The Tarot of Good Friday

On Good Friday, we remember the story of Jesus’ death. He was crucified on a cross. Nailed by his hands and feet to the wood. Struggled to draw breath for hours on end. Until eventually he passed away.

It is said that he suffered on that cross so all of us may live. That God loved us so much, he sent his only son to suffer public humiliation and death. This belief is at the very heart of Christianity.

Which seems like a strange notion, when you think about it! Why did Jesus have to die to heal our broken relationship with the divine? Wouldn’t a lifetime of preaching and miracles have been equally as affective?

Traditionally, Good Friday is celebrated by Christians as this…

Five of Cups: A day of mourning

The death on the cross always reminds me of this Tarot card…

The Hanged Man: Waiting for something to shift

Which doesn’t seem a really good fit for the story of Good Friday on the surface. Although it does proceed this card…

Death: Major change

And Jesus’ death did precipitate a major change in world history: It spawned a whole new religion!

But for me, this event feels more like this card…

Judgement: Being called to serve others

The Son of Man himself did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28).

Sacrifice was an important notion in the ancient world. A central creed. By the prehistorical era, it had been twisted into acts of animal, and even, human sacrifice. Jesus’ death was the ultimate example of this. But before we lost our memory of the origins of human civilisation, back when we lived in the forest and worshipped in the cave, it wasn’t an obligation imposed by our gods. It was an act of appreciation. A nod of recognition to the plants and animals that gave their lives in our food, so that we may live.

This was the original meaning of reconciliation.

Our ancestors wrestled with the knowledge that our lives came at the cost of others. To resolve that conflict they maintained an attitude of gratitude towards every creature that provided support and nourishment for humanity. Created customs to formalise that acknowledgement. Life is a great gift. And when we lived in nature, we were much more cognisant of that fact.

Which puts me in mind of this card…

The Magician: Having attitude

When we appreciate the magic of our very existence in this universe, when we treat every being on this planet, beit animal, plant or mineral, with respect, we will find ourselves on a richer and more fulfilling path.

That’s what Tarot teaches us!

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