He who lives by fighting with an enemy has an interest in the preservation of the enemy’s life.
~ Friedrich Nietzsche
Here is a card we have only had once in the many years I have been publishing my Card of the Week. Its only other visit was in February, 2008, and so it is with somewhat mixed feelings we welcome back the Nine of Wands.
In the Tarot, the Nines traditionally are the culmination of the suit and show how the stories inherent in the suit may be resolved.
In the Wands, the suit of Fire, action, and power, we can see that this figure has fought his way through difficulty, and bears the scars of his struggle. He is bruised, but not defeated.
Yet his defensive posture and his wary expression as he looks over his shoulder speak of his expectation that the fight may only have paused, and not yet be over. His bandaged head hints to us that his wounds may be as emotional as they are physical.
For although his Wand allies are lined up behind him, and he has won the day, his expression is that of someone who fully expects more battles yet to come.
Besides, if he is no longer engaged in the dynamic struggles and changes of the Wands, who is he?
As we can see, this is yet another example of Pamela Colman Smith, the R-W-S deck artist, placing the main figure of the card on what appears to be a theater stage. Behind him, the Wands even resemble a curtain. Is it possible that this is a drama enacted for our benefit, rather than a literal truth?
No Rest for the Weary
Sometimes, when we have had to struggle and even suffer for the things we desire, we find it difficult to give up the conflict, even after our goals are achieved. Because of past experiences with loss and conflict, we continue to expect “the other shoe to drop.”
There is no peace here, no disarmament, and no victory that brings satisfaction.
This is how civilizations perpetrate the idea that we must always be in a constant state of warfare. This is how those in power make our identity dependent on having an enemy to fight. How can we be the good guys if there are no bad guys lurking, waiting to strike?
Just as soon as one war begins to subside, another magically comes along to supersede it. Coincidence?
This week, I would suggest you consider carefully how you compete in the worlds in which you travel. How do you accept your victories, if you do at all? Who is the enemy?
When will you know if your own private wars are over, or even how to end them? (In my WINGS newsletter, which will be flying into my subscribers’ mailboxes today, there is a powerful observation about our inner wars during the current astrological weather. Don’t miss it!).
What drama is being enacted to influence you? Is it true that you must always be vigilant and never lower your guard? What does this attitude of defensiveness and fear cost you?
Beware of burnout and our culture’s veneration of drama and combat.
What alternative ending to the suit of Fire, change, magic, and passion would you prefer to create instead?