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Lapis Philosophorum » choice

Reading #4: The Grey Wolf

Posted in Alchemical Tarot, Journal, Meanings on January 26th, 2009 by Kristine Gazel

6 of Vessels

So I asked the Alchemical: What do I need to do this last week of my maternal leave – before I go back to work?

And I drew:

6 of Vessels: The Gardener -nuturing, not too much, not too little; 9 of Staffs:  The Grey Wolf  – sacrifice, overcome with passion; and Queen of Staffs – presenting a choice between the raw and natural and the refined.

The first card makes me think that I have to nuture my kids and my family, to see to what has to be done at home, while I still have the time and energy.   The second card – The Grey Wolf – seems much more complicated. This is about sacrifice, somehow.

The Alchemical Tarot Study Group says:  “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.”

9 of Staffs - The Wolf

Hmm. This may make more sense seen with the message of the Queen: The choice between the natural raw and the refined .

The Alchemical Tarot Study Group says:  “A crowned woman in classical dress stands in the desert holding two torches. The torch in her left hand is raw and natural left as it was when taken from a tree. The other is refined, and has been carved in a decorative classical design.

Tarot wisdom: Like the Queen of Swords, the Queen of Staffs is presenting us with a choice. In this case, it is between that which is natural, unprocessed, or possibly crude, and that which is refined or sophisticated. For more insight into these choices, look at the cards that flank this one in your layout.”

So: the Wolf may be the natural, raw, instinctive, while the King – that shall be restored – being the refined, intellectual, conscious. The Wolf also reminds me of my “motherly instincts”, taking care of my offspring. The 6 of Vessels – nuturing – also has to do with cultivating and refining.  

So this apparently is a message about the possibility of making a transition from one state of mind to another. I say possibility – because the Queen of Staffs presents this as choice. I have to use this week to make this transition and put something behind me – and step out of the cave, so to speak.

 Apart from that – this deck is really “cool” to work  with, as I have suggested in an earlier post. It does not give much – don’t tell me what to do, just shows me the possibilities, then I can go figure out  for my self.   

Queen of Staffs

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Reading #1: What can I learn?

Posted in Alchemical Tarot, Journal, Meanings on January 5th, 2009 by Kristine Gazel

What can I learn using the Alchemical Tarot as tool for my spiritual journey:

I drew these three cards:

Lady of Coins:  Wealth, patronage, aesthetics, art ;  Ten of Coins: The Materialist: Selfishness, Only seeing the physical, and Queen of Swords: Presenting a choice between the red, mature side and the green, unripe side.


The Lady is symbolizing a love for the aestetichs, and here I interpret her also as a Page, something new, that will be promising. But both she and the Ten of Coins are  essentially about materialism – all though they represent different approaches to materialism .

10 of Coins
I guess the Queen is telling me to make a profound choice. She is literally flying above the skies, and being the Queen of the Element of Air, she is telling me to reach higher – for the spiritual and for wisdom.  Thereby she is demanding of me to choose between maturity and immaturity, between spiritualism and materialism and between virtues and vices.  The work with this deck will be learning process and process of choosing, and this deck will encourage me and guide me through  this process.

Or, at least the Queen is telling me about the choice, because elementally she trumphed out by the two Coins that represent Earth, which is an “enemy” of the Airy suit of Swords.

They’re both abot materialism, the Lady enjoying it and what a well founded material life can bring her. But she is turning her  back at the moon, and she is being too superficially and aestechically oriented and way too materialistic  (10oC). This card center card is weighing down towards materialistic matters, and his blinded by all his coins. So I think the process and journey will not be an easy one. But identifying myself a lot with the Queen of Swords, I’m not loosing hope. 

Queen of Swords


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

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