A meditation for the week ahead: April 11 – April 17
May I understand that change can be difficult, but that it is inevitable.
May I recognize that sometimes the hardest thing about work is patience.
May I appreciate the fruits of my labor and milestones along the way.
May I step up to the challenges ahead of me with a positive attitude and an appreciation for the opportunities they bring.
May I both keep in mind my family of choice and my own needs and desires as I move through these changing times.
Wow! These cards seem particularly personal to my life right now. It is a time of incredible change. Death and two Tens speak to the end of an era and the birthing of a brand new beginning. Beautiful 🙂
I’m learning this card is much more nuanced and complex than I first thought (that’s starting to happen a lot lately as I get a better grasp of tarot). While Huszka’s depiction does not show the merchant and beggar of the RWS Six of Pentacles, the merchant and beggar symbols are both important in this position for me. I have given up on being so rigid I will not ask for help. Like the beggars, I am not too proud to ask for what I need. However, as a shadow, I do at times feel like I’m begging. I’m in the midst of the mystery of this death of pride where I’m not yet comfortable in a position of expressing need.
Huszka’s depiction seems very optimistic, perhaps pointing to the good that will come as I complete this passage in my life.
Position Two: What killed it?
Ten of Wands
I couldn’t carry my load alone anymore! I like the symbolism in the RSW depiction, but I really like Huszka’s vision of this card. I’ve pushed so many rocks on my path that I became trapped. They all piled up and I couldn’t move forward. I became completely overwhelmed, and now I’m having to say, “Yes, I do need help. Will you please help me out of this situation?”
Position Three: What needs to die?
King of Cups
While I am able to ask for help, I still keep a pretty good poker face about it all. Rachel Pollack in The New Tarot Handbook says, “The King of Cups may indicate someone with deep levels of feeling who does not show this side to others lest it rise up and flood him” (233). While it’s good to have boundaries, a perpetual refusal to allow people to see my emotions is not a good way for building deep loving and trusting relationships. This fear of vulnerability needs to die.
Position Four: What will release it?
Five of Cups
The traditional RWS depiction is a figure cloaked in black looking at three spilled cups while two upright cups stand behind them. This speaks to grief and loss as well as the hope that remains. I also like Huszka’s interpretation: without sufficient rest or love or trust, our fears can grow and overtake us, making it difficult to see the good. Using both of these depictions, I can say that release from my fear of vulnerability will come from turning around and picking up the two upright cups in the RWS version and in surrendering to the rejuvenating love that is being offered. Both require an act of will. I have to make that choice.
Position Five: What is buried?
Two of Wands
This is a tough card for me to interpret in this position. The Two of Wands can speak to a motivation for change, but an uncertainty about staying put (security) or moving forward (adventure). I have the spark, but what is buried is the confidence to throw myself into the adventure. I peek my head out the door, but I haven’t made a run for it yet. But as Huszka’s depiction of this card shows, stagnation can lead to rot.
Position Six: What can be born?
The Hanged Man
A higher level of peace and acceptance with vulnerability. That word, vulnerability, is what I always think of when I see Huszka’s Hanged Man. And yet she does not look sad or distraught or afraid or uncomfortable. She returns my gaze without shame.
Death is a card of change and rebirth, despite its scary name. (Though I’d be just as scared of a card named “change.” I’m not good at transitions!) One thing must end (or “die”) for something new to begin.
Why isn’t the card just called “Rebirth” or something similar then? Because Death is the moment of transition we need to heed in this card. It can be scary and uncomfortable and we may not know what lies beyond, but it is an essential step for many transformations.
There are several ways we can respond to death: we can be defeated, we can face it without fear (through innocence or through a belief system), or we can be afraid. Or perhaps a combination of these things is more likely.
I really like the Efflorescent depiction of Death. I find it super scary! But there’s the reminder of rebirth in the sunrise. The sun comes up between two towers, which are also seen in the High Priestess and the Moon. Both the High Priestess and the Moon symbolize mystery. We have to pass through mystery to get to our rebirth in the Death card. I suppose the sunrise could also be seen as a sunset, but even so the sun “dies” each night and is “reborn” every morning.
Huska explains much of the symbolism in her depiction of Death here. I like how the woman shows the suffering of a person in the face of death, and how the cat and orange face actually make a boat, signaling a transition to a new place.
I think the Animism Tarot depiction of Death is really beautiful. A raven brings a white rose to a group of three bird skulls, and the sun rises in the background. Joanna ends her description of this card with, “Be ready for the light” and includes these keywords: self-awareness, adaption, wisdom, truth, loss, passage. Not as scary when seen this way. The Animal Wisdom Tarot offers the keyword “metamorphosis.”
As number thirteen, one and three point us to The Magician and the Empress, both cards of creation.
Death can also say, “Let it go.” Let go to something that needs to go, but that we’ve been hanging onto nonetheless. Death can be a door closing which will not reopen behind us. We have to move forward.
A shadow of Death could be letting go of things too early or refusing to create attachments to begin with, for fear of loss. An opposite or reverse of Death could be refusing to let go of something when it is time or, on a more positive note, of not letting a good thing die.
If I were to assign an element to Death, it would be water since it is so deeply felt emotionally. I might add a dash of fire as a spark for the beginning precipitated by Death.
Change is not something I am very comfortable with, though I am working on that with some degree of success. I quit my job back in July to go back to school. I’ve discovered that school is not for me at this time in my life, so I will be leaving that behind to create a new me at home. I feel good about these transformations.
I have been mourning the loss / absence of my childhood for some time now. The grief comes and goes. Most days I am good at living in the sunrise, but some days I am overtaken by the sadness I feel at being robbed of a fundamentally valuable part of my life. A part of my life that would have given me a much more stable adulthood. That was a loss I had no control over, though I control now how I respond to that loss.
One of the ways I have responded to this loss is by cutting contact with some people from my family of origin. It was a long road to that decision, and I held on much longer than was healthy. But oh how beautiful the sunrise is! It’s been over two years since that decision, and they’ve been the happiest years of my life. That doesn’t mean there haven’t been ups and downs and hardships, but my life is so much more full of light. That was a loss that needed to happen for me to live. And I’m proud of myself for being strong enough to finally take care of myself.