I failed to do a reading for the last month. I’m irritated at myself for that, of course. At the same time I’m not sure how the cards could have prepared me for the past month’s main challenge: sheer exhaustion brought on by twelve-hour days in that psychic cesspool known as a shopping mall.
The forecast for the coming lunar month is largely positive, but there are a few points of interest both high and low. There are also a lot of oddities. Apparent disharmonies between the cards and their placements have driven me, at last, to consult the Book of Thoth, itself. To my delight, I have apparently acquired a sufficient grasp of Qabalah (if not I Ching) to follow the text, if not to master it.
As is my custom, I framed my question as “Dark Moon to Dark Moon, what awaits me in the coming month?”
1st – Self, Viewpoint – XVI the Tower
Culmination. Overreach. Explosion. Collapse. We all know the Tower.
The summer is reaching its peak, and will soon be over. More to the point, my summer break is ending, and with it my time back in the mall, my months staying in Aradia’s care, and the time I had originally slotted to study ceremonial magic. Soon, I will be leaving her to go back to Indiana; shortly thereafter, Sannafrid will leave Indiana for Oregon and a gap year before grad school. Further, I am loosing what little patience I had left for the mall jeweler gig. The details are beside the point, but I am reluctant to return during the next semester break.
The Tower is very much on my mind, and it is no surprise to me that it will be for the coming month.
2nd – Finances, Income – communication – 4 D “Power”
The Four of Disks is a stable place, a well-defended front. It is balance and security. It is the having of these things and the establishment of them.
This is welcome news. I’ve been worried about money quite a lot, and this indicates some stability on that front. I’m sure I’ll have to work for it, and I’m sure there’s a coded message of “stay home” built in there, but … I can work with this.
3rd – Daily Experiences – immediate influences – 10 D “Wealth”
If there is a more straightforward card of material abundance, it does not come to mind. My daily experiences is not somewhere I expect to see any Earth card, let alone this one. I will say, though, that so far it’s been pretty true to form: people have been giving me free food and money for no reason for about a week solid now.
4th – Home-place – family, land, roots – VII the Chariot
I’m moving from Kansas City back to Indiana during the second week of August, which creates the temptation to interpret this as that move. But the Chariot isn’t about movement in a physical sense: it’s about the completion of a quest. Crowley’s Chariot is the bearer of the Holy Grail. The charioteer is on a fucking mission, with four sphinxes pulling him hard enough to steamroll over nearly anything.
Now, I don’t know about y’all, but … home-place and missionare hard concepts for me to reconcile.
5th – Fun / Pleasure – children, hobbies, lovers – 6 C “Pleasure”
Having started with the Hansen-Roberts Tarot, my first associations with the six of cups are of childhood and nostalgia. Which is really not my idea of fun and pleasure as a satyr. Crowley’s 6C, however, is the Sun in the Element of Water. And as a satyr with his natal sun and moon in Scorpio … the Sun in the Water is most certainly my idea of a good time. Crowley says:
“Pleasure, in the title of the card, must be understood in its highest sense: it implies well-being, harmony of natural forces without effort or strain … Foreign to the idea of the card is the gratification of natural or artificial desires. Yet it does represent emphatically the fulfillment of the sexual Will, as shown by the ruling planet, element, and sign. … The idea of Pleasure—Putrefaction as a Sacrament … is one of the master-keys to the Gate of Initiation.”
Sacred pleasures in the House of Pleasure? You knowI’m down.
6th – Work – illness, duty, routine – II the Priestess
And …. I have no idea how to reconcile this.
My work is my worship? I need to work on my magic? Go with the flow?
7th – Partnership – associations, spouse – XVII the Star
I have always associated the Star with hope. To Crowley she is the figure of the Goddess, but the rest of the entry reads like mystical or drug-induced gibberish: useless to any who have not drunk from the same cups. For a rarity, DuQuette’s analysis is less than helpful: it does little more than refine my understanding of the card as one of hope.
8th – Taboo / Crisis – sex, death, taxes, loans – VI the Lovers
The Lovers can be a tricky card to interpret in any deck. As usual, Crowley is the trickiest in my experience. Although romance is always an option, in more traditional decks it’s usually about a choice between the high road and the low: mortal love or divine. Crowley’s Lovers, though … there’s all this mad alchemical symbolism: the union of opposites, the production of a divine child, solve et coagula.
This is an interesting card for my 8th House, given that my current plan is to, upon completing the conjuration of my Natal Demon (hopefully tonight), perform an invocation of Baphomet as both the culmination of my ceremonial year and as the initiatory/dedicational rite to begin my year of chaos.
But I can’t forget the more obvious sexual and romantic interpretations, either, given the complexities of my romantic life. Nor can I quite shake the vivid image of the Lovers from Aradia’s recent visionary experience.
9th – Higher Perception – journey, movement – Queen of Swords
The Queen of Swords is a clear and decisive card. She is a lady of action and precision, ruthless and focused. I rather like seeing her here.
10th – Recognition – career, ambition, status – 2 D “Change”
The two of disks is one of the small cards that puzzles me sometimes. It’s a card of small changes, of refining action rather than intent. In this, case, though it seems to indicate a simple shifting of gears: from miserable mall good, through a couple weeks of genuine rest, then back to my little temple and academic ambitions.
11th – Friendships – groups, social activities – Hexagram
I’ve pulled the hexagram card a few times before, but not often. It’s generally a sign that big shit is—or ought to be—going down. I’m not really sure what that could mean in my social House, though, unless there’s some magickal badassery about to crop up that I can’t currently forsee.
12th – Secrets & Fears – hopes, ambitions – 4 S “Peace”
This one’s easy: I want the rest and relaxation that this summer really hasn’t given me, but I’m a little afraid that the only sleep I might get is on the far side of the grave.
+1/6 – Current Position – 2 C “Love”
My current position is undeniably a solid one, and the degree to which I am content with my love life is hard to overstate. I’m pleased to see that, for the coming month at least, this isn’t likely to change.
+2/6 Current Influences – XV the Devil
I’m a little less certain how to interpret the Devil as my most immediate influence. Is this my general frustration with the status quo at large? Some effect of my planned invocations that will cast a pall (or an interesting light, anyway) over my coming month? Only time will tell.
+3/6 What Crowns It – Ace of Swords
New ideas and inspirations will crown this month, and I couldn’t be happier about that …
+4/6 The Root of It – I the Magus
… particularly not with the Magus at the root of it all.
While the true meanings of these cards will only be revealed with time, I’m looking forward to the results.
+5/6 Going Out – 5 W “Strife”
With my time in the mall coming to an end, so, too, ends my chief source of conflict.
+6/6 Coming In – 3 S “Sorrow”
This really isn’t a surprise to me. I talked about a lot of the issues at hand back at the First House, and it should come as a surprise to no one that I’m going to be a little broken up about it.
Let’s just hope there aren’t too many unanticipated “Sorrow”s in the pipeline besides the ones I already know are coming.
1 – Aleister Crowley, The Book of Thoth, (Strumfurt, CT: US Games Systems, 2002), 85.
2 – Ibid. 199.
3 – Ibid. 109.
4 – Lon Milo DuQuette, Understanding Aleister Crowle’ys Thoth Tarot, (Boston: Weiser, 2003), 143-5.
5 – Ibid. 112-3.
6 – Hajo Banzhaf, and Brigette Theler, Keywords for the Crowley Tarot, (York Beach, ME: Weiser, 2001), 82-3.
7 – Aradia, “no hx of trauma (the story of a very expensive trance),” Divining Belle (blog), July 18, 2012, Accessed July 26, 2012.