The hooded figure on this card holds up his hand as he stands before a large tree just beyond two staves planted in the ground serving as a gateway. Is he greeting me or warning me back? He seems to guard a path that splits off behind him. Is he a guardian of the crossroads? How does his energy merge with the energy of this card?
The keyword on this cards is fulfillment. In traditional Tarot interpretation it is often seen as representing projects or creative endeavors coming to fruition; seeing the fruits of our efforts come back to us. In this card I get a sense that this hooded man is both guardian and guide. Our efforts have brought us to this point but now the choice to go on must be made and he is there to remind us that all choices carry some peril with them.
Behind him on the left side the road seems to dip a bit lower while on the right it rises up. Will the lower path take us to the Underworld? For me, today, that is the sense I am getting. With each week that passes I get a stronger sense that shadow work and embracing the dark side is becoming more important to me. There are dark sides to myself and to the world that I still need to explore. I’m very curious about this dark side. I’ve always been partially drawn to it but I resisted its call because part of me felt that I needed to stay on a more “normal” path. I was already odd enough without adding a layer of darkness.
I have been known to joke that I’m as deep and mysterious as a babbling stream. To some degree this is true because this is the persona I don when I interact with people. I’ve tried being more withholding and aloof but it never seems to work. I think it’s a defense mechanism that I developed over the years to hide my shyness and genuine introverted nature. As a child I would much rather lose myself in books of fantasy or mythology than interact with peers. With rare exception, I just didn’t get it, I didn’t understand kids my own age. I still don’t understand many of the drives and desires that motivate my peers. Although there are times when I desire company and people, most times I am find being alone. I find myself seeking answers to supernatural phenomenon and mythical creatures such as Sasquatch and UFOs. I’ve already mentioned my fascination with serial killers and criminal behavior. The darker side of human nature calls me.
I remember many years ago when I read The Mists of Avalon that Viviennne (at least I believe it was Vivienne) mentions that there are four faces to the Goddess and that Morgause manifested the fourth face – the dark mother. This concept has called to me since. As a child I understood Medea’s choice to kill her children in revenge for Jason’s betrayal. As an adult I understand the rage and pain that drove Betty Broderick to shoot her husband and his new trophy wife. I am not condoning these behaviors but I do understand them. I identified with Persephone as Queen of the Underworld. The need to separate from one’s mother and forge an independent identity (even if it is somewhat forced upon you) resonated with me. I connect with Sekmet’s rampage through Egypt until she is calmed by blood-colored beer. Even now I am (in many ways) dealing with death and dying on a daily basis. I have walked through many dark places both internal and external and emerged transformed. Maybe the message for me today is that my focus needs to be on finding a way to use those experiences to help and heal others. It’s a lot to process.