Of all the things trauma takes away from us, the worst is our willingness, or even our ability, to be vulnerable. There’s a reclaiming that has to happen.
Brené Brown, Rising Strong
As you may recall, this card came visiting several weeks ago, hot on the heels of the Stoneman Douglas High School shootings. My post, which included a call for gun sanity, is posted here.
Because I am today in the whirling maelstrom of last minute preparations to go on my week-long journey to the New York Tarot Readers Studio, I am encoring most of what I wrote when this card turned up in December, which is a more traditional assessment.
However, I have taken the liberty of adding a few personal notes, since this card sang a very special song for me today. And I imagine that many of you, too, may resonate with this more intimate guidance.
Blessings, and see you next week (I’ll be mostly offline, so please be patient if you need to hear from me).
ps: I currently have several openings for readings in May, when I get back. I look forward to sharing my newly polished skills with you! 🙂
Have you, like me, tuned into the news each morning, wondering what fresh fiasco has hit the fan overnight? Our card of the week, the Nine of Wands, seems to reflect that exact kind of overwhelm.
In the Tarot, the Nines traditionally are the culmination of the suit and show how the stories inherent in the suit may be resolved. (The Tens are the overflow of the suit, often pointing to a new cycle’s start).
In the Wands, the suit of Fire, action, the life force, passion, 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.
This is the final result of unchecked Wands action: burnout, and the inability to relax.
And as we can see, this is yet another example of Pamela Colman Smith’s “stage cards.”
“Pixie” Smith, the R-W-S deck artist whose other talents revolved around London’s theater and literary scene, created about 13 cards in her deck featuring the main figure of the card in front of paired horizontal lines. This creates the subtle sense that we are seeing a story playing out on a theater stage.
Behind our wounded warrior, the Wands even resemble a curtain. Is it possible that this is a drama enacted for our benefit, rather than a literal truth?
Are these the Eight wands that were previously in flight, now aligned and grounded?
They are usually considered the arrows of success. So why is our figure in the Nine so unhappy?
No Rest for the Weary
Sometimes, when we have had to compete and even suffer for the things we desire, we find it difficult to give up the battle, even after our goals are achieved. Because of past experiences, we continue to expect “the other shoe to drop.”
There is no peace here, no disarmament, and no victory that brings satisfaction. We keep trying to solve the same problems over and over — even if they no longer exist.
And if they do not, then perhaps we decide on some level to re-invent them.
This is how civilizations perpetrate the idea that we must always be in a constant state of strife and 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?
What might we do instead with our ever-restless Fire, so that we do not contribute to cultures based on endless conflict? How can we, one by one, move our world forward by embracing a more creative outlet? This figure does not know.
Beltane is the most merry holiday in the Wheel of the Year, and it arrives next week on May 1 (this Sunday’s Full Moon is considered by many to be “Lunar Beltane.”)
Its sexy, joyful energies are already rampant in Nature. It’s a time when the Earthy magic of blossoming is everywhere (above the Equator), and we revel in our ancient rites that celebrate the continuity of life. This is when we give thanks and acknowledge that we are not the only sentient race on this planet.
Yet from our living rooms, hotel lobbies, airports and train stations, doctors’ offices, grocery stores, bars, and restaurants, the ongoing slog of venomous politics, scandals, lies, mass shootings, and even the shadow of nuclear holocaust presses in upon us more relentlessly than ever before.
Whether you are recovering from war, one of last year’s many natural disasters, a life-threatening illness, or just the constant detonation of ever more disheartening news stories, many of us are struggling to some degree with spiritual trauma — especially we who are empaths.
In my own recovery from my long, harrowing dance with death last year, I now find myself by turns eager to pretend it never happened, but also half-expecting another crisis at any moment.
More often than I would really care to admit, I find myself in the throes of what my cancer counselor has gently explained as being a form of PTSD. I can be hesitant to move forward and hypervigilant regarding the many new changes and discomforts in my body. Alas, I confess that I can be triggered unexpectedly and spend many moments looking over my shoulder, waiting for my tenuous survival to be pulled out from under me.
(This is common, he assures me, and it is slowly receding, thanks to his suggestions, the support of my loved ones, and my own commitment to healing).
The Nine of Wands acknowledges that many of us feel pretty beaten up. For many reasons.
So it urges us to take our time to step back, reduce the stress, and refresh our vitality and creativity.
This Week’s Taurus-Scorpio Full Moon Polarity
One way to begin to stabilize and recover is to remember we are not alone. Acknowledging our pain, and asking for help are vital if we are to find happier footing.
And this week’s Full Moon offers a benevolent time for this.
According to astrologer Jamie Partridge:
The Full Moon this Sunday April 29, 2018 at 9° Scorpio is a good omen for stability and success. The Full Moon April 2018 astrology focuses on the benefits of the planet Saturn which are preparedness, steadiness, determination and final success.
The April 2018 Full Moon also marks a turning point in the current eclipse cycle because it is 3 months since the January 31 lunar eclipse. The April 29 Full Moon is not only square the position of the January 2018 lunar eclipse, it is also square minor planet Ceres.
This means that working mothers and single parents face particular tests and challenges.
Sharing and delegating responsibility is essential to final success where Ceres is concerned.
Skywatch’s Lance Ferguson amplifies this message, noting:
The Full Moon this month is also a positive event. It will be in earthy Capricorn and makes a complementary sextile to ruler Saturn on the 29th.
Again, this combination is extra powerful and brings us a very good time to make a final decision (popping the question) and/or to ending a chapter in your life that is unhealthy or negative.
This week, blessed by Venus-ruled Taurus’ need for harmony combined with the guidance of deep Scorpionic intuitive messages and feelings, what endings would you welcome? What important recovery is at hand?
Softening Into Your Strength
The constant undercurrent of fear brings paralysis and burnout. We can become brittle when we feel we are constantly under siege. Is it true that you must always be on guard?
Real power is more pliable. Resilience is the ability to allow vulnerability. This is the only way to move again, and rise up after a fall.
When will you know if your own private wars are over, or even how to end them? What intermission might do you a world of good? What needs to happen, so that you can rest more easily and recharge your batteries?
For instance, what if you took a media break? This week, as I travel, I will drape a beautiful cloth over the giant hotel room TV, and with great relief, allow myself to turn off the news.
Are you bearing wounds that need time for healing? What alternative ending to this suit’s story of Fire, change, magic, and passion would you prefer to create? Now is the opportunity to do so.
With this card’s blessings, let’s you and I find ways to make a just and lasting peace, both within and without. Together, let us reclaim our tenderness and open-heartedness.
For, come what may, they will surely be our saving grace.