Friday, September 16, 2005

An Unholy Terror

The Devil Card
You are the Devil card. The Devil is based on the
figure Pan, Lord of the Dance. The earthy
physicality of the devil breeds lust. The
devil's call to return to primal instincts
often creates conflict in a society in which
many of these instincts must be kept under
control. Challenges posed by our physical
bodies can be overcome by strength in the
mental, emotional, and spiritual realms. Pan is
also a symbol of enjoyment and rules our
material creativity. The devil knows physical
pleasure and how to manipulate the physical
world. Material creativity finds its output in
such things as dance, pottery, gardening, and
sex. The self-actualized person is able to
accept the sensuality and usefulness of the
devil's gifts while remaining in control of any
darker urges. Image from The Stone Tarot deck.

Which Tarot Card Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Apparently, I'm The Devil. Granting that I had a hard time answering some of the questions, I took it again, clicking the alternative answers I rejected on the basis of essentially flipping a coin. Given a second reading, my tarot card came up as "The Moon" . . . which, funny enough, is my wife's card. But I suppose that's not in the spirit of the enterprise. The random choices we make in the moment are part part of the Tarot mystique.

On the other hand, since we're playing with pop metaphysics, maybe there is something to my indecisiveness and sense of duality. I am, after all, a Gemini, a bundle of oppositional forces. So while I'll let The Devil take my top spot, I think anyone who's inclined to look at these as ways of peering into personality should look at the other as well. So here's that:

The Moon Card
You are the Moon card. Entering the Moon we enter
the intuitive and psychic realms. This is the
stuff dreams are made on. And like dreams the
imagery we find here may inspire us or torment
us. Understanding the moon requires looking
within. Our own bodily rhythms are echoed in
this luminary that circles the earth every
month and reflects the sun in its progress.
Listening to those rhythms may produce visions
and lead you towards insight. The Moon is a
force that has legends attached to it. It
carries with it both romance and insanity.
Moonlight reveals itself as an illusion and it
is only those willing to work with the force of
dreams that are able to withstand this
reflective light. Image from: Stevee Postman.

Which Tarot Card Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Funny how both of these cards appeal to the intuitive and spontaneous. Camille Paglia, in her opus Sexual Personae, divides human endeavour and personality into two spheres: The cthonian, associated with Dionysus, god of wine and revelry (but also of violence and animalism) driven by nature and lust, and representing the earth-cult of pagan conciousness; and the apollonian, associated with Apollo, god of music, science and discipline, driven by a desire to supercede nature, and representing the sky-cult that would later form the basis of later western religions, particularly in the Judeo-Christian tradition. Most philosophy, of course, falls somewhere on a continuum between the two. I'm thinking of the Marquis de Sade, whose violent acts of sexual perversion and will-to-annihalation had all the formality of the most rigidly apollonian rituals; or Nietzsche, whose belief that greatness is inborn and measured by fullness of appetite and intensity of animal vigour pointed, almost paradoxically, to the foundation of vividly hierarchical social constructs.

I often try to pass myself off as an intellectual, and try to fuel my credibility with copious reading, analysis and cross-referencing. At the end of the day, though, my passions, my rage, my ennui, my desire, my need, my hurt and my love tend to rule my decisions. I'm ill-equipped for the spontaneous because I've had to strive all my life to stifle my spontaneity in order to make going to school, working with others and maintaining relationships possible. Yet I'm equally ill-equipped for the intellectual, so driven am I by a need for visceral experience, affection and intensity; and so deeply in awe am I of the mystical, the intagible.

My recent foray into gnosticism is, more than anything, an attempt to reconcile these ideas. The neo-/proto-Platonic thought of Hermes Trismegistus postulated that the divine and eternal were reflected in the grossly material. Giordano Bruno believed that reality and the flesh were simply the equations by which God can be seen and understood, and that we are both mathematical and emotional functions of the divine. William Blake believed that the poetic imagination was the point of reconciliation between the physical and the spiritual, and that daemonic energy was, in itself, a physical manifestation of a divine will. So perhaps this dichotomy is a necessary part of my current journey.

Anyway, fun little exercise. Anyone wanna give it a try? Just click on the link.


Blogger Stine said...

My lovely hound. Your results don't surprise me a bit. I think you are spot on with your gnosticism. For me, it's the constant battle between my head and my heart. That's what I was talking to L about yesterday, how things got disconnected in my neck. Must post about that soon.

2:32 PM  
Blogger Missuz J said...

I believe that Mandy and I once had a chat where we mentione that you are quite a "Pannish" character. I, of course, was the Sun. As for the "pass myself off as an intellectual" comment, I can only shake my head and wonder why you feel like you need to say such a thing.

3:07 PM  
Blogger Stine said...

Good for you Missuz J. It's about time somebody besides me says things like that to him.

Fookin' hell. Men!

5:22 PM  
Blogger Stine said...

testing pictures, sorry Ly.

3:23 PM  

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