Monthly Archives: April 2011

Eight of Swords: Interference


Interference: Confusion, Obstacles, and Frustration 

The Eight of Swords. Interference. Frustration. Annoyance. The Odds Stacked Against You. Helplessness. Restriction. Confusion. Obstacles. Hassles. The Eight of Sword corresponds to the Sefirot of Hod: the response to the weakness of Netzach that results in a weakness itself, of Thought, Knowledge, and Intellect. The energies of the Suit of Swords react strongly to the degenerate weakness of Futility – giving in to surrender – and instead go in the opposite direction, overcompensating. Instead of surrendering, the energy continues on and attempts to fight on as much as it can – but that fight isn’t always easy, and when one does not even allow oneself to rest and tries too hard, obstacles will get in one’s way, and hassles will make progress difficult. Tjis card represents those obstacles and hassles and their effects; frustration, a sense of helplessness and a feeling that the odds are stacked against you. You may be confused (this could also be a source of these obstacles), and feel restricted. Doubtless you will become annoyed at everything that gets in your way as well. This card represents all of the things that impair your growth – mostly intellectually and morally, but in other areas as well. This card represents all of those little things that get in your way adding up to drive you crazy.

The Rider-Waite art depicts a tied up and blindfolded woman surrounded by swords. This art emphasizes the ideas of helplessness, restriction, and the odds being stacked against you, as she is all of these things. The Thoth art shows two straight swords with several less-than-straight swords running across them, literally interfering with them. Each of the interfering swords is different, representing the idea of lots of small annoyances adding up to cause a big problem.

In a reading, this card simply asks you to examine the role of annoyances, hassles, and frustrations in your life. Have you lately felt that everything was working against you and you couldn’t get anything done? Have you been irritable and felt restricted lately? Reversed, this card’s energies are twisted or hidden somehow; perhaps the reason you’ve been unhappy lately is because of these small hassles, or maybe the things interfering with you are not what you would expect.

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Posted by on April 30, 2011 in Uncategorized


Writing Update

University workload is amazingly high right now, and I’m a wee bit stressed at the moment, and haven’t had time for any serious writing. It looks like I’ll be failing in my goal to finish TLOB by the end of the semester, but by golly it will be done by the end of next week! I should be done with all school-related things by Tuesday, and after that point, I will be focusing all of my energy in finishing this draft – and then going back and revising. After that, I’ll whisk TLOB off to Michael Ireland and turn my attention to some short stories – and begin plotting the next novels.

But alas, for now TLOB is on hold. Unless someone else wants to take exams and do final projects for me?

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Posted by on April 29, 2011 in Writing


Seven of Swords: Futility


Futility: Defeatism, Hopelessness, and Shame

The Seven of Swords. Futility. Hopelessness. Defeatism. Unfairness. Being Alone. Shame. Surrender. Appeasement. Shame. Running Away. The Seven of Swords corresponds to the Sefirot of Netzach. Bliss and the degenerate weakness of the suit of Swords. The Seven is the weak aspect of the Six that manifests itself in degenerate qualities. In many ways this card is similar to Defeat, but is different in its tone. While the Five of Swords also has a relationship the ideas of surrender and appeasement, the Five’s relationship with them takes place after a struggle to maintain the Truce has already been made. Futility’s surrender and appeasement, on the other hand, is given without a fight; it is wanton appeasement and quick surrender, with no semblance of standing up for what you believe in – the antithesis of the Suit of Swords. In those aspects, this card represents the failure of the energy of Swords.

This card also indicates hopelessness and unfairness – the sense that the world is against you. When one contemplates the realities of the world – as the Suit of Swords urges us to do – it can easily make one rather pessimistic and make them believe that their whole existence is futile, and that is also what this card is about. In this way it is similar to Sorrow, but instead of despair and a sense of betrayal, this card’s energies correspond more to a resigned surrender and a sense of shame at letting yourself just give in.

The Rider-Waite art shows a man seemingly stealing a collection of sowrds from a group of pavilions. He is alone and set apart, and is shaming himself by stealing swords. The Thoth art shows a single sword, with six other swords all pointed down at it. The large sword in the middle is not only beneath the other swords, but is being threatened by the others. The whole world is against it, and it is pointless for it to resist; it is all by itself in a cruel world.

In a reading, this card advises you to look at how defeatist attitudes play a role in your life. Are you ashamed for not standing up for someone? Have you just given up fighting for what you believe in? Does it feel like you’re all alone in a cruel world? Reversed, this card’s energies are blocked or hidden somehow; perhaps you are doing something that is in reality an act of surrender or giving up, but you don’t realize it. Maybe you have already given up on life but you just don’t know it yet.

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Posted by on April 29, 2011 in Uncategorized


Six of Swords: Science


Science: (The Search for) Truth, Progress, and Unity

The Six of Swords. Science. Progress. Unity. Achievement. Truth. Logic. Discovery. Order. Moral and Mental Balance. The Six of Swords corresponds to the Sefirot of Tiphareth: Experience and the Conscious Harmony. Science resolves the conflict between Chesed and Geburah, and restabilizes the energy of the Suit of Swords. The Truth is restored from the effects of Defeat, and Peace is restored, allowing for the furthering of Science. Science is the best that the Suit of Swords has to offer, and represents the balanced energy of the Suit. It is the ultimate of the conscious harmonies, as this card represents the hunt for the truth of the universe, guided from above by the influence of Kether. It is the ultimate positive manifestation of the ideals of the Suit of Swords: the intellectual pursuit of Truth to be used in the name of Justice. It is the ultimate in abstract thought.

This card, then, represents the discovery and progress associated with Science, as well as the unity that comes with throwing off the shackles of defeat and re-achieving Peace. It represents the intellectual achievements that lead to the world becoming a better place, often attained through the application of Logic. This card represents also the balance between morality and one’s mental state; the two both must be in prime condition to effectively pursue Science.

The Rider-Waite art shows a man rowing a cloaked woman and her child to a far shore on a boat filled with swords. She is leaving behind the falseness of her previous life and moving on to the land of truth, though the experience may be painful. The Thoth art shows six swords – all straight, as befits the “positive” Swords cards – all pointed together at a cross with a hole in the center, attempting to complete the cross as a symbol of formal knowledge and learning (from medieval symbolism, of course). The background is filled with well-ordered geometric designs, indicating the logic of it all.

In a reading, this card asks you to examine the role of scientific rationale and thought in your life. Have you been on a quest recently to discover the truth of something? Are you or someone you know extremely logical? How has progress or discovery impacted you? Reversed, this card’s energies are hidden or twisted somehow; perhaps the search for truth and justice is present on the surface, but the real motive of the questing individual is something far different and perhaps more cynical. Maybe the heart of the problem is a lack of this search, and it needs to be done to solve the issue at hand. Perhaps you are too focused on progress, and need to scale things back a bit.

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Posted by on April 28, 2011 in Uncategorized


Initial Thoughts on HBO’s Game of Thrones

At this point I have seen the first two episodes of HBO’s Game of Thrones. The pilot, while still good, I also found lacking, but I acknowledge that many pilots are not as good as the rest of the show. The pilot covered too many characters in not enough depth, and so I felt like nothing was accomplished. The second episode was much, much better than the first, and I was very pleased with it. The major thing about these two episodes is that it would have been very hard to follow if I had not already read the books; knowing all of the characters and the world beforehand is very helpful. The problem with making a show out of this series is that there are so many characters, that by the second season each character will only have five or eight minutes per episode, which is problematic.

Based on these two episodes, my major thought is that the sex is overdone. A lot. Dany and Khal Drogo’s sex scenes are extremely awkward, and they seem to portray Drogo in a less caring way than in the books, which made me sad. Also, anal seems to be very popular.

The casting for the show was superb, I think, and the acting (while dramatic) is very, very good; Cersei and Joffrey make me angry, Jaime gives me mixed reactions, Tyrion is both despicable and loveable, Jon is Jon, Ned is noble and strong, Sansa is a bimbo (sorry for any offense that might be taken here), Arya is the female version of her father in his younger days, Robert is the drunken king, and Catelyn is the annoying wife. I never liked Catelyn, and while she does have her good aspects, the show brings out the negative in her.

What I want to see more of is Theon Greyjoy; the Greyjoys in the Iron Isles were always my second favorite plot line (after Dany’s), as I’ve always felt a connection with the sea. Theon is not nice, yes, but he’s the door to Balon and Aeron Hreyjoy, who I love as characters. The Others I were not happy with, but they don’t play a large role yet.

I look forward to seeing the Night’s Watch men and Stannis Baratheon, not to mention Littlefinger and (of course) the Greyjoy’s and Dornes – though that might be a ways away. In the end, I’m happy with this show, and am excited to see where it goes!

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Posted by on April 28, 2011 in Watchings


Five of Swords: Defeat


Defeat: Dishonor, Selfishness, and Surrender

The Five of Swords. Defeat. Loss. Fall. Discord. Dishonor. Selfishness. Disgust. Ineffectuality. Surrender. Pacifism. The Five of Swords corresponds to the Sefirot of Geburah; the destabilizing motion that upsets the stability of Chesed. The Truce is broken by Discord and Selfishness leading to some form of conflict, and inevitably one is defeated. This card represents both the conflict that leads to the “defeat” of truce and the defeat of an individual. This card is in many ways the unstable version of Truce; instead of a ceasefire on equal terms, this card represents a Surrender on unequal terms. Both cards imply an end to a conflict, but in different ways.

This defeat is brought on by Selfishness and Ineffectuality, with perhaps a lack of will to fight and a sort of Pacifism when you need to stand up and fight, which when combined with Discord, lead a most Dishonorable loss. It is not in the interest of the being who exemplifies the Suit of Swords to give up on his position of Truth and Justice easily, and when he does, he is Dishonored by his inability to do what he believes right, and also by his own Selfishness. This card also can represent the ideals of the Suit of Swords again meeting the world, but this time in the form of greed; and so the ideals of Swords are betrayed and the Swordbearer is defeated.

The Rider-Waite art shows a man in the foreground with a smug, cruelly satisfied look on his face, picking up swords from the ground, presumably dropped by his two comrades, one of whom appears to be grieving. Yet the central figure cares not for his two comrades, and continues to selfishly gather swords. He is thus dishonored and morally defeated in this way. This card also could be read as the central figure having defeated the other two. Either way, there is certainly some sort of discord between the three figures. The Thoth art shows five swords, their points all together and pushing at each other. The swords are bent, indicating great force and conflict as the swords push each other. Around the swords is an inverted pentagram; the balance has been upset. The haphazard lines behind the swords also are reminiscent of broken glass, reinforcing the air of loss and defeat in the card.

In a reading, this card asks you to examine the role of selfishness, dishonor, discord, and even defeat or a refusal to fight when you need to in your life. It asks you to examine your relationship with others; have you been getting along? Are you not standing up for yourself? Have you been selfish? Have you been bested lately? Reversed, this card’s energies are hidden somehow; selfish intentions may be disguised as good ones, or perhaps a defeat is really a victory (or vice-versa). Perhaps one has been dishonored in the face of society, but you still hold your own personal sense of honor high.

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Posted by on April 27, 2011 in Uncategorized


Four of Swords: Truce


Truce: Temporary Relief, Contemplation, and Rest

The Four of Swords. Truce. Temporary Relief. Appeasement. Reassessment. Contemplation. Withdrawal. Rest. Cessation of Hostilities. The Four of Swords corresponds to the Sefirot of Chesed – stability, condensation, and the appearance of matter. The Four of Swords represents the energy of swords becoming stable after the dissatisfaction of the Three, the the calming of the initial heartbreak associated with the realization that the world is not perfect. This is achieved through contemplation and withdrawal; meditation that allows you to accept calmly the fact that the world is not perfect, and lets you move on with your life. However, this card does not represent a permanent and lasting arrangement; it is instead a Temporary Relief from the sorrow of the Three of Swords, and indeed, the next card in the suit is Defeat. The energy of the Suit of Swords has become stable, if only for a little while (emphasizing the transient nature of Chesed; as it is quickly upset by Geburah). This card is a return to the Peace of Binah for a short period of time, and allows one to withdraw from open conflict and contemplate on the causes of said conflict. This card represent’s the philosopher’s pondering and self-analysis, where he comes to terms with his own emotions (analyzing them logically), and may even take some time to Rest. This card can also signify a break from active fighting, in terms of appeasement and ceasefire. For example, the pre-WWII satisfying of Hitler’s demands is represented in part by this card, as granting those appeasement provided temporary relief, but did nothing to solve the real cause of conflict in the end.

The Rider-Waite illustration shows a man either sleeping or being dead, lying in a Church – which is a santuary – with the weapons of war hanging unused above and below him. He is clearly a warrior, but for the moment he is resting peacefully in either sleep or death, his conflict not troubling him. The Thoth art shows four swords all pointing at each other, above the flower of peace, which is blooming. The fact that the flower is blooming indicates that the process of peace has not finished, and is in progress; a Truce can be the first step to it. The swords are also not crossed like in Peace, but are not bent as in Sorrow; there is now force bending the blades. The swords are at rest, but have not laid themselves down completely – they were ready to move again the instant they need to, and are still pointed at each other.

In a reading, this card asks you to consider the effects that a period of withdrawal and contemplation may have on you. It encourages a cessation of hostilities, a short break, or a re-assessment of yourself. Reversed, this card’s energies are hidden or twisted; it could indicate that you are weighed down by something that does not allow you to take a break, or are so caught up in your conflicts that you cannot bring yourself to end them.

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Posted by on April 26, 2011 in Uncategorized


Personality Tarot Spread

Over the past couple of weeks, during classes, I have been thinking and developing a spread. This spread is designed to allow you to look into the personality of someone, and the various parts that make it up.

This spread is divided into two dichotomies (much like the Tarot itself). The first dichotomy is that of the public and conscious aspects of your personality – the parts of you that others see and that you are aware of, that you allow to escape and be seen by the outside world – and the unconscious and hidden aspects of your personality – those things about yourself that you hide or don’t know yourself. This dichotomy is represented by the division between upper and lower cards; the upper three cards are all aspects of your public and conscious personality, and the lower three are all aspects of your private and unconscious personality.

The second dichotomy looks at what I think are two important aspects of your personality, as embodied by the two questions the Vorlons and the Shadows ask in Babylon 5 – “Who are you?” and “What do you want?” As such, the left three cards all deal with identity, and how you are perceived by others, yourself, as well as how your past has influenced this identity. The right three cards represent your desire and your fears (for what is a fear but the desire that something won’t happen?) – what you say you want, what you really want, and what you hope will happen in the future; your goals.

The center cards are just the defining aspect of your personality, and like many Tarot spreads, are the most important aspects of your character and personality. The central cards also serve as the center of a Celtic Cross-based design; with the topmost and bottom-most cards representing what they do in the Celtic Cross, the left and right cards representing past and future like in the Celtic Cross spread, and the central cards also serving the same purpose.

The ten cards in this spread serve to help one look into what forms the personality of a particular person – their thoughts and concerns, their hopes and fears, their own and others’ sense of their identity, and qualities that describe them. It looks at the goals of the person, and the influences that the past has had on them. The layout of the spread is a circle, signifying the idea of completion, and also resembles a wheel, representing the idea that one’s personality is always changing and moving forward (as such, it is important to remember that this spread only helps on understand one’s personality at the present moment; personalities can and do change). The circular form also resembles a face, with each section of the face revealing a different aspect of their personality.

Below is an image of the spread, and below a brief explanation of the meaning of each card:

Personality Tarot Spread Layout
1. Central Characteristic: This card represents the most important part of someone’s personality; it is the card that best describes and sums up the the personality of the entire person. It is both the primary factor and the summary of the rest of the spread.

2. Influencing Characterstic: This card is the second most important aspect of someone’s personality, and influences, mitigates, or complements the Central Characteristic; in many ways it also the secondary characteristic of a person, and provides a second dimension to one’s personality, adding depth to it.

3. Influence of Past: This card sums up the influences that past events have had on one’s personality; memory is an important part of our personality, our desires, and our own identity. This card represents and shows the influence that this memory has had on a personality.

4. Goals of the Future: This card represents what one are striving to accomplish; another aspect of one’s personality is their drive, and what makes them motivated: that motivation and drive is represented by this card, which shows the thing that the person is striving to achieve, and their most important desire for the future.

5. Unconscious Thoughts and Motives: This card represents the unconscious thoughts and concerns of a person, and also represents this person’s motives. It answers the questions of “why do they do this?” as well as those of “what are they really thinking?”  This is their unconscious drive (rather than the conscious drive of Card 4), and represents the deepest aspects of their personality, hidden from themselves. This card also serves as the synthesis of cards 8 and 10.

6. Conscious Thoughts and Concerns: This card represents the person’s conscious thought. It helps one examine what the most important things are to this person, and represents their most pressing concerns, and what is most important to them at this time. This card also serves as the synthesis of cards 7 and 9.

7. Public Face: This card is the public aspect of one’s identity; this is how others perceive this person, and how their environment (including other people) affects them and notices them. This card is similar to Card 8 (second from the bottom of the Staff) on the Celtic Cross. This card represents how they want others to see them as well.

8. Private Face: This card represents the concept of self-identity and self-image, and shows how a person really thinks of themselves. This might line up with one’s public face, but often is at least slightly different. This card is similar to Card 7 (bottom of the Staff) of the Celtic Cross spread. This card shows how this person really feels about himself, and what they think their own identity is.

9. Public Desire: This card represents what one says they want; it is the stated hopes and fears of a person. This is what the person wants others to think they want and what they want others to think they are afraid of; this card represents those desires made public.

10. Private Desire: This card represents one’s true hopes and fears; their heart’s desire or their deepest, secret fear. These are the desires that people keep repressed and hidden – sometimes even from themselves – for various reasons. These are the inner passions and repressed terrors that often motivate people’s actions unconsciously.


Posted by on April 25, 2011 in Philosophical Musings


Three of Swords: Sorrow


Sorrow: Betrayal, Inner Turmoil, and Loneliness

The Three of Swords. Sorrow. Sadness. Secrecy. Heartbreak. Betrayal. Loneliness. Inner turmoil. Chaos. Disillusionment. Perversion. The Three of Swords corresponds to the Sefirot of Binah; stability, the birthing ground, and the plane. Binah is where the energy of the Suit begins to take form and gain potential. In most of the suits, this position is positive, bu the Three of Swords has a distinctly negative connotation. In many ways, the Three of Swords is like Geburah (chaos of motion) come early. In the realm of the abstract, corruption and morally evil things come to the fore much more readily than in the realm of the physical: and so when the pure ideas of Swords finally reach the place where they can be born, they suffer negativity much more quickly. The abstract does not mix well with any notion of the material, and its potential, while great, is easily sullied by perversions of the mind.

And so, then, we have Sorrow. The abstract ideals of the mind, when realized, often fall far short of reality, and so then we give ourselves in to sorrow. Binah represents also duality, and when this duality is combined with the energy of Swords and its principles, is not what one expects; so the duality is betrayed, and heartbreak comes to the fore. This card is the sorrow that comes with the realization that the world is not perfect. Life is imperfect, and often brings despair. That is what this card stands for; the sadness that results from the realization that great principles cannot be applied effectively to the realities of the world, and so its potential is thwarted.

The duality betrayed leads not only to heartbreak, but to loneliness and secrecy as well; in this way this card represents the feelings one has when one’s ideal notions of a relationship are shattered. There is a sense of betrayal that accompanies the Three of Swords as well; the world (or other person) has wronged you somehow, and not lived up to your expectations; the Peace has been shattered, and Sorrow has taken its place. No more is there the inner tranquility and calm of the Two of Swords; the inner spirit is now in turmoil, and the calm has become grief.

The Rider-Waite illustration shows a heart being pierced by three swords, while rain pours down from dark clouds. This artwork very clearly illustrates the idea of heartbreak and betrayal, as well as sadness and dreariness. The Thoth art shows three swords, not crossed to defend the peace as in the Two of Swords, but rather all points at the same target: a flower. The flower of peace is being threatened, and the geometrical designs of the Two of Swords are now less regular and more curved. Dark stormclouds loom in the background. The flower is wilting and losing its petals; it is dying slowly. This card strongly gives off the idea that the universe has betrayed the ideals of peace; the world is imperfect.

In a reading, this card asks you to examine the roles of loneliness, sorrow, heartbreak, and other dismal states of mind in your life. Does it seem like the world is out to get you? Do things never go right? Are you in anguish inside? How have secrets been affecting you? Reversed, it asks you to look for this card in ways you might not expect; it reinforces the idea of Inner turmoil, maybe hidden from the outside. Is someone’s sorrow contained within them? Is your own sorrow hidden from yourself?

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Posted by on April 25, 2011 in Uncategorized


Doctor Who Season Premiere!

I watched it, and I was thrilled. It was a fantastic episode, and the Silence are fantastic aliens – they’re not Weeping Angels, but their concept is better than the Vashta Nerada, Moffat’s other big creation. Stephen Moffat is a superb writer, and he delivered a superb, funny, terrifying, and thought-provoking episode; I can’t wait to see part two! “The Impossible Astronaut” ended on quite a cliffhanger…

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Posted by on April 25, 2011 in Watchings