Arcanum XVI. The Tower (The Lightning)

Arcanum XVI. The Tower (The Lightening)

The Tower arrives with a flash of insight—when all is revealed in an instant. The smoke and mirrors that formed phantoms of the black magician dissolve right before our eyes. As a bolt of inspiration relays this revelation, we find the lightning foreshadows our demise. Now we stand-by a spectator, as the fleeting frame of our current consciousness vanishes from sight. Despite our attempt to stand our ground, the Tower will soon come crashing down. We may cry—Eureka!—as we begin the fall that frees us from contradictions that once built up the wall. But the fate of the tower is unleashed with life-enriching power granted by the flash of lightning, which harbors a personal wisdom or truth. One is often shocked, as it arrives a form of energy—the electromagnetic exchange that alters the very essence of our human quality. The lightning strikes a chord that awakens sympathetic passions that pour out the aspirations of the soul, as waves of insight flood our understanding and clear the chaos that littered the old. The fertile, the enriched, the level soil permits seeds of inspiration to grow deep roots within the common ground. May enlightenment arrive upon the death of one’s own hubris.

If this is your card, you may suddenly come to see the error in your ways. The news is heard as sudden catastrophe sweeps the atmosphere of the scene—a storm’s ‘a brewing up ahead! Just when you thought you had come out on top, the flaw of your fate awaits. Watch out, as an unexpected adversary arrives to shake you from the tower of babel that secured your bias inside. You may survive to cry out in great peril, yet purge that which suffers through growth of character. To plant a tower to pierce the clouds, one must first lay the foundation of humility.

cc: James Loesch

Arcanum XV. The Devil (The Black Magician)

Arcanum XV. The Devil (The Black Magician)

The Devil awakens when we summon black magic into play. Temperance warns of the need for stasis, as the deeds of our doing no matter the weight always make their return. Thus the Devil or Black Magician is the result of excess, when the temple of our perfect mind and the resulting work are left to burn by way of one’s own selfish greed. To invoke the malefic work is to cast chaos in destruction that bounds and reflects back the result in one’s ruin by way of avarice—a slow acting poison. The greatest threat to the journey ahead lies within the ego of self. To allow the needs of the one to drain the sustenance of another in an echo to affect any amount of the whole is to fail and be consumed by the purpose of the task at hand. By working above or below evil forces in any form or system they take, one ultimately enslaves the very nature of the work and will to that which returns with rot and decay. Any effect of an act that results in harm still amounts to injury—despite our faulty estimate of the direction of initial intent. Evil often comes of ignorance.

If this is your card, the drama of life has just cast you to play the villain. You may be just as shocked as everyone else around you, as your deeds undermined those you blinded by fear. To perform magic on the stage is to welcome dark forces to prey—just as the vampire shall enter by way of invitation. Let not the sensual, the material, or the promise of security lower one’s spirits to the enslavement of earthly desire. Damned are we by the limits of our ego that which works to secure stasis and conquer. Yet most are negligent with forces of black magic in which they side or unknowingly conjure. Thus whenever you climb, be not pressed by the dog called “Ego”.

cc: Steve Corey

XIV. Temperance (The Alchemist)

XIV. Temperance (The Alchemist)

After we have walked to our Death by way of the reaper, we are reborn the Alchemist. In Temperance the Alchemist finds that the tranquil mind predicts the progress of improvement through steady transformation or transmutation in Time. The appearance of Temperance arrives as a harmonization balances the masculine and feminine forces that materialize the actions and perceptions we carry with us down the road throughout our lives. Equilibrium by opposition invites stability into the mind by the bonds of perfect chemistry—to what was once named the reunion of soul mates. To greet the will and reception as same is to master the art of transmutation to gold. As new life springs forth from the silenced mind of the alchemist, the conjunct soul responds to reinvent the world. The alchemist remains first and foremost a physician of philosophy—the one who heals with the heart, the wisdom, and the will of gold. Let patience slow the senses to absolute faith in one’s own plan to persevere. Like water, the softest thing penetrates the mountain with subtle waves of influence by the seasons and years. Be not shaken by length of its wait or the gravity of fate.

If this is your card, you have reached self-mastery through balance. Perhaps you’ve acquired a new skill, new perspective, new life or love or foundation to stand upon. No matter the case, you have absolute faith in your ability to see it through to success. The beauty of such an acquaintance resounds songs of infinite harmonious measure to light up the dingiest arenas in life. Listen close to the undertones speak the meaning of the symphony, and reflect this motion with concordant composition as you step to the rhythm of the dance in time. Felicity is found in the harmony between the one and the life one leads.

cc:  IzaD KasmijaN


XIII. Death (The Reaper)

Arcanum XIII. Death (The Reaper)

Death comes as a timely transition of transformation in change. As the Hanged Man, we act from debility in the position of a static and unwavering state. Yet the burden of our former belief or prejudice has diminished through the loss of faith. Death or the Reaper clears the fields for the roots of new growth to take hold. Thus, one must recognize the threat of death’s ominous presence is often a blessing in disguise. Watch as your former feet (foundation), hands (works) and head (perception) are severed by the cycles that reap the obsolete with the natural passage of Time. As the old pieces that form the body of our former temple fall away, we rise anew like the fiery phoenix from the ashes of our fate—bettered by the transmutation we willed to create. Sow the seed that renews, regrows and awards the cultivation of the most favored fruit, and an immortal legacy shall spring from the seed that never ceases to return its roots. Recognize that change is a necessary pain of transcending the material plane. Remember the necessity and asset of the adjustment—and simply don’t fear the reaper.

If this is your card, today is out with the old, and in with the new. It’s just like springtime! So get to assessing the mess of dismembered concepts, clear the chaos of indecision and clean out those dusty skeletons in your closet. You can’t find your fresh new start without lifting the heavy load of baggage off your past. Sometimes it’s best to just yank the dead weeds right up from the tangle on the scene to set the open stage for the appearance of “New Growth”—some say she’s divine. Yet the secret from within her doth shine—“Unable are the loved to die, for love is immortality.”

cc: kennysarmy

XII. The Hanged Man (The Martyr)

XII. The Hanged Man (The Martyr)

By the time we’ve reached the Hanged Man, the weight of our spiritual path takes its toll. With the Enchantress we were mesmerized by the vision of future potentiality. Now with the Martyr we see the true labor in the task at hand. We have such a foothold on the rules and guidelines of former societal systems that this new take on the world seems to hang us out to dry. With the Hanged Man, we experience a loss of health, wealth and vitality through our servitude to an obsolete authority or exterior controlling force. The strength of our physical and mental state dissipates, as we suffer at the hands of our own contradictions—thus, we hang from our former ties that identify us in the physical realm. Our new perspective turns the world upside down, and we now must search for the common ground. Yet through personal sacrifice the hanged man sits upright and receives the reward and benefit of his plight. Therefore, the martyr suggests we are sacrificing our will in hopes it multiplies in our laboring for the benefit of others. Remember that great achievement is born of great sacrifice.

If this your card, now is a good time to assess what left you tied up all of a sudden. You may be feeling stressed out or under the weight of a great deal of pressure—but that’s all about to change. With this new perspective you seem to peek behind the layers, and see the truth of the reality you once knew. You may find that your role in the “bigger system” has you feeling like a slave to the daily routine, as you strive to reevaluate, mend and match the place you’ve made with this brand new way of looking at things. Free yourself in the present from those hang ups and ties that threaten to hang you out to dry.

cc: Bill Gracey

XI. Strength (the Enchantress)

Arcanum XI. Strength (The Enchantress)

The appearance of Strength invokes the divinity of our inner nature. Strength or the Enchantress tames the onslaught of attacks by the tides that twist the stage of the world with the weight of the wheel of fortune. Strength does not bend to the will of our animal nature (will of the senses), for instinct often betrays the truth that lies in our inner mind (will of the soul). Our mind reaches perfection with the balance of our left (eye of Sun) and right (eye of the Moon) perceptions, as we begin to silence the weakness that harnesses the heart. We must break the ties that hold us down in lower states. Thus, those forces that provoke the lower natures are neutralized by the soothing songs of affirmation, just as a plan is a prayer to the future unfolding of Time. Fortitude in Strength grants us the ability to perceive the world in the brilliance of a positive light. Patience slows the need for immediate dissolution of that which threatens to bite. To visualize the road we wish to walk is to walk the road we envision to create. Let one’s own will be enchanted by the strength of love and a fearless mind.

If this is your card, strength has appeared to help see you through to the end. Faith in your personal ability and the empowerment of self grants you the will to master fate. You may have just realized that you control the direction in life by the way in which you choose to react. The pain subsides about a passing scene, when you realize of the convincing lie–the illusion you found in such a state. Things really are not so terrible as they once seemed. In fact, let strength flow from the boundless creative potentiality of the heart. It’s not holding on that makes us strong, but it is the act of letting go.

cc: Ryan Heany

X. Wheel of Fortune (The Wheel)

Arcanum X. The Wheel of Fortune (The Wheel)

The Hermit prompts into motion the Wheel of Fortune, as inner guidance reveals an open door to the inner world past the astral gate. We see how we had become the Fool yet again, as the sage raises our awareness to the existence of a higher plane. The Wheel of Fortune foreshadows the acting forces that turn the wheel of the will of the divine. Thus all forces beyond this transition—once set into motion—reign in a world beyond our control. In transitioning to ten, the second digit elevates us to the high road, where the cycle resets at an even greater height. Yet the fleeting forces of fortune and catastrophe lie hidden in the eternal motion of future potentiality. Thus, the future is balanced between the possibility of encounters with both good (order) and evil (chaos), as each lies dormant in the ambient and inherent passage of Time. These forces will arise and establish their stay in temporary states of circumstance and change. But to be thus changed by the existence of their wait seals one’s advancement in a fleeting state. The skill at which one perceives and adapts reestablishes equilibrium under the guidance of a bold will and balanced mind (the Sphinx, conscious perfection or equilibrium between the influences of all four elements).

You may be on the verge of a breakthrough or on the brink of sudden catastrophe—brace yourself as the tables turn. Despite your inability to forsee sudden change, you still control the way in which you choose to adapt to this change. A sudden gift of fortune arrives with no omen, and the appearance of benefic possibilities lies in the will of a steadfast mind. You must see the good in what is bad, the bad in what is good, and align yourself with the change you wish to create. Behold as the stream of your thoughts invites like vibrations into that which you’ve willed into motion.


cc: Josh

IX. The Hermit (The Sage)

Arcanum IX. The Hermit (The Sage)

The last stop before we breach the gates of the astral plane is the Hermit or the Sage. Number 9 is the resounding note of astral perfection as multiples of nine always add up to nine. This last task we must finally complete before our mind is permitted to see the “bigger picture”. And the appearance of the Hermit suggests this journey into the shadows is one we must go alone. The weight of the physical plane seems to contradict our cause, as we pull back from reality to seek solace in the mind. We find that if we remain silent to the influences of the physical realm, that whisper of a voice we hear on the wind offers us the guidance of a higher calling. The sage relays the sacred knowledge and spiritual wisdom that speaks of the true weight of the human condition. As our curiosity traverses the great mysteries of life, we take notice of the monotonous repetition in all that we once did. In doing so, we separate the spirit of “I” (will of soul) from the spirit of “me” (will of the senses) by adopting the role of onlooker in our own lives. In this reflection, we uncover that the wisest know that they do not know—and with this, proceed into the astral plane.

If this is your card, help is on the way. You may have so many questions left unanswered, but just know—there shall be even more questions to come. So it’s time to quiet the mind, meditate and wait until the answer arrives. After all, the best source of advice in your life comes from within—as no one can ever truly understand the personal gifts and unique setbacks you encounter on your individual path. A fresh new perspective should help ease the mind that worries. Then, when the student is ready, the teacher shall appear.

cc: Christian Oritz

VIII. Justice (The Balance)

Arcanum VIII. Justice (The Balance)

Following the rulership of our path offered by the Chariot, we reach a standstill as Justice weighs the truth of our actions in the nature of their effects. Justice calls equilibrium back into the realm we have affected. Thus, the resulting weight of our will has invoked a reflection of our doing by a force of eternal balance that works to maintain natural law and order. The appearance of Justice refers to the connection between cause and effect—for every action, the force of one’s will is met with an equal or greater reaction. Thus, the truth of Blind Justice has appeared to settle the score. When the force of our work ripples out like a tide, we see it return in the rubble of crumbling structures that fall to their demise. An obsolete tower falls with ease, while an upset of those that act as dwelling places destroys the spirit of all inhabitants inside. If the Balance should appear, remember that all action will be weighed against a feather of truth. Truth will unfold from the balanced scales of one’s conscience that discerns what is just and the sword of one’s own intellect that perceives what is true. This view of truth in “right” is the path to upholding Ma’at that frees one from peril.

If this is your card, prepare to feel the full effects of your past actions. You’ve already made up your mind, chosen your path, and worked your magic—now watch the merit of your deeds return! Let’s hope your actions were received well, for the return of bad karma invites each its own hazards into our life. Always keep in mind that a heavy heart is born of the deception and the lies we sell ourselves at night. Remember that the true measure of your human potential is in your ability to implement action that harmonizes with the whole of existence. Find what is good, and what is good will find you.

cc: Preserved Light Photography

VII. The Chariot (The Conqueror)

Arcanum VII. The Chariot (The Conqueror)

Lucky number seven—the Conqueror or the Chariot bestows upon us an air of fortune in triumphant victory. Its presence suggests we have passed the previous trial in the test of the Two Paths and in so doing have obtained the key to unlock the door of our fortunate ends. The Chariot embodies the essence of physical perfection in seven—the colors of the spectrum, the days of the week, the chakras and notes of the octave repeating upon the eighth. It thus describes “completeness” by establishing equilibrium between what lies above and below, yet it foreshadows the inherent inertia of disorderly and orderly effects that never cease with threats to wreak havoc on forward motion. Be not governed by the passing scenes of fleeting fortune and turmoil. As long as the compass still points to the end, we are advancing in the right direction. In mastery over self, the potential of one’s achievement may be accelerated and raised to even greater heights. Despite the balance of a tranquil mind, the ride of reality will always be blessed by fortunate happenstance in waves of natural harmony and cursed by unforeseeable disaster that strikes with sudden discord. Therefore, a fearless mind becomes the greatest tool to navigate the ever-changing seas of potentiality.

If this is your card, you are being urged to stay the course. You find yourself speeding down the path ahead, when a series of barriers appear before you. To stave off those outside forces that threaten to push you off the path, an air of confidence and aura of self-assurance in what is right shall reduce the volume of their attack. Now is the time to adopt a bold attitude, and show them how its done. Approach the challenges before you with an absolute determination that does not falter, and you may just crush the opposition or convert them to your side. Love and fortune always favor the brave.

cc: stillwellmike