Angels on our shoulders

Some call the Tarot The Devil’s Picture book, but what about the Tarot’s Angels? Depending on the imagery of the deck, we might see the angel of Judgement. We might see the angel of Temperance. In some decks the Christian figure of The Devil will be represented instead by the wild god, Pan.

Judgement Gilded Tarot

Judgement from The Gilded Tarot, permission of Ciro Marchetti

I do not see my card and rune activities as spiritual in nature or intention. I think that I am communing with an ancient part of myself, and that this part of myself is also communing with the ancientness of the other person, when I am reading for another.

Not spiritual. It’s just about the Mind, Perhaps this is splitting hairs. What does it matter? It is simply a question of language. Well, the thing is, language may attract or repel. I generally prefer to eschew religious or spiritual language, that’s all, but neither would I ever say I was an atheist. I don’t find it helpful or meaningful to take up any fixed positions on the imponderables of life, while meaning, value, usefulness, and beauty is wherever and however you find it.

But to do a reading, I must prepare  myself to read, to put myself into that place where I even dare to read for a complete stranger.

Daring is needed.

I could be asked about anything at all. I do mean anything. I am often asked about relationships, of course, romantic relationships, family relationships, work relationships. I am asked a lot of ‘if’ and ‘when’ questions. When will I move job? When will I move house? Who will I meet and when and will it work out? I’m also asked a lot of business questions, by business owners, and the stakes have often been very high indeed.

Sometimes I am asked truly oracular questions. Once I was asked ‘where is my brother? How is he?’ And was then told the brother had died, and that he killed himself, but,  where was he, and how was he? And the Tarot offered me such an story to share in answer to this question, it was fit to make anybody’s hair stand on end, but in such a  way, that if the Tarot is the  Devil’s picture book, then he’s a whole lot kinder than we give him credit for, and he’s overdue a reassessment.

I described where he was now, a small boy again, lost in that moment, happily splashing in a puddle. The Tarot told me he didn’t remember his death or what drove him to it, not a thing, but it looked to me as if he was coming back again very soon and might even land again close by. Then I received a message the following week, very happy and excited, a bit tearful, to the effect that the client’s sister had just found out she was expecting a baby, and maybe…what if….

What if indeed. Maybe this was a reincarnation. Maybe it was something else I picked up along the way while investigating the stated question. It was and is, beyond me to issue any definitive proposition as to which, but it wasn’t me. Not the everyday me. It came via The Sun card. Meanings: the sun, birth, childhood, happiness, innocence, animals, healing.

sun card

The Sun card from The Golden Tarot, by Kat Black

I cannot prepare for a reading. I can only prepare to try and respond. I tidy the bathroom, I fill the kettle, I prepare the room, the reading table, and I try to settle my mind, and to get ready to point into whatever wind I’m about to feel on my face, so as not to let in doubt.

Readings work on flow. I need to make myself as inconsequential as possible, and take myself out of the equation, so, spiritually or non- spiritually, I don’t worry which, kicking the whole thing ‘upstairs’, and saying to myself while getting ready,

“Great angels of the elements, please help me to help (person’s name)

Uriel, great angel of the North

Gabriel, great angel of the West

Michael, great angel of the South

Raphael, great angel of the East.

Earth and Water, Fire and Air

Please help me to see what most needs to be seen

Please help me to say what most needs to be said

For the highest good and harming none

Amen”

 

Uriel represents the north and the element of Earth, and Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn

Gabriel represents the west and the element of Water, and Pisces, Cancer and Scorpio

Michael represents the south and the element of Fire, and Aries, Leo and Sagittarius

Raphael represents the east and the element of Air, and Aquarius, Gemini andLibra

The Tarot, whatever else one thinks it is or isn’t, is a cultural, artistic artefact, and so are angels as depicted in art and literature through the ages.

Uriel, ‘Flame of God,’ angel of earth and the north is the colours of red, gold and amber. Uriel, angel of self-trust, and therefore, wisdom of decision-making, “stands at the Gate of Eden (Nature) with a fiery sword” as pitiless as any demon, just as nature is ‘red in tooth and claw,’ and presides over the gates of Tartarus, battling the very baddest of all things bad, though probably some get out again anyway. Ooh-er. He needs to be tough, but Uriel is also the archangel of salvation, and opens the gates of Life to let the dead pass safely out and onward, no waylaying by ‘nasties’, working alongside the archangel Michael on this job. Uriel is also a culture vulture, depicted as the angel of poetry and patron of the arts, often shown carrying a book or a papyrus scroll representing wisdom. His Tarot card is the Ace of Pentacles/Coins/Earth.

‘Pennies from heaven.’

urielThe Ace of Pentacles, The Gilded Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

Uriel, Wikipedia and The Ace of Pentacles from The Gilded Tarot, permission of Ciro Marchetti

Gabriel, ‘Strength of God,’ angel of water and the west is the colours of white and silver, and is one of the two archangels specifically named in the Bible in both the Old and New Testament, the other being Michael. S/he is God’s messenger, often portrayed as female, she may be holding a trumpet and is the patron of communications, helping writers, teachers, journalists and artists to convey their message, to find motivation and confidence, and to market their skills. S/he helps in overcoming fear and procrastination in all difficult communication, and in areas related to children, during conception, pregnancy, childbirth and child rearing.

‘The Chalice.’

Gabriel Hubert_van_Eyck_010.jpgace cups gilded

Gabriel by Van Eyck: The Ace of Cups, The Gilded Tarot, permission of Ciro Marchetti

Michael, ‘Who is like the Lord,’ angel of fire and the south  is all colours of blue.This might seem out of keeping, but his fire is blue lightning, and his angelic legions wore armour of blue lightning, both in fighting fallen angels, and cutting free trapped human souls who hadn’t managed to rise upon death, and were vulnerable to attack, drifting loose in the ether, stuck by their own weight in Purgatory. Michael figured as the greatest and most revered of angels in many scriptures and spiritual traditions. In Muslim lore, he is the angel of nature who provides both food and knowledge to man. Michael is the protector of police officers, patron of police departments and law enforcement agencies around the world.

‘The Divine Spark’

Coventry_Cathedral_-_Epstein's_sculpture_of_St.Michael_and_Lucifer.jpglegacy of divine tarot ace of wands

Wikimedia: Epstein’s Michael and Satan, Coventry Cathedral and The Ace of Wands, Legacy of the Divine Tarot, permission of Ciro Marchetti

 

Raphael, ‘Healing of God,’ archangel of air and of the east is all colours of green. Archangel Raphael is the angel of truth, wholeness, healing, body, mind and spirit. Raphael is the rain-man, responsible for precipitation, medicine, also science, mathematics- and music. Many hospitals are named after Raphael in Latin speaking countries today. Pray for help then watch out for clues, ideas and inspiration. Raphael will not intervene to prevent a timely death,’ his war is against prolonged suffering of pain. Raphael is very curious, fascinated by humanity’s innovations, rather like Odin in Norse lore, and like Odin, likes to mingle with Man, travelling earthbound in disguise. He is reputedly the most approachable of the archangels, and is the angel to apply to for protection during travel.

‘The Sword of Truth’

250px-Saint_Raphaelace swords legacy

Source: Wikimedia Commons: Raphael, and the Ace of Swords, The Legacy of The Divine Tarot, Ciro Marchetti

 

Until next time 🙂

 

The Tarot Interviews St George…

Tarot As A Story Telling Tool: St George

St. George and the Dragon by Briton Reviere.
St. George and the Dragon by Briton Reviere. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In honour of St George’s day, I’ll try the Tarot out as an interviewing tool,  as a Translator across Time and Truth.  St George’s Day, April 23rd, is also thought to be the anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare.

The Tarot tells no lies, but it stands to reason, factually speaking, there can be no getting at ‘the truth’ of St George. A legend may contain grains of fact, while representing the poetic truth of an amalgam of people or myths. As the poet, Kathleen Raine  expressed it, ‘Myth is the Truth of Fact, not Fact the Truth of Myth.’ 

What some call fantastical, or lies, even damned lies, if they don’t apprehend poetic truth, for others is just taking a possibility for a walk, an interesting exercise with judgement in abeyance. Let’s suspend judgement just for a moment, as we enter the Tarot’s Imaginarium.

raphaels george and the dragon circa1505 Public Domain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Raphael: St George and the Dragon: Public Domain

That poor dragon. Call the RSPCA. Well, that’s another way of looking at it, by way of a change.

George, if I may, if you can hear me, what can you tell us about yourself?
The Six of Swords Rx:

I am the other side of The River. I hear you only faintly, your words are not my language, and yet I understand you. There must be a translator somewhere. I have forgotten many things, but I remember I was a traveller. I made long journeys over the sea as well as by land.  When I was small I’d go looking for frogs amongst the bullrushes in the pebbled stream, near where I lived. It was good luck to find a frog.

I didn’t read as well as my father wished, I had some letters, taught me by an old Persian with scarred legs – I didn’t know how he’d got those. He knew about numbers and about the stars. Sometimes he would let me sit by him, and  show me maps of the sky.

You’re reputed to have killed a dragon. What can you tell us about that?
The Queen of Cups/Ace Pentacles Rx.

There was something once, but I wouldn’t call it a dragon. It was a water-drake, a filthy great eel, attacking fishermen, robbing nets some place I stopped off, they saw I was a military man and they offered  coin and a night’s lodgings if I would help them hunt and kill it, and they were in difficulties, so I did.

What about the rescued princess?

Queen of Cups Rx

Princess? I don’t know. There was a woman, still beautiful, not young. Nothing to do with the drake. I was passing through, the problem was mentioned, good coin offered (Ace Coins Rx) I went out at night with the fishermen. One guided the boat, I saw the great eel showing silver at the surface, and threw my lance. We had to withdraw and wait. There was no question of pulling the lance out of this thing, or pulling it from the water still alive. Its mistake was in coming so close to the surface when the moon was so bright. I’d never seen one so huge. They said it had taken a child.
Another thing happened  that might have become a story of a dragon. A battle chariot came down on us. A huge thing with its horse team decked out in the semblance of a beast, with a beast’s head carving. I flung a spear, it went through the spokes of one of the wheels. My farthest throw ever, they said. Maybe that’s the root of the story. It was that, or the eel. I kept a pine marten once, for a season, but I don’t imagine that will qualify.

What was your profession?

 The King of Swords
(This ties in with known history) Oh, I was ‘miles’, a soldier, I became ‘miles’ after the death of my mother, and I went on to become an officer. A thing to be said for Rome was, it rewarded skill and service, it gave you chances. I wasn’t popular, or perhaps I simply mean, I wasn’t easy and outgoing. I was known for a certain reserve, nothing to do with rank. I was rarely the worse for wear,  I laughed at jokes, but I didn’t make many. But the men didn’t give me a hard time either about getting promotion. I tried hard to be fair, always, didn’t put on airs, and few of them could see further or clearer than I could, or better me with a lance. I had a horse, a grey mare called Usa .

(Reading note: I got this name by  ‘hearing’ it.  Sometimes insights come this way in a real life reading. I had to look it up, and I  found that ‘Usa’ is not listed as a Roman or Cappadocian name, but it is a Sanskrit name, meaning ‘Dawn’. My surprise was at finding the name actually existed, I hadn’t come across it before.)

What else, George?
Whatever I said I would do, I did. In my life I had two homes, two peoples, two purses and they were sometimes empty. I was always divided. But it was not in my nature to function divided. I looked at this, or I looked at that, the rest went into the background. I think others besides myself might have paid a heavy price for that. I could not see that at the time. Or if I did, I could not, or would not change it.

Is it accurate to say you were a Christian?
The Hierophant Rx
The word echoes. I remember that I found myself out of step, dangerously so.

Why was that?

The World.

Perhaps it was just the world I had came into.

What do you remember about leaving Life?

Seven of Wands, Ace of Cups.

There must have been pain and fear but I don’t remember. I can only see blows coming at me to know it was not gentle. Then I was looking down  from a height, the peace of knowing I had escaped and was free. Little else.

Did you have children?
The Three of Swords Rx

I feel I was mourned from afar. A son. I last saw him, before embarking overseas again. He had lately been apprenticed. Tooling of leather, I think. He was enjoying the work. Perhaps he continued to become a craftsman or merchant (3 Wands) I hope Life was good for him, I hope he got what he needed and wanted, but what his life path was like afterwards, I can never know.

Here Ends The Transmission

Until next time