The speaker went on to relate the details of the three Tarot spreads. The first time was the Hermit, the Chariot, and the Tower from the Rider-Waite deck -- but it was the second incident that really got my attention
A: The other instance of this was the Prince of Wands from the Crowley deck, the Lovers, and -- and, uh, Strength.B: The Prince of Wands is not Major Arcana.A: No, it's Minor Arcana. So that deviates from Strieber's emphasis on the Major Arcana. There was the Prince of Wands, there was Strength -- which in the Crowley deck is Lust -- and there was -- I can't remember -- I don't -- well, I don't want to sidetrack the discussion too much, so, I mean, you can make of that what you will -- maybe the Priestess.
I have very little interest in, sympathy with, or knowledge of the Crowley deck, and cards from that deck have appeared on this blog only twice. The first time was in an old post that was just a gallery of Magician cards from dozens of different decks, including Crowley's. The second time was in "More on the U.S. presidency in 2022," posted less than three days before listening to the above material -- and the card was Strength/Lust.
Notice how the podcaster refers to "the Crowley deck" rather than using its proper name, the Thoth Tarot. He also twice calls the card Strength before mentioning parenthetically that Crowley actually renamed it Lust. Now compare that to my own language in introducing the same card: "Aleister Crowley's version of the Strength card (renamed Lust; in order to maintain his cred as the Wickedest Man in the World, Crowley renamed all three virtue trumps)." I, too, do not mention the Thoth Tarot by name, and I call the card Strength first, mentioning Crowley's renaming only parenthetically. Note that the podcaster also mentions the Prince of Wands and the Priestess -- names which are also distinctive to the Thoth Tarot and differ from the more traditional titles -- but the only name change he mentions is Strength to Lust.
In my post, I had connected Strength/Lust with Kamala Harris. While I was in the process of writing this present post, I read a comment by Debbie on one of my other posts, saying, "Doesn't the name Kamala in Sanskrit mean :'lotus' or 'pale red'???" I knew that Kamala meant "lotus" and was an epithet of Lakshmi, but I didn't know it meant "pale red," so this comment led me to look up the etymology again, and I found this:
Kamala (कमल) is a Sanskrit technical term translating to the color “lotus” or “lotus-flower”, but can also refer to “pale-red”, “rose-coloured” etc. and in a different context can also refer to “desirous”, “lustful” etc. It is used throughout Ayurvedic literature such as the Suśrutasaṃhita or the Carakasaṃhita.
Together with Strength/Lust, the podcaster mentioned the Prince of Wands and a third card which he first identified as the Lovers, then said he couldn't remember, and finally said might have been the Priestess. My own "Reading for 2022" had identified Harris with Strength and Biden with the Page of Wands. There is no Page of Wands in the Crowley deck; instead of the usual court-card scheme (King, Queen, Knight, Page), Crowley's courts consist of Knight, Queen, Prince, and Princess. It is the Princess that is most often considered to correspond to the Page in other decks, but a female Princess can hardly represent a male figure like Biden -- so if I wanted to "duplicate" my Page of Wands reading using the Crowley deck, the Prince of Wands would be the nearest equivalent.
Recall that in my own readings, one of the cards for the presidency showed a man and woman with a lion's head, and one of the cards for Harris showed a woman with a lion.
In a singularly appropriate twist, it turns out that the Prince of Wands -- nearest Crowley equivalent to one of the cards I drew for Biden -- shows a man with a lion.
As for the other cards mentioned, Crowley's Lovers shows an interracial marriage, which syncs with Harris in a broad way (she has an Indian mother, a Jamaican mulatto father, and a Jewish husband), but it was the Priestess that really blew my mind.
In my 2020 "Inauguration Day Reading," I drew the Rider-Waite High Priestess card, which seemed to show Harris's swearing in -- a woman with her left hand on the Bible, with "JB" (Joe Biden) standing in the background.
In that post, I mentioned that the Golden Dawn associated the High Priestess with the Hebrew letter gimel, a letter which is often said to represent a camel (suggesting Kamala).
In my "Reading for 2022," I also identified Harris with one of the figures on the Rider-Waite Devil card: a woman with a bunch of grapes growing from her tail.
So imagine my surprise when I looked up Crowley's Priestess card and found that it features this little detail.
That's right, among the clutter in the foreground of the card there is a camel next to a bunch of grapes! Waite and others may have thought of this trump as corresponding to gimel and thus to the camel, but who actually explicitly painted a camel on the card? Who? I emphasize once again that, though we call it the "Crowley deck," both the concept (Crowley had originally wanted to do a traditional Marseille-style deck) and the artwork itself were actually the work of a woman named Harris -- Frieda Harris, who incidentally moved to India shortly before her death.
I end with an irrelevant anecdote, for no other reason than that the story about Grays leaving out Tarot cards made me think of it.
One morning, somewhere in the 2007-2009 range (based on where I was living at the time), I got up, came downstairs, and found a big chunk of white styrofoam sitting in the exact center of the dining room table. It was about the size of a hen and was ragged around the edges, as if it had been torn from a much larger piece.
There were only two people living in that apartment: me and my wife, who suffers from such an extreme phobia of styrofoam that it would essentially have been physically impossible for her to have put it there herself. And I didn't do it. We kept our door locked all the time, and no one else had a key. So . . .