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 Lovers

This card depicts a number of opposites balancing each other in some way – with the couple in  the middle joining as one in marriage which is being blessed by the hermit above them.


Intuitively there is a sense of commitment to uniting differences, whether this is in a partnership sense or whether it is within ourselves. We unite all the opposites in ourselves, acknowledging the different sides of ourselves and bring them together to work as a team in our lives. Sometimes using the active side of ourselves, sometimes the passive, sometimes the part of us that wants to be out there in the world with others – sometimes the part that wants solitude. As we balance the expression of the opposites we find within so we find peace. The card shows the Hermit as the overseer which matches to the part of ourselves that is the observer of our lives, the part that is untouched by life or even death, the eternal in us. This more spiritual part of us can observe and in a sense mediate any conflicts between our various sides. As we work with this inner part of the part so then also we find ourselves able to connect with another person in the external world of our lives. As we come to love all of our own conflicting sides so conflicts with those around us is less and we are more likely to attract a mate who will both complement us and also challenge us, but also will be a match for us. Commitment is possible if desired by both parties.

The card is connected to Gemini the twins so reflecting duality here also.  Also this can indicate good communication and connections with data transmission as Gemini loves these fields. All things analytical are indicated and the ability to look at many sides of a situation. As we consider all angles we come closer to the truth.  It can indicate an ability to keep changing as the world needs of us, Gemini being a mutable sign. The reds, golds and pinks indicate higher love, passion and self-esteem unite the couple together.  These inner qualities, when we develop them fully. help us to integrate ourselves and then also to have them reflected back to us from a partner.

So there is a sense of finding the perfect partner for you at this point in time – one who mirrors who you are and are not. This may bring with it a great challenge to face all parts of yourself, though when this card arises it suggests you are ready to do so. Bearing in mind a ‘perfect partner’ may be the one who most fully reflects you so if you have issues to work on these are reflected also, so the relationship may not be easy – though compelling.

You can also see the analysis aspect of the card reflected in the arch of swords that created the arena for the marriage. The swords are about analysis, thinking, dissecting and discerning. In the image they come together in harmony from two sides so there is a suggestion of balance being found after much discussion and assessment.

There is also the opposite of this expressed in the card – not surprisingly as the card is all about opposites coming together – Cupid is above the couple blindfolded – bringing to mind things such as ‘love is blind’ and the idea that the unconscious has a say in the attractions we have to people. So whilst all the analysis is going on there is also the factor of what we can not see or know at the time – the unconscious drive that propels us to ourselves even when we do not recognise our self fully in another. Hence the way we may often find ourselves compelled to be with someone yet find out quite quickly that they are not all we thought and difficulties arise, offering us the challenge to go within and find more of ourselves. The challenge of wanting to be with them yet obstacles that seem to be insurmountable. If we walk the path of our heart with as much awareness as we can then we can learn a great deal and be the richer for the experience. Mere analysis is not always enough.




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.

The Emperor

This month’s card is The Emperor


The first things that hits us with this card is the colour, lots of reds and yellows here and oranges between. Red is the colour of power, action, blood, life, the base chakra – where we connect to the earthly realm – the material, money and earthly concerns. From this we have already a sense of the card’s meaning.


Yellow is a colour of the solar plexus and our self-esteem and sense of self, is it the sun and the corresponding associations of warmth, connection, life, light, growth and the self.


Each colour has its flip side to the anger and violence of red, the cowardice (yellow-bellied) and overdone energy of the sun in its burning, the arrogance of over self-assertion.


If we start to look to the technical make up of the card we see this card is connected to Aries (ruler mars and colour red) and the sun is exalted in Aries and we have an astrological link with the above initial observations. Aries being the leader  the driving force, the warrior of a group of people. Confident and assertive and if overdone with its mars ruler, also aggressive and unyielding  Aries is indicated by the sign of Aries on the border and more obviously in the depiction of the ram through out the card. The dark and light Ram representing the two faces of this powerful warrior energy, the rams head on the sceptre, the tool with which the power is wielded.


Many of the Thoth cards can be read in this way – as we look at the image, so tightly connected to the underlying systems of thought, so we access the card’s meaning easily and simply – with little knowledge of the depth of astrology we could fathom beneath it – indeed taking it further and exploring these realms is interesting and enriching, but to understand the cards to start to use them it is not necessary. We can begin from where we are.


Other emblems and motives on this intricate card that we can read from the image alone include:


The bees on the garments of the Emperor symbolising working together as a group, hard work generally and a feeling of organisation and industriousness. They also symbolise fertility and that good works can come from the Emperor’s leadership. You can see the bees in their honey making as the ability of the Emperor energy to provide for the young, to father children and provide a good stable nutritious base for them to grow from. There is a sense too that the bee is in service to the Queen, and so it is in the Emperor energy, reflecting in us that our masculine sides are the protectors of the intuitive feminine side, the intuitive having the inspiration of direction and the Emperor serving her – leading the group to the direction she suggests.


The number four is represented here frequently – in the card number itself, the shape of the Emperors legs, the cross upon the orb, the dominant points in the circles to the left and right – 4 being the number of stability, structure, buildings (four walls). He is a stable character, dependable and committed. Able to make decisions and follow them through.


The lamb at his feet a symbol of innocence, youth and softness, all this authority needing to be tempered by a reminder of the vulnerability of people, and ourselves. As he protects and cares he becomes a stronger leader, and balances his determined warrior energy. 


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.

5 Disks

This card is all about the struggle on the physical level – 5’s are about the struggle and strife to attain the perfection of the 6’s – it is an inherent part of achievement – the work that goes into it and as this card is a disks card the level we are working on is the physical level.


The pentagram is shown reversed and the point that goes downwards usually is pointing to the sky and this is where the physical world has become more dominant than the spiritual. The card shows how we are putting material concerns about the spiritual concerns and so are out of balance. When the physical world is in service to the spiritual then things are in the right place and role and this card challenges us to do just that. To drop our worries about the material plane – work, finances, home, organisational issues etc and look to the spiritual perspective to help us through this period of time.

The darkened blue is the difficulty in communicating clearly and the yellow the struggle for self worth and self esteem to show through, though the yellow also feels as if it is making progress and certainly all is not lost at this point.

Each point of the pentagram is representing an element – earth, air, fire, water and spirit and each of these needs to be in balance and in its right place for creation to flow.

We see too the card is connected to Mercury in Taurus – This can be seen as the card having the positive attributes of the patience needed to thoroughly think things through and come to a practical and workable solution, but also with the 5 energy in the card that this practical approach is sometimes not enough alone and we have to reach up to our spiritual higher view of the situation to see more creative and self honouring possibilities to clear the worry of the situation.

Affirmations connected to this card are of the nature of….
I allow creative solutions to arise by being present in the now
I communicate openly and easily
I honour myself and my needs

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.

8 Cups Indolence

8 cups – Indolence

This months Thoth Tip focuses on 8 Cups, keyword – Indolence – I picked this card from the deck with the intention that it would be the card that would be of most use to those reading this months tips – either because of something they found confusing about reading the card or that something in the message of this card would be pertinent to them now. So this card is for you.


This card, with its dark background and empty cups, shows a picture of stagnation, where there is very little left to give. In psychological terms it is a card that often appears when we are complete exhausted and burnt out. It might br through over work and trying too hard, or it might be a relationship is taking all our energy and we are keeping none for ourself. Either way the root of this situation is usually that we haven’t valued ourselves enough to say no to what is taking our energy. We in some way fear that if we say no it either makes us a failure, or a bad person, or we won’t be loved. Actually we fear being loved, accepting love from others and being supported. It might be we feel if we were we would ‘owe’ too much back, we wouldn’t be able to repay a kindness etc. Or it may be that we are used to being treated badly and to be treated well would challenge our early beliefs about the world and about ourselves. This can be a frightening prospect. However the appearance of this card in a spread very often means it is exactly the right time to be facing these issues and in many cases it begins with saying “No”. No to extra work, no to a friend, family or partner who wants more from us, and a “Yes” to ourselves. It may just be we need a break to recover, it may be we need to make some lasting changes, but it all will start to improve as we say no.

As this is the underlying feel for this card it can also manifest in the physical world as an illness, colds and flu serve to force rest on us we need, and help us say no and take the space from those who have been making demands on us. We can prevent this happening if we take action to say no ourselves, or sometimes we can allow this to happen and be compassionate to ourselves and realise our body has given us what we really needed to further our growth.

The keyword “indolence” is defined in the dictionary as : habitually idle or lazy, indisposed to exertion or labour. So how does this rather harsh word fit in here? When we are exhausted we are actually too tired to work much further and further exertion can see our work with error and slips that can appear as being ‘lazy’ with the quality of our work. But I feel a stronger feel for this word is in the situation where we have actually known we are giving too much, we are over doing it, we are just not looking after ourselves, but despite the warning signs we have chosen to ignore them. In a sense the hard ‘work’ here is to face the truth and to set the limits we need to set for ourselves. Sometimes being lazy in our lives is actually working very hard and against our own best interests as the energy and will to create conflict with our bosses and loved ones feels too much to do. So in this sense we can be seen as indolent. Lazy in not setting our boundaries with others, hoping someone else will notice our hard work and tell us to take time off, and do the work of being responsible for us.

Still quite a hard-hitting message, however if we realise it is not in our working too little that we are lazy, but in our attention to what is best for us, our whole being, that we are lazy. We can address the situation and turn it around. Take some time off rest and recuperate and plan for a lifestyle change if one is necessary.

I welcome your thoughts and comments below.