March 21st, 2008

Winter

Jesus falls for the Third Time

At Station Nine Jesus falls for the third time. The number of the falls prelude to the resurrection on the third day. My question is: In moments of weakness and pain, where does my strength come from? 

                               

I have pulled Death from the Tarot of Saints, called Martyrdom. Depicted is St. Stephen, the first martyr. 

                     

I see myself (and other humans) as very fragile, finite beings who become sick and die. Weakness and pain belong to life and I can only endure it, just as the martyrs endured their punishments. My strength comes from knowing that I can only endure it, accept it. I am not really good at that, but it is what I hold on to. 

There is a rose rising up from the skull on the card. I pulled Death, a card of transformation. Deep down in me there is maybe the idea that in that there is growth and new life in enduring, something to gain.      
maria in garden

Jesus is Stripped from his Clothes

I come now at the Tenth Station. At this station Jesus is arrived at Golgotha and is stripped from his clothes. 

                                 

Stripped from his clothes, his dignity cannot not be taken away from him. My question is: What is the one thing that cannot be taken from me? I have pulled the Queen of Pentacles from the Gendron Tarot. 

                                    

The queen on this card is standing in a beautiful tended garden with fountains, in a confined space. Before her are basket with eggs, symbols of fertility. I think –and I sincerely hope, because I am not so sure of it– that the one thing that cannot be taken from me is my ability to have pleasure in little things around me that I create for myself. 
Madonna del "Magnificat" (detail)

Station 11, Jesus is Nailed to the Cross

At the Eleventh Station Jesus is nailed to the cross. Moments before that happens Jesus asks God to forgive the people who do this. He speaks the words: “Father forgive them, they do not know what they are doing.” My  question is: What do I need to forgive? 

                        

The card that I have received is Temperance from the Llewellyn Tarot, called Keeper of the Well. This card is based on a Welsh legend. A man whose task it is to tend the barrier between see and land is a drunk and does not do what he must do. One day, drunk again, he violates the girl whose task it is to guard a sacred well. The waters of the well become angry and flood land and people. Themes in the are violation of boundaries and pureness, intoxication and behaving irresponsible. The story corresponds with the station in the sense that both the and Jesus' physical boundaries are violated. In both stories nature reacts. In the legend the water of the well becomes a flood after the girl is violated and in the passion story it gets dark and the ground trembles at the moment Jesus dies. 

                            

Temperance is my Inner Teacher card. It is my lesson to temper and to keep healthy boundaries. Since this is difficult for me I need to forgive myself for making the same mistakes over and over again in transgressing these boundaries. 
Madonna del "Magnificat" (detail)

Station 12, Jesus Dies on the Cross

At Station 12 Jesus dies on the cross. The sun stopped shining and darkness covered the whole country. Jesus cried out: “Father in your hands I place my spirit. After that, he died. 

                 

My question is: How can I accept harsh reality? I have pulled the Lovers from the Voyager Tarot, a dramatic card with many opposites, night and day, oneness and a torn rose. 

                                 

I can accept harsh reality by emphasizing the love there is amidst brokenness. It is the love we live for, and the love Jesus dies for.