Thursday, March 11, 2010
Here Comes the Sun!
This distorted and inaccurate assoication has nothing to do with the Tarot's true purpose. Rachael Pollack said it best when she wrote in her marvelous exploration of the Tarot, "Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom" that "the purpose of the Major Arcana is to know consciously the irrational wisdom of the unconscious."
But what exactly does that mean? Essentially, when used properly, the Tarot is designed to make the covert overt and the hidden revealed. That is, its shows us those themes or issues in our life which require attention. The Major Arcana of twenty-two cards (the Fool is 'zero') is divided into three sections which focus on three different levels of experience. Section one represents the conscious which is comprised of the outer concerns of daily life. Section two deals with the subconscious whereby we begin to search inward to find out who we really are. And Section three encompasses our super conscious, in which we develop our spiritual awareness (Pollack).
As we aspire from the Major Arcan's first section to the third on our Life's Journey we hopefully become more enlightened each step of the way. We move away from our physicality and ascend to a more exulted and refined state of being where we are no longer fettered by our corporal limitations. This is transcendence or a state of grace. The Sun represents the apotheosis of our efforts as it illuminates "the light of the unconscious brought into daily like." (Pollack)
Depicted on the Sun is a child riding on the back of a white horse. White, of course, is the color of purity. Mythology is rife with stories about heroes carrying out their heroic deeds and triumphing over evil while astride a white horse. In Greek mythology, the Sun God Apollo ushers in the dawn each morning by driving his chariot drawn by white horses across the sky.
The child a top the horse, with his arms outstretched in a wide embrace, symbolizes rebirth and renewal. He also signifies the pure unmitigated joy only children and holy men and women seem to possess in greeting the world.
The Sun reminds us that true enlightenment only occurs if we approach Life with a pure and open heart.