Saturday, May 19, 2012

As Above, So Below, Part 2

Continuing the study of the correspondences between the Major and Minor Arcana, we come to the Sixes. The theme of crisis and resolution continues throughout the cards, and here we find that the corresponding Major Arcana card is the Lovers. We have come beyond the challenge and difficulties of the Fives, and perhaps sought counsel and help, but the end result is that we've gained wisdom and insight, both into ourselves and the world around us. The message here is that there's a give-and-take in any relationship, and we see in this that again, what we send out comes back to us. Perhaps this is best summed up by the Six of Wands- there's a common theme of transition and change in the Sixes- again, the balance isn't permanent, as we continue to develop and grow. From this balance indicated by the Sixes, and the Lovers, we find movement again towards an end.
The Six of Wands indicates victory, and recieving the accolades of victory- however, something here also is required of us- instead of simply sitting on our laurels (kind of difficult, seeing as they're on the figure's head and on one of the Wands) we need to establish and understand this new development, and put it to work- again,  from a foundation, new developments can occur.
And in the Sevens, we see that there is indeed a next challenge. The Sevens fall under the Chariot, which expresses two things- first, conflict- the Chariot is usually pictured as drawn by two animals of opposite colors. This expresses the fact that were it not for their being hooked to the Chariot, they would probably just head off in opposite directions. The second part of this message is in the driver, charioteer, guy with his hands on the reins, whatever the term may be. What keeps these two opposites from running off is the charioteer- and it's his willpower and guidance that keeps the Chariot moving in one direction, instead of the two animals simply running all over, perhaps causing the Chariot to harm the driver, or others. Although the Chariot represents even perhaps an unnatural union, it's the will and purpose of the driver that keeps the whole vehicle together and moving in a single direction. The Sevens in the Minor Arcana deal likewise with conflict, and things seeming to tend towards chaos- yet with this, a clear purpose and strong will can counteract those entropic tendencies and move the affair towards a successful resolution. In the Seven of Pentacles, we see a message of patience, as well.
The image here is of a gardener, watching the garden grow. The Pentacles are there perhaps just for clarity, and indicate a time of patience, waiting for things to develop. Part of the conflict here is wanting to rush forwards, to hurry things along- but it's best to let them unfold in their own time, as rushing or hurrying will only bring trouble in the long run. However, we also see along with patience, that this gardener is watching his plants- maybe this seems like overkill, watching the plants every minute, but the principle remains the same- here we have a guard against trouble or things going awry. The will of the gardener is that the plants grow, and be free of weeds or trouble, so he monitors and prunes them, keeping out the weeds and making sure they unfold and develop according to the plan he has in mind.
The Eights again represent balance restored- here the Major Arcana card (again, relying on the Rider-Waite system of numbering) is Strength. Things are moving along, flowing and developing, and the Strength card tells of a strength coming from working with, not fighting against and trying to overcome. Whereas the Chariot represents sheer force of will, the Strength card tells of a more gentle, sometimes even yielding strength. There's an old Taoist saying about how the water flows around and over the rock, and does not oppose it, and in so doing, overcomes and eventually wears away the rock.
In this way, the Eights in the Minor Arcana represent a powerful force, but a purpose-driven one that we ourselves have set in motion- this force has gained momentum, and though it moves towards a definite end, changing or trying to oppose that end can mean trouble. In the Eight of Wands we see this message- a unity of purpose and motion, things moving swiftly towards a conclusion and towards a definite end.

Keep in mind also that this purpose is what we ourselves have set in motion, and what our purpose is, and will ultimately lead down that very same road we've chosen.
The Nines fall under the Hermit, and carry a message of fulfillment- things have almost come to an end, and like the Hermit, the time has come for a look back, and perhaps a rest. The road has been a long and challenging one, as we've moved along, facing challenge after challenge, growing and learning from those challenges. Now, looking back over all we've done, this too can be a good opportunity to take stock of the situation, and look at everything that's happened. Are there some lessons, or some underlying theme running through these lessons and events? Is there some greater message and some greater purpose hinted at throughout the path we've been on? Sometimes, the Hermit tells us, it's good to have a time of quiet introspection to examine everything that's gone on, and everything that's happened over the course of life.
Interestingly, in the Nine of Swords we also see this message- a time to step back, calm one's mind, and take an open and honest look at the situation.
Here we see a person either unable to sleep, or unable to get back to sleep, from the bad dreams she was having. Either way, the message is the same- don't dwell or obsess on those things you really have no control over. However, do consider the whole long road that's already been, and consider the positives and negatives. Where are you going, and how successful have you been in getting there?
Finally, the Tens in the Minor Arcana indicate completion- both a beginning and an end. You've come to the end of this particular journey, and are ready to start out on a new one- alternately, you've come to the end of a journey, and still need to learn a few more lessons; you're not quite ready to move forwards and upwards. Either way, the Tens indicate a time of beginning anew, or going back over what needs your attention. The Tens fall under the Wheel of Fortune, also a message of completeness- the Wheel tells us that what goes around comes around- what we invest our time, resources and energy in will ultimately come back to us- again, for better or worse. What we put on one point of the Wheel will eventually swing back around to us. I figured it would be good to end on a positive note (remember, that what we send out comes back to us- sometimes that's not a good thing, either by our intentions, or simple oversight and errors. But keep in mind, mistakes are to learn from as well!) so let's conclude by examining the Ten of Cups.
Here we have a message of happiness worked for and built- these people have worked hard to build a home and foundation for their kids and each other, and now there's nothing left to do but sit back and enjoy the benefits of that hard work. Yet even at this point, the message remains the same, that from a new balance, a new movement forwards occurs. Here we again have the establishment of a firm foundation and balance, and this too leads us to new developments and growth. Like the Wheel, we've come full circle, and this new foundation can take the place of the Ace-a new potential that we can use towards whatever ends we decide on. And throughout life, this cycle of movement from potential actuality, from challenge to balance, continues throughout.

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