The World of False Appearances
The image accompanying this post is an excellent way to symbolize the world we live in today as well as the personal experience for many people. Well at least the world we have been collectively creating for the last couple of thousand years anyway. Whether you call it the age of pisces or not it has been characterized by patriarchy, religion, violence, repressive government, materialism and egocentrism. On the positive side it has offered scientific discovery, technology, the development of the individual and organized civilization (I’m trying to be kind here). Regardless of how you look at it, the piscean age is coming to an end and as it does its negative manifestations are increasing in their intensity. This is creating a terrifying and chaotic collective environment but not to worry this is normal when a world age comes to an end. The old patterns are reacting to their unfolding destruction, destruction which is absolutely necessary for the emergence of the next age or cycle as destruction always precedes creation. The piscean age was a necessary evolutionary step but its time is ending, thank Goddess.
The dissolving world age has been so dysfunctional and violent because it has been based on an incomplete and erroneous view of the self and surrounding universe. In the Tarot, the Devil stands for the world of appearance and the distorted perception resulting from seeing the the world only at the surface level. This is the essential flaw of materialism, taking the world of the five senses as the only reality. Appearances are, necessarily, deceiving as the saying goes. This is because they are Spirit that has been temporarily limited into form, a essential process in the creation of the universe and a things appearance hides its essence at the surface.
The cure or resolution of the materialistic delusion is an expansion of consciousness and a deepening of perception. The great irony is that the figure of the Devil is really the Divine or Spirit as it appears to the deluded mind. When we have a view of life that only perceives the surface we are cut off from our true nature, we are cut off from meaning, and from our innate power. This creates a profound illness, powerlessness and fear and since we cannot actually deny Spirit it is projected externally and seen as evil. We then wage a never ending battle against the archetypal “Adversary”, never ending because we are fighting the power of the universe itself. Spirit is reacted to with fear and terror when it is our very own power which used aright allows us to co-create our reality as Gods and Goddesses walking the Earth.
The Devil also represents our own habitual patterns and stuckness. Life is an active never ending creative process. We imagine what we want and create it but then we must let go and allow those creations to eventually dissolve so that we can begin the process anew. If instead of letting go we grasp at what we’ve created and try to hold onto it, our beautiful creations take on the look of this Tarot key and hell is created. When creative energy stagnates it becomes poison because it is naturally fluid. The Devil in Tarot is associated with the planet Saturn which symbolizes limitation, limitation is a necessary component of creation because to create we need to limit the primal substance into the forms we wish using our imagination (and subsequent action). But when limitation is taken to its extreme, that is when we become attached to our creations, it becomes bondage and takes on a terrifying appearance.
The good news is that the Devil is also our key to liberation because ultimately our bondage or suffering contains the way and the motivation to freedom. When we become aware of our habitual patterns and what we project externally we can use the suffering and pain of that to spur us into action to free ourselves. The more fearful, the more stuck and the more limited we feel the more energy is available to use to liberate us. The initial key to liberation is a shift in perspective, having a degree of detachment or awareness so we can begin to see deeper into our suffering. That process of seeing if turned into a consistent practice will ALWAYS transform our suffering and liberate the creative energy stored within it, if we have the courage to persist. One very helpful tool in this process is laughter or mirth. Deep suffering, depression and addiction tends to have the characteristic of extreme seriousness, taking things way too seriously which is the result of mistaking appearances for reality. When we can laugh at the world situation, laugh at our suffering, laugh at ourselves we create some space to see things differently and we open a channel to our deeper joyous nature. Laughter is truly a medicine. It is said that when you laugh at the Devil, he and all his angels flee and his works are destroyed. He really needs to be taken seriously to exist!
The cycle or age we are entering could be represented in terms of Tarot by The Lovers. If you look at The Lovers as compared to the Devil you will notice some similarities between these two images. When we perceive correctly, the Lovers depicts the true relationship between the various aspects of our being and the Divine. The Devil and the Lovers represent two different perspectives of the same thing. We have the power to choose which perspective to take and the resulting experience of life will be vastly different depending on that choice, but we must first realize that we have a choice. The challenge for us all is, first and foremost, to do whatever we personally need to do to cultivate a relationship with our true selves and ultimately to identify with that higher self as who and what we are. If we do that then the world, both inner and outer, shows its true power, beauty and limitlessness and we become what we are meant to be…..Creators!
This article originally appeared at Awaken In The Now, an inspiring source of transformational ideas and esoteric knowledge.