The Lovers (NSFW)

In honor of Valentine’s Day, let’s look at the Lovers (really look at them, in one case).

The Lovers card is, of course, a portent of love.  Barbara G. Walker even included Eros (Cupid in Roman), the personification of love, in her Lovers card. However, being a critical reader of cards (like a critical reader of literature) involves looking at the details as well as the big picture, and reading between the lines. For example, the officiant of this marriage is a priestess, not the traditional priest.  This is not only a legal marriage; there is a deeper, subconscious connection.

Barbara G. Walker writes that since the young man is between an older woman and a younger woman, this card may indicate a choice between mother and wife, youth and maturity, body and spirit (Walker 8). If this triangle sticks out to you, by all means, that interpretation may be what your intuition is pointing you toward. On the other hand, the older woman may seem like a wise teacher, giving her blessings to the young couple. This may tell the reader that the relationship in question is blessed and approved, by destiny if not by the couples’ parents. If the teacher archetype really sticks out for you in this card, it could mean that the questioner should contemplate (or is contemplating) the pursuit of a passion, in all its many forms. They may be beginning a yoga practice, or starting a painting, or about to go on a date. This is a good omen that they are on the right track!

Venus is, of course, the perfect goddess to represent The Lovers in Kris Waldherr’s Goddess Deck. While Venus (Aphrodite in Greek) was a goddess of romantic love, she was also a goddess of beauty in general. Thus, if Venus (or The Lovers) show up in a reading, they may indicate a surge of creative energy, or simply that the questioner needs (or is being given) plenty of beauty to feast on.  This can also indicate a person with a gift for making things beautiful.

This is where it gets racy–

Sometimes The Lovers are just The Lovers. The card is simply telling the questioner she has a crush, or lusts after a new partner. Look closely at the moon in The Lovers card for the Celtic deck– Mary Guinan drew it as a waxing crescent. This could be the beginning, or the honeymoon phase, of a relationship, and it is swelling just as the moon does.

Okay, send the kids out of the room, if you’re squeamish–

I’ll give you a minute to get the staring out of your system.

All done? Good, because there’s more to this card then privates and thingies and naughty bits, as in all Robin Wood cards.  The nudity, while of course underscoring romantic love and sexual passion, is also symbolic of a pure, unashamed state. This could be speaking to a relationship where the couple is secure in themselves with each other, or the two are exploring new things together, a la Jasmine and Aladdin. This state can also describe a new interest in the questioner’s life. Remember “beginner’s mind”? This Zen concept is defined as the purest, most open state of mind, the mind most receptive to learning. The person’s interest is unadulterated.

Looking at other parts of the couple’s bodies besides the very obvious ones, you may notice the color of their hair. Yes, they have hair on their heads. The man has golden hair, and the woman has raven hair. You may also notice that the man is balancing a sun, and the woman is balancing a moon.  They are connected by a arcing rainbow.  This is symbolic of the balance between yin and yang, male and female, bright and dark.  The masculine attributes of strength, ambition, power, and consciousness is equal to, no more or less, to the feminine attributes of intuition, the ability to plumb the subconscious, and nurturing.  Combined, this leads to fertility (as can be seen in the blossoming flowers and fruit on the card).  This fertility may be physical, artistic, intellectual, or spiritual. If the question is about a couple, they would seem to be a perfect match (of course, nobody’s perfect, but they’re pretty happy, indeed!). If it’s about an individual, this means that this person is extremely harmonious internally.

The Lovers can also mean that the person has committed himself to a new spiritual or intellectual practice.  The beloved in this case is a Higher Power, or a new philosophy of life.  It may also show that the questioner has chosen to commit to her Self, and this is a romance that lasts a lifetime.

Reversed, The Lovers card means that He or She is Just Not That Into You, or there is a lack of commitment in the scenario being analyzed.  There is a mismatch.  It might not work out.

But enough negativity.  As we have seen, The Lovers is an excellent card for, well,  lovers. However, it shouldn’t be underestimated as a one-dimensional card. It can refer not only to the love between a lover and the beloved, but between the lover and a Higher Power, a Lover and Nature, a Lover and Art, a Lover and Philosophy– the list goes on, including between a Lover and the Self.  So, if you’re single for Valentine’s Day, don’t despair–as The Lovers have shown us, Love should flow freely wherever the heart wills it, not just on our romantic partners.

I’d like to leave you with some quotes by Rumi, who knew a thing or two about Love:

When life ends we are given another.

Love is the water of Eternal Life;

when you enter that immense sea,

you will know that each drop of it

brims with Life.

We are in love with Love

because Love is our salvation.

Our guide is the Soul

and Love, the water of life.

Woe to him who cannot find the source

for his path is barred by ignorance.

Your body is woven

from the light of Heaven.

Are you aware

that its purity and swiftness

are the envy of the angels

and its courage

keeps even devils away?

You stepped on the ground

and the earth, pregnant with joy,

gave birth to infinite blossoms.

The cheering spread up to Heaven!

The moon glanced  amazed at the stars.

Sources: Rumi’s Little Book of Love: 150 Poems That Speak to the Heart.  Maryam Mafi and Azima Melita Kolin, editors. Charlottesville: Hampton Roads, 2009.

Walker, Barbara G. Barbara Walker Tarot.  U.S. Games Systems, Inc., 1986.

I thought, since Yemaja is the goddess depicted on Kris Waldherr’s Temperance (called Balance) card, that it would be good to offer more information about this beautiful and fascinating goddess (I can’t help it. I love everything watery and lunar :)) This entry from Journeying to the Goddess is fantastic! I also recommend Moon in Pisces entry in Raven Kaldera’s MythAstrology, and the “Yemanja” chapter in Kris Waldherr’s The Book of Goddesses. Both are excellent books and you should purchase them.

Journeying to the Goddess

“Yemaja’s themes are providence, blessing, luck and fertility.  Her symbols are fish, the color blue and the crescent moon.  Yemaja, the Nigerian Goddess of flowering water, bears a name that literally means ‘fish mother!’ As such, Yemaja generates providence and fertility, especially on the physical plane. In legends She gave birth to eleven deities, the sun, the moon, and two streams of water that formed a lake. In art she’s often shown as a mermaid or a crescent moon, and Her favorite color is blue.

The name for the day is definitely fishy. Not surprisingly, new year festivities in Nigeria mark the beginning of the fishing season. Having a teeming net today portends prosperity for the rest of the season. So, what is it that you hope to catch today? Cast out your spiritual line to Yemaja for help in meeting or exceeding any goal.

To bite into a little…

View original post 962 more words

Temperance

Temperance is about balance, on both the concrete and abstract levels.  On the concrete level, it indicates that things are calming down after a bout of busyness, or that you have the skills necessary to take on multiple responsibilities.  On an abstract level, it shows peace, confidence, and tranquility.

 

 

 

 

 

The angel Barbara G. Walker chose to depict Temperance is powerful in her calmness. She skillfully pours water from one jug to another. As water is the element of emotions, this symbolizes that she has her emotions under control, but they are not repressed. They are allowed to flow. She expresses them with poise and skillfulness.

However, amongst all this order, you’ll notice that the jugs are red, the color of passion–passion is tempered and molded by wisdom into something useful. Even the trees behind her are organic, but ordered from tallest to shortest. This is not a wild card.  It represents intelligence and dignity. At the same time, it respects nature, and passion is part of nature. Those who live a balanced life must respect nature, for it has its own temperance.  Those who practice true temperance acknowledge passion.

 

 

Like Barbara G. Walker, Robin Wood’s Temperance has golden wings. Gold is the color of Heaven and riches, and is a masculine color. The questioner may be accessing higher planes of existence, and soaring to new heights. The golden ball in the angels right hand (the “masculine” hand) also represents these qualities.

The other two balls are silver and crystal. Silver is the color of intuition, a feminine color, and, with the gold, indicates the balance between the masculine and feminine, the intellectual and the intuitive, the sun and the moon. The crystal ball symbolizes foresight. Temperance smoothly balances all these aspects and qualities.

Another detail that Robin Wood’s and Barbara G. Walker’s Temperance have in common is that they are in the same pose–one foot on the land, and another in the water. This means that there is skill in the “real” material, intellectual world (the land), and also in the emotional, creative, mysterious realm (the water).  As you can see, the land is immaculate and the water is a pristine, crystal blue, so everything is in harmony.

A path leads from the water to the mountains in the background. The mountains are mysterious, but the sun is breaking over them, the future with all its gifts and challenges will be revealed. The questioner has the skills to bring their ideas from the abstract realm of dreams and wishes (the water) and into reality.

 

The Celtic Deck shows a woman standing in the liminal space of land and water of a swamp, again demonstrating the balance between practicality and imagination, and the skill of bringing dreams into reality. She pours the water of emotions into the golden cups–there’s that color again!–and turns the intangible emotions, fantasies and subconscious desires and insights into sources of all kinds of riches–material, creative, and spiritual.  These gifts are for the questioner.

 

 

Kris Waldherr’s Temperance is represented by the goddess Yemana. Yemana is an orisha–a deity of the African and Afro-Caribbean beliefs of the Yoruba tradition. She is also known as Yemaya or Yemajya. Yemaya/Yemana/Yemajya is a lunar goddess and the orisha of the sea. She guards all ocean life, and she also protects mothers and children on land.  The land and the sea are of equal value to her–metaphorically, the concrete and the abstract, the intellectual and the emotional, the conscious and the unconscious, are in balance.

 

If Temperance turns up in a reading, it means that the questioner already has the qualities Temperance symbolizes, such as control, harmony, poise, and balance, or could do with developing some of them.  It may indicate a leveling off of energy that has been frenetic.  It may also be a reassurance before a change or an increase of responsibility that the questioner can handle it.

 

If drawn reversed, Temperance is giving the questioner a wake-up call. Things are dangerously out of balance, and harmony is endangered. The questioner is taking on too much, or choosing a path that is unhealthy for them.  The questioner may be feeling out of control, or sickened mentally and physically. The questioner must seek help if necessary. On a smaller level, the questioner needs to look at her priorities and lifestyle.

Good News!

For quite a while now, I wanted to take what I love to do and become a professional at it.  After much hemming and hawing, I finally decided to open Turtlephoenix for business! I can now give you readings in person, over the phone, on facebook chat, or Skype.

 

Here is the official website: turtlephoenix.com

 

And the facebook page. I would be honored if you stopped on by and “Liked!” http://www.facebook.com/Turtlephoenix?fref=ts

 

In other news, my two day jobs has also given me more hours and responsibility. This is an honor, but I am still getting the hang of how to manage the time in between teaching, giving readings to my new clients, and writing a novel. These problems are a dream come true, but I assure you, new posts are coming!

 

Please come visit and give me a call! I’m looking forward to hearing from you!