Sunday, May 29, 2016

Tarot - Fortune Telling and something more

“For long eons we have struggled with ourselves and the world, weaving veils to engender our separateness, constructing belief systems to hide our ignorance, creating enemies to disguise our inner conflicts, chasing from one experience to another to fill our emptiness, unaware that the same masks that hide our deepest pain hide our greatest potential.”
Kiara Windrider, Year Zero (Divine Arts Media, 2011)

The Fortune Teller Lucas van Leyden (16th C)

Fortune telling - random chance (The Magician)
There has been a nagging question concerning using Tarot cards to “do a reading,” and make predictions, or foretelling the future in someone’s life. The fortune teller lays out the cards in a certain pattern and tries to ascertain the meaning suggested by the symbols and significance of the card: “you may take a trip by boat somewhere; you are at odds with your co-worker or significant other,” and so on. Some Tarot readers receive payment from their grateful clients. Randomness and chance provide an enormous number of possibilities and combinations that appeal to the querent who is seeking to know their unknown destiny. Tarot cards are often used as an oracleportals to explore areas of probability in times of uncertainty, crises, situations of powerlessness and fear, or to find out if the person you just met will be the right one. Cynthia Giles mentions that Tarot was also a card game in the 15th century and it was called “Trionfi” in Italy and “Trumps” in English. It was played in a manner similar to Bridge (Giles, Tarot, History, Mystery and Lore, 1994). Of course we see ordinary playing cards used in gambling, and bets placed on the outcome provide a sense of risk, fun and adventure for some, disaster for others.

“Tradition gives one the feeling that life is predictable.”
Susan Griffin, A Chorus of Stones (2007, p. 193)
Gambling – a gambler’s risks (The Fool)
The gambling Fool takes a chance, a risk, in a kind of ignorant frenzy hoping to win a little money on the bet. We all like to win something, but for some it can become an addiction in trying to win over and over again. Some risk it all. Some win, some lose.  I have been watching the current Korean drama “Jackpot” about the young Prince soon to become King Yongjo (a real life Korean King 1724-1776). There is lots of gaming and people placing bets on the outcome, including the slight of hand corruption of the merchants and officials involved, ending in a plot for a coup against the King, where, as usual, the peasants suffer most at the hands of their deceitful masters.

“Divination is primarily a non-scientific method of acquiring knowledge unavailable by other means. The underlying principle of divination is one which transcends or bypasses the material picture of the world which is the prevailing view today”
Nigel Pennick, Secret Games of the Gods” (Weiser, 1997)

Mysteries of life – (The Hermit – The Fool transformed, contemplation)
Hieronymus Bosch The Conjurer (15th C)
On the other hand, in “Tarot of Cosmic Consciousness” we take a different approach: the path to self-knowledge and spiritual consciousness by examining creative processes and universal awareness suggested by the cards. We see Tarot cards, especially the Major Arcana, as positive steps of initiation into the sacred mysteries of life. For some, it is a key to esoteric, hermetic and alchemical knowledge.  My teacher, Gail Fairfield, thinks of Tarot cards as mnemonic devices or psychic tools designed to trigger our memories, to stimulate our thinking and find meaning in our lives. What are we trying to remember when we contemplate the Judgment card or The Tower?  When have you acted like the Fool?  Are you being fooled by someone or something? When did a situation seem almost magical to you? Perhaps The Magician can represent someone who is a channel for radiant Cosmic Being and can bring a deeper dimension to your experiences.

“Like a hot air balloon your psychic tool can lift you out
of your everyday reality and give you a new point of view on things.”
Gail Fairfield, Choice Centered Tarot (Red-Wheel-Weiser, 1984)

System underlying Tarot - relates to ancient ritual systems of metaphysical thought
Early peoples established ritual systems that intended to bring one in line with the structure of the cosmos and help one identify with the processes of nature. In their time, the ancients used stones and trees, and positions of the sun and moon, to to stimulate their imagination. Today, it seems the painted paper Tarot cards accomplish the same thing in providing a symbolic and allegorical method for discovering a more comprehensive understanding of one’s life journey.
The Minor Arcana consists of 4 suits of cards numbered 1-10:
Wands (Magic); Cups (Elixir of Life); Swords (Truth); Pentacles or Coins (Talismans)
There are 4 court cards for each suit: King, Queen, Prince, Princess, or Knight and Page.
56 cards altogether

Then there are 22 Major Arcana cards: Fool, Magician, High Priestess, Empress, Emperor, Hierophant, Lovers, Chariot, Strength, Hermit, Wheel of Fortune, Hanged Man, Justice, Death, Temperance, Devil, Tower, Star, Moon, Sun, Judgment, World.
78 cards altogether - Why are they arranged in such a way in 4 suits and a sequence of numbers?

Number 4
4 suits relate to ancient elements, the 4 states of matter: Wands, Fire, (creativity); Cups, Water, (emotions); Swords, Air (intellect); Coins, Pentacles, Earth (concrete material manifestation)
4 seasons: spring, summer, fall and winter and nature’s processes
4 cardinal directions: point to infinite possibilities
4 square: boxed in, confinement

Numbers 1-10 in relation to Tarot cards especially the Minor Arcana
0 – zero –No thing, empty, void, the un-manifest
1 – (first) beginning, origin, the One Being
2 – (second) reflection of the One, or an opposite, duality
3 – (third) unfoldment, multiplication, synthesis
Princess of Cups TOCC
4 – (fourth) order, measurement, classification
5 – (fifth) individuation, process of creation, nature’s designs
6 – (sixth) perfection, balance, symmetry, harmony
7 – (seventh) integrated being, rest, security
8 – (eighth) fulfillment, completion, cycling to a new level
9 – (ninth) assimilation, attainment of goals, finality
10 – (tenth) beginning again on a higher level

The 4 court cards: King, Queen, Knight (Prince), Page (Princess) – are symbolic of more advanced states of growth and maturity, which can be applied to anyone, rather than monarchal powers.
Monarchies have been in existence for eons (think of Egyptian Pharaohs, Biblical Kings, medieval feudalism). Since WWI and WWII, monarchies have faded, disappeared, or have become more ceremonial with only a few left such as the Arab Kingdom, and the British Kingdom where the Queen is a constitutional monarch.

Studying the Tarot cards can take you on an inner spiritual journey of self-transformation. By expanding your consciousness and meditating on the Tarot “pictures,” this can be a powerful tool in finding your spiritual selfhood. Here you are on the path to discovery of your spiritual being or cosmic soul.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Sacred Geometry Part II

Aspects: The Will to Power

Uranus (Fool) Square Pluto (Judgment)

     Let your imagination run away on this blog. Have an “imaginary moment” – a “what if” time. It seems we are overlooking the obvious when talking about both Tarot and Astrology in relation to Sacred Geometry.  What connection do they have and how does this relate to our lives? We’ll discuss an example of the correlation of all three in the context of current events and circumstances.
     To get started, in Astrology with relation to Tarot, let’s take a look at the transiting square that has been going on since 2007 - on through 2020, between Uranus (The Fool) in Aries and Pluto (Judgment) in Capricorn. We will not be looking at this square from a mechanistic point of view as the cause of certain events, but rather as an archetypal pattern of human behavior during these events.

Foolish Plutocrats
     Richard Tarnas in his book Cosmos and Psyche, 2007, discusses “the will to power” during a Pluto-Uranus square. (This same square between planets was present from 1928 to 1937.)

“The eruption of a collective will to power during Uranus-Pluto eras can also become concentrated and embodied in a single powerful figure, a world historic military conqueror or tyrant driven as if by a force of nature…Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin and Mao [were all prominent leaders] during the square of the 1930’s.”  
Dorflinger: Judgment
German-Swiss Border
So when we really look at this aspect we see The Fool in conflict with good Judgment.

Tarot and planetary interpretation
     The Fool is perceived as a vagabond, beggar, an adventurer who sets off for anywhere, “riding the rails,” lacking judgment. This is one who exemplifies guilelessness, lack of tact and naiveté. The Fool lives only in the now. There is no introspection, no looking ahead. We can see fools all over engulfed in silliness, folly, and even stupid behavior (especially in TV ads). On the other hand, a court-type fool can be the wise coyote poking fun at the “king’s” foibles.
     Uranus - signifies rebellion, unpredictability, defiance, the break up of old structures and the establishment. It’s full of  surprises, and unexpected change. In Aries, it could well mean doing battle and more war. (Haven’t we had enough already?) It means a willingness to sacrifice for a cause, martyrdom. The main theme is change and more change whatever form it may take.!
     Judgment - Here we are examining everything and everyone in depth, even criticizing and judging others. (What happened to “throw the first stone”?) In criminal justice, the judge determines who is guilty or not, and assigns punishment. It also means self-evaluation in examining your own life critically and trying to resurrect yourself and take responsibility for your actions through self-knowledge and introspection.  Of course good judgment is the hoped for aim.
     Pluto – We can see underworld characters out in the open. For some it’s a trip to the underworld. For others it’s a release from the underworld. It means the breakdown and destruction of outmoded ways of doing things; uncovering hidden truths and lies; deep secrets are revealed; there could be mass violence, power struggles and predictions of world war; more earthquakes and exploding volcanoes. In Capricorn, this affects governments in crisis and all structures and institutions of power. (Sound familiar?)
 The aspects of the planets and Tarot
     Why are the planets named after old gods and goddesses in mythology of long ago? For some, we are examining qualities and attributes of human behavior signified by the archetypal myths of the ancient gods and applying their meaning to our own lives.
    Astronomy/Astrology and the earliest calculations of an ephemerides originated in Babylon at least from the 6th to the 8th century B.C.E. The Greeks then piled on their own names based on their gods and mythology and imbued them with many layers of meaning. (See Ptolemy)  One of the main components of Astrology in connection with Sacred Geometry is the symbolic action of the aspects between planets and their positions as they move around the Zodiac. These aspects are angles known as square, trine, sextile, semi-sextile, quintile, quincunx, opposition and conjunction, as measured within a Zodiac circle of 360°.

Square 90° - interpreted as conflict, difference of opinion, argument, scuffle, strength to endure

Trine 120° - synthesis, coming together, resolution, problem solving, agreement

Sextile 60° -  making adjustments, coordination, harmony, common ground 

Quintile 72° - attraction, repulsion, caution, a new direction

Opposition 180°- opposing forces, duality, pulling apart, obstructions, non-agreement

Conjunction 0-10° - moving in tandem, mutual agreement, close association

The Fool Niki St Phalle Tarot Garden
     What are the planets and their association with the Major Arcana of Tarot?  Mary Greer, in her workbook, Tarot for yourself, Birth chart Mandala, gives a list of correspondences between the planets, the Zodiac, and Major Arcana as follows:

Mercury  - Magician
Venus – The Empress                    
Mars – The Tower
Jupiter – Wheel of Fortune
Saturn – The Universe
Uranus – The Fool
Neptune – The Hanged man
Pluto – Judgment
Sun – Sun
Moon – High priestess

If at one time the Major Arcana represented actual set figures in society, in the 20th Century, they have come to represent the inner processes of the self, though the Tarot has been cheapened as a fortune telling device – a quick fix to supposed knowledge of impending events or the scary thrill of mysterious messages—it has at the same time grown in stature as a coded body of wisdom…The images present stages of psychic transformation.”

Jill Johnston, frontispiece of the book Niki Saint Phalle and the Tarot Garden (Bentelli, Zurich,  2010).