seeing something revolting. I can turn on the TV for that. But what I am particularly sensitive to is being TOLD to “Move on!” How DARE anyone dictate to the Emperor of the Universe?? LOL. Yeah, there’s a bit of that, too, but “I ain’t gonna lie about it, Pa.”  Part of that ego IS the desire to move on once a situation has been “milked dry” of its utility for me. I know, heartless opportunist, right? But no, just in symbiosis with a Universe which feeds off of me as much as I feed off of it. Having a clear view of the ruthlessness of the cold bronze machinery of the cosmos does NOT mean that I cannot have a fully developed & integrated self for my interactions with LIVING beings. (Yeah, yeah, the Cosmos is a living being . . . don’t get nitpicky with me, I’ll have to “have a talk” with you.) My 8 of Cups is in Hod 
(having boated there) and is feeling very Saturn in the 1st decan of Pisces. Hod is all about structure and logic, but I/we are in Briah here, “Emotions, Ahoy!” so the result is resignation. But, SO WHAT? The message is clear, “Get the HELL out of here.” Or, as Raven puts it, “Nevertheless, happy or not, the call must be heard to leave the bogs of numbness, and the Eight of Cups tells us to abandon the past, leave the current situation, make up our minds most honestly and open our eyes to upcoming changes.” Upcoming changes . . . hmmm. XVIII the Moon, hidden knowledge & agenda . . . hmmm. I suppose that I shall be forced to accept, after all, the position of director of the Nazi army waiting on the far side of the Moon (the premise of a late-night movie I saw this week: unintentionally hilarious film by some very misguided but earnest filmmakers!) Bringing it back to reality . . . none of this is unfamiliar. I’ve “known” since just before the beginning of the New Year that changes were in the wind; I just didn’t, and to a great extent still don’t, know what they involve. Am I plotting world domination? Perhaps plans to apply for the position of Secretary to the Antichrist? Or perhaps Reader to the Stars at some exorbitant rate to prove how deep & special their readings are?? (LOL) I don’t know, yet. I’d like to think that the Ain Soph is going to use the better part of me to reach out and help, but one doesn’t know. (Another in the string of ‘golden’ aphorisms my father has given me: “Go ahead, shit in one hand and wish in the other, and see which fills up first.”) So, I can “wish” that I am used in a way that pleases me, but one never knows. So, in light of that thought, today I would ask the Cosmos to give us ALL the discernment to know the bullshit from the truth today.    

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Good morning and Welcome! to my Scales of Ma’at for 30Mar2016: my Heart is soaring high on an overview of XXI Il Mondo (The World) while the Feather of Truth is laying low amongst all of the frippery adorning il Re di Danari (King of Coins.) Today’s deck is the *Tarocco Soprafino* of F. Gumppenberg, printed in Milano in 1835, and often called “the most beautiful tarot deck in the world.” For this type of antique reproduction, it is indeed stunning. The cards are slightly smaller than modern normal; but are cut so finely & so sharply on good stock that they “hurt” to handle – they “pick” your palms like a ball of scorpions or electricity, it is very disconcerting, and will doubtless fade with age, but it gives you the feeling they are alive and JUMPING to get into action! I was delighted to recently receive this deck and can “fanfaronner” about it. Another item I wish to briefly re-cover today is what the hell I am doing; some of you may wonder. I call this simple spread The Scales of Ma’at, based on the Egyptian mythological reference to the Weighing of the Heart ceremony in Egyptian afterlife ritual. Ma’at, the goddess of Truth presides and Anubis weighs the deceased’s heart against the Feather of Truth, and if the heart is heavier, the ka, or soul, of the person is thrown to Ammit, the Devourer (a kind of demented, nightmare hippopotamus.) The two cards I draw, of course, represent 1) my Heart and 2) the Feather of Truth. From these two cards I synthesize my daily reading. ۞ On to today’s reading. Even though it may look like I’ve drawn two neighboring cards from an unshuffled deck, this is not the case: I just received an excellent draw this morning! And besides, I always use a spread-fan style of draw, so that eliminates that from happening. My Heart today is overviewing my life from the giddy heights of XXI Il Mondo (The World.) It’s true that I am currently enjoying a large and magnanimous inner kingdom wherein peace holds sway and indulgent yet sage understanding pervades the air. I’m feeling “large.” I shall enjoy it while it lasts, it won’t last long, it never doe, and won’t until I complete the initiatory journey and, for me personally, the life journey in this shell of meat. By Osiris! I’m tired of the meat. Perhaps it is the accumulation of years’ worth of ill self-treatment and runaway vice, perhaps not, but the machine is winding down and I cannot express how utterly DONE with it I am. It went above & beyond the call of duty, wearing itself out prematurely in the process, but I received what I wanted; a cornucopia of undifferentiated and un-moralized experience that helped fill that numberless quantity of curiosity corners in my brain and personality. As a result of that, I have become a formidable being indeed. To illustrate: while shopping in town with my wife yesterday, after a long day, my back was “killing me. We were traversing the train station when suddenly I realized we were at a “crossroads”: the two cavernous main hallways of the station intersected there where I was standing and by association with train travel, became the intersection of international travel, and a “crossroads” of dizzying potential. Almost automatically, I heaved a sigh of relief, and going inward to where I need to go, I stood at the center of the crossroads and performed a small magick to banish the pain in my back. Abrahadabra, done. I sailed on in newly summoned pain-free ease.
 To do this, and here is my point, I mentally summoned the King of Pentacles as master of the physical and asked him to clean up my immediate health issue by going within and bringing the healing out of myself and the energies of the cosmos there present. Not inappropriately, I receive il Re di Danari (King of Coins) as the abiding place of the Truth today. I take that message simply and upfront; that, what you did, is the Truth, Mark. That is the mastery of the physical, and if you don’t overthink it, you have proven to yourself time and again that you can master the physical WHEN IT MATTERS TO YOU.   Hence, perhaps, my feelings of utter ennui with the physical – been there, done that, been its King, even. Time to move on, which I have anyway, so it is with easy recognition that I see in the King of Coins that reflection of the Truth – mastery of the cube of matter, here as well as in IV The Emperor, is a quality of which I am aware and quite capable of inhabiting to bring forth a truth in myself and/or my Journey. I know that, so here, today, this is less informative than it is reinforcing: “Mark, for you part of the Truth lies in keeping hold of mastery of the physical, or retaining that kingship, at least for now.” And with a heart replete with both compassion and sorrow for the ills of the world and love for my fellow Journeyers, I am able to inform my kingship with the desired human quality it needs rather than the mere mastery of the 3D and more specifically, money and its innumerable manifestations. I HOPE this is all true, I HOPE this is me. The cards are telling me, “Don’t doubt it, Mark. You are getting there, you are.” So, if the cards are telling me, the divine in me is telling me. Am I trustworthy, am I to be believed? Again, oh, I HOPE so! May the Cosmos bring ALL of us the necessary energy to reassert our commitment to being on the Red Road and to finding our way back home. 93 93/93.    

Good morning and Welcome! to my Scales of Ma’at for 29Mar2016 : today my Heart is represented by the Knight of Staffs and the Feather of Truth is imitating « Stillness » at the monument of the 7 of Coins. (Today’s deck is, of course, Robert M. Place’s *Alchemical Tarot Renewed: Fourth Edition*, my “home deck.” After my recent adventures in Wildandwoolyland, I rushed home to the comfort and neoclassical rigors of my beloved home deck. Whew! A word to the wanting-to-be-wise; if you don’t own a copy of this, consider buying one [I do NOT receive a commission! LOL] as Robert’s decks inevitably sell out, and then one starts to hear the pitiable mewlings of the lost pussies who put it off. Very few decks have ever spoken to me without any ambiguity at all; this is one of them.) I arose e-a-r-l-y this morning, and happily, with the feeling of, “Good; the weekend follies are over, let’s get on with it!” No fritterfrattering around today, back to a sensible deck and sensible insight for sensible actions. (“Psst! Hey, Maude! You forgot your sensible shoes!”) There is an important difference , however, between Thursday last and today: I became convinced, 100% convinced, that the network of friendships I maintain here and some of those abroad, to which I had always ascribed as “pro forma” any declarations of amity & “love” for me, do indeed hold me in some regard. I was so immensely humbled, moved and gratified. And oddly enough, it motivates me to streamline my “emotional line” and get on with business, hence the Knight of Staffs. HE’s one of my four “regulars,” as I have stated before. I can almost ALWAYS be found either in the King or Knight of Staffs or the King or Knight of Swords.  My Knight of Staffs is about being “robust and confident,” seeing “the business” for what it is and ready to get on with it, NOW! I have a lot of charisma in this mode, but it carries arrogance and riding roughshod over people as well, so I can’t just adopt him lock, stock, & barrel without some safeguards in place. So I can stride into today ready to get down and get on with it . . . but carefully, Mark, try not to be an asshole along the way! 
The Feather of Truth, mocking piece of fluff that she is, has landed on the single alchemical monument to Patience that exists in all the known worlds, the 7 of Coins. Now, I can’t tell you how many times, yessireeBob! that I’ve heard the words, “Mark, you’re a monument to Patience!” Oh, wait, yes I can; Never. I have always been more of a “sow the wind, reap the whirlwind” kind of guy, so, patiently waiting in my clodhoppers, stick o’ straw in my mouth, staring dumbly at the growing crops really isn’t my style. I never admired Clem Kadiddlehopper. However, mockery spent and that being said, I have had some hard but profitable lessons in the last few years about patience, and “Patience,” the incarnate Virtue. From the micro to the Macro, I have been taught and then asked to exhibit Patience, which has been a special classroom for me as it is one of my most frequent, spectacular and costly downfalls, the lack of patience. I have committed some real doozies because of it, or rather because of the lack of it, patience. I come from a long line of proudly impatient men, men who would rather rush forward where angels fear to tread than to hear a cautionary word. Of course, there is also: short-tempered, choleric, and prone to the black & white solution of extremism and violent reaction, all included in the package, but “hey! who ya gonna believe, baby, me, o’ yo’ lyin’ eyes?” Robert’s 7 of Coins tells the story for seeing eyes; Saturn, the base, (Lead) rises to mars (Iron) become Jupiter (Tin) metamorphosing into Venus (Copper) who rises to Mercury (Mercury) who becomes Luna (Silver) and then, eventually, Sol (Gold) the sun Incarnate. I’ve always wanted to touch the face of God; I’ve just never had the patience to attain the placement. “The card represents an ascent toward a goal but the ascent must take place in stages. It suggests that we are not yet at our goal but we are on the path. Patience and perseverance are necessary to stay on the path.” (Robert M. Place, *Alchemy and the Tarot* Hermes Publications, 2011)  So . . . harrumph! Although I must say that I’m not surprised; Patience has been showing up a lot lately, in one form or another, counseling me to cool my jets, Enlightenment isn’t a blue-light special, take my time to organize and for once BE READY for what is to come, and prepared to not only enjoy it but exploit it for the benefit of myself AND others. If you personally knew me, you would know, “Whew! Mark has a challenge there! Ha!” That’s okay, though, I am long-used to the slings and arrows of outrageous patience, to pervert a phrase, and will make my accommodations to adjust to the necessity of a marriage of convenience. One can swallow a LOT of things if one wants the end result badly enough. Ha! “An’ I’m a-tellin’ ya’, I don’ swallow easy!” {{snicker}} May the Cosmos bless us ALL today with an extraordinary capacity for Peace and Patience, and may we be gracious enough to accept it!    

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Good morning and Welcome! to my Scales of Ma’at for 28mar2016: my Heart is represented today by the -6 Gemini- card and the Feather of Truth is to found lolling along the alien riverbank in the -9 Virgo- card. (Today’s deck is actually *Revelation Oracle Cards* by Paul Miller. Inspired by the success of using an oracle deck for yesterday’s Natal Trinity Projection & wondering if the success could be duplicated, today is an experiment. An experiment with mixed results, I ruefully admit. I should have chosen a more Lenormand-ish type deck for this, I believe. Mr. Miller’s (Paul, not me . . .) oracle deck has an inner structure and organization that, while highly detailed, doesn’t seem to serve a “tranny” reading (being one thing, dressing as another) very well. He uses standard Tarot layouts, which is perhaps where I was misled, because I cannot see that these cards slide into a deck of Tarot cards in that fashion. 7 suits of archetypes constitute the deck, with a different number of cards from suit to suit, and while following its own internal logic, it does not follow “go ahead, use me like a Tarot, I can multi-task” procedures, it isn’t made for them, it doesn’t fit. This is an oracle deck where, to be useful, it should be used with its own system of internal logic and not a Tarot overlay. Nevertheless, Truth comes in MANY disguises, and there is no reason I can’t adapt, and make the cards adapt to my needs. So, in the spirit of Arne Saknussemm, Forward We Go.)As my Heart today, I have the 6 Gemini standing in. If I take the card in its numerological & astrological senses, I can work out that I am working with Alliances/Unions/Marriages (the 6) and The Air (Swords) sign of June, so in an “analogy,” a “through the mirror darkly”-kind of vision, and a great big stretch, I am looking at a dimensional reflection of the 6 of Swords. The card illustration is striking, recalling Union, Alliance, and invoking the “mystic” of Air in the surrounding, a-storm-is-coming atmosphere. I shall read that as the fact that my Heart today is concerned with my alliances, as indeed I am. I have just spent a wonderful weekend of camaraderie and love and friendship, all manifested towards me on the occasion of a birthday, and I was literally OVERWHELMED by the affection and esteem of my French network here in Montpellier as well as my much larger network of friends and acquaintances on Facebook and through my Tarot-centered activities. I was made aware of the size and content of the networks I have created and their goodwill, and it brings to me a Cassandra-like feeling; “Buttress your Walls, oh Trojan king, for the storm is coming, the Storm of your world & race & time, the Storm of Change.” I believe it is coming indeed. The world simply can’t bear the weight of us much longer; she will throw us off like a dog shaking away fleas. When that time comes, I want MY networks to be solid and sure, so that those I love and who love us survive and continue Community. 
Of course, if I check out before then, all the better for me, but I STILL want the networks to hold solid, for the benefit of those involved. Onward to the Feather of Truth today, which is weaving a dreamy, subconscious-like path through the hazy atmospheres of 9 Virgo. I see that here the drive is the search for Wisdom & Completion (the 9) while traversing the harvest airs of the Earth (Pentacles), the attributes of Virgo. “Wrap up and finish the Search Below, my friend, and soon the Search Above, here in the realm of Pentacles.”  The realm’s didactic potential is growing desperately thin, for me. It nearly has nothing left to offer me, except the blessing of its being, which I gladly accept. Nevertheless, I am encouraged to search high in the realms beyond the physical (Neptunian and Uranian influences through the 9) manifestation of the Element, to seek in its pristine spirit the Truth which resides there and which I must take away as my “certificate of graduation” from this realm. Well, that’s all fine & good, then, because I have decided, not freshly either, that the “Physical” holds next to no interest for me any longer, and that if the material means anything TRUE in my life it is that it is so easily manipulated that babies do it every day. The physical has always been quixotically kind to me with occasional streaks and runs of irrational, Lady Macbeth-like lunacy & cruel behavior. But on the whole, I am in the black as far as she goes. I plan to keep it that way. So, there we have a kind of bizarre, cobbled together version of the Scales of Ma’at. Not very elegant, I admit, but it worked. I think tomorrow, however, it is time to return to Tarot and its design advantages (for these readings.) May we ALL heed the Cosmos today and be a bit more flexible in our reception of its blessings!   

Good morning & Happy Easter to the Christians & Summer Solstice to everyone else! (Don’t nitpick, it’s a nice day.) For me, however, it is my birthday, and today I decided to do a VERY simple Natal Trinity Projection for 2016-2017: Sun = Aries = # 17, Balance/Equality; Moon = Taurus = #49, Assistance, Help, Support; Ascendant = Virgo = #4, Perspective/Points of View. (The deck is Ciro Marchetti’s *Oracle of Visions*, perhaps one of his most “pure” creations in terms of artistic freedom. I am normally not that “big” on oracles or oracular decks; I’m even very testy when someone fools around with the Tarot, and I insist on “deep” justification, or it goes in the “round filing cabinet.” This Oracle deck, however, is of another dimension entirely. I go “other” places with it, and like today, what comes to me from it feels “so right, so true,” and so direct from the nonverbal centers of my soul that I KNOW that I’m working on all 8 cylinders.) So, this is, in the largest, broadest strokes possible, my year ahead, and this “feels” exactly correct. My Aries Sun is going to be looking to balance things out, from the Macro- to the micro-, and that feels EXACTLY like what 2015 has been ALL about, the preparation for the BIG SHIFT this year. 
My Taurus Moon is going to be looking for, and providing in return, aide, assistance & support from the “lunar realm,” i.e. psychic/astral and more feminine attributes in my being. I can “feel” that I am going to need a LOT of support and perhaps even foundational (as in working on my “inner construction”) aid to continue to erect the edifice, or “polish the lens of the Light,” during this coming year. Finally, my Ascendant Virgo is most profitably perceived as my Personal Vision, as conjuncted with my Solar Vision and Lunar Vision, and is all about establishing a mature, complete, ROUNDED perspective on MY world and the Reality that I have created, and to establish, perhaps for the very first time, an overarching “theme” to the project of Me, one more specific than, “Be the best person that you can be, Mark! Illuminate yourself!” For a very long time, I believed my purpose in the Universe was to be a Divine Fool, a Jester at the Court of the Ridiculously Sublime, and that the secret mission was to provide a punch line for every serious thought or idea that dared to raise its head there. The Jester’s motto was “SOFTOMA!”, and that is SO vulgar that if you want to know it you’ll need to PM me (DON’T if you are easily offended or shocked or grossed out! 
That’s the only warning you’re going to get. And don’t whine & cry later and play the PC virgin; “Don’t make me stop this car and have a ‘talk’ with you!”) That has changed over the years, and while I still intensely and immensely enjoy the role of the Jester, the Fool, I am not nearly as carefree AND careless as it may appear. I’m a long way down the Path, and there is still a ways to go. Therefore I appreciate signposts like today, pointing towards my new purpose of self-fulfillment and thereby making myself of future use to others, because wouldn’t it be nice if we ALL got out of here? May the blessings of the Cosmos Illumine ALL of us today, and guide us to the truths for our advancement!   

Friday, March 25, 2016

Card of the Day, 26Mar2016:
XII The Hanged Man
“A Willing Sacrifice To The Principle Of Non-Resistance.
With hands, arms and heart open, the soul enters into the problem, embraces the opposites and quenches their contraries. In the ancient Hymn of the Pearl, this is the Prince who must redeem himself before he can recapture the Pearl and return to the World of Light; this is also the Christ/Sophia, both of whom self-sacrificially descend to the lowest level of creation to harvest the fallen and dormant soul-sparks before making the turn-around to begin the ascent again. In Tarot, Major Arcanum XII symbolizes Metanoia, the spiritual turn-around point, which marks the end of the Fall and the beginning of the upward path. “(Christine Payne-Towler, *The Tarot of the Holy Light*)   

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Good morning and Welcome! to disappointment (I hope you are disappointed !) because there is no Scales of Ma’at today, nor will there be until next Monday, I would venture to say. My annual “mood” is settling in, Withdrawal & Contemplation, where I almost always go three days before I change years, yet again. This year it coincides with Easter Sunday, and you can’t imagine how disappointed I am that I must share my birth day with his comeback to the theater. (On the day, PLEASE feel free to ignore the FB reminder.) It isn’t a particularly significant number, 64, EXCEPT that 64 = 10 = 1, so I’m “back at the beginning,” in a very narrowly defined sense. I am an Aries sun with a Taurus moon and Virgo ascendant, which is ALL very apparent in my daily readings, I believe. Today, I start to indulge the Moon a bit, going “silent running” (any WWII submarine war film buffs out there? It’s a highly specialized genre! J.) I shall spend the next three days in taking stock, seeing how “the merchandise” is holding up, what I need to dispose of and what I need to restock in order to keep the machine running smoothly towards its destination. So, while I may lurk and comment, no posts for a while as I hammer together my “State of My Union” address to myself and sketch out, in the largest, vaguest outlines, what I’d like to put into manifestation for the next year.  A last comment on Hermaphroditus, the severe accident victim; s/he is improving slowly but surely. There is still a long, uphill battle ahead, but it seems that at least s/he will be here to fight it. My heartfelt Thanks to all of you who wrote to express kind thoughts, wishes and prayers for healing; it all really DOES help, you know, they aren’t just meaningless social niceties one employs in a certain set of circumstances. Energy flowing from around the globe to heal you – what a marvelous concept! Well, “I go now, my people, and whenst thou seest me return, I shall glow with a golden light, having just partaken of the smoky Truth with the Burning Bush!” Aside from my silliness, I like to follow an ancient custom for birthdays, GIVING gifts instead of receiving them. We ALL really only have one gift that is worthy enough to be given freely to each other with no reserve: love wrapped in truth. The Goal and The Path to It. With that in mind & heart, I will you well, each and every one of you, and if you follow the Path, I will a Happy Journey for you, and if you are not yet there, I will that you shall find it soon. May the Cosmos bless us all each and every day, and allow us to regard Infinity with an unflinching gaze.   

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Thinking to use the *Didactic Tarot* of Jeffrey M. Donato this morning for my Scales of Ma’at draw, I drew these cards. I’m not in a mood to deal with this crap. This is, supposedly, the Queen of Pentacles as my Heart and the Feather of Truth card is the 0 of Pentacles, “Pit.” Yes, it’s one of “those” decks, “specially-challenged Tarot.” I’m not in the mood to explore this folderol today, so I shall see you tomorrow! (BTW, Thank You again for the prayers, health vibes & support for my loved one, the accident victim. Resulting death was avoided, and slow but reassuring progress is being seen in the journey back from the brink. Whew!)    

Good morning and Welcome! to the Scales of Ma’at for 22Mar2016 : today my Heart is riding with the King of Wands while the Feather of Truth suns herself at the seaside with the Queen of Cups. (Today’s deck is *Le Tarot des Ancients Egyptiens * by Clive Barret [& what a French deck author is doing with such a quintessentially British name is beyond me.] The cards are gorgeous, professionally done & sturdy, high gloss, thus it is a wailing shame that the LWB (not L, not W) offers nothing more than tapioca interpretations that could have been randomly assembled by cutting words off the back of frozen crêpe wrappers. So, as good Tarologues (French for Tarologist), what do we do, class? That’s right! We THROW the book out the window and go with Intuition and knowledge. And really, the secret of reading for oneself is to ALWAYS throw the book out the window, as long as you have a grasp of the system being used. If not, use the book. Go ahead. No one’s watching. No cries of, “What a gyp! I could have done that!” LOL. In other words, I’m flying by the seat of my pants today, and I always like a large & roomy cut. No spandex tights for me, no siree Bob! LOL) I can get behind the idea of my Heart riding with the King of Wands today. I told the cards as I was drawing, “I could really use a more dispassionate day, guys.” (You know, don’t you, that I do NOT think the cards are sentient, right?? LOL) They delivered; of course they tricked me with the following card, but for now . . . . Go find your oldest mass-market deck, read the King of Wands entry, and there you have this deck’s entry, but in French; it doesn’t make it any more useful. What I can identify with this morning, where I CAN place my Heart in relation to this Court Card is in his Fire in Fire approach to solutions. Imaginative, even revolutionary & innovative solutions to questions/problems are his specialty, and I will often turn to the “WTF???” for answers to my questions. (For those not familiar, WTF is “what the f**k. Yeah, I’m trying to cut back on the vulgarity a bit. No guarantees.) Speaking of Court Cards, I have been FLOODED with the fuckers (oops!) for days now! Either our kaleidoscopic social whirl of the Geriatrics Among The Youth has turned my aura to jelly or the cards to a game of willy-nilly, or the indicated energy nexii are arriving and orbiting like deranged satellites to my calls into the æther. Hmmm, “Which, oh which, dear Diary, is the right answer?” I feel a lot like the 2 of Pentacles at the moment, it is true. I have a vague feeling that I’m not “dancing in the energies” as I would like to fantasize so much as playing some wicked astral dodgeball against opponents I cannot see but only sense their whereabouts. That’s a bit dramatic; I DON’T feel under attack, it is just that when the game stepped up, AND I WAS TOLD IT WOULD, I wasn’t quite prepared for the gearshift in speed. So, again, like the King, I can give it ALL furiously in one gigantic pulse, but I cannot guarantee what comes afterward. And the Feather of Truth? Where is she? 
Today she’s mocking me from the seaside 12 kilometers away, soaking up sea, surf & sand with her Maj the Queen of Cups. She is relaxing today – the chateau is far away the King is off at battle, so she and her pet ibis are crooning to the crustaceans. Being rather crustaceous myself, I hear her beautiful, simple song and feel the calm & peace it carries. Today, the Truth, for me, lies in leading myself, and my Heart, to the Queen’s side, and to breathe in a Zen-like emotional calm after the last two days of high drama & disaster. Her message today is simple, “Calm the fu** down, Mark. It’s all going to be as it should be.” And the truth is that she is absolutely right; there isn’t anything to be gained by any other emotional or rational approach than to create & radiate an omnidirectional calm & assurance. Speaking of which, I want to take this moment to thank ALL of you who posted thoughts, prayers & healing wishes for the victim of whom I wrote; your gracious manner & support were a balm. Back to the cards . . . this is all fine & good, pat & dried, washed & waxed, but it still leaves me just a bit in the dark as to where I am advising myself to “park it” today. 
A brain fart drove me to a 3rd, explicative draw, just for the closure of it. X, La Roue de la Destinée. LOL. Well, 50/50, right? I feel like a smart-ass heckler who has just been put in his place! Ha, that is amusing! However, I also see the Grand Truth in the small mockery; why do you seek that light? Live! You will see for yourself!” OF course the Wheel is about a whole Area-51-warehouse-FULL of things, today we are in the presence of Khnum, god of fertility and creation who created Humanity on his potter’s wheel. Harpocrates is here, The Child of Silence, and behind the tableau the grand Wheel in gold, with the ten spokes (Sephiroth) and around the wheel are Seth (Darkness) and Hermanubis (Hermes-Anubis), father & son. One falls, the other rises, the eternal rhythm of the universe. I’m not going the gnostic route today, just wasn’t in a space for it. So today, and just for today, I’m going to take it at face value: your Heart is riding with the King but the Truth is to go deep with the Queen; “This is your mission Mark, should you decide to accept it. As always, should you or any of your projections be caught or killed, the Tarot will disavow any knowledge of your actions. This card will self-destruct in five seconds. Good luck, Mark.” Well, troops, I guess I’m going in. Wish me luck. Or better yet, let us ALL ask that we profit from the rainfall of “luck” with which the Cosmos constantly bathes us.  

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Good morning and Welcome to my Scales of Ma’at for 21Mar2016: my Heart is in the Mother of Wands (Queen) and the Feather of Truth is incognito in the wrap of the Mother of Swords. (Today’s deck is, of course, *The Wild Unknown Tarot* by Kim Krans.) I’m feeling terribly somber today. Yesterday afternoon, I received news that a young person whom I love very much was the victim of a freak accident, and is now in a critical but stable (?) state with half the scalp removed & parked in the stomach & the brain exposed to relieve the pressure and deal with a massive blood clot, that all resulted from a simple stumble, trip, hit the head. I have been requested to keep the victim’s anonymity, so there it is. I am “bouleversé,” which in French has a much more serious connotation than the English “bowled over.” So I entered today’s reading heavy of heart and trepidatious of sentiment. In terms of heaviness of heart, my Heart is today coiled up with the Mother (Queen) of Wands, which I can understand to a certain degree; my emotional concerns are entirely centered on Hermaphroditus (a classical name giving away nothing.) Tarotically enough, the CB (Companion Book, not a LWB) describes a person EXACTLY like the youth. So while that person is a “Mother of Wands” hir (m²), it is MY Heart which is on the pitch and in the game, feeling desperately useless, thus the change in suit to find the truth, for me.
 The Feather of Truth today is incognito in the gorgeous coat of the Mother of Swords. This COULD be the hurt victim, it could be a sharp & observant medical person “on the scene,” this card “could be” a LOT of things or people, but that isn’t for what I drew; I drew for where the Truth is for ME today, and apparently it is here: Be smart, be canny, be caring but keep a critical eye on the entire picture. My wife and I are, of course, deeply concerned and in “prayer” for the recovery of Hermaphroditus, but there is nothing we can “physically” do to aid the situation, except send support to all the people involved “on site,” so to speak. I’m really not very talkative or cheery today, and to tell you the truth, drew the cards with a somewhat heavy hand this morning. I couldn’t make up my mind whether to “commit” to a reading or to let it slide for today. I’m still unsure, even after the reading AND the writing. Having your emotional reality depend on a drama that is taking place far away is not highly recommended, at least not by me; it is the stuff of Russian novelists like Tolstoy or Dostoeyevski, with Boris suffering in Siberia and Natasha living it up in Saint Petersburg. Great reading, lousy living. With all of my being I Will this person well, and then must step back and let the Cosmos work out its destiny. Today, may the Cosmos indeed be a benefactor and the source of Mercy and Compassion for us all. 

Good morning and Welcome! to the Scales of Ma’at for 20Mar2016 : today my Heart is serving cocktails with the Queen of Hearts and the Feather of Truth has taken an ‘escampette’ and is picnicking with the 4 of Wands. (Today’s deck is *The Housewives’ Tarot* by Paul Kepple and Jude Buffum. A completely working and actually pretty damn accurate Tarot deck, it is usually mentioned in the same breath as its evil twin, *The Zombie Tarot,” a planned clone in design, both fun. If you don’t mind taking your Tarot with a good dose of humor and sly observation, this deck is for you!) Today my Heart is hangin’ with the Queen of Cups, and she’s serving open cups all around! Each cocktail is a mystery but she’s counseling patience (a spiritual virtue,) and things will be what they will be in the grand nimbus of her aura of settled balance & generosity in the emotional realm. I’m going to step out of my cocoon of “never say too much about yourself” to say that my wife and I had a “lively” discussion last night, the “life” mainly on my side. I haven’t been entirely content in our emotional duo for a short while, and not being one to guard my venom for one hate-filled poisoned strike, I “howled” my dissatisfaction and feeling of being alone in the rowboat. She heard me (it’s hard to ignore a werewolf,) and sufficient bandages have been applied for the beast to heal. There is nothing Queen of Wands-y about that, except that the SPIRIT of our mutual bond & commitment  to this “organism called a marriage” is still alive and well, and still being fed by Her Maj the Queen. 
I’m not hunting for esoteric or recherché meanings in the cards today – doubtless they are there, but today this old warrior needs some R&R time, just a “l-i-t-t-le” space between me and my own intensity, my drive to continue my Journey. A recent experience with  N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (the active ingredient in ayahuasca) has also given me this conclusion: “Believe it or not, you’re seeking a little TOO hard, Buddy. Pace this out more . . . breathe . . . don’t be so damned intent & serious that you forget the transient beauty of simple existence, instead of ALWAYS being oriented towards a goal. Contain yourself, because this is going to be a howler – stop and smell the roses.” O-k-a-a-y, – I can do that. To reinforce the notion, the Feather of Truth today is lounging with the 4 of Wands. The LWB with this deck has this to say, quite amusingly, “Take a load off and enjoy a well-deserved Shirley Temple!” LOL, yeah, well, sure, why not. Down time today, then, is the decision. In that case, let’s all grab our Bermuda shorts on this 1st day of Spring and enjoy the freshness of the new season the Cosmos has sent us!   

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Good morning and Welcome! to my Scales of Ma’at for 19Mar2016 : today my Heart seeks to inhabit the warmly beating breast of the Queen of Staffs, and the Feather of Truth is off windsurfing with II the High Priestess in her crescent bark on the endless Ocean of Night. (Today’s deck is Robert M. Place’s *The Alchemical Tarot Renewed: 3rd Edition*. This is perhaps my all-time favorite of Robert’s decks, but they are all so good it is hard to choose. Even far out in left field, he brought home a winner with *The Vampire’s Tarot*. I would be repeating myself ad infinitum if I were to praise him here; suffice to say if it has his reputation and art, it is probably deeply esoteric & extremely beautiful & neoclassical. Always go out of your way, if necessary, to obtain a Robert Place deck, you won’t be disappointed. And no, we aren’t related, and he doesn’t pay me – Grin.) Well, my Heart today has leapt into the warm & rather firm bosom of the Queen of Staffs, which is fine with me; in fact, better than fine, as I passed another day side-tracked yesterday, and didn’t get much done in terms of “progression.” The evening redeemed a largely negative day; we had a houseful of young, energetic friends from here in Montpellier, mostly university students, and a camaraderie-filled time was had by all. I felt like a happy grandad (& and am almost old enough to actually be that for some of the youngest members of our coterie of waifs.) We do love them, all of them, for they bring boatloads of energy and hope and youth into our more mature & considered (boring) soup of the day. So, Her Maj there is presenting me with the choice between Natural or Refined. The possible list of metaphors & similes is endless, so let’s cut the crap and just say that my Heart, being embodied in the Queen today, is telling me (itself), “Choose. Natural – follow the will-o’-the-wisp of your mercurial temper and moods, your natural state, or follow the refined state, your path of learning which is larded here and there with discipline, mercy, and all the concepts that your baser nature is unwilling to take the time to consider. Also being reinforced here is the basic message of the last month – get on with it, you’ve gone as far as you can with what you have, now you need to clutch those keys in your meaty little fist and dive on into 
. . .  II The High Priestess. Again, a “Repeat, Mark, Repeat!!! Pay Attention!!”  message from both me and the Cosmos. I know in theory and think in practice that I love diving into the unknown, my too-infrequent trips there are always like going to the home of a rich aunt and coming home laden with unexpected & exotic surprises. (I actually had that experience in childhood, so the paradigm works really well for me. She was a terribly eccentric old bat, too, and I loved her to the depths of my soul. J Her younger sister was my maternal great-grandmother, so I DO mean “old.” She had a soft spot for me . . . Thank the Great White Buffalo!)  Trips to visit the High Priestess always remind me of that feeling you get as you prepare to leave your ordinary, everyday stressed-out life and go for a day or a weekend for some deep & re-sourcing “restoration” of your inner being; camping, a spa, a luxury hotel, a weekend hike, whatever it is for you. When it is time for a Temple vacation, I always get a bit excited and psychically febrile, like a jittery ant that’s been away from the colony too long and is jonesing to get back and see his Queen. I hardly ever actually change geographical place, but that can happen, too, “if the spirit calls me.” But first, the preparation, and the first step of that preparation is the one thing that is so absolutely necessary that breaking its observance breaks the visit: Shut Up. This message has been on an “eternal return” to me for a month now, at least, so with that lack-of-stubbornness for which I am famous (Ahahahaha!!), I shall now see the obvious and go, “Oh! Duh.”  And I can hear the rightness in the call and the little inherent judgment imbedded in it – “shut up, retreat, consolidate, bend your haughty neck before the goddess and know that you are already perfected, you just need to gain yourself again.” Plus, mysterious women drive me insane – I jump right into Philip Marlowe mode and start wondering where she’s hid the Maltese Falcon, which of her misdirections is actually true, and when will she try and “plug me in the pump?” (Shoot me through the heart.) It’s a little harder to play out the game on a psychic, astral level with the High Priestess, but not much (remember, the astral is really still in “the slums,” vaunting one’s contact & familiarity with the astral is a bit like vaunting one’s contact with the Red Light District in Amsterdam. You have to meet the HP on a higher level than that, up in the realms of Knowledge.) However, I do NOT mean to slight the Lady, in her true form she is my mystery goddess incarnate, my Anima at her most glamorous and indigo-hued mysterious. She’s a bit of a cold fish, we all know that, but she means well and is generous to a fault to those who seek her counsel. We all need the Lady in our Truths; otherwise they fall flat & boringly tedious, not being imbued with the breath of the mystery and the riddle of the Divine. That’s my Truth today, at any rate. So, Shut Up, Mark. May the Cosmos be a source of comfort and inspiration to us ALL today!  

Friday, March 18, 2016

Good morning and Welcome! to my Scales of Ma’at for 18Mar2016 : today my Heart is hanging out with a “bad influence,” the 9 of Swords, while the Feather of Truth is cooling her jets and snoozing over on the 7 of Disks. (Today’s deck is of course *The Tarot of the Holy Light* by Christine Payne –Towler & Michael Dowers. Revelatory & superb. The art is not static, it lives. Each card is an esoteric summation, beautifully done, yet it doesn’t slight the exoteric, either. Readings flow seamlessly for me. This is a new criterion of judgement I am employing, and so far there are just a handful of decks within my hundreds with which readings “flow like water.” This is one.) So, my Heart today is suffering the consequences of our detour yesterday. Let me explain – yesterday, I was “supposed to” progress from the 3 of Wands to the King of Wands in some sort of law-abiding and peaceful manner. (I despise the verb “should.” It was invented at the same time as guilt, and both are equally useless, the word itself slightly less so, the concept and “implied judgement” reeking to high heaven.) Instead, I took an ill-advised detour through misplaced, smoldering Anger, that I kept leashed because it had no logical target, no just cause. It just Was, and looking for victims. I couldn’t figure out where it was coming from – ostensibly, certain of my wife’s actions, but that was both untrue and irrelevant, as I knew deep beyond the anger. Finally I clued in later in the afternoon that I was angry with the impasse in which I found myself, wanting to JUMP into my little project and chafing at necessary delay, because it isn’t a one-dude pony show. Plus, I indulged in Anger against perceived stupidity, which as we all know is an exercise of the deepest futility. In other words, I wasn’t taming the beasts walking my Inner Fields, and I needed to do so. In order to do that, I had to jump FAR into the King last night to regulate the ebb & flow of Fire energy in me, and that took me into Administrative mode which bears a “fausse ressemblance” to IX the Hermit. So today I’m living with the detritus of that self-made side-mess, the 9 of Swords – perfect! It harkens back to the Mercury in Gemini-ness of my father, always critical & “heavy” after-the-fact, in my youth. (Dad is cool. He’s 83 now, and we long, long ago worked out our kinks. He’s a nice old man now, just like me –LOL. ;) ) I believe we were “built” to be young hellions; besides dad & me, there’s my brother, & in certain respects my sister as well, and to settle into hard-won wisdom with age. Not that I’m blowing my own horn, but I’m sure you understand.) . . . At any rate, like our poor friend the eagle up there, I was/am faced with fighting for my liberty again (not too serious, don’t call the medics) from my oppressors, an aggregate of bad habits and old attitudes still loitering in the shadows. 
When I do break the chain today I will be looking, yet again, at the Feather nestling happily on the 7 of Disks, Waiting. Patiently waiting, but still awake! yes, one must be patient and attend the harvest, but hell! There’s STILL a farm to run in the meantime and everyday chores to do, so don’t sit on your ass, Mark, today Truth lies in routine and patience. “Humility and compassion for the little guy,” as the LWB states (except it isn’t an LWB, it is a big, colorful, illustrated book deep in profound traditions and brimming with esoteric knowledges. [If the Nazis force you against the fence and tell you that “you must choose, Sophie, the book or the deck,” even through the tears, choose the deck, though the book will be a heavy loss. The cards are more likely to survive to carry the message more concisely. If nothing else, they will be treasured as “pretty things” during the Dark Ages to come . . . .]) The 7 is Virgo ruled by Saturn, and I am Aries/Virgo rising/Taurus moon, so this card is one of my little, itty-bitty bêtes noires, Patience. We are . . hmm. . uncomfortable together. I’m all Sturm und Drang, and Patience isn’t, she is the hausfrau in her country dress and braided hair, content to whistle and open peapods. Pretty she is, but a bore. “Ah, but have you met her cousin, Meditation?” everyone tells me. “Yes,” I say, “I have, and I’ve found meditation masculine-style more my thing, thanks. Another drink?” I do meditate, in my fashion . . . . The point being that I can hear Elsa Lanchester’s high-pitched fruity Anglo tones behind that Eye & Pyramid  intoning, “But Await! For yet More shall be revealed!” So, I wait. I don’t fidget, either; I’ve never found that an adequate substitute for the soothing relief of action. So, I “meditate,” and wait (still a bit impatiently, it is true) for that which is still to be revealed. By the way, I’m good with all of this. Having recently realized that I am already in possession of all the Keys I need, now it is a slightly less breathless task to put all the cogs and gears in their proper places and working order and set sail for the æthers of the Divine, a one-way trip. (“The Æthers are like Hotel California – you can check in, but can never check out.” True or False? You have 15 minutes, your papers WILL be graded and count towards your final grade.) I’m just glad to be out of yesterday, to tell you the truth. It felt uncomfortable and even unattractive, something which in my youth would never have occurred to me. I’m simply thankful that with the advance knowledge of where it was advisable to go, that choosing to do differently didn’t take me down uglier roads than that. I’m also thankful I hurt no one – something which I regret needing to consider after one of these foolish caprices; I wounded no one with unkind word or deed, so I can sail into today with my marbles bright and shiny and ready for another game. May the Cosmos be Joyful and Bounteous with us today, and may we have the Openness to receive it!    

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Good morning and Welcome! to my Scales of Ma’at for 17Mar2016: as my Heart this morning I have the card ‘Displays of Power’(3 of Wands) and today the Feather of Truth is aflame & lighting the way in the Master of Fire (King of Wands.) “Ho-de-ho-ho-ho, it’s gonna be a HOT day!” (Today’s deck is *The Didactic Tarot* by Jeffrey M. Donato. It is different & I had serious doubts when I opened it, looked at it and gave it a trial run. It has 5 suits, plus 2 cards added to every suit [a 0 and a card between 10 and the Page, which is a place, such as “Palace of the Broken Bean Wind”] or something similar (that suit-name is NOT in the deck!) We have a couple of cards to string from the inner tendons of your thighs, and then after that, on with a reading . . . no, but there ARE 102 cards in the deck, a monstrously large expansion. I spread & read once, and then consigned the deck to the “maybe” pile, which is actually the anteroom to Hades. A word whispered in my ear by a friend has caused me to retrieve and reevaluate it. Aha! It IS worth redemption! . . . I think. It is a project of love & scholarship, at least, as the deck is “the Master’s thesis” the author created to gain his M.F.A. degree. His goal is to teach through Art; he obviously has a history with symbolism & Tarot.) So, my Heart today shows up in ‘Displays of Power’ (3 of Wands), and my day is on its feet and moving. The card merits the author’s “tale,” not only to show his vision but to grasp his message: “A fervid mouth with tongues of lava spewed us forth from out its maw. Our kingdom now is laid (sic) before us, and all there is to be explored. Great reptilians roam the surface. Something lurks in the distant sky. It’s fled to tell its Master Mother. Soon She will come and we cannot hide from Her. SO let us be bold and step apart and see what each can become alone. Then we’ll recombine and gain new strength. The horns of fire from which we drink and stoke our spirits make us strong and give us a sense that we belong. This is our realm and so we claim the power of the perfect flame.” (Jeffrey M. Donato) I find the triskelion to be the heart of the card, the ancient Celtic symbol for competition and Progress, the “three legs running.” This presentation of the 3 is VERY active, I find. Which is fine, yet it doesn’t find QUITE that mobile an expression in my morning. It IS here, chez moi, it is tangible. I’ve made the Wand-like decision to move a bit of distance away from hearth & home, & wife, today, not to become IX the Hermit, which was recently an anteroom as well, but to Explore a bit, to step back into that surcharged realm of “Out There, There Is Fire.” (I’m not doing “bones” today. Those of you looking for them will understand what I mean; basic info is on the card. I will add this, however; “the Threes are connected to Binah - Understanding. The untouched energies of the 2's have met the 3, the number of synthesis and harmony. They're no longer solitudes; they face up to their meanings and surroundings . . . the powerful fire understand its responsibility.”) I have a real whopper of a first step this morning, it seems; 
I find the Feather of Truth embedded in the Master of Fire, the traditional King of Wands. Well . . . harrumph! . . . It doesn’t much more overtly masculine than that unless you were to add an erect phallus. That giant ram, Mars & Aries, the Phoenix, the Sun, dragons & fire, Fire, FIRE. . . “Whoa, Jack!” Writing of the card, there is this excerpt from the NCB (Nicely Colored Book), “My representative among men you shall be, I will crown you with fire and none shall defeat you. And when your time is passed, I will see that you are blessed with an epic battle and a warrior’s death. Sitting between the furnaces of the planet, Ammram the Destroyer is my name. I am the anger of spirit. To BE is to radiate the essence of life. I was created by Nema, but in a shallow breath, the star expanded and the seed of Prion fell and struck me between the eyes, and I knelt to the power of the one true God, digging a hole and planting the seed of another crystal tree.” (J.M.D.) Whoof! I feel as if I’ve just been “hooved” in the stomach! I can believe that, somewhere inside of me, there is a shard of me that COULD be sent to the Island of Dr. Moreau, transformed into a star beast, and have that kind of assurance & chutzpah to NATURALLY assume this multi-incarnation of Fire & Odin & Aries & Tiamat, symbols & dignities of powers beyond human ken (at least for now!) That shard, however, doesn’t exist in a state of being where the ego has been apotheosed  to such giddy interstellar levels, and I can feel a touch of sympathy & pity in my Heart for the great Master, bound and imprisoned as he is in his own myth. Even I, little me, am far, far freer than this Grand Sovereign of the Spheres. “I understand, my Lord, I do. And with my Heart I serve you, because I understand my Truth lies imprisoned here with you, and I must set it free.” Being fire in Fire, the Master of Flame is the purest manifestation of his element . . . (a) born leader, full of ideas and idealism, proud and commanding, at his best noble, honest . . . and intelligent. (He stands for the) highest inspirations, spiritual realization and purest creativity. ” (Raven, & me)  I LIKE throwing Mr. Donato’s interpretation into the mix, that kind of Babylonian Tiamat/dragon/ram/phoenix dynamic is more in line with my own inner conception of this King (as a SPICE to the mix, calm down!)Whichever way I take it, Truth for me today lies in assuming the duties & responsibilities, as well as the power & dynamism, of him whom I most closely resemble, I suppose . . . at least for today. Grin. May the blessings of the Cosmos surprise and delight ALL of us today and may we be glad!    

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Good morning and Welcome! to my introduction of a new system & deck in my life (& perhaps in yours?), today, the 16Mar2016. I have used an on-the-spot (or off-the-top-pf-my-head, if you prefer) spread that I’m calling, simply, the State of the Union. It is intended to give me the broadest general wrap-up of my state of being on the 5 levels: 1) Earth - Physical, 2) Water - Emotional, 3) Air - Intellectual, 4) Fire - “Creativity” and 5) Spirit - wherein may also be found a hint for where I should go as soon as I leave this party. Starting at 1, the cards spiral outward in a counter-clockwise direction, with the 5th card, Spirituality, at the summit ; think of a fat & rounded lower-case D, “d”, with the 1st card at the mid-point and the spiral out and down to the left, only to circle and rise on the right. I know, only 5 cards, but it works. I am also sure that this spread already exists in a thousand forms with as many names, so I’m not doing anything original here, just Logical. It sprang to mind like this, an Athena of my needs. (The deck, as you may know from my smitten post yesterday, is *The Mutational Alchemy Tarot* by m1thr0s and Izi Ningishzidda, who are, I believe, The Abrahadabra Institute.
 Here is the brief blurb that Aeclectic gives it: “The Mutational Alchemy Tarot is a 78-card tarot designed by and for experienced occultists. The vivid, complex, hand-painted illustrations are based on a foundation of mutational alchemy theory but are also designed to be used intuitively.” Period, end of statement. “Short shrift!” I cry. It IS a deck for practicing occultists, and as such it comes already dressed in a complete working magical system, but it is SO much more than that, as well; by happy synchronicity it works for me as if tailor-made. I could go on, but won’t. Suffice to say, I LIKE the deck.) So, “Pedal to the metal, Myrtle!” and let’s get on with it. For the sake of a post, I am NOT going to go Full-throttle Fred on myself or you, the post would be 16 pages (yes, I mapped it out, and it was between 13 to 16 – ahahaha, I thought, they’ll send the Vegan thugs to beat me up and lock me away.) So, were doing some short-order cooking today. The 1st card, Earth/Physical, is the 10 of Pentacles, & using GD terminology, “Wealth.” Not Rothschild-style wealth, money, but wealth in ALL the physical. To me, this card carries funeral march overtones; the fruit is turning, the milk souring. The party is well over. This IS the culmination of the Material, and I can identify, deeply, intimately and with nonattachment. I DO believe that, on a general State of the Union level, I have reached the 10. I am comfortable, not rich, and physically “replete” with my life and what it has brought to and taken from me. I honestly DO feel that Now, from here on, I’m just marking time, and while I hope to contribute & be useful & Live, these are pastimes until the real business of departure. They have chosen Bes, “. . . the Ancient cat god who is described visually as a sand cat or lion cub with a large phallus, an upright stance wearing the a cat's skin and a crown, came from a very ancient class of deity in Kemet . . The cat of course was a very valuable asset in a desert country that was probably at the mercy of the local rodent population . . .” (LWB) And thus an “assurance of wealth,” as well. There is a plethora of magical information in and around the card, some of which is familiar to most Tarologists and some of which is useful only to practicing occultists, but it IS worth the time it takes to inform oneself  of the “larger picture” of this and every card in this deck. They ARE transformational. 
The 2nd card, Water/Emotional, is the 10 of Staves (Wands), AKA “Oppression” in the GD system. Here again, right on target. After the Great Cleaning of the Fall/Winter of 2015, I can believe that I expected the resulting clean abode to welcome visitors, but I believe I was neither delusional nor overoptimistic, more of a “Well, it’s clean, maybe I’ll have guests!” kind of attitude. Step by grudging, stubbornly-resisted step, I’m moving slowly away from my orbit around the emotional sun of my desires, content with my twin planet and no longer seeking a solar system in which to nestle. But, Oh, My! did I WANT that for a l-o-n-g time, and the tastes of its’ echoes still run across my palate. I love to be loved, period. I have the complete, honest love of my wife, and that has come to reveal itself to be such a mystery and cosmic wonder to me that my needs have diminished greatly in the light of her star. On the card, we have again a real plethora of symbolic significations, all of which I’m not going to detail here, as there is a LOT of it. Suffice to say that with Fire in Earth, the Sun in Sagittarius, residing in Malkuth, this is all about the Tactile, the “physical oppression of self-imposed duty” and the fatigue of extended effort. 
“Malkuth is one of the most precious jewels in the tree, we know this by the attention that is paid to it by Heaven and the Emperor (at least in the corrected Liber-al-vel-legis  version found in The Mutational Alchemy Tarot) Most other authors treat it is as a cosmic toilet bowl of some sort, but it is not. That special attribute belongs to Da’ath alone. The 10’s represent the element taken to its maximum strength.” (LWB, which actually should be LWD, for Little White Download, there is no print version – yet.) Moving on, I have the 3rd card, Air/Intellect, the 7 of Alembics (Cups). AKA in GD as “Debauch.” I had to laugh when I turned this over, a rueful but healthy laugh, as I thought it the perfect card for where I am at the present with the groaning, creaking table before me of all sorts of Tarots and magical & magickal systems and schools and thoughts and it’s all been a wonderful, giddy, moveable feast, but the illusion of “Party” is a longtime gone.  Here’s heresy for you – I’m tired of buying Tarot decks and investigating systems, looking always for another Key. I have ALL the keys I need, I’m sure of it, and having five hundred and one decks isn’t going to be superior to having five hundred. So, enough shopping, decide, Mark, use your Intellect, banish the illusions and choose your vehicle with care & love to get you on down the Path of your Journey. Again, I’m skipping ALL of so much important information for the sake of time & space! (Illusions, too, we are told & can experience.) This is Venus in Scorpio, though, so one should at least know that. The next card, the 4th, Fire/”Creativity”, is yet another 10, the 10 of Alembics, AKA “Satiety.” Yes, again on the mark, I am sated, although I still have new “projects” springing up all the time. The great advantage of living a life where you never said “No,” except to the obviously suicidal, is that you have a grand backlog of experience in creativity and creation, because you have ALWAYS been in the process of creation, much more so than a lot of other, “more cautious” people. I, Me, Mark Miller, I’m MY Work of Art, and I believe that on some level I have known this all my life – I am not here to serve man, I am here to serve the Divine. If the Divine manifests in Man, (not “man” small m) then it’s a different story and I am “on loan.” I believe that is true of a great, great number of the people who are attracted to Tarot and other metaphysical systems that point the way out and up. My creativity is constantly being fulfilled by this, the Tarot, and a bagful of other interests that I keep alive and happy to give my Creativity a full palette of colors. Here, Water of Earth in Malkuth, Mars in Pisces, all speak to me, “Relax! You’ve got a full refrigerator; you can prepare food for days.” 
“Connected with the waters of Malkuth, Kingdom, Satiety features Dôn, the Welsh name of the Mother Goddess. She is the sister of Math fab Mathonwy, a sacred King and later regarded even today as a god of Magick, Sorcery and Enchantment.  Married to Beli, God of Deth, she is not featured in the Mabinogian, that collection of Welsh literature, even though she is an ancestor or relative of many of its actors. She is the penultimate goddess of the concept of Courtly Love.” (LWD) So, I am in a dance of Courtly Love with my Parvati, and we in Creativity are happy campers. Finally the 5th and key card, Spirit/”Forward”, is Atu XVIII the Moon. One notices it is the only Major in the draw, sitting over a fistful of 10s & a laughing 7, It is as if I’m being clued in, “3D is over for you, buddy, the time has come to board the Moon Shuttle and go Deep Mystic now for your answers.” The card itself blows me away – the art is UP FRONT and Out There. Quickly, bones: “Letter: ק Qoph (Q); Number: 100; Proximity: Sephira #7 (Netzach) to Sephira #10 (Malkuth); Ruling Pentagram: Pent #29 "Corporealizing" – Water of (Tui) The Joyous, Lake (Above/Below) Earth of  (Chên) The Arousing, Thunder.” (LWD) I know the argot LOOKS incomprehensible & intimidating, but it isn’t; with a few days application one can begin to tread all those systems a little less warily. There are reams of metaphysical philosophy symbolized on/in this card, and most of us deal with it by thinking, “Hidden, mysterious, go weird to connect, go astral, unconscious, hold your breath and dive in, don’t dip your toe.” Let’s simply contemplate the image, for the moment, knowing that the beating heart of the message of this card is, “Your way forward is through the Moon, Mark; You are going to have to dive and bring back the pearls from the bottom of the Ocean of Endless Night, our mother Nuit. You must be Geb, Mark, you must make union with the Moon to progress.” The image is spectacular, non? I, Count Gilles de Lazyasacrêpe, tell you it is. Here is Ms. Ningishzidda’s (the artist & magician) description, with which I close, after a departing word. “Rather than confine the deck to earth, the literal Terran moon is absent. The texture on the crescent is from a photograph taken by NASA of the surface of Phobos, one of the two moons of Mars. This speaks for the eerier side of the moon card symbology where fear surrounds the subconscious and manifests as paranoia and irrational fears (phobias). One cannot deny one’s own internal nature just as the dog cannot wholly escape its genetic heritage derived from wolves . . . Instinct is ultimately King . . . Rather than depicting a defeated Diana, it depicts a triumphant Hermes. Dionysus, often depicted as an infant in the arms of Hermes, because of the special relationship between entheogens (Dionysus) and inspiration (Hermes). Dionysus is an alternate archetypal association with the moon and his animal is the nocturnal leopard, hunted to extinction in Europe long ago.” There is much, much more. This is scandalously overlong, so let me wrap it by invoking Cosmos, and asking for and Willing that it’s blessings fall upon fertile ground in ALL of our souls today!