Tiwaz on Tuesday…

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As part of my start-the-morning rituals every day, I pull a single Rune.

Some people look at their Sun Sign horoscope over breakfast or coffee. More metaphysically-inclined types will even pull a single Tarot card or consult the I Ching.

I pull a Rune.

They differ in a lot of ways, but the intent behind each of these various methods is pretty much the same: we all want a taste of what the day ahead might hold for us, so we’re asking The Powers That Be.

My Rune for today is Tiwaz.

This is the Runic equivalent of our own letter T, and Tiwaz also refers directly to the Norse God, Tyr.

A fierce War-God, Tyr once knowingly sacrificed his own right hand so that his kinfolk could bind the terrifying Wolf-creature, Fenrir. The Rune is therefore all about such concepts as duty, integrity, resolve, courage, force of will, loyalty, strength, nobility, and sacrifice (especially for the greater good). Tiwaz advises us to take high roads, to be aware of the big picture, and to be impeccable with our word. When this Rune appears, it might be time to channel your inner Tyr…

And here’s another interesting tidbit about this draw: the Old English version of Tyr’s name is Tiw…and a day of the week was named in his honor. Back then, it was called Tiw’s Day. In modern times, we know it as Tuesday…

And as it happens, I’m writing this post on a Tuesday/Tiw’s Day! I have a huge soft spot for synchronicities like this when they happen.

I also like this Rune: it looks like an arrow…in flight…

Interested in Runes? I’m teaching an Intro to Runes class this Friday evening at Ascension NXT in the Providence, RI area. Message me for details if you’re interested!

Intro to Runes Class: Providence, RI on Jan. 13

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RUNES!

If you’ll be in the Providence area, I’ll be teaching an Intro to Runes class on the evening of Friday, Jan. 13th (😮) at cool local metaphysical shop Ascension NXT.

I’ll cover the basics of what Runes are, where and when they came from, and what you can do with this ancient set of symbols (clue: divination, meditation, rituals, self-discovery). I’ll post again between now and then, but I figured you might all appreciate the advance notice so you make your travel plans… Please feel free to CONTACT me for more details!

Site Upgrade Underway: Tarot Card Meanings Section!

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Site construction underway…

As a sort of public service to site visitors here, I’ve decided to start building in some free resources.  The first order of business under this heading will be to write up and post a list of generally accepted TAROT CARD MEANINGS.

Full disclosure: I was born and raised in the US, and I spend virtually all of my time in the mode of the English-speaker…and this state of affairs definitely informs my Tarot practice.  With that in mind, I’ll be writing up this section based on studies of the three most influential decks in this English-speaking sector of the Tarot world: the Rider-Waite-Smith deck (“RWS”), the Crowley-Harris Thoth deck (“Thoth”), and the Tarot de Marseilles deck (“TdM”).  To be very clear, though, I realize – and hopefully you will, too – that these are not the only decks in the world, and that people who speak languages other than English as their primary tongues may prioritize other decks than these.  No one way of doing things in this regard should ever be seen as “The Right Way.”

My opening entry for this new section just went up today, with more to follow until I’ve covered all 78 cards in a standard Tarot deck.

Once I pass that milestone, I plan to do a similar Resources page that puts forth generally accepted meanings for the Elder Futhark system of Runes, and I’ll put together yet another section to capture some commonly used meanings for the various symbols that comprise modern Astrology (including the Planets, the Signs, and the Houses).

This will all take some time, so please bear with me!  And any suggestions and requests are more than welcome.  Please reach me via my CONTACT page.

Divination Referencing Divination

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If systems of divination – such as Tarot, Runes, or Astrology – can be seen as microcosms of the larger Universe that they peer into, then doesn’t it make sense that these systems themselves must appear somewhere within their own boundaries? That is, if Tarot, for example, does exist in the Universe, and if Tarot is a model of that Universe…then doesn’t Tarot also have to appear within Tarot?

So where does it do that? And where do the Runes refer to themselves? Where does Astrology talk about…Astrology?

Let’s take these one at a time, starting with Tarot. I believe I first saw the following idea put forth by Mary K. Greer in her book, Tarot for Your Self. The notion here is that Tarot captures itself – among other things – within the borders of the High Priestess card.

This conclusion makes fabulously good sense to me, and feels utterly on point, and I feel certain that I would have landed on this same association for myself even if I’d never read Ms. Greer’s book.

As you may know, The High Priestess is a keeper of arcane knowledge. She sits between the polarities of Light and Dark, and of Life and Death, calmly luminous in her twilight, threshold state, just sort of eternally knowing stuff. I like to think of her as the sort of cosmic Librarian who presides over the vast institution where the Akashic Records are kept. She’s the gatekeeper to all wisdom that ever was, is, could be, and will be…and if you approach her with the right mixture of curiosity and respect, she just might share some of her secrets with you…and couldn’t we say the exact same things about Tarot?

Over in the realm of the Elder Futhark Runes, I direct your attention to the P-Rune, the one called Perthro. This is a very mysterious and very mystical symbol. Some Rune scholars hold that Perthro is arguably an intruder into this Runic alphabet, as there’s some evidence indicating that the Germanic tribespeople who employed the Elder Futhark didn’t actually even have a P-sound in their spoken language! And if that’s the case…then what is that letter doing there? Who invited it, and why…? Well…maybe it’s there to contain all the other letters, is one possibility…

Just look at the shape of it. If you were to rotate it 90 degrees in a counter-clockwise fashion, it would look very much like a Rune pouch sitting on a flat surface, with its mouth slightly open, allowing access to the Runes inside. Visually, then, it certainly feels like a Rune that talks about the Runes.

But also consider the meanings that are most commonly associated with Perthro. It’s directly translated most often as meaning either “dice-cup” or “vulva.” The former term indicates an actual prop that was once used in a game of chance played by the people who worked with the Runes back in their pre-Viking day. The latter term makes reference to the external portion of the female genital anatomy…which has certainly been characterized by no shortage of people as a gateway to mystery! These attributions could definitely be seen as compatible with the possibility that Perthro is where the Runes refer back to themselves.

And in more general terms, when Perthro appears in a reading, it’s taken to mean things like magic, secrets, fertility, and creativity. Again, the overall vibe feels very consistent with a symbol that’s meant to embody the Runes themselves as a whole.

And finally, what about Astrology? Where does this particular esoteric science indicate itself? Probably the most commonly held viewpoint on this one would be that if you want to see Astrology talk about Astrology, you look at the very individualist Planet called Uranus, and also at the symbols most closely associated with it, including the Sign of Aquarius and the Eleventh House.

Uranian energy tends to be very unique and innovative, and it can correlate with instances of genius and eccentricity. It can be very progressive and forward-looking. It often operates like a lightning bolt: it builds in mostly unforeseen fashion, and then erupts in a flash of brilliance…quite like the way in which epiphanies triggered by the study of an astrological chart can manifest.

But like I said, Uranus and its associated symbols are the ones that are most often cited as carrying the energetic signature of Astrology itself…but I don’t know that I see the fit here as being quite as terrifically on point as saying that The High Priestess is the Tarot card that talks about Tarot, or that Perthro is the Rune that encompasses the Runes.

It’s my own belief that in the astrological realm, it makes some sense to see any divinatory system as also correlating with the dreamy Planet, Neptune (not to mention the Sign of Pisces and the mystical Twelfth House). We obviously have no standardized and measurable proofs we can consult when assigning these kinds of values to our divinatory symbols, so much of what we arrive at here will be down to personal taste…but I don’t feel quite as ready to say “Uranus is the astrological symbol of Astrology” as I am ready to champion The High Priestess and Perthro as the self-referencing members of their own respective divinatory sets.

But whatever system of divination you favor, if it’s one of those that involves the use and interpretation of a given set of symbols, you can almost bet that one of those symbols will refer back to the very same system of divination that it hails from. And when these are the specific symbols that start to appear for you with some frequency, it could be a sort of uber-message telling you that you, personally, have some special bond with that particular system, and you might do well to dive into it more deeply…

Come learn Tarot, Runes, or Astrology with me!  I offer PRIVATE LESSONS in these systems, and for Tarot, I also offer the 10-session TAROT TOOLKIT ONLINE COURSE:

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Providence Provides!!!

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The Fall Equinox is fast approaching, and with it comes the season of Autumn. Old things fall away, and it’s a beautiful process to behold… As a card-carrying October baby, I’ve always prized this as my favorite season, and this year, it gets spiced up by the added fact that I’m casting off some old things of my own, and moving to a new residence. As of next week, I’ll be making my HQ in the promising city of Providence, Rhode Island, USA!

I aim to become exponentially more productive with my writing after I land for good at my new digs, and it’s interesting to note that famed horror-master H.P. Lovecraft hailed from Providence. It’s also interesting to note that across one of the adjacent streets from my new residence is this huge, sprawling cemetery, shown in this pic here!

I’m not saying I’ll suddenly be conversing with the dead (including Lovecraft himself), or that they’ll suddenly be conversing with me…but I’m also not ruling it out!

And my other metaphysical pursuits roll onward. As always, I’m happy to provide READINGS, TEACHING, REIKI SESSIONS, and COUNSELING via the internet, but if you’re in or near Providence, or if you know somebody who is that would be interested in engaging my services in person, please feel more than invited to reach out to me to set something up!

Meanwhile, I’ll be over here working on getting to know the locals better…both the corporeal and the not-so-much…

TAROT TIP: Consider Kabbalah

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Even though Tarot is a rich, deep system that’s absolutely chock-full of multilayered symbolism, this doesn’t stop Tarot fans from trying to map additional systems onto it in an effort to wring even more meaning from its sublime framework. You can find decks and books in which Tarot people have done their best to weave Astrology into Tarot, or Runes, or the I Ching. Some will even use elements from fields that don’t have any underlying structure as metaphysical systems at all – for instance, some resources will tell you that a certain type of crystal goes with each card, or a specific animal does, or a kind of plant.

And to be honest, as long as you don’t swallow any one person’s associations as “The Gospel,” and you apply some critical analysis of your own as to whether you actually see some real fitness and utility, then working with assignments like these can be extremely helpful in a brain-stretching sort of way.

But the one system that seems to lend itself the most naturally to being spliced into a new fusion with Tarot is the field of Jewish mysticism known as Kabbalah, and in particular, the Kabbalah’s Tree of Life.

Fotothek_df_tg_0006103_Theosophie_^_Alchemie_^_Judentum_^_KabbalaSidenote: as with many words and phrases that have found their ways into the English-speaking world from languages that use completely different alphabets, you’ll find multiple spellings for “Kabbalah.” I use this spelling because it was the first one I learned, but you’ll also see things like Qabalah and Cabala, plus other subtle variants of all of these. No one spelling is “The Right One,” and they’re all more or less the same as each other in terms of their basic meanings, although they do each seem to be picking up their own somewhat varying connotations in modern metaphysics as the years go by. Still, it’s probably best not to get too hung up on this point, and definitely don’t let anyone make you feel dunderheaded because they’ve decided to dump on your chosen spelling!

But anyway, the point is that Kabbalah and Tarot do seem to dovetail pretty readily. Simple numbers play a huge factor in this.

The Tree of Life – Kabbalah’s magic mega-glyph that represents all reality – has 10 spheres (called “Sephiroth,” or if singular, each one is a “Sephira”) and 22 pathways that interconnect these spheres.

And then hey, look: Tarot has 10 numbered cards in each Suit of the Minor Arcana, and 22 Major cards! There’s one type of numbered Tarot card to go with each Tree of Life Sephira, with nothing left over and nothing unused, and the same goes for correspondences among Major Tarot cards and Tree of Life pathways! It’s neat, it’s efficient, and nothing feels forced.

In contrast, accepted mapping of Astrology onto Tarot struggles in that Astrology has an ill-fitting number of primary symbols to work with here: a variable number of Planets (depending on your astrological preferences), 12 Zodiac Signs, 12 Houses, and dozens of possible Planet-in-Sign placements. There’s no neat and obvious method for assigning these to the Tarot cards without getting a bit clunky, and also leaving many astrological symbols on the cutting room floor.

Similarly, the earliest Runic alphabet has 24 symbols. How do you map that onto the 22-card Major Arcana? The 56-card Minor Arcana? The full 78-card deck? No easy answers.

The same holds true for the I-Ching, with its 64 hexagrams. You could shoot for a one-to-one mapping of symbols of the 64 hexagrams onto the 78 cards, but you’d then have 14 cards with no hexagrams assigned to them. Do 14 cards therefore go hexagram-less? Or do you let 14 hexagrams be allocated to two cards each? And in either case, how do you choose which symbols get left out or counted double? The math doesn’t lend itself well to these types of mapping exercises in any of these cases.

But not only does the Tree of Life sidestep these logistical tar-pits, but it also adds an attractive new layer of interpretive possibility, in that each Hebrew letter – of which there are a convenient 22! – carries its own occult meaning. Take a look:

#

Tarot Card

Hebrew Letter

Meaning

Tree of Life Path #

0

The Fool

א Aleph

Ox

11

1

The Magician

בBet

House

12

2

The High Priestess

גGimel

Camel

13

3

The Empress

ד Daled

Door

14

4

The Emperor

ה Heh

Window

15

5

The Hierophant

ו Vau

Nail

16

6

The Lovers

ז Zayin

Sword

17

7

The Chariot

חCheth

Fence

18

8

Strength

טTeth

Serpent

19

9

The Hermit

יYod

Hand

20

10

The Wheel of Fortune

כKaph

Palm

21

11

Justice

לLamed

Ox-goad

22

12

The Hanged Man

מMem

Water

23

13

Death

נ Nun

Fish

24

14

Temperance

סSamekh

Tent-peg, Prop

25

15

The Devil

עAyin

Eye

26

16

The Tower

פPeh

Mouth

27

17

The Star

צTsaddi

Fish-hook

28

18

The Moon

קQoph

Back of head

29

19

The Sun

ר Resh

Head

30

20

Judgement

שShin

Tooth

31

21

The World

תTau

Cross, Mark

32

The Tower_thothIn fact, once you’re aware of these meanings, you can play spot-the-Kabbalah-reference with your decks. Many deck creators take pains to include visual representations of these Hebrew letter meanings in their Tarot cards. For example, in the famous Thoth deck, Aleister Crowley and Lady Frieda Harris clearly knew that the Tower card is associated with the Hebrew letter Peh, and Peh means “mouth.” Take a look at the card image – it will take you little more than a millisecond or two to locate the giant, gaping, flame-spewing mouth in the visuals.

And once you get familiar with these meanings, you can add them to your Tarot card interpretations when you perform readings. Consider how The Hierophant is associated with the concept of a nail. The former is a symbol of structure, and the latter is a device used to build things. But then, a nail left lying around can also be a threat to the integrity of one’s feet, as nails can puncture and penetrate, and if rusty, they can even infect. This little added slice of nail-meaning can then reflect back onto The Hierophant: if the teachings of this card’s central character are used carefully, then much like nails, they can help us to create immense structures that greatly benefit humanity…but if employed recklessly, they can cause grievous injury by stabbing us in our most tender and vulnerable spots…

So if you’re on the prowl for new add-ons that you can incorporate into your Tarot practice, you could do far worse than exploring Kabbalah and the Tree of Life…

Learn Tarot with me! I offer PRIVATE LESSONS, and you can also score your own copy of the TAROT TOOLKIT ONLINE COURSE, a 10-session series of classes with its own 120-page PDF Workbook:

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Summer Special!

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I’ve been working away at reconfiguring my website and refocusing my business efforts for a while now, with more to come on that front…but as a part of the process, I decided I’d try offering reduced rates as a SUMMER SPECIAL (or if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, please consider this your Winter Special!).

  • I’m now offering PRIVATE LESSONS in various metaphysical subjects – see if this is for you by taking advantage of my low-cost INTRODUCTORY CONSULTATION SESSION. It’s a real-time, 30-minute chat for only $20 USD!
  • Also, the TAROT TOOLKIT ONLINE COURSE is ready for purchase in MP4 format, including all ten sessions, plus the 120-page PDF Workbook.
  • And yet more big news: all READINGS (Tarot, Astrology, Runes) are 1/4 off for half-hour sessions, and 1/3 off for hour-long sessions. These prices will be in effect through the end of July.

I have more offerings on the way, too, including a few ebooks, and a couple of live webinar sessions that I’m cooking up – more news to follow here as things get closer to completion!

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