Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Secret of The High Priestess

Manara Erotic Tarot- High Priestess
Does this image make you uncomfortable?




Wishing you were a fly on the wall, or the person in the picture?  Or maybe it is a mirror...

This image is an exaggeration of the madonna/whore complex many, many people struggle with.  Actually, I am quite sure some of them actually enjoy it, whether consciously or not, because none of us continue any behavior that does not give a pay off, so let's call it the madonna/whore people many of us "experience".

A nun is the most sacred icon of femininity in many cultures, and the premise is they are married to Christ, so they take no earthly husband, and have no carnal knowledge.  Of course, nothing is saying this is not a picture of Himself, and this is how she communes with Him.

I know I have many readers who are not in America, but as an American I have noticed a strange juxtaposition in which our media is filled with violence, but our people are offended by the sight of a breast feeding mother.  We are fascinated by sex, but it must be kept very secret.  Our young women show their bra straps, let their thongs peek out, all suggestive, but the idea of a nun flashing her lover, even if her only lover is herself, mirrored and delighted with her secret, is probably shocking to most of us.

The High Priestess asks us to examine how sexuality and sanctity are entwined in our lives, and if we have any shame feelings around sex, she can, gently, help us figure out where they lie and how they can be addressed, if we want to.  There is a undeniable thrill to feeling a little bit ashamed, at least for some of us, but when feelings of shame keep us from experiencing any amount of joy, and the pleasure our bodies are designed to enjoy, there is an issue and something needs to be done.

As for our naughty nun, she clearly has no shame, and is taking absolute delight in exposing her most secret self, assured of her beauty and sensuality.  I like to imagine this is a mirror, and she simply delights in herself, as we should all be free to do, or it is a high tech device in which she is free to communicate with her lover.  The notion that sex is dirty or ugly needs to be eradicated from our collective conscious, and that happens one free nun at a time.

Let the High Priestess whisper her secrets to you, and notice the frisson of excitement, but don't let anyone or thing make you feel shame at your beauty and your sacred sexuality.

In these deep solitudes and awful cells,
Where heav'nly-pensive contemplation dwells,
And ever-musing melancholy reigns;
What means this tumult in a vestal's veins?
Why rove my thoughts beyond this last retreat?
Why feels my heart its long-forgotten heat?
Yet, yet I love! — From Abelard it came,
And Eloisa yet must kiss the name.

From the epic "Eloisa to Abelard" by Alexander Pope (1688–1744).

You don't need a lover to experience passion, sensuality, and delight in your body, nor, unfortunately, to feel shame in the same.  Ask The High Priestess how to be freed from the bonds that hold you, and how to tighten the ones that thrill you.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Gatekeeper

Lunatic Tarot- High Priestess
I have learned an important thing about The High Priestess as I wrote this post, about her, about myself.  I tend to take on tasks as something to check off; git 'er done is my philosophy.  The High Priestess does not want to be anyone's task, and she requires a certain finesse in one's approach to her energy.  You can't just feel her up; you have to approach on her terms, and seduce her.  Making demands gets you nowhere.  Sweetness and reverence yield what you desire.

As we leave The Magician, who has all his cards on the table, we come to the High Priestess, a lady who shows nothing.  The High Priestess is gatekeeper to all secret things, and most of us hold sex as one of the most secret things of all.

There is something so tantalizing about the thought of such a prim and proper lady becoming completely undone with desire, and while it is entirely possible to cause her to lose her composure, it come with work,and she never loses her dignity.

The danger, as we approach the High Priestess, is to confuse her chosen consort as The Magician.  While the tarot archetypes come apart and back together in infinite variety in order to best reflect the energies of a situation, The High Priestess, always a lady, is not impressed with the bluster and bravado The Magician can sometimes have, and I think, being full of Magician energy myself when I thought I was ready to write about her, I came at her with an expectation that she would just yield all of her secrets to me, but she is The Gatekeeper, the guardian of all secret things, and you have to give her more than just your words to gain those secrets.  The Magician may make lots of promises, but the High Priestess wants your very heart, at least for the time you spend together.

The pillars she is often portrayed with, her curtained off sanctuary, and her prim and proper dress all indicate that she is to be treated as a sacred object, and while The Magician can be either polarity, the High Priestess most often portrays feminine energy, as her connection to The Moon is so thoroughly displayed, in her headdress, in the crescent by her feet, which may be mere decoration, or may be a deadly weapon.  Try to cross her threshold without her permission and you will find out!

As a symbol in readings regarding love and sex, she often asks us to consider how our sexuality relates to our sanctity, and asks you if you are treating bodies, both your own, and your partners, as sacred and holy.  The answer to that lies in your own belief system, whether you see sex as sacred, or merely recreational.  She can also appear to help you remember your personal boundaries, and in extreme cases, to remind you that you don't have to sleep with just anyone who would jump into bed with you.

Although she is quiet, The High Priestess has much to say in the arena of love and sex, and she will spill her secrets as we tease them out of her over the next few days.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Where Has Our Blogger Gone?

Vintage Erotica Tarot- Six of Swords
It's a valid question, where has our tarot and astrology, love and sex, sinner and saint blogger gone?  So many promising sites begin, only to languish as their creator runs out of ideas.

Well, I promise you I have not run out of ideas, and this will not be a languishing black hole on the Internet.  This is, in fact, where I plan to do most of my tarot writing, as much as I adore 78 Whispers In My Ear, where I will also continue writing.

I have been dealing with a herniated disc in my back, and while everything is plenty good at home, in all the rooms, I assure you, it is not so much fun to write about sex when you are limited in the ways you can express yourself sexually. (Luckily I am fluent in several languages.)

I've needed time to heal, time to retreat, physically, as well as mentally and emotionally.  Let's pretend I look as delicate and ethereal as the image in this Six of Swords, from Le Tarot des Femmes Erotiques, or the Vintage Erotica Tarot.  In fact, I have cried nearly every single day, but I believe myself on the way to full health again, and I prefer to think of myself as handling my sickbed as gracefully as she, in Retreat from Travail.

Vintage Erotica Tarot- Magician
To add to that, The Magician, where I decided to start my exploration of sexual expression through the tarot, had a few lessons for me, and when The Magician talks, you listen until he, or she as I have found the expression of the archetype recently, is done, or the lessons continue to present themselves.  I like lessons, and some of The Magicians' are enjoyable,but some less so, and I would rather learn them and move on, so I was not quite ready to move on to The High Priestess yet, and while I am ready to open and honest, I am not prepared to share every part of my life, nor would you want to hear about all of these lessons (well, some of you would, but you'll have to pay for that, you naughty things, in a book I may publish at some point).  As Above, So Below, such simple words, such a great big, and real concept.  Wow!

Stay tuned as I add pages, more regular content, and I look forward to more open dialogue about this, one of my favorite subjects in the world.

These lovely ladies are The Six of Swords & The Magician from Le Tarot de Femmes Erotique, The Vintage Erotica Tarot, self published by the witches at BeautyHistoryMagic.com

Friday, July 6, 2012

Sexual Freedom

As we celebrated our countries freedom on July 4, here in America, I gave a lot of thought of what freedom means to me.  I wrote about in general terms here, but I believe who we are as sexual beings is a big chunk of who we are at all.  These cards were drawn with the intent to define what sexual freedom means to me.

The first card, the High Priestess, shows how sacred sex is in my world.  I am sexually free when I treat my bedroom and my body as a temple, when sex is worship as well as pleasure.  I believe that the Holy Trinity includes male and female entities, and the physical act of making love is mimicry of the way those energies combine on the astral plane.  Love making is, to me, one embodiment of the Lord's Prayer, "Thy will be done, on Earth, as it is in Heaven."  Ecstatic union is one of the ways in which we bring the Heaven we can't quite reach yet to Earth, where we are momentarily bound, and love is always the right answer.

The second card, The Tower, furthers this belief for me, as well as represents climax.  I am sexually free when I accept that sometimes the Heavens open up and shower love upon us, and sometimes lightning strikes.  I am sexually free when I let love tear down my walls and allow pleasure and release to roll through my body like a thunderstorm.  Not least in the equation, I am sexually free when I am sated, and to be so requires an openness I am not inclined to give except in the safe warm presence of my Lover and the Divine, which is one and the same on good days.

I chuckle a bit at the third card, the Ten of Swords, the Little Death in French colloquial.  I am free in those sweet moments, when it is over yet lingering, before the ache of renewed desire has set in.  Sexual love is a rolling tide, sometimes it crashes over you, and sometimes it softly retreats.  The trick is in being able to surf those waves, enjoying the drama and the softness with equal aplomb.  I am sexually free when I surrender to the cycles of that kind of love, neither demanding more nor giving less.

The Shadow Card, the Nine of Pentacles, is placed just so to remind me that each persons' relationship to their own sexual self is the most important part of the equation.  Too many times, we make the mistake of turning over our sexual pleasure, and power, to another person, when those things are our domain, to tend to, to tease out of ourselves.  I can't expect to be a good lover, nor to have one, if I do not know how to love myself, on every level- physical, emotional, mental.  Too many times we pass off our right, and responsibility, to another person, because that is easier than coming into our true selves, but it inevitably leads to stifled satisfaction.  You are utterly desirable, so own that for yourself.  And I will, too.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Beltane- Freyja & Her Four Dwarves Spread

Goddesses and Sirens Oracle- Freya
There is no denying the lusty nature of Beltane, the holy day of fertility and new beginnings, the celebration as we cast off the darkness of cold of winter and let our skin be warmed by the summer sun, or the Beltane fires, at least.

Freyja is the Norse goddess of love and war, because we all know sometimes the two can feel like one.  Associated with the sun that warms the seed and coaxes it from the earth, and as the bringer of fertility, love, wealth, and ultimately death, Freyja goes with Beltane quite naturally.  Her reputation as a lusty, fierce woman at ease in her own sexual power makes her the kind of goddess most women want to be and most men would trade anything to spend a night with.

As we stand on this sacred day between winter and summer, exactly half a year from Samhain, when we celebrate death, we remember that yes, all men will die, but first we will live, and Freyja paints us a bold picture for doing so fearlessly.

Beltane is a sacred bridge between the dark winter and the bright summer.  In the dark of winter, we are faced with our shadow selves, that which we have to assimilate in order to be whole, while our bright summer selves display our favorite attributes of self.  For many people, sexuality falls into the shadow side of our personalities.  It's secret, it's done in the dark, and for many people it is fraught with anxiety or shame.  Freyja knows nothing of darkness in her sexuality, and here serves as a guide to reclaiming the light and power in ours.

Freyja came to possess one of the most treasured pieces of jewelry in the world, the Brsingers' necklace, which supposedly made the wearer the most beautiful person in the world, by laying with four dwarven brothers in turn, who are representative of the four directions and elements.  Coming to terms with the seats of her sexual powers resulted in her possession of a great treasure.  While she did the deed, four times over, Loki spied on her and tried to use his ill gotten knowledge to bring her harm later.  In refusing to be ashamed, Freyja foiled Loki's plan and continued to live her life just as she pleased.

In my mind, Freyja makes a perfect Magician, able to use the elements that surround her to create her own perfect version of her life, and Loki represents that which lies within us that makes feel ashamed and unwilling to live in sexual fullness and health.  The following spread shows us the seat of our power in each element, and how we assimilate them all together, as well as our Loki-shadow aspect, if we care to look for it.

Card One, Fire in the South- Show me how I am powerful in my spirit, passions, and sexuality.

Card Two, Water in the West- Show me how I am powerful in my emotions and sexuality.

Card Three, Air in the East- Show me how I am powerful in my thoughts, communications, and sexuality.

Card Four, Earth in the North- Show me how I am powerful with my physical being and sexuality.

Card Five, Freyja as the Magician, in the middle- Show me how I can best use these tools to express myself as a powerful entity, comfortable with my body and the pleasure I both give and receive.

Card Six, optional, Loki as the Skulker, from the bottom of the deck- Show me how I betray myself as it relates to my sexuality.  (I only recommend doing shadow work when you are ready and feeling strong, because it can be quite a lot all at once.)

Cards that fall in their same element will be read as exceptionally strong, as well as Majors, particularly if they are the same element as the position.  If you disagree with the cards, it is likely they are giving you a quality to work on embodying as advice.

Sample reading:

Card One, Fire in the South- Show me how I am powerful in my spirit, passions, and sexuality: Four of Cups.  The Querent is single minded in their approach, and tends to be faithful to one lover, forsaking all others for the singular pleasure they have at home.  Their passions cannot be incited by anyone but the one they save themselves for, or at least they tell themselves that.  With this water card in a fire position, weakening each other, I would encourage the Querent to at least allow the possibility of allowing a little more variety, even of the role playing type, into their bedroom, but first and foremost this spread is about claiming power, so I would focus on the positive aspects.

Card Two, Water in the West- Show me how I am powerful in my emotions and sexuality: The Lovers.  This card reinforces the first, and speaks of the deep emotional power the Querent feels in the act of sex with their chosen.  They have been given opportunities to cheat, or take other lovers, but they consistently choose the one they feel most connected to, and expect the same in return.  The fidelity, and the threat of losing it, is a constant goad to the passions of the Querent, and they may even be a kind of emotional masochist, where the pain, real or imagined, is a sweet catalyst to their pleasure.

Card Three, Air in the East- Show me how I am powerful in my thoughts, communications, and sexuality: Ace of Swords.  The Querent is free thinking and willing to explore many ideas within the confines of that safe space with the lover, though the previous cards indicate an unsureness of how to act on those thoughts.  That matters not at all, because an open dialogue and willing communication is the first piece of a great sexual relationship.

Card Four, Earth in the North- Show me how I am powerful with my physical being and sexuality: Five of Swords.  The Querent gets their physical pleasure, and does not understand why everyone doesn't feel the same.  They do whatever it takes to bring their partner to orgasm, and expects the same reciprocal treatment, and I would venture to say does not go too many days in between.

Card Five, Freyja as the Magician, in the middle- Show me how I can best use these tools to express myself as a powerful entity, comfortable with my body and the pleasure I both give and receive: Two of Swords.
  With so many Swords cards, the Querent is a deep thinker, and the mind is the first place they both need to be seduced as well as where they choose to begin their seduction.  Their decisions are considered carefully, and you can expect them to never be thinking with the wrong head, so to speak.  They wield words as their foremost weapon, but the imagery shows that emotions, as represented by the blue water, and earthy sensuality are not far behind in their priorities.  The Querent's power resides in reciprocity, willingness to listen, and the culmination of all the images suggest to me that the Querent may find their truest joy in a submissive role, at least some of the time, utilizing light BDSM techniques to explore that area of their life.

Card Six, optional, Loki as the Skulker, from the bottom of the deck- Show me how I betray myself as it relates to my sexuality: The Moon.  The Querent does not feel they can trust themselves to choose a partner that can be open and non-judgmental so they may continue to squash ideas they see as unclean or shameful.  They would be well advised to work on letting go of that shame and building their self esteem and personal trust in themselves.  In a reading, I would offer to draw further cards to implement those suggestions.

Loki essentially called Freyja a slut like it was a bad thing, and she laughed in his face, because to pervert Eleanor Roosevelt's famous saying a bit, no one can make you feel like a slut without your permission (and if you like feeling like one, by all means give that permission, not even tongue in cheek).  Shame is a great inhibitor, but nothing done in the name of love, or at least mutual pleasure, could ever be wrong, and I hope that this spread may help lovers to realize that.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sex Magic(k)

Kamasutra Tarot- The Magician
You can have magical sex, the kind where the earth moves and Heaven sighs on your skin, where waves of pleasure wash over you and you wonder why you would ever leave your bed.  You can have sex magick, where combining something like the Law of Attraction and Dr. Ruth you get down and dirty AND create your own fortune.  Or you can combine the two.  Personally, that is my favorite option.

Any discussion of The Magician seems incomplete without looking at the word itself, and its' base, magic.  If I take a quick trip to Wikipedia, the good folks there tell me, "Magic is the art of purportedly manipulating aspects of reality either by supernatural means or knowledge of occult laws unknown to Classical Mechanics."  That sounds pretty Magician-ish, as I understand the tarot card, to me.  The article goes on to state that most modern interpretations of the word have to do with personal spiritual growth, which again seems Magician-like to me, but perhaps takes some of the wind out of the Magician's sails, which trust me, is the last effect anyone wants when we are talking about sex and its' potential.

Orgasm is a powerful force, one that people are willing to fight wars over, one that can compel otherwise rational people to do crazy things.  Smart women will do dumb things, and sane men will go absolutely nuts over the lure of that explosive release.  Why not harness that force for yourself?

I am not an expert in Law of Attraction, Sex, Magick, Tantra, or anything, really, except myself, but what I do know is energy is moving during sex, ebbing, flowing, building, climaxing, and releasing.  I do know that thoughts can be charted on scans as energy, so the internal dialogue we have with ourselves and the external one we have with our partners takes on extreme importance in moments, like sex, when we are working with energy.  In that vein, I encourage you to consistently keep your thoughts positive while engaged in sex, and that alone will go far towards making your so below as above.

Sex magick can certainly be performed with an eye towards improving sex, and even if that is not the focus it is a very likely by product, but is useful for increasing abundance and focusing on goals you may have in any aspect of life.  Sex is one of the few literal translations of flesh and Spirit entwining, of the Magician's tools having form and substance that can be touched and tasted, and as such can act as a powerful bridge between the ethereal and the corporeal.  Sending concentrated energy towards the desire of your heart while concentrated energy is coursing through your body is a double whammy of power that yields explosive results.
Tarot of Sexual Magic - Aces
Aces are the seat of power in the tarot, and they show us the raw energy of the suits.  They also relate back to The Magician, with his tools on the table for easy access.  Aces, therefore, are our visual translation of the seat of our sexual power; intense passion, deep emotion, clear and honest communication, and sensual touch.  A good exercise in preparation for sex magick can be to pull the Aces from any deck, even one of playing cards, and focusing briefly on the energy of each, feeling the heat of the Wands, the deepness of the Cups, the sharp clarity of the Swords, and the firmness of the Pentacles.  We feel how deep our passion is for our goal, we feel how good it will be to reach it, we have a clear intention for reaching it, and we feel exactly how it will taste, look, sound, respond, and be like.  Looking through an erotic deck, or other images that embody the spirit of the element to you, can be exciting moments of anticipation, either with yourself, or a lover, and that energy is supremely powerful, too.

Sex magick can be performed alone, to great result, for any aspect of life, to draw a partner, to release one, to increase abundance, to get a new job, as well as with a willing partner of any gender preference.  The limit is, as with every aspect of The Magician, your imagination.  It is probably most powerful if you are both focused on one goal, but if you are shy to discuss it or both have issues to work on, it is perfectly acceptable to perform your own ritual in your head, where you should always be free to be exactly who you are.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Magician's Power Spread

I hardly think we can have a tarot and sex blog without having some spreads... (The jokes never stop here, folks!)  Today, in keeping with the inaugural post about The Magician, let's play with that energy a bit.

My hypothesis about The Magician in readings that are sexual in nature is the card indicates power, both ours and our partners, having it in spades, or feeling powerless.

The first position the Magician puts us in is, Show me where or how I am powerful, sexually speaking.

The Magician's second favorite position is, Show me where or how I need to claim my power.

The Magician's third position is, Show me where or how I am expressing power to my detriment.  (After laying all the cards, you are free to pull an advice card here, for how you can turn that poor expression into a healthy one.)

The final card is, Show me a Magician's tool I have been overlooking as I seek to make my fantasies my reality.

When reading sexually charged questions, or just with the intent to understand your or your partners, potential or in fact, sexuality, you can certainly use erotic themed decks, if they are pleasing to you.  The imagery will arrange itself to give the answers that are true for you.  You can also use any tarot deck, as traditional and modern imagery are both rife with symbolism that can be read sexually, and with a little imagination you will be seeing it everywhere.

Here is a sample reading:
Magician's Sexual Power Spread

Card One- Show me where or how I am powerful, sexually speaking: Six of Wands.  This is a card of triumph, victory, and adulation.  The Wands cannot be dismissed as obvious phallic symbols, and the riding of the horse indicates riding of a sexual nature.  The Querent reaches and gives satisfaction easily and often.  They may have an exhibitionist streak in them that can be safely played out through the use of mirrors, photography and video equipment, or more daringly so with a willing partner in other ways the partners may dream up.  If they enjoy being on display for their partner, a fantasy scenario in which the partner "spies" on the other while self pleasuring could be immensely satisfying for both.  The Querent is probably physically beautiful and desirable, and probably enjoys feeling desired and praised for their prowess.

Card Two- Show me where or how I need to claim my power: Ace of Wands.  The Querent will be well served by acknowledging the role the masculine has in pleasure, and not to take it for granted.  If the person  is involved with a man, they should literally touch their partner more, with confidence and boldness, like his penis is irrestible.  He will love it.  A female Querent should consider the role insertion has in her pleasure, even if her taste does not run to actual penises, and a male Querent may wish to consider this as well, for themselves.  A male Querant of any sexual preference should acknowledge and revel in the pure pleasure their penis gives them and their partner, and should be open to the spontaneity of expressing that pleasure wherever it is safe to do so, and some places that may not feel entirely safe.  The imagery suggests an outdoor interlude could be supremely exciting, the breeze brushing on naked skin, the thrill of the sun shining bright on every desire.  The Querant is advised to give themselves over to pleasure, desire, and creative fantasy a little more than they may have previously been open to. Let it burn, baby.

Card Three- Show me how I am expressing power to my detriment: Justice.  The Querent may be far more tit for tat than love, or at least healthy sexual sharing, may call for.  Sometimes we have to give when we have not in fact received, and based on the first card, it may be very difficult for the Querent to be left wanting.  They may feel when they have performed, they deserve the same service in kind, and may be reluctant to give freely, without thought of what they will be getting.  They may have a habit of making their partner pay in the bedroom for things that have happened outside of the bedroom, and because of the heavy weight of this Major Arcana, I feel they probably revel in the power to make their partner "beg for it".  Begging is a perfectly acceptable expression of desire and sexual play, but only if both partners agree and neither is humiliated by it (unless one wants to be humiliated, but that is a contract implied by agreement).  There is no room in love for right, wrong, nor the bearing of grudges, and neither partner can be safe to fully let go and express themselves if they fear recrimination.

As advice for this card, I pulled the Nine of Pentacles, a self sufficient figure who tends all her own needs.  Instead of resenting the partner, the Querent should practice sexual self care, and a willingness to be responsible for their own pleasure, instead of putting the burden of it on their partner.  As a woman of means, the Nine of Pentacles advises investing in erotica, toys, movies, and any physical items that will enhance your pleasure and place the domain of pleasure solely in the control of the Querent.  They should not exclude their partner, but they should be willing to spend some quality time both alone and with their partner, growing to understand more fully what brings them pleasure and how to elicit those intense waves.  Enjoy your own sensuality for no other than reason than your body is beautiful and designed to experience pleasure.  The numerology of the card suggests finding nine ways to pleasure yourself, from the light touch of a feather to the earthy flavor of a partner's skin, and anything you can dream up.

Card Four- Show me a Magician's tool I have been overlooking as I seek to make my fantasies reality: Knight of Wands.  This Knight is a go getter, and as Air of Fire burns the most hotly of any court card, in perpetual passion and energy.  He knows what he wants, and he pursues it.  The preponderance of Wands in this reading suggests the Querent will be best served by cultivating passion in their lives, that maybe they have often brushed it aside as unimportant or childish, but their heavy appearance in reading testifies that simply isn't true for this sitter.  They need to let their sexuality free, and follow where it leads without reservation.  This card relates to Sagittarius, the constant seeker, in astrology, and they would do well to mine their imagination for new ways to thrill themselves and their partner.  In this case, variety truly is the spice of life, and will be the spice in the sex life of these partners if actively pursued.

I always, always peek at the shadow card of any reading, the card on the bottom of the deck, on the theory we put the information we most don't want to face furthest away from ourselves.  In this reading, that card is the Three of Cups.  The Querent may suffer from insecurities or jealousy, and fears the partner fantasizes about other people.  They may fear the only hold they have over their partner is sexual pleasure, which may be part of why they withhold as seen in the Justice card.  They fear if the partner realizes joy and pleasure can come from other places the partner may leave them.  The Querent should work on their trust issues, to begin to understand that all relationships continue by choice of willing partners.

This card could also point to one of the partner's desire to bring another person into their play, and if it shows up in a detrimental position, it is likely both partners are not on board.  Neither partner should ever be made to feel ashamed of their desires and fantasies, and both should be willing to explore them in dialogue if not actuality.  Thinking the classic porno version of a threesome looks fun is a far cry from actually trying to please two (or more) people at once, and it should always be safe to at least discuss fantasies, and at try them on for size.  No one is saying you have to commit to the deed.

I hope this reading, and this spread, are illuminating to you, and know it is my pleasure to have written them!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Perception of Power

Decameron Tarot- Magician
The esoteric title of Trump I, The Magician, is The Magus of Power.  Those are pretty big words to cover a very big idea.

What do I know to be true about Magicians?

  • They have power.
  • They manipulate their world to suit their vision of reality.
  • They harness energy.
  • They study and learn their craft.
  • They are creative.
  • In tarot, The Magician is ruled by Mercury, the planet of communication.  They communicate.
  • In tarot, they were once portrayed as Le Bateleur, the juggler, the traveling con man who would take your coins and make you beg for the privilege.

There are two figures on this card.  Which one do you identify with?  Go ahead, I'll wait while you think about it.

Are you the well fed man in the front, self satisfied as you stroke the behind of a pretty young thing, your arm thrown possessively around her most precious asset?  If you are, you are fully clothed, and she is naked.  Does that give him the power in this relationship?  The subtext is that he bends her to his will, as any good Magician would, in this case of this card physically as well as metaphorically.  She is his thrall, and he removes his clothing when he feels like, if he feels like it, and her flesh is permanently on display for his pleasure.  Not a bad gig for him, is it?

Or are you the nubile creature behind him?  If you are, I would put forth the hypothesis that maybe you are the one with the power in this dynamic, and even better, you have possibly tricked your partner into believing it is he.  Notice her face.  Her expression is one of lust, pure and simple.  She is not there because she is tied.  She chooses to stay, chooses to bend over for him, chooses to let him explore her.  He desires her, and there is power in desire.  She is strong enough to bare herself while he remains covered.  She has nothing to hide, yet remains mysterious.  He is hiding everything yet is fully on display.

Pamela Colman Smith- Magician
One's natal Mercury is never far from their Sun planet, so how we communicate is an intrinsic part of who we are.  How we express ourselves sexually is part of who we are.  At different points in our lives we will be each of these figures, and it is most likely that we will experience power and desire from both ends of the equation, as the dominator and the submissive. Whether we revel in these positions or chafe against them tells us much about who we are and where we are in our journey.

The Waite Smith rendition of The Magician is often thought a young man, though I believe the figure to be androgynous, with full mastery of the elements that surround him.  He waves a phallic wand around proudly, with no embarrassment about the source of his prowess, and he points to the roses and lilies below him, potent symbols of purity and awakened sexuality entwined, and anyone who has seen a Georgia O'Keefe painting cannot deny the correlation between flowers and the sex of women.  Our puritanical society often has us believing this juxtaposition is impossible, but The Magician sings a different tune.  He boldly declares it is possible to be both lily pure and rose red passionate.  He uses the wet, deep Cups and the hot, hard Wands to equal avail.  The cold and pointed Swords sharpened tip is as light as a lover's kiss in his hands, or cutting as deeply as they were made to.  The earthy Pentacles promise pleasure yet tie us to us to our physical selves, and all these elements, with all their nuances, are notes in The Magician's symphony, and the most important realization of all is that The Magician lives in each one of us.

Le Veritable Tarot de Marseille
In the most functional of sexual relationships, this power play is but a spice in the recipe of the couple's successful life together.  Ideally, each partner is happy with their position and actually, whether consciously or un, made the choice to come together in this dynamic.  The danger lies when The Magician's trickster aspect comes forth, when the manipulation of power is not just a playful interlude between willing lovers, but a dangerous deception and need to either control or be controlled.  The shadow aspect of the powerful Magician is a liar, and cares more for power than people.  That person will be an inconsiderate and possibly even cruel lover.  All Magicians are manipulators.  The light expression of this will make a masterful lover who plays their partner's body, as well as their own, like a fine violin, with the belief that anything done in the names of love and mutual pleasure goes.  The shadow expression is a controlling person who cares only for their own pleasure and perception of their power in the relationship, with little love and not a care for the pleasure of their partner, except as it enhances their own.  They may lie, and express devotion when all they really feel is lust, and often that lust has little to do with the other person and more to do with the narcissism of the shadow Magician.

Call your Magician into power whenever you want to experience or give pleasure, whether in a sexual relationship or not.  One of the most basic aspects of The Magician, almost always portrayed, is that they are willing and able to take matters into their own hands.  Sexual awareness and health does not depend on having another person to express it with.  Pleasure is where you find it, which does not necessarily mean with a partner, and we owe ourselves the fullness of life whether in a relationship or not.

"Power resides only where men believe it resides."~ Varys the Shadow, Clash of Kings, by George R.R. Martin

I believe at first blush, the first card from the Decameron Tarot appears to be a lecherous man subverting the will of and taking advantage of the naked girl.  With deeper study, I began to feel that the image is portraying a very healthy sexual relationship in which each partner is getting what they need and willingly, perhaps even lovingly, taking care of the other.  We should all be so lucky to experience such a dynamic, and when we are not, we should all love ourselves enough to provide it for ourselves.

You can explore your Magician and expression of power with The Magician's Power Spread.