By Sarah Taylor
This is the third week running that the Queen of Disks (Pentacles) has been present in the reading, and I feel that the change in position — from third card last week to first here — heralds a change in circumstances that her energy is helping to usher through.
The first card that I picked for the reading is the one at centre: the Ten of Wands. It feels like the mood of the current situation — the inner or outer circumstances in which you might find yourself.
There is a sense of similarity with the Eight of Swords, which has also come up recently, but the feeling and emphasis here are different, and so is the way out. Whereas the Eight of Swords describes imprisoning thoughts or beliefs, where, as captor and captive, you are also liberator, the Ten of Wands suggests a more energetic ‘pushing in from all sides’. Wands precede thought; this is a confinement of Eros, creativity. It may be by choice or circumstance — either way, the experience is one that involves a certain amount of solitariness, or isolation.
In the Ten of Wands, a naked figure stands, head lowered, his back to us, in a stone chamber. He is almost transparent. I understand this to be what happens when Eros is wholly directed inwards, without any means of channelling or expressing it beyond the physical body. It is also suggestive of the feeling of something ‘coming at you’ — in other words, the circumstances of oppression may feel as if they are beyond your control.
Or perhaps, perhaps … that energetic building of pressure is also what it is that offers the release. And the key is in your hands — again in the form of the Queen of Disks.
You see, the figure in the Ten of Wands is in a stone chamber, but even though the substance is natural, it is cut off from any rooting in the natural world: it floats in a purple ether; the wands themselves look like glass rods, another case of something natural but in a form that is separated from its original material.
The Queen is nature embodied. Two of the words on her card are “fruitfulness” and “nourishment” — both of which are decidedly absent from the Ten, which instead is an environment of white-hot constriction. If anything can ground the glassy lightning bolts of the wands, she can. The suggestion here is to remember you have a body, and to step into it more fully. From there, you are no longer a shell in a shell of a room: you are a connected and vital human being.
The stone room is no longer a shell either; it becomes functional, a place of warmth and sustenance. The reason I write this is because of the image I have of its being a fireplace. Once the figure has stepped out and re-entered a connectedness to his world, then what was confinement becomes containment — a wholly useful vessel for the warmth of the hearth.
When what is being endured is released, then there is also release into life, an expansion and a means to shift your circumstances — perhaps even your location — which provides a passage through into the next experience. The Two of Swords is titled “Peace”, and it is a form of peace that enables movement from one state to another. It is a temporary respite, but it is enough to make permanent change.
And the Queen’s strength and resolve — her groundedness — are very much present in the card. She has been with you all this time, and she continues to be something that you can draw upon as you release yourself into an environment that is more supportive of life — your life, as well as the life around you.
Astrology/Elemental correspondences: Queen of Disks (the watery aspect of earth), Ten of Wands (Saturn in Sagittarius), Two of Swords (Moon in Libra)
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