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Thursday, 17 January 2013

Dances with Turtles

My draw for today is another Princess from the Book of Thoth -- this time Princess of Cups. I like this Princess better than yesterday's Brunhilda card, though I have to admit that I find both of them a bit odd. In this card I see what looks like a stone statue of a female figure, wearing a rather stiff  lavender garment decorated with diamondish shapes. She seems to be floating on a twisty-tube. She has a swan on her head, and holds toward us a turtle on a clam shell. Some sort of strange fish is on her right, and she holds a lotus blossom in her left hand.

I'm sure this all means something to someone. For me, I am struck mostly by how the human figures in the court cards of this deck are so obscured by the surrounding symbols and designs. There is so little life to them. They all seem inanimate, frigid, statue-like, unnatural. This is my first impression. All impressions I'm posting this week are first impressions, because this is my first time to take a close look at this deck. I suppose I'm learning to deal with the art style, which is not to my taste.

It would seem that the inclination of the female figure's head, the sweep of the robe, and the watery elements are all in keeping with the Cups suit. The swan is an interesting choice; it's true I guess that swans live near water, but I usually link swans to symbols of sorrow or loss. Maybe the swan stands for the wistful feeling that can come with the overly emotional aspects of the Cups suit. It certainly has that effect on me. Because she's at an angle and her robe is cascading, she appears to be in motion, possibly dancing. Or she would do, if she didn't look so much to me like a statue.

The book Tarot: Mirror of the Soul by Gerd Ziegler suggests this as the meaning of Princess of Cups: 'Trust your feelings and perceptions. You are on the right path.'  And the book goes on to give a question for contemplation: 'Is there anything else preventing you from being fully free? You now have the opportunity to let go of that as well' (Ziegler, p. 78).

Well, that is one big question for a daily draw. Is anyone ever 'fully free'? Does anyone ever know what it would take to be 'fully free'? Do people even really want to be 'fully free'? Not sure.  I'm not convinced that they do. As I don't even really know what it means, I'm pretty sure that I don't want to be. However, if the author of the book merely means feeling free from some constraint that has been a recent problem, I'm with him. What would it take for me to be fully free of a recent constraint? ... As usual, the answer is to let go. Feeling resentment solves nothing. If something is beyond your control (and some things are), feeling resentment toward it cannot change it. So rather than try to change what can't be changed, change your reaction to it.

That is what would make me feel fully free. To change my reaction to something that has been troubling me recently. I think I can do that. I can certainly stop some of the behaviours that have not helped me feel better.

On the other hand, Ziegler just told me: 'TRUST YOUR FEELINGS AND PERCEPTIONS. You are on the right path.' So perhaps resentment is not the 'real' feeling for me right now. Perhaps resentment is only the surface feeling. There is another feeling under there, a feeling that I don't want to deal with. It is the feeling that it is time to move on, literally. Time to take leave of a situation. It is abject fear that keeps me trapped. Easier to say, 'I can't change this so screw it.' Easier to believe that change is not possible than to take a step into the unknown where things could quickly get so very much worse.

What's the balance then, between being realistic and trusting your feelings? Is it like balancing a swan on your head and a turtle in your hand, while dancing in the air? When are you hard as stone, when are you flowing like a river? How can you be both?

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