Sacred India Tarot Archive: Creation of 2, 3, 4, 5 of Lotuses/Cups – Siva & Parvati


Blue Lotus by Bahman Farzad

Blue Lotus by Bahman Farzad

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These four cards cover the early stages in Siva and Parvati’s courtship.  To subdue Tarakasura – a demonic force in the Universe – the Dharma required Siva to sire a son.  As an ascetic Yogi, he had to be beguiled.   On her part, Parvati, Daughter of the Himalaya, would undergo intense spiritual practices to match him energetically.   The suit of Lotuses or Cups unifies the male and feminine natures:  the Lord recognises and honours his half who is Woman.


Rohit’s Notes 2004 – “Two of Lotuses – Narada announces Parvati’s Destiny.  The visual reference in the comic strip is clear enough, though we could have Parvati offering two lotuses at the feet of the divine sage.  

“Upon learning that she was destined to marry Siva, Parvati in typical Indian style, falls in love with him!  This is romance Indian style, which is the message of the card. There could be a great face of Siva hanging semi transparently in the background, between the sage and the girl.”

Visual reference, for 2 of Lotuses - Parvati receives Narada's news

Visual reference, for 2 of Lotuses – Parvati receives Narada’s news


Jane’s Notes – The visual references I was given, were in a comic-strip picture book called Tales of the Mother Goddess.  The courtship of Siva and Parvati can be viewed romantically or cosmically.

“In the Hindu pantheon, Siva represents the supreme Consciousness as well as the male principle which acquires the power to create and destroy the elements only in conjunction with Shakti, the female principle.  Thus Siva’s consort is the manifestation of the supreme Consciousness, and that was why Vishnu and others were keen to see Siva married to Sati. 

“Sati was reborn as Parvati, who wooed and won Siva, never to be separated from him again.

Tales of the Mother Goddess


In the elder mythos, Sati did away with herself because her father did not show Siva/Rudra sufficient respect.  Siva the ascetic plunged into the waters of life for an aeon and unwittingly fathered the vegetable kingdom and the teeming seeds of life.   In time, these harboured asuric tendencies or demons.  They rose against the divine upholders of cosmic Law.  Only a son of Siva could subdue these, his earlier offspring – but he was immersed in Yoga.  The gods’ efforts to beguile him into taking a bride, make a long and racy tale.


Here, the great sage Narada brings to Parvati the message of her destiny:  intuiting the invisible, she worships the visible, or rupa – the bearer of the tidings.

Sacred India Tarot 2 of Lotuses

Sacred India Tarot 2 of Lotuses

Correspondence, Rohit to Gautam, 18 October 2004

“Dear Gautam, I love the first two cards.  I LOVE THEM.  They are perfect.  Such a Siva has never been seen before, and such a Narada too. Parvati looks tremendous also.  We are doing so well with this.  Jane has hit an inspired vein and I just do not want to give any sort of instructions.  The three yogis with Siva is a superlative touch, and the jaunty Ramana Maharshi brings an aspect of joy to the card that is beautiful. 

(See earlier post, SITA Ace of Lotuses for the first card – this also contains some extracts from Stella Kramrisch’s work on Rudra).

“If we continue like this, we will have the best suit of the pack, including the Pentacles.

“The little Kundalini snake activating over Parvati when it is announced that Siva is fated to be her husband, is a magnificent touch, Shakti rising, ascending to meet Siva.  Jane is to be commended for it, it is a spiritual touch that I had overlooked, but she intuitively sensed. 

“I love these cards… I am a hard core Siva fanatic, but they are still tremendous.  



Rohit’s Notes for 3 of Lotuses – The Bliss of Service

“Parvati and her friends serving Siva.  In the Indian context, the greatest happiness comes from serving a great person, and the boost to one’s self image and self worth is incalculable, indeed incomprehensible if not actually Indian. 

“The entire comic-strip page can be used as a reference.  Offerings of lotus flowers to Siva are the obvious way to get them in, but if you feel they are better off elsewhere in the card, please feel free.

Visual reference for 3 of Lotuses

Visual reference for 3 of Lotuses


Sacred India Tarot - 3 of Lotuses: the Bliss of Service

Sacred India Tarot – 3 of Lotuses


Siva and his attendants.  Above the Himalaya is a core Siva Shakti Yantra.  The ascending triangle is Siva, unity.  The two descending yoni triangles are Shakti, duality, multiplicity.  The bliss of service is in following the Higher Law, and realising one’s natural state.

Correspondence – Gautam to Jane, 20 October 2004

Dear Jane – feedback as under: 

“This card is very good too.  It is a terrific card, but who is Parvati, the one with the fan or the one doing puja?  Both are equally good candidates.  

“I do not think Siva has ever been depicted with such majesty and grandeur, outside of our temple sculptures before.  Please forward this point to Jane.  Hindus do not cover their heads when praying or worshipping, except the punjabis, and that is the sikh-islamist influence.  The head is normally left bare, you actually take off whatever headgear you have.  It does not seriously affect the Three of Lotuses, but it might be worth noting for future cards.


Correspondence – Jane to Gautam and Rohit:  “Yes, glad you have this.  I think Parvati is the one doing arati, as she is still ‘veiled’ to him.  Point taken re head coverings for following cards!  Regards, J.  Hope you like 4.”


Rohit’s Notes for 4 of Lotuses, October 2004

Rohit's notes, 4 of Lotuses


Visual reference for 4 of Lotuses

Visual reference for 4 of Lotuses


Sketch for 4 of lotuses

Sketch for 4 of lotuses

Jane’s Notes – Here below, is the published version of the card:  Siva was deep in meditation; Kama the god of desire aroused him at that point, to the earthly beauty of Parvati, the dark daughter of Himavat, the Mountain.  Kama depicts a state of urdhvalinga, his erect phallus indrawn yogically.

Compositionally, I had always a problem with the long narrow cards, how to compress into them the wide landscape of cause and effect.   With Siva, cause and effect, time and space, are simultaneous.

Sacred India Tarot, 4 of Lotuses - Kama's Arrow

Sacred India Tarot, 4 of Lotuses – Kama’s Arrow

However, there was an earlier version! – as the correspondence shows:

From Gautam (20 October 2004)“Dear Jane, herewith feedback from Rohit.  You seem to be on a roll!   Warm regards …”

From Rohit – Dear Gautam and Jane, we cannot use the pic of Kama in Lotus Four as he is depicted, as the phallus points straight at Siva.  Some joker or other is bound to take offence.  Otherwise it is a fantastic card, and captures the essence of what I sought to convey.  This is great work.  But we need the phallus painted over.  The rest of the card stays unchanged.”

Original version, Sacred India Tarot 4 of Lotuses

Original version, Sacred India Tarot 4 of Lotuses

Kama transmits to Siva by eye and by arousal, the image of lust, as he pierces Siva’s heart with the arrow.  In the published version, Kama looks at Parvati, conniving-ly.  Either way, his psychic proximity to Siva is seductive at that moment.   The god – awakened into the earthly kingdom from his blissful crest – responded as in Card 5.

The yogic linga flame in front of Lord Siva is a combination of Akasha-Tejas tattva (the Saturn and Mars chakras whose equilibrium enters the heart centre) with the triple-line mark of Siva’s devotees.   As in the elder Rudra mantras, Siva sustains the bliss for aeons, until precipitated into an involuntary creation-destruction cycle by Kama’s wiles and Parvati’s beauty.

Parvati is subliminally aware of the Lord’s sudden focus upon her.  Her accelerated awakening to womanhood goaded her to a long period of spiritual austerities, to match the nature of her beloved.

The monkeys in the tree are the chat-line of every age:  the outraged prurient press.


What followed?  here is the romantic view of the event …

Visual reference, 5 of Lotuses

Visual reference, 5 of Lotuses


Siva slays Andhaka, Elephanta caves

Siva slays Andhaka, Elephanta caves

Rohit’s Notes 2004“The Andhaka Asura Vadha Siva sculpture in the Elephanta caves, is just perfect.  You can reproduce it ad verbatim, with merely a blaze of light coming out of the third eye and falling upon ashes of what used to be Kama, the god of love.  Parvati is shocked and devastated at what has happened.  Rati has fainted away in a corner.  It is a scene of heartbreak and desolation.  The particular sculpture captures the wrath of God better than anything else I have seen, so it is most apt, especially as it is a wrath against Andhaka – the darkness of desire which Kama was trying to awaken in Siva.”

Jane’s Notes(Rati was Kama’s wife) … and here is the cosmic event itself:

Sacred India Tarot, 5 of Lotuses - Siva destroys Kama

Sacred India Tarot, 5 of Lotuses – Siva destroys Kama


Correspondence from Rohit – “…Card number five is equally beautiful.  I was expecting a more wrathful Siva, but I think that Jane’s interpretation of a calm Siva slapping down such effrontery is terrific.  The Kama and Rati angle are marvellous, and so is the shock on Parvati’s face.  I wouldn’t change a single thing in it.

“In card number 10, Siva agrees to restore Kama, I want an ARDHANARISWARA, which we can scan from the Presence of Siva book.  In the case of the card, the reconciliation and restoration of eros to life can happen only by an integrated male and female energy – in short, the Ardhanariswara (Lord whose half is Woman).  The figure standing by the bull is perfect to use.

ardhanariswara at elephanta,

“I want to get this across to Jane now, because the speed at which she is hurtling along, we might have the card ready before we can talk to her.  

“I also want Jane to do a Dattatreya.  I do not know where we will use it, but it certainly has some scope in the pack, perhaps as a bonus.

“With regard, Rohit.”


Here, in the Sacred India Tarot book with the deck, is Rohit’s resume of the four cards: 

“Narada’s proclamation is actually a diksha – spiritual initiation.  Narada is the guru here, who arouses the dormant spiritual fire personified in the serpent of the Kundalini, and fans it into a mighty blaze that will consume all karma.  For while marrying Siva may be her destiny, it does not mean Purushartha – human purpose – is not necessary or that there will be no obstacles.  All spiritual rewards come only after effort, and what is at stake here is the future of the world.  Parvati will be required to rise to heights she cannot currently comprehend.  She is the Mahashakti, great active power of the universe, to Siva’s role as All pervading Consciousness.  Of all the methods of attaining a spiritual goal, bhakti or divine Love is the swiftest.  Narada speaking with characteristic eloquence and cunning, has managed to imprint Siva in Parvati’s heart.  She will have no other husband.

sri chakra

“Reasoning that proximity is a prerequisite to awakening passion, the Mountain King offers to send his daughter and her friends to aid and assist Siva in his sadhana and his daily rituals of worship.  Lost in his immense meditation, Siva Chandrashekara (the Moon crested) wears the universal lunar symbol of marking time, to signify his conquest of Kaala or Time.  In this spiritual state, he inhabits a zone outside of Time and can barely distinguish between male and female – seeing only the in-dwelling soul which has no qualities.  He has no objections to such service which, for Parvati and her friends, is a wonderful experience.  Out of him flows a blessing to Parvati that she gain a husband fully worthy of her, who will never love another.  Yet Mahadeva, his consciousness turned inwards, continues to be oblivious to what is obvious to everyone else.  The gods, still exiled from their heaven, writhe in agony.

“… Kama quakes with fear.  Then he sees Parvati’s incomparable beauty, and his confidence comes flooding back.  All that lives is in thrall to Kamadeva – why should Siva be any different?  Kama shoots his burning arrow of desire into Siva’s heart.  He has made a calamitous blunder.

“… For an infinitesimal second, desire flares within Siva.  This snaps his unbroken flow of meditation and makes visible the Atma Lingam – the Soul Lingam that is his inner reality, and is also the Primal Ellipsoid, the first vibratory form that emerges from Primal Sound (pranava or om), to set Creation in motion.  The Atma Lingam being manifest and distinct from Siva even for a mere moment, is for him a fall from Pure Consciousness to the chaos of thought.  (But) the devas have outsmarted themselves.  The power of desire could not overwhelm Awareness.

“Siva erupts with the essence of incandescent rage.  Kama’s shabby little trick provoked the opening of Siva’s dreaded third eye – the Ajneya Chakra, seat of viveka, discrimination.  The frightening, paradoxically calm wrath of utter clarity, blasts and devastates Kama in fire.  This is not rage any more – it is Divine retribution for insolence … Only being grounded in Consciousness can vanquish desire.  This form of Siva is known as Kaala Agni Rudra – the howling fire that devours time – a triumphal moment in the evolution of Consciousness.

“Kama’s wife Rati faints in shock and terror … Siva is the kindest God, but trying to provoke lust in him was like dancing on volcanoes.   Parvati is appalled and awed – she was about to utilize Siva’s blessing for a husband, and instead of love she gets this hurricane of anger.  Siva is splendidly unperturbed about the chaos he has just caused, and he vanishes from the sight of all created beings, to resume his meditation.  Parvati is left heartbroken and humiliated in front of the world.   Of Kama who used to boast he was the god with most power over life, there is naught left but ashes.”

Rohit Arya

66 Siva





For other Sacred India Tarot posts, look under Recent Posts, or Archive of All Posts in the title bar.

Rohit Arya

Rohit Arya is an Author, Yogi and Polymath. He has written the first book on Vaastu to be published in the West, {translated into five languages} the first book on tarot to be published in India, co-authored a book on fire sacrifice, and is the creator of The Sacred India Tarot {82 card deck and book}. He has also written A Gathering of Gods. He is  a corporate trainer, a mythologist and vibrant speaker as well as an arts critic and cultural commentator. Rohit is also a Lineage Master in the Eight Spiritual Breaths system of Yoga. 

Earlier posts about the deck, including the first 15 Major Arcana archives are in   The deck is copyrighted (c) 2011 to the publishers, Yogi Impressions Books pvt, and available also on Amazon and internationally.


Jane Adams

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 also 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). Watch this space.


Aquariel Link

All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012. May not be used for commercial purposes. May be used and shared for non-commercial means with credit to Jane Adams and a link to the web address

5 thoughts on “Sacred India Tarot Archive: Creation of 2, 3, 4, 5 of Lotuses/Cups – Siva & Parvati

  1. Congratulations and many thanks, Jane! The sensitive and flowing combination of your own exquisite artwork, your use of the artwork of others and the addition of ‘discussions’ and feedback with Rohit has made this a wonderful living experience for me – which I look forward to rereading … I am left with a great feeling of peace, beauty, harmony and movement …

    With very best wishes and love, from Eva.

  2. Pingback: Sacred India Tarot Archive: 7 of Lotuses – Parvati waters Trees | janeadamsart

  3. Pingback: Sur les pas de #Karma et #Kama | L'actualité de Lunesoleil

  4. Pingback: L’astéroïde #Karma  en conjonction #Uranus dans le signe du #Bélier | L'actualité de Lunesoleil

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