February 17th, 2007

Madonna del "Magnificat" (detail)

A Fearful Page

Today I have taught one of two lessons on the subject of Tarot and Psalms. It was –as always– astonishing how fast people can learn how to read a card, following Mary K.Greers approach. The second card they read as if they had done nothing else in their lives than reading cards. It was a lovely gathering as well. 

That second card was a card that was pulled alongside a Psalm, with a question. It was Psalm 8

Since everyone pulled a card along this Psalm except me, I pulled one in the train back home from the Tarot of the Thousand and One Night. I had just bought it in Amsterdam the city where my course took place.

Psalm 8 is about how beautiful our world is, and asks the question what we as humans are that God put the earth, the animals and all the growing things in our hands. “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, The moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him?”

The question for the card alongside this Psalm is: “What am I (now), that God is mindful of me?” 


I have pulled the Page of Wands as an answer to this question. This card shows a boy who looks down apprehensively on a city below him, hesitating to go there.

I had lots of time in the train on my way back, so I entered the card in order to let it speak for me. The boy wants to go to city, he loves the it, the hassle and bustle, the noises and the scents of cinnamon and jasmine, but he is afraid. The road he needs to take to come there is full of dangers.

So this is me, this boy standing up there, surrounded by beautiful flowers. I have been often to this city below, I took this risk of the road often (just to say I am not a coward), but today what God is mindful of, is my fear for the road. God cares for me and accepts me in my fear. Mmm, in other words it’s is ok to be a coward. Probably that helps a lot, to see and accept that from myself.
Madonna del "Magnificat" (detail)


Yesterday I sat on the couch in our living-room hearing this not-yet-familiar low electric buzz within my ear and I thought: “I must not be too critical on myself.” For some years now I have sounds in my ears. They worsened during the last weeks, due to a sinus infection. The moment the sinuses were better, the sounds increased. I can live with it, but I must not make a too great a demand on myself, and I was putting myself down all the time, asking too much of myself in ‘doing things better’.
I often use the tarot to reflect on my behaviour. It is a great tool for that, but I need to look out in being too critical on myself. 


All this I was thinking after I had pulled yesterday’s card inspired by Psalm 8, which sings of how beautiful the world and the heavens are, and humans as well… The card of today shows my new found insight not to think too low of myself. I have pulled the Queen of Pentacles from the Tarot of the Secret Garden. The Queen of Pentacles cares for out health. In this version of the card she holds a stone in her hands and she is looking at it if it is valuable to her. This is me, holding my self-esteem in my hands. It is healthy to value your self-esteem.
Now I think of it, in the course on Tarot and Psalms yesterday there was someone who had pulled this Queen and interpreted it in exactly the same way as I do now. Same Psalm.