I have been looking at this card and there were a few things I wanted to bring to the discussion.
Firstly I wanted to bring some of the shamanic perspective. The two faces are the same person, it shows their shadow, the parts of us we have rejected or lost. In order to be whole, in order to truly love ourselves as a complete person we need to bring all those pieces back together. The process of digging down into yourself, of dealing with such issues is like peeling layers of an onion, and discarding identities, to reach the true you, which contains the entire you. This is the greatest act of love, to unconditionally love yourself, all of you, to bring yourself into balance and stop perceiving yourself through the filters of good and bad. This is a beautiful thing.
Secondly, the snake rising up the spine immediately made me think of Kundalini energy as I knew that it was also known as Serpent energy and it rises up the spine from it’s base. I found this on wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kundalini
) and it seems that before it rises up the spine the snake is seen as resting in three and a half coils and I see these coils in the turns of the snake. It also seems to be connected with triangles and there are plenty of these in the borders of this card.
“Sri Ramana Maharshi mentioned that the kundalini energy is nothing but the natural energy of the Self, where Self is the universal consciousness (Paramatma) present in every being, and that the individual mind of thoughts cloaks this natural energy from unadulterated expression.” From Wikipedia
So it seems to me that this card is suggesting that by unifying ourselves and loving ourself fully and unconditionally, we can release the serpent energy, Kundalini within ourselves.
The marks on the hands made me think of hearts and the heart in an open palm is a symbol of charity – ‘put your hands to work and your hearts to God’. “It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” – Mother Teresa. “In helping others, we shall help ourselves, for whatever good we give out completes the circle and comes back to us.” Flora Edwards
Many people believe that the heart is connected to the hands. Writing is one such way and Julia Cameron has a practice of writing called Morning Pages to connect to your deepest thoughts. Touch Therapy can use the hands as a way of delivering energy to the heart. The ring finger was once believed to have a vein of blood that connected it directly to the heart.
I like the idea that the markings on the feet are imprints of a maze. I looked up the meaning of mazes and found this on wikipedia again (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_lab...tural_meanings
). In medieval times the labyrinth symbolised the hard path to God. Some see them as a form of pilgrammage and many modern labyrinths are used as a form of meditation. To me the labyrinth is a symbol of walking the path to our inner selves, our spirit and a tool for doing so as well.
I believe the position of the central figure might be the Garland Pose in yoga (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garland_Pose
) . Apparently it is a relieving pose with the intestines in the best possible position to release waste and it is also a good position for back pain. So it links to both releasing shadow and the serpent energy up the spine I think. Apparently it is also good for correcting imbalances after intense twists.
In reverse, I can see the two kneeling figures and they look to me like they are in contemplation, praying or meditating and there is a big egg of energy with the snake trapped inside. I guess to me this card in reverse shows the soul as two separate entities and disempowered as neither figure is connected to the egg of power or the serpent within it. The two figures now have mazes on them and I see this as showing that the maze is internal at this point in the journey – to get further the maze within us needs to be transversed, to bring the two figures together as one, in true love.
The two hands at the bottom in this position appear to be offering and I see the hearts now as pyramids. Pyramids are not only tombs for the dead but as seen as symbols of ascension, climbing their steep sides takes us towards towards reintegration, firstly with ourselves and then with everything…
I have just recently discovered this deck and I am really looking forward to exploring more of the cards in depth. This is my first one!