Humanity is now standing at a crossroads. We must now decide which path we want to take. How do we want the future living conditions for all living species to be like?
For this week of high magick, when all the world prepares to cross the year’s most powerful seasonal thresholds – Samhain in the southern hemisphere, and Beltane above the equator – the Tarot guide who meets us at the crossroads is none other than the Page of Pentacles.
The Pages in the Tarot, depicted in some decks as Princesses or even Daughters, are often messengers, or catalysts for change. They may indicate an actual child (male or female), our own “inner child,” or simply a “beginner’s mind” perspective.
But across the board, they are open to possibilities and taking risks.
Of course, the Pentacles suit is very steady and grounded, so risk-taking in the Pentacles is more like a well-planned beginning than impulse. That’s because Pentacles are ruled by the element of Earth. That makes them the suit of the Tarot that establishes our relationship to the material world around us. It focuses on money, work, and home, including both domicile and the well-being of our bodies.
In the Waite-Smith deck, we see a grove of trees in the background, a newly plowed field, and the Page standing in a meadow of flowers. In the distance, lofty mountain peaks beckon.
For the time being, the Page is focused only on his Pentacle coin, which is almost floating in his hands. Is the coin simply the same color as the sky, or is it instead transparent?
The field behind him awaits the seed of bright beginnings. It is a perfect scene for those of us in the northern hemisphere, where in the midst of our Springtime, the Summer crops are now being planted.
This Page is in transition, as are we all. This is a period of anticipating what is yet to come.
Retrogrades and Changes
Speaking of passages, as you may know, last Saturday the 25th kicked off what will be a momentous season of retrogrades.
Beloved astrologer Ralfee Finn observes:
If you’re counting on stay-at-home rules expiring mid-May, you might want to reconsider your options because according to celestial portents, no one and nothing is going to shift into turbo-drive any time soon.
[The Pluto retrograde ] is the first in a series of shifting planetary patterns that unfold over the next three weeks, and while you may notice a slight change of tone, it’s a slow build that culminates mid-May.
Given the ongoing COVID-19 interruption of regular routines, it’s probably best to be aware that even more interference is on the way. These are not necessarily the positive patterns we’ve been waiting for—they are all retrogrades.
Pluto [began] its retrograde phase on April 25; Saturn starts its retrograde on May 10; Venus Retrograde begins May 12; and Jupiter goes retrograde on May 14. The best way to cope with this season of retrogrades is to use this week and next to get as much done as possible.
Once the retrogrades set in, daily life might resemble the invasion of the molasses monsters, so prioritize your time and energy around your most important goals and then apply as much patience as possible to every situation.
How fortunate to have the gentle, earthy Page guiding us as these important planets begin to slow down. He does not rush, yet methodically tends to all the practical matters that can enable us to move ahead, while we still can.
In addition, on Monday, Mercury changes signs from electric and volatile Aries, moving into more mellow, earthy Taurus. Café Astrology’s Annie Heese writes:
When Mercury is in Taurus, our thinking is down to earth, solid, and grounded. Common sense reigns over more fanciful thinking. We communicate more deliberately under this influence, and our minds are oriented to the world of the five senses.
We prefer the tried and true rather than new ways of thinking. Attention to one thing at a time can simplify our lives, but we may be in danger of narrow, overly conservative, or rigid thinking.
This certainly appears to provide hopeful, fertile ground for the Page of Pentacles to communicate his or her messages with clarity and sensibility.
Earth in the Time of Pandemic
As you know, humanity is struggling with mixed success to grapple with the profound changes raining down upon us. While the staggering death count continues to climb every day, the squabbling between those who care about wealth and those who care about lives becomes increasingly shrill.
Still, few can have missed the other emerging story – that as human activity has been suddenly curtailed, the natural environment has changed significantly.
However, the head of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), Inger Andersen, has cautioned against viewing this as a boon for the environment.
As we inch from a “war-time” response to “building back better,” we need to take on board the environmental signals and what they mean for our future and wellbeing, because COVID-19 is by no means a “silver lining” for the environment.
Visible, positive impacts – whether through improved air quality or reduced greenhouse gas emissions – are but temporary, because they come on the back of tragic economic slowdown and human distress.
Any positive environmental impact in the wake of this abhorrent pandemic, must therefore be in our changing our production and consumption habits towards cleaner and greener. Because only long-term systemic shifts will change the trajectory of CO2 levels in the atmosphere.
So, in the aftermath of the crisis, when economic stimulus packages composed of infrastructure are designed, there is a real opportunity to meet that demand with green packages of renewable energy investments, smart buildings, green and public transport, etc.
Thus, the Page suggests a fresh approach to our understanding of ourselves as participants and co-creators with the Earth Herself.
We can be armed with the knowledge that profound change is possible, and if we are wise, we can re-start our world, not in a model of back to business-as-usual, since that was likely the genesis of the pandemic in the first place. But instead, we can examine how to invest our time and treasure towards, as Ms. Andersen says, “a profound, systemic shift to a more sustainable economy that works for both people and the planet.”
The Herald at the Gates
This week, the Page of Pentacles heralds the mighty cross-quarter Sabbats of Beltane and Samhain, when the gates of life and death swing wide open.
In Springtime, we dance to Beltane’s throbbing ecstasy, knowing well that love, death, joy, sorrow, and the wild, sweet intoxication of Life are the intertwined strands that wrap the Maypole. In Autumn below the equator, our friends now observe Samhain, and honor their beloved dead.
For all of us, this year’s observances will be certainly be quite different.
But the Page represents the renewal and hope that is Nature’s gift to us. He holds the treasure of potential in his hands and offers a fresh perspective.
The Page guides us to consider with great care how we handle our wealth: our money, our homes, our health, and our jobs.
Although unemployment has hit record numbers not seen since the days of the Great Depression, he encourages us to think in creative ways about our wealth and well-being. He may even suggest new, innovative ways to make a fruitful, sustainable living.
What do you really need to be physically secure? Many of us are discovering the unexpected satisfaction of streamlining our lives — shopping with wisdom and restraint; making do with what is available; adopting better health practices; and best of all, eliminating wastefulness.
We are advised to ask whether we are living in harmony with the good of our human family, as well as our Grandmother Gaia and all Her children.
Understanding the interconnectedness between our living planet and the health, wealth, and well-being of each individual is of deep concern for this Page. He prepares to step forward, the Pentacle in his hands held with grace and respect.
May our Page’s youthful sense of responsibility and stewardship be an inspiration for all of us. May we each approach this climactic crossroads knowing our true treasure is in our own hands.