Here are further directions for reading the Elemental Symbols of the Oracle of Fortuna in relation to your questions regarding knowledge about your present/future.
As said before the value of the Oracle of Fortuna to you will be the use you can make of it to cast light on your daily living problems. We all have problems and to every problem there must be a solution. There cannot be a problem without a solution. If the problem has no solution then it is not a problem but something else.
I went to the trouble of writing this book and working out all these things regarding the use of the Oracle so that you will be able to USE it. I would like to do the readings for you but I cannot. I cannot be in many places at once. Therefore, you will have to learn to read the Oracle for yourself. The reading of the Oracle is really very easy if you will study the basic knowledge regarding the Four Elemental Forces. Read that part over until you master it. Just think of it this way. You know what MOVABILITY is. You know you have to have the ability to move before you can do anything on this Physical Plane. You first desire, then move to GET YOUR DESIRE. Movability is symbolized by the Element of Air and by the suit of Spades in the playing card deck. To get what we want in life we have to be able to MOVE TOWARDS WHAT WE WANT IN SOME WAY OR TO MOVE FREELY. Without being able to move we can do nothing even if we have the desire.
You know what desire is. Desire is like Fire. You have heard that before. YOU CANNOT DO ANYTHING UNLESS YOU FIRST DESIRE TO DO IT, OR HAVE IT, OR TO BE IT. YOU MUST DESIRE FIRST OF ALL. Desire is the symbol CLUBS of the playing deck of cards.
You know what PLANS are. You know that having desire is not enough and having ability to move is not enough. You must still move according to some kind of system of ideas called Plans. PLANS are symbolized by WATER. The suit of Hearts in the playing card deck symbolizes PLANS. You cannot have water without something to hold it in. So the idea of Water and its container are inseparable. On the Inner Planes the condensed Etheric substance, that is Becoming on its way to Earth, has also hardened into its own container but on the Earth Plane the container and the Water are not the same, unless you have ever seen a container made of ice, so don't let this idea confuse you. The container and the material contained, on the Inner Planes, are the same substance, but on the Outer - No!
The fourth Element Earth is the desired end result that you want, the thing you desired, the thing you moved toward the thing that took shape, the thing that became what you wanted in reality. The Element Earth is symbolized by the suit of Diamonds in the playing card pack and Diamonds certainly represent the ultimate in crystalization.
Therefore, following out the above ideas, you can read your Oracle games as deeply as you desire to. Take your readings slowly at first. Give yourself only simple readings but always be thinking about the deeper meanings and look for them.
The type of Oracle game ending that is likely to cause you the most thinking, at first, is the third type of ending. The third type of ending is where the game becomes stuck after you have changed to bringing up the past cards one at a time.
This type of ending indicates that the Elemental Forces necessary to carry out your desire, as embodied in your question, LIE IN THE FUTURE WHOLLY! Another way of saying this is that the key cards, necessary to close out the game, are under some Planet card in some row and so situated that they are not available to close out the divination game. To say this in still another way, the cards needed to complete the game, and the Forces the cards represent, these cards and Forces ARE IN THE FUTURE AND NOT AVAILABLE FOR USE NOW. However, if you will examine what Planet cards they are under you can get some idea as to how and through what they can come to you. Also, an analysis of the cards themselves should show you what factors are needed in your life to bring you what you want.
Further, in connection with this third type of ending, you will generally find that it is an Ace that is held up in the future and not available for play. You know what Aces stand for, for beginnings of things. Therefore what Ace is held up will show you what you did not make a start at yet and/or what Planet influence the Ace was under.
Also in this third type of ending you will find, many times, that it is also a 2 or 3 that is holding up the play from completion while the Ace may be out. This would indicate that, while you had made the start of the move as indicated by the Ace being out, you had taken no other steps in the matter, or had not continued with the follow-up as it were. The answer here is clear.
It is very seldom that a card higher than a 2 or a 3 will hold up the carrying out of the Oracle game. If you can get over the Ace, 2, and 3 you will find that you can generally go on with the game to the end.
The subject of Divination or Foretelling the Future or "Fortune Telling" has been a rather, shall we say, sore point among people for many years and centuries. I know that here, today, in San Francisco, the police do not look kindly upon Fortune Tellers. In fact, from what I read about them every now and then in the paper they are pretty bad. I saw a notice in the paper the other day that some people were telling fortunes, I believe they were Gypsies, but they weren't really telling fortunes. They were telling people that they had a curse on them and these people would have to pay so much money to get the curse lifted and burn some candles. They also told these people to bring their money in a package and they would have to bless it. This would be done by the victim and when he got home again and opened his package he found his money was gone. In fact, I have some recollection here that they flimflammed some man out of five or six thousand dollars here a year or two ago. They took off in their Cadillac and ended up somewhere down in Arizona where they were finally caught.
I'm going to some trouble to tell you these things because I don't want you to get taken in by any fortune tellers, fake and/or otherwise. Please do remember that very few of us have any "fortunes" to tell.
I would like to say a word about Divination in past ages. I am sure that those of you who have read books, histories, and other kinds of material about past ages, (I'm speaking of the Roman and Greek eras and beyond that, even the Hebrew period) must have been struck by the fact that there were constant references to Divination of various kinds. It would seem that every temple to every different kind of a god or goddess would have some kind of a Divination system going. I have no way of knowing how many of these systems were fakes. Undoubtedly, in some of the largest temples there were sources of information not available to other peoples and these sources of information were drawn upon to make predictions about the future. It is entirely possible that these sources of information were combined with intuition which was brought on by the regime that the people in the temple practiced. They would take various kinds of drugs, as the Pythoness at the Oracle of Apollo would chew young bay leaves. These young fresh bay leaves would contain hydrocyanic acid, ( hydrogen, cyanide acid) which is a deadly poison. But she would not get enough to kill her right away, just enough to sort of knock the Etheric Body out of contact with the Physical Body, and in that way would become somewhat sensitive to Forces, which she would interpret. This, of course, goes back to the use of drugs as was stated in some of my other writings and which I have no real knowledge of.
To repeat for emphasis, the Pythia at the Oracle of Apollo, and all of the other human instruments of the other Oracles, did not receive the answers to the questions in words, THEY RECEIVED THE ANSWERS IN FEELINGS. Thus it is in all Oracles and divination systems. The answer comes in FEELINGS and you must learn to receive these feelings and to interpret these feelings so as to understand the meaning that the Oracle system, whatever you are using, is trying to convey to you. Practice also makes these feelings more accurate/perfect in conveying understanding.
Then, in addition to these services in the temples that I referred to, (I am now again speaking of approximately Roman times,) there were a large number of people called augers, who did practice a kind of divination/trade for everybody. Some of them were fakes and some of them were slightly psychic.
It could be that in those days when people were not educated in reading, writing, and arithmetic, they were more cognizant of their inner senses than people are now who have their outer senses trained in educational methods. And these educational methods would tend to ignore the psychic impulses that the person, every person, has. Then too, as I said before, there was a lot of starvation in those days and probably at no time was the diet of the best, and a low state of health is conducive to receiving Inner Plane impressions. I notice here that I am making a number of rambling statements. I'm afraid that I'll have to repeat what I have said before - that I am not trying to write glorious literature like Shakespeare, I am writing directions upon a very difficult subject.
I have noticed this difficulty before in trying to explain Occult matters to people. There is an extreme difficulty in it because there just isn't any established way of teaching it or doing it. There actually is just one main source of truth. And everything I teach and write about is just the same thing in a slightly different form, so you will have heard some of this before. Again I will say that there isn't any real language either. All I have is the English language, and this language is not very well adapted to trying to explain Inner Plane things in Outer Plane terms, which is just about all I can do anyhow. I have read hundreds of Occult books and they either say nothing or else they get so mixed up in ramifications of definitions and semantics that they finally end up not knowing what they are talking about themselves, or if they do they don't seem to be able to convey any ideas to other people. So, I am going to talk to you in a very ordinary way.
I said elsewhere in my writing that everything in the Physical World Plane is connected. I do wish you would ponder on this statement for a long time and try to picture in your mind everything in the Physical Plane World being connected by invisible threads or strings or ropes of Etheric Astral Matter. There is a book called THE SECRET SCIENCE BEHIND MIRACLES by Max Freedom Long that you should get and read. The book will be carried by the Gnostic Institute. There is a lot in the book but the best material of all is the part where Mr. Long describes how the old Hawaiian used to describe the Astral Plane and Astral Matter as being sticky. You can readily understand that you have retained some kind of impression about whatever and whoever you have seen, talked to, or thought about. This impression is the physical effect of this Inner sticky thread of Astral Matter. Now, of course, if you have actually seen something and actually touched something, actually contacted something or actually spoke to something, why then the Astral Matter/thread/rope, is going to be thicker and stronger, than it would be if you just merely saw it in a picture or heard about it. Naturally you will have to use your common sense in this matter, after all, common sense prevails all through the Planes from the Physical on upward.
Some of these Astral Matter, sticky rope/thread contacts are quite thin and light, as you have just probably thought about it for the first time. Then again, there are, let's say, institutions in this World/Plane that have been established for many, many years, and of course, those Astral ropes are quite strong.
One of these connections that I am speaking of is basically the Tarot Cards. Now much nonsense has been written and published and taught about the Tarot Cards. They have been credited with just about everything you can think of in the Physical Plane/World.
However, they are somewhat basic in nature and do cover a wide assortment of extremely natural Powers or Forces.
What I was speaking about in those previous paragraphs were the 22 Major Arcana. The linear Descendants of Tarot Cards are the playing cards of today. I noticed that I didn't mention anything about the Minor Arcana. The Minor Arcana consists of four suits, each connected with an Elemental Force. The cards run from an Ace or one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, and then a princess, a prince, a queen, and a king.
As I have said before in other books, all the real power that exists in the Tarot is in the MINOR ARCANA and NOT in the Major Arcana. This is one of those famous blinds that are thrown up by teachers in the Occult. Who these teachers were I don't know but it must have been done a very long time ago. Also, calling the one part Major and the other part Minor would naturally attract your attention to the Major and you would tend to ignore the Minor. But as I said, the REAL POWER lies in the Minor cards and not in the Major.
By way of a little further explanation it could be said that the Major Arcana cards represent, let us say, the wiring in a house or a building. Now the wiring is there. It is connected with switches and lights and all the other necessary things, but it is not until power is thrown into the system that anything can happen in the wiring of a house or building. Well, this is exactly the same way the Major and the Minor Tarot Cards operate. The Major Tarot Cards provide a sort of base, the best example is to call it the basic wiring system of a house, and the Minor Cards are the power that courses over these wires, or as you can again say over the pattern laid out by the Major Arcana, and the work is done, accompanied, by the power in the Minor Cards, not the Major Cards.
The cards you will use in the Oracle of Fortuna system will be an ordinary deck of playing cards. An ordinary deck corresponds to the Minor Arcana sections except that there is no Princess in the Minor cards today. The Princess roughly corresponds to the Ten. Keep these cards intact, and do not use them for anything else except for the Oracle of Fortuna readings and operations.
In addition to the ordinary deck of playing cards that you will use for your divination operations you will use seven Astrological symbol cards. These cards are found in the back of this book, ready to be cut and pasted on heavy board. In addition to the seven Astrological symbol cards, you will use four Elemental Force symbol cards, also found in the back of this book.
Actually, and ideally, you should, according to Occult principles, make and paint your own cards. However, I do find that many people have a great deal of trouble doing this. However, the Occult rule seems to be that whatever you do yourself you put more of the force of your personality into it, that is to say, whatever instruments you make, and you can call these Magical instruments, if you make them yourself you put a great deal of yourself into these little Talismanic objects. Therefore, if you feel so inclined you should make and paint these symbols yourself. Diagrams are given in the back of the book to help you. Also, it is ideally true, from an Occult standpoint, that these symbols should be drawn and painted on parchment.
Now parchment is, as you know, the skin of an animal, probably that of a sheep, that is treated in a certain manner and has a certain texture to it. Parchment has always been quite expensive and, in addition, the parchment has a very irregular shape so that some of the material is lost in trying to cut these perfect little squares out of it, which squares are the size of the Symbol cards both large and small. But, as I said, these symbols should actually be drawn and painted on parchment, by you personally, and then kept wrapped in silk. And no one should touch them but you.
To explain a little more about divination as it seems to have been practiced in the old days, it appears that practically everything was used for divining one thing or another. There was lightning. A great deal of divination was done with the livers of animals, ox liver or sheep liver. It seems as if the priest or the diviner would kill the animal and then expose its liver and then read something off, that he had got from something, from the shape or the color of the liver. Years ago when I went to college I was in a class in Zoology. One of our projects was to open up a large earthworm and to study its internal organs by means of a low powered microscope. Well, after I had opened my worm and was studying it I was amazed at the irridescence of the inner surface of the worm's body. It was all colors of the rainbow, especially after I turned the light on it. I remember that I spent a great deal of time studying, looking at, and pondering those colors before I went to my job of studying the internal organs. Now in view of this fact I have no doubt that the animal livers presented something to the priests or people, whoever they were, who performed these kind of operations. And then remember again, that all things are connected together by those sticky threads of Astral Matter. I don't remember exactly now which Astrological Sign rules the liver, I will have to look on the common little chart that you see on all almanacs, and goodness knows that I have seen it enough times in my life, but I still don't recall now what Astrological Sign rules the liver, and I am going to let you look at the chart and find out what it is.
Now in addition to this, there were such things as making a bonfire out of sacred wood and then studying the patterns in the fiery ashes. I understand the Babylonians would pour oil on water and then make something out of the patterns that would be formed by the oil spreading out over the surface of the water. I remember reading in the book, I think it was ALL THIS AND HEAVEN TOO, how the children were found one Halloween in the hut of a peasant, who was melting lead over the fire and then dropping small portions of the lead in water. Of course, the lead would assume all kinds of peculiar shapes, solidifying instantly as it were and this man purported to read the meanings of those shapes as a sort of fortune telling for the child for the next year.
If you will read a novel called THE ETRUSCAN by Mika Waltari, the author mentions these divinations by animal livers many times. In fact, he mentions many things of an ordinary magical connotation that was used in those days and I suggest that you get all of his books, THE EGYPTIAN, THE ETRUSCAN, and THE ROMAN, although I do not care so much for THE ROMAN as I did for the other two books.
I have a very good idea that the author Mika Waltari knows something about the Occult. I don't know if I will ever get to speak to him but if I ever do I am going to question him quite closely on where he got those references that he writes so much about.
Now I am going to digress a little bit and I am going to say that in many books by many different authors you find a lot of references to Occult matters. I wish you would keep track of these things and make some notes of them and send them to me. There is an awful lot going on in the world today along these lines and people are beginning to wake up to them. And they look in the past ages and they find a lot of things that they just skipped over before but now with the new Occult things coming along and becoming a more or less everyday occurrence, much attention is being paid to these matters. You, as a student of the Occult, should pay some attention to it.
It appears that in the Ancient world there were a number of famous oracles. That is, it appears that certain gods did set up, or were said to set up, certain spots in the Ancient world, where people visiting those spots and making appropriate offerings could get answers to the future. I do seem to note that three gods were concerned mainly with this Oracle matter. They appear to be Jupiter, Apollo, and Hermes. It appears that the most ancient Oracular shrine in Greece was the Oracle of Jupiter at Dodona. At this shrine, answers were given to those who inquired concerning the future. The responses of the Oracle were given by the rustling of oak trees in the wind. I neglected to mention that there was a thick grove of oak trees at this spot. The sounds of the rustling of the leaves were interpreted by the priests.
It appears that in later times temples of Mercury or Hermes, as the Greek name is Mercury and Hermes is the Roman name, were set up in an oracular service fashion. But as I gather from the descriptions of what went on in the temples of Mercury, I believe that it was a gathering place for merchants of all kinds and types and there they exchanged their news, the latest news they had, coming as they did from travels all over the world. The news that the merchants had given to the priests at this temple of Mercury consisted of a sort of practical prophecy concerning what was likely to happen in the immediate future on trade routes, wars, and disturbances and that sort of thing.
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The pathology of the poet says that the undevout astronomer is mad the pathology of the very plain man says that the genius is mad and between these extremes, which stand for ten thousand analogous excesses, the sovereign reason takes the part of a moderator and does what it can. I do not think that there is a pathology of the occult dedications, but about their extravagances no one can question, and it is not less difficult than thankless to act as a moderator regarding them.