Good morning and Welcome! to The Fool’s Tarot for 22Aug2016. Being “on vacation,” for the moment I’m posting peripatetically on this or that card, or facet of Tarot. Today, I am presenting XIV Art, from the *Tabula Mundi Tarot* by M. M. Meleen. This is the color Majors-only edition; I have both the B & W full deck and am expecting the full color deck as soon as it is published. Ms. Meleen’s entire package, from A to Z & including both Tarot art and eponymous accompanying guide book, are of exquisite workmanship and a profound and studied knowledge of Tarot. I would say that it isn’t a Tarot for everybody, and I don’t believe it was meant to be. This is a profound deck for the profound student; in other words, be serious if you are going to use this deck. [Otherwise, I’ll be forced to stop this car and you & I will have a little “talk” at the roadside rest area. You don’t want that, trust me. BIG GRIN.] ) Let’s dive right into Mel’s book, “Book M: Liber Mundi* by M. M. Meleen, Atu House Pub., Barre, 2015.
"I am the true green and Golden Lion without cares. In me all the secrets of the Philosophers are hidden.” “Who the hell is the green and Golden Lion of Alchemy?” you demand. Easy enough; he is the Lovers (of VI fame) combined now as a Dianic personification (Diane, goddess of the hunt & Moon) (see pg. 46 ibid.)Then Ms. Meleen digresses lightly into V.I.T.R.I.O.L. – ring any bells? Here it stands in its original meaning, in Latin, of Visita Interiora Terrae rectificando Invenies Occultum Lapidem. “You will find that by correcting the secret things of the Earth [you will] Visit the interiors of the stone.” The Philosopher’s Stone, one assumes (“of course, you phool!”) My earliest memory of Vitriol is from when I was about 5 or 6 years old and watched the film *The Phantom of the Opera* (the Claude Rains version) where, upon finally being involved in a violent altercation with the music publisher, the fight erupts and the publisher’s assistant throws acid into Claude’s face. As he runs moaning from the office, clutching his face, the camera swings back to a close-up on the bottle, and it is labelled “VITRIOL.” So, in alchemy, it is the universal solvent (as is water in Malkuth) yet it had been presented to the public as the most horrible of acids. Ah-ha, interesting, that, eh? This is STILL the old familiar card of the “female” angelic being pouring water either from one cup to another or mixing them together in a pool in front of her. Add a rainbow, maybe, scatter a few stars, and for $5 more, we’ll throw in a lucky fish. It is simply that the alchemical principles behind that card have come forth to shine in their own beauty rather than distracting the attention with a representative tableau of Sunday school images. In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit to a long, very long, intimate personal relationship with XIV; and much like an ex-wife (or so I assume, having none) she pops in from time to time just to be sure I remember her and to be prompt with the check (grin.) Actually, she and I ARE good buddies, & I’ve needed her reminders a LOT over the years; I am “extreme” by nature. Back to the card – Oh, Look! It isn’t Easter! Hurray! Lol, no, but it IS an egg, the Orphic Egg present in a LOT of alchemical & metaphysical illustrations. Everything on this card is in combination with its complement or its opposite; it is, after all, about Blending, Tempering, improving force and tensile strength with the hammerblows of experience & situation. Tempering is a beneficial process, not only for improving the Materia prima, the basic substance of manifestation, but for an emotional washback of good feeling and “all’s-right-with-the-world” vibes; it lends a solid feeling of substantiality, well-being and usefulness that is for all intents and purposes a Divine Indwelling and re-establishment of order (as opposed to the chaos of the undistilled & raw,) of Ma’at. On the arcane side of things, we have XIV as Sagittarius with Jupiter in an exalted Dragon’s Tail; there is the fact that XIV is on Path 25 from Tiphareth to Yesod, and that his color scale is vivid & basic. I can and do process all of that type of information in my head, but My Valhalla! it makes for dry writing and reading, so I shall spare all of us. If it is really important to you, get out your astrolabes and your star charts and tables; book yourself a flight to one of the ancient astronomical observation platforms around the world; work only at night, on site, by the light on one poorly-made candle. Book a flight home. Contemplate the profundity and mystery of your discoveries from the soup kitchen for the homeless. LOL. No, thank you – I believe that is why we have astrologers, to do all of that “hard, slugging shit” for us, and deliver the results on a clean silver platter while we occupy ourselves with finding ways to pay for their services and our style of life. Harrumph! No, I won’t sneak any socialism in through the back door today; to those who don’t know me well, it appears too much like hypocrisy, too much “do as I say, not as I do.” However, it never hurts to remind ourselves that TEMPERING ourselves means every part of ourselves; you CAN NOT create a work of Art, much less beauty and divine inspiration, without a great deal of commitment to change and self-sacrifice. Only by balancing all of these elements will we ever even begin to approach transmutation. I ask the Cosmos today for a willing spirit for us ALL, in order to get on with the sacrifice of work and the work of sacrifice. Be Well!