Monday, October 30, 2006

The Continental Tarots

The Continental Tarots Cover

Book: The Continental Tarots by Christine Payne Towler

In the essay titled "The Major Arcana" I emphasize that "Something happened" to the Tarot in the late 1600s, when a new trend emerged in the images of the Major Arcana. I point to the Marseilles family of decks and the Etteilla Tarots to illustrate my point.

The images shown by Antoine Court de Gebelin in his book Le Monde Primitif further validates this idea.The remainder of this essay is about exploring "what happened." Let's review the situation of Tarot in the first half of the 1600s. Since the early 1400s, both handmade and woodblock Tarots showed a remarkable constancy of internal structure even though some packs were either edited or expanded to meet the needs of the various games for which they were created.

Tarot appeared in 72-card form in Italy around 1450, although this model may represents "splice" between preexisting symbol sets: the twenty-two Hebrew alphabet-keyed set called the Major Arcana, and the Turkish Mamluk cards of unknown provenance, a 15th century version of which can be seen in Volume 2 of Stuart Kaplan's Encyclopedia of Tarot (see essay on the Minor Arcana).

Kaplan also explains that the numerical order the Arcana appear in now is carried over from the French pack by Catelin Geofroy, published in 1557 (Vol. 1, p. 65). Some earlier fragmentary Tarots show Roman numerals on some of their Major Arcana, but not all of them, and not in the order we are now familiar with. Those very old woodblock decks tend instead to follow the list enumerated in a sermon written by an Italian friar in the late 15th century (see illustration opposite page 1 in Volume 1 of Kaplan's Encyclopedia of Tarot). There is also another order derived from the Charles VI pack that keeps Temperence, Fortitude and Justice together in a group. A very small minority of Tarots follow this order, including Etteilla’s Tarots.

Download Christine Payne Towler's eBook: The Continental Tarots

Books in PDF format to read:

Pyotr Demianovich Ouspenskii - The Symbolism Of The Tarot
Robert Wang - The Qabalistic Tarot
Samuel Liddell Macgregor Mathers - The Tarot
Aleister Crowley - The Zodiac And The Tarot
Christine Payne Towler - The Continental Tarots

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Explaining Runes

Explaining Runes Cover RUNES

For as long as anyone can tell, runes have been around helping people in the
northern European area and now they are making quite a comeback on a worldwide
basis due partly to commercialism and partly due to the unknown uprooting of
many occult practices. People are looking for a better way to live and people
are looking towards oracles for answers and guidance to their troubles. This is
where the runes come into play. In this area, we will be looking at the meanings
of runes and how they can help you.

At this point, we will give only a brief overview of what they are and where
they came from. This is only a survey.

Runes come from the Nordic area where the ancient Vikings once lived, worked,
and fought. Though they were relatively savage in their outings, the Vikings
were people in touch with Earth and the many forces that coexisted with them.
They have a whole lore that includes many popular god figures such as Thor, the
son of Odin. Thor carried a mighty hammer and many of us know him from comic
books. The father of Thor, Odin, was the creator of the Runes and is the most
important holy figure of the Viking people. Odin hung upside down from a tree
limb for a chance of higher knowledge and right before he came down from the
tree limb, he was bestowed with the new system called the Runes. These symbols
were used for writing and magic by the high priests. On this page, we will
discuss the 25 runes most used today and their meanings.


FEHU - Wealth, honesty, truth

Fehu is the light of truth that illuminates the way home where peace and comfort
abide. The desire to know and speak truth. To be true to yourself and others is
Fehu's counsel. The resulting harmony is a wealth beyond measure.

URUZ - Understanding, Strength, Health

Through empowering the components of mind, body, and soul creates a synergy
which manifests the desired reality. Each component supports the health and
growth of the other.
THURISAZ - Introspection, Withdrawal, Regeneration

Withdraw, reflect, review, and the correct path will become clear. Caution
against impulsiveness.

ANSUZ(on-sus) - Communication, Wisdom, Creative incitement

Energy is focused on the creative power of words. Acquiring knowledge through a
wise counselor promotes confidence in scholastic or communication issues. The
rune for a student or apprentice.

RAIDHO (raytho) - Movement, Action, Journey

Travel in comfort. A journey is encouraged, be it from one location to another
or from one stage of life to another. Now is the time to proceed from your
present position on to the next port on your journey.

KENAZ - Recuperation, Transformation, Healing

Recovery from any adverse condition, be it physical or material. A stabilizing
energy that heals and harmonizes. Transformation is highlighted, be it from the
state of disease to health, poverty to security, apprentice to artisan.

GEBO - Gift, Allowance, Acceptance

The gift of love is offered. The attainment of inner balance allows for the
acceptance of love from others. Self-acceptance which honors strengths and
weaknesses. The equal and harmonious union of two whole and complete components
provides a supportive and loving environment to share an adventurous journey.

WUNJO(wun-yo) - Joy, Happiness, Artistic expression

Artistic expression finds a medium. Joy and happiness through allowing the
freedom to pursue inner dreams, desires and ambitions.

HAGALAZ - Compliance, Disruption, Risk

Compliance with the natural flow of life. Struggling creates disharmony. Look
for the silver lining in any cloud, it awaits your joy of discovery. Disruption
occurs when one is out of balance. Do not be afraid to take leaps out of the

NAUDHIZ(now-thees) - Deficiency, Tempering, Need

Need creates motivation to achieve or acquire. Focusing of fulfilling needs
creates self-reliance and inner strength. Frustration creates determination,
melancholy can inspire poetry or music.

ISA - Controlled strength, Inner will-power

Pure inner confidence empowers the will to influence and draw support from any
opposing factors. Like ice itself, this rune can be used to freeze a moment
preserving the strength from the situation.

JERA(yera) - Completion, Harvest, Gain

You have built your foundation. Provided that it has been structured with
attention to detail and no short-cuts have been taken, the outcome will produce
a fruitful return. A plant grown with love and care will blossom.

EIHWAZ( A - was) - Patience, Enlightenment, Awareness

Being centered and aware of your position promotes patience at this midway
point. Now is not a time for extremes, be it gains or losses. Knowingness comes
from the central point of being.

PERTH - Change, Rebirth, Revelation

As coal is transformed by intense pressure into a diamond jewel and pearls are
created by the irritation of sand granules, so too can your greatest challenges
be presented as gifts. Change is a reflection of creation not destruction.
Through a diversity comes the opportunity of joyous revelation. A higher purpose
may be revealed.

ELHAZ - Protection, Friendship, Union

Powerful protective energies avail themselves. An invisible shield repels
negative influences. Honor this gift with honesty and compassion for others and
the energy will continue to guard you. A rune of harmonic union and positive

SOWILO - Achievement, Guidance, Clarity

Listen for the opportunity for guidance as wisdom follows. Time to further
education or successful completion of studies. The warmth of this rune is a
blessing of union and the simple pleasures in life. This energy provides a
direct path to victory.

TEIWAZ(Tay-was) - Analysis, Sacrifice, Honor

The gathering of pertinent facts, combined with critical analysis provides a
firm basis from which appropriate skill may be applied. Fairness and equality
are essential. A sacrifice willingly accepted yields success, honor and power.
This runes protection should neutralize competitive situations.

BERKANA - Motherhood, Domesticity, Nurturing

Time for domestic nurturing. This rune may announce a forthcoming marriage or
birth of a child. Simply, it denotes the qualities of nourishing and caring for
the development of an idea, project or relationship.

EHWAZ - Change, Partnership, Creative beginnings.

Growth through physical change, possibly involving travel, residence, or job
Creativity combined with harmonious team effort. A partnership is highlighted
based on trust and loyalty.

MANNAZ - Cooperation, Awareness, Awakening

The rune of humanity carries the message of collaboration, especially between
the conscious and subconscious. Emotional (ego) detachment is uplifting and
provides access to untapped resources. Viewing your situation as an impartial
observer will provide room for objectivity. Remember, energy takes the path of
least resistance, move in balance with the universal flow.

LAGUZ - Intuition, Talent, Initiation

Latent intuition and creative talents emerge. Fear of the unknown should be
replaced with trust in yourself and your instincts. This rune releases
imaginative and creative talents which should be cultivated. Rationality and
analytical thinking should be put aside to allow psychic energy to flow through.

INGUZ - The Void, Intermission, Introspection

The state between the completion of an old cycle and the gestation of a new
cycle. Relaxation, introspection and rejuvenation provide preparation for the
birth of a new and exciting stage on the wheel of life.

OTHALA - Communal energy, Tradition, Stability

Community minded thinking, members of a group working for the betterment of the
whole will provide support and security. Knowing that the foundation is firm
will provide freedom from constraint. Ancestral tradition instills comfort and
confidence. Heirlooms, or inheritances of objects symbolic of loving energy may
be passed down to you. Honor these gifts by preserving the tradition and
evolving from it.

DAGAZ - Truth, Hope, Illumination

This rune is synonymous with the sun's dawning rays supporting an awakening to a
new broader perspective. A change in consciousness may result, manifesting as a
change in previous plans in light of increased knowledge.

THE BLANK RUNE - Unknown, Karma, Universal Responsibility

Knowing the answers to your questions may not be advantageous to your growth at
this time. Knowing may affect your natural actions. Make sure that you have been
specific when posing your question.

This rune also indicates that the karmic wave may be flowing back to you. A
negative or positive vibration that originated with you will be coming back.



The following is a step by step guide to a personal RUNE cast. For the novice
seeker it is not essential to have a traditional hand crafted cache of Runes. An
easy make-shift set can be created by simply cutting 25 equally sized squares
from paper or cardboard. Then inscribe each of the squares with one of the Rune
symbols. For those who are more intent on learning the ancient method and
traditions of the Rune cast, it is suggested that when inscribing each symbol,
its teachings should be meditated upon. This process activates the energy of
each of the Runes symbolic wisdom.

1. Formulate a specific question and meditate upon it.

2. After you feel your question has been sufficiently stated, reach into your
pouch and withdraw three rune stones one at a time.

3. Lay the runes in front of you in the order that they are drawn, successively
from left to right

4. Make sure that the runes are placed as you naturally have pulled them. If a
rune is reverse position, it must be recognized to be in the reverse position.

*Reversed runes will indicate that the qualities invested in the Rune appear
blocked or inappropriately applied. It would denote that the energy of the rune
is available to you if you open yourself to receive.

5. First Rune: Past Influences concerning situation

6. Second Rune: Present influences and energies

7. Third Rune: Probable outcome as it relates to the conditions of the first
two. The future is changeable with a shift in current management.

8. These three runes can also be read as body, mind, and spirit when
understanding or clarification of self is sought.

Free eBooks (Can Be Downloaded):

Karl Hans Welz - Armanen Runes
Samael Aun Weor - Magic Runes
Bernard King - Meanings Of The Runes

Sunday, October 1, 2006

The Magican Workbook Practicing The Rituals Of The Western Tradition

The Magican Workbook Practicing The Rituals Of The Western Tradition Cover

Book: The Magican Workbook Practicing The Rituals Of The Western Tradition by Donald Tyson

The forty exercises in this book are designed to develop the practical skills necessary to work ritual magic in the Western Tradition. Their value lies in the doing. They are not meant to be studied or analyzed, but repeatedly performed on a regular basis. When integrated into a daily routine of practice and done consistently over a period of months, the benefits they confer are automatic and universal. They strengthen the will, focus concentration, enhance creative Visualization, and awaken the perception of esoteric forces and spiritual creatures.

Anyone who follows the routine of practice set forth in the appendix will experience profound changes of mind and body. The degree of benefit will vary depending on the latent gifts within each individual, but just as no one can lift weights for months without enlarging their biceps, it is impossible to work these exercises of Practical Magic without expanding and strengthening the occult faculties. You will become more aware of the processes of your own mind, and increasingly conscious of your dreams. You will sense subtle currents of force moving within your body and through the world around you, and learn to control them.

Your intuition will grow keener and more reliable. You will perceive the presence of spiritual intelligences and interact with them. You will be able to project the power of your will as a tangible force to influence spirits and human beings. You will cleanse buildings and places of destructive atmospheres, charge objects with subtle energies, open gateways to higher spiritual realms, awaken the energy centers of your body, and call forth angels and elementals to serve your needs.

All exercises are completely practical. A brief commentary has been added to each, but these commentaries contain no theories or moral cautions or history lessons, only instructions essential to avoid confusion and insure accurate performance. Countless books explain, justify, and analyze various aspects and systems of magic, past and present, in exhaustive detail. These works have their place, but they often suffer from a deficiency of simple directions on how to actually do the magic they describe. Readers are forced to distill procedures from hundreds of pages of general discussion, or must translate abstract references into practical steps.

Download Donald Tyson's eBook: The Magican Workbook Practicing The Rituals Of The Western Tradition

Books in PDF format to read:

Richard Alan Miller - The Magical And Ritual Use Of Herbs
The Troth - Welcome To The Troth Honoring The Northern Tradition
Order Of The Golden Dawn - The Invoking Pentagram Ritual Of Water
Robert Mathiesen - Magic In Slavia Orthodoxa The Written Tradition
Donald Tyson - The Magican Workbook Practicing The Rituals Of The Western Tradition