Sacred India Tarot Archive – the Page of Arrows and Hanuman


Caduceus, Hermes Trismegistus

Continuing the Archive of the deck, by Jane Adams and Rohit Arya.

It is nearly four months since my last SITA post. To recap:  Through the Royal Page, Knight, Queen and King, the Swords/Arrows of Karma transform to the coming suit of Staves – the Rods or Wands.

The Wand or Stave is actually the Caduceus, serpent twined – the authority by which Moses struck water from the rock.

The implication is: we enter an agreement with our Inner Ruler, to integrate our destiny.

The transfer of the power in Mahabharath, occurs through the 10 of Swords, when King Bheeshma dying, instructs Yudishtara in the art and laws of government. All mythologies bear the human tale, including precognition and betrayals.

In the 10 of Swords, the old King’s “overwhelming” transmutes to Consciousness, as the blades enter his awakened Kundalini spine: the feeling is no longer pain. It yields. Knowledge awakes when tension against it drops. The snakes enter me. I enter the snakes. We flower, as the room is opened.

This is initiation:  peace. I now discover, the Royals – Page, Knight, Queen and King of Arrows – are all of a piece with these perceptions.


SACRED INDIA TAROT - Pages of Arrows

SACRED INDIA TAROT – Pages of Arrows

The Pages move together in alert reconciliation. They are Archers, but the truce between them is a Sword.

This card recalls the 2 of Arrows, where the young Bheeshma in training to become a warrior, fights with his teacher.  The Pages seem to usher in a new age, where divisions turn into co-operatives.


Rohit Arya’s Notes (2004)
“It is interesting that we have another twin set for the Pages.” (See the Pages of Staves, which were done earlier). “Nakula and Sahadeva are the nearly invisible members of the Mahabharatha, sons of the Ashwins, our Pages of Wands.  Yet both of them were very intelligent and capable, true Renaissance men, skillful, adept, wise, eloquent.  Sahadeva was widely held to be the most intelligent of all men once Bheeshma died, and Nakula was always the most handsome man on planet earth. 

“They were, as befits children of the Ashwins, great horsemen too, so they should be depicted astride steeds.  Like all pages their potential was never fully visible, though their gift of the gab and diplomatic skills served Yudishtara (their elder brother) well, when he became King.  Both of them were also archers, though they preferred the sword.  That automatically ensured their lower status in bow-crazy India.

Rohit’s book continues:  “Being universally liked, handsome and the youngest, they suffered the fate of favourite children in India – they were pampered and indulged till they almost became useless.  It is reflective of their vigorous characters, that they still turned out to be such renaissance men.

“Interpretation:  Skillful people – dexterous and creative, with supple imaginations.  News about legal matters or government.   Silver tongued speakers … they are not taken in or fooled by glitter or honey tongued words.  Precocious young people of high intelligence:  internet friendships.  Ability to convey blunt truths without offending people.  

Shadow:  – the born spy and gossip, snoopy and sneaky for one’s personal pleasure. Stir up fuss in seeking to reconcile … anonymous letters.  Confidence tricksters.   Act decisively upon information, instead of nattering away.  Read all documents and contracts carefully.  What information do you lack?”


I cannot find any of our letters regarding this card, but here is a visual reference Rohit sent me for the next one, the Knight – Hanuman:

SITA visual reference - Hanuman

SITA visual reference – Hanuman

Rohit’s Notes (2004):
“The depiction is comprehensive in the given visual, and needs only an arrow in one of his hands, as well as changing the colour of his fur to pure white, as that is the accurate colour of Hanuman. A somewhat wiser expression on his face might not be amiss: in the picture he looks strained.  Hanuman is present in the Mahabharatha too” (the Arrows theme) ” and it is too good an opportunity to pass up, to give him a full card to himself.

“This is the Vishwarupam – the Universal Form – and powerful enough to need only minor tinkering.  A sense of winds howling through, depicted in flapping flags, would be nice if it can be managed, but it is not absolutely necessary.”


and feedback to the finished card (below):
“Dear Jane, The Hanuman looks slightly ancient, but as he is immortal that is understandable.  He looks like the Colossus of Rhodes, and it is a great touch.  However, while it is a very different Hanuman, a wise ancient warrior, to a few we showed the card, they did not realise it is Hanuman.  Do you think we need the standard face?

 Do let us have your views, as we like the card as it is, but the ‘recognition’ factor is (not) there.  Rest of the card is perfect except, perhaps making him look a bit more muscular?

“Regards, Gautam and Rohit”


Jane’s Notes – 2014
I do not now remember what alterations I made, if any.   This is one of my favourite cards of the deck.  He steps from land to land, faithful to the cause, and trusting in his giant intelligence.  Indeed he has a venerable air.   Most depictions of Hanuman are considerably more youthful …

SACRED INDIA TAROT - Knight of Arrows - Hanuman

SACRED INDIA TAROT – Knight of Arrows – Hanuman

With him, we transit from the Suit of Arrows (Mahabharath) to the Suit of Wands/Staves – the great Ramayana epic.

Hanuman the monkey god – crossing the sea from southern India to jewelled Lanka to help Rama rescue Sita – carries a rosebud and displays great mental and intellectual energy. He is of a par with the agile chessboard Knight’s lateral thinking, where everyone else travels in straight lines. The mind is our wonderful servant; but let him not become the dark dwarf. The dwarves in the underworld play the market with cunning, but do not release their treasure.


Rohit writes – (in his book with the deck): “Hanuman, son of Vayu – the wind god – as a young boy he was a holy terror, but grew up to become the exemplar of self-restraint, wisdom and judicious application of strength.  He has supreme siddhis – supernatural powers – but his greatest asset is his astuteness.  He is the ideal devotee of Rama, eternally celibate ad immortal.

“Hanuman is an incarnation of Siva in his Rudra aspect:  storms and lightning herald his approach to mortal eyes.  He is not a monkey but a Vanara, a mythical race with simian attributes belonging to a superior culture and civilisation.”

(It is that elder nobility which I sought to portray in my painting of him.)


child siva snake - art work for a Self-enquiry workshop, 1994

child siva dragon lion camel – art work for a Self-enquiry workshop, 1994

“… Hanuman is worshipped as the saviour from troubles.  Knowing fully well the imbroglios that whims and wilfulness land a person in, Hanuman compassionately forgives and aids humans.  

“The flag of victory signifies his invinciibility:  the arrow, his unerring and penetrative insight.  The axe compassionately cuts away the tree of delusion.  The conch represents prana – the vital breath (and its shared root with thought) which he has mastered.  The flower is the self, surrendered at the feet of God.  One hand is hidden, as we may never presume to know all about immortal things.

visual reference, bow-arrow 

“The card shows him in his Vishvarupa – the universal form, the strength of wisdom pervading all quarters.

“Interpretation:  The born warrior, especially in noble causes.  Unexpected connections with new sets of people, become important in life.  Extremely astute – sees through people and their pretences instantly.  A tireless champion and fighter against injustice and for the weak.  Laser sharp minds, but emotionally oblivious sometimes.  Steadfast work towards goals.  

“Shadow:  Fighting for its own sake, because one can win – impulsive and breathtaking rashness.  Does not suffer fools gladly, and sees fools everywhere:  too clever by half.  Anger conceals low self image … wastes energy in cranky causes … toxic anger … all aspects connected with breathing are impacted. 

“Yoking yourself to a cause greater than your personal benefit, has immense spiritual rewards and makes you grow psychologically.  Always act forcefully and in awareness.”


And finally …

Sacred India Tarot, Major Arcana 8 - Varuna

Sacred India Tarot, Major Arcana 8 – Varuna as “Justice”

I did not know till now, that Varuna, the Vedic god of the winds, of prana and of cosmic equilibrium, was Hanuman’s father.  Recently I have felt a subtle energy with this card.

(Actually – see Comments below – this is my error.  Hanuman is the son of Vayu of the winds – not Varuna.) 

I felt “the Inner Ruler”:  the staff of the skies.

At source … in our dawn, all Ways were one.  The Vedic Seers were and are universal; they sat under trees, saw the planets, wrote their Hymns and raised their families.  Their faces are like clouds which form in the sky.  When I painted this Varuna, back in 2002, an old Egyptian Master came through the veil into his features, and made this contact with me.

I felt the connection like a plucked string.  It was startling.




My adventure invites fellow travellers.  I am a poet, an artist and a seer.  I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.

This blog is  a vehicle to promote also my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books). Watch this space.

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