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Karma With the High Priestess

From David on www.myownminister.comWitches Tarot by Ellen Dugan and Mark Evans
Witches Tarot by Ellen Dugan and Mark Evans

I’m going to start this post with an examination of one of the cards drawn and presented here. I want to talk a bit about the Karma card…

Many of you are familiar with card XX (20) of the Major Arcana traditionally being the Judgement card. Interestingly, Ellen Dugan chose to instead refer to the card in this position as Karma. I’m a fan of this take, especially in juxtaposition with The High Priestess as I will explain here.

Even though Judgement in the Tarot is not necessarily meant to convey this as such, the concept of judgment carries with it a critical perspective of polarized ethics; good and bad, right and wrong, should and shouldn’t, etc. I don’t know if it’s due to having been marinated in Judeo-Christianity for so many centuries, but to judge is not as impartial as it erroneously implies, no matter how many kunk-kunks of the gavel we hear on each Law & Order episode. Judgment implies… nay, clearly denotes… right and wrong. You’re either with our with our laws and ethics or you’re against them. Hang ‘im! (no offense to the Hanged Man)

Perhaps it’s due to Eastern Philosophies being unsullied by the Abrahamic Religions whose protagonist is vengeful and jealous, not to mention they are by far the older stepbrother as religions go, but karma is driven by unbiased mechanics at its core. It is part of the cams and gears of the Universe rather than the byproduct of the fist clenching and face scrunching of some seemingly omnipotent entity. Karma is simply cause and effect. All actions create results of the same frequency.

I like the pairings of these particular cards from this deck, like how a specific type of fermented grape juice might go well with a specific type of bovine meat. Once we strip away the critical eyes and clucking tongues of social structures and mores we are left with pure and distilled action and consequence, of which not a single one occurs without the other. It might seem that we woke up as a cast member in this ultimate reality show to learn the rules of right and wrong, with a test at the end of class to see how well we applied them, but I don’t believe this is the case at all.

Without the misspelled sentences meted out by Judge Judgy McJudger we are free to learn to learn what we learn while jumping on the trampoline of self-aware corporeality. Armed with the potion of free will and the magic wand of choice, we get to create to our heart’s content. We also get to feel the effects of our creation. We get to play a benevolent rabbi that does great multiplying math tricks with fish and bread which we can partake in as well, or we can play a twisted rabbi that brings to life our golem which will eventually crush us when it inevitably goes into its uncontrollable rampage.

The bottom line is, we get to play god as the god fragments that we are. We create all day long by choices and decision and actions. It’s kind of a game of let’s make this and do this and see what happens. Yet what happens always happens to us at some point in some way. We cannot create then retreat into our impenetrable booth that renders us immune to the law of cause and effect. When we create through our choices and release our little pretties and tell them to fly, they always come back home. The biggest lesson we learn is not whether we did right or wrong, it is at what point we can determine which particular choice and action created a given personal experience.

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