It has been a busy week, somewhat stressful but all good. I have a big decision on my mind today as I throw my cards, and I’m wondering if even though I try to keep these card throws general in nature, there might be a specific message for me today. I’ve decided to use the Wild Unknown Tarot for this one. I shuffled with baited breath, and threw the Two of Pentacles reversed and The Hanging Man reversed.
The Two of Pentacles (Jupiter, expansiveness and growth, justice, fortune, in Capricorn, “I build,” ambition, caution, cunning) reminds us that everything always ebbs and flows, and we need to do the same in order to remain dynamically balanced. Change is what allows stability to be functional, and I should keep that in mind. I should also remember that surviving this kind of dynamic balance can only happen if I am aware on many levels.
The Wild Unknown Tarot LWB keywords for this card are “balance and change”; the image is a black and white butterfly with a pentagram on each wing, with a multicolored (one color for each physical world element) symbol of eternity circling each of those pentagrams. The butterfly often symbolizes complete metamorphosis; after all it goes from egg (which could symbolize potential) to caterpillar (which could symbolize the decision to do something with that potential) to chrysalis (which could symbolize the manifesting or development of that decision into reality), and then finally to an exquisite butterfly (the end result). This process follows a “ritual” of sorts, and it takes time to complete. The end result, the butterfly, looks nothing like the other stages in this process. Perhaps the balance being represented in this card is achieved by accepting both change and the status-quo (or the end result with the initial intentions). Or, since the butterfly also represents the element of Air and the workings of the intellect, perhaps the balance is connected to the physical world and the etheric realms of feelings and thoughts and beliefs. They are also difficult to balance!
The Hanging Man corresponds with Water (cold/binds and wet/adapts, and emotional, sensitive and imaginative energy that tends to move deep, and attempts to take the same path as in the past), Neptune (inspiration, spirituality, magick, enchantment, dreams, altered states), and the Hebrew letter Mem (water, stability and balance, the reflective quality of thought), and presents the kind of balance that comes to us through surrender, and through deliberately attempting to see things in a different way. This card tells of destiny, as well as sacrifice and loss, and passive or mystical initiation. All of these do not have an accidental feel about them at all. Crowley warns us that the suspension brought by this card can either hint that we are waiting for someone else to take charge, or that we are sacrificing for the benefit of others. Either of those interpretations can either be appropriate or harmful, depending on the situation.
The Wild Unknown Tarot Hanged Man brings an amusing concept to this strange card. The image on this Major Arcana card is fitting: a bat hanging upside down, wrapped cozily in his wings, with red, glowing eyes. This bat appears at first glance to be totally surrendering to his upside-down pose, but actually he is quite alert, looking around and perceiving all. Perceiving all from a unique perspective, and maybe seeing things that we aren’t seeing from our right-side-up view of the world. The bat is not forced to assume this hanging position; he actually chooses to see the world this way, and is able to benefit from his choice. And when he is ready to move on, all he has to do is let go, and he is immediately, effortlessly, able to soar.
Since both of these cards are reversed, these energies are not having an effect on my day, or they are being prevented from having an effect on my day. I am not proficient at balancing inner and outer effects. And I am not comfortable with the idea of seeing things in an unusual way, particularly if doing so would make me appear strange or creepy. That bat in an upright position really does seem to be looking right through my soul, and its gaze is disconcerting. Is he warning me that not being adaptable is creating some danger? Is he warning me that sticking with the path of least resistance is a recipe for disaster? Clarification? I threw another card, and got another reversed card, The Devil reversed. Um, is that supposed to be clarification? Let’s see.
The Devil (Earth (cold/binds and dry/shapes, and stable, material, practical energies that are slow to change), Capricorn (“I build,” ambitious, competent, cautious, cunning), Ayin (the eye, senses), and the Path between Hod (which provides analysis and communication) and Tipareth (the hub of the creation process where energies harmonize and focus to illuminate and clarify) tells of being caught up in the physical world and the effects of the physical senses, to the point of being bound or addicted to those things. The Devil is often the scapegoat blamed for any excesses of the physical world. After all, enjoyment of the physical world is somehow seen by many as a denial of or estrangement from God. I will need to be real careful today about manifesting my ambitions. Dominating others for my own pleasure and purposes is not a good thing. Better I work on the balance of The Aeon, for the presence of The Devil tells me that letting go might not be easy.
The Wild Unknown Devil has the image of a horned goat with a pentagram embossed on his forehead, standing with a black background and his four hooves glowing with orange and yellow light, as if the goat was walking through flames. The keywords for this card are negativity, materialism and addiction, but they are difficult to see in the image on the card. Is this goat a representation of the worship or elevation of those things not meant to be worshipped? Or does the goat on this card remind us all that while we are spiritual beings, we are also animals, complete with urges and needs and pleasures of the body?
My Devil, like my other cards today, is reversed. Perhaps I am being told that physical world effects are not bondage, but are necessary to be considered. The randomness and wild disorder of the physical world could stress me out today, but since I have two Major Arcana cards in play within my reading, I had better pay attention. In the end, nothing will move quickly and maybe tomorrow’s reading will shed some light on things. So much for clarification.