Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Did I Win?

February 22, 2012: Six of Stones (R) Haindl Tarot

Today we have a card that demands our focus, because at first glance the message is scary and perhaps even negative. But always in the tarot approached through the lens of Witchcraft, things are never merely as they appear on the surface. So let's take a deeper look.

The card is a circle of stones in the depths of a cave, suggestive of the Inner Landscape. The stones form two triangles, an upper and a lower. These are reminiscent of the top two triangles of the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, as well as the separated figures of the Star of David which bespeak "as above, so below". The center of the figure, however, is a hole in the cave, somehow reminiscent of that empty place which is often present at the core of our success.

However, Haindl did not mean to imply this, and that is why there is a golden light shining through the center hole. This light tells us that the "space within" does not signify emptiness at the core, nor does it mean to suggest the idea that our joys and successes are meaningless. On the contrary, the light tells us that we can find the true source of meaning, the glorious nothing of the Fool, within the happiness of daily life. We do not need to abandon the pleasures and satisfactions of success, at least not for now. Instead, we need to become aware of the Center, the light shining behind and through the solid things of this world.

But, we exclaim, our card is reversed!! So, doesn't this in fact mean that there really is "nothing" inside the emptiness? Not necessarily. In your Tarot Witch's experience, the reversals always surprise us, and that's the point. Reversed cards do not necessarily mean the opposite of what the card means in its upright position, but rather cry out "PAY ATTENTION! You're MISSING something here!" The reversal of this card forces our eye to that hollow center, and implies that we may have lost sight of spiritual values, seeing only the outer realities of wealth and success, and discounting or not nurturing the light at the center.

I use the phrase "Wholly, Holy, Holey" to describe the profound and sacred act of active not-knowing, not-doing, remaining clear, plangent, and empty so the light can shine through. The message of the reversed hexagram indicates the need to simplify, perhaps to look for values beyond outer success, or to take a more modest approach to other people and to life in general. When you look at life upside-down, only the center is right-side up. Especially if its empty.

So, in this case, because the card is reversed, the "hole" in the center is even more striking, and compels even more of our attention. The hexagram pattern, perfect balance, and especially the hole in the center, urge us to see the inner truth within the external delusion of material happiness. Riches and security are not "success" if your center is crying out for sustenance. Use this so-called success as a tool--having more security on the material level may leave us free to pursue more arcane foci, thus making our material security a true means to wisdom.