March 16th, 2007

Madonna del "Magnificat" (detail)

Thursday, Third Week of Lent, John 8:21-32, From Above or From Beneath

In the passage that I have read today, John 8:21-32, Jesus tells the people listening to him: “You are from beneath. I am from above. You are of this world. I am not of this world.” Again he says the enigmatic words that ...where he goes we all(humans) cannot come... But after that he gives the people listening (and me reading) a glimmer of hope telling in so many words that we are able to follow Jesus, if we believe that Jesus is sent by his Father (meaning God) and is following the laws as written down in the Torah, laws which are meant to liberate, to set people free.

Reading this passage I wondered what Jesus meant with his words that we are from ‘beneath’, and that he is from ‘above’. I wondered also how I could be able to follow Jesus there (into above). These are the questions that I have asked the tarot today. I’ve pulled three cards from the Voyager tarot.

Card 1. An image of ‘beneath’ where we come from.
Card 2. An image of ‘above,’ were Jesus comes from.
Card 3. How I can follow Jesus there (to above)?

For card 1, the image of ‘beneath’, “Growth,” came up, Ten of Wands. 


For where we come from, for ‘beneath,’ is growth important, developing ourselves until we are how we are meant: “in the image of God.” Growth means try to do better. Its shadowside is the feeling that we are not good enough and never will be; in Christian terms, ‘born in sin’. For me both sides of the card are important, the longing to grow, and the shadowside of that.

For card 2, the image of ‘above,’ I have pulled “Stability,” Two of Cups. 


I was surprised about the consistency of the tarot, because this card is almost the same as the card that I pulled a few days ago to the same question (see here, especially the comments). The duck on this card keeps his or her own track through the depths and heights of life in a stable manner. The cactuses, used to keep their water inside in the dry desert, show that the duck is able to keep hold of his energy for a long time. He can reenergize himself. The yellow flowers show that he takes care for his own joy. Thus, ‘above’ (for me now) is a place of stability, of gong my own way, realizing that each of us has to re-energize, and take care of him- or herself.

For card 3, which gives an answer to the question “How can I follow Jesus there?” I have pulled “Love,” Three of Cups. 


I was already surprised, but I was flabbergasted drawing “Love,” Three of Cups, for I have pulled it as ‘my sin,’ a few days ago. I really, really wanted to interpret this card as love, loving everybody, being open and giving and soft, without boundaries, for that is true Christian, but I cannot do that, having received this card as ‘sin’ a few days ago. Giving too much, as if letting flowers stream in the vase in a continuous flow, that was my sin back then. So, how can I follow Jesus into the ‘above’? Loving myself. Not giving too much, so easily and all the time, thinking it is not good enough and never enough, and that deep down I myself am not good enough (card 1). Thereby becoming aware that each of us is responsible for him- or herself and our own lives (card 2).

Friday, Third Week of Lent, John 8:33-45, Slavery and Liberation

For a few days already (at least, it are days in my blog) is Jesus talking to people who challenge him to show him who he is. All the time there is the threat that they will take him captive to put him into prison and worse, if he does not abide to the law. But they have not taken him yet.

In the passage that I have read today (John 8:33-45), Jesus makes his position again as clear as he is able to, saying that he is he is faithfully doing what his father, God, tells him to do. So again he calls God his father. With these words Jesus tries to show that he is not different from other Jews, that he lives according the Torah and that he does not take another view.

Jesus is sharp in this passage. To the people who challenge him he tells that their father is the devil, and that they do what the devil wants of them. He says: “You are of your father, the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and doesn’t stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks on his own; for he is a liar, and the father of it.”

Jesus opposes the lies of the devil against the truth of God. The difference between the truth of God and the lies of the devil is that Gods truth is meant to liberate people, and the desires of the devil do enslave people. I do not have to explain here what the devil symbolizes, for we as tarotpeople are familiar with the image.

I wondered:
1.What enslaves me (an image of the lies of the devil)
2.What liberates me from the above slavery (an image of the truth of God)

I could not believe my eyes when the card for position 1 appeared on the table, that showed me what enslaves me. It was Four of Discs (Four of Pentacles). 


I have pulled this card earlier this week as the place where Jesus goes, but where we cannot come. It meant to me that I find it hard to set boundaries, or to find my own steering wheel in certain issues. The cards from the Motherpeace deck are round, so they can easily fall in another position than upright, and I am used to ascribing meanings to each of these positions.

This card was fell horizontally to the right, meaning that I am so firmly trying to set boundaries, that I shut people out. Another theme comes in play here, that of ‘giving,’ which I encountered yesterday and earlier this week. I see a sort of ‘anger’ here against the world outside, if everyone is an enemy, so to say. It is the rebound of giving too much. Giving too much causes resentment. The slavery is the need to put these boundaries, as the rebound of giving too much.

For the second card that shows what liberates me, I have pulled Ace of Cups, reversed. 


Ace of Cups reversed, drawn in the reversed position means to me that I do not feel love and that I do not feel loved by others. It shows the real cause of giving too much, the resentment and need for firm boundaries. That is lack of love. It would liberate me if I opened my heart to myself and others to just enjoy, and do what I like to do, not thinking too much about, well you know, what I should do, and must do, and for what I feel responsible for. 

Tomorrow another theme, please… I've seen it now!