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THE PARROTT TAROT
EIGHTY-TWO KEYS TO WISDOM
Text by Thom Parrott
Art by Margaret Parrott

In the Divine Name IAO, I do invoke Thee, Thou Great Angel HRU, who art set over the operations of this Sacred Wisdom. Lay thine hand invisibly upon these consecrated cards of Art that I may have true knowledge of hidden things, to the Glory of the Ineffable Name. AMEN.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
AUTHOR'S INTRODUCTION
ARTIST'S INTRODUCTION
AN OVERVIEW
THE GOLDEN DAWN
THE TREE OF LIFE
THE ROYALS ON THE TREE OF LIFE
A CHRISTIAN ANALOGY
OTHER CORRESPONDENCES FOR THE ROYALS
THE MENTORS
THE MAJOR ARCANA ON THE TREE
THE WANDS, FIRE, ATZILUTH
THE CUPS, WATER, BRIAH
THE SWORDS, AIR, YETZIRAH
THE DISKS, EARTH, ASSIAH
THE MAJOR ARCANA, SPIRIT
USING THE TAROT
RECOMMENDED BOOKS
BACKGROUND


AUTHOR'S INTRODUCTION

The Tarot was first written of in Italy during the Renaissance. Where did it come from? Was it originally two decks, now known as the Major and Minor Arcana? Was it originally created as a system for the secret (occult) transmission of spiritual knowledge by a group of scholars and magickians or did it evolve over millennia primarily as a game of chance?

Though many theories have been put forward, the only truthful answer is "nobody knows".

Does this diminish the usefulness of the Tarot? Of course not. Even if the Tarot developed from the most mundane sources for the most mundane reasons, it has become perhaps the most beautiful, powerful and accessible of the tools of the Twentieth Century spiritual revival.

Just as the sharp edge of a broken stone evolved into both the skinning knife, with which we steal the beauty of other divine creatures, and the Athame, with which we invoke and direct Divine Energy, so the handful of colored stones tossed on the ground by the pre-historic shaman evolved into both the game of marbles and, ultimately, the Tarot, with which we seek information and direction from Divine Awareness.

The numbers of cards in a Tarot pack, their titles and attributions have varied over the centuries. With the Waite deck, and others created by alumni of the Golden Dawn, becoming widely distributed in the last twenty or thirty years, the pack of 78 cards divided into 22 Major Arcana and 56 Minor Arcana has become a standard, though many beautiful and functional decks are available which are quite different in structure and origin. (One of my favorites is the unstructured, 88 card "Morgan's Tarot", which has a sense of humor and has always provided illumination.)

The Parrott Tarot follows the Golden Dawn tradition with two exceptions: the titles of the Minor Arcana are from Crowley, and four new cards have been added. These cards are the Mentors. They are face cards placed between the Queens and the Princes, associated with the planet Chiron, the Sephirah Daath, the Abyss and the Hebrew letter Shin, all of which will be explained in the proper place.

Finally, when using the Tarot for any purpose, remember, it doesn't show us what we don't know, it helps us to look at what we do know.

May this deck and this book increase the Divine Light in us all. Blessed be.

Thom Parrott
Albuquerque
New Mexico
1991


ARTIST'S INTRODUCTION

My interest in the Tarot came about as a natural progression. I came to an intellectual interest and belief in Christianity on a very personal level at middle age. It was paralleled by my lifetime interest in masks. When my husband, Raymond Parrott, and I spent three years in Liberia, Africa, I was happily inundated by masks and able to paint them and study their religious significance and social importance. Upon my husband's retirement from the United States government, we settled in New Mexico where my attention was grabbed by the Pueblo and Navajo ceremonials. The study and painting of Kachinas was as fascinating as that of the African masks had been. Then, when my son became interested in Wicca, I studied that and was inevitably led to the Tarot.

My feelings are that all of these religions have the same basic function in our lives--the same moral teachings, the same living lessons, the same positive focus for good, for improvement, for help when we are unhappy or confused.

I wanted to do a Tarot deck that would be as bright and colorful as I felt it should be. I think in color and wanted to use the vivid colors to express the excitement and potential for knowledge and growth that the Tarot represents.

The parrot is included as a personal symbol and because to understand the Tarot, as well as each other, there must be verbal communication.

The stairs in the Major Arcana are used to symbolize levels of consciousness and levels of growth.

The symbols of the Paths and their astrological and Qabalistic correspondences are placed clearly below the pictures to be easily read.

Margaret Parrott
Albuquerque
New Mexico
1991


AN OVERVIEW

The Tarot is a physical representation of a philosophical concept of the Universe.

That says the most in the fewest words, but what does it mean?

Well.

The Tarot is a deck of cards. The deck is used for meditation, Magick, self-analysis, Divination, fortune telling and mnemonics. Decks may contain anything from a couple of dozen cards up to a couple of hundred. Common playing cards are often used, but many decks specifically designed for one or more of these purposes are on the market.

For the Tarot to be a valid tool for any of these purposes, it must have enough images to cover every aspect of our Universe, from the most Archetypal Forces to the most mundane events. These images must be finite enough to be understandable and general enough to be flexible. They must communicate, both as a collection of individual images and as a whole, a comprehensive and coherent body of thought about the nature of the Universe.

Clearly, the Universe is, so far as we can tell, infinite and eternal -- and it exists within the Mind of the Divine -- therefore, the Universe is, ultimately, a part of The One, the All in All, UNITY, Which is by definition INDIVISIBLE. For the purpose of discussion, we must divide the Indivisible into a number of parts. How can we divide that which is Eternally One?

In the same way we divide everything we deal with so that we can deal with it. The same way we divide even ourselves -- our feet from our heads, our family from our friends, our needs from our desires, our work from our meaning, our selves from our Selves....

Human beings just don't seem to be able to deal with everything all at once. We have to reduce things to manageable parts. That we often destroy the things we take apart can only be justified by refusing to recognize the existence of the Whole. It must always be remembered, therefore, that the Tarot is One thing, not 82 things -- our intention must always be to use the Tarot as a tool for the reawakening of our Awareness of Divine Unity, for only in this will we find "...the QUINTESSENCE, the Stone of the Philosophers, True Wisdom, Perfect Happiness, the SUMMUM BONUM."

The Parrott Tarot divides Unity into 82 parts. These are the 78 cards of the Golden Dawn tradition with the addition of 4 new cards, the Mentors. They are apportioned among the Five Elements, the Seven Visible Planets, the Twelve Zodiacal Signs, Two Genders and Two levels of maturity, Four Seasons, 36 Decanates, Ten Sephiroth (the Mentors add the Eleventh Sephirah, Daath), 22 Paths of the Sepher Yetzirah, the Three Taoist Aspects of Yin, Yang and Tao.

Each of these sets of divisions is intended to convey the Unity of the Whole. Their interrelationships derive from the set of correspondences developed by the founders of the Golden Dawn, based on the teachings of the Hermetic Qabala.

The primary glyph or symbol of the Hermetic Qabala is the Tree of Life.

The Tree of Life is a physical representation of a philosophical concept of the Universe. Where have we read that before?

The Tree of Life divides Unity into Four Worlds: Atziluth, Briah, Yetzirah and Assiah. The first World or Plane is Atziluth, associated with Divinity. Briah is Archangelic in nature while Yetzirah is ruled by the Angelic rank and file. Assiah is the Plane of Action or Manifestation.

Each of these Four Worlds is further divided into Ten Sephiroth. These Ten Sephiroth are arranged on Three Pillars and are connected by 22 Paths. Above the Tree stretch the Ain, Ain Soph and Ain Soph Auer -- aspects of the concept of Divine Nothingness (or whatever one conceives as existing before Creation). Below the Tree of Life are the Qlippoth -- those entities which/who reject the Light.

The Logos, The Divine, God, Allah, AHYH rules Kether of Atziluth -- the highest Sephiroth in the highest World. At the bottom of the lowest Tree, Malkuth of Assiah, we find the fields of Maya humans often mis-label "real life."

The Tree of Life will be discussed more fully below.

The pack of Tarot cards is divided into Major and Minor Arcana.

The Major Arcana number Twenty-two, from Zero thru Twenty-one, and describe processes, states and forces. They are assigned to the 22 visible Paths on the Hermetic Tree of Life. They are also assigned to the Planets, Signs and Elements. The Major Arcana are also called Trumps and Atus.

The Minor Arcana are divided into Four Suits -- Wands, associated with Fire and Spirit; Cups, associated with Water and Emotion; Swords, associated with Air and Intellect; Disks, also called Pentacles, associated with Earth and the Physical. The Suits also correspond to the Four Worlds of the Qabala -- Wands to Atziluth, Cups to Briah, Swords to Yetzirah and Disks to Assiah.

The Minor Arcana are further divided into Face Cards or Royals and Number Cards or Pips.

The Pips number 1 thru 10 in each of the Four Suits. They describe actions, attitudes and events. These Number Cards are assigned to the Ten Established Sephiroth on the Tree of Life.

The Royals are the King, Queen, Mentor, Prince and Princess of each suit. They represent different human personality types, whether actual people or aspects of personality or ways of being depending on the question and the surrounding cards.

The Face Cards are assigned to certain of the Sephiroth and to the Letters of the Holy Name YOD-HEH-SHIN-VAV-HEH, which has been transliterated as Yeheshuah, and later, Joshuah and Jesus.

This, then is a very brief overview of the Tarot and its major divisions. Let's look a little deeper.


THE GOLDEN DAWN

The Golden Dawn was founded by some high-level Freemasons in the late Nineteenth Century. It was the first of the Rosicrucian Orders to recognize women as equal members. It asserts that it is not a religious body but a spiritual one, accepting for membership followers of any religion or none.

The Golden Dawn is described as a teaching order. The curriculum is one of the best available for the study of Western Occultism. We are introduced to various systems of meditation and visualization, of divination and of applying ritual to process our relationships with our own internal archetypes and to the various spiritual forces and entities in our environment. This is enhanced by a series of beautiful and powerful rituals.

Some of the best known of the members of the Golden Dawn are S. L. MacGregor Mathers and his wife Moina, W. Wynn Wescott, A. E. Waite, W. B. Yeats, Dion Fortune, Aleister Crowley, Paul Foster Case, Florence Farr, Israel Regardie, and, in our own time, Chic and Sandra Tabatha Cicero. Most of these were prolific writers on the Western Occult Tradition, sometimes called the Yoga of the West.

Books written by members and former members of the Golden Dawn comprise the bulk of available literature on the Hermetic Qabala -- Hermetic as opposed to Hebrew. The Hebrew Qabala is primarily devoted to the study of the first five books of the Bible -- the Pentateuch -- while the Hermetic Qabala is devoted to the spiritual study of our evolving Universe. They arise as separate trees from seeds of a common ancestor.

The Golden Dawn uses the Tarot as the Rosetta Stone within its complex system of correspondences. The Tarot fits seamlessly with Astrology, with Hebrew Mysticism's Tree of LIfe, with the Hebrew Alphabet, with the Elements of Alchemy. A full discussion of the Tarot in relation to these beautiful systems for communication and communion with and understanding of the Divine will come in additional volumes, but they will be introduced briefly here.


THE TREE OF LIFE

The Primary symbol of the Hermetic Qabala is the Tree of Life. Ten stations called Sephiroth are placed on three vertical columns in a zig-zag (flat spiral) pattern formed by the flash of Divine Lightening of the Creation (or the Big Bang, as you prefer).

The column to your left as you look at the Tree is the Pillar of Severity. To the extreme right is the Pillar of Mercy. Between them is the Pillar of Equilibrium, the Middle Pillar. Each of the outside Pillars has three Sephiroth while the Middle Pillar has four fully formed Sephiroth and a fifth emerging Sephiroth.

The topmost Sephirah, Kether, is the initial point of Divine Creation -- the exact moment of the Big Bang ("Let there be light," as you prefer) -- Meher Baba's "Whim of Being." Here we place the Aces of each suit as being the pure, unformed escense of their Element.

The highest Sephirah on the Pillar of Mercy, Chokmah, is the immediate result of the Big Bang -- Energy rushing out from the Central Point, thereby establishing the phenomena we call "time" and "space." Here we place the Twos of each suit as representing duality, choice, separation, balance.

Crossing the Tree horizontally, the Sword of Lightening takes us to the top of the Pillar of Severity, Binah. Patterns begin to form in the outrushing energy, establishing the laws of physics, such as those regarding gravity and inertia and resistance. Here are the Threes which represent one sort of completion -- a state of preparedness; pregnancy; choices having been made for good or ill.

These three comprise the Supernal Triad. They are the archetypal components from which all else evolved: The Thought; The Energy inspired by That Thought; The Forms necessary to harness The Energy to produce the fruits of The Thought. The Tao, Yang and Yin. The Formless All, The God and The Goddess. And each creates one of the Pillars to demonstrate permutations of Itself.

Crossing the Tree of Life in a downward diagonal we pass over the Abyss at the point of the Emerging Sephirah Daath, the Gate of the Supernal Eden. As human beings give increasing attention and energy to our spiritual growth and responsibilities, this Eleventh Sephirah grows in intensity. The discovery of the Planet Chiron in 1977 has been heralded as the beginning of a period of healing and training -- the essential activities of the Centaur for whom the Planet is named. In the Parrott Tarot we have, for the first time, assigned cards to Daath -- The Mentors, representing teachers and teaching, healers and healing, guides and guiding, aid in the process of Becoming or aiding others in that process. Chiron is the Rainbow Bridge between Creation and the Creator.

Continuing the diagonal, we come to the second Sephirah on the Pillar of Mercy, Chesed. The Point (Kether) moves to form the Line (Chokmah) which moves to form the Plane (Binah) which now moves (across the Abyss) to form the Solid. The Laws governing Mass come into play. Here are the Fours, representing solidity, stability, peace, accumulation, perhaps stagnation, inertia, even guilt.

Once again we move horizontally clear across the Tree of Life to the Sephirah Geburah on the Pillar of Severity. As Chesed and the Fours represent building up and gathering, Geburah and the Fives represent tearing down and scattering. These are lower forms or reflections of Binah and Chokmah. Where Binah was the pure act of Resistance and Chokmah was the pure act of Expansion, Chesed and Geburah have elements of both. In Geburah, feeling begins. The Fives represent Yang passions, clearing away, opposition, combativeness.

We now come to the exact Center of the Tree, Tiphareth. This is the place of resurrection, of perfect balance between the Four Sephiroth below Kether and the Four below Tiphareth, which is a reflection of Kether or, perhaps, a filter thru which we can look at Veiled Kether, the direct experience being impossible for those bound in flesh. In Tiphareth we have learned to use Building Up and Tearing Down as co-equal tools of Creation rather than being battered by their pendulum swings. The Sixes represent completion of a sort, victory or its availability, balance, harmony, beauty.

At the base of the Pillar of Mercy we find Netzach, where we enjoy the work done by those coming before. Netzach holds the Yin Passions, in balance to the Yang Passions of Geburah -- these two poles are harmonized in Tiphareth, the midpoint between them. The Sevens represent an emotional focus on the physical senses, "if it feels good, do it," an over attention to pleasure as a motivation.

Crossing to the base of the Pillar of Severity we come to Hod, the center of Intellect. Here Analysis rules in balance to the Mindless Acquisitiveness of Chesed -- these two poles are harmonized in Tiphareth, the midpoint between them. The Eights show communications, thought, invention, worry, fear.

Just as Daath is halfway between Kether and Tiphareth on the Middle Pillar, so Yesod is halfway between Tiphareth and Malkuth. Yesod is Superstition and the outer forms of Religion just as Daath is Knowledge and the inner meanings of the Occult sources of Religion -- and these two poles are harmonized in Tiphareth, the midpoint between them. The Nines represent foundations, things at their highest point of preparation and anticipation, completion on the Astral but not yet the Physical; whether a spiritual or superstitious view of the World depending on placement.

Finally, Malkuth, the Kingdom of God, the Material Eden, Life as we know It. God (The All, Allah, whatever you call that which is beyond definition and limitation) was before Time and Space and Matter and Created Them to experience and celebrate Them as Aspects/Expressions/Subsets of Divinity Itself. In Malkuth we have the most intense personal experiences of the Archetypal Energies arising in Kether -- and these two poles are harmonized in Tiphareth, the midpoint between them. The Tens represent material completion.

As discussed earlier, this Tree of Life exists in each of Four Worlds and these Worlds are represented by the Suits.

The Pips from Two thru Ten are the Sephiroth -- places on the Tree -- while the Royals are aspects of the Divine set over the operation of those places, and operating within them.

The Aces are both because the Point or First Swirling is both the Place and the Personality of the Divine.

The Trumps are assigned to the 22 Visible Paths connecting the Sephiroth. Only one set of Paths is given to link the Sephiroth in Four different Trees. In a reading, the Archetypes represented by the Atus will be functioning in or upon the Plane suggested by the surrounding cards, or, sometimes showing redeeming, obstructive or supportive Forces manifesting from a higher Plane.

THE ROYALS ON THE TREE OF LIFE

In most traditional Tarot decks there are four Face Cards in each of the four Suits. In the Parrott Deck there are five, the King, Queen, Mentor, Prince and Princess.

The Kings reside in Chokmah. They have the Fiery outward nature of this Sephirah overlaying the essential nature of their suit. They are powerful, authority figures with the outrushing force of the second Sephirah, but the name of this Sephirah, Chokmah, means Wisdom, and this quality is also part of their essential nature.

Chokmah houses and rules the Kings and the Wands, therefore Wands and the Kings are about Archetypal Force. Kings (sometimes called Knights or Emperors) and Wands are both associated with the Element Fire.

The King and Queen are aspects of the One which are particularly amused by and therefore express dominion over the first Dual Archetypes -- Force and Form -- Yang and Yin.

The Queens reside in Binah, the Primal Sea. They are all outwardly Watery, yet they sit upon Thrones, the most stable of the Court Figures, reflecting the function of Binah as Archetypal Form. Binah means Understanding.

Binah houses and rules the Queens and the Cups, therefore Cups and the Queens are about Archetypal Form. Queens and Cups both correspond with the Element Water.

The King is not higher on the Tree than the Queen, though, in one sense, Force came before Form. They are equal and harmonious, both in Their pure state as the Supernals and when properly understood and applied on all the planes, including our material domain. Wisdom augmenting Understanding; Understanding augmenting Wisdom.

Though Force apparently, in another sense, came before Form, Form was held in potential within Force, as Force was held in potential within The Point -- the Cosmic Egg -- therefore all existing together as one, as The All, in potential, eternally, before our time and space were born. At the Moment of Self-awareness, the Three were simultaneously released, from their Phenomena of Potentiality, into their Phenomena of Becomingness.

The Mentors reside in Daath, whose name means Knowledge. The Rainbow Bridge across the Abyss between the Supernals and the Seven lower Sephiroth. The external nature here is of the compassionate teacher, healer, advisor while the Suit indicates the area of operation as well as the inner nature.

The Mentor is an aspect of the One which is particularly amused by and therefore expresses dominion over the transitions between the Supernal and the Material in the place Daath. You must hold the passwords of Malkuth to pass upward thru Daath.

The Princes reside in Tiphareth, the exact Center of the Tree of Life, the place of the Redeemer Gods and the Sacrificed Gods. Tiphareth means Beauty and it is the beauty of perfect equilibrium yet it is also a hub of activity -- the place in the center of a wheel which appears to be stationary, although the wheel may be spinning furiously.

Tiphareth houses and rules the Princes (also called Knights, and occasionally Kings or Emperors) and the Swords. Because Tiphareth is the Center of the Microprosopus, Swords and Princes are also under the influence and protection of Chesed, Geburah, Netzach, Hod and Yesod, with Daath representing the influence of the Supernals. Swords and the Princes, therefore, have to do with Change -- the State of Flux resulting from the Balance of Force and Form. Princes and Swords are both assigned to the Element Air.

The Prince is an aspect of the One which is particularly amused by and therefore expresses dominion over the Process of Becoming, headquartered in Tiphareth but also ruling over and operating within Chesed, Geburah, Netzach, Hod and Yesod.

These Six Sephiroth, along with Binah as the synthesis of the Supernals are assigned to our component parts as symbolized by the Planets: Sun, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, Mercury, Moon and Saturn. Their synthesis in Earth takes place under the rulership of the Princess.

The Princesses reside in Malkuth which is sometimes called the Bride of the Microprosopus. The Microprosopus is the Seven Sephiroth between the Supernals and Malkuth. Malkuth means The Kingdom, so the Princesses are the dominant personalities of the Earthly Eden.

Malkuth houses and rules the Princesses (mis-named Pages in some Tarot packs) and the Disks or Pentacles or Coins..., therefore Disks and the Princesses have to do with Materialization -- the State of Stability resulting from the Union of Force and Form.

The Princess is an aspect of the One which is particularly amused by and therefore expresses dominion over the Process of Manifestation in Malkuth.

A CHRISTIAN ANALOGY

The Angel of God impregnates Mary who gives birth to Jesus who brings the Word to all Humankind.

The Angel of God is the Yang principle of the Universe. God is The One, Unity, The All, The Source, That which Was before anything was. Therefore, it is only after Unity has differentiated Itself into Archetypal Force and Archetypal Form (Yang and Yin as aspects of the Tao) that Creation/Conception can occur. The Angel of God is associated with Kings and Wands and the Second Sephirah, Chokmah.

Mary is the Yin principle of the Universe. Her name means the "Great Sea" or the "Primal Sea." After the physical relationship between the Earth, the Moon and the Sun had become established, Day was separated from Night. Then the Earth was veiled in clouds and covered by a Primal Sea. Lightening from the clouds raked the Sea, changing inert matter into living proteins. Yang had impregnated Yin. Mary is affiliated with Queens and Cups and the Third Sephirah, Binah.

Birth and the Word are the process of becoming conscious of our apparent separation from the Divine and the process of returning to acceptance of our actual Union with the Divine. The Word and the Birth are placed in the Sephirah Daath and are represented by the Mentors.

Jesus is one manifestation of the Christ Consciousness. Like Osiris, Woden and many other Gods and Teachers, he sacrifices himself for the good of humanity -- to transmute our past sins and to call attention to the fact that death is not the culmination of our existence but a passage to another aspect of existence. He represents both the ideal of spiritual humanity and the priesthood. The priesthood can be further divided into those who purport to represent God in order to achieve a following, or to convince themselves of the truth of their own subjective dogma, and those who actually commune/communicate with the Divine and teach others how to do so -- sometimes, but not often, the same people. Jesus takes the Princes and the Swords and, though centered in Tiphareth, all the Sephiroth from Chesed thru Yesod, the Microprosopus.

Humankind is the people as a whole. Those of us so involved with our material existence that we often lose track of the Divinity which is its Source and its Substance. Humanity relates to Princesses, especially as the Bride of the Microprosopus, and to Disks and resides in, or even somewhat below, the Tenth Sephirah Malkuth.

OTHER CORRESPONDENCES FOR THE ROYALS

The Kings and Queens generally represent people in their late thirties and above while the Princes and Princesses would usually be below that age, but age is less important than level of maturity and responsibility -- parents will appear as Kings and Queens unless they are extremely immature or are the children of the querent or are substantially younger than the querent. The Mentors may be any age and are likely to seem ageless.

The Court Cards sometimes appear as aspects of personality rather than as people per se. This is especially true when a card appearing in a position assigned to the identity of the querent is the opposite gender to the querent. Occasionally the Court Cards will represent animals or institutions or other non-human entities with personality.

The Kings are Fiery, the Queens are Watery, the Mentors are Balanced, the Princes are Airy and the Princesses are Earthy. These Elements are the outer nature -- like the Ascendant in Astrology, a mask we show the world. The Element of the Suit is the true inner nature -- in Astrology, the Solar element.

Below is a list of Elemental correspondences showing the inner and outer natures of each Royal. Thus, the King of Wands is Fire because he is King and Fire because he is a Wand -- in a sense, both his unconscious, instinctive Self and his conscious, analytical self are Fiery, spiritual, intense.

Another example is the Princess of Swords -- Earth because she's a Princess but Air because she's a Sword, thus, she thinks a lot about how to make things materialize, possibly to the extent that nothing does, but often in ways that do, in fact, produce material results consistent with the intentional application of Ideation and Imagination to the solution of material problems. She applied her thinking to "practical" or materialistic ends.

Fire also equates to YOD and to Force. Water corresponds to HEH and to Form. The Mentors are SHIN and Knowledge. Air relates to VAV and to Change. Earth is assigned to HEH final and to Materialization.

LIST OF ELEMENTAL CORRESPONDENCES
OF THE FACE CARDS AND SUITS

The King of Wands is specific Fire (King) of Archetypal Fire (Wands). Also, YOD of YOD. The King of Wands is about Force of Force.

The Queen of Wands is specific Water of Archetypal Fire. Also, HEH of YOD. The Queen of Wands is about Form of Force.

The Mentor of Wands is the Voice of Archetypal Fire. SHIN of YOD. The Mentor of Wands is about Knowledge of Force.

The Prince of Wands is specific Air of Archetypal Fire. VAV of YOD. The Prince of Wands is about Change of Force.

The Princess of Wands is specific Earth of Archetypal Fire. HEH final of YOD. The Princess of Wands is about Materialization of Force.

The King of Cups is specific Fire of Archetypal Water. YOD of HEH. The King of Cups is about Force of Form.

The Queen of Cups is specific Water (Queen) of Archetypal Water (Cups). HEH of HEH. The Queen of Cups is about Form of Form.

The Mentor of Cups is the Voice of Archetypal Water. SHIN of HEH. The Mentor of Cups is about Knowledge of Form.

The Prince of Cups is specific Air of Archetypal Water. VAV of HEH. The Prince of Cups is about Change of Form.

The Princess of Cups is specific Earth of Archetypal Water. HEH final of HEH. The Princess of Cups is about Materialization of Form.

The King of Swords is specific Fire of Archetypal Air. YOD of VAV. The King of Swords is about Force of Change.

The Queen of Swords is specific Water of Archetypal Air. HEH of VAV. The Queen of Swords is about Form of Change.

The Mentor of Swords is the Voice of Archetypal Air. SHIN of VAV. The Mentor of Swords is about Knowledge of Change.

The Prince of Swords is specific Air (Prince) of Archetypal Air (Swords). VAV of VAV. The Prince of Swords is about Change of Change.

The Princess of Swords is specific Earth of Archetypal Earth. HEH final of VAV. The Princess of Swords is about Materialization of Change.

The King of Disks is specific Fire of Archetypal Earth. YOD of HEH final. The King of Disks is about Force of Materialization.

The Queen of Disks is specific Water of Archetypal Earth. HEH of HEH final. The Queen of Disks is about Form of Materialization.

The Mentor of Disks is the Voice of Archetypal Earth. SHIN of HEH final. The Mentor of Disks is about Knowledge of Materialization.

The Prince of Disks is specific Air of Archetypal Earth. VAV of HEH final. The Prince of Disks is about Change of Materialization.

The Princess of Disks is specific Earth (Princess) of Archetypal Earth (Disks). HEH final of HEH final. The Princess of Disks is about Materialization of Materialization.

MENTORS

"When the student is ready, the teacher will appear." We must have been ready on 1 November 1977 when Charles Kowal "discovered" the Planet Chiron, the Wise One who prepares each of his students for their own Hero's Quest. With the Parrott deck, Chiron, the Rainbow Bridge between the Personal and Trans-Personal planets, is integrated into the Tarot.

The planet Chiron is assigned four new cards, the Mentors. These correspond to the emerging Sephirah Daath on the Qabalistic Tree of Life. Since the Mentors are new with this Tarot pack, it was felt that a chapter devoted to them was necessary. They are also discussed as a group in the chapter on the Royals and as individuals in the chapters devoted to their various Suits.

DAATH, THE ELEVENTH SEPHIRAH

Daath is the knowledge necessary to cross the Abyss in each of the Worlds. This emerging Sephirah facilitates the manifestation of the potential which is resident in the Supernals and is the accumulated experience of that Manifestation -- the knowledge necessary to cross the Abyss on the journey back to Kether in Atziluth...to re-Union with the Divine. One must hold the Keys to all the Sephiroth in all Four Worlds to successfully return up the Tree of Life.

Daath is invisible or un-manifest because it is the Synthesis of all the Lower Sephiroth: as they exist in potential in the Supernals, as the Seven Steps taken by the One in producing Creation and as the steps taken my the Many in Ascending to re-Union with the One.

Daath rests at the point where the Path of the High Priestess crosses the Abyss between the Supernals and the rest of the Tree of Life. It is the highest point reached by the Serpent Leviathan after the Fall of the Spiritual Adam.

Daath is the place of the Gateway to the Supernal Eden where the Creator placed the Fiery Sword of Creation surmounted by the Letters of the Tetragrammaton that the uppermost part of the Tree of Life might not be involved in the Fall of Adam.

As humanity's consciousness of Spirit grows, so too does the substantiality of the Sephirah Daath which symbolizes Knowledge. The Tree of Life is evolving, as any student of the Living Qabala can testify, and the Eleventh Sephirah on the Tree of Life is growing into relative manifestation to counterbalance the Eleventh Qlippothic Sephirah on the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

The first sin was disobedience of God's command not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil -- this Tree being an allegory for the belief in Duality -- the belief that part of Divine Creation was good and part was evil -- that when God saw what God had created and said It was Good, God was wrong.

With the Spiritual Revival of the end of the Piscean Age, and thru the work of scientists, psychologists, spiritualists, philosophers and other Magickians, we are returning to the realization that all of Creation is, as God said in the first place, Good, if we can but understand it.

The Parrott Tarot Deck contains four new cards which are allotted to Daath: the Mentors. They are assigned to the Planet Chiron and to the God from which it draws its Name. Chiron, the Rainbow Bridge between We and Thou, is the Path of Understanding Made Manifest.

CHIRON, THE PLANET

The Planet Chiron was discovered by Charles Kowal on 1 November 1977. While it behaves in a planetary fashion, it is physically a comet, made up of ice and debris. Chiron is estimated at 100 to 400 miles in diameter. It has an inclination of 6 55.8' and a mean sidereal period of 50.68 years. Chiron was originally called "Kowal's Object" and its symbol is derived from this -- a "K" over an "O" forming a key.

Astrologer's assign Chiron rulership of different Signs or none. Among those suggested are Sagittarius, Scorpio and Virgo. Its nature has been described by such keywords as "maverick," "doorway" and "passage." These last two make the key-like symbol of this Planet additionally appropriate.

Chiron's highly elliptical orbit crosses that of Saturn frequently and that of Uranus occasionally. It links, therefore, the Personal and Trans-Personal Planets and, symbolically, that part of ourselves which we see and understand as ourselves with that part of ourselves we don't see and, therefore, believe to be part of something else.

Chiron was named by its discoverer after the wise Centaur of Greek Mythology.

CHIRON, THE GOD

The God Chiron was the son of Saturn and his niece Philyra. To hide his union with Philyra from his wife Rhea, Saturn took the form of a horse. Because of this, Chiron was born with the body and legs of a horse, with the head, arms and body of a man where the horses neck and head would normally be. Chiron was the first of the Centaurs -- half-human and half-animal offspring of matings between Gods and animals or between humans and Gods disguised as animals. Chiron was the only one who manifested the best of human qualities instead of the worst of animal qualities.

Chiron and Jupiter were half-brothers. Jupiter was the son and heir of Saturn and his wife Rhea. Saturn was in the habit of eating his children to protect his position as ruler of the Gods, but Rhea fed him a rock when he came for Jupiter. She hid Jupiter with Chiron in his cave, the Chironian. Eventually Jupiter overthrew Saturn, just as Saturn had supplanted his own father Uranus.

Chiron married the Naiad (water sprite) Charicles and they had a daughter, Thea the Prophetess. Thea is a name sometimes given to the Moon.

Chiron became the greatest of teachers. He was a master of the arts and music, of riding, hunting and warfare, of healing herbs, surgery and astrology. Chiron was also an oracle and a quest guide. He taught his students to achieve strength thru the balance of these various disciplines, though none were able to emulate his universal mastery. Among the Centaur's students were Achilles, Jason, Actaeon, Peleus, Hercules, Orpheus, Aristaeus and Asclepius.

Whether by accident or intent, Chiron was wounded by one of Hercules' arrows which had been smeared with a poison Chiron himself had taught Hercules to make. Faced with an eternity of excruciating pain, Chiron gave his immortality to Prometheus and died. Jupiter placed his beloved brother in the sky as the constellation Sagittarius.

TAROT CARDS, THE MENTORS

Each of the Mentors shows two figures, Chiron, having the body of a horse with the body of a human male growing out of its shoulders, and a similar Being formed from the upper body of a human and the lower body of an Elemental Spirit relevant to the Suit. Each card also shows a chasm or Abyss containing a depiction of the nature of the Element appropriate to the Suit. In each, a Rainbow fills the sky.

The mixed animal and human figures show the capacity to understand and unify the animal and Divine natures. The presence of two figures shows the relation between student and teacher. The chasm is the Abyss between the Three Supernal Sephiroth, or the Potential, and the lower Seven Sephiroth, or the Manifest. The Rainbow shows that the potential to cross the Abyss is now coming into manifestation.

The Mentors also occur on the Path between Binah and Chesed, one of the "Secret Paths," so called because it was hidden or not manifest on the diagram of the Tree of Life. This was the only part of the Flaming Sword of Creation not shown on the Tree of Life. The Mentors occurring here make whole the Path of Creation and, thereby, bring healing to the wounds created by the Fall of Adam.

In placing the Mentors between the Queens and the Princes, we are also placing them between the first HEH of the Tetragrammaton, or Four Lettered Name of God, and the VAV of The Name. The Four Lettered Name is spelled YOD-HEH-VAV-HEH, often represented by its initials, thus: YHVH. This Word is sometimes spelled and pronounced Yah-Veh, Yehovah or Jehovah, but pronouncing it as a word is considered blasphemous by Hebrews and knowledgeable mystics -- it should always be spelled out or referred to as the Tetragrammaton.

Fortunately, when adding the Mentors, the Hebrew mystics have provided us an alternative to leaving a blank space or placing a dash in the middle of YHVH -- the Letter SHIN, the Spiritual Fire, has often been placed thus: YOD-HEH-SHIN-VAV-HEH. In this place, SHIN represents the Spiritual Fire descending to animate the power of the Word and to rule over the four mundane Elements. This further illustrates the arrival of that time wherein direct communication between the mundane and the Divine is becoming increasingly commonplace.

In a reading, the Mentors may represent a teacher, whether appearing as a God, Spirit, channeled information, a human being, a book, a process, a therapist, a quest or an event. The Mentors may indicate that the querent is, or should become, a teacher or that a teacher is present. The Mentors may also indicate the process or the results of the process appropriate to their Suit, such as a change or healing. The Mentors may have any of the skills of the God Chiron, such as riding, hunting, warfare, healing thru any means, music, the arts and Divination. They may show the need for a quest or the presence of a quest guide. As with any card, the Mentors should be related to those around them to determine the specific nature of their message.

Information regarding each of the individual Mentors will be found between the Queen and Prince in the chapter devoted to the Mentor's Suit.


THE MAJOR ARCANA ON THE TREE

The Trumps are the Processes or States of Consciousness or Relationships or Lessons or Karmic Experiences which must be dealt with in passing from one Sephirah (place) to another.

The Ten (Eleven with Daath) Sephiroth are connected by Twenty-two Paths, each of which is assigned one of the Major Arcana or Trumps or Atus of the Tarot.

The Major Arcana are also associated with the Twenty-Two Letters of the Hebrew Alphabet and with the Astrological Signs, the Planets and the Elements as shown in the chart below.

The Tree of Life can be interpreted as flowing downward (Creation) or upward (Re- Union). The upward progression of or thru the Trumps will be discussed when we describe the individual cards in a later chapter. Here we depict the flow of the Atus down the Tree of Life.

The Fool, 0, connects Kether and Chokmah. The Fool shows that state of innocent acceptance of the Child at the beginning of life, rushing forth from the womb of Non- Existence.

The Magician, 1, connects Kether and Binah. The Magician shows the force of applied will which takes the Energy of Kether and Chokmah and uses it with conscious intent.

The High Priestess, 2, connects Kether and Tiphareth, respectively the Source of all Light and the source of physical light in our solar system. The High Priestess neither blindly accepts nor willfully forms but meditates compassionately.

The Empress, 3, connects Chokmah and Binah, Force and Form. The Empress is pregnant to represent the fertility that comes from the harmony and balance of these complementary aspects.

The High Priestess and the Empress show two ways to balance the Energies of the Tree -- the High Priestess withdraws from both extremes with the chill of a Lunar Maiden -- while the Empress fully commits to experience both extremes and the rainbow of colors between them with the warmth of an Earth Mother. These two paths form a cross.

The Emperor, 4, connects Chokmah and Tiphareth, Father and Son. The Emperor is the first application of Force to the Microprosopus, the creative energy bursting forth into matter.

The Hierophant, 5, connects Chokmah and Chesed. The Hierophant represents the outer forms and studies which allow us to use force to manifest a harvest.

The Lovers, 6, connects Binah and Tiphareth, Mother and Son. The Lovers shows the Idyll of Eden, before the Fall. The Fall is the first physical journey each of us takes, from the safety of the womb to the outer world. The Energy of the Father transmuted thru the Mother produces the Child.

The Chariot, 7, connects Binah and Geburah. The Chariot represents the domination of the applied mind over conflicting energies.

Strength, 8, connects Chesed and Geburah. Strength shows the great power of Love arising from the balance of catabolistic and anabolistic processes, Mercy and Severity, building up and breaking down.

The Hermit, 9, connects Chesed and Tiphareth. The Hermit represents the solitary seeker and the Lamp of the Hidden Knowledge whose light guides each of us onto our own special path to union with the Divine. Achieving the Center thru ascetic discipline.

The Wheel of Fortune, 10, connects Chesed and Netzach. The Wheel represents the power of luck or chance which operates in the Universe, by the Will of the All, to spice up the process of life, and changing fortunes generally. The Cosmic Giggle Factor.

Justice, 11, connects Geburah and Tiphareth. Justice represents the Karmic power at work in the Universe, manifesting those things we have earned from past activities and past lives -- what goes around comes around.

The Hanged Man, 12, connects Geburah and Hod. The Hanged Man shows the state of suspension which may be necessary while Karmic debt is cleared, willingly or not.

Death, 13, connects Tiphareth and Hod. Death represents major transition and the process necessary to be born again -- it is only rarely a card of physical death. It is loss of Balance thru the seduction of intellect.

Temperance, 14, connects Tiphareth and Yesod, Sun and Moon. Temperance shows a Balance of the polar aspects of the Material Universe flowing into one another.

The Devil, 15, connects Tiphareth and Netzach. The Devil shows the effects of excessive focus on material comforts -- bondage to the material. It is a loss of Balance thru the seduction of sensuality.

The Tower, 16, connects Netzach and Hod. The Tower represents the Divine response to those who accumulate material comforts without reflection upon their ultimate Divine Source. The results of worry arising from thoughts about lack.

The Star, 17, connects Netzach and Yesod. The Star shows the Divine Inspiration flowing into material consciousness.

The Moon, 18, connects Netzach and Malkuth. The Moon shows the irrational fears (the Wolf, wild and therefore cautious and respectful -- people are almost never bitten by wolves) and true dangers (the Dog, perverted thru domestication -- tens of thousands are bitten by dogs each year) which guard the narrow path between the material and spiritual realities.

The Sun, 19, connects Hod and Yesod. The Sun represents the Ego, either healthy and nurturing or excessive and searing.

The Last Judgement, 20, connects Hod and Malkuth. The Last Judgement shows life being called forth from inert matter in order to complete the act of Creation.

The Moon and Judgement are paths of a daunting nature to encourage the Neophyte to first move up the Middle Pillar. They also show the risks taken by one rash enough to seek the mental path of Hod or the sensual path of Netzach before dealing with the increase in perceptual ability of Yesod and the Stabilizing and Karmically cleansing path of Saturn -- the Universe. But this is about returning up the Tree of Life.

The Universe, 21, connects Yesod and Malkuth. The Universe shows that point when all the varied components of Creation are finally brought together in the Universal Egg, waiting to be born into the material world.


THE CARDS

THE WANDS, FIRE, ATZILUTH

"fire, noun: 1. A rapid, persistent chemical reaction that releases heat and light; especially, the exothermic combination of a combustible substance with oxygen.... 3.... Fuel; kindling. 4.a. Intensity.... b. Enthusiasm. 5. Luminosity or brilliance, as of a cut and polished gemstone. 6. The result of inspiration; vividness; brilliance;.... 7. An effect of heat; sensation of warmth;.... 8. A torment, trial or tribulation. 9. The discharge of firearms; firing. [Middle English fir, fur, feir, fire, Old English fyr.]"

American Heritage Dictionary, p. 494

All the Wands have the energy of enjoying the process for itself -- they wallow in whatever they are doing. They are fiery and intense, enthusiastic and domineering, outgoing, cheerful, flushed and extremely Yang.

All the Wands are in Chokmah, ruled by the Supernal Father, ABBA. Wands correspond to the YOD of Tetragrammaton and to the Qabalistic World of Atziluth. Chokmah in Assiah is assigned the Zodiac as a whole, therefore, Wands relate to all fields of human endeavor, for, as our vital energy ebbs and flows our ability to function in any of the Worlds declines or increases accordingly.

The Ace of Wands is Pure Potential Force.
The King is about Outrushing Force.
The Queen is about forming patterns in that Force.
The Mentor is about teaching and learning and expressing the nature and philosophy of Spiritual Force.
The Prince is about Changes in the patterns and intensity of Force.
The Princess is about achieving or releasing the relatively Material Results of the interactions of the others, but this is materialization on the Conceptual Plane, not the Physical.
The Two of Wands is Outrushing Force.
The Three of Wands is Force Restrained.
The Four of Wands is Force Accumulated.
The Five of Wands is Force Dispersed.
The Six of Wands is Forces in Balance.
The Seven of Wands is Forces Experienced.
The Eight of Wands is Forces Analyzed.
The Nine of Wands is Forces Communicated.
The Ten of Wands is Forces made Manifest.

ACE OF WANDS, SUMMER

The Ace of Wands is the pure Spirit of Fire, the first flaming breath of Creation, both being and consuming the All. It is both the Fuel and the Flame.

The Ace of Wands shows a hand holding a flaming torch. The hand is rooted to the ground, a reference to the title of this card: the Root of the Powers of Fire. Volcanoes in the background show the volatile nature of this element thru its most dramatic earth-bound form. A crown rises on one volcanic spume in reference to the Aces being assigned to Kether, the Crown. Stars burst forth from the torch showing that spiritual fire, as well as earthly fire, is alluded to here. The flames are of many colors, showing that all is consumed and re-created in the cosmic fire. Upon the shaft of the torch is a complete Tree of Life, showing that the entire Creation exists within the first burst of divine energy.

The Ace of Wands stands for outrushing force at its most intense. Powerful forms are necessary to contain and use it. If it escapes, it consumes all. Properly managed, the Ace of Wands is the ultimate tool, but beware the potential for the tool to become the totality, burning away objectives and operators as well as obstacles.

In a reading, the Ace of Wands represents force, strength, vigor, energy, expansion and intensity. It is Natural Force as opposed to Invoked Force (see the Ace of Swords).

The Ace of Wands is the Power that creates Summer -- Cancer, Leo and Virgo -- thru the manifesting personality of the Princess of Wands.

KING OF WANDS, FIRE OF FIRE

The King of Wands is a being of Fire whose outward personality is also fiery. He celebrates, rejoices in and thrives on Fire. In Chokmah, Fire rushes forth unrestrained, but no longer exists with the purity of the potential existing in Kether.

The King holds aloft the torch of fire, willing to use it consciously. His coal black steed rears up as an expression of its fiery nature. The background is infinite fire and finite flames burst forth from it. The cape, black as the universe before the first flash of Creation, is swept back to show the red lining which demonstrates that nothing is so dark or cold or still or dead that it cannot be fuel for the Divine Fire.

The King of Wands is the kind of personality who seeks change for its own sake. He revels in intensity. He is incapable of stability or sustained, structured effort. He is spontaneous and powerful yet easily distracted.

The King of Wands is likely to be a relatively mature blond or red-haired man with blue or hazel eyes. He is active, generous, fierce, sudden and impetuous. If badly aspected he is evil- minded, cruel, bigoted and brutal.

The King of Wands rules the last decan of Scorpio and the first two decans of Sagittarius. From Death (Scorpio) arise the fiery arrows of the Centaur (Sagittarius). Fire of Fire. The Zodiac in Atziluth.

QUEEN OF WANDS, WATER OF FIRE

The Queen of Wands is a being of Fire whose outward personality is watery. Like the King, she finds great pleasure in Fire, but, where the King wants his Fire wild and free, the Queen prefers it tamed and contained.

The Queen sits on a Throne -- Binah is associated with Thrones -- holding the same torch as the King and Ace, but hers is grounded rather than held aloft. Her other hand holds an orb of office which contains Fire rather than being consumed by it. The background is the fiery field we saw behind the King, but here the foreground is green earth. A volcano erupts behind the Queen showing that Fire is at the core of her being also, no matter how much Water may appear in her outer personality. She wears the crown of the Triple Goddess which symbolizes the Waxing, Full and Waning Moons and refers to her watery or Lunar aspect. She has shaped Fire to form a halo around her Throne. A Lion plays at her feet.

The Queen of Wands is the kind of person who wants her experience intense but manageable. She not only feels Fire but quantifies and qualifies it thru her feelings. Never forget that she contains the Fire and is consumed by it. Her sometimes overt calm is little more than a facade. Watch your fingers.

The Queen of Wands is a relatively mature woman with red or gold hair and blue or brown eyes. She is steady and resolute with highly attractive charm and is kind and generous when not opposed. When badly aspected, she is obstinate, revengeful, domineering, tyrannical and apt to turn suddenly against another with little or no cause.

The Queen of Wands rules the last decan of Pisces and the first two decans of Aries, and two of these are assigned to Mars, whose heat restores the vibrancy necessary to turn Winter to Spring. She is Water of Fire and Saturn in Atziluth.

MENTOR OF WANDS, VOICE OF FIRE

The Mentor of Wands is a being of Fire whose outward personality is spiritual. He, or she, loves and expresses Fire but recognizes that to know Fire abstractly, one must perceive oneself to be outside of it -- at the same time knowing that to exercise our native divinity we must recognize that we are one with the Fire.

The Mentor of Wands shows the Centaur Chiron standing on one side of the Abyss. On the other side is a being who is half-human and half-salamander, Salamanders being the Elemental Spirits of Fire. Behind them is the Rainbow Bridge spanning the gap between Creation and the Creator. Flames arise between them.

The Mentor of Wands brings a voice to Fire, explaining it to those who are not ready to re-establish themselves as one with the Fire, and providing initiatory processes for those who are. The Mentors lessons are intense and transformative, often all-consuming, leaving the initiate purified and tempered. Resisting our fiery lessons may leave us burned out.

The Mentors exist beyond the Astrological Wheel, showing us the path to life beyond Karma and material restraint. They are assigned the planet Chiron, whose orbit overlaps that of Saturn (most distant of the visible planets and symbol of our conscious knowledge) and Uranus (first of the outer planets and symbol of our sub-conscious and of the unknown roots of Creation).

The Mentor of Wands is a light complected person of either gender and any age, often appearing ageless. They will be a person with something of a spiritual nature to share, often thru a more or less formal teaching process. Depending on position, either the querent has something to give to another or someone or something else is bringing lessons to the querent.

The Mentor of Wands is the Sephirah Daath in the Qabalistic World Atziluth. The Mentor communicates the demands and gifts of the Fire Triplicity: cardinal Aries, fixed or Kerubic Leo and mutable Sagittarius, particularly as they relate to the Planet Chiron. Hear now the Voice of Fire.

PRINCE OF WANDS, AIR OF FIRE

The Prince of Wands is a being whose essential nature is Fire but whose outward personality is airy. A Fire at rest acted upon by the winds of consciousness. Having had the virtues of Fire Free and Fire Contained elucidated to him by the Mentor, he is Fire Used.

The Prince of Wands drives a chariot drawn by a lion -- his mother's throne and his father's mobility moderating and augmenting each other. The torch is now a spear, upon the shaft of which a Salamander plays. Upon his shoulder is a Phoenix, wings outstretched -- the Phoenix is consumed by Fire, then rises from the ashes to new life. The background Fire is muted but the foreground is sere. His nakedness is a reflection of the purity of the Ace.

The Prince of Wands expresses himself in bursts of activity, often of little duration. Like the Phoenix, he burns himself down and is reborn from the ashes. (The influx of Air causes the ready fuel to be quickly consumed so that the flames die down, awaiting more potential fuel to become combustible. Then the slightest breath will cause the Fire to burst forth once more.) The Prince may spend his rest periods thinking about what he's going to do when his energy returns.

The Prince of Wands is a young man with yellow hair and blue or grey eyes. Swift, strong, hasty and sometimes violent, he is also noble, just and generous. When badly aspected, he may be cruel, intolerant, bigoted and bad-tempered.

The Prince of Wands rules the third decan of Cancer and the first two of Leo, the ambiguity of the crab resolving itself into the fiery dominion of the lion. He is also Air of Fire and the Sun in Atziluth.

PRINCESS OF WANDS, EARTH OF FIRE

The Princess of Wands is a being whose essential nature is Fire and whose outer personality is earthy. Where the preceding cards express, repress, teach and use Fire, respectively, the Princess enjoys the experience, and the fruits, of Fire.

The Princess of Wands carries her torch head down, showing her application of the Fire to earthly ends. Where the King, Queen and Prince have unformed Fire behind them, the Princess has the Sun, coalescing from the gaseous clouds, formed by the Prince in Tiphareth but manifested by the Princess in Malkuth. The Lion has been replaced by the Tiger, whose stripes recognize that once the source of earthly light has achieved finite manifestation, the shadow play has begun. The Rose on her dress symbolizes the true Spiritual Fire still raging in her belly and its potential rebirth thru her as the Bride of the Microprosopus.

The Princess of Wands banks her Fire, sustaining it at somewhat tolerable levels. She is flamboyant in expression as befits her fiery nature, but she is aware of her surroundings and her effect on others. She applies her Fire to practical ends, as the combustion engine transmutes explosions into motive power.

The Princess of Wands is a young woman with gold or red hair and blue eyes. She is brilliant, courageous, forceful, sudden in anger or love and enthusiastic. She desires power and may be vengeful. Badly aspected, she is superficial, theatrical, cruel, unstable and domineering.

The Princess of Wands rules, as the throne of the Power of the Ace, Summer -- Cancer, Leo and Virgo. She is Earth of Fire and the Planet Earth in Atziluth.

TWO OF WANDS, DOMINION

The Two of Wands shows two hands, each holding a flaming torch. As with the King of Wands, the black of the wands here shows the Darkness that preceded Creation being entered and transformed by the Light. The background is the pale pink of the sky before sunrise.

The Two of Wands is the Archetypal Force or Yang Energy ruled over by the King of Wands. It is outrushing Force, Conquest and the Dominion arising from that irresistible Yang Energy.

The Two of Wands represents strength, dominion, harmony of rule and justice; boldness, courage, fierceness, shamelessness, revenge, resolve. It is generous, proud, sensitive, ambitious, refined, restless, turbulent. As Chokmah, it is "wisdom" but may be unforgiving and obstinate, according to dignity.

The Two of Wands is Mars in the first decan of Aries and the Zodiac in Atziluth, as shown at the right of the information strip at the bottom of the card.

THREE OF WANDS, VIRTUE

The Three of Wands shows three wands rising out of flames on a fiery ground. Each is surmounted by a bust expressing an attitude of virtuosity.

The Three of Wands is rigid Form, the Virtue arising from always doing the Right Thing and Standing Firm, the immovable Yin Energy.

The Three of Wands represents established force and strength, the realization of hope, completion of labor and success after struggle. It is also pride, nobility, power, conceit and insolence.

The Three of Wands is the Sun in the second decan of Aries and Saturn in Atziluth as shown in the information strip.

FOUR OF WANDS, COMPLETION

The Four of Wands shows a flying dove framed by four brightly colored batons on a green field. On either side are gouts of flame. The dove symbolizes the first appearance of peace in the evolution of Creation.

The Four of Wands is the first result of the interplay between Force and Form -- Yin creates patterns in Yang and the Creation of Archetypal Matter finds Completion.

The Four of Wands represents perfection, the completion of a thing built up with trouble and labor. Rest after labor. It is subtlety, cleverness, beauty, mirth, success in completion. The reasoning faculty and conclusions drawn from the accumulation of knowledge. Badly aspected it may mean lack of readiness, of reliability and of stability arising from anxiety or precipitous action.

The Four of Wands is Venus in the third decan of Aries and Jupiter in Atziluth.

FIVE OF WANDS, STRIFE

The Five of Wands shows five dark clubs scattered on a yellow field and confined or threatened by surrounding flames.

The Five of Wands is the second result of the interplay between Force and Form -- Yang disrupts the patterns formed by Yin, creating the turmoil or Strife necessary to prevent stagnation.

The Five of Wands represents violent strife or competition and the boldness, rashness, cruelty, violence, lust and desire out of which it arises or which arise out of it. Quarrelling.

The Five of Wands is Saturn in the first decan of Leo and Mars in Atziluth.

SIX OF WANDS, VICTORY

The Six of Wands shows six white shafts crowned by black heads, each of which is inscribed with the symbols of two astrological signs. Between the batons are spheres propelled outward by explosions of flame, all upon a gray-purple ground.

The Six of Wands claims Victory over the excess Yin of Chesed and the excess Yang of Geburah by bringing them into balance, reflecting the harmony found in Kether, where All is One.

The Six of Wands represents victory after strife, success thru energy and industry, love, pleasure gained by labor; victory arising from carefulness, sociability and avoidance of strife. When badly aspected: insolence arising from excessive pride about riches and success. Gain.

The Six of Wands is Jupiter in the second decan of Leo and the Sun in Atziluth.

SEVEN OF WANDS, VALOUR

The Seven of Wands shows seven brightly colored wands propelled from a central burst of flame in the darkness. The head of each wand is inscribed with the symbol of one of the ancient Planets. Below, smaller, are spheres containing the symbols of the three modern or trans- personal Planets -- not visible but always present and thereby showing the influence of the Supernals upon our finite existence.

The Seven of Wands is the Valour resulting from feeling the all-consuming sensuality of Fire.

The Seven of Wands represents the possibility of victory depending upon the energy and courage exercised. Also opposition, obstacles and difficulties and the courage necessary to meet them. Quarreling, ignorance, pretention, threats. Victory in small or unimportant things. Influence over subordinates or the weak.

The Seven of Wands is Mars in the third decan of Leo and Venus in Atziluth.

EIGHT OF WANDS, SWIFTNESS

The Eight of Wands shows a rainbow surmounting thunder clouds from which lightening bolts strike the heads of eight neatly arranged wands.

The Eight of Wands is the Swiftness of communication and change resulting from applying fiery insight and intense emotional commitment to the process of thought.

The Eight of Wands represents too much force applied too suddenly and passing off as quickly; a violent influx of energy which is not lasting. Also, swiftness, rapidity, courage, boldness, confidence, freedom, warfare or violence. May show a love of the outdoors or outdoor sports. Eloquence and subtlety. Also indicates the swift arrival or onset of persons or events shown in neighboring cards.

The Eight of Wands is Mercury in the first decan of Sagittarius and Mercury in Atziluth.

NINE OF WANDS, STRENGTH

The Nine of Wands shows the Sun above and the Moon below juggling the nine staves between them.

The Nine of Wands is the Strength that comes from knowing that, as the Moon gets its light from that which we cannot look at (the Sun), the Sun gets its Light from that which we cannot see (the Divine).

The Nine of Wands represents tremendous and steady force which cannot be shaken, often scientifically applied. Great success following the application of great force or energy. Victory over obstacles or recovery from illness preceded by apprehension, fear or doubt. Also generosity, curiosity and fondness for external appearances. When badly aspected, intractable or obstinate.

The Nine of Wands is the Moon in the second decan of Sagittarius and the Moon in Atziluth.

TEN OF WANDS, OPPRESSION

The Ten of Wands shows a Tree of Life whose Paths are in the King Scale and whose Sephiroth are in the Queen Scale upon a golden field. Each Sephiroth is the head of a wand whose shaft penetrates the Tree. The Paths are convoluted.

The Ten of Wands wallows in, and enjoys, the Oppression arising from moving away from the Blissfulness of Unity toward the pain of Duality -- and the Oppression arising from being forced to abandon the security of Duality in our Quest for the Blissfulness of Unity.

The Ten of Wands represents cruel and overbearing force and energy applied to selfish and material ends. It sometimes shows failure in a matter or powerful opposition arising from one's own selfishness at the beginning. Also, ill-will, levity, lying, malice, slander, envy, obstinacy. When very well dignified it may mean generosity or self-sacrifice.

The Ten of Wands is Saturn in the third decan of Sagittarius and Earth in Atziluth.

THE CUPS, WATER, BRIAH

"water, noun: 1. A clear, colorless, nearly odorless and tasteless liquid, H2O, essential for most plant and animal life and the most widely used of all solvents.... 2. Any of various forms of water, such as rain. 3. Any body of water, such as a sea, lake, river or stream. 4. Any one of the liquids passed out of the body, such as urine, perspiration, tears, or the like. 5. The fluid surrounding the fetus in the uterus; amniotic fluid. 6. An aqueous solution of any substance, especially a gas: ammonia water. 7. A wavy finish or sheen, as of a fabric. 8. Finance. a. The valuation of the assets of a business firm beyond their real value. b. Stock issued in excess of paid-in capital. [Middle English water.... ]"

American Heritage Dictionary, p. 1447.

All the Cups are reflective in nature, receiving and responding to the influx of energy rather than creating it.

All the Cups are in Binah, ruled by the Supernal Mother AIMA. Cups correspond to the HEH of Tetragrammaton and to the Qabalistic World of Briah. In the World of Assiah, Binah is represented by the influence of the Planet Saturn -- therefore the Cups are, in some ways, concerned with work, restriction and manifestation.

The Ace of Cups is Pure Potential Form. The King is about the Restraining Force needed to counter Outrushing Force to bring it under control. The Queen is about the Forms used to contain Force so that it may be used as Energy. The Mentor is about teaching, learning and communicating the nature and philosophy of Spiritual Form or Resistance. The Prince is about Changes in the forms used to moderate and direct Energy. The Princess is about Materializing Form in such a way that it can be transmuted into Archetypal Change. The Two of Cups is the Inrushing Form of Attraction. (God's homesickness.) The Three of Cups is Form Exalted. The Four of Cups is Form Stagnant. The Five of Cups is Form Broken. The Six of Cups is Form in Balance. The Seven of Cups is Form Experienced. The Eight of Cups is Form Analyzed. The Nine of Cups is Form Communicated. The Ten of Cups is Form made Manifest.

ACE OF CUPS, AUTUMN

The Ace of Cups is the pure Spirit of Water, the first moist inhalation of the Divine. It is the Primal Sea which, when penetrated and inflamed by the Divine Fire, gives birth to all things.

The Ace of Cups shows two hands guiding the flow of Water from above into a great two handed cup, showing the Yin nature of the Cups, receiving and containing the Divine Blessing. The crown at the top of the card is the Crown of Kether. It rests upon a heart around which the Water flows, showing that the second aspect of the Divine is the Emotional Response to the Fiery aspect of Creation. The handles of the Cup are fishes to represent the life growing within the Great Sea which stretches to infinity in the background. A ship sails upon this Sea, symbolizing the life that rises out of but is dependent on it. The sword and palm frond blowing past show that, in Briah (the Second Qabalistic World) separation from the First Essence has occurred but that this is a victory rather than a defeat. The priest and rabbi on either side of the Cup represent religion which is an emotional response to the Divine. The three interlocked circles show that the One has become Two and yet the Two are still One. This image also shows, in the area of intersection of the circles, the vagina opening into the womb of the All-Mother out of whom all is born.

The Ace of Cups represents the structures necessary to contain and transmute the intense outrushing force of the Ace of Wands. It shows the power of receptivity and the absolute necessity of the Yin response to the Yang initiative if fertility is to result.

In a reading, the Ace of Cups is fertility, productiveness, beauty, pleasure and happiness.

The Ace of Cups is the Power that creates Autumn -- Libra, Scorpio and Sagittarius -- thru the manifesting personality of the Princess of Cups.

KING OF CUPS, FIRE OF WATER

The King of Cups is a being of Water whose outward personality is fiery. When badly integrated, he will tend to drown his assertive and enthusiastic expressiveness, becoming aggressively sad or fearful, or else they will steam themselves away, scalding all around them in the process. But when well integrated, he will bathe us in his sustaining warmth.

The King holds his Cup in front of his face, covering one eye -- a reflection of the "King in profile" as a symbol of Kether. This also alludes to methods of scrying where the consciousness is willed to reside in or work thru a crystal, a talisman, a tumbler of water. He is proud as a peacock on the inside, but without the flamboyance of the King of Wands. The peacock in the foreground knows he's beautiful -- he doesn't have to boast.

The crustacean rising from the ocean shows the power of the King to manifest what he focuses his feelings on, for good or ill. The Fire of his personality burns above him almost as a thing apart -- much of his power comes from reflecting, tempering and augmenting the initiating fire of others. The King of Cups' white horse shifts its feet behind him, shifting like the eternally restless waves of the Supernal Sea.

Physically, the King of Cups is likely to represent a mature man of light complexion, pale hair and blue eyes. He is graceful, poetic, sensual in ways reflected by Netzach, at the foot of the King's Pillar. He may be lethargic but becomes enthusiastic when roused. If badly dignified he is lazy, salacious and deceitful.

The King of Cups rules the last decan of Aquarius and the first two decans of Pisces. From the airy conceptions of the Water Bearer (Aquarius) flow forth the oceans rich in Fishes (Pisces). Fire of Water. The Zodiac in Briah.

QUEEN OF CUPS, WATER OF WATER

The Queen of Cups is a being of Water whose outward personality is also watery. She has no counter energy to the virtually anarchic swirls and eddies of her hidden currents.

The Queen sits on her Throne, as do all of the Queens, symbolic of their Yin influence. She holds the Cup of her suit in her right hand and a Lotus blossom in her left. She wears an Ibis upon her bodice and the living bird stands beside her -- the Ibis is sacred to, and often represents, the Egyptian God Tahuti. A warrior's helmet is on the ground at her feet to show the conquering capacity of infinite flexibility. Arising from the twin rivers below the Queen is a crayfish to symbolize the unconscious thoughts achieving manifestation thru emotional release.

The Queen of Cups is likely to represent a more or less mature woman with light colored hair and blue eyes. She is imaginative, poetic and kind, but she is not willing to go much out of her way for anyone. Flirtatious and good-natured behind a dreamy appearance. Her imagination is stronger than her feeling. The Queen of Cups is easily swayed by every ripple of influence from outside herself -- in a reading, she is much more subject to the surrounding cards than most of the other Tarot Keys.

The Queen of Cups rules the last decan of Gemini and the first two of Cancer. The dual nature of the Twins (Gemini) producing the sidestepping Crab (Cancer). She is Water of Water and Saturn in Briah.

MENTOR OF CUPS, VOICE OF WATER

The Mentor of Cups is a being of Water whose outward nature is spiritual. Here is a sacred commitment to the sensual.

The Mentor of Cups shows the Centaur rearing up on the undercut banks of a watery Abyss. In the Water swims a delightful being who is half human woman and half sea horse. She plays the music to which Chiron dances.

In a reading, the experiences taught here involve the difference between enjoying the finer things of life and sinking into sybaritic excess. Learning about receptivity and reflectiveness, sensuality and sharing, loving without owning.

The Mentor of Cups is about nurturing and healing, especially healing and nurturing our own feelings.

The Mentor of Cups is the Sephirah Daath in the Qabalistic World Briah. He communicates the cardinal, fixed and mutable energies of the three Water Signs, Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces, particularly as they relate to the Planet Chiron. Hear now the Voice of Water.

PRINCE OF CUPS, AIR OF WATER

The Prince of Cups is a being of Water whose outer personality is airy. He blows the Waters of his Life into frothing peaks.

The Prince of Cups flies in a chariot drawn by the Eagle of Scorpio in its highest manifestation, soaring on wings of Spirit. On the front of the chariot, a Scorpion is painted -- Scorpio in its lowest form, associated with pain and death. Arising from the Cup of this Element is a snake, the Serpent of Wisdom whose coils touch all the Paths between the cycle of birth and death in Malkuth and the transcendence of Divine Consciousness in Kether, and a third symbol of Scorpio.

The Prince of Cups is a young man with brown hair and gray or brown eyes. He is subtle, violent, crafty and artistic and has a fierce nature with a calm exterior. He is powerful for good or evil, but tends toward the evil because he is easily seduced by the trappings of prestige and power. Badly aspected he is cruel, brutal and merciless.

The Prince of Cups rules the last decan of Libra and the first two decans of Scorpio. The impartial, intellectual Justice of Libra causes the emotional Death of Scorpio. He is Air in Water and the Sun in Briah.

PRINCESS OF CUPS, EARTH OF WATER

The Princess of Cups is a being of Water whose personal expression is earthy. She knows that emotions applied to dreams and dreams focused thru emotions reproduce their combined selves as material reality.

The Princess of Cups takes much the same form as the painting by Sandro Botticelli, the "Creation of Venus". Guided by a pair of leaping dolphins, she rides her sea-shell ship swiftly toward the shore. In her left hand she carries the Sacred Lotus. In her right is the Cup of her suit from which a turtle rises. Upon her head is a swan, symbol of beauty and grace.

The Princess of Cups is likely to represent a young woman (sometimes a child of either gender) with brown hair and blue or brown eyes. Sweet, poetic, gentle and kind. Imaginative and dreamy, she may appear slothful, but she has the courage and tenacity of one who sees her dreams coming true. Badly aspected she may be selfish, idle and extravagant.

The Princess of Cups rules, as the Throne of the Ace, Autumn -- Libra, Scorpio and Sagittarius. She is Earth of Water and the Planet Earth in Briah.

TWO OF CUPS, LOVE

The Two of Cups shows a Yin-Yang symbol whose central Path of the Tao is formed of the stems of two Lotuses which are the Anima and Animus penetrating and enlivening their opposite natures. The Yin-Yang is a representation of the Unity of Duality, of Infinity and of the One Source, from Which flow the Waters of Life, first into the Two Cups and then into the Sea upon which they float. Two fish leap in the background, echoing their presence as the handles on the Ace of Cups.

The Two of Cups is the Love arising from the Divine looking upon itself, charmed by the perfection apparent in duality.

The Two of Cups represents the harmony of Yang and Yin united but on a more mundane level than the Alchemy of the Lovers. Romantic and sexual love, also harmony, pleasure and mirth. When badly aspected, it may mean folly, dissipation, waste or silly action -- the results of misplaced love.

The Two of Cups is Venus in the first decan of Cancer and the Zodiac in Briah.

THREE OF CUPS, ABUNDANCE

The Three of Cups shows the thick rich essence of each of the Elements (Red Fire, Blue Water, Yellow Air and Green Earth) flowing into Three Cups whose bowls are the White of Spirit and whose stems are the Black of Materiality. Behind them is the Maternal Sea.

The Three of Cups is the celebration arising out of sharing the Abundance of Love.

The Three of Cups represents abundance, plenty, success but particularly passive success, pleasure, sensuality, good luck and fortune, love, gladness, kindness and bounty. Also, hospitality, eating and drinking, dancing, new clothes and merriment.

The Three of Cups is Mercury in the second decan of Cancer and Saturn in Briah.

FOUR OF CUPS, LUXURY

The Four of Cups shows four golden mugs receiving the Waters of Life from a central Lotus. The Lotus is pink to show the love we receive from others. The handles of two mugs are interlinked to show the benefits of union while two are turned outward to show the benefits of independence -- also a pair of pairs. The mugs are large and square showing solidity and substance.

The Four of Cups is the manifestation of Abundant Love below the Abyss producing a sense of Luxury, which may, sometimes, be satiating.

The Four of Cups represents both the substance (Jupiter) and the sensation (Moon in the Sign she rules, Cancer) of abundance and well-being. It is luxury, great wealth, solidified success, and the enjoyment of them. Also, love from and for many others, also being held in high esteem or affection and comradeship.

The Four of Cups is the Moon in the third decan of Cancer and Jupiter in Briah.

FIVE OF CUPS, DISAPPOINTMENT

The Five of Cups shows five small, dark cups being held inverted, each at a corner of a down-pointing Pentagram. The Pentagram pointing down signifies that energy is grounded and, here, dissipated, depleted, even destroyed. From the stagnant pool, two sickly Lotuses struggle for life, producing drops of blood where the Lotus in the Four of Cups produces Love. The sky mirrors the double Martian energy of the planetary associations of this card.

The Five of Cups is the realization of Disappointment that sensual pleasure and abundance is not the whole of existence and, when taken out of a spiritual context, is empty of any true merit.

The Five of Cups represents disappointment, sorrow and loss in those things from which pleasure is expected, sadness, deceit, treachery, ill-will, slander and all kinds of worries and troubles from unexpected and unsuspected sources. Also, the resentment of charity or kindness, or distrust for its motives. May indicate loss of a friendship, divorce or even death, tho the latter only when supported by other cards of extreme loss.

The Five of Cups is Mars in the first decan of Scorpio and Mars in Briah.

SIX OF CUPS, PLEASURE

The Six of Cups shows six teacups on saucers, each filled with a rich dark brew. The handles are together but not interlocked, signifying affection without dependence. The Sun rises behind them and gentle waves roll toward us on a calm Sea.

The Six of Cups is Pleasure in the fact that we can manifest pleasure at will and under any circumstances. Pleasure is, after all, totally subjective, arising out of our personal sense of identity, symbolized here by the dual Solar correspondence.

The Six of Cups represents commencement of steady increase, gain and pleasure, but commencement only. Also amiability and patience. When badly aspected, it may mean problems arising from unwarranted self-assertion, vanity or snobbishness.

The Six of Cups is the Sun in the second decan of Scorpio and the Sun in Briah.

SEVEN OF CUPS, DEBAUCH

The Seven of Cups shows seven champagne glasses floating in the coils of a twining, red-flowered Lotus. The sky is a sickly grey-green and the Sea is choked with sediment. The Waters have slowed to a few drops -- tho the glasses are full, they are unappetizing. The Lotuses are red to show the destructive powers of excess consumption.

The Seven of Cups is the Debauch resulting from a surfeit of sensual pleasures which, in turn, overwhelms our Divine non-attachment.

The Seven of Cups represents drunkenness, loss of emotional control of all kinds, vanity, lust in its crudest form, abusiveness, self-destruction, dissipation. Also, apparent success but ultimate failure from lack of follow thru, unfulfilled promises, lying, breach of trust, false and confusing feelings or perceptions. Perhaps the morning after.

The Seven of Cups is Venus in the third decan of Scorpio and Venus in Briah.

EIGHT OF CUPS, INDOLENCE

The Eight of Cups shows a calm but dirty Sea beneath a sickly Sky with eight cracked drinking glasses on a beach in the foreground. Five of the tumblers are partly empty (or partly full) but the other three are on their sides -- their contents spilled on the infertile sand.

The Eight of Cups is the Indolence following Debauch -- "Half empty, half full, who cares?"

The Eight of Cups represents temporary or imminent success abandoned, things gained but cast aside or not cared for, lack of endurance, boredom, despair. Loss and the sense of loss. Also, aimless or pointless travel.

The Eight of Cups is Saturn in the first decan of Pisces and Mercury in Briah.

NINE OF CUPS, HAPPINESS

The Nine of Cups shows eight golden goblets receiving the Waters of Life from eight strongly intertwined Lotuses. The Water then pours into a ninth goblet at the base of the structure, and then back up to the two top cups. The background is a cheerful yellow. The Sea is not overt in this card because it is the happiness resulting from the flow of love and light from each of us to each of the others -- the happiness that comes from realization of our Unity.

The Nine of Cups is the Happiness that arises out of spiritual understanding of the Divine Source of our emotional nurturance.

The Nine of Cups represents complete and perfect realization of pleasure and happiness and wishes fulfilled. Also a good and generous nature. If badly dignified, self-absorbed or even conceited with much talk of self, but good-hearted, good-natured and generous even so.

The Nine of Cups is Jupiter in the second decan of Pisces and the Moon in Briah.

TEN OF CUPS, SATIETY

The Ten of Cups shows ten two handed goblets filled with thick green fluid. They are sparsely filled by two huge Lotuses, one pink and one white. The Cups are arranged on the Sephiroth of a complete Tree of Life, yet all the Sephiroth and all the Paths are deep Red. The hot sky and the Red Tree show the destructive quality of too much of a good thing.

The Ten of Cups is the Satiety that comes from holding on to and attempting to continue the manifestation of our Happiness. The 10 Cups are on a Red Tree of Life to show the destructive Martian energy which must come to free us from attachment to our feelings.

The Ten of Cups represents being full beyond the point of satisfaction, excessive consumption, the results of avarice, obesity, stupefaction. When well dignified, being full to the point of satisfaction, being fulfilled, manifest happiness, comfort and pleasure generally.

The Ten of Cups is Mars in the third decan of Pisces and Earth in Briah.

THE SWORDS, AIR, YETZIRAH

"air, noun: 1.a. A colorless, odorless, tasteless gaseous mixture, mainly nitrogen and oxygen with lesser amounts of argon, carbon dioxide, neon, helium, and other gases. b. This mixture with varying amounts of moisture, low-altitude pollutants, and particulate matter, enveloping the earth; the atmosphere. c. The air or atmosphere in an enclosure.... 2. The sky; firmament. 3. An atmospheric movement; breeze; wind. 4. Breath. 5. Utterance; publicity; circulation.... 6. A peculiar or characteristic impression; appearance; aura.... 7. Personal bearing, appearance, or manner; mien.... 8. Plural: Affectation; haughty pose.... 9. Music: A melody or tune, especially: a. The soprano or treble part in a harmonized composition. b. A solo with or without accompaniment.... [Blend of senses of several origins....]"

American Heritage Dictionary, p. 27.

All the Swords have the energy of intellect, the process of analyzing and defining (attacking) things, sometimes to the point of destroying them. All Swords are in Tiphareth (Archetypal Redemption and Ascension [Death/Rebirth]), therefore all Swords are about Change. Within the word "Swords" is the word "word" showing that words, and the thoughts that form them, are the most powerful weapons in humanity's arsenal.

All the Swords are in Tiphareth, ruled by the Son of ABBA and AIMA, ZAUIR ANPIN who is also called the Microprosopus. The Swords are, therefore, concerned with proving the Son worthy of his Parents. In Assiah, Tiphareth is associated with the Sun which, in its turn, is symbolic of the Ego, the personal Self. The Ego sees itself as separate and worries about ways to become One again, yet fears being consumed by Unity, and this is typical of the conflict associated with Swords.

The Ace of Swords is Pure Potential Change. The King is about the Force necessary to initiate Change. The Queen is about the alternative Forms which Change might bring about. The Mentor of Swords is about teaching, learning and communicating the nature and philosophy of Analysis and Change. The Prince is about the Churning and Disruption which are both the process and fruit of Change. The Princess is about Materializing the Changes in such a way that they can be transmuted into Archetypal Matter. The Two of Swords is Outrushing Change. The Three of Swords is Change Refused. The Four of Swords is Change thru Rest. The Five of Swords is Change thru Effort. The Six of Swords is Balanced Change. The Seven of Swords is Change Felt. The Eight of Swords is Change Analyzed. The Nine of Swords is Change Experienced. The Ten of Swords is Change made Manifest.

ACE OF SWORDS, WINTER

The Ace of Swords is the Pure Spirit of Air, Power Invoked by the conscious mind of humanity -- it is a pale reflection of the Natural Power of the Ace of Wands, as all things created by the finite are but fragments of the Divine Ideal.

The Ace of Swords shows a gold handled Sword pointing upward -- as all Magickal Swords should always do. On its blade are two crescent Moons, one waxing and one waning, to demonstrate the power of ideas to begin and end... to create and destroy. The hilt is decorated with three Suns to show the great power of the symbol and a Sun is also in the center of the Twelve pointed Crown of the Zodiac. An olive branch and a palm frond are on either side of the central Sword -- they are symbols of victory and plenty. The barren ground and windswept sky are crowned by a Rainbow, here a symbol of the mind's ability to separate things into their component parts (the colors separated by the prismatic action of the mist) and the Divine Promise that even this blasphemy leads, ultimately, to Divine re-Union.

In a reading, the Ace of Swords represents Invoked Force as opposed to the Natural Force of the Ace of Wands. Raised upward, it invokes the Divine Crown of Spiritual Illumination, but reversed, it is the invocation of demonic or Qlippothic Force and becomes a fearfully evil symbol. This card represents, therefore, a very great power for good or evil, but intentionally invoked and not occurring naturally. It also represents whirling force and strength to deal with trouble and/or arising out of it. It is the affirmation of Divine Justice, which may, or may not, be what we want to hear. Badly aspected, it may be the Sword of Wrath, vengeance, punishment and affliction; it may also mean that someone is working magick against you or that your own magick is turning upon you. (You did something wrong or stupid or both: Do the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram every morning and the Rose Cross Ritual every night, no other magick except meditation on your sins -- and do what you can to clear your Karma. Seriously.)

The Ace of Swords is the Power that creates Winter (Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces) thru the manifesting personality of the Princess of Swords.

KING OF SWORDS, FIRE OF AIR

The King of Swords is a being of Air whose mask or persona is fiery. He has the self- righteous confidence of scientific intellectualism -- whether he is right is another matter.

The King of Swords flies high over his realm on a spirited brown horse. He wears the visor open on his ornate helmet and holds his Sword aloft in a gesture of, and with an expression of, elation and triumph. About him birds exhibit various aspects of flight. There is a castle in the distance to show the seat of his domain. A six-pointed star rises over the twilight horizon showing the relationship of all Swords to Tiphareth thru both being assigned to the VAV of the Great Name YOD-HEH-VAV-HEH.

"He is active, clever, subtle, fierce, delicate, courageous, skillful, bit inclined to domineer. Also to overvalue small things, unless well-dignified. Ill-dignified, deceitful, tyranical and crafty.

The King of Swords rules the last decan of Taurus and the first two decans of Gemini. From stolid materialism (Taurus) rises the schizophrenic philosophy of comparison and conflict (Gemini). Fire of Air and the Zodiac in Yetzirah.

QUEEN OF SWORDS, WATER OF AIR

The Queen of Swords is a being of Air whose outer personality is watery. She expresses her ideas in emotional ways and thinks with her feelings.

The Queen of Swords sits on a Throne made of storm clouds. The hair flying about her face echoes the intensity of her expression and emphasizes her head, the seat of the intellect. She holds her Sword up in an angry or threatening gesture. Her crown holds the image of a Cherub, showing both the purity and the naivety of her thoughts. She holds a mask representing a bearded man -- in some decks this is a decapitated head. Whether she kills her partner in fact or just destroys his mind or personality, she is deadly when offended. Migrating geese fly below her.

The Queen of Swords is often a graceful woman with gray hair and light-brown eyes. She is intensely perceptive, subtle, quick, confident, fond of dancing and balancing and often persevering in superficial things. Badly aspected she may be cruel, sly, deceitful and unreliable, tho often with a pleasing exterior.

The Queen of Swords rules the last decan of Virgo and the first two decans of Libra. Dissatisfaction with the limits of Earth (Virgo) leads to analysis of perceived options and, therefore, to judgement (Libra). She is Water of Air and Saturn in Yetzirah.

MENTOR OF SWORDS, VOICE OF AIR

The Mentor of Swords is a being of Air whose persona is spiritual. The Mentor uses the intellect in service to the Divine, not to attack Unity.

The Mentor of Swords shows the Centaur Chiron drawing a bow, teaching hunting and martial arts to the Air Elemental in the foreground. She has the upper body, head and arms of a woman and the lower body and wings of a great bird. She holds a sword in one hand, a dagger in the other -- the Elemental Weapon of the Hermetic Magickian for Air is the Dagger. The Abyss between the two figures is an empty crevasse. As with the other Mentors, the Rainbow of Understanding arches behind.

In a reading, the Mentor of Swords would regard lessons about the strengths and limitations of the intellect. Also, actual physical violence will often be involved in the learning process -- everything from firmly ending a relationship to killing. In any case, the process will usually come on suddenly and rush to a conclusion.

The Mentor of Swords is the Sephirah Daath in the Qabalistic World Yetzirah. The Mentor discloses the demands and gifts of the Air Triplicity: cardinal Libra, Kerubic Aquarius and mutable Gemini, particularly as they relate with the Planet Chiron. Hear now the Voice of Air.

PRINCE OF SWORDS, AIR OF AIR

The Prince of Swords is a being of Air whose outer nature is also airy. He thinks, analyzes and judges so fast he needs two Swords to cut down everything he finds lacking.

The Prince of Swords rides a chariot drawn by Cherubs across a dark and stormy sky. He carries a Sword in his right hand. In his left is an ornate sickle, a weapon often used for ritual beheadings. On his crown is the winged Cherub's head of his Suit, showing here, as on the other Royals, the flights of the mind and the need to center the thoughts in the Divine. The Pentagram and the red robe shows the Martian quality of his mentality.

The Prince of Swords is likely to be a young man with dark hair and eyes. He is full of ideas and thoughts and designs and may be distrustful, suspicious, careful, slow or over-cautious. He is firm in friendship and in enmity. He is, in a sense, Alpha and Omega, the Giver of Death who slays as fast as he creates. When badly aspected he can be harsh, malicious, plotting and obstinate, yet hesitating and unreliable.

The Prince of Swords rules the last decan of Capricorn and the first two of Aquarius. The reaction to material work (Capricorn) causes the Waters of Life to be meted out to us proportionately (Aquarius). He is Air of Air and the Sun in Yetzirah.

PRINCESS OF SWORDS, EARTH OF AIR

The Princess of Swords is a being of Air whose personality is earth-like. She has many ideas, but they must always be rooted in experience and result in manifestation.

The Princess of Swords leans against a Throne formed by a natural outcropping of stone, showing her material mask. The raised Sword and the many serpents of her helmet show that her thoughts are many and complex and her meditative expression shows that she has given herself up to them. The wind whips her cloak and the laces of her shoes.

In a reading, the Princess of Swords is likely to be a young woman with light brown hair and blue eyes. She is wise, strong, subtle and perceptive in material things. She is blessed with grace and dexterity. If badly aspected, she can be frivolous, cunning and selfish.

The Princess of Swords rules, as the Throne of the Power of the Ace, Winter: Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces. She is Earth of Air and the Planet Earth in Yetzirah.

TWO OF SWORDS, PEACE

The Two of Swords shows two swords, one ornate and one fairly simple, piercing the center of a sunflower -- the intellect, whose processes may be complicated or straight-forward, cutting into its object. The ornate sword pierces the flower from behind, demonstrating that circumlocution eventually reaches its point. The other sword cuts the blossom from the front, the simple, direct approach. The blades cross in the heart of the flower, the heart of the matter. The central design hangs in a cold, pale sky -- the austere and often empty world of the intellect.

The Two of Swords is the Divine analyzing the Divine, reflecting upon itself as in a mirror, asking "Who am I, if I am?"

The Two of Swords is the Peace which can only arise from an agreement among equals and a just resolution of the conflict.

The Two of Swords represents contradictory characteristics in the same entity; strength thru suffering; pleasure after pain. Also, peace restored, truce, settlement of differences, justice or stalemate. It may be sorrow and sympathy for those in trouble, aid to the weak and oppressed, unselfishness. When badly aspected, it may mean the tendency to repeat destructive behavior when pardoned, lack of tact and doing injury while meaning well. In any case, there is tension and a tendency to be talkative.

The Two of Swords is the Moon in the first decan of Libra and the Zodiac in Yetzirah, as shown in the information strip at the foot of the card.

THREE OF SWORDS, SORROW

The Three of Swords shows three Swords ripping a rose. As the petals fall, they turn into teardrops.

The Three of Swords is the Sorrow we feel when we "bury our dead," whether manifest beings or ideas or feelings.

The Three of Swords represents unhappiness, sorrow and tears, disruption, interruption, separation, quarrelling, sowing of discord and strife, mischief-making and joy in doing harm. Lies and the repetition of lies and harmful gossip. Very well aspected, it may mean faithfulness in promises and honesty in money transactions -- virtue surviving trial.

The Three of Swords is Saturn in the second decan of Libra and Saturn in Yetzirah.

FOUR OF SWORDS, TRUCE

The Four of Swords shows four straight Swords whose points don't quite touch, all converging on the center of a bulls-eye. Around them are closely ordered waves of rainbow colored bunting to celebrate the end of conflict.

The Four of Swords is the Truce which brings a peace contingent upon allowing our common need for respite to overcome our common need for victory.

The Four of Swords can mean recovery from sickness, convalescence, change for the better, rest from sorrow. Peace from and after war. Respite from fear or anxiety.

The Four of Swords is Jupiter in the third decan of Libra and Jupiter in Yetzirah.

FIVE OF SWORDS, DEFEAT

The Five of Swords shows five broken Swords, blackened as if by fire, falling before the power of the Red Pentagram of Mars. Behind them, their world is broken into pieces.

The Five of Swords is the emotional commitment to struggle and victory which leads only to the most devastating Defeat.

In a reading, the Five of Swords can mean defeat, loss, malice, spite, slander. The conflict is over and the subject has been over-thrown. Avarice and envy. Jealousy and the destructive acts arising from it. Well aspected, it may mean cleverness, quickness in thought and speech and an acute sense of pity, tho this may be unendurable.

The Five of Swords is Venus in the first decan of Aquarius and Mars in Yetzirah.

SIX OF SWORDS, SCIENCE

The Six of Swords shows six Swords pointing to the internal angles of a yellow star and the outer angles of a red star. Concentric squares and circles form myriad geometric patterns. All this superimposed on the iris of an eye. The yellow rays and the Swords divide the outer circle into the Twelve Signs of the Zodiac, for Astrology/Astronomy was the First Science.

The Six of Swords is the effective communication of our ideas and our application of them to solving our problems -- Science.

The Six of Swords may represent work requiring persistent effort but within the ability of the laborer. It is also travel, particularly over water. Success after anxiety or trouble. Patience and persistence. If badly aspected, it can imply selfishness or conceit.

The Six of Swords is Mercury in the second decan of Aquarius and the Sun in Yetzirah.

SEVEN OF SWORDS, FUTILITY

The Seven of Swords shows blades of varying design with equally idiosyncratic hilts. They point in all directions, invoking chaotic patterns and dissipation of energy.

The Seven of Swords is the Futility of emotional bondage to our kaleidoscopic ideas.

The Seven of Swords has an untrustworthy and vacillating nature producing unstable effort. Partial success but ultimate failure when the end is in sight, excused by claims of exhaustion. Prone to quitting, therefore to failure. Love of abundance and display but impatience with the work needed to succeed. Tendency to flatter and to take offence easily, to attack verbally and to spy.

The Seven of Swords is the Moon in the third decan of Aquarius and Venus in Yetzirah.

EIGHT OF SWORDS, INTERFERENCE

The Eight of Swords shows a central Rose emerging from Divine Light being opposed by the Swords of the card and contained by the web of material defenses.

The Eight of Swords shows that judging our harvest before we have it can often create Interference with the free flow of our good.

The Eight of Swords represents the imprisonment of mind or body, whether on the physical plane or thru scattered thinking and unclear or conflicting intentions and goals. What wisdom and patience exists is wasted on unworthy activities. Badly aspected, these produce a domineering nature given to malice and pettiness. In either case, problems are caused by a confused or absent ethical sense.

The Eight of Swords is Jupiter in the first decan of Gemini and Mercury in Yetzirah.

NINE OF SWORDS, CRUELTY

The Nine of Swords shows eight of the weapons of the card dripping blood, all acting under the invoking power of the ninth Sword which is held in a gantleted hand.

The Nine of Swords is the Cruelty which comes from unbalanced aggressiveness in the promotion of our thoughts and feelings.

The Nine of Swords represents illness, suffering, misery, loss, pain and despair; these things as a result of malice, cruelty, oppression and mercilessness. The processes of malice, cruelty and oppression, such as slander, deceit and dishonesty.

The Nine of Swords is Mars in the second decan of Gemini and the Moon in Yetzirah.

TEN OF SWORDS, RUIN

The Ten of Swords shows five broken Swords pointing inward along the rays of one Pentagram while five more broken Swords point outward along the rays of another, indicating that our disasters come as much from our own efforts as from the efforts of others. Behind them, an exploding gout of flame illuminates the darkness.

The Ten of Swords shows that reliance on analysis and defensiveness leads to ultimate Ruin.

The Ten of Swords represents ruin, death, failure and disaster. Undisciplined warring force producing complete disruption and failure. Ruin of all plans and projects. An abusive nature, taking pleasure in expressions of insolence and disdain and in the pain they cause others and loving to destroy the works and happiness of others -- yet clever and eloquent in self-defence (may even compel her/his victims to apologize for their suffering).

The Ten of Swords is the Sun in the third decan of Gemini and Earth in Yetzirah.


THE DISKS, EARTH, ASSIAH

"earth, noun: 1. The land surface of the world, as distinguished from the oceans and air. 2. The softer, friable part of land; soil; especially, productive soil. 3. The dwelling place of mortal men, as distinguished from heaven and hell; the temporal world. 4. All of the human inhabitants of the world.... 5. Worldly affairs; temporal matters, as distinguished from spiritual concerns.... 6. The material body of the human being considered as made of dust or clay. 7. The lair of a burrowing animal. 8. Chiefly British. Electricity. The ground of a circuit. 9.... Any of several metallic oxides that are difficult to reduce, as alumina or zirconia, formerly regarded as elements. [Middle English erthe, Old English eorthe.]

"Earth, noun: The third planet from the sun, having a sidereal period of revolution about the sun of 365.26 days at a mean distance of 92.96 million miles, an axial rotation period of 23 hours 56.07 minutes, an average radius of 3,959 miles, and a mass of 13.17x10 to the 24th pounds."

American Heritage Dictionary, p. 409.

I am including all the statistics to emphasize the fact that living on this plane is about time and space, distance and mass, spinning on our axis, moving at a high rate of speed while standing perfectly still.

"What do you mean I'm not getting anywhere? I've travelled thousands of miles while you've been reading this paragraph!"

All the Disks are in Malkuth, ruled by the KALAH, the Bride of the Microprosopus, who is also called MALKAH, the Queen. Disks correspond to the HEH final of Tetragrammaton and to the Qabalistic World of Assiah. Malkuth, in Assiah, is assigned to the Planet Earth, therefore, Disks relate to the state and processes of manifestation on our earthly plane.

The Ace of Disks is Pure Potential Matter. The King is about Force and Expansion on the Astral and higher Material Planes. The Queen of Disks is about Form and Contraction on the Astral and higher Material Planes. The Mentor is about teaching, learning and communicating the nature and philosophy of the Material Plane, particularly that aspect which inspires Spiritual Understanding of the Material. The Prince of Disks is about processes of Change and Communication between the Astral and the Material Planes. The Princess is the personality of the Material World -- Malkuth in Assiah. The Two of Disks is the Big Bang. The Three of Disks is Gravity. The Four of Disks is Accumulation. The Five of Disks is the Emptiness Between. The Six of Disks is the Gift of Life...SPIRIT. The Seven of Disks is FIRE. The Eight of Disks is WATER. The Nine of Disks is AIR. The Ten of Disks is EARTH...the FRUITION of the Divine Act of Conception that initiated the process of Divine Creation.

ACE OF DISKS, SPRING

The Ace of Disks is the pure Spirit of Earth, the Divine Cohesiveness which leads to manifestation on the material plane.

The Ace of Disks features a total of ten Disks all together, repeating the symbolism of the Zelator and Ipsissimus Grades of the Golden Dawn -- 1=10 and 10=1 -- the Unity of the Divine is equal to Its Divine Material Creation; the Whole is equal to the Sum of Its Parts; the One exists in All and the All in One. The huge Solar disc surrounded by the Earth, the Moon and five other Planets, the Planet in the foreground and the Winged Sphere in the center. The Winged Sphere contains the equal armed Cross, the Pentagram and the Pentagon, the Circle and the triangular Alchemical symbols of the Elements, all coalescing out of the swirling darkness of the void. On the surface of the Planet in the foreground, a prairie dog sits outside its backdoor watching a dog digging into its front door -- "I saw that varmint run into this hole and I can smell that varmint with my face in this hole so that varmint is in this hole." Maya, the field of Illusion.

In a reading, the Ace of Disks stands for material gain, labor, power and wealth. It represents materiality in all senses and for good or evil -- it is therefore, in a sense, illusory.

The Ace of Disks is the Power that creates Spring -- Aries, Taurus and Gemini -- thru the manifesting personaltiy of the Princess of Disks.

KING OF DISKS, FIRE OF EARTH

The King of Disks is a being of Earth whose outer personality is fiery. He is enthusiastic about material work and material things.

The King of Disks holds aloft not one, but two Disks. In his right hand, the Twelve Signs of the Zodiac surround the Five Elements in the form of a Pentagram. In his left hand, the Hexagram of the outer Planets of the Microprosopus surrounds the perfectly balanced Yin/Yang of Tiphareth. His gesture and his facial expression are joyful. On his crown is the head of a stag to symbolize fertility. A living stag stands in the background. The King rides a heavy horse which, tho encumbered by a big man in armor, is still able to rear up. The volcano in the background points up the personality of the King as Earth expressing itself in a fiery manner.

In a reading, the King of Disks is a man with dark eyes and hair. Unless very well aspected, he is likely to be heavy, dull and material. He is laborious, clever and patient in material things. If badly aspected, he is greedy and grasping, dull and unimaginative, jealous and possessive, tending to cowardice and he easily surrenders his individuality to the mob.

The King of Disks rules the last decan of Leo and the first two decans of Virgo. Our aggressive efforts to manifest our highest Selves (Leo) require occasional rest periods for consolidation (Virgo). The King is Fire of Earth and the Zodiac in Assiah.

QUEEN OF DISKS, WATER OF EARTH

The Queen of Disks is a being of Earth whose persona is watery. She is receptive and nurturing and expresses her feelings in physical ways.

The Queen of Disks rests in the leaves of a large plant like the blossom of a flower. She is crowned with the image of a dragon and a living dragon communes with her, holding a Disk the mate of the Queen's. The Queen holds a Wand whose head is the Cube of Matter. Behind her are forests and fields being watered by rain and river. Beside her is a goat, reinforcing the general theme of fertility.

In a reading, the Queen of Disks is likely to be a woman with dark hair and eyes. She is impetuous, kind, timid, charming, great-hearted, intelligent and truthful. She is a creature of many moods, each of which she expresses. Badly aspected, she is undecided, capricious, foolish, changeable and, therefore, unreliable.

The Queen of Disks rules the last decan of Sagittarius and the first two decans of Capricorn. "I shot an arrow into the air (Sagittarius) but it fell and hit my derriere (Capricorn)." (Responsibility for Karma.) She is Water of Earth and Saturn in Assiah.

MENTOR OF DISKS, VOICE OF EARTH

The Mentor of Disks is a being of Earth whose exterior is spiritual. He is in this Earth, but not of it.

The Mentor of Disks and his student, the Bearlike Earth Elemental, have sheathed their arrows. Chiron holds a Disk featuring the Triangles of Fire and Water interlocked to form a Hexagram superimposed over a field in the colors of the Four Material Elements -- the Hexagram means (among many other things) "As above, so below" and the Four Elements show that this is true even within the material plane. The Earth Elemental holds aloft a studded club, a most earthly weapon. Below the Mentor and Mentee, in the Abyss of the card, are forests, meadows and plowed fields -- Chiron taught hunting and herbalism. The Rainbow of Promise arches over the Earth.

In a reading, the Mentor of Disks is a relatively dark complected person of either gender and any age, often appearing ageless. They will have something of a material nature to share, from physical fitness to sexuality to investment practices to material work to warfare. They may represent the teacher, or they may come to the querent for instruction, depending on the question, the position in the layout, and the surrounding cards.

The Mentor of Disks is the Sephirah Daath in the Qabalistic World Assiah. The Mentor discloses the demands and gifts of the Earth Triplicity: cardinal Capricorn, Kerubic Taurus and mutable Virgo, particularly as they relate with the Planet Chiron. Hear now the Voice of Earth.

PRINCE OF DISKS, AIR OF EARTH

The Prince of Disks is a being of Earth whose surface personality is airy. He thinks about physical things, imagines and thereby manifests them.

The Prince of Disks rides a chariot drawn by a black bull. In his right hand is a Wand with a diamond (mentation) at one end and an orb and Cross (the Material Plane) at the other. In his left hand is a Disk carved with occult symbols. The chariot rolls down the bottom of a fertile valley, crushing some of the flowers as it goes. A Gnome with a belled cap trudges by in the background. The green earth rises in folds, whose curves are reminiscent of the bull's horns, toward the Sun.

In a reading, the Prince of Disks is probably a young man with dark brown hair and dark eyes. He increases material things for good or ill. He solidifies things, is steady and reliable. When badly aspected, he is animal, materialistic and stupid. In all cases slow to anger but furious if roused.

The Prince of Disks rules the last decan of Aries and the first two decans of Taurus. The energy set in motion by personal Awakening (Aries) produces an overpowering momentum (Taurus). The Prince is Air of Earth and the Sun in Assiah.

PRINCESS OF DISKS, EARTH OF EARTH

The Princess of Disks is a being whose internal and external personae are both Earth. She is the most physical of all the Face Cards.

The Princess of Disks is clothed in earthy greens. She wears a goat's head pendant and a goat, symbol of fecundity, grazes behind her. She holds a wand in her right hand and a Disk in her left. Rings containing stones are on her fingers. Before her, flowers bloom. About her, trees are leafless from the winter past, showing the potential for new growth in her season, the Spring. Behind her, green hills rise to meet the Sun which hangs low over a valley in which her Prince rides his chariot toward her.

In a reading, the Princess of Disks will usually be a young woman with dark hair and eyes. She is generous, kind, diligent, benevolent, careful, courageous and persevering. If badly aspected, she is wasteful and extravagant.

The Princess of Disks rules, as the Throne of the Power of the Ace, Spring -- Aries, Taurus and Gemini. She is Earth of Earth and the Planet Earth in Assiah.

TWO OF DISKS, CHANGE

The Two of Disks shows two hands holding two Yin-Yang symbols, one divided vertically and one horizontally. Behind them an infinity symbol reproduces itself in rainbow colors eternally.

The Two of Disks represents the Archetypes of Duality and Force in their most material aspect, as Change.

In a reading, the Two of Disks represents harmonious change, sharing with or visiting friends. Fortunate in travel. If badly aspected it shows vacillation or conflict between alternatives -- weakness and strength, gain and loss, elation and melancholy, prudence and folly, friendliness and suspicion; also, rebellion against fixed conditions, wandering, frequent change of jobs and argument.

The Two of Disks is Jupiter in the first decan of Capricorn and the Zodiac in Assiah.

THREE OF DISKS, WORKS

The Three of Disks features a goat harnessed to a cart which carries three Disks. The floor is a checkerboard pattern and the walls are vertical boards of various woods. A rose twig with one blossom and one bud has fallen to the floor. A Divine hand holds a larger rose branch above. An open door reveals green hills and clear sky.

The Three of Disks shows that, where there is change, material Works are necessary to harvest and adapt to the fruits of that change.

The Three Disks are the three steps necessary to produce a material result -- the concept, the plan and the execution.

In a reading, the Three of Disks embodies business, paid employment and commercial transactions. Working or constructive force, building up, erecting, creating, increase of material things or commencement of something to be finished later. Skill or cleverness in the preceding. Badly aspected, it may be selfishness, abuse of authority or chasing after impossible goals.

The Three of Disks is Mars in the second decan of Capricorn and Saturn in Assiah.

FOUR OF DISKS, POWER

The Four of Disks shows four Disks, each of which contains a Square, each of which contains an alchemical symbol for one of the Elements. Each of the Disks is surmounted by an Eye, showing the constant vigilance required to achieve and maintain power. A vertical landscape stands in the center, forming an exclamation point with a fifth Eye below. The landscape contains a question mark to challenge the validity of power. Creative lightening flashes from above. The gavel of judicial authority is below.

The Four of Disks represents the result of responsible change and effective work -- Power to manifest our desires.

In a reading, the Four of Disks may mean the gain of money or influence, the receipt of a gift or assurance of material gain, success, rank or earthly power. If badly aspected, any gain or success is empty and passing and there may be prejudice, greed, suspicion, discontent and lack of enterprise or originality.

The Four of Disks is the Sun in the third decan of Capricorn and Jupiter in Assiah.

FIVE OF DISKS, WORRY

The Five of Disks shows five five pointed Stars, the outer one pointing down and with each of its points upon a Disk. The central Pentagram contains a crescent Moon and the five surrounding Disks contain the symbols for Jupiter, Mars, Venus, Mercury and the Earth, but the Sun is absent. White circles adorn six black spheres, as though one were eternally behind the eight ball. Darkness and shadows recede.

The Five of Disks is the Worry which often follows material success -- now that I've got this job, this bank account, this house, this lover I have to live with the fear that someone wants to take these things from me or that I will somehow destroy them (or lose interest in them, which is analogous).

In a reading, the Five of Disks may mean loss of profession, money or position, or fear of losing these things. Trouble about material things. Physical labor, particularly building and farming, sometimes successful. Lacking imagination one may be harsh, stern and obstinate.

The Five of Disks is Mercury in the first decan of Taurus and Mars in Assiah.

SIX OF DISKS, SUCCESS

The Six of Disks shows a complete picture of both the mechanism and the state of complete Earthly Success. The dark Calvary Cross represents the material world -- it is the Cross of Matter upon which each of us is repeatedly crucified for God's Sake. It is superimposed upon a Sun, the symbol of the Sephirah Tiphareth, the Heart of the Microprosopus. Arranged about the center are the other Planets of the Microprosopus in balanced disposition, Luna in Yesod, Mercury in Hod, Venus in Netzach, Mars in Geburah and Jupiter in Chesed, with Saturn in Daath representing the Supernals. The trans-personal or outer Planets (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto) form a Water Triangle around the Sun, representing the influence of the Supernals in establishing the receptiveness of this Key. Below, a hand holds a rose branch.

The Six of Disks shows the true, balanced, happy Success produced by bringing all the aspects of the Universe together.

Success in material things. Prosperity in business. Success and gain in material undertakings, power, influence, rank, nobility, rule over people. Fortunate, successful, just and liberal. If badly aspected, may be purse-proud, insolent from success or prodigal.

The Six of Disks is the Moon in the second decan of Taurus and the Sun in Assiah.

SEVEN OF DISKS, FAILURE

The Seven of Disks features a central figure of a woman in a ragged dress kneeling on rocky ground and giving herself up to despair. Looking down, she is unable to see the rope for which her right hand gropes nor the lowest Disk which seems to burst at the touch of her left hand. Behind her, a dead tree drops the last of its leaves -- there are no other living things in this blasted landscape. But the hand of God continues to pour forth the Disks of the card, showing that our failure results from our blindness to or denial of the Divine Source of All.

The Seven of Disks shows the Failure that results from letting the senses tell us "how much is enough."

In a reading, the Seven of Disks may mean unprofitable speculation or employment, little gain after much labor or promises of success unfulfilled. Disappointment, deceit, crushed hopes, misery, slavery, poverty and base materialism. Cultivating the land but reaping little or no harvest. If well aspected, honorable work undertaken for the love of it and with no desire for reward.

The Seven of Disks is Saturn in the third decan of Taurus and Venus in Assiah.

EIGHT OF DISKS, PRUDENCE

The Eight of Disks shows a cluster of vines growing upward together, the branches of which hold coins of different currencies. At the top of the plant is a red bud representing the uncompletedness too much caution often produces. Behind is a wall of horizontal layers.

The Eight of Disks is the Prudence which assures us we will never go broke but also insures that we will never achieve great things.

In a reading, the Eight of Disks may mean skill, prudence, industriousness, gain of small amounts, cultivation of land. If badly aspected, may be over-careful in small things at the expense of the great, cunning, mean, avaricious, hoarding, lacking in enterprise.

The Eight of Disks is the Sun in the first decan of Virgo and Mercury in Assiah.

NINE OF DISKS, GAIN

The Nine of Disks shows a rainbow swirl, the mouth of a cornucopia. From it issue Nine symbols of luck and winning. Below, two hands reach up, open to receive.

The Nine of Disks declares that Gain or the chance to achieve Gain is at hand.

In a reading, the Nine of Disks may mean an inheritance, much increase of money, complete realization of material gain. If badly aspected, it may be covetousness, greed, theft or treachery or the tragic loss of some loved one which makes inheritance possible.

The Nine of Disks is Venus in the second decan of Virgo and the Moon in Assiah.

TEN OF DISKS, WEALTH

The Ten of Disks shows a completed Tree of Life, Sephirah in the Queen Scale and Paths in the King Scale. Each of the Sephiroth contains the appropriate symbol for Its energy in Assiah, the Qabalistic World corresponding to Disks, and a symbol associated with Mercury.

The Ten of Disks represents material Wealth, which is the end product of Creation -- the Earthly Eden.

In a reading, the Ten of Disks may mean riches, wealth, the completion of material gain, but nothing beyond. The pinnacle of success. Maturity and the establishment of a family, perhaps even a dynasty. If badly aspected, may mean old age, laziness, heaviness, dullness of mind, yet still clever and somewhat prosperous in money matters.

The Ten of Disks is Mercury in the third decan of Virgo and Earth in Assiah.

THE MAJOR ARCANA, SPIRIT

"spirit, noun: 1. That which is traditionally believed to be the vital principle or animating force within living beings. 2. Capital S. The Holy Ghost. Preceded by the. 3. Capital S. Christian Science. God. 4. Any supernatural being, such as a ghost. 5. a. That which constitutes one's unseen, intangible being. b. The essential and activating principle of a person; the will. 6. A person as characterized by some stated quality.... 7. An inclination or tendency of a specified kind. 8. Plural. One's mood or emotional state. 9. A particular mood or emotional state characterized by vigor and animation. 10. Strong loyalty or dedication. 11. The predominant mood of an occasion or period.... 12. The real sense or significance of something....

"spirited, -iting, -its, transitive verb: 1. To carry off mysteriously or secretly. Used with away or off. 2. To impart courage, animation, or determination to; stimulate; encourage. [Middle English, from Norman French, from Latin spiritus, breath, breath of a god, inspiration, from spirare, to breathe.]"

The Major Arcana are the steps we take in our spiritual growth from mundane to Divine. As we pass up the Tree of Life we deal with the various Archetypes built up by the Process of Creation and by our mental and emotional responses and attachments to them. Each higher Path becomes less bound and more free, less physical and more spiritual, leading us from the Cross of the Material in Malkuth to the Pure White Healing Light of Kether.

THE WORLD, 21

The World is the first Path we encounter on working our way up the Tree of Life from Malkuth. The oval window to the heavens in the center of this card represents the Cosmic Egg and, therefore, the womb and pregnancy. The starry expanse behind the central figure further shows the night sky in our material universe -- the Soul is being born from our material, "objective reality" into the spiritual life where symbolism and direct revelation replace quantification and rationalization.

The central figure holds tools in her hands to represent the labor aspect of the planet Saturn, with which the World is associated. The spirals about her right forearm and in her left hand represent DNA -- the building blocks of life (as we know it). The tower on her left symbolizes both the structural and defensive natures of Saturn. The spiral Serpent is Nehushtan, the wise but soulless snake whose coils touch each of the Twenty-two Paths in turn, leading us back to Kether.

Above is the Eye of Horus, which saw before anything was to see. It is surrounded by the Signs of the Zodiac to show that all things emanate from the One Source, and, by metathesis, that what we can see in the minds eye can be brought into manifestation.

In the four corners are the Bull representing Earth, the Man representing Air, the Eagle representing Water and the Lion representing Fire. These are also Taurus, Aquarius, Scorpio and Leo (the fixed Signs of the Zodiac), also Assiah, Yetzirah, Briah and Atziluth respectively. And again, the Four Archangels who stand about the Throne of God according to the vision of Ezekiel. They are the Symbols of the Worlds of Action, Thought, Emotion and Personal Soul.

The Rainbows show that all Creation flows in and out thru this birth canal eternally and that this is cause for celebration. The central figure is wearing a victory wreath of flowers, showing beauty triumphant, and is surrounded by another wreath of flowers and a framework of hands making magickal gestures -- signing positive things on the right (the Pillar of Mercy) and negative things on the left (the Pillar of Severity).

In a reading, the World may represent the matter in question or its synthesis. The Earth or a Dominion upon the Earth. Because it is usually the matter itself, the World depends greatly on accompanying cards.

The information strip at the bottom tells us that number 21 is the number of the card. The Path is number 32 (with Kether as 1, Malkuth as 10 and the Fool as 11). The World is assigned the planet Saturn and connects Malkuth (10) and Yesod (9). The title of the card is at the center. To our right is the Hebrew Letter TAV, whose gematriatic value is 400 and whose meaning, as the word "tav", is "Cross." The Golden Dawn associates the World with the musical note "A natural."

JUDGEMENT, 20

Judgement is the second Path we traverse as we travel back up the Tree of Life from being of this Earth to being transcendently in but not of it. Here the theme is resurrection from materiality. Here we are born again from the womb of the Earth (Trump card The World), represented in the fore-ground, into consciousness of the Divine shown by the Archangel Michael, Ruler of Solar Fire.

Below, we see the openings of vaults and tunnels into the earth, symbolic of the habitations of the Qlippoth -- "Stoop not down...". From these places people are arising as if from sleep, awakening from the Dream the Hindus call Maya -- Illusion. The illusion of material reality. To the left (the Pillar of Severity, Passive), a child within a winged egg shows that this rebirth is of a Divine Nature. This is reinforced by the bubble containing the Divine Flame which floats on the right (the Pillar of Mercy, Active).

Above, the Golden Sun of Tiphareth flames, surrounded by, and emanating, the Twelve Zodiacal Signs, symbolic of the Cosmic Theater upon whose stage we are "merely players." As Judgement is associated with Solar Fire, the Fires of Tiphareth, the Archangel is Michael, not Gabriel (who is certainly not the only brass player in the Divine Cosmos). Upon the horn hangs a banner displaying the Equal Armed Cross of the Material Creation, and from it comes the Music of the Spheres as shown by the planetary symbols, symbolic of the personality types and processes of the players upon this Cosmic Stage.

In a reading, Judgement may mean final decision, judgement or sentence. Determination of a matter without appeal on its Plane.

The information strip tells us that Judgement is Trump number 20. The Path is number 31. The Golden Dawn assigns this card the alchemical element Fire, but it may also be attributed to the planet Pluto. Judgement connects Malkuth (10) and Hod (8). To the right of the title, Judgement, is the Hebrew Letter SHIN, whose gematriatic value is 300 and whose meaning, as the word "shin", is "Tooth." The musical association for Judgement is C above middle C.

THE SUN, 19

The Sun, our third Path as we rise on the Tree, shows the material source and the Symbolic Source of all Light and Life -- as we know it. Not only a source of warmth and nurturance, but of celebration. George Harrison's "Here Comes the Sun" is a perfect example of this energy rising to heal and enlighten.

In the foreground is the Lion of the Kerubic Fire Sign Leo, symbol of Summer at its height. On his back ride two angelic children carrying sunflowers -- those in the first cherub's hand are wild sunflowers while the second cherub holds the fuller domestic variety, showing that the Light is available to all, whether or not it is actively cultivated.

The Lion treds a circular path about a circular hill of Seven Steps, the number of initiatory steps in the Outer Order work of the Golden Dawn -- Neophyte, Zelator, Theoricus, Practicus, Philosophus and Portal -- plus the step leading out of the Golden Dawn into the R. R. et A. C. -- Adeptus Minor.

On the Crown of this hill gallops a Sun dappled Appaloosa horse with a single rider bearing a Wand from which streams a sunflower banner. This rider is darkly tanned to show that long hours in the service of the Light are necessary to reach the highest levels of spiritual growth and manifestation. It is a single rider to show that the Yin and Yang aspects, shown by the cherubs below, have been fully integrated. The Crown is walled to show that, while the Light is available to all, attainment of mastery requires knowledge of the Keys -- not the least of which is long hours of devotion and study.

About the smiling Solar Disk are the Signs of the Zodiac, showing the various ways in which the Light may manifest and the various lessons we must master in our approach to the Source of the Light.

In a reading, the Sun may mean glory, gain, riches. When badly aspected, may mean arrogance, vanity and exhibitionism.

The bottom strip tells us that The Sun is Trump or Atu number 19. The Path is number 30. The Sun is assigned, oddly enough, the astronomical luminary and astrological Planet Sol, the Sun. This path connects Yesod (9) and Hod (8). The Hebrew Letter of the Sun is RESH, which means "head" and has the gematriatic value 200. The Golden Dawn assigns the Sun to the D on the fourth line above middle C on the treble clef.

THE MOON, 18

The Moon shows the apparent perils of the Spiritual Path, but these are hollow fears based on conditioning from a hierarchal and materialistic body of religious traditions. In fact all the symbols here represent allies, except the two towers. This Path, the fourth in our Hegira, is one we must all take eventually -- if it is inevitable, we might as well find ways to enjoy it.

A dog and wolf guard the entry to this path. In considering the Mysteries, it is always well to look at the nature of the symbol outside its superstitious overlay. Doing so, it should be obvious that our risk of being bitten is much greater from the domestic dog than from the wild wolf. The wolf, untamed and living day to day, will usually avoid direct contact with humans, while the dog has not only learned familiarity with, and thus contempt for, humans but has been taught by those humans to be materialistic and possessive and to guard against, and therefore to attack, humans. This restates the primary lesson of this card -- that emotional commitment to a materialistic philosophy of life creates an illusion of safety which ultimately manifests the thing most feared.

Under the direction of Anubis, the Egyptian Jackal-headed God, the dog and wolf do guard the entry into the Occult Mysteries from those who have not the strength to walk them. This is not a hostile act -- those who are turned back need more preparation and are being protected from needless difficulty or suffering. Anubis is the Watcher Within the Golden Dawn Temple. Here he holds a wand topped by the image of his own head. He and the Wand face opposite directions to show that all approaches are watched and that Magickal Implements are at least as effective watchers as any. Anubis holds another wand which shows the Three tines of Kether, Chokmah and Binah, all linked at Daath with the Circle of the Microprosopus -- the Sephiroth Chesed, Geburah, Netzach, Hod and Yesod surrounding Tiphareth -- which is separated somewhat from a crosspiece representing Malkuth, and this is the last Path to lead up the Tree directly from Malkuth.

To our left, a Crayfish appears at the surface of a pool. The pool is our conscious mind and the Crayfish is our subconscious. This symbol shows the true challenge of the Moon: facing, healing and harmonizing our own mind.

The Path winding its way into the distant mountains represents the straight and narrow path. It is not an absence of curves that make the Path straight, but the refusal to take sideroads. The roads leading off the Spiritual Path are represented here by one leading to a monastery on the left and one leading to a town on the right. The monastery represents withdrawal from "the world" into an ascetic lifestyle -- the Pillar of Severity, where materialism is viewed as sin. The town represents "worldliness" -- the Pillar of Mercy, where materialism is viewed as "real life." Both sideroads are materialistic diversions from the balance of the Middle Pillar where the material world is seen neither as the Enemy nor the end, but as one of the Divine Tools -- to be used with Wisdom and Understanding as an Ally on this part of our personal path.

The Moon shows the Sun in eclipse behind the Moon, a temporary state viewed with fear by the ignorant and superstitious. The Wise know that this process is beautiful and harmonious. And as a part of an arrangement of celestial bodies whose relationships are absolutely necessary to life as we know it. This phenomena also shows that both fear and wonder, both darkness and light, arise from a single Source.

The Moon's watery nature is shown by the nine black yods, nine white yods and nine droplets. The black yods are Form, the white are Force and the droplets are a balance of the two which is necessary for life.

The Moon is a Path of strict discipline which may involve dealing with archetypal or personal fears and superstitions, and other disruptive programming.

In a reading, the Moon may mean voluntary change (as opposed to Death), mystery, the occult, the inner path, the Craft. Badly aspected, it may mean dissatisfaction, error, lying, deception, fear or superstition.

The strip shows that the Moon is Major Arcana number 18. Its Path is 29 which connects Malkuth (10) and Netzach (7). It is assigned astrologically not to the Moon but to the watery twelfth Sign of Pisces. The Moon is given the Hebrew Letter QOPH, whose value is 100 and whose meaning is "ear." The musical note is B above middle C.

THE STAR, 17

The Star is the fifth Path we encounter on our journey up the Tree of Life. It represents the need to balance our earthly and spiritual needs, and it represents the Source of Supply from which our needs are met.

The central figure pours the Waters of Life from two ewers, one onto the land (our material natures), one into the stream (our spiritual aspects). One foot is on the Earth (the Black Pillar) and one is in the Water (the White Pillar). The figure is nude to show innocence and purity. The Water pouring out of the pitchers produces crystals as it reaches the level of manifestation.

To her left, blooming flowers surround what is apparently a dead tree. Insects fly around the flowers. In the tree, a snake spirals around one of the branches while a bird sits on the other. Another bird flies in the background.

Above the dead tree is a cross of five stars, representing the four lesser elements united and governed by Spirit.

The large Eight Pointed Star represents the eight phases of the Moon, the eight Solar Festivals, Daath and the Seven lower Sephiroth, Earth and the Seven Planets.

The last illustration is reinforced by the Seven Stars on the Right, representing the influence of the Seven Planets and the Seven Pointed Star spiralling toward the distant Earth, beginning its Spiral in the Mind of the Pink Ibis, Symbol of Tho-oth (Thoth, Tahuti, associated with Hermes Trismegistus, Mercury and other Gods who brought Light and Knowledge to humanity).

In a reading, the Star may mean hope, faith or unexpected help. When badly aspected, it may be dreaminess, hallucination or false or deceived hope.

The information strip shows that the Star is Trump number 17, assigned to the 28th Path of the Sepher Yetzirah and the Air Sign Aquarius. The Star is the path between Yesod (9) and Netzach (7) on the Tree of Life. It is given the Hebrew Letter TZADDI, whose value is 90 and whose meaning is "fishhook." The musical note is A#.

THE TOWER, 16

Is the sixth Path we traverse as we rise on the Tree. It is the destruction brought about by clinging to our material illusions (Maya) after making a serious commitment to our spiritual growth. It is also the severing of ties with the material universe and our fears of the Spiritual Path.

A Tower has been built on a high and lonely crag to protect its residents from their material perils. But "Except Adonai build the house, their labor is but lost that build it." Adam and Eve cast out of the Garden of Eden for rejecting the Elohim's assessment that "It was good" just as it was and that the Elohim knew exactly what they were doing, and still do.

A man and a woman fall from the Tower showing that both Yin and Yang sins are punished. One wears a crown to show that wealth and power bestows no protection from Divine wrath (Elohim Gibor, Pillar of Severity). A Dove flies above, carrying an olive branch of Divine peace (El, Pillar of Mercy).

The Dove flies before the Divine Eye which emanates 12 Rays, showing that it sees all. The Serpent of Wisdom is upon the Divine Brow and Words of Love and Forgiveness fill the Divine Mouth. In the darkest night, we are within the Divine Presence -- we need only abandon our commitment to materialist illusions of reality.

In a reading, the Tower may mean ambition, fighting, war, courage, danger, destruction, ruin or fall. (Compare to the Emperor.)

The bottom strip shows that the Tower is Atu number 16, assigned to the 27th Path of the Sepher Yetzirah and to the Planet Mars. The Tower is the Path between Hod (8) and Netzach (7) on the Tree of Life. It is given the Hebrew Letter PEH, whose gematriatic number is 80 and whose meaning is "mouth." The Tower is associated with the musical note Middle C.

THE DEVIL, 15

The Devil is the seventh Path we take on our return up the Tree of Life. It is "bondage to the material" resulting from our continued emotional commitment to the fallen Tower.

Across the base of the card, Black and White Triangles are linked in such a way that they create a chain of bondage instead of the balanced Yin and Yang partners of the Hexagram of Creation. This is illusion. This card is all about illusion. The two chained figures in the foreground have covered their eyes to Divine Reality and produce a physical reality in which flames engulf them and they are bound to the remnants of their broken dreams -- the truncated column, all that's left of their Tower.

One clawed foot on the Altar of Materialism and one upon the purple terrace (rising in back toward the fire) stands the Devil. Feet of a bird, legs and horns of a goat, the tail of a dragon, the wings of a bat (flying mammal), face, body and arms of a man. One hand gives the sign Spock associates with "Live long and prosper" while the other holds a Wand with a sharply pointed base and a bowled top in the shape of a human face with flames rising out of it for hair. He has the down pointed Pentagram upon his chest, showing that he subordinates Spirit to the Four lesser Elements, and he uses this perverted energy to animate the Qlippothic reflection of the Divine Elements, as represented by the blue Cross upon his belly.

At the right float four masks representing the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual Worlds, the last bringing an understanding that turns the others on their heads.

And above it all, ruling it, is the Eye of Horus, the Eye of God, showing that even in what we perceive as Hell, we have only to open our eyes to the Divine Reality to be free of our imaginary chains.

In a reading, the Devil may mean materialism, material force or material temptation. Obsession, particularly if associated with the Lovers.

The information strip tells us that the Devil is Trump number 15, assigned to the 26th Path of the Sepher Yetzirah and to the Cardinal Earth Sign Capricorn. The Devil is the Path between Hod (8) and Tiphareth (6) on the Tree of Life. It is assigned the Hebrew Letter AYIN, whose value is 70 and whose meaning is "eye." The musical note is A# above middle C.

TEMPERANCE, 14

Temperance is the eighth Path we ascend upon the Tree of Life. It shows the Kerub of Fire, the Lion, nurtured and balanced by Water and the Kerub of Water, the Eagle, nurtured and balanced by Fire. It is the Balanced Union of Yin and Yang within one's self.

The central figure here is androgynous in an Archangelic way -- not so much without gender as beyond gender, beyond sexuality. Upon his/her tunic is a Seven Pointed Star, representing the Planets as symbols of the lower aspects of personality. Above this, a triangular pendant hangs, symbol of the Supernal Triad and the higher aspirations of the soul which should rule over the material nature. She/he stands upon the serpent, showing triumph over temptation.

Two mountains rise in the background, one established and therefore subject to erosion and decline, while the other is an active volcano, restless and growing. A river flows from the walls of the volcano thru a green and fertile land, showing the necessity of fiery pressure in bringing water up from deep in the Earth. The River is crossed by a bridge which connects the conscious and subconscious worlds thru spiritual communion.

Between the two mountains, the Sun rises behind a rainbow created by the storm clouds above. On either side is a Crescent Moon, one Waxing and one Waning. In the center is a head of two faces, one dark and the other light, one male and the other female, crowned and divided by the Serpent of Wisdom.

In one of the traditional forms of this card, the central figure is drawing a bow to send a great arrow upward to the Sun of Tiphareth. In this version of Temperance, the central figure is that arrow. The Winged Halo shows the Soul ascending thru the Rainbow to become one balanced whole with His Anima or Her Animas.

The Rainbow is formed of Sunlight passing thru Water vapor. It is the Bow of the Promise that we shall one day be free of the Wheel of Karma -- when we allow ourselves to accept enlightenment by Divine Fire. This is further emphasized by the Solar Disc upon the central figure's brow.

In a reading, Temperance may mean the admixture of various forces or skills, action or understanding.

The information strip shows that Temperance is Trump number 14, is assigned to the 25th Path of the Sepher Yetzirah and the Mutable Fire Sign Sagittarius. It connects the Moon of Yesod (9) with the Sun of Tiphareth (6) and is therefore a very powerful Symbol of Transformation thru the removal of barriers. Temperance is given to the Hebrew Letter SAMEKH, whose value is 60 and whose meaning is "prop." The musical note is G# above middle C.

DEATH, 13

Death is the ninth Path encountered as we climb the Tree of Life. It is a card of radical transformation, especially the destruction of the out-moded or superficial to make way for the new and Spiritual. It is not a card of physical death unless very badly aspected.

The central figure is Death as one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse -- a skeleton, on horseback and wielding a scythe. Here, she/he also carries a pennant of Black overlaid with a White Rose of Five petals. He/she rides above a landscape strewn with heads, hands and feet, from some of which grow flowers. Our daily deaths nurture the soil of our lives, or poison it -- we determine which by our choices, by our Words and Images, "for by Words and Images are all Powers awakened and re-awakened." Among the fallen are both commoners and royalty, showing that material decline strikes us all. The feet are our material natures, our hands are controlled by our mental natures and the head is our emotional natures while the blood soaking into the soil is our spiritual nature -- but the Soul is set free.

Beyond the River of Redemption lies the land of the Spirit. Here there is a fence past which mortality is known to be a myth and an illusion. A great stairway rises toward the setting Sun, surrounded by clouds and by bubbles containing the liberated souls formerly held in the cages of flesh struck down below.

Symbols of the Sign Scorpio abound. The Scorpion shows the threat of physical pain and death appropriate to this autumnal card. The lobster shows a permutation of this creature into a source of nutrition. The fish leaps with life. The serpent in the foreground is the wisdom arising from experience. The Eagle soars as a symbol of the freedom of the spirit.

In a reading, Death may mean time, age, transformation, forced change or transition. If very badly aspected it may mean destruction or even death.

The information strip at the foot of the card shows that Death is Trump number 13 and that it is assigned to the 24th Path of the Sepher Yetzirah and the Kerubic or Fixed Water Sign Scorpio. Death connects Netzach (7) and Tiphareth (6). It is given the Hebrew Letter NUN which has the gematriatic value 50 and means "fish." The Golden Dawn assigns the musical note G above middle C to this card.

THE HANGED MAN, 12

The Hanged Man is the tenth Path we encounter as we climb the Tree of Life. It connects Hod and Geburah, the two lower Sephiroth on the Pillar of Severity. It is a card of suspension manifesting as anything from meditation to a period of testing to crucifixion.

The Hanged Man features a tree of twelve branches, each bearing the symbol of one of the Signs of the Zodiac. From the branch of Libra, a man in harlequin is suspended by one foot, his hands either bound or clasped behind his back. About his head is a halo and he gazes at his reflection in the pool beneath him. He wears the Cross of Matter and his tunic is decorated with crescent Moons -- these with the full Moon rising behind symbolize the Triple Goddess. The Cup of Elemental Water sits close by, at the point where water meets shore. A candle burns in the background and the Serpent of Wisdom, Nehushtan, emerges like a root of the tree and glides across the pond.

In a reading, the Hanged Man may mean enforced sacrifice, punishment, loss and suffering generally. Well aspected, it may be a period of forced waiting, gestation, child birth or even meditation.

The information strip shows that the Hanged Man is Atu number 12, assigned to the 23rd Path of the Sepher Yetzirah, to the Element Water and to the Planet Neptune. The Hanged Man connects Hod (8) and Geburah (5). It corresponds to the Hebrew Letter MEM which has the gematriatic value 40 and means "water." The musical note is G# above middle C.

JUSTICE, 11

Justice is the eleventh Path we deal with as we raise ourselves up the Tree of Life. Here we come to terms with our Karma -- the accumulated burden of responsibility for our past acts.

The central figure is a woman with six arms in which she holds a Sword, a leash connected to a lion, an egg, a chalice from which flames emerge and a pair of scales, while one hand is empty but points upward to the Source of All. The Sword is the Sword of Justice, which points down to show that the process of justice suspends action for a time. The Lion is the animal nature which is easily offended and strongly inclined to violence, but it is leashed to show that it is subject to a higher will. The egg shows the new beginning made possible by the act of justice. The flames spouting from the chalice are filled with snakes and flowers and give off an acrid black smoke, showing that, while the burning off of Karmic debt may be an ugly procedure, beauty and wisdom are the end result. The scales show the perfect balance of true Divine Justice.

Beneath and behind the scales stands an angel holding a book whose title is 30, the gematriatic value of LAMED. The angel points up and to the left to the Hand which has just placed the Crown of Kether upon the central figure's head.

On one of the pillars behind are two hands in an attitude of prayer, seeking Divine Guidance that Divine Justice may be done. On the other pillar is a crystal ball thru which the Truth may be Divined.

In a reading, Justice may mean Eternal Justice and Balance. Strength and Force arrested as in the act of judgement (compare Strength). Sometimes a court of law, legal proceedings or a trial.

The strip at the bottom of this card shows that Justice is Major Arcana number 11 and that it is assigned to the 22nd Path of the Sepher Yetzirah and the Cardinal Air Sign Libra. Justice connects Tiphareth (6) and Geburah (5). Justice is given the Hebrew Letter LAMED whose gematriatic value is 30 and whose meaning is "ox goad." The Golden Dawn assigns this Path the musical note F# above middle C.

THE WHEEL OF FORTUNE, 10

The Wheel of Fortune is the twelfth Path we encounter as we return toward the God- Head in Kether and beyond. It brings together the Four Elements and the process of Change.

In the corners of the Wheel of Fortune four figures read books. In the upper left, the head of a Man represents the fixed or Kerubic Air Sign Aquarius. The Eagle is the highest aspect of the Kerubic Water Sign Scorpio. The Lion is the Kerubic Fire Sign Leo. The Bull is the Kerubic Earth Sign Taurus.

In the center is a Wheel whose title is ROTA, which means wheel and is the root for the word "rotation." These letters also spell TARO -- the Tarot, a system for describing the various aspects of the eternal rotation of the Universe and divining where we are in that process. These letters are interspersed with the Letters of the Tetragrammaton, YOD-HEH-VAV-HEH, which stand for, among other things, the Four Elements and the Four Worlds of the Qabala, and the Word YHVH itself is one of the most powerful invocations of the Divine.

Within the Wheel is a Cross of Eight Arms, Four attributed to the Elements and Four to the midpoints between them, showing that all things are created by combining the Four Elements. The Pentagram at the hub of the Wheel shows that the process of combining the Four Material Elements is conducted under the authority of the Divine, the Fifth Element, Spirit.

A male Sphinx, with the head of Anubis and reading a book, supports the Wheel upon his back while a female Sphinx, whose fore parts are human and rear parts those of a lion and who holds a sword, rides upon it.

To the right is an Angel reading a book. To the left is a shield displaying three crescent Moons and a serpent with heads at either end, showing that Life and Knowledge of Life flow up and down the Tree, and that the Wheel may turn in any direction.

Above, the Hand of Spirit is clenched into a fist, the meaning of the Hebrew Letter assigned to this card. The Five Points of the central star each point to one of the Five Elements which are arranged in the order used for Enochian Invocations and Magickal workings.

In a reading, the Wheel of Fortune may mean good fortune and happiness. A change of fortune, usually for the better. If badly aspected, intoxication with success.

The information strip shows that the Wheel of Fortune is Trump number 10, assigned to the 21st Path of the Sepher Yetzirah and the Planet Jupiter. The Wheel of Fortune connects Netzach (7) and Chesed (4). This card is given the Hebrew Letter KAPH which has the gematriatic value 20 and means "fist." The musical note assigned to the Wheel of Fortune is A# above middle C.

THE HERMIT, 9

The Hermit is the thirteenth Path we climb as we move up the Tree of Life. It is an image of movement upward upon the Spiritual Path, the assertion that we must walk this Path alone, but, also that "In all thy wandering in Darkness, the Lamp of the Kerux went before thee, though it was not seen by thine eyes. It is the Symbol of the Light of the Hidden Knowledge."

The central figure is a mature man in medieval robes carrying the Lamp of the Hidden Knowledge and the Wand, symbol of its Directing Power. On the hem of his robe is a dogwood blossom, symbol of personal sacrifice and his feet are bare to show that we cannot be shielded from the earth upon which we tred.

In the foreground is the three headed dog Cerberus, one head alert and intelligent, one stupid and indifferent, one hostile and slavering. It represents the three primary attitudes toward Spiritual Teaching and the Spiritual Path.

The wheat growing behind the Hermit shows material abundance and, therefore, the materialistic life view he has left behind, but it is also a symbol of the Divine nourishment which will carry him along his Path. Before him is a flower whose blossom depicts a Pentagram, symbol of Manifestation balanced under the Dominion of Spirit.

Two eggs float above, one containing a male human child, the other circled by the Serpent of Wisdom. These show the initiatory aspect of this card derived from its assigned Hebrew Letter YOD -- first of the Letters of Tetragrammaton and the simplest and primary stroke of the brush in constructing the Hebrew Letters.

A Divine Hand reaches down, a Rainbow arching out from Its Fingers. It has just cast five gems in the colors of the Five Elements toward the Hermit, showing that all the gifts of Creation come from God, including the gift of Spirit.

In a reading, the Hermit may represent actively seeking and the process of attaining Divine Wisdom or Divine Inspiration and the attainment of them.

The bottom strip shows that the Hermit is Atu number 9, assigned to the 20th Path of the Sepher Yetzirah and the Mutable Earth Sign Virgo. It connects the Sephiroth Tiphareth (6) and Chesed (4). The Hermit corresponds to the Hebrew Letter YOD whose value is 10 and whose meaning is "hand." The Golden Dawn assigns the note F above middle C to this card.

STRENGTH, 8

Strength is the fourteenth Path we encounter as we return up the Tree of Life. It is the reciprocal Path between Chesed and Geburah, Mercy and Severity, and it shows us how to mediate between these extremes.

The central figure is an ageless woman in a White dress, White symbolizing purity. Her vest is adorned with Lilies, emblem of rebirth. About her brow is a wreath of wild White Roses with Five petals each. In her right hand is a Sword with a smiling skull on its hilt. It is point downward to tell us that the destructive energy it often represents is grounded in this glyph. Her left hand rests upon a happy, and almost audibly purring, Lion. This is the key to the meaning of this card -- that Love can rule over the animal nature where Coercion fails.

On either side of the central figure's head are bubbles containing the Greek letters Alpha and Omega, representing the Beginning and the End. These are linked by the Infinity Sign above her head (sidewise 8 -- Mobius strip) showing that the Beginning and End are illusions which constantly pour into each other.

The Scales above her represent the even-handedness of Divine Love.

In a reading, Strength may signify courage, strength, fortitude. Power acting upon its object and passing thru it to further action (compare Justice). Badly aspected it may mean obstinacy.

The information at the foot of this card shows that Strength is Major Arcana number 8 and that it is assigned to the 19th Path of the Sepher Yetzirah and the Fixed or Kerubic Fire Sign Leo. It is also assigned to the Hebrew Letter TETH which has the gematriatic value 9 and means "snake." The musical note for Strength is E above middle C.

THE CHARIOT, 7

The Chariot is the fifteenth Path we meet on our journey up the Tree of Life. Here we come to terms with the illusion of duality, bringing the apparently disparate components of Creation into balance and then recognizing their true Unity, all thru mental discipline.

The Chariot is sometimes called the Charioteer, for it is his personality which dominates the card. He is a heavy warrior dressed in body armor. A Blue banner, representing the sky, streams from his helmet, on which a Pentagram is embossed. On his collar are the faces of Comedy and Tragedy. His gantleted hands hold an arrow pointed Heavenward and reins reaching out to two composite creatures which pull in opposite directions.

On the front of the Chariot, a winged Solar disk surmounts the Taoist symbol of the Universe, the Active, the Passive and the Path between, all comprising a harmonious Whole. In the background are a castle, a tower and fenced lands, showing dominion and the possessiveness and paranoia that it promotes.

In a reading, the Chariot may represent triumph, victory, health, success. If badly aspected these may be unstable and transitory.

The information strip shows that The Chariot is Trump number 7, assigned to the 18th Path of the Sepher Yetzirah and the Cardinal Water Sign Cancer. It connects Geburah (5) and Binah (3) at the top of the Pillar of Severity. Strength is also assigned the Hebrew Letter CHETH, whose gematriatic value is 8 and whose meaning is "fence." The musical note is D# above middle C.

THE LOVERS, 6

The Lovers is the sixteenth Path we encounter on the climb back up the Tree of Life. It reflects the return to Grace resulting from the Divine re-Union of apparent opposites.

A man and woman, wearing the velvet and ermine robes and the crowns of European royalty, come together at the apex of their respective Paths. They are bound together at the wrists by a golden cord, a traditional part of the marriage ritual. Between them they hold a Pueblo bridal pitcher illustrated with a sacred Thunderbird flying skyward. Their Union is blessed by the Archangel hovering above them.

In the foreground, the Lion of Fire (Leo) and the Eagle of Water (Scorpio) face each other across a winged egg (Mercury) around which is coiled the Serpent of Wisdom who guides us back up the Tree of Life. The Lion is the subconscious male (Yang) self of the woman. The Eagle is the subconscious female (Yin) self of the man. The space between the stairways represents the Abyss between the Material Creation and the Supernals -- the gulf we must cross if we are to return to the Supernal Eden -- and the alchemical marriage of our Yin and Yang selves is a necessary step in this process. The Archangel and the Winged Egg represent the active forces necessary to reunite our selves to our Selves in such a way that we can be reborn in Divine Grace.

The Three Pillars of the Tree of Life, somewhat masked, stand behind the happy couple, each capped by a Cherub. The Tree of Life is in the background on our left with the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil on our right, the serpent of the temptation coiled about it -- this is not the Serpent Nehushtan who leads us up the Tree of Life. Above, the bluebirds of happiness approach from both sides, nesting materials in their beaks.

In a reading, the Lovers may be passive or mediumistic inspiration, as opposed to the active forms of inspiration of the Hierophant, the Magician and the Hermit. Also, motive power and the action arising from Inspiration and impulse. Alchemical union compelled from without. Marriage blessed from Above.

The data strip shows that The Lovers is Atu number 6, allotted to the 17th Path of the Sepher Yetzirah and the Mutable Air Sign Gemini. It connects the Sephiroth Tiphareth (6) and Binah (3). The Lovers is also assigned to the Hebrew Letter ZAYIN whose gematriatic value is 7 and whose meaning is "armor." The Golden Dawn gives this card the musical note D above middle C.

THE HIEROPHANT, 5

The Hierophant is the seventeenth Path we must cross on our return up the Tree of Life. It is the external teachings which form a scaffolding to support our responsible progression up the Divine Path.

The Hierophant sits upon an ornate throne wearing priestly vestments and a crown of authority. In his left hand is a long Wand whose gold top represents the Nine Upper Sephiroth on the Tree of Life while the wooden handle represents Malkuth. His right hand is held before his face with the fingers arranged in a traditional pattern used in projecting energy, particularly when blessing.

The throne has a triple back topped by spheres. The one on the left is decorated with Three interlocked Rings showing the Unity of the Supernal Triad. The one on our right holds a Five Pointed Star which represents the Four Earthly Elements combined under the authority and inspiration of Spirit. Between and above them, the larger sphere displays a five leafed clover as a symbol of the other two combined. The throne is placed on a dais between and before two Rainbow Columns whose colors reflect the true nature of the Divine Path.

At the Hierophant's feet kneel two students, the robe of one decorated with lilies and the other with roses. Behind is a bull elephant and in the four corners are the Kerubs of Air, Water, Fire and Earth. An Angel bearing a Solar Wand and a crescent Moon rises behind the Lion's head.

In a reading, the Hierophant may be Divine Wisdom, teaching, explanation, manifestation, occult wisdom. If badly aspected, religious rather than spiritual authority, religious dogma and the bigotry arising from it or even religious persecution.

The information strip shows that the Hierophant is Major Arcana number 5, assigned the 16th Path in the Sepher Yetzirah and the Kerubic or Fixed Earth Sign Taurus. It connects the Sephiroth Chesed (4) and Chokmah (2) at the head of the Pillar of Mercy. The Hierophant is allotted the Hebrew Letter VAV which has the gematriatic value 6 and which means "nail." The musical note is middle C#.

THE EMPEROR, 4

The Emperor is the eighteenth Path whose lessons we must absorb to return up the Tree to Kether. He is that aspect of the Father (Chokmah) who protects and initiates the Son (Tiphareth).

The central figure is a mature man with a crown of laurel about his brow. His hair and beard are white. He is lost in meditation upon his responsibility to wield his power wisely. In his left hand, he holds an orb representing the World. In his right hand he holds a Scepter which represents, among other things, the World Tree -- the Cross upon which the redeemer Gods (his sons, among them, Odin, Prometheus, Osiris and Jeheshuah) are sacrificed.

Rams heads appear on his throne, his Scepter and the brooch which closes his cape -- they symbolize power and adventure. The lamb at his feet holds a flag of peace and represents the peaceful and domestic qualities of the species. The true leader must know when to lead his/her people and when to follow them.

The Eagles on his throne and shield represent the higher spiritual aspects of his rule. The column of flame on his right is that Pillar of Fire which guides the pilgrim by night. The Sun rising in the window behind him guides the pilgrim by day. The Eye of Horus sees all and communicates what it sees to That Which Is Beyond.

In a reading, the Emperor represents change, fatherhood, initiating power, war, conquest, victory, strife and the ambition which fuels them (compare the Tower).

The data strip shows that the Emperor is Trump number 4, allotted the 15th Path of the Sephirah Yetzirah and the Cardinal Fire Sign Aries. It connects the Sephiroth Tiphareth (6) and Chokmah (2) on the Tree of Life -- Prince to King. The Emperor is assigned the Hebrew Letter HEH, which has the value 5 and which means "window." The Golden Dawn connects this Path with the musical note middle C.

THE EMPRESS, 3

The Empress is the nineteenth Path we must process as we make the pilgrimage to the top of the Tree of Life. She is the highest Path which connects the Pillars of Mercy and Severity. She displays her integration of Force and Form as pregnancy.

The central figure is an overtly pregnant woman who is obviously happy about her status. She wears a necklace of pearls, the gem produced by oysters as a protection (Binah) against the irritation of a foreign object (Chokmah). Upon her head is a Crown of Twelve Stars, the Signs of the Zodiac which is assigned to Chokmah. Above her floats a crown whose shape is that of two Lunar Crescents with the Full Moon in their midst surmounted by the Cross of Matter. In her hand is a phallic scepter with a New Moon above and a heart below.

The swan in the foreground nurtures her young, an obvious symbol of fertility and motherhood. Fertility, along with beauty, is further shown by the apple tree and the flowers in pots to our left. The pots are decorated with Moons, Stars and birds. The scales opposite the swan represent the balance between the heads of the Two Pillars. The Pillars themselves are represented behind the Empress. The flaming column on the right supports an Eagle, symbol of independence, Force and paternity, while the column on the left is topped by a nesting dove, symbol of organization, Form and maternity. A dove flies out the open doorway into a moonlit landscape featuring a waterfall, green fields and a rose bush. The coins on the floor show both material bounty and the transcendence over the material expressed by the Empress.

In a reading, the Empress may signify beauty, happiness, pleasure, success or luxury. If badly aspected, the Empress may mean debauch.

The information shows that the Empress is Atu number 3, assigned to the Yetziratic Path 14 and the Planet Venus. It connects Binah (3) with Chokmah (2) -- the Heads of the Pillar of Severity and the Pillar of Mercy; Queen with King. The Empress is allotted the Hebrew Letter DALETH, whose gematriatic value is 4 and whose meaning is "door." The Golden Dawn gives this Path the musical note F# above middle C.

THREE PATHS TO KETHER

Three Paths enter/leave Kether. The Fool, The Magician and The High Priestess. The Fool is unconscious, totally trusting, naive, living in Grace, Yin. The Magician is conscious, willful, cynical, exerting control, Yang. The High Priestess is super-conscious, accepting, compassionate, flowing, Tao.

THE HIGH PRIESTESS, 2

The High Priestess is the Path which crosses the Abyss between Material and Spiritual at Daath. In Egypt the Sahara must have seemed an almost infinite abyss, and the Camel was the only beast who could cross it.

Behind the Camel are two Pyramids, emphasizing the Egyptian roots of the Golden Dawn, and, quite possibly, the Tarot. They also take the place of the two Pillars often found on other versions of this card. (These are the Black Pillar of Severity, Yin and Materiality on her right and the White Pillar of Mercy, Yang and Spirituality on her left.)

Above the two Pyramids floats a crescent Moon, the Planet of this card. The Lunar symbol is repeated in the crown worn by the High Priestess herself, which shows the three phases of the Moon and of life, waxing, full and waning. Full Moons also serve as feet upon her Throne.

The Throne has tulips sculpted into its back. Among the earliest of spring flowers, tulips are a symbol of life and of life after death. Crossing the Abyss must involve a rebirth experience, if only symbolically.

Upon the bodice of the High Priestess is a cross, signifying the perfect balance necessary to achieve her high level of spiritual evolution. The arms of the cross symbolize Earth or Physical reality, Air or Mental reality, Water or Emotional reality and Fire or Alchemical reality. Above the cross hangs a crystal, representing the fifth element, Spirit or Divine reality, the only True Reality.

The High Priestess holds a scroll, the Torah or Pentateuch which contains the allegories, morality plays and laws shared with the laity by the founding Rabbis in the Hebrew Mysteries. The red book is the hidden teachings, the originally oral teachings passed from Master to Initiate. In these teachings, the true meanings of the Pentateuch were shared -- shamanistic practices, gematriatic codes, occult correspondences, philosophical systems -- this book is the Qabala. The arrow shows that true initiation occurs in a sudden rush of intuition, after a long process of finding, refining and combining our base components in such a way as to transform them into Spiritual Gold -- the True Gold of Alchemy. The arrow also refers to the arrow of the Path of Samekh, Temperance.

As we are a reflection of the Divine -- as above, so below -- we may approach the Divine thru our reflection. So the High Priestess meditates upon her image in the mirror at her feet, seeking to perfectly know herself and, thereby, free herself of and from the dis-harmonies that lead away from awareness of the Divine Spirit dwelling within.

The High Priestess, and especially her magickal image, are guarded by two cats -- cats being sacred to the Egyptians. They are also the creatures of Sekhmet, the Lion Goddess and dark side of Hathor, the Cow Goddess and original All-Mother of the Egyptians.

The pinecone at the left, the fruit and the crystals represent rebirth from the apparently dead, nourishment and transmutation of Light and, therefore, Life. These are the three Lunar phases re-stated in much the same way that the mirror restates the High Priestess.

In a reading, the High Priestess may symbolize change, alteration, increase and decrease, fluctuation. She is Spiritual understanding as opposed to the religious authority of the Hierophant. Due to her passivity, whether she acts for good or ill depends on the cards around her.

The data strip at the foot of this card shows that the High Priestess is Trump number 2 and Yetziratic Path number 13. It is assigned the Planet Luna (the Moon) and connects Tiphareth (6) and Kether (1) -- Son and Source. The High Priestess is given to the Hebrew Letter GIMEL whose gematriatic value is 3 and which, as a word, means "camel." The musical note is G#.

THE MAGICIAN, 1

The Magician connects the Archetypal Form of Binah with the Pure Beingness of Kether.

The Magician stands with one hand raised toward heaven and the other pointing to the Earth. This not only asserts "as above, so below," but also the corollary that what we Will on the mental level will manifest on the material level. These principles are further enunciated by the Six Rayed Star upon his breast and by the Yin/Yang symbol used as a belt buckle.

Before him is the Double Cubical Altar of the Universe which carries the Pentacle of Earth, the Sword of Air, the Cup of Water and the Wand of Fire, showing that The Magician controls all of the elements of Creation. His Bird's Head Scepter shows that he controls these elements by the authority of, and thru the infusion of, Spirit.

The Magician wears the red cape of passion with the white lining of purity over a blue tunic of spirituality and peace. His winged cap shows both his spiritual and intellectual powers. The point of the cap directs our attention to the mathematical sign for Infinity above his head -- they are in the center of the Aura or Halo surrounding his Crown Chakra, which is the place of Kether in the human sphere. This Halo is echoed by that around the Sun (source of all earthly life) and the Crown floating above the Magician's house in the distance.

Mercury, holding aloft his Caduceus, leads a Lion foreward, the two representing (again) "mind over matter." Lilies and roses bloom. A candle burns, symbol of Divine Light. The Secrets are bound upon the stairs. An egg shows the Potential for Birth, of what we know not. But we may Imagine, and in doing so, Create.

In a reading, the Magician may be skill, wisdom, adaptation, craft, occult wisdom or cunning.

The information strip shows that the Magician is Atu number 1, assigned to the 12th Path of the Sephirah Yetzirah and the Planet Mercury. It connects the Sephiroth Binah (3) and Kether (1), the heads of the Pillar of Severity and the Pillar of Equilibrium on the Tree of Life. The Magician is allotted the Hebrew Letter BETH which has the gematriatic value 2 and the meaning "house." The musical note is E above middle C.

THE FOOL, 0

The Fool is in Medieval Harlequin costume. He has the red rose of Spirit between his teeth, oblivious of the thorns. His worldly goods, his karma, is so light that a handkerchief on a wand is adequate to carry it. The wand itself symbolizes Yang qualities while the glass of water in his other hand symbolizes Yin qualities. Together they show both his perfect balance and the coming together of the Archetypal Energies necessary to fuel his leap into new life.

The dog, on a leash held carelessly by the Fool, shows that the animal energies and entities are the willing servants of the Divinely Innocent.

The Crocodile is the Egyptian God of Creativity. The Lion symbolizes both our fears and the strength necessary to overcome them. The coins show that, by releasing control and opening ourselves to the Universe, all our material needs will be attended to. The three lilies, symbolic of body/mind/spirit, suggest new life and transformation.

The Fool is walking down a staircase. On the step above is a fire out of which he has just stepped, reborn from the ashes of his former self. This theme is restated in the Phoenix which flies loops of joy in the background. The Sun shines brightly, the Flower of Spirit appearing in its center.

A FOOL'S FABLE

The Fool was challenged by his King to do or say something totally outrageous and then excuse it with something even more outrageous. The Fool sulked a bit, then wandered off in defeat, to the laughter of the court.

A short while later the King leaped from his seat with an oath. "Who has pinched the royal posterior?"

The guards dragged the Fool from behind the throne.

"Pardon, Sire. I thought it was the Queen."

To get away with something like this one must be operating from a place of total innocence. Not naivete, which is simply a charming ignorance of "normal constraints." Not rebellion, which is a clinging to constraints by opposing them directly. Innocence which sees constraints as having no relevance. He is in this world but not of it.

In a reading about spiritual things, the Fool may symbolize idea, thought, spirituality itself, that which desires to rise above the material, idealism, initiation. Because of this idealism, in a reading about material matters, the Fool tends to represent folly, stupidity, excessive eccentricity or even mental illness.

The data strip shows that this is Trump number 0 (zero). The Fool is the Eleventh Path of the Sepher Yetzirah. The Golden Dawn assigns the Fool to the Element Air, and it is also the Outer or Trans-personal Planet Uranus. It connects Chokmah (2) and Kether (1), the heads of the Pillar of Mercy and the Pillar of Equilibrium. The Fool is given to the Hebrew Letter ALEPH, whose value is 1. Aleph means "ox." The musical note is E above middle C.


USING THE TAROT

Among the things we can use the Tarot for are Meditation, Magick, Self-analysis, Divination, Fortune Telling and Mnemonics. Rather than go into each of these in depth, I have decided to write a brief overview and add a reading list. As one of my teachers said, I don't feel I even begin to know a subject until I've read at least five books about it, and there are dozens, if not hundreds, of insightful and illuminating books available on Tarot.

Meditation using the Tarot involves taking a card which represents an Archetype or process with which you wish to become more involved, focusing your attention on it until you can recall it in detail with your eyes closed and then allowing the images which come up to flow within you. Ideally, they should be written down as they occur or immediately after your session or related, as they are happening, to a tape recorder or partner.

Magick and self-analysis are specific applications of meditation.

Magick using the Tarot is similar to meditation except that, rather than simply coming to know the Energies of the card or cards, we seek to invoke them into our lives. This work should always be done within a ritually protected space following careful consideration of the potential consequences. Always invoke the highest and most positive Beings to guide and protect you in this and all other Magickal workings -- never invoke Demons, Devils or other Qlippothic entities. When the Gods, the Archangels, the Angels and the Divine Elementals enjoy working with humans to increase the Light and Life in the Universe, it is stupid and self-destructive to go to the dark side for "help."

Self-analysis with the Tarot involves applying the Archetypes represented by the cards to your own personal processes to give you insight on your progress and help you see past your blinders. This is tricky -- as Paul Simon says "...a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest." It is always best to work with a partner you can trust.

Divination and fortune telling are often confused with one another because they are so similar. The fundamental differences between them arise from the spirituality and situational attitudes of the practitioner (and to a much smaller extent, the querent). Fortune telling is, as the magazine ads point out, "for entertainment only." As one friend who used to do this said, you start with a vague reference to the image of the card and let the querent fill in the gaps -- the practitioner talks as little as possible, letting the subject bring up their own interpretation. Little knowledge is required for this and the results can be anything from enlightening to damning. The motive of the reader is generally to produce income.

Divination involves reading the cards with and for Divine Guidance, hence the name. The true Diviner has invoked Divine and/or Angelic Powers into the cards and into the process of reading them. The work is done for the benefit of the subject as an evolving Child of God. While some form of compensation may be exchanged, the primary purpose of the reader is to assist a fellow being in his or her growth, thereby enhancing the reader's own.

Mnemonics means "memory enhancement techniques." What we use the Tarot for, mnemonically, is the memorization of Occult principles and information. The Tarot has been correlated with Astrology, the Qabalistic Tree of Life, the Hebrew Alphabet and other spiritual philosophies and constructs by the Golden Dawn and its ante-cedents and off-shoots, and it can be used to help learn these various sciences and to appreciate their connectedness.


RECOMMENDED BOOKS

THE NEW GOLDEN DAWN RITUAL TAROT
Chic Cicero, Sandra Tabatha Cicero
Llewellyn Publications

THE QABALISTIC TAROT
Robert Wang
Samuel Weiser, Inc.

THE BOOK OF THOTH
Aleister Crowley
Samuel Weiser, Inc.

TAROT MIRROR OF THE SOUL
Gerd Ziegler
Samuel Weiser, Inc.

THE GOLDEN DAWN
Israel Regardie
Llewellyn Publications

TAROT
Paul Foster Case
B. O. T. A.

BOOK OF TOKENS
Paul Foster Case
B. O. T. A.

THE MYSTICAL QABALA
Dion Fortune


BACKGROUND

ARTIST'S BIOGRAPHY

Margaret Parrott was born 22 October 1918 on her grandparents farm in northern Wisconsin. Her childhood was spent in Pierre, South Dakota. She got her BA in art from the University of Wisconsin. Margaret married Raymond Parrott shortly before Pearl Harbor. They have two sons and a daughter, all of whom are well educated, creative, interesting, rugged individuals. After 30 years of government service, they retired to Albuquerque where they recently celebrated their fiftieth anniversary.

Over the years, Mrs. Parrott has taught everything from pre-school to senior citizen art classes. She has participated in art shows and sold her work through galleries everywhere she's lived. Margaret's work is in private collections worldwide.

Recently, she has created two decks of playing cards, one with Pueblo Kachinas on the face cards and the other with Northwest Coastal Native American masks. Mrs. Parrott's belief, rooted in the teachings of Jesus, that all spiritual paths have but one source, and that the icons of each path support and augment those of the others, has led her to produce, in collaboration with her son, Thom, the 82 card Parrott Tarot.

AUTHOR'S BIOGRAPHY

Thom Parrott, born in Washington, D.C., on 21 July l944 at 7:30 PM, began reading the Tarot in 1980 while taking a class in Wicca from Oz in Albuquerque, NM. The ritual beginning his initiation into the Craft was performed the evening John Lennon was killed.

In the intervening years, he has studied various occult arts and sciences including astrology and Ceremonial Magick, always focusing on the Tarot as his preferred method of divination and as an explication of the Unity of All Things within a single Divine Whole.

Thom is an award winning songwriter and performer with two albums in release. With A. A. MacGregor, he co-authored the award winning and successfully produced play: The Murder Game.


Copyright 2000 by Thom Parrott, email:
[email protected]


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