Le Pape V (The Pope) – Tarot series; major arcana

What god made you Vicar in the Church of Peter?
You relish the power and the pomposity
You hold many a key but let no one enter
Your reach is mighty, but empty is your center
The mark of the papacy is atrocity
From a throne in the Holy See reigns a cheater.

From A Book to Free the Soul ©
The dance of death at Basel: death and the Pope, Lithograph by F. Hasler after H. Hess

Dioscuric Angels

They did not fall proudly from the heavens on high
They do not plan their escape by reaching the sky
In the labyrinth their mortal parents remain
But the Sons of Zeus are destined to flee and reign
Without wings of feathers and wax they learned to fly
Icarus died; they will live when the sun draws nigh.

From A Book to Free the Soul ©
Wilhelm Haverkamp, knabengruppe, 1891

La Papesse II (The High Priestess) – Tarot series; major arcana

I am Joan, custodian of the Church of John
Hailed by the beloved at the gnostic altar
I vowed to conceal his mysteries with my veil
I am drunk with the thick honeyed milk of the Grail
I am the anointed soul who will not falter,
A Priestess in the cult of the arriving dawn.

From A Book to Free the Soul ©
Herbert James Draper, Sketch for The Gates of Dawn

The Design

Life is a blessing wearing an ugly disguise
What creator sent us here to suffer our plight?
Did we have any choice but to accept our lot?
There is nothing to learn and nothing to be taught
We come from the light and will return to the light
Necessity demands our fall before we rise.

From A Book to Free the Soul ©
Angelo Barabino, The rising sun, 1910

The Game of Life

Alpha is Desire, the descent into the dark
Omega is Passion, the rising of the Son
‘tis the sequence of life in Heaven and on Earth
Eros-Dionysos, the dance of endless birth
In matter they play; on the track of time they run
And then, on their Elysian journey they embark.

From A Book to Free the Soul ©
Jean-Leon Gerome, Drunken Bacchus and Cupid, Oil on canvas, 1850, Musee des Beaux-Arts (Bordeaux)

L’Impératrice III ( The Empress) – Tarot series; major arcana

I am the Empress, the fertility of Earth
I am the bounties and cruelties of matter
In the folds of my mantle play the timid fawns
On the watery glaze from my tears glide the swans
I am the passions of the Nymph and the Satyr
The mother of the soul, the cycles of rebirth.

From A Book to Free the Soul ©
Gustave Doré, illustration of Ludovico Ariosto’s “Orlando Furioso