My life-size Italian Tarot continued . . .

Sat, Aug 21

Returning to the court of the H.H.H., the early morning fog in our minds was blown away by a discussion of Neoplatonism and Hermes Trismegistus. Then the first of three swords pierced my heart, as much of our Tarot court departed to different parts of the World.  

Shortly thereafter, we initiated a new Secret Chief to replace Judas, and danced a JIG to celebrate  

Sun, Aug 22

Went to Siena, and saw the Tarot Cathedral. The first image I saw was the Hierophant. Then I saw hundreds of Popes. The floor, which is usually covered for protection, had just been uncovered. I saw the four virtues-- Justice, Temperance, Fortitiude (with a column) and Prudence with three (Maiden, Mother, Crone) faces. John the Baptiser was hermiting in the bapistry alcove, the Wheel changed reigns and Absalom was hanged from a tree (by his hair!).


Hermes T. was there too (1488).
(All three of them.)


Brian Williams shared his tremendous knowledge and we followed along like alcolytes. Our group flowed along like the stream of unconscious past the many Major Arcana (and other) pictures of inlaid-marble on the floor. The waves started building as I was amazed by carved and inlaid woods in the choir. Then the water approached the shore, the waves mounting up and up . . . to a golden tetragrammaton inside a yellow, rayed triangle. (Darn! I should have counted the rays!) It was overwhelming, and my eyes and throat were full as I actually *felt* the current in my body. ('choked up,' in plain english.)  

Then it was back down the other side, past more of the inlaid-wood backs of the choir. It is mightly impressive. There was an odd sense of duality, experiencing the other--symmetrical --side of the cathedral. Until we got to the library. That's veering way OT, but thank you, Brian, for taking us in there.

In the evening, I went for a walk alone. I couldn't help but think of the Moon card, as the narrow white road wound up the hill and into the trees, with the moon shining above it. The wild boars snuffled through the underbrush flanking the trail. I was the crayfish. As I climbed up and up out of the shadows, the view improved greatly. I had an epiphany; it was a real Tower experience. (iii)  


Mon, Aug 23

A Hanged Man afternoon, Tuscan style, as I assumed the position (though horizontally) by the pool and worshipped the Sun. At dinner, I finally had a chance to get up off my 6 of Pents knees. (I had been on the receiving end of much generosity.)  

Later, the wild ones shed inhibitions and danced with the Devil. Isn't there an old story about witches dancing naked in the Tuscan moonlight? (Which is not to say that *we* did that . . . but it makes an interesting parallel.) Found it: Charles Godfrey Leland, _Aradia: The Gospel of the Witches_  

It was my last night, spent gazing at the Stars above the pool, and making a wish on a shooting star. My wish didn't come true. I had to leave the next day.  

Tues, Aug 24

The second and third swords pierced my heart, as I had to take my leave from Italy, and, more difficult, from my new friends. As the train pulled out of the station, I felt like Death. Never again will I say "Tarot-L is not my family."

Through the whole adventure, the only 'major' thing missing was Judgment. I didn't miss it.  

Understatement of the week: Nice meeting you.  

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