Turning inward to contemplate the Butterfly of becoming. We do not find ourselves, we create ourselves. This Hermit is the antidote to my hastiness. Trying to harness some of the Virgo energy to revise my book. Venus is retrograding effectively till early October, so I am considering a late October launch date…possibly the 22nd because its my mums birthday. And in a way this deck is a present for her.
Hexagram 17 is Following, and it counsels the wisdom of a leader learning to serve, and adapt to circumstances. This Queen has learned the art of transformation and camouflage from her Leopard. She has proved her dedication by her willingness to suffer the burning throne of Creativity. She is the Great Muse and the Great Artist, and like all artists she will never submit to any earthly authority. Fierce independence and a strong self motivating will are her gifts. Perhaps that is why the I Ching suggests she should moderate her pride, and learn to adapt a little to reality.
This queen leads by example and has the courage to stand alone against the tide of public opinion. Her integrity and clarity may require a withdrawal from the world. Society expects women to be nurturing and helpful and not personally ambitious, which is why if we are going to make anything of our own lives we need to get out the sword and use it as often as needed. Permitting ourselves to be the centre of our own universe, instead of the satellite of others, is the special quest of the female gender, and by middle age most of us have refined the necessary sword skills to an art form. We live very much against the world.
To fully realize the unique conscious individuality that is our birth right we need to be comfortable with our animal nature. The separation of humanity from instinctual life, although potentially very liberating, is also inhibiting. Our self awareness is a double edged sword that either destroys us or exalts us depending on how we wield it. Domesticated human beings are animals in captivity, having lost our our ecological niche in the wild. Bars and wire are not needed to contain us, our neuroses keep us prisoner. Our insecurity, our inhibitions, and our social embarrassment are all symptoms of this repression. To become aware of this fracture and to heal it and reconnect ourselves to our whole self as we truly are, gives us incredible strength and energy and boundless creativity. Overcoming our self limiting inhibitions and regaining a healthy Lust for life is intrinsic to our process of liberation as an individual. It is a manifestation of true enjoyment, or “jouissance”, a term which was used by Feminist writer Hélène Cixous to describe a mystical experience of sexuality that forms the basis of all creativity.
The meditating warrior seated in her lotus chariot has her eyes open, suggesting she is very much aware both of her situation and the pain of the world. Genuine progress demands that we look clearly at reality and work with it as best we can. Delusions never serve us in either material or spiritual matters. Love and healing are the goals of the spiritual self, compassion and awareness its greatest strength and enlightenment its achievement. The spiral in her hands is symbolic of the Holy Grail, and the Philosophers Stone of the Alchemists. It represents the results of the Great Work and is blue and red, suggesting the union of fire and water, the balancing of polarities which opens up the central channel of creative energy.