The High Priestess - She just keeps popping up.

The High Priestess

This is an organic project that ebbs and flows with our lives, but is a steady current, taking us in the right direction, though sometimes there are rocks to dodge and turbulent waters.  It may take a while to get to the end of the journey, but there's no going back now.

We've covered the Fool, and the Magician in previous blogposts, both of them so out front and in your face, daring you to take chances, encouraging you to make things happen in your world.  And then, suddenly, the road takes a sharp turn into the woods, some very dark woods.  

This is a tricky card to write about, a tricky card to pin down, because her language can’t really be spoken or written down.  She’s like the dream that evaporates within moments of waking.  You can still FEEL it, but expressing it, even the fragments that you remember don’t quite capture it and it doesn’t seem to make sense by the light of day.  That’s because she has very little to do with what happens under the sun and like the mythical sphinx, she speaks in riddles.

She is:  Illusive, Mysterious, Darkness, Potential

She does: Guard, Retreat, Wait, Gestate

She represents:  the Unconscious, Insight, Dreams, Secret Knowledge, Hidden Truths, Wisdom, Memories, Intuitive Understanding, your Inner World.

In order to connect with her you must be:  Receptive, Introspective, Contemplative, Meditative, Intuitive, Patient and Listening.

This card shows up quite frequently for me, in readings and out of the blue in unexpected places.  I open a book in a used bookstore and there she is:


I walk into an antique store and there she is:

I see her briefly in a shadow of me on the beach:



And she showed up in our work long before we started this project:

The Night Curtain - copyright James and Lynn Lemyre

The Night Curtain - copyright James and Lynn Lemyre

It’s a good beginning just to look and listen for her.

Our Magician - The Magician Manifests!

The Magician

Inspiration   Consciousness   Energy   Manifestation

“Imagination does not become great until human beings, given the courage and the strength, use it to create.”  Maria Montessori

Our Magician stands with his feet firmly planted on the ground at the threshold between the heavens and earth, able to tap the creative energies, harness them and direct them.   He is the eureka moment, the epiphany, the flash of inspiration initiating the beginning of something. He is the conduit through which energy is directed.  He is the conscious mind, using his will power to shape and change nature consciously, to put its energies to creative use.

Behind him on the wall is a map that represents the inner world and the outer world, Jung’s map of the Psyche.  The Fool took the first step in the journey, but it is the Magician sets us on the path, making us aware through his miracles and tricks that there is more than meets the eye.  He is male Yang energy, focused consciousness, the individual intellect doing and acting in the world, one half of your true Self that you need to get to know.  He has all the tools at his disposal to get the job done. 

This is the beginning, a time for decision making and action.  It’s the energy of inspiration to start a project and the excitement to sustain you to complete it.  There is a huge reservoir of power and energy available for you to tap into and direct.  By releasing creative power you open yourself up to further flow.    

This all rests on your own will.  A lack of will or confusion of purpose blocks the connection to that power, leading to lethargy, apathy or depression.  

The good news is that the inner and outer worlds of our psyche are connected and effecting a change in one will also effect a change in the other.  The power flows in both directions.   Feeling depressed and apathetic?  Do something small.  Take a walk.  Bake cookies. Make something.  Get the power flowing again, even if it just starts as a trickle.

The Magician is one powerful half of the equation in our world of dualities:

Yang and Yin
Black and white
Male and Female
Animus and Anima (can you find her reflection?)
Roses and Lilies - the red and white alchemical opposites that symbolize Masculine and Feminine
Logos and Eros
Doing and Being
Inside and Outside
Heaven and Earth
Above and Below

Tarot is a story.   It’s a story about you.  It’s a story about what it means to be human, about navigating the world we live in, dealing with both circumstances beyond our control and those we can control and where we find the wisdom to grow. 

From the moment the Fool takes his first step, the story is set in motion, the journey has begun. This is a spiritual journey, like a labyrinth that takes us deep with ourselves and then leads us back out into the world again, much wiser for the trip. As Socrates is quoted as saying, “The unexamined life is not worth living”, meaning that it is only in striving to come to know ourselves and to understand ourselves that our lives have any meaning or value.  The Tarot is a valuable tool for this process.

Like following the Christian Stations of the Cross or the initiation rituals of the Eleusian mystery religions, we can follow the progression of the cards, each card connected and building on the meaning of the card preceding it and those following it, meditating on the message and meaning of each and how they relate to our lives.  

“One of the goals of initiation in the mystery religions is to introduce the individual, through a spiritual journey, to the grounds of existence, that source of consciousness and energy of which we are all manifestations.  So the aim is to guide us to the knowledge of this power, and the cornucopia that is symbolic of the course of our life.”  -Joseph Campbell

It is fitting that the first card in the series is the Magician.  Like Hermes before him, psychopomp, soul guide, the Magician is there at the beginning of the journey, getting us started in the right direction.



The Fool with a Thousand Faces

Part of our study of the Fool archetype was to search for him in our past work as well as in the work of other artists, tarot and otherwise.  The Fool has many faces, here are just a few:

The Seeker

The Trickster

The Leap of Faith

The Wanderer Between Worlds

The Fool as Seeker - From left to right,   Gaian Soul TarotThe Grail Tarot, Wanderer by Jim & Lynn Lemyre 2010.

The Fool as Trickster- from left to right - The Tarot de St.CroixThe Native American Tarot,   The Pied Piper by Elizabeth Alba,  Peter Pan

The Fool as The Leap of Faith - from left to right -Painting by Alissa Blaney,  The Fool by Jak Flash,  Luke Skywalker as the Fool by Elan Rodger, Learning to Fly by Jim & Lynn Lemyre. 

The Fool as Wanderer Between Worlds - left to right Pagan Otherworlds TarotMon Tarot De Marseille by Tarotland, Threshold by Jim & Lynn Lemyre 2005.