Oh yes!!! I received my first OBOD package, after only 9 days, with the introductory material and the first Gwersi! I can’t wait to jump at it this weekend! Also, I’m so grateful to have the first festival booklet, Imbolc, just in time for February 1st! I’m so impressed by how fast the OBOD team managed this! What an amazing feeling right now! /|\
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I have been a Ár nDraíocht Féin (ADF) member starting in 2013, but I hadn’t renewed my membership in 2020… I was looking for something else. And now, it seems that I have found my new home: the Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids (OBOD). ADF was great in a sense that I could read a lot on various Indo-European Pagan practices, but when I connected with the Celtic path, I still had to read or report on other practices that I wasn’t feeling any connection at all. That’s why I had big troubles finishing the Dedicant Path, or should I say, edit the text to include a variety of customs that I had chosen to ignore. I wanted to only talk about the Celtic/Irish customs, or the Tuatha Dé Dannan. To me (and this is only my opinion), Druids are Celtic. Not Nordic, Hellenic, Vedic, or anything else. Each of these paths have names for their spiritual members/leaders. If I want to be a Heathen, I’ll study in a Nordic tradition like Ásatrú or Odinism. If I want to be a Druid, I prefer if it’s based on Celtic traditions and mythologies. I have read many books on comparative religions, and even if others traditions are interesting, I don’t feel the connection to any of them. So, with OBOD, it seems that they are highly focused on Celtic traditions. Still, I’ll have to adapt my very Irish centered practice to include some Welsh elements, but it feels right to me. Anyway, I am about to receive my first package from the Bardic Course, and I’ll keep the blog updated with my future studies! To be continued…
It is well known that the Thoth tarot order of the court cards goes like this: Princesses, Princes, Queens, and Knights. However, some tarotists, me included, begins to question that typical order. In 1898, Aleister Crowley joined the esoteric Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. The Thoth Tarot certainly derives from the Golden Dawn principles, and the description of their Tarot deck is found in the Book T – The Tarot. The court cards are titled as Knaves, Kings, Queens and Knights. At first glance, it seems that Crowley changed ‘Knave’ for ‘Princess’, and ‘King’ for ‘Prince’. The following excerpts are for the Swords court cards:
Knight of Swords: A WINGED Warrior with crowned Winged Helmet, mounted upon a brown steed. His general equipment is as that of the Knight of Wands, but he wears as a crest a winged six-pointed star, similar to those represented on the heads of Castor and Pollux the Dioscuri, the twins Gemini (a part of which constellation is included in his rule). He holds a drawn sword with the sigil of his scale upon its pommel. Beneath his horse’s feet are dark-driving stratus clouds.
Queen of Swords: A GRACEFUL woman with wavy, curling hair, like a Queen seated upon a Throne and crowned. Beneath the Throne are grey cumulus clouds. Her general attire is as that of the Queen of Wands, but she wears as a crest a winged child’s head. A drawn sword in one hand, and in the other a large, bearded, newly severed head of a man.
King of Swords: A WINGED King with Winged Crown, seated in a chariot drawn by Arch Fays, represented as winged youths very slightly dressed, with butterfly wings: heads encircled by a fillet with a pentagram thereon: and holding wands surmounted by pentagrams, the same butterfly wings on their feet and fillets. General equipment as the King of Wands: but he bears as a crest a winged angelic head with a pentagram on the brows. Beneath the chariot are grey nimbus clouds. His hair long and waving in serpentine whirls, and whorl figures compose the scales of his armour. A drawn sword in one hand; a sickle in the other. With the sword he rules, with the sickle he slays.
Knave of Swords: AN AMAZON figure with waving hair, slighter than the Rose of the Palace of Fire. Her attire is similar. The Feet seem springy, giving the idea of swiftness. Weight changing from one foot to another and body swinging around. She is a mixture of Minerva and Diana: her mantle resembles the AEgis of Minerva. She wears as a crest the head of the Medusa with serpent hair. She holds a sword in one hand; and the other rests upon a small silver altar with grey smoke (no fire) ascending from it. Beneath her feet are white clouds.
While it seems that the Golden Dawn order of the ranks is “Knave, King, Queen, Knight”, it seems rather unfitting, based on the medieval hierarchy, to put the King under a Knight and the Queen. Also, the images from the RWS are similar as the ones used in the Thoth deck. The King of the Rider-Waite Tarot sit in a throne while the Prince of the Thoth Tarot is on a chariot. Both Knights, however, are riding a horse and looks the same, which seems appropriate to assume that these cards are equivalent. The Page and the Knave have many similarities too, so that correspondence is not contested. I’m certain a whole thesis could be done on the subject, but in short, my new preferred order of the court cards in the Thoth Tarot is “Princess, Knight, Queen, Prince” which I easily compare with the “Knave, Knight, Queen, King” of Book T, or the classic “Page, Knight, Queen, King” of the RWS deck.
What are your thoughts about this?
Really happy that 2020 is over and done, but I know 2021 won’t be an easy ride either, at least, not for the first half. However, there is some good news coming our way, if you like historical tarot or oracles! Lo Scarabeo published their Catalog for 2021 last month, and let me tell you that it this is going to be a costly year! Here’s what on my wish list:
- Anima Antiqua #9: Naibi Di Giovanni Vacchetta
- Anima Antiqua #10: Tarot Steinberger
- Tarot Original 1909 (Also available as a Kit)
- Symbolic Tarot of Wirth
- Etteilla Tarot (Reprint)
- Grand Tableau Lenormand – Oracle Cards
- Folk Cards of Destiny – Oracle Cards
- Medieval Fortune Telling Cards – Oracle Cards
My desktop computer died this summer, and I have replaced it with a powerful laptop. The best thing about it is that I can remove the laptop anytime from my desk, and be free of any electronical equipment. I also moved the printer upstairs, so the only electrical energy in my room is the light at my ceiling, when it’s lighted. Most of the time, I’m using the sunlight and candles anyway. The natural energy is incredible now that most of the EMF interferences are gone!
The next best thing about it is that now that the humongous computer with its two screens is gone, I can re-appropriate the space on my desk for more important objects. Here are photo of my Witchy Sanctum Scriptorium, which also has a Dark Academia vide:
As you already know, each person is entitled to develops its own way or technique to reads the cards to someone else or herself or himself. However, since this blog is part of my personal grimoire, I think it’s mandatory that I point out how I do my readings! My go-to deck was, is, and will certainly always be the classic Rider-Waite tarot. I’m not talking of a clone deck or any modern rendition, but the original RWS deck, with Pamela Coleman Smith’s drawings, based on Arthur Edward Waite)’s descriptions. I love this deck and don’t see why I would choose another to do the job! Most of the time, the readings I do are strictly for myself, and I use either a three-card spread, or a specific spread based on a question. When I do a reading for a client, it’s most of the time members of my family, my friends or co-workers. I decided that I’ll never do a reading in distance, either by phone or online, with a webcam or by chat. I consider that the querent must be present to connect with the cards and the reading. If I do the shuffling and pick the cards myself, I’m persuaded that the cards are for me, even if I concentrate on the other person. So to avoid that, here’s how I proceed:
The Setting: If the tarot reading is only for me, I usually go in my “witchy room”, which is my sacred center located in my home. I usually set the mood with a candle, some incense and I start some kind of Celtic or meditative music. This way, I can deeply connect with the deck and I can concentrate and think about my question without being distracted by other sounds or movements. If the readings is for someone else, I’ll have to do with whatever room seems to be the most quiet. With my family or friends, I usually use the kitchen table (if we are not alone and others wants to see the readings). If the readings is more personal, we’ll use a room that we can close the door. At work, I usually go to the office of the querent, with the door closed if possible. I already did a reading at the cafeteria, but we did choose a quiet corner far away from curious minds. When I’m not home, and when it’s for others, I tend to skip the mysterious setting, i.e. the candles, incense or music. I prefer to do a more down to earth readings for others, so that they don’t have the cliché image of the fortune-telling often associated with movies!
The shuffling: If I’m alone, I shuffle the cards, thinking about my question, and when I think the time is right, I stop and place the deck on the table, face down. I then I pick the cards from the top of the deck, and organize the cards to form the spread I’m using for the reading. That’s pretty much it. Now, when I do a reading for someone else, I usually proceed with my own deck shuffling, for about a minute, and I do a mental-cleansing of the cards. The way I do it, is that I focus at getting off all past energies that could still remains on the cards. Then, I ask the querent to take the deck and do a shuffling, with them thinking mentally about their question. They can do the shuffling in any way they want, but if I see that someone is about to do a “poker-shuffle”, I simply ask them to avoid doing it. First, it can damage the cards if it’s repeated often, and two, I think it’s disrespectful to the tarot cards if they are treated as a deck of playing cards. I tell the querents to stop the shuffling when they think the time is right. Again, the deck is put on the table, with the face of the cards facing the surface of the table. Then, I proceed to the spread, always choosing the card from the top of the deck. The reason to only take the cards from the top is simple: I find it useless to shuffle a deck if, at the end, we end up picking the cards wherever in the deck! To do, the act of shuffling the deck is the magickally align the answer to our question. Picking any card from the deck at random order after the shuffling would disrupt the order that has been placed before us. But again, not everyone thinks that way. The technique I describe here is only based on my own beliefs and practices.
The meaning: I’ll say it quick and simple: I don’t use the reversed meanings! I am from the school of thoughts that 78 meanings is more than enough to get a very precise message. Also, I’m well aware that each card has positive, neutral and negative meanings. When I read the spread for me or someone else, I use my intuition to perceive which meaning is the most appropriate for the current reading. I read each cards in order, based on the spread, and I do a general summarization when it’s done. If I do a Celtic Cross spread, I’ll do a summary of the cross before reading the last four cards, and then do the final recapitulation at the very end. When it’s finished, I simply store my cards back in their pouch or box.
My finished Miskatonic University Prop! All I need now is a good quality frame, and that’s it!
The Journey of the Fool
by Patrick Soucy
0. I am only a FOOL starting on an unexpected journey of rediscovery in an unknown world full of possibilities.
1. On my way, I met a MAGICIAN, sharing with me his skills so that I can change and make my ideas into reality.
2. Later, I spoke with an HIGH PRIESTESS who guided me with her intuition, giving me an esoteric knowledge.
3. The EMPRESS filled me with her nurturing fertility so that I could achieve my goal without losing control.
4. The EMPEROR, an authority of self-control, reminded me to always rely on logic and reason when in doubt.
5. The HIEROPHANT added that my decisions should also be based from knowledge, tradition and education.
6. But like the new LOVERS, I was still undecided and struggling to make the right decision between two choices.
7. I got on a CHARIOT, willing to take control, choosing my new path to overcome the forthcoming obstacles.
8. Something changed when I passed by a woman with grand STRENGTH, who gave me courage, faith and trust.
9. Back on foot, I walked towards an HERMIT, who taught me how to reflect on my life by means of meditation.
10. Not far away, I saw the WHEEL OF FORTUNE, and witnessed the movement of the inevitability of karmic law.
11. With this destiny unleashed, JUSTICE struck me in true fairness, armed with certainty and indisputable clarity.
12. I surrendered and became an HANGED MAN, upside-down, sacrificing my freedom for a new outlook on life.
13. DEATH came, but instead of taking my life, he proclaimed that now was a transition towards a need for change.
14. I was released, but restrained myself with TEMPERANCE, living with moderation and restoring an equilibrium.
15. The DEVIL appeared, tempting me with all my known obsessions and addictions, allowing him power over me.
16. Suddenly, everything exploded and the TOWER I was in was now destroyed, which dramatically changed my life.
17. Still shattered, I woke up seeing a beautiful STAR, enveloping me with hope and I obtained a spiritual rebirth.
18. On its side, I was hypnotized by the MOON, unsure about reality or illusion, but gaining a psychic awakening.
19. Next morning, the SUN filled me with a feeling of freedom, happiness and an unmatched level of optimism.
20. I faced my final JUDGEMENT and received an absolution, giving me the chance of redemption and renewal.
21. I left this WORLD to come back home, now fulfilled with a sentiment of completion, achievement and victory.
On my way back home, I had to travel through four large territories, governed by four very different kingdoms.
The SWORDS realm, built on various victorious battles, was a windy land ruled by tenacious military nobility.
I. Having lived immeasurable events, I felt victorious and I carried in me a mental clarity like I never had before.
II. But quickly, men questioned me on the reason of my passage, and had to make a decision to restore the peace.
III. I was mocked, suffered rejection and felt a great pain when sorrow enveloped my mind, filled with heartbreak.
IV. Withdrawing, I escaped to the hills to take some time to rest with passivity, and to recover from my anxiety.
V. The next day, I had my revenge and attacked the bullies by surprise, wining at all cost when they were unarmed.
VI. I was feeling regretful for what I had done, and I entered into a transition to find the solution to this problem.
VII. I had acted as a thief using deception, winning by getting away with something but with a lack of purpose.
VIII. For my redemption, I decided to self-impose a restriction and isolated myself to take the time to find the exit.
IX. But I felt stuck of in my thoughts, having nightmares during the nights, and falling into depression during the days.
X. People knew what I did, they betrayed and backstabbed me during my crisis, until I loss hope for any optimism.
Page. I was arrested, and a Page came to me, as a spy or a negotiator, to mentally excerpt any information I had.
Knight. Then I saw a Knight, who was fierce, opinionated, and who hastily said how clever he was compared to me.
Queen. The Queen was an organized woman, and I know that she quickly caught my thoughts by looking into the eyes.
King. The King was an impressive authority with an imposing intellect and he clearly stated an order to get me evicted.
The PENTACLES realm, managed by the merchants who acquired power based on their riches, was full of rocks.
I. I was in luck and found a valuable crystal, which made me prosperous, and made possible a financial opportunity.
II. With new money in my pocket as a fresh start, I had to adapt, balance and prioritize my spending wisely.
III. I met and collaborated with other people, and together, we learned how to gain success through hard work.
IV. I was feeling in control, and got a good stability with my commerce, increasing my power but I became a miser.
V. And then, I was reckless, started to worry and felt isolated when I lost everything and fallen into poverty.
VI. With time, prosperity came back, I cleared my debts, and instead of keeping it all for me, I decided to share.
VII. I had a vision, and decided to work through that new goal with perseverance and invested my energy in it.
VIII. I got a training of apprenticeship for a new work and, with endless effort, learned how to make quality products.
IX. I became my own boss and was self-sufficient in my luxurious work, enjoying my newly hard-earned success.
X. After few years, I had accumulated my wealth and decided to retire and continue my journey towards my home.
Page. Before leaving the land, I was met with a Page, who offered me a financial opportunity to buy my local business.
Knight. Then I met a Knight, who told me to stay clever with my money, and to be methodological with my spending.
Queen. The motherly ‘down-to-earth’ Queen congratulated me for my ability of having developed a successful business.
King. And the King allowed me to leave the land in peace, wishing me security, power, and abundance in the future.
The WANDS realm, dry and hot, was administrated by peasants who had great passion for their ideas and inventions.
I. Entering this new land, with newly acquired monetary wealth, I saw the beginning of a sudden new venture.
II. I watched the sun, and begun planning my future, knowing that I could have success again through hard work.
III. I moved ahead, focused on my project, and prepared all the future steps to turns my new dream into a reality.
IV. After the successful competition of my project, I celebrated and felt at home, even if I was far from my realm.
V. But my new success raised the competition, and the tension made people wanting what I earned with devotion.
VI. However, I received public recognition for my project and felt a renewed self-confidence with this new victory.
VII. Still, some people challenged me again, and I needed all my determination and perseverance to successfully win.
VIII. The days went fast, and with this time of success, it was the end of opposition and the completeness of my goal.
IX. I followed a discipline in an unassailable position to keep that goal well and alive, tested by my persistence.
X. I ended my project, after I felt I had achieved everything that I could, with hard work and responsibility.
Page. I met a Page from the land, who was a messenger of good news, and he told me that I was expected at home.
Knight. A Knight visited me, and shared with me his passion for the adventure, his impulsiveness, and his love of action.
Queen. I saw the Queen, a fair, exuberant and capable person, which showed warmth vibrancy through her generosity.
King. The King, a natural-born leader, generously rewarded me and wished me vision for my future endeavors.
The CUPS realm, full of rivers and other watery surfaces, was peacefully governed by sensitive and intuitive people.
I. Entering the territory of my home, I was filled with nostalgia and had the idea of creating an artistic project.
II. On my way, I met someone that I found very attractive, a new friend with whom I developed a strong bond.
III. Together, we celebrated and feasted in great joy, appreciating the time who had together before I had to leave.
IV. Further away, I stopped for a break and felt myself reevaluating my life, with the need to find stimulation.
V. Alone, I was quickly feeling disappointed, regretting the loss of my friend, and I had to reevaluate my priorities.
VI. I went back, and reunited with my friend, renewing the happiness of our past, and we spent more time together.
VII. Daydreaming, I had found myself obligated to make a difficult choice between all my wishes and my true needs.
VIII. In this journey of self-exploration, my disappointment was revealed, and I decided to escape this stable position.
IX. Walking again towards my home, I was now happy and satisfied, certain to have my wishes of comfort fulfilled.
X. Home, I met my true love, got married and felt perfect happiness as I was now living in harmony with my family.
Page. On my wedding day, I met a Page who was also a creative messenger with an admirable imagination.
Knight. A calm and peaceful Knight congratulated us, and I quickly detected his sensitivity and emotional nature.
Queen. I met the Queen, who relighted my strength and my own abilities of my imagination and my psychic self.
King. The King directed his creative powers so that I could achieve success in my goal with an emotional satisfaction.
Some weeks ago, I designed my own version of the Miskatonic University diploma, and I wanted to go an extra step!
First, I bought a luxury type of paper called the St. James Antique Bond Paper, Natural, 24lb (90 g/m2), 8 1/2″ x 11″. When lighted, it has a nice shine effect under the light! Then, I bought some golden Legal Seals labels, sized 1 15/16” diameter. Lastly, I ordered a custom made Embossing Seal, using the Miskatonic University seal made by Propnomicon!
I received the Embossing Seal today, and while it is amazing, my legal seals labels are too small. However, this is an easy fix. My girlfriend has a Cricut machine, and I decided to design my own Legal Seals that will perfectly fit the size of the embossed seal. To be continued!
The three editions (1961, 1971, 1978) of one of the most important books in my collection, finally together! In 1993, I was 13 years old when I first read this book at my local library, and since that moment I always wanted to have, at least, a copy. Now I have all three! 🙂