In this article we will discuss the two cards associated with the healing power of Love and the human willpower .
VI – The Lovers
This card shows a naked woman and a man standing before the Angel Raphael who is the representation of the healing power of God Almighty in Abrahamic tradition. Surrounded by the lush vegetation of the Garden of Eden, they are threatened by the sibylline enticement of the Devil in the form of a serpent attached to an apple tree. The twelve flames of the burning tree represent the twelve signs of the zodiac. The man—the Conscious mind—is watching the woman—the Subconscious mind—who is in turn watching the Angel—the Super Conscious. It resumes the progression from purely physical needs through the emotional concerns towards the spirituality. Women are the pulleys transmitting our physical energies towards the attainment of our spiritual goals, surpassing our limitations.
Note – This image depicting The Archangel Israfil was made in Egypt or Syria in the late 14th-early 15th century.
In most Abrahamic religions, (Christianity, Judaism and Islam) Saint Raphael is associated with healing in various forms. In the Gospel of John, he is the angel that is stirring the waters at the pool of Bethesda. In the Babylonian Talmud, he is one of the three angels that appeared to Abraham in the oak grove at Hebron, charged with healing him after his circumcision. In Islam, he is depicted with a trumpet because he will be responsible for blowing it atop the mosque in Jerusalem to announce the Resurrection. He heals our spirits from the manifold frustrations of Life.
Upright Lovers – This scene conveys the unique serenity and safety that a genuinely loving relationship, based on mutual affection and respect, confers to the partners. It is usually ascribed to sexual companions, but it can also refer to other members of our family and close friends. Being totally naked, they are not afraid to expose their innermost feelings and concerns to the other partner, eschewing hypocritical shame. In a labor or professional context, it might mean that you have to “come clean” with your deeply held beliefs in challenging situations that put your honesty to the test. Your circumstantial choices must be aligned with your moral and ethical upbringing.
Reverse Lovers – This scene gives us the idea that something is wrong in your life. It could be that you are not being completely honest and sincere with your partner. In that case, you must sit down for an extensive discussion of possible remedies. If it refers to a labor or professional situation, it might mean that you must mend your ways by following the precepts of your teachers and avoiding the “easy way out.” The apparition of this card means that you must eventually make the rightful choice. Moreover, the coupling of two individuals will create a higher form of association.
VII – The Chariot
This card shows a courageous warrior of Antiquity riding his chariot into battle, which he does by the sheer power of his will and not by holding any reins. His attire shows several alchemical symbols like the crescent moon (the future) and a square (the willpower) In the front of his chariot, there is a representation of an eagle, which embodies human reason in the symbology of alchemy. Above his head there is a constellation of stars connecting him to The Divine and in front of him lie two sphinxes pulling in opposite directions. However, exercising strong voluntarism, he manages to steady the course right in the middle. Behind him, stands the natural flow of Life, represented by a tumultuous river that never stops and cannot be controlled by men.
Note – This image of an alchemist working in his laboratory besides a big vase with a painting of both an eagle (symbol of human reason) and the Ouroboros (a serpent or dragon eating its own tail) appears in the 15th century Swiss alchemical treatise called the Aurora Consurgens.
Alchemy is an extremely ancient branch of natural philosophy that dates back to Mesopotamia, Egypt, and the Greco-Roman world; the name derives from the Latin term alchymia. Alchemists tried to transform the physical and spiritual realities with esoteric techniques that were wrapped with Hermetic principles related to magic, mythology and religion. For example one of their methods was the chrysopoeia, i.e. the transformation of “base metals” like lead into “noble metals” like gold. After the translation of Medieval Islamic treaties on science in the 12th century, the European alchemy started to play an important role in the development of modern laboratory techniques and the experimental method, which are still being used in our times.
The blossoming of the basic scientific methodology in the 17the century eclipsed the Alchemy, which was considered as a charlatan’s endeavor tainted with magic. But the seminal studies of Carl Gustav Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist, of our collective unconscious brought the symbology of Alchemy back to the fore. Jung dared to tackle its complex, dark significance in his book Psychology and Alchemy. Marie-Louise Franz was a Swiss disciple of Jung and in her book An Introduction to the Symbolism of Alchemy and Psychology, she said: “in (his book) Dr. Jung has, as it were, introduced alchemy into psychology , first by publishing a series of the dreams of a natural scientist which contain a great amount of alchemical symbolism, and then by quoting from old texts, whereby he hoped to show how important and modern this material is, and how much it has to say to modern man. He himself discovered alchemy absolutely empirically. He once told me that he frequently came across certain motifs in his patients’ dreams and then one day he started to look at old books on alchemy and noticed a connection.”
Jung believed that our Unconscious is not an ethereal fabrication of our personal and collective minds but rather a physical entity that has a powerful characteristic:
The Unconscious is Matter that knows itself
Marie-Louise Franz said: “the alchemists, in observing and experiencing their symbols and in their written description, worked without any conscious religious or scientific program, so that their conclusions are spontaneous, uncorrected impressions of the unconscious with very little conscious interference, in contrast to other symbolic material which had always been revised.”
Upright Chariot – When this card appears, it is a clear signal that you must use all your willpower to steady the course of action and avoid being swayed sideways by obstacles and persons that would stand in your way to success in any kind of realm. On a personal or public level, you must move forward with focused determination. This is not a time for the meek or the doubtful. You must make that valiant first step. If it refers to an event in you recent past, it might mean that your spiritual strength has helped you surmount all those seemingly impossible obstacles with panache.
Downright Chariot – When this card appears, it is an unequivocal sign that you must stop and stand down in whatever major project or task that you might have started. Perhaps you must re-evaluate your course of action by studying all the parameters that had prodded you to take it in the first place. Even though you might successfully achieve your goals, they might turn out to be a “bad choice” for you and other persons. At the personal level, it might mean that you must sit down with your friend or romantic partner to discuss some past events or decisions that affected you greatly. While the Upright Chariot is a road sign that says: “Full speed ahead”, the Reverse version is another sign that says: “Stop”, in big bold red letters with a white background.
Stay distant. Stay safe. Stay beautiful.
What do you think? Please tell us.
Don’t leave me alone.