Friday, October 2, 2015

Daily Draw - Tempering the Mask

Book of Azathoth Tarot- Two of Pentacles
Today the October dark deck fest continues with an independently published Book of Azathoth Tarot.  The images in this deck do contain nudity, so if that's not your jam here is your opportunity to not have your eyes defiled.

The Two of Pentacles is not part of this reading.  He is just here to provide a little balance, to give my readers the chance to decide if they want to see a penis in the next set of cards or not.  Just like the rest of life, it's perfectly acceptable to play with the Pentacles a little before committing to the whole thing, and you can change your mind at any time.

I pulled a threesome of Major Arcana, which is always slightly alarming, and I don't find the images in this deck to be comforting and warm.  They are non-offensive, to me, but I am notoriously hard to offend, so don't let that be your guide post.

I have an incredibly difficult time trusting God, which sounds audacious to me even in my own mind.  It's not because I think I am not blessed, because I know I am.  Just by being born in America I am in a better situation than most of the world, and there are things every day that I am grateful for and know speak the presence of the Divine in my life.  It's not because I think I am owed more, because I know that God truly does help those who help themselves, and I need to do a little more for myself before I start telling God to do for me, too.  And it's not because I think I am not loved, because I do think God loves me, but in an impersonal way, the way all of humanity is loved, the way I love all animals, a lot, but the way the Zoe dog and those fatty ratties actually hold my heart, no I don't think I am loved like that.
The Book of Azathoth Tarot - The Hierophant, The Devil, Temperance

When we are little, our parents wear the mask of God for us.  They teach us about dependability, unconditional, and sometimes conditional, love, trust, grace, and the Divine.  But when our parents do not have a good grasp of those things themselves they cannot pass them along to us, and I, like a lot of people, have struggled to separate God from my fear of my tempestuous mother, the total absence of my father, and the judgment of the grandfather who undeniably loved me, and was undeniably disappointed by me on the regular.  I see this in the Hierophant, the representative of God here on earth,  wearing a mask and sitting on a throne, untouchable and unknowable.

And in our quest for something we can touch and know, somewhere we can feel safe, loved, accepted, we often find it easier and quicker to turn to excess- shopping, food, sex, alcohol, pills, escapism through video games, books, television, gossip, marijuana, and even harder drugs.  These things do not judge us, they do not condemn us, they can take the place of broken families and broken images of God, but they ultimately destroy us.  None of those things is wrong when not given a place above our own well being in our lives, but if we are using them as crutches rather than healing the broken pieces of ourselves, the Devil has truly taken root.  Anything that controls our lives and covers our hurt is an addiction, and it's the easiest thing in the world to stay in bondage to those things until we die.

Temperance is the great healer.  When we are tempered, we can enjoy a glass of wine without entering a binge.  We can eat a slice of cheesecake and enjoy it instead of needing to devour the whole cake in an effort to fill a vast hole.  If we partake, we can enjoy a mellow high without needing to get high to enjoy life.  We can have sex out of love and desire for closeness, or even just for fun, without feeling it turn into a desperate plea for validation, a distraction from our lives.  We shop for things we need and will enjoy, but we are not under a compulsion to buy, buy, buy, fill fill fill.

But the kicker is I cannot tell you about your path to Temperance, to being healed.  I cannot even tell you mine, because I don't know it, at least not the whole of it, and so much of it is discovered by the way the road feels beneath our feet.  The thing that stands out to me about this trio of cards, though, is that the Hierophant is both observing and being observed, and the Devil is a vignette of horrors to watch, but the angel of Temperance is actually doing.  And so I know that if I want to move forward, I too must actually do, not just wish and hope and think and despair and talk, but put one foot in front of the other, one word after the other, one digit after the other in making phone calls to people who can help, and actively work on healing myself rather than waiting for it to simply happen.

I am finding these dark decks to be thought provoking too, which I suppose is a by product of exploring the darker aspects of the psyche.  This reading is part of a series I am doing in the month of October featuring dark, spooky, creepy, and Halloween themed decks.  I am sure some of them will yield lighter reading.  Please share your favorites with me!

These cards are from The Book of Azathoth Tarot available at Nemo's Locker.

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