Apr 20, 2014

The Emperor's Power

The Emperor introduces a masculine conflict to the story of Tarot. The card is attributed to the astrological sign of Aries, ruled by the Roman war god, Mars; also, the alchemical concept of Sulphur, the masculine/activating principle of existence, motivated by the fire of Tetragrammaton, the four-fold name of God. [Though this significance is most explicitly assigned to The Hermit.]

The Emperor is Major Arcanum IV. The fourth Sephirah is Chesed, which is the sphere of Construction and Order. Its symbols are four-sided: the square, pyramid and equal-armed cross; symbols of physical manifestation. The attributions of Chesed and philosophy of Four are, therefore, attributed here, despite the fact that The Emperor does not come into contact with Chesed upon The Tree.

While energies of Force and Form are seen here, there is an implied threat of disharmony. Without regulation, the intensity of force would destroy and render all form into chaos. Too much emphasis placed on enforcing Law and Order in the realm is indicative of a cruel dictator, stifling of all growth. Consciously received, with full understanding of its role, the Power of The Emperor brings great satisfaction and productivity to one's life.

Apr 13, 2014

The Empress Fulfilled

Empress card design Crowley/Harris Thoth deck

Here we have The Empress. The High Priestess has matured. It is no accident that the first clearly gendered forms of the Major Arcana are Female. The pansexual Fool and Magus energies must either manifest in Form or dissipate into Abyss. A vessel is required for Life to occur.

I am extremely busy this week. As you've probably noticed, my opinion is that the Thoth Tarot is the only deck that matters. As my time is scarce and The Empress card is a representation of balance between ideas we've already discussed, a cursory examination of Aleister Crowley's design will suffice.

Apr 6, 2014

If You Don't Like Gram Parsons Then Fuck You

Gram Parsons

Much as with The Jesus & Mary Chain and Curtis Mayfield, Gram Parsons' impact on music spawned a legion of imitators. It is a testament to the quality of the work that it remains inspiring even when filtered through copycats. What's unfortunate is that, even tonight, some first-timer will carry their guitar up onto a stage built by Gram, without ever having heard his name. For every thousand fans The Rolling Stones have, maybe seventy-five have heard of Gram, despite his role in diverting Keith Richards' musical obsessions from Chicago blues to Tennessee twang.

In a way, his ability to kindle interest in the hearts of others may have been Gram's greatest gift to American music. His library of studio recordings is rather slim, an International Submarine Band album here, a Byrds album there, some Flying Burrito Bros. sessions... Most of it great, yes. However, he's known as the Godfather of Country-Rock not exclusively due to these recordings, but also because of the lasting impact the time spent with him would have in the lives and careers of the people he brought together to make that music. Not that he really was some kind of grievous angel...