Sacred India Tarot Archive – Creation of 5 and 6 of Arrows: & January 2014 New Moon



Rippling – the winds back and forth

Continuing the account of Rohit and my collaboration on the Sacred India Tarot – this project took 9 years overall.  Rohit in India would meditate on each card and email to me his thoughts, together with a visual reference from a comic book or from Indian art itself.   Because of the deck’s universal Archetypes, he and Gautam the publisher determined in 2000 to try and find an artist overseas, rather than a more traditional style.  That is why the deck is painted in a way which is of essence, rather than of standard Indian culture.

They decided to commission me, when Gautam “by chance” saw my drawings of the Jyotish deities, at a business lunch on a visit to England.   There are no accidents.  I “just happened” to bring these drawings along to the meeting – I was accompanying Alan Jacobs.   They were discussing the “art style” book on Ramesh Balsekar, which Gautam was publishing in Mumbai.

The Sacred India Tarot is an unusual project, bridging east and western alchemies.  Rohit is a polymath, an accomplished yogi and a student of Jung’s work.  I had been to India a couple of times, as a student of Ramana, Self enquiry and Siva.   I was impressed with the way Rohit’s Tarot of Indian mythology flowed and fitted so beautifully with the familiar western Archetypes.

As the work went on, Rohit would send me what was on his mind.  As I put pencil to paper, details and symbolisms would rise spontaneously into the picture, which surprised me, and astonished Rohit, who had not thought of them.   This was due to the Yin Yang cross-fertilizing of our cultural backgrounds, and to our mutual flexibility.  It was very rich indeed.   It was a classic example of the creative Magician-Priestess interaction, in the esoteric Tarot psychology.  The male Magician delivers ideas:  the self conscious.  The female Priestess processes and re-presents them, coloured by previous input – the subconscious is “perfectly amenable to suggestion”!   A well balanced interplay of this kind, invokes the Collective archetypes and their story – a bridging of nations, cultures, art and ideas.

We had to create these cards with our life texture, which was often difficult and challenging during this period.  2004/5, when I drew the Suit of Arrows/Swords, was stormy and dense for me.  Rohit also suffered a rocking boat at times.   Simultaneously while drawing the Sacred India Tarot, I began to study full time, the Builders of the Adytum Tarot correspondence course.   I did not draw the Indian deck in BOTA colour language (which is based on specific tonal resonance), but the imagery and understanding were enriched.  The boundaries are fluid and yet distinct.

Rohit is a brilliant and entertaining speaker and teacher.  He has held many courses on the Sacred India Tarot, and on all aspects of Yoga and the Sanatana Dharma.   Here is a link to his work on Youtube:



and see also … – “On the yogic saying Naveenam Naveenam Shanneh Shanneh” – which is the video I originally pasted here.


Rohit’s Notes
Five of Arrows – Bheeshma resigns throne and sex life

“To allay the apprehensions of the fisherman, Bheeshma renounces the throne and promises to remain a nitya-brahmachari, eternally celibate, so that no children of his will contest the throne with the offspring of his stepmother (the fisher girl his father wants to marry.) This is a personal defeat, but a Cosmic Victory for it is now that the gods themselves give him his new and true name of BHEESHMA – the One of the Terrible Vow.

SITA 5 of Arrows - visual reference from comic book

SITA 5 of Arrows – visual reference from comic book

“His shaken father grants him boons of an extraordinarily prolonged life, as well as invinicibility, with death able to approach only when Bheeshma himself decides it.  Bheeshma could be shown in full armour, holding up five arrows in his hand to take his terrible vow.  The gods are showering flowers upon him from the heavens, awed at his renunciation, while a divine voice booms out his new name.

The fisherman and his daughter can be shown cowering before the sheer force of personality that emanates from the young prince.  It is a very Hindu thought – at the moment of your greatest defeat, is also your greatest victory.


Sacred India Tarot - the Five of Arrows

Sacred India Tarot – the Five of Arrows



Interlude – A Sword Under the Ice and Earth

New year's moon Grand Cross astrology

New year’s moon Grand Cross astrology – drawing by JA on 3 January 2014

On New Year’s Day at about 11.30am GMT, we got this gift – a Capricorn New Moon on the Sun, formed an arrow-head with Pluto and Mercury …  and a Grand Cross of Swords.

Jupiter is the Archer (Sagittarius ruler) in Cancer 4th House.  He aims his arrow straight into Capricorn.  Uranus is opposite Mars along the Ascendent axis – the strung bow. The Ascendent is the axis of action, and the Midheaven is the axis of Will.  It is wonderful; the new-moon Sun was almost at the Midheaven.   Our fingers … arrows … point to the moon. photos jackandjo 4378319759 photos jackandjo 4378319759

Strictly speaking for this Indian-themed post, I should try to compose this chart in Jyotish – with Jupiter as Guru, Mars as Mangala, Mercury as Budhi, and so on.  But here I am in London, a western Capricorn, with my resolutions for now.   The 1 January 2014 chart is an esoteric preview of the coming Grand Cardinal Cross which will manifest on 22 April this year.   For all of us who are sensitive to it, what is unfolding here and now, is likely to bear fruit;  we move in harmony with it.  After the winter Solstice, the new Yang begins to rise through the ground.  I feel at this time, still deeply retired from society, and begin to clean my house and rearrange my cupboards and files.  This is slow, because the downloads – like the Capricorn new moon – continue to arrive, most days.

A cross inside a circle is a symbol of Earth, and of the Hebrew letter TAV:  fulfillment of a design.  You see the angles are not yet exact:  as with a pendulum, Jupiter and Mars will oscillate during the intervening three months, until they fall into the 13th degree of their Signs, together with Uranus and Pluto.

The April Grand Cross occurs at the midpoint of the solar and lunar eclipse fortnight.  Watch the end of February for pointers to the precision.

plant with bokeh

There is not space in this post, to ponder events which impact all of us differently in our depth.  As Peter writes in A View From the Other Side, whatever we planted in 2013, will germinate.

All I can do for now, is draw the Mandala it suggests, and let it speak visually.

I am a huge fan of J.K.Rowling and Harry Potter.  I have read all the books many times, and am half way through The Deathly Hallows again – my favourite.  In the movie on TV this Xmas, I was deeply struck by the Sword of Gryffindor deep under the ice, which Harry dives for:    it shines up through the pond in the winter woods.   Why!   The Sword, forged by mountain goblins, bears the Law of Deliverance.   The Air Suit of Swords/Arrows in our Sacred India Tarot IS that same deliverance of the light through the dark:  the Santanana Dharma through the Mahabharat … as in every “deep fix” within our personal life.  As I wrote in earlier Arrows posts, the Sword of Deliverance operates outside Time – the World of Creation – and manifests sharply on the ground.

So I assembled from google images, this small mosaic:



I love the aspect-angles in this photo

I love the aspect-angles in this photo

Ice painting -

Ice painting –

I found this photo in  – a very interesting site.  Hermione after leaving her parents, walks away towards the spire of St Judes in Hampstead Garden Suburb.  It is a dramatic setting:  the architect was Edwin Lutyens.


The January Grand Cross reminds me of the early pencilled Mandala by Jung, for his Red Book:  it suggests a grand crossing of the Lunar Nodes, for he drew – intuitively or with the knowledge – the glyph of the rising and falling node of his life change.  He was about 37 – just beginning his second Nodal cycle.  (The cycle is 18 and a half years.)

jung's red book, the 1st mandala sketch

jung’s red book, the 1st mandala sketch



Sacred India Tarot Five of Arrows – Bheeshma’s Renunciation – suggests the point at which the Destiny is greater than the man.  He is no longer of the breeding stock, but serves a higher Order.  The Destiny falls from Heaven as light … as swords of sunlight, or of flowers.  Renouncing his sword of life, he receives the sword of the Spiritual King.

Here now is a working image for the Six of Arrows.  Though he has no children of his own, the older Bheeshma heads a lineage.  His view of the life-scape, and the responsibilities of his individuation,  extend far beyond his personal sphere.   He is aware of the future and of the past, as a Great Circle, seamlessly.

SITA 6 of Arrows - visual reference from comic book

SITA 6 of Arrows – visual reference from comic book

Rohit’s Notes
Six of Arrows – Bheeshma’s years of guardianship of the Kurus

“I suppose the best way to convey the passage of time as well as change – a journey in many stages even when one is unmoving (as the Six represents) – is perhaps a white haired white bearded but still formidable Bheeshma looking out over the palace balcony where the young princes are being trained in archery by Drona.

“We need a sense of receding horizon:  the young people move into the future that he is striving so hard to safeguard.  The six arrows are easily depicted, if we select five young men to represent the Pandavas, and Drona the Guru – all of them on the point of releasing their shafts.  They need not be depicted in great detail even;  a sort of blurry vision through the mists of early morning, as they are practicing, would be fine also.   It would also tie in with the Air suit very well.”


Sacred India Tarot Six of Arrows

Sacred India Tarot Six of Arrows


Correspondence, Rohit and Gautam to Jane, July 2004
“The atmosphere is very broody, and suits the Bheeshma character well.  There are a couple of points though.  Bheeshma is perhaps not muscular enough, he looks like a Bruce Lee type of strong man.  To pull on his kind of bow would require muscular overdevelopment – like Conan the Barbarian in Marvel Comics.  This was mentioned in the instructions for card 1.

“Gautam explained that there was some reason for not representing the suit in the dance form of Indonesia or Bali.  That is a great pity, because I really wanted to give an international flavour to the pack, not regiment it or limit to merely Indian forms of representation.  The epics too are really international stories, intellectual property of the world, and Indonesia-Bali has some of the best Hindu art in the world, which was why I was keen on it.

“The Prince looks, I don’t know, slightly financially strapped.  Could we add some plate armour or jewels to his chest or arms, so that the inherent splendour of what he was going to give up comes out stronger?  This looks austere.  The Buddha suit was perfect in conveying the level of luxury he enjoyed.

“But overall as I have said, the psychological accuracy and impact of the suit till now, is remarkable.”



The reason was, that during that year I FELT AUSTERE.   My marriage was about to come to an end, and I couldn’t relate to big muscles or research the ornamental extravaganzas of the Balinese mode !   In my sense of the Swords/Arrows, life was stripped down to the truth, pared to the bone in a way:  I could not add to it, or adorn.


“Dear Jane, here is Rohit’s feedback for the Six of Arrows. The conceptual power of this card is good.  The sense of years passing and Bheesma brooding over the Kurus is terrific.  But he is still too thin and he still has less armour.  He needs to look more muscular.  The old man got stronger as the years went by, as is common with martial artists.”

“Warm regards, Gautam.”

In Rohit’s book with the deck, he comments (in summary):
“Spiritually, Five of Arrows represents the sacrifices and struggles necessary to break through to higher levels of awareness … a phase of reorganization and reorienting one’s priorities … be careful what you pray for – you might get it!

“The name of the gateway in Six of Arrows is ‘Earned Success’.  The card for great reward after enormous effort and patience.  Moving away from troubled times.  Work has to be maintained at fever pitch to ensure the continuance of rewards.  Indomitable spirit, that does not give way to setbacks, however crushing.  Release of tension, like an arrow from a bow.

“Do not run away from yourself.  ‘Quo Vadis’ – where are you going in life?  in your personal and professional work?  Are you doing enough?  Are you patient enough? 


Here is stated the key to the Action of the Arrows/Swords with destiny – act with it, and be patient!   A truly Capricornian philosophy.  Goats climb into the sky but keep their hooves on the ground.


Wishing us all, a productive pasture and garden of all the Worlds, for 2014 !

Peace, joy, a kind heart through the gate;  and blessings.



ocean seagull at moonrise, photo by Josh Blash





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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.

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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