Today I have reread the passage that I have studied yesterday (John 7:53-8:20). The story was about a woman ‘caught in the act of adultery’. According the law she had to be stoned, but Jesus asked the people who brought the woman if they were without sin, then they could stone her. They all knew they were not without sin and condemned themselves.
What is odd is that the woman only speak two words during the whole event, and not on her own initiative, but as an answer. She says: “No one, Lord,” to the question by Jesus if someone had condemned her. That is all I could not just go to another passage, without addressing this.
I wonder, what would her perspective be on the people that took her to Jesus, and in the end walked away from her without condemning her; on the situation she finds herself in; on Jesus who saves her (but still sees her as a sinful woman) and on herself. I wonder also what she had wanted to say about it all, in the case that her words would not have made the situation worse for her.
Since I have a new tarot, the Victorian Romantic Tarot, I did not choose my deck by pulling a title from my little yellow bag with tarot-deck titles that I usually use for these Lent-readings; I use my new tarot. I have chosen one question: What is the perspective of the woman on herself, how does she see herself?
I have pulled Six of Wands.
I had to make a choice on how to read this card. Do we see the woman here in a triumphant mood, sitting on a horse, because in the end no one condemned her, for they all realized that they had sinned themselves? Is she glad that Jesus stood by her, does she feel supported? Is she glad that she is saved, and does she become a follower of Jesus, walking in the parade and telling what he did for her? Or does the card picture the opposite? Did she hate standing in the limelight, feeling humiliated by the situation?
I think the situation is too humiliating and too dangerous to read it as a triumph. Although she stayed alive, the woman was just an inch away of being stoned. I think the woman feels ignored, fearful, trampled between the hoofs of the horses in the parade, not seen or heard, used in a conflict about the law that was not hers. The woman is caught and used in the dispute between Jesus and the people who came to challenge him, hoping to find an excuse to arrest him. She is caught up in a power-struggle.
But I must honestly say that reading the card this way confirms my view on the story and that is dangerous. So, I am not sure.