I grew up in a world that could not possibly be understood, a world where the laws of Cause and Effect could not be trusted for the meddling of either God or the Devil.
I was told that I had the power (through “confession”–speaking Scripture to a problem–and Tongues-speaking, the laying on of hands, anointing with oil, etc. But it rarely worked like it was supposed to, so all I took away from the experience was that I could never be sure of anything–and that my actions never really mattered.
Being set aright today is the Reversed 6 of Discs (Success): my scales are out of balance to the point I’m not seeming to reap what I sowed. It’s good to know that it’s being worked out…
In fact we always reap what we sow; we often just don’t make the connection between what we thought and what we see.
My mindset had never really understood Earthly balance and Cause & Effect. There was always a “biblical excuse” for everything that happened in my life. And now I’m in the process of rethinking my whole relationship with Reality. That everything I do does indeed matter.
All my surroundings react to what I do or decide, and vice-versa. I’m learning this is actually really good news.
Judgment crosses sephirots 8 to 10.
It moves us from a sense of willing submission to the absolute completion of a new Reality, built upon what has come before.
It is the essence of being taken forward to some Ultimate Conclusion, without our say in the matter. Still, the sephirot 8 implies a purposeful Action to submit on our part;
it is this purposeful action of Submission (8) that is our say.
Both Judgement and the Moon lead to the same place (10: a conclusion of cumulative Reality). But they bypass the filter of 9, so they arrive on different sides of the same Reality.
Sometimes we welcome this emotionally, sometimes we fight against it, although it is our Action of Submitting (8) ourselves to another that allows it. The Ultimate Reality awaiting us at 10 is still where we are being taken.
Likewise, 8 to 10 is a mirror reflection of 1 to 3 (The Magician)…
The Magician takes the pure inspiration he’s been given and applies deductive reasoning… he amplifies and magnifies this knowledge to where he can reconstruct it and use it for his own purposes.
With Judgment, we hold back, Submit to circumstance and observe Reality unfold on its own.
Self: Reversed Air (Thought) &Fire (Ambition)
- Thought feeds Ambition
- But when Reversed… Fire is either fed to the point of losing control, OR Air blows so hard that the Fire cannot be sustained
Situation: Virtue – a deductive understanding of your Ambitions
Advice: Reversed Strength
- (The bridge between the extremes of INTENT is broken; you cannot rely on your Intentions because they are currently at odds with each other. Patience is what is required now.)
Based on the Advice for today (placed in the Unconscious Triangle), I believe that it is my Thoughts that are blowing out my Fire. I need to be aware of that and employ Patience instead of wrestling to get my opposite Intentions to Unite at this moment.
The Knight is of the Air Element (Thought); the Coins are of the Earth (Material Reality). Earth will be reshaped by Air, but only very slowly… The simple message of this Knight is:
Trust the Journey
…even if it’s a slow, arduous climb. The Journey is sometimes worth more than the Destination.
I wanted to share an inspiring Tarot Tale I received today…
At this moment in my life I’m going through a lot of mental turmoil, for various reasons, a lot of it medical… but there is a light on the horizon. 😉
My cards today reminded me of the nature of Thought and suggested an alternative approach. I used the 5-card spiritual progress spread…
- Where I am right now: Cruelty (9 of Swords)
- My central lesson: Defeat (5 of Swords)
- Influences encouraging growth: King of Earth
- Influences against growth: Truce (4 of Swords)
- What I should do: Virtue (3 of Wands)
So right now I seem to be stuck in constant self-reflection on my own Thoughts. (Which is definitely true.) :p There needs to be new inspiration (sometimes from outside myself) breathed into my mind to free me from the never-ending cycle. Thus, the need for mental Defeat.
This 5 of Swords can mean Defeat of the querent by others (or themselves), or the querent is perhaps poised to defeat others… either way it’s a mental defeat of ideas and thoughts–a loss of Ideals–and it friends on the context of the spread.
For me, it’s definitely speaking to a need to lose my own current ideals. Therefore, Truce among my own thoughts is not going to help me grow past this.
Notice what is supposed to help me grow, however: allowing my Fire of ambition to feed upon and reshape my physical Reality (King of Pentacles), being careful of course not to utterly destroy my surroundings with too much flame…
And then we come to “what I should do”: Virtue. Recall that Binah is the growth of deductive reasoning about an element to the point that we are able to construct a framework of understanding upon which we further build that element’s journey. So the recommendation here is to focus on my Ambition (my Fire) to the point that I’m able to interrupt my current state of mind with a newly built framework of values, based on my ambition. This offers a way to break my cycle of self-cruelty in thinking.
As often happens, a “bad” card isn’t necessarily a bad thing for us, but instead can clear the way for us to move forward. 🙂
The concept of the third sephirot of Binah can be expressed as “davar mitoch davar” — understanding one idea from another idea. Binah multiplies the original seed of an Element to the point that a framework of Understanding of that element is built. (Source)
Framework of Understanding is the key point I want to focus on today.
I have to admit– I LOVE researching a topic in-depth if it relates to an awesome project I’ve got going… 😉 I need that thrill of creating something amazing to drive me into researching a topic inside and out!
Here’s a fun aside for you, to give an example from my current life: I am in the middle of researching a multi-faceted look at India during the Emergency as well as studying the epic of the Ramayana… all for the purpose of creating my first opera!!! I am super stoked!!!
(PS: I highly recommend this book I stumbled on, if you’re interested in reading a complete and lyrical retelling of the epic poem…)
What occurred to me today is how research works to create a framework upon which a new Reality (of knowledge) is built.
Continue reading “Featured Sephirot: Binah”
The Hierophant (or sometimes known as The Pope, or Shaman) lies along the branch connecting 2 and 4, on the Pillar of Creativity or Assertiveness. He crosses the Great Abyss:
The Abyss marks the point at which subconscious interactions with the Source crosses into Intent — how we decide to use this knowledge in regard to our dealings with others.
So we can think of this Major Arcana as representing an establishment or codification of our own values — these are based upon a simple reflection of received inspiration from the Source (without any extra reasoning), that can then be passed onward to others in order to bring a community together.
But remember, the Hierophant can only reach as far as the Intentional and Interactive Plane. What each individual does with that shared Intent (bringing it to the Triangle of Action) is up to them.
I haven’t really used the 7-card Horseshoe Spread often, but I decided to use it today and I’ve suddenly become a lot more fond of this spread!! Let me show you what I found…
The key observation that suddenly “lit the bulb” in my mind was that of horizontal connections between the cards. (Cards are numbered in order, from left to right.)
- Cards 3 & 5: Influences, Inner and Outer respectively
- In this case, inside my emotions are ruling and influencing my emotions further; outside, others’ thoughts are affecting me. Water and Air are both fluid elements and easily affect each other. Thus, my current state is like a permeable membrane, where the inner forces of Emotion and the outer forces of Thought easily influence one another.
- The Obstacles (Card 4, at the top) are a result of Thought influencing my Action– So, the recommendation here is that I should allow the fluid elements to rage as they will, inside and outside, BUT not be too hasty to let the Thoughts of Others influence my Actions!!!
- Cards 2 & 6: my Present Self meets the Action I should take
- We often forget– Action can only physically occur in the Present!! Past and Future have no direct bearing on the Action itself, though they do create influences for an Action’s trajectory…
- In this case, my cards were fascinating in the sense that the Hermit and Justice are direct mirror images of each other in the Triangle of Interpersonal Intent!!
- I am currently in a place of withdrawing from the Constructive sense of Community to find Balance in my interactions with others. But the presence of Justice implies that I tend to overcompensate and jump to a complete, Deconstructive sense of rejection of others (which I do). Instead, Justice reminds me that I need to reign that tendency in and come back to Balance.
- Cards 1 & 7: the Past meets Future Opportunities or Outcomes.
- The elemental forces that led me here are a striving of the Earth (Reality) to find grounding in the midst of Emotion. The presence of the ten of pentacles across from the Page suggests that, of the Page’s two influences, I should lean toward those opportunities that bring a fulfillment of the Earth part.
So, in general, let Thoughts and Emotions fluctuate as they do, but don’t let others’ thoughts rashly influence my actions. Seek the Mildness of balance in my interactions with others. And when facing the future, lean toward that which promotes a fulfillment of Material Wealth, not to be influenced by the ever-present sea of Emotion that brought me here.
Enjoy exploring the deeper relationships in the cards of your favorite spreads! I’ve found that the extra time and effort is well-spent! 😉
I am continually fascinated by the Major Arcanum, The Devil — he seems to show up in a lot of my daily spreads. 🙂 It’s taken me a while to finally get a better grasp on what he typically means in my life…
The Devil branches from the 6th sephirot to the 8th on the Tree of Life. This indicates a few important aspects of his character:
Another way to think of Hod (sephirot 8) is the allowing of chaos to occur while we simply observe it; we submit and watch it unfold. Or, if 7 represents the raw energy needed to make things happen in our lives, 8 represents the physical form we assign to the Ineffable Energy in order to better connect with it and call upon it for practical use.
So I have come to understand my friend, The Devil, as an archetype of submission to my Shadow Self. (Notice in the imagery of Baphomet the presence of male and female, animal and human…indicating that we are All at all times…)
Coming from a place of Balanced Interpersonal Interaction, the Devil is the name we give our nature when it releases itself from dogmatic control and we submit to our gut instincts. We experiment and see what happens, without apology. Notice the two children, one chained and the other holding the chains– we are in control of our own selves. Though we may feel chained by circumstance, this card reminds us that it is we who hold our own chains…
Ultimately, when the Tree guides us through 8 via the Devil, to the 9th sephirot of Self-Reflection, we find ourselves walking in the Sun… the two children of our nature have broken the chains that bound us and found even greater liberty than we’d had before.
By isolating certain aspects of the Tree of Life for in-depth study, we’re better able to not only understand the parts that make up ourselves but also how they interact to influence the whole.
- Starting at the top, sephirots 1, 2, and 3 form the Supernal Triangle.
- This can be seen as “The Head.” Our subconscious and unconscious minds (and the Ultimate Source beyond ourselves) are the spigot from which all else arises.
- The dealings within the Supernal Triangle are all ways we may receive this Inspiration and Seed of All.
- Sephirots 4, 5, and 6 make up the Ethical Triangle.
- This can be seen as “The Hands.” The Ethical Triangle deals with all the ways we may choose to interact with others: either by way of cooperation and community, or by exploitation and selfishness.
- Sephirots 7, 8, and 9 form the Astral Triangle (where all practical magick is achieved).
- This can be seen as “The Feet.” This is the Triangle of Action. Here, we take what has come before and we either expound energy into it, to mold things to our liking and withstand or overcome obstacles… Or we withdraw our energy and wait and observe, forced to submit under that which is greater than ourselves and simply strive to gain a better understanding of that which we face.
- We also find important horizontal planes at the Great Abyss and the Veil of Paroketh:
- The Abyss marks the point at which subconscious interactions with the Source crosses into Intent — how we decide to use this knowledge in regard to our dealings with others.
- The Veil marks the point between Force and Form — below the Veil is Reality and the Physical Outcome of all that came from the upper portions of the Tree.
- The Tree is divided into three pillars:
- The center is known as the Pillar of Mildness
- On the right is the Pillar of Mercy
- On the left is the Pillar of Severity
These three pillars, in conjunction with the Triangles, grant a greater sense of the flow of energies within a spread and/or within either a single card of, or series of, Major Arcana.
The Lovers (VI)
The Lovers Major Arcanum presents a fine example of how knowledge of its placement in the Tree’s branches can grant further illumination into the card’s meaning.
The Lovers branch from sephirot 3 to sephirot 6.
- 3 is both within the Supernal Triangle (“the Head”) and at the top of the Pillar of Severity.
- 6 is both within the Ethical Triangle (“the Hands”) and in the center of the Pillar of Mildness
From this we gather several points of interest:
- The Lovers begin at: the point where we have “taken apart” the elements of the Source we received in order to better understand it. (davar mitoch davar — understanding one idea from another idea; deductive reasoning)
- The card ends at: a point of total balance in regard to our intentions and interactions with others.
- So, where there are two people in our imagery at the start of this branch, there winds up being a united couple at the end; a balanced whole emerging from the separate parts. Each person starts alone to try to understand the elements given to them, but they find balance in uniting together as one — a balance that further influences their interactions with others around them.
- We get a sense of the move of energy on the vertical plane: moving from a sense of Severity (or, disciplined intellect) to Mildness (balance and emotional/conscious harmony) — this certainly creates a sense of release.
- We also see that The Lovers cross the Great Abyss: horizontally, they have moved from the realm of the Head (or subconscious) to the realm of what we might call the Heart — the Hands (the outer pillars of the Ethical Triangle which the 6th sephirot balances) do the work of our intentions created in this Triangle, but the Heart creates a harmony of consciousness.
Within this harmony we are at ease enough to make balanced decisions with regard to how we intend to interact with others in our lives — “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy”… and cast judgement on those I judge. From a place of disciplined intellect we move into a place where we are at home with the intentions we mete out to others. And in so doing, we feel like The Lovers; we move from isolated parts of ourselves into a united and balanced whole of consciousness.