Four days into March and it’s turning out to be an eventful month. It is hard as a tarot reader sometimes to tune out big events going on in the world. If I’m trying to read about someone’s love life, it can feel as though the big things are intruding and demanding to be examined. As things stand, none of us is really sure what the fate of individuals, countries and the world could be. The tarot is capable of answering these questions, but what we do with the knowledge when it is presented to us can be a challenge, especially if it is news that we don’t want to hear or don’t know how to process. It isn’t that we are powerless, but we perhaps don’t know how to access our own spiritual power when faced with difficult truths.
In reading these cards, I am called to remember that, while they may have something to say about current events, we can also use them to think about what is happening in our own lives and communities. A tarot reading can be read on many layers, so hopefully you will find something that makes sense to you here. I’d love to hear what you think about this reading once you’ve read it, so please do remember to get in touch. The tarot is a conversation starter.
The Justice card is first up and, depending on where you’re standing, can be a welcome card or one that you’d rather not see. Justice shows truth, clarity and impartiality. There is also a sense of inevitability with Justice. What is going to happen will happen and you can’t stop it. Not fate, exactly, but consequences. There’s no good or bad here, really, just action. Another way of looking at Justice is through the idea of Karma. Karma is a Sanskrit word and simply means ‘action’. As a concept it is found in a number of different religions including Buddhism and Hinduism and, in my simplistic understanding, I suppose it reminds me of Newton’s third law – ‘Every action has an equal and opposite reaction’.
So this card is not, I feel, about some divine being exacting a harsh judgement upon us, but is rather about laws of balance. Simply put, when we do something, something else happens. This is a time, then, when we’re called to assess current events in our lives in the light of things which happened before. It’s also a call to remember that everything we do ripples outwards and impacts our future.
When an event occurs which makes the universal energy of the world list and tilt like a boat on a choppy sea, it can feel as though things are out of control. But when a force acts on the boat, eventually the boat will right itself due to another, opposite force acting. What this could mean for us at the moment is that we are subject to forces outside of our control and so we are tilting and rocking from side to side feeling a sense of chaos. But this is anything but chaotic – it’s simply action. Things will begin to settle and we will find our state of equilibrium again.
The universe naturally tends towards a state of balance and we see this in the cards time and time again – the Star, Temperance, the Two of Coins – two elements in flux, coming to balance and rest. And it will rest. It will stop. Whatever is chaotic will steady. And whatever actions were taken will have an impact beyond the one we first see.
The Five of Wands
The Five of Wands is a card of conflict and battle. It’s a time of unrest and squabbles and things can get pretty nasty at times when this card shows itself in a reading. But Justice speaks and says that this is about an attempt to reassert balance. We cannot maintain conflict all the time. Eventually things will settle down again and a path forward will become clearer. It’s tempting to look at the Five here as representing the actions taking place right now in the hostilities in Europe, but I would caution against that. I feel that this, as indicated by the Hermit, is an internal struggle, a moral struggle even. We have been placed in a position where we are asked to look at all manner of complex matters that are far beyond our understanding, and it will not always be easy for us to come to know what our place in all this is.
There is fiery energy in the wands and we may find that anger flares out from time to time, not only from ourselves, but also from the people around us. And that might not feel comfortable, but it is a natural response.
And so what do we do when the seas are choppy and we witness conflict and forces beyond our control? Here we find the Hermit speaking his truth and offering the wisdom we need to abide by. We know that this is an inner struggle because of The Hermit who tells us to go inward. To seek solitude. To find a space where there is quiet enough to sit and think for a while. Retreat, rest and prayer are all strongly suggested here. In the stillness, the Hermit’s lamp can show us the path once more and remind us of where we need to go.
This week saw the beginning of the Christian time of Lent. Lent is a period when Christians fast and commemorate the forty days that Jesus spent in the desert before he began his ministry. That is, a period of retreat just like that of the Hermit here. You may or may not be Christian, but there is a benefit for all of us to take a time out where we retreat from the world and attempt to find the space to hear that inner spark of wisdom, rather than listening to the noise and chaos of the Five of Wands.
It is tempting to look at these cards as information about current events, and it’s true that this reading is laden with some of the anxieties and fears that we are feeling. But my opinion is that when adding our voice to an already noisy mob, as seen by the Five of Wands here, would cause just more noise and chaos, the best thing we can do is to be quiet. With the Hermit we can be silent and are more likely to find a way to weather this storm and any other we might encounter.
Stay safe and well this month and, if you can, turn off the noise and sit quietly like the Hermit.
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