Tags: stations of the cross

Madonna del "Magnificat" (detail)

Station 13, Jesus is Taken Down from the Cross

At Station 13 Jesus is taken down from the cross. When Jesus is dead, Joseph of Arimathea, a friend of Jesus who was a respected member of the council, went to Pilate to ask for the body. His wish was granted and the friends of Jesus took his body down to bring it to the grave of Joseph of Arimathea. 


On the picture Jesus' body is laying on the back of the donkey, Joseph of Arimithea walks in front towards the grave. His friends care for Jesus. My question at this station is: How do my friends comfort me? My answer came from the Gendron Tarot as Two of Pentacles. 


My friends care for me by showing me by helping me to take distance from my worries, by laughing, by helping me not to take things too seriously. The result is that I become more balanced. 
Madonna del "Magnificat" (detail)

Station 12, Jesus Dies on the Cross

At Station 12 Jesus dies on the cross. The sun stopped shining and darkness covered the whole country. Jesus cried out: “Father in your hands I place my spirit. After that, he died. 


My question is: How can I accept harsh reality? I have pulled the Lovers from the Voyager Tarot, a dramatic card with many opposites, night and day, oneness and a torn rose. 


I can accept harsh reality by emphasizing the love there is amidst brokenness. It is the love we live for, and the love Jesus dies for. 
Madonna del "Magnificat" (detail)

Station 11, Jesus is Nailed to the Cross

At the Eleventh Station Jesus is nailed to the cross. Moments before that happens Jesus asks God to forgive the people who do this. He speaks the words: “Father forgive them, they do not know what they are doing.” My  question is: What do I need to forgive? 


The card that I have received is Temperance from the Llewellyn Tarot, called Keeper of the Well. This card is based on a Welsh legend. A man whose task it is to tend the barrier between see and land is a drunk and does not do what he must do. One day, drunk again, he violates the girl whose task it is to guard a sacred well. The waters of the well become angry and flood land and people. Themes in the are violation of boundaries and pureness, intoxication and behaving irresponsible. The story corresponds with the station in the sense that both the and Jesus' physical boundaries are violated. In both stories nature reacts. In the legend the water of the well becomes a flood after the girl is violated and in the passion story it gets dark and the ground trembles at the moment Jesus dies. 


Temperance is my Inner Teacher card. It is my lesson to temper and to keep healthy boundaries. Since this is difficult for me I need to forgive myself for making the same mistakes over and over again in transgressing these boundaries. 
maria in garden

Jesus is Stripped from his Clothes

I come now at the Tenth Station. At this station Jesus is arrived at Golgotha and is stripped from his clothes. 


Stripped from his clothes, his dignity cannot not be taken away from him. My question is: What is the one thing that cannot be taken from me? I have pulled the Queen of Pentacles from the Gendron Tarot. 


The queen on this card is standing in a beautiful tended garden with fountains, in a confined space. Before her are basket with eggs, symbols of fertility. I think –and I sincerely hope, because I am not so sure of it– that the one thing that cannot be taken from me is my ability to have pleasure in little things around me that I create for myself. 

Jesus falls for the Third Time

At Station Nine Jesus falls for the third time. The number of the falls prelude to the resurrection on the third day. My question is: In moments of weakness and pain, where does my strength come from? 


I have pulled Death from the Tarot of Saints, called Martyrdom. Depicted is St. Stephen, the first martyr. 


I see myself (and other humans) as very fragile, finite beings who become sick and die. Weakness and pain belong to life and I can only endure it, just as the martyrs endured their punishments. My strength comes from knowing that I can only endure it, accept it. I am not really good at that, but it is what I hold on to. 

There is a rose rising up from the skull on the card. I pulled Death, a card of transformation. Deep down in me there is maybe the idea that in that there is growth and new life in enduring, something to gain.      
heart candle

Station 8, Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem

At Station Eight of the Way of the Cross Jesus meets women of Jerusalem who weep for him. My question at this Station is: Who weeps for the cross I bear? 


This is a station at which comfort again is a theme, just as it was at Station Six. Again my card came from the Tarot of Jane Austen (I’ve drawn the title of the deck to use at random), just as at Station Six. It is Six of Candlesticks (Wands). It is difficult the interpret this card because it is a card of victory, not one of empathy or sadness or even acceptance. I am not having a good grip on it, it is incoherent what I am writing about it. 


On meeting the women of Jerusalem Jesus turns himself to them and says: “Women of Jerusalem, don’t cry for me, but for yourselves and for your children.” The card shows Fitzwilliam Darcy and Charles Bingley in the background racing in triumph along a manor where their future brides are standing in a window. I think in a way Jesus is depicted here, walking past the woman of Jerusalem. Jesus at this stage of his life accepts his purpose – before, in the garden of Bethsedah and later on, at the cross, he is in agony, but not here. Here he is in a sense as victorious as Darcy is here. In my imagination Jesus (as Darcy) turns himself to me -as he did to the women of Jerusalem- to where I sit on the Three of Swords (Station 7), pinned down by my life-purpose, in rags and sad. He says then: “Do not cry for me, cry for yourself, for the cross you bear. I have done that in the Garden of Bethsedah, you need it, it helps”.

There is more. The number six comes after the five. The struggles from the five cards lead to triumph in the sixes. Darcy on the Six of Candlesticks has grown from the challenges he has experienced earlier. There is no weeping on this card, but there is comfort in knowing that the challenges, the fives that I have pulled and the Three of Swords, somewhere result in triumph and growth. For Darcy the growth and triumph is that he became more humble, less arrogant. There are lurking lots of dangers in humility, but it is a valuable instrument in accepting and live with ones' cross and life-purpose. 
Madonna del "Magnificat" (detail)

Station 7, Jesus Falls the Second Time

At Station Seven Jesus falls the second time. He struggles and stands up to continue again on his way to Golgotha. 


The question for my card is: “How committed am I to my life purpose?” The card that I have drawn is Three of Swords from the Llewellyn Tarot. 


I am committed to my life purpose, because I am pinned down to it by the big sword in the middle. It is a three card, belonging to the Empress, the archetype of creativity and growth, so my commitment bears and will bear fruit, although I am sitting in agony here in ragged clothes. 

It would go too far to compare my life purpose with the suffering of Jesus, but it is a nice touch that the three swords on the card look like the arrangement of the three crosses on Golgotha. Just as Jesus did not choose his life purpose by himself, I do not do that. 

Station 6, Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus

At the Sixth Station of the Way of the Cross a woman, called Veronica, wipes the face of Jesus, comforting him. My question is: “What comforts me?” 


For the third time during this Way of the Cross I have pulled a Five, my Soul and Personality Card. The card that I have pulled is not easy to interpret as an answer to this question. I have drawn Five of Candlesticks (Wands) from the Jane Austen Tarot. 


To begin with, the card does not depict someone who comforts me, but reflects an inner conflict I often have. The card pictures a scene from Northanger Abbey in which Catherine Moreland, the heroine of the story, walks away from her ‘friends’, because she is deeply uneasy about what they do. She fights for her personal integrity.

There is an interesting parallel between this card and the act of Veronica. It is risky for Veronica to do what she does with all the soldiers prodding Jesus along with his cross. They do not want his face wiped. Although far less severe, by walking away Catherine risks also something, she risks to lose her social place.

Often I doubt about the things that I have said and done, if it has been all right. What would comfort me is to focus on the integrity of what I do, and stand for it, that way walking away from the fear of rejection. 
bed by semyaza


I have been ill since two days. I am getting there, I have taught a class yesterday evening, but entries no... I would have journaled about the the Station Six where Veronica wipes the face of Jesus. My question would have been: "What comforts me?" Yesterday I would have arrived at Station Seven, where Jesus falls for the second time. My question would have been: "What is too heavy for me to bear?"  

Better soon! 


Simon of Cyrene Carries the Cross

At the sixth station Jesus cross is carried by Simone de Cyrene. The Gospel tells that he is forced by soldiers to carry it. My question today is: “Whose burden is laid upon me?” 


As an answer I have pulled the Fool from the Tarot of the Secret Forest. 


Since it is the carefree Fool I am tempted to say that I am not forced to carry a burden from someone. But I am afraid it is not me but the person(s) whose burden I carry are depicted here. I take upon me (I rephrase here, I know) the burden of them who do not take responsibility for their own lives.