Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Six of Swords


The Six of Swords
by Heather Blakey

The Six of Swords keeps leaping out of my deck, telling me what I know to be true. I have endured much, yet there is a stillness and serenity which has come after the crisis of my mother's decline and death.

I sit looking, rather wistfully at all the swords. There is no mistaking that it has been a difficult time. But, somehow, I now understand the pattern of life, have seen and come to understand, know how I have been the architect of my own fate

The Six of Swords does not provide options or influence my choices. Drawing the Six does not change any of the external situations that have impacted on my life. Rather, it helps me to see why I am on this particular road at this particular time. All the Six of Swords does is shows me what is and has been.

I look at the Swords, sip my drink and contemplate the fact that the swords are not piercing my body or weighing me down.

All things remain possible. I could, perhaps pick up one sword as protection and head off, armed with  a trusty copy of Shakti Gawain's Creative Visualization.

Perhaps I will make a treasure map which depicts me not surrounded by swords but filling cups instead.

Six of Swords

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Essential Death and Dismemberment

The Death Card in the Major Arcana, does not mean physical death. Rather, the Death card portrays symbolic death-a change or transformation. Often, it heralds the end of a familiar or more comfortable mode. It conveys a release which is necessary for growth and expansion. Perhaps it even brings a whole new set of principles which will guide you spiritually, emotionally, psychologically or financially. Joseph Campbell, author of A Hero with A Thousand Faces, describes times of personal change as periods when "The familiar life horizon has been outgrown; the old concepts, ideals, and emotional patterns no longer fit; the time for the passing of a threshold is at hand." The sunrise depicted in the background of the Death card holds the promise of the transformation which is about to take place: the death of the old self, but also the dawning of a new day. The Death card is a cue that you are at a "threshold"-a crossing into a new phase, unbounded by the past.


Death - Symbol for Change and Transformation
In This Life
by Heather Blakey

Jewish Gnostics declared that "When Eve was still in Adam death did not exist. When she was separated from him death came into being."

My life has been changing since my separation from loved ones, important others who were like pillars. Comfortable habits and routines have been irrevocably altered. With each day has come a full appreciation of what their death means.

Pulling the Death Card reminds me that life, transformation and change are synonymous.  I see it as a reminder that I am confronting a period of transformation as I come to terms with changing circumstances. It is amazingly painful, hard to shed old ways and adjust.

My personal experience colors the drawing I have done. It is not a traditional 'Death Card', although the obligatory skeletons are present. Memories rose as I sat drawing myself felled, like a big tree, by the presence of actual death. I am in a period of mourning, coming to terms with what now is and, the loss of what was. The path of readjustment is a slow, winding one.

After spending so many years as the primary carer for my husband and then my mother I am at a loose end.  In both the case of my mother and husband death appeared, not as some fata morgana, nor macabre skeleton priest. Death was not some hostile or revenge seeking tyrant, but rather came, simply, as a servant of life with a job to do.

Jung said that "to accept death like birth, as a part of life, is to become truly alive".

I have witnessed death up close and personal and sense that with it comes rebirth. For now it feels like I am still within the womb, biding my time. "Not wanting to live" said Jung "is synonymous with not wanting to die. Becoming and passing away are the same curve."

It is the becoming which is still a work in progress. Rather than awaiting the Great Transformation it appears that each day offers another door.

The 'Death' card reminds me to go on opening doorways! May I find portals in unusual places. May I go on in the spirit of our school anthem, 'Life is Adventuring."


The Fool Again

Seek and you shall find, that is the message. Here The Fool stands poised to take that step into the unknown. The dog at her feet is in fact a fox, a wild but wise creature. His is the small voice of reason. The birds though are ready to take flight, to accompany her as she steps off the precipice and into new ventures. Below her are other wild things. They beckon her as all wild things beckon to me. I am too old now, I know, to step off into the unknown, but the woods, fields, and all the wild creatures of my youth beckon still. So, maybe I can take the leap, albeit in my dreams and in my imagination. So, I, too, plunge into the blue, into the yet unknown depths of my art, writing, and poetry. The wild ones sharpen my minds eye so that I can capture the elusive images with my camera, my pencils, and my pens. So I can see again with clarity. This is The Fool's message to me. Stephanie Pui-Mun Law states it so well. Unheeding she steps forward and........


Monday, August 2, 2010

The Lover

The Lover
by Heather Blakey

The group who are exploring the symbolism of the Tarot are currently examining the card of the Lovers. The Rider Waite card adopts the Garden of Eden perspective while other decks present the issue of making a choice in other ways. The Marseilles Deck, for example, dramatizes a specific and human problem. It reveals one young man involved with two women and no figure is depicted as being godlike. Rather they are appear to be ordinary human beings.

In the drawing depicted here I am raising the whole question of choice and, if indeed, we do have to choose between the various selves that reside within. Given the Judgment of Paris it is perhaps advisable to become innovative when dealing with our internal archetypes.

To expand your exploration and explore the union of the female and male consider reading On The Way To The Wedding. Linda Leonard writes about the longing for a true wedding, one that unites two beings in a sacred search for meaning in life. Exploring dreams, personal experiences, myths and fairy tales, and themes from films and literature, the author uncovers the inner obstacles to love and creativity as experienced by both men and women.