Beltaine Tarot Blog Hop: A Union of Opposites
Welcome to the Bealteine 2014 Blog Hop!
Perhaps you are joining me from Arwen’s blog. When you finish here, please continue the hop by visiting Joy Vernon’s blog. If you find a break in the chain, our wrangler, Aisling, has the Master List for you.
Blessed Beltaine to you! Today, in the northern hemisphere, we celebrate the cross-quarter day between the vernal equinox and the summer solstice. At this time of year we gather together to leap the belfire, drink from the maybowl and dance the maypole.
Our wrangler, Aisling, has identified Major Arcana 6, the Lovers, as a tarot card often associated with the lusty festivals of fertility celebrated at this time of year.
In modern times, many readers associate the Lovers with passion and romance. Aisling reminds us that there are older traditions for this card which discus the Lovers as a union of opposites.
I like to think of the Lovers in this way. In the Rider-Waite-Smith image, the man gazes at the woman, but the woman gazes at the angel. One focuses on the physical, the other, on the spiritual. The push-pull yin-yang energy of this card speaks to me of the reality of what it is to maintain a relationship.
The Lovers is typically associated with the astrological sign of Gemini, and therefore the element of Air. Not Water, for romance, nor Fire, for passion, but Air.
The union of opposing forces is created through the force of reason and logic.
There is power, too, in the union of opposites. This is a theme we see in a few Major Arcana cards.
As I think of the Major Arcana cards I might associate with this theme other than the Lovers, three come to mind.
The steeds in the Chariot, be they the black and white sphinx in the Waite image or the zebra-fish creatures of World Spirit Tarot, show the union of opposites in action.
Strength shows a union between the fierce, wild lion and the gentle, loving woman.
Temperance, the card of art, time and alchemy, shows the making of a perfect solution from imperfect parts.
For a few years now I have been working on my 78 Poems Project. That is, one poem (not necessarily a good poem, mind you) for each of the 78 Rider Waite Smith cards.
As it turns out, I had already written poems for these three cards. And, in each poem, I had written something that now seems pertinent to our discussion about the union of opposites.
As I think about these cards I am struck with an idea. In bringing opposites together in harmony we create something both peaceful and powerful. At this time on our planet there are opposing forces seemingly unable to compromise or work together. In these tarot images we find the wisdom the world needs to move forward in peace.
On this Beltaine I send the power of the Lovers, the Chariot, Strength and Temperance to embrace the world in a new balance, a new cooperation and a new way forward, through the power we find in the union of opposites.
Opposites in union pull forward
Directed not by hand but by will.
The power of myth and the power of mind
The hero is traveling still.
Transportation and transformation
A singular vision and quest.
The warrior speeds commanding his steeds
Envisioning total success.
Swift motion and great calculation
Under the cover of stars.
Mastery conquering mystery
Whether ordeals or journeys or cars.
As water with patience carves into stone
So do hearts carve one on the other.
And when nature battles civility
New friends are drawn together.
Each has more reason to fear than to love
The dangers beckon, not understated.
This war is waged not with bullets but blooms
And fine compassion, communicated.
The gentle maiden must be of mind fierce.
She has enraptured a fierce jungle king.
The beast submits not by violence but choice
To a union of forces opposing.
Strength then is found not in warfare or blood
Nor in doctrine nor laws to rely on.
True strength is found in faith and control
With your hand in the mouth of a lion.
Water poured from cup to cup, and metal turned to gold
Sorrow turned to patience, and ego turned to mold.
One foot on the water, another balancing on land
Not a drop is spilt by the angel's gentle hand.
Caution guards the recipe, stirring grace with balance
Art and time make alchemy with these select ingredients.
Change forged of disappointment, mingling with hope
Built on tragic lessons learned that gave us skill to cope.
Expectation and assumption gone, accepting what will be
Still the angel blends the cups, creating perfectly.
Perfect are the cups' contents, and perfect is the measure
And perfect are the woes and joys, blended into treasure.