Follow The White Rabbit

What an interesting place this is, this electronic nexus. It seems I have fallen down the rabbit hole. But one doesn't just "fall" into wonderland. He is often invited by unseen forces. And so we begin our journey as Alice in a world of dreams. What are dreams though, but the powers at work on us manifested through the medium of subjective experience? No matter where we go, there we are. I have met some interesting souls in my short time here. The contrasts of light and dark are... startling. The archetypal realm is moving back into orbit with earth it seems and summoning us into the void. The fairy gate is open. I have received my golden ticket. So I am off to the chocolate factory. I wonder what adventure awaits? What kind of hero would I be if I didn't answer the call? We all carry a mantle with us, well those of us who have awoken from the dream called life at least, and we bear that mantle on our cloaks, we call them profiles. I will bare my crest, the head of my lance reads "grail" and I kneel before you now to offer my service as nature intends it. I am a slayer of dragons. Can you hear the call? Will you join me in wonderland?

I had a creative idea, for each archetypal soul I meet I will place there card in the reading in the order that I meet them. Not everyone I meet has a card in my arcana but this is my reading. For those who I friend who are not a card in my arcana, ask yourselves, if perhaps I could be a card in yours?

The ten card spread:

1) Self
2) Opposing Forces
3) Background/foundation
4) Recent Past
5) Near Future
6) Higher Power
7) Issues/Fears
8) Allies and Supporters
9) Advice
10) Outcome

My reading: The cards of the archetypal souls I have met thus far. Can you guess which one you might be?

Question: Can the keeper of secrets become a solver of riddles?

1) The High Priestess (Self) - The High Priestess is identified with the Shekhinah, the female indwelling presence of the divine. She wears plain blue robes and sits with her hands in her lap. She has a lunar crescent at her feet, "a horned diadem on her head, with a globe in the middle place" similar to the crown of the ancient Egyptian goddess Hathor, but with the horns having a shape more like half-crescents, and a large cross on her breast. The scroll in her hands, partly covered by her mantle, bears the word TORA. She is seated between the white and black pillars—'J' and 'B' for Jachin and Boaz—of the mystic Temple of Solomon. The veil of the Temple is behind her: it is embroidered with palm leaves and pomegranates. The motif that hangs behind the High Priestess’s throne, veiling what ever mysteries she guards, is suggested in the pattern of The Empress’ gown. The two are sisters, one bringing life into the world, the other inviting the living to the esoteric mysteries.





2) The Star (Opposing Forces) - The Star represents a moment of renewed hope, inspiration and discovery. The turmoil of escape from the Devil depicted on the previous trump in the series (The Tower) is over, indicating calm after the storm. It is a breakthrough, a new opportunity to rise to higher state of consciousness. It is the first of 3 cards of increasing light, indicating we may be receiving greater clarity. A higher pathway is becoming visible. We may solve a mystery, discover secrets, or gain ideas in meditation.





3) The Moon (Background/Foundation) - This card has to do with sleep patterns. This can mean both dreaming and nightmares. If one gets this card, one may be going through a particularly difficult emotional time. Rather than losing yourself in the overwhelming imagery and fantasy that signal the presence of the Moon, give form to this imagery through the creative arts (painting, writing, or dancing). The association this card bears with imagery and fantasy can put one in touch with visions and insight, creativity and psychic powers. The Moon can be interpreted with the feeling of uncertainty, where the past still haunts, unsure of a journey but still going ahead with it, feeling watched and because it is commonly associated with dreams, fantasies and mysteries this card can also be interpreted with surreal feelings and situations in your waking life.

The Moon, Waning (Inner Child)





4) The Lovers (Recent Past) - The Lovers represent raw desire. When The Lovers appear in a spread, it typically draws the Querent's attention to whatever impulse drove her from home, to whatever impulse made him move out, reject the faith of his fathers, made him accept the call. That original impulse should be honored, but if it dominates the Querent's life, it will grow tiresome. The call must be renewed. It can signal that an examination of the Querent's relationship with the garden is needed, be it exile or absence. Sometimes, it can be useful to go beyond Eden and talk about other gardens: the bittersweet Kingdom of Logres built by Arthur to keep back the rising dark for a generation, the idyllic Hobbits' Shire in The Lord of the Rings, or just a happy childhood. Look for misty eyes of memory, or bitterness at the lack of a past paradise. The Lovers are also a reminder that we need others to become fully human. Lovers, friends, adversaries - each one teaches us, each one stretches us.





5) The Hermit (Near Future) - The Hermit has internalized the lessons of life to the point that he is the lesson. The Hermit, as a kind of shamanistic hero, has made the complete journey – both the withdrawal and the return. As Joseph Campbell said, “A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.”

  • First, the need to withdraw from society to become comfortable with himself.
  • Second, the return from isolation to share his knowledge with others.
"An old hermit walked around the village and the area day and night, and even in daylight still carried a lit lantern. One day the villagers had enough curiosity to ask him "Sir, why do you carry your lantern lit in daylight?" He said, "Because I'm searching for an honest man."

A potentially dangerous aspect of The Hermit is his retreat, his isolation. We all need to retreat sometimes; retreat and renewal are necessary for growth. But The Hermit may be tempted to completely withdraw from the world, not because the journey is done, but because the dragons of the real are too daunting, or because the trivial pleasures of the cave are too intoxicating. Withdraw at the wrong time, stay withdrawn too long, and growth stops.

The cowl The Hermit wears protects him and isolates him. Hopefully, at some point, he casts it off and rejoins the world.

Some say that The Hermit represents the time we learn our true names, who we really are. The Greek philosopher Thales is reported to have been asked, “What is the most difficult of all things?” To which he is said to have answered “To know yourself." The Hermit is given time to obey the Delphic Oracle’s demand: know thyself.





6) The Magician (Higher Power) - In the Magician's right hand is a wand raised towards heaven, the sky or the element æther, while his left hand is pointing to the earth. This iconographic gesture has multiple meanings, but is endemic to the Mysteries, symbolizing divine immanence, the ability of the magician to bridge the gap between heaven and earth. On the table in front of the Magician the symbols of the four Tarot suits signify the Classical elements of earth, air, fire and water. Beneath are roses and lilies, the flos campi and lilium convallium, changed into garden flowers, to show the culture of aspiration.

When the Magician appears in a spread, it points to the talents, capabilities and resources at the querent's disposal. Depending on the card's placement in relation to other cards, the message is to tap into one's full potential rather than holding back, especially when there is a need to transform something. There are choices and directions to take. Guidance can arrive through one's own intuition or in the form of someone who brings about change or transformation. The card can mean that a manipulator is floating around, usually if it's reversed. He may be a beneficent guide, but he does not necessarily have our best interests in mind. He may also represent the querent’s ego or self-awareness. He can also represent the intoxication of power, both good and bad.





7) The World (Issues/Fears) - The World represents an ending to a cycle of life, a pause in life before the next big cycle beginning with the fool. The figure is at once male and female, above and below, suspended between the heavens and the earth. It is completeness. It is also said to represent cosmic consciousness; the potential of perfect union with the One Power of the universe. It tells us full happiness is also to give back to the world, sharing what we have learned or gained.

According to Robert M. Place in his book The Tarot, the four beasts on the World card represent the fourfold structure of the physical world, which frames the sacred center of the world, a place where the divine can manifest. Sophia, meaning Prudence or Wisdom (the dancing woman in the center), is spirit or the sacred center, the fifth element. It is the fourth of the Cardinal virtues in the Tarot. The lady in the center is thus a symbol of the goal of mystical seekers. In some older decks, this central figure is Christ, in others it is Hermes. Whenever it comes up, this card represents what is truly desired.



8) Temperance (Allies and Supporters) - The appearance of Temperance in a reading may suggest to the Querent that moderation is required in some aspect of life. Interpretations of this card's appearance may focus on bringing balance to the life of the Querent. In other interpretations the card may serve as a reminder that a compromise between two seemingly incompatible options is often the best option. The precise place of this card in the Querent's life will be determined by other cards in the spread.

In some traditions, Temperance does the judging. In those schools, the cups in Temperance’s hands are the functional equivalent of scales, and Temperance, like Maat, an Egyptian goddess of wisdom, judges the soul’s worth before passing it on to the beasts of the underworld. In some stories, Maat both judges the souls against a feather and protects the scale from being tipped by Set. If the soul is heavier than a feather, it will be fed to the eater of souls.

In other traditions, Temperance is the remixing of life, accepting the dead into the underworld, into the blessed lands, and deciding what to send back into the fray. Every atom in our bodies has passed through thousands of forms, and will pass through thousands more. Temperance reminds us of our connection to the greater forces.





9) The Moon (Advice) -
This card has to do with sleep patterns. This can mean both dreaming and nightmares. If one gets this card, one may be going through a particularly difficult emotional time. Rather than losing yourself in the overwhelming imagery and fantasy that signal the presence of the Moon, give form to this imagery through the creative arts (painting, writing, or dancing). The association this card bears with imagery and fantasy can put one in touch with visions and insight, creativity and psychic powers. The Moon can be interpreted with the feeling of uncertainty, where the past still haunts, unsure of a journey but still going ahead with it, feeling watched and because it is commonly associated with dreams, fantasies and mysteries this card can also be interpreted with surreal feelings and situations in your waking life.

The Moon, Waxing





10) The Wheel of Fortune (Outcome)
- The culmination of all the events revealed before has lead me to the conclusion that I am not to wait for fate to present me with a 10th card. I will choose my own fate. But not by blind choice or by desire but rather by the wisdom gained from those I have met already on the journey through the major arcana. The Wheel of Fortune.

A common aspect to most interpretations of this card within a reading is to introduce an element of change in the querant's life, such change being in station, position or fortune: such as the rich becoming poor, or the poor becoming rich.

  • Turning point ----- Opportunities ----- Possibilities
  • Destiny ----- Fate ----- Superior Forces ----- Movement
  • Development ----- Activity ----- Surprises ----- Expansion
  • Sudden Events ----- Speed ----- New Developments ----- Life Cycles
  • Interpretation ----- Sudden Change ----- Dissension ----- Approachability

In this Mythopoetic approach, which views the Major Arcana as a journey through life taken by the character of the Fool (the Fool being the first card, or the zero card, of the Major Arcana), the Wheel of Fortune represents the intercession of random chance into the Fool's path. The card represents the forces that can help or hinder the querant suddenly or unpredictably.

It can also represent the underlying order that the Magician attempts to master. The letters on the wheel were intended by Waite to mean "Rota Taro Orat Tora Ator," which he "translated" (this term used loosely) to: "The Wheel of Taro[t] speaks the Law of Ator [Hathor, or Love]."

Through its cross sum (the sum of the digits), it is closely connected to The Magician and The Sun (cards 1 and 19 of the Major Arcana respectively). Each represents a break with the previously established order: the Magician starting the journey; The Wheel of Fortune introducing random chance; and The Sun reborn from the underworld.





Final Outcome: Can the keeper of secrets become a solver of riddles?

Self: (High Priestess) The first person it meets when the soul takes its journey into the higher realms is itself. We are the first spirit we encounter along the way. The High Priestess aspected to the feminine recognizes the indwelling presence of the divine. She brings life to the world and stands as a beacon inviting the living into the mysteries of life.


Opposing Forces: (The Star) We are our own worst enemy. All of the opposition we encounter in the world is but a reflection of our own true nature. The soul seeks to know itself in the world. Like the call of a bird to nest, our souls seek out of there own nature to create themselves in the world around us. We cannot see the forces at work on us directly but if we pay attention we can watch how the light bends when it casts shadows and catch glimpses of our destiny. The only obstacle to seeing our-self is ourselves. We must "breakthrough" that barrier within us to move forward toward the light behind the veil.


Foundation: (The Moon, Inner child) Above the door of the temple of Delphi was carved the phrase "Know Thyself." Imagery and fantasy can put one in touch with visions and insight, creativity and psychic powers. The Moon can be interpreted with the feeling of uncertainty, where the past still haunts, unsure of a journey but still going ahead with it. Find in yourself where your come from, your center, your bliss. Extend from that center when you act and return to it when you rest. It is the pool of light that renews your soul rather than taking from it. The more you give of this cup overflowing with the magic of life, the more you receive. By knowing who you are and where you come from you can become a "wheel rolling out of its own center" and the world will no longer have the power to drag you down. Your life will be your own.


Recent Past: (The Lovers) "If we forget who we were we will forget who we are, that which someday might have been us will be gone and only the beast will remain." Love comes in many dimensions but its always the same. The desire of life to know itself, to be with itself. Angels have a thing for chains because chains are representative of love. Love can bind us to the world and to ourselves or it can set us free. If you hold onto love you will kill it with a kiss. Love has no desire but to fulfill itself. No hidden meaning. If you can let go of that which you love the most then you can rise on the wings of your lover to heaven and both be free.

"When love beckons to you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams
as the north wind lays waste the garden."



Near Future: (The Hermit) “A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.” We are ALL heroes from birth. We are created as little water born creatures that grow to become powerful enough to cross the threshold into another world. We venture forth from the womb courageous and innocent and into a world of suffering and strife. We are ALL champions of legend here. This world IS Valhalla, the "hall of the slain" because we have all been crucified on the fabric of time and space. But if we take the heroes journey into the dark and face our pain we can be resurrected into a new existence. We merge with a greater mystery and our natures become transmuted, we become alchemists of the soul. Suffering stokes fires in the heart and allows us to forge in its furnace experiences that would otherwise be denied us and therefore all of humanity. By suffering for the world we venture forth into the labyrinth with eyes open and by forgiving and loving the world we bring back light from within so that perhaps others seeing, may take heart again. Our father is Zeus and we are demigods. We must never be afraid to take the heroes journey. Never fear getting burned, if it means you can bring fire to the world.


Higher Power: (The Magician) There is a greater mystery at work on the world than we can see. "Faith is the assured expectation of things hoped for, the evident demonstration of realities though not beheld." The unseen supports what we can see. What we do not know supports what we do. We are here to change the world but we needn't go alone. The heroes of all time have gone before us, the path is thoroughly known. We need only follow the thread of the hero through the labyrinth to find our way. Guidance can come to us in many forms but you must allow yourself to see the signs. You don't have to make a choice as to what to believe and what not to believe, just believe. And life's heart will open up to you, you will see the world with eyes you never knew you had and become part of a greater mystery.


Issues/Fears: (The World) The world is overwhelming sometimes. Its so vast and the contrasts of light and dark can startle us, paralyze us and bind us into place. Just remember, "Human sickness is so severe that few can bare to look at it. But those who do, will become well." There is no-thing to fear but fear itself. Meaning, the mind uses the force of fear because of its repulsive properties to keep us inside our prisons. Behind each fear we have is a greater realization of who we are. With each dragon we slay the sky becomes safer for flight. "Where we think to find an abomination we shall find a God, Where we think to slay another we shall slay ourselves. Where we seek to travel outward we will arrive at the center of our own existence. And when we believe we are alone, we will find that we are with all the world." We must boldly face our fears.


Allies and Supporters: (Temperance) We all fall by the wayside sometimes. it leaves us asking, where do we belong? What meaning is there for us? What has it all been for? We all have our moments (in my case years) of weakness when we descend into the dark, return to the abyss from which we came. If you live only for yourself it is easy to let go and sink and drown. Remember in those times that we have people who support us, powers at work on the world that will lift us up like a chess piece and sit us back on the board. We must forget that we have failed and begin again as if it were our first try. Put another quarter in the machine and play another game. When our heart becomes heavy and we begin to sink back into that abyss, remember, that we live for more than just ourselves. That there are those who support us and they to will someday need our help. If we can lift but one fainting robin unto its nest again, we shall not have lived in vain.

Life is a game of checks and balances. It teaches us to walk the middle path.


Advice (The Moon, Waxing)  Ones life may be characterized by struggle, but aren't they all? We may feel condemned at times, like we have suffered more than we should have. But that only means that we have lived all the more. Because life is suffering. It is certain that we will all be dissatisfied at sometime in our lives, but its not certain that we will all be happy. We must be bold and brave and defiant enough to change our fates. To take the reigns of destiny into our hands. Because if there is to be happiness in the world we must create it ourselves.

Truth can be like a finger pointing to the sky, if you look to hard at the finger you will miss "The Moon."


Outcome (The Wheel of Fortune) Due to the unexpected turn of events during the presentation of the previous card... The culmination of all that has been revealed before has lead me to the conclusion that I am not to wait for fate to present me with a 10th card. I will choose my own fate. But not by blind choice or by desire but rather by the wisdom gained from those I have met already on the journey through the major arcana. The Wheel of Fortune. I began this journey as The Magician. I am the master of games. I sought to control the forces at work in the world, and use them to "solve" the riddle, the mystery. The wheel has turned now, the stars have shifted there alignment. I have come full circle. I know now that the "riddle" cannot be solved. It was never meant to be solved. When your on the journey and the end keeps getting further away you realize the journey IS the destination. 

The Wheel has turned.

I have become The Fool once again. And I am pleased to know that I get to take the adventure over because enlightenment is to arrive at where you began and to know the place for the first time.

With each door that closes another opens. With each turning of the great wheel a new cycle begins. Possibilities, movement, expansion, sudden unexpected change. All of life is about change and to fear change is to fear living itself. When we reach the end we die but if we can surrender ourselves to change we will be born again and be given another set of eyes in which to see the world. Eternity is now.

I know now that destiny is something we create and not wait for. That the real riddle is this moment right now seen directly. The riddle is solved by knowing we must never stop asking the question. The riddle like the cards is just a doorway we move through to travel deeper into the never-ending mystery of life.


Phaethon Phaethon
31-35, M
1 Response Dec 2, 2012

It's interesting, what you consider... in depth analysis and ways of the people. Is 10 cards enough for tarot though? I do not know if I am a Hermit, but I sure sometimes wish I were one living on a mountain far away in a cave. O_o

Oh its just for fun don't take it so seriously. Did you read the part about the shroud? =)

The cowl.

Yes, I did read it... Anyone who wore a cowl in this kinda city must be up for Halloween or Carnival. But I expect it to be a reference to something not seen which keep the hermit separated from others, a way to distance oneself.

Your tarot has been finished, and so has the meaning become clear. Changes, are in motion, and however the future is, I guess the time will still move ahead.

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