Hello, if you're new here! Hello too, if you're one of my regular readers following the series this far. Either way, we start with the usual catch up:
This is a blog series giving LGBTQIA+ people's perspectives on the Tarot cards. Tarot is a set of symbols added on to a deck of playing cards, depicting a spiritual journey, to be used for meditation or fortune telling. Catch up with the characters we've met on the journey so far by clicking on these links for the Fool, the Magician, the High Priestess, the Empress, the Emperor, the Hierophant, the Lovers, the Chariot, Strength, the Hermit, the Wheel of Fortune, Justice, The Hanged Man, Death, Temperance, the Devil, the Tower, the Star, and the Moon. The particular version that's thought of today as the basic traditional Tarot, from which the myriad of decks are influenced and inspired, was drawn by mixed race bisexual lady Pamela "Pixie" Colman Smith, whose insights I'm sure made it into this art commission given her by straight white men, whatever their expectations of her might have been. So I've asked LGBTQIA+ Tarot users in online groups to give me their viewpoints on the cards, and the result is this series of blogs.
It's very bright and very hot here in the UK today, so look with me at The Sun.
I wanted this piece to be a companion piece to The Moon, in which we explored some magical poetry. A bit of a back story to the poetry in this one, first.
It comes from a book called the Carmina Gadelica - a collection of prayers, poems, hymns and charms collected from Scottish country dwellers, who passed them down orally in their old Gaelic language, collected in written form in English by the book's author Alexander Carmichael. Those whose voices are preserved in this book saw God in the weather, in the water, not in the bible or the church. So its influence has grown beyond the christian use to be a blessing to those whose spirituality is found not in eternal life, but in everyday life.
Carmichael introduces Prayer to the Sun and Hymn to the Sun with the story of the man from whom it came:
“There was a man in Arasaig, and he was extremely old, and he would make adoration to the sun and to the moon and to the stars. When the sun would rise on the tops of the peaks he would put off his head-covering and he would bow down his head, giving glory to the great God of life for the glory of the sun and for the goodness of its light to the children of men and to the animals of the world. When the sun set in the western ocean the old man would again take off his head-covering, and he would bow his head to the ground and say: I am in hope, in its proper time, That the great and gracious God Will not put out for me the light of grace Even as thou dost leave me this night.”
Here they both are - give them a read, and see if you can spot the key difference between the two.
PRAYER TO THE SUN
Hail to you, O sun of the seasons,
As you travel the skies aloft;
Your steps are strong on the wing of the heavens,
You are the glorious mother of the stars.
You lie down in the destructive ocean
Without impairment and without fear;
You rise up on the peaceful wave-crest
Like a youthful queen in bloom.
HYMN TO THE SUN
The eye of the great God,
The eye of the God of glory,
The eye of the King of hosts,
The eye of the King of the living,
Pouring upon us
At each time and season,
Pouring upon us
Gently and generously.
Glory to thee,
Thou glorious sun.
Glory to thee, thou sun,
Face of the God of life.
Did you spot it? There's a lot of "King" imagery in the second, but in the first, the Sun is "Glorious Mother" and "Youthful Queen". In fact, in the root Gaelic that came before the English translation, the Sun is feminine in both. Sun and Moon are so often seen as the male/masculine and female/feminine binary balance, but the Sun was to these poets and prayer makers an unknown and an unknowable - it was, paradoxically, unseen and unseeable, though it was the biggest and brightest object. Something undeniable, yet indefinable.
Some look at the Sun - only ever indirectly, of course! - as male, masculine, lord, father, king. Some as female, feminine, lady, mother, queen. I know a little bit of how that feels, in my own way, and I bet - and I hope - there's people reading this that do, too: to be seen by some as one; by some as the other; and by others not truly looked, at or truly seen, at all.
I've talked a lot in previous entries in this series about coming out, and its transformative power. I've been speaking from a place of privilege, where it's legal and physically safe to come out to others. But no matter your political, religious, or family surroundings and how they may rob you of that moment of power, pride and privilege, the moment you come out to YOURSELF is something no one and nothing can rob you off. That moment when it's finally day after years of night, no matter how much everyone around you doesn't really see what you are even when they think they're staring right at you. They only see as much of you as they're ready, willing, and able to see; and no matter if they never see it, or you can never show it...
You are a light. We use light as an image of knowledge, wisdom, understanding; we call the wisest people "enlightened"; we call a sudden good idea a "lightbulb moment"; when we understand, we say, "Ah, I see!" or even "I've seen the light!"
Regardless of whether or not it's best for your safety and your sanity to keep your closet door open or closed publicly to others, didn't it feel like a lightbulb moment, an enlightenment, a seeing of the light, when you opened that closet door inside you, and came out, in private, to yourself?
If you'd like a personal Tarot reading from me online, looking at things from these kinds of perspectives, you can reach me by clicking Here - and if you'd like to join my LGBTQIA+ Tarot group on bookface, you can do that by clicking Here.
About the Creator
Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!
Niche topic & fresh perspectives