Salvation to all that will is nigh;
That All, which always is all everywhere,
Which cannot sin, and yet all sins must bear,
Which cannot die, yet cannot choose but die,
Lo, faithful virgin, yields Himself to lie
In prison, in thy womb; and though He there
Can take no sin, nor thou give, yet He will wear,
Taken from thence, flesh, which death's force may try.
Ere by the spheres time was created, thou
Wast in His mind, who is thy Son and Brother;
Whom thou conceivst, conceived; yea thou art now
Thy Maker's maker, and thy Father's mother;
Thou hast light in dark, and shuts in little room,
Immensity cloistered in thy dear womb.
by John Donne
Lady’s day is to commemorate the annunciation of the Virgin Mary, when Gabriel came to Mary to announce the conception of Christ.
Lady’s day is also known as a quarter day and this was when payment was due to the government; this started in 1155 and up until 1752. Lady day was also the beginning of the legal year. We can see a footprint of that as, in the UK, we now have the beginning of the tax year on April 6th.
But back to Mary, Gabriel and Jesus.
The annunciation is the message that God becomes one of us through the incarnation of Jesus the Christ.
Together with Jesus, the privileged and graced Mary is the link between heaven and earth, she after Jesus, best exemplifies the possibilities of human experience. Mary shows how an ordinary being can reflect God in the ordinary circumstances of life; she manifests what the incarnation is meant to accomplish for all of us.
The Queen of Pentacles in the RWS deck is an interesting card.
The Queen’s posture and how she holds the pentacle are reminiscent of images of the Mother Mary holding baby Jesus. It’s also worth mentioning at this point that there are identical images of Isis holding Horus reminding us that religious iconography has its roots in pagan imagery.
Our Queen of Pentacles is thought-provoking.
I think that the suit of pentacles is a gorgeous testimony to life on earth. Through these cards we can begin to understand our place in the world, how we can make a life for ourselves and what we can do to maximise our physical and material well-being. We can take a glimpse of how the physical can be spiritual. I maintain the idea that taking a physical incarnation is so spiritual and one of the most spiritual things we can do is simply to live our life…warts and all!
Metaphorically, we can see Mary and the Queen as nature, as Mother Earth.
We are children of Mother Earth. If the Queen is the Mother that holds the Christ child, the healer, then it is entirely possible that we are that child and we have the power within us to heal each other. We possess the antidote to living in a world that is often cruel and difficult; we can heal and love each other. We are the magic and the beauty. We are love.
The annunciation reminds me of another card…the Ace of Cups. (RWS deck)
A.E Waite’s keywords for this card are: ’House of true heart, joy, content, abode, nourishment, abundance, fertility and Holy Table.’
It is the image of the Dove carrying a wafer to drop into the Eucharist cup that is so beguiling and touches the iconic picture of Gabriel visiting Mary. However, it is to Raphael that we now turn…
In this Ace of Cups we have the energy of Archangel Raphael.
The angel of healing, healer of the Earth and all the wounds of children, the sick, the wounded and those in sorrow and grief. It is Raphael who gave the ring to Solomon, engraved with the 5 pointed star. From this Ace we have a feeling of being wrapped in the wings of angelic presence and an overwhelming sense of being connected to others. We are inspired to build a new Earth and to bring the spirit of the beloved into all things; from this we can integrate with the powers of the natural world and truly be guardians.
This card reminds us that we have great spiritual potential; from the life giving waters we can be renewed. It is a card of fertility, not necessarily anatomical but also to be inspired and to nurture ideas and creative impulses.
Compassion and union for each other and with each other bring about the opportunity to unify diverse and divisive tendencies that pull us away from our centre.
This card indicates conception and encourages us to marvel at the miracle of life. There is no room for suppression or being in lack. All wounds must heal and being in denial of our empathy or relatedness to others will only reinforce our abject sense of failure. It is this which will derail our spiritual desires and we will not see that we have a life that is blessed with joy through human relationships and creativity. Joy is our natural birthright.
This card invites you to drink from the sacred goblet, to feel the flow of life in your veins and to be a light unto yourself so that you can be a salve unto others.
Let’s do a 3 card spread.
1. MIND. How do my thoughts interact with my body and spirit? How does my thinking impact on my environment?
Our thoughts are really powerful, they can affect our body and disrupt our system, equally they can heal and make better. What do you need to know about how your mental processes relate to your body and lifestyle?
2. BODY. What do I need to do to look after my physical well-being?
We lead very busy lives that sometimes we neglect nurturing our body, it absorbs all the stress of modern life but it is also a temple to our own divine self; here we can have some inspiration as to what we should do to feel really well and on good form.
3. SPIRIT. What is my spirit saying to me ? What is the message from my inner voice?
Look at your creative ideas, are you following them or blocking them? Are you content with your spiritual path or do you want explore other avenues? Listen to your spirit. We are constantly guided by our drive and compulsion. The passion for life comes from a spirit that does not live in a cage; be free.