The Stanchion

The Hierophant’s Hebrew letter Vav means “nail”. In Pharos Tarot, my most recent deck in progress, the Hierophant is called The Stanchion, which is a vertical pin or post that provides support. It affixes the Lighthouse to the rock. The Stanchion is conductive, bringing the Fool’s fire from heaven down the Pillar of Mercy, from Wisdom (Chokmah) to Mercy (Chesed) and ultimately pinned all the way to Malkuth.

The Golden Dawn color scale colors are the colors of mankind: Red Orange, Deep Indigo, Deep Warm Olive, Rich Brown.

The Arc

The card known as Temperance or as Art in the Thoth deck and in my Tabula Mundi Tarot, is called The Arc in my new deck Pharos Tarot. The title refers both to the Arc of the rainbow, the Ark of the covenant, and to something called “the Arc of Visibility”. That’s a nautical term that refers to the portion of the horizon over which a lighted aid to navigation (ie a lighthouse or a star) is visible from seaward.

The Hebrew letter Samekh means “prop”. The Arc is upheld by a skull shaped prop showing that the Death card is the foundational stage preceding it.

The Foghorn

A sneak peek at a card from my new deck-in-progress, Pharos Tarot. The Foghorn is also known as The Moon. It’s the full moon here, for the zero degree,  on the Pisces/Virgo axis.

 The fog glows, but you cannot see the moon.

The horn sounds silently, and something vibrates at the back of your head. Something comes up from below. Will you heed the call?

Brought to you by Pisces, and the letter Qoph. Qoph means “the back of the head”, and the path forward – assuming you get by the kraken – leads between the back of the Anubis figures’ heads.

 It’s hard to capture the look of the original watercolor painting with a scan in this case. I have an inexpensive scanner and this is the best it could do. Most things it does fine, but fog is a little too subtle for it. In the original, the fog looks more ethereal and almost real. But the test print looks good. I’ll just have to redo it at some point. But you get the idea of the card anyway.

This is what the cards might look like borderless if I used the alternate titles (but there won’t be a watermark, no copyright info will be on the cards). But the image could be cropped and borders added instead, like in Tabula Mundi. Or it could be borderless and have a regular title of The Moon.

The fog is too thick tonight to decide which way to go. Next we seek the light.   

The Way…

For the cross quarter holiday and Thelemic holy day, the Feast of Stars, also known as the Feast of Nuit, and Imbolc, I bring you the Dweller Between the Waters, the Daughter of the Firmament. Here is The Star card from my new deck-in-progress, Pharos Tarot. I call this one The Way.

The Star shows the Way, a beacon of celestial navigation. In the Milky Way she dwells, washing herself in a river of dew, using her solar cross window to make thunderbolts…

The Hebrew letter is Heh, meaning “window” (as per the Thoth system) sp the goddess is filtering starlight through a solar cross window. If you want to use tradition, it’s Tzaddi, meaning “hook”. The stars as they pass thru the window and forming swirling thunderbolts with hook-like edges.

Two versions, as two different scanner modes used. I’m undecided. The top one has better detail in the Milky Way edges, but I like the dark blue in the second one as it looks more “night sky”.

Then there was another passage which was really too secret for anything; all I shall tell you is, there was the most beautiful Goddess that ever was, and she was washing herself in a river of dew. If you ask what she is doing, she says: “I’m making thunderbolts.” It was only starlight, and yet one could see quite clearly, so don’t think I’m making a mistake. ” ~ Liber XCV, The Wake World, by Aleister Crowley

The colors are Violet, Sky Blue, Bluish Mauve, and White Faintly Tinged Purple. I took a bit of artistic liberty in that “Sky Blue” here ranges through all shades of blue one might see in the sky, as I wanted it to be a night sky. The violets and bluish mauve form the nebulae. The stars are “white faintly tinged purple”.

You can see all of the cards posted to date on the Pharos page. More cards to come over the next few days, as the moon wanes and prepares to renew.

The Lamp, to light the way

A preview of my new work in progress, Pharos Tarot. In honor of today’s auspicious astronomical event, the Mercury-Sun cazimi, I wanted to send out a communication (Mercury) and give you a preview of one of my favorite Pharos Tarot cards, The Sun. I call this one The Lamp. It’s a glyph of illumination and liberty: Light, Love, Liberty, and Life.

The Hebrew letter is Resh, meaning head – the central or front of the head or face. Light enters the face and head, into the pineal gland, through the eye.

The lamp shows the four stations of Liber Resh vel Helios, Crowley’s solar adoration ritual performed four times daily, at each of the stations of the Sun’s journey: sunrise to Ra in his strength (shown by the sun symbol and serpent), noontime to Hathor in her beauty (shown by her horned crown at the apex), sunset to Tum or Atum in his joy, (shown by his white crown), and midnight to Khephra, in his hiding (shown by the winged scarab beetle at bottom).

Twin children dance on the solar barque at the bottom, representing the solar twins as dual forms of Horus or Heru. The active form holds what looks like a one – the pillar. The passive form holds what looks like a zero – the void. Yet they are also the letters I and O, and along with the A between them spell the magical formula IAO. IAO is also another name for the Tetragrammaton, known as the Bringer of Light, and as a godform as a sun god and a gnostic god of the mysteries.

The two V’s on the barque transform IAO into VIAOV. Crowley, adapted IAO for the new Aeon, adding the Hebrew letter Vau to both ends, which he then called the “proper hieroglyph of the Ritual of Self-Initiation in this Aeon of Horus” VIAOV enumerates to 93, like Thelema and Agape. Crowley calls this person who travels through this new process, “Man made God, exalted, eager; he has come consciously to his full stature, and so is ready to set out on his journey to redeem the world.”

The colors are Orange, Gold Yellow, Rich Amber, and Amber, rayed red. More to come on that later.

This post will be added to the main section of this site for the Pharos Tarot, on the tab called “Pharos” above. You can go there to see all of the posted cards in one place, with all updated information

With Light, Love, Liberty, Life; MMM

The debut of Pharos Tarot

UPDATE August 2019: The page previously linked here below is temporarily password protected, as I am in process of redoing several of the cards. You can see some of the original cards in the regular posts, beginning with the previous post titled, “It begins with The Sea”.

Pharos Tarot has been given it’s very own page, with a link at the header of the website. Future posts on the deck will be consolidated there as the cards are revealed. Please check there, for new expanded information on the first card revealed (the Hanged Man), and for an overview of the concept of this deck.

As we go through the journey of the Major Arcana, these individual posts on each card will be added to the link above, making the information easier to find in one place as we travel.

You can follow along one episode at a time, with the individual card posts, or see them as a collection of posts on the summary Pharos tab above.

Introducing the Harshmellows

Have all the little things gotten you down? Things not going your way? Work stuff, holidays, post holidays, overall blah? The dark days, the altogether too short planetary hours?

If in the northern hemisphere it is just too dreary. In the southern hemisphere maybe it is the sweltering heat. If in the US, then it could be all sorts of things getting you down.

Magickal constipation? Too much Capricorn in the air? Artistic struggles? Either way something has harshed your mellow.

Local artist p.BKr channelled that feeling of discontent and created a new sculptural series. Introducing the Harshmellows:

The Harshmellows. By artist p.BKr

Handmade, upcycled, made of ultimately recyclable materials.

The Harshmellow family knows how you feel, because they were created out of stress and compressed paper napkins.

Contact Atu House if you would like to adopt them. They have a good home but they are never content.

It begins with the Sea…

This is the first card I chose to post for Pharos Tarot, a new tarot journey and deck in progress.

I thought it should start by showing a Mother letter, as after all everything comes from them. Since this is a journey of water, I thought the Hanged Man is a good place to start. I call this card The Sea, where it begins.

The Hanged Man is Mem, one of the three Mother letters, corresponding to water. Pharos Tarot is a watercolor deck, and watercolor is all about the interplay of water, pigment, and light. One could say even that as a medium it best describes the elemental journey. It certainly involves water, and fire (light) but also air as it dries and earth in the form of pigment.

This deck is about my exploration of the medium of watercolor. It felt like the medium that would be best for this deck, as it is also an exploration of color, and watercolors are known for their luminous quality as light plays through their transparency. Watercolor is a medium I’ve never used much before, so it is very new to me and it is extremely challenging. I wanted an artistic challenge. But that means making a lot of mistakes. I have a lot of cards done, almost all the Majors, but several of them are going to be redone, as along the way the seas have been rough. I’m learning to ride the waves.

More to follow…ever onward.

Garlic and Arts Festival Aftermath: buy a print get one free!

At the end of September, ATO House publishing, my imprint, had a booth at the North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival. It was the first time I’ve done such a thing. I made a TON of matted art prints to decorate the booth, and not all of them sold out so I still have a bunch of prints of both Tabula Mundi and Rosetta Tarot, matted to fit standard frames in 8×10″, 11×14″, and 16×20″. Plus a few cards matted to fit a 5×7″ frame. So what to do with all these prints? Well some of them will be used for our give aways, where we give out prizes every week on our Fortune’s Wheelhouse podcast. Patrons at the Fortune’s Wheelhouse Patreon site at the $3 level and above are automatically entered to win. But I can only give away so many there, and I don’t want to just stuff all this colorful art in a closet. So for the rest of the month of October or until these run out, there will be a special BOGO or “Buy one – Get one free” at Here is how it will work. You buy a print, whichever one you want, any size, using the drop down card selection on the site. I’ll then send you a free one, in the same size, from the available selections already made for the Garlic Festival. For the second one, you can make a request of a few cards of either deck you might prefer and I’ll fulfill the request if I can, but otherwise I will select for you based on what prints I already have made. Because the idea for this sale is to move some of these already made matted artworks to an appreciative home. These make a great gift, and are inexpensive to mail, and I’ll ship both for the cost of the shipping one, so you could buy one for yourself, then re use the shipping envelope to send the free one to a friend! Your holiday shopping done, almost for free!

All you have to do to get this offer is buy a print on, and in the comment field, say BOGO and tell me if you have any preferences for the free one, or would just prefer a surprise. As I said it is first come first serve and I cannot guarantee your free print will be able to be your choice, but I printed most of the majors in each size, of each deck, and some of the minors. They are all nice though, trust me! They are matted and ready to frame and printed in vibrant, 100 year archival color inks, and signed.

I also made those “prayer flags” out of the extra large majors edition of Tabula Mundi, both the black and white and the color edition. You can see them hanging to decorate the booth. The cards are permanently attached to a 3 inch wide double satin ribbon, with grommets attached every few cards, and thin satin ties to hang them. The cards are centered in an area about 8 ft 8 inches long, with extra ribbon on each side making it around ten feet long but adjustable down to the card area if desired. So they will fit along any size room’s wall, pretty much. I have two in color and two in black and white. You can see them below in the first two pictures. Those are available first come first serve, by request, for $77. Just send an email if you are interested, to the info(at)tarotcart email (or any one of my others including mm at this site.) I have a black and white one custom made for a room in my own house along one 12 foot wall.

See the whole progression, from Fool to Universe, all at once!