I’m having a hard time managing to be online very much lately…but pulled a card for myself today that I think is worth sharing with everyone: Judgement from the Samurai Tarot.
There are a lot of times in life when questions arise about who to trust, and whether to trust a given person in a given situation. One of the most common reasons people visit tarot readers and psychics (at least for the first time), tends to be concern over the question of trust. Sometimes this question arises because we honestly don’t know whether to trust. Sometimes it arises over the question of whether to give someone who has committed a betrayal a second chance (or third or fourth or hundredth chance). Sometimes the question has to do with trust and faith in the Universe when everything in all aspects of life is going wrong — or when a major tragedy has knocked us off balance and we don’t know whether we even trust the Universe enough to get back up again. And sometimes the question is about whether we can trust ourselves to make the right choices.
There are many tarot cards that relate to the question of trust. In the major arcana, one of my favorite cards about trust and faith is the Fool. The Fool clearly has a heart full of trust and has made a choice to be vulnerable and take risks. To be alone on the path, if need be (but is he?). Along these same lines, the Aces are connected with trust — the trust that is required to jump into something new, whether it is a new relationship, a new project, or a new business venture. And I think the Magician belongs in this category too — the trust to form your intention and manifest it, the faith that you can in fact manifest your intentions.
With regard to relationships, the question of trust makes me think of forgiveness, as well as choices. Trust is a choice; forgiveness is a choice. We forgive the people we love because they are our family (even if they aren’t our family by blood or marriage or whatever — many of us consider friends/lovers/members of our “tribe” to be a part of our family). This is what unconditional love is: it’s saying, “you are part of my family even when you screw up.” And here I think Shakespeare said it best: “Love’s not love that alters when it alteration finds, or bends with the remover to remove: O no! It is an ever-fixed mark that looks on tempests and is never shaken.”
So for relationships, I think of the twos and the sixes when I think of trust. The twos for choice, and commitment to those choices, and the sixes for forgiveness, for generosity of spirit, for grace under fire, in some cases. And to some extent, of the sevens. The Samurai Tarot has a wonderful Seven of Wands card that tells us, in this regard: “There are times when there is no demon in the demon, no man in the man.”
So why did I begin this post with the Judgement card? Because that is so often what trust comes down to. Do we choose to judge others, or ourselves, based on the past? If we do, who will the judge be? If we ourselves are the judges, what part of us do we judge with? Do we judge with the mind (and the sword)? Do we judge with our intuition and our third eye? Do we judge based on what we want to say (or what we want to see), or based on our desire to live freely, or based on our deep need, rooted in the reptilian part of our brain, to simply be safe? And if you have noticed that these questions each relate to one of the seven chakras, you are right. What chakra do we judge with, primarily?
The answer to that question is unique to the individual, and I think, too, that all the chakras send in their votes on the question of trust. But I particularly like the Samurai Tarot’s answer, seen in the card I began this post with. The heart, and the heart chakra, I believe, should be the ultimate arbiter. When we look into the depths, as this card calls on us to do, what we look into the depths of is our hearts. In a sense, the heart chakra IS the Magician, saying, “as above, so below.” Looking at the Samurai Tarot’s Judgement card, you can see that this is literally true: the woman above and the woman below are the same woman. The heart knows heights and depths and everything in between, and it senses the back stories that we often don’t have access to with the frontal lobes of our brains.
And like the Universal Waite’s Fool, this Judgement has climbed alone (but how alone is she really?) to a high and rocky place, to decide whether or not to trust herself, to trust life, to trust her path. As she gazes into the depths, what does the depth of her heart tell her?