Tarot Card Comparisons: The Qabalistic Thoth Tarot-8 of Wands & The Connolly Tarot- 8 of Wands
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Thoth Tarot & comparisons

Tarot Card Comparisons: The Qabalistic Thoth Tarot-8 of Wands & The Connolly Tarot- 8 of Wands

The Tarot of EliThe Qabalistic Thoth Tarot-EIGHT OF WANDS: SWIFTNESS
The card of high velocity energy.

This card shows that light has been turned into the electrical rays that sustain  and constitute matter. The 8 of Wands, represents the energy has been called Prana and/or spiritual energy.

Astrologically this card is Mercury in Sagittarius. Mercury, an already rapid communication, is not well placed in Sagittarius as its Forces are mitigated and quickly expended in the sign of the Archer. That is why the Thoth Deck 8 of Wands, shows the Forces of Wands in the electric arrow shape; as arrows shot from a bow, the force is quickly spent.

  1. The square represents blocks or obstacles both internal or external that are in the way of direct and swift communication.
  2. The diamond is the transitional electrical form that happens when you communicate swiftly and directly. By taking swift and direct action we can transform any obstacle into a jewel of communication; turning a negative into a positive by positive action.
Where as, the opposite of this card is covert communication and procrastination, that form the blocks to direct and positive communication.

  • When thrown, the divinatory/mundane meaning of this card is: swiftness or rapidity.

It is a spiritual velocity (called so because it's effects are witnessed although the force itself is unseen).  This is a vibrating power flowing from the Primal Universal will to Force and often called the "decent of power".
This is the type of vibratory "energy"(there is only One Energy but many vibrations/frequencies) we feel when involved in Pranic (Prana is the name for the Primal Universal Life Force in Yoga) breathing exercises. This swift force will rapidly fade so it must be sent to the passionate acceleration of ideas as part of a combined prana-yama (breathing exercise) and meditation (mental focusing exercise) in order to reap swift and lasting benefits in manifestation.

Therefore the 8 of Wands, is about  activities and energy speeding up, Rapid growth and development of ideas; fast thinking and communication not unlike being swept of you feet or "falling" in love, which is not a falling at all but rather a rapid expanding and  often overwhelming flow of life force that changes perspective. Being rapid, there is a caveat of caution here, for rapid motion can also create rapid error.  To be practical, It's best to know before you go! However, there is a certain amount of joy in discovery, as many a spontaneous personality will tell you and the journey itself can be a lot of fun. So it could benefit you to just leave behind expectations and assumptions and like they said in the 60's ," Go with the flow"!

If you remember, The Major Arcana or Trump cards are subjective, while the Minor Arcana or small cards, are objective in nature. Therefore, the small cards have unusually short and "in your face" mundane explanations.They represent easily felt, seen and/or sensed objects.  However, even the small cards have a subjective intelligent side. This is shown on the Qabalistic Tree of Life as a Sephira.
The Tarot eights are of Hod. Therefore the eights generally show solitary success in the matter for the time being. but not leading to much result-- apart from the thing itself.
[ Illustration from the Qabalistic Tarot by Robert Wang: quote- page 104]

"The beams of Geburah and Tiphareth meet in Hod and thence arises in Hod a brilliant pure and flashing orange tawny.  And the Sphere of its Operation is that of Kochab, the stellar light, bestowing elegance, swiftness, scientific knowledge and art, and constancy of speech, and it ruleth the sphere of the action of the planet Mercury.  And Elohim Tzabaoth is also a God of Hosts and Armies, of Mercy and Agreement, of Praise and Honor, ruling the Universe in Wisdom and Harmony.  And its Archangel is Michael, the Prince of Splendor and of Wisdom, and the Name of its order of Angels is Beni Elohim, or Sons of the  God, who are also called the Order of Archangels."  [Illustration from the Qabalistic Tarot, by Robert Wang]

Basically, #8 - Hod is the concrete mind and is the sphere of Mercury, thus to Hod are attributed all that is intellectual and systematized, such as the magical arts, literature, science and commerce. 

To a Qabalist, it is the Sphere of Conscious energy, that one speaks and writes from.

The color orange, that is used to depict the Hodic-Splendor- Vibration, is also the Color of Mental ambition, passion mixed with intellect.

When considering Hod, we must also consider Netzach, for at the base of the Pillar of Form, beneath Binah, Hod (splendor) resides.  And at the base of the Pillar of Force, beneath Chokma, resides Netzach (Victory); both linked together by the Path of the Tower Card, key 16.

The Same balance of Force and Form that is seen in the Supernal Triangle, is seen between these Two Sephiroth.  But there is a difference, as this lower pattern of Force and Form is expressible in conceptualized forms and understood by our reasoning minds, whereas, the Supernal is so subjective that there is no rationale; there are no objects to examine in the Supernal. For Chokma, the 2nd Sephiroth, is the "idea of outpouring Force" and Binah, the 3rd Sephiroth, is "the idea of Form that restricts force", terms most subjective and displaying no object.

With the union of Hod and Netzach, we are now dealing with concepts that can immediately be understood in terms of individual Personality construction and architecture; in other words, objectively.

In the human personality the Fire of Netzach is animal intuition and the Water of Hod is the concrete personal and rational mind.

The Book of Thoth, is another name for the Tarot and is referred to Hod. To reiterate, Thoth is an Egyptian Ibis headed god, who is Hermes in Greek and Mercury in Roman mythology. Each of these names are presented in cultural mythology as messengers, a patron of teaching and learning and/or the teacher of the Mysteries.  Since all language is the messenger of knowledge and a carrier of messages, words relate to Hod. Words of Power, are a Magus tool, and the well practice instrument of any practitioner of the Mysteries. The "movement with in the Motion" of words, is subjective, but that doesn't affect its power to transform the listening object!

Names and Vesicle  relate to Hod, but without the fiery passion of Netzach, they are dull and empty. The effect of "feelings" in a word are obvious, either by saying "I love you"  a bursting rose blooms in ones heart, where as, to say "I hate You", drops a ball of lead into our gut. Therefore, words with focused passion, effect our inner world . To say these same phrases with monotones of logic, makes them ineffectual, and dead.

The Inner Word is a World of Vibration that only the intense energy of Netzach can reach. So power speakers, know to bring the dynamic energy of Netzach to the environment through "living' words.  Many fail at ritual, because they chant by wrote and not by the dynamics of Vital Force (Sexual/Lust energy). As Robert Wang states,"Those who approach the esoteric studies with great vitality and enthusiasm but lack the discipline of Hod are wasting their time. And those who fail to bring the intuition of Netzach to bear on the many words written about the inner sciences will quickly decide that the "Hermetic Mysteries" are pedantic and lifeless." 

The Qaballah, names many attributes of the One Energy/Self, each of which requires a different learning experience (Paths) and a need to "pronounce" the God name.  Thus, the names of the system are of Hod, but the beginning of the system to properly use the words is in Netzach whose vibration encompasses the whole Tree of Life.

There is a reason why the Hermaphrodite, is the magical image of Hod.That reason comes from the fact that form requires force in restriction, force is symbolize as Phallic, and form is symbolized as Ovum, or Womb.

Thus, in Hod are the dynamic qualities of the force of Netzach, which are limited in order that they can be dealt with through our normal process of thought.

We know these limited qualities as the Form of both language and visual image. Both are comprehensible symbols agreed upon by societies for the transmission of messages. Sure, language and images are both artificial and have no intrinsic qualities of their own, they are merely carriers of idea, neutral in themselves but the "feelings" of Netzach, our inner-passion, makes them seem alive and objective.

The symbol for Hod is not only Names and vesicles, but also the Apron (such as the Free Masons use), which also refers  to the Moon, as does Thoth himself in one aspect.  Being a traditional Masonic symbol, the Apron symbolizes the builder  who is the craftsman of the Mysteries, and when worn, covers the sexual organs attributed to Yesod. Those who understand Yesod, see the extent to which the manipulation of sexual energy (Yod-Fire) is the foundation of all practical work.

When in returning our consciousness to the God head, from its material condition, Hod becomes the primary point of conceptual transfer.  Here, in Hod, the Masters contact their chosen disciples, clothing themselves in  forms comprehensible to the human mind; presenting to the student the formal tools of the Hermetic path. The Sephiroth Netzach is the presentation point of the Orphic Path, and the Middle Pillar is the Devotional Path.

Projecting oneself into any Sephiroth, by meditative means, immerses the student in the Qualities of that Energy Consciousness. But we use the forces of Hod, by approaching things intellectual or by just studying the Mysteries. All The Sephiroth, on the Tree of Life, are integral parts of Our Whole Self, for we are a microcosm in a constant state of dynamic activity. The Principle of Practical Qaballah is that we turn our conscious observation toward a particular aspect of ourselves, and thereby gain access to the corresponding part of the Universal Collective Unconscious Mind.

What is of note, the Roman god Mercury is also known as the god of deceit and trickery and words are also vessels of these vices. This suggest the aspect of "adaptability" required for esoteric work which is conferred by the Hod Energy. Now the student knows that the whole Astral realm seeks to deceive but this deception is because of our perceptual vulnerability when viewing astral images. Our human slave-minds are particularly susceptible to perceptual folly, in the alternatively  bright and murky  Sephiroth of Yesod, because we believe there are "Superior" beings to the Divine Child.  And it is in Hod that we begin to understand the mechanisms of our perceptions, and know that we are our only "Savior", for we are that Golden Child who has been give the rule of identity in the All that is Mind. By our power of observation, we change all things according to our perception!

The Connolly Tarot 8 of Wands, concentrates its illustration on movement. Therefore, the sexually fertile wands are shown dancing in the air.
The wand was originally know as the biblical named Rod, which
symbolized the erect Phallus of a King, thereby indicating his union with the Goddess of the land.  Traditionally, the many branches or leaves sprouting from the Rod, indicated patriarchal descent from a virile king:
"And there come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots" (Isaiah 11:1).
Therefore, the subtle sexual forces are  also displayed in this card. The dancing wands, seem to indicate Movement and acceleration to ones affairs.

When the 8 of Wands card is thrown:
  • It is reminder to facilitate action and direct communication within the next 8 weeks or 8 months in order to eliminate procrastination and covert communication.
  • The eight banded rainbow, in the Thoth card symbolizes completeness in communication and action should be achieved in the next 8 weeks or 8 months and that this can only be achieved without prevarication. 
  • As things come up, the querent is advised to take swift action and directly communicate to important people in their life.This maybe especially relevant to Sagittarius in their lives (November 21 to December 21).
  • That in the next 8 day's, 8wks or 8 months (rapidity is relevant) your going to experience a rapid acceleration of  activity in your undertakings.
  • This card marks the end of a period of delay.
  • Exciting times are ahead!
  •  Some people who insist on comfortable, laid back motion, may find this to be a kind of curse; like the much paraphrased Chinese curse of ," may you lead an exciting life!
  • However, this card tends to mean rapid progress toward a felicitous goal and depending on the surrounding cards,  the arrows of love---you know, the ones that Cupid shoots into your heart.
Understanding the "what and where" of this card is where the well developed intuition of the card reader comes into play, as well as, a deep understanding of the influence of the surrounding cards in the layout.
Thank you for your interest, comments and supportive donations. May you live long and prosper!

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