Good morning and Welcome! to my Scales of Ma’at 2-card daily reading for 06-Nov-2015: III the Empress is my Heart card and as the Feather of Truth sits XI Strength. (Today’s deck is *The Legend of Tarot* by Alex & Noa Page. A kind of *Legend of Zelda*/video game rip-off, I think. I don’t like “cutesy” decks, so I have no idea what this is doing in my collection. Ah well, roll with it.) Well, I may not be wild about the deck, but the cards themselves are old friends. (A bit like telling your good friend, “That dress looks like shit on you! Throw it out!” Now if you were a 7 of Swords, you’d then steal the dress from the trash for yourself, but you’re not & the dress is out of fashion.) Today looks like it’s a BIG day for my Anima – she’s called upon first to be the Empress and then to keep in mind the qualities of XI, the Strength Arcanum. Let’s take a look at their bare bones first, and then I’ll launch into an amalgamation and then hypothesis. Okay, bare bones. First, the Empress: She is on the Path of Daleth (14) in the Tree of Life; in astrology she is Venus in Taurus, icon of fertility and growth, and of course she’s an Earth Arcanum because of Taurus and, to be screamingly obvious, it IS the Earth. She likes to train her beauty behind her while promenading on the axis between Chokmah and Binah, and of course III is the result of the unbearable tension and the solution to the conundrum of the II. II is champing at the bit to do something with all that encounter energy, and III is the result. “The Empress is the friendlier, more approachable aspect of the female archetype. She stands for maternity, love and mercy; at the same time she's a symbol for sexuality and emotion. She is pure feeling, absolutely unintellectual, but basically life. The Empress is the Great Mother, representing the beginning of all life. She is the power of nature, causing change, renewal, major plans.” (Raven) And left to my own words, I would say my Drive is devotion and maternity, while my Light is Love and Abundance. However, the Empress also stands for passion, a phase in which we live life on an emotional and joyful basis, rather than on the thoughtful. There is danger in that, always living on the ‘qui vive.’ It’s fine when you ARE the Empress and have the resources of an empire to back up your word and promises, but we don’t all have access to our kingdoms all the time now, do we? (BTW and a propos of nothing, those triangles within triangles on the cards mean nothing.) Yet I have ultimate Faith in my Anima to handle WHATEVER comes down the turnpike – she is one tough dame, having been ‘leathered’ by fierce, no-holds-barred, gladiatorial combat for 63 years with Me! We are still standing; Horus knows we’ve knocked out enough “innocent” bystanders along the way! I prefer the conversation of II the High Priestess, but I prefer III when it comes to dazzling them on the dance floor. She’s got moves. And today with my Heart humming “I feel pretty, oh, so pretty, I feel pretty and witty and gay!” (Stephen Sondheim & Leonard Bernstein), I am accompanied by another old friend, XI Strength. (I prefer it when she wears that lovely gown in VIII, but she likes to play to the public most of the time, hence her XI garb; cloying faeries with hairy legs in Robin Hood drag are all the rage, it seems.) Bare bones, Mark, don’t let yourself be distracted . . . Crowley knew enough to rename Strength Passion, for a very good reason, the “primacy” of it. By that I mean it is one of the few REALLY hardwired wetware programs we have running ALL THE TIME: Strength IS Passion and vice versa. We may be in idle from time to time, but to cut the engine is to die. Bones . . . XI is the Path of Teth (19) in the Tree of Life. Astrologically she is Venus in Leo (ka-BAAM!) - the creative development of strength/passion leads to enjoyment and fulfillness. In the Zodiac she is placed in Leo, and she trips the light fantastic along the high wire running between Chesed and Geburah. She is, above all, a Fire element, so with Earth (III the Empress) it SHOULD be calm. We’ve been through her Number before; 11 = 1 + 2 = 2. There, so much for her skeleton. Strength “is the 1st step into the second decade of the Major Arcana, the point where the journey into the inner depth begins. In other decks, this trump is called 'The Power', a symbol for the mastery of our own animal side. Crowley named the card 'Lust' - and most people don't really think of mastering their inner animal, but enjoy it full tilt...” (Raven) Of course the trick hidden in there is that we HAVE to let the animal romp some times, but NOT to our detriment. The ideal is to accept it as naturally a part of you, and to master it. Strength implies vitality, energy and power. The card tells me to use these riches. Or in other words, put your passion where your mouth is. I have a Drive of energy and passion here, and the Light for it is “vitality and unconditional devotion.” (Raven) All in all this is a fine day. I need to settle back in the passenger’s seat and let Her drive for today, and while I’m sometimes nervous when others drive, with Her I kick back. She knows what she’s doing. Today, exactly because I CAN trust her, I can live in and value the moment.