How exciting to once again be part of the Tarot Blog Hop and sandwiched between the energy and wisdom of Amethyst Mahoney and Marilyn Shannon. Be sure to visit their blogs as part of your Ostara blog hopping adventure.
“The Tarot is a template of the soul’s progress.” Rachel Pollack
I conceive of progress as spiral shaped rather than linear. We move through life and encounter lessons. As we mature, we often re-encounter the same lessons, but the invitation as you travel the spiral is to experience them in new ways and with new awareness.
The Tarot is an excellent companion for this spiral-shaped journey. As archetypes which spring from collective wisdom rather than individual knowledge, the cards’ meanings are not fixed but contain layers that are revealed as we come to understand these wisdom concentrations in our lives.
There is a popular description of the path through the Major Arcana as The Fool’s Journey that is modern (Mary Greer attributes it to Eden Grey)but certainly has deep spiritual and historical roots (see Robert O’Neil on The Fool’s Journey). This is a powerful metaphor that has deepened my understanding of the cards, but as I have traveled through the cards during the Journey into the Tarot series the Major Arcana has come into focus for me as three circles offering healing at a deep soul level. The first circle begins with the unity of The Magician who uses all elemental tools equally and ends with the integration of masculine and feminine in The Lovers. The second circle opens with the realization of a new kind of Strength and ends with the Death of old ideas about the self and power. The third circle starts with The Devil’s challenge to integrate even our shadows and culminates with an affirmative answer to the call for individual and generational healing. The Fool, Chariot, Temperance, and The World are cards of transition and initiation.
Seeing the cards through this lens of healing paints my Tarot journey with new life.
I am not suggesting entirely new meanings of the cards, but rather have found myself drawn to and coming to new consciousness around what is already within the Tarot that can be accessed for the healing necessary for the times we live in.
What healing does the Tarot offer?
Pathways toward balance and integration. For so many of us, modern life offers more fragmentation that wholeness, limiting choices between opposites (shall I be rational or creative today?), and the ever increasing speed of day-to-day activities. In contrast, the Tarot’s wisdom figures invite us to balance and integration and suggest ways to achieve these states. In the pillars of the High Priestess and Justice we are reminded of the possibility and rewards of standing still between and honoring with what seems to be opposed. Temperance, grounded by earth and flowing with water, mixes different substances to create the new. From the Devil to The Sun, the dance of dark and light remind us that both need acknowledgement and we can be released from impossible task of hiding the dark within.
A new vision of power. The widespread view of power as domination is dangerous. Our attempts to dominate others leads to resentment and conflict while our belief that we as humans can dominate the earth have the planet’s climate in chaos and threatens human health and safety. The Tarot’s view of power is profoundly different. Strength comes from gentleness and flows from an inward journey involving surrender, transformation, connecting to the wider whole, and deep self-knowledge.
Guides for the journey toward wholeness. The Magician and The World, at opposite ends of the Major Arcana, show us perfect and holistic acting and being in the world. They embrace all elements, know heaven and earth, welcome sun and shadow, and lead with wands of power representing their own authentic being. And each of the cards in between might be just the guide that we need to heal a gap felt within the self. Feeling deprived? Visit with the Empress in her abundant fields. Too many commitments? Heed the call of The Hermit for alone time. Need replenishment after upheaval? Bask in the gentle light of The Star.
The invitation to come alive! A striving toward life is at the heart of the cosmic experience. Since the first cells flared forth, the cosmos has been birthing itself from the energy of the stars and the explosions of supernovas. As I’ve come nearly to the end of the Journey into the Tarot, I’ve found the same dynamic in the Major cards and a constant call to recognize the perfection within and live that perfection in the outer world. Howard Thurman, the theologian who influenced Martin Luther King, Jr., issues the invitation eloquently: “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
So in these hours of the Equinox when day and night stand equal but we find ourselves tipping growth, may you go forth and paint your own journey with new life.
I hope you continue your Ostara Blog Hope Journey by visiting Marilyn’s blog.