Sep. 10th, 2009

The day of my solitary Full Moon acknowledgment I decided to draw a mandala designed to be similar to the traditional one shown in Anodea's book, "Wheels of Life", which is available from her website. This fire mandala for the 3rd chakra has a circle with a triangle inside it. On each side of the triangle is a small structure like a t with an elongated cross bar. This makes a nice little platform for a figure. During the ritual I laid tarot cards for each side of the triangle, 1 for the center, and 2 to represent the deities typically found in this style of mandala. I chose the three selves: lower, middle, and higher for the three sides with the center representing the unifying force that binds them together.

The next day as Tom and I relaxed in the hot tub together (a rare moment as I am supposed to avoid the heat as it increases lymph fluid movement and can precipitate a lymphedema flare up) we discussed the meaning of the cards I had drawn. For the lower self I received the 8 of swords -- the traditional figure bound, blindfolded, and surrounded by swords. I understood the message of feeling trapped. That was nothing new. It goes along with my health situation. However, Tom pointed out the connection of swords to pain, and that my lower self was afraid of the pain I had experienced. So as most traps, at least some of it, is created by my fears of renewed pain. I underwent a period of substantial pain in my feet and calves until after several months we found a medication that slowly rolled back the levels. But it took a toll in that my body still reacts with anxiety to pain in my legs and feet. A few nights ago I had a severe calf cramp, one that still hurt for two days afterward. My stomach and chest were tight and fluttery when I laid down to sleep, waiting, I presume, for the next attack of pain.

Middle self was represented by the King of Wands, which suggests to me that my rational ego and mind is in a good place. Here is where fire is working. But without the help and support of the lower self little action can be achieved.

The 5 of swords was drawn for the Higher self. This card is often hard for me to interpret -- it is chaos and change and often seems to represent unpleasant situations. This deck, like many, show two people who have been defeated, their swords littering the ground, and a third figure, robed, a bit mysterious is gathering swords. Sometimes this is read as defeat. In the current situation I could see the three people representing the 3 selves. Where the lower and middle selves have found themselves defeated, the higher self is slowly cleaning up the mess, picking up the swords.

The center position is the 10 of pentacles -- in some decks this is shown as the happy family life, a patriarch surrounded by his family. Instead this deck shows a man and a woman in front of a window in a room, looking at each other. This seems to fit my physical situation rather well, isolated but in a comfortable home with my partner to care for me. I conclude that I draw strength and stability from this, and that helps me to hold my parts together :)

The two deity cards were God -- 7 Swords, and Goddess -- 5 of pentacles. I need to do some research to see what deities catch my attention and fit the symbolism. The 7 of swords shows a man with 5 swords across his shoulder leaving 2 swords behind. In some decks this refers to stealing, deceit, taking credit for someone else, etc. My deck shows the 5 swords being taken as more like shadows of swords. In combination with the above sword imagery it suggests to me a God that takes away pain, or removes problems, but leaves something behind or perhaps one of the trickster gods. The 5 of pentacles in this deck shows a nun-like figure caring for an injured person in front of a large pentacle. From that I get compassion and healing.

So those are the symbols I am working with for this mandala and a bit of self-knowledge gained from this process of contemplating through the lens of fire.

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oakwind

July 2011

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