Wednesday, 31 October 2012


                            SEMPITERNAM: ANCESTRAL WISDOM November 2012
XX The Regeneration Machine

Throughout the world, November is the month when many remember the Ancestors. From the Irish Samhain festival that opens the dark or winter half of the year to the Mexican Day of the Dead. In the Imperium, we also remember our teachers and forebears, all the guildsmen and women who created the vehicles of a bygone day, all the technomancers and engineers whose skill and ingenuity envisioned this day. In all the guild houses, the eternal flame burns for them, but not only during this month. We regard them as a power forever.
         The title of these writings is Sempiternam or ‘Forever.’ This word typifies the Imperium's sense of the Ancestors as an eternal source of wisdom.  The first  thing that any Apprentice is expected to do on entering the guildhouse as a beginner is to ask questions and to attend to the answers. The more skilful the question asked, the more he or she learns. Accordingly, this month I have decided to ask some questions for all of us so that the Imperium’s idea of ancestors may teach us, by allowing the cards to speak wisely in response we have a path for our feet.

1. Who are the Ancestors? Lady of Leviathans scans the smallest atoms of life in her scientific explorations.  She tells us that the Ancestors are everything and everybeing from the remotest galaxies down to the tiniest life-bearing rock of our own world.  This is not a notion that many subscribe to, yet the preservation of memory within every cell of matter is a scientifically verified fact. We are all deeply part of the universe as relatives of each other.

2. What do the Ancestors have to bequeath to us? 6 Leviathans shows some ladies and gentlemen sharing a delightful tea beside their wonderful leviathan.  Their joy in each other’s company is apparant.  The gladdening of any community is based upon our sharing generously with each other. Acts of kindness, the apportioning of resources in a wise way, the service and support that we lend to each other is the maker of community.

3. How can we honour them? I Technomancer invites us to become part of the machine, as he has done, suggesting that we see ourselves as a link in the chain of power that fuels life itself. By including those who bore us and taught us, we maintain our links with a line of wisdom that creatively brainstorms solutions to present problems. By making Ancestors central to our lives, we too share  in the innovative engagement of ideas that will support those who follow us.

                                                      THE PRESENT
4. What happens when we ignore the Ancestors? Ace of Leviathans shows the protection of a great leviathan over a village community. When it is reversed, as here, it means that we become consumers who mismanage the resources we inherit.  This short-termism kills community and steals its assets. It devours the material and intellectual wealth that ancestral ingenuity has acquired without acknowledgement, leaving nothing left for those who follow.

5. What happens when we invite them back to our hearth? Navigator of Airships sits in front of his directional instruments in the cockput of his dirigible.  He suggests that this invitation and inclusion of Ancestors helps us acquire a sense of direction once again. We see proportionately and contextually, we have clear ideas of what is possible.  Further, he shows us that we can ask for help for he has, clearly displayed on his cockpit window, an AA or Automobile Association logo which helps drivers repair vehicles during their journey.  The ancestral championship of our cause underscores our journey indeed!

6. How can we strengthen the circle of life? IV Emperor sits in his personal airbourne vessel as he goes about the Imperium overseeing its workings.  He suggests that we protect our world humanely and responsibily.  Leadership and organization can bring order, but it is by authentic love that we bring strength to the circle of life.  By checking our connections with life, where its limits and boundaries protect us as well as where authority empowers us, we become clearer about our place in that circle.

                                                     THE FUTURE
7. What do the descendants want us to change?  5 of Submersibles looks through his bathysphere window with relief to see survivors of an underwater accident.  This card clearly speaks of us needing to understand cause and effect, to ensure that we gain wisdom from our mistakes before committing any more.  The descendants (and we all have descendants, even if we have no children of our body) deserve to have a good inheritance from us, but our disappointments and regrets often cloud the way.  We have power to change when we consider the next steps and their effect upon the future. For each of us, there are things we would have done differently, but rather  than being stuck in past regrets, let us each discover what would ameliorate our descendant’s condition.

8. What do  we bequeath to the descendants? 7 of Submersibles shows the discovery of an underwater city with all its wonders.  We do not wish to bequeath a fabled civilization that is no more, so it’s time to awaken from the day-dream of our personal self-deceivings.  What do you feel you would like to leave for those who follow you? How can you cultivate your imagination’s deepest gifts rather than stew in illusion? What collective vision do you have for the world to come?

9. How can we become good ancestors? XX Regeneration Machine shows a man and woman awakening from the machine where they have been healed or made new.  This deeply powerful card reveals the way in which we become good ancestors ourselves.  The recaptiulation of all that is worthwhile is the major gift of an ancestor whose vision is not just for the dead, nor only for the living but is able to change society completely, setting up a chain reaction that gladdens everyone. This regenerative effect is the core effect of this card: if what you envision regenerates and reinvigorates life then this will make you a good ancestor when your turn comes.

Here is the Awakening Spread from this God of the Machine for you to try for yourself:
         What needs to awaken in you?
          What gift does this reawaken?
          What do you choose to lay down?
          What becomes available as a result?

Wednesday, 3 October 2012


As an ambassador of the Imperium, Madame Hypatia has been giving thought to the estate of Europe which seems to have lost its vision of itself. As some countries consider whether they want to stay in the union or depart from it, this spread looks at the viability of its continuance.

Ace Submersibles

The two advocate cards are Ace Submersibles reversed and 8 Leviathans. We see the great submersible breaching the ice, but here it is reversed, giving it the appearance of a vessel sinking, not rising. The union seems to be reverting to a more selfish, less sharing entity.

8 Leviathans
The 8 Leviathans signifies hard work coming to a conclusion. The necessity that the Advocate cards reveal is for re-envisioning and a working together to reveal the possibilities. So many countries of the union have financial difficulty at this time that the shared wealth and concerted effort is beginning to count for little.

This time, I draw 4 pairs of cards and read these pairs together.

VII Triumph. Queen Submersibles reversed. XIX Solarium, 7 Submersibles
Navigator of Airships reversed, 6 Submersibles, 4 Airships, Queen Airships.

Navigator of Airships
VII Triumph

VII Triumph shows two successful inventors enjoying a lap of honour through the city. The get up and roll of the triumphal chariot launched Europe but now it feels like a vehicle out of control. For a state that has the most rigorous bureaucracy in the world, with regulatory committees for nearly every aspect of life, Europe is singularly un-united. In the harnessing of its  chariot means, some members are pulling more and harder than the others. Here the Navigator of Airships reversed has lost his high-minded ethical championship and turned surly and selfish here.

Lady Submersibles

Like the Ace of Subs above, the Lady of Submersibles is reversed, giving us the sense of a sinking mermaid. In the classical world, Europe was centred around the Mediterranean or the Inner Sea, as it was called. Trade and exchange  was irrigated by this sea. The countries now suffering most doubt about remaining in the union are these Southern European states which today don't have the power and wealth of Northern Europe. The Lady of Subs reversed shows how generosity can run away with itself and become  indulgent like a doting mother who spoils her children.

6 Submersibles
This dining out attitude, with the misuse of subsidies and handouts, the fabled butter mountain of stockpiled resources, is typified by this reversed Lady. The corrective to this is shown in the 6 Submersibles, which counsels us to remember the older ancestral way of doing things. There is some risk of nostalgia-based looking-back in this, so we have
 to stress the importance of a proper reconsideration that is inclusive, or we just end up with tribalism.

XIX Solarium

XIX Solarium shows two children playing in the sunlight enjoying themselves without anxiety. This has been the state of mind in which some countries have entered the union, in a careless state of naivety, hoping for the prosperity and lack of responsibility of being under the larger umbrella state. One of the immediate issues of being part of a larger state is the loss of confidence or national identity that may accompany this.

4 Airships

The corrective to this attitude is shown in 4 Airships, which counsels a period of consideration before continuing down this road.  A little rest to take the temperature of the union would not be not a bad thing. Allowing the smaller  and more recent countries time to settle in is necessary for the health of the union. 

7 Submersibles

7 Submersibles shows the vessel discovering an underwater city. This seems like a direct reference to the myth of Atlantis which underlies the European dream and acts as a continual warning against hubris and illusion. There is no way that Europe is an ideal union, but to behave as if this were the case carries with it the seeds of its own destruction. Civilisations like the Mycenean island of Santorini came to grief.(Indeed, in the  next card of the submersible sequence, we see the underwater city's destruction!)

Lady Airships
Lady of Airships brings a strong mental focus that reminds us to use our streetwise stratagems In order to survive. What is the trajectory of the union?

Advocates added together 1+ 8=9 or IX The  Inventor who becomes the shepherd of this union. He suggests a need for a 'back to the drawing board' approach, when all the blueprints of this union are reexamined and rethought in a considered way.  As the spread stands, we have all the seeds of destruction, all the warnings are on the wall clear to read.

IX The Inventor
I see few cards here suggesting a working together, unless the vital VII Triumph can steer its way with better integrity or a sense of deep consideration and insightful planning can be brought to bear, we are set for an autumn of things pulling apart. The jury is not out yet. It's time for all European citizens to consider the fate of Europa.