Dancing Between Light and Darkness
Welcome to the Ostara 2013 Tarot Blog Hop. Perhaps you are joining me from Morgan Drake Eckstein's blog, Gleamings from the Dawn. Morgan is our wrangler for this Blog Hop.
When you finish here, please continue on to visit the blog of the Tarot Association of the British Isles.
If you find a broken link anywhere in your journey, please visit the Master List.
For Ostara, the Vernal Equinox, the Tarot Blog Hop is exploring the place where light and dark meet - that moment of balance when all things are equal and nothing is either good or bad. It's a not-so-surprising bit of synchronicity for me. I have been considering this topic recently, both as regards tarot and as regards life.
The archetype of the eternal battle between good and evil is predominant in many cultures. We see it in everything from Christianity to Star Wars.
On an internal level there may be such a battle going on in each person. Maybe we all have a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other, just as we see in cartoons.
On a larger spiritual level I am not sure the battle between good and evil is a real thing at all. To believe in such a battle is to believe in the character of Satan, not as an archetype, but as an extant being. And I just don't.
What is good and what is bad, really? In nature, it depends on where you sit. If a lion catches a gazelle, it's a really good day for the lion and a really bad day for the gazelle.
For we humans, what is good and what is bad is subjective. Here in America we see that battle in the political arena. Each side believes they are the good guys, and on the other side are the bad guys. Each side wants what they feel is best for the country, and feels what the other side wants is evil.
In tarot it has been traditional to see some cards as inherently good and other cards as inherently bad.
Some cards can be either or neither, depending on the reader and the context.
Here are some examples:
"Good" Cards: the Sun, the Ten of Cups, the Star, the Ten of Pentacles, the Four of Wands.
"Bad" Cards: the Devil, the Tower, the Three of Swords, the Ten of Swords.
"Ambivalent" Cards: the Fool, the Moon, the Seven of Pentacles, the Ten of Wands.
Recently in my tarot career I have become very interested in how all tarot cards can be understood from that ambivalent perspective of being inherently neither good nor bad. Even the most traditionally positive cards can have a dark side. Even the most traditionally feared cards can offer a positive message.
For example, the Sun card, while very positive, can describe a person who is ruled by ego. The Tower, a card of destruction and devastation, can offer a hopeful new beginning.
The opportunity to view all tarot cards through the lens of neither-good-nor-evil is an exercise for an even more difficult task - viewing all of life as neither good nor evil. When we can recognize all things as simply be-ing, without judgment or qualification, we gain a helpful new perspective on life.
But that's when my activist-self steps in. I was raised with a commitment to social responsibility. I was taught to be a voice for justice in our society. How can I embrace a path of simply be-ing without becoming complacent?
So I am stuck with another kind of duality. How can I view the world without judgment, delighting in the simple IS-ness of all, and still be a voice for what I see as "good" on the planet?
I pulled one tarot card to answer that question. The card I received was the Three of Cups. Traditionally a card of happiness and celebration, I call this "The Party Card." For me, this has always been an ambivalent card because partying needs to happen in the right balance. Too much or too little partying can have devastating results.
Sometimes I like to look at tarot key words literally. If I look at the word "party" I could think of a political party. I don't belong to a political party - I'm an independent. This card in this context may give a clue of how to keep balance by voicing my concerns without becoming overbearing (as so many party adherents are).
Since the Three of Cups often pictures people in pleasant social interaction, the message may remind me to be pleasant. I should share my ideas thoughtfully. I should remember that we catch more flies with honey than with vinegar (something the political parties seem to have forgotten).
Perhaps, by taking a step back and treating everyone with courtesy (regardless of party affiliation) I can stand for my beliefs and be an example of civility.
Some of the greatest voices for social change in history have been non-violent and congenial voices. Perhaps that is where I can find my right balance.
Another aspect of today's turn of the Wheel of the Year is the traditional celebration of Ostara - the planting of seeds, the hatching of eggs. Today we celebrate the fertile earth and all the potential therein as the light increases across the land.
In this moment of balance life is always striving to be. Life does not consider the world as a dark place or a light place. Life is simply busy in the process of becoming.
If you get lost or find a broken list, a visit to the Master List should get you back on track.