Friday, January 12, 2018

Good Morning and Welcome! to The Fool’s Tarot for 12/01/2018; today’s deck is the *Hermetic Tarot* by Godfrey Dowson with S. R. Kaplan aiding on the LWB. Mr. Dowson calls the cards a “reconstruction,” of what exactly it is hard to say, but it is based upon parts of all of the early Masters’ decks & works who founded and subsequently argued over the esoteric agenda of the Order of the Golden Dawn. Lots of egos and nitpickers thrown together, and the result was schism and rancor, which this deck seeks to embrace & surpass. Ole’ Godfrey does a damn fine job; as for the “truth” of the matter, that is lost in the mists of time. It is heavily esoteric and symbolic deck, definitely not for beginners; it is, however, extremely rewarding to those tarologues who wish to explore the esoteric depths of the construction. I recommend this deck to anyone, even beginners – just put it away until you are ready, though, otherwise you will be lost and risk being disenchanted. A final note to those who wonder about yesterday – it was fine, spent mostly doing the paperwork, and one session of exercise. The program starts Tuesday, and from all indications, this is going to be, if not a cakewalk, perhaps a cupcake-walk. “It’s gonna’ be fine, Herbie! Now eat your whole-grain bagel.” Grin. Onward & Upward! My 
draw for today is as follows: A) Guiding Arcanum = IX the Hermit; B) Animus = Knight of Pentacles; C) Anima = King of Swords, and I drew no oracular card today. I’m feeling a bit torn today between blathering, which is entirely possible, as I could delineate this spread and offer reflections on the cards and their meanings to me; or I could hand you over to more theoretically useful definitions (perhaps,) and indulge my inner desire to be silent today. Given the Guiding Arcanum today, I believe it is in my best interests, and yours (grin,) if I don’t blather. Therefore, shall append the definitions I find most appropriate today, as well as asking the Cosmos to grant us ALL a moment of clarity to see our recommended turning point today. Be Well! Be Zen. Be Blessed!!                                  IX The Hermit – “After long wanderings over a sandy, waterless desert where only serpents lived, I met the Hermit. He was wrapped in a long cloak, a hood thrown over his head. He held a long staff in one hand and in the other a lighted lantern, though it was broad daylight and the sun was shining. "The lantern of Hermes Trismegistus", said the voice, "this is higher knowledge, that inner knowledge which illuminates in a new way even what appears to be already clearly known. This lantern lights up the past, the present and the future for the Hermit, and opens the souls of people and the most intimate recesses of their hearts. The cloak of Apollonius is the faculty of the wise man by which he isolates himself, even amidst a noisy crowd; it is his skill in hiding his mysteries, even while expressing them, his capacity for silence and his power to act in stillness. The staff of the patriarchs is his inner authority, his power, his self-confidence. The lantern, the cloak and the staff are the three symbols of initiation. They are needed to guide souls past the temptation of illusory fires by the roadside, so that they may go straight to the higher goal. He who receives these three symbols or aspires to obtain them, "strives to enrich himself with all he can acquire, not for himself, but, like God, to delight in the joy of giving". 
The giving virtue is the basis of an initiate's life. His soul is transformed into 'a spoiler of all treasures' so said Zarathustra. Initiation unites the human mind with the higher mind by a chain of analogies. This chain is the ladder leading to heaven, dreamed of by the patriarch". (“Symbolic Book of the Tarot” by P. D. Ouspensky [1913].)                                                Knight of Pentacles – “The Fire on the Eighth and on the Fourth house, personified. The traditional renderings are not bad but far from complete. The eighth house is that of our debts, money of other people and of the dead in particular. . . Consequently the beneficial influence on the weak point in our material conditions may be interpreted as: advantage, interest, etc. But the knight is always a personification, too, and this is not given in the traditional interpretation. We must see him as a person who is obliging, carrying out a will, coming to the aid of a person, secretly or confidentially perhaps, at least not publicly, visiting him in his house, saving him from material and financial troubles. It may be a loan, inheritance or advance, but without any hard conditions connected with it, so it may be a present. On the other hand the houses mentioned give the tendency to retire from the outer world; this accounts for renderings such as 'inactivity, inertia,' etc. . . . We should say, it means the tendency to enjoy the good things of the heart(s) within one's own private or family circle, in repose, in some retreat, secretly. In weak cases there may be some danger of degeneration into idleness or indolence, etc. In connection with the fourth house, ruling family matters and the past, the home and the storehouse (of memory, e.g.) the card must have to do with pleasant memories, recollections, people we have known before; collections and collecting.” (*General Book of the Tarot” by A. E. Thierens [1930].) 
The King of Swords – “The King of the suit of Earth, coming on the house of Aries, First house or ascendant. Whatsoever we may say of the 'reversed' side or weaker cases of this card, a king is a king and always denotes a higher accord, someone or something of principal value and rank. The king of the Martian and Saturnian element naturally is the king of matter and of war, i.e. also he who wins war and conducts the battle of earthy interests. It denotes the dominion and rulership of this element, consequently the military chief. This by the way we are astonished not to find mentioned by tradition, which mentions the man of the law, lawyer, advocate or judge, who rules or guides worldly strife and contention. As the ruler of the ascendant, the card may certainly mean any person heading a cycle of material activity and before all a pioneer on this plane, an independent man living on his own means. While material integrity is implicit, duplicity, doubt, double-dealing or uncertainty are definitely excluded. It indicates material certainty and severity, whether beneficial or malefic from a personal point of view, healthy or rude, even cruel. But we fail to see what it has to do with perversity, unless the meaning be the overruling of everything else, the higher by the material power, and the misuse of the latter. . . .” (Ibid.) 

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