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.
(Saturn/Venus) Systems of belief, spiritual guidance, rituals and rites of passage, male dominated institutions, talents, organisations, learning.
On the Soulscapes image there is an ancient bearded figure dressed in long red robes with a naked lady standing in front of him wielding a sword. He is standing on a raised platform with the open sky behind him. Behind him is the sacred cow and his feet are in the middle of one of the interlocking circles which represent Isis, Osiris and Ra. He points towards the path we should take at this stage in the development journey and in the other hand he holds a set of keys with which he can assist us to unlock a door and release our imprisoned nature from its cage. There is a full moon behind the Red Merlin with a pentegram projecting out from within the Moon.
The Red Merlin is gesturing with his fingers after having drawn a golden hexagram in front of him. The hexagram intersects with the image of a divine child. Unlike the previous two Soulscapes images which had their eyes closed, his eyes are open but what does he see?
The green snake winds its way up the central figure representing life force or kundalini that is awakened within the teacher, and rising in front of him is a naked goddess / priestess figure wielding a sword. There are many names attributed to the power being presented here that describes the sleeping force or serpent power within each individual which awakens and is controlled by the priest / priestess through the Chakra or cakras sometimes referred to as psychic centres that contain the potential energy of each person waiting to be released through twin spirals of force which are masculine and feminine.
There cannot be polarisation of these sexual energies, or balance between the male and female without the opposing energy and this suggests that there is a way or a path that is a valid spiritual path that is dual by nature and is shared by both men and women and that they both play their respective parts within it, that is to say that it is not dominated by one or the other sex. The mysteries are not exclusive to one or the other sex and the difference between this image and one which represents simply a male religious leader is that it recognises the divine feminine as well as the divine masculine. The rest of the subtle imagery suggests that the figure is not inside a building but that he is somewhere outside and is standing upon some sort of stage or platform.
The red Merlins robe begins as red but once it has merged with the blue of the sky it changes at the hem to become a beautiful deep purple. If we consider for a moment the circles of colours on the body of the naked woman representing the Chakras, the second Chakra is Purple and the Root Chakra right at the bottom represents our connection with the Earth, the blue Chakra is our communication centre and when mingling together with the red of the Earth chakra and the blue of the communication Chakra we get the purple of the Third Eye Chakra or our awakening to second sight, or the gift of prophecy. The eyes are open but this prophet does not see with those eyes, instead he uses intuition and his third eye and instincts after gaining the gift of foresight, clarity and inner knowing through learning.
The three intersecting circles at the bottom of the Soulscapes image can be understood as representing three cyclic ages. The lady is standing in a red circle which represents the child God-conciousness or that of RA the divine child, the Green circle on the left represents the Mother, Goddess or ISIS consciousness and the Yellow representing the Father/God, or Osiris aspect of consciousness. As a race we have moved through cycles of Mother/Goddess Matriarchal or Father/God Patriarchal spiritual movements into that of the Child God – which we can understand as an age of awakening or revealing. The Bull has associations with the Astrological sign of Taurus and the fact that it is a female bull that he is sitting on gives us a hint towards the time of the origins of certain belief structures.
(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.
(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.
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?