Wine in the Old and New Testament refers to abundance, to a well-laid table with plenty of food and drink, in sum, to the Kingdom of God. It is all what I long for. Thus my question alongside this story is: “How can I, in my life, change water into wine?” I have pulled again The Jane Austen Tarot from my little bag with tarot-deck titles and I drew: The Hanged Man.
What you see on the card is a girl called Fanny, from the book Mansfield park. On the card she is bowed on a ladder sewing curtains that will be used for a worldly play. Fanny is very much against this play, but suppresses her own needs in service to the others, who want to do this play. But she still stays against it, all the way. She values and embodies integrity and morality. She is like Jesus, really! Above her head are beams in the form of a cross, they literary refer to Jesus. Here my problems come in.
To me sacrifice is not a good thing. It means giving yourself away and losing yourself in the end. But here, in the case of this bible passage combined with the card from Fanny Price, it is a whole another story. Let us look again to the symbol of the wine. There is another side to that. Wine refers not only to the Kingdom of God, but also the suffering and death of Jesus. The night on which Jesus was arrested he ate with his disciples and there he held up his cup of wine and said: “This is my blood.” At that moment wine meant sacrifice, the sacrifice of his life. A sacrifice from which Jesus hoped it was life-giving.
What does the card of Fanny Price say about this? (Did not read the book, hope I do her justice.) What catches my eye on the card is all the green on it. The curtains are green and the carpet is light-green, and there are flowers embroidered on a cushion. Okay, it is stuffy: dusty old books are standing in shelves and it is dark in there, but all that wonderful green…Green is the colour of life, of new life. So the card hints at that by Fanny’s acts of sacrifice new life is made possible.
I’ve never thought that I would ever say this, but I think today the tarot is saying to me that I can change water into wine by living according to the standard that sacrifice is not always such a bad thing, that it actually is sometimes a good and life-giving thing to do, and it will turn water in my life into wine.
My husband was right. The wedding in Cane is not an easy story at all. It is a wonderful story though.
Schedule of texts: Dienstboek, Zoetermeer, 1998.