Tarot - 00 Minor Arcana - 10s The Trigger
Type of Spiritual Experience
The Ashrama system is part of the mystic component of Hinduism. An ‘Ashrama’ is one of four life stages discussed in Indian texts of the ancient and medieval eras. The four ashramas are:
· Brahmacharya (student)
· Grihastha (householder)
· Vanaprastha (retired) and
· Sannyasa (renunciation).
It tends to be a sequential rather than age related system and is intended to ensure a person – any person – leads a life of fulfilment, happiness and spiritual liberation.
And this is what this card represents, the first stages of life followed by the ‘calling’, the initial recognition or realisation that the spiritual path beckons.
A description of the experience
Disks [Earth] - Wealth
Before anyone even attempts to follow the spiritual path, they go through the Brahmacharya (student) and Grihastha (householder) stages.
· Brahmacharya - represents the unmarried student stage of life, the student acquires knowledge of science, philosophy, scriptures and logic, practices self-discipline, learns to live a life of righteousness, morality, and duty. This stage once included the practice of celibacy.
· Grihastha - This stage refers to the individual's married life, with the duties of maintaining a household, raising a family, educating one's children, and leading a family-centred and a righteousness, moral, and dutiful social life. At this stage, the people produce the food and wealth that sustains the people in the other stages of life, as well as the offspring that continue mankind. The Ashrama system enables people at this stage of their life to pursue pleasure - sexual, emotional, occupational, social and material pleasure.
In the Ashrama system this ‘calling’ occurs in the retirement stage, when a person is handing over household responsibilities to the next generation. The Vanaprastha stage was a transition phase from a householder's life with its greater emphasis on Artha and Kama (wealth, security, pleasure and sexual pursuits) to one with greater emphasis on Moksha (spiritual liberation).
The card representing this is The Ten of Pentacles. It shows an old, white-haired man wearing an ornately embroidered robe, sitting with his two loyal white dogs at his feet. A younger couple stands nearby with a small child. The man is a wealthy patriarch who has achieved a great deal during his life and is immensely gratified that he can now share his wealth and abundance with his loved ones. His successes and accomplishments are now providing financial security and certainty to his family. He can already see the legacy he has created.
The man and his family gather in the courtyard of a large castle, marking their prosperity, comfort and financial security. On the archway are family emblems and flags, a symbol of their history and ancestry. Their wealth goes way beyond material comfort; the man and his family have a deeply rooted connection to their lineage, home and community.
If now look at the spiritual path we see that this card is really symbolically representing ‘spring’, ‘summer’ and ‘autumn’. The man is, in essence, in the ‘autumn’ of his life.
Cups [Water] - Satiety
The Ten of Cups embodies happiness, joy, and emotional contentment. This card often symbolically represents a time when you are or were surrounded by your loved ones with whom you share a powerful and deep connection. The Ten of Cups is the ‘happy family’ card, suggesting that your family relationships are/were harmonious and loving. No one is fighting or causing any tension; all family members are getting along with each other and sharing in the love and happiness that surrounds you. The Ten of Cups indicates a time when you were or are experiencing an idyllic state of peace, harmony and love where your dreams and wishes have come true.
The Ten of Cups card shows a loving couple standing together, arms outstretched, as their two children play nearby. They look towards their home on the hill and a beautiful rainbow in the sky filled with ten cups. These two have true, everlasting love and have everything they could ever wish for – the home, the children, and most importantly, fulfilling love – and they share this bond with the people around them. The family home symbolises stability and comfort, while the grassy hills signify fertility and the river marks the flow of emotion.
The Crowley card just shows the ten cups brimming over and the word satiety is used as the keyword. The autumn fruit is being enjoyed, the bounty of a good harvest is there.
But, no one in this state is ever likely to follow the spiritual path. In general, people who end life happy, contented and rich do not bother to attempt the spiritual path. They die and they reincarnate.
Matthew 19:23-24 King James Version (KJV)
23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples,……………..
24 ……, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
The Ten of Swords shows a man lying face down, apparently dead, with ten swords in his back. A red cape drapes over the lower half of his body as he leaves this world. The dark sky is ominous, and his face is turned towards the water and distant hills. This is indeed real Death. We symbolically go through ‘Night’ [see spiritual path above] and incarnate, back on the rim of Earth again ready for another revolution of the wheel. The distant hills symbolise materialistic life, much the same as the man followed, and the Water is the turbulent journey he undertook to get where he is now. His wealth means nothing.
In other words there are those who never follow the spiritual path, they die and are born to a new life, with no memory of the past one. The glow of dawn simply indicates that one completes the cycle of reincarnation by symbolic Night [the Night ride] and are born to a new Dawn.
But a number of Tarot cards concentrate on the fact that events can occur which propel one on the spiritual path, a path on which one is very much alive.
Note that this can happen to anyone. There are many people who know nothing of the spiritual world, but who nevertheless, via various events get involved in it. In effect, there always seems to be a trigger of some sort which spurs the person into going this route and the trigger may be a series of truly severe set backs that force the person to evaluate their life – as the card name indicates - ruin.
There may be one or a number of traumatic experiences, which break down your confidence and thus leave you open to finding out more about you and the true path on which you should be travelling.
If the website observations are any indicator of the major causes the biggest push by far comes from grief. Lost husbands, lost wives, lost partners , lost sons, lost daughters, lost children, lovers, dogs, cats – loss …. uncontrollable heart wrenching grief – a cry of emotion that tears the universe in half and the angels come running.
Then we find a large number of people who have been propelled onto the path by unrequited love. Perhaps an emotion that can also in its way be called grief. Failed love affairs can be extremely effective at setting you off down this path.
Then there is trauma - divorce, the loss of a business [so bankruptcy for example], destruction of the home by fire or vandalism by burglars, financial traumas [loss of pension or investments] or a serious illness.
I have also come across people who blew themselves up by accident, who started off on this route. In children, the loss of parents and the divorce of parents can also have this impact.
Every one of the activities within the section on overload started someone somewhere off on this path. Some were called, some didn’t understand, some never answered
Thus it is often when we are at our lowest, our most vulnerable that we start this process.
It appears that the spiritual world can only get through to us by kicking the door of perception open for us – even then we don’t always notice it is open and it gradually drifts back and closes again.
It is very clear that much of the activity revolving around trauma or the more eye opening experiences is ‘engineered’ by our own composer. In effect we do not seek the spiritual world, the spiritual world seeks us, occasionally because we have ignored our ‘destiny’, at other times, because it is time for a change in our ‘destiny’.
In the poem the Hound of Heaven by Francis Thompson, Francis describes not his quest for a spiritual life, but the unrelenting pursuit by his composer [the hound] or higher spirit ‘down the nights and down the days’ of him. Dogged pursuit!
In all cases, it is your composer that makes contact.
A man is shown carrying a heavy burden of wood, in the form of ten bundled wands, approaching a town or castle, occasionally on a hill. The overriding feeling this card conveys, is of hesitation –what on earth have I let myself in for? What lies ahead? What if I fail? Why am I doing this at my time of life?
The journey on the spiritual path is quite a life changing one and it is natural that there is both great reluctance and a certain amount of hesitation on the part of the person receiving all these indicators to start along the route.
Once you set out, there is no going back – this is a personal observation – you do not appear to be able to stop and it is not because of some obsessive urge, but somehow you do get swept along.
Rosenkreutz in meditation
Appearance of the ‘angel of annunciation’
Sees letter of invitation
Feels inadequate, does not know what to do
Dream, sense of positivity
Prepares himself for the journey
Malkuth (Hebrew: מלכות), Malchut or Malchus, is the tenth of the sephirot in the Kabbalistic Tree of Life. It sits at the bottom of the Tree, below Yesod.
The sphere in the diagram lies a good way below all the other spheres indicating that it is not a part of the spiritual path, but on the other hand is the entry point to it. Malkuth is associated with the realm of matter/earth and relates to the physical world. Malkuth is also associated with the World of ‘Assiah’, the material plane. Because of this relation to Assiah, it is also related to the suit of Pentacles or Coins of the Tarot. This is what we have seen in the description.
People live an ordinary life in the material world and either die to become spiritual or are propelled by events onto the spiritual path and symbolic ascension