Those wonderful Tarot aces

Tarot aces are powerful cards. Even so, I often think of them as similar to unborn children that, until birth and the unfolding of their lives are, pure potential as yet unknowable and unmanifest. In the Qabalistic Tree of Life, they are associated with Kether at the top of the tree which is also unknowable and unmanifest.

The aces represent the classic elements, Fire (Wands), Water (Cups), Air (Swords), and Earth (Disks). So, when one appears in a reading, as something unmanifest of course, you know that Fire elements are generally seen as creative and imaginative, Water as emotion and feeling, Air as intellectual and logical, and Earth as material and the body.

So, what we see at first glance is that the ace of a suit represents possibilities within the realm of its classic element that unimpeded end up as the princess of that suit. (As DuQuette says in his Thoth tarot book, we worship the ace and adore the princess.) Inasmuch as the aces are usually considered the roots/seeds of the powers of Fire, Water, Air, and Earth, the numbered–as yet to manifest cards–are contained within their aces rather than below them in some hierarchy.

As the initial potential on the Tree of Life exists within Kether (the crown or point) and is not manifest until the sephira Chokmah, the potential with an ace is not manifest prior to the two of the suit. The progression through the numbered cards is the same as the progression through the sephira of the Tree of Life. Suffice it to say, understanding the energy of each sephira as well as the paths between them, helps us understand the cards.

I agree with those who say that reading cards is primarily intended to help one develop his/her psychic abilities rather than predicting the future. Either way, I think a lot of readers have trouble with the aces because dealing with potentialities seems foggier than working with where that potential first arrived in the world we can see, hear, taste, and touch.  That is, we see potential as uncertainty rather than a direction.

I identify strongly with the classic element of Air, most especially the knight (king in most decks), and appreciate the possible futures associated with the Swords suit. Each of us, I think, has a suit of preference. We know it intuitively. The challenge for the reader is applying the intuition that comes so easily for one ace to the aces of the other three suits.



Constantly re-designing my website

My boredom with everything static drives me to constantly tinker with my web site.  It’s definitely eccentric because–so I have been told (or accused of)–I am eccentric. I suppose when it comes down to the why of the website, it’s a continuing attempt to find kindred spirits, those most likely to read my novels.

What I’ve done here is added two Tarot cards from the Swords suit in the Thoth deck, the ace and the Knight (called the king in other decks). Swords represent the various aspects of the Air element, and I am very partial to this. The ace is the beginning, the first thought/idea: as I look at the world (and magic) the ace comes before everything else. The knight is my “personal card” in the deck, representing the analytical trickster.

According to Biddy Tarot, “The Suit of Swords Tarot cards deal with the mental level of consciousness that is centered around the mind and the intellect. Swords mirror the quality of mind present in your thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs.” I like this way of looking at swords.

Raven Tarot, a wonderful site for those who use the Thoth deck, says, “So the Swords represent the qualities of intellect and rationality, but also to every considerated achievement like culture, science, philosophy or any ongoing process that later ends up as ‘history’. This almost explains by itself why the Swords can be blessing and malediction the same time.” I also like this way of viewing the suit.

These symbols on the website obviously mean something to those who read or study Tarot cards and the associated Tree of Life. Like a tuning fork that causes a nearby tuning fork to vibrate at the same frequency, I believe these symbols are also a calling card to like-minded people who may have little or know knowledge of the Tarot. The images of the cards speak of magic, of course, and a way of seeing the world outside our consual view of reality. Those are the prospective readers of my books.

Does the site sell any books? Hard to say. If so, that’s good. If not, then my point of view is “out there” and (for me) that’s more important than the books.


Starting the next novel

When I read about Hollywood film productions, I’m amazed at the number of years it takes for a production company to go from the purchase of the initial story to the completion of production. Some novelists are like that, moving at a snail’s pace–like Susanna Clarke and Donna Tartt. Others juggle multiple ideas at a time and are hard at work on the next novel before the last completed novel is even in print.

Fate’s Arrows hasn’t met its stride yet in terms of readers, editions (we’re working on the audiobook), or critical and reader reviews. So, I almost feel like I’m cheating on it to be starting a new novel already. Seriously, though, I need to start working on Aeon before I lose my nerved.

Aeon will be the third in my “Mountain Journeys Series” that includes The Sun Singer and Sarabande.  The Sun Singer had an avatar who is presumed dead. For years, I didn’t think I knew enough magic to write the third novel from his point of view. I still don’t, so I’ll have to fake it and proceed at a Donna Tartt rather than a James Paterson pace.

The name of the novel comes from the 20th major arcana card in the Thoth Tarot deck. According to Raven’s tarot site, a nice reference for those who use the Thoth deck,  “The Aeon is the symbol for the Rise of Phoenix, it stands for a time of insight, the true understanding of the circle of life, of growing and fading. The card tells us that we should leave our ‘frog perspective’ and watch the things from a higher level, that the time has come to face the new, that we need a good overview to build our ‘Utopia’.”

Fortunately, readers won’t need to know anything about the Tarot to understand the novel. Like the earlier novels in the series, Aeon will be contemporary fantasy, focussing primarily on a civil war in an alternate universe. Even though the avatar has grown too old for this sort of thing, he has to return to that universe because that’s where his daughter and his grandson live.

I’ve been reading through The Sun Singer and Sarabande to make sure I don’t get the continuity or the characters messed up. And, I’ve been updating my research notes about Glacier National Park where the novels are set. Okay, I guess I can’t delay writing the first chapter any longer.

I wonder if other writers who group their books into series go through all this hassle making sure they have everything right before they start the next book. I’m sure James Patterson has a team who keeps up with the continuity. Well, he can afford them. Here in my den, it’s just me, two cats, and a mess on my desk.