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Monthly Archives: April 2011

Two of Swords: Peace

ThothRider-Waite

Peace: Inner Tranquility, Putting Aside Differences and Conflict to Improve the Future, and Blocking Emotions

The Two of Swords. Peace. Calm. Inner Tranquility. Putting Aside Differences. Avoiding Conflict. Blocking Emotions. The Two of Swords corresponds to the Sefirot of Chokmah; the first manifestation of the seed of Kether, and the original harmony and power of creation. It is the energy and idea of the Suit of Swords given original harmonious form; it is the first appearance of logic and abstract thought and ideals. What better way to express abstract ideals of truth and justice than through the idea of Peace? By putting aside differences and avoiding conflict, thinkers can come together and help build the world, making it a better place. Peace allows for thought to grow, and is the result of the application of the principles associated with the Suit of Swords.

The card’s association with inner tranquility also is the representative card of the philosopher and thinker; those individuals who commonly exemplify the Suit of Swords. These logical thinkers must block out the influence of their emotions of their thought is to be true, and so often this tranquility is emotionless. This card embodies the mental state – the abstract ideas – associated with the suit of Swords with regards to oneself, and so is the mental harmony of Swords: that is, Peace.

The Rider-Waite illustration shows a woman sitting on a stone bench, blindfolded and holding two swords across her chest defensively. She is blocking herself from others, and is focused on herself and not her environment, as is seen from the blindfold. She is peaceful and calm, and also alone – she does not let her surroundings disturb her sense of calm. Behind her is the sea, which is also extremely calm. The Thoth art shows two crossed swords piercing the center of a flower and keeping it suspended and stable, while not actually breaking or destroying it; the background shows many angular geometrical patterns, emphasizing the stability and logicality of it all. Below and above this central motif are smaller swords. This card emphasizes the idea of calmness and tranquility, and self-examination and lack of conflict; the swords are not locked together to fight, but to make peace.

In a reading, this card asks you to examine your own mental state; are you calm internally? Are you blocking your emotions? It also asks you to look at your environment; is it free of conflict? Should you put aside your differences and work together with someone else to build a better future? Reversed, this card’s energies are present but hidden or twisted in some way; does a particularly rambunctious individual actually know internally where he stands? Is the banter and apparent conflict at your workplace really actually signs of putting aside differences and peace and well-being?

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

The Colour of Magic Movie/Special

I watched it yesterday while doing schoolwork, and it was okay. Watchable, but the movie adaption of Hogfather was much better. The Colour of Magic movie was more absurd, and the casting I thought was very good; Sean Astin (though he kept making me think of Samwise Gamgee) was a fantastic Twoflower, and David Jason was a superb Rincewind. The luggage was a wee bit different than how I pictured it, and played a much less prominent role in the film, which made me sad.

My main objection to the film was its deviations from the book, and what scenes it chose to portray. It left out a good chunk of things; such as flying on a cloud, waiting for rescue  in the Kingdom of Krull, the game of the Gods, the Temple of Bel-Shamharoth, and others. They chose to include my least favorite part, the Wyrmberg, which I felt could have been better replaced by Bel-Shamharoth’s Temple. In the end, I was unhappy with the plot changes the film-makers chose to make, and think they should have chosen something else to adapt, as opposed to trying to squeeze those two books into one movie. Doubtless for one who hadn’t read the books, the movie would have been good, though.

The other major objection I had was that the inter-wizard rivalry was given much more attention in the movie. And I don’t like Tim Curry as an actor, so having him play Trymon made me unhappy; he came across as actively malicious and evil in the movie, but in the books he’s just an OCD maniac. Also, on a parting note, Trymon in the movie looks a lot like a much older and angrier version of Joacim Cans (lead singer of the band HammerFall):

TrymonJoacim Cans

So, in summary, watch it if you haven’t read the books. If you have, it might be best to steer clear and watch Hogfather instead.

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2011 in Watchings

 

Babylon 5

I just finished Babylon 5. All I can really sat at first is… wow. That series blew my mind away. Unlike many reviewers on Netflix, I loved the pilot – and I loved Season One. Then Seasons Two made me reel in awe, and three and four had my mind on a whole different plane. Season Five went back down to between One and Two, but was still mindblowing. The sheer amount of work, creativity, genius, and inspiration that went into this is astonishing – incidents from seasons one and two had dire consequences in the final season, and the last episode – Sleeping in Light” – had me tearing up by the end, it was so moving. I’ve never felt so connected to the characters of any show before, or even any book series – I will truly miss them.

Never before have I ever also seen so much character development; each character changes drastically over the course of the show:

-A low-ranking captain becomes Humanity’s greatest hope for peace, and later ends up 1,000 years in the past to form the foundation of one of the Galaxy’s greatest civilizations.

-A war hero that is both hated and respected by his enemies and friends becomes a messiah who gives his life for the dream he has for the galaxy, and later ascends to another level of being.

-A comical, incompetent drunkard becomes a spiteful and vindictive power-hungry traitor, and then turns into a noble and courageous leader who gives his life to save his people.

-An angry, bitter, cynical, vengeful, crude ambassador becomes a spiritual guide for his people and changes the face of his whole civilization, and changes the very principles of the galaxy.

-A meek, kindhearted, and loyal ambassadorial aide becomes the womanizing emperor of one of the galaxy’s largest empires.

-An honorable, reformed, competent, loyal man becomes a traitor, devolves into his past vices, and then rises again as a reformer for good as a business leader.

-A naive, loyal, inexperienced ambassadorial aide becomes a wise and just inspiration for his people, and then turns on one he has the greatest respect for in a twisted act of love, ending his appearance in shame and a flight away from it all.

-A depressed, bitter, distraught young man becomes a noble hero, and then dies saving the only woman he ever truly loved.

-A hardline, impatient, no-nonsense officer becomes a wise, understanding, and compassionate leader of an intergalactic security force.

-A kind and caring man sworn not to hurt anyone becomes a drug abuser, who then becomes a freedom fighter and then a bureaucratic researcher.

-An angry individual who started a wear that almost wiped out an entire civilization comes to love those whom he almost destroyed, changes the shape of her people, and becomes a wise and just leader of the galaxy.

And there are many more. Never before have I seen such superb character development and such an intricate plot with as few contradictions as in Babylon 5. Truly, this series is the best television show I have ever seen, and will influence me in a lot of things. It has made me think about questions I haven’t thought about, and is heavy with weighty themes and ponderings. I recommend this show to anyone, really – it was just that good.

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2011 in Watchings

 

The Libel of Blood Progress

Fear not, for even though I have been flooding this site with Tarot posts lately, I have not yet forgotten the site’s true purpose! I have, in between the times spent working and slaving away at projects for the university’s end of the semester, managed to get some writing done! The Libel of Blood stand currently at 393 pages – looks like this one is going to be over 400! I’m on chapter 45 at the moment – four pages into it – and it looks like there will be a chapter 46 and 47, as well as an Epilogue. I estimate that this means about 30 more pages – I’m so close! To keep to my original goal, I need to finish the first draft of the entire manuscript before the semester ends – in two weeks, really. I’m going to try (and probably fail) to get a lot done this weekend – but we’ll see what happens!

The most recent bit of what I’ve been writing reintroduces two characters you thought were dead, one from all the way back in The Loneliness of Stars. I’m writing the climax now – which is very exciting I think – but unfortunately as it ties so much together, I am unable to post an excerpt here without spoiling it for you all. Once I begin diving into my short stories again, expect many more excerpts!

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2011 in Writing

 

Ace of Swords

ThothRider-Waite

The Thought: Truth/Justice, Abstraction, and Mental Force

The Ace of Swords. It is associated with the element of Air and the Sefirot of Kether. As the part of the Suit of Swords that corresponds to Kether, the Ace of Swords represents the pure idea, emanation, and creation of the suit of Swords. It represents everything that the Suit of Swords stands for, untarnished and untouched by the lower Sefirot and the effectss of the material world. It is the pure abstract thought and idea that corresponds to Air and the suit of Swords.

And what is this idea? The Suit of Swords represents PrincipleReason, and Ideology. The Swords are the harbringers of Justice and Truth. They are Intellect and Abstraction, and the realm of Thought and Philosophy. Swords forms the first part of the second dichotomy found within the Tarot: that between the abstract (Swords) and the material (Disks/Coins/Pentalces). The suit of Swords represents the power of the mind, and so its Ace is representative of Mental Force; the suit of Swords is the suit of idealists, philosophers, scientists, and scholars. The Ace is the best that the suit has to offer, and so represents the best ideals of mankind; Truth, Justice, and Reason, in addition to representing the mind of man and its power.

The Rider-Waite art shows a cloud with a hand extending out of it, bearing a sword which is topped by a golden crown and an ivy wreath/crown. The cloud, as with the other Aces, represents EinSof, giving the reader the power of the Suit of Swords through the Ace. The crown and ivy are both symbols of peace, power, strength, and idealism. The sword is an instrument of justice and a sign of culture; this combined with the crown and ivy symbolize the abstractedness of the suit of Swords. The Thoth art is similar, showing an upright sword with a crown near its tip, which sprays out light in many directions, symbolizing the clarity of mind. The sword is surrounded by clouds fleeing from the clarity of the mind, and so represents mental strength as well as ideology.

In a reading, the Ace of Swords encourages the reader or querent to embody the qualities of the suit of Swords, or to examine how the suit itself is present in your life; how have Justice and Truth shown themselves? How has abstract thought and principle? Does intellect play a role on your life? Do you spend a lot of time just thinking about things? Reversed, this suit’s energy is present in the situation, but it might be hidden; perhaps larger ideals do play a role in your life but do so behind walls, or perhaps you think more than… well, you think.

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Princess of Cups

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Princess of Cups: The Caring, Mystical Hedonist

The Princess (Page in the Rider-Waite tradition) of Cups is the court card associated representing the personality than emerges from the Earthy (Malkuth) aspect of Water. This card is the Earth of Water, and represents what is solid, practical, and material in the suit of Cups as manifested in a personality. She is water given birth.

As such, the Princess of Cups is how emotion and sensuality manifest themselves in reality. She is sweet, gentle, and tender. She is gracious and romantic, in the feminine sense of the word (as opposed to the masculine sense, which is embodied by the Prince of Wands). Emotions and feelings mean a great deal to her, and she is often affectionate as well. She also reflects some of the Queen’s mystique, and often is exploring herself, and may cause others to do the same. She acts as a mystic much of the time, trying everything she can to find out who she is. She is also, however, given to the earthy pleasures of the world, and so often is given to moments of wild abandon, where she will let herself go, and also can be in a state of perpetual rapture, having given in to the pleasures of life. She is very in tune with her own feelings and those of others, and isn’t afraid of gratifying them.

The Rider-Waite illustration shows a young man (a Page), looking content and staring at a fish in the cup he’s holding. This image best represents the idea of contentment through the Suit of Cups. The Thoth art, on the other hand, represents best the idea of perpetual rapture;  her head is thrown back and eyes closed in ecstasy, floating in a dream world, yet bearing in her hand a tortoise, a symbol of Earth.

In a reading, this card asks you to examine the roles of personalities like the Princess in your life. Do you know anyone who is introspective, philosophical, meditative, who genuinely cares for others and does their best to help everyone. They are not afraid of losing themselves in the moment, and may be prone to taking drugs and living a lifestyle of constant abandon. They think life is good, and will try to spread their cheer to others. They may even use drugs as a means to self-enlightenment; hippies are prime examples of the Princess of Cups. Reversed, this personality is hidden somehow or is expressing itself in different ways; is there someone you know who wants to be able to just live their life as if only the moment mattered, but can’t? Is there someone who gives in to the hedonistic lifestyle in order to hide from something?

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Prince of Cups

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Prince of Cups: The Aloof, Genius Artist

The Prince (or Knight in the Rider-Waite tradition) of Cups is the court card that represents the personality that emerges from the airy aspect of Water; this card is the Air of Water. It is where the intellect and logical abstraction of Air and Swords finds expression through the medium of Water. In this personality, one can find someone who lives their life by the principles associated with the suit of Water. They experience emotions, but in a detached, almost logical way; the are often self-absorbed, seeking knowledge, power, and wisdom. They are aloof, often artistic and full of secrets that they prefer to keep to themselves. They are often very talented, and so are mistrustful of those around them of lesser skill. As such, they are often incomprehenible and emotionally distant from others, though they are often ruled by emotional ideologies in which they will express great compassion, but when asked to express this compassion in a more “real” sense, may have problems doing so. They are often subtle and can be manipulative. They wear a face of placid calm – like still water – but below the surface they churn and burn with a passion. They are full of disconnects and detachments from reality; they are the public speaker seeking to gain power by appealing to the people, promising to help them while at the same time putting himself above them. He is a genius, who operates on an entirely different plane of existence from most people, and so is then alone.

The Rider-Waite image shows a trotting horse bearing a knight with a cup moving forward; this captures the man’s stature and sense of calm aloofness, but says little else about him. The Thoth illustration shows the Prince on a flying chariot, calm and composed, flying above the water below him. He is lost in contemplation over the cup in his hand, and seems to pay little attention to what is going on around him. A snake rises out of his cup, showing his subtlety and hidden passion.

In a reading, this card asks for you to look at the role such personalities play in your life; is there anyone you know who seems to think on a different plane than everyone else, who often is elitist and arrogant, who speaks in broad terms about the good of everyone, yet himself rarely stoops down to actually help others? He has the good of all in his mind, yet fails to see the true reality behind it all? Is he ambitious, talented, and selfish? Reversed, this card indicates that this personality is hidden or twisted somehow; perhaps this person may appear to be a Prince of Cups, when in reality they truly do help others on a practical level, or their self-absorption and power for hunger is masked by an apparent compassion.

 
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Posted by on April 19, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Queen of Cups

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Queen of Cups: The Intuitive, Passive Dreamer

The Queen of Cups is the court card representing the personality that occurs when one looks at the aspect of water within water. The Queen, then, is the Water of Water; she is the Binah of Binah. She is the ultimate personality of water; she exemplifies the aspects of the suit of Cups as they may be found in a person, but she does not transmit these qualities like the Knight; instead, she merely embodies them.

As such, the Queen of Cups is very in tune with others’ emotions; she is intuitive, psychic, calm, and peaceful. She knows how other people feel and how to best solve their problem. She is calm, and can easily calm down others. She has the ability of water to reflect a person’s self back onto them, either with or without distortion. She is the blank slate upon which creation is born. She is tranquil and peaceful, and will listen kindly and compassionately to the woes of those around her. At the same time, however, she is sometimes disconnected from reality, leaving in her own fantasy world, unable to bear the harsh realities of the world around her. She can be dreamy and easily led and influenced by others; she has very little will of her own. She is the ultimate in passivity, and will allow others to guide her. Like the Knight, she is also innocent and trusting.

The Rider-Waite card shows a Queen upon her throne, contemplating the cup before her, lost in its intricacies and details. She understands the complexity of life, yet sits on her own island, separate from it; she is both at once in tune with and out of sync with her surroundings; she is the silent observer on the outside. The Thoth art shows the Queen sitting before a pool of water, exemplifying the idea of creation and the blank slate, while the Queen herself is hidden behind a veil, her face not completely seen; she seems mystical, with symbolism similar to that of the High Priestess (II). She knows secrets about the world, she is mysterious, and yet she is also separate from it, existing in her own ideal world behind the veil. On the outside, she just goes through the motions.

In a reading, this card asks you to examine the role of people with the personality of the Queen of Cups; a passive, dreamy person who is willing to help others when asked – and only when asked – but who spends most of their time disconnected from reality. By her sheer lack of any other personality, she can help others discover who they are. She is easily led and therefore easily abused, but is also understanding and often knows what to do, even if she might not actually do it. Reversed, this personality may be blocked or expressing itself in unusual ways; is the personality of someone you know just a “front” for the hidden personality of the Queen, which they keep locked away so that others cannot see it?

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Knight of Cups

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Knight of Cups: The Wealthy, Isolated Only Child

The Knight (or King in the Rider-Waite tradition) of Cups represents a personality defined by the meeting point of Fire (and Chokmah) with Water. The Knight of Cups, then is the Fiery aspect of Water, and this card represents the personality that this aspect of water produces. This card is the active, masculine, creative, and passionate part of passivity, emotion, and reflection.

As such, the Knight of Cups exudes the qualities of the suit of water, projecting them from himself onto others. He is graceful, sensitive, amiable, and cultured. He is somewhat fleeting; he does not endure. Something only holds his attention for as long as it interests him. He is innocent and pure, and at the same time is often prone to self-sacrifice; his love and caring for others will lead him to do whatever he can for those he cared about. He is in many cases kind as well. He is also quick to respond to emotion and do what needs to be done with regards to said emotion.

On the less positive side, the Knight of Cups can sometimes be superficial, overly sensual, and idle. He is like the only child of wealthy parents, who dote on him and protect him from the influences of the outside world. He learns the rules of society and knows how to act, and is taught how to be kind, yet he lacks the experience necessary to remain attached to most people, to truly understand what is going on, and often sometimes may lack a work ethic.

The Rider-Waite art shows a King upon a throne holding a cup. Honestly, there is not much to glean from this artwork. The Thoth art shows a young man in green armour flying atop a pegasus. In his free hand he holds aloft a cup, upon which there is a crab; Cancer, and the symbol of water. He appears to be clean and well-taken care of and is unarmed; he is a King who does not understand the harsh reality of the worlds, and wants to help others – or at least wants to feel like he helps others. He is on a winged steed, and so his presence comes and leaves rapidly; he does not stay long.

In a reading, this card indicates the presence of a strong personality that mirrors that described above; is there someone in your life (or are you yourself) who is innocent, willing to sacrifice himself for others, with a fleeting presence or attention, whose acts of kindness might be superficial, yet who everyone gets along with as they know all the rules of polite society? Is there anyone you know who is cultured, sensitive, and yet sometimes idle or sensual? Reversed, this card asks you to look for these traits of personality in unusual places, or expressed in ways you might not have thought of; or perhaps it indicates that these traits are only present on the surface of a person, and that their true personality might be different.

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Ten of Cups: Satiety

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Satiety: Having Too Much, Tiredness, and Midas’ Touch

The Ten of Cups. Satiety. Tiredness. Having too much. Being overfed. Contradictions. Midas’ Touch. The Ten of Cups corresponds to the Sefirot of Malkuth – Reality. The sum, the root, the origin, and the completion of the cycle. This is where the abstract ideas of the suit of Cups meets reality – and proceeds to fall flat on its face. Happiness is good as a concept, but when applied to the “real world,” rarely ever works out the way you think it will. This card represents the contradiction inherent in having too much happiness; eventually it will all seem fake, and having everything you want makes life boring, and will lead to unhappiness and discontent. This card represents the rich man (weather materially or spiritually) who has all he desires, and so feels as if an integral part of himself is missing. He has missed out on some part of life. This is also the stomachache one experiences after having eaten too much. One grows tired of having all that they want; their life is not truly complete. What someone thought they wanted more than anything in the world turns out to not be their true heart’s desire. And from this sense of incompletion can arise something new; a drive that can lead one to find what one is missing from their lives, and so return back to Kether and the Aces.

The Rider-Waite illustration shows a family – mother, father, and two children – happily embracing and dancing beneath a rainbow. This illustration, I believe, clashes with the meaning of the card in many ways, and instead is a more accurate representation of the previous card, Happiness. It shows fulfillment, joy, and pleasure; not Satiety. The Thoth illustration, on the other hand, shows ten cups overflowing to the brim, spilling out the light of happiness and wasting it. The cups are no longer content with what they have; and are getting rid of some of it. The red and orange background also gives off an ominous feel of impending fire.

In a reading, this card indicates that you might have too much; more than you know what to do with, and more than you are comfortable with. It asks you to re-examine your desire – are they really what you wanted? Are you truly content with what you have? Are you missing something? Reversed, this card’s energies are blocked, and you might believe you are happy on the outside – but inside you feel hollow, and maybe even feel slightly guilty for having everything while others may have nothing.

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2011 in Uncategorized