Witches love correspondences and use them to support magickal workings. We break energies down by their elemental qualities and apply those correspondences to Tarot, astrology, runes, angelic presence, stones, plants, incense, just about anything, really. Today’s tarot reading includes one card from each suit along with one card from the Major Arcana serving as significator in the center. All elemental energies are influencing and the overall numerology of the reading is one or new beginnings and self-development.
There exists a concept in witchcraft called the Witch’s Pyramid that describes the four elements as they apply to the inner development of the witch herself. They’re also referred to as the four pillars. To Know (Air), To Dare (Water), To Will (Fire), and To Keep Silence (Earth) represent the four elemental influences for magickal workings along with a fifth, Spirit representing the nonphysical aspect of Self. The Pyramid can be represented in pyramid form or as a pentagram and after looking at the cards I thought I would interpret today’s cards with the concepts behind the Witch’s Pyramid in mind given the self-development aspect of the overall numerology of the reading.
I’ll begin with The Empress in the center of the spread in the position of Spirit who as significator will also represent the witch. Card three from the Major Arcana, The Empress is depicted by a majestic tree, adorned by shades of pink. She is the creative force expressing love and purity along with Mother aspect of the Goddess. A card of Venus and the Moon, The Empress represents the gate to the unconscious realm. The tree’s elegant appearance signifies feminity and grace, it’s white color suggesting a future that’s undecided yet full of options.
The energy of the corona surrounding the eclipsed sun explodes in all directions as two swords cross in balance. Swords signifies the influence of Elemental Air, so To Know represents the witch’s intellect and intuition. Two reflects polarity and balance and when coupled with Swords, the 2 of Swords describes the witch as a balanced force, dispassionate in her focus. She acts with integrity preferring peace over conflict as she manifests balance in all that she does.
My youngest son used to have a pet rat and every time I see the 4 of Cups from this deck I’m reminded of the time I found one of our cats inside the aquarium belonging to the rat with the rat on the outside, trying to get in. This was before cell phones with cameras so I don’t have a picture of it. But if you knew the cat as well as the rat, you’d understand that this sort of thing was commonplace in our home.
A black crescent moon shines forth over a blackened background in the 4 of Cups. Representing the Crone aspect of the Goddess, the moon suggests a time of respite or perhaps a feeling of lost focus. The rat appears to balance on top of four cups either in protection of what he has or waiting for something new to fill them. Or he could simply be emotionally spent. Four represents the structure of life, the elements, and Gaia energy while Cups represents Elemental Water and our emotional presence. Also representing To Dare, the second pillar of the Witch’s Pyramid, the 4 of Cups dares us to look inward and reflect on our own emotional foundation or structure and to assess how our emotions may be holding us back.
Lots of things happening in the 10 of Wands as ten branches appear in disarray preventing any movement forward. Light shines through the black background, however, suggesting clarity is possible. For the witch, the 10 of Wands involves the power of will. The third pillar of the Witch’s Pyramid, To Will, counsels the witch toward self-discipline and integrity. Magick works best when the witch’s will is focused and aligned. An influence of Elemental Fire, the 10 of Wands reminds the witch to focus her thoughts on the present moment thus avoiding scattered thinking, critical when working magick.
Four white feathers surround nine pentacles against a reddish-orange background in the 9 of Pentacles. Reflecting the last pillar of the Pyramid, To Keep Silence, the 9 of Pentacles counsels the witch to keep her own counsel and protect her knowledge. Our silence can be expressed in observation and by a quiet presence, but it’s also about how we protect the wealth of knowledge gained over a lifetime lived. The image on the card seems to suggest that protection while the white feathers surrounding the nine pentacles represents purity. In keeping her silence, the witch protects both tradition and the future.
Whether we’re working magick or simply living our lives, witches who observe the four pillars of Witch’s Pyramid live their lives with a sense of mindful grace. They observe, for the most part, engaging when necessary. But above all, the mindful expression of To Know, To Dare, To Will, and To Keep Silence allows us to express ourselves with integrity and resolve.