Rohit Arya_Sacred India Tarot#Creating the Sun card

The Sun

Rohit’s Notes – October 2002

I’m sending you an article and a somewhat unusual depiction of Surya in the chariot with a seven faced horse, rather than seven horses.  If you choose to depict Surya as you have done before, then that would be fine with me too.  If he is shown standing, then he should be clearly depicted as wearing knee length boots and, curious detail, copper gloves!  Don’t ask me why, but that is always the case in the classical sculptures.

I would prefer a depiction of a Sun Chariot moving in outer space and illumining it, rather than the typical pastoral landscape version of most tarot packs.


Rohit’s Article:  Surya – the Eye of the World

“Give me the splendid silent sun with all his beams full-dazzling!”

Walt Whitman

Worship of the sun is one of mankind’s oldest beliefs, and perhaps in many ways one of the most sensible.  For the sun is the literal source of life.

All energy conversions – whether in plants, animal or in fuel sources – are after all, utilizing the rays of the sun at a few removes.  Life would come to an end without photosynthesis, and what is that but drawing nourishment for the world from the sun?  400 million years from now, we are slated to fall back into the decaying star that our planet burst out of aeons ago, though by then mankind will have to learn to find another source of life, perhaps under other stars.  Till now, the sun is indispensable, and has been instinctively reverenced as such.  The Pueblo Hopi Indians have a daily ritual which they claim nourishes the sun and keeps it, and by implication, the world alive.  Anthropologists have indulgently regarded it as a charming oddity, instead of the intrinsically wise awareness that it manifests.  They know where Life comes from only too well;  they merely focus on a preliminary stage in its unfolding sequence.


In India the Sun is still worshipped on a daily basis by at least tens of millions of people, and that would be a conservative estimate.  The chanting of mantras to greet the dawn is one of the really genuine ancient living traditions of the world.

The sun god, called Surya, has risen and fallen in prominence over the centuries, but his worship has not dwindled even though his stature has.  From Vedic times onwards, Surya has always been worshipped.  In the Vedas he is the chief source of light and warmth and wisdom, though he is often co-mingled with Aditya and Savitri in a manner that does not resolve itself until many centuries later.  As mythology developed, the great Vedic gods were declared to be sons of Aditi, wife of Kasyapa, and they were collectively known as the Adityas.  It is a name that is applied almost exclusively to Surya today, and is a very popular name for males.  Savitri has now become an exclusively female name, though in the Vedas it originally meant the invisible, hence spiritual aspect of the sun.  This is analogous to the concept of Helios, the invisible sun in Greek myth.  Others say Savitri is the sun at full blaze and Surya the sun which rises and sets.  Clearly, this interpretation has fallen out of favour.

(Jane comments:  I am reminded of the Osiris Isis cycle/relationship in elder Egypt.  The cultures have their distinct stories, but arise from humanity’s common root:  the worship of the Risen.)


The most sacred mantra in all Hinduism, the GAYATRI, is addressed to the Sun, Vivifier, “the One who enlightens and stimulates the Understanding.”

There is no great body of myth as such, associated with the sun.  It is almost as if Surya is such a visible and even hotly tangible presence, that there is no need to nourish the imagination with word pictures and long tales.  The Vedic Hymns are full of descriptions of his appearance, but they are more enthusiastic exclamations at the brilliant beauty of the sun, than anything else.  It is as though they were not blinded but drunk on light, bedazzled with illumination.

“The All seeing Eye, revealed by his beams  gleaming like brilliant flames, to nation after nation,  with speed beyond mortal understanding, O Savitr,  you create the light, and with it you illumine  the entire universe.”


The sun is golden haired, golden limbed and, interesting touch, golden tongued.  His eyes are golden orbs through which he regards the world and gives him his name – Loka-chakshuh, the Eye of the World.  If these names sound like titles from a Robert Jordan fantasy epic, that cannot be helped.  The mythical imagination always runs in predictable grooves, no matter if it is 2000BC or 2000AD.


Surya rides across the sky in a golden chariot drawn by seven white horses, personifications of the days of the week.  The solar chariot is the oldest hypothesis to explain the apparent movement of the sun across the sky.  The wheels of his chariot naturally have twelve spokes for the obvious reasons.  His charioteer is an interesting personage called Aruna.  This worthy is translucent, and is an undifferentiated mass of flesh under the waist;  sitting down on the job is about all he can do, but that is perfect for his task.

When the dawn breaks, personified as a beautiful woman called Ushas (see Sacred India Tarot Archive, the Creation of the Star) Surya is supposed to give chase to her.   His light shines through the translucent body of Aruna and that is why we have the Red Sun, Rohita, visible in the morning.

The rays of the sun are described as the many arms of Surya reaching out to bless every corner of the universe and infusing the realms of the gods with energy

In later mythology, Surya is demoted somewhat.  He is now a still powerful god, but less than the Trinity.  This by the way, was not reflected in popular belief.  The cult of Surya grew steadily until it had rivaled any of the gods, and it reached a magnificent peak between the ninth and thirteenth centuries.  The most beautiful temples in India were built for his worship, a roll call of spectacular workmanship – the jewel like wonder at Modhera, the awesome Konark, the totally ruined temple of Martand, the little one at Osian and perhaps many more lost forever to iconoclastic fervour.

It is as though the creative energies of India had a high in northern India with Sun temples, and then sank in exhaustion.  Strangely enough, the Suryavanshi Rajput warrior clans of Rajasthan, claiming descent from the sun, never built a single temple for him.  They worshipped other gods, even though they were very proud of such noble descent.  Go figure

Iconographic representation of Surya too, reached pretty high standards.  Three eyes, four hands holding water lilies, supposed to be the flower that longs for the dawn, are standard.  The sun is supposed to rise from, indeed be born of, the cosmic waters;  so the lilies are convenient symbolic shorthand.  He is the only Indian god known to be always wearing knee length boots and in some cases distinct metal (copper) gloves.  The boots are an invariable rule in his sculpture as is the atibhanga posture, the immobile erect stance of perfection, the god who is the cosmic pillar and support of the universe.

It is therefore an appalling development that somewhere from the 14th century onwards, a superstition developed that to make Surya ikons, is to invite the curse of leprosy!  In such ways do traditions turn upon themselves when they become decrepit.  Surya was actually once the LORD OF HEALING, a function the Solar gods, the Ashwinis, took over from him, and he ended up feared, as a bringer of disease.  There are no more active temples of Surya left either, except as an adjunct to some more popular deity.


One of the widely diffused later myths, seemingly crafted to explain his decline while the other gods rose in favour, has Surya married to Sanjana, daughter of the Cosmic craftsman Vishvakarma.  The marriage is very happy, but Sanjana cannot bear her husband when he shines in full glory.  One day she makes the mistake of closing her eyes and averting her head from this intolerable illumination and the normally gentle Surya almost becomes a supernova.


He curses his wife to bear the god of death, Yama, for having averted her gaze from the giver of life, and for being variable and inconstant in her opinions, to bear a twin girl Yamuna, a river that never maintains its limits – constantly shifting itself.   Fortunately they already have a brilliant son, Manu, who is to become the proto-Adam of the next cycle of creation; and he helps them to reconcile later.  Sanjana is too hurt by his behaviour to easily reconcile, so she leaves her husband in possession of her Shadow, a simulacrum called Chaaya, while she goes to the forest to perform penance and bring Surya’s blaze down. She hides in the form of a Solar Mare.  When Surya finds out, he joins her as a stallion or Ashwa.  The results of this equestrian wooing are supposed to be the Ashwini Kumara, from Ashwa or horse.

(This is a later attempt to bring all the solar gods into one coherent narrative, but the Ashwinis were independent gods in the Vedas.  See our article on them, later in this series.)


Vishvakarma decides to help his daughter, and puts Surya on his great lathe and cuts away an eighth of his effulgence.  This fiery power was redistributed among the other gods, primarily as weapons.  Vishnu got a discus, Siva his trident, Skanda his spear, and so on.  The shifting power structures amongst the gods, and their collectively assimilating the Surya cult, are clearly visible here.  Also notable is the remarkable symbolism of death being the son of the giver of life.  No sooner does life come into being, than death has marked it down.


The fiery power was distributed to other gods as weapons

In later myths, Surya sinks even further into insignificance.  In the Ramayana he is the father of Sugriva, the Monkey prince, and can do nothing to prevent his persecution at the hands of his brother.  In the Mahabharatha he is the father of the tragic figure Karna, and again can do nothing to ease the harsh destiny of his son.  It’s a long way down for the god described in the Vedas as the Great All-Knowing Lord.

The many names of Surya somehow still pulsate with power when the panegyrics to the other gods fade into staleness.

He is Dinakara, Day-maker;  Vivasat the Radiant One;  Karma-shakshi, witness of the deeds of men;  Mihira, He who waters the earth (by drawing up moisture so that clouds may form);  Savitri the Nourisher of gods and men;  and best of all, Savitr, the Impeller towards the good Light.

One cannot help feeling that somehow India lost more than beautiful temples when his worship collapsed;  an entire subculture of great vitality and creative energy went with it.  It was, by the evidence available till now, about the only faith in India that did not go emotionally overboard or assimilate so many bizarre aspects of behaviour and belief that make modern sensibilities squeamish.  The Light was sufficient unto itself, and there was no evil thereof.

It is a belief that would be reiterated in another time and place by an artist from another culture.  Many centuries later, as England’s great painter, Turner, lay dying after a lifetime of painting the light, he stated his life’s discovery and faith in four words:

“The sun is God.”


Jane Adams

My adventure invites fellow travellers.  I am a poet, an artist and a seer.  I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.

This blog is  a vehicle to promote my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books) – along with many other creations in house.  

I write, illustrate, design and print my books.   Watch this space.


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


Rohit Arya_Sacred India Tarot#Creating the Moon card


This has a “sub-plot”.  Gautam Sachdeva (the publisher) on his return from a pilgrimage to the Cathars in southern France, requested some information on Archangel Michael, which Jane provided (see below).

As Rohit calls card 18 “the bad boy of Indian mythology” it seems highly appropriate to match Chandra with the Guardian Angel!

In the western Tarot, the Moon card rules embodiment, cycles of cell renewal and repair through sleep;  and cycles also of our past lives.  It has a wave pattern, because the path of evolution proceeds in waves.   But the Moon is also associated to the personal ego.   Archangel Michael guards this domain and “the path of honesty” to the transpersonal Self.  So it is timely to insert an article about Michael, in the process.  As the correspondence following it shows, Gautam was getting some awakenings from his soul’s history.

Energetically speaking, our cross cultural enterprise is particularly rich, under the aura of Soma Chandra (nectar of the Moon).  Guides and archetypes of our journey unveil themselves, as the story goes on.

Chandra-soma, Jyotish – an early and more classic version of this deity.  He carries a lily and a mace, and the chariot wheels are Yantras or visual mantras.  The horses are the nectar from his lotus throne.

Arcanum 18, from Jane’s Hermetic deck

Rohit Arya’s Notes:

“The available myths are sparse and few in number.  They seem to have been written by people who did not like this particular godform very much.  It would seem the ancient observers of the skies did not like this waxing and waning, regarding it as something sneaky in a celestial, and well worth watching with a wary eye.

“The important intervention of the Moon was noticing Rahu and Ketu (North and South Nodes/ecliptic) attempting to steal Amrita, the gods’ nectar of immortality, and warning Vishnu about it.  In return, he and the Sun got the unrelenting hostility of those malevolent beings who periodically attempt to swallow them whole – but they always emerge from the eclipse, because the attackers have only immortal heads, the bodies beneath them having been cut off.


Rahu Jyotish, the Moon’s North Node – his left hand holds Smar-hara Yantra, the remover of desire


Ketu Jyotish, the Moon’s South Node:  letting go.  The moon’s Nodes are the antipodeal points where Moon’s orbit around the earth crosses Earth’s orbit around the Sun.  When these are aligned, earth, sun, moon, as happens twice a year, there is during that fortnight, a lunar (full moon) eclipse and a solar (new moon) eclipse.


Rohit continues: 

“The most unpleasant myth about Chandra is when he forced himself upon Mamata(or Tara), the wife of his elder brother and guru Brihaspati (Jupiter), and made her pregnant.  The son so born from this rape was the planet Budha (Mercury).  It would seem that he used a mixture of charm and psychological dominance to keep the poor woman quiet, and only broke his silence when the child proved to be one of exceptional good fortune, which he was not going to miss out on, being the father.

“To make matters worse, he assembled an armada of allies to back his claim, mostly sages with jealous spite against Brihaspati, and all the denizens of the Dark side of hindu mythology  – Asuras, Danavas and so on.  An infuriated Siva attacked all of them, and even temporarily slew Chandra before restoring him to life, and having the crescent Moon a permanent ornament on his own forehead.  Chandra’s luck as always, saw him through, and he even got the child.

“This myth is a subconscious acknowledgement of the dark side of the moon in psychological terms – charm and beauty mixed up with deceit and willfulness, and a heedless disregard for consequences or the feelings of others.  Chandra was punished by being permanently excluded from heaven, and having to reside amongst the stars.

“However, the old texts say that ‘if a person is born under Soma or Chandra, he will have many friends, will possess elephants, horses and palanquins;  be honourable and powerful;  will live on excellent food, and rest on superb couches.’  Being in some versions born from the ocean, he is regarded as the brother of Lakshmi, goddess of fortune;  but she too is famously capricious and fickle in doling out good luck.  The Chandravanshi Rajputs claim to be a lunar race directly descended from the Moon.

“I would just suggest making the face not too pleasant, for the Moon is an ambivalent card as well as character, exceedingly charming but also capable of great misbehaviour and trouble making, as the myths are only too clear in informing us.  The misunderstandings, strife, confusions and doubts that assail us under the Moon card’s influence – it is not a totally positive card.

“..We have a paradox basically.  High honours and luck, as well as lechery and lunacy.  I had thought to avoid this by stressing the old Vedic god Soma aspect of the Moon, but even he had a problem in preferring his wife Rohini above the rest of his 33 wives, all sisters, and incurring the curse of his father-in-law – which explains the waxing and waning of the Moon.

“So it would seem that he is a deeply attractive and elegant form of god, riding the gazelle, but albeit dangerous and capable of springing a nasty surprise or two.  He is more like an old Sumerian god, capable of blessing and blighting – and both actions are driven by caprice alone.”



Jane’s Notes:

This analysis suggests the Moon’s paradoxical character, as masque of appearances, healing light, romance, persona and – in the cultural context – the leading entity in Indian astrology.


Correspondence:  Gautam – 11 October 2002

“Hi Jane, greetings from a really hot Bombay.  The weather is now 5 degrees over the usual.  Hopefully, things should start cooling down from November.

“Out of personal interest, I’m looking for any input on Archangel Michael.  Rohit was explaining to me how the Ace of Swords was a symbol of Michael.  Did you ever cover this subject, or do a related painting or the like?

“Yes, it’s amazing the Major Arcana are moving towards completion.  Do you suggest we do our corrections now, or wait till we proceed with the full deck?  I have printed out the cards to an actual size forma, and will mail you a set.  A long road ahead, but it’s been a great journey so far, thanks to yourself and Rohit.  It’s a miracle how the universe orchestrates things.   Have a good weekend – warm regards, Gautam.

“PS – do you have msn messenger?  This way we can chat real time, or get a webcam – even better!”

Archangel Michael ’92  “– after a reproduction of St Michael by Memlink, on a record sleeve of organ music by Messiaen


Correspondence:  Jane – October 2002

Dear Gautam and Rohit – Archangel Michael, in Kabbalah, is Captain of the Hosts between cosmic evil and cosmic good.  Behind and above him is the Lord’s Name, Adonai.  Under him is Sandalphon, Archangel of planet Earth.  Michael holds a central position in the Tree of Life – he is its consciousness or beauty – and is in touch with every other part of it.  In the western Tarot, he is depicted as the angel in Temperance, balancing the essences of alchemic fire and water.  He has one foot on the ground of his own world, and the other is dipped into a pool which is the ‘watery’ human psyche, or astral plane.

Michael rules the region to the south, the fire.  He carries a lance of flame.  His face like the sun, is too bright to behold.  He has a winged aura of gold and salmon pink.  He looks after musicians and all forms of music – this means the gandharvas too – and is especially benevolent to cats from tigers to tabbies, in the animal kingdom.

Here is my understanding:

Michael is also, in western iconography, the arch slayer of dragons.  This means the dragon or ley-line of earth – the subtle current through the meridians of body and psyche.  He is probably the patron of acupuncturists.  Everywhere at power spots or dolmens in southern England, are old shrines to Michael and Mary.  These are outcrops of the secret dragon fire, and they now have churches built on them, or old towers.

The mythological Michael slew dragons that pestered humanity;  but there is also a deeper meaning.  He represents the capacity to look directly into one’s own Shadow, or unresolved Serpent powers, to  tap their source and release them creatively – in other words, to master the inner daemons through awareness or Self-enquiry. The Knights of the Temple when building cathedrals of the Gothic Art, used this alchemic knowledge along ancient ‘dragon’ meridians in earth, to raise up mass (stone) into Light (the winged arch).  They harnessed Baphomet, the creative aspect of the Devil (Tarot card 15) to transform densities, and to temper the ascending and descending force:  evolution/involution.  Baphomet is a code word whose latin, read backwards, becomes Templi Omnium Hominum Pacis Abbas – Priest of the Temple of Peace for all Humanity.  They looked Baphomet in the eye.  They were Initiates and knew what they were doing, but their Order became wealthy and a threat to the Church, which accused them of worshipping Satan.  The Church witch-hunted and burned them all.

The Templars were an enigmatic order.  Many historians link them to the Crusades:  their vow to guard the routes of pilgrimage was variously interpreted.  After the Templars were destroyed, the Black Death ravaged Europe.  The Cathedrals – not all of which had been completed –  were regarded as sanctuaries.  The black death couldn’t enter – it flowed around them.  From the human compost of the black death was seeded and grew the flower which became the Renaissance.

The Cathedrals in France are each a star in the Virgo constellation as reflected in the ground.  Their positions on the map suggest this.  That is the link of Michael and Maria.   Michael is the guardian of the initiate – the celestial sky –  and Maria is the purity of the receiving ground.

The whole thing is much older than Christianity.  It was alive in ancient Egypt, with Osiris/Isis.  As the elder Egyptian and Vedic civilizations corresponded, it has Indian roots also.  In the new Cathedrals, in the Middle Ages, the Mysteries were celebrated;  the bishops led the sacred dances.  There were no statues or depictions of crucifixion inside them, because they stood for the Living or Resurrected Christ.   The magnificent carvings of the guardians are on the porches and exterior walls, like the crusted stone of a geode.   The interior space and sacred proportion raised the entering soul to a higher, deeper level.  The root is the shoot, both ways – deep foundations were needed to support the mass of stone in flight.  Thus we stand tall;  thus we turn within.   Such is Michael Archangel.   Light entered through a prism of specially prepared alchemic glass windows, illumining the interior with a rainbow colour spectrum.

(Research, The Mysteries of Chartres Cathedral by Louis Charpentier, published by Research Into Lost Knowledge Organization – RILKO – a fascinating book.)

Michael in the western Tarot Temperance, has a rainbow over him, to depict – like the Templars’ alchemic glass – the refracting of the One into seven tones of light.  In the Rider-Waite decks, this is a partially concealed secret; the rainbow is substituted by iris flowers; Iris was the goddess of the rainbow.   In my Hermetic deck illustration (see Mother Ganga in the Sacred India Tarot, and Anandaymayi Ma)  the rainbow materializes to irises by the Archangel’s feet, and a radiance around his crown.

In general, we see that Michael holds the balance of forces back and forth over long historical periods.  He is the guiding power behind humanity’s better nature, and is its greatest warrior.  But the faculty I associate with him is Patience.  Like a real warrior, he strikes us rightly at the right time.  He oversees excess and the aesthetic control of his fiery realm – as you can see, with his vessels of equilibrium.   This archetype in our lives, gives us long cycles to balance and hold in check.  Where this comes together with Mother Ganga in our present work, is the sense of always backing upstream to Source.   The holy river carries all destinies in her current from the sky.

(And in the present context, accompanying SITA 18, The Moon, this essay on Michael is another view on the embodiment process, which The Moon regulates.)


And re the Ace of Swords/your question:  Michael is often depicted carrying Sword and Scales.  In my understanding, the Ace of Swords refers to Destiny.  In my cultural context, and in Alfred Douglas’s interpretation, the Ace of Swords means ‘faculty of thought’.   This is a destructive card if reversed.  Power abused or mis-used, results in “restriction imposed by force or fear;  injustice;  the usurping of Divine authority by human willfulness.”

The Sword is in the deep past, for resolution.  Perhaps it is transpersonal, and means “destiny” … “Victory, the operation of irresistible force – the symbol of Divine justice and authority, the forging of strength in adversity – the faculty of thought.  This card indicates that all enterprises will succeed, despite apparently overwhelming odds.  The start of progress which cannot be halted or diverted.  Necessary change:  a breaking down in order that something better might be built.  Freedom resulting from the removal of restraints.” (Alfred Douglas)

It suggests the Executive of Divine authority, which Great Michael is.  He looks like the sun.  No power of darkness can withstand his gaze.  So your Ace of Swords may symbolize his way of action:  a single Sword held in stillness.

I did some work inspired by this in the past, and wrote a sort of book about it, still waiting to be typed – (now competed:  The Masters’ Eye 2011).   Interestingly, your email about Michael and Ace arrived just when I was writing again about Michael in my journal, as he came up in our Kabbalah group discussion.

I shall be resuming Moon, Sun etc, tomorrow.  Yes I think it a good idea to do all the detail adjustments when the Major Arcana are completed, and before we start the Minor.   SELF ENQUIRY got printed a fortnight ago – I don’t think I sent you a copy yet.  It contains Rohit’s article on Yama and David Frawley’s article on Kali, but not the illustrations!

Warm regards, Jane



Correspondence, Gautam Sachdeva -17 October 2002

“Hi Jane – well received.  Was almost like a thesis on the same – will absorb it all at the weekend.  Thanks a ton!   Gautam.”

Correspondence: Jane – 21 October 2002

“Dear Gautam, I’ve been a bit delayed last week, so I’m starting Moon this week instead.  I shall proceed as per my earlier drawing of Chandra, and Rohit’s instructions, but I’d also like a little of Rohit’s mythology.  How long is your website closed for?  Is it possible to send me a page on Chandra? Glad you got the Michael – did it come in the attachment?  I don’t know yet if the attachment is working on this address, as they’ve messed about with it recently.”


Chandra, Jyotish drawing  (in “Astrology of the Seers” by Vamadeva Shastri/ Frawley

Correspondence: Gautam – 21 October 2002

“Hi Jane – will send u an article.  I spoke with Rohit on the same.  I don’t think there is anything on on Chandra, though the site should be up by tomorrow.   Michael came through your private address.” 

“Rohit and I are brainstorming on a book about Krishna, in a very modern context – in the sense of how we can apply it to today’s man and living – he will prepare a concept note for the same – I will send it to you – I want it to be a small format book, something the size of ‘who moved my cheese’ – so it’s fast to read, easy to pick up, and good to gift.

“Want to be in on the same?  Could be a fun cross-cultural exercise, and may turn out to be really unique.  I guess you can decide once you see the concept note.  The closes I can think of is ‘Jesus CEO’, but of course we won’t follow that format.  Hope all else is well.  Warm regards, Gautam.”


Correspondence:  Gautam – 29 October 2002

Your article was fascinating.  I also shared it with my friend who recently traveled to Mont St Michel in France, dedicated to Michael.  The Ace of Swords is a card I regularly pull out in Tarot readings done by my mom or Rohit … and that is what prompted Rohit to mention to me that he felt there was some sort of connection.

“I also feel strongly connected with the Joan of Arc energy for some reason, and she too was guided by the Archangel.   So strange, all this … especially for one sitting in India!

“Thanks for the Self Enquiry received yesterday – Rohit is coming over today, and will show it to him.  Warm regards, Gautam.”


SITA 18:  Chandra Soma

Jane’s Notes (2010)

Acknowledging the suggested sibling link of Chandra and Lakshmi, in both these cards – 18 and 3 – a landscaped Sri Chakra Yantra represents the fortunate and wish fulfilling jewel which they capriciously bestow.

The Sri Chakra Yantra interweaves 5 descending female triangles (Shakti) with 4 ascending male triangles (Siva).  Their nuptial union sustains a centrifugal ripple-mandala pattern of 42 triangles, like the rings across a tree’s stem.  This map of the cosmos – a spider’s web of time – is invisibly projected from the central point or bindhu, and is what we handle and perceive.   The immortality of the exhaustless treasure is in the Now, around which all mythologies spin their histories.

In SITA card 3, Lakshmi the Empress gives birth to the creation.

In SITA card 18, Chandra seems to both invite and guard access to the creation.

SITA 3:  Lakshmi, the Empress

Arcanum Eighteen – an early interior journey looking up the Sefiroth of the Tree of Life.  In the Moon’s crescent are the enigmatic faces of our guides.   The path takes us through the gate of the body (two towers, the ends of a fence) into the landscape of our dreams at night.  Beyond yet from within it, rises the sun, our Self.

The pool here, is as the same as the one which the woman in the Star, card 17, gazes into.  We see with her the evolution of Life in all its forms.



My adventure invites fellow travellers.  I am a poet, an artist and a seer.  I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.

This blog is  a vehicle to promote my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books) – along with many other creations in house.  

I write, illustrate, design and print my books.   Watch this space.



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


Rohit Arya_Sacred India Tarot#Creating the Star


Rohit’s Notes

“We are again in pioneering territory here;  insofar as I know, India has never depicted Ushas, Goddess of the Dawn.  Considering her tremendous stature in the Vedas, this is one of the most astonishing oversights in Indian culture.

“She is the Morning Star, not a typical star as the tarot packs have it, but her close association with the Sun, as well as the fact that stars are Suns, and thus solar phenomena, made me decide on her.  The great power, healing and goodness associated with Ushas is typical of the Star Arcanum.

“We have various female figures which may suggest a starting point in drawing her.  What is clear is that she is extremely beautiful, and somewhat translucent in complexion.  The sun who follows her, shines through her;  and it is the light shining through her blood which makes the dawn pink or red.

“Depicting her as a sort of female sun riding in a chariot and watering the heavens, earth and the waters of the earth, with Light poured from jars like water, would satisfy both the traditional tarot requirements, as well as keep to the integrity of what Ushas is.”



Jane’s Notes:  9 August 2012

In the traditional Star, the wisdom shines down into the nude woman, who is earth, illumining her chakras on their stem, which are interior stars.  She gazes into the pool, which is a little sea.  She sees beyond her reflected face.   The sea is the subconscious.  Meditation is a fish-hook let down into the depths of water as it becomes still.    As I become still and look …

The scarlet ibis in the tree is Thoth, the scribe of the Egyptian gods.

The violent awakening of the Tower falls away like a chrysalis, to reveal the maid, like a butterfly.  At the tail of every dragon she stands, waiting to be rescued;  while the princes gallop gallantly up and down.

We call The Star “Meditation” and also “Hope”, for under its auspices, the totality of an event is revealed, and comes to peace.

The Star – from Jane’s Hermetic Tarot

Meditation through all our sensory organs, receives sensory essence:  the Tattvas, whether known or not.  For this reason I will include in my process journal, some impressions from my sea-side holiday – found over the page, immediately after I drew the SITA card.   Seals are archetypes of the soul;  they rise curiously to the bait we let down into the deep, and play among the waves.

But firstly:

Jane’s Notes on the Star:   “Meditation, Countenance” – 23 September 2002

The Higher Self cuddles the upset child in its arms and makes her laugh.  When I read about the interfacing Upper and Lower Countenances of the Tree of Life, there was a movement of delight and love for the Tree, which is no different from a devotee’s for their Guru.  The Tree has faces of incomparable beauty, simplicity and splendour, and I receive them humanly.  My Teacher has this geometric warmth of expression. 

I checked a rush of “Feeling” with the deeper “Emotion” which is quieter.  This sobriety is the operation of Tifareth – the heart, beauty, consciousness in the Tree.  I monitor the precision of stepping through the etheric envelope into the sky-lark space of the astral.  Astral are imprints and architectures of deep emotion.  If these are pure, uncluttered by the surge of Feeling, it is TAV, it is good – a refined and aerial texture.   Monitor how the morning’s sludge awakens, when it sees and receives the Countenance.  The passion itself transforms and refines – surrenders – itself to the Unifying Face, and then feels less, because it is subtle:  a distilled tenderness of being.  It is open.  Because it is not separate, the desire to describe or outline it, dies.

Analysis of the opening process, is watching – the intimate detachment into Tifareth – the way a musician hears, to touch and phrase a note.  The raga is tuned minutely to the sway of the sruti.   Where is this movement on the Tree?

The shift from the personal to the Self.   In my case, through the tidal embrace of lunar Cancer into solar Capricorn – a divine stability.  The mountain goat has a fish-tail rudder.  It is a miracle and a wonder.

Distracting thought-trains become visualized in the space, as generators, rather like complex car batteries, generations.   Stepping back from them just sufficiently to perceive these objects, “re-generates” the psyche, hermetically.  Yes!  and SELF-ENQUIRY.

I noticed a vitalized affection for W my tutor.  Since looking at my chart with his, I receive him differently as a Companion of the Light.  Last night he rang up twice, enthusiastically, to tell me about the Kings of England on the box (I was already watching it) and then to see what I thought about it.  The two goats after all these years, are sufficiently well acquainted to stop together and enjoy the same patch of violet tufted thistles.  As it happened, on the programme (about the bloodthirsty Edward I) there was a lovely picture of thistles – the Violet Ray – as well as beautiful photography of the crash and passage of the sea, rocks and Western Isles.   In the flux of our animal nature, the brute history never changes.

Ka is the soul;  the ballast is Capricorn;  ka abba allah combines the mystic roots.  This friendship taking root like an oak, will grow and LAST.  W said, “you are one of the oaks.   You are an old grandma.”   It is funny to be becoming an elder, but feeling unchanged from child, or in my twenties.   When I look in the mirror, that is what I see;  but photos give me a shock!    How can I live in peace with my awful profile?

Well, come on now.  Countenances.  The Tree of Life is a Countenance which embraces and awakens me, in which I am content.  The holy place of meeting happens… the contact with the seven interior stars.   (These in the Tarot Star card, are the chakras.  The science is precise.) 


Chakras on the Tree of Life

Gurus – dispellers of darkness – present human faces.  In the Western Mysteries, the faces are less focused.  What is behind them?  I’m still reading the Anandamayi book, but getting a bit bored.  Vamadeva Shastri’s article on Agni is pure sushumna Fountain.  I visited his website, ( and read a bit of the awe inspiring great work and lineage, he publishes and transmits.

I only last week bought a TV, when W urged me to.  Last night, after watching Edward I and a fascinating documentary about survival in Alaska, I watched some of the video of Neelam in London with RMF, with much interest, as it is full of people I know (including my awful profile.)  The night before, I watched a Poonjaji video and the faces of his lovers – to see the phenomenon if possible, uncritically.   I only criticize erstwhile targets of my own involvement, which reflect on my lower self-person, which is always changing and never true.   The Poonja phenomenon is an obsession with “Awakening” – a love-play through eye contact, body gestures, vocal sounds and silence.   They are doing it through the soul, and by generating astral currents.  But they never say that is what they are doing, and the seekers are shy and awe struck.  It has its quintessential eternity, like a flower in bud and bloom before the petals rust and drop.  Neelam and her stage are compelling to watch, because she is PURE DRAMA from moment to moment.  She has sometimes an extraordinary naked beauty, and at other times a heavy-grained old Dame looks out from there – a disturbingly voyeuristic screen.   Perhaps she will become a fat formidable Polish grandma, still teaching in the States.

Countenances.  In the Hermetic way, everything is by analogy.  The subtle contact with W only reflects, connects and earths what is in the Upper Worlds.

Yesterday I drew Card 17 – The Star – for India Tarot, but was tired, so it is not yet as clear and fresh as I would like.  Countenances.  A lot less Hokhmah (Revelation/Wisdom) is coming down, these days.  I think they are monitoring it more, with me, as the alignment deepens and becomes peaceful. 

I have a rope.  It guides me up the mountain paths to meet them.  In the Cloud of Unknowing (Daat), I hold one end of the polarity – they are my Antipodes.



The Spiritual Seeker

Countenance.  I have not forgotten, with the repetition of this word, L.Eagle (through DG’s transmission) telling me I shall be bestowed with the gift of the DIVINE COUNTENANCE, having rendered his own;  so this nice word is the flavour of the week.  It frames things well.   It is also seeing the Sea – off to Pembrokeshire coast tomorrow, to watch the seals.

Countenance?  I love you.


The Star – Ushas the Dawn



1. Heaven born by truth, the Dawn has shone out.  Revealing her majesty, she has come.  She has concealed the unwelcome, hateful darkness.  As the foremost of the flaming Seers, she has set the paths in motion.

2. Be awakened today, for our great and happy journey oh Dawn;  into a great auspiciousness extend us.  Goddess human in mortals, hold in us a wonderful splendour and glorious revelation.

3. The wonderfully clear, immortal radiances of the Dawn, have come for the vision.  Generating the Divine laws, filing the interior realms, they have spread afar.

4. When she is yoked from the beyond, she travels around the five races of men in an instant.  Surveying the ways of knowledge of men, she is the daughter of Heaven, the queen of the world.

5.  Full of power, the maiden of the Sun possessing a wonderful beneficence, she is the ruler of plenitude of splendours. Lauded by the seers, giving maturity, the beneficent Dawn shines, sung by the carrier flames.

6. Wonderfully bright radiant horses appear, conveying the flashing Dawn.  She travels luminous by her chariot of the universal form, as she grants the ecstasy to harmonious mortals.

7. The truth with the truth, great with the great, the Goddess with the Gods, holy with all the holy ones, she broke down the firm limitations and dispensed the radiant mornings, as her rays roared to greet her.

8. Now hold for us an ecstasy made of nourishing rays and heroic force, oh Dawn, the all enjoyment made of swift energy.  May our mere humanity not stain this altar.  Protect us with the powers of well-being forever, oh Gods.

Rig Veda VII.75:  Seer – Maitravaruni Vasishta.  Translated by Vamadeva Shastri (D.Frawley)


Vedic goddess



Jane’s Notes:

The solar horse is in fact a Unicorn, whose third eye is projected or introjected as a gleaming horn or ray of light from the Star.

The Unicorn is a fabulous faery creature, a vehicle of purity for the inner journey, a subtle creature of the borderlands, particularly at dusk and dawn.

In this card, the rising Sun (beginning to melt the stars) forms a fiery Wheel, depicting the Buddha suit of Pentacles.  The blushing Ushas pours into it her everlasting inner being.  Her hair is the night.



Correspondence:  Gautam and Rohit – 24 September 2002

“We love the card, with the little touches of the solar horse.  Do you feel you need to improve on colours?  For Ganga and Star, for all goddess figures, we suggest covering the nipple with a band like in Lakshmi, or jewellery like Saraswathi, in order not to offend Indian sensibilities.  For example, Ganga could have her tresses covering her nipple as well.  For the Star, you might perhaps need the band.

“The revised Kali, though perhaps less archetypally powerful, is remarkably serene, as is the Ganga.  Where the first Kali was turbulent, this one is calming.  It’s almost like the Kali looks like the Madonna.  We are very happy with how this is moving ahead.”


Correspondence: Jane – 24 September 2002

“I am so glad the last three cards are successful.  Yes I could emphasize the allure of one or two of the devil’s daughters.  As to Ganga’s and the Star’s nipples, these will be treated in the way you suggest – I had forgotten the rules.  Also I was reading a text on Ushas (the Star) in the Vedic Hymns (David Frawley translation) which says she is ‘bare breasted’.”

“I had a wonderful holiday with my mother, thank you, on the Welsh coast in perfect weather, rock climbing and swimming near seals.  It was total soul nourishment.  We arrived back to our houses very exhausted, but refreshed.  I read your vedic astrology project with great interest.  I think it is well presented, and I am sure it will be successful.  Let me know your impressions of David Frawley’s website …   

“As I’m not sure if this address is working well at present, can you send me a note back to confirm?  Haven’t had any messages from anyone for over a week, but then I haven’t written any!   Regards, Jane”



My adventure invites fellow travellers.  I am a poet, an artist and a seer.  I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.

This blog is  a vehicle to promote my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books) – along with many other creations in house.  

I write, illustrate, design and print my books.   Watch this space.



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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Siva destroys the Triple City with a single Arrow


Siva Tripurantaka

Jane’s Notes, August 2012

Our process material for this card is unusually scanty.  I can find no images sent by Rohit, there is just this small picture (above) which I found online.   There is not one word in my journal, about drawing Siva Tripurantaka.   It was done immediately after the Devil card – Mara and his Three Daughters.   It was difficult to compose (see Rohit’s notes, below) but satisfying to do.   Rohit’s archetypal interpretation penetrates the core of this Arcanum – the dismantling of falsehood, the revelation of Truth by a single arrow.

In the west, the Tower card has a bad reputation.  It suggests catastrophe, the snap of a tension build-up.   But when we look deeper, this card is also called the House of God…

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