Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Secrets

Today's card from the Tarot of the Masters is a rather scary version of the Seven of Swords.

A woman carries a basket filled with bread and wine, her apron stuffed with more goodies.  In her other hand she brandishes a sword and she looks over her shoulder as though afraid of persuers.  And well she might be, given there's a bat above her and a three-headed hound in the foreground.  Is this Cerberos, the Greek and Roman version of a hell-hound?  Is she escaping into or out of the underworld?  She might be entering it, carrying supplies so she won't have to eat or drink from there and be forced to stay.  And why enter in the first place?  To gain some knowledge which others might not want her to have, perhaps?

There are certainly other stories that could be seen in this image, and this may well not be what the original Old Master intended, yet it is what I see today.  A desire for knowledge, and an acknowledgment of the potential costs of that.

Interestingly, in The Soul's Journey one of the things that James associates this card with is secrets, and the way they can control us rather than vice versa.  He suggests that: "We think we benefit from keeping our secrets, but... our secrets often control us, and so the way to freedom includes finding a safe way to release them."  This involves judicious consideration of who the secret effects and why we are keeping it, as well as bringing us face to face with questions of trust.

I can see both research (gaining knowledge from sometimes difficult sources) and secrets in this image today.  I'm off on another business trip, and have some confidential paperwork I need to finish reading.  Fortunately, I'll be travelling with a colleague I trust implicitly, so we'll be able to discuss the ins and outs of the papers and tomorrow's meeting.

I am grateful for shared trust.

6 comments:

  1. I like that; gaining knowledge. That's the meaning that is also emphasized in the Druidcraft tarot

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    1. It's always been one of my favourite interpretations of this card :) I've seen it come up for students quite a bit (myself included) - a gathering of different ideas and then distilling them down. I think you can see that even in the Rider Waite image - collecting ideas to use for your own purposes. Of course, that could result in plagiarism, but it's all about how you process and attribute things - the dark and light sides of the idea :) And yes, the Druidcraft suggests it very strongly, with its image of a man bent over a scroll by candlelight :)

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    2. For today I'll stick to the more positive side; to be inspired by the written word of other people

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  2. I like this version too. Some versions of cards really hit the idea home.

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    1. Yes, it's a bit different, and a versatile image :)

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