In art and dream, may you proceed with abandon.
In life, may you proceed with balance and stealth.
— Patti Smith
From these past several weeks of inspiring cards, we are now presented with a challenge. Not the most pleasant card in the deck, we see a young man rushing away from a military camp, carrying five swords, leaving two stuck in the ground behind him. He is smiling, and looks over his shoulder in a way that indicates he is acting in haste and stealth. He seems rather pleased with himself. Mid-stride, he does not look to see what lies before him.
Once again, we have another of Pixie Smith’s “stage” cards, in that there is a horizontal line going across the width of the card. This hints that whatever is playing out before us is some kind of act, or that there is more going on than we (the audience) may know.
In the far left background, the soldiers of the camp are encircled around a fire. Who are they? What are they planning and who are they fighting? Although the man in the foreground is clearly tiptoeing away with most of their weapons, we do not know who he is, or why he is stealing from them. Perhaps he is a deserter. Maybe he is a pacifist trying to prevent bloodshed.
Tarot author Robert Place notes, “He is a thief, but the interpretation of his action depends on the nature of his motivation and the motivation of the army. Like numerous characters in plays, he may be a trickster hero. This card may be of dishonesty or of heroism.”
In either case, he’s doing something he knows he shouldn’t be doing, and is attempting to get away with it.
In the global arena, I can’t help but think of the billions we are giving away to Wall Street and the banking industry. Yet they offer precious little transparency or explanation in return.
On a more personal basis, as Shakespeare pointed out, all the world’s a stage. I would suggest you pay close attention to the actors. Seek the real truth of the situations you are facing. Who, in the events that involve you at this time, has real integrity, and who is play-acting? What is being shown to you, and what is kept hidden?
Examine your own role. Given some conflicted situation this week, what are your motivations, and to what lengths will you go? Would you bend or break the rules, in order to suit your desires? Do the ends justify the means?
Lastly, do not hesitate to protect what is valuable to you. And when in doubt, be sure to ask, “Who goes there?” and “Why?”