Summer Solstice yet here’s a moon card instead of a sun. Interesting.
The waxing crescent moon period is often thought of as a time for beginnings, attraction, setting out new intentions to work on in the coming lunation. The Ace of Pentacles, too, is a card of opportunities or beginnings: at the head of the suit of earth, this signals a spark of something new in the material, physical sphere.
The Knight of Cups is a rather different creature. Creative, romantic – a little wild, even – and immersed in deep feeling, he is also strongly associated with desire. That, of course, can be anything the heart wants deeply – not necessarily just another person!
So, we seem to have before us an opportunity to transform a heartfelt desire or longing into a more tangible reality. We should be alert for signs that we can seize our chances this week and take the first steps in this process, in expectation of things developing further in a few weeks with the onset of the next waxing crescent phase (around mid-July).
Valour, intuition, curiosity. These are the things we should do our best to embody this week. To claim the things we have earned, we need to stand firm externally as we dig deeper internally. Listen to those little prompts and hunches, follow the trails that you stumble upon, ask questions. This is how we will succeed.
Sound simplistic? Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. Let’s find out.
The Sun has been a frequent visitor in my daily card pulls of late. Anyone would think we were approaching the summer solstice…
This week we are asked to draw both on its nourishing warmth and its light. The message: all will be well. The Four of Wands shows a meeting of complementary figures, balancing each other harmoniously, cementing a partnership. They too speak of harmony, of positive outcomes, a decisive step on the way towards what we desire.
The Prince of Swords can indicate a note of caution – sometimes he signifies a tendency to charge too eagerly into battle. Here though, see how Zillich’s Knight sits almost ceremonially on his mount, surrounded by what look like amethyst points. He encourages crystal clear thinking, creativity and a confident (but not cocky!) bearing. If we follow his advice, we can expect the Sun to be at our backs in the coming days.
I’ve had this deck for several months and yet I haven’t opened it, haven’t touched it, until now: I don’t know why. Somehow today seemed like the right time and I felt compelled to use it for the weekly reading.
Looking at what it’s offered us, I can see why. Here is Death once again (the Journey) at the centre, after its appearance last week too. This is a time of strong currents of change. We heard this message last week, and here it is again in a different, more powerful form – two strong major arcana cards to push the message home. If we weren’t listening before, can we sit up and pay attention now?
The Ten of Vessels shows us an abundant flow of positive feeling: all our cups are filled. This is what we are aiming for – this vital, refreshing energy – but trust in the cycles of change and renewal we are all subject to will be essential in order to get there. This isn’t always going to be comfortable. Accepting death as a natural corollary of life and progress can be a challenge. Likewise, the lessons of the Great Bear (aka Judgement) do not come easy. After Death has stripped away what is no longer needed, how do we weigh the version of ourselves, of our lives, that is left? Are we ready to emerge into something different, to forgive ourselves for our failings and difficulties on the path to where we are now? Are we ready?
That might all sound like a bit too much existential angst for a Bank Holiday Monday. Fair enough. Consider, though, the world we find ourselves in as we tentatively move away from lockdown restrictions towards a version of ‘normal life’ that is both comfortingly familiar yet distinctly, perhaps irreversibly, changed. We are reshaping ourselves and our surroundings as the longer term impacts of the previous 18 months – on us as individuals and on the collective – begin to make themselves known.
Change is not often sudden and explosive (we have the Tower to tell us when that’s coming!), rather it is incremental and steady: the flow of a sparkling waterfall subtly reshaping the rock below. And yet, so often, those tiny increments carve out huge shifts over time. Harder to recognise, perhaps, but hugely significant. This week, the Journey and the Great Bear ask you both to acknowledge what is changing for you and to do the work necessary to fully align yourself with that process in order to reap the emotional rewards.
Don’t mind Death. He turns up sometimes to clear out things that are no longer required – that great big scythe is pretty effective.
This week, I think he is here to signal an end to some things that have been holding us back (the Eight of Swords). Often this card indicates a mental prison of our own making – the barriers that we put up around ourselves because we’re afraid to act, or we’re telling ourselves negative stories about who we are and what we are capable of. However, it can also signify malign external influences in the shape of people who – consciously or otherwise – are interfering with our ability to make progress.
Death is here to say: no more of that. A period of frustration and inaction has to come to an end. Instead it’s high time we consider the application of our personal will towards what we want and how we intend to get it (the Two of Wands). No need to plunge headlong in just yet – the Two is still near the beginning of the Wands journey – what’s important is the creative impulse, the focus on the goal. Know where you’re going. Know that you are free to do what you need to in order to get there.
There’s potential for things to get a bit heated – competitive, fractious, argumentative even (7 of Staffs aka Wands). If you feel this happening, step away for a while to give your mind a rest and collect yourself (4 of Swords): you don’t have to bite. Instead, aim for clarity. Master your own thoughts and communicate with confidence (King of Swords).
OK. This week is about grounding the mental within the material world.
We start with the Sister of Wind (aka Page or Princess of Swords). Things may have been difficult, mentally, of late: there are those times, aren’t there, where everything feels like a battle? There has been so much change for us all to assimilate, and that’s tough work.
What I love about the Eakins’ take on the 3 of Earth (aka Discs/Pentacles) is that it feels like a reassuring hand on our shoulder. “The work you have chosen is the right work… the skills you are using are the right skills. All things material are moving into alignment with you… You will continue to succeed as long as you do not lose your sense of heart or spirit.”
And if we keep on doing what we’re doing, with right intention, and try not to live in our heads too much? The Six of Wind offers perspective. Maybe we will feel a little lighter and be happy to lay the sword down for a while.
A new deck to me, this, and what a lineup for its first weekly reading!
There is movement at the centre of things this coming week. The Eight of Wands is also sometimes known as Swiftness: here in all its colour and brightness it feels very much like a sign that things are going to start to become unstuck, which will be welcome to any of us waiting on news of someone or something.
Either side of this movement lies encouragement, I think. The Priestess reminds us of our inner reserves of wisdom, of knowing (even – or especially – when we feel quite the opposite). Fortune meanwhile… well, the turning wheel of life can sometimes feel like it’s going too fast, sure. But look at the balance here, and those cats, especially the black one. This time I feel like maybe luck is with us. Here’s hoping.
Last week we ended with the Ten of Cups: this week we begin with it. A nice bit of continuity. This time I think it reminds us that we are part of a wider web, all of us, and we don’t have to manage everything alone. We shouldn’t be hesitant to draw on the network of love and support that surrounds us.
Why? Well, something new is afoot with the Ace of Discs (this card has popped up recently in daily readings too – making its presence felt). New things can be daunting, of course, but at the opposite end of the suit we have the Knight (aka King) to show that the harvest will be worth it, if we embrace the change. I like the sound of that.
Hmm. Some pause for thought needed here to assimilate the message. Maybe because there’s a nudge in it for me personally, or maybe it’s just the Moon doing her thing (or both)?
I think there are two points we should take from the Moon at the centre of this reading. Firstly, a literal nod to the new moon in Aries coming tomorrow: a new cycle begins with the start of another lunation. Secondly, the symbolism of inner work, the metaphorical dark night of the soul where those things that we hide from the daylight become illuminated by the lunar glow. Not always a comfortable process, facing those things that dwell in the dark, but one I think we’re being encouraged to attend to this week in whatever form is appropriate.
The flanking cards provide some further context. The Six of Swords is often a card of moving on, progressing mentally, crossing the Rubicon: in the Thoth context, I tend to think of the focus as leaning more towards the assimilation of new knowledge, perhaps after the trials of the Five, and the establishment of what we might see as right mental order. A calm that comes from clarity. I think this tells us that we may have learnt some hard lessons or found the previous lunar cycle mentally quite challenging – but that we should now be ready to leave those challenges behind.
And if we do that, following the path that our inner work beneath the Moon has laid out for us? The Ten of Cups offers us a warm flush of emotional ease. Not that we should consider our work done (when is it ever?) – there’s a Mars influence in this card that tells us we must keep moving – but we may find that this new moon cycle is less painful, more nurturing, than the previous one. And I don’t know about you, but I’ll take that gladly.