“Come let us sing and revel, Night has become the Day…
Light overcomes the darkness, sending all fears away…
Heavens resound in gladness; joy now replaces sadness…
Golden the sunlight illumines the day;
Nature enlightens and shows us the way…”
~ Elizabeth Miller, English text for Music from Gastoldi’s Ove Ne Vai Si In Fretta
Capricornus (Latin for “horned goat”) is the tenth sign of the zodiac. In the Northern Hemisphere, Capricorn commences at the Winter Solstice (December 21) when the Sun appears to stand still at the point in its path farthest south of the celestial equator—the tropic of Capricorn.
When the devil card appears in a reading, we are often being tempted and tested to prove our faith in human goodness. The test frequently involves facing what we fear the most.
…Ayin, the letter O, means “eye” and “fountain.” It signifies also the external , superficial appearances of things. The All-Seeing Eye has been a symbol of Deity in all parts of the world for ages past…
On December 21st we celebrated the Winter Solstice as we made it through the longest night and shortest day of the year; from this point on the days grow longer and the nights grow shorter a few minutes each day. We are on our way to Spring.
At the same time we entered the astrological sign of Capricorn, the sea goat. And on December 26 the new moon in Capricorn is crossing in front of the sun, creating an eclipse and bringing us an opportunity to look even more deeply at our shadows; personally, collectively and globally. Capricorn is also the sign that is connected with the devil card, the goat reminiscent of the nature god Pan, who is the god that usually appears on this tarot card.
“To the people of ancient times Pan represented the complete spirit of unity, blending … life and death, day and night, light and darkness. Pan was once the most popular god in the western world and his horned statues could be found more abundantly than those of any other god.”
~ Franco Santoro
In the deck that works with me, the Sun and Moon tarot, Pan is piercing a heart with a caduceus, the staff of healing, symbolizing that sometimes it is necessary to break the heart in order to heal it.
“Work with your shadow, and the people you project it onto, by letting your innocence, the part of you Others truly love, show. The more you deny your Shadow, the more it will manifest itself and attract what you will interpret as disruption or pain.”
When the devil card appears in a reading, it indicates that someone is, has been or is about to be, taking a look at their shadow, and taking their proverbial tiger by the tail. After speaking about shadow work for a bit and how when we point our finger at someone, three fingers point back to ourselves, I then like to pull out the Lovers card and set it next to the Devil.
In most tarot decks, a visual juxtaposition between the devil and the lovers exists and symbolizes the opportunity provided by the devil for transformation. In the sun and moon tarot deck, we see the two people, back to back, stuck in their “stuff”, their shoulders bowed by inner woes, seemingly “trapped” with their arms intertwined with each other.
“Ultimately, The Devil card is about feeling trapped or stuck…restricted by the expectations of those around them (and their own expectations of themselves) but in the end, they always have the opportunity for freedom and change.”
It’s a difficult position to get into and it’s also a little tricky to get out of, especially if the other person is unwilling to work with you. If both people relax their arms and lift their chests, following their hearts, they are easily freed. One person, alone, can extricate their self from this situation with a great deal of flexibility that takes commitment to themselves and their own heart and dreams. It also takes faith in the universe, faith that what we really want in life also really wants us and is waiting for us to move towards it with open arms.
“This card arouses fear and anxiety. It is the “Shadow;” embodying the most negative and inferior parts of ourselves. Necessary as any other card, it allows us to put what it represents into perspective, or “To get a handle on it.”
The devil card helps us to become more self-aware, if we take the opportunity to see the ways we are stuck being reflected to us in the things and people that most disturb and upset us, we can look into our own heart of darkness, see our shadow, and find the goodness in ourselves so that we can see it’s reflection clearly in others. In the Angel Tarot deck by Jayne Wallace, the angel of the devil card is “the Angel of Freedom” who is freeing his dragons from the chains that bind them. It is from this perspective that we can see how the challenges and difficulties in life and in other people are actually life’s way of helping us to free ourselves.
This brings to mind the original Grimm’s fairy tale of the Frog Prince. In a nutshell, a princess, in a time of great distress, made a “bad” bargain with a frog. She had inadvertently dropped her most beloved plaything in a deep well and the frog promised to retrieve it if she would let him live with her and be her companion. In the joy of her golden ball being returned to her, she immediately forgot her promise and returned to the palace.
When the frog showed up to collect his due, her father, the king, insisted the princess honor the bargain she made. She tried to do it; she let it eat & drink with her (losing her own appetite) and took it to her room at bedtime (dropping it in the corner). But when it insisted on sleeping on her pillow next to her, she just could not do it; and when it threatened to tell her father, she picked it up in a fit of anger and threw it against the wall, at which point it turned into a prince. And then they got married, at some point I assume there was a kiss involved, but it was most definitely not what turned the frog into a prince!
The frog had originally been a prince; he was bewitched and made to live in the well until someone broke the spell. At the end of the story, his servant, Iron John, is driving them via horse and carriage to the prince’s kingdom when they hear 3 great cracking noises. These sounds turn out to be bands of iron the servant had placed around his heart to keep it from breaking when his master was placed in the well.
This story very specifically relates to my own personal shadow work. When I first read this story, as a college freshman, I was incredibly relieved to find out that ancient folk wisdom did not require me to kiss any number of frogs in order to find my prince. It was actually asking me to honor my anger when I fail to set appropriate boundaries or make agreements that seem right in the moment but turn out to be not so right in the aftermath.
And now, as a woman about to turn 50 in the coming year, I am also realizing that it is a story that speaks to the repercussions of my own habit of staying committed to things that are no longer working out of pleasing other people or fear that nothing better is available.
“Capricorn, ruled by constrictive Saturn, is always ready to remind us of harsh realities, and of the necessity for planning, and for caution. Capricorn is very careful of its dignity…Lessons for Capricorn include kindness, generosity, flexibility, humility, letting go, learning to raise their values from an earthly to a spiritual aim.”
The princess (feelings) could not say no to the king (ego/personality) and eventually, emotions denied and repressed will out themselves (frogs against walls). When I have refused to honor my feeling sense that a situation no longer serves me, out of fear of other people’s or my own disappointment and judgment, or unknown repercussions, I have stayed in situations too long. At which point I become reactive and burst out in anger rather than make a proactive decision based upon my internal knowledge of the situation.
The decision to free myself from outdated contracts and agreements that are no longer serving can be made even when I know I am disappointing others and are afraid of what will happen next. And yet it is one of the most difficult things to do in certain areas of my life, specifically my “work” life. At this point I am coming to the realization that my “work” is actually based in my joy and my creativity and the gifts I have to offer the world, not in the “jobs” I have always thought I have to take to support myself. And so I am in the midst of asking the universe: “How do I simultaneously support myself financially (king) and allow for time and space and unfolding of my gifts and creative life (princess with the golden ball)?”
Do I have to make a “bad bargain”? Is that the bargain all those people (each specific woman and all those that assisted via omission or commission) made with Harvey Weinstein (and those like him)? It definitely appears that that frog is hitting the wall! Perhaps as the prince picks him self up off the floor and moves in love towards his kingdom, our collective wounded hearts will break free from the iron barriers of our heretofore unwell culture and we can witness yet again how love really works in the world.
“Until we experience the higher order of knowing, we may have difficulty with the various appearances of evil. Logic forces us to attribute the manifestation of the visible universe to a power which is essentially good. A power that is wholly wise. Thus it follows that even if appearances are deceiving, appearance itself is necessary for the perfect manifestation of the Life Power.”
This is a personal issue and a cultural, paradigm shifting issue. If we fail to make proactive, self-loving (and therefore other/all-loving) decisions, the universe, God and creation will step in and help us by creating “tower” situations which blows everything up and frees us in ways we likely would not have chosen consciously.
So let’s make a promise to each other in this new moon, this New Year, this new decade and this new paradigm. As we do the courageous work of looking into the shadows, let’s do our very best to make self-loving, proactive decisions. As the ways we have kept ourselves trapped or chained in the past are revealed to us, let’s cultivate divine compassion and consciously look for good reflected in the world around us and let’s create more.
“Ayin’s meaning as a “fountain” implies it is a spring of flowing water and nourishes the growth of plants and makes places fertile. An oasis from on high appears to be an eye in the face of the desert.”
Let’s anchor our light and love and intention to see the good in the world, no matter what happens and we will water the culture and the world with fountains of love. Imagine how much could be healed? Can the Military Industrial Complex, global warming and climate change even stand a chance?
Love, my friends, is the answer; to all the questions. Please come by on December 28, 2019 to see what’s shifting out of the shadows for you to heal this year. I am so excited and delighted to find out what is next for us all.
Blessings, Love and Gratitude,
Kristine Thandeka Marie
“The wise man rules the elements, stills tempests, cures the diseased by his touch, and raises the dead… The initiates know, and as for others, whether they deride, doubt, or believe, whether they threaten or fear – what matters it to science or to us?”