Reading #18: The Realm of Water

Posted in Tarot on October 24th, 2010 by Kristine Gazel

This time the two cards in the Little Cross don’t seem to opposite each other. On the contrary they point in the same direction. Actually what I asked was something like how can I keep and nurture my energy? So one should think, that this is all about Fire. But No. The answer is Water.

So we have the Knight of Vessels standing in the lake, gathering  water in his vessel. According to the LWB he is collecting information from the unconsciousness, which is of course exactly what the water symbolizes. But there is always the danger of getting more than bargained for or to get in too deep. I don’t need to be foolish and just take the plunge.

I need to be awake and aware, I’ve already gotten the message, I just have to take notice. The fish is the message – according to the Alchemical Study Group – the Knight just have to be aware of it:

“[You] may be getting a message “out of the blue,” perhaps in the form of a synchronicity. It is an unexpected emotional satisfaction. Maybe you’ve already gotten it, and like the knight, need to take notice. Open your eyes to what is around you.”

And what is the fish then? A BIG fish. The Ace of Vessels, no less. An extremely interesting card, I think. A fish carrying a vessel on it’s back, wherein floats a heart shaped vessel in blood (?) from where grows a vine with two bunches of blue grapes.

The vessel symbolizes the alchemical retort, wherein the philosophers stone can be transformed, and everything about the card indicates that Love is the agent or catalysator of this process:

“The card points out that both the goal and the source of emotions, represented by the heart in the vessel, is the need to give and receive love. Love is the very source of life, and the goal of love is to be fruitful. Rejoice and release an out-flowing of love, and allow its returning bounty into your soul, for then the alchemical vessel of the heart shall sustain new life.”

This card is also about finding one’s purpose in life, according to the LWB. And since it is about transformation by Love, there seems to be here an intertwining of meanings; that the purpose of life, any life, is Love.

Where the Staffs are about passionate love, Eros, the Vessels are about empathic love, or Agape. This is what this out-flowing of love seems to be about, when we are in the Realm of Water. But maybe this difference may not be that important – after all, love is love is love – like; a rose is a rose is a rose.

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

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Reading #8: A reminder

Posted in Alchemical Tarot, Journal on January 10th, 2010 by Kristine Gazel

The first week of Januar. Went. Not well, but it went. My sinusitis came back. Copenhagen is freesing. I feel like hibernating until February. I’ve written about spiritual practise today, but frankly, I feel blocked and doubtful right now.

So what is it about? Let me do a little reading – The little Cross again; The Situation crossed by the Challenge:

The situation gives me The Empress: Here we have the Alchemical Vessel personified by the Mother Goddess herself.

Again from The Alchemical Tarot Study Group:

Alchemically, the Empress represents the alchemical vessel, which nurtures the creation of the philosopher’s stone. She continues the process of dissolution of the prima materia, begun by the High Priestess.

Tarot wisdom: The Empress signifies the potential to bring forth great abundance, the bounties of life, a spiritual flowering. She is grounded in the earth, and therefore in the material world, which helps us keep our center as we probe the spiritual planes. However, we cannot take this abundance for granted. The alchemical womb must be watched and tended, lest it abort, and we be forced to start anew.

Again, I think this has do with grounding and nurturing. I guess I simply tend to forget this, while (still) feeling self pity about January.

I guess I will meditate on this card for the next week, and try to nurture the aspects of everyday life that has to do with the Goddess. And nurture my children, husband, and myself as mother and wife, and woman of course.

I’m afraid I has been withdrawing into myself  and that is not a way to tend to this alchemical vessel, I think.

Crossed by Two of Swords as the challenge:

I’m being involved in thought processes, that are too airy, too dualistic, too intellectual.  If I let it be, I might find a compromise of wisdom (the owl) in a entirely different place, than where I look for it now. Maybe it is a conflict between emotion on one side (the sword with the red handle) and rationality on the other (the sword with the blue handle). Or maybe it is this dichotomy itself that is the problem.

So here I read the Challenge card as an obstacle, something that prevents me from going to the source of the Goddess, so to speak. I’m simply troubled with thoughts and rationalizations. Maybe the owl is telling me to hover over this and that is in doing that I find wisdom.

By the Empress, and pointing back to my last reading, by Children.  In this particular reading I see the Empress’ child, Eros, symbolising both children, childish things and Love.

And the Two swords also points back to the Three swords from last week; That thoughts and mental processes can sometimes be a problem in it self.  I can actually forget what is most important in the midst of them.

But then I’m gently reminded.

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

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Reading #6: Another little cross

Posted in Alchemical Tarot, Journal on November 15th, 2009 by Kristine Gazel

I made another little cross; one card (the Center, the Situation) crossed by another (the Challenge).

I drew 9 of Staffs:  The Grey Wolf – sacrifice, overcome with passion crossed by 2 of Staffs Hermes and Aphrodite – one lover lost in the other.

The Wolf

I’ve met the Wolf before; It is as said above about Sacrife; “A wolf is sacrificed in a fire. This is an alchemical symbol representing the restoration of the king, who was devoured by the wolf.

Tarot wisdom: You face a calamity, a fire out of hand. Fire consumes you to exhaustion or illness. The message also suggests sacrifice, especially for a higher purpose, like suffering for the good of others, or being a martyr, or subduing the animal passions for spiritual purpose”.

The Alchemical Tarot Study Group says about 2 of Staffs; Hermes and Aphrodite:
“A hand holding a staff emerges from a cloud and lights the end of its staff from an already burning staff planted in the ground. At the base of the grounded torch is the symbol for Venus; above the hand in the air is the symbol for Mercury, which suggests the uniting of lovers. Fertility is suggested by the flowers around the grounded staff. There is life springing from this union. Tarot wisdom: Like begets like; one torch lights another. Your enthusiasm is contagious. …”
Hermes and AphroditePlease notice the little third branch on the torch – this points to the thirdness as a product of the conjunction of the two, the lovers. This is the creative outcome of the relationsship, their child. Being either a creative product or an actual child.
So – in context these cards are about my willingness to sacrifice my self and my own needs to bring an offer for the greater good, for Eros and for the relationsships I’m  in, with my family and loved ones. Both on a one to one basis i.e. to my husband, and our children – but also for Eros on a grander scale. For the things I’m engaged in that has to do with other people and with creating.

The message being that it is only possible to create something new and to engage in life on a truly passionate basis if I’m willing to let go of my old worn out (wolfy) I.

The fire will devour and purify.

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Blood

Posted in Tarot on October 31st, 2009 by Kristine Gazel

Being attracted to the Alchemical and the Vampire Tarots – as should be appearent by reading this blog – I started  wonder what it is about  blood and its symbolism, that so intrigues us?

I guess that blood has so many symbolic layers that you could write volume upon volume about it. And this has been done.

So now I want to turn my – and yours – focus on Blood and Redness as symbolizing Eros.

In the fairy tales three drops of blood can symbolize the defloration of the virgin, in a more unfamiliar freudian sense. This I choose to interpret as the point where the young girl become mature and able as a women to give herself to a man on the wedding night. The wedding symbolizes that there has been a true union, a conjuntion, between the man and the woman, the groom and the wife.

So, the mother in the fairy tale of Snow White cuts her finger on the needle, and tree drops of blood fall on the snow in the black wooden window frame and she says: “I wish that I had a daughter that had skin white as snow, lips red as blood, and hair black as ebony”.

And then she concieves and gives birth to a little daughter, which the royal couple names Snow White, soon after which the good mother dies. We all know what then happens. Btw, I have always been more attracted to the cruelty and vile in the original fairy tales, as supposed to the cute Disney versions, which I do like, but it is not just the same (more about this in a later post, perhaps).

What I find interesting here is that the blood and the Redness is linked to the Blackness and the Whiteness. These are – off course – the three alchemical stages; the nigredo, the albedo and the rubedo. The rubedo is pointing to the culmination of the Opus, i.e. the Great Work, the red Stone, the conjunction, the fusion of opposites, and – yes – the wedding between the King and the Queen.

The World in the Alchemical Tarot, symbolizing the Great Work, The Red Stone

The World in the Alchemical Tarot (Courtesy of Robert M. Place),
symbolizing the Great Work,
The Red Stone

So – Blood and Redness, the beauty and brilliance of the colour red, then is about the pulse, the spark of life, love and passion, ripeness and maturity, the ability to be whole and united with the opposite, yet be differentiated.

We also have the virgin, the mother and the crone, as aspects of the goddess trinity, where the mother stands for the mature woman, representing the fase in a woman’s life, that is about love, passion and eros, and where she, being able to give birth and create new life, is bleeding on a monthly basis.

My husband had a more earth-bound approach: “Blood is what runs our machine – it is liquid, yet coagulates easily, it is thick and warm, it is sort of alive, a living organism in itself”.

And as the blood runs thin, we are embarking on its scarier implications, we are reminded of death; It is at this point that the Redness turns back into Blackness. And the circle comes full.

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