Seasonal Cycles and the Tarot (A Solar Magic Square discovery)

Welcome to the Spring Equinox Tarot Blog Hop. Or as I like call it--"Reading Tarot with the help of a cat." For those who are reading more than just my blog, here are the links that you need to navigate the rest of the Tarot Blog Hop.

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Without further ado. . .

For this Tarot Blog Hop, we were given two topics—for those who have two blogs—or as I am going to call the topics, “The bread that surrounds whatever my muse wanted to write about.”

And while I have another blog—I am no longer supporting it with new posts because my writing style has changed—so both topics are going to be done right here. It is not ambition—I just like to talk.

The first topic was "Out of the whole deck, what card or cards would you say represent you either professionally or personally? As always these are just guides, if your muse wants to play about and take you on a journey that is perfect, as long as its within the refrain of the topic, be as free as you like."

Some gratuitous cat leg. . .
Who I am.  . .
"I am so sad. Dad said that the cards were more important. . ."

Awhile back, I started to have a set answer for this question: The Eight of Discs (Pentacles). This answer is based on my birthdate and how Golden Dawn assigned Tarot cards to the thirty-six decans.

What is a decan?

A decan is a ten degree span of zodiac. Golden Dawn assigned the Two through Ten numbered cards of the Minor Arcana. Each decan is also given a classic planet Sub-Ruler. This Sub-Ruler and the ten degrees help determine the Golden Dawn meaning of the card, as well as determining a range of dates for “When is this going to happen?” questions.

Factors that determine a Tarot card meaning in Golden Dawn

Astrological correspondence
Kabbalistic correspondence
Elemental correspondence
Magical/Mystic Title “Lord/Lady of XYZ.”

One of the peculiarities of Golden Dawn Tarot reading is that Reverse meanings are generally ignored, with the cards surrounding the card affecting its meaning. For instance a Water card preceeded and followed by Fire cards would be considered to be Weakened.

Another peculiarity is that Golden Dawn is big on Table Arrangements—using the entire tabletop and often the whole Tarot deck in a Tarot reading. To count down on the general ruckus and confusion that such a Table reading creates in the inexperienced, Golden Dawn uses a counting system to determine whose cards are read and in what order, and uses a Signifactor to determine where you start counting from. The easiest Signifactor to use is the readee’s birthcard (decan system). Being born at the beginning of September, my birthcard would be the Eight of Pentacles.

By the way, this method is how Tarot was read when only the Major Arcana had pictures of people doing stuff, and before the Celtic Cross become the standard beginner spread.

Back to the Eight of Pentacles

The general image of the Eight of Pentacles fits me pretty well, I think. The worker creating multiple copies of a product (pentacle) sums up so much of my work history—I spent a couple of decades working in food service, of the fast food variety, an industry that produces copy after copy of the exact same thing. (Amusing fact, one of the companies only made a dime [ten cents] when a customer ordered the combo meal, but we served a metric ton of them everyday—not to mention the profit that “bigifying” creates.) It was during this time that I first started writing erotica—another industry where heavy carbon copying happens.

Am I still in a Xerox industry? Hell, yeah. As I write this, I am watching my wife underglazing marijuana themed pottery (when the pottery is done—I take the photos which I treat kinda like a assembly line operation); this is a typical day for me—I do a lot of writing in the studio—and what am I trying to write? Oh yeah, something that will crack the top thousand sales rank on Amazon in the sci-fi category. It is called Writing To Market—and it is just like making sandwiches, except that I am using My Words.

So for the purposes of this hop, I brought a brand new Tarot deck (Meta-Barons Tarot—Jodorowski and Gimenez), and just had to laugh when I saw the Eight of Pentacles. In this deck, it is a grey bearded man surrounded by scientific instruments looking down upon a woman with some brain-tech interface. Why is this amusing? Because I, a grey bearded man, am writing a science fiction story about a country ruled by women who have a monopoly on a type of cerebral implant. Yeah, I might be in the Eye of the Muse at the moment.

(Eye of the Muse is what I have started to call the coincidences that start to crop up when I am headed in the right writing direction and the writing is flowing. It is just like having a conversation with the universe.)

Besides the Eight of Pentacles, I also pulled a random card—XIX—The Sun. . . which description in the Little White Booklet is: “The Sun—The Tree of Philodendra. On the capital planet of an ancient real grows the oldest tree in the galaxy. Under the Sun, gold reveals its own light. Energy—fertility—wealth—solution to problems. . .

Gee, I am writing about the oldest Egyptian in a fictional world that started off with me addressing a World-Build problem by asking “Why can’t I just give the Ancient Egyptians rockets and make them the top of the scientific/technological pyramid?” And the first book, well the one that inspired the fictional world of Icarus, taking part on a spaceship called the Yggdrasil.

What is cuter than a kitten in a box?

Tigger and the Tarot

My new kitten (he is eight months) rushes over whenever I pull out my cards. Ain’t he a cute kitten? And more important than doing a Tarot reading? He thinks so.

And he is right.

I am very thankful that I have a new kitten to entertain and cheer me up. The writing some days have been a physical struggle—well, when I am working on the damn Golden Dawn book—I walk away exhausted both physically and emotionally after such a work day. Okay, some days with Icarus also. . .
(Why? Because I am struggling with “What a book in this field should sound like” and “What I really sound like?”)

Tigger and his brother showed up in my life about the same time that I started working in the Icarus universe. I call him my Care-Bear Kitty. Part of the Eye, maybe?

A Solar Magic Square Discovery

Now for our scheduled tangent where Morgan talks about something that he thought of when he started to think about Spring themed Tarot decks.

Back in the summer of 2015, I attended a lecture by Austin Coppock at a local Tarot convention. During the lecture, Coppock said that he noticed that there are thirty-six decan cards and that there are thirty-six cells on the magic square of the Sun. “Is there a connection?” Austin Coppock mentioned that he had thought about placing the decan cards on the solar magic square to see if it revealed anything interesting. I am not sure if Austin Coppock ever got around to doing this thought experiment. . .

But I know that I did. After all, my Sun is in Virgo—one of my hobbies is to create color grids of occult correspondences.
Magic Square of the Sun and its Seal
Golden Dawn association of decans to the Tarot
All the data. . .
The part of interest--the red Mars line.

What I learned was that when you place the decan cards onto the solar square using the astrological correspondences that the Golden Dawn assigns that cards is that you end up with the Mars Sub-Ruled Decans on one of the X-lines of the square—all six of them! The other X-line of the magical seal of the solar square ends up in one decan each for the other six classic planets.

Does this mean anything? Probably not—it is probably just one of those weird little coincidences that mean absolutely nothing. But I like it.

There is also the little fact that Golden Dawn’s reason for the last decan of Pisces and the first decan of Aries both having Mars as their sub-ruler is that Spring needs a little extra energy to get started. Nevertheless, we can reasonably assume that the result of plugging the decans cards into the solar magic square is merely coincidence. . . though I plan on experimenting with it further.

Spring themed Tarot decks

I don’t have one.

And even if I did, it would be packed up with the rest of the library—remodeling and all.
So I went to Spiritways, the local occult shop, and brought a new Tarot deck—the logic being if I brought the Tarot deck in the springtime, that makes it a Spring Tarot deck. . .

Then I saw the oracle deck Smoke and Roses—A Steampunk of Languages (Oliva Wylie) which I brought to play with while exploring the second theme we were given for this Tarot Blog Hop.

Secret Recipe

The second theme we were given for this Hop: "Shuffle and randomly choose a card out of a deck that you feel is connected to the Spring Equinox. Please briefly mention in your blog what deck you used and why you feel it conjures up feelings of Spring for you. Now, imagine cracking an egg open and you find the card that you randomly choose inside of it. The card is your secret ingredient. Your source of inspiration. The challenge is to create a recipe that describes the energy of the card. Please don’t forget to mention what secret ingredient that card represents for you! For example, let’s say I got the Star card. My secret ingredient might be star shaped pasta, starfruit or could be something that inspires hope!"

The card I pulled for this theme was Forgetting—Lotus. To which I said, “I don’t get it.” Then I pulled two more cards: Forgiveness—Hyacinth and Fascination—Fern; which I also said “I still don’t get it.” I followed this by what we all do with our personal readings—I thought about it over the course of a couple of days. Now, I think that I am ready to write about the second theme.

Except that it is not about food.

My recent writing struggle

As I have mentioned, recently I have had some rough writing days, and I think the Secret Recipe cards are referring to that. Because it is not like I plan on doing any actual cooking that does not involve meat and a BBQ grill. . .

Some more sexy kitten paw--ain't we lucky?
So recently the voices of other people have been clamoring in my head. You know those nasty judgemental voices that we pick up from our family, our friends, our professors, other successful writers--you know the voices that say, "You are not doing this right. And if you insist on continuing to write this way, you are not going to sell a single copy." The voice of judgement that stops the writing dead in its tracks.

This is what I think the cards are trying to tell me:

Forgetting--as in forgetting all the silly rules that I have read about what makes a book sell-able. And I also need to quit comparing myself to the indie super-stars--because I did not grow up with them, so my competition is more along the lines of Robert Heinlein and well. . .

Forgiveness--as in forgiving myself for not sounding like a mainstream writer, or even a serious sci-fi writer. And then there is my occult writing--yikes! No, I sound more like Douglas Adams or Terry Pratchett--both of which were unique voices. And sometimes unique voice and universe count for far more than checking off all the lists of advice that writers get.

Fascination--as in I should stick with what excites me. For instance, I have been despairing because I am not good at conlangs (constructing languages), but I am fascinated with World Building. And the fact that my new writing voice flows so well when I am not fighting it tooth and nail.

Well, how I choose to read those cards--and having an unique writing voice could be my secret sauce of success.

Or at least, I hope that it helps.

Seasonal Tarot cards

One of the things that I thought about a lot during the month before I actually wrote this post is that I can't think of any Tarot deck that the seasons are reflected in. Oh, there is an odd card here and there, but I can't name a deck where the Wheel of the Year is a focus.

How the Wiccan Sabbats and the decan cards match up in Golden Dawn.
If I was to design such a deck--as if I don't have enough ideas already--I think that I would want to drop the changing of the seasons into the thirty-six decan cards. A project for another day. . .

For those who wanted food--this is as close as you are going to get

Eggs full of glitter and other fun stuff--the fairies in my yard would love this.
This showed up in my Facebook newsfeed when I hopped over to copy the links to the Tarot Blog Hop stuff. I would think about using this idea for a public ritual, but given the fact that we would have to clean it up before leaving. . .

And finally one last kitten picture. . .

Thanks for reading--you come back now, you hear?

For those who are curious about how the other bloggers talked about these themes, here are some useful links to help you navigate the Hop:

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Master List

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Do you blog about the Tarot? Oracles? Want to take part in the Tarot Blog Hop? If you are willing to commit to doing three Tarot Blog Hops a year--you can sign up here: Tarot Blog Hop--the Cat Herding Group.


  1. What a very handsome cat! I love the idea of being in the Eye of the Muse and want to spend as much time there as possible! Fascinating Sun square. Yes -- changing of the seasons through the decan sequence rather than the suits -- yes yes yes!


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