Demons, Emperors & Rebels

I’ve made choices about the responsibilities I accept. Once accepted, it’s damned hard to put them down. This may be why I’m disinclined to …

This card makes me a bit uncomfortable. It’s a very different interpretation of this Major Arcana, isn’t it. that Eagle flying in makes me think of Prometheus’s punishment. Then the Rebel himself with his rainbow hair and rainbow cloak…or is that some feathered serpent? At his feet there is a chain with broken links. He could get up if he wanted to.

But he doesn’t. This Emperor, from the Osho Zen Tarot, has chosen to stay where he is. He’s almost growing into the place where he sits, isn’t he. I find that this is an Emperor that holds true for me.

And like this Emperor, I’ve made choices about the responsibilities I accept. Once accepted, it’s damned hard to put them down. This may be why I’m disinclined to become close friends with anyone who doesn’t demonstrate their own need to be self-responsible. Playing the blame game is something I used to excel at.

I mean I was really good. It was never my fault that I didn’t have enough money to pay the phone bill. I wasn’t the reason my car suddenly stopped running–I mean who knew you had to do routine maintenance, right? And work? Well let’s just say that I came a cat’s whisker away from getting fired at more than one job due to absenteeism. What? I’m supposed to show up and do my job or you won’t pay me? THE NERVE.

Now that I’ve wrestled that demon down, I can spot her in others really easily. And I don’t want to add their chains to mine. So I don’t forge deep friendships with folks until I’ve learned if they are the type to admit culpability (isn’t that just a great word to say?). Taking ownership is very attractive to me.

What about you? It’s difficult to own up to our own stuff, isn’t it? It’s hard to say “choices I made led me to this situation.”

But you know what? It’s not hard once you do it the first few times. ๐Ÿ˜€ So try it, if you are in that boat. Free yourself from the chains you don’t need. Keep only the ones that you knowingly commit to. It’s in your hands.

Let’s be fire-bringers to our own piles of crap and burn them out.

Seek joy, y’all. Pass it on!

Rebel (Emperor), Osho Zen Tarot, St. Martin’s Press, 1994

P.S. Trivia: Do you know why this deck is sometimes referred to as the Salmonella Tarot?

21 thoughts on “Demons, Emperors & Rebels”

  1. Funny, I’ve never seen him as being stuck! I see him breaking those chains himself, and being able to transform into whatever he needs to be. Someone who goes his own way and makes his own rules. But, like any good rebel, he sticks firmly to the rules he makes, because they are true to his soul. He won’t make excuses, either, because he knows what he feels is important, and honours that ๐Ÿ™‚

    Like you say: “Free yourself from the chains you donโ€™t need. Keep only the ones that you knowingly commit to. Itโ€™s in your hands.”

    Can’t wait to hear why it’s called the Salmonella Tarot – I’ve never heard that before!

  2. Love this, Arwen! Thank you for demonstrating how you derive your meaning from the image on the card, and thank you for sharing a little more about yourself. I confess, I find it hard to take responsibility for some things, yet in other areas I’m very quick to say yes, my fault. I guess it’s yet another step on my journey ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I see a leader not looking down, because he’s got the dragon and the eagle’s flame near his head. above he’s so powerful, but his feet are so vulnerable. so he doesn’t see the chains he’s stepping into, ready to bind him up.
    yeah, i’m a very responsible person and i try not to make excuses, but i’ve found myself lately not being able to let go of a grudge toward someone who schnookered me for a long time. and yes, i am where i am because I either ignored or ‘forgave’ too much – no, i took the easiest way to my goals and of course, that never works.

  4. i did a three card read and I got a two of swords in the center, with judgment flanking on left and the emperor on the right. eergh

  5. I love that statement too, Sarah. Even more that I get a hilarious mental image of flaming piles o’ poo. Burn, baby, burn. But ya’ gotta see it first. There is the challenge isn’t it?

    Cool to get a good look at a card from this deck and hear how you see it- I’ve been away from tarot for years, but once loved studying it, and the gc has rewakened my interest- I dug out my decks! …blogs bring such a new dimension. Thank you.

  6. Osho Zen is probably my favorite deck right now. I always saw the Rebel as in the process of breaking the chains, but that’s the beauty of Tarot, really. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Taking responsibility is hard to develop when you’re in an insecure place, and I’ve found that secretly a lot of people make it never their fault because they feel it’s ALWAYS their fault, even when it’s not. So I feel worried about throwing those people by the wayside if I’m already friends with them. Learned helplessness may only put them deeper in the rut. But ultimately it does make sense to do what’s good for your own growth and progress, if you feel like they’d stop that in its tracks.

    1. Kim, you speak from a very compassionate place. For me, I have to do the tough love thing. I allow them to drag me down too much. So it is more about me in this case.

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