Tarot Discussion Group,
Card of the Week.
Linda is in England for her annual series of crop circle reports. Follow her at www.earthfiles.com or listen to her from the field at Dreamland Online Its simply an amazing year to follow circles.
I thought, I've been dealing with too many negative cards lately, I deserved a rest. So I decieded to pull one of my favorite cards. The High Priestess from the Waite deck. Personally I think its one of the most beautifal cards in any deck. I love the way the soft colors of her gown, balance the starker colors of the column. I love the way the Columns frame the figure, and I love the look of quite introspection that graces the figures face.
Researching the card, proved quite and education. I think I have learned more about this card in the process of turning out this weeks essay than any other so far. I had the notion to put aside my usual format and present this weeks card in the form of a very short story, which I hope you will enjoy. The story reflects my own sprituality more than my essays usually do, and I hope no-one feels in anyway disrespected by what follows.
Disclaimer: Any resemblance of the characters in this story to persons living or dead, cybernetic or divine. Is strictly coincidental.
Thomas had a dream.
He dreamed that it was the Sabbath, and he had walked the sun drenched streets of Ancient Jerusalem down to the Holy Temple of David. He knew it was a dream, because he was quite certain the priests had never accepted any priestesses into their company back in those early days before the temple had been destroyed.
But there she sat, between two pillars. She was neither beautiful, nor plain. Sitting there under her veil, wearing a sky blue habit, a look a deep serenity on gracing her features. Her deep brown hair mostly covered by a crown made of full and crescent moons. The closer he looked the more he saw, for she wore a cross on her bosom, and held the Torah under one arm. Although her crown seemed pagan. The crescent at her feet was likely Muslim, he sensed it was tied somehow to the fertile crescent of Babylon. So many symbols, and many out of time, but Thomas was familiar enough with traveling this way not to break the spell by questioning the grammar of the dream.
Thomas decided it was the priests loss they had never admitted her to their company.
Over her shoulder he could see the tree of life. Yet he could not enter the temple because she blocked the way. He felt this must be significant, so he turned his attention to the columns. Perhaps they held the key to the riddle of how to enter the temple. The left, (her right) was of black Marble, with a B in white marble sunken into it. The right was of White Marble, with a J of black marble sunken into it. He contemplated them for a long moment, under the hot sun, and thought to himself. I should have paid more attention in class.
Joseph answered him, even though he had not spoken aloud. "And maybe you would have, if you had not been born under cancer, and did not rely so much on the blessing of intuition. Sometimes my friend study would serve you better."
"Ok So enlighten me."
Joseph pointed to the black column. "The B stands for Boaz, the great grandfather of David who built this temple. The J stands of Jachin. It is also said they stand for Mercy and Severity."
"Thats not true", said Zachariah, "They stand for Strength and Wisdom." I thought they stood for Man and Woman said another. Matter and Spirit added a third. Reason and Intuition championed another voice.
I was getting confused but, I noticed the priestess only smiled as she listened to us.
The men, who had gathered, began to debate which column represented what virtue.
"The Black column of Boaz must represent the masculine" argued Zachariah, "It would be inappropriate to represent him with the feminine column. Also consider the great works of art the Man is always ruddy and dark. The woman, pale as porcelain."
"But surely, Spirit, which is masculine, is represented by the white column" said Joseph, "and the rich earth which is feminine the dark column."
"I think the Black column marks Strength, which is Masculine." Said Zachariah, "and The white Wisdom which is feminine."
"Wisdom is feminine?" I asked aloud.
"Surely in this context, Although we like to think of our kings as wise, what is a king without his army. The kings position rests on his strength, but the queen, as his most intimate consoler, her position rests on her wisdom."
What of Mercy and Severity" I asked, surely Mercy, is the feminine virtue.
Zachariah just shook his head. "Offend a woman, and she will often show you mercy. Offend her child, and you will see a severity no man can match."
I turned to the priestess and said "Now I'm totally confused? Dear Lady, which answer do you think is the truth?"
"All and None."
"That's meaningless," I countered
"No, Its not, but you are not thinking Thomas. Sit by my feet." I did, "What would happen if I instructed Samson over there pushed the White Column down."
"The temple would collapse of course."
"And the black?"
"So perhaps your opposites, are not, but each is part of a larger, but often overlooked, whole. David was a great king was he not, and Solomon. As a great king, He was capable of Mercy and Severity. Think of the story of the Babe with two mothers. A great king needs reason and intuition. Even Masculine and Feminine. Seeming opposites, but each incomplete without the other."
"So if the II of Swords represents the horns of a dilemma, perhaps the II of Trumps represents the opportunity to transcend one."
"There may be hope for you yet, child" She smiled, "Think of the Arabs and Israelis. They have been fighting wars for generations. And will so long as 'Men of Violence' see themselves as separate irreconcilable tribes, rather than as my children."
"I thought you where a priestess, not The Goddess."
"Come now, you know, I am all my children and they are me."
"Ah but the one thing Arabs, and Israelis have very much in common, is they see God as a man."
"I have always appeared to you as a woman, as I have always appeared to others as a man. I have been given, and anwsered many names, Budda, Jesus, Shekinah, even your beloved Innanna. What you see when your turn your face towards mine, that has to do with what your spirit is ready to perceive child, not who I am." She kissed my brow. "Return to the waking world now, you are not ready to enter the temple yet. But please to come by again we still have much to discuss."
Blessed Be All, BB.
Divination:Hidden Wisdom, The Intuitive and Subconcious, Energy moving the beneath the surface that has not been revealed, or manifest yet.
Reversed:Superficial, Lacking Depth, The situation holds no secrets, time to let go of old patterns.
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Illustrations from the Gendron Tarot deck reproduced by permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc., Stamford, CT 06902 USA. Copyright 1997 by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. Further reproduction prohibited. Visit the world's best source for tarot decks at www.usgamesinc.com.