Category: Magick Page 1 of 2
“Nothing can be truer than fairy wisdom. It is as true as sunbeams.” ~Douglas Jerrold
This month Heroic Tarot celebrates the wisdom of the fae as found in the divination decks of Brian Froud! Famed conceptual designer and costume designer for the films Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal, as well as artist for The Faeries’ Oracle and The Heart of Faerie, writes that “the connection with the faeries is wonderful because it gives us an opportunity to experience the world in an open and connected way.” Froud believes that “there is great wisdom to be gained if we allow them to turn our prejudices and preconceptions upside down.” Heroic Tarot is proud to include them in readings with traditional Tarot cards and the X-Men superhero deck.
“He who is not everyday conquering some fear has not learned the secret of life.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
This month, Heroic Tarot dispels the darkness around the Devil! This Major Arcana card is ruled by Capricorn and represents creating boundaries and limitations in your life. In Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom, Rachel Pollack explains:
The Devil can indicate a narrow materialistic view of life; it can mean any form of misery or depression, especially feeling chained or imprisoned, with the illusion that no alternatives are possible.
“If we want to discover our own creativity and ability to change ourselves and the world, it is imperative that we learn from those women and men who practiced such transformative magic before us.” ~Mary K. Greer
Tarot scholar Mary K. Greer is the author of numerous books on divination and the Tarot. She is also an authority on The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and the magical women who were the heart and soul of that Order. Greer presents the intertwined biographies of Maud Gonne, Moina Bergson Mathers, Annie Horniman, and Florence Farr in Women of the Golden Dawn: Rebels and Priestesses. Her book is an inspirational account of these women, who she refers to as “spiritual foremothers of women practicing magic today.” Near the end of her book, Greer presents ” twelve resources these women shared in common in their personal histories of liberation: twelve conditions that name their powers and describe the factors working for them.” Here is her list of what these four mystical pioneers had in common:
Most known for his non-fiction book The Outsider in which he writes about social alienation, English novelist and philosopher Colin Wilson also wrote several books about spirituality, chief among them The Occult: A History. His beliefs on modern man are capsulized in this quote by E.E. Rehmus in The Magician’s Dictionary under the entry for Magic:
Modern civilization induces an attitude of passivity. When a Stone Age hunter set out to trap wild animals, he was aware of his will as a living force. When the prehistoric farmer scored the surface of the earth with a crude plough, he knew that his family’s survival through the winter depended on his effort, and his will responded to the challenge. When a modern city dweller walks down a crowded throroughfare, he feels no sense of challenge or involvement. This city was built by other people; all these shops and offices are owned by other people. He can get through an ordinary’s day work in a state approximating sleep. Most of his routine tasks are carried out by the ‘robot.’ There is neither the need or the opportunity to use the will.
A traditional Tarot deck consists of 78 cards; Twenty-two of these cards are known as the Major Arcana with titles to indicate their specific symbolism. There are many ways to work with these archetypal energies. Most readers of the Tarot either see the Major Arcana as individual entities or they see them as a progression of meanings. The first perspective understands each card as presenting unique traits or experiences as relevant to a person’s spiritual advancement. For example, the Hermit represents application of knowledge, the Wheel represents a change in circumstances, and so on. This approach considers numbers on each card as significant according to the idea associated with them, instead of seeing the numbers as important due to their succession.
The word myein is an ancient Greek verb meaning “to keep the mouth shut.” Linked to medieval initiation rites and the secrecy surrounding them, Myein has come to stand for that which cannot be explained.
In The Magician’s Dictionary: An Apocalyptic Cyclopedia of Advanced Magic(k)al Arts and Alternate Meanings, E.E. Rehmus writes that myein is the root of the word mystery and states, ”
There is a practical reason for keeping silent about private or creative projects, especially while they are in the planning stage. Any talking about a plan will be a talking out of it, because talking is an action of its own and automatically substitutes for physical action…Plans must also be hidden until the moment comes to act or others will interfere with them.
“In order to be able to make it you have to put aside the fear of failing and the desire of succeeding. You have to do these things completely purely without fear, without desire. Because things that we do without lust or result are the purest actions that we shall ever take.” ~Alan Moore
I have a great appreciation for Alan Moore. It is an inarguable fact that he helped transform the medium of comic books into something quasi-respectable. His run on Swamp Thing alone brought a new consciousness to comics. With the help of the inimitable illustrator J. H. Williams III, he created my all time favorite series Promethea. He is the architect behind Watchmen, V for Vendetta, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and From Hell (if you’ve only seen these works adapted as film, you have not experienced the genius of Alan Moore). However, as much as I love Alan Moore the writer, I am most interested in the Alan Moore the magician.
2 High Priestess: Storm
Today we continue our look at the Major Arcana through the lens of Marvel’s X-Men comic book characters! Last week we examined Professor X as The Magician. This week we honor the weather manipulating mutant known as Storm!
Born from the union of an American photojournalist and an African princess, Ororo Munroe was worshipped as a goddess in her native Kenya. On a quest to rescue his original X-Men students, Professor X recruited Ororo, informing her that she was a mutant, not a goddess, and that the world needed her. Storm decided to accompany Charles saying, “You present a most peculiar argument–yet I sense a deep sincerity in your words…Perhaps the time has come for me to leave the nest at last.”
I am always on the lookout for new ways to read the Tarot. Recently I was reading old journals of mine and came across this drawing of a spread. I do not remember where I found it or who created it. So if you recognize it, please let me know. For now I am calling it The Pentacle Tarot Spread. There is already a popular Pentacle Spread, but that one has only five cards and focuses on the elemental directions (including Spirit). Let’s check it out!