Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Scrying the Thoth Tarot:The Ten of Disks

This set of posts relate to an ongoing project to scry the entire Thoth Tarot, beginning with the 10 of Disks and culminating with The Fool. The end result will be a snapshot of my insight into each archetype as understood in a particular moment in time, but should still provide an overarching set of visions that can be drawn upon to develop a fuller understanding of them. Maybe others will find them useful or interesting, too, but essentially they reflect the viewer and the viewed in equal measure, so the best understanding will naturally come from: 

1. Scrying them yourself, and 
2. Scrying them more than once to see how your understanding shifts and changes according to time, context and experience. 

What would be interesting to see in response to these scryings, is other people’s experiments with them. Many of the examples present here were done during a period of devotion to Apollo, in which his name was invoked as the patron of the Oracle of Delphi, and a unique astral formula was followed according to instructions received during that period. Others, however, were done after a simple banishing ritual, such as the LBRP, followed by a period of astral meditation over the card’s image.

The Vision

I stood at a cliff top where the image of the card slipped through a thin crack in the earth, through which I pursued it. Plunging through the thin, dark air, I became lost and blind until I turned myself around to face the direction I was falling from to see a single shaft of light coming in through the fissure. Through the gap, a large, male eye appeared as the light penetrated the darkness. When my descent had finished, I came to a rest at the edge of a deep chasm, where I sensed the presence of something peaceful and beautiful. Before I could grasp what it was, my perception of it was disturbed by the sound of water trickling over rock. Following the sound, I headed down to the bottom of the chasm and saw that the thin shaft of light coming from above had spread out to cover the whole of its base. 

Then, I was falling again. Into a greater and senseless void now. On reaching the bottom again, I found myself in the clearing of a dense, damp night time forest where the light of the moon shone through a wide sky framed by the rocks of the surrounding caverns. A large waterfall cascaded from an immeasurable height. In the clearing, which was dense and green, a nude, mute and faceless woman awaited me and we lay together. The moon shone over us like a watchful eye, but I was more intrigued by the clarity and number of the stars in the heavens. I became aware that I was Adam like the woman – Eve – I had fallen. As we lay together in the glade, I became aware that the forest was closing in on us many dangerous animals, the most prominent of which was a leopard, were watching us from the eaves and waiting for to strike. 

Then I saw a glyph of the letter Shin –  ש – appearing, at first faint, and then materialising into a solid form, but as soon as I tried to focus on it, it disappeared. Looking into the skies after it departed, I became aware of the loneliness of our human state, bound as we are to a small grain of rock whirling through an endless universe. Yet I also became aware that there was some presence watching over us and became aware that, by the design of some force, we, as a species, were being watched over and protected and nurtured. As soon as these thoughts came, I found myself rejecting them, thinking them too close to religious doctrines that I dislike. But despite my protests and intellectual resistance, the feeling of being watched by a distant, nurturing eye remained. 

Before the vision ended, I realised that the eye at the start of the vision was that of the Father, which, with its beam of light that shone through the darkness, was the Sun. The second presence, I realised, symbolised by the watchful Moon, was the nameless, impersonal Mother. Finally,  I understood that the manifestation of the letter Shin was the Son, who was Spirit itself. Although it manifested amongst us in solid matter, being distant and distracted as we often are from it in our Earthly incarnations, it retreated back to the realm of the unseen once it was gazed upon.


Some of the most apparent interpretations of this vision come from Qabbalistic and Gnostic ideas. The Father watches, but is completely removed; the Mother is equally distant, yet retains an interest the Father does not have. In the symbolism of the Woods and the Leopard, there is similar imagery to the opening of Dante’s Inferno which was set in a dark forest, representing ‘sin’ and ignorance. The leopard is the first of the animals to block his path (also see Jeremiah 5:6). The Mother and Father are Chokmah and Binah. There is no awareness of Kether in the Vision (though it features as Alchemical Mercury in the imagery of the 10 of Disks card), while Chokmah and Binah are apparent as the Sun (Salt in the card) and the Moon (Sulphur). Below them, in Malkuth (represented by the chasm in the Earth), the Three Mothers – Aleph, Mem and Shin – are manifested as the elements of Air, Water and Fire, all of which were also manifested in the vision – the void being Air, the waterfall, Water, and Shin, Fire and Spirit.

The sexual act in Malkuth was a symbol and re-enactment of the Union of Father and Mother, who are separated aspects of Kether coming back together to forge that Unity. Crowley’s notes that the 10 of Disks card reveals Hod in the position of Netzach and the Holy Hexagram in the place of Hod because they have come together in Union to manifest the accomplishment of the Great Work in Malkuth. This is also present in the symbol of Capricorn that features in the card, as it’s this sign in which the Sun is reborn. This vision, therefore, was ultimately about rebirth, its cycles, and the Union of Two in One, whether that Union be of Venus and Mercury as divided aspects of the Sun reuniting in Tiphereth, where the Great Work is first ‘realised,’ or that of Chokmah and Binah uniting as the androgyne Baphomet, which is the symbol of the Great Work’s completion. 

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