I use tarot and oracle cards as tools for reflection and contemplation. Rather than divining the future, they are a way for me to look more deeply at the "now."
"The goal isn't to arrive, but to meander, to saunter, to make your life a holy wandering." ~ Rami Shapiro

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Eye of the Needle

From the Tarot in de Herstelde Orde (Restored Order Tarot), the Queen of Cups:
When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives means the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.
― Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Road to Daybreak: A Spiritual Journey
No wonder this Queen looks slightly anxious about taking the lid off that cup - walking the fine line of empathy can be tricky. Elementally, she's water of water (meaning water deep enough to drown in). Being supportive and caring can be a slippery slope, and I can find myself as overwhelmed as the friend I'm trying to help. The Queen of Cups reminds me to put on a life jacket before I wade out into deep water today.

From the Oracle of Kabbalah comes the letter "Kuf:"
artwork by Malka Helfman
In Aramic, Kuf means "eye of the needle." The eye of a needle is what makes it useful - it is what holds the thread needed to sew something. Yet the needle never becomes the thread, it just remains a holder for it like a cup that holds tea. Kuf is one of two letters in the Hebrew alphabet that has two separate parts. It reminds me that detachment is needed so I don't get entangled with the heavy emotions of other people. 


  1. That is some great advice. It is good to be there for someone, but we don't have to live there lives for them and solve there problems.It is not good for us but it isn't for them neither. For you only grow and develop when you can face you on challenges in life

    1. I think women especially are inclined to want to help, but like you said, sometimes it becomes a hindrance for both of us.

  2. I did a small card of zentangles every night at bed time for about a year. These cabala cards are a lovely example of the art. And as always, your interpretations are beautiful.

    The broken birds will never fly until you release them...
    Holding on too long is just as damaging as not offering an opportunity to pick themselves up at all. We all must see the bottom before we can retrain ourselves to look up.

    1. Zentangles? I'll have to google that one. The letters I'm using on the blog are various images from the web - while I like the book, the cards themselves are just a plain black letter on a boring white background.