Welcome back to my continuing delve into the Tarot.
I had a very interesting day, yesterday, at the Crystal Matrix Psychic Faire, and a couple of remarkable clients. One of whom quit unknowingly embodied the full message of what I am contemplating in the ten day period between September 12 and the 22nd: The Great Weight of the Material, and the Liberating Force of Meaning. I’m also in an affirmative mode of speaking up on something new for myself, that ritual is a form of contemplative practice. And so each ten-day period of the Tarot, or the decans. I’m going to get to that client, and the meaning within the reading we opened up together but first, on Tarot and Decans.
And I’m going to quote Wiki here. Stay with me, I’m unpacking something. I want you to consider the implications of using ritual and a tool like the Tarot, which is based on the movements of stars in our visible world, as a method of meditation in understanding the spirit of our place: World, community, home, self.
"The Decans /ˈdɛkənz/ (Egyptian bakiu) are 36 groups of stars (small constellations) which rise consecutively on the horizon throughout each earth rotation. The rising of each decan marked the beginning of a new decanal "hour" (Greek hōra) of the night for the ancient Egyptians, and they were used as a sidereal star clock beginning by at least the 9th or 10th Dynasty (ca 2100 BCE.) Because a new decan also appears heliacally every ten days (that is, every ten days, a new decanic star group reappears in the eastern sky at dawn right before the Sun rises, after a period of being obscured by the Sun's light), the ancient Greeks called them dekanoi (pl. of dekanos) or "tenths" (and when the concept of decans reached northern India, they were called drekkana in Sanskrit.)"
It sounds esoteric. It is. We can get really academic, and then I will confuse myself as I get lost in these recorded meanings and this will all fall apart. I’m not dismissing the scholarly aspects of Astrology or the Tarot because I really love them but even after 25 years of turning cards I still have to take a lot of that information in small bites; I’m proffering another door in using the Tarot to understand something in the movements of my world, as a form of meditation versus academia. In other words we don’t have to be scholars to get into the mystery if we approach it the right way, with small steps, and deep realizations.
This period we are in now is represented by the Ten of Pentacles, which Pamela Eakins calls The Great Work. It allows for a time to preview and explore the value and the weight of the physical world. What have I achieved? What is its worth? How does it compare to others? It invites discussion of prosperity, material wealth, success, and invokes the shadow of these ideas, the emptiness of Lakshmi… The vacuum of vanity and materialism.
For myself it’s important to point out that there is the thing that people think looks like a reading with me, and then there is the actual reading which requires your participation, and often times tears and revelations, and mostly contemplation. Readings are for answers that will expand our consciousness in ways that are most healthy for our lives, relationships, work, and soul direction. Which brings me to my reading on Sunday.
At some point in our lives we will move into a space where it seems that [this] is all that there is. That the ideology is just fluff, and philosophies are dancing around the edge of a chasm. That chasm is the void. It is the one place that we will all eventually encounter, it is the one space within us that we know is there and generally tend to avoid. It is a sacred space of emptiness that allows for us to throw all things over the edge and be left with nothing but our selves. It is the mythic path of the Goddess as she descends into an underworld, it is the vastness of otherness that exists beyond the circle of our personal field of consciousness and it is both liberating and terrifying because when we come to it fully, we are shorn of all illusions, all trappings, and all certainties. Our thoughts turn to questions, often times doubts, and we think in some form, “Is this all that there is?”
It is not. But the weight of materialism without the light of meaning is a heavy, empty feeling if we miss a certain point about what that feeling can teach us.
We can become lost in that space in our life, in that “darkness” and miss the point of the void, which is the great and wonderful power of stillness and potential. It is returning to the root of our being, drawing in all the life of the plant, so that we can bloom again. The mystery of this time is balancing dark and light. And I mean to get myself into that. I invite you to as well, in whatever way is most safe and sane for you. When we allow ourselves to become comfortable with our stillness we, we are allowing ourselves to be, without judgement. We can, if we’re crafty or guided, come into a place of potentials. In the dark places we plant our seeds, this is where we begin a cycle again. And so the void is also the fertile place, as much as it is the space of disintegration.
Muse on this:
On the volume of excess, of things, of what you have. Realize that it is not a safety or a certainty of your status, a protection, or something that you will keep forever. Everything is borrowed. If you can, with the new moon, allow for yourself to let go of everything and feel the no-thing-ness. And then, in that volume of silence, where we listen and feel, where we are the moon and water, plant a magickal seed of righteous potential that will break through the emptiness of that void. Root it in soul, in the meaning of your life, not the materials of your life, and grow something beautiful. Take these points from the sky story, and must one what makes living authentic, fulfilling, and magickal in love, and not all the “things” we populate it with.
Remember that ritual is sacred space, and that space is designed to get your thinking deeply, to open you to the potential... to Magick. It's contemplative, mythic, and metaphysical. It's there as a potential for anything that you desire. Muse on this and let me know what you see.
Again, the second and third parts of these Tarot musings appear in the Newsletter, which will be out in the next few days. You can subscribe here:
Scott K Smith