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Ishbel's Temple of Isis Egyptian Tarot

Howdy folks!
First off, let me say that this is the most fabulous deck in the world! But, it
seems to be one of the most rare as well. I've never been able to find it anywhe
re on or off the internet.
If anyone out there has this deck, can you please e-mail me and let me know?
This deck was given to me by one of my very best friends (Bonnie Ray, Irish Witc
h and one of the most talented people I've ever seen in tarot) shortly before my
initiation to the Craft. It's beautifully done, each card is hand painted by Is
hbel herself (Ishbel is an existing High Priestess to Queen Isis) if I ever get
my hands on a scanner, I'll be putting the pictures of them up in here.
There are four suits to the deck: Sebas (for Earth), Flails (for Fire), Crooks (
for Air) and Lotuses (for Water). There are four Court Cards for each suit: the
Mother, Fathers, Saviors and Destroyers. The predominance of a suit in any readi
ng signifies the major 'emotion' or 'feel' in relation to the person and reading
(ie. Lotuses (water) is for love and emotions. Flails (fire) are for raw energy
. Sebas are for more material things (like business or money) and Crooks are for
thought and imagination. The cards can also exalt of debase each other. Just as
fire works against water in nature, the flails will work against the lotuses. T
he cards are weakened when their opposite is present. If there's, say, 5 flails
and one lotus out, then whatever the lotus says is debased by all of the flails
and its message is pretty much insignificant. Sebas work against crooks (air vs.
earth) but flails go with sebas and crooks, just as lotuses go with sebas and c
rooks without being debased.
The cards can also be exalted by each other in saying that the more there is of
one suit, the stronger the message is. Going back to the example of 5 flails and
one lotus, the flails are exalting each other (or making each other stronger...
strength in numbers).
So without further adeiu, let's start with the major arcana.
The Major Arcana is made of 22 depictions of various gods and goddesses of ancie
nt Egypt (please refer to 'World Mythology -- Egyptian Mythology for the 4-1-1 o
f them all) I'll list them in order fo appearance.
Shu: Shu is the god of winds and dry air, son of Ra. This card signifies admonis
hment against the querent (person having the reading done for them) and this per
son should be trying to find a way to have a more active involvment with the wor
ld at large. Non- involvment does not pay off one's karma, only builds it up. Tr
y to find ways to help others or do good deeds; build up good karma to cancel ou
t the bad. One learns from his/her mistakes and perfection can only be attained
through wisdom.
Renenet: Renenet is the goddess fo the harvest; another aspect of Isis. She is p
ortrayed in a white gown wearing the hieroglyph of the throne on her head. She h
olds life (an ankh) in one hand, and stalks of corn in the other. The meaning of
this card is not to worry unduly. Whenever a mistake is made on one's part, pen
ance is exated as seen fit by others. Once the penance is paid, the matter will
be forgotten and the querent can move on.
Ma'at: We all know from reading the mythology section (hint, hint *hee hee*) tha
t Ma'at is the goddess of truth and justice, being the embodiment of all the phy
sical and moral laws of the Universe. She is portrayed in human shape wearing an
ostrich feather in her headress (the Feather of Truth). This card says that one
should live in harmony and truth with the environment around him/her, for those
who do not are pursued by guilt. The guilt will have to be released in order to
return to the right state of mind; the Ma'at, the living truth.
Sekmet: Sekmet is the goddess of hatred, war and destruction. She is portrayed a
s a woman with the head of a lioness. She has a solar disk surmounted on her hea
d (being created from the fire of Ra's eye) and the ureaus serpent surrounds thi
s. This card preaches diplomacy and tact when dealing with future situations. If
these things are missing, as in the querent knows nothing of diplomacy or tact,
then these skills must be developed. This card could also signify an outside so
urce mediating the situation.
Bes: Meet the god of luck. He is also associated with war, childbirth, art and m
usic. He is portrayed as a squat, dwarf-like man with bowed legs. His headress s
uggests a primitive nature, meaning that he's a pretty old guy. This cards sugge
sts the development of bearing. The querent should just be putting on a brave sm
ile and stride out into the world believeing in what he does. Occasionally there
is wisdom in folly. If one must be foolish, then do it well so that it appears
to be wisdom to those watching.
Horus: Horus is a god of vengeance, protecting his fathers honor by defeating Se
t after Osiris' death. He is depicted as a strong man with the head of a hawk. T
he is a card of purity, in that this is what needs to be developed by the queren
t in order to make it through a situation. One can't concentrate with the mind b
eing bogged down by worries or mundane things. By purifying himself in this way,
the querent will be open to the more spiritual side of things.
Sethan: a.k.a Set; the murderer of Osiris. He is depicted as a man with the head
of an ass or aardvark. This is the point in the querent's path where there's a
war being waged; it's the querent pitted against his own dark side. Only after t
he darker side of the querent is suppresed can he continue. The battle is someth
ing that must be won by oneself, accepting no help from outside sources; this wo
uld only make the darkness stronger.
Benu: The Benu Bird is the Phoenix, being reborn from its ashes everytime it die
s. It was said that the bird was made entirely out of flames, and that every tho
usand years it would combust on itself and burn to death in its own flames. It w
ould then be reborn, whole, young and new. This is the card for rebirth. Just as
your world seems to be falling to pieces around you and you're losing all hope,
you will be reborn. Picking yourself up from the rubble and seeing things in a
new light is being reborn from the ashes, just as the Phoenix is.
Min: This is the god of fertility (he's always portrayed with an erect penis) Fe
rtility in the sense of humans for each other, and the rains that would bring th
e crops every year. This card is an indicator of a reward for past actions. Also
this card suggests a maturing outlook and is able to offset any bad luck from s
urrounding cards. It is a powerful card, and represents the part of the querent
that strives to create and enjoy.
Hapi: One of the four sons of Horus (the others are Quebsenuf, Duametef, Amset)
Hapi is the go of the Nile. He is portrayed as a green man with breasts (represe
nting the fertility of the Nile). This is a time of loniless in the querents lif
e, but this lonliness is so in order to teach him/her a lesson. Sit and think th
ings through, going into something with a clear, level head makes one more able
to deal with situations as they arise. This could be considered as a period of r
Hathor: This is my least favorite card, because I never know how to put this int
o terms that the person can understand in any given reading. Hathor is a cow god
dess, also thought to the be the Great Mother who brought forth and maintains al
l life. The querent is being asked to consider the image that he is projecting o
f himself onto the world at large. He/she should be considering him/herself as a
n actor in the greater scheme of things, an actor acting so well that he's forgo
tten that he's acting (see? I told you this doesn't make sense!) He needs to con
sider what improvements he could make for himself, and simply 're-write' the scr
ipt. Everyone is their own person and to bring about improvement just re-write y
our script; change things about yourself keeping perfection in mind (phew!).
Khepera: Khepera is the god of life, or the lifeforce embodied in the sun. He is
portrayed as a man with the face of a scarab beetle (the Egyptians believed tha
t scarab bettles were spontaneously created from elephant dung. They never saw t
he adults laying their egss in the dung, only the young emerging. This 'self-cre
ation' or the energy behind it was added to the this god's repetoire). This card
represents a turning point in the querent's life, one that he can follow if he/
she had the drive or desire to do so. If these qualities are lacking, then he/sh
e will fail. He must commit himself to a course of action without reservation is
he wishes to succeed.
Bast: Bast is the goddess of cats, pleasue and joy. She is often portrayed as a
woman with the head of a cat (her sacred animals, To kill one, even accidentally
, meant death for that person) she holds fire in one hand, and life in the other
(an ankh) This is when the querent must reliase that those doing him wrong are
doing so believing its for his own good. To be human is to be frail and feeble.
Compassion is required.
Anubis: He is the protector of the dead and patron of embalming. He is portrayed
as a man with the head of a jackal. This card signifies a major upheaval in the
querent's life. It could be the death of someone or something, but it is more l
ikely to be the birth of something new. From death of the old comes rebirth of t
he new.
Abdu and Inet: These are the twin gods of friendship. They are the two dolphins
that would swim along the side of the Boat of Millions of Years as it carried th
e dead to the afterlife. If any fell off the boat, the gods would help him back
up. This is the card for tolerance, in that this is what is required in the situ
ation at hand. It wasn't long ago that the querent was responsible for the same
erroneous actions.
Aten: Aten is the sun; portrayed as the sun with many hands reaching down to the
earth (rays of the sun). This card is the more destructive side of the querent,
sort of like the child that enjoys smashing his toys. This is a time when the q
uerent should emamine his nature closely.
Buto: She is the cobra goddess, and is the Uraeus serpent that circles the head
of divinity and pharoahs. She is often shown as a cobra with a pair of feathery
wings coming from her back. This is the card of disappointment from gambling or
taking chances. In certain situations, the outcome is unclear and when one doesn
't get what one was expecting out of a situation, then one is disappointed. A po
sitive attitude must be adopted here; life is just another throw of the dice.
Nut: Nut is the Lady of the Starry sky. She is often portrayed as a woman carryi
ng a vase of water on her head. She carries the papyrus sceptre in one hand and
the ankh in the other. This is when the querent should consider the magnitude of
space and consider his situation from this perspective. Will it really matter i
n a thousand years? This is a time of contemplation and resolution. A time of se
lf-judgment and self-inflicted penance.
Thoth:Thoth is the god of intelligence. He is portrayed as a man with the head o
f an ibis. He is the patron of the arts, speech, writing and wisdom. The querent
needs not worry from this point on as the gods will direct him to the path that
he is destined to take. He can either go with the flow, or fight against it. Th
is is a lesson, something being done fir his/her own good and shouldn't be resis
Osiris: Lord of the Dead. This card inidicates that the querent's problem is all
a matter of karma; there's either a lesson to be learned or a debt to be payed.
Until this karmic debt is taken care of, the querent is stuck at this point and
can't move on. The quicker it's taken care of, the quicker one can go on.
Isis: Goddess of love, fertility and magic. She wears the vulture headress and h
olds life (ankh) in one hand and a papyrus sceptre in the other. This card indic
ates that the querent's life will be reviewed and then he will be judged. The lo
ving mother must be stern with her children to ensure that they gorw up properly
Amen Ra: God of the sun and king of the gods. This is what's known as a composit
e deity, in that he's sort of like two deities glommed into one. Amen was the cr
eator god, and Ra is the lord of the sun. This card signifies that the cumulatio
n of the querent's work is in within his grasp, if he but recognize it. He can a
cieve his purpose in life although this purpose may not exactly be what he wante
d it to be.
1 of Crooks: This is the card for new beginnings. New things come from old thing
s being laid to rest. This could also represent something being laid to rest (de
ath) and something new coming out of that (rebirth).
2 of Crooks: Sometimes everything may seem to be going your way, but there that
little implacable something that is keeping you from total happiness. This encou
rages the querent to try to understand what this little something is and get rid
of it to achieve full happiness.
3 of Crooks: This is the card for group collaboration, or people working togethe
r towards a common goal. 2 heads are better than one, right?
4 of Crooks: This is the card of Peace and Tranquility. Use this time to refelct
on the past and what is coming your way in the near future.
5 of Crooks: This is the card for difficulties or 'the pitfalls along the path o
f life', if you will. Also this preaches the finding of the inner strength neede
d to overcome these obstacles.
6 of Crooks: Dominion over the 5 of Crooks, overcoming the problems set forth by
the 5 of Crooks. Triumphant entry into the city. Good news.
7 of Crooks: Victory. Being outmatched by something but winning through in the e
nd. Valor. Excellence.
8 of Crooks: Great expectations. Stability and understanding on what's to come a
nd what has passed. Great haste.
9 of Crooks: A decision that was made is now viewed with regret. Guilt. Delays.
10 of Crooks:Opression and treachery by those around you. Keep and eye out for C
ourt Cards in reference to this card.
Savior of Crooks: This is one of the Court Cards and represents either a person
close to the querent (not necessarily known to him, could still be secret) or a
trait that the querent himself posseses. The Savior of Crooks is a person that w
ill be bringing good news to the querent regarding a problem or difficulty that
he is facing. Once the news is delivered, the person will either leave or stay t
o assist in any way that they can.
Destroyer of Crooks:This person is ruthless but subtle. He or she posseses an in
tense inner passion...tending towards being a fanatic when preaching something t
hat they strongly believe in.
Mother of Crooks:This person (not necessarily a woman) is very thoughtful, poeti
c and gentle. Though her one flaw is that she doesn't like putting herself throu
gh more trouble that she absolutly has to in order to help someone. She'll go th
rough minimal fuss and be content with what she's done when she could have done
alot more.
Father of Crooks:This is a person of unyeilding character; strict but tolerant.
He's there to watch out for others, only being strict when necessary and for the
person's own good.
1 of Flails: Triumph over a force that the querent has been at war with for some
time. Gradual wearing down and victory!
2 of Flails: Cease fire. A time to pause and reflect on the past, learning how t
o better prepare for the future.
3 of Flails: Interruption. Separation. Delay. Things being put on hold in order
to deal with things of greater import. Postponement of opportunity. Absence of l
oved ones.
4 of Flails: Recuperation. Exile. Time for a nice long vacation to break free of
the rat race of life.
5 of Flails: Defeat. Humiliation. Loss. The querent doesn't have the necessary d
rive and/or power to overcome a situation.
6 of Flails: Resolution of difficulties through the help of another. If the prob
lem seems to big for you to handle on your own, seek out the help of friends and
loved one; that's what they're there for.
7 of Flails: Burying of the hatchet. The setting aside of difficulties and probl
ems between people. Return of an old friend.
8 of Flails: Trapped or tied up in a situation that you'll have no idea how to e
xtricate yourself from. This could suggest conflict between people (it IS the Fl
ails suit, after all).
9 of Flails: Grief. Pain. Desolation. Possible death of something or someone hel
d dear to the querent.
10 of Flails: An advantageous period. A time given to the querent by the gods. A
time for great profit.
Savior of Flails: Represents the Warrior. This person is ruthless, doing anythin
g it takes in order to get his/her own way (even hurting others along the way).
He/she is also victorious because of this.
Destroyer of Flails: This is a person lying in wait. This is a rival or spy, wai
ting for the best time to take advantage of the querent to further their own nee
ds. This person is someone that should be found and avoided at all costs.
Mother of Flails: This is a very bitter and jaded person. Because she was never
able to achieve what she wanted in the past, she'll do everything she can in ord
er to screw anybody else up along the way. Basically, if she can't have somethin
g then nobody else can either.
Father of Flails: Represents the critical Judge. Critical, unmerciful and severe
. If someone stands in his way, he's not afraid to walk all over them to get to
what he wants.
1 of Lotuses: This is the card of love; the primal power of the world. Spiritual
happiness. The power given to one through love.
2 of Lotuses: This is the card of love between two people. Marriage, material ha
ppiness and bliss.
3 of Lotuses: Friendship and pleasures of the flesh. There is a fine line defini
ng the two of these, and it may be a good idea to keep that fine line in mind wh
en dealing with these matters.
4 of Lotuses: Boredom or unhappiness with society. Need for change. If well aspe
cted, something unusual will enter the querent's life.
5 of Lotuses: Pyrric victory. Loss while gaining something at the same time. Sad
ness is indicated.
6 of Lotuses: Desire for the past, or things gone by. Nostalgia. Perhaps it's be
st to focus on what is to be, rather than what was.
7 of Lotuses: Great expectations and desires set for oneself, but limited attain
ment. A source of annoyance.
8 of Lotuses: Decline of some matter that seemed like a big deal, but the more c
losely it was looked at, it seemed less and less important. Don't worry about th
ings that aren't important, as it's only a waste of energy and time.
9 of Lotuses: Indulgence of the pleasures of the flesh to full extent or worryin
g too much about mundane matters. Due to the dual meaning of this card, it's bes
t to use the meaning that best flows with the rest of the reading; don't use bot
10 of Lotuses: Refers to family matters (yep, that's it!)
Savior of Lotuses: This is the true friend, someone who's with you through thick
and thin. This person is someone who you can trust with your life; they'd soone
r die themselves than let you down.
Destroyer of Lotuses: This is a person who offers to help, but the trust that yo
u put into them is a delicate thing. They will end up letting you down, though t
his isn't intentional. If this card shows up in a reading, watch who you put fai
th in from that point in. If it's important, you don't anybody to screw this up
for you.
Mother of Lotuses: This is the loving mother who is there to love, support and s
teer her children in the right direction. She is also supportive and advocates y
ou to make your own decisions.
Father of Lotuses: This is the loviing father. He may be strict from time to tim
e, but this is necassary and for your own good. People are only strict to you be
lieving it to be for your own good.
1 of Sebas: This is the primary symbol for gold and wealth, indicating that ther
e is a great success coming towards the querent.
2 of Sebas: This is the reconcilliation of opposites; anything with a dual natur
e is seen for what it really is (ie. good vs. evil) This is also a time for comp
romise and change.
3 of Sebas: This is the recognition of one's work and the pride that comes from
that. Pride tends to come more from something that we do on our own, something t
hat we do well.
4 of Sebas: This is representative of the wealth and power wielded by money, or
rather the effects that it has on others around you. In today's world, this is t
he kind of thing that impresses people. Business success.
5 of Sebas: This is a time of lonliness and impoversihment...but more along the
spiritual side of things. A feeling of depletion or just feeling like curling up
and letting whatever happens, happen.
6 of Sebas: This is representative of a trait within a person. This is the busin
ess man or the entrepreneur, someone who is very successful at what he/she does
with their life.
7 of Sebas: Greed. Embezzlement. Trickiness or sharp practices. This is somethin
g that shouldn't be trusted (if it's someone else) or something that you shouldn
't be doing (if it's you). Bad karma! BAD!!
8 of Sebas: This is the twin card to the 6 of Sebas. This is the card for the sk
illful tradesman someone who's reaping the benefits from years of good, hard wor
9 of Sebas: This represents a loss through emotion. During times of emotion, or
during some sort of emotional upheaval, things are re-prioritized and set in dif
ferent categories. When this is done, what was once important, becomes less impo
rtant and can be lost on the ride.
10 of Sebas: This stands for stability in one's home and family life. This stabi
lity comes from hard work and the benefits coming from this.
Savior of Sebas: This is the student, someone who is preparing for his future by
working hard and getting a head start on life. This person can be very dull.
Destroyer of Sebas: This is the person who thinks everything should be handed to
him on a silver platter. He doesn't think that he should have to work for anyth
ing. This tends to be a person that has pretty much everything already, as this
for of attitude could only be adopted by somebody who's never had to work for an
ything in the first place.
Mother of Sebas: This person is an extremely dedicated and hard working person.
Because of her years of work, she is rich and comfortable in her life.
Father of Sebas: This is the couterpart to the Mother of this suit. He is the su
ccessful manager, carefully thinking things through before doing them. He could
tend to be seen as paranoid through the eyes of others; but when it comes to one
's money, there's no such thing as being too careful.
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