Rohit Arya_Sacred India Tarot#Creating the Lovers

This is in many ways one of the greatest representations of the Lovers in the history of the Tarot. Jane was so engrossed with the archetype that she accessed a deep layer of awesome! The Lovers is perhaps the most misunderstood card of the entire Arcanum – it is called the Lovers   but the older name for it in tarot history– ‘The Two Paths’ is more accurate as to intent.


Correspondence:  Rohit & Gautam                                “Next card, the Lovers:   The girl’s face should express the yearning, bordering on lust.  The man’s face should express his dilemma at the mutual contradictory choices, but he is going to clearly come down in favour of the higher purpose.  The setting should be very arcadian.   Rgds, Rohit and Gautam.”


Rohit’s Notes – The Lovers, Kaccha and Devvyani the perfect illustration of the true nature of the Lovers card, choosing between physical love and enduring wisdom


This is a not so well known story from the Mahabharata.  Its core theme however, is a perfect fit for the message of the Lovers card.  There are no visual references for it anywhere, but we have sent you a picture that shows Kamadeva, god of love, with Rati the spirit of Spring, who is his wife.  This might suggest something to base the Kaccha and Devvyani illustration on.  This is an extremely sensual card in a lot of Tarot decks, with the woman (and sometimes the man) shown naked.  We could show the woman bare-chested, if you feel it would lend well to this card.   Not necessary though.  Please do not put Kaccha in a dhoti!!


I also sent Jane this pic from Ellora showing Kama Deva and Rati. It is astonishing how many of the Majors are found already carved on the temple walls… when I first went to Ellora I had begun Tarot but I instantly grasped that the archetype was manifesting thru a different cultural filter. And now the whole world can see it….

Jane’s Notes – January 2002

“… I heard, that in forest fires in California, the cones at the tops of firs open and drop their seeds into the ground now cleared – wonderful cycle.

“Sometimes, with the upper vision, I see the entire world-stance, our stuff of dreams, countries, politics, media, pollution and precipitation as floating on a substratum of peacock’s milk … the nectar of sahasrara, the One Reality.  All our perceptive prisons are subjective changing states of form that float upon this Being – no matter how locally awful.

“Lovers card in Rohit’s Tarot.  Made a good beginning last night.  This – they said so – should have the breasts bare, as almond blossom buds.  It is the Arcanum of the Razor’s edge, for she pulls him to lie in rampant grass and flowers, melt and sink in her, daughter of Sukra, Guru of the Demons;  and he, a son of Gods, points up to Creation’s severe ecstasy, and the blossoming almond stem between them is the fountain, the Amrita, the Sanjeeva he has tricked from her tale.

(Alan sometimes says –  not all the buds on an almond tree open at once, some are earlier than others, all will eventually open:  Self realization.)

This is Rosicrucean Emblem Eight – Angel sieving chaff – which I was working on, at the same time as The Lovers

I want to say here, how it feels, to have drawings or important bits of esoteric drawings to do (Lovers and Emblem Eight.)  It is a burden onto the razors’ edge.  It is having to rev up, and hoping the concentration will enable me to walk into these places and colour them with clarity.  It is usually OK in the morning.  Yesterday for instance, after working hard at the Lovers all afternoon, there comes a time when I want very much to go on, but I know I can no longer “see”, and am all used up.

“I am drawing orchids in it.  The daemonic almond blossom nature in Earth’s Kingdom will be like deep dark grass in which she lies (even though she stands) to pull her lover down.  Her hair is dark in coppery snake like coils.  He gently resists her, loving her but pointing up … a distillation of earth landscape into the higher subtle fire, as through branches of the tree, and choosing at that point, to ascend into the brink.

Ascent into the fierce clear air, within the brink, is tejas, ojas, tapas.   It is a fountain.  Between him and her, and somewhat interwoven, is the taut stem of an almond sapling spurting blossoms.  I love doing erotic drawings of Nature.

“I always do find that in the drawing I am Helped.  They come, and they lead me and they do it.   When I am worn out, they withdraw.  So it’s not a problem of when drawings get done, but of when they connect with my hand and spirit to earth, at any time.   One at least of my Companions was a very great painter, Renaissance?  and loves drawing –  don’t always let him, though he’s been getting through a lot, lately.

“I continue to have a sense of the Powers to my left, to bring into alignment.  In earlier years I did this by drawing with my left hand.

“Now well into Kaccha & Devyani, with Messiaen’s Visions de L’Amen talking to me, and drawing a giant Early Spotted Heath Orchid by Prince Kaccha’s right shank, its top buds – suddenly remember what I saw or felt during this morning’s meditation – the opening Fir cone … because the top buds of the orchid are a bit like that, and like its strange bulbous roots.

“Orchid – pine-cone analogy, and almond – reversed from top to bottom!

“Kaccha’s face is modeled on the young ‘K’ – J.Krishnamurti: the mediatory “process” in his spine stem;  the conflict between Theosophy and independent insight, which pained him so, when he was young.   Also, at his Brockwood gatherings in the 1970s, I noticed a lot of “falling in love” going on around him – myself included!  – in the rain and tents.   It was the time (1974) the great tree fell, in a storm.   The biographies show his followers in love, around his youthful intensity.   It was the awareness, and painful.

Other than Jiddu ,we got so many great Masters of the 20th century into the pack… Ramana, Sai Baba of Shirdhi, Anandamayi Ma,  Aurobindo, even Ramkrishna and Mahavatar Babaji! It was a conscious choice not to use living masters and some of the less well known we kept out so as to not get people into a “spot the cameo appearance” mode which was not the purpose of including them.  


“Felt tired and unsheathed, so I looked around for repairs –  held and polished a Muladhara jewel – indigo charged with indigo, like a pebble in my hand to heal and soothe things.  In the Lovers card, she has at her back, this same cornucopia of earth and flower colour bursting out – a rich field of impressions and fleeting insights.  The stuff when raised, pours up and through quite impersonally and subtly.  This is why we project it onto alchemical vessels, as it is of the Sun.  The presence is felt physically, and grounded, but doesn’t get stuck.   Noticed yesterday when working on the Lovers, a strange sense of taste, mid-body-field, behind solar plexus yet connected to the back of the neck.   Can’t be located precisely, but I drew a little blue circle or oval around Kaccha’s midriff.   Listened to Messiaen.  Behind and above K’s head there is a white sun encircled by blue.  This could contain the Shiva-Shakti Yantra in yellow – will experiment.

Around Devyani is the cornucopia of eros.  Around K should be the eros of a sharp simplicity, the raised yogic seed – like a sharpened musical note?   I put the Akasha-Tejas jewel – red triangle on indigo oval, a key to the inner heart centre – on his gold helmet, over his third eye.   Wait and see.

This card shows the cross-fertilizing or trading of divine and daemonic nectar fire or energy, the fruit of which is sublimated to the Higher plane.  It is about the razor’s edge of discrimination in the flow of current through the equal beauties but different densities of Earth and Heaven, below and above, gross and subtle.   Commitment, renunciation and change of plane, through dying and being born again.  PHOENIX!    However, this also represents the Alchymical wedding or Hierogamos.

If K married her and settled with the Demons, the Gods would never know the secret their very existence depends upon.  Devyani tried to win back by love what her father had lost.  K was no fool, and he let her down with gentle remonstrance, and returned to his proper region, with the nectar.

Many people have asked me why I chose an English lady instead of an Indian artist to illustrate the pack.  The previous paragraphs show why! Jane was the only person in the whole world who had the requisite mix of artistic and spiritual sides as well as knowledge of India to do this work; she was Fated to it just as I was! I was the only person in the world who could have balanced out Yoga and Tarot like this and she was the only person who could give it tangible form frequently exceeding expectations. I was smart enough, or just lucky, early on to just give general guidelines and picture references and let Jane process it her own way – the results were spectacular.

30 January 2002 – Lovers card has come through, and despite my utter pegging out, exhaustion and depletion during it, interestingly balances licentiousness with restraint in its colour key.

Looking up at stained glass windows, I saw my new Lovers card, its story in the window.  My question was framed as the white phoenix of K’s apron genitalia, which I’ve been labouring away at, to draw it right.   Yesterday I glimpsed a little shield with jewels round it, and came to life, and it eventually came out rather like that – not a dove but a PHOENIX rebirthing through fire and light – ah yes, put some orange yellow rays in – and the entire atmosphere is filled with budlike colours around the demonness Devyani and the white almond tree – desire’s purity – anyway.   My question is now:   How can I find out who and what this job (as an esoteric artist) used to be, so that it can be continued in the proper focus and further developed ?   In other words, whose baton do I carry?


 Correspondence:  Jane – 1 February 2002   :   “Dear Gautam, this is my very first message on this gadget.  Alan got it for his work.  Please continue to back up on ec2@etc, in case we have problems receiving.   The Lovers card is going well.  But I won’t be able to send it before Wednesday earliest, can Rohit come into your office on a later weekday?  I usually seem to start Thurs or Friday, which is too late to be ready for you to see on Tuesday.


“Have gone through Rohit’s The Money Tarot Book.  It is excellent.  We think you should send a copy to M with covering letter, saying we recommend it.  Are the Triumphs of Petrarch the same as the Petrarch Sonnets? I like what you say –  ‘The cards are a feudal court in their structure.’  It is a brilliant, intelligent, well grounded book, sound and sensible, well published/presented, and a pleasure to hold and to read.   Even if one is not in the business field, one can utilize the principles and psychology of ‘compressed energy’ which are laid out.  There is deep knowledge in this book, presented authentically and efficiently.  I find I flow with it.  It dispatches spooks, doesn’t over-persuade, and gives sound indications on which to build.  I am fascinated by the breadth and depth of Rohit’s cultural interest and its integrity to bridge eastern and western esoteric tradition.


“Realism unconstrained by materalism, but alive and nourished by the teaching of the deep.  Access from whatever your point of view.   I like these observations:  ‘Death was history’s only democrat.’   And on the Devil:  ‘That force which seeks always to do the good through actions that are wrong.’   And the Shattered Tower, quote from T S Eliot – ‘ every moment is a new and shocking valuation of all we have been.’  And the Star:  ‘The Star is Sirius, the Dog Star’.   Warm regards to you both, Jane.”


Correspondence:  Jane.   1 February 2002 – “Dear Gautam and Rohit, Just picked up your email re Manu, and very pleased you like it.  I finished the Lovers yesterday and hope to send it to you at approx 9.30 your time tomorrow Friday.  This rather depends on whether Mr E’s computer is working OK.  He runs into furious problems, but his scanner is good.  We are beginning to send and receive now on this thing.   Did you receive my long email to you about the Money Tarot Book?  I may have spelt Gautam wrong in the address.  Alan’s wiped it off, so if you haven’t, I will have to write to you about it again!   I like the book very much.  Please reply to above address so we know we are up and running.  Away we go into the Space Age….


Correspondence:  Gautam – “Hi Jane, congratulations on becoming part of the cyber age.  We did not receive your mail on the Money Tarot Book but look forward to it.   Looking forward to ‘the Lovers’.   Warm regards, Gautam.”


Correspondence:  Jane, – So long as I can get to this thing under or before Alan’s wildly flailing and impulsive great hands wipe off everything as fast as he reads, I am probably able to communicate … Will send Lovers hopefully later today.  There are orchids in it, and I think the facial expressions etc reflect what you have written in your last.”


Correspondence – Jane: “Hello G and R, I do not think Sukara’s daughter should be jeweled with any other ornament than herself.  She is a wild flower more ancient than nice Indian ladies or even goddesses –


“As said before, any cards which are not quite right, am happy to re-do.  This is an enhanced image, but fractionally lighter than the original, which is on ivory paper.   Regards,  J.”

Correspondence – Gautam   3 February :   “Hi Jane, thanks for your inputs on the Money Tarot Book, really encouraging and objective.  I must admit I did a lot of research before getting into this, as the Tarot book segment was so overcrowded.  We thought since there was no book focused on money and the Tarot, this was a good idea to start with.  Then we ensured the layout and presentation was on par with international standards.  I do hope this book is valued in the West and with that intent we have sent it to some esoteric publishers.  I will surely send it to M as well.  The Tarot as a segment in India is pretty small, and for us to make anything at all on the book, we will need to send rights right across the globe.  

 “Will revert on Lovers card, well received.   Next week I am in Pondicherry and Tiruvannamalai for a few days, with Eckhart Tolle.  Warm regards, Gautam.”


 Correspondence, Gautam and Rohit, 5 February 2002

“We like Lovers very much.  It has captured the spirit of the compelling attractiveness of the woman as well as the transcending energies of the male who seeks the higher principle.  We like the upraised finger and the chakra above it, and the way you have transcreated the Sugarcane Bow of Kama into this tree, is the most significant and useful part of the whole composition.  The figures are wonderful, and the elvish ears are an international touch. 

 “The cladding of the man in all the metal is what we are looking for, as it breaks the dhoti tradition.  No changes!

 “Please go ahead with the Chariot.  Arjuna and Krishna could be covered with as much body armour as possible.  Krishna’s armour could be gold, and Arjuna’s armour silver.   Your creative energies are really flowing, and we would be delighted to just keep receiving this level of beautiful work. 


“Warm regards, Gautam and Rohit.”


 Jane’s Notes

I did not know anything about Kama’s sugarcane bow when I drew the tree.   Sounds lovely!   Goes to show the subconscious is doing this through us, pulling up the archetypes to surface.

Rohit Arya is an Author, Yogi and Polymath. He has written the first book on Vaastu to be published in the West, {translated into five languages} the first book on tarot to be published in India, co-authored a book on fire sacrifice, and is the creator of The Sacred India Tarot {82 card deck and book}. He has also written A Gathering of Gods. He is  a corporate trainer, a mythologist and vibrant speaker as well as an arts critic and cultural commentator. Rohit is also a Lineage Master in the Eight Spiritual Breaths system of Yoga


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