This wintery February day brought to my mind the mood expressed in the Five of Pentacles. I know that many of us in the northern hemisphere have dealt with severe winter weather conditions this year. Today we are having a major snowstorm where I live, destined to last throughout another day as well. Next the wind will come, and then the fahrenheit single digit temperatures will arrive. Fortunately, this feeling of malaise will pass once a bit of warmth and a ray of sunshine reappear. When faced with the Five of Pentacles card, it may indicate that the feelings of woefulness and despair run a bit deeper. Could it be a good time for self reflection, and perhaps a personal wake-up call?
The Five of Pentacles suggests that we “pick ourselves up by the bootstraps”, as the saying goes. Dwelling on our problems and personal misery is a very limiting personal world view. It keeps us bound to the outer experiences of the material world. It inhibits us in our ability to access our inner resources and potential, where we may discover some wonderful opportunities just awaiting our recognition. The possibility of a positive upturn in events is also an important aspect of this card.
The Red-breasted Nuthatch sees no limitation when faced with winter weather. It can even be seen out in a storm foraging and climbing up, down, and around with great agility. Symbolically, this little forest bird is known as the innovator of new and fresh perspectives. It is a master of the spiritual quest. It represents our ability to dig deeply into emotional and mental issues, and freeing ourselves from the impediments keeping us from a positive outlook in life. The nuthatch shows us the way with bravery and courage.
The imagery on the Five of Pentacles offers two other important keys. One is the Garden Snowdrop. It often pops up right through the snow, and is the first flower to appear as winter subsides. The symbolism for this plant includes consolation, hope, and faith in times of adversity. The other noteworthy image included in the card is the lighted stained glass window in the background. It is clearly beckoning us toward new and positive opportunities.
Amid predominantly difficult conditions, and as far away as it might seem, Spring really is just around the corner.
As I was pondering the year 2018 ahead, the Two of Swords repeatedly came to mind. So, I chose this card to be the first entry of the year for the Nature Spirit Tarot website.
Achieving a reflective inner state is the message presented by the Two of Swords. It suggests being poised, and calmly prepared for unknown future events. This might be an excellent position to cultivate with so many tumultuous events transpiring around the planet. The Two of Swords indicates an opportunity, through quiet resolve, to develop trust in unseen forces. Despite outer appearances, these forces are constantly in action to balance this world. The card represents the ability to face challenges in a calm state of readiness. It also reminds us to tap our inner resources through quiet contemplation. Perhaps the new year could be an excellent time to place our attention on deepening the inner journey.
The Great Egret is a magnificent bird, full of grace and silent power. It is often seen alone, and in a state of poised stillness, as it stands in quiet marshes and wetlands. Symbolic meanings for the egret include focus, balance, and the ability to delve into the depths of self to better understand the challenges of personal growth. As well, the egret represents a connection to the invisible spirit that dwells within each of us.
In the image on the Two of Swords, the Field Bindweed entwines itself around the egret. In nature, bindweed spirals around fence posts, stumps, trees, and anywhere it can find an inviting place to climb. It is a common plant, which is found throughout the world. The symbolic meanings of bindweed are perseverance and humility. In the card, it serves as a wonderful reminder to cultivate these two qualities. They are keys to discovering the clarity needed to resolve any challenging and entangling situation.
With the Fall season comes the harvest and the abundance of the Earth manifesting her riches. The Ten of Pentacles represents the flow of prosperity into our lives. On a deeper level, it reminds us to be grateful for the spiritual treasures that are in expression all around us. This is the perfect time of year to observe the perpetual activity of the inner movement of nature, and its infinite display on our planet.
The Ten of Pentacles reminds us to embrace the importance of friendship, cooperation, and community in the expression of abundance. Through sharing and an openness of heart, we too can expand and send our treasures into the world.
The image on the card is from a traditional Native American garden, and tells the story of the Three Sisters. Corn, beans, and squash are grown together in a mutually beneficial and harmonious relationship. Each plays a vital role in the welfare of the others, and through this cooperative activity, abundance flows.
Here is a brief telling of the story of the Three Sisters. Corn is the oldest sister, and she grows in the center of the garden mound. Bees love the corn, and are attracted to the tall stalks for pollination. The stalks also support the climbing beans. Squash is the next sister. The broad leaves of this plant provide shade for the roots of the other sisters, keeping them cool and conserving moisture. Bean is the third sister. Her vines provide stability as they entwine the stalks of the corn. Beans also convert the sun’s energy into nitrogen, which this plant adds to the soil for the nourishment of the others.
Fall is the season of harvest and giving thanks. It is an excellent time to reflect deeply on the message of the Ten of Pentacles, and to contemplate on the true meaning of wealth and abundance.
The Fool steps forward into manifestation from the great cosmic life force, and represents all of the potential which we bring with us into the world. The Fool descends into form with freshness and joy, untethered by earthly experiences. This card represents a life filled with unbounded energy and the indivisible connection to spirit which exists at the heart of our earthly journey.
The Fool reminds us to be authentic and true to ourselves, and to move through life always maintaining our connection to spirit. The Fool represents both the beginning and the ending, which is unseen but always with us, as we live through our lifetime in this human experience. In our journey, it is important to always maintain the connection to cosmic energy indicated by the Fool. The inner forces represented by this card flow like a current through everything, and can carry us fearlessly through life’s many challenging experiences.
The hummingbird is the perfect ambassador to the spirit of Air in the Fool card. Here is a description from the Nature Spirit Tarot: “They are pure energy, without any apparent awareness of earthly affairs. Their wings beat at such great speed that they do not just fly, they vibrate. They can maneuver in any direction and even fly upside down. Some say they are in tune with celestial music and dance to its ethereal call. Hummingbirds are symbolic of pure joy, the wonder and love of life, and the act of always journeying with great daring. They are impetuous, bold, and fearless. Hummingbirds fill our world with magic.”
Heliconia also appears on this card. It is a plant found in many tropical regions of the western Hemisphere, and particularly on islands in the Pacific Ocean. It is a favorite nectar source for the hummingbird. At the top of the plant is the flame of the white sun, also known as the eternal flame. Among other symbolic meanings, Heliconia represents divine guidance.
All of the court cards in the tarot represent an advanced level of mastery. They suggest that the energies at work within a suit have reached a level of culmination within us. From ace to king, our growth and maturity is progressively expressed by each of the cards in a suit. When the kings appear, it means that we are now fully capable of demonstrating these energies in our world. The kings represent the authority of the masculine aspect. Here I have included two kings. I hope that you find their special messages to be both interesting and useful.
The King of Wands is creative and visionary. He rules with intuition and inspiration. We can count on this king to bring new ideas successfully into the world. When we act passionately about our own vision, and do things to bring that vision into reality, we are expressing the energy of the King of Wands. The American Kestrel is symbolic of creativity and intuition. This beautiful little falcon is quick and agile, and committed to whatever task it undertakes. It is perched on the Common Hazel tree, which was traditionally used to make wands and staffs for chiefs and rulers. More information about the symbolism in this card is included in the book that accompanies the deck.
The King of Pentacles represents a lifetime of work and service, which manifests as success and achievement in the material world. He is deeply grounded and earthly, and he is dedicated to all that is sacred in our world. He demonstrates to us the importance of maintaining high standards in all that we do, and the importance of being good caretakers of our planet. Symbolically, the grouse is an earthy bird that represents the sacred spiral of life. On the card, the grouse is perched on the blackberry bush. Blackberries are symbolic of money and protection, as well as other meanings relevant to the King of Pentacles. Above the grouse hangs the elm tree. The elm has always been associated with being well-grounded, and it is an expression of earth energies.
The coming of Spring has inspired me to share the Empress card. Here she is, in her nature regalia, surrounded by opulent plants and intriguing symbols which depict her as the matriarch of the natural world. Our planet is her domain. Through her loving heart and great abundance, we are blessed with birth, growth, expansion, and renewal. She is known as the Great Mother, the gateway from which all life forms emerge into manifestation.
One of the blessings bestowed upon us by the Empress, as we study her message, is a keener awareness of the natural world and a deeper appreciation for our planet. She may also draw us into the contemplation of our place in the infinite cosmos. A vast universe of life forms and manifestations exists beyond our senses. All of this is the greater domain of the Empress. She reminds us that all we see around us is a spiritual gift.
Spring is a time of resurgence, with new life bursting forth everywhere. For me, it is an opportunity to open my senses, and take a deeper look into the myriad of life forms that are waking up after the long winter. The Empress encourages us to embrace the earth with thoughtful stewardship and to recognize our planet as a living treasure.
Every month the full moon appears in the night sky as a glowing orb, and then slowly disappears from our view. It is a treasured and familiar sight to everyone. The moon connects us to our planet and the pulsing life around us. It is an unconscious connection, and exists within us at a deep cellular level. The moon represents a world in flux, sometimes being a positive influence and sometimes a negative one.
The Moon card is about the cyclical nature of our world. All life on the planet pulsates with the cycles of the moon. The tides ebb and flow, and the plants and animals flourish and diminish. The cycles of creation and the energy of the moon are in unison. As inhabitants of this world, our connection to the moon manifests through our feelings and emotions.
The moon reminds us to explore our psyche, and uncover the patterns of emotion that influence us unconsciously. Are they serving us well? We have the power to change the negative patterns and encourage the positive. This is personal work which will lead us on the path of the heart.
The Moonflower and the Pink-spotted Hawk Moth are pictured on this card. The Moonflower blooms by night, and is a symbol of luminous creativity. It draws night feeding insects to its fragrantly scented flowers. The Hawk Moth is one such insect, and one of the few with a proboscis long enough to pollinate the tubular structure of the Moonflower. Look at the card closely and you will see the cycles of the Hawk Moth pictured among the leaves of the Moonflower.
The Two of Cups symbolizes the harmony and healing power of a happy union. It is a card of fruitful relationships, sharing, and communicating. It is the perfect card to express the sentiments of Valentine’s Day!
The Two of Cups can be interpreted on many levels. On a deeper level, this card represents the polarity of Nature, which is fundamental to the creative process. Through the union of two, something new and wonderful emerges. With the arrival of spring just around the corner, we will be able watch all of Nature awaken and burst into creative action.
The Two of Cups is included here to wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day, one rich with friends and loved ones. May your heart be filled with caring and gratitude for those with whom you are blessed to share your life.
As our world spins into the year 2017, chaos and discontent abound. It is disturbing to watch the scene unfold, and its scope gives us a sense of helplessness. This brought to my mind The Wheel of Fortune, and its message of a world in flux.
The Wheel of Fortune reminds us that the cycles of the Creative Universe are in constant motion. We may observe this by contemplating the movement of the solar system, the seasons, the tides, and the cycles of the moon, as well as our earthly appearance from birth to death. Why are we here, what have we set in motion in our lives, how do we connect with the rhythms and patterns of Life greater than ourselves? These are all questions connected to the Wheel of Fortune. It holds keys to our own personal journey of growth and expansion.
On the grander scale of Creation, depicted by the Wheel, the world is subject to forces and cycles beyond our vision. Universal laws are constantly in action. As the cosmic wheel turns, great unseen forces are directing us, and guiding us in our journey back to our Source. We are free to choose whether we continue onward as we always have, or take up a new perspective. Perhaps it is time for us to wake up and take notice of a world out of balance.
Here is an opportunity to take heart, and look at the positive aspects of the transformation that is happening around us. Let us recognize the changes in the world as the breaking up of old patterns, making room for something new, beautiful, and awakened to take root. Remember, it is within ourselves that we must begin to initiate the changes that we wish to see in the world.
Quiet the mind, and tune in daily to the evolving Consciousness, the causative principle of all things. Be still and watch it unfold. As we are all united in awareness, we bring to light the higher forces represented by the turning of the Wheel of Fortune. In this card, we have a powerful picture of the evolution of humanity. Observing the positive aspects of change in these tumultuous times is an excellent practice for the coming year. I find this card to be a fascinating study.
During this busy Season, our days often become too hectic and frantic. They are filled with preparing for celebrations, planning gifts for loved ones, and participating in activities with family and friends. It is difficult to find time for what is important. I would like to suggest a special holiday practice.
By creating a few quiet moments at different times throughout each day to feel closer to Spirit, we will be helping to spread Peace in the world. This could also be part of a holiday practice with the tarot deck. We might take a few moments to meditate with our favorite card, with the heartfelt intention of silently sharing its message. Who knows how far our practice might reach if we make time for Spirit to come into the world each day. As a reminder of sharing our inner gifts, here is a wish for the Holidays.
I am wishing you quiet moments to be renewed and to embrace the true meaning of the Season. Through your chosen path into the Sacred Silence, may the Spirit within fill you with the Love of this special time of year. May the peace you bring into the World be shared with all beings in the spirit of Love and good will.
I am including the image of the Four of Swords from the Nature Spirit Tarot. Poised on the card is the praying mantis, an excellent ambassador in the journey of reflection. The mantis understands the power of stillness and calm. In the card, it rests on the great Oak tree, which represents our deep connection to all that is sacred.
Throughout December, all U.S. orders for the Nature Spirit Tarot will be shipped priority mail rather than ground mail. I am doing this to be sure that decks arrive in time for holiday gift giving. This is just a small token of my appreciation for all of you who help me share my work, and send it on a journey of its own, all the way around the globe!