For a long time I've been dreaming of water. Lately it's been the sea, but, off and on, for years, it's been moving water, spring thaw, runoff, creeks turning trails to bogs. Mud everywhere. The mud's been increasing, and it's often difficult for me to understand why everything has got so muddy. Livestock floundering in moving mud, roads turned to wetland.
Then, two nights ago, it was melting ice. I was trapped in one square block of Toronto, a city where I lived many years ago, and where, in my early to mid-twenties I made many of the decisions that have been for better, and for worse, foundational in my life. I was trapped, on wet ice, unable to get enough traction to move. It was very distressing, and stayed that way. Although I could see dry pavement, no strategy would give me traction to get off the ice. To the ousth of my ice had created a lake in the dip under an expressway.
Last night I revisited the location. Water was gradually obstructing the street. Toilets were no longer functining in that block, and a public washroom was set up, but gradually it was being eroded by moving water and sand, the sand coming from across the street, where water was creating an excavation about a block square. Trees were falling into it as it grew. Soon enough it must have been about three hundred feet deep, and maybe half a mile on each side. Water continued to pour down the sides. I wonder, not completely fancifully, what would be there if I dropped by tonight, and if, sooner or later, Toronto itself might be gone.
This wasn't violent. Other than a foolish person trying to climb one of the sides there was no casualty - it didn't feel like natureal disaster. Just the inexorable power of water.
Before I wrote this I drew a card, as I always do. It was the Chariot. On the Tree of Life five is properly called Gevurah, the Checker, or the Inspector, sometimes called Pachad, or Terror. It is the breaker of form. It stands dirctely below three, or Binah. Binah might be seen as the point of origin of the Divine Feminine. She holds in Her embrace all the waters of the Earth, and when She rleases them they flow down like a Diving Tsunami into Gevurah, the inexorable power of the water being converted to energy that can burn away any obstruction, even if it's the size of Toronto.
Long ago, when the Greeks would observe some huge Aegean wave smashing towards shore, they would call the white crests of the wave the Horses of Poseidon. They knew that when the Bull of Poseidon, hidden beneath the earth, would roar it would cause an earthquake, and that then the Horses of Poseidon would have the strength to obliterate whatever stood before them.
Close your eyes for a moment, and visualize a great grey-green wave thundering towards the shore. See the crests of white foam alternating with scoops of dark water. Now close your eyes tighter, and look again, and you'll see the horses change. They're not horses now, they're Sphinxes, one dark and one light, drawing the Chariot of the waves.
If you can see the Sphinxes, you can take the next step. Now you are no longer standing in front of the wave, you're riding it, riding the Chariot, balancing like a surfer between the light and the dark.
It's important to remember that you did not create the wave, and that you are not responsible for its actions. For thousands of years the Sphinxes were seen as Eaters of Guilt. They were drawing the Chariot each human rides, and the wise understand that the Sphinxes will bear the guilt for this. If you think guilt, you will fall and the wave will crush you. If it eats Toronto, well, it was always going to.
This is what real-life surfing is a rehearsal for. When that Chariot comes rolling down from Binah there are only two choices: ride it or be crushed. Once you're on the Chariot you can't get off, and finally it will take you through the Eye of the Needle, all helter-skelter, you'll wake up, and all that remains of the the Sphinxes will the the smell of roses moving in the air, and the moving air itself.