A few years ago I began to look into the history and use of the Theban alphabet which are also known as Witches Runes, Witch writing, Honorian alphabet and the Runes of Honorius. This form of cypher dates back to Medieval times and has been a used in Mysticism and magical practices ever since. In recent years I began making Theban divination sets and find it to be quite a intriguing type of divination. So today’s blog post will be covering all about this interesting alphabet.
The Origins of the Theban
The Witch’s alphabet dates back to the 14th Century and is also known as the Theban alphabet. Additionally it has been called the Honorian alphabet, Theban Script or the Runes of Honorius. It’s exact origin is unknown nor is it’s original creator. As it is with all undocumented ancient history, there is controversy surrounding the Witch’s alphabet. It’s mostly been attributed to Honorius of Thebes, a Middle Age figure shrouded in so much mystery that some consider his very existence to be a myth. Many students of the occult believe the Theban alphabet dates back much further, to before the 11th Century. That group claims it originated as an alchemical cipher with an Avestan influence. Avestan is oldest preserved Indo-Aryan language and it’s closely related to Vedic Sanskrit. But this counter-theory is also undocumented and thus un-provable.
However, there is evidence to be gleaned from the shape of the characters and corresponding curve patterns that define Theban. They show an unmistakable resemblance to characters found in the Avestan alphabet. This alone doesn’t prove a theory. There are major differences such as fewer characters and the inclusion in Theban of a symbol to denote the end of a sentence. Theban does not have an upper or a lower case, so that symbol was critical. Another comparison has been made with Latin. There is a one-to-one correspondence between letters of the Witch’s alphabet and Latin alphabets with the exception of the letters j and u. Those two letters are represented by the letters for i and v. The Theban alphabet has also been called a runic alphabet but it’s clearly not. Runes are characterized by straight lines and sharp edges, while the Theban alphabet is mostly based on arcs and curls.SOURCE
The first known recordings of the alphabet came from the astrologer Johannes Trithemius who included it in his 1518 published book Polygraphia. Trithemius stated the alphabet came from the Theban Honorius and it was revealed by Petries de Apono (aka Pietro D’Abano).
Since Petries de Apono was close with Pope Honorius IV, some believe him to be the source; or his granduncle, Pope Honorious III. However, there is no proof of this because there has not been any work from either of them that contains this alphabet, including the manuscript written by Pope Honorious III called Grimoire du Pape Honorius.
Another belief connects to the fourteenth-century manuscript The Sworn Book of Honoriusauthored by Honorius of Thebes. According to lore, Honorius of Thebes was a scribe who complied this information together during a large assembly of deeply knowledgable magical practitioners. However, this is still speculation because the only copy of The Sworn Book of Honorius that remains today states that the Theban alphabet’s origins are from Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa.SOURCE
Uses in Magick and Divination
With the exception of the letters J and U / V, this alphabet is a one to one substitution cipher. That means that each character of the Theban alphabet corresponds to one of the letters in the Latin alphabet.
That makes this alphabet very easy to use in your magic writings and other workings. It’s simple to switch one letter for another to obscure what you’re writing.
Especially when the Theban alphabet was created, the Christian church was doing its best to stamp out any ancient practices, paganism, or witchcraft. Writing in a script that couldn’t be translated allowed magicians and witches to record their work without fear of being killed by the church.
The Theban alphabet is popular among witches to give their writings a mystical quality and to hide the meaning of what they are writing. Wiccans and other witches have adopted many substitution ciphers to hide and obscure the contents of their books of shadows.SOURCE
The Theban alphabet can also be used in a similar way in divination like is done with Ogham and Elder Futhark Runes which you can learn more reading HEREand HERE.
In conclusion the Theban alphabet is one that can be used in a variety of ways for spiritual divination and witchcraft practices. It has a fascinating history with origins shrouded in mystery and has been a part of Occult and Mysticism for centuries. Today you can see it used for spells in Grimoires, Book of Shadow and more giving the Theban a practical use still to this day.
Ever since I can remember I have been fascinated by Praying Mantises. I remember the first house I lived in in Oregon had these bushes around the house that seemed to be a haven for these majestic predatory masters of the insect world. I always would go hunting for other insects to feed them and felt as if I was doing a service for them. Little did I know at such a young age the importance and amazing symbolism that are the Praying Mantises. Many years later after building my own greenhouse I even had acquired a Praying mantis egg pod which I placed into my greenhouse and after a few weeks it hatched over 100 of these beautiful creatures. About 25 or so stuck around living in their new dwelling and that was quite beneficial for my garden.
The fact that there are approximately 1,800 species of this amazing carnivores of the insect world that reside on every continent except Antarctica, there should be no surprise they would hold significance in spiritual symbolism with Human civilization for thousands of years. So today I decided to share with you some great resources regarding my favorite insect, the Praying Mantis.
In some cultures, a praying mantis can be a sign of good luck or fortune.
Native Americans believe the insect came before the creation of man and Earth. Paintings, inscriptions, revered symbols and carvings have the insect depicted as a symbol. The bugs represent wealth, success, large families and the cycle of life.
The stealth movements of the praying mantis have made it a symbol of meditation and contemplation. In China, the insect has long been honored for its mindful movements. It never makes a move unless it is certain that is the right thing to do.
In Japan, a praying mantis is a sign of autumn. The bug is often portrayed with the typical gourds and mums that are popular in the season.
Additionally, the fragile looking insect is an emblem of military strength and courage in both China and Japan because it always moves forward to advance and never retreats.SOURCE
A praying mantis head has a triangular shape with two compound eyes with thousands of light sensors that provide them with three-dimensional vision; it’s believed they’re the only insect able to see this way.
Praying mantis don’t have pupils; instead, you see an optical illusion that’s actually just more light receptors, which is why scientists call this a pseudo pupil.
Their neck is quite flexible, so they achieve a 180° range of vision. They generally measure between 1/2 to 6 inches long, with females usually larger than males.
They have an organ similar to an ear located in the thorax, capable of hearing frequencies above the 20,000 hertz that the human ear can perceive. This allows them to hear and recognize the ultrasonic frequencies used by bats who often hunt praying mantis.SOURCE
Why Are They Called Praying Mantis?
The ancient Greeks gave them the name mantis, which means diviner because it was believed a praying mantis possessed magical abilities. This idea is still reflected in its name, mantid, meaning soothsayer.
They’re called praying mantis because their front legs join together when hunting. This method consists of staying motionless and camouflaging itself until the prey approaches close enough to catch it. Then the mantis snatches its prey with jagged forelegs and begins eating it in less than a second. Since all mantids are carnivorous, preying describes them more accurately than praying.SOURCE
A Quick-List of Praying Mantis Symbolism
The mantis never makes a move unless she is 100% positive it is the right thing for her to do. This is a message to us to contemplate and be sure our minds and souls all agree together about the choices we are making in our lives.
Overwhelmingly in most cultures the mantis is a symbol of stillness. As such, she is an ambassador from the animal kingdom giving testimony to the benefits of meditation, and calming our minds.
An appearance from the mantis is a message to be still, go within, meditate, get quite and reach a place of calm. It may also a sign for you to be more mindful of the choices you are making and confirm that these choices are congruent.
A Divine Messenger
The Kalahari Bushmen in Africa worship and consider the Praying Mantis as the oldest symbol of God. They believed it to be an incarnation of God, and whenever they would sight one, they would try and decipher its message.
Have you ever come across a praying mantis in most of the places you’ve visited? Or may be it appears in your dreams? I’m guessing that you might have passed it off as just a coincidence, or may be you think you’ve become too obsessed with this special visitor that you see it just everywhere you go? Oh no, you haven’t become obsessed with the praying mantis neither is it a coincidence! It could mean something else too; a divine message for you, or a wake up call to view your situations more closely.SOURCE
Did you know?
Spiritual teacher Alyson Charles trusts that animals have a way of coming to us when we need to hear their messages the most. “It’s a guide trying to come into our lives, trying to get our attention,” she explains.
In the case of praying mantises, they can represent everything from precision to prophecy, contemplation to deliberation, as well as vision, prayer, perception, and synchronicity, Charles explains.
If they show up around you, it could be a sign you need to make wise choices and act with precision, deepen your mindfulness practice, or be more patient. This is a creature that encourages us to slow down and connect with inner wisdom and even sharpen our clairvoyant abilities.
Historically, she adds, the praying mantis actually inspired a form of kung fu martial arts. During the Northern Song period (A.D. 960–1126), a Chinese kung fu master named Wang Lang was inspired by the movements of the praying mantis after he lost a martial arts competition.
“He watched a praying mantis trying to catch a cicada and was inspired by the agile moves of the mantis. It is said he then collected praying mantises and took them back to the Shaolin Temple to observe closely, going on to create his own form of kung fu inspired by the mantises’ moves,” Charles writes in her book Animal Power: 100 Animals To Energize Your Life and Awaken Your Soul.SOURCE
The Suit of Cups is associated with the element of water. Water is fluid, agile and ‘in flow’ but it’s also very powerful and formative. This tarot suit represents emotions, feelings, subconscious, intuition and psychic ability.
The Cups often represent one’s emotional condition as it relates to personal relationships, love, hate, and the interaction between one’s spiritual level of consciousness and the natural environment.
Upright: When the Ace of Cups appears upright in a tarot reading, it represents an unfailing source of balm for body, heart and soul. It suggests that you can relax into a safety net of love, and support.
Reversed: The Ace of Cups reversed warns of a loss of self-esteem, optimism and faith in the abundance that the universe has to offer. Stop to examine what it is that is causing you to lose altitude. It might be the mental food you are feeding yourself.
Two of Cups
Upright: The Two in this suit signifies a union of souls. This card traditionally describes a romantic relationship, but also includes the idea that all good friendships and partnerships are based on a natural affinity and a deep mutual understanding. As a personal reflection, it can also signify that your mind and your soul are discovering each other, maybe for the first time.
Reversed: The Two of Cups reversed indicates that you may be investing too much in a relationship. Sometimes this is a signal that you must stop seeking so much validation from others.
Three of Cups
Upright: When seen in a tarot reading, this card resonates with a spirit of agreement, mutual support, encouragement and teamwork. It points to all the benefits of harmonious relationship. This card reassures that it’s ok to ask for the help you may need.
Reversed: The Three of Cups reversed indicates that you may be frustrating the best efforts of those who love you most. Try to find a way to let in some of the love and caring that comes to you.
Four of Cups
Upright: A Four in this suit suggest you may have become dissatisfied with life, and emotionally uncomfortable. You need to take a clear look at how stalled or distracted you have become. You may have been bogged down by negativity, hopelessness or a sense of limitation.
Reversed: The Four of Cups reversed indicates that some part of you is resisting the flow of events. Recognize this mood as a symptom of a deeper dissatisfaction and come clean to yourself about your real feelings. There is something to be learned.
Five of Cups
Upright: When seen upright in a tarot reading, the Five of Cups traditionally portrays the mess that is left after an emotional upheaval, such as a tantrum or fit of rage. Consequences run the gamut from a hangover and lost wages, to abuse and ruined relationships. Take some time to reflect and recover.
Reversed: The Five of Cups reversed represents a paradoxical situation wherein what seems like the worst thing that could happen actually creates a better circumstance. You are freer to act authentically as a result of this energy turn.
Six of Cups
Upright: When this tarot card appears upright, it generally represents a refreshing openness and innocence and a willingness to learn. Remember that this same freshness, those new possibilities, are always available to you, even now.
Reversed: With the Six of Cups reversed, you can finally close accounts with the emotional undertow that has been part of your life. Try to revisit those wounded places calmly, without the fear that you will be drawn back in.
Seven of Cups
Upright: The Seven of this suit typically refers to works of the imagination, the use of dream and vision to invent a future different than the life one is currently living. This card reminds you that your outcomes are not set in stone.
Reversed: The Seven of Cups reversed suggests that you to reawaken to playfulness, joy and curiosity. Perhaps a lack of purpose is having a deadening effect.
Eight of Cups
Upright: This is a difficult card, but a realistic one, insofar as it warns against misplaced trust and unguarded vulnerability.
Reversed: The Eight of Cups reversed suggests that you may have experienced a terrible event, yet you have somehow not allowed it to ruin your life. Under the circumstances, you are doing just fine. Recognize how far you’ve come.
Nine of Cups
Upright: The Nine of Cups in this position advises that you open yourself to circumstances around you. There may be no need to manage a situation that does not require a lot of control or leadership.
Reversed: The Nine of Cups reversed suggests that you are getting what you thought you wanted, but it’s not what you really want at all. This is an essential lesson in life. When you set a goal, specify how you want it to feel in your life, not just what you want to be, do or have.
Ten of Cups
Upright: The Ten of this suit upright traditionally signifies family and community. It suggest that you should prioritize teamwork over your personal goals.
Reversed: The Ten of Cups reversed suggests that a group’s collective good will is damaged and its safety net is fraying. Things are being said and done that will be regretted later.
Page of Cups
Upright: When this card presents itself in a reading, it may be that a sense of being grounded in reality has not yet entirely set in. Be unconcerned with the outcome. Later you will understand why you needed to be in this position.
Reversed: When the Page of Cups card is reversed it suggests that you may have been overly expressing some self-indulgent feelings. If you impinge upon the good nature of others too much, you may be unpleasantly surprised by the results.
Knight of Cups
Upright: The Knight of Cups in this position advises that you jump into your new situation with both feet. Think no more about the route you had to travel to get back here. There is no need to be cavalier about what seems familiar.
Reversed: When reversed, the knight of cups continually looks for excuses or a way to blame his problems on someone else. It suggests you may need to reflect and take personal responsibility for the way things are in your life.
Queen of Cups
Upright: The Queen of Cups upright encourages you to be generous, kind and forgiving. Support the ability of others to get what they want. However, you must not allow your willingness to give be misunderstood or abused, as if it were a weakness.
Reversed: When this card is reversed in a reading, it suggests that you stop all efforts to dull your pain or distract yourself from it. Looking the other way is not going to help you anymore. You must be emotionally honest with yourself in order to heal.
King of Cups
Upright: When the King of Cups appears in this position, it advises that you closely examine your conscience and bring your personal mission into alignment with what is best for everyone.
Reversed: Reversed, this card suggests you may be bitterly holding a grudge or some hatred — withholding your natural propensity for forgiveness. This will create an emotional vacuum around you.
What It Takes:
These are extremely brief descriptions of The Suit of Pentacle tarot cards. To fully utilize the art of tarot with confidence takes much time and extensive learning. It is strongly advised that you do further personal research and dive deeper into the complex meanings of each tarot card, prior to practicing this form of divination.
Today’s animal blog post on the folklore, mythology and symbolism plus more will be covering the Owl. With approximately 250 species of Owls around the world it is expected that these predators of the night would absolutely become embedded in culture, folklore and even associated with Deities which indeed is the case. Owls to me are very fascinating both with their important roles in nature and how they have had an effect in humans. So today let us dive into the world of Owls and their significance in the myths, folklore and more.
Throughout history and across many cultures, people have regarded Owls with fascination and awe. Few other creatures have so many different and contradictory beliefs about them. Owls have been both feared and venerated, despised and admired, considered wise and foolish, and associated with witchcraft and medicine, the weather, birth and death. Speculation about Owls began in earliest folklore, too long ago to date, but passed down by word of mouth over generations.
In early Indian folklore, Owls represent wisdom and helpfulness, and have powers of prophecy. This theme recurs in Aesop’s fables and in Greek myths and beliefs. By the Middle Ages in Europe, the Owl had become the associate of witches and the inhabitant of dark, lonely and profane places, a foolish but feared spectre. An Owl’s appearance at night, when people are helpless and blind, linked them with the unknown, its eerie call filled people with foreboding and apprehension: a death was imminent or some evil was at hand. During the eighteenth century the zoological aspects of Owls were detailed through close observation, reducing the mystery surrounding these birds. With superstitions dying out in the twentieth century – in the West at least – the Owl has returned to its position as a symbol of wisdom. Continue reading HERE.
OWL MYTHS AND LEGENDS by Shani Freidman
Owls and humans are connected from the dawn of history. The nighttime activity, large eyes, acute vision, and “wisdom” of owls were known by the ancients. Dating from a Sumerian tablet (2300 to 2000 BC), Lilith, the goddess of death, has talons for feet, wears a headdress of horns, and is flanked by owls. She is probably the inspiration for Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom and warfare. The rock crevices of Athens and the Acropolis were filled with small owls, believed to be the embodiment of Athena. When the Athenians won the battle of Marathon from the Persians in 490 BC, the warrior goddess Athena assumed the shape of an owl and led them from above.
The Romans, who appropriated many of the Greek beliefs, associated owls with Minerva, the goddess of prophesy and wisdom. Minerva’s role was similar to Athena’s. The prophetic qualities of owls were known. Virgil writes that the hoot of an owl foretold the death of Dido. Pliny reports great confusion and fear in the Forum when an owl entered. Horace associates owls with witchcraft. Romans used representations of owls to combat the evil eye. Owl feathers and internal organs were found in magical potions and pharmaceutical remedies. For example, the ashes of an owl’s feet were an antidote to snakebite, and an owl’s heart placed on the breast of a sleeping woman forced her to tell all her secrets. Continue reading HERE.
6 Myths and Superstitions About Owls
Owls are famous for their exceptional eyesight and it was thought that you could gain better eyesight by ingesting parts of them. In England, the method was to cook owl eggs until they were ash, then incorporate them into a potion. Folklore from India had a more direct method: just eat owl eyes.
Owls are a sign of death in many cultures, including some Native American tribes. For instance, dreaming of an owl signified approaching death for Apache people. Boreal owl calls were a call from spirits to the Cree people, and if you answered back to the owl with a whistle and didn’t get a response, it was a sign that your death was imminent. On the other hand, Dakota Hidatsa people believed that burrowing owls acted as protective spirits for warriors.
For some cultures, the owl was sacred. Among Australian Aborigines, owls are the spirits of women and so are sacred. The Kwakiutl people also thought owls were the souls of people and shouldn’t be harmed because, if the owl was killed, the person whose soul the owl carried would also die. In fact, many different cultures believed that a person became an owl after death.
Owls are often viewed as a symbol of wisdom. The “wise old owl” character comes from an old English nursery rhyme, which suggests that listening more than talking is a valuable character trait that we would all benefit from developing. As such, the owl has become a sign of learning and mental change. Many people believe that seeing an owl is a profoundly good thing, as it indicates the start of a new phase in life.
Owls are, of course, associated with witchcraft—particularly white ones, which are the most elusive. Greeks and Romans believed witches could turn themselves into owls, and in this form would come to suck the blood of babies. In other cultures, owls were simply the messengers of witches, or hooted to warn of the approach of a witch. Unfortunately this led to many owls being hunted and killed in the Middle Ages.
Though the owl’s nocturnal activity was at the root of many superstitions, the amazing ability of an owl to rotate its neck to extraordinary degrees was even turned into a myth. In England it was believed that if you walked around a tree that an owl was perched in, it would follow you with its eyes, around and around until it wrung its own neck.SOURCE
“You don’t need anything but hope. The kind of hope that flies on silent wings under a shining owl moon.”
The Owl as a Spirit Guide
When you seek out Owl, it is a way of reaching your Higher Self and truly seeing things from a spiritual perspective; This refreshing vantage point allows you to open doorways into other realms and connect with the Devas, Ancestors, Angels, and the Divine.
Owl has a strong connection with the element of air. Travel with Owl Spirit to the heavens and soar through the halls of the Akashic records. Owl will show you things that might otherwise remain hidden to you, so be open to seeing things in a whole new way.
You cannot deceive Owl, which is why this Spirit Animal reminds us to remain true to ourselves, our voice, and our vision. Owl does not tolerate illusion or secrets. If there are skeletons in the closet, you can trust that Owl will find them and start house cleaning.
It is no surprise that the Goddess Athena held Owls as sacred. Athena is beyond doubt, one of the most complex Deities in history, and Her attributes included wisdom and strategy – so Owl Spirit became the perfect companion. In Greek tradition, Owl was also a protector. It was believed that an Owl flying over a soldier or army portended victory because Owl would remain watchful.
As a creature of the night, the Celts and Egyptians regarded Owl as a gatekeeper to other realms, particularly the souls of the dead. In some stories, this bird actually accompanies a soul, so it doesn’t get lost on its journey.
In Native American tradition, Owl represents sacred knowledge (you’ll get to know me, I live for puns). When you begin studying the mysteries, this Spirit Animal Guide is an amazing helpmate and mentor.
Overall, Owl is a symbol of being able to navigate any darkness in our life; this Spirit brings clarity, prophetic inklings, and a strong connection with the mystical world.SOURCE
“Owls are known as lonely birds, but it is not known that they have the forest as their best friend!”
– Mehmet Murat Ildan
Perception, Silent Observation, Wisdom, Deception
The Owl has a dual symbolism of wisdom and darkness, the latter meaning evil and death. They are symbolically associated with clairvoyance, astral projection and magick, and is oftentimes the medicine of sorcerers and witches, you are drawn to magickal practices. Those who have owl medicine will find that these night birds will tend to collect around you, even in daytime, because they recognise a kinship with you.
The two main symbolic characteristics of the Owl, its wisdom and its nocturnal activity– have made it represent perception. Considering perception in a spiritual context, Owl medicine is related to psychism, occult matters, instincts, and clairvoyance– the true ability to see what is happening around you.
The owl can see that which others cannot, which is the essence of true wisdom. Where others are deceived, Owl sees and knows what is there.
Use your power of keen, silent observation to intuit some life situation, Owl is befriending you and aiding you in seeing the whole truth. The Owl also brings its messages in the night through dreams or meditation. Pay attention to the signals and omens. The truth always brings further enlightenment.
The Owl, symbol of the Goddess, represents perfect wisdom. Owls have the ability to see in the dark and fly noiselessly through the skies. They bring messages through dreams. The Owl is the bird of mystical wisdom and ancient knowledge of the powers of the moon. With wide-open, all-seeing eyes, Owl looks upon reality without distortion and acknowledges it, yet is aware that with ancient magickal and spiritual knowledge, he or she can make changes.SOURCE
What Sees the Owl by Elizabeth Sears Bates
His velvet wing sweeps through the night: With magic of his wondrous sight He oversees his vast domain, And king supreme of night doth reign.
Around him lies a silent world, The day with all its noise is furled; When every shadow seems a moon, And every light a sun at noon.
How welcome from the blinding glare Is the cool grayness of the air! How sweet the power to reign, a king, When day his banishment will bring!
For him the colorless moonlight Burns brilliant, an aurora bright; The forest’s deepest gloom stands clear From mystery and helpless fear.
He sees the silver cobwebs spun, The dewdrops set the flowers have won, The firefly’s gleam offends his sight, It seems a spark of fierce sunlight.
Clear winter nights when he so bold, “For all his feathers, is a-cold,” Sees the Frost-spirit fling his lace, And fashion icicles apace.
At his weird call afar and faint A sleepy echo, like the quaint Last notes of some wild chant, replies And mocks his solitude—and dies.
I have been aware of the Goddess Lilith most of my life but growing up in the toxic environment during my childhood, Lilith was characterized as an evil and malicious demon which I later learned is a Christianized version twisted for that religions own purpose. The truth is that Lilith’s origins is shrouded in some mystery and is quite a complex Goddess who is deserving of true respect, honor and dedication. That is my purpose of this blog post which is important to me as I have close friends who work with her in their magick practices.
The exact origins of Lilith are uncertain and there is lot of speculation around the historical accuracy of most versions of her myth.
In Mesopotamian mythology, Lilith was associated with the figure of a female night demon. In this culture, the shadowy creature symbolized the wind and, therefore, had its image related to pests, malaise and death. To get in touch with her universe, Lilith used water as a portal. Already in Hebrew mythology, with quotes in the Midrash and Talmud, Lilith is also seen as a demon.
Among the Sumerians, in the middle of 3000 BC. C., Lilith was known by the name of Lilitu. In that period, her figure appeared, at first, in the representation of a group of demons or spirits related to storms and winds. According to some mythologists, in 700 BC the name was changed to Lilith. As in Sumer, the peoples of Babylon associated Lilith with evil spirits and demonic entities. Symbolizing her by the moon, the Babylonians believed that the female devil varied between bad and good phases.SOURCE
Lilith is a Sumerian or Babylonian demon Goddess, Who is perhaps better known for Her role in Jewish legend. Called “The Dark Maid” or “Maiden of Desolation,” Lilith is associated with owls and is a creature of the night. She is depicted on a Babylonian clay plaque from 2000-1600 BCE as beautiful winged woman with bird’s feet and claws.
As a young woman,Inanna, the Sumerian Goddess of love and war, plants a sacred huluppu-tree from which She hopes to make Her throne (representing Her power as an adult woman) and bed (representing Her full sexuality). But Lilith, along with the serpent and the lion-faced anzu-bird, takes up residence in the huluppu-tree, as a symbol of Inanna’s fears. The hero Gilgamesh eventually drives Lilith out, and Inanna is then able to claim Her throne and bed.
In Jewish legend, Lilith is Adam’s first wife. She refused to have sex with him because she did not want to be beneath him. She left him and was cursed to give birth to one hundred demon children a day who were then killed. She was said to take Her revenge for this curse by stealing or killing human children. Her name means “Screech Owl” or “Night Creature.” She is mentioned in the Bible: as the Hebrew God, Yahweh, threatens the destruction of Edom (a land located to the south and east of the Dead Sea) He describes what will happen after it is laid waste: “…The night creature shall rest there, and find for herself a place of rest” (Book of Isaiah, chapter 34, verse 14). Like in the Inanna legend, Lilith’s presence symbolizes a dark time of fear or desolation.SOURCE
Epithets and Names of Lilith
Lilith has had many names throughout history, some with known origins and some without. A few popular titles are:
There are at least three versions of Lilith’s fate outside Eden: the first tells that she was confined to the caves of the Red Sea, where she would still live dedicating herself to pagan rites in full harmony with nature.
On the other hand, the second version says she was the lover of every demon in the world: in essence, once she left the Garden of God, she would have lain with the demons present on earth to prove that she did not need divine grace.
This version, however, would be forced and is not very valid for the followers of Lilith, who point out that since there are only two human beings on a still pure earth, there certainly could not be many demons.
A third version says that Lilith could be allowed to return to Eden as long as she became the protector of all newborns. Lilith, however, saw it as an affront: taking care of children not her own would be a punishment. It seems therefore that she went far away until she met the demon Asmodeus.
Between the two it was an instant love or, at least, it was something that resembled it; it seems that they chose each other as companions and that Lilith gave birth to many Lilim, or demon children, also called jinn.
At this point, it seems that once again God tried to bring her back. He commissioned three angels, Senoy, Sansenoy, and Semangelof, to look for her. The three did not use the right strategy: they ordered her to return by threatening her with death, but she replied that she could not return to Adam after having had a relationship with a demon and that she would never be able to die because she became immortal.Continue reading HERE.
Sigil of Lilith
Lilith is a symbol of femininity, beauty, freedom, rebellion, strength and courage. She is the liberator of the women, encouraging them to be strong and to fight for their rights. Lilith is also known to help during the childbirths and all which concerns the femininity.
Lilith is associated to the night and to the moon, to the water, to the rose, to the snake, to big cats, and more particularly to the cat, to the owl and to the hyena.
In the tarot, she is symbolized by the Empress and the High Priestess.
Lilith is often associated with Ishtar/Inanna, with Isis, or with Kitra for vampyres. In the Luciferian Wicca, she embodies the goddess, the symbol of the feminine energy of the universe (associated with the God, Lucifer, the symbol of the male energy).
Calling on Lilith Ritual
In most Wiccan and pagan traditions, the sacred feminine and masculine represent different aspects of life, personalities, and energies. Often, the masculine (either in energy or via the God) is utilized for spells and rituals focused on strength. But sometimes, what you need can’t come from the masculine. Sometimes what you need is unmatched feminine ferocity, strength pulled from the fury and darkness that has built over millennia. In those instances, calling upon Lilith will aid you in finding your inner strength and releasing that power.
For this ritual, you will need:
a sliced apple (to eat, make sure it is in good shape)
red wine (or grape juice if you don’t drink alcohol)
bloodstone (for strength, courage, and confidence)
a small plate
any owl or serpent statuary or imagery you’d like to include on your altar
music from a female artist you like
Perform this ritual at night. If there is a dark moon soon, wait for that if you can. If you can perform it outdoors, that will work best, as Lilith lives in the wilds. Set your statuary or imagery on your altar if you’d like. Place the bloodstone at the center. Place the plate with the sliced apples to the right of the bloodstone. Place the chalice with the red wine to the left of the bloodstone.
Begin by focusing your intention on calling Lilith and finding your strength. Meditate on your intentions for a few moments. Play the music, pick up the bloodstone, and begin to dance. Dance wildly, widely, without inhibition. Feel the wild within your heart grow and let it flourish in your dance. Dance to a few songs, holding the bloodstone tightly as you do, letting the energy you are raising be intensified by the power of the stone.
Turn down the music (but not off) and return to your altar. Touch the stone to the apple and the wine, then replace it in the center. Hold your hands over the apple and wine and recite this incantation:
Lilith, First Witch, Dark Mother
Protector of all who are othered
Help me release my power
No longer see me cower
Move both hands over the apple. Recite this incantation:
Knowledge from its flesh
Wisdom that is refreshed
I bring your power into me
I set my wildness free
Eat one slice of apple, focusing your intention. Move both hands over the wine. Recite this incantation:
Millennia of tears and blood
Building into a flood
Of women’s fury and power
I bring to myself in this dark hour
Take a sip of the wine, focusing your intention. Turn the music up again and call to Lilith to dance with you.
Lilith, wild, strong, and free
Join in and dance with me
Help my strength to grow
My own power let me know
As you dance, take breaks to thank Lilith, eat more of the apple, and drink more of the wine. Continue until both are gone. Carry the bloodstone with you when you need the strength of the dark feminine. SOURCE
Correspondences and Offerings to Lilith
Clay: Lilith is said to be made of clay.
Figures of animals such as owls and snakes.
Books and artwork depicting Lilith
Symbols of the Dark Moon
Crystals such as tiger’s eye, amber, bloodstone, moonstone, and obsidian.
You can use scents such as jasmine, dragon’s blood, musk, and sandalwood.
Alcohol, specifically red wine.
Some may choose to use blood as an offering for Lilith, but blood is a powerful connection to your own energy. You should only use blood in a ritual if you have a complete understanding of the energetic implications of doing so. This is not recommended for those who are just beginning to work with any deity.SOURCE
**NOTE** A close friend of mine who works closely with Lilith shared with me that Red Carnelian stone is also associated with Lilith.
Hag stones are something I have been fascinated with for a very long time and enjoy collecting them from all over this country and around the world. Hag stones have been a part of magical practices and folklore for thousands of years and still to this day. They have a variety of other names such as Fairy Stones, Odin Stones, Holey Stones, Witch Stones, Adder Stones, Snake Eggs, Hex Stones, Holeys, and Eye Stones. From viewing into the spirit realm to warding off evil spirits at sea, Hag stones have many uses which will be explained in this blog. Hag stones are most commonly found on beaches along the coast but also can be found on lake shores and even in river beds. So with that all said let us get into the fascinating world of these amazing stones.
Origin of the Term Hag Stone
The name “hag stone” originates in part from ancient beliefs that most maladies, which were curable by using this stone, were caused originally by spectral hags. Other areas call them adder stones because they are believed to protect the wearer from the effects of snake bite. Germanic legend says that adder stones are formed when serpents gather together and use their venom to create the holes in the center of the stones. Hag stones are said to have many uses. They have been used by witches worldwide for centuries in both rituals and spell work. They also have been used, ironically, as a toll to counteract a witch’s magick. Legend has it that they can be used to ward off the dead, curses, sickness and nightmares.
They are used to see invisible creatures of the land of the Fae and open up a window to other realms. They are used as protection against spells, warding, and healing. The spell for fertility magic had a hag stone tied to the bedpost to help facilitate pregnancy. There are stories of very large hag stones; large enough for someone to walk through. These are used by couples trying to achieve pregnancy by walking through it together or holding hands.
Livestock owners would use the stones to protect their animals from bewitchment or being ridden to the Sabbath by witches. A stone would be suspended by a cord in the center of each stable to protect the horses and other live stock. Else a cow would give sour milk and hens refused to lay and eggs. Fisherman and sailors would often find them on beaches during their travels. They would tie them to their boats to keep off evil spirits and witches from affecting their ships and their catch. It was believed that evil spirits and witches would curse ships to have small catches, but a hag stone would prevent this from happening. A few stories speak of them being able to control the winds on the high seas; or more formerly, they could control the weather.Continue reading HERE.
A few uses of Hag Stones
Hang it above your front door or over a window to keep evil spirits out.
If you’re a sailor, tie one with rope to your ship to prevent witches clinging to your vessel, and to swing in the wind to help break up storm clouds.
Wear it around your neck on a string to ensure good health and to heal any minor ills.
Nail one above the door of your barn to stop witches souring your herd’s milk or taking your horses for a gallop in the night.
Attach a hag stone to your bedpost to keep bad dreams away.
Tie one to your keys so they will never be lost again.
Use them to help you conceive a baby. (We’re not quite clear on exactly how this is done. Perhaps just have one about your person…)
Enter Fairyland through it (apparently the hole is a portal). Again, we’re unsure about how to do this, but it can’t hurt to just have a peer at Fairyland through the hole.
*Only ever take one at a time though, and only for yourself. The stones are said to find you; you don’t find the stones. And they only work for the person they found.SOURCE
How to Use Hag Stones for Magick
Despite their general state being to banish faeries, if you wish to attract some, you can pour morning dew through a Hag Stone hole and anoint yourself with it.
Other rituals that can be practiced with these objects, include a fertility ritual, a ritual for increased mental balance and safety while seafaring.
For the fertility ritual, you must find a Hag Stone that is big enough to walk or crawl through, while most Hag Stones are pebble sized there are a few that are more of a boulder. You must then link hands with your partner then go through together. If all goes well you will be blessed with a baby.
For the ritual of mental healing and balance, tie a Hag Stone to your bedpost or headboard. The next time you take a nap you will be graced with calmness, enhanced mood and other benefits that resemble meditation.
For the final ritual you must nail a Hag Stone to the side of your sea-craft, make sure to secure it very tightly in order to make sure it does not fall into the watery depths of the ocean. After you have done this folklore states that storms and rough tides will be dissuaded from coming your way as will all manner of malevolent sea spirits.
While at sea, Hag Stones could also be utilized for breaking up storms, this also applies on land. In order to do this simply tie a string or rope through the Hag Stone and swirl it around your head, this will dispel the gathering storms.SOURCE
**Opinions of research may vary. Dates are agreed but times and causes are conflicting according to where information is obtained.**
Salem, Massachusetts is well known for many reasons; one being the home to the Witch Hunts. During the reign of King William and Queen Mary, a war with France began in 1689, noted as King William’s War. This war had a very high toll on the colonies, mostly Salem Village in Massachusetts. Between low resources, family controversies, wealth, greed and those dependent on agriculture; the first ordained Minister of Salem, Reverend Samuel Parris was greatly disliked among the community. He had a very greedy nature. With all of this going on, the village soon gave into the belief this was all due to the Devil.
With winter months coming, people were falling ill. In fact, Reverend Parris’ daughter and niece fell ill in early 1692 and were having convulsions. Tituba, a servant in the Parris household, was especially close with Betty Parris. She had never been accused of witchcraft or dark arts before. This time though, she had been, due to healing a sick child. Tituba fell to not only be the first victim but also the first to witness the Salem Witch hunt.
As the months went on more and more had been accused by the two girls, Elizabeth Parris (Betty aged 9) and Abigail Williams (aged 11/Niece). In the year of 1692, Chief Justice William Stoughton had presided over the initial trials and had in one day, June 10th, hung 18 people. All being accused of some form of witchcraft and all from different stations in life. Thirteen women and five men met their end at the gallows. One man crushed to death as well by slab of stone. As well as 5 others who died in jail, bringing the number to a total of 25 deaths. Eventually near 200 people had been accused in the end and a listed 25 had died. Many, once released from prison, had died of hysteria(s), or other ailments they had attained while in prison.
Then like clockwork, Betty and Abigail, started accusing those who had helped them put so many away and to their deaths. One being the governor’s own wife. At this point, Governor William Phipps decided it was time to put an end to the ridiculous claims. He, in October 1692, disbanded the courts who held the trials, replaced them, and then proceeded to rule that spectral evidence was not true evidence. From late 1692 through mid-1693, those still in jail and awaiting execution were pardoned. For many years that followed, those who were affected by the Salem witch trials, were given apologies and restitution.
The Baba Yaga is the most famous Witch of Slavic folklore and in my opinion gets misinterpreted by many who know so little about who she is and what she symbolizes. The Baba Yaga is actually quite complex and even though most consider her a malevolent and evil Witch of the woods there are others like myself who believe there is a more benevolent side of her and this can be accounted in far older Pagan practices from the Slavic regions of Eastern Europe. Most of what we find describing her as this hideous old child eating hag only dates back to the 18th century but her origins are actually far older. In fact there are some sources that believe there are multiple Baba Yaga’s found throughout Eastern Europe but even beyond that there are folklore tales of other Baba Yaga like Witches in other parts of Europe and even the Middle East. I personally am fascinated with Slavic folklore seeing how I have ancestry from that region and have done some spiritual work with the Baba Yaga so I felt this was an important subject to bring to my readers.
Baba Yaga is a powerful and terrifying witch depicted in Slavic folklore. She lives in a small hut, located deep in the forest. Her property is surrounded by a massive fence, decorated with human bones as if they were ornamental wind chimes. Often, her hut is described as being set upon chicken legs, an unsettling image any way it is illustrated. Her primary mode of transportation is a mortar and pestle set. She sits within the bowl of the mortar and uses the pestle like an oar to move through the sky. This shows attention to the practice of alchemy or herbal work, which is an integral part of witchcraft. It is said she appears as a long, skeletal figure with an enormous hooked nose which reaches the ceiling of her hut when she rests. Her legacy is as erratic as she is, as she is often said to be the guardian of her dark and wild land, a matriarch, and a wise teacher, but also a fickle and treacherous eater of men. The earliest recognizable mention of her is found in a Russian text written by Mikhail V. Lomonosov in which he presents a series of tales from Slavic tradition. Most surviving stories involving Baba Yaga don’t revolve around her, but around heroes or villains who come in contact with her.SOURCE
Etymology of Baba Yaga
Baba Yaga has been associated with ancient mythological characters (she’s like the Boogeyman in Russian mythology). In the Slavic languages, the word “baba” means “old woman” or “grandma” although this word was sometimes used as a term that would describe female demons or specific ailments like measles (also called “baba Sharka”).
In addition, the word “baba” was also used for some astronomical phenomena or concepts of time and seasons, such as “baba Gale” which described the moon, or “baba Marta” which was the other name of the month March. The origins of the word “yaga” are quite unclear although some experts suggest that the word means “evil” or “horror”.
The variation of the full name “Baba Yaga” can be found in the languages of the Eastern Slavs. As a reference to the Russian folklore, the word “baba” in Old Russian means “midwife”, “fortune teller” or “sorceress”. The modern Russian, on the other hand, defines the word “babushka” as “grandmother” or simply “old woman”.
In Bulgarian and Serbo-Croatian, “baba” means “grandma”, however, in many modern Slavic languages, the word “baba” is a pejorative synonym of the word “woman” (suggesting a foolish woman). The great number of associations related to the origin of the character of Baba Yaga created many theories that, nonetheless, support the main assumption that “baba” means “old woman” or “grandmother”. Moreover, “baba” was maybe added to distinguish the Baba Yaga from her possible male counterpart in the myth. As it was mentioned before, the second element of the name “Yaga” has a rather problematic etymology. Scholars have never made an adamant consensus over its meaning. “Yaga” appears in various Slavic languages.SOURCEcredit Meet the Slavs
Origins of Baba Yaga
Many folklorists study Baba Yaga and argue over where she came from. This character appeared many centuries ago and tracking her true roots is a challenge. I’ve read many different versions, one that stood out to me is the ancient traditions of Finno-Ugric people.
It’s is believed that those people had a tradition that goes back to the paganism era when there were many ethnic religions. There was a group that believed in a ritual that was supposed to help them stay connected with their passed relatives. The ritual involved creating a doll (or baba – which means a women) out of sticks and dressing it in a fur coat called yaga. They would build her a “house” mostly out of wood. Since this house was only a symbolism and didn’t carry any functional purpose – it didn’t have any windows or doors. They also liked to raise it above the ground on sticks so that the animals would not get inside of it.SOURCE
My hands are tree roots,
My breath is the wind
I hide in your shadow till dusk comes again
Always seen, rarely heard and
Never quite understood
I’m the last person you come to when no one else listens
There are some lesser known stories of the Baba Yaga actually being more benevolent depending on how you approach her and other stories where she is more of a neutral Witch and reacts depending on the situation to in a way maintain some sort of magical balance.
One of the most interesting details of Baba Yaga is that she is described as being neither malevolent nor “good.” Many folktales throughout the centuries differentiate between witches as being either good or evil, but stories of Baba Yaga illuminate that the true nature of a witch is more ambiguous, or even unpredictable. This Slavic crone is often helpful, willing to impart her wisdom unto those who seek it, but she is also a formidable enemy, should one incur her ire. Many times, she has been credited with the success or the downfall of heroes in Slavic lore.SOURCE
Similar Baba Yaga’s
Babaroga(not to be mistaken with Baba Yaga!) is creature known among Southern Slavs. She is represented as very ugly, hunchbacked old woman with horn on head, who live in dark caves. According to folktales, Babaroga likes to steal naughty children and to bring them to her lair.
In Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, and Macedonia, the Bogeyman is called Babaroga, baba meaning old woman and rogovi meaning horns, literally meaning old woman with horns. The details vary from one household to another. In one version, babaroga takes children, puts them in a sack, and then, when it comes to its cave, eats them. In another version, it takes children and pulls them up through tiny holes in the ceiling.
Iraq’s ancient folklore has the saalua, a half-witch half-demon ghoul that “is used by parents to scare naughty children”. She is briefly mentioned in a tale of the 1001 Nights, and is known in some other Persian Gulf countries as well.
Black Annis was a hag with a blue face and iron claws who lived in a cave in the Dane Hills of Leicestershire. She ventured forth at night in search of children to devour.Grindylow, Jenny Greenteeth and Nelly Longarms were grotesque hags who lived in ponds and rivers and dragged children beneath the water if they got too close.SOURCE
Of the 78 cards in a Tarot deck, the majority of them belong to the Minor Arcana. However, just because they’re called “minor” does not mean that these cards have a minor or unimportant influence in your life.
The Minor Arcana describe the physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual aspects of the universe. They point out situations, events, challenges, and lessons to be learned in this lifetime. Sometimes, they also show specific people.
These typically have a temporary influence – that is, they represent an energy that is moving through your life right now and that can be easily changed, depending on the actions you take.
Minor Arcana consists of 56 cards within the Tarot deck and is broken into four suits of fourteen cards each: the suit of Pentacles, the suit of Cups, the suit of Wands, and the suit of Swords. Each suit is numbered one (Ace) to ten, followed by four Court Cards which are Page, Knight, Queen, and King.
Each of these four suits represents a different area of your life, so you know where to direct this guidance when one of these cards shows up in your Tarot reading.
Each suit is also associated with an element (earth, water, fire, and air). Some occultists maintain that each suit is also representative of a chakra, picturing the life lessons that are associated with it. Numerologists posit that the numbers on the cards are predictive of their meanings. We believe all such connections hold true, as the deck is replete with mystical connections.
Get To Know The Minor Arcana Cards:The Suit of PENTACLES
Ace of Pentacles
Upright:The Ace of Pentacles represents both a gift and an opportunity. This Tarot card suggests that better days are ahead and that the divine source will accomplish this by putting first things first.
Reversed: When reversed, the Ace of Pentacles Tarot card points out an imbalance in the way you are using your resources. This would suggest that your material success is actually enabling you to engage in some very unhealthy behaviors.
Upright:This card says that others are marveling at how you manage to get it all done. The two of Pentacles embodies the principle of balance through constant motion and intuitive awareness.
Reversed:When The Two of Pentacles card presents itself inverted in a Tarot reading, you’re discovering that there is only so much you can do at a time is a painful but important lesson that you must learn. Constantly living on the edge will burn you out quickly and you need to slow things down.
Healing Crystals:Amethyst, Bloodstone
Three of Pentacles
Upright:When The Three of Pentacles card presents itself in a Tarot reading, it’s a beautiful omen that your life is about to enter a self-sustaining rhythm. This card is giving signals that the time has come when you can be trusted with more responsibility.
Reversed:When reversed, the Three of Pentacles warns that the interplay of work, passion, and vision is disrupted. It is also important to acknowledge your own worth and assert yourself.
Healing Crystals:Amethyst, Bloodstone
Four of Pentacles
Upright: If the Four of Pentacles card appears in your Tarot reading, the universe is about to bless you with wealth. There is no shame in taking pride of your accomplishments. As long as you don’t overdo it, this allows others to rejoice in your success as well.
Reversed: This may imply a radical step, such as counting your blessings and walking away, or dropping long standing attitudes and hangups that have been holding you back for too long.
Healing Crystals:Amethyst, Bloodstone
Five of Pentacles
Upright: When this card appears in a reading it’s an urge to stop feeding into your current turmoil, and to take an honest look at your situation. It’s time to open your eyes and your heart to truth, so that you can truly move forward.
Reversed: When reversed, the Five of Pentacles Tarot card shows that a painful situation is about to end. You’ve been given the tools to dig your way out of that hole. Now, you have to use them.
Zodiac Signs: Taurus
Healing Crystals:Amethyst, Bloodstone
Six of Pentacles
Upright: Generally, the Six of Pentacles Tarot card announces some kind of financial benefit. However, it is not always in the form of money itself. Whatever this gift may be, it will get you back on track.
Reversed: When reversed, the Six of Pentacles reminds you to focus on your needs rather than your wants. It may also warn that you are overextending yourself when being generous.
Zodiac Signs: Taurus
Healing Crystals:Amethyst, Bloodstone
Seven of Pentacles
Upright: The Seven of Pentacles Tarot card tells you that the time is now. While growth is always good news, it also means that the old way of doing things doesn’t cut it anymore.
Reversed: When reversed, this card warns you that you have been pushing yourself too hard for too long. If you don’t take some time to recharge your batteries, the universe may decide to pull the breaks for you.
Zodiac Signs: Taurus
Healing Crystals:Amethyst, Bloodstone
Eight of Pentacles
Upright: When the eight of Pentacles appears in a reading it is a reminder that you should look ahead in order to see what needs to be done to make your life’s ambition a reality over time. Keeping the big picture in mind.
Reversed: When reversed, the Eight of Pentacles points out distractions or blocks in your energy flow. These may leave you feeling exhausted and restless. Looking for ways to improve your life is a good quality, but it’s easy to lose your way if you can’t see the forest for all the trees.
Healing Crystals:Amethyst, Bloodstone
Nine of Pentacles
Upright: Besides being a card of wealth and joy, the Nine of Pentacles also speaks of fertility. All things are now in place so that a major life goal can be manifested. Whatever it may be, it can happen at any moment.
Reversed: When reversed, the Nine of Pentacles Tarot card suggests a premature withdrawal from the material world in order to pursue higher goals. Refocus and tap into those hidden reserves. You will need them going forward.
Healing Crystals:Amethyst, Bloodstone
Ten of Pentacles
Upright: The Ten of Pentacles Tarot card spells good news in all money related questions. This is a good time to think about ways to expand your business or making long term investments – career related or otherwise.
Reversed: When reversed, the Ten of Pentacles is a stern warning that you have lost sight of the big picture. You are viewing life in terms of how lucky or unlucky you are. But you’re not seeing how you are contributing to your own fate.
Healing Crystals:Amethyst, Bloodstone
Page of Pentacles
Upright: If the Page of Pentacles card is upright in your Tarot reading, the universe is sending you back to school. New information is challenging you to rethink everything you know about a person or situation – perhaps even your place in the world.
Reversed: When the Page of Pentacles appears reversed, it could be a sign that your mind and energies are scattered. It suggests that you need to treat yourself with kindness and patience as you move forward.
Healing Crystals:Amethyst, Bloodstone
Knight of Pentacles
Upright: The Knight of Pentacles is all about reputation, reliability, and results. Whether it be a business plan, your financial picture, or even a specific person, this card predicts success and stability in your future endeavors.
Reversed: When the Knight of Pentacles Tarot card is reversed, the universe cautions you to look before you leap. Everything must be in the place, and the timing must be right.
Upright: This card says that the universe is showering you with its generosity because you have been intuitively sending out all of the right energies. The Queen of Pentacles spells extremely good news in all aspects of your life.
Reversed:Reversed, this card warns that now is not a good time for new beginnings. You need to resolve old issues first, or you will bring them into your new situation.
Healing Crystals:Amethyst, Bloodstone
King of Pentacles
Upright: When the King of Pentacles appears in a reading, it is time to think about your next step, no matter how comfortable you feel where you are right now. Under your care, people are prospering. You’re a great parent, a wise counselor, and a fair boss. This card encourages you to take the next step and to give the faith that others have in you, to yourself.
Reversed:When reversed, the King of Pentacles Tarot card challenges you to adopt a more flexible attitude. The good news is that coming to terms with this personal growth will enrich your life immensely.
Healing Crystals:Amethyst, Bloodstone
What It Takes:
These are extremely brief descriptions of The Suit of Pentacles tarot cards. To fully utilize the art of Tarot with confidence takes much time and extensive learning. It is strongly advised that you do further personal research and dive deeper into the complex meanings of each Tarot card, prior to practicing this form of divination.
The tarot is a powerful divination tool that helps people understand more about their life journey and higher self. A Tarot deck consists of 22 Major Arcanas (also known as Trump cards) and 56 Miner Arcana cards.
What does arcana mean in tarot?
The word Arcana finds its roots in the Latin word “arcanus” which means “Secret.”
The Major Arcana is a 22 card set within the tarot that is considered to be the core and the foundation for the deck. All of the deck is filled with archetypal significance, but this is most pronounced within the Major Arcana. The Major Arcana Tarot cards represent the life lessons, karmic influences and the big archetypal themes that are influencing your life and your soul’s journey to enlightenment.
Major Arcana cards in a Tarot reading ask you to critically examine the lessons and themes you’re now encountering in your life. A Major Arcana card may frequently serve as the starting point for the overall Tarot reading, with the remaining cards connecting back to the central meaning of the Major Arcana.
Tarot cards have two positions: upright and reversed. The way cards appear in the spread can change their meaning, especially because reversed cards do not mean the simple opposite of upright cards.
Get to know the cards:
Upright: fulfillment, harmony, completion
Reversed: in-completion, no closure
The World symbolizes harmony and unity. Drawing this card means that you’re reaching the end of a period of your life, and to look ahead with your head held high.
Drawing the reversed World is usually a sign that you’re seeking personal fulfillment or closure, but are having difficulty. The World reversed calls you to spell some time working through whatever issues are preventing you from finding that sense of personal completion.
Upright: reflection, reckoning, awakening
Reversed: lack of self awareness, doubt, self loathing
In the upright position, Judgement reminds you to approach upcoming events with compassion, logic, intuition, and strength. This card could also indicate that a time of “reckoning” is coming.
This card reversed is a call to remember to live your most authentic life without fear of outside opinion. Reversed Judgement could be a sign that you’re being too hard on yourself or those around you.
Upright: joy, success, celebration, positivity
Reversed: negativity, depression, sadness
Drawing the Sun card calls you to bring your enthusiasm and vitality to everything you do. If you do this, you are guaranteed to find happy outcomes at the end.
The Sun reversed could be signaling you to keep your ego and enthusiasm in check. It could also symbolize that you’re struggling to see the bright side, and to trust that you will find a way through.
Upright: unconscious, illusions, intuition
Reversed: confusion, fear, misinterpretation
The Moon may represent anxieties that are preventing you from reaching your full potential or that your subconscious might be harboring memories and emotions that are affecting your potential for happiness and peace.
The reversed Moon card is calling you to start listening to your subconscious and to trust your intuition. It could be a sign that you’re repressing thoughts and feelings because you’re scared of dealing with them.
The Star is a symbol of self-assurance and healing. If you draw the Star in a reading, it’s a sign that your challenges are almost over. This card could also be calling you to focus on your emotional, spiritual, and mental well-being.
When the reversed Star appears in a reading, it’s often a sign that you’re disconnected from your truest self. Reversed, The Star tells you that now is the time for simple self-care practices and gentle self-nurturing.
Upright: sudden upheaval, broken pride, disaster
Reversed: disaster avoided, delayed disaster, fear of suffering
Drawing the Tower in a reading shows that a shocking or unexpected event is coming. This card challenges you to stay true to your beliefs and values, regardless of what lies ahead.
Drawing a reversed Tower could indicate that you know you need to enter a period of change and transformation, but you’re being hesitant to do so. The Tower reversed is a reminder that change is needed in order for you grow stronger.
Upright: addiction, materialism, playfulness
Reversed: freedom, release, restoring control
Drawing the Devil is always a sign that something needs to change. You might be struggling to overcome dark thoughts or negative energies and this card is a reminder that you can take back control.
The reversed Devil shows that you’ve reached a place of strength and control and are ready to move forward into a more balanced future. Now is the time to release yourself and let it go.
Upright: middle path, patience, finding meaning
Reversed: extremes, excess, lack of balance
Temperance symbolizes the long game. You have a plan, but there’s no need to rush—take it slow and stay balanced. The Temperance card is a calling to approach your life with patience and calm.
Temperance reversed calls you to restore balance. This could also be telling you that now is your time for healing and introspection. Reversed Temperance urges you to find the source of your imbalance and realign your heart, mind, and spirit.
Upright: end of cycle, beginnings, change, metamorphosis
Reversed: fear of change, holding on, stagnation, decay
Drawing the Death card doesn’t necessarily mean that death and misfortune are on their way. Instead, it symbolizes a period of transition or rebirth. This card could also be calling you to break unhealthy cycles that are harming your growth.
The reversed Death card shows that you’re on the precipice of change, but are resisting it. Or it could be saying that you need to release unhealthy parts of your past in order to open yourself up to new experiences.
*The Hanged Man
Upright: sacrifice, release, martyrdom
Reversed: stalling, needless sacrifice, fear of sacrifice
The Hanged man tells you to pause and think before you do anything else. This card is a sign that you should try to find a new perspective before jumping into anything new. It could also be an indication that you need to take a break and gain perspective or clarity before continuing on your journey.
Drawing a reversed Hanged Man could mean you’re stalling before starting something new and that now’s the time for action.
Drawing the Justice card is a calling to impartially weigh up all the influencing factors before making a choice. People experience the truth differently, and this card is telling you to have compassion when deciding which truth is “right”.
The reversed Justice card could be a sign that you’ve done something you’re not proud of, and that you need to step up and face the consequences of your actions. It could also be a sign that you’re judging yourself too harshly or that you need to treat yourself with the same compassion and understanding that you try to show others.
*The Wheel of Fortune
Upright: change, cycles, inevitable fate
Reversed: no control, clinging to control, bad luck
Drawing the Wheel of Fortune may show that you need to accept that you’re not in control of everything. Instead of constantly seeking stability, you may need to learn to let go and accept that unexpected changes are always on the horizon.
In reverse, the Wheel of Fortune may be telling you that a run of good luck is about to end or that harder times are coming. It could also signify that you’re breaking out of a bad cycle or situation, and to expect the unexpected.
Upright: contemplation, search for truth, inner guidance
Reversed: loneliness, isolation, lost your way
Drawing the Hermit is a sign that it’s time to take a step away from your busy life and focus on yourself for a period of time. It could also be telling you to look deep within yourself for clarity or guidance as this will help you find the next step on your path.
If you draw a reversed Hermit, this could be a sign that you’ve isolated yourself too much or need to leave your inner world, lest you fall into a negative mindset.
Drawing the Strength card is a sign that you’re looking for balance by learning to control some of your more negative attributes and raw emotions. It’s your call to stay in control during tough times, and a reminder to act from a place of compassion, courage, and love.
In reverse, Strength is a signal that you need to tame the unkind voices in your head and perhaps work on your confidence. It may indicate that you’re lacking inner strength or you’re being led by instinct or raw emotion instead of learning to control your feelings and use them more productively.
Upright: direction, control, willpower
Reversed: lack of control, lack of direction, aggression
Drawing the chariot is a sign that now is your time. Don’t let anything (including your own passivity) stand in your way: take deliberate, focused action to make your ambitions into a reality.
The reversed chariot is a sign to check you’re heading in the right direction. You may need to reassess your motivation and goals before you get started.
Upright: partnerships, duality, union
Reversed: loss of balance, one-sidedness, disharmony
While the Lovers often signify the sexual or passionate nature of relationships, this card isn’t only about romantic love. It also represents the vulnerability, openness, and honesty required to build a lasting connection whether that be with a friend, family member or partner. This card is calling to you to be honest with yourself. It could symbolize conflicting personalities or ideas.
The reversed Lovers might signify that you’re out of sync with the people around you. It can also be seen as a call to align your actions with your values and find balance in yourself.
Upright: tradition, conformity, morality, ethics
Reversed: rebellion, subversiveness, new approaches
Drawing the Hierophant is a recommendation that it’s time for you to start studying again, either professionally or by exploring your religious heritage.
The reversed Hierophant might be a call to leave convention behind and start innovating and creating or to let your inner wisdom guide you confidently onto your new path.
The Emperor tells predicts that you may be someone who naturally commands authority, thrives within a set structure or demonstrates the traits of a born leader. Drawing the Emperor could also be a signal that you need to step up and take control of a situation.
A reversed Emperor being drawn could signify that you’re abusing the power you have or perhaps affecting those around you in a negative way. It could also be a sign that now is the time to step up and lead.
Drawing the Empress is a reminder that while pursuing spiritual growth is admirable, appreciating the beautiful world we live in is just as important. It’s a call to experience life with all five senses, explore your creativity, and enjoy the fruits of everything you’ve worked hard for.
The reversed Empress might signify that you need to reconnect with nature and the energy that flows through the world. You could also be struggling with self expression or co-dependency.
*The High Priestess
Upright: intuitive, unconscious, inner voice
Reversed: lack of center, lost inner voice, repressed feelings
The High Priestess symbolizes an awareness of things that are beyond our standard cognition. This card is a sign that instead of silencing the voices in your mind or relying solely on intellect, you should start listening to what your subconscious is trying to tell you.
If you draw this card in reverse it may be a sign that you’re pushing down your gut instinct about a situation or perhaps acting in a way that contradicts how you truly feel.
This card represents manifestation and inspired action. The Magician shows that you have all the resources and willpower you need to make your dreams come true. When you draw this card, it means that now is the time to put your plans into action and make your intentions a reality.
The reversed Magician symbolizes illusion. If you draw it, it might mean you’re struggling to take action to bring your dreams to life or that you’re unfocused and have let go of something you were working towards.
Upright: innocence, new beginnings, free spirit
Reversed: recklessness, taken advantage of, inconsideration
This card wants you to embrace the open, free, carefree parts of yourself and see the world as a wonderful, beautiful, curious place. It’s an invitation to bring more fun and freedom into your life, especially as you undertake a new adventure.
In the event of drawing a reversed fool, it would be seen as a warning that you’re displaying some of his more negative traits. For example, you might be so busy living joyously in the moment that you’ve forgotten to plan ahead for the future. It can also be cautioning you to be aware of the people around you, as someone may be trying to take advantage.
BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS FOR TAROT CARD INTERPRETATIONS:
The Major Arcana cards are the most recognizable and impactful cards in a tarot deck. Their story-line is a great description of the accomplishments, setbacks, and lessons we all learn as we go through the trials and tribulations of our lifetime, growing into whole, complete beings by the end of our journey.