September 17th, 2006

verlangen

Hildegard of Bingen (part one)


Today it is the feast-day of St.Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179), "Sibyl of the Rhine". She is one of the great mystics of the Middle Ages. 

                                                            

Today I will pull a card about a theme in one of her texts.

In your midst

I, God, am in your midst.
Whoever knows me can never fall,
Not in the heights,
Nor in the depths,
Nor in the breadth,
For I am love,
Which the vast expanses of evil
Can never still.
           Hildegard of Bingen

In this poem God speaks. He says that he is in our midst , and that falling is not possible for the ones who know God, because God is love, and this love will prevent that. What this 'falling' means is not specified. I think 'falling into evil' is meant, because evil is mentioned later in the text. The evil does not have to be only 'wrongdoings', but can also be loss, sorrow and pain.

Several questions are possible to explore this poem with tarot. I will mention some. What is meant by 'falling' in this poem? When or how do I 'fall'? What does it mean to me that God is love? How does Gods' love stop the 'vast expanses of evil'? How does God (who is love) protects me from falling (into evil). What does it mean to 'know' God? What does it mean to me, if I do not run the risk of falling?

I will choose one of the questions and pull a card this evening. I must leave now. I am regretting that.

Madonna del "Magnificat" (detail)

Hildegard of Bingen (part two)


In my last entry I did say I would draw a card with a question about the theme of a text by Hildegard of Bingen, since it is her feast-day. I had a long drive as a passenger. Therefore I  could think a long time about the -confronting- card I had pulled (in the car) from the Arthurian Tarot. And when we arrived, the thinking continued, for we made a walk in friendly woods. Funny enough these resembled the wood pictured on the card pretty well. 

In your midst

I, God, am in your midst.
Whoever knows me can never fall,
   Not in the heights,
   Nor in the depths,
   Nor in the breadth,
For I am love,
Which the vast expanses of evil
Can never still.
             Hildegard of Bingen

Of all the questions I mentioned in my previous entry I wanted most an answer to the following: "How does God, who is love, prevents me from falling (into evil)"? 

                                                              

The card I pulled is grail three, a picture of a laid-out table in an open space in the woods. The table looks almost like an altar laid out for the eucharist, but is much more friendly and inviting. This version of three of cups is a card of resting, rejuvenating, of getting new energy for the journey. I love this card.

For me this card means God/love invites me to rest and regenerate myself, to have no thoughts but happy thoughts, and no worries for the time being. It would make me happy if I do that. So, the ´fall´ for me is my inability to relax. What is so confronting about that?

Thing is with tarot, cards does not do the work, they invite you to do as they show. Thing is with God, he or she does not do the work, God invites you to walk a certain path. Thus, seeing what is needed in my life is not enough.

Doing is what is necessary.

That is what I had to think about during my long drive through the september-haze, and while I walked in those friendly woods. Because I just cannot do that.