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

Saturday, July 25, 2015

A Heavy Chalice to Carry

From the Thoth Tarot, the Chariot; from the Vertical Oracle, "Mercy:"

          How do you move through life, completely covered with armor or with your vulnerability as exposed as a flower's petals? According to Crowley, the charioteer's sole function is to bear the holy grail (that's not a small satellite dish he's holding, but the inside of the chalice). The grail was a symbol of spiritual sacrifice and success. The knight's movements must not be based on self-centered desires, but on what will benefit everyone. The center of the grail is attached to his inner Self as a guiding system. But those little beasties pulling the wagon symbolize his will; they composed of his motives, emotions, physical desires and opinions. Now the head-to-toe armor is beginning to make sense: he's trying to make progress without interference from his own ego.
          Now I'm all for victory, but what happens if mistakes are made or I become exhausted or careless? Do I lose all sense of self-respect and self-worth for myself? Researcher Kristin Neff explains, "When our sense of self-worth stems from being a human being intrinsically worthy of respect—rather than being contingent on reaching certain goals—our sense of self-worth is much less easily shaken. By tapping into our inner wellsprings of kindness, acknowledging the shared nature of our imperfect human condition, we can start to feel more secure, accepted, and alive." Self-compassion (Mercy) provides the same benefits as high self-esteem without its drawbacks. Neff suggests such an approach will avoid the traps of narcissism, self-absorption, self-righteous anger, prejudice and discrimination. Perhaps that is the true message of the grail.


  1. I like the relationship between the Grail he's carrying and the face of Mercy, they could be one in the same.

    1. I agree; it was nice to remember to apply that mercy to myself as well as others!