ladyofthemoor (ladyofthemoor) wrote,

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Fourth day of Lent, John 1:43-51, Bragging

In the story from John that I have read today (John 1:43-51), Jesus gets another two other pupils. One is called Nathaniel. A friend had told him about Jesus. “Oh,” Nathaniel said when he heard were Jesus was born, “You tell me he comes from Nazareth? Nothing good can come from Nazareth.”

After that, Nathaniel goes to meet Jesus, and Jesus says about him: “Here is an honest man, he is honest as gold.” And Nathaniel asked: “How on earth do you know how I am?” “Oh well,” said Jesus, “I saw you sitting under the fig tree before your friend came to call you.” Nathaniel was really impressed by that. “Oh”, said Jesus, that is nothing, You will see something much, much bigger, you will see how the heavens open and angels will ascend to come down on the Son of Man.

I wonder, what is it that Nathaniel is impressed about, and what of this is relevant for my life? That is the question I have asked the tarot. I’ve used the Fantastic Menagerie Tarot and I pulled the King of Wands as an answer to my question. 


Meant with this card is a charismatic man who is able to lead others with his vision (that is in the book with the cards). That is what Nathaniel falls for in his encounter with Jesus: his charisma, the miracle Jesus performed by knowing who Nathaniel was.

When I look at this King of Wands I see a very self-confident, bragging man, who is showing off, a bit of a Magician really. That is how I see Jesus in this story as well, as a man who brags and manipulates, using miracles to lure people into following him. I am not captivated by this. The dove, well, okay, that was beautiful, a bit on the weak, Chesed-like side, but I could live with that, but with this bragging, no never!

Of course bragging and showing off is socially not clever. But condemning bragging as vigorously as I do here has a downside. Because if it is put in your mind firmly that bragging is bad, the inner censor senses much bragging. Just normal showing yourself already feels then as showing off. This can lead to putting yourself down in a bad, bad way, being ashamed about yourself (this is pictured on the card as well: the grovelling beetle). The line and balance between bragging and just come forward with yourself is gone then, is not known even.

When I look at my own life I can see that is more often than not difficult for me to show myself: who I am, what I do and what I am standing for. I do not always see the line between bragging and just coming forward with myself. I tend to grovel at such moments, being ashamed for myself like the beetle on the card. Just last week I struggled with this issue. A these times I really could use some powers of the King of Wands as well as some of the flair of this charismatic, fresh Jesus who is showing off his powers. That is the relevance for my life in this story. 

Schedule of texts: Dienstboek, Zoetermeer, 1998.
Tags: fantastic menagerie tarot, john, king of wands, lent 2007, religious question
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