The subject of Aleister Crowley is a polarizing one among tarot enthusiasts. Many of those who truly "get" his Thoth Tarot and particularly its erudite and challenging companion tome, the Book of Thoth, think he can do no wrong, while others (when they don't find him completely opaque) consider him a preening egomaniac, the self-anointed … Continue reading Crowley: What’s to Like (or Not)?
Casting around for something new to post, I decided to do a series of daily "Hermetic Meditations" using the various Golden-Dawn and Thoth-based decks I own. I have around a dozen of them now and will be rotating them in and out of the six-card pull regularly. The layout is the graphic for my "Pentagram … Continue reading Daily “Hermetic Meditation” #1
There is an Hermetic maxim that goes "To Will, To Dare, To Know and To Keep (or Be) Silent." It parallels the observation that those who truly know don't talk about it, and those who speak as if they do don't really know. There are several variations on this theme; the one that I like … Continue reading Vole! Aude! Scie! Tace!
Once again, I decided to try getting more interpretive value out of the Golden Dawn's Chaldean correspondence wheel beyond its card-by-card significance. As an experiment I created matrices of the five cards that are "in play" at the ingress of the Sun into each of the zodiacal signs: the Ace and Princess that relate to … Continue reading The “Chalice of Earth” Taurus Ingress Matrix
AUTHOR'S NOTE: After reading Paul Marteau's peculiar statement that the Fool doesn't necessarily belong at either end of the Major Arcana sequence as 0 or 22, but would more properly be found after any multiple of 7 (e.g. the Chariot or Temperance), I felt I had to drive the notion from my head by tackling … Continue reading The “Gang of Ten”
I performed a reading to test the spread of the same name I posted a couple of days ago, using three copies of the Retro Thoth deck (and being extra-careful to keep all of the decks separate). I didn't use reversals for the purpose of this demonstration. In the "Who Should I become?" position I … Continue reading A “Road to Shambala” Self-Development Example Reading
I'm always looking for novel ways to pull cards for a tarot reading. Here I've adopted and also adapted the "card pairing" method of the Golden Dawn as used in the First Operation of the "Opening of the Key." First, I shuffled the deck and pulled a single card to show the "Heart of the … Continue reading The “Three of a Perfect Pair*” Tarot Card Selection Method
I just unearthed another random gem from Barbara Walker's book, The Secrets of the Tarot: Origins, History and Symbolism. One meaning she offers for the 4 of Swords is "insight generated by seclusion" and, judging from the obvious opportunity for introspection shown in the RWS version, I can see where she's coming from. The Thoth … Continue reading Isolation and Insight: The “Essence of Nine”
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is one of my "bonus" posts that I will occasionally double-up on in my daily output. UPDATE: During an online conversation about this reading, someone observed that the 4 of Wands clearly means she is deceased. I responded by saying that I'm not so sure. Aleister Crowley's idea behind the title for … Continue reading Where Is Harmony? – A Tarot-Cartography View
AUTHOR'S NOTE: At the risk of "beating a dead horse," I'm going to present a few more thoughts on my uneasy, rather tepid rapport with the (Rider) Waite-Smith (RWS) Tarot and my much more robust appreciation of Aleister Crowley's Thoth Tarot. I come down somewhere in the middle on "pip" decks like the Tarot de … Continue reading Patience Is Not A Virtue (When Persistence Won’t Do)