About themagickalpen

Robin Fennelly is a Third Degree Initiate within The Assembly of the Sacred Wheel Tradition and serves as High Priestess of Coven of the Mystic Path. She teaches and facilitates classes for the Pagan Experience Study Group that serves as foundation for membership within Coven of the Mystic Path. Her spiritual journey is strongly rooted in both Eastern philosophy and theWestern Magickal systems from which she has formed a core foundation that is diverse in knowledge and rich in spiritual practice. A life-long learner, her practice has evolved from the classical and philosophical teachings of books, practical experience and enrichment of this knowledge base by attending workshops of various spiritual traditions presented by master teachers. Robin formally came to the Wiccan path in 1994. Following practice as a solitary for 2 years, she dedicated to Oak and Willow Coven of The Assembly of the Sacred Wheel Tradition in November of 1996. She received her 1st, 2nd and finally 3rd degrees within the Assembly Tradition. As a teacher of esoteric and magickal studies she has used Energetic Anatomy, Tarot, Astrology, Hermetic Qabala, Eastern Philosophy, and Numerology as the foundations of her diverse selection of workshops and writings for more than 25 years. Exploration of varied energetic protocol has been the focus of her work for some time now and the information gained through direct experience informs all of her magickal and spiritual work. Robin’s writings have been featured online, and in print Internationally. She has authored several books incorporating her unique style of writing making use of poetry, prose and pathworking to enhance the concepts presented. She has taught extensively throughout the Pagan community, including Sacred Space Conference, Spring Magick, Between the Worlds Interfaith Conference and Free Spirit Gathering Festival this Summer. Her most recent project is hosting an online blogging community entitled The Pagan Experience. Robin is the owner of Holistic Embrace providing services for mind, body and spirit such as Tarot readings, Astrology reports, Spiritual Guidance and other related offerings. She lives in Eastern Pennsylvania and her life is blessed by a 43-year marriage, five children and the opportunity to work in the field of public education. Robin's esoteric writings can be found on her blogs.

February 1.2017-Card 2-The Chariot

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Where Do I Have Control?

Last month the draw was Key VIII-Strength and that set the tone for what was needed in this coming year. The second draw brings us to Key VII-The Chariot (and, yes, I promise that I did shuffle adequately). All in all this key following that of Strength is a call to learning how to navigate successfully as we stand anchored between polarized forces.

Tarot Key VII – The Chariot

Let me guide the task at hand
I hold within my center
All that is needed to
Produce what you most
Desire.

About this Key:

The Tarot Key VII- The Chariot – speaks to control and mastery that is hard won and only emerges when you step into your own power. Who and what you exert that mastery upon is guided purely by past experience and being anchored and centered in the space of balance acquired from the synthesis of opposition. The Chariot has come to a stopping point, the victory achieved and the charioteer stands comfortable in his own skin and needing no reins; holds instead, a wand of Higher Will. This Key is the story of your personal journey that has brought you to your current state of mastery of will and action.

Rider-Waite Symbols:

When looking at the picture on the card we see a draping of canopy patterned with six-pointed stars. A reference to the union of “as above, so below” and the fires of refined will that are born from the polarities of expansion and contraction, elevation and submersion.

This Key is abundant in symbology that sets the tone of celestial matters that have been brought into the arena manifest form (the charioteer, himself) and the vehicle-a four-sided cube-that offers the foundation of earth and the master of that realm-man/woman. The sphinxes sitting in front of the chariot are those pillars of polarization that are necessary to remain centered and synthesized so that mastery of Higher Will to action may flow from the tension between the two. They are mirror reflections of one another; each containing a portion of the other’s light or dark; distinct and separate; yet inherently one and the same.

The Hindu symbol on the face of the chariot; the red lingam and the yoni echo the nature of duality as the male and the female are united by the passion of will and action to recreate. The force of the male must have the form of the feminine to incubate a creation that is the higher expression of the other’s singularity.

On the shoulders of the Charioteer are two crescent moons. Looking at their placement and the diadem on his head holding the brilliant starlight the vision of the phases of the moon and the process of new beginnings (and reinvention) that bring the central visage of fullness to stand as master and holder of an equilibrium that must, in its cyclical nature, cull away and release in the waning darkness all that is non-productive towards Higher Will and the ultimate expression of self-control.

Practical Application:

Astrologically, Tarot Key VII-The Chariot has correspondence to the sign of Cancer. Cancer is of the Cardinal (initiating and catalytic) modality and is of the Water (emotion and soul) element. This sign is strongly tied to loyalty and commitment to those considered family and home. The ruling planet of Cancer is the Moon, Herself and in the realm of the Chariot, mastery of self so that the willful intention of our Higher SELF may come forth from the depths of our Soul’s Being is the goal.

We aligned with the strength within and now self-control must be maintained, lest we fall prey to distraction and squandering of our energies. This Key is a reminder of all the challenges that have befallen us on our journey towards self-expression. All of the challenges that have taken us off-course  and all of the challenges that have forced us to favor one polarity over the other imbalance and scattered energy.

The Chariot tells us that we are able to remain firmly anchored in the foundational vehicle that carries us forward trusting our innate and intuitive nature to relinquish the tight hold of reins that give the illusion of control. And, in their place we stand under the blessing of the universal laws of the celestial as above, so below; as within, so without the unity of my power in all of the worlds holds dominion.

Focus this month on where your Chariot has taken you and how you have come to master what would unseat you. Do you stand centered by the disparate parts of yourself that have found their balance in the polarized truth they have revealed? How will you use this mastery to refine the road ahead?

Dig Deeper:
To strengthen your resolve, try out the Knot of Time Spread using the Key VIII-Strength.

Next Post:
Key VII-The Chariot  in the Toth Deck

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Card 1-Strength-Tarot Spread

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The Knot of Time Spread (rcf)

This spread is useful in acquiring information about the fears and courage we have. The image of the Lemniscate is one of infinity and eternity. By weaving through the portals (or open loops of the symbol) and accessing the past and future scheme we can continually
remain in a state of openness and receptivity to the natural cycle of loss, anchor and return to Source. This spread uses the Strength card at the central point of overlap and crossover as a funnel or gateway that must always be passed through to reach the gifts or
challenges of the other side.

Six active cards are used indicating the double triune of harmony that is the necessary balance to every action or reaction. The energy held within cards 3 and 4 is that of the outer most reaches of extension or expansion on either end of time. Cards 5 and 6 are the controlled container of contraction. Cards 1 and 2 are the polar opposites of whatever is held at any given moment within the space of the loops of time, will and action. In this case they are Strength and Weakness.

knot-of-time-spread

To begin:
Place the Key of Strength Tarot card in the central position. This is the place of nothing
and everything, openness and anchor of both return and outpour. This is the place of final
mastery or the taming of the “beast” that concerns you.
Card 0 – The Point of Control and Anchor
Card 1 – The Place of Your Greatest Strength. This is the core of who you are and the place of strength
and anchor.
Card 2 – The Place of Your Greatest Weakness. This is the core of your nature and the place of your
weakness.
Card 3 – The Fears You Are Holding On To. These fears keep you from moving forward
Card 4 – Where You Will Find Your Courage.
Card 5 – The Action Required.
Card 6 – The Challenge to be Faced.
Card 7 – The Final Resolution. This is the place of synthesis, when taking into account the informed past-the anticipated future and the present of becoming.

Jan2017-Card 1-Strength vs. Justice -Toth

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Toth Key XI – Strength/Lust

Lose yourself in loosening the reins of weakness
Use your power to affect change
See the full vision of many paths and many ways of being
Trust in your instincts as….
The Strength Within You Grows

Wait, what? Why are the Strength and Justice Keys reversed in Rider-Waite vs. Toth? These are the numbers:

Rider-Waite: Key VIII – Strength                               
Toth: Key VIII – Adjustment/Justice        

Rider-Waite: Key XI – Justice Rider-Waite
Toth: Key XI – Strength/Lust 

The sweet irony of this draw is…

Strength and Justice make wonderful bedfellows. What we lust after is fueled by action, desire and determination. Strength benefits from these attributes when they are in balance – the necessary component to ensure that Justice is exactly that.

In drawing a comparison on this first draw between the Rider-Waite and Toth decks there is immediately an anomaly. The other cards within these decks parallel of one another. But, not so regarding the Strength and Justice cards. It is unclear why Crowley chose to switch these two cards in number and name, but for our purposes this differing assignation offers some interesting thoughts to be used in answering the initial inquiry.

The Numerologic Values…

The Rider-Waite key of Strength is attributed to the number 8 (VIII).
Eight (8) is the number of time, longevity and the ability to take knowledge acquired and give it practical application. Some fairly relevant correspondences for the Strength Key.

In the Toth deck this same card is given the value of 11 (XI). Eleven is considered a master number holding the replication of the singular one as it echoes back to itself. The “one” of self-identification and self-awareness. I consider the number 11 as the opportunity for awareness of the “I” that is human and fully embodied and the “I AM” that knows of its Divinity. And, having that knowledge rises into the space of power and cooperative dialogue with both the mundane and spiritual aspects of “itself”. Another excellent correspondence for a Key that speaks to the strength inherent in control and right action.

Read about the meaning of the individual numbers here..

Toth’s Key of Strength is one of Lust…

The Tarot Key of Strength is named Lust in the Toth deck. Lust, by (modern) definition is used to describe intense or unbridled sexual desire. But, there are other definitions that should be considered…..

  1. obsolete form:  pleasure, delight or personal inclination
  2. an intense longing: craving, enthusiasm or eagerness

Looking at the similar (Rider-Waite) image of Strength on the Toth Key is taking strength one step further.

original-rider-waite-03798lusta

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The feminine is naked and astride the wildness that could easily claim her life. There is strength in the vulnerability displayed. Unlike the Rider-Waite Key that has a connotation of strength being found in quieting the primal using a genteel quality, Lust unabashedly claims its strength through in becoming a part of what is instinctual rising up on the back of what it feels no need to tame, nor is threatened by.

The lion in this Key is multi-headed and loosely resembles an actual Lion. Seven heads, seven different paths, seven different perspectives. The tail a lion headed serpent. The serpent of wisdom, the lion is a beast of courage and fierce protection of what is its own. Strength takes courage and following the wisdom of the strength is one that is fueled by lust for power and control. And, if we wish to hold onto the sexual attribution given Lust, there is no more powerful or potent force than the energy that arises from the act(ion) of sex fueled by Lust.

Symbols…

The reason I chose the Toth Tarot to use in tandem with the more traditional Rider-Waite is the rich and varied symbols that are presented in the images and as part of the Key itself.

In the lower left corner is a Hebrew letter, Teth:
lusta

The Toth Keys make use of the Qabalistic discipline, astrology and hermetic symbology in an overt and pictorial way. Teth in english means Serpent and in Qabalistic practice the letter assigned to one of the Paths of the Qabalistic Tree of Life-the Nineteenth-19- the path of the Serpent. This is a path that is one of creativity and necessary destruction. Polarities that are co-dependent on the other in order to cultivate a strength that can survive and surmount any difficulty. The serpent sheds it skin as it outgrows and outwears what no longer serves. This is the transformation needed- the shedding of old beliefs that have we have outgrown- so that strength can give us the courage to speak our truths and live our philosophies.

Read more about the Qabalah here…

Strength Aligns with the astrological sign of Leo

The other symbol on the Tarot Key is that of the astrological sign, Leo. The power of the Sun, the charismatic and magnetic resonance that draws to itself the power of action and the potential for strengthening this light. Leo is a fixed sign of the Zodiac meaning that its energy is one of synthesis and stability. It aligns with the element of Fire and this Fire is one that burns brightly with intention to overcome and reform what holds us fearing our instinctual and more primal self.

Read more about astrological Leo here..

You say Strength, I say Justice…

Here we go back to the beginning and the switch up of the Keys and their numeric assignment that differ. Although this is not a necessary component in comparing the two keys in the differing decks, I found it interesting that looking at the number of the Keys and having two different cards representing that number’s energy just happened to be two principles that are in such support of one another.

Justice and Strength- the courage to stand strong in your beliefs and the strength to take justifiable action towards change. Although, the Key of Justice was not drawn for this first endeavor, it is exactly the underpinning that is needed for these Troubling Times.

Blessings of Strength!

Next Draw: February 1st

A Little Bit About Numbers

new-numbers

Nothing and everything
The endless void fills all time
Until…

One moves in the silence
Stretching and reaching
Towards the other as two
Swiftly take flight.

They mingle and join
Each claiming their own side
So three may point the way.
Each base stretched far and wide.

Foundations are laid
By another close at hand
Who opens the four sealed gates.
Disruption and creative force
Issues forth as the skillfully crafted
Shield of focus reflects the five.

The light is fixed
The seeker is found
As outpour of healing grace
Gives way to the
Harmonious six.

Each walks a path of experience
Pulling and gathering from
Vista’s extremes.
Wisdom and lessons hard won
Fill what moves within.

As six expands to become seven
The meandering web that
Connects becomes entwined.

A continuum of dual
Portal opening and eight
The final climax of force contained.

Like amoebas they move and
Wiggle and stretch and pull
And strain until the
Tension and release
Catapult them over
The initiatory threshold of
Death’s nine gates.

All scatter and disperse
Once again seamlessly
Part of the void of the all
Until…

Once again the singular one rises
Reaching out towards its
Newly quickened mate.

0      Cycles, void, the limitless ALL, womb of creation and the Gate of the Divine;

1      The singular “I”, the individual, the line of continuum, energy held and gathered back to itself;

2      Collaborative effort, moving beyond the “I” to “we”, duality and polarity that results;

3      The point of trinity or third that is created from the friction and combined effort of the two;

4      Opening the point of support to a place of foundation, equanimity and force in a balanced state;

5      The shield whose tip may be directed by Will to disrupt, change and set in motion;

6      Doubled trinity, intersecting energies of descent and ascent, mirrored image of creative product;

7      Carrying forward the lessons learned, the paths taken and the reconvening of the triune

8      The lemniscates, foundation (4) uplifted to become the container, receipt and release;

9      Threshold /gate to endings and completion with potential for new fully informed beginnings.

January 1.2017-Card 1-Strength

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What is the theme for this year?

Every year on January 1st, I draw a card from the Major Arcana selection to ask the question that will set the tone for your year. Woke up this morning and sat quietly thinking what that question should be to begin this year’s work. So many things in flux this year and so much work needed, both on myself and within the larger community.

And, so I settled into the question of what the theme of the year would be. Shuffle the cards, deep breath, reach out with anticipation and draw from the pile. I hold the card face away just for a moment and then turn it over….

Tarot Key VIII – Strength…. Yep, that’s about right. Strength is exactly what will be needed to navigate this new year.

Solid foundations must be crafted upon which to stand;
Trust in the process, resolve is at hand;
Rise above limitation and learn from your peers;
Empower yourself with wisdom honed from your fears;
Notice the strides that have been taken and make note of missteps;
Gather to you all your courage and worry not about safety nets;
The answers that you seek are those that you already know;
Honor what you have created and stand in truth as……
                        The Strength within you grows.

About this Key:

The Tarot Key VIII- Strength– tells the tale of the eternal quest of beauty to tame the beast. If we think in terms of the lower, baser nature of our desires and the more refined, more human(e) of those desires we can transcend and bring to a point of mastery those energies we consider less desirable.

When looking at the picture on the card we see the the sacred feminine, wreathed and wrapped in nature herself fearlessly holding the mouth of the Lion shut. He,seeming to be held within the grip of her mastery over him exerting neither force nor overt control over what could be potentially a fatal interaction.

When we take these ideas and apply them to the realm of the mundane, we are reminded of the lesson of gentle force and persistence of calm that will quiet and diffuse most volatile situations. The triumphant, having first learned to calm themselves and approach from a level-headed perspective and the source of irritation relaxing under this approach and allowing a bond to be made that is amicable to both parties.

Rider-Waite Symbols:

The symbol of the Lemniscate strategically placed over the woman’s head speaks of the force of flow that emanates from the Higher Self when we are able to face our fears, or those things in the guise of a destructive nature- and allow will and force to be brought down to a place where it is both contained and held in its natural state. This is the eternal nature and confinement of time that allow the Higher and Lower natures to fuse together, giving the fragile nature (the feminine aspect) the space in which to operate in its true form of coagulation and structure.

Practical Application This Year:

The Tarot Key, Strength is one of my favorite cards in the deck. I see its energy as that of resolve and courage meeting on equal ground having gained mastery of what has been that which I have avoided and run from for fear of being consumed. It is the wildness that runs always very close akin to the reserve of holding back. A wildness that once brought into a state of controlled use can be directed towards whatever needs release, destruction
or mastery.

Strength is a gift that we take for granted. Strength is what calls us to purposeful action. Strength reminds us that courage to speak our truths also requires self-discipline and control of what would otherwise tear apart and shred in random destruction that is neither productive, nor empowering.

Strength is what we need to cultivate this year to remain anchored in our power and strength is what renders inert what challenges our authority and dominion.

Next Post:
Key VIII-Strength in the Toth Deck
The Knot of Time Spread

Welcome to Tarot for Troubling Times

Happy New Year and Welcome to Tarot for Troubling Times….

I’ve chosen the Major Arcana of the Tarot as the focus of this year’s exploration. After all, major change requires information that speaks to the larger whole and broader perspective.

Every 2-3 weeks I will draw a new Tarot card. Those previously drawn will be discarded from the selection. We will be using the Rider-Waite deck as a familiar teaching tool and the Toth deck for a deeper analysis and an opportunity to make the connections between multiple layers of correspondence and symbology. These two decks will reflect the same card with a separate post for each deck’s card.

My goal is that this site can be used as both a teaching tool and an opportunity for deeper reflection on information that will carry us through whatever challenges lay ahead. Throughout the year I’ll be adding some basic Tarot information as well.