Key Phrase: Life provides.
Symbolism: Mother Earth is giving birth: fecundity; a nurturing space. All of creation embraced and supported. Water, the fountain of creation, life, and growth. Life grows freely when water is present. The planet upon which we live symbolizes the support of creation. Without Gaia, there is no life. The obvious truth. Gaia works with the energy from the Sun to create a biosphere capable of supporting life. Manifestation and creation spring forth.
Narrative: This card represents creation, birth, rebirth, and the nurturing and supportive environment that provide appropriate spaces for growth. This is physical birth and physical creation, and the spiritual, emotional, or psychological birth that arises from initiation/activation. This is the birth of a new body and the incarnation of a new soul. The birth of a brand new day.
At the highest level, this card represents physical creation, the birth of the body, and the eternal incarnation of the soul. This is Kether realized in Malkuth, and the divine design, preparation, and support that makes it all possible.
At mundane levels, this card represents birth or rebirth, of either an idea into reality or a body into creation (i.e., a new baby). It is through the birth canals of the body that we, as glorious spirit, find our berth. This card also represents authentic social support networks (parents, family, friends, professional networks, etc.) that enable and support new and ongoing creation.
Present in an assessment upright, the card symbolizes physical manifestation and positive and nurturing environments. Force and formation in alignment, we manifest a successful creation. Properly nurtured and supported, we birth a new reality. Celebrate and be joyful, but always remember, birth is just a (new) beginning. An eternal path lies before us.
Card reversed and/or negatively aligned, this card indicates oppressions, controls, and diminishments that lead to stillbirth, or that atrophy creation. Improper environments undermine gestation. Rejection, exclusion, shaming, and other forms of violence keep energy twisted and focused within. Your sacrifice leads not to joy, but to suffering and self-harm. You attack your own self, and perhaps even your Self. Consequences accrue over time. If you do not do something, degeneration, disease, disability, and death may be the result.
Alignments indicate positive nurturing or debilitating and disabling environments. Positive alignments indicate supporting and nurturing environments. Ideas, people, and spirit lubricate the way. Parents, teachers, friends, and healers support and encourage. Negative alignments indicate toxic spaces, toxic networks, toxic authority figures, and toxic families. Your mind and body are under assault. Overbearing and abusive authority figures and toxic social networks destroy us. Desperate for acceptance and approval, or anxious to avoid punishment, we are confused and easily led astray. We become violent and reactive. To overcome the damage of toxicity and abuse, we must take control of our life, and our rebirth. Evaluate family and friendship networks. Avoid the spiritual plague of toxic relationships. Facilitate healing, growth, and the rebirth of Consciousness by implementing strict boundaries. Reject all forms of violence (emotional, psychological, physical, and spiritual). Create nurturing and supportive spaces. Do not offer a compromise. God says, “My child, you deserve only the best.”
This card is an ascension card. This card represents a nurturing environment. At a mundane level, this card represents your personal, social, and work environments. At the highest level, this card represents Gaia, the Spirit of Earth and the Mother of all life, in all her creative splendour, power, and glory. In other words, this is the planet and the Systems which make life (which is the birth of Consciousness into physical creation) possible. This archetype represents the rebirth of Consciousness into physical reality and the planetary systems, networks, and supports which make it all possible.
Understand, Gaia is not a mere rock. Gaia is a manifestation and emanation of powerful Consciousness fully aligned. Gaia is a living, breathing, evolving, manifestation of the grandeur and glory of God. Gaia is a magnificent Garden of Eden, a wondrous and powerful place of magnificent love, life, and intelligence. Most important, Gaia is a life support system upon which we depend.
Gaia is our comfort and our cradle.
Gaia is our light and our life.
Take a moment or two to meditate on the image and the commentary.
Understand, Gaia is the place of our birth and our rebirth.
Sadly, many no longer recognize the wonder and the glory of it all. Our eyes are blinded by indoctrination and we run roughshod over our sacred home, harming ourselves and all life in the process We exploit her largess and assault her grandeur. Our blind, greedy offences upon Gaia are the height of human arrogance, the pinnacle of human greed, and the ultimate in human confusion. Be aware, ongoing destruction of Gaia is a cause of debacle and a potential source of our undoing.
Without a fully functioning planetary system, there is no life. Thus, in the new energies, we understand and acknowledge the intelligence, power, and glory of Gaia and her critical support role. Without her, we have nothing. Without her, we can be nothing. We need to change our attitudes and behaviours and instead of destroying and undermining, we must learn to participate and assist in her sacred task, which is nurturing and supporting the ongoing rebirth of Consciousness into physical creation.
In the old energies, the graceful, creative, and nurturing power of Gaia, the great Mother, is diminished and debased. In the old energies, Gaia is converted to a female archetype, an Empress on a throne. She is an authority figure, but her role is not direct and nurturing action supportive of the birth of Consciousness, or direct authority. As Papus notes in the Tarot of the Bohemians, her role is “passive influence.” In the old energies Gaia, if she has power at all, it is a power of the silent, passive type.
Note, in the old energy, it is not just that the nurturing energies of Gaia/rebirth are converted to female authority and power and then restricted to passive influence. In the old energy, nurturing and life-giving powers are corrupted and debased as well. In the old energies creative and recreative support, nurturing care and attention, love and compassion for life, are debased and filtered through a lens of hierarchy, privilege, worthiness, and exclusion. To be as clear as possible, in the old energies, the empress gives her love only to those who are deserving.
As A.E. Waite suggests in his Pictorial Key to the Tarot, she communicates deep secrets only to the “elect.” She provides her “best” only to the chosen few.
In the old energies, this is an implementation of foul conditional love and provisional forms of support. In the old energies, a love and support that should be provided to all is degraded and confined to a few “favourites.” With this archetype, hierarchy, privilege and exclusion, core features of the old energy System, are enshrined as natural and God-given. In the old energy, tragically, the mother, an individual’s first and most important contact with the world, most often delivers the message, often with violence and abuse.
Indeed, in the old energies, the nurturing, supporting, and caring energies of the mother become twisted and violent exclusionary forces, In the old energies, instead of embracing love, care, and nurturing, protective, support, we embrace violence in the name of exclusion, and harm in the name of unworthiness. The worthy get love; the rest get the lash.
To summarize, under the old energy Empress, the loving, nurturing, creative and procreative care of Gaia becomes exclusionary suffering and pain for all those deemed unworthy. Ideology and excuse sugar coat the blows, but we are diminished and damaged all the same.
As a consequence of the corruption of the Gaia energies, this planet, and also our homes and workspaces, become sites of domination and exploitation rather than sites that support Consciousness, spiritual unfolding, and creative exploration.
Moving forward into the new energies, we must reject old energy corruptions that undermine the love, protection, and supports required for connection. Earth, our environments, our homes, our workplaces, etc., are not supposed to be places of violence, domination, exploitation and abuse. They are supposed to be places of love, laughter, Consciousness, and light. Our spaces are not supposed to be paradise for the privileged few, and hellish prisons for the exploited masses. They are supposed to be places for all the myriad children of Earth to birth Consciousness, explore, and create.
To move forward into the new energies, put aside concerns for domination and oppression and embrace unity, equality, creativity, and free expression of Consciousness.
To move forward into the new energies, put aside violence and abuse and embrace compassionate, loving concern, and support for all planetary life.
To move forward into the new energies, embrace unconditional love and support for all living beings.
Understand that awakening, activation, and ascension are only to be found in environments of love, caring, and acceptance.
Understand, the last evolutionary step can be taken only by a species that connects with the Light at the core of its being.
Understand, it is not a question of what God wants or what nature decides. It is a question of human choice and action. It is through your choices and the action and inaction these choices generate that the world around you is created.
Do you wish to live in a world of hierarchy and exclusion?
Do you wish to live in a world where children suffer and starve?
Do you wish to live in a world were some are dominated and exploited?
Do you wish to live in a world created by greed and hatred?
Or, do you wish a Garden of Eden where, united in a cosmic family of Spirit, we are all loved, nurtured, protected, supported, and we all dance with consciousness, joy, and great love?
Make your choice now, but remember, Gaia is the mother of our birth and the supporter of our life. All life, even yours, depends on her health. All life, even yours, depends on connection to her. We cannot have a healthy body, and most importantly, we cannot regenerate our physicality, while Gaia refuses connection. Understand, Gaia will not enable further violence and destruction. Henceforth, Gaia will always refuse connection to a heart that is filled up with hate.
This is not meant as a judgment. This is a safety measure only, and an obstacle only if you make it so. Like all good parents, Gaia instantly forgives. Simply own and atone. Own your bad behaviours and atone for the damage you have done. Always remember, no matter what you have done, you are always welcome in The Garden.
To join the chorus of ascending connection as we finally graduate this world, release greed, hatred, power, violence, and exclusion, and let Gaia’s love light come shining.
Child, this card represents the mother.
This card represents the home.
This is the purview of the female.
Descended to violent syndrome.
This is the lack of good care,
This is the cold, icy stare.
This is family’s violent affair.
That keeps you quite low on stair.
Child, this card represents the mother.
This card represents the home.
This is the purview of the female.
Descended to violent syndrome.
This is the lack good care,
This is the cold, icy stare.
This is family’s violent affair.
That makes a superior square.
Now listen, dear one, and desist,
From this putrid excuse for a shift.
It’s not men at the front of the line.
It’s not men who shall lead all in time.
And the female does not simply hiss,
Or keep us from achieving our bliss.
She is powerful in her own right,
And she shines just as bloody well bright.
So desist from this stinking foul game,
Where you spit, hit, defile, and defame.
And remember, each day’s a rebirth,
To this planet, your body, this earth.
Here as flower please open to this.
Embrace love, release hate, don’t dismiss,
Create a kind world, Shangri -la,
With increasingly glorious awe.
In the new energy, this is an ascension archetype. In the new energy, this archetype points to a moment when Consciousness births into material reality, and also all the elements that go into supporting that birth.
In the old energy, the Empress is an authority archetype. In the old energy, this is authority instantiated through conditional love and the exploitation of our powerful needs to attach/belong.
It is very easy to understand the nature of the old energy archetype when we compare the ridged and sterile old energy image of a female on a throne (see especially the Golden Dawn version) with the generative, nurturing, creative energy of the new energy rebirth card. As the throne, sceptre, and robes indicate, in the old energy, this is about hierarchy, worth, conformity, and the violence and exclusions that result thereof. In the old energy, this is not a warm, nurturing, supportive, and protective environment where consciousness may flower and emerge; this is a cold and sterile environment, especially the home environment, where the System is violently imposed.
It is worthwhile considering the difference. Cold, sterile, neglectful, and violent environments where we experience the conditional love of competition and exclusion do not make us stronger and more powerful, they undermine our strength and cause all sorts of mental, emotional, and spiritual pathology. In the old energy, any strength and power we have is a personal confusion caused by collective complicity and self-delusion. Let us be clear, old energy power is power that comes from the diminishment and disconnection of others, and not from personal connection and alignment. Old energy power is the power the bully exerts while surrounded by those who are fearful and complicit. This type of power is not possible on an aligned and connected planet, because there is no fear, and nobody is ever complicit.
The poetry in the Book of Slavery echoes the cold, hard, nature of the old energy reality of power, exclusion, violence, privilege, and also the fact that traditionally the female is tasked with the initial violence and indoctrination required to prevent the birth of Consciousness.
Note, this is not meant to cast judgment on the mother role. People do what they do because they believe what they do is right. Parents engage with these energies and implement as directed because they believe it is good for their children. When a church says “Spare the rod and spoil the child,” we are encouraged to assault our children. When we do, we do it not because we are bad parents, but because we are good parents, because we trust the priests when they say “violence saves the soul,” and because we believe that what they say is right. Of course, they are not. The result of toxic violence and neglect is easy to see. Low function, dysfunction, or even violent psychopathy are the result, the healing of which requires intense personal effort and significant healing resources.
The poetry in the Book of Power highlights the same old energy issues, but sends a stronger message that suggests that toxic environments caused by the corruption and debasement of this archetype are really good for you. “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” as the apologists will often say. Toxicity and violence make you a “superior square.” Of course, that’s not true. As scientists are increasingly demonstrating, and as the world can increasingly see, bad environments lead to neurosis, pathology, psychosis, and, in the worst cases, psychopathy.
Getting into the New Energy
The old energy archetype provides the ideas that encourage the development of toxic environments that diminish, damage, and ultimately enslave in old energy disconnection and dysfunction. The new energy archetype rebirth turns this idea on its head and instead provides some of the ideas we need in order so that we might create loving environments where our body and mind are nurtured and protected, rather than subjected to torture and abuse.
It is critically important that we reject old energy ideas and begin to shift our environments immediately. Don’t hang on to bitterness and hatred because of toxicities that arise from your past. Don’t blame the mother or the father, or anybody for that matter, for imposition of The System. We do to our children what our parents did to us. Our parents did to us what was done to them when they were children. The violence and toxicity go back generations and there is no doorstep on which we may rationally lay blame. The only way forward is to forgive and let go so that new environments and a new world can be created.
Note however, forgiving and moving on does not mean enabling (or re-enabling) toxicity or exposing ourselves to abuse. It does not mean allowing the old energies to penetrate and degrade. It means releasing anger and hatred, and then making the changes that you need in your environments so that you and those in your care can heal, awaken, activate, and connect.
As you work to make the shift, consider the archetypal image. Gaia is presented as the loving and nurturing platform for our birth and rebirth. Gaia provides a beautiful environment upon which we can nurture and abundantly grow. This is the example you should follow. This is the hero you should model. Male or female, father or mother, high or low, you must learn to do the same as Gaia. Immediately begin to create a loving and supportive environment where the people around you can heal, blossom, grow, and live life to their true and fullest potential. Start in the home by ending violence of all forms. Create loving and nurturing spaces. Allow full human potential to freely blossom. The rest will take care of itself.
To realize full human potential, we all have to function as nurtures and caretakers, and we have to create an environment where we can realize our full emotional, psychological, and genetic potential. This can only be accomplished in positive and loving environments. Therefore…
- Men, watch out for anything that discourages the display of love and compassion, or that blocks you from playing a loving and nurturing role. Beware when people tell you that “big boys don’t cry,” or that you should “toughen up.” Men have the same love and deep light than women do, and allowing this expression is a step towards creating a world where you can become a nurturing and supportive caregiver.
- Women and men, watch out for ideas that encourage violence in the name of love and protection (i.e. “spare the rod and spoil the child” ideas). Science is clear on the issue; violence and neglect do nothing but harm. When you are violent with people (especially children), when you assault them in any way, be it physical, emotional, psychological, or spiritual, you damage them, cause negative changes in their body’s systems, and undermine their ability to connect. Therefore, reject all ideas and archetypes that justify and excuse violence and abuse. It is never OK to harm another, no matter what they have done.
Book of Keys
To activate and awaken we need to reject exclusionary, dominating, oppressive energies that thwart human needs and development in the name of greed, hatred, or plain misconception. Instead, male or female, we need to embrace compassion and empathy, and we need to create environments that uplift life, not destroy it. This is the message, sent in a direct fashion, by the poetry in the Book of Keys.
Start creating a kind and nurturing world in the place that counts the most, and probably the only place you can do it at first, with your family or (if not possible), a close group of friends willing to work towards a non-toxic future. Do not lay yourself out as a doormat, but learn to be empathic and supportive. Erase hostile and negative places. Create calm and nurturing spaces where people can heal, grow, empower, and connect.
The Book of Keys section for this entry contains an admonishment to respect the mother, respect the female, respect Gaia, and respect all life, no matter what. If you want to stop the hurtle towards debacle, it is important you shift in this direction. We all need to learn to respect Gaia as the nurturing birthplace of all, and we all need to follow this archetypal lead. The first step towards that is learning to properly honour and respect the loving, compassionate, formative, nurturing, caring, creative “female” force in all of us.
Group study questions
- Explore the exclusive association of females with mothering energy. Were you brought up in a home where the mom was the primary caregiver, and where the dad was “absent” in some way? Did you hear ideas that suggested that women were the naturally nurturing ones, the ones who should stay home and raise up the kids?
- An old saying says “It takes a community to raise a child.” Explore this idea in the context of the birth/rebirth archetype. What can communities do, what can your community do, to create safe, nurturing spaces where children can uplift, grow, and connect. What do you think of the statement, “All parents in a child’s life should be loving, nurturing, protective, connected, and there for the child?”
It is not just children who we need safe, loving, supportive, and nurturing spaces. Explore your family group, your friend group, your workgroup, and any other community you spend any significant amount of time in. What is the “character” of these communities? Are these communities safe? Are they authentically supportive? Or, are there subtle (or maybe not so subtle) expressions of jealousy, violence, anger, hatred, etc. If negativity remains, you’re going to have to change your environments, or find new ones. It is going to take a few years for the world to change, so you may be alone for a while. Don’t be afraid. On the horizon you can see the “sun” rising.
 See Sosteric M. (2016) Toxic Socialization. Socjourn. add conversation article