Today I have read a beautiful passage (John 9:1-17). In the story Jesus heals a man who has been blind from birth. When people get ill, they sometimes say: “What have I done wrong that I this happens to me?” In other words: what is my sin?” This is what the disciples asked about the blind man: “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered that nor the parents, nor the man had sinned. The meaning of the man being ill was that the works of God could be revealed in him, which was possible because Jesus was still alive and walking on earth. Thus for Jesus illness is something that needs healing. All healing shows the work of God, and regretfully not everything can be healed.
When the blind man was healed by Jesus -who anointed his eyes with mud, earth mixed with salvia- he came back in his neighbourhood. Being there his neighbours almost did not recognize the man. Was it the same man as the beggar or did he just looked like him? They said: ““Isn’t this he who sat and begged?” Others were saying, “It is he.” Still others were saying, “He looks like him.””
I wondered, since his neighbours almost did not recognize the man, what the difference is between the two states of being: before the man was healed and after. Thus I have pulled two cards:
1. an image of the man before he was healed;
2. an image of the man after he was healed.
For the image of the man before he was healed I have pulled the Son of Discs from the Motherpeace Tarot (the equivalent of the Knight of Discs). Jus as all the other days of Lent, I have pulled the title of this deck from a bag with a bunch of five titles.
The Son of Discs is an elf in the wood. He focuses on hitting the centre of the target. This card is about focussing, knowing what your short-term goals are and aiming for them in an grounded and confident manner. I interpret this as that the blind man before he was healed knew exactly who he was, what he could do and could not do, and what was life all about. He was grounded in his identity as a blind man. (These precise confined boundaries are symbolized by the round target).
As an answer to the second question, the image of the man after he was healed, I have pulled the Shaman of Discs (the equivalent of the King of Pentacles).
On this card we see a woman who is a shaman. She is riding on a donkey to people who need her healing. What immediately struck me is that the Shaman rides on a donkey, just as Jesus did when he entered Jerusalem, where he went to do the work of God. Although the healed man is not Jesus himself, he as a healed man, shows the work of God. The similarity is remarkably.
The meaning of the Shaman of Discs is having long-term goals and long range visions, having a grounded direction in life. Instead of the confined space and identity of the blind man, represented by Son of Discs, the healed man shows a goal, the healing of all humanity and earth, ultimately the meaning of the work of God. (This is symbolized by the half circle which radiates outwards.)
Both cards are of the same suit and they follow after each other. The Son once will becomes the Shaman (a male one) when he is grown up. Thus the blind man (the son) is the same as the healed man (the Shaman), and different as well. (Oh dear it gets complicated, Derrida stumbles in with his concept of ‘differance’.) He is and is not the blind man.
Since these cards are round they can easily turn around while shuffling the deck. This makes it possible to assign a meaning to the position in which the card falls. In this case the top of the card was to the left. This means that the energy of the card is held back. The Shaman is not sure what she is doing yet, and where she is going. The blind man is healed and has the shows the work of God, but it is still unclear what the work is and where it is heading.
That shows me on my path.