November2017-A Spread of Power

This month we are going to use the cards we have already drawn and explore a spread reading it as a place of gaining insight into where we access the power of change and stability within. The number four “4” relates to foundations and the platform we build as anchor and support to everything we are and do in this and all worlds. 

A Simple Four Card Spread
Using What We Know Already

What you will need:

A solid color cloth to place the 4/Tarot Cards on….
Key O – The Fool
Key 1 – The Magician
Key 7 – The Chariot
Key 8 – Strength

Take a moment to shuffle the 4 cards, holding the intention of opening to your inner strength and courage. Breathe your energy into them and envision that what you need will be shown to you. After shuffling place the cards face down in the pattern below.

My suggestion is to turn each card over, individually, rather than turning all face up at the onset. In having this intention you are scribing what will become an energetic signature of Alchemical Fire and its image as an upward pointed Triangle.

Breathe deeply into what you wish to receive and turn over Card 1…

Card 1- represents the aspiration you have towards stepping into the fullness of who you are. This is the space of intention and idea working together to formulate the plan that will support you as you move towards anchoring and stabilizing the power you hold within. 

Card 2represents where your intention is most strongly rooted in what holds you grounded and centered. This is the gift of being able to remain fully present and in so doing using this gift as the buoy that holds you aloft despite the turbulence surrounding. 

Card 3 – represents what fuels your passion and desire to awaken to what provides the foundation in support of standing in your power. What spurs you on and what stimulates you to move with purpose?

Now, before you turn over the last card, take a moment to think back on the image of the cards with arrows forming a Triangle. This is the Triangle of Transformation and Will to Action that has  enlivened by the cards placed and your interpretation. This scribing is the alchemical symbol for the element of Fire which represents our will, action, change and the strength of burning away the dross that holds us inert. Now this transformative Fire will be drawn within the 3-sides of power and wisdom as the fourth card is revealed. 

Card 4represents the action that you are called to that reflects the plan formulated, the anchored place of standing strong and the gift of passion and purpose as co-creator of the change you wish to effect. 

The combined energy of these cards tells the power of your own journey. Wherever The Fool shows up in your spread  indicates the potential to begin anew or where the origins of where you are now have evolved. One of the gifts of claiming your power is that of free will and choice. Choice to go back at any given point in time to craft a new plan of action, heart or intention.

To Review the Energy of the Cards:

Key O – The Fool
Key 1 – The Magician
Key 7 – The Chariot
Key 8 – Strength

Another Spread:

The Knot of Time Spread-Strength

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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

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