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Lapis Philosophorum » 2009

Yule – Winter Solstice – The World

Posted in DruidCraft Tarot, Journal on December 21st, 2009 by Kristine Gazel

Yule – Winter Solstice: – Dec 21st. This card shows us how best to connect to the Light within and without – it symbolizes the Birth of the Sun.

The World
The end of one cyclus – the start of a new. I think that this is about accepting the flow of time, light, and energy, of beginnings and endings of events and epoques. Actually this woman is embraced by light – it is a question of letting it in, letting it shine from within and without.

Actually there is a lot to learn here. In fact it is hard to allow oneself to be enlighted – to allow ones own light to shine freely, and others as well.

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Mother Night of Dreams – Prince of Cups

Posted in DruidCraft Tarot, Journal on December 20th, 2009 by Kristine Gazel

Mother Night of Dreams: – Dec 20th. This card reminds us to look for a particular message in our dreams tonight. The ancients believed that our dreams on this night foretold some of the important events in the coming year.

Prince of Cups

The sickle of the Moon is hanging in the light night sky, this young man is a true knight in the service of feminine powers. The Prince, and his horse, both seem to be a bit sad or melancholic.

    Prince of Cups

I’m reminded to look for male figures in my dreams tonight. What messages from within will my Animus bring me and how will he reveal himself to me?

Cups are about feelings, intuition or perhaps creativity. Is this young man telling me that creativity comes with a choice, maybe even a sacrifice? Is there some kind of bitterness in his toast? Maybe in the form of loneliness or shyness?

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Sacred Days of Yule 2009

Posted in DruidCraft Tarot, Spreads on December 20th, 2009 by Kristine Gazel

It is now again time for the Sacred Days of Yule Spread.

The Sacred Days of Yule Interpretation says: “This spread will help you to learn to apply the tarot to enjoy and enrich your passage through the twelve festive days from December 20th to 31st. The meaning of each card in the spread reflects the energy of the festivity associated with each of the twelve days.”

I’m using the DruidCraft Tarot again for this spread, since it’s pagan imagery fits the idea of Yule well.

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Death or Transformation

Posted in Meanings, Tarot on November 22nd, 2009 by Kristine Gazel

At the Aeclectic Tarot Forum somone asked how the renaming of cards is perceived. The discussion there inspired me to write the following:

The classic example is of course Death – often renamed as Transformation. I think this obscures the whole idea about what Death is about in the Tarot.

No doubt that Death in a actual reading can mean transformation, or letting things die, letting go, thus making room for change. But does not the Wheel of Fortune express this idea very well also? You know, the notion of  “what comes around, goes around”.

There is a tendency to think – and perhaps ensure the querent, that Death is not really about the real physical death, about dying. But about “Transformation” – whatever that may mean in the context. It seems to me that the grim urgency of the Reaper is somehow being denied and euphemized here.

In the “original” tarot – emerging in  the 15’th century Renaissance Italy – Death was quite literal and ever urgent. The Plague swept over Europe in the course of five centuries, came and went several times only to return again. You never knew who was next in line. Often young people and children died first, leaving no new generations so that cities and rural districts was almost void of people year after year.

Death from the Alchemical Tarot

Death from the Alchemical Tarot

We have the idea of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse bringing with them Pestilence, War, Famine and Death. And the motto Memento Mori  – Rememeber your Mortality. Actually we find this at the back of the beautiful and scarily intriguing Bohemian Gothic Tarot cards.

This is not to ruin your day, just to say that Death always has been ever present to the individual. But there is a tendency – whenever it is possible – to distance ourselves from this harsh reality. I guess that this “Transformation” talk is a symptom of this. The true is that Death is and will always be a something we human beings must be confronted with, no matter our life conditions, and no matter how nice these are to make us believe that Death is not an issue to us personally, to make us foolishly believe that Death is something that happens to somone else.

I think that Death in the Tarot – coming after the Hanged Man and before Temperance – is about accepting this and looking this fact of life right in the eye. Memento mori. I did not say anything about accepting it without anxiety or fear. Angst. I guess that is too much to ask for. But never the less.

When you have accepted Death, not as a abstract idea – like me dealing with it now (see I’m also fooling myself) – but after having been hanging upside down for a few days or weeks, you are ready to pursue. An maybe, just maybe, at this point you have the courage and peace of mind and knowlegde – to do as the Temperance Angel does. To mix.

But you are only able to do the Mixing, after having stepped over the treshold of Death, that is having accepted your very own, very literal mortality: That this very body, and this ego are dying and you can’t avoid it nor do you have not the faintest idea about what is going to happen on the “other side”. If there is an other side.

Having accepted this, you are ready to Mix Fire and Water. There is a lot of Power in Mixing, don’t doubt that. And this in turn makes you ready to deal with the Devil.

Images from The Alchemical Tarot, copyright Robert M. Place, are used with kind permission. Visit the Alchemical Tarot website.

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Reading #6: Another little cross

Posted in Alchemical Tarot, Journal on November 15th, 2009 by Kristine Gazel

I made another little cross; one card (the Center, the Situation) crossed by another (the Challenge).

I drew 9 of Staffs:  The Grey Wolf – sacrifice, overcome with passion crossed by 2 of Staffs Hermes and Aphrodite – one lover lost in the other.

The Wolf

I’ve met the Wolf before; It is as said above about Sacrife; “A wolf is sacrificed in a fire. This is an alchemical symbol representing the restoration of the king, who was devoured by the wolf.

Tarot wisdom: You face a calamity, a fire out of hand. Fire consumes you to exhaustion or illness. The message also suggests sacrifice, especially for a higher purpose, like suffering for the good of others, or being a martyr, or subduing the animal passions for spiritual purpose”.

The Alchemical Tarot Study Group says about 2 of Staffs; Hermes and Aphrodite:
“A hand holding a staff emerges from a cloud and lights the end of its staff from an already burning staff planted in the ground. At the base of the grounded torch is the symbol for Venus; above the hand in the air is the symbol for Mercury, which suggests the uniting of lovers. Fertility is suggested by the flowers around the grounded staff. There is life springing from this union. Tarot wisdom: Like begets like; one torch lights another. Your enthusiasm is contagious. …”
Hermes and AphroditePlease notice the little third branch on the torch – this points to the thirdness as a product of the conjunction of the two, the lovers. This is the creative outcome of the relationsship, their child. Being either a creative product or an actual child.
So – in context these cards are about my willingness to sacrifice my self and my own needs to bring an offer for the greater good, for Eros and for the relationsships I’m  in, with my family and loved ones. Both on a one to one basis i.e. to my husband, and our children – but also for Eros on a grander scale. For the things I’m engaged in that has to do with other people and with creating.

The message being that it is only possible to create something new and to engage in life on a truly passionate basis if I’m willing to let go of my old worn out (wolfy) I.

The fire will devour and purify.

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Blood

Posted in Tarot on October 31st, 2009 by Kristine Gazel

Being attracted to the Alchemical and the Vampire Tarots – as should be appearent by reading this blog – I started  wonder what it is about  blood and its symbolism, that so intrigues us?

I guess that blood has so many symbolic layers that you could write volume upon volume about it. And this has been done.

So now I want to turn my – and yours – focus on Blood and Redness as symbolizing Eros.

In the fairy tales three drops of blood can symbolize the defloration of the virgin, in a more unfamiliar freudian sense. This I choose to interpret as the point where the young girl become mature and able as a women to give herself to a man on the wedding night. The wedding symbolizes that there has been a true union, a conjuntion, between the man and the woman, the groom and the wife.

So, the mother in the fairy tale of Snow White cuts her finger on the needle, and tree drops of blood fall on the snow in the black wooden window frame and she says: “I wish that I had a daughter that had skin white as snow, lips red as blood, and hair black as ebony”.

And then she concieves and gives birth to a little daughter, which the royal couple names Snow White, soon after which the good mother dies. We all know what then happens. Btw, I have always been more attracted to the cruelty and vile in the original fairy tales, as supposed to the cute Disney versions, which I do like, but it is not just the same (more about this in a later post, perhaps).

What I find interesting here is that the blood and the Redness is linked to the Blackness and the Whiteness. These are – off course – the three alchemical stages; the nigredo, the albedo and the rubedo. The rubedo is pointing to the culmination of the Opus, i.e. the Great Work, the red Stone, the conjunction, the fusion of opposites, and – yes – the wedding between the King and the Queen.

The World in the Alchemical Tarot, symbolizing the Great Work, The Red Stone

The World in the Alchemical Tarot (Courtesy of Robert M. Place),
symbolizing the Great Work,
The Red Stone

So – Blood and Redness, the beauty and brilliance of the colour red, then is about the pulse, the spark of life, love and passion, ripeness and maturity, the ability to be whole and united with the opposite, yet be differentiated.

We also have the virgin, the mother and the crone, as aspects of the goddess trinity, where the mother stands for the mature woman, representing the fase in a woman’s life, that is about love, passion and eros, and where she, being able to give birth and create new life, is bleeding on a monthly basis.

My husband had a more earth-bound approach: “Blood is what runs our machine – it is liquid, yet coagulates easily, it is thick and warm, it is sort of alive, a living organism in itself”.

And as the blood runs thin, we are embarking on its scarier implications, we are reminded of death; It is at this point that the Redness turns back into Blackness. And the circle comes full.

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Halloween

Posted in Tarot on October 25th, 2009 by Kristine Gazel

Soon it is Halloween. It is not a danish, nor a protestant tradition. But in our house hold we are celebrating it with Jack- O’-Lanterns. Partly because my husband is American, partly because it is scary in a cosy sort of manner. So here is what he created today:

Jack-O'-Lanterns

Jack-O'-Lanterns

I have dug up my Halloween Tarot in a Tin, and will be using this deck for the next week, that is until Halloween. Look also at The Tarot Table Talk where Susan has this deck on her table this week.

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Fate

Posted in Tarot on October 18th, 2009 by Kristine Gazel

First of all, Tarot Table Talk is back and I warmly recommend that you visit the site.

Today, I choose Fate, from Robert Place’s beautiful and intriguing Vampire Tarot, and therefore I would like to write about this card.

The Fate from the Vampire Tarot by Robert M. Place

The Fate from the Vampire Tarot by Robert M. Place

I think the idea is that even the vampire is subject to Fate, as we all are. In the norse mythology, the Norns spin and cut the threads of fate, and thereby determine our lifespan, as do the greek goddesses of Fate, the Moirae. When the scissors cut the life is irrevocably over, hence the blodstains on the blades.

I also like the way Place has used the alchemical colours for the Fates; black, red and white. As if to say, that these three (alchemical) phases are also integral parts of a life span; the blackness of death, the  unconsciousness and sorrow, the rednes of life, love and passion and the whiteness of enlightment, innocence and purity. Maybe to say that the Fates also determine how these things are mixed and blended into our individual lifes.  Also, the colours can symbolize the three aspects of the great Goddess; The Crone, the Mother and the Virgin, which the Fates represent.

Again thanks to Robert Place for his art and for Susan Gold for bringing this to my attention.

The card is from the Vampire Tarot, Copyright Robert M. Place.

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Symbolic Coach

Posted in Tarot on August 8th, 2009 by Kristine Gazel

I’m very interested in symbols – not only from Tarot, all though this is my main interest, but also from dreams, litterature, astrology, alchemy, mythology and other sources – and now I got this idea from this post about Tarot Pride at Evolutionary Tarot  to simply call me a Symbolic Coach – because that is want I want to: To help others be creative by understanding and interpreting symbols from tarot, writing, reading, dreams etc.  

Now I just have to figure out what to call this in danish …

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The Annotated Tarot of the Sevenfold Mystery

Posted in Tarot on June 30th, 2009 by Kristine Gazel

There is a lot of great Tarot artists out there at the time being. Skilled and fabulous people who really add something new to the Art of Tarot. I’ve earlier mentioned Ciro Marchetti in this context. Another modern Tarot artist  is Robert M. Place. Actually – the beauty of his art of Tarot is that he is interpreting the Tarot by means of love, tradition and true knowledge of the origins of the Tarot. Thereby his Tarot Artwork becomes a true inspiration for all us Tarot lovers who are not exactly artfully skilled ourselves, but seems to be enlightened by his endeavour.

Recently the  Annotated Tarot of the Sevenfold Mystery was released. It is so beautiful. There is a certain coolness and calmness to the pictures, that ask you into their realm, into their mystery. This is a Majors only deck, and the cards are bigger than an usual deck of Tarot. It is not really meant for shuffling, but rather for drawing one card for meditation and contemplation. They can comfort you, whenever you turn to them for advice.

Even Death does not seem frightening, rather focused and mild. This is something we all most go through. It is really the first Death that convices me that this is really “just” a transformation, a passover …

Death from the Tarot of the Sevenfold Mystery.

Death from the Tarot of the Sevenfold Mystery.

To me this Tarot is a puzzle, even with the annotations that  guides you towards the mystery. The thing is – you simply have to understand for yourself, walk the path yourself. I guess one could call this a map of gnosis for the modern spiritual seeker.

Images from The Tarot of the Sevenfold Mystery, copyright Robert M. Place, are used with kind permission. Visit the Alchemical Egg website.

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