April 1st, 2007


Palm Sunday, The Conditions of Love and Giving

It is Palm Sunday today. Today I have thought about what conditions ‘love’ for me, and what conditions ‘giving’ for me. These themes form a pair for me, but surely they are not the same, so today I ask about their difference. I used my little yellow bag with the five tarot-titles that I use for my Lent-readings to pick the deck that I would use, and I pulled the Tarot of Jane Austen. That made me smile, since it was the suggestion of chelsearoadthat I do this reading and this is her deck.

Two questions:
1.What conditions love for me?
2.What conditions giving for me?

To both questions I have pulled ‘Teacups’, (Cups). Both card are about deep, intense feelings and displays of drama.

As an answer to the first question -what the conditions of love are for me- I have picked Maiden of Teacups. 


Pictured on this card is Marianne Dashwood, from Sense and Sensibility. Marianne is ruled by her feelings; she can be desolate and in a state of euphoria, high and very low and she lives for her passions. She sees what she wants to see, and often that is not the reality, but her desire. She is romantic, playful, trusting (but young and naïve as she is, trusts the wrong man), is open and direct, showing her feelings. She does not behave responsible, like a grown-up, she is playful (her sister Elinor is the responsible, she is the Queen of Pentacles in the deck). Besides all this, my eye fell again and again on the bowl of fruits on the side-table.
Feelings, beauty and happiness, being playful (instead of carrying the heavy load of responsibility), the abundance of fruit, all that conditions love for me.

For the second question -what the conditions of giving are for me- I have pulled Five of Teacups. 


Depicted is George Wickham and Elizabeth Bennett, from Pride and Prejudice, walking down the bank of a river. I identify with Elizabeth, who is listening George telling her a sad story. George feels betrayed by his friend Mr. Darcy, who’s father had promised that he could live on his estate and have an income. But when his father died, his friend turned him out. Elizabeth is listening with a sympathetic ear. Later on she hears that the story of George is not altogether true. His sorrow was a false display of emotion.
Giving means to me sympathize with someone who is sad or poor, and doing things for that person. Simply sad: when someone is depressed, lonely or poor, or all three of them, I start to give. Very often, from child on, I find myself in that position.

As a remark on the side, I do see a pitfall here on the card, that of misguided sympathy, not seeing that someone exaggerates, or is not even telling the truth; that happened to Elizabeth, and has happened to me as well, but I am getting better at that one. 

The difference between the two cards is that Marianne, the Maiden of Teacups -drawn as my condition for love- cares much more for her own feelings (she even indulges in them) and is much more playful than Elizabeth on the Five of Teacups, the card I picked for my conditions of giving. Elizabeth is tuned in on the needs of the sad other; Marianne is directed to her own feelings and responses, aiming for beauty, love and joy.