Monday, February 1, 2016

XII The Stillpoint : Where Eternity and Time meet

XII The Stillpoint
Major Arcana - Sacred Mysteries of Mary Tarot Deck

Major Arcana Card XII The Stillpoint
(traditionally The Hanged Man)

 Being here, behind the Veil of Wisdom, we have to become
a part of the illusionary reality in order to truly transform our
perceptions and understanding.   This world can be likened to a
web, a matrix, birthed by the Mother of the World.  She has
to devour us so that we can truly become a part of Her
and in return, we will see the world through Her wise and
all-loving eyes.

The ancients taught that we have to enter the cauldron of Ceridwen
and that she will boil us down till only the bones remain.
At first we may be blinded and enchanted by
her spell or we may be disenchanted from day one.
Either way, we will come to know this world as a place of
both pleasure and pain and we may feel that we are being tortured without
any good reason. In Mary's story we witness her absolute loss as her beloved
Son is crucified and dies in front of her eyes.

The sacrifice that this experience of reality demands from each
one of us, can be regarded as a sacrament.  Sacrament is a word derived from Latin which means
sacred, hallow, to make sacred, mystery or solemn oath.
In the Christian mysteries a sacrament is regarded as a visible sign of Grace.
And indeed, this is what The Stillpoint card is :
a visible sign of Grace.

In order to enter The Stillpoint and to access the Grace of Bliss,
we have to sacrifice the enchantment of Time.

Hildegard of Bingen speaks of the 'happy fault'.
In the same way that the fall of Lucifer was a happy fault
or a blessing in disguise, are we blessed with the stillpoint of sacrifice
and the gift of Grace.  The highest price that is demanded
of us, more than once during the course of our lives,
is the sacrifice that is required in order for us to receive what
we truly want.  An artist cannot create without destroying
something which exists.  You cannot eat to survive without
killing something, even if you are only killing plants.
Often you cannot honour yourself and your own journey without
disappointing another.  Some sacrifices seem lesser than others.
Some sacrifices seem easier than others.

One can regard birth into this world in which the Light
is not easily visible, as a sacrifice and a sacrament.
The Birth of Jesus also tells the story of the Soul
or the True Self, Isa.  In the Isa Upanishad we follow
the journey of Isa, the true Self.  The Arabic
word for Jesus is Isa.  
Jesus, the likeness of the Soul or Self,
was born in a cave, hidden from the view of those
who meant him harm.  There were many obstacles
and challenges to both Mary and Joseph
and their Son Jesus' birth and childhood.
In a similar way is the birth of the Soul into this world
a precarious and precious event in each person's life story.
Childhood are fraught with emotional and psychic danger and
disappointment and betrayal.  Most people grow up never really
falling in love with themselves or even accepting the self
for who they are and who they can be.
And thus we experience the pain of becoming
part of the soup in Cerridwen's cauldron;
being boiled down to nothing.  We have to become
nothing.  We lose all sense of self-value;
we become completely disenchanted with this world
and the people who live in it and we die
to all that is dear and important to us.

But the image of the crucifix offers us the understanding
and illumination that by sacrificing our personal
drive into the exterior world of time and space and by
 entering the Stillpoint within, the highest sacrifice
will bring us absolute rebirth and transformation
and we will experience life from a different reality.

an extract from The Major Arcana, The Sacred Mysteries of Mary Tarot
a work in progress to be published 2016/7

You may be interested in following my annual
art novena to Our Lady of Lourdes starting
on 3 February 2016 at Cloister of the Heart
Nine days of art and sacred intent


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