Strength / Fortitude

Strength / FortitudeMeditation for Strength / Fortitude by Caitlin Matthews

Copyright ©Caitlin Matthews 2016

Read by Jade Melany ©2018

You may not reproduce, copy, store or otherwise use this without the permission of the author.

This archetype suggests the duality of human nature and animal instincts. We see the face of the great goddess and a lioness merging together as one and underneath there is a symbol that keeps recurring for me which I have taken to represent the opening of a door / doors through which there is a flow of information and wisdom that can be switched on and off using that symbol.

I painted this strength / fortitude image during August 2017 at the same time as taking a priestess attunement with the Fellowship of Isis so for me this image will always represent the coming together with others collectively on a path. ©JadeMelany 2018

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Fortitude / Strength

8 Fortitude (Strength)

From the Soulscapes Tarot

(Sun/Mars) Feelings of self worth and Love, notoriety and fame, confidence and strength, desires and sexuality, renowned figures. 

  The dreamer, held in the watchful care of her guiding spirit, beholds the vision of the constellation of Leo, the lion – Caitlín Matthews

On several versions of this image in the Tarot we find a lady with a lion and there is a great deal of controversy over whether she is opening or closing the mouth of the lion. It appears to me that she is showing her fearlessness by opening the lions mouth as a gesture of mutual trust.

Symbolically you can take this as representing the stage in the spiritual journey where you have found the elusive hidden strength within, a spiritual strength that everyone has inside and you can now begin to act from that place of inner strength that was previously unobtainable. Becoming attuned with the mysteries and wisdom of the past will give you a much broader perspective from which to tread your unique path.

Considering the astrological sign of Leo the lion, which is also attributed to this image, and consider those ancestors who once gazed upon the constellation of leo, coming from a different time but awaiting the rediscovery of their secrets and wisdom. – Excerpt from the forthcoming Initiates Way by Jade M 

©Jade Melany 2018

You may not use any of this material, store it, copy it or reproduce it anywhere without previous consent of the Author.

Chariot from the Soulscapes Tarot

(Moon) Outward personality, heritage and family lines, childrearing, limelight, deep personal feelings, responsibilities, personal space. July (dog days Sirius rising)

On the Soulscapes version of the Chariot one of the first things that we notice is that the central figure is a warrior wearing armour, and a helmet, is carrying a spear and is poised ready for something.

Is it battle?

This particular figure is drawn by the power of two sphinx like creatures, one black and one white presenting a mystery that is to be solved regarding the opposing natures of war and peace.

The canopy behind the head with the stars upon it represents the state of bliss or nirvana that we can reach through deep meditation and the cube within which the figure sits is indicative of the four elements in which we live out our earthly existence.

On the Soulscape Chariot you can see the full moon emblazoned on the front of the chariot and underneath there is a solar disc with wings that has two ureas serpents coming out of it. This symbolism was used by the Egyptians and can suggest the need for balance between the left and right hemispheres of the brain and the awakening of hidden senses within.

If we understand the Solar aspect of personality being that which is awake or switched on, and the lunar aspect of consciousness as being that which is unconscious, or that we are unaware of it until we find a way to reach this information through meditation and ritual.

Copyright ©JadeM July 2018

This material may not be stored, reproduced or otherwise used anywhere without written permission and consent from the author. 

6 Lovers

lovers
Lovers from the Soulscapes Tarot by JadeM


(Mercury)

Thought, intelligence, quickness of mind, choices, communications, technology, cycle ending, visitors, interactions. June

In most images for the Lovers in the background there is a large sun behind an Angelic figure. The Sun representing the seat of the personality and the wholeness of being that can be achieved through inner work.

Sometimes it is necessary to go through a cleansing or detoxification process first before we can reach the stage of initiating the conversation with ones Holy Guardian Angel.

There is harmony, polarity and division all represented in the same image. The bow and arrow that makes an appearance in some images seeks to draw your attention to the tension of the string and the point before the arrow flies.
The two figures can be thought of as the perceived duality in human beings, male and female, yin and yang, light and dark. Etc.

The experience that I had when painting the lovers image for the Soulscapes Tarot was that of a deep connection with nature on a heart level, feeling the presence of something outside of the human experience and so much greater than our species and an understanding that we as humans are a very small part of a much greater consciousness, but connected nonetheless.

On the Soulscapes version of the lovers above the arrow there is an opening which looks like it is the navel of the Angelic being, this refers to the idea of polarity between the sexes which can be equalized and balanced in the union which is achieved between the lovers during the sexual act, and presents the idea that “something” is created during lovemaking that doesn’t always result in the birth of a physical child but instead can form an idea or a creation that germinates and grows into something. When I was painting this image I heard the term term “Kteis” whispered in my ear during the meditative state and found that upon investigation it means “vagina” or “shell” which was a commonly used phrase to portray the Great Mother or Goddess in the past.

©JadeM 2018

You may not reproduce, copy and repost, or use this material in any way other than for personal study without written permission from the Author.

Initiates Way Exhibition currently showing at the Old Fire Station in Carlisle.

The current exhibition is a series of paintings that Jade has created over the last year and a half which tells the story of the Archetypical Spiritual Journey or the Fools Quest after enlightenment.

Click here to visit event page.

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Each painting is a stage in the spiritual journey and presents an archetype that is the embodiment of that particular stage in the journey. To  get to know these stages intimately yourself Jade has created 22 Guided Meditations so that you can participate in the journey from the comfort of your own armchair.

Visit the blog page to find out more. www.neter.co.uk

Esoteric Art is simply Art that comes from within and the process of creation requires only that you be able to still the mind and listen in the silence before you begin to create. If you would like to attend a workshop Jade will be offering a group guided Meditation and a talk about the Initiates Way on the 20th of May at the Old Fire Station in the Parquet room. £5 entry fee.

When you visit the exhibition take a photo of yourself wearing the fool hat and pose with the jester stick and post to social media with the hashtag #initiatesway. Don’t forget to sign the guestbook!

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The Initiates Way paintings will be produced as a set of Tarot Cards later in the year with an accompanying book about the process of creation and explanation of the symbols and the Imagery.

Check out the Magicians Table at the back of the room where you will find the tools of the trade.

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Jade created her first Tarot deck the ‘Soulscapes Tarot’ in 2013 which you can also try out for yourself at the exhibition, and decks can be purchased directly from the Artist.

If you would like to know more or you are interested in learning to read Tarot for yourself you can contact Jade on Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/jadem_neter/

Glasgow born Cumbrian settled Esoteric Artist and Musician & Performance Artist (singer songwriter).

 The is Artwork termed ‘Esoteric Art’ meaning Art that comes from within. The paintings are from the Initiates Way series. Each image is a stage in the journey towards Enlightenment to ‘Know Thyself”

The exhibition is open Monday – Saturday 10am – 5pm & Sunday Noon to 4pm

Free Entry

 

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

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? 

Soulscapes Tarot Introduction

There are 22 Major Arcana in most Tarot decks and each of them represent a stage in the journey of self knowing, an initiation, rite of passage, or major life event that each practitioner passes through on their internal voyage.

The rest of the Tarot deck is split into four Suits with 1 to 10 pip cards and four Court cards associated with each suit to make up 78 cards altogether.

The four suits of the Tarot can be understood at the outset to represent four different “worlds” or states of being

(Wands / Clubs) Staffs – The Spiritual Realm.

(Swords / Spades) Storm – The World of thoughts or imagination.

(Cups / Hearts) Chalices – A World of emotions or desires.

(Discs / Diamonds / Pentacles – The World of physical things and sensations.

22 Major Arcana

Before we go any further with interpretations or explanations it would be a good idea to take out the Major Arcana from your deck and separate them laying them out in sequence before you. You can put them all side by side by side numerically from 0 – 21 so that they read like a cartoon strip. Spend a few moments just looking at each card in this way, and think about any connections that spring to mind as you allow your mind to wander and think about the images. Note down any intuitive thoughts you might receive while doing this a you might just surprise yourself.

The Major Arcana cards themselves are not gods or deities per se but each Archetype does have associations with divine beings or images that can be called upon in order that we may experience all these different facets of being in our waking lives. The images below set out in order tell a story of enlightenment and each part is one section of the whole, to show the whole process of enlightenment with the inner part and the outer part of the journey. The enlightenment process is a cyclical one and if we begin our journey by going within as we do at the beginning as the seeker after experience, then we jump into the unknown and travel through the underworld or the world of shadows as the second stage in the journey, then we come full cycle and emerge at the end of the process back to the beginning but with all of the experiences that we have had to work with on the rest of our journey in life.

During stages 0 to 10 of the internal Tarot journey we awaken each Archetype one by one by pathworking and connect with each in turn until we come to the pivotal or turning point of the wheel.

After the experience at the Wheel of Fortune we go through a transitionary phase at Trump 11 after which we set out to explore the shadow realms and journey through the recesses of the mind for clarity and perspective on our true nature and deal with anything that is lurking in our shadows.

When we come out of the introspective dark phase and begin to bring out our true selves into the world will be faced with the decision of whether or not to begin another cycle of enlightenment and begin again or use what we have learned on the journey so far to put us where we should be, and make sure we are heading in the right direction. The whole process allows restructuring or recreating our selves and our life in accordance with our whole being as we move through all of the different experiences which usually are at odds with the ones that we are used to, and after taking time to reflect over the journey as a whole only then can we make lasting changes to our personality, relationships, goals, and seek our true calling in life.

Take your 22 cards now and set the out in the Lemniscate or Infinity pattern that and what are the differences that you pick up on when you set the story this way instead of in a linear fashion one after the other? Note down your findings in your journal.

To study the Tarot effectively you have to become a part of it and as it becomes a living part of you as the wisdom is digested, imbibed and integrated into life and the only way it can be evaluated is from the inside.

Take out the Fool/Soliel Card from your Tarot deck and spend a little time studying the imagery on the card. You can use this as your entry point into an awakening journey using meditation over the specific imagery contained within the Tarot card.

Some systems ascribe this card to the act of breathing, the breath, or life itself.

The very act of meditation requires that you to focus your energy and attention on your breathing, how quickly or slowly we breathe has an almost immediate reaction on our emotional state especially when learning to slow down the breathing to use techniques such as the fourfold breath.

When we step on to the rainbow path we glow with a halo of possibilities and energies, the intellect in tune with the heart and the emotional intelligence, intuition, self guidance all waiting to spread forth to create ripples in the new world which the seeker after experience will create as they progress on the path.

0 Fool

Fool from the Soulscapes Tarot

The student is ready to take a leap of discovery with the appearance of this archetype in a Tarot consultation and if you have spent a significant amount of time meditating over the imagery and the meaning it evokes and the thoughts and feelings which arise within you, then you will know what to say to a client who has this card in their reading.

In some decks the fool is seen with a little white dog but in the Soulscape image the animal figure over the head of the fool shows a protective guardian that walked alongside me on the path as my familiar and not everyone will have the same beast as their companion but this is the beast who accompanied me at the outset of my journey.

On the Thoth / Lady Hariss Fool card there is a dove on an upward course also flying free, soaring into higher skies. In early Christian symbolism the imagery of a dove descending represented the descent of the holy spirit, similarly in this image it is that of the inner peace which radiates outwards from the very core of our being to affect all those who we meet on our journey along this path, but only after the acceptance of out own journey and turning our attention inwards to experience the worlds that lay within.

This is the archetypal image of freedom, being carefree, unburdened and the Thoth image proudly displays a physical Sun which has come to be understood as the symbol of generative life force or our energy source on the Earth as our celestial sun in the sky. I renamed the “Fool” image as “Soleil” in the Soulscapes deck and choosing the French word for Sun to bring attention to the importance of light, especially sunlight on our physical health and wellbeing, and the allegory of the Sun on its journey through the signs of the Zodiac, and this whole spiritual journey being akin to the birth of the sun god Ra as the resurrected part or self created soul that we bring into existence by stepping on to the Spiritual path and redeeming ourselves through Alchemical transformation of the Soul.

A prominent figure in the Crowley image is the alligator or crocodile which represents cyclical time, fertility and a warning of pitfalls on the path if one does not pay due care and attention to where they are treading. As we are turning the attention within and shining the light inside ourselves we illuminate everything and bring to life all that this light comes into contact with. What on this earth grows without sunlight? How can there be shadows to explore without the light of the sun? There has long been an association between light and enlightenment and here if we think about the allegory of the white light being split by a prism into the spectrum of colours, hence being able to see and investigate all the separate parts, or divisions of the soul as we seek in the shadows that have been cast by the light of our own consciousness.

Consider the Fool as a garment that we must clothe ourselves with in order to progress and understand he / she as our guide to lead us within so that we may begin to seek our destiny.

©JadeM 2018

This article may not be reproduced, copied, shared, stored or otherwise used without the Author’s written permission.

Magician Meditation

Magician Meditation for the Initiates Way

I call to the Guardians of the East, South, West and North to attend our (my) circle should it please them. I (We) am (are) here of my (our) own free will to work with Spirit in all of its forms, to honour the Goddess and God within and without. Spirit Guides, Ancestors, Elders, Helpers, Teachers, Angels and those who work with the light please join us (me) in this evening (moment) so that we can work together to strengthen the connection to the otherworld while we work in our Sacred Space.

You can speak aloud the text above or say it in in your mind before you begin.

Close your eyes and begin to count your breathing. Remember to breathe in to the count of four and breathe out to the count of four. Push out your abdomen as you breathe in. This may sound difficult at first but your body will remember that this is the correct way to breathe. When you breathe out allow your abdomen to fall. Breathe in, 2 3 4 breathe out 2 3 4. Breathe in 2 3 4 and breathe out 2 3 4. (repeat slowly as long as is necessary so that you get the rhythm of the breathing and begin to relax)

Every time you breathe you feel more and more relaxed. I want you to begin your visualisation by creating a spinning ball of light just above the crown of your head. Imagine a light spinning and pulsating and growing from a tiny spark into a ball about the size of a watermelon. Spend a few moments imagining this ball of light until you can see it clearly in your mind.

When all of your energy and attention is focussed upon this ball of light begin to bring it down through the top of your head and into your forehead. You feel any stress or anxiety dissolving as this ball of spinning light clears negativity and cleanses your thoughts. enjoy this clarity of thought before moving on. Now bring the ball of spinning light down into your throat. You feel this clear light taking away any communication difficulties that you might have, allowing your confidence to grow and feel content that you can at any time, speak your truth.

Enjoy this feeling of openness and comfort in the knowledge that you are ready to speak from within. Pause and reflect upon how you communicate with others . Are there times when you wish you could be more vocal about your true feelings and desires? Know that you can speak with confidence and be yourself.

Bring your attention back once more to the spinning ball of white light as it begins to move from your throat down to your heart. Feel yourself going within your heart with this ball of energy. This is the real you. The ball of light begins to grow bigger and bigger until it envelopes your whole body and a shaft of light emits from your heart down into the centre of the earth connecting you with the core of our planet. You feel alive and radiant within your power. See yourself extending your arms outwards and projecting this energy which is you out through your hands.

You are the creative spirit and this is your energy and willpower. You have energy in abundance. Allow it to flow freely and unrestricted.

Spend a little time recharging your body with this newfound vitality before returning and recording your experiences.

After you have finished your meditation is it a good idea to have a drink and something to eat to make sure that you are grounded.

Copyright ©JadeM 2018

Please contact me if you would like to reproduce this or any of the meditations presented here.

Initiates Way

The Initiates Way and Meditation

By taking time to get to know each part of this journey intimately and experience it for ones self directly we need to be taken out of our comfort zone of what we think we know as we are awakened from within to a world of new experiences that bring change in to our lives. Meditating with each of these images is not something that can be done quickly and will require time, effort and diligence on the part of the seeker and the act of meditating properly is a skill like any other which doesn’t happen overnight but with persistence and determination it is an invaluable tool that will yield phenomenal results if applied consistently and effectively.

I learned to use the fourfold method of breathing very early on in my studies and it has been the best way of quieting the mind of distractions. Focus on your breathing and breathe in to the count of four, then breathe out to the count of four. Bringing your attention and awareness into your body and let the distractions of the outside world fade in to the background. Take a few minutes to do this. You can use music or relax into the peace and quiet. Either way the focus is upon regulating your breathing by counting. In 2,3,4 and our 2,3,4.

This is the guided Meditation for the Fool. The beginning of your journey into enlightenment. Make sure that you will not be disturbed for at least half an hour and you should have a pen and paper ready to record your experience. Before you begin adjust the lighting, light a candle perhaps, and make sure the temperature in the room is warm enough, and if you need a blanket have this to hand. Its a good idea to have a glass of water ready too for when you have finished.