Thursday, February 26, 2009

The High Priest (V)

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The High Priest is the partner card to The High Priestess. Amidst the masculine symbols of the bull, elephant and eagle, on the priest's headwear can be seen the crescent moon, a feminine symbol. Once again this creates the balance between male and female. His robes of purple and gold tell us that he is of great importance in the Spiritual plane and, indeed, in older decks this card was often named The Pope.

Where The Emperor signified a person of wealth and earthly assets, The High Priest represents someone of a spiritual nature. He encourages us to explore our faith, morals and ethics and holds his right hand before us in blessing. He is the key to helping us find our way in the spiritual matters within our lives. We can see this by the 'door' he sits in front of; this is the door between the earth and the spiritual realm, also signified by the pine trees encased in a swirling mist. The High Priest can help us to enter this door and to make sense of the spiritual mysteries that lie before us. In his left hand he holds a sprig of the herb Vervain, which is a psychic cleanser and nervine, i.e. calms the nerves. Perhaps there are obstacles of a psychiatric and/or emotional nature that need to be dealt with before we can go any further in our spiritual quest.

On the High Priest's throne there is a carving of a bull, a sacred animal worshipped within many communities. There is also an elephant, a symbol of strength and nobility and signifies the emergence of one's highest true self. In the foreground is the Eagle, a symbol of spiritual victory. We must surrender our ego to the will of the spirit. Our ongoing endeavour to seek spiritual truth and contentment will lead us to living well as a human being upon the earth. Meditate upon the card of The High Priest and his associated animal spirits to help attain this goal.

If you should meet someone with the characteristics of The High Priest, do not be fooled by their apparent sterness; he or she is a person of great spiritual learning and will gladly help you on your path.

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Emperor IV

Where The Empress represents the Feminine, The Emperor card is the perfect Masculine counterpart. They are not in opposition however, but are a partnership and complimentary to each other.

Clothed in a purple robe edged with ermine, The Emperor sits in a relaxed pose. He is totally comfortable in his surroundings. With his castle in the background and children happily playing in the field, he signifies a father figure and the proud owner of many assets. The breastplate that he wears shows that he is a soldier also and has fought for everything he has attained. The children are not his though, judging by their peasant clothing. They are inhabitants of the village belonging to the castle. His power is not one of oppression, but of kindly authority, benevolance and guidance.

There is much symbolism in this card attributing to The Emperor's status. The ram signifies authority and leadership, the Iris symbolizes power and this one is purple, that most royal of colours, the Peregrine Falcon that rests on The Emperor's shoulder is the fastest animal in the world, achieving speeds approaching 200 km/h (124 mph) when plunging from the sky after prey. What a fine representation of the characteristics of The Emporer this falcon is! And on his throne is the Eagle, the ultimate icon of strength, nobility and aristocracy. For thousands of years, empires and nations have adopted the Eagle as a symbol of power.

Below the Eagle there is a carving of an Ankh (also called crux ansata, latin for 'cross with a handle'). The Ankh represents a zest for life and fertility. This is the female connection that bonds The Emperor to The Empress and gives this masculine card the female balance that is needed, for one cannot survive without the other.

If fate should lead you to an Emperor figure who offers you support and guidance, consider yourself blessed. This person will lend you the strength and determination that you need at this time. The sun is shining brightly and by having the support of this person, a burden will be lifted from your shoulders and your prospects will begin to look brighter.

Please add anything you see in this card or if you can suggest alternative meanings.

egrines are the fastest animals in the world. They are believed to achieve speeds approaching 200km/h (124mph) when plunging from the sky after prey.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Festival of Imbolc ~ February 2nd

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The Celtic festival of Imbolc or Imbolg - pronounced without the 'b' sound - is sometimes known as Oimelc, means 'ewe's milk' - named due to the birth of the first lambs at this time, and celebrates the return of fresh milk. Bulbs are beginning to shoot and new lambs are born - the cycle of new life returns to the earth. Imbolc marks the rebirth of nature and fertility. It is the celebration of the gradual dawning of increasing light, bringing nature to life again. Nature is awakening from her winter rest - the long winter darkness begins to break as the daylight hours begin to get longer. Christians celebrate this festival as Candlemas. The picture shows the goddess, Brigid, who brings new life to the earth. Imbolc is a festival in her honour.

Spring cleaning
comes from the habit at Imbolc of getting rid of
unwanted clutter and preparing for the new season, physically and mentally. Now is the time to finish old habits and make a fresh start, and realise the world is full of new opportunities.

Imbolc is a time of optimism and for making new plans for the sunny days ahead. Plant the seeds of your plans now and tend them so they mature into your hopes and dreams. Now is the time to renew your New Year resolutions.

Dear Goddess Brigid of the Kine
Bless these little fields of mine,
The pastures and the shady trees,
Bless the butter and the cheese,
Bless the cows with coats of silk
And the brimming pails of milk,
Bless the hedgerows and I pray,
Bless the seed beneath the clay,
Bless the hay and bless the grass,
Bless the seasons as they pass,
And heaven's blessings will prevail,
Brigid of the light, we hail