The Hanged Man

This month’s card to explore is the Hanged Man.  This is the 12th card of the major arcana and shows a man suspended by one foot from an anhk, held there by a snake.

Hanged Man

The card is associated with the element water and is about baptismal initiation rights. It has obvious associations of seeing the world from a different perspective and the idea of voluntarily giving up action in order to achieve a more enlightened attitude even if it may require going through some discomfort or pain.

In the Thoth this is taken another step and often challenges us to release old patterns of behaviour and trust in something higher to guide us into the unknown – ie our life without our known ways of responding, defending and behaving. So it is a powerful card of inner transformation and surrender.

The crossed leg shown below the cross also has relevance in that a triangle below a cross indicate our sinking into the unconscious – the darkness – in order to retrieve our true selves and be born into the light anew. The snakes on the card lend themselves to this idea also.

There is a connection with eternal life and a feeling of permanence of spirit with this card too – as we release our inner fears, including the fear of death, so we are truly free to life each moment in the eternal now and are not as focused on the past or future, we are free to be completely in the present.

The Priestess

The card we will look at this month is the Priestess.


This card is a card representing independence and an ability to see beneath the veil, ie to be psychic and to understand how the universe works from spiritual law and understanding. Though it is not an intellectual knowing but an intuitive understanding of the deeper mysteries of the universe. It is connected to the Moon and the associations of mystery, the unknown and reflecting light back to source also come in here. The Priestess connects with the higher realms as well as is able to reflect back to people what they are creating in their lives, often times with advice on how to change things. The moon can also be seen to be symbolised in the image by the priestess wearing the crown of Isis which symbolises the changing phases of the moon. Isis is associated with stability so there is also the idea that change happens but is also stable, and that in order to have a stable life we must change continually in line with the flow of the truth of things. She is naked showing her dedication to the truth of things and what is beneath – there is no need to conceal things – there is enough mystery in the universe of itself.

More technically the image on the Thoth deck shows a woman with her hands outstretched – she is in a meditative state and is not looking to the physical world to find her answers but within so doesn’t need her eyes to be open.

The card is associated with the hebrew letter Gimel which means camel – you can see the camel depicted on the card’s image too. The idea of camels being self sufficient in the desert  fits with this interpretation of the card. She is independant and needs no other person to rely on or to feel or be safe. Her safety is within her. She is also able to contain the worries and fears of others without feeling burdened as she can see the bigger picture. She crosses the abyss between oneness of spirit and the earthly realms. As with all of us we have to make this connection alone – ultimately there is only ourselves when we start to look at birth and death in the physical realm – even though in spirit we are all one – we make this journey of the physical world ultimately alone.

There is also a great abundance associated with this card in the crystals and fruits at the bottom of the card and the bow of Artemis on the lap of the priestess (Crowley states this connection). She is the Goddess of hunters and also connected with the moon – she is independant and a warrior as is the priestess here. She provides what she needs for herself and through her own connection with the abundance of the universe.  It can also be seen as a lyre (Frieda Harris has said this) and as such is also a symbol of protection and of hathor – a form of Isis.

The Priestess is the path between Kether and Tiphareth on the Kabbalah and so is the direct link to spirit. Also a very balanced position, she possesses access to secret and hidden wisdom of the higher realms through this symbolism also.

10 Swords – Ruin

This month’s card to explore is the 10 Swords with the keyword Ruin. Many people find this one of the more challenging cards to receive in a reading as we have a tendency to fear that we literally will experience the ruin of our entire lives. If reading for ourselves this is doubly scary as this card does appear when we do indeed fear this to be the case – we might be scared we are about to lose our job and then our house and family to boot with no income to hold our lifestyle together.


However this card is usually talking about this fear – the fear, not the actual experience, of ruin. As we fear things will just get worse and worse until our lives are shattered around us so we feel immobilised and scared about all our actions and decisions. Sometimes this can bring about events that serve to confirm our worst fears. However we can look at the card and see the symbolism of the heart in the center with light shining all around it as showing us that we are actually on the brink of a turning point. The difficulties we have been experiencing to this point are about to turn around and the light and joy of the heart about to grow and become stronger and stronger in our lives if we do not allow the fear to take over but face it head on.

Technically looking at the card we see it is a 10 which corresponds to the ending of something in numerology and the implied renewal, and swords being thoughts we have the ending of our thoughts being the only driving force in our world; thay may feel very powerful when this card is active though.

In the Kabbalah the 10’s are at the malkuth node of the Kabbalah. This is the final most earthly point of each of the worlds. The world of the swords is about the mental facilities and how we conceive of the world intellectually. This card indicates how our thoughtforms can create physical situations, but at this level we are being tested in a sense. Having experienced difficulties with our thoughts further up the tree as we try and manifest our highest thoughts, so here at the earthly level of Malkuth we see that we have done all we can with our thoughtform energy and now something more physical must happen to continue to bring our dreams to reality. We have to shift from thinking to doing (the world of the disks). As we make this transition some of our ideas have to be refined and we are tested in our ability to hold positive visions of what we want to create as we face physical issues that now have to be overcome on the final stage of the journey into creation on the Earth. In a sense it is the ruin of the intellect, we can no longer trust to our thoughts alone we have to move forward and do something and trust our journey thus far has strengthened us to overcome the fears our intellect can place before us. As we view the energy this way so we can overcome the possibility of creating our own worst fears by ‘running away’ into our obsessiveness.

It is sun in gemini and so represents thoughts changing (mutable gemini) and running all over the place in an ungrounded way. Gemini’s quick-to-change energy being out of control. We can harness this and recognise that we also do have the ability to use this fluidity of thinking to find the way forward into the physical world and find solutions to any real problems that arise in creative ways. We can also discern when our thinking is merely circular and fear based, rather than based on any real evidence. This distinction helps us know what is just purely fear based on no evidence, and what is actually an issue that needs to have some action taken to make a change occur. Once we see the difference, the actions needed can be taken, remembering to let go of negative expectations (met in the 7), and fears of defeat (met in the 5).

We see this process demonstrated as we fear the job change will ‘all go wrong’ rather than be exactly the breakthrough we have been seeking. We see it as the money almost running out – giving us the fear will will not be able to continue living in our house, yet it is only a transition and we need to place our trust in ourselves; that our journey on life is exactly what we need to develop into our fullest and highest version of ourselves. We see it in the fear that our partner’s desire for space means they are no longer in love with us, or the fear that our speaking up for what we know we need with push our partner away.

We may need to be active in following our heart’s desire in spite of the fear, rather than to submit to it at this point, allowing the fear to stop us going forward to find the new, more rewarding job, or to check our income and outgoings and make changes for now to help us move successfully through the transition. To allow ourselves to trust that our relationship will be able to hold up to each partner being able to live their own individual needs as well as nurture the relationship. As we do this so the light of our heart grows in strength.

We see the five upper swords pointing towards the tiphareth and this shows how our connection with our spirit and dreams (tiphareth) and our balance is attacked by our fears, the moon on the hilt of the sword at Malkuth and the sun on the one at yesod suggesting the unconscious is becoming conscious so we see our fears; our lack of self-belief and self-value; the things we most dislike about ourselves, as we are challenged to move through this energy with awareness and the on into our dreams with a more balanced practical approach.  The seeing of our shadow can be a powerful opportunity for growth and brings into the light how we negatively view ourselves. Once in the light we can work with our self belief and come to see ourselves as more valuable, lovable and loved and so attract this into our lives as we release this transition.

3 Disks – Works

This month’s card to explore is the 3 disks. This card immediately appears to us as a stability in the midst of external forces. It holds strong and balanced, and despite the wheels depicted on each corner it holds steady, any movement is slow. However success in the direction you are going is likely with continued effort.


Each corner of the triangle can be seen as mind, body and soul, and each area is developing in pace with the others – this can make progress seem slow, but also will ensure what is built is solid and reliable. So in our own development all aspects of ourselves are growing in unison and we would be wise to allow it to take the time it takes and be patient, rather than rushing forward. What is built will be founded on truth.

This card is connected astrologically with Mars in Capricorn. Mars is exulted in Capricorn so we see the positive benefits of the Mars energy – the determination to see something through within the given constraints which we can see as the Saturnian energy of Capricorn (Capricorn is ruled by Saturn) This also shows the successful building of anything we are focused on. We don’t give up on projects that may have obstacles to overcome, and we are more easily able to extend the patience needed for growth.

Sulphur, salt and mercury symbols are indicated on the corners of the central pyramid. These are from the alchemical system of thought and represent the Self – mercury, coming together with the Will – sulphur, and being expressed through the body – salt.  So how we express our true Will here on the earthly plane. Thus activities and creations done under this card’s influence are the expression of who we truly are, or rather in a reading for best results we need to act from our deepest thoughts, ideas and inspirations to bring about something that really expresses who we are. It is possible to create something of real value here. And to feel that what we are doing is actually representing who we are at this time.


This month I am going to explore the card Adjustment. This card immediately hits us with a feeling of balance and calmness, the character on the card is balanced very precisely on tiptoe and there are scales indicating things have to be even on all sides to maintain this position. There is a sense of the need for continual micro-adjustment to maintain this balance. Any wild movements throwing the whole scene off.


It is ruled astrologically by Libra – also a sign of great balance, peacekeeping and with this the sense of difficulty making decisions, due to trying to establish what is truly fair as so often things can be viewed from many different perspectives. Consequently we also see the idea of weighing things up, is it this or is it that?

The blue and blue green give us a feeling that part of what we have to weigh is what is in our heart – what is our truth? How can we be the most authentic to ourselves. Then once we have established this how can we communicate this to others in a fair and balanced way – respecting their side and their point of view?

As we contemplate these things we come closer and closer to the truth and reality of a situation. We also may find as we approach the truth we also approach the sides of ourselves that have been developed to protect us from past situations that are no longer relevant. These ‘untruths’ of our current predicament are brought forward to be seen in thelight of the present day. The reality of now. Often this card arises after we have done some work on our old historically driven patterns of behaviour and the current situation challenges us to see and understand our pattern and also simultaneously react from the truth of the hear and now without denying our past. It can be quite tricky.

On a more mundane level we have the associations of justice, fairness and legal contracts of all kinds – communications written and presented that ensure that all people are fairly accounted for in situations that either have had conflict in them, or could have conflict of interests in them. We have divorce arrangements, house contracts, law suits and inheritance issues around a will with this card – other surrounding cards making it clearer which of these and aso how to approach the setting up of a legal document in a specific situation. The emperor perhaps suggesting to take charge, 8 disks suggesting get help from a professional or at least look at the details very carefully, etc etc.

There is high integrity required with this card, as any imbalance is instantly adjusted, so a disharmonious action with the Will of the Whole will be reflected back to us very quickly so we can see where we ourselves need to make our inner adjustments to be in harmony with our highest potential. It is a card of karmic action from this perspective.  We are sent feedback, in the form of the situations around us, so as to learn and further progress with our development, and the feedback will be or is, exacting.

There is a great deal of a sense of precision with this card but also an emphasis on love, as Venus rules Libra, and Venus is very concerned with love and beauty, the highest goal of all of us to live with love. So all adjustments are made in the name of love – the balance is not one of retribution, but of honouring more than one perspective in love, sometimes involving a lesson if we resist the truth, but the redress is from a loving heart of high integrity. We say no to those hurting us physically, and direct them to help for their pain rather than melting out retribution for wrongs experienced. As we work in this way we stay in balance in our own lives understanding that the ‘wrong doer’ is also a part of ourselves we keep in balance to be whole.


This card is one of, often good, fortune, luck and the sense of being able to have your prayers answered. It is a card that also emphasis’s your own power in the situation – you can make this situation be good for you – it is in your hands to make the intention of what you want to happen and them allow the events to unfold as by your Will. A very magical card and be experienced often as a miraculous result.


The symbolism on the card:
The wheel is symbolic of movement and the changes, ups and downs we experience in life – the goal of the card is to allow yourself to be centered in the middle of the wheel – where regardless of the external situations you face the inner core of you is stable and centered. As we come to this in ourselves so our lives flow more – we resist difficulties less and cling to the good times less too – as the ‘times’ no longer affect our sense of who we are or our self value.

The figures on the wheel are the sworded Sphinx, The Hermanubis or Ape of the Magus, and the Typhon.

The Hermanubis/or Ape of Magus is connected with Mercury in Alchemy and is ascending the wheel – it represents the unifying of opposites. He is also the initiator – the one to set things in motion. And here is the intentions we put out for our lives and the actions to this point that influence the current trends. Hence breakthroughs this card can bring are often the result of your own inner work, now manifesting externally.

The Sphinx represents the energies of Magick and Will – being able to put your Will into action in the world and it having an effect – there is a lot of potential when this card comes up for you to make the situation how you would like it to be if you take the required actions and set things in motion to your favour. Conversely you can also set up things to play out a pattern for you to learn from, so it can sometimes be a test time where you could make a decision for the new you (set in motion with the ape) or retreat into the safety of old familiar patterns. You can follow through on the good works you have set in motion in the past However there is a certain amount of ‘push ‘ from the universe towards being the best you can be rather than returning to old familiar ways. Alchemically this creature is connected with Sulphur

The Typhon represents the energies of the underworld and of darkness and is connected with salt alchemically. It is like the darkness has passed for the moment – possibly to return again later on when things unfold more. It is also representing what has had to be destroyed in order to bring you to this place. It is the death you have recently experienced in yourself that has allowed you to get the possibility of dramatic change for the better that this card heralds.
The stars are representing the universal force acting upon the Earth miracles can be expected with this card, divine intervention can be seen. Often though set up as the result of a series of personal actions and intentions, the universe then comes to meet us at the last stage of the journey.

This card is about the changes that happen all the time in the universe – our cells die and are renewed, rivers flow to the sea become cloud and then rain and form rivers. Cycles of life are represented here in all forms.

7 cups

7 Cups – Debauch

This card often appears rather sickly to look at and the colouring and shapes on the card depict a sense of something overdone and having a lack of energy.

7 cups - Debauch
7 cups – Debauch

Looking to the correspondences of the card we see that astrologically this is Venus in Scorpio. We have the passionate, sometimes obsessive energies of Scorpio acting upon Venus the planet of emotionality, love, beauty and art. So we see here a card talking of passionate connection with others, possibly outside the usual expected realms of love and beauty given Scorpios delight in the taboo. So we both have lack of inhibitions and a freedom to follow ones own personal expression of passion in whatever form it takes, and the darker side of obsession and addiction in all forms. On the mundane level it can speak of late nights, partying and general hedonism. This might be seen as a positive thing – a release from the discipline and restrictions usually in our lives or, if taken too far, a more debilitating exhausting and self destructive thing where we are wearing ourselves out through lack of good sleep, food, rest and time to recover from one social engagement to another. We see Venus is in detriment in Scorpio so the tendency is to overdo things to such an extent we may not take the opportunity to pull ourselves back into balance. However knowing this when this card comes up in a spread it can alert us to the need to bring things back into balance and help us gain the strength to do so – surrounding cards can show how successful any attempt to do this is likely to be.

In relationships we are also prone to be feeling as if we are drawn, almost against our will, into relationships with people who don’t fully suit us, address our needs or who have little to give back. This card shows us it time to start to consider where we need to pull those boundaries back into place and how we are going to say no to once pleasurable things. If we can retreat into ourselves, we also can give ourselves both emotional and physical nourishment. Over-work in the career department can also be foretold with this card and if the 8 cups follows then a certain warning that time out is needed, a rest, a holiday, or some strong boundaried action about what you can and can’t offer in the workplace.

Looking at the Kabbalistic connections here we have 7 at the position of Netzach in the world of Briah (cups) which is the natural place of Venus and also of the energy of victory over our emotions. So there is hope with this card that we can turn things around at this point and that our emotions do not have to rule us in a negative way, though as see above Venus though happy Kabbalistically, astrologically Venus is struggling with the single-mindedness of Scorpio; the place of detriment makes this victory something of a struggle – though, if truly achieved, worth it. We can turn our obsessions into strong healthy passions if we balance them by expression, acknowledgement, and understanding. Allowing our self to hear ourselves fully, repressing nothing, we free ourselves from the addictive potential of our drives. We gain victory over what could be destructive forces in ourselves – this leads us to a greater mastery on this plane. Be aware of the tendency in this card of deluding ourselves about how far we have actually managed to achieve this, we can feel as if we have conquered our addiction or pattern, but actually we still need a good deal of alertness to the possibility it is an illusion and there is more work to be done.

2 Cups

2 Cups Love

I thought this month I would explore one of the more positive cards in the Thoth deck – here we have the 2 cups – entitled Love. A card people want to see in regards to relationship matters as it is a card of balanced and even love. A relationship that can last that has both partners as equals supporting each other but standing on their own two feet too.

2 cups

As we look at the image we see two fish entwined and feeding energy in the form of light into the lotus of spiritual love they are standing on – this shows them as separate yet also each has an equal footing in the relationship that is balanced. The fish symbolises love and Crowley talks about them being dolphins though clearly they do not resemble dolphins in their depiction on the card. Dolphins are creatures of love, often associated with spiritual love and giving, fish in general are connected with water and thus the emotions. Here they are in balance and feed into the central stricture as a well as acting as a bouncing point for spiritual love from higher sources to bounce from and on out to the wider world.

In the way you often see when you are in love the whole world around you seems a better place and it is easier to love all people as you are feeling filled with love yourself.

Being a ‘2’ card it is a card that has just differentiated from the unity of spirit into two things so the driving force is to return to that union, so in relationship we seek to unite with our lover and become one again, yet there is also the tension of being in the physical world and complete union through all time is difficult or impossible to achieve physically though our souls may experience the union fairly fully.

You can see how the spiritual love from the two feeds the two at the foreground of the image and these two are cups overflowing – there is an abundance of love and it is never-ending in this card. There is a hint though given the four receptacles – two lotus’ and two cups that once stability (4 is stability) is achieved then there will need to be a shift and movement to allow development or else stagnation will settle in (reference to the 4 cups that is coming)

The background is yellow calm sea becoming green in the foreground indicating a sense of positive self-regard and self-esteem (the yellow) is the source of the love (green) and this relationship is founded in the self-love that each person has of themselves – we can not fully love another until we love ourselves. In some cases it may well be that each person has indeed fallen in love with a reflection of themselves in the other person – something they may not yet have seen in themselves.

Snuffin talks about the symbolism of the dolphins being additionally connected to the sun and the moon – with each fish a different eye colour – the one on the left has a yellow eye representing the sun and the one on the right a silver eye representing the moon. In addition there is a tenuous link with the Emperor and Empress with the 5 and 4 fins on the inner side of each dolphin, and these cards being the 5th and 4th trumps (fool = 0) personally I do feel this is tenuous – though in an intuitive sense makes for a good connection between the two poles of energy each of us has – the masculine and feminine. As we integrate these so we are better able to be whole in our relationships with others and make for better, more harmonious and loving interactions. So in this sense it is a useful trigger point in a reading.

With the astrology being Venus in Cancer and this is harmonious in itself we have additional links with beauty, the home and a feeling of emotional stability, love and protection.

9 Swords – Cruelty

This months randomly drawn card is 9 swords. This is one of the harsher cards to see in a reading – at least at first look – with its damaged swords dripping with blood – it is like we have done battle, yet arranged in an orderly fashion it seems the battle has become a habit or pattern. The blood droplets are also mirrored by opalescent droplets higher up and we get the sense of healing energy coming from higher realms to transform and heal wounds.


This card is talking about inner pain – in its unaddressed form this inner pain will likely manifest externally for us in the form of someone being verbally (usually) cruel to us, and our experiencing anger and rage over being mistreated in the present day.

Astrologically we see Mars in Gemini which can show this rage or passion of mars expressed through thoughts and words of Gemini (and very much swords related), sharp harsh words are had, there may be a feeling of needing revenge and a sense of power over someone. The heart of the matter can be ignored. Eventually though this type of feeling and experience leads us to seek more and to have the courage to go within and explore the inner pain and torture we put ourselves through because of our historical experiences. Healing can then begin as described below. In a reading it may be suggested this cruelty is being experienced externally in some situation – however focusing on the internal side leads to a more final resolution of the problem, and a deeper healing in the client.

So in interpretation this card is very much about the cruelty we inflict upon ourselves, repeatedly telling ourselves we are wrong, worthless, useless, and not good enough. The battle was once fought out in the external world, often with one of our primary caregivers, and we were never able to stand up for ourselves enough. We may have decided it was safer to agree with the caregiver and see ourselves as indeed not good enough, and so start to internalise the cruelty, which was often emotional of nature, deep in ourselves.

That time may be long over – now however we repeat the pattern of behaviour to ourselves cruelly criticising who we are – our loves, our feelings, our ways of being, in order to feel safe. As adults though we can not make another choice. This card brings the issue to our attention to understand our own ways of being cruel to ourselves. ONce in our consciousness the next step is to begin to change what we say to ourselves. We can use affirmation for this, but often the pattern is so deeply ingrained in order to really allow a new affirmation in we first have to experience the pain of the original wound and emotionally understand we were being treated harshly. ONce we have emotionally felt our own decision to keep ourselves safe in our history it becomes much easier to then change the way we treat ourselves now.

Visualising a child part of ourselves can help this process along. Then getting to know, love and listen to this part of ourselves with compassion is a good deal of the way to healing our negative voice. It may be we need to separate out the part of ourselves doing the criticism too, and allow a more open dialogue between the two sides so a renewed trust can be built between the two. We have internalised the perpetrator and though we can not change anyone outside ourselves we can heal and change the internal form, set boundaries for its expression and gain a deep understanding of the underlying motives for the cruelty – which invariably we for protection from some imagined (or even real) threat of some sort in the eyes of the perpetrator.

This card brings this powerful healing to our attention – the possibility for it and the timing cue “Now the time is right to address this”. It is often useful in readings to pick an extra card as response to the question: “What will my life look like when I address this issue (or stop treating myself cruelly)?” The card that comes as response to this helps us hold a positive image and outcome rather than pictorially reinforcing our cruelty by holding the 9 swords in our minds. Of course if this second card is also challenging then we repeat this approach with that card, a series of challenging cards suggesting the process of healing is going to take some time and that there are more complex aspects to the underlying pain that need to be addressed to come to full healing.

I welcome any comments you may have on these ideas here.

8 Disks

Keyword: Prudence

This card shows us how the energy of the 7 disks is recovered from. What was fearful and difficult now becomes approachable. There is a change of heart – whilst still some caution applies from the left over experience of the 7 disks. There is renewed confidence and ability to speak out – the yellow-orange of the background shows a background of confidence and solid self-assurance. The tree on the card shows good strong roots going deep into the earth. Though the new flowers are protected there is a really strong base of fertility that they are springing from.


So this card talks about renewed confidence, and also the ability to take things step by step – moving forward yet not rushing anything. The foundation of the situation is strong and rooted in fertile soil. So in matters of business a project has good solid foundation for success and is reliable, a relationship is on good footings. However it is not the time to take risks nor to reveal all your plans and hopes.

The card is an 8 so on the Kabbalah this is Hod – the position of mercury and of splendour – there is a dedication to the truth and to integrity in all things. So we see in this card despite a withholding there is also high integrity and what is held back is not done so out of manipulative methods – but more of self-protection and of the need to nurture further before allowing a new idea into the world to be assessed and judged in any way.

This card is one of gaining strength, protection yourself and honouring your own need to have things feeling right before a risk or commitment is taken.

Astrologically it is Sun in Virgo and so is about perfection and striving for the best in all things. It is also about service to something higher.

There is a link with geomacy with this card as there was in last months tip – the flowers are arranged as the geomantic figure populus. Populus is about people and community and how others around us show us ourselves. In this card I feel the link is connected to the service aspect of virgo and though we may not reveal our full selves to those around us at the moment – we have the strength and self-confidence to be able to put ourselves forward into the community to be of service to others. Perhaps giving a hand in a community project, helping someone or something get off the ground by simple yet effective offers of practical help.