October 29th, 2006

gezicht van een meisje

Christ in the Whine-Press

This evening I changed a picture in my study for another. It was a photo of a wall-painting of Christ in the whine-press. Since the harvesting of the grapes is over, I took it away. We have seen the painting it for real in a chapel high in the woods around Cochem in Germany, where we were on holiday last summer. Today I pause my exploration of Halloween in order to ask a question about Christ in the whine-press. I have pulled a card from the Arthurian Tarot as an answer to my question: “What does Christ in whine-press mean to me?” 


Sovereignty is my answer, the equivalent of Justice in the RWS. Sovereignty holds a cup in her hands. She presents it to us. I see it as the cup Christ drank, his suffering, the cup he had wanted to pass him.

The sacrifice that Christ brought, his suffering and dead -in this picture symbolized as whine mingled with blood, and on the tarot card symbolized by the red and white stream- is one of the most difficult themes for christian women. It tends to teach us (at least it is seen like that for a long, long time), to give ourselves away and to subject us to whatever is asked of us. One cannot live that. It gives anger and depression.

I think Sovereignty comments on this view. She is a strong, honest, integer woman, sitting right up, fighting for healthy relationships among humans (and between humans and the earth).

What does Sovereignty has to say about this old view of sacrifice? Sovereignty does not advocate a sacraficing attitude. She asks for balancing, for giving and taking, for making amends. It is unhealthy when there is too much sacrificing of one person in a relationship, especially when that is not done out of free will, but out of fear.

Sovereignty still holds the cup that I did associate with sufferring, also there is the red-white stream on the card.  Where do these come in in her story? Well, here: ending having a sacrificing attitude is difficult, sometimes as difficult as the cup that Christ had too drink.