My rule brings order
My guidance will bring us peace
Sand will become Stone”
To rule justly
I impose order on that which surrounds me
My children may not understand
They want what they want
they need to learn patience
They will never see my willingness
to die to protect any of them
Why can’t they see
what is needed?
Caught up in the day to day
They lose site of what will sustain
the rules and traditions
that will make this sand
with which I’ve built stone.
One day I will be gone
burned in my course
by my trials
and it will be their turn to face the fire.
— G A Rosenberg
Where the Empress represents the creative principle in full flower, the Emperor represents order both mundane and divine. He is the paternal force seeking to keep things under tight reign during the time he is there. He seeks to instill both rules and the need for some kind of order in our lives so that we can live in the world. He also represents the laws that bind the universe as a whole. Where the Empress tells us to go wild and express ourselves fully, the Emperor tells us we need to colour inside the lines, that they are there for a reason. The Emperor teaches us the obligation of service to others. At its best, the Emperor force gives us a set of guidelines in which we can feel secure to live as we will.At its worst, it can lead to repression and a big brother type of society where we are over-protected for ‘our own good.’ While ideally he represents order in the service of virtue, he can become the tyrant who insists that only he knows what is right for all.
The Emperor is an expansive force that wants to bring more and more under his protective influence. He is a swift fiery force that knows that one day his power will pass on to another. In ancient days the legend is that the king would rule for one year and be consigned to the flames for the next king to take his place. His is the morning and the setup of the day.
Astrological Attribution – Aries (♈︎) – Aries is the first sign of the zodiac and tends to lead the pack with its headstrong nature. It is forceful and fiery and willing to fight for what it believes. The Aries force is a strong starter but not particularly good at seeing things through to their completion for just as people are catching up, Aries is on to something else for there are always new worlds to conquer. Aries has a fiery nature and is never afraid of competition but can burn themselves out if not adequately fuelled. It sees leadership as its natural place and can be somewhat domineering in keeping it. It has concern for others tho the concern can waver if challenged. It is an honest and forthright energy
Runic Attribution – Thurisaz (“Thorn”) – Thurisaz means literally Giants and it represents variously male sexuality, aggressiveness, self-empowerment and struggle against unconsciousness. It is a rune of challenging. While in some of its meanings Thorn seems almost the antithesis of the Emperor force it is in its aggressive and empowering nature similar enough that I am willing to see it as encompassing its opposite in this particular instance. Other runes attributed to the Emperor are Ansuz and Mannaz.
Path on the Tree of Life – Path 28 Tzaddi – The meaning of Tzaddi is fish-hook. It is the path that links Netzach (‘Victory’) with Yesod (‘Foundation’). It is referred to as the ‘Natural Intelligence’.
When the Emperor turns up in a reading it may indicate that it is time to move forward aggressively and take advantage of (or make) new opportunities. It is a time of power and potency. It may also indicate issues with the querent’s father or other paternal figures in their life. Someone who gives good advice based on their own life experiences. The Emperor may also refer to someone in authority in the social order who has influence or control over the querent’s life such as an employer or government figure. It would do the querent well in the situation to put forth the appearance of playing by that person’s rules. It may also be a time to bring order and organization into one’s life, clearing away all the chaos. It is time to make a plan and stick to it with confidence that it will work.
The reversed Emperor may indicate that the querent has grown too rigid and inflexible in their thinking and/or their lives. It may also mean that they are blocking ourselves off from that vital, creative, take-charge feeling and are too concerned about upsetting their well-ordered lives to take advantage of opportunities in their path. Getting the reversed card may also indicate that there are difficulties with the querent’s paternal influences. Perhaps it is a case of their father being too dominant a figure in their lives. It may also indicate that they are becoming more sensitive to the feelings and concerns of other people in their lives
What inspires you? Can you surrender to your imagination and grasp at the fireflies of ideas that blink in and out of consciousness? Can you listen to the voice of deity and become enflamed with new ideas? Can you climb a mountain and walk in the hills, carry a question and hear the answers that come? Can you still the wild fury of your thoughts and be still to the flame that lies within? Can you see shapes within flowers or hear the music in the laughter of old women talking?
Inspiration has come to me through all of these things. It would come more often if only I could learn to let go and be still more, to listen with my heart to the stillness, beauty and pain in the world. Every day I come closer…
“A pilgrimage is not a conquest, it is a surrender. It is a way of getting yourself out of the way.”
–Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev
Getting out of my way…Not second-guessing or build up rationalizations for the emotions I’m feeling but just letting it flow. Giving up worries and rationalizations and concerns about how others are seeing me. Surrendering to myself and listening to what my spirit is saying. Stepping back. Too often when I try that I tend to trip over my feet. How can I make each day a pilgrimage of understanding; of growth? It means surrendering my world or at least my world view. So difficult yet so so necessary. What new vistas can open up in our understanding and awareness if we could only live in flow.
Mother Gaia sings
We dance naked in the woods
Through her door i came upon her
and through her door the world appeared
Creation in all its glory
wheat, and fruit, swans filled the air
She led me through her magick kingdom
wheat grew high, and flowers bloomed
the river breeze caressed us
i tried to think but couldn’t care
for all i saw i loved and wanted
all i needed reached for me
the stars in her hair blinded me
and the moon laid at her feet
She held me until the morning
oh magic night lost to her love
and gained, expression imagination
— G A Rosenberg
If the High Priestess represents the ideal feminine untouchable and chaste then the Empress represents the feminine aspect in full flower. She is full blown creative force and her intelligence is that of creativity not reason.She is sensuous and maternal and emotional. She inspires with a glance and ignites the senses. She frustrates and delights. She combines the active force of the Magician with the passivity of the High Priestess and gives birth to wonder. In every moment she expresses yet at any moment she will express differently. She is ever-changing. She is the spirituality of the High Priestess made manifest by the will of the Magician. She is the Earth mother;Venus and Aphrodite, Freya and Isis Unveiled in all her glory. She is the calm river and the raging storm.
Astrological Attribution-Venus(♀)-Astrologically Venus represents what and who we love and what brings us pleasure. Venus represents what attracts us and what is attracted to us. It can also indicate where our emotional (and physical) addictions may lie. We are most in harmony when Venus is well-aspected and when it is badly aspected our lives may seem cacophonous. Venus shows what we most appreciate in a romantic and sensuous (if not sexual) way.
Berkano is known as the Birch Goddess and represents among other things female fertility. It ties in with childbirth, trees and the female womb. It is a rune of protection and healing, holding things in tight in secret. It also represents rebirth, motherhood and nurturing. Other runes linked with the Empress are Thorn, Hagall and Inguz
Path on the Tree of Life-Path 14-Daleth-The meaning of Daleth is door. It is the path between Chokmah (Wisdom) and Binah (Understanding), the supernal parents on the tree of life. The Mother is the Door through which life manifests. A door, tho it offers shelter is inactive. It is what comes through comes through it that is the active manifesting principle. As such the alchemical attribute of both Daleth and The Empress is Salt which needs the energy of Sulphur to keep the energy flowing. It is called the Illuminating Intelligence and referred to as the ‘essence of the Speaking Silence’. Again this paradox of manifestation and inertness, quiet yet speaking.
When the Empress shows up in a reading, it may indicate that this is not a time of calm reflection but a time to go with the emotion. Enjoy this period of pleasure and creativity and manifest in joy. The card may also indicate that it is time to get outside and enjoy nature. For a city dweller, this may mean seeking it out. The Empress may also refer to a pregnancy or birth. When the Empress turns up it can also mean that it is time to express the nurturing side of the querent’s own personality but it also means that if the querent is being harassed by people that they can let the ‘diva’ side of their personality out and show others the full force of who they are. It is a time for full manifestation of energy and good things are coming.
Reversed the Empress can indicate that there are blocks to creativity and the expression of one’s self. The querent’s imagination may be running away with fancies that they are confusing with true intuitive imagination. The reversed card may indicate fear of ‘letting one’s self go’ because they cannot handle the onslaught of their own emotional nature. It may also indicate a time of emotional imbalance and disharmony. Where right side up the card indicates plenty, when reversed it may mean it is a time of scarcity where one has to make do with what one has. This is usually a temporary situation as The Empress is a card of change. The Empress reversed can also be indicative of hormonal imbalances such as those felt at the onset of menopause.
“We often think of peace as the absence of war, that if powerful countries would reduce their weapon arsenals, we could have peace. But if we look deeply into the weapons, we see our own minds- our own prejudices, fears and ignorance. Even if we transport all the bombs to the moon, the roots of war and the roots of bombs are still there, in our hearts and minds, and sooner or later we will make new bombs. To work for peace is to uproot war from ourselves and from the hearts of men and women. To prepare for war, to give millions of men and women the opportunity to practice killing day and night in their hearts, is to plant millions of seeds of violence, anger, frustration, and fear that will be passed on for generations to come. ”
― Thích Nhất Hạnh
I’ve been avoiding writing this one for awhile tho the topic has been on my mind almost obsessively. It’s somewhat easier to deal with controversy when other people are involved with it. Yet there is a time for silence and a time to speak and this is past time. I have done my best to be as well informed on what is going on in Palestine as possible. I have listened to arguments from both sides and been party to all the shouting and reactions whenever someone brings up the topic. One of the most enlightening conversations I’ve been party to was a thread on Facebook which mainly involved citizens of both Israel and Palestine talking to each other. None of them were reactionary. None of them agreed with their governments 100% and they were scared. About the only rhetoric in that thread was from people who lived outside the area giving the same old historical arguments about who had a greater right and to what. It was equally enlightening and equally horrifying to read accounts from a friend who works with the UN and has seen in this week first hand the destruction of both people and property that has been going on. So a few thoughts and yes I do have a bias. It is against waste, dehumanization and stupidity.
From a narrative viewpoint both sides have claim to the area. Part of this is the result of WWII and the end of the Ottoman Empire. England thought it would solve several problems at once by deeding land that nominally belonged to them to the Zionists to create Israel. The fact that there were already people living on the land and calling it home was if not ignored, given only cursory acknowledgement. Some were bought out, some forces out and some burned out. A new land was formed. However it happened citizens of this new land have now lived there for 70 years and they now call it home.
It is true that Israel has not occupied Gaza for the last several years. Instead they have barricaded it and they decide what and who goes in and out. This includes food, building and medical supplies and people. In the name of caution raised to the level of paranoia they have made it all but impossible for the people who live there to build a workable homeland. This has cause incredible resentment.
Palestine right now is under the leadership of Hamas, an organization dedicated to regaining all the land they perceive as being taken from them at any cost necessary. From what I have read the majority of the people living there would choose other leadership if they could.
Israel in the last several days have started to destroy what infrastructure that Gaza has with both bombing and then surface attacks. They have killed several hundred people, the majority of them civilians including many women and children. Israel claims that this is because Hamas uses civilians as human shields, putting weapon depots in homes where families reside. Every time I hear this I have to wonder what it says about a mindset that does not see this as a deterrent and who’s solution is to kill children so that they can get at the strategic sites.
Israel has notified people to leave their homes so that they can be bombed. There is literally no place for these people to go. They are not letting them through the barricades and bombs are falling everywhere.
On both sides there is immense dehumanization of the other. People in the Israeli government have referred to Palestinians as ‘beasts on two legs’. There is such incredible rhetoric on the sides of people outside the country on both sides. Religious and racial epithets flow freely. The worst part about it is how this has become war as a spectator sport with the supporters of both sides cheering on their respective parties and urging the destruction of the other side. It has become bread and circuses for the masses with no empathy for the human loss on both sides.
I could go on and on. I have friends in both countries whom I speak to and respect. I have to believe that there is a solution and that sanity will prevail. If not, I fear for the existence of both countries and for the world as a whole. This could get bad for everyone really quickly. I grieve for the cost especially to the Palestinians for they are the ones who are being decimated and they deserve so much better. I pray for empathy and wisdom for the leaders involved and for solace and an end to this. I pray that Israel who despite what their rhetoric says is Goliath and not David in this case, will put an end to its paranoid expansionism, stop the blockade and enable peace. I pray that Hamas will do what is best for its people and that an accord can be reached. I pray that people outside of the conflict will stop yelling at each other and rooting for destruction and give people a chance at peace. That includes the governments who are funding either one side or both in the hopes that they can use the conflict to their advantage
I know that I have only touched on some of what is involved here. There are so many layers to this situation and it would take much more space than I have here to discuss it. I haven’t said much about religions here because at best they are a red herring. You can find material in the texts of both religions that either support the extermination of outsiders or that talk about the importance of love and peace. I know which of these is my most fervent hope.
Holding her secrets
All that anyone may seek
she carries within.
She holds mysterious beauty
bathed in moonlight
I long to know
what lies beneath her veil.
I have lost my way
and need to continue
tho I know not where
I have so many questions
she takes them all
Will she ever speak?
Are answers to be found
in her book
and will she share them
with this bedraggled fool?
Yet we remain
and she remains
untouched and untouching
contained and content
Without her I cannot go on
yet within, within I find my way
across the void desert.
— G A Rosenberg
The High Priestess is feminine to the Magician’s masculine. Where the Magician is active will, she is passive intuition. The Magician gives forth and the High Priestess takes in. She represents the lunar current which ties into the subconscious. When our mind is silent and still any and all answers can arise from us from the abyss which links us to the all.We may not be able to consciously carry the answers back yet the knowledge remains.
Tho the High Priestess represents the feminine, the card also represents the balance between all dualities. After all, everything is contained within the temple of the subconscious. She is at the entrance to the temple between the two pillars, the dark and the light (each which like the yin-yang sign contains a bit of its counterpart). From the interplay of duality almost anything can come forth. She is a figure of devotion, receptive to all. The number 2 (represented by the pillars among other things can be seen as symbolic of the vagina. In silence she accepts all and in silence she answers. Because we can’t hear them spoken, we often believe these answers to come from our own minds.
Astrological Attribution – The Moon (☾) – The astrological moon relates to the unconscious and the messages that come from there. It casts no light of its own but reflects whatever light strikes it (and in turn reflects that light onto whatever it touches). The Moon lights our dark night and shows us what we need to protect ourselves. It goes through cycles of casting greater and lesser amounts of light and influences tides (both in the water and our bodies which are mostly water) and emotions. It is the part of us that knows on a deep intuitive level whether or not we can communicate our knowledge.
Runic Attribution – Pertho The appearance of this card suggests a dice cup (notice the receptive feminine appearance of it) and represents both psychic information, intuition and secrets. The goddess attribution is Freya (the all-mother). As a talisman, it heals mental dis-ease and disquiet among other ailments.It is both a revealer and concealer of secrets. It also represents initiation.
Other Runes connected with the High Priestess are Uruz and Orthilla.
Path on the tree of life: Path 13-Gimel: Gimel means Camel and just as a camel conveys one across the desert, Path 13 is the first path that crosses the abyss linking the spheres of Kether and Tiphareth on the center pillar of the tree. It has been called the Path of highest initiation and is the gate between the soul and the spirit. If Tiphareth is the light of the soul then it can be said that Gimel unites that light with the darkness of all-being. It is also referred to as “the unity directing consciousness”
When the High Priestess turns up in a reading it indicates that this is a time to be silent and tune into our own unconscious and listen to what it is trying to tell us. It tells us to pay attention to dreams and other symbols that may be appearing to us. This may be a time of incredible spiritual growth happening beneath the surface, not yet ready to manifest in the physical. Changes are coming if we but open ourselves to them. In a reading, it may also represent the need for us to turn to our feminine side and the understanding that that gives us. We may have grown inattentive to the Goddess force that lies within all of us (men included). The card may also represent a romance that we may wish for but will not manifest in a sexual way at least. At its most essential tho, the card means to be open to whatever intuitive messages are coming through in whatever area is being asked about.
When the High Priestess is reversed or badly aspected it can mean that we have not been listening to the guidance we have been given and are suffering because of it. It may mean that we are blocking our subconscious and need to find ways to open ourselves up to it. It is a good time to meditate and clear and try to reestablish connections with our inner self. It may be that while the querent is usually well tuned to their inner nature, events of late have felt too rushed or too chaotic and so they have been blocking that voice. Nothing is ever so busy that a time out to reflect and meditate is not a good idea.
“It is necessary … for a man to go away by himself … to sit on a rock … and ask, ‘Who am I, where have I been, and where am I going?”
― Carl Sandburg
It has now been almost a week since I’ve returned. When I left I had a goal in mind of making some decisions. I wanted some clarity on the direction that this next stage of my life would take. I had some vague ideas but no clear cut vision of what I wanted. I hoped that distance from the day to day would give me this.
I saw many impressive things on this trip. I traveled to Venice and Rome, Athens and Barcelona, cities that were somewhat mythical to me, a lifelong reader about places I had yet to see. I saw some of the most impressive works of art of western civilization and met many people. Yet still no answers were forthcoming or at least not immediate ones. Oh I learned a few things about myself and remembered others. I love the water and travelling upon it. Exploring new cities makes my heart sing. I have a knack for languages and love trying to speak to people in their native tongue and I love the stories that people tell. I love in-depth exploration of ideas and people more than I like skimming the surface in any kind of social way. I would much rather be a visitor to a place rather than a tourist. Visitors tend to be more welcome and less interested in seeing the sites and buying trinkets than tourists. I would rather eat in small roadside places with people who live day to day than in fine restaurants with other tourists. I am fascinated by what other artists produce.
How can I use those facts in a constructive way? That I have yet to learn.
Oh a few things have come from it. I love the masques that they sell in Venice and would love to see what I could do in that medium. I have a new idea for a set of tarot cards based on Venetian Masques. I have lots of inspiration for art and more motivation than ever to finish the things I’ve started.
All in all, as I sit on this rock (well chair) and reflect I find these things impressive and encouraging. Yet the journey is always beginning, ending and in progress.