Belial 14: The Principle of Gender.

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A person, situation, or thing on its own is not enough to generate the events of daily life because it’s only through intercourse with another person, situation, or thing that a reaction is produced. However, don't mislead yourself into equating masculine or feminine gender with phalli or orifi. This goes way beyond gross anatomy and moves into fine thoughts. In all people, places, and situations you will find the expressive masculine and the receptive feminine, but so too will you find the expressive feminine and the receptive masculine. This pattern of masculine or feminine paired with either expression or reception is mirrored in the classical western elements: air, fire, water, and earth. In fortune-telling, the correspondences are thus:
  • Air = Spades (expressive masculine)
  • Fire = Clubs (receptive masculine)
  • Water = Hearts (expressive feminine)
  • Earth = Diamonds (receptive feminine)
Air is the expressive masculine; fire is the receptive masculine; water is the expressive feminine; and earth is the receptive feminine. You can read deeper into these patterns if you care to do so, but suffice it to say that air and earth oppose each other, as do fire and water. As it regards fortune-telling, though, the classical elements provide us some useful and stimulating thoughts regarding the intercourse of the gendered elements. In the Satanic Tarot a single card means almost nothing, so to see its full depth you must look at its gendered relationship with other cards on the table. We’ll discuss this in greater detail in the Book of Sin, but the following rules and diagrams will prepare us for that chapter:
  • Arrows show direction of movement
  • Plus sign shows waxing support
  • Minus sign shows waning antagonism
  • Equal sign shows fixity
  • ♠ = Spades
  • ♣ = Clubs
  • ♥ = Hearts
  • ♦ = Diamonds
  • T/T = Thetical Trumps I-VII
  • T/S = Synthetic Trumps VIII-XIV
  • T/A = Antithetical Trumps XV-XXI
Each of the following four sets of diagrams begins with the premise that the left-most suit is the primary point of view (also called the anchor card), and the right-most suit is any other card laid on the table (also called the reference card.)

SPADES
♠ <+ ♠
(receptive / supported)
♠ +> ♣
(expressive / supporting)
♠ -> ♥
(expressive / antagonizing)
♠ <- ♦
(receptive / antagonized)
♠ <+ T/T
(receptive / supported)
♠ = T/S
(fixed / shared)
♠ -> T/A
(expressive / antagonizing)

CLUBS
♣ +> ♠
(expressive / supporting)
♣ <+ ♣
(receptive / supported)
♣ <- ♥
(receptive / antagonized)
♣ -> ♦
(expressive / antagonizing)
♣ <+ T/T
(receptive / supported)
♣ = T/S
(fixed / shared)
♣ -> T/A
(expressive / antagonizing)

HEARTS
♥ -> ♠
(expressive / antagonizing)
♥ <- ♣
(receptive / antagonized)
♥ <+ ♥
(receptive / supported)
♥ +> ♦
(expressive / supporting)
♥ <+ T/T
(receptive / supported)
♥ = T/S
(fixed / shared)
♥ -> T/A
(expressive / antagonizing)

DIAMONDS
♦ <- ♠
(receptive / antagonized)
♦ -> ♣
(expressive / antagonizing)
♦ +> ♥
(expressive / supporting)
♦ <+ ♦
(receptive / supported)
♦ <+ T/T
(receptive / supported)
♦ <= T/S
(fixed / shared)
♦ -> T/A
(expressive / antagonizing)

A good way to understand these patterns is to open your deck and select enough cards of every suit to mirror the diagrams above. Look at each pair of cards and pretend that the left-most card you're examining is yourself. Do you see the pattern? Same element supports you; complementary element is supported by you; opposite element antagonizes you; neutral element is antagonized by you. 

The only exception to this pattern is what you already know about the trumps: thetical trumps impose upon the pips, synthetic trumps stand with the pips, and antithetical trumps are antagonized by the pips. Now that you understand the basics of gender and how the suited elements interact with each other and the trumps, let's talk about the individual cards themselves.