SITA stands for the Sacred India Tarot Arcana. Sita was the wife of Lord Rama, whose story The Ramayana is told in the deck’s Suit of Staves or Rods. He rescued her from the demon Ravannah, but then for a time lost faith in her – the Shakti power – until she came through fire unscathed. In the Indian pantheon, Rama is Divine. But through the Sacred India Tarot, he reveals also the psychology and conundrums of the seeking soul.
These two cards are called “Sita’s Trial by Fire” and “The Earth Receives Sita”.
My readings occur spontaneously, when there is a sense of connecting. They give me a personal reflection, which turns transpersonal, as it deepens to illustrate a koan, a Principle, or broadening of the landscape. See below.
Companions of the Light!
The deep quiet through this house, the distant rattle of a train. To live in the deep quiet is/would be magical, and get everything done; touching base is communion. Perhaps things only get done in the deep quiet. The housework indeed has to wait for it. Get into the boat. It is a coracle like a walnut shell half, and it has comfy red cushions. It bounces merrily along the seas. Coracle is an oracle. What does SITA say today? Let the air in, shuffle it, let all her pictures slip among and refresh each other. Then cut three times three, face down, and turn over the top card in the centre. (The left pile is Past, the right pile is Future.)
The card backs carry the Sri Chakra Yantra, to centre the present.
Present tense: Queen Rati, wife of Kama, the god of desire! Sweet she-spine among the blue lotuses, flexi-friend, lightly raises kundalini and bow – the kundalini uncoiling from its sleep around her, is the arrow. She has wavy long black hair and a sweet full bud. The long lotus stems, the snake and her spine/posture all bend and undulate in the rosy waters, field of grass. Supple integration.
Past? King Pradyumna of Lotuses – Cups. (Rati is the Queen!) A sensuous tantra sage by the waters, the trees and the Himalayas at his back; his hands hold the blue lotuses in mudra at his navel and heart chakras. His crown and golden aura are lotus, with organic vesica seeds and filaments. He wears a lotus garland too. Verily, a Flower King – his expression peaceful, blue, inwardly retires, self sufficiently.
The oracle reflects faithfully the moment’s flavour as a little birth.
Future? Nine of Staves (rods). Now he is lonely and defensive, resting while he makes a fence, but alert and rather tired. The Himalayas and the forest are in the background, but in front of them are the eight red rods he has put in place to defend his position, and the ninth one which he holds to fill the gap; it is himself. He wears a gorgeous purple cloak and elegant gold armour, and unsuitable flipflops. He is dignified, stern and watchful. He has anxieties and concerns. He is a watchman, guarding property and worrying about Other People. He’s put in the vertical staves for his fence/forest, but hasn’t woven in any horizontals yet.
(This is a fascinating image, as last week I built along the back of a garden, a stout fence from woven timber cuttings in the woods.)
As Ten of Staves depicts Rama’s burial of the feminine, Nine of Staves is an offended masculinity which thinks it is self sufficient, leading to a brooding separateness. The Nine of any suit is its Yesod or persona in the Tree of Life’s Foundation. In today’s oracle, Nine of Staves is turned towards the happy Queen and King of Lotuses. He has to guard their sport, make garden fences, plant trees, change passwords, make security.
The Q and K of Lotuses are my coracle or log in the waters; the Rama 9 of Staves must guard them – administration and locks. Number 9, Yesod, Foundation (in Kabbalah), is a local type of filter.
In Rohit Arya’s book, his “shadow” interpretation of 9 of Staves is an accurate portrait of my own uncertainties and type of overwork. In both Light and Shadow, the issue is responsibility, vigilance and caution – possibly the undertaking of a new task, sobered by past inexperiences. Holding the 9th rod, as myself, ready for planting, I feel often hemmed in, used up, limited, catching sight of the Lotus pussycats, my charges.
Rohit writes: “(Yet) … the King of Lotuses has to go very much to the dark before the Shadow side takes hold. The name Pradyumna means ‘conquers all foes’, so it gives some indication of his stature and prowess. He suffered the fate of all great men with even greater parents – an admiring obscurity. It does not seem to have disturbed him at all. Kama would have been shooting arrows in all quarters in frustration at being denied the limelight.”
King Pradhumna is Kama the god of Desire, reborn from the Sivaic ashes; (in the mythology, Lord Siva incinerated Kama for his impudence) – so he is Phoenix, cleansed, dispassionate and appears a little complacent.
The balance of these three archetypes inspires my confidence.
Queen Rati’s key quality is “able to make emotional connections with people at a non-verbal level”. Also I notice how in Rohit’s essay, and my drawing, Rati raises and sublimates the erotic instinct, she raises up the snake with her right arm; this gesture is one of great strength, pulling up against the downdraught; the male triad through the feminine triad, as I know well in my life, opens to clarity. Her left arm – subconscious – plays the bow with teasing ease. Power.
Rama’s soldierly tension derives some sustenance and ease, in contemplating Pradyumna by his peaceful brook – the soft horizon flow of life. The creative Rama has to stop and do this, otherwise he gets too wrapped up in himself. He is also rather vain.
Pradyumna and Rati are not bothered with vanity, because they are entirely unseparate from their luscious and beauteous element. They are carefree. They enjoy their marriage.
I also perceive: the observer and the observed. As J Krishnamurti used to say, the observer IS the observed. It is our paradox to stop and look and be. The Tao moves in and out of being; in quantum physics, a particle is a wave – Heisenberg’s position or motion principle at play. Consciousness is not other than the phenomenon observed; and the moving in and out through this, is Beauty.
A Greek Nymph: JA 1957
The Sacred India Tarot images are (c) copyright to Yogi Impressions Books, 2011
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My adventure invites fellow travellers. I am a poet, an artist and a seer. I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.
This blog is a vehicle to promote my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books) – along with many other creations in house.
I write, illustrate, design and print my books. Watch this space.
Interesting, thank you