Reading: The Four Powers of the Magus

My personal spiritual practice has included the study of Gardnerian Wicca. Last night, I created a reading based on the Four Powers of the Magus. They surfaced almost on their own, to provide deeper insight into an elemental layout.

To know, to Will, to Dare, to Keep Silent: These are the four of the Magus. In order to know, we must dare. In order to will, we must know. We must will, to possess. In order to reign, we must keep silent (paraphrased from Grimoire of Shadows, Ed Fitch).

As I update my blog to include a more comprehensive set of services I provide, I wish to include this layout as an example of options for my one-question readings.

Clockwise from Right: To Know (Air), To Will (Fire), To Dare (Water), To Keep Silent (Earth), To Reign (Center).
Clockwise from Right: To Know (Air), To Will (Fire), To Dare (Water), To Keep Silent (Earth), To Reign (Center).

Whether or not you practice ritual magick, this reading can benefit you if you seek to deepen your ability to tap into the limitless personal power to which we are all given at birth. Since my desired outcome for my Tarot practice involves using creative power to influence the world around me, I decided to use this principle to reveal the most effective approach available for me. The end result yielded a greater understanding of the Fourfold Power itself. I decided to share this with you because the cards I turned up represent, to me, the core value behind each of the four powers, and the essence of what I strive to bring to my practice.

1. To Know – Air – represents the Seeker’s thoughts, and how the Seeker may best redirect their thoughts to reach the desired outcome. The Five of Cups deals with regret and loss. In this position, the card implicates self-judgment. The presence of Cups, the suit of feelings and affections, brings to the reading the principle of self mastery – it is with our thoughts that we have the power to direct our feelings. We must release judgment of any situation in order to practice compassion on ourselves as well as others, and this may involve a retreat into the logical mind, and away from our raw emotions, to transcend the dynamic of regret. I’ve recently started meeting with a life coach and my first assignment she’s given me has been that when I’m feeling discouraged to write down what is good. This card reflects that exercise exactly.

2. To Will – Fire – represents the driving aspect of our choices: our actions and passions. VI The Lovers card here points to sharing responsibility. In order to cooperate with others, we must facilitate their ability to act according to their Highest and Best potential. We must share our power as equals with other co-creators. Cooperation between partners also yields more potent results than any one acting on their own.

3. To Dare – Water – how our emotional and spiritual drives are prompting us to grow. XX Karma presents the opportunity to fulfill our soul’s purpose when we are pursuing personal empowerment. In eastern religions and western mystery traditions, the soul elects to mortal rebirth throughout many lifetimes to resolve accountability for energetic debts, whether through wrongful/misguided actions or inaction, with the goal of refining the soul to perfect love and compassion in order to reunite with Source. Our emotional body and spiritual aspect of being, connected to the physical presence of water in the human body, can keep us anchored to the Divine. Personally, I have been daring more to look at my personal Karma, and to conduct ritual work to resolve that Karma.

4. To Keep Silent – Earth – VII The Chariot captures the essence of this power, which I think Yoda describes best when he says: “Do or do not, there is no try.” The Charioteer accomplishes nothing by saying anything about what he intends to do. The accomplishment comes by hopping on the cart and driving the horses to get there. When we are dedicated to doing our work, words fall short. Silence flows naturally. We see the results in our daily practice. Practice makes practice. Discipline is an accumulated trait. We become to busy doing our work to talk about it; our actions speak for themselves.

5. To Reign – Akasha (the Spirit) – I love the 10 of Swords’ hidden connotation of ego death, and here, that meaning is most evident. When we practice the fourfold elements of the first Key of the Magus, we sacrifice our self identity in exchange for the greater power of Self Realization. We are not our body, nor our mind, our strength, or our feelings: we are Awareness. We are Divine Consciousness. To be Self Aware is true wisdom (see Owl up there in the tree? Yea, She knows).

The more that I work with this principle, the more ego loss I experience, and the more aware I become of how much work I still have to do in Self Realization. I invite you to join me on this incredible journey. Namaste and Blessed be!

2014: Looking Back

Unusual and intense climatic, environmental and geological events have hallmarked the year 2014. We’ve seen two of the tetrad blood moons and two solar eclipses. Earth’s magnetic field is weakening at an abnormally rapid speed, perhaps preparing us for a magnetic field flip.

I believe this is a continuation of the earth’s vibrational ascension process as initiated in 2012… but let’s talk Tarot.

I recently watched this helpful video by Kelly-Ann at Four Queens.

My personal version of a Tarot mandala looks like a wheel with eight spokes. I’d like to share a personal reading on myself, to be totally candid with you about where I’m at.

tarot mandala spread 11.18.14
feat. The Witches’ Tarot by Ellen Dugan, artwork by Mark Evans

The vertical axis represents the solstices, and the horizontal axis represents the equinoxes. The diagonal axes are the points in the middle, or “cross-quarter” days, altogether representing the Neopagan Wheel of the Year. The center represents the major focus and major challenge of the year.

The horizontal axis from right (Spring Equinox) to left (Fall Equinox): 5 of Cups, IV The Emperor, King of Swords (crossing), Six of Pentacles, Six of Cups.

The vertical axis, from bottom (Summer Solstice) to top (Winter Solstice): 3 of Pentacles, 9 of Pentacles, 4 of Cups (center), 8 of Pentacles, 10 of Pentacles.

The diagonal axis to the right of center, from top (Imbolg- Feb 2) to bottom (Lughnasadh-Sep 1): 10 of Cups, III The Empress, (4 of Cups,) Ace of Wands, Page of Pentacles.

The diagonal axis to the left of center, from bottom (Beltane-May 1) to top (Samhain-Oct 31): 9 of Wands, IX The Hermit, (King of Swords,) XI Justice, VIII Strength.

Next time, I may add a card in the center for each of the cross quarter axes. I am disregarding reversals in this layout because it is a wheel (there is no up).

Not only does this layout allow me to read chronologically, but elementally, with each of the compass points representing (from top, clockwise) Earth, Air, Fire, and Water, or respectively, body, thoughts, actions, feelings. You may have your own medicine wheel association and can focus on that. You may have different associations for turning points, but I find the Wheel of the Year to be the easiest to use given my own Neopagan background.

Rather than going over meanings of each card, individually, I will create a narrative of the events that I have experienced this past year, starting with February 1.

I became pregnant around New Year’s Eve and confirmed my pregnancy shortly after Imbolg. This was a joyous occasion for me (10 of Cups) as I love being a mom (III The Empress). I felt surrounded by loving support in this new development. At the spring equinox, I found myself struggling (5 of Cups) with my relationship with male authority and father-figures in my life (IV Emperor). By the beginning of May, I had recovered my strength from my first trimester experience of almost consistent nausea and returned to taking yoga classes and volunteering at a local organic market as well as drumming for a college African dance class (9 of Wands). I was able to shine even in my solitude, regaining confidence in my role as a single mom (IX Hermit). Through this time, I focused on maintaining my healthy habits and activity, even hiking with my daughter. I remained secure in my solitary existence.

Summer solstice marked the beginning of my third trimester (3 of Pentacles), and people began to ask me if I was sure I had just one baby growing in my womb. I participated in a nutrition study hosted by Utah State University which provided extra money to spend at the Cache Valley Gardeners’ Market (9 of Pentacles).

On September 1st, I manifested some specific furniture that I would need to accommodate a newborn in my tiny apartment, which was the first of more to come (Ace of Wands, Page of Pentacles). I remained active (Ace of Wands), even riding a bicycle, and seriously focusing on my health (Page of Pentacles), and kept my ankles from swelling with a nutritional tea of calcium-rich herbs.

My second daughter, LBR, was born early on the morning of the Fall Equinox after about 6 hours of labor (the 6 of Pentacles and 6 of Cups in this deck both depict two children). My doula was amazing, providing me with support worthy of a birthing partner. Again I felt totally secure in my choice to have the baby, confident in divine providence (6 of Pentacles) to support my choice to keep this wonderful gift of life, via support from my community and my friends (6 of Cups). My mother visited shortly after, and together we were able to reconcile differences and grow closer than I have felt to her since my childhood (6 of Cups).

Shortly thereafter, the divorce with my elder daughter’s father was finalized, ending two years of stress and furthering the healing process for our daughter and ourselves (XI Justice). By Samhain, LBR had been blessed and welcomed into our spiritual community, and for trick-or-treating, I went as a Goddess-Worshipping, Baby-Wearing Warrior Woman (VIII Strength) because that is the energy with which I felt most strongly in tune (and because it came naturally).

Now, as I enjoy the middle of this final turn of the solar year, heading into the Yuletide season, I have dedicated myself to writing a book about Shadow work (8 of Pentacles) that reflects on certain experiences in my life that have led me to further self awareness and a satisfying amount of self love and self appreciation (10 of Pentacles). I’ve also signed up for life coaching services with a newly certified local lady who’s conducting a gratia project to break into her new career field.

The central theme of the year, the 4 of Cups, touches on my level of uncertainty and dissatisfaction in my life. Currently I am relying on support from outside sources rather than income that I generate, and I strongly desire to generate enough income to support myself on my own. The King of Swords, though, tells me I have come far in creating a calm state of mind, and it is by being my own administrator that I can create my own success.

I invite you to share any experiments you conduct with this layout in the comments below! Please show your support for Kelly-Ann at Four Queens by subscribing to her channel, if you like her video, and if you are ready for me to help you in your journey of Self Examination and Self Mastery, you can check out this link to schedule your reading.

Tough Questions Tuesday

Possibly the most important thing to remember in this is: you define the terms set forth. Hold them singly and separately in your mind for the clearest answers.

Choose three of your most cherished values. Choose three areas where you feel you struggle in life. Choose three traits you admire in others. Shuffle, cut. Draw eleven cards from your deck. Here is your layout:

1-3, bottom row R to L: most cherished values.

4-6, middle row, R to L: areas of struggle.

7-9, top row, R to L: traits of admiration in other people.

10. Bottom center: karma foundation, cause for the effects, reasons for Being in this lifetime.

11. Top center: Spirit goals.


Each card in the middle row is resolved by the energies of the card above it, but fed by the energies of the card beneath, e.g., card 4 is resolved by card 7 but fed by card 4. This could indicate over- or under-activity on the part of the correlating chakras. The reading is constructed on the principles that the things we hold as most important to us, often limit our ability to expand our awareness and overcome our challenges, and that qualities we admire in others are our own secret strengths. Healthy relationships with our values would result in a helpful line of narrative between the three cards.

Feel free to post questions about the spread here. Hopefully soon I will update with a sample reading. Happy Tuesday, folks!

Shame is the Shadow of Love

Have you ever thought about how the Lovers and the Devil card are connected through Numerology? 15=6 when distilled to its numerological value, so when refined through the trying fire, the Devil card leads to the Divine Union described by the Lovers, by facing us with the suffering we do unto ourselves by clinging to our attachments yet hating ourselves for it.

Then why, in the Royal Road of the Hero’s Journey, does the Fool meet the Lovers first, and not the Devil? The explanation may lie in our own development as children, in our relationship with our parents and all members of their generation, and how we see them engage in their loving relationship with each other. Mark Z. Danielewski wrote in House of Leaves, “The Angels of our childhood become the Demons of our maturity.” We define our world first by our parents, and as children they are our heroes. We create defense mechanisms as children to accommodate whatever life we’ve been born into. Later, any negative patterns passed on to us become our hangups, addictions, obsessions, blocks: our Demons. Only by confronting our personal Demons can we come into fullness of Understanding of the Lovers card: the Balance of Elements in Divine Unity. To confront the negative patterns about ourselves, we must return to the Source of Origins: the emergence into Humanity.

If we want true peace and harmony in our relationships, we must love our shadow, because we can only accept our partner as much as we accept our Self. We must transform the naivety of innocence into wisdom, while protecting that innocence. Love.