Posted by: Ian | December 28, 2012

My Festive 500 #5 – Anima

The floods in the South West have been a minor factor affecting the rides so far, especially the last two: rainwater has frequently streamed over the roads, or been left standing as water hazards; the carriageways have been littered with screes of flint; and in places chunks of the road surface have been entirely lifted away. Today’s ride took me up to the Somerset Levels and there the effect of the heavy rainfall has been even more dramatic.

Muchelney floodBeing a floodplain, it has flooded. The distant red blob you should just be able to make out in the photo is me. I cycled further until, turning a corner, I could see neither the end of the flooding ahead of me nor my entry from the dry road behind – and the water level reached the top of my front wheel.

At that point I judged that I’d probably just about attained enough of the goal I set myself with today’s ride, although I had planned to continue just North of Langport.

Other than this, the day’s route was the gentlest yet, featuring a nice circuit round Hinton St George, Merriott, Dinnington and Barrington.

The third place in my spread of four Tarot cards is known as the Anima. It’s the feminine converse of the Animus, representing the female pole within the male. In the spread it indicates what we ought to do for others, and for ourselves. I drew The Moon:

The Moon

I find this more opaque and difficult to interpret straight from the card than the previous two. The significance of the female face of the moon within the sun fits very neatly into my description of the anima: but recall that the anima role is something else and I could just as easily have drawn any other card to instantiate it. The expression on the face has a certain hauteur and although the moon is always taken as a/the female archetype, it doesn’t display the expected soft, caring characteristics of a mother or a lover. Below, a dog and a wolf look up at the remote moon as, bizarrely, does a crayfish or lobster. In the background stand two towers and a path that leads between them.

By convention, the significance of The Moon in the arcana is twofold and both meanings are fertile in the contemplation of how we should be for others, and, reflexively, for ourself. The first meaning is deception. Just as eskimos are supposed to have dozens of words for snow, I feel the same about deception: the subtlety and range of the phenomenon is extensive, as primary teachers already know from dealing with young children before decades of societal experience arm them with adult techniques. In the Tarot all of these meanings are covered, starting with the simplest: the querent is being deceived. Beyond this, the experience of distrust is pervasive, affecting the fabric of everyday life far beyond actual points of raw deceit, like damp rising up a wall. Perhaps the strained posture of the dog and the hurt expression of the wolf as they look at the moon illustrate this. Even the crayfish appears to yearn for a purchase on the moon that it can’t attain.

The second meaning of The Moon is intuition. When the card appears the querent is able to access truth through dreams and direct insight. The availability of this mode of reflection is the flip-side of the denial of deduction, which is rendered ineffective by the penumbra of deceit. On the card, the path that passes between the two sentinel towers perhaps indicates that the doors of the unconscious are open.

Plenty to ponder as I pedal!

Here’s the Strava map from today’s ride:

F500, Day 5




  1. […] a practical point, my d is more dumpy than I’d wanted because, after cycling thigh-deep through a floodplain, I finally abandoned the upstroke before its completion, and the m has a bump on the right-hand […]

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