Archive for May, 2011

COTD – The Lovers R (Fenestra & Dante)

 

Traditionally The Lovers, the 6th Major Arcana, represent choices, not only of a romantic nature but also of a life altering nature, and the coming together of opposites, polarities and opposition, the feminine and the masculine.  It represents the principle of relatedness and choice.  The Lovers is often seen to represent choices and paths we take in life.  It can also symbolize romantic partnership and alliances.

The Lovers often represent making a decision between choices, selecting a path and committing to it, and the connection between the divine and the human.  The choices reflected in The Lovers are not easy choices, they are matters of life-long impact.  Once we start down that path, it will difficult to change course.  It’s not as easy as just backtracking.

“Reversed:  One part of you is cooperating with another part of you.  You may hold some beliefs and attitudes that don’t always work smoothly together.  Here, you are finding a way to bring them together and have them support each other – you may realize that you can be both fat and beautiful.
Negative:  Two of more incompatible elements or individuals are coming together.  You may be trying to forcefully create and impossible relationship between factors or people whose goals and interests do not mesh.  They really can’t be expected to cooperate with each other.” – Gail Fairfield

A line from the Steven Stills song “Love the One You’re With” ran through my head when I saw this card – “if you can’t be with the one you love, honey love the one you’re with”.  I’m not really sure why because it doesn’t really remind me of this card but sometimes my thought processes are confusing even to me.

The Dante Lovers card shows a male offering a bouquet of flowers to a woman.  She is clasping her arms in front of her chest and appears to be coyly considering her options.  A dark cloaked figure hovers above the man – is this an aspect of his personality that she cannot see or a rival for her hand?  Overhead a cherub flies with a scroll and quill.  Do these two figures represent choices being offered to the woman?  If so, her hair is obscuring part of her face – perhaps she is not seeing things so clearly.  Is the cherub an observer or guide?  I get the sense the cherub is waiting to record the decision the woman makes but will not intervene.

The Fenestra Lovers card shows a similar scene – a man and woman are sitting nude amidst a flourishing garden.  An angel hovers in the sky above their heads and a green snake is wound around the tree nearest the woman.  Once again the angel seems to be an observer but not a guide.

Both these cards speak to me of free will and the gift humans have been given to self-determination.  Regardless of your religious orientation, people have the choice to obey the word of their Divine Creator/Great Spirit/God, etc.  We have the power and intelligence to alter our course in life, for better or for worse.  We often see this ability  put to use when it comes to romantic relationships or partnerships.  Many of us claim that love drives us to do “crazy” things.  Here in the US we tend to look askance at arranged marriages.  We don’t feel we should be limited in any way – whether it is race, creed, or sex.  The expression “the heart wants what it wants” is often used to justify all kinds of behavior.

However, we often find that these relationships we pursue with such passion and intensity are unhealthy for us.  The take us further and further away from our highest self and our connection to the Divine.  I’m not referring to people who willingly engage in what most of us might feel uncomfortable trying such as polyamory or S&M, those are choices made by adults who want to explore different aspects of their sexuality.  I’m referring to people who agree to participate in behaviors they dislike in order to make a partner happy.  Women who agree to swap partners in an effort to keep their husband happy.  Men and women who accept abuse from a partner because they love him or her.

There are also people who refuse to accept the consequences of the choices they have made.  The adulterers who cannot accept they have responsibilities to their partner and families and decide to go seek adulation or affection from someone else.  They made their decisions of their own free will but are now seeking to break free and use immature methods to do so.

Okay, so what does all of this have to do with The Lovers reversed?  I think it encompasses all of these aspects as well as people who prefer to avoid making any decisions or at least trying to avoid the consequences such decisions inevitably bring.  Many “adults” today seem to try to push responsibility for their behaviors and choices off onto other factors (“I’m addicted”) or other people (“She trapped me into marriage”).  It’s just sad and shows how easy it is to fall prey to that inner demon that wants to lead us astray by promising we can do whatever we want and not be accountable.

In my life, The Lovers is about accepting that where I am right now is the result of the choices and decisions I’ve made.  I have learned to blend my needs and desires with my husbands (or at least accept that it’s sometimes just not possible).  I’ve learned about compromise and being a better person.  It’s not always easy and I’m sure it would be more fun to find someone who knows almost nothing about me and enjoy the flirting and the thrill of the chase, but at the end of the day what would that say about me?  I don’t want to be that person who can just walk away from my commitments because I don’t like them anymore.

Making choices entails consequences.  The Lovers reversed is about accepting those consequences even when they are challenging or don’t lead to the anticipated outcomes.  As harsh as it sounds, the expression “You’ve made your bed now lie in it” fits my view of this card today.  That doesn’t mean it has to be an uncomfortable bed, simply that you shouldn’t try to switch beds just because this one is a bit itchy today.

 

 

The number 5 represents the need for adjustment, some kind of change, or that added something that brings the situation out of balance again.  It represents the struggle and challenge of inner and outer growth; adapting to feedback about your action; working out the kinks.  Coins are associated with the material world, acquisitions of wealth and possessions, our connection to Earth and Nature, sensation, matters pertaining to the physical plane, the body, health and physical or sexual activities.  Coins can also be connected with practicality, groundedness and being realistic.

“You’re experiencing shifts and adjustments in your inner sense of security or centeredness.  You may feel that you basic groundedness is being challenged.  You’re changing the ways in which you feel connected with the earth.  You’re altering or questioning your “security blanket”. – Gail Fairfield

Looking at the image on the Fenestra 5 of Pentacles, the first thing that struck me is the resemblance of these figures to zombies.  Their pale skin and rather emaciated bodies remind me of images I’ve seen of zombies.  Not the flesh-eating ones so prevalent in horror movies today, but the original zombies found in Haitian folklore.  Wade Davis in The Serpent and The Rainbow describes them as individuals who have been cursed into believing they are now dead.  As a result they have no will of their own and mindlessly follow their master’s commands.  I must say that with the ways things have been going right now in my personal life, I can understand that feeling.  Lately, family obligations have been causing hubby and I to feel like zombies – trapped and helpless against the reality fate has offered.

The Dante 5 of Clouds shows a figure garbed in a blue gown sitting in a window or doorway.  She seems to have a golden halo over her head and is holding an instrument of some type in her hands.  A set of keys dangles from her girdle.  The view outside her window shows white clouds hovering above a green landscape.  The perspective makes it look like she is high above the land, as though in a tower.  She seems apprehensive as she or concerned as she looks over the land visible outside.  And she is not playing her instrument, as though something has stopped her.  Is there something going on outside or is it merely her fears and isolation that are interfering with her playing?  Is she seeking human contact to relieve her solitary existence?  It’s difficult to know for sure.

Both of us are feeling somewhat isolated and helpless right now.  The world outside our door seems increasingly distant and foreign.  Similar to the two figures stumbling along on the Fenestra, we feel almost naked and exposed.  Some we have asked for helped have ignored our requests and those that have been able to help have problems of their own to handle.  Money is indeed becoming more of an issue and having more financial resources might help make this situation a bit easier to bear.  One of the only things that has made this tolerable is that we have each other.  Unfortunately that also means that sometimes we bear the brunt of each other’s frustrations and anger.  This image is a reminder that without each other’s support, this situation would become unbearable and probably crush us.  We need to continue supporting and helping each other.  We also need to make sure we find ways to recharge our batteries and renew our energy levels.  There may not be a lot of freedom available in this situation right now, but we need to find ways to prevent this situation from grinding us down.

On another level, this card can also describe my mother-in-law and brother-in-law.  They are both vulnerable, alone and practically helpless if the hubby and I were not here to aid them.  Their world has grown increasingly narrower as family and friends have left or died.  They can’t take care of themselves anymore and that must be a scary position in which to find oneself.  Perhaps that is the message for me.  Although things are challenging and exhausting sometimes, things are more frightening and scary for them.  And if we can help them and offer reassurance then perhaps it will ultimately be worth it.  All I know is that walking away is not an option for either of us.  His mother supported and helped us when she could and now it’s our turn to offer the same to her.

 

Aces symbolize beginnings, the start of something new and the seed of new growth.  Pentacles are associated with the material world, acquisitions of wealth and possessions, our connection to Earth and Nature, sensation, matters pertaining to the physical plane and the element of earth.  Pentacles can also be connected with practicality, groundedness and being realistic.

Ace of Pentacles reversed may indicate being so focused on holding on to what you have that you have failed to recognize the needs of those around you, especially needs for material aid; a false or premature sense of security; extreme competition where financial gain is concerned; blinding ambition; and reluctance to “leave the garden” and make our own way.

“You can potentially create a new form or level of safety and stability in your life.  You could experience a new kind of groundedness or centeredness.  you may feel the stirrings of a new connection with natural, earthy forces.” – Gail Fairfield

Dante LWB:  “The Celestial Pilot.  Change of environment.  Modernization of space and ideas.”

When I saw this card I was struck by how much the image on the Fenestra Ace of Pentacles reminded me of a hand dropping a seed into the soil.  It made me think of a seed being planted within me.  The seed of new growth and the opportunity to manifest new prosperity and abundance in my life lies within my hand but I have to be willing to do the work.  Just because we plant a seed does not mean it will grow.  We must tend it and nurture it.  It needs sunlight and water in order to sprout and grow.

Having the seed of an idea is not enough; hard work and dedication is essential too.  And I have historically had a challenging time with the dedication and hard work aspect.  It’s not that I am incapable of either; it’s simply that I sometimes lack the patience and belief in myself to stick with things.  My self-doubts and inner demons can erode my confidence and undermine my belief that the seeds I plant will sprout to fruition.

The pilot on the Dante Ace of Clouds is a reminder that in order to nurture this seed and encourage it’s growth, I have to steer my own course.  And of course that is the scariest part of all.  If I’m the pilot then wherever I end up is my doing.  When I allowed others to pilot my life then if I didn’t like where I ended up I could always blame them.  Taking responsibility means that I also have to accept the results of my own decisions.  Sometimes it just so much easier to deflect the blame on someone else.

I realize as I review some of the cards that have shown up for me this month, I am being pushed into exploring a path I’ve spent a lot of time trying to avoid.  I can work hard and be dependable and responsible but I’m rarely very daring – at least when it comes to finances and my career.  Reviewing the cards that have been showing up for me, I am getting the inescapable sense that I’ll be dragged onto that road kicking and screaming if necessary.  I guess my choices are obvious – take charge and guide the direction my life takes, or try to avoid it and get a cosmic slap upside the head.

 

Sixes symbolize the union of opposites, finding equilibrium, harmony in the face of constant change.  Wands are associated with inspiration, energy, passion, feeling, enterprise, ambition, matters pertaining to the “spark of life”, and the element of fire.

“You’ve met the challenge to your identity and come through it.  Now, the self you’re presenting to the world is more confident and stable.  You feel more secure with your identity and sense of purpose or personal direction.  You’re settling into the groove of being this self.” – Gail Fairfield

Somehow this card seems to tie in with my epiphany of yesterday.  The triumphant procession shown on the Fenestra card suggests that I can triumph over this fear of success and inner demons who enjoy enhancing my self-doubts.  The image on this card shows another figure walking beside the rider but I think because it’s reversed, the card is letting me know that before I can accept or expect accolades from others, I have to be willing to praise myself.  That can be easier said than done.

The Dante 6 of Bricks shows two figures (one male and one female) standing beside a tree with an open book on a podium.  They appear to be plighting their troth to each other or perhaps even getting married.  They are focused on each other and the rest of the world’s distraction are clearing in the background and not intruding.  Perhaps each functions as the inspiration for and ignites the passions of the other.  They create a balance and harmony by combining their two energies that allows them to triumph over the temptations and distractions in the world.

The combination of these two cards suggests that I have to learn to love myself; to find a way to energize my own inspiration and passion before I can move forward.  If I don’t allow myself to appreciate the victories I’ve achieved that how can I expect anyone else to honor them?  That has often been a problem for me.  Anything I do well or that comes easily to me is quickly discounted.  I tend to do well in school and get good grades so that achieving two masters degrees was not a big deal for me.  When others praise these accomplishments, I tend to downplay them.  Doing that send the message to my inner self and to others that I’m not worth praising.  And if I keep that energy surrounding me then I’ll never feel truly victorious at anything.

I have to learn to appreciate the things I am able to do well and accept praise for them. I am worthy of praise and accolades.  Receiving recognition from others will not cause my friends to be jealous or alienate them.  True friends will appreciate my victories too.  That is a childhood fear based on childhood experiences that I have to move passed.  It will trip me up and hold me back until I can release its negative influence on my life.

So in order for me to be more triumphant and victorious on the out plane, I have to learn to be more comfortable with praise and acknowledgement on the inner plane.  To paraphrase Stewie Gilligan Griffin – “Victory shall be mine!”

 

The number 3 symbolizes the generative force, creative power, multiplicity, and forward movement.  They are about planning and preparing, putting the details into place before beginning the work.  Wands are usually associated with the element of fire, inspiration, energy, passion, feeling, enterprise, ambition, matters pertaining to the “spark of life”.  They can refer to the growth and awareness of the self.  Wands are focused on discovering your true self, apart from others.

“You are seeing yourself in a detailed and complete manner.  You are clarifying your self-image and sense of personal direction.  You are making plans for becoming the self you privately want to be.” – Gail Fairfield

The 3 of Bricks from the Dante Tarot shows a male sitting with a woman’s head in his lap.  He seems grieving and upset.  She is stretched out on a bed and holding a lit wand.  Another figure (possibly female) is walking out of the scene.  Her back is to us but I get the sense that she is a healer who is departing after offering little assistance to the figure on the bed.  There is a sense of sadness to this card.  It almost feels as though the woman’s flame is about to flicker out and the male is mourning the loss of her light.  The female figure’s eyes are closed and she is very pale.  It’s as though she is losing her vitality.

The Fenestra 3 of Wands is a more traditional RWS image showing an androgynous figure standing above a waterway looking out towards the horizon.  Three staves stand nearby, each with a top that appears to be flowering.  The figure is holding onto one of the staves.  There is a sense of anticipation and eagerness in the image.  This person appears to be expecting something to appear on the horizon quite soon.

Both cards seem to offer a sense of moving on to a new phase – either a project coming to fruition or passing on to a new plane of existence.  Both are projects although of very different types.  In the Dante 3 of Bricks, I’m not sure which figure is the one that will be transitioning but I get the sense that both the man and woman will be in very different places going forward.  What is flowering for them?  I cannot be sure.  What is flowering for me?  It is hard to narrow that down right now because it is a work in progress.

Right now I am at a place where there are number of different options available to me.  I’ve bid farewell to several activities that had been consuming much of my time and now it’s time for me to focus my energies on my personal projects.  One of them is establishing myself as a Tarot reader.  Of course that means I have to slay my fear of marketing and promoting myself.  Perhaps that is what the figure on the bed in the Dante 3 of Bricks represents for me – that self-doubt and inner fears.  Once I am able to let them die, I can move on and find a way to manifest my passions and dreams  and leave those self-doubts behind (like the white clothed figure leaving the room in the Dante).

Okay, I had to take a break here.  I realized as I was writing the I wasn’t “feeling” this interpretation.  It wasn’t ringing true to me.  It might have been accurate from an intellectual perspective but it wasn’t right for me.  So I decided to do the dishes (I find this very therapeutic).  As I was washing a plate it hit me like a ton of bricks – this card is reflecting my fear of success.  I have the ability to have my projects come to fruition, achieve fulfillment.  However first I have to be willing to actually let them set sail.  I avoid letting anything set sail because I’m so afraid they won’t be successful and I’m even more afraid that they will.  How could I have missed it?

Like many people, I have spent years not fully pursuing my dreams because as long as they remain dreams at least there is the potential for happiness and fulfillment.  If I try and fail, I could probably deal with that because I would rationalize numerous reasons for the failure.  But if I try and succeed, a whole new world gets opened up.  If I succeed there will be a number of changes in my life, many of them leading to potential bliss.  How scary is it to be happy?  I’ve done this to myself on numerous occasions when it comes to my weight.  I have cheated on every “diet” I’ve ever followed.  As long as I stay fat I feel safe.  I don’t have to worry about being attractive or drawing undue and unwanted attention.  Being sexy and attractive in this society can be quite scary.  A lot of men feel they have the right if not obligation to make comments ranging from wolf whistles to frighteningly obscene ones.  My weight became a security blanket.  As a fat woman I didn’t have to worry about this kind of attention.  I used my weight as a political statement of sorts but in reality I was afraid to be sexy and attractive.  Becoming successful in my pursuits raises the same inner demons.

It feels like a relief to finally shed some light on this.  I can acknowledge it and work on it.  It won’t be easy and I’m sure there will be times when I’ll go backwards, but at least I’m feeling ready to address the issue.  There are a lot of reasons I fear being successful – changes being a main one.  I also realize that there is part of me that worries others won’t like me if I’m successful.  In school, being smart and getting good grades tended to alienate people.  As long as I didn’t seem too happy it seemed to reassure folks that I was human.  If I’m smart and successful – then what?  I know that sounds a bit arrogant but if you’ve ever been there (and feel free to fill in another adjective for smart – pretty, artistic, popular, athletic, etc.) you understand what I mean.  If we’re too successful, it tends to trigger jealousy and envy in folks.  And I need to accept that and move forward because those folks aren’t true friends anyway.  My true friends will support me and encourage me to be successful, not try to undermine me and secretly root for my failure.

I will be successful, happy, fulfilled, blessed and blissed out beyond belief.  That is my goal and I’m sticking to it.

 

Kings are associated with control, mastery, discipline and resolve.  Pentacles are associated with the material world, acquisitions of wealth and possessions, our connection to Earth and Nature, sensation, matters pertaining to the physical plane and the element of earth.  Pentacles can also be connected with practicality, groundedness and being realistic.  The King of Pentacles represents someone solid, reliable, mature and comfortable with his physical nature.  He may also be very materially comfortable.  This is a person who is comfortable with his authority and able to use it with common sense and practicality.  This card is someone who is at home with his material world and comfortable with the sensuous, physical side of human nature.  He is a master of all he surveys and understand how to work with his environment.

“This shows an end to a physical, material, or financial patterns in your life.  There is no point in re-committing resources, physical energy, or money to this project.  It is important to recognize that your investment in this security pattern has run its course.  It is time to take some action to end the old pattern, and withdraw from your involvement in that direction.” – Gail Fairfield

In the Blake LWB, Ed Buryn writes “In the creative process:  Test and refine your ideas or product to see if it works as planned; be practical yet innovative.”

Once again I was drawn to the image on the Blake Man of Painting.  Something about the ability to create such a colorful, artistic and beautiful reality appeals to me.  The fact that he is naked also means he is vulnerable to the elements but also that he is open and exposed to new ideas, new experiences and new sensations.  He bares his body and his soul in order to manifest the destiny he has created.  He is a master of his art and has the discipline and resolve to continue pushing himself.  He may currently be at the pinnacle of his skills and achievements but that doesn’t mean he isn’t willing to pursue new avenues of interest.

The Hudes King of Pentacles appears a bit more somber but he is comfortable holding the large pentacle in his hand and offering it to those in need.  He is comfortable enough with his possessions and his world that he is able to offer assistance to those who might benefit from his largesse.  This king projects maturity and calm.  He seems like someone you can rely on to help you solve whatever challenges life might through your way.

I drew this card exactly one week ago (although it was reversed that day).  It is very appropriate on many levels.  I am the president of a professional organization and my terms ends in June.  Today we conducted a conference that I had a large part in organizing.  It was my last official act as president.  When I saw this card it made me think of how a king must sometimes function as the senior diplomat – welcoming visitors to the castle and providing them with food and shelter.  The king must also be a problem solver.  That role was evident today as myriad minor challenges (forms that weren’t received, payments that weren’t made, etc.) occurred.  I think I handled it well and we received positive feedback about the conference.  And in a few weeks I’ll pass my crown along to the next victim, I mean president.

It also made me think about the original relationship between a king and his subjects.  Although it has now become about privilege, ceremonial duties and charitable work, at one time the king was seen as the physical embodiment of the kingdom.  If the king sustained some sort of injury or illness, it was believed that it would taint the prosperity of the land too.  The king (or local lord) was entitled to certain payment, support or tithes from his subjects but he was also expected to protect his subjects and keep them safe.  The king needed to ensure that his subjects would be able to plant and harvest their crops and not suffer from invasion or other dangers.  It was a reciprocal relationship.  Being the president of an organization is a similar relationship.  The president may be the leader but without the support of other board members and the general membership, not much can actually be accomplished.  There needs to be a two-way dialogue so that the members feel their opinions are valued and their needs are being addressed and the board and president are providing useful, beneficial services for members.  It’s about more than just having meetings once a month where board members get a free meal.  To paraphrase Ed Buryn, a good president or ruler must be practical yet innovative.  This is not always an easy task.  In fact it is more often a thankless one.  And yet, if one is not willing to at least try to achieve this goal there is not point in pursuing a leadership role.

COTD – The Star R (Hudes & Blake)

 

Traditionally The Star can refer to themes of spiritual healing, the light at the end of the tunnel, the balance between heaven and earth or the spiritual and the mundane, purity and spiritual guidance.  The Star can symbolize experiencing the boundless, free abundance of the Universe.  Unbounded or psychological or psychic energy is flowing to you.  You’re feeling personally energized and filled enthusiasm.  There is a never ending supply of this powerful resource within you that can be used in any way you desire.

Negative:  You aren’t ready to be a channel for new energy or resources at this time.  You may be drawing a lot of force or power into your life, but it’s short-circuiting there.  You could feel frantic or overwhelmed by the energy coming into your life without knowing what to do with it.  It may not be healthy or appropriate for you to be the recipient for this energy right now.
Reversed:  Unbounded psychological or psychic energy is flowing to you.  You’re feeling personally energized and filled with enthusiasm.  There is a never-ending supply of this powerful resources within you.  You can use it in any way you desire.” – Gail Fairfield

Blake LWB:  “Opening your eyes to the highest potential of your situation.  Getting in touch with your own creative powers.  Self-esteem.  Receiving recognition for your abilities.  “Doing your own thing”, no matter what.”

Stars shows a seated figure, arms outstretched beneath the evening sky, an open book beside him.  His visage is worn and weary and yet his eyes are raised up to the sky, as though seeking guidance and wisdom from the stars.  The different constellations are visible overhead.  There are also other grayish figures seeming to plead to the stars but receiving no answer.  A lighted lamp rests next to the book on the figures left side.  On his right we see a couple embracing beneath an arch of cherubs.  Nearby stands a woman resurrecting another from the earth.  At the bottom of the frame we see an elderly man holding a scroll in one hand and seeming to follow the other creatures in the frame; to move on to the next plane of existence.  The frame offsets the gloominess of the main image with its touches of pink and pale blue.  It brings a brightness and lightness to the card.

At first glance this cards seem gloomy and gray, hopeless.  The colors are muddy and muted and it seems difficult to distinguish different figures.  But when you can focus on it more you begin to see central figure with his outstretched arms and arms raised to the heavens.  You see the constellations frolicking overhead.  You see the couple embracing and the woman raising the other from the ground.  But what strikes you right away is the brightness of the images in the frame.  The cheeriness of the pink figures floating in a pale blue stream.  They seem to be separate from the rest of this card, part of it and yet not.  Perhaps they represent the human spirit preparing to reassimilate with the divine source.  They are entering a new plane of existence.  The light and the book may represent humanity’s’ quest for knowledge and spiritual enlightenment.  We seek love and are always striving to raise ourselves from the earthly temptation that trap us.  This card shows us the way.  When looking at this card the phrase “keep your eyes on the prize” comes to mind.  If we can keep our eyes fixed on the path to spiritual enlightenment and development, then perhaps we can manage to overcome whatever else might trouble us.  We can overcome whatever obstacles attempt to block our way.  But it is easy to lose sight of the true path, as exhibited by the murky figures trying in vain to reconnect with the stars.  They are unable to see the true path because they have lost their focus.  Stars shows us that we can find the true path again if we open our eyes and our spirits to the truth.

On the Hudes Star card a radiant woman with stands up to her neck in a body of water.  Her eyes are closed and she seems bathed in the light from the star overhead.  She seems at peace and unworried about her position.  I get the sense that she is cleansing and renewing herself in the water and with the rays of the star overhead.  There is something serene and calming about her appearance.  A soothing, peaceful energy seems to radiate from her and out of the card.

Both these cards offer the relief and serenity of healing, renewing light.  They remind us that even the darkest night is light with millions of tiny stars.  Of course this card is reversed for me today.  That makes me wonder if I’m not opening myself up to this healing, renewing energy.  Perhaps I’ve been keeping my eyes closed to the potential healing energy surrounding me.  I need to renew my spirit and allow myself to see the lightness that surrounds me.  It’s time to open my eyes and embrace my own thing.  I have all this potential psychic energy coursing through me and now it’s time to find an positive and beneficial channel for this energy.

COTD – 5 of Cups/Music R (Hudes & Blake)

 

The number 5 represents that added something that brings the situation out of balance again.  It represents the struggle and challenge of inner and outer growth.  Cups are associated with emotions, love, pleasure in life; matters pertaining to the unconscious, intuition and the inner planes, and the element of water.   This card often symbolizes the need to let go of our emotional connection to something that has passed out of our lives.

“You are feeling challenged on a psychic or intuitive plane.  You may be experiencing something on the psychic level that is making your feel uneasy.  You are making adjustments in the ways you use your intuition.  You could also be going through some private emotional adjustments.” – Gail Fairfield

Blake LWB:  “Seek to transform your emotional pain into artistic gain by expressing what you feel and what you have learned from personal experience.”

When I drew this card this morning my first thought was a snickering “Hmph, all those folks that are disappointed that The Rapture didn’t occur as promised need to move on.”  On it’s surface, that is certainly an acceptable, applicable meaning to this card.  It is about releasing sadness and grief; not letting ourselves get so caught up in feeling melancholy that we can’t move forward.  It reflects the need to focus on what we still have in our lives and hold on to the joy and happiness they bring us.

The phrase on the Blake 5 of Music, “Whatever is Born of Mortal Birth, Must be consumed with the Earth, To rise from Generation free:  Then what have I to do with thee?” sounds so disconnected and unemotional that it is a bit unsettling.  Is it being asked of the person in the card or is the person the one asking?  Is this what happens to our spirit when it is no longer attached to the physical realm?  Can we no longer feel the connection to those who have been left behind?  Perhaps that is the price the spirit pays for enlightenment or moving on to a different plane of existence.  It almost seems as though it is being spoken by one who feels he/she is god-like.  Their humanity has been left behind where others can mourn its loss but it’s previous owner no longer cares.

It seems to me that is the catch to this card.  We must be careful not to become so lost in our mourning and grief that we cannot move forward and appreciate what is still with us.  At the same time we do not want to become so detached and unemotional that we no longer feel anything at the things we’ve lost in our lives.  If we follow that road, we risk becoming almost inhuman in our detachment and deny ourselves the richness that comes from our emotional connections to others.

On a personal level, this card brought to the fore a lot of memories of my brother Tom who was murdered in 1986 when he was 16 years old.  I realize that although I will always miss Tom and would desperately love to still have him with us, I can’t (and haven’t) let it freeze me in time.  I have moved forward with my life and yet I continue to mourn his death.  He will always live in my heart and memories even if he is not here.  The wound had scabbed over but never really heals.  Certain things can rip it open and cause fresh blood to pour forth.  That happened Friday and today while watching the Dr. Phil show.  He was dealing with a mother whose 12 year old daughter, Shanda, was brutally tortured and killed by four 16 year old girls in 1992.  The mother and her older daughter are still visible grieving for Shanda and hold a lot of anger, hatred and bitterness towards the killers.  At one point they confronted one of the woman who killed Shanda and it was painful to watch.  The now adult woman obviously had no insight into what caused her 16 year old self to participate in such a callous, horrific act.  The mother and daughter were in pain and furious at not getting the answers they sought.  Of course the reality is that no explanation would justify this woman’s behavior or healed the mother and daughter.  I can completely understand this.  I am not evolved enough to have forgiven the man who slaughtered my brother. However I realized that appearing on this show and addressing the topic was not healing for anyone involved.  It might have made for great ratings but it dredged up a lot of painful, sad and awful memories without offering any resolution or healing.  I suppose it is possible that the mother and daughter were offered counseling by Dr. Phil but if so, I didn’t catch that.

For me, this highlighted why it is important to let yourself heal and move passed the pain and grief.  It doesn’t mean that we’ve forgotten the one who was lost.  It means that we are still open and able to allow new people into our lives who might bring new joys and new memories.  It means that although we never forget what we lost, we still look forward to finding something.  Our hearts are not sealed off like a tomb.  Instead they are under renovation for a period of time.  And when they re-open they may still have some scars and wounds but they are able to embrace new relationships, new joys and new happiness.

COTD – Judgment R (Fenestra & Dante)

Traditionally Judgment represents a time of returning to the light after experiencing the darkness.  It is a card of rebirth, renewal and rejuvenation; of healing and transformation.  It can also be seen as a wake-up call telling us that our perspective on life is about to change and wake us up to new ways of looking at things.   It may represent experiencing natural growth and maturation; an old phase of your life ending because you are ready and mature enough to move forward.  Things are maturing at their natural pace and now you are transitioning into a new phase of your life so it’s time to celebrate.

“Negative:  The things that are naturally growing and maturing are not to your advantage.  You may feel like you want to slow things down or speed them up – the natural or normal progression of things is just not right for you.  If you let things develop at their own pace and in their own style, you probably won’t be pleased with the results.
Reversed:  Your personal biological or psychological timing mechanisms are signalling a new phase in your life.  You may be reaching puberty or getting gray hairs.  You could be growing up on an emotional level.  You’re recognizing that you’re experiencing a personal rite of passage.” – Gail Fairfield

Dante LWB:  “Archangels.  Renewal.  Awakening.  Recovered energy.  Healing.  Birth.”

How fascinating that I drew this card today of all days – the supposed end of the world.  I have to assume that whatever else this card is trying to tell me, at least one of its messages is that today is not Judgment Day.  Maybe what is really being judged is our own sense of entitlement regarding who will and won’t be “saved” as well as our hidden guilt and shame.  No matter how often we claim that we have nothing to fear, those little demons inside our heads will haunt us and prey on our feelings of self-worth.  They torture and judge us much more effectively than any celestial judge or coven of devils.

Looking at both images it is apparent that they share certain similarities – the celestial figure (the Archangel Gabriel?) blowing his/her horn and the bodies or spirits rising up from the ground in response.  It certainly expresses a theme of redemption and salvation prevalent through Judeo-Christian-Muslim theology.  However on the Dante card there are three celestial figures – the archangel blowing the horn, one holding a scroll with the words “Anima Dvertes” inscribed on it and a third crowned figure holding an orb and an upright sword.  It appears that one wakes the souls, one judges the souls and one carries out the sentence.  The souls below seem to be pleading and begging with these celestial figures, as though they fear they will be judged guilty of something and denied salvation and paradise.  Despite the flowing, dream-like quality of this image it give a sense of harshness lacking in the Fenestra card.

I have to admit that due to all the hoopla surrounding today and the “end of the world” theories, I’m viewing this card as a bit more global in nature than would usually be my wont.  Both cards suggest that there is a new phase that needs to happen but it isn’t ready to manifest itself just yet.  Our judgment (or the judgment of ourselves) is postponed for a while.  However this can still serve as an opportunity to review our actions and decisions and see where we can make things better.  Instead of waiting until things are too far gone or it is too late, we can take this opportunity to move forward in a more positive and beneficial manner.

In order for healing and renewal to occur, we need to be open to those energies.  We can’t open ourselves to healing if we deny there is anything wrong.  How many times have you been diagnosed with an illness that is not immediately life-threatening (such as Type II diabetes, or some type of food allergy) and instead of making changes in your life, you chose to ignore it.  As a result your health continued to deteriorate and you were prescribed more and more medications.  Eventually you might have developed additional health issues – a heart condition or deteriorating eyesight; things which could have been avoided had you taken the proper steps from the outset.  We are creatures of habit and changing those habits, even when we know it’s in our best interests, is hard.  Things are also complicated by the fact that we don’t know who to believe or what information to trust.  Too often in the past we’ve supported someone’s agenda only to learn they were deliberately skewing the facts.  All of this increases our cynicism and makes us less open to changes and the potential for healing and renewing our lives.

The bottom line is that we are the only ones who can take responsibility for our choices and our lives.  The government can try to legislate such matters as much as they want (such as the idea to tax sugary drinks that is gaining popularity in New York) but the reality is that it won’t change people’s minds or behaviors.  Trying to force people to change tends to make them become more intractable and married to their beliefs.  Maybe the only thing we can really change is our own behaviors.  By choosing to live in a sensible, healthy and positive way perhaps we can serve as examples for others and lead them into making better choices too.  I have to admit that I am one of those people who resists and resents being told what to do even when my brain realizes it’s a good idea.  Trying to force me to make those changes just makes me dig in my heels and resist with all my might.  However when I’ve been around people who quietly and simply live their lives in a positive way, I tend to get inspired.  I’m not talking about folks who love to brag about driving a Prius while they play with their iPhone, laptop and other electronic gizmos and can’t wait to get the latest upgrade (you know the one’s who contribute to what South Park terms “Smug”).  Anyway, enough of the soapbox.

So I think what Judgment reversed is trying to remind us all is that we have to be able to withstand the judgment of our own conscience; that voice of our inner critic.  For the most part, humans are very well aware of when we are behaving in a negative and unhealthy manner – whether it’s for ourselves or for the world.  We just allow ourselves to rationalize the guilt away.  For today, perhaps we need to be a little less rational and trust our instincts more.  We need to sit with that inner guilt and come up with a way to move forward and live our lives in a manner that won’t generate more guilt.  That’s probably the best way to quiet those inner critics and reduce our fear of being judged before some celestial court.

 

Aces symbolize beginnings, the start of something new and the seed of new growth.  Pentacles are associated with the material world, acquisitions of wealth and possessions, our connection to Earth and Nature, sensation, matters pertaining to the physical plane and the element of earth.  Pentacles can also be connected with practicality, groundedness and being realistic.

“You are planting seeds for a new home, job, career, or form of security.  You may be getting a new sense of how to work with money , and finances.  You may be getting some urges to begin a new physical regime or a new direction in your health.” – Gail Fairfield

Dante LWB:  “The Celestial Pilot.  Change of environment.  Modernization of space and ideas.”

When I drew this card the first thing that popped into my head is “new income” and “manifesting new things in my life”.  In the words of the Laverne & Shirley theme song, I’d be “making my dreams comes true”.  The Ace of Pentacles is often about new opportunities to make money, improve one’s wealth and prosperity or to manifest new things in one’s life.  It may also symbolize a new time for practicality and being realistic.  Sometimes when we want to manifest our dreams into reality we don’t have a realistic viewpoint about what is achievable.  The reality is that there are some things in life that are beyond our control or our ability to make true.  And I an accept that, even while it frustrates me.

I  love the image on the Dante Ace of Clouds.  That figure standing on the prow of the boat seems to be actively seeking his future and is prepared to chart his course in the direction he wants it to go.  He is prepared and capable of creating his future; manifesting his desired reality.  The image reminds me a bit of the famous scene from Titanic with Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet standing on the prow (or is it bow) of the ship.  They give the viewer the sense that the future is theirs to create and a lifetime of potential and possibilities lie ahead.  The Ace of Pentacles is a symbol of hope, potential and limitless possibilities just waiting to be manifested in our lives.

Perhaps it is also a reminder that it might be a good idea to establish a new connection or renew my commitment to healing my physical self.  I have been working on developing a healthier, more sensible eating plan.  I was doing good for several weeks but I’ve been back-sliding a bit lately.  I think it’s time to refresh my brain cells on why this change is important and beneficial to me.  I realize that it’s like anything else – I need to occasionally sharpen the saw so that it’s fresh and easily accessible.

So this card offers a new opportunity to start anew; to refresh some things that I’ve lost contact with and to manifest these blessings and concepts in my life.  It’s about being sensible and grounded – not losing myself in a cloud of optimistic daydreams.  It’s good to be hopeful and have faith but it’s also important to maintain touch with reality.

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