Sunday, 12 August 2012

Maiden or Crone?

©Kurt Pilz
Today's card from the Ananda Tarot (AGM Müller/Urania, 2003) and the Wheel of Change Tarot (Inner Traditions, 1997) is another Major, next in line, in fact: the High Priestess.

In the Ananda Tarot I see a rather androgynous figure again.  This time, though, it's not just a face in the sky, but a whole body, wearing a loose, white cowled robe.  She stands with her lower body lost in stars and a cratered moon, while her upper body lifts to a bright light.  At her sacrum is a transparent sphere, lit by a single glowing star beneath, and between her hands a soft glow forms.  In the background is a forest, with rocky mountains looming out of an illuminated mist.

She makes me think of being in tune with the cycles of the cosmos, of drawing down the moon, and tapping in to intuition.  Though she is rooted in the deep mysteries of space and time, she brings this wisdom into the light of day, birthing it in silence and darkness.

©Alexandra Genetti
The Wheel of Change's High Priestess is also amazing.  She sits in the centre of two trees, one with yellow leaves, the other bare-branched.  A spider has woven her web between the two trees, directly over the Priestess' head.  Behind her we see the earth from space and a deep night sky, with a crescent moon and four bright stars.  She wears a blue robe that echoes the night sky, and a crescent moon headdress, as well as a red-trimmed black coat.  She is old and wise, an owl sitting behind her on one of the bare branches.  In her lap she holds a basket, containing vowels which represent both "the ancient wisdom of writing" and a connection to the Goddess.  As all five vowels ar there, they symbolise all the stages of life and death - the circle of experience.

I love this sentence from the companion book (a 383 page tome that is beautifully presented, as well as wise): "This card represents the truth of woman's power: that it is enduring and long-lived, coming from within and from subtle knowledge".

Here, then, we have two aspects of the Goddes, the maiden and the crone.  Both are intent on knowledge that goes beyond the everyday struggle to birth and care for children, and put food on the table.  So, each in her own way, is connected to looking at esoteric knowledge, unhampered by the demands of family.  Each is a different kind of wisdom, though of course the crone embodies both, having lived through all the other stages and their learnings.

I'm not sure what wisdom I shall gain today, nor if I'll have much time for introspection.  We're going to the birthday party of a friend of my Dear One, with plenty of kids under foot ;)  Perhaps the High Priestess' message is that we can learn from all of life's experiences, if we just stay present and listen to our inner wisdom. 

I am grateful for the opportunity to learn through experience.

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