It is the Monday after Sunday the first of Advent. Today I have read Isaiah 16-30. These verses are a plea to the people of Israel to change their lifestyle: “Put away the evil of your doings from before my eyes; Cease to do evil. Learn to do well. Seek justice, Relieve the oppressed, Judge the fatherless, Plead for the widow.” There are threats as well: “If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land; But if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured with the sword; For the mouth of Yahweh has spoken it.” Again there is the image of Jerusalem as a woman. Once: “she was full of justice; righteousness lodged in her, but now murderers.”
What has touched me in this harsh passage of today is the image of Jerusalem: how it was way back when its inhabitants followed God, and how it will become if the people change their ways. Isaiah says to Jerusalem: “You shall be called ‘the city of righteousness, a faithful town.’”
I have pulled a card to the image of Jerusalem as the city of righteousness, as a faithful town. What is a house, a community, village, a city that is righteous?
I have pulled my card from the Tarot of a Moon Garden and I have received the King of Swords.
I love the image of a city of righteousness, but drawing the King of Swords makes me think again. But first things first, the King of Swords has many good aspects. The King of Swords knows what is right and what is wrong. Also he is fair. The community he rules will be a community with clear boundaries, and a clear distinction of what is good and what is not good. Living there means knowing exactly what you can get and what you cannot get.
The downside of the kingship of this King is that there is only black and white in his community, only right or wrong. There are no grey shades there, no second thoughts, and there is no flexibility and no mercy. That is a dangerous thing. Living in a city that is righteousness does not have to be a nice city to live in!
I read scripture with the use of tarot, today and yesterday. How do feel about that? Had not I pulled the King of Swords today, I would never, never have questioned righteousness as a virtue and looked at its downsides. And even now, after I did it with the help of the card to make my thoughts go round, I wonder if I should do that, since righteousness is such an important issue. Still, reading scripture with cards makes me more free in dealing with it, which is ultimately a good thing.