First Earth Tarot: August 2015

Welcome to the Lammas 2015 Blog Hop! Please use the links at the top or bottom of this post to navigate to the other wonderful blogs in this circle.

Our wrangler, Joanne Sprott, has asked us to discuss the influence of the Sun in the Tarot, and/or of Mercury from a favorite Tarot or Oracle deck. I’ve decided to focus on the Sun (or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that the sun called me to focus on it!).

One morning, recently, I was looking out my kitchen window in the early hours of the morning, enjoying the glint of the rising sun through the green landscape. I thought about how interesting it is that the angle of light can bring out so many lovely details in even the simplest of things. This spurred the thought:

How does the illumination of the sun invite us to see things in a new light?

New Orleans Voodoo Tarot/S. Glassman

On a mundane, earthly level, the sunlight filtering through green leaves, flowers, and grasses imbues nature with a golden glow that can be absolutely breathtaking. My favorite time of day to “take in” my back yard is in the early morning during the time of year between early June and late August. The rising sun lifts into the sky at a precise angle that lights up the tall bushes and shrubs along our fence line such that it looks as if a magical door has materialized. Golden beams glint off emerald hibiscus leaves just outside my window, and long shafts of brilliance stretch over the lawn, leaning into secret crevices in our maple tree. It’s a beautiful sight to behold. And just as fast as it appears, the magic is gone, the sun rises high into the day-time sky and the back yard looks ordinary once again.

A golden arch opens as the sun rises

In the Tarot, the Sun can symbolize success, health, and happiness, even enlightenment – not the sudden revelation of the Tower, but a softer, joyful clarity. In the New Orleans Voodoo Tarot, Trump XIX Gros Bon Ange represents our immortal essence, the spark of divinity within us, and as such reflects our capacity to experience and express all-encompassing love and joy. There is deep power in that.

How does our ability to experience these two profound emotions influence the way in which we perceive our environments, our relationships, and our Selves? 

Stone Tarot/A. Stone

Many depictions of the Sun card show children because they are, generally speaking, great emissaries and teachers of both joy and love. But this symbol also represents the children that live inside of us, the aspect of our being that is purest, most innocent, and most joyful. At times along our earthly paths we experience great difficulties that cast long shadows over our hearts and souls, and challenge or inhibit our ability to know love and joy. It is in these moments where rediscovering our connection to Sun energy is most crucial.

The Dalai Lama said: Seeking joy and freedom from suffering is the birthright of all beings.

Interestingly, my cousin, Junior, posted a quote the other day that read: “Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.” I really appreciated the root of that message, and decided to investigate its origins online. This brought me to an article from Psychology Today, written by Dan Mager, M.S.W., wherein he discusses how mindfulness and positive thinking mark the difference between the healthy management of (and recovery from) physical and emotional pain, and the experience of suffering. In other words, it’s about how we respond when “bad shit” happens.

Vision Quest Tarot/Tarot De St. Croix

At the start of the article the author quotes Dr. Viktor Frankl (Holocaust survivor, among other things):

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

I had just been thinking about this very idea several days prior after having heard an argument where one party reacted strongly, bitterly, and rapidly to a perceived affront. When asked, “Why do you act that way?” the person replied, “I can’t help it, that’s just how I am!” I thought, That way of thinking is how we choose not to do or be better. There is a moment immediately following the occurrence of a difficult situation, a brief, liminal space, where we decide how we will respond, and there is wisdom in slowing down just enough to allow that moment to touch us.

Becoming aware, or mindful, is important, but not necessarily easy (none of the things in life that are truly worth it are particularly “easy”). So how do we open our Selves to experiencing the love and joy that are our birthright? How do we increase our awareness of, our capacity to experience, Sun in our lives? To address this, I’ve created a spread:

Card 1: In what way do I feel limited in my ability to embrace joy?

Card 2: How can I help open myself to receive joy?

Card 3: In what way do I feel limited in my experience of love?

Card 4: How can I become more aware of the love in my life?

Card 5: What is my deepest longing?

We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.” -Buddha

Happy Hopping!