I’m spending time meditating on Gevurah this week. It’s part of the work and study I’m doing as I practice ‘Counting the Omer’, from Tarot and the Gates of Light by Mark Horn. At first I resisted allowing myself to dive too deeply into Gevurah because I thought, “I’m not a restrictive kind of person! I am all about the love and light!” and that’s true, but it can only be true in part because none of us and nothing here in Malkuth is purely anything. We live in a dualistic world, with the seeds of one thing always at the heart of the next thing.
“But I can focus on love and light!” I argue to myself, and that’s also true … and it creates its own kind of mess, where there is no recognition that sometimes force is needed. And you annoy people. It’s one thing to point out a positive interpretation in a tarot reading, for example, but it’s something else to refuse to see and deal with difficulty.
My Mars is in Scorpio. Mars is happy in Scorpio because it’s a sign he rules, so he’s a powerhouse there, and this is something that has really been a bit of a problem for me. How strong am I allowed to be, as a woman in the west, before I irritate other people? How serious am I allowed to be, before I’m no longer “fun”, that being a requirement? Today I am wondering if all the time I spend trying to repress my Mars, turning it inward where it bubbles and burns, is what causes my anxiety.
If someone else asked me that question I would say “Forget what other people think. Be who you are.” But it’s me I’m talking to, and it’s not so easy because I remember how people have responded in the past to me expressing any kind of confidence, or even just a firmly held opinion.
Gevurah is connected to Chesed – its counterweight – via Lust, i.e. our passionate Divine Will. Every time you see or hear someone introducing Crowley’s Thelema motto “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law”, they immediately qualify that by saying it’s not a matter of doing whatever you want or feel like. The ‘wilt’ relates to Divine Will. Keeping both Gevurah and Chesed at arm’s length gives Lust the balance to pursue Divine Will with passion and single-mindedness, but in the context of lovingkindness and a higher purpose. If we get too close to Gevurah, you can imagine what could happen.
You can get carried away in any of the Sephiroth, and it feels like we’re in the middle of that happening in Gevurah at the moment:
Whenever we make ourselves the channel of any pure force, that is to say, any force which is single and undiluted by ulterior motives and secondary considerations, we find that there is a river in spate behind us – the stream of the corresponding Sephirothic or Qliphotic [Sephiroth on the shadow Tree] forces that is finding a channel through us. It is this that gives the single-minded zealot his abnormal power.
~ Dion Fortune, Mystical Qabalah, p. 283
The Hierophant, another 5 and the ‘card of the year’ for 2021, relates to social expectations and how they are maintained and enforced. There was so much upheaval in that area this past year. It doesn’t have to be like that, but when Gevurah’s law-making is cut off from the lovingkindness and generosity of Chesed, which is there as its counterweight, all you have is rules for rules’ sake – and people making decisions for the collective from their own personal viewpoint rather than for the benefit of all.
What happens next? 2022 is a 6 year, and I hope that means things will ease up a bit. The good news is that:
An overplus of the necessary energy of Mars (Geburah), the energy that budges inertia and clears away that which is effete and outworn, would be certain to occur during the period prior to the emanation of Tiphareth, the Redeemer.
~ Dion Fortune, Mystical Qabalah, p. 282
I don’t think that means the Messiah is coming next year, or King Arthur (although fingers crossed). But it’s a release of a sort, however small – it’s just the one year, if you see what I mean, and these things take time – and surely will help.
For one thing, looking ahead to Tiphareth gives us some insight into the greater scheme of things where we can see Gevurah as a necessary check and balance. It is part of a much larger cycle and things will move back in the other direction, however long it takes. It will balance out at some point.
If you will allow me to lapse back into my love-and-light voice for a moment: Lockdown restrictions and their knock-on effects led us to ask all kinds of questions about the current state of our system of economics, and whether the current model of it – constant growth, ahem – is really sustainable after all. Blessings, from Gevurah!
And now, on to Tiphareth, in 2022’s year 6. I hope it brings you all the love and light that belongs in that most beautiful Sephira, and an understanding of the Divine that allows you to be your best possible self here in our wonderful, miraculous, gorgeous Malkuth.
Credit: The cover image for this post is by Eugene Golovanchuk. I found it on Reddit.