I continue my “Wear the Tarot” project — though I took a day or two off to deal with a recurring family crisis. Just thinking about it for a day or two made me realize that for anyone who isn’t fond of tarot cards, thinking them as stupid as Ouija boards and all about divination likely thinks I am crazy.
“This dumb credulous broad is making her decisions based on what fucking card she pulls out of a deck of 78 pictures?”
Well, no. I’m not. This not-very-credulous and incredibly mistrusting “broad” is making decisions in a time of great stress and emotional misery by trusting very meaningful personalized images to trigger a brain/mind switch in her unconscious mind so she can access some clarity. See, that is a very different thing altogether?
The day after my Monday “day off” went to hell in a ptsd hand basket not of my own making, I decided saving the Major Arcana cards apart from the daily draw cards was a major mistake. I mixed them in and shuffled and pulled up #16 – The Tower. This piece is new – a pretty little “hammer of Thor” gifted to me only this past Yule.
I’m not Asatruar. I’m a humanist pagan. Thor is, however, my favorite Aesir deity because mythology says he loved human kind the most. I love humanity, too. So his symbol does not offend me, nor totally define me — it is an emblem of caring even in the face of destruction. This card in most tarot decks displays a lightening struck tower complete with people falling, a bit like 9-11 in NYC when our towers were struck. This card almost always scares hell out of people getting a reading.
It is often read as punishment – especially for pride. That never seemed quite right to me. I was happy several years ago to read a book by one Paul Huson, Mystical Origins of the Tarot, that posited the idea that if the major cards were actually representative of aspects of medieval mystery plays (religious education for an illiterate population), this card represented Christ, after his death “harrowing” hell and setting free the inhabitants of Limbo. Now, I’m not Christian – so this idea as it was didn’t warm me much. But the other aspect of this book is giving very old interpretations of the cards. It illuminated how card meanings and symbology evolves.
I had kept track of this card over the years, as I did personal meditations and readings for a look inside my own head. It didn’t play out as a prognostication of punishment — but one of vast change, of turnovers and rebuildings needed. So other books have read it, more and more often. So seeing this card, with the symbol of love of humanity and titled “Lord of the Hosts of the Mighty” gave me a boost rather than a kick in the pants. It made me feel not destroyed, but reminded of change and continuance. It stiffened my weary aching spine.
Wednesday’s draw was a necklace of my own making, salvaging bits of cheap broken jewelry saved over the years. The Chariot, Lord of the Triumph of Light was once called “Hekate’s Key” in my personal lexicon of wearable uplifts. It was always my reminder to look, to strive, to search for solutions.
Assigned to Major Arcanum #7 it takes on new impetus. It is the card of controlling the “driving” of your own life. You know those dreams where you are in a car, trying to drive from the back seat? That is more or less what this card is about! Are you in control, how do you take control; are you driving the right course?
The Chariot is mythologically linked to Apollo, it is said — he who drives the Sun around the world. I never warmed to that particular bit of prettiness in story telling. When I think of a charioteer? I think of The Mahabharata and the battle where Arjuna must go to war against the set of a hundred cousins he grew up along side of and also risk his own near and dear actual brothers. His war chariot awaited him and his charioteer was Krishna.
Krishna counseled the grief-paralyzed archer and the necessary battle went on as the story required. This story does warm me, it reminds me that love can enable or cripple and that sometimes you must be willing to do a lesser harm to avert a greater harm. Sometimes love means standing back and watching the Beloved fight their own battles, as painful as that is. Sometimes it requires a lover to harden a heart to strengthen someone else. So the Chariot can tell a reader that it is time to drive your own life without regard for the ones standing on the sidelines not claiming their own responsibility and power. Time to snap the whip and drive on!
(Note on the Wear the Tarot Project: obviously, this continued thread is boring the crap out of readers. So show the stats. So while I will continue my very fruitful project, I will not post it all publicly. For my own satisfaction, my three posts weekly will continue – but not be public posts. I will select only one favorite each week to make public – likely on the old Tuesday Tarot day. This will be the last Thursday post.)