Friday, October 30, 2009

water quality and the Temperance card

If you don't like the taste of a halogen gas that's toxic in micrograms, Bottlemania author author Elizabeth Royte advises for dechlorinating your tap water. The quickest way is to pour a body of water between two containers, back and forth for 5 repetitions. Tastier, purified water then remains after chlorine has evaporated out at an accelerated rate. The sound and tones of water falling in on itself as you practice guiding all the water in or between the cups. The scene reminds me of tarot card 14. I have been wanting to talk about tarot more and now it's time to start the conversation.

Successfully interpreting wisdom from a tarot card is based on, among other things, having thoughtfully lived through experiences that intuitively relate to what's on the card. Back in your past, (or in a story), is an experience that can serve as an entrance for your imagination to the event on the card. This information gets transmitted to you as impulses, thoughts, feelings, etc. As Buhner admonishes, don't tdiscount any data that comes to you during your seance. Lately when I offer a reading, I ask the querent to verbally describe what they observe happening on the card as a starting point. Then we discuss what both of us are feeling in response to the card. There never fails to be an outpouring of incite. Examining the symbol lore increasingly enriches theses discourse as I've heard more and more versions of the "Fool's Journey" from seasoned bards of various stripes.

"The Fool" is the first card in the major arcana sequence. Actually it is card 0, and in that sense eternal and utlimately non-existent. The picture usually shows a light-stepped traveler, walking down from the top of the mountain with a rose they've picked to give to the world below. (It's the path from Keter to Hokma) A small animal barks around their feet, perhaps just excited to be starting the journey, maybe trying to warn them of the noise and pain they will experience. Either way, the eternal boddhisatva Fool is cheerful and unlikely to be shocked into haulting.

"Continuing on his spiritual path, the Fool begins to wonder how to reconcile the opposites that he's been facing: material and spiritual (which he hung between as the Hanged man), death and birth (the one leading into the other in the Death card). It is at this point that he comes upon a winged figure standing with one foot in a brook, the other on a rock. The radiant creature pours something from one flask into another. Drawing closer, the Fool sees that what is being poured from one flask is fire, while water flows from the other. The two are being blended together!

"How can you mix fire and water?" the Fool finally whispers. Never pausing the Angel answers, "You must have the right vessels and the right proportions." The Fool watches with wonder. "Can this be done with all opposites?" he asks. "Indeed," the Angel replies, "Any oppositions, fire and water, man and woman, thesis and anti-thesis, can be made to harmonize. It is only a lack of will and a disbelief in the possibility of unity that keeps opposites, opposite." And that is when the Fool begins to understand that he is the one who is keeping his universe in twain, holding life/death, material world and spiritual world separate. In him, the two could merge, as in the vessels that the Angel uses to pour the elements, one to the other. All it takes, the Fool realizes, is the right proportions....and the right vessel."

On the Tree of life, Temperance represents the path between Yesod and Tiferet, the lunar and the solar aspects of God. Using your positive emotions (party to the 6th Sephirot, Tiferet) be the guiding force on your expression of erotic desire (housed in 9th Sephirot, Yesod) the path from the moon to the sun and it is part of the straight shot to Ultimate Reality. Submitting to desire out of love is the archetypal example. The other way I have found to look at this is, intelligently paying attention to one's instinctual impulses and following them through. BEING HONEST WITH ONESELF BECOMES MANDATORY DURING CRISIS, and after you get there lies an opportunity to make a holy habit of self-accountability. Exploring that subject is leading me into another path (that of the Hermit), 'tween Tiferet and Chesed. Outwardly that seems comically paradoxical, because I'm more intensely and convivially engaged with other humans than ever. It's internal alchemy of the psyche we're talking here, so no paradox. Talking more about that now would be an unwise decision, because over-analyzing a living prcoess over-emphasizes the intellect sphere (Hod) above the other means of experience, and that has been a blockage to further attainment for me that's decisively been removed to the composter.