Saturday, December 24th, 2011

11. Strength β€” The Shakespeare Oracle

[One well versed in Shakespeare could use this deck to learn tarot and never need to look up a meaning in the book.]

Artist: Cynthia von Buhler
Author: A. Bronwyn Llewellyn


Interpretation: “This card suggests fortitude, confidence, and command. This isn’t the raw courage and endurance needed to leap into battle, but the inner strength to do what has to be done, no matter how difficult or long it takes.” Etc.


I keep forgetting to ask a question. I have no idea what this card answers other than the eternal question “Who am I?” This is not a bad thing. Ramana Maharshi tells us:


“Who am I” is not a mantra. It means that you must find out where in you arises the “I”-thought which is the source of all other thoughts. [AND] Self-enquiry is certainly not and empty formula and it is more than the repetition of any mantra. If the enquiry “Who am I” were a mere mental Questioning, it would not be of much value. The very purpose of self-enquiry is to focus the entire mind at its source. It is not, therefore, a case of one “I” searching for another “I.” Much less is self-enquiry an empty formula, for it involves an intense activity of the entire mind to keep it steadily poised in pure Self-awareness.


Unfortunately, the simplicity of meditation is more complex than the complexity of reading tarot:


To enquire “Who am I?” really means trying to find out the source of the ego or the “I”-thought. You are not to think of other thoughts, such as “I am not this body.” Seeking the source of “I” serves as a means of getting rid of all other thoughts. We should not give scope to other thoughts… but must keep the attention fixed on finding out the source of the “I”-thought by asking, as each thought arises, to whom the thought arises. If the answer is “I get the thought,” continue the enquiry by asking “Who is this ‘I’ and what is its source?”


Each tarot card answers “Who am I” in a different way. Each card shows something different in myself. At any moment, I embody every card. When I pull a card with no question in mind but “Who am I?” the answer is always, “You are this.” Then I find the part of me that the card speaks of and how I currently embody that aspect.


I pulled the Strength card and thus ask, “How am I Strength?” I see that I embody many aspects of strength in its positive attitude. Although often I am uncertain of what I am doing, confidence in my self and my world-view gives me strength. I admit I pulled the card upside-down, and seek meaning there. It tells me to watch for self-doubt and lack of faith. These are things that weaken me.

you are strong: be strong be strong

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