The Weekend Tarot Reading — Sunday, November 3, 2013

By Sarah Taylor

There are both grace and swift, profound change indicated in this week’s reading, mediated by a young man on a horse proffering a pentacle. Who is he? Why is he here? How does he fit into the scheme of things?

The Star, Knight of Pentacles, The Tower -- RWS Tarot deck.
The Star, Knight of Pentacles, The Tower from the Rider-Waite Smith Tarot deck, created by A E Waite and illustrated by Pamela Colman Smith. Click on the image for a larger version.

My first response is that, as a court card, he doesn’t necessarily represent a particular person (although that is possible), but rather an aspect of personality. It is this aspect that links two cards that might otherwise seem poles apart. They aren’t; this reading makes that clear.

The card on the left is The Star, associated with the sign of Aquarius, the water-bearer. The Star is an interesting card in that it is transpersonal: an archetype that lies outside the purely human realm. If you look closely at Pamela Colman Smith’s illustration on this card, you will see something similar to the Ace of Cups: the idea that the streams flowing from the vessels are self-replenishing. The figure in The Star isn’t refilling the urns from the pond; it is the pond that is being refilled by the urns.

This defies earthly laws, and rightly so, because The Star transcends earthly laws, much like the Ace of Cups. The urns are replenished through the flow of something more than water. The flow is the flow of cosmic energy that we encounter and can align with when we have been opened up to it.

How do we get to that state of openness? By removing the obstacles that stand in the way of flow — and that is achieved in the card that precedes The Star: The Tower, which here is working in counterpoint to it.

There is a strong sense of synergy between the two outer cards — a sense of such close reciprocity that it’s deliberately unclear which came first: The Tower (card 16) precedes The Star (card 17) chronologically in the major arcana; The Star precedes The Tower in order of appearance in this reading. That to me says one thing: simultaneity.

And there are parallels that may not necessarily reveal themselves immediately: the two blue streams of water flowing out of the urns are mirrored in the two blue-clad figures falling from the tower; the female figure in The Star, surrounded by blue sky and verdant countryside, is foil to the tower and the black surroundings, respectively; the angular lines of the central star are reminiscent of the angular lines of the yellow lightning bolt that travels from the sky and strikes the couple and the building to the ground. Heck, I even see the ibis in The Star paralleled in the flames licking out of the top of the tower.

Why? Why all of the opposing similarities? Are they both more connected than we think? Do we forget The Star and what it brings to us when our plans are seemingly crumbling around us? Are we forgetting the grace in the destruction of what holds us prisoner, separated from what nourishes us?

Are they two sides of the same coin? The coin that is held by the Knight of Pentacles, perhaps? He is the intermediary between one experience and the other. What he holds is a gift; what he offers is a gift; both cards flanking him are gifts, even if one seems at first disguised — cloaked in the darkness.

The Tower comes into play when something has to be cleared to make way for something new, and in more integrity and alignment with who you are. It isn’t optional, and it doesn’t happen on your terms. The hand you have had in it was in the creation of what no longer serves, and now it must fall. The Tower speaks of institutions that have had their time; ways of relating, or relationship, that have held both parties captive; isolation bursting out of the darkness and into the light of connection. Ivory towers may be beautiful and safe, but they keep us from others, after all. In a flash of divine intervention, the edifices we built that have become our prisons are razed to the ground.

As messenger, the Knight of Pentacles heralds the new ground. In fact, given he is riding past a newly ploughed field, it seems to me that The Tower is already in effect; something in your life is already making way for something to grow. This has come about because you have aligned with flow — you have found a sense of integrity that has opened you to that grace that I referred to earlier.

Grace isn’t accidental, nor is it given without due cause. Grace is what is bestowed on us when we let go and surrender into the fertile soils of what is waiting for us. The Knight is a crusading, but reliable and hardworking, aspect of our experience — whether inner or outer — that already bears shoots but which is now asking to be committed to ground in order that it may grow.

Keep this in mind when you feel you are falling. Maybe, if you can let go enough to feel into the flow, you will find that you are not falling into an abyss: you are falling out of the darkness and into the light of a greater understanding. In it, you can be more of yourself, and that is the best environment in which to thrive.

Astrology/Elemental correspondences: The Star (Aquarius), Knight of Pentacles (the airy aspect of earth), The Tower (Mars)

If you want to experiment with tarot cards and don’t have any, we provide a free tarot spread generator using the Celtic Wings spread, which is based on the traditional Celtic Cross spread. This article explains how to use the spread.

11 thoughts on “The Weekend Tarot Reading — Sunday, November 3, 2013”

  1. Sarah, this is exemplary intuitive reading. It feels like a journey into the depths of the cards. They speak much more deeply in these layers and connections. Thanks once more for some priceless revelatory material!

  2. Thank you, everyone, for your wonderful comments!

    Charles — The path of the Flaming Sword in Qabalah is definitely one I see depicted in the lightning bolt hitting the tower. It is as if the power of that path is acting as a course corrector and striking down everything that doesn’t align with that sense of divine movement. The Flaming Sword will have its way, even if what conveys it needs to be torn down and built up again to restore it to integrity.

  3. keep hearing this

    “And all my instincts, they return
    And the grand facade, so soon will burn
    Without a noise, without my pride
    I reach out from the inside”

    from Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes”

  4. God, I really hate letting go, and that scares me when you bring on a reading like this, Sarah.

    Can I pick what to let go of? There is so much to choose from. So much I don’t need or want any more. So many areas where I am doing in the hard way. Can I let go of one of those? Would I????

    And I am smiling, tongue in cheek, because I know this is not mine to control, though I guess it is my power to choose.

  5. Wow! Sarah, you’ve outdone yourself. This is astounding. I especially love the note that “The hand you have had in it was in the creation of what no longer serves, and now it must fall.”

    Beautiful. 🙂

  6. “Keep this in mind when you feel you are falling. Maybe, if you can let go enough to feel into the flow, you will find that you are not falling into an abyss: you are falling out of the darkness and into the light of a greater understanding. In it, you can be more of yourself, and that is the best environment in which to thrive.”

    Sarah: This paragraph immediately brought tears to my eyes and a little glimpse of “light.” It really resonated with me and thank you for your great work!

  7. This is a most excellent draw of cards, Saray, and you have produced some excellent imagery and associations. This set of cards also encapsulates some of my thoughts about The Star and The Tower to a degree that surprised me.

    You described The Star’s urns as replenishing the pond (and pouring over the Earth) endlessly. I never considered that, I always thought the card was about the act of pouring, and the moment that the water flows. But then, I can be terribly literal about some of these symbols.

    But this does yield some interesting ideas when juxtaposing the Major cards here. I never considered The Star and The Tower against each other. They are like Fire and Water, but acting in similar ways. Both cards depict the moment of flow, energy descending from above, down to Earth. In The Star, the energy of the stars in the sky is the source of the energy represented in the flowing water. The essential quality of water is that it flows and fills a space, conforming to the shape of that space. The water over the ground is flowing, the water in the pond has reached its position of rest. We see water that is flowing and has not yet attained its essential quality, and water filling the shape of the pond, that has reached its ultimate quality.

    The Tower also depicts a flow, of electrical energy. The essential quality of electricity (the lightning) is that it is all potential energy, it flows while it is in a circuit connected to an earth ground, and ceases to flow when the circuit is broken or the potential energy is all released. Electrical energy is measured as a difference between an elevated state of energy (high potential) and a lower state (ground). Now in other card systems like BOTA, the flash of lightning is drawn in more explicit detail as a qabalistic symbol, it represents the lightning flash of energy down the Tree of Life, descending from the heavens down to Earth.

    I often describe The Tower as a warning of what happens if you resist the flow of energy. In electrical circuits, a resistor retards the flow of electrons and sheds waste heat. This image is the same, we have established a solid towering structure to resist the energy that comes down on us. But this energy cannot be resisted. The more you resist, the more waste heat is liberated, until everything bursts into fire and is consumed.

    This is an interesting comparison to The Star, where the energy literally “goes with the flow.” This set of cards depicts the two ways to engage with that transpersonal energy coming from above. We can resist, or go with the flow.

    But in order to do this, we must consider the destination for that energy, in the Earth. I think this is where our Knight comes in. I especially love how the rolling fields in the background of the Knight is almost like waves of water. It is not a static field of Earth, it shows its dynamic quality. The Knight represents that “ground state,” perhaps he is considering the spot where the energies will manifest in tangible form, depending on how they flow. But in either case, the ground state will be altered, either being covered with water, or energized with a charge of fiery electricity. Our choice of how to engage with those energies, is the only choice we have. We cannot divert the energies, we can either resonate with them and the heavenly powers will work through us, or we can resist and the energies will manifest in a way that makes our established position untenable.

  8. Sarah,

    I’m seeing Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva in that order – implying ‘everything happening at once’, or else a focus on all levels or states of being. A powerful spread indeed.

    – Brian

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