One of my favorite things to do is to use multiple decks to evolve the threads of intuition. This week I started with my newly procured Angels and Ancestors Oracle Deck, and the image of the Shield Maiden. I haven’t looked up the meaning in the guidebook yet. I’m going to listen to her first. She is telling me to focus and plan carefully. Keep my sword at the ready but also my shield.
Next I pulled three cards from my Animal Totems and I Ching deck. The Card of Loyalty (Dog). Dedication, Enthusiasm Support. The corresponding I Ching Hexagram to this is 16 – Enthusiasm and talks about obedience and devotion obtained from forming an enthusiastic army.
The overall theme from this reading is the responsibility of loyalty once you have been given it from your team, and what you have a duty to do with that loyalty to make sure you are acting in the best interest of the community/team/family/yourself.
The other two cards from the Animal Totem deck were #56 (The wanderer – Distraction – Opossum – Theatrics). And #57 (The Gentle – Pursuit – Moth – Intuition/Insight). I felt that these two cards represented two different ways to treat loyalty – a healthy option and an unhealthy option. I also drew two cards from the Osho Zen tarot to augment these two choices – Sharing (Queen of Fire) and Clinging to Past (5 of water).
One way to treat loyalty is to take it for granted and continue to tie it to past events. This is a distraction and amounts to posturing. It does not respect the loyalty you have earned. It also traps yourself and your team/community/family in a box from the past instead of seeing what choices need to be made in the future. Focus on the past will not result in a positive outcome. While we should celebrate and reflect on the reasons we have formed a team or community we also have a responsibility to move forward with focus and determination. We can then put into place ideas and actions that move the team forward. Especially if we are the leader of that team or community.
Staying in and clinging to a box from the past is not loyalty – its unhealthy attachement. And there is no greater distraction from connecting with the present moment.
Instead we can share our gifts of intuition, and use insight to decide how to move the team/community/relationship forward. Loyalty is a gift, not a shackle. You can be a strong leader and still be gentle, transparent with your reasoning behind decisions, and share the rewards of any accomplishments. This is the message of the Queen of Fire – to give back freely.
And this stoking of the creative fires of the team through generosity is likely to result in even greater enthusiasm and loyalty, and a better result using the encouragement of the creative collective energy of the team.
The arrows are a tough road, its the road of the mind, and it can get a little dicey. In the 8 of arrows from the Brady deck we have several scrub jays pummeling a hawk with words and sometimes even nips of the beak. Not only that but it looks like 8 arrows have come from below the hawk, so it feels like its being attached from above and below.
Do you feel like you are being overwhelmed by the words of others, or by the information coming at you from the news or social media? Maybe you are just overwhelmed with an abundance of ideas and are not sure where to focus.
In any case this week’s reading seems to be trying to answer that, and it offered three options. Before I dive into the options I would remind the reader that the major arcana that corresponds to 8s of any suit is Strength, and I’m not talking just about physical strength. The first place to look in any difficulty is your own inner strength and council. Quiet your mind and find your center and then proceed accordingly.
The first option seems a little harsh. It appears the advice is to burn down the tree that you are standing on. Does that really get rid of the source of the arrows or the words though? I would think not. This is what I would call the nuclear option, and I would only use it if you are ready to take a journey to a new eco-system entirely.
Usually when I see the tower card it represents letting go of what no longer serves us. If that is the true source of the noise from the scrub jays and/or the arrows then by all means, burn down the tree and start over. But if that is not the root of the problem, then the problem will just move to the next tree with you.
Here is an interesting option. Make peace with the birds, or at least one of them. Create a union of opposing forces by uniting them with a common purpose or goal. The squawking may turn to harmony or even downright singing. It seems like a better option than burning down the tree no?
Give it a shot! See the eagle? Its a divine spirit that is presiding over the union of the whooping cranes. If you can’t think of a purpose with which to unite those in opposition look for an eagle who has already done this and seek their advice.
A third option….master the arrows. Use discipline, insight, and emotional detachment to understand what each arrows purpose is and where you can use it to your benefit. This Mother of Arrows knows that one of the arrows can be used to open a gourd and feed her young ones.
Organize the arrows and learn about each one, then master the use of each one and use the arrows as tools. Once you have done this the birds will become curious and will want to learn the tools too.
I’m sure these aren’t the only options in this scenario, and if one of these doesn’t speak to you, then I encourage you do your own reading and find one that works for you.