Wednesday, January 9, 2008

A card for today - 9th January

Eight cups seem to spring out of a dark ocean. The darkness is intensified by dark clouds looming above. Many 'vacant holes' on the ocean surface seem to suggest there were more cups like these here. (Or there are going to be more cups? I dont know for sure. It appears there were.) Three cups are finely poised on lotus leaves. Two lotuses bend downwards to two more cups and water/nectar appears to flow out of them into these cups. They are in fact overflowing into two more cups below. Overall, it seems to depict abundance. 'My cup of joy is flowing over.....' But then, I have no enthusiasm to pick up any of these cups, leave alone drink from them. It all seems so, well, momentary and transient. How soon would all the cups become empty and possibly vanish, to leave more such gaping holes in the surface of the ocean. How many such cups has the ocean swallowed already? The picture is fascinating enough to get my attention riveted for some time, but only so much. Thus far and no further. There are other things that call me, and I must go.

The card is asking me some questions for tomorrow -

If I look at whatever I have gained after years of labour, what does it all look like? How much of it is still worthwhile? Is there something which has lost its meaning? Am I hanging on to things just because they are mine? What if all this suddenly disappears or is taken away from me? Would I really feel sad?

I will feel sad, yes. But devastated, no.

Sometimes in the world around us, the one we have created for ourselves, everything looks perfect. But one knows inside that the time has come to move on. Crowley calls it 'indolence' - which is being beyond grief or joy. I suppose thats the state of being a 'stitha pradnya' as described in the Bhagavad Gita.

What do I need to let go? What holds me back?

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

A new begnning with the Thoth deck

I possess six different Tarot decks but usually I end up engaging with either one of the classic Rider-Waite, the Sharman-Castelli, or the Mythic Tarot deck. I have had the Thoth deck for more than two years now, but have somehow not ventured into it so far. My friend who has been an inspiration for me to begin exploring the world of Tarot cards gifted me this deck. I have believed his word that it doesn't help to be purposive with the cards. You can't study them like you study for an exam. So for the past two years, I didn't get perturbed by the fact that I was still not using the Thoth deck. It would just 'happen' some day.
Aleister Crowley, the creator of this deck, has been described in different ways, each one more interesting than the other. One of these is “the wickedest man in the world!!” I fancy I have a far-fetched connection with this wicked man.
In 1905, he was a part of the expedition that attempted to climb Mt. Kangchenjunga. His fellow climber Alexis Pache and three sherpas were caught in an avalanche. Apprarently, Crowley remained sitting calmly in his tent, sipping tea. He later told a newspaper that, “"not over-anxious in the render help. A mountain accident of this sort is one of the things for which I have no sympathy whatever". Now, 73 years later, in 1988, I was a part of an Indian expedition to Kangchenjunga, and stayed for 17 days at the base camp, at a place known as Pache's grave. I have thus walked the same path up the mountain which Crowley did in 1905. So yes, the connection is far-fetched !
I have been wanting to begin my posts about specific cards from the Tarot. To write my first post related to a specific card here, I instinctively picked up the Thoth deck and drew a card for tomorrow. Its the Eight of Cups..... Crowley calls this card 'Indolence'.
So what is this card telling me?