Sunday Craig and I went to Deborah Lipp's wedding. It was an amazing day, beautiful view, lovely ceremony, great food, and a good time. It was a joy just to watch how happy the couple was and the swelling of their families, magickal and mundane to welcome them into both clatches.
I got henna for the occassion.
They had a tarot card theme wedding with the decorations, the cake, everything was based on the balance of the elements and the cards. The cake had the magician's table on top! Very cute.
They had the neatest favors too. Each guest got an envelope with a card. There was a personalized interpretation of the card, done by Deborah. I, of course, got the card I least wanted. The card that plagues me. I opened the envelope and immediately started tearing up. To make things even more fitting, of course someone was trying to hug me hello at that exact moment. Why do I wear make up on my eyes, ever? Tell me please!
What card you ask? The Empress of course. To make things more fitting, it was the Empress from the Robin Wood deck. The deck I use almost exclusively. I had also almost lost the card earlier that week and had found it on the floor separated from the deck. I found that after 4 to 5 years of reading cards, that the deck, which had been a hand-me-down gift, was missing its Empress. Why do I deny this card so much? The message was to fully embrace giving my energy to projects larger than myself, to serve in ways that serve the many. It was a tough message to get, feeling cut off from myself, in a community that I am only tertiarily a part of, and looking at all the limiting choices I had been making for 6 months.
I got an immediate vision of my Third Degree initiation. I left the Isle of Avalon, to pass through the gates, back into integration, but as I did, received the seed of initiation as a Third Degree in the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel. The feeling was of estatic joy, dissolution, unity, and the creasting into a new flooding sea of the future. I felt as if the Sea Priestess, Dion Fortune, herself had pushed me through, to go out into the world to further the work of Binah and Isis. This was not the feeling of the Tower Card, but of Death, carrying the banner of the Tudor Rose, the symbol of life eternal.
Whenever I think of the death card, I am taken back to the pathworking Dolores Ashcroft Norwicki offers in the Shining Paths, with the death barge being taken down the Nile. I can smell neroli and hear the papyrus rustling in the breeze.
So why is the death card so appropriate? Here, the ego, the Middle Self constantly chattering has to give way to the Higher Self as the Higher Self midwife's the soul in a rebirth to become a new remolded soul. This is not the previous balancing of the elements (the minors), development of the magickal persona, the tempering by fire and ice (Temperence)--here the method is an assumption with the higher nature and the integration of the three parts.
Death offers the first step into a new way of being; a new sight, mind, and spirit. Death, brings forth the High Priestess from the depths of the ocean, that she speak from a place of informed intuition, Strength, and ferry the Moon boat through each timeless night. Mirror, let us look upon your face to know the Sun.
Death, lead the way. I'm ready to let it all go to pass through the gates and into the new life that awaits me. There is no fear in your embrace, for I know now, that the inner death brings one to true life. Blessed be.