February 21st, 2007

kaarsvlammen

Ash Wednesday, Luke 18: 9-14, Illumination

Today Lent starts. Lent is a period of forty days, ending with Easter. It is meant as a period of meditation and reflection on the life, deeds and suffering of Jesus, and the meaning of this all in our lives. To the extent I have fun in it and to the extent it helps me relate to the divine, I read each day a passage from Scripture and pull a card alongside it, which helps me to connect the passage to my life. If I miss out on the fun and the relation with the sacred, I quit with it.
 
I plan to use several decks. Each day I pull the deck I use out of several little cards with their titles written on them. I use the Voyager Tarot, the Motherpeace Tarot, the Inner Child Cards, the Tarot of Jane Austen by chelsearoad and the Fantastic Menagerie Tarot. Since these are a whole bunch I will not be bored easily, and the deck pulled will have a relevance to the question. Let’s make a start right now.
 
Today I have read a parable from the Gospel of Luke (18:9-14). Jesus tells this story to people who are convinced of their own righteousness, and who despise others. In the story a Pharisee and a tax-collector go to pray in the temple. In the temple the Pharisee stood up and thanked God that he was not like the rest of the people, unrighteous, adulterers and tax-collectors, and that he fasted twice a week. The tax collector would not even lift his eyes to heaven and asked God to have mercy on him, because he was a sinner. Jesus’ concluded the story saying that the tax collector (a profession that was frowned upon) went home justified and not the other man, “for for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.

For many of us -especially for women- this is not an easy story. For some or other reason women are educated in subtle ways to be humble. Right now we are trying hard to be less humble. So the saying by Jesus that "he who humbles himself will be exalted" is difficult, for we are just teaching ourselves not to be humble and place our needs below the need of the other. So, what to ask the tarot here? Since humbleness is a problem for me I have decided to ask something about the theme of humbleness. I have asked the tarot the following question: "How I can be humble without degrading myself?"

                           

Well, I can be humble without degrading myself by being very, very honest with myself. The card I have pulled is Illumination (Ace of Wands) from the Voyager Tarot. Pictured is a hand from which you see all the way through the bones. It means clarity, and getting insight, really seeing everything, to the bone even. Humbleness seen as honesty I can live with. Although if everything is seen of me, there is more ‘me’; there is no degrading myself, making me less, it is just the truth, painfull, yes, but the truth. 

This kind of humbleness is even giving my energy. See the fireworks? I am illuminated by it.

Schedule of readings is from: Dienstboek, Zoetermeer, 1998.