Today I’ve read about what happened after the burial. In the story John tells (John 20:1-18), Mary Magdalene went to the tomb, early in the morning when it was still dark. There she saw that the stone was taken away from the tomb. She ran back to Simon Peter and another disciple and said to them: “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have laid him!” They all went to the tomb and when Simon Peter entered it, he saw that the linen cloth, but not the body of Jesus. The two disciples went home after that.
Mary Magdalene stayed. She stood outside at the tomb, and wept. Then she stooped and looked into the tomb. There she saw two angels in white, sitting were the body of Jesus had been. They asked her: “Woman, why are you weeping?” Mary answered: “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I don’t know where they have laid him.” When she had said that she turned around and saw a man, she thought it was a gardener, but it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?” Mary, thinking the man was the gardener, said: “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Then Jesus said: “Mary.” She turned then, recognized him and said to him, “Rhabbouni!” which is to say, “Teacher!” Jesus said to her not to touch him, and asked her to go to the disciples and tell them that he was ascending to his Father and their Father.
I love this story. There are no bombastic claims like: “Jesus is risen” or “ death is overcome for ever”. There is an empty grave, angels, linen cloth without a body, and an appearance of Jesus. Nothing definitive.
What I particularly love in the story is that Mary starts to believe that something has changed, that Jesus is still there, through meeting him, by coming into contact with him. While reading the story I wondered what has changed in me by meeting Jesus, now it is Easter. That is the question I have asked the tarot today. I’ve used the Voyager Tarot and pulled “Growth,” Ten of Wands as an answer to this question.
Often the card makes me tired. I did not like drawing it now. Those Redwood trees are so high; they make me sick. But today I do like the hands on the card. They are not able to fully grasp the rose in the middle. The hands are a bit like Mary who had washed the feet of Jesus intimately, probably wanting to touch Jesus now, but she is not able to, for Jesus forbids it. The hands on the card show me that although I do want to touch and grasp Jesus to understand him, or to be near him, he will always escape me and my understanding.
But well, let’s be brave, the question was what has changed in me. Well, I have grown, I went through all kind of stages during the past weeks (and it made very tired, just like the card does).
The change in Mary after meeting Jesus was what I loved in the story, but what intrigued me is that Mary turns in two instances in the story. ‘Turning’ in the bible is an important verb. Often it shows a significant change of ways. It does here. Maria is looking in the tomb, then she turns (away from the grave) and sees the gardener. She does not recognize him as Jesus. Then she turns another time, looking again at the tomb, but instead of the grave she sees Jesus. Suggested is that a ‘living’ Jesus replaces the tomb, place of the dead. Since her turn is interesting, I decided to draw another card with the question: What made me turn? Again I pulled a Ten, the Ten of Cups this time, called “Passion”.
Although I wrote sermons, prayed and broke bread, for some reason, Jesus never touched me as he did in the past few weeks. I developed a real passion for Christ, or I became aware of a passion that already was there. You could say I ‘recognized’ and ‘met’ Jesus. Sometimes this passion was too much for me. The Passion card is tiring, just as Growth, the Ten of Wands. Passion burns and drives.
Now, what made me turn, how did this happen? It was foremost my curiosity about what card I would receive as an answer to a question I had. That was mainly my drive in these past few weeks. But after I had pulled the card, it happened. Once I had drawn the card I could not escape. I was pinned down, to my question as well as to the card, because I had to interpret them. And to be able to do that I had to take myself, my question, the card, Jesus, and the story seriously. I am still very surprised about it; that it works that way.
For me these Tens give a feeling of ‘too much’, but for James Wanless, the creator of this deck, they are the way to fortune and success (he calls the X: “Fortune”). Tens are also cards of endings and new beginnings. Just one more day, then Easter is over.