Friday, April 9, 2010

Perspectives on Judgment, Part 3

Continuing to ponder how Judgment’s principles of rebirth and renewal apply to readings done last Sunday, two of the readings contained all heavy-hitting Major Arcana cards.

One 3-card spread was Justice, Judgment, and the World, suggesting more outward-looking transformations experienced on a larger social scale, that is, personal renewal achieved by promoting principles of justice and balance. (The person who drew this is a Libra, so one thinks of Gail Fairfield’s “Choice Centered Astrology,” which describes the Libra/Venus mission as creating beauty and harmony; also, when you get cards that strongly suggest your own astrological sign or significators, this suggests being yourself.) The World can suggest expressing these qualities in your personal life and environment, but there is also a sense of bringing harmony to more extended spheres of influence. If I’m not getting things mixed up, I believe this reading was done with the Ciro Marchetti Divine Legacy Tarot, so again, you have the central angel harmonizing the principles to either side of the Judgment card as part of this renewal process, (and creating continuity between these principles). There are similarities between Justice and Judgment, because both imply some critical decision making, and there is natural continuity between Judgment and the World, because as the last two cards in the Majors, the World follows Judgment as part of the natural progression through transformation to a higher and happier state of being.

The other reading, which featured Death, Judgment, and the Tower, reveals transformative processes that are profound and ongoing. We had been talking about how the card to the left of Judgment can reveal parts of you that you may have left behind, and that you can renew yourself by rediscovering these personalities, qualities, or interests. However, the person who drew these cards was a younger person still in school, so we tended more to look at the Death card as perhaps pertaining to the different Selves one may try on and then discard in the process of making decisions about what studies and careers to pursue. This could apply to a lot of other things a person can be identified with, such as peer groups, friendships, personal interests, beliefs and causes—because they all go into that sense of Self. To feel a little more at ease with having to deal with major transformations, you could think about where, in your past as well as in your current life, have you been able to use what we might call shape-shifting skills in adapting to different circumstances, different groups of people, different peoples’ demands on you, and so on? How have you been remaking yourself.

Another thing—which I didn’t think to mention—is Heinrich Böll’s reflection that, “The artist carries Death within him, like a good priest his breviary.” I didn’t think to ask whether this individual was an art student, but I know a lot of young people deal with a degree of intensity in their artistic explorations that generates internal drama. If you identify with this, Death and the Tower can have bearing on art as a continuing transformation process. The Tower can denote a jolt of inspiration, but from the artists’ point of view, it could also be about disassembling and reassembling one’s art installations to get different creative combinations. Here, you can welcome transformations as opportunities for self-invention and creative performance.

I think the deck used for this reading was the “Mystic Dreamer Tarot,” with art by Heidi Darras and text by Barbara Moore. In this deck, the Judgment angel faces left, the direction of the past, which, being the side of the Death card, also suggests that a return to a past transformation may be a source of renewal. The Death card features a shrouded grim reaper figure, from which emerges an ecstatic spirit woman made of starlight, which further suggests that idea of creative self-invention and re-invention.

I have a little bit more to say about the Judgment readings, but as I have to devote several days to family matters, I probably won’t get back to this til next week.

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