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 appears.

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

Arcanum VI. The Lovers (The Two Paths)

Arcanum VI. The Lovers (The Two Paths)

The Lovers or Two Paths represents the fork in the road that severs the two lines of future potentiality. The rulership of the Hierophant brought us to this position, where we now see that the opposing results of our next choice will ultimately lead to contradicting purposes or outcomes. Each path or choice presented by the Lovers expresses the nature of the road ahead in the way in which both are presented—one is fun and appeals to our passions and the other takes hard work and requires the dignity of virtue. We can expect to be tempted by the senses (depicted on the right as Eros, intimate love) that prey on weakness, or we may spot a beacon of virtue (depicted on the left as Agape, selfless love) that frees us from the presence of these lower realms. With the apparent good in choosing “affection”, one finds the weaknesses of one’s own debility multiplied by lack of challenge or inspiration in the denial of Eros, just as the path of “intimacy” and a walk in the imperfect realms permits us to perceive genuine beauty reflected in the object of our desire. Recognize the basic natures of each are both expressions of love. Such is the lesson of our dilemma, when we reach the milestone of indecision. Each path has its own set of outcomes, yet an act of true love is selfless—thus does not hesitate to blink at the resolution of its sacrifice.

If this is your card, today a decision must be made that pertains to love. Understand once you’ve acted on the desired path, you cannot turn back. In doing so, all potentialities that fall under the alternate path shall be cast aside in one fatal swoop. Recognize that the damage of one choice to the existence of another is irreversible past this point. Yet the timing in such a decision could also render both paths obsolete, if you now hesitate to act. In this case, unending indecision reigns more worthless than a bad choice.


cc: Miroslav Petrasko

V. The Hierophant

Arcanum V. The Hierophant

The entrance of the Hierophant following the Sovereign invites us to multiply the effects of our work. The presence of the hierophant suggests the one who performs the work acts from a kingdom under his own Sun. When one owns the favor of the inhabitants in this same kingdom, the gifts of abundance that result from this work shall be bestowed upon all who participate. If the health of this realm and all of its inhabitants is well or even great, the work may grant us each our own royal abode. Such efficiency in applying the established work to the extensions and structures of the whole grants us the accelerating motion of organized institution that does not cease to persist. To align one’s own action with an even greater cause is to multiply our effects through an echo in the roots of the institution. But betray the guidelines of harmony and efficiency that unite organized motion, and prepare for collective opposition and disapproval as the will of the individual work is severed from the whole. Tread with caution in the kingdom of the ruled, for an upset has the potential to exile one’s own self. For this reason—reveal the work to a counsel of the wise and faithful few. Yet mind that harmony endows small works with growth, as lack thereof denounces demise.

If this is your card, today you have the power to get the things and people you need on your side. With a little organized action, the weight of your efforts can be lifted by enlisting the help of outside forces. You’ve been blessed with good luck, as the purpose of your intentions settles well with the rest of the crowd. You may have found your niche. In doing so, you may secure the right tools to better systematize your approach to the task at hand. Where there is unity, there shall be victory.

cc: Pedro Szekely


IV. The Emperor (The Sovereign)

Arcanum IV. The Emperor (The Sovereign)

Once we have surpassed Isis Unveiled, we become the Sovereign. As a reflection of our manifestation comes into being, we guide the weight of current outcomes with the desire of our creative potential. As the Emperor, we have gained an advantageous position over the Earth, which seeks to enclose us in a box of material constraint. With ultimate realization lies that which we choose to do with the framework we thence create. Through the inner desire of our passions, inspiration grows to guide us with enthusiasm in insight. The four principles of magic have been established, and the unity of these four directions defines a concrete form of the will of our inner eye (eye of Horus). But now is not the time to make use of disadvantageous outlets where chaos will soon follow—when the strength of our outcome lies in constructive vibrations and the quality of our tuning the channeling instrument we decide. Thus, the outcome of realization is judged by the weight of its action on the inherent forces that propel each prospective future into motion. At such high places of rulership, mastery of our creative urges remains the key to what may be a grand or perilous ride. To secure the direction of this motion, it would be wise to clear all clouds that cover the lines between that which is above and below.

If this is your card, your greatest charm today is that fiery passion that begs the urge to fight. You may be feeling up for a debate or looking for the best way to counter-act the turning wheels of a current situation. Seek the path that provides the support of those upholding that which is just and true (Ma’at), and organization of like forces shall united inspire an even greater force to overpower the odds. Remember, help will always be given to those who ask for it.

cc: -Reji

III. The Empress (Isis Unveiled)

Arcanum III. The Empress (Isis Unveiled)

The Empress is the result of mastering the stage of the Priestess—the pensive union of opposites. The product is Isis Unveiled or the manifestation of contemplative will born of inner desire. In marrying the two conscious forces of logic and intuition, harmony results and the creative principle is established. We have acted on the potentiality of future outcomes through the union of conflicting thoughts born of the left (eye of the Sun) and right (eye of the Moon) as we adjust our sight to the brilliance of a freshly formed paradigm. In doing so, we have opened our consciousness to the “inner eye” (eye of Horus) that perceives what is just and true, so that we may now be permitted to observe the result of our actions in the consequences in which they provoke. With this, we can discern the nature of “good” and “evil”. In order to avoid peril upon the appearance of Isis Unveiled, we must allow this new inner sight to guide us with inspiration. We have breached the point of no return, as all attempts to hide back behind the veil only welcomes that which seeks to feed on the expression of our lower senses.

If this is your card, take advantage of those opportunities that ultimately amount to “good karma”. You may not see the immediate benefit, but a gift from one to another is often received as a gift for both. Sometimes it’s more rewarding to expand our focus to others who will greatly benefit from the presence of an alternative perspective. If you already evaluated the scenery with a fair mind, whatever you choose most often returns favorable winds when it reflects this wisdom. But to lower yourself past this point is to invite misfortune. Remember it is you who manifests your karmic returns—you get what you give.

cc: -Reji

II. The Priestess (Veiled Isis)

Arcanum II. The Priestess (Isis Unveiled)

Veiled Isis describes the receptive force that reacts to the will of the Magus (the Magician). The priestess sitting upon the throne opens our conscious perceptions to the wisdom of intuitive intelligences. In contrast to the knowledge and reason demonstrated by the actions and words of the Magus, Veiled Isis works through dreams, unconscious states, extrasensory perceptions and visions of potentiality. Therefore, the sight of the priestess invokes the contrasting duality of our conscious nature in the union between logical inferences (born of the left eye of the Sun) and intuitive intelligences (born of the right eye of the Moon). It is the act of remaining quiet–so as not to reveal our conscious desires–that frees us from the contradictions of outside forces. To avoid this friction, the priestess signifies a need to remain quiet about a situation, until the unfolding of duel perceptions has reached a more stable state. This stage in the journey requires us to stop and listen to the emotion that begs our attention. We must weigh what is revealed by instinct against the estimation of our reason in past experiences to shape the perception that does not neglect the subtle urges of intuitive intelligences.

If this is your card, today is a great day to listen to your hunches. Remain quiet in thought, and you might just hear the echo of your future self begging for a change. Choose your next step wisely, as balance between intuition and reason remains the key to winning the favor of fortune–for the upset of emotion may flood chaos into the potentiality of the immediate. To avoid neglecting the needs of the soul is to align the direction of your conscious perceptions with the will of inner desire, and mediate. Mend the health of inner will, and receive the vision of fortune.

cc: Jeremy Brooks


I. The Magician (the Magus)

Arcanum I. The Magician (The Magus)

The Magician signifies the action that initiates the journey before us. The first step of magic is thought–to will the act of manifestation. The Magician signifies we have discovered the latent power in all four elements—depicted as the sword, scepter, cup and pentacle lying on the table before us. We now raise the wand of our will and focus on thought to make it so. In this act, we wield the direction of motion by uniting all elements of the whole. The nature of our meditation describes the outcome of the work—in optimism it is born of greatness, in pessimism it becomes a reflection of our debility. The manifestation of a vision has already begun, when we brought all four of these forces into perfect balance. We now have the power to achieve our deepest desire, if we can continue to maintain equilibrium between the conflicting forces outlined in each suit. No matter what we decide, we must will with absolute certainty. This card indicates now is not the time to hesitate and ponder, as each minute unfolds a reflection of our previous mental action. Quiet all opposition in the mind and tranquility shall follow.

If this is your card, today is your lucky day. All the tools are right at your disposal, as things seem to fall right into place. Remember that the direction of your conscious thoughts holds the key to how your future reality manifests. It’s all about perception. All that negativity never got you anywhere—so embrace this new positive outlook to tap into the true potential of the future. Thus, to constantly will for one’s own benefit is to manifest desired outcomes. To will not, is to render one’s creative potential obsolete. Will to uphold truth (Ma’at), and enter free from peril. Focus on the road between the left and the right, ask and you shall receive.

cc: ukgardenphotos

0. The Fool (The Materialist)

the fool

The Fool is associated with “nihil”, nothing. It is the face before the journey has begun. At this moment, we are moved by our confidence in the World to provide us with all we may need to succeed. We embark with naivety and neglect to take notice of the path before us, as we march to the beat of our own drum, with head high, unyielding to the dangers of the unforeseeable unknown. The Fool card indicates we are about to encounter a brand new start—one in which we can expect a whole new category of ups and downs. As the spirit of adventure clouds our better judgment, the dog biting us back from toppling over a cliff denotes we have instinct at our side in times of peril. The greatest treasures we possess are the tools (or lessons we learned) in our pack carried over from the last journey and the self-assurance that propels us forward down the path. No matter the direction we choose, this card indicates that to embark on this new path we must first overcome the fear of the unknown and learn to trust our gut.

If this is your card, today is a great day to relieve yourself from the weight of the world around you. Within the bliss of your own ignorance—the glass is not half full, it’s simply overflowing! And despite your naivety about the facts, you were probably right to feel this way all along. Take a day off from the friction of worry, and live instead with the poise of self-assurance. Just be careful imprudence doesn’t do you in, when the needs of your basic senses lead you astray. Avoid the folly in trusting the illusion (Maya) of surface appearance, and you may be permitted to come out on top. Things always work out in the end—and if they don’t, it’s not yet the end.

photo credit: Ryan Altamera