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.

Good Help is Hard to Find II

I went to my psychiatrist for a regular checkup a few days ago. I brought a book on Tarot, and a Marseille pack, because the waits at his office are usually quite long. This time they weren’t, but as usual he was fascinated by my reading material. So of course we ended up in a conversation about Tarot.

“How does it work?” he asked me. I had to admit that I had no real theory on  that, but that I felt they operated a lot like Rorscharch inkblot tests. He seemed amused by that.

Then he asked “have you ever thought about reading professionally?” It wasn’t a question I was expecting to hear from him. I don’t read professionally, and won’t for a while, because I have no idea how to begin. I live in a small, conservative town, with no place for me to set out a shingle.

Maybe later. 😉

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.

Moon Signs

I’ve been wanting to go deeper into my Tarot studies lately, but my efforts so far haven’t been promising. Then on two separate occasions today, I decided to pull a Tarot card for myself. Both times I drew Trump II, The High Priestess. This card is symbolic of intuition and inner knowledge. It is also often My Lady Saraswati’s “calling card,” as it invariably shows up when She has something to say.

This afternoon I remembered that the moon is assigned to the High Priestess, and I felt a certain nudge to check up on the moon’s current position in the Zodiac. As of this writing, it is in roughly the same place it is on my natal chart – transitioning from Gemini to Cancer.

Spiritual Quarantine II

My Lady set me to working on Tarot to develop my discernment and signal clarity, and somewhere along the way, I stopped caring about whether my practices conformed with Buddhism, because I realized that my beliefs are in line with the Buddhadharma.

This afternoon I asked My Lady what she thought of my progress. I pulled three cards. All three were tens. I think that’s a clear answer!

Tarot Cards and Rorscharch Tests

I’ve read in a few pagan 101 books that Tarot cards and other divination methods work by tapping into one’s subconscious mind. This actually makes a great deal of sense to me, though I honestly don’t think it’s the whole answer. To me, Tarot is a create-your-own Rorscharch blot test.

Have you ever taken a Rorscharch test? They’re not used much anymore. They’re basically big colored inkblots on cards, and you (the patient) have to interpret them. The “results” are totally subjective, which is why they’ve fallen out of favor. I tended to see animals: bugs, birds, a fox’s face. “Normal” people, I learned, usually saw human faces and figures. My therapist confessed to me that he had patients who saw terrifying things.

Tarot too is almost entirely subjective. Yet, like the ink blots of the Rorscharch test, it can still tell us about ourselves. I love animals, which is no doubt why I saw critters and creepy-crawlies of all sorts in those shapes. Realizing this has made my Tarot skills stronger. I no longer try to use rigid layouts, instead building my spreads intuitively and organically, card by card. They tend to spread outward from a central point.

Like an inkblot…

30 Days of Devotion: Tarot and the Vedas

Let’s Begin.

I am the roaring raging wave of wrath that slays the haters of devotion, I am the six of swords that shall carry you away from here, and take you to a safer place, a place of sanctuary. I am she who stands before the veil, between the pillars of the Temple. I am the mighty torrent, inciter of pious words and inspirer of gracious deeds. I am the Three of Cups and the Queen of Swords. If you are a Fool, then I shall make you a sage, a priest, a worker of wonders…a Magician!

Draw the cards. Call on me. ❤

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