When the moving finger writes and the Wheel of Fortune turns, it always comes around again -- as does karma. What you reap is what you sow and what you are given is multiplied. Now it's time to share.
The man in the Ten of Swords looks dead -- or just beat and at the end of his strength. A timid deer moves closer to take a look and overhead crows fly. Crows are psychopomps, guides of the dead and carriers of the spirit. They are flying away, so the man is in no danger of dying. Since the deer moves closer, it is obvious the man is no threat. The deer is also the symbol of purity of purpose, its nimble feet carrying it into the light that shines from the swords hanging above the man's body. The deer is also a symbol of strength and longevity. The race is not over, just this part of it.
The Ten of Swords is a message that it's time to hang on when you think you cannot go another step. The tide is about to turn and the Wheel of Fortune has come around. With a little bit of hope and determination, you will find you can go one more step, and one more step is all that's needed to gain solid ground because the reward for which you have worked so hard is at hand. Just as the swords glow and shed their pure light on the man, holding back the twilight sky to light the way, so does the Ten of Swords signify that your time is at hand.
Five men contend with other, pitting their strength and skills against each other, but the Five of Wands is not a battle to the death, but a time of scrutiny and attention to detail. These men are learning from each other and sharing their skills and experience with each other like brothers at arms training to battle the foe. In the grass beneath their feet, butterflies flit among the cattails and two mice seek food in the grass beneath the late afternoon sky.
The butterflies are the symbols of metamorphosis, grace and balance and the mice pay attention to the smallest details, assessing strengths and weaknesses.
This is the time to help yourself, like the butterfly that must battle its way out of the cocoon in order to strengthen its wings and earn its survival, a time to know yourself and reach your ultimate potential as the mouse knows where to find food and how to squeeze through the smallest spaces to get where it wants to go. Although the men compete with each other, each is also competing with himself. As you learn about yourself, take the opportunity to grow and help your companions grow and get better.
The Five of Wands reminds me of Jacob wrestling with the angel to earn the right to found a nation. Jacob was given a new name to honor his struggle. One thing Jacob was aware of was his motive; he dreamt of taking all he had learned and earned and making the most of it, of creating a new life and sharing what he had learned with his children and his people. That is the message of the Five of Wands. Improve yourself and society and use what you have learned to build, not destroy, for surely as you use your knowledge to destroy others, you will be destroyed.
An open chest overflows with bright pentacles. A ferret looks into the chest with a smile on his furry little face while below in the grass a turtle moves methodically and slowly on his way, unaware of the wealth falling around him and unconcerned about anything but the task at hand. Who has left the chest open and why is it unattended. Doesn't the owner care that someone will steal what he has gathered? No.
The Ten of Pentacles, like the Ten of Swords, is the end of a cycle. At the beginning, the Fool started with a single pentacle and through hard work and wise investment he has increased the gift he was given tenfold and now he is ready to repay his debt with interest.
I am always reminded of the biblical tale of the two servants and the ten talents when I look at the Ten of Pentacles. One servant buried his talents in the ground to await his master's turn while the other servant took the talents he was given and multiplied them, returning the original ten talents to his master along with the fruits of his investments. He shared the wealth while the other servant merely hoarded what he had been given.
The Ten of Pentacles reminds us to share the wealth, to give something back to the Universe. Whatever talents or gifts you were given and have increased by practice and wise investments should now be shared. Like the ferret whose sharp intuition and acute sensitivity give it the edge in knowing what and how to make the most of the least, make the most of the gifts you have been given by sharing them with those who need it most. My motto has always been that knowledge is wasted when it isn't shared.
The turtle in some cultures is viewed as an invitation to share blessings of heaven and earth, providing a doorway between worlds, between what was and what could be. All you need to do is walk through it. As always, with the four elements, ten symbolizes the end of a cycle. It's a time to rest, re-evaluate and share what has been learned and earned. Now is that time. Don't hold onto anything you can't use; spread it around.
A woman has reached the end of the trail. She is tired and foot swore and doesn't feel she can go another step. She falls to the ground, worn to the nub. What she doesn't realize is that the end of her journey is just beyond the trees that close in around her. She has learned so much on her journey and she brings help and knowledge back to the people of her town, but in order to fulfill her task and share what she has learned, she must get up and walk one more step through the trees. Just one more step is all that's left of her long and arduous journey. One more step and she can rest.
What was the reason for the woman's journey? What did she seek and what knowledge has she earned? What hurdles did she face and climb? What has she learned? Will she fail or will she succeed now that she is so close? Will someone come looking for her and help her get home or will she rouse herself for one last push? What story do the cards tell you?
One thing I have learned is that the Wheel of Fortune keeps turning whether we succeed or fail. Throughout our lives, especially as writers, there is a time to learn and a time to share what has been learned. Maybe it's time to share what you've learned, so find someone who is need of what you know and share it. Be sure your motives are pure and you are ready to move forward. Until you give a little of what you have learned back, cast your seeds into the fertile ground, you cannot move on. Will you stay down, weary of the struggle, or will you get up and take that final step, open your bag of tricks and share your treats? You can either bury your talents or increase them and share the proceeds. It's all up to you.
Until next week, give the tarot cards a chance to show you the stories they contain. The Fool's journey is the journey of every character and your journey as a writer. Take a leap of faith, trust your instincts, and use what the Universe has given you no matter where it leads you.