The 5th path or sefirot on the tree of life, GEBURAH, forms a victorious action level of higher consciousness in Kabbalah. The consciousness found on GEBURAH’S path is the glorious intellectual awareness of our material interface with the spiritual. This is the path represented by the 5 of each suit of the Tarot. Realization on this path has to be fought for, divined, contemplated and stolen if necessary.
GEBURAH is the path used to define the 6th Absolute found in my book, Choosing Honor. 6) What we create is sacred. The force of Creation is sacred. We interface with the creative force and thus have power to create. We are reflections of God, the Light, the force of Creation. What the Light creates is sacred. Everything we create is sacred too. This is a path on which we achieve wholeness by rising above self-denigration, grief, the agony and ecstasy of defeat, and imperfections that block us from joy.
In Tarot each suit represents a personality type. Your astrological sign determines your personality type. Pentacles represent earth signs. Cups represent water signs. Swords represent fire signs. Wands represent air signs. It should be noted some Cabals differ over the fire and air signs. Some think swords are air and wands fire. I don’t. Jung didn’t either. I follow Carl Jung on this.
Whole personalities according to Jung are born dominated by one out of four personality types. These types are four parts of a circle of wholeness that is a fully realized personality. Jung’s theory is that a person dominant in one type is usually lacking the most in the aspects of the type counter clockwise on the circle. A person’s suppressed or lacking aspects are the key to personality disorders. Realizing full consciousness, to be whole, is to realize a full balance of all four personality type consciousnesses on all ten sefirots or circle paths on the Tree of Life.
The 5 of Pentacles, reflects the sensate personality dominate energy on this path. The image on this card at first glance appears to symbolize a cathedral, organized religion, as closed to the outcasts of society. We see two disconnected figures, one wears a bell signifying the he is a leper. Both are threadbare and essentially shoeless walking in the snow, huddled and isolated from what is inside glowing through a stain-glass window. Stain-glass is a signal to pay attention and get honest perception of what is going on inside your self. You are the cathedral. You are the temple that houses the spirit of that from which all things come. What this card means, above all other insightful interpretations, is lack of self-worth. There is no reason these figures should not be inside. They may think they are not good enough, smart enough, rich enough, but they are deluded. This card signals being in the darkest place before realizing your personal dawn. One this path wholeness requires us to realize that we all house the Light and none of us is a leper, unfit for love. All of us have the power to realize, be embraced by, and reflect the creative power of the Light.
The 5 of Cups symbolizes the feeling personality’s dominant experience on this path. The sole figure is grieving. The feeling personality succumbs to grief here. Note: only three of the five cups are overturned. There is also a bridge in the background that leads across this river of pain to a manor. But it is not yet the time to turn and recognize the remaining cups and bridge. This figure neither male nor female is taking the time to grieve. Pain is overwhelming and we naturally run from it and shut if out of our minds, but more damage results if we do. Wholeness requires us to grieve fully when the grief is legitimate grief.
The 5 of Swords is an uncomfortable card to identify with. Thinking cards often are. Thinking personalities devise ingenious innovations, but often neglect to realize consequences ahead of time. There are three figures in the 5 of Swords card. The largest is almost vile in his gloating ecstasy of triumph over whatever situation has taken place. The smallest figure is suffering shame filled defeat, agony to the point that he cannot raise his face. The key to this card is in the third figure, the middle figure, the one who has slung his coat over his shoulder and is walking away as if he hasn’t a care in the world, or he has had enough of what has come to be. He wants no part of either the ecstasy of triumph, or the agony of defeat. He is looking for something that doesn’t require winning or losing. This middle figure is moving towards the barrier that separates him from the water (feelings) and the lands across it, the All. This figure copes with and is prepared for consequences; regardless of who wins or loses. Wholeness requires us to realize our self-worth, our own path, regardless of consequences
The Intuitive personality’s experience on this difficult path is represented by the 5 of Wands. The figures in this image are working together, but not in harmony. There is tension, high emotions, restrained conflict and miscommunication at work on this path for the intuitive personality (wands). The figures cannot agree on a right or perfect alignment of the wands. Note there is unity on the ground, but it is muddy, dark and barren. Each figure believes them self to be the one that knows what is right and not one is interested in accepting or working with another. Wholeness requires us to realize that imperfection just is, within ourselves and in others, and not until we accept imperfection can we open the door to joy and harmonic creativity in our work and existence with others.
This reading is meant for the practice of Yoga of the West, a Tarot meditation designed to build a bridge of intuition between the reader’s unconscious mind and the symbolism found in the cards. People also consult the cards as an oracle. Caution is advised. An oracle opens the door to spiritual deception as easily as spiritual truth. To read more about Yoga of the West go to http://bit.ly/9BiovO
Mary T. Ficalora, is the author of the award winning book, Choosing Honor: a philosophical treatise that applies the symbolism found on the Tree of Life to reveal an unpredictable tonic for what ails America. For more on Kabbalah and how it relates to the tonic prescribed in Choosing Honor go to http://bit.ly/f0VOAX