April 23rd, 2007

Madonna del "Magnificat" (detail)

Moses and My Task

Today I’ve read about a biblical prophet, Moses.

What is so nice about biblical figures, also the awesome ones, is that are often not all ‘good’. The are utterly, utterly human. Moses for instance killed an Egyptian who was viciously beating a Hebrew slave. He had to flee to another country Midian where he became a shepherd. Despite this deed, he was the one who delivered the Hebrew people out of in Egypt where they were enslaved, let them through the Red Sea and for forty years through the desert (he is a good candidate for the Chariot). What also is interesting is that prophets, like Moses, never want to be prophets. They all protest against their role in first instance. So does Moses: “I cannot go to the Pharaoh to ask to set my people free,” when God asked him to do that, “I stutter!”

After reading about Moses I wonder why I think that I am not fit for my task. I have used the yellow bag with deck-titles and I received the equivalent of Two of Swords. The card is called in Dutch: Blauwe Gaai. 


I could not get the meaning of the card from the picture, it is dark and not expressive, so I had to use the accompanying book by Ted Andrews intensively (and not for the first time). The book is not structured, many sentences after each other in a blur. I am frustrated about having to read so often in that book, thus today is -for the time being- the last time I use this deck.

But the message of the card is interesting and true, although I’d rather not hear it. Here it comes. I think am not fit for my task because I am afraid I cannot reach the most inner core of my being, and besides that I think that I am not able to have access to the ‘highest knowledge’. This language is over the top, but yes it is true. I do think I do not have access to that. No one has it in fact, but still, it would be nice to have it, because often I am in the postion to say some profound truths, or to ask some really to the point questions. I was aware of this fear of me, and yet not really, so this is new in a way. And it is a good thing really to be aware of. Moses did his task nonetheless and so will I.

Book used: Michael J. Shire, The Jewish Prophet, Jewish Lights Publishing, 2001.
Madonna del "Magnificat" (detail)

Credentials of Moses (Midrash)

Again Moses today, just as yesterday. I have pulled a card about a theme from a Midrash about this biblical figure. Moses freed the Jewish people from Egypt, led them through the Red Sea, and led them all through all sorts of perils through the desert, until they found a country to live in. He was a leader. There is a Midrash about Moses in which God gives him the credentials for his leadership. The Midrash tells about Moses at the time when as a shepherd herding the flock of Jethro, his father in law.

“Once, when Moses was keeping Jethro’s flock in the wilderness, a little kid escaped from him. When it reached a shady place, a pool of water appeared before it and it stopped to drink. When Moses caught up with it, he said, “I did not know that you ran away because you were thirsty, you must be weary.” So he put the kid on his shoulder and carried it back. Then God said: “Because you have shown compassion to the flock of a human owner, you shall most surely lead my flock, the people of Israel.”
Midrash Exodus Rabbah 2:2

Reading about the credentials of Moses for his leadership I wondered about my credentials being a reader. I have pulled a card from the Motherpeace Tarot to see what these credentials are and I received the Priestess of Cups. 


This priestess is all water, all feeling. On the card a mermaid plays the harp. The card is soft coloured, lime-green and pink. Credentials must come before the actual task. Moses carried a child back to the flock, what made him fit for the task given him by God of freeing the Jewish people. So what is it then in my past that gives me my credentials as a reader? It is because I fell down from the tower (high on the left of the card) which is to me here, being closed up in the mind. After that fall I met myself with all my fears and vulnerabilities in the deep sea (the whale). Having learned (the hard way) to connect with my own feeling side, gives me my credentials for being a reader.
Madonna del "Magnificat" (detail)

Empress, Woman Clothed with the Sun?


I did not look in the book of Corinne Heller on bible and tarot to look for her biblical correspondence with the Empress. I thought she did not have any correspondences except Adam with the Magician, but she has one for the Empress too. My choice was Sara, but today I saw that she chooses “The Woman clothed with the Sun” from the Book of Revelation. Often this Woman is associated with Mary, crowned and and in heaven, and as a mother, mother of the church for instance. There are many paintings of her.

The Woman Clothed with the Sun an image appearing in a vision to John in Patmos. She is pregnant and is about to give birth, having great pains. I am temped to change Sarah for The Woman Clothes with the Sun, because she is truly an image of creativity. She is cosmic, and she is crowned with the stars, like the RWS Empress, but it is hard to identify with her.. that is the downside. And it is not that she births the world or something, she delivers a son (a messiah figure), goes into hiding for protection and gets in a cosmic fight with a dragon great cosmic struggle between good and evil, big contrasts, like the picture underneath, from Blake. 


I think I keep Sara, although I am not totally content with the choice.