The Tantric Dakini Oracle is not a classic tarot deck. While it can be used like a classic tarot deck, its purpose goes beyond that. One way I like to use these cards is as tool for meditation: I meditate with them as I would with a yantra.
Card no. 8 (Living Goddess / Kumari)
There are many things that can be read into this card. One particular aspect that came to me is related to time.
It struck me while I was washing the dishes, a couple hours after meditating on the card (it is often the after effect of meditation that is most potent). Improperly said “struck” because it had actually been building up in the meantime, only I wasn’t aware of it until it fully rose into conscious thought.
It was a sense of nostalgia – at least this is the term that I initially found most appropriate. I wasn’t thinking of any specific person, situation or phase in my past, it was more of a general feeling. As bluntly inexpressive as it sounds, I can only put it this way: I was feeling time, time in its entirety. A bittersweetly painful feeling, simultaneously a state of grace. This nostalgia as I called it was not just for my past: it was for my past, present and future altogether, for my whole existence. I was seeing my entire existence as time, feeling time effectively, while also being outside of it.
A part of me was immersed in linear, flowing time, while another one was rooted in a dimension where time didn’t exist: a state of utter detachment, intense stillness and still intensity, the Self born out of itself or, rather, the Self which is beyond any birth. The part that was rooted in no-time was watching my human self who is living in linear time, my human cycle of existence. It might be that I wasn’t really with one foot outside of time: it might be that the more detached part of myself was watching my human self from a larger time cycle that felt like no-time due to it being much broader than the human time cycle.
It wasn’t just nostalgia, it was longing. As if I was missing someone or something. It was a deep, intense longing for my entire existence, for everyone and everything that was part, is part and will be part of it, as well as for all its periods and phases. I was missing my past, present and future at the same time. It felt as if my future is already past. As if my whole existence was already past, even though I didn’t know what was going to happen concretely speaking. As if my destiny was already written.
There was some sort of feeling of limitation associated with this (1). What is already past cannot be changed, but then again, everything was already past: past, present and future. It may have been a moment of awareness that indeed there are some more or less fixed coordinates of one’s incarnation, or some major timelines. And although there is a margin of variation and indetermination, that margin is actually not that big and there is a glass ceiling.
I want to mention, though, that all these realizations came via only one certain aspect, only one certain type of energy. If I were to tap into another aspect or type of energy I would’ve had other realizations, that may have even seemed to contradict these ones.
In the Tantric Dakini Oracle the 64 + 1 cards represent the 64 dakinis and the Self – the Self is comprised of all the 64 aspects, not just one of them. Infinity is multifaceted and multiaspected and often times these facets and aspects seem to be at odds with each other from a logical perspective, yet infinity is beyond all these apparent contradictions.
Why the suspension? Why the two dimensions? Because Kumari reunites the goddess and the human: the human embodying the goddess. Thus we have the two corresponding dimensions of time (human) and no-time or beyond time (goddess).
The concept of Kumari is closely related to time in yet another way: as soon as the young girl selected to embody the goddess shows “signs of being human” she is replaced by another young girl. The most significant sign in this regard is the beginning of the girl’s menstrual cycle – it is thus a question of time, of a maturation process that is inevitable (i.e. one cannot remain young forever) (2).
A state of suspension. Time goes on flowing yet you are, at the same time, in a no-time dimension. You are both within time and outside of it simultaneously.
Balance and rhythm
Card 8 from the Tantric Dakini Tarot is, among other things, a card of balance and it is the approximate equivalent of the Justice card in the traditional tarot. Where does balance come into this equation?
What the state of being in no-time gives you is not a recipe for how to put your life in order and conduct it properly. You don’t emerge out of that state with some practical guidelines along the lines of “I’m going to do this and that and the other and I’m going to do it in this particular way.” It doesn’t have much to do with rational knowledge. It is a direct, visceral, experiential understanding of things. What this state gives you is the just measure of things, the just rhythm, being in sync, the harmonization of time and no-time. Some sort of internal detector of the just rhythm, some sort of internal mechanism for rhythm adjustment.
Rhythm is perpetually rebalancing itself as time goes on flowing.
Time and no-time regulate each other by constantly relating to one another. In fact, it feels more correct to say that it is time that regulates itself in relation to no-time. Time is in motion, it flows, while no-time just is: it is still, it does not regulate itself as there is no need to.
Rhythm is not self-born so to say, it is predicated on stillness. The just rhythm cannot exist as long as it doesn’t have a reference point, and that reference point is stillness. Rhythm is time. Stillness is no-time.
In the same way, sound is predicated on silence.
Time is predicated on no-time.
Existence is predicated on non-existence.
This has become clear to me.
(1) One may be aware of their limits in a particular incarnation and painfully so – I’m referring to limits pertaining to awareness and level of consciousness primarily. One may have this sense of “I can’t see beyond these limits, but I know there’s something beyond them, but then, if I know and feel beyond a doubt that there’s something beyond them, why am I still trapped inside my own confusion, why can’t I transcend those limits?” It’s this sense of a mind which cannot see itself. It basically has to do with the pain of ignorance, of unawareness, of not knowing yourself fully, of being blind to your own blind spots (the image that springs to my mind is Magritte’s Not to be reproduced). Of being aware of your unawareness. One may have this sense that they are much more than that, but still be unable to tap into that dimension, and sometimes they might be actually meant to experience this sense of limitation and pain, for a variety or reasons.
One may feel a strong drive to get enlightened and to be merged back into the Brahman – which would also imply that their earthly physical existence ends. They may not be able to do that in that particular incarnation or period of time either because they are still not ready or maybe they are but they have a mission to fulfill here.
In any case, karma is not necessarily linear. One may have been a saint of some sorts in a particular incarnation and then, in the next one, they may be a murderer or they may lead a very common, dull life. There are many reasons as to why things may happen this way and we’re talking about a type of logic that doesn’t comply to our basic human understanding. For the Self/Soul experience is just experience, it’s not “good” or “bad.” For the Self/Soul every experience is a catalyst for evolution and often times, when us, on a human level, go through an experience that we regard as bad, the soul actually thrives because it evolves much faster or burns a lot of the karma that is supposed to be burnt.
(2) I want to make it clear that by mentioning and analyzing the concept of the Kumari I am not automatically supporting or agreeing with the custom.