Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Good morning and Welcome! to the Scales of Ma’at for 01Jun2016 : today my Heart is in #77 Confusion, while the Feather of Truth has gone on to the response to that state, #61 Solitude. (Today’s deck is the *Egipcios Kier Tarot* ed. by Stuart R. Kaplan. Straight from the Fields of the Blessed in the Undying Lands of the West, this deck is THE Egyptian-style Tarot deck to have. I LOVE it. End of praise, otherwise I would go on & on & on.) The first thing I notice about today’s draw is that while I may love this deck, it has no trouble expressing the doubtful inner me, and expressing it forcefully. As if Thoth walked into my room and stentoriously boomed, “Mark, we need to have a talk!” I fucking hate “have a talk” talks, or at least I did when I was but a young stripling. Nobody has said it to me for years now, ever since my last stay at rehab (Grin.) Alright, let’s be a bit more serious – my Heart is in a state of confusion today, and this I understand. After the excitement of getting my effort off the ground, I am now a bit at sea about direction. The card itself is the sign of self-examination and reflection. It symbolizes human virtue by becoming aware of one’s own mistakes, making amends and gaining the necessary knowledge for evolution. He is connected to Mercury, the world of the mind, reason, & logic. In a traditional divinatory role, this card would be signifying a need to face obstacles presented unexpectedly, grief, sorrow, bitterness, etc.; but the chances of enjoying good fortune or misfortune depend solely on the inspiration itself, because depending on one’s attitude they can fluctuate one way or another. The Key phrase for this card would be, “You are not alone, but lost.” I WILL find my way out of the forest; I know that beyond a shadow of a doubt, I simply need to make some decisions about and thus a commitment to my course of action as a teacher in this new venture. Some of my old shtick as a university professor can be adapted, but much can’t because of the nature of the subject, the need for individual study and experimentation and the choices made by my students during the course of instruction. Allowances can be taken into account for ALL of this; my focus here isn’t to be some sort of hard-assed drill instructor, but rather a sort of “guide” for new Travelers. Turning from my less-confused-now Heart to look for the Feather of Truth, I find her woven into the tresses of a contemplative #66 Solitude. 
I’m not having much luck today, because don’t be fooled; this ISN’T the Hermit Arcanum disguised (well, it is, but just a little!), this is a whole different card, and if we HAD to draw a comparison, with Neptune as its ruling planet, this might fall amongst the more melancholy cards of a Thoth or RWS deck. Neptune IS at the “he/art” of what is going on here, especially in regard to the rather abstract concept of Truth. “Arcanum 61 is the sign in which one's will is concentrated. Its mystical number, 7, is the number of "Divine Harmony".  It symbolizes the realm of the spiritual over the material, consciousness, perfection, the seven planets and their influence on every incarnate person. Neptune governs the world of the transpersonal. It seeks contact with other dimensions, with the "beyond," the escape into unearthly worlds, and feels a great attraction to the unknown and transcendent. It gives people a strong sensitivity, intuitive understanding and paranormal psychic abilities. Among their concerns are mysticism, the purest idealism and search for the spiritual.” (LWB and Me) THIS is what makes it a melancholy augur – the sensitivity to the psychic and the transpersonal puts a person almost directly at odds with society; solitude becomes NECESSARY instead of desired. As for the imagery, the thing that fascinates me about this card is the papyrus flower sitting on her head – it is so incongruous! It makes me smile. Conversely, as papyrus was used both to make the paper “papyrus” as well as a shipbuilding material, perhaps it references the solitary person’s resort to written materials for learning, or in shipbuilding, as material to cruise amongst the stars – it is ALL theoretical, and if given to that bent of mind, one could while away an afternoon inventing relative correspondences for all the little symbolic goodies on these cards. If used for divinatory purposes, this card symbolizes caution, vigilance, and observation. The Key phrase for this card, in its own system, could be, “Time is in your favor, but seems eternal pain.” Not very cheery, is it? Well, that’s alright, because it symbolizes an abstract of the Truth, that it must be faced no matter what the cost, and that sometimes the best time & place to face it is in the inner spaces of your being where only you are present. It is only when we don’t face the truths present and demanding attention that Time seems “eternal pain.” So it seems to me, at any rate, and this applies nicely to the fact that I need to employ solitude to think my way through the questions of #77. So, while I dress myself in a confusion of colors and patterns and wander off to seek wisdom in the starry night sky of the desert, I shall ask the Cosmos to give us ALL the ‘sang-froid’ to look our Truths unflinchingly in the eye and act upon them to heal the organism. Be Well! 

Monday, May 30, 2016

Good morning and Welcome! to the Scales of Ma’at for 30May2016 : today my Heart is contemplating new adventure with #26 the Prodigy and the Feather of Truth has gone a-fielding with #21 Transmutation. (Today’s deck is *The Eternal Tarot* by Samael Aun Weor (aka Víctor Manuel Gómez Rodríguez.) A Hermetic, gnostic deck, it takes itself VERY seriously, and is designed for deep, personal transformation in an initiatic “setting,” delving profoundly into the metaphysical in an Egyptian format. It is a singular Tarot, self-sufficient and highly arcane, and should be approached as such. I like it a lot, but one has to be prepared to suddenly “up one’s game” in a vertiginous manner. As a plus, one doesn’t have to subscribe to the particular beliefs of Mr. Weor for the deck to be of use; it is polyvalent.) I’m compartmentalizing today, so bear with me; we’ll make a quick synthesis at the end. Firstly I regard my Heart in the febrile excitation of the attempt and the “attente” of #26, the Prodigy. This is a difficult card to assign correlations; the 4th card in the minor arcana sequence of an Egyptian deck, by whatever name & small difference of interpretation, it is ruled by Saturn and corresponds, loosely, with aspects of the 7 and 8 of Pentacles, while the imagery and parts of the meaning seem to describe the 8 of Wands, perhaps. The Sun is present in Virgo in a much occluded fashion in this deck, more concretely asserted as important in a Golden Dawn or Thoth deck. The Prodigy is symbolic of the human creation of ideas, marvels and wonders, and awaiting the results. Mr. Weor states that it represents “the action of time as justice and power of manifestation.” (LWB) That’s a very pissy way to say to that it represents the action of “working and then waiting for the harvest to arrive, the quality of its success and the quantity of its bounty being the only judges necessary of our efforts in the fields. A Prodigy manifests a BOUNTIFUL harvest, obviously, but ONLY if he is in tune to receive the lessons of Saturn about patience, organization and judgement. My dearly beloved Anubis!! This reading is RIGHT ON. I can’t imagine a better way to describe where my Heart is right now, putting this newly manifested “baby” out for the cold, vast judgement of the Cosmos; “Hey, fellas! What do you think of my new idea, my new project? Is this tree going to bear fruit, or what??” Whether the Cosmos sends nutritive rain or blasts of lightning depends on the quality of my labor and offering; “Will it accept the offerings of my efforts?” my Heart is wondering. Sometimes the Heart questions what the Spirit already knows; I feel GOOD about this project, this “effort and offering,” in a way I have never felt before for a job, a career or a project. Not only am I on board with this, I am a creator of it. 
Turning from my Heart in a search for the Feather of Truth, I find her shadowing the footsteps of #21 Transformation. In an Egyptian deck such as this, this card is the Fool, not the World. It is also not interpreted in a favorable light, at all. Herewith: “Arcanum 21 can be represented by the inverted pentagonal star which symbolizes Black Magic.”.  .  . we “mistake the body of Desire for the Astral Body, and this is a grave error, a tremendous mistake,” causing catastrophe. “In the Egyptian mysteries that body is known as Apopi, this is the Demon of Desire.   That Demon is frightfully evil, and to think that everyone has it, that the whole world is evil. (Sic) To cease being so is only possible through the efforts and super-efforts of this Path. Only in this way will we cease to be demons.” (*The Initiatic Path In The Arcane of Tarot And Kabbalah* by Samael Aun Weor. Amazon Press, London, undated.) Well! . . . uhh . . . umm . . . harrumph, I suppose that is one way of looking at it. I would normally call “Bullshit!” but this setup makes an internal sense that is hard to fault or pick at in order to unravel. This interpretation flies in the face of my beliefs and experiences with the Fool, whom I find to be much less ominous and much more numinous than that! [Numinous:  adjective; having a strong religious or spiritual quality; indicating or suggesting the presence of a divinity.] So, between Tweedledum-Evil and Tweedledee-Numinal, I will go where Tarot has ALWAYS taught me to go; with what the card means to ME. So, fuck evil demons and Hello! my old pal, the Fool. THAT is the Truth for me today: I’m out there with my questioning, waiting Heart, stepping out into the Universe and perhaps off the edge of a cliff, perhaps not. BTW, on the card, that croc at the bottom is Apophis, (NOT “Apopi”, if one is not going to transliterate any old way at all!) Trust me, I have been an amateur Egyptologist for 59 years & counting; my very first “bought & paid for by me” book was a tome on Egyptology when I was 5 yrs. old. (I only found out later that my two passions were so closely entwined. Thus it is easy for me to spot and call out theological and mythological errors according to any classical Egyptian tradition, at all. This means that a lot of the so-called Egyptian decks are easily spotted as recently invented Apis-Bullshit.) I have more than an inkling of an idea that on this arcanum Mr. Weor let personal experience & community needs dictate the card’s significance, although I have no concrete proof of that. (His “community” was the Universal Christian Gnostic Movement, which he founded.)  So, in summation, I can see a more or less true reading for myself this morning; with my Heart in hopeful attendance upon good news of a bountiful and blessed harvest while the Feather of Truth has indicated that what this is, actually, stripped of trappings, is 0/21/Me/the Fool, off on his journeys, yet again. This time I’m stepping forward in a new and truer calling, a proponent of the very Path upon which I walk. I ask the Cosmos today to let us ALL step out in the freshness of new adventure and new spirit. Be Well!    

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Good morning and Welcome! to the Scales of Ma’at for 29May2016; today my Heart is beating confidently in syncopation with that of XVII Le Stelle (The Star) while the Feather of Truth, in a domestic moment, has gone to dust off the 10 of Chalices. (Today’s deck is the *Ancient Italian Tarot* by Carteria Italiana, 1880, Serravalle Sesia. It is a Lo Scarabeo re-creation deck; to which I was turned on by a Facebook friend, Guillaume P. [He has some great decks! I’ve been made aware of these decks by Guillaume’s generous spirit in posting them.] I fell in love with the pure Italian-ness of this deck; you either have to be Italian or have lived there [undergraduate study years ago] to appreciate the kind of High Italian Kitsch Culture this art represents; it makes me smile. Otherwise, it follows the TdeM standard model.) My Heart is hanging with Hope today; at any rate, that is as accurate and simplistic a one-word definition of a Major Arcanum as exists. This has ALWAYS been a welcome card in my readings; as a matter of fact, I believe we all see it that way, n’est-ce pas ? We know why my Heart is happy, don’t we? With Mercurial swiftness my Heart has taken up the position of great Hope because with the initial enthusiasm of my single-teacher initiative, and my 2 students (count ‘em, two! [grin],) I feel a surge of hope in the possibility of spreading my love of Tarot and its benefits to others. In some twisted Mark way, as well, it is a vague feeling of leaving something behind me, to mark my rather unremarkable passing through this world. Some people feel that way about children, I am starting to feel that way about Tarot; if I can leave “my” Tarot in the hands of a “successor,” I would be more than content. It is a feeling common to ALL of mankind; “Why, when I die, must the “totality” of me disappear, as well? I CAN and I WILL leave something after me, to mark my passage.” I’ve never burned to have children; conversely, as with animals, I get along with children quite well, and my secret is simple: don’t treat like children, or what we imagine children to be. They are amazingly alien little creatures; we forget. We grew up to regress, they are still “raw” and full of the barely masked pulsing energy of the life they have just left. “Well, shit, back down into the filth & stench yet once again, Hiram, . . .” No, the afterlife isn’t a shiny clean tiled bathroom, but surely descending into matter must feel a bit like that, don’t you imagine? Yuck, matter. Grin – oh hell, what do I know, (for the moment, anyway.) Regardless, I am quite content with Jupiter in Aquarius (or Venus in Pisces, depending on where one is at.) As Aquarius she walks from Chokmah to Tiphareth on Air. I like her, and her number adds up to 8! (My “mythical lucky number” – remember, I don’t have “that kind” of luck; mine is of an entirely different variety, of whose scope I am only now beginning to guess the enormity. I’m a LUCKY man, just not in the understood sense of the term.) 
I reach out for the Feather of Truth and find her dusting ten cups on the 10 of Chalices card.  In a Thoth deck this card is called Satiety; it sits in Malkuth on the Tree of Life, and is a Water card. Astrologically it is Mars in the 3rd decan of Pisces; Fiery war and watery lucky fish . . . hmmm. I’ve always felt dubious about the apparition of this card in a spread; most will go, “Oh, Goody! Complete and total Happiness, the Apotheosis of Contentment, and the Summit of well-being!” Well . . . as a matter of fact, no. You missed that at 9; this is that infinitely timeless moment between the finale of one’s “happygasm” and the hammerfall arrival of one’s personally malevolent hangover “after the party.”  “With the Ten of Cups, the suit has completed the journey from the seeds of the Ace to the final goal of Malkuth, root and origin of the element. All energies are ending, they have found their fixed forms. The waters are resting now in their final grounds. Yet the Ten is not the end of a line, but the end of a circle - the cross sum of 10 is 1 and there we are at the Ace again. After all the ups and downs of the journey, we find ourselves at its beginning, and it is up to us whether we use our experiences or not. ” (Raven) How I will take this card today, its role for me today as vehicle of the Truth, is as a friendly admonishment: “You’ve just had your moment of 9, you’ve found your ‘thing.’ Now DON’T sit there on your ass feeling self-satisfied; you’ve got lessons to prepare and work to do, so as to show others a path through these very same processes.” We all stand on the shoulders of those who came before us; no one REALLY “got there alone.” We are a social construct; as such, like it or not, we rise or we fall together, as a species being processed through the god-machine of the Universe. It is one of our STRONG points, I believe; not that humans are hive-minded, we aren’t, but that we are capable of acting “in concert” if a need arises. A bit like the uneasy truce that would reign if you forced ants or bees to live under a democracy. (Go ahead; wrap your heads around that one.) The 10 of Chalices is a GOOD place for the Truth to be for me today: “We’re glad you’re happy; now go drink some coffee and make some preparations, events are in movement.” That is a 10 with which I can not only live but work profitably. A bit of a Yeah! Now, Let’s Get This Show On The Road! I ask the Cosmos today to gift us ALL with the perspicacity to prepare for our own manifestations when they arrive. Be Well!    

Good morning and Welcome! to the Scales of Ma’at for 28May2016: my Heart is in the Ace of Pentacles today and the Feather of Truth is flying along with the 8 of Sceptres. (Today’s deck is the *Ibis Tarot* by Josef Machynka. This deck is drawn directly on thin slices of the Bread of Life. Buy yourself this deck. Now . . . What are you doing still sitting there? GO!!) What a lovely evening was passed last night! and I see that it bears its fruits this morning in the cards. My Heart is in #69 the Ace of Pentacles, and I am satisfied that my new project is well-manifested and already making test laps around the course. My 2nd student, B, newer than A, came to dinner last night not only to socialize but to begin his study with me. I had planned a “Here’s what we are going to do” session, so all was light, and I felt tremendously reinforced by his enthusiasm as well as the report of a mutual friend of mine and student  A’s, who just before dinner had mentioned in passing that A was terribly enthusiastic and hopeful for the future. I rode into the evening feeling very good indeed, feeling the actual birth of this new concept of Mark-who-accepts-individual-students. I am entirely won over now, my initial fears & doubts evaporating in the wind of enthusiasm, even if the wind may turn out to be temporary; it usually is. Then the slogging hard work begins. We shall cross that Bridge of Sighs when we get to it. The manifestation of this Ace is directly linked to the creation of one’s mental & spiritual children, and of the happiness of which they are capable. This is Saturn in Capricorn living in Kether; it is also the “Gold Card” concerning money matters, but I RARELY go there in a reading, that is not my area of focus. I prefer to think of profits piling up in my spiritual account, not Banque Populaire here in Montpellier. And besides, I am a sworn enemy of the banking system and its policy of keeping the entire globe in slavery to its morbid and obesely corpulent desire for ownership of Mankind. Everyone’s banker is no better than Jabba the Hutt. If the card is reversed it can indicate negative rest, as well (laziness, slovenliness, indecision,) therefore upright it implies a state of efficient cooperation between the needs of the body and the needs of the mind. Remember, this is ALL going on down here in Malkuth, of which this card represents the living essence. I am REALLY content with the opening manifestation of my new direction; it has taken better form than I was capable of imagining, due to the inbreathing of Spirit into my venture (by me & for me.) I have no written proof of that, of course, but I know it to be True. This is, to the best of my recollection, the 1st time I have pulled the Ace of Pentacles in more than two decades in a self-reading, so this is an event for me, to witness the birth of a “good” child of my being. I practically feel like a ridiculously proud new parent. Now I just have to figure out how to raise it to self-sufficient adulthood. Hahaha!! Turning from the newborn, I see the Feather of Truth flying formation with #34, the 8 of Sceptres. I have ALWAYS liked this 8;
 in the 1st place, I’ve always personally felt that 8 is my “lucky number,” and I have flown that belief in the face of Numerology for over 60 years. LOL. The fact that I am a man profoundly NOT blessed with the Lucky Touch is a fact causing me to weep bitter tears into my pillow each & every night. (Grin.) This 8 is Venus in    Cancer (or the Sun in Sagittarius, depending on whom you consult.) In this deck, the card “signifies” troubled times needing quick solutions, obviously that from which has been derived the Pollyanna meaning of “swiftness, rapidity.” Unless I have “troubled times” coming up, and I don’t see any on the horizon at the moment, then I am going to swallow what may well turn out to be a placebo and state that I believe this card indicates the rapidity with which my solution was found to the ever-creeping fungoid mass of my questioning myself, “What are you going to DO with all of your new-found enthusiasm, dedication and breakthroughs for, to and with the Tarot?” I have manifested my solution, even more of an efficient use of myself than I had imagined. This is ALL what I HOPE these cards mean today; the first card, my Heart of the Ace of Pentacles, I am rock-solid sure about, knowing it to be a true representation of the situation. The 2nd card today, however, my Feather of Truth indication the 8 of Wands, is somewhat open to further interpretation on my part. I “intuit” the faintest whiff, the merest soupçon, of an air of “Uh-oh!” here, and I can only hope that is my highly suspicious nature at work; I constantly suspect the Lords of Misfortune plotting against me, which is why I HAVE to sacrifice those babies in the swamp . . . (Grin.) Seriously, as stated before, I am not a man fated to be lucky, so I have a jaundiced view of any intersections of Mark Ave. and The Fates Blvd. Collisions often happen there, at high speed and with great sound and fury. Ambulances are often called, and the same excuse is always offered by the Parques Sisters after the collision, sipping martinis out of thermoses; “We couldn’t prevent it! He ran blindly out before us, right into our Path!!” So, you see, I need to be a bit on my guard these days when I draw the previously blindly-liked 8 of Sceptres; it feeds my taste for speed & rapid decisions of the final sort, but I have to PAY ATTENTION to that upon which I am passing judgement or arriving at a decision. I ask the Cosmos today to gift us ALL with a sense of ‘Fineness of Observation’ as we speed through our day. Be Well!    

Friday, May 27, 2016

Good morning and Welcome! to the Scales of Ma’at for 27May2016 : my Heart card is V the Hierophant and the Feather of Truth rests immobile, hidden amongst the fruit of the King of Sticks’ regalia. (Today’s deck is one of the “on trial decks,” *The Legend of Tarot* by Deosil Designs [Alex & Noa Page.] It is based on gaming characters. Think “Legend of Zelda.” I don’t remember how this deck ended up in my possession [I probably mistakenly thought Legend meant a classic mythology] but after a year & a day in the Tower of Bitter Tears awaiting judgement, the day has arrived. I could get snarky, and amuse myself with sarcastic observations about the relevancy or lack therein of the various cards in this deck, but I won’t. Instead, I shall simply place a square of black silk over my horsehair short wig and pronounce sentence: “You are to be taken from here and hanged by the astral neck until dead.” Yes, I can see no earthly reason to use this deck again, so “bye bye!”) I’ll make it short and sweet so as to spare the family members of the defunct;  with my Heart in V, I’m going to be in my teaching
 mode as an “authority on Tarot” today, or at least give the impression of such, perhaps due to the new student I have received. He is dining with us this evening, and we shall undoubtedly talk about his reasons for wanting to study and make the Journey. As for the Feather of Truth, she has settled incognito on the King of Sticks (Wands), one of my habitual avatars, and that, too, fits in directly with my given “rôle” today, that of teacher & guide, a friend yet a mentor. There, I’m done. I don’t like the deck, and am not going to go into great depth on the obviousness of the reading. I shall return tomorrow with a “trusted” deck; I need to “surface for air” for a few days!  I ask the Cosmos today to gift us ALL with the perspicacity to call Bullshit when we see it. Be Well!   

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Good morning and Welcome! to the Scales of Ma’at for 26May2016: today my Heart is sponge-bathing in the tepid waters of XIV Temperance, but the Truth has decided the pill is much more bitter than can be mixed away and has gone to pout among the 7 of Cups. (Today’s deck is the *Tarot of the III Millennium* by Iassen Ghiuselev. Today starts a peripatetic few weeks; during a recent triage of closed cartons of decks I had stored, I pulled about 20 of them that struck/strike me as not useful to me AT ALL, or too wrong for me. I’m going to try them out on the blog here, one every couple of days, to see if I really want to get rid of it or is it just a case of an unfamiliar deck? My 1st impression of this deck was, “Uh-uh. Don’t like it.” The Majors are grayscale, the Court pastel, and the minors a mishmash of line drawings & mini-illustrations of Marseille pips. That opinion has softened a bit but not disappeared; at heart, I am not fond of this deck at all, and would gladly pass it on. Going with that, I shall go forward with the Scales.)  
It is really a rather pacific reading today; my Heart has gone to hang out with XIV Temperance, a card I often receive when it is going to be an unremarkable, “mixed” day. “It’s all cool, dude. Chill out.”  The Feather of Truth seems to think that I am despondent over the failure of “illusion” to entertain me, and that I have confronted the reality that the world is vaster than I had imagined and my small my mind is crushed by the immensity of it all, really. Oh horseshit. The only true thing about all of this that I see and interpret is the presence of Temperance. The LWB that accompanies this deck does one amusing thing in its card descriptions; it gives this as “I don’t fear light but shield myself from it. I’m not afraid of the spirit but dilute it. I don’t fear time but rather wait for each thing to fall into place.” Well, yes . . . and no. That isn’t exactly the spirit of Temperance, that kind of tepid, mousey passive-aggressiveness and excuse-making. I don’t know who they are quoting, but I disagree, I’ve had Temperance as a friend for a long time. Her counsel has often gone unheeded, but she has stuck in there and finally won the day; I’m much more “temperate” and “inclusive” than I used to be, in my fougueux youth. It’s a quality that comes with the age-necessary realization that “all of your Sturm und Drang isn’t going to affect “the outcome” one single iota, so give it up, dickhead.” I like Temperance; she is like that girlfriend of yours who was always a bit Goody Two-shoes but who you liked anyway. As for the illusions, I’m not currently entertaining any, having burst a big one a few days ago and swallowed the accompanying regret & discomfort. I have no “spiritual hangover,” which is what this card is implying. So, I’m using that for TP and flushing it down the drain. This deck has left me flat & uninspired, and for that I apologize (PS. The cardback is more interesting than the cards!) I ask the Cosmos to care for and protect ALL of us today, but not too much. Be Well!  

Good morning and Welcome! As I was drawing the Scales of Ma’at this morning, I was suddenly moved to just freewheel it and ramble today, and not to try and stick with the Scales of Ma’at format, so that is what I am going to do. Today’s cards are the Queen of Cups and the 8 of Swords, and the deck is, of course, the *Tarot of the Holy Light* by Christine Payne-Towler and Michael Dowers. As we all endlessly & tiresomely know, Cups are NOT my suit, although there has certainly been a lot of action on that front lately, but not of the Romeo & Juliet variety; rather, it has been of the “Learn to love ALL the Munchkins, Dorothy!” variety. And I am being hammered with it. I don’t really understand the plethora of frankly sensual, large, big-bare-breasted spouting-streams-of-milk women gracing my Tarot landscape lately; I have never been a boob man (legs, baby, legs.) Nevertheless, not totally grokking them doesn’t negate their presence or diminish their importance, does it? No, of course not; just like fully-grown women do in real life, they move in and take over. And generally that is to the benefit of all, because it is an innate skill of the feminine gender to organize a family unit. That is NOT a sexist statement; it is simply true. The Queen is Cancer (astrologically) and is here depicted as Melusine, a French/European “personification of the intelligence of sacred springs and rivers.” (BCB) Melusine is also the bearer and the victim of a curse, which in essence has as its moral center “don’t interfere with processes you don’t understand (i.e., intuition) but give them some private space and they will reward you abundantly.” (A mélange of Christine and me.) In a Scales reading, this would be my Heart today, and yes, it still does feel that way, BUT . . . I feel an element of “longing,” as if this is where my Heart is WANTING to go but hasn’t reached; perfectly possible in a reading, I know, but this feels larger. This feels as if an ocean of emotion is about to be revealed to me, and all my recent prep work is only a drop in the bucket to the calm I will need to summon in order to give brave face to that! “Calm down, dude, it’s okay; it’s just a lot of emotion, that’s all.” Ha! Actually, I feel the Queen isn’t so much the quantity of emotion on tap but the quality and the control of it; because make no mistake, in my cosmic view, emotion is critically necessary and wonderful but MUST be controlled. Others can run around like panicked and hysterical Queens of Hearts, but I believe a mastery is required if you are to get a handle on its utility at all. Her presence in my life right now, however, is undeniable; I have just received a second student, and from almost all of my friends I am receiving a LOT of positive emotional support at the moment. It must be mentioned that this is all being balanced out by the not-smooth departure of one of my closest friends, who has decided by “thought, word & deed” that he can’t continue in our friendship. It pains me, but So Be It. “So let it be written; So let it be done.” 
It especially pains me because he insists on leaving with his ignorance intact; he WILL NOT climb out of his ego. It is a shocking lesson for me, to see this well-educated and highly-cultured being turn his back on our friendship out of fear, but that is his choice, and I must accept it. It is sad. When I look at the 8 of Swords I see an old warrior retired to the countryside, “swords beaten into ploughshares” kind of situation, where in the eternal diurnal rhythm of Life he has planted his sword(s) and let them serve as a trellis for the harmonious harvest of Peace. Now, that ISN’T QUITE what the card actually symbolizes, but that’s okay; today it symbolizes what I WANT IT TO SYMBOLIZE, a fact that is ALWAYS TRUE for the Tarot! Read as many books as you like, belong to as many arcane clubs and societies as will have you, buy every know deck, trinket and accoutrement known to be related to the field, and the cards are STILL always going to mean EXACTLY what you put into them. If you want to let someone else fill up your psychic diary with their scribblings, that’s sad, but go ahead. Yes, we need guidelines and “how-to” manuals; however, they are ALL provided as SPRINGBOARDS for your own thought! Think! Feel! Act! Exist! Make the cards, personal, for fuck’s sake. This card is normally presented as a test; right side up, you’ve passed; reversed, you’ve failed. Go die . . . miserably. What this card is astrologically is far more telling to me personally; it is Saturn in Gemini; with an exaltation of Mercury in Virgo. My father is a Gemini, and he is 84 years old . . . Saturn. He was a violent, driven man of a military character in a like profession, and now he is THIS card, to me. He has become a radically different being, almost a “gentleman farmer” type in his retired widowhood who still leads as active and full a life as he can. He succeeded the test, if we want to use that meaning, that symbolism, and now he is actually an incarnation of that bitter, hard-fought and hard-won success, the 8 of Swords. I love my father, very much; that wasn’t always true. Is by the Grace of his growth on the Path, all unbeknownst to him! that I love him deeply now. Interesting reflections today, hmmm. I feel a “pacific” day coming on, despite a busy social calendar this week. Good, I’ll take a LOT of downtime today, and contemplate this image of “I’m becoming my father, and it isn’t nearly as bad as I had feared. I can work with this.” I ask the Cosmos to give us ALL some reflective time today, to look where we will. Be Well!    

Monday, May 23, 2016

Good morning and Welcome! to the Scales of Ma’at for 24May2016: today my Heart is riding sidesaddle to be ready to jump "just in case" with XIII Transformation/Death, while the Feather of Truth, vanes aquiver with trepidation at Heart’s choice, has ran to III the Empress for a pleasant face, a calming voice, & a feeling of “all’s right with the World.” (Today’s deck is *El Gran Tarot Esoterico* by Maritxu Guler and Luis Peña Longa. A wonderful, wonderful deck in the Basque tradition and quite powerful with which to read, I really like it.) For example, my Heart draw today is RIGHT on target: I’m going through some deep transformational changes at the moment, all acceptable and good but changes nonetheless, and they are going to influence every facet of my life. I want to convey right away that I’m cool with this; it is unexpected but very beneficial to my outlook & spirit. I came to realize something last night, due to the visit of a young neighbor who is one of the most personable young women in the world; she called me her “sunshine,” and she meant it; as well, this weekend has reinforced in every possible way my new role as teacher, paterfamilias and general “wise old man of the tribe.”  Considering that I would have been considered a wise old man in prehistoric times at the age of 25, I’m lagging a little (grin), but hey, epochs change. This isn’t totally unexpected; I have been “feeling” this role coming to inhabit my bones since the beginning of the year, but “he” is now in full entry mode, or, in other words, he is manifesting NOW, on the Path of Nun (24) in the Tree of Life & Saturn in the 8th house. This is all about the border, the separation and the farewell in the House of Transformation. His sign is Scorpio, on the axis from Tiphareth to Netzach by way of Water; he is what follows the perfection of the cycle of the first 12 cards – shattering the old, revealing the new. “Death doesn't care if the end is painful and the new beginning welcomed or vice versa. The card implies the need to let something go, and requires the understanding of the circles of life, of change, of becoming.” (Raven & I) I am perfectly happy to leave the old role behind, as I am also leaving my “tension” about the resolution of my “love conundrum.” I realized that being Head Juju provider means that I MUST transmute my feelings into a more group-oriented and inclusive emotion and not singularly focused on satisfying my needs. If I’m going to be “in loco parentis” to these souls, then by Jupiter BE IT, Mark! Quite lollygagging around and whining about “What about MY needs?” Pick up your skirts and skedaddle on down the Path to Grown-Up Alley and be the Father you are supposed to be. And oddly enough, I am happy with this; it is the kind of confirmation that doesn’t allow for wiggle-room and therefore I can trust it. I’m very suspicious of benevolence, don’tcha know? At any rate, taking the new-found Change in stride, I turn to find out where that skittish Feather has gotten off to and find her perched on the bat-winged III Empress.
 No, she isn’t a vampire, silly child.  The bat is an ancient and very powerful shamanic animal spirit; “Bat’s wisdom includes shamanic death and rebirth, initiation, viewing past lives, pollination of new ideas, transition, understanding grief, the use of vibrational sound, camouflage, invisibility, ability to observe the unseen, (and) secrets. Shaman initiates go through a ritual death . . . Here they confront their fears and are reborn without their old identities. Bats help us to release fear and patterns which no longer fits within our pattern of growth. Bat flying into your life signifies that transformation of the ego self is about to occur, the end of a way of life and the start of another. This transition can be very frightening for many, even just to think about. But you will not grow spiritually until you let go these old parts of you that are NOT NEEDED. Facing the darkness before you will help you find the light in rebirth. The bat gives you the wisdom required to make the appropriate changes for the birthing of your new identity.” (Ina Woolcott.)  Well, well, well! Talk about a propitious omen for my new start as teacher & paterfamilias of this large & heterogeneous family I have collected! And yes, I –me- have collected it. With purpose I did it, because I was given the chance to make my own “happy family” after so many years, and I took what was available to hand in hope that we could all be “worked upon” to function in a new family, one bound with ties of affection and respect for the Journey, whatever Path an individual may be currently taking. It has been slowly forming for almost a decade now, but is finally coalescing into something which I can fondly & proudly call “my family.” This is III the Empress down to the CORE, I just realized; I have been “empressing” for a long time now, I just didn’t know it. Well, The Truth is that it is paying off, I find my family of Choice gathering around me, and whether near or far, we maintain connection through affection, to coin a phrase. III the Empress is also Venus in Taurus, standing for fertility and growth. She is on the axis between Chokmah and Binah on the Tree of Life and is, of course, an Earth mother.  “The Empress . . . stands for maternity, love and mercy; at the same time she's a symbol for sexuality and emotion. She is pure feeling, absolutely unintellectual, but basically life. The Empress is the Great Mother, representing the beginning of all life. She is the power of nature, causing change, renewal, major plans.” (Raven) The Empress also stands for passion, a phase in which we cope with life on an emotionally joyful basis, rather than on the thoughtful. This is the hidden answer to MY emotional conundrum, in a nutshell. So the Truth is indeed as I suspected; I have and must needs grow and stretch my boundaries & definitions of who & what I love and HOW I love them. Okay, I shall give that some thought today. Thanks, Plume. I ask the Cosmos today to help us all ameliorate our right & proper roles as they revolve past in order to grow and become Enlightened beings. Be Well!  


Sunday, May 22, 2016

Good morning and Welcome! to the Scales of Ma’at for 23May2016: today my Heart is patrolling with the very young Fante di Bastoni (Page of Wands) while the Feather of Truth has sought higher-styled company on the lap of the Regina di Coppa (Queen of Cups.) (Today’s deck is the *Tarocchi Perrin* by Claudio Perrin [Turin, 1865] & ed. by Giordano Berti [this century . . . or so he tells me.] It is a lovely, neat, cleanly printed version of a wonderfully colorful 19th century deck of the finest quality, what else is there to say. *Rinascimento* always puts out fine historical decks.) My Heart has decided to regress today to the “Page state,” and I must say I’m a bit disappointed in myself. Granted, I’m not feeling very motivated today to forge ahead on the Path, but I have a strong inkling that it is simply Monday morning blues, of which I have an acute, aggravated form, the I-Despise-Monday blues. The doctors have sought from the peaks of the Himalayas to the depths of the Mariana Trench for something to relieve my soul-shattering blues, but alas! the only remedy seems to be a humble herb found and overlooked in many corners of the planet, a green, leafy bush whose name I can’t remember. Liberal doses of the herb and complete and total couch rest are prescribed for Mondays, with any thought of Pathwork strictly forbidden. I suffer; I tell you, people, I suffer. (GRIN.) If I’m feeling youthful and creative, as the card suggests, then that is news to me. Perhaps it will come along later in the day – “on verra.” Frankly, I’m feeling of very short shrift this morning, so at least THAT jibes with the Page – he gets pissed quickly, too. But he IS an opportunity to get up and create – happiness or disaster, but he can do either, so it’s up to me. Great. Just what I wanted to hear. {{Sigh.}} 
Well, at least he has the courtesy and some minimal sense of the courtly manner to turn and address the foreign Queen face to face, although his posture does suggest he is leaving (or pouting, but let’s not go there.) The Feather of Truth has found an ample, loving bed on the meaty thighs of the Queen of Cups. I know what the Feather is thinking/feeling; “Truth is Love, Love is Truth” in a kind of sing-song mental voice to a tune that sounds as if it came from Hair! or Godspell. Sometimes the Feather irritates the shit out of me. I AM feeling a lot of Love right now, although the backwash is diminishing. Friday night’s Male Bonding Festival went like gangbusters on a rare level; real, honest, sustained emotional contact among men in a social situation, a camaraderie that lasted the entire evening. On top of it, the stretch was good; the birthday boy at 22, the mutual friend in his early 30’s, and then the jump to “Grandpa’s Tagging Along” (me, Grin) at 64. (But I was desired company, so there. LOL) The only thing missing was the middle-aged perplexed jerk, and by mutual accord there was not one present. It was a wonderful evening of what boiled down to be nothing but a big fest of brotherly Love. It was fuckin’ great! The weekend was spent recovering (and I don’t drink!) and today the emotional backwash has settled into contented marshwater, “waiting for the mangroves of memory to grow,” . . . (Ahahaha! I couldn’t resist unloading that cheap crappy line!! It was the writer’s equivalent of a fart.) The Truth behind all the fun I’m having with this, the kernel I don’t wish to address for fear it may disappear, is that I experienced a total, loving event when I really needed it, IN THE WAY THAT I NEEDED IT. As you know I’m bi, (if you don’t know, you’ve been reading these posts with blinders on!) so male company means a great deal to me (and no, get your depraved neuron-net out of the gutter) in terms of fulfilling an emotional NEED. It was filled to overflowing, and I still feel good 3 days later. Frankly, I don’t care what message the Queen may be carrying for me today, just seeing her here confirms the “goodness” and the “rightness” of my emotional state, and ALSO is giving me the lesson that if I feel this good because of the experience, then shouldn’t I recreate it for others as often as possible as widely as possible? Not as a full-time profession, of course, but kept on a backburner, constantly in a gentle simmer, waiting for employment when appropriate. “Yes, of course, Your Majesty, thank you.” That’s it; it’s Monday, I’m not feeling prolix, and the reading is, basically, “Clear skies ahead with a chance of intermittent brusque breezes and warm, comfortable temperatures the entire day.” I ask the Cosmos today to give us ALL just a little bit of downtime for a triple S (military slang: “a shit, shower and shave.”) Be Well! – As for me, I feel couch paralysis coming on . . . .    

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Good morning and Welcome! to the Scales of Ma’at for 22May2016 : my Heart has gone to nest in a bit of comforting illusion while the Feather of Truth, in high dudgeon, has flown to the Stallion of Fire (Knight of Wands) as a sovereign anodyne to that bit of weaseliness. (Today’s deck is the *Tarota Paris: The Art of Choice and Change* by J. Philip Thomas. Lovely Parisian sites & monuments matched to the cards. There is a kind of “1950’s hostess bridge set” that accompanies them, with note cards & pencil & carrying case. A surprisingly decent LWB. A workable & attractive deck.) Today’s draw is most likely accurate as much as I hate to admit to my Heart dallying with illusion like that, but {{sigh}} it’s true. OF course that is a coarse & generalized interpretation, but it grabs the essence by the short hairs, so to speak. “This card may best be described as a visionary smorgasbord where everything seems to be a dream come true. However, the light of this Seven is intermittent at best. The beneficial properties of pleasurable experiences are not to be denied, but we also need to hold on to a reality rope when entering this watery wonderland. It is a realm to be explored psychically, creatively, emotionally – not a place to reside in. Enjoy the luxurious amenities, even take a dip in the pool, but don’t try to swim off with the mermaid!” (LWB) Again, as I said, rather basic, but to the point, and rather more “forgiving” than many interpretations one could use. Nevertheless, I can see the application in my own life at this moment. With 2 new students now, I must admit that I anticipate, perhaps much too early, their success(es); on the same note but a tone removed is a current flare-up of physical desire, with which I am holding intense talks at present; I had already decided what road to take when it comes to that question, and revisiting it now serves absolutely NO purpose. 
Thus made aware, yet again, of letting my heart/mind combo “gang aft agley,” and to keep a tight rein on rebellious ego pulsions, I needs turn and see where the Feather of Truth has gone; et voilà ! there she is, nestled up to the Stallion of Fire (Knight of Wands.) Shameless hussy. She hasn’t quite clicked to the fact that the Knight is still me, pulling the chariot of Apollo in tandem with my Anima. True to the spirit of the Arcanum, this Knight is an urge to the “timely challenge, purpose-motivated travel, or a variety of situations that involve short notice.” - presumably due to his firecracker character – “. . . In a relationship reading, this stallion will definitely turn up the heat in your love life, but quell your expectations initially, or you may snuff out the flame.” (LWB) I would add, “If one exists!” but that’s me. Grin.  I might be tempted to interpret this a bit more harshly, given the ambiance around my state of mind this morning, but I will gladly accept this kinder, slightly gentler reminder of where I have already decided I need and want to be, and to keep expectations in check “just in case” there is an element of illusion and/or delusion in their foundations. I ask the Cosmos to give us ALL a greater insight into our own motivations today. Be Well!   

Good morning and Welcome! to the Scales of Ma’at for 21May2016 : today my Heart is happily installed with the Queen of Disks, dealing out material contentment and satisfaction while the Feather of Truth has taken its courage on point and is visiting that wildly surreal but awfully calm XI Strength. (Today’s deck is the *Tarot of the Holy Light” by Christine Payne-Towler & Michael Dowers. A fabulous deck, in all the best senses of the word.)  Well my Heart has taken up with the Queen of Disks, an earthy Capricorn with “no time for losers.” (BCB = Big Colored Book. There is an LWB with the deck, but do yourself the service of ordering the big one. The meat is there.) I like this Queen, she reminds Me of several women I have known: capable, good-humored (but it IS true she doesn’t suffer Fools!) low maintenance gals who are perfectly capable of leading their parade all alone if needs be; you won’t find her screaming helplessly on the sidelines while “her man” battles the giant spider in the secret nuclear lab in New Mexico. She’s in there slashing & hacking, too. And yet, being the Queen, there IS a reserve of “I don’t involve myself unless I absolutely HAVE to do it.” This Queen serves more as a “community library” of know-how and self-help, and she “demands” that EVERYONE prosper. The Lady is an Earthly powerhouse, and as an avatar of Sophia, Divine Wisdom, she is centrally placed to help the Earth realm work as smoothly as possible like a well-oiled machine. I do feel a bit like her today, not much, but a bit. I spent yesterday evening in the company of two young gentlemen for a birthday celebration (one of theirs) and we passed an evening of wonderful complicity, from concert through dinner and afterwards. The upshot of the matter is that I have yet another student, this one of an entirely different character and temperament, who will certainly choose a different way to manifest himself on the Path. I like him very much, and I believe that he does indeed have a deep thirst to evolve and change; he evinces it in his daily life already! The point being that the Queen seems to be quietly going about her business of organizing my life around my newly-discovered vocation, the one I am currently essaying, that of teacher. (I have, of course, taught as a university professor; different ballgame. Hell, different universe.) With the Queen as an ally, one feels a hell of a lot more confident in a new venture such as this. 
This leads my attention to the search for the Feather of Truth, which I find flirting dangerously with Father Fire and not paying attention to a LARGE feline who LOVES to bat at feathers. We are facing the Lady Alchimia, who is a creature straight out of Bosch, in a way. Here is her description from the BCB: “The hair of Lady Alchimia is Fire. Her eyes are the Sun and the Moon, the twin Principles – Mercury and Sulphur – of the Work. Her breath is Air and the influx carried in the shape of rays by light. The three stars on her forehead are the three Works, and the milk flowing from her generous breasts is Lac Virginis, the Virgin’s Milk which nourishes the Stone . . . (de Rola, 1988, p.307.)” There is also a very pointed, right-on description of her “role”; “. . . This card represents a spiritual force. It’s a strength of heart, a strength of principles, of inner conviction and integrity in relationship with the spirit world. The Strength angel knows that nothing in this material world is going to hurt her or him. She comes forward as a sibling to all of Creation with no known enemies. Revealed to be a servant of the collective need, the only goal is to bring harmony and respect among the different life forms and among the Elements going into the alchemical cauldron.” I REALLY like this interpretation of Strength, a lot! This speaks directly to my meditations on the “code of ethics” I need to construct in order to teach students, and this “servant of the collective need” idea is great for that. Also, in its own sly way, it addresses certain personal concerns that I have about any relationships with “students.” Those concerns are very comfortingly addressed by this concept of Strength and I find myself reassured about some points that remained unclear to me. On a different note, I particularly “love” this card because of THAT lion – he cracks me up! He has a similar bearing and look to a lion which figures on my very favorite painting in the Louvre, a tiny late medieval St. Jerome & the Lion, where the lion has a surprised, round “lionized” human face in an expression of shocked surprise. Unfortunately, I have NEVER been able to find an online image of it, which is a shame. Thus, I end my Scales today on a good note, as far as I am concerned; My “inner Queen” (I already hear the howling guffaws of thousands and thousands of gay men. . .) is Rounding Up Her Resources to make the new machine run as smoothly as possible, EFFECTIVELY, and Lady Alchimia is bringing me news from her symbol-ridden realm that Strength in ALL of its subtler aspects is going to be of great benefit here, as well as calming my “nerves” a bit. Acting from a position of Strength is ALWAYS more comforting, more direct and more USEFUL than reacting from a position of weakness. I ask the Cosmos today to give us ALL the necessary courage and spirit to manifest Strength today in our lives where it is needed. Be Well!   

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Good morning and Welcome! to the Scales of Ma’at for 20May2016 : today my Heart is in (surprise !) the King of Wands while the Feather of Truth has taken flight with innumerable pigeons and landed in the counting room of the 4 of Coins. (Today’s deck is the *Tarocchi di Venezia* by Giordano Berti, Davide Tonato & Giulia Orsini.) It may seem a rather odd and staid choice, but I was looking for a Tarot deck that specifically emphasized Water, as it is my weakest “suit” and thus I have a corresponding emotional “glibness.” In other words, my Cups suit could use some work; like a bear, I only know the barest outlines of the depths of emotions and the emotional realm, this despite thinking myself a pretty slick operator. I am but I’m not, if you know what I mean. Hell, it has taken me THIS long to figure out how to live in a marriage! which is a daily proposition; the Greta Garbo & John Gilbert heights of emotional passion are not understood by me; oh, I “think” I understand them, but if I take an honest look back at my life, those times when I thought I was drinking the cup of emotional drama to its bitter dregs, I was really crying over spilt milk because I didn’t get my way in Life and “it’s unfair” and “don’t you know it’s ME?? I DESERVE happiness!” Sing the shitty song, Mark, you seem to think the Cosmos cares. By contrast to my emotional dramas, there are realities such as depicted cinematographically in “Sophie’s Choice” and the nightly news that turn your hair white and cause nuclear fission in your gut; talk about “bitter dregs!!” At any rate . . . my Heart today is to be found incarnated, ha, quelle surprise!, in the King of Wands (in this deck he is an actual historical personage, Gerolamo Querini, a member of one of the Venetian dynasties that ruled the Republic of Venice as a rather fascist plutocracy. The Golden Rule in the Venice of that time was, “You can do anything, just don’t contravene the Public Morality.” In other words, if caught, you were immured in the Doge’s dungeons listening to the ghosts on the Bridge of Sighs . . . .) I believe the King is here today to help me shore up my defenses; I am socializing tonight with the Young, and while my body naturally recognizes its limitations, my head and heart often do not. Add to this that the gathering tonight will be handsome young men, and it gets even more complicated. “Act your age, Mark, but don’t be a stuffed, pompous ass.” Also, I find it telling that in a deck which I purchased explicitly for its water images, the very first card I EVER draw out of it contains NO water at all. Ha! There’s irony for you, short & sweet (and-yes-you-bunch-of-asses-I-can-see-myself-in-that-proud-&-vainglorious-image, I’m not blind to the appropriateness of the irony, believe me.) LOL, with an inner “Harrumph!”
 of wounded Vanity I turn to the Feather of Truth and receive cold comfort; Pietro Aretino (†1556), a writer, counts his profits. Rather let us say that this isn’t really me counting my profits but rather a healthy “amour-propre” that could turn vainglorious at a moment’s notice if I’m not attentive. In terms of tonight I would think that means “Represent yourself well, Mark, you could be a role model  for any of these young men,” as well as reminding me to act my age, something I can forget, though not all that easily. The ambiance should help; we are going to a concert of Arabian music featuring Bab Assalam, apparently someone well-known. I listened to some of his music; we should have an amazing time, BUT I MUST KEEP PERSPECTIVE. Circumstance forces me to be “adult” most of the time, so when I have the opportunity to do a little “age regression” it can usually be fun, EXCEPT when that Voice speaks up and says, “Not this time, buddy; Adult Mode here, too.” This particular kind of longing for immaturity always hits any gathering of males; and the group always hopes someone is enough of a wet dishtowel NOT to join the fun and thus becomes their “de-facto designated intelligent person” while the rest play The Fool (in this century, it is usually “the chemically altered Fool,” as well.) Well, I shan’t be doing that this evening, I can reasonably assure myself, unless I am offered a forbidden fruit so luscious that I am willing to pay the price. Doubtful, but possible. Well, “on verra.” I ask the Cosmos today to share bounteously from the Water reservoir in order to enrich ALL of our lives. Be Well!    

Good morning and Welcome! to the Scales of Ma’at for 19May2016: my Heart is in the 2 of Pentacles and the Feather of Truth has been attracted to the light in the lamp of IX the Hermit; (Today’s deck is the *Smith-Waite Tarot Centennial Edition Deck* with the LWB by Waite & the illustrations of course by Holman. The whole curated and issued by U.S. Game Systems in a very nice boxed edition.) I haven’t read with RWS deck since the dawn of Time, it seems! I thought I would pull out this rather odd edition and give it a whirl. It is an odd feeling of disappointment mixed with nostalgia; the only metaphor I can think of at the moment is it is like trying to go back to the feelings of your childhood by visiting your mother and having her make you a peanut butter & jelly sandwich. Forget it, pal, and besides, my mother is dead. They just look grainy and grey: see scans, although I will admit there is a vague stirring of fondness in my Heart for what used to be. LOL, it sounds as if I’m describing a doomed love affair from the perspective of age! Ha! Well, at any rate . . . . My Heart is juggling two Pentacles today, and that feels right. Things have been about juggling dualities lately, and while they are satisfying to solve because they ARE solvable, they remain simplistic. I had to cut someone loose for a pattern of disrespect of my couple (marriage.) Done. I needed to form a game plan for the duo of myself & my student; done. Dualities need to be resolved all the time in our lives and we rarely notice because it becomes automatic; “This. This. That. That. Not this, that.” And on and on, through a complete train of daily decisions which we don’t even really consider. It is enlightening to make a conscious effort to follow how many decisions you make a day – the number mounts quickly, as does your surprise. However, here today, I believe the Arcanum is deliberately referencing a decision taken last night about how I am going to manage the “duo” of my student and I; after reflection, I decided that there is no harm and only good in bringing out, dusting off and employing some of my old “teacher mode” stuff from when I DID teach. Yes, the format is different, and the general Purpose and atmosphere is VERY different, from those days but the principles apply. Study plans, course scheduling, deciding on “curriculum,” etc. It’s all good stuff, IF applied with liberal amounts of adaptation and flexibility. The Truth hidden here is that it will ALWAYS be a juggling act, because 2 ALWAYS seeks the release of tension in the manifestation of 3.  “The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, Moves on . . . .” (Omar Khayyám)  
Yeah, but where am I going to find the Wisdom to teach this student? The Feather of Truth has flown directly to my answer; “Hey, Mark! Man, dude, you have a short memory! Remember him, and here? This is always one of your favorite places to visit, and you always unconsciously minimize the experience each time you depart to return to society. But hold on, are you sure of it? Look again at the original Waite interpretation: “. . . IT is further a card which is understood quite incorrectly when it is connected with the idea of occult isolation, as the protection of personal magnetism against admixture. This is one of the frivolous renderings which we owe to Eliphas Lévi. It has been adopted by the French Order of Martinism and some of us have heard a great deal of the Silent and Unknown Philosophy enveloped by his mantle from the knowledge of the profane. In true Martinism, the significance of the term Philosophe inconnu was of another order. It did not refer to the intended concealment of the Instituted Mysteries, much less of their substitutes, but – like the card itself – to the truth that the Divine Mysteries secure their own protection from those who are unprepared.” Well, well, well, now! Harrumph! That’s a different kettle of leaping lucky fish! I believe the Feather is treating me to a little corrective lesson today; “You needn’t be overly cautious in what you transmit and teach; in what you discern or miss in your student or the process, but DO pay attention, laxity isn’t encouraged. If things slip awry, don’t worry TOO much, because . . (see above.) But DO fix it, Mr. Juggler.” Voilà the neat little packet of bromide powders that Dr. Tarot has slipped into my morning coffee. Go juggle, Mark. Today I ask the Cosmos to bless us ALL with a better, more refined sense of Balance. Be Well!    

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Good morning and Welcome! to the Scales of Ma’at for 18May2016: today my Heart is in the 4 of Pentacles and the Feather of Truth has gone off to bear witness for the 8 of Swords. (Today’s deck is the *Tarot of Prague* by Alex Ukolov and Karen Mahoney. It is a legendarily beautiful deck. One small note – the new edition does not scan; the gold leaf is heavy and abundant enough to make light refraction a real problem. So it is photos, not scans for this deck.)  Today’s draw is a bit of an oddity in that I have pulled two minor arcana. Normally I pull at least one MA, and then a Court card or a pip, but 2 pips are as rare as 2 Majors, although you would think odds would favor that minor draw more; oddly enough, they do not. As usual, too, I find that the cards are reading fairly well for me, if a bit unexpectedly (which is a good thing, right? Right!) They are revealing small, quotidian concerns and attitudes towards them, I see, and I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised; this is a very classical-looking “baroque-rococo” deck, and thus it carries VERY traditional meanings for its cards, as well. So, for these two cards the LWB and even the card will tell you, “This is a miser feeling trapped by his own circumstances. He is frozen into immobility and refuses to help himself.” Well . . . Yes, but . . . well, after all, 
No. Who am I, Bianca Castafiore, to buy the pretty cards with all the gold leaf and not give a fig about anything really revelatory they may have to say to me? Not quite, this “Milanese nightingale” is interested in the times between the risings and settings of the Sun and the Moon, those liminal times when knowledge is more easily accessed. I do not feel that a spirit of miserliness has taken hold of me, but I do admit to more economic caution recently; looking ahead “in the books” I can see that I need to plan for a slightly slimmer latter half of 2016 than the first six months. And I do not feel so much “trapped” as “dictated to by circumstance,” against which I have no anger or resentment because there is nothing to be done; the vagaries of a retirement income are the subjects of vast, impersonal economic forces that have absolutely nothing to do with human decisions on a scale that I would or even could notice. There is also one important thing about the 8 that most forget to either notice or remark; her feet are not bound; So while she has been exiled from the city and left surrounded by threats from all around her, and can see no one upon whom to shift the blame, she can STILL just blindly walk away on her own power. I’m not feeling trapped; nor am I feeling exiled by my own citizenry” for “crimes against the State & Treasury.” I AM feeling as if “look closely into the crystal ball, and tell me, Spirit, do you see a fortune?” “No! unhappy wretch! I see life as normal, just a little tighter economically than habit. Quit being a drama queen!”  And really, our 8 of Swords DOES seem to be a bit of a drama queen, doesn’t she? “Oh, help me! Help me! I’m a prisoner!” “No you’re not, Mae West, you’re just acting, AGAIN. You can walk away whenever you like.” So today the truth for ME is when you DO find yourself in the reduced means area for a while, don’t be a great big drama queen about it – shut up and soldier on. With that in mind, today I ask the Cosmos to bless us ALL with the understanding to bear the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” with some bit of grace and fortitude so as not to be ashamed of our own conduct. Be well!    

Monday, May 16, 2016

Good morning and Welcome! to the Scales of Ma’at for 17May2016 : my Heart is in #8 Justice while the Feather of Truth is hanging out with #34 Innovation, looking studly and strutting its quill. (Today’s deck is *The Eternal Tarot* ‘by’ Samael Aun Weor, aka Víctor Manuel Gómez Rodríguez, and founder of the Universal Christian Gnostic Movement. I am very drawn to this deck but each time I use it, I feel a bit lost and flummoxed, as if I have just been handed the instruction manual to a modern stealth jet but it is all in German, which I don’t speak. I DO speak Tarot, and I don’t know why that reaction to this deck, other than it “seems so dry, so arid.” And yet I love it, will teach with it, will recommend it, as I find it as close to technical perfection (content) as it is possible to approach. Go figure.) In another development, as some of you may know, I have been double-posting this blog to a professional Tarot reader’s page on Facebook right after I post here; this has stopped  by personal choice and may or may not resume in the future, “On verra.” (French for “We’ll see.”) The atmosphere is getting a bit thick, so I beat a hasty retreat while I am still not involved – fuck that shit. This blog is, for now, the ONLY home of The Fool’s Tarot. Onward and upward! My draw today, while it may look exotic and Kemetically cryptic is really quite straightforward and in “a sort of” line with MY readings, i.e. referencing my character/personality. In essence, what I drew here is VIII Justice and the Knight of Wands, if one is going to make b-i-g s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-s on suit comparison and correlation. For today I prefer to work with Mr. Weor’s interpretations of the arcana as they are quite particular. To wit: my Heart today is in Justice, a not unfamiliar locale and home to its traveling partner, the Feather of Truth. To give you their flavor, allow me to quote from the opening paragraph of his chapter on Arcanum 8 in his book, “The Initiatic Path In The Arcane of Tarot And Kabbalah”: “In Arcanum 8 we find the Eight Key of Basil Valentine. He was, without doubt a great Gnostic. The gospel of Valentine is admirable; the eighth key refers to the processes of life and of death in the Philosophical Stone carved with the hammer of Intelligence and the chisel of will.” There is more, “. . . a clear and perfect Alchemical allegory of the processes of the Death and Resurrection which inevitably follow in the esoteric preparation of the Philosophical Stone which is between the columns Jakin and Boaz . . . The stone is Peter, and refers to the blessed waters of Amrita . . . “ and on and on. You see? Not exactly clear sailing in there, is it? This is also the Arcanum of Job, “Suffering, Tests and Pain.” Cheery guy, isn’t he? If we cut through the majority of the gobbledygook, what we come down to is that this is the Arcanum of initiatory tests.   It resides in Hod, and its Transcendent Axiom is, “Build an altar in your heart, but do not make of your heart an altar.” Pointed advice from my Heart card, eh? 
Who happens to be looking away from the destination of the Feather of Truth, #34 Innovation. Here the author’s grand book is of no help, treating as it does only the Major Arcana. For this card, in order to get a whiff of Weor’s scent, we need to look at the LWB for the deck, and here we find a description that could have come straight from a description of the Knight of Wands: “. . . an element of evolution. Symbolizes the virtue of undeviating human effort. Associated with Neptune & the number 7 (?), it represents the principles of self-inspiration as guidance for activities. In another sense, “Length of days upon they right hand and works and honor upon they left.” (LWB) That’s a bit too rigidly socialist an outlook I think, a bit Stalin-esque. But, then again, that Knight can be intransigent and inflexible as well, so . . .  harrumph. So where is the Truth today? Is it in the concept of ‘temptations, temerity and findings, some good some bad?’ I should be extra-careful to warn myself and my readers that this card is NOT the Knight of Wands, but only has a “corollary relationship” with him. Thus we have more of this feeling that Weor is winging it a bit when it comes to cards after #22. So be it; roll with it, Mark. I am intimately familiar with this Knight, or Egyptian “Innovator,” as we are all endlessly and boringly familiar. So I can rest a bit easier today knowing that if the Feather is in this Knight, then she is in safe & well-known hands; they ought to be, they are mine some of the time. I ask the Cosmos today to keep my Heart OUT of Judgement and my Will open to Innovation, as I hope for all of you. Be Well; Life! Health! Prosperity!