Thursday, April 21, 2011

4/21/11—Entering the State of Reason

Today's Draw: Satan from Tarot of the Sevenfold Mystery by Robert Place. Where may you be acting with reckless abandon? Where are the powers of temperance and will coming up short in your life? And/or what shortcomings are being revealed to you at this time?

This is one of those rare weeks when the same card has appeared twice. Place's Satan is his Devil card, and it signifies that, to the Soul of Reason (Justice), the Souls of Appetite (Temperance) and Will (Strength) are asleep. Which means that, as we enter the Soul of Reason, the desires of our ego and our flesh become dormant and begin to be replaced by balance and the edification of the mind. He illuminates these shortcomings and vices within us so we can begin to tame them. This is a different take on the card than the tradition, assuming I'm interpreting it correctly. Normally the Devil is the one that is holding us imprisoned to our vices. But here, he is merely illuminating them so we can ascend. He is still the fallen angel, but now the one that leads us on our path to redemption. This card doesn't come to us twice in a week, from different decks, for no reason at all. So there is something to consider in this. 

But first, a bit about the deck. The Tarot of the Sevenfold Mystery is, at this time, a majors only deck. Which for those who don't know the tarot means that it only has the first 22 cards of the 78...the cards that deal with major life lessons and our journey through the cycles of life. Those cards are numbered 0-21, with 0 being considered the "trump" card...the Fool, whose journey we're taking in the other 21. So the Sevenfold Mysteries refer to Plato's belief that we have three souls or soul levels—the Soul of Appetite, the Soul of Will and the Soul of Reason. As you move through the seven cards of each phase and balance each soul, you ascend in your social and spiritual development. 

So Satan or the Devil marks the beginning of bringing the Soul of Reason into balance. He illuminates our shortcomings and those places where we may lie to ourselves. And as these places are illuminated, we can no longer claim ignorance to them. We either wallow in them or change them so we can ascend through the last six mysteries and reach the place of completion. The very next card is the Tower, where the structures we've built on ego and pride collapse so we can rebuild them again. Then there is the Stars that light the ladder of ascent, the Moon that that marks the tipping point from unconsciousness to reason, the Sun that brings us into our true light, Judgment that resurrects us and, finally Prudence or the World that brings us our ultimate redemption and completion. 

So as you enter the Soul of Reason, what appetites and ego desires within you must be put to sleep? For me it's all about self reward and indulgence. There are areas in my life, primarily in the area of food, that I really just need to grow up and do what's necessary. I over indulge myself. And it's a self destructive pattern I've had on and off throughout my life. Thinking of it as a matter of spiritual development and practice, rather than personal development and discipline, helps re-frame it in my mind. So what does this card—and Robert Place's take on it—say to you? And how do you interpret the card above?


  1. In this deck, I think it's interesting that the devil isn't that scary or nasty looking. He looks more like a protector. It's as if he's saying "facing your dark side isn't as scary as you think; I'll help you do it."

  2. I thought so too, Sarah. I thought he looked almost compassionate. I had some difficulty uncoding the text on the right side of the card in my interpretation, so I tagged Robert Place in my post. And his reply was: "Satan has power because his victims are asleep. This card is about the need for conscious raising."

    In some ways, I'm still confused about that, because the bit of text that came with the deck said all that stuff about the 3x7 and different souls and ascention. So I still regard him as a gateway, and perhaps passion and the need for approval need to be put asleep for reason to take command. It's all a very interesting study on this card.