Monthly Archives: March 2011

Ace of Wands

Thoth – Rider-Waite

The Origin: Passion, Action, and Creativity

The Ace of Wands. It corresponds to the element of fire, and the Sefirot Kether. Kether is the eternal spirit, perfection, unity, purity, force, emanation, and the seed. In terms of the Naples Arrangement, Kether is the point; the first manifestation of the idea of position in nothing. As the first emanation and appearance of the suit of Wands – and the element of Fire – the Ace of Wands represents the unified ideal of the suit of Wands in its most spiritual, pure, and abstract form.

So then, the Aces of Wands can be said to represent the pure idea of the suit of Wands. What, then, is this pure idea?

Wands represent fire. Fire, in turn, represents passion, action, and aggression. It is in many ways the opposite of Cups (Water), representing one half of one of the two dualities that define the four suits (Action/Passivity, Abstraction/Practicality). The Ace of Wands is the beginning of the path that the suit of Wands will take down the Sefirot, and is untainted by the influences of the Sefirot below Kether.

The Rider-Waite illustration shows a hand coming forth from a cloud – emerging from the realm of the eternal spirit (Kether) to give the bearer the Wand – this symbolizes the pure, untamed nature of the Ace, and its origins as outside of the world (not to mention the idea of the ace as the origin of the suit). The Thoth illustration of the card shows a very red, yellow, and orange (the colors of fire) wand, with zig-zagging, lightning-like emanations coming from it, representing the force, power, and otherworldly origins of this card. The presence only of these fiery hues also represents the card’s purity.

Now, the abstract is all well and good, but practically, what words best represent this card? If it comes up in a reading, what does it mean to me? Of course its meaning depends on its position in the spread, but generally, this card to me means Passion, Action, and Creativity. It represents the most powerful and pure form of extreme passion, the active manipulation of one’s surroundings, and the burst of energy associated with the first forays into the act of creation (Creative Force). There is nothing negative about this (or indeed, any of the aces), as they represent perfection. To a lesser extent, this card also symbolizes courage, confidence, and enthusiasm, though these qualities appear at the “lower” end of the card, nearer to the influence of the other Sefirot.

When used as practical advice, the Ace of Wands office is encouraging the querent to exemplify the qualities of the suit of Wands – encouraging them to be active, creative, and passionate – or to look at how these qualities are affecting their life, and possible acknowledge their presence if they are there already.

A reversed Ace of Wands (I read reversed cards as “blocking” the flow of energy of the card, so that the energy may be there, but will be lessened, hidden, or distorted somehow) could indicate a need to scale back the qualities of the suit of Wands, or that the energy of this suit is struggling to express itself but somehow finds itself blocked – or that the pure energy of the Ace of Wands has become twisted somehow, and that one should see if they can correct the twist.

The Sefirot of Kether also has an elemental association with fire, which makes the Ace of Wands the origin of fire of fire, which earns it a special place in the Tree of Life and the Tarot. To me, the Ace of Wands is also the ultimate origin; it most purely represents the Sefirot of Kether, the divine spirit and perfect emanation. The card itself represents the divine spirit and energy, and can be said to be behind Afflatus Divine, the passion of the act of sex, and the dominating will of God. The Ace of Wands, then, is truly the start of the Tarot, and the origin of the rest of the cards, containing more energy than the others, that allow it to give birth to the Tree of Life.

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Posted by on March 25, 2011 in Uncategorized


Tarot Challenge: The Tarot

The Tarot are representatives of our life-course and the world around us. In the Tarot Challenge, I will be going through each of the seventy-eight cards and explaining to my fullest ability what each card means to me. As the cards are largely subjective, they mean different things to different people. My thoughts on the cards come from two major sources: the first is my interpretations of the deck I learned to read Tarot with, the Rider-Waite deck, and the second is my interpretation of the Thoth deck and the cards’ relation to the tree of life. For the more practical interpretation of each card, I lean more on the meanings of the simplistic artwork of the Rider-Waite deck, but for the more abstract and deeper voices of the cards, I lean more on Crowley’s Thoth deck and his (and my own) interpretations of the Tarot with regards to the Sefirot and the Tree of Life.

The way that I envision the Tarot is as a divided representative of the Tree of Life; the Kabbalistic idea of how the divine energy of EinSof flows from heaven to earth, manifesting itself. Each numbered card in the suit, 1-10, represents one of the ten Sefirot; Kether, Chokmah, Binah, Chesed, Geburah, Tiphareth, Netzach, Hog, Yesod, and Malkuth. The meaning of each of these Sefirot and how they apply to the cards, as well as words on the organization and nature of them, will be delved into in more detail after I finish discussing each card. The suits of each card shape the way that each numbered card manifests the Sefirot they represent. Additionally, each Sefirot represents a number in the Naples arrangement: Position, Line, Plane, Matter, Motion, Experience, Bliss, Knowledge, Being, and Reality. Essentially, each Sefirot represents one level of the world’s – and life’s – basic construction.

The four court cards in each suit correspond to a particular Sefirot as well: Kings are Chokmah (the active male), Queens are Binah (the passive female), Princes are Tiphareth (Experience), and Princesses are Malkuth (Reality). Again, the suit of the court cards also reflects how they express each Sefirot; each court card also represents distinctive personalities we may see in ourselves and those around us, and between them all cover most aspects of personality that we see.

The Major Arcana, on the Tree of Life, are placed between each of the Sefirot. As such, they represent the paths the energy from EinSof must take to reach the Earth. In this sense, they also reflect the natures of the Sefirot that they connect. Additionally, when number 0-XXI, they tell the story of one’s life from a baby to their integration with the world.

Keep in mind that throughout this whole challenge I will be referring to “male” and “female” dualities and characteristics. Due to my sociological training, this is hard for me in many respects, so here I would like to emphasize that I acknowledge that gender is not binary but rather is a spectrum, nor is there any “right” way to do gender. I am merely using the antiquated terms philosophically.

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Posted by on March 24, 2011 in Uncategorized


B5, Haruhi, Ponies, CoC, Tarot, Uni, and Writing

In essence, a little bit of everything. I am sure you’ve noticed that my posts here have been few and far between; hopefully this post will explain what to expect from me in the near future.

First off, I haven’t had any significant time to write, and in order to work on longer pieces – such as TLOB – I need to devote at least an hour to it so that I can actually churn out good material. I just, as of late, haven’t had that time, for several reasons: a few weeks ago I had shingles, which made it impossible to concentrate on anything, and since I (mostly) recovered from that I  have then been swamped with work; next week alone I have 750 pages of reading and two papers, coming right after having to write three papers and do 200 pages of reading this week and my “vacation” the week before consisting of me writing a research paper. And then after all this goodness, final project and exam preparations begin. Oh joy.

So, until the end of the semester in early May, my writing will be limited – but hopefully will start coming again! I was originally aiming to finish the rough draft of TLOB by April, and then in April (during Script Frenzy’s time), was going to try to finish Dark Aeons – but I’ve given up on that. I’m still going to see if I can finish TLOB before the semester ends.

However, last night before I went to sleep I sat down and wrote another poem! It’s strange… it’s the titular poem of the planned collection Dark Aeons. For your wincing pleasure, here’s the first third(ish) of it:


In the beginning there was darkness
In the middle there was light
And at the end of endings there was eternal night

In the beginning there was darkness
Of utter midnight black
From the nothingness it came
To fill the void of light

It seeped into creation
And tainted life’s faint glow
A reminder of the nothingness
Come forth at the start of time

It hid in shadows and the night
Ever lurking, ever there
It watched from caverns and oceans deep
Ever watching; ever waiting

It darkened stars’ fiery birth
And led them into their own oblivion
Where they found their creation with open maws
Ever hungry, ever greedy

It told of destruction and ultimate end
But waited silently in the space between
Letting the song of stars flow through it
Adding their screams to the light


In addition to that, over spring “vacation” I had the chance to run two Call of Cthulhu scenarios and participate in three Corporation ones. Corporation, as Paranoia’s serious twin, is fun, but also has some leeway for humor. Which makes it rather different from Call of Cthulhu. The first scenario I ran, The Gate of Time, featuring the Hounds of Tindalos (read the story featuring them here – badly transcribed) went very well, and I had two players actually scared. The second one I ran, The Forest of Blood (which I will be basing a short story in Dark Aeons on) did not go so well; players were unfocused, joking, and missed a lot of vital clues, forcing me to improvise even more than usual, and I did not manage it well. After that experience, I decided that it is very important to have a table (not couches like we were using) around which to sit with minimal food and drink distractions. Also having serious roleplayers helps.

In terms of television shows I finished (before I was swamped, while still struck down with shingles), the anime The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya I found very thought-provoking; it was well done and has an original concept (and fun music). However, the eight episodes in season one that are a time loop and repeat almost exactly for eight episodes just made me want to cry. I confess, I skimmed those. But I finished eventually, and in the end, want more! I can’t wait for The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya to come out in English.

I also finished Season 1 of Babylon 5, and liked that a lot too – Londo Mollari and Ambassador G’Kar came out as my favorite characters; their antagonistic dualities just made the show for me. I’m going to miss Jeffrey Sinclair (and Michael O’Hare) in Season 2; lets see how Sheridan fares. I have also just begun watching (no making fun of me) My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, and I have found it to be wonderful. Go watch it now.

In terms of tarot, I’ve only had time to do three readings of late, but I hope to begin doing it more regularly again! I did one earlier today, and should have time for another tomorrow – I’m going to try a Yin-Yang spread using myself and the rest of the world as opposing sides and see what happens.

Also, starting tomorrow, I will be beginning the TAROT CHALLENGE. This will consist of a lot of posts, hopefully one every two or three days, going through each and every card of the tarot and putting down all of my thoughts on it. The order will be as follows:



Knight, Queen, Prince, Princess



Knight, Queen, Prince, Princess



Knight, Queen, Prince, Princess



Knight, Queen, Prince, Princess



Hopefully this will help my understanding of court cards a lot, which I’ve always had trouble with. But for now – let’s see if I can get any TLOB done!

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Posted by on March 24, 2011 in Personal, Watchings, Writing


What Walks Under Moonlight

I decided, after having run a Call of Cthulhu scenario recently (more on this and the one to be run tomorrow later), to delve once again into the realm of dark poetry. This one took me longer than my previous effort, as it actually has something resembling a structure:

What Walks Under Moonlight

The darkness of hills at the heart of midnight
Illuminated by the fading Elder’s lantern-light
And by the waning glow of the sun’s shaded twin

The Elder in vain sought a safe path to his land
The fading beacon of light held firmly in hand
As the black veil of night wrapped about the barren hills

Sounds filled the darkness of the hills and their kind
Half-formed nightmares filled the Elder’s feeble mind
Stalking him, following his ever-dying light

At the edge of vision and the border of sanity
Under the influence of catalytic moonlight
The monsters of the mind can take shape and form
And rise from the ether realm of ichor and worm

The nightmares of sleep can come out in the night
And when one is alone bring their faces to light
Under the will of the sun’s shaded twin

And under the blighted light of the moon
The wavering dreams often emerge far too soon
Come to take you to the dark realm of the mad

The pebble-strewn path weaves between dark mounds of earth
The moon’s tricks of light giving strange monsters birth
Who walk the path of shadow on the edge of true light

A rustle in the long grass casts shadows on the path
Illuminated merely by lamp and moonlight
And a shadow for a moment crosses his mind

As his eyes seek out an image he is hard-pressed to find

From behind the black wall of the gloomiest hill
A horror comes forth from a degenerate will
And stands in the way of the Elder’s last path

Foul ichor drips from its long silver tongue
As it whispers him promises and beckons him to come
But the Elder kneels down and refuses to go

The primordial ooze that flows onto the ground
From the eyes and the mouth on the head of the hound
Glows under the ethereal light of the moon

Mad eyes glow red on its amphibian face
And twin tails of snakes lash the air in a rage
And the hound’s many legs step forward as one
As foul wriggling things chant that his will be done

The hound speaks then with one final demand
And the Elder shakes his head with a quivering hand
And there comes then a slithering, shuddering sound
And the Elder is nowhere ever after to be found

And under the light of the sun’s shaded twin
The hills at the heart of midnight grow dim
And as the glorious sun rises high in the sky
It finds only a lantern, damp hat and a sigh.


Rhymes are hard to do without making them seem forced. But, there you go; free poetry! What could be better? The imagery for the hound may or may have been inspired by “The Hounds of Tindalos”…

TLOB progress is still slow, but hopefully I’ll have a lot of time this week to get started again!

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Posted by on March 19, 2011 in Writing


A Second Look at Egypt and the Middle East

Right, so I got some time to do a Tarot reading. Earlier, I made a post in which I analyzed the uprising in Egypt using the Celtic Cross Tarot Spread. Now, I aim to analyze the Middle Eastern situation as it currently is – using Joan Bumming’s Yin Yang Spread. Educate yourselves. The question: what are the opposing perspectives in the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East between governments and the people? using the Thoth Deck:

Central Matter One: The Empress – Unity. Caring. Motherly. Nurturing. Sensual. Sexual. Nature. Passion. Interesting, as I don’t see this card represented at all really in the situation except for the last. The card isn’t reversed, either, so this card is not representing a lack of something – but the presence of it. I think, in this case, we should be looking at passion, then – which certainly can be seen, especially in Libya, with civil war, a leader desperately clinging on to power, and the people trying to take it from him. The card could also represent the people’s desire to be a nurturing figure to country as an abstract principle; by overthrowing the Western-backed dictators, they are doing a good deed for the country, and allowing themselves to nurture it back to its full potential.

Central Matter Two: Queen of Cups. A personality, most likely, as this is a court card. Cups – emotion figures into it. Queen – the “feminine.” The water of water. Reflectivity, passivity, dreaminess, fantasy. But… this could also indicate distortion of reality – on the parts of the dictators? Qaddafi certainly is guilty of this, with his ideological trickery, and his denial of the unrest – and Ahmadinejad is as well, with his denial of the Holocaust. They project peace to hide the turmoil that lurks within; and indeed, the figure on the card is obscured partly by smoke. Truth being hidden by powerful personalities strikes me here, as tranquility is transmitted – but in the end, the true nature of the country will be reflected when the ripples on the surface of the water cease.

Government Official Stance/Desired Impression: Five of Disks – Worry. Instability. Strain. Helplessness? Could this indicate that the stance the governments are taking is that the people are bringing instability to the previously stable countries? This could be argued to be true; maybe the situation was terrible before, but it was stable. The governments might also be arguing that the country has hit upon hard times, which triggered this unnecessary revolution; but whatever it is, unrest and worry is part of the government’s stance. Likely, squelching this worry is also part of it. Alternatively, the government could be expressing worry and concern about this unrest, taking the card’s name literally, and trying to come off as putting the interests of the people at heart, though this may be false; a distortion, perchance?

Government Conscious Thoughts/Ideal Goal: Knight of Swords – Fitting that a court card be here, as the governments are typically strong individuals (dictators). This card, the fire of air, indicates ferocity, managed violence, clever subtlety, and an ideological drive. The dictators in charge certainly are ferocious and violent, but manage these parts of themselves in such a way that they appear only to be acting in the best interests of the people – certainly a manifestation of ideology, yes? And subtle and clever their propaganda and manipulations have been as well, to remain in power for so long. In this position, the government is conscious of these actions, and might even embrace them. However, this card can also represent fragility – the government, having seen others topple, knows that its rule is not unshakable. They can be toppled. As an ideal, the government will take on these characteristics even more so to increase its power.

Government Unconscious Thoughts: The Hanged Man. Things not being as they seem. Suspension. Letting things happen. Perhaps, somewhere deep down inside, the governments have resigned themselves to their fate, and though trying to put off their loss of power, know that it is inevitable, and that things will be turned upside down; and perhaps they also realize that the only way for them to win is to step down peacefully and let the country grow again, though their conscious thoughts prevent this from manifesting.

Government Guidance: The Eight of Cups – Indolence. In order to “fix” the situation, the most relevant meanings of the cards here seem to be surrender and moving on – the government has lost, or will lose. Tying in with the Hanged Man, they should just accept this and move on.

The People’s Official Stance/Desired Impression:  The Princess of Disks. A persona – the Earth of Earth. Potential, beauty, the ability to create and give birth. That is exactly the image the people want to have – they want to remake their country, to give birth to and create something beautiful;to make it sublime. They see themselves as holding the future, and will make the world a better place.

The People’s Conscious Thoughts/Ideal Goal: Three of Wands – Virtue. Blossoming. Conception. Morality. Leading by example. Foresight. At the forefront of the peoples’ thoughts is the fiery passion if new birth and growth – the development of a new nation, ruled not by the whims of petty dictators, but ruled with the long-term goals of the people in mind; ruled with foresight. This card could also represent that the people are concerned with the morality of the constant situation, and seek to bring an element of humanitarianism in with them. Achieving this state of virtue is their ideal goal.

The People’s Unconscious Thoughts: Princess of Cups [Reversed]. Interesting; to me, a reversed card in an unconscious position reinforces the fact that the thought is unconscious – and perhaps even being suppressed. Another court card, the personality this represents is one of perpetual rapture, romance, inner exploration, and gentleness. These qualities certainly aren’t being expressed; perhaps they indicate suppressed desires? Perhaps the people aren’t looking into their own motives for overthrowing the dictators? Is it that the people want to be able to be happy and live in the wild and joyous abandon of the Princess of Cups, but can’t, which is why they are attempting their revolt? This card is probably the least clear to me – but I am not good with court cards.

The People’s Guidance: Five of Cups – Disappointment. Unexpected disturbance. Triumph of matter over spirit. The latter seems most relevant to me; in the end, though their cries and chants are often ideologically defined, what drives the revolutionaries and will lead to their success is the admittance that what they want is material; they want material, tangible benefits denied to them by the dictator. The question is; will they get these benefits, or will the be disappointed; like they have been Egypt so far with the military? They should be wary of disappointment; they might not get what they expected or wanted.

Guidance for Both: Ace of Cups. Emotional force; the birth of emotion. Intimacy. Love. Intuition. Seems simple(ish) to me, and very generic and kind of cheesy; they need to understand and respect each other (intimacy, love). The government should acknowledge the peoples’ wishes, and the people should acknowledge the government’s stake in the matter, and what will be lost. Will this happen? Likely not. Should it? I myself am divided on this. Emotion will play a key role in resolving this conflict; people’s ways of life will change, and with it, emotions will run high. Acknowledging and using these emotions will benefit both sides.

Outcome if Nothing Changes: Three of Disks – Works. Teamwork. Planning. Construction. Competence. A pretty good card, if I might say so myself. If the situation doesn’t change, construction will begin – but construction of what? I took this to mean of new nations, as “construction” does not imply “renovation,” which would have indicated the regime holding on to power. The people will cooperate and work together to build a nation that will function and work well (competence). Maybe, then, the situation should carry on as it is. The government will suffer, but the people will not in the end.

So there you have it. Lots of court cards; personalities and strong characteristics of populations will play large roles. They could be indicating the roles of dictators. Lots of cups as well, indicating the charged emotions involved. Also note that the cups that appear (other than the Queen) are in the positions for “guidance” – all sides should, then, perhaps, let their intuition guide them to reach the best possible outcome. Disks are present in both sides’ public images, interestingly; both sides want to be seen as offering the practical solution, and to be seen also as being grounded in reality. When thinking about this reading, I was drawing mostly in Libya – were my thoughts guiding me to the next major site of change in the Middle East?

Well, there are my thoughts on the matter reflected in the cards. Think about it while I get some sleep.

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Posted by on March 8, 2011 in Uncategorized


Earthsea – The Terrible Mini-Series, and Update

So, shingles still hasn’t given me my life back yet, but *hopefully* the worst should be over today or tomorrow. Key word is hopefully – but I choose to trust the doctor. Then once I’m clear of one more paper, exam, and a busy weekend, back to writing I hope! I’m way behind at this point, so am moving my goal back to finish by the end of March. *crosses fingers* That way, in April I can do my secret challenge! I’ll tell you what that is if I can actually make it there.

But in my sickness, meanwhile, I decided to first try to watch Waking Life upon recommendation of a friend, and had to stop ten minutes in as the constantly shifting animation hurt my eyes. So I then watched Earthsea instead as I studied (or attempted to) for an exam. It is a Science Fiction channel version, and apparently (regrettably, I have not yet read the series myself) is very unfaithful to the author of the original books’ true intentions. I have a great respect for Ursula K. LeGuin, and feel bad that her books were demolished by the movie transfer. But, after watching the adaptation, the entire time I was thinking about how the women in the film are all portrayed as weaker, second halves to the men – from the evil, treacherous sister to Tenar herself. Their stories are secondary, and in the end, it is the men who are praised – not the women. Needless to say, this irritated me slightly.

Also, I felt really bad the whole time for Ged’s girlfriend back home. I wish they hadn’t just left her alone there. It was sad. And finally… I thought the cheesy lines in Star Wars episodes one through three were bad. They were nothing compared to this.

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Posted by on March 8, 2011 in Personal, Watchings


So, Why No Progress?

Sorry guys, but there is a reason for my lack of any progress! My expected deadline is now out the window – and why? Because chickenpox decided to come back into my life. Yup, that’s right – I have shingles. In case you are unfamiliar with the disease, educate yourself here. The translation of the Norwegian word (as told to me by a Norwegian acquaintance) accurately portrays the whole thing: “hellfire.” I have blistering, almost oozing rashes along my left hip, making it painful to walk or move sometimes. The pain is really, really bad, to the point of which I can’t concentrate on writing. At all. If you ever get it, you will understand what I’m talking about. I’m writing this in one of my more lucid moments, free of my five pills a day, twice-a-day lotion, and prescription painkillers.

So, instead of writing (I honestly have been trying – but it doesn’t come out well), I’ve been watching television. More specifically, two shows – Babylon 5 and The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. I really like both, though having half of the actors change after the pilot in Babylon 5 was unsettling. I love the characters and complex plots a lot though; it’s one of the few shows where I actually cannot pick a favorite character. I’m about halfway through Season One now. I also just finished Season One of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, and though not nearly at the level of Babylon 5, made me think a lot – it is a very philosophical show. It’s interesting, as I used to hate anime – and now I actually like it. Strange.

Anyway, hopefully I’ll be better in a week or two, and will get to writing then. But until then, check out my new Amazon Author Page. Until then, I have to survive another week of school. Wish me luck!

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Posted by on March 6, 2011 in Personal, Watchings, Writing