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tarot symbols

hehe...even Maggie, my kitty, thinks it's interesting!


lilies in similar position, Gabriel in same position as Magician...hmm...

for those not living in a cave, this symbol is probably a familiar one:

It is the Masonic symbol, represented by a square rule and a compass.

Now, I happen to not be a conspiracy theorist, but I do have a love of geometry, and I learned a long time ago what fun cool things you can do with a compass. It basically makes circles. So, the compass represents the ability to encompass something within a circle, or to transcribe a perfect circle.

The square rule measure out a 90° angle and the corresponding straight lines. These were the tools used in the Middle Ages to construct magnificent buildings which must at that time have seemed like real miracles in the world then.

The guilds which had these trade secrets were unusually egalitarian for the time, and those symbols became associated with living by a moral order that exceeded the then perversely power-hungry Church and Monarchies. Those symbols meant freedom.

The freedom to build by one's own hand. The freedom to own one's own thoughts, ideas and creative efforts. In the 1500-1600s, these were revolutionary ideas. Now a days most people talk about intellectual property fairly casually, but at one time those were treasonous ideas.

So, over time we come down through history and culture with these symbols as recognized but not always anymore understood.

The United States was founded on the idea that people should be free from being FORCED to believe things or to support military efforts or to be oppressed by that military. Many of these freedoms had long been pursued in some secrecy by the Masonic organizations.

In secret because individual freedom in a monarchy at those times was treason and freedom to choose your religious beliefs was an ex-communicable and sometimes executable offense.

These are freedoms many Americans have completely forgotten were so revolutionary and hard sought as recently as the last couple hundred years.

So....when I see the compass and square symbol in, for instance the Magician Tarot Key, I see nothing more pernicious or frightening than the reminder of what those symbols brought about in the history of humanity: freedom of choice and self-determination.

I value those freedoms, so I value the reminder to live by a higher order than popular opinion or even the institutionalized religions. To live by the compass means to circumscribe my passions and keep my energy contained within my appropriate sphere of influence (ie. make no slave of any person) and to measure my thoughts by a straight and even rule, welcoming the cross current of opposing views to keep my mind flexible and able to bend at the knee when necessary. (ie. be humble and straight-forward)

These concepts are not so scary, are they?

Well, for most people, freedom IS scary and most people will do anything to avoid having to be responsible for themselves. So I guess the Masonic symbols are frightful...to people who want their church and government to think for them!

Thought on the Pattern

originally I posted this in my journal:

Each day I begin my meditation with the Pattern on the Trestleboard from

This Is Truth About The Self
in this case, both Truth and Self are meant in an archetypal sense; this is not just simple true statements that could be subject to circumstance or perspective, but The Truth, which is Universal and all-encompassing. Trusting that there IS such a Truth and that it can be laid out so neatly was my first challenge. I now believe that it is not just true for me, but Truth in a sense that is beyond my full human understanding.

0. All the Power that ever was or will be is here now.
In this case again, Power is meant not only active energy or material, but all potential as well. The idea is that as this is statement "zero", that it has its basis in pre-creation of the material universe. This means that we are connecting to Source in a way that is not limited by space or time. It is difficult for the human mind to grasp something beyond the scope of space/time and still have that be "here now" as the idea of "here and now" is within space/time.

1. I am a center of expression for the Primal Will-to-Good which eternally creates and sustains the Universe.
yep, that's me, the center of the Universe..hehe...oh wait...Primal in this case relates to First, as in, no-thing before this thing. Will-to-Good is basically what people frequently call "God", but which to avoid the usual mental/emotional structures we build up around that kind of dogmatic language is described in terms that are more abstract. 'Will' suggests that there is an active intention carrying out its purpose to a Good end. This is the Elohim in Genesis who sees that it was Good. To be a center of expression means that not just you, as in your body or your mind or whatever you define as your "self", but every minute atom has within it a center of expression that is derived in essence from this Primal Will-to-Good. Every particle in your human form not only WANTS to be there to give your life expression, but does so from the most Primal Will in existence.

2. Through me its unfailing Wisdom takes form in thought and word.
I will point out that, first, at this stage it only refers to thought and word. We are dealing with creation in its symbolic or mental form, not yet through physical form or action. However, unfailing Wisdom corresponds to the left brain in which we find such things as Broca's area which is responsible largely for emotional interpretation, religious experiences and language. So, it suggests that language is best served in the application of wisdom. The online etymology dictionary has this to say:
wise (adj.)
O.E. wis, from P.Gmc. *wisaz (cf. O.S., O.Fris. wis, O.N. viss, Du. wijs, Ger. weise "wise"), from pp. adj. *wittos of PIE base *woid-/*weid-/*wid- "to see," hence "to know" (see vision). Slang meaning "aware, cunning" first attested 1896. Related to the source of O.E. witan "to know, wit."

"A wise man has no extensive knowledge; He who has extensive knowledge is not a wise man." [Lao-tzu, "Tao te Ching," c.550 B.C.E.]
The idea here is seeing Truth as it is, not thinking you know but perception of reality.

3. Filled with Understanding of its perfect law, I am guided, moment by moment, along the path of liberation.
Now we are in the right side of the brain. Understanding means literally to stand in or under/amongst. It suggest that we not only have agreement of the perfection of the law of the Primal Will-to-Good, but that we are within it, filled by it and it is part of what makes us whole. Simplistically, rain-brained thinking is intuitive and wholistic; it is the view from within rather than standing outside in an objective sense. It means that we are through our life experiences led by the need for God to live in physical existence to grasp it and through that grasping of it, find our way back to fulfillment of our divine purpose in Being.

4. From the exhaustless riches of its Limitless Substance, I draw all things needful, both spiritual and material.
This statement connects to the left arm, the receptive side. In my teachings this hand is the hand of Water; which is the essence of Limitless Substance; the waveforms from which all things differentiate from; be they atoms, light rays, music, or nuclear reactions within the heated furnace of a dying star. From this same universal source, do we draw our very material selves, as well as everything we need to continue existence in any form in every moment.

5. I recognize the manifestation of the Undeviating Justice in all the circumstances of my life.
Manifest is an interesting term. It derives from manus, meaning hand and festus meaning something can be seized. So, to manifest is to seize with the hand, appropriately this relates to the right arm, in my teaching the hand of Fire, or action. Undeviating comes from the Latin root deviare, "to turn away", so undeviating justice is a straight line path. Ironically again, Justice stems from the Latin juris meaning the right side, which has come to mean upright or correct. In a sense, this statement could be read as, "I recognize my right hand doing what my right hand does"
While that may sound redundant, in reality it talks of an awareness of consequences. I see what I do, I made my bed, I now lie in it. It's about watching your action to see how they create your reality, or what you have seized with your hand, you recognize is now IN your hand.

6. In all things, great and small, I see the Beauty of the Divine Expression.
I liken this statement to the one in the Beatitudes :"Blessed are the Pure of heart for they shall see God."
This statement does correspond to the heart and I like to point out that while that statement by Jesus is often thought to suggest some afterdeath Heavenly special limited time only viewing of God, I believe it really means that at any moment in which one's heart is truly pure, the essence of God is apparent in the Primal Substance that makes up all things.

7. Living from that Will, supported by its unfailing Wisdom and Understanding, mine is the Victorious Life.
This one I needed to ponder a bit. After breaking down its parts, I notice first that this connects to the left hip, which controls the flexibility and motion of the left leg. The corresponding sephirah is associated with Venus and in my teachings, the left foot is that of Earth, so it is about Life force being our mover through the world. However, lest we be trapped by the illusion of physicality, we are reminded first that the Will that controls even that Life is the Primal Will-to-Good. Also, by saying it is "supported by [...] Wisdom and Understanding" we also connect the idea of how motility derives its immediate orders from our brain and Life gets its orders from the very Mind of God. When those elements are in harmony, we can overcome the illusions of separation from the Divine, Death, and separation from one another. That is the only true victory in Life.

8. I look forward with confidence to the perfect realization of the Eternal Splendor of the Limitless Light.
This statement corresponds to the right hip which gives motility to the right leg. In my teachings this is the foot of Air. In the Tarot key The Fool, the right foot is off the ground, ready to step into realization; the element being Air. So, this statement points to that kind of looking forward. Confidence, "from con-, intensive prefix, + fidere "to trust", suggests that we may not yet see the manifestation unfolding, but we move into it with trust in its origin: Ain Soph. While we cannot shovel out the dark, once Light came into Being, it cannot be unlit.

9. In thought and word and deed, I rest my life, from day to day, upon the sure Foundation of Eternal Being.
Here I want to point out that we have not only thought and word as we did for the statement of Wisdom, but deed as well. This statement corresponds to the organs of generation. However, the order that those are placed cannot be inconsequential: life begins with thought, proceeds to word, then finally becomes deed. If done from a place of perfect rest (ie. the power of the Shabbos Queen, or Shekinah), manifestation is perfected.Finally bringing us to:

10. The Kingdom of Spirit is embodied in my flesh.
Here it is interesting that in Old English the word for flesh meant not only your own physical body, but your close kin as well, so in a sense, even here, in the realm of effects, it is possible to identify beyond the illusion of separation. Kingdom also suggests kinhood or family, thus all of the manifest world is our own "flesh and blood" as it has its Being in the same Will-to-Good that eternally creates and sustains the Universe. In Spirit, the Uni-verse is truly One Word made Flesh.

all comments in italics are my own.


alchemical rose
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