G morning and Welcome! to The Fool’s Tarot for 21Sep2016. Today I am really starting my voyage into Shadow; for those of you not au courant, I will be spending a week (starting today?) visiting my Shadow, where I shamefacedly admit that I don’t do enough work or visit often enough. Like a nagging elderly relative who is nothing if not negative; “You never visit! You never call! You don’t send money! Shame on you!” Well, of course, aside from the classic, and CORRECT, response of “Fuck you!” , after the irritation has passed one can perhaps admit that in the deep brown shittyness of the accusation there is a kernel of truth; it is easy to forget to visit a “discomfiting” relative. And if I’m really honest about it, I’m all about my Shadow; I’ve built my “reputation” on his back. Any decent or nice thing in my life now appears all the brighter due to being cast against such a somber background. Believe me, it isn’t conscious, I’m not trying to “put the goods in the display window,” so to speak. But these things dovetail in everybody’s life; my disastrous childhood (emotionally & affectively) served to craft a rather dark, smart, humorous individual who had every reason to be well-read and well-cultured; that construction served as my vehicle through the treacherous shoals of growing up into a world that was so randomly cruel. Today I asked the cards to introduce me to a part of my Shadow that I need to know but don’t, that I can make into a friend and not a hostile observer. I drew these cards as a result, the Princesses of Cups & Swords. 5Today’s deck is the *Decadent Dreams Tarot* by Eleanor Boyce. Ms. Boyce is a Tarot artist whose work I truly enjoy; here she “caretakes” decadent art.) Well, you can imagine – ‘Huh? What? What the f- is THAT supposed to mean?” Then I heard the deep and familiar interior voice that comes when my Intuition wishes to tell me something, “Look between. Observe the space between, the web woven there, and not the anchoring pillars of Boaz & Jachin, Of the Princess of the Heart and the Princess of the Head.” Ha! Again with the void, Intuition! I do that often, and thankfully my Intuition tells me to STOP overlooking what I can’t see but is there nevertheless; as good a definition of Shadow as any, I suppose. Let’s look at the facts on these two girls and see what rings a sistrum there. The Princess of Cups sits in Malkuth in the Tree of Life, arriving by Water. Astrowise she is Venus in the Water signs (sopping with emotion & feelings!) Okay and the Princess of Swords sits in Malkuth as well in the Tree of Life, and Astrowise she is Venus in the Air signs.
She arrives by Earth to the air of Yetzirah (remember the 4 worlds?) and she can be seen to represent the “Visible” side of the veil; “the earthy child of her element, the wind over the grounds of Assiah. Her logic can be destructive, she is perceptive, serious and rigorous, yet she can show the characteristics of a child that lacks morality and nobility.” (Raven) The Princess of Cups can be seen as the reverse side of that veil, she “represents the earth in the waters of Briah, an island floating in the groundless seas. She is far from her father's flames and her mother's depth, and she lacks the researching spirit of her brother. She is of endless tenderness, kindness and lovingness, living on her isle of romance and joy.” (Ibid) We-l-l-l, what to make of that, indeed? There is a great deal of my Anima that I insist manifest itself in as masculine a manner as possible, “C’mon! Butch it up, Blanche!” and she can certainly be seen as the part I am obliging to play as the Princess of Swords, my PR face, the one the public knows and I enjoy, although to me it is simply malleable plastic, changing to fit my moods and needs. While I won’t quite say that my inner self is that “bathing Cleopatra” on the card, when I am in this realm at all I usually feel like the “I-don’t-think-I-belong-here!” king, so the fact that this princess is serving as Boaz (“Justice, the “black” pillar on the left when facing an illustration of the Pillars of the Temple) is a touch odd. Cups aren’t my natural Court, and I am almost always uncomfortable. And yet . . . Jachin here, the Princess of Swords, the clear or “white” pillar Jachin on the right, while she is my public persona, is someone a bit too “self-serving” to really be liked at all. So that DOES leave me with only the Void to be explored, the Web woven between the two pillars, The Veil in the Temple, behind which “resideth Wisdom” . . . or a little man furiously working a kind of Steampunk contraption! Let’s NOT forget that is entirely possible, here in the Land Behind the Veil, where Illusion is parted and the Truth is beheld. Well, that’s what the instruction manual says, anyway. When facing THIS particular portion of the Veil, I feel much like I feel about young women; so absolutely sweet and adorable, but it is an illusion, and one knows it is, but one cherishes it anyway like the illusion of a kitten who never grows up. Then, it’s time to wake up and slap yourself in the face with the dead trout of Reality. (Go ahead, bitch slap someone else, too, it feels good.) I believe the Shadow part of me that I am looking at today is exactly THAT difference I make between what I present and what I believe; why isn’t what I present what I believe? “Huh? C’mon, you rotten fink, why is that, eh? Yeah, why is that?” There isn’t any good or right or brave answer; the answer is “convenience” coupled with “old habit.” IT ALL used to serve the Mark-that-was, that guy that really NEEDED all these defense mechanisms to survive in a hostile and cold alien environment where even your “nearest and dearest” were ravening monsters. But I DON4T live there anymore this section of the Shadow isn’t needed; I can put these two lovely ladies to far more useful and gracious employment than holding up my delusions! So, I ask the Cosmos today to grant us ALL the gift of disposing of the old mask and some free time to consider, “Do I actually need the new mask AT ALL?” Be Well!