New Orleans Voodoo Tarot, The Eights

Grip Dellabonte

This is the 8th vessel of the Kaballah, Hod. It is the place of mind and magic. Or magick. It is the place where the distinction is made that "mind" is not enough. If, in our mental growth up to this point we thought our intellect was the most important vehicle we had to make use of (in relation to studious endeavors), we learn that we were mistaken. The mental aspect of our being can only expand so much. I gather that it is limited to what we see on the physical plane. But when we develop a sense of "connaissance" (profound spiritual knowledge) - different from

cognizance: n. extent of knowledge; notice, especially judicial; awareness; distinctive badge. cognizant, a. taking notice; having knowledge. cognize, v.t. perceive; take notice of.

- then we open up a much more elastic and possibly limitless resource to learn with.

If I understand correctly what the authors are saying, it is that we are still using the same mind - the same faculties - but spiritual knowledge expands it to greater proportions.
They describe "connaissance" as a combination of instinct, or the primitive sense of things (what they call "wild sense"), and the knowings of the mind.

To take it one more step for my brain to get...cognizance plus instinct equals connaissance.

So.....if you weren't a voodooist in the old days long ago before everything got named....I guess you would have to have a certain innate knowledge and then learn to practice the more spiritual aspects of mind to gain connaissance. (Sometimes they get a bit too vague in their explanations and they make my head hurt!).

Anyway, Simbi in the Voodoo tradition and Shango in the Santeria tradition are the teachers of mind and magic for the 8th position on the Kaballah.

Simbi is quickness and Shango is might. They don't say it outright but my take is that they are talking about mental agility and the power or mental strength of the mind...not just a sound mind, but a packed one, full of confidence.

They say both Simbi and Shango are great masters of magick, and know well the secrets and secret places of their realms.

Overall, if one or the other (or both) were to come up in a reading it would seem like one could be secure in the fact that something of great mental value was coming their way.

Hod is the counterpart of Netzach. They make the case that what these two vessels represent are crucial for survival. Hod is the house of Rada or air; Netzach is the house of Congo, or water. While we can survive for a bit without earth or fire, we wouldn't last long without the other two. Taking that one step further, Rada = intellect (mind)/magick, and Congo = emotions. So...we cannot survive as humans without mind and emotions? Something to chew on a while...
Phew! More coffee, Knave!
 

Grip Dellabonte

Now that Geoffrey has brought me my coffee....

Simbi la Flambeau (Petro/Fire):
I normally let you do all the "is this about sex?" stuff, LB, in relation to these cards because first I am bashful and second, I'm a teensy bit dense about such things. But! This card does look a bit phallic. A woman straddling a big snake. I mentioned this to my daughter and she said, "Did you know that the snake is actually used more as a woman's fertility symbol than a man's? Well...both sexes use it, to be fair. Men use it for the obvious reasons. Women use it because a snake's jaw becomes unhinged, making it look more like...well, you get the idea...". Huh. I did not know that.
Well, in that case...aside from the fact that both meanings can be seen in this card, another thing I see at first glance is that it is kind of like the Strength card. She is not afraid of the snake and actually has some type of control over it. I don't know if that's the right word. But she's definitely mixing with it.
Also, in voodoo when a loa 'possesses' a person it is called "mounting". There does seem to be a bit of that going on here.

Could the woman be in a state of being mounted by the fiery aspect of this loa?
Simbi is the voodoo water snake that stands for mental agility.

If this card came up in a reading I think it might be saying that the querent (or someone that was asked about) has had or will have a powerful shift in their thought processes. It will be profound, and they may actually find their mental acuity sharpening, and what they thought prior to the newfound knowledge could be a thing of the past.
Though Netzach is warm and Hod is cool, I see Simbi as passing on knowledge in a totally spirited and passionate way.

Regardless of what they say the divination interpretation is, I see him having an effect on a person where they undergo an enlightening religious or spiritual experience, or they have an epiphany in their particular field of study, or there was one of those "lightbulb" moments where everything is changed in a flash and suddenly made quite clear. Sorry for all the light and fire analogies, but they came at me all at once and seemed to work.

Simbi D'L'Eau (Congo/Water):
This card seems a bit violent at first. It reminds me of how our green garter snake, Cordelia, eats. Where my snake, Loa, is quite refined and well-mannered when he eats, Cordy dives in the water churning everything up around her with her mouth wide open and shovels little fishies in as fast as she can. When the water is calm again there are no little fishies to be seen anywhere. And Cordy is quite content.
Again, this is not how they describe their card, but it still works for me. In a very swift manner, all previous ideas - especially little ones - are swept away by the bigger idea that takes its place.
This is thought that involves the emotions. Because emotions can sometimes distort facts, this card would say to me that this mental change had an overpowering emotional effect on the individual. Depending upon what else came up in the reading there is no telling if this would be a good or a bad thing. Right now I would just say in keeping with the image on the card....powerful emotions can devour all sorts of things. It might be best to take some time and let the emotional aspect of the new information drain off so that things can be looed at more rationally. Then information can be processed more efficiently.
I would say this is a card more of reaction than action.

Simbi (Rada/Air):
This is Simbi in Air - its natural place. The energy emanating from this card, and all the snakes around this person shows to me a person who knows Simbi and works with this loa well.
This is a magic-user, a seer, or a learned one.
I think the snakes are surrounding this person because they are called to her and sense someone who understands them and the messages they bring. The flashes of energy signify the exchange of information between the person and the snakes.
Everything is green in the background showing the growth that is constantly taking place.
So I think this is a card that shows that a person has reached a new level or spiritual and or intellectual mastery. They are confident and totally immersed in it. It is a temporary state - until they do it again - but it would be a pretty positive card if you were worried about whether or not you were getting anywhere in your studies, and this card came up.
 

Grip Dellabonte

Shango (Santeria/Earth):
The Master of Magick. He has the same qualities I have heard attributed to Capricorn, which ironically is an earth sign - he has his head in the clouds and his feet on the ground. They say the goat is part of earth and heaven because he is sure-footed enough to scale great heights but is also at home at deeper levels.
Shango walks easily between the world of magic and the world of the mundane. He has mastered elements of both realms.
Where Simbi was mental quickness and mastery of new mental knowledge, Shango is mastery of new knowledge, and power that comes with the new knowledge. But I think this knowledge is not the kind ones gets from books or study, but what one gets from instinct and earthly experience. That's why he's the earth aspect. It's more practical, hands-on, learn-as-you-do knowledge. But it seems that that's where his power comes from. It's from the actual physical act of working with the earth, earth elements, earth by-products, that he gets his mental power from.

I don't know if this makes sense. I'm going off on my own thing because their description of Shango infuriates me. I have no clue what they're talking about! So I will talk about my own idea of earthly magic.

For instance, on a mundane level, anyone who has seen what an inspired football player can do with a ball, what a carpenter can do with wood or a sculptor could do with marble to make inaminate matter appear lifelike, what a chef can do in a kitchen with the same tools everybody else has, seems like magic in the physical world. Sometimes they are all in inspired mentally to do something remarkable on the physical plane. And they have power in it because people are attracted to what they do...so they influnce others through their "magic".
I don't know where else to put people like that - who seem magical to us even though they are for the most part, just like us. I see that as the energy of Shango working through them.
The three aspects of Simbi work in the mental field, I think. They are then manifested into new thought, and then go on to either lay the groundwork for more new thought, or actually create something physical like a book, or something.
But Shango starts in the physical realm and creates in the physical realm, and has his power in the physical realm.

If this card were to come up in a reading for someone I would say magical and mental inspiration would manifest itself some way on the physical plane. Because Shango is involved the person would have the power and the strength needed to bring forth its creation.

Forget the coffee, Geoffrey, I need a nap!
 

Little Baron

Thanks for starting this one off Grip! I may have to look at it tomorrow. I just got in from work and my brain is too dead for Voodoo tonight, lol. I started reading and my brain couldn't keep up with my eyes. Or maybe it was the other way round, I cannot tell.

But after a rest of both, I will come back and read your posts. On first impression, I like Simbi. A nice painting.

Will return soon!

LB
 

Grip Dellabonte

Your box inspired me!
This is not a Voodoo Tarot box per se, but it is my New Orleans box. It has my rocks, incense, "carnivale" stones, saints (pretty popular in New Orleans) and other charms in it. I use it for different things, but I do lay everything out when I do a reading.

The bag that holds my cards is actually deep violet and black brocade with a black lining.
 

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Grip Dellabonte

Crickets! Crickets everywhere! Bingo, I told you not to say anything!
 

Little Baron

Grip Dellabonte said:
Simbi la Flambeau (Petro/Fire):
I normally let you do all the "is this about sex?" stuff, LB, in relation to these cards because first I am bashful and second, I'm a teensy bit dense about such things. But! This card does look a bit phallic. A woman straddling a big snake. I mentioned this to my daughter and she said, "Did you know that the snake is actually used more as a woman's fertility symbol than a man's? Well...both sexes use it, to be fair. Men use it for the obvious reasons. Women use it because a snake's jaw becomes unhinged, making it look more like...well, you get the idea...". Huh. I did not know that.
Well, in that case...aside from the fact that both meanings can be seen in this card, another thing I see at first glance is that it is kind of like the Strength card. She is not afraid of the snake and actually has some type of control over it. I don't know if that's the right word. But she's definitely mixing with it.
Also, in voodoo when a loa 'possesses' a person it is called "mounting". There does seem to be a bit of that going on here.

Could the woman be in a state of being mounted by the fiery aspect of this loa?

Haha. That made me laugh ["I normally let you do all the "is this about sex?" stuff, LB"]. You make me sound like Dr Ruth, lol.

But, this really is a sexual card, isn't it? As many of the fire cards are in this deck. It is interesting what you say about the snake being a feminine symbol, sexually. In the 'three', I felt that the card was over-poweringly male, but here, the woman seems to be in more control than the serpent. She is making the choice to hold onto him. This makes me feel a little more comfortable, in general.

This card feels like a rush. Many of the 'eights' seem to be about extremity [?] and in that, I see links with the traditional RWS in meaning. The quickening of pace and also, of burnout. The book says 'short-lived perfection'. This doesn't sound great, but even if short-lived, it is still perfection. I suppose that a more ideal state will be in later numbers. So in divination, it might be some kind of success, but not something that a person can hold onto for very long. In the picture, the woman clings on. Are we perhaps holding on to something that we can not keep .. or should not keep? Stick too long and we might become burnt.

LB
 

Little Baron

Grip Dellabonte said:
Simbi D'L'Eau (Congo/Water):
This card seems a bit violent at first. It reminds me of how our green garter snake, Cordelia, eats. Where my snake, Loa, is quite refined and well-mannered when he eats, Cordy dives in the water churning everything up around her with her mouth wide open and shovels little fishies in as fast as she can. When the water is calm again there are no little fishies to be seen anywhere. And Cordy is quite content.
Again, this is not how they describe their card, but it still works for me. In a very swift manner, all previous ideas - especially little ones - are swept away by the bigger idea that takes its place.
This is thought that involves the emotions. Because emotions can sometimes distort facts, this card would say to me that this mental change had an overpowering emotional effect on the individual. Depending upon what else came up in the reading there is no telling if this would be a good or a bad thing. Right now I would just say in keeping with the image on the card....powerful emotions can devour all sorts of things. It might be best to take some time and let the emotional aspect of the new information drain off so that things can be looed at more rationally. Then information can be processed more efficiently.
I would say this is a card more of reaction than action.

I like what you say here. Sometimes, I like that cards have similar meanings but divert with element. The speed and passion indicated in the fire card might be quite overwhelming in water. I think of drowning. I think of water spilling out like the small snakes are hanging from the serpents mouth. Too much to take. For me, this card might indicate taking on more than you can handle or a need to slow down a little. Preparation might be important - getting yourself ready for emotional situations that might need breaking up and chewing a little more than usual, due to their greatness.

On the other hand, the serpent rides the waters well. He is handling what he has been given .. or chosen to take. He swims forward contentedly, it seems.

I find the whole 'communication' problems difficult to grasp with this card. These four are on a par with the 'threes'. The author seems to have drawn bits and bobs from all over the place, to a point where they do not sit well in my mind. Is it just me that feels like this?

LB
 

Grip Dellabonte

You didn't comment on my homemade box! :(
 

Little Baron

Grip Dellabonte said:
You didn't comment on my homemade box! :(

Haha. I was going to. And got sidetracked. It is lovely Grip. It has a real authentic feel, from the photo. More so than my own. I like it a lot.

LB