Using Tarot to face Fear

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by jane adams 1991

by jane adams 1991

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I am afraid above all else, of my own fear.

I am suffering from a personal-yesodic cyclone – shadow, projection and fear.  It seems to be generated from my steward, desperately checking the wine in the cellar.

The Master of the house knows the wine.  The steward goes to fetch it.  Steward gets in a mess when he thinks he’s the Master.

My attitude to the teaching is arrogant.  What the hell do I actually know about “the mars force?”  I should read, study life with reverence, acknowledging my difficulty, not “oh-I-know-that”.   I don’t know.  If I did, I wouldn’t get in such a pickle.

An adept is a person whose body has reached the end of the path pictured in this Tarot Key – no.18, The Moon.   When I asked Tarot a question about my fear, it showed me the beginning of the path;  with Karmic law to the left and Probation to the right.   It challenges my personal (moonish) attitudes and beliefs.   It shows me how fearful I am, and that I am only starting out, and under supervision.

Justice past. Moon present. Temperance future.  BOTA Tarot Keys

Justice past. Moon present. Temperance future. BOTA Tarot Keys

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Fear is imagining that something in my environment is out of proportion.

Fear is fond of itself, so it fastens on any small factor and develops it out of proportion …  whereas the one who comprehends and embodies the path of the Moon “is courageous because he has overcome fear.  He never forgets the truth that all the activities of the universe are kept in perfect balance.” (Paul Foster Case)

This is a Testing Portal.   Look at those two animals/dogs whose nice kennel has blown away – bewildered by the big bleak landscape and the Moon’s sharp rays.  All the drops falling down on them seem to be disasters, but are in fact YODs of the eternal Life.   The Companions of the Light seem to retire, eliciting the pilgrim’s solitude and effort.   The Gate is two towers, as in tolkien.  The opening between them goes beyond the present limitation.

Justice sits with scales and sword between two towers.   The Archangel pours his severe elixir over two muddy creatures of Ezekiel, and seems to block the path to the Mountain.

Angels through Daat in the Tree of Life, cast shadows in Yesod.  Daat represents the transpersonal unknown collective.   Yesod is the sefira of personality – the local one, the filter.  Here is Jacobs’ Ladder for thoughtful Kabbalists.  To check this out in Zev ben Shimon Halevi’s books, visit kabbalahsociety.

Jacobs Ladder 1991, showing the dovetailing of the Sefiroth throughFour Worlds

Jacobs Ladder 1991, showing the dovetailing of the Sefiroth throughFour Worlds

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In Jacobs Ladder overlapping the fourfold Tree of Life, Yesod (the personal) and Daat (the transpersonal) superimpose.  In the Solar system, the planetary symbols of Yesod and Daat – the Moon and Pluto, the nearest and the furthest – are almost the same size.

Jacobs Ladder - relationships of emanation, creation, psyche and body

Jacobs Ladder – relationships of emanation, creation, psyche and body

These ideas are technical, and they distract a little from my actual fear process, but – they are pictorial. Pictures and shapes reach far beyond words, so far as the subconscious is concerned.   The goal is for me to understand/standunder the way things work, as I dust myself off and keep going.

A prime element in “Courage” is restraint from reaction.  Reaction is an effort to arm myself.  Non-reaction, waiting for a fuller information to emerge, feels naked and exposed.  The shadow invades my mind and solar plexus.

bota Justice

The recent sun and moon-eclipse seemed to culminate to a “heavy”, in my case.   The two dogs confront the towers of Gevurah and Hesed.  The Archangel stands in front of the path Yesod-Tifareth, and the path of Awe behind it.  Both Keys (18 and 14) suggest that the Sun is hidden for the moment, behind the imagined situation which casts a shadow.   Realising this, puts my feet one two, on the path, walk.

bota moonPisces is the ruler of Key 18 the Moon, and of the feet – the soles of the feet.  I will feel the Sun on my shoulders of his own accord, as the projection melts.  Face up, and walk into what scares me …  right through it.   Perspective changes as I move – it comes alive.                                                                                                            bota temperance

As I have Virgo-cusp rising, Pisces (Key 18) is my Shadow sign with Lilith in it, 7th house.  Confronting a partner, and that which comes to meet me, can be scary and painful, like reaching … and then my heart breaking open, grief.   After a while, facing it directly begins to melt it away – the illusion and fearfulness in my mind.  Grief is good, it cleanses.

The severe Guardian Angel in Key 14 is actually Michael, Archangel of the Sun.  Equilibrium is the royal path to gnosis.  It is the path of honesty – between Yesod and Tifareth.

So this is useful, for this morning.  I feel stronger, thus more able to see.  The visualising journey:  here I am, a primitive human figure on the path just emerging from the primal pool.  As I move along (hobbit feet!) towards the rather grim towers, the landscape is no longer a two dimensioned flat, it is incorporated, it comes to life;  it wobbles and moves around and through me –  into no thing: my transparency. The towers and the gap between them are sometimes four-square and sometimes one nearer and the other further.  As I walk to become, it becomes me, and the fact settles.  I am out of the doghouse!

There is a simple Douglas Harding experiment:  to drive the world, the thingless Capacity for left and right, and marvel at what comes into view – but it requires careful attention on the road.

First-person drawings from "To Be And Not To Be" by Douglas Harding, illustrations JA

First-person drawings from “To Be And Not To Be” by Douglas Harding, illustrations JA

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I see or sense just my feet on the path, one then the other, move, keep going.  The forbidding curtain transforms to space.

from To Be & Not To Be by Douglas Harding, illustr.JA

from To Be & Not To Be by Douglas Harding, illustr.JA

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sole, ear

sole, ear

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So who are you then, whomever I meet and fear?  You look like Mara’s face, in the SITA Buddha enlightenment card.  Mara is the Buddha’s opponent – the force which tried to stop the enlightenment.  So get it out, and look at the devil, sex and death.  Through all the blandishment, Buddha sits under his tree and keeps touching the ground with his open hand … the same as FOOT – keep walking, feel the ground –  (like baby Buddha did when he was born.)

Sacred India Tarot

Sacred India Tarot

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Mara goes BLAH …

When I am tense and full of think, I am frightened of this stranger – Mara going BLAH – and above all, ASHAMED of admitting anything about it here, ashamed and scared of my panic and projection, lest it get worse.  My panic and projection is a disguise –  a whirling dust devil.   But go to the root –  does it really exist?  No wonder it harries and drives me away from telling about it.   Does it exist?  Look at Mara in the drawing.  Has he a body?   Is he not just my scurrilous mind going WAH from behind a bush?   Has he any root at all?  Why, no ! just confusion.   That is what he thrives on, when I let him settle in my city; and just about anything can inflate to look like him and drive me nuts.   Confusion is the disorder.  Confusion is the tension – giving it the power to damage and hijack my life.

This is seen in all the world’s trouble spots, cancelling Consciousness.

Well, good, good, keep going, this inner exercise will help my mind to clear.  Mara forms a Grand Trine around Buddha, with a sly serpent and a siren woman.  The Sacred India Tarot publisher put a bra on her, so this is the original.  The serpent and the woman proceed through chaos, but the Buddha’s serenity is firmly established in the green and golden ground as Tifareth of Pentacles – his spine with the bodhi Tree of Life: the wheels of the cosmic Law.   Death’s skull leers from behind the woman.   Men consider Eve to be the gate of death because she gives them birth.

Sacred India Tarot

Sacred India Tarot

Do not let the metaphysic stray from the point.  I am looking at Mara, my inflation of a magpie.  It is important for me to check my euphorias and understand this entity in my being – who takes up residence in anyone who lets him in – this SQUATTER.

Look at the squatter, who does not own the house, and stops the owner from getting in.

This I find really terrifying.  And see how the rats from it scurry over the world and build belief-houses occupied by squatters.  Poor humans, we all suffer from this.

The squatter is the steward, getting carried away – a butler with megalomania.

Do not expect to overcome my terror at once, because here I am, in an opportunity to perceive and deal with it underneath the appearances.  It is ancient.  The light takes time to “incorporate”.   Inevitably I end up thanking the Guardian Angel for showing me my fear, and what I learn from it, to attempt the next step.   A mind like mine which teems with Providence and creativity, is vulnerable to occupation and entanglement at the lower levels.  The steward gets in a tizzy.

The process is at last examined here.  So now it can move on.   I am frightened of occupation and hijack, and no wonder, as I am a sitting duck and make such a meal of it.

tree on mountain

I Ching Wind over Mountain: Retreat

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The correct attitude is lightness of heart and foot.  It is proper for the sage on the mountain to retreat into his sky thoughts, when the small social climber becomes a nuisance. This reminds me of the Buddha card holding the Bowl higher than the begging pilgrim.   He says No I don’t descend to your level, my compassion raises you to make the effort. He raises the high-jump bar.  The small social climber isn’t even looking at the Bowl, he looks sideways at his own busy thoughts and industries.  When we are afraid, we do not look ahead, we glance from side to side.

Sacred India Tarot

Sacred India Tarot

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This Page of Pentacles/Disks has a beautiful composition – simplicity in itself.  I am glad I am at last making some headway with this.

I am scared of updating my system – of things looking different, and having to learn them again; WordPress indicates it moves with the lion, leaving my snow leopard behind.

There are in the world, waves, ebbs and flows of tidal interest in whatever topic. An ear to the ground moves in circles, like the weather.   Watch it drop maybe to the ground, and rise again, like a kite on the breeze.  It is all illusion, illusory, because it DOESN’T EXIST!   It is a cyber-thought.  It is a way to communicate my thoughts at large, and to be able to see them and know that others can, too, and I theirs … we wave, as we weave.  But materially my thoughts are on my sketchbooks and in my cupboard … for as long as I live.

Yesterday I went to tea with E, to help her start to organise her 80th birthday fest in January. I also showed her how to get onto my blog.   The Companions of the Light came to assist me in force!  E has a Macbook the same as mine, but weirdly … slightly different.   It turned out, she is on the latest Mountain Lion, so I got a demo on how my admin could look.

Keep on examining fear, as and when it pops up and starts to manage me.   Fear is the coagulation of any undue emphasis in my thoughts.   Fear is a williwaw, a vortex, a dust-devil of the sands of Ganga.

A Sacred India Tarot reading - from left to right, past, present moment (with its unfolding quality) and future.

A Sacred India Tarot reading – from left to right, past, present moment (with its unfolding quality j-h-v-h) and future.

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And now a gallery of drawings-of-fear, done in 1987

fear 87/ja

fear 87/ja

fear - trying to meditate '87ja

fear – trying to meditate ’87ja

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fear - utter fury

fear – utter fury

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fear - persephone

unfolding – persephone

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fear - trying to be a buddhist

fear – trying to be a buddhist

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fear - raise my glass to it

fear – raise my glass to it

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transmuting fear - dragon song

transmuting fear – dragon song

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trying to repair the I

trying to repair the I

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I awake

I awake

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black swans

black swans

I painted this after a visit to a stately home in Staines, in whose gardens brooded a Henry James ambiance.  The coal black swans were enchanted princes.  The rose garden on the right, channeled into a different perspective (with peacocks), was painted while listening to Bach B Minor Mass – the Credo seemed to fugue itself into a flowering, divine affirmation;  a mandala … a furled thought form.

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And now a few more swans:

Swan and Camel

Swan and Camel

The camel is a symbol for the Hebrew letter Gimel, (also a door) – related to Venus and birth.  The camel carries the water through the deserts of the soul, and is considered a gomel chessed – an act of kindness.

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Swan, cygnets and owl

Swan, cygnets and owl

The owl is ambiguous – looks like a predator, but protects.  The owl as the bird of Pallas Athene, is “understanding”  Often we fear the mysterious guardians of our soul.

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Swan, Letter Beit

Swan, Letter Beit

The Letter Beit – the second in the Hebrew alphabet – is “the Beginning.”  We can learn a lot from the unhurried poise and soft yogic movement of the swan’s long neck.  Beit contains the cosmic current which is Aleph, and is expressed through “the Intelligence of Transparency.”   Beit is the concentration of what is born.

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Aquariel – an angel of the waters and of the air through the woods of life.

COPYRIGHT – All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012. May not be used for commercial purposes. May be used and shared for non-commercial means with credit to Jane Adams and a link to the web address https://janeaquariel.wordpress.com/ 

2 thoughts on “Using Tarot to face Fear

  1. Pingback: Sacred India Tarot Archive: 5,6,7 Pentacles – Buddha’s Enlightenment | janeadamsart

  2. Pingback: Black Sheep, White Goat – What is True? | Aquariel

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