Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Card for the week: 8. Saraswati

My tarot objectives for the week are: 1. practicing on framing the question 2. studying the Karma Oracle deck. Framing the question is of utmost importance in tarot as in everything else that needs an answer. You only get out of the tarot, what you put in. (This idea has been mentioned in several different ways using several different kinds of language). So ask a "precise and concise"question, as my friend would it, to get a precise and concise answer.

The Karma Oracle deck is a 33-card tarot deck which represents Hindu/Vedic Gods , Goddesses and their mounts, symbols, and philosophy. As an Indian, I felt an immediate attraction to the deck but haven't studied it as much as I like too.

My question was : Whom/what principle am I going to embody this week? What will be my strengths and weaknesses?

The card: 8. Saraswati.

Since, this is a week-long project, I will indulge in a deeper study of this card (so bear with me). I put in two images of Goddess Saraswati since there were different attributes that I would relate to in these pictures. Unfortunately, the image of the goddess in the Karma oracle didn't resonate with me at all.

Both these images have several things in common that correlates with my understanding of the Goddess. She is dressed in white which symbolizes the purity of mind, truth, and knowledge. She carries a scroll in one of her hands symbolizing that she rules learning, education, wisdom, and a veena (musical instrument) in the other as the patron goddess of music, sound, and speech. There are several schools and educational institutions in India named after this goddess.

There are a few noteworthy differences : in the first image, she is shown decked with more jewellery than I would normally associate with Saraswati (that genre would belong to her sister, Lakshmi, which incidentally is a name favored by jewelery stores). Also, one image shows a swan ( purity ) while the other shows a peacock (her victory over vanity).

Her attributes are mentioned in this Sanskrit shloka which I recited everyday as a little girl with my mother(Thanks, Wikipedia).

"Yaa Kundendu tushaara haaradhavalaa, Yaa shubhravastraavritha|
Yaa veenavara dandamanditakara, Yaa shwetha padmaasana||

Yaa brahmaachyutha shankara prabhritibhir Devaisadaa Vanditha|
Saa Maam Paatu Saraswatee Bhagavatee Nihshesha jaadyaapahaa||"

English Translation

"May Goddess Saraswati, who is fair like the jasmine-colored moon, and whose pure white garland is like frosty dew drops; who is adorned in radiant white attire, on whose beautiful arm rests the veena, and whose throne is a white lotus; who is surrounded and respected by the Gods, protect me. May you fully remove my lethargy, sluggishness, and ignorance."

Yes, I do need to invoke her. More on what specifically can I learn from this card and utilize in my life, the strengths, and weaknesses inherent in this card, and an particularly interesting story that my mythologically-obsessed mind missed in her teen years in the next posting.


Jean Hutter said...

I agree with both the Emperor and Strength for personal power - I never really looked at The Lovers that way until I pulled it for that question. Are you a member of AllThingsTarot?

It is an excellent group - lots of tarot exercises, very friendly and not a lot of useless chat - - this is the only Tarot group I belong to. I have learned so much on this group - lots of very experienced readers and all very helpful.

Sunflower said...

Thank you Jean for writing in. After your glowing report, I have to check out AllThingsTarot.