By Sarah Taylor
“I am young, yes, but what I have learned is that love, the beauty of it, the joy of it and yes, even the pain of it, is the most incredible gift to give and to receive as a human being. And we deserve to experience love fully, equally, without shame and without compromise.” ~ Ellen Page
This week, we have a progression from the reading last Sunday: the shift from the Eight to the Nine of Swords, and the presence of a new Page — the Page of Cups.
Fear and self-loathing in the bedroom. That phrase — with apologies to Hunter S Thompson — is what came to me when I saw the Nine of Swords in the context of this reading.
The Eight of Swords — the self-delusion that we create with our thoughts — has crystallised into the potential of the Nine of Swords. This is the card that shows us what happens when our fears isolate us to the point where we find ourselves alone and in the dark. The figure sits up in bed; the palpable emotion is one of despair. Despair cuts us off from the life-giving vitality of our connectedness to each other, but most of all to our source of life. In this case, The Sun.
The figure faces away from the Sun, hands over eyes, in a dark chamber of anguish. The implied meaning of the Nine of Swords is the self-wounding of our own beliefs. Here, about life and love.
However, with every card there lies within it the possibility of change. What makes itself shown here are the presence of love and a sense of belonging — to a cosmos that drapes itself around us, as on the blanket that covers the subject. There are roses. Love, in its purest expression. Physical, embodied. There are astrological glyphs. The ordering principle of life. Love is interwoven into a system that can accompany us even through our darkest moments, and which reminds us that we can choose, once again, to uncover our eyes and see what is in our presence.
And so to The Sun. In the Rider-Waite Smith deck, The Sun does not exclude the darkness, nor does it exclude the notion of separation. The child, who seems to draw my attention more than the Sun itself, rides a dark horse. And yet, in spite of the presence of this greyed out creature, who seems to be of the underworld, and in spite of the wall that stands in front of the sunflowers in the background, the child’s body language is open, joyous, inviting. Nothing is counted out. Everything is welcomed in with the wave of a red flag of lifeblood. All sit under the rays of an astral body that shines against the backdrop of a blue sky. The Sun simply is. The child’s opening is present — to both the darkness and the light.
The Sun throws its brilliance into the shadows so that what is there is revealed. And it doesn’t have to be anything other than it is. And everything in the shadow can been seen from another perspective: from the Sun’s perspective, which sees no shadow on the wall or on the back of the horse. The child knows this, and celebrates. All it takes is that shift.
What helps us into the 180-degree change of perspective? What helps us to see things as the Sun and not, perhaps, as the figure in the Nine of Swords? What moves things from the shadows and into the full spectrum of colour? The Page of Cups — another expression of the inner child.
The Page of Cups sees the magic and wonder in love. His world is the world of miracles. His body is open, leaning towards the cup that he holds, and seems engaged and utterly accepting of the impossible: the emergence from that cup of a fish. “Well, hello!” he seems to say, hand on hip, his jaunty cap a seaweed swathe of blue cloth that curls around his head and onto his shoulder.
“Well, hello, love!” His receptivity allows the miracle to happen, as the babe on the horse is the miracle of illumination itself. From the darkness and loneliness of the Nine of Swords we have the ability to look down, remember who we are, and do our own 180-degree turn towards the Sun and the fearlessness of youthful curiosity. No longer fire (the Page of Wands in the last reading), we have moved into emotion, and what rises from the depths is both surprising and seems to want to move towards us, too.
There may be fear; there is also a place in the Sun that is fear-less. There is a place of illuminated and radiating joy. Why not hold that Cup and expect a miracle?
Astrology/Elemental correspondences: Page of Cups (the earthy aspect of water), The Sun (Sun), Nine of Swords (Mars in Gemini)
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