Sacred India Tarot#Creating the Judgment Card

Jane and I were surprised to realize we went into this with hardly any explanatory context or content and just one visual reference. The Pralaya – Cosmic Dissolution – is a staple of Hindu mythology and yoga but very curiously it is hardly ever represented. That makes this piece of art by Jane very rare and special indeed. The more I look back on this project the more I feel like a Hollow Bamboo – something vast had to manifest into the world and it flowed thru me! i didn’t have the slightest clue! This post also has a Yogic perspective on what pralaya means which I believe has not been articulated before until it flowed thru Yours Truly.  Jane’s inclusion of the Hrim bija mantra was a superb piece of insight.

Correspondence:  Rohit’s Notes – November 2002: 

“This card is going to be tough to depict, as India has no equivalent of the Judgment Day concept.  We also have no cultural imagery of opening graves and trumpets. 

“The best I can think about, is Pralaya the dissolution of the universe, with the Kalki avatar of Vishnu to provide the hopeful impetus for the future, once the upheaval is over.  We need a feel and look of a world in turmoil by water and fire, with one peaceful corner, the South, because that is where Kalki will emerge from. 

“Kalki can be shown as a man with Vishnu’s face holding a sword and riding a white horse.  The feel of Albrecht Durer’s Four Horsement of the Apocalypse is ideal, if it can be managed.”

Visual reference:  Durer’s drawing of the Apocalypse

**

We cannot find in the archive, any of our correspondence about this card, or writings from Rohit.  So here is his essay on Pralaya in the book accompanying the deck:

The Dwara reveals:  The Judgment is, strictly speaking, Judgment Day – Armageddon, where the forces of decay and evil are routed by the aroused ranks of the spiritual.  In Indian mythogy, the event is called Pralaya, the dissolution.  Vishnu takes his tenth and most powerful avatar, that of Kalki, to preside over this most significant of battles.

This time we live in, is deemed the worst age of man, the dark Kali Yuga.  When it ends, a long time in the future as prophesied, human civilization and culture will have come to a breaking point.  The whole enterprise will either go under in a cataclysm of greed and violence, or Kalki will lead the forces of good to a defensive strike in the cause of the right, and the light.  Where we stand at that pivotal stage in destiny, depends upon our Karmic inclination.  There will be no time to choose when we see Kalki thundering in upon his white horse.  The choice has to be made right now;  in every action we take, in every temptation resisted or pandered to;  in every decent thought we value and stand fast by, rejecting the seductive pull of the comfortable compromise.

For Pralaya takes place more often than people suspect.

According to the sect of the Pashupatas, Siva himself causes Pralaya occasionally to give the poor souls tied to the wheel of Karma, some much needed rest and recuperation!  When the universe manifests again, they revert to their previous Karmic state, and the cycle begins anew.  The endless turning of the Wheel of Fire, with most people merrily creating fresh Karma to bind themselves further to it – even a just God would feel compassion at this harrowing and demoralizing spectacle.

But Pralaya, in a psychological sense, takes place whenever a person is about to achieve the full awakening into Pure Consciousness.  Like the attack of Mara the foe of consciousness, the collective lower aspects of the psyche (described superbly by Eckhart Tolle as the pain-body) launch a final struggle to survive.  The seeker feels he is on a threshold of significance;  just one more determined push, and he could attain.  But first, he must fight a wounded polar bear to cross the threshold!

If you try to individually repress or suppress the eruptions that occur, you are lost.  For memories, desires and habits rise in tsunamis of desperation, as the pain-body battles to survive.

The only solution is to take up the keen sword of Viveka – the faculty of wise discrimination, wielded by Kalki, and sever one’s ego-mind from habitual identification with such muck.  The blast of the Archangel Gabriel’s horn that arouses the quick and the dead, the call to awaken to a new self, a rejuvenation of hope and energy and purpose, is accomplished here by the bija mantra HREEM! – shown pulsating at the base of the chaos.  This is the final stage of the spiritual journey before complete attainment.

As always, consciousness wins the day by refusing to accept anything other than Itself as the underlying principle of value that pervades existence.

The Light in this card, is rebirth of the psyche and personality.  New perspectives, new visions, new values … Value judgments are abandoned, they are correctly seen to be cluttering up life and preventing the blooming of the new.

The Advaita sage Ramesh Balsekar has a pertinent remark about such times:  “Our prayer should be one of gratitude.  We should thank God for our suffering knowing it could have been much worse, like the suffering of millions below the poverty line.”

This is a significant stage of life, a genuine rite of passage;  and nothing that is valuable comes without trouble.

Builders of the Adytum: Tarot Key 20 – a four-dimensional image. The gestures of the woman, child and man, form an L,V,X – meaning Lux or Light.

Jane’s Notes – September 2012

Rohit used a “wounded polar bear” analogy:  in the western deck, the scene is of the arctic, with massed icebergs across the water.  In Kabbalah, the ice is a symbol of frozen water and frozen fire – the inexhaustible potential before it melts and moves into manifestation.  Indeed, the ice is a reservoir, holding the ancient waters as well as the new.

Climate change is suggested:  but the image is multi dimensioned, and holds a layered depth of meaning.

When alpine ice melts and the waters pour down the mountain on a warm morning, there is a tremendous sound and rush and rain, an everywhere AUM:  a let-down reflex.  On the Tree of Life, tarot key 20 is placed on the Mother-Fire-Letter SHIN, (Hod-Malkuth path) which from the sky, touches the root.   It suggests the Promethean gift of fire:  which transforms consciousness.  To this path also belongs the innate song, the sound of the universe, of Siva’s drum, of dancers around the sacred fire.

The Archangel announces God’s Word, which takes root in each sensitive womb or uplifted soul.

The word “Viveka”, wise discrimination, highlights the precision with which all Karmic forces and expressions are balanced, in the cosmic Law.  This is not visible as precision, until we take a step back from our situation and perceive the pattern unfolding around and from it!   Nowhere and in no way are we apart from the Law, except in daydream.   The Judgment weighs, measures through innumerable locations and lifetimes in time and space, the balance:  the trans-formation.   This Tarot Key is ruled by Pluto.

The Archangel’s trumpet sound, addressed to each and every inmost child, changes the particles within.  That same sound blew down the walls of Jericho.  The Karmic tapestry moves from every direction, wave-train across wave, like the waters of the sea in any place.  No linear perspective can adequately comprehend it.

**

Arcanum 20 – from Jane’s Hermetic deck.  The letter SHIN is a three-pronged flame

**

Here is something I wrote last week: ON RECONCILIATION.  I earmarked it as Arcanum-20 material.

In the vessel cleaving the sea, the Maggidim in their breath of life, see things silently in full, and let them pass – my valve, the floating gate of my private reconciliations.

Join the community of the watchers and the guardians.   Join hands with the circle – the hands are there every instant.   Stop and remember this and join hands, during the day.   All of us made our personal reconciliations which qualify.   You and I know what these are, and how difficult they were, and still are, sometimes.   We ensphere, we breathe the globe.   We seem to be few, but the soul’s mansions are immense.   Only the tip of the iceberg shows.   The tip of the iceberg is drama and dazzling formations.  The bulk of the berg is vast sub-surface cliff, and it moves peacefully in the sculpting sea:  consciousness, the secret and eternal flow of events.   Sea ice.  See Ice.   See-I-see.

The bulk of the world is far more than the sum of the parts of the tinkling skittles on top.   With the media skittles is a gambling game of statistics.   The skittles they are very little, and their bones are very brittle… like icicles.

Silence … the current and the sense-ship of ever steaming onward, through, with, receive, open endedly … be loved.  This is far deeper than technology.

This isn’t about the Titanic.  The titanic was a party going on unaware, its centenary grabbed the media this year.  There is a titanic partying among hedons, but there is an “end of term awareness” also, which the early twentieth century did not have.  In the early twentieth century, war was still a glorious solution, and soldiers had not lost their ignorance.

History spirals but does not repeat.  The awareness is uncomfortable.   But the atmosphere is changed.

Sacred India Tarot 20 – Pralaya, The Judgment

I felt nervous about current global armaggedons when I painted this card.  It looks like a gigantic clean-up, flushing out every Karmic poison.  Pralaya resonates with Archangels Michael and Gabriel, and the Krishna archetype who reveals the Dharma when humanity is in crisis.  His features and figure here, are those of Vishnu, the Sacred India Tarot Magician.   Krishna, Buddha and others, are avatars of Vishnu the Sustainer.

At first, everything is unbearably polarized.  The Day of Judgment takes place at any time, and on any local scale:  a time of conscious decision, shift, a shifting.  On the one hand there is clarity;  on the other, a demonic agony and disorder is rife.

This painting is positively charged with the seed mantra HRIM, unifying male and female principles.  It is also the primal vibration of the goddess Bhuvaneshwari, Womb of the Universe.

Card 20 includes the Last Trumpet – suggesting to me the Sound which brought our universe into being – the vibration of mantra, bells and sacred dance – primordial rhythm.  This Sound is unifying.

We need to find our own sound/vibration/silence within ourselves, to prevail against chaotic disturbances of mind and media persuasion.

And so, as well as the HRIM mantra, the heart of the Sri Chakra Yantra is born from the night sky, and represents Self responsibility.  Each inmost child of God is ultimately response-able to what he or she will become, in the full picture:  the intimate fusion of our conscious modes, sub-consciously.

The card attempts to portray an emerging Law of equilibrium.  The picture is polarized;  we select our alignment, and thus create our home;  for we live in an era of parallel universes.

**

The Symbols

from an illustrated manuscript, Nepal c.1760

Siva Shakti Yantra – the heart of the Sri Chakra lattice:  two descending triangles (fem) over one ascending (masc)

“Emergence of the universe from the cosmic waters.  The interlocked triangles symbolize the male and female principles evolving from the primal chaos of elements into the micro-vision of the cosmic man.”

(From The Tantric Way by Ajit Mukerjee)

HRIM seed mantra

“HRIM (pronounced Hreem) is the prime mantra of the Great Goddess and ruler of the worlds, and holds all her creative and healing powers.  HRIM governs over the cosmic magnetic energy and the power of the soul and causal body.  It awakens us at a soul or heart level, connecting us to Divine forces of love and attraction.  HRIM is the mantra of the Divine Maya that destroys the worldly maya.  It has a solar quality to it, but more of a dawn like effect.  It is charming and alluring, yet purifying.  Through it we can control the illusion power of our own minds.

“In Vedic terms, HRIM is a mantra of the Sun, particularly in terms of illumination.  It increases out aspiration and receptivitiy to Divine light, wisdom and truth.  It opens the lotus of the heart to the inner Sun of consciousness.  It is a mantra of the region of heaven or the consciousness space in which all the worlds exist.”

Extract from “Bija Seed Mantras/Mantras – the Power of Sound in Vedic Astrology” copyright Jyotish Ratnaaker

 

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

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