August 27, 2017

The Goat of Mendes: a Satanic Tarot spread

A Tarot spread patterned on the inverted pentagram.

"Goat of Mendes," a Satanic Tarot spread by James Bulls 

This arrangement is one of my own creation which I call the Goat of Mendes and its aesthetic configuration is taken from the inverted pentagram featured in the banner at the top of this blog. Unlike the upright pentagram which shows an upright man with feet standing upon the bottom points, hands spread to the horizontal points, and head in the ascendant point, the Goat of Mendes is the reverse: two horns in the upright points, ears hanging to the horizontal points, and a tangled beard dangling in the bottom point. This is the carnal beast rooted in the earth. If you so choose, you may perform this arrangement during either a compassion or a destruction ritual to enhance your experience.

This arrangement is particularly Satanic because it wastes no time on masturbatory navel-gazing. This arrangement jumps straight into the heart of how you help or hurt yourself, how to recognize and reward those who help you, and how to accuse and oppose those who hurt you. Looking into the “face” of the goat of Mendes forces you to confront your life figuratively head-on.

The only caution I’ll give you about this arrangement is that while it can be stimulating and interesting to divine the identity and nature of your allies and enemies, there is the potential for you to become trapped by the pettiness of quid pro quo rewards and punishments. People who’ve wronged you deserve to be punished, but be careful that your “eye for an eye” quest for justice doesn't become a Pyrrhic victory.

With that caveat emptor in mind, let’s see the goat of Mendes in action with a hypothetical reading for the imaginary client Jane:
  • Left horn: 4 of Hearts
  • Left ear: King of Hearts
  • Right horn: 10 of Hearts
  • Right ear: 5 of Hearts
  • Face: 6 of Spades
  • Tangled Beard: Jack of Diamonds

What does the goat of Mendes have to tell you today, Jane? Just looking at the big picture, there’s a pretty consistent theme here. Excepting your face and your beard, everything else is coming up hearts. This isn’t automatically a problem, but it does put you in a really heavy state of extroversion. This is sustainable in the short term, but I think will leave you burnt in the long term. So, right at the start we’ve got a message that it’s important for you to make the most of what you have right now before it goes on too long and you lose either stamina or motivation.

Before we get into the particulars, though, let’s talk about the specific environment you’ve created for yourself. Generally speaking, the only enemy you face in your life is yourself. The Jack’s of Diamonds shows the environment you’ve created for yourself, and to be honest it’s counterproductive. See how its earthy diamonds oppose your air spades? It weakens your confidence in your ability to use lesser magic to communicate your desires.

When I look at how you came to this point, I’m seeing that this is largely to do with personal lifestyle change and making long-term adjustments to how you manage the small details of your daily life. Clearly, you’re ready to move on to a less stressful and more productive life, but this goes against your learned habits. I think it’s great that you’ve identified the problems you create for yourself, but I also think that with what I’m seeing here that you need to hold on to those qualities for just a little longer.

The first reason you need to hold on to your exhausting and sometimes just plain meddlesome qualities is to do with your friends. I’m seeing that the biggest way your friends help you is by giving you opportunities to sharpen your everyday wisdom. No matter what you feel about your past life experiences and your desire to achieve something more worldly and material, your cunning is useful to those who haven’t learned it for themselves.

Looking at how your friends help you, we see that they provide an invitation for you to sharpen your street-smarts on their problems and keep safe the people who matter most to you. I understand that you’d like to lead a more upstanding and dignified life, but your friends benefit from your wisdom—and your wisdom benefits from your friends. Don’t disown that part of you—it’s still useful.

Specifically, that part of you is useful because you can reward your friends by persuading them against backing out of their commitments or at the least their responsibility to care for others close to them. I can see that in the past you’ve abandoned things and people who shared deepest roots with you, but you’re in a position to make sure the people you care about don’t do that to the people they care about.

As for your enemies, that’s not actually much different. Looking at how your enemies hurt you, there isn’t much they can do to you—but there’s a lot you can do to hurt yourself. Do you have a strong drive to get even and make sure that people who’ve wronged you don’t come up in life? If so, I wouldn’t say you’re wrong—it’s your choice to decide how to handle your affairs—but keep in mind that time spent pushing barriers into your enemies’ path and preventing them moving on from what they did to you is also time spent not pursuing your own success.

The best way you can punish your enemies without also punishing yourself is to not just get out of their way, but to wish them well. Given the potential for any of us to make mistakes, I think you can gift your enemies a false sense of security and persuade them into freely choosing a fate worse than what you yourself could inflict upon them. Don’t just leave them to their own devices—encourage them to their own devices!—and you’ll be amazed how far they go.

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Freedom of Expression =/= Freedom from Consequences.