The day is almost over now. I am going to pull a card about a text by Thomas Merton (1915-1968), a famous Catholic writer and a Trappic monk. I did not know him, but I found a book written by him in a second hand bookshop, called Dialogues with Silence. Here is a prayer from this book.
O flaming Heart,
Unseen and unimagined in this wilderness,
You, you alone are real, and here I’ve found You.
Here will I love and praise You in a tongueless death,
Until my white devoted bones,
Long bleached and polished by the winds of this Sahara,
Relive at Your command,
Rise and unfold the flowers of their everlasting spring.
The prayer reminds me of the dried bones in the book of the prophet Ezekiel. These bones rattle and rise up, muscle and skin comes over them and God puts breath in them, so they live again.
The questions that I long to ask the tarot about this prayer in relation to my own life are the following: "How are my bones white and devoted, bleached and polished, praising the unseen flaming Heart (until they live again)?" And, as second question: "When, oh when will my bleached and polished bones rise…unfolding flowers of everlasting spring?"
I have pulled the Inner Child Cards from my little bag with deck-titles to work with. Funny, the prayer is to a flaming Heart, and I have pulled two cards from the suit of Hearts.
So, how are my bones white and devoted, bleached and polished, praising the unseen flaming Heart, until they (my dead bones) live again? In other words, what is it I do all the time, and with it praising the flaming Heart, ending up in death (boldy stated). I have pulled Six of Hearts (Six of Cups) as an answer to this question.
Depicted on the card are mermaids in a sea in an strong, orange evening sun. One of them is flying on a pelican, who holds a wire to pull mermaids out of the sea. Another one is in the middle, holding the wire with one hand and a mermaid with with her other hand. This mermaid is me. Deep-down I have this urge to save. Not that I am actually running around saving everyone, doing good all day. Oh dear no, but I still I have the urge. My savings are to no avail anyway. And I end up somewhere nowhere in the middle of it all, while all was of course meant to bring safety to myself. This habit, which I am devoted to and polishes my white bones, is strong as the orange sun.
The second question was: When will my bleached and polished bones rise…and unfold the flowers of everlasting spring? To this question I have picked Five of Hearts (Five of Cups). A mermaid sits on the seaside on this card, in the quiet night, finding her heart in a treasure-box. The flowers of spring, new life, will come to me when I answer the call of the flaming Heart that calls me up to regain hope by concentrating on my own heart, and putting it inside me as my own safe foundation to live from.
Johnathan Montaldo (ed.) Thomas Merton, Dialogues with Silence, Harper San Francisco, 2001.