Friday, November 25, 2016

September 30, 2016: Fermentation

My Dreams of Gaia card is another Earth card, the Two of Earth reversed.  I threw this one in an upright position about ten days ago. The keywords for this card are equilibrium, flexibility, adaptability, balance, harmony, compromise, confidence, procrastination and freedom.  This card reminds us of the importance of balancing our personal responsibilities regarding work, home, family, and pleasure, while remaining flexible so we can adapt to the circumstances of the day and meet our responsibilities.  I am being told by my reversed Two of Earth that I may need to prioritize my responsibilities before I am overwhelmed.  If I don’t decide what to focus on, things may fall through the cracks, and that won’t make me happy.  I might end up creating discomforts for others, too, which also won’t make me happy. 

From now on, I will pull a Major Arcana card from this deck for Full and New Moons, and for Sabbats.  My New Black Moon card is The Crone; how appropriate is that?  This card is full of symbolism that is relevant to me.  There is a raven sitting in the gnarled, old tree behind the Crone, and indeed the Crone’s dark robes studded with glistening stars (guidance, look to a higher source for direction) appears to be a part of that tree.  There is a serpent (renewal, rebirth, shedding of the old) wrapped around the Crone’s arm and the spear-like wand she carries, and there is a beautiful, glowing crystal at the tip of the wand.  There are mushrooms (male energy, eccentricity, immortality) growing out from between the roots of the tree, and there appears to be a gateway behind the tree; visible in the gateway is a dark, starry sky and a waning crescent moon (cycles, time, moving from one phase to another).  That is a lot of symbolism for one card!

The Crone is the number VI of the Major Arcana.  The keywords for this card are feminine power, fearlessness, authenticity, individuality, independence, new purpose, freedom and shadow self.  As hinted at by the keywords, The Crone represents a proud and independent woman who is no longer influenced by the need to reproduce or the responsibilities of parenting.  The Crone is not afraid to walk her Path alone, she is not afraid to look to her own needs in whatever manner feels right to her.  She is comfortable in her own skin, she is honest (sometimes brutally), wise, and unafraid to deliver tough love if she feels it is needed.  She is telling me to reject stereotypes or expectations, be brave and determined, and take the direct approach when making choices.  Finally, she is reminding me that I am who I believe I am.  Powerful message!

These two cards together offer an important reading.  I need to continue to strive for balance, but I also need to remember that evolution not only requires the acceptance of change, but it also requires the release of what no longer serves me.  I need to be happy with who I am right now, and understand that as long as I make choices through both the mind and the heart, I should not judge myself harshly if things don’t turn out the way I intended.  By shedding the old and being flexible, I can make use of the power that is right there in my hands.  I am, after all, grasping that power right now.

For the first time in many months, I performed my own new moon Esbat.  It was wonderful to return to my own ritual; re-experiencing those familiar words has had an energizing effect.  I do feel as if I have reached the tipping point in all my work since I began this round of the Great Work back in the end of June.  Going forward from here, I expect to be tested.  After all, there is no better way to determine if I have done good work than to be tested by Deity.  I’m just hoping the test won’t be too painful. 

According to The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Alchemy, there is a mini-step between Conjunction and Fermentation called “Putrefaction.”  Putrefaction is the final cleansing of impurities or remnants of ego, and it is a necessary step that prepares for a rebirth into a more perfect level of existence.  This step is often named Citrinitas; if Nigredo represents the darkness of the unconscious, home to the negative and fearful aspects of the self, and Albedo is the first white light of the awakening soul, shining into the darkness like the moon illuminates the night, then Citrinitas is that moment when the first rays of the sun (still below the horizon) begin to bring golden light that chases away the darkness. 


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