Tarot Card Comparisons: The Thoth Tarot: KING OF WANDS & The Barbara Walker Tarot: VALRAVEN / REY de BASTOS
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Tarot Card Comparisons: The Thoth Tarot: KING OF WANDS & The Barbara Walker Tarot: VALRAVEN / REY de BASTOS

The Tarot of Eli THE COURT CARDS of Thoth Tarot: Knight of Wands as compared to the Barbara Walker Tarot: VALRAVEN
 
A man's life is characteristic of himself.
-Carl G. Jung
 
To many Tarot readers, the Court Card Archetypes often are the most confusing to read. This is because some authorities interpret them as people in a persons life, others as events and still others as both people and events, which can be so, depending on the accompanying cards, and the position the card falls on during a patterned reading; such as Celtic Cross etc. Also, many Qabalistis see the court cards as archetypal-personality traits as well, which is truly what they are, and often link them with Dr. Carl Jung. However, these are Persona Archetypes that are the foundation of Soul's not of the "man-made" personality of the brain. Brain intelligence, is "Artificial Intelligence", and not Archetypal.

There is a good reason for all of this confusion ; the reason being because people are nearly always involved in events that are like some aspect of themselves.  Since everything is one energy, there is no obvious separation between what we experience in the environment and what we are on the inner level of self. It is a foolish attempt at best, when reading tarot, to try and divide the person from the event that is occurring;such attempts at division could even be perilous. It pays to remember that events often happen to us  because of ourselves rather then  in spite of ourselves. We are a Psyche-creator who creates pyschosomatically.
 
The Knight of Wands and the Barbara Walker Tarot: Valraven(King of wands of traditional tarot), represents the spiritual evolutionary in all of us. This is the Will-to-Me part of ourselves that is unwilling to edit, rehearse, or hold back any part of who we are.

The Thoth Tarot- rider of the unicorn horse or The Trefoil Crown of the Barbara Walker Tarot, are the symbols representing vision and inspiration that has purpose and application. Positive male power that is dynamic and is in all of us as "electricity",that's why we are alive! Each of us is a personal vision of our fiery Spirit/Soul! The Trefoil (Arabic: Shamrakh) is an ancient sign for the Triple Goddess.

Again: There has been much confusion by Tarot readers, concerning the implied meanings of the Court cards and the Knight/ Kings are no exception.  In the great text book: The Qabalistic Tarot (a text book of mystical philosophy)Robert Wang wrote:
The four Kings or Figures  mounted on Steeds [Golden Dawn and Crowley versions]  represent Yod forces in the name of each suit, the Radix, Father and commencement of Maternal Forces. A Force in which all the others are implied and of which they form the development and completion. A Force swift and violent in action, but whose effect soon passes away, and therefore symbolized by a Figure on a steed riding swiftly, and clothed in complete amour.

This Hermetic Qabalah meaning may, for some, even confuse the issue more, unless the Tarot Reader understands that you cannot separate the Personality from the events that impose themselves upon it.

The Knight of Wands or Valraven is the motive force behind the Alchemical Fire or Primal Fire (The Thoth Knight carries the same wand as the Ace of Wands to illustrate this point) on the Qabalistic Tree of Life. This is a fiery personality with great motivational ability. Now remember, trying to divide the person from the event is pure folly, so here we have a passionate personality going through a deep-core "Will to Force" event. Old perceptions are being destroyed as fuel on this fire, so that new extended and liberated perspective gives birth to spiritual insight. You may call this positive male-power, as in electrical polarity, that forms a  swift and occasionally violent personality with the capacity to accomplish long-term goals and handling extremely complex situations but is most often fierce, impetuous, impulsive and tends to act unpredictably.  Just as the Old Norse God Valraven.
There is a legend from the Chukchi people:
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia :

Chukchi family(15,938 (2002
Census) Chukotka Autonomous Okrug (Russia)15,90830 Russian, Chukchi Shamanism, Russian Orthodoxy other Chukotko-Kamchatkan peoples: TheChukchi, Eskimos of Western Chukotka (Russian: чукчи (plural), чукча (singular) are an indigenous people inhabiting the Chukchi Peninsula and the shores of the Chukchi Sea and the Bering Sea region of the Arctic Ocean within the Russian Federation. They speak the Chukchi language. The Chukchi originated from the people living around the Okhotsk Sea.

According to the Chukchi Shamans, a god named Big Raven, first gave the secrets of magic to men (Prometheus of the Greeks) but only after he sacrificed his manhood to the lunar Death-goddess.
The Danes, called this god Valraven, Hel's king and lord of the underworld. He was also sometimes known as King Morvan, meaning Sea Raven. For both the Danes, and The Chukchi, a raven was his totem while also being his soul shape in which he would appear to his invokers and/or followers. Therefore, in Barbara Walker's rendition of Valraven, he not only carries his totem, he also carries a wand that looks like a scroll, on which the wisdom of magic is printed.
 
Although often used to represent the harbinger of death, The Raven  is also said to be like the phoenix bird, or fire-bird, being associated to this Alchemical element and also with the sacred tree, whose wood oriental alchemists regarded as the fifth element.The alchemical symbol for wood was the same trefoil symbol that is now standard for the club playing card. Therefore, as Hel's fun-hot-hubby,The King or Knight of Wands, is known to be familiar with the secret's of the earth magicks and would have much to teach.  Having the totemic form of the Raven, the trefoil-shamrock of the Great Mother Goddess and the Wand or Rod of Kingship, he represents considerable numinous power, suggesting magical and practical knowledge.

To reiterate: Chokmah is the Father God principle and is the first idea of Maleness. Binah, the Mother God, is the first idea of Femaleness. Here the Divine Creative begins the action of Sexual attraction and or The Law of Attraction; of the electric and magnetic actions of the Universal Creative. Here is the beginning of the knowledge of "I" and "Am", that when in union, is All Existence.

This "God Sex" of I AM, is often a hard one to explain to the self-absorbed who think sexuality as "pleasing moment" of conquest and/or obsession rather than a moment of thinking "I AM this or that..." However, we are sexually the Divine Creative, who is both Unconscious (feminine) and Conscious (masculine) and therefore, they intercourse as I (Unconscious) and AM (conscious) which produce the offspring of Me. The Law of Attraction therefore, creates all things... being Me is my "thing"!

Those who have felt the deep and powerful Inner forces of Divine Sexuality between Souls ("Suns of God"), are usually unable to mentally rationalize it. It is stunning and absolute attraction, like lightning striking steel. It isn't needy, or manipulative, it is as if two star-magnets of opposite polarity just "slam" together without resistance of any kind. It is so powerful, that there isn't any other person or more important issue in the world....one just knows this is the only mate.  Hence,this purely energetic attraction is beyond rational thinking and the brain is stunned by it's lack of control over the situation. For each of us, is of the Universal Collective, and like it, we form collectives. For the Soul, collectives are "life experiences" where one creates "persons" to enact the desires and data of the Soul and also where Soul's collect into a Universal Creative of their own: much like a galaxy is formed of stars, each and individual and yet again, a multitude.

For the brain, a collective is the "self-conscious" and/or personality that is built out of environmental influences and indoctrinated identities. Even though the Core of this Artificial Self, is the Soul, The Real Person, one must remember that the Soul can't see itself, unless it builds a "self" to examine! Therefore, we all began in the Psyche, as a "way to examine self concepts", as the Whole of the Universe exists for the Universal Collective Unconsciousness's campaign of Self Awareness; each creation a "selves" of the Universal Self. The I AM created the Psyche/Soul as a mirror in which to examine "Me", a Self-identity. For in truth, all creation is a self-reflection of the Original Creative.

Hence,The Kingdom of Heaven, is all around you, and it is built from the attraction of opposites. To understand this powerful attraction we really have to re-think sexuality and understand the attraction of Kether,Chokmah and Binah, the Trinity of the Archetypal World; of the One Energy, that is both electric and the magnetic.The Universe is created by this often overwhelming technical activity of ternary- Union.


The Thoth Knights are the Kings, in many other decks: to Crowley, a king siting on a throne did not depict the Active power of a King. Thus, he calls them Knights, which are Kings, Armored, on  mighty-chargers, undaunted by battle.  The Knights represent Yod forces in each suit.The Yod is the Radix, and/or Father and commencement of Material Forces. All other forces  are implied here, and as ideas they develop and commence in the Knight. As if volcanic, the Force of the Knight is swift, violent action, that also moves on swiftly. Thus the effects of this force soon pass away.

THE KNIGHT OF WANDS: is the Lord of Flame and Lightning, king of the spirits of Fire, King of the Salamanders.
The last Decan of Scorpio and the first two Decans of Sagittarius are attributed to this card, The Knight of Wands is Specific Fire in Primal Fire on the Tree of Life.
Fire in a alchemical sense, represents the active-vital Spirit Force of Movement that is in all Motion and yet it is also the tempering fire that melds together opposites for the construction of something more than either one.  Fire annihilates the gross and brings forth purity. Spirit Fire is Electromagnetic Sexuality, a technology of self awareness invented by the Divine Creative.

The Crowley card of the Knight of Wands is all about active force, a leaping black Charger mounted by a dark knight, depicting the Dark Fire of Dark Energy, that all Visible Light comes from and that visible light is depicted as the surrounding flames. The Black Charger It is the Unconscious-Blackness of the "other side of the Mirror", the Mirror/Soul being the plane of reflection and/or consciousness. She being the unlimited, hence, Dark Unconscious, and He being the limited, hence, Bright consciousness, makes the Mirror (Soul) the "honeymoon suite" where Unconscious imagination, mates with ratiocination, forming the activating principle of all forms of self identity. 

The knights crest is a horse head, implying the influence of Sagittarius, and he is in armor implying the qualities of the Spirit Fire that does battle for us all, i.e. "The Son/Sun of God".  The same Ace of Wands, is the Wand in His hand, implying that he is the vehicle for the Fiery Force.

As before stated, the Upper Supernal Triangle can be compared to the Garden of Eden From here, the male and female polarities of energy balance against each other, evolving into increasing density, as offspring, as they develop  towards the lowest Sephira, Malkuth, on the Tree of Life.

In Qabalistic Tarot, the number Two symbolizes the union and balance of opposites that underlies all material existence. 
 This equilibrium of opposites begins in Chokmah, which is represented by the Thoth Tarot Knights. This second Sephira is also called the Sephira of "Perfect Harmony".  While Kether, the first Sephira, is that which is the "Root of impetus": Hence, Chokmah/Knights is the impetus for all manifestation. The Harmonic Union of opposites supplies that action as the coupling of Chokmah-Wisdom and Binah-Understanding; Binah is represented in the Zodiac as Saturn (Time), and Chokmah is represented as the sphere of the Zodiac, which may confuse those who know Cronus-"Grandfather time",and/or Saturn as a male figure, and The Sphere of the Zodiac as a Vestica Pisces and/or Womb. However, as stated before, when a Sephiroth is expressing, it is masculine in action, and when it is receptive, it is feminine in action. 

Ultimately Kether is "sexless" for the idea of a dual nature is not formed yet, it is however the " whirling force". Therefore, Chokmah is the idea of Maleness (Electric) and Binah is the idea of Femaleness (Magnetic), and the mating of the Three (Supernal Triangle) "whirls the Electromagnetic Spectrum" into form. Therefore, the Thoth Knights represent the Archetypal Yod (Divine Masculine) Male Force, while the Binah-Queens, represent the Archetypal Divine Female, the Divine Heh.

Once again our sensual ideas of sexuality do not apply on this Higher Scale of Communion.  Here Maleness is the vital outpouring of electrical energy that is organized, limited or formalized by the magnetic qualities of Female. Thus Yod is male and Heh is female, and the resulting offspring is Vau of the Divine Name, Yod-Heh-Vau-Heh, that is attributed to the six lower Sephiroth in which Tiphareth (Beauty) is central.

As you may note, there are many interchangeable symbols in the Qaballah that may make it seem more complicated than it is. The essential key is  that the Vital outpouring Energy (Knights), which in intercourse with an organizing force (Queens), produces something else. For example, red combined with blue, creates purple by the motion of the mixer (Kether). Therefore, opposites joined in balanced harmony, produce something greater than the parents.  This is not possible if exactly the same united with exactly the same, you would only get ... exactly the same!

Therefore the Qabalistic Tree of Life originated in the opposition of Chokmah and Binah. However this is not static, any more than male female union on earth is static, there is a constant back and forth motion of growth and movement as the "undercurrent" of the Whirling Force of Kether, personified in the Knight of Swords. This "undercurrent" insures that when a change occurs in one Sephiroth, there is a natural balancing response in its opposite ( often shown as the figure eight laying on its side). Therefore there is a continual exchange that could be compared to breathing, as the inhale/exhale action that powers Life.

On the Tree of Life, the Uppermost Sephira, The Crown, is Kether,Eheieh ("I Will Be..."), which sets the pattern for all below it. Like an electrical switch that is off, Kether is all potential, while Chokmah is the electrical switch in the On position, the "Will to Force". Thus Chokmah/Knight is function while Kether is potential.   Kether is a "no-thing" while Chokmah is a form of the whirling force that is Kether, and called Force. Therefore, Crowley, made his Kings, into Battle Kings or Knights, as they are Switched on and forceful, rather than sitting on a their royal ass on a throne anchored to earth.

Chokmah is the State of Self, where we, begin as Force  and Binah is the State of Self, that organizes Force into Form,i.e. into being, from a Divine State of "Inner Meditation". The dreamed is unaware of the dreamer as we dream ourselves "inside out" (we are infinite inward and limited outward), an ultimate fact of our Earthly existence. Thus you are the Master and the Masterpiece, the Transmitter and the Transmitted. Ideally our identity should flow back and forth from Transmitter and Transmitted by our personality being the "corporate manager" in charge of uniting both the transmitting intelligence and the receiving intelligence. Once again, you can see that your only savior, is an awakened subjective inner self saving the active-objective outer self from the delusion forced on it by "reflection".

From One "I" all identity becomes "identities", so in actuality, we do not exist as separates, any more than fish can exist separate from the Ocean. As Self-Awareness of "I AM", we declare existence by stating "I AM ME" (Force, Form and Self Awareness) becoming a Psyche/Soul  combination of Fiery Father (Electric Force) and Watery Mother, (Magnetic Form). Each of us a "self-vision" of the Divine, given the freedom to preform on our own. Therefore we set about defining that invisible principle of existence as a manifestation of self-identity called "Me". Thus, manifestation is a simple three word definition called, "I AM ME" of which we, who are the inheritors of the Divine Creative Mind (Imagination),  hold total freedom to define. Since I AM Not, is impossible, for what ever you define as not being you, simply states, that it is you. Remember, you use the Force of Psyche's Power of Limitation, to imagine self as a  form, making "what is not" into form and or "what is". Never forget, that you must identify something and/or create it to deny it exists. What is called "Thoughts", are merely the offspring of our inherited "will to force" and "will to form".  Therefore, it behooves us, as imaginative creators, to understand that " I am happy" creates happiness, while "I am not Sad" creates only sadness.  Time to rethink your psyche power over the dream of you!

Since dimensions are descriptions of spatial terms, our life dream has specific dimensions as that is our best frame of reference. The Tree of Life is how the Qaballah describes these dimensional frames of reference as being a downward flowing evolution of Chokmah thru various levels of Self Dream called Sephiroth.

 In an attempt to make this simple: we are first  willfully-dreaming our own existence (Eheieh),  and that we are all collectively bubbles of Psyche (Souls) in the metaphorical effervescent Ocean of The Divine Collective Unconscious. You could say we are what is known as God-looking into a  sparkling mirror of imagination and realizing an image of itself. 

This process of Macrocoscmic dreaming towards a more condensed and sensual dream self, Microcosmic image, is a state of Self-Awareness called the "fall", but it really is a "down sizing" the Ocean of  The Divine Collective Unconscious into Bubbles of individual fractal components (Souls), that causes us to "lessen" and/or give dimension to our self concepts to become more sensual and interactive, all of which is necessary for evolutionary discernment of identity.

Yet since this "Bubbling" is a type of fragmentation of the Collective,  we lose sight of our own Divinity and/or Whole Self and must "reclaim" all the data we left behind on our "downward" journey into Sensual-Self-Dreaming. You may say that in manifestation, Malkuth, we are to become a Lucid dreamer, rather than a "sleeping one". Therefore, in tarot, we use the Court Cards linked with an astrological "birth date wheel", to find our "Core persona" and or Real Person, known as our Archetypal persona. Rather than the "man made" personality of indoctrination that we sport as a "daily driver".

The goal here is to get the inner dreamer and the dreamed to cooperate with each other, forming one purpose and thus the dreamed-Self than begins to get control over its life happenstances, as "Will to Force" (consciousness) and "Will to Form" (Imagination/unconsciousness) work in sympathy with each other. To achieve this goal, is to know the Knight of Wands within ourselves.

Experiencing the Real Person "on the other side of the mirror", is a truly extraordinary experience and is the making of a Magi where the Union of Dreamer and Dream has no veils between them. One is Whole and  can have or be anything at all. Ironically, in this All-One state, one often requires very little as "wanton need",i.e., the "hole filler", is no longer experienced. One Loves, without need; One creates without fear or need of result. One wants nothing at all because one becomes I AM Me rather than "I seek Me". Once one  discerns what does matter and what does not ("No-Thing Matters"), One goes about the Great Work of "As above, so below", a place where the bubbles are not separate, but a collective of effervescence movement in the Ocean of the Divine Mind.

 Hence, The characteristics of this Powerful Knight, are qualities of  activity, such as, fierceness, impetuosity, pride, impulsiveness, swiftness in unpredictable actions.
If negative, he can become evil-minded, cruel, bigoted, and brutal.  In either case, his swiftness gives him no recourse to act otherwise, so he is ill fitted to modify his actions according to circumstances.

If your birth chart shows your personality to be the offspring of the Knight of Wands, remember that Great personal power, is often seen as arrogance by the weak of conviction. Therefore, this persona of passion is  often either Loved or hated, without "gray area" acquaintances. Those who doubt themselves, will be inclined to follow and thus secretly fear or hate such a powerfully active Spiritual Being who is unconcerned with how others react to them. Also this will be a person with a Great Libido, as Spiritual Fire and Sexuality are invariably linked, also a contention among the weak, whose very pusillanimous character deters the union of others. Also those who serve reaction rather than action, will either avoid or try to besmirch the Active Character of this, Kingly Spirit.


WHEN THE KNIGHT OF WANDS or VALRAVEN IS THROWN DURING A READING: it implies;
  • A spiritual evolution is taking place at a deep core level. It is as if the past personality is fuel for a new phoenix- self arising from the flames
  • Experiencing the conviction of Spirit with much inner to outward movement of energy and the manifestation of leadership skills.
  • Positive male power, complete with the ability to focus on long term goals but with rapid movement that is able to handle complex situations.
  • Strong minded and able to dominate others by force of will.
  • A master of wit and charm, great sense of humor and warm and generous with a strong liking for fun.
  • Can just about persuade anyone into anything.
  • May be a highly empowered spiritual being. Which doesn't necessarily mean he/she has your best interest at heart. Spirit is Pure Mind, and doesn't see things in a personal way. Very Impersonal force without the conscience of the personal can be disturbing.
  • A mature male whose inner and outer being are in mutual agreement and balance.

To the Astrologer, the Knight of Wands rules in the zodiac from 21 degrees Scorpio to 20 degrees Sagittarius.
  • This tends to establish a personality that can sell "ice to Eskimos" because of his/her unrelenting fiery charm, built out of amusement and optimism.
  •  The querent may also have an abundance of vision and foresight, all of which is passionately expressed.
  • There is a degree of intolerance, so when pushed this person can become violent and unrelenting.
  • Generally, The Knight of Wands is a dominant, hard to control person who is attractive but dangerous.
  •  When united with the Primal Water of Female-Magnetic polarity, this is a most attractive personality, and a deeply motivational event of empathy and healing, most like a warm tropical ocean, complete with its fast moving currents.
  • If a person is a masculine, He is best in his performance when mated with a strong female equivalent or vise verse. By himself, his very nature "becomes too hot" (as a Sun without an Ocean) and he tends to leave bodies behind him. 
  • One is releasing an old identity, like a serpent sheds its skin (the serpent suit the knight is wearing under his armor) and establishing a  achievement-orientated,creative, and expressive self.
  • This is a powerful person of a fiery nature: energetic, active, hard to control, attractive, but sometimes dangerous.

Thank you for your interest, comments and supportive donations. May you live long and prosper.


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