Bah… don’t believe it, movement is the only constant.
We have all heard it before ‘change is the only constant’- it’s a favourite line to pull out at hard times. I have been dealing with plenty of change, as most people are today, yet it seems that it is also true that the more things change the more they stay the same. How can both be true? I have been sitting with a variety of cards that speak to the issues that have been shifting around me. It seems that in many ways the “Tarot” – often translated as “wheel” – is all about change, a perpetual flowing set of symbols that shifts between elements, major and minor arcane, and so much more. Out of all these cards it is the Wheel of Fortune that has been really grabbing me lately.
The question I find myself chewing on around all of this is not how to avoid change, or even free myself from change – but how do I go with it. How to become more, to change faster, to sit at the balance between yesterday and tomorrow in that ever elusive now and play with change, encourage and nurture it so that I can just be. Be what? More of what I am of course. Is that too obtuse?
The most common piece of wisdom that I hear people handing out is that the goal is to be the center of the wheel, immobile and free, or even to get off the wheel – all good and noble ideas for that day when you are enlightened. Until we achieve that lofty goal what can we do with the wheel to move towards being able to be freed?
On the Wheel of Fortune we are shown three characters. At the top is the Sphinx, falling down Apophis, and rising up Hermanubis. Cool. Sometimes these characters change, but what is more important is the position they hold. Rising, falling and cresting or peaking – in simple terms life is just these three things. Things start to grow, manifest or peak, and fall into decay. Our lives are the interplay of many events and people that are at various points of this wheel.
If we look at the Sphinx he seems nonplussed to be in this precarious moment at the top of the wheel. Now it may be that the Sphinx is a master of non-attachment and that leaves him free from worry, but I think if that were the case he’d be hanging out in the center. No, I think the Sphinx holds a different secret that might be more helpful to those of us out here at the edge of the wheel.
The Sphinx is known as the master of the four magickal virtues – to know, to will, to dare, and to keep silent all four of which are united by the fifth – to go. In combination the Sphinx shows us what is needed to stay balanced atop the Wheel of Fortune. We must know ourselves, without that we cannot be sure to make a correct choice. We must will, that is be deliberate and clear within ourselves. We must dare, without action we accomplish nothing and the wheel just spins us around. Lastly, we must be silent. That is we must hold or contain within us that which we create. All four of these ideas combine to create the fifth virtue of going to remind us that it is a dynamic and ongoing process. We cannot stop.
We can do a reading where we lay four cards – one for each of the four – virtues to help us become clearer about what can focus on in this process as we seek to build our lives. Of course this can be used analytically on any area, but for this example I’ll focus on bring something into manifestation so each will be framed as a need.
1. Knowing – what is that clarity that we need
2. Willing – what do we need to co-ordinate ourselves internally towards action
3. Daring – what is the action we need to take.
4. Silence – what do we need to contain what we create
Lastly, we can place one card over this row of 4 to remind us of the going – “what it is that unites these different aspects?” Look at the patterns here too between the 5th card and the rest. This fifth card is the key to understanding the others and at the same time is constituted by them.
You can read part two of this post here.