“As long as any one desires life as a pleasure in itself, he has not raised his eyes above the horizon of the beast; he only desires more consciously what the beast seeks by a blind impulse.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche
Part 2 of 3. Click here to access the post that precedes this one. Part 3 is still in the making.
As it is written in the 16th chapter of the Book of Revelation, so do we see its completion in the 16th major arcana. The Seventh and final Bowl of Wrath depicts ‘flashes of lightning and sounds of thunder with bodies falling from the sky.’ For a cinematic demonstration of this ordeal be sure to watch the final section of the associated video; click here or on the image above to access it. Even though the film director Mike Flanagan may not have consciously made this connection in his interpretation of The Fall of the House of Usher, it will nonetheless register in the minds of many who have been steeped in the Western culture.
History repeats itself in one way or the other. Civilizations rise and fall. The very things that often bring a nation into power are also the causes of its undoing. Serendipitously, great minds throughout the ages have drawn upon apocalyptic literature in order to explain changes in the shifting phenomena. Mythology continues to play a universal role in the development of the collective psyche. No matter how orderly (dogmatically conservative) we become or chaotically outrageous we digress, something beyond us seems to draw us back into relative harmony.
The next tarot card in sequence follows the destruction of the world powers. ‘Every island fled, and the mountains disappeared.’ Without getting bogged down into the symbology, it will suffice to note here that all the mountains (governments) will topple. So with everything gone to hell in a hand basket, as the saying goes, how will we proceed? Instead of looking at your black cellular box for answers look within. Our planet remains on all levels an aspect of our kindred star. Let us remember that the Temple of Apollo was built over the underground of Gaia. As above so below. The elect will find their way into the underworld and live as immortals while Nature self-corrects and heals the damage heaped upon the surface of our planet.
The Moon (psyche) at its base shows a creature rising up out of the sea. This body of water represents our present home (Cancer) that the masses are familiar with and like crabs in a bucket we pull each other back should one of us try to escape. (At present people in general would rather have each other rot away in an asylum – with all the abuses that go along with it – than lift a finger to grant each other release from this world.) We see the monster as being out there but fail to recognize the one inside us. Nothing personal however; it’s just the nature of the beast, an impulse of our herd instinct that has played a major part in our maturation process.
Mary Greer wrote that this card ‘depicts the fears and illusions that can beset you on the evolutionary path, beyond the last outposts, in an unknown landscape.’ Things are not always what they appear to be. Entre chien et loup. The sheep dog protects the herd and the wolf scatters them. But guardians also fence us off and enemies are often keen to tell us the truth about ourselves, where loved ones would rather lie to keep appearances.
The 18th major arcana (The Moon) also contains the last visage of the narrow gate. Up close it appears as two towers with a middle path leading up into the horizon. Once we pass through this threshold we embrace the next phase of our lives; true liberty and freedom. But first we must die to the things of this world in order to pass through. Not only do we have to shed the false teachings of religion and state, but we also have to let go of personal beliefs as well. All worldly programming, everything we deem to be right and wrong, good and evil, must fall away if we are to proceed into a Golden Dawn; more on this transformative state in the near future.