Judgement Meditation

Judgement Rider Waite Smith

Judgement
Rider Waite Smith

The next Soul Meditation along the Fool’s Journey is with Jugdement. I entered the meditation along a path through a foreboding mountain range. The Path was treacherous, with a sheer cliff face dropping off on one side, and shooting straight up on the other side. The path wound along the cliff to a towering, 20 foot tall, stone gate. This was a path with purpose, hard to find, and not meant to be traveled by many. One must seek the path to find it, and then it still is not easily discovered. The key I brought clicked in the lock on the gate with the sound of many small mechanical devices unwinding. I then pushed back the great gates to enter into a widening of the path into a narrow valley. A long lake filled the valley floor, surrounded by towering jagged peaks. There was a stillness and quiet to this mountain lake that filled me with tense expectation.

The light in the sky was that of predawn. All over the lake, people sat in little coffin shaped boxes, waiting for the rising of the sun. The people closest to me gently gestured for me to get into my own box. Terror rose up in my heart at the idea but I pushed down my fear and moved forward anyway. I set first one foot, and then the other, into the box. The bottom of the box was made of branches tied together so the whole box tipped precariously when I stepped in and floated on the water. I stood very deliberately and gingerly, as if I was just learning to surf the waves and managing to balance.

Then the sun peaked above the mountaintops and all around me the people began to stand and reach their arms up towards the sun. I was off-balance and unsure of myself in my little floating coffin box on the water. I was afraid to look up into the sky, even after I had raised my arms and finally found my balance. What would I see in the bright light of the sky above me? I sensed a presence that was otherworldly and worried that it would be disapproving of me. Then I heard the name of Gabriel  in the meditation and knew it was safe to look skyward.

Judgement Shadowscapes Tarot

Judgement
Shadowscapes Tarot

Here was my angel spirit guide! Gabriel is always with me, ready to take me into his embrace and fortify me. I gazed up into the sky and saw the angel reaching down to take my hands. I put my hands into his and stepped up into the sky to stand with within his wings. Gabriel spoke to me, and told me that I need to be more open. I need to work on reaching out to others. The fear I felt in my heart to look up into the light of the sky, shows my tendency to hide my own light inside of me. This is the potential inside of me that is unrealized. I’m afraid to accept my spirituality and show it to others. My heart is a burning ball of light that I’m blocking. Gabriel told me that he believes in me and will support me on my journey to self acceptance. This self esteem will lead to greater inclusion of others into my personal world in order to share my light and help guide other’s toward their inner light.

Gabriel reassured me with his messages and helped me back into my floating coffin box. Together we filled the box with all of my regrets and bad memories. We then closed the box and sent it floating across the lake, receding into nothingness. It felt surreal to watch the box disappear into the horizon, lifting a weight of worries off my shoulders. This meditation brought a true sense of absolution to my heart.

Then Gabriel gave me a gift. At first glance I thought he was handing me a swaddled infant, but when I looked down it was actually a puppy, a small fluffy white ball of licks and wags. Here was my animal spirit guide returned to me! I interpreted this as a message to reacquaint myself with the freshness and innocence of The Fool. I’m not ready yet to complete this full cycle along the Fool’s Journey, but the potential for endings and beginnings is all around me. I can learn to accept my inner calling, to open up to that hot glow inside of me. I’m still scared though, and I think others won’t like my spirituality and think I’m new agey and religious. Perhaps there iss a way to ease people into it, into me, little by little.  That is my mission now.

200x200In this Soul Meditation, Gabriel game me a dog to help me grow and heal. I’ve been constantly daydreaming about getting a dog soon, so this also feels like a message that a dog will greatly add to my life on a spiritual level. I left the Judgement meditation knowing my inner calling and needing to make that leap to accept it and work with it. I’m excited to do the meditation with The World next, as it will be the last one on Biddy Tarot’s meditation journey through the Major Arcana!

Tarot Blog Hop Imbolc- Oracular Anomalies

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For this Imbolc Tarot Blog Hop we were asked by our wrangler, Karen of Pure & Blessed Tarot, to write about an oracular anomaly we have experienced.  Basically, this means I’m going to share with you something that sticks out to me as weird about a tarot deck I use sometimes. The deck is The Deviant Moon Tarot by Patrick Valenza and the card is Strength. This is a visually stunning deck, dark and sometimes dangerous in its depictions of the tarot cards. I just love it, as I’m sure many of you do too!  Most of the cards in this deck are easy to interpret if you are familiar with the Rider Waite Smith tradition, but the Strength card always jumps out at me as strange when I look through this deck.  Let me explain why I feel this way and then I will go into how I work with this ocacular anomaly in my tarot reading practice.

Strength Deviant Moon Tarot

Strength
Deviant Moon Tarot

As you may have noticed from earlier posts on this blog, I love the Strength card.  It is my tarot birth card and my general, all-purpose, favorite card in the tarot deck.  It usually corresponds to my favorite number, 8, and perhaps this is where the difficulties with this Strength card begin, as Valenza follows the Thoth tradition of Strength being card 11. Maybe, maybe not, as usually when reading with a deck where Strength is card 11, I just ignore that little kick to my comfort zone and pretend Strength is still card 8. What actually gets me is the image itself of Strength which just doesn’t jive with my regular Strength card sensibilities. First off, there isn’t a woman in the card, at least not your typical female appearance of a woman! I associate Strength with the divine feminine so it’s hard for me to get down with this Strength card showing a man.  Also, this isn’t just any man, he’s a strongman, judging from the circus tents in the back.  To me, the Strength card has nothing to do with brawn, with brute force, or with big muslces- so why the strong man?  Lastly, Strength from The Deviant Moon shows the man forcefully opening the jaws of a scary reptilian creature. I’m used to an image of Strength in which the woman controls a mighty lion with gentleness and compassion.  So, those are my quibbles with the Strength card image from the Deviant Moon, and why I find it to be an oracular anomaly.

I love this deck though, so I’ve worked on how to align my tarot reading style with the image from this deck. That process has helped me think about this card in a new way, and that perspective deepens my knowledge and understanding of the tarot.  Basically, what I see in this image is the Ego confronting his inner demons.  The image isn’t literal, its not a strongman showing off his muscles, it’s a metaphor for the inner struggle to overcome the Ego and the thinking mind.  For me, the Ego is a very masculine concept, one concerned with rationalizing, thinking, and controlling in contrast to the feminine experience of intuiting, feeling, and surrendering.  It takes a very strong masculine force inside of each of us to force open the mouth of our inner pain and confront the demons in our dark places that holds us back from consciousness and enlightenment.

Strength Shadowscapes Tarot

Strength
Shadowscapes Tarot

I find The Deviant Moon Tarot to be a powerful tool when doing this type of intense, shadow side work.  It’s beautiful and easy for me to see the typical Strength card with a gentle woman, clad all in white, taming a lion, and experience that calm surrender to the moment.  I see that “regular” Strength card and I know to access my inner strength and have confidence in myself and my abilities. I can connect with other people and nature, I can follow my life path with ease, I can flow in the now. The Deviant Moon Strength card is the perfect image for when that process is not easy, when surrender seems distant and unachievable, when Strength must be a committed fight for consciousness.  It can be difficult to separate our identity from our pain, as often our sorrow and struggles are how we define ourselves. I don’t believe that it is productive or necessary to act this way though. I want to define myself by the love, compassion, and connectedness I bring with me into the world.  Strength reminds me to be more than the Ego, and the Deviant Moon image of Strength depicts the difficult process that is separation from the Ego and integration with self and the universe.

I hope you enjoyed this latest blog post.  I have to admit, I had no idea what to write when I heard the topic was “ocacular anomalies”, so I hope I muddled through this one ok!  I’m looking forward to hopping along and seeing what all the other amazing tarot bloggers out there had to say about this subject.  You can follow along on the links below as well. Happy Imbolc! Spring approaches!

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