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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2 High Priestess

2 The Priestess (of the Silver Star) / High Priestess

(Dark Moon) Transitions, dreams, healing, wise women, prophetic dreams, mystical experiences.

Wake a world inside, old souls looking through new born eyes” – JadeM

The important symbols associated with the High Priestess are sleep, knowledge and everything that is ruled by the lunar tides, or the fluctuating currents that one cannot see but affect everything on our planet from the rising and falling of the sea to our moods on a daily basis.

The tiny sliver of light we see after the dark of the moon which heralds the beginning of a new lunar month in the agricultural calendar some believe is the time for thinking about starting new projects and retreating within to listen to ones own inner guidance, and certainly a time for sending out healing to those in need.

On the Rider Waite image of the High Priestess we see Isis veiled, crowned with stars and she has a solar cross on her breast and an open book on her knee. It is the book of the TORA or Tarot, wisdom and understanding and we can think of her as the virgin aspect of the triple goddess, or one who acts as an oracle through their connection to the infinite wisdom of the universe.

Peace, calm, inner world, seeing the unseen, light in the dark, study, knowledge, spiritual wisdom.
I also feel that this card presents us with the Ethereal world. A being we can seek out and who can give guidance to us that is both within ourselves and is a separate, spiritual, entity. She rests in the recesses of our souls to shed light on what is hidden from us. Illumination of shadows within ourselves.” (Christina Malarkey)

Apart from oceans and the sky, blue is the rarest colour in nature. Interestingly, Tarot scholar and artist Robert Place once said to me that the pigment ultramarine was used liberally in commissioned medieval art because it was derived from costly stone lapis lazuli. In this light, the blue robe suggests “concealing that which is precious” or even preciousness itself. Mother Mary is often enrobed in blue, suggesting spiritual beauty, purity and transcendence. Note that blue was rarely used in primitive art or among illiterate peoples, but is often connected with the elite (blue ribbon, blue blood, blue-chip stocks).” (Taschen, 650) Janet Baker Boyer

Sitting on the brink between a world of light and dark, the Priestess has overcome her inner turmoil and looks back to those in the dark offering a hand of guidance. Unwilling to walk into the light while others still suffer, she turns back towards the darkness, shining light to illuminate the world. She symbolises personal transition having walked the path of darkness seeking and finding the path of enlightenment. She also symbolises sacrifice and suffering as her willingness to carry others with her transcends her personal quest of walking in the light. With all that is magic in the world alive in her heart, the Priestess of the Silver Star offers a guiding light to seekers who wish to explore the deeper realms of mystic and magic as long as she is careful not to let the darkness engulf her.

Light – The Priestess can help you tune into your inner wisdom, strengthen your intuition and work with your dreams to explore the inner realms of the problems you face. Holding the lamp of the truth she provides the seeker with the strength they need to face the shadows and guides them to walk forward on their path courageously.

Shadow – Having walked a difficult path the Priestess can become exhausted and weak. At times of weakness she may slip back into the shadows of darkness and can be susceptible to anxiety and depression as she contemplates whether those in pain will ever be free to walk in the light. She encourages seekers to reconnect with their inner selves and the deeper mysteries at such times to regenerate and gain strength for the next stage of their journey. She also reminds the seeker that they are worthy and that in times when personal healing is required that a little self-indulgence can be just the trick to restore balance. “ (Rashelle Reid)

 ©JadeM 2018

1 The Messenger / Magician (Mercury)

soulscapes tarot

Directed will, focus, self employment, leaders, clarity of vision, brilliant minds.

Description:

On the Soulscapes Magician when you look at it a certain way there are two very owl like eyes peering at you from a background of ever moving energy that culminates in the eternity symbol, or if you look at it another way there is a being standing with arms upraised invoking the power within to emerge into the world, becoming self created.

Above the head of the magician in most traditional decks there the eternity symbol or lemniscate and in the Soulscapes image it is entwined onto the background becoming an integral part of the process of being, understanding the fluctuations and flow of information, the cyclical nature of time, the ebb and flow of consciousness which can be directed by the individual once they become aware of the processes within.

On the Rider Waite / Pamela Coleman Smith image the symbols or treasures are laid out on a three legged table. The cup, wand, sword and pentacle representing the minor Arcana, or tools of the trade of the magician and it is suggested that he / she understands and uses these forces.

In some decks the title of this card is the juggler and the very act of learning to juggle is a skill that must first be learned and then practiced and honed in order to be able to perform. Getting aquainted with our creative faculties and imagination requires the same process.

©JadeM2018

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?