Sacred India Tarot Archive – Creation of 9 and 10 of Staves/Wands

Sita 10 of staves detail

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aikido

Glancing through this series, I am reminded how the suit of Staves or Wands develops the astral weaponry of the suit of Swords/Arrows into a martial art, or dance form.  This seemed fairly straightforward in the early cards of this suit, but by the time I reach Nine and Ten, it feels like too much is manifesting all at once on the earthly plane;  a bundle of imagined responsibility, almost a shut-down.
Never have I felt less creative.

Let the bundle go and lighten up!  Rohit’s interpretative notes suggest this also, as do the original Rider-Waite illustrations I worked from.

The wands are miniature trees.  Take just one, and look up it;  dance with it …

looking up the oak

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NINE OF STAVES – from Rohit’s Notes, 2003

“Suspicion about Sita in Ayodhya ensures her banishment;  One of the meanings of this card is Authority and the burdens thereof.  Rama had assumed Kingship and did such a great job that it is still regarded as India’s golden age.  However, his sense of responsibility to public opinion caused him to banish Sita when slander had reached impossible levels. The king’s wife, like Caesar’s, had to be above suspicion.  What ought to be shown is Rama in all the splendour of his kingship having to take a decision to banish his wife, and never spending a happy moment since.  Sita need not even be present in the card;  this is Rama’s agony.”

poppy

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From Rohit Arya’s Book with the Deck

“Rama ruled over Ayodhya in a manner which has become synonymous in India with the Perfect Age; the rule of Rama is still invoked as an ideal to aspire towards.  Poverty was non-existent, and the people so content that Rama would wait every day at court for a person seeking justice!  In Rama the ancient dream – if a perfect king was found, the society would mirror his stature – found fulfilment.

“Yet there was one unhappy soul in this sea of contentment, and that was Rama.  For the old rumours about Sita and her virtue had begun again …  A perturbed Rama, for whom family reputation and the respect kings gained by example was paramount, gave in to public opinion.  He told Laxmana to abandon Sita in the forest near the ashram of Valmiki, so that she would be taken care of.  She was pregnant at the time, so Rama has been denounced ever since for being heartless.

Rider Waite 9 of Wands

Rider Waite 9 of Wands

“This tale is part of the Uttara Kanda of the Valmiki Ramayana, a segment long held by scholars to be spurious.  Nevertheless, the banishment of Sita has captured the imagination, and while it may not be true it is a (psychological) reality.  I also wanted one card to reflect the now traditional Rider-Waite imagery in Tarot, and when I read this sentence I could not resist it:  ‘Rama picked up a staff used during the yagna and, while leaning upon it, gave vent to his grief.’

“Interpretating the card:  Caution owing to vulnerability – face unjust criticism boldly.  Period of developing self awareness. The card of unsought and unwanted promotions and responsibilites;  wisdom and strength gained at great cost – inner resoluteness increases. Controlling oneself from misuse of power- realisation that one’s path is always going to be lonely.  Vigilant and alert attitude required.

“Shadow:  remembering past slights and fearing the future and that this new responsibility will turn out badly.  Being kicked upstairs.  Putting others first to the point of exhaustion. Feeling of, but not actual stagnation.  Tendency to retreat within, self absorbed, loner.  Old habits die hard.  Deferring to society’s norms.

“Are you fed up or exhausted with the current situation?  Why?
What can you do about it?”

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Sacred India Tarot, 9 of Staves - Rama's agony and suspicion of Sita

Sacred India Tarot, 9 of Staves – Rama’s agony and suspicion of Sita

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Jane’s Notes – 2015

In the Rider Waite deck, the Wands sprout small green shoots.  I could have included these in the above painting, but for some reason I left them bare.  Implicit in the rod or wand is its fertile potential.  Discover an undistracted sphere of authority or focus – then act on it.

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Lord Siva on his Tao

Lord Siva on his Tao

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Why is Sita’s banishment as Rohit says above, a “psychological reality”?

Perhaps one meaning is when our thoughts and grand ideas about things become brittle. When we trust, we walk on the water of life.  But when we think or listen to what ‘others’ say, we get heavy and sink.

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TEN OF STAVES – Rohit’s Notes, 2003

“Sita returns to earth’s womb, Rama is left alone.  The ten of wands has always a sense of oppression associated with it.  The card is liable to be complex as the brooding isolation that Rama feels is intensified here.  The earth has opened up to recover Sita, as she was unable to bear yet another demand for proof of innocence.  Rama has one more trauma to bear;  previously his wife was banished but alive in the forest, now he did not even have that straw to cling to.

“This event occurs at a great fire sacrifice, a Yagnya, so the positioning of the wands should not be too problematic.”

new year fire

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From Rohit’s book with the Deck, 2011

“The Earth receives Sita – Now Rama and his judgemental subjects are in trouble.  The king has to perform yagnas – Vedic fire sacrifices – as a vital part of his intermediary between the gods and humans.  By law, a ruler could not officiate at yagnas without his wife being present;  it rendered the whole ritual futile.  Rama however, had famously sworn to have only one wife. In a polygamous society, this was breathtaking and a new paradigm of ethical behaviour, rapidly emulated by an impressed world.

rider waite ten of wands

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“The fidelity that saw the citizens bask in the supremacy of their king, has now become a problem for the maintenance of the social fabric.  The very foundation of ritha – cosmic harmony  – rests upon the kings of the earth performing yagnas.  Here is Rama, supreme amongst men, unable to hold yagnas.  Sita is still alive, and Rama will never have any other spouse.  She is also still banished.  It is an intolerable impasse.  The self satisfied littleness of mind in Ayodhya has made them the laughing stock of the world – a society with no yagnas!

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“A desperate compromise is sought.  If Sita would agree to just one more ordeal by fire to prove her chastity … A distraught Sita, never doubting Rama’s unswerving love, nevertheless has had enough.  She calls upon Bhumidevi Gaia – the Earth Goddess who is her mother – to rescue her from this unceasing torment.  The earth swallows her while the very gods are appalled, witness to Rama’s utter desolation.

“In a reading:  Overwhelmed – too much of everything;  superabundance of talents, which have become burdensome.  Next set of challenges after success.  Drop some things, lighten the load … Period of intense concentration and focus cannot be maintained for long.  Loneliness at the top, but it is the top.

“Shadow: Oppression and taking on too much – terrible deadline pressures, and too eager to please.  Misuse of power, making unreasonable demands.   You cannot do so much. Accept it.  Let go of some things, delegate others, and forget the impossible and implausible.”

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Sacred India Tarot Ten of Staves - The earth receives Sita

Sacred India Tarot Ten of Staves – The earth receives Sita

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Jane’s Notes – 22 October 2003

Finished the Rama picture.  It is not being done according to the “maestro tempo”, but to the whim of my personal unfolding.  Each month or so, the India Tarot moves forward a jot or jolt, and from time to time produces a picture which is about my own discoveries.

In this one, Rama’s grief has sunk underworld with the fay and loyal Sita whom he unjustly suspected. She arises through his bones, watery, into the Fire of the Yagna Sacrifice – and from that same fire is sprouted the man in an orange sky of flame upon a violet crystal landscape.  She ascends through the sacrifice, and he grieves, he feels.  The bundle of ten red Wands crosses behind his upper spine and weighs upon his heart;  this is humanity having to learn by experience.  It is also the irrepressible arising of the dew, the spring waters, as the heart connection transfigures – the white around Rama and on the Wands.  The membrane between Rama and Sita is a turgid dark green, signifying impurities and jealousy in the desire nature.  But you can see that the pure waters are impacting up his lower spine by osmosis.

The earth in fact has opened like a lake, and She – like the lady of Shalott – rests within it.  The man looks elsewhere, he is speared and crossed through with his individuation, but has not yet glimpsed beyond his own container.

In the previous card, the Nine of Wands, he stands on guard with self righteous dignity, wearing a purple mantle;  this violet colour is now the rocky landscape in which he sits semi-naked.

For the Sacred India Tarot, their interpretation of the Wands is the Intellect.  In the Nine – I am now following the classic Rider-Waite designs – he grasps one of the Wands of a fence, to use it as a spear.  In the Ten, this one becomes the burden of the entire Ten which he believes he carries.

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Tree of Life with three Gunas, showing vedanta and western traditions

Tree of Life with three Gunas, showing vedanta and western traditions

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Kabbalistically, Ten of Wands is Malkuth of the suit – the nitty gritty reality – just as Nine of Wands is Yesod, the self image or cloak.  In fact, with the possible exception of Three of Wands (Ravanna rejecting wise counsel) for Binah/Understanding, all the Wands I have drawn work well in the ten Sefiroth of the Tree – about which I thought not at all, in the doing.  So ten are done – a whole Tree.  The Court cards are the four worlds, and will begin with the Page of Wands as the Ashwin solar twins – the divine healers.

On the other hand there are multiple levels to see in this Ten of Wands painting, for turning to “Stage 12 in Alchemy, Multiplication” I see that the upright and stationary wands in the Nine all have this transformative and incendiary potential into the orange sky light of the Ten.  So the Ten contains a great release potential.

woodlamp

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Correspondence/Feedback;  Rohit, December 2003

“The Nine of wands is remarkable, we have broken out of the cliche of Rama always with a bow.  This is what he must have really looked like, the power and authority he radiates is terrific.

“The Ten is also unusual and creative in conveying so many layers of story at one time.  There is Rama in the kingly posture that conveys his burden of kingship and responsibilities, the arrows that mark his nature and form rays around him in his role as a solar deity;  there is the lost Sita, sinking into the ground beneath him – that action cost him his moral footing though ethically it was an impeccable decision.  It is one of the most psychologically complex and layered cards Jane has done.”

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Sagittarian inscape

Sagittarian inscape

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altar 2

For other Sacred India Tarot posts, look under Recent Posts, Search, 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 http://aryayogi.wordpress.com   – (look in his Archives May 2012 and June 2012.) 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.

All original 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 https://janeadamsart.wordpress.com/

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