What is compassion?
The Collins English Dictionary explains it as :
Feeling of distress and pity for the suffering or misfortune of another.
The Thesaurus gives us :
Charity, clemency, humanity, kindness and mercy.
Although I can understand and respect those definitions I feel something is still missing, so I am going to look at compassion through the eyes of Tarot.
To be compassionate you need to feel.
Cups, representing the element of water, can teach us a lot about compassion.
Water goes with the flow.
It reminds us to observe, listen, absorb.
The members of the water family (page, knight , queen and King) find their way through life following their hearts and by being aware of feelings and views.
Awareness is a blessing and a curse!
The 5 of pentacles (earth) sometimes well expresses the strong bond that ties together people who have shared the same hardship.
The 6 of pentacles expresses compassion in a practical way, by helping out physically or by providing funds.
The Empress is another example of healthy compassion.
She provides the love and nurturing that helps people blossom to their full potential.
The Lovers card offers good intention, love, loyalty, commitment, all extremely important tools to someone in distress.
The Hermit is the guidance available , but he does not do house calls. The person in need must look within first, realize he or she needs help and
go look for it.
Temperance offers healing through change, modification, prudence, moderation and compromise.
The Star offers hope. It is the light in the darkness. Without hope there is no healing.
Strength to me is the card that best represents compassion.
As you may know, Strength is Major Arcanum 8 in some decks and 11 in others. Personally I think the 8 energy better suits the card, anyway the image in the Anna K deck is beautiful.
The power of strength comes from awareness.
From understanding our own power as well as our own weakness. Strength recognizes the struggle between thinking and feeling. Between talking and doing. Between theory and practice.
The lady (mind) gently holds the roaring beast (instinctual urges).
The lady and the beast are looking into each other eyes, understanding where each is coming from.
In my humble opinion that is where true compassion originates.
Please feel free to express your thought on compassion.