Thursday, June 30, 2016

Good morning and Welcome! to the Scales of Ma’at for 01Jul2016: today my Heart has put on his Byzantine finery and gone to visit at the court of the Queen of Disks while the Feather of Truth has gone to visit and old & dear friend who has an appearance of “froideur” which belies a heart of gold, VIII Justice. I say ‘heart of gold’ in a rather ironic way; while she is indeed a faithful & true friend, she is pitiless, even to herself and most of all to her friends, but it isn’t cruelty. She simply has a cold, hard, cosmic eye for the weights & balances of the soul. ‘Today’s deck is a true Italian curiosity, *La Corte Dei Tarocchi* by Anna Maria D’Onofrio. Terribly difficult to handle and with a faded sepia look, nevertheless this deck managed to enchant me. The style is Byzantine mosaic art and the system is classical. This deck is one of those H. Meneghello oddities that can be so charming, and this one definitely is, while being quite a powerful Tarot deck at the same time. I like it; just don’t count on easy handling.) Well . . . harrumph. It seems as if my Heart has given in a bit to his caprices and is doing Byzantine drag today; not that I begrudge him, I like a little bling, too, but the Byzantines WERE over the top about it. The good side, in dress-up eyes, is that the men were as heavily bejeweled as the women, so everybody got to shine. Our Queen, aka Queen of the Thrones of Earth, sits in Binah on the Tree of Life, and strides between Sagittarius and Capricorn. She is (in) the Waters of Assiah. “She’s the mother of her element, the water in the earth, which makes her the perfect mother, conforming and emotional (Water,) stable and reliable (Earth.) Qualities include kindness and tenderness; good-hearted friendship, & finely-honed instincts and intuitions.” (Me & Raven) You’ll notice she lacks Fire and Air; to the best face on it, let’s say this makes her rather “plodding,” but a finely-crafted queen nonetheless. As for me and Her Maj? My mother was a rich & twisted person, so my role models for women were warped from the beginning, but she and I get along well. I long ago separated “Her”  out of “her,” and She and I get along like a house on fire; with an equal joy we profit from the “cornucopia of the Earth,” even more so her as in many ways she IS the cornucopia of the Earth. I like this Queen as a friend; I disliked being born to her, it was a bad choice I made somewhere along the line, but I presume it had its purpose. These days I can even exhibit the qualities of this good Queen, as I have remarked frequently recently here in the heart of my own family; I have discovered that I am the affective heart of the family, as my wife gives all of her energy to maintaining me at the center of our universe, almost as grand and invisible as gravity. Her role is bigger, but more thankless and less noticed. 
I need to keep that in mind when I am “queening” it around, I think. Speaking of “queening it around,” the Feather of Truth has gone off to try and gild the lily by joining the regalia adorning our friend, VIII Justice. In true Byzantine style, she holds forth in splendor, beauty, and bejeweled magnificence. IF this card has an historical model for the artist, it must be Theodora, Byzantine empress and wife of Justinian, the great Lawgiver of that civilization. She had an interesting history; she was, for all intents & purposes, a whore when Justinian met her in a brothel, fell in love, married her and made her his Empress. She, in return, was ferociously intelligent and pitiless in her drive to power; she happened to turn to be EXACTLY the Empress that Justinian, and Byzantium, needed. She was also tremendously pious, building hundreds of churches and monasteries. A more admirable, role-fitting female power figure isn’t to be found. I have a decent friendship with VIII Justice; we have worked hard on our relationship, to the point where my karma these days is almost instantaneous; meaning, I hope! that any “backlog” I had has been cleared up as-well-as-may-be at this time. AND that the new karma I create (I’m sorry, I can’t help it) Will not be allowed to grow and harden with time. Justice is the Path of Lamed, 22 in the Tree of Life? She is also Venus in Libra, aspected by Saturn. Her Path runs between Geburah and Tiphareth, enlivened by the element of Air. She’s a combination of the High Priestess and the Magician; both are connected - true, conscious action resulting from realization, and producing wisdom. Inner reflection plays its role with appropriate gravity, and aids in the dispensation of equitable rather than blind Justice. In accepting an objective view of all we can find inner balance and silence. Can I incarnate uncompromising honesty and objectivity? Do I grok cause and effect, background and consequence? In my very best moments I am abashedly proud to say yes, I can do that, and I am being reminded to call forth that ability today; it may stand me in good stead. And, because you’ve paid attention this far (LOL) here’s something extra from Raven; “. . . it wasn't Crowley who reversed Trumps VIII and XI (Justice and Strength). If you look at old historical decks, the Justice has been the 8 ever since beginning (sic).” So, that’s the round-up for today, not a bad day, in total; regard the home front and keep the application of Justice in mind during the day; that is all reasonable. I ask the Cosmos today to grant us ALL the ability to apply a bit of Justice to those things in our lives that cry out for its application. Be Well!    

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Good morning and Welcome! to the Trial Run of a new spread that I hope will prove useful in its own way as the Scales of Ma’at have been in theirs. Today is 30Jun2016 and I am going to “try out for the role” – ta da! - The Canopic Jars. This will consist of 4 cards drawn at one pull, read, and then after reading the 1st four, a 5th is pulled, to finish the spread. The 1st four are the Canopic jars: in Egyptian mythology, they are the four sons of Horus; Hapi, the baboon-headed god representing the north, whose jar contained the lungs and was protected by the goddess Nephthys; Duamutef, the jackal-headed god representing the east, whose jar contained the stomach and was protected by the goddess Neith; Imseti, the human-headed god representing the south, whose jar contained the liver and was protected by the goddess Isis, and Qebehsenuef, the falcon-headed god representing the west, whose jar contained the intestines and was protected by the goddess Serqet. The sons of Horus were also the gods of the cardinal compass points. Each god was responsible for protecting a particular organ, 
and was himself protected by a companion goddess. Early canopic jars were placed inside a canopic chest and buried in tombs together with the sarcophagus of the dead. My 5th card represents this chest, which contains and informs the 4 canopic jars, which are the Elements. The Elements follow classical structuring; Earth then Water then Air then Fire. Your 1st card determines the “ladder”; if it is a Water card, then follows Air then Fire then Earth. It is a progression. The 5th card, the Canopic Chest, MAY be equated with Spirit, or it may not be, as the reader intuits. Whichever, it is the “motor” of the reading; also it may well suggest a way forward from the present state, described in the previous 4 cards. This isn’t really an everyday spread; it is meant for those occasional times when all you want to ask the cards is, “Hey, hi there. What’s up with me generally today on all levels?”  One is NOT looking for a deep reading; rather one is looking for a reliable “scan.”  Today I have pulled as my 1st card the Page of Cups, so the progression begins with Water, then Air, then Fire, then Earth and finally, the chest. Here is the entire draw: 1) Page of Cups, 2) 2 of Swords, 3) 0 the Fool, 4) XV the Devil and finally 5) XII the Hanged Man. (Today’s deck is *The Wicked Tarot* by Pamelina H & Marshall Rossi. 
It suffers from the same major flaw as the decks of the Bastard; these oval portrait illustrations are fucking useless. I’m sorry I bought it.) Well, for the most part, I seem to, “more or less,” follow the existing canon with this pull. Starting with my Cups realm, I have drawn the Page (remember: this 1st card defines which Element you start with, and thus your starting point through the 4/5-step ladder[in this instance, Water-Air-Fire-Earth];) emotionally it’s a young and fougueux day, and something new and creative is up and coming. Goody! My next card is in the Air “house” (following Water) and happens to be an Air-suited card, the 2 of Swords. So in the intellectual realm I am at somewhat of an impasse, which happens to be true. I’m dithering over method for my students, but I can & WILL make a decision and move on. In my Fire Element I have drawn 0 the Fool, a surprising invitation to go wild in my creativeness as I fashion this method of interaction with fellow Tarot enthusiasts and students. Let your imagination rip, Mark, you are unencumbered by any past baggage right now, so go ahead, take that first step out into the “Abyss.” 
Then in the Earth Element I have drawn XV, the Devil; LOL, well, if you have to have a card to symbolize the Material and “enslavement to it” or “full enjoyment of it” to “aware usage of its energies” it is a GREAT card to have reigning over the material today – I’ve got no real material worries at the present, everything is in the hands of a Master Materialist who, in fact, wishes me well. And finally, as the Canopic Chest  which not only contains the previous 4 cards but carries them all forward I have drawn XII the Hanged Man. Progress in ALL of my realms, on ALL of these questions and/or statements, I can look to self-sacrifice to further my Journey. That self-sacrifice of course is not of me but of my EGO. The individual MUST die for progress to be made, and a broader identification with man MUST take its place. I say “must,” but of course there is choice. I can choose NOT to progress, and remain an unfeeling turd piled with the rest of the “lumpenproletariat” on Destiny’s doorstep, but I think NOT, thank you anyway. I do not pull XII often, but when I do, I am calm about it; the prospect of self-sacrifice doesn’t frighten me, and the more of my Ego that I can take out of Me the 
better. I have a very hard time understanding anyone who doesn’t understand the precept of “the sacrifice of the one for the many” in any of its forms; altruism should NOT be alien to human nature. As well, I know that I am confident enough in my true self-identity to have no fear of stripping away the vestiges of my ego; it is an amusing, sometimes useful tool, but like any vice can be done without. My vehicle forward from here and what is containing and informing my 4-realm reality at the moment is this self-sacrifice, this ego-stripping of which I thoroughly approve. So there we have it, my dear readers. The 1st run of a new, general layout. It will get better; I will refine it, but it definitely has possibilities! I ask the Cosmos today to give us ALL an “in-soufflement” of Inspiration today to carry our chosen projects forward. Be Well!   

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Good morning and Welcome! to the Scales of Ma’at for 29Jun2016 : today my Heart is sitting examinations to determine whether indeed it is worthy to join the gods in the afterlife or shall he be thrown to Ammit, the destroyer goddess below. While contemplating this sobering prospect, I am given some comfort in the form of the Feather of Truth today, which has come to home to roost and to bask in the warm & simple glow of domesticity. (Today’s deck is the *Egipcios Kier Tarot* by Iglesias Janeiro & ed. by Stuart Kaplan. This deck is simply a pearl beyond price, a jewel beyond compare. An Egyptian system deck [cards numbered 1 – 78, no division into suits] it is beyond wonderful. If you can find a copy, buy it. I shall not go on & on, I would wax prolific. I would, however, go so far as to say that after a RWS, A Thoth & Golden Dawn, and a Tarot de Marseille decks, this deck or an equivalent Egyptian-numbered deck should be in your armory. ) Apparently my Heart is feeling justified enough to sit his exams today to be judged worthy before Thoth and presented to Osiris; or will he be cast to Ammit, the destroyer and obliteratrix of the Name? When she eats your name, you are truly forsaken; you can no longer be remembered in the Fields of the Blessed. It is interesting, as Robert Wang points out in *The Qabalistic Tarot; A Textbook of Mystical Philosophy* (Marcus Aurelius Press, Canada, 2004), “All of this was clearly understood by the Golden Dawn, who found considerable utility in the Egyptian system of Gods. These Gods express universal relationships better than any other Pantheon.” And not only for the Golden Dawn, as can be seen here. This judging of my Heart on the Scales of Ma’at is, in its own way, XX Judgement in a more traditionally structured Tarot deck. I do recently feel as if I am being summed up for Judgement; I don’t know what that’s about, but I know it isn’t a presage of death. I believe that I am being “summed up” and my heart weighed on the Scales because I am at a crucial juncture point; here is where I make the decision to go COMPLETELY private with the rest of my Journey, or to go even more public, which also carries with it the job of mentoring. I know which way Thoth and his crowd wants me to go, and I know my natural inclination; luckily in this instance both are aligned in the same direction and I will go the less private route, while at the same time striving to maintain the “To Be Silent” guideline of my Quest, one of the Four: To Know, To Will, To Dare and To Be Silent. It is an oath we all need to be able to take at an individual point in each Journey; when either we leave our development there, at a comfortable point but to be developed no further, or we commit to the Rest of the Journey, come Hell or high Water, and with that commitment comes the statement of the Magus” creed, the aforementioned 4 points. 
Let my Heart have learned its lessons well and be Judged; I am not afraid. So turning, I travel from Mars to the Terran Moon and #29, Domesticity, the warm & comfy lap where the Feather of Truth has settled for the day. This is a card of modesty and self-effacement, of knowing one’s “middling” place and being contented with it, of being happy with small advancements & minor promotions, of good husbandry. If one knows ANYTHING about me, then one knows that modest self-effacement is NOT where I eat, sleep or live. Fuck that! Live large! However, there is a great blessing in NOT overlooking the joys and happinesses of “domesticity;” an assured faith, surprising returns on modest investments, good faith well-placed & a feeling that “All is right with my little world.” My spur comes with that one word, “little.” I want NOTHING about my happiness to be of small import, I don’t swing that way. That is not to say that I can’t enjoy these things, I can, and often do, when I am out of myself enough to register the myriad small details that go to make up a satisfying life for me. I have most of them working for me, thank Renenutet, because I like to think that I am smart enough to acknowledge the role the smaller things have in constituting the grander machinery of the Life I wish to live. This card carries something really important to me personally; Khepera, the scarab beetle/sun/Immortality divinity, who has been a personal patron for many, many years now. Above all it is he who “speaks” to me from that “animal spirit guide” place; there may be others from time to time, but he’s the first & foremost. And here, on this card, he is linked directly to the Heart, below, through the constancy of Man. The Feather of Truth and my Heart are working truly in tandem today, to remind me to keep it simple, enjoy the smaller pleasures when they come along, celebrate the constancy of the everyday that leads you to successful progress in the Hall of Judgement, and forms the basis of your continued Journey. There is a mystery and a mysticism in the quotidian, in the everyday, that we often miss because of the hypnotic nature of the thing itself; like a rosary, like a mantra, even like religious ritual flagellation, the repetitiveness of the thing is the glissade by which one arrives at a form of deep interior meditation, and through that, an understanding of the language of the Divine. When are you ever more in touch with the Divine than when you are questioning the reason for your existence? I ask the Cosmos today to give us ALL a blossoming appreciation of the quotidian in our lives today. Be Well!    

Monday, June 27, 2016

The Fool To The World:
A journey through the tarot.

It started with the Fool who danced the merry path,
He cared not for the future and could not change the past,
He lived only for the moment, the pleasure of the day,
He made but one commitment, to be on his merry way.

He met with a Magician of diplomatic skill,
Who gave him opportunities and bade him do his will,
He opened to him new ideas, his choice of action made,
A sense of purpose to his life, confidence, his trait.

A High Priestess sat by his side, new lessons for to teach,
Through meditation and renewal, his spirit guide beseeched,
To balance understanding, mystery and wisdom,
To give strength and serenity, that he may one day find his kingdom.

The Empress helped to find himself in harmony with his thoughts,
Development of his emotions is a fertile future bought,
The fruits of labor be enjoyed, a harvest to success,
To be as one with nature, to be as one with progress.

The reliable and devoted Emperor, a father to the Fool,
A leader to authority, the master to the school,
With the power of conviction makes a scholar of the pupil,
To found a solid basis through self-discipline and ritual.

And then he meets the teacher, a kind and generous confidant,
The inner wisdom, the spiritual quest, the awareness of the Hierophant,
The exchange of philosophies, an answer from within,
A guide of inner conscience, the patience to begin.

Two images, in harmony, invoke a choice to make,
The Lovers offer happiness, but which road should he take?
Should he part, to reunite, or should he stay and flower?
The importance of the choice he makes shall mark his soul forever.

In a Chariot his spirit soars above his tribulations,
The struggle he does not give up, he meets it with endurance,
He travels through his consciousness, a clear and open mind,
And with his perseverance his emotions are refined.

He found Courage in his inner strength and hope in discipline,
To cope with any obstacle should the future, perchance bring,
To confront his own ego and challenge his foolish pride,
He recognized his own truth and called upon his spirit guide.

Next, he comes upon a Hermit who patiently awaits,
Those who seek his wisdom, to withdraw and meditate,
To ponder on the next world and the lessons learned in this,
To mature in the reflection of a drop of cosmic bliss.

As the Wheel of Fortune comes around and a new cycle begins,
As one door closes another opens and a new wheel starts to spin,
Destiny has played its part, a reminder of the truth,
That nothing lasts forever, sometimes he has to start anew.

Within the scales of Justice that weigh his pros and cons,
He takes sole responsibility for all he's said and done,
In fairness and in balance he decides upon his plan,
To cut away the worn threads, no longer relevant.

A Hanged Man is a turning point, a spiritual event,
In suspended animation, where reality is spent,
Time to try another angle, to turn things upside down,
The wise man never struggles, to get his feet back on the ground.

He surrendered unto Death then, allowing change to take place,
A situation left behind to wither and decay,
His loses, hard to cope with, but a clear path lies ahead,
A time to change direction, a chance to start afresh.

With patient, calm and self-control, he seeks harmony and peace,
Through Temperance and moderation his burdens are relieved,
The rocky road has leveled out and travel comes with ease,
To leave the anger by the wayside and moderate the stress.

When the Devil brings obligations, entangled in his thoughts,
The Fool must reach his inner conscience to unravel the knots,
A careful time of reminisce is caught up in the past,
He must come back to the present to move forward at last.

A lightening bolt that strikes the Tower, a past that's burned away,
He clears his thoughts for growth, that new paths may be laid,
The breakdown of the old ideas brings awakening of new rules,
When a bolt of inspiration brings liberty to the Fool.

A Star then shone upon him to spread optimism all around,
To paint for him, a future bright, where dreams and wishes could be found,
His past efforts rewarded, make improvements for the future,
Expansion of the psychic laws bring opportunities to nurture.

His dreams, strong with confusion, mumble beneath the Moon,
But highly charged emotions, although muddled, are not ruined,
He floats along with them awhile, yet makes no plans for travel,
He bides his time within his thoughts until the trickery unravels.

As the Sun shines on his rebirth, success is on the way,
And in the company of good friends he is again a child at play,
His worries he has overcome and joy is in the air,
His love of life is undeterred, a passionate affair.

With clarity comes Judgment, evaluation of events,
To reward a duty that's been done as a task comes to an end,
With satisfaction in his soul, rejuvenation in his heart,
To know the truth of the spinning wheel, to fear not a new start.

The World is his, with sense of pride, the Fool feels happiness,
To applause of others admiration, the Fool has found success,
A light shines on his inner peace, contented by completion,
His will is strong, his spirit soars, beyond imagination!

By Harry Boslem    

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Good morning and Welcome! to the Scales of Ma’at for 27Jun2016 : today my Heart is spongily absorbing data from V The Hierophant while the Feather of Truth is finding what warmth it needs over on the hearth of the 2 of Cups. (Today’s deck is the *Tarot Apokalypsis* by Erik C. Dunne & Kim Huggens. This is the new supernova in the Tarot heavens, but unlike a supernova, it isn’t destined to burn out soon. It’s another gorgeous, seriously beautiful and yet metaphysically sober effort by the Dunne-Huggens team and it is a stunning success even before its general release.) I’m not quite sure why my Heart is over there sucking up administrative finesse and organized systematic methodology and information from V the Hierophant, but I shall trust that it knows what it is ingesting. I have been terribly wrapped up in theory lately, with Robert Wang’s *Cabalistic Tarot* book and some other tomes on metaphysical philosophy, as well as another large tome on the body of evidence for a forerunner civilization on Earth that we have completely ignored. Interesting stuff; outside the canon of generally accepted bedtime Harlequin romances, true, but within reason, and sucking up a lot of information; this is most likely why my Heart has taken refuge in one of its oldest and most secure little blanket-wrapped cubbyholes where it snuggles in and feels safe, independent learning. I think there is also a shadow meaning here: my mentoring efforts (Tarot) are paying off in enormous dividends. One of my students was here socially this weekend and a gathering of people turned into a wonderful impromptu discussion on various metaphysical realities and questions about Tarot, about which some of our guests were woefully uninformed. The wonderful process to see was the awakening, in various degrees, of the inkling in the root of consciousness that perhaps there is another giant hidden spigot of information in their grasp and they just don’t realize it. As for my student, he is starting to burn with the curiosity of finding out more details about his Journey and Path, and I am delighted to watch him start to blossom. I am definitely in Hierophant mode in that situation, and with more than one person. I trust that I will keep my head about me and not descend into dogmatism or, even worse, a kind of mental abuse of the reins of informational authority willingly entrusted to me by the very people I am teaching. Whenever I think of structured and organized “religious authority,” another word comes automatically to mind, “sinister.” Let’s say that today I am hoping for no shadow of the sinister to darken my Heart, and I believe that I am in enough grace to not suffer that fate. With a backward glance to reassure myself that my Heart is okay and isn’t being subjected to improper religious advances, I turn to find the Feather of Truth, who is in the humble but profoundly warm & welcoming atmosphere of the 2 of Cups. 
The card art is evocative – we have only the two signs of the Water presence, the cups themselves and that wonderful concoction of sea-blues that the maiden is wearing. The rest is all warm, welcoming, Light-filled, and blessed (the Arts are present in their symbols) and yet without the driving urgency lying behind the color scheme of the Fire suit, Wands, which would normally be more likely to have this kind of atmosphere, or even Pentacles and the suggestions of hearth and home. But here it is in Cups, in the birth of a loving relationship or to paraphrase it in more accurate terms, in the complicity inherent in the manifestation of a genuine Love. And effort. And beginning a new venture. And personal relationships. It’s all of that which is present at the moment of birth, not conception, of this new bright and shiny relationship, this interaction. The card serves two purpose for me today; 1) it reminds me to renew and refresh the basis of my relationship with my wife, with whom I’ve been a bit offhand and distracted lately, and 2) it speaks to me of the new relationship in my life of teacher/student, of journeyman/apprentice, and the nascent love therein. Astrologically speaking, my Heart in the Hierophant is the Sun in Sagittarius, a symbol for the teacher of inner values, and Jupiter in Pisces as the vision of eternity. He is of course Taurus and is on the Tree on the Path from Chokmah to Chesed. He symbolizes the “quintessence,” the power that exceeds the four elements. My 2 of Cups is Venus in Cancer, and lives in Chokmah by the Water, so here is the original sending forth point of the V, yet reiterated as the Truth for today; the warmth , stability, solidity and genuineness of partnership brings forth the truth of right teaching, and vice versa, good learning brings about the ability for right living. That is one aspect among many, and for me, today, I have several vectors of reference for this draw. My Tarot mentorship, my marriage (it’s complicated how the V is present in my marriage, but it is,) my place in the reality of the moment, in this mutually agreed-upon manifestation we are calling the world & Life. This is a benign draw, informative but not too, and certainly not thorny with implication. I can live comfortably with this today. I ask the Cosmos that today we ALL be given a benign and easily “readable” day without excess stress or worry. Be Well!    

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Good morning and Welcome! to the Scales of Ma’at for 26Jun2016: today my Heart has gone counter-character and is trying to be sleek in the King of Batons, whereas the Feather  of Truth has gone back to her “maternelle,” XVIII the Moon. (French; “maternelle” = kindergarten.) It is my firm belief that in order to “Speak the Truth” you must “Know the Lie,” and the Feather is refreshing her database, I’m sure. (Today’s deck is a kitschy memory from the Wayback Machine, an object that fascinated many in 1973, the *James Bond Tarot Deck* by Fergus Hall & Stuart Kaplan.  It was featured in the film, *To Live And Let Die,” and was somewhat “spookily” read by Jane Seymour aka Solitaire. I was 21 at the time, Jane Seymour was beautiful, James Bond was sexy (but he wasn’t Sean Connery, damn!) and of course, there was Tarot, which would have drawn me to see lesbian porno if it had featured the cards. [That is ridiculous, of course. I’m not really even aware if lesbian porno exists. I automatically assume they are too adult to need it, but that is an assumption, of course, just as is “women don’t really like sex.”] The cards are fun, even {{shudder}} cute, but the value of the deck for me is Memory & kitsch. At any rate it was fun to find [eBay] and now use and work with more normally and “off the red carpet.” Grin. Deeply gnostic searchers of symbols don’t bother.) Without martini in hand, I move on . . . Today’s “abode of the Heart”, the King of Batons, doesn’t particularly surprise me. He has been around a LOT lately, showing up in this exact spot 2 days ago as well. Normally, a repeated card “message” like this means one isn’t taking into account all the ramifications, but honestly, I just cannot see that of which I am unaware, which is both a truism and a plaint. I get it, I do; my Heart OFTEN has recourse to hanging out with this King; for better worse, I have to recognize and admit that he IS the persona I exhibit most frequently to the world, that masterful king, master of his own process, sweeping opposition before him. Oh, and yes, tiring quickly after intense application and saying “Fuck it!” if the battle isn’t won immediately on the 1st try. I REALLY AM that king, to a large degree. Astrologically, I’m S –Aries, M - Taurus & A-Virgo, so that’s a bespoke fit if I’ve ever had a hand run up my inner thigh to my crotch! My orbit is heliocentric, isn’t it ?!? The Sun, Mercury & Venus – 1 Fire & 2 Earths making me somewhat “heavy” of character – and besides me, there you also have a portrait of the Wand king. I must retire to a corner now and weep bitter tears at the realization that I’m just a character-type . . . Grin. I never get the impression that the King of Batons has much of a sense of humor, however, and mine is both ever-present and a dominant factor in my make-up; I LOVE to laugh, and I LOVE making others laugh, too. Oh well, “tough tittie” for the king, I guess . . . And turning to find the Feather of Truth, I see it has flown far indeed, all the way to XVIII the Moon. 
The Feather is emphasizing what I am beginning to realize, YET AGAIN – how LITTLE I know. This was made clear to me yesterday as I was reading a new acquisition, Robert Wang’s *The Cabalistic Tarot:* one after another, just like the chains of a female orgasm I kept having these little “Ah ha!” moments as I read, feeding new gobbets of flesh to the hungry idol in my belly, Knowledge. And everything I read just kept confirming previous knowledge or adding fascinating new tidbits to the pastiched ensemble. XVIII the Moon always speaks to me of the Quest for Knowledge – always more & more knowledge. If that hunger had teeth, I would have died of bleeding ulcers long ago. I took a couple of selected decks out the other night and we moonbathed in the Full-Solstice-Moon, a practice I indulge occasionally and which I suspect is much more beneficial for my intuitive, irrational faculties than anything cognitive or based on reason & logic. Reason & logic are uncomfortably defined terms, anyway. Try something with me; imagine that you are able to recognize all 11 of the dimensions of our Universe (a theory now agreed upon both by astrophysicists and mystics); yes, even though we sense only three, intuit the 4th and acknowledge a 5th; there are 11. Wrap your heads around that, JUST the concept that you CAN perceive all 11; don’t try to imagine what the 11 actually are, you’ll break your head. Now, with perception like THAT, tell me, what, EXACTLY, ARE reason & logic? You see my problem. I’m not claiming to experience 11 dimensions; I AM telling you that I experience more than 3, and recently both 4 and 5 have been bypassed by assumption and I’m out in the galactic deeps, looking for a safe place to anchor. I’m sailing with the Moon. I grok that Time is an illusion. I grok that “materiality” is a contracted, agreed upon and shared illusion. Space, Gravity, all the big ones you must take on scientific faith unless you were one of the unlucky ones called to BE a scientist in order to define these very things. But the Moon and her Water and the King and his Fire put out a lot of vision-obscuring steam. Sometimes I’m able wrap myself in the steam and can clothe myself in knowledge, sometimes I’m simply lost in it, wandering naked. But as I Journey on, more and more my Lunar voyages are becoming Aware and Cognizant, and I’m having MUCH better “vacations.” Today I ask the Cosmos to grant us all some “Moon time” today or this evening, in order to process some of what we may have left unprocessed through lack of understanding. Be Well!   

Friday, June 24, 2016

Good morning and Welcome! to the Scales of Ma’at for 25Jun2016 : today my bespangles Heart is with the sylphs setting up the party over in the 4 of Wands, while the Feather of Truth has run off to check on our hostess, III the Empress. (Today’s deck is the *Fenestra Tarot* by Chatriya. This is on my “Stay or Go?” list, and while it is a perfectly lovely deck, I feel no zing! no spark, no stream of intuition. Please understand – I am not criticizing the deck, only stating I feel no connection personally. Otherwise, a fine, professional deck. If it appeals to you, go for it.) As we know, class, the 4 isn’t really about a party; it’s about a “successful start-up.” Doubly-influenced by Jupiter (consult your local astrologer), the 4 of Wands sits in Chesed, is in Leo ruled by Jupiter, and is complemented by Leo in Capricorn, thus the double Jupiter (Leo, get it?) (Thanks, Christine Payne-Towler!) If I’m founding a venture at this time it is favored by the gods. Or so says the Pythian Oracle, who lives in 4B, just above us. And yes, Virginia, I AM founding a venture (of sorts) at this time! What wonderful coincidence, eh?” . . . “Mumble-grumble-whine” . . .”No! I won’t hear of it, I won’t stand for it! There is NO SUCH THING as synchronicity!” Despite the blustering of Daddy Warbucks, there IS of course synchronicity, but this is more than that, this is this card telling me that deep down I know this idea is bound for success, if I keep it on track. The definition of success is the key element, of course, and there I am already one step ahead of myself, making sure that my efforts don’t add up to a zero-sum game. I can be truly excellent at the social game; the problem is that with advancing years I become less and less willing to play it. Fuck compromise and petty hypocrisies and social lies all in order to grease the wheel of social interaction; “I’m sick unto death of it, I tell you, Fitzsimmons, sick unto death!” Thus, I RARELY play it anymore. The “piste” here is that the “start-up” is well-lubed by the coherence and amiability of social interaction, and to tell you truth, I actually don’t give a Flying Monkey fuck about that. I want to impart my joy of Tarot to select others whom I deem to be interested, motivated and desirous enough of it for Tarot to be useful to them. Very little structure goes into our meetings; we extemporize, with me leading the discussion. What they don’t know is where we venture every time, and they construct their own mental Tarot as we go along, not accepting it in one giant swallow from a $3.95 supermarket checkout paperback authored by Madame Marvel. IF I’m going to help build Culture, then I need to make sure my 4 is in order, and that means making sure I’ve got my IV the Emperor well in hand, as well, because the reference to the cube of matter is unmistakable. In, any event, this is a propitious place for my Heart to be, and I am content to leave it here as I turn to find the Feather of Truth cozied up with my “hostess,” III the Empress. I have seen III the Empress more in the last week than I have seen her in the last 10 years. 
We are either waltzing towards a material orgasm together or she is deigning to bring me a message: “Venus is here, beloved. Create! I bring you the stuff of Life.”  The Great Mother has been in my thoughts a lot lately, and of course I venerate her in her form of Isis, Egyptian goddess of Magic, Nature, Motherhood, Marriage, etc., in other words, the Great Mother. I readily admit that any overall, comprehensive overview of Isis is beyond me; I am a man, and no matter how gnostic I may make any thing or situation, I will never be, or feel & think, as a woman. However, I CAN make the effort to arrive at a level of understanding of the Mother that encompasses all of MY needs in relation to reflecting her glory, compassion, generosity, and utter non-involvement (in a Zen-like manner.) The purest compassion of all is the lack of all passion, after all, and that can be difficult enough to reach as a goal without needing to compromise its worth as a basic Truth. The Truth about abundance, generosity and compassion is that it is impersonal. Mother Nature has bigger fish to deep fat-fry than mere human concerns of pride-of-place and shows of servility and questionable gratitude. Venus herself, in our conception of her, is rather a man-eater, isn’t she? She plows through men like a hot knife through butter, and thanks to her divinity looks none the worse for wear. And yes, she DEFINES being a “high maintenance woman.” On the other hand, her impersonal generosity is bountiful and a balm at the worst of times. Her generosity can be perplexing, but it is of that sort where one shrugs one’s shoulders in a total lack of comprehension and says, “But hey!! Thank you!!”  I have a great message here today, one that fits hand in glove with my Heart card, as well; Trust the bounty of the Empress, Mark. Put your best into the endeavor and she will be-gift you beyond your dreams.”  And I can believe that, because I am finally following MY nature, and I am birthing something which I already deeply love and to which I give my all, all the time. My passion rules me, which is generally a bad thing, but here I believe it serves a purpose; the Tarot gives me SO much, and I know its stores are endless, so I want ALL to profit from its riches. I don’t, can’t, believe that my goal is misguided. I ask the Cosmos today to grant us ALL a better perspective on the progress of our goals. Be Well!    

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Good morning and Welcome! to the Scales of Ma’at for 24Jun2016: today my Heart is feeling eccentrically moody with the King of Wands whereas my Heart has gone immediately for a direct source in the Ace of Cups. (Today’s deck is *The Bohemian Gothic Tarot* by Alex Ukolov & Karen Mahoney. Superb deck. “It's a deck of the shadows; dark, beautiful, a little melancholy and mysterious.” [Aeclectic]) My Heart today is apparently feeling a bit melancholy and diffident; I can certainly grok the King of Wands, I’m just not sure I feel him this morning. I can understand why the Heart would wish to go there, however; direction. He wants direction, as we are currently in a “dead mode” while we wait for certain things to come together for advancement of the goal, and Valhalla knows, Daddy Wands is ALL about giving direction. This King is the Fire in the realm of Fire, aka the Lord of Flame and Lightning; he sits in Chokmah and astrologically is Leo in both Scorpio and Sagittarius. The king is “the purest manifestation of his element - burning, flaming, enthusiastic and thrilling. He is the born leader, full of ideas and idealism, proud and commanding, at his best noble, honest, conscientious and intelligent. For Atziluth is the highest of the worlds and Fire the highest of the elements, the King of Wands can stand for highest inspirations, spiritual realization and purest creativity.” (Raven & I) As far as that goes, I rather like the description given in the LWB for the deck (as far as those kind of cookie-cutter descriptions go): “A performer – theatrical and amusing. An unconventional or eccentric person, usually in an attractive way. Someone with panache and charisma. A warm, energetic family man.” It also gives, as Shadow, “A fantasist who imagines themselves to be much more important than they are. An attention-seeker. Someone pompous who expects everyone to follow their lead.” I am MUCH more like the 1st part of the LWB descriptor; I AM eccentric, intelligent & well-liked. I have charisma & panache. I am not, however, a warm & energetic family man. Uh-uh. As for the Shadow, I fall into the sub-category of “people who, having once found the Truth or their version of it, expect others to follow their word.” THAT would be more me; as for the rest of it, I jettison it along with the rest of the trash.  One weakness of the King’s that I must watch out for also is the fact that once his initial enthusiasm wanes, it cannot be recovered. It’s all a ONE-big-glorious-shot-deal for him. I tend towards that, as well, and I need to guard against it; it has another name, which when given its derogatory definition, is Dilettantism. I dislike dilettantes VERY much, the “I know a little about everything so I’m going to pretend I know a lot” kind of people. Please don’t pretend with me; I will find out, and I won’t appreciate it. Moving on because my Heart is just a little TOO fixated on the serious and lugubrious, I turn to find the Feather of Truth resting, coldly, in a stone Ace of Cups garnished with skulls. Charming. Aka “The Root of the Powers of Water, it sits in Kether, arriving by Water of course. Astrologically it is all the Water signs. 
“The Ace of Cups shows the way deep into our soul, to detect beauty and trust. It stands for the sources of love, for growing feelings, the desire for a relationship or the readiness to have a friend. Referring to the Kaballah, the Ace of Cups is attached to Briah - the world of pure feeling and sensitive intention. It is the female counterpart of the Ace of Wands, representing the female element water as a sign for devotion and care. The card also tells that the beauty and the ugly are two poles belonging together. Without shadow, there's no light - and mud is needed to make lilies bloom.” (Raven & I) OR, “A new burst of energy. Confidence about starting a new activity. Innovation, invention & ingenuity. A message brings great opportunity. [Shadow:] Something just beginning may work out well but be a little wary! Promises of new energy and perhaps, enlightenment, but the path could be difficult. A promising new project, but is it completely ethical?” (LWB) The first part of that LWB is fairly right on, I believe and intuit. The Ace is ALSO a highly directional arrow of warning pointed directly at me: “Keep It Spiritual, Mark!” I get so wrapped up in the multicolored fireworks of a new passion that I can force it to manifest too soon, too palpably or too raw, and then I tire of it as rots within three days of exposure to the air of my world. Moderation, Mark, moderation . . . why don’t you call your old friend XIV Temperance tonight and see if she’s busy?  So there it is for today, short and sweet and not terribly inspiring, but then I have less of those as time goes by and more of the exciting ones, so I am not complaining, not at all. It’s just a low lying weather front on my horizon, but Life goes on. I ask the Cosmos today to give us ALL the grace to make it calmly through the gray days as well as the days of Light and Darkness. Be Well!    

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Good morning and Welcome! to the Scales of Ma’at for 23Jun2016: today my Heart is in the 9 of Wands and the Feather of Truth has traveled to exalt VI the Lovers. In a 3rd draw, as the 1st two cards were fine but lacked transportation, I drew a “vehicle card” of the Princess of Pentacles. (Today’s deck is *Tarot Apokalypsis* by Erik C. Dunne & Kim Huggens. It is even more spectacular, if that is possible, than their previous work, *Tarot Illuminati*. If I start the praises now, I’ll never finish. Go buy a deck – you won’t regret it.) I’m feeling very “solid” and “Tarotish” today, for no apparently good reason. Perhaps it is because I am becoming more accepting of the progression of Life as I see it playing out in others and draw parallels with myself. I’ve been brought face to face with my authoritarianism recently, my skewed love view, my secret intolerances, my sexual biases, and my own ignorance of all the facets of my existence. It’s quite astonishing, actually; I’ve been trepidatious and fearless, nervous and assured, timid and courageous, and the only reason I haven’t collapsed like a cheap Montgolfier is that I’ve WANTED to be on the Path, on my Journey for so terribly long, and now I am, and I thank Tarot for accompanying me and making my insights possible in a way in which I can understand. Fifty-four years of reading the cards has helped. I’m 64 now, and with a decent chance I have another 20 years before me – but the last 20 have flown SO fast that I am not fooled. My transition is in the pipes; I just want to be ready. So, onward – and today onward means finding my Heart, drama-stricken little queen that he is, hanging out with the ever-so-dramatic 9 of Wands. The usual catchword for this card is “Stress,” (Crowley calls this card Strength.) If we’re going to boil it down like that, I like Kim’s phrase, “perseverance in difficulties,” much clearer, don’t you think? The 9 of Wands sits in Yesod in the Tree of Life, arriving by Fire. In astrology it is the Moon in Sagittarius. “. . . Nine, the number that reflects on itself, entering the fields of Yesod - imagination and reflection back in the middle of the Tree of Life. Thus the Nine of Wands remembers its own qualities, showing the full powers of the fiery element rising again. It shows strength, determination and discipline, preparing itself for the final step to completion.” (Raven) Thus, perseverance. The card is all about spiritual truths and realization. We can combine the conscious with the unconscious, yielding great success but with strife and energy, victory preceded by the apprehension and fear which is natural and normal during times of great trial & proof. If my Heart is hanging out here, it is acknowledging a Truth I am currently hiding from myself – that my new venture is one of stress & challenge and the question of success or failure, and I have the full range of human emotion over that question. Well, I hope so! And I don’t seem to be hiding it any longer. Good. 
Turning to look for the Feather of Truth, I see it witness the Choice being made in VI the Lovers. I can grok it, I really can. It ALL ties together here in the Truth for today about one field of my current situation – my Emotional health and the role played therein by my physical desires. Happily married, I still desire the intimate company of a male presence in my life, or to put it crudely, a ménage à trois but without all of the sordid implications. My wife and I live an almost monastic existence, not in the sense of privation, but in the sense of “communal relationship.” We have a deep friendship; we have everything, actually, and by mutual agreement, keep it chaste, to a point. She is not consumed by physical desire, and mine is focused on my own sex, so there is an agreement in place for augmentation, to phrase it as politely as I can! The Feather of Truth today has thrown down the gauntlet, however, and asked me to re-consider the Truth YET again, that a choice MUST be made, where do I wish to place my allegiance, on the corporeal path or the spiritual one? I made that decision years ago, of course, but I WILL insist on trying to blend in my physical needs/pleasures, won’t I? I’m stubborn that way. I keep telling myself I’ve made the decision already, but the card is telling me “Look again; you’d better check how the seams are holding up on your construction there, pal.” Alright, I will, and thank you, subconscious shit-stirrer though you may be . . . . And finally, 
feeling the need for transportation between, around, through and out from my two fortune cookies today I have drawn the Princess of Pentacles. My, my, talk about a heavily charged card! She is the true beginning and end of the Tarot, and I remark today on Erik’s card the advanced state of pregnancy of our Princess. I’m reading that as the voyage is just commencing – and I understand that to be MY new voyage, my new project and focus in life. I shall read the card as an engine on “go” – the project, & my life! is afoot, Watson! I’m feeling every bit of my adult, empowered state today and recently, and I like it. I shall use this time of calm purpose to advance. I so Will it. “Knowing that conscious decisions and personal memory are much too small a place to live, every human being streams at night into the loving nowhere, or during the day, in some absorbing work.” (Rumi) Today I ask the Cosmos to give us ALL a serene and balanced look into our decisions at this time. Be Well!  


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Good morning and Welcome! to the Scales of Ma’at for 22Jun2016 : today my Heart is on a Journey with the Page of Wands to the mountains of Vision, whereas the Feather of Truth, thinking the Heart daft has flown to the 7 of Cups to show her opinion. As my secret prophylactic (look it up, it doesn’t mean what you think it means) from Thoth, my boss & patron, I have also drawn XI Strength as the Dark Card. (Today’s deck is a little discovery that I recently made, *Tarot del Fuego* by Ricardo Cavolo. I like more and more of these Fournier/Spanish/Latin decks, there is some wonderful originality in them. This one immediately brings to mind three other decks, *Pearls of Wisdom*, *The Didactic Tarot* of Donato and *The Bonefire Tarot* by Gabi West. Pop art meets Art Brute meets Andy Warhol meets LSD meets bright primary colors meets folk art. Got it? I opened this and immediately felt bubbly happiness, it “tickled my fancy,” as my great-grandad used to say “jes’ a’fore he shot that varmint right off’n that there stool.” It’s bright, it’s primary, and its symbolism is right on, and in your face, so to speak, for such a smallish deck of cards. They ARE a bit small in size, smaller than normal but-not-mini, thank Isis. 
I like them, like a cute stray dog or maybe a pet I keep around for laughs and love. Not too bad at all; it’s a “pet deck.”) My Heart starts off right away wanting to NOT be at home, so he has gone off with the Page of Wands to seek out an answer in the Mountains of Vision. The Page sits in Malkuth, from Earth in the Fires of Atziluth, also as Venus in all the Fire signs. “As Earth in the element of Fire, she is far from the Queen's depth and the Knight's Air. She's the Fire's daughter, unaffected from deeper emotions. The only heritage from her mother is the good memory for insults and the thirst for revenge.”  (Raven) I get it. My Heart is impatient to be Off! like a crusading knight to conquer Jerusalem and make Tarot enthusiasts of all the inhabitants. J I need to be careful, though, and “not lack warmth of heart, or be self-indulgent & theatrical about the process, otherwise it can sink down in pure greed and cruelty, too cold and numbed to recognize its own emotional poverty and emptiness.” (Raven & I) So, Mark, can you sort out your desires and tell the true from the false? The real from the imaginary? The vainglorious from the productive? Because that is what the Feather of Truth is asking you today, pal. Sitting in Netzach, having arrived by Water, this 7 is Venus in Scorpio, and even the most astrologically “thick” should be able to see that Venus, Scorpio & the number 7 are an explosive combination, a bit like “Molotov Love.” This is the card where one’s emotions have fallen from the beauty of Tiphareth into the “decadence and morass” of Netzach. (That’s relative, folks. Netzach is not only anarchy, but creativity - so the realization of the bad can lead to something good when used with care.) “The 7 of Cups also talks of the human desire to experience the unknown, the subconscious, the wish to escape the plain old reality and find a better world somewhere in fantasy. But it shows clearly the dangers of such mind games, when the dreaming turns into a hapless run-away from life. The success is illusionary, just a deception or wishful thinking.” (Raven) I hardly think I am danger of following myself, dressed as the Pied Piper of Hamelin, down the road to my own perdition; I’m a bit too wise to myself to be led astray in such a simplistic fashion. 
The Truth today may be “Watch out for Illusions! Especially those you generate yourself!”  but that is unnecessary advice in my case; I’m far too old a hand at deception and skullduggery to be fooled by someone as naïve as the truth-seeking me. Yeah, yeah, I know I sound schizoid, but believe me, I’m not – I just know myself REALLY WELL; I conquered that little Athenian axiom quite a few years back. I KNOW my True Value, and I am not about to dim my own hard-won lustre. Nor am I going to allow ANY of this to inflate either my head or ego; if illusion feeds anything, it feeds the senses, but it sustains itself by vampirizing the spirit. So, along with the Page, “All ahead!” but keeping in mind the very wise counsel of the Truth, “Avoid the Illusions.” As I felt just a “touch” unfinished with this draw, I decided to check the Dark card, and received a pleasant surprise – my hint from the Cosmos on how to proceed forward; XI Strength. I’m not going to go into all the wonderful card imagery, but it is a great word of advice for proceeding. This Major Arcanum is on the Path of Teth, between Chesed and Geburah, on the Tree of Life. She is Venus in Leo, thus creative passion leading to fulfillment. She is, of course, of Fire. Strength implies vitality, energy and power. The trump tells us to use these riches; in most aspects of life an endeavor will have much more success when passion is put into it. I ask the Cosmos today to gift us ALL with a burst of Passion and Resolve today as we carry on with our progress on the Journey, on the Path, on the Red Road. Be Well!