July 1st, 2008

Madonna del "Magnificat" (detail)

The Mouse, the Rooster and the

The story about saint Colman and his helpful companions, the mouse, the rooster and the fly, that inspired the reading I am doing here, ends with their death. Colman is very sad and writes to his friend Columba, abbot of Iona. Columba then replies that to Colman the rooster, the fly and the mouse were as precious as jewels. He encourages Colman to rejoice in the fact that God had taken those jewels for himself.

My first question was: how to continue my spiritual journey without the the three helpful companions. My answer is Six of Quills (Swords) from the Tarot of Jane Austen. 

                

The character on the card is Frederick Wentworth of Persuasion. Frederick Wentworth is determined to make his fortune in the British Navy after Ann Elliot has broken her engagement to him. The sea is rocky, but there is a future lying ahead of him, unknown horizons. No secrecy and dark walls on this card (7 of Quills), or a suffocating circle of people sitting in a well kept garden (5 of Quills), but open air and wind coming in a harbor from the sea. I continue my spiritual journey by giving me permission to broaden my horizons.

I pulled a second card with the question: “What comforts me now these companions are dead?” The answer came as Three of Teacups (Cups). 

                

Three girls, Mary Crawford, Maria Bertram and Julia Bertram are singing at the piano, looking pleased with themselves and enjoying each other. Having fun in free, creative expression in my spiritual undertakings – maybe even sometimes a little risqué – will comfort me. 
        
Madonna del "Magnificat" (detail)

The Mouse, the Rooster and the Fly, Card 5: Death

The story about saint Colman and his helpful companions, which inspired the reading I am doing here, ends with their death. Colman misses them and is very sad. He writes to his friend Columba, abbot of Iona. Columba then replies that to him the rooster, the fly and the mouse were as precious as jewels. He encourages Colman to rejoice in the fact that God had taken those jewels for himself.

My first question was: how to continue my spiritual journey without the these three companions. My answer is Six of Quills (Swords) from the Tarot of Jane Austen. 

                      

The character on the card is Frederick Wentworth of Persuasion. Frederick is determined to make his fortune in the British Navy after Ann Elliot has broken her engagement to him. The sea is rocky, but there is a future lying ahead of him and unknown horizons. No secrecy and dark walls on this card (7 of Quills), or a suffocating circle of people sitting in a well- kept garden (5 of Quills), but open air and wind coming in a harbor from the sea. I continue my spiritual journey by giving myself permission to broaden my horizons.

I pulled a second card with the question: “What comforts me now these companions are dead?” The answer came as Three of Teacups (Cups). 

                         

The card is based on the book Mansfield Park. Three girls, Mary Crawford, Maria Bertram and Julia Bertram are singing at the piano, looking pleased with themselves and enjoying each other. Having fun in creative expression in my spiritual undertakings – maybe even sometimes a little risqué  – will comfort me.

Psalm 119, Justice

Today I practiced the spread about Justice that is to be used in the first lesson of the second course on Psalm 119. A spread about Justice is difficult because it can be confronting, let alone in a first lesson of a course when all is new and people hardly know each other. So I wanted it to be playful and surprising.

The spread is about two aspects of God: judgment and compassion. The spread works as follows. The Hebrew letter belonging to Justice in the system I use in this course is Chet. This letter consists of two ‘pillars’ and a ‘roof’. 

                 

I made an oracle of the letter, using the form of the letter, cutting it in pieces. The two pillars are the cards of the oracle. On one pillar is written Judgment and on the other one Compassion/Kindness. People need to cut the letter with scissors during the lesson. Then they must shuffle the two pillars, and lay both them closed on the table, with the words facing towards the table, so they cannot see it. They need to put the ‘roof’ of the letter above the pillar, to make a real letter Chet. After that they pull one card with the question how they relate to the aspect of judgment of God and to aspect of compassion, and how they experience their relation with God regarding this theme. They must lay the card somewhere in the letter, at a place that feels right to them. It can be in the middle, or towards one of the pillars. After that they turn around the pillars and the card. I hope this is a little bit hilarious and playful, and that it gives some truth too.

This is my spread.

 

When I turned the pillars and the card around, my card was lying towards the pillar with the word Justice on it. That means I experience the judging side of God more than the compassionate side. My card was Eight of Pentacles from the Robin Wood Tarot. 



I am like a child, a pupil who is learning, working hard, striving for perfection so that so that he (which is me) will not be judged as ‘bad’, or not good enough. The boy looks relaxed enough and there is fresh air coming in. Still, it is hard this strive for perfection, but many cards that I have drawn this past week were much more cruel than this one. Besides, those earlier cards were not God’s judgments, but my own.

By accident I threw away the pillar with the word judgment on it before I did the spread. I could not find it anywhere. Obviously I wanted it gone unconsciously. I found it again in the wastepaper basket – crushed. Then I crushed the pillar of compassion too, otherwise I could not do the spread, they were not the same anymore.