Ideas for your Grimoire (or a journal/collection/file similar to a Grimoire):
• Diary Entries • Meditative Pages - Inducing different states, emotions, trances, mindsets, and triggers for spells, realms, etc. • Spirit Communication • Symbol Meanings - Alchemy, elements, zodiac, Futhark Runes, your own, etc. • Symbology - Animals, mythical creatures, any items • Herbology - Both medicinal and metaphysical • Chakra Meanings - Or Energy Points, whatever you refer to them as or similar points that you use in your craft • Healing Methods • Divination Methods • Spells • Rituals • Rites • Incantations • Portals • Deity Worship - If you worship any deities of any sort, you can include them in your Grimoire if you’d like • Deep Feelings • (Divination) Readings • Notes from Your Books • Research in General • Mythology • Egregores - Thought forms, concepts • Coding Methods • Psychic-Gathered Information • Spell/Craft Logs • Correspondences to Easy-to-Get Supplies and Substitutes • Key Things You’ve Discovered in magic, the Paranormal, the Astral, the future, your abilities, etc. • What Colors Mean to You • Lore! • Traditional Known Methods • Urban Methods • Your Methods! • Potions - They don’t always HAVE to be all herb- based, just so you know. There’s plenty of magic in fruits and veggies. • Correspondences/Your Own Correspondences • Craft and Food Recipes • Blessings, Curses/Jinxes/Hexes, Enchantments • Spirit Friends • Things about your Past Life - If you’ve reincarnated (or have past lives in your beliefs or… Well.. Anything that gives you a past life) • Your Passions • Your Morals • Fun Activities You Find/Make • Astral Travel Experiences
The Philosopher’s Stone and Solutio from Edward Edinger, in the Anatomy of the Psyche
“We are brought finally, to the ultimate in solutio symbolism, the idea that water is the goal of the process. Several terms are used for this liquid version of the Philosophers’ Stone: "aqua permanens,” “elixir vitae,” “tincture,” “philosophical water,” “universal solvent,” “divine water,” and so forth. Water as the goal of the opus is defined in this text:
‘And by whatever names the philosophers have called their stone they always mean and refer to this one substance, i.e., to the water from which everything originates and in which everything is contained, which rules everything, in which errors are made and which the error is itself corrected. I call it “philosophical” water, not ordinary water but aqua mercurialis.’ “
Hello, hope you're ok. So I've working a lot with the elements, and I wanted to know how can we know which element we belong to the most? Plus, I need energy and motivation. I am manico-depressive. And during my downs moment, I just need some strength and bravery to stay out of my bed until it's bed time. Will you help me please? Thanks. 🕊
Hello. Thanks for writing to me! I myself have struggled with mental illness, so I might have an idea of difficult it can be, particularly the downswings! I’m not in your head, though, and I do realize that it’s a very individual thing, and your experience may be different than mine. In any case, I hope you’ve found people, including professionals, willing to help you through this. It can be extraordinarily difficult to get actual treatment for these things sometimes, because there’s so much stigma and also just a lack of people who understand.
I’m not a doctor, so I can’t give medical advice. As someone who is both a witch and a survivor of mental illness, though, I will say that magic can be a helpful coping mechanism when combined with normal treatment, and the elements are great topic to focus on in magical practice. I’ve come to find that magick gives my life an extra layer of structure and stability and a sense of connection, which is helpful for some people.
You mention a desire for strength and bravery. I’d wager you’re pretty brave already to be studying magick to begin with, but I realize it’s difficult to feel your own bravery sometimes. Now, many magicians and witches would probably tell you that if you’re interested in bravery and strength, you should work with fire exclusively, but I disagree. In my view, all the elements have qualities of strength and bravery. It’s a different kind of bravery with each, though, and a different kind of strength.
Anyways, in my view, nobody is going to be entirely governed by one element or belong to just one. Nevertheless, concepts like personal elements exist for a reason, and at any given time, you can probably feel the forces of the all the elements at work within you. Yes, it is quite common for a person to have an elemental type (though it may change at various points in their life). I would argue that there’s probably two elemental characteristics a person might try to discover about themselves at certain times - the element they currently inhabit, and the one they wish to move into or bring into their life more often.
Some believe a person’s astrological sun sign is a clue to their dominant element - for example, they might see someone born a Virgo as predisposed to Earth traits because Virgo is an Earth sign. Others take it further and will examine a person’s entire natal chart and the way the planets, etc. interact within it for signs of an element dominating. This approach has never really resonated with me, personally but it can be a good starting point for some folks.
The best method for determining your own elemental affinity is, in my opinion, simple self-examination and introspection. This can take many forms, but should probably begin just by studying all the elements and their relationship to the structure of the universe. I don’t recommend focusing on one in particular to start with, but instead just reading, researching, and (perhaps most importantly) working with all of them as much as possible. The idea is to get a feel for the forces they embody and how they interact with your psyche right now, both as concepts and as actual physical matter.
By “as concepts,” I mean developing connections not (just) with the physical things representing each element, but with the plethora of mental associations that exist for each, as well. This means that, to connect with (for example), water, I would recommend not simply interacting with water or ritual tools but doing research into the nature of emotion, which is strongly associated with water in the Western Magical Tradition. Similarly, connecting with air would involve more than burning incense (though doing that can be awesome, as well) - air is associated with intellect and swiftness, so exploring your intellectual side is helpful in understanding it.
This is not as well-known as it used to be, but some ancient peoples thought of the elements themselves as combinations of fundamental universal principles. In the image above, I discuss this. They tended to see each element as active or passive as well as categorizing them into mutable and fixed.
I struggle a bit with certain elements (earth, mostly) and it does help sometimes to think of things this way. In terms of finding your element, you might ask yourself if you’re more active or passive. You might then explore whether you’re prone to change (mutable) or more consistent (fixed). You could then look into the elements associated with those categories in turn.
One thing that I found helpful over the years - scrying the elements. Most people think of scrying as fortunetelling, but the same technique can be used to explore a concept like an element. As I described in the image above, I do believe each element as a medium has advantages in terms of particular scrying topics, but it is equally possible to just scry on the subject of the element’s place in your own life. I would recommend doing this with the element itself as a medium, if possible, but I realize not everyone can do that.
One technique for doing this would be to frame each scrying session as spirit communication and call on the spirits traditionally believed to rule over each element. You may have heard of entities called undines, sylphs, gnomes and salamanders - though they sound a bit fanciful, those are just terms for any spirit borne of a particular element. Undines are water-creatures, gnomes are associated with earth, sylphs are airy, and salamanders are fiery. All are often called “elementals.”
I’ve personally sought the four elemental kings, who are said to supervise these creatures, but there are other entities traditionally associated with each element, as well. I recommend this site for more information about them, but Wikipedia actually has a good overview, too. If you’re not much for scrying to communicate with specific spirits, you might try (as I said) just asking to receive knowledge regarding how a particular element is manifesting in your current life.
One thing worth remembering: even in the system of the ancients, the elements were far from the whole story in terms of how they described reality. In the diagram below, which resembles on seen in Robert Allen Bartlett’s book, Real Alchemy (credit where credit is due!), you can see how alchemists in particular developed the notion of elements in combination creating three essential forces: mercury, salt, and sulphur. These are concepts, not actual physical chemicals, though. You may actually find that one of these describes you better, thus implying you’d have dual elemental association at this point in time. I’ve met people who identified, for example, with mercury more than anything else.
I realize that if you’re experiencing anything like downswings (I’ve had ‘em before), this whole process can be difficult, though, but I don’t think it’s something to stress over. It might be helpful to just enjoy the elementsin and of themselves for a while, if you can. I know that when I was depressed, I’d do things like burn candles, incense, or making tea, all exercises that could be magical if you see them right, but I didn’t force myself to think too much about deeper aspects of it again until I started getting better. No one knows you better than you, though, so I’d suggest experimenting to figure out what helps you feel better when these things happen. For me, it was just simple exercises that I didn’t put much thought into until later, but you’re a completely different person and might respond better to something else. I really wish you the best and hope things get better for you.
As per google, “playing cards, traditionally a pack of 78 with five suits, used for fortune-telling and (especially in Europe) in certain games. The suits are typically swords, cups, coins (or pentacles), batons (or wands), and a permanent suit of trumps.”
It’s thought that Tarot originated after the year 1000, during a liminal period in theological history where religions were able to coexist alongside one another. Given that card games were outlawed in the abbeys of France in 1337 (YES I KNOW OK BUT IT’S TRUE) historians suspect their emergence to be within this period of 300 years or so. It was more than possible at this time to see churches, synagogues and mosques co-existing alongside one another.
It contains esoteric symbols from all three of the aforementioned religious practices; visual symbols that hearken to christianity can be seen in Arcana II, V, XI, XIII, XV and XX. The nameless arcana, now called Death, was originally pictured with the hebrew words “Yad-Hay-Vav-Ha” within its skeletal head. The ten sephirot was illustrated on the Hermit’s (IX) chest.
It is possible that sages from all of the aforementioned religions came together to create what is the foundation of the modern tarot, but whether or not this is the true is purely speculative.
What we do know is that in essence, the Tarot is not divination in the sense that it is able to reveal literal future. It is not predictive but psychoanalytical. All prospective futures that may be revealed within a reading are a projection of the subject given their state of mind, not accounting for the circumstances of their life nor the specifics, but dealing with them in the abstract, as they advance through the stages of their life.
Second, Tarot is often interpreted in the modern age in disparate parts. Symbolism and correspondences are attributed with no explanation and relationships between the cards are not elaborated on. But it is meant to be viewed holistically. In this instance, we will look at it within the context of the mandala, a device as Carl Jung would say, that is a representation of the psyche, whose essence is essentially unknown. Thus through the tarot we reveal ourselves, the stages of our lives and the deep energies that govern all of us.
The Art of the Holistic Tarot
Definition: (in Jungian theory) a primitive mental image inherited from the earliest human ancestors, and supposed to be present in the collective unconscious.
The Emperor (V) as the key figure of rationalism. Material. Paternal. The Ruler archetype. The abrahamic god. The energy of the five as active but static in the material plane.
The Knight of Wands as the master of hidden passions. Sublimation of warlike qualities. Freedom from desire; transcendence. Between the numbers 8 and 9, between total perfection and the step forward into crisis. The Creator archetype. Salvador Dali. The God Amun.
The Lovers as the exchange of intimacy. Selfless giving. Companionship. Desire to shape the world in the image of unconditional love. The power of the 6; of beauty, as it mirrors itself. The archetype of the Caregiver. Aphrodite. Princess Diana.
There are 22 major arcana and 56 minor arcana. They can be distinguished on the basis of their composition; in any given deck, the major arcana are usually presented with an individual image that is distinct from all the others and if not outright labeled, given the number of its respective arcana at the bottom or top. The minor arcana on the other hand, tend to feature repeating patterns and symbols within the purview of their respective suits, which may take many shapes and forms depending on the deck.
While I am loosely familiar with in-depth analyses of the classic Tarot of the Marseilles and Rider Waite decks, given the sheer volume and variety of the decks we all read with, I do not believe imparting the specifics would be useful here, save for providing example on how to potentially read different symbolism.
If you have a desire however to go to this level of depth with your deck, take time to reflect on the colors and composition of each card. Take each card of the major arcana and put it side by side in two rows, with the Fool and the World at either end. Look at how the cards align with one another. Is the High Priestess looking at the Empress, or looking away? What does the Hanged Man have behind their back? What colors do you see and do they run together? For simplicity’s sake, I’m going to leave it here, but I’m also going to include a brief table of color correspondences below. I’ll also note that these can be found exactly as I’m presenting them in Jorodowsky’s Way of the Tarot. As can most of the information that I’ll be teaching in this lesson, only in far greater detail.
+ impersonal, wisdom
- sacrifice, death
+ purity, ecstasy, immortality
- mortal chill, egoism
+ receptivity to celestial power
- dependence, immobility
+ receptivity to earthly powers
- despotism, tyranny
+ clairvoyance, active intelligence, awareness
- aridity, cruelty, dryness of mind
+ receptive intelligence
- madness, destruction
+ humanity, carnal pleasure
- materialism , repression
+ animal realm, activity
- criminal violence
+ nature and the celestial
- dependence, envy
+ nature and the terrestrial
- engulfment, absorption
+ creative magma, shadow work
- chaos, repression, death impulse/fatalism
The Minor Arcana are typically divided into four suits, though the content of these suits may vary depending on the deck. For the purposes of this lesson, we will adhere to the basics; pentacles, cups, wands and swords.
There are many ways of dealing with these correspondences, but today we’ll break into down into two categories; correspondences by suit and correspondences by element/energy.
The elements as defined by alchemy are usually the way most define the properties of the four different suits. The results of my method will be similar, but with some nuance. These are intended to be more consistent with the arcana themselves, rather than derived arbitrarily from other, albeit related systems.
The sword is a rational symbol, forged and tempered with care and experience. Thus it harkens back to intelligence, the learning of language and transcendent thought. Swords have the power to test the mettle of a thing, much in the same way our rational intellect may scrutinize the integrity and consistency of an abstract ideal. The element of swords would be air, in this case.
The cup, similar to the christian symbol of a Grail, or the pagan symbol of a chalice, is a tool of receptivity and retention. In antiquity, cups have been used as a symbol for love. Cups represent emotional energy, in that the cup is deeply internalizing. What is poured into the cup may stay, adherent to the shape it’s given. It is emotion used a divine messenger, in this sense, and its reference element would be water.
The wand is not artificially. It grows naturally in the wild, from crystal, gnarled bark or bone. But one can prune and polish it if they choose. Thus it represents growth of sexual or creative power as it occurs naturally in the human being. Sexual magnetism is an independent process, but what we choose to do with this natural state of mind is up to us; do we channel or sublimate it? Or perhaps, we allow it to take the lead. Much in the same way is the element of fire. It occurs as a force its own, but we choose how it is utilized and where it will burn.
The pentacle is solid, material, substantial. Usually represented by a coin, currency or artifact of significant cultural value, it is forged into what it is by human hands. It begins as raw material and is given identity by the choices. Aren’t our human bodies much the same? We are given our base material through biology, but what we do with it is up to us. Thus the pentacles are very much governed by earth energy, physical energy and they often represent the material plane that we inhabit as human beings.
The Diagram of Numerology
Still here with me? Good!
So, we’re about to get started with the numerological aspects of how to read and in particular, decimal numerology.
Why you may ask? Or maybe you didn’t ask. I plan to answer anyway, to further the plot.
Well, from a historical point of view among the most original decks known by man is the Tarot of Marseilles. There is some evidence to suggest that Tarot itself originated in France, though the truth will remain unknown. Regardless, French society itself has a tendency numbers in terms of degrees, particularly the number ten. The major arcana runs in two groupings of ten, excluding the beginnings and endings of the cycles, E.G. arcana zero and arcana twenty one. The number ten is viewed as a number of totality, divided into into ten separate degrees that evolve from one to the next. This creates the basis for relationships that otherwise, the tarot doesn’t have.
So hang on to your hats ladies, gentlemen and non-binary individuals. Now it’s time to pull out a piece of paper.
We’re going to break this down with a diagram. You’ll want the orientation of the paper to be in portrait rather than landscape. Now fold it in half, so that it is split vertically, not horizontally.
You’ve got two halves right? The left side is going to be our receptive side and the right side, our active side. You can label that if you wish, but you don’t have to.
Now fold it again along the horizontal axis. That way it is split into a cross, with four boxes. The top represents heaven (spiritual) and the bottom, earth (material).
Bam. Easy, right?
So we’re about to fold this sucker again. Configure it back into the long rectangle, where it is both horizontally and vertically folded. Now, fold it again, horizontally.
Tadah! If you have four equivalent rectangles on either side of the paper, congratulations. You are an origami champion.
Anyway, now imagine that numbers one and ten are below and above the paper respectively, but not necessarily present. After all, we only have eight squares right? These eight squares are going to represent the eight degrees on our journey through life. All ten degrees will be applicable to the reading of both the major and minor arcana as well as the significance of the hidden degrees, E.G. the energies of the Fool and the World (0 and 21.)
If you have something to write with, go ahead and label the boxes in ascending order from top to bottom, starting on the left side. So it’d be bottom left 2, bottom right 3, then just above 2 goes 4 and ect. You’ll note that all even numbers are on the left and all odd numbers are on the right. Coincidence? I think not!
This represents the organic growth as we grow upwards in the vertical dimension. Humans and plants grow up toward the sky, much in the same way.
The Degrees and their Meaning
If you’re still with me, then good. The mind control ought to be working by now.
Now let’s break down the different degrees and their meaning.
Degree one is represented in the first decimal series by the Magician. A beginner, full of potential. Between choices. Uncertainty. Needing to take the first step into reality. Move to square 2! A newborn child, brought into the world.
The High Priestess. Receptive energy, childhood development. Accumulating knowledge & experience. Gestation. Matter is inert, still growing and changing. Moving toward the realization of identity.
The Empress. Explosive adolescent action. First love, first fight, first real passion. Action with little purpose or direction. Adolescent rebellion. A need to move toward the four, toward adulthood and stability.
The establishment of real material stability. The Emperor. Mastering the material plane. Buying the house, getting the car, establishing a career, a family, a home or the achievement of a material goal. Motionless and capable of great stagnation unless progress is made to the five.
The Pope or the Hierophant. Moving toward the threshold of the heaven square. A passage or a transition into the spiritual or transcendent plane through the temptation of an ideal. A new point of view is achieved. Concern for the Other starts to manifest.
Pleasure, beauty, receptive but transcendent of material considerations. The ultimate artistic positioning in life. Receptive with the danger of becoming narcissistic and self indulgent. In order to continue on, one must move to the action of the seven, rather than hoard the delights of the six. The Lovers.
All forms of global action are engendered here by the Chariot. Humanitarian, artistic or imperial. It can lead to mindless violence, corruption by a static value system and have disastrous consequences. In order for the hero to avoid living long enough to become the villain, they must move to the eight.
Total spiritual and material perfection. Judgement. Perfection in the heaven square. The eighth month of gestation. The judge who is both exacting and wise. There is nothing to be taken away, nothing to be added. But still, the individual must move to the nine in order to complete the cycle, into crisis.
The step off the in this case, literal page. There are no more squares to be had. This is the position of the Hermit. The blind leap of faith. Like a mandala drawn in the sand, the individual must move beyond the perfect balance achieved by the eight into the nine, leaving the sum of all their achievements behind them and prepare for transcendence. To fall back to the eight in this position signifies a fear of death, which has the power to consume them.
The Wheel of Fortune. It is the liminal space between cycles. It is renewal, eternal change, as the wheel continues to turn. The literal card of rebirth. Beginning and end. It is pure karmic energy, the womb from whence we came and where we all inevitably will return. Well…. Figuratively speaking, anyway.
Where do the court cards fit? A question for another day perhaps, but briefly, they are the literal decimals or half steps between the ten degrees. The Page is between two and three, the Queen between four and five, the King between six and seven and the Knight between nine and ten.
These values apply across the board, not just dogmatically to the major arcana. If the six found in the Lovers dictates beauty than this also applies to the six of pentacles, of wands, of swords and of cups. It also applies to the cards in the second decimal series, which carries on into another cycle, the cycle of the old soul, culminating in the card which embodies each phase of evolution; the World.
It begins to give the reader a basis with which to think of the cards beyond arbitrary memorization. For example if in a reading I have a card whose challenged by another card of a lower numeric value, I can safely assume their being held back by energies which are at a lower state of development. However those energies manifest depend on the individual and the context of the reading. As you can see, it begins to build upon relationships within the cards themselves. How would a pentacle feel to be held back the energy of an undeveloped wand? What could it mean to have two cards of different suits of the name numerology at odds with one another? These are the sort of considerations to make during each reading.
In summation to this introduction, which has been a lot of theory I know, one can have a basis from which to start truly deciphering their relationship to the major and minor arcana. Next lesson we’ll be going in depth with the first and second series of the major arcana. I hope to see you all there!
I was researching for my Sheith big bang when stumbled upon this.
Needless to say I was all over this in a second and going through the information and I haven’t seen a post yet so I’ll make one. Quintessence has many names: Aether/Ether in Greece, Akasha in India, Void in Japan and Quintessence in Europa. The base idea is always the same, that quintessence is all around us and is the fundament of everything in existence. It’s usually regarded as the fifth element in alchemy.
(If information is specific to one culture I’ll address it as it would be called in that culture. I’ll use quintessence as a default term.)
In greek mythology aether is what the gods breath, like humans breathe air
Aether is also a deity in greek mythology
Aether is related to a word that means “to incinerate” its intransitive “to burn” “to shine”
heaven is filled with quintessence (aka space)
It was theorized that earth had very little quintessence, which made it vulnerable for celestial influence(I’m guessing they mean natural disasters)
It naturally moves in circles
Quintessence was believed to cure most diseases (nothing is said about injuries tho)
In medieval alchemy quintessence was synonymous with elixir or the philosophers stone (looks over to zarkon)
There’s even an instruction how to obtain quintessence: simply distill alcohol seven times (What a great way to excuse drinking)
Akasha is the first element and created in the astral world
Void is what makes us sentient.
Every martial art ‘superpower’(Chi, Mana, ect.) is based on the concept of Void
Obviously the theory of quintessence in regards to alchemy was debunked in modern day science, but certain parts were carried over by the dark matter researchers and some scientist even applaud how accurate some ideas were. However quintessence was carried over as a force, depending on how it”s charged, can be attractive or repulsive.