Friday, 6 July 2012

Dress of Alchemy

©Lucy Cavendish & Jasmine Becket-Griffith
I love the way that cards can open up in different ways each time that we look at them, or meditate on them.  I've seen this card from the Oracle of Shadows and Light (Blue Angel, 2010) many a time before now (it's even on the cover of the Australian first edition!)  This time, though, I experienced it very differently.

Normally, I see this as being about actively transforming ourselves, choosing where we want to go and making it so.  About unleashing our power on the world the way the Magician in the tarot does - manifesting our will.  After all, just look at her: sassy and full of attitude, hands on hips, and clutching her magic bottle with determination, staring out at us very directly.

Yet in a recent meditation on this card, what I saw was instead the similarities between this card and the Empress.  In Thoth based decks, for example, the Empress has a double-headed eagle on a shield.  A swan echoes the wings of the angel in the Dress of Alchemy, and there are growing plants around the Empress, connecting with the branches we can see in the background.  A dress covered in strange symbols, too, is common to both.

©Aleister Crowely & Frieda Harris
What does this insight suggest?  To me, it speaks of our power to transform ourselves and others from a place that is more feminine, less directive, and yet still powerful.

We can use our insight, our deep inner knowing, to see what needs to change.  We can write that change upon our own bodies, as well as upon the world around us.  We can bring light to our lives, to our minds and souls. We can be the change we want to see, and we can bring that change to others, too.  We can nourish those around us, and help them to transform themselves.

All this from a place of nurturing and growth, rather than domination or force.  As Starhawk puts it in The Spiral Dance (HarperSanFrancisco, 1999), this is power for, not power over!

I shall try to put this power to use, to bring transformation and growth to myself and those around me, to empower and enlighten :)

No comments:

Post a Comment