Friday, October 7, 2011

The Star/Five of Wands.  The Star (Air, hot/separates and wet/adapts; Aquarius; Qof, back of head; the Path between Malkuth, the physical world of action and outer, physical reality, and Netzach, the stimulating factors of emotion and inspiration) is the “good will to all” card.  Like Temperance, this card reminds us that balance is key, but The Star reminds us to bring in a balance of Divine energy to infuse our lives as we tap into the extremes around us.  The Star is not about solutions, but it is about having faith that a solution will appear.  The Five of Wands represents Saturn (discipline, responsibility, law and order) in Leo (“I am, passionate, dramatic, egotistical), and indicates a struggle caused by discord.  Crowley describes the energies of this card as being like a bunch of powerful ideas tumbling all over each other as they strive to manifest.  But even minor discord creates ebbs and flows of energies, and perhaps with the positive attitude of The Star, I can make use of those ebbs and flows rather than fight against them.

My Thoth card is the Six of Disks reversed.  “Success” is Crowley’s keyword for the Six of Disks (Moon, feelings and emotions, illusion, imagination, in Taurus, “I have,” Sensual, cautious, stubborn) which brings an awareness of resources to the situation, both those that I have and those that I don’t have. Resources are important, and because this Six is reversed, I need to remember that success does not exist on its own; I must support it and feed it and nurture it, or it will dry up and blow away.

My Legacy card is the Ace of Swords, flavored by the Knight of Cups.  The Ace of Swords (Capricorn, “I build,” ambition, caution authority, cunning, Aquarius and Pisces, “I believe,” feeling, duality, soul growth, artistic) has been appearing for me lately, and perhaps due to the influence of The Star above, I am empowered by the presence of this Ace today.  Yes, it indicates the possibility of situations that will require some effort to solve, but it also tells me that I have the tools to solve the situations.  The Knight of Cups (cusp of Aquarius, “I know,” friendships, the group, cause-oriented, and Pisces, “I believe,” feelings, duality, suffering, soul growth) feels things strongly.  These strong feelings can manifest as sensitivity to the needs of others, sharing my own good feelings, and being able to hear and understand my Inner Voice, or they could manifest as being too sensitive to outside events, blowing hot and cold or becoming moody, or a disconnect from the outside world.  Looks like today I need to listen more to the Ace of Swords and my intellect, and less to my emotions.

My 6-digit date number is 10, the number that tells of the completion of a cycle; further reduced to the number 1, position, potential and new beginnings.

My horoscopes: “You're on an emotional high. You feel like a soaring eagle. Your behavior may seem rather primal and animalistic, but this is fine. See where this instinct takes you. Raw passion is the fuel that lights your fire. Don't deny this internal flame. Move forward with your dreams, especially in love and romance.”

And: “Remember that there is a divine force out there in the universe that always loves you. No matter what you do, there is always a shoulder to cry on, even if it is not a tangible one. Even in your darkest moments, you are never alone. Let this knowledge carry you through your day today, and feel free to share it with those who seem like they could use a lift.”

My Shadowscapes Insight for today is regarding the Three of Cups.  This card is a call to celebrate, to dance and sing and to allow joy to bubble up and fill us, like the bubbles of champagne.  It is a call to tap into and enjoy the swirling energies around us, particularly those energies that are moving in an upward and more pure and higher-vibrating direction.  But most important of all, the Three of Cups encourages us to not make this a solitary endeavor; instead, this card tells us that we can move higher if we bring others along for the ride.  As a group, we will end up being greater than the sum of our parts.

I arrived in Cape May this evening just in time to walk to the beach for sunset, and I am so glad I made the effort.  The tide was high but there was no wind at all, so the waves were gentle.  The sky was completely clear, with no humidity.  The waxing moon hung high over the rapidly darkening ocean, and the Belt of Venus was above the horizon as well, its colors vibrant and intense.  The sun was an orange ball of fire hovering above the horizon, and I watched as the Sun Father slipped below the sea and the sky changed from royal blue to blue/black and the moon’s light became a brilliant silver glow.  What a great way to begin the weekend.

I came back from my walk and returned to The Emerald Tablet.  As I thought about what I had written over the past few days regarding the section of The Emerald Tablet I am currently working on, I realized that I was in effect describing the workings of theurgy.

Theurgy means “divine-working.”  Western theurgy has its roots in the philosophy of late Neo-platonists, who believe that the spiritual Universe is a series of emanations that are sourced from the One (Deity without quality). From the One emanated the Divine Mind (Nous, the Universal consciousness) and in turn from the Divine Mind emanated the World Soul (Psyche, both the individual soul and the world soul).  Finally, from the World Soul comes Physis, or Nature, the physical world.  Neo-platonists insisted that the One is absolutely transcendent, and within the emanations nothing of the higher was lost or transmitted to the lower; the higher emanations remained unchanged by the lower emanations.

The goal of theurgy is henosis, or reunion with the Divine.  This reunion can be achieved through meditation, contemplation, invocation, and religious and magickal rituals.  Neo-platonists believed that theurgy was an imitation of the gods.  Hmmm . . . sounds like a reflection, eh? Theurgy is described as a series of rituals and operations aimed at recovering the transcendent essence by retracing the divine “signatures” through the layers of being.  This sounds right; within the practices of theurgy, we are attempting to raise our own vibrational level to that of Deity, in order to encourage communication.   Some Neo-platonists believed that the practice of theurgy embodied the practitioners with the divine responsibility of creating and preserving the cosmos!  This makes sense; we are, after all, responsible for any interference we choose to perpetuate.

Education is important for understanding this process. The theurgist works “like with like” (LOL, that sounds familiar, too!); at the material level, with physical symbols and “magic,” and at the higher level, with mental and purely spiritual practices. Starting with correspondences of the divine in matter, the theurgist eventually reaches the level where the soul’s inner divinity unites with The Divine. Well, at least that is what the goal of theurgy is.

Thaumaturgy is a bit different; it is the capability of a saint or magician to work miracles. A practitioner of thaumaturgy is a thaumaturge, thaumaturgist, wonderworker or miracle worker. Thaumaturgy originally meant the ability to create and operate physical devices, based on early engineering principles, to produce an effect that seemed magickal to the unsophisticated, or created with the aid of demons.  This last concept connects directly with the next part of my version of The Emerald Tablet:Father of talismans and keeper of wonders.

Since I began reading and attempting to understand The Emerald Tablet starting with the highest and purest and most difficult to understand concept of Deity or The Source, it makes sense that everything up until now is describing the workings of theurgy.  But here, we refer to something different.  I have come to understand the cycles of effects that are caused by combinations of the elements, and I have previously mentioned the possibility of using an awareness of those effects to raise my own energy vibrations closer to that of Deity.  More of a theurgical focus.  But here, the words are hinting at other possibilities: talismans and wonders.  Thaumaturgy.  Indeed, one of the reasons for keeping correspondence lists is to help with magickal workings, low magick if you will, workings with the goal of affecting our physical world.  Here, with these words, I am being reminded that even low magick is connected to the Divine.  Any time I choose to deliberately work with and affect the ebbs and flows of energies around me, I had better remember the source of that energy, just as the Tarot’s Magician needs to remind himself that while it is his skills that allow him to make magick, the source of his power is not from within him.

Makes sense to me.


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