Neith: The Egyptian Goddess of Fate, War and Weaving

The rich tapestry of Egyptian mythology is interwoven with numerous deities, each with their own unique domains and symbolism. Among these ancient gods and goddesses, Neith stands out as a powerful figure associated with fate, weaving and war.

Mythology of Neith

Neith is one of the oldest deities in the Egyptian pantheon, with origins dating back to the Predynastic period, around 4,000 BCE. 

She is often depicted as a woman wearing the Red Crown of Lower Egypt, and she holds a bow and arrows, signifying her connection to warfare. However, Neith is not just a goddess of war; she has a multifaceted and profound role in Egyptian mythology.

“Unique Goddess, mysterious and great who came to be in the beginning and caused everything to come to be . . . the divine mother of Ra, who shines on the horizon…”

One of the most prominent myths associated with Neith describes her as a creator goddess. In this role, she is often referred to as the “Divine Loom Weaver.” 

According to Egyptian beliefs, Neith wove the very fabric of the universe on her loom. She was responsible for shaping and maintaining the cosmic order (Ma’at) by weaving the destinies of gods and mortals alike.

Neith was often linked to the city of Sais, which was a center of worship for her. In Sais, her temple housed a renowned inscription that proclaimed, “I am all that has been, that is, and that will be.” This phrase encapsulates Neith’s timeless and all-encompassing nature, signifying her role as a goddess of fate.

Spiritual Symbolic Associations

Neith’s most compelling symbolism lies in her association with weaving. In the ancient world, weaving was a sacred and intricate craft, and it was believed that the act of weaving threads together was akin to shaping the threads of one’s life. 

Weaving Destiny

Neith’s connection to weaving represents the interconnectivity of all life and the idea that our destinies are intricately woven into the fabric of existence. It reminds us that every action and event in our lives is a thread in the grand tapestry of our existence, and Neith is the weaver of this intricate design.

Fate and Predestination

As the goddess of fate, Neith represents the concept of predestination. She reminds us that certain events in life are beyond our control, emphasizing the importance of accepting the twists and turns of our destinies. 

However, this does not negate the significance of personal choices and actions, but rather serves as a reminder that we must find harmony with the cosmic order. Neith encourages us to acknowledge the role of destiny in our lives and to strive to align our actions with the greater patterns of the universe.

War and Protection

Neith’s association with warfare symbolizes her role as a protector. She was often invoked to safeguard cities and warriors in battle. This aspect of her symbolism teaches us that while she weaves the fabric of destiny, she also watches over us, offering protection and strength in times of conflict and uncertainty. Neith is a warrior goddess who imparts courage and resilience to her devotees, guiding them through the challenges and battles they face in life.

Timelessness and Eternal Wisdom

Neith’s declaration, “I am all that has been, that is, and that will be,” conveys her timeless wisdom and eternal nature. She represents the cyclical nature of existence and the wisdom that transcends mortal lifetimes. Her presence reminds us of the continuity of life and the enduring wisdom that can be found in the most ancient of deities. 

Neith’s timelessness invites us to reflect on the enduring lessons of the past and how they can shape our present and future. She encourages us to tap into the ancient wisdom that connects us to the cosmic order and the eternal truths of existence.

Neith is a captivating figure in Egyptian mythology. Her role as a weaver of destinies and protector of warriors imparts valuable lessons about accepting the mysteries of fate and understanding the interconnectedness of all life.

Neith’s symbolism offers us a deeper perspective on the cosmic order and the eternal wisdom that weaves the threads of existence together. As we reflect on her significance, we can find inspiration and insight in our own life’s journey, recognizing that our destinies are intricately woven into the grand tapestry of the universe. 

Neith’s presence, both as a weaver of fate and a protector in times of struggle, can serve to guide us on a journey that unveils the timeless truths of the universe and the enduring wisdom of an ancient goddess.

Book Review | Introduction to Tantra: The Transformation of Desire by Lama Yeshe

Introduction to Tantra: The Transformation of Desire by Lama Yeshe

“Introduction to Tantra: The Transformation of Desire” by Lama Yeshe is a profound exploration of the esoteric world of Tibetan Buddhism, specifically the Vajrayana tradition of Tantra. Lama Yeshe, a highly respected Tibetan Buddhist teacher, takes readers on a journey into the complex and mystical realm of Tantra, providing a clear and accessible introduction to this ancient spiritual practice.

According to Buddhism, the ultimate goal of the human experience is full enlightenment. This occurs when all delusions such as greed, hatred and ignorance have been overcome in the mind. 

There are many different paths to enlightenment, but most of these fall within two different types of vehicles, or yanas.

The most common of these is known as sutrayana. Here, the path to enlightenment is seen as a gradual process in which one removes all negative patterns of thought and replaces them with positive qualities like love and wisdom. It is considered to be a long process in which, if we work hard, we may one day arrive at fulfillment.

The second is tantrayana, and is often referred to as the “lightning” or “diamond” vehicle. This is because it is considered the fastest road to liberation. In the tantric perspective, we already have all the qualities of an enlightened soul within us now. They simply need to be cultivated and brought out into their full expression.

“Everything that we need in order to be complete is within us right at this very moment. It is simply a matter of being able to recognize it. This is the tantric approach.”

One of the key strengths of “Introduction to Tantra” is its ability to convey the essence of Tantra as a path to spiritual transformation. Lama Yeshe emphasizes that Tantra is not about indulging in sensual pleasures, as some may believe, but rather a profound method for reaching spiritual enlightenment. 

As a Buddhist tradition, Tantra advocates following the middle path, in which desire is neither rejected completely or overly indulged in. It is instead believed that we must cultivate the right attitude toward desire and pleasure, neither clinging to our experience of them or avoiding them altogether.

“Instead of viewing pleasure and desire as something to be avoided at all costs, tantra recognizes the powerful energy aroused by our desires to be an indispensable resource for the spiritual path,” writes Lama Yeshe. 

“Contrary to what some people might believe, there is nothing wrong with having pleasures and enjoyments. What is wrong is the confused way we grasp on to these pleasures, turning them from a source of happiness into a source of pain and dissatisfaction. It is such grasping and attachment that is the problem, not the pleasures themselves.”

If we ever wish to attain the supreme bliss of enlightenment, then we must begin now by cultivating the right attitude towards the everyday desires and enjoyments which present themselves to us in the course of our regular life.

“Thus the logic of tantra is really very simple: our experience of ordinary pleasure can be used as the resource for attaining the supremely pleasurable experience of totality, or enlightenment.”

The heart of the book delves into the various aspects of Tantra, where Lama Yeshe explains how Tantra utilizes visualizations and rituals to connect with the divine, enabling practitioners to transcend the ordinary and access higher states of consciousness. His teachings are grounded in the idea that the divine resides within each of us and that Tantra is a path to reveal that inner divinity.

One of the most valuable aspects of “Introduction to Tantra” is the emphasis on practical guidance. Lama Yeshe provides step-by-step instructions for meditation and visualization practices, making this book a valuable resource for both beginners and experienced practitioners. He emphasizes the importance of having a qualified teacher, but acknowledges that the book can serve as a supplement to one’s spiritual journey.

The book also highlights the importance of ethics and compassion in Tantra practice. Lama Yeshe underscores that Tantra is not a means to power or personal gain but a path to selfless service and spiritual awakening. He encourages readers to cultivate love and compassion, both for themselves and for all sentient beings, as an integral part of their practice. 

“As long as we remain obsessively concerned with our own happiness alone, we will never experience the supreme happiness of a fully enlightened mind… If we wish to reach the highest possible destination we must cultivate the highest possible motivation for following the spiritual path.”

According to Lama Yeshe, if we are to progress at all on the path of Tantra toward enlightenment, we must be motivated not only by selfish desires but by the desires to benefit those around us, as well. 

“In Buddhist terminology this supreme motivation is known as bodhicitta. It is the impulse to achieve full enlightenment (bodhi, or buddhahood) in order to be of the most benefit to others. Only through dedicating ourselves to working for the happiness of all beings – in other words only by cultivating the open heart of bodhicitta – can we ever experience supreme happiness ourselves.”

Lama Yeshe’s “Introduction to Tantra” is not merely an intellectual exploration; it’s an invitation to embark on a profound spiritual journey. The author’s deep wisdom and profound insights shine through in every chapter. He makes complex concepts accessible, providing practical advice for readers to engage with Tantra in a meaningful way.

In conclusion, “Introduction to Tantra” is a valuable resource for anyone interested in exploring the world of Tibetan Buddhism and the transformative power of Tantra. Lama Yeshe’s accessible writing style and his commitment to demystifying Tantra make this book a must-read for those seeking spiritual growth and enlightenment. 

With its practical guidance, ethical framework, and deep insights, this book serves as a great introduction to Tantra and Vajrayana Buddhism for those on the path to self-discovery and spiritual awakening, and it is a valuable addition to the library of anyone interested in Eastern spirituality and philosophy.

The Dream Temple of Asclepius: A Portal to Healing Through Dreams

In the ancient world, dreams were not merely fleeting nocturnal experiences but were considered profound sources of wisdom and guidance. People believed that their dreams held the key to understanding their deepest desires, as well as a means of connecting with the power of the divine. 

Dream incubation was a revered and ritualistic practice that held a central place in the cultures of many civilizations, including the Greeks, Egyptians, and Romans of the time. Those seeking divine guidance or healing would prepare for dream incubation by participating in elaborate ceremonies.

These rituals might include offerings to deities, purifications, and the recitation of prayers or invocations. The dreamers would then retire to a specially designated sleeping chamber where they would await a visitation or guidance in their dreams.

Among the many temples and sanctuaries dedicated to dream incubation, the dream temple of Asclepius stands as one of the most famous and enduring institutions of its kind. It served as a sacred space for healing and spiritual growth through the incubation and interpretation of dreams.

The Mythical Origins of Asclepius

Asclepius, the ancient Greek god of medicine and healing, played a central role in the temple’s legacy. According to Greek mythology, Asclepius was the son of Apollo and Coronis. His powerful ability to heal made him revered among mortals and gods alike. As the legend goes, Asclepius became so skilled in the art of medicine that he could even revive the dead.

This began to raise the concern of Hades, the god of the underworld, and he complained to Zeus. In response, Zeus struck Asclepius down with a lightning bolt, but later, recognizing the necessity of Asclepius’s talents, placed him among the stars as the constellation Ophiuchus, the Serpent Bearer.

Asclepius is linked to modern medicine today through the symbol of the Rod of Asclepius, still used by many medical associations today.

The Dream Temple: A Gateway to Healing

Asclepius’s enduring connection to healing and the divine led to the establishment of dream temples in his honor, with the most famous of these located in Epidaurus, Greece. These sanctuaries provided a sacred space for individuals seeking cures for their ailments and answers to their questions through dreams. The temple’s design and environment were carefully curated to promote an atmosphere conducive to dream incubation.

One of the most striking features of the temple was the Abaton, a specially designed sleeping chamber that resembled a cave. People seeking healing or guidance would stay in the Abaton after participating in certain rituals designed to incubate a dream.

They would spend the night there, hoping to receive a divine dream from Asclepius, who often appeared in dreams as a physician offering guidance and remedies. These dreams could contain instructions for treatments, the identification of herbs for healing, or simply comforting reassurance.

The dream seekers would then recount their dreams to the temple priests or priestesses, known as therapeutes, who would interpret the dreams and provide guidance for the necessary course of action. This practice of dream incubation and interpretation formed the heart of the temple’s therapeutic methods. It was not merely a place for physical healing but also a sanctuary for the nourishment of the soul.

Legacy and Influence

The dream temple of Asclepius has left a mark on the history of medicine, psychology, and spirituality. Its emphasis on the significance of dreams in the healing process predates many modern therapeutic practices. The temple served as a precursor to contemporary psychotherapy and the exploration of the subconscious mind.

In many ways, the practice of dream incubation and interpretation foreshadowed the vital role dreams play in understanding ourselves and becoming more aware of our inner experience. Today, practices like dream analysis, Jungian psychology, and dream tending can trace their roots back to the ancient dream incubation practices of the temple.

The dream temple of Asclepius stands as a testament to the enduring belief in the power of dreams as a source of healing and insight. It was a place where individuals sought solace and answers, where the boundaries between the divine and human, the conscious and subconscious, blurred. 

The temple’s legacy continues to influence contemporary therapeutic and spiritual practices, reminding us of the profound wisdom that can be unlocked through the enigmatic world of dreams. 

The Tower Card: A Symbol of Transformation (B.O.T.A. Version)

This morning I went to Sunday Service at Builders of the Adytum, and the speaker was giving a talk on one of the most challenging tarot cards in the deck, The Tower.

B.O.T.A is a modern mystery school that was founded in the early 20th century in Los Angeles that combines elements of Western esotericism, Qabalah, astrology, and Tarot. Paul Foster Case, the founder, was a highly influential figure in the Tarot and esoteric circles. The organization is known for its unique and profound interpretations of Tarot cards, including the Tower.

I thought that the timing of this talk was perfect for me, as I’m going through one of those Tower moments that always comes as an upsetting surprise. 

So I thought I would share more about what I learned today at B.O.T.A., as well as what the card means more generally.

The Tower

The Tower Card: A Symbol of Transformation

The Tower card is traditionally associated with sudden and often disruptive change. In most Tarot decks, it depicts a tall tower being struck by lightning, with figures falling from the building. This imagery is generally seen as negative, representing chaos and upheaval. However, B.O.T.A takes a more nuanced approach to the card.

In the Builders of the Adytum’s Tarot deck, the Tower card is imbued with a different energy. Rather than emphasizing destruction, the card highlights the concept of necessary change and transformation. The lightning bolt is seen as a symbol of spiritual awakening and enlightenment, shaking loose the old and stagnant structures in one’s life.

Key Elements of B.O.T.A’s Tower Card

Let’s go deeper into each of these key elements to better understand the symbolism of B.O.T.A’s Tower card:

The Tower 

This represents our ego, the concept we have created of ourselves and the world, and the structure of our personalities. We build this structure brick by brick, and it may  indeed serve to protect us and keep us safe for a time. But there comes a point at which this structure is more limiting than helpful. It is then that we may be set up to have a “Tower” experience that will destroy what is no longer real and liberate us from illusions.

The Tower in this card is also known as the House of God, or La Maison Dieu. It is built of error and delusion, but it is our home, where we live. In other words, our ego or our personality is the house that the Divine lives in. The light of God is expressed through us imperfectly in this way.

The Lightning Bolt and the Crown

The crown is the symbol of dominion and of mastery. Most of the time, we think that our personality or our ego is in charge, that we are really the ones in control. 

The lightning bolt comes from the Sun and throws the crown off of the egoic structure of the Tower. It shows that our Higher Self or God is always the one truly in control. There is nothing “negative” or “bad” which comes to us which is not ultimately without purpose, if we are willing to accept the truth and cultivate the seed of wisdom each disappointment carries within it.

In this interpretation, the lightning bolt is not a destructive force but a flash of divine inspiration. It represents the sudden insight or revelation that can shatter our illusions and complacency. It’s the spark of spiritual awakening that can be uncomfortable but ultimately liberating.

The Falling Man & Woman

Traditionally, the falling figures in the Tower card are often viewed as victims of destruction. 

However, in B.O.T.A’s interpretation, they represent aspects of the self that need to be shed. These figures symbolize outdated beliefs, ego-driven patterns, and emotional attachments that hold us back on our spiritual journey. The Tower’s upheaval is necessary for our future growth and transformation.

“Verily destruction is the foundation of existence, 

And the tearing-down thou seest 

Is but the assembling of material 

For a grander structure.”

–Paul Foster Case, The Book of Tokens: Meditation on Peh

The Spiritual Lesson

The B.O.T.A. version of the Tower card imparts a profound spiritual lesson: transformation and spiritual growth often involve upheaval and the dismantling of our old ways of thinking and being. It encourages us to embrace change, even when it feels disruptive, as a necessary step on our spiritual journey.

This perspective invites us to see the Tower card as an opportunity for renewal and personal growth rather than something to be feared or avoided. It reminds us that even in times of disruption, we can find a higher purpose and a way to continue on the path to spiritual enlightenment.

The Builders of the Adytum’s interpretation of the Tower Tarot card offers a refreshing and empowering perspective on a traditionally challenging card. It reminds us that even in times of upheaval, there is a higher purpose and a path to spiritual enlightenment.

By embracing change and letting go of what no longer serves us, we can rise like a phoenix from the ashes, ready to embark on a new and transformative journey in life. The Tower card is not necessarily symbol of disaster, but of the rebirth and transformation that can result if we look more deeply and integrate the lessons available to us to be learned from these experiences.

It is also important to keep in mind the Hebrew letter, Peh, associated with this card. Peh represents the mouth. It is the creative word: it is what we are saying, and how we’re reacting to other people.

I AM the MOUTH whence issueth the breath of Life;

I am the all-devouring one Whereunto all things return.  

“Beginning and End” Is my holy name, 

For the MOUTH is a sign of my self-duplication, 

Whereby I testify to myself of myself.

–Paul Foster Case, The Book of Tokens: Meditation on Peh

The Tower also links the 7th Sephiroth (Netzach, or Victory) with the 8th (Hod, or Splendor).

Netzach is associated with the planet Venus, and with all she represents: desire, beauty, romance, the erotic.

Hod is associated with the planet Mercury, as well as the power of logic, communication, and rationality.

I am the Word of Life 

Which exciteth all beginnings, 

The Word Which hath its own beginning in Victory 

And its completion in Splendour, 

And is the balance between them.

–Paul Foster Case, The Book of Tokens: Meditation on Peh

Tree of Life B.O.T.A.

This speaks to the fact that many of us experience these “Tower” moments when we are confronted by the disparity between our desires, Netzach, and what we think we know, Hod.

This card also lies directly beneath Key 14, Temperance, which is known as “the Intelligence of Probation and Trial”. It is through these disruptions in our sense of self and what we know that we are tested and made stronger. 

Whether we like it or not, we cannot reach the most elevated version  of ourselves if we are not continually tested and asked by our circumstances to reach higher and grow into the best expression of who we really are.

Chiron in the 8th House: Delving into Deep Wounds and Creating Transformative Healing

Astrology can be one of the most effective tools for self-discovery and introspection, providing insights into our personalities, life paths, and the challenges we may face along the way.

One celestial body that carries profound significance in astrological interpretations is Chiron, often referred to as the “wounded healer.”

When Chiron is placed in the 8th House of a natal chart, its presence brings a unique blend of intensity, transformation, and deep emotional healing.

Understanding Chiron

Before delving into Chiron’s placement in the 8th House, it’s essential to grasp the essence of Chiron itself. In astrology, Chiron is considered a “minor planet” or “asteroid” and symbolizes the archetype of the wounded healer.

According to ancient Greek mythology, Chiron was a centaur, a creature known for its dual nature, being part human and part horse.

However, Chiron was unique among all centaurs; he was wise, gentle, and profoundly skilled in the healing arts and various forms of knowledge. Chiron’s wisdom and compassion set him apart from his wild and often savage brethren.

The astrological significance of Chiron’s myth lies in his dual nature. According to the ancient myth, Chiron suffered a wound that was both incurable and eternal. This wound, often depicted as an arrow, was accidentally inflicted by Hercules, but with poison he had been given by Chiron himself.

Despite his immense knowledge and healing abilities, Chiron could not heal himself. This myth underscores the idea that even those who possess great wisdom and healing capacities are not immune to their own wounds and vulnerabilities.

In astrology, Chiron’s placement in a natal chart symbolizes an area of deep emotional and psychological wounds. However, it also reveals where individuals can become sources of healing and guidance for others. Chiron’s myth, therefore, teaches us that our own wounds can become sources of strength and that our deepest vulnerabilities can connect us with others in profound and transformative ways.

The 8th House: The House of Transformation

The 8th House in astrology is often associated with profound transformation, shared resources, death, rebirth, and intimate connections. It’s a house of intensity and depth, and when Chiron is located here, it amplifies these themes.

Chiron in the 8th House signifies a deep wound related to intimacy, trust, and shared resources. This wound could manifest as fear of vulnerability, difficulties in merging with others on a deep emotional level, or issues related to inheritance and joint finances.

Significance of Chiron in the 8th House

Individuals with Chiron in the 8th House are often drawn to experiences that force them to confront their deepest wounds. These challenges may present themselves through intense relationships, financial crises, or experiences of profound change. These experiences, while challenging, can ultimately be opportunities for growth and healing.

The 8th House rules over matters of intimacy and trust, and Chiron’s presence here can indicate significant wounds in these areas. Individuals may struggle with letting others in, fear betrayal, or grapple with issues of power and control in their relationships.

Chiron’s placement in the 8th House also bestows individuals with a unique ability to empathize with the pain of others. They can often become skilled healers or counselors, using their own experiences of healing and transformation to guide and support others on their journeys.

Over time, those with Chiron in the 8th House can develop remarkable resilience and inner strength. Their ability to confront and heal their deepest wounds gives them a sense of empowerment and a profound connection to the cycles of life, death, and rebirth.

Ultimately, Chiron in the 8th House represents the “dark night of the soul,” where individuals must confront their inner demons and face their fears head-on. It often represents a journey from woundedness to wisdom, where the individual can learn to harness their own transformative power. The symbolism of this placement is much like to that of the phoenix rising from its ashes—a powerful metaphor for rebirth and renewal.

Ultimately, this placement teaches us that our deepest wounds can be sources of strength and that through embracing our own vulnerability, we can facilitate powerful and enduring transformation in our lives and the lives of those around us.

Healing Chiron Issues in the 8th House

Understanding the archetypal significance of Chiron is just the first part of the process of healing issues associated with the 8th house

There are many types of practices that can help us process our inner experience and transmute what is in darkness or unconscious within. Seeking support in this way can provide us with the tools we need to navigate the depths of the 8th House and integrate the transformative power of Chiron. Let’s explore some of them:

Shadow Work

Shadow work is a profound psychological and spiritual practice that involves delving into the hidden, often unconscious aspects of the self—the shadow. With Chiron in the 8th House, this type of work takes on a heightened significance. To start engaging with the shadow in your own personal unconscious, you can start integrating these practices into your life:

Self-Reflection: Engage in regular self-reflection to identify recurring patterns, fears, and unresolved emotional wounds related to trust, intimacy, and shared resources.

Journaling: Maintain a journal to record dreams, thoughts, and emotions. Explore the symbolism and archetypal themes that arise during this process.

Therapy or Counseling: Seek guidance from a trained therapist or counselor, especially one who specializes in depth psychology or Jungian psychology. They can help individuals navigate the depths of their psyche and provide tools for healing.

Rituals and Ceremonies

Rituals serve as powerful symbolic acts that connect individuals with archetypal energies and facilitate transformation. When working with Chiron in the 8th House, consider incorporating some of these rituals into your practice as part of your healing journey:

New Moon Rituals: Align your healing work with the cycles of the Moon. New moon rituals, in particular, are excellent for setting intentions and releasing old wounds associated with Chiron’s placement.

Candle Magic: Light candles of specific colors associated with the 8th House (for example, deep red) to create an ambiance conducive to inner exploration and healing.

Meditation and Visualization: Use guided meditations and visualization techniques to journey into the depths of your subconscious, where Chiron’s wounds are often stored. Visualize these wounds transforming into sources of strength and wisdom.

Astrological Consultation: Consult with a skilled astrologer who specializes in Chiron placements and how to work with them. They can provide insights into your unique journey and offer guidance on harnessing the transformative potential of Chiron in the 8th House.

By engaging in practices meant to cultivate self-awareness and transformation, individuals can transmute their deepest wounds into sources of wisdom and strength. When working with these issues, we should also remember that any healing process is deeply personal and ongoing, and each person’s path is unique.

The bottom line is that with dedication, self-awareness, and the willingness to confront the depths of the psyche, Chiron’s placement in the 8th House can become a catalyst for profound inner changes and personal evolution.

I. The Magician

Keywords for the Magician


It’s late afternoon, and we see an intense, mysterious looking man standing alone in a secret garden. Dressed in long, flowing robes of red and white, his ritual attire mirrors the flowers blooming here on this sacred ground. 

The red rose we see represents our heart’s desires, the power of our subconsciousness, as well as the body.  It is our primal will, our emotions, feelings, instincts and drives.

The white lily, on the other hand, symbolizes our capacity to discern the truth, the power of our consciousness, as well as our mind. Where they bloom, so do reason, logic, truth, honesty and integrity.

Turning back towards the Magician, we see that he stands before a wooden table, upon which are inscribed various symbols and astrological glyphs. Upon this altar are set the tools of his craft:

A wooden wand, for the spiritual element of fire: that which is active, inspired, fast-moving, adventurous and expansive.

A golden cup, for the emotional element of water: that which is receptive, imaginative, peaceful, gentle and quiet.

A sword of steel, for the intellectual element of air: that which is logical, rational, discerning, and concerned with truth.

A brass pentacle, for the physical element of earth: that which is mundane, grounded, patient, stable and secure.

The magician now casts his circle, calling in the powers of the four directions, asking they be here with him now. 

He thanks the elemental forces for their power and their presence. Then with deliberate intention, the Magician holds a white wand up toward the heavens in his right hand, as he points down to the ground with his left. 

Fully grounded in his power, he connects the Above with the Below. With single-pointed attention, he repeats two words alone to himself as he works his magic. 

Solve: It is the death, decay, and destruction of the current form of being. Every death, every disintegration releases a powerful surge of energy. As the old form collapses, power is made available to be used for creation of something new. 

Coagula: The energy freed in death is transformed. Freed from its imprisonment in matter, it is now available to take on a new shape, to be reborn into new ways of being. 

The task of the Magician is to channel this powerful energy into what he desires to create. In this moment, he is between worlds. He is both passive and active at once. 

He passively receives inspiration and creative power from above. He actively directs what is received through his attention into the desired object or outcome. 

Like Thoth, the God of words, language, and magic, he exists at the crossroads. Similar to Hermes, the Magician acts as a mediator and messenger, communicating the will of spirit in the world of matter. 

The Magician Interpretation

When this card comes up, it often speaks to our capacity to make decisions and manifest change in our material world. It often indicates mastery, a certain level of skill and command of both our inner and outer resources.

This card is a symbol of mastery and controlled action, utilizing the force of one’s focused intent to cause a change in conformity with will.

The Magician also means acting as a channel for divine inspiration to flow through us into material reality. 

This card asks us to turn our attention to channeling our potential (in the form of ideas and inspirations) into something tangible, concrete and manifested in the physical world. 

It is a reminder that, with proper focus and intent, we can truly create magic in the world. 

Eight of Cups

8 of Cups

Keywords for the Eight of Cups 


In the image on this card, we see a darkened sky, at the moment when the moon moves to cover up the sun in a solar eclipse.

Underneath this portentous planetary conjunction, we see a rocky coastline, where rocky green cliffs meet shallow, watery tide pools beneath.

It is the moon which pulls on these tides, stirring the waters of the earth and the blood of our bodies; sometimes, it prompts sudden changes of heart and then the inevitable movement toward newly envisioned desires that call out to us to be embodied more fully. 

Directly before us stand eight cups standing stacked neatly in two rows. In the space left by a gap in the top row we catch sight of a figure wearing a striking crimson cloak and boots. In tarot, the color red typically stands for the power of our desires, feelings and emotions. 

We see that this person has turned away from us, setting out with the intention to find a more satisfying life for herself. It is likely due less to any logical reasoning than a deep seated desire which spurs her to action.

8 of Cups Interpretation

When the 8 of Cups shows up in a tarot reading, it often refers to a situation where we have chosen to leave behind something which still gives us some measure of satisfaction and joy, in order to seek out something better or more fulfilling. 

It is interesting to note that, in contrast to the 5 of Cups we saw earlier, all of the cups in this card still remain standing. Nothing here has been lost, and on some level, there still remains a considerable amount of potential for happiness here.

As a result, the 8 of Cups can often mean leaving behind the known, and embarking on a journey of self-discovery to find what is more fully aligned with the true desires of your heart. 

In addition, the eclipse of the sun we see in this card can guide us to seeing some of the deeper meanings at play. The Sun represents the solar mode of conscious, rational awareness. In turn, it is being covered by the Moon, which represents the lunar mode of subconscious, emotional awareness. 

This indicates that we are being prompted to trust our “gut feelings,” and allow our intuition to be our guide into what could be a more promising future for ourselves. 

As a result, the Eight of Cups in a reading can mean disregarding our typical left-brained rationalizations which tend to encourage us to follow the more conventional path, the part which expects us to fall in line with what society expects of us as the only “reasonable” choice.

 Instead, this card asks us to take a chance and follow the promptings of our hearts instead.

Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you truly love. It will not lead you astray.”


Queen of Cups

Queen of Cups

Keywords for the Queen of Cups


In the image on this card, we find ourselves down by the water’s edge early on a bright spring day.

To our right, we see yellow cliffs rise up in the background. On our left, we see water flowing gently up against the sand of the seashore.

Directly before us, we see a beautiful woman dress all in shades of blue. Her dress gently flows down to blend into the water at her feet, becoming at one point nearly impossible to determine the sea begins and she ends.

This speaks to how integrated this Queen is with the waters of the unconscious represented by the ocean.

This is the source of her vast creative powers. She draws easily upon the divine source for all of her inspiration and creativity. She easily receives guidance from the deeper waters of the greater unconscious depths.

Queen of Cups Interpretation

The Queen of Cups in a reading can refer either to someone we know in our external world, or alternatively to ourselves and how we have been showing up in a particular situation. 

Either way, it indicates a woman who possesses a certain sweetness and sensitivity to her nature. 

She is caring and nurturing to those around her with an almost motherly quality that carries all the connotations of generosity and concern for those she loves, while retaining a certain youthful and spontaneous attitude. 

This is a woman who is very creative. She uses her visionary imagination to manifest art, relationships, and much more from the heart.

The Queen of Cups is also the most intuitive and even psychic of all the court cards. Her inner visions are not merely flights of fancy, but rather often intimations of a deeper truth. This is a queen who is grounded in reality, who has the capacity to utilize her inspired visions to make her dreams a reality. 

Nine of Swords

9 of Swords

Keywords for the Nine of Swords


In the image on this card, we see someone sitting up in bed, holding their head in their hands. They appear as if they had just woken up from a nightmare, or recalled some horrible, traumatic memory.

Now, they cry bitterly, sad tears of despair in the middle of this long, dark night.

The pain and suffering evident in this card is palpable.However, it is an experience of inner suffering, of a mental or emotional pain which may sometimes come upon us unbidden in the darkness of the night.

The nine swords we see here make reference to the mental nature of this kind of pain, and their position fastened up high on the wall indicates that they are not something which can be of active use to us. 

Instead, they are heavy reminders of past limitations that only serve to keep us trapped in difficult conditions.

Also of importance here are the figures we see depicted on the bed and blanket which belong to this unfortunate soul. 

The blanket is covered in an alternating pattern of red roses and astrological symbols. The red roses symbolize, once again, the power of our emotions and our desires to create the reality of our lived experience. 

The astrological glyphs, on the other hand, are a reference to a more large-scale view of causality and creation, one which is deeply related to the concepts of karma and reincarnation. It demonstrates the idea that we are born into life conditions which are a direct result of our previous actions and behaviors.

It is this combination of personal desire and impersonal karmic forces that creates our destiny. Together, these cover the person in bed, keeping him contained within his own personal sphere of “fated” experience.

Carved into the wooden bed is a scene of a man whipping or beating another. This person lies defenseless on the ground, unable to resist or protect himself. 

This speaks of the fact that the suffering shown here is rooted in a serious issue. It is not a matter of a simple misunderstanding or having had a hard day. The shame and regret and loss re-experienced here is instead rooted in deep injustice, in true oppression and subjugation of others.

9 of Swords Interpretation

When the 9 of Swords comes up in a tarot reading, it typically speaks to an experience of great suffering and loss that has occured in our past. 

It can indicate a longer, more enduring experience of suffering and shame over a longer period of time. It tells of the things which have left their marks on our souls, which linger within us as fears and anxieties, and in some cases can even manifest as consuming pangs of guilt or  soul-crushing shame.

The 9 of Swords can at times refer to events so painful, they are not always even fully available to us in conscious awareness. These are the feelings and experiences we may have been forced to repress and deny in service of our own self-protection and well-being.

For example, we may bury our rage at an abusive parent who significantly harmed us during our childhood, and now have difficulty acknowledging or expressing our own anger in the present. 

This pattern rooted in unconscious defense mechanisms often leads to further situations where we are put in a position of powerlessness. There we may re-experience the original rage of our youth, and in so doing perpetuate the cycle of oppression and suffering.

This is a card which at times may even represent the deepest inner turmoil known to us as human beings. It shows the powerfully debilitating sense of shame known by survivors of trauma and abuse.

As a result, this card can represent the pain and rage which, when not allowed expression in the outer world, is often turned inward against oneself. 

XV. The Devil

Keywords for The Devil 


In the image on this card, we see the Devil represented not as Lucifer, bringer of light, but instead as Baphomet, part man, part goat, with the wings of a bat and feet of a bird. In this form, he is representative of the forces of darkness. 

This is further reinforced by the dark mark, perhaps a stigmata, we see etched into the palm of his right hand. It is the glyph for Saturn, planet of limitation, restriction, and boundaries. Saturn also represents incorporation into physical form, along with all the physical limitations inherent in materiality. 

This symbol, like many other elements here, is as if to say, “This is it—the physical, material world you see before your eyes is all there is—nothing more is possible.” It asks us to forget the spiritual, to tie our hopes and desires to the physical only. It encourages blind consumption, sex without soul, obsession with form and ignorance of spirit.

This is further echoed by the appearance of the man and woman standing with chains around their necks by the feet of the Devil. They are parallel figures to the pair we saw earlier, blessed by Archangel Raphael, in the Lovers card. 

Here, they appear with a set of horns on their heads, indicating their animal-like nature. There are no trees as we saw earlier in the Garden of Eden. Instead, the woman herself bears the fruit, her tail extending behind her as a ripe bunch of grapes. 

The man’s tail is made entirely of fire, likely an allusion to the libido, or sexual life force energy. He holds his right hand with palm facing up, touching the clawed feet of the Devil. 

It is interesting to note that the Devil himself lights his torch from the flames produced by the fiery energy of the man in this image. It is as if to say that the ideas represented by the Devil (bondage, ignorance, focus on the physical instead of the spiritual) springs from the sexual impulses of man when uncontrolled or unskillfully expressed.

The Devil Interpretation

When the Devil comes up in a tarot reading, it can refer to the feeling of being trapped, despondent, or hopeless. We may despair of ever finding a way out of our difficult and limiting circumstances. 

This card can also speak to themes around captivity, bondage or enslavement. We may feel like we are in chains, bound to a destructive force that is much greater than ourselves. This often takes the form of overindulgence in or addiction to various substances such as drugs and alcohol, as well as process addictions like shopping or gambling.

It also speaks to obsessions, especially those of a romantic or sexual nature, where we may feel compelled by physical drives to engage in relationships or other forms of social interaction which we know on some level are ultimately unhealthy for us.

A central theme of this card revolves around what value we attribute to the physical & material elements of our world. The upside down pentagram which we see suspended at the crown of the Devil’s head provides a key to understanding these themes more deeply. 

The pentagram, right side up, is a five pointed star meant to represent the human body and our relationship to the five elements. The top point of the star represents the head, the two sides the arms, and the lower points the legs and feet. 

Right side up, the pentagram has the head over the heart and body, in a relationship of “mind over matter,” where our desires are informed and directed by our reason and higher mind.

Inverted, the Devil’s pentagram signifies desire over reason, and matter over spirit. In this case, we let our lower animal passions drive our conscious mind. Instead of utilizing our consciousness constructively, reason is instead used solely for the purpose of rationalization, to justify wrongs done in the name of passion. 

When we allow our “lower” (or our unexamined or unmediated) desires to rule our lives, we find that our entire system can be thrown off balance. 

It often expresses itself in what we might call the “sins” of materialism. Materialism is not simply an obsession with money and the physical objects it can buy, but also a more philosophical orientation towards the world that holds that nothing exists beyond the world of the senses. This is especially common in the modern scientific outlook which holds that if it cannot be measured, then it must not exist.

Remember that the word “sin” originated as a latin term from archery meaning “to miss the mark.” With this in mind, we see how this obsession with form is not necessarily “evil” per se, but simply misses the mark. It is incomplete, and as such, fails to draw a complete picture of our reality. 

Unfortunately, this failure of perception results in grave errors that undermine our experience and even our capacity for continued existence on this living planet Earth. We can see this today, for example, in overconsumption, the drive for endless economic growth, and its relationship to climate change and environmental destruction.

This is the bad news. The good news is that we are not condemned to continue the errors of the past. Look at the chains which hold the woman and man on this card. They hang loose around their necks. It would be so easy to remove them and become free. 

First, they would need to become aware of their bondage, and recognize the falsehood of the lies which have held them chained. Liberation would then become inevitable. For those who have developed the eyes to see, it would then be a simple task to lift the chains from off one’s neck, drop the lies, and step into the future free from the limitations of ignorance.