Bridging from sephirots 2 to 6, the Star is the pathway that takes a spark of inspiration (some knowledge bestowed upon us directly from the Universe), and then, without any further thought or deductive reasoning (simply mirroring that spark), we use that inspiration to balance and filter our Intentions.
“Reconnecting your soul to the divine.”
Thus, this arcanum is thought of as the embodiment of Hope–when we base our balanced intentions upon the spark of inspiration we are looking to. And, in this manner, our Intentions are balanced because we are setting our sights on the “divine”, as opposed to merely reacting to our physical surroundings.
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.
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!!!
Being Aware… Bringing yourself into the present moment…
What is biofeedback?
Biofeedback is just the idea that your brain is always sensing what is happening in your body and it reviews that information to decide how it should feel about the world.
…Since most stimuli that we experience is ambiguous, if you start to push the probability in the positive direction then that’s going to have a really beneficial effect. (Source)
When I sit and meditate on my breath I am choosing to direct my focus on how my physical body feels. When I’m sitting in the calm of this present moment, I recognize that my body feels relaxed.
True, my thoughts will often wander, especially when I’m in a chaotic season of my career (as I often am). But by letting those thoughts simply float away and by redirecting my focus onto the calm in my body, I am actively choosing to create a biofeedback loop based on the relaxation I presently feel. And in this manner, my thoughts are better able to fall in line.
Then, though my mind may be stirring, it holds no direct power over my mindset; indeed I am better able to direct my thoughts in the directions I choose them to go.
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…
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 accidentally stumbled upon the Lenormand recently… by falling in love with the gorgeous artwork on this deck! 😋
So I’ve started combining my smaller tarot spreads with a small 3-card spread of Lenormand, and what I’m getting is an even better in-depth picture, where the tarot represent my Inner World, and the Lenormand the Outer World Manifestation.
And some days I find myself starting with Outer World (following with the tarot to ask, how am I responding to this?); other days I start with my Inner Focus (followed by the Lenormand to ask, how does this Focus manifest itself in my surroundings today?).
It’s really been a fascinating journey so far!! If you’re interested, check out my reading from today, after the jump…
I got a very interesting and intense spread this morning, that I was eager to share…
Immediately I was struck by the presence of so many inter-related and conflicting Court Cards!
Here’s a breakdown:
Higher Power (that which guides and supports me today): King of Fire or, Fire influencing further Fire
Where I am right now: Ace of Cups– Emotional beginnings, without judgement, expectation, or fear, etc
Situation that crosses me today: King of Cups or, Fire surrounded by Water (an uneasy alliance, where Fire moves to influence Water, but Water reacts in its own way)
Note: Add Fire to the Current Situation and you get the Fire Queen
Past Influences: Air guiding Water
Opportunities: Create Mental Peace
Note the relationship between 2 of Air and the Knight of Water!! Both share Air (Thought) in common… Thought is what guides and shapes the Knight’s Emotions.
In short, I am in a place of new Emotion today, but the burning energy of my ambitions is strong in my influences. Therefore, that Fire turns my Ace of Cups nature into a King of Cups (Fire influencing Emotion) Situation. Ergo, my near future consists of the furthering of that situation into the Queen (Water and Emotion) of (surrounded/influenced by) Fire.
Apparently my Thoughts carried my Emotions to this place not too long ago (Knight of Cups, who, by the way, tends to be like a “patron saint” of artists and creative types). So the Opportunity I have in this situation (or, what I can/should focus on controlling) is the mental Peace in my own mind (2 of Swords), by way of simply reflecting the original inspiration of Thought that comes from my Source at this time– in other words, I can generate peace in my mind by not overthinking things and just acknowledging inspiration as it comes….
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:
He moves us from a general sense of balance to a general sense of Passiveness/Deconstruction/Submission (on the Pillar of Severity)
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.