Sacred India Tarot Archive – 3 & 4 of Staves: Dislodging Ravana

Visual Reference - Ravana

Visual Reference – Ravana

Continuing this series from the Sacred India Tarot Archive, the creation of Two of Staves – it is extraordinary what may befall an intellectual and spiritual giant who wears too many hats.


visual reference sent by rohit

visual reference sent by rohit

Rohit Arya’s Notes – 2003
“Three of Wands/Staves – Ravana rejects good counsel.  The illustration is good enough to serve as the basic template, except that Ravana is to look angrier.  He does not realise that finally he has found somebody who has the strength and ability to stand up to him, something his counsellors realise only too well, but he is still banking on past glory to see him through.  The three wands could be three flaming torches that illumine the scene.”


ravana_jpg_rzd_by Rachael Mayo


Rohit’s remarks on the hubris that can overwhelm the spiritually gifted are so interesting, that I quote them here, in full:

From Rohit’s Book on the Deck
“Ravana, a shape-shifting sorcerer, manifests his fearsome, ten-headed, many-armed form in his outrage.  He has been truthfully told that Rama and his army are invincible, but he dislikes such honesty.  He has been the greatest warrior of the age, the very gods have submitted to his power, and the entire universe pays tribute to Lanka.  Never has such power and glory been seen in the world.  To have to bend before mere humans (rakshashas eat them when in the mood!) and with Vanara allies, is an intolerable humiliation. 

“Ravana was actually a Brahmin rakshasa, the greatest scholar of his time, having written treatises on ayurveda, the performing arts, and on machines of war.  His titanic power arose from the fact that he was a great devotee of Siva, and was capable of tremendous tapasya (spiritual austerities).  His Siva Tandava Stotram is one of the greatest devotional hymns known to man. 

“It is difficult for such a being not to have an inflated sense of self.  Faced with Rama, his equal in every way, and another great devotee of Siva, he simply could not summon the awareness that in kidnapping Sita, he had committed a blunder that would devastate his people. 

Danda stave

“A person who has been supernaturally successful is immune to any suggestion that does not please.  In Ravana’s case, nothing failed him as much as his success.  The brightly flaring Staves are Kala Danda – the staff of time, the remorseless chastisement of hubris that descends upon one in the grip of hamartia – the talent and force of personality that takes you to the pinnacle and is the seed of your ultimate destruction.  Ravana is succumbing to the Shadow side of the card.

If this card appears in a reading: 

“Light – the first great success in life:  take decisive action, knowledge is power.  Seek advice and counsel – need for a global perspective.  Enterprising and creative phase.  Good health … and writers have a creative purple patch.

“Shadow – Complacency and arrogance because of early success.  Addicted to euphoria and to dangerous risks.  Toxic arrogance – promising leads and ventures are deflated.  Outright failure and defeat.  Do not offend people around you, as you will need them soon. The past is catching up with you;  is that good news or bad news?

sita four of staves visual reference ravana 2


Jane’s Notes
My impression is of the fragmenting or disintegration of a citadel of wisdom.  The ageless wisdom is simple: knowledge about it gathers complexity like a wheel through mud.  It accumulates priesthoods to maintain, maidenly trophies to win, and properties to defend.

Here is the finished card:

Sacred India Tarot Three of Wands - Ravana rejects counsel

Sacred India Tarot Three of Wands – Ravana rejects counsel


Kala Danda is the staff of time.  Within it is coiled the cyclic time of global tide and rotation. In the ancient world, the staff of life transmitted an electric currency of healing or destruction, as harnessed by its user.


It is said that the 4 sacred volumes of Hermes, containing the laws, science and theology of Egypt, correspond to 4 volumes of the Vedas, which the Puranas say were carried into Egypt by the Yadavas at the first emigration to that country from Hindustan.

If we travel any of the great sacred rivers upstream, we find their common source.  Who came first, the chicken or the egg?  the Vedic Hymns or upper Egypt?

Osiris and Thoth with "staves" of power and life

Osiris and Thoth with “staves” of power and life



Part Two – Four of Staves:  Ravana’s Brother Defects to Rama

sita four of staves visual reference

This depicts Ravana’s dislodged power as it leaves him through an emissary – his own brother negotiates with Rama.

Rohit Arya’s Notes 2003
“The illustration shows Rama promising to protect Vibheeshana, brother of Ravana against the advice of his monkey allies.  Rama’s hand is in abhaya mudra;  Vibheeshana is the figure with folded hands, third from left.

From Rohit’s Book with the Deck
“Vibheeshana, youngest brother of Ravana, has defected to Rama’s camp.  His irascible brother has just threatened to kill him, if he continued to remonstrate about the kidnapping of Sita and the annihilation awaiting them.  Vibheeshana knows that Rama is an avatar of Vishnu and invincible.  He also understands that not a stone of Lanka will be left standing, nor one rakshasha left alive to weep over the ruins, if the mad folly of Ravana continues unabated.

“To save his race and their civilisation, he seeks refuge with Rama … Vibheeshana has been granted enlightenment and immortality by Brahma, but he is still a fearsome looking rakshasha.  Even his name means ‘Terrible to behold’.  The Vanaras are suspicious of his defection.  Rakshashas are notorious for cannibalism, genocide and plunder, not for wisdom and enlightenment …  Their suspicion changes to puzzlement when Rama nobly accepts the plea of Vibheeshana … promising to spare all non-combatant rakshashas and crowning Vibheeshana king of the new golden city, instead of annexing it to his own kingdom. 

In a reading:
“Light – Auspicious and propitious: feelings of joy and celebration.  Relax and wait, as success is there.  The card of the builder and decorator.  Favourable interventions by seniors and powerful people:  happy marriages. 

“Shadow – Delays.  Property dealings are especially hampered.  Unmerited anxiety, tension and nervousness – a break or gap in work or career;  holding back out of fear.  Success is certain, but may be delayed.  What foundations can you lay now, that will endure?


Sacred India Tarot, Four of Staves - Rama welcomes Vibheeshana

Sacred India Tarot, Four of Staves – Rama welcomes Vibheeshana



Rohit’s Feedback to Three and Four of Staves:
Wand 3While the feeling of the demons scattering before the petulant wrath of Ravana is clear, there does not seem to be a clear focal point to the card.  The demons in the foreground are perhaps too distracting.  Perhaps they could be replaced with a couple of demons on chairs ringed round the demon king, holding their heads because they know their master has condemned all of them to destruction?   

“The Ravana itself is a powerful and fascinating figure, but the card seems to be hanging somewhat in a context-less limbo.  Should we make the Ravana bigger and neater (more complete in regions like the crown and lower torso?)  It looks a bit unfinished compared to the other cards.”

(I do not recall if I altered this card or not.  We may have agreed it should stay the same, depicting an unstable situation where the shakti power held tightly by the demonic empire, begins to release.  An abyss opens up before Ravana’s throne.)

Rohit continues:  “Wand 4 – This is a very lovely card, and the observant and puzzled monkey is a delightful touch.  I would not change any of it.  I especially like the fact that Vibheeshana though a good demon, is nevertheless still a demon and looks grotesque.  It adds a very sharp edge to Rama’s unconditional extension of grace and protection granted to all who ask, even demons.


Jane’s Notes
Yes – there is a beauty in confronting these strange beings of the underworld.

Meeting - 1987

An interesting psychological point concerning demons:  they are forces of energetic consciousness, and they are not always negative.  The Yoga Vasishta teems with stories of great demons who attained to holiness through the force of their spiritual concentration – every raw force in the subconscious psyche has capacity to transform and to transmute.

The Greek daemon is a creative expression.

The child-hobbits to the right, are descending to the alchemical region below the forces of Karma which play on the surface landscape.  1987

The child-hobbits to the right, are descending to the alchemical region below the forces of Karma which play on the surface landscape. 1987

The demons in Lanka faced destruction through their king’s arrogance.  Up to this point, they were effective guardians in the balance of nature.


photo by tarananda shiva

photo by tarananda shiva





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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.

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

The Story of a Professor and the Sphinx



Herr Doktor David Wiseacre adjusted his pince-nez.  Carefully he set his right palm under his bearded chin, and placed his elbow firmly on his oak desk, forming a pedestal like Rodin’s Le Penseur.

One can almost hear the mental machinery grinding.  Finely tuned electronics whirr in his furrowed brow.  A trapped fly buzzes up and down the window pane;  he is oblivious – the professor ponders the pendulum between points of view.

Dr.Wiseacre is the highly respected Professor Emeritus of advanced Metaphysics at the ancient University of Tubingen.  He is the pride of the German academic establishment. They regard him as a genius, arguably the most outstanding since Albert Einstein, whom by comparison, many have considered a bit of a dolt.  Some even believe he’s a reincarnation of the great Immanuel Kant, the Sage of Magdeburg.  World opinion has held that he outshone all his predecessors in the noble tradition of Western hyper-idealism.  His book The Core Questions Beyond Paranormal Metaphysics was hailed as a universal masterpiece, a superb ‘a priori intellectualisation’ of the highest order. There had been nothing like it since the ‘Critique of Pure Reason’.

How does my cat see me? - (circa 1968) - human paw and twiddle finger to food

How does my cat see me? – (circa 1968) – human paw and twiddle finger to food


For certain reasons best known to him, three years ago Dr Wiseacre chose to abandon all this excitement, and to make his home in London.  Perhaps the celebrity has palled.  A study of the Stoics directed him to a more austere environment, where he could enjoy the Recession.   He was recommended to a villa overlooking Holders Hill Park; she keeps a kosher house.  The rent was rather high, and the room needs decorating, but his bursary is generous;  he settled immediately, and enriched his reflections on the home ground of Bacon’s English School, whose distinguished heirs – Locke, Berkeley, Hume and Russell –  have further teased western thought along the diligent generations.

Indeed, he occasionally leaves his desk to stroll into the park and enjoy the air.  For from the window of his back bedsitter, a prospect of green meadows, a rolling golf course and seminars of graceful, feathered trees, extending to a good-natured horizon, invites him.

But to-day the Professor is glum and down cast, behind the glass.  His native Teutonic abstractions have the upper hand, and his head aches.   He has collided with a great problem which threatens to undermine the magnificent cast iron structure of his conceptual linguistic analysis, which he built – his lifetime’s work.   A worm is eating him!   Recently, he began to suspect that this world in which he lives, has no substantial or material reality whatsoever.  What is more, he is the only so called ‘mind’, and he exists in some kind of weird phantasmagorical dream!  The notion won’t go away, and it is upsetting him.  The fine view from the window is all in the mind.  A fly is buzzing – ach!

He pondered some more, and then suddenly moved over to his Toshiba and began to briskly bang the keys. These will be his preparatory notes for the address he will deliver to the conference on the “Ultimate State of Consciousness Studies”.  It is being held in honour of the great Arthur Schopenhauer, no less, this coming summer in Geneva.

Arthur Schopenhauer

Arthur Schopenhauer


He wrote:                 “AM I THE SOLE DREAMER?

‘I believe that I am pure infinite absolute consciousness-awareness-bliss.  That is my true nature, or the Self.”

Nah!  Nein! he thought, pushing back his chair.  Das ist not guttWhoever told you that?  Locke has held that the …  At that moment, something soft brushed his calf;  he started, looked down and saw his landlady’s cat Sabina, tail in the air.  She gets in through the bathroom window.   “Go, go away, pussy!”  He read the sentence again, without comprehension, tried to concentrate, but found his mind wandering;  his hands tapped out:

“… Unfortunately this primordial truth has been obscured by my many latent egotistic tendencies accumulated in this and possibly previous lives.

“However, I know that I exist.  This causes the light of my pure Consciousness to arise and to mirror these latent tendencies and egotism.  Therefore, the world, body, and mind that appear to me are actually unreal, like some dream projected on my screen of pure Consciousness. Am I therefore the sole dreamer of that dream?   Are the so called ‘others’ merely dream figures in my preordained dream of life?

The professor struck the “Save” key, and leaned back in his creaky chair.  This is arguably an accurate proposition.  The cat Sabina is pulling his trouser leg;  she is about to leap up into his lap.  When he first moved in to Mrs Felsenberg’s, Sabina was still a kitten, and absently he allowed her to sit on his knee while he was working;  the tapping keys became her lullaby;  absently also, he would stroke her while wrestling a difficult point.  Now he can’t get rid of her!   Grudgingly, he gave in, for it is too much trouble to break his thread, and put her out.  She leaps, scrabbles, lands, and kneads his thin thighs with her claws while she rotates, to settle her bed.  Ach!  Ow!   Stoically, he endures.  Systematically she subsides, and purrs.  The professor’s mind races on:

“This is not exactly a philosophic solipsism, such as the famed Bishop George Berkeley and others propounded ‘de novo’.   It is much more sophisticated.

8a sphinx 1

“2.            A WARNING
While still holding onto the ‘I am the sole Dreamer’ notion, keeping it in mind, I must always live and behave as if the apparent dream and the dream figures I seem to perceive are other than myself, and therefore real. The dream figures are conditioned in my predetermined dream world to react aggressively, if my behaviour does not conform with what is regarded as ‘normality’ by them;  i.e. if I do not act as if their dream world was Real.

The dream world imposes consequences on the ‘sole dreamer’ who does not conform to its predetermined character, or behave as if it was real.  Such is the nature of this mental delusion.”

He paused again.  Now he is far away among the distant trees.  He is stroking Sabina’s soft fur, again and again, rhythmically.  Her pleasure warms his fingertips and palm.  The sensation barely registers cognitively;  yet sensuously it prevails.  Abstract cognition is his freedom.  She quietens and prepares his mind.  A range of snowy mountains excitingly beckons him;  like a chamois he leaps from crag to crag.  The cat stretches, yawns sharp teeth, flexes claws again.  From the accomplices in pleasure, the web spins on and on …

“Solipsistic delusion is one of the powers inherent in the organ of cognition –  to delude the human being, that the so called world appears as a dream or hallucination – a mountain, a cloud or a lump in the ground.  This is because, built into the organ of my cognition, brain and senses, are a priori conditioned reflexes of Time, Space and Causality. Every sentient being creates his or her own universe, from the mosquito to the chimpanzee, according to the structure of its organ of cognition …” 


What?  A childhood memory is knocking at the door.  His mother told him that a stoat and a weasel are –  ach, then what was it?

“In the human being, the inbuilt mechanism of space creates the three dimensional theatre or screen of consciousness on which the pre-programmed dream unfolds. This unfolding of 32 frames a second in perception, gives an impression of events happening in a temporal sequence like a cinema film.  It is compounded by the observation of changes apparently taking place, in the so called natural forces, as seen in this life dream. The causal faculty deduces a reason for these so called ‘happenings’, which may be accurate or inaccurate.   The ‘me’ acts accordingly in response.”

brean down

He is still searching – that enticing little valley – yes!  That visit to the fortifications at the end of Brean Down.  He was a child, on holiday with his parents in the English west country.  The war-time fort is rusted by the sea;  in spring the returning swallows swoop down Brean and skim the Bristol Channel waves, as they skid home like arrows, to Wales.  He and his brother Benjamin played the siege of Sebastopol through concrete bunkers cracked by dandelions;  and at the iron door of one of these, he stood looking out cautiously to each side;  for his brother hunted him.  In the fall of sour grass, broken bricks and rubbish across the path, he detected a tiny movement – a small head by a hole – two bright eyes;  it quivered and vanished.

“Mother!  Mother!  I saw a stoat!”

“What’s the difference,” asked Benjamin, coming up and grabbing him, “between a stoat and a weasel?  How do you tell them apart?  Bang, you’re dead!”

Their mother was English, so she replied, “You can weaselly tell them apart, liebchen, because a stoat is-totally different.”

Upon this premise stands the Professor’s life work.  The unanswerable conundrum pops out from his hole.   The emotional sterility of his limited cogitation disintegrates, and he is a child again.

stoat in winter coat, photo by A & W Bilinscy

stoat in winter coat, photo by A & W Bilinscy


At the end of Brean Down, a sleeping serpent sinks into the sea.  Among the stones, a little stoat is seen.  He sees us with his eyes, and disappears into a hidey hole.  But what really does he see?  And what is concealed behind the forms of nature that we see?

Delighted with this pictorial potential – how it will flummox his students! – the Professor soothes his forefinger along the cat’s whiskers.  Perhaps there’s a drop of milk in the fridge – perhaps it hasn’t gone sour?

The human visual spectrum is one slice off the pie of reality, one sliver cut across the apple, the total universe called Adam.  But what of the total universe called Stoat?  The Professor is on the horns of a dilemma – to disturb the cat and fetch a sardine for her from the cupboard, or to pursue the pleasure of his thoughts, and her bliss.  How can I know, he wonders, in a rare mood of softness, what she sees in me.  Am I a biped?  Or a heavy yet benevolent pair of paws through the feline filter?  How can I know what the small russet stoat sees and reacts to?  Or whether he knows the difference between seeing and being in his hole?  Or what his own point, in the relative world which I think of as Brean Down, can possibly feel like?  I KNOW NOTHING!   NOTHING  nein!  And yet I contemplate myself.   All appearance, all matter, all that matters and all that does not, floats like clouds or water-lily leaves in front of the tremendous space of manifestation.

This paragraph floats through the Professor’s busy mind and leaves not a trace;  for he is on his feet, and fussing around the fridge;  the cat Sabina, after a brief lick to save her face, now preens against her expected treat.  She is a handsome animal, with a pure white face, black ears and black saddles along her back.  Her tail, thick and shiny like a wet otter, is erect with joy.  “There you are!” exclaims the Professor, stroking her – he found an old bit of cheese also, which she seeks to like.   And now, to return to the problem …

All the dream figures complain endlessly and bitterly about the immense amount of suffering which appears to happen in their individual dream of the world. But the world cannot be judged horizontally, just as it seems to appear on their screen of consciousness.  It is better perceived vertically, as a densely populated field of Fate, where the hand of preordained destiny is constantly directing these dream figures to actions, which are designed ultimately for them to pursue their selfish egotistic pleasures.”

Sabina has finished her snack, and is doing her toilette.

“These dream figures interact all the time unknowingly.  A world of suffering appears as a consequence;  but internally they are being taught a severe lesson which forces them to turn within introspectively, and end their dreadful repetitive cycle of dream births. Then aid arrives, and relief descends in the form of an enlightened Philosopher like me, who reveals certain principles, or ways to escape from the prison house of their dreams.”

The Professor pauses.  The cat eyes him speculatively.  Then he continues:

“But they must work persistently on themselves.  Self-investigation and Self-interrogation help to remove all their old latent habits and conditioned tendencies, which create their dreams. Then the Real Self shines through.  The suffering soul wakes up to Reality, and the dream ends .”

The Professor is now boiling himself a cup of tea in a saucepan on the Baby Belling;  he ransacks the drawer for biscuits.  Sabina has gone off in a dignified huff.  He feels sleepy, abandons the Toshiba and lies down on the bed for a nap.


To imagine that there are ‘ some others who are real’ in the dream of life, is like imagining that all the dream figures in one’s private night dream are dreaming the same dream as you are, at exactly the same time.

“6             FIRST PERSON EVENTS
Only one’s own first person events have any validity. We have no experience whatsoever of another’s first person events.  We only interpret them by inference, which is widely open to misinterpretation by us, and cannot be relied upon with any exactitude. The ‘other’ can only be interpreted as a ‘dream figure’ because we have no reliable experiential evidence of his or her actual existence or consciousness, except as dreamed by us, which is then superimposed by us upon him or her.

“We are left with being the Sole Dreamer until realisation of the real Self unveils the illuminated substrate of the world.   This may be perceived as Real and is no longer a subjective dream.”

15 sphinx 2


The Professor lay dreaming about The Indifferent One.  The Indifferent One, he was told, is I and Thou.  The Indifferent One looks out of each and all of our eye sockets, uniquely.  The bone is its container, and the Indifferent One wanders in and out of the orbital cavities at will … through a fluid co-incidence of Will, within as without, to be done. On the fourth day of the vision of Christian Rosenkreutz, a white serpent wound herself about through the eye-holes of a skull … An old book on anatomy for artists was in his hand.  Why!   Here’s a drawing of the skull – and each gaping socket for the eye is a base of a pyramid with four faces – and the apex of two pyramids points inward through the optic nerve to cranial centre !  The apex is Quintessence – the point of “5” within the four elements.  No need to cross your eyes!  The 5 is an Egyptian priest.  He co-ordinates the quickening mystery of earth and heaven.

5 hierophant - Version 2

It comes to focus through the apex.  It receives also rain, and lightning.  “And look, my own orbital pyramids point inward.  My brain streams visual stimuli along the optic nerve into each apex, to perceive – outward through the widening bony base – the earthly world.  The further in I look, the wider appears the world outside.  And I begin to ask Who is looking in? – through the vault to heaven?  And so the mystery of Five in the magic square of Three is plain to me as the breath of life moves in and out of my solar plexus.  The mystery of Five in the magic Square of Three, with equal intervals to each side, is my instrument of vision.  It enters and then seems to emanate from somewhere within the depth of my noddle.  God be in my head, and in my … nein, nein!  wrong religion, dumkopf … “


 4            9           2

 3            5           7

 8             1           6

Three-squared (3X3) is 9.  The digits of each row, across, vertical or diagonal, add up to 15 (3X5).  Of further interest, are the intervals radiating from 5, to the pairs of numbers to each side.  And so on …


He further reflects, “Who am I?  The Sphinx asks that question.  The Sphinx’s gaze is the mill or wheel on which the grain is pounded and the loaf is kneaded.  The great Eliphas Levi has said, ‘Angels not wholly freed, fall again into the abyss.’ 


skull eyes pyramid


“From the Sphinx’s gaze within, my mask of life begins to slip and crumble away from bedrock, like peeling paint.  It leaves a cave or cavity – like water or air.   The Sphinx appears pitiless, but only relatively so, from the lower levels.  Through the Sphinx, I actually am the pounding of the provincial grain upon the wheel.  At certain shy moments, the intense calm of the Sphinx’s smile …  I look out through these caves, in the mountain of sandstone that this great cat is. 

“Her smile is a deep, central peace – my dreamless sleep – the gentle airs.  There is no movement at the hub of the wheel.  Those who are subjected to Her gaze, live and die upon Her anvil.   But those who are equal to Her gaze begin to learn to love their enemies.  In the Bull and the Lion of Ezekiel’s vision, dwell in unity the Eagle and the Angel – the serpent Redeemer. ‘Whenever you meet someone, think deeply:  ‘G-d – The HOLY ONE – dwells in this body.  Then comes initiation for ever.’” 

Initiation through so “Indifferent” a “One”, wakes from the dream, always.

 Arc 10 wheel


The Professor started from his slumber, hurried to his disheveled desk, woke up the Toshiba, and wrote firmly:

“7.            OBJECTION
Most important Philosophers state that the case for Solipsism is formidable.  The chief objection however, comes from Arthur Schopenhauer, whom we honour to-day.  He says that ‘the object necessarily implies a subject’. But as the subject supplies the object, as has already been stated by me, this fails.

Ludwig Wittgenstein believed that Solipsism is at the core of the Metaphysical. Even the Subject’s relationship to Philosophy and other Philosophers is a solipsistic experience. It is impossible to get beyond the boundaries of the egotistic self, until one realises pure Consciousness. What evidence is there of a World beyond our mental states, other than the deceptive senses, which are all highly untrustworthy? To infer there is a World from other dream figures’ statements is nonsensical, as it begs the question of ‘who makes the inference?’ The subject, and the reply from the object, the dream figure, is supplied by me, the sole dreamer, myself.”

“But I,” he ruminated, “am not a stoat.  The stoat is not a David Wiseacre.  Both of us are potentially weasels, and neither of us is the cat.  Nein, Nein!”  For congestion threatened to overwhelm him in its dry harbours.  He grabbed his cap and coat and hurried downstairs out of doors.  From his landlady’s sombre back garden, a little latch-gate gave access to the Park.  Next door, in Hendon Cemetery, hosts of rank anxieties lay at last in stony peace;  on such occasions, that regimented garden, battered and be-mossed by the four seasons, soothed him.

But the sun was beginning to set, tinting the whole western sky orange beyond the sparse and disciplined woodlands.  And the first thing the Professor saw, as he stepped past the oak tree and out onto the cut grass, was the cat.  Sabina sat in the long grass at the foot of the tree, quite, quite still, with the setting sun in her face, and ignored him;  she sat like a Queen.  So he stopped, for his flight from philosophy had made him breathless.

He stopped, and watched.  He had noticed a certain tension.

Presently the cause of this came into view.  Liebe Gott!  A most remarkable animal.  It came over the links, creeping nearer and nearer to Sabina’s wide ring-pass-not, as if bewitched.  It was tall, it had a cat-like grace, it stalked, it glided on slender, sinewy silver legs, feathered a little with long white hairs;  it had a long, slender muzzle, soft dark eyes like a seal in a fairy tale, and an improbable tail held high, bushy and silky soft like a squirrel – this animal was pure white all over, and shone in the slanting light;  this animal was A DOG.

The Professor trembled, and stood rooted to the spot.  Along the animal’s curving spine, all the short hairs stood up in tufts, even as far as the splendid tail.  And it prowled, from side to side, like a serpent or metaphysical breakthrough ;  for Sabina held her field.  Like an Egyptian priestess, her spell enshielded her to a distance of at least ten metres;  silently she hissed;  the invader as silently opened his jaws to snarl, but couldn’t bark.  No mythological creature such as this, can merely bark.  The space was electrically charged.  Were they at play, or were they predators?  Suddenly it exploded.  The dog broached an invisible wire;  Sabina turned and shot up the tree, like lightning in reverse, and sat in the first high fork, as wise, as feathered and unblinking as AN OWL – the brilliance of the sunset in her face.

And the Professor could do nothing.  A human biped from beyond his line of sight, called to the animal – “Dubi !” – who pranced a little, obeyed the distraction, and reluctantly loped away.  The Professor stood in the grass, unable even to think of fetching a ladder; because Nature knows how Cheshire cats get there, and Nature knows how to get down again, and it is not proper to interfere.  He walked a little away, and in the oak tree still shone that white brilliant star, defiantly aloft.  It troubled his soul.  The sun sank in a copper blaze of glory.  The Professor shook his head, and took a turn around the graveyard.


On his return to the Toshiba, he read his day’s work so far, but it all looked a little boring, and he couldn’t really make head or tail of it.  Half heartedly, he drew his conclusions:

From an Absolutist perspective, all is One. The dreamer is a dream, dreamed by the Absolute, and as ‘I am That – my Self’, it is my sole dream. Only ‘I’ have the first hand experience of ‘That’. This concept can only be experienced when the latent, habitual, conditioned tendencies are all expelled through ruthless Self-examination, and the mind is surrendered to the truth I have to-day outlined.”



 Which is what?  The learned Professor stopped typing with a jolt.  Even if it feels true, he must never reveal his confession to the world; otherwise his whole delightful game of metaphysical disputation and assertion will cease and he will be bereft of his occupation, livelihood and sole raison d’etre.

Dr Wiseacre feels better now – he has relieved himself of extreme mental torment.  He goes downstairs with a book by one of his colleagues in Tubingen, who argues those hard questions arising from Advanced Consciousness Studies:  it is a sort of hobby.

“The Stoat is Totally Different, therefore the Weasel is Weaselly Right:  Discuss.”  He’ll set the students that question, and amuse himself with their responses, then demolish them with his nut cracker brain and acerbic wit – ah, such Socratic irony!  His walk gave him an appetite.  Ha, ha, ha, he chortled to himself. A Dream within a dream, you stupid dolt! Forget such an absurd fantasy even if it may be true.

Now for some of Mrs Felsenberg’s thick frankfurter and lentil soup, which she serves on a Monday!

On Somerset Levels

On Somerset Levels




This story developed from a first draft by Alan Jacobs. He provided the philosophical narrative and arguments.  I contributed the Creatures and some further a-musings.  It is in a collection of our esoteric tales for all ages, published in 2012 by 0 Books:  The Dreamer in the Dream  – available on Amazon or order from your bookshop.


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 – New posts on Master R

All art and creative writing in this blog is copyright © Janeadamsart 2012-2013. 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

Sacred India Tarot Archive: Creation of 20 – Pralaya – The Judgment

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Sacred India Tarot Archive series, by Rohit Arya and Jane Adams

Correspondence:  Rohit’s Notes – November 2002: 

“This card is going to be tough to depict, as India has no equivalent of the Judgment Day concept.  We also have no cultural imagery of opening graves and trumpets. 

“The best I can think about, is Pralaya the dissolution of the universe, with the Kalki avatar of Vishnu to provide the hopeful impetus for the future, once the upheaval is over.  We need a feel and look of a world in turmoil by water and fire, with one peaceful corner, the South, because that is where Kalki will emerge from. 

“Kalki can be shown as a man with Vishnu’s face holding a sword and riding a white horse.  The feel of Albrecht Durer’s Four Horsement of the Apocalypse is ideal, if it can be managed.”

Visual reference:  Durer’s drawing of the Apocalypse


We cannot find in the archive, any of our correspondence about this card, or writings from Rohit.  So here is his essay on Pralaya in the book accompanying the deck:

The Dwara reveals:  The Judgment is, strictly speaking, Judgment Day – Armageddon, where the forces of decay and evil are routed by the aroused ranks of the spiritual.  In Indian mythogy, the event is called Pralaya, the dissolution.  Vishnu takes his tenth and most powerful avatar, that of Kalki, to preside over this most significant of battles.

This time we live in, is deemed the worst age of man, the dark Kali Yuga.  When it ends, a long time in the future as prophesied, human civilization and culture will have come to a breaking point.  The whole enterprise will either go under in a cataclysm of greed and violence, or Kalki will lead the forces of good to a defensive strike in the cause of the right, and the light.  Where we stand at that pivotal stage in destiny, depends upon our Karmic inclination.  There will be no time to choose when we see Kalki thundering in upon his white horse.  The choice has to be made right now;  in every action we take, in every temptation resisted or pandered to;  in every decent thought we value and stand fast by, rejecting the seductive pull of the comfortable compromise.

For Pralaya takes place more often than people suspect.

According to the sect of the Pashupatas, Siva himself causes Pralaya occasionally to give the poor souls tied to the wheel of Karma, some much needed rest and recuperation!  When the universe manifests again, they revert to their previous Karmic state, and the cycle begins anew.  The endless turning of the Wheel of Fire, with most people merrily creating fresh Karma to bind themselves further to it – even a just God would feel compassion at this harrowing and demoralizing spectacle.

But Pralaya, in a psychological sense, takes place whenever a person is about to achieve the full awakening into Pure Consciousness.  Like the attack of Mara the foe of consciousness, the collective lower aspects of the psyche (described superbly by Eckhart Tolle as the pain-body) launch a final struggle to survive.  The seeker feels he is on a threshold of significance;  just one more determined push, and he could attain.  But first, he must fight a wounded polar bear to cross the threshold!

If you try to individually repress or suppress the eruptions that occur, you are lost.  For memories, desires and habits rise in tsunamis of desperation, as the pain-body battles to survive.

The only solution is to take up the keen sword of Viveka – the faculty of wise discrimination, wielded by Kalki, and sever one’s ego-mind from habitual identification with such muck.  The blast of the Archangel Gabriel’s horn that arouses the quick and the dead, the call to awaken to a new self, a rejuvenation of hope and energy and purpose, is accomplished here by the bija mantra HREEM! – shown pulsating at the base of the chaos.  This is the final stage of the spiritual journey before complete attainment.

As always, consciousness wins the day by refusing to accept anything other than Itself as the underlying principle of value that pervades existence.

The Light in this card, is rebirth of the psyche and personality.  New perspectives, new visions, new values … Value judgments are abandoned, they are correctly seen to be cluttering up life and preventing the blooming of the new.

The Advaita sage Ramesh Balsekar has a pertinent remark about such times:  “Our prayer should be one of gratitude.  We should thank God for our suffering knowing it could have been much worse, like the suffering of millions below the poverty line.”

This is a significant stage of life, a genuine rite of passage;  and nothing that is valuable comes without trouble.

Builders of the Adytum: Tarot Key 20 – a four-dimensional image. The gestures of the woman, child and man, form an L,V,X – meaning Lux or Light.

Jane’s Notes – September 2012

Rohit used a “wounded polar bear” analogy:  in the western deck, the scene is of the arctic, with massed icebergs across the water.  In Kabbalah, the ice is a symbol of frozen water and frozen fire – the inexhaustible potential before it melts and moves into manifestation.  Indeed, the ice is a reservoir, holding the ancient waters as well as the new.

Climate change is suggested:  but the image is multi dimensioned, and holds a layered depth of meaning.

When alpine ice melts and the waters pour down the mountain on a warm morning, there is a tremendous sound and rush and rain, an everywhere AUM:  a let-down reflex.  On the Tree of Life, tarot key 20 is placed on the Mother-Fire-Letter SHIN, (Hod-Malkuth path) which from the sky, touches the root.   It suggests the Promethean gift of fire:  which transforms consciousness.  To this path also belongs the innate song, the sound of the universe, of Siva’s drum, of dancers around the sacred fire.

The Archangel announces God’s Word, which takes root in each sensitive womb or uplifted soul.

The word “Viveka”, wise discrimination, highlights the precision with which all Karmic forces and expressions are balanced, in the cosmic Law.  This is not visible as precision, until we take a step back from our situation and perceive the pattern unfolding around and from it!   Nowhere and in no way are we apart from the Law, except in daydream.   The Judgment weighs, measures through innumerable locations and lifetimes in time and space, the balance:  the trans-formation.   This Tarot Key is ruled by Pluto.

The Archangel’s trumpet sound, addressed to each and every inmost child, changes the particles within.  That same sound blew down the walls of Jericho.  The Karmic tapestry moves from every direction, wave-train across wave, like the waters of the sea in any place.  No linear perspective can adequately comprehend it.


Arcanum 20 – from Jane’s Hermetic deck.  The letter SHIN is a three-pronged flame


Here is something I wrote last week: ON RECONCILIATION.  I earmarked it as Arcanum-20 material.

In the vessel cleaving the sea, the Maggidim in their breath of life, see things silently in full, and let them pass – my valve, the floating gate of my private reconciliations.

Join the community of the watchers and the guardians.   Join hands with the circle – the hands are there every instant.   Stop and remember this and join hands, during the day.   All of us made our personal reconciliations which qualify.   You and I know what these are, and how difficult they were, and still are, sometimes.   We ensphere, we breathe the globe.   We seem to be few, but the soul’s mansions are immense.   Only the tip of the iceberg shows.   The tip of the iceberg is drama and dazzling formations.  The bulk of the berg is vast sub-surface cliff, and it moves peacefully in the sculpting sea:  consciousness, the secret and eternal flow of events.   Sea ice.  See Ice.   See-I-see.

The bulk of the world is far more than the sum of the parts of the tinkling skittles on top.   With the media skittles is a gambling game of statistics.   The skittles they are very little, and their bones are very brittle… like icicles.

Silence … the current and the sense-ship of ever steaming onward, through, with, receive, open endedly … be loved.  This is far deeper than technology.

This isn’t about the Titanic.  The titanic was a party going on unaware, its centenary grabbed the media this year.  There is a titanic partying among hedons, but there is an “end of term awareness” also, which the early twentieth century did not have.  In the early twentieth century, war was still a glorious solution, and soldiers had not lost their ignorance.

History spirals but does not repeat.  The awareness is uncomfortable.   But the atmosphere is changed.


Sacred India Tarot 20 – Pralaya, The Judgment

I felt nervous about current global armaggedons when I painted this card.  It looks like a gigantic clean-up, flushing out every Karmic poison.  Pralaya resonates with Archangels Michael and Gabriel, and the Krishna archetype who reveals the Dharma when humanity is in crisis.  His features and figure here, are those of Vishnu, the Sacred India Tarot Magician.   Krishna, Buddha and others, are avatars of Vishnu the Sustainer.

At first, everything is unbearably polarized.  The Day of Judgment takes place at any time, and on any local scale:  a time of conscious decision, shift, a shifting.  On the one hand there is clarity;  on the other, a demonic agony and disorder is rife.

This painting is positively charged with the seed mantra HRIM, unifying male and female principles.  It is also the primal vibration of the goddess Bhuvaneshwari, Womb of the Universe.

Card 20 includes the Last Trumpet – suggesting to me the Sound which brought our universe into being – the vibration of mantra, bells and sacred dance – primordial rhythm.  This Sound is unifying.

We need to find our own sound/vibration/silence within ourselves, to prevail against chaotic disturbances of mind and media persuasion.

And so, as well as the HRIM mantra, the heart of the Sri Chakra Yantra is born from the night sky, and represents Self responsibility.  Each inmost child of God is ultimately response-able to what he or she will become, in the full picture:  the intimate fusion of our conscious modes, sub-consciously.

The card attempts to portray an emerging Law of equilibrium.  The picture is polarized;  we select our alignment, and thus create our home;  for we live in an era of parallel universes.


The Symbols

from an illustrated manuscript, Nepal c.1760

Siva Shakti Yantra – the heart of the Sri Chakra lattice:  two descending triangles (fem) over one ascending (masc)

“Emergence of the universe from the cosmic waters.  The interlocked triangles symbolize the male and female principles evolving from the primal chaos of elements into the micro-vision of the cosmic man.”

(From The Tantric Way by Ajit Mukerjee)


HRIM seed mantra

“HRIM (pronounced Hreem) is the prime mantra of the Great Goddess and ruler of the worlds, and holds all her creative and healing powers.  HRIM governs over the cosmic magnetic energy and the power of the soul and causal body.  It awakens us at a soul or heart level, connecting us to Divine forces of love and attraction.  HRIM is the mantra of the Divine Maya that destroys the worldly maya.  It has a solar quality to it, but more of a dawn like effect.  It is charming and alluring, yet purifying.  Through it we can control the illusion power of our own minds.

“In Vedic terms, HRIM is a mantra of the Sun, particularly in terms of illumination.  It increases out aspiration and receptivitiy to Divine light, wisdom and truth.  It opens the lotus of the heart to the inner Sun of consciousness.  It is a mantra of the region of heaven or the consciousness space in which all the worlds exist.”

Extract from “Bija Seed Mantras/Mantras – the Power of Sound in Vedic Astrology” copyright Jyotish Ratnaaker


Aum Hrim









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


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 my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books) – along with many other creations in house.  

I write, illustrate, design and print my books.   Watch this space.