Tao ~ The Vacuum of Pure Spirit
The Way, Stillness, Tao, Prayer, Contemplation
The Way can only truly be understood when experienced in relation to the teachings of the Tao, which translates to "The Way". "The Tao that can be expressed in words is not the eternal Tao" - Lao Tzu. The Tao teaches that no matter how we attempt to indicate a concept, what we are indicating cannot possibly encompass the true Spirit of the said concept. On the Tree of Life, this card connects with Ain, the eternal vacuum of Spirit. Ain is the nothingness from which the concept of infinity emerges, describing that all things originate from, and dissolve back into nothingness. This may seem like a blessing and a curse, but it is simply The Way we came to be and The Way we are going; in Hebrew, this is often called the Atzmut - "The Essence".
The appearance of The Way in reading has one meaning that can be interpreted in various ways. The highest principle is that it is a card of complete trust and faith in that which is beyond our ability to comprehend. In this we have to surrender to the flow that moves through us, we know The Way. The upright key on the card suggests the act of prayer is the purest method to tap into the natural flow and open a channel with the divine. Through prayer, a space of silence is created, so the subtlest of notions from Spirit may come through. Reversed, this card speaks to the state we must embody before and after prayer: complete and total trust. A deep level of trust that indicates a true experience of knowing that no matter what, we are One with Spirit, and we are going to get where we need to go.
The Way is a card that attempts to display the neverending force or flow of the highest power beyond creation, and that is what we may only refer to as God, Spirit, Ain. In truth, there is no word that can adequately describe this force. It is perpetual, infinite, eternal, the ultimate supreme creative soul from which all things emanate from and all things return to.
The presence of this card in this deck is, along with the other God cards, an attempt to remind us that everything and anything that we see, touch, taste, feel, believe, know, observe, hear, or comprehend - is not the real thing. Even these cards themselves are merely a finger that points to the moon, and not the moon itself.
By immersing yourself in the concepts of the Tao, we begin to understand that there is no way that we can speak about the true - eternal Tao because it is beyond speech entirely. Tao translates to "Way", and speaks towards the natural forces and flows that nature follows which allows it to co-exist with everything that exists. This is The Way; it is the only way, and a way of Oneness, because in the awareness that we are all One we all strive to do what is best for all of us together, rather than focused purely on ourselves.
In this image, we see the next layer of perspective expanding from the previous cards, observing now that not only has the overlaid spheres become an Egg of Life, but the entire Earth has now fully emerged from the portal below (which began in the Aeon and Crown), the new Earth is born!
Surrounding this it is revealed that the colorful luminescent background was a part of a greater collective field of energy, which displays a number of holy temples which spiral up into a great black symbol; the Chinese character for "Tao".
When you draw this card, despite being an indication of going within and connecting with the natural flows and forces, this card bears the upright and reverse keys "Pray" and "Trust". These indicate potential actions you can take which may connect you deeper with the natural flows all around you. By the means of prayer, we connect with Spirit and find sacred guidance from beyond ourselves. Through trust, we can release all inhibitions and fears and step into life knowing that no matter what, Spirit is with you; and an intimate part of your life.