3 Empress

Soulscapes Tarot by JadeM

(Venus) Nurturing, receptivity, openness, unity with others, abundance and plenty, beauty, art, creative endeavours. March

Traditionally the Goddess/Empress is seated in this image on a throne as she represents sovereignty, in other words she is the throne. She is the doorway through which we enter this life in the first instance from the womb of our mother, and spiritually she represents the doorway that we must find within, open and journey through so that we may create ourselves anew.

We can also think of her as Gaia or the soul of our planet. There are two eagles on the Soulscapes card and when painting the image one of these was intentional which is the one that is above the head of the figure, however the yellow eagle head on the right hand side of the image just happened as I was scraping the red paint on the background with a palate knife. It wasn’t until the image was finished and I stood back to look at it that I saw the second Eagle.

In this Archetype there is a strong female figure whose opposite, partner or counterpart is the God, or Emperor, but neither have power over each other they simply compliment each other as it should be within all strong healthy human relationships. Think of the Yin and Yang in the oriental traditions and as humans having within both a feminine aspect and a masculine aspect. Depending on the maturity of our personality one of these archetypes may dominate and there may need to be some work done to achieve a balance between the dual natures.

In a reading this card may suggest someone who is very feminine and centred in their domestic life as a mother and carer. In old celtic oral traditions the triple forms of the Goddess and God each had their reflection that we encounter as characters in bardic tales such as the Vita Merlini.

In the Waite/Coleman Smith version of this image we see a shield emblazoned with a phoenix which suggests that she is the gateway through which one has to pass in order to live, and in a mystical sense being reborn through the Mother Archetype one is initiated or ‘born again’ into greater mysteries. In some tarot images she is stepping on a crescent moon and heavily pregnant suggesting again that she is regeneration.

©JadeM 2018

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4 Emperor / God

Soulscapes Tarot Jade M

4 God (Emperor)

(Mars) Masculinity, assertive behaviour, ambitious, energetic, assuming control, progression, setting goals for the future, high achievers. April, Aries

Rather than the double-headed eagle symbol often seen on other Tarot decks on the Soulscapes Tarot Emperor / God I painted two winged fire creatures either side of the head, and a radiant brow. The mythic figure Taliesin was said to have been born with a “shining” or radiant brow meaning that he is inspired so this image can be likened to that of the spiritual leader inflamed with passion of God, the Persona, or an outward projection of his personality or Ego. Coincidentally our financial year ends and begins anew in April with which this archetype is associated. The Emperor/God’s power wand that we find on most representations of this archetype has two ends that signify his status as an important leader, and the responsibility that comes with it. It is said though that absolute power corrupts so there is a real need to find and maintain balance  through our humanity and seeking to marry the god and the goddess within to become whole. 

This wise bearded face puts us in mind of an archetypical priest – kingly ruler,  benevolent and just, but a leader of men, but one who is guided by the seasons and tides of nature and is in direct communion with the land and its inhabitants.

Consider briefly the four directions or points on the compass, the four seasons, 4/4 time signature in music, four points on an equal armed cross etc. There is an equal armed cross in the bottom right corner on the Soulscapes image which is similar in nature to that of the Maltese Cross or the emblem of the Knights of Malta which subtly suggests a connection with religion or holy orders. 

We can associate this image with the idea of leaders whether of Church and state, lawgivers, educators, Religious icons, psychological movements, philosophical movements, spirituality, initiation, meditation, and contemplation.

As much at the Empress/Goddess is concerned with  domesticity, child birthing and child rearing and the mother figures in our lives the Emperor / God is concerned with parenthood and responsibility, businessmen, successful males and authority figures. 

Learning to be assertive and have the confidence of our own convictions, gaining mastery over our physical lives and creating firm foundations and security for the future are important factors to consider in this stage of the spiritual journey.

Phoenix symbolism on some versions of this card has the same implications as that of the previous archetype only this time the rebirth is through the archetypal father who wears the crown of the North Upon his head. In some decks his posture is that of one standing on one leg with the other crossed at the knee to signify the alchemical symbol for sulphur, and in some images carrying an orb in one hand and a scepter in the other, both of which are also symbols of power or rulership. On some decks we also find the solar and lunar symbology and rather than the head of the king facing the front we see that his face is in profile.

Exercise:

Take out the High Priestess (of the Silver Star), Magician / Messenger , the Emperor and Empress and lay them out on the table in front of you the High Priestess next to the Messenger and underneath the High Priestess place the Empress, and underneath the Messenger place the God. What relationship do you see between these images? 

New Year. Doors opening and doors closing.

Princess of Discs
Initiates Way Tarot

January is always an interesting month in terms of creating. This year I seem to have spent more time tying up loose ends and plotting long term projects than actually sitting down and creating. The stillness of days where there is hardly a breath of air allows for peaceful reflection and the days of glorious sunshine, cold but clear, when the rain temporarily ceases.

The creation of the Court images for the Pentacles / Discs took a lot more time than I had envisaged. Seems they were not quite ready to be birthed properly until we were fully into January.

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The Prince of Discs who made his appearance in November is at the top and the Queen, King and princess came to fruition in quick succession over the last week.  As one cycle closes and another begins the flame of creation will be turned towards the pip card images for the Wands. The Ace of Wands / Staffs was a collaboration wais a collaboration between me and the twins. They painted an awesome background for me and the ‘rod that budded’ is in the foreground.

IMG_2286This second journey through creating a Tarot deck has been a completely different experience in terms of my own spiritual development and understanding. I set out with the intention of letting the images arise from within and I used the meditations that I wrote for each major arcana for our spiritual development group as my starting point. So in this sense they are truly Esoteric and have come from within. The tarot for me has become a living breathing entity in its own right in my life and in my work. Looking back at the humble beginnings of being given my own set of Tarot at the age of 18, and then using it as a tool for enlightenment for serious study has given me a foundation upon which to rest my Art, writing and songs and for them to grow upon that platform.

I have learned that reading Tarot and using it for its true purpose are two very different things. My entry into the world of Tarot changed my life completely and I can’t imagine a life without it. The learning process of helping people I have met over the years of reading has given me such an insight into human nature which is priceless, and when it comes to creating something for others to use as a tool I hope that this wisdom is carried on through those who use the decks in the future. The Soulscapes deck appears to have been the beginning of a very long journey for me and the creation of the Initiates way has been the closing or ending of that cycle of learning. Who know what the future will hold once the new deck is complete and sent out into the world to find its new students.

May your year be filled with joy and love and i’m looking forward to meeting lots of new friends and catching up with old friends at the events that are coming up.

Don’t forget to check out the events page for upcoming workshops and MBS tables for th next year !

 

JadeM ©Jan 2018

Winter, introspection, Pentacles, Stones and Discs.

As we are approaching the Winter Solstice in the UK we had our first taste of snow and ice last week. Picturesque postcard scenes of white landscapes with crisp azure blue skies. The paintings for the Discs that are part of the new Initiates Way Tarot series have unearthed themselves in a slow and steady fashion and there is only the 10 of Discs left to create now for that particular set. The Princess, king and Queen I expect to arrive over the next week or so during the holidays.

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The choice of Discs to name the suit this time around during the creation process has been an intuitive choice. In the Soulscapes Deck I used the traditional Pentacles to represent the realm of Earth. This time I have used golden spinning wheels or Discs. Some of them have the appearance of coins but there is always a subtle movement in them which was the deciding factor on choosing Discs.

In some decks like Chesca Potter’s Wildwood Tarot this suit is attributed to stones thereby representing the actual Earth but I wanted to present the more fluid idea of currency and the idea of spiritual wealth being that of the movement of energy in and out of ones sphere of existence. Energetic output and return for ones creativity or the work that we do is only one of the aspects of the suit of discs or pentacles. The flow of wealth in and out of our lives, the idea of gifting and giving without thought of what you are going to get in return, and what something is really worth and why. These are the sort of things that I have been considering while creating the images for the Discs.

I was watching a lecture by John Anthony West about the temples and the function that they serve as places to get in touch with the divine presences and something he said in it about Architecture being frozen Music really got me thinking about the effect that our surroundings have upon us. Especially our homes. I remember very well the feelings and sensations that I had the first time I walked into Chartres Cathedral and the emotions that it evoked, overwhelming me with love and a sense of awe and humility. And in contrast the feelings and sensations that were present when I walked into the man made Cathedral Cavern at Langdale in Cumbria with its window that illuminates the darkness below. Both very different structures but that produce a distinct feeling or emotion, that of standing in a ‘great hall’.

Edenhall Stone
Photo credit JadeM

So the general ambience of this last month has been a retreat into solitude within the walls of my home, my sanctuary and lots of quiet contemplation and introspection, journeying within to seek out the known and unknown places within the darkness as well as in the light.

JadeM Dec 2017