I’m holding onto what I haven’t got.
In my quest to learn more about my decks and how they approach problems, I decided to ask them what my goals for the new year should be. Sure, it’s early to do that, but given that it takes time to decipher what a deck is saying and it takes time to formulate plans to reach a goal, mid-November is a perfectly serviceable time to do such a reading.
Anyway, I did the readings one after the other, which I will never do again. It’s quite exhausting! Especially with the BoDO. Remember how I said you should set aside at least 30 – 45 minutes for a tetractys reading? Try more like 60 minutes minimum. If you’re the type who sits there and fully interprets a reading right when you’ve laid it out (instead of lightly interpreting it, then sleeping on the rest), you’ll need at least 120 minutes. I shit you not. This deck does not fuck around.
The BoDO reading made me feel a bit dizzy as I went. The AO reading felt cold for awhile, though maybe that was just the room.
For the BoDO, I pulled a tetractys like:
Bennu Heru Mafdet
Imhotep Kemet Khnum Nun
First of all, there were a lot of 1s in this reading, which suggests the beginning of something.
Meskhenet is seated in the Sirius position, meaning her power is the guiding principle of the reading. Meskhenet is the birthing brick, the beginning of life and new growth. She asks you to consider any astrological influences. I think her power is amplified given that I did this reading very close to the heliacal rising of Sopdet.
Meskhenet is also the embodiment of destiny. My being here, and whatever my goals are. . . I’m supposed to be here. That will be some solace, I suppose, when I’m floundering just a few weeks into the process.
Geb is seated in a past position, and he indicates past thought patterns and their influence on my current state of mind. Geb is a reminder that staying grounded is important. He is the one who recommends keeping a connection with earth and reality–so don’t get your head stuck in the clouds. At the same time, Geb is utter devotion. After all, he reaches out for Nut, not anyone else. In that same vein, he is also an embodiment of loyalty. That’s really beautiful. I never thought about that with Geb.
At the same time, Geb is also a necessary separation. If he was able to reach his goal, his ambition–Nut–then nothing could exist. So I think as I go on, I should remember that perhaps it’s the journey toward the goal that’s important, not its fulfillment.
I also think there could be a negative connotation to Geb’s role as the great Honker. That is, sometimes you can honk a bit too much for your ego. . . .
Ptah is seated is a future position, where he indicates a guideline for future actions. Ptah is one who created everything through his heart’s desire and therefore he asks us to know our hearts deeply in order to understand him. The master craftsman, he is an expert at balancing and ordering. He asks us to become master craftsmen like himself. In the future, I think I need to use my heart as much as my brain, and go slowly so I learn what I need to do.
Geb and Ptah together in these positions represent the totality of the Eye, which suggests that my goals for the coming year should incorporate the physical and spiritual, but not at the expense of either.
Bennu is seated in the position that indicates the compulsion that drove me to ask the question in the first place. The Bennu is the soul of Ra, the ever effective one (Akh), who burns away the dross of the soul and then takes his place in heaven. The Bennu tells us to shed the old, the worn out, and the non-functional. The interpretation here is so obvious I won’t belabor on it.
Heru is seated in the position that indicates how the different energies of all these cards are to relate to one another, so in a sense, he’s the lynchpin of the entire reading. Heru is all about victory over adversity, perseverance, and righteousness. This suggests that my goals for the year require me to face adversity with perseverance, and act in a righteous way. Not that I know what’s righteous in the context of what I believe. I mean. . . I don’t know what I believe. I’ll just make sure I don’t kick any puppies or anything.
Mafdet is seated in the position that represents the flow of wishes, emotions, and expectations. This is a card pointing toward the future, too, so this is what’s coming. . . To be honest, I’m a little afraid of Mafdet. She is the punisher, the adjudicator, the one who holds the unrighteous accountable. She demands we pay for our wrongs, and she can indicate the need for an imposed discipline of a spiritual or earthly nature.
What’s interesting is to see her seated in this position. Should I expect to be punished or self-punished this year? Or perhaps do I need to take on some discipline/sadhana and hold to it tight as I can? In a way, I kind of see her tied in with Heru, which suggests to me that if I’m too careless with my goals, I’m going to feel the boom.
Imhotep is seated in the position that indicates the past and how it’s still carrying forward. Imhotep is an excellent healer and I am still working on healing, so my goals should incorporate that somehow.
Kemet is seated in the position that suggests how I’ll advance in my goals, or how I’ll react to things, or what’s influencing my ideals and expectations.What fascinates me about this card is its imagery compared to the Ap-p card I pulled in this exact position the last time I read the BoDO. Kemet prominently features a serpent, but it is one of a more positive, creative nature. At the same time, it comes forth from the abyss.
Kemet is a card of fertility, wisdom, spiritual growth, mystery, darkness, chaos, dissolution, material for a new beginning, confusion, and structure breaking down. I don’t think it’s directly related to what my goals are. Instead, I think this card suggests whatever happens is going to be a little less tumultuous and unpleasant. There will still be difficulties, just not of the Ap-pian nature (funny how I insist on slicing through its name that way).
Khnum is seated in the position that indicates the implementation of decisions, the power to do things, and personal action. Khnum, like Ptah, is a master craftsman, but while Ptah’s crafts issue from the heart, Khnum is much more hands on, which means that my goals are going to require me to jump in and do more than think. Khnum strikes me as much more pragmatic, so I’ll need to take solid, concrete steps toward whatever. He also represents successful execution of plans, meaning that the chance of reaching my goals is pretty good.
Nun, the last card, is seated in the position that suggests what to do to implement decisions and reach a goal. Or a card in this position can be an answer to the specific question. In the context of what I asked, I think it’s the last interpretation that’s most relevant, though the other interpretations are nothing to scoff at.
Nun is Start Over. Wipe the slate clean, insert a quarter, burn and salt the earth and start again much more wisely this time around. Nun is about making some new and better from beginning to end. He represents a potent beginning with many, many possibilities.
This card gives me hope.
So then, what goal, exactly, do I get out of this reading?
I think the goal is to start over. Start without any ego, without any assumption of anything. Start with my hands, but listen to my heart. Take on some sort of discipline, like meditation, or reading cards regularly, or juggling chainsaws, or volunteering at an anial shelter, or praying, or whatever. Something. Anything is better than nothing at this point. Remember when things are worst, Meskhenet–destiny, birth–has a hand in everything that’s happening. This also means that, at some point, it’s not my decision anymore, whatever happens.
It’ll take some time to get to the start over point. It’s going to involve acting with integrity, working through the tough parts, further healing, and being disciplined.
I think the second, perhaps less important, goal is to remember. Remember what got me here in the first place. Remember what I wanted to do before I got off track.
That’s the BoDO.
The AO was vastly faster to read because I only did a three card spread. Once I know the deck better, I’ll try some of the more complicated spreads the book suggests.
So, again, the question is what my goals should be for the coming year.
Sekhmet is in the Nekhbet-Mother-Mut position, meaning it’s her energies that are overseeing this year’s goals, as well as protecting me as I approach them. Here, she is extended the olive branch from the dove, who is the initiate/Fool of this deck. This is the card at whose feet you lay your ego.
The AO has an interpretation of Sekhmet that’s a little saccharine for me and doesn’t ring true throughout. She’s seen as the super compassionate guide whose main focus is healing. No mention of the blood, guts, and plagues. I guess there’s some truth to it. After all, she has a softer edge in Bast and Het-heru.
Anyway, Sekhmet’s card imagery indicates she’s related to the tarot Chariot card, meaning Sekhmet in the context of the AO is about self control, discipline, courage, and level-headedness (odd for a goddess of rage, but it makes sense!) She represents a seed that’s starting to grow and a transformation.
With this reading, you read right to left, so the second card is Sopdet.
Sopdet is seated in the Nebet-Het position, which means I can rely on her for the more intuitive parts of my goals. And that’s a great thing. Sopdet is the one who helps us find times and places for renewal or resurgance. She reminds us that it’s always darkest before dawn.
Djehuty is seated in the Aset position, which means he’s the bridge between the spiritual and earthly for me. I can look to him for encouragement and guidance.
Okay, so what kind of goal can I get out of this? I think from the perspective of the AO, my goal for this year to grow as a little seed into something new. I think there’s going to be a close link between my mundane stuff and my sadhana stuff, evidenced by the appearance of Djehuty. As Djehuty in the context of the AO is a sort of Hermit, I think a lot of my growing should be done alone, like a monk in his cell.
There are parallels between the two readings. What I’m ultimately getting is that I need to start over again in parts of my life more intelligently. After learning many sad lessons, I’m a lot wiser. I can go back over my tracks and make a few better decisions.