Featured Arcana: The Wheel

On the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, the Wheel of Fortune forms a bridge between the 4th and 7th sephirots, forming the bottom half of the Pillar of Mercy.

Chesed (4) is within the triangle of Intention (with regard to how we intend to deal with others). Netzach (7) falls within the triangle of Action. The 4th sephirot represents the spirit of (or Intent to create) community with others, to draw others into our personal circle. The 7th sephirot represents the Action of endurance against an obstacle.

Connected directly above the Wheel on the Pillar of Mercy is the Hierophant. They share the 4th sephirot of Intent to Draw Others into Community.

The Hierophant takes the pureness of the Source above and distills and disseminates that divine Source to the community below. The Wheel then is situated within this community and takes Action in courage to endure against obstacles.

But what is the deeper interpretation?

Naturally, a lot depends on where the Wheel falls in any specific tarot spread. But we can ascertain a basic understanding of this card’s implications based upon its placement on the Tree.

We can learn from the Wheel, then, that we come from the passed-down purity of the Divine Source, to a unifying of community and drawing others unto us — only to learn that our Action of Enduring (though we may feel empowered by the divine knowledge passed down to us and the community that surrounds us), is not solely in our hands.

The Universe has a “will” of its own (in a sense) and is not always lined up with our own personal will — because, we are only one cog in the giant machinery of the Universe….

In fact, the wills and actions of others that are brought into our Circle (4), have a correlation with the results around us– no matter what our Action to Endure is.

Whatever Action we take to Endure or Resist will affect the Community from which we stem; as well, the Community has an affect on our Actions.

We are all interconnected. Thus the Wheel of the Universe turns seemingly of its own accord at times. In these moments it may be best to step back from our own little corner of understanding to embrace a fuller view of the Community around us.

Fire: In Relationship with Others and Ourselves

Fire, or the Wands suit of the tarot, represents energy and ambition. The raw force to get things done and make change happen. It is visceral, powerful, and forms often an uneasy and delicate balancing act with the other elements of our personalities.

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5 (Gevurah)  is “the essence of judgment…and limitation, and corresponds to awe and the element of fire“. In the Tree of Life it is found on the left Pillar of Severity in the Triangle of Intention–how we determine we will act toward others, and how this determination colors our actions to come next.

So, the 5 of Wands is known as “Strife.”

Here’s the thing about your fire in relation to others and the way you direct your fire toward them: They will respond in kind.

You send fire their way and they will defend themselves with fire. This is why 6 of Fire, or the balance of intentions toward others, is called VICTORY– it is Victory over others.

It’s the way to achieve a Balance of Intention with the Wands.

By contrast, the 6 of Earth (Pentacles) is known as SUCCESS– it is a celebration of the fruit of your own work; the personal victories over FullSizeRender 2.jpgyour own self.

And, in every situation, we find a need to embrace one or the other. The Tree of Life is a picture of us all in entirety, at all times.

But it helps to be aware of the effects of our Fire upon others, so we are prepared to stand and continue to flame if we must.

Embrace the Happy Child

These past couple of days I received two very meaningful readings. Both focused on the Page (or Princess) of Disks.

I love my deck’s depiction of her; she just seems so happy and in her element… 🙂

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Our featured Earth-Princess is card #1 in the top spread, card #3 in the bottom spread.

Both readings focus on embracing and responding to the Completion and Success found in my life at this moment in time. In other words, let this be a time of rest, not of struggle or turmoil.

The top reading includes advice to understand and embrace the knowledge that Change is the Universal Constant. Things will change and grow, and my circumstances will not always remain as they are. And that’s a good thing. 🙂

The second reading anticipated the struggle I’d have today with my Emotions and my Thoughts: that emotions will have a tendency to throw my thoughts into imbalance, and vice-versa.

But, in spite of that struggle, my subconscious encourages me to remain in my childlike security and joy, resting in the stability of the Earth and my Successes this far.

Featured Arcana: Strength

The tarSTRENGTHot card, Strength (8), holds great significance and meaning.

In the beginning, I had understood it in its most basic form as Inner Strength. But, being the eternal seeker that I am, I wanted to know more. What, exactly, does Inner Strength mean? How can it be applied in our day-to-day lives?

The Lion is symbolic of our own animal instincts, our desires, our passions, our jealousy, our rage, our lust…The woman controls the beast through the power of reason and through love via the heart. She may be secretly terrified of what she is doing but she is prepared to face her fears, to take the risk, to feel the fear and do it anyway. (from, Truly Teach Me Tarot)

Another way to think of Strength is by its alternative name in some tarot decks, Fortitude.

…it meant moderation in attitudes toward pain and danger, with neither being avoided at all costs, nor actively wanted…the woman looking calm and gentle, yet dominant over the lion. (from, Wikipedia)

In other words, we can also apply the Buddhist notion of “…the purity of mindfulness owing to equanimity… [to] study and observe your mind, at all of its various points of grasping — whether for attachment or for aversion…

Inner Strength, or Fortitude, comes down to a calm, logical acceptance of our instinctual, animalistic, Shadow Self — an acknowledgment of its presence and influence in our lives, and a decision to control and embrace it via reason and love, in spite of our feelings of fear or confusion.