I can’t believe it’s been a year since I first participated in the Tarot Blog Hop, hasn’t it flown by? The theme for this Hop is Dancing Between Light and Darkness and the notion that there is a point at which things can be neither one thing nor the other, or both. Initially, this seemed a curious suggestion to me, but it makes a certain kind of sense if you consider that something can be both a hope and a fear or an event can be both a source of joy and of sadness.
We often experience ambivalence and conflicting desires and emotions in our lives. We wish for success but dread the added responsibility, long for recognition but fear the limelight, want to show off our work but are reluctant to face scrutiny or criticism, hope for release but regret the loss of the familiar. Thus we find ourselves at these transition points, sitting on the fence, not knowing whether to laugh or cry or indeed, whether to stay enveloped in the safety of darkness or to step into the light.
With the lines between light and darkness blurred, it seemed appropriate to choose a deck to reflect this and Tarot Swietlistej Drogi (Shining Path Tarot) certainly fits the bill. The cards are drawn in light colours – white, yellow and orange – on a black background. The accompanying book gives upright and reversed meanings, but to be honest they are just fairly broad ranging lists of definitions, so I have just included a few for each card for reference.
The Darkness, the Light and between them the Fence
The Darkness: Where does your darkness lie? What is it that holds you back, that you hide in, that makes you fear the light?
Five of Swords. The book definitions for this card include: the chance of a renewed start in a more favourable location, openness to new ideas, breaking through barriers, admission of a mistake and seeing a correction.
I’m not sure that I particularly agree with any of these definitions and the overall positivity seems to be at odds with the imagery. The figure is resting in a chair (perhaps on his laurels) suggesting a degree of complacency or possibly just weariness. His eyes are closed and he is either deep in thought or asleep. At the side, liquid being poured into a glass from a test tube giving rise to steam or smoke. This implies transformation of some sort, perhaps (al)chemical and in keeping with the transitional nature of this post. One can’t help but wonder if he is being slipped a mickey while he is inattentive or whether it is a restorative. Is he tired of fighting? does he feel he has done enough?
The Light: What is your light, your hope? Where do you want to be?
Eight of Cups: a continuation of plans, creative and artistic work, a time of development and blossoming, practicality, stable feelings and emotions and satisfaction.
The figures in the card seem carefree (almost maniacal), dancing and splashing barefoot in the water. There is certainly a more joyous feel to this card than the traditional RWS equivalent and its message is a more positive and creative one. Considering both meanings, I wonder whether we can ever be truly carefree once we are no longer children and even in the light, in casting aside cares there must still be consequences, responsibilities and a price to pay, but nonetheless, it is still the ideal.
The Fence: What is the barrier that stands between your dark and light? Where do you sit when you can decide which way to jump?
Seven of Pentacles. Upright: harmony between material and spiritual world, recognition of one’s own worth, joy in one’s achievements, knowing that things will be better. Reversed: Bad outcomes or dissatisfaction at work, living beyond your means, lack of balance.
The figure in the card seems very pleased with himself and the fruits of his labours. Again, I am less than impressed with the given meanings, so will hark back to RWS and suggest that there is always uncertainty involved in a harvest. Sometimes, it is not just the efforts that you put in that affect the outcome. External factors beyond your control can also have an impact. This has a particular resonance for me as last year’s wet weather had a huge impact on trade for me, with many of the events I attended being washed out. This did make me question the wisdom of continuing and investing further in a way of life that is so much at the mercy of the elements. Do I or don’t I? I think I’ll sit on the fence and avoid that decision for now 😉
I hope that you try this spread out for yourselves and that it gives you pause for reflection. I don’t think there is necessarily anything wrong in ambivalence or sitting on the fence, but it is best to be aware of when you are doing so and why.
While you’re thinking about it, here’s a choon 🙂
For more insights, hop onwards to the lovely Chloe’s blog or back to Lynda’s, or if you’re lost, you can find a link to the master list below. Happy hopping 🙂