The Ninth Key

My life has been going very well lately, but I still felt so lost. The reasons for this always seemed to be just beyond my reach to articulate, until a post from a Tarot site came swimming up my facebook feed. Why not ask the cards what you need to do to regain control of your destiny?

Why not? I took out a deck I rarely work with and separated the Major Arcana. (This was a big question, so it needed a big answer). Key II immediately fell out. In Tarot de Marseille decks, this card is called the Popess. She is thus even more explicitly the female counterpart of the Fifth Key, the Pope/Hierophant. In the Rider-Waite Smith system, she is the High Priestess. This archetype resonates with the energies of my patroness, Saraswati Devi.

I did not take this as my answer, though it clearly was a sign. Instead, I completed separating the cards, shuffled them, and asked my question. What can I do to regain control of my destiny? I drew Key IX, The Hermit.

This was a clear and unambiguous answer: I should turn my attention within and listen to my own heart. Like the Hermit, I would walk my own path. It was a perfect answer, and it was exactly what I needed to hear. So of course, I didn’t believe it. Instead, I shuffled the cards again, but again, out came the Hermit.

Even when I switched to a different, full deck and drew one more time…for a third time, there he was. At least at that point, I had enough sense to stop! However, it wasn’t until I picked up my books and reviewed the meanings of the card that I realized how deeply resonant this message had been.

I will walk the path of The Hermit, and may Saraswati Devi be both my Priestess and the light in my lamp.

Lunar Return

I was born with the moon at zero degrees in Cancer, and I celebrate my lunar return every month during the transit from Gemini. It’s a pleasant time for me, as my intuition is heightened and I can feel My Lady’s presence that much better.

Though Lady Saraswati is not a “moon goddess”, her iconography is rich with lunar imagery. She wears a crescent moon as her crown, and her praise invariably includes references to the beauty and splendor of the full moon. Incorporating lunar observances into my practice helps me connect with that aspect of her.

Morning Love Note

My Lady knows that I fall asleep most easily in the early morning, beneath the grey glow cast by a cloudy sky. I rest my head upon the pillow, beneath my bedroom window, and my mind soon wanders away.

Not long after, my heart takes flight through the glassy panes, without leaving so much as a trace of the silver wings that were granted by Her grace. It joins the dawn choir to sing with the birds She taught so well.

Lesson of the Heirophant

I put my favorite deck (the Shadowscapes) aside some time ago, with no intention of picking it up again. My readings with it had become frustrating and stressful, to the point where I would have a visceral reaction of displeasure to most of the images. As much as I loved the artwork, I didn’t think I should use it any longer.

After that, I switched deck styles completely, using various “historical” decks, like the LoScarabeo reproduction of the Visconti-Sforza. (It’s very shiny). Learning to read the simple pips is a fun and ongoing adventure. Recently though, I felt drawn back to my Shadowscapes. It was strong enough that I actually did take the deck out despite my misgivings, and pull a few cards. I felt the old connection with it come sparkling back.

Later, I messaged a friend wondering why I felt so strongly drawn to this old deck again. She simply replied that it probably had something to teach me. I wondered what on earth that could be, so I took the cards out one more time and shuffled them. Then I pulled one; It was the Heirophant.

Not very subtle.

The Mandala of My Life

One of the founders of the Western Buddhist Order (now rebranded as Triratna) wrote a book called Meeting the Buddhas. In it he described the familiar Buddhist icons known as mandalas as maps of one’s inner life and priorities. He asked us, his readers, what would be at the center if we made our own mandala.

I wrote in a previous post here, that I would put My Lady at the center of my own mandala. It was a reflexive answer, unprompted by any thought. Of course she goes there! Where else would she go?

The answer of course, is that there is more than one Saraswati in my mandala. She has ended up in every quarter and corner of my mandala and my life. She is the mandala just as she is my life.