ladyofthemoor (ladyofthemoor) wrote,

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The Sword and the Leper, Henry Tilney as Brigid: Wholeness

Today I have interpreted my last card from the spread about The Sword and the Leper, a story about St. Brigid. In this story Brigid gives away the food from the larder of her father to the poor. Her father wants to sell her to a neighbouring chieftain as a slave. While they are bargaining a price. Brigid, who is standing outside, gives the sword of her father to a leper who asks her to help him. In the end the neighbouring chieftain does not want to buy her, because she is too honest for him. She has said frankly to him that she would give his wealth and the wealth of her father to the poor. Thus Brigid is saved from slavery by her kindness. For each character in the story (and for the sword) I have pulled a card. The cards represent the attitude of the characters in me. 

As last card I had picked the Lord of Candlesticks yesterday from Northanger Abbey for the attitude of Brigid in me, but I did not read the card back then. 


Pictured on the card is Henry Tilney and Catherine Moorland. Northanger Abbey is the first book I read from Jane Austen. I remember reading it on the shore of a little lake in Amerongen on a warm day in the shadow of broad oak trees. The book gives me all these happy memories. Henry Tilney, the figure from the book that embodies the Lord of Candlesticks, is a warm, charming and generous person; he has humour and is engaging to be with. Honesty is important to him, he is unconventional and he has a personal codes of ethics. He asks Catherine to marry him against the wishes of his father. Further, he is a clergyman, idealistic and due to his vocation, connecting with spirit.

What fits with Brigid is the idealism, the the vocation, the connection with spirit, and the personal code of ethics in which she is unconventional. Giving all away to the poor, everyday again is unconventional and stems from a personal code of ethics.

I could not have pulled a better card for Brigid, because I find her rigid in the story, doing things like a bulldozer. Henry Tilney is not like that at all, I like him a lot. He is far more flexible in his behaviour than Brigid. He asks Catherine to marry him, but waits with the marriage until his father gives his consent.

Besides this comparison to Brigid, Henry is light hearted as a person, he does what he must do ethically, but he is not carrying it as Atlas. He is not fragile as for instance Marianne Dashwood is, who has trouble living in this harsh world. Furthermore he would not suffer in silence from a broken heart as Jane Bennet does. I think he would have taken some action or would have moved on to find happiness elsewhere.

What I find remarkable is that until now I have pulled almost all cards that expressed need: the need to cure my broken heart which was the crying Jane Bennet on Three of Quills (for the father of Brigid) and the sensitive  Marianne Dashwood on Four of Quills (for the neighbouring chieftain); the need to heal physically from the to harsh demands of the world (again Marianne Dashwood on Four of Quills for the chieftain), the need to move away from my depressive side (Mary Crawford on the Chariot for the leper), and the need not to be a victim, and get what I want (again Mary Crawford on the Chariot for the leper).

One of the two cards that I have pulled that does not belong in the row of the ‘need’ cards, is the Hanged Man (Fanny). But that card is a ‘second best’ best card. Fanny wants to help her friends out, but thinks what they do is wrong. The leper does not want to beg, but must do it, because he has no other income. Brigid wants to live in a world without poverty and suffering, so she gives away the sword, but in doing that she sacrifices the relation to her father.

The other card that is not a needy card is the card for Brigid, the Knight of Candlesticks. Funny is that this card looks a bit like the Chariot, both show horses, but beware, this card is very different in meaning. Mary Crawford needs to get what she wants, and does it through all means. The Knight of Candlesticks as represented by Henry Tilney, is not as rude as she is. He is far more flexible and easy going.

Well, the Knight of Candlesticks -the card for Brigid in me- does not operate from a need, does not express something second-best, and does not use all means to get what he wants. What is it with this card that makes me do what Brigid does, give away to the poor. This card is a card of happiness, of hope of romance that will surely come, and is in spirit already. The sorrow and loneliness of the other cards lacks here. Instead of that there is fulfilment, because the two people on the carriage enjoy each others company. There is a wholeness and a joy that all the other cards lack. So the Brigid in me does her good work when I am happy, optimistic, and when I feel myself whole, complete and content with myself.

Tags: brigit, chariot, four of swords, hanged man, knight of wands, saint, tarot of jane austen, three of swords

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