This path is on the left hand side of the tree, a side typical of containment and analysis, but with a balanced and pure outlook. It alludes to a person who has seen how the psyche breaks down and strays from the core personality (called the locus), and is able to reign in errant thoughts and ideas with unerring precision. It is a balanced, benevolent, and strong will, a hard-earned protection from chaos through life experiences.
This is a strict nature that acknowledges there is a duality to experience. It’s quite happy if the darker parts of the self are accepted, and as we become well-adjusted to the life we are living, then this inner critic which keeps us centred will keep quiet.
If we do repress anything, this force will push back just as hard. This could be identified as an inner bully that pulls a dreamer back into reality with incisive internal dialogue. Depression in artistically inclined people stems from this inner balancing mode of thinking. This is because when you look at the Tree of Life there are two sides and a pathway through the middle. Being creative reinforces the right hand side, and if that is the sole focus, it will create an imbalance which forces the mind to use the left hand traits internally to try to form a balance.
To maintain the balance we have to clean up our life, be light of heart, and be easy on our self. Accept all that we are, and start living. Eventually as we progress through the issues this card presents, it will cease that internal criticism that suffocates us with our own actions and misdeeds.
Having a keen sense of reason really helps; if we are not in possession of all the facts we should find out more about the area that this critical mode of thinking points out, or face an internal delusion based off half-truth. This progresses and gets easier with age as we are able to hold ideas and concepts up clearly to the light within, to see if they add to the balanced outlook.
People judge others, and then along we come and start judging those people judging others. Will it ever end? Does it need to? What do we learn from these judgements? This is the function of reason, it gets us looking at things from experience, and measures itself up against our own knowledge. If we take it too seriously, we face driving ourselves inwards with a silent judgemental monologue.
The Hebrew letter for this card is ‘Lamed’ (Ox-goad). In simple terms your internal world will feel literally immovable like the Ox, and needs to be pushed through this malaise. If we are suffering under these problems internally then we need to take action, and start making lots of small positive changes to our environment, and build self-esteem. Make hard choices, but be easy on ourselves — make small changes, and don’t be hard on yourself if you fail to maintain them.
This card is a function that deserves a lot of attention. This is the dagger in the heart we feel, the smothering cloak of internal dirt that chokes us privately in the dark moments of self-doubt. When we fall out of balance with our self, we invite all sorts of internal issues. If our diet is poor, we suffer physically, mentally, and emotional. If we fail to feed our personalities with the right love, thoughts, and actions then we’ll become unbalanced.
The darkest times we’ll face will be when dealing with this internal detritus collected over the years. It influences our internal world, and we need to make a movement in a positive direction to nullify it, continuing until our last breath to turn into a walking wall of positive self-affirmation. This is really the path of ‘check your head’. Are your thoughts lies? Or based off others’ realities?