Tarot: As Above So Below

You’re going to think I am a big Tarot-fiend, after describing two castings in one month, but last night I really felt the need for some re-focusing after the dream I had and the flashes of inspiration I have had during my Descensus ritual.

I used the Vertigo Tarot.  I only use the Major Arcana and I used a five card spread, which I interpret as a cosmograph:



  Past — Present — Future



So this is what I drew last night:



Hanged Man — Hermit — Strength



Hanged Man

The Hanged Man card in the “Past” position on the cross I take to refer to the Descensus ritual which built on Odin’s self-sacrifice on the World Tree in the Elder Edda.


The Strength card in the “Future” position I understand to refer to the actual descent into my psychic underworld that I have been seeking.  On the card a female figure (Goddess?) holds open the jaws of a beast, which for me is the opening to the Underworld.


The Hermit card in the “Present” position is the psychopomp who will lead me to my goal.


Now here is the hard part to interpret.  The Sun card in the “Macrocosm” position and the World card in the “Microcosm” position are supposed to help explain how the Hermit figure will accomplish his goal.  The Sun represents new birth, and in this context probably my ego-self, which makes its placement in the Macrocosm position strange.


The World represents as totality, and is curiously placed in the Microcosm position, since it is a macrocosmic card almost by definition.  There seems to be a reversal going on here: As above, so below?  Does this mean that my ego-self (Sun) must identify with the gods (macrocosm)?   Isn’t that ego inflation?  And I must find the whole (World) within the part (microcosm)?  Honestly, I don’t know what this means, but I will keep myself open to the possibilities.

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