Tarot Card Comparisons: The Thoth Tarot-Prince of Cups & The Wild Wood Tarot-Knight of Vessels-Eel
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Thoth Tarot & comparisons

Tarot Card Comparisons: The Thoth Tarot-Prince of Cups & The Wild Wood Tarot-Knight of Vessels-Eel

The Tarot of EliThe Thoth Tarot Prince of Cups and The Wild Wood Tarot- Knight of Vessels- Eel:

The passionate heart and mastery of emotional desire.

The symbols of emotional desire and transformation on the Thoth Tarot Prince, are the Eagles, (one pulling the chariot and the other on the helmet) and the snake emerging from the cup. There are no Princes in traditional tarot, as the Prince of the King and Queen was traditionally a knight in most folk lore. So the Wild Wood Tarot depicts a knight as an Eel, while the Thoth Tarot of Crowley, depicts Kings a Battle Knights, and therefore, has Princes as son's of the King and Queen. The Prince of Cups is assigned the turbulent water sign of Scorpio, a sign known for its passion, desire and transformation, and is represented in the symbols of scorpion, snake and eagles.

He, this Archetype Son of the Divine Creative, is the lover within each individual that expresses and experiences "hard desire" which simply means deep emotional passion---the kind that created all things and is an inheritance from the "Divine Couple"/ The Divine Creative. This is a Hard Desire, often called Lust, that ignites the heart and propels us forward ,whether we resist or not, which all seems wonderful except that it often gives us "target fixation" and we are not viewing what is going on around us. Mastery of desire, rather than being mastered by desire, is the key here. Therefore, On Thoth Prince of Cups, the upside down lotus held in his hand, represents the ability to let go of desire when it is necessary to do so. The turbulent passion of lust and/or heightened emotion is shown on the Thoth Tarot as gusts of whirling mist filled air, depicted on the card's back ground. 
The Wild Wood Tarot-Knight of Vessels-Eel: Concentrates it's art and meanings on the ancient Celtic wisdom. Therefore,
instead of astrological assignations, the cards are represented on the yearly wheel of life. In this case, the Eel, is passing through the Autumnal Equinox.

According to Celtic lore, the Eel represents a wise protector. Certain Eels, where said to become weapons in a warriors hands. Cú-Chulainn's had a famous spear named Gae Bolga, is named for the Eel and the war goddess Morrigan, who assumed that spear shape in battle.
Here, one's deep feelings are expressed at every turn on their quest of personal revelation, while their visions lead them onward. Here is a brief explanation of the Irish hero.

Cú Chulainn
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:  "Cuchulain Slays the Hound of Culain", illustration by Stephen Reid from Eleanor Hull, The Boys' Cuchulain, 1904

Cú Chulainn, also spelt Cú Chulaind or Cúchulainn ([kuːˈxʊlˠɪnʲ]; Irish for "Culann's Hound") and sometimes known in English as Cuhullin/kəˈhʊlᵻn/, is an Irish mythological hero who appears in the stories of the Ulster Cycle, as well as in Scottish and Manx folklore. He is believed to be an incarnation of the god Lugh, who is also his father. His mother is the mortal Deichtine, sister of Conchobar mac Nessa.Born Sétanta, he gained his better-known name as a child, after killing Culann's fierce guard-dog in self-defence and offered to take its place until a replacement could be reared. At the age of seventeen he defended Ulster single-handedly against the armies of queen Medb of Connacht in the famous Táin Bó Cúailnge ("Cattle Raid of Cooley"). It was prophesied that his great deeds would give him everlasting fame, but his life would be a short one. He is known for his terrifying battle frenzy, or ríastrad (translated by Thomas Kinsella as "warp spasm" and by Ciaran Carson as "torque"), in which he becomes an unrecognizable monster who knows neither friend nor foe. He fights from his chariot, driven by his loyal charioteer Láeg and drawn by his horses, Liath Macha and Dub Sainglend. In more modern times, Cú Chulainn is often referred to as the "Hound of Ulster". Cú Chulainn shows striking similarities to the legendary Persian hero Rostam, as well as to the Germanic Lay of Hildebrand and the labors of the Greek epic hero Heracles, suggesting a common Indo-European origin, but lacking in linguistic, anthropological and archaeological material.

To continue this lore, more British than the Irish lore of the Knight of Vessels,  when thrown for a male, The Prince of cups represents the Animus/Galahad within; the hero known as Lancelot of the Lake, who quested for the holy Grail (Graäl). The Prince represents, gallantry, gentleness, self-sacrifice, sensitivity, courtesy to women. He is in touch with the "feminine" /Anima aspects of his own being.

For those who don't know,
Lancelot was an Arthurian hero based on ancient Celtic conceptions of the phallic lightning god---Lanceor, The Golden Lance, mated to Colombe- the Dove, a northern version of Aphrodite Columba  [Malory 1, 377].

In this legend we have the even older Hindu, Vajra-meaning phallus, jewel or lightning as the Celtic, Lanceor who descended into the Goddesses abyssal womb to fertilize the world. Even as a  Christianized version of a Knight of the Round Table, Lancelot showed signs of his pagan origin.  He was still a lover of the Mother, and a reincarnation of his own elder self. He lay with Hel-Aine or her many versions-Elaine, or Elen, or Helen, or Eileen, the same multi-named goddess worshiped at the Celtic lunar shrine of Cnoc Aine [Graves, W.G., 409]. This Hel-Aine, was a weaver of fate, who bestowed on Lancelot a gift of invincibility; a vaginal fetish seen as a red silk sleeve which represents enclosure just as the Prince of Cups chariot does. 

She was also the Queen Elaine, Mother of Lancelot, who christened him Galahad, the same name given his younger reincarnation or "son". Later, the elder hero received the name Lancelot from the Lady of the Lake in her magic Land of Women [Malory1, 91].
Just like Osiris-Horus, Apollo-Heracles, Zeus- Zagreus, God-Jesus, and many more versions of this ancient, ubiquitous father-son deity, Lancelot became a Lord of Death and a keeper of the paradise-castle, which appears in the romances of Joyous Gard, the "Happy World".
Therefore, the legend suggests that the Tarot King of Cups, Bron the Blessed and/or The Fisher King, being reincarnated as the Prince of Cups. I find this interesting, as the Fish is the symbol for the goddess's vesica pisces; which is also often shown as a cup or Grail and both cards are assigned the zodiacal water signs, the King is assigned Cancer and the Prince is assigned Scorpio. The Graäl is her "holy vessel".

This masculine persona card, The Prince of Cups or Knight of Vessels, when thrown for a woman,  represents a visual portraiture of dynamic emotional desire which is expressed and mastered by the animus (male) figure within. She has the desire to follow the song of the heart and move in directions that are both life expanding and passionately liberating. Giving art to the world through love, imagination, grace, style, and deepest feelings.

There can be a negative emotional side, of being moody and jealous, if controlled by desire and passion rather than mastering it. However, this is solve once the mind turns to artistic visions and/or fearlessly recognizes deep feelings without need to repress them.

The Tarot-Prince of Cups, or the traditional Knight,  represents the airy part of Water and/ or the intelligence of Emotion. He is on one hand, elasticity, volatility, hydro static equilibrium; on the other he is the catalytic faculty and the energy of steam.
 To reiterate:He rules the zodiac from the 21st degree of Libra to the 20th degree of Scorpio.

This partly armored Warrior is depicted almost naked, on the Thoth card, and as a serpentine swimming Eel in the Wild Wood Tarot, all to show his volatility, as does his steam like wings on the Thoth Tarot Card or the Knight- Eel's swift undulating swim in the deep stream. The Thoth Prince has an eagle both on his helm and pulling the Chariot, these are symbols of Scorpio in its higher element of expression, while the most significant figure representing Scorpio is absent in this card. This is because the Scorpion symbolizes a very occult alchemical process of putrefaction that is an extremely secret process and not a part of this Prince's operation.The Eel, in Celtic lore is often a killing weapon as well.

The lotus flower, which the Thoth Prince bears in his right hand, is sacred to the goddess.  The cup/Grail, in the Thoth Prince's left hand depicts a cup issuing a serpent. This can be lightly said as,"The Womb that births the Serpent Force"; However, the understanding of this statement is not difficult as the serpent force is "Lord of Life and Death", just as is represented in Lancelot or an Eel. Beneath the Eagle Chariot of the Thoth Prince is a stagnant lake upon which a steady rain falls. Hence on both cards, there is a lot of water symbolism showing the great depth of Spirit and emotion in the Mysterious Sign of Scorpio...a truly occult and secretive sign. Many a Magus is of this sign.

The Thoth Tarot Prince of Cups, is as all Princes, dependent  on the Union of the King and Queen.  Unless set in motion by the Royal couple, his power is illusionary, just as is the Eel's. 
The Prince of Cups is known in hermetic magic, as the Prince of the Chariot of the Waters, Prince and Emperor of the Nymphs and  Undines, as he represents the last Decan of Libra and the first two Decans of Scorpio.
He is Specific Air of Primal Water. The realms of Undines,and Nymphs, is also the watery realm of the Eel.

By now, you may know theYod Heh Vau Heh formula, which is  also shown in the Prince of Cups. Here we see the water Lotus and the cup that is  issuing serpent.
  1. The Serpent represents Chokmah, the Yod Force and in this card, it has the fiery unsettling qualities of turbulent Scorpio.
  2. The cup, is Heh, and encloses the Yod-serpent,....a Victorian way to show phallus and womb ; King and Queen in Union. 
  3. The Prince, as Vau, carries out the activities of Yod and Heh combined, here then is Water in a misty steam of e-motion.
  4. The Eagle drawing the Chariot, is the Kerubic symbol for Water and the highest aspect of Scorpio.  And as we know if we've swam in a river, the Eagle also suggests that the calm appearance of water, may hold violent and turbulent energy-currents beneath the surface. Thus, in the Prince or Knight of Cups, Water suggests the Universal Collective Unconscious which bears dynamic energy. Hence, what activity we can expect from the Prince of cups personality, is on one hand, elastic, volatile and hydro-static equilibrium; on the other hand, the catalytic faculty and energy of steam which is shown in the art of the Thoth Tarot card as wings of tenuous vapor, sprouting from his back;  also suggesting a spiritual sense of vaporization. The Wild Wood Tarot, shows the Knight/Prince/Eel, swimming past a pair of rocks, one is decorated with a carving of a sword, representing the weaponize version of the Eel. The stream is deep, showing his depth of emotion.

As I've said before:The Princes represent the coming and going of an event or person.
In the case of the Prince of Cups or Knight of Vessels, the morality or moral characteristic of such a person would encase subtlety, secret violence and craft. Being also an artist in all his ways, he would be intensely secret and deeply romantic. Such a person must be well mated, with good will and sincerity, for loyalty is all important to keep their good nature. When this is so, they are extremely romantic, sensual and generous to a fault and are great lovers. Facts, backed up by this card being placed in Libra going over into Scorpio. Hence the Prince of Cups, suggests great volatility, as this influence implies tremendous power, energy and weight.
The calm and imperturbable surface of this Archetypal personality implies:
  • He displays mask his most intense passion.
  •  He accepts only external influences that aid him in his secret designs. 
  • His conscience is not that of an ordinary person, for it is of  a more impersonal nature, making him suspect and distrusted by acquaintances.
  • He is perfectly ruthless and inspires fear in those that distrust him.
  • His abilities are immense, going beyond ordinary senses in to realms of the subtle.
  • He is, however, fluid and being volatile as well, does not care to work in harness.
As far as events go, this is a personal process of the quiet inner aspect of the male principle where self-reflection, inner meditative peace and awareness are being experienced by the querent (The person the reading is for). Here, the event of Mind is turned towards deep feelings and artistic visions with the necessary passion to do them but with the secrecy that may prevent it. Here a person is completely involved in emotional sensation, psychic awareness and spiritual awareness. All of which they have in abundance.

The moral characteristics of this archetype personality are:
  • Subtlety, secret violence, and craft.
  • A person who is intensely secret and artistic in all their ways.
  • The calm and imperturbable surface of this person, hides a deep and powerful passion.
  • A personality that seems susceptible to external influences, but only to use them to further their secret designs.
  • This person's conscience is not the same as the ordinary person, so they are often distrusted by others, as many feel they can't nor will understand a person of such deep and secret passions.
  • Scorpios are often feared because of their perfectly ruthless nature, that cares for power, wisdom and their own aims rather than the concerns of others.
  • This person knows that all people define themselves, and feels no responsibility for others, so even though their abilities are immense, The Prince of Cups personalities can't be relied on to work in harness.
  • The consequence of this card is of great power as Libra going over into Scorpio is of tremendous activity, critical energy and weight. Here is a personality that prizes good will, sincerity and right mating as essential to success in life; their danger is overweening ambition. Will-to-Be, the Deep Passion of the Greater Self, is powerful in such a personality.....tread on their designs and the Scorpion stings mercilessly!

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

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