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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Journey Through My Decks: 9 of Pentacles (Disks)

Aleister Crowley Thoth Tarot
Nine of Disks
Gain / Venus in Virgo

Aleister Crowley Thoth Tarot

As I may have remarked before, I am far from an expert on Crowley or his Thoth Tarot. I beg your indulgence as I share insights from Crowley himself as well as other sources who have studied this deck in far more detail than I.

According to Ptolemy's Table of Essential Dignities*, Venus (love, affection, pleasure, beauty, relationships) is in its fall in Virgo, a mutable Earth sign known for being industrious, discriminating, critical, and logical. A planet is in its fall when it is in the sign opposite to one where it is exalted (Venus is exalted in Pisces). When a planet is in its fall, it works with the least strength. However, according to Michael Osiris Snuffin (The Thoth Companion / Llewellyn Worldwide): “this detrimental relationship is not reflected in the symbolism of this card, nor does it affect the overall meaning.”

Snuffin also tells us that “The central disks represent the influence of the three most fertile planets: rose for the Sun, green for Venus, and blue for the Moon.” These colors mingle where they intersect, giving a sense of fertility and abundance. Snuffin notes that the patchwork background “resembles cultivated fields ready for harvest.”

Of the Nine of Disks, Crowley writes: "It shows good luck attending material affairs, favour and popularity." Emily Peach calls it the card of "easy money." However, with Venus being weak in Virgo, I think perhaps the material gain indicated by the Nine of Disks doesn't come solely through "happy chance." Rather, I feel diligent effort and good management play a role. (Virgo is ruled by Mercury, planet of intelligence and perception.) Venus does convey a sense of appreciation for what has been gained as well as a bit of luck on the front end of things.

Book T refers to the Nine of Disks as The Lord of Material Gain and attributes it to Venus in Virgo (central decan = 101 to 201). Divinatory Meanings given in Book T are "complete realization of material gain, good, riches; inheritance; covetous; treasuring of goods; and sometimes theft and knavery." The "covetous...theft and knavery" part becomes easier to understand when we note that Venus represents that which we appreciate, value, or love. Taken to extremes (or ill-dignified in a tarot spread), we can see these traits becoming covetousness or envy to the point where an individual will do anything to possess what he "appreciates, values, or loves," including stealing it from someone else.

Always looking on the bright side, Banzhaf and Theler describe the astrological attributes of the Nine of Disks as "Fortune (Venus) brings in the harvest (Virgo)." They write that the card encourages "trusting in one's luck" and discourages "failing to bring in the profit at the right time."

Crowley's Nine of Disks (along with the other Nines in the deck) is associated with Yesod -- The Foundation -- on the Tree of Life. Crowley writes: "The number Nine, Yesod, inevitably brings back the balance of Force in fulfilment." Yesod's virtue is Independence; its vice is Idleness.

Gerd Ziegler tells us that in the painting of this card, Frieda Harris "portrayed the three-way relationship between herself, Crowley, and his friend Israel Regardie. The six planet symbols bear their three faces. . . Crowley's face appears on Saturn and Jupiter. . . Regardie's head appears on Mars and Mercury. . . Harris painted her own face on the Moon and Venus."

As a Daily Card, this Nine of Disks encourages me to explore my own definition of "Gain" and its application to my life. How can I, through "chance and management" (Kaplan), not only increase my resources but put them to the best use?

Please note: My astrological keywords are based on a wide range of sources accessed over a period of many years. They are readily available from basic astrology books or on the internet.

* as presented in An Introduction to Astrology by William Lilly. Copyright 1972 by Newcastle Publishing Co., Inc. ISBN 0-87877-014-3.
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Sources:

  • Aleister Crowley Thoth Tarot Deck, Designed by Aleister Crowley, Painted by Lady Frieda Harris, Instructions by James Wasserman. Copyright 1978, 1983, 1987 by Stuart R. Kaplan and Donald Weiser. U.S.Games Systems, Inc. and AGMüller & Cie. ISBN 0-88079-308-2.
  • Book of Thoth by Aleister Crowley, Frieda Harris (Illustrator). Publisher: Samuel Weiser, Inc., 1996. ISBN: 0-87728-268-4. (No copyright date or information is given in my copy.)
  • Book T - The Tarot, Comprising Manuscripts N, O, P, Q, R, and an Unlettered Theoricus Adeptus Minor Instruction. A Description of the Cards of the Tarot with their Attributions; Including a Method of Divination by Their Use. A public domain manuscript.
  • The Only Astrology Book You’ll Ever Need by Joanna Martine Woolfolk. Copyright 1982, 1990 by Joanna Maartine Woolfolk. Scarborough House/Publishers. ISBN 0-8128-8506-6. 
  • Tarot for Tomorrow by Emily Peach. Copyright 1988 by Emily Peach. The Aquarian Press. ISBN 0-85030-466-0.
  • Tarot, Mirror of the Soul (Handbook for the Aleister Crowley Tarot) by Gerd Ziegler. Copyright 1988 by Red Wheel/Weiser and Urania Verlags AG. ISBN 0-87728-683-3.
  • Keywords for the Crowley Tarot by Hajo Banzhaf and Brigitte Theler. English translation copyright 2001 by Weiser Books. ISBN 1-57863-173-4.
  • The Aquarian Qabalah by Naomi Ozaniec. Copyright 8 2003 by Naomi Ozaniec. Watkins Publishing, 2003. ISBN 1-84293-047-8.
  • The Thoth Companion by Michael Osiris Snuffin. Copyright 2007 by Michael Osiris Snuffin. Llewellyn Worldwide. ISBN 978-0-7387-1192-8.


3 comments:

  1. Crowley's deck is a whole new study programme and I use more often than not Snuffin's Thoth Companion - I like it better than Crowley's own Book of Thoth which I also have. Crowley seems to have gathered information for this deck from several different sources and I have to admit that I laugh when people try to read this deck as they would the RW one. Once a retailer in an specialist shop said to me, "oh just read it as you would the Rider Waite" yeah right 'O ^_^

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    1. I agree with you about The Thoth Companion by Michael Osiris Snuffin, Helen. I confess that I wrote this study of the 9 of Disks before I acquired that book. Perhaps I will go back and add some information from that book to this post, just so future readers can have the benefit of Snuffin's knowledge!

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  2. What is really interesting is that many of the Pentacles in another deck float in their place on a vine. Unfortunately, I don't have time to access a library or I would get articles on GAG-FGF (metal cofactor) interactions. I was recently told that the interaction is reversible, so the non-covalent interactions probably interact with solvent molecules (blood). The pentacles in the deck I saw so the reversible interaction suggesting that some fluid like gaseous composite holds a pentacle to the vine. This is the opposite of the Jesse Tree where the faces are held dangling on the tree.

    This probably means that any 2 is important in a 3 card readout because it signifies if pentacle interactions stick like glue or are healthy interactions.

    Incidently, there is a school of thought suggesting that loss of metal cofactors in the GAG-FGF interaction helps start the cancer rollercoaster. So, 2s make indicate if work relationship is toxic.

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~ Zanna