Monday, August 1, 2016

Center of the middle (Tarot Blog Hop)

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In this Tarot Blog Hop, wrangled by Aisling the Bard, we were asked to look at "union of opposites." There were two suggestions of how to approach this, and I am only ambitious enough to deal with one of them. In this case, I am choosing to discuss a card that is "two things at once"--a card that represents (at least in my mind) two opposing elemental energies.

For years, I have been fascinated by the Eight of Wands. In the "A.E. Waite /Rider" Tarot deck created by Pamela "Pixie" Colman Smith, the Eight of Wands is represented by eight staves flying though the air.

As a Wand card, it is obviously Fire, kind of a flaming meteor type of fire. The Eight of Wands works quickly. But it can also be destructive, kind of like a meteorite. Or a hail storm or thunder storm.

It is this secondary imagery of a violent rain storm, complete with lightning, hail, and lashing rain,  that makes me also associate this card with the element of Water. It is the type of storm that leads to flash floods. Again, a destructive aspect.

Now, there is a positive aspect to "making it rain"---one can get lucky with this card---often in the form of rapid money. Or good news. But as some people learn, success, wealth, and good luck can rapidly change your environment and your life---and for many people, even a positive disruption is stressful.

Pixie after Warhol (Eight of Wands).
 And here is where I go slightly off-beam from the theme of this blog hop. The stress aspect of this, plus the way the staves are flying though the air, also adds in my mind, a layer of Air to this card. Again, it is a rapid changing atmosphere associated with this card, the vehicle which this card acts is often the stuff of the mind--passions, fears, and thoughts.

Yet this Air aspect is offset with the fact that this card often signals a change in success, luck, wealth, things that depend on a physical, material basis to earth and ground them out. If it was merely the imagery of Fire, or Water, or Air, this card would not nearly be as drastic as it is. But because the changes quite often are ones in the material world, this card also a lot of Earth energy around it too.

So in my mind, both sets of opposing elements, Fire & Water, and Air & Earth, affect the meaning and effects that this card has. And as such, it is the card that best represents a center of the middle, a balance between opposites, type of Tarot card for me.

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Joy Vernon said...

I love "Pixie after Warhol (Eight of Wands)"! Brilliant! And yes, I always found that this one tends to cross elemental borders too, although I was more limited in my thinking, only picking up on the fire and air variations. Thanks for getting so much more info for me!

Aisling the Bard said...

I love it that you have more than one comparison here--the union of 2 opposites, in my experience, is just the beginning. Isn't everything--well, everything?

OTM Academy said...

Awesome insights! I've always felt this card left little to the imagination but comparing it to a violent rain storm is brilliant. All of the imagery is extremely helpful in making associations with this card!

Tarot By Arwen said...

Really enjoyed this exploration of the many sides of the 8 of Wands. And yes, Pixie after Warhol was fun!

Vivianne said...

I loved this post - the practical ones are the best ones :)

Alison said...

Really enjoyed this - especially Pixie after Warhol! I love the way you've brought all four elements into this.