December 1st, 2007

chanukah animated

Chanukah Spread: Card 8, H - Being Present

Today I have pulled the eighth card in the Chanukah spread, called “H – Hay – The Sound of being present.” The question is: How can I be more present in my life, to my family, partner and children? 

I have drawn the World from the Jane Austen Tarot on which Emma and Mr. Knightley are pictured on the day of their marriage. 


To begin with, this is a very positive card. Being more present in my life and family is not depicted as a great burden. The World speaks of success, happiness feeling free, and fulfilling your longterm goals. All this things are there despite or because of restrictions and boundaries. My problem is that I do not find it easy to divide my attention between work and family. That has been an important issue in the last months. I need a balance. Looking at this card I think I can be more present to my family by directing myself more towards them (the figures on the card look at each other); but I am quite aware that I need freedom too. One of the card’s themes is feeling free inside boundaries. I need both the work and the family to feel free. I would be unhappy without my family to go back to and to enjoy; I would be unhappy if I did not have the work. They function as a 'boundary' for each other. Since it is such a happy card, I might need not worry too much about it.

Yet again a card about home and family, the fourth card about this theme in this spread. The first card, Maiden of Coins (the answer to the manner I celebrate life) and the fourth card, Ten of Teacups (gift of the universe), had this same theme and also yesterdays' card, Nine of Coins (what I hear in the silence).             

Psalm 119, the Chariot

Yesterday I have been to Amsterdam for the last lesson in the course about Psalm 119 seen as a spiritual road. Just as last time my trip to La Verna was interesting. I walked from the train into the city in a parade of pupils from all over the country on their way to protest against the manner their hours are organized in the school. A protest of pupils (12-17) is rare in Holland. There were many cups on mountain bikes, on normal bikes, in vans, and walking. They were all friendly, but I saw the vans usually used for rioting too. The authorities were afraid of rioting, because that happened earlier, but it did not happen yesterday. It was all planned an organized very well. I went very early to the center and I took another tram to be sure not to be held up by the mass of protesters.

I was afraid a part of the homework for the course this time would have been too confronting. They were asked to reach out in meditation to a shadow of themselves (or from the sacred) and take it’s hand (it belonged to the Lovers) in order to acknowledge it and take a step to accept it. I need not have worried. They did a great job, and I could have known that, seeing how they participated earlier. In some cases it was very moving what they had discovered and done with their shadows. To round it up each made a 'three card drawing" in this last lesson which had the chariot as its theme (I nearly succumbed under the tools that I had taken with me), and by writing a prayer (or wish). As always we ended by saying these aloud.

What I really liked about this course was its ‘step’ character. Each Major Arcane Card and each stanza symbolized a step on an individual spiritual way. We did seven cards in three lessons and we did not pull many cards. The steps invited to look back and relate the cards that were pulled, and that was made possible because there were not so many cards. 
chanukah animated

Chanukah Spread: Card 9, Shammash

The ninth and last position in the Chanukah spread is inspired by the shammash. The shammash is the ‘servant’ candle that is used to lit the candles. candles. 

In the spread the place of the shammash is above the other cards:


The question is: what is the flame that ignites all the other candles? 

I've pulled Two of Teacups from the Jane Austen Tarot. Pictured are Henry Tilney and Catherine Morland from Northanger Abbey. We see the beginnings of their love, they meet each other at a dance. Eventually they will marry, but that is far away here. Many adventures follow. Northanger Abbey has a special place in my heart, it was my first of Jane Austen and I read it during a blissful summer holiday. 


The card tells me that what ignites all the other candles is the spark of attraction, the sizzle of initial love. Theme of this spread has been my home life: finding a healthy balance between family, work and not to forget my need for privacy (Seven of Quills). I like all all fields. The card suggests again that a balance is needed (suggested by its number, and Henry and Catherine are different) but it suggest also that they fertilize each other; the toast, the promise of love, and the three paintings on the wall suggest fertility. 

This card tends to rise high up in the air, so does my entry, but since the shammash needs to ignite all the flames, that is perhaps not such a bad thing.