Ten Blue Tigers is a cover of the tale Ten Bulls, which comes from Zen Buddhism. This variant makes an explicit bridge with the Tarot. To finally publish it, I looked for images worthy of the story. They have arrived, beautiful — it is the talented Virginie Le Corre who offers them to you. Enjoy beauty. Breathe. Long live zen!
There is a disturbing parallel between these ten moments of tiger hunting and the last major arcana of the initiatory Tarot. Both had the same inner energy. So I add to the traditional version a new section, Correspondence, which refers to the equivalent arcane of the Tarot: the first link to the description of the arcane, the second to the arcane as I experienced it. Long live the tarot!
1. Look For The Tiger
In the jungle of the world, I discard the creepers in search of the tiger. Along rivers without names, under unknown skies, I go to the end of my strength without hearing his voice. Only the nagging song of locusts breaks the forest night.
The tiger is there, why look elsewhere? I am so disturbed that I do not see the evidence. I don’t know which way to go or where to turn.
2. Track The Tiger
Under the trees of the shore, I discover his trace! Even under the fragrant grass I pick up his footprints. At the bottom of the mountains I find them. These marks are visible as the nose in the middle of the face.
I understand the teaching and I see the tiger’s footprints. As many tools are made of the same metal, I understand that a myriad of things are made of the Living. If I don’t know the difference, how can I tell the truth from the truth? The door has not yet been crossed, but I can already see the way.
Where there is a will, there is a path. (Lao-Tzu)
3. Approach The Tiger
I hear the song of the nightingale. The sun is warm, the breeze is soft, the willows are green on the shore. No tiger can hide here! What artist can paint his massive head, his majestic body?
When you hear the voice, you know where it comes from. As soon as the six senses are working, the door is crossed. From the entrance, we see the head of the tiger. This unit is like the salt in the water, like the color in the dye. The smallest thing is related to the Living.
4. Catch The Tiger
I catch him in a terrible fight. His power is terrible, his strength without limit. He trains me with him, I cling to his back. It leaps from rock to rock on the highest summits, then sinks to the bottom of lost gullies.
He lived a long time in the jungle, but I finally got it! The novelty of the landscape disorients the tiger. Far from his native jungle, he wanders without knowing where. If I want to subdue him, I wield my whip.
5. Tame The Tiger
The whip, the rope and the iron will. All three are necessary to prevent him from escaping into the forest. Well treated, he regains his sweetness. Trust comes. Without flinching, he obeys his master.
When a thought arises, another thought follows. When the first thought springs from enlightenment, the following thoughts are true. The illusion distorts everything. It comes from the interpretation that distorts your relationship with the tiger. Hold him by the ear, don’t leave him any doubt.
6. Ride The Tiger Home
On the back of the blue tiger, I return home. The song of my flute fills the evening gold. My hand shapes the living music, I direct the infinite rhythm. Anyone who hears me play will come to me.
The fight is over. The gains and losses are counted. I sing the logger’s song, the village children dance to my music. Above the tiger, I observe the clouds. I continue, nothing can stop me.
7. Beyond the Tiger
On the back of the tiger, I go home. I am serene. The tiger can also rest. Dawn has come. This is the hour of sweet rest. In my cottage, I have neither whip nor rope.
One law, not two. The tiger is just a passing theme. Like the rabbit and its trap, like the fish and its net. Like gold in the mud or like the moon emerging from a cloud. A path of clear light continues through endless time.
8. Beyond Life
The whip, the rope, the blue tiger and I — all melt into nothingness. So vast is the sky that no message can defile it. Which snowflake can withstand the fire? Here are the traces of the patriarchs.
Mediocrity is gone. The mind is clear of limitation. I seek no state of enlightenment. I also don’t stay where there is no illumination. Since I don’t linger anywhere, my eyes can no longer see me. If hundreds of birds spread flowers on my path, it would be worthless praise.
Arcane XX – The Judgment –
9. I reach the source
Too much effort and trial and error prevent us from reaching the source. It is better to remain blind and deaf from the beginning! Living in your real home, without worrying about any lack – the river flows quietly. The flowers are red.
From the beginning, the truth is clear. In silence, I observe what is born and what dies. Illusion of form. Trap of appearance. Why reform what is not distorted? Emerald-colored water, indigo mountain — I see what creates, I see what destroys.
Arcane XXI – The World –
Barefoot in my herds, I mingle with the crowd. And me in my misery, I am always happy. I use no magic to prolong my life. When I pass in front of them, dead trees are covered with buds.
Behind my closed door, the ten thousand sages do not know me. The beauty of my garden is hidden from passers-by. Why seek the traces of the patriarchs? I go to the market with my bottle of wine and I go home with my stick. Everywhere in my path, those I look at light up.
Arcane The Fool –
A Kervor Request
The original works of Virginie Le Corre have been retouched by Stef Kervor, a maniaco-expressive geek who hangs around. He changed the framing and/or the format, and the composition of the work, and of course the colors — Photoshop does.
To do justice to Virginia’s great talent, Kervor asked me to reproduce the originals as she painted them. Which I gladly do. Thank you, Kervor. But first, thank you very much, Virginie.