Self-Imposed Cruelty And The Gift of Spirit

Something compelled me to use my Thoth deck today and wouldn’t you know it, four Major Arcana cards show up. The fifth card is in the position of challenge and is titled Cruelty. So there you go. Soul influences abound. An overall numerology agrees with the Master Builder number 22 focusing on cosmic law and vision. The Creator is All That Is so everything that exists is a projection of the Mind of the Creator focusing in to know more. Occasionally, the tarot cards remind us of that fact by an abundance of Major cards in a tarot reading. The Magus, The Hierophant, and The Devil comprise the general influences section, assuming there can be one when comprised of such auspicious soul influences. Again, in the position of challenge, we have the 9 of Swords followed by Fortune (Wheel of Fortune in other decks) in the position of support. Interesting that the numerology begins and ends with one, or new beginnings, so Higher Self must be stepping in to shake up our perceptions.

The Thoth Tarot deck was authored by Aleister Crowley and drawn and painted by Lady Frieda Harris. Some of their collaboration took place via letters which Lon Milo Duquette quotes throughout his book, Understanding Aleister Crowley’s Thoth Tarot. Their conversations are fascinating to read and they give insight into their thought patterns as well as their relationship.

Beginning with The Magus, the nude magician appears to balance on Rays of Creation, expressing themselves in the shape of the caduceus. Elemental symbols surround him while a serpent coils around in lemniscate fashion. A blue dove of peace appears in the center of the caduceus above his head, giving the appearance of a crucifixion and in turn transformation. A card of Mercury, The Magus uses his wand to invoke his will while Cynocephalus, the Ape of Thoth taunts his efforts from below. Mercury signifies Elemental Air or our intellectual presence and cautions us to choose our words carefully as perception can distort their meaning. The Magus asks us to visualize what we want and then act. He represents our life force and our manifested will and is the creative force in action.

Within a transparent Merkaba sits The Hierophant, the key of knowledge in one hand, two fingers extended in the other, while a cherub extends its limbs within a pentagram on his chest. A rendition of Venus stands below him, a sword in one hand and a crescent moon in the other. Depicting Venus in Taurus, Harris includes a bull encircling The Hierophant almost as part of a throne. Four Kerubic beasts adorn each corner of the card representing the fixed zodiac signs of Taurus, Aquarius, Scorpio, and Leo while two elephant heads extend above the bull, again, possibly as part of his throne. The backdrop behind The Hierophant’s head depicts a serpent surrounding a flowered design with nine nails piercing its top. The imagery and symbolism are profound on this card. Apparently, Crowley changed the order of the Kerubic beasts to reflect new thinking but I’ll leave that to others who are more well-versed in Kabbalistic symbolism. Irrespective of the changes in symbolism, The Hierophant represents Divine Wisdom and the mastery of structure, tradition, and knowledge. I reject the patriarchal look of the card, however, its aspect as an enlightened teacher resonates.

Moving on with the patriarchal focus of the last card, could The Devil appear more phallic? The smiling goat looks pleased with himself as he stands on two testes containing the female aspect of self on the receptive left and the male aspect of self on the projective right. You’ll note the same sort of caduceus staff from The Magus is placed before the goat, the two snakes no longer arranged in a lemniscate but simply looking out to each side. A card of Capricorn, The Devil asks us to consider the physical aspect of self in form and how we process that experience. The horned goat almost stands suspended over physical form not taking much of it seriously. And maybe that’s the point of The Devil. Perhaps we’re to see the world from a more neutral perspective, without polarity vying for position. We determine our experiences, not the other way around.

Before moving on to what challenges and supports us, let’s review the general influences. So far, it seems that the proper use of will is suggested. Visualize what we want, with mastery as our foundation, choose the experience, create with our will. So it’s on each one of us to create the experiences we wish to have.

We think the world is outside of us when the world itself wouldn’t exist without our observation or perception of it. The 9 of Swords is titled Cruelty but it’s not cruelty from others to which this card refers but to the negative self-talk in which we tend to engage. Nine swords point downward into form, blood dripping from their tips reflecting our own willing descent into madness and illusion. We are bound by our own thoughts possibly experiencing some loss we cannot release from. In this position, the 9 of Swords cautions us to keep our focus off of the illusion and refuse to let our thoughts take us into the abyss.

We come to an Egyptian or Babylonian feeling with Fortune in the position of support. We also return to the numerology of one or new beginnings. My mother used to tell me, this too shall pass whenever I believed I couldn’t control the outcome of something. She was correct, of course, Taurean that she was but essentially she was talking about the cyclical nature of life. In Fortune, we see lightning bolts emerging from large geometric stars radiating downward. A wheel is surrounded by a sphinx, a crocodile, and what may be a lion. Duquette refers to the crocodile and lion as Typhon and Hermanubis respectively although the lion doesn’t look much like an Anubis. The idea expressed by this card is to understand that in observation, we experience the ebb and flow of life and the realization that circumstances often find their own resolution. It’s not that we won’t have an effect on our world. No, we do that each time we observe and name it. But if we observe too long, we can become stuck in that experience and forget to have any others, particularly if the situation is upsetting or seemingly beyond our control.

Our real Fortune is experienced in allowing life to unfold more than reacting to its effects. And that may be the overall interpretation of the cards today, to allow more and react less. Empaths understand this notion after they become so involved in other people’s thoughts and emotions that they can’t find peace. We learn the adage, observe instead of absorb, in an effort to remain soul-centered instead of personality-centered for when we do that, we control how we experience the world instead of everyone else’s emotions controlling us. But here’s the thing. Whether someone is an empath or not, we all can benefit from controlling where we place our thoughts, our focus.

We’re moving into both a planetary and soul ascension. Some say the earth has already moved from third density to the fourth. And others are saying that instead of our moving into fourth along with the planet, many will become fifth density. This is not to be confused with dimensions, however. Density and dimension are not the same. I view dimensions as layers in the multiverse and density our level of coalescence into form, with higher densities having the ability to choose whether or not to even manifest form.

It’s vital as the old energy finishes that we all stay focused on a soul-centered existence, letting Spirit guide our interactions with others. We need to move past the polarity of third density existence. We don’t need this anymore. We can understand that we are one in Spirit, one in the Creator, and we can let that truth govern everything we say and do. Conflict can now be replaced with harmony as we let go of a level of disunity that is false and cruel and has never served us. Today’s reading is full of soul abundance and love of Spirit. It’s a gift that is ever-present. All it takes is a small shift in focus to experience it.

Blessed Be

Originally published at on February 8, 2018.

Blogger at Empath✵Witch✵Reiki Master✵Kenpo✵Herbalist — Author of Shifting Perception and more…

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

The beauty of Heaven.

Prayer and Suffering: The Pilgrim’s Way

When God Became a Father

Correspondences for Working Magick on Thursday, 16 December 2021


Who is the woman at the well in the Bible?

Woman at the Well — Tony Maritis

Faith Evokes Amazing Results

Leo Moon ~ 6–8 June 2019

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Jan Erickson

Jan Erickson

Blogger at Empath✵Witch✵Reiki Master✵Kenpo✵Herbalist — Author of Shifting Perception and more…

More from Medium

Cards with words on them are a substitute for clairaudience.. Change my mind!

My Favorite Pick-A-Card Tarot Reader

Beware the Enlightened Narcissist

Profile of a woman in the desert with a light, sky blue head band. Her eyes are closed. Her left hand, with a tatooed wrist is raised against her forehead pointing up. Her right hand is supporting it.

WILD times on planet Earth — A conversation with The Spiritual Hooligan