Good morning and Welcome! to the Scales of Ma’at for 4Mar2016 : my Heart today is forged as the Ace of Swords and the Feather of Truth is bathing in sulphur and tickling the haunches of XV the Devil. (Today’s deck is *The Waite Smith Tarot: Centennial Edition* by A. Waite & P.C. Smith. I thought, after my many exotic travels around the planet Tarot Deck, we’d return to a rather Edwardian Earth and the seminal deck of the 20th century [argue away, I don’t care.] A nice comfy “read” with Grandma in the parlor, a cup of good, strong, steaming tea and Fluffy the cat sitting somewhere on an antimacassar thinking about shredding Grannie’s ankles yet again.) Lawsy, lawsy, lawsy, when I drew that Ace of Swords, I said to myself, “Well, Sue-Bob Mark McBanjo, you’re back on the shittin’ Swords again!” I can’t shake the Swords to save my arcane life, but this isn’t about the cards, or course, it’s about me. Today is the start of another great intellectual adventure, or something of that ilk, and it has to be done now, Now, NOW. Or, I can see the Ace of Swords as a tool to cut down any rigid structures holding me back from the perusal of an idea. Our friend the shiny, pitiless sword is for thoughts and belief systems. It is mental energy used to create new beginnings. Oddly enough, something as unexpected as weird is the entry for this card in, of all places, “TarotWikipedia” on Google. It gives its strong points: “The intellect. Making the right decision. Success and victory. Mental energy. Ability to concentrate. Stimulating environment. Justice and truth. Cutting through confusion. Seeing clearly what is going on.” Rather broad and over-sweeping, I know, but one gets their drift. Thankfully there are no references to winning the Lottery or finding True Love. At any rate, let’s circle back around to this new idea that can’t wait to be born in Bethlehem. This most probably has to do with a recent concern of mine: I love & enjoy the Tarot so much that I would like to get “it” out there to more & more people, so that as many as possible can find their Paths and make their own Journeys towards Enlightenment. There are several traditionally accepted methods for doing that, but I’m not feeling enthusiastic about any of them. The entire question bears serious, long reflection, not jump-into-the-fray haste. (BTW, I’m not doing “bones” today or going into “alternate” sources of gnostic wisdom to unveil the cards; today it’s “Let’s have tea and then a reading today!” “Oh yes, let’s!” just the way it might most likely have been when the original of this deck appeared. I think I can still get into the corset and the black bombazine dress.) My Feather today is following a very trendy Edwardian custom, dabbling in diabolism, and thus the visit to the audience hall of XV the Devil.
Yeah, yeah, yeah; enslaved to the material, lust in its crudest forms, but interestingly enough, that isn’t what this card was to Ms. Smith. This card was an expression of “accommodation,” finding the Golden Mean or Harmony, “. . . but there is no correspondence in that world [the Divine world] with the things which below are of the brute. What it does signify is the Dweller of the Threshold without the Mystical Garden when those are driven forth from therefrom who have eaten the forbidden fruit.” (*The Pictorial Key to the Tarot* by Arthur Edward Waite) Therefore if one is going to give a rather carnivalesque cloak to the Devil to wear in humdrum readings, then one misses entirely the message that is being delivered to the Querent. We all know this, no one of whom I’m aware still “reads Tarot” like an end-of-the-pier mechanical contraption dispensing fortunes for a quarter. If I’m going to find the Truth anywhere in this card, it IS going to be in the liberating aspect of XV, the “find liberty in service” aspect of the card. For a long time now I have seen reading the Tarot as a “service” that the readers provide their clients, no differently than any other professional whose services you employ “because they know their job & you don’t.” In this case, I happen to believe that the service provided is, unknown to the vast majority of its beneficiaries, one of the most profound tools that exists for performing radical metaphysical surgery on oneself in order to progress on a scale of projected future Enlightenment; to become “a better person,” to become the balanced and harmonious person you know you are meant to be. Yeah, I know, it sounds like a lot of that motivational horseshit they sell to people along with a week in Hawaii for only $5000 payable in three easy installments, but it happens to be true; they are just making a profit on it. (If I’m going to spend 5 Large on a week in Hawaii, it had better be for a Tarot conference and NOT Tony Robbins!) For the most part, we can thank our old enemy christianity for the demonization and vilification of ALL the “liberational philosophy & theology” inherent in the card, and their psychotic need to be the ONLY channel between Man and God. Thank God God is not their God. (Ha-ha! Say THAT 10X really fast!) Well, as I limp away from the wounding reception that admittedly bad pun got me, I will simply say this; if I can see this conjunction of images as an opportunity for liberation and intellectual growth rather than “je veux enculer le Diable,” then I’m making progress! Grin! May the Cosmos open its astral gates and let a rain of blessings pour down upon us all!