Monday, April 19, 2010

Musical Tarot, revisited

A few months ago, I wondered aloud in the Book of Thoth blog about which popular songs (mainly from what's known as the "Classic Rock" era, but others too) would correspond to the individual Tarot cards. It was more of an associative exercise, you know..."this card makes me think of this", etc.

Anyway, I first considered the trump cards (Major Arcana) in one post, then the court cards in another, then the rest of the deck. I thought I'd recycle the material here in one consolidated post, for your perusal. As I have the most experience with the Thoth Tarot, that's how I thought of the attributions, and that's also how I have them listed.

0. Fool - "The Fool on the Hill", the Beatles
I. Magus (Magician) - "The Wizard", Black Sabbath
II. Priestess - "Witchy Woman", the Eagles
III. Empress - "God Save the Queen", the Sex Pistols
IV. Emperor - "Tyrant", Judas Priest
V. Hierophant - "Waitin' for the Man", Lou Reed
VI. Lovers - "Jack and Diane", John Cougar Mellencamp
VII. Chariot - "Highway Star", Deep Purple
VII. Adjustment (Justice) - "Hard Rain", Bob Dylan
IX. Hermit - "Nowhere Man", the Beatles
X. Fortune - "Proud Mary", Creedence Clearwater Revival
XI. Lust (Strength) - "Burning for You", Blue Oyster Cult
XII. Hanged Man - "Trapped", Bruce Springsteen
XIII. Death - "Bohemian Rhapsody", Queen
XIV. Art (Temperance) - "Chemistry", Rush
XV. Devil - "Sympathy for the Devil", Rolling Stones
XVI. Tower - "Rock the Casbah", the Clash
XVII. Star - "Imagine", John Lennon
XVIII. Moon - "Man on the Moon", REM
XIX. Sun - "Hot Fun in the Summertime", Sly and the Family Stone
XX. Aeon (Judgement) - "War Pigs", Black Sabbath
XXI. Universe (World) - "Across the Universe", the Beatles

Suit of WANDS

Ace - "Eclipse", Pink Floyd
2 - Dominion - "My Prerogative", Bobby Brown
3 - Virtue - "Lucky Man", Emerson Lake and Palmer
4 - Completion - "In my Time of Dying", Led Zeppelin
5 - Strife - "Seven Nation Army", White Stripes
6 - Victory - "We are the Champions", Queen
7 - Valor - "New Year's Day", U2
8 - Swiftness - "Spirit of the Radio", Rush
9 - Strength - "Right Here, Right Now", Fatboy Slim
10 - Oppression - "Under My Thumb", the Rolling Stones
Princess - "Desire", U2
Prince - "Sleep Now in the Fire", Rage Against the Machine
Queen - "Crush with Eyeliner", REM
Knight - "Fire", the Jimi Hendrix Experience

Suit of SWORDS

Ace - "Breathe", Pink Floyd
2 - Peace - "Peace Train", Cat Stevens
3 - Sorrow - "Mother", John Lennon & Plastic Ono Band
4 - Truce - "Can We Still be Friends?", Todd Rundgren
5 - Defeat - "Whipping Post", the Allman Brothers Band
6 - Science - "Come Sail Away", Styx
7 - Futility - "Holiday", Green Day
8 - Interference - "Satisfaction", the Rolling Stones
9 - Cruelty - "Ohio", Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young
10 - Ruin - "Cities on Flame", Blue Oyster Cult
Princess - "Dolly Dagger", Jimi Hendrix
Prince - "The Rooster", Alice in Chains
Queen - "Long Cool Woman", the Hollies
Knight - "Street Fightin' Man", the Rolling Stones

Suit of DISKS

Ace - "Money", Pink Floyd
2 - Change - "Champagne Supernova", Oasis
3 - Works - "Back on the Chain Gang", the Pretenders
4 - Power - "Stand!", Sly and the Family Stone
5 - Worry - "When the Levee Breaks", Led Zeppelin
6 - Success - "Tubthumping", Chumbawamba
7 - Failure - "Go Your Own Way", Fleetwood Mac
8 - Prudence - "All Around my Hat", Steeleye Span
9 - Gain - "More More More", the Andrea True Connection
10 - Wealth - "Baby You're a Rich Man", the Beatles
Princess - "Polythene Pam", the Beatles
Prince - "Take the Money and Run", Steve Miller Band
Queen - "Strange Kind of Woman", Deep Purple
Knight - "Taxman", the Beatles

Suit of CUPS

Ace - "Us and Them", Pink Floyd
2 - Love - "No Ordinary Love", Sade
3 - Abundance - "Material Girl", Madonna
4 - Luxury - "Life's been Good", Joe Walsh
5 - Disappointment - "Who'll Stop the Rain?" - Credence Clearwater Revival
6 - Pleasure - "Can't Get Enough", Bad Company
7 - Debauch - "Snowblind", Black Sabbath
8 - Indolence - "Comfortably Numb", Pink Floyd
9 - Happiness - "Wonderful World", Louis Armstrong
10 - Satiety - "Piggies", the Beatles
Princess - "Going Down to Liverpool", Katrina and the Waves
Prince - "Space Oddity", David Bowie
Queen - "Spill the Wine", Eric Burdon
Knight - "Fool in the Rain", Led Zeppelin

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tools Helpful to Connecting With Deity

Being a practicing pagan means that I apply my beliefs in my life with intent. I don’t only sit around discussing with other pagans the grand ideas of our shared spiritual path but instead I do what I say and say what I do. I live my spirituality each and every day whether it is through casual conversations with deity or a more formal esbat ritual. A simple illustration of this idea is that of the Kitchen Witch who considers herself a practicing pagan. She prepares the meals for the family herself, as apposed to handing each of them a cereal bar for breakfast, McDonald’s for lunch and Chinese Take-Out for dinner. This, in my belief, makes her a practicing Kitchen Witch. This is what I strive to attain for myself and my family as it feels right and true for me.

I believe that each of us live differently – we travel a path forged uniquely by us for us and each path is good and each is right for the individual traveling it. It is because of this that each of us practice our particular flavor of paganism differently. I think it would be difficult to pin point exactly what is needed for each pagan to possess in order to connect to deity in a mutually satisfying manner however, I do believe that there are things that we all could benefit from.

While it is true that none of us need a vast array of items such as; numerous pieces of jewelry, an athame, wand, pentacle, chalice, cauldron, books or even an altar; it is my belief that we do need tools – at least in the beginning and I feel that even as an advance practitioner tools are helpful to keep us focused on the task at hand; be that a spell, meditation or ritual.

I believe that there are just two non-physical necessities: intent and will. Intent being the firmly fixed concentration on connecting to something and will being the desire to achieve this task. If there is the absence of either or both then there will be no connection with deity attained ever.

Some other tools that I feel are helpful for the practicing pagan:

Physical journal, Book of Shadows or online journal – With a journal you are able to track what it is you intend and how you plan to achieve it. You are able to record ingredients needed in spells, the steps in a planned ritual, dreams you remember and insights on experiences and situations as well as your ideas about your spirituality.

Music – Sound is a powerful tool whether it is experienced by your own voice, the voice of others, a musical instrument or your own hands or feet. Sound is energy that is composed of frequencies which can align us with divine energy. When you manipulate sound in a harmonious way you create music. What better way to align yourself with deity?

Language – To communicate with others as well as deity, requires some form of language be it sound, gestures, signs or marks. Once you give something a name or label you have empowered it. Language aids will in fulfilling intent. Personally, I am comfortable with words so this is the medium I choose to utilize. Words hold power.

Focal point – In order to remain focused on your intent it is helpful to have something to drawn your eyes to or gaze at when you are actively communicating with deity. This is especially true if you are challenged by the idea of visualization.
Your focal point can be anything that you feel reminds you of your chosen deity; a statue, a candle or an item of nature.

Sacred space – Created through intention and will sacred space is a place of peace and tranquility, a place between the worlds, beyond the bounds of time. It is an environment filled with energies that support and raise your inner and outer self to benefit your highest good, a place where all are one. This space can be a permanent area such as a cleansed and consecrated temple or an outside Circle that has been temporarily cleansed and consecrated for magickal workings. I am of the opinion that it is also a state of Being which can be accessed by donning a robe or other ritual garb allowing you to shift your consciousness to it. However it is you access your sacred space it is necessary in opening the channel of communication between deity and yourself.

Personal interaction with others – Though this is written for the Solitary Pagan the emphasis on personal interaction with others should not be overlooked. We all hold within ourselves the sacred being that is connected to the Divine; to ignore that would be to ignore a piece of ourselves. This interaction need not be lengthy but it should be done in person. The availability of information on the internet has aided Solitary Pagans in becoming just that – isolated and alone. Public rituals, classes, meetings, study Circles or social gatherings are all acceptable venues to achieve the purpose of connecting to other sacred beings.

These are the tools that I deem helpful to the Solitary Pagan but they are not the end all be all. Individuals may find there are other tools or items that they cannot do without when connecting to deity and, I would not argue otherwise. This does not mean that I do not find jewelry, athames, wands, pentacles, chalices, cauldrons, books or even altars without purpose. In fact, I have each of these items and they enhance and enrich my pagan practice however, if tomorrow they disappeared from existence, I would still possess the tools that I recognize as necessary for me to practice my own brand of paganism.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Selene, Goddess of the Moon

Selene was the Greek Goddess of the moon, or the moon personified into a divine being. She was daughter of Hyperion and Theia, and sister to Helios and Eos. She was often depicted as a woman on a horse or a horse drawn chariot. Her lunar crescent was depicted as a crown upon her head. There was a number of Goddesses associated with the moon, but Selene was the only one who was thought to be the moons divine incarnate.

In the Greek calendar, each month began with the new moon, and was divided into three ten day periods between the moons cycles. The first ten days were presided over by the waxing moon, the next ten the near full and full moon, and the last ten by the waning moon. Festivals and rituals were measured in the cycles of the moon.

Homeric Hymn to Selene:
"Long-winged Selene . . . at eventime in the mid-month : then her great orbit is full and then her beams shine brightest as she increases. So she is a sure token and a sign to mortal men."

Hymn from Sappho to Selene:
"Selene (the Moon) was coming in to view in her fullness, and when the women took their position round the altar."

These among many other hymns describe Selene in her moon form, and how she affects people and activities throughout the month. Many ancient cultures lived their lives around the phases of the moon. As many Goddess worshipers and witches do today.

To celebrate Selene, call on her on the full moon. Feel her ancient bright light shining down on you, absorb its sacred feminine energies.

The following is a prayer to Selene, you can pray to her with white lit candles and sandalwood incense burning (the scent of the moon).

The gleaming stars all about the shining moon
Hide their bright faces, when full-orbed and splendid
In the sky she floats, flooding the shadowed earth
With clear silver light.

Now rose the moon, full and silver,
While round stood the maidens, as at a shrine.
Thus sometimes, the women, tender footed,
Dance in measure round the fair altar,
Crushing the fine bloom of the grass.

Come hither moon goddess, Selene, come,
And in golden goblets pour richest nectar
All mixed in most ethereal perfection,
Thus to delight us.

Blessings )O(

Image courtesy of : Josephine Wall