Wednesday, 11 April 2012

The Minotaur's Labyrinth

Today's card from the Silenus Tarot (Mike Indovina, 2009) is a rather hopeful version of the Devil.

Here we see Theseus about to enter the Minotaur's labyrinth.  The people of Athens had been condemned to send seven youths and maidens to Crete every seven years (or nine, depending on the author).  Theseus, a prince of Athens, stepped in, vowing to kill the Minotaur and rescue the young people who had gone before him.

In the foreground we see Theseus and Ariadne, daughter of King Minos, who had fallen in love with the foreign prince.  She helps him ready for his task with a reel of thread to guide him back out of the labyrinth.  The Minotaur looms on a pillar above them, echoing the traditional position of the Devil.  The Minotaur  is the punishment for the Athenian's hubris.  Theseus, by slaying the Minotaur, releases the burden on his people, perhaps allowing them to own their collective Shadow.  Also, the presence of Ariadne speaks of a kind person, or our own softer side, helping us to overcome our challenges.

All in all, then, I see this card as offering all the interpretations traditionally associated with the Devil.  However, it also explicitly adds the notion that we are freed from addiction, doubt and other shadow aspects when we own and accept them, when we are willing to brave their shadowlands.  This may be helped by a gentle influence, be it internal or someone in our lives, and by being grounded, so we can find our way back to ourselves.

For me, this card reminds me of yesterday's Runway reading, suggesting I be kind to myself, rather than harsh and judgemental, if I sometimes fail in my own goals for healthy eating.  That's not a licence to eat poorly, but rather being compassionate towards myself if I do give in to my chocolate addiction now and again.

I am grateful for support in facing my demons.


  1. Oh but Theseus SCREWED Ariadne over. Big time. He was a treacherous SOB. Of course, she betrayed as well so this is a great duo to put on the card of the Devil. Who to trust. Who is going to backstab whom first.

  2. Very good point, Arwen, I hadn't considered that aspect of their relationship. Though the myth does say he was told to betray her by Athena, and felt so bad about it that he made a horrible mistake... I guess that might fit, too: being wracked by guilt and other negative and unhelpful emotions.