Exploring the Aeon Card in the Thoth Deck
By Emma Sunerton-Burl
We can see this card comes at a point very close to the end of the Major Arcana sequence and I will consider its meaning in this context – that we, as the Fool, have travelled through all the other Major cards and are nearing the end of this cycle. This card is the equivalent to the Judgement card in RWS deck, however it is founded in quite different principles which makes for an interesting take on this powerful card.
Crowley departed from the aspect of divine judgement and more strongly advocated self-responsibility and this card brings this aspect to the fore. He maintains it as the heralding of a spiritual new age – the Age of Horus which follows the old Age of Osirus, patriarchy. The Age of Osirus ended with the destruction of the old world by fire — Crowley saw this as already having occurred, and hence the RWS judgement card now needed to be replaced with a more up-to-date energetic form.
On a psychological level we can liken this to our inner passions breaking through, as we transform ourselves from our restrictive “do as we are told”, whether by other people or by rules, childhood phases of life. We ditch the old world view and start to assess our own true way of moving through life as a unique, empowered, adult individual. This of course can happen at any age in our adult life, and may occur multiple times as we increasingly individuate. We come to know our true selves and follow what is true for us rather than following someone else’s truth, given to us and swallowed whole. We now come to discern what is right from our own unique perspective and background experience and learning.
Images on the card include Nuit the Goddess of the night sky – symbolic of the mystery and unlimited possibilities in the sky above. We can do anything we can conceive of that feels right for us. At this stage we have developed our psyche enough to have a hold on the more base desires and can trust ourselves more implicitly to make the ‘right’ decisions for our own higher paths.
There is a dual God here as we see two aspects of Horus; the extroverted, leader, Ra Hoor Khuit – Horus the elder, pictured clearly in the background, and the more introverted form in the foreground with his childlike innocence, and silence, Hoor Pa Kraat – Horus the child. As we see here, it is as if psychologically we have our inner child needs and understanding in the foreground; we listen to what we sense of the world, our feelings and our joy. Then we use this information to inform our adult decisions rather than to allow it to run our lives. The adult wisdom is what we use to decide how, or whether, to act on the insights of the child within, who externally remains silent, but heard.
The three embryonic forms at the foot of the card represent the new ideas, projects and inner qualities we are nourishing to birth at a later date. This card shows us a great creative potential as we come into our own perspective. We respect ourselves and our inspiration and nourish our dreams – we know we are valuable and worthwhile whether or not someone else understands or approves of us – this is no longer of relevance.
The winged sun in the centre just above the embryos is a symbol of Hadit – the Thelemic deity. It represents the deepest sense of self, the unseen, secret seed of desire in us. This is how we can be guided – by our deepest desires and our heart. This aspect of our spiritual Self contains the seeds of all possibilities for our soul growth.
Our passion and desire refined enough by the time we reach the Aeon level of development that they are imbibed with this soul growth and we can again see a reference to the need to follow our own inner impulses. They no longer will lead us astray due to unintegrated shadow material. In earlier cards we have faced the aspects of ourselves we avoided, or would not face. By the time we reach the Aeon we are able to trust we know ourselves enough, have removed the blocked inner forces, and can now access our deepest self for guidance and direction through our dreams and desires. We simply have to take responsibility for how we proceed ourselves armed with the wisdom of our inner child and our soul.
- Intuitive Understanding of the Aeon
In order to know this card for yourself, and in keeping with the card’s meaning, travel into the card and ask the elements to tell you for themselves how they are to be read in your readings. You might find they have something to say to you specifically for your life now – or they may talk of generalised meanings when this card comes up in your readings. Journal your experience then re-read it a few days or week or so later, sometimes further understanding can be gleaned when re-visiting intuitive understanding.
To travel into a card – the basic procedure is to relax and deepen in whatever way you would normally for meditation. You might visualised light running through your body from the earth and from the sky. Then imagine walking up some stairs, at the top there is a door into the card. As you step through the door you find yourself in the environment of the card – the images and characters are there to be interacted with. Notice your feelings, where you are drawn to go and listen to the responses you find in your mind as you ask questions. Suspend any disbelief and allow a playfulness as you do this, and you will find as you journal and then re-read after, you can decide whether or not to take the advice and experience. When you have explored enough, then trace your steps back to the doorway and down the stairs and back into your body. Feel roots from your feet to the earth and your skin and body contacting the chair and floor. As you come back into the room give yourself a few moments and write down your experience.
At first you may feel you didn’t experience much – but write even the faintest glimmer of experience – perhaps a feeling or how your body felt or the colour of something you saw. As you take seriously even the smallest experience your unconscious will understand you are listening and will likely enhance the experience the next time you do something like this.
I have explored here some of the major themes and images on this card, and encouraged you to find some of your own connection to and reflection on this beautiful card. As the card itself indicates finding your own meaning is important part of reading the cards, as you come to trust yourself you step more fully into who you really are and can access your unique talents and service to the world. Enjoy your explorations and feel free to share your experiences below.
Emma works as an intuitive psychic tarot reader and runs one-to-one online training courses on reading with the Thoth tarot deck using a unique blend of intuition and psychological techniques. This has now been extended to working intuitively with RWS-style decks too. She also mentors other professional and non-professional tarot readers. She offers visualisation MP3 downloads for intuition development, tarot readings F2F, telephone or distance, and healing – see her website for details
Emma has a BSc in Psychology and is a trained counsellor, and currently developing these skills via a masters in Psychotherapeutic Counselling. She integrates this experience in her Tarot work, and in her self-written training courses for personal development, Tarot, and Tarot mentoring. Her website is www.tarot-training.co.uk