By all the Gods.
I woke up with an idea this morning; a slightly different way for me to look at the images on the Major Arcana. At first I couldn’t remember the word and had to break out the thesaurus and scramble around then finally it came to me – Steward.
The thought was, what if the images on the majors aren’t depictions of the ideas themselves rather the figures in the majors are Stewards of the concepts? I jotted down a quick list:
The Fool – Steward of Foolishness
The Magician – Steward of Magic
The High Priestess – Steward of Knowledge
The Empress – Steward of abundance and life
The Emperor – Steward of the Law
The Hierophant – Steward of the Spirit or spirituality
The Lovers – Steward of sex and love
The Chariot – Steward of travels and travelers and warriors
Justice – Steward of Karma, cause and effect
The Hermit- Steward of divine light, of knowledge earned
The Wheel – Steward of Fortunes
Strength – Steward of Fortitude
The Hanged Man – Steward of sacrifice
Death – Steward of death and the dead, psychopomp
Temperance – Steward of Balance and Forging
Devil – Steward of all sorts of devilry
Tower – Steward of Building and Destroying structures
Star – Steward of divine grace and oracles
Moon – Steward of natural cycles and rhythms and things that are hidden
Sun – Steward of illumination and the source of life
Judgment – Steward of understood and well applied knowledge and of life after death
World – Steward of All
The one that really hits me is Temperance. The Tiger-Steward of Balance. I can’t think of anything more perfect!
These could be expanded quite a bit too.
I have been getting hit with a lot of info lately! The other 8s are making themselves known. Now, I had done up rough sketches of all 4 of them before I started focusing on any one deeply, so I knew what direction I was going in, but of course they have their own ideas which don’t exactly match mine.
Yesterday as I was driving Sophie home from the pediatrician (poor thing has pneumonia!!! We were up all night the night before, she had a fever of 103 and the cough from hell) I had this image impress itself on me. I should give some background first.
When I was a kid, before internet or 500 gazillion channels on TV or even Nintendo <g> we had this big set of encyclopedias that I used for entertainment (along with medical tomes which I also loved). There was one section on Hindu Gods. It was one of only a few big, full color, glossy, pull out triple pages. The Hindu Gods were captivating to me! In particular was a large center image of Kali that was quite gruesome. She had a person lying across her lap and she was digging out his stomach contents. It had a lot of blood and intestines. I was great!
So, when I ran across an image last week of a lion headed sun god digging out someones entrails it caught my attention.
Th image I saw in my head while driving Sophie home was neither gruesome nor bloody, though. Instead it was a lion headed sun god carrying a person, lovingly.
It just unleashed a whole flood if ideas, that image. And the 8s began to tell me a story. Here is a quick breakdown as the kids are starting to call out for breakfast:
8 of Swords – you walk through the gate.
8 of Cups – You give of yourself completely and absolutely down to the very last drop of your being.
8 of Disks – You become the sacrificial lamb, your last act is to give your life, selflessly.
8 of Wands – As you die you shed your earthly skin and are free to expand without limits.
I just wrote a whole lot about how this fits in with Joseph Campbell’s writings but it was getting convoluted and I would rather present it in a nicer manner with some citations.
BUT I do see the 8s as achieving the goal you have sought. The last act you will make is to sacrifice yourself unto the death. You will shed your earthly trappings of body and even the motivations of that body and you will expand. While many myths have the hero carried back home by the Gods, my thought, in seeing that image of the sun god in my mind, was that when you shed your skin YOU become the Sun God and are resurrected. From here on out you are the Magician, you are the manifestation of your potential and though you have completed your goal your duty now is to help others. YOU are the Hermit out of the Wilderness become Magician.
Now I am off to feed the hungry natives!
“Old myths, old gods, old heroes have never died. They are only sleeping at the bottom of our mind, waiting for our call. We have need for them. They represent the wisdom of our race.”
– Stanley Kunitz