As Above, So Below
It’s Tarot Blog Hop time again. At this turn of the Wheel, we are celebrating the wheat harvest of August, observed as Lammas (loaf-mass) or Lughnasadh, Celtic festival of the God Lugh. Lugh is related to Mercury, and the sun.
Our wrangler this time around, Joanne Sprott of Cosmic Whispers Tarot, has asked us to expound on those seasonal themes, Mercury and the sun, and ways that they connect to tarot or divination for us.
I had not known of the connection between Irish Lugh and Roman Mercury. I did know the connection between Mercury and Greek Hermes. I also knew that Hermes was conflated with Egyptian Thoth, and became, in Egypt, Hermes Trismegistus, the God whom at one time was thought to be the author of tarot.
I have a particular love of Hermes, and for a weird reason. One of my longest-standing friends from high school is Craig Hermes. Craig is a spiritual guy, and ponders the significance of his name.
So much wisdom has been attributed to the Thrice-Great Hermes. Some of that hermetic wisdom has found its way into tarot. Whether that was by design or by a happy accident doesn’t matter to me.
The tarot card that I connect most to Hermes/Mercury, is the Magician. Traditionally, we relate the Magician to the planet Mercury, and the element of Air.
One of my favorite graphic aspects of the Waite Magician is the hand position that indicates “as above, so below,” a simple principle that is, for me, the driving force behind everything.
A deeper meaning of the Magician for me is the directive to embrace and understand this principle, and incorporate it in to daily life.
What are ways to incorporate “as above, so below” into daily life? For me, it’s about recognizing that prayer, magick and energy work are a half of the whole it takes to get something done. Our attention, energy and action on the mundane level must match our spiritual work, and vice versa.
Another aspect of “as above, so below” is that above and below reflect each other. A Mercury retrograde doesn’t cause your computer to break. Your tech troubles during Mercury Rx are the reflection below of what is happening above.
This concept helps us understand the value of sacred objects. When we take a mundane item and connect it to something spiritual, that spiritual energy really is bestowed upon the mundane item. The “below” becomes like the “above”.
In this way, the Four Tools of Magick, once passively in the Fool’s pouch and now actively on the Magician’s table, can become actual tools to harness the power of the Four Elements.
When we understand “as above, so below”, we become able to do little things to affect big changes. We become able to see cause-and-effect, and plan our actions accordingly.
I think this is what we call “magick”. How appropriate for Key 1 of the Major Arcana, the Magician!