The 3rd path or sefirot on the tree of life, BINAH, is the birth giver consciousness. This is the cosmic gate from which the Light brings being into form.in Kabbalah. The consciousness found on BINAH’s path On this path order of all comes into existence. This is the path represented by the 4 of each suit of the Tarot.
BINAH is the path used to define the 8th Absolute found in my book, Choosing Honor. 8) Birth and Death are the same thing. As painful as it is to deal with in the moment of giving up, there is new life with every death. There also is death with every birth. In the All there is grief at birth that matches our grief at death. In the All there is an intense joy of reception at death that matches the joy of reception at birth. We achieve this consciousness by fulfilling the work we are born to create, rejoicing in the profound recognition of what is valuable, experiencing birth pain in our hearts and knowing objective truth.
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 Sensate personality represented by the 3 of Pentacles portrays three figures in conference in what can only be a cathedral. This card depicts sacred work, service. A workman is standing above a priest and a “judge,” in a clown cloak. The workman is the artist and he is raised above the others. The artist’s work, the work of creation is what is most important. This image makes me think of Michelangelo painting The Last Judgment in the Sistine chapel in the Vatican. The Pope’s master of ceremonies, Biagio de Cesena, insulted the painting and Michelangelo responded by portraying him as Minos, in the hell part of the picture with ass’ ears and a snake biting his penis. Funny but, in the workings of this path, dangerous, because if the three do not come to agreement the great work goes undone. Wholeness requires us to unify the three aspects of ourselves that these figures represent. Doing our true work in the world requires us to balance our creative perfectionist, with our spirituality and our practical worldly concerns (making a living).
The 3 of Cups represent the Feeling personality’s consciousness on this path. The name of this path, Binah, means understanding. The three figures in this card have come to full understanding. They have come together to rejoice in a spirit of equality to celebrate what is most valuable to them, their mutual understanding. Also, from the harvest fruit all around them, they are celebrating mutual success. These figures dance in a circle, not in a line, no one comes first, no one comes last. Wholeness requires us to put aside our individual ego and celebrate be part of a group without the need to be exceptional.
The 3 of Swords represents the Thinking personality. The three of Swords is THE card of creativity. The look of the three swords stabbing into a heart brings to mind heartbreak. But the pain in this Fire card is birth pain, the pain of creation, the pain of the right thing happening. No body gets out of this world alive. There is nothing to do with pain except take it into our hearts and in so doing transform it into creative energy. It is up to us to create the world we experience. To master the path of the Three of Swords is to master the understanding that the formation forces of life deliver what we need, not what we want.
The Intuitive personality’s experience on this path of creative fulfillment is representd by the 3 of Wands, symbolizing intuition: knowing. The lone figure standing above all represents understanding what needs to be brought into being. The figure in this card stands centered in knowing, looking out over the sea of possibility. The figure’s right hand, the hand that symbolizes bringing the material world into form, rests securely on the right wand. This is the path of the prophets, the saints, the visionaries; the path of genius that changes the world as we know it. Wholeness on this path requires us to find centered knowing.
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