The Thoth 8 of Cups: Indolence & The Wild Wood Tarot-Eight of Vessels-Rebirth:
The word indolence,
means entropy, laziness and sloth. The Thoth Tarot 8 of Cups
represents indolence in every symbol it is composed of. The number 8 is
associated with Hod (splendor) on the Tree of Life and shows the
influence of Mercury which would seem all well and good until we realize
that the planet Saturn is in the house of Pisces. Pisces is calm but stagnant water/Emotion;
and the heavy lead influence of Saturn poisons it completely. Thus the
symbolism of dead water is everywhere on this card. Water, being
represented as emotions in the cups, shows dead- stagnant emotional
In the Thoth Card card of stagnation,
water appears as pools rather than a florescence ocean as in the 7 of
cups and the Lotus flowers droop from lack of rain, i.e., lacking new fresh emotional
perspectives. The shallow, broken cups imply living in the old worn
out emotions of the past. With only two central cups "emoting" and
unable to fill the two lower cups, the 8 of Cups systematically implies unfulfilled
emotional function. The whole image of the card, with leaden-Saturn sky,
extensive pools of dead water and a sickened yellow horizon, lends to
the message of this card. That by living in past misery, we are indolent and merely dead to life today.
The bright side is:
that all this isn't permanent and that once we acknowledge that we are
being miserable because: it may be a type of martyr's complex or that it makes
us feel special and gain attention, no matter how negative way, or a "survivor's complex", we can begin the process of
emotional recovery. Being able to let things end, is a skill that must
be practiced like any other.
The Wild Wood Tarot,Eight of Vessels-Rebirth,
depicts 3 small vessels, pouring their water into a great Vessel that is hanging from a tree with strong chains. The Great Vessel, is overflowing into four lower cups that in-turn flow into a roaring stream. Emotion, is symbolized as the Water element; 3 is the number of the 3rd Sephiroth-Binah, the Creatrix of Form, and the lower 4 cups, represent the number of form which is 4. Here, the Central Great Vessel would represent the 6th Sephiroth-Tiphareth,Beauty/Soul.
Hence, what this card is displaying as information, is that, by looking at the past, acknowledging our mistakes, thereby learning from them, we grow and attain new wisdom. The Great Creatrix awaits our powerful collective action of, creating, seeing error in our creation and then correcting it, which is the definition of Wisdom. Now, with Wisdom, we become the awareness of the Great Cauldron of Psyche, the Soul, thereby giving the Personality a new powerful future and a rebirth of energy in motion, i.e., emotion. A time of renewal and rebirth is here, so rejoice.
I often find myself saying to that moody emotional child
who fears abandonment, and/or rejection, "Get over yourself and get on with you,
impeccability is what we do"
. "What we do", because there are 3 States of Conscious running
this individual show we call "Life"; The Original "I" that began our Soul,
the "Am" that began our Force (emotion),
and the "Me" who is our Form
. Three of us, a ternary being, who talks to itself all the time. Yes, we 3 communicate to each other, and when the Me
feels down and out in its survival- mind- world of simulated seriousness, the Infinitely Greater Worlds of I AM
come to our rescue. It's not only "Okay to be Me", it is Okay to be 3
in balanced union, all focused on the goal of expanding and liberating
from their own short- sighted-self-absorbed realities. By
listening to the silence behind the screaming emotion of the frightened
child, we can hear our Guardian Angel (our own individual God/Spirit
identity--I AM.) say to us,"It's okay, I haven't abandoned you, you're
In the Tarot 8 of Cups-Indolence,
there is only the end of the 7 of Cups-Debauch. The gluttony of the 7
has succumbed to the putrefaction of the 8. Too much emotion, held in,
stagnates and poisons the vessel.
Hod is the 8th Sephiroth, and means Splendor.
The 8 of Cups, being in the Suit of Water and with the influence of
Mercury (splendor), we would expect a "shimmering, dancing Water";
However, we have to understand the influence of Saturn in Pisces which
rules this card. Pisces, is normally calm water but adding Saturn
completely deadens it as if lead or sewage was added to the pool.
no sea, only pools, as shown on the Thoth Card or the Pool of the Wild Wood Tarot. The
fluorescence of putrefaction ( as shown in
the Thoth 7 of cups), is long gone into complete, slimy, stagnation. To saturate oneself with this water is to
die today and have a faux life of only "yesterdays"... a simulation of
To reiterate: The completion of the stagnation
is shown on the Thoth Tarot Card as drooping lotus bosoms, that lack both Sun and rain ( rain
would be applying "new emotions") and the soil has become poison to them (a
sickly foundation), growing only two sickly-blooms. The cups (vessels that the emotions fill) are old and broken. The 3 row
arrangement of the cups (3 states of Manifested Mind), shows only
the slow filling from two central cups, that spill into the lower cups
(lowest emotions). The back ground of the card shows only "the bad
lands" of a poisoned landscape.
This seeming over stressing
of Indolent behavior should get the point across, that whom ever this
card is about, is wallowing in self pity, or insisting on using old emotions that never solved the problems in the past, and therefore, won't do so now, making the conscious mind
(Self-Conscious vessel) a poisoned morass of negative perspectives.
Hence, emotionally, one is over extended, and cares very little about
this card is not surrounded by negative cards, or suicide is a
Therefore the Thoth card makes us
aware of suffering for the sense of
self-importance, or over extending our emotions, by trying to "help"
everyone else's suffering, forgetting that people also have a right to
their own "disease"...Wisdom comes from correcting one's own mistakes,
which validates the reason for Oriental concept of karma. One can only help those who help themselves, those who don't, leave them be.
There is also over reaction to events, which can happen when we have a emotional shock, such as
a loved one dying, and we are unconsciously quilt ridden with the inner thoughts of " I
should have done or acted different". Soon enough "survivors quilt"
drags us down into a morass of suffering, that becomes more important
than our health. The martyrdom of such thinking, allows only emotional
decay and everything or everyone, just adds to the misery of the
The correction to this swamp of self-misery
, is as the
Buddha was quoted as saying to a beggar woman who lost her child to an
ox-cart accident at a certain cross-roads, where she sat in misery,
never leaving the place of suffering for 3yrs; He said, as he picked her up off
of the street," I greatly suggest that you go forth and find someone who
has not lost a loved one".
In other words he just gave her a purpose
for movement and therefore, living; a new future.
To such a self-absorbed one,
my great teacher, Yo
Chen (323 BCE), also taught me a lesson in strength, and "tough love",
when he looked down on a blubbering-suffering 12 year old and said," If you wish to speak to me, you must
stand for I'll not kneel to your weakness"
. Just standing above my
misery, assuaged my self-conscious. So when this card is thrown, it
the querent it is time to stand up, and look above the swamp of your own
emotional psychosomatic quagmire, and support yourself in-motion rather
support of your psychosomatic pain or fleeing your inner fears, by
trying to be "there" for everyone else, ignoring your own needs. If you
dare to understand, emotional pain is simulated pain, and has nothing to
do with what is real.
The Sephiroth-Hod- and the #8 small cards:
[From the Qabalistic Tarot by Robert Wang: page 104]
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.
a Qabalist, Hod is the Sphere of Conscious intellect, that one speaks
and writes from.Words are most obviously, Splendor, as they are and art
of "description", rather than the thing described.
The color orange
that is used to depict the Hodic Vibration, is also the Color of Mental
ambition, passion mixed with intellect, sexual energy.This sexual
energy, is always linked with Splendor, for is not the Display of a Pea
Cock, one of splendor? He is only displaying his splendor to attract a
mate. Such is the object of cosmetics, new age crystal collections,
When considering Hod
we must also consider the 7th Sephiroth Netzach-Victory, for at the
base of the Pillar of Form/Severity,
beneath Binah, Hod (splendor) resides. And at the base of the Pillar of
Force/Mercy, beneath Chokma, resides Netzach (Victory); both linked
by the Path of the Tower Card, key 16.
The Same balance of Force
and Form that is seen in the Supernal Triangle (Kether-Chokmah-Binah),
is seen between these 2 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 objective rationale; there are no objects to examine in the
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
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-the Splendor of
Words, whose invention is attributed to the Egyptian Thoth/Hermes. To reiterate:
Thoth is an Egyptian Ibis headed god, who is Hermes in Greek and Mercury
in Roman mythology. Each of these 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" (reaction) in a word are obvious, either by
saying "I love you" or "I hate You", more's so with focused passion. 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."
names many attributes of the One Energy/Self, each of which
requires a different learning experience (Paths) and a need to
"pronounce" the Divine 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 of Venus frequency, encompasses the whole Tree of Life.
There is a reason why the Hermaphrodite, is the magical image of Hod.
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 limits 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 and/or emotion, makes them seem alive.
The symbol for Hod
is not only Names and vesicles
, but also the Apron, 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" is the foundation of all practical work.
in returning our consciousness to the One Self, 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.
the initiate knows that by projecting oneself into any Sephiroth, by
meditative means, immerses the student in the Qualities of that Energy
Consciousness. However, 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, 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
What is of note
, the "god"
Mercury, who was also the messenger of the gods, is also known as the god of deceit and trickery because he carried words that are
also the vessels of these vices. This suggest the aspect of "adaptability"
required for esoteric work which is conferred by the Hod intelligence. 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 minds are particularly susceptible to perceptual
folly, in the alternatively bright and murky Sephiroth of Yesod. And
it is in Hod that we begin to understand the mechanisms of our
perceptions, as perceptions make reality a simulation of our "feelings" and/or reactions to others, environment, words etc.
The 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
itself. This is easily seen in the art of the Night Sun Tarot-8 of Cups.
She may have balance and therefore, neutralized her emotions, but she
is locked into non-motion to keep the balance. Therefore, no new
emotions, and therefore, no new day, as all is held captive to
"yesterday" and the reality of today is just so much "smoke".
When the 8 of Cups or Vessels, card is thrown during a reading:
- The querent (or the one they queried about) will be or is experiencing, a depressive state of emotions.
- Success is abandoned,as there is a decline of interest in anything.
- Any positive things are thrown aside as soon as gained; not lasting even in the mater at hand.
- Misery and repining without a viable cause.
- A continual seeking after riches, without the emotional energy to gain them.
if there are a lot of positive cards accompanying this negative one,
there will be temporary success, but without further result.
- That for eight weeks or eight months the querent has been or will be experiencing moods of depression and abandoning success.
- There is a declining interest in anything.
- Temporary success, but without further result. In other words, things thrown aside as soon as gained.
- Misery and pining without present cause.
- Seeking after riches, and/or journeying from place to place. According to the dignity of the accompanying cards, even emotional instability.
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