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“In my experience, everyone will say they want to discover the Truth, right up until they realize that the Truth will rob them of their deepest held ideas, beliefs, hopes, and dreams. The freedom of enlightenment means much more than the experience of love and peace. It means discovering a Truth that will turn your view of self and life upside-down. For one who is truly ready, this will be unimaginably liberating. But for one who is still clinging in any way, this will be extremely challenging indeed. How does one know if they are ready? One is ready when they are willing to be absolutely consumed, when they are willing to be fuel for a fire without end.”
Once again I offer you my authentic confusion. I’ve been somewhat obsessively watching the news from the U.S. and I feel dismay, anger and frustration. I am not surprised that Donald Trump revealed himself to be a bigot who would take the United States down a draconian path but that so many people would read and hear his ideas about immigration and not only find them reasonable but agree with them? Wow! A victory has been won for fear, uncertainty and doubt.
For those of us that fear the other, the internet must come as an cultural shock. Constantly we are bombarded with people who follow different religious beliefs and or lifestyles. If I lived happily in a rural area and never wished to travel and interact with different demographics I would find it difficult to be online at all. If I believed that my way of life was the only ‘correct’ one I would find myself beaten down by the realization that so many others had ‘gotten it wrong’.
Instead I have always had this intense need to understand others and try to see life from their point of view. I don’t believe that there is a wrong way except perhaps to limit myself to one viewpoint at a time.
Yet I don’t have answers and I keep discovering more questions and paradoxes as I go. I might find it comforting to stick to one point of view and eschew all others and the people who hold them. Yet that would not be being my authentic self.
Click on image to see full-sized:
Shaping Stars by G A Rosenberg
Vigil by G A Rosenberg
Night Phoenix Abstract by G A Rosenberg
XX-The Aeon / Judgement (△)(♇)
The Aeon / Judgement by G A Rosenberg
A New Aeon calls
all in radient glory
New Purpose Awakes.
What does a butterfly say when it hears the call ?
I crawled for so long
feeling earth and bark beneath me
Kept down by gravity
then one day I heard a call
I followed my instincts
points of light
and strange dreams
within the cocoon
with strange voices offering guidance
New colours and tones
previously beyond my sense
Then an awakening
I could fly in beauty
with understanding and insight
which I could not have conceived.
I was born anew in wonder
and reached heights unknown.
New challenges were there as well
I have lived ever since
calling the sky my own.
Today I heard the call again
and I prepare to enter
What will become of me now?
Up to now, the Major Arcana has been about reconciling the self in one form or another. The Sun marked the final resolution and combination of ourself with our shadow. The Aeon or Judgement shows the awakening or calling to higher purpose that comes afterwards. In earlier periods, this card was called Judgement and depicted the biblical calling forth from the graves at the blowing of the angel Gabriel’s horn. This had the implication that one had to die and be reborn in order to receive this higher calling. With the coming of a new era it is known that life is ever regenerating and renewing and that Death is illusory. We are constantly undergoing transformation and being reborn. Thus the card’s new title reflects the age we live in now.
The word Aeon itself means a distinct period. This card reflects that in our lives we have personal Aeons as well as the universal ones. Periods that can be clearly demarcated from one another usually by some transformative event such as getting married, coming out, changing careers or changed philosophies of life. We may even think of it in these terms. This was who I was in that period. This is who I am now. During those years I was someone else. In reality, these changes usually happen more gradually over a period of time but usually there is one moment of realization or some event that we use that reflects the transition. It is these transformative events to which the Aeon trump refers. That spiritual awakening that once had, can never be reversed.
This can be a time of tremendous upheaval in our lives. Change is seldom easy or without consequence. Yet very few butterflies complain that they are no longer caterpillars nor can we stay in the cocoon beyond a certain point no matter how much we may fear the transition.
Astrological Correspondent – Fire (△) Planet Pluto(♇)-The Aeon like The Fool and The Hanged Man cards have a double astrological attribute, a planetary one and an elemental one. One of the reasons for this is that in the hebrew alphabet (used on the tree of life) the letters are split into three groups. These are the three Mother letters (Aleph, Mem, and Shin which represent the elements Air, Water and Fire), Seven Double letters (Beth, Gimel, Dalet, Koph, Peh, Resh and Tau which represent the seven known planets Moon, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, the Sun and Earth) and twelve Simple letters which represent the 12 signs of the zodiac. It all works rather nicely. However since these assignations were made three more planets were discovered in our solar system Uranus (who’s astrological nature fits well with Air), Neptune (a planet with a decidedly Watery nature and influence) and Pluto (a fiery influence). Some readers, deck designers and students of the tarot have connected the three planets with the three elemental cards. Since there is such a close fit and examination of any correlation can bring insight I include both possible influences in this writing.
Pluto’s influence is one of transformation and regeneration. It’s energy takes out what no longer works for our growth and development (sometimes forcibly) and replaces it with the challenges we most need. This is seldom a smooth transition. Pluto with its slow movement works mainly on a collective level, influencing generations and nations (ruled by whatever generation has come to power) more than individuals yet all are subject to its influence. Pluto takes us out of our own individual shells and transforms us towards the good of the all. Pluto as the planetary ruler of Scorpio tends to have influence over male sexuality as well
Fire is the elementary influence over the signs, Aries, Leo and Sagittarius. It is a creative enthusiastic force. It influences the areas where we are courageous and where we feel moved to action. The influence of fire may become a bit domineering and tend towards a sense of self-righteousness yet it is also that which leads us on to both creative and spiritual endeavours.
Runic Correspondent – Inguz (“Seed”)–Inguz is the bursting of the seed into fruition. It is the taking forth of all that we have and awakening to greater purpose. It is also the rune of male sexuality and of transformation. This is done through an awakening of the inner child. The rune also deals with the realization of one’s true will and reason for being. In Thelemic terms, this rune in its highest spiritual sense would represent the Knowledge and Conversation with one’s Holy Guardian Angel. Other runes associated with The Aeon or Judgement trump are Berkanos and Perthro.
Path on the Tree of Life-Path 31-ShinShin Means tooth and this path known as the Continuous Intelligence breaks us out of ourselves and connects us to our purpose in the universe. Shin contains three spiritual yods or points (and resembles a trident). It is the path of dispelling of the final illusions of being separate self-contained beings and shows us our connection to the flow of consciousness that runs through all things. It represents the spiritual renewal that we can gain through our connection to the greater life force. It connects the sephiroth of Hod (“Splendour”) and Malkuth (“The Kingdom”)
When The Aeon card turns up in a reading it may indicate that the querent is feeling a calling towards doing something more or greater in their lives than they have up to this point. It may come after events have shaken up their lives and it is the realization that with new insights that they have, they cannot go on living the same way they have been. The querent may have the idea that a shift has happened and that they need to actualize it in their lives. This can feel earth shattering but empowering as well. These changes will not be easy but there will be a propelling forwards as if once their intent is set out, things will fall into place and at the end of it they will have a new life. The card may also indicate a respite after a very confusing period, one in which the querent can find healing and support.
When reversed, the Aeon’s call is still felt, it is resisted by the querent however. Sometimes this may come from a feeling of unworthiness. It almost always comes from fear. It may be fear of change or it may be fear that one’s new life may not be acceptable to their family or loved ones. The querent may be closing their eyes tightly saying “No, nothing has changed, nothing has changed.” Yet something once seen cannot be unseen and the force of the Aeon is so strong that it has caused changes in how the querent sees themselves and the world around them. Outer change will follow in time no matter how strongly resisted.
XIX-The Sun (☉)
The Sun by G A Rosenberg
I see us clearly
Sunlit love in the garden
I have made it home
Seduced by the beauty
Of a fire-lit sky
on the water
I sit here
as my spirit sails
In wonderment and understanding
I’ve been taught
To live in truth and walk in beauty
I appreciate how far I’ve come
Yet my journey has barely begun
Can’t wait to see what happens next
And yet feel no rush.
I love this
and the life, world and being that have
brought me here
-G A Rosenberg
After the long dark night, we have the Sun. The shadows resolve themselves as we see that we are the ones who have cast them in the first place. The Sun trump means that on many levels we have reached and integrated our shadow selves and are able to live realized and complete lives of joy and laughter. It does not mean necessarily that we have realized what it is we must do with our new understanding. That comes later. It means tho that we have everything in perspective in a truly golden moment. We see ourselves as spiritual beings with a strong central core of self and with that understanding very little can phase us. We have regained our inner sense or innocence. it is not by coincidence that most portrayals of this card show garden imagery as in sense we have regained the garden and can now play both with child-like wonder and renewed understanding of who we are.
Astrological Correspondence – The Sun (☉) – Essentially the Astrological Sun is who we are at the core of our being. It might not be the self we show externally to the world or even ourselves, that is the ascendent. The Sun is our central nature, our core being. It is this reason why so many people, guided by newspaper and magazine columns tend to believe that their sun sign is the be all and end all of astrological influences. Other planets govern such things as our aspirations, who and what we love and fight for, our desires and our dreams but our Sun is our basic identity.
The sun influences our health and vitality. It is connected with royalty and with one’s paternal influence. It also has influence over our personal leadership style.
Runic Correspondence – Sowilo (“Sun”) –Sowilo means literally sun and is the rune of highest purpose. It is an energizing rune that energizes the chakras and revitalizes the body. It is also a rune of guidance and enhances psychic abilities. It strengthens the will and helps transmute force into action. It is a rune of completeness and victory. Other runes associated with the Sun trump are Gebo and Kano.
Path on the Tree of Life – Path 30 – Resh – Resh means the head. Since it connects the sephiroth of Hod(“Splendour”) ruled by Mercury and Yesod (“foundation”) ruled by the Moon, it can be seen as the path by which we use our reason or intellect to understand and realize our dreams. It is the path of fulfilment and realizing ambition and has been referred to as the General or Collecting Intelligence. It is a path of vitality and charisma.
When the Sun comes out in a reading, it indicates a time in the querent’s life where they are filled with confidence and the Sun is truly shining. It seems like even things that would normally be distressing are taken in their stride. Laughter and abundance are present and realized. This may often come after a time of confusion when the positive aspects of life were difficult to realize. The Sun is always shining even when there is the illusion of night. If the Sun shows up in a past position it may, depending on the other cards mean either that the querent is trying to recapture that positive feeling or has let themselves be thrown by whatever has come up that is obscuring that sun. In a future position it may easily mean that good times are ahead even if it doesn’t feel that way in the present. There is a clarity and simplicity associated with the Sun card. The Sun may also mean that the querent has realized or will realize a new level of understanding and insight as if they have been handed a new key to understanding. The Sun may have the simple mundane meaning of travel to warmer, sunnier climates.
When the Sun is reversed, the positive energy is still present, tho the querent cannot see it. Either worries about the outcome of the present situation or lack of self-confidence may be obscuring the view. This may happen because the querent is overcomplicating the situation and jumping at shadows. Perhaps what is missing for the querent is clarity and some inner work is needed to allow the sunlight in. The inverse sun may also indicate that the querent is being too optimistic and Polyanna like in their view of things and they are missing things that they should be paying attention to. It may also mean that the querent needs to simplify their lives and remove things that are blocking their sunlight and causing undue complications and stress. Perhaps they need to go within and meditate on what’s positive in their lives so they can see it more clearly.
XVIII-The Moon (♓︎)
The Moon by G A Rosenberg
Illusions seem real
reality a dark dream
when the moonlight wanes
I heard her calling me last night
Her voice the whisper of
the waning moon
casting shadows with her secrets
raising doubts from seeds left buried
all so long ago
She lured me with her promises
Secret knowledge offered
Calling me through castle doors
Strange creatures howling point the way
I beguiled go
She showed me things that couldn’t be
Demented Nightmare’s gift
She took from me my secret fear
replacing shadows in its stead
I trembling go
and yet to reach the morn
through Hecate’s night reborn
–G A Rosenberg
At night, by the light of the Moon (particularly when its waning) we can see a lot less of our external surroundings than we can by daylight. Things appear shadowed and hazy and any light may seem blinding. Our imaginations have full play and we try to fill in the darkened spaces with a combination of intuition and imagination. What we see and how we interpret it can tell us a lot about ourselves if we are open to it. The Moon force in this way illuminates our interior selves.
The Moon trump shows us our fears and dark desires. It can give us deep understandings of our hidden longings or it can send us reeling into insanity, beset by fears and emotional demons that we have repressed and refused to face. When we find ourselves least able to cope with this psychic and emotional shit storm, the best that we can do is endure, knowing that night inevitably gives way to day.
When talking about the greater cycle of the Fool’s Journey or the Great Work, the Moon comes at a time when we have bravely made it through most of our shadow work and what’s left is some of the really dark repressed stuff that we were not yet ready to face. Under the influence of the Moon it becomes revealed and with courage, will and endurance we will survive.
Astrological Correspondent – Pisces(♓︎)-Pisces is an inward dwelling intuitive energy. It lives in its dreams and then brings them to the surface.Like an iceberg, three quarters of what Pisces feels is hidden and it prefers it that way. Pisces is sensitive and compassionate and feels things deeply both for itself and others. This can sometimes lead to self-pity or an over sympathetic approach.
Pisces would rather face happy dreams than unhappy reality. When it sees external life falling short of its dreams it tends to withdraw or may indulge in self-destructive behaviour. It looks for direction from other more self-directed energies. The Piscean energy can all too easily lose its identity as it takes on the characteristics of those it admires or who can get them through the storm seas. It is self-sacrificing in the extreme and this can lead to loss of self as well. Pisces is ruled by Neptune and is mutable in its ways.
Runic Correspondent-Othala(‘property’)–Othala means property in the sense that it is an ancestral land or sacred space. A sacred space is one in which we can be still and receive messages either from our ancestors or from our unconscious mind. It is a coming into our birthright in a spiritual sense and bringing what we learn to others and using it for the good of all. Another rune that is connected to The Moon trump is Algiz.
Path on the Tree of Life – Path 29-Qoph – Qoph translates as the back of the head. If the head in general is seen as the font of consciousness than the back of the head would represent that hidden dark side of our conscious awareness. This path is referred to as the Physical intelligence of Corporeal Intelligence because it concerns to the automatic and unconscious influences on the physical both in the sense of autonomic bodily functions and our psychosexual subconscious aspects. It connects the sephiroth of Netzach (“Victory”) with Malkuth(“Kingdom”) and shows the influence of Venusian Desire upon our physical form.
When the Moon shows up in a reading it may indicate that the querent is living in their imaginations quite a bit. This can be very positive if they are finding a way to express their imagination but can also have the negative connotation of jumping at shadows. The card may mean that the querent is beset by fears and imagining the worst in everything and everyone. Everything that once seemed bright may seem dark now. This is what many refer to as the dark night of the soul. When one is going through this, the best advice may be to just endure it until its over. There is value in seeing what one’s fears are and daylight will come eventually. Sometimes one has to feel the feelings until they stop and then move forward.
The Moon may also be telling the querent that they need to trust their intuition even if they don’t feel that they can see things clearly. They need to accept what their perceptions are and move beyond them, as difficult as that may sound. When one has lost their way in the woods, it is not what they imagine that matters but what signposts they can find that will lead them out.
The card may also mean that the querent is dealing with emotional issues that they have been repressing.
The inversed Moon may mean that the querent is recovering from a period of emotional stress and delusion. Things may be seeming a bit brighter and they may be seeing things more as they are and less how they fear them to be. It may mean that they are struggling against integrating recent lessons about themselves into their life and regressing a bit. The Reversed Moon may indicate that the querent is caught up in a frenzy of day to day activity to avoid taking a good look at emotions and thoughts that they are repressing. The card may also mean that someone has their psychic channels activated but due to their own lack of clarity is unable to distinguish between what’s real and what’s illusion.
XIV-Temperance / Art (♐︎)
Temperance by G A Rosenberg
mix my opposite being
within my vessel
I Not I
from the Not into the I
and the I into the knot
Letting the old flow into the new
and transmuting it
my male to female
woman to man
body to soul
gaining new awareness as I go
controlling it carefully
yet letting it flow.
Integrating the dissolve
with new resolve
all with the aim of the gold in mind.
Eagle and Lion cracking the egg
the snake transforms
new insight descends.
— G A Rosenberg
In the trump the Lovers, we become aware that there is an existence outside of our own and sensibilities very different from ours. It is this difference that makes us start to question our lives. With Temperance we learn to synthesize these differences and consciously incorporate them into our own being. Temperance or Art is the card of Balancing Transformation. It is connected by many with the art of Alchemy. When many people think of Alchemy, they think of the Philosopher’s stone which results in the ability to change lead into gold. What the Alchemists true goal was to change the lead of corse matter into the gold of spiritual awareness. This was done by blending and combining the opposite elements within one’s being. Combining in other words who we are with who we are not, our shadow selves to become something greater. The angel in the card is combining onto (and into) herself the liquid fire with the fiery water to form something new. By being aware of who we are and who we are not, we can consciously acquire new talents and abilities, blend the two and become something greater, the being who we wish to be. Just as the alchemist followed very specific methods with very specific ingredients, this transformation does not happen in a wild and uncontrolled form but through self-examination and meditation and quite usually through ritual (even the ones we create for ourselves).
Astrological Correspondence – Sagittarius (♐︎)-The Sagittarius energy is an exploratory one that hungers for the freedom to search out truth. It is an enthusiastic fiery energy and one that shifts in viewpoint and location to further its understanding. Its symbol is the hunting centaur (denoted by the centaur’s arrow). The centaur is part man and part horse and partakes of the nature of man and beast and masters the blending of them both. Sagittarius’ ruling planet is Jupiter and has that optimistic and expansive aura. It is an energy that takes risks in its desire to do more, know more and understand more and it becomes what it needs to in order to achieve this end. The Sagittarius influence is one that focuses on self-truth, personal integrity and self-perfection. Sagittarius brings back what its arrows aim for.
Runic Correspondence – Dagaz (‘Dawn’) –
Dagaz is the rune of transformation. It is connected with achieving enlightenment through the resolution of paradox. Dagaz’s time of day is the in-between times of twilight and dawn.
Dagaz involves the blending and transformation of one thing into its opposite and the synergy that can come from the two working together. The rune heralds the safe conclusion of these shiftings. Other runes associated with Temperance are Laguz and Nauthiz.
Path on the Tree of Life -Path 25-Samekh-Samekh means literally “tent peg”. It is the path that dissolves the lower ego with ones higher consciousness. It connects the sephiroth of the Sun and the Moon, Tiphareth (“beauty”) and Yesod(“foundation”). It is known in the Sepher Yetzirah as the Testing Consciousness and is connected to the temptations that can befall one in that spiritual becoming. The temptations are connected to the balancing out of the self and its shadow and the blending of the two. Samekh is also connected with the worm ouroboros which it resembles, a snake with its tail in its mouth.
When Temperance turns up in a reading, it can indicate that one’s life has reached a state of balance. The querent may be at a stage where the allot enough time to do both the things they want to do and the things they have to do. They work when they need to and have enough time for family and leisure. It may mean tho that it is time for them to examine their lives and figure out how to bring this state of balance about in a conscious way. Temperance may also show in a spiritual sense that the querent is undergoing a transformative experience and that they have made it through the trials and are integrating it with their conscious awareness. The card may be cautioning the querent against going to extremes and learning when to assert themselves in a conscious manner. A keynote for the card is taking responsibility for one’s life in a conscientious way. In a situation where the querent feels torn between two different paths, it suggests finding a synthesis of the two
Temperance inverses talks about imbalance in the querent’s life. It could mean that they are going to extremes, first acting in one way and then acting wildly the opposite in order to try to balance the two. This may be because they lack any long-term plan or purpose for their life and they need to take conscious responsibility for it. It may refer to passive-agressive behaviour on the querent’s part. The reversed Temperance may also refer to someone being so cautious and afraid of their own actions that they hesitate too much refusing to act at all. The card reversed may also refer to someone who is unable to integrate recent changes in awareness into their lives possibly out of fear for how others will react.
XII-The Hanged Man(▽) (♆)
The Hanged Man by G A Rosenberg
For my beloved
I hang down sacrificing
myself to myself
Feeling my heart open
feeling my wounds bleed
My soul spilling out
of view and precious need
to reveal what’s inside
That spark of truth
that separates bifurcates
my age from my youth
I lied to myself
so easily when young
living my parents’ lives
the songs my culture sung
Now in reflection
I see myself true
must reach inside
and pull myself through
In view of my future
I dissolve my past
until I am finished
I struggle held fast
Now I am living
my own inner truth
I no longer need
the protections of youth
— Gary A Rosenberg
Reviewing my life
from a new perspective
wondering how i came to be here
hanging around but tied in place
unable to move
yet my mind dances
as I see new possibilities
now that I’ve met my true love’s heart
struggling with the ties from my past
unable to move
Revealing my self
and letting my self know
becoming the person I never knew
dissolving my being yet i find myself
unable to move
Letting my self go
to brand new places
I now am moving towards that star
I’ve feed myself through loves depths. Now
I’m able to move
The Hanged Man is one of the most powerful images in the Major Arcana. In Norse mythology, Odin hung upside down from the world tree for nine days and nights in order to achieve wisdom and received the runes as a reward. In Christian lore, Peter insisted on being crucified upside down because he didn’t feel he was worthy of dying the same way as Jesus. The Hanged Man implies sacrifice of the self to become something more. In many religions there is the idea of the sacrificed deity that brings about the redemption of his followers.
What does sacrifice mean? It means giving up something to achieve something more. In this case we give up something of ourselves to reach some kind of understanding.
If the Lovers represented the first meeting of the opposites in a relationship, then the Hanged Man represents the knowledge that in the relationship we must be willing to sacrifice who we are to join with our beloved and become something more. The ‘I’ must give way to the ‘We’. If the Lovers represents leaving home and building a life outside of the society we grew up in, the Hanged Man takes it to a deeper level where we must examine our internal values and determine which of them come from cultural conditioning and which are truly part of ourselves. In order to become who we truly are and who we are meant to be, we must be willing to sacrifice who we were. The self reflected in the water symbolizes the image of who we could be if our external self and life truly reflected the internal. Thus in many ways it is the realization of a need to change which leads to the path of enlightenment.
Astrological Correspondent-Water(▽) Planet Neptune (♆)-The Hanged Man like The Fool and Judgement (or Aeon) cards have a double astrological attribute, a planetary one and an elemental one. One of the reasons for this is that in the hebrew alphabet (used on the tree of life) the letters are split into three groups. These are the three Mother letters (Aleph, Mem, and Shin which represent the elements Air, Water and Fire), Seven Double letters (Beth, Gimel, Dalet, Koph, Peh, Resh and Tau which represent the seven known planets Moon, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, the Sun and Earth) and twelve Simple letters which represent the 12 signs of the zodiac. It all works rather nicely. However since these assignations were made three more planets were discovered in our solar system Uranus (who’s astrological nature fits well with Air), Neptune (a planet with a decidedly Watery nature and influence) and Pluto (a fiery influence). Some readers, deck designers and students of the tarot have connected the three planets with the three elemental cards. Since there is such a close fit and examination of any correlation can bring insight I include both possible influences in this writing.
Neptune’s influence is dreamy and illusory and governs among other things, insight and awareness that comes from a state of heightened or altered consciousness. This can be double-edged resulting in transformative experiences but also in its more negative form can lead to addiction and hitting the well too many times with little to show for it. Neptune influences our spirituality and beliefs and our intuition. Its important to develop the discernment to know the difference between when our intuition and heightened states reveal truth and when it reveals a message that is personal to our own development. Neptune also influences psychic receptivity and visions.
Water is the elementary influence over the signs, Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces. Water has an emotional, sensitive influence with hidden depths and currents. It can be dreamy and moody, compassionate or brooding, empathetic or self-indulgent all in its cycle. It flows into everything around it and can be boiled by fire (or extinguish it), damned by earth (or interdependently nurturing towards it) and dispersed or interwoven by air.
Runic Correspondent-Eihwaz (“Yew”) –Eihwaz is the rune of sacrifice and the connection between the material and spiritual worlds. It offers enlightenment and insight and the knowledge of ‘dying before dying’. The resin from the yew is poisonous and its vapours tho toxic can cause a hallucinatory state. Eihwaz also represents the World Tree that Odin hung himself upside down on to receive the wisdom of the runes. It is a rune of initiation, protection or confusion. The Yew tree is flexible and it bends but does not break. Other runes associated with the Hanged Man are Tiwaz and Isa
Path on the Tree of Life-Path 23-Mem-Mem means water or seas. It is the path of the water redeemer (esp in the Aeon of Osiris) and the sustainer on the water. It is the path of surrender and is called in the Sefer Yetzirah the sustaining consciousness. It is the path that connects the sephiroth of Geburah (“severity”) with Hod (“Splendour”). It is spoken of often in terms of enlightenment and indeed it takes the discipline of Geburah to take us beyond the intellectual understanding of Hod and bring the kindling of Wisdom. It also takes a willingness to surrender who and what we are for who and what we may become.
The Hanged Man in a reading may indicate someone who is very independent with a unique take on the world. It may refer to someone who is breaking free of old conventional ways of being and becoming themselves. The Hanged Man can also mean that there is a delay and hold up in plans and the querent may need to reflect on whether what they are hoping for is really true to themselves or not. It may also indicate a transformative relationship for the querent where they will have to surrender a bit of how they see themselves in order to make the relationship work. This does not mean becoming someone who they are not but more a realization of how by bending they may become something more than they had known. The Hanged Man may also mean that the querent has to sacrifice something in order to get another thing that they want. In all of these cases there is a vulnerability but also an opportunity for growth if one is willing to stretch and bend. The card can also represent delayed rather than instant gratification or a surrendering of momentary pleasure for joy.
When the Hanged Man comes out reversed in a reading, it may indicate someone who is conforming to social expectations rather than living their more unconventional dreams. It may refer to inflexibility or moving forwards. It may also refer to the querent feeling as if they are sacrificing a lot and having nothing to show for it. It may mean a time in the querent’s life when they are reacting passively, waiting for life to happen rather than making it happen especially if they have to give up the comfort of their everyday life to do so. The inversed Hanged Man may also mean that someone is dwelling in the shallow end of their life and needs to find a deeper purpose.
X-Wheel of Fortune(♃)
Wheel of Fortune by G A Rosenberg
“Spin the wheel!” she cried
As it turned, so did my life
good to bad and back
yet barely breaking through the surface
so much more to see
so much more to be.
The journey takes lifetimes
and the wheel stays in spin.
The king falls and rises.
The queen nourishes
and the dæmon has his dance.
I’ve been him too
I ride the wheel
and turn it
I explore the nature
and the nurture.
The soul behind the curtain
watches, witnessing all
curious as the spiral spins anew.
— G A Rosenberg
There are many cliches about the cyclic nature of life. How season follows season and how what goes around comes around. One day we are on top of the world with a great job and relationship and the next this has all disappeared. These expressions like all cliches have a good deal of truth to them. Action follows consequence (and sometimes vice versa). Shiva continues his dance and the cycles continue. This is the lesson of Fortune’s Wheel.
Life is always in motion. Everywhere we look things move in a cyclic way. Whether it be our own biorhythmic cycles, seasonal changes, political changes (the rise and fall of countries and kingdoms) nothing stops. We need to accept that our lives work in a similarly cyclic way and try to gain perspective from outside the wheels that we find ourselves on. Otherwise too often it may feel like we are hamsters forever on the wheel subject to blind instinct and blind fate.
It is difficult at times to perceive our own responsibility in the constant spinning. It is our hands that often keep the wheel in motion and our actions or lack thereof that may determine the consequences.
Astrological Correspondence-Jupiter (♃)– Jupiter guides our fortune and the areas in which we can be the most successful. It’s energies point to the areas of interest that makes our hearts sing. The Area of our charts that Jupiter is in can be a strong indicator of what we wish to learn more about and what will lift us up the most in our lives.
Jupiter encourages us to think deeply about our lives and to see where our strengths are. It helps us to determine what our personal philosophy and spirituality is. Jupiter is the force that encourages us to question deeply and to search for answers. It is an optimistic force that encourages our growth, expansion and sense of adventure and play. Jupiter encourages us to experiment with ways of expanding our consciousness either chemically or with techniques such as yoga, tantra or other forms of ritual. At its worst Jupiter can lead us to over-indulgence.It is at times associated with weight gain.
Runic Correspondence-Jera(“Year”)–Jera is the rune of cycles and harvest. It denotes the realization of cycles in our life, in our year and in that of life itself. We eat life from the earth and our bodies in turn feed the earth which nourishes new life. We plant seed and harvest in its turn. It is a rune of success and fortune tho can also be used to speed up or slow down our cycles in order to ensure success in a venture. It normally shows good fortune coming as a reward of the work that has gone before it. Other runes associated with the Wheel of Fortune card are Perthro and Teiwaz.
Path on the Tree of Life-Path 21-Kaph-The meaning of Kaph is hand. Traditionally palm readers will look at our hands to see our lines of fortune and misfortune. Kaph can mean a hand reaching out to the higher realms to receive blessings and indeed this path is known as The Intelligence of Conciliation. It connects the sephiroth of Chesed (“Mercy”) with Netzach (“Victory”). It is also known as the ‘father of all’.
When the Wheel of Fortune occurs in a reading it normally means that things are cycling around for the querent and that their circumstances are changing. Perhaps they have found themselves busy with little time for fun and now their schedule is opening up. Perhaps a relationship or a job is ending. How do they accept the changes that life brings them? This idea of acceptance is a major lesson of this card. For people who like to feel in control, the Wheel can be a bit uncomfortable as it means that the changes are unlikely to come from anything that they are doing but rather from forces outside of their control. Yet it is when the querent can roll with whatever has come around for them and they can keep their equilibrium no matter what happens that they can find themselves the happiest. Most often tho when this card is upright, it means that the changes are beneficial ones. Even when they do not seem so based on other cards in the reading or position, patience is always advised for the wheel never stops spinning.
Inversed the Wheel can mean that the querent is struggling against the changes in their life. There seems to be a run of bad luck that can be due to either past choices that the bill is coming due for or outside interference. Either way it is best to accept the change in circumstances and deal with how things are rather than try to recreate the past. This does not mean ignoring examination of the sources of the change as much as it does dealing with the present. Reversed the Wheel can also mean that the querent needs to take responsibility for their lives as opposed to letting circumstances happen as they will. This can mean an examination of how the querent may be causing their own fortune or misfortune and seeing how any action may have far-reaching implications.
VIII-Justice (Libra ♎︎)
Justice by G A Rosenberg
Silent but not blind,
teach me inner harmony
Holder of the scales
Poised between paths
seeking to balance
past choices made
to create my future.
Yet every choice
and every action
swings the pendulum
creating more need
What is fair
in this existential balancing act?
I seek to be just
and blind myself to
black and white
I will act from guidance within
I have learned my place
in this world
and it is mine alone
to change what I can.
and leave alone
what I cannot.
feelings cannot sway me
nor can thought
for it is now what i want
but what I will
and the scales will be balanced.
— G A Rosenberg
When we find ourselves on our own in this world we are faced with a number of choices. Even the smallest decisions can have lasting ramifications on our life. Occasionally we will make ones that seem to damage us in some way. We choose the wrong job or partner or develop habit-forming indulgences. We end up having to face the consequences of these decisions either circumstantially, emotionally or mentally. Do we learn from our past missteps and take more responsibility for our choices armed with that knowledge? Do we overcompensate by choosing the exact opposite only to suffer a different set of consequences? How do we find balance between the two and take full charge of our lives? This is the lesson of the Justice card.
In the long run the decisions we make really don’t matter as much as our willingness to claim them. Life will work with whatever we give it to teach us the lessons we need and growth is unavoidable. The greater our ability to take on the responsibility for our own spiritual and emotional growth, the faster it will happen. By accepting what life has taught us so far and using that to govern our further actions we find that balance within ourselves.
There are certain things that will happen to us such as natural disasters, injury or sickness that we aren’t responsible for yet still have to deal with. Part of learning responsibility is realizing what is and isn’t our fault. While we might not be able to control these events, we can still control our response to them instead of falling into pits of self-pity or remorse. It is both in the act of response and how we respond to everything that we face in life that determines our growth. How fast can we adjust to the changes and regain our equilibrium.
Astrological Correspondence-Libra (♎︎)-Libra, symbolized by the scales, is the sign of harmony and balance. The Libra energy wants things to stay in balance and on an even keel and will do anything possible to reestablish things that have gone awry. Libra works best when it is in tandem with another. The Libra energy is intensely curious especially about others and can be extremely charming. At times tho there is a tendency towards gossip, perhaps causing a bit of disharmony that it can later balance out. Libra’s planetary ruler is Venus and love and beauty are strong motivators. The sign is the diplomat of the zodiac and works hard to find the best compromise between disputing factors. As an air sign communication is one of Libra’s gifts and it will talk its way out of difficulty.
Runic Correspondence-Tiwaz (“Tyr” or “Tiw”)–
Tiwaz is the rune of that symbolizes universal justice and the idea of sacrifice of the individual for the good of society. It governs the idea of fairness and compassion for the good of all. The Norse war god Tiw whom this rune represents was a warrior and diplomat. The rune represents the knowledge that justice will win out over adversity tho courage will be needed to see it through. Another rune that is attributed to Justice is Nyd.
Path on the Tree of Life-Path 22 Lamed-The Meaning of Lamed is ox-goad. If you remember the meaning of Aleph, the path represented by The Fool translates as Ox. Just as the ox goad will conjole the ox to stay on its path, the idea of universal justice and balance keeps us from straying too far off our paths in any direction. It connects the sephiroth of Geburah (“Severity) with Tipareth (“Beauty”). It is known as the ‘Faithful Intelligence’ as it does what is necessary, even tho it may seem severe to keep us in balance.
When Justice turns up in a reading it can often mean that things are working out in a fair and balanced way. The querent is facing the natural consequences both positive and negative of his actions. It would benefit them to realize exactly how their past choices have brought them to this point. It can also mean that the querent is facing a decision that will have both major and minor consequences for them and they need to be very conscious of the direction that they choose. Justice means that it is time to be honest with oneself and others and encourages the querent to be fair in their dealings. It is a great opportunity for self-knowledge. It can also mean that there are legal issues at hand for the querent and that the outcome will be a fair one.
Inversed, the Justice card may indicate that there are ways in which the querent is being dishonest with himself and others. It may mean that they are refusing to take responsibility for what is happening and seeking to place the blame elsewhere. It may mean tho that the querent is facing dishonesty or unfairness from an outside source and is trying to deal with it as best as possible. Reversed Justice can mean that they need to take the high ground and act honourably even if others around them aren’t. It may also mean a legal decision that is not in the querent’s favour.
III-The Empress (Venus ♀)
The Empress by G A Rosenberg
Mother Gaia sings
We dance naked in the woods
Through her door i came upon her
and through her door the world appeared
Creation in all its glory
wheat, and fruit, swans filled the air
She led me through her magick kingdom
wheat grew high, and flowers bloomed
the river breeze caressed us
i tried to think but couldn’t care
for all i saw i loved and wanted
all i needed reached for me
the stars in her hair blinded me
and the moon laid at her feet
She held me until the morning
oh magic night lost to her love
and gained, expression imagination
— G A Rosenberg
If the High Priestess represents the ideal feminine untouchable and chaste then the Empress represents the feminine aspect in full flower. She is full blown creative force and her intelligence is that of creativity not reason.She is sensuous and maternal and emotional. She inspires with a glance and ignites the senses. She frustrates and delights. She combines the active force of the Magician with the passivity of the High Priestess and gives birth to wonder. In every moment she expresses yet at any moment she will express differently. She is ever-changing. She is the spirituality of the High Priestess made manifest by the will of the Magician. She is the Earth mother;Venus and Aphrodite, Freya and Isis Unveiled in all her glory. She is the calm river and the raging storm.
Astrological Attribution-Venus(♀)-Astrologically Venus represents what and who we love and what brings us pleasure. Venus represents what attracts us and what is attracted to us. It can also indicate where our emotional (and physical) addictions may lie. We are most in harmony when Venus is well-aspected and when it is badly aspected our lives may seem cacophonous. Venus shows what we most appreciate in a romantic and sensuous (if not sexual) way.
Berkano is known as the Birch Goddess and represents among other things female fertility. It ties in with childbirth, trees and the female womb. It is a rune of protection and healing, holding things in tight in secret. It also represents rebirth, motherhood and nurturing. Other runes linked with the Empress are Thorn, Hagall and Inguz
Path on the Tree of Life-Path 14-Daleth-The meaning of Daleth is door. It is the path between Chokmah (Wisdom) and Binah (Understanding), the supernal parents on the tree of life. The Mother is the Door through which life manifests. A door, tho it offers shelter is inactive. It is what comes through comes through it that is the active manifesting principle. As such the alchemical attribute of both Daleth and The Empress is Salt which needs the energy of Sulphur to keep the energy flowing. It is called the Illuminating Intelligence and referred to as the ‘essence of the Speaking Silence’. Again this paradox of manifestation and inertness, quiet yet speaking.
When the Empress shows up in a reading, it may indicate that this is not a time of calm reflection but a time to go with the emotion. Enjoy this period of pleasure and creativity and manifest in joy. The card may also indicate that it is time to get outside and enjoy nature. For a city dweller, this may mean seeking it out. The Empress may also refer to a pregnancy or birth. When the Empress turns up it can also mean that it is time to express the nurturing side of the querent’s own personality but it also means that if the querent is being harassed by people that they can let the ‘diva’ side of their personality out and show others the full force of who they are. It is a time for full manifestation of energy and good things are coming.
Reversed the Empress can indicate that there are blocks to creativity and the expression of one’s self. The querent’s imagination may be running away with fancies that they are confusing with true intuitive imagination. The reversed card may indicate fear of ‘letting one’s self go’ because they cannot handle the onslaught of their own emotional nature. It may also indicate a time of emotional imbalance and disharmony. Where right side up the card indicates plenty, when reversed it may mean it is a time of scarcity where one has to make do with what one has. This is usually a temporary situation as The Empress is a card of change. The Empress reversed can also be indicative of hormonal imbalances such as those felt at the onset of menopause.
“Only by examining our personal biases can we truly grow as artists; only by cultivating empathy can we truly grow as people.”
― Jen Knox
Can we cultivate empathy without examining our personal bias? I’ve come to believe over the last several years that to ensure better and clearer communication, one must clear out the communication room specifically in this case our minds. The clearer we become about our particular perceptual filters, the more we can understand what others say to us and the more we can pick up their emotional states and being.
What does empathy mean tho. I have met many people who consider themselves empathic and they pride themselves on how well they can understand and truly feel the pain of those whom they see as victims. However that is the easy side of empathy. Much more difficult is empathizing with those we see as being the perpetrators or victimizers. Until we can do that, then we have not fully learned empathy.
When I was a junior in high school students in Iran took over the American embassy there and held fifty four Americans hostage for over a year. I remember in Current Events Class standing down all the other kids as I debated on the side of the Iranian students. A few months previously my family hosted a young persian couple who were staying in the states for awhile and they gave me an understanding of the grievances that Iranians would have with American imperialism. They felt that they had suffered under the Shah (who was backed by America). I tried hard to understand both sides and was surprised at how many people seemed to think it was one-sided
I keep running into situations that are similar. People able to empathize with people who feel the way they do without even attempting to understand the other. Occupy Wall Street might be more effective for instance if the protestors tried to see life from the point of view of the bankers, definitely vice versa. By understanding, i do not mean condone or agree with, i mean simply trying to put yourself in another’s head space.
Click on images to see full-size
Tarot Trump II – The High Priestess by G A Rosenberg
Treatment for High Priestess Card by G A Rosenberg