Slippery Slopes

Before WIFI (whenever that was on this timeline) knowledge & power were transmitted through an invisible medium. Science named the medium aether but that is only one label of many for the magical agent.
All this to say “downloads” are not new but there is a vast chasm between true reception or KABALAH from higher sources and the ventriloquy of the ego. Don’t fall down into that level because there isn’t a rope long enough to bring you back.
In the illustration of the principle of  the carrier wave, the RWS Tarot Trump surpasses the Marseilles deck illustration in that the Tower is shown on RWS as being built on a steep mountain peak and those who have fallen have a long ways to go before reaching the ground.  A good theme to consider!

Tarot Jacques Vieville & Tarot de Paris

A  package from France arrived. It was not a long wait and the red box was intact. However the bonus Tarot de Paris with it arrived without the cellophane on it and missing a title card. Of course I will not be sending it back to Sivilixi Editions … but I was a bit disappointed.

The cards are for study and  historical  value.  They are  beautifully made  though  after  seeing  the  coloring of  modern decks  a bit dull.  I glanced through the book by Patrick Coq and was delighted with the content. As soon as  we all get acquainted  and the deck is opened up, I will post a more detailed review.                                                                                             

Exit Stage Left: An Old Fool

Jacques Vieville, printed around 1650, Florney reconstruction

Here is the Fool from the Jacques Vieville deck circa 1650.  It follows an anonymous Tarot of Paris of unknown date which also faces left.  What is important to notice is that there is NO NUMBER on the card as well as the direction the Fool faces. In the Vieville decks the majors bear no titles and the numbering is different than the Marseilles, which is different than the modern RWS Tarot.

The first acknowledged Marseille deck is the Jean Noblet  of 1659. The Florney edition  does a modern revisioning of the original Vieville deck and goes one step further by presenting 44 cards with a reversed card in the all majors edition turned to “match”  Marseille style decks.

Since the Vieville is older,  and faces left  wii see this style of card as a remnant of an earlier Gnosis now forgotten. Left to us means  the Fool is making an exit from space time.

The right facing Fool as shown in the Marseille style editions wii interpret as the Fool entering  and/or  re-entering the labyrinth of the Cosmos as  tabula rasa to walk  its circular path of sequential eternal return.

Remember that the Zero or Cipher is a modern addition to this card.  Also the Tarot de Vieville  is a unique style of Tarot, just as is the Marseille deck.  Below is the all majors double version produced by Editions Le Tarot  drawn by the late J.C. Florney.




The New Heavens

T: The New Tarot

Solstice means “Sun stands still.” Because the earth’s axis of rotation was tilted 23 ½ degrees to its orbit around the sun, the sun appears to move north and south during the year causing the seasons to change. Thousands of years ago the sun was in the constellation Cancer at summer solstice in June and in the constellation Capricornus at midwinter’s night or the winter solstice in December.

But not anymore. The Gregorian calendar is long overdue for  replacement.  The precession of the equinoxes describes the movement of  the zodiac signs on the ecliptic  1 degree every 72 years.  Now the summer solstice occurs in Gemini and the winter solstice is in Sagittarius. The Virgin card shown above from T: The New Tarot by John Starr Cooke is the equivalent of the World card in traditional Tarot. Cooke shows the current placement of the Equinoxes and Solstices in the Mutable zodiac signs of Gemini, Sagittarius, Virgo and Pisces using a new notation. While Gemini and Sagittarius are  straightforward  Virgo is the apple and the inverted cup is Pisces in his corner stations.
The starting dates of traditional zodiac signs (plus one) on the ecliptic are now different:
Sagittarius: Dec. 18 to Jan. 20
Capricorn: Jan. 21 to Feb. 16
Aquarius: Feb. 17 to March 11
Pisces: March 12 to April 18
Aries: April 19 to May 13
Taurus: May 14 to June 21
Gemini: June 22 to July 20
Cancer: July 21 to Aug. 10
Leo: Aug. 11 to Sept. 16
Virgo: Sept. 17 to Oct. 30
Libra: Oct. 31 to Nov. 23
Scorpio: Nov. 24 to Nov. 29
Ophiuchus: Nov. 30 to Dec. 17

Tarot as Notarikon

Etymology is the mind’s game. The roots of words are effects not the cause of meaning. Language is symbol based and culturally biased.  Words are tricky, the banana peels man’s intellect tosses away and later slips on, and the academic labyrinth  it fashions only to get trapped in.

Words cannot explain what is found above the mental plane, i.e.  free energy.  The mental plane in modern occult terminology is called causal. This is an error.

It is consciousness not cognitive brain function which is the Sole Cause.  The primordial emanations which predate existence  are vibratory, thus  deep study in Hermetic Arts requires one convert words into numbers or frequencies.

Revelation renders mankind  outside of his fleshly form  whether in the  dream body or energy double “dumbstruck.”  Above the mental plane  pictures and image streams are transferred in lieu of words. The words come later and the meaning, if it is to be had at all, must be wrested from  ones life experience.

Tarot as used in Hermeticism focuses on the Major Arcana as notarikon. The  descriptions of states and conditions  on the card’s face is approached as having another interpretation which goes beyond the images shown. Each trump is an Arcana, the holder of a secret or as they say in the  East a “terma” or concealed  treasure.

Let us dig!

*The word “notarikon” is borrowed  Greek language  which was derived from the  Latin word “notarius” meaning “shorthand writer.” Notarikon is one of  three  methods used by Kabbalists, the other two are Gematria and Temurah to rearrange words and sentences. These methods were used in order to derive and to hide the esoteric substratum and deeper spiritual meaning of the words in the sacred texts.  Notarikon was used in  Alchemy.

( *Info sourced from Wikipedia)

Waiting on the Mailman

Waiting for the arrival of a new deck is a practice which develops one’s patience. Ha! I am in the process of doing some looking into a Tarot deck based on an indigenous American folkloric tradition, albeit a modern one. I ordered the 2017 Santa Muerte Tarot deck standard edition by Fabio Listrani. It will be my next blog review.

The card that first caught my attention is the one pictured at the left, Temperance. Just one look and  I was off searching for the other images of the deck. The minors have some scenes which adhere to the Rider-Waite format, while others show  images based on the theme of the deck.

Not being involved in the cult of Santa Muerte, the upcoming review will focus on how indigenous American cultural symbology  works in divination.


Justice : Card for the Equinox

The perfect card for the Fall Equinox for me is the eighth card in Le Tarot de Marseilles or Justice.  The scales and the sword evoke  a feeling of leaves falling in the Northern Hemisphere and the descent into colder weather as shown by the ermine triangle in Lady Justice’s robe. In the Camoin-Jodorowsky Tarot, Justice is forward facing and wears no veil. She is an observer.

Most Tarot readers forget the different numerical order in the Marseille styled decks. The number 8 is the same figure as the leminscate when turned on its side. It reminds one of eternity or  the eternal return. It is a looped ribbon. Most switch the words eternal and infinite but they are quite different in concept. What is infinite is stretched out endlessly, or without end. What is eternal is enduring as it is repeated over and over. It is phenomena which can be seen, evaluated and weighed on Justice’s scale. What is eternal has a beginning and an ending point which the sword reminds us of in the right hand of the central figure.

More modern minds might see an eternal return as a feedback loop, with a beginning midpoint, and ending; which then rewinds to start over again. “Turn and return”.  The cycle of birth, death and rebirth may have emerged from Northern agro-cults as they observed the life of trees, crops and seasons.

The Devil You Know

“Better the Devil you know, than the devil you don’t…”


In the occult traditions the Black  Jackal Anubis  is messenger and psychopomp, a leader of souls into the Afterlife or the Underworld.  In terms of human traits the Dog  is the symbol of  loyalty and denotes a follower. The paramount follower in terms of occult anatomy is the human shadow. Neither of these concepts are themes of the Devil.

The Fox is a traditional lenormand symbol of the Devil primarily in  German card lore. Its color is usually red. It wears a mask. It is used in the Protestant biased  culture to represent that which is wrong or false.

However, one must set folklore to the side and look at the Greco-Roman influences on culture and religion also.  The Snake symbol was the totem of the  Pythia, the Elder female oracles in Greece who were descendants of the matriarchal lineages  of ancient African Python divination cults.  The Snake was a Holy Icon represented in spite of its linear shape  as feminine wisdom  in a female mystery system.

At the point in time when “femaleness” became intolerable to the Church of Rome,  the falseness of the Red Fox or the Old Devil was upgraded to cunning by the Patriarchs and the whispered wisdom of the old eared Serpent demoted to evil, along with the female gender as a whole.

The clergy  whether Catholic or Protestant prefers to promote the symbology of the  right facing domesticated Dog to represent the outward role of the male clergy  to the masses as that of a protective benign guide, while denying  the roots of the Dog  symbol as an update to the  Jackal-  a predatory scavenger!

The Fox’s shift from a symbol of falsehood or lies to a representative of quickness of mind and cunning by the Patriarchs was done because they admired and themselves used intelligence and trickery to gain,  hold, and control  power.

Thus, in the French and Belgium schools of Lenormand  where the Catholic Church’s influence held sway, the role of the Fox is modified and toned down while the Serpent becomes the predominant demonic indicator

In Germany, where a Protestant state of mind ruled, their Devil remained filed under the details of the Red Fox as the Serpent retained the maternal qualities and wisdom attributed to Mothers and other older and wiser women.

The Fox and Serpent cards are double cards in the traditional lenormand style deck. This means they have values associated with their directions, i.e. pairs made on the left side are inauspicious while pairings on the right side of the same card are auspicious or benign.

Note in the traditional Blue Owl deck example shown above both Fox and Serpent face left as does the female Querent card.  Facing left in cartomantic language is a way of denoting feminine energy and traits, which in a male dominant hierarchy are by their very nature- rebuked.

New students of the lenormand method at the beginning stages do not learn direction when reading the cards. They also in general do not take into account the doubleness of the signs.  The beginner who is self-taught from a variety of books will also tend to mix information from the various European cardlore  in their attempts to find core meanings for single cards. These factors may account for meanings which have bled into one another and blurred in both the Fox and the Serpent cards in terms of their linking to negativity, evil or the “Devil” and by extension their association with femaleness.

Along with the rediscovery of Lenormand in the States came artists who drew the lenormand symbols with no prior knowledge of the traditions the cards emerged from based solely on a superficial overview. This makes the choice of  a proper learning deck crucial for the serious student of Cartomancy.

Better the Devil you know….