Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Destruction

Destruction, #16 in the Tarot major trumps sequence, is traditionally called The Tower. By either name, the card is all about the dramatic destruction that clears the way for new growth; it clears away the clutter and the waste - old habits, traditions, paths worn to ruts - so that there's room for new growth. It's the prairie fire that clears off the old, dead grass so that new grass and flowers can grow, or the forest fire that clears out the cluttering underbrush, or the volcano that spews hot, destructive lava that eventually becomes rich soil. It's catastrophic, it's painful, it's destructive, but the aftermath is all good. And in the world of archetypes, it's Lord Shiva.

Shiva Nataraja, Lord of the Dance, the god who dances to the song of his double-headed drum - dimi, dimi, dimi, taka nan tana keylo - which signals the dissolution of the universe so that a new one can grow in its place.

And that takes us to the music for this one, Jai Uttal's "Hara Shiva Shankara" from his 1995 recording Beggars and Saints. Jai Uttal is an American who discovered Indian music and went to India to study it. After coming back to the US and recording an album - Footprints - with jazz pioneer Don Cherry, he then formed the Pagan Love Orchestra, a conglomeration of very talented multicultural musicians. "Hara Shiva Shankara" is a traditional hymn to Shiva set to a reggae beat. This is one of my favorite songs. Enjoy!


Text and Tarot card artwork & photo © 2011 by A. Roy Hilbinger

9 comments:

  1. I'm clearing out the clutter in my house for a garage sale. Hope appropriate that you post this today! :)

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  2. How interesting that you are featuring that card today. I love it.
    So many blogs (including mine) are dealing with the premise of and the need for clearing the deadwood seeing things from a different perspective, letting go of the old to experience new growth.

    Maybe it's a spring thing. Anyway......I much enjoyed your post as I always do, though I don't always stop to tell you so.

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  3. ...great post. This is always a big part of yoga, and it's helped me.

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  4. The second illustration takes me back to a bunch of 8" x 10" prints I saw during my teen years in the early 1970s, when my sister took me on an occasional trip to Pier 1 Imports (a much cooler place then). The things they stocked were fascinating to my young, hippie-wannabe self. Thanks for invoking those memories, and for sharing the musical piece!

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  5. I like hearing about, and listening to, people's favorite songs.

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  6. Destruction clearing the way for new growth. This could be interpreted in so many ways at the moment.

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  7. WT just returned from India and we've been discussing Shiva Nataraja. How did you know?

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