By Sarah Taylor
An interesting shift from last week’s reading where we had The Hermit, Two of Cups and Knight of Disks. That reading was about emerging from a state of inner contemplation in order to encounter the other while resting in the knowledge of who you are. This week, we move deeper into the new territory to which it introduced us.
In today’s reading, two cards have ‘moved down’ a single gear, while one has shifted up. The Hermit, ninth card in the major arcana, has given way to Strength, the eighth; the Knight of Disks — Disks being the final suit — has given way to Swords, the penultimate suit; while the Two of Cups — Love — has moved into the Three of Cups — Abundance.
My first observation is that this is not a regression to a less-evolved state. It is torque. It is the transition into a lower gear in order to control an acceleration. This feels like it is tied into the influence of Mercury Retrograde, where we revisit old territory in new ways as a precursor to effecting change. Just how this works lies somewhat beyond my knowledge of astrology, but I do feel it is a very personal experience for each person approaching this reading.
Another observation: the Knight of Swords (the King in other decks) carries the lion of the Strength card in his beard. He is the lion, being, as he is, “the fiery aspect of air” described by Gerd Ziegler in Tarot: Mirror of the Soul. His back is to Strength: he has integrated the maiden and the beast, the gentle and the wild, what is nurturing and what holds the killer instinct so that both can find expression without disarming or destroying the other. Yet his outer appearance is more leonine: like all of the Knights, his mode is active. While his back is to Strength (and Strength has his back), his focus is directed to the card to his right. And what a combination!
The Knight and the Three are in mutual activation. The light emanating from the Knight’s eyes is met and reciprocated in the object of his undivided attention. His is the light of the divine directed through the intellect, and it finds its home in a very different place from one that he is perhaps used to: the watery landscape of deep feeling.
The waterfall in the Three of Cups is held by two glowing light sources. The composition is unambiguously feminine, the light representing the divine directed through the heart and expressed physically. Waterfall as the source of life: the cups — two of them mirroring the colours of the Knight — the ovaries and uterus. The penetrating gaze of the Knight. The foundation card (Strength) is the marriage of woman and animal. We are in the realm of procreation.
There is little more to be said about this reading because it wants to be expressed viscerally, and there comes a point where words hinder rather than help. There comes a point, too, in our relating, where words become a hindrance. What we can turn to, then, is that sense of connection that is both cerebral and passionate, thoughtful and beyond thought. Our thoughts can build a bridge to the unknown.
We have spent time devoted to tending the inner fires so that we can ignite in the light of another. This is a fine balance, but the reading indicates that a fine balance can be achieved when space is made for contrast and difference. One would not be what it is without the other.
A final word: if your experience of how this reading plays out in your life is a physical one, be aware that one of the feasible descriptors is “fertility” and all that entails. Knowledge is power.
Astrology correspondences: Strength (Leo), Knight of Swords (“the fiery aspect of air” — Gerd Ziegler, Tarot: Mirror of the Soul), Three of Cups (Mercury in Cancer)
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