Greek Oracle NU – Strife
“Strife, bearing gifts, complete the oracle”
temptation, avarice, lust, misdirection
Greek Oracle – Letter Nu – Strife: Definition
The stone of the Strife, Nu (new), comes at the beginning of the second half of the soul’s journey, at the mid-way point from the Beginning (Alpha) to the End (Omega). Often, the mid-way point of a journey is associated with difficulties – imagine a mid-life crisis or being in the middle of a forest where the saying goes, you can’t see the forest for the trees. It is often the point where we want to give up and turn back. But there is no turning back.
Strife, conventionally called The Devil, represents the dark side of our soul. It manifests as vice – that is, activities that seem to give us pleasure but result in damage to our souls. The gifts that Strife bears will appear tempting to us. Strife promises sexual indulgence, greed, laziness, and riches.
But beware, for these are the gifts of Strife. Perhaps the riches will arise from other people’s misery, such as the misery that results from the gains of corporate (un)ethics or drug barons. Maybe sexual indulgence is bad for us. Perhaps it involves some kind of ‘acting out of earlier abuses’ or us participating in the abuse.
What does Strife indicate?
Strife, bearing apparent gifts, fulfills the Oracle. It completes the cycle of creation and commences the cycle of completion. In the previous steps of the Major Arcana (thing final stages of the cycle of creation) we experienced the Wheel of Change.
With these two steps, we removed our rose-colored glasses and saw the world as it is, a combination of good and bad. In doing this, we were required to examine ourselves and to see our Selves as we are. Perhaps at this point, we have decided that it’s all too hard. Perhaps we seek refuge in apparent pleasures – of the flesh, alcohol, indulgence, or laziness. Or perhaps, having seen our nature’s dark side, we have been seduced by it.
The stone of Strife urges us to examine the outcomes of our actions. It tells us that these gifts are not gifts at all. They are the work of temptation and desire that lead us down the path of darkness. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Strife tells us to investigate the whole story, the hidden side. What is the other side of the bargain? What will you have to compromise, and is it worth it? Accepting the gifts will you be filled with self-loathing, disgust, or guilt? Will you suffer afterward? Will others?