Updated: Jan 11
A Reading for the Collective
The month of October begins in Libra season, which is the card of Justice. We then move into Scorpio, with the Death card, which makes sense as we move into winter. In this month’s spread, I received the message, "The Hero's Harvest." Initially this sounded too grandiose to me, but it actually it makes sense.
Under the card of Justice, and in this moment of political, social and environmental injustices, it can seem like our society is on trial by villains, but that is where heroes and heroines are foraged. In any hero's journey, there is the profound moment of truth when the veil is lifted and the ego must confront itself. A hero is born.
I wrote more on the card of Justice regarding the Equinox, but I could not have put it better than Cornell West, who said, "Justice is what love looks like in public." In Justice we must both see the truth and act to align ourselves with it. The figure in the card holds the scales in an equilibrium and her sword points vertically to the highest truth. Justice is both still, and prepared to act.
The cards that support us in our embodiment of Justice are the Ace of Swords, the Six of Pentacles and the Queen of Swords.
Aces indoctrinate us into to their energy, and swords are ruled by the intellect. Pointing straight up for truthful perception, the sword pierces the crown of the material world. In the suit of swords, our work is to confront the suffering that stems from illusion. Illusion of material attachment, emotional deception, and spiritual disconnection. The blade is divided into two sides. While our ego will only rest if it is finding "right" and "wrong", we can better occupy the liminal space by focusing vertically to the highest truth - love. The hand that emerges from the clouds connects us back to the divine.
In the Six of Pentacles, we see a wealthy figure bestowing generously to grateful individuals in need. The scales are balanced, and it appears that everyone is made richer from the experience. There is a hierarchy between the wealthy figure and the paupers. They receive enough to be happy, but their situation does not dramatically change. The giver's scales are in balance. He does not give more than what he will not miss, what he perceives as an overflow. In some ways, this dynamic can challenge our internal sense of justice. For example, we see imbalance from a boss who gives only as much as required to keep an employee, or a political structure in which a people are oppressed but do not wish to risk what little security they are afforded. However, because in this card the scales are balanced, this exchange symbolizes giving to others what they are able to receive.
Most often, we give to others what we think is expected from them. The ability to give to others in accord with what they actually need and what they can use, requires tremendous self-knowledge, hence the Ace of Swords. If we know a truth, that the Earth is round, and we brazenly march into a flat-earthers gathering, we would be escorted out and declared heretical to their beliefs. But by not confronting them, gaining their confidence and slowly educating them, their perspective may change. That, is in fact, how most flat-earthers and climate change deniers came to their current beliefs, receiving falsehoods slowly over time, as their capacity to receive expanded.
And now we come to the hero chapter of our work. The Queen of Swords represents a mastery in balance of both emotion and intellect.
As a Major card, Justice represents truth, not only accurate facts, but the divine force that holds reality in balance. Life gives us what we need, especially when we position ourselves to receive it. Of the Minor cards, we call upon the Queen of Swords as an agent to execute justice in our daily existence. The Queen has traversed the suit of swords. She possesses the wisdom that can only come from pain. She has faced it with courage, acceptance and honesty.
The cord on her wrist represents a break from illusion. Though she is surrounded by clouds, her head is above them and, like Justice and the Ace, her sword points straight up to truth and spirit. I am reminded of Jane Fonda in this card. She recently released a book on climate change, What Can I Do? There is no greater injustice taking place right now than what we as humans have enacted on our living planet. In this book, she outlines how injustice in any system is connected to climate. She specifies how racism, gender inequality, the military complex, and economic disparities all result in climate change and how by addressing those issues, we can solve our climate problems. She acknowledges what she as an individual can do and outlines things that every one of us can do. As a celebrity she is able to bring more attention to these issues than perhaps you or I, but she is also criticized because she is a celebrity. No matter, she does what is in highest and best. This I think, is the perfect embodiment of a hero. Too often I hear people become cynical about their individual potential to enact change, especially by comparing one problem with another one. Like children pointing fingers at who did wrong first, we loose sight of the solution. Saying that because China and India are bigger polluters that the US and so we should withdraw from the Paris accord, is the same as saying that because my city is liberal, I can't make an impact in an election. Yes, we are surrounded by what can feel like trail by villains, that is the bell that tolls for us to become heroic. If you have ever watched an inspiring documentary on the Civil Rights, Suffrage, or the Underground Railroad, and wondered who you would be in that time - this is that time. We are truly in a "documentary" moment. When we move from Justice into Sagittarius and the card of Death, we say goodbye to everything that can't come with us. We want to make sure that we have harvested everything we can to embody our hero-selves. The Ace of Swords gives us the knowledge of the truth, the Six of Pentacles gives us the frame of mind in which to act upon it, and the Queen of Swords takes those actions.