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!