Good morning and Welcome! to the Scales of Ma’at for 25 June 2015: V the Hierophant and IV the Emperor. (Today’s deck is the *Xultun Tarot: The Maya Tarot Deck* by Peter Balin [no relation to the Balin from Erebor.] Everybody get out a fistful of thorns and pierce your tongues! Howl! Scream! Throw your neighbor’s empty carcass from the top of the pyramid while you hold aloft his or her smoking, flaming heart. Buy lots of obsidian jewelry. Practice elaborate scarification techniques. Let’s go Mayan! (This, btw, is the correct adjectival form of “Maya,” not simply “Maya” repeated.) I have a hell of a testosterone draw today! The cards could hardly make it any clearer; V the Hierophant, figure of spiritual authority, looks to the left, turning his back on IV the Emperor, who has turn HIS back on V and contemplates temporal power while looking to the right. (The purpose of using a deck like this certainly isn’t to profit from the reams of knowledge hidden in the imagery; just enjoy the pretty pictures. It does have one good thing going for it, though; it helps train your senses to read with 78 of anything, i.e. cards are just convenient and traditional, but you could read with 78 different flowers, or gems, or whathaveyou. However, there is a corner of my artistic appreciation reserved for pre-Columbian art, so I picked up this deck some while back – I’m not sure I would buy it now, however. My taste in decks has evolved now I WANT the symbology & all the attached information, not just the pretty picture.) Let’s look at these cards briefly, then. V - The Hierophant is the Path of Vau, 16 in the Tree of Life. His Sun is in Sagittarius as a symbol for the teacher of inner values, and Jupiter is in Pisces as the vision of eternity. Zodiac: Taurus. Tree of life: From Chokmah to Chesed. Element: Earth. Number: 5 as quintessence, the power that exceeds the four elements. “The Hierophant is a symbol for a world of belief and confession, may it be a church, a sect or an occult society. He's the pope, the druid or the High Priest in a system of creeds and dogmas. He represents the religious and intellectual tradition of a person, and may be the one the person is born to it or possibly the one who has chosen it by himself. In the positive aspect, the Hierophant represents the search for knowledge and illumination, the desire to study creed and dogma instead of simply accepting them, to research and achieve further development. It also stands for the deep fulfillment someone can find when really trusting their own beliefs.” (Raven) In a negative view, the Hierophant can stand for bigotry, the blind faith in dogma, intolerance towards everything different from the own confession. It can also mean gullibility, running to any kind of new belief just because the traditional one is suddenly considered boring or unsatisfying. His Drive is: Search for hidden truths, trust in inner instincts. His Light is: Wisdom and knowledge as an experience independent from dogmatism and science. His Shadow: Intolerance, esoteric nonsense. Let’s couple him with IV the Emperor; IV - The Emperor is on the Path of Tzaddi, 15 in the Tree of Life. His Sun is in Capricorn, standing for responsibility, order, security, continuity. Zodiac: Aries. Tree of life: The axis Netzach – Yesod. Element: Fire. Number: 4 as physical reality, basic structure, orientation. “The Emperor is the social Word, the structure of civilization, a symbol for its law and order, may they be good or bad, but the power behind them. He is the abstraction of establishment, its stability and security.” (Raven) In its negative aspects the card can represent the force of bad law in a society where stability is rated higher than morals or ethic. Once law and order are established as an institution, a bad emperor can turn out to be a disaster. And even at his best the Emperor is limited - he puts restrictions and borders on the spontaneity of spirit and nature. In a more personal view the Emperor might stand for a time of stability and structure, linear thinking and discipline. While we can't live without it, too many of those attributes will only lead to rational despotism and mental poverty. His Drive is: Mastery of the will over nature, a sense for law and order, plan and structure. His Light is: Creation, recognition, stability, realism, and responsiveness. His Shadow: Despotism, self-complacency, poorness of feelings, lack of fantasy; rationalism as a prison. If nothing else, I am reminded of the film/play *Becket*, especially where Henry cries to his barons, “Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest?” and his barons do so, much to his chagrin. I think it is a safe guess to say the two sides of my masculine character, the Hierophant and the Emperor, will be vying for some sort of primacy today, and I need to be aware of it and to BALANCE it, for Osiris’ sake! This is actually a perfect example reading for the Scales of Ma’at Spread, as these two opposites symbolize exactly what the scales are supposed to be doing, adjusting, weighing, distributing, etc. Thus, today, Mark, if you are trusting and depending on your own power, use it wisely to bring these two characters into unity and not drive them into opposition, which they naturally are already. So, Go, be Zen, Mark, and if necessary, kick ass in a Zen-like manner.