February 6th, 2008

heart candle

Yom Kippur Katan

It is a day before Rosh Chodesh, called by some Yom Kippur Katan (Minor Yom Kippur). This is a day of fasting and repentance as Yom Kippur is, but it is not Jewish law and by my knowledge it is not observed. The custom origins from the Safed Kabbalists. 

It is the day before Rosh Chodesh, the Jewish festival of the new moon, on which a new Jewish month starts. Cabbalists call this day Yom Kippur Katan (Minor Yom Kippur). It is a day of repentance and purification, to be able to enter the new month with a clean sheet. It is also Ash Wednesday today. One of the tones of this day is repentance too. 


My question is: "What is my sin in the month that lies behind me?" I’ve pulled Five of Quills (Five of Swords) from the Jane Austen Tarot. It is the second time I pull Five of Swords for my sin. Last month it was the Five of Swords from the Gilded Tarot.

Depicted on the card is a scene from Emma. At an outdoor party Emma, the young girl with the knife in her hand, says something witty, but unkind about Miss Bates, the person with the glasses, to impress a young man, Frank Churchill. My sin of the past month has been that I was “Mrs. Know it All.” On several occasions I found that I did better than others, thereby belittling them.

O God, hear my prayer,
I often felt better than others,
let anger and stiffness fill my heart.
I turn around on this day
to open my heart for love and kindness.
Hear my prayer.
many hands

Ash Wednesday

My card for Ash Wednesday is inspired by a poem.

Ashes and Penance 


from keeping on trying
to get a spark from two stones

-streaky black
From relighting a candle
That keeps going out

-soft white
from a fire that burned down to its heart
and kept everyone warm

these are ashes worth wearing


for self-absorption
-many hours in the company of three-years-olds

for carelessness
-a year’s close study of an elder tree

for injustice
-giving thanks for the rain and the sun
That fall on you anyway

for pride
-learning to see the funny side
of your coals of fire.
Kathy Galloway, from Eggs and Ashes, Wild Goose Publications 

Since I already dived in a sin today, the theme for my card is not derived from second part of the poem about penance, but from the first part. I’ve chosen the first sentence: “…powdery grey from keeping on trying to get a spark from two stones…” The subject is: “What I have tried, and tried and tried again.” I used the Voyager Tarot and I have picked the Sensor (Woman of Wands). 


Many symbols on the card depict sensing, the headdress, the cat and the feathers for instance. I sensed the interpretation of cards, people and groups, using my brains and my sensitivity day after day. There is a great freedom in this card, pictured by the dancing woman in the middle.  The challenge in the card is being or feeling free while sensing a lot of things. That is what I have tried, again and again.