October 3rd, 2007

batgirl

Sukkot, Esther

This week my blog is a virtual Sukkah. Each day I invite one of the seven foremothers in my blog to teach me something. 

       

Today I invite the last one: Esther. Her place on the Tree of Life is Malkuth, (Kingdom), which is the place where we live, the earth. This sphere is a receptacle for all the other spheres. Every sphere is important, but this one is very. Here all comes to manifestation. 

        

What is it that Esther teaches me? The card I have pulled for her teaching is Six of Pentacles. It took me a while before I understood the card, and longer yet before I could see any relation between card and the story of Esther. 

                                     

Six of Pentacles is about giving and receiving and the balance in it. The emphasis in this version of the Six of Pentacles is on being dependent on charity and not getting your needs met, because you receive the wrong things. The woman on the card gives bread, but the men in the statue are naked; they might be more in need of a coat. Furthermore, a shadow side of this card is that sometimes charity is not done for helping the poor, but getting with the intention of getting a place in heaven or in a skybox. There can be a certain slyness in doing charity.

Esther is a hero.There are several ambivalent heroes in the tradition but Esther is not seen as one of them. Jacob for instance is one, but buys his “being firstborn” with a lie. In the tradition Ester is not seen as a ambivalent hero. She is seen as the bravest hero of all women. But is she? She saves the Jews by telling the gentile king of whom she is one of the wives, that the prime minister plans to kill all the Jews including her. That she was a Jewish woman was something he did not knew. Telling the king is certainly a brave thing to do. But does she do this out of love of her people, because she does not want them killed? No. She does it to save her own life. When her uncle Mordechai asks her to go to the king to tell the plans of the prime minister, she refuses to do it. “Much too dangerous”, she says and she is right of course. It is only after threats of Mordechai that she goes to the king. Mordechai threatens that she will be killed too as all jews are murdered, and the other threat is that when the Jewish people are not killed Esther would not be needed and killed as a result. She stays a hero, certainly, but there is much more ambivalence in Esther than tradition tells us.  

But how tie card, Esther and my life together? To me the message of the card -and thus of Esther- is that it is important to be aware that in our not-perfect world (of manifestion) I do not always get my needs met when dependent on the charity of others. And I do not get the needs met of others. I am not always able to give what people want from me. I give the wrong things or nothing at all. Today I regretted it that it is like this in our world. And also, sometimes I do charitable deeds because of a gain, just as Esther did to save her life.