This blog is a record of Apollo card readings done for myself or my wife or both of us. The Apollo card is a single card drawn to give one an idea on what to expect from the day ahead or as an indicator of what lessons were presented to one at the end of the day, depending on when the card is drawn from the deck.
|Posted on January 14, 2014 at 9:00 PM||comments (0)|
Again I have drawn Judgement as my Apollo card for today. As was pointed out the last time I drew this card, I am entering a period of "summing up" or reaping what I sow. It is now on my shoulders to realize what it is I have been doing and how I have created the future that awaits me. Mind, the reward is not always a pleasant one, especially in one who has been evasive, deceptive or has not acted with integrity. I am now answerable for the journey that I have been on. Whatever the goal was or wherever the journey led, this card heralds the ending of a chapter in life with a clear perception of the extent to which I have allowed myself to be true to myself.
At this moment I am not entirely certain about which chapter is closing, but it's ending is not dependent upon my awareness of it. I am certain that it will become apparent within the next 24 hours or so.
|Posted on January 6, 2014 at 12:00 AM||comments (0)|
Today's Apollo card takes us once again into the tragic tale of Orestes and the Curse of the House of Atrius. The Four of Swords shows us Orestes in "exile" in a posture of contemplation. He is now aware of the conflict between his parents, but is oblivious of where that conflict is heading. He is now able to reflect on his part in the conflict by withdrawing inward for serious introspection. The discontent in his life is the parental conflict that he refused to take a stand in or even acknowledge. Now he finds himself looking more closely at himself and figuring out where to go from here. Changes need to be made in order for him to progress on his path, but one must first take a good look at oneself to determine what changes to make. Also note that at this point, his father has just been slain, but Orestes has not yet received the command from Apollo to avenge his father's murder. He is using his banishment constructively; to look inside himself and figure out his part in the conflict of his parents and also to build up his strength for the future efforts needed for growth.
For this card I have a story from a reading I gave to someone else many years ago. A mutual friend referred this person to me for a reading because he found himself with more questions than answers about something he was working on at the time. I gave him a full 10-card celtic cross reading which ended with the Four of Swords in the position of "Final Outcome." What I didn't know was that the "project" this person was working on was something illegal. He took the meaning of this card as a warning that the end result of this endeavor would be jail time. He backed out of it, and disassociated himself with anyone that was involved. He made the decision then to change his life, keep to the straight and narrow and avoid all contact with anyone that he knew of that were involved in less-than-honest dealings. Shortly after making that decision the group of people that he was working with were all arrested. They had been under surveillance the entire time and were on the receiving end of a police sting. The recipient of the reading/warning took this as a "sign" that the allure of fast money was not worth the risks involved. To my knowledge he never again succombed to the temptation to bend or break the rules to make a quick buck.
For myself, I often find that a period of introspection does wonders for helping me find where I may have strayed from my true path. It also shows me what I need to do to get back on my path from where I am. Finally, it allows me to replenish my inner reserves for taking on the obstacles that present themselves in my awareness.
|Posted on December 24, 2013 at 8:30 PM||comments (0)|
For Christmas Eve, another couples reading. For my wife, we step once more into the story of Orestes and the curse of the House of Atrius. The Two of Swords enters the story of Orestes at a point where there are tensions between Orestes parents, and Orestes is unwilling to confront the situation. In the previous post regarding the suit of swords, we learned that King Agememnon offended the Goddess Hecate and was requird to sacrifice his own daughter on her alter. For this, Queen Clytemnestra has taken a lover and plotted to kill her husband when he returns from sacking Troy. Here we find a symbolic representation of that conflict. Orestes parents are heading toward a clash of arms and Orestes is paralysed from fear of disrupting the "status quo." Nevermind that the status quo is disintegrating on it's own. Forget the fact that this is all happening regardless of his actions or inactions in this case. That is because the situation is the calm before the storm. The energy has built to a head and is ready to erupt. Orestes part in this situation is one of denial and voluntary blindness to the impending doom.
The message here is to become aware of one's refusal to face an impending situation of danger or conflict. Regardless of our wishes the status quo will be disrupted. The more we let the tensions build and the more we try to ignore the situation, the more destructive the end result. In the story of Orestes, his sister, both of his parents and his mother's lover all die and Orestes himself is driven mad almost to his own death before the curse ends. We are given the opportunity here to focus our energies on resolving the situation, rather then trying to let it resolve itself. If we apply our own mind to a problem, no matter how explosive or dangerous, we can either protect our loved ones from annihilation by lessening the blast or even defusing the situation all together or, at the very least, redirect that energy into a more constructive path. A modern analogy is the use of robots to either defuse or contain explosive blasts to protect the public from harm. It was through the application of human intellect that these tools came about. Instead of ignoring the situation (that isn't about to go away) it is far more constructive to apply your mind to the task at hand and find a solution.
My Apollo card takes us back to the story of Psyche and Eros. To recap, Psyche was to be sacrificed to a sea monster, but Eros fell in love with her and took her to his palace and presented himself under cover of night as her new husband. He promised her all that her heart might desire so long as she never try to see his face. While Psyche lived in Eros' palace she wanted for nothing. Each night he would visit her, but he would be gone by dawn. Psyche's sisters convinced her that he must be some kind of hideous monster to hide himself so. Psyche broke her promise by lighting a lantern while Eros slept so she could see his face. For this betrayel Eros fled from their bed, the palace disappeared and Psyche found herself standing on the lonely rock where Eros found her.
This card portrays Psyche in the palace of Eros being visited by her sisters. The Four of each suit deals with divine discontent, so it is with Psyche. Despite the fact that she wants for nothing in her world, the seed of discontent is here being planted by her jealous sisters. However it should be noted that a seed will not grow unless it is planted in fertile soil. Something within Psyche is already telling her that all is not right with her new husband. It is this tiny bit of suspicion that her sisters build on. A different analogy to apply to this concept is that of the angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other, each speaking in a separate ear and each trying to guide our path, except the angel in Psyche's case appears to be on vacation and has been replaced with another devil. Also in this case, while the surface reveals petty jealousy on the part of the sisters, there is a deeper level to our emotional dealings with others. One must explore the full depths of the potential of their emotions and relationships. It is only through this exploration that we can discover the full potential of not only our relations with others, but the depths of our own emotions are revealed to us. We are put on notice to perform this deeper examination of our relations. This is not an easy path, but the rewards more than justify traversing it. All of our previous assumptions and fantasies need to be scrutinized with honesty and an open heart, for growth of not only the self, but the relationship as a whole.
|Posted on December 22, 2013 at 8:05 PM||comments (0)|
Today we are introduced to the god Pan, son of Hermes and a nymph named Dryope, in the card of The Devil. Pan came into the world with a beard, goat legs, horns and hair on most of his body. He was the original satyr. His mother was so repulsed by him when he was born that she ran away in fright. Hermes, on the other hand, took him to Olympus for the amusement of the gods. Pan lived in the woods and pastures of Arcadia. While not exactly evil, he was still feared and loathed due to his "uncivilized" personification of the wildness of the natural world. He would even, at times and for reasons that were his own, be protector of flocks and herds of livestock or beehives or even help lost travellers find their way. Of course, he would just as often frighten lost travellers for his own amusement. He would often accompany mountain-nymphs in their games and help hunters locate wild game. While chasing after a nymph (Syrinx, who was chaste) he lost her near the river Ladon. Syrinx had managed to transform herself into a water reed to avoid his advances. Pan realized the trick, but could not tell her apart from any of the other reeds, so he cut at random several of them and fashioned them into his famous flute, the Pan-flute. While the rest of the Greek Gods despised him, they still found him useful. Apollo received the art of prophecy from Pan. Hermes found a Pan-flute that Pan had dropped, created a copy of it, passed it off as his own invention and sold it to Apollo. Thus Apollo received two of Pan's gifts (music and prophecy) from the ugliest and most untamed of the gods.
When one looks inside themselves, there is an aspect that they fear and loathe, yet are fascinated by nevertheless. Pan represents the raw, goatish, uncivilized sexual impulses within the human being. Some religions teach us that this part of ourselves is to be cut out and banished as inherently evil. Pan worship took place in caves and grottos in darkness except for the light of a fire or limited torches. The image of Pan was something to be feared and reviled due to his compulsive nature. So much so that Christianity adopted the image of Pan to represent the ultimate evil: The Devil. He personifies the impulses that both shame and fascinate us: our own sexual impulses and all that they reveal on an inner level. We all have some form of shame regarding our bodies. The impulses of the body come upon us as raw, untamed and amoral. To often we here about people being slaves of their own bodies, enslaved by their impulses. In this particular bit of symbology, it is The Devil Pan holding the chains that bind us humans. As long as we keep Pan hidden away in his cave, he will continue to rule over part of us, the part that we are most ashamed of. The presence of this card is notice that a confrontation with one's inner devil is needed for continued growth. This confrontation must be done with humility and self-compassion in order to free oneself from the grip of the devil within. The basest and most shameful aspects of the self need to be scrutinized to free the seeker from their own fear. The trap to avoid is allowing oneself to believe themselves superior for having "cleansed" themselves of their inner devil. This leads to prejudice, bigotry, persecution of others and even projecting ones own inner beast on others.
Confront all that is shadowy, shameful, base, crude and amoral within the self in order to become free of the grip of fear. By honestly and humbly accepting one's own embodiment of Pan, one gains true knowledge of their actual self and can free the creative power within from the chains of self-loathing. The goal is to achieve wholeness of being by recognizing the part of the self that is hidden: the human animal that is completely natural, but does not necessarily fit into societal norms. One cannot chain or dispel Pan from themselves, nor can they free themselves from his influence. All that can be done to improve one's being is to acknowledge that He is a part of them and accept it as perfectly normal and natural for a human being.
|Posted on December 19, 2013 at 9:10 PM||comments (0)|
Today's card for me is The Fool. The Fool is the first card of the major arcana and therefore the first step on the journey of inner development. It is aptly represented here by the mysterious god Dionysos, the Twice-Born. Here we meet yet another child of Zeus and a mortal woman, Semele princess of Thebes. Hera was not pleased to discover that Zeus had fathered yet another child so she disguised herself as a nursemaid and convinced Semele to ask her unborn child's father to present himself to her in all his divine glory. Zeus had already promised Semele anything her heart might desire, he grudgingly agreed and appeared before her as thunder and lightning. Semele was consumed in flames, but Zeus was able to rescue the unborn child and had Hermes sew the foetus up in Zeus' thigh. From there, Dionysos was born. Hera, still not satisfied, had the titans attack the young child and tear him to pieces. Zeus was only able to save the boy's still beating heart and transformed it into a potion of pomegranate seeds. This potion was then fed to Persephone by Hades, god of the underworld, after he had abducted her from the mortal world. Drinking the potion made her pregnant with Dionysos and thus was he born a second time, this time in the underworld. This was how he earned the name Dionysos-Iacchos, the Twice-Born, god of light and ecstasy. Dionysos was ordained by Zeus to live in the mortal world among men to share in their suffering, but Hera struck him with madness. Thus he wandered all over the world followed and accompanied by satyrs, madwomen and various animals. The Greeks attributed the gift of wine to Dionysos along with drunken ecstasy and spiritual redemption to all willing to give up the material gains of wealth and power.
The symbology here is an inner impulse to take a leap of faith into the unknown. To the logical mind, this youthful figure appears quite mad. He follows his impulses without first casting an eye to the potential consequences of his actions. Trusting fully in heaven, he is quite ready to simply step off the edge of a cliff, just because. In a world that is ruled by facts, logic and concrete form, this can be nothing but madness. Yet, if one were to look deeper, they would see the sudden impulse that drives one toward change that seemingly has no rational reason for it, but seems to come from nowhere. In Greek myth Dionysos was clad in animal skins to indicate his animal nature and possibly even sixth sense that guides him on his journeys. One might even say that he marches to a different beat than the rest of us because his footsteps are guided not by the sights, sounds, smells and feelings of the earthly world, but more by being in tune with his divine father and the realm which Zeus inhabits, despite his being stuck here in the mortal world. However, there is the infection of madness also playing a part in him. The conundrum of Dionysos is his not knowing if he is being divinely inspired or if the impulses which guide him come from a darker place; the underworld which he was born into.
The overall message here is the irrational impulse toward change and opening life's horizons into the unknown. Each of us starts every journey not knowing what we will encounter along the way or even if we will end up where we think we are headed. This is, in the estimation of the gods, what makes us fools. We are born not knowing anything and die only knowing what we were able to experience in that brief timespan. Yet we do exactly that with not just our lives, but every endeavor we take on, every goal we aim to achieve and even every day we set our feet on the paths of our lives. Dionysos is the inner god in each of us that appears whenever we start something new; that sudden impulse to do something different, to take the plunge regardless of the risks involved, to step off the edge of the cliff. There is always risk in doing something different. We don't know if we will achieve new highs or sink even lower then we were before. What we do know is that something needs to change and that the change will far outweigh the risk. Thus we begin to march to a different drummer, walk a different path or begin a new journey in our lives. Thus do we begin the path depicted by the Major Arcana of the Tarot.
I always enjoy drawing this card. I hardly ever know what new path I will set my feet upon, but I look forward to finding out not only where it leads, but what will happen on the journey. One piece of wisdom that I've resonated with is "Life is not about the destination, but the journey." Drawing this card tells me that I am about to begin a new journey. An impulse, hint or nudge will point me in a new direction and a new phase (or chapter) of life. There is the risk of looking foolish, but that risk is minimal compared to the possibility of greatly improving some part of my life. Pardon me, I have a cliff to step off of.
|Posted on December 16, 2013 at 11:20 AM||comments (0)|
Anyone who has ever read (and enjoyed) reading the Odyssey will appreciate today's card. The card drawn is the Queen of Wands, symbolized by Penelope, wife of Odysseus. Odysseus was one of the heros that took part in the Trojan war. It was Odysseus that blinded the cyclops and, due to his arrogance, spent 10 years wandering the earth trying to get home again, after spending 10 years taking part in the seige of Troy. Under the rule of Odysseus and Penelope before the start of the Trojan war, Ithaca had become a prosperous place and was quite the prize for the lucky man who could convince her to remarry. During the 10 years of Odysseus sojourne, Penelope was being pressured by all the princes of the islands around her home of Ithaca to remarry. Penelope's heart and her intuition told her that her husband still lived and that he would eventually find his way home. At first she told the suitors that her husband was a very capable warrior and that he would return home alive and well in due time. After the rest of the forces returned home to Greece, the suitors returned again, this time insisting that Odysseus must be dead because all the other leaders and heros had returned home. The fact that Odysseus had not arrived by then was proof that he was certainly dead. Penelope, still trusting her heart relented on the condition that she be given enough time to complete the death shroud that she was weaving for her father-in-law who is very old and not expected to last much longer, Laertes. The suitors agreed, but set themselves up in Odysseus home as "guests" while she did so. Each day she would sit and weave on the shroud. Each night she would sneak back in and unravel much of what she had accomplished during the day. This continued for 3 years before she was found out and her bluff called. She was then forced to choose one of them. Penelope, knowing the quality of these princes, came up with a challenge. The man that could complete the challenge would be her husband. All they had to do was string her husbands bow and fire a single arrow through a dozen axe heads. Her reasoning was simple: to string the bow required a strength and will similar to Odysseus' and to fire the arrow through the axe heads required discipline, skill and focus similar to that of any king of any of the city state/nations of Greece. For days the princes all wrestled with trying just to string the bow. They insisted that it had hardened with age and disuse so it was agreed that it should be soaked in tallow to soften it and make it flexible once again. This went on for weeks, each day all of the princes would attempt to bend the great bow just enough to string it and each day none could. That evening it would be soaked in tallow and left near a fire to warm it and allow the tallow to soak in and soften the unbending bow.
It was during this final stage that Odysseus had finally managed to fight his way through all of his trials and challenges and arrived on the island of Ithaca at the hut of a swineheard, Eumaeus. However, the old slave warned him not to go directly to the palace as it was packed with over a hundred Greek princes all courting Penelope and plotting the murder of their son, Telemachus. Odysseus chose to disguise himself as a begger and walked into the palace unnoticed by all except a housemaid. Penelope herself failed to recognise him when he knelt before her with his hand out. One of the suitors began to make fun of the lowly begger begging in their midst and challenged him to try and string the great bow. Greatly amused by this, the rest of the suitors insisted that the begger try to do exactly that. Odysseus took up the great bow, strung it with ease and fired an arrow through all the axe heads. On that signal, Telemachus, Eumaeus, Philoteus (his old cowheard) and supposedly Athena herself all came rushing out of the great house and they helped Odysseus slaughter the entire host of suitors.
The above is an extremely 'nut-shelled' version of the last section of the Odyssey, and is only here to provide the necessary backstory for the message of this card. Penelope is the ultimate symbol of loyalty and stability in one's world. Despite not seeing her husband for 20 years and the constant pressure of those around her to assume he is dead, she holds fast to her belief that he is alive and will find his way home. She uses her wit, imagination and intelligence to forestall the suitors and bide her time. Through it all she listens primarily to the voice within (her intuition) and she stands by her conviction to "keep the home fires burning" for her long lost husband. This is the underlying message of the card of the Queen of Wands. One is being called to use their own creativity to sustain their vision of the future.
|Posted on December 13, 2013 at 8:35 PM||comments (0)|
Today I have another double reading: one for me and one for my wife. Oddly enough, even though the deck was shuffled several times, we drew sequential cards. I drew the Knight of Cups and she drew the Queen of Cups. Amazing how in sync we are sometimes.
Unlike the first ten cards of a suit, the court cards deal with specific people from Greek mythology that embody a specific life stage of the underlying meaning of the suit that they belong to. The suit of Cups deals primarily with the emotions, specifically love. The Knight is always going to be a young man, and here we meet Perseus, the embodiment of romantic love and a representation of the element of water. Perseus symbolizes the true romantic spirit in all of us. Everything he does, is done for love. Perseus was the son of Zeus and a mortal woman named Danae. Danae's father, Acrisius was told by the Oracle of Delphi that his daughter would bear a son that was destined to kill him. When Danae gave birth to Perseus Acrisius had them both locked in a chest and tossed into the sea. The chest bearing Perseus and his mother washed ashore in Seriphos after being protected by the water dieties the whole way. King Polydectes took them in and quickly fell in love with Danae. He began to court her and pursued that courtship all through Perseus' young life. Finally, out of fear of being killed by the young man, Polydectes sent Perseus on a quest: kill the gorgon Medusa and return with her head.
Throughout his quest, Perseus received all manner of help from the goddesses and powerful female figures of Greek legend. The Graeae were three witches that shared but one eye and one tooth between them. They told him where to find the gorgon's lair. Athene provided him with a magic shield that would allow him to watch the reflection of the gorgon without being turned to stone by her hideous countenance. After slaying the gorgon and heading home he rescued Andromeda from the Kraken. After marrying her he went back to Seriphos and discovered that Polydectes had attempted to assault his mother, Danae. Perseus killed Polydectes and decided to return to the land of his birth with his mother and new bride, Argos. While he did not actively pursue vengeance for being cast into the sea with his mother, Perseus does "accidently" kill his grandfather, Acrisius, by participating in the discus throw event during funeral games that the king was attending in Larissa. Perseus is then named king of Argos, however, Argos held too many bad memories and feelings for him so he traveled to Tiryns and made his home there.
Perseus is the embodiment of the romantic ideal; the knight who does all for love. The message here is a romantic one, and can take any form relating to the "in love" state - a marriage proposal, falling in love or even, in another sense, some form of artistic proposition. The message could even be the introduction of a poetic and sensitive young man to one's life. Keep in mind that the young man is not the message, but the catalyst; an indication that one's inner romantic is about to break free.
For me, I think this applies to my newfound artistic ability. I have recently taken up calligraphy and find it very rewarding. There is a zen quality to writing things in a very deliberate, flowing hand that awakens something within me that I did not know was there. This is my first experience with any sort of "artistic" side of myself and I find it very exciting and at the same time calming. I really am starting to love my art.
Now for my spouse's Apollo card: The Queen of Cups. As can be summerized from the previous example of the Knight being embodied by a young man, the Queen is a woman, young or mature, who is the embodiment of love. This is Helen, the face who launched a thousand ships and was the most beautiful woman in the world. Helen's parents were Zeus and Leda and she grew up in Sparta under her foster-father, King Tyndareos. So beautiful was Helen that when she was still just an adolescent the hero Theseus abducted her from her home. She eventually was returned to Sparta. When Helen reached maturity, all of the princes of Greece came to Sparta to court her, each bearing gifts. At the time, women were expected to marry the man chosen by their father or eldest brother or brothers. Helen chose her own husband by placing a wreath on his head; Menelaus. When Tyndareos died, Menelaus was named king of Sparta.
Meanwhile, an argument started between three of the goddesses of Olympus as to which of them was the most beautiful: Hera - queen of the gods, Aphrodite - goddess of sensual love and Athene - goddess of justice. To settle the argument, Zeus decided that a beauty contest would be judged by a mortal man, one who had extensive experience of women (and who would conveniently serve as the target of the losers' ire instead of an Olympian.) He found Paris, a young, handsome, charismatic young shepherd who filled all of his spare time with romantic conquests. Paris also happened to be the son of the king of Troy (yes, that Troy.) Naturally each of the goddesses offered Paris a bribe if he chose her. Paris chose the bribe offered by Aphrodite and awarded her the golden apple as winner of the Olympian beauty contest. The bribe that was offered to him was to be husband to the most beautiful woman in all the world. Unfortunately for Paris, that woman (Helen of Sparta) was already married. When the two finally met, they immediately fell in love and Helen eloped with him to Troy. Thus began the Trojan war. During the 10 years of the war Helen managed to attract several other lovers. Finally though the forces of Sparta managed to end the siege, Paris was killed and his home laid to waste. King Menelaus swore to kill Helen for her infidelity, but upon laying eyes upon her in Troy he fell madly in love with her all over again and took her back to Sparta.
The story of Helen is not just about her appearance. There is more to beauty than what is on the surface. Helen represents quite a mystery. Despite all of the attention she receives, we never learn what it is that Helen herself wants. We don't learn anything about the woman herself, other than this; she does nothing that she does not want to do. She chose Menelaus as her husband. He was not chosen for her. After tiring of Menelaus she elopes with Paris. There is no subterfuge or affair. She simply chooses to leave. Regardless of who she loves, she gives all of herself to that person and no other. While she does not try, she manages to conquer men simply by being the mystery that is the "perfect woman" that each man fancies her to be.
Helen is the representation of the deep, unknowable, paradoxical world of feelings that exist in each of us. She can take the form of a woman, both mysterious and hypnotic. While this woman may not be overtly seductive, there exists a quality that is strangely disturbing, bringing to the surface fantasies and deep feelings which were hidden from one's own awareness. It doesn't matter if this woman is a hated rival or beloved friend; either version is merely an indication that all that she embodies lies within the seeker and needs to be brought forth. Helen is the herald of the depth and development of the inner feelings within the individual, regardless of whether or not she is present in one's awareness as an actual woman.
|Posted on December 12, 2013 at 5:45 PM||comments (0)|
Today there are two readings. One for me, the second for my spouse. The card I drew is Judgement. My wife drew The Emporer. Both cards belong to the major arcana which provides us with a look at the path of life that each of us must go through. The first card in the major arcana is The Fool. The rest of the major arcana show us different stages of the Fool's journey through life, which can be associated to any single journey that one makes in life: the loves, conflicts and rebellions of adolescence through the trials and ethical & moral challenges of maturity, through loss and crisis, despair and transformation and the awakening of new hope, toward eventual victory and achievement of the goal, which then leads to another stage of life and another journey where the fool must come out of his cave and begin again.
Each goal or project that one takes on is a seperate journey and therefore goes through all the stages outlined in the major arcana. One gives birth to ideas through creativity, experience and intellect. The ideas that are pursued are the journeys that we make. Whether the goal deals with improving one's mind, creating something artistic, finding a partner or even building an empire, each aspect of the major arcana comes into play along the journey.
For me, the card of Judgement puts me close to the end of a goal or project. This is the stage where one finally reaps what they have sown. Judgement brings us, once again, face to face with Hermes. The second card of the major arcana introduced us to Hermes as the Magician. There we are presented with the crossroads of life where we choose what path to follow through the Fool's inner guide. Here we find out where that path has finally led. We are introduced to Hermes' other job: the Summoner who leads the souls of the dead to their accounting and prepares them for renewed life. This card can be explained as a "summing-up" or simple "rewards for efforts made." However, there is also a deeper reference to "Judgement" in that all of the Fool's efforts are taken into account, because the judge is none other than the Fool him/herself. Science has shown that the conscious mind catalogues about 8 bits of information at any given moment, while the subconscious mind catalogues about 8 billion bits of information at the same time. It can safely be said that nothing escapes the notice of the subconscious, so who better to judge the efforts of an indvidual than the individual themself. While we are able to lie, trick or manipulate others, we are completely incapable of "fooling" our own subconscious. At the end of any journey, our rewards (or punishments) are handed to us from our own subconscious. If the journey is to start a business, but one does so using deception, political manipulation or any form of unethical or even immoral actions, the "reward" will most likely result in some form of self sabotage before the dreams can come to fruition. However, if the same person acts in a manner keeping with their own conscience, ethics, morals and integrity, then their reward is more likely to come in the form of either a successful business or a business opportunity that surpasses what they had earlier planned. Thus we reach the next to the last stage of development on whatever path we are walking. The last card of the major arcana is the final step on the path, and also the first step of a new path: coming back to the beginning and starting anew: The World.
My wife's card (The Emporer) is the fourth card in the series. Here we are introduced to Zeus, the king or ruler of the Greek gods. Zeus was the sixth child of the titans Cronos and Rhea. Cronos received a prophecy that one of his sons would overthrow him. To thwart the prophecy Cronos would swallow whole any child that Rhea bore him. When Rhea knew a sixth child was on the way she fled in secret to Arcadia and there gave birth to Zeus. She then wrapped a stone in a blanket and presented it to her husband as his child. Predictably, Cronos snatched the stone and swallowed it whole. When Zeus matured to manhood he traveled to his home disguised as a cupbearer. He gave Cronos a potion that made him violently ill, thus releasing all five of the children that Cronos had swallowed, completely unharmed, and one stone. With the help of his siblings Zeus was then able to bring about the prophecy and overthrow Cronos.
Zeus embodies the figure of the father principle in each of us. He founded the home of the gods on Olympus and used thunder and lightning as his symbols. He also fathered many of the other Greek gods, like Athene and the nine Muses. He was the protector of men, god of the hearth and of friendship. For the purposes of walking the path of life, here is the stage where the Fool is challenged to create something or make something manifest in the world. This can be a creative idea that is made physical, the founding of a home and/or family. The Fool is expected to "do" something in the world with the resources at his disposal using his own ethics, morals and integrity that he has so far developed for himself. This allows the Fool to continue on the path with surety and strength of character as a creator of something worthy of their internal father figure.
|Posted on December 3, 2013 at 5:05 PM||comments (0)|
Here we learn the story of Psyche and Eros. Psyche was a mortal woman who was so beautiful, even the goddess Aphrodite was jealous of her. Aphrodite ordered Eros (the God of Love and her son) to punish the mortal woman for her audacity. Psyche's father received a threat of terrible calamity that could only be avoided by placing his daughter on a lonely rock where she would become the prey of a monster. Eros was so awed by the girl's beauty that he accidentally pricked himself with one of his own arrows (think "cupid" and you'll have a close approximation of who Eros is) falling instantly and hopelessly in love with Psyche. Psyche, waiting for her impending doom, instead felt herself lifted up by a strange wind and deposited in a palace. When night fell, she was visited by Eros, who explained that he was the husband she was fated for. After consumating their marriage Eros made Psyche promise to never try to see his face. She promised and he departed just before dawn. Life was very good for Psyche for a while. The palace was luxurious and she wanted for nothing. Each night her mysterious husband would join her, but he would depart before dawn so that she would not be able to see him in the light. Psyche's sisters, however, became so envious of her new life that they planted the first seeds of doubt in her mind. They even went so far as to suggest that her new husband must be some sort of hideous monster to want to hide his face from her. They kept up with this until finally, Psyche resolved to get a good look at her husband's face. That night, while he slept, she slipped from the bed and very quietly lit a lamp. Then she saw, not the face of some hideous monster, but the God of Love himself. As confirmation of his identity, at the foot of their bed, were his bow and quiver of enchanted arrows. She stumbled back, simultaneously dripping a drop of the hot oil from her lamp onto Eros' bare shoulder, and stepping on the point of one of his magical arrows, instantly falling in love with the "man" that she had accepted as her husband. Eros, awakened by the hot oil, immediately fled the palace. As he left the entire palace also vanished leaving Psyche alone on the lonely rock. Psyche was so depressed and full of so much regret for her doubts that she threw herself into a nearby river. Her suicide was thwarted, however by the water itself which bore her lightly to the far shore. At that point she began a quest to find her husband. Aphrodite's anger and jealousy pursued her through all the lands she visited, subjecting her to an endless series of ordeals. Psyche was able to overcome each trial, no matter how terrible, with the assistance of all manner of animals, insects and plants. It seemed that all of nature was supporting her in her quest. Finally, one of her ordeals required her to descend into the underworld, where no living mortal was allowed to go. Eros, who never stopped loving or protecting his bride throughout all of her terrible trials, was so touched by her desire to repent, approached Zeus and begged to be reunited with his bride. Zeus was so moved by Eros impassioned plea that he not only gave his permission, but he granted Psyche immortality so that she might join her husband in Olympus, where they were wed a second time. Aphrodite got over her jealousy and anger and accepted Psyche into the family of Gods.
The Nine of Cups comes in close to the end of this story. This is the final reunion of Psyche and Eros and symbolizes their second marriage in Olympus. It represents the fulfillment of a cherished wish and all the pleasure and satisfaction that brings. All of the trials and tribulations have come to fruition and one's commitment has been rewarded. This ecstatic moment of fulfillment has been truly earned by the steady inner commitment of Psyche.
|Posted on December 2, 2013 at 1:30 PM||comments (0)|
Today's card is the Five of Pentacles. Here in the suit of Pentacles we learn the story of Daedalus. Fittingly, the suit of Pentacles deals with material reality (symbolized as coins.) Daedalus was a master craftsman that was reputed to have been trained by Athene herself. He is credited with the invention of the saw and the axe. While he was very good at what he did, his nephew, Talos, was starting to do smith work and he was better than Daedalus. At a very young age the boy invented the potter's wheel and the compass. Daedalus became so jealous of the boys talent that he killed the 12-year old boy and fled from his home of Athens to Crete where King Minos took him in. Daedalus served as the royal smith for some time before the King managed to offend Poseidon by not sacrificing a prize white bull on the earth shaker's alter. Poseidon's vengeance took hold of Pasiphae, the queen, as a powerful lust for the white bull that Minos failed to sacrifice. Pasiphae convinced Daedalus to build a wooden cow that she crouched in so that she could couple with the beast. The result of that union was the Minotaur. King Minos, unaware of the smith's role in the union, then convinced Daedalus to build the famed Labyrinth to hide the beast. Then along comes the hero Theseus, to slay the Minotaur. Ariadne, the daughter of Minos, fell in love with Theseus and asked Daedalus for a way for Theseus to enter the maze and find his way back out again after slaying the Minotaur. Again, Daedalus went against the wishes of his benefactor and gave the girl a ball of golden thread. She stood at the entrance to the labyrinth holding one end while Theseus entered the maze with the other. After slaying the minotaur, he was then able to retrace the thread back to the entrance and escape the maze. King Minos discovered Daedalus' role in this and had him thrown into the labyrinth as punishment. Pasiphae helped him by bringing him beeswax, wood and feathers which Daedalus fashioned into a set of wings to escape the labyrinth by flying from the highest tower of the maze.
The Five of Pentacles touches the story of Daedalus as he is fleeing from his home of Athens after having killed his nephew. He was caught in the act of trying to hide the body and managed to escape before he could be punished for his crime. While he was an excellent craftsman, he ended up leaving Athens as a pauper, with nothing to his name, but his skill.
This card signifies a period of financial loss or difficulty. There is also an associated loss in faith of oneself. Because people tie there self-worth to their material worth so completely, there is a natural inclination (in modern society) to feel that a material loss applies as a weakness of character as well; a failure to meet the challenge that resulted in the material loss. The lesson here is to learn to let go. The loss was inevitable based on the path that was being walked. But now there is a chance to reorient oneself upon the path; to become greater then they were before by growing from the experience and strengthening their character and resolve. In this manner one can meet the challenge of competition and thrive, rather than just hope to maintain the status quo or flounder in the face of new challenges.
For myself, the relevance is in my current financial situation. I find myself able to pay most of my bills each month, but there usually is at least one that gets pushed off until more funds come in. The lesson here is to not think that is in any way reflects on my character or personality. I am an entrepreneur and this is merely part of the growing phase of starting my own business (not related to this website, BTW.) Focusing on the skills that I have and developing other skills is the best answer to this challenge. Learn and grow rather than try to hold on to the way things used to be.