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An excerpt from the companion post on Tarot for Troubling Times. Strength, Lust and Justice are envisioned in the Toth Tarot…

 

Toth Key XI – Strength/Lust

Lose yourself in loosening the reins of weakness
Use your power to affect change
See the full vision of many paths and many ways of being
Trust in your instincts as….
                             The Strength Within You Grows

Wait, what? Why are the Strength and Justice Keys reversed in Rider-Waite vs. Toth? These are the numbers:

Rider-Waite: Key VIII – Strength
Toth: Key VIII – Adjustment/Justice

Rider-Waite: Key XI – Justice Rider-Waite
Toth: Key XI – Strength/Lust

The sweet irony of this draw is…

Strength and Justice make wonderful bedfellows. What we lust after is fueled by action, desire and determination. Strength benefits from these attributes when they are in balance – the necessary component to ensure that Justice is exactly that.  Read Full Post…

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This year I am using the wisdom of the Major Arcana to offer inspiration and perspective to what will most probably be a challenging year at all levels. Please enjoy the excerpt below from my new blog..

Tarot for Troubling Times

slide21First card drawn- Strength!

 

….What is the theme for this year?

Every year on January 1st, I draw a card from the Major Arcana selection to ask the question that will set the tone for your year. Woke up this morning and sat quietly thinking what that question should be to begin this year’s work. So many things in flux this year and so much work needed, both on myself and within the larger community.

And, so I settled into the question of what the theme of the year would be. Shuffle the cards, deep breath, reach out with anticipation and draw from the pile. I hold the card face away just for a moment and then turn it over….

Tarot Key VIII – Strength…. Yep, that’s about right. Strength is exactly what will be needed to navigate this new year.

Solid foundations must be crafted upon which to stand;
Trust in the process, resolve is at hand;
Rise above limitation and learn from your peers;
Empower yourself with wisdom honed from your fears;
Notice the strides that have been taken and make note of missteps;
Gather to you all your courage and worry not about safety nets;
The answers that you seek are those that you already know;
Honor what you have created and stand in truth as……
The Strength within you grows.

Read More Here..

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HeierophantImage

Image: Rider-Waite Tarot 

What do you hold sacred and
Who are your Gods?

You stand before me and
Hope that I will show you
The way of return.

I am wisdom and the hidden knowledge
Gained from effort and sacrifice.

I have achieved the balance
Of foundation and
Now may be the
Disruption that
Spawns new
Direction.

I sit within the
Place of anchor
And all that flows from
My discourse will
Take root.

The mystery is how
To initiate that seed of
Root and the form it may take
For that is your path
Only to reveal.

The halls of knowledge are
Ever open.

Where will you find
The courage to
Pass through?

Keywords:

WISDOM
SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP
SKILL
DISCERNMENT
SELF KNOWLEDGE

The Hierophant sits upon a throne of sorts, the Pillars of Polarity to his right and left. He is the Middle Pillar of balance, union of polarities and guardian of the Supernal wisdom. This card is one of my favorite cards in the Major Arcana. Looking at the card gives a sense of peace, as well as a call to action of the highest aspiration. I see this card as a call to “service”. What form and who that service impacts are exerted by the choice of free will and where you have chosen to give your attention and focus.

The Hierophant appears as the quintessential spiritual advisor, bestower of Divine blessing, master of ageless wisdom and beneficent authority. Saying all that often brings a feeling of security in the knowledge that a higher authority – other than our human selves – exists and to whom we may placidly entrust the guiding of our spiritual growth.

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Image: The Alchemical Tarot (Rosemary Guiley)

I particularly like the image of the Hierophant represented in the Alchemical Tarot Deck. The balance of lunar and solar, feminine and masculine energies seen through the arch of window. When we think of a window we imagine a space to see out from and a haven of sanctuary to stand as observer and perhaps go unobserved. I think of this depiction as the natural tendency we have to see these energies of the Moon and the Sun as something apart from ourselves and that we look at longingly through whatever safe haven we have ensconced ourselves within. The Hierophant being the bridge or point of interface between the two, holding open the book of knowledge that will enable us to recognize our place within these two states of being.

The statues of male and female at the left and right hand of the Hierophant are smaller in size and are reminder that our physical form is only a small piece of the greater mystery. That we too may sit in the place of the Hierophant as we draw into our core (the middle pillar) all aspects of our true nature, moon, sun and cosmos; male, female and manifestation and rise as guardian of our Higher Self as the Hierophant looms large in the place of center.

All of the aforementioned is true; but another part of the Mystery (definition of: a spiritual reality that transcends normal reasoning) lies in the Key number of the card – #5- the number of rebellion, change and disruption of the status quo to move us beyond the false security of an earthly foundation. Five is the occurrence of the stability of equilateral Four opening up and reaching out towards the unknown. The foundations laid in the structure and order of a four-sided figure (square) are now being tested and stretched to their limits. This is the primary principle of nature abhorring a vacuum or inertia. If we remain too long in the comfort of everything being the same, we become stagnant and dis-eased. Nature steps in and causes illness and discontent (the number Five) stirring the call to action that will ultimately bring us to a place of transformation.

If we combine this information with the other attributes of the card, we realize that the lesson of this card is that with every embracing of and opening to higher levels of understanding and spirituality there will also be the necessary resultant disruption of the security felt by simply remaining where we are. By seeking the strength contained within the Emperor- who appears more than a man- but, still a man grounded in the physical reality- we can experience the Self-Knowledge and spiritual security of the Hierophant.

Wherever this card falls in a spread, expect, changes and the need to take a closer look at those things we consider the foundation and pillars of our Spiritual Path. The number Five is also the number of sides on a shield – four sides of the square and the point of a triangle. With the Wisdom of the Hierophant, we may deflect from ourselves what would harm, gather the energy into its space of security and then turn the focus of that shield’s point of light and Divine Wisdom to illuminate our way along the Path.

The Shield of Focus Spread (rcf)

I seek the highest Spiritual Truth
For my guidance and inspiration.

I seek to unify the inner world of Spiritual Illumination
And the outer world of personal experience.

I seek to walk in the Light

Remove The Hierophant Card from the Deck and place it centrally in the position of the anchor, face up. Focus your query and intent in a meditative way directed towards The Hierophant key. Lay 4 more cards face down in a semi circle in the order presented below:

This spread takes on the form of a shield. Four sides create the foundation upon which we hold and direct the energies we wish to direct in a focused and refined manner through a singular tip of expression. The Hierophant sits in the center as hidden anchor. His energy is felt at a deep level of internalization rather than in an overt and obvious manner. There are many cross paths contained within this spread that await your revealing.

Sheld of Focus.jpeg

Lower Row:
1. Action- This is the place of first steps. What is indicated here shows where movement needs to be made.

2. Restraint- This is the place of what needs holding back, and where there is needed a pause and taking a breath before moving forward.

Middle Row:
3. Information- Information about the situation that is not on the surface. This is what needs to be retrieved so that the action required may hold greater choice and potential for outcome.

4. Protection- This is the place of safeguarding and may give indication of those things not quite ready to be revealed or acted upon.

5. The Point of Focus:
This card indicates the place of releasing the appropriate course of combined action and information having been processed through the filters of restraint and protection. This is the synthesis of those cards that form the base or foundation. This is the point where those efforts and indicators for change and action may now be released in a synthesized stream for the most effective use.

This posting is a Sneak Peek at:
The Inner Chamber: Volume Four
A Walk Through the Major Arcana
By Robin Fennelly
Release Date: Fall 2014

 

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Womb of Light Image

Happy New Year! We leave behind 2013 and embark on new journeys in 2014. At the start of each new year I spend some reflective time to remind myself of the goals I have accomplished and how they can be best used as the foundations for the year’s work ahead. I use multiple disciplines- Numerology, Astrology and Tarot- as part of this annual meditation and make note of the recurring themes of each as areas I should be especially mindful of.

This year resonates to the number 7 (add the 2+0+1+4=7) and the potential for new paths, gaining mastery over what was begun in 2013 and deeper connection to understanding our own spiritual nature. The number seven is the proving ground …  Read More at the Womb of Light Blog:

Taking Hold of the Reins 2014!

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“ The spoken word changes reality.
The written word is manifestation of that reality.
And, the two combined cause physiological response
and affirmation of manifestation.”

Many people confuse pathworkings with guided meditations as they become more involved in developing their spiritual practice.  The two may seem like the same thing simply with different nomenclature,  but when you have a better understanding of what the effects and goals of each are, the differences become more discernible and more apparent.

I write a lot of pathworkings and usually incorporate them in my workshops and articles as I can.    For years I used guided meditations to relax and reaffirm myself or simply as a way to deepen my ability to remain open and receptive to new information.

Take a look at the picture above.  A pathwworking is similar to this image or analogy.  You walk in  the woods and encounter many different types of plants and animals.  Everything you see evokes a memory, whether you are consciously aware of it or not.  There are many side paths you may take as well, each leading to another part of the same woods, but having arrival by a different, route different, group of encounters, etc.  And, eventually you arrive at your destination, but with many much more knowledge of what would have gone largely unnoticed had you used a variety of keys.

If you were experiencing a guided meditation, the route would be planned. One path would be decided upon and you would not stray from that path as you moved towards the final destination.  Each from will get you to the destination of your choosing, but the way in which you get there is determined by what is straight forward and what relies on analogy and inference.

The choice of using one of these over the other is usually determined by that goal.  Changes to overt behaviors such as tools for relaxation, energizing, sleep problems, smoking, boosting self confidence, etc.. are generally more effected by a guided meditation.  Ongoing spiritual work, energetic anatomy or connection to varied states of consciousness generally respond to a pathworking.  Now these are not hard and fast rules, but general guidelines about  which would produce better results.

Another consideration in choice is that the events or scenarios presented in a guided meditation will directly align with whatever the issue is.  So, if you are stressed and want to relieve that stress the guided meditation will take the opposite form of what you are working on.  If the goal is one of boosting your self-confidence, the guided meditation will offer a safe setting where you feel confident and strong.  You may be instructed to visualize yourself acting in a manner that displays this confidence.   The key word here being “guided”.  In this form of meditation you are guided or directed towards your goal using scenes, words and imagery that you can easily recognize and then imprint into your own psyche.

The word “pathworking” is derived from the Qabalistic Tree of Life and the paths of connection between the spheres.  Each path acts as synthesizer of the pure essence of energy of the spheres they connect; and stands as both extremes as well as the central point of balance.  Originally the concept of a pathworking related to the inner work the initiate would encounter as they internalized the energy of the spheres and the paths to refine and transform their magickal endeavors.  Because of the potency and dynamics of the combined energies, specific keys and imagery  were used in the creation of the pathworking that were meant to access the deeper realms of consciousness and open it to a state of union with the individual’s Higher consciousness.   It is from this initial intent that pathworkings are formulated and constructed and are now used within a variety of  magickal or spiritual practices.   The underlying current is still fueled by the inroads of the original intent and the Qabalistic connections despite what surface modalities are used.

To be specific, a pathworking will incorporate a variety of tools as keys.  These may include  Astrology, Tarot images, Qabalah, Numbers/Colors or sensations. Often the settings have no overt alignment to what is being worked upon and the imagery used is one that acts to stimulate memory and subconscious association that can be processed through all of the spiritual bodies.

Next week:  I will offer a  Pathworking and a Guided Meditation as sample.

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Tarot for Troubling Times

A Walk Through the Major Arcana

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