Thursday, March 4, 2010


I received The World card in my Tarot reading this morning, using my Golden Tarot deck. There is a beautiful example of a mandorla in this image.


Mandorla is the Italian word for "almond." It is also another word for the Vesica Piscis, the Yoni of the Goddess. As the almond-shaped overlapping of two circles, it represents the union of opposites.

"To step into the Mandorla is to move beyond "either-or" thinking - even beyond ideas of common ground or compromise - and stand in the tension of opposites long enough for something new to emerge. In the realm of the Mandorla, the whole truly yields something greater than the sum of its parts, opening doors of possibility, discovery, and creativity.

Although the (mandorla) has its origins before the Christian era, the early Christians used the symbol as a method to describe the coming together of heaven and earth, between the divine and human.The circles symbolise interacting but complementary opposites. The space within the overlap is the place in which we are called to "remain", the "liminal space."

This is the place where you arrive after you leave one room and have not yet entered another.

In this place, you are living on the threshold and this requires faith. All transformation takes place in liminal space.

Mandorla I, II, III

If we deny one of the opposites (eg. our shadow, death, ..), the circles may only touch; they do not intersect. In this situation, we are polarised, out of balance. Perhaps too when we become wholly integrated, the overlap is total and there appears to be only one circle (for awhile anyway).The Mandorla, known in both East and West, expresses the standpoint of the mystic. It symbolises for us the tensions of life, the tension of complementary opposites:

Heaven <--------> Earth
Natural <--------> Supernatural
Divine <--------> Human
Life <--------> Death
The Inner world <--------> the Outer world
Esotericism <--------> Exotericism
Apophatic spirituality <--------> Katophatic spirituality
The Self <--------> the Shadow
The rational "calculative" mind <--------> the contemplative mind


DOG: shivering Outside on the Cold Porch<--------> CAT: purring Inside the Warm Kitchen
(nyah, nyah!)


Deborah Ross said...

Oh, Martha, please let the little guy in!

Martha Miller said...

little gal - she goes back and forth back and forth back and forth...

Dean Grey said...

So interesting, Martha!

Thanks for posting this!