I drew the cards for today's post on Monday night. I had no particular question in mind, just wanted to know what the future had in store. If you find these readings seem to be about you, they probably are, or maybe you see something of yourself and your situation in them. After all, we are all connected. A leaf to one person is a road map of the future to another. It's all in how you look at things.
The Knight of Swords, like all of the knights, embody the element of fire as well as their own element, in this case the element of air associated with swords. In a sense, the Knight of Swords is all about hot air, or you could say that air increases the intensity of the fire, as oxygen is needed to keep a fire burning.
The knight's steed is ready for action and so it seems is the knight with his sword upraised and shining in the sun, but look closer. He holds the steed in check, eyes front, focused on what's ahead with no thought of what is behind him. An owl flies above, the symbol of Athena/Minerva, her familiar, a symbol of wisdom. The Knight of Swords, as all of the knights, is ruled by intellect, more so because the swords symbolize the element of air that governs inspiration and intellect. The knight is focused, committed to the future. He does not look behind. He knows what lies ahead and exactly how he will deal with it. He is single-minded in pursuit, certain of his goal, but he misses what is going on around him, ignoring and being insensitive to those who could and would help him if he doesn't stop in his relentless drive in pursuit of his quarry/goal. He is in danger of moving ahead without thinking of the consequences.
Associated with the astrological sign of Gemini, the Knight of Swords can be equally as foolhardy as he can be wise and courageous, depending on which way the wind blows and which side of the bed he gets out on.
The Seven of Pentacles shows a woman with a basket assessing the harvest. A squirrel in the tree is about to make off with one of the pentacles and sheep graze placidly nearby. The woman has worked hard to help this tree bear fruit, but, instead of climbing the ladder to harvest the fruit, she's already contemplating what she will do with her harvest. Will she bake them into a pie? Preserve them for the future? Call all her friends for a feast? How much money would she gain by selling the fruit so she can plant more trees, grow more fruit and plant an orchard that will necessitate hiring workers to nurture and harvest the fruit so she can buy a bigger house, fancy clothes and spend her twilight years in luxury? She is counting her pentacles before they are harvested and that usually ends up being less successful than the dreams conjured at the sight of a job not yet done.
It took a lot of hard work to sow the seeds, watch over the tree, nurture and protect it from nature's wrath and changeable weather and to bring it to this point, but the job's not done until the fruit is harvested and the best use of its produce is made. It's not enough to do half the work when there is still so much left to do. The job isn't over until the last fruit is picked and the tree made ready for the long sleep of winter. There is no time to daydream and wonder what if? when there is work still to be done.
In older decks, The Lovers were drawn as Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and symbolized choices. In the Gilded Tarot deck, the couple are clothed, more or less, not standing apart, together, grounded in the earth and surrounded by the waters of change. The warrior lifts his paramour up, but she isn't looking at him; she looks upward towards the heavens, jubilant and safe in the warriors arms. Although it would seem from the name of the card and the symbolism that this card is about romance and love, it's really about partnership and communication and the choices we make.
In the background, dolphins leap playfully around the couple. Dolphins are creatures of the water and the air, so it's no surprise that The Lovers has a connection to Gemini. Gemini is a continuing theme in today's cards, Gemini of the dual nature and double meaning. Dolphins are also very intelligent creatures and in Celtic mythology the dolphin is a symbol of good luck, as it is in many traditions. Sailors saw dolphins playing off the bow of their ship as a good omen of clear sailing and calm waters and if a sailor went overboard, a dolphin would rescue and guide him to safety. The ancient Celts viewed the dolphin as a embodiment of prosperity and guidance, a sign that trouble and strife and the old life had passed away and a new life was dawning. The Chinese believed the dolphin to be tangible proof of the forces of yin and yang, the symbol of harmony, the dream and the world of reality.
The very nature of the bond between warrior and maiden is one of joy and excitement. The Lovers are connected but still able to reach for the sky, grounded firmly and surrounded by water so if they fall they won't get hurt. The warrior is focused on the maiden, supporting her, holding her hand, but not holding her back. He knows she will always come back to him because he is her stable support, her solid foundation, her reliable rock. They are connected and completely in tune with each other. As in older decks, they have made a choice to move forward and not to stagnate. They choose to push away from the safety of the shore to explore what the world has to offer, to reach for more, certain that no matter what happens they can face it together and, if they are separated, they will be guided toward safety.
When taken altogether, the theme is one of choices. There is work to be done, a job to find, a world to conquer, but it's not advisable to focus on one single goal, one aspect of the future. There are other things to consider. Among the choices offered, don't take the first one or the one that will provide immediate reward, but consider the options. Go for the bliss. What at first seems like a good idea may turn out just to be the safe choice, the expedient option. It's not always about the money or clinging to the same old patterns. Sometimes it is better to reach out and find what will provide the most happiness and joy in the task and the end result. What may not pay well at first could well end up nourishing not only the body, but the mind and soul. Consider all the options before making a choice, but don't waste the time dreaming without moving forward. Don't hold the reins too tightly or forget to look around. Keep the mind open, the spirit willing and don't forget that in order to get to the harvest the ladder must be climbed.
Letting one choice overshadow everything else will blind you to the other options. To quote Barbara Moore, "...a career decision with only an intellectual [or financial] appeal or a home opportunity with decadent amenities may not be the best choice in the long run."