Everyone’s Mother

Since it’s Mother’s day, this is an ideal time to talk about the Tarot card that is closely associated with the archetype of motherhood. In the B.O.T.A. system of Tarot interpretation (the system that I use), this card is The Empress, card III of the Major Arcana. She is also associated with the throat chakra, which is the refined center of creativity, and the color green. The card is pictured below.

Empress(I colored the card myself because B.O.T.A. requires that each student color his/her own deck, in accordance with precise instructions, in order to impress the symbols more fully into the subconscious. Yes, even though I have no drawing talent, I can stay pretty well within the lines when I have to.)

She is in a place of fertility, with Nature blossoming out, nourished by the life-giving water that originated in the High Priestess card (I’m saving that card for another post). An additional clue to the relationship between this card and the High Priestess is the crescent Moon, and these two cards are representatives of the Great Feminine in the Tarot.

The Empress is pregnant, a promise of current efforts bearing fruit in the future. On the Tree of Life, or TOL, The Empress forms the path that joins the spheres of Chokmah (Wisdom) and Binah (Understanding), the archetypal Father and Mother spheres, respectively. She carries within her the fruit of their union. (A brief, related article I wrote entitled The Roles of Knowledge, Wisdom, and Understanding in Health is here.)

As she is associated with the planet Venus, she stands for beauty and desire (The TOL sphere named Netzach, which means Desire, is the Tree’s sphere of Venus). Through the proper channeling of the creative force generated in the Sacral chakra (the red triangle in the picture), we can bring into highest expression that which we desire. If the translation of this force is not successful, or gets sidetracked by baser urges, an unsatisfactory or transiently satisfying outcome results.

To contact your inner Empress, meditate on the card for a few moments, letting all the symbols impress themselves into your consciousness. Then close your eyes and let pure green light permeate your being. In this state, you can communicate your highest desires to Universal Mind. Be sure to record any impressions or messages that you receive during this time of contemplation. This is a good habit to cultivate.

The Empress is in our psyches to assist us with the realization of true spiritual beauty. Her planet, Venus, rules Taurus and Libra, the signs of material manifestation and relationships, respectively. Beauty in our surroundings and in our dealings with others. No better way to see our desires fulfilled.

Four Worlds

I want to write a bit today about the four worlds of the Qabalistic Tree of Life. You see, things unfold in an orderly fashion on the Tree (for a more complete explanation of the Tree itself, my post on it is here). The Life Energy, God Consciousness, whatever you want to call it, unfolds gradually over the ten spheres of the tree. That’s just one kind of unfolding, though. Another type involves the energy’s evolution through the four worlds of [now, hang with me here, since the words may look a little funny]: Atziluth, Briah, Yetzirah, and Assiah. Anyway, there they are. Not so bad, eh?

Dolls

Atziluth is the first world, if you will. That is to say, it’s the world that’s made of pure principles and archetypes. This is the ultimate raw material. It is the place of complete, yet abstract, conceptualization. Next comes the world of Briah, which is the creative world. Here, those first principles are grasped in such a way that they can be worked with in a creative (in all senses of the word) fashion. Third is Yetzirah. It is the world of Formation, where the creative energy is molded by thought and image, powered by desire. Finally comes Assiah, the manifest world. Here is where the principles, that have been acted upon by the creative urge and formed through the power of thought, actually come to be. It’s kind of, but not quite, like the matryoshka dolls in the picture.

No one of these worlds is superior to any other, as all are equally important. Reality as we know it, or however we conceive it to be, could not exist without the active involvement from all four of these entities. In the Tarot, the suit of Wands (element of Fire) is associated with Atziluth, Cups (element of Water) with Briah, Swords (element of Air) with Yetzirah, and Pentacles (element of Earth) with Assiah.

Everything in creation arises in the same way. Behind all our perceptions and experiences are first principles, creative energy, thoughtforms, and materiality. Part of the process of spiritual evolution is learning to see all of these at once, and understanding the principles or Cosmic truths that lie behind worldly appearances. [When I get to that point, I’ll let you know]