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student of tarot
 
Join Date: 12 Aug 2007
Location: California, USA
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Persephone stands at the bottom of the staircase that descends into Hades. She wears a golden crown. In her right hand she holds an opened pomegranate, showing its seeds, while white narcissi trail to the ground from her left hand. One either side of her are pillars, one black and one white. Behind her at the top of the staircase is the lush green landscape seen in the Empress.

Pomegranate
  • the fruit of the dead, the fruit of conjugal love (because of its many seeds)
  • suggests that which is fertile and full of undeveloped creative potential
  • abundance, generosity, sexual temptation, wedlock, symbolic deflowering
  • the regeneration that accompanies spring and summer, rejuvenation
  • love and blood, and therefore life and death; immortality
Narcissus plant
  • associated with the dead because of its ghostly color and its annual emergence from the winter earth
  • self-sufficiency, self-love, vanity, mistaking shadow for substance
  • coldness, death in youth
  • madness caused by the scent of the flower as a result of self-love and vanity
  • symbol of sleep, death and resurrection; it was planted on graves as a sign of the relation between sleep and death
Stairway/Staircase/Steps
  • symbol of moving away from enlightenment, understanding and heaven; regression
  • symbol of the difference between earth and hell or the conscious and subconscious
  • Metaphors/Proverbs:
    • “to be out of step” is to act differently from the rest of a group
    • “step by step” means one segment at a time
    • “watch your step” means be careful of what you’re doing or where you’re going
    • “to step down” is to resign
    • “to step out” is to go on a date
    • “the first step is the hardest” means that making a start is often the most difficult part of an undertaking
    • “a journey of a thousand miles beings with one step” means that one shouldn’t be put off by the magnitude of the task ahead of them – the important thing is to make a start
    • “the only difference between stumbling blocks and stepping-stones is the way you use them” means that one should try to be positive in their approach to obstacles that lie in their path and try to turn those obstacles to their advantage
Pillars
  • the duality contained in the underworld; the creative potentials and destructive impulses that are hidden in the unconscious
  • the vertical axis which both joins together and separates Earth and underworld
  • stability, the concept of standing firm
  • one black and on white pillar symbolize all bi-polarities – the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge or Death, complementary opposites in duality and their balance and tension in combined action, spiritual and temporal power, the strong and the weak, tension and release, upward and downward movement, power and liberty, and the will and the law
  • passing between them symbolizes entry into a new life or another world
Door/Doorway
  • exploring one’s deeper reaches or unexplored regions
  • reminder of one’s past life; transition to another state of mind or place; transition from realm to another; entryway to the realm of the dead
  • Metaphors/Proverbs:
    • “every door may be shut but death’s door” means that death comes to everyone and is the only thing in life over which we have no control
    • “when one door closes, another one opens” means that disappointment or failure is often followed by a new opportunity
Persephone
  • goddess of corn, the underworld and fertility; guardian of the secrets of the dead
  • as guardian of the underworld and custodian of its secrets, she could never speak of what she learned there when she was back with her mother Demeter
  • eating the pomegranate seeds caused her to lose her innocent girlhood
  • image of the link to the unconscious; embodiment of that part of us that knows the secrets of the inner world, which is full of riches and potentials as well as the darker facets of the personality
  • she appears through dreams and strange coincidences
  • the unconscious, which can only be glimpsed through dreams, fantasies and intuition; trying to understand the unconscious or to master it for other purposes is futile
  • the shadowy glimpses of patterns and movements at work within the individual in her world require patience and time before they can be brought into the light of day
  • image of the natural law that works within the depths of the soul and governs how one’s destiny unfolds as it is revealed through feeling, intuition and dreams

I wrote the following in my workbook on 4Aug91:
Quote:
Persephone leaves the outside world of indecision with its hills of indifference, sea of lies and fields of despair. She passes down the stairs of uncertainty through the hall of fear until she reaches the twin pillars of truth and lies. She wears a gown of personal growth and a crown of truth. In one hand she holds a fruit of lust while flowers of self-delusion drop gently from her other hand.
My primary colors were light and dark blue, which I associated with clearness of mind, thought or purpose; truth (light) and secretiveness, lying (dark).

Rodney
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