Sacred India Tarot Archive – Creation of 9 and 10 of Arrows: Bheeshma Dies

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9 and 10 in the Suit of Swords/Arrows mark a dark nadir in the deck – an ultimate defeat in the Mahabharatha epic.  Letting this theme speak for itself, I will add to it the ancient concept of “Sword Form” as a martial art, converting aggression to power, grace and courtesy.

taichi sketch from Great River website

taichi sketch from Great River website

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Rohit’s Notes in 2004 – Bheeshma confronts Shikandi
“He is unable to fight back, because they are using Shikandi as a shield, a true nightmare for a warrior.  Krishna and Arjuna use Bheeshma’s chivalrous refusal to fight women to set Shikandi as a shield before them.  Arjuna can now shoot at will and there will be no retaliation.  (Bheeshma is aware that Shikandi was born a woman and changed gender through penance.)  On the field Bheeshma should be shown riddled with eight arrows and Arjuna about to release the ninth.  Arjuna too should be depicted in white or silver armour.

“Shikandi is usually depicted as an effeminate type, and played by comedians in movies, but in the actual text he is a great warrior in his own right, though he can be depicted as slightly smaller and less muscular than the other men.

“If there is space, then a thoughtful Krishna observing the consequences of his suggestion to use Shikandi as a shield can be included.  Arjuna should be shown in great trauma as he releases his arrow as Bheeshma was the person he loved and respected more than any other human being.  It is a ‘nightmare’ for him too, the meaning of the card, as his skills and ability make him the only person capable of killing Bheeshma, and duty does not allow him to refuse.”

SITA 9 of arrows. visual reference from comic book

SITA 9 of arrows. visual reference from comic book

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From Rohit’s book with the deck:
“Bheeshma faces his biggest nightmare – combat against a woman.  He would never descend to such an act, and prefers to desist from fighting …  He ceases combat and allows Arjuna the only feasible chance of striking him down. This masterstroke originated in the smiling wisdom of Krishna – quick to seize a legal advantage, and never mind its fundamental unfairness.  An outraged Ganga watches her invinicible son brought low by cynically exploiting what is noblest in his nature … 

“The poet Ved Vyasa says, ‘As the mother crab recognises with joy its childrens’ pincers tearing it apart, so too did Bheeshma mark out the deepest embedded arrows, saying: These belong to Arjuna!’

“When he finally falls, Bheeshma does not hit the ground.  So many arrows have pierced him, that they hold him aloft in a glorious warriors’ bier.  He does not die either;  his father’s boon keeping him alive until an auspicious moment arises to cast away the mortal shell.

“In a reading:  Nightmare.  Culmination of effort for good or bad, but it is over now.  Karmic repayment.  Sorrow and mental pain, but gaining of spiritual insight.  Need to show love to a suffering person, as Bheeshma does to Arjuna … Begin healing process or sadhana. Time heals all wounds, and wounds all heels … Brooding is infinite, action is what saves you.  What has emerged from the past to distress you?”

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Sacred India Tarot, 9 of Arrows

Sacred India Tarot, 9 of Arrows

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I think Krishna displays profound detachment, with the liberation of this tough old warrior from the drama.  Deep within us, through whatever turn of events, the One observes. When painting this card, I felt that Mother Ganga – her stream blocked by humankind’s epic War with Arrows – flows free at last, and comes into her own, from the depths to the heights.

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In my 2004 journal I found this – concerning 8, 9, 10 of Arrows: 
“Arrows restarted.  Bheeshma lets his sword fall, and offers his life to Krishna who spins the great Wheel of Dharma.  We live in such a time of longing for Vishnu to restore the Dharma … I did this rather profound drawing of the 8 of Arrows last night while watching TV  – the best ones often come so, unconsciously.  Wheel and sword:  surrender.  The next one – Nine of Arrows – will depict Bheeshma who cannot shoot Arjuna because of a woman warrior shield.  So at last the dammed-back feminine has returned to the manly Arrows, which is why I can continue.”

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china-taichi-chen-jun1l

24 February 2004 – The Sacred India Tarot Archetype transcends the Indian continent. Advanced play with swords here on earth, is a martial art.  It becomes graceful and precise.

For a few basic T’ai Chi principles … for it is a Yoga … I quote here from Han Returns to Earth by Barbara Brown, published last month by http://www.bodytao.co.uk . I shall review the book here, very soon.

Jack – a T’ai Chi teacher – instructs east-end youths with knives – after a street fight – to ‘up their game’ and start to learn a discipline:

“‘Raj and Skipper, please stand like me.  Right leg forward, left leg behind, shoulder-width apart, left foot angled 45 degrees.  Body facing squarely forward.’  Raj takes position, still glowering, shooting quick glances of reproach at Jack;  Skipper’s face is impassive as his body settles.  

“‘Now – watch me.  Shift your weight backwards and forwards so that we get the sense of right leg full, left leg empty.  Additionally, allow a sense of pushing from the floor, as if a coiled spring of energy rises from the floor into your right foot up the leg, through the Tan ti’en – and then as you shift weight, the energy, the spring, moves into the other leg.  Now the left leg is full.’
 “Jack is in the courteous, detached mode he adopts when teaching, fully absorbed.  ‘Okay – now from the left to the right.’  The three men move slowly and with increasing gravity backwards and forwards.
 “Satisfied, Jack calls a halt.  ‘That’s the first principle – the shifting of weight.  The second principle is the receiving of the weight and force of the other – and the third is to use the weight and aggression of the other to your advantage, by the dropping into the Tan t’ien and turning the waist.  With the turning of the waist comes the circulation of the hand – hence the term Pushing Hands.’  Jack stands opposite Skipper.  ‘Let me demonstrate.’

“The large, angry man stands opposite Jack.  Now a sickly smile hangs on his lips, his body is peppered with the resentment and unease.  He is bigger than Jack, stronger, broader.  He looks at Jack with disbelief.  He has heard about the capacity of this pale man, but he is new to the class and hasn’t seen it …  ‘Okay, Skipper,’ says Jack. ‘Raise your right hand about chest height … now, turn your hand and push against my arm as hard as you can.’
 “The smile turns into a willing grimace as Skipper puts all his aggression and tension into pushing the irritating man in front of him.  Jack receives the push.  After years of practice, he knows – don’t brace the arms, the upper body.  Keep it all soft, fluid.  Take the push down, receive it into the Tan t’ien, move it through as the weight shifts from forward leg to back leg, and then let the back leg and the central column of the torso drill themselves into the floor, earthed, powered by the energy they have received.  With a vivid corkscrew turn of the waist, and his right hand flipping to show the palm outward and guide Skipper’s body away from him, Jack releases charged-up energy and feels a rush as Skipper’s heavy weight spins past his right side.  Skipper is moving as if blasted by a powerful wave, juddering and bouncing.  Jack’s hand completes a half-circle and then snaps onto Skipper’s wrist, steadying him.  

“Panting, startled, Skipper rights himself and stares at Jack.  Jack looks at him and then bows to him.  ‘Thank you.’  Everyone watches, breath held, to see if Skipper will respond in kind.  An endless second passes.  Then – a very small bow – a mumbled thank you.”

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4 November 2004 – “The Ten of Swords (Arrows) marks a Completion, Malkuth in the western tradition.  The old King instructs the young in the art of government (Sacred India Tarot 8 of Lotuses, 8, 9 and 10 of Arrows were all done last weekend.)  Use the Sword for cutting ties that bind.”

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Rohit’s Notes  – Ten of Arrows:  
Bheeshma on the bed of arrows discoursing to Yudhishtara on Niti
“We would like to communicate a positive feel to a horrible end.  Normally the Ten of Arrows is a miserable card, but in keeping with India’s unique take on this sort of thing, this Ten of Arrows is slightly upbeat as from all this suffering and pain comes an opportuinity to convey the essence of the knowledge and wisdom gathered over a long life.  The arrows form the bed, and ten of them should be prominent, but basically he looks like a porcupine, so many shafts have penetrated him.

“From this bed he teaches Yudhishtara the art of government.  So Yudhishtara in a meditative attentive pose should be seated beside him.”

SITA 10 of arrows - visual reference

SITA 10 of arrows – visual reference

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Jane’s Notes 
As I painted this, I was aware that Bheeshma’s chakras are open – his spinal Kundalini “rests” along those pointed arrows – releasing his soul from the burden of war to the art and speech of wise government.  This is an unusual and positive “take”  on the desperate situation which this card normally depicts.  Bheeshma counsels and guides from the ground, the wise ruler who will succeed him.  As the seed goes into the ground and dies, the generational transmission is unbroken.

Sacred India Tarot 10 of Arrows - Bheeshma instructs Yudhishtara in the art of government

Sacred India Tarot 10 of Arrows – Bheeshma instructs Yudhishtara in the art of government

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Correspondence:  Jane to Rohit and Gautam
“As enclosed, thanks for your email.  I think it’s in keeping for the early Arrow cards to be rather introverted in tone, and to open out with the arrival of the feminine Shakti – after all, he dammed back the Ganga in the Ace ! – but we shall see, on completion. All best, Jane”

Rohit and Gautam to Jane
“Dear Jane, we like this card very much.  We especially like the Krishna, and is it Ganga watching from the sky?  The horror on Arjuna’s face at the ‘nightmare’ of what he’s doing is beautifully depicted.  No changes required.   Warm regards.”

And:  “Hi Jane, Arrows Ten is Ten on Ten!   Gautam and Rohit”

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Priestess, King of swords  and Fool, 1988

Priestess, King of swords and Fool, 1988

Jane’s Notes on Sword and Arrow Symbols – THIS IS ADDITIONAL

From my Journal during January 2014:  The fragment gleamed to me in an open, contemplative way, rather exposed and childlike.   It was existential, it was an awakened dream work, in an inner journey;  I retained always its pictorial essence.  Again it is the light on a bright sword, kept untarnished.  The sword seen only as a gleam, is for ever whole.  Bright sword is the Word.

Sword & Onion

The sword seen only as a gleam is yet a profound healing element, helping to transform areas of life and humanity beyond our ken.

Curious:  the YOD and the HEH.  The Yod is the sword-man:  the Heh is the lake.

These subtle details prompt me yet again to see the Play of the Swords in Beriah the Air element;  we human beings as we draw together, are drifts of that Weather.  We have faces, but  before we have faces, this is happening. So everything I see and am dismayed at in the world, has another Picture entirely from what is believed.

Truth comes together from far beyond our partial vision:  from beyond the belief system.

bota key 11

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Sani Saturn Jyotish, with oxen and raven

Sani Saturn Jyotish, with oxen and raven

The Tarot Key is 11:  Justice.  Equilibrium, the raised Sword.  There is actually a temple of wisdom there, a vaulted Cube.   I can go into it when I like.  The Hebrew letter is “LAM’D” – an uncoiled serpent, or ox goad, the Law which drives the strongest beast of the ancient world;  it ploughed the field and harnessed the Light:  here is Sani’s ox in Jyotish (Indian astrology).   Saturn’s T or TAV is upon the breast of the Queen of equilibrium, above the Karmic scales.   The sword held upright in Her right hand:  initiation.   Saturn is exalted in Libra.

Relationship is strong in the subtle kingdom;  it was difficult to adjust the lens of life to see and be it clearly.

Lenses are two – as in the Amber Spyglass. (His Dark Materials volume 3, by Philip Pullman.)
You bring them into alignment, and keep on doing so

And the lens itself is made from layer over layer of the amber sap to dry, bond and polish – like the making of magic Swords;  and that is why you can see through it, the Golden Dust  – the stellar current.

Avocado..

Moments spaced out, such as this, are human understanding.   All conditions.  See, I have an acorn, which glows psychedelically, like an avocado stone.  I have an amber lens, which forms layer on layer, sheath on sheath, a Sword Form in the martial art of life.   I have Master Han’s teaching on sweet respect and courtesy with each difficulty …   Ask Han a Question … With his questioners, the intimate is released.   Their wisdom-dance together is BREATHTAKING.

Tune in to this:  the collective needs this intimate way of sharing.   The diamond roots sent down into the under-soil, are the rose deep down inside the garden, a red little cavern of white-fire.  The violet delta system.  The venous network:  the invisible brilliance of our organs.

Himalaya - infrared satellite photo from Earth, a Journey through Time

Himalaya – infrared satellite photo from “Earth, a Journey through Time” (by Nicholas Cheetham, published by Quercus)

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But specifically, an exposed and open intimacy is homeopathic, an acupuncture needle of consciousness.   It is the hermit in the black dragon.   It starts to dislodge age-old Karmic carbons to break them up a little:  the lumpish Academic Protective Religious Gear habit that humans got themselves into.   It is an alchemical compound:  a chemistry.   Altering the chemistry in the black dragon, reaches and radiates profoundly into Life and humanity.

I am astonished with what I am learning today, of the Sword Form in the tao martial art.  I sometimes saw Barbara practice with her wooden sword.  Since October also, posting the Swords in the Sita Archive:  life was challenging and delicate to negotiate.   From the start, I knew the Suit of Swords is, in Hebrew, Beriah, Air, World of Creation.

avocado stone '94 j&d11

On Earth those blades of light are misunderstood.  They orchestrate great fields of Karmic weather pattern and their real gesture is beauty.   But they are sharp, like light through the trees, and we project onto them our fear, our clouds, our resistance, our wars, and so they appear to us dark and wounding … until we learn to forge our very own Sword of Light (through plunge of fire and water) layer by layer from Life itself.   Love, Light and Life.

In my life, the drawing near … is a gesture of the Sword form:  just about now, it begins to integrate fully. That is an interesting word!

bottic.mercury sketch

It always was so:  but I had to recreate the lens to see it.  Then through the lens, a deep past is perceived:   the resonance.  The lens, bringing two slides together, springs into life:  three dimensionally.   I saw last night on telly, Flinders Petrie do this (in the 19th century) with his magic photo box.   Basically, there are two identical pictures, and a hole for each eye to look through.  The left and right eye “slide” the pictures together, and suddenly I am in the full room with human-ness  – the depth of field.

The depth of field is an unknown PERCEPTION, and this may be practiced by looking at the depth of space and perspective between any two objects:  a chair and the chest of drawers:   my feet and a book lying open over there:   a swirl of leaves and their tree trunk.   This PERCEPTION when practiced, regulates our human endeavours and intimacies, for it slows down the desperate blind monkey. Just look at the space between … the things.  See between the thoughts, which all are constructed on A-Ka-Sha, interior space.

Ask?

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portrait of the artist

portrait of the artist

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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 inhttp://aryayogi.wordpress.com   The deck is copyrighted (c) 2011 to the publishers, Yogi Impressions Books pvt, and available also on Amazon and internationally.

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Jane 
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 2012-2014. 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/

 

Sacred India Tarot Archive – 7 and 8 of Arrows: Bheeshma’s Dharma

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Zain

Zain

Seven of Arrows – Rohit’s Notes

We need a picture of Bheeshma sitting on his seat of authority, while in the far corner three Kaurava plotters, out of his line of vision, are cooking up mischief against the Pandavas.  This was a generic behaviour pattern;  it does not even need to be specified which particular plot it was.  If we could show them attempting to guiltily shield themselves further from the old man’s gaze by holding up a screen of seven arrows, then we have captured the element of deceit and underhandedness that characterizes the card.”

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Sacred India Tarot - Seven of Arrows

Sacred India Tarot – Seven of Arrows

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Rohit’s Notes on Conspiracy – from the Book with the Deck: 
“Bheeshma enters a period where the rancour and envy of Duryodhana manifests in constant conspiracies against the Pandavas.  Out of deference, they intrigue furiously behind the Grandsire’s back, concealing their murderous intentions nevertheless poorly … … Nepotism as a cultural value triumphs over almost any other ethical imperative for a certain type of Indian, and is the Shadow of its famous familial strength.

“In one of his better moments of honest self appraisal, Duryodhana laments to Bheeshma, ‘Knowing the good I ignore it.  Recognising the bad, I nevertheless follow it.  My inherent nature is such.’

“The energy of this card is erratic, causing even sensible people to act strangely.  Matters complex and contradictory.  Restlessness, agitation, should be paid attention to.  The uncovering of plots and conspiracies, especially in office politics.   Act with stealth, cunning and strength to protect oneself, and keep cards close to the chest … Strategy forestalls the need for combat.”

Sacred India Tarot ace of arrows, detail

Sacred India Tarot ace of arrows, detail

Jane’s Notes
The failure of trust awakens war.  When I painted this card, I was struck by Rohit’s analogy that the conspirators should hold up a screen of seven arrows entangled.  It is like this lattice of red arrows which block the Ganga in the Ace.

The King however – meaning the Self – reflects uneasily, and in depth, the knotted shadows in his soul and lineage.  The burden of this King is his preparation for the future.  He carries the dharma of society.  The great civil war of the Mahabaratha broke out, and had to run its course.  The depth of human hell is like a root.  It seems to pull as by gravity, Krishna from the sky:  the Vishnu avatar represents the Dharma or cosmic law, enters the action and in due course prevails.   When we are in the dark, it is virtually impossible to see its opposite.

Reflect also on inevitable individual episodes of doubt, depression and fragmentation:  the locked-up paranoia, and what happens when it dispels: cautiously I behold the landscape around and illumining the small murk of my belief.
It is different from what I believed.

Rohit continues:  “The 7 of Arrows’ shadow is the thief – the theft of ideas, time, energy;  the conniving, manipulative politician.  A stealthy dangerous aura pervades the card, like a venomous serpent crossed with a fox … Inept and inefficient thieves, who cannot hold onto their plunder. … … Lock up your creative output well.  Where do you need to be a bit political?  What do you have that arouses envy?”

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Correspondence 13 September 2004 – Arrows 7 Feedback
“Dear Jane, Given below is Rohit’s feedback for Arrows 7.  We will put together the material on the Cups and let you have it as soon as possible.  We had sent an airmail with a Comic book and some references for the Arrows.  Please let me know if we need to resend. Warm regards, Gautam.”

“I like the look and feel of the card immensely. The creepy, deceitful aspect of the energy is conveyed well.  This card is one of the danger flags in the Tarot, and the sly deception practiced on those who are too noble to realise people can be very nasty indeed, is well brought out.  Psychologically, Jane has hit an extraordinary vein of authenticity in this suit.  A few minor points.  Bheeshma’s armour should always be silver. The blue wavy tinge is very appropriate for the Air element of the suit, but so is silver, and that is what he actually wore.  Next, his beard is fluctuating in dimensions.  In others, it seems fuller.  Otherwise the card is fine.”
“Rohit.”

Jane’s Notes:
While painting the Arrows suit, I got rather bogged down, and requested the material for the Cups/Lotuses, to lift things along a bit.  So I painted the Lotuses (tales of Siva and Parvati) alongside the remaining Arrows cards.  The next Arrows card, the 8, shows that increment of Shakti or feminine energy.

This Archive follows a slightly different order than the one in the book (Disks, Lotuses, Staves, Arrows).  It is determined by strong symbols arising towards the end of a suit, which indicated the next one, spontaneously.  Thus we have:  Disks, Lotuses and Arrows, Staves.

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Eight of Arrows – Bheeshma Offers his Life to Krishna

Sacred India Tarot 8 of Arrows, visual reference

Sacred India Tarot 8 of Arrows, visual reference

Krishna’s descent into the fray, with his Galactic Discus wheel, is a tremendous archetype. We see Bheeshma – representing the ego – voluntarily disable himself.  There are situations we are powerless to change.  Only the Upper Worlds have that dimension.

Rohit’s Notes for the card: 
“Bheeshma is attacked by Krishna and refuses to fight him.  The visual reference provided is terrible art (see above), but it does indeed convey what we are trying to communicate.  It should be a scene of carnage with a furiously energetic Krishna and an ecstatic Bheeshma, delighted he will get moksha (liberation) by being killed by the Lord. 

“The gorgeousness of the Thai costumes could be well brought out in this card:  Krishna could be a blaze of saffron yellow, and Bheeshma in blinding white.  Krishna should be extremely muscular, and if there is space he should be shown with Saiva markings on his forehead, as he used to pray to Siva before every day’s battle on the field of Kurukshetra.”

And from the book with the deck: 
“War has come to Hastinapur.  Bheeshma’s long life of sacrifice and peacemaking lies in ruins … His dreams shattered, he nevertheless fights for duty, loyalty, and because he is still Devavratha, son of an immortal, still invincible at this advanced age, hoping against hope to shame the foes into peace.  It is futile.  The Kings of India have leagued themselves into a Pandava camp, and they rend and devastate in a ghastly Gotterdammering.  An age, a civilization, is annihilating itself, and Bheeshma by a supreme irony leads the carnage.  The god Krishna has planned for this horrific outcome.  He wishes to dissolve a rapidly corrupting aristocracy, signally failing its nation, and replace it with a more benevolent, humanitarian Pandava rule … Krishna takes matters in his own hands, threatening to kill Bheeshma with a chariot wheel.

“… Death at Krishna’s hands is instant liberation for the soul – Bheeshma is tired of life and cannot believe his luck at being offered such a spectacular exit … His death is his grandchild Arjuna’s portion of fate.”

(Memo to Rohit – but Rohit, I thought Bheeshma didn’t have any children?)

“In a reading of this card, all 8’s are end-of-Karma cards.  The inspiration of intelligence to overcome crisis, but blood will be drawn.   Not much space to manoeuvre, but adequate.  Hold onto one thing, one thought, and it will show the way out.  Financially, a down phase, even a bad luck cycle.  Self imposed limitations can be discarded, veils pierced, so spiritually a high card;  when the going gets tough, the tough manage to escape.  Ask for help and heed the advice given.  This too shall pass.

“Are you in a co-dependent relationship?  Are you feeling sorry for yourself?  How is psychological paralysis rewarding you?” 

Sacred India Tarot, 8 of Arrows - Bheeshma offers his Life to Krishna

Sacred India Tarot, 8 of Arrows – Bheeshma offers his Life to Krishna

A chariot wheel consumed by fire in the background, represents the battle and the demolition of the old.  Bheeshma was, all his long life, an end-of-Karma 8-of-Arrows character. He put himself beyond the breeding-line, but he bore the epic Consciousness.   His full destiny awakes, together with his physical fear, as he welcomes eye to eye, the god who slays him.  The sword – representing lineage – topples from his hand.  The Wheel of divine Dharma replaces the wheel of human carnage.

Correspondence from Rohit and Gautam
Dear Jane, in addition to our earlier mail regarding adding the palm tree on the shield, Rohit asked me to mention that he just remembered the palm tree is to be depicted along with 5 stars.  Regards, Gautam.”

I didn’t rectify this, so the shield remains with three stars.  Originally it was blank.

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Krishna and Arjuna

Krishna and Arjuna

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I now attach these thoughts by Jung, because Rohit in India was a student of his work long before I became so.  One of the things which most impressed me when we began the project, was Rohit’s deep comprehension of the Jungian Archetypes, and their equivalent in Indian mythology.  I recognised them in his east-west Tarot translation.

When I was aspiring to my highest worldly power, the spirit of the depths sent me nameless thoughts and visions, that wiped out the heroic aspiration in me as our time understands it.

C.G.Jung, The Red Book

Jung photo2

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Ice when a Companion treads the pond,
seeking the sunken Sword,
cracks, splinters and sighs.

ice-swords

ice-swords

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“Incapacity prevents further ascent. Greater height requires greater virtue.  We do not possess it.  We must first create it by learning to live with our incapacity.  We must give it life.  For how else shall it develop into ability?  We cannot slay our incapacity and rise above it.  But … incapacity will overcome us and demand its share of life.  Our ability will desert us …  Yet it is no loss but a gain, not for outer trappings however, but for inner capability.  The one who learns to live with his incapacity has learned a great deal.”

Ibid

(Yes, indeed!   Thus the shatterings, and being human).

Jung/Philemon said of the spirit of the times, during the first War:  “If all heroism is erased, we fall back into the misery of humanity and into even worse.  Our foundations will be caught up in excitement since our highest tension, which concerns what lies outside us, will stir them up. (see media and cellphone technology).  We will fall into the cesspool of our underworld, among the rubble of all the centuries in us.”   (See the present crises.)  … “the black serpents and the reddish sun of the depths” (the rise of Nazism then to come).  In the Red Book, this is followed by a remarkable transcending dialogue:  the paradox of God – the significance of the Whole, above small concepts of the perfect.

No one has my God, but my God has everyone, including myself … So it is always only the one God, despite his multiplicity.  You arrive at him in yourself, and only through your Self seizing you.  It seizes you in the advancement of your life.”

There is something deeply detached in prophesying the seemingly everlasting human hells, as a natural human syntax.   For the hells are actually ephemeral.  They are engraved in our habitual speech and expectation.  At any moment can be chosen the eternal non-existence of the hells.  Create Reality.   It is paradoxical, for the healer sits with the wounded.   Companions of the soul.

The Heroic is the power to discriminate:  to use the Sword correctly and with precision.

“Consequently you sin against incapacity.  But incapacity exists.  No one should deny it, find fault with it, or shout it down.”

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Tai Ch'i movement

I am not a Tai Ch’i practitioner, but I intuit something of the Sword Form in this art:  and the fluid dantien in the belly around which it flows.

That point is gravity. It is surely no coincidence that Rohit initially requested a more far-Eastern flavour in the suit of Arrows/Swords.  I did not really fulfill this at the time.

The Swords, as I described earlier in this series, are the play of Light:  swords of sunlight through the dark woods, or in and out of clouds:  on the ground we play with sticks and stones.  The Sword form as a martial art, flows as the Air.

grail trees

grail trees

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Last weekend, came some understanding, and I wrote:
“Move with the movement, keeping still, move with the Tao in its flow of balancing, re-equilibrating.  What seems dark to you is the water moving, and nature’s exquisite tendency to flow in and out of stress-points.   Sitting on the nub of what seems to be depression and insecurity, is a place from which to view the ebb and flow of life;  without judgement, including the mood, without the mood:  Tao is uncertainty.  Don’t make it an enemy.”

Cup and sword

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The still, small voice
connects.

If you look HERE
you find.

If you play with your sword
you won’t ;  but I’m HERE
our bridge.

You may not hear
what touches you

but HERE, my songs
in your tree, are lovebirds.

from Poems of Eclipse, 1999

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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 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 2012-2014. 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/

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

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Rippling

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:

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and see also … http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bx7PjENSQG4 – “On the yogic saying Naveenam Naveenam Shanneh Shanneh” – which is the video I originally pasted here.

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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.

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Sacred India Tarot - the Five of Arrows

Sacred India Tarot – the Five of Arrows

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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.

flickriver.com photos jackandjo 4378319759

flickriver.com 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:

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Gryffindor_sword_lake_scene-300x209

I love the aspect-angles in this photo

I love the aspect-angles in this photo

Ice painting - idiotic-hat.blogspot.co.uk/2009_01_01_archive.html

Ice painting –  http://idiotic-hat.blogspot.co.uk/2009_01_01_archive.html

I found this photo in http://phoenixweasley.wordpress.com  – 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.

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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

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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.”

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Sacred India Tarot Six of Arrows

Sacred India Tarot Six of Arrows

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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.”

“Rohit”

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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.

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“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? 

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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.

tumblr_myopprOQFC1s030vgo1_500

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

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

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ocean-seagull-Josh-Blash-10-18-2013-Rye-NH-e1388406612861

ocean seagull at moonrise, photo by Josh Blash

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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   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 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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Sacred India Tarot Archive – Creation of 2 of Arrows: Bheeshma’s Training

This post includes a tribute to the late Doris Lessing..

Krishna drives the chariot:  Arjuna aims the arrow - detail from Sacred India Tarot Arcanum 7

Krishna drives the chariot: Arjuna aims the arrow – detail from Sacred India Tarot Arcanum 7

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In Tarot, the suit of Swords represents the celestial Dharma which we experience in our earth-humanity as the Karmic battleground.   Dharma is the law of growth, ripeness and change.   In India the Sanatana Dharma very broadly down the millenia, is the Way of the Good, the way which works through nature and humanity.

Karma is the revealed action and reaction:  the visible play of swords.

I am in a period of personal turbulence, which is not surprising when touching the energies of this Suit.   I try my utmost to hold the pieces together;  in fact they all fit together perfectly!   No stone is left unturned.

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Visual reference from comic book, for SITA 2 of Arrows - Parushurama trains Bheeshma Parashuruma

Visual reference from comic book, for SITA 2 of Arrows – Parushurama trains Bheeshma Parashuruma

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Rohit’s Notes (2004) – Bheeshma’s Early Training – Parashurama versus Bheeshma

“They are at a deadlock, as his skill matches his teacher’s, and prefigures the later inconclusive fight they have.  His father is glumly watching this training combat, as he realises he will never be as great as his son.  That explains a lot about Shantanu’s cruelty to his son later.  Since Parashurama was a Rishi, he can be depicted in traditional style, but somewhere around, his huge battle axe should be visible, as his very name is derived from that …  Bheeshma is still a young man here.  We could have a classic two arrows crossed in mid air, to represent the blocked or static feel of the Two of Swords.”

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At this point, I would like to include a Tarot Celtic Cross reading done for me in 1974.  In 1988, I drew two maps of the same reading.  I was working out laws of reincarnation, which are no different from the way thoughts “arise, settle, change and vanish”, in the mind right now.   There isn’t space here to go into what it was all about in my life then.  What interests me, is the polar tension of the Two of Swords:  they resound as cymbals: the symbol.   Abstract images like this, struck my profound chords of feeling:

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A few months later in that year, I discovered my “working form” – the Tree of Life.  I was  curious about magnetic equilibrium, polarities, masculine/feminine and the waiting fertile ground and its problems in rebirth:  the work of the soul.  I saw an interaction of The Fool (ego) and The King of Swords (entity) in the self:  it featured the Ace, Two, Four and Seven of Swords, together with 6,7 and 2 of Pentacles and the World (represented by a wreath).

Here is another interesting sketch in the same red notebook:

Fool and Priestess 1988.  The Priestess was in an earlier reading.

Fool and Priestess 1988. The Priestess was in an earlier reading.

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An interlude.  Today’s general news is that Doris Lessing died, age 94;  this portrait to honour her: 

 

In the two initial sketches, I am fascinated by the woman’s age – 94 – and its weathered beauty.   What will be my essence when I am very old, like that?  What will yours be?  I embrace someone or something I don’t know.   “Thou art infinite:  no words can tell”.  A conversion is a conversation.  An alchemist’s daily business is to extract essence.   

She was a great lady, and I feel she passes over to become one of the Guardians.  For this reason I include this impression of her, in this SITA post.   Sketching her, I feel her a little inside, and I catch sight of an old Sufi Master.  

Doris Lessing, a Universe:  what vast universi people are!  Their immense and unique frames of discourse and of life matters and of countries, politics, sexuality and vision – rub elbows – the daily stuff of washing up and caring for her elderly son who died three weeks ago.  Death as always brings an intimate contact in the subtle body:  an appraisal:  a silent knowledge.  That soul now moves into the atoms everywhere.   Prana.   I am breathing her.  Prana is the conscious breath of Life.

In western Tarot the Sword guides destiny.  It is in Key 11 Justice, and in Key 6 The Lovers (as the Hebrew letter ZAIN: Sword).  It is also in Key 10 The Wheel – in the Sphinx’s paws.

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Additionally in the news today: the UK government at long last agreed to act, to block and close down child-abuse and child-pornography websites.  The inertia there was outrageous.

This is topical for me at present.  I suffered psychic and emotional abuse;  I know persons who were sexually abused.   The damage – particularly to a child – can retard social development, for it afflicts an area in the front of the brain.   Under attack, or under its triggers, I am mute and stupefied – the words don’t come.  Then there is an anguish that I didn’t defend myself:  that I allowed a lie.   My therapy is to write – it brings me through: it joins up broken threads.   It puts me in touch with an objective wisdom and humour; a field of insight is illumined.  True or false?

Persons who suffered or witnessed abuse, do an immense amount of inner work for the rest of their life.   The inner work, when undertaken, connects with every other individual on Gaia Earth who is doing likewise.  Paradoxically, the ordeal which initially isolates, becomes a bonding agent.   Subconsciously, we may have volunteered into this field of growth and extended humanity.  The agonizing life situations were part of the deal.   I repeat this, because it really is my bottom line.   The Black Raven – the negrido – is essential to alchemy.

raven

We never “get over the pain” – but we transform with it.  The pain of the abuse is not contained in one life, it goes back into the centuries, collectively.   To sum up what I do:  I try to bring my coals out into the light, where they slowly turn to pearls.  I shake out the old rug and let the sun get in.   It is a healing work, in solidarity with all healers.

The Tarot suit of Swords – the Sacred India Tarot’s suit of Arrows – has a difficult press, because its lessons can be painful.   The play of swords in the Creational world appears beautiful, like shards of sunlight in a forest clearing.   The process there is four-dimensioned;  it returns through an entire Mahabharath, the Gita and the song of arms, to Source:  a vast clearing-operation in history.    In this suit, Lord Krishna – avatar of Vishnu the Sustainer –  is the ultimate Dharma instrument.   The Archetype enters our world when we are in dire straits.

This is no mere fairytale.   We live out our destiny, mostly blind to its wider implications …  Behind the worst moments in my twenties, I knew an angel smiled!

An angel raises the Captive Knight from a well of lifetimes

An angel raises the Captive Knight from a well of lifetimes

In the western tradition, sword-play illustrates medieval chivalry and the quest for the Grail:  the orders of Knighthood:  the Round Table.

In the Psychological and Physical worlds, through lifetimes, I encounter those sharp points;  I make terrible errors;  I live to rue and to transmute them in space and time.  I live to grow, to understand and to become more humane.

I learn also … not to exaggerate!   but to rediscover, and keep perspective:  proportion:   compassion.

(See my Watershed Tale – The Knight )

Here is the finished card:  The Training of Bheeshma

Sacred India Tarot, 2 of Arrows - Bheeshma's training

Sacred India Tarot, 2 of Arrows – Bheeshma’s training

In the book which goes with the deck, Rohit writes:

“The young Bheeshma – known as Devavratha in his youth –  is being trained further in the martial art of Kalari-payyattu, still extant in India after millenia, by its legendary founder, the Brahmin warrior-sage Parashurama, avatar of Vishnu.

“… The irascible avatar hated the warrior caste of Kshatriyas, yet condescended to train the young prince, awed as all else were, by his supreme prowess.  Bheeshma has just fought his invincible enemy to an impasse.  This inspiring scene of the greatest master successfully transmitting his skill to his most brilliant pupil, has a calamity encoded within.”

As we saw in the Ace of Arrows, the young Bheeshma held back the Ganga waters with a raft of arrows.

“Years later, the wrathful Parashurama will come championing the cause of the Princess Amba.  His conflict with Bheeshma is a variant of the irresistible force meeting the immovable object, and the very world is in danger of being consumed by such titans.

“What seems to be a moment of reconciliation and social harmony, will deepen the fissures further in the future between the dominant social classes.  The spiritually evolved Shantanu (Bheeshma’s father) seems unaware of the horrendous cost lying in ambush.  

“There is also some ambivalence in Shantanu’s admiration.  He has just realised his son will effortlessly outshine him in all aspects of life, and the knowledge must be bitter for a supreme ruler.  Some form of pain is inevitable as the Karmic price for such knowledge and ability.”

This statement concords with my sense that the Swords or Arrows “improve the breeding stock” while inflicting the pain and labour of progress and change.

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Rohit continues:  “In a reading, the Two of Arrows is an attempt to resolve insoluble conflicts:  resolute application of positive thinking against the evidence … head and heart in contention with equally compelling reasons. … Any action is better than this stuck feeling.  A curious meaning of the card is good friendships and/or imperfect reconciliations… 

“Shadow:  a stalemate or false balance in an impossible situation – extricating oneself will cause pain – this card is not known as ‘The Scissors’ for nothing … Illusion of stagnation – it is actually a time of dangerous developments – Lies told for mistaken advantage … …  What is the one thing nagging you the most, that you refuse to bring into the light of day?  Focus on solving just one thing, not everything.”

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Rohit’s reflections affirm my past experience of the Two of Swords as an impasse situation.  I love his expression: ‘the calamity encoded within’.  When I was young, I set out blithely into an extremely challenging relationship-terrain.  I am aware, while writing this post, of the pressure, the push and pull of the Archetypes, the slowly melting tension of that Two of Swords:  a symbol crash of cymbals:  the concentric fallout from that time.

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redqueen-1

“The oak tree – with the red queen pulling Alice along – is too vast to be run past, however fast you run.   The oak tree is your entire life and understanding.”  (Lighthouse Keeper Part One)

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We take our time – we do time – with what Beriah (the Upper World) creates for an instant unfolding:  space.   So the Swords above are beautiful;  and here below, they are problems, whose resolution and beauty as a whole,  is intuited just beyond the horizon.

So Jacob wrestled the Angel.

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**

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   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 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/

Sacred India Tarot Archive – Creation of Ace of Arrows/Swords

Guardian angel or deva, 1991

Guardian angel or deva, 1991

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Almost a month since my “Preamble to the Suit of Arrows“!  … where Rohit’s Introduction to the suit, and why he used the Bheeshma episode in the Mahabaratha may be read.

Additionally, to sum up:  in my view, the Arrows or Swords represent the play of Light in creation over and above and permeating … the Karmas in the world which carry out the action over many generations.   This applies to a series of lifetimes, or to the birth-pangs of a society.

The engraving below, shows the stuff going on in our physical and psychological universe, and the astonished wonder of the pilgrim when he breaks through the starry veil to the Laws behind our patterns and beliefs.

There is the divine engineering:  it falls to the slow interfacing with human evolution to rectify apparent discords among the divine prototypes.  We work in tandem, but often without clear vision.  The levels do not always blend;  the friction manifests at the level between the outer battlefield and interior progress.

old Kabbalah engraving

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Rohit’s Notes (2004) – “Ace – Bheeshma blocking the Ganga”  “This is the discovery of his son by King Shantanu.  Bheeshma, still known by his first name of Devavratha, is playfully holding back the Ganges, by building a dam of arrows across the flowing river. He should be depicted about to release a single arrow into the river already dammed up by his shafts. 

“If there was any way to depict the river as the fluid body of a woman, or as a stream which coagulates at a far corner into the serene face of Ganga, taking pride in the prowess of her son, it would be wonderful. 

Kailas and foothills

“We need lots of blues and white in the card, and indeed in all the cards of the suit.  Shantanu can be seen on the opposite bank, amazed at the wonderful young man.  Bheeshma should always be clad in pure blinding white, to represent his complete life long chastity and sinless nature, as well as the somewhat naive and innocent side to his nature that never left him.  

“Also he was first a warrior and then a spiritual giant, so at all times of life he should be represented as exceedingly muscular.  The English Longbow had an average pull of 180 pounds.  Bheeshma’s bow could not be strung by anyone else – no exceptions.  That takes tremendous upper body strength.”

Visual reference - the young Bheeshma holds back the Ganga with a mesh of arrows.  From an excellent book of strip-cartoons on Indian mythology which Rohit sent to me for imagery and ideas

Visual reference – the young Bheeshma holds back the Ganga with a mesh of arrows. From a book of strip-cartoons on Indian mythology which Rohit sent to me for imagery and ideas.

“What is found here – is every where. 
What is not here – is found no where.”

Ved Vyasa, around 1700 BCE

In Rohit’s book with the Sacred India Tarot deck, he states challengingly:

“The Mahabharata begins with misbehaviour in heaven and ends with catastrophe on earth … … It is one of those beloved boxes within boxes tales, each story links to another and yet another, until you realise that to know this tale is to understand comprehensively the Indian Weltenschauung.  Every Indian, including those who are not Hindus, seems to know the major section of the narrative by a process of cultural osmosis.  The characters and incidents have been internalised to an extent that is simply incredible …  

The story of Bheeshma, narrated in the Suit of Arrows, provides the unifying thread in this bewilderingly glorious tapestry.  Bharat his ancestor, was the first emperor of mythic India, and the epic named after him deals with the transformation of the spirit of the age – the Yuga – from the Dwapana Yuga to the present Kali Yuga.  It is a process that sees righteousness and virtue decline to a quarter of the world’s consciousness from an even scale in the preceding Yuga.  The old world dies and with it, its values;  what will the new world bring that justifies such ruin? 

Kabbalah 1989 blade

“Thus the Mahabharatha is the centre of a rapidly transforming world, where old certainties don’t work, and which, abandoning all values, thrums out a seductive promise of apparent success.  The intelligent characters in the epic are agonised at the world they are both dissolving and creating – much concerned with morals and ethics, with ways of being, with value systems, with good governance, with the position of women in society, with the seductions of worldly glory and the irresistible call of the Spirit to renounce the world for the greater glory of God and, above all, with the very definition of what constitutes virtue itself.  These are eternal human verities and account for the perennial grip the epic has on the Indian mind.”

In other words:  a preoccupation with the laws of conduct, in harmony with the cosmos.  Through the epic, Lord Krishna takes up arms as divine warrior for the Dharma here on Earth.

He “articulates one of the most potent spiritual concepts ever known, the doctrine of Nishkama Karma – desireless action as a practice of Yoga.  It has only assumed greater significance and validity as human life continues, ever more complex and overwhelming.  There is no need to retreat from the world, one can creatively engage with it and force the vicissitudes of life to provide the catalytic ingredients for a vibrant spiritual awareness.”

Looking at our own lives, we may see what challenged us, and made us grow.   The message throughout the suit of Arrows/Swords is not comfortable, but creative.

Sacred India Tarot - Ace of Arrows

Sacred India Tarot – Ace of Arrows

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What is Bheeshma doing here – powerfully endowed in his upper body, as is told ?  What cosmic movement is slowed down and impeded, to enable the enactment on Earth?  There has to be a “working together”, it seems.  Mother Ganga has seen it all:  she gazes right through the event and all its titans, into eternity.  Water becomes always its own.  The fallen arrows form a lattice, a mesh, a weave, conforming the great waters in a gorge, to the slings and arrows of human fortune.

I have a recurring image of a river which is held back for a while, by a dam of twigs, leaves and debris … even a civilization.  In due course, She loosens the epic impediment, piece by piece, and the waters are released, carrying it with them, with a tremendous force.

Annapurna

Annapurna

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When I painted this card I was – not surprisingly – aware with the eternal feminine, and of the male effort throughout his-story to shape and confine her-story to his belief.   She is the Daughter of the Mountain, and older by far, than any tale.   The River is the movement of the Mountain from the Sky.

The young Bheeshma by blocking his Mother Ganga, is harnessing his feminine nature … for a position in history. Rohit asked me to depict him and other characters in a Balinese way, to indicate the universality of the epic.  (But in the later cards, I reverted to the Indian warrior type.) The Mahabharat in the osmosis of every Indian child, appeals to each recognition of ourselves in the human race.  The name “Bharat” is “India” which we all carry in our bloodstream.  An English friend of mine watches the movie of it whenever she is feeling stressed out, because it gives her a strange peace.  As in the greatest fairy tales, she observes the denizens of the Dark and of the Light in their proper confrontation.

The young Bheeshma by blocking the Ganga, looks down upon an epic war:  the interwoven strategies of the Arrows.  He now aims his bow into one spot, which will pinion all the rest in position.  Such is destiny.

I just noticed a rainbow in his bow … the gate of primordial fire, water, air.  His feet are planted in the rock, which is earth.  She is his Mother.

As Rohit writes – “The casual and skilful expression of supernatural ability announces a heroic destiny, but his Divine mother’s sombre countenance, exulting in his prowess, yet serious, shows more than mere maternal apprehension.  The gods know best this truth.  Deep is the flow of Karma; and Destiny may bring change of a startling nature…

“The Ace of Arrows always has this sense of cool, irresistible power, but those who wield it very often find its might is uncontrollable.  It has a habit of rocketing to the precise point in your Karmic life-path that you do not wish to engage with, that being contrary to self-image or desire.  The Ace of Arrows is very high in spiritual energy, and in spiritual rewards given, but its methods cause trauma even to the most accomplished …  

“What intellectual input can you bring to bear on this situation?  What do you need to give up, let go?”

SITA ace arrows Mother Ganga

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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 http://aryayogi.wordpress.com   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 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/