The full moon in Sagittarius has me pondering and philosophical, seeking the answers to mysteries that unravel like riddles to reveal deeper puzzles held within. Tarot for me is a way of seeking answers to questions, to matters both mundane and mysterious and I find myself turning to the major arcana card that aligns most strongly with Sagittarian energy to seek deeper knowings and deeper truths. I find myself asking what is truth truly? Perhaps the Temperance card of the Waite Smith Tarot and the Art card of the Thoth Harris deck can offer us some answers or at the very least help us refine our questions.
Turning first to the Waite Smith deck with the 14th card of the Major arcana entitled Temperance herein is depicted an angelic being, androgynous in form who stands with one foot on earth and another foot softly dipped in the waters of a pool. This standing posture seems to embody something of the way to find ones own truth, one must be grounded and supported by the energies of the earth, practical and pragmatic, caring for the needs of the body, health and well being and at the same time be able to go with the flow of the waters. The waters of the pool reflect the emotions, states of deep intuitive psychic awareness; they remind us that in seeking truth we must be prepared to dip our toes into these states, we must be willing and ready to integrate what can emerge from the wellsprings of the unconscious. To do this we must keep grounded.
The Angelic figure holds two cups and is pouring water or perhaps a magickal elixir between the two golden chalices. Again we see here an act of flow, a softness of hands; a lightly held focus in the serene countenance of the angelic face is perhaps another indicator of the way to find the truth in our own lives. In the foreground behind the angel are depicted flowers, some saying these yellow blooms are Irises which calls to mind the ancient Greek Goddess of the same name, the Rainbow Goddess who is a bearer of messages and a reconciler between differing worlds. Perhaps we might speculate here that the blossoming of truth in ones own heart comes from this state of being open to messages, being open to a state of perception of reconciliation between apparent oppositions that present themselves in differing points of view and philosophies. A final element of this card is the sun that shines above the mountains, a winding path leads us there, reminding us that the journey to find the truth unveils itself as we climb the mountain in a quest for knowing, whether this is some ultimate truth or more simply perhaps the truth of who and what we are, the revelation dawns upon us when we arrive. Each of us must go on our own journey to find truth, this path is one of awakening and illumination that comes about once we have learned lessons about the nature of the ups and downs of life that we face within the wheel of fortune; once we have learned the lessons of Justice and found a place of balance between discriminating forces; When we have given ourselves over in surrender and sacrifice that is the work of the Hanged Man, once we have passed beyond the blades of the Reaper in the Death card to come to understand that life and death are part of a larger mystery of form, the grand cycle of rebirth. It is only then the tarot tells us in the schema of its twenty two major arcana cards that we are equipped to seek the deeper truths for ourselves.
In the Thoth deck created by Aliester Crowley and Lady Frieda Harris we can glimpse another layer to this unveiling of the question of what is truth and how do we find it. Crowley made a conscious choice to change the name this card to Art as a reflection of his own understanding, his own truth. Herein we see how the discovery of truth is an alchemical process, a mixing and mingling of equal yet opposite forms. It is a process of the reconciliation of forms, the recombining of ideas, its opposite or antithesis and the formation of a third thing, embodied in a new synthesis. This image that shows the figures of the Lovers card joined as one being with forms counter changed that is undertaking the great work of the alchemists in the making of the Philosophers stone reminds that that in seeking the truth we must first consider ideas, then break them down, distill them, refine them and finally recombine them as a potent potion of ones own making. The discovery of the truth is no less than the Great Work itself.