The Modern Witches Tarot Deck
By: Lisa Sterle
Instruction Book-Modern Witches Tarot
Thoth Tarot-The Fool
The Modern Witches Tarot, is a revitalization of the Traditional Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot art and illustrates the Fool's journey through all 22 Major Arcana Archetypes. Innocent and eager, the Fool begins his/her journey meeting each archetype on his way. From each of these Major Arcana Archetypes, the learns the lessons of life, where upon reaching Key 21, S/he completes his journey. There are also 16 court cards, depicting core personalities, and forty "pip" or minor arcana cards. While the Major Arcana correspond to important growth patterns and life changes on an inner and outer level, the minor arcana attend to the details of life, they are now "in your face" details that help us smooth out the turbulence of a world seemingly in chaos by showing us what the energy-in-motion is being applied to or needs to be applied to.
The Modern Witch Tarot- 0-The Fool
The Modern WitchTarot-0-The Fool, is represented as a young woman, although gender is not the Soul at this stage as it is both Anima (Soul-Feminine) and Animus (Spirit-Masculine), and would be drawn as a hermaphrodite if some artist had the knowledge and the fearlessness to face cultural scorn. However, traditionally the Fool, is always shown as a male, since "movement" and/or expression is the masculine polarity (electric) of the Fool while "enclosure" or reception is seen as Feminine polarity (magnetic). Here, the Divine Feminine is shown as the a modern woman dressed in Medieval clothes, while listening to music or a pod cast on her cell phone. Instead of a bag on a stick, as is traditional Hobo travel wear for the Fool, she sports a back pack, which holds all her belongings. In the back ground is a city skyline, instead of the traditional mountain range. With her is her faithful companion, the jumping dog (symbolizing the sub-conscious and/or survival mind of the body). She carries the same "devil may care" attitude depicted on the Rider-Waite-Smith Fool card. Fearlessly, the grand adventure begins!
Pure passion and joy is shown on the face of this Fool, who listens to her own drum beat. She is totally trusting of Spirit, and doesn't know or care what is beyond the cliff's edge and the city skyline in the back- ground shows she has left the city life, for the great adventure ahead. She fully trusts her instincts (dog) to carry her beyond the "ordinary" of indoctrinated life. This card's primary meaning is to not be afraid to take a leap of faith.
The Universal Four Elements
The Solar Self, the Soul, is the Life-Death, Alpha-Omega of the Body and its message is clear: "Dear Ego, do as I Will, and you will reincarnate, do not, and you will end with the body." Not being taken forward as a Mercury, a messenger of the Soul's will to the Subconscious is what the ego fears most as "fear of rejection" is uppermost in the subconscious -survival mind of the Animal Earth-Bodies; homo sapiens are no exception. Tarot is the language of image that the ego should learn, so that it can share the Soul's Wisdom with the animal survival mind, that we call the Subconscious. The Soul "speaks" in image, not in languages that are the propaganda of physical leader's and the culturally enslaved. The Ego is the "awake mind" of Self-Awareness, and is a wetware program, that can be easily indoctrinated and mesmerized by the sensations of pleasure and pain making it easy to bend to the will of the authority it fears the most (Death). This Wetware-Ego if it functions as the Soul wills, and seeks no other outside authority, will carry on in the everlasting journey of I AM, for the Soul/Solar Self, doesn't fix what "ain't broke" and will reincarnate the personality.
" Without awareness of death, everything becomes ordinary, insignificant. The world is therefore an immeasurable mystery because death is constantly tracking us down. Without the awareness of the presence of our death, there is neither power nor mystery."
I began my studies into the Mysteries of the Divine I AM after I left the Navy in 1971 and one of the first author's I read was Carlos Castaneda and his journey in knowledge lead by his mentor Don Juan, a Mexican Shaman. My hunger to know more never stopped and to this day I continue learning more and more with my Union with the Divine Anima within me. I studied Crowley and his philosophies, used the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot, then I advanced to the B.O.T.A. Tarot before I got hooked on the Wonderous/Mysterious Thoth Tarot. I compare all kinds of Tarot Cards, simply because Tarot is the language of the Multiverse-Mind that we all share as a collective of Souls. Some cards have more layers of knowledge in there images than others; Some Tarot Decks have an art structure that appeals to some individuals more than others. The Thoth for one, is the most occult; However, being a Thoth Hermetic Magick trained Tarot reader is not an act of arrogance or "better than" others. I believe that every dedicated Tarot reader, of any deck, is an intuitive Magus or soon becomes one. I AM THE TAROT, is the truth of the -0- The Fool. Hence, I AM THE TAROT can be claimed by any one who has become the Soul's persona, rather than an indoctrinated, dogma blinded personality of their culture.
Adam Khadmon (Divine Hermaphrodite)
Tarot does not serve the Patriarchy and its indoctrinations or dogmas. Education is very different from indoctrination. Western Hermetic Tarot Readers, are scholars of ancient history, modern metaphysics, parapsychology, and intuitive knowledge, not the present false authority of the Military Industrial Complex, a title coined by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. We are all Authored (Authority means "authored by") by our Soul/Solar Self. The Persona, that is a Soul's personality, is an avatar of the Solar-Self, not of a "man-made" god and/or something we call "religion". We all are woven of at least 12 perfect strands of light-frequencies called "the Christ Consciousness", woven around the Central/Core Frequency (strand) called "the Master". In Hermetic Western Qabalah that Central Frequency/Archetype is called-Adam Khadmon, who is the archetype of the Homo Sapiens Sapiens across the Galaxy.
We see this Central Core magic number 12 in the 12 Zodiacal signs around the central Sun, the 12 disciples of Christ, The 12 Gods of the Sumerians who ruled under the One Authority from their Planetary King. Each of us radiating from the Core of the Galaxy, the Central Sun, and having arrived at a blue planet on one of the outer arms of our spiral galaxy; each of us an egg of light, a 0-, who seeks physical manifestation as a "Sun of Goddess/God". We may know data is information, but we also know that information is not knowledge. For information to become knowledge, it must be experienced intimately as an in-form-action; experience produces knowledge and accumulated knowledge produces wisdom. Hence, the Soul, who is the "image maker" ; the I Am of the ME, has performed a task of enveloping and flowing in and through a measured form (measurement has beginning and end) called the homo sapiens sapiens, for the purpose of acquiring knowledge and thereby, performing the Wisdom of the Divine Creative, who started out in One Energy as the Eheieh/ "I Will Be". We are the children of that Will that began all...That Fool who becomes the 2nd Sephiroth- Chokmah and the 3rd Sephiroth-Binah and/or 0=2. All of this "becoming" is not linear, rather it is spiral. Spirals are also the symbols for Light. We are the fulfillment of the One's wish to be, as I AM Being; a Being who dances to it's own joyous sensuality!
0-All the power that ever was or will be is here now.
Fear not. What is not real, never was and never will be. What is real always was and cannot be destroyed. -Bhagavad Gita
" If one heard it announced that there still exists in our days work of the ancient Egyptians, one of their books that had escaped the flames that devoured their magnificent libraries, and that contained in a pure form their doctrines concerning interesting subjects, everyone would without doubt be eager to come to know so precious and so remarkable a book"...( so wrote the French author Antoine Court de Gébelin, upon playing a game of Tarot.)
Adam Khadmon (The Divine Hermaphrodite)
The Fool is the universal key that is associated with the state of conscious energy that is us before and after death. S/He is 0, representing the No-thing above the Tree of Life, (The Ain) as the Source of all Energy. In other words, the "I Will Be" state that is the Fiery Spirit. Many of us know that we “have a spirit" but few of us know that we are Spirit and by seeking spirituality we reject Spirit as would a fish in the ocean rejects the water it is in by seeking water! Seek it not for we are Spirituality; a Spiral Vital Force that brings whole-conscious Willful liberation and expansion to the Light of Self-Aware Energy. Rather than just being assumed as being mystical, transpersonal, transcendent, and ecstatic in its nature, the Fool represents the power of wonder and ecstasy that is so apparent in the very young (and the “enlightened”) before they succumb to indoctrination and form a "cultural identity" and/or a programed compliant personality, i.e., the lesser ego of the body. The cultural identity is not real, even though Qabalists call it "reality" which we all know as relative and subjected to the “I” (identity) of the beholder and therefore, an illusion. The Real is the infinite, invisible part of ourselves called the "I AM", which happens to be existent as "Light", the Truth of Self, is 99% of you, whereas, the visible part that is a "Me", is only 1% of Self. Hence, Qabalists call the visible world, the 1% world and/or "ME", which is always assumed and therefore an illusion.
What percentage of an atom is empty space? It's 99% empty space.
This makes matter and the body 99% empty space. The elements we just referred to are composed of atoms, and those atoms make up your entire body. One percent of every atom is composed of protons, neutrons, and electrons. The other 99% is empty energy space. For you are Spirit which is all Photonic radiation of Stars and called "Sun's of Goddess/God". In Qabalah, this "Solar Self" is represented as the 6th Sephiroth-Tiphareth (Beauty), the Central Sun of your manifestation. Existence is called "I AM", what you-the I AM, exists as is a story we tell ourselves. Imagination (i-magi-nation) is the "Holy Grail" of all creation and is known as the Creatrix. The Qaballist knows that All is Mind, and the Creator part of Mind is Imagination which is a combination of "Will to Force" (Chokmah) and "Will to Form" (Binah). And we are that Creatrix/Creator Mind!
Thoth Tarot- 0-The Fool
The Oriental symbol for fear is the tiger. In the Thoth card, fear is seen as attempting to gnaw on the leg of the fool who isn't giving it any consideration. The Fool looks forward, and the tiger can't even make a dent in his perspective. This is because The Fool is the energetic essence of who we are---an unflappable immortal spiritual flow of energy consciousness that flows from the Infinite Source of Kether; the I Will BE. Death is merely an end to a visible/measured cycle as we return to the invisible photonic being (Celestial Being) we have always been. Hence, playing with lighted spheres of consciousness, becomes the pastime of the Spiritual/Spiral Awareness.
Both the Thoth and The Modern Witch Tarot-Fool symbolizes the creative expression that is needed to give birth to new parts of our lives and to boldly take risks (standing on the edge of a Clift) that are so necessary to evolutionary development! When this card falls in a reading it shows us that this is the moment to do what you fear and trust the spirit within! As an initiatory Path, THE FOOL connects Kether (Crown) with Chokmah (Wisdom). To the Qaballist, Kether is known as the Source of All, and Chokmah is known as Father God. The Hebrew letter, Aleph, shown on the bottom right of the Thoth Card, makes this Fools path- The Path of Aleph, meaning OX, implying the Fool is about the "flowing of Life Force and creative power", showing that the SPIRIT had a beginning aim to be manifested on Earth and/or as a Sensual Being for the Understanding of Mother Binah, has proven that without Form, "I Will Be" is an empty sound.
Crowley/Harris symbolically present this "Wholly Spirit" (The Spirit on every level of the Tree of Life) as a dove in the art of the Thoth Card. Crowley also called The Letter Aleph (The Fool), a phallic symbol.... but then so is the Projected Will that is THE MAGUS, and one wonders if Crowley was so besotted with the Phallus, that he was unable to see anything else; However, truth be told, by reference to Sexes and sexuality do we come to the minutest glimmering of understanding about the Universal Spiritual-Self; the 0=2. We begin seeing that the Below plane is a mirror reflection of the Above Plane (Top Trinity of the Tree of Life) and therefore, the Divine Spirit is all we know, we breathe it, we live within it, it is ourselves. It is energy in its whole form of 0. Hence, death is not destruction of energy, it is just a transformation of energy necessary for the conversion of information into knowledge. Hence, the sun is shown at the Phallic level of the Thoth Fool as the first expression of data, while it is shown shinning above the Modern Witch Tarot's Fool. For to express is phallic and to encompass and receive is the Womb. Hence, from Fool to Chokmah and simultaneously to Binah who Understands the expressed data of Chokmah and thereby starting the creation of image as Form.
The Human Solar Energy field known as the Merkabah
Conservation of energy:
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In physics and chemistry, the law of conservation of energy states that the total energy of an isolated system remains constant; it is said to be conserved over time. This law, first proposed and tested by Émilie du Châtelet,means that energy can neither be created nor destroyed; rather, it can only be transformed or transferred from one form to another.
In transformational context, the Hebrew Letter-Aleph is attributed to Air and means Life-Breath. Just as both Spirit and Spiral are from the Greek root word Spiro, which means Breath. The One Spirit, the Holy Spirit, and/or the One Energy, is then the Life-Breath. This is well known in Eastern cultures, as Pranayama (Breath yoga meaning Life-Death) are a major if not primary part of all Spiritual/Spiral development of a "higher state of Physiology. The Sanskrit Word Prana, is the Life-Breath energy; Prana meaning life and Yama meaning death and/or simply, inhale and exhale.
The Qaballah and I have described the Magus/Thoth as relating to "Words" (vibration), the underlying sonic of patterned manifestation. However, it is the power of breath that expels the sound. Thus THE FOOL activates THE MAGUS. The Science of Crowley’s time, considered Air to be a vacuum, as related to THE FOOL, so did Crowley, but the Ancient Wisdom is that the Element Air is not a vacuum, as in empty of anything, but rather a No-thing who is the fertile No-thingness and egg of Spirit and/or 0.
The Universal Egg of Spirit is known by students of the mysteries, to be the EGG OF AKASHA, the zero of THE FOOL, also represents this egg of spirit, and is the mathematical formula of one Male, minus one female= 0 . Therefore, the understanding is that the Egg of Akasha, is a fertilized ovum of undefined sexuality, but having the potential for both; Hence, potentially the Divine Hermaphrodite! This Universal Egg is shown as the circular lines around the Fool, that are made by the flying caduceus of Mercury and the Dove of Spirit. The Caduceus is an ancient Greek or Roman herald's wand, typically one with two serpents twinned around it, carried by the messenger god Hermes or Mercury. The synonyms representing the Caduceus are: baton · stick · staff · pole · bar · dowel · rod · stake · club · truncheon · mace · scepter · twig · cane · birch · switch · sprig · withe · withya. All of these representations are traditionally associated with healing.
On the Thoth Fool, the Tiger, "fawning about" THE FOOL'S leg, is also an archetype representing the Animal Nature of Survival thinking as contrary to the Higher Spiritual process of Love that is fearless. Again, as this cannot be said enough, the Horns on the Thoth Card figure represent those ancient mysteries of Dionysus Zagreus (the Horned Son of Zeus). The statues representing Dionysus Zagreus, are often shown priapic, as he is the fertile force behind the Flora of earth. The Thoth Fool is wearing the green clothing that is of the Celtic Green Man of Spring, the grapes behind his left arm, are a tribute to the Roman- Bacchus, and/or Dionysus the Greek God of Wine and Intoxicating Ecstasy. The Crocodile (Egyptian symbol for great creative energy) is “a swimming at his feet in the Nile" (Crowley quote). Making this 0, a complexity of subtleties and far from empty.
Vulture of Maat
Orphic Egg and impregnations serpent force.
Images referring to the Godhead in the Thoth card, are the dove of Venus (Spirit) and the vulture of Maat the Dark Egyptian Goddess of Judgment, where she is the Mother of Dark Matter. Then there is the triple egg shape created by the caduceus in motion, symbolizing the Ain Soph Aur (The three states of No-Thing) and the Orphic egg. As you may realize, the imagery is so subjective that I haven't the blog length of words to detail it all for you. If you need more detail, and you do, I would recommend reading Crowley's BOOK OF THOTH, Robert Wang's Book: THE QABALISTIC TAROT and also investigating the Mythology of the Ancient Greeks and Egyptians.
In the Thoth Fool's right hand is a traditional diamond symbol (made of Pyramid forms, with bases adjoining) of "As above, so below" and in his left hand is the Fire of Spirit, the One Energy symbol. The Butterfly, symbolizes the Soul and transformation. The Coins on his left side, imply the overflowing wealth of manifestation.
To even begin understanding THE FOOL, we must entertain a multifaceted and fluid interpretation of Force and Form. Dr. Paul Foster Case (Founder of B.O.T.A.) calls this Eleventh Path of Aleph, in his student text-THE THIRTY-TWO PATHS OF WISDOM, the fiery or Scintillating Intelligence. Which makes sense as The Path of Aleph borders on the Limitless Light (Ain Soph), which is "not" or 0 and/or called "non-space". Light without limit is darkness to us and limit without measurement (infinite) is invisible and/or darkness to us who need a beginning and an end to see. So here we try to explain what can't be seen as The Fiery Darkness which is the possibility of vibration or motion and the First Perception of the One having potential for activity. This would make a modern definition of “Dark Energy” as the “first I” or identity. In the context of Masculine sexuality, the Fool is the Testes, and the Magus is the Phallus, (Represented by the three flowers beneath the spread legs of THE FOOL) as He directs active first flow from the Fool who is potentiality. This active "ejaculation" of "I AM" into the "Abyssal Womb" is depicted by the intertwined hominoid forms. However, I fear that this is a rather limiting concept of the ONE as the One who is 0, but then, all concepts are less than the potential for conception. O=2.
We may reason that the Potential for Thought (first material of the Alchemist), comes from the Dark Energy as Dark Matter (The First Material). The appearance of Thought emanates Mind, which is the vessel for Thought and/or Womb of Thought Forms, i.e. The imagination ( “I-magi-nation”), transcending all reason. We see this action represented as the cup, representing the womb in the right hand of the Thoth Fool, as he is spilling out the Dove of Venus, the Vulture of Maat, the Egyptian Goddess of Judgment, the butterfly representing the Soul and the Caduceus of Mercury. Thus, as often is so with the Supernal Triangle (upper trinity of the Tree if Life), our reason leaves us with more questions than answers.
However, your Spiritual Womb, the conception of "the image of God", is the invisible Sephiroth, Daath (knowledge) seated within the Abyss (shown on the throat of Adam Khadmon), and is the Child of the Goddess (Understanding) and the God (Wisdom) who are face to face (Tibetan-Yab Yum). This middle path of Union is known as the Path of Gimel (meaning Camel); THE HIGH PRIESTESS OR HIGH PRIEST; the Divine Androgyny who weaves form from the frequencies of light and sound (vibration-"The Word)"). All the Paths leading upward to Kether, THE FOOL, THE MAGUS, AND THE HIGH PRIESTESS, must be approached with a certain understanding of whimsy, as we realize that by crossing the Abyss (void of sensuality) and approaching Kether (As above, so below) means the total annihilation of Self as we sensually perceive it. Thus presenting us with the irony of our attempt to grasp such esoteric and refined principles from an earthly-mundane perspective.
Often, when teaching the Major Arcana and knowing what I speak, cannot truly convey what I am saying, brings a smile, if not outright laughter to my face. To me, the subjective I AM- potential is ironically displayed as a limited conception—a Me. Being a Me (ego) must never be taken too seriously, for that concept will change daily, when one enters the Higher Self/Fool, and becomes a master of subjectivity in the physical I-Magi-Nation; the Magus calls the "World of Man", "smoke and mirrors". To reiterate, THE FOOL- 0, is the initial potential for thought, transcending all reason. Thus objectifying the Upper Regions, the Supernal Triangle is a futile endeavor. However, once we recognize the impossibility of consciously approaching the Highest Levels of the Tree of Life, i.e. The Universe, in a direct sensual manner, we are forcibly driven into the key Principles of the Mysteries/Metaphysics of as Above, So Below. THE FOOL, is the very expression of the god name of Kether/ Eheieh, which means I will be. This is the essence of the Divine Child as yet unborn, who is all potential and who is our very beginning!
Native American Clown Dancers.
In the Traditional Tarot, the Fool is displayed as the "Innocent". Tarot-0- is comparable to an Native Central American Shaman/Trickster or Clown Dancer image. At Soul level, we know exactly where we are headed, we are fearless and resolute when we manifest as "earthly avatars" of this Solar Collective Mind. That divine identity, has been taken from us as children due to "compliance" with pleasure and pain training that we call "raising and educating a child" in a Patriarchy. Our Ego is a program of tricks and misinformation that seduces us into thinking we are it and is often called the "devil within" and/or Trickster. The lesser ego uses sensation as " feeling and belief", thereby, convincing you that you are right (emotional pleasure) or wrong (emotional pain), completely fooling your brain. The Intuitive Mind of the Soul is not heard in the howling noise of sensualities in relative reality. The Greater Ego, and/or Soul, is not going to "seek you", it just awaits the time your self-conscious awakens to the fact that there is no outer authority for you to observe; only the inner authority of the Soul must become the inner voice rather than that noise of programed enslavement.
Know that you can have the original "you" back by "receiving your inheritance" (Qabalah means-"receiving") from your Soul. It knows, loves and manifests you in its name of "I AM" ( The Tree of Life, shows the climb back to inheritance) which is your original name as well. Hence, when this card shows in a reading, it implies impulsivity and faith. It also implies that the querent is on the "hero's journey" and/or a new quest knowing that new experience, an unknown, is about to unfold and manifest (As a "mind" we are constantly looking for change and experimenting with reality). The infinite Psyche that is called Soul, is this experimental part of the Whole Mind, and it is also the perpetrator of the Universal Constant we call Transformation and/or Change. The I AM is real, but the "Me" is an experiment in Assumption. Be not fooled by the trick of senses, that the subconscious ego makes you believe it controls. Truth is, you are a Celestial Being of Primal Will (I Will BE) created by the Union of 3: Spirit-Mind-Body. Therefore, the ego belongs to you, you do not belong to it. In all rights, the inner I Am is the Master of the "Me".
When Thoth-THE FOOL card is thrown during a reading and/or The Modern Witch Tarot-0- during a reading the querent is in or experiencing: ·
- A state of ecstasy and/or a state of Peek experience. ·
- Fearlessness. Courage, and is completing all motion by Faith, absolutely trusting THE SPIRIT.
- A feeling of being protected, and that everything will work out.
- Being open to what the future brings! ·
- Magic, amazement and desire in a relationship.
- Act impulsively.
- Follow your feelings.
- Take opportunities that arise.
- Playful behavior.
- A leap of faith.
- Stepping off the beaten path.
- Auspicious start of new adventures and opportunities.
If ill-defined by accompanying cards (there are no reversed card definitions in both the Thoth and Modern Witch Tarot) :
- The Fool, is then the harbinger of folly, mania, extravagance and even negligence.
- Difficulty in believing in your instincts.
- Fear of stepping into the unknown.
- Do not be reckless.
- Taking more than you need.
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