The Dreams of Gaia Tarot is like the Thoth Tarot in that it is not a traditional tarot. However, it is much different than any tarot as it has 25 major arcana cards, and 56 minor arcana comprising 4 elemental suits of 14 cards. The Major Arcana is broken up into 4 groups:
The Choice cards are the very premise of the Dreams of Gaia Tarot, as everything comes back to choice.
There are 8 Stages of Life based on principles of archetypes and events:
The child, Maiden, Youth, Mother,Father, Crone, Sage, and Death/Rebirth.
There are 8 Reason for Being cards-Knowledge, Wisdom, Healing Love, Union, Self, Abundance, and Destiny.
There are 8 Influences Cards- Journey , Thought, Emotions, Desire, Perception, intuition, integrity and Faith.
For an greater detail explaination of this interesting and beautiful Tarot Deck, just purchase the Tarot Deck and read the accompanying book. However, since there is a greater diversity of cards in this deck I shall compare them to the Thoth Tarot, as I see the meanings to come somewhat comparable. Normally, The Youth, is Key 2 of the Dreams of Gaia Tarot, and is in the stages of life category, I will place him before the Thoth ATU 4 -The Emperor card as the "youth before he Became Emperor", as I have done with the Maiden-Key 2 and Priestess-ATU, for the Priestess is a Virgin and represents the bithgate of the Vagina of the Supernal Triangle of Kether, Chokmah and Binah on the Qabalistic Tree of Life. The Empress in Thoth Tarot represents the nurturing womb, before birth. Here, the Mother-Key 4 is the nurturing Creatrix/Womb, as is the ATU 3 -Empress card of the Thoth Tarot. Hence, the numbers may not match, as I will match as best I can to terminology and explanations. Truth being, these comparisons are not gospel, but interpretations of the author. You may feel free to interpret as you will.
The Dreams of Gaia Tarot-Key 4-The Mother, represents the cosmic womb; the void from which
new life forms are safe, nurtured and protected by her body. She is the beginning of the material Universe in which a cosmic soul begins taking on a "light form". Therefore, she is a combination of Priestess and Empress that are represented in the Thoth Tarot. This would be Mother Binah, the Third Sephiroth-Understanding on the Qabalistic Tree of Life. Binah represents the trinity of the Creatrix, as Maid, Mother and Crone. Hence, she is portrayed on the Dreams of Gaia, as a Earthly Gaia-Empress, sitting on her throne of stone decorated with magical graffiti and within a sacred grove of trees. Also, she has a staff of white lighted Orb and serpent forces (Microwave frequencies of Energy), endowed with a pentagram, a traditional symbol of the Four Elements of Fire-Water-Air -Earth and the 5th element of Spirit. The pentagram is also the symbol of the Human form whose number is 5. By her feet is the tortoise, as symbol for patience, and wisdom. The flowers worn as a crown, complete with butterfly, are symbols of rebirth, new growth and fertility. Ivy is shown growing around the hem of her robe. Ivy was the letter G-Gort in the Druidic alphabet and represented intoxication and healing. Therefore, a part of the Dionysian mysteries. Because of its connection with the "god of wine" , ivy was believed to cure as well as cause drunkenness. It is also known that when one is united with the Original Mother of the Soul, there is a certain intoxication, where one is overcome with ecstasy.
On the Dreams of Gaia Tarot-Key 2, mother is represented as the nurture, protector, and creator as is the Empress on the Thoth Tarot. Mother is the very essence of non-sexual intimacy that is patience, compasion, love without condition, and forgiveness. As is any great mother of earth, she is willing to place the child's welfare before her own. However, her unconditional love is not limited to her own child, but all children, born of womb, as she extends her love to all, whether it is deserved or not. She gives without hesitation. She is also both teacher and guide, always encouraging her children to reveal and nurture their talents.
In a less arcane way, the Mother, key 2, also represents the fertile mind, and abundant mind where ideas take root, and/or where data is understood, thereby, becoming form and/or in-form-ation. In the Mother, those ideas are nurture and provided with what is necessary for them to grow and bloom.
We all know what happens to children who are not nurtured, protected, encouraged to express and in many ways abused, as our prisons are full of their adult expressions. Therefore, the Mother-Key 2 reminds us to show great patience, and encouragement towards our children, who look to their Mother as Life itself, and if mistreated think that they are something wrong, and therefore, not worthy of Mothers love. Mother, reminds us that we are all made of Mother's blood and have been developed, nurtured and protected in her "inner sea" before we crawled out on to the land. Each of us are literally our Mother's child.
When the Dreams of Gaia-Key 4- The Mother Card is thrown in a divination, it implies:
THE EMPRESS as shown in the Thoth card, looks to be all nurturing, light and Motherhood; However, the darkened crescent of the Moon suggests transformation or change and to Qabalists She is known as the Mother of Life (Mother) and Death (Crone). Growth and destruction are concurrent Empress Activities, just as old cells die and new cells are born in a daily cycle in your physical body.
The transparent bubbles shown in front of the Thoth Tarot- Empress image, represent the veil that we must pass through to realize the Path of Daleth (Door), implying that to pass beyond the veil is to cross into a completely new level of conscious energy, where her natural laws no longer apply. The veil is a dramatic separation of imagined reality and what is real.
By now, the able initiate knows that the Divine Creative is the Divine Creative Mind that created the Universe by thought/idea. We do the same thing, as "images of god", we create reality by imagining it. Whatever we create in our personal minds, becomes us or our creation as self-awareness. This is an often ridiculed concept or precept of both metaphysics and the mysteries, as many tend to "blame" the environment and "others" for their own disfunction. However, ridicule does not "an understanding make", and as a Personality attains greater Self-Awareness, the implications of responsibility for what one thinks become most profound!
The Thoth Empress, is illustrated in the alchemical image of Salt, that is the inactive principle which is activated by the alchemical Sulfur (Emperor), maintaining the whirling (Spiral) balance of the Universe.
The design of the Alchemical symbol of Salt, is, a circle with a line bisecting it horizontally, as is shown in the positioning of her arms and if you put the Empress and the Emperor, side by side, her on the Left and Him on the right, the order of English writing, their faces are looking at each other.
The Venus Aphrodite depiction is carried on in the unashamed nudity of the Female Goddess in the Universe Card.
This is Yab Yum, illustrating the Tibetan word that means, Goddess God, face to face, as well as, the activating activity of the Empress Card. It is stated that if the Empress and Emperor ever look away from each others eyes (I's) the shared Universal Dream of I AM, will end and thus, the Universe shall just "blink out" of existence.
The twisted blue shapes on the Thoth card represent flames and her birth from Water, which we know to represent consciousness. The Living Holy Grail, is the Lotus like chalice in her hand. At her waist is the Zodiacal girdle Or belt. Above her head are the dove and sparrow, both are birds of Venus. At her feet is a white pelican that is feeding her young with her own flesh which is a common symbol of the Great Mother, for even not so great mothers, build the young from their own flesh-blood and nurture them in the developmental sea of the amniotic fluid within the womb. The white eagle shield corresponds to that red eagle shield of the Emperor.
To reiterate; the alchemical references for the Supernal Triangle are, THE MAGUS is Mercury, THE EMPRESS is Salt, THE EMPEROR, is Sulfur. Thus Kether is Mercury, Binah is Salt and Chokmah is Sulfur, the Sephiroth united on the Tree of Life that turn our leaden consciousness into the Golden Intelligence of the Son/Sun, i.e. the Divine Child who is Androgynous. The only blocking veil to this end, is Desire consciousness. We must lose the reality of the” I Want's" known as "Wanna-Be's" and become the “I AM's” of our original inheritance.
As always, words make the reality of their meanings seem so simple, but in truth, the simplest words are the most subjective, such as IT, or I. One must cross the emptiness of want, of sense, of sight, before one can visit the Great Mother, who creates the “ I Am” of us all.
When the Thoth Empress Card is thrown, the querent is experiencing:
When ill defined by the surrounding cards, the Empress implies:
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