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The Lover's Path: Illusion - Odette and Ivan

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The Lover's Path: Illusion - Odette and Ivan


The Lover's Path card of Illusion, equivalent to the traditional Moon, shows Odette changing from swan to human form - or from human to swan. Caught between two worlds, she lives out a story of tragedy, a misfit who is neither fully swan or fully human. In the foreground is a beautiful black swan, perhaps the one the sorceror transformed to deceive Ivan. Above the grassy plains two white swans fly in freedom, while behind them a rhythmic repetition of mountains echoes their forms beneath a crescent moon.

This is one of those sad stories which seems so unfair because there appeared to be no possible way of a happy resolution for the two lovers. Ivan was unavoidably deceived by the black swan, and in the avowal of his love innocently killed the one he held most dear.

This card is based on the story of Tchaikovsky’s ballet Swan Lake. Various productions of the ballet have used different interpretations of the story and I couldn't find one which relates exactly to Kris's version. There are two different accounts here and here, and this page discusses the interesting history of the ballet itself.

Now, for one who sees the Moon card as a very positive one, connecting with Goddess wisdom, monthly energy cycles and dream insights, this card presents some difficulties. I would normally reserve the illusion or delusion aspects to the reversed image. In fact my personality and shadow card is the Moon, and I actually drew this The Lover's Path Illusion as my card of the week last Monday, the day of the full moon in Sagittarius. It has been a wonderful although emotionally draining week of intensive dream work, engaging relationships and creative play.

Seeing this card in a positive light, I can say that when dreaming or meditating I may enter ecstatic and wonderous environments or stories. But all too soon these end, the mystic swan dies, and I return to this consciousness. Yet I have forever been changed by the encounter, by the illusion which is really just another form of reality. While this change may be big or little, every experience is a catalyst of change. But in the next dream or meditational cycle I may again meet that beautiful swan, and swim, dance or soar with her while our moment is at hand.
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