Monday, September 1, 2008

The story of the Empress

A narrative trip through Tarot’s Major Arcane
Once upon a time, in one of the distant Kingdoms in which memories no longer exist, a great Magician (01). When he opened his left hand up and his right hand down, he would canalize great power and unite earth and the sky, and from this unity would govern the four elements: the earth-token, the water-vessel, the air-sword, and the fire-stick that lay on a table.
There was also in this kingdom a High Priestess (02) of the Moon, daughter of the Great Goddess, reflex and mirror of the universe, servant and mistress of water and life, of Love and desire enchantments. She reads the Gnosis book and it’s crowned by a second quarter moon.
The offspring of this couple’s sacred encounter was a beautiful Empress (03), exuberant as nature during its joyful spring. But, as in this kingdom children were not to be allowed, the princess was taken to the exterior worlds, where she was adopted by a powerful Emperor (04). He was a good man and liked the little princess, but he was always focused on his work of administrating his kingdom’s land. And when his orders were not to be obeyed he would get really upset.
However, when the princess turned 15, she wanted to know who she really was and decided to search for her origins. She first went to the Hierophant (05) and tried to dedicate herself to religion. Nevertheless, before so many Dogmas, rituals, and devotional requests, noticing that with so many rules and details the essential was left behind, the princess decided to quit.
In the royal family, the princess had two brothers, legitimate heirs of the King: The first prince was a poet, a musician and bohemian. A true Lover (06) for life. But, as he had many affairs (On the Marseille cards he is represented by a man divided between two beloved ones, one is young, and the other mature), he was always in doubt about what he really wanted and took life irresponsibly. He was a prisoner of his own freedom, and could not tell the princess who she was.
The second prince was a warrior that would distribute his time among various sports and Chariot (07) competitions. Firm, decided and courageous – he got every quality that lacked in the first prince. But, on the other hand, everything the first one had of positive – the amiability, good taste, comprehension – also was lacking on him, once he was rude and insensitive. Always dedicating himself to combats, challenges and competitions, and could not tell the princess who she was and who were her true parents either.
Seeing her two brothers were not able to help her, the princess kept doing her investigation. She decided, then, to search for Justice (08), because she thought she had the right to know about her origins. The Truth advocate, who was not blind, neither used a blindfold, but had a sword on the right hand and a balance on the left one, examined the princess past, pondering her deeds and merits. Then, directed the princess to an old wise man, who lived in complete isolation in caves on the high distant mountains, and who exists since the beginning of ages and know everything.
The princess then searched for The Hermit (09). The wise man heard the princess, consulted the oracle of inner light and said: “before finding out who you are and who your parents are, you must face seven mystical tests; seven mysteries that if not solved would lead to great misfortune.” The hermit then said “Then role the Wheel of Fortune (10)! May the seven primordial forces awake the Empress out of her charmed dream in the material universe! May the seven ways of power reveal their eternal light under the veil of transitory worlds, connecting again earth and sky in this moment.” And, in this very instant, every thing started to orbit around the princess, which was kept into a deep and calm trance, immediately sleeping.
When the princess woke up, she was laying over a gigantic beast, a sleeping lion. She then noticed that, not only an attempt to escape, but any rougher movement would be deadly, because the alarmed animal will attack immediately. She started, then, to caress the lion’s mane, slowly and caringly. The animal, savage but sensitive to that gentle touch, started to wake up slowly, but instead of react in an aggressive and violent manner, it reattributed the caress of the princess, licking her hands. Thus, the princess won the test of Strength (11).
Immediately, the princess was transported to another situation and found herself upside down, with her hands tied and her right foot bounded to a rope that came from the infinite sky. There was no one else in the scene. On the contrary, the princess felt abandoned to her own fate, conscient of her finitude before the cruel world, and was compelled to a deep feeling of awkwardness and self mercy. The princess, however, was a few centimeters from land, with her hands almost touching the ground and the coins that felt from her pockets (which mean the losses). The princess cried and cried and cried. Yet, after a while, the princess decided to adapt to the situation and its restrictions. Instead of submitting herself to suffering and self-commiseration she surrendered herself in sacrifice, renouncing any hope: She would be there contritely and consciously. Then, the little princess learned the meaning of humbleness and was trough The Hanged Man (12) test.
Next, the princess was taken to somewhere else, where there was a mountain of dead bodies, lacerated and decapitated. Hiding a white horse, with a long black mantle and a scythe, a great skull would go over the bodies saying “It comes the time.” First the princess tried to runaway. But everywhere she hides, and everywhere she ran, the skull and its horse would appear and say “You time had come, I came for you”. For a moment the princess thought of negotiating “Let me finish the seven tests, and then I’ll go with you.” But, after a moment of sorrow she accepted that everything was ephemeral and that she should not be attached to anything. Then death stopped its persecution and said: “The ones who don’t fear me, and accept me as a friend, I always bless with change and transformation.” The princess then overcame the challenge of Death (13) and went forward.
Afterward the princess was transported to another task. Now she was before a giant angel, half red, half blue. The angel was holding two big chalices – a gold one and a silver one – throwing a luminous drink from one to another, in a cadenced and rhythmical way. Observing that movement the princess comprehended that the angel controlled the reversibility of every process, compensating and inversing the flux of vital energy of each event; she was astonished by that slow and hypnotic movement. Gradually that alternance of opposites became automatic and sleepiness started to catch the princess. She remembered that, sometimes, balance and moderation are excuses for inertia and immobility and stood awake, then overcoming the test of Temperance (14).
The giant angel turned into a Devil, with a sword in the left hand, and on the right hand, men and women bounded. His image instigates passion and violence. Scared, the princess feared and the devil’s power became stronger. The more the princess feared the evil she felt inside and close to her, greater was the danger and the threat really. On a magic moment, in which time is suspended, the princess got courage. And noticed that fearlessness hit evil, diminishing it. So, she breathed deeply and decided to face all her fears, including the fear of recognizing herself as instinct, as an animal with its desires and needs. The evil started diminishing until it disappeared definitely. Then, the princess overcame the test of The Devil (15).
Later, the princess started to fall from a vertiginous precipice, of what end seemed very far away. Falling (from a very high tower, hit by a thunderstorm) in the endless space. She had already sacrificed herself during the test of the hanged man, she had accepted finitude in the test of death, she did not feared anymore, whereas she had faced and won evil during the devil’s test, but surrender, acceptance and courage were not enough for her to surpass the despair of that fall in emptiness. She thought on focusing her hands. When concentrating to feel her own hands, the princess ascended to a higher level of conscience thus winning the test of The Tower (16).
She now woke up on a beautiful island. Under the blue starlit night, the virgin woods, green glow colored, was baled by the calm wind that came from the sea. The princes set naked by the water of a small river, resting her feet tired from the journey and sighted: “How beautiful, I could stay in this paradise for the rest of my life” But true happiness is not made of illusion, and the princess remembered that that comfort and beauty were deviating her from her goal of getting to know herself and find her origin. Then the princess conquered the seventh and last challenge: The Star (17) proof.
Emerging from the dark night of the soul, a narrow path arisen between defiles and two twin towers on the back, kept by a golden scarab. It rained tears of blood; a dog and a wolf would howl for the moon. The seven tasks were overcome. Then the princess heard a voice breaking the sky: “Your mother is The Moon (18) and your father is The Sun (19)” The luminous centre of being the Self was achieved as a party of light and heat. The angels sounded their trumpets and the dead came from their graves. The Day of the Final Judgment is the separations between the wheat and the JOIO, the resurrection and The Judgment (20). The princess arrives home, her homeland, the magical kingdom in which she was born and meet with her true parents, all her family, besides other princes and princesses reborn from different worlds and dimensions. Everyone singing and praising to the Imanifest God and the New Jerusalem, the heavenly city, the reborn communion.
The story of the Empress ends up with her dancing, between the four sacred animals that exist in the corners of The World (21): the bull, the lion, the eagle and the angel. She deciphered the sphinx enigma, revealed and considered the mystery of apocalypse. She dived into the darkness of the substance, in the dark dream of times, and was reborn to eternal life, after overcoming the seven tasks of the ephemeral worlds.
And only to register: The Fool (00) who told me this story.