Let's Use this Earth Day to Co-Create the World with the Divine
Happy Earth Day and welcome to Taurus season!
As I reflect on Earth Day, it brings up a lot of sadness for me. I remember the first Earth Day I celebrated. I was in the fourth grade. Our teacher was a passionate environmentalist who taught from a place of fear.
As a 10-year-old girl, I took Mrs. Raymond’s fears for our planet’s future to heart. It felt debilitating and overwhelming then. I can only imagine what it is like for 4th graders now.
And yet, despite the very real impacts of climate change, we can still enjoy being alive and a part of nature. I feel connected to the joy of being on earth whenever I go camping, sailing, and scuba diving. My own fear for our planet’s health comes from the deep love I feel for this sacred and beautiful place.
I’m reminded of the story of “The Star Thrower” by Loren C. Eiseley:
A young girl was walking along a beach upon which thousands of starfish had been washed up during a terrible storm. When she came to each starfish, she would pick it up, and throw it back into the ocean. People watched her with amusement.
She had been doing this for some time when a man approached her and said, “Little girl, why are you doing this? Look at this beach! You can’t save all these starfish. You can’t even begin to make a difference!”
The girl seemed crushed, suddenly deflated. But after a few moments, she bent down, picked up another starfish, and hurled it as far as she could into the ocean. Then she looked up at the man and replied, “Well, I made a difference for that one!”
The old man looked at the girl inquisitively and thought about what she had done and said. Inspired, he joined the little girl in throwing starfish back into the sea. Soon others joined, and all the starfish were saved.
I find this story helpful in all work. It is important to me to feel that I am making a positive difference in the world through the lives I touch. It's also critical for me to stay humble and know that I am not the creator, and it is not my job to alter the tides for the benefit of starfish.
Though our individual conservation efforts can feel dwarfed by comparison to the size of the climate crisis, our beliefs and actions do matter. If we can keep some bounce and levity in our spirit, we can remain joyful in our devotion to the planet.
I plan to show devotion to my body, which is my most immediate environment, by staying hydrated and nourished with whole local foods. I also plan to pick up trash on my block. I want to remember and remind you that no loving act is too small to matter or too meaningless to inspire others.
On April 21st we shifted from Aries and The Emperor card, into Taurus and The Hierophant. In astrology speak, Taurus is a fixed earth sign, meaning it is the most grounded, the most stable, the most rooted. Aries and The Emperor provided us with boundaries and foundation from the impassioned energy of fire. In The Hierophant and The Pentacles, which are all earth elemented cards, we witness the root systems of our beliefs, our bodies, and our material belongings and beings. Today, I’ll be sharing how the Two of Pentacles can support our day-to-day actions under the umbrella of The Hierophant’s devotional teachings.
Dancing With The Divine
"Wanderer, your footsteps are the road, and nothing more; wanderer, there is no road, the road is made by walking. By walking one makes the road, and upon glancing behind one sees the path that never will be trod again." - Antonio Machado
In writing these messages, I get to embody The Hierophant, but you wouldn't guess that just by looking at this card. When The Hierophant shows up in a reading it automatically requires a greater explanation than most other cards. Both the word and the image are far removed from our modern language and experiences. The word stems from the Greek ‘hieros’, meaning “sacred”. Historically, a hierophant was someone who could interpret sacred ancient texts. The image from the Smith Rider Waite shows an imposing figure dressed in a religious cloak and headdress. Two other figures are supplicant at his feet, receptive to his teaching. In studying the Tarot, this card has been most commonly described as one that predicts a teacher or a guru will come into your life. I'd like to debunk that. Gurus and teachers are human and fallible, and we can get lost on our spiritual journey if we turn the investigation over to another person. Instead, know - this card is you and is for you. Without a doubt, you are taking on the role of Hierophant in your life. At home, at work, wherever you go, I promise you that someone is learning from you. And mercifully, you do not bear the responsibility of knowing the will of the Divine! Instead, as teacher and student, your responsibility is to trust that the Divine has your back and ask for help along the way. As a Tarot reader and an author, I don't have a scepter or a hat, but I can embody The Hierophant. I am teaching what I know with the utmost humility that I am also a student. I don't have a monopoly on the connection to the Tarot or to the Divine.
Ruled by Taurus, The Hierophant is at its heart an invitation to plant, root, and grow our beliefs in alignment with the highest truth of the Divine, love. You may recall from last time that the number of the Major card, in this case, 5, is an umbrella for the energy of each of the minor cards of that number. Given that The Hierophant is an earth sign, the 5 of Pentacles are most closely related energetically. You can read about that connection here, or just know, the 5s of the Tarot are moments of contraction and the Pentacles relate to our bodies and our beliefs, so we want to be extra gentle and kind to ourselves in the space. I’ve also previously discussed how we can work with The Hierophant to examine and upgrade our belief systems so they are in alignment with Spirit, which is love. For this Earth Day, I’d like to call on the Two of Pentacles to give us some practical insights on what it might look like to bring the rooting of Taurus into balance with our busy daily lives.
In this card, we see a jester-like figure with a comic hat who is juggling two pentacles. Behind him, boats rise and fall with the waves. Most importantly, his balance is light, his feet are in motion, and the band that connects his two pentacles is the infinity symbol ∞.
This card is a regular guest in my readings with working mothers. The pull to nurture the family can feel at odds with the drive to create meaningful and lucrative work. And yet, having been raised by a single working mother myself, I can attest that this balancing act is beautiful.
We are all asked to play multiple roles at once. Our capitalist structures outright demand it. It is great to spend time in silent meditation, but a monastic life simply isn’t meant for most of us. It feels good to get paid for being busy, and it feels good to play at the beach. This is the balance the Two of Pentacles instructs.
In the Aces, we see each suit’s symbol presented from the hand of the Divine. In the Twos, we get to learn how to co-create with Spirit. While there are dual forces at play, the answer is not to take more control and responsibility, but rather, to consult Spirit for guidance.
On that long-ago Earth Day, my 10-year-old-self was still forming her beliefs and learning from teachers. Unfortunately, my teacher at that time transferred her fears into lessons that made me believe that preserving the rainforests of Brazil and conserving water for the state of California was my responsibility and within my capability!
My teacher was The Hierophant of this story. Her belief that the environment was in danger and worth protecting was absolutely in alignment with spirit. Her fears were not. By rooting her teaching in fear, she bypassed the joy of actually enjoying nature!
If I could go back and re-write that story, (which is in effect what I am doing right now!) I would reach out to my little-girl self and make a game out of taking a shorter shower. I might help her identify butterflies and educate her on their pollen sources.
Our beliefs drive our behaviors, and so in The Hierophant, we want to explore what we believe and make sure that our beliefs come from a place of love and abundance. This applies to our finances too.
Taurus is all about abundance, including material wealth. As a suit, the Pentacles have been co-opted to symbolize money. They actually represent much more — our bodies, our beliefs, and our finances.
Money is energy, and Taurus is steadfast in its intention to build and safeguard material stability; however, without some lighthearted agility, the weight of all this stability can lead to fear of poverty, as in the 5 of Pentacles. In the 5 of Wands, we see it lead to anger and unhealthy competition. In the 5 of Swords, it breeds regret and rumination.
When we employ the wisdom of the Two of Pentacles to the weight of The Hierophant, we remember that we only have two hands. We can only juggle so many responsibilities until we inevitably must trust the divine to catch and release whatever comes next. And, we know that the dance is never over.
When we operate from these beliefs, the balancing act of our daily lives gains levity, humor, and the sustainability of the infinite. This tossing and catching is the dance of co-creation with the Divine.
The next time that you find yourself overwhelmed by anything, be it climate change, or your busy schedule, see if you can do a quick 2 of Pentacles check-in with your inner Hierophant. Is your feeling based in a belief that trusts you are not supposed to know it all? Are you teaching from love? Is it possible to trust and let go a little further?
I hope that the Two of Pentacles can help you stay light on your feet as you dance through this, Earth Day, Taurus season, and every day.