To keep silent
These nine words are amongst the most widely quoted in occult circles. One particularly hears them many times as a novice. They constitute a mantra known as the Powers of the Sphinx. References are made in the writings of iconic figures such as Éliphas Lévi and Aleister Crowley. Despite their apparent simplicity, each of the Powers of the Sphinx offers profound guidance for any occultist. Each covers a profound aspect of the practice of magick. This is the first in a series of four articles analysing the possible meaning and then considering the implication of each of these aspects in turn.
What does it mean to know something? When interpreting this first power, reference is often made to the famous inscription from the Temple of Apollo at Delphi: “know thyself.” There is obvious virtue in this idea, both in occultism and in life generally. Continue reading
Tarot Beyond the Basics: Gain a Deeper Understanding of the Meanings Behind the Cards, by Anthony Louis
Llewellyn Worldwide, 9780738739441, 383 pp. (incl. notes, appendices, and bibliography), 2014
Anthony Louis brings us an enriching and thorough examination of the modern tarot by first introducing us to its fascinating history. He begins in China, where the paper and cards was created, then to Egypt and the Mamluk slave soldiers who played games with a deck of 52 playing cards, much like today’s playing card decks. Then he travels into Spain where the court cards are changed to include Kings, horsemen and pages. In Italy is where the queens were added and the church became involved in their design.
Many readers of today have heard the rumours that the tarot is originated from the Egyptian pantheon, or that the 22 major arcana cards reference the 22 letters in the Hebrew kabbalah. Louis notes that this assumption appeared in an unsubstantiated paper that was published in Paris in 1781 by clergyman Antoine Court de Gebelin and the French occultist Comte de Mellet. The only reference that Louis could find about the tarot originating in Egypt was through the Mamluks and their love of playing cards. Continue reading
My day job allows a certain amount of freedom when it comes to listening to music at work. Most people have headphones, and once upon a time the majority would have been listening to Pandora.com, but it’s been a while since they disallowed Canadian listening due to licensing constraints – a shame, because I found many new bands via their ingenuous Music Genome Project – music I then later bought, as with Napster in the days of yore. But I digress.
Sitting at my cubicle, work is where I listen to podcasts when my mp3 player starts to seem repetitive. Late December and early January I was on vacation, and so, behind. I recently caught up and finally listened to the latest Tarot Connection episodes.
In episode 67, host Leisa ReFalo and guest Roger Tobin tackled the subject of difficult cards from a variety angles, specific tarot cards deemed difficult for the client and for the reader; cards which might seem scary for a client unfamiliar with their meaning (Death, the Devil and the Tower are common examples), and cards which are challenging for the reader to interpret, either because they’re still unclear on the meaning, or even simply because they don’t often turn up during a reading (we all have cards like this). Continue reading
Black Flame Tarot, by Jennifer Chen
Companion book: Guide to the Black Flame Tarot, Komodokat Productions, 78 (+2), 2005
“The Black Fire flames to life when we remember ourselves, and it charges forth when we cast our will into the universe. It burns away lies and illusions, and purifies that which is absolute within us.”
The Black Flame Tarot derives its name from the Satanic movement of the 1960s, the “Black Flame” denoting the “divine gift man gained from a rebellious cosmic figure.” It stands a symbol for “man’s highly evolved sense of self-awareness, and the possibility that consciousness being of a cosmic origin.” Continue reading