Thoth and the Weather
This is something I am recently working with, as I go out into the mountains on regular occasions I have decided to see what the Thoth has to say about the weather – from time to time I will update you to my findings. Please feel free to discuss your own findings on this thread.
So last weekend there were two choices for walking in the Brecon Beacons I picked a card for each,
The Black Mountain area – Queen of Swords
The Beacons themselves – Hanged Man
This was for the physical experience of the mountains rather than our personal or emotional experience.
The Associations that came up for each were as follows:
Queen of Swords:- She is sitting on the clouds, has her head in the clouds, there is a feeling of height and being able to see the view below. So I felt this was a good indication of the cloud cover being high and we would be able to see around us for the most part of the walk. She is also someone who is quite detached and cool headed in things which I associated with it being colder than usual – or than it had been recently.
Hanged Man:- He is upside down, perhaps we would experience an inversion – a relatively unusual occurrence where the top of the mountains are in clear sky and the clouds are below in the valley, This is a card of water, so there is suggestion of rain or fog, and with the ideas of trust and surrender I have the association that we wouldn’t be able to see where we were going but would have to trust in our skills. So low cloud, some rain and fog, possible inversion too.
We chose to go to the Black Mountain area, and experienced a small portion of the time in some mist, but overall the day was clear we could see far across the land – there was snow on the tops which was unexpected, yet not from the Queens indication of cold. We could also look across to the Beacon area from where we were and there was indeed some inversion going on around the peaks there and a lot of white cloud which would be experienced as fog, with possible drizzle.
A positive set of associations with these cards I feel.
Beginning to work with Astrology and Thoth
Many of the Thoth cards have astrological symbols on them. Looking at how the astrology connects with the card meaning can help us read the meaning of a card in the spread, especially if certain signs or planets reoccur through the spread giving an indication of how the planet’s or sign’s action is influencing the situation in the reading.
When reading a planet in a sign think of the sign being the arena that the planet is acting in. So Venus in Cancer can be thought of as the creative, beautifying, sensual energy of venus acting in the arena of Cancer, the place of family ties, loyalty, home, protection and safety. So we have the feel of ties between people being pleasurable and the idea of attraction – ideal for the card 2 of cups love.
However we can also take this further and look at some of the other attributes of Venus and cancer together and see that in some spreads this card could also indicate an artist – perhaps someone who works from home and expresses homely ideas through their art. The connection to the home and beauty in this card can also represent making a home beautiful, furnishings and colours, comfort and sensual place to be in.
Someone who is very generous (Venus) with their family (Cancer). Venus also represents values, how we value ourselves and others, so in the playground of cancer we are looking at self value within the family, family position. We can also see a possible avoiding of looking at the truth with cancers sidestepping nature and Venus’s ability to please others even if ultimately it serves our own needs. Perhaps too you might say that love is maintained by using tact and diplomacy coupled with a high self value.
There is a tendency of cancer to hold onto things and Venus is about emotional things, so we have the holding of relationships, a possible clingyness and a tendency to go over the past. There can also be a link to historical interests, archaeology, and the like.
There is a love of food and music with Venus, and in the realm of cancer then family gatherings, particularly the women of the family (Venus also) gathering to enjoy good food, most likely in a home or very homely setting.
You can discover other connections looking up attributes of both cancer and Venus and allowing your intuition to combine them to bring further meanings to this card and spread in which it is found. If you also are taking into account other attributes such as numerology and Kabbala then you can further refine and understand both the card and your intuitive messages from it at a specific time.
This is a wonderful card of harmony and joy. The sixes in the Thoth deck correspond to Tiphareth on the Qabalah and as such as the most perfected point of the element they are in. Here we have joy in just being, the cups are not over full nor empty, they are in a balanced state of harmony connected together with the passion of expression of the self. It is life coming easily and also sexual pleasure, the idea of no goal, just enjoyment of the moment, sensuality and self-expression in the now. The cups are all about the emotions and emotional realms so when this card comes up you can be sure to be enjoying the time or area of life represented (unless in a difficult position… ‘what to avoid’ for eg)
The card is connected with sun in Scorpio so there is a feeling of the positive emotional feelings being creative, fertile and productive. Also the idea of commitment to the moment, Scorpio is the fixed water sign, and as such likes to maintain the feelings of this moment and delve into them deeply. So this card represents getting the most out of the good time that is with you. Allow yourself to fully experience the pleasures available to you as with everything it is a peak time and will not be maintained for ever so enjoy every moment while you can. In this sense it can also represent a holiday, or ‘honeymoon period’ of a relationship.
It’s position of Tiphareth also indicates the highest expression of spiritual joy in a physical way – Tiphareth being the point at which the son of God is made man ( in Christian symbolism) for the 6’s The 6 cups is the highest pleasure one can experience through earthly experience, one of the ways to gain this is through sexual pleasure and this card brings this association and energy forward to us.
Both the Scorpio sun and Tiphareth in the emotional world, indicate passion, desire and expression of deep emotions in a positive way.
There is movement in the sea below – the emotional arena must keep moving to prevent stagnation as was once experienced in the 4 cups, so with this knowledge this pleasure is not clinged to despite the delving into its depth. It is as it is and the honesty of the moment is experienced as an eternal truth until the energies change for more development of the soul. It is a card of experiencing the joy of renewal of positive emotions about oneself as well as about others. Celebration and fulfilment, enjoyable activities in what ever area of life the reading indicates. It is a wonderful card to experience.
Learning to read the Thoth deck
Why read with the Thoth tarot deck? Often the deck we chose to read with is just a personal choice of what we are drawn to and this is reason enough, if you are drawn to the Thoth then it can work for you as a deck. It may be it is the beautiful imagery, the knowledge that it has been designed with many layers of correspondences or the reputation that this deck will give you very direct readings that appeals to you, or perhaps it is just a feeling it wants to work with you that has brought you to consider owning this wonderful deck.
I feel this deck is indeed a very powerful tool, there are so many systems of thought represented in the deck in so many ways that it can tap into our collective unconscious very easily and bring us to intuitive meanings easily particularly if you are focused on your inner world and how we can better manifest our potential in this lifetime. The deck is balanced with its depictions of the happiest times of our lives and also the hardest times of our lives. So you can build a trust in this deck that it will tell you the truth of a situation. When it is difficult it won’t pull the punches however it also shows the way to work through and overcome the difficulties through working on ourselves. Every situation we experience externally brings with it a lesson we can learn from and by using the Thoth tarot to help us work through these lessons it opens the doors to our inner wisdom and healing.
So it is balanced, beautiful, multi-layered, direct and has no taboos – all topics can be expressed through this powerful deck. Crowley, I feel, was an excellent scholar of so many esoteric pathways, he also practiced all he learned and, though he had his own issues, throughout his life he was strong enough to follow his own heart and direction searching for the truth in all things despite being bedeviled. By using the Thoth we are given his study in correspondences through so many systems as a starting point and we then begin our own journey into our inner worlds to find our personal connection with the realms beyond the mundane.
Many people however, despite the attraction of the Thoth – find that they don’t know where to start once they have the deck in their hands, that somehow there is a resistance to working with it. It might be you have tried to read with it and have been put off by the direct keywords on some of the cards and the feeling of darkness that may be alongside these words. It might be you have read some of the books about the deck and have found the information from so many systems of thought coming together in one deck just seems overwhelming, how will you learn all these things and be able to use the deck. Perhaps you have heard of the reputation of Crowley and are nervous to be associated with some of the darker sides of his life. So the first place to start with reading with this deck is to look at your associations with it in the beginning and see which of these are really true for you and which are just getting in the way from someone else’s viewpoints that you have taken on as true.
Once you have acknowledged your misgivings and possible blocks to using the deck you can then move forward. You can start working with the Thoth from wherever you are at the time. You bring to it your current knowledge even if incomplete and allow your intuition to grow from your current place. You may know some astrology, or be familiar with the Kabbalah and these can help you access the cards intuitively as well as your own life experience. When you see an image on a card you can allow yourself to free associate with it, this loosens up any tendency to censor our intuitive thoughts and though many freely associated images my be relevant only to ourselves initially, in amongst this you very often find something close to an intended meaning for the card. With practice and continual self awareness you can come to know the sense of true intuition in you as opposed to wishful thinking or projected meanings.
The depth of information included in this deck doesn’t have to be known fully and intellectually to use the deck well – the images are universal, though we may know nothing of the connection of venus to love, or what the symbol is for venus we can know the keyword love, we understand the colours are soft and bring a feeling of love in the 2 cups for example, we see two sides to a water feature perhaps in the card, each necessary for the balance of it yet each is both separate and connected. Already we have gained much meaning from the associations on the image as well as with the keyword and the feeling from the colours. We have a start to the energy of the card. When we add the association of water with emotions and the number two for partnerships, the meaning develops further.
Self awareness if important though I feel, through self awareness we gain access to the fullness of ourself. Our shadow side – the parts of us we would like to deny – often hold the greatest ‘gold’ for us. As we get in touch with these, the anger, rage, jealousy, we would rather not have, acknowledging their existence, it makes us whole and shows us how we can be more of who we are – for every part of us we lock away and declare is not good enough, we also lock away some gold of our true nature which to be balanced we need. As we lock away anger we also lock away our ability to stand up for ourselves in the face of a bully for example. As we access our own shadows we are less likely to see them – or project them into others and thus we will see our clients more for who they are rather than who we are projecting onto them.
Another method of accessing your intuition is to journey into the card using a guided visualisation technique and to meet and converse with the characters and elements depicted in the card. People often experience the card landscape changing as they do this and additional images and messages come to them through the cards journey. This technique is good to open out your intuition in a general sense as well as when connected to a specific card image. It is also excellent to use to develop ourselves and our lives, clearing out issues and projections in our outer worlds, and also making our intuitive channelling for others clearer and more accurate.
Often when we are using our intuition we are tapping into what Jung called the collective unconscious and here lies the archetypal energies that the tarot embodies in itself. These energies are also represented by astrology and also the Kabbalah and consequently when the images on the Thoth were created the symbols associated with these archetypes were represented on the cards. This is the case to a greater and lesser extent with all tarot as each card can be said to be an archetypal energy – however with the Thoth the correspondences are well worked out and can be seen in so many different systems that there are many different access points to the cards energies. We just have to allow our thinking minds to step back enough to access the collective and so be shown the meanings needed.
When I work with the Thoth I start from the Jungian approach suggested by Gerd Zeigler in his books on the Thoth, this gives a good starting to point to understanding the depth of process that goes on within us and also how the tarot relates to this – it also shows us how to gain the healing potential from the most difficult of the cards. Sometimes if we work with the tarot for ourselves it is very hard to see how a card which on the surface is very negative is not actually gloom and doom for us – whilst it is telling the truth of a difficult time it is also pointing the way to work with this within ourselves to create healing and thereby bring peace within us.
I feel to work with the Thoth in this way on your own personal journey also adds to the ability to have to work with others in their lives and be able to stand alongside another and indicate the way forward when you have covered the terrain yourself – for you to ‘know’ the card on a deep level and how it acted within your own life you are then able to have a deeper knowledge of it when it is active for another in a reading you may be doing.
Using all these techniques you can then form a truly personal relationship with the deck, no longer soley based upon someone else’s meaning or an accepted meaning of a card, you have your own library of experience to draw upon as well as your intuitive access to the card and its archetypes.
From this stage of development you can then gather your own associations for cards from others use of them and how they work for them in their lives – you can add to your system of knowledge information from traditional sources – taking a deeper looking into the astrological correspondences and understanding how the astrology on a card can add another layer of meaning to it. Here too additional practical situations, issues, people, places, careers etc can be linked to cards through the astrological association. Similarly with the Kabbalah, Hebrew etc. Each system you are drawn to learn and use adds yet more information you can intuitively draw upon in a reading. By coming from this intuitive approach you can prevent yourself being blocked by the intellectual systems as you approach a reading, allowing the things you have learned intellectually to spring up from within you when they are needed rather than feeling overwhelmed about what a card could possibly mean from your intellectual mind.
So get out your decks and have a go, ask yourself about your blocks to the deck (perhaps even ask the Thoth itself too through a reading) and allow yourself to get to know your deck intuitively. If you are interested in an online course to do this within then take a look at my website for details of what we offer and how to apply for a place. http://www.tarot-training.co.uk