Lughnasa and the Chesed Moon
Sunday gratefuls: 49 degree morning. Ruth, only a strained shoulder and sprained back in a car accident with Jen. Gabe o.k. A quiet three days. Subway. Tarot. Kabbalah. The Hermit. The Magician.
Sparks of Joy and Awe: Ruth’s ok
Tarot: finishing the Life spread
As you may recall from yesterday, I created a new Tarot spread. Forgot to say it’s my final project in the class. We all have to show something we’ve learned. Not gonna go through the whole thing with them, too long. And, I imagine you didn’t read it through. But, I have. And, I will again.
Why? Because the tarot cards have the capacity to breach the veil of consciousness into the collective unconscious, to call out and up to awareness archetypal energies at work in my life. The only way to do it? Hardly. Poetry. Art. Friends. Kabbalah. Torah. Sacred literature. Movies. Literature. Nature. The tarot works for me much to my surprise.
#8. Samain/Binah, Three of Wands
“Keywords: Confidence, Realizing goals
Hard work begins to payoff…Realizing long term dreams and goals.” DTB
Perhaps Steiner’s springtime of the soul. A man, a farmer? an arborist?, stands with his hand on a Tree, looking out to the horizon. Beside him three wands have begun to leaf out, signaling that his work is vital, growing. A scene of future possibility. The full grown tree recalls earlier work, perhaps of another such man, now mature.
“Binah refers to the analytic, distinguishing aspects of God’s thought.
It is the uppermost feminine element in the Godhead, and is symbolized as the mother of the Shekhinah. Many of the symbols associated with Binah are therefore identical to those of the Shekhinah.” Jewish Virtual Encyclopedia
8 is infinity stood up straight.
Samain is the time when the veil grows thin and the boundary between this world and the other world is at its most permeable. Thus, Halloween, Dia de los muertos, All Saints. Coco.
The Celts chose to start their year now, at Summer’s End. The seasons between now and Ostara are Samain, Yule/Winter Solstice, and Imbolc. With Ostara these make up the first half of the Celtic year.
All this suggests that my life after Kate’s death may take a turn at Samain rather than Michaelmas. If her spirit/soul lives on (I make no assumptions.), then she will be able to communicate easily with me. I will make her an offrenda, my altar surrounding her ashes is a good start.
We’ll have a meal together, as Latin and Central Americans do in their graveyards on dia de los muertos. We’ll discuss her life and mine. She’ll have a glass of chardonnay, scallops and rare steak with fresh boiled asparagus. Finished off with some espresso, doppio, and a flan. I’ll have the rare steak, fried potatoes, and asparagus. Espresso and flan. A Paulaner Thomasbrau.
Perhaps I will achieve binah about her death and my life, discerning understanding.
#9 Yule/Tipharet Ten of Wands
“Keywords: Demands. Burdens. Overwork.
Carrying the weight of responsibility or obligations on your shoulder…Uncomplaining acceptance of your perceived burden. Reassessing priorities and values.” DTB
“Tipharet represents the ideal balance of Justice and Mercy needed for proper running of the universe.
This Sefirah unites all the upper nine powers.” JVL
The season of Yule, midwinter. The season beginning at the Winter Solstice. I feel strong, centered, in midwinter. 40 years a Minnesotan. The winter will not be ten wands on my back, though I would say that those wands don’t look all that heavy.
The man here, who does look overburdened, has walked a long way and has now begun an uphill segment. Might be me, coming back from down the Hill and through the Valley of grief. Navigating now a new life, back up on the Mountain. It will be, could be, that the new understanding of life will have created a tension between the old ways of life with Kate and the new ways of a realized life without her physical presence. That may be the ten wands.
But tipharet is the beautiful, the balanced place between Justice, Gevurah, and Mercy/Chesed. So it may also be that the wands will have begun to balance themselves, their weight distributed well for the climb.
#10 Imbolc/Hokmah Ten of Pentacles
“Key words: Blessings. Prosperity. Legacy
You may be in receipt of a legacy, or are creating one-either for your family or the wider community. Even difficult circumstances can carry hidden benefits. The chance to count our blessings and discover that they’re too numerous to count.” DTB
This is the last card in the spread, having now come round the full Great Wheel from Ostara to Imbolc. That it should have an Irish Wolfhound on it tells me all I need to know. The circle of Kate and mine’s life is in this card.
The woman stands in the black, out of the frame, perhaps out of this world. Perhaps in the other world. The gray headed man has a blond haired granddaughter by his side, Ruth, and a young man, perhaps Joseph over his shoulder. This represents the family left after the woman has gone into the blackness of death.
Though dead, the woman still holds a pentacle, a symbol of earth and abundance. Her presence is yet a source of comfort and grace for the family still on this side of the veil.
She is not absent from the lives of her family, just absent from Malkut, the physical realm.
This card strongly suggests to me that a full year after Kate’s death will find me, and our family, living and celebrating together, informed and supported by Kate’s legacy, her person and the wealth that she created. The spirit of the Irish Wolfhound, kind, compassionate, loving, loyal made present to all of us.
Since this is also the card for hokmah, or wisdom, I’m also inclined to believe that the year of grieving for Kate will bring to all of us a better sense of how to live our lives, both with each other and for each other.