Death

Posted in DruidCraft Tarot, Tarot on December 27th, 2010 by Kristine Gazel

Birth of Freya: – Dec 27th This card points to issues of love, luck, artistic and creative expression and female wisdom.

I shuffle and draw Death. The Goddess in the shape of the Crone. There is really not much to say. I order for something new to be born and grow to ripeness and maturity the old must die. The Goddess knows this, and as the Crone she is helping life to die to be reborn again.

It is not that we should not feel sorrow and mourn when things die – like relationships – but things die all the time. That is the cycle of life and death and that of the year.

It is no shame to be hurt or sorry, but it is a shame to be reluctant to let go.

Interwoven with death is sex or passion or love. The great goddesses like Aphrodite, or Inanna, or Isis or Astarte – or of course – Freya – also know that. Therefore they love passionately and grief when their son-lover dies like Osiris or Dumuzi or Adonis. But it is also in their (Her) power to save him, like Isis saves Osiris.

So it is in the power of the Goddess to let things die – and live (again). She is the ruler of death, love and life. And those three things can not be separated.

For me this cards means that I – in order to love, to be creative and to be wise – must accept things to die, and to let go of them with passion and compassion.

Tags: , , , ,

Death or Transformation

Posted in Meanings, Tarot on November 22nd, 2009 by Kristine Gazel

At the Aeclectic Tarot Forum somone asked how the renaming of cards is perceived. The discussion there inspired me to write the following:

The classic example is of course Death – often renamed as Transformation. I think this obscures the whole idea about what Death is about in the Tarot.

No doubt that Death in a actual reading can mean transformation, or letting things die, letting go, thus making room for change. But does not the Wheel of Fortune express this idea very well also? You know, the notion of  “what comes around, goes around”.

There is a tendency to think – and perhaps ensure the querent, that Death is not really about the real physical death, about dying. But about “Transformation” – whatever that may mean in the context. It seems to me that the grim urgency of the Reaper is somehow being denied and euphemized here.

In the “original” tarot – emerging in  the 15′th century Renaissance Italy – Death was quite literal and ever urgent. The Plague swept over Europe in the course of five centuries, came and went several times only to return again. You never knew who was next in line. Often young people and children died first, leaving no new generations so that cities and rural districts was almost void of people year after year.

Death from the Alchemical Tarot

Death from the Alchemical Tarot

We have the idea of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse bringing with them Pestilence, War, Famine and Death. And the motto Memento Mori  – Rememeber your Mortality. Actually we find this at the back of the beautiful and scarily intriguing Bohemian Gothic Tarot cards.

This is not to ruin your day, just to say that Death always has been ever present to the individual. But there is a tendency – whenever it is possible – to distance ourselves from this harsh reality. I guess that this “Transformation” talk is a symptom of this. The true is that Death is and will always be a something we human beings must be confronted with, no matter our life conditions, and no matter how nice these are to make us believe that Death is not an issue to us personally, to make us foolishly believe that Death is something that happens to somone else.

I think that Death in the Tarot – coming after the Hanged Man and before Temperance – is about accepting this and looking this fact of life right in the eye. Memento mori. I did not say anything about accepting it without anxiety or fear. Angst. I guess that is too much to ask for. But never the less.

When you have accepted Death, not as a abstract idea – like me dealing with it now (see I’m also fooling myself) – but after having been hanging upside down for a few days or weeks, you are ready to pursue. An maybe, just maybe, at this point you have the courage and peace of mind and knowlegde – to do as the Temperance Angel does. To mix.

But you are only able to do the Mixing, after having stepped over the treshold of Death, that is having accepted your very own, very literal mortality: That this very body, and this ego are dying and you can’t avoid it nor do you have not the faintest idea about what is going to happen on the “other side”. If there is an other side.

Having accepted this, you are ready to Mix Fire and Water. There is a lot of Power in Mixing, don’t doubt that. And this in turn makes you ready to deal with the Devil.

Images from The Alchemical Tarot, copyright Robert M. Place, are used with kind permission. Visit the Alchemical Tarot website.

Tags: , , , ,

The Annotated Tarot of the Sevenfold Mystery

Posted in Tarot on June 30th, 2009 by Kristine Gazel

There is a lot of great Tarot artists out there at the time being. Skilled and fabulous people who really add something new to the Art of Tarot. I’ve earlier mentioned Ciro Marchetti in this context. Another modern Tarot artist  is Robert M. Place. Actually – the beauty of his art of Tarot is that he is interpreting the Tarot by means of love, tradition and true knowledge of the origins of the Tarot. Thereby his Tarot Artwork becomes a true inspiration for all us Tarot lovers who are not exactly artfully skilled ourselves, but seems to be enlightened by his endeavour.

Recently the  Annotated Tarot of the Sevenfold Mystery was released. It is so beautiful. There is a certain coolness and calmness to the pictures, that ask you into their realm, into their mystery. This is a Majors only deck, and the cards are bigger than an usual deck of Tarot. It is not really meant for shuffling, but rather for drawing one card for meditation and contemplation. They can comfort you, whenever you turn to them for advice.

Even Death does not seem frightening, rather focused and mild. This is something we all most go through. It is really the first Death that convices me that this is really “just” a transformation, a passover …

Death from the Tarot of the Sevenfold Mystery.

Death from the Tarot of the Sevenfold Mystery.

To me this Tarot is a puzzle, even with the annotations that  guides you towards the mystery. The thing is - you simply have to understand for yourself, walk the path yourself. I guess one could call this a map of gnosis for the modern spiritual seeker.

Images from The Tarot of the Sevenfold Mystery, copyright Robert M. Place, are used with kind permission. Visit the Alchemical Egg website.

Tags: , , , ,