As above, so below.
This is the principle that underlies mystery traditions and systems of esoteric spirituality such numerology, astrology, alchemy, and the Tarot. “As above, so below” guides us to look to what is much larger than ourselves – the stars above, the movements of the moon, the symbols passed to us from the ancients, the energy of numbers – and find the correspondences to where are lives can align with the Greater Than.
Tarot ancestors who were part of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn at the turn of the 20th century in Britain bequeathed us a wealth of correspondences between the Tarot and the other systems. So when we want to find a pathway to living a life of heightened meaning, we can turn to the Tarot for a wide array of inspirations and supports.
My work with these correspondences is more about practice than prediction. I don’t disbelieve that that seeing the future in the pattern of the present is possible, but because we can only interpret what we see through our current perspectives, it is impossible to know for sure what will come. But we can always practice living our lives aligned with our highest potential and cultivating an awareness of the whole that helps us navigate whatever may come.
So what are the correspondences and patterns for 2020 that can inspire our awareness and practice?
The Solar Surface: A Four Year for Building with the Father
We are in a 4 year: 2+0+2+0 = 4
Just call to mind the stability that 4 legs give a table or the 4 sides give a building and you immediately grasp the energy of fourness: stability, organization, dependability, endurance. This invites to build structures – literal or metaphorical – that will last. Perhaps these will be new structures that help us emerge from the chaos of our current times and breakdown of our institutions.
Four is the number of the Tarot’s Emperor. The father and ruler of the Major Arcana’s archetypes. As an archetype, this wisdom figure is embodied in a range of ways from the loving, guiding parent to the strict, distant one, from leaders serving the people’s needs to authoritarians concerned only with maintaining their own power.
Center line is Gaian Tarot Builder, RiderWaiteSmith Emperor, and Dark Goddess Tarot Sovereignty
The servant Emperor invites us all – male and female – to create sustainable structures, to recognize and exercise our power-from-within, and to take action to serve the Whole. As we do this, we may be challenged by the authoritarian Emperor – actual leaders and/or the internalized voices in our head – but we can use the challenge to strengthen our resolve. And remember that there are more of us than there are of them sitting on their isolated thrones.
The Lunar Undersong – The Great Mother Flowing
While the solar invitations of the year are paternal, the lunar flow is maternal. During this year, we have 4 moons in the sign of Cancer, the first water symbol on the astrological wheel also called the Cosmic Womb. These moons come at the beginning, middle, and end of the year. On Friday, January 10th, a Cancer full moon occurs during a lunar eclipse. In June, a Cancer new moon comes on the Summer Solstice, also during an eclipse. This dose of mother-power is quickly followed by another in July. The final Cancer appearance is a full moon on December 29th.
The Great Mother is calling our attention from depths of dark and height of light all throughout the year. Like the Father, the Mother has many aspects. She is the Compassionate One who answers the prayers of her people. As culture-spanning figures like the Black Madonna, Guadalupe-Tonantzin, and Brigid who is Goddess and Saint, She has tricked her way into patriarchal institutions to remain with her people in their times of greatest need. She is constant in her flow of love.
She is also Kali, the Hindu destroyer of time and slayer of demons who wears a necklace of skulls. Even death is powerless before her; she is the great transformer of all. And She is the Furies, the Greek goddesses of retribution and vengeance who avenge crimes against the natural order and especially violations against the sanctity of the family. She is wild with the fullness of her power to create Life and bring Death and to defend that which is sacred to Her.
All card here are from the Dark Goddess Tarot
The Great Mother calls us to Her by stirring up strong emotions. She wants us to embrace both our ruthlessness in defense of creation and our deep compassion for those we know and those under attack from the demons and criminals of our time. She may work in the dark and under the surface, but She is ever present offering us her love and power.
Uniting the Masculine and Feminine in the The Chariot
The astrological sign of Cancer corresponds to the Tarot’s Major Arcana Chariot card and this wisdom figure invites us to unite the energies offered to us by sun and moon.
In the iconic Rider Waite Smith image, the Charioteer wears moons as shoulder armour and on the chest displays the the four-sided square of the father. On the front of the Chariot, we see a cylinder inserted into a disk. The cylinder is the lingam representing the God Shiva while the disk is the yoni of the Goddess Shakti. Here they are united.
The Chariot is drawn by two sphinxes. One is mostly black and one is mostly white. They represent opposing forces: the masculine and feminine, rational and intuitive, dark and light. But like the Yin Yang symbol, each sphinx contains a little of the other’s color. There is already a connection. And soon their differing energies will mingled even more as they unite to pull the chariot forward.
Chariot symbolism chips away at the belief in a separation between opposites such as Mother and Father energy. Instead these forces are presented as entwined and mutually beneficial. Maree Bentos’s Divine Muses Oracle offers a captivating vision of this fertile breakdown of belief: The Solar Feminine and the Lunar Masculine.
Maree describes how the Lunar Male is “decisive and confident, but shaped by a receptive, passive, and creative energy” usually reserved for all things feminine. He is the monk who engages in spiritual practice to come into right relationship with his emotions and ego and then engages in non-violent protest and communication for peace and justice. In this wisdom image, “the mind meets the heart.”
In the Solar Feminine we see a “intuitive, loving, and maternal force that is shaped by the courage and action” attributed to the masculine. Maree’s counsel through this card is “ Being brave and articulate is essential right now. Make sure your thoughts and actions are strong, yet eloquent. Don’t be afraid to express your truth. … If you speak with truth and integrity, people will look to you and emulate your example.” In this wisdom image,”heart and mind come together in unity.”
Who would dare to work with all these forces? The Charioteer. And in 2020 – this year of the coming together of the Great Father and Great Mother – you are challenged to step into the vehicle of your life and move with the same focus and commitment as the Charioteer.
How will you do it? Ah, this will be answered through traveling and practicing your way through the year. Soul Path Sanctuary will support that process with monthly musings, readings, and rituals as well as the Summer and Winter Solstice hinged retreats.
And to begin here are some questions for reflection and/or card play to start you on your way:
- What of my Solar self can be activated to make a good beginning to the year?
- What of my Lunar self can I flow with to make a good beginning to the year?
- How can I create more connection between these parts of myself to break down barriers within myself? …. And how will this support the breaking down of barriers in the wider world?
If you’d like to have this as an e-reading (fee of $29) or explore through an in-person session email me (Carolyn @ this website) about availability.
Follow how this pattern develops by signing up for moonthly missives from Soul Path Sanctuary.