The Babylonian Tarot- 8 of Disks-Skill, depicts the Ancient Babylonians observing the heavens to discover the functions of the Universe. And in doing so, they invented the ancient art of astrology. The Sumerians, were keenly aware of the cylindrical movements of the constellations which they linked to the seasons. Interpreting star-omens was the main purpose of Sumerian Astrology.
The star gazers of Babylon noticed the one area of the sky, through which the planets and luminaries such as the sun and moon traveled. This belt or circle of the sky, included 19 separate constellations, that were used to discern 12 segments of the belt. They noticed that the lunar cycle was completed 12 times per year. Somewhere between 500-600 B.C.E., astronomers reduced the constellations to 12. Hence the first 12 sign zodiac was created by the skills of the Mesopotamian star gazers.
Believing that the stars were the embodiment of the gods, whose movement in the skies, expressed the divine laws that ruled the universe, the star gazers could predict the various ways the heavenly bodies would affect the lives of humans. 410 B.C.E., was the earliest known personal horoscope using the zodiac map of the heavens at the time of a human's birth.
Therefore, the card depicts 2 skilled Babylonian priests observing the night sky and inscribing their observations on a clay tablet. Above them are 4 rosetted disks and 4 sun disks, making 8. The cuneiform numeral 8 is beneath the disks.The divination meaning of this card is the same as attributed to the Thoth 8 of Disks,
8 of Disks-Prudence:
The 8 of Disks represents talent, skill, craft, learning, and practical ideas being turned into a profitable profession.
The card itself symbolizes the harvest tree where hard work and skill have become fruitful and now you only need await the ripening of the harvest. This can be called the Master’s card, as mastery of a skill is depicted here; Skillful manipulation of physical material with talented fingers along with prudent thoughts and the wisdom to coordinate both.
At the top of this colorful card is the Sun sign and at the bottom of the harvest tree is the astrological sign of Virgo. Virgo reminds us that by attending to details and utilizing our organizational skills, we shall repeat the just harvest. Trust in your skills is the foundation of this harvest rather than the need for control; only a deep abiding trust in your skills will reap the just reward as harvest follows the ordered skill of the prudent mind.
Prudence and wisdom are qualities of patient skill, not pushing to make things happen nor holding back or resisting. The coins have blossomed, the patient skill of wisdom and prudence has prevailed and the successful harvest is shown by the protective leaves that hold back chaos. There is no place for doubt in this card it is a manifested Trust of skill.
Again, the Thoth Deck 8 of Disks is called PRUDENCE. Disks are Pentacles or Coins, in other decks. But Disks is an appropriate symbol, something on which Crowley and I both agree. Disks must be stabilized by a spinning motion, a circular rotational force, in order to hit their mark. Even the atoms of rocks are spinning in a centrifugal manner, so when representing the earthly powers, the spinning of the Disk, with its internal spin best shows force and form as one presence in the crystalline light, again showing us that solids are just illusions of electric motion held within a magnetic vessel.
The 8 of Disks-Prudence, is Hod in Assiah, the material World. The Sun is in Virgo and the angels of this Decan are; Akaiah and Kehethel.
Virgo is noted to be a very practical sign which tends to cause over-concern with small details
Because this is an 8, any gain that prudence gives is soon dispersed making Prudence no great virtue. The message in divination, is that of skill, prudence, and over-carefulness about small things, at the expense of the larger. But because Hod is represented by Mercury and Mercury is exalted in Virgo, there is also predilection for intelligent loving, involving material matters such as, agriculture, artistic craftsmanship, and engineering. The Ruler ship of the Sun in Virgo suggests birth, as well, thus the disks are arranged in the Gemantic figure Populus. These disks are then shown as flowers of a Great Tree, rooted solidly in fertile lands.
When the 8 of Disks is thrown during a reading, the querent is in:
· A moment of creative birth of 8 weeks or 8 months, requiring the practice of physical caution, carefulness, and prudence.
· A type of physical wisdom radiating from an inner place of balance and integration. Making sure that all the bases are covered; every "t" crossed and every "I" dotted.
· Making intelligent choices so that the material world more closely conforms to one's needs.
· The possibility of turning a talent or skill into a profession.
· Skill in work with energy and forms, such as fingers working on a manipulative substance.
· That in the next 8 weeks or 8 months you can experience the harvest of your skill, prudence and wisdom. All from you’re organizing or attending to details.
· This card may also mean that all that you have learned or are learning will facilitate new growth in a skillful financial endeavor in the next 8 weeks or 8 months especially if you pay attention to details. This financial endeavor could involve Virgo people (August 21 to September 21) or harvesting a fertile relationship with important Virgo people in your life.
· This card represents a wise state of mind that operates from a foundation of prudence, centered integration, and Order rather than from chaos.
The negatives would be focusing too tightly on the small details and not seeing the big picture!
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