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 #12: The comfort zone

Posted in Tarot on February 7th, 2010 by Kristine Gazel

I look towards one of the more busy weeks. I did not really have a specific question, several passed through my mind, then I just asked What do you want to tell me?

As the Situation I drew Nine Staffs – the Wolf, and as the Challenge I drew Six Vessels – the Gardener.

Fire and Water, again. Hmm. This rings a bell. I’ve had this combination before,  in another spread, though.

The Wolf

Now – in this spread – the Wolf is the Situation, while the Gardener is the Challenge. I guess this is about comfort zones, and the Grey Wolf is about sacrificing my comfort zone, my sense of serenity, in order to go to another place.

Actually Edinger writes in his Anatomy of The Psyche : Alchemical Symbolism in Psychoterapy (1994) that the sacrificing of the wolf to restore the King is a process of Calcinatio, of purifying by fire.

[The death of the king] would signify the the death of the ruling principle of consciousness, the highest principle of the authority in the hierarchial structure of the ego. Death of the king would then be accompanied by a regressive dissolution of the conscious personality. This course of events is indicated by the fact that the body of the king is fed to a ravenous wolf; that is the ego has been devoured by hungry desireousness. The wolf in turn is fed to the fire. But wolf=desire and desire=fire. Thus desire consumes itself. After a descent into hell, the ego (king) is reborn, phoenixlike, in a purified state.
(p. 19)

So, I’m (still) in Hell or put mildly, out of my comfort zone. On the internal plan some things are going on, that will take me out of my comfort zone, if I dare do the sacrificing. Of course this is not easy, and it is not nice. But it seems that I’m already out there since this creature keeps coming up in my readings.

He simply will not let me off this theeth.

And here comes the Challenge, and the good part. The wolf situation is an internal process of psychological alchemy, that I’m going through. On the external I’ll be tending to whatever that need to be tended, I will water my flowers, do whatever has to be done.

Preferably I should also be tender and nurturing towards myself.

What is your comfort zone and are you willing to sacrifice it? Can you, willingly or not? Sometimes we are not even asked.

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

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Reading #9: Clarity

Posted in Alchemical Tarot, Journal on January 17th, 2010 by Kristine Gazel

After shuffling and when laying the two cards on the table, I silently ask for clarity.

I got; The Situation as the Lady of Vessels crossed by the Challenge as The Five of Staffs or The Burning Hand.

The Lady is standing on the water, on top of it, without being afraid of the powers it presents, both as a Force of Nature and as a Symbol of the Unconsciousness, that we are all in danger of being owerswimmed by,  at times. But not this Lady. She is mastering this element, in fact she is it’s personification.

The Alchemical Tarot Study Group says:

Tarot wisdom: You have poise, grace and self-control. Your inner beauty shines out. You have an inner appreciation of how you handle yourself. You are mastering what you have.

This is clarity and differentiation, intuition and being confident, as is also suggested.  But then comes the Challenge as presented by the Burning Hand.

The Burning Hand

Now, the Fives – in my book – is about disturbance, challenge, change, transformation and disintegration. And this is what this hand is telling about.

The hand is about creative energy but also about not getting burned by the very same creativity:

Tarot wisdom: You are enthusiastic and inspired by your work or other fires (channels for your energy). Your creative energy is at its peak, fuelled by the spirit. If your work is all-consuming, or if you are not in touch with your higher self, the message warns that you risk burning yourself up. Do not become a workaholic.

The Hand presents a challenge to status quo, a urge to use my creativity, and this brings about change. On the other hand – so to speak, it also represents a warning of a danger. Of what happens if this creative fire is not wisely guided and chanelled. That this can lead to burn or burn out.

I guess then, that clarity comes with the ability to balance cool water with burning fire and vice versa.

You got the cool water when the fever runs high …

Equilibrium.

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

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