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? 

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.

The Path

Initiates Way

cropped-img_8231.jpgFor a long time I knew that the path I was walking was a different one even though I didn’t understand or know why, but just knew that I had to follow it. Tried unsuccessfully to fit so many moulds that were presented to me but couldn’t. Time has proven to me that we all have our unique way of being and that try as we might we cannot escape from the true nature of ourselves.

The Initiates Way began initially in 2006 when I created a set of images to help me understand the Tarot on a personal level and discover what it meant to me. Dipping the toe into the sea of Magical images not knowing where it was going to carry me. I was at the beginning of a very long journey and I had no idea where I would end up. Using the Tarot as a tool for Spiritual Development since then has been priceless in terms of helping me find my place in the world. Without it I would never have begun the exploration of the inner worlds and initiated experiences in my life that have given me a foundation upon which to live and breath. Part of the journey has been to fully embrace the Goddess in all of her glory and celebrate the divine feminine and masculine equally within my spiritual practices.

Creation of the Soulscapes Tarot was the first part of that journey. Using the ideas and concepts of each of the Major Arcana of the Tarot to produce my own spiritual enlightenment journey in pictures, while living it in the physical world. The Initiates Way is the path that I have chosen to walk and last year in January I started to paint another set of images at the outset of another rite of passage beginning with The High Priestess who came to me in a dreamlike vision and told me that I would ‘serve’ at her High Altar. During the creation of the images for the Initiates Way I wrote, participated in and led workshops road testing 22 Meditations that were created with the intent of taking the practitioner of Tarot into uncharted spaces so that they could experience these worlds for themselves.

As we enter into February 2018 the Initiates Way has taken on a life of its own and the remaining images have been coming to fruition when they are ready to be birthed. The completion of the set of images and producing the second deck will be the pinnacle of this awesome journey. The foundations are laid now for anyone who would like to test the water and see if they are ready to facilitate their own seeking for enlightenment and wisdom.

The Guided meditations will be available on Youtube and on the Blogpage.

Youtube

Neter

Happy Imbolc

Blessings and peace to all.

JadeM 2018

November. Death, Fall,& Transformation

There have been so many changes since I wrote last month’s blog I hardly know where to begin. I started off this month by beginning to paint the Pentacles / Discs pip cards for the new Initiates Way Tarot and gained more understanding about my own relationship between work, finances, energy and grounding of ideas into the physical world.

I don’t know if it’s an Artist thing or a projected state of mind that we have drummed into us about Art being a hobby, or something else that you do away from your real job, but I have had a fraught relationship with being an Artist for most of my adult life.

justice.jpg
Justice from the Initiates Way Tarot by JadeM

A friend posted on Social Media about the need for having an identity as an Artist and what that means in terms of what people expect from you and one of the issues I have battled with for a long time is putting a fee on the work that I create. It is a job like any other and sometimes it can take a lot more effort to make money doing it than it does to go and work for someone else as an employee and take home a regular wage. Self confidence and self esteem almost certainly come into play when it comes to selling Art.

death.jpg
Death from the Initiates Way Tarot by JadeM

Can you talk to others about about it?

What makes one piece of art worth more than another, other than whether the Artist is dead or alive?

hanged / Do
Drowned Man from the Initiates Way Tarot by Jade M

During this process I plunged headlong into the shadows of the underworld and by submitting to introspection and dealing with whatever that threw up in terms of learning and life lessons, I journeyed through the creation of the remaining images and find that i’m standing once again on the high vista of the plateau of the Fool / Jester.

Ready to jump into the abyss and begin anew.

The images for Justice, the Hanged / Drowned Man and Death literally fell out of the ether and on to the canvas in a week after having an unbelievably stressful lead up to the release of these images.

IMG_0818.jpg
Prince of Discs by Jade M

As of today there is only one of the Major Arcana left for me to paint. It is the 22nd tomorrow so I intend to focus on painting that and then the entire Major sequence for this deck will be finished.  The three remaining court images for the Pentacles and Discs are on the menu after that while plotting and scheming for the festive period.

There will be a Calendar available which will include all of the new Initiates Way Tarot images for anyone who would like to order one. Please Email and register your interest and I will contact you directly about the order process.

Seasons Greetings!

JadeM Nov 2017