Now that we are into the winter months, I am no longer doing my casual first Sunday workshops, so I want to thank everyone who dropped by. I am especially impressed by those of you who came more than once, because it means you were willing to put up with my Aspergerisms!
So, as gray winter days are a good time to curl up and meditate, I’ve been thinking about tarot card images as an aid to contemplation. As mentioned in my post of June 16th that discussed a tarot spell for “Hanged Man” type situations, sometimes new artists’ renditions of the tarot cards allow you to come up with card juxtapositions that bring up some striking graphic interrelationships. While playing around with the Osho Zen Tarot, (put out by the Osho International Foundation in Switzerland, with illustrations by Deva Padma, and manual edited by Sarito Carol Neiman), I found the layout below to be helpful for focusing the mind on meditation:
This is a layout where the card images flow well together, due to coloring plus the mirroring of images. Notice also how facial imagery in the background is also part of the flow.
If you have this deck, you could use this arrangement as a focusing exercise, by first laying down the “Turning In” card, (corresponding to the 4 of Cups). The Osho write-up describes this as a person who “is just watching the antics of the mind.” The act of watching the mind is the first step in Buddhist meditation training, because it helps you to understand the restless habits of your own mind, which is always in motion. As the mind settles, however, it can then open to insight. The Osho deck here also presents an interesting alternative image for the 4 of Cups--capturing the tensions inherent to this card, where the moving, fluid, emotional quality of Water contends with the settling quality of Earth.
To complete the layout, place “Silence” (The Star) above “Turning In,” then place the flanking images, “Inner Voice” (the High Priestess) and “Beyond Illusion” (Judgment) to show the progression from a receptive to an awakened mind.
As an alternative—perhaps if you don’t like the background images of discordant thoughts in the “Turning In” card, you could substitute the “Receptivity” card (corresponding to The Queen of Cups), or place “Receptivity” over “Turning In,” to get the card combination below: