Welcome to the Tarot Blog Hop!
An international group of tarotists (check out the master list) are all writing on the same topic and then linking to each other so that the reader can hop from one blog to the next, seeing all the permutations and facets that the topic inspired in different writers.
The Union of Opposites
The fundamental delusion of humanity is to suppose that I am here and you are out there.
It may or may not surprise you to know that as a regular participant in the Blog Hop, I try not to read the background that we are given–only to note the topic itself. The experiences of many writing classes and writing groups have made it easiest for me to get a simple prompt and go from there–I don’t want the clarification or background info. I feel that that gives me the most freedom to write what interests me and makes it doubly exciting when someone else writes something similar! And overall I feel it allows for more diversity in terms of the approaches taken to the topic.
So this time as I was scanning through the material to find the summary of the theme, I also noticed that the Lovers card was suggested as a place to start. I immediately dismissed the idea, thinking, I’ll just use the topic itself. But boom, boom, boom. I found the suggested topic–“The Union of Opposites.” I remembered a quote that had been posted in a Reiki group I belong to, and I noticed the Lovers card from the Tarot of the Hidden Realm in the wrong directory on my hard drive. Well played, Fairies, well played. You get to participate.
I love this Lovers card–the earthy, greenish-brown hued skin of the Fairy who sprouts branches from his hair, the pale pink skin and yellow hair crowned with white flowers of the young woman from the non-magical world. One seduces the other away from the world they’ve always known into something new, different, frightening to either one of them. Something is lost, something is gained. This is one of the primary pulls of the other–to live, experience, and try to understand the world from a different perspective.
And yet, as the quote states, from a spiritual viewpoint, this very enticement is the fundamental delusion of being.
Last night I saw Noah by Darren Aronofsky, an incredible and epic vision of this well-known biblical story. This is a time when there were giants on the earth, the world was full of wickedness, and God told Noah that He would destroy the world. All these basics are part of the biblical story. The common scientific complaint about this story is that between Noah and his wife, his three sons and their wives, there is not enough genetic material to repopulate the world. To dramatize the story, Aronofsky took this flaw one step further–Shem’s wife was barren, Japheth was too young, and Ham, so eager for a wife that he was happy to find one from the tribe of Cain, was refused a wife by his father. Ham yearned for love, as the Lovers in the card.
This antediluvian society was envisioned as a place of magic and visions, of great violence and love, of the humanity that millennia later we still understand and relate to. The thing that resonated deeply for me was the idea of losing the world of magic, where dreams were literally true (not psychology played out in symbolic imagery), where giants played with the children of the line of Seth, where snakeskin tefillin pass blessings of light to children. I yearned for the magical world, as the Lovers in the card.
Kabbalistically, Noah walks the 19th Path of Teth, the Strength card in the tarot. He crosses from Geburah, Severity or Power, to Chesed, Mercy or Love. The world is not destroyed by fire (Geburah) as Methusaleh thought, but by water (Chesed).
My boyfriend and I noticed that the two primary actresses, Jennifer Connelly and Emma Watson, had both lost weight to more accurately reflect the hard work and scarcity of the times–my boyfriend kept saying he thought someone should give Jennifer a sandwich. But Russell Crowe, who was playing a 600 year old man, was still built like Gladiator. His strength, his anger and his hatred for the wickedness of the earth showed him as coming from the place of Geburah.
In the movie version of this story, Noah and his wife develop and use a potent incense that puts all the animals to sleep for the trip. Like the Strength card that represents the transition from Geburah to Chesed, Noah must come to terms with the bestial but innocent part of his nature. And (spoiler alert), he successfully arrives at Chesed at the end of the journey–the words mercy and love are repeated many times as he struggles with his final decision.
Like our magical Lovers card, we sometimes must cross from one realm to another, forsaking all that we have previously known. When we again apply the quote from above, we start to gain clarity that it is not the fact that Noah loses Geburah and gains Chesed, but the fact that both are within him, both are within each one of us. That is exactly what kabbalistic pathworking is about–to discover what it is that brings the opposites into union.
Joy Vernon has been studying and teaching energetic and esoteric modalities for more than twenty years. She is the organizer of the Denver Tarot Geeks, Denver Tarot Meetup and Fort Collins Tarot Meetup, and she served on the faculty of Avalon Center for Druidic Studies. She is one of the Psychics of Isis and has been featured at SpiritWays, the Mercury Café and psychic fairs throughout the Denver Metro and Northern Colorado. She is a Certified Professional Tarot Reader and a member of the American Tarot Association. Joy also teaches Traditional Japanese Reiki. For information on upcoming classes or to schedule an appointment, please visit JoyVernon.com.
© 2014 by Joy Vernon. All rights reserved.
Joy Vernon is widely recognized by tarot professionals as an expert tarot teacher and respected community leader. With over twenty years’ experience teaching energetic and esoteric modalities, Joy brings expertise and practiced familiarity to her specialty of esoteric tarot, which layers astrological and qabalistic symbolism onto the traditional tarot structure. Under her leadership, the Denver Tarot Meetup has grown into one of the largest and most active tarot-specific meetups in the world. Joy works as a tarot reader, astrologer, and teacher at Isis Books. To learn more, please visit JoyVernon.com.