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Geburah Meditation


One of my daily practices is a meditation on a Sphere of the Tree of Life. Following the program laid out by John Michael Greer in Paths of Wisdom, the student is supposed to meditate on one Sphere per day, based on the simple, introductory passages about them, and go through the entire cycle three times before engaging with the more complex symbolism.

Last night I meditated on Geburah. According to Greer, As the Sphere that balances Chesed's ordered creativity, Geburah represents destruction, dissolution, chaos. It is the power that clears away everything that has outlived its usefulness; that tears down excessive structure into simpler and more flexible elements. As a level of consciousness, it is the awareness of inner freedom, the power to break through self-imposed limitations and consciously choose one's own path in life. In human terms, it represents the will.

It's good that I just re-typed that. Last night, my meditations ended up focusing exclusively on the first part of that description. I was startled by how much it resonated with the energy of Ereshkigal, and Her work of stripping away that which does not serve. The bit about "choosing one's own path in life" got pushed into the background.

During the meditation, I became very aware of the tension between Chesed and Geburah within myself -- and this relates back to the posts I have not yet made about building a new relationship with the Emperor card and all that it represents.

There is a part of me that loves order and finds deep security in it. My father is a powerful exemplar of the Emperor archetype, played out as the King of Swords. Thus, my childhood was very much about order, paternal/patriarchal authority, and the blessings of stability through order, the preservation of existing systems, and a rational approach to life. As the Queen of Swords, I like nice, clear distinctions; I like to perceive and understand patterns. I am made deeply uncomfortable by the Queen of Cups because I associate her with high emotion, chaos, and lack of order -- and yes, I am aware that my perception is very much her shadow side, not her positive qualities.

And yet, there's a reason the term "feral" has become so precious to me over the past few years. As much as I crave order, precision, definition, and the security and comfort of having them around me, they can also drive me nuts -- and have been doing so more and more as I get older. Yesterday afternoon, prior to doing this meditation, I experienced a spontaneous inner journey in which I was reunited with a wolf companion who seems to be related to my unwillingness to remain within the restrictions imposed by others -- and by myself.

As I experience them, the Emperor and the King and Queen of Swords dislike the energy of Geburah. It breaks down the patterns and categories and systems within which they find both security and power. And yet, I feel intensely drawn to that energy -- not to sow chaos on a grand scale, but as a doorway to liberation. As an expression of Ereshkigal and Her work.

It's a creative tension I'm going to need to learn how to live with and navigate. This isn't about privileging one Sphere over another, consciously or otherwise. One of the basic principles of qabalah is that we all have the entire Tree within us, and we need to engage with, experience, understand, and balance the energies of each of the Spheres within ourselves in order to grow and to mature.


Queen of Swords

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