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    Obstacle

6 of Cups
   
Hidden Influences

The Hierophant
      External Influences

2 of Cups
         
The Present

Page of Pentacles
      Suggestion

10 of Wands
         
The Past

The Hermit
      The Outcome

6 of Swords
   
The Past Card represents past events that are affecting the question.
The Hermit

The variation from the conventional models in this card is only that the lamp is not enveloped partially in the mantle of its bearer, who blends the idea of the Ancient of Days with the Light of the World It is a star which shines in the lantern. I have said that this is a card of attainment, and to extend this conception the figure is seen holding up his beacon on an eminence. Therefore the Hermit is not, as Court de Gebelin explained, a wise man in search of truth and justice; nor is he, as a later explanation proposes, an especial example of experience. His beacon intimates that - where I am, you also may be.

It is further a card which is understood quite incorrectly when it is connected with the idea of occult isolation, as the protection of personal magnetism against admixture. This is one of the frivolous renderings which we owe to Eliphas Levi. It has been adopted by the French Order of Martinism and some of us have heard a great deal of the Silent and Unknown Philosophy enveloped by his mantle from the knowledge of the profane. In true Martinism, the significance of the term Philosophe inconnu was of another order. It did not refer to the intended concealment of the Instituted Mysteries, much less of their substitutes, but - like the card itself - to the truth that the Divine Mysteries secure their own protection from those who are unprepared.

Divinatory Meaning:

Prudence, circumspection; also and especially treason, dissimulation, roguery, corruption.

   
The Present Card represents the current state or immediately approaching influence.
Page of Pentacles

A youthful figure, looking intently at the pentacle which hovers over his raised hands. He moves slowly, insensible of that which is about him.

Divinatory Meaning:

Application, study, scholarship, reflection another reading says news, messages and the bringer thereof; also rule, management.

   
Hidden Influences - Things that you may not be aware of, or barely be aware of.
The Hierophant

He wears the triple crown and is seated between two pillars, but they are not those of the Temple which is guarded by the High Priestess. In his left hand he holds a sceptre terminating in the triple cross, and with his right hand he gives the well-known ecclesiastical sign which is called that of esotericism, distinguishing between the manifest and concealed part of doctrine. It is noticeable in this connexion that the High Priestess makes no sign. At his feet are the crossed keys, and two priestly ministers in albs kneel before him. He has been usually called the Pope, which is a particular application of the more general office that he symbolizes. He is the ruling power of external religion, as the High Priestess is the prevailing genius of the esoteric, withdrawn power. The proper meanings of this card have suffered woeful admixture from nearly all hands. Grand Orient says truly that the Hierophant is the power of the keys, exoteric orthodox doctrine, and the outer side of the life which leads to the doctrine; but he is certainly not the prince of occult doctrine, as another commentator has suggested.

He is rather the summa totius theologiae, when it has passed into the utmost rigidity of expression; but he symbolizes also all things that are righteous and sacred on the manifest side. As such, he is the channel of grace belonging to the world of institution as distinct from that of Nature, and he is the leader of salvation for the human race at large. He is the order and the head of the recognized hierarchy, which is the reflection of another and greater hierarchic order; but it may so happen that the pontiff forgets the significance of this his symbolic state and acts as if he contained within his proper measures all that his sign signifies or his symbol seeks to shew forth. He is not, as it has been thought, philosophy - except on the theological side; he is not inspiration; and he is not religion, although he is a mode of its expression.

Divinatory Meaning:

Marriage, alliance, captivity, servitude; by another account, mercy and goodness; inspiration; the man to whom the Querent has recourse.

   
Obstacle - This is the challenge.
6 of Cups

Children in an old garden, their cups filled with flowers.

Reversed Meaning:

The future, renewal, that which will come to pass presently.

   
External Influences - Attitudes about this situation from people around the querent.
2 of Cups

A youth and maiden are pledging one another, and above their cups rises the Caduceus of Hermes, between the great wings of which there appears a lion's head. It is a variant of a sign which is found in a few old examples of this card. Some curious emblematical meanings are attached to it, but they do not concern us in this place.

Divinatory Meaning:

Love, passion, friendship, affinity, union, concord, sympathy, the interrelation of the sexes, and - as a suggestion apart from all offices of divination - that desire which is not in Nature, but by which Nature is sanctified.

   
Suggestion - The recommended course of action. 
10 of Wands

A man oppressed by the weight of the ten staves which he is carrying.

Reversed Meaning:

Contrarieties, difficulties, intrigues, and their analogies.

   
The Outcome - What will happen if the suggestion is followed.
6 of Swords

A ferryman carrying passengers in his punt to the further shore. The course is smooth, and seeing that the freight is light, it may be noted that the work is not beyond his strength.

Divinatory Meaning:

Journey by water, route, way, envoy, commissionary, expedient.

 
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