Some Card Interpretations (Rider-Waite)

March 24, 2008

I originally posted these card interpretations in the comments section of the now defunct trolltopia blog, and they mostly refer to the Rider-Waite variation of the card. For a while the blog author did a one card reading every day and then gave an interpretation. These were my responses.

2 of Swords

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Ew! Card interpetations! Fun! Can I play!

Let’s see, two of swords. Element of air in the number two, which is the number of purity. It rests on the pillar of mercy because a true purity is completely itself and can never be changed or corrupted, causing stagnation (an attribute of mercy, not balance or severity).

And air is representative of the mental side of things, so we have a purity of knowledge, thought, reason, and even imagination.

The two of swords is both knowledge and reason in the abstract and how it applies to physical reality and practical use. It doesn’t bridge the gap between useless, though highly intellectual, information and ideas and useful though more mundane ideas, rather that gap never exists for the two of swords, and all information is at once completely useful and highly intellegent.

Looking at the lady, she’s blindfolded for the same reason that justice is blindfolded. She’s a purity of reason and knowledge, unswayed by any bias or emotion. As discussed earlier, a true purity can never be changed or corrupted.

The swords crossed against her chest are readied for both attack and defense. Her reason will go out and strike down anything illogical, and at the same time it protects her from any falls knowledge. Air is the lesser of the two aggressive elements, but still an aggressive element. Although air isn’t trying to completely consume everything into it like fire, it’s still going to attempt to strike down opposition.

If you were just doing a one card reading on yourself, I’d say the interpetation would be that you’re a great thinker and concerned with logic, but like any Vulcan perhaps you put too much emphasis on the logical and reasonable side of things and not enough on other aspects of life, such as pursuing your passions or giving into your emotional urges every so often.

3 of Swords

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Waite’s imagery of the swords was fairly negative in its nature, and unfortunately very few of his imitators ever really understood his deck to begin with (if they did, they wouldn’t of had to copy), and so the swords have ended up being viewed as a negative suit, when in reality they are no more negative than any other.

The three of swords is a good example. It is a the first taint on the mental aspect of things brought about by knowledge of itself.

The card itself typically has a negative imagery. It is a card of self-awareness, a card of knowledge, and the idea that ignorance, now lost, is bliss. It is a direct reference to the fall of man in Genesis. Man’s life was perfect, then he gained an awareness of self by eating from the tree of knowledge, and then everything turned to shit.

But that’s just one side of the card. By eating from the tree of knowledge man became as smart as god, as powerful as god. The three of swords is a card of enlightenment, of epiphanies, of creative inspiration, of self-revelation, of self-awareness, and it’s also the card of the brutal, harsh, cruel, and painful truths.

A law of the universe is there can never be a gain without a loss. This idea is more fully explored in the Hanged Man. In the three of swords, we learn that sometimes in order to gain enlightenment we have to give up something, we have to be hurt.

You will never know pain until you feel it. You’ll never know what it’s like to lose someone you love until it happens.

Someone who knows only of complete and perfect happiness will never be enlightened, because they know naught of everything else.

Someone who is enlightened will never again know complete and perfect happiness, having been exposed to everything else their perfect happiness will never be complete.

So it’s a choice between enlightenment and the bliss of ignorance, but once you eat of the fruit you can never again return to the garden.

I think Pleasentville made a good argument for the choice of enlightenment.

2 of Wands

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Ah, there’s a three of wands down there too. I’ll have to do that one next. They have a nice contrast in Waite’s deck. (BTW, you never did say if it was okay that I was doing this on your blog. I just think it’s fun, and I’m assuming it’s okay because you haven’t deleted my posts yet).

Like the two of swords, we once again have a purity, but this time it’s a purity of fire, not air, passion, not reason. And we see this with the flower plaque in the lower left hand corner, red and white flowers crossed (possibly roses, or a rose and a tulip maybe, the design makes it hard to make out the exact flowers). Nevertheless red flowers represent non-platonic love and lust, where as white represents purity.

And our character is a purity of his passions. He stands upon a castle, and literaly holds the world in his right hand, and yet even with all of this he still looks out over the horizen, his hand upon his staff ready for the next conquest. He is absolute desire, and he revels in the ecstasy of desire. On the surface this seems like a sad card, a man who will never be satisfied with what he has, who toils to gain something only to lose interest and move on to the next thing, forever stuck in this cycle.

But with a deeper understanding the card becomes much happier like the rest of the twos. The man is not simply dissatisfied with everything he has, rather he is ever evolving, and every growth he achieves as a person is to him only the stepping stone to the next stage, and he is forever consumed in his journey, never believing he’s grown enough and stopping.

At the same time though, and as opposed to the character of the following card, he truly understands the ecstasy of desire. He is completely content in a state of desire, and he knows that it isn’t the achievement itself but rather the achieving that is really important. It’s the journey, not the destination, that matters. He doesn’t ever need to achieve true completion to find true contentment, he is as content now as he can ever be in a frenzy of desire.

3 of Wands

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I’m going to have to disagree with the guy looking well to do. The guy in the two of staffs, he’s well to do, decked out in nice clothes and a cape. But this guy, the garment he’s wearing isn’t even a real garment, it’s at least three different garments sewn together, the yellow in the top left, the checkerboard stripe, and the rest as red. And none of it matches his sleeve, which may be an undergarment or another something sewn on. And to top it off the man has a band on his head, he can’t even afford a proper hat.

I’m going into this because I wanted to contrast this with the two. Both characters are looking out into the horizon, but this one is poorly dressed and standing atop a small empty mound, whereas the other fellow was well dressed and standing atop a castle. And yet both stare out into the horizon, waiting for their ships to come in as you put it.

Whereas the two represents I Am and the purity of being, the three represents I Know I Am and the corruption of purity, the first corruption occurring through a knowledge of the existence of self.

Translated into the idea of passion, when it realizes its existence it becomes want and desire. Here we have a poor man, a man who wants, looking at the horizon with a staff in hand, ready for conquest.

Where as the man in the two finds happiness in his conquests, the man in the three sees conquest as a means to his happiness. For him it is the destination, not the journey, that truly matters.

The card itself is fairly sad in its energy. The man will never really know happiness. He’s one of those types who thinks happiness is gained by finally achieving what he wants to achieve, and he spends his life in pursuit of that and typically dies sad and still trying to reach his completion.

Career paths are a good way to look at this idea. There are certain people who get into a certain profession, and take certain jobs, because they believe that it will eventually lead to them making a descent income and getting the things that they want (cars, houses, money for children, ect.). Then there are those people who enter into a profession because they have a natural calling towards it, they feel a certain drive and passion in doing the work. Every step in this path (raises, promotions, moving to a better company) isn’t a movement towards getting to that spot where they’ll finally be rewarded with the financial lifestyle they want, but rather it’s a step towards making them better at their chosen profession. And they aren’t putting in their time for that eventual reward, rather being able to make a living doing the work is the reward.

And now ask yourself, which is the better professional? Which would you rather have working under you? Which would you rather be in your own life?

As for these two professionals, the former is the man from the three of staffs, and the later is the man from the two of staffs.

Knight of Cups

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Let’s see, Knight of Cups, which corresponds to the airy part of the element of water.

Air is the mental element. It corresponds to thought, ideas, knowledge, logic, reason, and imagination. It’s also the lesser aggressive element.

Water meanwhile corresponds to emotion, love, relationships, sex, and is the greater passive element.

The knight of cups is actually at an advantage being the airy part of water. He is able to take the positive elements of water and control them, since he’s an active side of a passive element. And unlike the fiery side it’s a very reasoned and calculated control.

The Knight of Cups could, under the best of circumstances, be a zen master, completely in control of his emotions and able to will them to whatever he wants them to be.

In most cases though he’s probably just a guy who’s really good at keeping himself under control. He never flies off the handle and he never breaks down crying, and although he may laugh at times he’s never ROFLHFAO. Most people probably see him as a bit stoic and emotionless.

Then again, in a more negative sense, he could be like Mr Prufrock, over anylzing every emotion until, finally, measuring out his life in coffee spoons he never acts on his emotion and ultimatly fails to do anything of consequence.

As for a personal interpetation for you, I think, and with regards to yesterday’s card, the reading would be that you’re putting too much thought into things and not taking enough action. It’s good to be in control of your emotions and passions, but sometimes you have to act on them and make rash decisions, otherwise you’ll never get anywhere. Sometimes it’s best to just grab the girl, stick your tongue down her throat, and then lift her with one hand onto the bed before making mad passionate love to her. Sure, you’ll most likely get a hernia from this, but if you sit around contemplating that for two long she’s going to end up with that sleazy best friend of yours (we all know your life is basically an eighties sitcom, there’s no sense in trying to hide that now :).

Ace of Coins

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The aces are so simplified and abstract they’re the hardest card to put into words. But they are the seeds of what’s to come, and here with the pentacles we have the seeds of the element of Earth, or the material world (and as such material gain).

As with all of the aces, we have the object being presented by a hand in the clouds, the hand of God, because as per Christian beliefs all things begin with God creating them and placing them into the world.

More interesting in the symbolism is what lies below the hand. Here we have the Garden of Eden, the first material created on Earth, and we have a path running towards the gateway of Eden, and through it lies the mountains.

At the same time, looking at the ace of swords, the seeds of knowledge, we have the barren mountains instead of Eden, and knowledge being what exiled man from the garden and into the harsh and barren world outside.

At the same time, the ace of pentacles is the spiritual aspect of the element of earth. Spirit is the original and all encompassing element, the divine, a part of the all or the source.

If we look at Judeo-Christian philosophies, Eastern philosophies, and even the pagan philosophies they tend to side with the idea that the material aspect of things and wanting material gain is a bad thing, or at the very least not a good thing, and is at the exact opposite of spirituality. Passion can be spiritual (as with art for example), emotion can be spiritual (love, compassion, ect.), and reason can be spiritual (the idea of the enlightened master or the scribing monk), but material gain is never spiritual. You can’t take it with you into the next life. Temptation needs to be removed. The truly spiritual man is a poor man and has evolved beyond a need for money. The material plane is the antithesis to the spiritual plane.

And yet the ace of pentacles tells us that all of this is untrue, and that’s it’s secret. Spirit is all encompassing, it exists in everything, even at the material level. Your spiritual path in this lifetime may very well involve the aquisition and enjoyment of wealth, and there is nothing unspiritual about doing that.

More disturbing is the man who claims enlightenment and yet turns away from the material plane of being. He is a man who has completely dismissed one spiritual aspect of this lifetime, and at the same time one has to wonder why he is incarnate if his path does not involve being a part of physical being.


Sex is Sticky

March 24, 2008

This is a post I made maybe 3+ years ago to a now defunct yahoo! group. For whatever reason I kept it, and it has some interesting, albeit basic, thoughts on sex energy and sex magick.

Unfortunately I haven’t been able to play around with sex energy as much as I would like to. But I have noticed some differences with sex energy as opposed to other types, mainly being that it’s very sticky.

What I mean by that is that it’s very easy to attach something to sex energy, and that even naturally things tend to become attached to it. And of course sex energy is released from a person when they have sex, although they can draw it right back in if they know how. But if they don’t draw it back in, not only is the sex energy lost, but so is whatever was stuck to it.

It really doesn’t take any effort at all to do this on a basic level. Mundanes do this. It’s commonly known that sex can be used to relieve stress (this will be a minor plot device in 50% of the new sitcoms airing this week, I’m semi-psychic :). And now psychiatrists are saying that having sex regularly can help with all levels of depression. And this is what is occuring without effort, with effort it can be used for much greater effect.

Another thing I noticed about sex, even prior to any metaphysical thought about it, is that it’s sort of a boiling pot. It mixes easily with nearly anything and changes. Sex can be mixed with love, or compassion, or anger, or anything else and the end result will be slightly different.

I’ve also talked to some metaphysical healers who have claimed that they are able to use sex magick to heal (in a metaphysical way, not in a physical way), which makes me think that it may be possible for disease to stick to sex energy too.

A few things I’m wondering about and have noted about this:

I’d actually be curious to look at different specific types of entities that are predatory and feed off of sexual energy. I’m guessing what would be found is that in most cases a specific type targets only certain types of individuals determined largely by their general demeanor. The idea being that the entity would have a preference for certain emotions being intermixed with the sex energy, and a repulsion to other emotions.

Another thing, which should go without saying anyways but some people I’ve met really could’ve used someone saying it to them, if a person is going to play around with sex magick and sexual energy, then they should be particular about who exactly their partner is and be sure that they’re compatable.

I’m also thinking that sex can be used for a sort of cleansing effect, and that it is used that way naturally among mundanes from time to time. Basically a way to throw all of the shit out of you, and empty yourself to fill yourself back up how you naturally are.

Now based on the idea that sex energy can be released, that it’s sticky and things are easily attached to it, and that this energy can be reabsorbed by another, I’m thinking that sex can be used as a sort of courior between two people.

On the simpler level, it can be used to transmit simple thoughts and emotions between to people. Or it can be used as a means to communicate information which cannot be communicated through typical means. Or it can be used to send outward some part of oneself to be
absorbed by another.

I’m realizing this while I’m writing the post, but it seems as if this is filling up some of the gaps in what sex becomes as it ascends to higher stages. This seems to fit between what is typical of the physical world and what is a bit higher than that, and actually binding two entities together through sex. It seems to fit together nicely now. A bit later on I may post the different levels of sex that I know of and see if anyone else can add to them or fill in any other gaps. I have to put some things together in my head first though.


Aresian Unbinding Spells

March 16, 2008

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Listed below are two spells meant to aid the practitioner in releasing themselves from any outside interference which may be hindering their true path. In general terms a binding spell refers to a spell that seals away all or some of a practitioner’s powers, and an unbinding spell is one which undoes this. These spells are not specifically meant to deal with a binding, although they may be effective in that regard, instead they are meant to eliminate anything which may be hindering or otherwise holding back the practitioner from pursuing their passions.

These spells work through the power of the Greek god Ares, and it’s important to understand what Ares is in order to use them. Unfortunately Ares was badly slandered by Homer for a variety of reasons, and Homer’s popularity and influence among the Greeks resulted in Ares being badly slandered for ever after.

Ares is a god of the righteous in battle, of justice, of love, of vengeance, and yes there is some violence in him. It would be easiest to say that Ares’ true dominion is in being a slave to ones passions, but it would be profane to say that a god is a slave to their passions. Rather Ares has dominion over following ones passions without regard for the consequences. In that regard he is both a god of justice and vengeance, as when he murdered Halirrhotius, he is a god of passionate love, as when he pursued an affair with his brother’s wife Aphrodite, and he is a god of the warrior in battle.

Aresian Short Unbinding

The short unbinding is a simple spell meant to release the practitioner from any minor outside force which has taken to changing the true course of the practitioner and moving him away from his desires. The spell is meant to target those forces which are manipulating the practitioner against his will, albeit in minor ways, and as such is generally safe to perform whenever the practitioner believes he may have been bound to a path other than his own.

I. To begin with, construct an alter to Ares if one is not readily available.

II. Undertake all necessary preparations to spellwork and presenting yourself before a diety, including any ritualistic cleansing or bathing.

III. The ritual is best performed both alone and skyclad.

IV. If absolutely necessary, any of the first three steps may be omitted, with a mental alter to Ares being built instead of a physical one, if the situation is dire and the practitioner needs the spell cast immediately.

V. To begin, light a new candle on Ares’ alter as an offering to him.

VI. Initiate a communion with Ares. This can be done by sitting in a comfortable position, meditating, and then directing energy towards Ares’ alter while allowing energy to be directed back. Allow the energy of Ares to flow through yourself and ask permission for what is about to be performed.

VII. When ready, and while feeling the energy of Ares flowing through yourself, you may begin the actual spell work, which consists of two parts performed simultaneously, a visualization and an incantation.

VIII. Visualize your body covered in straps and chains, and the energy of Ares bursting forth from every bit of your body, breaking the chains and straps. To the best of your ability, direct the energy of Ares towards this visualization.

IX. While visualizing, recite from memory the following incantation:

Lord Ares
Lend your strength
Let each strap be unbroken
Each twine unwound
Let the true heart walk its path
Unswayed, unbound

X. Afterwards thank Ares for his aid. If possible, allow the candle to burn itself out. Otherwise it may be put out and saved for later, but the candle should only ever be burned as an offering to Ares. The alter should be left up for at least a day, if not longer, and when it is deconstructed proper care should be taken as the objects its made of are sacred to Ares.

Aresian Long Unbinding

The long unbinding is a much more drastic spell meant to release the practitioner from any force, internal or external, preventing them from following the true desire of their heart. This spell, being as it is, can have serious repercussions, and should only be used when absolutely necessary, and only after lesser methods have been tried and failed. As noted below, the fourth candle should be lit, if it is lit at all, with extreme caution. It should also be mentioned that fire exists without form, and as such is considered a link between the physical world and the spiritual or metaphysical world. The act of lighting a flame can be considered a connection between the physical and spiritual worlds.

I. Construct a proper alter to Ares if one is not readily available. Make sure that there is enough room for several candle holders.

II. Undertake all necessary preparations to spellwork and presenting yourself before a diety, including any ritualistic cleansing or bathing.

III. The ritual is to be performed skyclad and alone, or if not alone then with an object of one’s desire only and also skyclad.

IV. Initiate a communion with Ares and allow his energy to flow through you and ask for permission for what is about to be done. If with a partner, both should perform this communion. If needed, candles may be burnt in offering to Ares in order to aid in communion.

V. Place three or four candles on the alter as shown:

——-A———-A—
—–2—3—–3—–4
——-1———1–2–

(ed. note: I’m having trouble properly formatting this diagram. I’ll look into getting something better set up soon. If anyone needs this diagram to do the spell in the meantime, email me and I’ll try to help you figure it out.)
VI. When ready, and with the power of Ares flowing through you, recite the following incantation from memory (with two, both partners may recite the incantation, or one may do so as the ritual leader):

Lord Ares
Lend your strength
May all that confines the heart be destroyed

VII. It must be understood that the first candle is meant to release the practitioner from any internal restraints they may have placed on themselves which prevent them from realizing their passions fully. These restraints may have been enacted out of fear, modesty, etiquette, safety, or many other reasons. This candle is meant to make their passions swell within themselves and overcome all else.

VIII. As the first candle is lit, visualize your body being engulfed by a white flame of passion that grows from within you and overswells eventually consuming the all of your being. Recite the following incantation from memory (with two both should perform the visualization, and one or both may recite the incantation):

Let my passions be alight
A burning flame, pure and white,
And let my heart be aright

(Or for two):

Let our passions be alight,
A burning flame, pure and white,
And let our hearts be aright

IX. It must be understood that the second candle is meant to release the practitioner from any external factors that are preventing them from realizing their passions fully. These can be thought of as the forces of society. These are parts of the mundane world which are not just obstacles to achieving ones passions, but are actively working to push the practitioner away from their passions.

X. As the second candle is lit, visualize the flame that has engulfed your body bursting forth from you and consuming everything it comes in contact with. Recite the following incantation from memory (with two both should perform the visualization, and one or both may recite the incantation):

Let my body release its flame,
Let it burn through man’s domain,
And my passions, not man, shall reign

(Or for two):

Let our bodies release our flame,
Let it burn through man’s domain,
And our passions, not man, shall reign

XI. It must be understood that the third candle is meant to release the practitioner from any spiritual forces and bindings that may be preventing them from realizing their passions fully. This would include any spells, hexes, or curses cast, any magickal bindings, any spells which have effected the practitioner’s path and destiny, any pacts or deals made with any entities, and any debts owed so long as these things are contrary to or otherwise prevent the true will of the practitioner’s heart.

XII. As the third candle is lit, visualize yourself bound by ethereal straps (or hands or chains) and the energy flowing through you moving from your body into these straps and completely destroying them, leaving you naked and free of all bonds. Recite the following incantation from memory (with two both should perform the visualization, and one or both may recite the incantation):

Let all binds break
Remove all ties save fate
And return me to my natural state

(Or For Two):

Let all binds break
Remove all ties save fate
And return us to our natural state

XIII:
The spell may be completed after lighting any of the four candles, and the fourth candle should be lit with extreme caution. It must be understood that the fourth candle is meant to release the practitioner from their destiny, for use in instances when the practitioner feels as if their destined path runs contrary to their desires. If this portion of the spell is successfully performed, at the point directly proceeding the spell the practitioner will no longer have a future or a destiny, only their desires, and their destiny will then be rewrit from that point. A practitioner will be unhinged from destiny for a moment prior to a new destiny being made for them. The repercussions of lighting the fourth candle are serious and most likely irreversible.

XIV: As the fourth candle is lit, visualize your body being thrown from its current place and put into a void, visualize the energy in you white and pulsing out, destroying any remaining ties you may have to anything, and destroying anything that comes near you. Recite the following incantation from memory (with two both should perform the visualization, and one or both may recite the incantation):

Remove myself from my destiny
Rewrite what is meant to be
And untie even fate from me

(Or For Two):

Remove us from our destiny
Rewrite what is meant to be
And untie even fate from we

XV: Presumably a fifth candle could be lit, supposing the proper visualization and incantations could be figured out, and this candle would allow the practitioner to transcend the laws of the universe if it were within the will of his heart, allowing for such impossibilities like immortality and gain without loss. Perhaps the past could also be rewritten via this candle, or perhaps that would require yet a sixth candle.

XVI: After the ritual the candles should be allowed to burn themselves out. If possible, the practitioner should stay and meditate until all the candles are burnt out. Alternatively the practitioner could sleep in front of the alter until all the candles are burnt out. If the ritual was performed with a partner, the two may have sex following the ritual if they both desire to, although the act would be sacred. After all is finished proper gratitude and respect should be given to Ares, and the alter should be left up for at least a day if not longer.

XVII: A final caution, make sure you know what it is you want before casting this spell.