Thursday, January 5th, 2012

The Lovers — Twenty-Two Keys of the Tarot

Illustrator,  Author, Printer & Publisher: Susan Kay Topa

 

Outside my window, snow falls in gentle flakes, drifts like dandelion fluff. It is January in Vermont and the grass is green. I dream a thick white blanket— a snow-quilt. Remembering a life lived not too long ago, I say to the cards, “Tell me something about Hawaii.” A strong surf pounds in my bones. I pull The Lovers. This deck knows Kauai.

 

 [Hours later, a thin sheet of snow covers the ground and I have submitted a deck review and more card images to Aeclectic Tarot. It will eventually be found under “Deck Reviews.” I will provide an exact link when one appears.]

 

Interpretation: The Lovers— harmony, love, trust // Reverse— unreliability, fickleness

“This is the first card in which two figures appear, it is the marriage of the male and female principles of nature; the Sun and the Moon, Air and Earth, Fire and Water, etc. The result of the marriage is the Orphic egg which flies between them. It represents the essence of life. Its visibility is a sign of the success of the union which leads to harmony. The male carries the staff, a phallic symbol and the female carries a chalice, a symbol of the womb.”

 

This was the first deck I ever purchased. Knowing nothing of its value, I proceeded to live my regular vagrant, semi-homeless life. The first place I brought it was on a three-week backpacking trip to the Hawaiian island of Kauai. I was living in Fairbanks, Alaska at the time. After I bunged up the book and the box, I learned what a rare deck it is.

 

Almost three years later, I returned to Kauai from Fairbanks, this time to stay. The deck and I lived on the moist and mildewy south-shore together for four-and-a-half years. During that time I fell madly in love with the ocean. I swam for hours at a time, swimming from beach to beach all along the south shore. I wore a pair of swim trunks and a pair of goggles. I pulled my bikini top down around my waist so it wouldn’t chafe my arms. I coated my nostrils with Vasiline to help keep the membrane from drying out. I took nothing with me and told no one where I was going. I swam with turtles, spinner dolphins, humpback whales and a whole stained-glass window of tropical fish. I swam in pouring rain, strong rip-tides, and high surf. I swam out, out past the rocks, out past the surfers, out, out, out. I swam an undulating stroke and kept the rhythm of the waves. I fell madly, madly in love with the ocean. When it was time to leave Hawaii, leaving the ocean broke my heart. It was years before I was able to hear the word “ocean” without crying. We were lovers, the ocean and I, and I will never be the same.

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